Sunday, January 19, 2020

Lavender Toes - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Barbara Silkstone to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Barbara writes the Cold Cream Mystery series. Lavender Toes is the fifth book in the series.

Kathy: In Lavender Toes a murder victim is found in fields of lavender. I love herbs and lavender is definitely a favorite. I had a few plants growing beautifully, but sadly they all eventually died. Do you grow lavender yourself? If so, do you have a favorite variety?

BS: I’m a notorious plant-killer. I have some plastic succulent plants on my patio—but even they struggle to survive. I LOVE the smell of lavender and always have a bottle of lavender essential oils on hand. In researching lavender for my Cold Cream Murders series I came across a hardy variety called Grosso. Known for its fragrance it’s the most widely grown lavender in France. I may try Grosso in the spring. Maybe it will survive my black thumb.

Olive Peroni, the protagonist in my series, inherited a secret recipe for magical beauty cream from her grandmother. It requires honey from Soprano bees. These rare Italian bees buzzed from my imagination.

Kathy: Digby, the owner of the lavender field, is also a beekeeper. I'm so glad you talk about the importance of bees and increase awareness on the subject. Have you ever considered keeping bees yourself?

BS: I would love to keep bees but I live in an apartment complex. My neighbors are very nice but I think beehives outside my patio would test the limits of their neighborliness. Actually, that would make a good subplot.

Most people aren’t aware that bees are important to our survival. Bees pollinate seventy of the top 100 human food crops, which supply about 90% of the world’s nutrition. Scientists know that worldwide bee colonies are collapsing because of pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, air pollution, global warming, and more. We really must save the bees.

Readers, please leave a comment to qualify for my drawing. I am giving away two Save the Bees sweatshirts at the end of my book tour.

Kathy: Every book in your Cold Cream Murder Mystery series includes a recipe for a homemade beauty product. How did you get interested in making your own products? Do you have a favorite item you make often?

BS: I became interested in making my own products when I started to read the labels on the skin and hair products I was using. When I researched the ingredients in many store-bought goods, I decided it would be safer to make my own. When Olive and Lizzy teamed up in Glossy Lips, it seemed like they would be the perfect gals to share my simple recipes.

I guess my favorite item—a holdover from my teen years—is my egg facial. I usually slather it on once a week. It’s easy and works wonders. No one believes I’m 102 years old.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

BS: Drew is the keyword. Nancy Drew. I have always loved cozies. I’d don’t like to read about violence or cruelty. I’d rather dwell in St. Mary Mead or Cabot’s Cove.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

BS: Yes, I do.

Besides my Victorian cozy series Florence Nightingale, I also write Jane Austen light-hearted variations both Contemporary and Regency. I also write Wendy Darlin Capers, magical comedies and fairytale based novels. I have over forty books on Amazon and about twenty-five on Audible. My books are always clean and wholesome—never dark and gritty.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

BS: The Cold Cream Murders: Cozies—Glossy Lips, Smokey Eyes, Soap on a Rope, Sun Scream, Lavender Toes and Grams’ Christmas Baby. Florida based madcap comedy mysteries.

Florence Nightingale series: Cozies—The Giggling Corpse, The Killer Corset, and The Cheeky Coroner. I hope to add to this lovely series in 2020.

Wendy Darlin Capers feature a klutzy female Indiana Jones who joins her handsome but absent-minded archaeologist leading man in seeking and returning stolen antiquities. The zany adventures include: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, and Vulgarian Vamp.

Mister Darcy series: Nine contemporary adventures that take place in London. Darcy is a secret member of the modern day Knights Templar. Billionaire Darcy endures Lizzy’s help on his adventures and is always glad he did.

Regency standalones: all feature Darcy and Elizabeth. My Fair Lizzy, Darcy, Lizzy, and Emma, Serendipity, The Gallant Vicar, The Gallant Vicar Returns, and Darcy, Lizzy, and Lady Susan.

The Witches of Longbourn: A screwball Regency romp. Darcy accidentally turns the Prince Regent into a frog. It takes three books to save the English monarchy. Darcy’s Royal Dilemma, Lizzy’s Love Apprentice, Darcy’s Magical Message.

Standalone fairy tale riffs: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Zo White and the Seven Morphs, Cold Case Morphs.

The Adventures of a Love Investigator: The true story of my adventures traveling the country interviewing men about women. Genre: Bad idea that got out of hand.

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

BS: I guess my favorite would be Grams Dingler in my Cold Cream Murders series. She’s become very real to me. I can see her dressing in her 1960s outfits and brandishing her brass candlestick as she pursues evildoers.

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

BS: My life experiences have inspired all my series. Each major mistake I made I filed in my memory palace for use in my “someday” novels. I was three years old when I ran away from home the first time. I spent most of my pre-kindergarten years in the hall closet convinced I could turn into a black panther. I continued to experience my childhood until by age 18 I was delivering babies in Brazil with the Peace Corps. And that was just my formative years. I have lots of material for lots more books.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

BS: I decided to learn what men really think about women. I traveled the country personally interviewing guys for what I thought would be a one-year expedition into their minds and hearts. Six years later I was still listening to men. After 527 interviews, I called it quits. It was then I realized I had to share some of what I learned so I published The Adventures of a Love Investigator. That book worked out nicely and so I continued to take my crazy adventures and turn them into comedy mysteries.

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

BS: Neil Gaiman, Oscar Wilde, John Cleese, and Jude Law. I don’t think Jude has published anything but it’s my party!

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

BS: Re-reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I enjoyed it so much the first time I treated myself to reading it again. Also, I’m reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

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

BS: I sew, knit, and crochet. Until I fractured my spine, I used to enjoy hot air ballooning, falconry, and attending cat shows.

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

BS: This is embarrassing but here goes: Haagen Dazs Butter Pecan ice cream. Hellman’s mayonnaise. French Market coffee with chicory, and Belgian Mini Cream Puffs. For the last six months, I have been seriously addicted to those mini cream puffs. They just pop in my mouth and squish down all creamy and sweet. I believe I need an intervention.

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

BS: Right now I’m working on Book 6 in the Cold Cream Murders. The working title is Makeover Murders. I’m also plotting another adventure for Florence Nightingale and Poppy.

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

BS: Making people laugh. I enjoy knowing I have taken readers on a happiness journey.


Lavender Toes (A Cold Cream Murder Mystery) by Barbara Silkstone

About Lavender Toes

Cozy Mystery 5th in Series  
Independently Published (December 1, 2019) 
Paperback: 174 pages
Someone dear to Olive is found dead—toes up and barefooted—in Digby’s Bees lavender field. Olive and Lizzy team up with WonderDog to find the killer. Digby’s hives are home to the wondrous Soprano bees. The little buzzers are the source of the secret ingredient that powers their Nonna’s Cold Cream—a fountain of youth in a jar.
Finding the killer becomes more of a challenge as the gals protect Digby’s bees from a determined land developer who wants the beekeeper’s farm. The clock ticks as saving the honeybees becomes every bit as important as finding the cousin-killer.
While Olive and Lizzy buzz about, Grams, nonagenarian ace reporter for the Silverfish Gazette, takes on the story of a diamond heist in nearby Sarasota. Can the gals protect Grams from another near catastrophe or can the feisty lady handle it alone?
Help the Cold Cream gals solve the mystery of the Lavender Toes while once again bailing Grams out of trouble. And what about those bees?
Every book comes with a recipe for a homemade beauty product.

About Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone's most current series is COLD CREAM MURDERS ~ GLOSSY LIPS, SMOKEY EYES ~SOAP ON A ROPE. Coming this fall Book 5 in the series: LAVENDER TOES. This series will have at least 6 books when complete. The adventures take place in the imaginary burg of Starfish Cove, Florida ~ a place near and dear to Silkstone's hometown of Redington Beach on the Gulf of Mexico just north of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Barbara currently lives in Central Florida with her eccentric kitty who adores Liam Neeson and chasing lizards (the cat, not Barbara) :)

Silkstone is the best-selling author of both Regency Pride and Prejudice variations, including the popular the MISTER DARCY SERIES OF COMEDIC MYSTERIES ~ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE contemporary variations. All her books are light-hearted adventures based on Jane Austen's timeless tales of love denied and love discovered. "Feel good" tales to warm your heart.

She is also the author of the Wendy Darlin Comedy Mystery series. Five coffee-snorting tales that combine Cozy with outrageous adventures. Plus a mixed bag of standalone cozy comedy mysteries: Zo White and the Seven Morphs, Cold Case Morphs, The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland ... and more.  

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Hems & Homicide - A Review & Giveaway


HEMS & HOMICIDE by Elizabeth Penney
The First Apron Shop Mystery

Iris Buckley's online store selling aprons and vintage linens has been a success. Now she's partnering with her grandma to open a brink and mortar store in Blueberry Cove, Maine. The two have their work cut out for them, for though their storefront has great bones, it's a bit decrepit. Still, they're not afraid of stained ceilings, creaky floors, and spiders. The skeleton in the basement, however, is another matter. Grammie believes the remains are those of her friend Star Moonshine, a young woman who disappeared in the early 1970s. News of the skeleton spreads quickly and Iris is soon receiving threats. Not one to back down she's determined to not only open her store, but discover just what happened to Star all those years ago.

The first Apron Shop Mystery introduces readers to Iris Buckley, a nice, somewhat klutzy and socially awkward woman with a penchant wearing for mid century modern clothing. She's also not afraid to stand up for herself and is willing to defend herself and her friends. Iris is surrounded by a cadre of good friends and her loving grandmother who make good compatriots in their first encounter with murder. Blueberry Cove, Maine, a small town on the rise, makes a charming setting and vivid descriptions make me want to visit.

I really like that the mystery starts with a cold case. The skeleton is easily identified, but no one knows her real name. I appreciate how Iris and her friends piece together the puzzle of who Star Moonshine really is with old memories, pictures, diaries, and research. And I love how that research led to a unique former commune with a Shakespearean theme and my favorite characters, Alfie, Trooper, and Bacon. I certainly hope we see more of them in future books!

With a multilayered plot and unique characters with flair HEMS & HOMICIDE makes a solid start to a new series.


Hems & Homicide (Apron Shop Series) by Elizabeth Penney

About Hems & Homicide


Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 31, 2019)  
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Welcome to the first in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney, set in the quaint village of Blueberry Cove, Maine where an expert seamstress turned amateur sleuth is getting measured for murder. . .
Iris Buckley is sew ready for a change. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Iris decides to stay in her Maine hometown to help out her widowed grandmother, Anne—and bring her online hand-made apron designs to real-time retail life. Her and Anne’s shop, Ruffles & Bows, is set to include all the latest and vintage linen fashions, a studio for sewing groups and classes, and a friendly orange cat. The only thing that they were not planning to have on the property? A skeleton in the basement.
Anne recognizes the remains of an old friend, and when a second body shows up in the apron shop—this time their corrupt landlord, whom Anne had been feuding with for decades—she becomes a prime suspect. Now, it’s up to Iris to help clear her name. Enlisting the help of her old high-school crush Ian Stewart who, like certain fabrics, has only gotten better-looking with age and her plucky BFF Madison Morris, Iris must piece together an investigation to find out who the real killer is. . .and find a way to keep her brand-new business from being scrapped in the process.

About Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is an author, entrepreneur, and local food advocate living in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In addition to writing full-time, she operates a small farm. Elements that often appear in her novels include vintage summer cottages, past/present mysteries, and the arts. She is represented by the fabulous Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic.
Elizabeth's writing credits include over twenty mysteries, short stories, and hundreds of business articles. A former consultant and nonprofit executive, she holds a BS and an MBA. She's also written screenplays with her musician husband.
She loves walking in the woods, kayaking on quiet ponds, trying new recipes, and feeding family and friends.

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Twitter: @liz2penney  
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Hems & Homicide by Elizabeth Penney. This book is the first in the Apron Shop Mystery series and was released last month.

Iris Buckley's online store selling aprons and vintage linens has been a success. Now she's partnering with her grandma to open a brink and mortar store in Blueberry Cove, Maine. The two have their work cut out for them, for though their storefront has great bones, it's a bit decrepit. Still, they're not afraid of stained ceilings, creaky floors, and spiders. The skeleton in the basement, however, is another matter. Grammie believes the remains are those of her friend Star Moonshine, a young woman who disappeared in the early 1970s. News of the skeleton spreads quickly and Iris is soon receiving threats. Not one to back down she's determined to not only open her store, but discover just what happened to Star all those years ago.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Silenced in Sequins - A Review & Giveaway


SILENCED IN SEQUINS by Debra Sennefelder
The Second Resale Boutique Mystery

Kelly Quinn is not in the Christmas mood. Her dreams of increased business and popularity after receiving several items on consignment from a reality TV star turn into a nightmare when the two dueling reality "ladies" battle after one shows up wearing the other's cast off clothing! When one of them vows to destroy Kelly's business, Kelly wants to find a way to make things better, but what she finds is the Long Island Lady's dead body! Now the prime suspect wants Kelly to help her, the producer wants her on the show, and the detective in charge wants her away from her investigation and her brother! All that combined with discovering a secret from her late Granny that could uproot Kelly and all she's worked for, it's no wonder Kelly can't find her holiday spirit.

SILENCED IN SEQUINS deals with secrets. Not only do the cast and crew of the Long Island Ladies have secrets, Kelly's late granny has a whopper of one. Indeed the plot hinges upon how people deal with these secrets.

The second Resale Boutique Mystery showcases a wide variety of characters, those you like, those that pique your interest, and those you love to hate, or at least really really dislike. Kelly is likeable. She's trying hard to build a business for herself, repair relationships with family and friends, and make people proud of her. At times, however, I find myself yelling at her for her lack of good judgement and annoying thought process. Still, she's evolving and I hope she continues to grow as the series progresses.

SILENCED IN SEQUINS brings together guilty pleasures, lifestyles of the rich and wanna be famous, and murder in a charming mystery.


Silenced in Sequins (A Resale Boutique Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder

About Silenced in Sequins

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Publisher: Lyrical Press (January 7, 2020)  
Print Length 256 Pages 
Former Manhattan fashion buyer Kelly Quinn is turning her grandmother’s outdated consignment shop into her quaint hometown’s hot spot for upscale style—until her second-hand couture makes the scene of an ice-cold crime . . .
With her bottom line looking a little threadbare, Kelly is going all out to promote the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique. She’s counting on Black Friday to recover her start-up expenses—including a website and an advertising blitz. But the publicity is overkill when two warring divas, and one sparkly evening dress, thrust Kelly and her fledgling business into a scandal she can’t afford.
The gorgeous garment came to Kelly from the walk-in closets of Wendy Johnson, one of reality TV’s Long Island Ladies. When Wendy’s former co-star, Diana Delacourte, graces a Christmas gala in the dress that was once her rival’s, a very public catfight ensues. But is Wendy to blame when sequin-clad Diana turns up dead? Dodging the show’s ever-present cameras—and a detective’s stern warnings—Kelly hunts for a killer before the powerful celebrity-suspect makes good on her threats and rips her to shreds . . .

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person. Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.  

Author Links: WebsiteFacebookGoodreads  

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Bound for Murder - A Review & Giveaway


BOUND FOR MURDER by Victoria Gilbert
The Fourth Blue Ridge Library Mystery

Sunny's grandparents are always mellow and full of light and love, after all, they ran a commune on what's now their now organic farm in the 1960s. But the county dredging up the creekbed adjoining their farm has them getting upset. The noise and possible destruction of trees is nothing compared to what the workers discover- a human skeleton. Everyone is quick to blame the grands, especially when the remains turn out to be those of a former commune member. Librarian Amy Webber agrees to give former commune members a heads up that a visit from law enforcement officials could be imminent while also assisting the Sheriff with some research. However, when a former commune member is shot and Amy is warned to stay away from the investigation, she decides to simply be more discrete. Will her research uncover the truth before she's put out of circulation?

The danger of old secrets coming to light is the crux of this fourth Blue Ridge Library Mystery. Blame, regret, and shame can fester. Things thought left far behind can reappear and wreak havoc on the life you've made, opening up old wounds and causing new hurts.

I truly enjoy a novel where an old crime is the heart of the mystery. I appreciate when most of the suspects are of a certain age. Old timers can be just as dangerous as the youth, and Kurt is a prime example of that.

Relationships continue to play a major role here. Amy and Richard hit their stride while planning a wedding with"help" from almost everyone-from strangers to family. How they deal with Richard's mother and two mischievous scene stealers is stellar! Then there are the relationships between friends, couples, and family, all providing even more meat to the story.

An intricately plotted mystery with lots of red herrings and subtle clues, BOUND FOR MURDER shows that past decisions can not only impact you, but those around you. Who knew research could get you into so much trouble?


Bound for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

About Bound for Murder

Cozy Mystery 4th in Series  
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (January 7, 2020)  
Hardcover: 304 pages
Blue Ridge library director Amy Webber learns it wasn't all peace and love among the "flower children" when a corpse is unearthed on the grounds of a 1960s commune.
Taylorsford Public Library director Amy Webber's friend "Sunny" Fields is running for mayor. But nothing puts a damper on a campaign like an actual skeleton in a candidate's closet. Sunny's grandparents ran a commune back in the 1960s on their organic farm. But these former hippies face criminal charges when human remains are found in their fields--and a forensic examination reveals that the death was neither natural nor accidental.
With Sunny's mayoral hopes fading, Amy sets her wedding plans aside, says "not yet" to the dress, and uses her research skills to clear her best friend's family. Any of the now-elderly commune members could have been the culprit. As former hippies perish one by one, Amy and her friends Richard, Aunt Lydia, and Hugh Chen pursue every lead. But if Amy can't find whoever killed these "flower children," someone may soon be placing flowers on her grave.

About Virginia Gilbert

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina. This is her fourth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

A Cozy Corgi Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Mildred Abbot to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Mildred pens the Cozy Corgi Mystery series.

Kathy: Watson is the star of the Cozy Corgi Mysteries. Why choose that breed of dog for your series?

MA: Kathy, thank you so much for having me, I’m so excited and thankful to be here!

A corgi was a natural fit for Watson. I’ve had four different corgis throughout my life and have fully fallen in the love with the breed. My first pair was Dunkyn and Dolan, my second was Alastair and Winifred. Winifred is still with us and going strong (her name will sound familiar, as she allowed me to borrow it for the main human character of the series). Watson’s personality was based off of Alastair, though he has many traits that most corgis share—food driven, stubborn, and just big fluff balls of shedding hair!

Kathy: The Cozy Corgi Mysteries also include recipes. Do you like to cook? What are some of your favorite dishes to make?

MA: I do! I LOVE to cook and bake. When I’m feeling really ambitious, I love to make homemade pasta, though those days are few and far between lately. I also bake a ton, and make elaborately decorated cakes each year for my nephew’s birthday. I find cooking and baking extremely relaxing and both have become a form of art to me, as I’m able to experiment fairly successfully a lot of the time, so it’s fun to simply deviate from recipes and let the moment take over. Part of what I love about a lot of cozy mysteries is the focus on food. When I’m not eating, I’m thinking about eating, or planning what to eat next. It’s a family thing, and we clearly need help!

Kathy: It's Winifred Page's dream to open a bookshop, a dream she actualizes as the series progresses. Have you ever thought of owning your own shop? Would it be a bookstore?

MA: Totally! Oh, so much. There’s been many times when I’m in a coffee shop that I picture buying it and turning it into a bookshop, bakery combo. Exactly like in the series. Actually, the cozy corgi bookshop is a combo of two of my favorite bookshops, one in Estes Park and the other in Aspen.

Kathy: In Quarrelsome Quartz, the seventh book in the series, there's a new shop in town. Sadly, not everyone is charmed by Chakras, a store featuring crystals and tarot readings. Personally this is just my sort of shop and I can see myself being a frequent customer. Do you enjoy the offerings of such a shop in reality?

MA: I love that you picked out that particular book out of the whole series as it was the hardest one to write for that very reason. Without going into to detail, I was raised in an EXTREEMLY conservative home and every item in that store would’ve been seen as overtly sinful. However, I’m very much not the person I was raised to be. In Estes, there was a very big mountainy hippy population (to put it how my father would’ve) that was influential in many ways. There were stores very much like Chakras in downtown Estes Park (though not as fancy). I wanted to acknowledge that aspect of Estes and its history. I also wanted to push the envelope a bit and give a voice to those who live differently than the mainstream. That aspect was the difficult part of that book, as the first draft came across a bit preachy and after-school-special of ‘don’t judge,’ etc. I actually had to go back and rewrite to keep it cozy… not to mention, when any piece of art begins to beat an issue to death instead of simply letting the characters and story speak in their own voice, I find that a weakness, so it was a blessing to have to re-write and strengthen the story-line, characters, and that possibly gray area (depending on your perspective) that I think is so beautifully hard and wonderful in real life.

Kathy: Several books in the series take place during the holidays, notably Halloween and Christmas. I know I enjoy books with a holiday theme. Do you prefer to set a mystery during a holiday? As for holidays themselves, which do you prefer more, Halloween or Christmas?

MA: Honestly, I find them the holiday themes the hardest to write, they are a bit more constraining, especially the Christmas ones. To be able write about murder, ongoing plot lines and still keep it Christmassy and upping the cozy factor for that holiday is a juggling act of momentous proportions. But, really… what could be better at Christmas than a Christmas cozy? I love them! I always try to picture them like a Christmas special on tv and want to capture that wintery, magical sensation. The Halloween ones are a bit easier and more fun to write, as the ‘spooky’ factor can play in a bit more and the fall flavors, scents, and themes just seem to fit. In real life, while I enjoy Halloween, I have a genuine (maybe ridiculous) fear of masks and scary movies, so I much prefer Christmas.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

MA: I grew up reading them, though I didn’t know it at the time. I was addicted to Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and the Mandie mysteries. As an adult, I was constantly watching cozy mysteries though I didn’t realize the ‘genre’ until later. My favorite being Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and then Father Brown. While I read and love many other genres, it’s the cozy mysteries I turn to for comfort. When things get hard, scary, or I’m simply needing to sink into something lovely, charming, and comforting, I turn to cozy mysteries. I know some people look at writing them as pure fluff and maybe not all that important. However, cozy mysteries have helped me (and continue to) through some of the hardest times in my life. I’m so thankful for gifts those authors have given me. I can’t imagine any higher purpose to writing than to make someone’s life better, brighter, and a bit happier. I hope my cozies offer that same thing to readers.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

MA: I do! I also write under the names Brandon Witt and Rosalind Abel in the romance genres. I also plan to write in a few other genres, under other names as well, in fantasy and young adult areas. (That a few years away, however.)

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

MA: Oh, lord! Every author’s worst nightmare question. This and blurbs. Why are we so horrible at it? LOL!

The Cozy Corgi series centers around a woman and her dog moving to a small town to live her dream of opening a bookshop. Murders happen and she has a knack of solving them. But, that’s all just the window dressing. The series is really about the complexities of life and family and discovering the beauty of simply being who you are, and finding satisfaction and challenges in where you are and where life takes you. Oh, and about corgis and pastries, as well, obviously!

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

MA: Watson, the corgi, of course, has to have the top spot. But, beyond that, the main character, Winifred (Fred) Page. As mentioned before, I also write in other genres. While I’ve always loved my main characters, it’s constantly the side characters who steal my heart by the end of the books. I adore my side characters in the Cozy Corgi and I think they truly make the books something special. However, for the first time ever, my main character is truly my favorite. Winifred is a full person. She is kind, brave, strong, determined, idealistic. She’s also stubborn, has a temper, is insecure. She is smart and has a good gut. She also can jump to conclusions and be wrong. She isn’t the current acceptable standard of beauty—she’s too tall, too heavy, too… a million things and she loves that about herself. She’s also insecure about it sometimes. She makes up her mind about won’t be dissuaded no matter how hard or scary something is. She also waffles from time to time and struggles with trusting her gut. She grows and changes and stays true to who she is.

I love and adore Winifred Wendy Page. I think I’m more proud of her than any character I’ve ever written and I love her as if she was sitting right next to me. This is one of those comments that make authors sound like we’re crazy, but I don’t feel like I invented Winifred, it’s more like she arrived and I’m simply getting to know her.

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

MA: The town. I lived in Estes Park for several years and visited often in family vacations as a child. I couldn’t picture a better setting for cozy mysteries than this beautiful, little tourist trap of a mountain town. It’s like it was designed for this very thing.

Beyond that, Watson, the corgi (based on my sweet, timid Alastair) informed much of the direction I would take. Alastair passed on after I’d written the fifth book, and it’s been such a gift to have Watson to visit so often. In so many ways, it’s like Alastair is still with me.

Finally, maybe readers will like this, maybe they won’t, but it’s true, so… remember how I said side characters often stole my heart in other books? Well, Winifred is such the case. In another book I wrote, under another name, I fell in love with a side character name Wendy Bennett, and quite literally mourned that I couldn’t focus more on her throughout the book and couldn’t find out more about her. When I thought of this series, I knew I could finally give her the life she deserved and could discover the kind of woman she really was. She may have a different name and different setting, but she has the same body and the same soul, and I’m so glad I get to spend time with her and Watson. It’s a joy!

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

MA: That was never a question, and was the intention from conception. I’ve wanted to write since I was a sophomore in high school and I fought hard for that dream for the next two decades. I’m thankful for the privilege every single day!

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

MA: That’s easy!

JK Rowling, Kelley Armstrong, JR Ward, and Nora Roberts. Actually that’s not so easy, as I want to keep typing names, but those are my top four.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

MA: I’m reading the latest two books of the Peridale Café series by Agatha Frost. I’m ALWAYS reading her books, thankfully, she writes faster than I can read, so I never have to leave that cozy mystery series. If you’ve not checked that series out, please do. It’s my favorite. (Also reading the latest in Angela Peppers Wisteria Witches series. I adore her as well.)

I’m a HUGE audiobook fan. I just finished Nora Robert’s Rise of Magicks, the finale of The Chronicles of the One trilogy, and getting ready to start JR Ward’s latest installment into the Black Dagger Brotherhood universe.

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

MA: Of course! Cooking, photography, and drawing / coloring. I also spend a huge amount of time on physical fitness (both for physical and mental well-being—though you won’t know it by the holiday weight gain) and with my darling dogs, Winifred and Winston.

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

MA: Coffee, prepared meals (I cook in large batches, separate, and freeze into individual portions), Greek yogurt (Parfaits, yum!), and carbs!

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

MA: YES!!!! My genuine hope is that the Cozy Corgi simply keeps going. I’d love for it to go on for another 20-30 books or more. I’m also planning two other cozy series. The first of those should begin in the middle of 2020, Cornelia’s Casserole Caravan (bet you can guess what kind of recipes you’ll find in those). It will be a limited series of an older woman who operates a meals-on-wheels type business and solves mystery with her sister and best friend. Think… golden girls meets Nancy Drew. For those of you who read the Cozy Corgi, you’ve already met these three women in Killer Keys.

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

MA: The planning a new story and/or series and holding the final paperback in my hands are equally magical. But, really, simply being an author is the best thing about being an author. I’d dreamed and fought and sacrificed for so, so, so long, that every moment of this is pure fairy-tale quality—even the scary and hard moments. The fact that people take the chance to read my words and then want to read them some more is beyond humbling, and I can’t express even a modicum of my gratitude.


Cozy Corgi Mysteries by Mildred Abbott

About the Cozy Corgi Mysteries

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Independently published (December 5, 2017) 
Paperback: 280 pages ISBN-10: 1973449293 ISBN-13: 978-1973449294 Digital ASIN: B077XMYWNQ 
Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, delightful bakeries, a cozy bookstore… and murder.
Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the Reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small-town life, tourists, and living close to her loveable mother, Phyllis, and hippy stepfather, Barry.
When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dust bunnies and spiders… not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen. The local police have an easy suspect—Barry. Determined to prove quirky Barry innocent of murder, Fred puts on her detective hat, and with Watson by her side, she explores her new town and gets acquainted with her fellow shopkeepers. Could one of her friendly neighbors be the real culprit? And what would be the motive for killing the owner of the Sinful Bites candy store? The secrets Fred discover put her at odds with the local police sergeant and threaten her cozy future in Estes.
With snow falling outside, all Fred wants to do is curl up by the fire with a good book and Watson snuggled at her feet. But before she can begin her new life and put her plans for her bookshop into action, Fred and Watson have a mystery to solve…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable lemon bars.)
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Independently published (December 17, 2017) 
Paperback: 276 pages 
It’s Christmas in Estes Park, Colorado: cozy fires, twinkling lights, soft snowfall, and… murder.
The winter holidays in charming Estes Park lulls Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, into thoughts of spiced chai and gingerbread as they settle into their new home. Fred’s dream bookshop is becoming a reality, and with Christmas only days away, her only concerns are spending time with family, enforcing Watson’s diet, and finding the perfect gifts.
The toy store beckons Fred and her friend Katie, who dash in out of the cold, during a shopping spree to discover handmade toys, cuddly stuffed animals… and a dying man on the floor.
When Katie’s desperate attempts to save the man ends in her being taken in for his murder, Fred once again dons her detective hat. She puts aside her Christmas list and—with Watson sniffing around—begins a list of suspects. But as quickly as clues point to one person, new discoveries shift the spotlight to another.
With Katie’s freedom in the balance, Fred has little time to think about gifts or to enjoy the holiday lights and music. A killer is on the loose, one who became violent in a picture-perfect Christmas toy shop, and Fred and Watson can’t begin to predict what might happen next. . .
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable gingerbread.)
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series  
Independently published (January 25, 2018) 
Paperback: 278 pages 
Rocky Mountain National Park has it all: rugged peaks, pine-scented forests, enchanting bird-watching locations, and… murder.
The Cozy Corgi bookshop finally opens, and Winifred Page and her headstrong corgi, Watson, are ready to welcome their first patrons. With her new best friend, Katie, creating heavenly pastries in the bakery on the top floor of the store, Fred’s dreams are all coming together in delicious and unexpected ways.
When Katie caters a meeting of the Feathered Friends Brigade and drags Fred along, they expect nothing more than loquacious chatter about birds as they endeavor to build a professional relationship with the owner of the wild bird shop. Fred and Katie are quickly roped into a moonlight snowshoeing hike in hopes of spotting a rare owl. While the endangered bird proves elusive… the murdered man in the snow is hard to miss.
Fred’s growing relationship with Sergeant Wexler hits a snag when he forbids her from donning her sleuth hat yet again. But Fred is a lot like her corgi—she doesn’t like being told what to do, even if it puts an end to a possible romance.
As Fred and Watson delve into the lives of the ornithological club members, the tangled birds’ nest of an investigation makes Fred wonder if she should have left this one to the police. But when feathers begin to fly, Fred has no choice but to flush out a killer…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable ham and cheese croissants.)
Cozy Mysteries 4th in Series  
Independently published (February 21, 2018)  
Paperback: 294 pages 
Opening the Cozy Corgi in Estes Park is a dream come true: small-town charm, fresh-baked bread, hours by the fire reading mysteries, and… murder.
For Winifred Page and her devoted corgi, Watson, the puzzle pieces of life are falling into place as they settle into their home in the Colorado mountains. Surrounded by family and friends, Fred begins to relax into the charm and beauty of being the owner of a bookshop and bakery.
The buzz of possible romance—though Fred wasn’t looking for a relationship—has quieted as one of her suitors is no longer a viable option while the other has moved into the friend zone. But all thoughts of romance, wanted or not, fly out the window when Fred finds a dead body in the Cozy Corgi bakery… again.
Things get stickier when Fred’s main suspect turns out to be a family member of one of the local police officers—the one who already despises Fred and her little dog. Determined not to let past grievances cloud her judgment, Fred tips her detective hat and pokes deeper into the murder investigation. But in a mystery that becomes smoke and mirrors, nothing is as it seems.
The revelations Fred unveils threaten not only her picture-perfect world but her very life….
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable sourdough bread.)
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series 
Independently published (April 27, 2018) 
Paperback: 300 pages 
With summer approaching, Estes Park is abuzz with flowers, baking, tourists, and… murder.
Tourist season is about to begin, and the lovely weather has Winifred Page and her corgi sidekick, Watson, leaving the comfort of the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery to reluctantly attend a celebration at the Black Bear Roaster coffee shop. But a chill of uncertainty settles over Fred when a choking death doesn’t seem so accidental—despite the dry, hazardous scones.
As Fred and Police Sergeant Branson Wexler rekindle a possible romance, Fred shares her suspicions. But is she seeing murder at every turn? Learning to trust her gut feelings, Fred risks the ire of the coffee shop owner to investigate not one, but two, deaths.
As suspects and motives abound, old resentments are uncovered, and Fred and Watson build new friendships even as they follow the crumbs to find clues to a killer.
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable scones.)
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 
Independently published (June 24, 2018)  
Paperback: 310 pages ISBN-10: 1983240605 ISBN-13: 978-1983240607 Digital ASIN: B07DXSB1MM 
At the height of the summer season, Estes Park explodes with people, wildlife, fireworks, and… murder.
The Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery is buzzing with tourists, and Winifred Page and her quirky corgi, Watson, celebrate the Fourth of July picnicking with family and friends—of the human and four-legged variety. As summer blooms with romance for Fred and Sergeant Branson Wexler, murder lurks around the corner.
With a friend’s life in danger, Fred and Watson doggedly pursue the investigation, even as Fred finds herself once again at odds with the police department. But caring for two chaotic corgis while navigating emotions from the past in the midst of solving a mystery might be too much, and Fred hits a roadblock.
As relationships are tested and secrets exposed, Fred might lose more than one person she loves…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable dog treat bars, but are also human friendly.)
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series  
Independently published (July 31, 2018)  
Paperback: 338 pages
A New Age conference comes to Estes Park, Colorado, bringing a cacophony of tie-dye, crystals, and murder. . .
As summer draws to a close, the Spirit, Health, and Heart Conference arrives, just in time for Winifred’s sisters to open their store next to the Cozy Corgi Bookshop. To Fred’s surprise, Chakras turns out to be a beautiful addition to the delightful mountain town. The shop even has a room so pleasing in its crystal tranquility that Fred’s corgi, Watson, approves—and hardly anything impresses him.
But not everyone is charmed by the crystals, tarot readings, and messages of personal enlightenment. When a famous spiritualist is found dead, Chakras and the entire town is plunged into a conflict that touches the lives of those closest to Fred.
Although she is hesitant to become involved, it is simply not in the cards for Fred to sit out the investigation. As she and Watson embark on a journey that forces them to take a look into the darker shadows of Estes Park, Fred soon finds herself digging into the secrets of those she loves…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable quiches.)
Cozy Mystery 8th in Series 
Independently published (October 11, 2018) 
Paperback: 336 pages
Fall gives way to winter in the Colorado mountains, ushering in snow, pumpkin spice, the bugling of elk, and murder…
Estes Park bustles with tourists and locals for its Halloween celebration, and Winifred Page and her corgi sidekick, Watson, are enjoying their favorite pastries as they greet trick-or-treaters outside the Cozy Corgi Bookstore and Bakery. But a chilling afterhours break-in at the charming bookshop leaves Fred and Watson shaken, especially with its connection to a recent poaching incident in the national park. By daybreak, on a cool morning walk through town, Fred discovers the body of one of the poachers…
When Fred’s close friend, park ranger Leo Lopez, asks for her help in proving the innocence of a fellow ranger, Fred and Watson join the investigation. But with every uncovered clue hinting the police have the right person, Fred must uncover a mystery whose webs reach into the past and her experiences over the past year.
Even amid the beauty of the snow covering the mountains and the twinkling lights of the beginning holiday season, Fred and Watson won’t make it to Thanksgiving without facing dangers and revelations that will change their lives.
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable artisan garlic-infused bread.)
Cozy Mystery 9th in Series  
Independently published (November 15, 2018) 
Paperback: 338 pages 
Christmas week sparkles with holiday decorations, sweet potato pie, lively tourists, and murder…
Estes Park is a wonderland of twinkling lights and softly falling snow, and Winifred Page wants nothing more than to snuggle up in the mystery room with Watson at her feet—after all, Katie’s pastries are tempting pieces of heaven, especially beside a warm fire. But Christmas is fast approaching, and Fred is out on a cold morning visiting neighboring stores and planning a celebration at the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery.
Fred is welcoming the holiday spirit and appreciating the friendships, love, and support she’s found during her first year in her new hometown. But the night’s festivities become a scene for local drama, and by morning a trip to the magic shop to collect a present has Fred and Watson stumbling upon a murder scene. In an unexpected twist, Fred is asked to investigate, but the suspect list keeps growing, and every one of them would give Ebenezer Scrooge a run for his money.
With Fred still coming to grips with a recent betrayal, shifting through all the curmudgeons to crack the case may take more holiday magic than she and Watson possess.
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable sweet potato pie.)
Cozy Mystery 10th in Series 
Independently published (January 24, 2019) 

A celebratory weekend at a historic inn brings a blizzard, delicious cornbread, a cozy fire, and a murder… or two…
Winifred Page and her sidekick corgi, Watson, join an assortment of family and friends to celebrate her uncles’ anniversary at Baldpate Inn, nestled above Estes Park, Colorado. A blizzard is approaching, but the prospect of being snowed in means more time in the lovely mountain retreat—complete with river rock fireplaces, log cabin rooms, and a collection of thousands of keys from around the world. With the blizzard raging outside the rustic inn, the early arrival of a knitting group adds a touch of drama, but nothing can unravel the cozy party spirit. Even when the power goes out, the merrymaking continues by lantern light. But in the flickering shadows and twisting hallways, relationships transform, secrets are uncovered, and death comes calling. A weekend of glittering celebration unlocks a storm of change for Fred and Watson…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for scrumptious cornbread.)
Cozy Mystery 11th in the Series 
Independently published (March 5, 2019)  
Paperback: 308 pages 
Estes Park is fired up by a new coffee shop and pottery studio bringing chocolate espresso pastries, fierce competitive spirits, and murder…
Winifred Page might feel apprehension as she steps into the Koffee Kiln—Carla Beaker’s new charming coffee shop and pottery studio—but her corgi sidekick, Watson, welcomes the idea of a new place for snacks. With Carla’s disdain for the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery, Fred fears the caffeine will come with a side of drama. What she finds is delicious chocolate espresso scones, decaf coffee… and a dead body.
As Fred and Watson fire up their investigative savvy, they face down one of Estes Park’s cold-hearted matriarchs. To solve a murder, Fred must confront her own insecurities as she navigates the tangled coils of obsessions, business deals, and betrayals.
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for a sinfully delicious chocolate espresso torte.)
Cozy Mystery 12th in Series 
Independently published (May 10, 2019)
As the summer tourist season begins, downtown Estes Park bustles with celebrations, inventions, pastries, and murder…
Winifred Page’s twin brothers-in-law are finally ready to open their invention shop right next to the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery. But the noise level is keeping customers away from the bookshop and driving Fred and her corgi sidekick, Watson, out of their minds.
Adding to her stress, family and friends are gearing up to celebrate Fred’s fortieth birthday—not that she’s overly concerned about her age…. Mere hours after entering her new decade of life, resentments reach an explosive level as downtown Estes Park is rocked by a fearsome calamity.
As the shop owners of Elkhorn Avenue come to grips with the crisis, Fred and Watson are pulled into the investigation. While she’s unsure there’s a murder to solve, Fred soon discovers a host of secrets and lies….
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for tasty cream puffs.)
Cozy Mystery 13th in Series  
Independently published (August 5, 2019)  
Paperback: 386 pages 
Summer in Estes Park is filled with tourists, wildlife, pastries, and scandal…
The Chipmunk Chronicles, the local newspaper, has a new gossip column—and gossip is great for the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery. Though infuriated by the way people are treated by the column’s author, Winifred Page can’t help wondering about the outrageous revelations. Fred’s grumpy corgi, Watson, however, is more concerned with an endless search for treats than the rumors flying around town.
When Gerald Jackson, a less than brilliant local lawyer, is featured in the column, people begin to suspect he’s working the town over in a quest for wealth rather than fighting for justice. As his status sinks, others are pulled under with him—people Fred loves.
For once, Fred and Watson are cajoled into investigation mode not for murder, but to help clear her friends’ names and their tarnished reputations. But while the greed and secret dealings in the dark she uncovers bring more questions than answers, murder finds a way to make an appearance after all…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for crispy, golden empanadas.)
Cozy Mystery 14th in Series  
Independently published (October 22, 2019)  
Paperback: 414 pages
Halloween creeps in, bringing costumes, carbs, and a corpse or two…
Estes Park is bustling with fall tourists as Winifred and Katie deck out the Cozy Corgi Bookstore and Bakery, while corgi mascot, Watson, helps in his own special way—snacking, napping, and being his adorable grumpy self.
When Fred and Leo’s date at the romantic restaurant, Pasta Thyme, leads to an invitation of a murder scene, instead of ghouls and goblins, Fred is haunted by ghosts from the past. Death might lurk around every corner as Fred investigates motives of infidelity, jealousy, and the dark shadow cast by a crime syndicate.
By the time Halloween night arrives, not everyone will get out alive…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for luscious tiramisu.)
Cozy Mystery 15th in Series 
Independently published (December 17, 2019) 
Paperback: 360 pages
Christmas ushers in snowstorms, fruitcake, and a horde of Santa’s naughty elves…
No place is more perfect for the winter holidays than the charming mountain town of Estes Park. As the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery glistens with lights and garlands, Winifred Page allows the seasonal merriment to brush away all worry and fear. Watson, her grumpy corgi, is about as far from stressed as possible—after all, with the holiday baking, delectable crumbs are everywhere.
Estes Park’s new Christmas store is chosen to receive exclusive rights to sell a much-coveted collection of tiny elf figurines, but not everyone is thrilled, especially not the owner of the original Christmas shop. Bickering between local merchants is nothing new and doesn’t dampen the Christmas cheer or holiday glee. However, when nightly break-ins begin to occur, Santa himself is caught in the act, Fred and Watson are pulled away from the bookshop to investigate the holiday mayhem.
Unfortunately, while Santa keeps a list of nice and naughty children, he’s allowed his elves to have free rein, and there’s nothing nice about them…
(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for honestly delicious fruitcake.)

About Mildred Abbot

Reading the Cozy Corgi series is pretty much all you need to know about Mildred. In real life, she’s obsessed with everything she writes about: Corgis, Books, Cozy Mountain Towns, and Baked Goods. She’s not obsessed with murder, however. At least not at her own hands (nor paid for… no contract killing here). But since childhood, starting with Nancy Drew, trying to figure out who-dun-it has played a formative role in her personality. Having Fred and Watson stroll into her mind was a touch of kismet.

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Purchase Links:
Cruel Candy (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Traitorous Toys (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Bickering Birds (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Savage Sourdough (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Scornful Scones (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Chaotic Corgis (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Quarrelsome Quartz (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Wicked Wildlife (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Malevolent Magic (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Killer Keys (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Perilous Pottery (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Ghastly Gadgets (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Meddlesome Money (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Precarious Pasta (Cozy Corgi Mysteries) Evil Elves (Cozy Corgi Mysteries)

One lucky reader will receive a Kindle edition of one of the Cozy Corgi Mysteries! Simply leave a comment on this post no later than 11:59pm Eastern on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Let us know what interests you most about this series. Be sure to include your e-mail address and which book you'd like to receive, should yours be the lucky comment. Thanks and Good Luck!