Dear Readers, I’m reading A Stitch in Crime right now. If you love a mystery filled with quirky characters, you’ll love this book. All the quilts and antiques add a special spark to the setting, too.
Bio: Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer in northern
California whose cozy
mysteries reflect her personal interests from quilting and antique collecting to
playing her fiddle with friends. She also leads music at church and enjoys time
with her grandchildren. Cathy’s previous plot-twisting works include A Vase of Mistaken Identity and Medals in the Attic.
Welcome, Cathy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Though my characters are a mix of many people, real and imaginary, there could be a bit of me in each one - but often enhanced. For instance, I sometimes procrastinate. But my protagonist, Thea James, is a chronic procrastinator in every way. She’s like Scarlet O’Hara. She’ll do it tomorrow.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I once answered the phone at work with my bad Swedish accent, attempting a joke on a colleague. “Yah, shure … und kin I help yer?” But it wasn’t my friend on the line; it was a patron calling for assistance. What could I do? I couldn’t tell her I was goofing off.
I made a madcap decision and stayed in character, continuing my “Hans and Franz” show. “Yah, yah. I tink yer neetin’ duh reference desk. Yust holt on dere, und I’ll transfer yer call.” Acting as normal as possible, I transferred the call amid incredulous stares from nearby staff. Then upon hang up, I fell apart laughing with embarrassment and relief. The incident would become break-room fodder by the end of the day.
When I was in college, I worked the college switchboard. I was on duty when the tail end of a hurricane was fast approaching our campus. After hours of answering one frantic call from a parent after another, I went to the cafeteria for supper. I bowed my head to bless the food, and without thinking said, “Hello,
.” I’m sure even
God laughed right along with my roommates. When did you first discover that you
were a writer? Ouachita Baptist
The day author Cindy Martinusen Coloma read a chapter I had written and told me I’d better get myself to the
submit a proposal. ‘Til then, only my mother admired my written words. Mt.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love mysteries - both cozy and suspenseful; true crime and police procedurals; thrillers – espionage and political; romance - especially historical, gothic, or Edwardian; and classics best. If it’s written well, I’m in.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
In truth, I do seem to work very well under pressure. But when life overwhelms, the old song line, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus” works for me. I can take it slower and trust it will all get done because He is my Rest.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Choosing names is all joy for me. Thea’s name came years after watching Middlemarch, adapted for TV by the BBC. I remembered the character of Dorothea Brooke, her sense of justice, her kindness, and her quest for meaningful work. Rosamund, her sister, called her “Doro” but I preferred Thea for my beloved protagonist. In A Stitch in Crime, her proper name is Dorothea. My story reveals she was named after the Middlemarch character, much admired by Thea’s mum.
In addition, I used the name Rosie (from sister, Rosamund) as Thea’s sister, too. It seemed only right that Mum would name both her girls after these characters. In Middlemarch, Rosamund is the sister with the heightened sense of fun. Rather like Thea’s nutty sister, Rosie.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Birthing a baby or birthing a book? Hmm. It’s no contest. Raising my children takes the prize. Though I’m mighty proud of my books, too.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Like many girls, I grew up a horse lover, reading Walter Farley, copying the Wesley Dennis illustrations in Marguerite Henry’s Misty books, and riding whenever I could. So … perhaps I’d be a horse. A gentle mare that carries children and adults alike with a smooth gait; one that loves to run and work and graze in green fields. I’d be a high-stepper and prance with pride and carry myself with elegance. Maybe a Palomino … so I could see if blondes really do have more fun!
What is your favorite food?
Oh, dear. I’m afraid it’s ice cream. But I don’t keep it in the house; it’s too much of a favorite.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Lack of confidence. I’ve pushed a couple of great projects to the side because I’ve let fear of failure overtake me. But when I look back and see the hard things I’ve accomplished on this writing journey, the successes that have come with perseverance, confidence rushes back. Then, I’m anxious to meet the challenge and prove to myself that I can do it!
Tell us about the featured book.
Thea James thought working as co-chair for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza would be a natural extension of her antique business. But while organizing the busy week’s premiere events would make anyone frayed, she doesn’t expect a complete unraveling!
At the opening soirée, local matriarch Mary-Alice Wentworth is knocked unconscious and robbed of her diamond brooch. Soon a rare quilt—the main attraction and a rumored key to great riches—goes missing. Those who signed up to help Thea are strangely no help at all. What more could possibly happen?
Amid a cast of colorful characters and a tight schedule of garden galas, tea parties, and televised socials, everything is falling apart at the seams – and nothing is quite what it seems. Can Thea sew everything back together?
"...Fans of inspirational fiction will enjoy the funny, feel-good whodunit."
Publishers Weekly Review - November 7, 2014
Publishers Weekly Review - November 7, 2014
“...Fans will want to add this gem to their keeper shelf.”
RT 4-Star Review - November 12, 2014
RT 4-Star Review - November 12, 2014
Please give us the first page of the book.
Perhaps if she simply avoided eye contact.
Thea James turned her back on the partygoers, paying attention to the dessert buffet instead. The Quilt-Without-Guilt Guild had surpassed their Christmas potluck standard. Among a bounty of petite cakes, cookies, puffs, and bars, Thea found her own offering, a plate of blueberry tartlets. They appeared untouched. Strange. She pulled them to the front of the culinary display.
“Thea! Why are you hiding out in the desserts when I need your help?” The familiar voice of fellow guild member, Heather Ann Brewster, hinted at desperation.
Turning with reluctance, Thea morphed into hospitality mode. “Blueberry tartlet?”
“What?” Heather Ann viewed the diminutive dessert, gave a small shudder, and then had the grace to look apologetic. “Ah ... no, thanks. I haven’t browsed the appetizers yet. Anyway, I can’t think about food now. I’m too upset.”
Thea shoved her reluctance aside. “What seems to be the problem, Heather Ann?” This time.
“You know the publicity banner we had made? The one advertising the quilt show next weekend? The one supposed to be hanging over the entrance to
Excerpt from A Stitch in Crime. © Cathy Elliott. Publishing by Abingdon Press. UBP.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’d love to connect with your readers,
Lena! I have a
website (and Occasional Blog) and am a true devotee of Pinterest. Or you can
see what I’m up to on Facebook. Links below.
Website & Occasional Blog - www.cathyelliottbooks.com
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/cathyelliott10/
Facebook – Author Cathy Elliott cathyelliottbooks.com
And we're so glad to have you here, Cathy.
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A Stitch in Crime - Christianbook.com
A Stitch in Crime: Quilts of Love Series - Amazon
A Stitch in Crime: Quilts of Love Series - Kindle
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