Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Sprinkles of Suspicion - An Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Kim Davis to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Kim writes the Cupcake Catering Mystery series. SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION is the first book in the series and was released last week.

Kathy: In SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION Emory Martinez allows her temper to flare which leads to some dire consequences. Have you ever lost your temper and regretted it?

KD: I’m grateful to say that my temper has never gotten so far out of control that I’ve regretted the consequences. I’ve said some unkind things in the throes of my temper but fortunately apologies and hugs have always smoothed things over.

Kathy: Emory is a cupcake caterer. I love cupcakes, as do most people. Why do you think cupcakes are so popular?

KD: I think it’s because cupcakes are individually portioned and portable. You don’t have to get out a knife, serving utensils, and plates like you do for a whole cake. Instead they’re grab-and-go desserts. Plus with the paper cupcake liner (with all those fun colors and designs) it’s like having a party in your hand and then your mouth!

Kathy: Do you have a favorite type of cupcake?

KD: Anything chocolate! And double or triple chocolate is even better! In my Cupcake Catering books a lot of my cupcakes are based on unusual cocktails. I enjoy the challenge of creating cupcake flavors that are unique and most likely can’t be found anywhere else.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

KD: Mystery and suspense stories provide intriguing puzzles to solve, which I enjoy. In my twenties and thirties I read a lot of “dark” suspense and some horror and then the nightmares they caused had me never sleeping well even after finishing the book. Once I discovered cozy mysteries, I slept much better. They provide non-gruesome scenes and there’s always happy endings with justice prevailing in the end. And I always want a happy ending in the books I read!

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

KD: The first book I published, A GAME OF DECEIT, is a suspense novel. I had some life experiences that I felt needed to be expressed in a book. I had planned on writing a sequel suspense book but then got hooked by cozy mysteries, which I actually have more fun writing. I also have a middle-grade fantasy adventure story written but at this point it’s unpublished. My granddaughter helped me develop some of the characters and plot a bit of the storyline out, which was a blast to do. I have plans on writing a sequel in the future and see where the characters take me.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

KD: The Cupcake Catering Mystery series follows protagonist, Emory Gosser Martinez. Reeling from the breakup of her marriage, loss of her job and home, and being a suspect in her friend’s murder, Emory is learning how to become a strong, independent woman. Of course she can’t help but stumble upon dead bodies along the way.

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

KD: Octogenarian Tillie Skyler is my favorite character. She takes Emory under her wing and teaches her to become independent. Tillie is as feisty as they come, living life to the fullest. She’s also a firm believer in happy hour no matter what her son might say. I think that people of a certain age can get away with saying and behaving in ways that younger generations can’t, which gives an author a plethora of opportunities to introduce some humor in a variety of situations.

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

KD: I knew I wanted to mix murder and cupcakes in a cozy mystery so that’s how I started. Because I live in Southern California, I wanted to base the setting around my extended neighborhood since it seems to be under-represented in the cozy mystery field. After that I started creating cupcake recipes and the story started unfolding in my head as I baked.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

KD: I love to read and go through 2 – 3 books a week. With my active imagination and stories that run through my head, I decided to write down those stories and share with others.

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

KD: Oh my… so hard to narrow the list down. I love to laugh, especially at parties, so I would have to invite Jenn McKinlay and Ellen Byron for their wicked sense of humor. Between those two, the party would not lack for entertainment! Definitely Nadine Nettmann because she would make sure we had excellent wine to drink and Leslie Karst because she would cook us an amazing gourmet meal. But in all seriousness, if I had a dinner party I would have to invite at least 100 of my favorite authors!

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

KD: An advance copy of NOTHING BUNDT TROUBLE by Ellie Alexander.

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

KD: When my first granddaughter was born over 18 years ago, I discovered cake and cookie decorating. I never realized I had a creative, artistic streak, but that medium has allowed me to expand my skills. One of the reasons I enjoy decorating edible items is that you never have to find a place to store them, like you do paintings or sculptures. Of course there’s the unintended “goes straight to the thighs” storage with my art, but I don’t get any complaints from my recipients.

I also love creating for my blog because it combines several hobbies all in one: reading, writing, baking, and photography. It’s allowed me to stretch and expand my skills, although it takes up more time than I would sometimes like.

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

KD: I always have some type of dark chocolate on hand; definitely cheese, often 3 or 4 varieties; a chilled half bottle of Trader Joe’s champagne (because life is too short to not drink champagne so I celebrate champagne Fridays every week); peanut butter and homemade blackberry jam – okay that’s 2 items but you need both for pb & j sandwiches.

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

KD: I’m working on edits for the second book, CAKE POP-PED OFF, in the Cupcake Catering Mystery series. My cover designer is working on the cover based on photos I took of recipes that I developed for the book. Since it’s a Halloween-themed book my plan is to release at the beginning of October. I’m in the process of sketching out a basic plot for the third book in the series.

I also have another book, THE ESSENTIALS OF MURDER, in the Aromatherapy Apothecary Mystery series, which is being shopped to publishers by my agent. With the turn of events due to Covid-19, that seems to be stalled for the time being. However it turns out, I’ve started writing the second book in this series already.

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

KD: I think my favorite thing is connecting to so many people I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet, either in person or online. I’ve also found that the mystery community, whether authors or fans, is incredibly supportive both with advice and encouragement! I feel so very fortunate to be a part of that!



The First Cupcake Catering Mystery

Emory Gosser Martinez is a little shocked at the risque outfit her best friend,Tori, gave her, but since it was an early birthday gift she agreed to wear it out for drinks. That was not a good decision. Emory awakes with a massive hangover and no memory of the night before. The nightmare begins as she begins to learn what happened. A cheating husband, incriminating photos, and learning her friend was anything but, is just the beginning. A witnessed brawl and threats all around mean that Emory becomes the prime suspect after she literally stumbles over Tori's murdered body. Certain that the police won't bother searching for another suspect, she decides to see what she can uncover herself. But will she uncover more that she wants to know?

There's not enough buttercream in California to fix the mess Emory's life has become. Just when you think things can't get worse for her...they do! While well written, I found that I didn't like any of the characters...until the very end. Emory is so naive and trusting, as well as klutzy, she comes across as stupid. I'm sure the author intends to have her learn and grow as the series continues, but I think she may have set the starting bar too low! The majority of the other characters are unlikable, especially Emory's mother and sister. As for her husband... a cheating cop with anger issues. Near the end, as Emory finds respite, I finally find a character I love. Tillie steals the show, bringing humor and fun to the book. Hopefully, she's be able to teach Emory a thing or two.

SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION combines worst case scenarios and cupcakes in a complex mystery. Recipes are included and I look forward to reading more of Emory's cocktail cupcake creations. Now, where's my gimlet?


Sprinkles of Suspicion (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series) by Kim Davis

About Sprinkles of Suspicion

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press (June 2, 2020)  
Print Length: 269 pages Digital ASIN: B086XKRCJH 
One glass of cheap California chardonnay cost Emory Gosser Martinez her husband, her job, and her best friend. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of her troubles.
Distraught after discovering the betrayal by her husband and best friend, Tori, cupcake caterer Emory Martinez allows her temper to flare. Several people witness her very public altercation with her ex-friend. To make matters worse, Tori exacts her revenge by posting a fake photo of Emory in a compromising situation, which goes viral on social media. When Tori is found murdered, all signs point to Emory being the prime suspect.
With the police investigation focused on gathering evidence to convict her, Emory must prove her innocence while whipping up batches of cupcakes and buttercream. Delving into the past of her murdered ex-friend, she finds other people had reasons to want Tori dead, including Emory’s own husband. Can she find the killer, or will the clues sprinkled around the investigation point the police back to her?
Includes recipes!

About Kim Davis

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she's not spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats. She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links:  
Website: http://kimdavisauthor.com/  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kim-Davis-Author-1532277473479031/  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kookiesandbooks  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard  
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimdavishb/

 Purchase Links: Amazon 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Kathy! I had fun answering your interview questions... and sure wish I could throw that dinner party :)

  2. Great interview.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Christine, and good luck!

  3. Thanks for the chance to win it. The cover is so cute. jlb12563@sbcglobal.net

    1. Thank you, Lynn! It was fun creating with my cover designer!

  4. No wonder I like your books. We like a lot of the same things! Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Awww, thank you! And good luck in the contest!

  5. What a fun interview! I'm especially excited to know that there's a second book in the works and a potential new series. Congratulations on this new series!

    1. Thanks so much, Autumn! Good luck in the contest!

  6. I enjoyed the interview. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

  7. Brittani SticklerJune 9, 2020 at 6:56 PM

    I really enjoy reading interviews like this and getting to know authors more :) Thank you!

    1. You're welcome! Kathy is a great interviewer and it was fun answering her creative questions!

  8. Sounds like a great new series. Can't wait to read.

    1. Thank you and good luck in the contest!

  9. I enjoy reading cozies and this sounds fun. Thanks for this opportunity.

  10. I have to admit that the blog I originally was doing these comments were from Reading is my superpower. I don't believe I was doing 2 contests. If I was I realize you need to throw one out I hope you leave one of them in. I rarely win so I don't think it'll be a problem. Congratulations on your new series. And thanks for the chance. I can't wait to read the book.

    1. Ginger, the Rafflecopter works it all out and I believe you get bonus entries with each visit to the different blog stops. Good luck in the contest!

  11. The above is the 2nd contest I entered. Sorry!