Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What will you be wearing for the holidays? #bookgiveaway

By: RahRah

From: Two Bites Too Many

Series: Sarah Blair Mystery Series

Author: Debra H. Goldstein

It’s not that I’m against the holiday season, but how many collars can a cat wear? Mother Blair, who rescued me from the swirling waters during a hurricane loved to dress me up in collars. She also believed in being an equal opportunity celebrator. Because of her, I have Fourth of July (red-white-and blue), Valentine’s Day (hearts), Christmas (red and green), Chanukah (blue, white, and little menorahs), and even Ground Hog’s Day (a little animal that alternates seeing its shadow) collars. Don’t tell Sarah Blair, who began taking care of me after Mother Blair died, but I sort of enjoy having my collar changed for every holiday.

There’s something to be said about celebrating. This month, friends of mine will celebrate
Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa. I plan to make Sarah change my collar for each holiday out of respect to each of them. I hope all of you have a happy holidays and I was wondering: Do you wear anything special for whatever holiday you celebrate and is it serious (like my collars) or questionable (like the ugly Christmas sweater I saw in Sarah’s drawer)?

For this holiday season, my human author, Debra H. Goldstein, wants to celebrate with you (U.S. readers only) by giving away one copy of each of the four books she has written: One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery, and Maze in Blue. When you leave your comment, leave a part of your name or nickname and some form of your e-mail address. Comments will only be accepted through midnight December 13, 2019. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced in the comments on December 14. Good-luck and happy holidays.

Monday, December 9, 2019

A Crisp Christmas

By Emily Westhill from the Deputy Donut Mysteries by Ginger Bolton

I'm dreaming of a crisp Christmas with crisp white snow and bright blue skies, with cookies crisp from the oven and packages wrapped in crisp paper.

When I told my friend Scott I was hoping for a crisp Christmas, he turned almost as white as the snow. "You want a crispy Christmas?" he repeated in mock horror. Scott is the fire chief of our small northern Wisconsin town, Fallingbrook.

"Not crispy, I said, "not toasted or burnt, but crisp. Weather that's so cold it snaps."

He gave me another worried look. "What about our moonlight tobogganing party? We don't want to get frostbite."

We didn't. Misty and Samantha, my two best friends since junior high were there. Misty is a Fallingbrook police officer, and Samantha is an Emergency Medical Technician. Three of our male friends went tobogganing with us. I've pegged Scott for Misty, and Samantha and Misty's police officer partner, Hooligan (he won't tell us his real name) and  Samantha are really cute together. The third man, Brent, is a Fallingbrook detective. And no, Brent and I are not a couple. We're good friends.

The night was crisp, but not too brisk, and the snow was slippery without being too icy to climb up the hill. We laughed a lot.

After we'd bumped down that hill about twenty times, we went to Brent's house. He lit a fire in his wood-burning fireplace. We drank mulled cider (no alcohol--most of us were driving) and snacked on spiced nuts, snowflake donuts, and Christmas cookies. Some of the cookies were crisp, some were chewy, and all of them were just right.

We didn't need Samantha's paramedic skills, Scott's firefighting skills, or Misty's, Hooligan's, and Brent's law enforcement skills. I always feel safe with those five. I always feel happy with them, also. This tobogganing party might become a new, crisp Christmas tradition.

What about you? Do you have traditions or are there some you'd like to start? Comment below for a chance to win today's Season's Readings giveaway--your choice of a print copy of Survival of the Fritters, Goodbye Cruller World, or Jealousy Filled Donuts. Entrants from the U.S. and Canada only, please.

Speaking of starting, Ginger has revised her website and is now (finally!) almost ready to create  newsletters to announce new books (three more Deputy Donut Mysteries are in the works!) and anything else that needs announcing. If you'd like to receive Deputy Donut newsletters, sign up here. She promises not to fill your inbox with them...

Here are other ways to connect with Ginger:


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Honey of a Christmas - Book Giveaway!

Happy Holidays! I'm Wren Johnson from Nancy Coco's new Oregon Coast Honeycomb mystery series.  The first book in my Barnes and Noble exclusive series is out Dec 30th, 2019.

Isn't the cover cute? That's my best friend, Everett, on the cover. He's a Havana Brown cat who loves to go on walks on his leash. He also supervises in my store, Let It Bee, where we sell all things honey and bee related.

Living on the Oregon coast means we have lovely cool weather nearly year round and get to see whales and puffins when they stop by. It also means we have fresh fruits and berries from around Mount Hood and lot's of different types of honey.

My story is the tale of competition gone wrong and how I have to catch a killer to prove my innocence. You can pre-order the book here.

I have my own hive of bees and love showing kids and adults what a working bee hive is like. Plus, I love creating bee and honey products. Since it's the holidays, I thought I'd share my favorite hot coca and honey recipe with you.  So pick out your favorite mug and let's get cooking!

Honey Hot Cocoa


4 tablespoons of unsweetened dark cocoa
2 pinches of salt
2 1/3 cup of milk (whole, 2% or skim depending on your diet)
1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
3 tablespoons of honey
Whipped cream, red or green sprinkles, or marshmallows to top


In a medium heavy sauce pan, mix the cocoa and the salt. Gradually add the milk and 1/2 and 1/2. Whisk slowly over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Add honey and stir. Pour into mugs and add whipped cream and sprinkles or marshmallows. (I sometimes add both when I'm wanting something descendant.) Enjoy! Makes 3-4 servings.

Hot cocoa is yummy when you're reading a great cozy mystery. My author is giving away an Advanced Reader Copy of Death Bee Comes Her as part of Killer Characters Seasons Readings giveaway to one lucky reader.

To win, leave a comment below telling me about your favorite honey recipe, along with an adapted email address so my author can notify the winner.

I look forward to hearing how you like your honey. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Traditions and all that good stuff! #SeasonsGreetingsGIveaway

By Shelby Cox, from the Castle Bookshop Mysteries
                          by Essie Lang

What does winter mean to you? Is there snow? Neighbors singing carols door to door? Turkey with all the trimming? Yes to all of the above? It’s the same for me, too. I love Christmas in Alexandria Bay, NY even though we’re not able to spend it in Blye Castle, which is cozily tucked up for the winter.

That’s what happens in the beautiful Thousand Islands region – very few of the islands are accessible over winter and that’s why our castle on Blye Island, and of course that means our charming bookshop, is closed, waiting for spring. But that’s okay, we still have the main store in town, Bayside Books, open and in a celebrating mood.

I have to admit that my biggest disappointment is having to give up living in a super cool, fab houseboat over winter. It’s in drydock and I’m living at my Aunt Edie’s. But the upside is, she’s wild about Christmas traditions so it’s going to be a good one. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the neighborhood caroling, which will mean wandering through most of the town.

What is your favorite tradition or aspect about the season? 

Leave a comment and you'll be entered in the draw for an audio book of TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS! Remember to leave your email. Draw closes 6 PM EST on Sunday.

Be sure to watch for DEATH ON THE PAGE, book 2 in the Castle Bookshop Mysteries, coming March, 2020. Or pre-order at: https://tinyurl.com/yxdhdfet

Trouble on the Books is available in hardcover, e-book, audio book, and coming in March, 2020, as a paperback.


Also available:


The Dinner Club Mysteries by Linda Wiken are available at your favorite bookseller or online!


Writing as Erika Chase:

Look for A KILLER READ,  (#2 on the Barnes and Noble Mystery Bestseller List and an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Mystery),  READ AND BURIED, COVER STORY, BOOK FAIR AND FOUL, and LAW AND AUTHOR on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at www.lindakwiken.com
at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Hot Chocolate for Adults - Ho! Ho! Ho!

#Giveaway - A SEASONS READINGS GIVEAWAY by Samantha Washington from The Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series by V. M. Burns

Happy Holidays! My name is Samantha Washington. You may have read about my adventures in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series by V. M. Burns. I’m excited to celebrate my first Christmas as the owner of Market Street Mysteries. Owning a bookshop that specialized on mysteries had been a dream that my late husband, Leon, and I shared for many years. Unfortunately, we never dreamed it was possible. Leon was a cook and I was a high school English Teacher in the small town of North Harbor, Michigan. When Leon died, he encouraged me to follow my dreams. So, I quit my job, sold the house and used the insurance money to buy a building and open the bookstore we’d always dreamed about. I also dreamed about writing British historic cozy mysteries. To fill the lonely nights after Leon’s death, I started writing. I’ve found that it helps focus my thoughts which has helped solve a few mysteries.

When I think about Christmas, baked goodies, cookies, cakes, pies, I love them all. Thankfully, my assistant, Dawson Alexander loves to bake. His cookies, brownies, lemon squares and other baked goods are gaining a reputation not only with the customers at the bookstore, but in the community. It’s been great for business, even if it’s not good for my waistline. When I was young, we would bake cookies and leave them out (with a glass of milk, of course) for Santa. What a thrill to wake up Christmas morning and find our cookies were gone. Now that I’m older, I prefer a slightly more adult indulgence with my baked goods. Below is a recipe for hot chocolate with Baileys and Peppermint Schnapps. For a kid friendly version, skip the Baileys and Schnapps.

 Hot Chocolate with Baileys and Peppermint Schnapps

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 shots of Baileys (about 3 oz).
  • 1 Shot of Peppermint Schnapps (1.5 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Whipped Cream
  • Candy Canes


1.      Add milk to a small sauce pan on Medium Heat; stir and heat until milk comes close to a boil.
2.      Stir in cocoa powder, sugar and salt; stir until lumps dissolve.
3.      Stir in Baileys and Peppermint Schnapps; remove from heat.
4.      Serve in coffee mugs topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and insert a candy cane.

What do you like to drink with your Christmas treats? Leave your favorite holiday beverage in the comments for a chance to win a paper copy of my newest Mystery Bookshop Mystery, BOOKMARKED FOR MURDER (US ONLY). Got a killer recipe you want to share? Feel free to leave that too.

PLEASE read and follow these guidelines for the giveaway…
1.      Answer the question and give your name/nickname and some form of your email address (eg youremail @ yourserver dot com).
2.      Entries accepted until midnight, December 8th (Note: if it is after midnight, December 6th your comment will go in a moderation queue to be approved the next day).

V.M. Burns is the author of three mystery series: The Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series, The Dog Club Mystery Series, and the R.J. Franklin Mystery Series. She currently resides in the Southeastern Tennessee with her two poodles.

Follow V. M. Burns:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Get Into the Spirit

by Jazz Ramsey from Kylie Logan's mystery, "The Scent of Murder"

Time to get your ho-ho on and grab your ugly sweater!  What better way to celebrate the holidays than with Season's Readings!

Today, if you leave a comment (don't forget to include your email address), you'll have a chance to win a copy of "The Scent of Murder," book #1 in the series that features me and the cadaver dogs I train and handle.  You'll want to catch up on all the background before book #2, "The Secrets of Bones," is published in May.

Since I love dogs so much, let's make this giveaway pet-related.  In your comment, tell me what you're doing for your pet/s for the holidays.

I'll start . . . shhh . . . don't tell him, but Wally the Airedale, is getting a new Kong toy.  They're super tough, just like Wally.  He's sure to love it!

Good luck, and Happy Season's Readings!  I'll be choosing a winner on Saturday, December 7.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

One Last Visit

by Chase Oliver, owner of Bar None dessert bar shop in Dinkytown
from the cancelled Fat Cat series by Janet Cantrell, who usually writes as Kaye George


I’m a lucky woman, I know. I have my own shop in a great neighborhood, loyal friends, good co-workers, my family, and Quincy—the most wonderful cat in the world. Still, I’m sometimes blue because I don’t get to continue my adventures in more Fat Cat books.

But I’m grateful for the times I’ve had and the many, many loyal fans that helped make this series a bestseller. ‘Tis the season for giving, so I’d like to treat someone to my stories. If you’ve never read a Fat Cat book, I’ll let you know that there were three before the publisher cancelled the series, due to a corporate decision to cut back on cozies there. Until then, Berkley Prime Crime (which no longer exists) was the ruler in the cozy publishing world. I’m proud that my adventures contributed to this.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m still in the pages of the three books: FAT CAT AT LARGE, FAT CAT SPREADS OUT, and FAT CAT TAKES THE CAKE. Every time someone reads a Fat Cat book, I come alive again! This week I’d like to introduce some lucky reader to my world. My writer is giving away the whole series to a lucky winner!

Honestly, if you’ve already read the series, you could win the books, too, and give them to someone who hasn’t read them. Read on!

My author, Janet Cantrell, who is also Kaye George, invites you to leave a comment below—with your email address so she can contact you. This giveaway will end Friday night, 12/6, at midnight EST.