Friday, January 30, 2015


It's
Cozy Food Friday!
and
Giveaway!

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

Today I'm featuring a recipe from the cozy mystery 
PLAYED BY THE BOOK
Book 4 in the Novel Idea Mystery series
by
Lucy Arlington

The New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries make their return with Lila Wilkins, literary agent and “murder magnet” planning a book signing garden party. But things aren’t coming up roses when she ends up trying to weed out a dangerous killer…

The owner of A Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, to launch his new gardening book. But Lila is less than excited about the hubbub when she sees the mounting to-do list on her desk. Between planning York’s gala and sprucing up her yard for another event, she’s spread too thin—especially after she finds a skull buried in her flowerbeds.

As Lila’s macabre discovery leads to other secrets hidden in Inspiration Valley’s past, a member of the local garden club is found slumped over her prize roses—murdered with a garden spade. Now it’s up to Lila to dig through old mysteries and new clues to unearth a murderer before someone else is found pushing up daisies…

Along with today's recipe, 
author Lucy Arlington/Susan Furlong
is giving away this amazing prize package!

Book Tote
Apron with Lucy Arlington Mysteries logo
Tea Towel
Oven Mitts
Baking Utensils 
2 Recipe cards
and
1 signed copy of 
PLAYED BY THE BOOK!
I'm jealous I don't get to enter this one myself! 


Use the Rafflecopter form 
at the end of this page to enter
This give away is open to 
US and Canada only

On to the yummy recipe! 

In Played by the Book, Lila, who is busy planning a book launch gala for one of her authors, feels overwhelmed by her to-do list. (As well as her latest sleuthing adventure.) Her son, Trey, takes to the kitchen to whip up a little comfort food. Here’s what he makes:

Trey’s Mac-n-Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

 1 (8-ounce) package of penne pasta (elbow pasta or other like shapes are fine)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup half-and-half
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
5 slices of bacon, cooked
1 tomato, sliced thinly
¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg (optional)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Prepare pasta according to package instructions. (Best if cooked al dente.)

Cook bacon until slightly crisp, and cut into pieces. 

Melt butter in a large pot, whisk in flour and cook the mixture while constantly whisking. 

Whisk in half-and-half and milk. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens.

Slowly stir in all cheeses and mix until smooth. 



Remove the mixture from the heat and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg if desired.

Fold in pasta until all the noodles are completely covered. Stir in bacon pieces.

Pour the mixture into an 11x13 baking dish. 

Top with tomato slices and additional Parmesan cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and golden brown. 

Yields: 7-9 servings

NOTE: All photos, with the exception of the first, are from Google images.
Your finished dish may look different from those shown here.

Is anyone else really hungry right now?

Before moving on to the Rafflecopter entry, Please, keep reading and check out my installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
and
The Friday 56

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

Keeping my Cozy Food Friday theme going with 
PLAYED BY THE BOOK by Lucy Arlington
Book 4 in the Novel Idea Mystery series
My Book Beginnings for this week..

I was completely engrossed in reading my latest proposal, a cozy mystery set in a charming English hamlet, when a couple of specks of dirt fell across my paper. I looked up just in time to see a blue ceramic pot coming down fast. 

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.

Continuing with PLAYED BY  THE BOOK
My Friday 56...

"You mean you're not going to make it?" The question came out louder than I intended. I drew curious stares from every direction.

"I'm afraid not. I'm sorry. We've made a major breakthrough..."

I blocked out his words, shutting my eyes and attempting to stay calm.

PLAYED BY THE BOOK
by Lucy Arlington
My Review
There are books that I love from the very first page. PLAYED BY THE BOOK is one of those books. I was drawn in to the story immediately and savored turning every page. Well, not the last page because that meant this wonderful read was over. Only a few pages in I laughed out loud when during a conversation, Lila's boos said, "You scratch their backs and they'll scratch yours." and Lila, whose point of view the story is from, thinks to herself, "Oh yeah, well, my back isn't itchy." LOL Loved it!

 The main character in the Novel Idea series is Lila. I really enjoyed her character and look forward to spending time with her again, as well as her family and friends when the next installment is released. (Do we really have to wait a year?) 

From the finding of the skull in Lila's flower bed, the murder of a garden club member, to the exciting conclusion, (Quoting Ms. Arlington's own words from a scene from this book), PLAYED BY THE BOOK had "twists and turns so unexpected that they kept me spellbound until the last page." I couldn't have said it better myself. 

Readers may or may not know that the first three books in this series were written under the pen name, Lucy Arlington, by authors Ellery Adams and Sylvia May, both of whom created the series. They have turned the writing duties over to the wonderful author, Susan Furlong.  I mention this to assure fans of this series not to worry. Ms. Furlong has flawlessly transitioned into the role of Lucy Arlington and PLAYED BY THE BOOK is every bit as awesome as the first books in the series. I'll go so far as to say, she her voice has improved upon an already outstanding series. 

And make sure to check out the preview of PEACHES AND SCREAM by Susan Furlong which can be found at the end of the book. PEACHES AND SCREAM is book 1 in the new Georgia Peach Mystery series, due out July 2015!

PLAYED BY THE BOOK
Pre-order now for February 3 release

Author Lucy Arlington/Susan Furlong
MEET THE AUTHOR: 
The Novel Idea Mysteries is a New York Times bestselling series of cozy mysteries, including Buried in a BookEvery Trick in the Book, and Books, Cooks, and Crooks and, now, Played by the Book all written under the pseudonym of Lucy Arlington. The writing team of Ellery Adams and Sylvia May, two friends who collaborated on the series, first conceived of Lucy Arlington and her literary agent sleuth. Together, the duo penned the first three books in the series. As time passed and their personal writing workload grew, the two passed the series to another author: Susan Furlong. In addition to now writing as Lucy Arlington, Susan Furlong is the author of another upcoming cozy mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, The Georgia Peach Mysteries. To learn more about Susan, visit her website at www.susanfurlong.com

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.

On to the giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

NOTE: If you use both the "Follow on Twitter" and "Not on Twitter" entries, your "Not on Twitter" entry will be removed and in future giveaways readers will be disqualified. 
"Not on Twitter" is only for readers who do not have Twitter accounts. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

???????????????????????
Solutions!
From yesterday's blog

1. Nothing to Fear but Ferrets
2. Bite the Biscuit
3. Beaglemania
4. Never Say Sty 
5. Chihuahua Chaos

105 comments:

  1. I love the mashes. Glad to have found this site. Judy Dee

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  2. This is a new cozy mystery series for me, and Played by the Book sounds intriguing. I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the recipe and giveaway.

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    1. Jen, you'll enjoy the whole series! Played By The Book is the best so far!

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  3. The series looks great, hope to get a chance to read it :)

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  4. I have read the first two books in this series. They were great. Can't wait to Continue with it.

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    1. Candace, if you liked those, you will for sure love this one!

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  5. Wonderful recipe, Lisa. Thank you. Makes me hungry! And I enjoyed your review of Played by the Book.

    Susan

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    1. Susan, I can't take credit for the recipe. That was all Lucy/Susan. It made me hungry too! I so happy you enjoyed the review! Thank you.

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  6. I love your Cozy Food Friday's Lisa. A Novel Idea Mysteries are one of my favorite series. I love the foodie inspired swag. Thank you for the giveaway being open to Canada.

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    1. Tina, I love Cozy Food Fridays too. Our cozy authors have wonderful recipes! And I'm happy you can take part in the giveaway! "Most" of my giveaways are for US and Canada, and once in a while I can even do world wide!

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  7. The recipe looks good, I am looking forward to readying the book.

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    1. Laira, the best part about this recipe is, if you don't like a certain cheese, you can exchange for one you do like. Same with the pasta. And of the "tubular" pastas would work great!

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  8. Great review! Definitely on TBR list! Can't wait to try to mac and cheese, my go to comfort food! :)

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    1. Tonya, thank you for the kind words about the review! Growing up, my family was always big on mac and cheese too. LOL But with us, it was a side dish.

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  9. "Mr. Shepard?"
    Jack rose, and a tall woman swept toward him.
    Dorthy Kerns was a blonde, but not the kind who have more fun. She was the fragile type, like a fairy queen, delicate and untouchable, friable as a frozen bird.

    The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library by Alice Kimberly

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    1. Tonya, thank sounds really good! Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  10. I love mac & cheese and this recipe sounds yummy! "Played by the Book" is on my TBR list. Beaglemania gave me the most trouble, on yesterday's mashup! :)

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    Replies
    1. Pat, a great recipe for a cold day. LOL Beaglemania gave a few trouble. Several people guessed Manageable.

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  11. Great recipe, but I'll leave out the tomato! Thanks for teh chance to win this great prize pack!

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    Replies
    1. Kat, I'm not a tomato person either. But is sure does add beautiful color.

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  12. Yummy, would love to read the book. Thanks for the giveaway. kphans08@gmail.com

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  13. Recipe sounds delicious. Love anything with pasta
    Book sounds interesting. Would love to win a copy so I'd have a new series to try.
    thanks.

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  14. I've enjoyed this series and can't wait to read this one. Wonderful giveaway - it would go very nicely in my kitchen since I have a cinnamon red mixer and coffee maker!

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    Replies
    1. Kuzlin, it would match your mixer perfectly! Good luck.

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  15. I haven't read this series yet, but now I'm intrigued. Thanks for sharing the excerpts and the delightful tidbits....here's mine: “JUBILEE’S JOURNEY”

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    Replies
    1. Laurel, you would really enjoy it. I stopped by your blog and commented.

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  16. Love this series and can't wait for this next one. Thank you!

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  17. What a wonderful recipe and a great giveaway. Thanx
    als@foxgull.com

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  18. What a wonderful recipe and a great giveaway. Thanx
    als@foxgull.com

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  19. I can't wait to seewhat she does with that

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    Replies
    1. Vicki, if you're talking about the series, Susan has done as wonderful job.

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  20. I love books with literary settings. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. I love literary settings as well. Always fun to read!

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  21. Thanks for the recipe and great giveaway... I hope that I'm the lucky one! :)

    afarage(at)earthlink.net

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    Replies
    1. Alicia, you're welcome. And good luck to you!

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  22. You can never go wrong with any version of mac & cheese. That looks yummy.

    I love this series. Can't wait to read this one. And thanks so much go the giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. Grandma, thanks for stopping by. I'm always happy to see your comments!

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  23. I came for the contest but am leaving with tonight's dinner. That recipe looks scrumptious!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Oneponychick, enjoy your dinner! If you do fix it, takes some pics and send them to me at lisaksbookreview@aol.com and I'll post them here.

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  24. I can't wait to try out this recipe! I love to cook this is a great giveaway! The book sounds pretty awesome! Thanks for the chance!

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  25. This recipe looks yummy! Awesome giveaway. Fingers crossed! :)

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  26. Love this series.
    rjprazak6@gmail.com

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  27. I'm a big Lucy Arlington fan so I'm here for the giveaway and to copy the book cover art for my cover collection. Having it handy goes a long way if I decide to review the book.

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    Replies
    1. Nora, good to see you. You can always go to my Pinterest page and find a lot of covers there! http://www.pinterest.com/LisaKsBkReviews/

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  28. I love following the Lucy Arlington's books. I would be over the moon to win the wonderful giveaway. Thanks for review.

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  29. Great Giveaway Lisa! I just picked up Lucy Arlington's Buried in a Book Sunday. So this would be great to have!

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  30. I'm a fan of Lucy Arlington books---and now I learn that Susan Furlong is the same writer. I'll have to check out those books, too.

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    Replies
    1. Sue, Susan has done a fantastic job taking over the series! You'll enjoy them.

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  31. Love the recipes! Book sounds wonderful! Thanks for the chance!

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  32. I haven't tried this series yet, I have to say though after reading your review, what made you laugh out loud, did for me also, and I love a book that can make me laugh. Also I have got to try that recipe, it looks so yummy.

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  33. Love mac & cheese! And I eat mine with slices of tomato with Italian dressing over them. I'm sure I'll like this recipe. Thanks Lisa. Wow! What a nice bit of swag...thank you Lucy!

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    1. Wel, Keep, this recipe was made for you! And I bet you'd love the book too!

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  34. Your post made me so hungry--for both the mac and cheese and the mystery. I'll read this book for sure.
    My Friday post features A DARK & STORMY KNIGHT.

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    1. Sandra, it made me hungry typing it up! Thanks for stopping by. I just checked yours out as well and left a comment.

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  35. My favorite cozy mysteries involve books, authors, libraries, bookstores, etc. I will definitely check out this series.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Catherine, the Novel Idea series is perfect for you!

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  36. That mac-n-cheese looks so good! I hadn't heard of this series before today and now I've read two posts on it. It does look good.

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    1. Bea, if you've read about it twice, seems like you're meant to check it out!

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  37. The mac-n-cheese recipe is going in my recipe file! It looks delicious and is easy to make. Thanks so much and I hope you are having a wonderful day!

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    1. Deb, I'm happy we could add to your file! Enjoy!

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  38. I love your blog and this recipe made me very hungry!

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    1. Sandy. Thank you! comment like yours keep me going.

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  39. This is one of my FAVORITE series!!! And I LOVE to cook!!!

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    Replies
    1. C, LOL then your trip to my blog was twice as nice for you! :-)

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  40. This series has been on my TBR for ages and I'm really looking forward to getting to it. The recipe looks delicious and like a good way to use up some tomatoes during the summer. Thanks for sharing!

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  41. Love this series.

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  42. thank you for this giveaway!!
    I love this series!!!!
    just finished the 2nd book in the series.......

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  43. The recipe looks wonderful...yummy!

    I read the first book in this series and loved it. I have to get back to reading it.

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  44. I can hardly get past the recipe--more like the picture of the finished product!! I'm hungry & bacon in any meal is a winner I'm drooling. Ok now I'll read the blog & put that casserole in my subconscious mind :)

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  45. Phew!! Hard getting my mind off that casserole but I managed. Now about the real reason we are here--the blog!! I believe this would be a first for me in reading this series. I can't recall any taking place in an English hamlet. The word book is in the title, & it's a cozy so that means it's an "A" for me ( I would've given "A+" had bacon or the casserole been in the cover) but "A" sounds like a good read to me!! :D

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  46. Aways good reviews and recipes here and chances to win prizes are fun.

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  47. The recipe sounds delicious and I'm anxious to try it. Susan Furlong is a new author to me but I'm excited to start reading her books. Thank you, Lisa, for the review, and leading me to another wonderful writer.

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    1. Ruth, Susan is not only a good writer, she is an awesome person!

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  48. I love this series...and the recipe sounds great too!

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  49. Sounds fabulous and the recipe looks good too...
    Marilyn Watson ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  50. The book and the recipe both sound delicious! Thank you so much for sharing. I will have to pick this up soon.

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  51. Looking forward to Played By The book. Dish looks good...bacon with Mac & cheese. Mom added celery instead of tomatoes with a bit of mayo.

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    1. Linda, that sounds good too. There are so many things you can do ti a plain mac and cheese to switch it up!

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  52. I'm definitely trying that mac n cheese, thanks for sharing!
    Funny how your cozy's beginning is about a cozy... lol.. Sounds like a great series for sure. Love your review!
    Good luck to all who enter the giveaway!
    Happy weekend!

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    1. Freda, thanks for stopping by. I thought it was great that the cozy started with a cozy too.

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  53. Both the book & recipe sound great !

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  54. Wow, what a fantastic contest and prize package! The book and the recipe both sound great! Thank you for the chance!
    woodrumbetty@gmail.com

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