Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dana Mentink

Who am I?
Hmmm. I've been trying to answer that for a long time.
I'm a mother, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I live in sunny California where the weather is gorgeous and the cheese is divine. I am one of a gaggle of sisters, all of whom make their homes in the San Francisco Bay area. I have been blessed with the opportunity to write which gives me a chance to take all those pesky daydreams and put them into story format. My greatest personal gift is a sense of humor. I am tickled by the quirks and ironies of life, and I try to put that in my writing. I figure that God put together this zany, mixed up world and He gave us humor to help us through.
I hope you find my books to be like a lovely chocolate: sweet and comforting, with a smidge of laughter and inspiration mixed in to lighten your heart. Ah the joy of it!
A whole line of cozy books in this world of violent, disturbing mystery/thrillers.

It’s as comforting as…well…a cup of tea on a cold winter’s day.

I am proud to be a writer for Barbour’s Heartsong Presents Mysteries line.

As a California native, it was a natural fit for my Up Finny’s Nose Series to take place in the wacky seaside town of Finny, where the newspaper boy is pushing eighty and a few folks are a couple sandwiches short of a picnic.

Enter Ruth Budge, a widow who discovers her dead husband’s secret novel and a body in the Central Park Fountain all in the same day. Will Ruth solve the murder with her sanity intact? Of course! This is a cozy we’re talking about, after all.
When I’m not wearing my Sherlock hat, I write romantic suspense for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense Line. Killer Cargo is coming from Love Inspired Suspense in June.
Transporting pet supplies—and the occasional bunny—is routine for pilot Maria de Silva. Discovering drugs amidst her shipments of kitty litter is not. Out of fuel in the Oregon wilderness, Maria barely escapes with her life when dealers meet her on the runway. She finds refuge at Cy Sheridan's idyllic animal sanctuary—a whole new world for this city girl. But Maria fears that her drug-smuggling client will take revenge against the man—and animals—she's come to love. Is there a wolf in sheep's clothing lurking in the woods?
Juggling the two genres keeps my busy in between girl scout meetings and my work at an elementary school. My own little girls can get enough of a good mystery either. Must be something in the water here in California!
So let’s hear from you folks at Seekerville. What do you like in a cozy?
Or in any mystery, for that matter.
What really puts the “EEEEEE!” in your favorite mystery?


Eileen said...

Dana's Fog up Finny's Nose had more quirky characters than my family reunion. What a good read. Keep 'em coming, Dana.

Camy Tang said...

Thanks for being here today Dana to talk about your books!

Jessica said...

Wow, I haven't really read cozies before. But I remember seeing your cover for Finny somewhere else and thinking it looked hilarious. Thanks for the post. I'm tempted to pick up a cozy mystery now. :-)

Ausjenny said...

I joined up the cozy mystery club at Barbour and just got my second lot today. I love the stories i have read. I enjoy the books cos they are easy to read and as someone said good to read on a cold night. (which tonight is) I always loved Murder she wrote.

Tina M. Russo said...

Oh, my Dana is so cute! The teeny tiny picture on the cover of your books don't do you justice.

I am currently up Finney's right nares reading his book.

And welcome to Seekerville.

To answer you question...

I'm a Mary Higgins Clark fan and I like the way she builds tension.

I've never analyzed how she does it which makes it all the sweeter. She is my favorite author to read when I am flying, as I never notice the take off..the dreaded part of flying for me.

Brought banana muffins today. Help yourself.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Dana. I've never read a cozy--yet. I can't wait to read Mary's. I loved Murder She Wrote so I'm guessing I'll love the cozies. Your books look fun, Dana. I love humor. Thanks for joining us today.

Julie Lessman said...

Hi Dana, and welcome to Seekerville!

I am generally not a mystery reader, but between your description of Killer Cargo, Deb Giusti's several great books and Mary Connealy's 2,000 cozy mysteries on the horizon, I smell a conversion coming my way!

Especially since cozies sound soooo good! They appear to have everything I would want in a book: ROMANCE, humor and fun. Since I am a hopeless romantic, romance is key for me. However, I am guessing it's also key to a cozy, I hope???

Dana said...

Hello, all. I just lugged it out of bed here in sizzling California. One hundred two in May? That's just weird. My grandmother used to say it was the Russians tampering wtih the weather. We've gone to water rationing so Russians or no, my garden is suffering. Anyhoo, It's so nice to 'see' you all here today.

Dana said...

I loved Murder She Wrote too but I could never figure out why in the world people would show up at Jessica's house. I mean, golly! Doom and destruction follow that woman everywhere!

Dana said...

And in answer to Julie's comment, for Barbour, romance is still really the key, even in our cozy mysteries. It's a two for one, love and murder. Quaint, no?

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Hey Dana,

This is one book I just can't wait to read!! If your characters are anywhere near as fun as you, I know I'm in for a treat.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Eleven comments already? Wow.

What do I love in a good mystery? My favorite part is the insightfulness of the main character. I love it when they figure things out before everyone else, when their snooping uncovers a great clue, and their quirky attitudes come out in their dialogue.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Dana! My "western" themes seem to attract new readers, and now your wonderfully quirky denizens of Finny.

For those who haven't yet read Dana's book, you're in for a treat. Don't let all that humor fool you. There's serious take-away value in the course of a wonderful who-dun-it.

And BTW, you're up AWFULLY early out in California. It's only 8 here in Colorado.

Sandra Robbins said...

I loved your book, Dana. Ruth is such a wonderful character. I can't wait to read the next one.

Sandra Robbins

Mary Connealy said...

I've enjoyed all the cozies but when I read Dana's I was really excited because mine are so quirky and so are Dana's.

The cozies are all over the map, which I love. Intense, complex, outdoorsie, gothic-mansionish. Just lots of variety which is what I think is going to be the secret to great success for the line.

But mine are just full of oddball characters, more comedy, more romance. So when I read Trouble Up Finny's Nose it was a huge pleasure to see Dana going full out on the comedy and quirks because now my Maxie Mouse Mysteries have company. :)

I'm reading Gunfight at Grace Gulch right now, although I'm kind of sidelined. My stupid dental work two days ago seems to have left me with a wretched headache and I'm not getting much done.

But it starts out with a bang. :)
Okay, gunfight joke. Had to say that.

Dana said...

That's what I LOVE about cozies, Mary. We get to use humor! The suspense books I write for Harlequin are heavy on spine tingling but light on rib tickling. Hard for me to restrain my inner nut!

Howdy there, Darlene. Yes, it IS early here in the Golden State. I'm glad to see you here. Sadly though, I must go off to work and earn the kibble. I will check back in a lunch time. Tootles, all. Dana

Mary Connealy said...

What I want in a book is suspense, humor, love.

That's when I'm enjoying myself.

The cozies are perfect for that.

Pam Hillman said...

Welcome Dana! Cozy's are just plain fun! Who would have thought that putting humor and murder together could actually work?

I wonder when the first cozy mystery's came out? Back in the 40-50's, there was some detective stories that were people with odd-ball characters, so maybe that was the forerunner. (No, I'm NOT that old, but I do have some old books on my shelves!)

I could see Mary writing cozy's long before the line started, and Dana seems to be a shoe-in as well, but my writing just doesn't have that humorous bent needed to pull it off.

Instead, I'll read Dana's and Mary's and enjoy the ride! lol

NancyMehl said...

I've had the pleasure of reading "Trouble Up Finney's Nose." For anyone who hasn't read it yet, you're in for a real treat! I couldn't put it down. If you can make me giggle while I'm waiting in a doctor's office for an hour and a half (and no, the doctor never showed up!), you've got something.

And Dana's got it big time!


Mary Connealy said...

They're not all comedies at all, Pam. The characters aren't all goofball quirky. I'm serious when I say there's tons of variety in them.

I should mail you a few when I get done with them, let you see the possibilities.

Lorna said...

I have been so curious about cozies and these posts have made me want to run out and grab a handful! Thanks.

Ausjenny said...

I agree Mary. I am onto my third one (yes i decided to leave the ones i have to read and cant get into to read another) and so far they have been so different. The first one i read the main charactor was a one that seemed to be investigating but putting her foot into it accusing everyone and causing problems that way.
the second I just loved the murder victim even if we never knew her but it was a really fun book.
the one I started last night the lady who is working it out is really quirky and fun. So they are different and thats what makes them good.
I am going to be interviewing some of the writers of the books at my blog starting in June.

Hey Gina, my wv looks like taxman

Mary Connealy said...

Lorna, you can get four free when you sign up for the book club then cancel if you don't want to stick with it.

Heartsong Mysteries

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight! Can't wait to read your book.

Cheryl Wyatt

Missy Tippens said...

Eileen, your comment really cracked me up! Sounds like one of my family reunions. :)

Welcome, Dana! I left town early Friday morning and just read your post.

I ordered the first shipment of books as a gift for my mom. Now I'm wishing I had kept them! Next time I'll read them before passing them to her. :)


Patricia W. said...

I don't think I've read any cozys since I was a teenager. What comes to mind is Agatha Christie type mysteries. I've certainly enjoyed TV series over the years but I don't read them. Not sure why.

I think I would enjoy contemporary ones though so I'll have to take a look. Congrats on your upcoming releases.