Shannon here: Carole Brown shares insight into her characters’ romance from her latest Cozy Mystery, Hog Insane. Comment on any post dated June 16 – 20 to enter the drawing. Deadline: June 28th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Carole:
These questions are answered by Alexandria (Alex) Davies, from Hog Insane, a cozy mystery:
- Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic restaurant?
Oh, my, yes. There’s this small, but popular place (waiting list) that we reserve every time we know we’ll be in the area. It’s called Caro’s Place, with low lighting, live music every night it’s open, and food to die for. Tables are well-spaced, tastefully decorated with flowers. It’s where Denton proposed to me, with the help of some carefully-cued staff members.
- What’s the most romantic present your spouse ever bought for you?
A week long vacation in NY city with my daughter Kellie. Plane tickets, fabulous rooms at the ???, reservations at a couple of divine restaurants, an invitation at an exclusive art show, and tickets for a great Broadway show.
It was a time when I was stressed out the most. I was having to sell my business because of Denton’s newly developed plans for our future, and Kellie had decided she wanted to take over Denton’s landscaping business (and not mine!). I was depressed and a little angry.
But I also realized while spending daughter/mother time with Kellie why she’d made the choice she had and that Denton understood why and how much I was hurt. How could you not love such a gift?
- Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic vacation destination?
Hmmm. I think it would be Tennessee. We’ve really enjoyed our visits to the Smoky Mountains. It’s so relaxing and there are such diverse activities for all ages and likes.
We particular enjoyed (although it wasn’t always pleasant) the time we visited (written about in Hog Insane). It drew us together after a stretch of marital difficulty.
- What simple gesture does your spouse do that melts you every time?
I love his spur of the moment actions. He may be engrossed in some chore, look up and see me, then drop everything to hold me in his arms. Or at night time when it’s my turn to read a chapter or so from our current mystery read, he’ll suddenly sit at my feet and give them a good massage.
- Who is most romantic, you or your spouse?
Though I’d like to say me, and though I do love and enjoy romance from Denton, he’s the most spur-of-the-moment romantic. He comes up with the craziest, most fun, romantic things that I can’t help but love him and can’t stay mad at him for very long, just because of that 🙂
- Who said, “I love you” first, you or your spouse?
Denton, of course. I wasn’t sure I really loved him or that I even wanted to.
He is so different than me. Kind of a (and forgive me for using this homely description) stick-in-the-mud person. You know what I mean? He likes routine. He likes certain things and will stick with them forever if not pushed or encouraged to try new adventures or opportunities. Here’s his list of likes: fishing, his business–landscaping, Kellie–our daughter, fishing, Taffy–our Jack Russell dog, reading (especially good mysteries), fishing, and I suppose you could say, me.
I love occasions to dress up, and since I built and owned (have since sold it) my own real estate business, I often had occasions to do so. My brother is governor of the state so that’s fun too, and where we met. Why Denton was invited to the event where I first saw him, I never bothered to find out. But I did notice his brown, puppy dog eyes following me around the room. He’s good looking, don’t get me wrong, but he totally has no fashion sense, nor does he care whether he does or not 🙂
So after two dates (his approach to asking me made me laugh, so I gave in and went with him, not expecting to enjoy it for a minute.) it was very romantic when he said, “I love you” in one of his boats (cabin cruiser). He even ordered dozens of flowers (cause he knew I love flowers) and a special catered meal for the occasion.
- Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?
Groan. Must you remind me? A surprise fishing trip in a second-hand (and what I mean by that is, rundown!) cabin. Denton mistakenly thought I loved roughing it because I enjoyed riding on his cabin cruiser. Duh. I was angry the first two days, but after that, well, I did begin to enjoy myself, because I allowed myself to find things I could enjoy outside my comfort zone. Live and learn! That certainly applies to me. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a little hardheaded when it comes to what I think I know. Sigh 🙂
About Carole: Carole Brown lives in Southeast Ohio and is always on the lookout for catchy titles and suspenseful plots. The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, her debut inspirational novel, is a Selah Award Finalist and a ACFW Genesis semi-finalist and also wrote a companion book (West Virginia Scrapbook: The Life of Caralynne Hayman) with discussion questions, quotes, recipes and interesting tidbits to go along with it. The first book, Hog Insane, in her cozy mystery book series, has recently been released. She has also written five children’s books, Racy, the Rabbit, dealing with character traits, and won two awards for her poems.
Carole has written her whole life as newspaper reporter, editor of journals and newsletters, and research manuscripts. When not penning her own novels, she enjoys mentoring beginning writers and founded a writer’s group called Circle of Pens where she can mentor to her heart’s content. Her passion for serving continues in her secretarial work and coordinator for the state of Ohio with ACFW.
She and her husband have traveled extensively throughout the United States ministering and counseling. They have particularly enjoyed the western states where they’ve labored with the Native Americans and many other specific places where she gathers folder for her writings. They continue to enjoy traveling, their grandsons, the country life and city lights, gardens, and good food.
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About the book – Hog Insane: A dead body, a missing motorcycle, a strange key, and dope are at the bottom of the trouble Denton and Alex Davies, and Taffy, their Jack Russell Terrier, run into when they head for their first stop in the Smoky Mountains immediately after early retirement.
All Denton wants is to fish and recapture his wife’s love. Instead, they find the body of Anthony Risler with a bullet hole in his head. None of the campground people, or even the sheriff, pretend to like Denton and his snoopy questions, and everyone seems to be lying.
Denton figures Risler’s missing bike has to hide some kind of evidence that incriminates the murderer. Archie McGhee, the campground manager is self-centered and greedy enough to hide the motorcycle for the murderer, so why doesn’t he know where the bike is now? The Stillwells, although good-looking and popular, brag way too much to suit the Davies. The expensive S-shaped, ruby watch they foist onto Alex ought to play into the mystery, yet Denton can find no evidence of it. The drug-using, gun-toting man who chases Taffy knows more than he’s telling and raises questions in Denton’s mind even when forced to partner with the man.
Why is the sheriff ignoring obvious clues, and why would he leave a bribery note lying around where Denton’s suspicious eyes can see it? When Denton finds the keys with the strange looking C charm Alex and Denton realize only their pastor’s wife, back in Ohio, and the small, cherry-wood box Risler gave her, can provide the final clue they need to reveal the killer.
Denton wrestles with his personal demons of self-blame over his nephew’s death while riding a bike. Alex resents Denton’s riding roughshod over her feelings. When he thinks her love is fading, he’s determined to woo her back. But if he doesn’t find the young man’s murderer, their love may stretch to the breaking point.
Come back June 20th for Jessica Everingham!