Title: Bell, Book & Candlemas
Series: A Wiccan Wheel Mystery
Author: Jennifer David Hesse
Release Date: December 27th, 2016
Genre: cozy mystery
A new year has barely begun and Edindale, Illinois, family law attorney Keli Milanni already has her hands full at work. But her private practice—as a Wiccan—may cause her worlds to collide…
The Wiccan holiday of Candlemas is right around the corner, but when vandals target New Age gift shop Moonstone Treasures, the mood is far from festive. Frightening threats and accusations of witchcraft aimed at the owner have some Wiccan patrons calling it a hate crime. And when things escalate to murder, the community turns to Keli…
As a friend and customer, Keli wants to help. But there’s one problem: she’s fiercely private about her religion. How can she stop the harassment, not to mention catch a killer, while keeping her faith hidden from her colleagues, clients, and her promising—and long awaited—new boyfriend? At a time meant to banish darkness, will Keli have to choose between risking the spotlight and keeping her beliefs locked in the proverbial broom closet? Or will she call on her deepest convictions to conjure the perfect path?
Say Hello to author Jennifer David Hesse!
Mystery writer and environmental lawyer Jennifer David Hesse is the author of the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries, a series of cozy mysteries that take place around the holidays in the Wheel of the Year. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jennifer now makes her home in Chicago with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing, Jennifer enjoys yoga, hiking, and movie night with her family.
Tell me what made you want to become a writer?
I had an active imagination as a kid and found myself drawn to writing from an early age. I even enjoyed my writing assignments in school (for the most part). Then one day, when I was newly married, newly moved to New York, and was just starting out in my chosen non-writing career, I happened to catch Steven King’s Misery on TV. Funny enough, the part that moved me the most at that time was the protagonist’s life as an author. Never mind the kidnapping and torture part of the story! He was a successful author who had an agent. His actual, respectable career was to churn out books from his typewriter. I thought, THAT’s what I want to do! (Minus the psycho fan, of course.)
What is your favorite season?
I’m partial to fall, with its lovely sights, smells, and sounds, along with the exciting feeling of change in the air. However, I actually prefer hot weather, and I also love the transitions between all four seasons. I like the sense of hope that comes with new beginnings. Seasonal changes are an important part of the backdrop of my mystery series: each book centers on a Pagan holiday in the Wheel of the Year.
Tell me your favorite part of the writing process?
I think I’d have to say it’s the early editing part. A blank page can be intimidating. For me, it’s more satisfying to reread what I’ve already written and tweak it to make it better.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing the first few chapters of Book 4 in my series, the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries. Book 3, slated to come out on September 26, 2017, is currently in copy-editing. At this point, in order for the series to continue, it’s up to me to submit to my editor the first three chapters and complete synopsis for Book 4, plus short summaries of my ideas for the subsequent books.
Coffee, Wine or something else?
Coffee when I’m writing in the morning. Water or hot tea in the afternoon and evening. I like wine, but it makes me too sleepy to write!
What kind of writer are you when beginning a new story – pantster, planner or something entirely different?
At heart, I’m a pantster, especially in the beginning. I’ll know certain elements I want to include, and certain plot points, but the story generally unfolds as I write it. This makes it somewhat challenging to write the synopsis of an entire book before it’s written! (As you have to do when proposing additional books to your editor…) But somehow it all works out in the end.
Do you find a certain time of day to be better for writing for you and why?
Midmorning is my ideal writing time, after my coffee and breakfast kick in. That’s when I’m at my freshest. However, since I have a day job, I have to take my writing time whenever I can get it, which often means my lunch hour or in the evenings after dinner. The worst time of day has to be right before bed. Sometimes I’m productive late in the evening, but if I keep writing all the way up to bedtime, I’ll end up lying in bed with story ideas churning in my head. That makes it very difficult to fall asleep!
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I should probably say Twitter, since it’s the most popular for writers—and since I got my agent through a Twitter contest! (Check out #Pitmad if you’re in the market for an agent.) But, in truth, I prefer Facebook. It’s more manageable and more personal. I have lots of real-life friends, family, and acquaintances on FB, as well as new friends. Plus, I think my primary audience (cozy readers) tend to use FB more. (I even wrote a post on my blog about why I love Facebook.)
Which book do you wish was a movie or TV show?
Can I say my own?! (Ha ha.) For fun, I actually ran a pretend casting call on my blog to let readers decide who should play the main characters if my books ever become a movie. But, seriously, other than that, I’ve always thought it would be great to see a movie version of the Amelia Peabody books, especially the first few: Crocodile on the Sandbank, The Curse of the Pharaohs, and The Mummy Case, etc. Amelia is such a strong, feisty, colorful character, and I’m sure the Victorian costumes and Egyptian settings would look great on the big screen.
Do you have a book you read as a child or teen that has stuck with you through adulthood?
It might sound cliché (or very dated!), but I’d have to say the Nancy Drew mysteries. I think it’s not a stretch to say that the intrepid girl detective inspired both my love of mysteries and my own independent spirit.
This book is the second in the A Wiccan Wheel Mystery series. If you’d like to start reading at number 1 the info is below.
Title: Midsumer Night’s Mischief
Series: A Wiccan Wheel Mystery (book 1)
Author: Jennifer David Hesse
Release Date: July 26th, 2016
Genre: cozy mystery
(book 3 comes out in September 2017)
As the Summer Solstice approaches in idyllic Edindale, Illinois, attorney Keli Milanni isn’t feeling the magic. She’s about to land in a cauldron of hot water at work. Good thing she has her private practice to fall back on–as a Wiccan. She’ll just have to summon her inner Goddess and set the world to rights. . .
Midsummer Eve is meant for gratitude and celebration, but Keli is not in her typically upbeat mood. The family of a recently deceased client is blaming her for the loss of a Shakespearean heirloom worth millions, and Keli’s career may be on the line. With both a Renaissance Faire and a literary convention in town, Edindale is rife with suspicious characters, and the intrepid attorney decides to tap into her unique skills to crack the case. . .
But Keli weaves a tangled web when her investigation brings her up-close and personal with her suspects–including sexy Wes Callahan, her client’s grandson. The tattooed bartender could be the man she’s been looking for in more ways than one. As the sun sets on the mystical holiday, Keli will need just a touch of the divine to ferret out the real villain and return Edindale, and her heart, to a state of perfect harmony. . ..
Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing me to feature you and your fabulous book, Bell, Book & Candlemas on For the Love of Chick Lit. It sounds like such a good read and I just love the cover, it’s so inviting!