Sunday, March 4, 2018


Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author
of Plum Tea Crazy, talks about toggling between
writing cozy mysteries and thrillers.

     Most of my readers know me as Laura Childs, author of three different cozy mystery series – the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. But under my “other” name of Gerry Schmitt, I also write the Afton Tangler Thriller series.

     As you can imagine, this double life presents a few writing problems. Cozy mysteries are a kinder, gentler form of mystery, what I often call G-rated, good for girls to grandmas. Thrillers on the other hand are basically no holds barred crazy action novels. As a thriller author, you can kill, pillage, and plunder your way through your entire story. Serial killers and mad bombers? No problem. Tea drinking? A problem. (Though perhaps Hannibal Lector enjoys a cup of English breakfast tea now and then.) So how, you might wonder, do I keep these two genres separate? I’ll share a secret with you – I kind of don’t.
     My cozy mysteries have evolved into a sort of hybrid, what I now call a “thrillzy.” This means my cozies are still based on traditional cozy guidelines (amateur sleuth, no gratuitous violence, etc.) but I’ve imbued them with the action and pace of a thriller. That is, scenes that include car chases, bodies tumbling in the surf, drones shooting down hot air balloons, rogue killers, alligators, haunted cemeteries, the supernatural, and even a food truck chase.
     My thrillers are even more action-packed. Big time shocker in the opening chapter, lots of plot twists with even more action, and a huge confrontational grand finale. But woven into my thrillers is a little bit of cozy sensibility. This means more in-depth characters, more emotional turmoil, and a point of view that also includes the bad guy. Instead of your flat out, cookie-cutter psychotic bad guy, I try to give them some much-needed emotional and psychological depth. So the crimes they commit actually seem rational to them. In other words, I portray their humanity – no matter how flawed that might be.
     So . . . women who serve tea residing cheek to jowl with crazed killers? Certainly not in the real world. But inside my computer, from whence the words all flow, they get along just fine.


Laura Childs is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Scrapbooking Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Recently, Book Riot named the Tea Shop Mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.” In her previous life Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Thank you, Laura!

Laura's latest Tea Shop mystery, PLUM TEA CRAZY debuts this Tuesday March 6 ( Read my review next week in my cozy blog).  and isn't that a beautiful cover!!!!!!Laura will give away a copy of Plum Tea Crazy 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, March 10!


  1. I love that cover! And I enjoy this series as well. Thanks for the chance to win the latest. Marla Bradeen:

  2. I'd love to read this--ty for the giveaway!; I followed the blog w/ email; followed on twitter; shared the blog post on twitter and on FB; friended Toni on FB.

  3. Laura Childs is my favorite cozy author! Been following her Tea Shop and Scrapbook series for many years. I followed on Twitter and facebook. Email is

  4. I love this series! Laura Childs is one of my favorite authors. I really like that this series is set in Charleston SC, a perfect setting for a tea shop. Looking forward to reading "Plum Tea Crazy".
    Rocco, we are friends on Facebook, following your blog and on Twitter. Tweeted and shared on Facebook.

  5. Such a contrast in genres. I have read Laura Childs, but Gerry Schmitt - yet.

    Follow & FB

    Mary Preston

  6. This book sounds amazing, I was able to read the first chapter in Laura's newsletter and can't wait to read it, would love to win! I follow the ROCCO blog, FB and Twitter and I think I like the Toni page or friended, one of the two, maybe just follow barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Wow, you sound amazingly busy, Laura, and put the rest of us to shame, lol. Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway. I follow TC's blog, but being far more disorganized...I am not on any of the other social media. elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

  8. I love the idea of a thrillzy!
    Well done!
    Libbydodd at comcast dot net
    I visit regularly
    I've linked this to my FB page and we are FB friends
    I don't tweet or have a blog

  9. Sounds as excellent as usual, thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    * I Follow by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    * I Follow on Twitter: @carlrscott
    * I Tweeted about the contest:
    * We are Friends on Facebook: Carl Scott
    I also pinned on Pinterest ('cause, why not?):
    Thanks again, have a great week everyone!

  10. Congratulations, Laura! You always put out a great story. I wish you all the best.
    I follow the blog;
    I follow on Twitter;
    I tweeted;
    I am a Friend on FB;
    I shared on FB

  11. I bet there are some yummy recipes in this one.
    Following blog
    Following Twitter
    Friends on Facebook
    Shared on Facebook