Tag Archive | baking

On the Chopping Block by Jenny Kales

on-the-chopping-block-dollCallie’s Kitchen and its owner Callie Costas is dating the winning chef of the Taste of Crystal Bay contest, Drew Staven. All seemed to be going well until she shows up at his house for a date only to find him dead on the floor. And the kicker is that she finds out she is next in line to win the contest prize money. Well, that doesn’t look good.

We meet Callie, and from the beginning we are thrown into chaos along with her. She is grieving her new boyfriend, questioned by the authorities; the British accented, Detective Sands, and is the only suspect with motive as it so appears. Panic emanates from the pages…or screen if you’re reading on your e-reader. I know my heart was racing. I wondered what in the world she was going to do.

In an effort to clear her name and save her business from certain death, Callie goes on an investigation of her own that leads to the realization that Drew was not who she realized nor are many of the people in her community. Lies, deceit and underhanded living have seemed to make up this small town.

In addition to the wild goose chases Jenny takes us on with Callie, she also made me crave Greek and Mediterranean food like mad. Thank goodness she includes some of those recipes in the back of the book. I loved how her family and friends got involved although I didn’t fully trust them at times. That was what kept me guessing. At times, all of the characters were suspects in my mind. They all were acting fishy, secretive or just not being involved or caring enough. The killer, in the end, was not who I thought it would have been. I did see their motive after they were revealed however. What a nice surprise!

On The Chopping Block is a book that proves you can’t always know the people you think you know and those you might not trust might be the most trustworthy of all. Talk about confusing! Good job Jenny. This was a great sleuthing book.

Buy On The Chopping Block

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Visit Jenny Kales

WordPress:https://jennykales.wordpress.com/

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Jenny-Kales/e/B01BRTKL9W/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.kales.author?fref=ts

 

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Mary Kennedy Spotlight and Giveaways

premonition-graphic

A Premonition of Murder Book 3 in the Dream Club Mysteries. An elderly Southern heiress’s nightmare becomes a real case of murder in the latest Dream Club Mystery from the national bestselling author of Dream a Little Scream.

When Abigail March and, Savannah’s famously reclusive heiress, invites the Dream Club ladies to lunch at her Beaux Reves mansion, Taylor and Ali hope for an invitation to join the distinguished Magnolia Society. But Abigail has a more pressing concern: a recent dream that seems to foretell her death.

Taylor reassures Abigail that there are many ways to interpret a dream, but at the next meeting of the Dream Club, their discussion is cut short by a call from Detective Sam Stiles. She’s at Abigail’s mansion, where the elderly woman appears to have been pushed to her death down a flight of stairs. Now Taylor, Ali, and the Dream Club need to catch a killer before someone else is laid to rest.

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New for TEENS!

love-signs-graphicLOVE SIGNS, book 1 in the Crazy Love Diaries Tracy Adams trusts her horoscope–it’s been right 100% of the time. When the stars predict she’ll meet a good-looking boy, Jeff Nichols shows up. Tracy falls hard, but the stars warn Tracy not to mistake friendship for love. Now she’s confused.  Should Tracy trust her heart or her horoscope?

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mary-kennedy

Mary Kennedy is a practicing psychologist and is the author of the Talk.  Radio Mysteries and the Dream Club Mysteries. She’s written nearly 50 novels and has sold over four million books worldwide.   Mary lives with her husband and six neurotic cats in the northeast.  She has tried unsuccessfully to psychoanalyze both husband and cats, but she remains optimistic.You can visit her at www.marykennedy.net and she blogs every Monday with the Cozy Chicks www.cozychicksblog.com

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VISIT Mary:

Mary’s website http://www.marykennedy.net
Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Kennedy/e/B001HCS6OW
Mary blogs every Monday with the Cozy Chicks. www.cozychicksblog.com
Be Mary’s Facebook friend https://www.facebook.com/mary.kennedy.948

Click HERE to enter to win one of TWO prizes!

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Save Our Cozies READaTHON

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The fabulous manager at the Indian Lakes Barnes and Noble store, sorting the bookmarks we brought in this morning.

So, my daughter have been out and about all morning and afternoon spreading the cozy mystery goodness in our fare state of Tennessee.  We have not only been yapping online but also went to our favorite Barnes and Noble in Hendersonville Tennessee to pass out a boo-coo of bookmarks for them to hand out to those who pass through their store.  The amazing and awesome manager went right to work sorting and putting them in the books they represented. How much do you love that?  I love that a ton!

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One of the fun challenges today at the “Save Our Cozies READaTHON” that I have liked was the “What Character Sleuth Are You?”  I found out I was most like a character I had never read from an author I have never read, MC Beaton.  Here was the description:

You got: Agatha Raisin
From the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton! The first book in this series is The Quiche of Death. Agatha is facing a change in her life, a newcomer, determined, and can be a little brash. But ultimately Agatha Raisin has a heart of gold. She is retired and solves any mysteries she comes across. Does this sound like you?

So, still unsolved mysteries as to new books I haven’t discovered.  And…my “to be read” list grows.  I love it!  Happy READaTHON sleuths.

 

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)

REVIEW: The Wicked Waffle by Carolyn Q. Hunter

51E-zY3z49L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_What do you do when your dreams of becoming a writer have dried up in the big city? You go back home and mingle with ghosts of the past and present of course!

Sonja Reed returns to her hometown of Haunted Falls Colorado after a failed attempt of becoming a published author and reunites with her best friends, Alison. One of the things Sonja looked forward to on the trip back, was heading to the diner Alison worked at and eating the amazing meals that she remembered her hometown for. New York food just wasn’t cutting it

Reality check for Sonja! The diner is all but closed up and she encounters a most frightening site that chills her to the bone. Alerting Alison to the issue, they discover a body of the most unlikable town lady, dead in the freezer. Welcome home Ms. Reed. Sheesh! No time like the present for Alison to give the diner to her. Congrats Sonja, you now have your own business formally inhabited by a dead lady that everyone hated. In addition, let’s stick the frozen food you need and that you’re going to serve in that exact freezer. Thinking of that still weird me out.

To add to the craziness that is seeing strange unexplained things and finding a dead body, Sonja’s estranged father comes back on the scene and is then swept away once again as the number one suspect of the frozen and very dead Ronda Smith, heiress of the Smith mansion and estate.

When no one seems fazed by Ms. Smith’s death, Sonja goes on a rampage to clear her father of the murder and pin it on someone else. Why; I don’t know. I would still be over-the-top upset and wondering if he came into town to do just that; commit murder. She jumps to his defense a little too quickly for my taste, but then again, no one asked me. Who could benefit from Ronda’s death though? Let’s start there.

Now that all of that’s over, Sonja shakes it off and prepares to get all the items back into the diner that were formally there. They so happen to be stored at the local church ran by Pastor Williams. Alison, her family, some local boys and Pastor Williams all pitch in to help. Nothing like a little normalcy and a blessing by the prieWafflesst to make all the crazy that happened go away. Oh no; wrong!

Sonja heads to the mansion to visit the stepdaughter, Belinda Smith, who she used to attend school with and who is a little off her rocker with talk of being able to see spirits. Great idea Sonja! Her visit turns into a séance and it just gets really freaky after that. I won’t say what happens, but I would read this part in a well-lit room.

Needless to say, there is a lot that goes on in a very short time span in The Wicked Waffle. From failing author to owner of a new waffle diner and a surprise ending that makes me want to know when book two will be out, Carolyn did a great joy catching my attention. I wished that there had been more time to develop the characters however. A little more background on the Reed family would have been welcomed. I like the character and I want to love her. I, however, fell for a secondary character instead. Belinda was the one who intrigued me the most. I want to go and hang out with her. She is my kind of fun!

Great first in series book and I wait with baited breathe for the next. This was a fun paracozy indeed.

Buy THE WICKED WAFFLE

by Carolyn Q. Hunter

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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!<—–