Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Currently Reading...

I just finished reading Dash Away All by Christina Freeburn. This book is the third in the Merry and Bright Handcrafted Mystery series and was released yesterday!

Holiday crafter Merry Winters has a chance of a lifetime. She's been chosen to come to the set and provide hand crafted items for a Christmas movie starring none other than Luna Carmichael, the queen of Christmas. When Merry arrives in Indiana she discovers that things are not so holly and jolly. A series of pranks have been occurring on set, Marie, Luna's personal assistant who recommended Merry for the job, seems distant and suspicious, and Luna herself is more Scrooge than Mrs. Claus! When Merry discovers Marie dead, she's unconvinced it's an accident, and so is the Sheriff. There's much more going on than making Christmas movie magic and Merry is smack dab in the middle of it. The question is, will she survive to craft another day?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake - A Spotlight & Giveaway

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake by R. L. Syme. This book is the fourth in the Matchbaker Mystery series and was released last month.

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries) by R.L. Syme

About Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake



Cozy Mystery 4th in Series  
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020) 
Number of Pages: 240 Digital ASIN: B0878RT482 
I never thought Edward would come back...
 
When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.
 
The Larcenous Lava Cake is book four in The Matchbaker Mysteries, a new cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.
 
RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake

About R. L. Syme

She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

Author Links:  
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rlsymeauthor/
Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeccaNation/  
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rlsyme/  
Twitter: @beck_a_tron  
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2xux8Ii  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6878258.R_L_Syme  

Purchase Link Amazon 

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Still Knife Painting - A Spotlight & Giveaway

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on a new series. Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon is the first book in the Paint & Shine Mystery series.

Still Knife Painting (A Paint & Shine Mystery) by Cheryl Hollon

About Still Life Painting

 

Still Knife Painting (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)  
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia—until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . .
 
After inheriting her uncle’s Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky—smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest—Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking.
 
To Miranda’s delight, Paint & Shine is a total success—until someone kills the cook. As the town’s outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she’s moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say “white lightning” . . .

About Cheryl Hollon


Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Kobo

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Friday, July 3, 2020

A Witch Hunt Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Cate Conte to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Cate writes the Full Moon Mystery series.WITCH HUNT is the first book in the series and was released this week.


Kathy: In WITCH HUNT we meet Violet Mooney who owns the Full Moon Crystal Shop. I love crystal and metaphysical shops. Unfortunately, not everyone does, as Violet soon discovers. Since the pandemic hit I've been lucky as my two favorite shops offer online shopping! Although it's not the same as being able to browse in person! Are you a fan of such shops?

CC: Hi Kathy! Thanks for having me! I am a HUGE fan of these shops - in fact, I’ve been doing curbside pickup at least once a month from one of my favorite local shops. And there are a couple of places online that I like as well. I could never have gone for three months without new crystals!


Kathy: I'm a crystal reader and have been collecting these wonderful stones for decades. Do you collect crystals too? Do you have any favorites? (A very difficult question, I know.)

CC: Oh gosh, so many favorites! Yes, I collect them and while I do have a number of favorites, I also love learning about new stones. For example, I recently discovered ruby fuchsite, which is a lovely greenish stone that has almost polka dots of other colors in it. It is wonderful for the heart chakra and emotional healing, and one of my new besties.

Otherwise, I love lapis lazuli, amethyst, moonstone and pyrite. I also have a lemurian blue onyx that has become a favorite.


Kathy: With the reemergence of family, comes a revelation and awakening of mysterious powers. Is Violet's magick based on a particular path?

CC: It’s not. I didn’t want to be beholden to rules, I just wanted to make this up as I went and have fun with it. I spent a lot of time in Salem, Mass. as a college student and learned about witches, and did study witchcraft for a while. But in the end I wanted to be able to take liberties with Violet’s world - that’s what fiction is all about, right?


Kathy: Like Violet, I also have a robust orange cat. Is Monty based on a real cat, or is he totally fictional?

CC: Orange cats are the best!! I used to be very involved in cat rescue and I fostered many cats over the years. I had one favorite foster, a big fat orange cat named Monty. I always regretted letting him go, but I was a failed foster to so many cats that I had to stop adopting! I found him a wonderful forever home but still think of him today, and this was my way of paying tribute to him.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

CC: The idea that in the end, justice is served and the world can be righted somewhat. I also love being able to visit friends who become like family over and and over, and cozy mystery series give us that.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

CC: I do love to write dark, and I am working on a suspense novel that I hope to (finally) share with the world. I’ve been working on it for a while, and with a day job and other contracts to fulfill it’s a slower process than I would like. But “dark” is my first love and I will get it done.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

CC: The Full Moon Mysteries chronicles the life of crystal shop owner Violet Mooney, a 32-year-old witch who has no idea she’s a witch…until her long-lost mother shows up in town on one of the worst days of her life.

The Cat Cafe Mysteries feature Maddie James, who returns to her hometown of Daybreak Island for a funeral and gets embroiled in a murder case, a family problem and a whole lot of drama - and winds up staying and opening a cat cafe in her Grandpa Leo’s family home.

The Pawsitively Organic Mysteries (Liz Mugavero) feature Stan Connor, a PR executive who gets job eliminated and turns to small-town life with her Maine coon cat. Next thing she knows, she’s a gourmet pet food chef and chief murder-solver…who would’ve guessed?


Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

CC: I love all my characters! It’s like picking your favorite dog or cat…but I would have to say I am partial to Cyril Pierce, a quirky reporter in my Pawsitively Organic Mysteries (under Liz Mugavero). As a former reporter, I love having newspeople in my books and Cyril really took on a more major role in the series than I’d ever intended, even partnering up with Stan to solve a couple of crimes.


Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

CC: When my editor and I were talking about the premise for this book, he referenced Bewitched - and it completely clicked for me. I loved that show, and the idea of a mother and daughter witch team was completely bewitching to me (pun intended). Also I always wanted to be able to wiggle my nose and be somewhere else, so I knew I had to work that into the story. It’s not so much a nose wiggle, but my characters either touch some kind of a talisman or a piece of jewelry to teleport.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

CC: I knew since I was a kid that I wanted to be a published author - I even wrote an essay about it in the fifth grade. Being published with multiple series is really a dream come true.


Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

CC: This is a fun question and my answer seems to change every time I am asked! Current mood: James Baldwin, Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

CC: Laura Lippman’s LADY IN THE LAKE.


Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

CC: I love to read (no surprise there) and I love crystals, as I already mentioned. I also love to workout, do yoga, hang out with my dogs and cats, and I am a total beach girl.


Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

CC: Coffee, potato chips, berries, kombucha.


Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

CC: Yes! Book four in the Cat Cafe series, A Whisker of a Doubt, will be out later this year, and I am hard at work finishing book two in the Full Moon series.


Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

CC: Getting to meet all the amazing readers! I am so thankful for all of you.

****************************************************************************

Witch Hunt (A Full Moon Mystery) by Cate Conte

About Witch Hunt


Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Publisher: 
Kensington (June 30, 2020)  
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Murder isn’t always crystal-clear . . . especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.
 
Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s "voodoo shop," the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.
 
But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self—and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it . . .

About Cate Conte


Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. Cate is the author of the new Full Moon Mysteries for Kensington and writes the Cat Cafe Mystery series for Minotaur Books. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

Author Links:
Webpage 
Twitter 
GoodReads 
Facebook
Instagram  

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo

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I hope you had a chance to read the review I posted Monday, but if you haven't, you can follow this link! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody by Barbara Ross. This book is the first in the Jane Darrowfield Mystery series and was released yesterday!

After taking early retirement Jane Darrowfield traveled, worked on her garden, and organized her photos; enjoying all the things she didn't have time for. Then she started helping friends with little problems. Working in the corporate word prepared her dealing with life's little conflicts and annoyances and Jane discovered she was good at it.  Yet she hesitated when asked to solve a problem at a 55 plus community, especially when the director was so vague about what the actual problem was. But when he didn't balk at the fee she requested, Jane decided to look into the matter. What she found was not so much an active community for older residents, but high school revisited, with its cliques and mean-spiritedness in residents closer to 70 than 17! Will Jane be able to sort out the root cause of the problem before things at Walden Spring get even more out of hand?

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Sprinkling of Murder - A Recipe, Review, & Giveaway

I'm so happy to give Daryl Wood Gerber the reins at Cozy Up With Kathy today. Daryl's latest book is A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, the first book in her new Fairy Garden Mystery series.


Honestly, I didn't think I'd be writing a new series again, but I am and I’m having so much fun developing the characters and digging into their lives, their loves, and their heartaches.

Here’s a little bit about the first Fairy Garden Mystery, A SPRINKLING OF MURDER.

Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into one’s life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she's starting a book club tea. But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .

*

If you’re wondering why there are recipes in the book . . . Open Your Imagination serves tea on the weekends. There’s a harpist and delicious goodies like scones and muffins.  Sometimes the teas follow a fairy garden class. Sometimes they center around a book club. What could be more fun for a fairy to attend than an event involving books? Fairies adore reading.

Courtney is not always the baker. A lovely woman who works at the bakery in the courtyard where Open Your Imagination is located bakes for the weekend festivities. And Courtney’s good friend, Meaghan Brownie, offers up recipes, too. Given her last name, she’s always trying to devise new brownie recipes. This is one of hers. Enjoy.


Peanut Butter Brownie
(serves 9-16)

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, softened butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir well. 

In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir until well combined.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan. You might need your fingers to press down and make even. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, if desired.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 until a toothpick comes out clean.

 **********************************************************************
Review


A SPRINKLING OF MURDER by Daryl Wood Gerber
The First Fairy Garden Mystery

Courtney Kelly wanted some magic back in her life, as well as a measure of independence. So she left her father's landscaping business to start her own gardening shop, one that specialized in fairy gardens. Hard work and a positive attitude, along with a little something special, have helped Open Your Imagination thrive, but when she discovers her business neighbor dead in her shop, Courtney finds her store in trouble and herself a suspect. While Courtney never had a problem with the dead dog groomer, several other people did, including his wife and his landlord. Did they have something to do with his untimely death? Or was Courtney's neighbor, who decries that fairies aren't real and has been trying to undermine Open Your Imagination, behind the murder? With a sneaky reporter, an overprotective father, and a nosy councilwoman trying to get involved it's a good thing that Courtney has a very unique helper.

I was thrilled when I heard that there was going to be a mystery series with a fairy garden theme. I love fairies and have been wanting to create a fairy garden for some time. With A SPRINKLING OF MURDER Daryl Wood Gerber has created a wonderful world and inspired me to play in the dirt and welcome fairies to my garden and my life.

A SPRINKLING OF MURDER is adroitly penned with enough suspects to provide several twists and turns to the story. Aside from the possible villains, a variety of other interesting characters inhabit the Fairy Garden Mystery series; the best friend whose last name is Brownie and thus wants to sample every type of brownie made, the easy going old high school friend who will become a love interest, and Courtney Kelly herself, the likable protagonist with a good heart who wants to spread her wings. In fact, her heart may be too good. Courtney goes above and beyond to befriend those who vilify her making her a much better person than I! But my favorite character has to be the mischievous fairy Fiona. Yes, there are real fairies to be found amongst the pages here. Fiona is a feisty fairy determined to help Courtney...and have fun as she tries to get back in good graces with the fairy queen.

A SPRINKLING OF MURDER is an enchanting mystery that asks you to believe. Believe, not only in fairies, but in yourself and the intrinsic goodness of people.

 **************************************************************************

Sprinkling Of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber

About A Sprinkling of Murder

 

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)  
Paperback: 304 pages 
Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .
 
Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she's starting a book club tea.
 
But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .

About Daryl Wood Gerber


Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries. In June 2020, her new series, the Fairy Garden Mysteries debuts. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes the Aspen Adams novels of suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, and read, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links:
WEBSITE: http://www.darylwoodgerber.com  
FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/darylwoodgerber  
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/darylwoodgerber  
BOOKBUB: http://bookbub.com/authors/daryl-wood-gerber  
YOUTUBE: http://youtube.com/woodgerb1
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/darylwoodgerber  
PINTEREST: http://pinterest.com/darylwoodgerber  
GOODREADS: http://goodreads.com/darylwoodgerber  
AMAZON: http://bit.ly/Daryl_Wood_Gerber_page  

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N -

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