My book Ella’s Promise (Great War Great Love #3) is now available in Portuguese on various ebook sites. It will be available in paperback soon! Special thanks to translator Julianna Lira for her excellent translation job.
- I love the title! What was the inspiration for A Thread of Evidence? Where did you come up with the idea?
When I decided to write cozy mysteries, I knew that the setting would have something to do with sewing. Besides making an outline for my story, I wrote down a list of sewing terms: needles, threads, notions, etc., and used them to develop titles. With any mystery, there needs to be clues and evidence to solve the crime. So, why not make a simple piece of thread a clue–a piece of evidence?
2. You’ve written young adult fiction before, but this is your first venture into adult fiction. What drew you to writing adult fiction?
When I wrote the inspirational adventure stories for YA (Wow! That was a few years ago.), I had just given up my position as a teacher. Writing for younger people made me still feel close to them. It was my way of still teaching without being in the classroom.
Now, I’ve been retired for several years and have the time and desire to start writing again. So, I decided to write something that would draw on my life experiences–sewing, home remodeling, trying new recipes, etc. My bookshelves are filled with a plethora of different genres, but one of my favorites is mysteries. I enjoy the cozy mystery because it brings adventure from the viewpoint of the average citizen.
3. Mibs is an amateur sleuth who happens to be an expert seamstress. Are you or someone in your extended family an expert seamstress?
I had been a professional seamstress. While raising my five daughters and taking classes part-time to earn my teaching degree, I ran a small craft and sewing business. I made everything from children’s clothing to wedding dresses. I also made the clothing for the mannequins in the fabric section of the local Wal-Mart store.
I learned to sew at an early age with guidance from my mother and my aunt. My grandmother taught me how to embroidery and make lace with a tatting shuttle. Then, when I was older, I took sewing and quilting lessons. Now, I only make quilts for myself and my family–sew on a button or mend an item if one of my grandkids asks me for help.
4. What do you hope the reader will take away from A Thread of Evidence?
First, I hope the reader will enjoy the story and spend a few hours getting lost in the town of Havendale with Mibs, Jace, and Aunt Bernie. As far as what I hope the reader will take away from A Thread of Evidence and all the books in the series, is the feeling that the ‘good person’ can win! They can face the criminal, solve the crime, and meet any challenge thrown at them while still keeping their faith and moral bearing. Even when life’s problems pull them to a dark and challenging place, they can find God’s love, strength, and forgiveness to light their way. Hopefully, even Jace (Detective Sergeant Jace Trueblood), who’s buried his faith under a cloud of pain and anger, will eventually kneel down and ask God for grace to face life’s challenges.
I want to write stories that are not ‘preachy’ but let the characters’ faith be an everyday part of their lives.
5. You’re working on additional books for the Mibs Monahan Mysteries. Please tell us a bit about Books 2 and 3 (and 4, if you have it!)
The second book in the series is called Notions of Murder. Monahan Sewing Shop has been open for a while, and business is increasing. Mibs is happy with the growing relationship between her and Jace. But, when at the local community theater working on costumes for an upcoming play, Mibs becomes the only witness who can identify an assassin who’d killed one man and wounded another. Now, the shooter wants to silence the seamstress.
The third book, Stitch in the Ditch, includes forgery and murder. A continuing question throughout the series has been about Mibs’ true identity. Information about her past has the usually self-assured and determined young woman conflicted.
The fourth book is still in the outline stage. So, I’ll save the previews on that one until later.
6. Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
I grew up before the internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc., so books were my soul food. My childhood home was filled with authors that would not necessarily be recognized today– James Fenimore Cooper, Gene Stratton Porter, Essie Summers, Louis L’Amour, Jules Verne, Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, and Arthur Conan Doyle–to mention a few. I loved them all.
Moving to more current authors, I would list some of my favorites as Mary Higgins Clark, Debbie Macomber, David Baldacci, and James Patterson. These are on my list because I love mystery stories, and these authors do the genre justice with their writing.
I also enjoy good Christian adventure authors. They bring the story, mystery, adventure, drama, romance to life and at the same time are not afraid to let the reader know that their characters have God as the center of their lives. Some of my favorites are Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series, Barbara Golder’s Lady Doc Mysteries, Ann Lewis’s Watson Chronicles, and Ellen Gable’s Great War series.
A Thread of Evidence is available here on Amazon!
I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book. Here’s what I’ve been reading and working on for the past month!
Now available from FQP!
Amazon Synopsis: Twenty-two years after Mibs Monahan was adopted by her great-aunt Bernie, it became apparent that the woman who had raised her was suffering the frailties of old age. Mibs did not hesitate to set aside her dream of becoming a clothing designer to take care of her aunt.
Mibs hadn’t realized that opening a sewing shop would also open the door to experiencing the loss of two friends, Jennifer Morris and her sister, Jasmine Hornsby. At first, the death of Jennifer appeared to be an accidental poisoning. A short time later, the death of Jasmine was declared a suicide. When authorities claimed that grief over the loss of her sister drove Jasmine to take her own life, Mibs confronted the staunch, self-assured Detective Jace Trueblood and told him that was not possible. Even when the detective’s alluring blue eyes and disarming smile were changing her first impression of annoyance to undeniable attraction, she still insisted that following the thread of evidence would lead to the hidden truth.
Balancing the challenges of opening and running a new business and contemplating the tragic deaths of two sisters has Mibs wondering what tomorrow will bring. Being brought up on love, kindness, and sacrifice gave Mibs Monahan a kind heart, but it also gave her determination and a desire for justice.
A Thread of Evidence is available at this link.
Amazon Synopsis: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild meets Katherine Center’s How to Walk Away in Kathleen Basi’s debut novel about an unconventional road trip and what it means to honor the ones we love.
It’s one year after the death of her husband and twin teenagers, and Miriam Tedesco has lost faith in humanity and herself. When a bouquet of flowers that her husband always sends on their anniversary shows up at her workplace, she completely unravels. With the help of her best friend, she realizes that it’s time to pick up the pieces and begin to move on. Step one is not even cleaning out her family’s possessions, but just taking inventory starting with her daughter’s room. But when she opens her daughter’s computer, she stumbles across a program her daughter has created detailing an automated cross-country road trip, for her and her husband to take as soon-to-be empty nesters.
Seeing and hearing the video clips of her kids embedded in the program, Miriam is determined to take this trip for her children. Armed with her husband’s guitar, her daughter’s cello, and her son’s unfinished piano sonata, she embarks on a musical pilgrimage to grieve the family she fears she never loved enough. Along the way she meets a young, pregnant hitchhiker named Dicey, whose boisterous and spunky attitude reminds Miriam of her own daughter.
Tornadoes, impromptu concerts, and an unlikely friendship…whether she’s prepared for it or not, Miriam’s world is coming back to life. But as she struggles to keep her focus on the reason she set out on this journey, she has to confront the possibility that the best way to honor her family may be to accept the truths she never wanted to face.
Hopeful, honest, and tender, A Song for the Road is about courage, vulnerability, and forgiveness, even of yourself, when it really matters.
My review: On my “to read” shelf.
Amazon Synopsis: Marita Mercer has no intention of losing custody of her daughter to Jim and his perfect little wife. So what if Charli’s father is successful, established and respected now? Does that make up for the fact that he never wanted their daughter in the first place? But in the battle of Marita the single mother vs. Jim and his perfect little church-going wife, Marita is almost certain she will lose. Angel Alessio’s life with her husband is missing only one thing – the very thing Marita has already given him. And although Angel loves her stepdaughter, that love does nothing to ease her longing for a baby of her own. Both women are determined to keep their families together…but at what cost?
My review: I enjoyed this novel that centers around a custody battle between a single mother (who had her twelve-year-old daughter at sixteen), the father of the twelve-year-old who for most of the child’s life has not been in the picture, and the father’s new wife, who is a practicing Christian, who wants to please her husband but does not agree with him that they should seek full custody. A lot of dialogue and the character of the father could’ve been developed a bit more realistically, but an overall pleasant read. 4/5.
1979—Terror reigns in Nicaragua. The Sandinistas have seized power. Julian Mendero, leader of the Christian opposition, is arrested for stealing a national treasure—the Valdivieso Cross. But not before his son, Pedro, flees to the Sanctuary underground and begins an arduous journey to the US border.
Months later, FBI Agent Steve Rodriguez enters the murky world of the border killings, a series of inexplicable murders. When evidence points to a foreign death squad he enlists the help of Carol Shannon, a Sanctuary activist searching for Pedro. But Carol is reluctant to help. Trauma of a recent sexual assault has left her fearful and suffering nightmares. Yet Steve’s compassion—and Carol’s commitment to end the killing and find Pedro—gradually builds trust, while mutual attraction soon gives way to passionate desire.
Mysteries unfold when Steve consults notorious ex-patriot Hector Rone. He learns Rone’s lover, Claudia Haas—antiquities expert, thief, and femme du monde—has joined two militant priests in their search for Pedro and the Valdivieso Cross. Tensions rise when Steve learns the death squad leader may be the father of Carol’s unborn child. Time is short. Steve must find a way to stop the death squad, find Pedro and the precious Valdivieso Cross, and save the woman he loves from making a terrible mistake.
The Cross and the Godless will be available soon on Amazon and other booksellers.
My review: I’ll be helping this author with his promotion so my review is coming!