Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Cozy Times is working on late breaking news!
Times editor (me), is working hard to bring the news to you. 

So, today I bring to you

WayBack Wednesday!

With thanks to Mr. Peabody and his boy, Sherman
I have taken the WayBack Machine to 
July 22, 2013 
to bring to you an interview with two of my all time favorite authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene 


(I didn't change a thing on this post. You'll see just how much I have learned and changed over the years.) 

Note: The giveaway in this post is NOT open. This was from three years ago. 


J. J. Cook Interview

Today I'm excited to announce a new interview and give away! Author J. J. Cook AKA the husband and wife writing team Jim and Joyce Lavene have been kind enough to answer a few questions and offer for give away a signed copy of their latest cozy mystery THAT OLD FLAME OF MINE. #1 in the awesome new Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series! (Please see my review in a previous blog.)

All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment about this interview, the authors and/or That Old Flame Of Mine. A winner will be picked by random drawing on Monday, July 29th. (Please don't forget your contact information so I can email the winner!) Good Luck!

NOTE: To clear things up, you email is the only contact info I need for you to leave here. I just need to be able to contact you.

On to the fun!

Jim & Joyce Lavene

LKBR:  How did you come up with the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series?
J&J:  We wanted to write something a little more serious with a compelling, determined heroine - and a ghost! Because of our shared family backgrounds with relatives in the fire department, we choose that as a beginning. We were in Tennessee on vacation when we saw a small volunteer fire station and it hit us what we needed. Enter Fire chief Stella Griffin and former chief, the ghost of Eric Gamlyn. Berkley loved the idea and we sold it right away.

LKBR:  You have a ghost in your story. Do you believe in ghosts or had any experiences?

J&J:  We have both had experiences with ghosts and know several people who are amateur ghost hunters. We also love any books or movies with ghosts. Eric Gamlyn is a fun ghost - he cooks and helps Stella as well as spending time with Hero, the fire brigade's adopted Dalmatian.

LKBR:  Do you follow the same writing process for all of your books or does each book come into being in different ways?

J&J:  The actual writing process - when we sit down at the computers - is always the same. We tell the story to each other, out loud, writing down the words as we go. The lead up, inspiration for each story, is different. The characters usually appear first, even if they aren't completely formed. It usually takes us about a year to get everything ready, but only a couple of months to get the words down.

LKBR:  Where do you find inspiration for the settings of your stories?

J&J:  Setting is so important, isn't it? The characters and plot need exactly the right place. In the fire brigade's case, we knew it had to be in the Smoky Mountains where we came up with the idea. We actually use the cabin we stayed at as Stella's in the books. We like to take pictures we can use as we work.

LKBR:  Who are some of your favorite authors?
J&J:  Barbara Hambly. Anne McGaffrey. Tanith Lee. Sabrina Luna. Lynn Willis. Jim Butcher. Charlaine Harris. We read cross genre, but truly prefer paranormal.

LKBR:  What are 3 things you would like your fans to know about you?

J&J:  Hmm. We prefer e-books to print now. After downsizing, we don't have room for all the books we read and it's sad to give them up. With e-books, we don't have to. We both play musical instruments. Our best ideas come from driving around on old back roads.

#2 in Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series (can't wait!)

LKBR:  Is there anything else you'd like to add?

J&J:  We write under more than one name. We know it's confusing, but it's necessary if you write a lot. We write Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries, Missing Pieces Mysteries, Renaissance Faire Mysteries and Sheriff Sharyn Howard Mysteries under Joyce and Jim Lavene. We are writing Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries and Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mysteries under J.J. Cook. Under  Ellie Grant, we are writing Pie in the Sky Mysteries. 

New books from September to December this year include Plum Deadly (pie shop, September), A Finder's Fee (Missing Pieces, October), Murderous Matrimony (Ren Faire, November) and an e-book novella, Hero's Journey (Sweet Pepper, December)



Want to keep up with Joyce & Jim? Check out these great links!

Twitter: @authorjlavene

I want to thank Joyce & Jim Lavene for an awesome interview and for the chance to win a copy of THAT OLD FLAME OF MINE.
Don't forget to leave a comment and your contact information for your chance to win!
Note from Lisa: Anyone else excited about Joyce & Jims's new Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mysteries? The first in the series, MURDER ON EAT STREET, is due out April, 2014. How are we suppose to wait that long!?!

Sadly, the world lost these extraordinary authors just six months apart. 
Joyce in 2015 and Jim 2016
I feel their loss every time I sign onto Facebook, and it is empty of their posts. :-(

Joyce and Jim.

Every single day, tell someone  you love them. 


  1. Thank you, Lisa. I miss them, too. I, too, looked forward to their good morning posts. It was nice to go back and reminisce.

  2. Thanks, Lisa, for such a great post and a tribute to two great authors. :)

  3. This was a wonderful interview and tribute, Lisa. Joyce and Jim were great authors and wonderful people. I "met" them through you and after Joyce passed away, Jim did write me a personal note when I gave him my condolences and mentioned you.

    I love your message at the end. So important! Thank you.

    Hugs, Susan