FEATURED AUTHOR: KAREN C. WHALEN
ABOUT THE BOOKThe Gourmet Dinner Club travels to Ireland to enjoy Irish cuisine while staying at a medieval, ivy-covered castle. Jane Marsh hopes Dale Capricorn will ask her to marry him at this romantic dream destination. But her plans are put on hold when the elderly castle owner becomes violent, a club member restrains him, and he collapses and dies.
The police believe the mysterious death is murder and begin to suspect one of the club’s members. Dale leaves for home on a business emergency, and as the lone single gal in the club full of couples, Jane is thrown into the company of Griffin O’Doherty, the handsome Irishman who stands to inherit the castle.
Jane must prove her friends’ innocence by solving the crime. Which of the sweet-tempered Irish could be a callous killer?
Title: A Stewed Observation
Author: Karen C. Whalen
Genre: cozy mystery
Series: Dinner Club Mysteries, book 4
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press (August 6, 2018)
Print length: 294 pages
On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours
INTERVIEW WITH KAREN C. WHALEN
Q: Karen, what do you love about where you live?
A: Moving to Colorado from the Midwest is one of the best decisions my husband and I made. I’m glad for our Midwestern upbringing, and it’s a joy to go back and revisit those childhood memories of corn fields, lightening bugs, and humid summers, but nothing can beat the glorious Rocky Mountains, the scent of the pines, the cold, crisp mountain air, the vistas and views from 10,000 feet peaks, hiking, biking, camping, and everything outdoors.
Q: What is the most daring thing you've done?
A: Skinny dipping with my girlfriends in college. So what if was just girls and the lake was totally deserted and it was completely dark out. We still felt pretty daring!
Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
A: The dinner club mysteries are based loosely on my own dinner club and are partial composites of people I’ve known in the distant past all the way through the present. I’m sure the people can hardly recognize themselves since I’ve given them words they’ve never said, situations they’ve never been in, and quirks they wouldn’t admit to even if true. All writers use what they know to begin with as a jumping off place. Then the characters become fictional with minds of their own.
Q: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
A: I prefer to write in my makeshift office at home, but do I really need an office to write? A quiet place with a large, flat-surfaced desk to spread out, plus a bookcase to hold stacks of research and office supplies, a few green plants, and some treasured, family photographs. Also, a big window for natural light. Soft carpet for the dogs to sleep at my feet. A CD player for background music. A separate space from the rest of the family to insure there are no interruptions, yet a few short steps from the kitchen for those all too frequent breaks. Quite a few requirements for this office of mine. Yet, in Writing Down the Bones, author Natalie Goldberg recommends that writers practice writing in restaurants and coffee shops so they can learn to block out distractions and write anywhere. And one of my favorite places to write is the indie coffee shop a few miles from my house. I only need my laptop and a few pages of notes, and I can write very well, in spite of the television’s low hum in the corner, customers conversing at other tables, and traffic sounds outside the front door. So, being able to write anywhere is the best preference.
Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A: That the characters I’ve created are like friends, and the reader feels like a part of the dinner club. I spend a lot of time with these characters. I want them to be as real to my readers as they are to me. I’d like to believe they’re the reader’s friends, too.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: The last book in the dinner club murder mysteries, Wasted Thyme. Jane Marsh is finally married. Of course, she stumbles across yet another dead body. This time her new husband helps her solve the mystery.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen C. Whalen is the author of a culinary cozy series, the “dinner club murder mysteries.” The first four in the series are: Everything Bundt the Truth, Not According to Flan, No Grater Evil, and A Stewed Observation. The first book in the series tied for First Place in the Suspense Novel category of the 2017 IDA Contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. Her books are similar to those written by cozy authors Jessica Beck and Joanne Fluke. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She believes that it's never too late to try something new. She loves to host dinner club parties, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, and read cozy murder mysteries.
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