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MALICE, MATRIMONY, & MURDER
A Limited-Edition Collection of 25 Wedding
Cozy Mystery & Crime Fiction Stories
BY NIKKI KNIGHT (aka Kathleen Marple Kalb) ETAL
Everyone loves a good wedding—and a good mystery. Combine the two and what do you get? Malice, Matrimony, and Murder! Over two dozen authors have teamed up to offer you this wedding-themed collection of brand-new cozy mystery and cozy crime fiction stories that will keep you wondering whodunit and what’s next from the first page to the last. Between bad bridesmaids, conniving caterers, greedy guests, ill-mannered in-laws, savvy sleuths, and vengeful villains, this anthology has it all! All of the stories are clean and fun, with a general feel-good tone. If you read to be entertained, surprised, and uplifted, then this collection is for you. Even better, YOU get to be an armchair sleuth! The anthology as a whole contains an overarching wedding whodunit woven throughout. As you’re reading, collect the clues, identify whodunit, and access a special ebook filled with bonuses and extras. Inside you’ll find recipes, character interviews, bonus stories, and more!
All the stories:
• “The Groom’s Club” by Joslyn Chase.
• “A Wedding Planner’s Nightmare: A Persimmon Worthing Mystery” by Charlotte Morganti.
• “Cinderella at Midnight” by P.M. Raymond.
• “Ring Robbery: A Cozy Cat Caper Mystery Short” by Paige Sleuth.
• “What’s a Little Murder Between Friends” by Teresa Inge.
• “Icing on the Cake” by Sally Milliken.
• “Love and Death in Madison, Georgia” by Rebecca Olmstead.
• “Second Chances Are…Murder: A Vermont Radio Mystery” by Nikki Knight.
• “Wedding Vows & Vipers” by Shari Held.
• “The Bride Wore Death” by Barbara Howard.
• “Chill: A Naomi Sinclair Short Story” by Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier.
• “A Bit of a Do” by KD Sherrinford.
• “Goes Around” by Stephen D. Rogers.
• “Jilted” by Elaine Togneri.
• “Sabotage and a Murder Mystery” by Lynn Hesse.
• “Til Death Do Us Part” by Margaret S. Hamilton.
• “A Wedding Most Bitter: A Lara’s Detective Agency Series” by Stella Oni.
• “Better Late Than Murdered” by Robert Petyo.
• “Charm City Wedding” by Pamela Kyel.
• “The Other Wedding Crasher” by Karen McCullough.
• “Marriage, Neighbors and Best Friends: A Wally and Ollie Series” by Wil A. Emerson.
• “The Wedding Dress in the Middle of the Road” by Jack Bates.
• “Death, the Unwanted Wedding Guest” by J. Aquino.
• “We Haven’t Had Cake” by Sharyn Kolberg.
• “To Have and To Scold” by Becky Clark.
Nikki Knight (aka Kathleen Marple Kalb)
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I like to say I’m an author/anchor/mom…not in that order. The anchor part is the only one I really believed would happen! I’ve been writing fiction and working in radio since I was a teenager, through newsrooms in Pittsburgh, Vermont, and Connecticut. Right about the time I finally started getting work in New York, I reconnected with a former colleague and old friend. I ended up marrying him, and eventually became a weekday mom in Connecticut and a weekend anchor in NYC. When our son started kindergarten, I started thinking about fiction again. It took a year to write the first book. Two more projects and a couple hundred rejections – during my husband’s lymphoma treatment – before the agent and the first traditional publishing deal. And then a lockdown debut. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m still here, I still love writing…and I’ll keep at it as long as someone will read my stuff!
1. What appeals to you about the genre that you write? Mysteries, and especially cozies, have a definite structure – everything has to fit and make sense. And you know nothing too bad is going to happen to anyone we like. I get to impose some order and justice in my own little world, and make things come out all right for my characters in ways I often can’t for real people I love.
2. Are you a plotter or a pantser (one who writes “by the seat of your pants”)? I call myself a semi-pantser, which sounds like something out of my thirteen-year-old son’s comic books! When I’m working on something new, I get the beginning and end first, and work my way into the middle. With short stories, I’ll often come up with an idea while I’m walking or working around the house, then sit down and quickly sketch out a few paragraphs so I can come back and write it all later. At least for me, mysteries require some outlining – I have to know what the evidence is and how I’m building the case so everything builds together to a logical, and satisfying, solution.
3. What is your favorite part of writing? I’m in charge and I get to make sure it all comes out right in the end. Try getting that in the real world!
4. If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead? Honestly, I’ve been writing in some way for most of my life, and I can’t imagine NOT writing. I might give up on trying to sell my work someday, but not on writing.
5. What’s your favorite meal of the day?
Dinner. Most days my husband, son, and I eat together – even if it’s just leftovers in the living room – and I prize that family time.
6. Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? Why? Since I write first-person and my main characters are women, I’d have to say the females. I get to be different people — all much smarter and more fun than me! – and probably work out some of my own stuff, too. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love my male characters. As the mother of a boy, I’m really interested in raising a good man, and I love writing standup guys.
7. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it? Teleporting! My weekend commute is more than three hours each way. If I could just snap my fingers and be wherever I want to be, I’d have more writing and family time. (And, okay, sleep more!)
8. Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now? What a great fantasy! On an open porch in a seaside house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Honestly, wherever my family is, I’m home, and that’s all that really matters to me.
9. Do you have any rejection stories to share? Reviews that meant something special to you? By now, I have about 300 rejections – for novels and short stories – over my career. And what I can tell you is, every one of them hurts. Some more than others. Eventually, though, you realize a rejection is just “No, today” on one piece of work. That’s all. It’s not a judgment on your writing career – and certainly not you as a person. It’s just a no.
Reviews? Some folks really missed the point with LIVE, LOCAL, AND DEAD, the first Vermont radio book, taking a political statement from a book intended as a love letter to local radio, close-knit small-towns, and Northern New England live-and-let-live – and said some pretty awful things about the book, and me. So when Robin Agnew at Mystery Scene Magazine not only got it, but loved it, I ugly-cried at my laptop.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My story, “Second Chances Are…Murder” is just one of 25 wonderful stories in MALICE, MATRIMONY, AND MURDER, edited by the amazing Marla Bradeen. Over two dozen authors have teamed up for a wedding-themed collection of brand-new cozy mystery and crime fiction stories. Plus, readers can solve the overarching wedding whodunit and access a special ebook filled with bonuses and extras. My story features Vermont DJ Jaye Jordan solving a murder at the wedding of 103-year-old Grandpa Seymour and 92-year-old Aunt Patsy…with some help from a moose, her blended family, and her guy, who happens to be the governor.
Nikki Knight describes herself as an Author/Anchor/Mom…not in that order. An award-winning weekend anchor at New York City’s 1010 WINS Radio, she writes short stories and novels, most recently Wrong Poison, from Charade Media. Her stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Weekly, and others, and been short-listed for Derringer and Black Orchid Novella Awards. As Kathleen Marple Kalb, she writes the Ella Shane and Old Stuff mysteries for Level Best Books. She’s Vice President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society and Co-VP of the New York/Tri-State Sisters in Crime Chapter. She, her husband, and son live in a Connecticut house owned by their cat.
Anthology Author Links:
Joslyn Chase: https://joslynchase.com/
Charlotte Morganti: https://charlottemorganti.com/
P.M. Raymond: http://www.pmraymond.com/
Paige Sleuth: https://www.marlabradeen.com/
Teresa Inge: http://www.teresainge.com/
Sally Milliken: http://www.sallymillikenauthor.com/
Rebecca Olmstead: https://www.rebeccaolmstead.com/
Nikki Knight: https://kathleenmarplekalb.com/nikki-knight
Shari Held: http://www.shariheld.com/
Barbara Howard: http://www.authorbarbarahoward.com/
Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier: http://ashleyruthbernier.com/
KD Sherrinford: http://www.kdsherrinford.co.uk/
Stephen D. Rogers: http://www.StephenDRogers.com/
Elaine Togneri: http://www.elainetogneri.com/
Lynn Hesse: https://www.lynnhesse.com/
Margaret S. Hamilton: https://margaretshamilton.wordpress.com/
Stella Oni: https://stellaonithewriter.com/
Pamela Kyel: http://pamelakyel.com/
Karen McCullough: https://kmccullough.com/
Wil A. Emerson: https://www.wilemerson.com/
J. Aquino: http://www.johntaquino.com/
Becky Clark: https://beckyclarkbooks.com/
Links to Nikki’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:
Amazon Ebook: https://amzn.to/3uh0UQu
Barnes & Noble:
Twitter: @NikkiKnightVT, @KalbMarple
Special Giveaway: Nikki will give away an e-book copy of her Jaye Jordan short “The New York Goodbye,” which was published last month in Black Cat Weekly to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog
Thanks, Nikki ETAL, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!