Oh, my. We are in the middle of October! Friends of mine from Minnesota sent pictures of the snow piling up. I used to live in Brainerd MN so I know the feeling. Regardless, of the weather outside it's always cozy Around the Fire and today's guest is brining Christmas Cookies and romance. So please help me welcome today's special guest Wendy Kendall.
Hi, Wendy. Thanks for joining us at the fire. While I pour us a nice hot cocoa why don't you introduce yourself.
Nice to meet you. I'm the youngest of three daughters, and the mother of two now-adult sons. I relish jumping into the midst of adventures, and I'm intrigued when pursuing clues to life's mysteries, and my heart beats to the rhythm of an incurable romantic.
I Love the picture you sent! I adore an adventurous spirit. What interests besides writing do you enjoy? For instance, what do you read or hobbies you have?
It's a picture on a hike of Mt. Rainier. The mountain is mentioned in my story in reference to the fields and fields of fragrant wildflowers on the mountain in the spring, and how the scent is similar to my character Liz's perfume. I have an artistic collection of purses and handbags, including vintage pieces dating back to the 1800's. A few years ago I was delighted to visit the Esse Purse Museum that tells women's history through the purses carried through the decades. So fun! Just one of only 3 purse museums in the world. I love biking and hiking, and roaming beach shorelines. I'm just a girl who can't say no to reading books, any books, but I confess to an added passion for Mysteries and Romances.
I have several purses that I consider "artistic" but I have to confess, since retiring my purse is either a wallet or backpack. I have several people who are my go-tos for encouragement and advice. Who is your network or support system?
My crit group is incredible. We stick together through thick and thin. We've learned so much together over the years. We meet weekly to read pages, learn craft, and analyze each other's work. We encourage, help, praise, keep each other honest to our story and characters, and best of all we are dear friends. My family is also very supportive of all my efforts. One of my sons is a gourmet chef, and he has created some delicious, original recipes to go with some of my books.
I wish I had a chef in my group but alas I'm the cook. However I do love it. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
My hero cozy mystery author is Laura Childs. She has several series, but my favorite is her Tea Shop series. I have a couple of YouTube podcasts where I interview authors and on Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries we interviewed Laura Childs. It was thrilling for me when she accepted our invitation and I got to meet her virtually. My co-host Julie and I even went to a local tea shop and they created a special tea blend dedicated to Laura Childs. We sent it to her and she loved it!
That's wonderful and so fun! Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
I'm a tap dancer! It's so fun, but my talent only runs so far. Guess that's why Gregory Hines never invited me to be his tap partner.
I love finding old movies with tap dancing. What is your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent? What makes them special?
My neighborhood is very hilly, and when you head downhill to the west you'll end up at the beautiful Puget Sound and the ferry dock. I love to sit out near the ferry dock and watch the ships sail over to the Olympic Peninsula, imagining stories about the people on board, and who they're traveling to meet up with, and the adventures they'll have.
That sounds wonderful. What a view. Do you have a favorite t-shirt, mug, or slogan?
In tribute to my 4 cozy mysteries, I have a new favorite t-shirt that I got this summer while book signing at Killer Nashville. It's especially poignant now with the recent passing of the incredible Dame Angela Lansbury. The T-shirt shows in big, bold type print – Murder, I Wrote. That text shows over a silhouette of the Nashville skyline.
What was your favorite book growing up?
My favorite childhood book was the Anne of Green Gables series. I treasure those books, still have them all. What beautifully memorable characters. I love them all, from the very first and all the way through to Anne as an adult with kids of her own.
Have you ever won something?
When I was about 10 years old I was called up on stage at a spring children's show to be the magician's assistant. At the end he pulled a live rabbit out of a hat and gave it to me as a prize for helping him! I was thrilled. When I got home, my mother was not pleased.
Lol, I won't tell you how many animals followed me home that my parents were not pleased over. What is the most What’s the most amazing natural occurrence you’ve witnessed?
I had no idea what an emotional experience it would be to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. I'll never forget it, the amazing sense of peace, tranquility, and hope that bubbled within me to see that sight. I'm so happy I was able to share that event with my older son.
I've written scenes that made me cry like a baby. What was your hardest scene to write?
Maybe not the hardest scene, but certainly difficult and worth the effort with how happy I am with how it turned out. It's in my first book, Kat Out of the Bag. Kat is Katherine Watson an amateur sleuth / purse designer. In addition to her purse empire, she opens a purse museum and Amber is the college student who runs the gift shop. Amber's boyfriend is jailed on suspicion of murder. The scene when Amber visits Michael in jail is heartrending. A reader wrote and told me that scene brought her to tears. I confessed to her, I was in tears when I wrote it.
Wendy, I believe that is our job as authors. To move readers, provoke them, and inspire them. Thank you for sharing my fire today. Before you head out on your next adventure, will you tell us more about your book and where to find out more about you?
Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams
Pre-order available. December 14, 2022
Liz buried her hopes three years ago when she buried her husband. She hides under a corporate desk, struggling for time with her young son and his grandmother Violet.
George is chef at the assisted living facility where Violet recovers from an accident. He loves his adopted beagle, Phil. This tail wagger is George's only family. They are a therapy animal team for the patients.
Juggling work, her son, and Violet is complicated for Liz. Continual collisions with meddling George irritate, and intrigue her.
Violet plots a cookie bake, as matchmaker and to reunite her family. She conspires with George as chef, not realizing it puts his job at risk. Could baking together soften Liz's heart?
Phil's sudden disappearance interrupts plans. George is desperate to find his dog. The search leads him into a surprising twist of fate, and accidentally pulls Liz along with him.
Heart of Christmas Cookies & Dreams - Pre-order now
Barnes & Noble
More about the author
The result of Wendy Kendall's passion for purses, mystery and romance is the intriguing In Purse-Suit Mysteries. Kat Out of the Bag introduces Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth. As Kat moves from designer bags to body bags, she's uncovering clues to a murder. The prequel, Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash delves into a chilling cold case. Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense at Killer Nashville, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For creates a tangle of mystery and love and raises suspicions about Desiree's romantic new sweetheart, Leo. A summer read that will keep you on the edge of your beach towel, Cherry Shakes In The Park blends danger, divas, and frothy delights. And ribbons of love run through Wendy's newest book, Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams. Wendy enjoys investigating the Pacific Northwest life, and she leaves a trail of her own clues as a blogger, YouTube podcaster, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist.
Follow the Author
Website – WendyWritesBooks.com
Facebook – WendyKendallMysteries
Twitter - @wendywrites1
Instagram – wendyekendall
Amazon Author Page
Your Host D.V. Stone
Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
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