In this series debut perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Miranda James, Rain Wilmot must discover the killer, before the book closes on her life.
Rain Wilmot has just returned to her family’s waterfront log cabin in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin after the untimely death of her husband. The cabin is peaceful compared to Rain’s corporate job and comes with an informal library that Rain’s mother, Willow, used to run. But as Rain prepares for the re-opening of the library, all hopes for a peaceful life are shattered when she discovers the body of Thornton Hughes, a real estate buyer, on the premises.
The community of Lofty Pines starts pointing fingers at Willow, since she has been unusually absent from the library this summer. A fishy rumor surfaces when Rain learns that Willow had been spending a lot of time with Thornton. The town even thought they were having an affair.
While theories swirl about Thornton’s death, Rain takes it upon herself to solve the case to exonerate her mother. As more clues surface, Rain will have to piece together the mystery. But if she isn’t careful, she may be the next to end up dead in the water in Murder at the Lakeside Library, the first in Holly Danvers’ new Lakeside Library mysteries.
About Holly Danvers
Holly Danvers grew up devouring every mystery novel on the shelf of her local library. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and 3 chickens, where she’s already plotting her next novel.
Black Jade: A Daiyu Wu Mystery Historical Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Publisher: Dimension Palace Publishing (May 11, 2021) Paperback: 246 pages ISBN-10: 1733951164 ISBN-13: 978-1733951166 Digital (June 20, 2021) ASIN: B094PXSNPS
Could an old-fashioned ballgown be used to commit murder?
Daiyu Wu is aware that fear of the Yellow Terror has made her nationality a rare breed in the Lone Star State. Being Chinese and blind makes her doubly unique in 1930: Dallas. Despite these impediments, anyone who dismisses her for either fact does so at their peril.
One day, at her family-owned laundry business, Dai detects the scent of burned garlic. With the help of her companion, Jacques, the source is soon discovered. It is a green ballgown. The gown has money pinned inside it to pay for the cleaning, but oddly, it came with no address label to identify its owner. Her extensive knowledge leads Dai to believe someone has committed murder using arsenic. The perpetrator is trying to use White Laundry to hide the evidence. But no mention of foul play turns up in the newspapers, and there’s not enough proof to convince the police there’s been a crime.
Her curiosity and intellect stimulated like never before; Dai ignores the possible consequences and sets out to solve the mystery with the help of her canine companion, Prince Razor, and her confidant, Jacques Haskins. It’s either that or let the killer get away with it — assuming a spoiled popinjay, his jealous self-appointed girlfriend, and Dai’s overprotective parents don’t get in her way.
About Gloria Oliver
Gloria Oliver lives in Texas, staying away from rolling tumbleweeds while bowing to the never-ending wishes of her feline and canine masters. Her previous works have been fantasy, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy novels. Several contain romantic and mystery elements. Her short stories of speculative fiction can be found in many anthologies, covering things from the fantastic and strange to a Bubba Apocalypse.
Her latest release, “Black Jade – A Daiyu Wu Mystery” is Gloria’s first cozy historical mystery novel. This is her ninth published novel.
Gloria is a member in good standing of BroadUniverse though she has yet to make the list for Cat Slaves R Us. In her spare time (what’s that?), she watches TV shows, movies, anime, plays PC games, and reads books.
For some free reads, novel related short stories, sample chapters, appearance schedule and more information on her and her works, please drop by and visit her at www.gloriaoliver.com
Keri Isles is the first to admit she can’t cook, but she’s desperate for something to eat besides eggs and canned soup. She asks (okay, begs) her friend CoCo Anderson, the owner of a local café, for cooking lessons. Although CoCo would prefer Keri start with a non-cooking recipe, like a salad, she suggests a simple, hearty, soup recipe.
You’ll have to read the story to find out why it’s so important that Keri remember to:
SOAK THE BEANS!
Eleven Bean Frontier Soup
2 cups Mixed Beans (1 lb bag)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Onion, chopped
3 cloves Minced Garlic
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp dried Parsley
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Cayenne
8 cups Water (or chicken broth if omitting ham hock)
1 Ham Hock
2 15-oz cans diced Tomatoes
4 cups sliced Kale (or Spinach)
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the beans, then place in a bowl with enough water to cover by an inch. Soak overnight.
The next day, drain the beans into a colander and rinse them well.
In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, herbs and spices and sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans to the soup pot with 2 1/2 quarts of water and ham hock; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until beans are soft, 3-3 1/2 hours. Add water or broth if soup becomes too dry or thick. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
Add tomatoes and kale. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Replace the ham hock and kale with 2 cups carrots and/or 2 cups butternut squash.
Add 4 strips of bacon, cut into ½ inch wide pieces. If using bacon, cook the bacon over medium low heat, stirring it occasionally until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. (Be patient; low and slow is the name of the game here!) With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a plate and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pot. If using olive oil instead, simply warm the oil in the pot.
The Body in the Beaver Pond: A Keri Isles Event Planner Mystery by Cathy Perkins
Even an event planner doesn’t plan on murder . . .
Keri Isles desperately needs to sell the Christmas Tree farm her cheating, rotten ex convinced his buddy, the judge, to saddle her with in the divorce settlement. Stuck in the Cascade Mountains, she’s lost her Seattle-based job and local job prospects are as scarce as internet service. When she finds the arrogant professor in charge of the local archeology dig floating face down in her beaver pond, however, unloading the property becomes secondary to staying out of prison.
A savvy—and scheming—attorney may be able to keep her head above water, but the personal price of his retainer may be too high. It’s up to Keri to use her mad networking skills and deploy a team of archaeology students, a bad boy photographer, and assorted eccentric neighbors to find the killer and clear her name.
About Cathy Perkins
Cathy Perkins’s suspense writing lurks behind a financial day-job, where she learned firsthand the camouflage, hide-in-plain-sight skills employed by her villains. A member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers, she has coordinated conferences, contests and debut author programs, and is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill.
When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.
Seaside Cove amateur sleuths Rick and Alexandra Atwood are back!
Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast owner Rick Atwood is again called on to assist his friend, Chief of Police Adam Cunningham, with a murder investigation. The case seems straightforward enough. Clive Crabbe, who has a quick temper and a strong jealous streak, was found hunched over the victim after the man made advances toward Clive’s ex-wife.
A murder investigation is the last thing Rick wants right now. The B&B is booked solid. The town is inundated with tourists and news reporters chasing stories about treasure thieves. And Rick’s wedding to Marquetta Weiss is just weeks away. As if that wasn’t enough, Rick’s eleven-year-old daughter Alex is not only itching to help the cops solve another murder, but she’s forming an unhealthy friendship with a B&B guest.
As the murder investigation progresses, Rick realizes Alex’s new friend could be at the center of everything. The worst part is that Alex may be the one person capable of cracking the case.
About Terry Ambrose
Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose, tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars-but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as-always keep your car in the garage. Today, Terry likes fast, funny mysteries and cool photography. He writes the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries and organized an anthology to benefit Read Aloud America. He fondly likens his efforts to those of a blind man herding cats.
Final Harvest (Finding Home) Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Publisher: Independently Published (August 1, 2020) Paperback: 164 pages ISBN-13: 979-8655968134 Digital ASIN: B08BKZ58YF
Traci Simmons has been fired from another job and must decide if it’s time to give up her home and start fresh in another town. But, when her elderly neighbor dies mysteriously, she is pulled into leading a crusade to save the neighbor’s urban farm and find the killer. Through her new and unexpected relationship with these invisible people, Traci faces her own insecurities to learn what home really means.
About Barbara Howard
Barbara Howard is a “not-so-cozy” mystery and YA author of a dozen books, including her most recent trilogy, Finding Home Mystery Series; Final Harvest, Charlotte’s Revenge, and Milo’s Journey. She is a first-generation tech geek turned master gardener with a passion for fresh air, vegan cuisine, and tracing her roots. A big city girl with a small town heart, she returned to her family home in the Midwest after an extensive career as a Department of Defense Project Manager at the Pentagon and spends most of her time treasure hunting, spoiling her fur-babies, growing veggies, and raising chickens.
MYSTERY FOLLOWS HER through dangerous city streets, quaint villages, and locales across the globe. Uncover the clues with feisty female sleuths of various ages in this multi-author cozy mystery collection of short stories.
Catch a mugger in THANKSGIVING AND THEFT by Dianne Ascroft
Dig up hidden treasure in BURIED BY THE BEACH by Ellen Jacobson
Open up a case in CLOSED OUT by Tamara Woods
Pray for justice in TREASURES IN HEAVEN by Sarah Biglow
Escape the blame in RING GONE ‘ROUND THE ROSES by Aubrey Elle
Try on some clues in THE MYSTERY OF THE STOLEN RING by Beate Boeker
Search for the suspect in WHEN THE CLOCK CHIMES TWO by Adriana Licio
Catch the culprit in HIJINKS IN AJIJIC by Vikki Walton
Locate the missing loot in VENDORS AND VILLAINS by Angela K. Ryan
You’ll love this collection of intriguing and light-hearted stories from award-winning and best-selling authors from across the globe.
About the Authors
Two US Today bestselling authors are among these nine authors who hail from Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland and the United States.
Their current and past occupations are diverse and include lawyer, perfumery shop owner, biology lecturer, marketing consultant, global house and pet sitter, interior designer, university campus minister, journalist, tea lady, arborist, bookseller and lottery archivist.
Their interests and hobbies are broad too. Here’s just a few: anthropology, walking and hiking, quilting, sailing, lindy hop dancing, suburban homesteading, sci-fi and urban fantasy, playing bagpipes and poetry. While many have traveled and lived in places around the world that were new and exciting to them, one even lives in a tiny campervan that’s traversed several American states this year!
Yet as diverse as they are, they all share a love of cozy mysteries and telling a good tale. And that’s what they have done in this collection of stories and novellas that introduces readers to characters in each author’s cozy mystery series.
The website links for each author in the collection:
Thanks to everyone who answered the reader’s survey I sent to my blog and newsletter subscribers as well as through Twitter and Facebook. I’ve already contacted the winner of the Amazon gift card, but I’d also like to share the result of the survey for those who might be interested. All personal data has been removed.
There were 80 responses. Although I can’t promise to follow all the recommendations, it was great to see what books/stories of mine that you enjoy and your suggestions for my future writing, blogs, and newsletter content.
For those who didn’t complete a survey, please feel free to comment or contact me privately with any other feedback. Also, if you aren’t a subscriber to my newsletter or blog and would like to be, please sign up or email me your details and which one(s) you’d like to subscribe to.
I hope you are all well and hanging in there whether you are working from home, providing an essential service, or on the front lines with health and medical personnel. These are tough times, but we are assured we will get through them. And, like all challenging experiences, we will be stronger from having overcome this situation, but what do you do in the meantime if you’re social distancing at home and are sick of binge watching tv shows?
Here are some suggestions on how to make your time at home less stressful. I’d also recommend trying to keep as close to your normal routine as possible. You can get up, go to bed, and eat meals a little later, but try not to vary those times too much and make sure to shower and dress each day.
Pray. Even if your house of worship is closed to services, check to see if they are offering online sermons or prayer sessions. If not, view the others that are available and/or pray on your own. It will boost your spirit and help calm you. If you don’t believe in prayer, meditation is also helpful.
Learn. There are daily updates about the Coronavirus, but be careful to tune into the trusted sites. There’s a lot of misinformation on the Internet. The main site you should check is https://www.cdc.gov/. Check your local library’s website for other links and information sources. Take advantage of online education. There are many online courses, some of which are free.
Read. Do you have a pile of To-be-read books? Now’s the time to explore them. If you own an e-reader, you can download free books from Overdrive or Amazon. Many authors, including myself, are offering free copies of their books. If you like mysteries, my psychological mystery, Sea Scope is free until Monday, March 23.
Exercise. Don’t skip your workout. Even if you can’t go to the gym, there are many YouTube video exercise classes. I recommend Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home program, but there are a variety of others. Put on your favorite music and dance. Walking outside is also good for the spirit. If you have a dog, he will enjoy laps around the neighborhood, and it will refresh and energize you.
Eat. Don’t skip meals or binge snack because you’re upset, bored, or frightened by what’s happening. Fill yourself with healthy choices — fruits and vegetables. They will keep your immune system strong.
Write. If you keep a journal, continue to write it. If you don’t, it might help to start one. Record your daily feelings, thoughts, ideas. If you prefer creative writing to journaling, write a story or start a book. Keep inspired. Stretch your imagination muscles.
Call. Phone your friends, co-workers, relatives and check in on them. If you’ve been leading a busy life and haven’t had time to keep in touch with people often, now you have the chance. You can also text, chat, Facetime, or write letters.
Play. If you’re home with kids or there are others in your house, take out the Monopoly, Scrabble, or other board game or plug in the XBox and challenge them to a match. Have some fun and destress. If you’re alone, there are online games such as Solitaire. Or you can find some virtual opponents. You might even consider checking out a virtual world such as Second Life. If you have pets, cats and dogs are wonderful companions. Your kitty and/or dog will enjoy some extra snuggle and playtime with you.
Clean. It’s spring. Why not jumpstart your spring cleaning and organizing? It will provide you with exercise and a feeling of accomplishment.
10. Laugh. Humor always helps in tense situations. Check out some of the funny photos and messages on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Check out YouTube for funny videos.
I hope some of these tips help you. If you have any others, please post them in the comments.
I’m honored to have Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, here to talk about herself and her books and also to share the blog tour for her latest release.
Hello, Laura, and welcome. How long have you been published? What titles/series have you published with which publisher?
I’ve been lucky enough to have published 45 books over the past 20 years. My series include the New York Times bestselling Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. All are with Berkley, a division of Penguin Random House.
That’s wonderful. Please tell us about your newest book, Lavender Blue Murder.
As tea shop owner Theodosia and her tea sommelier Drayton enjoy a British-style day of shooting at Creekmore Plantation, gunshots explode like Black Cat firecrackers. But the distinctive pop of a handgun sounds too close for comfort. Theodosia wanders into a neighboring lavender field and discovers their host Reginald Doyle bleeding to death. Hours later, a fire rips through the Doyle’s plantation house. A shooting and a fire feel way too coincidental, so Theodosia launches an investigation. Fingers are pointed, suspects abound, and old secrets are revealed even as Reginald’s daughter-in law is missing and presumed drowned. A wild, cross-country chase with more shots fired reveals the killer. This is one of my most action-packed mysteries yet!
It sounds exciting.
What are your goals as a writer?
Always to entertain and delight my reader. There are so many good books, movies, TV shows, etc. out there, that I really try my best to come up with quirky murders and interesting, twisty plots.
Judging by your success, I’d say you’ve managed to do that.
What type of reader do you attract?
My readers are all ages – I always say my books are good for girls to grandmas. But I get a lot of male readers too. I think it’s primarily women who buy my books and then their husbands or boyfriends pick them up and read them too.
Interesting. I feel the same way about my books. I know men have read my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, although I’m sure they attract women more.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Read the genre you’re most interested in writing and check Publisher’s Weekly to see what editors are buying. Then try to write a little bit each day. When you’re first starting out, it really helps to outline your book. Also, make your chapter one super exciting, weave any necessary back story into later chapters, and try to keep your story moving forward at a super-fast pace.
Great advice. As a librarian, I read a variety of books and am also now a reviewer for Booklist. However, I’m a pantster, so I should probably try to outline more. I’ve also been told that my mysteries pick up later in the book, so I need to add more excitement in the earlier chapters.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before becoming published?
Mostly just finding time. I was CEO of my own marketing firm so it was difficult to carve out time to work on my novels.
Finding time to write is a big issue for most authors. I know it is for me, as I work full-time as a librarian. Your marketing background must’ve helped you when it came to promoting your books.
What do you like most about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
Much like running a marketing firm, I enjoy being my own boss. I can skip a day of work or I can write for 20 hours straight if I choose. My toughest challenges always come in piecing together a good plot and jump starting the book with a scary murder. On the other hand, there are so many delicious ways to kill a person!
Very well put.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love the idea of an amateur sleuth who isn’t constrained by the usual police procedures, regulations, search warrants, etc. That allows my amateur sleuths to snoop around to her heart’s content!
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title?
Love to! Here you go:
Theodosia couldn’t bear it any longer. She knew she had to do something to keep Fawn from being shot to death!
Theodosia lifted her flashlight high above her head and swung it with all her might, as if she were hitting the winning home run in the final game of the World Series. As the flashlight crashed into the dusty window, the old glass shattered like skim ice on a pond. Shards of brittle glass flew like a hail of bullets. Theodosia felt a sting hit her forehead, watched as hundreds more sharp pieces blew into the old barn.
“Stop!” Theodosia screamed with all the sound and fury she could muster. “Drop the gun, Jacoby!”
Caught off guard by the sudden noise and slivers of glass that had come blasting out of nowhere, Jacoby’s hand wavered slightly as he squeezed the trigger.
Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.
But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.
His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.
As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald’s daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she’s made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
About Laura Childs
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.