Thursday, May 25, 2017

Max Says Hi

Hi, I’m Max, and I’m a Golden Retriever. 
That’s a kind of dog, people tell me. I think I’m just me. My person is Seth Chapin, and we live in Granford, Massachusetts. I don’t like to say “I belong to” anyone, even though Seth is a great guy, because I’m my own dog, not a possession.

Seth adopted me a couple of years ago, when my former people moved and left me behind. Now that I think about it, that was probably the best for everyone—I sure got lucky with Seth. Back then Seth was going out with a nice lady named Meg, who lived near Seth, so we’d take walks toward her house. She has a cat named Lolly. Lolly’s pretty cool for a cat—mostly she sleeps on top of the refrigerator, where it’s warm, and she doesn’t bother me.

But what was really great was that Meg has two goats who live in a pen outside her house. I’d never had the chance to meet any goats before. I kind of like them, even though they mostly ignore me. But I don’t chase them or bark at them, so we get along fine.

Then there was the time when somebody in Granford got a herd of alpacas, and they kept escaping, and one or two turned up on Meg’s property. That was really fun. They were pretty nice and didn’t make any trouble. I love their curly hair! I’d like to see them again.

Meg had a person named Bree working with her to take care of her apple trees. Bree wasn’t really a dog person (or a cat person either), but she took care of me when Meg and Seth were away, or couldn’t get home in time to feed me. Now Bree is somewhere else, but nobody’s said whether she’s coming back. Instead there’s this new guy named Larry, but he doesn’t pay much attention to me. But he hasn’t been around long, so we’re still getting to know each other.

Meg and Seth got married in the winter. Meg grows apples and Seth fixes old buildings so they didn’t have time to do it in warmer weather, but that worked out fine. They’re good people, and they make each other happy, and that makes me happy. (Lolly hasn’t said anything about the wedding yet, but that’s pretty typical. After all, she’s a cat.) And since their properties are side by side, I get plenty of room to run now!

Wonder if Seth and Meg will be adding any new animals? I’d love to have a buddy to play with, but I'm not sure what kind would be best. You have any ideas?

Max even got his own cover a while back!

The next Orchard Mystery, A Late Frost, will come out in November. Of course Max will be there!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A visit to the Palladium for Opera and a #Giveaway!

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

Hi there, I’m Savannah Webb, owner of Webb’s Glass Shop on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm planning to visit the Mainsail Art Festival on Sunday afternoon. This long-running event marks the end of our glorious winter season and the beginning of the hot days of summer. 

I'm arranging tickets to go to the opera with my assistant, Amanda Blake. She's new to opera, so I'm starting out with our local company, The St. Petersburg Opera. The performance is: Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffman). It plays at The Palladium, 253 5th Avenue N., St. Petersburg on Friday, June 2, 7:30 pm, Sunday, June 4, 2 pm, and Tuesday, June 6, 7:30 pm. Check out their website at  

Hoffmann, the poet-hero of The Tales of Hoffmann, has four love affairs that haunt him in Offenbach's grand and final opera. The opera fantastique begins with Hoffmann waiting in a tavern for his current passion, an opera diva appropriately nammed Stella. To pass time time Hoffmann tells the other students stories about three of his previous loves, each of which ends in disaster. For example, Olympia turns out to be a mechanical doll! Each of his loves get wonderful music to sing before breaking Hoffmann's heart. It will be sung in French with English surtitles!

I can't wait to introduce Amanda to the joys of live opera from our local company.


You can read more about Savannah in Cracked to Death, the third book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries, published by Kensington Books. Available at your favorite book vendor.

About Cracked to Death:

When a treasure hunt leads to deadly plunder, it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb and her trusty investigative posse to map out the true motives of a killer . . .

It's the dog days of summer in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Webb's Glass Shop proprietor Savannah Webb has an eco-friendly plan to help locals escape the heat--a recyclable bottle-crafting workshop taught by reticent store manager Amanda Blake. Turns out, the class is a bigger smash than expected, thanks in part to a pair of staggeringly old bottles brought in by snorkeler Martin Lane . . .

Linked to a storied pirate shipwreck, the relics definitely pique Savannah's interest. But intrigue turns to shock when Martin's lifeless body washes ashore the next morning, another glass artifact tucked in his dive bag. With cell phone records connecting Amanda to the drowning, Savannah must voyage through uncharted territory to exonerate her colleague and capture the twisted criminal behind Martin's death . . .


There's a #BOOKGIVEAWAY! Leave a comment and your email address in the form of name(AT)server(DOT)com to avoid the SPAM bots. Do this by midnight on May 25 for the chance to win a signed copy of your choice of Pane and Suffering, Shards of Murder, or Cracked to Death. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes.

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 her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small 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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Idea Worth Having is an Idea Worth Stealing

from Janet Marsh of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

I’m stealing an idea from a friend back in Illinois. Neither of us lives there anymore. She moved to Blue Plum, Tennessee, and I’m in Inversgail, Scotland. Come to think of it, you might know her. Kath Rutledge? She runs a fiber and fabric shop called the Weaver’s Cat. She posted a crazy story here, last month, about a ghost. Kath is a lot of fun.

Anyway, back to stealing from her. A few years ago, she posted pictures of some of her favorite cats in Blue Plum. At the time, it was a little hard for me to read. I’d just come through a divorce, something I’d never expected, and then our cat passed over the rainbow bridge. Life happens, doesn’t it? And happens, and happens, and “for everything there is a season,” and . . .  well. Things change.

I’m living in Scotland, now, running a bookshop, tearoom, and B&B with my daughter and two good friends. Things are going well. We’re settling in (after a bit of a rocky start involving a body in my garden shed), and now my thoughts are turning to cats. I miss having a cat. So, thanks to Kath and her idea of Blue Plum cat pin-ups, here are some of the cats I see around the harbor in Inversgail.

I’m not exactly shopping. These pictures aren’t a cat-a-log (sorry). But I think maybe it’s time, and when I see you again, maybe I’ll have pictures of a new member of my household. Of course, that makes the next big question, what will I name a new cat? Any thoughts?

Molly MacRae is the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or find her the first Monday of each month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cait Morgan - on being nominated for an award!

Cait Morgan here – and I’m about to boast! I’m up for an award. It seems the good folks at The Bony Blithe Awards feel the tale I told about the time Bud and I went off to Amsterdam to try to fulfill his late Uncle Jonas’s dying wishes is entertaining enough to be shortlisted for Best Canadian Light Mystery of the year. Now I think that takes the biscuit!

All I did was share my story about my husband Bud finding out he had an uncle he’d never heard about, after the man had died. Of course, Bud couldn’t resist taking up the man’s gauntlet of fulfilling his wish to be “understood”, as he put it. Apparently, he’d run away from his family in Sweden right after World War II, abandoning his little sister – Bud’s mother, Ebba – to a life wherein she grew to hate him more and more…in absentia. She was convinced he’d been a bad boy, and had probably grown up to be a bad man. But Bud wasn’t so sure, so off we went to Amsterdam to find out.

And what a LOT we found out! We even met a group of amateur artists who called themselves The Group of Seven. No, not the real Canadian Group of Seven artists, but another group entirely. Of course, discovering why they all clung together as they did over the decades was a part of the mystery we unearthed. But if I tell you about that here, I’ll spoil the story for you…and you wouldn’t want me to do that now, would you? 

If any of this sounds interesting, you might also like to read about my other adventures. It seems that whenever I leave my home I trip over a corpse...luckily, solving puzzling mysteries is something I relish. Maybe you do too...

THE CORPSE WITH THE GARNET FACE (Cait Morgan Mystery #7) is one of five shortlisted works for the 2017 Bony Blithe Award. Cathy Ace won the award in 2015 for THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR (Cait Morgan Mystery #4). In a recent review in The Globe and Mail, Margaret Cannon wrote: “Have you been missing those delightful mystery-travelogue works from Lyn Hamilton? Say hello to Cathy Ace and her intrepid sleuth, Cait Morgan, a Welsh-Canadian professor with a predilection for investigating crime...Ace is, well, an ace when it comes to plot and description.” Cathy has also been shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story for 2017. 

Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries (#8 The Corpse with the Ruby Lips was released on November 1st) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (#3, The Case of the Curious Cook, was released in hardcover in the UK on November 30th and in the USA & Canada on March 1st).  You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tale of Two Titles

By: Jaymie Leighton & Merry Wynter
From: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries & Merry Muffin Mysteries
Titles: Leave It to Cleaver & Muffin To Fear
Publishing dates: Mid-June & July 25th, 2017

Ladies, will you tell us your immediate plans?

Jaymie: (looking a bit shy) Well, some of it is private, for sure, with Jakob - You've met Jakob, right? Yummy looking lumberjack kind of guy, dark hair, dark eyes, beard that grows in in seconds? - but as always, I'm working on several projects including more acquisitions for the Queensville Historic Manor, and a few other jobs.

Merry: (Sighing) Funny how our guys sound a lot alike, Jaymie... yummy, dark haired, dark eyed, broad shouldered... that's my Virgil. As for me, for the foreseeable future I'll be trying to figure out how to keep an enormous American Castle afloat. The electric bill alone... sheesh!

Ladies, ladies! What about murder?

Merry: I don't think that will help keep the castle going. Unless I become a hitwoman?

Hah hah. But seriously... you've both discovered your share of dead bodies. Do you see murder in your immediate future?

Merry: Funny you should say that... like a fortune teller. Janice Grover has decided to pretend to be a fortune teller with this crazy lot of ghost hunting reality show folks who just invaded my castle. I'm just trying to survive their visit - filming things that just won't go bump in the night for them - but Janice has dressed up like some silent movie era circus gypsy.

Jaymie: (Laughing) No dead bodies I hope. I need a distraction right now because I have some exciting stuff coming up (stuff I can't share yet) so Becca and I have agreed to clear out an old house. We get to keep the pick of the vintage and antique stuff. It's a big house halfway between Queensville and Wolverhampton, but I think we're safe there... no dead bodies!

Merry: (with a sideglance) You hope. I think you may just have jinxed yourself.

Jaymie: (looking stricken) Oops. Heavens, I hope not. That's the last thing I need right now with so much else on my plate! I've got to organize my upcoming... yikes! I'd better shut my mouth.

Okay, ladies; so you won't spill the beans about what's really going on?

Jaymie & Merry: Nope.

So... readers? You'll just have to read all about Jaymie and Merry's continuing adventures in Leave It To Cleaver,  (Vintage Kitchen Mysteries #6) coming out in mid-June, and Muffin To Fear, (Merry Muffin #5) coming out July 25th!

To stay up-to-date visit my website:

Once there, sign up for my newsletter to stay current on publishing dates, news and advance notice of giveaways!

Or visit me on Facebook: Victoria Hamilton, Mystery Author

In the meantime... a fun giveaway for commenters! Comment here to enter to win this cozy mystery mug - it says 'Cozy up to a great mystery! - and skull teaspoon!


1 - Open to US and Canadian addresses.

2 - Comment by Midnight, May 22nd.

3 - Leave a first name and email address (yourname (at) yourserver (dot) com)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Winding Up For Summer

by Ruth Clagan, from the Clock Shop Mysteries by Julianne Holmes

Have you ever thought about what it takes to keep a clock tower running? For some folks, too many in my opinion, it only requires keeping the electricity going, and having a clock maker come up every so often to tune it up if necessary. But for clock towers that require winding? It means that once a week someone climbs up into the tower and winds the clock. Say you need 50 revolutions to keep it going a day. That means you need to do 350 revolutions to keep it going for a week. Clock weights can add or subtract the number of revolutions, but still. Once a week someone has to go up and wind the clock.
Here in New England, the climb into the tower is seldom perfect weather wise. This week we had our 24 hours of spring. 65 degrees one day, 85 degrees the next. Hot gets redefined in a clock tower with no ventilation. Cold does too. But weather doesn't stop the need for the clock to keep running. The community depends on it.
I don't mind our winding jobs. I'd rather keep doing them then lose another clock to electricity. I'm extra excited about the Orchard clock tower. We should have it ready to be set and wound very soon. Of course Nadia has a whole social media plan around that. You can read all about it in Chime and Punishment this summer.
In the meantime, never take a clock tower for granted. Think about the 350 revolutions, and be grateful someone loves that clock as much as I love mine.

Julianne Holmes writes the Clock Shop Mystery series. @JHAuthors

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime

By Sassy Cabot from the Read ’Em and Eat Mysteries by Terrie Farley Moran

Well, you know I like nothing better than when our author, Terrie Farley Moran comes to town because she always finds time to talk about the Read ’Em and Eat CafĂ© and Bookstore on glorious Fort Myers Beach, so Bridgy and I get a lot of customers coming in for a glass of sweet tea and a piece of Aunt Ophie’s Buttermilk Pie.

Just last month Terrie visited a dynamic group of writers at the Florida Gulf Coast chapter of Sister in Crime. (And yes that is Killer Characters author Cheryl Hollon next to Terrie. Visit her characters here on the 24th of every month.) While I do wish Terrie had spent a little more time talking about us and a little less time talking about her grandchildren, (honestly, I don’t think she can help herself) Bridgy and I listened in and there was a lot of give and take about writing and reading and characters. Well, I can tell you that I love to hear writers talking about characters. After all—we are the ones that make the story come alive, are we not?

So to celebrate this hugely fun visit, we are giving away notepaper with designs that are soooo Gulf Coast. They are from a collection by famous artist Leoma Lovegrove of Matlache. Do you remember when Bridgy and I took the moms there for a visit?

To enter please comment below and tell us anything at all about writing notes. You love to, you hate to, you draw funny pictures—we want to know. 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 on Sunday May 21st.