Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Six Dogs 'til Sunday (A Mae December Mystery)
by Lia Farrell

About the Book

Six Dogs 'til Sunday (A Mae December Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting - Tennessee
Camel Press
Paperback Release (March 1, 2018)
Digital Release (February 15, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603812504
Digital ASIN: B077KFFH52

It's January in Rosedale, Tennessee, and Mae December is preparing for her March wedding to Sheriff Ben Bradley. Mae, who boards dogs for a living, is also busy tending to her pregnant dog and scouting locations for the movie featuring the music of her former fiancé Noah West, who died in a car accident four years earlier. Fortunately, the picturesque old house at the end of Little Chapel Road is for rent.

Just as filming is about to begin, a man is shot on the set, but manages to drive himself to the hospital, where he dies before he can ID his killer. He was a member of the film crew, but also a local, and circumstances point to his being a confidential informant for Ben's predecessor, Sheriff Trey Cantrell, also the owner of the house turned movie set. At the time of the shooting, the victim had been stealing a large sum of money from a safe on the premises. Whose money is it, and where does it come from?

The Rosedale Sheriff's Office not only has another murder case on its hands, but one that will dredge up a past long buried. How far will the guilty parties go to protect their secrets?

About the Authors

Lia Farrell is the nom de plume for a mother/daughter duo of writers. Mom Lyn Farquhar and Daughter Lisa Fitzsimmons have been collaborating on the Mae December mystery series for four years.
Lyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her storytelling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.

Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full-time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on Lyn has two daughters and six stepchildren, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.

Lisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.

Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen-year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.

Lisa, her husband, and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.

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Note: Lia Farrell is a mother/daughter writing partnership.
Name a few fictional characters that had an impact on you early in life. Lyn’s response
I learned to read at the age of 4 and cannot ever remember not reading. One of the first characters I felt
an affinity for with was Piglet from the Winnie the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne. Piglet is the victim of
constant fearfulness. He is invariably the underdog and needs rescuing by Pooh who is stalwart and

Lisa’s response
My favorite literary character during my childhood was Harriet the Spy from the books by Louise
Who is your favorite fictional detective? Lisa’s response
My favorite fictional detective is Armand Gamache from the overwhelmingly popular books by Louise
Lyn’s response

My favorite fictional detective is a half-Aboriginal Australian named Napoleon Bonaparte in mysteries
by Arthur Upfield. Boney, as he prefers to be called, is renowned for always getting his man, but is
influenced by the motive for the crime and wants young love to succeed. In one book, he allows the
murderer to escape unpunished because the murder was done in self-defense and was righteous.
One important issue in murder mysteries is justice. In your own words, what is justice? 
Justice is required in murder mysteries. Although it is the province of the courts and not of law
enforcement, it is the police who investigate the crimes, so they have a profound impact on who comes
to court. I believe justice should be equal parts righteousness and compassion.
The innocence project and the movement for restorative justice are critical alternatives to incarceration,
as is the importance of social justice. Social justice for women who killed their husbands after decades
of abuse is one of the themes in our book “Three Dog Day”.
Do you write this element into your books?
We do. It would be difficult to find a book that didn’t have an element of justice within its pages
whether it’s a murder mystery or a romance. Readers as well as characters demand it.
Describe your decision to join a writers’ group. Lyn’s response
When Lyn finally made the decision to start writing after retirement from the University, she began with
a four-book YA fantasy series called “Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom” which grew out of bedtime
stories she made up and told my little granddaughter. When unable to acquire a traditional publisher for
the series, she self-published.
Afterwards, Lyn joined the MSU Creative Writers group, which she now chairs in the hope that having
other writers critique her work would help achieve the goal of becoming traditionally published. And
whether it was coincidence or not, Lyn was successful in obtaining a literary agent and a traditional
publisher for the Mae December mysteries she writes with Lisa.
What did you study in college? Lyn’s response
I earned my B.A. in English, and afterwards was admitted directly to the Ph.D. program. I completed a
year in the program before life and love intervened. At the time, I was divorced with two very young
children. I fell in love with a man who had six children. Knowing I would need to support a large
family, I made an appointment to see the English Department Chair and put him on the spot by asking
what his income was. Although Chair of an academic department in a Big Ten University, he made less
than $20,000 per year. (This was in the 70’s)
Although I had always wanted to write, like the poet Robert Frost in “The Road Less Traveled” I took a
different road. I had completed enough work to receive a Master’s degree in English and took a position
at the University with the medical school. It was only after my retirement that I was able to return to
my original goal of writing.  
 Lisa’s response
I attended MSU and chose a tri-emphasis program with concentration in Fine Art, Art History and
Interior Design. I have worked for a number of years as a muralist and designer in Tennessee. For a
time I was the design half of a “new build” business. In that job I chose all the interior colors and
surfaces for large million dollar houses. I also have done interior and exterior signage for other
What do you appreciate about research?
Although we write fiction, which isn’t bound by a rigid set of facts, it must still be true to life. And
murder mysteries in particular, require adherence to police procedure and investigative techniques.
Research has been invaluable in getting our stories right. Most writers rely too heavily on the internet,
forgetting that much of what is put on the net is junk. We use the net every day and appreciate its worth,
but are very careful about my sources. We also rely on professionals in their respective fields. In our
series this has involved lawyers, social justice advocates, psychologists and police officers who have
been very generous with advice.
What does it mean to plot from the POV of the antagonist and write from the perspective of the
We find this piece of advice hugely important and wish we had known it when we first started writing.
We consider the Mae December mysteries to be a “why done it” rather than a “who done it.” The big 3
components to a murder are the perpetrator having means, motive and opportunity. In our books, the
motive is the most important.
If we don’t know the reasons our perpetrators commit their crimes, we won’t know how to guide our
detectives and help them solve the mystery. The antagonist drives the story—especially at the beginning.
It’s up to the protagonist to solve the mystery, but if the author doesn’t know how or why the
antagonist did what he did, the story won’t be believable and the reader won’t be satisfied. Neither will
the authors.
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