Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crazy Cozy Blogfest

I didn't add my name to the linky because I totally read the instructions wrong. The entry was supposed to be a pitch for a cozy mystery and it was supposed to be as crazy an idea as you could come up with. I thought it was supposed to be in flash format and I totally missed the crazy (yes I know it was in the title) part. And finally the word count. Since I didn't follow any of the other rules I didn't go back and cut mine down to the 150-250 they asked for (which I can now see works for a short pitch) so my "short" blurb came in at 375 words. 

See below for the info on Quilt or Innocence, the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Elizabeth Craig. I am also making this post because Elizabeth's Mystery Writing is Murder blog looks like a great resource for writers. She has gone both the traditional and self-publishing routes and had success in each. Hart Johnson (pen name Alyse Carlson) was also in on this blogfest, and her first book The Azalea Assuslt released yesterday. She blogs at Confessions of a Watery Tart.

I must confess that I had never heard the term cozy mystery before, and after reading the definition realized I have only ever read one book that falls into this category. They sound like fun books though so I will put one on my list to read in the near future. As I have told my son recently we all need a little variety in our reading choices!


Here is what I came up with. I know this doesn't fall into any category of childrens' writing, but I thought it was an interesting challenge and any writing is good practice!

Sally stuck a finger under the apron of the crab and yanked it off. She flipped it over and removed the top shell with the ease of someone who had done it before. Then she moved onto the gills and stomach, placed the cleaned crab on a plate and threw a metal cracker on the side.
“Order up Tom!” Sally yelled out to the front.
Situated in a small town on the Chesapeake River, the restaurant was Sally’s baby. She had opened just one year ago, after finishing her Master’s degree at the University of Maryland. She was young and educated but said “to heck with it” and moved home to Easton. Her best friend had followed her home and together they birthed The Cracked Claw.
The tight-knit community had welcomed them with open arms, and soon a group of regulars had also become their good friends. On Thursday nights after closing, they stayed late and played cards, gossiped and drank a few beers.
“I said, order up Tom!”
Sally didn’t like to keep her customers waiting and this particular evening was especially busy. Not a great night for one of her cooks to go AWOL, but Sally always filled in where she was needed and made sure things were running smoothly.
After wiping her hands and straightening her just-snug-enough shirt, Sally started towards the door. Preparing the crabs was hot, dirty work and if she had to go out front she wanted to look halfway presentable.
Just then the door burst open and Tom came in with a worried look on his face. She and Tom had been friends since their first year of college and Sally knew this was an expression she should take seriously.
“Tom, what’s wrong?” Sally asked.
“Well Miss,” a low voice drawled from behind Tom. “We could start with the dead body someone found floating in the water by your dock.”
Sally’s mouth dropped open. Nothing came out so she closed it back up.
Detective Snow introduced himself and continued. “Each finger was snapped in half and a crab cracker with your prints all over it was shoved down his . . .”
“Okay, that’s enough,” Tom said. “I don’t think we need to hear all the gory details.”

Quilt or InnocenceBeatrice has a lot of gossip to catch up on—especially with the Patchwork Cottage quilt shop about to close. It seems that Judith, the landlord everyone loves to hate, wants to raise the rent, despite being a quilter herself… But when Judith is found dead, the harmless gossip becomes an intricate patchwork of mischievous motives. And it’s up to Beatrice’s expert eye to decipher the pattern and catch the killer, before her life gets sewn up for good.

Elizabeth Spann Craig: Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries (2012) for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer's Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010 and 2011.

As the mother of two, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles duties as Girl Scout leader, referees play dates, drives carpools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.

Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
Mystery Writing is Murder


The Azalea AssaultCam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly.

Alyse Carlson: Alyse Carlson is the pen name for Hart Johnson who writes books from her bathtub. By day she is an academic researcher at a large midwestern university. She lives with her husband, two teenage children and two fur balls. The dust bunnies don't count. This will be her first published book.

Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
Confessions of a Watery Tart


  1. OOh, that's good. It was making me hungry until I got to the end, then I lost my appetite! I will have to check out the other links too

  2. Thanks Heather! I think the ending might be too harsh for a "cozy" book but I tried! :-)