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.
So many congratulations on the new series, Christin! I can’t wait to read the first book.
I had an in-person author event, a four-person panel, on Sunday night with fifty people in the audience! It was amazing and so much fun.
Thanks for the good cheer, Edith. And I’m so glad you are enjoying these in-person gatherings too. Hope to see you at one!
Congratulations on your new series which I enjoyed.
Thanks, Dru! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.
Love the new series. Congratulations!
I’ve been able to go to concerts, theatre, and conferences (Malice, ComicCon) again. Went to NYC a couple of weeks ago with a friend (more live theatre). Never stopped going to movies; if the theatres were open, I went.
However, thanks to Zoom, Facebook Live and other technology I was able to go to events in other cities/countries that I’d never be able to go – book launches/events, concerts, San Diego Comic Con, DragonCon.
I retired during the pandemic; not going back to work 🙂
It sounds like you had a lot of fun in NYC. I’m finishing a new book right now so I’m at home 24/7 (minutes dog walks!) but I was thinking of being a tourist in my own home town when I’m done. People have been sharing fun adventures they’d had in the city and now I want to go out and about too!
Welcome! You’re a new author to me! Love the book cover. For me it would be going to the gym and movies. We now have a gym in our basement. Still haven’t seen a movie in a theater since covid. Hopefully soon!
Gym in the basement!! That’s a dream. This fall I had two lifelong friends coming over to do yoga in my living room. It’s been so funny. We fall on top of each other.
Christin, congrats on the new book and series. Does this mean your first series is over?
I didn’t so much give up my weekly trivia night as it was shut down during the pandemic. But when they brought it back, I’ve returned to it and the team I’m part of has continued our gift card winning ways.
My son loves his weekly trivia night! Sounds so fun and I hope you win lots of gift cards. Thanks for asking about the Nantucket Candle Maker mysteries. I have ideas for three more books, but as for now, I’m working on the second book for a Snapshot of NYC mysteries. Then we’ll see where we go!
With Covid and health issues, we had given up our plans to mark items off our bucket list (most of which included traveling). However, fully boostered up and tired of staying home, we have started to venture our on some of the list that are closer to home. We pray things stay on this course and we can once again travel to places further away. We wish to mark off the whole list before medically its impossible.
Hubby and I love photography and thankfully are visited daily by a wide array of critter visitors. So sitting on the porch with cameras in hand and on tripods have been a great help during this stay at home time. So naturally when I see a cozy with photography in it and a camera on the cover, I’m super excited about it. LOVE the cover and can’t wait for the opportunity to read and review “Photo Finished”!
2clowns at arkansas dot net
Writing a book was on my bucket list. The first book I wrote (never published) took place partly in London & Paris. I had little kids back then and just writing about those cities was like taking a trip. I also felt that way about the Nantucket Candle Maker mysteries. I’d be in NYC in the middle of winter but then I’d spend all day writing about a summer day at the beach. Good therapy for the winter blues! And thanks for the shout out on the cover. Kensington did a GREAT job, I agree.
Congratulations, Christin! Like you, I’m enjoying getting back in the swing of face-to-face events and seeing people.
Thank you! And enjoy.
Welcome and congratulations on the new book! It was so great to see you and the readers at the Cozy Con were amazing!
It was SO nice to see you too. Love all of you Wicked writers!!
As a lifelong NYer I’m looking forward to reading your new series!
It’s been wonderful moving from Zoom to in person get togethers with book & knitting groups, starting to slowly attend outdoor then indoor events, and even a large knitting retreat (although there were some covid cases reported 😥). I hope to see you at a future book event!
I am also a life long NY-er. You might get some of the little nuances in the book that I’ve tucked in here and there.
Mega congrats on the new release! New York City is a connected series of small towns under one big, vibrant, umbrella! Outsiders don’t realize that until they visit for a while.
I’m longing for face to face get togethers. Miss my posse!
Yes! Exactly how I fee. People keep asking me how I made NYC into a cozy setting but I found it easy. Others say it reminds them of Only Murders in the Building. Thanks for checking in today! Hope you get to your posse sometime soon.
Congratulations on your new series, can’t wait to read it 🙂
Thank you, Damyanti!
I can’t wait to get to an in person event again myself. I’ve missed them.
I hear you!
Congratulations on that lovely new book of yours!! I love the photos of your live book launch in that charming NYC bookstore. That’s what being an author is all about, making personal connections with readers. It was so awesome meeting you and the other wonderful members of our Kensington cozy family at the mini-con! Can’t wait to read Photo Finished!
Darci, I so much enjoyed meeting you too! That was a great day.
Congratulations on the new book.
During the pandemic I had to give up going to Broadway play, the symphony, and Art museums. As soon as they open back up I went to them.
Isn’t it fun to see a play? I’ll never take those things for granted anymore. The first show I saw was in a small theater. Not one person had seen a live show in, what? two years? The curtain went up, every gave an ovation, and the actors and the audience cried. And then the show went on! It was very special.
Congrats on the new release, Christin!
Thank you, Sarah!
Christin, it was so great to see you in Mechanicsburg! Congratulations on the new series–the book sold out at the cozy-con, and I hope that is an indication of what’s to come.
Thank you for those kind words. It was great to see you too!
I had planned on going to two author events, but they were both canceled because of the pandemic. I had never been to an author event. I was disappointment. One of the author’s came to a city an hour away. My husband and I traveled to meet her as well as getting a signed book. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.
That must have been so disappointing, Debbie, especially when you drove so far. Hopefully you will have a chance to try again – with luck next time around. Authors genuinely love to connect with readers, talk books and stories, etc.
Traveling yearly to New Orleans to meet with friends from Texas in October/November. We would enjoy each other’s company, see the sights and eat fantastic foods. And we got to take our pup. We really do miss that. Also being able to fly to Texas to spend time with my best friend and family.
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