Friday, November 1, 2019


Beware the east wind! It’s hurricane season in Florida, and everyone’s attention is focused on preparing for the latest tempest. But in Serendipity Springs, mah jongg pals Marianne, Sydney, Micki and Kat are caught in a different kind of whirlwind—a mesmerizing murder case involving a slain hypnotist/chef and the woman police suspect of doing her in, her embittered catering partner, Portia.

Tasked by Portia to help clear her name, and at the risk of infuriating Kat’s sheriff boyfriend, Marianne and her friends discover there are more than enough suspects—and secrets—to go around. Wary of getting themselves into more dangerous situations, Marianne and Syd agree to let their protective spouses join the hunt, even if their scheming husbands are really in it for the action, not bodyguard duty.

As they dig into the hypnotist’s explosive files, more and more questions arise. Was she blackmailing her clients? Did her husband knock her off to gain access to those secrets? And is Portia telling them everything she knows? The sleuths pile their own deceptions on top of the suspects’ lies as a dangerous storm gathers steam offshore. When will the east wind strike, and will the hurricane’s merciless eye reveal a killer?

Book Details:

Title: Beware the East Wind   

Author: Barbara Barret

Genre: cozy mystery (senior sleuths)

Series: Mah Jongg Mystery series, Book 4

Published: August 17, 2019

Print length: 254 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


Q: If you could talk to someone (living), who would it be and what would you ask them?
A: If you’re familiar with the TV show, Love it or List it, you know who Hilary Farr is. On the show, she’s a bit argumentative and self-important, but a lot of that is staged. I think the rehabs she creates are the some of the best in this genre of TV show, and I’d like to learn more about her outlook on interior design and, if she’ll share, the behind-the-scenes scoop on what it’s like putting together this show.

Q: If you could talk to someone (dead), who would it be and what would you ask them?
A: I never really knew my paternal grandmother. She experienced mental problems shortly after my aunt was born and was institutionalized thereafter. Although my mom took my sister and me to visit her a few times when I was a little girl, I know very little about her. What was her early life like? Were her problems evident from a young age or did they present only later? What does she think caused them? How did she meet my grandfather? How did she feel about my father?

Q: If you could live in any time period which would it be?
 A: I’m happy with the current time period, crazy as it is. But I’m happy I lived through the 50s, 60s, and 70s. So many technological and cultural changes occurred then and I was part of them.

Q: If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
A: As you may have guessed from my earlier response about Hilary Farr, I’d be an interior designer. TV rehab shows fascinate me, not that I’d like to start with some of the challenges faced on Flip or Flop, but I’d love to have unlimited resources and complete independence to do my own thing.

Q: If you were on the Amazon bestseller list, who would you choose to be one before and one after?
A: One before, Nora Roberts. One after: James Patterson. Why? Because I think I could be spotted there by potential readers who might associate me with their writing. And I would consider myself fortunate and to have arrived to be included in this company.

Q: If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet and what would you talk about?
A: I just finished reading Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins. Unlike some of her earlier books, which were contemporary romances, this was women’s fiction. I almost didn’t finish this book because so many of the characters were unlikable, but I kept at it and appreciated how it all came together. I’d like to sit down with her and ask her why she created such loathsome characters. One of the main characters is an eighty-five-year-old woman who is hiding her illness from her granddaughter. Higgans’ first person description of a person of this age was intense; how did she learn so much about the inconveniences of age when she is a much younger woman? How could she so aptly describe the early stages of dementia and how it affects the mind?


5 favorite possessions: 
    •    my laptop computer
    •    my TV set
    •    pictures of my children and grandchildren
    •    my wedding rings
    •    my car

5 things you need in order to write: 
    •    my laptop computer
    •    a TV set
    •    a comfortable chair
    •    a scenic view
    •    Diet Coke

5 things you love about writing: 
    •    the chance to express my thoughts
    •    the process of inventing characters and plot
    •    how it keeps my mind active
    •    the chance to explore other worlds
    •    the control I have over my own creations

5 favorite places you’ve been:
    •    Hawaii
    •    France
    •    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    •    Spain
    •    Florida

5 favorite authors:
    •    Susan Elia MacNeal
    •    Marylee Ashford
    •    Nora Roberts
    •    Susan Elizabeth Phillips  
    •    Agatha Christie


Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: West Side Story (Sweet Home Alabama is a close second.)

Q: What’s your all-time favorite author?
A: Agatha Christie.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite city?
A: Paris.

Q: What’s your favorite song?
A: “Happy Together.”

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Pizza.

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream?
A: Maple Nut.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing to do?
A: Watch TV.

Q: What’s your favorite candy bar?
A: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Q: What’s your favorite movie snack?
A: Buttered popcorn filled with M&Ms and Diet Coke.

Q: What’s your favorite color?
A: Blue.

Q: What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A: Three of my grandchildren.

Q: What movie genre do you prefer?
A: RomCom.

Q: What book are you currently working on?
A: Book 5 of the Mah Jongg Mystery series, working title: Flower Power.

Q: What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: Red Robin Onion Rings (frozen)
Music: Soundtrack from Hustlers
Movie: Where Are You, Bernadette?
Book: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
TV: Call the Midwife (It’s been around for some time, but I just discovered it and love it!)
Netflix/Amazon Prime: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Miscellaneous: Learning German.


Craks in a Marriage  
Connect the Dots
Beware the East Wind 
Don’t Toy with Me 
Change Up
Love in the Third Act 
Driven to Matrimony 
Paradise by Design
The Billionaire’s Big Birthday Bash
The Sleepover Clause 
Seduction on Wheels 
Keeping It Casual
Tough Enough to Tango 
Not Your Mama’s Mambo 


Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job in human resources for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

Beware the East Wind, the fourth book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.

Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America (Kiss of Death) for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft. She is also a member of Sisters in Crime and Sinc-Iowa.

Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

Connect with Barbara:
Website  |  Newsletter  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo Apple