Please help me welcome today’s guest, Karen C. Whalen, sharing her latest release, a funny, fabulous cozy mystery, Toes on the Dash.
Hello, Karen…so nice to have you with us today.
Q- What is your favorite quote?
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.” —Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau is often quoted, but that’s because he was one smart guy. This quote makes my heart soar and helps me to believe in myself.
Because I can imagine a pretty great life.
Most authors admit they always wanted to write. I did, too, from an early age. I loved to read and could imagine myself writing a book. My dream came true in 2016 when my first book was published by The Wild Rose Press (TWRP), Everything Bundt the Truth, a murder mystery centered around a dinner club group. My eighth book was published by TWRP on April 25 of this year, Toes on the Dash, another murder mystery, this time involving a super-feminine, shoe-aholic who drives a tow truck in high heels.
Q- How did you come up with the title?
I got the Toes book title from a song I heard on the radio, Take A Little Ride, by Jason Aldean. I had the radio turned up and the window rolled down, trying to sing along, trying being the operative word here. He sings about his girl’s pretty pink toes on the dash. And my imagination took off. Was it possible to leave toe prints on the dashboard of a car? If so, this could be an important murder clue! I checked with my local police department and learned people can leave toe prints, often a vital piece of evidence at a crime scene.
So, my main character, Delaney Morran, suddenly became the kind of gal who props her toes on the dash. When her jerk of an ex-boyfriend is found dead in the trunk of a car she’s towed and her toe prints are discovered on the dash of said car, Delaney becomes the prime murder suspect.
Why, you ask, is Delaney driving a tow truck in high heels? Why is she even driving a tow truck at all? Well, Delaney received an unexpected inheritance—the keys to a tow truck—from her dead-beat dad. And she has some issues. She has very few memories of her father and wishes she could’ve known him better. Plus, her dad died in a mysterious hit-and-run accident that was never solved. So, despite the fact she’s never even changed a tire in all of her twenty-eight years, she decides to give the rough and dangerous business a chance. And, can you imagine all the dead bodies she stumbles upon in the car hauling business? Spoiler alert: she finds a dead body in every book. Actually there’s no surprise there.
Q- Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Delaney’s dream is to get to know her dad by doing the work he did and driving the truck he drove. Plus, being her own boss is a dream come true. The message of the book is this: if you work hard enough at something, you can succeed at it. As Thoreau said, go confidently after your dreams. And live the life!
She went from wearing stilettos to hauling stiffs
Super-feminine and confirmed shoe-a-holic Delaney Morran receives an unexpected inheritance—the keys to a tow truck from a dad she’s never known. Even though she hasn’t changed a tire, or even driven any kind of a truck, she’s determined to make the rough and dangerous business a success. When she hauls a vehicle with the body of her jerk-of-an ex hidden in the trunk, the small-town cops in Spruce Ridge, Colorado do not believe this a coincidence. They have her in their headlights as the prime suspect. When the news hits, her business stalls. As a woman trying to make a living in a man’s world, she drives her rig in four-inch-heels to set herself apart. But she must toughen up her image and solve the crime or she’ll end up parked in jail.
Stopping with my hand on the door, I sneaked a peek left and right, worried someone I knew would recognize me, then I took a deep breath and stole inside. Need I explain? This is a small town.
My eyes took a moment to adjust to the dark. One girl wearing a thong—thank goodness she wasn’t anyone I knew—was on stage. Mr. Hot Head sat at the bar with a tall beer, foam on top, glass full. Looked like he had just been served a fresh, cold one, and this early in the day, too. I backed out the door, ran for the tow truck, and zipped back to the alley as fast as I could.
I angled the truck in front of Hot Head’s Jeep and muscled the dolly wheels over to the rear end, crouching low to the ground, getting a whiff of the rank dumpster. Hot Head couldn’t see me from inside the building, but he had a sixth sense about me, and I was determined to keep under his radar. I jacked up the first dolly wheel and was on my way around the back bumper to jack up the second one, when bam!
I stumbled right into Hot Head. He had a tire iron in his meaty fist.
Barnes & Nobel:
Karen C. Whalen is the author of two mystery series for The Wild Rose Press: the Dinner Club Mysteries featuring Jane Marsh, an empty nester who hosts a gourmet dinner club, and the Tow Truck Mysteries starring Delaney Moran, a super feminine shoe-a-holic who drives a tow truck. Both are cozy mysteries about strong friendships and family ties set in Colorado. The first book in the Dinner Club series tied for First Place in the Suspense Novel category of the 2017 IDA Contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. Whalen worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and was a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. Whalen loves to host dinner clubs, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, and read cozy murder mysteries.
https://www.facebook.com/whalencozyauthor (author page)
https://www.facebook.com/whalenkarenc (personal page)