Ohio Author Spotlight: Shelly Costa

Cleveland author Shelley Costa started out like many of us, with the world of Nancy Drew, where even clocks have secrets.  As a child, growing up in Garwood, New Jersey, Shelley spent time reading, writing in her room, and hanging out at rehearsals at her parents’ little theater group.

Shelly Costa

After graduating from Rutgers, she took a job at Holt, Rinehart and Winston in New York City, where she ended up in the Adult Trade Division.  From there, she moved on to graduate school and a PhD in English from Case Western Reserve University, with a dissertation on the nature of suspense.  And along the way, she started writing mysteries. When she is not writing her novels, she teaches creative writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

An Edgar nominee for Best Short Story, Shelley is the author of You Cannoli Die Once (Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel) and Basil Instinct, both part of her Italian Restaurant Series.  Practical Sins for Cold Climates is the first book in her new Val Cameron mystery series.  The second book in the series is entitled A Killer’s Guide to Good Works.  Shelley’s mystery stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Blood on Their Hands, The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, and Crimewave (UK).  She has also written The Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe.

On her website, Shelley says that anything she wants to read or write comes down to three words:  Good Person Struggling. With institutions that don’t make sense.  With relationships that strip the heart bare.  With wickedness we can never quite believe exists.  What she likes about traditional mysteries is their cockeyed belief in our ability as intrepid amateurs to solve crimes.  Murder becomes our business.

Ohio Author Spotlight: Amanda Flower

If you’re looking for a dictionary definition of “prolific author,” look no further than USA Today best-selling author Amanda Flower. Like many writers, Amanda has been weaving tales since she was a child, but she recently celebrated ten years as a published author.

Amanda Flower

Books have always been a major part of Amanda’s life. She began her career as a college librarian. Now she writes full time—and no wonder. Since her very first book was hit the shelves, Amanda has published no fewer than thirty-seven cozy mysteries (do the math!) in a number of series with several publishers. In 2015, Amanda won an Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA novel with Andi Unstoppable, the third in the Andi Boggs series. Her books are known for their humor, quirky characters, and down-to-earth settings, many of which are taken from Amanda’s own life and experience with the Ohio Amish community.

Her most recent books include Courting Can Be Killer (from An Amish Matchmaker series); Candy Cane Crime (from the Amish Candy Shop mysteries); and Dead-End Detective (the Piper & Porter Mysteries). Coming in 2021 is Farm to Trouble, the first in the Farm to Table Mysteries.

Amanda got married this past October. Currently she and her husband are building a house on their farm. They have two cats, Cheeps and Tummy. In her spare time, Amanda loves to make beaded jewelry, which she sells in her Etsy shop.

Links to everything can be found on her website: www.amandaflower.com, where you can find more about Amanda and her books and sign up for her newsletter.

Ohio Author Spotlight: Julie Anne Lindsey

Julie Anne Lindsey is an award-winning and bestselling author of mystery and romantic suspense. She’s published more than 30 novels since her debut in 2013 and currently writes series as herself, as well as under multiple pen names, for Harlequin, Kensington, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books.

Julie Anne Lindsey

When she’s not writing the stories that keep her up at night, Julie stays busy in Ohio with her husband and three amazing kids. When she’s not throwing epic birthday parties for one of her kids or capturing cute snaps of her cats, she manages to write. To date, she has three series that readers can’t get enough of – The Cider Shop series (set in her beloved home state of West Virginia), the Fortress Defense series (part of Harlequin Intrigue), and the Christmas Tree Farm series (written under the pen name of Jacqueline Frost).

Today she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is represented by Jill Marsal at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency and is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America. Learn more about Julie at julieannelindsey.com.

Ohio Author Spotlight: Casey Daniels

If you are fascinated by multiple personalities and the pen names to go with them, Cleveland author, Casey Daniels, is right up your alley. Casey aka Kylie Logan, Miranda Bliss, Zoe Daniels, Constance Laux, Connie Deka, Connie Lane, and Connie Laux has written numerous romance novels and cozy mysteries. Casey was once lucky enough to interview mystery great Elizabeth Peters for an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Elizabeth wrote her novels under more than one name too, and she described the experience this way: “If you’re only one person, you’re boring.”

Casey is anything but boring.  When she came to one of our meetings and spoke about using tarot cards to plot a mystery novel, she was Casey.  When we ran into her at the Ohioana Book Festival, she was Kylie. As Casey Daniels, she has written the Pepper Martin Mystery series which features a cemetery tour guide as the protagonist and includes ten novels, the most recent of which, Graveyard Shift, was released in July 2020. As Kylie Logan, she has written five League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, three Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, four Button Box Mysteries, and an Ethnic Eats Mystery. 

Graveyard Shift/Casey Daniels

So, who is Casey, aka Kylie, aka Miranda, aka Connie, etc. anyway?  She’s a fulltime writer who has loved mysteries since she was a kid. Her dad was a Cleveland Police detective, and he introduced her to the Sherlock Holmes stories. He also gave Casey her first investigating experiences when on his days off, they would pile into the car and hit the streets to look for stolen cars. Later, she read her way through every mystery story she could get her hands on.

Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle are still among her favorites.

Casey has a degree in English and experience as a journalist and writing teacher. When she’s not writing, she’s usually with her family and their two dogs, Ernie, an adorable Airedale pup, and Oscar, a rescued Jack Russell who spends far too much time watching TV. She enjoys knitting, gardening and stomping through cemeteries in search of history, stories and inspiration.