Saturday, January 19, 2019

Meet my new pal at the Castle Bookshop!

By J.J. Tanner from the Dinner Club Mysteries
             by Linda Wiken

J.J. here. I feel like we’re old friends by now. It’s been over three years since I’ve been posting here on Killer Characters, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

But today I’d like to introduce you to my author’s newest character, Shelby Cox. She lives in Alexandria Bay, NY and is part owner of Bayside Books. During tourists season she works in the Castle location. That’s Blye Castle on small but enchanting Blye Island, part of the Thousand Islands.

Hi, Shelby and welcome. You’ll be taking over blogging duties from now on.

Thanks, J.J. And I want you to know I’m quite excited about that, along with the release of TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS, the first in the Castle Bookshop Mysteries. For today, I just wanted to alert cozy readers that it comes out in March. And that our author will be writing under the name, Essie Lang.



  Book #3, MARINATING IN MURDER is available at your favorite bookseller or online!

 Book #2 in the Dinner Club Mysteries 

The first book in the Dinner Club Mystery series is available at the bookstore of your choice, and on-line; also as an e-book.

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 Erika at 
Love to hear from you on my Facebook author page
on Twitter  @erika_chase. 

Visit Linda at
at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Woof--as in Human Happy New Year

by Biscuit, Carrie Kennersly's dog in the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries by Linda O. Johnston

Hi, it's Biscuit again, for the first time in the year humans call 2019.   I'm a dog, in case you didn't know.  As I've said before, I supposedly belong to Carrie Kennersly, the human who's the subject of the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, but in my opinion she belongs to me. 

Actually, I don't see much different between what was 2018 and now.  Carrie still takes good care of me, letting me hang out at one of her two shops, Barkery & Biscuits, where she and her helpers bake the wonderful dog treats Carrie invented.  She says that's a result of her being a veterinary technician at the Knobcone Veterinary Clinic.  My preference is not to go to that place since they poke me and prod me and even stick needles into me there--even Carrie's good friend Dr. Arvus Kline who owns the place and her very special friend Dr. Reed Storme--so I will take her word for it.  And the fact she lets me sample her doggy treats?  Love it!

She's got several helpers who work in her two shops.  The other  shop, Icing on the Cake, sells human treats Carrie also bakes, along with those helpers, but I can't sample those.  She says it's for my own good since some of them would be dangerous for me, especially the ones that have chocolate in them.  Probably more visits to that vet clinic, so I behave and stay out of it.

One thing my Carrie talks about sometimes is that she has gotten into the habit of solving murders in this town.  What's that?  Well, sometimes humans apparently kill each other.  We dogs sometimes fight, of course, and some particularly nasty ones might kill others of our kind, but fortunately I've never seen that happen. 

Carrie has also told me that there's another human around her who describes stories of those killings, called murders, in books that people read.  Now, I'm not sure I understand that since I don't read.  But I certainly don't mind hearing about how Carrie helps other people by solving those murders, and that's what those books do.

She says her most recent story is told in Pick and Chews, which was sent out to the world in a book last year.  She isn't talking much about it, but she says there's another book, For a Good Paws, that will tell about another murder and what she did to solve it, and it'll be published in the month of 2019 that humans call May.

You know, I'm feeling a little hungry, even though my last treat was only a short while ago, maybe ten minutes in human time.  I think I'd better start begging, though, for my next treat.  So, in the way humans say it, Happy 2019, everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A recipe from MARDI GRAS MURDER'S Ninette Crozat

By: Ninette Crozat
Series: Cajun Country Mysteries, #4

Hello there, it’s Ninette Crozat, Maggie’s mom. I’m taking a break from making meals for our Crozat Plantation B&B guests to say hi to y’all. Don’t get me wrong, I adore cooking, especially traditional Cajun cuisine like jambalaya and gumbo. And it’s a welcome escape from the murders bedeviling our tiny community. Thank goodness no one stumbled across a body in my kitchen. (Oh dear, forget I ever said that. I don’t want to give my author, Ellen Byron, any ideas!)

As long as I’m taking a break, I think I’ll fix myself a little treat. It’s a dessert cocktail we invented call the Banana Bon Temps, which means the Banana Good Times. It’s dessert in a glass – with a bit of a liquor kick, LOL. You know what? Since you’ve been kind enough to spend some time with me, I’m going to share the recipe. Laissez les banana bon temps rouler! Let the banana good times roll! 😉


2 oz dark rum
2 oz banana liquor
1 ½ tsp. brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup ice
1 ripe banana

Blend everything but ½ tsp. brown sugar together. Pour in (highball) glasses and sprinkle each serving with the remaining brown sugar.

Serves 2.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How it all started...

Tandem Demise
Cycle Path Mysteries
Book 3
Duffy Brown

Hi, Evie Bloomfield here with a chance to win a bicycle key fob 
This is how me and Mackinac Island got started... 

You see, I was a graphic designer at a firm in Chicago. I came from a family of lawyers, really successful lawyers. My siblings, Trevor and Lindsey, are the perfect offspring. They made perfect grades and now work at the perfect law firms. Fact is Lindsey just made partner!
My boss didn’t know I was alive, I hadn’t had a promotion in two years and was still on the bottom rung of the office pecking order. My apartment was the size of a pool table but most pool tables are nicer.
I needed a raise! I needed something to brag about at Thanksgiving dinner, the next big family get-together. The way things were going I was headed to  eating turkey at the little kids table.
So, I had a plan. My boss’s father owned a bicycle shop on Mackinac Island and had broken his leg. He was really laid up and couldn’t  do much. I figured if I offer to go help him out, maybe spruce the place up because he couldn’t I just might get my boss’s attention. At least maybe she’d remember my name. That was the first step in getting a raise.
 So, I left Chicago and went to an eight mile chunk of land where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron to try and wheedle a promotion out of my boss.
I’ve never been to Mackinac Island! Wow, was I in for a huge surprise of no cars and only big horses and bikes to get around. That my boss’s dad got accused of murder on my watch did not help my chances of that promotion one bit.
So my question to you today is, have you ever been to a place that was completely a big surprise? Someplace where you felt completely out of it? 
Hugs, Evie

Duffy Brown
Cycle Path mysteries
-Geared for the Grave  Dec, 2014 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Michael Sefton here.

Yes, it's me, believe it or not.  
I'm Michael Sefton.  Or maybe I should say I was Michael Sefton. 
When I was alive that is. 
I’m sure you’ve heard of me.  From Julia undoubtedly because I’m well aware she thinks of me a lot and remembers me as I was in life. 

Am I sad my life was taken from me?  You bet.  It was terribly unfair.  Julia and I had plans.  Big plans for our lives together and all that was ripped away when that car hit me on a busy city street.
It really hurts me that Julia has been in such grief over my death.  I wish there was some way I could ease that for her.  I wish I could explain what I think really happened to me and tell her that there was a lot more to my death that no one knows.  I never had a chance to tell her or anyone else. 
And Maggie.  My poor little sister!  I’m happy she’s so close to Julia.  I don’t want her to suffer either.  But I'm worried about Julia.  She can't let it rest and I’m very concerned that if she doesn’t let it go, her life will be in danger.  She deserves better than that.  Better than my fate. 
I wish I could reach her.  I’ve tried.  I don’t know if there is a way I can communicate with her, other than in dreams.  And even if I could get through to her, would she believe it?  Maybe not.  Maybe she’d just think she was imagining things. 

But I’ll keep trying.  I have to.  I’m still tied to the earth and I know why.  It’s because the truth hasn’t been revealed.  The real story of why I’m dead.  And Julia might even figure it out . . . she could.  Maybe astrology would help.  Julia's smart and very determined.  I just hope she’ll be very very careful. 
I hope her fate will be better than mine. 
You can learn more about me in any of the Zodiac Mysteries:  The Madness of Mercury, All Signs Point to Murder and Tail of the Dragon.  And you can visit my author at her website, on Facebook or Twitter @AskZodia.

Monday, January 14, 2019


FROM:           Aunt Rowe
OF:                 The Bad Luck Cat Mysteries
BY:                 Kay Finch

I’ve lived in Lavender, Texas all of my life (except for the time I spent traveling). The travels are what led to my naming my rental cottages after cities I visited - the Barcelona cottage, the Athens cottage, etc.  My niece Sabrina lives in the Monte Carlo cottage now. I’m so happy I finally convinced her to leave the big city and move out here to the peaceful Texas Hill Country where she can have the time and freedom to write the mystery novels she always dreamed of writing.

Trouble is, we’re having a lot of real life mysteries here in town. They aren’t cooked up by Sabrina, of course.  The ones she plots are on paper only. 

It’s easy to see that the ingredients in these mysteries are the same.


Our touristy little Texas Hill Country town of Lavender.
A budding mystery author named Sabrina.
A black cat named Hitchcock.
A bad luck cat legend.
A feisty aunt (that’s me).
A handsome game warden.
A formidable deputy.
A local coffee shop.
A bookstore complete with resident cats.
A dead body.
Many suspects.

Sabrina’s a whiz at solving these mysteries, with a few bumps along the way. She’s succeeded so far (with the help of her trusty sidekick, Hitchcock) in Black Cat Crossing, The Black Cat Knocks On Wood, and The Black Cat Sees His Shadow.
Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling author of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries by Berkley Prime Crime.  Though her character, Sabrina Tate, has left the paralegal profession behind to move to the Texas Hill Country, Kay still works as a paralegal at a Houston, Texas law firm. She resides in a Houston suburb with her husband and pets where she is working on Bad Luck Cat Mystery #4 – The Black Cat Steps On a Crack. Visit her at

Sunday, January 13, 2019

How Sophia Cummings created Banana Pudding Cupcakes + Giveaway

Just reading that makes my mouth water! Mmmmm, mmmmmm goooooood!

Good morning. . .well. . .it’s a good morning because I’m above ground. That’s the best I’ve got. Those? Those are Banana Pudding Cupcakes. You can help yourself.

Instead of me telling you about how my heart has been broken because I caught my live-in boyfriend cheating on me with the hostess of the restaurant where he’s the head chef and I’m the head pastry chef, I’ll tell you about how I came up with the recipe for the Banana Pudding Cupcakes.

Every restaurant in the south pretty much has banana pudding on their menu. As a kid, I liked the taste, but there was just too much of the pudding. My parents had taken me to one of those smorgasbords type restaurants. I remember taking a cupcake and a plate of banana pudding from dessert section. I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to eat and Bitsy, that’s my mama and how she likes for me to refer to her, was beside herself that I’d taken two desserts when people on the other side of the world just wanted one dessert. She was good then about making me feel guilty. Anyways, I did my teenage job of ignoring her and scrapped the icing off the cupcake. I scooped some of the banana pudding, with a piece of banana, and frosted the top of the vanilla cupcake with it. My dad watched from across the table with a look of disgust on his face. Of course I had to try it and no matter how bad it was, I had to pretend it was good. I’d taken a deep breath and bit into my creation. It was an experience I’d never had.

I guess the look on my face spoke so loud to my dad that he reached over with his fork and upon my agreeable nod, took a bite. The next day, there was a twenty dollar bill and a note from my dad that said to head to the grocery store and buy the ingredients I needed to create a real banana pudding cupcake.

That was, as we say in the south, all she wrote.

It happens to be one of the most popular desserts I make at The Manhattan, the restaurant where I work in New York. You know, the one I was referring to when my live-in…moving on!

Anyways, I took a couple of weeks vacation and found myself back in Rumford, in my parents home, in my old childhood bedroom.

Ugh. Not where I plan to be for too long. But if Bitsy has anything to do with you, she wants me to move back for good. No way!

Anyways, I’m beyond excited to hear what a dessert you love to eat. Tell me to be entered to win a Tonya Kappes tote bag along with It's A Southern Mystery, Y'all measuring spoon and jar opener along with lots of cozy mystery swag and Tonya Kappes print book!


See why readers are loving Batter Off Dead and why Woman's Magazine made Batter Off Dead their book club of Christmas!
"Romance, a lovable bunch of eccentrics, and a collection of recipes with murder most foul."