Friday, May 27, 2016

An Interview with Milk and Murder Plus a Review & Giveaway

I'm so pleased to welcome H.Y. Hanna back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Today we're talking about TEA WITH MILK AND MURDER, the second book in her Oxford Tearoom Mystery series.

Kathy: I must admit I was laughing out loud at Gemma's thoughts and descriptions of the modern art displayed in Jon's gallery. And I quite agree with her! Are your thoughts on modern art similar?

HYH: Well, I do think that when it comes to Art, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and it’s such a subjective thing - so I don’t like to be judgemental about other people’s tastes! Having said that, I will freely admit that my tastes are more traditional than modern and I really do scratch my head over some of the things that are exhibited in the modern art galleries!

Kathy: Gemma's mum has discovered online shopping. I admit to being a huge fan myself, although I hope my purchases are better suited to me. Do you enjoy online shopping?

HYH: I’m not a huge shopper in any form but I do like browsing sites online (usually as a form of procrastination when I should be working!). Some things are easier than others – for example, I don’t think twice about buying ebooks, or even print books, from Amazon, but when it comes to things like clothes, I get a bit wary. I’m a huge believer in always trying things on and that’s something you can’t do, of course, with online shopping sites. And somehow, things always look better on the model in the picture than when it finally arrives in the mail and you try it on yourself! :-)

Kathy: Gemma and Cassie get into a huge fight over Cassie's new boyfriend. Have you ever had a friendship in jeopardy due to a man?

HYH: No, thank goodness! I HAVE been in slightly awkward situations sometimes when I didn’t particularly like or approve of the way a friend’s partner was treating her but it’s never been anything so serious that I felt like I had to interfere.

I tend to think that it’s best to stay out of people’s relationship issues. Of course, if I suspected that my friend’s new boyfriend might be a murderer – as Gemma did – then that might be a different story!

Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

Ooh, it’s hard to think of one specific things. My inspirations for stories always come from a variety of sources, like a snippet of conversation or something I see on TV which makes me think “What if…?” - and they also come from things I’d like to explore.

For example, I liked the idea that each of the supporting characters in the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries would have a book where the spotlight was more on them – so this one was to be Cassie’s book. You get to know her better and see her flaws and vulnerabilities and grow with her in this book – as opposed to just seeing her as Gemma’s sidekick best friend. I also thought it WOULD be interesting to explore that dynamic of what happens to their friendship if a man does come between them. And lastly, I wanted to write a murder mystery where the weapon used was poison! :-)

Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Gemma?

HYH: Oh yes, I have lots of things in store for Gemma! :-) In this book, you see her starting to grow her tearoom business and settle back into life in England… as well as struggle to make up her mind between the two dashing men in her life: sexy CID detective, Devlin O’Connor and quietly handsome doctor, Lincoln Green.

The next book after this one (Book 3: TWO DOWN, BUN TO GO) is already out and in that one, you’ll finally get to see which man Gemma chooses, as well as how she deals with finding a new baking chef for her tearoom (her mother is on to another new thing!) The third book also focuses on Gemma’s other friend, Seth, and we learn a bit more about him… as well as introducing some new characters in Oxford and the little Cotswolds village where Gemma’s tearoom is situated.

I’m currently writing Book 4 – which again features an intriguing murder mystery: this time taking place during a cat show at the local village fete. We also see Gemma dealing with new challenges, such as a new relationship and trying to finally move out of her parents’ place and find a place of her own – not to mention, of course, coping with the antics of her mother and the Old Biddies… and her little tabby cat, Muesli!



The Second Oxford Tearoom Mystery

Gemma's mum has become the new chef at Gemma's tearoom and, much to Gemma's surprise, things are working out well, as long as you discount her mother's new found online shopping habit! The Old Biddies are also helping out in the tearoom as Cassie has been less than reliable lately. Cassie is besotted with a smooth art gallery owner, but Gemma has a bad feeling about this too smooth operator, and Muesli agrees. When a young woman makes a scene, then falls dead, during an art opening at Jon's gallery Gemma can't help but be suspicious of Jon, but will voicing her opinions cost her her best friend?

H.Y. Hanna makes me laugh out loud. Some of the comments her characters make as well as the absurd realities Gemma is faced with (wait till you read about the online water feature Gemma's mum bought for the tearoom) quite simply bring me joy...and laughter. Gemma's second adventure is another fun time, but with some serious issues. There is the murder, of course, but we see a change, and not for the better, in Cassie and the possible end of her friendship with Gemma. The author skillfully blends the highs and lows without getting too maudlin or too farcical. There are several suspects, lots of clues, and a unique method of murder. Also an unexpected hero saves the day.

If you're looking for a fun read with substance, a solid mystery set in a charming village with eccentric yet down to earth characters you need look no further than TEA WITH MILK AND MURDER. I love spending time in the Cotswolds with Gemma, Muesli, and the villagers and look forward to my next visit!

Recipe Included.


H.Y. Hanna has graciously offered the first two e-books in her Oxford Tearoom Mystery series to one lucky reader. To qualify, simply leave a comment on this post telling us your thoughts of either modern art or online shopping. Leave you comment along with an e-mail address and what format of e-book you use no later than 11:59pm EDT Sunday, May 29.



By H.Y. Hanna
While at an Oxford cocktail party, tearoom owner Gemma Rose overhears a sinister conversation minutes before a University student is fatally poisoned. Could there be a connection? And could her best friend Cassie’s new boyfriend have anything to do with the murder?

Gemma decides to start her own investigation, helped by the nosy ladies from her Oxfordshire village and her old college flame, CID detective Devlin O’Connor. But her mother is causing havoc at Gemma’s quaint English tearoom and her best friend is furious at her snooping… and this mystery is turning out to have more twists than a chocolate pretzel!

Too late, Gemma realises that she’s could be the next item on the killer’s menu. Or will her little tabby cat, Muesli, save the day?
(** Velvet Cheesecake recipe included!)

This book follows British English spelling and usage.
Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.
Genre: humorous culinary, cat cozy mystery series / women amateur sleuth / British mystery

Link to the series in the Amazon store:  

H.Y. Hanna


  1. I can't wait to read this book on my Kobo! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    As a stay at home caregiver, I depend on online shopping!

  2. Thank you for introducing me to a new author, and I am looking forward to reading her books. Thank you for the giveaway.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. I LOVE online shopping , especially for Christmas gifts! I use Amazon and Barnes and Noble both for e books , and would love to read this series !

  4. I'm not much into modern art but I love online shopping! Amazon & I are great friends.

  5. I love online shopping because it's less time consuming that driving from store to store.

  6. Since I am disabled with arthritis,I love the convenience of online shopping,but I also like regular shopping because I can see what I am buying,style,sizes,

    1. Sorry forgot to add that I use a kindle fire for shopping and reading

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Thank you for introducing me to a "new-to-me" author. I'm not into modern art but I do love online shopping! If I'm a lucky winner, I use a Kindle to read my ebooks.

    1. Congratulations Peggy-you are the lucky winner! Be on the look out for an e-mail!

  9. I would really enjoy reading these books with the Kindle app on my phone. I don't know much about modern art, but I find that I do more online shopping lately. If I have trouble finding something locally I will order it online instead of running all over trying to find it. Also, I can order books books on Amazon and have them the day they are released.

  10. I would really enjoy reading these books with the Kindle app on my phone. I don't know much about modern art, but I find that I do more online shopping lately. If I have trouble finding something locally I will order it online instead of running all over trying to find it. Also, I can order books books on Amazon and have them the day they are released.

  11. When it comes to art I do prefer the Old Masters. I look at modern art & kind of figure I could do that. Whereas with the Old Masters the talent is most evident.


  12. Modern art usually has me shaking my head. I'm not much on having to figure out the meaning myself. As for online shopping, I love it.

    This sounds like a fun book. Thanks for the giveaway. If I win I would like a Kindle mobi copy please.

  13. I am already so hooked on these books. I so enjoy reading cozies So thanks for this opportunity. I read on a kindle. I also perfer traditional art also.

  14. I often don't "get" modern art, but I do like online shopping. I would love to win these to read on my Kindle. Thanks for the chance to win. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

  15. Peggy H. was the lucky reader chosen by!