Friday, July 4, 2014

Be Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway


Crystal Haven’s Roots

Many, many, years ago, I stayed with a relative in Lilydale, New York. Located in Southwestern New York near Cassadaga Lake, Lilydale started as a spiritualist campground in the 1870’s. Since then, it has become both refuge and mecca for psychics, mediums, and those seeking to connect with loved ones who have passed on.

My mother, my cocker spaniel puppy, and I piled into the car and drove from Michigan to check out the spiritualist community. During that visit, we stayed in a reportedly haunted cottage. While I didn’t have an encounter with the ghosts, the puppy seemed decidedly spooked and refused to stay in the house alone.

We attended healing sessions and ceremonies at inspiration stump where messages are relayed to members of the audience. What was striking to me was not that most of the residents were mediums, or that people had conversations with loved ones who had died years before, but that it seemed like such a normal small town. It is a beautiful little town with a turn-of-the-last-century feel. There is a beach, picnic areas, a post office, a fire station, several restaurants, gift shops, and a library. The streets are lined with adorable Victorian cottages, making it a great place to visit even without the psychic draw.

When I started planning my cozy mystery series I decided it would be fun and would add a unique element to the stories if it were set in a town like Lilydale. My favorite vacation spot is Western Michigan with its beaches, forests, and beautiful summer weather. I combined the two and Crystal Haven was created. My fictional town is not just dedicated to spiritualism. Its residents branch out into herbalism, tarot cards, crystals, and palm reading. I wanted to create a place that would be fun to visit over many stories and also to explore the types of people who would choose to live there.

The result has been a lot of fun for me to write. Crystal Haven has “regular” people as well as psychics, but not many of its citizens question the validity of messages from other realms. In fact, my protagonist – Clyde Fortune, a psychic herself - is one of the biggest skeptics. The psychic element leads to lots of assistance in solving crimes. Not all of it is helpful.

The cocker spaniel puppy who joined us on that long-ago trip was one of many well-loved pets. So, it was a given that the series would include animals. Violet Greer, Clyde’s aunt, is a pet psychic with more confidence than talent. Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery series begins with a shih tzu who is a witness to murder. Violet’s efforts to interrogate the dog are confusing at best. 

Be Careful What You Witch For is the second book in the Family Fortune series, and is set around Halloween. A murder occurs at the annual Fall Festival and someone close to Clyde is a suspect. She gathers her family and friends to help clear her friend, but as she gets closer to the answer, she also puts everyone closer to danger. 

I invite you to come visit Crystal Haven. Pets are welcome.

***************************

Blurb: Leaving a traumatic police career behind, Clyde Fortune has returned to her seemingly quiet hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan. In spite of the psychic powers of its residents, there’s no telling what trouble is brewing in this burg…

The highlight of this year's fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch’s cauldron resting over it. Clyde’s best friend, Diana, leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead—or that Diana will be a prime suspect.

Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there’s a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend’s name and catch a killer.

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

Any cozy that begins at a Fall Fun Fest on Halloween is sure to be a winner with me. A Wiccan ceremony deep in Greer's Woods is the highlight of the festival. But during a midnight ritual Rafe Godwin, leader of a popular coven, collapses due to an apparent allergic reaction. Not even his EpiPen can save him. Tests reveal that peanut oil was rubbed on the bambrack bread that he ate, and it was no secret that he was deathly allergic to peanuts. He was adored by Clyde's best friend Diana, but surprisingly had many enemies in town as well, including Diana's brother Dylan who ends up arrested for the murder.

This book is incredibly atmospheric, and more than once while reading it I found myself yearning for the cool, crisp days of autumn. A favorite new character was introduced in this second book in the Family Fortune mystery series, Neila, an old friend of Clyde's grandmother long feared by the children of Crystal Haven as a witch. She lives in a creepy old house on the outskirts of town. It's eventually revealed that she is hiding a shocking "talent" which could cause serious repercussions for Clyde's family.

I love this series, the town of Crystal Haven and it's inhabitants. Anyone looking for a taste of fall in the hot, humid days of July needs to add this one to their summer reading list.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Wednesday, July 9th for the chance to win a copy of Be Careful What You Witch For. (US entries only, please.)

20 comments:

  1. I love the title, and Halloween themed books are my favorite ! kathambre@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks like a neat little cozy mystery that I'd enjoy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great cover; thank you for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. A delightful cozy which I would enjoy greatly. Thanks for this lovely feature. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. This cozy would be ideal. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love that title! You don’t have to enter me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like a great read. i look forward to it.
    libbydodd at comast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great title, great cover, and something I definitely am going to have to check out. robbfan141729@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. would love to read this!!!
    thank you for the giveaway.......

    cyn209 at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have added this book to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Raquel36m@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Since Halloween is my favorite time of the year, I love the setting of this story. It sounds like a fun read and I'm looking forward to it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for hosting, Melissa! And thank you to all the commenters - good luck on the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Spooky stuff - love it!

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. It is a new series for me.

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds great, I can't wait to read it.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. A spiritualist community should be a very interesting setting.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love paranormal-themed cozies, and this one sounds terrific! I can't wait to read it. kweiss2001@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, I would kill to win this one.. It won't take a psychic to figure out I'm serious also.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love anything Halloween and ghost related. I also love the book cover. gailusann20@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love the setting describing, Crystal Haven and that it's time period is around Halloween! Interesting story about the beloved puppy from long ago too! Sounds like he was on to something! So glad pets are included because of the authors love for him..The residents and the plot sound like so much fun and variety, and I can't wait to read!

    ReplyDelete