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And this is how A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series started.

I have so many interviews over the years that I have transcribed into written form that I thought was perfect for readers who missed them. In this interview, I was just releasing the first book in the Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery Series.

The interview was initially for the Cake & Punishment books written under my pen name, Maymee Bell published with Crooked Lane Publishers.

It was fun to look back over the interview and see what I had said about the Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery Series.

Enjoy! Be sure to scroll to the end for a fun giveaway!


A couple months ago, I reviewed Tonya Kappes’ latest book, Cake & Punishment, written under the name Maymee Bell. Since then, she’s come out with the first ebook in her new Campers & Criminals mystery series,  Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries. I don’t know how she found time to answer questions, but she did. Thank you, Tonya.

Lesa: Tonya, I don’t even know where to start with questions because
you’re such a busy author. Why don’t you tell us about yourself and Maymee

Tonya: Hahhaa!! Yes. I am busy. But we are one in the same. Originally,
when I took the contract from Crooked Lane for the Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Series, it is a straight cozy. There’s no paranormal in it, which is what I’ve
written for so long in my cozies. My granny’s name is Mamie and I love that
name. It was in her honor that I decided to use a variation of her name as my
pen name.

Now I look back and think that I probably didn’t need to do that.

Lesa: Would you introduce Sophia Cummings?

Tonya: Sophia is what I’d call a typical twenty-something going into her
thirties that’s realized family and friends are really what the world is about.
She’d spent so much time trying to get out of that small hometown, she’s
rediscovered it after she goes back for a visit. This time she’s more mature
and finds everything she’d been searching for while she’s been gone is actually
right there in her small town.

Lesa: Tell us about Cake & Punishment, without spoilers.

Tonya: Sophia is a “famous” pastry chef. Her heart has been broken and
she flees to her small hometown to hide. It just so happens (wink) that her
high school best friend is getting married that same weekend and the cake baker
has backed out on baking the wedding cake. Of course, Sophia steps up to make
it and just so happens to stumble upon a dead body.

Lesa: I may be wrong, but I count ten series that you’re writing or have
written. Which ones are currently active?

Tonya: Yes! I’m currently writing The Kenni Lowry Mystery Series, which
is a ten book deal with Henery Press. The Southern Cake Baker Mystery Series
with Crooked Lane. The Killer Coffee Mystery Series, The Magical Cures Mystery
Series, and (new) A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series all self


Lesa: The first in the Camper and Criminals
series is just out. Would you tell us about it?

Tonya: OMG….let me tell you how much I love this series. As a child, my
parents had a camper. We had so much fun in that thing. I was a campground rat,
running around barefoot, jumping in the rivers/lakes and had such fond memories
of traveling around. I knew I had to write a series based in a campground in
the Daniel Boone National Park set in Kentucky.


You find a lot of funny characters in campgrounds, so they fit
right on in with my characters. It was perfect. I’m happy to say that readers
are LOVING it!

Lesa: You have to pick one. What’s your favorite series, and what’s it

Tonya: The Magical Cures Mystery Series hands down. June Heal and the fun
gang put me on the cozy mystery map and they still continue to sell so well.

Lesa: You seem to specialize in Southern mysteries with humor. What
authors influenced you?

Tonya: None! I’m southern and when I started writing, there
weren’t any out there. That’s when I knew it was my niche.

Lesa: Where do you like to take friends when they come to visit you in

Tonya: I live about ten miles from Cincinnati. Our zoo has a famous
little hippo named Fiona. Everyone wants me to take them to see her. If you’ve
not seen her and her story, look her up!

Lesa: I’m a public librarian, so
I end my interviews with the same question. Would you tell us a story about a
library or librarian in your life?

Tonya: Yes! I live about three
streets over from our library. I always love to go over there and talk when
they ask. Our librarian, Lisa, is awesome. She and I instantly clicked. We also
do Jazzercise together. We sweat and read together, what a perfect combo!!

If you’re exhausted just reading this interview, you’re not the only one. Tonya is hard to keep up with. The only way to keep track of her books is to check out her web site at

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One Comment on “And this is how A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series started.

  1. I have recently discovered Campers and Criminals. I’m not sure if it is that I recently bought a camper or that I live within ten miles of the Daniel Boone National Forest, that makes them appeal to me. But I’m on book four. I love them and looking forward to reading more.

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