Celebrate Diversity Month | Author Q&A with Tara Kelly



April is Celebrate Diversity Month and Entangled is celebrating by featuring diverse romance books with author chats, book spotlights and book discounts. One of the diverse titles in Entangled’s lineup is Tara Kelly’s The Foxglove Killings and I’m excited to welcome Tara on the blog today. I’ve enjoyed Tara’s books Harmonic Feedback and Amplified and since I love a good mystery The Foxglove Killings sounds like it’s right up my alley. Read on to find out more about The Foxglove Killings and check out an author Q&A and e-book giveaway.

About The Foxglove Killings:

the foxglove killings

Gramps always said that when the crickets were quiet, something bad was coming. And the crickets have been as silent as the dead. It started with the murdered deer in the playground with the unmistakable purple of a foxglove in its mouth. But in the dying boondock town of Emerald Cove, life goes on.

I work at Gramps’s diner, and the cakes―the entitled rich kids who vacation here―make our lives hell. My best friend, Alex Pace, is the one person who gets me. Only Alex has changed. He’s almost like a stranger now. I can’t figure it out…or why I’m having distinctly more-than-friend feelings for him. Ones I shouldn’t be having.

Then one of the cakes disappears.

When she turns up murdered, a foxglove in her mouth, a rumor goes around that Alex was the last person seen with her—and everyone but me believes it. Well, everyone except my worst enemy, Jenika Shaw. When Alex goes missing, it’s up to us to prove his innocence and uncover the true killer. But the truth will shatter everything I’ve ever known about myself — and Alex.

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q and a chalkboard
Author Q&A with Tara Kelly

Describe your book in a sentence or two.

When a rich tourist girl in 17-year-old Nova’s small town is found murdered, a rumor goes around that Nova’s troubled best friend Alex did it. Nova and her worst enemy, Jenika, are the only people in town who believe in his innocence, and they have to work together to find the truth.

What inspired you to write The Foxglove Killings?

I’ve been a mystery and thriller fan for years, and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at one. Multiple visits to coastal Oregon, which is such a surreal place, inspired the characters and the fictional town in the book. I really wanted to focus on class—the haves and the have nots—and how each side is impacted. How one act of violence can bring out the worst in people and the best.

What kind of research did you do to make sure your characters were authentic?

I made a lot of visits to small Oregon coastal towns and read up on the history in the area. I joined local online communities to find out what it’s like to grow up in a coastal Oregon town. I read up on the history of coastal Oregon tribes, since this is part of Nova’s ancestry. In addition, I spoke with a medical examiner and an Oregon State Police homicide detective to find out how the case in my book might be handled.

How does the diversity in the book relate to your life?

I can’t say the diversity in this book directly relates to my life. In fact, I grew up in the Bay Area, which is a very diverse area—unlike coastal Oregon. As a white person, I don’t have Nova’s experience of being a POC growing up in a predominately white town. But that is precisely why I wanted to write about her. I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone as a writer and learn about who Nova was and how she experienced life in this small town, particularly as a have-not. I do have experience as being a have-not around the haves, so the class part of the book does relate to my life and my own experiences.

What are some of your favorite books about diverse characters?

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Pointe by Brandy Colbert, Monster by Walter Dean Meyers, Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John, Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves…. really I could go on for awhile…


Thanks for sharing the background info on your book and your awesome book recs, Tara! 

About the Author:

Tara Kelly adores variety in her life. She’s an author, one-girl-band, graphic designer, videographer/editor, and photographer. She lives in Sin City with her beloved guitars, sound design master husband, and a fluffy cat named Maestro.

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