Posts tagged with: Wendy Watson

ICE Cold Bandit Booty!!

by suzanne

The winner of a signed copy of the cozy mystery, SCOOPED TO KILL by Wendy Watson, is fichen1! Congrats Fedora!!!

Send me your snail-mail info in an e-mail @ swwelsh2001 AT yahoo DOT com (yes there are 2 w’s in that addy) and I’ll see that Wendy gets that book to you ASAP, before the ice cream melts, hehehe

Wendy Watson Returns With More Mystery Ice Cream!

interview with Suzanne

Wendy Lyn Watson writes deliciously funny cozy mysteries with a dollop of romance.  Her Mysteries a la Mode (I Scream, You Scream (October, 2009) and Scoop to Kill (September 7, 2010)) feature amateur sleuth Tallulah Jones, who solves murders in between scooping sundaes.  While she does not commit–or solve–murders in real life, Wendy can kill a pint of ice cream in nothing flat.  She’s also passionately devoted to 80s music, Asian horror films, and reality TV (www.wendylynwatson.com)

Suz: Welcome back to the Bandit Lair, Wendy, and congratulations on the upcoming release of your second book, Scoop To Kill, in your cozy mystery series Mystery A La Mode! We so enjoyed having you with us last year. Pull up a chair, Sven brought us a pitcher of cool Mojitos to share while we chat, and tell us what you’ve been up to the past year.

Wendy: Thanks for the cocktail, Sven! And thank you, Suz, for inviting me back to the Lair.

It’s been a busy year, Chez Wendy. I’ve been so busy promoting my Mysteries a la Mode, going to conferences and book festivals, talking to writing and reading groups . . . I think I’ve traveled more this year than in the five years before. And, of course, I’ve been writing, both the second and third Mysteries a la Mode and developing a few other projects (both cozy and dark). Stay tuned!

Suz: So, book 2 is titled Scoop To Kill (I love these titles) and has the same heroine as in the first book, I Scream, You Scream, Tallulah Jones. What trouble does she get into this time?


Wendy: This time around, Tally’s neice Alice, who is a student at the local college, stumbles over the body of a murdered graduate student. When Alice’s favorite teacher looks like Suspect #1, Alice rushes in to prove her innocence, and Tally is not far behind … trying to protect Alice. Together, they uncover all sorts of Ivy League shenanigans.

Suz: I see her old boyfriend Finn is back for book 2. Without giving away details, want to fill us in on their relationship?

Wendy: Oh, yes. Finn. Tally and Finn are still trying to work out their relationship, how to know each other as the adults they are now and not the kids they were when they dated in high school. But the sparks are flying . . . and in Scoop to Kill, Finn has some competition for Tally’s affection.


Suz: Your secondary cast of characters are a hoot. Did you base them on people you know? And how important of a role do you think they fill in cozy mysteries?

Wendy: I sometimes borrow bits and pieces of people–physical characteristics, quirks, turns of phrase–for my secondary characters, but I never take anyone wholesale. Honest.

Secondary characters are critical to cozies. To sustain a series with the same core group of characters, they all have to pull their weight; you can’t rely solely on your heroine to keep things interesting. A lot of secondary characters end up with a very important role: suspect. Those people have to be complex, even if they’re only in a few scenes. They have to be capable of murder, but not downright evil. Developing characters to the point that readers can say, “yes, pushed in just the right way, I can imagine this person committing the ultimate crime,” that takes a little effort.

Suz: Last time you gave away a great ice cream sauce recipe in your book. Any special items for your readers this time?

Wendy: Absolutely! This time around, there’s a great recipe for Peanut Butter `Smores Ice Cream Cake and an interesting milkshake recipe. It involves a Dr Pepper reduction . . . but you have to trust me, it’s delish.

Suz: Peanut Butter ‘Smores Ice Cream Cake? Girl, you are trying to kill me. (Sven, quick copy down that recipe!) Ahem, so, Wendy, when can we expect the next book in this series? (Please don’t tell me one a year? I really can’t take it!)

Wendy: Not quite a year … Book Three (tentatively entitled “A Parfait Murder”) is due out in June of 2011.

Suz: Have you thought about writing in another sub genre?


Wendy: I have! I love cozies–the humor, the whimsy, the heartfelt emotion–but I’ve got a project in the works that’s straight suspense. It’s been a trip, exploring my darker side. (People who know me might be surprised to find out I have a darker side … but somewhere beneath the homemade cookies and giggles, I’ve got a real edge.) The real trick is balancing the two, moving between light and dark. Light comes naturally; I have to do some mental gymnastics to get into that frame of mind.

Wendy: So, since we were talking about secondary characters, Bree is Tally’s cousin and also her side-kick. She is so much fun that she even gets her own fan mail. Do you have any favorite sidekicks in books? Who are they and what do you like about them? I’ll be giving away a signed copy of to one lucky commenter.

Coming Right Up….

by Susan Sey

BREAKING NEWS: Last night, our own fabulous BETH ANDREWS won the RITA Award in the Best Contemporary Series Romance category for her wonderful book A Not-So-Perfect Past. Congratulations, Beth!!! You can check out all the winners at the RWA National website. PARTY IN THE LAIR!!!

August! Welcome home, all you RWA goers! I know you miss all your writing friends like crazy, so here’s a little something to cheer you up: A preview of August’s fantastic features!

August 3: Donna MacMeans will host Heather Webber who’ll be talking about her casting decisions for her latest release Deeply, Desperately.


August 5: Nancy interviews Avon debut author Katherine Ashe about her dynamite historical, Swept Away by a Kiss.

August 6: One of the Lair’s favourite visitors, Eloisa James, returns to talk about fairy tales, Cinderella and her eagerly awaited book, A Kiss at Midnight.
August 16: Best selling author Brenda Novak will return to the Lair with JoMama to discuss her new trilogy and answer questions most asked by her fans.

WHITE HEAT releases on July 27 and Brenda’s throwing a fabulous cyber-party to celebrate. Visit www.brendanovak.com for the deets. Her annual Auction fo Diabetes Research reached the one million mark this year!

Also, Brenda’s been nominated for a 2010 RITA for her ON A SNOWY CHRISTMAS. Congratulations! We’re so fortunate to have her return to the Lair again!
August 15: Trish Milburn’s (or should I say Tricia Mills?) release party for her newest young adult novel, Winter Longing. Love Alaska? Love tales of first love? Books that twist your emotions like a dish cloth? This book has it all!

August 19: Suzanne Ferrell brings Wendy Watson to chat with us about her second in the Murder A La Mode series, Scoop To Kill. Wendy and Suz will serve up some fun, mystery and maybe an ice cream or two in the hot summer fun!

August 20: Tawny’s release party

August 27: Barbara Monjem returns to chat with Nancy about Tastes of Love and Evil, the second in her Bayou Gavotte paranormal romance series (which was also an unpubbed Maggie winner!)
August 31: Grab a gladiator & a drink (not necessarily in that order) and get ready to get sinful as we celebrate Jeanne Adam’s smokin’ new release Deadly Little Sins!

And warm up that lucky rabbit’s foot, because we have contests, too! From Anna Campbell:


Anna Campbell is giving away TWO Change of Season Reading Packs in her latest website contest. Each pack will include signed copies of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER by AnnaCampbell, SWEETEST LITTLE SIN by Christine WElls, IS MISTRESS FOR A MILLION by Trish Morey, THE GREEK’S CONVENIENT MISTRESS by Annie West, DARK DECEIVER by Pamela Palmer, and either DOES SHE DARE? or RISQUE BUSINESS by Tawny Weber. Just email Anna on anna@annacampbell.info and tell her one other book by each of these authors (the website links are on her contest page to make it easy) to go into the draw. For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page.

WENDY LYN WATSON DELIVERS A COOL MYSTERY TO THE LAIR

Interview with Suzanne

Suz: Welcome to the Bandit, Lair, Wendy. Pull up a barstool and we’ll have one of the cabana boys fetch us a margarita. So congratulations on the debut of I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, the first in your cozy mystery series. Please tell everyone what the book is about.

Wendy: Cocktails! Fantastic! Had I known we were having snacks, I would have brought along some of Tally’s avocado gelato. Maybe next time …

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM is about Tally Jones, proprietor of Dalliance, Texas’s ice cream parlor, Remember the A-la-mode. With a struggling business, a crumbling historic home, and a motley assortment of family members depending on her, Tally swallows her pride and agrees to provide ice cream for her ex-husband’s company luau. But when her ex’s arm-candy girlfriend drops dead, Tally finds herself scooping for her life, hoping to find a murderer before she finds herself locked in the hoosegow.

Thankfully, Tally’s cousin Bree, Bree’s daughter Alice, and Tally’s high school beau Finn Harper are all on hand to help her out.

Suz: I’ve been looking forward to this book since you first announced it at one of our chapter meetings. How did you come up with the concept?

Wendy: Funny you should ask. Normally, I start with a very vivid scene, and the characters and plot flow from that. For I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, though, I started with the hook: ice cream. My agent and I had a brainstorming session, trying to think of ideas for a cozy series, something that I knew about and was passionate about and that people would find relatable. Well, friends, this girl knows food. Cooking it, eating it, reading about it, dreaming about it … I {puffy heart} food. And the mother of all foods, in my opinion, is ice cream.

As soon as I said the words aloud, Kim and I knew it was the perfect hook for me. And it has been. My husband jokes that he can always tell when I’ve been writing “ice cream procedural,” the passages where Tally is making or eating ice cream, because I get all keyed up and he can’t drag me away from the computer.

Suz: Tallulah, “Tally” Jones is the star of this series. She has a lot to overcome, but doesn’t come off perfect. How did she first make her appearance to you?

Wendy: Ice cream equals indulgence. It’s sensual and luscious and fattening as heck. I wanted a character whose life was the opposite of that. And thus Tally Jones was born. She’s all about duty and responsibility and being a good girl and not making a scene. At least on the outside. She’s got ice cream in her soul, though, and getting down to that vibrant, raw, passionate person is going to be tons of fun.

Suz: The secondary characters in I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM are a hoot. How do they play a part in Tally’s life?

Wendy: Wow. You get right to the heart of the matter, huh?

That’s a big theme in the book, how we define ourselves relative to the people around us. My extended family lives in a small town, and everyone is defined by their relationships to one another: “Roberta’s boy,” or “Junior’s ex.” We moved around a lot when I was growing up, so for me, those sorts of relationships were largely impermanent; I didn’t have a place in some vast interpersonal web, but was mostly floating free. As a result, that small town feel intrigues me.

In this book, I play a lot with that notion of being defined by the people around you, both your relationships to them and their expectations of you. On the one hand, I find that sort of belonging seductive. On the other, I can see how it could be stifling, oppressive. For Tally, it’s both.

Gee. Didn’t mean to get all heavy, but you really touched on one of the more emotional themes of the book. And while I love to laugh–and hopefully make others laugh, too–I want Tally’s story to touch people’s hearts, too.

Suz: Speaking of Finn Harper, is there a future romance in the works between him and Tally?

Wendy: LOL! Yes, one of the most delicious threads of the story (to me) is Tally’s struggle to define her relationship with her high school boyfriend Finn. When the book begins, she hasn’t seen him in nearly two decades, not since she broke his heart in the Tasty-Swirl parking lot on the eve of their high school graduation. When he comes back to town and into her life, he stirs up all sorts of feelings she’d rather not examine too closely.

Do they have a future? Hmmmm. Maybe. Finn and Tally have a lot of past to overcome before they can start thinking about happily ever after. And, well, there might be a competitor for Tally’s affections just around the corner …..

Suz: So what’s next in the MYSTERY A LA MODE series?

Wendy: SCOOP TO KILL is slated for a July 2010 release. Tally’s precocious niece Alice is finishing up her first year at Dickerson College, and when the annual Honor’s Day festivities turn bloody, Alice enlists her Aunt Tally’s help in solving an ivory tower murder.

Suz: At the end of I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM you have a delicious recipe for “Tally’s Tropical Sundaes”, which sounds delicious by the way, is this going to be something you do with each book? If so, I can see one dear husband wanting me to buy more books!

Wendy: Trust me, that ginger-lime-coconut sauce is highly addictive (great for dressing up carrot cake, too!). There will be recipes for ice cream goodies in every book, all using store-bought ice cream and all designed so even “can’t boil water” cooks can craft something company-worthy.

So dear readers, what is your favorite ice cream and/or toppings? Wendy is going to give away a signed copy of I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM to one lucky commenter.