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.
Welcome Christin, and congratulations on finding your dream job! I can’t wait to read the new book – the premise sounds perfect. And I’ll see you at R Julia’s next Friday.
Thanks for having me, and I’m excited to see you, too! R Julia’s will be so fun.
Thanks, Wickeds, for having me! I, too, am looking forward to a great event at R Julia’s next week.
Sorry for a couple of repeat posts in the first 2-3 replies. Our internet connection in Nantucket is a bit spotty and I thought my replies had not gone through. The glitches are worth it. I am very happy to be here right now!
I love your story on how you came to be a writer, Christin, and congrats on your book! It looks like you’ll be in good company on your release day.
Thanks. I agree that the release day list is so great! I pre-ordered these books ages ago, and can’t wait to finally read them.
I agree that the list of new books on June 25th is going to be fun. I ordered Tell Tail Heart, Strangled Eggs and Ham, and Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody ages ago and can’t wait for them to arrive.
I wasn’t able to make that Cozy Con, but when I scrolled through the lists of authors that were going to be there, I was intrigued by the setting of Christin’s books so it went on my purchase list. I’m looking forward to picking it up next week!
I hope you enjoy it!
I hope you enjoy it!
It was so great to meet you! Your journey is so similar to mind. After my corporate job I was a stay at home mom and we moved a lot because my husband was in the Air Force so I started writing. It took me years, but finally books! Congratulations!
Yup! Portable and challenging…. plus a large dose of patience!
Welcome, Christin! Isn’t the saying that growth occurs outside your comfort zone, or something like that? So true. It’s something I keep trying to tell my daughter, now 19, but she’s not ready to listen.
My friend, Linda, always tell me to get outside of my comfort zone. Because of her I’ve found myself in yoga poses I didn’t know existed (even if only once!) I think that friends reminding us to get out of our comfort zones are so helpful – even on those days when we’re not ready to listen. Good luck!
Welcome to the Wickeds, Christin! It sounds like your life has provided you with everything you needed to end up right where you are! How fortunate! When I wanted to learn to knit I was gifted a sock knitting class at a lovely yarn shop by a friend that ended up being far beyond my skill level. It was mortifying to be surrounded accomplished knitters and a very frustrated instructor! But, despite the embarrassing experience, I wanted to knit even more than I had before the class. So, I bought a pair of needles, a pattern and some wholly inappropriate yarn for making socks before I slunk away to lick my wounds. Two days ago, which is about 20 years later, I just cast on my umpteenth pair of socks using that same pattern.
Love it!! My daughter is knitting a scarf right now. Her first project. She bought the yarn last week to start this new hobby. I will tell her about socks.
Welcome to the Wickeds Christin, and huge congratulations on your debut! Enjoy every moment of this journey. I look forward to reading it!
It’s a fun journey when I have a space like the Wicked’s to spend a day. Thanks for your good wishes. It means a lot! I hope you enjoy the book.
Congrats on the new series! I can’t wait to read it!! 🙂 A former New Englander myself, I eat up any stories based on my old stomping grounds.
Hi, Holly! Have you spent time in Nantucket? It’s so beautiful here right now. The gardens are blooming and town is filled with energy. Last week was the Nantucket Book Festival, too.
Congrats on your debut! I love stories of people who are willing to take a chance outside their comfort zones. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but more often, it does work – spectacularly. I took a chance at age 27 of trying college. I was working full time and had a family, so college was part time. And it took 9 1/2 years, but I graduated – magna cum laude. Now THAT was a really big step outside of my comfort zone. So glad I did it. Again, congrats on taking your big step and sticking to your goal.
Thank you for sharing this incredibly inspiring story, ginnyjc. To attend college while raising a family and managing a full-time job is an amazing feat. I’m grinning ear-to-ear imagining you receiving your MAGNA CUM LAUDE diploma after 9 1/2 years. I hope it’s framed and hanging prominently in your home 🙂 You rock!!
Congrats on the new book! It sounds like a lot of fun. Definitely plan to pick it up next week.
Thanks, Mark! I hope you enjoy it.
I didn’t learn to drive until I was in my 30’s after my dad died. (I always rode the bus to work.) I also took over his garden. When my mother died I learned to cook and bake. I love cooking and just throwing things in but baking is a little harder. I try, partly because I want my desserts, and partly because baked goods are the easiest to share with friends or church suppers.
I was only in Nantucket once but I enjoyed it. We were there in the fall and saw cranberry bogs.
Hi, Sally! I think this might be one of the last comments of the day, and I’m so touched to read yours. I was a late-in-life driver, too, but I got around it because public transportation in NYC is so accessible. Once I took the wheel (no cozy pun intended!), I never looked back. Sounds like you haven’t either – with so many endeavors. Congrats!
By the way, #2 of the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries has a scene at the cranberry bogs! I went with my dad last fall and it was really fun.
Thanks for checking in today!
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