IT'S GUEST AUTHOR SATURDAY!! Please welcome murder mystery author Brenda Whiteside...


Welcome back to my blog, Brenda! It's been a while since you were last here so I am looking forward to catching up with you and hearing all about your latest mystery series THE CHOCOLATE MARTINI SISTERS - let's get things started with my questions...

1)     What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

The first editor I had on my first book fourteen years ago taught me so much about repeated words and phrases. Even now, after all of these years, I will sometimes lapse into a comfort zone and use words and phrases too many times in a book. We need to stretch and create with new and innovative ways to say the same thing. As for the worst: when I had an agent, she had me change the ending to a book. This was a series, and she believed I needed another scene to lead into the next book. She never placed the series with a publisher, and we parted ways. I sold the series myself. The first thing my new editor did was remove that scene. She said it read like it was just stuck on the end and wasn’t needed. This taught me to trust my own instincts.

2)     What is your typical day?

I wake between 5:30 and 6:00. My coffee is already brewed and waiting. I love auto timers. I throw on a robe, grab a mug, and go back to my bed. Leaning against pillows, I open my laptop. It takes me until 7:00 and maybe a second cup of java to get though email and social media tasks. At 7:00, I put on walking clothes and head out with Amigo, our rescue doggie. When I get back, I might start writing or I might work on promo until FDW wakes up. He’s the main cook in the family and always stirs up breakfast. After breakfast, I settle down to write until midday. Then the afternoon could include personal tasks or more author issues. I normally call it a day at 4:00. There are days my mornings and afternoons get flopped…life gets in the way at times!

3)     What do you read while in the midst of a project? Or don’t you?

When am I not in the midst of a project? LOL I read at night, in bed, for the last hour of the day. My tastes are wide, so I read whatever suits my fancy.

4)      What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?

If it’s autographed, it goes on my shelf as a keepsake. If not, I donate it.

5)      Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

I love for friends to read my books. I hope they all do. Friends will adore you and give you kudos. LOL

6)      What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?

I’ve been inspired by various things. Once by a wedding invitation. Once by an awful night my brother spent in a seedy motel. Location is a biggie. I usually change the name of the setting to give me flexibility to adapt streets, buildings, or landscape for my needs. My Wild Horse Peaks books setting was inspired by the Flagstaff, Arizona area where I attended college. I wanted more of a western recognition so I didn’t want to use the San Francisco Peaks name. The MacKenzie Chronicles are set in an old mining town which I changed from Jerome to Joshua. The Chocolate Martini Sisters mysteries are in Wyatt which bear an uncanny resemblance to Prescott, Arizona. Then within the stories there are other inspirations. My sister and I go to an historical inn in Prescott twice a year and have a chocolate martini to celebrate our birthdays…thus the inspiration for the Chocolate Martini Sisters mysteries.

7)     Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us

Reading, Writing, and Murder (A Chocolate Martini Sisters Mystery)

At the writers’ conference, murder tops the program.

Aspiring mystery author Emma Banefield and travel writer Nicole Earp are excited to attend a writers’ conference during their latest sisters’ getaway. Nic’s birthday should be all about relaxation, writing, and a chocolate martini to toast another trip around the sun, but the climate at the gathering rumbles like a sudden desert thunderstorm.

When sparks fly between the keynote speaker and her timid assistant over a handsome mystery author, the subtitle on this anticipated tranquil weekend spells drama. If a heated love triangle, bruised egos, and betrayal aren’t enough to upset the atmosphere, the conference banquet erupts into a drunken brawl and sends the place spinning. After a body is discovered, Nic and Em do what they do best—snoop—and become embroiled in a mystery that jumps off the pages of a true-crime bestseller.

With more than enough suspects and little time, the amateur sleuths have their hands full finding the killer. But can the competitive Chocolate Martini Sisters solve the crime before the prickly chief detective does, or will a murderer outwit them all?


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada



8)      What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on two books, both with co-authors. The second book in the Sadi and Max books, Sadi and Max to the Rescue, should release in April 2024. I’m writing these children’s chapter books with my granddaughter who is ten-years-old. Max is her bully-mix breed puppy. She comes up with the stories, we collaborate, and I write. It’s been a lot of fun.

The second book I’m writing with Joyce Proell. We should have the third book in the Chocolate Martini Sisters mysteries, Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder, completed and released in March 2024. This has been such an enjoyable collaboration. I see no end to the number of books we could create, assuming we both have the desire.

Brenda is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, cozy mystery, and romance. She’s recently ventured into children’s books with her ten-year-old granddaughter.

After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart so won't discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.

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  1. Thanks so much for having me back, Rachel. I'm happy to share my writing adventures with your readers.

  2. I did enjoy this interview. Good luck with your new books, Brenda.