Cozy Mystery

Behind the Scenes with Daphne McLean

Hi All!

A big THANK YOU to all who filled out the survey last week, and volunteered to be ARC readers for me. We have a nice big team for now. I received many questions about me, my writing life, and how I came up with ideas. So, for those of you who asked, here’s a little about my story.

In October 2013, my son was about a year old. I was in a bit of a rut. I didn’t know any other local moms, and my good friends who had children lived over an hour away. “B”, my older guy, was a great baby. I mean they are all great babies, but this kid man. He was/is great. He was my little sidekick who just went with the flow. I loved being home with him, and having our own little adventures, but I was… lonely.

My good friend, and neighbor asked me to start going on daily morning walks. While she didn’t have kids, she loved “B”, and it seemed like it was a good idea for all of us. During that time, we would talk about everything. Marriage, friendships, kids, personal goals, you name it. Anyone that knows me knows that I dislike and avoid physical activity of all kinds. This person, “L” got me to walk daily. It was great.

Anyway, I’ve started and not finished a handful of books over the years. My process is to take something normal and innocent about my life and twist it in some way to make it different, complex, and sometimes sinister. It’s a way to be able to write what I know, without writing an autobiography. So, while we were out on these walks, I started thinking about this idea for a book about a true-crime loving stay-at-home mom, (raises hand) who happens upon a crime scene, and inserts herself into the investigation. I ran this idea by “L” and she said, “Write it!” So, I wrote the first three chapters, and sent them off to friends to see if there was something there, all of them responded to keep going. However, not too long after, life got a little different. “L” moved away, and “B” started needing more activity, and then before I knew it, my youngest, “W” came along and basically didn’t sleep for two years. (I forgive him, and love him deeply).

In late September of 2019, the air started to chill, and the leaves began to change. It reminded me of the time I spent walking with “L” and that old manuscript I started. A new family moved into “L’s” house and gave me a bit of inspiration. I re-wrote the first three chapters, outlined the rest, and by February 2019, I was a published author!

Pembury Acres and it’s inhabitants, are all (loosely) based on my life, and the people in it. The characters are a hodge podge of people I know, mixed with traits of other people I know. For example, the Chief is a mix of my high school ROTC teacher, my grandfather, and lots of police chiefs that I’ve seen on TV or read about in books.

Jennifer Temple and I are alike in that we are stay-at-home moms, we both have sons, chickens, and failing vegetable gardens. We also both love true crime. I however, can cook and would likely never stick my nose into a real police investigation. So there you have it. The inspiration for Red Picket Fences, and the subsequent books all came from my little neighborhood, and the people in my life.

If you guys have any more questions, please let me know!

Moving on… a few announcements Death at a Dinner Party is on sale for $0.99 until Sunday. It’s also now available in paperback! I’ve met many of you via BookFunnel, so I’m not sure if paperback is your preferred choice.

Also, I have two new books to share with you from my fellow author friends.

That’s all for now! Happy Reading!

Stay Cozy,

Daphne

Books, Cozy Mystery, Self Publishing, Uncategorized

Taking a vacation…from myself.

Hi All!

I enjoyed a brief reprieve from writing and blogging, but I’m back in action. Sometimes one must take the time to step away and refresh. I binged reality television, read books, enjoyed time with my kids, and basked in lots of time in the sunshine (slathered in SPF of course!).

In essence, I took a vacation from myself, and from what usually makes me tick. It was much needed. Jennifer Temple, and Pembury Acres was far from my mind for a bit and while I missed them I needed to regroup before diving back into their world.

Oddly, I pictured them all patiently waiting around for me eager to know what they are supposed to say or do next. To my surprise, they happily went on with their lives solving murders, going for morning walks, getting coffee, & eating salami sandwiches from Lacy’s Deli. I’m the one that needs to catch up with them. Not the other way around.

I also had a great one-on-one consultation with a big name in the indie world, and I left the session feeling re-invigorated. I’ve had a few personal issues in the last few weeks that took the wind out of my sails, but I’m ready to dive back in and bring you Body in the Begonias and Death at a Dinner Party. They are both coming very soon.

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In the meantime, I have some great cozy mystery recommendations for you this week!

A Saucerful of Death (Starlight Cozy Mystery Book 1)

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Get your copy here.

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Darren Nelson stars as a United States Space Explorer who finds himself entangled in more than just intergalactic intrigue when he falls for an interstellar beauty. Not only does he have to divert attention from a lovely alien, who hitched a ride on his return capsule, but when a fellow astronaut he clashed with is found dead, he must find a way to clear his own name. He must constantly discourage his best friend and mission team member, Stephen, from aiding and abetting the lovely alien that has began to fall for Darren. Jeannie is determined to save him herself and thanks to retro tv, she is sure she knows just how to go about it.

Wishing Well (Chapel End Mysteries Series Book 4)

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Get your copy here.

If a party brings life to a village…

…why does it end in death?

Postwoman Jenny Reid’s interest is piqued when a tramp is discovered on the outskirts, but no one admits to knowing who he is.

The fun evening out descends into chaos with old rivalries erupting from jealous spats. Jenny is caught in the middle, her desolate love life paraded for all to see. When the tramp makes his entrance attentions are diverted, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Revelry turns to tragedy.

Once again, Jenny is dragged back to the past by the appearance of a diary. Someone is clearly trying to tell her something, but will she work out the clues before it’s too late?

Grab this fast-paced mystery today.

Red Rover, Red Rover

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Get your FREE copy here.

Of course, he doesn’t know a latte from a cappuccino . . . Brent Peterson is actually a spy! When things go south, Emily, a young coffee barista, is thrown into a world of espionage, danger, and humorous codenames. The first in a series of clean spy-comedy novellas.

That’s all for now. Until next time!

Stay Cozy,

-Daphne

Books, Cozy Mystery, Self Publishing, Uncategorized

Rain, rain, go away…

Hi All,

Last week was a bit crazy so apologies for not getting this out on my regular Friday schedule. The kids and I are adjusting well to our new sports schedule, and we’re even finding time for neat little craft projects! I’ll post a picture of the dino playset we created below.

I’m still working on Body In The Begonias it’s longer than I expected it to be!!

There really isn’t much to update you on. This month has been a blur, and I’m looking forward to our upcoming spring break! I hope to finish the story by then and get it off to an editor.

In the meantime, check out this Witchy cozy it’s on sale for $0.99 until 4/19!

The Ghosts of Wonky Inn: Wonky Inn Book 2

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Get your copy here.

Alf has tried to banish her demons.

And her ghosts.

But memories of her recent past linger and keep her awake.

Every night it’s the same. Insomnia.

When she does eventually drift off, she’s woken almost immediately by a sobbing spirit.

He says he’s lost.

And worse than that, someone is trying to kill him.

Who is this sad specimen of a spirit? And where does he belong?

And how do you kill someone … who is already dead?

Find out what Alf gets up to next as the Wonky Inn adventures continue.

Read The Ghosts of Wonky Inn today.

As promised, here are pictures of the playset the kids and I created this weekend!

Stay Cozy,

Daphne

Books, Cozy Mystery, Self Publishing, Uncategorized

PUBLISHED!

Hello All,

I clearly don’t beat around the bush here. I’m happy to announce that what started out as a few chapters in July 2018, grew into an actual real-life book in February 2019. I’m beyond excited, and completely exhausted.

I. Finally. Published.

You can purchase your very own copy of Red Picket Fences on Amazon.com

Click here to purchase the Ebook (a steal at $.99)

Click here to purchase the Paperback

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What now?

Well, as you read last week, I started tackling my ever growing to be read pile. I’m going to share highlights from that pile next week.
I started writing book two. I sent out the first chapter to a few critique partners and received some very positive feedback, (very exciting). Lastly, I started a short story about Jennifer Temple, that will only be made available to newsletter subscribers only. Be on the lookout for that in early spring.

I would really love to hear more about all of you.

What are you reading?
Got a recipe to share?
Are you a writer, and need self-publishing help?

That’s all for this week,

Stay Cozy!

-Daphne