Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Spotlight and Giveaway for 15 Minutes of Flame, A Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery by Christin Brecher

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

About 15 Minutes of Flame

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721438
ISBN-13: 978-1496721433
Digital ASIN: B082WR2LH6

As Stella Wright’s Nantucket candle store thrives, her knack for solving mysteries burns equally bright—especially when a Halloween haunted house uncovers evidence of a centuries-old murder . . .

When Stella’s friend inherits a creaky, abandoned home in Nantucket, she knows it’s the perfect setting for the town’s annual Halloween fundraiser. A deserted, boarded-up building on the property—once used as a candle-making shop—adds to the creepy ambiance. But as Stella explores the shack’s dilapidated walls, she discovers a terrible secret: the skeleton of a Quaker woman, wrapped in blood-soaked clothing and hidden deep within a stone hearth . . .

While police investigate, Stella wastes no time asking for help from friends with long ties to Nantucket’s intricate history. The key to the murder may lie within a scorching 18th century love triangle that pit two best friends against one another over a dubious man. But before the case is solved, another life will be claimed—leaving Stella to wonder who in Nantucket is friend, and who is foe . . .

About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at
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September 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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September 16 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cover Reveal for No Gravestone Unturned: Cobble Cove Book #5

Coming soon from Solstice Publishing, No Gravestone Unturned, the 5th Cozy Mystery in my Cobble Cove series.


It’s October in Cobble Cove, and Alicia is busy preparing for the library’s Halloween party when she learns that John’s aunt from Florida has died and that John’s cousins and their spouses are coming to town to bury their mother. The day after the funeral, the caretaker’s son is found dead by John’s grandfather’s gravestone, from a blow on the head. The only witness seems to be Sneaky the library cat, who, having left the library, turned up at Alicia’s door with blood and dirt on him.

As Alicia, Gilly, and Sheriff Ramsay investigate, a generation of family secrets is uncovered. Are one of the guests staying at the inn a killer? Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help?

Have you read the 4 full-length books in the series and the three short eBooks? Find them and my other books here.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Spotlight for The Funeral Murder, A PIP Inc. Mystery by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

The Funeral Murder A PIP Inc. Mystery
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

About The Funeral Murder

The Funeral Murder A PIP Inc. Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Good Read Mysteries, An Imprint of Good Read Publishers
Number of Pages: 248
ISBN-10: 0997366761
ISBN-13: 978-0997366761
Digital – ASIN : B08H8JG1BX

In The Glass House, the first book in the PIP Inc. Mysteries series Pat Pirard, recently downsized Santa Cruz Law Librarian, needed to find a new job in a hurry. She printed business cards announcing she was Private Investigator Pat and crossed her fingers, hoping she could earn enough money working for attorneys as a PI to survive.

Pat’s first investigation went well, so she’s excited when she gets a call from an estate attorney who offers her a second job. The attorney tells Pat his client died at a funeral and he needs help sorting out who is entitled to inherit her estate.

Pat quickly discovers the dead woman’s past is as complicated as her estate. And when an autopsy indicates she had two deadly toxins in her body when she died, Pat’s new case becomes not only complicated, but dangerous.

About Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Nancy Lynn Jarvis left the real estate profession after she started having so much fun writing the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series that she let her license lapse. She’s enjoyed writing about Regan and her husband, Tom, but decided it was time to do a new series.

PIP Inc. introduces protagonist downsized law librarian and not-quite-licensed Private Investigator Pat Pirard. “The Funeral Murder” is the second book in the series.

After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, Nancy worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC.

Currently, she’s enjoying being a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Santa Cruz Women of Mystery.

Author Links




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September 16 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

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September 24 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Spotlight

Spotlight for Checked Out for Murder: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook

Checked Out for Murder: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

About Checked Out for Murder

Checked Out for Murder: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 164385447X
ISBN-13: 978-1643854472
Digital ASIN: B082738ZNV

Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook’s fourth Haunted Library mystery.

Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she’s a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there’s more to Daphne than she lets on.

The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne’s brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie’s overbearing mother hits town. Mom’s much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that’s lensing locally, and she’s there to keep an eye on him: Tom’s costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fiancée, and there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead.

Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne’s mean ex-husband? Carrie’s sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town?

About Allison Brook

A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library series. DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series.

Check out Sneaky the Library Cat’s interview of Smoky Joe from Allison Brook’s first Haunted Library Mystery, Death Overdue

Check out my Interview of Marilyn (Allison) where she talks about Read and Gone, her second Haunted Library Mystery:

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Twitter: @MarilynLevinson; @AllisonBrookML





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Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases, Spotlight

Spotlight for Undone in Uluru, A Traveler Cozy Mystery, by A. R. Kennedy

Undone in Uluru: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
by A R Kennedy

About Undone in Uluru

Undone in Uluru: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Independently Published (August 25, 2020)
~150 Pages
Digital ASIN: B08D7S722B

A missing person + a do-gooder father + a new friend = An adventure in which Naomi finds more than a murderer.

Naomi is off to Australia with her father in her latest vacation. She expects a drama-free trip to Oz with her dependable father. That all ends at check-in when they encounter a young woman searching for her boyfriend. Fellow traveler Daniel drags them into a search for the missing man in the Red Centre. In between sunset tours, daytime hikes, and Vegemite tastings, Naomi wanders ever closer to danger.

About A. R. Kennedy


A. R. Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.

Check out my interview of A. R. Kennedy here:

and my review of R.I.P. in Reykjavik, her second book in the Traveler cozy mystery series here:

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Spotlight for All Done With It: A Dreamwalker Mystery by Maggie Toussaint

All Done With It (A Dreamwalker Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint

About All Done With It

All Done With It (A Dreamwalker Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (August 11, 2020)
Number of Pages 211 pages

A Jane Doe jogger homicide near the swamp mystifies Dreamwalker Baxley Powell. The petite woman carried no ID, and no one recognizes her. Worse, a shadow passes from the body to a deputy, rendering him unconscious. The deputy and the corpse are dispatched to the hospital and morgue, respectively.

With summer heat and pending childbirth on her mind, Baxley’s dreamwalks into the spirit world fail to yield leads, frustrating Baxley and her deputy husband, Native American Sam Mayes. Days later, Jane Doe’s description matches a missing Mississippi woman. Turns out, her new husband is missing too. Jane’s sketchy brother-in-law and her aunt arrive, full of secrets. At Jane’s campsite, the team encounters a terrifying anomaly, nullifying Baxley’s senses. With such danger present, they must protect their unborn child. No more dreamwalks will occur until Baxley gives birth.

When her friend Bubba Paxton vanishes, Baxley sights him in a mirror, trapped between worlds with other souls.

Meanwhile, the shadow invades other hosts, demanding to see Baxley. Mayes and Baxley ignore the shadow as they rescue Bubba, untangle the Jane Doe case, and handle missing persons reports.
To free the trapped people, Baxley must outwit a powerful foe. Can she stop this super villain before he steals her soul?

In this 7th Dreamwalker Mystery, female sleuth and psychic crime consultant Baxley Powell works a homicide case that leads straight to an evil force in the spirit world. The stakes? Her soul, her unborn child, and humanity’s freedom.

About Maggie Toussaint

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction, with twenty-plus fiction novels published. A three-time finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won three Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and an officer of LowCountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows.

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Interview with Tracy Gardner, Author of Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sisters Cozy Mystery

It’s a pleasure to have Tracy Gardner from Howell, Michigan, here to chat about her writing and new release, Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sister’s Mystery.

How long have you been published, Tracy? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first traditionally published novel released last year through Hallmark Publishing. OUT OF THE PICTURE: A SHEPHERD SISTERS MYSTERY was the first ever Hallmark Publishing cozy mystery novel. That has now become a Hallmark cozy mystery book series, with book two, BEHIND THE FRAME, releasing August 11th, 2020, and book three, STILL LIFE AND DEATH, releasing summer of 2021.

And just recently, I’ve signed with Crooked Lane Books to publish a new cozy mystery with series potential called RUBY RED HERRING: AN AVERY AYERS ANTIQUES MYSTERY.

Prior to receiving the Hallmark Publishing deal in 2019, I had published a women’s fiction novel, THE FALL OF OUR SECRETS, through a small e-publisher that has since gone out of business. That book is still available on Amazon as well; readers should note that it has more PG-13 / R rated content as opposed to my nicely G / PG rated cozy mysteries above.

That’s wonderful, Tracy. I also have a 4-book cozy mystery series, The Cobble Cove Mysteries, with Solstice Publishing, a small Indie publisher, and am looking to publish a new one with a larger traditional publisher if I get lucky with an agent. In the meantime, I’m happy publishing my series and standalone mysteries with Solstice and Next Chapter.

Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

In Hallmark’s Shepherd sisters series, Savanna Shepherd has just returned to her small Lake Michigan hometown of Carson after a broken engagement and lost job in Chicago. As an art authenticator, Savanna has a special talent for spotting clues hiding in plain sight. Savanna is thrilled to be reunited with her two sisters, and her family is happy to have her home. In OUT OF THE PICTURE, when it becomes clear that someone is trying to kill Savanna’s would-be grandmother, town matriarch Caroline Carson, Savanna races to uncover the truth and find the culprit with help from her sisters, Detective Nick Jordan, and intriguing town doctor, Aidan Gallager. By book two, BEHIND THE FRAME (8/11/2020), Detective Jordan realizes Savanna could be an asset when she discovers the body of a murdered councilman and has insight into possible suspects. Savanna once again becomes embroiled in a murder mystery in book three, STILL LIFE AND DEATH (summer 2021), when her beloved uncle is suddenly a suspect in the strange murder of the town florist.

Aside the mystery in each book, Savanna and her sisters share a wonderful friendship, and we see Savanna recover from her broken engagement and begin a slowly developing relationship with a Carson resident. The Shepherd sisters series encompasses high-stakes mysteries, Sunday family dinners, a gourmet dog treat and grooming salon in a town you’d love to live in.

In Crooked Lane Books’ RUBY RED HERRING, Avery Ayers now runs her parents’ antiques and artifacts appraisal business a year after her parents perished in a fiery car crash. But Avery’s life is turned upside down again when she receives a mysterious message from someone claiming to be her (deceased) father on the heels of being hired to investigate a potentially priceless ruby that could be the missing dragon eye in famed Emperor’s Twins Xiang Dynasty medallion. Avery and new friend Detective Art Smith are pulled into a mystery involving a possible faked death, a stolen ruby worth millions, and New York’s Museum of Antiquities. RUBY RED HERRING takes place in the upstate New York town of Lilac Grove and in Manhattan; Avery Ayers younger sister Tilly and eccentric force of nature Aunt Midge keep Avery centered as she delves into her parents’ past and how it is connected to the ruby under lock and key at the museum.

Both those series sound excellent. Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I’d love to continue working with wonderful publishers and writing stories that matter to me and resonate with readers. I’m so extremely fortunate to be on this path, and I’m committed to doing the work necessary to continue.

Writing is definitely a labor of love. Best of luck to you meeting your goals.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I think anyone who is looking for characters they can relate to, sweet, slow-burn romance, mystery and intrigue, and/or normal, everyday life issues we all deal with will enjoy my books.

That’s a nice, wide audience.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Don’t stop.

If you’re completely worn out from the effort of trying to get your work out there, and it’s too heartbreaking or soul-crushing for you to go on, go ahead and try to quit. If you feel okay and at peace not writing, or writing solely for your eyes only, then you’ve made the right decision. But if you try to quit and find you can’t, then get back on your journey to publication and keep on going. Don’t stop.

Great advice. Even if I never land an agent or publish with a large publisher, I will continue to write and publish wherever I can because I truly love sharing my characters and plots with readers.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

This question made me smile, coming right after the previous one, as the answer is in that advice. I became worn out and just mentally and emotionally crushed more than once. You can get into an unhealthy cycle of focusing so much on this one goal, that you lose perspective of what really matters. The last time I tried to quit, I’d reached the point where I realized I was siphoning away time, energy, and enjoyment from my family in pursuit of this thing I’d tried for over a decade to achieve, and for what? I told my agent (the one it took me years of querying to secure) to take me off her website because I was done. She nicely told me no, and to take some time and step away from writing for a while. I was able to strengthen my focus on the things that really matter to me—my kids, my husband, and how truly blessed I am in life for so many reasons. When my agent got back in touch and asked if I wanted to put together a proposal for Hallmark’s new publishing division, I said sure, why not? I think the difference then was that my expectations were gone. I can’t say the drive was absent, but I really had nothing to lose and zero expectations.

I’m sure there are a million different routes to becoming published. I wouldn’t recommend mine to anyone, but I’m so grateful I’m here.

What a great story. Thanks for sharing your experience. I know many writers who have gone through a similar period of despair, as I have, and questioned all the time and effort they’ve put into writing for very little reward. It’s good to know that a successful author such as yourself has gone through the same thing.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I don’t, but I should. Well, that’s not 100% true. The Hallmark authors have a little online group I’m part of, and they are some of the sweetest, most helpful and supportive people I’ve ever known. I do not belong to any organizations or formal groups, but I’m sure I would benefit if I did.

I also belong to my publisher’s Facebook groups and a writing group at the library which currently isn’t meeting. Other than those, I belong to  Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Cat Writers’ Association, and the Long Island Authors Group. I find certain groups are more helpful than others depending on your interests and type of writing you do.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I really enjoy spending time hanging out with my kids, who are now 18, 20 and 20 (son and two daughters, respectively). I learn so much from them; they are pretty cool people.

My husband and I have transitioned from a Harley to a Side-By-Side (SxS) ATV, different but still fun. I love, love, love live music, and that is one of the things I’m saddest about in our current pandemic: that I have no idea when my concert-wife and I will be able to see our favorite bands again. I also love reading, baking, and snuggling our pets.

My only daughter will be 16 in October, and I think she’s cool, too – lol. As for snuggling with pets, I absolutely adore our two-year-old cats and our 13 year old senior tabby.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

Most: Those moments when the little plot points come together or the characters are talking and I suddenly stumble across the deeper meaning in what I’ve written. That’s seriously the best. That, and being able to write the stories of these random characters who pop into my head. If I couldn’t do that, I think I’d always be curious about them. I keep notes on characters I’ve “met” and haven’t yet had time to figure out their stories and write them.

Least: The tech-angst I experience when trying to do necessary things like create and link newsletters or construct book promo graphics or change formats of files or find the right platform to get something to run. My tech guy (my 18-year-old son) is leaving for college any minute and then I have no idea what I’ll do!

Toughest challenge: Beginning. Writing that first sentence in a new manuscript.

Most authors cite promoting and marketing as their toughest challenges, and they are definitely mine. You mention your struggles with technology to create your promotions. I enjoy learning how to use graphics, but I have difficulty locating photos I’ve saved and the time it takes to master everything. As far as beginning a new manuscript, I have no trouble with that. I’m now outlining my plots which also helps.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Oh, good question! I have fun coming up with who I want to be the victim, and then all the reasons various other characters might have to kill that person. I enjoy being along for the ride as my main character follows the clues. I especially love writing the mini cliffhanger—those  Oh no! What happened?!  moments when you’re reading a book and you know you absolutely can’t put it down now, you’ve got to read another few pages. At least!

I also love all of that, but I enjoy switching up genres now and then, alternating my cozies with standalone mysteries of a darker nature.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?

Sure! Here’s a little from Behind the Frame:

Now Savanna saw what was wrong with the view. As she walked around the gazebo into Carson’s park, she stared up the twelve-foot-tall statue of Jessamina Carson on her pedestal. Jessamina wasn’t quite twelve feet tall any longer. Savanna gasped, covering her mouth in shock.

Jessamina Carson’s head was missing.

Savanna took an involuntary step back, away from the defaced, century-old statue, taking in the scene. What in the world? The head of the statue lay several yards away on the ground, scattered debris littering the grass between the base of the statue and the eerily severed concrete head. Across the base of the statue, from one side to the other, spanned large, red spray-painted words, NEVER CARSON.

Savanna whirled around at a sound behind her, hands up defensively—a reflex, considering what she’d just stumbled onto. Her friend Britt was walking toward her, his eyes wide and his short, white-blond hair making him look paler than Savanna felt.

“Savanna? What is this? What happened?”

She shook her head. “I have no idea.” She turned in a circle, searching the park for any sign of the person who’d done this. No one. The park was deserted.

Britt stood, hands on his hips, looking the statue up and down, gaze coming to rest on the ugly words. “Well, I’d say someone has a problem with your town.”

I liked that. Thanks for sharing it.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

You’ve asked some great questions, I can’t think of anything else. But I do want to say how grateful I am knowing people are enjoying the stories! Thank you for reading!

I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, Tracy. I’m including your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes to you on your new release and forthcoming books.

Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sisters Mystery
by Tracy Gardner

About Behind the Frame

Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sisters Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing (August 11, 2020)
Paperback 360 Pages
ISBN-10: 1947892975
ISBN-13: 978-1947892972
Digital ASIN: B084FHKMTG

When art in the park
leads to murder in the dark,
the Shepherd sisters
have another crime to solve.

Savanna Shepherd, an art expert turned elementary art teacher, is planning the Art in the Park festival for her hometown of Carson. But apparently, someone isn’t happy that Carson got to host the event: the beloved statue in the park is destroyed. Not long after, Savanna finds the dead body of one of the people on the planning committee.

Savanna and her sisters are convinced that the arrested murder suspect didn’t do it, despite strong evidence to the contrary. With the help of Dr. Aidan Gallager, Savanna’s new romantic interest, they uncover hidden resentments and intrigue. Several people in Carson had a motive for the murder. Can they find out which one of them is behind the framing of an innocent person?

This intriguing mystery includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Mini Rhubarb Pies.

About Tracy Gardner

Tracy Gardner is a fiction author represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel. Tracy writes Hallmark Publishing’s Shepherd Sisters Mystery series, intriguing, engaging stories about Art Authenticator turned elementary art teacher Savanna Shepherd and her sisters solving murder mysteries in a small Lake Michigan town. A Detroit native, Tracy is the daughter of two teachers. She grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and rock and roll. Tracy lives with her husband and best friend of thirty years and a menagerie of spoiled rescue dogs and cats, her front door constantly revolving with her two daughters and son back and forth from college. She is a strong believer in the power of baked goods, live music, family, and friends as staples to a happy life.

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Spotlight for From Beer to Eternity, A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery by Sherry Harris

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery)
by Sherry Harris

About from Beer to Eternity

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723031
ISBN-13: 978-1496723031

A whip smart librarian’s fresh start comes with a tart twist in this perfect cocktail of murder and mystery—with a romance chaser.


With Chicago winters in the rearview mirror, Chloe Jackson is making good on a promise: help her late friend’s grandmother run the Sea Glass Saloon in the Florida Panhandle. To Chloe’s surprise, feisty Vivi Slidell isn’t the frail retiree Chloe expects. Nor is Emerald Cove. It’s less a sleepy fishing village than a panhandle hotspot overrun with land developers and tourists. But it’s a Sea Glass regular who’s mysteriously crossed the cranky Vivi. When their bitter argument comes to a head and he’s found dead behind the bar, guess who’s the number one suspect?

In trying to clear Vivi’s name, Chloe discovers the old woman isn’t the only one in Emerald Cove with secrets. Under the laidback attitude, sparkling white beaches, and small town ways something terrible is brewing. And the sure way a killer can keep those secrets bottled up is to finish off one murder with a double shot: aimed at Chloe and Vivi.

About Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.

In her spare time, Sherry loves reading and is a patent-holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.

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Recipe and Spotlight for Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake, A Matchbaker Mystery by R. L. Syme

The core of the Matchbaker Series is that Vangie picks the “right” pastry for each person, based on who they are, what they like, and tries to match to them. Edward, an old friend of Vangie’s, is the Lava Cake in this book. And he has one recipe… she has another!


1 stick butter

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 tablespoon instant coffee

10 oz. confectioner’s sugar

2 eggs & 3 yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 oz. flour

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting


1 stick butter

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% Scharffen Berger brand preferred)

10 oz. confectioner’s sugar

2 eggs & 3 yolks

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice

4 oz. flour

Ice cream for serving

You can make the batter ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator until time to make, but you’ll want to bake these right before serving in order to get the molten center.

They bake the best in 6 oz. porcelain ramekins. I would butter them and then tap flour around on the insides, making sure to tap the ramekin upside-down to get out all of the excess flour. (Edward taught me to spray the cups with cooking spray, but I found they don’t come out quite as well.) Also, I would get some good, grippy tongs for removal, unless you have tight oven mitt gloves that allow you to grip the hot porcelain when it comes out. (Edward taught me to rubber-band paper towels onto the ends of the tongs, but I prefer to use my grippy oven mitt gloves. To each her own…)

Preheat the oven to 450 (Edward does 425 and bakes for 13 minutes, but I’m at 6000 feet in elevation and I had to up the heat and reduce the minutes, just a touch… if you’re at sea-level, I would do 425 for 13, though). Place your ramekins on a baking sheet, prepped and ready to bake.

Microwave the butter and chocolate together for about a minute, until the butter is soft. Then I would whisk them together (here is where you’d add the coffee granules if you were doing Edward’s version) until they’re incorporated.

Then you’ll want to whisk in the powdered sugar, and it will be a thicker, almost cake-y consistency. I typically let this sit for a minute or two before I add the eggs, just to make sure it’s not too hot.

Make sure to crack the eggs into a separate bowl so you’re not getting any bad eggs or shells into the expensive (if you’re using the right kind of) chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, extract of choice (clearly, I prefer almond/cherry… Edward liked vanilla/coffee… but that’s his taste), and the cherry juice if you’re using it. Once all that is incorporated, stir in the flour slowly and the mixture is ready for the ramekins. If you’ve got four 6 oz. ramekins, the mixture can divide evenly among them (it puffs up a bit like souffle, but won’t rise like that, and it shouldn’t spill over the edges).

Bake at 425 for 14 minutes or at 450 for 12 minutes (again, remember my elevation issues). The first time you make these, you’ll want to test them for your elevation and oven. Everyone’s is a bit different. So it might take you one or two batches to really get it figured out—but it’s an excuse to make great desserts, in my opinion.

Again, a quick reminder: you’ll want to serve these warm. Put an individual plate on top of the individual ramekin and turn it over so the cake slides out of the ramekin. Be careful to do this over an easy-to-clean surface the first time you try it, because if the top of the cake sticks, the molten center will come out all over your plate and counter. It takes some practice to get this one right… I did three or four of them before I got it quite right. But eating the mistakes is half the fun of baking.

Edward would always powder-dust his with powdered sugar, but I prefer mine dark and with vanilla ice cream on the side, and a maraschino cherry on top. Obviously, I prefer mine my way, but I included them both so you could choose. I’d never presume to be able to guess which you’d like better, so why not have both options?

Hope you enjoy!

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
by R.L. Syme

About Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020)
Number of Pages: 240
Digital ASIN: B0878RT482

I never thought Edward would come back…

When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.

The Larcenous Lava Cake is book four in The Matchbaker Mysteries, a new cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake

About R. L. Syme

She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

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Spotlight and Blog Tour for Witch Hunt, A Full Moon Mystery by Cate Conte

Witch Hunt (A Full Moon Mystery)
by Cate Conte

About Witch Hunt

Witch Hunt (A Full Moon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717600
ISBN-13: 978-1496717603
Digital ASIN: B083TQX2CT

Murder isn’t always crystal-clear . . . especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.

Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s “voodoo shop,” the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.

But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self—and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it . . .

About Cate Conte

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. Cate is the author of the new Full Moon Mysteries for Kensington and writes the Cat Cafe Mystery series for Minotaur Books. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

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