Guest Blogger: Judy Nickles, Author of the Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series.
Thank you, Gloria, for having me here today.
Making the switch from traditional to indie publishing was inevitable, I suppose, but it’s been frustrating, exhausting…and, as the sales numbers rise, gratifying. I launched the Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series on July 18. In six weeks + the first four books sold over 4200 copies. Book 5 will go up Sunday or Monday, followed by the final book ten days after that.
Penelope was born from a late-night Skype chat with a friend who is a cradle Catholic and also an author. She had shared in the past that she’d met with some opposition to Catholic characters in the world of (Christian) writers/publishers. As we discussed the situation again, it was almost as if someone somewhere had thrown down the gauntlet. “Well,” I said, “I’ll write one then.” She agreed to help me with all things Catholic (since I’m a lifelong Protestant), and before we said goodnight, we’d brainstormed/named several of the main characters.
So, meet Penelope Pembroke, owner of the best (only) B&B in Amaryllis, Arkansas (pop. 5492). She’s
· flirting with 50 (you’re as young as you feel)
· divorced (Travis Pembroke had a wandering eye)
· mother of Detective Sgt. Bradley Pembroke, Amaryllis PD (she wishes he understood her as well as she understands him)
· daughter of Jake Kelley (he stormed the bloody Omaha Beach on D-Day and isn’t ready to be put out to pasture just yet)
· best friend since high school of Mary Lynn Hargrove, the mayor’s wife
· and the only human tolerated by Abijah, the 18-lb. orange tabby who stalks the B&B
While only one book was originally intended, the project morphed into a six-book cozy mystery series:
· The Bogus Biker
· The Stubborn Schoolhouse Spirit
· The Feed Store Floozy
· The Possum Hollow Hullabaloo
· The Larcenous Legacy
· Sam’s Last Stand
The books really need to be read in order, because in #1, Penelope meets her match in Tiny aka Sam who’s about as much of a biker as she is a belly dancer. Despite his best efforts to discourage her, she insists in dabbling in danger and disaster.
For an overview, watch the video on YouTube.
Making a full disclosure, Penelope is not a hot romance. There’s plenty of real romance, humorous and serious dialogue, scary situations, and all-too-human foibles. But if you’re looking for anything else, Penelope’s likely too tame. Still, several reviewers have commented on that being exactly what they like—and it makes me smile.
You can visit Penelope at her own website. You can scroll back through my blog to read interviews with the people you’ll meet in the books. (Stop my website, too, to read the first chapters of my other books.)
If you decide to meet Penelope in Book #1, I know you’ll like her! So far, nearly 2000 readers have visited her in The Bogus Biker.
Thanks again for having me, Gloria, and I’m looking forward to your visit at The Word Place in September.