Jean will give away signed copies of her book to three (3) lucky people who leave comments on blogs in this blog tour. But, unless you leave a comment or comments, you won’t have a change to be one of the three.
Jean Henry Mead writes the Logan and Cafferty senior sleuth mystery series as well as historical fiction. A Village Shattered is her eleventh book and third novel. A former award-winning photojournalist, magazine and newspaper reporter/editor, her articles have been published domestically as well as abroad.
A Village Shattered is the first in the series and features two widows living in a retirement village where their friends and club members are murdered alphabetically. Dana Logan, a mystery novel buff, and her friend, Sarah Cafferty, a private investigator's widow, decide to solve the murders when they learn their own names are on the list. An inexperienced sheriff botches the investigation, and Dana's beautiful daughter Kerrie arrives to complicate the plot.
I decided to interview Kerrie for this stop on Jean's virtual book tour. Thank you for agreeing to be here, Kerrie. Let me get my list of questions. Ahh, here they are.
VZ: Why do you think Jean brought you into this novel, A Village Shattered?
Kerrie: Jean is a seat-of-the-pants writer who rarely knows what’s she’s going to write when she sits down at the computer every morning. Characters just seem to pop into her head whenever the plot needs them. She didn’t even know who I was when I rang the doorbell and my mom said, “Kerrie, what are you doing here?” I guess she thought I might liven up the plot, or complicate it. And she was right. Jean didn’t realize I was a news reporter, like she was in real life, until the big fire happened at the retirement village. It was logical—to me anyway-- that was the only way I could find out who was responsible for setting the blaze. Even then, the fire chief didn’t want to talk to me.
VZ: How do you think your relationship with your mother, Dana Logan, adds to the tension in Shattered?
Kerrie: I had a chip on my shoulder when I arrived because I had just broken up with my fiancé, and Mom and I had never been close, so I didn’t take her warnings seriously about the serial killer. I just wanted to have some fun and get involved in another relationship. I was pretty self centered, I’m afraid, and it nearly cost me my life.
VZ: What lessons do you think your mother learns during the course of the book?
Kerrie: Mom felt guilty that she didn’t manage to spend more time with me while I was growing up. Not her fault, really, because she had to work two jobs to support us after my father died. But there was this wall between us because I was so independent and rebellious as a teen. Mom shed a lot of tears over me. I think she realized that she should have made more of an effort to sit and listen to my problems while I was growing up, and try to nurture a closer relationship. That didn’t happen until we tried to solve the murders together and were involved in some awfully scary situations, like stealing a patrol car and getting lost in the fog.
VZ: What lessons did you learn?
Kerrie: I learned that I shouldn’t use people. I lost the man I loved because I used him to get myself out of trouble when I stayed out past the sheriff’s curfew. It hurt him badly and he never got over it. I also learned how important family relationships are as well as how much my journalism career meant to me.
VZ: How did your relationship with your mother change during the course of the novel, or did it?
Kerrie: It changed considerably. We were strangers when I arrived on her doorstep, unaware of the murders and danger in the village. Over the course of the story, we became very close because we faced danger together and were nearly killed ourselves. I’ll never forget the night I talked Mom and Sarah into going with me to a male stripper club. Mom had too much to drink and Sarah tried to stuff a dollar bill into one of the dancer’s G-strings. It was hilarious. Of course, I didn’t know the killer had followed us there.
VZ: What one or two failings or short-comings on your part do you believe created more problems for others?
Kerrie: My immaturity and self centeredness caused plenty of problems, and it certainly worried Mom and Sarah. I should have realized how much they would worry about me when I suddenly took off. A stupid thing to do.
VZ: Do you see yourself included in future Logan and Cafferty mysteries?
Kerrie: Yes, I’m in the next novel, Diary of Murder, which will be out next spring. Mom, Sarah and I are the Three Musketeers, you know. They’re quite capable of solving crimes without me, but having me along provides some interesting plot complications that wouldn’t happen otherwise. I may even crop up in the third book, Died Laughing. You just never know what kinds of problems the author is going to drop us into. I read the first chapter of the third book in the series and know that mom may become a grandmother. I wish Jean would let me know for sure so I can shop for baby clothes.
VZ: What future do you see for your mother and the sheriff, or for you and Jim Dalton?
Kerrie: Mom’s a very attractive woman for someone her age, and I’m not convinced that she’s in love with Sheriff Grayson. We’ll have to wait and see. As far as my love interest, Jim Dalton, is concerned, I’m still hoping we can patch things up. But that deputy, Nancy Murray, is trying her best to get her claws into him, so there may be in a cat fight before the book is over.
VZ: What would you like to add, let readers know about you, the novel, your mother?
Kerrie: Hmmm, probably that Mom and Sarah won’t be able to stop stumbling over bodies in the rest of the series. Jean put them in a motor home in the middle of a Rocky Mountain blizzard in the next novel, and they wind up in Wyoming investigating the death of my aunt Georgi. Her husband says it was suicide. Don’t believe it!
Thank you for joining us, Kerrie. Tell Jean I enjoyed her book very much.
Jean Henry Mead’s blog
Order A Village Shattered.