Sunday, July 27, 2014

Feasting on Summer

We're celebrating the Cozy Days of Summer with a daily giveaway through July! Today's winner will get a copy of Crime Rib by Leslie Budewitz. Leave a comment by midnight today -- with your email address, so Leslie can reach you -- for a chance to win!

“Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder…”

Feasting on Summer
by Christine Vandeberg, from The Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

Gad, I love summer. Yes, it’s stunning. From early June to late September, the skies are clear blue most days. Occasionally, a fluffy white cloud — empties from Seattle – drifts on by, high and dry. Eagle Lake beckons boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, even para-sailors. The mountains, carved by the glacial hand of God, reach for the sky and the stars. And oh, the stars. Millions and squillions of them every night.


But best of all, summer is Festival Season. And for a working artist, trying to make a living off paint and canvas, summer is IT. You can travel the state and hit a different festival every weekend. More than one, though I’m rarely crazy enough to do that. And nearly every one features an art fair, with painters, potters, jewelers, basket makers, and more. The Festival of Nations. Mule Days. Homesteader Days. Buzzard Days—honoring ‘nature’s cleaners’. The Strawberry Festival. Rendezvous Days. Pow Wows. Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts. Dog and Grog, celebrating hot dogs and cold beer. Lewis & Clark Reenactments. Music festivals: jazz, bluegrass, Celtic, guitar, Mozart, and more. And on and on—not to mention Huckleberry Days in half a dozen towns, celebrating the tart, purple jewels Montanans fight the bears for every August.


The very best is right here in my hometown. This year, we’re celebrating the 35th Annual Summer Art and Food Festival. I’m sharing a booth with Iggy Ring, my dear friend and mentor. Her abstract oils and my bright acrylics will be a big hit. Our booth is smack dab in front of the Merc, the super-cool local foods market run by my friend Erin Murphy. (Her brother Nick and I were engaged once, but that’s another story.) The crew of the TV show Food Preneurs is in town to film the Fair and the Saturday night steak Grill-off, a friendly competition to see which village chef serves up the best steak.

Come on by. I promise you, it will be killer.

(Paintings by the real Christine Vandeberg. See more at her Etsy shop.)

Leslie Budewitz is the national best-selling author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries set in northwest Montana, and winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Crime Rib, the second in the series, was published by Berkley Prime Crime on July 1, 2014. Her Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries will debut in March 2015.

Also a lawyer, Leslie won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. 

For more tales of life in the wilds of northwest Montana, and bonus recipes, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter. www.LeslieBudewitz.com  Find her on Facebook: LeslieBudewitzAuthor




50 comments:

  1. As a gal born, breed, and raised in the Seattle area I am super excited about your new Seattle spice shop series! My family and I moved to the Spokane area last summer and I try to keep an eye on your events page to see if your travels will ever take you to the Spokane/CdA area. I hope they will! Of course it's not too hard for me to get to any of your MT signings...it'd be a fun day trip. Thanks for the chance to win! kristin409 at comcast dot net

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    1. Kristin, many thanks! I keep thinking I should come to Auntie's in Spokane and the sweet new Well-Read Moose in CdA (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for the non regionals!) but haven't managed yet. You're giving me incentive!

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  2. Sounds like a fun summer - enjoy!

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  3. I enjoy my air conditioning in the summertime, although I play badminton in a non-air-conditioned gym, where temps easily reach 100 degrees. (The things I do in the name of "exercise"!)
    Rarely attend fairs or festivals, but, after reading this, I think I should! I'm missing out on a lot of new experiences!
    Seytype at Hotmail dot com.

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  4. What a unique scenario. I've always wondered about the artists who travel to various arts and craft shows, showing their wares. You definitely have the opportunity to run into some murders. dbahn@iw.net

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  5. How have I missed the Food Lovers series. Well, I will take care of that right now! Thank you for the opportunity!
    Carter@columbusacademy.org

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  6. I enjoyed the first book in this series

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  7. I love summer festivals too. The only problem is that I don't like the heat, so when I know it's going to be too hot, I just don't go. :(

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

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  8. A great sounding series. I will have to check it out.

    nlb1050@yahoo.com

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  9. I have traveled extensively all my life - through books! And this series, Christine (Leslie), will become another travel adventure for me. I hadn't given thought to all the festivals of summer, taking them for granted I guess. I have a new appreciation for them, seeing them from the vendors' perspective. Have a productive and profitable summer.
    Claire [Geek at murraylearing.com]

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  10. Love the cover! Congrats, on your awards, Leslie!


    patucker54 at aol dot com

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  11. Great series!
    Kim j
    Kjohnson952@yahoo.com

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  12. Looks like a great series. Can't wait to get a taste :)

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  13. So many new series I've not heard about - so little time. thanks.
    txmlhl@yahoo.com

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  14. Thanks to you all for the kind words! I've always loved arts festivals and last summer, got to actually participate, selling my books. Great fun! Although as some of you noted, they can be hot -- one reason I enjoyed the Huckleberry Days festival in Whitefish, in a park filled with shady old trees! Come on by -- and bring the lemonade!

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  15. Such a nice post! All these festivals seem to be the lifeblood of small towns trying to stay afloat in today's economy. Wish we could travel to your area for some of these lovely events! Having your books is the next best thing to being there!

    humble.granny@gmail.com

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  16. Miss the festivals of the Midwest. My niece is Erin Murphy, so she is top of mind while reading your books. I need to get her hooked on your series, too. bobbipad@gmail.com

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  17. This is a fantastic series. I loved both books.

    agavigan@cox.net

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  18. As a Pan Nwer myselg, I look forward to adding your series to my read list!

    Emicat (at) comcast (d o t) net

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  19. What a great post.Summer Festivals are very special and memorable. This series is a winner. thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  20. Loved the 1st book and look forward to the 2nd one
    rjprazak6@gmai.com
    Becky Prazak

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  21. I love listening to music outdoors. It is really great when the birds join in!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  22. Festivals can be fun

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  23. I love Festivals. I live in a small town and we have a Fall Festival. It is a lot of fun.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  24. What a terrific location for a series. And food and festivals - fun.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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  25. Great series. Looking forward to reading Crime Rib!!
    dty66@md.metrocast.net

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  26. I just finished Crime Rib this morning and really the series. I love the characters! Jewel Bay sounds like the perfect place to visit, and I know I would enjoy the Summer Food and Art Festival. I can't wait for the new series to begin.
    cking78503@aol.com

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  27. Need to find time to read this book.
    CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

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  28. I love festivals as well. Here is Kansas City it gets hot and humid, so there is a heat index to give you the "feels like" temp. Example: Temp is 95, but with the humidity, it feels like 110. Maybe that's why we have so many festivals in the fall months. :)

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  29. I like the idea of "squillions " of stars. It does feel like that out west, doens't it?
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Another Erin Murphy -- what fun! Annette and Chris, so glad you enjoyed Crime Rib! And Stephanie, yes, fall festivals have their advantages! We've got a few, too, and I hope to write about them later in the series, if I get the chance!

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  32. I love the titles of these books. So clever. I hope I win.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  33. Long days of Summer and festivals go hand in hand. Enjoyvthem while you can.

    DelAnne
    InspiratonalAngel@hotmail.com

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  34. I love hearts, and would love to see your art work in person if you travel to Northern California anytime.

    Karen94066 at aol dot com

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  35. Looks like a great book.

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

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  36. You are one BUSY Lady, lol!
    I really loved the 1st of this series and I'm really looking forward to Crime Rib=)
    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

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  37. another great 'add' to my Wish List!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  38. Love the summer festivals and farmers markets - great food, produce and crafts.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  39. Erin & Christine -- if they existed, which is complicated b/c Christine the character is based on Christine the real person -- and I all thank you very much for the kind words, esp about C's paintings and the book title. For which NONE of us can take credit -- our lovely publisher Berkley Prime Crime came up with that, and it's PERFECT! Our thanks again!

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  40. Looking forward to this one!
    afarage(at)earthlink.net

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  41. Ribs. Looks delicious. Thereadmaster@me.com

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  42. I always enjoyed going to festivals, arts & crafts fairs, and anything kind of activity where there were things to see and good food to eat. But that was when I was younger. Nowadays I still have the desire to do those things, but do not have the stamina or agility to do so -- at least not to the extent I used to do. Doesn't mean tho that I don't enjoy reading about such things - either fiction, or real. Looking forward to reading CRIME RIB.
    donna {dot} durnell {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

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  43. Summer festivals are always fun. I especially like the ones by the beach. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  44. This series sounds great. Looking forward to reading them. choirlady27@hotmail.com

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  45. I don't go to a lot of festivals, but farmers markets in the area come close. Music, good food, wine

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

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  46. Summer in the South is Hot and Humid - not my favorite time of year! I opt for spring, fall and even winter !!

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  47. I leave the south in the summer and come up north and back I go to the south come Oct 1.

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  48. Thanks so much to all of you for stopping by -- and for sharing some of your favorite festivals! Whether it's the food, music, or art that draws you -- or the people watching -- and whatever time of year works best where you live, get out an enjoy! (And take home a bit of something: musicians and artists need your support!)

    Ruff the Cat will choose a winner later today; I'll announce it here and on the sidebar.

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  49. Ruff's been sleeping on the laundry all morning, so it took him a while to pick a winner. Congratulations to Barbara T, winner of a signed copy of Crime Rib!

    Thanks to all of you for participating in the Cozy Days of Summer giveaway. Do stick around for more fun at one of the coziest spots on the web!

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