A Day In The Life Of Clay Fraser by Janet Bolin

I’m Clay Fraser. I’m a builder/renovator near Elderberry Bay, Pennsylvania. The village on the shores of Lake Erie had fallen on hard times. I took a chance and renovated a Victorian row of four stores with apartments above them. Along came Haylee and her dream of owning a fabric store.

People began calling the village Threadville shortly after Haylee’s store, plus yarn, quilting and notions shops, opened. Excited by Threadville’s success, Haylee asked my company, Fraser Construction, to renovate the building across the street from hers.

Haylee was certain that between the two of us, we could create an environment that would cause her best friend, Willow, to move to Threadville and open a machine embroidery boutique.

The building was an Arts and Crafts bungalow that had been gutted and turned into a succession of stores that never stayed in business more than a year or two. The place was a mess, but it had great bones.

And I love a challenge.

To give me ideas of what Willow might like, Haylee showed me photos of Willow. Suddenly, I had to meet Haylee’s best friend. I wanted my renovations to wow her. Together, Haylee and I tried to create a shop and apartment that Willow would fall for. It worked. Willow bought the property—it included a Victorian wooden cottage beside the river—and moved to Threadville.

I didn’t meet Willow until after she’d been here awhile. I was a little afraid she’d be as impulsive as Haylee, but although Willow likes adventure, she’s cautious, and she tries to hide her vulnerability in a way that makes me want to put my arms around her.

However, between her caution and my, well, I guess I have to call it by its right name, pride, we barely see each other. So the way I spend my days and evenings and the way I’d like to spend my days and evenings are two different things.

I’m usually up early, either drawing new plans or at the latest work site. We’re developing beachfront property over toward Erie. Although trained as an architectural engineer, I do a little of everything—carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, roofing, and (what I may like best) operating heavy machinery. These long, spring days, I’m outside until quite late.

At home after work, I barbecue a steak or some burgers or hot dogs in the last of the light, and eat with a beer or two in front of the TV. Later, I read, mysteries or articles about building and architecture. If I have time, I go canoeing or for walks in the woods or along Lake Erie’s beaches.

I hope, someday, that Willow will come along on some of these explorations, but I’m afraid to ask her. What if she makes it clear that she never wants to go out with me? If I don’t ask her, I’ll always have hope that she’ll say yes. Okay, you’re right. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Haylee and I are friends, just friends. I want Willow to like me, but first she has to trust me, and I understand—maybe—why she might not. She was new in town when someone was murdered. I don’t blame her for being wary of everyone.

Do you have suggestions? She has asked me to help her renovate that Victorian cottage some day.


You can learn more about Clay, Willow, and Haylee, and how Willow solved a murder in DIRE THREADS, which was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First novel, and has also been nominated for the Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (the Bony Blithe.)

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of THREADED FOR TROUBLE to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends June 7. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
When she’s not writing or reading, Janet Bolin plays with sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, and machine embroidery. She lives with her husband and two rescue dogs near a small village on Lake Erie. The dogs look and act remarkably like Willow’s two dogs. Janet’s kayak is idle too much of the time. Visit Janet at facebook and twitter.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

26 responses to “A Day In The Life Of Clay Fraser by Janet Bolin

  1. i sat with Janet at the NewAuthorsBreakfast at Malice!!! she is sooooo nice!!!
    Threaded for Trouble has been on my WishList since the title was announced!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  2. Linda Kuzminczuk

    Love the male point of view since you don’t often see that. Sounds like a fun book. Thanks. kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com.

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  3. Thanks, Cynthia! We did have fun at that breakfast, didn’t we! Linda, good catch. This is the first time Clay has spoken up. He’s going to have some interesting times in Threaded for Trouble…

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  4. I loved the first in this series, have just bought THREADED FOR TROUBLE ( so please don’t enter me in the draw) and can’t wait to read it. Clay does have a challenge ahead!

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  5. I’ve read and enjoyed a book in this series already, and would love to win this book for my very own.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. A male POV is still relatively different. Kudos to Janet for tackling it. I’d like to get a look at how it came out. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx Thanks!

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  7. I hope Clay picks up his courage and ask Willow out. I bet she’ll accept.

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  8. This great to have a male lead in the cozy! I love to read about house renovations, especially Victorians. Really want to read this cozy.
    Fingers Crossed!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  9. I love the idea of having all types of “thread” stores together. So nice to hear from the male in this group of friends – very interesting!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  10. Oops. Sorry if I gave the impression that Clay was the protagonist in the series. He’s not, and this is the first time he has said anything in public! The books are all from Willow’s point of view, and you’ll learn more about what she thinks of Clay in Threaded for Trouble.

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  11. Absolutely loved Dire Threads – can’t wait to visit Elderberry Bay again!
    cyderryATyahooDOTcom
    Chèli
    Cheli’s Shelves

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  12. A cozy mystery with a male point of view telling the story is unusual, I would enjoy seeing how this one goes.

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  13. Thank you for the chance to win this. I would love to add it to my cozy collection.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

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  14. Sounds like a great book. I’m always looking for books based around Up state New York. This one fites the bill since I’m from around Lake Erie. Just loved the review you did. Would like to read this book.
    dian429@yahoo.com

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  15. Lynette Kutzke

    I have really been looking forward to Threaded for Trouble since I enjoyed reading Dire Threads so much. Reading posts from characters other than the protagonist always makes me more interested in a book.
    lynettek51@yahoo.com

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  16. Cheryl Green

    I loved Dire Threads—can’t_wait_to_read_Threaded for Trouble.
    I would love to win this book for my very own.

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  17. Sue Farrell

    I would like to see how the relationship of Clay and Willow develops.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  18. i would love to win. always loooking for new books!!!

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  19. kay swederski

    Sounds like a good book – I love little towns – and the little special shops they have. Thanks for the giveaway!

    kayswederski at yahoo dot com

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  20. Sounds like a Great book.

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  21. Carol Sullivan

    I really enjoyed Dire Threads and am looking forward to reading Threaded for Trouble!

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  22. Michelle Fidler

    I have the first in the series. I bought it last year in June for my birthday. I like the name of the cottage, Blueberry Cottage, and the dogs’ names, Tally Ho and Sally Forth — so cute! I do embroidery once in a while, stamped cross-stitch.

    spookycat72(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. I would love to read this book. pmettert at yahoo dot com

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  24. Stacie Amelotte

    This looks like a really fun series. Looking forward to reading it. Another fun Pennsylvania cozy. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

    scouts579(at)aol(dot)com

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  25. It’s really nice to have a male as one of the main characters in a cozy. It will give the story some different perspectives. I haven’t started this series yet, but it’s definitely on my book list. Thanks for the post!
    jrobinson12 (at) austin (dot) rr (dot) com

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  26. contest is closed.

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