Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today's Mystery Author Guest: Chrystle Fiedler

As promised yesterday, fellow mystery author Chrystle Fiedler is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post. Also, Chrystle is running a contest for a free autographed copy of her latest release, Scent to Kill, the cover art for which appears above. Chrystle will select the winner tomorrow evening from among those who leave a comment today or tomorrow.

Below is Chrystle's guest article.

Why I Write Cozy Mysteries

Reality is over rated. At least I think so. Instead, I find comfort escaping into the world of a cozy mystery. Before I wrote cozy mysteries, I read them – Agatha Christie’s tales of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes and Dashiell Hammett, and watched them – Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, and Murder, She Wrote which I’ve recently rediscovered on Hallmark TV.

Whether it’s in these pages or by watching these shows, I escape, like you do, to the coziness of quaint country villages, dappled country lanes, inviting stores on the high street, and of course, lovely rose-covered cottages; inside, a cup of tea waiting.

Of course, the world of the cozy is in stark contrast to the murderous crimes committed there that shatter the peace and serenity. But we also know the detective will figure out the puzzle, catch the killer and put things back in their proper place. That’s incredibly satisfying to me as a writer as well, to have the power to put things back into balance.

My natural remedies mysteries are also set in a classic cozy setting, in this case, a real, idyllic fishing village on the East End of Long Island in NY called Greenport. When I was growing up, the area was somewhat depressed, but within the past two decades, Greenport has come into its own as a tourist destination with upscale eateries and boutiques sandwiched between Mom and Pop hardware stores, diners and retro stores.  Forbes Magazine has even named Greenport one of the prettiest villages in the U.S.

I’ve always had an interest in natural medicine so I made my cozy protagonist, Willow McQuade, a naturopathic doctor who takes over a health food store – Nature’s Way Market and Café  – after her Aunt Claire meets an untimely end. The store is located in a lovely 3-story yellow Victorian house with a water view. Inside, it’s cozy too, with a homey feel, yummy cooking smells and the scent of essential oils, herbs and flower essences.

To complete my cozy universe, I gave Willow a hunky ex-cop love interest named Jackson Spade, an adorable rescued dog and two rescued cats, loyal friends and workers and the spirit of her Aunt Claire to guide her.

Writing the natural remedies mysteries also gives me a wonderful chance to share what I’ve learned about natural cures with readers. It’s amazing what you can find in your kitchen and garden that can soothe and heal you. That’s a cozy feeling too.

In Scent to Kill, my latest natural remedies mystery cozy, I focus on the practice of aromatherapy, the use of essential oils to improve health and well-being. As I’m writing I can smell the lavender, jasmine and roses.

Whether I am writing my cozies, reading or watching them, I experience the same comfortable, homey, and safe feeling, knowing that no matter what happens, that all will be well in the end. Where else can you get that guarantee? Cozy mysteries are one of the best antidotes to reality I’ve found. How about you?

For a chance to win a copy of Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery just leave a comment here!

Here’s the scoop on Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery:

Scent to Kill is a well-crafted mystery…Devotees of natural medicine and aromatherapy will enjoy the tips that appear at the beginning of each chapter and scattered throughout the text.”
Publisher’s Weekly

Willow McQuade, naturopathic doctor, along with her hunky ex-cop boyfriend Jackson Spade, attend a party for a psychic TV show that is filming on Long Island’s idyllic East End. However, Willow is much more interested in visiting the estate’s lavender farm, seeking inspiration for the new aromatherapy workshops she'll be holding at her store, Nature’s Way Market and Café.

Before the party is over, Roger Bixby one of the producers, is dead and the police suspect murder. Roger was working on the show, MJ’s Mind, with Carly Bixby, his ex-wife and the new girlfriend of Willow's ex from L.A., TV writer/producer Simon Lewis.

After Willow leaves the party, she gets a frantic text from Simon asking for her help. Since Simon had a fight with Roger earlier in the evening, and because of his death is now the primary shareholder in Galaxy films, Willow's ex becomes the prime suspect. Simon begs her to crack the case and clear him of the murder. MJ McClellan, the psychic and star of the show also asks Willow for help. She hires Willow to provide natural remedies, including aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and yoga to soothe the agitated crew of her show.

To find the killer, Willow has to deal with ghosts in a haunted mansion, a truly dysfunctional family, death threats and “accidents,” while trying to untangle a homicide identical to one committed during prohibition. Thankfully, Jackson has been hired to provide security and is there to watch her back and help Willow solve this spooky mystery.

As a bonus, you’ll find dozens of natural aromatherapy cures throughout the book that can improve your health. I think you’ll be surprised as how much they can help you feel better in mind, body and spirit!

Thanks, Chrystle! Now, who has a comment or question for Chrystle Fiedler? Good luck in the contest!    


Anonymous said...

I love reading about how an author works/thinks. Thank you for the chance to win.

Unknown said...

This sounds like an awesome series and I cannot wait to read this book. Would love to win a copy!!!

Laura F. said...

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and am looking forward to more.

Anonymous said...

I love the same detectives that you do. I have watched murder she wrote so many times I have memorized the dialogue. Most especially I love Jessica's wardrobe! Hope I can win the book I could use some aromatherapy. margaret

Anonymous said...

I could use some aromatherapy and I love cozies. Sounds like a winner.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Thanks SO much everyone for stopping by today!

Nancy - I'm glad that my essay was fun for you. I enjoyed writing it!

Pamela - I hope you enjoy the series. Death Drops is my first published mystery which was a dream come true!

Laura - I'm so happy that you enjoyed Death Drops! I think that Scent to Kill is even better! Enjoy!

Anonymous - I LOVE Murder, She Wrote. It's so comforting to know that all will be right in the end! I've started watching other shows on the Hallmark Channel including Mystery Woman, Jane Doe, Murder 101 and Matlock. The early seasons of this Andy Griffith show are well done and were executive produced by one of my bosses when I worked in Hollywood, a dear man named Dean Hargrove. Check them out!

Anonymous - Aromatherapy is a wonderful practice. I've put different essential oils and their uses at the beginning of each chapter for you to try!

I'll be back later on to say hi! Thanks all!

Linda R said...

Chrystle, I think I'm already hooked on your cozy! Would love to win a copy, but if I don't I'm going to buy it anyway. Best of luck with sales!!

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Thanks so much Linda! I really appreciate your good wishes! Enjoy Scent to Kill!

Stacie said...

I love the first book in this series. Anxious to get my hands on the latest release. Really enjoy the homeopathic elements. I've been dealing with chronic illnesses since I was 15. Always open for new ideas. Thanks for the giveaway. Fingers crossed!


Chrystle Fiedler said...

Thanks Stacie! I hope the story and the information can help you feel better!

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone! Remember that you can still enter the contest today be leaving a comment.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! The winner of the giveaway of a copy of Scent to Kill is...Stacie! Please send your street address to me at! Thanks again Beth for having me "over!" :D