Tag Archive | Kentucky

Tonya Kappes-Happily Ever After With Cozy Mystery Writer

tonya kappes 2    We welcome Tonya Kappes today. She’s a Southern Romance and Cozy Mystery Writer.

Tonya, Romance and Mystery?

I know it sounds crazy, but I love a good mystery and a good happily ever after. All my novels are set in small towns where humor and charm are a must. I grew up in a small town in Kentucky and cherish every memory. 

You make a statement on your website  http://www.tonyakappes.com/  that has a lot of meaning. It’s what I, as a reader, look for when I sit down to read a book. You were talking about transporting the reader.

I want to transport my readers to my small towns where they are wrapped around in a blanket of comfort whether it’s a mystery or romance. When you read one of my books my goal is to tickle your funny bone, drain your tear ducts, and steal your heart.

You are a USA Today bestselling author and have published numerous mystery and romance titles. You’ve been very successful. In fact you’re famous for your hilarious plot lines and quirky characters.  

Tell us about your new series.

FIXIN TO DIE cover FRONTIt’s my Kenni Lowry Mystery series. The first book in that series, Fixin’ To Die, just released this month. Kenni Lowry is a sheriff in Cottonwood, Kentucky who likes to think the zero crime rate in  is due to her. However, she quickly discovers the ghost of her grandfather, the town’s previous sheriff, has been scaring off any would-be criminals since she was elected. When the town’s most beloved doctor is found murdered on the very same day as a jewelry store robbery, and a mysterious symbol ties the crime scenes together, Kenni must satisfy her hankerin’ for justice by nabbing the culprits.  With the help of her poppa, a lone deputy, and an annoyingly cute, too-big-for-his-britches State Reserve officer, Kenni must solve both cases and prove to the whole town, and herself, that she’s worth her salt before time runs out.

This book sounds like it will be fun to read with lots of twist and turns especially with your ability to weave mystery into humor. Can’t wait to read it.

We were delighted to showcase the book in our May/June 2016 issue of Southern Writers Magazine. may cover 2 You were interviewed in Southern Writers in 2013 and in that interview we talked about your writing humorous fiction with a little romance and mystery.

I’ve always had a little witty humor to my personality. I’ve tried to mask it and watch my mouth, but it just flows right out of me. I grew up a true southern. I drink my sweet tea (sugar only!), go to church, believe in superstition, and bestow the ‘bless your heart’ on everyone (which true southerners know that can mean a few things). All of these play a part in all my novels along with my wit and I believe putting these in the romance and mystery genre is a great escape for readers.

SW Cover CC BlackIn January, 2013 Southern Writers interviewed you and we talked about  you’re interacting with your readers.

I’m very  involved with my readers. I started connecting with them two years before I had even published a book. I knew I needed a following, so I blogged about my daily life as a mom raising four boys, two fur babies, ornery stray cat, and an awesome husband. The readers loved how I wrote my first novel under an oak tree at my guys football practices one summer. I took pictures, posted and they went crazy. For two years I did these types of posts as well as offer giveaways of my friends who were already published.

This is one of the things that marks a write as being a serious writer. That first book hit the bestseller list, didn’t it?

Yes, it hit the bestsellers list the first day. I had my following. That was when I decided to start a Team Tonya Street Team. It’s moved from a yahoo loop to a Facebook page. I do weekly giveaways and contests. I have huge online parties where I promote other authors. I think it’s important to pay it forward. My street team will read any author I recommend. I love that. We have twitter parties and Kindle parties. We love to have a good time.

You have a new book coming out in your Ghostly Southern Mystery series in December titled a Ghostly Reunion. Tell us about it.

A ghostly reunoinAs proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, Emma Lee Raines can see, hear, and talk to ghosts of murdered folks. And when her high school nemesis is found dead, Jade Lee Peel is the same old mean girl—trying to come between Emma Lee and her hot boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, all over again.

There’s only one way for Emma Lee to be free of the trash-talking ghost—solve the murder so the former prom queen can cross over.

But the last thing Jade Lee wants is to leave the town where she had her glory days. And the more Emma Lee investigates on her own, the more complicated Miss Popularity turns out to be. Now Emma Lee will have to work extra close with her hunky lawman to get to the twisty truth.

Well, that is one I definitely will have to read. Thanks for visiting with us today.

Be sure and visit Tonya Kappes on her website: http://www.tonyakappes.com/

Visit her on Twitter https://twitter.com/tonyakappes11

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/authortonyakappes/?ref=hl


Ann Gabhart––Her Roots Go Deep

AnnHGabhart (1)We are delighted to have Ann Gabhart visiting with us today on Authors Visits.

Ann’s new book, Murder at the Courthouse, was just released this month.


I was looking at your website, www.annhgabhart.com and I loved the Welcome you put at the top.  “Welcome to Hidden Springs––pop. 732 731.  For our readers, Hidden Springs is the setting for her new book.

Tell us what the book is about Ann.

“Michael Keane is ready to relax as deputy sheriff in his sleepy hometown. Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky—and that’s just fine with Michael. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps.”

Well as you know, I love mysteries, so I will definitely be reading the book.

Tell me why you decided to write a mystery book.

“I’ve always loved mysteries. The Hardy Boy Mysteries and Nancy Drew Mysteries were some of the first books I devoured as a young reader. In fact, I often give those Hardy Boy books much of the credit for me first taking up pen and trying to write a story. I wanted to be in a mystery like they were and writing my own seemed the only way to make that happen. The safest way too! So years later, after writing many historical novels and coming of age stories for young adults, I decided to try my hand at a mystery. The first Hidden Springs mystery, Murder at the Courthouse was the result.”


I am always amazed, although I shouldn’t be how the books of The Hardy Boy Mysteries and the Nancy Drew Mysteries affected so many people. I devoured their books and was thrilled when television shows came on the air. Like you, I could imagine myself in all sorts of mysteries and trying to solve the cases.


So is there a story behind this story?


“Once I decided to write a mystery, I knew I wanted to set it in a town much like the town where I grew up. I still live near that little town of Lawrenceburg, KY. But in my story, I kept the big stores out and let my fictitious Hidden Springs stay small and one of those towns where everybody knows everybody. I wanted that small town feel with its quirky characters. But I also wanted a main character readers could like. Not a perfect man, but one who liked having roots in Hidden Springs. Then I added a mystery that challenges all he has ever believed about his town.”


Just that reason alone makes me want to read the book Ann. I’m sure your fans feel the same way.


Are you going to write another mystery?


“Hidden Springs mystery number two, Murder Comes by Mail, is already written and with the publishers. That story is going through edits and will be released in July 2015. I am currently working on Hidden Springs number three. So I’m definitely writing at least a few mysteries.”


Was it difficult to come up with your title, characters and plot?


“A mystery plot can be a challenge. You have to plant clues and at the same time try to keep readers from guessing the ending too easily or too soon. Mystery readers like being mystified in a story, but they do want to be able to look back and see that the clues were there if they had only picked up on them. My characters weren’t really hard. Each time I write a new story, my characters seem more than happy to spring to life in my head and start talking. So I started with Michael Keane. Then I added his Aunt Lindy. Of course, he had to have a love interest. And you can’t forget about Anthony Blake, a kid Michael is trying to help, who tries every way possible to spurn that help. As for the title, I brainstormed with an agent and came up with several suggested titles for this mystery.


“My publisher’s titling committee took those suggestions and did their own brainstorming session. The result was one of the titles I’d suggested – Murder at the Courthouse.”


I am very glad you caught the “writing bug” at the age of 10 and kept writing. You have produced some wonderful stories for readers to enjoy.


What’s next for Ann Gabhart?



“Right now, as I said, I’m working on the third Hidden Springs mystery. After that, I plan to go back to my first writing love and write another historical romance. I’ll have to switch gears a bit from these contemporary cozy mysteries to do more research and step back in time to write that story. But good characters make the story no matter the setting or era. So my job will be to come up with the right characters for those new stories.”


Just think Ann, some day, in the future, someone will ask another writer what influenced them in their writing a mystery. Those words will be, “I’ve always loved mysteries. Hidden Spring’s Mystery books, by A. H. Gabhart, were some of the first mystery books I read.”


Thank you for visiting us.


Good luck with this new adventure.


Be sure and visit Ann Gabhart at