Tuesday, May 19, 2020

REVENGE IS SWEET, COZY, AND FATAL: Guest Post by Kaye George

Kaye George:
Revenge is Sweet, Cozy, and Fatal

Thanks so much for having me on Mystery Fanfare, Janet! You’re such a good friend to so many writers.

I’d like for your readers to know about my new cozy series, especially if they were fans of the Fat Cat mysteries published by the late, lamented Berkley Prime Crime. I used the author name Janet Cantrell for those and they were extremely popular. In fact, they’re still selling 4 years later. Also, I still get emails and messages asking if there will be another book!

Sadly, no. For technical reasons, I can’t write any more of them. I can’t use the term Fat Cat nor the name Janet Cantrell. But I CAN come up with another series using a large cat and recipes. So that’s what I’m doing.

The Vintage Sweets mysteries take place in picturesque Fredericksburg TX, in the heart of both Hill Country and Wine Country, mid-Texas, west of Austin. When I lived in the Austin area, it was a favorite place to visit, and to spend long weekends touring wineries and gift shops.

My goal is to give my readers this experience, adding in the odd murder or two.

The new cat is named Nigel. He’s a rival to Quincy, the Fat Cat. But while Quincy was a chow hound (so to speak, crossing species a bit) put on a diet and rebelling against that, Nigel is a genuinely large feline, a Maine coon. It’s an interesting breed, the only domesticated cat native to North America, native to the state of Maine, where it is the official state cat. (Do you know YOUR state cat? I don’t.) (Okay, I had to look it up. Most states don’t have one! How careless of them. https://www.netstate.com/states/tables/state_mammals_cats.htm)

Nigel was inspired by the cat my son’s family had for many years. The kids named him Friendship because he was as big as a ship. They have almost a puppy-dog personality and they make their own unusual sounds. From inquiries I’ve made online, their owners are thoroughly besotted with them. I have a long list of people to thank who’ve told me Maine coon stories. I’ve never actually been owned by one, so the anecdotes of others have been great.

Here’s a little anecdote about the perils of publishing. Nigel was a gray striped cat. I even purchased a professional picture of one to use in my publicity. However, when I saw the cover, I discovered that Nigel was fated to be a black and white tuxedo cat. I quickly rewrote the galley proofs and tucked away the purchased photo. At least he didn’t lose any of his awful personality!

Back to the setting, the town—it wasn’t hard to decide where to locate Tally Holt’s shop. (Do you like her name? It’s supposed to give a faint echo of Tally Ho, off we go!) There’s one main street since it’s a rather small town, so that’s where Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets is located. (Don’t blame me for the spelling. That was Tally’s idea, so it would be noticed and remembered. I’m not crazy about it. I have to look up the spelling every time I type it.)

Tally’s best friend, Yolanda Bella, is a big player in the books also, and has a gift basket shop next door. When you read the books, you’ll see how that was engineered. Yolanda’s place is called Bella’s Baskets. They have a lot of opportunity to combine their products, and to also include those of the nearby wine shop.

I’ve had such fun writing these! I hope my readers have as much fun reading them.

Kaye George is a national-bestselling, multiple-award-winning author of pre-history, traditional, and cozy mysteries (her latest is the Vintage Sweets series from Lyrical Press). She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Smoking Guns chapter (Knoxville), Guppies chapter, Authors Guild of TN, Knoxville Writers Group, and Austin Mystery Writers. She lives and works in Knoxville, TN. 


charlene said...

i had the fat cat series back then, this was a very interesting article. thanks

Kaye George said...

Thanks for having me on Mystery Fanfare today, Janet!

Jacqueline Seewald said...


This sounds like the beginning of a fine series! Congrats.

Juli Schatz said...

P.S. After reading your post, I had to add a coup0le of comments: We, too, have a giant cat, a golden tabby my mom named Dexter. We ended up with his sister and I named her Minion because of my affinity for them, and then my sister-in-law Gretchen, who's out supplier of cats, found a black-and-white grey male and we name him Ziggy. Our 20+-year-old black caT, Carla, went to live with Aunt Holly and just died a few weeks ago. She was the last remaining of 4 we found in the neighborhood having been thrown out of a van I was following out one night when I left Ron's house before we were married.

Can't wait to read the first in the Vintage Sweets series. Where fo I buy it?

Kaye George said...

Thanks Charlene and Jacqueline! Juli, I've had a few rescued ferals and had good experiences with almost all of them. One was so skittish, she stayed under our bed for a few weeks, coming out to eat at night, then ran out the door one day and we never saw her again. It's so special to rescue kitties! All of my books are at my webpage: kaygegeorge.com. This (misnamed) link is to all the places this book is for sale: https://kayegeorge.wixsite.com/kaye-george/copy-of-buy-links-for-fat-cat-books

Thanks for the interest!