Sunday, November 13, 2016



As Halloween approaches, engaged couple Mae December and Sheriff Ben Bradley have devoted all their energy to Ben’s campaign for reelection as sheriff of Rose County, Tennessee. The race is already too close to call when the sheriff’s office is hit with yet another maddeningly tricky murder case. In recent years the town of Rosedale has had more than its fair share of murders, a fact Ben’s smarmy opponent is all too eager to exploit.

Investigator Dory Clarkson and her friend, Counselor Evangeline Bon Temps, are visiting the mysterious Voodoo village when a resident tells them her granddaughter, ZoĆ© Canja, is missing. Her dog, a Weimaraner nursing four pups, escapes the house and finds the young woman’s body in a shallow grave. Evangeline becomes Sheriff Ben Bradley’s unofficial consultant because her grandmother in Haiti and later her mother in New Orleans practiced Voodoo. A threatening symbol is left on the pavement by Dory’s front door, effectively banning her from the case. Evangeline and the sheriff’s office ask too many questions, and Evangeline soon wears out her welcome. Voodoo curses aside, Ben’s job is at stake, and no one associated with the case is safe until the killer is found.

Book 5 in the Mae December Mystery series, which began with One Dog Too Many.


Note: Lia Farrell is a mother/daughter writing team. These answers are from the mother, Lyn.

Lia, how did you get started writing?
Wrote grants and journal articles for much of my career. Started writing fiction when I took early retirement in 2008.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Starting a new book.

Do you have a writing routine?
Normally write 2 hours each morning.

Do you write every day?
Usually 5 days a week.

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process? Started years ago!

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
Getting a publisher.

How often do you read?
Every day and normally in my genre.

What is your writing style?

I am plot oriented and set up problems my characters need to solve.

What do you think makes a good story?
Great characters, a cool setting, and a writer who can take me there.

What books do you currently have published?
One Dog Too Many, Two Dogs Lie Sleeping, Three Dog Day, Four Dog’s Sake, Five Dog Voodoo (release date 11/16) also Indie published by Lyn Farquhar: Journey to Maidenstone, The Songs of Skygrass, Skygrass Reunion Sab-ra’s Story, Skygrass Reunion, Ruby’s Story.

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

How much of an author’s life has to be devoted to marketing and publicity. I don’t like this part as much as writing.

Do you have any secret talents?
I have a nearly perfect color sense and most of my memories are in still images like photographs. Most people’s memories are like movies.

Is writing your dream job?
For sure. Only wish it made more $.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
Running a cash register at a student book store (when I was 19) at the beginning of fall semester. Routinely gave customers back too much $. My cash register never balanced. They fired me. Taught me I needed to do something that didn’t involve handling cash.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
I love the Goodreads and the Amazon Book Giveaways. It’s really good for a series writer.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?

How do you feel about Facebook?
I don’t love the personal side of it, but it has been helpful in posting updates about the May December series to friends and for posting book covers.

For what would you like to be remembered?

As a person who left behind something for others to enjoy.

What scares you the most?
Being too ill at the end of my life to take care of my pets.

Would you make a good character in a book?
I think I would because I’m energetic, open-minded, love kids and dogs, and commit myself to what I want to get from life.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?

Debit card and most of the time, my dog.

What do you love about where you live?

We have many large 40 acre parcels with mowed paths for walking in my area and my yard is filled with huge trees and multiple gardens.

What’s your favorite thing to do on date night?

Going to a play in Stratford, Canada.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?

Junior Mints.

What's the biggest lie you ever told?

Goodness, there are so many . . . I consider exaggeration and sometimes making things up part of the life of a story teller and author.

What’s your favorite fast food?


What’s your favorite beverage?


What drives you crazy?

People who won’t try to learn new things.

What is your superpower?

An eidetic memory for images.

Name one thing you’re really good at and one thing you’re really bad at.

I have an excellent sense of time and always know how much time something will take whether it’s cleaning the garage or writing a chapter of a book. I am badly coordinated and I was always the last person chosen for sports teams in school.

What do you wish you could do?

Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

What is one of your happiest moments?

The day our publisher sent us a contract. 

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
There is never nothing to do in my life! When things are slow, I read, write, or take long walks, even when it’s below zero outside. 

Where is your favorite place to visit?
Santorini, an island in the Cyclades. 

What’s your least favorite chore?
I hate to iron because I’m so bad at it. Actually I think I’d hate it even if I were good at it.

Do you give your characters any of your bad traits?

Yes, Detective Nichols suffers from low self-esteem and has a hard time forgiving himself. I do too.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?

I don’t suffer fools gladly.

What’s your favorite/most visited Internet site?


What’s in your refrigerator right now?

I make chocolate melting cakes for family dinners and often have extras chilling in the fridge. They only take 16 minutes to cook in the oven. Delicious.

What is the most daring thing you've done?

I am 73 years old. This year I hiked to the top of the Acropolis in Athens in 103 degree heat. 

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?

Going to a bar late at night with a girlfriend who ditched me and took my car keys with her.

What’s one of your favorite quotes
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” -Anias Nin

What would your main character say about you?

That I should get a life and a boyfriend.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?

I have a hard time writing scenes that are violent. Hate doing it. It’s because I deplore violence in life.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?

I love the Special Collections room in the basement of the MSU Library for all the old books that have to be handled with white gloves under the gimlet eyes of a librarian.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

Ruth Galloway, the archeologist in the Ellie Griffith books.

If you had a talk show who would your dream guests be?

Spock, the Dalai Lama, and Jane Goddall.

What’s one thing that very few people know about you?

That I’ve always wanted to own a farm.

How do you like your pizza?

Thin crust, sausage, green peppers.

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?

Pictures of flowers.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Intellectual, energetic, creative, animal lover, self-critical, grandmother.

What’s your favorite song?

"Bridge over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkle.

What is your favorite movie?

Out of Africa. 

Do you have a favorite book?
Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandrian Quartet.

What are you working on now?

Book 6 in the Mae December series.


Lyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her story telling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.

Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on Lyn has two daughters and six step children, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.


Lisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.

Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee, but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.

Lisa, her husband and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.

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