Thursday, July 2, 2015

Two Heads are Better Than One - Meet Blanche Day Manos

Lately, recreational reading has re-entered my life for reasons I may choose discuss someday. But not today. One book worth telling you about was "The Cemetery Club" by Blanche Day Manos and Barbara Burgess. I was curious about how the two authors came to write the book, so I asked Blanche. Here is what she told me:

The three Darcy and Flora cozies, The Cemetery Club, Grave Shift, and Best Left Buried, were written with a friend of mine who lives in a neighboring town, Barbara Burgess. This is how it all came about:

Barbara and I had a mutual friend, Levern Jones, who introduced us as two writers who should get to know each other. This we proceeded to do over coffee and an orange Danish in a tearoom.

“You know,” I said to Barbara, “we could collaborate on a book. It might be fun.”

Barbara is of Cherokee descent and so am I. We were both brought up in small towns, and cozy mysteries were our favorite genre. Cherokee legends and the people who live in rural areas should be what our books centered around, we both decided. So, The Cemetery Club began its journey toward publication.

We began with a legend of Cherokee gold and the greedy men who were out to find it. Adding a murdered body which disappeared, a dim and faded map, an old romance about to be re-kindled, and a couple of more murders, Barbara and I had our book.

Working with a co-author is fun and rewarding. You’ve heard the adage, “two heads are better than one”. Well, in collaborating on the Darcy and Flora series, this proved to be true. We were the sounding boards for each other. If the plot hit a snag, one or the other came up with an answer. We emailed, talked on the phone, and met in person. At last, The Cemetery Club made its debut.

Writing with a partner is not for everyone, but for those who think it might be fun, I heartily recommend it. It certainly worked for co-author Barbara Burgess and me.

Currently, I am working on the fourth Darcy and Flora cozy. This one I am writing solo with no co-author.

In December, Moonlight Can Be Murder is to make its debut. This is a brand-new series, in addition to the Darcy and Flora series. MCBM has a different protagonist, different Oklahoma town, but the same spine-tingling mystery. Instead of a mother and daughter team, MCBM involves a woman and two childhood friends who are reunited after a number of years. It involves a Victorian house, a couple of mysterious murders, and a surprise ending.

There was nothing I didn't like about this cozy mystery. From the gruesome discovery of the body under a pile of brush, which gave me chills, to escaping the bad guys, this book held my attention until the end. If you like a great story with a sprinkling of Oklahoma history and heart, read "The Cemetery Club." Here is a link to the series:

Blanche’s Bio

It might seem strange to some that a mild-mannered kindergarten teacher would resort to murder and mayhem but never fear! The murders all happen on paper only and it’s a good fit. After nearly three decades teaching in public schools and numerous articles and stories being published in a hometown newspaper and various periodicals, this writer found a niche in the field of cozy mysteries.

A native Oklahoman, Blanche’s books reflect her small-town upbringing and the values as well as the legends she grew up with. Nearly a life-long Oklahoma resident, Blanche moved to Northwest Arkansas a few years ago. Now she makes her home within hollerin’ distance from her son and his family. And, she couldn’t be happier with the arrangement.

Other places where you can read more about Blanche Day Manos and her books:


~Nancy Jill Thames~

Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley, and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas and California finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand or having afternoon tea with friends.

She is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors.

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit


  1. I have to read this one!!! Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. You're welcome, Vickie. I don't think you'll be disappointed.



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