How to write a cozy mystery. (Part 1)

Okay, let’s have a little fun!

This is part tongue-in-cheek, part serious to introduce my new cozy mystery series. Glad you stopped by!










Free for newsletter subscribers!                               Releasing early May!




1. Must have fun-loving amateur sleuth.    CHECK

Meet Holly Hart. She has a passion for cheesecake. She’s open to a little bit of romance. And she has a strong sense of justice and wants to see criminals receive their just reward–especially when she’s one of the suspects and her business is on the line!

I’ve read many cozy mysteries and they all seem to have this ingredient. Not many sleuths are brooding and unhappy.


2. Must have food! Something sweet. Something sexy.   CHECK

Holly used to escape down to the kitchen and bake cheesecake when she was a teen. Slowly, over time, she mastered the art of cheese and cake when combined. Don’t ask for the secret ingredient though because she’s taking that to the grave. (Hopefully not literally!)

Cheesecake is sexy. And Holly loves to get creative with her creations. Chocolate chip cream cheese cookies. Cheesecake smoothies. Of course, her creations aren’t all successful, but she keeps those disasters a secret.


3. Must have some kind of furry, little, cute animal.   CHECK

Holly loves her dog, Muffins. He’s small, but he’s a firecracker. He’s occassionally been known to run away, causing all sorts of havoc. The history of how he became her dog will be found in the free cozy mystery, Murder with a Slice of Cheesecake. Exclusive to newsletter followers. So go sign up to the right.

The animal doesn’t have to be a dog. I’ve seen cats too, in particular black cats. Not sure why. I suggest a cute animal, though the challenge of having a pet snake could make interesting fodder for a plot line. Goldfish not so much. I don’t see goldfish accompanying the amateur sleuth on undercover investigations or sniffing out clues. But don’t let that hold you back.

This concludes part one!

If you didn’t catch the previous clues in this post. Sign up for my newsletter to receive Murder with a Slice of Cheesecake. Look for HOW TO WRITE A COZY MYSTERY – PART TWO next week! (Capitals are for emphasis. I promise I’m calm, cool, and collected right now. Not yelling.)

See you next week!


** No animals were injured in the writing of this post.
** This list is in no way exclusive or a set of hard and fast rules that absolutely have to be followed. In other words, the cozy mystery police will not be knocking on your door if you create a brooding and unhappy sleuth. Or if they have a fettish for asparagus.

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A new sleuth and a FREE cozy mystery!

I don’t really know why it took me so long to write a cozy mystery. I grew up on a steady diet of mysteries. I love mysteries. I still read mysteries. All different kinds–not just cozies. A lot of what I write and what I’ve published has a mystery element. So I decided to go for it. It’s been a lot of fun.

It’s fun putting the pieces together. It’s fun developing a character in a small town who has enough depth and life to be a series. It’s fun creating secondary characters and side kicks and the romantic interest. And it’s especially fun creating a worthy adversary!


If you’ve signed up for my newsletter, in the next week or so I’ll be sending out a free cozy mystery novella, introducing the sleuth. And then, early May, the first cozy mystery will release on Amazon. Clue: Newsletter signup is on the right!

With no further ado, meet Holly Hart

amateur sleuth and cheesecake connoisseur!


Stay tuned!

Next week will be the cover reveal for Holly’s first mystery!

Footprints in the Frosting!

And there just might be review copies available!

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Heist is FREE! And a new release!

Hi everyone!

As writers whether we self publish or go traditional we have to decide between writing for love or money. Do we write the trendy genre? Or write what’s in our heart. These books, even though written several years apart, are from my heart. I combined my love of heists with the emotional resonance of families working through healing and heartbreak and truth.

Finally, after days of price matching, Heist, my young adult time travel mystery is FREE!

Available everywhere. Also in print.

Download today!

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Google Play

Sixteen-year-old Jack Brodie time travels back to the world-famous Gardner Heist. When he returns his life has changed for the worst. He keeps returning to the crime to fix his mistakes until he has the ultimate choice: his family and his own happiness, or the girl he loves.

A Royal Heist is live! This is the sequel to Heist.

Available everywhere. Also in print.

Download today!

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Google Play

Alternate timelines collide.
Only one will steal the jewels.
Only one will have a happy ending.

Annabelle longs for freedom, trapped in a life where she feels like nothing more than a vapor, a ghost flitting through time. Under the strict and often cruel direction of her grandmother, she travels back to famous heists and steals art. In a moment of utter despair and rage she commits an unforgivable act. As a result, she’s sent back to the 1600s on a royal heist—to steal the Crown Jewels—in nothing more than a state-issued nightgown. A death sentence.

In a second reality, in that moment, she receives a weathered scroll with instructions not to kill her grandmother and to pass a message onto Fiasco. But who is Fiasco? And how can he help? On her next big royal heist, she faces the stark reality that she is in a race to steal the Crown Jewels with another version of herself from a different reality.

It’s a race for survival.



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Any Way You Slice It – COVER REVEAL!!!

I love cover reveals. When I see one flash by on Twitter – I’ll almost always click on it. I’m so excited to help out writing buddy, Kristine Asselin, with the reveal of her FIRST YA novel!

This one sounds like a lot of fun and I can’t wait! Spark did a fantastic job capturing the energy and tone of the story.

Any Way You Slice It – Bloomsbury Spark
April 7, 2015


Mark it to read on Goodreads

Penelope Spaulding just can’t catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents’ plans for her future, it’s hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away…

Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations.

The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.

She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.

With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?

ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT will be available HERE from Bloomsbury Spark on April 7, 2015.


About the Author:

Kristine Asselin lives in Massachusetts and writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. In addition to ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, she is the author of fifteen children’s books for the elementary school library market. The most recent, DANGEROUS DISEASES, was published in 2014. Kris is a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, and loves Harry Potter, Doctor Who, classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s, and anything with a time travel theme. She is a proud member of SCBWI-New England, the Fall Fourteeners (a group blog of YA debut authors), Sporty Girl Books blog, and #MGLitChat.

Kris presents writing workshops at schools and libraries all over New England and loves talking with kids and adults about their favorite books. ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT is her debut Young Adult novel.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blog

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Cover reveal for GEARS OF BRASS!

Congrats to S.A. Larsen, writer and blogger friend in this new anthology!

Gear up

A world like ours, but filled with gears of brass, where the beating heart is fueled by steam and the simplest creation is a complex clockwork device.  

Within this tome, you’ll find steampunk fairy tale re-tellings, as well as original stories that will send your gears turning.  

Welcome to the steampunk realm, with eleven authors guiding your path. 

GEARS OF BRASS is a steampunk anthology published through Curiosity Quills.  It will be available for purchase on November
10, 2014.  Within the pages, you’ll come across clockwork inventions and steampunk-ified fairy tale retellings.  Eleven authors will guide you through worlds filled with airships, top hats, and corsets.

Meet the authors:
Jordan Elizabeth writes young adult fantasy for Curiosity Quills, including ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW which was published in October and the upcoming TREASURE DARKLY; she’s represented by the Belcastro Agency.

J. Million is the author of Last of the Giants and can always be found reading or writing.

Lorna MacDonald Czarnota is a professional storyteller and author of several books including, Medieval Tales That Kids Can Read and Tell, Breadline Blue, Legends Lore and Secrets of Western New York, Wicked Niagara, Native American and Pioneer Sites of Upstate New York, and Dancing at the Crossroads: Stories and Activities for At-Risk Youth Programming.

SA Larsen is represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary
and is the author of published short stories, community-interest stories, and
magazine articles focused on children. 

Grant Eagar is an Engineer who would take the tales he told his children at bed time, and transform them into fantasy stories. 

Clare Weze is the author of The House of Ash (forthcoming) and the co-author and editor of Cloudscapes over the Lune.

Eliza Tilton: gamer, writer and lover of dark chocolate; author of the YA Fantasy, BROKEN FOREST, published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Heather Talty’s stories have been featured in Enchanted Conversation, as well as her own fractured fairy tale site, Mythopoetical (

W.K. Pomeroy is a third generation writer who has published more than 70 short stories/articles/poems across many genres and styles, which now includes Steampunk.

Christine Baker is the author of Lana’s End, The Guild of Dagda, and many more. 

Natalia Darcy: a bookilicious reader, tea drinker and Zumba aficionado who enjoys playing cards against humanity and washing her hair with ice cold water. 

You can get your steampunk fix before GEARS OF BRASS is released in November.  To enter for your chance to win a copy of
GEARS OF BRASS, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper (#insert link) to record it.  It will give you more chances to win.  The drawing for the winner will be held on October 27th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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