Welcome to author Casey Daniels a.k.a. Kylie Logan.
Since one of my good friends and brainstorming partners Casey Daniels/Kylie Logan’s been here in the past showcasing some of her novels, I thought I might interview her a bit today so you can find out more about the different series she has written and the sleuths who make them come alive.
Kylie’s newest book, Death by Devil’s Breath, a Chili Cook-Off Mystery, just came out and there’s a link to an excerpt at the end of the blog. The Legend of Sleepy Harlow in her League of Literary Ladies series comes out in October.
We thought you might appreciate a little background first. Here’s what Casey/Kylie says about three of her sleuths.
Chili Cook-Off Mysteries
Stinging from a bad romance, Maxie travels joins the Chili Showdown (in the first book of the series, “Chili Con Carnage”) to work at her dad’s Hot-Cha Chili Seasoning Palace. As part of the traveling show, she sells spices and peppers, and also dresses as a giant chili (complete with fishnet stocks and heels!). Maxie’s flashy and brassy and not afraid to speak her mind, especially when it comes to her stuffy half-sister, Sylvia, who works at the Palace, too.
League of Literary Ladies Mysteries
Bea Cartwright is the owner of the newest B&B on South Bass Island off the Ohio coast in Lake Erie. Island life is just what she’s looking for, along with some peace and quiet after a hectic life in New York that included a dangerous stalker. What she doesn’t count on is annoying neighbors, or a local island magistrate who, tired of the ladies taking each other to court, sentences them to be a book discussion group.
Pepper Martin Mysteries
Pepper works at a historic cemetery and solves mysteries for the ghosts there. Sounds like a pretty good gig, right? Not to Pepper, who would like nothing better than to give her Gift back! Pepper is the quintessential poor little rich girl, she was spoiled rotten by her parents (that is, before Dad ended up in federal prison) and she’s as high maintenance as they come. Solving mysteries for the dead-but-not-gone is hard work, and it’s tough on a girl’s nails and hair! Good thing Pepper’s got attitude galore, and the style and wardrobe to go along with it!
1–You’ve done several cozy mystery series as Casey Daniels and Kylie Logan. What traits do all your sleuths share–other than gender? In what way are they like you?
I hope none of my sleuths are like me! If they were, they’d sit in front of computer all day and wouldn’t have very much excitement in their lives. As for what they all share, I think all my sleuths are smart (always a good trait when you’re solving a murder!), and I think they all have a certain determination that makes them stick with a case even when it looks like it’s going nowhere. Some have better senses of humor than others, but I like to think they all have a pretty good sense of self. These are capable, clever women and they don’t back down from a problem!
That’s a tough question. Pepper Martin from my Pepper Martin mysteries by Casey Daniels would drive me absolutely bonkers, so definitely not her. She’s too picky. Josie Giancola, my button collector might be fun, but only if she had lots and lots of buttons with her, and Maxie, from my Chili Cook-Off books is way too much of a daredevil. I guess that leaves Bea from my League of Literary Ladies books. She loves books so we’d have lots to talk about and with her connections, I’m thinking we wouldn’t be on that island too long.
3–What scene were you tempted to write in one of your novels and decided not to?
Can’t think of one, though I will admit there was one I almost deleted. It happens in “Tombs of Endearment,” Pepper Martin mystery #3. In the book Pepper (who works in a cemetery and can talk to the dead) falls in love with a ghost. Since having any contact with ghosts makes a person icy cold, she knows it’s not a good idea, but she lets him kiss her, anyway. She ends up with frozen lips and talks like Elmer Fudd for hours. I laughed so hard when I wrote the scene, I figured everyone else would just think it was silly. Luckily, I left it it, because readers laughed, too.
4–What made you decide to write about chili cookoffs and tell us about the chili cook in your own family.
In my family, the chili cooking is done by my husband, David. He’s even won awards at chili cook-offs! As to what made me decide to write the Chili Cook-Off mysteries . . .well, it just seemed like a natural. The whole world of chili cook-offs and chili lore and chili recipes is so very interesting, it seemed to me it was a natural for mysteries. And readers love to read about food, especially when you include a recipe in your books.
5–Have you ever been tempted to kill off a character who reminded you of somebody in your past? Can you tell us the details?
Not only been tempted, but I’ve done it! I once led a library group on a tour of an old cemetery and a cemetery volunteer came along with us. Her name was Marge, and even though I know she meant well, she was a pain right from the start. She kept grabbing my microphone and correcting everything I said. At one point, the man who drove our tour bus asked what I was going to do. “Don’t worry,” I told him, “I’m going to kill her.” And I did! In “Tomb with a View,” a Pepper Martin mystery in which a cemetery volunteer named Marjorie (purely a coincidence, I assure you!) takes a header off a balcony.
For more fun, enjoy a taste of Devil’s Breath chili yourself. Death by Devil’s Breath Excerpt.
While I’ve linked to Amazon here because I’m an Amazon Associate and they make it so easy, the books are available everywhere.