Kari Lee Townsend

Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!

Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters. You can find out more about her on her website http://www.karileetownsend.com/ and also on the group mystery blog she cohosts, called Mysteries and Margaritas, at http://www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com/

TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A Fortune Teller Mystery

In the fortune telling business there are a lot of pretenders, but Sunshine Meadows is the real deal—and her predictions can be lethally accurate…

Sunny is a big city psychic who moves to the quaint town of Divinity, NY to open her fortune-telling business in an ancient Victorian house, inheriting the strange cat residing within. Sunny gives her first reading to the frazzled librarian and discovers the woman is going to die. When the woman flees in terror, Sunny calls the police, only she’s too late. The ruggedly handsome, hard-nosed detective is a ”non-believer.” He finds the librarian dead, and Sunny becomes his number one suspect, forcing her to prove her innocence before the real killer can put an end to the psychic’s future.


"Fun and fortunetelling await readers in this first-rate debut mystery featuring a young and feisty psychic. Mitch is the perfect adversary for Sunny, and their constant bantering provies plenty of madcap situations to entertain readers. Great pacing, characters and a surprisingly good conclusion make this new series absolute fun!"--Sandra Martin, RT Book Reviews

"My tea leaves and my tarot cards agree--Kari Lee Townsend is riding a bullet-train straight to the top. I predict this vivacious, talented author will soon join the ranks of the superstars. Tempest in the Tea Leaves is a stellar launch for the Fortune Teller Mysteries, and every one of them is destined to become a classic. The author herself--well, she already is. And soon the whole world will know it!"--NY Times Bestselling Author of Twilight Prophecy, Maggie Shayne

"You don't need a crystal ball to predict a bright future for Townsend's Fortune Teller mystery series!"--Author of Clutches and Curses, Dorothy Howell

"Stephanie Plum, watch out! A perky, quirky psychic named Sunny Meadows is right behind you and catching up. The smart, funny, and gutsy fortune teller is a delightful new star on the psychic horizon. Witty, captivating, and refreshing."--Author of The Martha's Vineyard Mystery Series, Cynthia Riggs

"Kari Lee Townsend has a hit with her delightful new series about a fortune teller who finally leaves home to pursue her dreams and finds herself solving a murder. A little romance, a big white cat, and a Victorian house make for a fun read. The true meaning of what Sunny sees always reveals itself--and in this case, a killer."--Author of A Touch of Gold, Joyce Lavene

MAUREEN: Do you believe in ghosts?

KARI LEE: I believe that anything is possible. There’s so much we can’t explain. The thought of ghosts fascinates me. Scares me a bit, but fascinates me just the same.

MAUREEN: What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

KARI LEE: My husband is a pharmaceutical rep, so we’ve been on several company award trips. Hawaii is absolutely amazing. We took a cruise to Alaska for out fifteenth wedding anniversary, and that was a close second, but Hawaii still tops every place I’ve ever been. So romantic and majestic. It really is breathtaking.

MAUREEN: Cats or dogs?

KARI LEE: Cats, of course ☺ I had so much fun creating Morty in Tempest in the Tea Leaves. He’s just so smart and mysterious and full of attitude. I love dogs, too, but there’s just something so interesting and unpredictable about cats. They have such personalities.

MAUREEN: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?

KARI LEE: Acting. I’ve been in a few plays and love being on stage and hamming it up. Everyone always tells me I’m so dramatic. I have three boys and one darling diva who is just like me. Gee, maybe we should act together.

MAUREEN: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

KARI LEE: First, I celebrate. Then I take a week off of writing, and usually clean up my desk. It’s a disaster while I’m working on a project, but no one is allowed to touch it because I know where everything is. But I have to admit it’s so refreshing when it’s clean, like a new slate, ready to start the next book.

MAUREEN: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?

KARI LEE: Sandra Bullock. She is a hoot. I just love her and think she would have some fascinating stories and be really cool to talk to. If she wasn’t available, I’d choose Janet Evanovich. Love her books and can’t wait to see the movies! I want to be her when I grow up ☺

MAUREEN: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and why?

KARI LEE: Victorian England with Queen Victoria herself. I love that time period. In fact I chose an ancient Victorian house for Sunny to live in because I wanted to decorate it from that time period. It’s just so romantic. Chaotic and cluttered, but still romantic. And who would mind Prince Charming sweeping her off her feet?

MAUREEN: Which of your characters would you most/least want to invite to dinner, and why?

KARI LEE: Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I love Sunny’s best friend Jo. She’d be a hoot, and so would her cutie patootie flirt of a barback, Sean. Then there’s hunky brooding Detective Stone who you can’t help but want to hug and tell him it’ll be okay. And Sunny herself is just so fun and quirky. I think I’d have a party and invite them all, and then purposely leave her parents home. That one is easy. They’re so snooty and stuffy and flat out no fun ☺

MAUREEN: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

KARI LEE: I think it’s human nature to read reviews, though you have to develop thick skin. I do like to see what people have to say, but I also use my own judgment on whether or not they have a valid point. If many people have that point, then I might consider letting that influence me. But if it’s just that my book is not that person’s cup of tea, then I simply shrug it off and reread the positive reviews.

MAUREEN: What color would you make the sky if it wasn’t going to be blue anymore and why?

KARI LEE: Though purple is my favorite color, I would choose yellow for the sky. It’s just so bright and sunny, I think it would make people feel good all day long.

Gotta Ask Question –

MAUREEN: You write for both adults and kids. What’s your favorite thing about writing for each genre? How are they the same or different for you?

KARI LEE: I like writing for both genres because it keeps me from getting bored. In both my series, the main character is fun and quirky and has some sort of mystery to solve. And of course great friends, issues with their parents, and some romance. The biggest difference is the tone, pacing, and language. A cozy is just that, very cozy and slower paced. Writing for kids is different. They don’t have the patience for you to take your time. The books are much faster paced and mine are full of action and adventure. And finally the language is different. I have to constantly think about “how” I say something. Adults speak differently than kids do, and even think differently, so I try to choose words and metaphors that fit.


What psychic tool would you like to see next for book four. Books one through three will focus on tea leaves, crystal balls, and tarot cards.

MAUREEN: Thanks for coming, Kari Lee!

Thanks so much for having me. It’s been fun. You can find out more about me and all my books by going to my website at http://www.karileetownsend.com/ and my group mystery blog called Mysteries & Margaritas http://www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com/
Follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/karileetownsend
Like my Facebook Author Page at www.facebook.com/karileetownsendAUTHOR


  1. Hi Kari,

    I have never read a novel involving fortune telling, but your fortune telling series sounds really interesting. Can't wait to read them. Wishing you all the best for your releases.

  2. Thanks Sonali :-) I really had a blast writing this book. Hope you enjoy it.

  3. Welcome to GLIAS, Kari. Great to see your success (especially in two genres). It's just awesome.

    I'm fascinated with how often dreaming is connected in some way with the future.

    Best of luck!

  4. Hi, Kari Lee, welcome to GLIAS. Gosh, I love all the devices you've used -- maybe throw in a snake charmer :) Best wishes and congrats on your successful debut!

  5. Thanks for coming, Kari Lee! How about palm reading?

  6. Thanks guys. Ooooh, dreams and palm reading! Those are definitely in the line up :-)

  7. HI Miss KAri LEe!.. My name is Erika and I'm inviting you here in the Philippines. :D.. there are many spots here that i'm pretty sure, foreigners will enjoy! Not only that, you'll get a chance to know our local ghost stories, it's truly creepy and some even believed it to be real. As for me, I really don't know what to believe! never did i see one myself.Have a great day! :)

  8. This book sounds like so much fun! I have a few sisters who enjoy getting their palms read and fortunes read, but I've never done it - always wanted to though!

  9. How did I miss this interview? Kari, I've followed your career since before you were published. I'm so happy for all you're accomplishing. Congratulations!