Sunday, September 20, 2020


It's wonderful to be a stop on the book tour for
Book 6 in the Cajun Country Mysteries
by Ellen Byron

Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron's howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.

Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October--and Halloween--approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.

Five local plantation B&Bs host "Pelican's Spooky Past" packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.

When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play--and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican's spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.



1 lucky reader will win a print copy of


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

Winner will be chosen after September 27 at the end of the tour.

USA only

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

LKBR:  Thank you for joining us today, Ellen.

Ellen: My pleasure! Thanks so much for having me.


LKBR: Please tell us a bit about MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD.

Ellen: An AirBnB-type of app is stealing business from all the historic B&Bs in my protagonist Maggie Crozat’s hometown of Pelican, Louisiana. To capitalize on Halloween, Maggie comes up with the idea of a “Pelican’s Spooky Past” Package for the month of October that all the B&Bs can offer, with guests allowed to enjoy fun events at any of them if they’re staying at one of them. The Crozat family is also opening their brand-new spa, which will feature a masseuse who’s a long-lost cousin… and turns out to be a horror. The book is filled with unique Cajun and Creole mourning customs and spooky doings!


LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?

Ellen: Yes. I just turned in a draft of the seventh book in this series (The Cajun Country Mysteries). I’m also working on the third book in my Catering Hall Mystery series, which I write under the name Maria DiRico – which happens to be my late nonna’s maiden name. The series is set in Astoria, Queens, where most of my family lived while I was growing up. It’s very personal to me.


LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Ellen: Honestly, I kind of fell into it, although given that my father was an advertising copywriter and both my brothers are writers, it seems predestined. I was pursuing an acting career and hit a dry spell. I wrote a play to kill time, and suddenly I was a playwright instead of an actress. I began freelance writing for national magazines to support myself, and eventually moved to Los Angeles to write for TV. I’ve been a writer-producer on comedy series like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS.


LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you thought it would be? The feelings? The process?

Ellen: It was so exciting! I’ll never forget getting that box of books. Wow, what a sight. Then I sent crazy buying swag to give out. I realize now it was tied to a big case of Imposter Syndrome. I doubted my own ability and felt like I had to give people gifts to make up for the guilt of them spending their hard-earned money on my books. I’ve come to be very proud of my series, I’m happy to say. I don’t give out as much swag, but that’s mostly because mailing costs have become so expensive.


LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.

Ellen: I have a VERY thick skin. You have to, if you want to earn your living as a writer. You may think it’s a solitary endeavor but it’s really very collaborative. As a playwright, I worked with actors and directors, constantly rewriting to make the play better. With freelance writing, my editor is the boss. I’m being paid to give them what they want. Same with television. Every script I wrote was rewritten in the writers’ room and then throughout the production week. If you can’t accept changes being made to your work, you stop working. This is not to say that I take every note without a question. Far from it. I evaluate each note to make sure I agree it will improve the script or manuscript. Sometimes you don’t take a suggestion directly. You analyze the core problem someone’s having and find your own way to address and fix it.


LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?

 Ellen: I adore coming up with a great plot point or turn of phrase. And I love communicating with readers. They’re the most wonderful people in the world. I also love being part of the mystery community. It’s such a supportive tribe.


LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?

Ellen: Wuthering Heights. It was my book bible for years, although I re-read it not long ago and in the eyes of today, Heathcliff is a horrible, abusive human being! Still, I’m obsessed with the Brontes, especially Emily. The passion in her writing is astounding. #1 on my bucket list is making a pilgrimage to the Bronte Parsonage in England.


LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?

Ellen: Good reviews – honest ones – are essential to our survival. They inspire other readers to check us out. They also make us feel better when we’re having a bad day, lol. Bad reviews… that’s trickier. All reviews are subjective. Some point out legitimate flaws in a story. Some are more personal. I make it a point not to write bad reviews. If I don’t like a book, I simply don’t review it.


LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?

Ellen: Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.


LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?

Ellen: Them! Certainly not me, lol. I’d much rather share about their life, dreams, obstacles, triumphs. Who knows? I might find a future story. With their permission, of course. 😉

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

Never really ever wanting to visit Louisiana, I read my first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series on request. The others I have read have been because I enjoyed that one so much! Now I’m always ready for a trip to Pelican LA (be it in the pages) with author Ellen Byron.

MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD may be my favorite in the series so far. However, I feel that way after each one I read because author Byron just keeps upping her game with each new tale. I don’t know how she does it!

All I can say about, MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD is, oh my goodness! This was one spooky, fun mystery. Everything from witchcraft and unkempt, creepy cemeteries (just say no to going into these places folks) and an original and unique choice of murder weapon, I can’t mask just how much I enjoyed this book! Seriously, this would have been a one sitting read for me if real life didn’t keep pulling me away.

For returning fans of this series, you’re going to absolutely love, MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD. If you haven’t read any of this series, I don’t feel like you’d be lost starting with this one. And, once you have read it, I’m willing to bet you’ll go back and read the rest of the series.

About Ellen Byron

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body and was inspired by her real life. She’s an award-winning playwright and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, but she considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. A native New Yorker who attended New Orleans’ Tulane University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue furbaby. Sign up for her newsletter at

Author Links 




Purchase Links  
Penguin Random House    -    Amazon    -    B&N    -     Kobo    -    IndieBound 


September 14 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
September 14 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
September 15 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Island Confidential – REVIEW
September 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 17 – Author Elena Taylor's Blog – REVIEW
September 17 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 18 – Angel's Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 20 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 20 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW, RECIPE
September 22 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy - CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 23 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 23 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 24 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 24 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 25 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 26 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
September 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 26 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW
September 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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

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Saturday, September 19, 2020


Autumn is here and
Halloween is around the corner.
That means it's time for . . .
Leaves changing colors and falling. Cooler temps.
The crisp, clean smell in the air.
Spooky decor being displayed. And . . . 
Reading the coziest of the cozies!
Here are 5 titles perfect for 
this time of year. 
I'll be adding more as the weeks go on.

Welcome to Hope Street Church, where friendships are formed, fresh starts are encouraged, and mysteries are solved.

Cooper Lee has never been happier. She has terrific friends at Bible study, a great boyfriend in Nathan, and best of all, a new niece or nephew on the way. But storm clouds are gathering when a string of church robberies comes to Hope Street and an art teacher is found dead in what appears to be a robbery gone wrong. With Halloween approaching, Cooper’s beginning to think there are far more tricks than treats coming her way.

No sooner do she and her friends step in to help the police unearth a killer than they discover a con artist among their flock. Lost in a morass of confusing clues—and even more confusing signals from Nathan—Cooper’s not sure which way to turn. With the stakes so high, she sends up a prayer for some divine guidance, because Cooper knows that sometimes it takes the help of a higher power to bring down the lowest form of evildoer.

Includes heavenly recipes from Magnolia Lee’s kitchen!

Herb shop owner China Bayles is shocked when Halloween hijinks take a gruesome turn...

In a small Texas town, what starts as a little festive Halloween fun ends in a brutal murder. And lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles is even more shocked when her friend Ruby, a New Age expert in tarot and astrology, becomes the prime suspect after a minister accuses her of witchcraft. Now it’s up to China to unmask the real killer...

Halloween may be a time of treats, but for Brandy Borne, there's nothing trickier than keeping her batty mom out of mischief. Opening a booth at the Serenity antiques mall seems like a frightfully sensible solution--until a corpse turns up between the cornucopia and the candy corn. Local law scares up a suspect in the victim's dog, Brad Pit Bull. But Brandy and Mother see through the killer's clever canine masquerade. Their mission: unmask a murderer--before the witching hour comes, and he mauls again.

The winds of change are blowing, bringing gentrification to Callahan Garrity's funky Atlanta neighborhood. Though it probably won't harm her House Mouse housecleaning service, not everyone welcomes the rebirth. And when the body of a murdered microbrewer is discovered in the aftermath of a furious Halloween gale, suspicion falls on the aging "flower child" shopkeeper whom the victim put out of business.

A former cop, Callahan isn't as quick to condemn a colorful local character as some law officers still on the force. But her investigative zeal is stirring up secrets that are forcing her to reassess old friendships and a one-time love -- and is brewing up more lethal trouble than Callahan and her "mice" can safely swallow.

Snowflake, Vermont, is known for its skiing in winter—and its soup all year round, thanks to Lucky Jamieson’s By the Spoonful. Autumn brings golden leaves, pumpkin rice soup, the annual Harvest Festival…and murder.
Lucky’s soup shop is busier than usual this October, with groups of itinerant travelers in town to work the Harvest Festival. One newcomer seems to take a particular interest in Lucky’s young waitress, Janie, spying on her from across the street. Is the stranger stalking Janie?
After an unidentified man is found murdered in a van by the side of the road, simmering suspicions about the travelers are brought to a boil. But when Janie is put in harm’s way, Lucky must join forces with the travelers to turn up the heat on a killer…
Recipes included!


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

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click"View web version". Then follow the above directions.

Friday, September 18, 2020


Cozy Food Friday!

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

This week's recipe is from
Book 1 in the Soup Lover's Mysteries
by Connie Archer

Winter is big business in small-town Snowflake, Vermont. Tourists arrive to hit the ski slopes—and what could be more satisfying after a chilly day of carving powder than a steaming bowl of soup?

When Lucky Jamieson inherits her parents' soup shop, By the Spoonful, she realizes it's time to take stock of her life. Should she sell her parents' house or move in herself? Does she really want to run a restaurant business? And what about her grandfather Jack, who seems to be showing signs of Alzheimer's?

But her life decisions are moved to the back burner after an icy blonde tourist is found frozen to death behind the soup shop. and Lucky is bowled over when her soup chef, Sage DuBois, is led out of the kitchen by the police. As suspicion and speculations snowball, Lucky decides that the only way to save her employee and her business is to find out herself who iced the tourist--and landed her chef in the soup...

Recipes included!

This book is an oldie, having been released August 7, 2012, but certainly a goodie. One of my all time favorite cozy series. 
If you haven't read it, you need to!



photo courtesy of

2 cups of jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1½ pounds of tomatoes (or substitute a 16-ounce can of crushed tomatoes)
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cups frozen or fresh spinach
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of dried basil (fresh basil leaves are even tastier)
6 cups of vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

photo property of


   Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 cups of jumbo pasta shells to the boiling water with a few drops of olive oil. Stir and lower heat slightly. When pasta is slightly al dente, drain and set aside.

   Sauté the onion and the garlic with the olive oil in a pot for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes, carrots, spinach, oregano and basil. Add vegetable broth to the mixture. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Ladle soup over the pasta shells and serve with great Parmesan cheese for garnish. 

photo property of

Those chilly nights are coming. They've actually arrived in many places. Can't you just imagine a hot bowl of this soup with some warmer, crusty bread?


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

Both the BB and 56 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.

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 

"I know you worry about me, Mom but you don't have to. And I know you'd love my new apartment. Elizabeth is renting it to me, for a while at least, till I figure things out."
My 56

Meg looked up, her face stained with tears. "Lucky, he was lying, . . . . . "


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

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upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

What's Cooking?

Great deals on cookbooks!


If you haven't been to the website

you have got to check them out!

Here are some of the wonderful 
cookbooks you can get at amazing prices.

The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook: 175 Super Easy Recipes Made Just for You

List Price: $19.99 
Our Price: $8.09 USD
Sale Price: $6.87 USD

The Sprinkles Baking Book: 100 Secret Recipes from Candace's Kitchen

List Price: $26.00 
Our Price: $11.89 USD
Sale Price: $10.10 USD

Nashville Eats: Hot Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuits, and 100 More Southern Recipes from Music City

List Price: $35.00 
Our Price: $15.09 USD
Sale Price: $12.82 USD

250 Best Meals in a Mug: Delicious Homemade Microwave Meals in Minutes

List Price: $24.95 
Our Price: $10.79 USD
Sale Price: $9.17 USD

Goldy's Kitchen Cookbook:  Cooking, Writing, Family, Life

List Price: $24.99 
Our Price: $8.09 USD
Sale Price: $6.87 USD

Steak and Cake

List Price: $22.95 
Our Price: $10.29 USD
Sale Price: $8.74 USD

The Truck Food Cookbook

List Price: $18.95 
Our Price: $9.45 USD
Sale Price: $8.03 USD

Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol: A Book-to-Table Classic (Puffin Plated)

List Price: $25.00 
Our Price: $10.55 USD
Sale Price: $8.96 USD

Cook It Quick: All-Time Family Classics in 10, 20 and 30 Minutes (Taste of Home)

List Price: $24.99 
Our Price: $7.49 USD
Sale Price: $6.36 USD

You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free!: 500 Delicious, Foolproof Recipes for Healthy Living

List Price: $21.95 
Our Price: $4.39 USD
Sale Price: $3.73 USD


This doesn't even come close to the all the great cookbooks you can find at the Book Outlet they have. It's not even 1%!


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

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click "View web version". Then follow the above directions.