If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

An Interview with Darci Hannah by E. B. Davis

Tainted by a recent murder, the Cherry Orchard Inn is struggling to attract guests . . . until celebrated portrait painter, Silvia Lumiere, books a room for the summer. Whitney Bloom, the inn's new manager, can't believe her good luck. Between her scrumptious cherry scones and the painter's remarkable talent, the inn swiftly becomes the center of the Cherry Cove art scene. However, all is not the bowl of cherries it appears. There's a rotten core in the portrait painter that only Whitney and her friends can see. And just as Whitney's baking skills and patience are pushed to their limits, another death occurs at the inn. With all fingers pointing at her, Whitney realizes it will take all her cherry-tastic talents to bake her way out of this one.

Cherry Scones and Broken Bones by Darci Hannah had all the elements I like in a story. Whitney Bloom is a twenty-eight-year-old living at home with her parents and grandmother after ending a first career in Chicago, friction in the making. She’s used to having her own place and making her own decisions. It’s only a matter of time before Whitney and her mother have issues.

Whitney also is between two men—her past love and her future love—perhaps. She’s in a state of suspension, which she’s trying to get through without destroying the men’s friendship. She’s also trying to run a business, one in which the customer is always right—until they’re wrong. Her cherry-based bakery seems to be the one thing going right, until a body is found with one of her scones stuck down her throat.

I also enjoyed Whitney’s best friends, two very different women who balance each other in their differences.

Please welcome Darci Hannah to WWK                                              E. B. Davis

Is Cherry Cove based on another town?

Hi, E.B. Thanks for inviting me to your blog.

To answer your first question, Cherry Cove is a fictional town that for me incorporates the best of the charming and very picturesque towns dotting the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin. However, if I was pressed to name one particular town that Cherry Cove most resembles, I’d have to point to Ephraim, Wisconsin. It truly is the type of town that takes your breath away the moment you come down hill and see the U-shaped waters of Eagle Harbor opening before you. It’s a lovely town, and the perfect setting for a cozy mystery!

Whitney had a career in advertising in Chicago before she came home to Cherry Cove. What happened to her career?

Well, like all my favorite well-meaning millennials, Whitney is intelligent, ambitious and has that take-on-the-world enthusiasm, which, unfortunately, backfired for her where her job in advertising was concerned. Let’s just say that her vision for the Forever Free feminine products account was a little too ambitious for the market. Thankfully for Whitney, she has other skills (i.e. her mad baking skills) to fall back on.

Whitney’s father takes care of the orchard. Her mother and grandmother take care of the Inn. How did Whitney get pulled into the business?

Ever since graduating high school, Whitney has tried to distance herself from the family cherry orchard and strike out on an exciting career of her own in the big city. However, one cannot grow up on a cherry orchard with a mom and grandmother who are terrific bakers and not become a terrific baker. When Whitney lost her dream job in advertising, she channeled all her energies into baking. As a savvy marketer, Whitney decided to open her own specialty online bakery, Bloom ‘n’ Cherries!—a bakery that specializes in cherry baked goods made from the cherries grown on the family orchard. The bakery was doing okay, and Whitney was determined to stay in Chicago and make a go of it until the night her mother calls with the news that orchard manager, Jeb Carlson, has been murdered. That pulls Whitney home. The reason she decides to stay is a bit more complicated. Whitney has a revelation about Cherry Cove. She not only realizes that her family needs her, she’s also aware that she belongs there. She’s got friends in Cherry Cove, and maybe a new love interest as well.

The police station is a grass-roofed Scandinavian log house. Are there many Scandinavians in the area? Why does the station have goats, Thing One and Thing Two?

There were quite a few Scandinavian settlers in the area, and their influence is everywhere on the peninsula, from the turf-roofed Scandinavian log home in Sister Bay that houses the famous Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik (yes, that’s how it’s spelled!), the old Norwegian stave church, Bjorklunden Chapel, in Baily’s Harbor, the old Viking Fyr Bal festival in Ephraim, celebrating the Summer Solstice, to name a few, not to mention the surnames on the shops and cottages. The place is buzzing with Scandinavian influence. I really wanted to pay homage to this influence, so I put the police station in a historic Scandinavian turf-roofed log building. Such buildings were a way of life in rural Medieval Scandinavia. Not only is a grass roof good insulation against the cold, it also provides a safe place for goats to graze.  It’s a win-win any way you look at it. I thought it would be fun to put the Cherry Cove Police Station in a gimmicky tourist attraction. The goats, Thing One and Thing Two, came with the building. 

When Hannah leads a class of goat yoga on the lawn of Cherry Cove Inn, it ends in disaster. Isn’t goat yoga just a joke?

You’d think it was, but somebody out there was just kooky enough to explore the possibility. I’m not entirely sure the concept of goats and yoga work together, but I applaud those who want to give it a try.  I find the thought of unleashing utter chaos into the practice of yoga hilarious and really wanted to explore that in the book. I’ve never done it, but I imagine it’s the happiest form of yoga there is. Heck, just watching it on YouTube makes me laugh.  

Why would Whitney date Tate Vander Hagan after he two-timed her, and why does her mother like him so much? Does Whitney mean to give Jack MacLaren, who is the Police Chef, an old-friend, and a potential boyfriend, mixed signals?

Whitney is a very confused young woman when it comes to her love life. She’s tried distancing herself from long-time boyfriend, Tate, by living in Chicago. That’s because Whitney knows that she still has feelings for him. Tate cheated on her while she was away, but they have a history together. Tate is familiar, and Whitney is still very attracted to him. It doesn’t help that Whitney’s mom has always liked Tate. Aside from being tall, blond and totally hunky, Tate is a good person. He helps out at the orchard on occasion and is always there when the Blooms need him. Jack MacLaren, however, is new territory for Whitney. She doesn’t mean to give him mixed signals. Whitney is still trying to wrap her head around the fact that she’s infatuated with him.

Silvia Lumiere, the victim, is one despicable character. How does Whitney react to Silvia’s demands?

Whitney tries very hard to be civil, but having a guest like Silvia Lumiere can push anyone to their limits.

Even though Silvia is one tough customer, the head of the Cherry County Arts Council tells Whitney that despite her demands, Silvia is worth it. Is Silvia really the rock star of the Chicago art scene?

She dresses like a rock star, acts like a rock star, and, yes, she really is quite the rock star of the Chicago art scene. As infuriating as Silvia is, Whitney cannot deny that Silvia is good for business. Silvia loves Whitney’s cherry scones. Because she does, Whitney can’t keep enough on the bakery shelves. That’s the kind of influence Silvia has in Cherry Cove. However, Whitney and her friends are more in tune with Silvia’s darker side.

Your secondary characters are wonderful. Whitney has two close friends, Hannah and Tay. How are they different, and what is it about
them that attracts Whitney?
Why, thank you! I’m so glad that you like Tay and Hannah! They’re actually based on two of my closest friends, so creating them as characters wasn’t a huge stretch. Of course, I took some liberties. For instance, Hannah has never tried goat yoga…yet, and Tay prefers her men with their shirt on, I think. All fun aside, Tay and Hannah couldn’t be more different in personality, profession or appearance. But what they do have is a common history; all three young women have grown up in Cherry Cove. Tay and Hannah are Whitney’s closest friends and although they might have their difficulties, they still have a genuine love for one another; they trust in one another, and they always make each other laugh. To me, those are the pillars all lasting friendships are built on.

Whitney discovers that Silvia is a cougar who abuses her young male assistants. You have a reverse #MeToo situation. Is this the result of motherhood?

I love this question because, until you asked it, I honestly never thought about it. But I’m going to have to say yes. Motherhood has a way of making you see the world through your children’s eyes, and since I have three sons (all in their early to mid-twenties), I guess I’m more sympathetic to the plight of young males in today’s society. I certainly enjoy writing male characters and feel it’s important to treat them with the respect they deserve. Men are just as complicated as women are, only in different ways. Writing a reverse #MeToo situation is just my way of showing that men can be vulnerable, too.

Just when Whitney thinks she’s helped reform eighteen-year-old and juvenile delinquent, Erik Larsen, she finds he and a young female employee have been stopping the elevator in between floors to have late-night romantic interludes. What’s Whitney going to do with them?

Poor Whitney! She’s a trusting soul, maybe too trusting where Erik Larson is concerned. Erik and his devious nature certainly complicate Whitney’s life, but Erik also helps Whitney when she needs it. Thank goodness Whitney is an optimist and believes in second chances. Whitney is Erik’s employer, but she also has a sisterly fondness for him that’s hard to explain. The bottom line is she believes that Erik is capable of reforming. She’s not giving up on him just yet. And she’s going to keep Kenna around too. Although Kenna is easily swayed by Erik (because they’re dating), she’s a valuable employee.

Giff, Whitney’s advertising friend from Chicago, has one of those personalities that can use the best and worst of people to win. Is that why he’s so helpful to Whitney?

Giff is one of those characters who’s a pleasure to write. He’s intelligent, creative, charming, playful and unabashedly self-indulgent. He’s invaluable to Whitney for many reasons, but the fact that he’s not from Cherry Cove is often his greatest asset. Giff is a city boy. He finds the small, touristy town of Cherry Cove charming and loves to visit Whitney and her friends, especially when there’s a murder to be solved. Giff might have great researching skills, but it’s his disarming demeanor that makes people open up to him.

Whitney has more than enough suspects. What is it about Whitney that helps her eliminate the suspects and solve the crime?

Although Whitney has many admirable traits, the thing that sets her apart is her drive. Whitney is driven to get to the bottom of the murder, no matter the obstacles in her way. She’s smart, resourceful and knows how to get the job done. She also has a great support team in Tay, Hannah, and Giff, just to name a few. Oh, and adding a little competition into the mix by going up against Officer Jack MacLaren doesn’t hurt either.

What’s next for Whitney?

I love writing about Whitney and her friends, and, of course, the adventure continues. However, just as I was penning the next Very Cherry Mystery, I got some bad news. My publisher, Midnight Ink, is closing its doors and my third book is at this moment without a home. The news was a blow to all the great mystery writers at that house. Things got shaken up, but I’m hopeful that both Whitney and I will land on our feet soon. I mean, the fun in Cherry Cove is only beginning!


Kait said...

I fell in love with Cherry Cove the first time I visited. Can't wait to go back again. I'm so sorry about Midnight Ink. The Cherry Cove series is so wonderful, I'm sure it will find a home soon.

KM Rockwood said...

Sounds like a great series! I will have to order one for an airplane read on an upcoming trip.

Midnight Ink closing was a blow to us all, but especially to those who had successful series there. I'm sure you (and Whitney) will pick up and move on.

Jim Jackson said...

You've picked a great location to set your series. We winter in Madison and summer in the U.P., so it's our neck of the woods!

Best of luck finding a suitable replacement for Midnight Ink.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Best of luck with your successful series! I've read Door County is the "Cape Cod of the Midwest." I'm curious to check it out.

E. B. Davis said...

Kait is right. This is a wonderful series. I loved your characters and what is more--they are memorable, including your secondary characters. A lot of fun reading here. Thanks so much for the interview Darci. I hope you can keep them coming!

Shari Randall said...

This series sounds like so much fun. Thank you, Elaine and Darci, for the great interview.
Goat yoga? Now I have to go check You Tube!

Grace Topping said...

Congratulations, Darci, on publication of a book that sounds like it's a lot of fun.

Robin said...

I can’t wait to get my pre-ordered copy in the beginning of June! I’m looking forward to heading back to Cherry Cove, hopefully another publisher will pick up the series!!!

Darci Hannah said...

Hi Everyone! Thank you so much for your wonderful and encouraging comments! And a big thanks once again to E.B Davis for allowing me to chat about Cherry Cove here. I'm so glad to hear that you all like the setting. Yes, Margaret, Door County has been coined as the Cape Cod of the Midwest. I wasn't sure what that was all about until I visited Cape Cod (LOL!). They're both lovely, only one has more cherries and whitefish while the other boasts seafood and blueberries. Also, there aren't any Great Whites in Lake Michigan, so jump on in!
Happy reading, everyone! And do check out goat yoga on YouTube if you want a good laugh!