In a land where Cook=Author and Broth=Book…
Three connected books by three different authors add up to one irresistible mystery, starting with: Who are these cats and how did they manage such an amazing feat as self-herding?
We asked Eve Gaddy to dish up some samples for us, and you’ll want to get your writing spoons out because your comment will make you eligible for today’s drawing—3 names!
Welcome Eve Gaddy, Roz Denny Fox, and Ken Casper!
Ken Casper, Roz Fox and I are friends who see each other mostly at writing conferences. One conference we thought it would be fun to write a trilogy of books together. We wanted to set it in Texas but not in West Texas, where so many stories are set. We wanted something a little different. About that time another friend, Rosalyn Alsobrook, walked by and mentioned the town of Uncertain, Texas on Caddo Lake in far East Texas. We loved the name, so we all got together and visited Uncertain. We took a ride on a riverboat that toured Caddo Lake and fell in love with the place. The story goes that when the town first came to be the people were uncertain what to name it. So they named it Uncertain. Don’t know if that’s a true story but it sounds good, you have to admit.
Eve Gaddy is the award winning author of sixteen novels. She lives in east Texas.
Ken, Eve and I had talked about working together on a story idea. We always met at RWA and Ninc conferences, had a few glasses of wine and talked story ideas. It’s been a while since we did our research, but I think Ken tossed out the idea of writing about foster children.
He always wanted to put in a mystery–that’s the guy in him. I’m abominable at things like red herrings and clues, so any that are in my book probably came from Ken or Eve.
We decided readers liked books set in Texas. Eve mentioned not many were set in East Texas, hence our
choice of a general setting. A friend of Eve’s suggested “Uncertain” and some of our ideas fell into place and seemed to fit right in the spooky, swampy area around Caddo Lake.
My husband and I picked up Ken and his wife and we four drove from San Angelo, Texas to Eve’s area. Along the way we visited the Monday Trade Days location where I’d thought might be a good place for my main character to have been found as a baby. We really did have a lot of fun driving around, choosing the homes we wanted in each of our books. As we talked to people we met, someone referred us to a man who once put out the Caddo Lake Newspaper from his house It was called “The Uncertain News”. He had a lot of great stories and took us for a ride through the swamp in his paddle wheeler. He had a great time and we did too. It’s an area that is more like Louisiana than what people think of Texas. And for us it was the perfect place to set a 20 year old murder.
Roz Denny Fox is the author of more than fifty romance novels. She lives in Tucson, AZ.
Roz, Eve and I had agreed on two things: we wanted the main characters to be related, and we wanted it to be set in Texas. One other thing we’d agreed on was: don’t be predictable. So instead of making them blood relations, we made them foster children, and instead of setting the story in traditional West Texas or the Hill Country, we went to East Texas, so far east, in fact, we could literally see Louisiana.
Brainstorming is fun—the game of “What if…”—especially if you can do it face-to-face. We did some of that on our trip to Uncertain, but after that we were dependent on technology. As I recollect we made a few conference calls, but the lion’s share of our discussion was done via the internet. We exchanged over a thousand of emails before our project was finally put to bed. I can’t imagine what this project would have been like b.c., before computers.
Ken Casper is the author of more than 25 novels, short stories and articles. Born and raised in New York City, he’s now a transplanted Texan.
And now, the menu:
Forget broth and sink your teeth into these morsels…
UNCERTAIN FATE (Book 1)
Nineteen years ago, Frannie Granger disappeared . . .
Since then, the land at Beaumarais near Caddo Lake, east Texas, has hidden the secret of her fate. Now that secret is out, but a mystery remains: who is responsible for what happened on her last hectic morning so long ago?
The local sheriff is convinced Jed Louis, heir to the antebellum plantation house, breeder of Percheron horses, and the eldest of the three foster children Frannie raised as her own, is responsible for what took place.
Gwyn Miller, who leases land from Jed, is equally committed to proving the millionaire horseman was in no way involved.
She’s also determined to show Jed that nothing can ever threaten what they have with each other, not even his Uncertain Fate.
UNCERTAIN PAST (Book 2)
Nineteen years ago, Emmy’s foster mother disappeared, tearing their fragile family apart. After years of lonely wandering, Emmy returns to Uncertain, Texas to support her foster brother Jed, who’s been accused of the murder, and solve another mystery from the past—finding the biological mother who abandoned her.
Riley Gray, her teenage love and now a successful attorney, is the only person who can help her. The old sparks quickly reignite. The romance is as irresistible as before. They never stopped loving each other. But someone wants Emmy to stop asking questions, and is willing to threaten not only Riley but his young daughter, too.
UNCERTAIN FUTURE (Book 3)
Will McClain swears to bring his foster mother’s killer to justice . . . even if that person is his brother, Jed.
When Texas Ranger Will McClain discovers that his foster mother’s remains have been found in the East Texas town he left years before, he returns to solve the mystery of who murdered Frannie Granger and why.
While investigating the murder he falls for the lovely Tessa Lang, the archeologist who discovered Frannie’s bones. He also reconnects with his foster siblings, Jed Louis and Emerald Monday. But Will is a Ranger and must do everything in his power to find the murderer, even when his foster brother is the main suspect.
Will has returned to the only home he’s ever known, but convincing Tessa that she can make it her home as well is a tall order. For Tessa believes her career lies elsewhere, and that the love she’s discovered for teaching as well as her love for Will are both temporary.
Okay, let’s chew on this:
Why do you think small towns make great settings for stories about old mysteries? What’s your favorite fictitious small-town mystery? Or tell us about a real one!
Ken, Roz and Eve will each draw one name among today’s comments for a beautiful trade-size paperback copy of his/her book.