Sisters – Welcome Guest Angela Sanders

By Liz, so happy to be welcoming Angela Sanders today! Angie is the author of the Witch Way Librarian series and a fellow witch enthusiast, so I feel like we are kind of sisters! She’s here today talking about her own sister and how that dynamic played out in her latest book, Witch Upon a Star. Take it away, Angie!

A sister can be both your best friend and biggest pain the hind end. You share boyfriend woes, lipstick recommendations, aspirations, and irritations. Sisters can say anything to each other, and, sometimes to our dismay, they do. In writing Witch Upon a Star, I wondered what would it be like to investigate a murder with your sister at your side.

My own sister was the baby of the family. She was adorable, with rich red hair, moss green eyes, and, it seemed, perpetually missing front teeth, giving her an ultra-cute lisp. She was sweet and funny and everyone’s favorite little girl. In contrast, I was the oldest sibling—the serious, responsible one. I moved away for college, eventually landing in Washington, DC, as a congressional investigator while my sister stayed in rural Northern California, marrying at 17, having a baby within the year, and embarking on a very different future from mine. 

Today, while I write mysteries from my sunny office in Portland, Oregon, she’s in prison serving a 10-year sentence. For all our differences, I love her as much as ever. (I’ve included a few photos of us together. I’m sorry for the lousy quality—and the 1980s hair!)

Josie, the protagonist in the Witch Way Librarian mysteries, and her sister Jean’s relationship is more cozy than my real life situation. Josie is the middle sister of three, and Jean is the youngest. (Each sister was named after a French queen: Toni, for Marie Antoinette; Josie for Joséphine; and Jean for Eugénie.) Jean, a yoga teacher, has always felt inferior to Toni, who’s a physician, and Josie, a librarian. 

In an effort to prove herself, Jean travels to Wilfred, Oregon, to earn certification in the Ready-Set-Go coaching method from a famed life coaching guru. The first day, two bodies are discovered simultaneously: one at the retreat center and another slumped over a stool at the café. When Jean unwittingly moves into the killer’s crosshairs, she and Josie leap into action to find the murderer. 

Writing the sister relationship in Witch Upon a Star was a lot of fun. I could have Jean needle Josie about her longing for Sam, the town sheriff, while Josie reassured Jean that she had deeper, more valuable abilities than she knew (their mother had warned Josie not to reveal their bloodline as witches). They could tease each other and teach each other new things. They could share confidences and gently correct each other. In the end, of course, they could apprehend a murderer. As sisters.

The best stories submerge you in emotional experiences, and in writing this one, I felt both the delight and frustration of sisterhood. I loved it. I hope if you read Witch Upon a Star you’ll feel some of this joy, too.

Nothing matches the sister bond. Please tell me about your sister(s)! I’d love to know one thing you adore about her and, if you dare, one thing that gets under your skin. Could you imagine chasing down a murderer with her?

Angela M. Sanders is the author of the Witch Way Librarian cozy mysteries and the Joanna Hayworth vintage clothing mysteries. As Clover Tate, she wrote the Kite Shop cozy mysteries. When Angela isn’t at her laptop, she’s often rummaging in thrift shops or lounging with a vintage crime novel with her shelter cats Squeaky and Bitsy. and @angela.m.sanders on Instagram.


Big things are happening in small-town Wilfred, Oregon! The retreat center is open for its first workshop, the local café is done remodeling, and librarian and witch-in-training Josie Way is hosting her sister—and a few suspicions about the new killer on the loose

Josie is eager to show off Wilfred’s delights to her visiting sister, Jean—even though Josie must conceal her magic from her. In any case, Jean is excited to attend Cookie Masterson’s trademark “Ready-Set-Go!” workshop on becoming a life coach. Then there’s the grand reopening of Darla’s Café, where the doors are thrown open to reveal . . . a dead man, stabbed in the back. That was definitely not on the revamped menu…

Even more worrisome, the sheriff receives a report of a fresh corpse at the retreat center. Maybe murder isn’t so uncommon in Wilfred anymore, but two unfamiliar bodies within an hour certainly is! Josie’s willing to let law enforcement take the lead—after all, she’s gotten into some trouble from the hints the library’s spellbound books keep feeding her about the patrons. But when her sister receives the killer’s chilling calling card, she’ll use everything within her otherworldly powers to divine just who in town has homicide as his new slogan…

32 Thoughts

  1. I’m the oldest of 5 and my sister is the middle child. We did not get along sharing a bedroom at all. One day we came home from school to find that my mom had moved my sister into the playroom. So my 3 brothers shared a room and my sister and I each had our own room. My mom said she couldn’t stand the bickering any more. After I graduated from high school things were better between my sister and I. We would talk and I would advise her not to make the same mistakes that I made, no she made some worse than I did. She had a friend that was murdered and her body was found in a snow bank on a back road. My sister was a wreck. I think after she calmed down some we could have worked together to try to solve it or I should say prove that he did it. This was back in the mid 70’s everyone suspected who did it but as far as I know it’s never been solved.

  2. Welcome to the blog, Angela, congrats on the new book, and thank you for being honest about your sister. Families are an interesting thing!

    I have two older sisters, with the older of them only 3 1/2 years older. We were close in different ways when I was young, but since college days (50 years ago) I’ve been much closer to the one nearer my age. We are the only two of four (we also have a younger brother) who finished college and advanced degrees, who went world traveling, who learned a couple of other languages. I can see us trying to solve a murder, although it’s my oldest sister who loves reading mysteries, especially cozies.

    1. There’s something so special about the sister relationship! As different as you might be, there’s always a special bond, I think, and a comfort sisters share. I’d love to see more sister sleuths.

  3. My heart aches just reading that your sister is in prison Angela. I am so glad you still love and support her. You are fortunate to have each other. I only have one sister (we have two brothers) and we have always been very close. My favorite thing about her is that I laugh with her more than anyone else in my life. It is scary sometimes how much we think alike.The thing that used to irritate me about her, sadly, no longer does. I used to think she always had things easier than I did and was jealous of her. Unfortunately, that is no longer true. Because I want to preserve her privacy, I will only say that she deals with extremely difficult family challenges. It is not the life anyone who knew her would have envisioned for her. And it saddens me that the challenges have robbed her of some of the joy she should have in her life. She just isn’t the same person she used to be. I do my best to support her as I can. I never imagined that she would need so much support from me! She has always supported me and I am tremendously grateful for that. We often don’t know the trials that others face in their lives, so please try to be kind to everybody.

    1. I love your spirit, Sue! Part of the package of having a sister to laugh with is having her to cry with, too. I hope your sister’s challenges ease. Thank you for your wonderful comment!

  4. “Witch Upon a Star” sounds fabulous! Can’t wait for the opportunity to read and review it.

    Although I had no biological sisters, I do have a extremely special sister by choice. We met some 20 years ago over a mutual collection and quickly became best friends – even though we live in different states. Over the years that bond had grown. She proved what a great “sister” she was when I was 24/7 caregiver for my Mom recouping from cancer surgery and dealing with Alzheimer. When everyone else seemed to disappear, she was always there – with calls, surprise packages and many other ways. We’ve always went to each other’s home one or twice a year, but distance hasn’t affected the love between us. We are definitely honest with one another, which can be harsh at times, but we tell no lies. We talk each week on Wednesday. It’s a phone call I look forward to each week where we shared events in our live, upcoming events, worries we have, laugh of something said or done and lift each other up. Yes, she is my sister!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Hi Kay, and thank you for bringing up one of the best kinds of sisters: sisters by choice! I’m lucky to have a few of these, too, and I love them dearly. It’s so wonderful to know we can always build our family like that. I hope you’ve found a good, even if challenging, rhythm to caring for your mother.

      1. Sadly Mom is now free of any restraints of Alzheimer. She lived with us for her last 5 years. Hubby even took early retirement to help with her care. We promised both my parents if physically possible that they wouldn’t go to a nursing home and we kept that promise. Although I now have some medical issue due to it, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was through my sister by choice at times that allowed me to continue when I didn’t think I could. Thanks for your concern and my heart and prayers goes out to others going through this journey now.

  5. Thanks so much for your post today! I have two beloved sisters. There is no relationship quite like the one between siblings, is there? No matter what, they’ve been through some things with you that no one else has.

  6. Delighted that my library has this series. Just requested the first 2 and am looking forward to reading them.

  7. Welcome to the Wickeds, Angela. I don’t have any sisters, but all three of my female protagonists do. Hmmm. Paging Dr. Freud!

  8. I’m an only child, but I ‘ve had a friend (also an only) for 45 years who I think of as a sister. We seldom see each other any more, but we send each other silly emails and occasionally serious ones. We saw each other last year and we picked up just as if we saw each other every week. Neither one of us has ever met anyone else we feel that way about. And, definitely, I could see us trying to solve a mystery together.

    1. I love this! What a wonderful thing to have a sister-by-choice. I don’t know you, yet I’m already imagining the both of you peering into darkened rooms and picking locks….

  9. I enjoyed this post. My sister and I are 3 years apart which isn’t much but we are completely different. I have tried numerous times over the years to maintain a civil and good relationship but she is uninterested and cold. We no longer communicate. Five years ago she visited and stayed with me for 2 weeks. I bent over backwards, indulged, spoiled and treated her like a queen. She was unappreciative and rude. Finished now.

  10. i have 2 sisters and neither of which i have much of relationship with. not all sister relationships are about support and sharing unfortunately.

    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

  11. I’m the baby of the family and my only other sibling, my brother, is nine years older than I. Add to that growing up in an all-boy neighborhood in the 50s and 60s and you’ll understand why I didn’t have a sister bond. Flash forward to high school (all girls) and college. I’m still in touch with my crime partner from high school and my roomie from college. Two different families, but sisters just the same. These ladies have my back, and I theirs, no matter what. Sisters rule! Related or not.

  12. I don’t have a sister; I just have one brother. I do have a sister-in-law. I’m trying to imagine chasing down a killer with either my brother or sister-in-law. Of course, I’m having a hard time picturing me chasing down a killer by myself or with anyone else, and I can’t quite do it.

    1. Truth be told, I’d probably lock myself in the house and dial the police. That’s the advantage of writing fiction, though–the imagination can run wild!

  13. My sister is eight years younger than I am. Growing up, it was a nightmare. Imagine being 16, trying to be cool, and all your little sister, then 8, wants to do is trail after you. And the number of times I heard, “Now, she’s the baby” as an excuse for everything – from turning all the pants for my Barbies into shorts to writing in my books.

    Now that we are older, we’re much better friends. But I don’t think I could see her chasing down a murderer. LOL

  14. Hi I have 4 Sisters and Three Brothers I am the Oldest Girl Love that I can talk to my Sisters. We are close. What I didn’t like was my one of my Sisters would borrow my clothes brand new that I had not worn yet and loan them to their friend to wear? Enough to make you scream. I love my Sisters.

    1. How wonderful that you get along so well with your sisters! There’s nothing like that sister bond. I’d be irritated, too, if my sister lent out my new clothes!

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