Friday, November 24, 2017


It's
Cozy Food Friday

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

Today I'm featuring 
SECRETS AND PIES
Book 3 in the Callie's Kitchen Mysteries
by Jenny Kales


If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Callie’s Kitchen! Greek-American restaurateur Callie Costas faces down another killer in picturesque Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. Summertime in Crystal Bay means tourist season for Calliope “Callie” Costas, owner of Callie’s Kitchen, a Greek-meets-Midwest from-scratch eatery. Business is booming but so is the stress. Callie can barely keep up with the demand for her famous summer fruit pies and savory Greek delicacies, plus she’s agreed to bake dozens of “pitas” for the annual Greek Fest. When Callie is asked to deliver cast party treats for a Murder Mystery Night at the historic Harris House, it seems like a welcome break from her hot stove. That is, until she finds herself an unwilling player in yet another suspicious death. Worse yet, the victim is a family friend and graduate student working on a project involving Crystal Bay’s colorful past. Before long, a motley crew of suspects makes things as juicy as the succulent berries strewn around Callie’s Kitchen. And that’s not all Callie’s got on her plate. Add family obligations, a deepening romance with a local detective and unexpected personnel problems to the mix. One thing’s for sure: Callie’s got the recipe for a long, hot summer!

About Jenny


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Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series, featuring Greek-American Calliope Costas, feisty food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, “Crystal Bay,” is inspired by a favorite family vacation spot – Wisconsin’s beautiful Geneva Lakes. ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK is the debut book in the series, followed by SPICED AND ICED. The author is currently hard at work on Book 3!

Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier. Keep up with author news for Jenny Kales by following her on social media: Facebook (@JennyKalesMysteryAuthor), Twitter @Jenny_Kales, Instagram (jennykales_author) and Goodreads. Visit her website at https://jennykales.wordpress.com/

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From Jenny

The day after Thanksgiving, we might feel as stuffed as the turkey we just feasted on. Besides the turkey, we’ve likely indulged in mashed potatoes, gravy, numerous side dishes and sumptuous desserts. Christmas and New Year’s with their rich foods are just around the corner. It might be time for some lighter, more wholesome fare to sustain us through this most festive and food-filled of all seasons. 

I’ve got the perfect recipe to get your day going right: Baked Oatmeal Cups! These tasty little cups are just right for baking on a Sunday and heating up during your busy week. They’re also easily popped in the freezer and taken out and reheated as needed! What could be easier? 

Grab one as you head out the door on your way to work, or to another round of Christmas shopping. They’re also perfect for kids. If you’re like me and you prefer your oatmeal to be in a cookie, you will LOVE these. I also like this recipe because it is definitely something that my main character and amateur sleuth, Callie Costas, would serve to her famished and holiday stressed-out customers on those frosty Wisconsin mornings. 

Enjoy this hearty, yet wholesome recipe. It’s great fuel for the holiday season and warms you right up without weighing you down.

BAKED OATMEAL CUPS

Food photos property of and courtesy of Jenny Kales

Ingredients:

4 cups uncooked oats (quick oats or old fashioned)
2 cups low-fat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 Tbsp honey
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup applesauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
Toppings of choice: chopped fresh apples, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raisins or other dried fruits
Vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt for serving, optional


Instructions: 

   Heat oven to 350°F. Have ready a 12-cup standard muffin tin. Spray the muffin tin with baking spray, or line cups with paper liners.

   Place oats in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine milk, vanilla, applesauce, cinnamon, and eggs. Blend well, then add to oats and mix until thoroughly blended. Let mixture stand a few minutes, then divide evenly among muffin cups. If you like, sprinkle your topping of choice over the muffin cups. If using apple topping, sprinkle a little more cinnamon on top before placing muffin tin in the oven.


   Bake 15 to 20 minutes or just until set. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm. Top with a little vanilla Greek yogurt if desired. The cool yogurt with the warm oatmeal cup is delicious.

   To freeze leftover oatmeal cups, place in freezer bag; seal securely. Freeze up to 2 months. To reheat in microwave, place one oatmeal cup on microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high in 10 second intervals or until heated through.


Thank you, Jenny!

Hands up . . . Who else is going to try these very, very soon?

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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 from


You won't find the recipe for Baked Oatmeal Cups in
 SECRETS AND PIES
but you will find many other amazing recipes!

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

Like a good pie crust, life needs a balance of ingredients, or you may be disappointed by the results.

My 56 
(56% on Kindle)

"You don't happen to remember the name of the person who wrote the article, do you?" Callie asked, thinking that the author of the piece might have some illuminating theories. 

BOOK ONE                                     BOOK TWO

BOOK THREE

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, November 23, 2017


WHAT'S COOKING?

Comfort, friends and simpler days.    

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THE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES COOKBOOK
CHARMING RECIPES FROM ANNE AND HER FRIEND IN AVONLEA
by
Kate Macdonald
and
L.M. M0ntgomery


Finally experience the foods from this classic children's series with The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook.

Join Anne Shirley and her friends in Avonlea with the charming recipes in The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook, a recipe collection inspired by L.M. Montgomery’s famous children’s book series, Anne of Green Gables.

Have you ever wanted to sneak a sip of Diana Barry’s Favorite Raspberry Cordial or try a slice of Anne Shirley’s Liniment Cake (without the liniment!)? Now you can, with the delightful teatime snacks, mains, desserts, and more created by Kate Macdonald, L.M. Montgomery’s granddaughter.

From Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches and Marilla’s Plum Pudding with Caramel Pudding Sauce(without the mouse!) to Gilbert’s Hurry-Up Dinner, the recipes included here are mentioned throughout the books in the Anne of Green Gables series, along with recipes from L.M. Montgomery’s own kitchen. With a lovely grosgrain ribbon, full-color photography, whimsical illustrations, and quotes and anecdotes, this cookbook is the ideal gift for all “kindred spirits” and lovers of Avonlea.

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MY REVIEW


A delightful cookbook that will be cherished!

I very much enjoyed THE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES COOKBOOK. Reading this treasure took me back to a loving place, and made me long for simpler times.

This book starts with an introduction from author Kate Macdonald, daughter of Anne of Green Gables author, L.M. Montgomery. While this cookbook will be a favorite among adults, in the introduction, Ms. Macdonald is clearly speaking to young (child) cooks, with instructions for safety, and cleanliness (though good reminders for us adult cooks as well). The introduction is followed by helpful cooking tips and terms.

Each chapter of THE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES COOKBOOK is based on a different series. Chapter 1 - Recipes from Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 2 – Recipes from Anne of Avonlea, Chapter 3 – Recipes from Anne of Windy Poplars, and finally Chapter 4 – Recipes from L.M. Montgomery’s Kitchen. Every chapter is filled with beautiful color photos of most of the recipes, along with quaint sights. Also, on just about every page, are quotes from the beloved characters of the series.

Some of the recipes you’ll find are . . . Puffy Apple Dumplings, Gilbert’s Hurry-Up Dinner, Marilla’s Plum Pudding, Miss Stacy’s Baked Macaroni, White Sands Scalloped Tomatoes, Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches, Thick and Creamy Vegetable Soup, Orange Angel Cake, Fire and Dew Sweet Potatoes, Cavendish Catsup, and so many more!

I can’t stress how much I loved THE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES COOKBOOK. This heart and tummy warming cookbook is a much have for cooks off all ages, and of course, fans of Anne of Green Gables. Pick up a copy for yourself, and for a friend. You’re going to adore it!


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, November 22, 2017

I'm so happy to have author
Anne Celeste Burke
in today's
Author Spotlight!


Anne is so excited to be in the Spotlight, 
she having a giveaway! 
Keep reading for more information.

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Mr. Burke write books in three different series.

Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series

BOOK 1                       BOOK 2

BOOK 3                         BOOK 4

            BOOK 5                  COMING SOON

Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series

BOOK 1                        BOOK 2

BOOK 3

Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mysteries

BOOK 0                           BOOK 1

BOOK 3                         BOOK 4

BOOK 5

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*****!!!GIVEAWAY!!!*****
One lucky reader will win their choice of any one title from Anna Celeste Burke (Boxed sets not included) Print or Kindle copy, also winner's choice!

This giveaway is open Worldwide!

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

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AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNE CELESTE BURKE


LKBR:  Thank you for being here today!

ACB: Thanks, so for inviting me to join you on your lovely blog! I’m delighted to be here and excited to share my books with your readers.


LKBR: Please tell us a bit about your books and series.

ACB: I write books in three series. The Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series set in the Coachella Valley, in and around Palm Springs; The Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series that takes place in a fictional location on California's Central Coast; and The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series set in   Orange County, California—better known as “the OC.”

All the mysteries I write blend romance and humor into the storytelling, and they focus "Snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, & food--California style!" Murder and mayhem are weighty subjects. I write about them under the influence of sunny skies and blue Pacific waters. Years ago, I “worked for the Mouse” at “the Mouse Factory” otherwise known as Walt Disney World. Trained as a chef at Walt Disney World University’s Chef School, my characters always eat well as they fight off evildoers and figure out whodunit.


LKBR: How did you come up with the concept for this series? How about the idea for this installment?

ACB: The Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series was the first series I wrote. My husband and I were looking for a place to retire and visited Palm Springs, California. I had been to the Coachella Valley many times while growing up, but I was stunned by how lovely it is. Not just the natural beauty of a desert oasis surrounded by mountains, but there’s a wonderful architectural heritage in the area.

Some of the homes we looked at were stunning, not to mention well beyond our price range. I wondered what it might be like to have all that money and a spectacular home. Then an image of Jessica popped into my head. Rich, beautiful, and well-educated I imagined her lounging on a chaise by the pool in the backyard of a gorgeous golf course estate home.  
Beneath her expensive sunglasses was a woman in shell shock. Ruthlessly betrayed by her husband, her well-planned life has been turned upside down by the Great Recession, and she’s looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Life has become one big mystery for a woman used to having it all under control.
That’s when I decided she’d make an interesting, albeit reluctant sleuth, as she realizes her scumbag ex-husband isn’t the only well-heeled heel in her life. Bam! The pity party is over. Her best friend’s husband is murdered, and Jessica Huntington’s in over her head trying to figure out whodunit. Does that go well? Oh, heck no!

“My first day as a sleuth was more Stephany Plum than Miss Marple.”
The idea for the next book in the series comes from a situation, character, or event in the current book I’m working on.

My newest release is A DEAD MOTHER, Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery #4.
Jessica’s ex-husband, James Harper, and her mother, Alexis, are in big trouble in A Dead Mother. Family dysfunction, infidelity, murder, and mayhem—what else can you expect from members of the rich and famous who move in Jessica Huntington’s circles? An arraignment in court goes off the rails after Jim Harper’s Bel Air mansion is trashed and a man is left fighting for his life. Jessica’s love life almost veers off track, too, as she struggles to balance job, family, sleuthing, and her attraction to Attorney Paul Worthington and Detective Frank Fontana. When the body of a prominent member of the community is found dead on the side of the road, Jessica gives up hope that this year will be better than the last. It’s a three-ring-circus of calamities as Jessica and her friends get pulled into another whirlwind whodunit. There are plenty of well-heeled heels to choose from among the suspects with murderous motives: love, lust, lucre, and loathing. 


LKBR: Do you have a favorite character in your books or series?

ACB: Jessica’s my “first born” so she holds a special place in my heart. So does Jessica’s lovable estate manager and surrogate mother, Bernadette. We should all have a Bernadette in our lives!


LKBR: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love, action, death, etc.?

ACB: At least initially, I had trouble giving the bad guys nuanced character. More recently, I’ve tried to produce bad guys [or gals] with some redeeming features. Not my forte as a write, however. One of my pet peeves is unjust authority—people in positions of privilege and power who abuse others are hard for me to find sympathetic.


LKBR: In your writing, have you ever used experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

ACB: Oh, yes. I borrow phrases, body language, and facial expressions from real people who are often vividly pictured in my mind. I draw from situations I’ve encountered or observed with family, friends, or even strangers.
Brien Williams, Jessica’s wannabe surfer dude pool boy who’s stranded in the California desert, is always mangling language. It’s not only that he sprinkles the conversation with surfer lingo, but he tries to use big words and often uses them in the wrong way.

For example, in A Dead Sister, book 2 of the Jessica Huntington series, Brien quite certain that Bernadette has “extrasensitory precipitation.” What he means, of course, is that she has ESP—extra sensory perception. One of my little brothers who shared Brien’s love of big words came up with that phrase. He was seven years old at the time and I was in awe at his attempt to reach beyond his abilities to express himself. That’s exactly how I feel about my character, Brien, who, in his twenties, is beginning to want more from himself and for himself. I love characters who can grow and change over time. That’s one of the great luxuries that a series allows.


LKBR: When you’re in the process of writing/creating a book, do you use a computer, typewriter, dictate, or use pen to paper?
ACB: I’m a laptop computer fan. Occasionally, if I’m stuck someplace without it, I’ll resort to making notes on my cell phone or scribbling madly with pen and paper.


LKBR: Do you have any writing quirks or rituals that you do before, during, and/or after writing a new book?

ACB: No. My husband has urged me to take more time to celebrate, but I’m usually eager to launch into writing the next book in the lineup. With three series up and running, I always feel like I’m neglecting my characters if I wait too long to take them on a new adventure.

I do love holding paperback copies of a new book in my hands. For me, that’s a highlight of the whole process.


LKBR: What does your family think about your writing? How important is their support?

ACB: My husband reads every word I write. His written feedback is important, but his verbal and nonverbal reactions as he’s reading tell me more about how the manuscript works. If he laughs his way through the comical episodes, and becomes quiet, almost holding his breath during a suspenseful part of the story, I feel like I’m on the right track. His interest, love, and support are vital to me as a person and as a writer—especially if I have one of those blah or low moments that all writers experience. He’s the best!

LKBR: Who/What inspired you to write your first book?  

ACB: My first few decades of writing stemmed from my career as a professor. While I was still a student in graduate school it dawned on me that a career as a teacher and social scientist meant I’d chosen a life as a writer.

There’s a saying that’s used often in University settings: “Publish or Perish!” They mean it! You don’t finish graduate school unless you’ve written a dissertation—that’s typically a book-length manuscript on some supremely nerdy topic. It’s got to stand up under the critical eye of faculty reviewers or you get to rewrite it! And, you don’t get or keep your job as a professor unless you continue to publish more articles and books.

My first works of fiction were inspired my desire to write something more lighthearted and fun than scientific writing allows. Every journal article or nonfiction book has a story to tell. Good academic storytellers try to do that well, but as you can imagine, making stuff up is a big “no-no” in scientific and technical writing. I love the creative flow that goes with inventing characters and other aspects of fictional storytelling.


LKBR: What was one of the most surprising thing(s) you learned when trying to get your first book published?

ACB: Writing the book is only the beginning, not the end of the process. Finding ways to help readers discover the book you’ve written requires a huge effort. I was totally shocked by how much time and energy it takes to market a book after it’s been written.


LKBR: What book are you reading?

ACB: As usual, I’m reading about a dozen fiction and nonfiction books. One of my favorites right now is a book by John Main on the practice of meditation.



LKBR: Do you have any advice for aspiring cozy writers?

ACB: Writing starts with reading. For me, that has meant reading lots of books in different genres. That includes devouring hundreds of traditional and cozy mysteries.  

Write, write, write! Then, edit, edit, edit. Just tell your story, then evaluate it. Separating the creative and critical parts of writing is a vital skill. I wish I’d learned how to do that sooner. I still struggle to keep the critic at bay!!

Once a story has been written, it’s important to get as much feedback as possible—not just on grammar and spelling although that’s important. Input about character development and plotline is also valuable, along with feedback about pacing, dialogue, the use of the setting, and spotting “discontinuities” in the storytelling. By that I mean places where there are glaring errors about who said what. Situations where characters say things they couldn’t possibly already know, or some element of their backstory gets goofed up.   


LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

ACB: My Website: http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com (Sign up for my newsletter and get a free eBook)


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

ACB: I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a bit about my life and my writing. I’m happy to answer questions from readers, so please join me on Facebook and my website.


Learn More About The Author


Anna Celeste Burke is an award-winning, USA Today Bestselling Author!

Welcome! Join me to get a free eBook--just copy & paste the link: http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com 

Life is an extravaganza! figuring out how to hang tough and make the most of the wild ride is the challenge. 

On my way to Oahu to join the rock musician and high school drop-out I had met in San Diego and married in Tijuana, I was nabbed by the police as a runaway. When the police let me go and the rock band broke up, my husband and I had to find another way to survive. Our next stop: Disney World where we trained to be chefs, courtesy of the Walt Disney World University. A GED for my husband and many more years of education landed us in academia at The Ohio State University. Retired now from my role as a professor in social work and behavioral science, I have picked up a long-time interest in writing fiction. I'm still married to the same sweet guy and live with him in the Palm Springs area. In addition to reading and writing fiction, I enjoy painting, hiking, hanging out with my handsome husband and tending to my Siamese kitties. 

An award-winning and bestselling author I enjoy snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, & food—California style! My books include the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series set on California’s Central Coast, and The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery series set in Orange County, California--the OC. Coming soon: The Misadventures of Betsy Stark also set here in the Coachella Valley. Find out more at http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com.

Dr. Anna Celeste Burke, USA Today Bestselling Author
Snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, & food--California style!

And now the giveaway!
GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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Click on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page!