Monday, June 25, 2018

Finding Treasures

by Joshua Wainwright, from Sheila Connolly's Murder at the Mansion, the first of the new Victorian Village Mysteries

I’ve been living in Asheboro, Maryland for nearly a year now, but I’m not really part of the town. I landed here after my divorce became final and the house was sold, because Asheboro was looking for a caretaker for a property it owned, out in the country. No pay, but free lodging, and all I had to do was make sure that the house—really a mansion—remained in good repair and wasn’t bothered by vandals or thieves. Both were easy tasks.

From my perspective it was ideal: I’m a college professor specializing in industrial history of the nineteenth century, and I was working on a book, or maybe it would turn out to be a few long articles in journals, and all I wanted was peace and quiet and a decent Internet connection.

That worked out quite well—until Katherine Hamilton arrived in town. As I said, I haven’t been involved in town matters, so I was shocked to learn that the town was nearing bankruptcy and had called on Katherine—Kate—who had grown up in Asheboro, to help devise a plan to rescue the town and increase its appeal as a tourist destination, with the mansion I was babysitting as one of the prime attractions.

I still might have been able to keep out of it all, but then there was that problem of the body on the front steps. No one blamed me, but I was forced to get involved in determining who had killed the woman. Which Kate and I, working together, succeeded in doing. Along the way we discovered in the attic of the mansion a wonderful collection of letters to and from the last owner of the property, who died a century ago. That’s every historian’s dream—a treasure trove of original sources. What’s more, since the man had been a prosperous factory owner in the town, the material we found fit neatly into my own research, and I found myself drawn into the puzzle.

My sabbatical will be ending at the end of the summer, but I’m guessing that I’ll be returning to Asheboro in the future, because we’ve barely dipped into the collection in the attic. I’ll also admit that I’m intrigued by Kate’s plans, and I want to see if she succeeds in saving the town. She’s an interesting woman, and I’d like to keep in touch with her. I have the feeling that there's a lot more to be discovered in Asheboro.

Murder at the Mansion will be released on June 26th by Minotaur Books

For more details see www.sheilaconnolly.com

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Right in the Middle of the Festival and a #Giveaway!

Character:      Savannah Webb
Series:           Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries
Author:          Cheryl Hollon

Hi, Savannah here. St. Petersburg holds the largest Pride Festival in the state of Florida. Webb's Glass Shop is right in the middle of the festivities that occur on Central Avenue. This year the St. Pete Pride Festival will be held Sunday, June 24, 2018 beginning at 11am and ending at 5pm.

The Festival is expected to draw more than 50,000. It will be the largest community event of the season as festival goers come together to enjoy a day of live performances and entertainment, community booths, art and fantastic food in paradise.

Since we have a front row seat, we'll have tables on the sidewalk in front of the shop filled with glass art for sale from our students. Give a boost to your local artisans by purchasing their wares during the celebration. Stop by and see what you can learn to make in our on-going classes in stained glass, fused glass, glass painting and jewelry making. Amanda and I will be handing out class schedules all afternoon.

What's happening in your town?




###


There's a #GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment and your email address in the form of yourname(AT)server(DOT)com to avoid the SPAM bots. Do this by midnight on June 25 for the chance to win a signed Advanced Review Copy (ARC) of Shattered at Sea. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes.










Shattered at Sea releases on August 28, 2018 but is already available for pre-order on AmazonNookKobo, and in your favorite bookstores. It is published by Kensington Books You can also ask your library to order it for you.

About Shattered at Sea 

A Mediterranean cruise gives glass shop owner Savannah Webb a chance to demonstrate her expertise--and fire up her skills when it comes to foul play.

When Savannah signs on to perform glass blowing on a cruise ship, part of the appeal is that she'll get to meet her boyfriend Edward's family in England. As an added bonus, Edward's cousin, Ian, will be joining them on board. But when Ian disappears at the beginning of the cruise, the ship's authorities initially consider it suicide.

Savannah tries to balance her growing suspicions with work on her shows, but her relationship with the other glass artists begins to crack. And she can't let love color her judgment when Edward suddenly jumps to the top of the suspect list. His fate is in Savannah's hands, and she'll do everything she can -- on land and sea -- to clear his name.


Meet the author:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.


Visit Cheryl and her books at her WebsiteFacebook or Twitter

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Keeping Cool with Rosemary Watermelon Lemonade


by Ardis Buchanan 
from the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Ardis, here, stepping in while Kath helps our author put the finishing touches on our next book. Crewel and Unusual will be out January 1, 2019. Can you believe that? Less than six months. Lord love a duck. 

In the meantime, it's hot, they're madly typing, and I'm here to offer an old stand by so everyone keeps their cool. This lemonade is gorgeous and absolutely delicious! We enjoyed it in Last Wool and Testament, the first book in Haunted Yarn Shop series. You'll find the recipe there, too, (along with a fantastic cake recipe). You'll find recipes in each of the books, as well as craft patterns. 



Rosemary Watermelon Lemonade

Ingredients:
2 cups water
3/4 cup white sugar (sometimes I use brown sugar)
1 sprig rosemary leaves, chopped (I’m never quite sure what’s meant by “a sprig.” I try to use at least two tablespoons of chopped leaves.)
2 cups lemon juice
12 cups cubed, seeded watermelon (I use a seedless variety – saves time and mess)
I’ve tried two methods for making the lemonade and have come to prefer the second. I’ll include both, though. The first uses a regular blender. The second uses an immersion blender and a soup kettle.

Method 1
1.     Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in the rosemary and set aside to steep for 1 hour.
2.     Strain the rosemary syrup into a blender. Add a third of the lemon juice and a third of the watermelon. Cover, and puree until smooth. Pour into a pitcher.
3.     Puree another third of the lemon juice and watermelon. Add to the pitcher and repeat with the last of the lemon juice and watermelon.
4.     Stir the lemonade before serving. Hold your glass to the light and marvel at the beautiful color.

Method 2
1.     Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in the rosemary and set aside to steep for 1 hour.
2.     Strain the rosemary syrup into a soup kettle big enough to hold all the ingredients. Add the lemon juice and the watermelon. Blend with the immersion blender until smooth. Pour into a pitcher.
3.     Stir the lemonade before serving. Hold your glass to the light and marvel at the beautiful color.


Now, sit back, have a sip, read a good book, and enjoy your summer!




Molly MacRae writes the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mystery series. She lives in Champaign, Illinois, where she’s been connecting children with books at the public library for the past fifteen years. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, or connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae.



Friday, June 22, 2018

Meet a host of characters...now on KOBO and via bookstores!







Today we're being joined by a host of characters from Cathy Ace's anthology Murder Keeps No Calendar. It's now available on KOBO and through bookstores, or ready for your library to order.


Did you know you can read KOBO books on any device? The reading apps are free and easy to download. Check it out by clicking here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/p/apps

Hello there, my name is Cait Morgan and I’m a professor of criminal psychology. I’m originally from Wales, but now I live in Canada and teach at the University of Vancouver. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the three tales I’ve told in this book about some puzzling deaths I’ve been looking into. They’re all what people who read mystery books call “traditional, closed circle” cases…or, as I think of them, good old “whodunnits”!


There are now eight books in the Cait Morgan Mysteries series

 

Welcome, please come in. My name’s Mavis, and my colleagues Christine, Carol and Annie will be along in a minute. Who? Oh yes, my friend the dowager duchess of Chellingworth, Althea, will join us presently. How about a cuppa while we wait? The kettle just boiled. We operate out of this lovely old building as the WISE Enquiries Agency, and we can investigate anything you like –so long as it’s legal. How did we meet? Well, that’s an interesting story….

there are now four books in the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries series



Good day to you all. Detective Inspector Evan Glover here, of the West Glamorgan Police Service. Now don’t go jumping to conclusions – I’m not one of those British policemen who drinks like a fish, drives a fancy car, has a dark personal history, or even a secret problem in my life. I’m just a normal, decent human being who believes I can do some good while I’m here on the face of this earth. Well, I suppose I do have a bit of a weakness for crunching strong peppermints, but that’s it when it comes to quirks. I hope you enjoy reading about a couple of cases I’ve worked on recently. Both involved murder, but that wasn’t immediately apparent; indeed, in one instance I was only advised of the fact some considerable time after the incident. In each case the victim was…no, I won’t say too much. I’ll allow you to reach your own conclusions. Suffice it to say I’m rather glad I’ve recently started to discuss my work at home, with my wife Betty. 

Bracelet Bay in Mumbles - part of DI Evan Glover's "beat"
 

Hi, glad to know you. Sharon Taylor here. Sorry, I’m not the chatty type, which means I’m glad I live where I do, on acreage half way up a little mountain in British Columbia, though I guess I wish my husband Dominic hadn’t insisted we were in such a remote spot. Dominic? Ah yes, maybe I’ll tell you a bit about him. I have to admit he didn’t turn out to be the kind of guy I thought he was…

Sunrise, from Sharon Taylor's garden



Aye, nice to meet you. Doug Rossi’s the name, and running a chip shop in South West Scotland’s the game. If you fancy it, you can come along with me when I pop over to Florence in Italy for a wee while. You see, I just won a bit of money on the lottery, so I’m going to give myself a treat. Who knows what will happen when I’m there – maybe not much, or maybe I’ll have an adventure. Come along with me to find out, why don’t you?

The beauty of Florence, with a dash of death!



Oh gosh, hello there. Come on in and make yourself comfy – I’ll bring you a nice pot of tea and a couple of teacakes in a minute. I’m Edna Sweet and this is my place – The Sweet Old Tea Shoppe. It’s been my life’s ambition to have a place like this, and now here I am…living my dream in a little village in Oxfordshire. Yes, it’s so lovely here, and I'm even daring to hope there's a bit of romance in the air. But you never quite know what people are thinking do you? Not until you overhear them talking about it in your tea shop, that is.

You never know what you'll overhear when you're enjoying a cuppa and a cake


In MURDER KEEPS NO CALENDAR you'll find twelve 'killer' tales, each connected with one month of the year! For those who already know Cathy Ace's characters Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson - or the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency - this collection of novellas and short stories will bring the delight of finding out how they met their 'significant others' and began their murderous adventures. For those discovering this award-winning author for the first time, you're in for a treat...with twelve tales of intrigue and murder to enjoy, two of which have already been produced for BBC Radio 4. These stories take you on journeys to Wales, China, Canada, Scotland, Italy and England...where you'll meet unforgettable characters who all have something in common - MURDER!

Cathy Ace writes the Cait Morgan Mysteries and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries.Find out more about Cathy and all her characters here: http://www.cathyace.com/ 


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Instant Family = Busy Life! #giveaway


*** Don't miss the GIVEAWAY below!***
No Grater Danger - Available Now!

By: Jaymie Leighton
Title: No Grater Danger
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries #7
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Website: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries

This is an ode to all the men and women who go from no children to an instant family!

'Cause I'm one of 'em! When I met Jakob and his adorable daughter, Jocie, one scary late night a year ago, I would never have imagined that a year later I would have this life, this fast paced, new-things-every-day life with a husband and also... a child.
I love Jocie with all my heart. I've lucked out, in that she and I are kindred spirits, in a sense, with a deep love for books and reading and learning. She loves school, and so did I at her age. But... there have been challenges along the way. Her mother returned to her native Poland, leaving Jocie with her father, and then, shortly after, the poor woman died. Jocie doesn't truly remember her, not in any sense other than as a distant foggy mother figure, kind of a sense memory. Jakob had to be both father and mother to her, and did a stellar job.

So when I came on the scene it was an adjustment for her. We've had a few challenges along the way. She has achondroplasia dwarfism, a genetic disorder that makes her, as she says, a little little person. She has health issues, and will have more along the way. She has experienced bullying in her life. But she's stubborn at times, and way too smart, but I'm stubborn too, and patient, and I love her. We're going to be okay.

Jakob has been wonderful through it all, and unfailingly supportive. I lucked out, my girlfriends say, but I say, I chose well. And so did he! LOL.

Have you or anyone you know become insta-parents? What advice would you give to those of us who are newly minted step-parents?
~::~

Read the blurb, and answer a question about it to enter my giveaway! 

No Grater Danger

In the brand-new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of Leave It to Cleaver, someone out to spice up their life means to crush a helpless victim . . .

“Delightfully entertaining, well-written, and an interesting and exciting plot. Literally keeps you guessing right to the end.” —Goodreads on Leave It to Cleaver

Vintage cookware enthusiast Jaymie Leighton is thrilled at the prospect of meeting an elderly descendant of her town’s founding father, not least because she’s known to possess an enviably large collection of antique spice graters. But the curmudgeonly woman also has substantial real estate holdings, and at the moment she’s engaged in a fierce battle with a property developer who wants her to sell off her old buildings in the name of progress. When Jaymie goes to visit the woman and discovers that there’s been an attempt on her life, she polishes up her sleuthing skills to find out who was behind the foul deed.

Her first instinct is to suspect the developer, but as she digs deeper into the case she learns that her older new friend has purportedly been the victim of numerous criminal acts—all of which point to different suspects. Unsure if the stories are true or simply the confused ramblings of a senior citizen, Jaymie sifts through the clues hoping to expose the culprit, but she knows that if she keeps stirring up trouble, she’ll be next on the would-be killer’s list.
Includes a vintage recipe!

***Giveaway!***


Hello, all! I am giving away, to one commenter below, a $20 Amazon - OR - Barnes & Noble gift card, winner's choice, good for all online shopping!

Just answer the following question in the comments AND leave your email (yourname (at) yourserver (dot) com) and a first name, please!!

Question: In the blurb above, what does the elderly descendant of Queensville's founding father have a large collection of?

ONLY comments with an answer will be eligible!

Contest is open to all... the gift card will be emailed to the winner!

This contest closes June 22nd at Midnight. Any comments posted after Midnight of the 21st will go into moderation, and I'll approve them first thing the next morning. 

Thank you to all who enter, and if you enjoy the book, please consider leaving a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon! 




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Loving the Blues

by Ruth Clagan, from the Clock Shop Mystery series by Julianne Holmes

Much as I love the Fourth of July, and I do, that isn't my favorite thing about the first week of July. My favorite thing, my very favorite thing, is that blueberries are in season. Sure, during the winter I make due with imports and frozen. And earlier in the season, New Jersey will due. But when the blueberry wave hits New England--now that's a good time.

When I say I love blueberries, I mean I LOVE blueberries. In pie. In muffins. In smoothies. In ice cream. In bowls with a dollop of cream. Mixed in with plain yogurt. In parfaits. On salads. In a cobbler. In drinks--either as a juice, a garnish, or part of a syrup. Part tart, part sweet, all delicious. And in season? Abundant.

Many of my Maine friends love Blueberry Grunt, which is sort of a mix between a shortcake and a cobbler. Here's a recipe. Nancy Reed makes a fabulous grunt, but she isn't sharing her recipe and Caroline and I haven't been able to replicate it.

How about you, dear readers? Are you blueberry fans? Any favorite dishes?

***********************

JHAuthors.com is the website for one woman who has three names. As Julianne Holmes, she writes the Clock Shop Mystery series. As J.A. Hennrikus, she writes the Theater Cop series. And in January, Julia Henry will debut the Garden Squad Series. She is on Instagram and Facebook as @JHAuthors. She also blogs with the WickedCozyAuthors.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Taking it Easy! And a Giveaway!


By Ryan Mantoni  from the Read ’Em and Eat Mysteries by Terrie Farley Moran



Let me introduce myself. I am Ryan Mantoni, Deputy in the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and, according to Sassy and Bridgy at the Read ’Em and Eat CafĂ© and Bookstore, I am their go-to-guy when trouble’s a brewing. And believe me, those two find more trouble than you would imagine is possible on a sleepy island like Fort Myers Beach.

I think they prefer me to my boss, Lt. Frank Anthony, because he is a no nonsense, strictly business kind of guy, although I do notice that Sassy gets a little girly (you know twirling her hair, that kind of thing) when he is around.

Anyway, with the first day of summer only two days away, the lull between winter season visitors and summer season visitors is coming to an end. So I have taken a few days off to do a little fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Got my rods and reels ready and the cooler packed. And in this heat, you can bet I am taking a couple of can cozies along. Don’t want my hands to be all slick when I am reeling in a hundred pound tarpon. (Hey, a fisherman can dream, can’t he?)



And I have these two cool can koozies (see how they spell that?) to share with one of you. To enter for a chance to win please comment below and tell me anything at all about fishing. You love to fish, you have never fished, you prefer to fish off a pier rather than a boat, anything at all. Please include your email in this format: yourname (at) your server (dot) com—so the spambots can’t pick it up.
Comments close at midnight, your time, on the first day of summer, Thursday, June  21st.

SALE ALERT! Our author wants you to know that the first Read ’Em and Eat book, WELL READ, THEN DEAD is presently  at a reduced price at Amazon. $6.97 for mass market paperback and $2.99 for kindle. Great summer reading—and you get to hang out with me!