Saturday, June 27, 2020

Friendship is the spice of life -- #giveaway from @LeslieBudewitz

by Kristen Hoffman Gardner 
from the Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

I am a lucky woman. I have been blessed in so many ways, but one of the very best is though my friends.

Pepper Reece and I were born two weeks apart in the same house to parents who were best friends until my mother’s death a few years ago. (Pepper wasn't her name back then; you’ll have to read Killing Thyme to find out what's on her driver's license.) My father and her parents remain close—our dads are on their annual fishing trip up into Prince William Sound, in Canada, right now. They are a model of lifelong friendship worth following.

Not that ours hasn’t been tested. (As I said, read Killing Thyme.) But Pepper is loyalty itself, and if our friendship ever ended, I would devastated. And when she bought the Spice Shop and needed a hand, and a friendly face, I jumped at the chance.  My girls adore her dog, Arf, and love his visits.

Pepper's parents bought their own house the summer we turned twelve, but we stayed best friends. We went all the way through school together, and we’re still friends with a lot of our classmates, particularly the women. Maddie Petrosian was a great pal, and some of our teachers called us the Holy Trinity. (When one of the boys in our eighth grade class called us the Three Pigs, Pepper decked him.) Maddie is as amazing as Pepper. She runs the company her great-grandfather started after he immigrated from Armenia, developing and managing mixed-use properties in some of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. Most of her projects involve early 20th century redbrick buildings with street-level retail and a floor or two of apartments above. I’m sure you can easily picture an example or two from your neighborhood—they dot cities and the central areas of small towns across the country. It’s a blend of preservation, property management, and construction, and she’s brilliant at it.

And she so admires what Pepper has done with Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, making the venerable business started in the early 1970s, right after the voters saved the Market from “urban removal,” into a vibrant shop that mixes new and old into a spicy (sorry–not sorry!) blend that’s perfect for the times.

But something happened between Maddie and Pepper years ago, and our friendship has never been the same. I still see each of them, but rarely together. What happened, they’ve never said, and neither has ever uttered a harsh word about the other—at least not to me. I don’t need to know, but I would like to know how to get them back together.

Because friendship truly is the spice of life.

Tell me about your dearest friend, and one lucky reader will win TWO books -- winners' choice, TWO copies of the same title or TWO different titles, from the first four Spice Shop mysteries, one to read and one to share!  (Leave your email address to enter; US addresses only; winner will be chosen Monday, June 29.) 

And I'm celebrating independent booksellers! Order a book from an indie -- online or locally -- then pop over to my Facebook page and tell me about it. When the chaos ends and bookstores reopen, I'll choose a winner of a book of mine or a bookstore gift card.




From the cover of THE SOLACE OF BAY LEAVES, Spice Shop Mystery #5 (Seventh St. Books), coming in ebook and audio July 21, 2020 (in paperback October 20): 

Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves. 

But when her life fell apart at forty and she bought the venerable-but-rundown Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, her days took a tasty turn. Now she’s savoring the prospect of a flavorful fall and a busy holiday cooking season, until danger bubbles to the surface ... 

Between managing her shop, worrying about her staff, and navigating a delicious new relationship, Pepper’s firing on all burners. But when her childhood friend Maddie is shot and gravely wounded, the incident is quickly tied to an unsolved murder that left another close friend a widow. 

Convinced that the secret to both crimes lies in the history of a once-beloved building, Pepper uses her local-girl contacts and her talent for asking questions to unearth startling links between the past and present—links that suggest her childhood friend may not have been the Golden Girl she appeared to be. Pepper is forced to face her own regrets and unsavory emotions, if she wants to save Maddie’s life—and her own. 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories.  Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.



68 comments:

  1. My dearest friend moved but we can still talk over the internet.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. Isn't that a gift? I'm the one who moved, but my bestie and I email or text or both almost every day.

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  2. When I moved to a new city I knew nobody at all. I met a woman who was kind, friendly and invited me to her house for celebrations, holidays and now I am best friends with her. I help her out, keep her company, and am thoughtful and caring. She is one in a million. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. I met my BFF on my first day in college; she looked past my RBF and tried to talk to me. I was snarky. A day or two later, there was something I absolutely HAD to share with someone, and she was the person I went to. We've had our moments - as all friends do - and it's been almost 50 years. We should have a celebration in 2020!!
    pjcoldren[at]tm[dot]net

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    1. Love that, PJ! And yes, celebrate! My BFF and I met sophomore year of college, when she transferred in -- and we toast each other, long distance, in mid January. 41 years!

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  4. The neighbor next door was extremely outgoing and always rang my doorbell with small gestures which I appreciated greatly. Now we are best friends and enjoy the same things. Walks together, tea together and spending time enjoying life. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  5. My bff and I met when I moved states my junior year of high school. We had one great year together and then I moved states, again. We kept in touch writing letters and talking on the phone occasionally (long distance rates were a killer then!). We have visited each other a few times, and when we get together it's just like we were in high school, haha. Now we chat online at least once a day, too. zukeeper (dot) geo (at) yahoo (dot)com

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    1. So wonderful that you've stayed in touch through all the changes -- and yes, I remember those killer phone rates!

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  6. I met my best friend when we were 5. We've had a lot of crazy adventures over the years and great stories to tell. As adults we've managed to still get together now and then between work, family, responsibility. Some things have changed but we still have a lot in common and our friendship is still full of crazy adventures.
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. It may sound corny, but my dearest friend is my husband. We enjoy each other's company and have shared all the good and bad together for so long now. I am lucky to have him.
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. My bestie and I have been each other's pal for over 45 years. We met in high school and have been together every since. She has been there when I needed someone to lean on and I've tried to be there when she needed someone. I can't imagine what my life would be like without her. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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  9. I grew up next door to my best friend and have been friends for 47 years . She has always been there for me and still is. She was my rock when I lost my husband in 2008. Although we now live 30 miles apart we will still be best friends forever. almaj80(at)suddenlink(dot)net

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    1. Through all the losses and the joys -- that is true friendship.

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  10. My best friend and I met in 4th grade—here we are 50 years later! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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    1. What fun! I'm still close with girls I grew up with and it's a true delight!

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  11. My sister is my best friend. I don't know what I would do without her. bella_ringer@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. "Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister..." :)

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  12. Does it count that I married my best friend? We've been married over 45 years!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  13. My best friend is my cousin. She has always been there for me. We traveled together for many years and although we now live far apart she is always with me in my heart

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  14. I met my best friend the first day of college - in the laundry room. We supported each other through four years of growth and mayhem, and have been in touch ever since. It's been forty years. Even though we live on opposite coasts, we manage a visit once every two years. Last year we went to Malice together - first time for both of us! Thanks for the chance to win - and here's to friendship!

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  15. My dearest friends name is Shannon zaremsky! Me and her was the closest we always referred each other as sisters, we grew up together, had kids together( not together together but at the same time), our kids was best friends, we even called each other’s parents mom and dad, and then one day we just stopped talking and I’ve tried to email, call or text, instant message her on messenger and she will NOT write me back or talk to me! I don’t know what I did but it must’ve been something big because we never went a day without talking and now she won’t have anything to do with me and it hurts so bad! I’m crying right now writing this!! I pray that one day we can talk and I can make whatever I did right again! She’s my sister and best friend!

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    1. How heartbreaking. Be sure to reply here with your email for a chance to win the books.

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  16. My BFF and I have been friends over 45 years — since junior high. She actually started out as my sister’s friend. We have been on some great trips together. I was there for her when her mom and dad passed away, and she was there for me when my dad, my mom, and my sister passed. We are definitely family after all these years. Thanks for the chance! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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  17. I met my best friend when our kids were young. She lived down the street from me and it was great having someone to talk to when I spent so much time with my children. Our kids are all grown up now with kids of their own.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Ah, yes, the adult you needed when you were surrounded by children -- so wonderful that you're still best buds!

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  18. My best friend is my Sister. We are really close even though we live in different states. We get together as much as we can and talk everyday. She's also my reading buddy and we share and talk books all the time. I'm so lucky to have her as my Sister.

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    1. You said the magic word -- reading! Please leave your email address for a chance to win.

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  19. My best friend Pat has always been there for me in good times and bad.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  20. My dearest friend is one I worked with for mny years. Pat has always been there for me
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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  21. I met my dearest friend while working at a motorcycle dealership...she's self published and is helping me on my path to becoming an indie author! I wouldn't have even known this route was possible if it hadn't been for her.

    alishasheddauthor at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Learning things together makes it easier and more fun, doesn't it? That's a bond my BFF and I share.

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  22. My dearest friend is Connie. We met in first grade and have been besties since then. We are now over 60,so it's a longlong friendship! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

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  23. My dearest friend is Blanche and I've known her all of her life. I'm 3 years older. She would love this. She got the virus in April and then when they were weaning her off of the respirator, she suffered a massive stroke. She is thankfully still with us but has a very long road to recovery ahead of her. Maybe we could read it to her. Thank you so much for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry to hear that, but thank goodness she is recovering. Audio books might be a good thing to try.

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  24. I'm lucky in that my best friend is also family. She's my cousin.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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  25. I met my BFF not long after we had moved into the apartment complex that Wanda also lived. She had a Miniature Schnauzer and I had two rescues we walking. That was 6 years ago. We had lunch together and let the dogs have fun every week until my Cajun hubby retired but still chat or text often. When I had surgery last November to remove a Vernal Hernia, she took me to outpatient surgery and waited until I could go home late that evening. When she had to go get radium therapy (3 months after Thyroid cancer surgery) I did the dog sitting of Zolie. As we say, "that's what friends do!"
    teddi1961(at)arcemont(dot)com

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    1. Yes, that is what friends do! You two are lucky to have each other!

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  26. I met my BFF when I was forced to switch to change high schools where I taught math. She was the media specialist and I was assigned to help out there during our quiet reading time. I would help students with choosing books. It was neat that no expected the math teacher to be an avid reader and know about YA books. We are now retired and talk every week and before covid-19, met once a month for lunch. We exchange book recommendations, since we like the same types of books. Thanks for the chance.
    ematov (at) comcast (dot) net

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  27. My closest friend I met when I was 18. And we have had the best times! Thanks for the chance!
    Jess
    maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. I loved visiting Seattle! My mom is my best friend. I also have two bffs that I met in college in 1977! Love cozy mysteries! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. My dearest friend is Stacey. We call ourselves God Given Sisters. We are more like sisters than friends. We met when our children were little and we both chaperoned a field trip. It as like we had known each other our whole lives. We have since been there for each other with the death of both of our parents; my ruptured appendix that turned to sepsis and I almost died; her diagnosis of MS; and so many other life changing things. In good or bad times, we are there for each other. She is actually having open heart surgery on the 7th, if you could throw up a little prayer for her. I am very worried, but we will get through it together. Thanks for the chance to win...if I win, I will share the books with her so she will have a great book to read during her recovery! bentleyboy22(at)comcast(dot)net.

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  30. My best friend is a lady whom I met at my work. We've shared a lot of ups and downs during our lives. She has been very supportive, driving 60 miles to the funerals of my parents and an unmarried Aunt. She drove 90 miles to get my husband and I from an airport after my husband had an accident. dbahn(at(iw)dot)net

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  31. My dearest friend no longer lives in the same city, but we still chat all the time. And when we see each other in person it's like no time has passed between our last visit. mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. Don't you love that about long-term friendships?

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  32. My dearest friend in all the world was my maternal grandmother..I could tell her anything/everything, she never judged, always loved me no matter what.. with No conditions..no if and or but,,never told another soul anything I ever told her. I miss her, she's been gone 18 years but I still tell her anything/everything.. Next to her are my 2 daughters, then my mother & my aunt. nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Sheryl, you're so right -- relationships change but don't have to end with death

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  33. For me that is actually a hard choice: I have a small circle that helps and encourages each other regularly. We each have our time to help and be helped. We each bring different skills and experiences to the table. Can't remember when it started, it is just a part of life. cheers (at) MarjimManor (dot) com

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  34. Congratulations to our winners, Eileen and her BFF, also named Eileen! Thanks to all of you for joining in the fun.

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