Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tea Time With Mystery Author Nancy Jill Thames—by Linda Kozar

Nancy Jill Thames is known as the "Queen of Afternoon Tea" with good reason. She's had tea at some wonderfully iconic places and so does the main character in her Jillian Bradley mystery series.
Enter the world of Jillian Bradley and her Yorkie companion Teddy, where afternoon tea is served and murderers are brought to justice.

Why do you write mysteries and how did you get started?

Creating a mystery is an enjoyable (for the most part) process that at the end gives others enjoyment as well. After reading most of Agatha Christie’s books, I wanted to try my hand at doing what she did. The opportunity came during a four-day stay at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay with my husband in meetings all day, and me with nothing but time on my hands.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

My wedding day. I felt on top of the world being with the man I loved. After 48 years, it still feels that way.

How has being published changed your life?

I think the only difference is now my life is in print, whereas before I simply lived.

What are you reading right now?

“The Big Four” by Agatha Christie.

What is your current work in progress?

“The Death of Amanda Corbin”

You travel extensively and incorporate locations in your mysteries. Tell us about some of the places you’ve traveled. Also, tell us about your most memorable experience.

The books include Half Moon Bay, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; Bay Area of California;
Pacific Beach near San Diego, California; London, England; Lake Placid, New York and
Victoria, British Columbia. The most memorable location was the setting for Book 9 - beautiful
Mirror Lake surrounded by the Adirondacks ablaze with fall color.

The ritual of tea is fascinating to me. What is your favorite place to have tea?

In my living room in front of the fire.

Best and worst parts of writing a mystery series?

Best part is constructing the plots. Worst part is making unforgettable characters. Readers seem
to love my heroine’s Yorkie Teddy best of all.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I enjoy playing the piano.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Distractions like a major move this last year, my husband retiring, and feathering a new nest. I’m
not settled unless my home is. Mornings are better for me to write. Since my husband and I are
together every morning, I plan to ignore my husband’s interruptions once his needs are met (a
question here, a comment there etc.) and resume writing. Is writing easier to you than marketing?
Marketing is actually easier for me because I love being on social media. Writing pulls brain
matter from my being which I consider work. Marketing involves social interaction which I find
fun.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Write because you have something to share. Be prepared to go the distance if you want to be
published. Consider self-publishing if you don’t care to wait or are bothered by rejection.

Tell us about the featured book, the one you’ll be giving away to one lucky reader! 

Murder at the Empress Hotel” takes place on Vancouver Island in the capital city of Victoria,
British Columbia. Once I had the setting, I did research on the area and found the interesting
history of the early settlers called First Nations people. I built the main characters, including the
victim, around their native culture. The story centers on the murder of a young lawyer over
fishing rights and the love of one woman. The fun part was basing the character of the priest on a
man I’d met at a friend’s home wedding.

Please write down the first paragraph of the book. 

Here is the prologue and first part of Chapter One.


PROLOGUE

   It was time to get away. Perhaps melancholy had set in due to not much excitement in my life beyond answering questions for my garden column.
   The only bright spot in my life was the little family living in the large Victorian I’d once occupied.
   After the tragic loss of my second husband, a change in my life was needed to help forget the past.
   I had reasoned Walter and Cecilia needed more room now that my godson D.J. had been born.
The perfect solution had been to give them the house, renovate the old worker’s cottage for myself, and live on the back of my property.
   The young couple had been my friends ever since that first homicide case in Half Moon Bay years ago. Since I had no children, they had become my family.
   I considered my yard again. Granted, flowers and shrubs were interesting, I suppose, but living in the Bay Area the weather rarely varied and could even be described as boring.
   Unlike other parts of the country with heavy snow and freezing temperatures, in Clover Hills, there were always gardening tasks. That’s okay for the younger generation, but as a senior working on a computer several hours a day, my back rebelled.
   I was actually ready to hire a gardener for the first time in my life! This caused a guilt trip to begin to sprout until I yanked it out of my emotional garden and settled for practicality.
   With my new yard team in place coming every other week to mow and trim, I could finally relax and travel.
   First on my bucket list was The Butchart Gardens near Victoria on Vancouver Island. This magic spot had been calling to me ever since I watched a fascinating documentary on their creation from an old quarry. Besides, I read they served lovely lunches and afternoon tea, my particular favorites.
   Hmm. I also had readers in British Columbia, as I recalled, so it might be worth a visit to help connect and boost readership. It would also be a perfect way to justify the cost of the trip. What’s not to like?
   A call one afternoon with an invitation from dear friends in Arizona that I’d helped in another homicide case cinched my plans.
   Before long, I was packed and ready to go with my beloved companion, Teddy, a four and a half pound Yorkshire terrier with a nose for adventure.

CHAPTER ONE
   My little Yorkie shivered as I held him close. Teddy had never been on the open water before. A few gentle strokes calmed him as our Black Ball ferry continued from Port Angeles to our destination, beautiful Vancouver Island.    
   This brave dog could survive the uncertainty. He’d been in far more stressful situations, notably the time we were separated in London a few years ago.
   The memory made me shudder. A few wrinkles were added to my face that day. It didn’t matter. As long as I maintained my ideal weight on my small frame, and friends continued to comment on not looking my 67 old years, I was content.

~*~

WANT TO WIN A FREE PRINT COPY OF
MURDER AT THE EMPRESS HOTEL?
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.


How can readers find you on the Internet? The books are available on: Amazon * Barnes & Noble Online *Kobo *Smashwords

Readers can visit my website nancyjillthames.com to learn about my books and read the first story I ever wrote called “The Sacrifice.” There are also Queen of Afternoon Tea Celebrity Author Interviews which include joining us for tea and snacks. Recipes included! Other sites to follow include my Amazon Author Page, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads and Facebook. And for other Christian mystery authors be sure and check out cozymysterymagazine.blogspot.com.

54 comments:

  1. Beverly Duell-MooreJanuary 18, 2017 at 6:49 AM

    What fun it would be to win this book! This is a new author to me. I haven't heard of her until I read this interview! her books sound great!

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  2. Thanks for the comment! Good luck on the drawing.

    ~Nancy Jill

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  3. Sounds good, thanks for the chance to win!
    christistricky@aol(dot)com

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  4. I had heard your mentioned before, but haven't had the time to "check you out". So. I read the prologue and you hooked me!

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    1. Glad you were hooked. Thanks for checking in!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  6. I really enjoy your books, and must admit that I have a very soft spot for Teddy! Thanks for the great interview and tips!

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  7. I just love your books and would love to read this one especially since it is a print giveaway. Thank you so much for the chance

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    1. Thank you for your readership! Good luck in the drawing!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  8. I have a Yorkie that is so similar to the one on the cover. I am really excited about this series!

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    1. Thanks for checking in. I hope you like my fictitious Yorkie, Teddy!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  9. Hi Celia,

    Thanks so much for stopping by today. I'm so happy you like Teddy.

    ~Nancy Jill

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  11. How wonderful! Thank you for sharing and for the opportunity!!

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    1. My pleasure. Thank you for stopping by!

      ~Nancy Jill

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    1. Hopefully, you may get a chance!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  13. I am a big Nancy Jill Thames fan! I was hooked with the book set in Half Moon Bay, the town my husband and I spent our honeymoon and other weekend getaways, and now Vancouver? I have that place on my must go see places and setting it there makes the book a 'must read'! Thank you for an insightful interview, too. kat8762ATaolDOTcom

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    1. Hi Kathleen,

      That's so romantic that you spent your honeymoon in Half Moon Bay. You would love Victoria, too! Thanks for the shout out.

      ~Nancy Jill

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  14. A new author for me, although I've been getting to know her through her FB posts. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!

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    1. Good luck, Chris! See you on Facebook!

      ~Nancy Jill

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    2. Chris, YOU are our winner! Please send your address via FB message either to me or to Nancy Jill Thames. Congratulations!

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  15. The book sounds interesting! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for your comment. The book was interesting to write!

      ~Nancy Jill

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  16. Another new author! The places the author sets her stories all sound enchanting. I would be honored to read and review this book. Thank you for this opportunity!

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    1. Hi Yvonne,

      I hope you get the chance to do so! Thanks for your comment.

      ~Nancy Jill

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    2. Good to hear from so many sweet readers. If you haven't read any of Nancy Jill's mysteries, this is your chance. You will love her characters and settings, and the mysteries are wonderful. The drawing is still open but we'll be picking a winner tomorrow!

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    3. Thanks again for the opportunity to be on your blog, Linda!

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    4. Nancy, thank YOU for being our guest on Suspense Sisters. I am so looking forward to having you as a guest on my podcast: Chat Noir Mystery and Suspense too!

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  17. I like the excerpt. Sounds like a good book. Haven't been to western Canada, just Ontario (Toronto and Niagara Falls).

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    1. Oh, I haven't been to Niagra Falls. Maybe one day!

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  18. I would love to read this book, sounds so interesting, thanks for giving away a copy! lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

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  19. Would love to read this book. brichardson0056@yahoo.com

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  20. Nancy is a new author to me and I really enjoyed reading the interview and excerpt of the book. Would really love reading "Murder at the Empress Hotel" and getting to know Jillian and her Yorkie, Teddy. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. This book sounds awesome. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  22. Loved learning more about you & your writing. Thank you for the giveaway. I would love to win this to read & then donate to my small town (900+)library which is just now starting to add cozy mysteries to their collection. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Doward,

      I'm feel like I know you seeing your name on Facebook on all the cozy mystery sites. Donating to your library sounds like a lovely gesture. Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. Thank you for the great interview.

    I love seeing all of the covers together like that.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  24. I'm not familiar with this author, but I love a good mystery every now and then. Sounds like a fun read!

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    1. Nice to meet you, Mary! I hope you get a chance to read one of my books. If you like it, there are nine more to read and one on the way.

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  25. Thank you for this introduction to Nancy and her mysteries. I loved this prologue and first page. Thank you for sharing!
    Connie
    cps1950(ar)gmail(com)

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Good luck in the drawing!

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  26. I love yorkies and mysteries. It's a win, win for me. My little six pound Yorkie is twelve years old and had breast cancer a couple of years ago. She is doing well now.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the drawing.
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. Hello Nancy, I liked the way you used your travel destinations as settings in your books. Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. They make nice memorabilia for me, too.

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  28. WE HAVE A WINNER! Using an online tool called, "Random Name Picker," our winner of "Murder At The Empress Hotel," Nancy Jill Thames' latest book in the Jillian Bradley series is CHRIS! Hope you see this, CHRIS! Please forward via FB message your mailing address to Nancy Jill Thames or me Linda Kozar and she will get that prize to you as soon as possible for your enjoyment! If you like it, please consider writing a review. Authors always appreciate that:)

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