Monday, August 23, 2021

An interview with Rosie Reed, author of MURDER AT MAGIC CAKES CAFE, an English Village Witch Cozy Mystery Series

Murder at Magic Cakes Cafe (English Village Witch Cozy, #1)
by: Rosie Reed
Series: English Village Witch Cozy
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Release Date: March 1, 2021
Amazon US | Paperback | Amazon UK | Goodreads

In a flash, she had magic. Can she use it to solve a mysterious death in her family?

Climbing a tree in a thunderstorm was always going to be a stupid idea, but when Evelyn Eldritch is struck by lightning, her magical powers are switched on. And she didn’t even know she was a witch!

When Evelyn learns that her biological mother has died under suspicious circumstances, she makes a journey to the quaint village of Maiden-Upon-Avon, where the residents consist of werewolves, witches, vampires and one annoyingly handsome-yet-gruff policeman. But who should she suspect? Who can she trust?

And if juggling her magical training, her mother’s café, and the town’s eccentric residents wasn’t enough, another body turning up at the local cricket match shows she’s definitely in well over her pointed hat…

Murder at Magic Cakes Café is the first book in the adorable English Village Witch Cozy series, set in the beautiful English countryside. If you love plucky heroines, small-town whodunits, and a touch of retro nostalgia, then you’ll love Rosie Reed’s fun and flirty tale.

Buy Murder at Magic Cakes Café today. It’s simply electrifying!

Note from the author: Writing this series kept me sane during the very strange year of 2020. I do hope you’ll enjoy escaping into the beautiful surroundings of Maiden-Upon-Avon and having some fun with Evelyn and all the other magical beings who live there! Each book is set in a different season of the magical year - beginning with spring in Book One. You can enjoy a gentle journey around the village, whilst Evelyn tries to solve the murder. So, treat yourself now by taking the phone off the hook of life, and soaking awhile in the bathtub of the English countryside!

If you sign up for my newsletter today, you can download bonus FREE novella Merrie May Mayhem straight away! Just type this code into your web address bar:

Hi Rosie. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
Hello Kim, thank you so much for talking to me today! I’m really well thank you, and I hope you are too!

I’m good. Thank you. Please tell me about Murder at Magic Cakes Cafe and your English Village Witch Cozy series. What can readers expect from the series?
Murder at Magic Cakes Café is a fun paranormal cozy mystery, starring a novice witch called Evelyn Eldritch. She doesn’t know she’s a witch until she receives a mysterious phone call from a young lady who knew Evelyn’s biological mother – who has now been murdered!

Evelyn is feeling a little lost at the beginning of the book, so she decides to make the journey to Maiden-Upon-Avon, to find out about her late-mother. She slowly starts to realise that the residents of Maiden-Upon-Avon may not be entirely usual – in fact, they consist of vampires, werewolves, witches… and one gruff-yet-handsome police detective!

Each book in the series takes the reader on a little journey around the beautiful English countryside, balancing a good dollop of nostalgia with light-hearted humour, and a gripping mystery to keep you guessing! I actually started writing this series during the rather strange year of 2020 to protect my own mental health. I love to escape from reality and spend time with my friends in Maiden-Upon-Avon, taking the phone off the hook of life for a while! I’m so proud of the fact that I’ve now got five books out in the series, as well as a box set and audiobook. But that’s only because I love writing them so much!

That’s really good. Tell me about your protagonist Evelyn Eldritch.
Evelyn is a twenty-seven-year-old trainee therapist, who is very good at connecting with people, by drawing them into a friendly chat. She’s an empath, so she’s able to pick up on their feelings, and sympathise with them. These traits come in handy for her therapist training, her work as a café owner when connecting with customers – and most importantly for solving murders by getting suspects to open up!

Evelyn is quintessentially English. She loves drinking tea, talking about the weather, and apologising when someone bumps into her! She can be a bit bumbling and clumsy, but in a charming way. She is an optimistic, but she does have her wits about her, and she won’t let anyone pull the wool over her eyes. At first, she was sceptical about being a novice witch, and she wanted to leave Maiden-Upon-Avon as quickly as possible! But now she’s embracing her magic and training to improve, even if at the moment the spells she casts sometimes don’t quite hit the mark!

She has a massive crush on the super-cool Detective Inspector Alex Taylor, and she always enjoys some fun banter with him. She’s not averse to breaking into places to get a clue or two – something that the incorruptible Alex would never do without a warrant. But it’s okay if he catches her when she’s skirting around the law – he’s even more hunky when he’s annoyed. I’ve lost count of how many times he’s threatened her with arrest. But somehow she always manages to talk him round. He must like her too!

Can you tell me a little about some of the secondary characters we’ll see in the book and series?
  • Luke is Evelyn’s sidekick. He’s her twenty-one-year-old nephew – the son of her adoptive sister. Evelyn’s only twenty-seven herself, meaning Evelyn and Luke grew up in the same household. They’re actually more like brother and sister – best friends, in fact. Luke’s a medical student, which is helpful whenever a corpse needs to be inspected!
  • Joanie is Evelyn’s sex-mad senior witch granny. She’s quite blunt in her speaking, but has a heart of gold. She will often give Evelyn magic training near the beginning of each book, to equip her with spells that may come in handy later – a bit like Q in James Bond! She’s written a short, fun spell book, which you can get for free when you join my mailing list. Also, I’m currently outlining a spinoff series for her, which will be fun.
  • The Beings of Magic Committee are a group of people who ostensibly represent the magical community in Maiden-Upon-Avon, but often their meetings descend into petty squabbles about who should be ordering biscuits for the next meeting. Put it this way: you know the saying that suggests a camel is a horse designed by a committee? It can’t have been the Beings of Magic Committee, because they would’ve spent the entire time debating the rules concerning the construction of quadrupeds, arguing about who was in charge of acquiring feet, fur, and forelocks – and finding out who to blame when it all went humps-up.
  • Jager and Djuna – a werewolf married couple – run the local newspaper, the Maiden Gazette. Evelyn often visits them when she wants information that Detective Inspector Taylor won’t give her. But there’s usually a villager there telling Jager about an important local issue, like Local Deli Runs Out of Pesto – Shocker! Jager is still holding out for his Pulitzer.
  • Detective Inspector Alex Taylor is the local police detective, who Evelyn has a mega-crush on. He has sparkling green eyes and delightful dimples when he smiles, which unfortunately isn’t that often. When we first meet him in Murder at Magic Cakes Café, he has a black eye and an air of last night’s boozy session. Throughout the series, he slowly opens up to Evelyn and she helps him with more than just his murder cases.

What’s your favorite part of a cozy mystery to write?
I love figuring out all the clues, suspects, motives, red herrings, and what really happened. I will often figure all this ‘logical’ stuff out early on, so Evelyn can then react to the circumstances she finds herself in. For example, in Twas the Bite Before Christmas, one of the suspects owns the local football team and Evelyn believes there’s a clue in the men’s changing rooms at the club. So of course, she disguises herself as a boy and goes undercover – maintaining the festive Twelfth Night tradition of women dressing up as young men!

When I’ve figured out the mystery aspect, I love finding comic ‘set pieces’ for Evelyn – situations where she can find clues, but also entertain me (and the reader hopefully!). This is often where the handy spells Joanie has given her come into play. For example, in Halloween Hex Appeal, Evelyn uses the Invisibility spell to go invisible when hiding in a stationery cupboard that Alex has just walked into. The only trouble is, as a novice witch, she has to hold her breath for the spell to work, and Alex is coming nearer and nearer!

I also love painting pictures with words, taking the reader on a little tour of an English manor house or a village fete, for example. I’m very sensitive to my surroundings and to the seasons, so I can use my love of nature to hopefully bring the setting to life.

But, saying that, the aspect that really binds me to each book and the entire series is the characters, especially the relationship between Evelyn and Alex. I am a former romance writer, and I can’t help but add some gentle flirting and fun romance into my cozies. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, which is why I’m careful to add ‘a dash of romance’ to my subtitle for each book. We’re all different and enjoy different things, and I totally get that romance in cozies isn’t everyone’s thing. But for me it’s the blossoming romance and character development running through the books that keeps me enjoying writing them so much!

I LOVE romance in cozy mysteries! If Evelyn was a real person and I could sit down and talk with her, what do you think she would say about you?
She’d say we’re very similar and share similar tastes in music, films, and humour!

You currently have four books in the English Village Witch Cozy series. Are you planning on writing more books for the series? What can readers expect from you next?
Book Five is currently with the proof-reader and will be out before we start the blog tour, so that’s very exciting! There’s also a box set of the first three books, including an exclusive bonus novella. And there’s now an audiobook of Murder at Magic Cakes Café. Readers who join my mailing list will receive a different free novella, Merrie May Mayhem, which takes place between books one and two. I’m currently writing Book Six, and I’ve outlined up to Book Ten. Also, there’s a spin-off series in the pipeline featuring Evelyn’s granny Joanie and another featuring her cousin Ruby. The truth is, I love writing these books, and as long as that is the case, I will continue!

Rosie, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me.
Thank you so much for everything you do for writers!

Purchase Murder at Magic Cakes Cafe from:

The English Village Witch Cozy Series:

I love writing, daydreaming, and creating stories. I often write for fun, even when I’m not planning on publishing. But it’s also wonderful to share my stories with you!

I’m a massive Agatha Christie and Terry Pratchett fan, so writing paranormal mystery comes instinctively! I love the understated gentle charm of cozies, and it’s always such a pleasure to spend time in the company of the wonderful sleuths and magical characters that my fellow authors create.

Writing the English Village Witch Cozy series helped to keep me sane during the very strange year of 2020. Evelyn and Alex have done a tremendous job of protecting my mental health, and it’s my pleasure to share this comfort with you.

I do hope you’ll enjoy escaping into the beautiful surroundings of Maiden-Upon-Avon, and having some fun with Evelyn and all the other magical beings who live there! So treat yourself now by taking the phone off the hook of life, and soaking in the bathtub of the English countryside for a while!

Places to find Rosie Reed:

You can follow the Murder at Magic Cakes Cafe here.



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