Monday, November 11, 2019

Inspiration in Unlikely Places by Jodi Rath #mystery #MuseMonday


Please welcome back Jodi Rath to Muse Monday. It's always a pleasure to have her. She's talking inspiration and therapy today. We can all use a little therapy!

The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series becomes closer to my heart with each book I write. It’s become a type of therapy for me; so, it’s no wonder that the protagonist Jolie Tucker begins therapy in Turkey Basted to Death.  I’ve dealt with a dysfunctional family all forty-six years of my life. Growing up, I had an M.I.A. biological father (I’m sure you all can tell how close we are with my formal title). My mom married my stepdad (who, BTW, I treated horribly the first year because I wanted that M.I.A. bio dad) who ended up being more of a father to me than I could have ever hoped for. I will now refer to my stepdad as just ‘dad.’  Jolie deals with a similar situation, and she dives into it more in this newest book in the series.

Not only does this series provide therapy for me, but it also combines my passion for writing with educating. I was a high school English teacher for two decades. Now, I teach higher education online, working with teachers through my business. Many of my previous students read my work. I can’t help but expand knowledge beyond the craft of something in a cozy (which for this series is cooking with cast iron), but I’ve found overarching themes of urban sprawl, gentrification, family dysfunction, and effective communication for finding solutions in society and families to come through. I think the thing that has surprised me the most is the feedback I am getting from readers through social media, emails, and messages. Readers are sharing their experiences of dysfunctional families; some readers refer to gentrification as urban renewal and share their experiences, and I get the exact opposite. I’ve learned about the process of gentrification/urban renewal that has taken place in New York, Ohio, and as recent as a year ago and as long as four decades ago.

One of the most exciting things to happen with this series recently is I’ve teamed up to collaborate with The National MS Society and True Colors United for this book and the rest of the series. Let me explain a bit: one of the characters in the series, Mick Meiser, has MS. My best friend was diagnosed ten years ago, and I write Meiser’s character to show how people navigate the disease. No one will feel sorry for Meiser! True Colors United is run by THE amazing Cyndi Lauper, and it is an affiliation that helps homeless youth—ALL homeless youth, but they do focus on the 40% of homeless youth that is LGBTQ as well. Turkey Basted to Death deals with issues of homeless teens, transgender teens, and homosexual teens that have been kicked out because of who they are. I am happy to announce this collaboration and that all purchases of this book and every book after in the series will have a percentage that goes to The National MS Society and True Colors United!

So, yes, this series has become close to my heart in many ways. It is helping me deal with my dysfunctional family and realize who my family is and help me heal old wounds—but it allows me to continue to educate and to learn from readers as well. The most amazing thing of all is being able to give back to help others in need!

Welcome to Leavensport, Ohio where DEATH takes a delicious turn!
Thanksgiving is here, and Jolie Tucker has had quite the year! She is ready to sit back and relax with family and friends. But this is Leavensport, OH—so get ready for intense therapy sessions, dysfunctional family holiday gatherings, uninvited guests, and an inner-city teen advocate found DEAD—stabbed in the ear with the turkey baster!

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Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers, educational writing, marketing consultant work with authors, and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her eight cats. 

FB Author page: @authorjodirath or
Twitter: @jodirath

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  1. Thanks so much for having me today! This was fun to write--again, therapeutic:)

    1. It's ALWAYS a pleasure having you, Jodi. We had a lot of silent visitors today.

  2. I'm a late visitor. Enjoyed the blog. Writing does become therapy. You can write the happy ending.

    1. Excellent point, Mary! In the process of getting there sometimes we are able to see what we couldn't in our real life❤️