Guest post: Gayle Trent on cozy murder mysteries

Gayle TrentToday, I am pleased to welcome my author buddy Gayle Trent, who also writes as Amanda Lee, to Magical Musings.

Jennifer: Welcome, Gayle! Please tell readers about your new book, Wicked Stitch, by your alter ego Amanda Lee.

Gayle: In Wicked Stitch, there’s a Renaissance Faire coming to Tallulah Falls. For most of the small-business owners in town, the Faire is a wonderful way to promote their specialty shops. For Marcy’s nemesis, Nellie, and her sister Clara, it’s an opportunity to finally put Marcy and her shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, out of business. Apparently the sisters like to keep their grudges all in the family and have set up a competing booth right next to Marcy’s at the Faire. When Clara is discovered dead in her own booth—strangled by the scarf she had almost finished knitting—Marcy becomes the prime suspect.

Wicked StitchI had so much fun researching this one! I really found myself spending too much time looking at the costumes and the RenFaire sites until I finally had to say, “Enough! Write the book already!” I did make a Pinterest board called Wicked Stitch, so I could…um…maintain the research…. Yeah. I’ll go with that. 🙂

Wicked Stitch will be released on April 7, but it’s currently available for pre-order: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / iTunes

Jennifer: This is the eighth book in your embroidery cozy mystery series. Can you tell us a little about the series?

Gayle: The series began with Marcy Singer leaving her accounting job in San Francisco to open an embroidery specialty shop on the Oregon coast at the urging of her friend and former college roommate, Sadie. Sadie and her husband Blake have a coffee shop just down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. Marcy has an Irish wolfhound named Angus, and the series is filled with characters from all walks of life. I have a good time fleshing out those secondary characters and getting to know them.

Jennifer: What appeals to you about the mystery genre?

Gayle: I love seeing all the pieces come together and trying to figure out the killer before the author’s big reveal. Knowing that readers are trying to figure out my mysteries before the big reveal keeps me on my toes! I just think it’s more fun to read a book with a bit of intrigue and suspense.

Jennifer: What inspired you to write the embroidery series?

Gayle: Actually, my agent at that time emailed me that NAL/Penguin was looking for someone to write an embroidery mystery series. I jumped at the chance. When I sent the first partial, my agent wrote and told me that the editor “likes it but doesn’t love it.” I asked her to get me the titles of the latest two books the editor had bought. Armed with that information, I went to my local bookstore, read the books, and realized they were more descriptive than my partial. I revised the manuscript and received a three-book contract. So see, kiddies, it pays to do your homework!

Battered to DeathJennifer: What are some of your favorite mystery books/authors and why?

Gayle: I enjoy Jeffrey Deaver because there’s usually at least one *gasp* moment in his books—something you never saw coming. Case in point—The Coffin Dancer. I’ve always enjoyed Mary Higgins Clark’s books. Where Are the Children? was especially good..and creepy. And, although he isn’t considered a mystery writer per se, I love Dean Koontz. His Odd Thomas series is terrific.

Jennifer: Have you always wanted to be a writer? What got you started on your writing journey?

Gayle: I think down deep I have always wanted to be a writer. I had a creative writing class in high school where we read different genres of short stories and then had to create our own story in the same style. We even did a radio show with sound effects. It was a lot of fun.

Jennifer: What’s next for you? What are you working on?

Gayle: I’m currently working on the next embroidery mystery, titled The Stitching Hour. A haunted house called the Horror Emporium sets up shop beside the Seven-Year Stitch.

Jennifer: Thanks so much for being here, Gayle!


Gayle Trent (and pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series, the Embroidery Mystery series, and the Myrtle Crumb series.

The Cake Decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. The Myrtle Crumb series features a “sassy, sixty-something sleuth” who’s always getting into hot water.

Gayle recently had  a psychological thriller published, titled In Her Blood, that asks the question are killers born or made?

You can visit Gayle online at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube.


Gayle is offering a digital copy of any of her current books in print — winner’s choice. To enter, fill out the entry form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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8 Responses to Guest post: Gayle Trent on cozy murder mysteries

  1. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi, Gayle,

    Welcome! I love Renaissance Faires and a good mystery, so I will be sure to check out Wicked Stitch. Congratulations on your upcoming release!

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Gayle, welcome to MM! I love mysteries. For a long time I was addicted to them. And how smart to read the last two books the editor had bought. I’m definitely checking out your books. 🙂

  3. Gayle, welcome to MM! I love mysteries and read them a lot. I’ll definitely be looking for yours in future.

  4. Pingback: Friday Finds | Magical Musings

  5. Linda Kuzminczuk says:

    i love all types of cozies and mysteries such as the Gamache series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. elena k says:

    I love mystery books that have romance in them like kristen ashley’s books or linda howard’s books!

  7. bn100 says:

    Sherlock Holmes

  8. Nikita says:

    I love all kinds of mysteries. My favourite mystery authors are Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. I love reading cozy mysteries too and am always on the lookout for new mystery authors.

    I am so happy to meet you Amanda/Gayle and your books look so interesting…Will be adding them to my TBR to read. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway chance.

    -Nikita @Njkinny’s World of Books & Stuff

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