Kari Lee Townsend–June’s Full Moon Guest Blogger

How I Became Interested in Writing Mysteries

I have been writing for a very long time. It took me 14 years to sell my first book, and along the way, I learned a lot of things. The most important lesson was to not be afraid to try something new. I started out writing romances because that is what I loved to read. I tried to sell romantic comedy and then chick lit and then women’s fiction, but I was always just behind the trend. I kept hearing editors say they loved my voice and writing style, but they were oversaturated with that type of book or those types of books just didn’t sell anymore. And they always asked what else did I have?

That’s when a light bulb went off in my brain.

Instead of moping and thinking, well, nothing. I started having my agent ask exactly what they needed and then coming up with something specifically for them. I’m not saying write something you hate to write, but how do you know you hate it if you don’t try it? My teen superhero series was sold that way, and so was my mystery series. I had no idea there were so many kinds of mysteries out there until someone had a book with an adorable cover. I thought it was a romance, but it wasn’t. It was a cozy mystery with romance in it, and it was funny! Everything I write has humor and romance in it. As long as I can do that, then I’m a happy camper. The mystery part was an added bonus.

A whole new world opened up to me. Stories with fabulous characters, cool settings, and many of them had romance and humor in them. The only thing different than what I was already doing was the fact that they had a mystery to be solved. That, and a few “things” had to take place off screen J So I started reading a few and discovered that I loved them. When my agent mentioned an editor at Berkley was looking for a new cozy mystery series, I pushed my fears aside (loving them and actually being able to write them are two very different things) and decided to go for it. I scoured their site and wrote down every theme they had, and then I came up with 3 themes that they didn’t. My agent presented all three to the editor, who then picked the one she loved, and I wrote a proposal specifically for her. She loved it and bought the first three books of my Fortune Teller Mystery series.

I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to actually pull off a mystery, but I did and I was thrilled with the result. I am having a blast writing this series. Who knew that I would end up loving to write these types of books the best? My point is that you shouldn’t let fear hold you back from trying something new because you never know what you might love to do and be good at. So tell me, have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new? Inquiring minds want to know.

Remember, all comments to Kari’s post, and all June posts, puts your name in the hat for ABM’s Summer Solstice Bash Prize Giveaway! Check out the contest page for all the details.

Psychic Sunshine Meadows makes a dark discovery in the woods…

After clearing her name as the prime suspect in a murder, Sunny Meadows hopes she can finally enjoy some serenity in the idyllic town of Divinity in upstate New York. She’d also like a second chance with Detective Mitch Stone. But when Mitch’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend Isabel Gonzales shows up, Sunny’s not sure she can compete. Then Isabel mysteriously disappears. When the police turn to Sunny for help, her visions lead to the discovery of Isabel’s corpse in the woods. Before she died, Isabel scrawled a message in the dirt implicating Mitch in her murder. Now Sunny must help the man she’s falling in love with as she sets out to find the real killer. But this time Sunny’s clairvoyant abilities might not save her—as what she doesn’t see can hurt her…

National Bestselling Author, RT Reader’s Choice Award & Agatha Nominee Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!

Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.

To find out more about Kari and all her books go to www.karileetownsend.com or click on the links below:

Kari Lee Townsend (Website & Newsletter & Facebook & Twitter)

National Bestselling Author of The Fortune Teller Mysteries

TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES 4 1/2 Starred RT Review

Best Amateur Sleuth of 2011 RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee

Best First Novel Agatha Award Nominee

CORPSE IN THE CRYSTAL BALL – June 2012 (preorder now)

DIGITAL DIVA: TALK TO THE HAND (Kindle & Nook)

DIGITAL DIVA: RISE OF THE PHENOTEENS (Kindle & Nook)

DESTINY WEARS SPURS (by Kari Lee Harmon) (Kindle & Nook)

PROJECT PRODUCE (by Kari Lee Harmon) (Kindle & Nook)

Kari Lee Townsend–August Full Moon Guest Blogger!

Authors By Moonlight welcomes Kari Lee Townsend this month! Thanks for being here Kari!

Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters. You can find out more about her on her website www.karileetownsend.com and also on the group mystery blog she cohosts, called Mysteries and Margaritas, at www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com

TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A Fortune Teller Mystery

In the fortune telling business there are a lot of pretenders, but Sunshine Meadows is the real deal—and her predictions can be lethally accurate…

Sunny is a big city psychic who moves to the quaint town of Divinity, NY to open her fortune-telling business in an ancient Victorian house, inheriting the strange cat residing within. Sunny gives her first reading to the frazzled librarian and discovers the woman is going to die. When the woman flees in terror, Sunny calls the police, only she’s too late. The ruggedly handsome, hard-nosed detective is a ”non-believer.” He finds the librarian dead, and Sunny becomes his number one suspect, forcing her to prove her innocence before the real killer can put an end to the psychic’s future.

Excerpt
Detective “Grumpy Pants” Stone rubbed his whiskered jaw, looking like he didn’t have a clue what to do with me. Well, he wouldn’t be the first, that was for sure. “I’d heard you were some fortune-teller from the Big Apple, but come on,” he finally said. “You don’t really believe in all that hocus-pocus, do you?”
I jerked my shoulder back. “As a matter of fact, I do. I’m psychic, Detective. Tools like tea leaves simply help me interpret my visions more clearly.”
“Then why don’t you clear a few things up for me. When is this murder supposed to take place, and who is supposed to commit the heinous act?”
“I don’t know,” I said sheepishly.
“Well, that’s crystal clear, now isn’t it?” The detective stood, closing the book on this case…on me.
I rushed forward and blocked his path to the door. “Look, I might not know when it’s going to happen, but I do know if you don’t do something quickly, that poor little librarian is going to die.”
“I saw Ms. Robbins this morning, and she was fine.”
“Um, hello, hence the words ‘it hasn’t happened, yet.’” I looked at my watch. “Clock is ticking, Detective.”
He sighed, grumbling, “Fine. I’ll check on the librarian, but that’s as far as I’m prepared to go. I don’t like playing games, Miss Meadows.”
“I’m not playing games. I’m telling you the truth.” I opened the door for him. “Thank you, Detective. You won’t be sorry.”
He turned and strode out the door into the frosty night mumbling, “I’m already sorry, Tink,” and then he was gone.
***
Twenty minutes later, I heard sirens wailing and screeching in the distance. My heart started pounding, and all I could do was pray it wasn’t the librarian. Or if it was, then maybe they’d gotten to her in time and caught the bad guy before he could hurt her. Either way, justice must be done.
The siren was so loud now, it sounded like it was right outside. I went to peer out the window, and jumped back when someone pounded on my door.
“Who is it?”
“Detective Stone, Miss Meadows. Open up.”
I scrunched up my face. What on earth was the detective doing back at my house? Exhausted and weary, I wanted this day to be over. I opened the door wide to a pair of handcuffs dangling from his fingertips.
“W-What exactly do you plan to do with those?” My voice hitched.
“Nothing if you come along peacefully.” His eyes studied me as he finished with, “I’m taking you in.”
I pushed my fear aside and allowed my outrage to consume me. “Taking me in for what? I haven’t done anything wrong.”
He simply stared me in the eye with that stern unreadable expression of his. “Just doing my job,” he answered, his deep voice devoid of any emotion. “Sunshine Meadows, you’re wanted for questioning about the murder of Amanda Robbins.”

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