Saturday, October 21, 2017


I'm so excited to be a stop on the 
blog tour for authors
Lois Winston, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Maggie Toussaint, Jonnie Jacobs, Heather Haven, Vinnie Hansen, Mary Kennedy, Rita Lakin, Judy Alter, and Camille Minichino
on their release of
Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by eleven critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series--a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin--Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they're best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.

Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston--Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia's life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?

No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint--Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo's nearby wealthy client, only she's dead and broke. To Cleo's horror, she's a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?

What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O'Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs--Attorney Kali O'Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali's doubts about her client's innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.

The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino--While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl's mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven-- When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen--Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It's murder, in more ways than one.

A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy--When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?

The Color of Fear. A Kelly O'Connell Novella by Judy Alter--Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly's assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family...and on Keisha.

Papa's Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin--Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment iat a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them?



Winners will be chosen after October 20
at the end of the tour

Five lucky readers will win an E-copy of


Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.


Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty romantic thrillers and mysteries, plus numerous short stories. She lives in Northern California with her husband, five children, and assorted pets. For more information visit her on the web at

LKBR:  Thank you, Allison for being here today!

AB: Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to represent the Sleuthing Women authors today.

LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

AB: I can’t remember not wanting to be an author. As a young child, I read everything, but gravitated first to Encyclopedia Brown, then to Trixie Belden, quickly followed by Nancy Drew and books by Lois Duncan, Joan Nixon Lowry and Agatha Christie. When I was young, there was no real Young Adult section in the library or bookstores, so at the age of 13 I read The Stand by Stephen King and knew for certain I wanted to write a book just like that (ha!) I wrote him a fan letter and told him I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. He wrote back and said, “If you want to be a writer, write.” It took me years before I took myself seriously and actually finished a book.
LKBR: What was your inspiration for this series? Where did the name come from?

AB: My friend Laura Griffin, an award-winning romantic suspense author, and I had dinner one night at a writer’s conference. We got to talking about our books, our publishers, what we wanted to do, and the growth of the indie book market. We thought it would be fun to write something together, and as we talked, we realized there were very few mystery series that were, essentially, buddy stories with two female protagonists. There, the Moreno & Hart Mysteries were born. I came up with Scarlet Moreno as a character – her name just popped into my head. (I had wanted to name her “Jax”, but that was too close to my traditionally published Maxine Revere cold case mysteries.) Laura named Krista Hart. We set a few story “rules” (like their backstories) but we each write scenes from our own character’s POV – then we edit each other’s scenes to make sure all character is consistent.

LKBR: Do you ever get writer’s block? If you do, how do you work through it?

AB: I want to say no, I never get writer’s block. And in some ways, that would be an honest answer. When I get stuck I push through because I have to. (I have more than 30 traditionally published books – they pay me when I turn in the book. That is a huge motivation!)

But there are times when I struggle. It’s not generally plot or story related. It’s almost always because I doubt that I can pull off the story I want to write. It’s self-defeating behavior, and I’ve written extensively about it on my personal blog, Murder She Writes. Basically, you have to accept that your first draft will never be perfect. That to expect perfection is self-defeating behavior. Anything can (and should!) be edited. So get down the core story and go from there.

Stephen King gave some of the best advice on combating self-doubt:
“Writing fiction, especially a long work of fiction, can be a difficult, lonely job; it’s like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub. There’s plenty of opportunity for self-doubt. If I write rapidly, putting down my story exactly as it comes into my mind, … I find that I can keep up with my original enthusiasm and at the same time outrun the self-doubt that’s always waiting to settle in.”
LKBR: Do you have a favorite place to do your writing?

AB: I wrote most of my first 9 books at Starbucks because we lived in a small house, I had five kids (three toddlers at the time!) and didn’t have my own space. Writing at a desk in the family room was next to impossible. When we moved and I actually had my own office, I learned to love writing at my desk in my own space, with my own music, and the freedom to stare off into space for hours if I wanted! (They think you’re crazy if you do that at Starbucks.) I can write anywhere, and often have to (including softball tournaments and on airplanes), but I will always pick my office. The caveat is if I am really stuck in a story, I like to go to a local pub, put in my earbuds, and write while drinking a pint or two of micro-brew beer. Sometimes, the change of scenery is a great motivator.

LKBR: What is your writing schedule like? Do you write a certain number of hours a day, or go by word count?

AB: By necessity, I go by hours. I have five kids, though two are out of the house. I write when the three at home are in school, and if I’m on a deadline, I’ll write at night after dinner. In the summer, I banish them from my office during the day. If I’ve put in the time and I’m stuck, I’ll take the night off. If I’m on a roll, I’ll write as long as the muse is singing. I write on the weekends if we don’t have plans. I write from 1,000 to 10,000 words a day – but as long as the story itself is flowing, I don’t stress over the daily word count.
LKBR: What is the hardest part of writing? What is the easiest part?

AB: There’s no good answer to this question. It changes all the time. Writing itself is not difficult for me. I love writing. The hard part is constantly trying to make the next book better than the last. That can lead to self-doubt. As I’ve matured as a writer, I can see my own mistakes better (not typos and stuff, more like story mistakes – character, pacing, etc.) As a multi-published author, sometimes the business itself is hard, and putting aside business issues in order to let creativity flow can be difficult.

LKBR: Do you have plans for a new series?

AB:In addition to the Moreno & Hart Mysteries that I co-write with Laura Griffin, I have two other active series – the Lucy Kincaid romantic thrillers (the 13th book, BREAKING POINT, comes out in February) and the Maxine Revere cold case mysteries (the 4th book, SHATTERED, was released at the end of August.) I have another Lucy and another Max book due to my publisher by the end of this year. But even so ... yes, I have another series I’m developing. Sort of an edgy, FBI-themed crime thriller. We’ll see what happens!

LKBR: What book are you reading?

AB: I just finished SECRETS IN DEATH by J.D. Robb. I love that series. On the top of my TBR pile is LIE TO ME by J.T. Ellison; an advanced copy of CAGED by Ellison Cooper; and an advanced reading copy of Colleen Coble’s next book. She writes beautiful women’s fiction, usually with a mystery or suspense element. Yes, I get spoiled sometimes because I get to read some great books before they’re released!
LKBR: What are three things you want your readers to know about you?

AB: First and foremost, I love everything about books. I love reading books, I love writing books, I love reading out loud to my children. Second, I love television. In fact, I’m a TV addict. When I got serious about writing, I was still working full-time outside of the house. In order to find the time to write, I gave up television for 3 years. Now, I use TV as a reward for a good day’s work and watch WAY too many programs. And finally? I really, really love research – especially hands on research. Especially when it involves SWAT training and I get to play the bad guy. Makes me wish I was single, twenty years younger, and thirty pounds lighter! 

LKBR: Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better, Allison!

AB: Thank you!


It’s just about impossible to go wrong with a series of mysteries written by the authors brought together to bring readers, SLEUTHING WOMEN II.

Many of my favorite authors are part of this exciting mystery set. And each brought with them a mini masterpiece from their individual existing series. And while they are novellas, not one author involved cut back on quality of writing just to form a shorter story. Each book in this set is as wonderful as the main series they each come from.

There may have been one or two stories I liked better than others, but there wasn’t one that I didn’t like. Each one unique, I was drawn into each tale, and thrilled in the mystery, and intrigue of every story.

Give yourself a gift, and pick up SLEUTHING WOMEN II. As for me, I’m hoping for a SLEUTHING WOMEN III!


October 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 17 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW
October 21 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
October 22 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
October 23 – Nadaness In Motion – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 24 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 25 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
October 26 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
October 26 – Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW
October 27 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
October 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
October 29 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 29 –The Book’s the Thing – GUEST POST
October 30 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 31 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST


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Friday, October 20, 2017

Cozy Food Friday

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring 
Book 1 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mysteries
by Naomi Miller

In the small town of Abbott Creek, IL, Mystery is a part of everyday life. 

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop, baking and taking care of customers . . . not exactly a profession where one expects to be thrown into the midst of mysteries and murder investigations.

But when the bakery is broken into, someone has to find the thief . . . someone has to solve the problem of where to do the baking, how to get the orders to customers - and what to do about the messy thief who is trying to ruin the town's Independence Day celebration.


Naomi Miller mixes up a batch of intrigue, sprinkled with Amish, Mennonite, & English characters, adding a pinch of mystery - and a dash of romance!

Naomi’s day is spent focusing on her writing, editing, and blogging about her experiences with writing. When she's not working diligently to finish the next book in her Sweet Shop Mystery series. Naomi tries to make time for attending workshops and writers conferences. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization. 

Naomi also enjoys traveling with her family, singing inspirational/gospel music, taking a daily walk, and witnessing to others of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.


On to the recipe!


All food photos are borrowed from Google Images and its contributors, with many thanks. 
Your finished dish will vary in appearance.

Recipe Contributed to BLUEBERRY MURDER by DJ Mynatt


1 white or yellow cake mix
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cups water

   Prepare cake mix according to directions. Add 2 cups fresh blueberries and fold into batter. 
   Bake following instructions on cake mix box. 


1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp. milk
additional milk as needed

   Prepare icing, mixing small amounts of confectioners sugar with milk to desired consistency. 
   Spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Recipe © DJMynatt 2016

You can never go wrong with cupcakes.
These are easy, and sound amazing!


Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56

Both the BB and 56 are also from


Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

My Book Beginnings

Katie Chupp felt a chill run through her as she unlocked the door to The Sweet Shop. Hesitating, she turned and looked around, taking in the scenery around her.

My 56 (56%)

The tears were streaming down both of her cheeks, but she paid no attention to them as she continued to pray.

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


I just have to say how much I'm enjoying this feature. I've always loved cookbooks, so this is so much fun for me! I hope it is for you too.

Oh. My. Goodness. 
This week's cookbook features one of my favorite bite sized yoummies, that go with anything and everything!  


by Dan Whalen

This quirky single-subject cookbook features more than 50 recipes for making fun, delicious, and over-the-top meals with tater tots, from Chicken Tot Pie to Totchos (tot nachos), Hots 'n’ Tots (jalapeno tot-poppers) to Apple Tot Crisp.

A cookbook all about potato tots? How could I not want to read this book?! 50 different recipes for a freezer staple in my house is just what I need!

TOTS! TOT-ALLY AWESOME RECIPES FROM TACHOS TO SWEET PO-TOT-O PIE opens with a short, to the point introduction from author Dan Whalen, about his research into the world of tots.

There are just five chapters in this book of potato tot goodness, but they are packed with information and recipes covering from the basics – a sort of Tots 101, to dessert tots. Yes, you read that correctly. Dessert tots!

TOTS! has a simple, easy to follow design. The recipes pages are straightforward with no illustrations. There aren’t photos for each recipe, but the ones included are full color, beautifully done, and made me hungry.

There are 160 pages of information, including a fun tot timeline, from when they started to what they are today, and recipes like Homemade Tots, Rosemary Truffle Tots, Tots Poutine, Spinach-Tot Dip, Cheeseburger Tot Sliders, Deviled Tots, Tots Benedict, Chicken and Tot-Waffles, Mac ‘N’ Tot ‘N’ Cheese, Totsgiving Stuffing, Apple Tot Crunch, Salted Caramel Tot Cookies, and many more!

Overall, I enjoyed TOTS!, and have found many dishes that will be instant hits in my home. Will you read the word ‘tots’ a lot? You sure will! But go with it, and enjoy the funny, punny names of these creative recipes.

You have tot, ummm I mean, got to check out TOTS!  TOT-ALLY AWESOME RECIPES FROM TACHOS TO SWEET PO-TOT-O PIE!

Dan Whalen is the founder and creator of the popular recipe blog The Food in my Beard. In the past 4 years since the website's inception, he has published over 700 recipes that have been viewed over 6 million times. He has been featured in many prestigious publications such as Saveur, Bon Appetit, Serious Eats, Fine Cooking,, MSNBC, and Huffington Post.

He currently lives in Boston, where he is writing for the General Mills blog, He also does restaurant menu consulting, the most recent of which is a recently opened burrito and coffee shop called Cafe Burrito in Belmont, MA.

When not working, Dan can usually be found looking for inspiration at indie rock shows, watching scripted TV series, eating out with his friends, or playing Super Mario.

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.