The Wickeds met Christin Brecher at the Kensington Mini-Con in Cambridge, Massachusetts this April. We’re all excited about Murder’s No Votive Confidence, the debut in Christin’s new Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery series. It releases the same day as Cate Conte’s Tell Tail Heart, Maddie Day’s Strangled Eggs and Ham, and Barbara Ross’s Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody. So while you’re visiting your favorite brick and mortar or online retailer, be sure to pick it up!
Take it away, Christin!
MY PLOT TWIST by Christin Brecher
It’s graduation season. In New York City, where I live, it’s almost impossible to leave the house without seeing someone in cap and gown, with glowing family and friends beside them. It’s the happiest scene. Strangers, like myself, call out congratulations. Proud parents respond with details of the graduate’s achievement. Rather than roll their eyes at such embarrassing displays of affection, their children smile. The future is clear for some, unknown for others, but that day is a celebration of a milestone.
A high school friend and I were having lunch on one of these recent days at a restaurant in the very grown-up neighborhood of the East 60s. We’ve spent years together – laughing, crying, stressing, high-fiving, learning. As the waiter served us our Burrata salads with grilled lentils, my friend said to me, “If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t have worried so much.” Then, we laughed. As New Yorkers, it’s an impossible concept.
On my walk home, however, I remembered a vision I’d had of the future, during the days before my own high school graduation. In it, I was having lunch with my friend and two other classmates as adults, at a restaurant like the one we’d just left. Each of the women had found success in their chosen field, but I could not “see” my place at the table. Of course, if someone had told me back then that I’d arrive to our get-together as a mystery writer, I’d have taken my friend’s advice above and not worried so much about where the road might lead me. The reason is simply because writing the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries is a dream come true, but one I discovered well down the road.
The series seems like a no-brainer now. The stories weave together my love of mysteries, of Nantucket, and my admiration of strong women who get the job done while keeping their lives intact. Writing them, however, was a journey in getting out of my comfort zone. My husband jokes that I’m the kind of person who makes lists for my lists. I like a map. What was most delightful about writing these books, however, is that they came about not because I saw myself at the table as a writer, but because they were part of a journey into the unknown.
After I left a career in the corporate world to raise my kids, I began to write as a personal challenge. We were living in London at the time. It was often rainy, we had a fireplace, there was a really lovely garden across the street. I bought a notebook. To my surprise, writing became a new passion. Wherever we moved, whatever chapter came next for us, I brought my notebook with me like a security blanket. On a practical level, writing was cheap and portable. On an intellectual level, I had a new challenge every day – a scene, a character, a beginning, middle and end.
Now my kids are heading toward their own high school graduations, and I have three books ready for publication. Feeling old(-ish) and wise, I tell my kids to welcome these plot twists in life. And, also, not to worry so much.
Readers: Have you ever stepped outside of your comfort zone only to find a new talent or passion which has become part of your life? Is there one on your list you’d like to try?
Christin Brecher resides in New York City. She attended Connecticut College where she studied art history, Italian and theater before pursuing her masters at the Columbia Business School. She began her career in television production at the A&E Network, HBO and PBS before moving into business development at Time Incorporated. Murder’s No Votive Confidence, the first of the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries, is her debut novel.
MURDER’S NO VOTIVE CONFIDENCE
Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .
Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptials promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot-tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.
When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be canceling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flameowner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.