Sunday, June 16, 2019

I'm so happy to have author
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
on the blog today!

Carolyn was kind enough to ask if she could give my readers a chance to win her book

Divorced mother Chantilly Adair didn’t take the job as the head of the Castleberry Georgia Historical Society because she thought it would be easy, in fact, she felt the exact opposite, and that suited her just fine. Desperate to get away from Birmingham and her ex-husband, she took her pre-teen son and high-tailed it straight to her childhood home in Castleberry, Georgia, and the echoes of her recently deceased parents. 

A tumble down a flight of stairs and causing a bump on the head hasn’t hindered Chantilly from rehabbing the historical presence in town, but finding the dead body of the town’s BBQ king just days before the annual BBQ competition puts her right in the local detective’s hot seat. 

When the spirit rumored to be haunting the dead man’s restaurant appears, Chantilly’s not sure which is worse, being accused of murder, or claiming a spirit might have had something to do with it. 
Now Chantilly must save herself from a life behind bars or a stay in the psychiatric ward, and still get the competition going on time. 

. . . and of course I said, YES!



5 lucky readers will win their choice of a Mobi or ePub copy of


USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.


A Chat with Carolyn

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today, Carolyn!

CRA: Thanks for having me!

LKBR: Please tell us a bit about you, and your different mystery series.

CRA: Gosh, where to start. I used to have a great job where I wore suits and dealt with business executives and traveled the country. I married a really great guy with two young girls that he had full custody of, and we got pregnant, so I decided to sack the job and the suits and the quiet of hotel rooms (which is the only part I miss!) to stay home and be a full time mom. Fast forward and after the deaths of my parents, I finally decided to take my writing habit seriously. I did some freelance journalism, marketing writing, and then finally, I wrote my first series. That series, The Angela Panther Mystery series, was the start of it all. I still write in it, and in fact, have a novella releasing in June. It’s a women sleuth’s series, not a cozy, and is about a psychic medium whose mother dies and comes back as a ghost. I was originally published through an Amazon imprint as well as a now defunct publisher, but I’ve taken everything self-published because I’m a bit of a control freak.

I have two cozy series, the Lily Sprayberry Realtor Cozy Mystery Series and the Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery series. Chantilly’s first book just released and her second will be out in the next month. Lily’s got 7 books out with one more coming in about a month. Both live in small town Georgia, and have been so fun to write!

LKBR: Any hints or spoilers you can give us about the next book in Chantilly’s series?

CRA: I’m really excited about Chantilly. In the first book, she’s introduced as a divorced mom of a tween boy. They move back home to her parent’s house after her husband left her. Her parents are deceased, so they’re staying in the house. She works for the towns historical society, and the offices are in an old house that also serves as the museum. She takes a tumble down the stairs at work, hits her head, and can suddenly see ghosts. Once she realizes what’s happening, she uses it to help her figure out a murder that she happens to be a suspect of. In book two, she’s still getting a handle on her new gift, and with the help of some friends, works to prove her best friend innocent in another situation. I love these characters. There are two older women, and they have a Golden Girls feel to them. So much fun!

LKBR: Any new projects in the works or any ideas you’re working on?

CRA: I’ve got plans for several more Chantilly and Lily books, but I’m also toying with a reporter cozy series because my journalism background is looking for something to do.

LKBR: When you first started writing, what were the most surprising things you learned about the writing, researching, and/or publishing of a book?  

CRA: I learned that you’re not going to please everyone, and not everyone will like what you write, or how you tell a story. I also learned that it’s very easy to mix past and present tense, but when you read it, it glares at you like it’s judging you. With the first, I’ve come to realize I write the Angela series to honor my heritage and my family, (mostly my parents) and the cozy mysteries I write because they’re fun and follow a pattern expected from readers. A writer has to write for their own reasons, and it’s not always because they want to make money. Sometimes, like with my Angela series, it’s an emotional reason. Writing the character Fran in that series is like visiting with my mom, and that’s therapeutic for me.

LKBR: Do you ever had to pull a character, or change a scene that you really wanted to keep because the powers that be recommended it? If yes, how do you cope with that?

CRA: I’ve got a great editor, and any time she tells me to switch something up, I usually do it. I found when I was traditionally published there were more requests to make my books fit a mold, but the Angela’s series aren’t cozies, and they tried to fit them into that mold.
They couldn’t.

LKBR: Have you ever gotten reader’s block? Just find it hard to get into reading because you are so into your writing?

CRA: Sadly, yes. I’ve been struggling with that for a few years now. I always say writing has ruined reading for me. It’s also ruined my eyes! I went from 20/20 vision to tri-focals. Getting old and writing are a brutal combination!

LKBR: Are there any magazines/publications that as a writer you subscribe to? Are these or others something readers could also benefit from?

CRA: My favorite is a mystery magazine.
I just love Writer’s Digest too. Hard to be a writer and not read that. It’s filled with great information.

LKBR: Is there anything you would give up if you thought it would make you an even better writer?

CRA: I don’t think giving up something would benefit me. I’m working on trying to find balance, which isn’t easy. I tend to focus on one thing instead of dividing my time, but I’m forcing myself to not be that way. Too much of a good thing isn’t usually a good thing for me.

LKBR: If you could ask your readers 3 questions, what would they be?

CRA: Gosh, that’s a tough question. I think in general, I’d want to know what makes them read. Do they read because they like to explore other places, or because they like the escape, or is it something else? I’d also want to know what they like most in the books they read. The relationships, the mysteries, the puzzle? And of course, I’d want to know what they’d like to read from me.

LKBR: Anything else you’d like to share with us?

CRA: I’d like to say thanks to the readers that give the indie authors a chance. It’s hard to market our books, so the support is truly appreciated! And that includes bloggers like you, Lisa. Thank you so much for having me!

LKBR: Thank you so much, Carolyn for letting us get to know you better!

CRA: Thanks for having me!

Social Media:
Instagram: Carolynridderaspenson
Website (is being redone, but my newsletter is here)
I’m also on Goodreads and Bookbub! 

More about the Carolyn
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson writes mysteries featuring imperfect women with a flair for telling it like it is. Her stories focus on relationships whether they're between friends, family members, couples, townspeople or strangers because ultimately, it's relationships that make a story. She writes the Angela Panther Mystery Series, The Inn at Laurel Creek contemporary romance novella series, and the Lily Sprayberry Realtor Cozy Mystery Series. 

Carolyn is also the founder of the Facebook author and reader collective, Sleuthing Women--Read...Sleuth...Solve...Repeat. A place for readers to connect with an exclusive group of women authors of female sleuth mysteries. 

Now an empty-nester, she lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband, two Pit Bull-Boxer mix dogs and two cantankerous cats, but you'll often find her at a local coffee shop people watching (and listening), or as she likes to call it, plotting her next novel.

Follow Carolyn here, or on Facebook at Carolyn Ridder Aspenson, author.


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  1. sounds like my kind of book - thanks for sharing

  2. Love Carolyn's books and super glad you are offering eBook (I have problems reading paperback and most hardcovers because of the small print!) Great review, Lisa, and thank y'all for your generosity!