Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Don't Call Me Pearly Girly

By: Pearl-of-the-East Freemont
From: Shadow of a Spout
By: Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)
Series: Teapot Collector Mysteries
Pub. Date: April 7th, 2015

I have a fancy for a gentleman who is Siamese. He's handsome, dark and very mysterioso, with an angular bony aristocratic face and narrow eyes. He just moved in next door, so  I've only seen him from the window, but oo la la! If he has seen me, then he will be in love with me, this I know. I am gorgeous, thirteen pounds of fluffy beauty wearing refined white 'gloves'. Birman by birth, I am a royal cat among cats, known as the Sacred Cat of Burma, with a lineage going back to my ancestors, bred as a temple cats in Northern Burma. You could not understand my real name, but my given name is Pearl, and my human is Rose Freemont, the owner of a tearoom, which is a very respectable trade for a lady.

Rose's grand-daughter, Sophie, is not so refined as her Nana, as she calls Rose. Sophie is happy and young and a little noisy, but she cooks divinely. Unfortunately, she has a nickname for me; she calls me Pearly-Girly. I don't like that, but she has some good qualities, so I let it go

Birman photo courtesy of: http://www.birmans.biz/birman-cat.htm
The gentleman next door has an even more unfortunate name. He is called Sweet Pea, and if I chuckle, it is because he is far too handsome to be a Sweet Pea. Perhaps we will arrange a meeting, and I can see if this Sweet Pea truly is fitted to be my consort. He's not royal, as I am, but... even given his deliciously absurd name, he may be fitting, since I understand from the humans' chatter that he is descended from a long line of 'winners', whatever that is.

Gilda, the chattery frizzy woman who works for the demon-woman next door (Thelma Mae Earnshaw) talks constantly about Sweet Pea. I have heard from her (horrifying!) that there are such things as 'cat shows' where cats are displayed, and his parents were both winners of blue ribbons. Who would want a blue ribbon? I suppose I would, if I could play with it.

So... we shall see. I have yet to examine him, but I'm sure I can persuade Rose to schedule a meeting some time soon. Helloooo Sweet Pea!


I have a lovely Super Package to give away, comprised of: One Grace Teaware teacup and saucer, One package Ginger Honey tea, one sample package of Earl Grey loose leaf, Two Reusable Teabags made by Karen Owen, One Cozy up to a good mystery! Tote bag, and one copy each of Tempest in a Teapot and Shadow of a Spout!

Entries from Canada and the US welcome!

To enter:
1 - Comment on this blog by MIDNIGHT April 21st, 2015.
2 - Leave an email address in your entry where I can reach you. You can phrase it - my name (at) server dot com so the bots don't grab it!

To learn more about Amanda Cooper and the Teapot Collector Mysteries see these pages:

Victoria Hamilton/Amanda Cooper on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton

Monday, April 20, 2015

Nonni Merano Speaks Her Mind


blogs for the

Domestic Diva Mysteries


Krista Davis

Nonni: Coco! Coco! Krista Davis wants me to blog. What is this blog?"

Coco: It's a social media thing, Nonni. You tell them something about yourself or about the book we're in.

Nonni: You help me? I make espresso, and we have chocolate walnut zucchini cake. Yes?

Coco: Sure. I'll get my laptop. What do you want to say?

Nonni: We still have family problem with this Natasha woman?

Coco: Yes. I'm working on it.

Nonni: Then I like to say this Natasha is not nice person.

Coco: You can put your hand down. If only that would really ward off the evil eye.

Nonni: You write this. No one should believe this Natasha.

Coco: What else?

Nonni: Tell them I am Maria Theresa Merano, mother of Joseph Merano but everybody just call me Nonni. What you typing so much?

Coco: Sorry, I was just helping you.

Nonni: We celebrating 60 years of Amore Chocolate, which I create with my husband. Again you type so much.

Coco: Go on.

Nonni: We having big chocolate tasting celebration at Joe's house so everybody can try new recipes using Amore Chocolate. I invite everybody to come!

Coco: Anything else?

Nonni: Tell them I am proud of my son, Joe. He was just a little boy when we came here from Italy and opened our first store.

Coco: I can't imagine Dad sweeping the floors when he was a kid. This espresso is perfect. I like the chocolate walnut zucchini cake, too. It's so moist. New recipe?

Nonni: From the new Amore cookbook.

Coco: It's a keeper. Here's what your blog will look like.

In celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Amore Chocolate, Nonni and Joe Merano are hosting a chocolate tasting at their home in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Tickets are free and being given away through radio stations, contests, and the Amore Chocolate retail stores. Please join us for this chocoholic delight!

Nonni: I blog pretty good! Is one mistake.

Coco: What? Where? I don't see a mistake.

Nonni: I invite everyone except evil Natasha woman.

Coco: Oops! Too late. Already sent.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Shenanigans & Sunny Meadows & Spring, Oh My #Giveaway

SHENANIGANS IN THE SHADOWS: A Sunny Meadows Mystery Short Story by Kari Lee Townsend
Sunny Meadows Speaks

Gasp! Could spring actually be here? Finally, after all this time and SUCH a horrible winter? All of New England has had it pretty bad. And with a name like Sunshine Meadows, I need sunshine, people!

But please, call me Sunny ;)

I am so excited that my author finally has another story out for me. I was beginning to get worried. She took so long to put this short out, but I think you will all like it. It's funny and romantic and sweet and yes, mysterious, of course.

And it's a prequel to PERISH IN THE PALM which is book 4 and is about palm reading. That book will come out in June, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, what do you all do in the spring? Do you spring clean, plant flowers, golf, ride motorcycles, play tennis...inquiring minds want to know.

And my lovely author, Kari Lee Townsend, will give away a free copy of this short story to 5 people drawn from the commenters. So chime in and good luck to you all. I hope you enjoy my latest adventure ;)

To find out more about my author and all of her books, check out her website at www.karileetownsend.com and if you don't win one of the 5 books, it's only 99 cents. You can buy it at Amazon or Barnes&Noble. Honest reviews are always welcome.

Shenanigans in the Shadows (a Sunny Meadows Mystery) - SHORT STORY 
Includes RECIPES 

Psychic Sunshine Meadows is used to predicting trouble, but never sees the mischief and mayhem that strikes so close to home coming her way... 
After Sunny asks Detective Mitch Stone to move in with her in the small town of Divinity, NY, all chaos breaks loose as her cat Morty refuses to accept him. Life becomes impossible when the two resort to all sorts of shenanigans as they compete for her attention. When Morty sees his shadow and gives her a mischievous look, she knows she can’t endure six more weeks of doom and threatens to put them both in the doghouse if they don’t quit misbehaving. As her best friend’s maid of honor, the only task Sunny assigns Mitch is to guard the priceless heirloom wedding rings. When the rings come up missing, Mitch assumes Morty is trying to cause trouble. But when they discover Sunny’s ancient Victorian house has been broken into, the detective must put his differences aside and they all must work together to figure out whodunit. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Biscuit Speaks

by Biscuit, Carrie Kennersly's dog in the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries by Linda O. Johnston

Hello.  My name is Biscuit.  I'm a dog, part of Carrie Kennersly's family.  She's the person whose stories are about to be told in the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries.    I'm told the first one, BITE THE BISCUIT, will be published in May. 

I'm not sure I follow any of that.  What I do know is that Carrie is absolutely wonderful!  I don't want to get into my life before we met, but she brought me home a while ago from Mountaintop Rescue, an animal shelter in our town of Knobcone Heights, California, and we've been close ever since.   

We live in a house there along with Carrie's brother Neal, who always calls me "Bug."  I'm not a bug.  Like I said, I'm a dog, and people say I'm a mix between those they call toy poodles and those they call terriers.  I'm gold in color, and my fur is fuzzy.   

Up till recently, Carrie only worked as a veterinary technician at the clinic where she takes me if I'm sick or she says I need shots.  I also spend time there at the doggy daycare place at the back when she's on duty. 

She's not on duty there as much now as she used to be, though.  Part of the reason she got into trouble is that she bought her friend Brenda's bakery called Icing on the Cake, since Brenda had to sell the place and go take care of her sick mama.  And the really fun part?  Carrie turned half of it into Barkery and Biscuits, a very special bakery that makes dog treats!  Carrie worked out the healthy and tasty recipes as a vet tech, and now she bakes them and sells them so any dog can enjoy them.   

The other fun part?  I'm allowed to hang out in the Barkery all the time when Carrie is working at the shops.  Supposedly it would be unhealthy for humans if I spent time in Icing, or in the kitchen for both shops, but I have a really nice, roomy crate that's open at the top where I can stay when I'm not loose in the Barkery.  And there's a really great town square across the street where Carrie can take me for walks.  It smells good.  Lots of other dogs visit there, too.  

Not everything is wonderful with our new arrangements, though.  There are some very nice humans in this town who come to Carrie's opening party, but some nasty ones, too. A couple of them, people she calls Myra and Harris Ethman, own their own pet store and give my poor Carrie a hard time by claiming she competes with them with her inferior stuff.  First of all, her stuff is definitely not inferior to anything.  And second, what she sells in the Barkery is home-made and really different from the foods those Ethmans sell. 

I'm always there to support my Carrie, especially when that awful Myra dies and Carrie is accused of killing her.  I know she didn't do it, even though one of our Barkery biscuits is left near Myra's body. 

Anyway, her story--our story--is worth reading, even though I don't know how to read.  But I'm her friend and protector and treat-sampler.  Why don't you stop by our stores and buy people treats for you and dog treats for your best friend? 

BITE THE BISCUIT, the first Barkery & Biscuits Mystery by Linda O. Johnston, will be a May 2015 release from Midnight Ink. 

Friday, April 17, 2015


by Dora Battersby from SEVEN THREADLY SINS by Janet Bolin

Many of you already know me, or you know my daughter, Edna, who owns the notions shop, Buttons and Bows, in Threadville, Pennsylvania.

I have a confession to make. I've been grumpy for most of my life. I wasn't unhappy, and I didn't mean to make others unhappy, but you know how it is (or maybe you don't): I was sort of invested in being forthright, and unfortunately, forthright people can sometimes speak before they think. Yes, I did that. No, not all the time,what were you thinking!

I raised Edna by myself, and I was petrified that she might become a single mother also. She didn't, but one of her best friends, Opal, became pregnant at sixteen. Edna and their other best friend, Naomi, joined forces and the three of them raised the baby, Haylee, together.

Not living near them, and not really approving, I mostly stayed away (I know, I know, you don't have to tell me that my behavior was terrible.) The women all finished degrees and had good careers, and then Haylee grew up and opened a fabric store in Threadville. Edna and her friends quit their jobs and moved to Threadville, too, to open their own shops--a yarn shop for Opal and a quilting shop for Naomi! I could hardly believe such audacity.

Maybe I nagged Edna too much about establishing herself in her career before she had children. She put her career way, way ahead of finding a man and having a family. She finally got married last year, but she's just about beyond child-bearing age. By the time of the wedding, I had finally retired, and could take the time to go to Threadville so I could attend the wedding. Edna put me up with Haylee. I was a little hurt that Edna didn't want me with her, and maybe I was a little crochety about the entire thing.

But then this woman, a stranger in town, and not a wedding guest, went and got herself murdered. Haylee has a best friend, Willow, who owns the machine embroidery shop, In Stitches. Willow had helped the police solve some murders before, and I couldn't help sticking my nose into this investigation

I felt sorry for the poor woman who died, of course, but I have to admit that I rather relished gathering clues and drawing conclusions. Best of all was being scared half to death in that haunted graveyard.

Willow has a little rental cottage in her back yard. I helped design the renovations, and now I'm Willow's tenant. I'll be ready to give her a hand with whatever she needs.

Meanwhile, Threadville has grown on me, and I enjoy the company of the two young women (and the two young men who interest them...) and I also enjoy the company of Opal, Naomi, Edna, and my new son-in-law, Gord. I'll still say what I think--I call it honesty--but maybe I'm not such a grouch any more. I hope not. You could say I'm thawing, kind of like the ice out on Lake Erie right now.

What about you, if you had a chance to help with a murder investigation--and stay completely safe while you did it--would you want to try?

Janet Bolin's Threadville Mysteries have been nominated for an Agatha and the Bony Blithe awards (Breaking News: four years in a row for the Bony Blithe!) The fifth Threadville Mystery, SEVEN THREADLY SINS comes out on Tuesday, May 5. To celebrate, Janet will send one lucky commenter (see below) a copy.

You can purchase Threadville Mysteries from any bookseller. Ask them to order a copy if they don't already have it in stock. In addition, most libraries are open to suggestions about purchasing, and can also borrow books from other libraries. For links to buy Threadville Mysteries, click here.

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Encourage her to do more (!) on Pinterest.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pink Scooters and Red Convertibles

Auntie KiKi here and I do declare that trying to keep that Walker Boone from getting caught by the cops is a full-time job. First he has that red ’57 Chevy. I tell you it’s like driving a with a target on his back. Good thing he swapped it out for Reagan’s pink scooter. 

Not that a pink scooter is any less conspicuous, mind you but more that no one...and I do mean no one...would suspect Walker book on it. And from what I hear he’s wearing Reagan’s pink glittered helmet. Lord have mercy what is Savannah coming to.

I wonder where he’s hiding out? It’s not like him to get his friends in trouble with taking up residence in their places but he sure enough can’t be leaving Savannah. He’d never find the killer that way and he can’t be on the run forever. He has roots here and friends and a law practice and Reagan.

And that brings us to the next point. When are those two ever going to realize they got a thing going? I suppose the problem is would Walker ever let Reagan get into the mischief that she does and would Reagan beat Walker around the neck and shoulders if he tried to stop her?

I tell you those two are going to be the death of me. But first we need to get Walker off the hook here and find the real killer. My bet it’s that no good, low rent scallywag of a half brother. Knocking off Conway Atkins is the perfect way to frame Walker and get him out of his life forever. 

Let me know if you think Reagan and Walker will get together and 
I’ll give way two Demise in Denim totes from the answers. 

Duffy Brown
Demise in Denim
Book five of the Consignment Shop mysteries
April, 2015

Berkley Prime Crime

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

If Only I Had Listened!

Cecily Winters here.  I know, I know, everyone’s talking about me.  I’m so embarrassed.  It wouldn’t be so bad if my sister hadn’t given me such a bad time about my night in the woods with Cordelia Rank and the other ladies, but she’s giving me the cold shoulder and all but saying, I told you so! 
I really wanted to join in with everyone. It just sounded like it would be so much fun! A tribute to Mother Earth on May Day. What could be nicer and more harmless? 
Then that silly cow Cordelia made us all dress in long white robes with flowers in our hair. Well, actually, I didn’t mind that too much. I thought I looked rather fetching with my headdress.  I had to sneak out of the house though because I didn’t want Marjorie, my sister, to see me. She knew where I was going and she did not approve!

Too bad, I said to myself.  I didn’t care.  I wanted to go out and have a little fun in the woods, so I shooed her off and told her to mind her own business.  (Sigh)  I wish I had listened to my sister.  The whole thing turned out to be a terrible nightmare.  Something went very wrong.  I’m not sure what it was but there was a lot of confusion over who should drink the May wine first.  I thought it was supposed to be Greta, but then Agnes suddenly stepped forward.  A few moments later, she fell to the ground and . . . well you know the rest. 
If you haven't heard already, then you can read an excerpt here. 
Now everyone in town is blaming Jack Jamieson, Lucky’s grandfather.  They’re saying the herbs he brought for us were poisonous.  I know he’s getting old, but I just can’t believe that.  It was terrible to watch Agnes that night and I’m so ashamed I was part of the whole thing.  I hate to admit it, but maybe my sister was right. 
What do you think?  Do you think I should have listened to my sister and stayed home? 

Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover's Mystery series:  A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal, A Roux of Revenge and Ladle to the Grave.  You can visit her at her website, on Facebook at Connie Archer Mysteries and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.

And don't miss Connie and many other mystery writers' fabulous recipes in the just released The Cozy Cookbook from Penguin Random House and the Mystery Writers of America Cookbook!