Friday, February 17, 2017

I got a late start promoting Cozy Food Friday yesterday due to Internet issues.
Author Maria Grazia Swan has agreed to stay and play another day!
So, it's Cozy Food Saturday! 🙂

Cozy Food Friday

and a


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

Today I'm featuring a recipe from
Book 1 in the Bakers Girls Cozy Mysteries
Maria Grazia Swan

Can't resist lighthearted comedy dressed with a little mystery that never takes you down a dark road? Good, because that’s what you get when you put two hot Italian imports together. Meet the hot pink Fiat 500 and its owner, real estate agent Monica Baker. Now stir in a dead body, a caterer about to lose her license, a real estate office coming off the rails, a goofy Great Dane, and a lively heroine who can’t help falling for the brooding bad boy. This is the world of Monica Baker: a high-speed mystery with a serving of mischief and a side of laughs.

About Maria

National Bestselling author Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people find happiness. 

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't? 

Maria has written short stories for anthologies, articles for high profile magazines and numerous blogs tackling love and life. 

"I love to hear from my readers. thank you"

Contact Maria:
-or- touch base with her on Facebook  



1 - $10.00 Amazon Gift Card - USA
1 - eBook copy of COOK, CROOKS AND A CORPSE -Worldwide  

Use the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post to enter.


On to the recipe!

Brenda’s Pasta Primavera

Food photo are courtesy of Google Images. your dish will vary in appearance.

Serves 4

This version works for vegetarians. 
If you are following a gluten-free diet, substitute gluten-free pasta for regular pasta. You can use your favorite brand. My choice is Barilla.


12 ounces of pasta. Brenda’s uses Barilla thin spaghetti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
½ pound of broccoli, trim thick stems
½ pound of cauliflower
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of heavy cream 

   Cook pasta according to directions.
   While waiting for water to boil chop broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces.
   Once the pasta is in the pot, melt butter in large skillet over low heat, but don’t let it brown. Set aside.

   Two minutes before removing the pasta from the boiling pot add the chopped broccoli and cauliflower to the boiling water/pasta.
   Drain well pasta and veggies, transfer to the skillet with melted butter, toss well. Add heavy cream and cheese, toss some more and serve. 

(4 servings)

Buon appetito

Monica’s 1 pot-15 minutes version….if you dare
Serves 2

8 ounces of pasta, (half a package) Barilla thin spaghetti 
   cooks in 5-6 minutes al dente
Salt and pepper as needed.
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoon of olive oil
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1-10 ounces package of frozen vegetables. Monica likes the Oriental Stir-fry plain, but any frozen vegetables would do.

   Cook pasta according to directions.
   While pasta is cooking, open frozen vegetables, discard wrapping and put vegetables in colander. Let hot water from kitchen faucet run over frozen vegetables. That way they will thaw but remain crisp.
   When pasta is done, turn off faucet and pour pasta over vegetables in colander.      Drain well.
   Quickly return the pot in which the pasta was cooked to the same burner, add butter. Allow it to melt over a low burner but do not allow it to brown.
Pour pasta and vegetables on top of melted butter, add olive oil and toss well.
Serve with grated cheese to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Admit it. 
You're stomach is growling, isn't it?


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

Both are 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

My Book Beginnings

I parked my Fiat 500 inside the open gate and headed up the long driveway of the Dumont residence.

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 Friday 56 

"Swell, can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to meeting him," 
she said sarcastically. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Want to follow my blog? 
Click on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dianne Harman
has a new book!

Dianne is celebrating the release of 
Book 7 in the Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery series 
with a


Book number seven in this bestselling cozy mystery series by seven time Amazon All-Star.

When Nikki Evans is murdered in the sauna at the Serenity Hotel and Spa on opening day, Judy Rasmussen’s dream of owning a premiere hotel and spa in Calistoga, California, turns into a nightmare.

Her friend, Liz Lucas, an amateur sleuth who’s come to the hotel and spa for the opening weekend, has to find the killer before the new hotel and spa’s chances for success are ruined by the bad publicity the murder will bring. The murder victim was a guest at the spa and part of a group of five women who are there for a college reunion. But who would want the reunion attendee dead? And what is the motive? Was it her college roommate, who’d never forgotten what Nikki had said about her years ago? Was it her husband, who resented that he had to use her inherited money to pay back the company he’d embezzled from? Was it the winemaker who wanted Judy’s property, so he could grow more grapes? Or was it the owner of La Spa, who didn’t want any new competition?

Join Liz and her big boxer guard dog, Winston, as they try to catch the killer, but will they succeed?


Dianne is giving away 2 copies of


You can find a full list of Dianne's titles here. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

You're not having Déjà vu. I have posted this before.
I have my reasons.
First . . .You can never have too much Nancy Drew.
Second . . . I going to be posting Nancy Drew reviews more often, as I re-read my way through the series.
So, I'm starting from the first one!

by Carolyn Keene

The Secret of the Old Clock is the mystery that began it all for America's favorite teenage sleuth. 

The accidental rescue of a little girl who lives with her two great-aunts leads to an adventurous search for a missing will.

Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will.

They say you can’t go home again. I don’t know who “they” are, but they’re wrong. When I held this book in my hands, it felt like home. When I opened the book, I felt like a child again. When I read the first line, “Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving home along a country road in her new, dark blue convertible,” I was home, and I was a little girl again. The memories flooded into me so fast, I smiled and teared up at the same time. I was back with my idol, Nancy Drew. And you know what? I still want to grow up to be just like Nancy.

I drank in THE SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK like I had been dying of thirst. I suppose I was really. A thirst for those old feelings of adventure. The ones that I thought so many cozy mysteries had quenched. Don’t get me wrong, cozy mysteries are my oasis in life. They bring me shelter and nourishment. They are the cooling rain in the middle of a vast desert. But Nancy Drew? Well, reading Nancy Drew again was the tall glass of ice water I have been craving.

Wonderful from page one until the end, I truly enjoyed riding along with Nancy as she found herself involved in her first case. I was so excited and anxious, it was like I was right the with her the entire time.

Reading the interactions between Nancy with her father, Hannah her house keeper, and the wide cast of characters she meets and befriends in the story, was great fun. As a girl, Nancy’s kindness was the first thing that drew me to her. And she holds that same appeal to this day.

While Nancy was working so hard to help the families that stood to benefit from her finding the clock, she found herself in many dangerous situations. I really like that she didn’t always get herself out of them. She had no problem with yelling for help. Had no problem taking help that was offered. This made Nancy not only heroic, but human.

Sure, the times have changed. They have even changed for Nancy. The edition I read has been updated and changed from the original, first edition story from 1930. Yet that makes no difference. I still find Nancy Drew to be timeless.

If I had a daughter, I would encourage her to read this entire series. I do however have a niece, and when she is old enough to read at this age level, I will be proud to buy her, her very first Nancy Drew book, THE SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK. As a matter of fact, it would be fun to buy her not only “my” Nancy Drew, but to buy her the more recent series that have followed. She and I can read those at the same time and both learn how the story of the world’s favorite female detective has grown and still lives on!

I strongly encourage anyone with a young girl in their lives to introduce them to the world of Nancy Drew books. After all, once you have her hooked on those, you’ll have someone to pass all your cozies on to!

Retro Cover

Who says you can't go back again?

I've been working on rebuilding my Nancy Drew collection for a while now. I'm looking forward to reading them again and sharing my reviews with you.

I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am!

80th Anniversary Limited Edition

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

Want to follow my blog? 
Click on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kathi Daley 
has a new book out! 

You know what that means don't you? 


Kathi is giving away one copy of her new book  
Book 11 in the Whale and Tails Mysteries

Secrets collide after a single horrific moment leaves one person dead and one fighting for their life. This fast paced cozy mystery will have you glued to the page as Cait and Cody join forces with a cat named Moirai in a race against time to track down a killer.

Giveaway is open to both US and CANADA
US winner - choice of print or Kindle copy
Canadian winner - Kindle copy only

Use the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post to enter.

About Kathi

Author of the Zoe Donovan cozy Mystery Series, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series, Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries, and Seacliff High Teen Cozy Mystery Series. 

Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she's not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.

Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.