Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saving the Best for Last

By:Loden Greene
Book: Maple Mayhem
Author:Jessie Crockett
Series:The Sugar Grove Mysteries

Autumn is my favorite season but not for the same reason the rest of my family loves it. Of course, the foliage in Sugar Grove is spectacular and the cool weather brings on a bout of baking enthusiasm in my grandmother that gladdens the heart. But the reason I love autumn is that is the perfect time to work in my train room.

Way back in the 1920s, during the Egyptology craze, one of my forefathers built a pyramid shaped addition onto the house. Unfortunately, he neglected to install a cooling system or even any windows. During the summer, the climate in the train room is absolutely sweltering and I can't bring myself to work in there much past sun-up. That doesn't leave much time to work on my Sugar Grove model village.

It has taken me several years but I've almost completed the entire town in miniature.The only two buildings that need completing are the opera house and the Stack Shack. As long as nothing unusual crops up, like another murder in our sleepy little town, I may just get the entire project finished before the last leaf blows of the trees. The opera house just needs a few last touches and then I can begin on the Stack Shack. Don't tell my sister, Dani, that I've saved the best for last. She keeps trying to get me to make my interest in the Stack's owner, Piper Wynwood, more obvious but every time I try I just get tongue-tied. Piper loves her restaurant at least as much as I love my trains and model village. Maybe, just maybe, if I invite her to the train room to see the completed miniature she'll finally really see me too.

Readers, what are your favorite things about fall? Any seasonal plans you are looking froward to?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Mallets Intended Blog Party & Giveaway!

Who: Jaymie Leighton
From: No Mallets Intended
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries
Released: November 4th, 2014

There's a strange wind blowing through Queensville, and I don't like it. Folks are bickering and arguing about the oddest things, especially at heritage society meetings! We're supposed to be planning the refurbishing of the former Dumpe House, now the Queensville Historic Manor, in time for the December festival we call Dickens Days.

I've always loved Dickens Days, and was excited a few years ago when I started to participate after I joined the heritage society. During the annual December festival we make much of Queensville's Victorian feel and connection to all things Victorian. This year should be even cooler, with the new historic home opening!

Or it would be if we could get moving on it! We can't even get people to agree on the right color to paint a parlor wall, much less what to do about the leaky plumbing.

It doesn't help that I don't like the writer they hired to whip up a pamphlet on the house, though I like the other guy who tried out for the job even less.

But... I wouldn't give up this task for anything, no matter what! I get to work on the kitchen all on my own, and you know what that means: more antique sales and junk shops and auctions! A Hoosier cabinet to hunt for, antique kitchen implements to catalog, including the largest collection of kitchen mallets I've ever seen!

It is kind of eerie to be out at the house alone late at night, though, even with Hoppy for company. The whole house creaks and moans, especially at his time of year, with a chill wind blowing up in the attic and outside, sending gusts of dead leaves scuttering around the property. I keep hearing noises, like somebody walking along the second floor hall. A more timid gal would have cut and run, but not me. There is nothing going on of a spectral nature, that I can guarantee you. I always look for the logical explanation, like the house is settling, or the furnace is kicking in. Or... is there actually someone up there, moving around? I hope not. What would they want in an old house anyway?

As long as no one gets murdered, I'll be good.

I'm trying to convince myself I'm not nervous, anyway. Are you susceptible to fits of the nerves when you hear strange sounds?

About No Mallets Intended

Jaymie Leighton is excited and a little nervous about her current big venture, completely redoing the kitchen at Dumpe House—now the Queensville Historic Manor—in time for the opening in late November. But the house is mired in controversy, a challenge to the heritage society’s right to own it, and questions about the author hired to write a pamphlet detailing the Dumpe family history and that of the house.

None of Jaymie’s business, so she keeps her head down and her focus on the exact color right for the kitchen, and assembling all the accouterments, including a Hoosier cabinet! She’s also got lots to think about in her personal life with Daniel acting a little odd, and her friend Heidi dragging her in to the trouble between her and her fiancé, Jaymie’s former boyfriend Joel.

But a late night whack on the head with one of the antique mallets Jaymie has been cataloging for the society and a dreadful murder right on the house’s doorstep draws her once again into murder and mayhem. Jaymie faces her most cunning and dangerous opponent yet, but with Hoppy and Valetta by her side and the police chief’s approval, she knows she will figure out whodunit before they do it again!

No Mallets Intended 
Release Party Giveaway!

I'm choosing among ALL who comment on this blog entry and giving away two great packages! 

Package 1 will have one set of audio CDs of the first three books of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, as well as a paperback copy of No Mallets Intended, a cozy mystery tote and pen. 

Package 2 will hold the tote, pen, a copy of No Mallets Intended, AND a hardback book entitled Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America, a fascinating look at the way dinner preparation and serving changed in that decade. Both packages will have as a bonus a copy of Muffin But Murder, Book 2 of my Merry Muffin Mysteries!

So... comment to enter to win WITH some version of your email address! I will choose a first place to win Package 1, and second place to win Package 2

Follow Victoria!

Website: (soon to be updated)

Vintage Kitchen Mysteries on Facebook:

Twitter: @MysteryVictoria

Monday, October 20, 2014

Howloween and Ghosts

Holly Miller blogs

for the Paws & Claws Mysteries

by Krista Davis

There's a legend in Wagtail about Becca Wraith, whose raven locks tumbled down her back, and whose eyes were said to be bluer than the twilight sky of the harvest moon. In the 1800s, Becca had two suitors, and it didn't end well for either of them. They're said to haunt the abandoned Wagtail Springs Hotel. Loads of people in Wagtail claim to have seen their ghosts.

When my cousin Josh and I visited our grandmother, Oma, at the Sugar Maple Inn as kids, Josh was always spooked by the legend. He refused to sleep by himself! But I never believed in ghosts. I'm not sure why. I guess you could call me a "show me" type of person.

Wagtail goes all out for Howloween. Skeletons, vampires, mummies, spiders, and witches are just everywhere. There's a hayride through haunted woods, a bonfire, apple bobbing for dogs and people, canine and feline trick-or-treating, ghostly feather agility games for cats, a celebration in the creepy old cemetery, and a costume ball! It's all in good fun, but I can barely keep up with the events.

This week, the Sugar Maple Inn is hosting the Apparition Apprehenders, who are here to see Becca's ghost for themselves. They brought along a ghost debunker, whom I like a lot. She's very sensible and grounded.

I'm trying not to poo-poo the ghost hunters. We have to be respectful of our guests. Besides, this is the time of year when it's fun to pretend that ghosts and goblins exist. Right?

But the ghost hunters are some pretty well-educated guys. I'm surprised that they think ghosts are real. My grandmother and her best friend believe in ghosts, too. They're sharp ladies, which makes me wonder if I'm overlooking something.

What do you think? Are ghosts real? Have you seen one?


The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer won't be in stores until December 2nd, but I have one advance review copy with an ugly orange cover to give away today. To enter, leave a comment here by midnight October 21st with your email address so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Lucky Dog Speaks

by Pluckie, Rory Chasen's dog in the Superstition Mysteries memorialized by Linda O. Johnston

Rrrrrf.  Er, excuse me.  I'm new at this.

My name is Pluckie, and I hope I'm doing this in a way that's understandable to people.  I'm a dog, you see.  I'm told that I'm a spaniel-terrier mix.  My coloration is mostly black, but my paws and tails are white.  And that's one of the reasons for what happens in the first Superstition Mystery, Lost Under A Ladder.

Why does my coloration matter?  Well, I wouldn't have known it, but for humans to see a black and white dog when they're on the way to a business meeting is supposed to be good luck for them.

All I did know was that, when I was with my human Rory Chasen when she was trying to visit a bookstore in the town of Destiny, California, I smelled and heard something wrong next door, in the Lucky Dog Boutique.

No, it wasn't rotten dog food or anything like that.  It was a person, and my senses said there was something wrong.

I dragged Rory to that shop, and we found a sick human, Martha, lying in the back room.  She was conscious enough to get all excited to see me.  Martha soon told Rory she was going to be just fine, since seeing a black and white dog on the way to a business meeting is good luck.

What is luck--good or bad?  I don't exactly know, but I gathered from listening to Rory that the whole town of Destiny revolves around something called superstitions.  That's supposed to be things humans can do to try to control their fates, like if they knock on wood or cross their fingers and stuff like that.

Me?  Well, I can't cross my toes on my paws easily.  I don't knock on wood, either.  I see and smell a lot of things they call heads-up pennies on the sidewalks of Destiny, but I'm afraid I'd accidentally swallow one if I tried to pick it up in my mouth.  I've licked a couple, and they don't taste good--not like good meat or even tasty kibble.

Anyway, I didn't mind when Rory decided to stay in Destiny for a while, and I liked all the attention I get from people when they learn I'm good luck and helped to save Martha's life.  She's a nice lady.

The thing is, I also sensed something wrong in the back room of another shop, the Broken Mirror Bookstore next to the Lucky Dog Boutique.  The person lying there didn't wake up and thank me and call me good luck.

He never woke up again.  And what I'd smelled was his blood.

Time for me to go outside for a romp, and more.  If you want to know more about what happened, Rory says you'll need to read Lost Under a Ladder.  She also says it may be good luck to read it--especially when that strange human holiday called Halloween is soon.


LOST UNDER A LADDER, the first Superstition Mystery by Linda O. Johnston, is available now!

Friday, October 17, 2014

It Seemed Like a Good Idea...

by Willow Vanderling from NIGHT OF THE LIVING THREAD by Janet Bolin

Are you ready for Halloween yet? Getting ready?

You've decided on a costume and made it yourself? You're already decorating? You're putting off buying candy because you're afraid you'll eat it all yourself before the big day?

To encourage folks to create their costumes and decorations early, we staged a Get Ready for Halloween Craft Fair here in Elderberry Bay, fondly known as Threadville.

We had a little problem fitting the fair into everyone's schedule, and ended up holding it the weekend right before the wedding of two of Threadville's most popular citizens, Edna and Gord.

To make matters worse, a bunch of zombies (okay, people who are made up, dressed, and lurching around like zombies) were also holding a what they called a "retreat." Between them and the wedding guests, the Elderberry Bay Inn was crowded.

Some of us ended up housing craft fair participants in our apartments. That turned out to be a big problem, especially for Edna, whose houseguest died under suspicious circumstance after she borrowed the fantabulous wedding overskirt that my friends and I made to surprise her. 

I ended up leading our police chief and a detective from the Pennsylvania State Police down a trail of glow-in-the-dark thread. The zombies chased us around a haunted graveyard, which turned out to be lots spookier than we'd ever imagined.

You can find out how things turned out in NIGHT OF THE LIVING THREAD, available at these booksellers.

Watch facebook, twitter, and Janet's website for information about SEVEN THREADLY SINS, coming May 5, 2015.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Now What Did We Do With That Body?

Evie Bloomfield here and it’s been a great summer on Mackinac Island...if you don’t mind a dead body or two. 

The first thing about our body is that no one’s passing the crying towel that’s for sure, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that a dead body scares off the tourists!

If there’s one thing all of us here on the island do not want to happen is that! Our little island that’s a time-warp back to the 1800s rely on the tourists who we call fudges.

So the thing is where can we get rid of that pesky old body? I have a few suggestions and you can tell me which one appeals to you. Keep in mind all of these suggestions require strapping the body to a bike or renting a horse and buggy.

First we can hide the body in Arch Rock. There’re enough bushes there to hide the corpse and it’ll be like they just fell off the rocks. Splat!

Or we shove the body back in Skull Cave. That place sounds a lot scarier then it is and the cave is too small. Then again maybe the fudgies will think it’s part of the attraction.

There’s Fort Mackinac. I saw a pit where they put the bad guys. Maybe we can dump the body in there...till it started to stink.

Saint Ann’s Cemetery is a good choice, a body just fits right in. What’s one more dead guy more or less.

The Grand Hotel might work. Just prop

the body up in one of those rocking chairs on that really looooong front porch they have. Be part of the Halloween décor.

Or just push the body off the East Bluff and into Lake Huron. Weight it down with some rocks. Glug, glug, glug.

Or just push the body off Shepler’s dock or off the ferry on the ride back to the mainland.

Where would you get rid of the body? Mackinac Island is a great place for more than eating fudge. Some people have a drop-dead good time.

I’ll give away 2 Geared for the Grave totes from your suggestions…we really need to get rid of this body!

Geared for the Grave
December 2
First book in Cycle Path Mysteries
Berkley Prime Crime

If you’d like to be part of my Street Team just email 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Goin' to the Chapel . . .

. . . and we're gonna get maaaaarried . . . .  That's me, singing.  I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now.  Sage and I are getting married!!!! I am over the moon.  My new name will be Sophie Colgan DuBois.  I’m so excited, I can hardly wait.  I can’t believe this is really happening.  I’m gonna be Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady! 

Of course, Sage and I have been living together for a while, that’s no surprise to anyone, and I guess everyone expects that we’ll be getting married soon.  And they’re right!  We are.  Next spring in May, 2015.  It seems like a long way off because we’re in the middle of autumn but I know the big day will come soon and I want to have everything organized, down to the last little detail.

My best friend, Lucky Jamieson, is sewing my wedding gown.  It’s a good thing too because if she left it up to me, I’d probably wear some old dress I already own.  I’m a ski instructor at the Snowflake Resort and all my clothes are ski gear, jeans and T-shirts.  I don’t own much else, but Lucky insisted that she wants me to look beautiful and elegant on the BIG DAY. 

She knows me pretty well.  She knows I couldn’t stand to wear anything too frou-frou.  It has to be simple.  So Lucky’s told me she creating a simple, elegant flowing ivory sheath with a headdress of pearls and a veil. 

Sage and I plan to hold the ceremony in Lucky’s grandfather’s lovely garden with a justice of the peace and a very small group of only the people who are closest to us.  I just hope  Pastor Wilson isn’t upset that we’re not going to have him officiate at the Congregational Church.  I want to keep everything small and I want my wedding day to be peaceful and full of romance.  Sage agrees.  He plans to do all the work for a buffet and Lucky says she’s hiring a harpist to create just the right atmosphere. 

I’m really determined that our wedding day doesn’t get any more complicated or demanding.  And I really hope everybody in Snowflake doesn’t expect to be invited. 

Anyway, here's a sneak preview.  Scroll down a little bit more and you can see the cover of Ladle to the Grave, the fourth book in the Soup Lover’s Mystery series, which is coming to life on March 3, 2015.

Our future wedding is featured on the cover!

I can’t wait!  But I worry a lot because lots of people have told me about their wedding disasters.  Have you ever experienced anything like that???

Please keep your fingers crossed for me because I don’t want anything to go wrong next May!

                                                            Twitter:  @SnowflakeVT