A Wicked Welcome to Misty Simon, and a Giveaway!

By Julie, traveling a lot this week, and spending some time with some of the Wickeds!

I met Misty Simon at the Pennsylvania Tea Festival in Mechanicsburg, PA. We were both there wearing our author hats, and it was so much fun to chat with her. I’m thrilled to welcome her to the blog today!

Misty Simon’s World

Good morning, Wicked Readers! I’m so thrilled to be here with you today to talk writing stuff. I’m the author of several different series, and, while they all have a different location and heroine, they’re all a little bit me and where I live.

Small towns and the people that inhabit them fascinate me. I’ve lived in bigger cities but my heart has always been in small town locales. What’s not to love about being in a place where a lot of people know your name and you can never get away with anything without someone telling your mom? If I eat too many whoopee pies or don’t wave to my great aunt while she’s walking and I’m trying to drive, my mom gets a call. If I am out to dinner, I might run into ten people I know and stop at each table to catch up really quickly and end up eating an hour later than I had planned.

But I also have the circle of women who know me enough to ask me how I’m doing and really listen to an answer that isn’t “fine.” Or an aunt who will drop by with snickerdoodles because she knows how much I love then and she just made a fresh batch with me in mind.

So when I’m writing my cozies, I try to pull all those things in to the world. And then add the quirks, like a night at the fire hall playing Bingo that’s more like a death sport. Or secrets that people keep for years that everyone knows but no one talks about.

The possibilities are endless in a town where you’re surrounded by family and friends of the family and relationships that go back for generations, good and bad.

I love playing with the concept of what it means to be a part of a community like that. The wonderful parts where you never feel totally alone and at any given moment you could put out a hand and someone will take it a give you a huge helping of love and support or a slap upside the head to get you back on the right track.

And bringing that into the books, with all the mess of relationships and secrets and loyalties and families is one of the true joys of writing about a small town in a small town. I never run out of ideas on how to make my main character, Tallie’s life difficult. I love pitting her against a chief of police that’s known her since she was younger. One who’s not quite able to give her the credit of adulthood (since he still thinks of her as that young girl) much less believe she can solve a case of murder before him. And I love introducing you to my little slice of heaven, where the coffee is always hot, the snickerdoodles just came out of the over, and we all knew that our cousin should have never married that man because her family wasn’t reliable back in 1907, so what did she think was going to be different now?

Dearest Wicked Reader: If you don’t stop at your uncle’s table when you see him at the diner on Sunday morning do you hear about it at the next Christmas dinner in front of everyone within ear-shot?
I’d love to give away a copy of my new book Carpet Diem to one commenter. US only.

Bio: Misty Simon always wanted to be a storyteller…preferably behind a Muppet. Animal was number one, followed closely by Sherlock Hemlock… Since that dream didn’t come true, she began writing stories to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time. She lives in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel.


Blurb for Carpet Diem

Live and let dust . . .

Now that Tallie Graver’s cleaning business is starting to shine, she’s ready to go squeegee to squeegee against Audra McNeal for a major contract at the Ambecrombe mansion. Tallie’s not afraid of a little friendly competition from the new cleaner in town. In fact, Tallie likes Audra, though she wonders how her glamorous rival manages to clean house and maintain her fancy manicure. But when someone from her ex-husband’s snobby social circle tries to sabotage her efforts, Tallie has her rubber-gloves full staying one step ahead of her nemesis. Until she finds a well-polished hand poking out of a rolled-up carpet, rendering her competition . . . dead.

Though it lands Tallie the big job, there’s nothing tidy about Audra’s death. So between polishing and scrubbing, Tallie’s determined to find the killer. Hopefully the police chief doesn’t mind her cluttering up his investigation with the filthy dealings she discovers. Turns out Audra was not as squeaky clean as she appeared. And confronting her killer could bring Tallie to a very foul end indeed . . .

57 Thoughts

  1. Your new book sounds great! Unfortunately, my husband’s job has moved us away from family, so even though we are living in a beautiful, small town, we don’t see family on a regular basis. But that’s what I love about books like yours – it’s not just about the lives of the main characters, but also how they interact and interconnect with the people around them.

    1. Thanks! The connections are my favorite part. Hopefully your small town will adopt you 🙂

  2. I don’t have much family here but I do run into people I know and you have to at least say hello.

  3. I lived in a small town for 14 long years. I wasn’t a native, but the people were welcoming. But I did not like the lack of privacy.

  4. Welcome, Misty! Certain family members definitely expect me to stop and talk if I run into them. I’m not sure they would bring it up during a family gathering, but they certainly would say something the next time we chatted in private!

  5. I will occasionally run into someone I know in town, and it’s always a pleasure to stop and talk. However, my town is big enough that I can go weeks without running into some I know accidentally. Of course, that’s different at work or church or ultimate Frisbee….

    I haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of Misty’s books yet. I’d be interesting winning this one.

      1. Ultimate Frisbee is a sport I love to play. You’ve got two teams. You’re goal is to get the Frisbee into the other team’s end zone. You can only advance the disc by throwing it – you can’t run with it at all. If the other team catches the disc or it hits the ground, the other team gets the disc.

        I’ve been playing for years, and it is a ton of fun.

  6. This is absolutely my town. Everyone is related so you can bet your parents will hear about anything you do. Everybody in the area knew my grandparents, all you have to do is mention their names and they know who I belong to and who to tell on me to. I work at the nursing home in town so that gets all the older population talking about the time my grandpa did this, or that dessert my grandma made. I still get a hard time from my great aunt about not recognizing her at my graduation party. (I hadn’t met her in person before at the time.)

  7. If I were to not stop at my uncles table, he may would not say anything, but my aunt sure would and she would never let me forget it!!! I can tell you she’d put it all over fb even..hahahaha.

  8. I would hear it right there and then if I didn’t make time for a long talk with a relative. It seems to be a southern custom.

  9. This book sounds amazing. Of course I would hear about not talking to my uncle.

  10. The book looks great! We don’t live that close to family, but if are visiting nearby, we would definitely need to call and probably visit .

  11. I do enjoy this series. I grew up in a town like the one in the book. Thanks for the chance.

  12. I would definitely hear about it if I didn’t stop by Uncle’s table at the diner. I probably wouldn’t hear the end of it.

  13. I’ve always lived in a small city but when I was a kid, the neighbors all knew the kids and would tell out parents if they thought we did something wrong. Most of my relatives are dead or living out of state so I only see some second cousins once a month. Wish I could run into aunts and uncles in restaurants.

  14. Absolutely I would hear about it. I was recently told by a cousin that I needed to get back in the family. She unfriended me on FB because I did not make a comment when she posted on her mother’s death day. I asked why and she said that I did not come to her funeral 20 years plus ago among other things. I don’t even live in the same state anymore…. Sad.

  15. Thanks for commenting everyone! I will pick a winner tomorrow! I really love all the chatter 🙂

  16. When I was growing up, everything my siblings or I did was noted by neighbors who passed on the information to our parents.

  17. As an old Army brat, I was never around my relatives much except during our once a year vacation where we tried to see them on in a few short weeks. Being military meant, I rarely went to school with any one two years in a row much less all through school. I always knew I was missing something and when I married and his job moved us to a small town of 10.000, I begun to find out what that way. All was well for many years, but fast forward to retirement and deciding to pick up and move to our dream destination in the Ozark Mountains were we went to get away from the “big” city life. Been here three years now and wonder why it took us so long to get here. I truly realize what I was missing for all those years – even in the small town – community and feeling like you belong. Our town now is the county seat and has less than 3000 people. Well, actually we live on the outskirts of town when our property is inhabited with probably more critters than there are in town. We were accepted as locals from day one. Folks stop you on the street or in WalMart to ask how you are and actually care. A funny example is an incident that happened in WalMart parking lot. Hubby and I are both photography nuts and have a camera close at hand most times. We were going into the store when we spotted this beautiful huge moth. So naturally hubby when to the car to fetch the camera to take a photo. He laid down on his belly by the soda machine to get a up close and personal photograph. Now this takes some time to get just the right photo adjusting settings and all. First I noticed an elderly man on a walker to my side asking about my husband. He smiled when I told him he was taking a moth’s photograph. I didn’t think anything more about it until I heard this huffing and puffing coming up behind me with a lot of commotion noises. I turned to see this nurse with her stethoscope around her neck who had come running at full force to hubby’s aid fearing he was in need of medical attention. When I looked around half the folks in the parking lot and inside I think too were behind me coming our way. I put up my hands and told hubby to stand up before someone got hurt trying to help him. At first I was shocked, but then I wrapped my arms around the nurse and thanked her for being so willing to go out of her way for a stranger. That is when it hit me – other towns I’ve lived in and the folks there would have just stepped over a dying body and kept going. Here we were living where folks CARED. We were HOME!

    Our town is like the Arkansas Mayberry. We have games of horseshoe and corn hold on the courthouse square as well as concerts there on weekends. We have a a pickin’ park where folks join one another to play their musical instruments. We even have a Bean Fest with Outhouse Races every year. It was this past weekend. On top of this we are the Folk Music Capital and entertain LOTS of tourist every year with each one just as we once were treated as home folk.

    Come for a visit ya’ll! Sit a spell, join in on the music or just remember how time use to be everywhere else but still is here. Just remember come once and you will want to move here too.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  18. All of our family is another state. We use to visit our relatives with no problem when we live in the same state but moving away it is harder. We still go down and visit them every few years. We have some friends up where we live now. I do think you book is really interesting. I will try and pick a copy up from the library.

  19. Love this series! We don’t have any family that live in my town so I am in no danger of getting in trouble for snubbing a relative! The greatest danger I have is snubbing someone on the street or in the supermarket if I am spacing out! Can’t wait to read the new book!

  20. I live in a small town of 34,000 but the quad-city of four towns put together are at 124,000 so small but not as small as some. I love running into people I know..it doesn’t happen everyday but family and I run into each other at the local Chinese Rest a few blocks up the street and we always say hello. I think people here are very friendly and strangers too…sometimes I could wish the strangers a little less so…lol…
    your books sounds great…

  21. Hi Misty!
    Most of my family have either passed on or are in other parts of the United States except for one child and grandchildren. We actually moved to be closer to them 🙂 10 minute walk is wonderful! Our other child is only a 2-1/2 hour drive away.
    Live in a retirement community now so always saying HI to someone whether we know them or not. No closeness yet like a small town but love where we live.
    Blessings, Diane

  22. I don’t have any family members left other than my son and a few cousins here and there. I never run into anyone I know when I go out to eat but, if I did, I would probably say a quick hi.

  23. Your book sounds interesting. I didn’t live near any of my extended family growing up and have always wondered what it would be like to live in a small town with them around.

  24. Our winner is Gloria Browning! Gloria, I’ll contact you via email to get the book to you. Thanks again, everyone, for talking with me 🙂

  25. When you don’t stop to greet friends or family, it comes back to haunt you with questions like, “Were you distracted?” or “What’s more important talking on the cell or talking to live people?” I grew up in a small town of 13,000 and good and bad news travelled fast via the gossip express.

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