Sunday, September 14, 2014

Halloween Hijinks Anniversary

Special price $.99 during the months of September and October
In September 2013 Zoe Donovan came to life and Kathi Daley became a published author for the first time. In honor of Zoe's first birthday and Kathi's first anniversary, she decided to do a special anniversary edition of the first book she published, Halloween Hijinks.
This anniversary edition has the original manuscript and recipes plus additional recipes and a bonus short story titled Zoe's Treasure Hunt. It is available for $.99 for both Amazon Kindle and Nook.
It is also available in paperback through Amazon

You have a tag line "Come for the murder, stay for the romance".
Do you consider your books more mysteries with romance or romances with mystery?
I think they are more mystery than romance but each series has a romance element. While each story is a stand alone mystery to be solved I think it is the ongoing saga of Zak and Zoe and Tj and her own romance drama that keeps the readers coming back.

 Haunted Hamlet is the 9th book in the Zoe Donovan series. For those readers that haven't met Zoe before please tell us a little about Zoe and the  town she lives in, Ashton Falls?
Zoe Donovan is a twenty five year old lifetime resident of Ashton Falls who runs a wild and domestic animal control and rehabilitation center. Her best friend and sidekick is a terrier mix named Charlie and she also has two cats; Marlow and Spade. The thing I love about Zoe is that she is such a perfectly imperfect character. She has a big heart which tends to get her into awkward and embarrassing situations. Zoe’s tendency to meddle into other people’s lives creates a situation where she is thrown into one investigation after another. Luckily, with the help of best friends Levi and Ellie, and boyfriend Zak, she is able to untangle what is often times a web of secrets and hidden motives. Ashton Falls is a small alpine village nestled high up in the mountains. The residents are a tad eccentric but those who have lived in the area for any length of time are a close knit bunch more like a family. The Zoe Donovan books all have a holiday or special event as the backdrop so Zoe belongs to The Ashton Falls Events Committee, who we visit with each new book in the series.

The Zoe Donovan Mystery series is set in Ashton Falls and the Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series is set in Serenity, Nevada. How did you decide upon these locations?
I live in Lake Tahoe. Initially the Tj Jensen series was going to be set in Lake Tahoe but I didn’t want to deal with the limitation of using a real location. Anyone who is familiar with the area knows that Paradise Lake really is Lake Tahoe and Serenity really is Tahoe City.
As for Ashton Falls, I used another mountain location since mountains are what I know but the location is a lot more vague.
 Like both Zoe and TJ,  I know you are a big animal lover. Will you tell us about your furry family?
I currently have two Bernese Mountain Dogs named Echo and EZ. In the past I have had cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and even a horse, but now that my children are gone and my husband and I travel quite a bit I find that less is a bit more doable. I do miss having a kitty on my lap at times so maybe… 
Most of the Zoe Donovan books take place in the midst of a holiday season.
What made you decide to use a holiday theme in these books?

I use the holidays as a backdrop because I love the holidays and I like spending time experiencing everything that goes with the holiday season. I am the type of person who does holidays BIG. I start early and get everything that I can out of them. O
f course it can get tricky. I wrote Haunted Hamlet in June and Christmas in Paradise in July which put me in the holiday spirit so I started talking to my husband about putting up our lights and my grandkids about Halloween costumes months before it was really time.

In Haunted Hamlet, a ghost hunter is found dead in a haunted house. 
Have you ever been part of a paranormal investigation? What do you think of them? 
I have not been part of a paranormal investigation but I am fascinated by the whole thing. When I started doing research for the book I found that there is a realparanormal program at Edinburgh University in Scotland where you can get a Ph.D. in paranormal psychology. I thought that was awesome for two reasons. One is that the University of Edinburgh is the 11th ranked university in the world giving the program genuine authenticity, and two my son is currentlyattending the university working on his own Ph.D. in another subject.

 What attracted you to write cozy mysteries? 
That is a good question. I had never even read a cozy mystery until I wrote one. Initially I wanted to do a YA mystery series, sort of a Nancy Drew meets Gossip Girls. I actually wrote 5 books in a series with a teenage protagonist. I sent them to an editor to look at and he said that there really wasn’t a market for a YA mystery series but suggested that I try writing cozy mysteries. I had no idea what those were but I read a couple of authors and became hooked.

Do you write in any other genres? 
I have a stand alone mystery/romance, Road to Christmas Past which I love. I’d like to do additional books of this type if I get the time.

Tell us about your series. ( Feel free to talk about all of your series.) 
Both the Zoe Donovan Series and the Tj Jensen Series are set in small alpine towns which border a lake. In both series there is an emphasis on the relationships between the characters. Both series involve animals and food.
TJ is a bit more serious with more of a family element since she lives with her grandfather, dad, and two half sisters. Her best friend is married with two daughters of her own. The books are longer and written in the 3rd person.
Zoe is single and hangs out with other single friends. The stories are shorter (45-50K), written in the first person, and have more of a comic element.
Which character do you find easiest to write or is it a joy to write? 
 I will say that I find Zoe to be the most fun to write. She is such a perfectly imperfect person with flaws and deep feelings she can’t always control.
In other words she is a loveable spaz.

How did you decide to publish your work?
Honestly? A whim? Is that a wishy washy answer? I ‘m not one of those people who always wanted to be a writerand I didn't decide to write until a couple of years ago. After it was suggested to me that I do a cozy mystery, I wrote Pumpkins in Paradise. I actually worked with a developmental editor on that book. While I was waiting for other people to do their thing I got the idea for Zoe and jotted down Halloween Hijinks in about a week. I knew people self published so figured ‘What the heck?’ I made a cover and put it on Amazon. It did so well that by the time I got Pumpkins In Paradise back from the editor I decided to just self publish that as well and skip the whole mainstream publishing thing all together.

Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series? 
I have tons of plans. I will continue with the Tj Jensen and Zoe Donovan Series in 2015 and will do a minimum of 4 Zoe and 3 Tj. Maybe more depending on the time commitment of the other series I am working on.
I am also currently writing the first book in a new series set on the San Juan Islands. The book will appeal to cat lovers since the protagonist runs a cat sanctuary. She also helps her brother with whale watching tours so I am thinking of using “A Whales and Tails Mystery” as the subtitle.
I also plan to write a Zoe on location from Alaska with the idea of doing a spinoff series about a search and rescue team who all hang out at the rustic bar one of the members owns.  I think there is a certain appeal to the idea of a small Alaskan town where a group of friends are linked by the isolation of their local as well as the day to day risk they take while working with the search and rescue team. And yes there will be an awesome search and rescue dog and plenty of romance as well.

What's your favorite thing about being an author?
I am never bored and can write from anywhere. I like to travel so it works well to simply write a book on location. I am going to Alaska in September to write a Zoe Donovan Episode on location.

:Kathi lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn't writing, Kathi likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese,) and garden (planting and planning not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she's not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing, the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home.
Facebook at Kathi Daley Books,
Twitter at Kathi Daley@kathidaley.

NEW from Kathi Daley Books:

Turkeys, Tuxes, and Tabbies - Zoe #10
Presale - September 1
Release Date - October 1

Christmas Cozy -Zoe # 11
Presale- October 1,2014
Release Date - November 1, 2014

Alaskan Alliance - Zoe # 12 
Presale - November 1, 2014
Release Date - December 1, 2014

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