Monday, June 24, 2013

Small Town Living Can Be Murder

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of ONE DEAD COOKIE, the fourth book in the series, to be released on July 2!

by Maddie Briggs, Olivia Greyson’s intrepid sidekick in THE COOKIE CUTTER SHOP MYSTERIES, by Virginia Lowell.

So here I am in the kitchen of The Gingerbread House, baking and decorating cookies—orange cutout cookies, to be precise—to put out in the store when it opens. What else would I be doing at 4 a.m.? Sleeping? So boring.

I love living in a small town. I can hop out of bed in the middle of the night and zip over here in five minutes without fearing for my safety. Granted, we’ve had a murder or several in town lately, but I’m sure that’s just a freakish anomaly caused by moon spots or something. Life will soon settle down to the ordinary weirdness we’ve come to expect in little Chatterley Heights.

Speaking of weirdness, have you had a chance to meet one of our newer citizens, Lenora Tucker Boucherbein (stage name: Lenora Dove)? Actually, she was born in Chatterley Heights, but she left for Hollywood decades ago, when she was eighteen. She married a Hollywood producer, and I guess she was in a few movies. I haven’t actually heard of them, and I can’t find them mentioned anywhere online. Lenora is widowed now. Good old Bertie Boucherbein left her penniless, so she has returned to her hometown to live with (okay, mooch off) her nephew and his wife.

I’ll admit Lenora is a bit full of herself, and I do get annoyed when she babbles about her tiny appetite while she stuffs our free cookies into her gigantic handbag. On the other hand, she tells such fascinating stories about Hollywood in the old days. Plus Lenora has definitely upped the town’s quirkiness quotient.

The other day, Lenora dropped by the store—for a dozen or so free cookies, as usual—and she told Livie and me about these hunky Hollywood guys who, she claimed, are really good friends of hers. She hinted she might invite them to visit Chatterley Heights one of these days. Not that I’d be interested; I’m engaged to the hunkiest guy on the planet. (And between you and me, we are starting to discuss wedding dates.)

Lenora likes to feel important, and she doesn’t mind mangling the truth, but it would be such a kick if she really did entice a Hollywood actor to visit Chatterley Heights. We could use a bit of excitement that doesn’t involve murder. I mean, we have definitely surpassed our murder quota! We’re due for some non-deadly fun, right?

Excuse me a sec while I crack open the oven door and check on a sheet of cookies. Yep, they are done to perfection, just barely browning on the edges. And wow, the kitchen smells like orange blossoms! Lemon and orange are my two favorite cookie flavors. I’m afraid I might be overusing them, though. I need to expand my palette of taste sensations. What is your favorite cookie flavor? I’m open to any suggestions, preferably ones that don’t involve arsenic!

Look for ONE DEAD COOKIE, the fourth book in the COOKIE CUTTER SHOP series, on July 2! ONE DEAD COOKIE can be preordered from Amazon. Meanwhile, visit Virginia Lowell at www.virginialowell.com

58 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful series!
    Its on my to be read list! =)

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    1. Thanks! Sorry I missed you on the 3rd. We had a snafu.
      Virginia

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  2. I enjoy this series...and chocolate.

    Thanks for having this giveaway!

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    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying the series!
      Chocolate... oh yeah!
      Virginia

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  3. I want to read more about Lenora.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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    1. And you will! She plays the role of her life in ONE DEAD COOKIE, and she knows it.
      Thanks for commenting!
      Virginia

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  4. I never knew there were so many unique cookie cutters until I started reading this series. Great series.

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    1. Thanks! I love having an excuse to increase my collection.
      And thanks for writing!
      Virginia

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  5. Fave cookie? Chocolate chip, except maybe Chocolate chocolate chip. I have very fond memories of a soft chewy macaroon when I was a kid but can't find they anymore. Looking forward to reading this series....

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    1. Hard to beat chocolate. I remember those macaroons. Maybe they will reappear... we can hope.
      Virginia

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  6. I love Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps! They are so good. Crunchy with bits of chewy ginger in them. Yum! And I bet baking them would make a kitchen smell really good!

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    1. I ADORE Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps! I just recently discovered them. Don't tell my husband, but I ate at least 3/4ths of the bag. I think he might have noticed, but all he said was, "I'll get some more."
      Thanks for your comment!
      Virginia

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  7. This is a new series for me and it sounds wonderful. I just ordered the first one in the series and will be checking them all out. I'm one of those people that have to read a series in order lol.

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    1. I'm the same way with a series. I hate meeting a character and knowing he/she will soon be dead... or in prison for murder. Hope you enjoy meeting Olivia and Maddie for the first time!
      Virginia

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  8. Love the cover. Already enjoy this series so looking forward to reading the latest. Thanks!

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    1. I love the cover, too! I can't take any credit for it, but I sure appreciate the artist.
      Thanks!
      Virginia

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  9. Just learned about this series can't wait to read them

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  10. I'm not sure how I missed this series.... Must try it!

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    1. I hope you have fun reading it!
      Virginia

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  11. This sounds delightful, but I imagine I will make many trips to the kitchen while reading it. Those cookie descriptions will prove very tempting!

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    1. I have to admit, I've certainly upped my cookie consumption since beginning this series. And it was pretty high to begin with. Must exercise more...
      Thanks for writing!
      Virginia

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  12. You can never go wrong with chocolate. I really love buttery, nutty cookies. I can't wait to read this on.

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    1. So true. I love any cookies with almonds/almond favoring.
      Hope you enjoy the stories!
      Virginia

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  13. I ahven't read this series yet. I'll have to check it out.

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  14. As a flavor...I think I'll go with cinnamon! This weekend I need to go to the market and hope the Amish ladies are there, I think some snickerdoodles are calling my name!

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    1. Ooh, snickerdoodles. I used to make those with my sister when we were kids. I love them. Okay, I think they've added my name to their siren call.
      Thanks for writing!
      Virginia

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  15. My favorite cookie flavor is one that I can taste peanut butter in. The book sounds like a fun read.
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. And peanut butter is so nutritious, too. So it's like a complete meal, right?
      Virginia

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  16. My favorite cookie is chocolate chunk, but have you ever thought of raspberry flavored?

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    1. Raspberry... what an interesting idea! Chocolate-raspberry sounds good, too. Hmm.
      Thanks!
      Virginia

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  17. I love oatmeal cookies. Wish I had some right now.

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    1. Oatmeal is one of my favorites, too. I like to add chocolate or butterscotch chips. I tell myself that oatmeal is so healthy, the chips won't matter. Or the sugar. Or butter.
      Thanks!

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  18. Chocolate chocolate chip is my favorite!

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    1. The more chocolate, the better!
      Virginia

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  19. Love the series and peanut butter cookies.

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    1. Thank you! You can't go wrong with peanut butter cookies.
      Virginia

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  20. I've never made a gingerbread house. I do love chocolate/chocolate chip cookies.

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    1. Gingerbread houses are challenging, but such fun! I do prefer them when they are edible. And chocolate/chocolate chip cookies are so much easier!
      Virginia

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  21. Not sure I have read any of this series. Definitely have to get started on it soon.

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  22. I must check out this series. I LOVE lemon cookies, but I think my favorite would have to be molasses cookies.

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    1. I haven't had molasses cookies in years. My grandmother used to make them, and I remember loving them. I'll have to make some soon!
      Thanks for writing!
      Virginia

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  23. Chocolate chip, made from a recipe in a very old Betty Crocker Cookbook called Jubilee Jumbles. I love this series too.

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    1. I have that recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook (1972)! Does that mean I'm very old? Oh well, it looks delicious!
      Virginia

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  24. Chocolate is my favourite flavour in cookies. And I am looking forward to Hollywood meeting your small town.

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  25. Can't wait to see what is in store for Maddie and Olivia this time around!

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  26. Would love to beat the odds and win "One Dead Cookie"! My favorite flavor is Coconut!!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  27. I could use some chocolate cookies right now. The ones from Great American Cookie (there's one called Domino with white chips) and Panera Bread are yummy. I like to make homemade brownies. They turn out better for me than cookies, which burn easily. Hershey's Best Brownies is a good recipe that I got on their website.

    I read the first book in this series.

    catbooks(at)rocketmail(dot)com

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  28. I love this series as cookie cutters are a favorite of my Moms and I. Since discovering this series I now haunt thrift stores looking for vintage cookie cutters. So looking forward to the new book! Thanks for the opportunity.

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  29. my favorite cookie flavor is my Moms secret walnut brown sugar cookie. They are divine and I will never share the recipe. The recipe goes back to the early 1900's in our family and is only handed down to the girls.

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  30. Love the cookie cutter story. Very interesting and enjoyable.

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  31. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this series!!!! I am awaiting for the new book to come out, so if I could win it, it would be great.

    For a favorite cookie, I have oatmeal raisin cookies as my preferred cookie - the soft ones, not the ones that are hard. I visited some place, along the Oregon Coast, years ago and they had an oatmeal raisin cookie that also had coconut in it. I really liked that one, but only got a few a several family members are allergic to coconut and I didn't want them tempted, but I never forgot them.

    My next favorite would be soft molasses cookies. Of course one of my favorite pies is shoo-fly pie, so that probably explains why I like molasses cookies.

    I really look forward to more books in this series and all the happenings that continue to evolve with the returning cast members.

    Amelia
    in PDX
    ailehl(@)q(.)com

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  32. This is one of my favorite series! My mom and I are huge bakers and we have started cookie cutouts with my nieces. We have quite a collection of cookie cutters though probably not as big as Livie's. Our favorite and most popular recipe is Fudge Crackle Kisses. They are a rich, fudge cookie with, you guessed it, a chocolate kiss pressed into the middle right when they come out of the oven. When we are asked to bake for people this cookie is the first on the list! Our baking traditions started with my grandmother and now continue into the next generation with my nieces. Spending time in the kitchen is our favorite family pastime and many a great moments came from those times. I am waiting (though quite impatiently I might add, lol!!) for One Dead Cookie to come out. It has been on my Amazon Wish List since I was first able to put it on there. I hope there are many other families out there who were able to bond while baking with their moms, sisters, grandmothers, etc. because those times are the most precious!

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  33. My favorite is oatmeal and there is a bakery in my hometown that makes amazing ones!! She also makes some called hodgepodge that have oatmeal,chocolate chip and other yummy things in them...I love your series and just bought One Dead Cookie today. Can't wait to read it..

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