Frequently Asked Questions

Q   Where can I purchase your books?

A   The Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Mysteries are available from Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, all independent mystery bookstores, most other bookstores, and certain tea shops and scrapbook stores. They are also available online at,,, and many more Internet retailers. If your local bookstore does not have a particular book in stock, just ask and they will order it for you.

Autographed books can be obtained from Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore.  Phone 612-870-3785.  Web site:


Q   I would like to retail your books in my tea shop, gift shop, or scrapbook store. How do I go about buying your books at wholesale prices?

A   For wholesale orders (generally a case), contact Penguin Putnam at 1-800-847-5515, extension 6304 (Sue Smith). For smaller quantities (10-30 books), contact Baker & Taylor book wholesalers at 1-800-775-1100. Be aware that you will have to open an account with these vendors.


Q   As a tea shop retailer, how can I make use of your books?

A   Besides being a nice addition to your retail area, a lot of tea shops use the Tea Shop Mysteries to kick off their new reading clubs and reading groups.


Q   Will you please make recommendations on what teas to buy?

A   It's going to be a lot more fun for you if you visit your local tea shop or gourmet shop and talk to the real experts. You can also shop and explore at tea websites such as,,, and And be sure to check out specialty tea magazines such as Tea- A Magazine ( and Tea Time (


Q   I have a great idea for a new mystery. How do I get started, and how do I find a publisher?

A   First, you need to have a finished manuscript in hand. Publishers do not just buy "ideas." Once you have your manuscript written and polished, send a one page query letter (not the manuscript) to a literary agent. Tell the prospective agent about the merits of your book and include a short synopsis. There are books at the library and in bookstores that list these agents.

Some helpful websites include,, and


Q   What is your writing background?

A   I was a writer/producer at several national ad agencies, then headed my own company, Mission Critical Marketing, as CEO and Creative Director. Because I had written and produced so many TV commercials, I decided to try my hand at writing screenplays. I wrote four screenplays, got one read by Paramount, but never actually sold one. I then turned to writing mysteries. After I'd produced two manuscripts, the planets seemed to align, and I got very lucky with a great agent and a visionary editor. I have since sold my ad agency and now write mysteries full time. I do miss the interaction of working with my creative and account teams, but the tight deadlines and creativity-on-demand are very reminiscent of the ad game!


Q   I'd like to review your book for the publication (or Internet site) that I work for or own.

A   Wonderful! I'd very much appreciate your doing that. Just e-mail me with the details, plus the exact mailing address of the publication you're affiliated with, and I'll have my publisher send a book.


Q   There are a few errors in some of your recipes. Can you clarify please?

A   Sorry about that. The correct amount of flour for Mississippi Mud Cake in Bound for Murder is one and a half cups.

The ingredients for Chicken Perloo mentioned in Shades of Earl Grey are different from the recipe given in the back of the book. Chicken Perloo, like stew, has hundreds of variations. So don't be afraid to experiment.

And, yes, I now know that raisins are toxic for dogs.