Archives

Cozy Prizes Friday: Ginger Snapped

I know you’ve probably had your fill of holiday cookies but how about one more? Gail Oust is here today to talk about her new mystery, Ginger Snapped.  She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book and her writing process.

Don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy. Today he’s giving you the chance at an autographed print copy of Ginger Snapped!

 

Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement. While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery. Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL. In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look. Gail has written five Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s. Her favorite pastimes are reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends.

How did you come up with an idea for your book?

A great thing about writing a cozy series is that there is a readymade pool of characters from which to draw both possible suspects and potential victims.  This time I reached into the “pool” and pulled out none other than Wyatt McBride, the chief of police.  I thought it would be fun to turn the tables on the lawman and see how he’d react when the shoe was on the other foot so to speak and he was considered a person of interest.

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

I think my favorite scene comes near the end when Piper and her BFF, Reba Mae, must be very creative unless they want to be the killer’s next victims.

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

In a past life, I’ve had nine historical romances published under a pseudonym of Elizabeth Turner.  Truthfully, I’m not sure where my muse will lead next.  Ideas for my next project are just starting to perk.

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

Hmm.  I’d like to stay in the mystery genre but maybe break out of the cozies for a change of pace and try writing a psychological suspense thriller.  That would definitely pose a huge challenge.

Is there a giveaway or promotion with this book?

I’m giving away an autographed copy of Ginger Snapped to one lucky person that will span my blog tour.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

Readers can leave reviews at either Goodreads or on Amazon.

Author Links

Webpage – www.gailoust.com, Gail Oust Author on Facebook, and Goodreads.

Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery

Cozy Mystery

5th in Series

Minotaur Books (December 12, 2017)

 

Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.

Shirley, the town’s Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt’s suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.

Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper’s shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth, and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.

 

 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N kobo Google Play BAM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cozy Prizes Friday: The Body in the Casket

Happy Friday! Today we have none other than Agatha Award-winning Katherine Hall Page visiting us! Katherine answered some questions about her new book The Body in the Casket.  Don’t you just hate it when you have a birthday party and realize one of the guests wants to kill you? Me too! Max Dane is on the case and he’ll find the killer no matter how cold it gets outside!

Don’t forget to find the Prize guy for a chance at a print copy of The Body in the Wardrobe!

And now…here’s Katherine.

How did you come with an idea for your book? 

The Body in the Casket is the 24th book in the Faith Fairchild series that started with The Body in the Belfry in 1990. In order to keep the series fresh for readers—and for me to write—I alternate locales between Aleford, Massachusetts the town where Faith lives after moving from Manhattan as a new bride and the “someplace else” locales. These have ranged from France to Savannah, Georgia. Casket is an Aleford book, so I knew my idea would revolve around familiar territory for my character. She is catering a weekend long significant birthday party in a secluded mansion for Max Dane, a legendary Broadway producer who hasn’t done a show since a colossal flop twenty years earlier. All ten guests were involved in the show and all have good reasons to wish Max dead. The plot brings together my love of theater and country house murders!

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

I hope they will especially enjoy the birthday dinner, starting with the cocktail hour. Not only does the meal bring some startling revelations, but I selected dishes that referenced the title of Dane’s failed show: Heaven or Hell  The Musical. I included Pasta Fra Diavolo, a German dish Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth) that combines apples and potatoes, and others. The fun begins with Fallen Angel cocktails, created in the 1920s at London’s Savoy Hotel bar.

If you were going to cast an actor in the part of one or more of your characters, who would that be?

Michael Caine as Max Dane? Sounds good!

I would immediately cast Michael Caine as Max Dane. I happily watched three of his films again while writing the book since he had come to mind when I started thinking about the character. Well worth tracking down for his performances and the great plots! The Wrong Box (1966), Sleuth (1972 version), and Deathtrap (1982),

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

I have started writing #25 in the series, The Body in the Wake. It’s one of the books that takes place away from Aleford. In this case on Sanpere Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine. I have never been able to write two books at once unfortunately, or even a short story while I am immersed in the current project. Once Wake is done I have an idea for what I hope will be a fun short story in which Faith’s friend and neighbor, Pix Miller, is the narrator—a version of Watson. Short stories, I find, are more difficult to write than full-length novels. I published Small Plates (Wm Morrow), a collection and explain how hard it is in the introduction. Great challenge, though, to compress thought, word, and deed into a small space!

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

I have written for younger readers, the Christie & Company series, also a YA, Club Meds. I also did a series cookbook, Have Faith in Your Kitchen (Orchises Press). I’d like to write another YA or middle grade book, but would love to try my hand at romantic suspense in the spirit of Mary Stewart.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I always enjoy hearing from readers through my website www.katherine-hall-page.org.  Any and all opinions welcome!

Synopsis:

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house partyThe Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Number of Pages: 238
ISBN: 0062439561 (ISBN13: 9780062439567)
Series: Faith Fairchild, 24
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

“Have Faith in Your Kitchen,” Faith Fairchild said, answering the phone at her catering firm. She’d been busy piping choux pastry for éclairs onto a baking sheet.

“Mrs. Fairchild?”

“Yes? This is Faith Fairchild. How may I help you?”

“Please hold for Max Dane.” The voice had a plummy, slightly British tone, reminiscent of Jeeves, or Downton Abbey’s Carson. The only Max Dane Faith had heard of had been a famous Broadway musical producer, but she was pretty sure he’d died years ago. This must be another Max Dane.

She was put through quickly and a new voice said, “Hi. I know this is short notice, but I am very much hoping you are available to handle a house party I’m throwing for about a dozen guests at the end of the month. A Friday to Sunday. Not just dinner, but all the meals.”

Faith had never catered anything like this. A Friday to Sunday sounded like something out of a British pre-World War II country house novel—kippers for breakfast, Fortnum & Mason type hampers for the shoot, tea and scones, drinks and nibbles, then saddle of lamb or some other large haunch of meat for dinner with vintage clarets followed by port and Stilton—for the men only. She was intrigued.

“The first thing I need to know is where you live, Mr. Dane. Also, is this a firm date? We’ve had a mild winter so far, but January may still deliver a wallop like last year.”

A Manhattan native, Faith’s marriage more than 20 years ago to the Reverend Thomas Fairchild meant a radical change of address— from the Big Apple to the orchards of Aleford, a small suburb west of Boston. Faith had never become used to boiled dinners, First Parish’s rock hard pews and most of all, New England weather. By the end of the previous February there had been 75 inches of snow on the ground and you couldn’t see through the historic parsonage’s ground floor windows or open the front door. Teenage son Ben struggled valiantly to keep the back door clear, daily hewing a path to the garage. The resulting tunnel resembled a clip from Nanook of the North.

“I’m afraid the date is firm. The thirtieth is my birthday. A milestone one, my seventieth.” Unlike his butler or whoever had called Faith to the phone, Max Dane’s voice indicated he’d started life in one of the five boroughs. Faith was guessing the Bronx. He sounded a bit sheepish when he said “ my birthday,” as if throwing a party for himself was out of character. “And I live in Havencrest. It’s not far from Aleford, but I’d want you to be available at the house the whole time. Live in.”

Leaving her family for three days was not something Faith did often, especially since Sunday was a workday for Tom and all too occasionally Saturday was as he “polished” his sermon. (His term, which she had noticed over the years, could mean writing the whole thing.)

Ben and Amy, two years younger, seemed old enough to be on their own, but Faith had found that contrary to expectations, kids needed parents around more in adolescence than when they were toddlers. Every day brought the equivalent of scraped knees and they weren’t the kind of hurts that could be soothed by Pat The Bunny and a chocolate chip cookie. She needed more time to think about taking the job. “I’m not sure I can leave my family…” was interrupted. “I quite understand that this would be difficult,” Dane said and then he named a figure so far above anything she had ever been offered that she actually covered her mouth to keep from gasping out loud.

“Look,” he continued. “Why don’t you come by and we’ll talk in person? You can see the place and decide then. I don’t use it myself, but the kitchen is well equipped—the rest of the house too. I’ll email directions and you can shoot me some times that work. This week if possible. I want to send out the invites right away.”

Well, it wouldn’t hurt to talk, Faith thought. And she did like seeing other people’s houses. She agreed, but before she hung up curiosity won out and she asked, “Are you related to the Max Dane who produced all those wonderful Broadway musicals?”

“Very closely. As in one and the same. See you soon.”

Faith put the phone down and turned to Pix Miller, her closest friend and part-time Have Faith employee.

“That was someone wanting Have Faith to cater a weekend long birthday celebration—for an astonishing amount of money.” She named the figure in a breathless whisper. “His name is Max Dane. Have you ever heard of him?”

“Even I know who Max Dane is. Sam took me to New York the December after we were married and we saw one of his shows. It was magical—the whole weekend was. No kids yet. We were kids ourselves. We skated at Rockefeller Center by the tree and…”

Her friend didn’t go in for sentimental journeys and tempted as she was to note Pix and Sam skated on Aleford Pond then and now, Faith didn’t want to stop the flow of memories. “Where did you stay? A suite at the Plaza?” Sam was a very successful lawyer.

Pix came down to earth. “We barely had money for the show and pre-theater dinner at Twenty-One. That was the big splurge. I honestly can’t remember where we stayed and I should, because that’s where—” She stopped abruptly and blushed, also unusual Pix behavior.

“Say no more. Nine months later along came Mark?”

“Something like that,” Pix mumbled and then in her usual more assertive voice, added “You have to do this. Not because of the money, although the man must be loaded! Think of who might be there. And the house must be amazing. We don’t have anything booked for then and I can keep an eye on the kids.”

The Millers lived next door to the parsonage and their three now grown children had been the Fairchilds’ babysitters. Pix played a more essential role: Faith’s tutor in the unforeseen intricacies of childrearing as well as Aleford’s often arcane mores. Faith’s first social faux pas as a new bride—inviting guests for dinner at eight o’clock— had happily been avoided when her first invite, Pix, gently told Faith the town’s inhabitants would be thinking bed soon at that hour, not a main course.

Faith had started her catering business in the city that never slept before she was married and was busy all year long. Here January was always a slow month for business. The holidays were over and things didn’t start to pick up until Valentine’s Day—and even then scheduling events was risky. It all came down to weather.

Pix was at the computer. Years ago she’d agreed to work at Have Faith keeping the books, the calendar, inventory—anything that did not involve any actual food preparation.

“We have a couple of receptions at the Ganley Museum and the MLK breakfast the standing clergy host.”

The first time Faith heard the term, “standing clergy”, which was the town’s men and women of any cloth, she pictured an upright somberly garbed group in rows like ninepins. And she hadn’t been far off.

“That’s pretty much it,” Pix added, “except for a few luncheons and Amelia’s baby shower—I think she baby sat for you a couple of times when she was in high school.”

“I remember she was very reliable,” Faith said.

“Hard to believe she’s the same age as Samantha and having her second!” Pix sounded wistful. She was the type of woman born to wear a “I Spoil My Grandchildren” tee shirt. Faith wouldn’t be surprised if there were a drawer somewhere in the Miller’s house filled with tiny sweaters and booties knit by Pix, “just to be ready.” Mark Miller, the oldest, was married, but he and his wife did not seem to be in a rush to start a family.

Samantha, the middle Miller, had a long-term beau, Caleb. They were living together in trendy Park Slope, Brooklyn and Sam, an old-fashioned pater familias, had to be restrained from asking Caleb his intentions each time the young couple came to Aleford. Pix was leaning that way herself, she’d told Faith recently, noting that young couples these days were so intent on careers they didn’t hear the clock ticking.

Faith had forgotten that Amelia—who apparently had paid attention to time— was Samantha’s age and quickly changed the subject to what was uppermost in her mind—the Dane job. “Where is Havencrest?” she asked. “I thought I knew all the neighboring towns.”

“It’s not really a town so much as an enclave between Weston and Dover. I don’t think it even has a zip code. I’ve never been there, but Mother has. You can ask her about it. The houses all date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I believe there’s a gatehouse at the entrance. It’s an early equivalent of the mid century modern planned communities like Moon Hill in Lexington. Havencrest wasn’t a bunch of architects like that one though. Just very rich Boston Brahmin families who wanted privacy and plenty of space. I wonder how Max Dane ended up there? From what Mother has said, the houses don’t change hands, just generations.”

“I think I’ll check my email and see if there’s anything from him yet,” Faith said. “And maybe drop by to see Ursula on my way home.” Stopping to visit with Ursula Lyman Rowe, Pix’s mother, was no chore. The octogenarian was one of Faith’s favorite people. She turned back to the éclairs, which were part of a special order, and added a few more to bring to her friend.

“I know you’ll take the job,” Pix said. “I’m predicting the weekend of a lifetime!”

***

Excerpt from The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page. Copyright © 2017 by William Morrow. Reproduced with permission from William Morrow. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Katherine Hall Page

Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Banner background-Cutest Blog on the Block

Cozy Prizes Friday: Honey Baked Homicide

Let’s head down South for a new installment in the Down South Cafe Series! Gayle Leeson has stopped by to talk to us about her latest book, Honey Baked Homicide.  It sounds delightful!

Of course, there is a giveaway with this book so buzz on down and find the Prize Guy!

How did you come up with an idea for your book?

I love honey bees and was saddened by their plight, so I began to research bees and honey. I didn’t realize how crucial bees are to our food supply, nor was I aware of all the benefits of honey. I decided Stu Landon and his honey farm would be a great addition to Amy’s world.

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

The dinner party scene. I loved writing the dialogue for all the different characters, particularly, Aunt Bess.

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

This is the third book in the Down South Café series, although it can certainly be read as a standalone. The other two books are The Calamity Café and Silence of the Jams. I also have a couple of new series in the works, and readers are still asking for books from my previous series. I have plenty to keep me busy! 😊

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

I enjoy psychological thrillers.

Is there a giveaway or promotion for this book?

There are several. Some are included in this blog tour, and some will be on my Facebook page. So keep an eye out!

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

Amazon, Books-A-Million, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

 

About the Book

 

The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . .

It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the café early one morning.

As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects—and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills—and her Southern charm—to find her way out of this sticky situation…

 

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”

Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.” (RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage: http://www.gayleleeson.com http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gayletrent/pins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gayletrentleeson/

Cozy Prizes Friday: Altered to Death

Welcome to Cozy Prizes Friday where we learn that scrapbookers seem to have a lot of tiny paper skeletons in their closets! I love the inspiration Christina Freeburn used to write her latest mystery Altered to Death. How much family history do you really include in those scrapbooks? Which reminds me–time to heavily edit that Christmas letter…

Don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy. Today he is offering a chance at a print copy of Altered To Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery).  It would make a terrific Christmas gift!

 

Secrets: What Needs to be Told

Guest Post by Christina Freeburn

The idea for Altered to Death came from a discussion I read on a scrapbooking message board about if it was wrong for family historians (the person who does the memory keeping) to omit some of the details about family life. It was a tossup with half the responders saying it was dishonest not to include everything that happened during the year (vacation, event, etc.), and others who said they felt no need to document the sad or ugly times in their life. Their families cherished the albums and the memory keeper doesn’t want to include things that would make others feel bad or show them in a negative light.

It had me wondering if we have a right to know everything about our relatives and/or about the people we know in life. Are they lying if they keep some of their past to themselves? Are they required to tell all? And then I started to wonder if how we see someone is the actual truth or is our viewed skewed (either good or bad) by our life experiences and what they show to us and not others? I know I’ve been conversations with people about an event and we each have such different views of it, or in the case of an argument who was the one at fault. What happens if we were to learn what we believed the truth actually was not?

I took those what-ifs and had two mysteries about two disappearances—one of the founding family of the town and the other about a dead-beat father—and created the plot for Altered to Death. This book was a little harder for me to write as the questions I was addressing seemed to not have an answer. It is a complicated matter—what needs to be told and what does no one else have a right to be told.

 

About the Book

Looking for a craft cozy so memorable you’ll stay up late scrapping about it? Well, welcome to the town of Eden.

Faith Hunter, who is supposed to be planning her wedding, instead finds herself distracted by the town scrapbook she was commissioned to create. Eden’s oldest mystery, the founding family’s exodus nearly a hundred years ago, remains unsolved.

A search through the family’s abandoned mansion leads to the uncovering of bones on that very property. And then ex-boyfriend Steve Davis announces a surprise heir has staked a claim.

How can Faith not be distracted? Now she’s determined to dig up the truth left behind.

Because scrappers are multi-taskers extraordinaire, Faith can’t say no when family friend Wyatt Buford asks her to look into his deadbeat father’s disappearing act and his connection to the murder.

Her quest for answers unearths secrets past and present that some would prefer stay buried at any cost. Faith’s resolve to present the facts and nothing but about Eden’s history could lead to her own future being cut short.

See what I mean about memorable? Delve in to Eden and you’ll find a cozy you won’t soon forget.

Altered To Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (November 28, 2017)
Paperback: 276 pages

 

 Enter Below for Your Chance to Win a Print Copy of ALTERED TO DEATH

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author

The Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.

Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.

Author Links:

Webpage: www.christinafreeburn.com

Blog: www.theselfrescueprincess.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-Freeburn-Author/245592138834150

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristinaFreeb1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ChristinaFreeburn

Cozy Prizes Friday: Killer Holiday

How is that leftover turkey going? Well, drop that drumstick and get ready for Killer Holiday.   Amy Korman was kind of enough to answer some questions about her latest installment in the Killer Wasps Series.  You know, I think I had an Aunt Eula somewhere down the line. Great character name!

Be sure to look for the Prize Guy for your chance at an e-copy of Killer Punch, another great book in the Killer Wasp Series!

And now our visit with Amy Korman:

How did you come with an idea for your book?

Killer Holiday is the fourth book in the Killer Wasps series, which are lighthearted, modern mysteries in the Agatha Christie village murder genre—with antiques, a basset hound, a country club, and cocktails! The series is centered around antique dealer Kristin Clark, who’s got a group of friends including gossipy Bootsie, stylish Holly, and decorator Joe, and they’re soon joined by Jersey-born Sophie and her personal trainer, the stern Gerda, who’s rarely seen out of workout clothes and does not do makeup. Crime seems to crop up frequently in their quiet town outside Philadelphia.

My idea came from the timeless Miss Marple and Poirot books, my love for antiques stores, and a fondness for books in which small towns are filled with oddball characters both loveable and endearingly annoying. I think I secretly wish for a Gerda in my life who’d force me to lift weights and run 5Ks!

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

Kristin and her friends have a high-school nemesis, Eula Morris, who won a Powerball jackpot in the series’s third book, Killer Punch, and Eula’s that love-to-hate-her character that every mystery needs. One of my favorite scenes is when Eula comes back to town, looking fabulous after a long vacation and with a new boyfriend in tow—who turns out to be Scooter Simmons, a shady lawyer the group tangled with in Killer Getaway. When Joe and Bootsie insist on following Eula and Scooter on a date at the town’s fanciest restaurant, the group crashes Eula’s romantic dinner, drink too much, and offer Eula a lot of unsolicited advice on fashion and her love life.

If you were going to cast an actor in the part of one or more of your characters, who would that be?

Reese Witherspoon could be Eula!

I’d love to see Reese Witherspoon as Eula! The actress is so likeable that it’s always so much fun to see her playing someone mean.

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

The Killer Wasps series is now on its fourth book with Killer Holiday. I’m hard at work on my new mystery which is lighthearted and centered around a tiki bar in Florida.

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

I love books that delve into the history of a city, or even the story of how a significant piece of artwork a building, or a ship was created, and all that’s happened inside it, a la Dead Wake and Havana Nocturne, an intriguing history of how the Mafia ran Havana in the days before Fidel Castro.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

Amazon and Goodreads reviews are greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you! Amy Korman (amykorman.com)

https://www.facebook.com/killerWASPsseries/

Twitter: @killermysteries

Click Here to Enter Amy’s Giveaway and get another Killer Wasp Book: Killer Punch! 3 Ebooks means 3 WINNERS!

 

 

Killer Holiday

by Amy Korman

on Tour October 23 – November 30, 2017

Synopsis:

Killer Holiday by Amy Korman

Kristin Clark and her offbeat crew of Bryn Mawr socialites are ready for a fun and festive winter holiday—one that involves sipping martinis by a crackling yule log, hot guys beneath the mistletoe, and Gucci under the Christmas tree. But this year, Old Saint Nick has something more dangerous in store. A stranger dressed in a Santa suit has Kristin’s friends on his naughty list. First, Sophie’s favorite handbag is blasted by a bullet. Then, Father Christmas shatters her brother Chip’s car window with a golf club and leaves a threatening note demanding fifty grand. Both are convinced it has to be a mistake. But when Chip goes missing, the stakes become deadly. Eula Morris is also back in town for the holidays, more bossy and boastful than ever after winning a mega-jackpot in the lottery. She’s returned from a luxury cruise around the world with a handsome new boyfriend (who looks oddly familiar…) and a Samsonite suitcase filled with gold bars. When the suitcase is snatched, Eula implores Kristin and the team to track it down. Where is Chip? Why is a vengeful Santa targeting the gang? Who stole Eula’s suitcase? And how are these events linked? The WASPs and Kristen’s basset hound Waffles are on the case—before this white Christmas turns even darker…

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: October 24th 2017 by Witness Impulse
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062431366 (ISBN13: 9780062431363)
Series: A Killer WASPs Mystery, #4
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Bootsie McElvoy burst through the front door of The Striped Awning, a bag of ice in her right hand and the biggest bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon I’ve ever seen in her left. She dug into her L.L. Bean tote for a bottle of red wine, a shaker of nutmeg, and a bag of fun-size candy canes, all of which she deposited next to a display of 1940s barware near the front of my antiques store.

“Kristin, it’s December fifteenth, which means it’s time for you to start offering shoppers a specialty cocktail the minute they set foot inside your store,” Bootsie told me. “I’m going to mix up a batch of the Delaney family Christmas drink, the Bourbon Blitzen, which never fails to produce a White Christmas vibe. One sip and you’ll feel like you’re singing and dancing with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye at a snowy Vermont inn. This should double your sales totals for the month.”

“Thanks!” I said gratefully, since Bootsie’s family’s boozy drinks are known throughout our village of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, for their potency and tendency to produce unwise purchases.

“The drinks sound good, but you’re also going to need about four thousand more of these pinecones, triple the greenery, and eight hundred additional strands of lights,” Joe Delafield informed me; he’d arrived twenty minutes earlier to help me decorate my store for the Christmas rush.

To lure in passing foot traffic, I’d brought in armloads of holly and spruce branches from my backyard (cost: free, thankfully), spray-painted pinecones silver (the paint was only $5.28 at the hardware store), and added some cheerful-looking blinking white lights. This would probably bring tons of holiday shoppers through my front door!

Joe paused, eyeing the room with his signature critical stare. “The effect I’m going for is that a bunch of HGTV-crazed elves with subscriptions to Veranda magazine snuck in and decorated for four straight days. Gerda, we’re going to need the blinking lights to stop blinking, pronto. Pull the plug, please.”

Joe’s assistant for the day was the eponymous owner of Gerda’s Bust Your Ass Gym, which is housed inside the beauty salon across the street. Since Gerda stands a lofty six feet tall in flats (or sneakers, which is her usual footwear, since fancy shoes aren’t her style), she’d agreed to hang ornaments, bringing her signature grim attitude to the proceedings.

“Cute idea,” Bootsie observed, casting a dubious stare at my front window, which was filled with antique silver-plated candlesticks, flatware, and wineglasses. “Is that your holiday inventory?”

“Nobody going to want that stuff,” said Gerda, who moved here from her native Austria a few years back. Gerda, who’s incredibly muscular and brings in sell-out crowds at her Pilates classes, isn’t the most tactful person in the world. “People want, like, scarves and Fitbits and iPhones.”

I sighed, knowing Gerda was right. Those were the gifts on most holiday wish lists.

“Luckily, I’ve solved all your problems,” Bootsie told me. “I ran into Eddie from the Pub this morning, and he needs a place to hold some late-night poker tournaments this month, so I brokered a deal for The Striped Awning. You’ll be hosting twice-weekly games from 10 p.m. till 1 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays till Valentine’s Day.”

“What!” I erupted, alarmed by this idea. “First of all, that doesn’t sound legal.”

“It’s fine,” she told me, waving away my concerns. “I mean, it’s not like it will be a professional betting operation. Eddie’s limiting each night to ten players and three hours. Some cards, a few drinks, a few small wagers. What could go wrong?”

“A lot!” I said. “They’ll blow cigar smoke and drop Dorito crumbs everywhere. Not to mention get arrested for operating a casino without a license. A lot could go wrong!”

“You worry too much,” Bootsie informed me dismissively. “Plus, he’ll pay you two hundred dollars a night.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but no words came out. Bootsie knew she had me—there’s no way I can refuse an extra four hundred dollars a week, even if it puts me on the wrong side of the state gaming commission.

Just then, though, the front door was thrown open by one Sophie Shields, a tiny blonde who at the moment was looking slightly wild-eyed.

“Ya won’t believe what just happened!” shrieked Sophie. “The Colketts were helping me put up curtains in my new dining room, since Joe here never finished decorating my place—and the curtains are orange silk, by the way, they’re totally Elle Decor meets a J. Lo red-carpet gown. So Tim and Tom Colkett were talking paint colors when I heard a horn honking, so I opened the front door, thinking it was the delivery boy from the Hoagie House. I figured I’d go out and pay the driver, when boom!

“A guy dressed as Santa leaned out of the driver’s seat of a black SUV that had pulled right up in my driveway and aimed a gun at me and the Colketts!” The Colketts are the town’s leading landscape designers, who’ve lately turned their talents to party planning and interior design.

“Then the guy yelled, ‘Hey, Sophie, this one’s from your ex, Barclay!’ and shot my favorite handbag!” Sophie finished. “I was reaching into it to pay for the hoagies, thank goodness, so it acted as a protective shield. Also, I think maybe this Santa guy doesn’t have great aim.”

We all stared at her for a moment.

“Are you sure, Sophie?” said Bootsie finally. “Because this sounds like BS.”

“Yeah, Sophie, maybe you been hitting the wine bottle today,” seconded Gerda. “I know the Colketts are day drinkers. Maybe you been guzzling alcohol, too.”

“It’s true!” Sophie bleated. “Just look at this Ferragamo satchel! If it hadn’t had gold hardware to block the trajectory of the bullet, me and the Colketts would have been toast!”

***

Excerpt from Killer Holiday by Amy Korman. Copyright © 2017 by Amy Korman. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

 

Amy Korman

Author Bio:

Amy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and author of Frommer’s Guide to Philadelphia. She has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, Men’s Health, and Cosmopolitan. Killer WASPS is her first novel.

Catch Up With Ms. Korman On: amykorman.com 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Book Blast Tuesday: Black Arts, Tarts and Gypsy Carts

Erin Johnson is back again and her cozy giveaways just keep on coming.  Helping out at a bakery booth sounds fun, right? If this were me I would live for break time, fill my plate and consume high calories.  Good old Imogen, though, has to deal with a side-splitting creepy magician, a murder and a dear friend who is accused of the crime.  All the elements of a good mystery.  We may need a plate of baked goods, anyway!

Don’t forget to look for the prize guy for your chance at a cute witchy tote bag, four cozy witch mystery books, and a cute witch bookmark.

 

 

$2.99/Amazon

With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince.

Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark magician’s table and Imogen’s friend Rhonda is caught red-handed. With incriminating evidence piling up against Rhonda, Zerna’s rival, Imogen promises to help clear her name by finding the real murderer.

But between running the booth, encouraging Maple as she struggles to lead as head baker, and taking spell lessons from the friendly strong man, Imogen’s got her hands full. And it’s no easier getting information from the evasive dark magician or Madame Zerna’s secretive assistant. Even Rhonda’s hiding something.

With the Night of the Dead fast approaching, and Rhonda headed for a maximum security witch prison, Imogen races to unearth the real killer in time to save her friend. But in a mysterious carnival where nothing’s as it seems, will Imogen have the magical powers to keep from being on the chopping block herself?

Purchase Link  – Amazon

 

Click here to enter Erin’s giveaway! A witchy tote bag, four cozy witch mystery books, and a cute witch bookmark.

About the Author

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Websitewww.erinjohnsonwrites.com.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites.

Twitter:@EJohnsonWrites

 

 

 

Book Blast Tuesday: Sleuthing Women

I love these kinds of cozy mystery collections! There are some great cozy authors in this one and today we are being visited by Carol Sabala,  who is the main character in Smoked Meat,  Vinnie Hansen’s  contribution to Sleuthing Women II.

Be sure to scroll down and find the Prize Guy! Today you can enter for the chance at an ecopy of Sleuthing Women II. That’s 10 cozy novellas!

 

Please tell us about your latest adventure.

My “latest” adventure that author Vinnie Hansen decided to write about actually happened to me quite some time ago, before I became a PI, even before I solved the mystery at the posh restaurant where I work as a baker. In SMOKED MEAT, I went home for a family get-together at Christmas and all hell broke loose. It was the first “case” I ever solved.

Do you have any friends/sidekicks helping you out?

At the time of SMOKED MEAT, I couldn’t confide in anyone. Everyone in the house was suspect, except, perhaps, my nine-year-old cousin.

Do you have any special skills to fight crime?

I’m smart, nosy, and physically fit. I read crime fiction and lap up non-fiction books on poisons and firearms. I’m also doggedly persistent and a master of stare downs.

Are you a full-time detective or do you do something else?

I was just an innocent baker at Archibald’s in Santa Cruz when I went home (Ferndale, California) to spend the holiday with family and solved my first case. When Hansen first started recording my adventures in the mystery MURDER, HONEY, I was still a baker, but over the years, I trained as a private investigator. I’ve never fully gave up the bread-and-butter *wink* of my baking job, though.

What are you most frightened of in this story?

That one of my relatives is a murderer! That no one will take me seriously.

Is there anything funny that happens to you or another character in this story?

Only if you have a black sense of humor, a trait that thankfully the author and I share.

If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be?

Michelle Monaghan-Actress

Michelle Monaghan. She’s about the right height, age, and coloring, and can “do” gritty. But SMOKED MEAT goes back more than a decade before the last book in the series and might require a younger actress.

Do you have other mysteries you would like to tell us about? Is this the first book in the series, or have you cracked a few other cases?

SMOKED MEAT is a prequel to the Carol Sabala series, but Hansen wrote the novella last, after seven full-length mysteries. Authors! Who understands them? And that’s coming from me, a woman who used to dabble in writing screenplays.

Most of the time I investigate murders in the Santa Cruz, California area, but twice I’ve tracked down missing persons. Those cases took me to new locations. In DEATH WITH DESSERT, I traveled to Mexico and Arizona, and in BLACK BEANS & VENOM, I ventured illegally to Cuba.

Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?

The famous mystery author Cara Black says I have quite a mouth on me. While SMOKED MEAT can be safely read by cozy lovers with tender ears, that’s not true of all my adventures.

Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add? Take Carol with a grain of salt. She likes to come off tougher than she is.

About the Author

Vinnie Hansen fled the winds of the South Dakota prairie and headed for the California coast the day after high school graduation. She attended the U.C. Irvine Writing Program and has written numerous short stories; LOST ART STREET, a cross-genre novel of mystery, murder, and moonbeams; and the Carol Sabala mystery series. The eighth installment in her series, SMOKED MEAT, appears in the best-selling anthology SLEUTHING WOMEN II: 10 MYSTERY NOVELLAS. Still sane after 27 years of teaching high school English, Vinnie has retired and lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and the requisite cat.

 

Click Here to Enter the Sleuthing Women Giveaway.  Ten Novellas in Ecopy.

 

About the Stories in Sleuthing Women II

This collection is only 99 Cents!

Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin—Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.

Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston—Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia’s life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?

No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint—Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo’s nearby wealthy client, only she’s dead and broke. To Cleo’s horror, she’s a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?

What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O’Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs—Attorney Kali O’Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali’s doubts about her client’s innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.

The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl’s mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven— When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen—Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It’s murder, in more ways than one.

A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy—When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?

The Color of Fear. A Kelly O’Connell Novella by Judy Alter—Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly’s assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family…and on Keisha.

Papa’s Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin—Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment iat a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them?

Some explicit language in a few of the stories.