Huffpost Books
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Melissa Webster Headshot

Carolyn Haines at Daddy's Girls' Weekend

Posted: Updated:

"Rich bitch. I aspire to it... not there yet, but I'm hoping," Carolyn Haines, author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series says half-jokingly of her signature character when we sit at a little table underneath a live oak tree dripping with Spanish moss outside a coffee house in historic downtown Mobile, Alabama for the fourth annual Daddy's Girl Weekend, to benefit the Good Fortune Farm Refuge, an organization dedicated to providing spay/neutering services for animals belonging to low income families and also finding loving homes for rescue animals.

Booty Bones, number fourteen in the series, is set to release on May 20, 2014 and promises surprises in the form of Jitty, the sassy, strong-willed genteel Southern ghost lady who keeps Sarah on her toes and on the right path, usually. In Booty Bones, we get Jitty's backstory for the first time, which is the coolest reveal about her latest book, because, I mean, how many authors can say they've written the backstory on a ghost, especially one so adored by her fans?

The fourteenth installment in this light-hearted, fun and funny mystery series is set in the deep South on the Alabama Gulf Coast and features pirates, treasure hunting and the ongoing romance between Sarah Booth Delaney and her fiance Graf Milieu. And then there's Jitty, who's attached herself to Sarah like a tick on a dog, and whom Sarah just can't seem to get away from, even when she goes on vacation to a place completely unrelated to her life. With a mysterious smile of her own, Carolyn hints at twists and turns that are sure to please her fans in unexpected ways.

With Mobile being one of the oldest port cities in America with a long history of ghost encounters and other mysterious happenings, as people pass us on the busy sidewalk on historic Royal Street, home of the original Mardi Gras, the conversation moves appropriately to the darker, edgier book series she writes under the pseudonym R.B. Chesterton. These are her ghost stories. Scary, but "gentle horror," these are the books she writes in the bright light of day, first thing in the morning, because they even scare her, allowing her to get the work out of the way early, so she can distract herself with other work for the rest of the day to shake off the fear. "I write the Bones books at night... and they don't scare me."

The latest installment in the R.B. Chesterton series The Seeker, which published in March 2014, is set at Walden Pond, the legendary inspiration for acclaimed classic-American writer Henry David Thoreau. In The Seeker, something sinister lurks beneath his peaceful utopia, this seeming paradise in the woods, and graduate student Aine Cahill discovers family skeletons long buried as she questions her own sanity when she witnesses a young girl haunting the woods, and the neighboring small town suspects her of murder. Just a suggestion, do not read this book while you're at home alone in the dead of night.

Bone-A-Fied Delicious, official cookbook of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series

Here's your chance to experience downhome Southern cooking and help a great cause in the process. Featuring commentary, jokes and snarky asides from the Bones mystery series characters themselves, one hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales of the Bone-A-Fied Delicious cookbook go to the Good Fortune Farm Refuge at http://www.goodfortunefarmrefuge.org, and can already boast that the first editions have sold-out. They're in the process of printing more books, so if you want to learn more, you can go to this link.

Never a dull moment, and not one to sit on her laurels, Carolyn Haines divides her time between her two concurrent book series, her side projects to benefit the Good Fortune Farm Refuge and other animal rights organizations, her horses at her own farm, and her teaching job at the University of South Alabama. Check out her books at http://www.carolynhaines.com/.