Back Porch Reflections
Positive conversations with old and new friends. I'd love for you to join me on my back porch.
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:
Author June McCrary Jacobs: ~ GREAT ESCAPES DOG-GONE DEAD BLOG TOUR ~ : ���������������������������������� ~ GREAT ESCAPES BLOG TOUR STOP...
The prophet Micah tells us what the Lord desires from His people: "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord r...
We recently made our first trip to Sea View Inn in Pawleys Island, SC. We went to the inn for a Saturday morning breakfast. We arrived e...
I recently met Kathy, and I'm excited to welcome her to my back porch. Kathy is a reader and author of cozy mysteries, and she's an ...