Cheryl Hollon New Series

Edith/Maddie here, really happy to welcome our friend Cheryl Hollon back to the Wickeds. She has new book, a first in a new series, out, and I just picked mine up from my local indy bookstore! About Still Knife Painting:

Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia—until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . .

After inheriting her uncle’s Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky—smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest—Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking.

To Miranda’s delight, Paint & Shine is a total success—until someone kills the cook. As the town’s outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she’s moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say “white lightning” . . .

Take it away, Cheryl.

I’m so pleased to be welcomed by the Wickeds to launch STILL KNIFE PAINTING, the first book in the Paint & Shine Mysteries. This new series shares a book birthday with three of these fabulous ladies: Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day, Liz Mugavero/Cate Conte, and Barbara Ross.

My brand-new series is set in eastern Kentucky where my parents and most of my relations settled after immigrating from Ireland and Scotland in the early 1700s. Our earliest records indicate that our ancestor took a ship from Donegal as an indentured servant.

I was born in a tiny two-room hospital and then my parents moved to Dayton, Ohio, to find employment. To my great good fortune, I spent most summers at my Grandma and Grandpa’s neat and homey farmhouse. I ran as wild as a fawn among the grassy fields, towering cornstalks, and loamy gardens.

They owned a small grocery and post office where they kept not only baby chicks, but an entire glass case of penny candy. They sold more candy than anything else. It was wonderful to hide underneath the feed bins where it was shady and cool. I would listen to everyone gossip as they picked up their mail and staple supplies.

My grandma included me in all her housekeeping tasks. I learned how to peel potatoes, string beans, shuck corn, crochet, make lye soap, and use a treadle sewing machine. My grandpa let me tag along when he fed the pigs, milked the cow, picked blackberries, and weed the gardens. I loved every minute.

Readers: Do you have special memories of your grandparents’ house?

I’m offering a #GIVEAWAY plus #SWAG. You’ll be entering for a chance at the following package.

It contains two paper coasters, a pad of sticky notes, a bookmark, and a signed advanced reader’s edition of STILL KNIFE PAINTING (Paint & Shine Mystery Book #1). Leave a comment by midnight July 4 for the chance to win everything picturedThis giveaway is limited to U.S. residents. (Sorry, but complicated trips to the Post Office aren’t happening.) Good luck!

STILL KNIFE PAINIING released on June 30, 2020, and is available for you to order online at AmazonNookKobo, and in your favorite local bookstores using IndieBound. It is published by Kensington Books.  If budget is tight, please ask your library to order it.

Cheryl Hollon is also the author of the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries. She writes full-time after an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Living her dream, she combines a love of writing with a passion for creating art. Cheryl is Past President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. Cheryl and her husband live in downtown St. Petersburg, FL.

Visit Cheryl and her books at her WebsiteFacebookInstagram or Twitter.

49 Thoughts

  1. Your childhood spent with your grandparents sounds heavenly. And your new series sounds like a real winner.

    I only remember one grandpa but he was great. Even though he was in his eighties when I was born, he was spry and we loved to take walks together. I have very clear memories of where he lived and loved to visit the warm, cozy (and looking back, very old-fashioned) home. Thanks for bringing back some of my better young childhood memories.

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    1. One of the pleasures of writing this series is to go back to the farmhouse and remember what those summer days were like. Reading books out on the back porch was a big part of my childhood. Good Luck!

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  2. Congratulations, Cheryl, on the start of a new series. Those summers with your grandparents sound idyllic.
    When I was a child, all 3 of my surviving grandparents lived in Japan, so I only got to visit them 3 times before they all passed away in 1980. My mother’s father lived in a suburb of Osaka which is a big city. I was 4 years old and remember walking hand-in-hand with him to get candy from the local corner store. I remember being fascinated by the mini rice paddies being grown in spare patches of land in such an urban area.

    I am NOT eligible for your giveaway but that’s ok since I have a Netgalley ARC of Still Knife Painting (great title!).

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    1. Hi Grace. I was fortunate to have met and known my great great grandmother. I remember her black dress, white apron and black bonnet clearly. She also had a cane that she used to keep little children away from her bad knees. What a character — I’ll have to fashion one in her honor. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. We lived with my mom’s parents till I was thirteen, so going to my other grandma’s house (I never knew that grandpa, he died before Mom even met Dad) was an adventure. She had such a cool old house. I’d usually go when Dad was doing painting or odd jobs for Grandma, and I remember I loved her kitchen that had all these super tall cabinets, or at least to this kid who was six at the time, they seemed big. I think that’s where I got my love of Moon Pies lol. Her upstairs was awesome too but only in the daytime. I remember getting Dad to go with me and wait while I used the bathroom once when it was dark lol. He’d tell me how cool it looked when he and his 9 brothers and sisters got to decorate that house for Christmas. I know it wa never a huge house in reality, but to my little kid imagination, it was a mansion!

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    1. I know what you mean about size and childhood. I though Grandma’s house was huge. It turns out that it would definitely qualify as a modern tiny cottage. Good luck in the #giveaway.

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  4. You got me at baby chicks. Weren’t we the lucky ones to have wonderful grandmothers???

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    1. I feel especially blessed to know my great granny Trent. She lived a long life and had memories of times of no cars — no electricity — no plumbing. She kept me spellbound with her tales of adventure. Storytelling runs in my family.

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  5. As an old Army brat, I only got to see either of my grandparents but for about a week each year until Dad retired when I was in high school. We moved to where my mother’s parents lived allowing me to finally get to know them. I do have fond memories of them in the few years we had before their passing. I can still smell my Granny’s amazing gingerbread and see the gorgeous hydrangea that she grew when I think of her and the remember the love of gardening, his farm and talking to the chickens from my Grandfather.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. I remember the smell of gingerbread at Christmas on my grandparents farm. She made a seven-layer cake that involved lots of cinnamon and ginger. I’ve recreated it once with a modern kitchen — she did it on a cast iron wood fired stove. Wow.

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  6. I only had one. My Granny’s house was made for kids. We slept in the attic, which gave us an incredible amount of freedom as long as we didn’t make TOO much noise, since no adult wanted to climb up all those stairs. Far-off yells of “You kids shut up and go to sleep!” just brought on giggles. The basement was straight out of “Silence of the Lambs” and perfect for dares. On rainy days Granny let us explore her cabinets full of funny salt and pepper shakers and things that were just plain weird — sugar tongs? The backyard had the world’s oldest cherry tree with the world’s sweetest cherries, and the garage fronted onto an alley that was extra play space until we were old enough for it to be the road to adventure. I could have happily spent all my summers there.

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    1. Your grandparents farm house sounds so familiar. We used the attic as a playroom in the mornings. Just too hot on those steamy summer days. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  7. My maternal Grandparents were the most loving and kind individuals that I have ever known. I spent my childhood summers at their farm house roaming freely…so unlike my urban home with parents who restricted me to our yard since I was their only child. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without those halcyon days on the farm. Kentucky is one of the states we visited while my husband, children and I lived in the Deep South for four years as a young family. It is a beautiful place and friendly folks live there, too. Best of luck with your new series!

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    1. Thank you for your good wishes. Eastern Kentucky was idyllic for children. Running wild in the corn was my favorite thing to do. You had to watch out for the leaves, though. They could cut you to ribbons. But the risk increased the pleasure. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  8. Congratulations, Cheryl! I’m so happy for you. My dad’s parents lived on a farm in northeast Missouri. I loved climbing apple trees in the orchard and going for rides on the back of the tractor.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. Your turn next month for the debut of a new series. My grandpa didn’t have a tractor — he had mules! They were clever fellows and adored my grandpa just like I did.

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  9. Congratulations on the new series Cheryl. It sounds pretty interesting to me. I’m actually going to the bookstore today and I hope that the store has the book.

    Special memories of my grandparents? I have a lot. Growing up, I got to spend a week in the summer staying with them in Newton, MA. It was fun. They lived in a two family house at the time and the other family had a girl about my age. Christina was probably the first girl I ever had a crush on.

    The extended family Christmas Eve gathering was always at my grandparents home when we were growing up. We all show up and have a big meal. The adults would shoot the breeze and the bevy of children would eagerly await the start of PRESENTS!!!! We even had Santa Claus show up a few times over the years.

    My grandfather was from Ireland and by the time I have truly formed memories of him, he was quite a bit older. Still, despite his taciturn outward exterior, he loved my grandmother and his family. But he took no guff and had his opinions. He despised rock music, which meant I couldn’t tell him about going to see Aerosmith in concert. A mistake I made just once. And though he never sat in the dugout, much like the rest of New England, he somehow “managed” the Boston Red Sox for at least 60 years. He got ill as he got older and they held their 50th anniversary a bit early. We all knew that his last Christmas would be his LAST Christmas so we were all there to celebrate that year for sure. When he died, I got a call at work. When they put the call through to me, I had to shut off the cassette tape I was playing to pick up the phone. The song playing right before my mom told me my grandfather had died? “Happy Phantom” by Tori Amos. The line in the song as I shut the tape off was “And if I die today, I’ll be a happy phantom”.

    My grandmother was a lot like my grandfather but not quite as stern. Oh she could be stern no doubt, you don’t raise an Irish Catholic family in the 50’s / 60’s without being a maternal kind of hard ass. The funny thing I remember most about her is how for more than 2 decades, I refused to ride in a car if she was driving. We had gone to a funeral and on the way back we darn near got killed because she refused to yield her right of way to a vehicle that was coming right at us. Okay, you might think good for her. But the tractor trailer truck that was barreling towards us would’ve hit my side of the car first! She also had an incredible lead foot. She could make the 90 minute drive from her house to my house in 45 minutes. I’m not kidding either!

    As she got older and my grandfather had passed, she started saying that she didn’t want any presents for Christmas. I was the only one allowed to get her anything. It was always something small that she wanted, usually a household item like new wooden salt and pepper shakers or the like. The last year we had the Christmas Eve gathering at her house, she wouldn’t even let me buy her anything. She told us the year before that unless we were going to give her $1,000 she didn’t need anything. Well, never challenge my family like that! So that last year at her house, we did exactly that. When she opened the her gift was in (which I was chosen to hand her), she discovered exactly what she asked for. ONE THOUSAND ONE DOLLAR BILLS! Each family member contributed their share to hit the dollar figure. She tried giving it back because she was so overwhelmed. But I said, “Just think Grandma, next year you can now buy us REALLY great presents”. This made her laugh.

    Sadly, my grandmother was gone two years before she actually passed away. She dealt with dementia and the last two years she was in effect, not my grandmother. It was a hard thing to see and probably one of the reasons I didn’t really see her much those last two years.

    The endings for both of them may have stunk but oh what memories they left everyone with. William and Margaret…my beloved grandparents.

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    1. Oh and I forgot to mention the time my grandmother took me to visit her sister, my aunt Theresa who was a nun. I don’t know many 10 year old boys who got to go swimming at a convent. 😀

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      1. Hi Jay. Congratulations on having such a strong set of childhood memories of your grandparents. I think they influence us as much or more than our parents. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  10. Congratulations!!
    I have many fond memories of spending time at my Grandparents house. (I lost 3 of my grandparents within a short period of time. My mom’s parents passed away a month apart when I was 6 years old and then 5 days before my birthday my neighbor who was like a third grandpa to me passed away and then a week later my dad’s father passed away) I was lucky to have 15 more years with my grandma.
    One silly memory I have, we were camping and it was still morning when I went outside to adventure off and play. Grandma told me not to go by the rocks.. ok I won’t.. The rocks were these gigantic rocks by the shore of the lake…. Well as I was walking around I saw this little boy who was around my age, he of course had his campsite right on the edge of the water, right by the rocks.. He was playing on them and invited me to join.. how could I say no? (Oh boy.. you know what’s coming)
    It was time for lunch now and Grandma called for me and I was no where around where she could see me. Panic set in and she started to look for me. There I was standing on the big rocks in the water..
    She yelled for me again and this time I heard her… As I stepped off the rocks, I could see the look on her face… She was not happy with me.
    It was the first time I had ever gotten into “real trouble” with grandma. (She swatted my tushy the entire wall back to our campsite)
    The best part about it was even as she grew older and I became an adult, she still remembered that story. She was the best.

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  11. My mom’s mother lived in apartment before she moved in with us. My dad’s mom lived at my aunt’s house and I used to sleep over there a lot as a kid.

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    1. Hi Sandy. You were lucky to know your grandparents so well. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  12. Your new book sounds so good! I am going to order it! Please enter me in your contest. Sounds fun! I usually don’t win anything but it’s fun to enter. Can’t wait to start reading this book.

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  13. Looking forward to the new book! My grandmother had a fabulous garden. She didn’t luve there much longer after my grandpa died, but I can remember going out the kitchen door to help water. Thanks for the chance to win!

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    1. I loved working in the garden with my grandmother. She had a wonderful straw hat that she wore only for gardening. Good luck in the giveaway.

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    1. Thank you Barbara. I hope you guys get to come visit your Southern Accomplice soon. Bouchercon 2018 was fantastic!

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  14. Congrats on the new series! Sounds like you have some great memories of the area. I can see why you would enjoy setting a series there.

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    1. Hi Mark, Thank you for stopping by. I’m happy to indulge in reliving some very happy summers.

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  15. Hi Cheryl,
    Congratulations on your new book, Still Knife Painting!
    Your child hood time with your grandparents sounds wonderful. With wonderful memories!
    I remember going to visit my grandparents and they had Howdy Dowdy cups that we had chocolate milk in every time we visited. The main thing I remember is. I loved going there.

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    1. Grandparents are the best thing in the world. The only thing better is grandchildren. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  16. Yes I do! My Grandmother loved to bake her sweets. When Grandma occasionally babysat my younger sister and I, she would make chocolate chip cookies. I remember standing on a step stool helping mix and pour in the ingredients. One Christmas she handed all her adult Grandchildren a little memory from the past that was special to her with us. Mine item was a package of chocolate chip cookies! She passed many years ago and I think of her often, especially when I make chocolate chip cookies.

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    1. What a wonderful and wise woman. Those moments mean everything. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  17. My paternal grandmother lived in Mexico and what I remember about her house,was that she would always have bananas and I just loved the smell of the bananas , of course she would give us some, she would always have a bowl of fruit on her kitchen table, I have never really smelled the banana’s as good as when I smelled them at her house,they always smelled delicious and that smell will always stay with me tucked away with other special memories. She also had a hutch and in her hutch she had a miniature coca cola bottle with I would guess syrup or something or who knows it might have been the real thing cause of course it had a miniature bottle cap on it, well I always loved that miniature bottle and I have no idea whatever happened to it, any ways about 17 yrs ago my daughter and I were at the mall and I saw a miniature coca cola bottle pretty much like it and my daughter bought it for me. Precious, precious memories. I never knew my grandfather on that side because when I was just a little baby my grandparents got divorced.

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    1. These memories of our grandparents are so special. Glad you have some great ones. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  18. Hi Cheryl,

    I posted earlier today but I needed to post again to say please don’t include me in the giveaway as I picked up the book this afternoon at my local store. I look forward to reading it as soon as I can.

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  19. Congratulations on your new release! “Still Knife Painting” sounds like a great start to a new series. Looking forward to reading.
    I have lots of fond memories of my Uncle Charlie’s farm. We used to have so much fun visiting him and Aunt Jenny. They had an old farm house, animals, chickens, lots of farm equipment and a barn full of hay. Lots of fun times there.

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  20. I only know my fraternal grandmother. She was always kind to me but we didn’t see her often .She died was 10.

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  21. Congratulations!! Can’t wait to read your new series! I have VERY fond memories of summers at my grandparent’s cottage at Lake Winnepausaukee. And of baking with my grandmother. Blesses to have them in my life for sure.

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  22. I just realized I never replied! I loved going to my father’s parents’ house a couple of towns away. They would have a single grandkid sleep over at a time (we were four) and it was a real treat to climb way up into the four-poster bed to sleep. My grandmother and would pick oranges in the back yard in the morning and she squeezed them for breakfast juice – and they had a real breakfast nook.

    Didn’t go to my other grandmother’s house, because her stubborn Irish father had stopped speaking to her. But my little grandmother Ruth would come visit us for a couple of weeks at a time. She baked from scratch and ironed everything in the house. And snored like a sailor! Fond memories.

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  23. Both of my grandparents lived in the country. My one grandfather had about just an acre of land. My other grandfather has many acres where he had cows, chickens, horses, and turkeys. I did not like the turkeys because I was only 6 yrs old and they were really big to me. I had to watch out because the bathroom was an outhouse in the yard and we had to go around the turkeys to get there. Sherrie

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