1. I hear you have a Maine Coon cat in your cozy mystery series. Tell us about the series.
The opening book in the series (soon to be seven) was written and published many years ago. Murder and Mint Tea has earned many reviews mostly good but some not. When I wrote Murder and Mint Tea, I had no thoughts of writing a series. The heroine is quirky and mothers her neighborhood. The cat, Robespierre, is based on a real cat, my companion for many years.
These are small-town mysteries, though Katherine Miller, a retired nurse, visits friends in Santa Fe and also in Vermont. She lives in a Hudson River village in a Victorian house, known as a Painted Lady. She has recently retired from the hospital where she worked for years. She is also a former church organist. The first book, Murder and Mint Tea, deals with her new tenant and the woman’s children. The woman is murdered. Many readers express the idea that it’s about time.
The second book, Murder and Poisoned Tea, brings [in] Katherine’s organ music and the search for a new church organist. His playing mastery is wonderful, and she craves him for the church not realizing he brings poison to the choir.
The third book, Murder and Tainted Tea, takes Katherine to Santa Fe with a Maine Coon cat kitten as a gift for her friend’s granddaughter who has recently lost her mother. Once again murder raises [its] head.
The fourth book, Murder and Bitter Tea, brings Katherine a new tenant, a girl who is at odds with her family. When Katherine learns about deaths at a local nursing home, she takes a job as a nurse there to find the truth.
The fifth book, Murder and Herbal Tea, shows Katherine’s wedding to her widower friend Lars. A friend who has moved to Vermont misses the wedding. Katherine makes a phone call, learns what happened and sets off for her friend, leaving Lars a note to manage the reception.
The sixth book, Murder and Sweet Tea, shows Katherine in her new house on the banks of the Hudson River. A new neighbor arrives and, of course, there is a murder for Katherine and Robespierre to solve.
There will be a seventh–a novella this time–Murder and Iced Tea. The mayor of the village where Katherine lives cancels the Halloween parade, a tradition. This upsets many people, including her friend, Sarah.
2. Why did you add a cat to this series?
I didn’t add a cat to the series. He inspired the first book and even the others. Robespierre and I were friends since the day my sons found him in the wire rims of my car and brought him inside. After taking him to the vets up the street, I learned he was probably two- to three-weeks old. I fed him with a baby doll bottle. He sat on my shoulder until he became too heavy. Then he had a perch on the windowsill in my study and was always there when I was writing.
He loved the snow and during the winter, he would wait at the door to be let out so he could roll in the snow. Since the heroine was partly me and partly imagination, Robespierre belonged in the books, and so he figures in most of the books.
I am a cat person and have a love for all cats from small to tigers, lions and other large cats. As a child, when I went to the zoo, I ran to the cats area and seldom left.
3. What other books have you written?
I’ve been published since 1968, but my writing career had some interruptions. First when I had 4 children under the age of eight. The second time was when I returned to nursing to help put those children into college. I began writing short stories and poetry and was published in both areas. Then I turned to novels, with four novels being published. Then came electronic publishing, and my career took off. My first eBook came out in 1998 and there were many more.
As to the genres, I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, fantasy–both romance and young adult, a bit of historical and some nonfiction.
For the contemporary romance: The Aries-Libra Connection is the first book in my Opposites Attract series.
The Aries-Libra Connection blurb:
Jenessa is Aries, a nurse, union advocate and likes a good fight.
Eric is Libra, Director of Nursing, and believes in compromise.
Can these two find a way to uncover the underhanded events at the hospital? They’re on opposite sides, but the attraction between them is strong. Jenessa’s a widow who fought to save her husband’s life during a code. She feels guilty because the love she and her husband shared had died before his death. Eric assisted at the code, but he feels guilty since he was the one who was responsible for the short staffing the night her husband died.
Now they face falling in love and trying to solve the problems between the nurse’s union and the president of the hospital’s Board, who wants a takeover of the hospital by his hospital group. Is their connection strong enough to survive?
For Fantasy and Paranormal books I’ve written, Seppal is book 5 of the Moon Rising series.
In Seppal, the prophecy has been heard and the Three and Three are awaited.
Ranal’s dead mam once told him one day he would learn why he had been born. He has found two companions–boys like himself who have no home and became seaweed gatherers like he has been. His two friends are developing strange skills. He can see no change in himself, but he desires a sword. Then they will be three–Seer, Healer and Warrior
Amera returns to the clan after spending the summer with the king windsteed stallion and six yearlings. What she finds is the slaughtered herd and also the clan. Only one person remains barely alive and tells her Bethera, her cousin and almost sister, has been taken by the priestesses and their guards. Not knowing what to do, Amera follows the king stallion to a sheltered glen and a huge cave complex. When the stallion calls her, she follows him to the priestesses’ keep and manages to rescue her cousin and another young girl.
During the next few years, her friends develop talents and are becoming the Seer and the Healer. Amera wants to become the Warrior, but she can’t imagine how she can gain a sword.
Now the Three and Three must join to bring justice, healing, order and change to Seppal.
4. Tell us about your kudos or reviews.
I’ve been one of Books We Love LTD’s top earning authors for a number of years. In 2003, along with my writing partner for Becoming Your Own Critique Partner, we won the EPPIE award for best Nonfiction How To Book. Over the years, I’ve garnered awards and some interesting kudos from magazines. Murder and Mint Tea has 840 ratings. Many of my other books have many reviews. Some are great and some are less so.
5. How do you promote your books?
Since I’ve been published since 1968, my promoting has changed over the years. When I first hit eBook publishing, there were dozens of places for reviews, and I took advantage of them all. These days, I have a certain number of people who buy my books, so I advertise less. What I do have is my Eclectic Writer blog, and three days a week I promote one of my books. I do MFRWHooks [Marketing For Romance Writers Hooks] almost every week. I also go to other people’s blogs to talk about writing and my books. Occasionally, my publisher has a promotion going, and I also take part in these.
6. Where can readers learn more about your books and connect with you online?
My Places Online:
Eclectic Writer blog: https://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com
Book We Love author page: https://bookswelove.net/Walters-Janet-Lane
Book We Love home page: https://www.bookswelove.net
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