Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Keeping Up

by Carrie Kennersly, veterinary technician and owner of an adjoining barkery and bakery, whose adventures are memorialized in the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries by Linda O. Johnston

Hi, everyone, and Happy July.  This year is going quickly.  Fortunately, all seems well in both my shops, Barkery and Biscuits, and Icing on the Cake.  Business is good, and I've been able to hold adoption events in the Barkery often.  I always enjoy doing things to help pets who need new homes.  My own dog Biscuit helps a lot by encouraging me--and tasting treats.  Plus, as always, I enjoy continuing my job as a veterinary technician on a part-time basis.

And in my town of Knobcone Heights?  Well, things are going fine at the moment.  But... well, you may already know that I've had to solve a fourth murder there.  Yes, I really had to.  You may know that I'm now in a relationship with Dr. Reed Storme, one of the veterinarians at the clinic where I work.  He'd been telling me to stay out of attempting to solve murders, for my own safety.  But when he wound up being the main suspect?  Well, you can guess what happened.  He encouraged me to help, as long as I was careful about it. 

What happened then has now been memorialized in the fourth book about me: Pick and Chews.  As always I have mixed emotions about being featured that way, but hopefully those books help the business in my stores.

And guess what.  Linda O. Johnston, the person who writes those books, has told me that this is a special month at the blog site where this will be posted--Killer Characters, according to her.  There are book giveaways every day.  And she'll be giving away a copy of Pick and Chews to one of the people who posts a comment on this blog. 

So... well, good luck to all of you.  Be sure to leave a comment to get a chance to win.  She says it'll take a few days, but one of you will wind up winning a book. 

And me?  Well, I hope this is the last story I wind up starring in... but I've been informed there are more murders likely to occur in this amazing, fun--but sometimes dangerous--little town.

PICK AND CHEWS, the fourth Barkery & Biscuits Mystery by Linda O. Johnston, is a May 2018 release.

And leave a comment here for a chance to win a copy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Death of a Reenactor---and Giveaway!

By Chloe Ellefson, Historic Site Curator

of the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries

by Kathleen Ernst

All I want to do is host a stellar Civil War reenactment at the historic site where I work, Old World Wisconsin. I want to work with a small group of great reenactors, and focus on social history.

Reenactors at Old World Wisconsin
My micromanaging boss, director Ralph Petty, wants a hokey mock battle with anybody he can shove onto the field and no particular care taken with authenticity.

Our first planning meeting quickly devolved into a battle of its own. Petty actually threatened to fire me if the event did not go well. He's tried before.

My stress faded a bit when I met Gunter, leader of a top-notch reenactment group. We walked out to the 1860 farm restored on site, once home to German immigrants.

The Schulz Farm
Everything will be OK, I promised myself. Gunter had some great ideas about programming.

As we approached the farm, an interpreter was shooing geese toward the stable. When several darted behind the building, she hurried after them. She stopped abruptly.  Then she turned and ran, long skirt held high, shrieking.

This was not good.

We ran to meet her. Her eyes were huge, her cheeks white. She was one of the summer hires, a college kid with only a few weeks' experience. "Behind the stable--I--he was... Oh God."  Her eyes welled with tears. "A man's hurt really bad."

"Go call 911," I told her, and kept running. My skin prickled. I sent up a silent prayer: Please let the man be OK."

But when rounded the corner, my heart plummeted like a stone tossed into a kettle pond. A middle-aged man wearing a Union army uniform lay motionless on his back. The reenactor's head lay at an unnatural angle.  His eyes were wide, vacant, staring at the sky. One arm was flung wide.

I think my Civil War reenactment is already doomed.

Giveaway! Leave a comment below, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a signed and personalized trade paperback copy of A Memory of Muskets. The Giveaway closes at midnight on July 19. The winner will be announced on July 20. Please either include an email with your comment or be sure to check back on the 19th. Happy reading!

* * *

Kathleen Ernst is the author of thirty-six books, including the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries, mysteries for young readers, historical fiction, and two nonfiction books.  Before becoming a full time writer she worked as a curator at Old World Wisconsin.

To learn more about the award-winning Chloe Ellefson series---including the latest, Mining For Justice, see Kathleen's website.

Kathleen is celebrating the series with an eight-month-long retrospective, and it's A Memory of Muskets month! Stop by her blog to learn more about the book, and watch her Facebook Author Page for another Giveaway.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Cycle Path Giveaway!

Evie Bloomfield here on lovely Mackinac Island and from the Cycle Path Mysteries. We all know not all weddings are created equal but to have the bride shoot the wedding planner may be a new one.

Okay, maybe he had it coming. Maybe he did forget to order the tables and chairs for the reception and went with picnic baskets and blankets for a sit on the lawn affair. Maybe he did forget to order the cake but he did scrounge up those cupcakes from Doud’s Market that weren’t too bad. And what about the good things? He ordered the best Champagne ever and lots of it.
Why did he remember the Champagne when he forgot everything else? Does it have to do with the dead guy on the docks who had a bottle of Champagne clutched in his hands? Does it have anything to do with the smuggling booze operation into Canada?
Not that the bride cares diddly about any of that all she wanted was a wedding to remember and a dead wedding planner with a musket ball in his chest is sure to make that happen.

But the upside of today is Killer Characters is launching Cozy Up To Summer Giveaway!!! It runs from now till August 15!! So don’t miss a day.

And today to kick off the event I’m giving away any book from my backlist and an adorable pair of Cat Socks. Everyone needs Cat Socks.

 Just leave a comment on What is the best thing about cozy mysteries!! The characters? Locations? Communities? That they are a series? I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for playing along!!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

I'm Nora Layton

And I’m freaking out.  If my boss David Meyers or any of the attorneys in our firm ever find out what I’ve been up to, my goose will be well and truly cooked.  Not only that, I could lose my license to practice law.

See, um, I’ve had a few problems which I really don’t want to go into right now, you’ll understand.  But they’ve caused financial and professional difficulties. 
The real bane of my existence is Jack Harding, a senior partner in our firm.  He’s on my case day and night and I’ve been forced to work on his upcoming trial.  Everybody despises the man and wishes him dead.  I’d happily murder him myself.  In fact, it’s a wonder no one’s tried yet.  The man has the soul of a cockroach. 

And now, this so-called temp secretary David has brought in.  Julia Bonatti.  I don’t trust her at all.  She’s been snooping around, asking too many questions and cozying up to Dani, one of the other secretaries.  And if there’s one thing I know about Dani, she can’t keep her mouth shut. 

Everybody here has their secrets, believe me.  Mine are not the worst.  I just hope if Dani’s inclined to gossip, she’ll have better pickings elsewhere.   
Oh, and I’m sure someone’s been through my desk.  Just cause it’s a mess, doesn’t mean I don’t notice little things. 

You can read about my part in Tail of the Dragon, Book Three in the Zodiac Mysteries, very soon.  Next month – August 8th.  I just have to hang on to my job till then. And you can visit my author, Connie di Marco, at her website, at Facebook and Twitter @AskZodia.

Saturday, July 14, 2018


From: Deputy Patricia Rosales of The Bad Luck Cat Mysteries by Kay Finch
Let me begin by saying I am NOT the other woman. Sabrina Tate is the other woman – I had my eye on Luke Griffin way before she ever moved to Lavender, Texas, and set her sights on the hunky game warden. Her and that danged black cat, Hitchcock.

I grew up in a house full of brothers, so I learned to stand my ground at an early age. Being the only girl in a family with nine siblings, you’d think I might have turned to using my feminine wiles to get what I want. Not so.  I learned from my brothers how to stand tall, speak my mind, and use my fists if I had to. In other words, I know how to fight for what I want.

Still, my family was surprised when I decided to become a peace officer. In the early days, when I was on the police force in San Antonio, I dated some cops. After a rough break-up with one of them, I decided to leave the city behind and try out a position in the Texas Hill Country – that decision brought me to the small tourist town of Lavender, Texas where I went to work as a deputy to Sheriff Jeb Crawford. The family couldn’t believe my choice and the brothers placed bets on how long I’d last. So far, I’ve outlasted every one of their predictions, and I’m not going anywhere.

But back to Luke Griffin - ever since I first laid eyes on the game warden, my interest in small-town life has grown immensely. Griffin is different from all of the other law enforcement types I’ve known. I swear, I believe this man is my soul mate – he just doesn’t know it yet (or won’t admit the attraction). But I’ll keep working on him.  main goal in life these days to get to know Luke Griffin a whole lot better.  

Just when I thought Griffin was starting to get used to my bold personality, Sabrina Tate showed up. Between her and the cat, they’ve captured every bit of Luke Griffin’s attention. This has to change. Sabrina will learn one day soon that I always get what I want – my brothers can vouch for that. I just need to figure out how to get my man without breaking the law.  Maybe my brother Carlo – he’s the best looking one – a real ladies' man - could come to Lavender and sweep Sabrina Tate off her feet. That would leave Luke Griffin all alone and needing the love of a better woman.


Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling author of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries by Berkley Prime Crime.  Though her character, Sabrina Tate, has left the paralegal profession behind to move to the Texas Hill Country, Kay still works as a paralegal at a Houston, Texas law firm. She resides in a Houston suburb with her husband and pets where she is working on Bad Luck Cat Mystery #4 – The Black Cat Steps On a Crack. Visit her at

Friday, July 13, 2018

Lordy's hard having a southern mama.

CAKE AND PUNISHMENT IS CURRENTLY ON SALE IN EBOOK FOR ONLY  $1.99. Be sure to scroll down to check out the link and a giveaway!

If you were to ask Bitsy, that’d be my mama, why I became a pastry chef, she’d say that it was to make her life all doom and gloom. I’m not going to lie, it was a little satisfying seeing her cringe on the inside when I strategically told her ten years ago in front of her friend at the Rumford Country Club, RCC for short, that I wasn’t going to college and heading to pastry school.

Seriously, you would too if your mama had you call her by her nickname, Bitsy, instead of calling her mom, mama, or mother. Yes. Bitsy is as southern as you can get.

Now do you blame me for getting out of our small southern town of Rumford, Kentucky right out of high school?

Becoming a pastry chef was really a dream of mine. I’d spent the better part of the past ten years going to school and moving up in my industry. Can you imagine my joy and excitement when I hired as the head pastry chef at The Manhattan, the fanciest restaurant in New York City.

It was all mine. All my creations. Then. . .he walked in as the head chef. I can’t even bring myself to say his name because I swore that after dating him for years and then moving in together and then finding him doing more than cooking food in the kitchen of The Manhattan with the hostess, I’d never let his name cross my lips.

This was how Bitsy got back into my life. She might be a hard pill to swallow, but she’s a southern mama and no matter what, she’s loyal to me to the end. With my tail tucked and a couple of weeks off work to get my head on straight, I found myself right back in Rumford where I’d tried to escape ten years ago and in my old bedroom.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, Bitsy definitely dragged me all over Rumford to all her clubs for the first few days.

“Put on some lipstick and put on some more,” she says before we walk out the door. I had to keep up the appearance even though my heart was broken, and I didn’t have an ounce of creative baking in me.

That is until Charlotte, my high school best friend who was getting married over the weekend, cake baker had quit, and she asked me to do her wedding cake. What an honor! I was all over it.

The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by and Charlotte was the number one suspect.

Charlotte can be bit of a southern pill, but she’s not a murderer. I sure hope I can help her figure out who is framing her so her wedding can go off without a hitch and before I head back to my life in New York.

Besides, I can’t wait to get out of Rumford, like I was ten years ago, because Bitsy keeps telling everyone that I’m staying. . .forever!

You can read more about Sophia in Cake and Punishment, the first book in the NEW “Southern Cake Baker” mystery series.

In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.

Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.

With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

                                          You can get your ebook copy of Cake and Punishment for only $1.99 by clicking here>>>>>

                                           BATTER OFF DEAD, book two, SOUTHERN CAKE BAKER MYSTERY is now available for presale! Click here to order >>>>>

What is one of your favorite desserts? Not only will one lucky comment win this prize pack, I'm also going to pick your dessert to be featured in one of my books!!! I'll pick a winner in one week. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment so I can get in touch with you!

Did you know that USA Today Bestselling Author Tonya Kappes IS MAYMEE BELL???

                                                  Have you checked out all of my books?

Have you checked out all my books? Here is a list and links! 

A Killer Coffee Mystery
Freshly Ground Murder (coming October 2017)

Olivia Bloom Paranormal Mystery Series

Magical Cures Mystery Series

Spies and Spells Mystery Series

Grandberry Falls Series

A Laurel London Mystery Series

A Divorced Diva Beading Mystery Series

Bluegrass Romance Series

A Ghostly Southern Mystery Series

Kenni Lowry Mystery Series
SIX FEET UNDER  (4/2018)

Women’s Fiction

Young Adult

Be sure to join me everywhere!!

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Murder Takes the Cake

by Daphne Martin, of Murder Takes the Cake by Gayle Trent

Do you guys like those Throwback Thursdays that come up on social media? Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. For example, sometimes I'm reminded of things that I'd rather these "Plaid Stallions."

But sometimes, I get thrown back to fun memories, like the first time I attended the Oklahoma State Sugar Arts Show in Tulsa. My author friend Gayle Trent was there, too. As you can see from the photo on the left, we hit it off, and she wrote up some of my adventures...or misadventures.

This year Kerry Vincent and the wonderful cake artists who come from all over the world to attend the show will celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Check out the OSSAS page and make plans to attend if you can--you won't be disappointed.

Now tell me, what's your favorite flavor of cake?