Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ten Things about Dee - A Deadline with Death Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Dee Flanagan to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Dee on the pages of the Time Slip Mystery series by Zara Keane. Deadline with Death is the first book in the Time-Slip Mystery series and was released last month.



TEN THINGS ABOUT DEE

1.) I have a rocking red lipstick collection. I’m afraid to count them all, but I could probably wear a new shade every day for six months! Today’s lipstick is So Marilyn by Charlotte Tilbury.

2.) My go-to comfort viewing is a romantic comedy. My current faves include ‘Always Be My Maybe’ and ‘Isn’t It Romantic?’

3.) I love history, particularly early twentieth century Ireland. I run a popular Irish history channel on YouTube, and I volunteer at a museum twice a week.

4.) I lived all over the world as a kid and I speak five languages. My mother is a self-proclaimed hippy and we moved around a lot. When I was twelve, my American dad sent me to a boarding school just outside Boston. That was the first time I lived in one place for several years.

5.) I’m terrified of babies. My sister keeps trying to persuade me to babysit her brood, but it’s not happening. The last time I babysat for a friend’s toddler, we had to go to the hospital to extract a bead from a nose—MY nose.

6.) The women in my family allegedly have special gifts, but I don’t buy it. My mother’s predictions for my love life never pan out, and Nana’s herbal teas taste vile.

7.) The woo-woo gene skipped me. My only special gift is my ability to sniff out the best pizza joint in any town.

8.) ToDo lists rule. I can’t get anything done without one. I prefer writing the days ToDos by hand as I’m more likely to follow through.

9.) Helping lost time travelers is definitely NOT on any of my ToDo lists, but the job’s been thrust upon me.

10.) My fave dessert is lemon cheesecake. I don’t need my mother’s psychic abilities to foresee stress eating in my near future. This time traveler business is taking its toll on my waistline!

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Deadline with Death (Time-Slip Mysteries) by Zara Keane

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Beaverstone Press (June 21, 2019)  
Number of Pages: ~ 320 
Dee Flanagan loves Irish history, bad rom-coms, and red lipstick. Dead clowns, injured time travelers, and shootouts don’t make it onto the small town reporter’s Top Ten list. After the bullets stop flying in Dunleagh Castle’s courtyard, it’s up to Dee to convince people she didn’t imagine a gunfight played out between two centuries. With the body count rising, and no one willing to believe Dee’s time travel theory, she’s forced to team up with a man who’s either a bona fide fruit cake or a police officer from the year 1919. Using her expert knowledge of the Irish War of Independence, Dee sets out to solve a century-old crime, plus a modern-day murder.

About the Author


USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, but spent her summers in a small town very similar to the fictional Ballybeg and Smuggler’s Cove.
She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries – with occasional success – to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.

Author Links:
My Website: https://zarakeane.com/  
My Newsletter: https://zarakeane.com/newsletter/ 
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ballybegbelles/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zarakeaneauthor  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zarakeaneauthor/  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7729304.Zara_Keane  

Purchase Links: Amazon

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard. This book is the first in the Georgia B&B Mystery series and was released last week.

Nina Fleet lives in Georgia, not the Antarctic, yet penguins start to play a major part of her life. First a penguin appears at her front door trying to sue her. OK, it's actually a man dressed in a penguin suit, but he's the one trying to take the gorgeous old house she bought away from her, claiming his aunt actually left it to him. Then she's surrounded by a group of penguins. OK, they're actually nuns in traditional habits, but they're moving in with her. The town bad guy has kicked the sisters out of their home so the mayor sped through Nina's bed and breakfast paperwork and made her an offer she couldn't refuse. As Nina accompanies the nuns on their protest of the developer she's led by a screaming woman to a penguin who has been stabbed. OK, not a real penguin, it's the same costume as Harry wore, but it's not Harry inside...it's the dastardly developer. Almost everyone in the small town of Cymbeline wanted to kill him, but who actually did? Or was Harry the real target?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Guilty as Charred - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Devon Delaney to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Devon writes the Cook-Off Mystery series. Guilty as Charred is the third book in the series and was released last month.


Kathy: In GUILTY AS CHARRED Sherry Oliveri is organizing a Fourth of July cook-off event. Do you have favorite Independence Days activities?

DD: Every year we host a family picnic. Rain or shine I grill. We always intend to go to the town fireworks and never make it, as we are having too much fun in the backyard!


Kathy: Are specific foods involved?

DD: Ranch steak bruschetta, beeffulo burgers with goat cheese, Cuban chicken thighs and seasonal grilled veggies are my specialties. I have a vegan daughter so we attempt a homemade veggie burger of each year also.


Kathy: Sherry and the murder victim worked in the community vegetable garden. Have you ever worked in a community garden?

DD: I adore my work at the Bridgeport community garden. That was my inspiration for the addition of the garden in my book. I’ve been volunteering for three years. I garden at home and love to share my knowledge with the groups of underserved school children we bring to the garden. Many of the children are from foster homes or are displaced for various reasons and the visit to the garden is a bright light in their world. After a day at the garden, they leave encouraged and enriched, as do I.


Kathy: Sherry has won the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest and I understand you compete in cooking contests too. Aside from the competition, what makes creating a contest recipe different than cooking for your family?

DD: When I create a recipe for a contest I am using a specific product or ingredient that must be showcased. I often begin the concept with a tried and true family favorite, so I am comfortable putting my spin on the recipe. The recipe will have an unusual twist that may have been inspired by travel or experimenting, but from there I go in directions the family may not always agree with. I always do a search online and in cookbooks to make sure the recipe hasn’t already been invented. If it has, I can go in a different direction, which makes for a challenge I embrace. My family (children, mostly), prefer less fussy foods which I appreciate, so often I only test partial segments of contest recipes on them for simplicity’s sake. They are none the wiser!


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

DD: I adore fast reads, puzzling mysteries, quirky characters and settings in interesting places. I was a fan of the TV show Murder, She Wrote so it was a natural transition to move to cozy reads. Once I read one I was hooked, and I couldn’t wait to try my hand at writing one.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

DD: I won a writing contest with a poem titled, Ode To Pork Passion! For that I won a trip to New Orleans and an Emeril Lagasse Grill. I won one other writing contest with a poem, (can’t remember the name) – food related, of course. Beyond that, I’ve written a children’s book for fun and a million recipes, of course!


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

DD: Competition can bring out the best and worst in people. Mix in the intense heat of the cook-off kitchen and home cooks who take their hobby to the next level and you have the ingredients for intrigue and mayhem.


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

DD: My favorite character is Sherry. She has snippets of me in her DNA, for sure, and is growing and evolving with each book. I am having so much fun presenting her with challenges, some she conquers, others she learns from by slowly managing to the best of her abilities. She is sensitive, caring, goofy and far from perfect. She loves to compete and it transforms her into her best self when she does.


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

DD: Over-twenty years competing as a cooking competitor is my inspiration.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

DD: I felt strongly I had an interesting hobby and endless mystery possibilities to share with readers. I set a goal to write a book, format a sales pitch to draw attention and see where that would take my project. I got lucky and found an agent and publisher within a few months.


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

DD: William Shakespeare, Stephen King, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

DD: ON HER MAJESTY'S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE by Rhys Bown


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

DD: I hook rugs, needlepoint, play on a tennis team, garden, jar my own produce, make my own pickles and I share all of those in my books.


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

DD: Mango chutney, kimchi, spicy vegan mayo, black beans


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

DD: I am currently writing my fourth book in my cooking competition series, EAT, DRINK AND BE WARY, and am contracted for a fifth upcoming.


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

DD: My favorite thing is the actual writing, knowing someone is waiting for what I produce. I love the editing process where I shape the words over and over to get the result I hope will entertain the reader.


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Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery) by Devon Delaney

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series  
Kensington (June 25, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
Sherry Oliveri has attained celebrity status after winning the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest with her delectable New England Crab Cake Sliders. But now that she’s back home in Connecticut, she’s got to deal with something else fishy . . .
Sherry’s making a guest appearance on a local radio show when the news comes in: Poppy Robinson has been found dead in the town’s community garden. Sherry was supposed to be taking questions about her win in the national cooking competition, but instead the callers start dishing dirt.
Poppy and Sherry were both involved in the vegetable garden, and while Poppy may have been a bit priggish, it wasn’t anything that called for a shovel to the back of the head. There was already trouble brewing, with the owner of the land threatening to renege on their agreement, and this murder has taken tensions to a new level. Now while Sherry’s organizing a Fourth of July cook-off event, she’s also got a murder investigation on her plate . . .
Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

About the Author


Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester, recent empty nester, and lifelong resident of the Northeast. She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years, including a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes, and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.”

Check out Devon’s website at: www.devonpdelaney.com and find her on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/devonpdelaney/  

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Google Play - IndieBound

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Leg Up - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Annabelle Hunter to the blog today. Annabelle writes the Lark Davis Mystery series. Leg Up is the first book in the series.


Kathy: Larklyn Davis has a Dressage business. I've owned an Off-Track Thoroughbred and have ridden Hunter/Jumper but have never attempted Dressage. Do you ride or are you solely a fan?

AH: I do ride competitively in dressage, although not at the same level as Lark. I’ve been riding in dressage for about ten years now and love it. Which is good, since my current mount refuses to jump anything, ever, for any reason.


Kathy: Lark enjoys coffee...a lot. Are you a coffee lover too? How do you take it?

AH: Personally, I would have to go with Jen on this as tea is my first love, but as a mother who needs to get going in the morning coffee has become a staple in our household. I take it with as much sugar as possible, although my new favorite is Italian Sweet Creamer.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

AH: I was writing in a different genre and I needed to work on the murder mystery aspect of my writing. I love the people and relationships of cozy mysteries, so I tried it and it was like magic. Leg Up felt so much better than my other works. Lark, Jen and the gang just over took everything and I haven't looked back.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

AH: Nothing published, or even close to it. It would be great to write in Urban Fantasy, Fantasy or Romance, but I’m having too much fun in cozy mysteries right now.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

AH: It’s mystery meets mischief. Lots of fun, laugh out loud antics, and a little mystery to tie it all together. What I love most about this mystery is the town and all the people. From the crazy matchmaking schemes to blunt, funny grandmothers, this is the town I’ve always dreamed of.


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

AH: I couldn’t honestly pick just one, because they are all so real to me. They are all so real to me, each with their own personalities and quirks, ones that they don’t always tell me about. I know I’m supposed to be in control, but it really doesn’t feel like it. It’s more like I’m just reporting what they are doing in my mind’s eye.


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

AH: It all started when I was at the gym eavesdropping, which is a terrible habit but I was being naughty. These two people were talking about what they would do if they found a body part, and how they would scream and freak out. I realized that I wouldn’t react that way. In fact, my trainers and horse friends wouldn’t either, and I know this from experience when they discovered some pretty horrific injuries. And the first scene came to me. From there it just unfolded.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

AH: My best friends. They had been beta reading for me for a while, but Leg Up was the one they all said had to be finished. So this is their fault.


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

AH: Oscar Wilde, because he’s amazing and hilarious. Ilona Andrews, which is a husband and wife writing team, because they are my all time favorite authors, although I don’t know if they count as one person or two. R.J. Blain, who writes urban fantasy mysteries that I love and probably Amanda M. Lee who was the first contemporary author that introduced me to cozys.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

AH: Dark Roasted to Death, which a friend of mine just released. It’s a cozy mystery about a reporter investigating the suspicious death of the mayor.


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

AH: Well, dressage seems like an obvious one. Other than that, I read too much, explore other cultures through food - which is a fancy way of saying I love to eat everything - and play with my children.


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

AH: Milk, olive oil, peanut M&Ms and balsamic vinaigrette


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

AH: Oh, yes. Book 2, Stir Up was released on July 1st and Number’s Up will be released in early August. Number’s Up is the first of the Barrow Bay Mysteries, which will feature other characters in Barrow Bay, starting with Jen. After that I’m working on the third book in Lark’s series which will be released in September, so it will be a busy summer.


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

AH: The characters. These people really come alive for me, and they are amazing, funny people that I’m lucky enough to share with others. There is nothing like it. From chapter one, Lark just came alive and they have lifted my spirits when I was down, just like I hope they can for the readers. Every time I sit down to write, they come and share their fabulous wit and spunk with me, and I hope that I am lucky enough to continue to share it with the world.


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Leg Up (Lark Davis Mysteries) by Annabelle Hunter

About Leg Up

 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Independently Published (June 1, 2019)  
Print Length: 165 pages 
A severed leg with no body? Check. A disturbing lack of coffee? Check. A murderer bent on revenge and a hot cop using her as bait? Double check.
Larklyn Davis moved to the small picturesque town of Barrow Bay, California, needing a new start on life. She found the perfect cottage house, almost the perfect distance from her ex-husband, and built the perfect stable for her dressage business. But when a severed leg suddenly appears on her front porch, her life takes a turn for the absurd.
As more clues pile up, and the killer not content to leave Lark alone, she’s forced to take things into her own hands. One problem: the hottest detective she has ever seen is convinced she is involved. Detective Brecken Wilson looks like he should be in a movie, not glued to Lark’s side, waiting for the other leg to drop.
There’s not enough coffee in the world for Lark to deal with this crime, the detective who stirs things she hasn’t felt in years, and a matchmaking town, intent help her find the happiness she doesn’t want.

About Annabelle Hunter

Annabelle Hunter is a stay-at-home mom and an avid fan of classic mystery shows and dressage. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and too many animals.

Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CozyCrazyFun/  
Twitter: @cozycrazyfun  
Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/CozyCrazyFun/  
Website: annabellehunter.com  

Purchase Link - Amazon - Kindle

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