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Moonshine and Murder: A New Cozy Series

Moonshine and MurderMoonshine and murder: The perfect combination for a hot new cozy series, just in time for summer reading!

Author Interview + Author & Book Info + Rafflecopter Giveaway & Author Pet Corner!

The Moonshine Shack Murder

Moonshine and MurderIn this intoxicating new cozy mystery series, the future for modern-day moonshiner Hattie Hayes looks bright–until death darkens the doorstep of her Moonshine Shack.

The Hayes family has made moonshine in Chattanooga since the days of Prohibition, and Hattie is happy to continue the tradition, serving up fun, fruity flavors in mason jars for locals and tourists alike. All signs indicate her new ‘shine shop will be a smashing success. What’s more, mounted police officer Marlon Landers has taken a shine to Hattie.

For the first time ever, the stars seemed to have aligned in both her work and romantic life. But when a body ends up on her store’s doorstep alongside a broken jar of her Firefly Moonshine, it just might be lights out for her fledgling business.

The homicide detective can’t seem to identify the person who killed the owner of a nearby bar. The only witness is Hattie’s longhaired gray cat, and Smoky isn’t talking. When the detective learns that the victim and Hattie had a heated exchange shortly before his murder, she becomes her prime suspect.

Lest Hattie end up behind bars like her bootlegging great-grandfather a century before, she must distill the evidence herself and serve the killer a swift shot of justice.

To purchase The Moonshine Shack Murder, click on the following links: Amazon Paperback — Kindle —  Audible  — Nook —  B&N Paperback  —  Books-A-Million  —  GoogleplayIndiebound  —  iBooks  —  Kobo  —  Powells Books  — Target  —  Walmart

The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (July 6, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593333225
ISBN-13: 978-0593333228
Digital ASIN : B08KPKD22T

Moonshine and Murder! — The Interview with Diane Kelly

The Moonshine Shack Murder launches a brand-new series for you. How did your concept for this series come about?

We lived in Nashville from early 2014 to mid 2016.

When we moved there, I was surprised to discover that commercially produced moonshine was sold in bars and liquor stores, and that it came in fun, fruity flavors. One sip of the apple pie moonshine and I was hooked!

Elena loves apple pie moonshine too

When the anniversary of the start of Prohibition approached in 2020, I found myself fascinated by the history of moonshining. There are so many facets to it – the production process, the dangers and corruption associated with the illegal business, speakeasies, and the spawning of NASCAR by moonshine runners who learned how to drive fast on dark, curvy roads.

I realized if I was intrigued by all things moonshine, others would be too, and ‘shine could make a great backdrop for a mystery series.

What should readers know about Hattie Hayes?

She’s a clever lady with a nose both for business and crime-solving. She’s got a big heart, and she loves her crazy granddaddy and her self-centered cat, both of whom keep her company at her shop.

She’s determined to make The Moonshine Shack a success, come hell or high water.

Tell us about Chattanooga, the location for The Moonshine Shack Murder:

I fell in love with the city when we went there on vacation years ago. Chattanooga has so much to offer. The mountains and Tennessee River are beautiful, and Rock City and Ruby Falls offer even more natural splendor.

The battle at Lookout Mountain and the old train station provide interesting history. We even spent a night in a converted passenger car at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel. So fun!

The riverfront area and Market Street have lots of touristy places to see, and great art museums. The people are very friendly, too! It’s not far from the Smoky Mountains, either. I highly recommend a visit for anyone who hasn’t been there.

You write multiple series and standalones in both mystery and romance genres. Do you work on multiple projects at once? What does your writing process look like?

I have multiple projects in various phases at the same time, and the books seem to leapfrog each other as to where they are in the process. I’ll finish the first draft of one book, do revisions for another, then revisions for the first book, copy edits for the second . . . In other words, there’s a lot of back and forth between the phases of the projects.

My process is to brainstorm a new book with pen and paper, and work up a rough outline.

Once that’s done, I sit down at the computer and hammer out a more detailed outline. I use the outline to guide my writing, though I often have epiphanies along the way and fun surprises to add in.

As for my daily routine, I get up, have coffee with my husband, and walk the dogs, then spend the rest of the day at my computer.

I can’t sit at a desk to write – that makes it feel too much like work rather than a creative pursuit. I like to write outside while sitting on my chaise lounge whenever I can.

How did your work as a tax adviser prepare you to write about murder?

The tax work gave me unexpected brushes with white-collar criminals, which led to my fascination with criminal psychology.

I worked for two different people who got arrested for tax crimes. Crazy, huh? I wanted to know how and why they committed their crimes.

As I starting writing and researching, I discovered I wanted to delve even deeper. But I also wanted to keep things funny and light, not overly creepy or frightening. Cozy mysteries allow me to explore crime and the criminal mind, without going too dark.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing the first draft of Batten Down the Belfry, the fourth book in my House Flipper series.

In this book, carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck buy an old country church near Nashville, and they decide to turn it into an entertainment venue. Problem is, a deliveryman ends up dead in the belltower, and Whitney can’t rest easy until the killer is behind bars.

Final Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers

The best two things I ever did for my writing career were joining professional writing organizations and regularly attending a critique group.

Workshops and networking will help you hone your craft and learn about the business. Feedback from other writers will help you improve your game. Grow a thick skin. You’ll need it. But persevere. You’ll get there.

Excellent advice! Thanks for hanging out with us today!

Moonshine and Murder! — The Moonshine Shack Murder author, Diane Kelly

Moonshine and Murder
Diane Kelly with Fritz

Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends.

Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series.

In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.

Find Diane online at, on Twitter and Instagram @DianeKellyBooks, and on Facebook at her Author Diane Kelly page.

To learn more about Diane, click on her name, photo, or any of the following links: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & her Newsletter Signup

Author Pet Corner!

One of my favorite corners! Diane Kelly’s house is a bit like mine . . .


Junior is a male black and tan shepherd, who is 12 1/2 years old. He’s smart, but as the alpha dog he’s a bit self-centered and thinks the world should revolve around him. We butt heads often. He loves to have his chest scratched.


Reggie is a 12-year-old female Dalmatian mix. She’s deaf but very clever, so not being able to hear doesn’t hold her back at all. In fact, she’s the best communicator of all of our pets. She understands nuance, and watches our faces carefully to understand our moods. She is eager to please and responds to hand signals. Her TikTok video got millions of hits! It’s also on YouTube.

Turalyon is a male terrier mix. My son named him after a character from the video game World of Warcraft. He’s smart, but stubborn. My son found him running loose, covered in fleas, and neither neutered nor microchipped.

We did everything we could to try to find his owners, but they didn’t seem to be looking for him. Finders keepers!



Shakira is an affectionate, slightly neurotic calico, who was dumped on our street years ago as a kitten along with her brother. We took them in and they rewarded us by being very loving. Her brother has since passed on, sadly, and we all miss him.

She’s 14 years old and still going strong. She likes to curl up with me to sleep.

Winkie is a sweet but sassy brown tabby. She’s 16, partly blind, and declining, but still has some quality of life left.

She loves to be scratched under the chin and nap in the sunny spots near the window. We adopted her from a horse-riding facility that had feral barn kittens they needed to find homes for.


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Visit all the Stops Along the Great Escapes Book Tour!

Moonshine and Murder

July 6 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

July 8 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

July 8 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

July 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE

July 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

July 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 10 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW


July 13 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 14 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW (moved from 12th)

July 15 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

July 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 16 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

July 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

July 19 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite on-line retailers. And don’t forget many independent bookstores can order books for you and have them shipped to your home or for curbside pickup.

For more information on All We Buriedclick on the link here to visit the home page.

Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020




Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Diane Kelly

    Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Elena!

  2. Elena Taylor

    So lovely to have you visit!

  3. Dianne Casey

    Sounds like an interesting storyline. Looking forward to reading the book.

    1. Elena Taylor

      Thanks for visiting! Hope you enjoy it.

  4. bn100

    nice interview

    1. Elena Taylor

      Thank you! And thanks for visiting.

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