Sherry and Julie were lucky enough to see Christin Brecher at Kensington’s CozyClub Mini-Con last month. Here, Christin tells us all about it and about her recent book launch, too.
The launch celebrated the release of Photo Finished, the debut in Christin’s new A Snapshot of NYC Mystery series, which was released on October 25th.
Take it away, Christin!
… Living La Vida Cozy
Readers and writers, remember 1999? What were you doing? Apparently, we all knew how to party back then? For many of us, those party days are a bit of a distant memory – especially since Prince’s immortal anthem was written in the ‘80s! Between Covid and… fill in the blanks as you will… it’s been a tough couple of years for everyone to gather together. For authors and readers, we’ve missed the time to talk books, share stories, and celebrate new launches. As for the partying, the most we every sought on top of the good company was an occasional glass of wine and, maybe, a couple of nibbles. Alas, listening to a reading and raising a glass have been tough with masks on, and health trumps it all.
This author, however, has felt the old rhythm pick up again this fall. I’m starting to meet readers face-to-face once more. My blossoming optimism that this trend might be the start of good things to come occurred in October when Kensington Books hosted their first CozyClub Mini-Con in two years. On a bright fall day, over a hundred of us gathered in a community center in Shiremanstown, PA. Twelve authors shared their stories with readers who came from far and wide to join. We smiled and hugged! and caught up on our lives as if at a class reunion everyone wanted to attend. There was so much goodwill in that room you could have cut it with a knife (we were a group that reads and writes about murders so it feels like a good metaphor). I realized that the cozy community is as warm and spunky as the cozy towns we write about, and that our face-to-face time has been sorely missed by all. I will also add that the thoughtful organizers at Kensington and host Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop gave us red, green and yellow stickers to wear to signal how comfortable we were with personal contact given ongoing health concerns.
Kensington CozyClub Mini-Con
My good fortune continued last week when my new book, Photo Finished, came out. Again, for the first time in two years, I was able to have an in-person book launch. The story of aspiring photographer and amateur sleuth, Liv Spyers, is based in NYC, and gathering at the city’s Corner Bookstore was the most ideal setting to welcome the book. Many readers have asked me how it is possible to write a cozy mystery based in a big city. I wish you could have been there that night when guests arrived with parents, kids, husbands. We met in a bookstore which, when it opened in the ‘70s, gave Carnegie Hill neighborhood its heart. Who says NYC isn’t cozy? We’re gritty, too, but we can pull it together. To gather in person after so many years was better than the wildest party I’ve ever attended.
The Corner Bookstore, Carnegie Hill, NYC
I hope we may continue to gather together. With the gap in these events, I’ve realized a literary lifestyle includes others who are also on reading journeys. As a reader, I will probably attend more events than ever. And as an author, I hope to see you sometime, somewhere, to sign a copy and chat. Until then, happy reading! And don’t forget to party like its 2022 when you can.
Readers: Is there something you had given up during the pandemic that you have done again/are eager to do again? Let us know what it is.
About Photo Finished
While some people escape into books or music, Liv Spyers escapes through her camera’s lens, which inspires her to jump into things she might otherwise have no business tackling—like moving to New York City. Hustling to make her dreams come true as a portrait photographer, she runs a pocket-sized studio below her grandparents’ West Village brownstone and key shop, where she also lives and works part-time. All of which still has her down to the end of her savings as the holidays approach. Everything changes in a flash, however, when elite events photographer, Regina Montague, invites Liv to shoot with her at New York City’s most exclusive socialite event of the year—the Holiday Debutante Ball!
Liv snaps at the opportunity, convinced that a job with Regina will launch her career. But when her fabulous new gig ends with the murder of billionaire Charlie Archibald, her dream job may never develop with Regina framed for murder. Once Liv begins to focus on her photos from the ball, she’s convinced they reveal Charlie Archibald’s real killer. Now, between cracking the world of high society—and the attentions of a handsome stranger—Liv must hustle once again to expose the killer . . . before she gets cropped from the picture!
As an author, I love developing new characters and plot twists, spending my days in writer-friendly cafes, and puzzling out stories and motives with fellow mystery buffs.
The publication of my first series, the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries, sprang from my life-long connection to Nantucket, a small, foggy island off the coast of Massachusetts, which is marked by its history in whaling and candle-making, its beautiful shingled houses and cobblestones, and its strong community. As for my newest series, a Snapshot of NYC Mysteries, I was born, raised, and still reside in New York City, a perfect place to stir the imagination and celebrate life’s everyday stories. You never know what lies around the corner in this town.