Sunday, May 24, 2020

Killing Time - A Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

 Review


KILLING TIME by Suzanne Trauth
The Sixth Dodie O'Dell Mystery

Vampires have descended upon Etonville! OK, one vampire. OK, it's a newcomer playing Dracula in the Etonville Little Theater's latest production. But this suave yet spooky actor has the town atwitter, apprehensive about vampires even if they are getting a bit tired of the Windjammer's garlic infused specials. As if a vampire wasn't enough, the Grim Reaper shows up. Seeing the Grim Reaper at the town's Halloween party is one thing, but when some teens find him dead in the cemetery, it's another. To ease Lola's mind and protect the production, Dodie agrees to do a little snooping into the leading player's background. But will digging into Dracula's past prevent Dodie from having a future?

KILLING TIME is about identity: keeping it, changing it, and losing it. Are you willing to give up the intrinsic parts of who you are? What part must you keep, no matter the cost? There is no doubt that Dodie loves Bill and is happy to be engaged. But, is she delaying the wedding plans out of a fear of losing herself? Her life will obviously change, but how much of a change is she willing to make? And Dodie isn't the only character facing these concerns.

I love the Dodie O'Dell Mystery series and this sixth entry is a great addition. The wacky citizens of Etonville never fail to make me laugh and the trials and tribulations of the Etonville Little Theater bring back happy memories of my time in the theatre.

KILLING TIME looks at identity while providing a complex mystery.  Deep characterizations combined with fun and laughs make this a book you won't want to miss.

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Killing Time (A Dodie O'Dell Mystery) by Suzanne Trauth

About Killing Time

 
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series  
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 2, 2020)  
Number of Pages: 215 Digital
With Halloween just around the corner, Dodie O’Dell is making preparations to transform the Windjammer Restaurant on the Jersey Shore into a haunted house, while the Etonville Little Theater is staging Dracula. But casting the titular Transylvanian is proving challenging. The amateur actors in the company are not shy about chewing the scenery, but who among them can convincingly sink their fangs into a victim's neck? When a mysterious newcomer with a transfixing Eastern European accent lands the part, rumors that he might be an actual vampire start to take flight—not unlike the bat who's recently been spotted in the town park.
 
But everyone’s blood really runs cold when a stranger is found in the cemetery with a real stake in his heart. Dodie decides to put her Halloween theme menu on the back burner and stick her neck out to bring the killer into the light of day. She'd better keep her wits about her, though—or Dodie may be the next one to go down for the Count . . .
 
Excerpt
“It sure looks haunted,” Edna murmured to no one in particular, to the cast of Dracula in general. They were grouped around her on the sidewalk that ran past the old Hanratty place that Carlos and Bella had rented. I’d never been inside though once I’d driven by it when I first moved to Etonville on my way out of town. The house stood on half an acre of scruffy lawn with patches of dried dirt, surrounded by a few straggly trees—minus leaves at this time of the year—and no neighbors. The nearest houses were on a side street some distance away. The three-story building looked as if it might collapse at any moment, its outer walls covered with weathered, gray shakes, the steps to the front door supported by concrete building blocks. There was no handrail. Light leaked out of windows on the first floor. Curtains covering small, circular panes on the third story—an attic room?—quivered. Was someone up there watching us? I shivered. A turret rose upward from the right side of the structure, giving the house a smidge of outdated dignity. A drain pipe dangled loosely from the gutter.
“Let’s go.” Penny corralled actors and nudged everyone forward to the front door. There were six company members, Renfield saying he’d be along later, plus Penny, Lola, Pauli, and me. Strength in numbers.
We crept across the porch cautiously, aware of the creaking beneath us as the flooring shifted with each individual’s footsteps. Penny put out a hand to knock on the door. Before she could hit knuckles to wood, it flew open. “Welcome everyone!” Bella stood in the doorway, a silhouette backlit by muted foyer lighting.
Behind her Carlos stood silently, observing the group huddled in his entryway, like deer caught in headlights.
Lola took the lead, moving graciously into the house. “Thank you. So nice of you to invite us to your home.”
I’m not sure what the members of the Etonville Little Theatre were expecting. Given the exterior and location of the Hanratty homestead, I anticipated something out of a late-night classic horror film.

About Suzanne Trauth

Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former theatre professor at a university. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Dramatists Guild, and League of Professional Theatre Women. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

Author Links: 
Webpage: www.suzannetrauth.com  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneTrauth/  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzanneMTrauth  
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6187623.Suzanne_M_Trauth  

Purchase Links: Amazon B&NKobo

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Hostage to Fortune - A Guest Post, Recipe, Review, & Giveaway

I'm so happy to welcome Kirsten Weiss back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Kirsten writes the Tea and Tarot Mystery series. HOSTAGE TO FORTUNE is the second book in the series and was released yesterday!


Empress Tarot Tea

A cozy mystery about a Tea and Tarot room would be incomplete without recipes at the back. And the nice thing about tea recipes is, they’re so easy! And even if you’re not into the Tarot side of the story, there’s something a little magical about mixing herbs.

In Hostage to Fortune, my fictional tearoom owners and amateur sleuths, Abigail and Hyperion, decide to up their marketing game and create some Tarot teas. This tea was named after The Empress Tarot card. The Empress card is about (among other things), the soft power of allowing things to happen, and she’s associated with the planet (and goddess) Venus. So, I chose herbs for this tea that are also associated with relaxation (and thyme is associated with Venus as well).

  
Here’s the recipe, a nice twist on traditional chamomile tea.

Ingredients:

1-2 parts dried lavender blossoms
4 parts dried chamomile blossoms
4 parts lemon thyme

Directions. Boil water and add water and herbs to cup. Steep 3-5 minutes. Parts should be small for just one cup–say 1/8 - 1.4 tsp lavender to 1/2 a tsp of the other two.

Note: lavender can have an assertive flavor, and not everyone is going to love it. But it is very relaxing. That said, a little goes a long way, so you may want to experiment with reducing the amount of lavender to taste.

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Review


HOSTAGE TO FORTUNE by Kirsten Weiss
The Second Tea and Tarot Cozy Mystery 

Abigail Beanblossom is more than happy to help her friend and former boss, Razzzor, who believes his wines are being counterfeited. When their first stakeout reveals a dead body, Abby is worried, but her partner, Hyperion, is ready to sink his teeth into another investigation. Stalkers, romantic entanglements, and wine prove a deadly combination, but will they prove lethal for Abby?

There's adventure, excitement, and danger, along with a good dose of humor and tea in HOSTAGE TO FORTUNE. Plenty of action scenes keep the story moving with lots of surprises to keep readers, as well as Abby, on their toes. We also see depth in the characters, joking aside, they care for each other and go to bat for each other, risking it all.

In Tarot, the Hanged Man represents being caught in a negative cycle. You can escape it, but you have to do the work. There are several negative cycles in which several of our characters find themselves in this second Tea and Tarot Mystery. We see unresolved relationships, bad relationships, addictive behavior, and more! Who will be able to escape it?

As both a tea and Tarot aficionado I'm thrilled that Abby is making Tarot themed teas, and even more excited that the author is sharing them. Interest in these subjects make the book even more appealing and compelling. But, even if you don't know anything about Tarot and don't like tea, you will still be captivated by the fun characters and the engaging mystery.

HOSTAGE TO FORTUNE incorporates wine, tea, Tarot, and fun in a delightful mystery.

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Hostage to Fortune: A Tea and Tarot Cozy Mystery by Kirsten Weiss

About Hostage to Fortune

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Publisher: misterio press (May 21, 2020) 
Number of Pages: 250 
Abigail and Hyperion uncork a murder…
Tea and Tarot room owner Abigail Beanblossom is used to running interference for her socially-awkward former boss, tech billionaire Razzzor. So when he invites her on a stakeout to investigate the sale of counterfeit wine from his latest venture – an upscale winery – she barrels on in. But the two stumble across the corpse of a wine merchant, and new wine in old bottles is now the least of their problems.
Good thing amateur detectives Abigail and her partner, tarot reader Hyperion Night, have a nose for murder. Their investigation takes them from elegant wine cellars to chic tea parties on the California coast. But just as the investigation starts to get its legs, Abigail discovers there’s more than wine at the bottom of this crime…
Hostage to Fortune is book 2 in the Tea and Tarot cozy mystery series. Start reading this hilariously cozy caper today!
Tearoom recipes in the back of the book.

About Kirsten Weiss


Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Tea and Tarot, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.

Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com
Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on Tumblr at kweiss01, on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss, or on Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

Author Links:
Twitter: @KirstenWeiss  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/  
Instagram: @KirstenWeissAuthor  
Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss  

Book Series: Sensibility Grey Steampunk Suspense, Tea and Tarot cozy mysteries, the Pie Town cozy mysteries, the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mysteries, the Doyle Witch and Doyle Cozy mystery novels, the Riga Hayworth paranormal mysteries.
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Purchase Links: 

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Hostage to Fortune by Kirsten Weiss. This book is the second in the Tea and Tarot Mystery series and will be released this Thursday!

Abigail Beanblossom is more than happy to help her friend and former boss, Razzzor, who believes his wines are being counterfeited. When their first stakeout reveals a dead body, Abby is worried, but her partner, Hyperion, is ready to sink his teeth into another investigation. Stalkers, romantic entanglements, and wine prove a deadly combination, but will they prove lethal for Abby?


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A Fatal Finale - A Review

Review


A FATAL FINALE by Kathleen Marple Kalb
The First Ella Shane Mystery

Ella Shane is an opera diva, although not quite your stereotypical one. From a humble background, this mezzo soprano has made a career of opera's trouser roles and has created her own opera company which travels the country. Another tour finds yet another difficult soprano in the role of Juliet. But when she dies on stage, it's not an act. Ella, who didn't care for the new girl, feels badly that she didn't try harder to get to know her. When the young singer's cousin, an English duke, appears, Ella realizes she never knew her at all. She and the Duke decide to look into the young woman's life and tragic death only to find a lot more than they bargained for!

Ella Shane is a wonderful protagonist. She's worked hard to be where she is and doesn't mind standing apart from the crowd. Ella has a deep sense of responsibility and respectability, but also a sense of adventure and fun. I love her inherited parrot and the rest of her unusual household and entourage.

Admittedly, A FATAL FINALE starts off slowly. While there is a dead body early on, it isn't treated as a murder. The story itself was interesting and I loved seeing how Ella and her company lived and worked. Gradually the story evolves into questioning who the victim really was in life and finding there was much more to her death than a tragic accident. By the end, I was rapidly turning pages to see what would happen next and I adored the finale, which left me both satisfied yet eagerly anticipating Ella's next story.

A FATAL FINALE is an intriguing mystery that captures the work ethic as well as the flamboyancy of a Gilded Age opera company.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The House that Vanity Built - A Review and Giveaway

Review


THE HOUSE THAT VANITY BUILT by Nancy Cole Silverman
The Second Misty Dawn Mystery

When two young women come to Misty Dawn's door, the psychic knows there's more going on than a lost engagement ring. Amy, a wholesome girl new to town, is engaged to the rich son from a beauty product empire, but her companion has a more worldly edge. Although Misty reassures her the ring is merely misplaced, she knows something much darker is at play. When Amy calls the next day, devastated that her fiance has died, Misty knows she has to help the naive young woman. What she finds are lots of secrets behind a rich barricade.

All that glitters is not gold and beauty products can hide a multitude of sins. Such is the case in the second Misty Dawn Mystery. Once a decadent playboy, Doctor Conroy has little faith that his son can take over the business, but would he actually kill him, now that there's an heir on the way? If a reaction to bee venom is the cause of death, could the beekeeper be guilty, especially if you take into account his past with Amy? A hired henchman and the doctor's deceased wife and mistress make Misty's investigation even more challenging... and dangerous.

I really like the themes at play in THE HOUSE THAT VANITY BUILT and the title really does say it all. Greed, glory, self involvement, and vanity can destroy everything. I love how Misty plays the old lady card and love her interactions with Wilson. I also appreciate that Wilson may be going down a dangerous path. It's concerning, but realistic. Not everything can go well, temptation may be too great. The options are ominous and captivating leaving me eager to see what happens next.

THE HOUSE THAT VANITY BUILT is a compelling mystery. While there is no doubt that this second Misty Dawn Mystery is a cozy, it has a darker edge to it, and I really like that.

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The House That Vanity Built (A Misty Dawn Mystery) by Nancy Cole Silverman

About The House That Vanity Built

Book 2 of the Misty Dawn Trilogy 

Paranormal Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Publisher: Henery Press (May 12, 2020) 
Hardcover: 242 pages 
Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood psychic to the stars, knows the dark and sometimes glamorous streets of Los Angeles are full of secrets, broken promises, and dashed hopes. When a young woman comes to her door because she’s lost her engagement ring and is afraid to tell her fiancé (the son of one of the world’s biggest cosmetics empires), Misty senses it’s no accident. Together Misty Dawn and her psychic charge, Wilson Thorne, must not only sneak behind the walls of the Conroy Estate (aka The House That Vanity Built), but go beyond the veil where the luminaries have laid plans to seek revenge. Murder, lust, and a quest for a fountain of youth are hidden inside a family’s secret, one that threatens to upend the young woman’s life, and quite possibly, Misty’s as well.

About Nancy Cole Silverman


Nancy Cole Silverman spent nearly twenty-five in Los Angeles Talk Radio, beginning her career on the talent side as one for the first female voices on the air, and later on the business side, where she retired as one of two female general managers in the nation’s second-largest radio market. After a successful career in the radio industry, Silverman turned to writing fiction. Her crime-focused novels and short stories have attracted readers throughout America. Her Carol Childs Mysteries series (Henery Press) feature a single-mom whose "day job" as a reporter at a busy Los Angeles radio station often leads to long nights as a crime-solver. Her most recent series with Misty Dawn is centered on an aging Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, who supplements her day to day activities as a consultant to LAPD and the FBI. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

Author Links: 
Facebook  

GoodReads 
Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo 

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Rolling Thunder - A Review

Review

 
ROLLING THUNDER by A. J. Devlin
The Second "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery

As a former professional wrestler and new private investigator with one murder case behind him, Jed "Hammerhead" Ounstead has seen a lot. But nothing could have prepared him for the world of women's flat-track roller derby. An old wrestling acquaintance has entered the roller derby scene and calls on Jed when her team's coach goes missing. Jed will have to keep his wits and his wrestling moves sharp as he navigates the various venues of Vancouver in search of the missing man.

A. J. Devlin hooked me from his first sentence and never let me go. This second "Hammerhead" Jed mystery leads Jed to some interesting places and the discovery of a new art form that completely captivates Declan. It's Declan who brings the most outrageous situations to life, providing plenty of "oh no he didn't!?!" thoughts to readers. But it's not all grins and giggles, there are action packed fight scenes, romantic entanglements, and serious moments too.

Jed is growing as a person and as a character. His horizons are broadening, he takes his mistakes to heart and tries to learn from them, and he genuinely wants to help people. The general decency of the guy makes you root for him, both inside and outside of the ring.
 
ROLLING THUNDER is a top notch, laugh out loud, action packed adventure mystery. Filled with laughter inducing escapades there is enough heart to actually make you care about the characters...and crave a banana milkshake.

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If you missed it, be sure to check out my latest interview with author, A.J. Devlin.

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For more information check out www.ajdevlin.com

Purchase links:

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A Deadly Inside Scoop - A Review & Giveaway

Review


A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP by Abby Collette
The First Ice Cream Parlor Mystery

Bronwyn Crewse is excited to reopen her family's ice cream parlor. Now that she's in charge, she's bringing the shop back to its roots, selling only handmade ice cream and showcasing the natural beauty of Chagrin Falls. An unexpected early snowfall puts a damper on her first day of business which is capped off by finding a dead body! Things get worse when she learns that the dead man had bad history with her family and her father starts acting suspicious. Worried that her father will be arrested for a murder he didn't commit, Win decides to take matters into her own hands and starts to investigate. Will she be able to solve the murder while bringing the family business back to its former glory? Or will the trail of the killer grow colder than her Ghoulish Blueberry ice cream eaten on a winter's eve in Ohio?

I absolutely loved A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP! Family is at the center and is the heart of this new mystery series. I love the seeing the close connections and interactions between family, friends, and neighbors. Abby Collete has a gift of imbuing the pages with life. You can feel the excitement Bronwyn feels as as opening day arrives. The characters jump from the pages and the descriptions make me feel as if I'm in Chagrin Falls with them.

One of my favorite things about the first Ice Cream Parlor Mystery is the realism. Win's reactions, from discovering a dead body, getting caught snooping, and being confronted by a killer are completely believable. I also love that fact that while a possible romantic interest is introduced, Win isn't the least bit interested in it.

A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP is a winner! Laugh out loud scenes mix with heartfelt moments to create a charming funny mystery.

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A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery) by Abby Collette

About A Deadly Inside Scoop

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Publisher: Berkley (May 12, 2020)  
Paperback: 384 pages 
This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop—with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.
 
Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she's going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.
 
To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It's not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she'll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown...

About Abby Collette


Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. Born and raised in Cleveland, it’s even a mystery to her why she has yet to move to a warmer place. Author of the two Southern cozy mystery series Logan Dickerson Mysteries featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian who is always digging up trouble, and the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, set in East Texas, it pairs a medical examiner and her feisty auntie who owns a funeral home and is always ready to solve a whodunnit. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and spending time with her grandchildren, each of which are her favorite.

Author Links:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/authorabbyl.vandiver
Twitter - www.twitter.com/abbyvandiver;  
Instagram- www.instagram.com/abbylvandiver
Website - www.authorabby.com  

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

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette. This book is the first in the Ice Cream Parlor Mystery series and was released yesterday!

Bronwyn Crewse is excited to reopen her family's ice cream parlor. Now that she's in charge, she's bringing the shop back to its roots, selling only handmade ice cream and showcasing the natural beauty of Chagrin Falls. An unexpected early snowfall puts a damper on her first day of business which is capped off by finding a dead body! Things get worse when she learns that the dead man had bad history with her family and her father starts acting suspicious. Worried that her father will be arrested for a murder he didn't commit, Win decides to take matters into her own hands and starts to investigate. Will she be able to solve the murder while bringing the family business back to its former glory? Or will the trail of the killer grow colder than her Ghoulish Blueberry ice cream eaten on a winter's eve in Ohio?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Mousse and Murder - An Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Elizabeth Logan to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Elizabeth writes the Alaskan Diner Mystery series. MOUSSE AND MURDER is the first book in the series and was released last week.


Kathy: In MOUSSE AND MURDER Charlie Cooke returns to her hometown in Alaska to take over her mother's diner. Why choose Alaska as the setting for your series?

EL: The 49th state is so different from my east coast towns (3 of them) and California town (1). Alaska offer an opportunity to present startling landscapes and such a different climate.


Kathy: Charlie is determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner. If you were opening a diner, what dishes would you put on your menu?

EL: I would stick with the classics! Grilled cheese, malts, and fries — and lots of pies.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

EL: Probably “Murder She Wrote” was the biggest inspiration. I remember thinking “I could write those!” (Well, not as easy as it looks!)


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?


EL: I write darker short fiction. It’s hard for me to sustain darkness in a work as long as a novel.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

EL: • The Periodic Table series, features a retired physicist living in Revere MA, helping the police solve crimes, each one of which is based on an element in the periodic table.


• The Miniature Mysteries, features a miniaturist and her preteen granddaughter who make dollhouse and roomboxes, helping the police, etc.!


• The Professor Sophie Knowles series, features a college math teacher, helping the police, etc.!


• The Postmistress series, features a postmistress in a small New England town, helping the police, etc.!


• The Alaska Diner series, features a diner owner in a small Alaska town, helping the police, etc.!


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

EL: Probably Gloria in the Periodic Table series, because she’s scientist as well as a likable person and I see her as promoting science literacy.


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

EL: Just the flurry of characters and ideas that every writer has.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
EL: Who doesn’t?


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

EL: Dante (read him in Italian in high school; lots of questions!); Joyce Carol Oates, Mario Puzo, Ursula LeGuin


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

EL: “8 Perfect Murders” by Malcolm Kershaw.


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

EL: Miniatures/dollhouses, the Sunday NYTimes crossword (takes a week), teaching.


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

EL: Ice cream, cookies, chocolate, cheese.


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

EL: I’ll probably take a short story break after the 3 books in this new series.


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

EL: Meeting, talking with readers and other authors at bookstores, libraries.

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Review


MOUSSE AND MURDER by Elizabeth Logan
The First Alaskan Diner Mystery

Charlie Cooke is used to having blowout fights with her chef. She's also used to him storming out after such blowups. But he's never wound up dead after an argument...until now. Teaming up with Chris, the good looking local journalist, Charlie decides to look into the life of her chef, who she discovers she really didn't know, and she if she can help find out who killed him.

MOUSSE AND MURDER introduces readers to an interesting cast of characters whose lives revolve around a small Alaskan town's diner. Charlotte "Charlie" Cooke has a lot to prove and a good deal to learn. Having taken over her mom's diner she discovers she really doesn't know her employees or how to deal with the long time chef with the French culinary credits. She also has a bit of a temper and can make more than one quick assumption. However, her willingness to admit her faults and try to learn from her mistakes makes her likable. There's also the romantic interest journalist, who is eager almost to a fault, and the solid state trooper. Although somewhat formulaic, the characters have enough personality to engage readers, even the flighty best friend and the workers who engage in diner lingo. I love Charlie's interactions Benny (short for Eggs Benedict, both of which are great names) who she cares for now that her mom is traveling. The app so she can check in and play with him while at work gives a modern touch and shows how technology can change pet interactions!

MOUSSE AND MURDER is an enjoyable introduction to a new mystery series.

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Mousse and Murder (An Alaskan Diner Mystery) by Elizabeth Logan

About Mousse and Murder


Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 2020) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town.
When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs.
Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case.
With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.

About Elizabeth Logan

 
Camille Minichino is turning every aspect of her life into a mystery series. A retired physicist, she’s the author of 28 mystery novels in 5 series, with different pen names. Her next book is “Mousse and Murder,” May 2020, by Elizabeth Logan. She's also written many short stories and articles. She teaches science at Golden Gate U. in San Francisco and writing workshops around the SF Bay Area. Details are at www.minichino.com.  

Author Links:
Website - http://www.minichino.com  
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/camille.minichino  
GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/160580.Camille_Minichino  

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - IndieBound

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Rolling Thunder - An Interview

I'm happy to welcome A. J. Devlin back to Cozy Up With Kathy. A. J. pens the "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery series. ROLLING THUNDER is the second book in the series and will be released this Friday!


Kathy: ROLLING THUNDER features women's flat-track roller derby. I admit I've always been fascinated by the sport and if I was younger and in shape, I'd love to give it a try. Had you been interested in roller derby before this book?


AJD: It’s a heck of a sport! Roller derby had been on my radar long before I cooked up the “Hammerhead” Jed mystery-comedy series, and for some reason it stuck in my head. When I decided that the derby world might be a good setting for the sequel to COBRA CLUTCH, I went out and attended a lot of games, before lucking out and reconnecting with a high school classmate who was a star skater in Vancouver for years and was generous enough to read my manuscript and offer feedback.


Kathy: Why did you decide to feature roller derby in your second "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery?

AJD: I didn’t give it much thought at the time but after I had Jed return to the world of independent professional wrestling during his debut in COBRA CLUTCH, I started thinking about what kind of fringe sport or unique subculture he could be drawn into for book two. It worked out that in the first book there was a strong, empowered, supporting female character who had become disillusioned with the professional wrestling biz, and it seemed to make sense that she might leave that world behind but also replace her passion for pro wrestling with roller derby as there are a lot of similarities.


Kathy: Jed and Declan wind up in a very unusual club as part of the investigation. Do you care to share any of your research about such places?

AJD: They do indeed! And Declan literally has the time of his life during that visit. I first learned of such clubs during a ride along on the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver while doing research for COBRA CLUTCH. I never went into such an establishment myself, but let’s just say that chats with cops, Google searches, and one’s imagination can help make for some distinctive visuals!


Kathy: Declan has started a unique art collection. I must ask. Is it really a thing? How on earth did you discover it? Or come up with it, if it doesn't exist?

AJD: Oh, that is 100% legit and real. I came across it during my research for the unusual nightclub that “Hammerhead” Jed and Declan visit in the novel and such artistry seemed like a perfect fit for this book, especially since Declan is such a rascal and you know he’s the kind of guy who would become obsessed with it. I truly think it’s one of those things in life that you just can’t make up. I mean, there’s no way ever I would have ever conceived of it myself. However, if one reads ROLLING THUNDER, and were so inclined, there are in fact some videos online one could watch in order to see how such “special” art is made.


Kathy: I love Napoleon. Have you ever been to a dachshund race?

AJD: Sadly, no! But I try my best to keep an ear to the ground for all things quirky and offbeat in Vancouver, as I think doing so is intrinsic to the mystery-comedy series I’m trying to grow. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for all things local and unusual. Napoleon and his dachshund racing is totally an actual annual event — let’s just say that the most outrageous parts of the book are real life events that I did not make up!


Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
AJD: I’d say the main inspiration was that after having “Hammerhead” Jed go toe-to-toe with some physically imposing heavies in COBRA CLUTCH, I wanted to switch gears and come up with a different or perhaps more cerebral antagonist for ROLLING THUNDER. And, of course, the player names in women’s flat-track roller derby are incredible, I dare say more entertaining than professional wrestling monikers.


Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for "Hammerhead" Jed Ounstead?

AJD: Of course! I’m almost halfway through “Hammerhead” Jed’s third adventure and in the story he’s hired for a job that brings him into the world of local Mixed Martial Arts. Being an ex-pro-wrestler, Jed is very much defined by his physicality, so I thought it might be interesting to have him work a case where for the first time he might not be the toughest guy in the room. If you take away Jed’s ability to be (or at least for him to think he is) the “Big Dog,” then who is he without that advantage?


Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
AJD: Always! At the moment I’m focused on finishing book 3 in the series and am very excited to get cracking on book 4. I do have some ideas for some shared universe prequels and spinoffs, but for now my priority is establishing “Hammerhead” Jed as a hard-headed sleuth who hopefully will be around for awhile!

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Be sure to come back to the blog this Friday, May 15, 2020. Not only is it release day for ROLLING THUNDER, but I'll also be sharing my review.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Apples and Alibis - A Spotlight

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on a book on my TBR pile. Apples and Alibis by Gayle Leeson is the fourth book in the Down South Cafe Mystery series.


From the back cover:

That's the last time Amy agrees to do a favor for a stranger...

Down South Cafe owner, Amy Flowers is in over her head. Operating a cafe while hosting the first Farmers' Market in Winter Garden has her swimming in apples. And when an elderly woman calls the cafe, pleading for a delivery for her upcoming party, Amy relents, feeling compelled to help the desperate customer.

But when she arrives, the woman is slumped over her kitchen table, and Amy is catapulted into the middle of a small-town crime. Guilt-ridden for not arriving earlier to save the woman, she sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding her death. Now, between running the cafe and dealing with the chaos of the farmers' market, Amy is squeezing in a murder investigation, a run-in with her boyfriend's mom, and her own mother's quirky life decisions. Life can't get any worse...or can it? This cafe owner needs a break--in the case.


Recipes Included.

Friday, May 8, 2020

A Murderous Misconception - A Book Blast!

Book Blast! Book Blast! Book Blast! 


A Murderous Misconception (Victoria Square Mystery) by Lorraine Bartlett

a murderous misconception

About A Murderous Misconception

a murderous misconception  
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series 
Publisher: Polaris Press (May 8, 2020) 
Katie Bonner loses her lunch—literally—when her social media account serves up a shocking announcement. Her boyfriend Andy’s assistant manager, Erikka, is pregnant, and apparently with his child. And when Erikka turns up dead, the Sheriff turns up the heat on Katie and Andy, certain that one of them is to blame. But Erikka wasn't pregnant after all. Was Erikka's misconception the only way she could conceive of stealing Andy from Katie?
When Katie finds planted evidence, it’s her friend and former detective, Ray, who insists on concealing it. Is it his growing affection for her that causes him to act against his training and code of ethics, or could he be responsible for Erikka’s death? Katie is afraid to find out.

About the Authors

 
Lorraine Bartlett
The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

a murderous misconception
 
Gayle Leeson
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers. Find her books on Amazon here.

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 

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