Meghan: Hi, Gayle. Welcome to this year’s Halloween Extravaganza. Thanks for joining us. What is your favorite part of Halloween?
Gayle: Please don’t make me pick just one! I love the candy, of course (seriously, who doesn’t?), the costumes, the cartoons, and the movies.
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?
Gayle: It used to be trick-or-treating. When I was a little girl, that’s something we looked forward to every year. There was a woman in our neighborhood who would even make homemade cookies or popcorn balls.
Meghan: If Halloween is your favorite holiday (or even second favorite holiday), why?
Gayle: I love Halloween because it brings out the kid in all of us. Dressing up as superheroes or monsters, eating too much candy, getting scared just for the fun of it.
Meghan: What are you superstitious about?
Gayle: The number 666. If I’m at a store, and my total rings up $6.66, I’ll buy something else. I recently read Greenlights and learned that Matthew McConaughey is superstitious about that number too. LOL
Meghan: What/who is your favorite horror monster or villain?
Gayle: I love Dracula. I once played Lucy in an off, off-Broadway (my high school was about as far from Broadway as you can get!) production of Dracula.
Meghan: Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?
Gayle: JonBenet Ramsey
Meghan: Who is your favorite serial killer and why?
Gayle: Although I hate to say ”favorite,” I find Ted Bundy really interesting. I read The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, and it was fascinating how he maintained such a strong friendship with her despite being a murderer. At one point in the book, she said that when she’d have to leave work at 2 a.m., he’d walk her to her car. She said the policemen in the building might watch her from the window, but he’d walk her out because “you never know who might be out there.” If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it.
Meghan: How old were you when you saw your first horror movie? How old were you when you read your first horror book?
Gayle: I saw Psycho when I was about thirteen. Even though I thought the movie was great, and have watched it again, at the time it scared the daylights out of me. I always made sure someone else was home and that the bathroom door was locked when I showered. But I did have reservations about someone in my family going crazy and killing me, so… LOL I can’t remember the title of the first horror book, but it was something about demons. I have apparently blocked it from my memory. LOL
Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?
Gayle: The one about the demons whose title I can’t remember. LOL
Meghan: Which horror movie scarred you for life?
Gayle: The Birds. Every time I see large flocks of birds gathering in the fall, it makes me want to get in the house and cover my head.
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween costume?
Gayle: A flapper.
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween-themed song?
Gayle: Scary – Legend of Wooly Swamp; Funny – Monster Mash
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween candy or treat? What is your most disappointing?
Gayle: Fave: Anything chocolate (Reese’s, Snickers, M&Ms, Peppermint Patties) Most disappointing? Sour gummies
Meghan: It’s always a pleasure getting to talk to you, Gayle. Before you go, what are your three go-to Halloween movies?
Gayle: 1) Tucker and Dale Versus Evil – it isn’t a Halloween movie, per se, but I love it. It’s a comedic horror movie that is fantastic. 2) Hocus Pocus 3) Practical Magic – not sure it’s a “Halloween movie” either, but I really liked it.
Gayle is a Southwest Virginia based author who is working on the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mystery series. The first book in the series, MURDER TAKES THE CAKE tells the story of Daphne Martin, a forty-year-old divorcee who returns to her fictional hometown of Brea Ridge, Virginia to start her life over. She has left behind an ex-husband who is in prison for an attempt on Daphne’s life, a dingy apartment and a stale career. She has started fresh in a new home with a new career, Daphne’s Delectable Cakes, a cake-decorating company Daphne runs out of her home. She is thrilled to be living closer to her beloved niece and nephew, although being close to other family members brings up lifelong resentments and more than a couple complications. Daphne is also reunited with childhood friend, Ben Jacobs, a full-fledged HAG (hot, available guy). Daphne’s business hits a snag when her first client turns up dead.”
Ghostly Fashionista 1: Designs on Murder —
Amanda Tucker is excited about opening her fashion design studio in Shops On Main, a charming old building in historic Abingdon, Virginia. She didn’t realize a ghost came with the property! But soon Maxine “Max” Englebright, a young woman who died in 1930, isn’t the only dead person at the retail complex. Mark Tinsley, a web designer with a know-it-all attitude who also rented space at Shops On Main, is shot in his office.
Amanda is afraid that one of her new “friends” and fellow small business owners is his killer, and Max is encouraging her to solve Mark’s murder a la Nancy Drew. Easy for Max to want to investigate–the ghostly fashionista can’t end up the killer’s next victim!
Ghostly Fashionista 2: Perils & Lace —
A murderer outwitting a quirky flapper ghost? Seams unlikely!
Budding retro fashion designer and entrepreneur Amanda Tucker is thrilled about making costumes for Winter Garden High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast. But when the play’s director Sandra Kelly is poisoned, Amanda realizes there’s a murderer in their midst. She’s determined to keep herself and the students safe, so when her ghostly fashionista friend Max suggests they investigate, Amanda rolls up her sleeves and prepares to follow the deadly pattern…
Ghostly Fashionista 3: Christmas Cloches & Corpses —
Bodies are dropping like gumdrops off a gingerbread house!
Max’s nephew, Dwight, is in a nursing home; but instead of the holiday season being a time of goodwill, several of Dwight’s friends have died under mysterious circumstances. Is the facility merely suffering a run of bad luck, or is there something sinister going on?
Either way, Max, the Ghostly Fashionista, is determined not to let her beloved nephew be the next victim and enlists Amanda to help keep an eye on him. But someone drugs the cake that Amanda gives Dwight, and Amanda is banned from visiting him again. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle for Amanda to clear her name and stay out of the killer’s line of fire…
Ghostly Fashionista 4: Buttons & Bows —
FIND OUT WHO KILLED VIOLET. I WON’T REST UNTIL I KNOW…AND NEITHER WILL YOU.
The note, typed on a manual typewriter, is Amanda Tucker’s first introduction to the second ghost she’s ever met.
When retro fashion designer Amanda learns that Violet, the sweet little old lady from whom she bought antique buttons, has been murdered, she’s dismayed—especially when she realizes the murder occurred the evening after Amanda had visited Violet’s shop. Now the ghost who was enamored of the victim is demanding that Amanda help him bring the woman’s killer to justice.
It certainly isn’t an ideal time for Amanda’s parents to be visiting her from Florida for the first time. In addition to Max, the ghostly fashionista, Amanda now has another sassy specter to deal with. Will this one haunt her for the rest of her life?