Category Archives: A DAY IN THE LIFE

a place where characters give you a glimpse into their day

A Day in the Life of Holly Miller by Krista Davis

Murder Most HowlDo you remember the commercial in which a woman said, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful?” Yecch. Well, don’t hate me, after you hear about my life. There are some perks that I never could have imagined.

I used to work in Washington, DC. Got up in the morning, squeezed into pantyhose, dressed, grabbed a piece of toast or a yogurt, and then sat in traffic for an hour. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t all bad. I liked DC.

But my Oma (German for grandma) needed help at the The Sugar Maple Inn on Wagtail Mountain. I have always loved that place. She didn’t have to twist my arm too hard to convince me to move there and become her partner.

My apartment on the top floor spans the width of the inn. In the front, my bedroom has a balcony that overlooks the tiny town of Wagtail. Village would be a better way to describe it. There’s a wonderful green space with sidewalks along both sides where most of the stores and restaurants are located. Did I mention that dogs and cats are welcome everywhere? There are even special menus for them in the restaurants!

On the other side of my apartment, a larger balcony overlooks Dogwood Lake. It’s the perfect place to relax. Not that I do much relaxing but life here is pretty nice. Oma hired Mr. Huckle, a wizened old butler who was down on his luck. Before I wake, he sneaks into my apartment with hot tea or coffee, a chocolate croissant, a dog treat, and a cat treat. And then he slips out again, like a little silent fairy. And I wake to a tray of goodies!

After I shower and dress, I feed my calico kitty, Twinkletoes. Then it’s my Jack Russell Terrier’s turn. Trixie adopted me and probably saved me from continuing in my old routine in DC. She’s a delight, but I have to admit that she has a nose for trouble – and for dead people. After I take her out, we go to the dining area and feast on the kind of breakfast I used to only get on vacation. Eggs Benedict, pumpkin French toast, chocolate chip pancakes, asiago cheese omelets and heavenly home fries. And that’s just a start! I balked at first, thinking I would balloon, but I do so much walking in Wagtail that it hasn’t been a problem.

Please don’t assume my life is just a big festival of pigging out. Running an inn means you’re on call 24/7. Most of the time the guests are great, and I can’t believe how lucky I am. Unfortunately, we’ve had a couple of murders in the last year. Shh, we try to keep that quiet because we live off tourism. But I’m sure those were flukes. Right?

Oma is finally taking a much deserved vacation. I thought she would never get to the point where she trusted me enough to leave me in charge of the inn. But it’s finally happening. While she’s gone, Wagtail will be hosting a murder mystery weekend called Murder Most Howl. Pretend murders! Now that I can handle. I hope.

You can read more about Holly, Twinkletoes, and Trixie in Murder Most Howl, the third book in the “Paws and Claws” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first two books in the series are Murder, She Barked and The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 2 for your chance to win a copy of MURDER MOST HOWL. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Krista Davis is the News York Times Bestselling author of the Paws & Claws Mysteries for animal lovers. Murder Most Howl is in bookstores now. She also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her 9th Domestic Diva Mystery is The Diva Steals A Chocolate Kiss, a chocolate mystery in bookstores now. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs, two cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.

Visit Krista at,, on, and on Facebook. Krista also blogs at and Killer where the characters do the blogging!

A Day in the Life of Josie Blair by Sadie Hartwell

Yarned and Dangerous CoverWelcome to Miss Marple Knits! I thought I heard the bells chime over the front door. I was just in the storeroom getting a few more skeins of this gorgeous baby alpaca yarn to restock the shelves. You like it? It comes in most colors. Feel free to browse, or have a seat on the couch or an armchair over there by the big front window. As long as we’re open, you can knit here as long as you like.

You’re not allergic to cats, are you? My tuxedo cat Coco is around here somewhere. Don’t trip on her. She likes to twine around feet.

Oh, you’d like some help with your project? That might be a problem. I, uh, haven’t learned to knit yet. What with getting the shop running again after my great-aunt’s death, getting up to speed with suppliers and advertising and our new computer system, and learning about different kinds of yarn, there just hasn’t been time. Not to mention the fact that I, a city girl, am now responsible for some of the chores at my great-uncle’s farm. I never thought I’d actually enjoy taking care of the chickens, but the henhouse girls and I have developed a feathery bond. Our fresh eggs are for sale on the next block, at Dougie’s General Store. Stop in there on your way out of town for a takeout container of macaroni and cheese, then you won’t have to make dinner tonight and you’ll have more time to knit.

Phew. Here comes my associate, Evelyn Graves, who’s an expert knitter. She can help you figure out where your cable pattern went wrong and how to fix it. Just give her a moment to hang up her coat and stow her purse. She brought the big bag today, so she must have a big knitting project in there.

Life in Dorset Falls, Connecticut, is not what I planned for, with my expensive degrees in fashion design. But it might just be what I was born for. Because, it turns out, I’m beginning to love this town. Well, not everybody in it. But, you know, in general. Even though a murder was committed right here in my shop not long ago, Dorset Falls still feels like home.

And yes, Evelyn, I’ll learn to knit. Soon, I promise.

You can read more about Josie in Yarned and Dangerous, the first book in the NEW “Tangled Web” mystery series, published by Kensington.

Yarned and Dangerous Book Description:

Time has not been kind to sleepy Dorset Falls, Connecticut, where an erstwhile resident is hoping to bring a tattered yarn shop back to life—but with a murderer on the loose, the whole town is in knots. . .

Josie Blair left Dorset Falls twelve years ago in hopes of making it big in New York City. But after earning an overpriced master’s degree and getting fired by a temperamental designer, she finds herself heading back to her hometown. Her great-uncle was injured in a car accident, and newly unemployed Josie is the only person available to take care of him. Uncle Eb’s wife didn’t survive the crash, so Josie is also tasked with selling the contents of her Aunt Cora’s yarn shop. But the needling ladies of the Charity Knitters Association pose a far bigger challenge than a shop full of scattered skeins. . .

Miss Marple Knits is one of the few businesses still open in the dreary downtown. Josie can’t imagine how it stayed open for so long, yet something about the cozy, resilient little shop appeals to her. But when one of the town’s most persnickety knitters turns up dead in a pile of cashmere yarn, Josie realizes there’s something truly twisted lurking beneath the town’s decaying façade. . .


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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 1 for the chance to win a signed copy of YARNED AND DANGEROUS. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. One lucky commenter will be randomly selected. Good luck everyone!

Meet the author
Sadie Hartwell grew up near the Canadian border in northern New York State, where it’s cold, dark, and Sadie Hartwell Author Photosnowy almost half the year—a perfect environment for nurturing a simultaneous love of mystery fiction and needlework. She attended St. Lawrence University, graduating with a degree in history, and has worked as a waitress, handbag designer/manufacturer, office person, and copy editor before turning to writing full time. Now she gets to play with yarn and make up stories whenever she wants, and wishes everyone had a job as much fun as hers.

Visit Sadie at, on Facebook and on Twitter at @sadiehartwell

A Day in the Life of Emma Quinn by Gin Jones

Tree of LIfe and Death“I will never understand why it’s taking Keely so long to show Matt her vault,” Dee Madison said as we waited for Keely at the Smugglers’ Tavern.

Dee was my best friend, so I accepted that she sometimes spoke a little thoughtlessly and without consideration for double-entendres. Especially after she’d had a full mug of hard pear cider. “You probably shouldn’t mention it while she’s here.”

“It’s the truth,” Dee said. “Matt Viera isn’t just an excellent reporter. He’s one fine-looking man. And it’s not like Keely has anything to hide. Other than her tendency to faint, of course.”

“She prefers to call it passing out,” I reminded her. “Promise you won’t upset her. We need her help.”

“All right, all right.” Dee signaled for another drink.

The Tavern’s owner, Hope Ramsay, was behind the bar, and she knew us. This second mug was unlikely to have any alcohol in it.

“For someone who’s a lot younger than me,” Dee said, “you fuss over me like a mother hen.”

Keely came into the room just then. “Dee, Emma.” She tossed her quilted messenger bag onto the bench beside me and slid in next to Dee. “I hope you haven’t been waiting too long.”

“Not as long as Matt’s been—”

I cut Dee off. “I’m starved. Let’s order.”

Dee barely waited until we’d placed three identical orders for the seafood special before getting down to business. “The quilt guild is organizing a workshop to make ornaments for a Christmas tree in the lobby of the Danger Cove Historical Museum. We’ve hired an instructor to motivate the die-hard quilters, but we’d like to offer something for people who own quilts but haven’t made one. Yet.”

Keely didn’t hesitate. “How can I help?”

Dee had already moved on to her second mug of cider, as if everything had been settled. That left me to work out the details. “We were hoping you’d offer to do some appraisals for a nominal cost. Perhaps limit them to holiday quilts, given the time of year.”

Keely considered me for a long moment. “Okay, what aren’t you telling me?”

Dee set down her empty mug. “You’re such a suspicious person.”

“Just realistic,” Keely said. “I’ve been through too many situations where clients held back important information. The best way to ensure a perfect event is to know all the risks in advance.”

“You’re as much of a downer as Emma,” Dee grumbled. “And you don’t even have the excuse of being an old fuddy-duddy.”

I knew she didn’t mean it the way it sounded. And, to be honest, I was something of a fuddy-duddy.

I directed my response to Keely. “There shouldn’t be any problems. The guild will organize everything. But people can be somewhat emotional about their quilts, especially the ones associated with holiday memories.”

Keely looked at me skeptically. “That’s all? No protest marches? No Plan B’s that involve hiring a hit man? No match-making?”

Fortunately, Dee was working on her third mug of cider, and couldn’t swallow fast enough to answer before I did. “No match-making.”

Dee set down her mug. “Speak for yourself, Emma. Matt will be there to report on the event for the Cove Chronicles and he said he’d make a few ornaments. It would be a crime if Keely missed the chance to see him operating a sewing machine. There’s nothing quite as sexy as a man who knows how to use power tools. It’s bound to convince her she should learn to quilt.”

Keely laughed. “If that’s all you’re planning to do, I think I can resist the urge to throw myself at Matt. Or at the sewing machine. But what about the protests and hit men?”

Dee shrugged. “I can’t think of anyone I want to picket or kill.”

“Then you can count on me,” Keely said.

I could relax and enjoy my own cider now.

Dee might not mean it when she said she wished someone was dead, but there were too many people, even here in quaint little Danger Cove who did mean it.

Fortunately, that wasn’t my problem. All I had to do was organize the volunteers for the event. Then, if anyone ended up dead, well, that was just one more reason why we needed Keely there. She knew what to do about dead bodies.

Gin Jones’s Tree of Life and Death is the seventh book in the multi-author Danger Cove Mysteries series, and the second in the Danger Cove Quilting Mysteries subseries, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. The first book of the overall series is Secret of the Painted Lady, and the first quilting mystery is Four-Patch of Trouble.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 30 for your chance to win a digital copy of TREE OF LIFE AND DEATH. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Gin Jones is a lawyer who specializes in ghost-writing for other lawyers. She also makes quilts, grows garlic and serves on the board of directors of the XLH Network. Visit Gin at her website,

A Day in the Life of Cindy York by Catherine Bruns

Killer Transaction“This is Cindy, how may I assist you?”

Oh, my apologies. I forgot where I was for a second. My mind is constantly in sales pitch mode these days. You see, the real estate market hasn’t been kind to me as of late. It’s really difficult trying to make a living when your co-worker keeps stealing your listings!

Yes, you heard me right. I was all set to have Mrs. Hunter sign on the dotted line this morning. That sweet, elderly woman is so forgetful, she doesn’t remember my name half the time. But I worked very hard for her as I do all my clients. In the past week alone, I’ve brought salmon for her enormous, temperamental cat while my husband Greg fixed her leaky toilet—which, by the way, is where my career is headed—all because Tiffany Roberts beat me to the punch. Again.

Tiffany is almost twenty years my junior. She’s gorgeous and one of the top agents in the entire state. She’s also deceitful, dishonest and despicable. Should I go on?

I know it may sound like I’m jealous of Tiffany, but not in the manner you might think. I’ve just had enough of her contemptible ways. I’m madly in love with my husband Greg and we have three terrific kids. Darcy’s fifteen and, like most teenagers, a bit self-centered at times. Stevie and Seth are our eight-year-old twins. They’re good boys, except when they’re trying to set the house on fire.

My best friend, Jacques, is a co-worker and complete genius when it comes to the real estate market. He’s second in sales only to Tiffany, but at least he comes by them honestly. Jacques has also been very instrumental in guiding my career at Hospitable Homes the past three years, which is a good thing, because our manager would just as soon that I didn’t have one. She’s looking for any excuse to fire me. Oh, and did I mention that Tiffany is her pet?

When I found out Tiffany had stolen the Hunter listing out from under me—well, I kind of snapped. I mean, not really snapped, but she did push a few buttons. You see, I can tolerate many things, such as the puppy peeing on the carpet, the twins flooding the bathroom, or sometimes even my mother-in-law!

No way will Tiffany get the best of me again. Greg was so proud when I told him. I arranged to meet her at the office tonight after I fed my family dinner. We had steak, by the way. It was kind of tough. (Why can’t you buy good steak anymore?)

I’m not greedy, but we do need the money. Hopefully Greg’s raise comes through soon. Darcy wants a new dress for the spring dance and the twins are outgrowing their clothes at an alarming rate. Plus, the puppy really needs to be neutered.

Okay, deep breath here. I’ve had enough. Tiffany will not treat me like a doormat. I will not settle for less than 70% of the transaction. I will not haul off and smack her. Well, maybe. Did I also forget to mention that I threatened her earlier on the phone? Yes, you heard it here first. I told her to give me back the listing—unless she wanted to die young.

She was waiting for me at the office that night. Alone. And—you guessed it—she was dead.

Now what am I going to do??

You can learn more about Cindy in Killer Transaction, the first book in the NEW “Cindy York” Mysteries, available now from Gemma Halliday Publishing.

About Killer Transaction

Real estate deals can be murder.

All struggling real estate agent Cindy York wants is the home listing that was promised to her. But her deceitful co-worker, Tiffany Roberts, has other ideas, and she always manages to get what she wants. Tired of being manipulated, Cindy tells her to back off—or else! But when Cindy stumbles upon Tiffany’s lifeless body, she suddenly finds herself front and center in a deadly investigation. Now everyone from her kids’ classmates to her monstrous mother-in-law is sold on the idea that Cindy’s guilty. Determined to find out who’s trying to frame her, Cindy enlists the help of her best buddy, Jacques, to negotiate a slew of suspects, a host of clues, and an office full of cutthroat agents…before the next contract is out on her!

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 27 for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or the digital version (open to everyone) of Killer Transaction. Good luck everyone!

About the author
Catherine is the #1 best-selling cozy mystery author of Tastes Like Murder. She lives in a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine holds a B.A. and dual major in English/Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She writes both the “Cookies & Chance” and the “Cindy York” mysteries. Her next release, Baked to Death, is scheduled for January 2016.

You can visit Catherine, on Facebook and on Twitter

A Day in the Life of Charlie Chambers by Sally Goldenbaum

Trimmed With MurderIt was a day I won’t forget–ever.

I was driving along 128 toward Sea Harbor, thinking about my sister, and wondering if I was crazy. Rain had picked up and so had an icy wind. A great day for Eskimos. Not such a great day for Charlie.

Izzy was always the favorite in our family, at least that’s how my older brother Jack and I saw it. Maybe it’s because she didn’t screw up as often as we did. And then she went off to Harvard, which puffed my dad up until there wasn’t much air for anyone else in the room.

rainI thought of Izzy a lot while I was wandering around trying to find my soul. I wondered how her adult life had turned out. Better, for sure, than mine. Though I thought I was finally on the right track.

I guessed I’d find out soon, if she even remembered she had a younger brother, or at least one she’d want to see. I figured it was one of the worst ideas I’ve had in my thirty plus years, driving along a godforsaken road in terrible weather, showing up in a town I’ve never seen before. Unexpected. And with a good chance of being thrown out.

I almost turned back once or twice a ways back. Almost. But didn’t, and soon the exits stopped, the wind picked up and I was fighting like crazy to keep the car on the road. On all sides, trees were bending in the wind, their barren branches reaching out to grab me.

And that’s when it happened. At first I thought it was a tree moving out from the side of the road. But trees don’t have legs and this thing did. Skinny ones moving fast. And so was my car.

I slammed my foot on the pedal, the car vibrating like crazy. And all I could think of was that it was happening again. But it couldn’t be happening. . .not again. . .not now. Not today.

It was definitely a day I’ll never forget—a day that changed that changed my life forever.

You can read more about Charlie in Trimmed With Murder, the 10th book in the “Seaside Knitters” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Death by Cashmere.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 27 for your chance to win a print copy of TRIMMED WITH MURDER. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Sally Goldenbaum is the USA best-selling author of the Seaside Knitters Mystery series. Although she lives in landlocked Kansas, she spends as much time as possible on Cape Ann, MA, a very real and beautiful place that is also home to the fictional Sea Harbor, the seaside knitters, and their many friends. Murder at Lambswool Farm, #11, will be released May, 2016.

Visit Sally at