There's no place like home for the holidays, even if home is sleepy, beachside Brigid's Island, NC. During this season for giving, the town wakes up to a welcome throng of shoppers--and Beach Reads is no exception. But bookseller Summer Merriwether's Christmas cheer turns to cringing fear when she uncovers a deadly secret about her late mother--a secret someone will kill to keep.
When the local library hosts a cozy mystery panel discussion, Summer learns that one of the authors on the panel based her book on an actual murder that shook Brigid's Island thirty-five years before. Worse, she soon learns that her dearly missed mother, Hildy, took a disturbingly deep interest in the case, going so far as to collect clippings and keep a journal of the dark doings. This doesn't jibe with Summer's memories of her usually cheery mother at all.
Tidings get worse when Summer learns of her long-lost biological family's involvement in the crime...and still worse when the life of the book's author is threatened. With the help of Hildy's plucky book club, Summer puts her scholarly smarts to work on protecting the cozy author and solving the decades-old murder.
But this ghost from Christmas past may still be deadly in the present, and if she can't find the killer, Summer's future will be brief.
LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Maggie!
MB: Thanks for having me.
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
MB: I live in Waynesboro, Va., have two daughters, and two cats.
LKBR: Talk to us about your new book.
MB: My new book is the second book in the Beach Reads series. It’s about a cold case.
LKBR: What is your writing process? Do you have a certain order you use when starting a new story, such as the crime, the characters, location?
MB: I always start with the characters. In this series, Summer came to me first. She’s a book snob, who ends up not being a book snob!
LKBR: How many hours a day/week do you write?
MB: Right now, unfortunately, only about an hour a day.
LKBR: Do you have a favorite place to write?
MB: My bed.
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
MB: Yes, I’m working on another story in the Buttermilk Creek series, which is published under Mollie Cox Bryan.
LKBR: Have you ever thought about giving up on writing? If yes, why? What kept you going?
MB: I think about it almost every day. It’s a tough business. There is no reason to do it unless you absolutely love writing. That’s why I keep writing.
LKBR: What can you see yourself doing if you weren’t writing?
MB: If I wasn’t writing, I’d be doing another creative thing, I’m sure. Maybe art of some kind.
LKBR: If you could make one request of a reader, what would that be?
MB: Enjoy the book!
LKBR: What are three things you’d like readers to know about you?
MB: I have a full time job that doesn’t include writing so I get up before work and write. My dream is to leave that job and just write all day every day!
I almost have an empty nest. One daughter is in college and the other is in Dublin, Ireland.
People ask about pen names—the publisher insisted on a pen name for this series. So many things are not in writer’s control!
LKBR: Thank you so much, Maggie!
MB: I’m looking forward to chatting with you again soon.