Friday, August 16, 2019

And Then There Were Crumbs - A Review

Review


AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS by Eve Calder
The First Cookie House Mystery

Kate McGuire lost her job, her apartment, and her fiance all in one day. Leaving Manhattan behind the pastry chef has arrived in Coral Cay, Florida to start fresh. It seemed like a good idea, but with her car on its last legs, money running out, and no job in sight Kate's getting desperate. So desperate that she agrees to take a job manning the counter of a bakery that doesn't sell sweets-and she's not allowed to bake, merely man the front counter, at less than minimum wage. But when a greedy developer winds up dead and her new boss is accused of the murder Kate knows the gruff old man can't be guilty. Joined by a new group of friends Kate is determined to prove his innocence while keeping The Cookie House running and ready for his return.

The Cookie House Mystery series is off to a great start with AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS. A likeable protagonist, an adorable dog, and a welcoming florist team up to save a curmudgeon with a heart of gold. I love how the whole town gets behind Kate and do whatever they can to help Sam. Everyone wanted to kill the victim, everyone agrees the world, and Coral Cay in particular, is probably better off without him, and everyone agrees that Sam wouldn't do it, especially not in the manner it was done.

Oliver is an absolute charmer while Maxi is a terrific side kick/mother figure/friend. She's resilient and funny with a heart as big as Cuba! Although autumn in the mid-east is my perfect habitat, I wouldn't mind spending time on this Florida island, even in summer...as long as I could have a hunk of sourdough and a specially divined cookie from Kate.

Endearing characters, a close knit community, and an intricate mystery make AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS a delectable start to a new series.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder. This book is the first in the Cookie House Mystery series and was released last month.

Kate McGuire lost her job, her apartment, and her fiance all in one day. Leaving Manhattan behind the pastry chef has arrived in Coral Cay, Florida to start fresh. It seemed like a good idea, but with her car on its last legs, money running out, and no job in sight Kate's getting desperate. So desperate that she agrees to take a job manning the counter of a bakery that doesn't sell sweets-and she's not allowed to bake, merely man the front counter, at less than minimum wage. But when a greedy developer winds up dead and her new boss is accused of the murder Kate knows the gruff old man can't be guilty. Joined by a new group of friends Kate is determined to prove his innocence while keeping The Cookie House running and ready for his return.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Risky Biscuits - An Interview

I'm pleased to welcome Mary Lee Ashford to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Mary writes the Sugar and Spice Mystery series. Risky Biscuits is the second book in the series and was released last month.


Kathy: Sugar Calloway has launched a community cookbook publishing business. I collect cookbooks and some of my favorites are those from churches, schools, and other community organizations. Do you collect cookbooks? Have you ever been part of a community cookbook?

MLA: First off, Kathy, thanks for having me and how fun that you collect cookbooks, too! To begin with my collecting was somewhat unintentional. I had a few older cookbooks from my childhood. One of my favorites is the American Woman’s Cookbook with a 1942 copyright. It must have been my mother’s and it has so many great basic recipes. Through the years I was given or purchased others and the collection grew. Then a few years ago a dear friend, Mary Ellen, passed away and left me her cookbooks. Some were fancy gourmet cookbooks but my favorites were the ones from churches, schools, and tea rooms.

I have had recipes included in community cookbooks and one that was a lot of fun was one called, Cozy Food: 128 Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes


Kathy: In Risky Biscuits Sugar and Dixie prepare a fundraiser for the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club. What recipe would you like to see in that cookbook?

MLA: My favorite breakfast casserole is included in the fictional Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club Cookbook and also included in the back of Risky Biscuits. It’s the perfect, make the night before and put in the oven the next morning, dish to share with friends and family.


Kathy: I adore biscuits and gravy, but never make it myself. Consequently, on the rare occasions I go out to breakfast, that's usually what I order. What's your favorite breakfast?

MLA: If biscuits and gravy are on the menu, that’s what I’m always going to choose!


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

MLA: I think my love of cozy mysteries is rooted in my early love of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. My mom was a mystery reader and so I soon moved on to her Agatha Christie books. The transition from there to cozies was kind of a natural progression. I love the puzzle in the stories.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

MLA: For the present, I don’t write in any other genre.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

MLA: In the Sugar & Spice mysteries, Sugar Calloway, a down-sized magazine editor and Dixie Spicer, a blue-ribbon baker, team up to start a community cookbook business in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa. Stir in some small-town drama and a dollop of murder and the two suddenly have the perfect recipe for disaster.

I also write the Pampered Pets mysteries as half of Sparkle Abbey. Those books feature two cousins, one a pet therapist, and the other a pet boutique owner who’ve moved from their native Texas to posh and pet-friendly Laguna Beach. I like to describe it as: no pets are harmed, people are dead.


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

MLA: It’s always the one I’m writing, so right now, Sugar is my favorite character. I love that she’s smart, and brave, and stubbornly persistent. She doesn’t take no for an answer! But she’s also genuinely caring and fiercely loyal to those she cares about.


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

MLA: The inheritance of those cookbooks was the inspiration. Going through them and thinking about the groups of people that created them, planted the idea that every group has their own story. So many possibilities with all those different situations!


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

MLA: When my agent began shopping this series, I was hopeful. I really loved the idea of a community cookbook business as the basis for the stories, and I hoped she could find a publisher who loved the idea as much as I did. Lucky for me, Kensington thought the idea had merit and bought the series.


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

MLA: I think a great dinner party would be Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, Sara Paretsky and Stephen King. Can you imagine the conversations around that table?


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

MLA: I alternate fiction and non-fiction books and so at the moment I’m reading Atomic Habits by James Clear.


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

MLA: I have a passionate interest in creativity and teach a university class on the topic. As far as hobbies, with a demanding full-time job and a very busy family, there is unfortunately little time for hobbies. If I’m not working or writing, I mostly spend time with my family – husband, sons and their wives, six wonderful grandchildren, and one cat. Beyond that, if I’m able to carve out any free time, I read.


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

I always have butter and eggs in the fridge and wheat bread and peanut butter in the pantry. That sounds sort of boring, doesn’t it? I wish I had something more exotic or interesting to share.


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

MLA: Book three in the Sugar & Spice series has just been turned in. So, watch for news about that book soon! There are still edits and all to go through, so I don’t have a release date yet.


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

MLA: Definitely my favorite thing is meeting or hearing from readers! I love getting emails or notes from readers who have enjoyed my books and finding out what elements in the story connected for them. Or in some cases simply hearing that the story provided a much-needed escape. Writing a book is a very solitary pursuit and that connection to readers, whether in person or via email, is just the best!

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

Risky Biscuits (A Sugar & Spice Mystery) by Mary Lee Ashford

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Setting - Iowa  
Lyrical Underground (July 9, 2019)  
Paperback: 190 pages 
Former magazine editor “Sugar” Calloway’s life has taken a delicious twist since she launched a community cookbook publishing business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer. Now these amateur sleuths must solve a small-town murder—without getting burned . .
Sugar and Spice Cookbooks’ newest project is a fundraiser organized by the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club, famous for their all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy events. But when a group member is found dead, Sugar and Spice’s priorities change from raising dough to figuring out who put murder on the menu.
The return of former badboy Nick Marchant has stirred the town’s gossips too. Add a few grudges and some old-fashioned greed over a land deal into the mix, and it’s a recipe for mayhem. And when someone serves up a second helping of murder, Sugar and Spice need to sift the guilty from the blameless, or their next breakfast may be their last . . .
* Includes delicious recipes! *

About Mary Lee Ashford

   
Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries. In addition to writing the Sugar & Spice mystery series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books. Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest. She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a current board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter on a variety of topics at workshops, conferences, and writers’ groups. In her day job, Mary Lee is a Deputy Chief Information Officer. She currently resides in the Midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her family and especially her six grandchildren.  

Author Links:
Website: www.MaryLeeAshford.com  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryleeashford1  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryleeashford
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mary_lee_ashford/  
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-lee-ashford  
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/maryleeashford/  

Purchase Links Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks

Monday, August 12, 2019

Blind Sight - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Tanya R. Taylor to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Tanya writes the Lucille Pfiffer Mystery series. BLIND SIGHT is the first book in the series and was released last month.


Kathy: In BLIND SIGHT we meet Lucille Pfiffer, who happens to be blind. Why did you decide to have your crime solving protagonist be blind?

TRT: I guess the idea stemmed from the fact that my father was dealing with Glaucoma issues at the time (he's now passed away) and I was trying to find remedies to help improve his vision. It was something that was at the forefront of my mind and it just so happened that one day as I was outside in a parking lot waiting for my daughter, the idea popped into my head about this older lady being completely blind, but yet being able to see what was going on around her. She ultimately proves to everyone that even though she has a disability, she's not hindered by it and can even unravel puzzling mysteries that might otherwise remain unsolved. I sat there in the car, pressed the record button on my cell phone and created the plot.

Kathy: Lucille's companion is a dog named Vanilla. Is Nilla based on a real dog you know, a composite of dogs, or totally fictitious?

TRT: Let me start by saying, when I came up with the idea for the book, I just knew Lucille should have a companion - a dog. I didn't know very much about dogs, so I thought I'd have a good amount of research to do. However, my daughter desperately wanted a puppy and saw one that she fell in love with. We brought her home and my daughter named her Vanilla - Nilla, for short. She stole our hearts and became my inspiration for the fictitious dog in BLIND SIGHT, whom I also named Nilla. I learned so much about dogs from the real Nilla and I must say she arrived at the perfect time!

Kathy: Lucille's neighborhood is "active" due to an event from the past. Do you believe past history influences a town?

TRT: Very much so! I believe the history of a town impacts the present in one way or the other. Certain things are engraved or linger in the surroundings of a particular place depending on what occurred long ago.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

TRT: I would say it was my Cornelius Saga series. It's mainly paranormal, but also has a cozy feel to it. I've always written mysteries and many of my books fall into more than one genre, but after writing twelve books in the Cornelius series, I wanted to write one that was not only cozy, but a little humorous as well. I also loved some of the cozy book covers out there and wanted to try a similar look for my new series. I think it was a really good decision.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

TRT: Yes, I do. I have a colorful selection of Paranormal Romance, Romantic-suspense, Fantasy, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Mystery and Suspense books.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

TRT: Lucille Pfiffer is a blind woman who's also a heroine. Her determination to solve the mystery surrounding the death of a beautiful young lady in book one - BLIND SIGHT - is crucial to the right person being brought to justice. In book two - BLIND ESCAPE - she finds herself entangled in a murder mystery, but also becomes a target for extortion. Each book will have an exciting plot that readers will get lost in.

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

TRT: Lucille Pfiffer in BLIND SIGHT (Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series) is my favorite character. She's a no-nonsense type of person who also loves and cares about people. In spite of her own disability, she will stand up and defend those she loves without fear of repercussion. She's a hero, in my opinion.

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

TRT: My father is my inspiration. Thankfully, he never went blind, which was my constant prayer. He had his struggles, but he was brave and strong like Lucille in BLIND SIGHT. He never complained or wanted us to worry about him. The real Nilla is also my inspiration. She's brought so much more love into our family that we never knew a tiny little animal can bring.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

TRT: I felt I had a story someone out there might appreciate and over time, I realized there were many people who truly enjoyed my books. My readers inspire me to keep writing and publishing my stories. I never regretted the decision.


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

TRT: I'd invite Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Agatha Christie and Mark Dawson.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

TRT: A book of short stories soon to be published by SUNBEAMS FROM THE HEART author, Fay Knowles


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

TRT: I love watching documentaries and researching interesting and useful information.

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

TRT: Punch, Water, fruits and Peanut Butter


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

TRT: Yes, I do. BLIND ESCAPE, Book two in the Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series will be released on September 5th and I'm working on Book thirteen in The Cornelius Saga Series TIL DEATH DO US PART. Release date will be announced soon. Those are the two series I'm currently working on.

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

TRT: I get to create new stories that people enjoy and give them a temporary escape from day to day life.

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BLIND SIGHT (Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series) by Tanya R. Taylor

  About the Book
 

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Self Published (July 28, 2019) 
Number of Pages: 200
Lucille Pfiffer sees, but not with her eyes. She lives with her beloved dog Vanilla ("Nilla" for short) in a cozy neighborhood that is quite "active" due to what occurred in the distant past. Though totally blind, she plays an integral role in helping to solve pressing and puzzling mysteries, one right after the other, which, without her, might remain unsolved. The question is: How can she do any of that with such a handicap?

About Tanya R. Taylor


Tanya R. Taylor has wowed readers with her riveting plots and compelling themes. She is the author of several #1 bestsellers on Amazon and published her first book titled: 'A Killing Rage' as a young adult. She has worked in the Financial arena and is also a seasoned ghostwriter. Her book 'Cornelius' climbed to #1 in the Teen & Young-adult Multi-generational Family Fiction category. And her supernatural, suspense/thrillers - 'CARA' and 'INFESTATION: A Small Town Nightmare' are multiple times #1 international bestsellers. Tanya writes in various genres including Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Mystery and Suspense. She has a passion for the welfare of children and animals. Her hobbies include Reading, writing, and researching.

Author Links:
Website: https://tanya-r-taylor.com/  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tanyartaylorbooks/  
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tanya-r-taylor  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tanyartay  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8634397.Tanya_R_Taylor  

Purchase Link - Amazon

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Time for Murder is Meow - A Review & Giveaway

Review


THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW by T. C. LoTempio
The First Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery

Inheriting her aunt's home and popular pet store was just the opportunity Crishell McMillan was looking for. With her popular TV series cancelled and no desire to join the reboot, she's ready to retire to a quiet life in Fox Hollow. Shell receives a warm welcome from several of the town's business owners and discovers she has a roommate as well, a charming Persian named Purrday, much to the dismay of her own cat, Kahlua. Not everyone in town is friendly though, especially Amelia Witherspoon, who has a striking resemblance to the Wicked Witch of the West, and not just in appearance. Within forty eight hours of arriving, Shell managers to anger a good portion of the museum board, finds herself getting bad press from the town's newspaper editor, and becomes a person of interest in the murder of Amelia, the museum board member who had a feud with Shell's aunt. In order to start fresh and re-open Purr N Bark without any hint of scandal, and perhaps pursue a relationship with a gorgeous detective, Shell gathers her friends to figure out who actually killed the wicked witch.

The Purr and Bark Pet Shop Mystery series is off to a great start. I felt an immediate bond with most of the characters and loved spending time getting to know them. Shell McMillan is down to earth and completely real, despite being a successful Hollywood actress. She's friendly, honest, and determined, yet can get angry and act rashly. Her desire to resolve matters oftentimes gets her in more trouble! I especially love the unexpected arrival of her former co-star. She and Gary continue to make a great team. I look forward to the upcoming romance between Shell and Josh. Of course, Purrday, Kahlua, and Rocco are wonderful additions, smart cats and a lovable goofball of a dog are perfect assets to a cozy mystery.

This book would have received my highest rating, except for two things. The author gave a significant clue leading me to know the identity of the murderer early on. However, I considered it may have been a red herring and it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story. The flaw for me was when the killer suddenly becomes crazy. The rational murderer with a solid motive who at the end of the mystery is now described as being crazy is a major pet peeve of mine. Still, I absolutely loved everything else in the book!

THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW is a fantastic start to a new series. Entertaining, smart, and funny, the Purr N Bark series has wormed its way into my heart and I can't wait to spend more time with its residents!

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The Time for Murder is Meow (A Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery) by T. C. LoTempio

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2019
Paperback: 312 pages 
Shell and her two furry sidekicks must cat-ch a killer to save their pet shop
Crishell "Shell" McMillan sees the cancellation of her TV series as a blessing in disguise. The former actress can now take over her late aunt's pet shop, the Purr N' Bark, and do something she loves.
While getting the shop ready for re-opening, Shell is asked to loan her aunt's Cary Grant posters to the local museum for an exhibit. She finds the prospect exciting—until a museum board member, who had a long-standing feud with Shell's aunt, votes against it. When she discovers the board member dead in the museum, Shell becomes suspect number one. Can she, her Siamese cat Kahlua, and her new sidekick—her aunt's Persian Purrday—find the real culprit, or will her latest career go up in kitty litter?

About the Author

 
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane. Her latest, the Pet Shop Mysteries, makes its debut August 8 with The Time for Murder is Meow.
You can cat-ch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net.

Where to find them: ROCCO’s blog: www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com  

Website: www.tclotempio.net  

Purchase Links: Amazon B&N IndieBound

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Grave Expectations - A Review

Review


GRAVE EXPECTATIONS by Heather Redmond
The Second Dickens of a Crime Mystery

Kate Hogarth asks her fiance for a mystery to distract her while waiting for their wedding. Not content with an old conundrum Kate pines for something recent. She gets her wish when she and Charles Dickens go to check on his elderly neighbor only to find her dead, murdered in the apartment above his. Who would want to kill an old woman? Does it have anything to do with the ancient magazine thrust under Charles's door that told of the killing of a young Jewish girl? With a friend suspected of the current murder, Charles and Kate once again are plunged into a mystery.

Life was not easy in the pre-Victorian time period and Heather Redmond's atmospheric descriptions capture this vividly. From the noxious fumes of the River Thames, crooked landlords, and desperate poverty to the fact that authorities let dead remain where they were found until a hearing could be convened, which could be days, readers are granted a visceral visit back in time.

I continue to be fond of Charles Dickens as he strives to do the best for everyone, yet find myself a bit miffed at Kate. In this second Dickens of a Crime Mystery, Kate acts spoiled and more petulant than supportive. While I understand her attitude towards Julie, and Charles's interactions with her, Kate's response to Charles's financial state was beyond the pale. Despite my irritation with Kate's behavior, I was still captivated by her, indeed all of the characters gathered my attention, for better or worse. Manipulative Julie, joyful Breese Gadfly, dastardly Nickerson, and even the haughty Miss Jaggers imbue the mystery with life, and ultimately death.

Providing an inventive look at the young Charles Dickens, GRAVE EXPECTATIONS is a gripping tale of murder and the past that none of us can truly escape.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Katherine Brown to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Katherine writes the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series. Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life is the first book in the series and was released earlier this year.


Kathy: In Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life Piper and Samantha have a long weekend at a spa. Do you ever go to spas? What's your favorite thing to do at a spa.

KB: I tried to convince my husband that I should visit several spas as research for this book (didn't happen lol) but I've actually only been to one spa on a vacation in Mexico. It was complimentary which made it even better! My favorite things were the deep tissue massage and the sauna. I was very uncomfortable in the steam room because I was alone and the air was so hot I literally lost my breath at first and had to sit and work to not freak out until it felt normal again.


Kathy: The duo won the weekend after raising the most money for human trafficking awareness and prevention. Why did you choose this cause?

KB: Great question! Human trafficking is an evil crime that I believe is much more widespread than people are aware of. It is getting more attention, but the standard image in most people's minds when human trafficking is mentioned is often of third world countries or only young girls. The sad truth is that there are victims of all ages, male and female, and they can be in the most wealthy and stable of countries.

This book, though it is fiction, can hopefully help people understand the ease with which human trafficking can occur anywhere and maybe even teach someone who needs to know ways to recognize it and report it.

I first learned of human trafficking as a little girl in a church camp when they did a video about it in poverty stricken areas. As an adult, I have a friend who works in victim services (any crime victim) and she was able to show me the US statistics of this horrible crime and victims it impacts. Others should know, too.


Kathy: This book is the first Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery. Do you enjoy baking or do you prefer to pick up your treats at a bakery?

KB: Oh, I love both! I enjoy baking very much, even trying out my own recipes on occasion, but love to go to our favorite cupcakes in my area, Treehouse Cupcakes, and devour the delicious goodies there as well.


Kathy: What's your favorite ooey gooey treat?

KB: Chocolate....cake, brownie, cake in a ice cream shake, you name it. If it isn't chocolate, it doesn't always qualify as dessert in my book.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

KB: I'm an avid reader and read tons of genres but a year or so ago cozies became my addiction. For one thing, life has a way of being busy and stressful and a good cozy mystery let's you sink into someone else's problem rather than your own, usually with a big dose of humor and often a smidgeon of romance. It's the perfect combination! I went through a phase of psychological thrillers (which I can still enjoy) but cozies bring less bad dreams lol.

Loving them so much, it only made sense to start writing them when I decided to take the plunge and pursue my passion. I've always lived books, words, and writing.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

KB: I've written several children's books that were still of a tiny mystery and humor bent. This year, I added another children's book, Princess Bethani's First Garden Party, that I hope to turn into a series.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

KB: The Ooey Gooey Bakery mystery series centers around two best friends who own a bakery. I love books as pure entertainment but with this series I wanted to do something worthwhile as well which is how human trafficking became a large topic in book 1 and 2. I never planned to write more than three (not enough faith in myself) but I enjoyed the characters so much that book 4 was soon finished as well.


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

KB: Piper is probably my favorite because she is the character I most relate to in personality quirks, even carrying a pocket knife all the time as a habit, though she definitely isn't written to be me. She is sarcastic, a good friend, and a lover of chocolate though!


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

KB: Honestly, no. The idea began with wanting to write a spa mystery. I jotted notes and forgot. Months later, I found my scribbles and decided to get more detailed. When I realized they needed to win a competition, that's when I decided to use the opportunity to feature some human trafficking info. So, you see, it never began as a concrete plan.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

KB: There was never any question that publishing was my end goal from the moment I opened a blank page in Microsoft Word. I've wanted to be a "real writer" since I was in elementary school. I even looked into publishing companies as a teenager but I didn't have the money to pay for creating a book in what I now know were vanity presses that you use to print a limited number of books, not really effective to print and sell them. I knew what I wanted to do but it took me much longer to figure out the how. Thankfully, I've stumbled into some amazing author groups the past few years and have been learning how to make my childhood dream become non-fiction!


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

KB: Jane Austen, Jana DeLeon, Catherine Coulter, and Alexandra Ripley.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

KB: One Book in the Grave by Kate Carlisle


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

KB: I love to read - I know, shocker. I dabble in small sewing projects every once in a while and do hope to learn to make a successful quilt eventually.

Other than that, I'd say being with my family is my biggest hobby and I travel as often as possible to the beach. If I'm ever a bestselling author (wink) and can afford the tickets, I want to add traveling to Ireland or Italy as travel is something I enjoy.


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

KB: Water. Butterscotch or dark chocolate chips. Peanut butter. Protein powder.


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

KB: I do. The going has been slow but I've actually just begun a spinoff series about Gladys, a secondary character in the Ooey Gooey Bakery mystery series, because so many of my readers mentioned they wanted to know more about her. I hope at least book 1 of the Adventures of Gladys series will be released in 2019.

I may add to the Ooey Gooey Bakery mystery series but at the moment no specific storyline has sprung to mind.


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

KB: The writing itself. I love the vast possibilities as I weave words together on the page. It isn't always as easy as I want it to be but when the words flow and the characters take off, it is delightful and fun. I've caught myself laughing out loud as I type, hoping my readers will live the same nugget of humor as I do.

I have to say though, an unexpected bonus I've found that I truly treasure is the community and camaraderie with other authors and the sweetness of having readers reach out to you or come back for more because they actually liked those pages you've poured months into writing.

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Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life (Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery) by Katherine H. Brown

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Independently Published (March 1, 2019)  
Paperback: 280 pages
Piper and Samantha are in heaven. Well, close. After winning a contest to raise the most money for human trafficking awareness and prevention, Piper and Sam are rewarded with a long weekend at the O Heavenly Day Spa. When mysterious notes start appearing everywhere, things get uncomfortable. When spa treatments go awry it is starting to get dangerous. A threatening message in Piper’s closet convinces Piper and Sam that they have to find out who is behind all of these disasters before someone gets hurt. Is it Broussard the stuffy concierge? Gladys, the sweet old lady who decided to join them for the weekend? When the smoke alarms go off and the spa erupts into panic, the chaos separates the friends and Piper stumbles into trouble. Will her friends be able to help her in time?

About the Author


Katherine Brown is a Texas girl, a lover of books, and a weaver of words. Her first official publication was of two children’s books in 2017, which has now grown into five books of the School is Scary series; however, she likes to think her career as a writer started when she sold her parents newsletters of articles about school and poetry for fifty cents per copy as a pre-teen. Married to a wonderful husband and mom of a smart, spunky stepdaughter, Katherine enjoys spending time with family and reading as many new books as she can get her hands on. Her YA series, the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series, is ramping up in 2019 with book 1 released in March and book 2 was released June 1, 2019.

About the Author:
Website http://www.katherinebrownbooks.com
Amazon Author Page
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Purchase Link - Amazon

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Grave Expectations by Heather Redmond. This book is the second in the Dickens of a Crime Mystery series and was released last week.

Kate Hogarth asks her fiance for a mystery to distract her while waiting for their wedding. Not content with an old conundrum Kate pines for something recent. She gets her wish when she and Charles Dickens go to check on his elderly neighbor only to find her dead, murdered in the apartment above his. Who would want to kill an old woman? Does it have anything to do with the ancient magazine thrust under Charles's door that told of the killing of a young Jewish girl? With a friend suspected of the current murder, Charles and Kate once again are plunged into a mystery.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Double Cheese Burger Murder - A Review

Review


THE DOUBLE CHEESE BURGER MURDER by Rosie A. Point
The Second Burger Bar Mystery

Christie Watson is getting the hang of small town living. Suspended from her job as a police detective, Christie has been serving time in her old hometown. Working as a waitress in her best friend's burger bar, she's learning to love the more relaxed atmosphere, as well as Jarvis's delectable burgers. A surprise visit from Jerry Lee Lewis, Grizzy's cousin the antiques dealer not the other one, leads to the death of a local and Christie's cop instincts kick in. Will she solve the case before the Sleepy Creek constabulary, will the local detectives arrest her for interfering, or will the killer find her first?

This second Burger Bar Mystery is a delightful bite. Although short, there are enough threads to keep it interesting and lots of viable suspects. I love that Christie is true to her profession and continues to keep Jerry Lee on her suspect list. Even though she is trying to prove he's innocent for Grizzy's sake, she's fully aware he may be the killer. I also appreciate the small touches of romance, not only Arthur and Grizzy, but the slow realization there may be something between Christie and Detective Balle, as long as she doesn't mistake those twirlings in her stomach as yearnings for another burger! A solid mystery, plenty of humor, and a feisty cat named Curly Fries all add flavor to this delicious mystery.

THE DOUBLE CHEESE BURGER MURDER is a quick fun read that has me hankering for a frosty milkshake and a double cheese burger!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Knot on Her Life - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Lucy Mondello to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Lucy on the pages of the Quilting Mystery series by Mary Marks. Not on Her Life is the seventh book in the series and was released last week.


Hi. My name is Lucy Mondello. I’m Martha Rose’s best friend. I met Martha when she first moved to Encino right after a divorce. Her daughter Quincy and my son Richie were in the same class at Birmingham High School. (They’re still good friends.) One day I invited Martha to join me and my neighbor, Birdie Watson for a morning of quilting. Martha didn’t know a Nine Patch from an Ohio Star, but she learned quickly and caught the quilting bug. Since then, the three of us have been sewing together every Tuesday, no matter what.

My husband Ray and I are from Moorcroft, Wyoming. We got married right out of high school. He was drafted during the Viet Nam war and served in the military police. My Ray can fix anything. So when the war was over, we moved to the LA area and opened a business repairing cars. Our business grew to four locations and our family grew to five sons.

In some ways, I’m a lot different from Martha. I’m a practicing Catholic and conservative politically. But that doesn’t stop us from being the best of friends. I don’t know how she does it, but Martha manages to get sucked into murder investigations. And I often help her. My husband Ray does not approve of that at all. He’s very protective of me. So I’m extremely careful not to tell Ray when Martha and I are chasing down clues. I operate on the premise that “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”

Coming from rural Wyoming, Ray and I grew up with guns and rifles. We have a small collection which we keep locked in a huge cast iron safe in our house. Twice in the past we’ve had to lend Martha a weapon for self-protection. It’s a good thing we did, because the gun saved her life. Both times.

For years, Ray and I attempted to set Martha up on dates. We thought it was a shame that such a smart and attractive woman was all alone in the world. Well, not completely alone—she has devoted friends and family—but you know what I mean. No boyfriend, no husband. So you can imagine our shock when she became seriously involved with a six-foot six bearded biker with the street name of Crusher! At first, we didn’t know what to think about such an uneven match. But as we got to know him (his real name is Yossi Levy), all our misgivings fell away. He’s the perfect mate for Martha.

The two of them have been living together for a while now. I hope that one day they’ll get married. When I mentioned my feelings to Ray, he said, “Why? What they have going seems to work for them. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But I know better. Marriage is that final act of commitment. I think they both deserve to have that.

Well, it’s been nice talking to you. If you haven’t read about our adventures, I encourage you to start. Some of them are pretty funny. And if you have read the books, I hope you keep coming back for more.

Cheers!

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

Knot on Her Life (A Quilting Mystery) by Mary Marks

About the Book


Cozy Mystery 7th in Series  
Kensington (July 30, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
While quilter Martha Rose awaits the birth of her granddaughter, a neighborhood girl appears at her door with a mystery that can’t be pinned down . .
Martha’s eager to finish the baby quilt she’s making for her new granddaughter, but she scraps those plans when a young girl rings her doorbell begging for help. Poppy Halaby, the foster child of Martha’s neighbor, is an orphan whose parents were murdered by a killer who was never caught. When Poppy’s doting foster mom falls suspiciously ill, Martha is determined to keep the child safe. But she’ll have to unravel more about Poppy’s parents to stitch a broken family back together again—and prevent another crime cut from the same cloth . . .

About Mary Marks

 

About the Author: Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com. Readers can visit her at www.marymarksmysteries.com and https://www.facebook.com/mmarks2013

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