Monday, March 23, 2015

Celebrating Women's History Month #1: The Cozy Protagonists

Here at Midnight Ink Headquarters, we find that the best way to celebrate Women's History Month is to talk to our authors whose books feature strong female protagonists. Every day this week, return to this blog to find out more about the ladies portrayed in our various series and stand-alone releases this year!

Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston writes the Superstition and Barkery & Biscuits mysteries for Midnight Ink. She has published over thirty-five romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery series and the Pet-Sitter Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. She lives in California. Visit her online at

Rory Chasen, protagonist of the Superstition Mysteries, is a superstition agnostic... like me.  After losing her beloved fiancĂ© when he walked under a ladder, she traveled to the town of superstitions, Destiny, California, to determine if they're real.  She's still not sure, but her strength lies in her ongoing determination to find out.  Her lucky dog Pluckie beside her, she runs the Lucky Dog Boutique.

In Knock on Wood (October 8, 2015), her closest friend is accused of murder.  Rory, who faced similar circumstances in Lost Under a Ladder, will do all she can to confront the applicable superstitions and clear her friend.

Carrie Kennersly, protagonist of the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, loves animals, like me. As a veterinary technician, she has devoted her life to them.  But she is also an entrepreneur at heart and jumps at the opportunity to buy a bakery and convert half into a barkery for healthful dog treats she has developed.  

In Bite the Biscuit (May 8, 2015), Carrie opens her new stores.  Soon thereafter she is accused of murdering a nasty member of the town's most elite family, owner of a local pet store, who criticizes Carrie's new venture.  Carrie must clear herself . . . and keep on cooking.

Tracy Weber

Tracy Weber is the author of the Downward Dog mysteries, a certified yoga therapist, and the founder of Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, where she lives with her husband and a horse-sized German Shepherd. Weber is a member of Sisters in Crime, The Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and the Dog Writers Association of America. Visit her online at

Kate Davidson is a yoga teacher who suffers from unfortunate—and often embarrassing—anger management issues. She’s smart, fiercely loyal, and independent to a fault. Her strengths, when unchecked, become her weaknesses.  She’s so independent that she doesn’t accept help; she’s so loyal that she helps others when it would be smarter not to; she firmly believes in the ethics she teaches, even when she fails to live up to them. Kate interests me because she makes mistakes, falls flat on her butt, and gets back up again.  Isn’t that the true definition of courage?

Kate faces many challenges in A Killer Retreat (January 8, 2015), including being the primary suspect in a murder investigation. But her biggest challenge is always getting out of her own way. Kate’s a work in progress, but she’s growing!

Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco

Steve Hockensmith is the author of the Tarot Mysteries (Midnight Ink), the Edgar-nominated Nick and Tesla mysteries (Quirk), and the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novels Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Quirk) and Dreadfully Ever After (Quirk). His book Holmes on the Range (Minotaur Books) was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony Awards for Best First Novel. Visit him online at

Lisa Falco received her first tarot deck at the age of eight years old. She holds degrees from both Northwestern University and Cal State University Northridge. She is also the author of A Mother's Promise for Illumination Arts.

It was Lisa’s idea to write about a female tarot reader who helps her clients through the cards. I [Steve] added Alanis’ dark back story—that she was raised by a sociopathic con woman—and made her the series’ skeptical, wisecracking narrator. So Alanis is a hybrid: spiritual yet worldly, well meaning yet cynical. That blend makes her a complicated character—and one who refuses to conform to the limits (be unthreatening, be “nice”) that are sometimes imposed on female protagonists. In Fool Me Once (August 8, 2015), Alanis is trying to balance those opposing sides of herself, and it’s not only difficult . . . it’s deadly!

Maddy Hunter

Maddy Hunter draws inspiration from disastrous vacations that have spanned three continents to fuel her Passport to Peril Mystery series. The first six titles are available from Pocket Books; books seven and eight are available through Midnight Ink Books. The first in the series, Alpine for You, was an Agatha Award finalist and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. Hula Done It?, Pasta Imperfect and Top O’ the Mournin’ were named to the Independent Mystery Bookseller’s Association bestseller list. For more information, visit

Emily Andrew Miceli leaped from my imagination as a fish out of water who trades in her stage-acting career for that of a tour escort for Iowa seniors. I thought her misadventures abroad with her quirky companions might be amusing. What I didn’t know was that despite a barrage of life-altering setbacks, Emily really likes herself, is incredibly resourceful, and has a kind heart. These qualities are what make her strong. The challenge she faces in From Bad to Wurst (December 8, 2015) is to nab a killer while being distracted by nonstop emergency room visits, psychic disharmony, and musical disasters. Uff-da!  

Return to this blog tomorrow to hear from our new series authors: Gigi Pandian, Loretta Ross, Elizabeth Perona, Deirdre Verne, Amanda Flower, and Tracy Kiely!

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