Family Dynamics

By Liz, happily celebrating launch day for Custom Baked Murder and Barb’s Iced Under!

Another release day is here. Five books? How in the world did that happen, anyway? And rumor has it there’s a sixth book on its way – that is, if I could get my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keys…

But that’s a problem for tomorrow. Today, I’m reflecting on how amazing it feels to have five published books in a series.To have readers who anxiously await Stan’s next adventure, and people who write to me to tell me my books have brought them joy. People who love animals and want to share their experiences after reading about the animals in the books.

It’s a wonderful feeling to have created a world people love to visit.

I’m excited about this book, too. Each one is more fun to write (deadline and plot hole angst aside), and with every new visit to Frog Ledge I find more and more reasons to want to go on living there virtually for a good long time. A lot of that is because of the relationships. And I don’t simply mean the good ones – the Stan and Jake story, or Stan’s friendships with Izzy, Char and Ray, to name a few. Having Stan’s “real” family take such a large part of the storyline has been fascinating for me.

Stan’s mother’s involvement in Frog Ledge isn’t something I plotted out when I originally planned the series. Patricia Connor’s re-entry into her older daughter’s life sort of just happened, and it felt right so I’m following along. I might be hoping this complicated relationship will untangle itself in a way that is mutually beneficial for both parties – something I’ve always hoped for in my own relationship with my mother. It hasn’t happened for me yet, but maybe Stan will have better luck.

In Custom Baked Murder, Stan’s family life gets even more complicated when her sister Caitlyn turns up in town – and doesn’t want to leave. But she’s in for some surprises on that front, too.

This is truly a case where the characters are telling me what to do instead of the other way around. I’m simply along for the ride on this front. But families? When do they ever listen anyway?

At least when it comes to the murder portion of the book, I’m still in charge…

Readers, what about you? What do you love most when reading about family dynamics?


From the back cover:

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort.


20 Thoughts

  1. Oh, goody, Liz! I’m heading over to my local indy bookstore today to pick up my copy of this and of Iced Under. It’s a good thing I’m having a relaxing week, so I can just sit and read. As a writer, I absolutely love it when the characters take over and all I have to do is follow them around and write down what they do. Congratulations!

  2. It’s very interesting that both you and Barb delved deeper in to family issues in Custom Baked Murder and Iced Under. I’ve read both and love what each of you did! And I can’t wait to go buy both of them!

  3. Congratulations, Barb! Congratulations,Liz! As for the question of family dynamics, I have enough dynamite in my family’s that I dislike constant assaults between characters, but I also find too-sweet/no confrontations unrealistic. Keeping the pace is the trick, as in life!

    1. You are so right, Tonette. How many times when reading books or watching TV have I thought, “If I wanted this drama, I’d hang out with the relatives.” But treacly sweet doesn’t work, either. It is a balancing act.

  4. Congratulations on the release of your fifth book in the series! That’s awesome. I’m looking forward to reading it. As for family, it’s 50/50. Half the time they do listen, the other half…well…not so much. 🙂

  5. So happy and excited for you both. I love a mystery, but a mystery plus intriguing family dynamics makes a book come alive. Congratulations!

  6. Congratulations to the both of you on your new releases!!
    What I love most when reading about family dynamics is how a resolution to problems is approached by others.

  7. Congratulations Liz. I was delighted to find my copy downloaded overnight on my kindle. Love preordering books. I can’t wait to read it.

  8. Congrats on the new book! One thing I really enjoyed about it was the family dynamic. I think it’s a great addition to the series.

    Now go finish up book six so I can go back for a visit.

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