Tuesday, September 19, 2017

BOOK TOUR


I'm very happy to be a stop on the 
blog tour for 
Stan Schatt
and his new book
MURDER AT THE RIVER BEND RETIREMENT RESORT


When a very disagreeable resident of the exclusive River Bend Retirement Resort is murdered, bestselling mystery writer Miriam Lipsky has to find the real killer to save her dear friend from prison. She finds the retirement home seethes with intrigue, passion, and jealousy. To make matters worse, it's hard to distinguish what residents actually saw from what they imagined.

Miriam finds she has to search for the killer while juggling an autistic grandson, a divorced daughter with a tendency to choose the wrong man, her best friend's overly friendly husband, and a stalker who who leaves her more and more threatening notes. To make matters worse, her rabbi who won't take no for an answer when it comes to fixing her up. 

Miriam, a widow after a disastrous marriage, has given up on love. Just when she is sure that part of her life is over, someone new appears from a very unexpected place.

Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort is a cozy mystery with a sleuth who has to learn on the job. Despite her best intentions, Miriam makes mistake after mistake and yet moves ever closer to discovering a cold blooded killer who has no remorse.


An Interview with Stan Schatt

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today!
SS:  I’m very happy to be here with you.


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

SS: When I was around twelve, I went to my school library and couldn’t find a novel that covered what I was interested in. I went home and wrote a short novel in cursive. In retrospect it wasn’t very good, but it certainly got me interested in writing.


LKBR: What was your inspiration for this series? Where did the name come from?

SS: I have written a police procedure trilogy starting a female detective and a psychic reporter (the Frankie and Josh series with Pen-L Publishing), and I wanted to try my hand at a cozy mystery since I met so many people who told me they preferred cozies. Another motivation is that I think it’s good to have an older heroine who still winds up having a romance.
The name of my main character (Miriam Lipsky) came out of thin air –I did want an old-fashioned type name since she is 55. It wouldn’t fit to give her a name like Tiffany.


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

SS: I generally work on a couple of books (one novel and one non-fiction) at the same time. I’ve managed to write over forty books this way. It seems to keep me from developing writer’s block since I can change modes—writing fiction and non-fiction are very different.


LKBR: Do you have a favorite place to do your writing?

SS: I can write anywhere, but mostly it’s at a desk in our study. I can write with the TV on, people talking, etc. Nothing bothers me when I get into a zone.


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

SS: I write in bursts, generally at least some writing each day. I can write all day when I get in a zone. The only time I have worried about word count and schedule was when I had contracts for books while working for full-time. I had to budget my time very carefully after work and on weekends to meet my contracts.


LKBR: What is the hardest part of writing? What is the easiest part?

SS: Well, with mysteries the hardest part for me is to fully develop the plot so there are no loose ends. I want plenty of red herrings, but I also want a reader to be able to go back after having read the book once and discover that the clues that were overlooked would have led directly to the killer. The easiest part of writing for me is coming up with ideas for the books. I have several files labeled “Mystery Novel Idea” or “Science Fiction Novel Idea” or “YA Novel Idea.” Each folder now has several ideas for future novels in it.


LKBR: Do you have plans for a new series?

SS: Perhaps. I do have a book currently out for consideration by a publisher. If the publisher decides to publish it, I will turn my attention to a sequel.


LKBR: What book are you reading?

SS: I just finished Michael Connelly’s The Late Show. Since I’ve written a book about Connelly, I have read and re-read all of his novels and short stories as well as the articles he wrote as a crime reporter for the LA Times.


LKBR: What are three things you want your readers to know about you?

SS: 1.  I’ve done almost everything ---autopsy assistant, English Professor, software trainer, sales manager, network manager, law enforcement administrator, etc. My wife says she’s been married to 12 different men.

2. I’m curious about almost everything. I’ve written books on law enforcement, poetry, telecommunications, career changing, politics, etc. as well as novels covering several genres including science fiction, paranormal mysteries, police procedure mysteries, cozy mysteries, young adult adventures, etc.

3.  I try to incorporate a lot my experiences in my fiction. As an example, my wife and I traveled to Cairo, and I’ve written an adventure describing a 14-year old girl’s experiences in that city at the time of the Arab awakening.


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


MY REVIEW


A cozy mystery unlike any I have ever read, MURDER AT THE RIVER BEND RETIREMENT RESORT was a quick paced read that was entertaining from beginning to end.

Author Stan Schatt has developed an eclectic cast of characters. Protagonist, Miriam, who is a mystery author, was a wonderful character I enjoyed getting to know. Her divorced daughter, who is a handful, her grandson who has Asperger’s, the town sheriff, Miriam’s friends, and residents of the Retirement Resort, all make this a very original story.

The mystery aspect was most captivating. So many questions to be answered, so many directions it took before everything started to fall into place. It was fun to see Miriam put her mystery writer’s mind into the investigation, and see how different it was to her than fiction.

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery with a different style and voice, MURDER AT THE RIVER BEND RETIREMENT RESORT is one you should really check out.


ABOUT STAN


Stan is the author of over 40 books including the Frankie and Josh mysteries. He has published books on career changing, technology, and writers that include Michael Connelly and Daniel Silva. Author Links Webpage: www.stanschatt.com @stanschatt GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/search?q=Stan+Schatt 
 Purchase Links Amazon   B&N 


TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
September 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, INTERVIEW September 20 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – Mythical Books – REVIEW
September 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 23 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW
September 24 – Laura's Interests - SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW
September 26 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
September 27 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT
September 28 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
September 29 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT October 1 – Lori's Reading Corner - SPOTLIGHT


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

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upper right hand corner of this page.

Monday, September 18, 2017


Welcome to week 3 of the
FIVE AMIGOS FALL-O-WEEN FUN!
with Bloggers Mary Brown, Karen M. Owen, Karen Kenyon, Sheryl Hagan-Booth and yours truly!

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My Fall cozy mystery pick for this week is
MURDER BY THE SLICE
 by Livia J. Washburn


At this year's school carnival fund-raiser, the obnoxious president of the Parent Teacher Organization is found stabbed through the heart with Phyllis Newsom's own knife, with traces of incriminating frosting. Clearing her name will be no piece of cake...


What's better than a cozy mystery with baked goods? A cozy mystery with baked goods that takes place in Fall!


MURDER BY THE SLICE takes place during autumn in Weatherford, Texas. During the school carnival , series lead Phyllis Newsom is a suspect when a victim is found with her through his heart!


This second book in the Fresh-Baked Mysteries, is filled deliciously with murder, mayhem, and frosting, all set in the warm Fall background of Texas. And things keep getting hotter as Phyllis tries to find the real killer and clear her name! 


That's my pick for this weeks Fall title! Make sure to check out MURDER BY THE SLICE, and the entire Fresh-Baked Mystery series!





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My Amigos Mary, Karen & Karen, and Sheryl  want to share their fall picks for this week with you
Please head over to their blogs and check them out!

Mary's blog


Karen & Karen's blog


Sheryl's blog


Check back next Monday with the Five Amigos for more great Fall cozy mystert picks!


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.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING
Book 3 in the Cajun Country Mysteries
by Ellen Byron


Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.

The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.

The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.

MY REVIEW


Quite simply, a fun and entertaining mystery!

I’ve had the first two books of the Cajun Country Mysteries in my TBR since they both came out. I read so many books, that sometimes I overlook titles in my stacks. However, after reading book three in the series, A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING, I will be moving up the others to read much sooner.

So fabulous were the descriptions from author Ellen Byron, I instantly became lost in Pelican, Louisiana. The people, the scenery, the excitement of Christmas in the air. Every word pulled me further in. I felt more like an observer than merely a reader. I feel like I can honestly say I have been to Louisiana.

The mystery element of A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING was superb. Lost deep into the story, wanting to solve this whodunit, I barely came up for air. With each new chapter author Byron added another layer of intrigue, another outcome as to how this tale would end. I was completely surprised when I read the reveal.

This emotional cozy also had a happy turn of events. One that has me looking forward to a new book in the series, as well as going back and catching up on those I missed in order to fill in the back stories of these characters I instantly loved.

All of the above, and amazing recipes too, A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING is a book you have to add to your bookshelves.

Available now for pre-order
Releases
October 10!


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let me know what you think!

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Saturday, September 16, 2017


WAGGING THROUGH THE SNOW
Book 21 in the Melanie Travis Mysteries
by Laurien Berenson


Melanie Travis needs a little peace from her busy life this Christmas. But the usual holiday hubbub is a joy compared to the killer surprise she finds tucked underneath the tree . . .
 
With a demanding teaching job at Connecticut’s elite Howard Academy and five poodles scampering around the house, Melanie barely has energy for the upcoming Christmas rush. But she unwraps an unexpected challenge when her brother and ex-husband, elated by the recent success of their country café, make a spontaneous bid on a dilapidated pine tree farm. Although the ten-acre lot had been a popular seasonal destination while the original owner was still alive, it’ll take some sprucing up—and a small miracle or two—before the neglected place is in shape for December. 
 
Unfortunately, the impromptu business venture goes cold when the group discovers a purebred Maltese whimpering in the snow-covered grove—right beside a dead body. Pete, a squatter who camped out on the land, apparently met his end after a fallen fir tree branch knocked him on the head. But as Melanie and Aunt Peg investigate Pete’s history and the terrible habit that cost him everything, it’s clear his death was no accident. Now, Melanie must run through a flurry of likely suspects and muzzle a dogged murderer in time—or she’ll be next on someone’s deadly list.

MY REVIEW


Every time I think I’ve read the best Melanie Travis Mystery, author Laurien Berenson proves me wrong!

I adore this series. Melanie is a great protagonist, and a lot of fun to read. The supporting characters all add so much to it. And of course, there are dogs! Melanie’s dogs, all five of them, have the greatest personalities. The way Berenson describes them, I get clear pictures in my mind of each and every one of them. 

WAGGING THROUGH THE SNOW is another splendid installment in this wonderful series. An exceptional mystery that kept me guessing, and I still got it wrong. Author Berenson really knows how to throw plot curves into a story. By the time of the reveal, I was dizzy for all the twisting and turning!

Along with the mystery element, WAGGING THROUGH THE SNOW has a lot of laugh out loud moments. I had to wipe away tears during one particularly funny scene. I still find myself chuckling when I think back on it.

To be a shorter than normal cozy mystery, Ms. Berenson manages to pack in a lot of mystery, action, and hilarity into WAGGING THROUGH THE SNOW, without the story feeling rushed. She even gets a recipe in there for readers!

Available now for pre-order
Releases
September 26


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let me know what you think!

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Friday, September 15, 2017


It's
Cozy Food Friday

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

Today I'm featuring 
SEEDS OF DECEPTION
Book 10 in the Orchard Mysteries
by Sheila Connolly


The New York Times bestselling author of A Gala Event returns with newlyweds Meg and Seth Chapin who should be worried about writing thank you notes, not taking a juicy bite out of crime...
 
With the bushels of time they spent organizing their wedding, Meg and Seth didn’t have a chance to plan a honeymoon. But now that winter has arrived, there’s not much to do at the orchard. So with their shared love of history and all things apple, they pick Thomas Jefferson’s orchards at Monticello as the perfect getaway.
 
While they enjoy the beautiful sights, there’s a rotten addition to the agenda when Meg’s parents discover their handyman dead in the backyard. With a bitter police chief eyeing Meg’s father as a suspect, Meg and Seth have to cut their honeymoon short to find the root of the problem.

 
Includes Delicious Recipes

About Sheila


After collecting too many degrees and exploring careers ranging from art historian to investment banker to professional genealogist, Sheila Connolly began writing in 2001, and has now published over thirty traditional mysteries, including several New York Times bestsellers.

Her series include the Orchard Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), the Museum Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), The County Cork Mysteries (Crooked Lane Books), the Relatively Dead Mysteries (Beyond the Page Press), and beginning in 2018, The Victorian Village Mysteries from St. Martin's Press.

Her first full-length, standalone ebook, Once She Knew, was published in October 2012. 

Connolly has also published a variety of short stories: "Size Matters" appeared in the 2010 Level Best Anthology, Thin Ice; "Called Home," a short prequel to the Orchard series, was published by Beyond the Page in 2011; and "Dead Letters," an e-story featuring the main characters from the Museum series, will be published by Berkley Prime Crime in February 2012. Beyond the Page also published "The Rising of the Moon," and another Level Best anthology includes "Kept in the Dark," which was nominated for both an Agatha award and an Anthony award for 2013.

She is passionate about genealogy, both American and Irish, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of Mayflower Descendants. She is also an Irish citizen and owns a cottage in West Cork.

She lives in a too-big Victorian in southeastern Massachusetts with her husband and three cats. Find out more about her at her website, www.sheilaconnolly.com

MY REVIEW


An ambrosia of sweet mystery, I breezed through SEEDS OF DECEPTION and became smitten with this series all over again. 

I’ve been a fan of the Orchard Mysteries since the very beginning after reading book one, ONE BAD APPLE. Trust me, there isn’t a bad apple in this series! Throughout the ten books in this series, author Sheila Connolly has penned amazing characters, visual descriptions that make the reader feel they are watching events rather than reading them, and excellent plots that deliver mystery, action, education, and fun!

While I love all the books in the Orchard Mysteries, I do have favorites, and SEEDS OF DECEPTION is now one of them. Author Connolly has done an incredible job growing this series and this title is proof of that. Ten books in and this story is crisp, fresh and filled with a bushel of intrigue. 

You’re going to want to take a bite out of this golden delicious mystery!

Make sure to check out the tasty recipes at the back of the book when you have your own copy of SEEDS OF DECEPTION!

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On to the recipe!

Apple-Cherry-Marzipan Pie
All photos are by and property of Shelia Connolly
Crust:



8 oz (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 lb plain white flour
1/4 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt
Water (about 5 Tblsp), chilled




   Place the butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and salt and pulse again.



   Place the water in a cup or pitcher and add slowly until the mixture holds together to form a dough (you may not need all the water, but it shouldn’t be crumbly).



Knead on a floured surface long enough to combine. Wrap it in plastic wrap or put in a plastic ziplock bag and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.



Filling:



Zest of 1 lemon

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1/3 white sugar
4 Tblsp cornstarch
6 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2” slices (I used the last of my home-grown Cortlands)




7 oz marzipan, cut into small cubes

1 cup dried cherries (or you could substitute cranberries)



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

   In a bowl, combine the lemon zest, cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch.

   Flour a board and a rolling pin. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Divide into two portions, one half the size of the other (bottom and top). Roll out the larger piece and fit it into a 9” pie pan (the pastry should overlap generously), pressing it against the sides of the pan. Place in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.




   An aside: this recipe worked better than most of my pie crusts. For a 9” pan, this must be rolled fairly thin, but it held together well and was elastic enough to fit into the pan. When baked, it was nicely crumbly and light. It’s a keeper!

   Arrange a layer of apple slices in the pie dish and sprinkle with the marzipan cubes and cherries. Repeat in layers until the pan is nearly full at the edges and heaped in the middle.




   Roll out the smaller piece of dough to make a lid that fits over the apples. Crimp the edges of the bottom crust over this to seal. Make a hole in the center of the crust to let the steam escape. 




   If you like, beat an egg yolk with a little water and use as a glaze over the crust.



   Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown (test to make sure the apples are soft). If it’s getting too brown after 25 minutes, cover the top with foil to keep the edges from burning.


This pie looks and sounds 
amazing, doesn't it?

A big thank you to author Sheila Connolly for allowing me to lift this from her post at

Sheila has another great apple recipe over at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today! 
Make sure to check it out!

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

Both the BB and 56 are also from


SEEDS OF DECEPTION


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

"Good morning, Mrs. Chapin."

Meg was awaken by the sound of Seth's voice, followed quickly by the smell of coffee. 

"And good morning to you, Mr. Chapin." Meg pried her eyes open. 

My 56

Maybe the toilet seat . . .


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

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clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.