Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Love Fresh, Fresh, Fresh! - Guest Post, Giveaway, & Review

I Love Fresh, Fresh, Fresh!

By Avery Aames aka Daryl Wood Gerber

My character in the Cheese Shop Mysteries, cheese monger Charlotte Bessette, loves to experiment with food. As it turns out, so do I, so I didn’t have to work too hard to research that aspect of her.

When I first started the Cheese Shop Mysteries (The Long Quiche Goodbye came out in 2010), I had to do a lot of research to learn about cheese and the area I had chosen to write about, Holmes County. I was inspired to take a tour of Ohio, and I fell in love with the area—the colors and the rolling hills, the fields upon fields of corn, and the wonderful flavors of fresh foods. I stayed at a bed-and-breakfast called Acorns at the White Oak Inn, in Danfield, Ohio, at the lower tip of Holmes County. This place was out in the “middle of nowhere” (which they advertise) and to a city girl, they weren’t kidding. I was treated like family. The innkeeper, Yvonne, is a terrific chef and spoiled me rotten. Everything was fresh from the garden. Also, I took an Amish tour with a fabulous guide named LaVonne who runs Amish Tours of Ohio and works out of Berlin, Ohio. What an insight to a very different culture. We ate at a lovely place that served a beautiful fresh meal!

As I drove around the area, I saw pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins. It was the fall, after all. And I returned home to make an Ohio-inspired salad. I’ve made this salad many times since because it is so fun and fresh. It works in fall, winter, spring, or summer. Use whatever is fresh. But make sure there are pumpkin seeds and a delicious sharp Cheddar of your choosing. For this, I used an Irish Cheddar. Enjoy!

What are fresh from the garden morsels that delight you?

(for two)

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Baste a 9” square baking pan with the oil.
Sprinkle in the seeds so they’re flat on the bottom.
Sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes; stir so they get coated with oil on all sides. Flatten them on the bottom and bake 10 minutes more until they’re a golden brown.

Remove and reserve.


2 cups raw spinach
4 sticks baby corn
6 slices cucumber
1/4 zucchini, chopped thin
2 Tbs. Craisins
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. pumpkin seeds
1 oz. cheddar, cubed or shredded

Pile spinach on a plate, adorn with cucumber, corn, and Craisins.

Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in sauté pan.  Drop in zucchini, sauté quickly until light brown.  Divide over two salads.

Drizzle with dressing (recipe to follow)
Top with pumpkin seeds and cheddar.

This is melt in your mouth good.

2 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Stir together and shake well.  Divide between 2 salads.

Avery aka Daryl is giving away 1 copy of winner’s choice of CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY, including FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE. Leave a comment!

Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California.  As Avery Aames, she also writes the Cheese Shop Mysteries, set in quaint Providence, Ohio. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote”. She loves to cook and read and has a darling, frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky. Visit Daryl or Avery at



For Cheddar or Worse by Avery Aames
The Seventh Cheese Shop Mystery 

Charlotte is adjusting nicely to life as Charlotte Bessette Pace. The fact that she and her husband, Jordan, are staying at a local inn for the duration of the cheese convention (AKA Brain Trust) works as an ongoing honeymoon. While the cheese professionals are kept busy learning and sharing information at the Brain Trust, tourists and locals are filling the streets of Providence to celebrate the annual Cheese Festival. Things are not all cheesy goodness, however. a well known, and as it turns out NOT well loved, celebrity arrives unexpectedly and clashes begin to occur.

Aames explores the locked room mystery in For Cheddar or Worse, making the mystery even more challenging to solve. Not only do we have to figure out who killed Lara in her room, but how did the killer gain access as the door was locked from the inside and the windows sealed shut with paint! Adding to the puzzle are the many suspects, each of whom had ample reason to kill the victim. Heck, even I wanted to kill Lara after her scene in the dining room!

This seventh book in the Cheese Shop Mystery series continues to delight.  In For Cheddar or Worse we're given a complex mystery filled with interesting and fun filled facts about cheese. The lives of the main characters are changing and there's a sense of rebirth as things in Providence seem to come full circle.

Recipes included.   


Don't forget! In addition to the Rafflecopter below there's another chance to win a Cheese Shop Mystery. Simply comment on this blog post answering Avery's question ( What are fresh from the garden morsels that delight you?) Make sure you leave your comment no later than 11:59 pm Monday, February 1, 2016 and include your e-mail address so that I may contact you, should you win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 29, 2016

Review - The Grim Steeper


The Grim Steeper by Amanda Cooper
The Third Teapot Collector Mystery

After a brief, and fairly disastrous, trip back to the Hamptons to work in an upscale restaurant Sophie Taylor returns to Gracious Grove and her grandmother, friends, and Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea House. While cooking again brings her joy, there is trouble in the Finger Lakes. Neighbor and fellow tea shop owner Thelma Mae is up to her old tricks, but worse than that her friend (possibly more than just a friend) Jason is thought to be involved in a grading scandal at the local college. Trying to help, Sophie sticks her foot in her mouth on more than one occasion, possibly exacerbating the situation. When the dean is found dead-right outside Auntie Rose's-Sophie knows she has to make things right and find the killer. Faced with a hotbed of collegiate intrigue and drama, Sophie will have to sort through what's relevant and what's not, especially if she wants Jason to stay in her life.  

The Grim Steeper showcases the harsh realities of the academic life. Oftentimes it's a place where politics and publicity trump learning and athletics  is valued over academics. Collegiate intrigue, shoddy reporting, a grading scandal, and the search for a scapegoat add to this volatile setting creating the perfect background for murder.

One of the most important things this book, indeed in the whole Teapot Collector Mystery series, tries to impart is the importance of doing what you love where you are loved. Sophie could work in an upscale restaurant making good money, surrounded by influential people. However, the reality is the stress level is astronomical and the majority of the people, influential or not, are egotistical jerks  The stress, the pressure, and the negative people aren't worth the lifestyle for Sophie. Being the chef at Auntie Rose's gives her the flexibility to be as creative as she'd like in the kitchen surrounded by family, friends, and positive influences; something we should all keep in mind in our own lives.

Cooper really hits her stride in this third book in the series. The writing is crisp and taut, the action driven by Sophie's need to help Jason, yet there is still room for a dose of humor. The mystery is complex (are there two separate mysteries or two mysteries intertwined into one) with many good suspects. While I can't say that I like all of Sophie's friends, their faults make an interesting dynamic and I would still enjoy a drive to the Finger Lakes to enjoy tea at Auntie Rose's, while being thankful I don't add sugar to mine!

Recipe and Tea Tips included.

This book will be released Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading The Grim Steeper by Amanda Cooper. This book is the third in the Teapot Collector Mystery series and will be released next week!

After a brief, and fairly disastrous, trip back to the Hamptons to work in an upscale restaurant Sophie Taylor returns to Gracious Grove and her grandmother, friends, and Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea House. While cooking again brings her joy, there is trouble in the Finger Lakes. Neighbor and fellow tea shop owner Thelma Mae is up to her old tricks, but worse than that her friend (possibly more than just a friend) Jason is thought to be involved in a grading scandal at the local college. Trying to help, Sophie sticks her foot in her mouth on more than one occasion, possibly exacerbating the situation. When the dean is found dead-right outside Auntie Rose's-Sophie knows she has to make things right and find the killer. Faced with a hotbed of collegiate intrigue and drama, Sophie will have to sort through what's relevant and what's not, especially if she wants Jason to stay in her life.

Recipe and Tea Tips included.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spotlight - Daisies For Innocence

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on a new release. I was so excited when I saw the cover and became even more so when I read the back cover. This book, the start of a new series, looks to be right up my alley. Sadly, I have other reading commitments, so the book, which I bought, will sit on my TBR pile for a while. So, what is this book? Daisies For Innocence by Bailey Cattrell, the first Enchanted Garden Mystery.

From the back cover:

The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright's perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it's up to Ellie to track down a killer.

Ellie's life has blossomed in Poppyville, California since she opened Scents and Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences-some from her very own garden-seem almost...supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions, bring about a change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares, or just to simply sit in her beautiful garden, sip yea, and enjoy homemade cookies.

But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant, Josie, is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie's murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie's past-because it'll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud...

Recipes and aromatherapy tips included.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading For Cheddar or Worse by Avery Aames. This book is the 7th book in the Cheese Shop Mystery series and will be released February 2nd.

Providence, Ohio is

Charlotte Bessette is enjoying life as the newly Charlotte Bessette Pace, but there's something making her jumpy. As part of the annual Cheese festival several cheese professionals, including Charlotte and Jordan, are meeting at a local dairy farm/inn for a conference to learn and share ideas. Events are also planned for Providence itself, organized, of course, by grandmere. This are not all cheesy goodness, however. A well known, and as it turns out NOT well loved, celebrity arrives unexpectedly and clashes begin to occur increasing Charlotte's sense of doom.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Romantic Comedy Interview & Giveaway

I'd like to welcome D.E. Haggerty to the blog today.

Kathy: Molly's Misadventures is described as a romantic comedy. I've heard of movies described as such, how does a novel fit into this genre?

DEH: The idea is to have a romance novel that – in addition to being a sweet love story – makes you snort laugh while reading it. And if you’re in public and can’t hold in that snort laugh? Well, then my work here is done.

Kathy: Molly has what could be described as a "worst date ever". Was this date based on personal experience?

DEH: Funny enough, it was based on an idea from my husband. We were walking in the mall and the security alarms in a store went off. He started a “what if” scenario and I ran with it.

Kathy: What first drew you to romances?

DEH: To be perfectly honest, my muse just tells me where to go and I blindly follow her. She gives me great ideas and I’m not going to anger her by ignoring any ideas she chooses to bless me with.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

DEH: Although all my novels involve romance to some degree or another, Molly’s Misadventures is my first book that is strictly romance. My previous works always involved a mystery to solve or were more in the suspense category.

Kathy: Tell us about your books.

DEH: I started my published writing career with Unforeseen Consequences, a novel about four women in the military together who are hiding a big secret. I was in the Army myself and wanted to try and portray what it’s like for women in the military. Buries Appearances, my second novel, is a historical mystery very loosely based upon my father-in-law’s family history. After that I decided to write a novel about what would make a woman walk away from her so-called perfect life. Life Discarded was the result of that idea. My friend convinced me to try chick-lit and I ended up writing three cozy mysteries in my Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives series.

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

DEH: Oh gosh, that’s like trying to pick a favorite child! I think my favorite character is always the current heroine I’m writing. I mostly write in first person so I often start to think and act like my characters.

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

DEH: This book was inspired by a friend’s Facebook post. She was newly separated from her husband and going out on her first date in more than a decade. Her post was hilarious! I started thinking about a heroine who was recently divorced and needed a change in her life. Before I knew it, the bones of Molly’s Misadventures were scratched into a new journal and I was on my way!

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

DEH: I’ve always been writing something. At some point in my legal career, I took a break and wrote my first novel Unforeseen Consequences. I briefly looked for an agent, but soon enough, I was back at the law. When I kept complaining about my career, my husband suggested I self-publish. I may have pushed him out of the way as I ran to the attic to find my manuscript.

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

DEH: Stephen King. My husband bought his book, On Writing, for me when I was thinking about taking my writing seriously and it was such an inspiration.

Antony Beever. Although he’s more of a historian than writer, I am a totally history geek (thus the degree in history) and would love to pick his brain.

Amitov Ghosh. Not only is he a great author, but he’s an activist with well-formed opinions on international politics. And I’m a bit obsessed with Indian writers.

Khaled Hosseini. Of course he’s a writer, but he has such an interesting life story as well. I’d love to pick his brain.

Leo Tolstoy. Famous Russian author. Need I say more?

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

DEH: I read at least a book a day – mostly for reviews for other authors. I also normally have a history book or autobiography I’m working on at the same time. At the moment I’m reading The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. I have a degree in history and am totally obsessed with Russian (pre-Soviet Union) history.

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

DEH: Besides reading books like they are going out of style? Yeah, I’m a total book worm like that. I also like to play tennis, run, watch movies, and travel the world.

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

DEH: Beer, wine, cheese, and bread. Oh wait, that makes it sound like we never have food in the house. Um, that’s kind of right though.

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

DEH: Some readers have bugged me to write more books in my Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives series, but I’m happy to leave the crazy old codgers alone for now. I’m not sure about doing another series. I did like writing the series and – bonus – it was great for sales! Who knows? I never meant to write a series in the first place.

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

DEH: That’s easy! I love the freedom of writing. I can write anywhere at any time. This is totally awesome when you have a pilot husband and pilot friends with their weird schedules and you need to follow your husband to strange lands for the best career opportunities.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 18, 2016

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2016

I signed up for another reading challenge, just for the heck of it! In the 2016 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge you try to read a book which starts with each letter of the alphabet! Find of fun...and challenging when you think about the letters X, Q, and Z.

Care to join me? You can get more information from the Escape With Dollycas page.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

An Interview at Grace Gulch

I'm happy to welcome Darlene Franklin to Cozy Up With Kathy. Darlene writes the Dressed for Death Mystery series.

Kathy: Gunfight at Grace Gulch deals with the ancient, yet ongoing, feud between the Graces and the Gaynors. Have you personally been involved with a feud? Is this feud based on a real one?

DF: No, I haven’t personally been involved with a feud, unless disagreeing with my roommate about which TV shows to watch counts,

Gunfight at Grace Gulch isn’t based on an actual feud, but disputes over land claims were numerous and heated and took a long time to settle. In the book, Dick Gaynor always claimed Bob Grace had been a “Sooner,” that he had camped out on the land before the actual run.

Kathy: A reenactment gone wrong starts this mystery. Have you participated in any sort of reenactments?

DF: I’ve taken part in a Christmas and Easter pageant or two, which is a form of a reenactment.

Kathy: Cici Wilde owns a vintage clothing store. I love clothing from past generations. Do you have a favorite period for vintage clothing?

DF: Oh, to have the figure for any period of clothing! The lovely Edwardian era dress—or how about Regency—or even Renaissance. Of course, the Fifties are just plain fun.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

DF: Mysteries have always been my favorite genre. I have a theory that the first two great detectives—Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot—represent the two branches of mysteries. Holmes, of course, relied on evidence. He was the original forensic detective. Poirot (and his contemporary, Jane Marple) relied on his “little gray cells,” what he observed of other people, and what she knew of human behavior—the basis of cozy mysteries. I inhaled them all. I love to read and watch both, book and screen.

I write cozy mysteries for two reasons. Marketing was the first reason; the publisher who picked up my first book formed a book club for cozy mysteries. It took three tries, but they bought my Dressed for Death series. The second reason was practical. I’d love to write any style of mysteries, but cozy utilize my strengths: character, motivations, relationships, settings—good old fashioned logic and nosiness.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

DF: After the mystery book club went defunct, I dived head first into writing historical romance, with a few contemporary romances as well. I believe I have about fifty titles under my name on Amazon. That’s not as many as it sounds; several novellas have been included in more than one collection.

I also have contributed devotional and personal experience stories to about two dozen books. Now I’m starting my own devotional series.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

Dressed for Death follows vintage clothing store owner Cici Wilde, her beau Audie Howe, her even wilder sisters, and the zany characters of small town Oklahoma when death comes calling.

Most of my romances are part of small series, so I’ll just mention a few of them.

My magnum opus to date are the eight books set in Maple Notch, Vermont, stretching from the Revolutionary War to today. The series are called Maple Notch Brides, Maple Notch Dreams, and Maple Notch Days.

I wrote two of the six books in the Texas Trails series from Rivernorth Fiction. The series followed one Texas family from the 1840s to the 1890s (one book per decade).

Most recently, I wrote four holiday-related stories for Holidays of the Heart. All the stories take place in actual western towns with holiday-themed names. I also put together the Christmas Mail Order Angels collection, about a Wyoming mining town with marriage-ready miners and a Maine town full of single women.

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

DF: Apart from Cici, my heroine, I love Magda Grace Mallory. Keep reading the series—more about her later.

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

DF: As I said, Dressed for Death was my third proposal. In the first two, I tried to create a small-town atmosphere in the city. They failed. I decided to go for the jugular, creating a small town in Oklahoma. I lived in Oklahoma for about ten years, so I knew the area, and I added the small town feel of my parents’ home in East Boothbay, Maine.

Cici grew out of paragraph in a newspaper about a vintage clothing store. The occupation brought numerous murder plots to mind. Her interest in historical clothing tied into my interest in history, which I explore in all three books.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

DF: Oh, I’ve always wanted to publish. As soon as I write something, I want someone to read it. However, I only went to self-publishing, and now working with a small press, about a year ago.

For the first ten years, I published maybe one article a year. My first book came out after I had been writing for fourteen years. Since then, it’s gathered speed.

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

DF: Charles Dickens—his passion for the poor and destitute and his amazing stories. He helped change his country. Dick Francis—I devoured every one of his books. He has written some of the most riveting books I’ve ever read (and read again and again) and they always make me think. I like Tolkien’s books more, but I’d rather talk with C.S. Lewis. I have to include one woman. Maybe Nancy Pickard, because her Jenny Cain series is sheer perfection.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

DF: I have three books going at present: One Walk Year Walk with God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen (so yes, that’s a long-term read); Be the Miracle! By Delores Leisner. I finished Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder on New Year’s Day, so I’ve already read one book in 2016. Now I’m trying Augusten Burrough’s memoir, Running with Scissors. (I have to force myself to read something other than mysteries, although historical fiction runs a close second.) I recently finished reading everyone else’s entries in the Christmas Traditions collection.

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

DF: I do a lot of word search puzzles, watch T.V., and read (of course!)

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

DF: I live in a nursing home, so I have neither a fridge or a pantry. However, how about diet coke and fruit cups? I go to the vending machine for snacks.

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

DF: Cici won’t have any more mysteries to solve, at least none that I know about.

However, I’m starting a new series called Murder by the Case series. I want to finish the second book before I finish the first one (which is written and being edited), so they’ll come out later this year. My heroine, Carlie Cooper, is a home health aide who has “cases” which keep getting linked to murder and other crimes. Physical therapist Deacon Wells flirts with her, but she’s not ready to settle down. In Case Closed, she finds the dead body her 80-year-old patient the morning after her birthday party.

I’m also writing at least three historical novellas this year. The first one, An Infusion of Love, takes us to 1774 New Jersey, which had its own tea party. That will be released in March.

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

DF: I love creating stories. People frequently ask, where do your ideas come from? Where don’t they come from? Give me a place, a theme, an occupation—or all three at once—and a story strides into my head, demanding to be written.

I also like “having written.” Writing and editing is just plain hard work, although I wouldn’t do anything else.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Review & Giveaway - Sweet Pepper Hero


Sweet Pepper Hero by J.J. Cook
The Fourth Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery

Things are heating up in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee and it's not from the peppers!  Stella and the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade are back and trying to be the best volunteer fire department in the state. Stella has her work cut out for her as she not only has squabbling co-assistant chiefs, a pushy businessman trying to take advantage, recipes to prepare and vet for judging, and a missing ghost! Add to that, it appears the whiskey wars are back and deadlier than before as illegal stills are exploding and one moonshiner has been shot. Is Stella in their sights?

Whiskey wars, kidnapped ghosts, and taste testing recipes for the Sweet Pepper Festival; multiple storylines converge to create a complex novel. Issues of trust flavor this latest Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery, the trust between roommates, co-workers, family, and friends. Newly found trust is put to the test and untrustworthy people abound.

Although the title is Sweet Pepper Hero, we see the emergence of more than one villain. By the end of the book they seemed to have joined together. Stella had better watch out. She may have endured an explosion and a gunfire, but forces are combining to become even more combustible! I love each adventure with Stella, especially witnessing her relationship with Eric evolve. I have a feeling dark times are ahead for her and I look forward to reading how she and true friends will handle it.

Recipes included.


For a chance to win a print copy of  Sweet Pepper Hero simply leave a comment on this post no later than 11:59 pm EST Sunday night giving us your thoughts about moonshine. Have you ever had it? I have! Sorry, while everyone's comments are welcome, the prize is only possible for those with US addresses.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Doga Can Be Murder - Guest Post with Review and Giveaway

Doga Can Be Murder
By Tracy Weber
The first time a dog trainer/friend asked me to teach Doga (yoga for dogs) at her dog training facility, I thought she was joking. When I found out that Doga was real, I wanted to hide until she forgot I was a yoga teacher. Teaching my breath-centered style of yoga to dogs would have made me the laughingstock of the Seattle yoga community. Expecting Fluffy and Fido to inhale while lifting their paws seemed, well, ridiculous.

But as I did more research, I realized that Doga was simply a misnomer for what I would call Yoga for Humans with Their Dogs. In Doga, humans practice yoga in the presence of their dogs. Sometimes they use them as props; sometimes they throw in a few human-assisted dog stretches for good measure. That’s a completely different animal (pardon the pun) than the mind-body connection I know as yoga.

Please don’t misunderstand me. By “different,” I don’t mean “not useful.” The practice of Doga actually has many benefits. Yoga practice in the presence of dogs is calming to both man and beast. Dogs are sensitive creatures—highly attuned to human energy. Anything that makes humans more peaceful also brings calm to their canine companions.

And humans who give their dogs massage, range-of-motion exercises, and assisted stretches provide Bowser relief from sore muscles, back pain, arthritis, and hip dysplasia. The exercises can even slow down diseases that cause neurological decline.

So although I have yet to teach my first Doga class (and I still wish the practice were called something less similar to yoga), I had to include it in my third mystery, Karma’s a Killer. Of course, my yoga teacher/sleuth, Kate Davidson, doesn’t exactly have good luck. A rabbit shows up in her first-ever, overly crowded Doga class. If you want to learn more about the ensuing chaos, you’ll have to read the book. ;-)

In the meantime, for all of you dog lovers out there who want to give Doga a try, here are a few books and videos to help get you started.




My eleven-year-old German shepherd, Tasha, has yet to do her first Downward Dog. But she does get professional massages, doggie physical therapy, and acupuncture. Who knows? Maybe Doga will also be in our future.

I hope you read and enjoy Karma’s a Killer, the third of my Downward Dog Mystery series. Doga is a small part of the book’s plot, but the book offers fun, mystery, and intrigue aplenty. If you join Kate and her German shepherd Bella on their newest adventure, please let me know what you think!

About Karma’s a Killer:

Yoga instructor Kate Davidson is about to discover that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like om. When she agrees to teach doga—yoga for dogs—at a fundraiser for Dogma, a local animal rescue, Kate believes the only real damage will be to her reputation. But when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning, a few downward-facing dogs will be the least of Kate’s problems…

The police arrest Dharma, a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother, and charge her with murder. To prove Dharma’s innocence, Kate, her boyfriend Michael, and her German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism, organizational politics, and the dangerous obsessions that drive them.

And if solving a murder weren't complicated enough, Kate will also have to decide whether or not to reconcile with the estranged mother who abandoned her over thirty years ago. Not to mention having to contend with an almost-bankrupt animal rescue, a cantankerous crow, an unwanted pigeon houseguest, and a rabbit in a doga class. What could possibly go wrong?

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series. The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel.

Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd, Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

Karma’s a Killer is her third novel. For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website:



 Karma’s a Killer by Tracy Weber
The Third Downward Dog Mystery

Kate Davidson, yoga teacher with a temper, is back and in for a challenge as she is coerced into teaching a doga class as part of a fundraiser for a local pet rescue. Yes for dogs. A class open to any and all people and their trained, or not so trained dogs...who don't know each other. What could go wrong? Activists add fuel to the fire and create more dangerous chaos, not to mention an unexpected person from Kate's past, back from the dead. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye and secrets abound.

Tracy Weber has once again given us a very funny book which still manages to discuss very serious issues and bring controversial subjects to the attention of her readers. We witness the actions of some people, including professed animal lovers, who due to their ignorance, do more harm than good; people blinded by self importance and their own beliefs, however misguided. Yet their bad behavior is not pointed out in a demeaning critical manner. Instead, Weber uses humor so readers can laugh...then think and hopefully learn.

There are very personal issues Kate which has to deal with as well. The reappearance of the mother who abandoned her leads to difficulties with her boyfriend as Kate puts up a wall and remains secretive. Readers learn about a childhood partially forgotten, as well as the reason for Kate's loathing, near phobia, of men with beards.

Karma’s a Killer looks at animal rescue organizations, showing some good and bad aspects along with some sad truths regarding bureaucracy and wildlife rehabilitation. We are also introduced to two characters who hopefully will reappear in future mysteries, Mr. Feathers and Blackie. Mr. Feathers is a great addition to the yoga studio while I can see Blackie helping solve future murders!

I truly appreciate Tracy Weber's ability to tackle sensitive subjects with fun and humor. She's able to to raise awareness of important issues without using a sledgehammer. Instead, she melds the issues into the murder mystery storyline adding strength and veritas. By doing so readers get complex characters who continue to develop even as they amuse. Not only that, we get dogs and yoga!

a Rafflecopter giveaway