Spotlight, Author Interview & Giveaway : The Elemental Detective (Riga Hayworth #5) by Kirsten Weiss (UF)

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Book Blurb & Info

Riga Hayworth, Book 5

Published by: Misterio Press
December 21, 2013
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Mystery
Word Count: 70,647

Mermaids, menehunes, and murder.

Riga Hayworth just wants to relax with her new husband on their Hawaiian honeymoon. But a body on a Kauai beach pulls them into a murder investigation, sending the supernatural world into an uproar.

When Riga detects traces of magic at a murder scene, she knows she can’t ignore the call. There’s necromancy afoot, and she must prepare for the battle to come. But can Riga fight the forces of nature? Or will they destroy her and everyone she loves?

Book five in the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels, The Elemental Detective is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy blending romance with the supernatural, and exploring the magic of Hawaii.

BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Series

View the entire series here


Author Kristen Weiss

Hi Kirsten,

Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about your series Riga Hayworth, your new book, The Elemental Detective, and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.

So first off, your newest book is part of your series, Riga Hayworth. Let's talk about the series as a whole....

Riga Hayworth is a metaphysical detective who looks nearly identical to the silver screen legend, Rita Hayworth. She’s grown a lot through the series, and she’s lost a lot as well. In the first book, she was fully in control of her magical powers. But then she loses them, and has to figure out who she is. Meanwhile, she’s being romanced by a casino owner, Donovan Mosse. So there’s been lots of change in Riga’s life over the course of the series.

In your own words, what is the Riga Hayworth series about?

It’s about a woman used to being alone, who learns to open up to others. And magic.

What inspired the series?

I’d just quit my job, and was fantasizing about different careers. Metaphysical detective popped into my mind, and I started imagining what a metaphysical detective would do, then what my mythical detective’s name would be. Riga was born.

Can you tell us a bit about the newest book in the series, The Elemental Detective?

Riga and Donovan have finally gotten married and are on their honeymoon in Kauai. But Riga has a metaphysical calling to find justice for the dead, and she can’t escape it. They found the bodies of a murdered man and seal on the beach and are drawn into an investigation. It’s the first time the two have acted as a team in crime solving, and I have to say I enjoyed the pairing.

How did you come up with the title of your newest book in the series and can you tell us its significance?

Each book explores a different form of magic. The Elemental Detective explores Huna, a Hawaiian magical practice. But when I go to Hawaii, and especially Kauai, what strikes me are the elements – the fire of the volcanoes, the power of the ocean waves, the wind, the earth. This is a part of Huna as well, hence The Elemental Detective.

How does the new book, The Elemental Detective, fit into the series?

It’s book five. Riga’s come a long way, and since they’re on their honeymoon, it’s more light-hearted than the others.

How many books are planned for the series?

I think I’m going to stop at seven. It’s a good magical number. Right now I’m working on book six, The Hoodoo Detective, which is set in New Orleans.

What genre would you say The Elemental Detective is and what sets your book apart for fans of the genre?

I’m not sure if it’s more urban fantasy or paranormal mystery – I guess it’s both. I think what sets it apart is that the heroine is a bit more mature. She’s in her forties and has been around the block. Also, although she does get into fights, she’s no superhero. I’ve been taking martial arts for years, and women are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to speed and strength (it’s very annoying). I try to reflect that in the fight scenes. Sometimes she wins. Sometimes she loses. And sometimes she just makes mistakes.

What was your favorite scene to write for your hero or heroine in The Elemental Detective?

I think the finale is my favorite. It’s a lot of crazy action and fairly suspenseful. (In my opinion).

What was the hardest scene to write for The Elemental Detective?

I had a little trouble with a night scene where they’re at a Hawaiian sacred space, high on a mountain. It was strangely hard to describe. To a certain extent it was supposed to be dark and confusing, but it also had to be readable. It took a lot of rewrites.

What is your favorite line or quote from The Elemental Detective?

Pretty much anything from Brigitte the gargoyle. She’s such a smart ass.


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?

Two things happened . First, I read my first Nancy Drew novel and realized my goal of being a girl detective wasn’t realistic. Second, I won a writing contest. The answer was clear. If I couldn’t be a girl detective, I would write about them.

What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?

Imagining the scenes in my head.

What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?

I outline the first two to three acts of the novel. As I write, I usually make changes, but it helps for me to have some general idea where I’m headed. For some reason, however, the last act, the finale, is usually a blank for me until I’m at least halfway through the manuscript.

Are you a Plotter or a Panster?

Mostly a plotter, but I leave room for creativity as I’m writing. My plot outlines always change, and for the better.

Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?


What's next for you?

I’m working on book six, The Hoodoo Detective. And after that, I’ll be working on book two in my new steampunk suspense series. Book one, Steam and Sensibility, was just published.

Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?

Buy my books!

Personal questions......

Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing characters, who is your favorite and why?

Brigitte the gargoyle. She’s such a straight talker, and she’s just the most fun.

Are there any of your stories or characters that hold a special place in your heart?

If we’re talking about other writers, the Harry Potter series. Love it.

If the book or series had to have a theme song, what would it be?

I Put a Spell on You, by the incomparable Nina Simone.

Lastly, let's steal an idea from the magazines.....What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the book?

About me:

1. I spent a year in Afghanistan as part of the development effort;

2. My “day job” is working as a microfinance consultant overseas. I work overseas 3-4 months out of the year and spend the rest of the year writing.

3. I’m a bad martial artist;

4. Last year I finally fulfilled my dream of seeing the northern lights when I went to Iceland. Best. Vacation. Ever.

5. My latest project was in Ethiopia, and I got to do some paranormal research into Ethiopian magic scrolls.

About the book:

1. I got the idea for the book cover for The Elemental Detective from a box of salt I picked up in Iceland.

2. I vacationed in Kauai in 2012 and took copious notes, hoping to set a book there. I didn’t know it would be The Elemental Detective, but those notes came in handy.

3. Huna is fascinating magical practice, and I wish I could have gone into it in more detail. But I did get to interview a Huna teacher. You can read it here.

4. One thing I did not do while in Kauai was trek the Napali Coast trail. My two sisters did, while I lounged on the beach. They staggered back the next day, covered in mud and mosquito bites. So the scenes on the trail are all second-hand research!

5. The ancient Hawaiians used necromancy! They didn’t call it that, but they ritually sacrificed or killed people to get their power.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it!

Author Info

Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series: The Metaphysical Detective, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective, The Infernal Detective, and The Elemental Detective.

Kirsten worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and deep in the Afghan war zone. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.

Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking good wine.

You can connect with Kirsten through the social media sites below, and if the mood strikes you, send her an e-mail at

You can connect with Kirsten on:
Kirsten’s Website | Kirsten’s Twitter Profile | Kirsten’s Facebook Page
Kirsten’s Google+ Page | Kirsten’s Pinterest Boards | Kirsten's Amazon Page


Grand prize: Riga's mini-magick kit (including spell paper, a quartz crystal, herbs for incense, and a candle) and a signed copy of The Elemental Detective. US Only please

Second prize: a purse charm plus e-copy of The Elemental Detective. US Only please

Third prize: an e-copy of The Elemental Detective. US Only please.

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