Monday, November 16, 2015

Five Essential Businesses in My #Cozy Town by Karen Rose Smith

When I developed Caprice De Luca, her family and my cozy mystery plotlines for her books, I chose a fictional town in Pennsylvania, Kismet,  in the Susquehanna valley where I was born. There were many reasons.  I know the area intimately.  The surroundings are beautiful with rolling hills, trees, and wonderful plant life with a long summer growing season. Since I garden, I'm also familiar with all of the flowers here. Using a fictional town allows me the freedom to place in it what I want and what Caprice needs in her life.  Here are a few of the essential businesses in my town of Kismet.

Five Must-Haves for Caprice De Luca, home stager extraordinaire and animal lover in the town of Kismet, Pennsylvania.

Since my sleuth Caprice De Luca loves to cook, the best place for her to shop for supplies in Kismet, Pennsylvania, is GROCERY FRESH Market.  There she can find vine-ripened tomatoes, seasonal fruits from Pennsylvania like strawberries, peaches and plums as well as fresh herbs.  Not only that but she might run into family, neighbors and friends so they can chat about the murder/mystery and the people involved.

Caprice wears vintage fashions.  She finds most of them at a downtown Kismet boutique--SECRETS OF THE PAST.  From bell bottoms, to Juliet-sleeved tops, to pearl beaded purses, she can usually find separates to mix and match or a flapper style cocktail dress for a special occasion.  Although her sister Bella thinks Caprice's fashion sense needs an adjustment, Caprice enjoys dressing in a unique way that's just right for her.

What would Caprice do without the FURRY FRIENDS VETERINARY CLINIC?  Veterinarian Marcus Reed understands Caprice's penchant for looking after strays.  When she rescues a pregnant cocker spaniel she names Shasta and cares for her through her labor and delivery, he's only a phone call away with good advice.  However, Grant Weatherford--her brother's law partner--seems to understand her love of animals too.  When he watches Shasta's litter of pups deliver with Caprice, a new bond is formed between them.

Although Caprice abhors exercise per se, she does swim because she knows the exercise is good for her.  She joined SHAPE UP, Kismet's gym.  Nevertheless, when she goes swimming in the middle of a murder investigation, she never expects someone might try to kill her!

Caprice stages houses to sell with unique themes for high end clients.  In STAGED TO DEATH, the murder revolves around a client who has chosen a Camelot theme.  In DEADLY DECOR, a painter who helped Caprice's client establish a Baroque Bedazzle theme is murdered.  In GILT BY ASSOCIATION, her client is her mom's best friend.  With DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, a high end southern client thinks she knows how to stage her house better than Caprice! These high end clients are usually members of Kismet's COUNTRY SQUIRE GOLF AND RECREATION CENTER.  It's Kismet's country club where the rich gather, where awards are given, where wedding receptions are held.  

I hope there will be many more books in the Caprice De Luca Home Stager mystery series. What businesses would you like to see in Kismet, Pennsylvania?



Caprice De Luca's former client and now friend Ace Richland--an 80's rock star--asks her for a favor.  Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell?  Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him!  Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will.  Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake.  But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback.  However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.  

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes.  With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat.  In the midst of some of her own family upheaval--her uncle has moved in with her parents--she finds herself with a dilemma.  Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her.  Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family.  She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice.  Will her refresher self-defense course save her life?  Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.



Caprice De Luca  stages houses for high-end clients. When she discovers a body in the castle-mansion she staged to sell and starts asking questions, she finds herself in danger. On the way to solving the murder, Caprice's large Italian family helps and hinders. She also finds romance with Dr. Seth Randolph. But does her brother's partner, attorney Grant Weatherford, care about her, too? Or is he just worried she'll get herself killed and her family will blame him?

Enjoy solving the mystery with Caprice, cook along with her, see her find homes for the stray animals she protects, be a part of the De Luca STAGED TO DEATH.



Quiet Kismet, Pennsylvania, may look like any other small town, but as a home stager, Caprice De Luca can see behind closed doors--and it seems someone has designs on murder. . .Life is a full house for Caprice these days. She's dating, she's rescuing adorable cocker spaniels, and she's decorating the roomy interiors of Kismet's most well-heeled residents with fun fantasy themes. But she's worried about her pregnant sister. Bella's marriage is coming apart like a bad wallpaper job, and to make matters worse, she's decided to meet up with a former flame Bob Preston, a house painter Caprice frequently employs. When he's found dead in a pool of green paint swirling with blood, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation. With all eyes trained on Bella's husband, Caprice shifts her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit. . .



Caprice De Luca's latest house staging is all about hearts, flowers, lace and chintz since Valentine's Day is around the corner.  She never expects her client to be murdered in the greenhouse the day of the open house.

With her six-month-old pup Lady by her side and her own love life in disarray, Caprice ferrets out clues from the victim's best friend, Caprice's mother, the housekeeper and a special male friend who insists his relationship with the victim was platonic.  However, as Caprice digs deeper, she finds the victim's past is filled with secrets that she kept from her husband for thirty years.

The past isn't merely history.  The present isn't always what it seems.  When hearts are involved, passion and even murder aren't far behind.


USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 



©2015 Karen Rose Smith


StephanieHobrock said...

Pretty much Virginia, Il without the resale shop?

KRS said...

I like to add businsses readers have in their small towns. Thanks for commenting.