What happens when eighteen authors each have a story to tell, a story that is set in the south, features a memorable leading lady, and is infused with a dash of mystery? You get the brand new anthology that award winning author Hank Phillipi Ryan calls “deliciously devious” and USA Today and NYT Bestselling author Ellery Adams says is a “keep-you-up-at-night collection”. This brand new anthology is already garnering rave reviews and while I am honored to have one of my short stories included, I am even more thrilled to have a few of the wonderful authors visit my site today to talk about the book. Here’s what they had to say:
The stories in DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM are all set in the South. Do you have a favorite Southern mystery?
Heather: I love learning about different locales with regional mysteries. My favorite southern ones are by Sherry Harris, Maya Corrigan, and Ellen Byron.
Lynn: You know, I don’t really think of books divided up by regions. Thinking about a few I like, Julie Chase has a fun cozy set in New Orleans. Charlene Harris (of course.) And Laura Child’s scrapbooking mysteries also set in New Orleans.
Mollie: I’m with Lynn on this. I don’t think of books that way. I do love the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Also, I love Rita Mae Brown’s mysteries.
Frances: While traveling in Hilton Head a number of years ago, I visited a local bookstore selling mysteries by Kathryn Wall. She’s a Northerner who retired to South Carolina’s Low Country, and has written 13 books in her series featuring financial planner Bay Tanner. The first one I read was IN FOR A PENNY, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Kristin: I love visiting the deep South, which provides both a textured setting as well as unique characters. My favorite southern-set novels tend to be more Women’s Fiction/suspense, rather than mystery. I love reading works by Sue Monk Kidd, Kristy Woodson Harvey, and newly published author, Gina Meil.
Genilee: I love any story written around the New Orleans/Lafayette, Louisiana area just because I love the grit and character of that city and have experienced the Cajun culture of Lafayette first-hand.
J.A.: I enjoyed the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris. UP IN HONEY’S ROOM by Elmore Leonard is a fun read. His lead female character, Honey Deal, is funny, smart and sassy, with a Southern dialect that makes you crave homemade grits and buttermilk biscuits.
Stacie: Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was definitely the first Southern novel I fell in love with; and I was fascinated by William Faulkner when I was in college. More recently I’ve enjoyed Margaret Maron’s series beginning with Bootlegger’s Daughter, maybe because my own family has stories about a prominent bootlegger great aunt among my Tennessee roots. I also really like to read Donna Andrews and Mollie Cox Bryan.
DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM is an anthology that features female protagonists. Who is your favorite fictional female character? Why?
Mollie: Definitely Eve in the JD Robb “In Death” series. Talk about a strong female character!
Heather: I like mysteries with strong female protagonists. Nancy Drew was my first favorite sleuth. She was young, smart, and had the freedom to solve crimes that the adults couldn’t. She was my gateway sleuth to other mysteries.
Lynn: I really loved following Diana Bishop’s character in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The book is part mystery, part romance, definitely paranormal, and part historical. Diana is the character I want to be when I grow up – a researching academic with a magic problem.
Frances: A current favorite is Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist in a mystery series by British writer Elly Griffiths. Ruth is a very approachable character. She’s smart, career-oriented and professionally competent, but struggles in her personal life to live up to the expectations of her family.
Kristin: That’s a tough question, because most of the novels I read are driven by female protagonists. A current favorite is Texas Ranger Faith McClellan by Virginia author LynDee Walker proves to be a tough, smart, yet vulnerable main character. I look forward to reading more of that series.
Genilee: Eve Dallas of the JD Robb stories gets a second vote here. I’m totally flabbergasted by how strong yet feminine she is. I’m also totally bonkers in love with her husband and love the relationship the two have. Nothing allows me to escape better than a trip involving Dallas and Rourke.
J.A.: Dr. Maura Isles from the Jane Rizzoli series by Tess Gerritsen. I liked her in the TV series, but I enjoyed her more in the books. Her backstory in the books is unique and interesting.
Stacie: I adore Miss Marple. She totally out thinks everyone, every time, without putting anyone down or vaunting her own prowess.
As an author, do you have a favorite quote from one of your books or stories?
Heather: This is my favorite quote from my story, “Art Attack” in DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM. “I love that goblet,” Ilsa said. “It’s irresistible to a specific type of man—the greedy and dishonest sort who see its legend as a challenge…”
Lynn: For me, this quote from Cat Latimer, female protagonist of A STORY TO KILL, Book 1 of the Cat Latimer series, sums up my love of writing and being an author quite nicely. “I love this office. I always wanted to write here. Not grade papers, not work on lesson plans, just write the stories in my head.”
Frances: This is from “The Girl in the Airport” in DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM: The storm system had hit Atlanta around three o’clock that afternoon, part of a wide mass of squalls that muscled in from the Atlantic and quickly smothered the entire East Coast. Powerful winds slammed against the airport terminal as churning black clouds dumped torrential rains onto the tarmac. The “on time” flight notices on the departure board flipped to “delayed” – first one, then three, then all the rest, succumbing one after another like helpless victims of a particularly contagious strain of flu.
Kristin: This quote is from my short story, “Unbridled” in the Lethal Ladies anthology, DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM: …a large, dark shadow entered the far side of the stable and trotted toward us. Spade’s saddle was empty, his stirrups bounced drunkenly, and his broken rein scraped the brick floor. He slowed to a walk as he entered his stall, and then nipped at his hayrack, content to be home. But no Gina.
Genilee: From the short story, “Adventures with Heroes” in my latest book (RELATIVE CONNECTIONS): The most prominent features of this area were windmills; gentle giant sentinels of the fields, their sweeping arms reaching towards the vivid blue sky. They were an awesome site, but slightly scary to a girl used to neat suburban streets and pavement.
J.A.: This is a quote from my story, Keepsakes, in DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM: A hint of a smile on the woman’s lips offset the formality of the portrait. It made her seem, impish. Maybe it was one of the reasons she’d snagged three rich husbands over the last six decades. And managed to outlive them all.
Stacie: I love this sentence from my story in Deadly Southern Charm, “Southern Sisters Stick Together”, spoken by the protagonist’s cousin Burnell, who is a policeman: “We could never prove he drugged her…but I’m afraid this piker, whoever he is, will do it again.” It shows how committed Burnell is to protecting the public and providing justice for victims, and his commitment involves his cousin Vera in protecting both her friend and her enemy from a predator.
Thanks to all of these wonderful authors for stopping by. To learn more about them and the other authors in DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM, you can check out the following links:
P.S. If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win a copy of DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM, be sure to sign up for my VERY occasional newsletter–that’s the one where I “play detective”. The winner will be announced May 15th. Click Here to sign up today.