Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wishing you a Spicy New Year!


By Pepper Reece from the Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

Season’s Readings! As our gift to our readers, the Killer Characters are giving away a book every day during December. Just leave a comment to be entered to win that day’s drawing. And come back often—there will be a new drawing every day! 

Whew. I’m pooped. My second December as owner of Seattle Spice and busier than ever. I am so grateful and my feet are so tired. And my hands smell of cinnamon. Not that that’s a bad thing!

When my life blew up a couple of years ago—when I stumbled over my now-ex husband, Mr. Bicycle Cop, practically plugging coins into Miss Meter Maid (I can’t bring myself to say “parking enforcement officer”) and then the job I loved, managing staff HR for a huge law firm, disappeared when said law firm imploded in a scandal of court-ordered sanctions, embezzlement, and criminal charges—well, when all came tumbling down, I hardly imagined finding salvation in cinnamon and bay leaves.

But that’s the magic of spice. And of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, a place where anything can happen. It’s been such a joy to help make our customers’ holidays more festive with spices for their cooking and baking, from amchur and anise to thyme and zatar. And we do a big business in gifts, like bags of Vietnamese Cinnamon Sticks or lavender from Sequim (said skwim) over on the Olympic Peninsula, or jars of Puget Sound Sea Salt.

Now it’s time to pour a hot mug of my spice tea, put my feet up, and relax with a good book. I hope you can find a few minutes this week to do the same.

Wishing you a happy—and spicy—New Year!

If you get a few minutes to join me with tea and a good book this week, what will you be reading? 

Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win an ARC of ASSAULT AND PEPPER (coming March 2015 from Berkley Prime Crime). And if you’re not the lucky winner here, watch for my Goodreads giveaways in January and February.

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, and the sequel, CRIME RIB (2014), from Berkley Prime Crime. ASSAULT & PEPPER, first in 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.  Find her on Facebook: LeslieBudewitzAuthor or on Twitter @LeslieBudewitz

143 comments:

  1. Sounds wonderful! Love to smell things baking! Thanks for the chance. angelhwk68@yahoo.com

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    1. Ah, the aromas! It's no wonder real estate agents tell sellers to bake or to simmer a pot of spices on the stove! Thanks for entering the contest!

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  2. Visiting a spice shop would be fascinating. All the interesting and different smells. Our son in law brought back whole nutmeg which I have to grind in order to use. What flavor! Thank you for the opportunity to win one of your books. I look forward to reading this series. Happy New Year! dbahn@iw.net

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    1. Nutmeg has a fascinating history. Get a quick glimpse on NPR -- http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/12/26/372703646/nutmeg-spice-has-a-secret-story-that-isnt-so-nice

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  3. I love the smells of baking and spices - cinnamon, lavender, vanilla, etc....It makes the house smell so good!

    tcuevas@iccable.com

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    1. Those scents are instant "home" triggers, aren't they?

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  4. I'm reading Home of the Brave by Donna Ball.
    sgiden at verizon(dot) net

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  5. Not sure what I'm going to start reading...received several new books for Christmas. Thanks for the contest!
    kjdugas(at)verizon(dot)net

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  6. I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  7. I can't wait to read this series! The house is still quiet, so I'm enjoying a cup of peppermint tea while reading Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay. Only a couple more chapters to go!
    abbytessica(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Ah, mint tea -- relaxing and refreshing at the same time! Enjoy!

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  8. Vera Wilson said:

    Winter great time to read some new books. Thanks for the chance.

    snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

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  9. I love reading when it is winter and snow is falling.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. Happily, it doesn't snow much in Seattle -- kind of disastrous when it does -- but the white stuff is piling up here in Montana! Thanks for entering!

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  10. I wish I could sit down with a cup of tea and book this winter break, but we are still trying to get moved into the new house. And if I do get a chance to read, I've got to get caught up on "Half A Chance" a middle grade novel that my 4th & 5th grade book club is reading. All of your series sound wonderful.

    bevarcher AT me DOT com

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    1. Booklady, your name says it all! Good luck with the unpacking and settling!

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  11. I love the food lovers village series, and am looking forward to this new series.

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  12. I love the comfort that spices bring. I'm reading an ARC of For Whom the Bluebell Tolls by Beverly Allen- they're suffering from the heat and I'm in the midst of a very warm winter!

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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    1. Great title! But heat in winter? "Does not compute!"

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  13. A new series by one of my favorite authors...I can't wait!

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  14. Can't wait! grammyd01 (at) comcast (dot) net

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  15. I'm reading Tradition of Deceit by Kathleen Ernest. It's always fun when a book includes history - the flour mills in Minneapolis.- of where you live.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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    1. Oh, yes! Do you know the old seed mills in Mpls -- is it Northrup? -- that have been turned into art studios? And be sure to catch Janet Cantrell's new Fat Cat series, also set in the Twin Cities.

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  16. Love that title!
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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    1. Isn't it perfect? Credit to Berkley Prime Crime's copy writers!

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  17. Right now I am reading "Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes" but I won't be having a lot of time for reading this next week. We have grandkids around. I would love to read your book!

    ElaineE246(at)msn(dot)com

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  18. I will be reading Devil in Highheels. Bobbipad at gmail dot com

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  19. I love your first series. Can't wait to read this one.
    Kim
    Kjohnson952@yahoo.com

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  20. Title and cover are adorable - can't wait to read this. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. kuzlin at aol.com

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    1. This might be my favorite cover so far. Same artist for both series, BTW!

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  21. I love the aroma of spices filling the house---plus they really help me cut down on my salt intake. I think I'll read the last of my Christmas books today---Cozy Christmas by Kathi Daley.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. Good point about the salt -- although Pepper would point out all the benefits and many varieties of salt, as well!

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  22. I love spices, sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for having the giveaway. monstercreed@yahoo.com

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  23. I love cozies with food!!!!!
    Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

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    1. And so many fun choices! Thanks for entering.

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  24. I would love to start this series. suefoster109@netzero.net

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  25. If I had a chance to join you for tea and a book I think by then Sue Ann Jaffarian's 'Ghost in the Guacamole' will be out. I love her Granny Apple books. dcgirl919@hotmail.com

    And I'll be sure and check out goodreads for your giveaways.

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  26. I'm reading Tagged for Death. Fun! lkleback@hotmail.com

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    1. First in Sherry Harris's new series -- enjoy!

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  27. I love a good cozy. Looking forward to reading it.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  28. Funny that you mention tea, I'm reading a book from the tea series right now "The Jasmine Moon Murder". I love the idea of a series based in a spice shop, I can almost smell it not. I've learned something already I had never heard of zatar.
    momzillasteel@gmail.com

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    1. The Jasmine Moon Murders, by my cousin, Laura Childs!
      Zatar is a Middle Eastern spice mix. Lebanese kids eat it on flatbread before tests to focus the mind!

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  29. Sounds like a great read and look forward to reading it.

    rjprazak6@gmail.com

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  30. Love to cook. Use lots of spices. Sounds like this might hit both of my loves.
    thanks
    txmlhl@yahoo.com

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    1. A match made in heaven, Mary! Thanks for entering!

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  31. I can't wait to read this one! I adore the Food Lovers series (I just pre-ordered Butter Off Dead), and the thought of the new series has my mouth watering.

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  32. Thanks, Lisa -- love love love readers who pre-order! (Some of you may not know that pre-orders are a huge boost to authors, letting the publishers know interest in a title will be strong.)

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  33. I would love to read this first book of the new series! I have not yet read one of your books so this would be a great place to start - thank you for the opportunity! jeaniedannheim at ymail dot com

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  34. Books like this should be sold in those ritzy spice boutique shops. They can sell cookbooks, so they can sell cozies, right?
    hharra@bsu.edu (I am not somehwere where I can see my Wordpress Dick Tracey Secret Decoder Ring, so I'm just leaving my email).

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    1. Love that idea! And if any of you know a spice or kitchen shop you think might be interested, please send me the name and city so I can reach out!

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  35. Ah, feet up and a good book. Sounds perfect.

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  36. new book for the new year...........

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  37. I'm looking forward to this new series. Our spice cabinet has such things as saffron, turmeric, taaza masala, garam masala, ras el hanout, and other such flavorful mixes. I already read and enjoy the Food Lovers' Village series - I'm just a sucker for foodie cozies. teenlibn at hotmail dot com

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    1. You obviously enjoy Middle Eastern and Indian foods! I just finished writing the second in the series, featuring an Indian restaurant and some yummy flavors!

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  38. Looking forward to this series. Since I'm 7 months pregnant, feet up with a good book is about all I'll be doing this weekend!

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    1. The chair with a book and a cup of herb tea is the perfect place for you! Hoping all goes well these next few weeks!

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  39. My brother's family is in Great Falls where the p.o. still has not delivered the Christmas presents mailed on the 19th from California!
    I need a new book to calm down�� from all our disappointments. But better late than never.
    I could use some of that tea as well. Judy


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    1. Bummer about the P.O.! Lifting my cup of tea to you in sympathy!

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  40. I loved the books of yours I have read and would love to read this one!

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  41. The smells must be amazing! I cannot go in spice shops (too many allergies) but I love (and am not allergic to) cinnamon! Looking forward to the first book in your new series. I have pre-ordered my copy! Thank you for a chance to win and I hope you are having a wonderful holiday! Doodlesink@hotmail.com

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    1. Allergies stink! My protagonist features a Spice of the Month. In A&P, it's salt (actually a mineral, not a spice) and in Book Two, Guilty as Cinnamon, it's your favorite!

      Many thanks for the pre-order!

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  42. Sound like a great cozy mystery.

    xzjh04@ Gmail.com

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  43. Love this series. Thanks for the chance to win.
    patti.s@comcast.net

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  44. Very very excited for this one!
    Dnrocker@yahoo.com

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  45. I would like to be reading this series.

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

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  46. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the chance to win it.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Wishing you a spicy new year!

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  47. Reading A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev.

    Love the Food Lovers' Village mysteries - can't wait to read the first Spice Shop mystery Assault And Pepper.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks, Taurus! And watch for the 3d Food Lovers' Village Mystery, BUTTER OFF DEAD, in July!

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  48. I am currently reading Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber. It is the first book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Raquel36m(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. And no doubt getting hungry as you read! Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! I'm rather pleased with it myself!

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  50. I would love to read this! This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!
    edtercross7304@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Terri! Wishing you luck in the drawing!

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  51. I'm currently reading two books - one for each floor with a pair of reading glasses. I'm reading Sweet Stuff by Donna Kauffman and The Unexpected Waltz by Kim Wright. I look forward to reading this book. Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway.

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  52. Looking forward to this book. Love cooking and love Seattle. I'm currently reading Raging Heat by "Richard Castle" - guilty pleasure!
    lorimeadowsclark(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Let's hear it for the guilty pleasures! They make life a little more fun!

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  53. Love real spices & spice scented candles...Keeps the house smelling sooo good. I am reading Fisher of Men by Pam Rhoades. Love the cover of your book.
    Carol Smith. penelope223(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Carol -- I think this is my favorite cover so far!

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    2. Congratulations, Carol! Ruff the Cat and the random number generator chose you! Watch your email for a note from me.

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  54. Love our local spice shops, looking forward to your new book! I'm currently reading an ARC of A Groovy Kind of Love by Karen Wojcik Berner, and I just finished Every Crooked Nanny by Kathy Hogan Trochek. LOVE these cozy mysteries and the holiday season is perfect time to sneak in a good read.

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    1. Some great choices there, Melissa! Happy New Year!

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  55. I wouldn't mind smelling like cinnamon. Looks like a good book.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia! Wishing you a spicy new year!

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  56. I am looking forward to this one.... Love to visit spice shops!
    afarage(at)earthlink.net

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    1. They do spark the senses, don't they? Thanks for dropping by!

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  57. This book looks great. I am reading inherit the word. Thank you.
    Moonbay7399@gmail.com

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    1. Inherit the Word -- such a great title! Thanks for stopping by!

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  58. I enjoy reading the Food Lovers Mystery series. I look forward to reading the new Spice Shop series.
    agavigan@cox.net

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    1. Thanks, Annette! Here's to a spicy new year!

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  59. Wow...I can imagine how the aroma of this is going to make me read and get hungry...lol..
    Marilyn Watson ewatvess@yahoo.com

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    1. The most common "complaint" about my books is that they make readers hungry! I can live with that!

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  60. New year and new cozy series for ME!!!
    Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

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  61. your new series looks delicious, um... i mean delightful!
    woofmew@aol.com

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  62. Added to my must read list! Thanks for the post. cheers@marjimmanor.com

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  63. This sounds like a good fit for me. I'll put it on my "to read list."

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    1. Thanks, Aly! Wishing you a spicy new year!

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  64. I would love to read this book. I really have enjoyed the books I've read of yours so far and look forward to many more.

    Angie Young
    thelittlereadingcabin@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Angie! Watch for more giveaways on Goodreads, my Facebook Author page, and guest blogs in the weeks ahead!

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  65. Gosh, my TBR pile just gets taller & taller! I'm glad this one will add a little spice!
    Hope you have a spicy new year! *wink*
    londonandlisa@gmail.com

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    1. My brother says his TBR pile resembles a mountain range -- sounds like yours does, too! Happy New Year!

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  66. I'd love to join you for a cup of tea. I' m currently reading Scorched Eggs and A Road to Christmas Past. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year! servedogmom@yahoo.com

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  67. I adore this series. seascapelife@gmail.com Thank you for the opportunity to win. Happy new Year. My TBR pile is a mountain range LOL!!!

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    1. Thanks, Lexie! Wishing you a spicy new year!

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  68. I have a huge collection of spices in my pantry and I'm always looking for more. I honestly think I'm going to LOVE this new series and can't wait for it to come out.

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  69. Can't wait to read ASSAULT & PEPPER. I love your books, and I love spices!! Have a huge selection in my cabinet!

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