Tag Archive | baked goods

Save Our Cozies READathon

13690613_306391963026599_308016324513905570_nWith the news that some of our favorite cozies getting the ax, we have banned together as readers, bloggers and even authors (who also read and blog) to come together for one day and read some of these book series that are in peril.  There are many, which is sad. They span across many publishers.  My hope is that these get picked up by other publishers so we can continue on our adventures with our favorite heroines, cats, dogs and continue to knit along as we help solve a mystery.  We have so many things to 8bfa7e_d363a24be1654109bd029cb48012d6e5.jpg_srz_p_228_330_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzstill do with these characters.  They are our family, friends and in some cases, characters we LOVE to hate.  You know who you are.

I will be home reading and blogging most of the day tomorrow, Saturday the 16th as we pay homage to these artists of the pen.  Below are some links you can follow.  It’s going to be like a big family gathering via the internet and it will be amazingraisin the dead

29867784Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/191144-save-our-cozies-readathon

Facebook Link:https://www.facebook.com/groups/726103940858234/

 

So, what’s the OFFICIAL word on this READathon?  Here ya go!

Purpose of the Readathon:

Due to mergers among publishing companies, several beloved cozy mystery series have either been cancelled or are in danger of being cancelled. Depending upon an individual author’s contract, he or she may not even be able to self-publish or take the series to a new publisher. The Save Our Cozies Readathon seeks to:

  • Raise the reading public’s awareness of this issue across a range of social media platforms.
  • Introduce the reading public to these series.
  • Encourage publishers to rethink their decision to cancel cozy mystery series.
  • Create and support a community of readers and authors.
  • Read lots of quality, fun cozy mystery books!

 

FAQ

What is a cozy?

A sub-genre of mystery or crime fiction in which the violence is downplayed or happens “off screen”. The books tend to focus on non-professional crime solvers and contain little or no sex or foul language. For a complete definition visit the excellent Cozy-Mystery.com at http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Definition-of-a-Cozy-Mystery.html

 

What is an online cozy readathon?

An online readathon is an online 24 hour event that brings together a community of readers and authors to participate in all things cozy. This includes reading, posting frequently on social media, visiting author’s websites, posting reviews, visiting book blogger’s websites, and/or participating in fun challenges/activities. The amount and type of participation is up to the individual.

 

 

Canceled Series and Books by Publishers:

51WdpWVmJ6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Penguin Random House
Avery Aames – Cheese Shop mysteries
Beverly Allen – Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (not renewed) Now writing Vintage Toyshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane as Barbara Early.
Janet Bolin – Threadville Mysteries
Melissa Bourbon -Magical Dressmaking. Is thinking of self publishing but not anytime soon. Source: Author’s FB page.
Jacklyn Brady – Piece of Cake mysteries
Lucy Burdette – Key West Food Critic series
Amanda Carmack – Kate Haywood Elizabethan mysteries
Maia Chance – Fairy Tale Fatal
Erika Chase – Ashton Corners
Peg Cochran – Gourmet DeLite
Laura DiSilverio – Mall CopMall Cop
Monica Ferris – Betsy Devonshire Needlework series. Is shopping for new publisher and has plans for future books.
Christy Fifield – Haunted Souvenir. Owns rights, plans to self-publish.
Shelley Freydont – Celebration Bay
Eva Gates – Lighthouse Library (not renewed, possibly still hope). Is writing the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium series for Crooked Lane under the name Vicki Delany. The year-Round-Christmas series by Vicki Delany is still continuing with Berkley.
Rosie Genova – Italian Kitchen mysteries
PickledVictoria Hamilton – Vintage Kitchen mysteries (she is continuing the series with another publisher, ebook only.)
Mary Ellen Hughes – Pickled and Preserved mysteries.
Annie Knox – Pet Boutique
Elizabeth Lee (Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli) Nut Shop Series
Meg London – Sweet Nothings Lingerie
Molly MacRae — Haunted Yarn Shop (plans to continue the series)
Leigh Perry – Family Skeleton. Shopping for a new publisher.
Cate Price – Deadly Notions
Paige Shelton – Farmer’s Market and Country Cooking School
Christine Wenger – Comfort Foods Mysteries (NAL, which was merged into Berkley); is considering self-publishing.Peril by Ponytail

FIVE STAR (Gale Cengage)
Five Star has dropped their entire mystery lineup.
Nancy Cohen – Bad Hair Day
Maggie Toussaint – Dreamwalker Mysteries
Susan Van Kirk- Endurance Mysteries
Limitless Publishing
A E H Veenman – Marjorie Gardens Mysteries (Limitless Publishing)

Kensington
Anna Loan-Wilsey – Hattie Davish

Move your blooming corpseMacmillan / St. Martin’s Press
D.E. Ireland – Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins (switching publishers)

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Fat Cat Takes The Cake; Interview and Review

Interview with Janet Cantrell

51Hzt44RE6L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_Booth Talks Books: Why “Fat Cat”?  Where did this idea come from for a series?

Janet Cantrell: The idea for the series came from my publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, as well as a few of the main characters’ names. The very beginnings of a plot were given to me, and I filled everything in, including the killer, the method, and all of the rest. This worked well for me since I’ve lived in the Minneapolis area (Minnetonka), and have also been owned by a cat as clever and almost as fat as Quincy.

BTB: I love the way you have Quincy laced throughout the book to help the
reader know something your main character doesn’t. Tell us a little about the development of Quincy as a character.

JC: I knew, when I started this series, that Quincy had to be based on a rescued feral cat we had a few years ago. He did develop diabetes, but died of a brain tumor. Before that happened, though, he kept us in stitches. Remember the old computer game, Elf Bowling? He loved it! He would sit in my lap as I bowled for him. Sometimes he let me take his
paw and push the space bar to bowl the ball. He lived for the end, when Santa popped up in the corner and he swiped at him when he said, “Ho ho ho.”

BTB: The friendships between the characters seem to be the main glue of the stories of the Fat Cat series.  Can you speak to the friendships and which ones you like the most or the ones that are the most meaningful to you.

JC: I was given the characters of Chase, her friend Julie, and Julie’s grandmother Anna. I was also given the situation of Chase and Anna being in business together. I am lucky that I had two terrific grandmothers (who are long gone and fondly remembered). I wanted the relationships to have some bumps, as all of them do, but for my readers to feel the love underlying them. I do find that, no matter what I’m writing, that I often put family relationships into my work, so I guess family is the most meaningful.

BTB: High School reunions…groan!  We all have the people we like and don’t like to see at those.  What was your inspiration for that scene in book three without giving too much away!  It seemed to be a very important part of the book.

JC: The idea of the reunion was mine. Given that my plot involved people from the pasts of Chase and Julie, I thought of high school, right away. Where better to bring up high school memories and traumas than a reunion? To get everything started off kilter, I made if a fourteen year reunion. Once I decided to put that in, everything clicked into
place to pivot around that night.

BTB: Let’s talk about the battle between the bakeries and now the added one of the Heath Bar.  Do you love writing these scenes between the feuding stores?  What has been your favorite so far? What was your inspiration for these characters and their issues with each other? They are a riot!

JC: I had a ball writing about Eddie Heath and his health food place. I wanted to throw up an obstacle for Chase and her developing relationship with the vet. It was fun to go to the exact opposite of a dessert bar shop, Chase’s Bar None, and to put in a character who
serves green liquid things with ingredients no one had ever heard of until a few years ago. I will say that I think I eat a pretty healthy diet (although maybe too much of it), but can’t bring myself to go overboard on the extremes of health food that I’ve encountered. Since
Chase is my main character, dessert bars have to rule here!

BTB: Janet, you are always fun to talk to. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions and talking about your amazing books and characters. So, to end this interview I have to ask….what’s next?

JC: I’ll say my own thanks and a “You’re welcome!” The continuation of this series hinges on sales of this book. I’ll also add that I have plans for three more if I get the contract. Thanks also to all my wonderful readers and Quincy’s fans. You’re a terrific bunch of
people.

 

Punch

Review of Fat Cat Takes The Cake

What do you get when you mix a baking contest between two competing bakeries, a high school reunion and a realty scam? A dead body of course!

What a ride Janet Cantrell took me on along with Chase Oliver, Quincy the cat and crew as 12994571_269878210011308_2678747949942786874_nthey try to figure out who killed a classmate the night of the high school reunion and clear the name of one of their close friends in the process of not only murder but being involved in a realty scam to buy out the neighborhood. Honestly though, they are the perfect suspect. Janet sets several traps throughout the book, leading the reader in directions of several possible killers but in the end, I did not see THIS person being the murderer! I really thought I had this one figured out.

I liked that the high school reunion was the center point of the whole dramatic conflict. When is there not drama at a reunion of some sort? We have all of our players in one place and so many reasons why each person would want this person dead. Chase is a great amateur detective the way she goes about decoding the evidence. I enjoyed trying to decode it along with her. Again, Janet uses this as a way to confuse the reader and send them off looking for a different suspect than who is finally named in the end. Sneaky.

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I really liked the writing element of understanding what Quincy knows, giving us a bit more insight into the case than the characters. I would have liked to have seen this used more however. It’s clever. Quincy is just a regular cat and I love seeing the world from a perspective I am not used to. He just kind of stumbles upon some of the most important elements the characters could use to solve the case. More Quincy-Wincey please!

Great book, characters and recipe. I can’t wait to see the next installment!

 

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Visit Janet Cantrell’s Links!

Buy “Fat Cat Takes the Cake”: http://amzn.to/1T7R5HX

Amazon: Fat Cat Takes The Cake

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7855179.Janet_Cantrell

Website: http://janetcantrell01.wix.com/fat-cat-mysteries

Interview with Summer Prescott and Day 4 of Booth Talks Books Giveaway!

Summer Prescott has joined us today to talk about her books, characters and herself!  If you haven’t read her books, you need to.  I have enjoyed her Key West series so much.  It has even prompted me to make way too many pies.

Murder By Lime

Murder By Lime

BTB: How long have you been writing cozy mysteries?
SP: My first cozy was released on February 5th of this year.

BTB: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?
SP: I like to draw largely from life experiences. I really enjoy writing about places that I’ve been and basing characters around people whom I’ve encountered.

BTB: Okay, I have to ask…WHY Key Lime? Tell us all about this revelation to write around a Key Lime shop in the Keys.
SP: I think maybe it’s indicative of my intense longing for a vacation! Just kidding. 😉 I love the beach, and Key West has so much to offer in the way of imagery, activities and more. I really wanted the readers to be able to smell the salty air and hear the whispers of the swaying palms. Books are a great escape, and I wanted to make this series, in particular, a mini-getaway for the readers.

BTB: Have you thought about putting out recipes to go with you books?

A Lime To Kill

A Lime To Kill

SP: Actually there are plans in the works to put out a Summer Prescott cookbook that will have recipes from all three series – I’m so excited about that!

BTB: Who is your favorite character in your Key Lime series? I know who mine is, but I will talk of that later.
SP: As sappy as it sounds, I’m going to have to say Detective Cortland, because there’s so much more to him than meets the eye. He’s a really good guy with some depth to him…which will show more and more in book 7. And he’s handsome too…that doesn’t hurt. Creepy Tim is running a close second though.

BTB: Is Tim based on someone you know in real life? Will there be more of him? I am a HUGE fan of the super-creepy neighbor.
SP: Tim is actually based on the blending of a couple of people, one who actually is a mortician, and the other who is quite an oddball. He’s featured pretty prominently in book 7 as well.

BTB: Are there any other Lime books in the works?

SP: I’m currently writing book 7 right now, and there is a book 8 in the works as well. Beyond that…we’ll have to see. I’m considering doing spin-offs of all three series.

BTB: What are the different series you write?
SP: The Key West series, of course, the Rocky Cove series, which features a New England clambake caterer, and the Frosted Love series, which revolves around a cupcake shop owner in Louisiana.

BTB: Do you have a certain series that is your favorite or close to your heart? 51892mhgyzl__sx311_bo1204203200_
SP: They’re all special to me. The Rocky Cove series was inspired by my relatives, who all hail from the East Coast; the Frosted Love series literally takes place in a town in Louisiana in which I lived, but I changed the name, and the Key West series takes me to paradise – it doesn’t get any better than that.

BTB: Thank you Summer for helping Booth Talks Books celebrate reaching 100 subscribers!
SP: Thank you! It was my pleasure

——>Enter Booth Talks Books Giveaway!<—–

Review: The Lime and the Dead, A Key West Culinary Cozy by Summer Prescott

26133164The Lime and the Dead by Summer Prescott is set in a small cottage in Key West. The main character, Marilyn Hayes, is the owner of a sweets shop called Sublime Sweets that specializing in her signature Lime Pie. Her only daughter, Tiara, helps her run the shop.

The third installment of the Key West Culinary series starts as Marilyn is losing her favorite neighbor and sweet friend, Madge Prentiss while gaining a creepy, borderline stalker by the name of Tim Eckels.  While looking for a qualified baker, Tim starts showing up in more and more unusual places after not being hired for the position. Marilyn starts to get worried as she digs up background information on him and finds out about his past run-ins with the law.

After hiring new baker, Kelcie Williams, Tiara brings news that a realty show want to film a segment in Sublime Sweets. Hoping this brings more business, Marilyn agrees and things start to take a turn for the worse when one of the stars sneers at her beloved pie. After Tiara and reality star, Bella Fontaine, have words in the shop, Bella goes missing.  The producer, Sabra Remington,  asks Tiara to replace her temporarily. Then the worst happens.  Bella is found dead in Marilyn’s back yard by Tim Eckels.

The ending is a true surprise. Who killed Bella?  Is it Marilyn, Tim the new neighbor, Sabra, the show’s producer, Tiara or someone else associated with the show or shop?

This book had everything I look for in a book without having to read a11951203_172829803049483_4010633302415893775_nll the books before it. I felt like I knew the characters through their actions. Summer didn’t tell me, she showed me and I like that. I loved the interaction between the characters weather they were being happy over being dramatic. I got the gist of who they were.

The action happened at the beginning of the book in the second chapter. I don’t like waiting and I didn’t have to in this book. Creepy Tim came to the rescue and made me start wondering about him. I also like that someone went missing pretty early so I had time to try and solve the murder with the characters. Then of course, I was surprised by who the murderer was. Ya, I didn’t see that coming and I love when that happens. I had two people on my list and neither one had anything to do with it.

The Lime and the Dead is a fairly short and fun read at 161 pages. And like I said earlier, you don’t need to have a previous relationship with these characters to enjoy it because I loved it and this third installment was the first of the series I have read. Good news though; I do plan to go back and read the other.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I need to go eat some Lime Pie.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Cozy Cooking

So, I love to bake and cook. Reading these cozy mysteries have been both good and 11796458_10102216022250852_1994434917891043302_nbad for me, but I have to laugh. I have tried so many new foods and ways of making food since my adventure in reading these new authors. Honestly, do they not know what they are doing? I have completely covered my kitchen in chocolate (thanks Mary Kennedy), mint and flour to attempt to recreate the atmosphere needed to truly immerse myself in these mysteries and I turn the blame on them. Alas, I am a foodie. I always have been. I will take the blame as I eat another peppermint patty. Carry on with your writing.

Today I found myself in the kitchen with my two youngest children, ages two and four, making homemade artisan bread that a friend Karen Owen posted. My house 51bITxpXAZL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_smells of yeast and baked goodness as the kids and dog are sound asleep and I have time to think upon these wondrous baked creations.  I am anticipating reviewing a book being sent to me from author, Karoline Barrett.  Bun For Your Life, is expected to be released this November.  The cover shows a bakery full of nummy looking breads and pastries.  It is the first of the Bread and Batter Mystery series.  Honestly, Karoline you are now on my naughty list for making me crave bread.  Oh wait, I said I took the blame at the beginning of the post didn’t I?  Never mind.

I often hear that people get too involved in their books, wrapped up in the characters and plot. I seem to find myself getting involved in what they are eating or cooking. That’s okay though, my family is reaping the benefit of all the homemade goodies in the house as well as my next door neighbor. The funny thing is, I am not a Martha Stewart or Duncan Hines so anyone reading these books can make these recipes. I am just a small town woman who loves to read and happens to know how to follow simple instructions. The end result is always tasty. Thanks goodness for these Cozy Mysteries.11866289_162602544072209_6828492374465785684_n

Books not only take us to other places outside of our reality, but also seem to seep into our reality too. And that’s okay. I’ll have a fresh basket of goodies waiting for my fictional friends. Well, time to take that bread out. I think I hear knocking on my bookshelf.  I think Calista and Molly just arrived.