Leslie Karst here. Today, the Chicks are pleased to present Misty Simon, author of the fabulous Tallie Graver Mystery series. Although Tallie now works cleaning houses, her family runs the Graver Funeral Home (what an appropriate name, lol), which comes in quite handy when she sets her sights on solving a murder. And today, her creator, Misty, has some great advice for dealing with the stress that often comes with the hectic holiday season.
Hello, blog readers!
Thanks so much to the Chicks on the Case for allowing me to visit their awesome blog!
Coming off the Thanksgiving Holiday always means two things: I have to break out the stretchy pants for a few weeks, and my family decorates the house (usually in stretchy pants). As I put up each ornament or set up each house in the village I’ve collected for twenty-three years, I like to remember where it came from and then consider how far I’ve come. Now, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s a throw-it-up-on-the-tree-day because I’m tired from my full-time job, and trying to get all the words written on the page can take it out of me. But every day is a new opportunity to be your best you.
And that’s one of the things I love most about writing my cozy mystery series with Tallie Graver for Kensington. She’s a fighter and she’s got flaws like you wouldn’t believe, but she owns every single one of them and uses them to her advantage. I love heroines who are real and people who you’d love to sit and have coffee with (Whoopie Pie Latte for Tallie, please). People you can feel that connection to and who you wish you could go to their town with and go to a movie or play a mean game of Rummy Tile.
Because Tallie got married and emotionally moved away from her family (if not physically), having to come back after her divorce wasn’t easy, but she’s made the best of things and continues to make a new life, the one she realizes she really wanted. And along the way she is thankful for the people who are there and those who’ll jump in to help her solve a crime or two. There’s always someone when you’re related to half the town! And Tallie is quick to ask for whatever she needs. It’s one of the best parts about the series—getting to know the family. It’s one of my favorite things about the genre actually, getting to know the friends and family and come back again and again to hang with them between the pages.
And in getting to know that community, you get immersed in the world and the players on the page.
With the newest Tallie Graver Mystery, Carpet Diem, just having come out in October, it was awesome to be able to share her with the people who’ve been on this journey with me. And they often inform the people I put in Tallie’s path. Life can knock you down, but in the end it’s up to you what you do with that set-back. Sometimes you just have to find the right perspective and make it into a positive. Sometimes it’s talking to that one person who totally gets you.
Things can be rough during the holiday season for a variety of reasons. I think that so much of how you thrive through this time has to do with your attitude toward things, your ability to find the silver lining. Tallie and I encourage you to look for that silver lining or, when all else fails, go out and get yourself a silver crayon and use my philosophy:
There will be a silver lining, even if you have to draw it with your own crayon!
Misty Simon is the author of the Tallie Graver Mystery series. She loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers, so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Carpet Diem: Live and let dust. . . Now that Tallie Graver’s cleaning business is starting to shine, she’s ready to go squeegee to squeegee against Audra McNeal for a major contract at the Astercromb mansion. Tallie’s not afraid of a little friendly competition from the new cleaner in town. In fact, Tallie likes Audra, though she wonders how her glamorous rival manages to clean house and maintain her fancy manicure. Tallie has her rubber-gloves full staying one step ahead of her nemesis. Until she finds a well-polished hand poking out of a rolled-up carpet, rendering her competition . . . dead.
Though it lands Tallie the big job, there’s nothing tidy about Audra’s death. So between polishing and scrubbing, Tallie’s determined to find the killer. Hopefully the police chief doesn’t mind her cluttering up his investigation with the filthy dealings she discovers. Turns out Audra was not as squeaky clean as she appeared. And confronting her killer could bring Tallie to a very foul end indeed . . .