Sunday, October 29, 2017

Guest Blogger - Lea Wait!

Meow, my guest blogger this week is author Lea Wait!

Lea Wait has lived in several places, but has called the coast of Maine home for almost twenty years. She writes the Mainely Needlepoint mystery series (including THREAD THE HALLS), the Shadows Antique Print mystery series, and historical novels (and now a contemporary YA mystery, PIZZA TO  DIE FOR) for younger readers. She invites readers to check her website ( for links to free prequels of her books, and to friend her on Goodreads and Facebook, where her page is “Lea Wait/Cornelia Kidd.” Cornelia is writing the next Lea Wait mystery series, debuting in 2018.


I grew up with my parents and grandparents between the suburbs of New Jersey and the coast of Maine. I went to college in Pittsburgh, lived in Greenwich Village, New York, for seven years, and then raised my children in suburban New Jersey … while often visiting the coast of Maine.
So if you’d guess I’d write books set in New Jersey and Maine, you’d be right. Of my 21 books, 3 are set in New Jersey, and 16 in Maine. (Yes, one set in Cape Cod, one in New York State are there, too, and many scenes in one are in Charleston, South Carolina. But that character gets to Maine, too.)
Place is as critical to my books as a stage set is to a play. None of my plots would work in other locations. That’s particularly true of my two most recent mysteries: PIZZA TO DIE FOR, set in New Jersey, and THREAD THE HALLS, set on the coast of Maine.

In PIZZA TO DIE FOR, future chef fourteen -year-old Mikki Norden is ready for any kitchen emergency – except the unexpected death of her mentor, Mr. Baldacci. But Mikki’s learned a lot about solving crimes from her mother, an almost-published mystery author. So when the local New Jersey police rule Mr. B’s death a heart attack, she knows she has to prove otherwise. Mikki grows up fast as she discovers secrets surrounding Mr. B and his restaurant .. and within her own family.  Suspense Magazine called it “a delicious mystery starring a smart and feisty young girl, with a supporting cast of wacky characters guaranteed to entertain readers. Plus recipes!” 

Why is the New Jersey location important? Well, Mr. B owns an Italian restaurant, Mikki’s family is connected to some guys in black suits who hang out there, Sundays are for bagels … and Mikki can walk to her school, library, and, of course, to the restaurant. On October days she wears a sweatshirt to school, slips on dog poop hidden by autumn leaves, and sees a (real) skeleton reading Halloween books in the town library. Not to mention what happens when she’s kidnapped …   

THREAD THE HALLS, on the other hand, is set in a Currier & Ives version of a New England Christmas in a Maine harbor town. Sleighs? Wreaths? Santa arriving via a lobster boat? Carolers? Snow every day? Of course! Protagonist Angie Curtis, the Mainely Needlepointers, and Angie’s beau have to ensure everything is perfect before Patrick’s movie-star mother arrives with her co-star, director and screen writers to experience a perfect Maine Christmas. Of course, they didn’t expect the body partly covered with snow, or the blizzard, or the poisoned cookies … but by Christmas Day, all should, they hope, be merry.

If I hadn’t lived in both those places, I wouldn’t have known about how crazy Maine is about wreaths (every door and window on most homes?) or what sorts of folks may hang out in an old-style New Jersey Italian restaurant. I hope my readers will benefit from the small details that make these mysteries come alive.
I know they were fun to write!

Lea will give away one copy each of THREAD THE HALLS and PIZZA TO DIE FOR  to one lucky commenter!
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck!  Contest ends midnight, November 5!


  1. These books look like fun reads. Thank you for featuring a new-to-me author, and happy National Cat Day, ROCCO! Marla:

  2. Both books sound wonderful. The location could be called a main character sometimes.

    Follow the blog & friend on FB.


  3. Thank you for the giveaway! My mother loves your Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series and Christmas is her favorite time of year so needless to say, this book would an incredible gift for her this year. You YA book sounds fantastic and I know my niece would love it. Thanks, again!

  4. I know Maine and NJ first hand. The locations truly become characters in the stories, don't they?
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    1. Oh, yes...We are FB friends and I've linked this to my page.
      I visit regularly
      I don't tweet or have a blog

  5. Good day Rocco and Toni. Thank you for hosting Lea Wait on your blog. I've read her Mainely Needlepoint series and enjoyed it immensely. It would be great to have the opportunity to win her two new books. I am a friend on FB and visit regularly, posted this on FB and follow your blog. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. Lea is a new author to me. I've never been to Maine and I would really enjoy reading about life and the traditions in Maine.
    Rocco, we are friends on Facebook and following your blog and on Twitter. Shared post on Facebook and also Tweeted.

  7. Lea is a new author to me. I've never been to Maine and I would really enjoy reading about life and the traditions in Maine.
    Rocco, we are friends on Facebook and following your blog and on Twitter. Shared post on Facebook and also Tweeted.

  8. Maine sounds lovely for Christmas! And as Rocco knows,I'm half Italian so the restaurant and recipes are certainly of interest to me. Looks like my TBR list grows even higher! Best of luck with all of your work, Lea.
    I follow the blog
    I am a FB Friend
    I shared on FB
    I follow on Twitter
    I tweeted

  9. Maine must be beautiful this time of year, I’ve never been there but have it on my bucket list! mjhopper (at) cox (dot) net

  10. I didn't know that Maine residents love their wreaths.

    Following your blog
    Following you on Twitter
    Tweeted about the contest
    Friends on Facebook
    Mentioned the contest on Facebook