Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A pinch of murder -- ASSAULT & PEPPER #bookgiveaway

By Pepper Reece from ASSAULT AND PEPPER, first in the Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz
March 3, 2015 (available for pre-order now)

Chapter One
An herb is a fresh or dried leaf. A spice is a dried plant part—a bud (cloves), bark (cinnamon), root (ginger), berry (peppercorns), seeds (fennel), or even stigma (saffron). The same plant may provide both—fresh or dried cilantro leaves are the herb cilantro, while the dried seeds are the spice coriander.

“What does autumn taste like? How does it smell?”

Even as I asked, the questions seemed utterly ridiculous. This was already shaping up to be one of those glorious September days in Seattle that make you think the weather will never change, that the sky will always be a pure cloudless blue, the leaves on the trees a painter’s box of green, the waters of Elliot Bay calm and sparkling.

I’ve lived here all my forty-two years, and I still get fooled.

But as the owner, for the last ten months and seventeen days, of the Seattle Spice Shop, it was my job to think ahead. Fall would be here in less than a week, by the calendar. And by my nose. I really could sense the difference right about this time of year. The annual run on pickling spices for the last cukes would soon give way to cider mulling mixes. And before long, our customers would be asking for poultry seasoning and scouting for Christmas gifts.

“The taste,” I repeated to my staff, gathered around the butcher block worktable in our mixing nook, “and smell of fall.”

Sandra fanned herself with a catalog from the kitchen shop up the hill and peered over the top of her reading glasses—today’s were leopard print. “Fall, shmall. It’s seventy-six degrees out.” Spot-on to most Seattleites, but my assistant manager is one of those native Northwesterners who thrive in a narrow temperature range. Anything above seventy-two and she sweats; below forty-five, she shivers. And complains, cheerfully. A short, well-rounded woman of sixty with smooth olive skin, pixie-cut dark hair, and lively chocolate brown eyes, she came with the place, and I say daily prayers of gratitude that she stayed.

“Apples,” Zak said. “Applesauce, apple butter, spiced apple cake. Plums in brandy. Plum pudding. Fruit cake.” Zak had been my first hire after I bought the shop. Six-two and almost thirty, with muscular shoulders, he’d seemed an unlikely candidate for employment in a retail spice shop in Seattle’s venerable Pike Place Market. But I’d been desperate and he’d been earnest. And he pleaded for a weekday job so he could rock the nights and weekends away with his band.

Plus he’s my ex-husband Tag’s best friend’s nephew, and I have to admit, Tag Buhner isn’t always wrong about people.

Do you associate particular smells with the seasons? 

Thanks to my publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, I'm giving away 8 copies of ASSAULT AND PEPPER, on Goodreads -- contest ends midnight, January 28. 

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

42 comments:

  1. ASSAULT AND PEPPER sounds like a delightful mystery. Leslie Budewitz is a new author for me so I will be checking out her books. Thank you

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    1. Hi, Jen! Thanks for checking out the books!

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  2. Love the title and the series looks great. Thank you for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. The contest is at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/122481-assault-and-pepper

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  3. I always enjoy reading new series and am looking forward to reading Assault and Pepper. I would agree that there are smells that we associate with seasons: Spring would be flowers and spring rains, summer might be hot dogs being grilled, autumn-the smell of leaves burning, pumpkin pie, winter...wood burning fireplaces. dbahn@iw.net

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    1. They say the sense of smell is more strongly associated with memory than any other -- and I agree! Thanks for your comment, Dianne.

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  4. Love to read a new series. Thank you. lady.janel@hotmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Janel! I hope you enjoy the trip to Seattle -- on the page!

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  5. Yes, there are definitely seasonal scents! I really have to get this book! It is on my list.

    ElaineE246(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. And regional variations, too. Thanks for adding A&P to your list!

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  6. I look forward to reading this new series.

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    1. Thanks, Annette! I'm super-excited about it and hope you enjoy it!

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  7. Yes, especially at Christmas. Congratulations on the new series! patucker54 at aol dot com

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. Yes about Christmas -- pine trees, bay candles, peppermint, all the baking smells! January seems rather scentless in comparison, doesn't it?

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  8. There are many smells that I associate with the seasons, especially Christmas. This looks like a fun read. Thank you for the giveaway.
    dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Daniele. The giveaway is at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/122481-assault-and-pepper

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  9. Sounds like an awesome book. Can't wait to read it. Please pick me to win. Thank you

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    1. Thanks, Michael. Go to Goodreads for the giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/122481-assault-and-pepper

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  10. Smells are fascinating.
    In high school I traveled with my mother to Scotland, Ireland, and England. There was a particular aroma in the back hall of the hotel where we stayed in Dublin. Something that was cooked regularly in the kitchens there, I believe. Years later I tried a package of Mrs. Paul's frozen apple fritters and was transported to that back hall in Dublin.
    Delightful.

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    1. What a fun story, Libby -- thanks for sharing!

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  11. The book sounds like a good one! I have it on my Goodreads "to be read". Thank you Leslie for telling us about it and the giveaway!

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    1. Enjoy the virtual trip to Seattle, Anita!

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  13. I love the title and the smells of different herbs. This would be a great cozy to enjoy near a herb garden!

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  14. I've read some of your books. I'm looking forward to this one. suefoster109@netzero.net

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    1. Thanks, Sue. The contest is on Goodreads!

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  15. I have been eyeing this series since I first heard about it and am looking forward to its release! Great title, by the way. And yes, I absolutely associate certain smells with certain holidays/seasons. Just to rattle a few off the top of my head: cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg/pumpkin in the fall; sage for Thanksgiving; cinnamon/pine/evergreen for Christmas; coconut oil/sunscreen/barbecues/charcoals for the summer.

    Thanks for the chance to win! kristin409 at comcast dot net

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    1. Oh, Kristin, your comment has my sense of smell all fired up! Contest at Goodreads.

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    2. I'm in the Pacific Time Zone and wasn't sure if I would make the contest or not. I did go enter on Goodreads, but man, my odds are much lower :)

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    3. Kristin, more giveaways to come in the next few weeks! Best place to watch for them is on my Facebook Author page: www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor

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  16. Thanks for heads up about Goodreads. Missed when first posted at site. Thanks for a chance to win.
    laughlincatat gmail

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    1. Thanks! Enjoy the virtual trip to Seattle!

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  17. Thanks for heads up about Goodreads. Missed when first posted at site. Thanks for a chance to win.
    laughlincatat gmail

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  18. Looks like great cozy mystery

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Kiki. A few more hours to go at Goodreads. More contests over the next few weeks -- Best place to watch for them is on my Facebook Author page: www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor

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  19. Fall is my favorite time of the year, Usually it's not too hot or too cold. Time to harvest the last of the garden and a while before the holidays. I love the way the main character senses the seasons.

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    1. A very popular season! ASSAULT & PEPPER is set in mid September, a lovely time of year in the Pacific NW!

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  20. Delighted to hear of this new series. Taste and smell are so closely interwoven in our enjoyment of food, and since I'm addicted to the culinary mystery series.....can't wait!

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  21. I love new cozy series!!!!
    my favorite scents of summer are fresh-cut grass & just when it starts to rain........

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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