Meet Author Stephanie LaVigne!

When you’re in the mood for cozy romance, look no further than to the works of Stephanie Lavigne! Read on to learn more about this adventure-loving author!

1. According to your bio, you’ve led a very interesting life! Where does this sense of adventure come from?

I’m not a hundred percent sure. It seems I was born with a spritely, adventurous spirit. I was always interested in learning about everything and trying out things for myself, as opposed to just taking someone else’s word for it. I’m curious by nature, and I just get really excited to experience new things. I was always a reader as well, and that just added fuel to my already inquisitive mind because books introduce you to so many interesting new subjects.

Even from a young age, I had a strong desire to travel and experience as many things as I could. I remember the day that I realized I would never be able to visit every single place (country, town, neighborhood) on Earth. I had beenreading an atlas when it suddenly hit me that at the rate I was going, there was absolutely no way I’d be able to visit every town. It wasn’t dramatic, but I sat there and cried. Seeing new places and trying new things just always felt important to me. I also remember visiting my aunt and uncle on their houseboat in the Bahamas when I was six years old and I was completely enchanted. So I blame them for unwittingly starting my obsession with unique lodging.

2.Headlines, Deadlines, and Lies is #1 in your Sunshine State Cozy + Crime series. How much of Stephanie LaVigne is there in the heroine, Piper Harrington?

When I am writing characters, I never think of them as reflections of me…however, lately I’ve realized that there is a lot more of me in my characters than I thought. This book probably hit closer to home than anything else I’ve ever written. I think the overstressed mom-vibe that Piper has certainly comes from my own current life experience. There is a lot of me in both Piper and her best friend Boots. Their deep friendship, and the way they talk to one another, reflects my relationship with my best friends. Piper’s mom, Kate, with her fastidious style and love of genealogy is definitely inspired by my mom, Marianne. Plus, Piper has a very sweet father-daughter relationship with her dad, just like I do- though my dad doesn’t enjoy any of her father’s range of hobbies. And of course, there are little glimmers of my kids in hers. So in retrospect, there’s a lot of me in this particular story!

3. How would you describe your writing style?

Upbeat, fun, true to a character’s personality, a little quick-witted and playfully sarcastic, and sometimes winding (which is a plus for keeping people guessing with mysteries.) It’s hard to describe your own writing style, so sometimes I have to look to my readers. I’ve been told I write engaging characters and dialogue, so perhaps that is my strong suit. I also usually add little hints of foreshadowing throughout my books via conversations, random information, or a character’s musings. Though I think they are often so subtle or seemingly random that you would have to go back through for a second read to catch all the times I do it.

4. Can we expect to see more Piper Harrington in the near future?

I originally planned for this book to be a series, but then decided against it because there are other books that I am working on. However, I’ve been asked by a few readers to keep going with it. So I’m playing with the idea of setting one of my new series in the town of Hibiscus Bay, which would mean there would be stories about new people in town, but we’d also be able to check in on Piper, Boots, JP and the gang.

When Life Gives You Free Boneless Wings

Mystery delivery man leaving a neighbor’s Buffalo wings order on our recycling bin

This has been a weird couple of weeks.

Last week, my the driver’s side mirror on my car was broken off when someone threw a watermelon at it.

Later that day, the Ring video doorbell we ordered was delivered (Dave had ordered it WEEKS ago) and we wasted no time getting it up and running.

Nothing unusual was caught on camera until about 9:30 last night (Dave and I were upstairs). I heard the motion detection alarm go off on my phone and Dave peered out the window in time to see a car drive away from our house.

Naturally he checks the video and we see a stranger leave a paper bag with a receipt taped to it on our recycling bin. So Dave goes out to investigate only to discover that someone with a similar house number on our street had ordered some yummy buffalo wings and fries.

Fortunately the order had a phone number on it, which Dave called and asked, “Were you expecting an order of buffalo wings? Because they were just delivered to our door.” Sure enough, the young woman said yes she’d ordered them so then Dave called the restaurant and told them of their error. They said, “Keep the wings.” Hopefully our young neighbor got a new order delivered and wasn’t charged for the foul-up.

So here’s the funny part while Dave is making these calls;

I decide to chow down on our windfall. He’s chuckling softly as I sit next to him, fork poised over a plump wing glistening with delectable sauce.

“Will you wait a minute?” He chastises me.

“It’s not like they’re gonna want these wings back,” I said, stabbing a wing.

So even before the restaurant said “Keep the wings” (Like what else were we gonna do with them? Walk down the block and deliver them to the neighbor ourselves?) they were devoured within minutes as Dave and I split them.

And they were yummy!

Just makes me wonder why some periods of time are sprinkled with the unusual. Is it to add spice to our boring lives? Keep us on our toes? Dave questioned if “Something is going on” because our lives are normally so uneventful.

But as they say all’s well that ends well and the free wings were an unexpected but much appreciated treat!

August Book Discussion

Willie presided over book discussion donning her new reading glasses

Willie’s Women were honored to have 3 guests join them for book discussion this month.

WYNELLE, Guest #1, visited us once before and told us how she enjoys reading about the kings and queens of England. She is considering becoming a member of Willie’s Women and we would be delighted to have her!

ANDREA, Guest #2, has also joined us once before. Andrea enjoys reading about the Amish and says during the summer she enjoys “garbage books” (fiction) and prefers to read books where she’ll learn something during the winter. Her recommendation was Danielle Steele’s A Perfect Life. She gives it 4 stars.

BERNADETTE Guest #3 came in a bit late but was full of good recommendations. She is in charge of my own local book club and this month I will be heading a discussion on Marie Benedict’s The Only Woman in the Room (4.5 stars) Bernadette’s other recommendations were Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser about how history has treated women and how would history be told differently if written by women (5 stars). Bernadette’s 3rd recommendation was See No Stranger by Valerie Kaur about uniting people with “radical love” and not focusing on our differences (4 stars).

BERTHA-ROSE wished JENNY had been present to thank her for telling her about Kim Edwards’s books, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and Lake of Dreams. Bertha-Rose enjoyed them very much, giving them 4 out of 5 stars. Later she shared with us that her college-age grandson recommended she read Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita so she is currently reading that.

KARI dear sweet Kari said Letters to Kezia by yours truly made her cry! She loves books that get her involved with the characters. Did this author’s heart good to hear that someone is enjoying my trilogy so much 🙂

CHRISTINE has been reading a couple of new series. She gives July Mulhern’s The Country Club Murders series 4 stars and is on book 9 of a series of 13. Another series she is enjoying is Sarah Rosett’s On the Run Internationa Mysteries to which she gives 4 stars. Christine granted The Engineer’s Wife by Tracey Emerson Wood 5 stars.

PENI JO: I really enjoyed The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. about the WPA Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky. 4.5 stars!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Willie’s Women meets on Zoom at 3pm Eastern on the 2nd Monday of each month. Non-RHS members are invited to attend one time so feel free to join us!