Guest Book Blogger: Lisa K

lisak2Ever wonder about the behind-the-scenes stories of the book publishing industry? Well, wonder no more, because each month we’re featuring an interview with a well-known book blogger, editor, or agent. For February, we’re thrilled to once again welcome  Lisa K, from the popular blog, Lisa Ks Book Reviews!

Welcome back, Lisa! Tell us, why are cozies your favorite genre–what do you love most about them?

First, may I say I’m happy to be back. I have the greatest respect for all the Chicks authors.

Cozies are my favorite genre because they saved my reading. I was heavy into thriller/suspense novels such as those by authors like Tess Gerritsen, Iris Johansen, and those similar. They often contain dark subject matter. I found myself no longer reading. I didn’t know just how long it had been until my older sister thrust a cozy into my hands and informed me that she was worried about me. It seems I hadn’t read a book for over a year which is very unlike me. I devoured that cozy—Jenn McKinlay’s second Cupcake Bakery Mystery—like a starving woman. That was just over five years ago and there has been no looking back for me. I love that even though cozies 99.9% of the time deal in murder, they are light, fun reading. Clever and entertaining, and very character-driven. A genre that readers from teens to seniors can read.

Is there anything that’s surprised you (pleasantly or unpleasantly) in a book or author?

Pleasantly, just how kind and open cozy authors are with their readers. We can tell that we really mean something to all of you. And the welcome I received when I was just starting my blog was overwhelming. It still surprises me to this day that authors thank me for having them on my blog. What? I’m the one that should be and always will be thanking you for being on my blog and supporting me the way you all have. The cozy community as a whole, the readers, bloggers, and authors, it’s a wonderful, loving family.

Unpleasantly, the more recent trend toward “edgier” cozies. I honestly don’t believe those words go together when describing a cozy. No offense to any cozy author because I admire each and every one, but the increasing use of profanity, even simple words like h*ll or d*mn. They just seem out of place to the genre. I thought I was just being sensitive to it, but many readers who read my reviews and follow my blog have told me they feel the same way. I started a book recently that had a rather graphic sex scene in it. The protagonist walked in on her husband and his assistant in the middle of “the deed.” This wasn’t back story for the protagonist. It was happening right there on the page. I closed the book and didn’t finish it. Also, the topic of rape is showing up. Again, if I even see the word on the page, I close the book and don’t pick it back up. I mentioned above that cozies are for all ages. More often than not, they still are, but it’s sad to feel the need to vet them now. [Ducking the rocks being thrown at my head.]

What’s your guilty reading (or watching) pleasure?

I don’t have a guilty reading pleasure. I’m proud to say I read cozies to anyone who wants to know. I also love reading cookbooks. I may never cook a thing out of one of them, but I love them. I’ve even dedicated a day on my blog for cookbook reviews.

As for guilty watching, it would be “some” reality TV. I’m selective about the ones I do watch. I’m a sucker for Say Yes to The Dress. I love all the beautiful gowns. And I never miss Live PD.

If you could have dinner with one character from a cozy mystery novel, who would it be and why?

Wow. That’s a hard one! I’d have to go with a ghost, Eric Gamlyn from the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries by J. J. Cook, aka Joyce and Jim Lavene. Eric can’t eat, but he’s a great cook. I would love to sit on his deck overlooking the mountains and just listen to him talk all night. I’m honestly wiping away tears as I write this because with the passing of the Lavenes, may they forever rest in peace, there will be no more Eric. If you were to ask me what the most profound thing is that has happened to me since I’ve started reading cozies, it is without a doubt the passing of that incredible couple. I was blessed to have had the chance to meet them once. And deeply saddened that it was only once.

Who is your “white whale”—the author you’d love to connect with, but haven’t been able to—and why that person?

I’m not sure I have one. As I mentioned, cozy authors are so warm and welcoming. Hmmm . . . there is Virginia Lowell who wrote the Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries. When I started reading cozies, her series was one of the first few I was drawn too. I think there may have been only one or two more written by the time I had started my blog. While I have read interviews with her, I never seemed to be able to find out much about her or be able to get in contact with her. And as wonderful as her series was, I haven’t seen anything new from her. I miss her voice in cozy writing.

Thank you so much to Ellen Byron, Becky Clark, Marla Copper, Vicki Fee, Kellye Garrett, Leslie Karst, Cynthia Kuhn, Lisa Q. Matthews, and Kathleen Valenti for inviting me back. It’s been an honor.

Please read more about Lisa below and say hello in the comments.

lisak1Lisa A. Kelley of Lisa Ks Book Reviews is a passionate cozy mystery reader, reviewer and blogger who is extremely active in the online and virtual cozy communities and groups. She’s a trusted friend, sister, and tireless promoter of cozy mysteries and cookbooks. She oversees many Facebook groups, and actively contributes to online events and promotions.

Lisa has a love for books, helping authors and readers, baking (especially cupcakes!), and animals. Lisa and her trusty pup companion, a beautiful bundle of joy named Emmy, blog about books over at Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

Other links:

Facebook –

Facebook –

Twitter – @LisaKsBkReviews


39 thoughts on “Guest Book Blogger: Lisa K

  1. Lisa, this was fantastic! Thank you so much for visiting andbyour wonderful answers. Btw, one of my hobbies is collecting vintage cookbooks. I’m fascinated by how eating habits change with each decade.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. My sister put together a huge cookbook from family recipes. I got a copy for each of my kids. When I handed them out I said, in all seriousness, “Do not ever make a recipe from this book. Every one of them will shorten your life.” So. Much. Lard!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh my. 😦 Although, I worked for Hickory Farms back when they has year round stores. We sold a Fudge cheese. Looked and tasted just like fudge. Even had little nuts in it! Half hour later, you burp cheese and try to remember when you last ate cheese that day. LOL 😉

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Velveeta? I am THERE (even without the white bread-with-Miracle Whip 60s special). And Becky, I baked a delicious batch of cookie crumbs without lard (I used Irish Kerrygold butter instead b/c I figured it was fatty but better for you). I say “crumbs” b/c that’s exactly what they were, without the lard to hold them together. Prob: I needed photos for my post (Summer’s Orange-Frosted Sunshine Cookies) at Mystery Lovers Kitchen, so I had to remake.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Lisa, so glad to have you hanging with the Chicks today! You are so sweet and were one of the very first blogger/reviewers to reach out to me as a fledgling author — before my first book was even released. I’ll forever be grateful!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. As a potty-mouth in real life, I appreciate your comments about cursing in cozies. I fret about it all the time, out loud and in the deep recesses of my dreams. I have some mild cursing in my books because I think it’s realistic in certain instances. But sex on the page and rape?? In a cozy?? That ain’t right!

    Thanks for visiting us, Lisa! And for the great blog!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Becky. I’ve been known to say a word or to myself. It’s normally in my car mirror when I see someone about to ram into me. But I’ve really worked hard to stop it. I don’t want sh*t to be my last word on earth! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Lisa and Chicks! I loved hearing about your life behind the scenes of your blog – I’m a big fan of Say Yes To the Dress and Live PD fascinates me (what does that say about us – we like wedding dresses and watching cops chase down criminals?) I’ll echo Vicki – when you reached out to me after my first book, I was over the moon. I felt truly welcomed into the cozy community.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Lisa! So happy to “see” you!! And so grateful for you and all you do for the mystery community. ❤

    Ohmygosh, I love Say Yes to the Dress! I bought my own gown from a friend (imagine a giant, poofy dress with mutton-leg sleeves, which I LOVED at the time) so I didn't get to do the whole shopping thing. It's my way of living vicariously!

    Thanks for hanging out with us today!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I went with my daughter and 2 bridesmaids to the real-life place (NYC). Multiple brides stand on little platforms and when “the” dress is found, someone runs up with a plastic bouquet and everyone claps (she has to literally say “yes” to the dress first). My daughter spent the whole time crying in the dressing room with a crabby stylist who wouldn’t let anyone talk to her until she found something she (the stylist) liked. We went directly for prosecco. Stick to the TV show, folks!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m with you, Lisa, on the darker topics appearing in cozies. And the language. Some things can be okay as long as we don’t go into detail, at least for me. But some people don’t seem to understand why we read cozies.

    Of course, I do slip a few darker books into my reading every so often. But when I pick up a cozy, I’m expecting a certain thing. And not getting it bothers me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hey, Mark. Thank you for that. My whole love of cozies was because the darker books were weighing on me. Knowing I could open any cozy, or recommend them to others like myself, was a sure thing. Now there is that uncertainty.


  7. Chiming in late here because i’s only a little after seven a.m. here in Hawai’i. Thank you so much for visiting us Chicks today, Lisa! What a thoughtful and interesting interview!

    I, too, sprinkle ia tiny bit of what some might think of as “bad” language into my books, but I think of my series as being more “light traditionals” or “snarky cozies.” (Plus, if you’ve ever been in earshot of a real restaurant kitchen, you’d know I’ve toned the language down by about twenty notches, lol.)

    Love your blog, Lisa, and thank you so much for all you do for the mystery community!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m right there with ya, Leslie! I’m also in the (light-ish) traditional mystery category and have been known to sprinkle some, um, choice words. 😉 And lol kitchen language. All I can hear in my head now is Gordon Ramsay. My ears! My ears!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lisa, we Chicks were so excited for your return–thank you! Love all that you shared here–and I am delighted to find a kindred spirit who also loves to read cookbooks, but may not actually test out the recipes. (Sometimes I leave them around for my hubby to find, since he is our family chef.) And maybe we can find Virginia Lowell for you. We Chicks are on the case!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Lisa! Beautiful name by the way. I’m the chef here. My sister can boil hotdogs. So, if any of those recipes get prepared, it will have to be by me. In the mean time, it’s a lot of fun to look!

      It would be so fun to say hi to Virginia! Go, Chicks, Go!

      Liked by 4 people

  9. Lisa, so happy that you’re visiting! Love this interview and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I honestly don’t know how you do all that you do. It’s amazing–and as everyone has said, we are grateful for you!

    And oh, you moved me to tears with your dinner party answer…big hug.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Cynthia! Thanks. I have a lot of free time and I spend as much of it as I can reading, reviewing and blogging. It’s what I love to do.

      I was crying the whole time I was typing it. Joyce and Jim Lavene were remarkably wonderful people. They’re very missed.

      Liked by 1 person

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