Dandelion Dead by Chrystle Fiedler Interview & Giveaway
Dandelion Dead by Chrystle Fiedler
Reading for entertainment is extra beneficial when it is also educational. I love this aspect of cozies, and DANDELION DEAD and its series, NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERIES, is both educational and entertaining, teaching readers while delivering a compelling and engrossing mystery. ~Mallory Heart’s Cozies
Dandelion Dead is a fun read, both for the mystery and the info on edible plants and natural remedies. ~The Book’s the Thing
In a cozy mystery filled with natural cures and edible plants that you will love, an organic winery becomes the backdrop for murder! Fortunately, solving crimes comes naturally to charmingly unconventional amateur sleuth and holistic doctor, Willow McQuade, as she looks for clues that will reveal a killer’s true vintage.
Business is blooming at Nature’s Way Market & Café, and shop owner, holistic doctor, and amateur sleuth, Willow McQuade has never been happier. Her new medicinal herb garden is a hit, so is her new book, she’s in love with ex-cop and animal rescuer Jackson Spade, and enjoying teaching seminars about edible plants and natural remedies.
But everything changes when Willow’s old boyfriend and TV producer, Simon Lewis, winemaker David Farmer, and his wife Ivy, ask her to cater a party at Pure, their new organic vineyard, to kick off North Fork’s Uncorked! week and the competition for Wine Lovers magazine’s $200,000 prize. Pure’s entry, Falling Leaves, is the favorite to win, and the wine flows freely until after Simon’s toast when smiles give way to looks of horror. Ivy’s twin sister, Amy has been murdered! Turns out, the poison that killed her was actually meant for David. But who wants him dead? A rival vintner? Or someone closer to home? This time the truth may be a bitter vintage to swallow.
About the Author
CHRYSTLE FIEDLER is a freelance journalist specializing in natural remedies, alternative medicine and holistic health and healing, and is the author of the Natural Remedies Mysteries series. Her many consumer magazine articles have appeared in USA Today’s Green Living,Natural Health, Remedy, Mother Earth Living, Spirituality & Health, and Prevention. She is also the author/co-author of seven non-fiction health titles including the Country Almanac of Home Remedies with herbalist Brigitte Mars, and The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beautywith Vegan Beauty Review founder, Sunny Subramanian. Chrystle lives on the East End of Long Island, NY in a cozy cottage by the sea. Visit www.chrystlefiedlerwrites.com.
Where are you from?
I’m from Greenport, Long Island, New York. I was born and grew up here, graduated from Boston University, and then lived in Boston, New York and L.A. where I worked in TV production before coming back to Greenport to start my writing business. I wanted to be closer to family and friends and live a more balanced life. It worked out well.
Tell us your latest news?
I’m very excited to announce that DANDELION DEAD, #4 in my natural remedies mystery series is now on sale! This installment takes place right before Halloween during North Fork’s UnCorked! Week, and focuses on a new organic winery, Pure, that’s owned by Willow McQuade’s ex-BF, Simon Lewis, a very successful TV producer. After a murder takes place, Willow, her boyfriend Jackson Spade, who’s running an animal sanctuary and Simon, set out to solve the mystery. “The Three Musketeers,” as they like to call themselves, are together again! It’s very evocative of fall, which is one of my favorite times of year on the East End of Long Island, and a fun read.
When and why did you begin writing?
I like to say that I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil! When I was younger, I wrote kid’s adventure stories, later I became a copywriter, then a screenwriter, then a journalist for many national publications, which led to non-fiction and my absolute favorite form of writing, mysteries!
For a long time, I thought, I can’t write like Agatha Christie, she’s just too fantastic! But then I read Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidsion, and I thought, now that I can do! My first try was a mystery that also took place on the East End, but this time, the heroine was a waitress at a seafood restaurant. When that didn’t sell, my agent and I brainstormed and came up with the idea of doing a series about a health food store owner and holistic doctor and the Natural Remedies Mystery series was born. The first book Death Drops sold to Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books in 2010, and I’ve been with them ever since.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even though I was a copywriter, and even wrote for the SCRABBLE ®magazine, and was a screenwriter in L.A. and a member of the Warner Bros. Writer’s Workshop, it wasn’t until I sold my first story to Woman’s Day back in 1999, that I felt like I’d arrived. It was my first assignment for a national magazine and it validated what I’d decided to do with my life and my career. That led to dozens of assignments for magazines like Prevention, Better Homes & Gardens, Remedy, Natural Health, Mother Earth Living and USA Today’s Green Living to name just a few. But certainly the biggest thrill of my career was when Death Drops, my first natural remedies mystery sold to a major publisher. I was like, WOW!
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’d always been interested in natural cures since I was younger. My mother did yoga and went to retreats and also commonly turned to homeopathy, and natural remedies like black tea for sunburn and lavender for stress and anxiety. When I first started writing for women’s magazines, I decided to focus on health, and that evolved into a focus on natural remedies, alternative medicine and holistic health and healing. So it made sense that when I wrote fiction, that I’d head in that direction. Willow McQuade, Nature’s Way’s owner is my alter-ego in that way, and made her much easier to write.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I try to make my stories to be fun, and to make people think about things they hadn’t considered, like organic food, natural remedies, animal rescue and vegan living. Each of the books has had a theme along these lines. Death Drops, first in the series focused on overall natural remedies, Scent to Kill, aromatherapy, Garden of Death, medicinal herbs and Dandelion Dead, edible plants. You don’t have to be into any or all of this to enjoy the books, but I do think it adds value.
How did you come up with the title?
At this point in the series, it’s fall, and Willow’s medicinal garden is becoming dormant, so she turns her attention to taking people out in nature and showing them how to forage for edible plants and follows up with seminars to show them how to use what they’ve found. The humble dandelion plays a role in a pivotal event in the book, one that spins the action off into a new direction. I thought the title expressed that perfectly, and the head of Pocket Books liked it too, so we went with it!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m passionate about animal rescue. This theme has been in all four books, and the reason why is that pet overpopulation is a very, very big problem. I hope to encourage readers to consider adopting a new pet from a shelter or a rescue organization like www.AllAmericanRescue.org. Both of my dogs, Wallander 7, and Murdoch, 1 both came from this wonderful organization. I also have two cats that are rescues – Tinker and Tuppence. All of my pets are named after fictional sleuths! When you save an animal – any animal, even pure bred dogs like dachshunds - you actually save two animals – the one you’ve adopted and the space you make for a new animal to be saved. We can all make a difference by opening our hearts and homes to an animal in need.
I love cozies and I think that cozy mystery fans are the best! It’s wonderful to be with all of you today! I hope that this interview tells you a bit more about me, the natural remedies series and Dandelion Dead, and encourages you to learn more. You can also visit my website: www.chrystlefiedlerwriters.com.