Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Friends, thanks so much for joining me on my back porch the past few years.
When Bite the Dust was published, the 'experts' all said I needed a website. It was also suggested my blog be on the website.
Here's the link to my website: https://jackielaytoncozyauthor.com/
I would love for you to join me over there. I already miss time on my back porch, but there's not enough time to do both well.
I'll leave you with a happy note. I just signed a three-book contract to continue A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series. You're the first to know! Thanks for your support!
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
July 4 always fills me with pride for our country. It's been a tough year, but we've weathered tough years before.
For fun, I thought it'd be nice to share some patriotic movies and quotes.
Friday, June 26, 2020
It's available in paperback and e-reader. If you're interested, here are the links.
Thanks so much, and I hope you have a great weekend!
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
|Kathy and Banjo|
Do the people in your real-life show up in your writing?
Absolutely! They say write what you know, and I do. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. I do have two sisters, and though exaggerated, their personalities are recognizable. Belle, the octogenarian who’s one of the main character’s friends, was inspired by a ninety-year-old friend who never slows down.
As for Leta, the protagonist, like me, she’s Greek and she’s a retired banker. Her cooking, the books she reads, her addiction to Words with Friends—all of those traits come from me as does her love of bicycling. I had to laugh when my editor inquired about Leta’s age. She thought Leta was probably in her 50s and wasn’t sure she’d be bicycling if she was. That cracked me up, and I sent her a photo of me and my husband cycling in the Greek Islands—when I was in my 50s. We’ve also cycled in France and the Netherlands, though Greece was by far the most challenging.
By the way, my real-life husband is very much alive and none too pleased that I’m a widow in the books. I keep reminding him I say lovely things about Henry, Leta’s husband, and all those compliments are references to him.
Do you write with a theme in mind?
I don’t know that I’d call it a theme, but there are certain things that I plan to always include in the books. My real-life girlfriends are hugely important to me, so the camaraderie among Leta, Wendy, and Belle plays a big part in the series. I don’t belong to a book club, but I’m an avid reader, and each book includes a scene at the Book Nook, the village bookshop. When a book is read by the book club, you can be assured I’ve read and enjoyed it. And you’ll notice that books and authors are mentioned throughout. That’s the way conversations go with my girlfriends here in Atlanta.
Who’s your favorite author?
Louise Penny is at the top of my list, and I was fortunate enough to hear her speak at a small college in North Carolina. I read two-three books a week, so the names on the list shift around, but I adore Deborah Crombie, Elly Griffiths, and Jacqueline Winspear. Of course, except for Louise Penny’s books set in Canada, all the rest are set in England. And, yes, I’ve read lots of Agatha Christie and am addicted to Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot on PBS. My description of Agatha Christie’s summer home in book two comes from the visit I made there when I visited Dartmouth in 2018. What a treat that was!
What’s the most meaningful thing a fan has said about your books?
The statement that made me glow was from a woman who said that Belle reminded her of her grandmother.
After that, I’m delighted that two things show up time after time in my reviews. One is that readers appreciate the relationship among the friends in the books and that the women are well-rounded and intelligent. One review described them as “full-throated.” Another is that people are pleasantly surprised they love the talking animals, that they add an interesting element to the book. Yes, Dickens & Christie talk to Leta, and she understands them. She’s the only person who does.
Any parting words to leave with us?
Of course! We writers always have words. First, thanks again for the invitation. And, second, I hope your readers will grab a copy of Bells, Tails, & Murder and get to know Leta and her friends—including the four-legged ones!
Kathy, thanks so much for stopping by!
BELLS, TAILS, & MURDER
A Cotswolds village, a grieving heroine, two furry sidekicks . . . and a murder!
Life can change in a heartbeat . . .Tragedy propels Leta Parker to pursue a lifelong dream to leave Atlanta and retire to the Cotswolds. When her dog Dickens stumbles across a dead body—Leta’s inner Nancy Drew is awakened. One call to her friend Wendy is all it takes to get the retired English teacher and her mum involved in solving a murder.
Two whipsmart retirees, one spunky senior citizen, and a feisty dog and cat are on the case.
Who better to unearth clues in the village? Even Dickens and Christie get in on the act gathering intelligence from their four-legged friends. You’ll be captivated as this unlikely team of sleuths ferrets out a long-buried secret—a scenario that would make any BBC cozy mystery producer proud.
And don’t miss the Greek Salad recipe in the back!
Purchase the books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084X6546S
Picture Kathy Manos Penn sitting serenely at her desk surrounded by her four-legged office assistants. Happily retired from corporate America, she’d never considered being an author until a friend suggested she write a cozy mystery.
As a child, she took a book everywhere—to family dinners, to doctors’ offices, and of course to bed. Years later, a newspaper article inspired her to put pen to paper and submit her thoughts to the editor. Before she knew it, she was writing weekly columns and blogs—in addition to her demanding day job. Then came a book co-written with her dog. As she says, “Doesn’t everyone do that?”
Now, she’s writing cozy animal mysteries featuring a dog and cat who converse with their owner. If a dog can write a book, surely animals can communicate. Naturally, her office assistants help with the dialogue. And, yes, they’re angling to be listed as co-authors.
For a special treat, listen to Kathy’s interview on the It’s a Mystery Podcast.
Visit her website for information on the Dickens & Christie cozy mystery series—photos, blogs, a map of Astonbury, and more. To stay up-to-date on book news and releases, sign up for her newsletter
Find Kathy on these social media sites:
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
I ordered a blueberry bagel with strawberry and peach schmear. The bagel was huge and they applied a generous amount of delicious schmear.
It was the best bagel I ever ate.
Thanks Trey for a delightful breakfast. Every time I visit Waco, I'll eat a an amazing bagel from Bagel & Brew.
Friends if you're in Waco and spot William Hoyt's food truck, be sure to stop for an unforgettable bagel!
Thursday, June 11, 2020
I'm not complaining because there are so many more important things in the world these days than my book getting printed.
I hope you enjoy reading, and I'd like to share a little about Dog-Gone Dead.
Andi Grace is back with no intentions of solving another murder. Until. She and her best friend, Juliet, find a dead body early one morning. As she solves another mystery, you'll meet new characters, relationships will grow, and Andi Grace will learn how to face fear.
Here's the blurb:
Monday, May 25, 2020
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Friday, May 8, 2020
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Monday, April 6, 2020
Friday, April 3, 2020
We shared our concerns and prayed. We also discussed how music can help us keep our eyes on God. In case music helps lift you, I'd like to share this song with you by Thomas Rhett.
Stay safe my friends!
Friday, March 27, 2020
Many in my family work in health care. Tim, Bill, Scott, and Chris. They don't have the freedom to skip work or work from home. The best way we can help those on the front lines is to pray for them and stay home.
Please friends, stay home.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
- Yesterday Italy woke up with low pollution and saw clean water in their canals and fish in them for the first time in almost 60 years.
Yes, that sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Communities are singing from their balconies in unison while being completely separated. This is what God wants of us. He wants us to lend a hand to our neighbors whether it been next door or across the world.
Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed by life, you always have two choices: you can focus on your circumstances, or fix your eyes on Jesus. If you choose to look to Jesus above everything else, you will begin to see that the storms you face are not nearly as powerful as the Savior choosing to walk through the storm alongside you.
Philippians 4:6 NIV
Psalms 56:3 NIV
Matthew 6:33-34 NIV
Deuteronomy 28:58-62 NIV
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
I recently learned South Carolina is the birthplace of sweet tea. I hope you enjoy this charming video about the tea plantations and the history of this beverage that has been talked about and sung about. It's part of our culture.
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Years of dreaming, praying, and lots of hard work have led to my first cozy mystery being published by BelleBooks. It's the first book in A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series.
Here's the back cover blurb:
One steamy South Carolina morning, Low Country dog walker Andi Grace Scott discovers a client’s dead body. Police quickly decide she’s the prime suspect. Horrified, she knows she’ll have to turn detective if she’s going to convince them they’re barking up the wrong tree.
Proving her innocence could be a tall order. The local police never solved the hit-and-run that killed her parents; Andi Grace isn’t sure they’ll solve this crime either…not when they have a convenient suspect—one caught with the possible murder weapon in her hand. She’ll have follow every clue and call in every favor, even if that puts her in danger.
I've been asked to speak and sign books at Wesley Village in Wilmore, KY. If you're in the area on April 8 at 1:15, I'd love to meet you.
I'll also be signing books April 15 at The Lakes at Litchfield in Litchfield, South Carolina. I'm not sure about the time, but if you're interested I'll let you know.
Monday, March 2, 2020
West African slaves began weaving these baskets from bulrush which is a strong but supple marshgrass. The original purpose was to winnow rice from chaff on plantations.
Many people display these beautiful works of art in their homes. If you'd like to have a sweetgrass basket for yourself, they can be found at the Charleston City Market and many of the gift stores in South Carolina. There are many roadside stands where artisans sell baskets.
Monday, February 24, 2020
Y'all means two people.
All y'all means three or more people. This was new to me because I thought y'all meant two or more people.
Years ago when I moved to Georgia, I learned pulled pork was the only barbecue worth eating. It took us a while to find our favorite barbecue place because my husband enjoys a sweeter tomato based sauce.
South Carolina has a barbecue association who says Germans came to our state with mustard. One of the favorite barbecue sauces here is mustard-based with vinegar and spices which gives South Carolina barbecue a zingy flavor.
One year on vacation, we discovered Carolina Treet Cooking Barbecue Sauce. It's perfect for grilling out pork chops. We used to stock up on Carolina Treet when we vacationed, but now that we live in South Carolina, we can buy it whenever we want to cook out.
Monday, February 17, 2020
I've been familiar with the term Lowcountry for years, but I've been confused if it's one or two words.
Here's what Merriam-Webster dictionary says..
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