Friday, July 31, 2015

Kathi Daley 
has a new book out! 

You know what that means don't you? 


Kathi is giving away one copy of her book  
Book 16 in the Zoe Donovan Mystery series

When Zoe finds the body of the lunch lady on the hopscotch course the week before the new school year, she is pulled into a mystery that will find her volunteering as soccer mom, classroom mom, and PTA board member. It's funny, it's family, it's a Zak and Zoe murder investigation.

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 

Learn More about Kathi Daley

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let me know what you think!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cozy Food Friday!

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

Today I'm featuring two recipes from
both from
Mary Kennedy
based on her 
Dream Club Mystery series.

Welcome to our kitchen! The kitchen is the heart of the home. This sense of warmth and companionship is what The Cozy Chicks try to invoke in our novels. And now, our cookbook will allow you to enter the heart of our cozy mystery worlds—the stories of our characters, of their authors, told through food. For a short while, our heroines have taken a break from crime solving to don aprons and wield spatulas and wooden spoons. And they’d like nothing more than to spend some time with you. THE COZY CHICKS KITCHEN is chock full of mouthwatering gems. Everything is here: main dishes, desserts, salads, soups, drinks, and did I mention desserts? Don’t miss this fabulous collection. I’ve got both the ebook version and a hardcopy. Get yours today! --Julie Hyzy, New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef and Manor House mysteries The Cozy Chicks Are Bestselling Authors: Ellery Adams / J.B. Stanley Deb Baker / Hannah Reed Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett Kate Collins Mary Kennedy Mary Jane Maffini Maggie Sefton Leann Sweeney


I love cookbooks and I love cozy mysteries, so getting a copy of THE COZY CHICKS KITCHEN with recipes from my favorite cozy authors was a must.

I’ve had it for a year now (This second edition came out in 2014 and I was a bad reader and forgot to leave a review then!), and not only have I enjoyed many of the recipes, I have actually read it through several times.

This book has a bit of everything covered…Starters, soups, salads and veggies, main dishes, pies, cakes, and other sweets treats, and other assorted dishes. All of them are so simple to make, which is great. And more importantly, the ones I have tried so far are delicious.

No doubt many, if not all of your favorite cozy mystery authors have recipes on these pages. Ellery Adams / J. B. Stanley, Deb Baker / Hannah Reed, Lorraine Bartlett / L. L. Bartlett / Lorna Barrett, Kate Collins, Mary Kennedy, Mary Jane Maffini, Maggie Sefton, and Leann Sweeney. They all make up The Cozy Chicks. And a new chick since this book is Duffy Brown! So hopefully that means a third edition or even better, THE COZY CHICKS KITCHEN II. Hey, I girl can live in hope!

If you haven’t purchased this cookbook because you figure you already have all the recipes in the cozy mystery books by these authors, think again. There are some recipes that you can only find in this book!

I could go on and on singing the praises of THE COZY CHICKS KITCHEN, but I think the best way for you to find out how great it is, is for you to order a copy for yourself. Honest, you will not regret it! 

The national bestselling author of Nightmares Can Be Murder once again gathers together the members of the Dream Club in Savannah, Georgia, where the book tour of a famous chef becomes a recipe for disaster… 

Behind her down-home folksy persona, celebrity chef Sonia Scott is a real Dixie diva who’s made plenty of enemies in her climb to the top of the culinary world. One of them is the newest member of the Dream Club, Etta Mae Beasley, who claims Sonia stole her family’s recipes and used them in her latest cookbook.

After Sonia’s suspicious death from anaphylactic shock at a book signing held at Taylor and Ali’s retro candy store, Etta’s revelation sows seeds of doubt in Taylor Blake’s mind. Now the Dream Club needs to put their heads together to determine if one of their own decided to give the chef her just desserts…


Reading DREAM A LITTLE SCREAM was a dream come true! It was such a long year waiting for this book. And when I finally got it in my hands, I wasted no time opening it and settling down to enjoy. It was wonderful to be back in author Mary Kennedy’s world of dreams, murder, and retro candy. She brought back that same thrilling sensation I remember having when reading NIGHTMARES CAN BE MURDER.

I’ve adored the whole concept of a dream club from the moment I heard about it with the first book. It’s not only interesting, but such an original idea for a cozy mystery. I love the scenes when the group gathers. The members, including protagonist Taylor and her sister Ali, are all so diverse. That makes for some very intriguing interactions. And I’m envious of the goodies the group members get to enjoy during their meeting. All made by Ali and sold in the retro candy store she owns with Taylor. Their store reminds me of one I’ve visited in a small town in Pennsylvania. The only difference is, Oldies But Goodies, the shop in the book, also sells drinks and fresh made yummys as well. Another great idea of the author’s to mix the two types of stores together.

I found myself absorbed in this book from the very first page.  With the action starting off early in the story, all I could do was hold on and enjoy the ride. And enjoy I did! With twists and turns and oh-my-goodness moments, all leading up to a fantastic ending. Ms. Kennedy has penned a winning installment to what I hope will be a long running series.  

You’re going to want to add DREAM A LITTLE SCREAM to your to-be-read list. You’ll be so very happy that you did. I know I’ll be doing a lot of daydreaming while I wait for book three!

And make sure to check out the back of the book for the included Dream Symbol Guide!

Available now for pre-order
Release date: 
Tuesday, August 4!

Ready for your recipes? 
Me too!

Recipe #1


Sometimes Ali and Taylor Blake like to serve crackers and hot artichoke dip in THE DREAM CLUB MYSTERIES. This is so and you probably have the ingredients on hand. ~ Mary Kennedy


1 14-ounce jar of artichokes, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise 
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 375°. 

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Bake 15 - 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. 

Serve with crackers, bagel chips, or toast points. 

Yield: 6 - 8 servings. 

This would be a great dip to keep on hand.

Recipe #2


What could be more southern than home-made pimento cheese spread? Pimento cheese sandwiches are one of the most popular items on the menu in Oldies but Goodies , the candy shop/café in the DREAM CLUB MYSTERIES.  Ali and Taylor Blake like this simple recipe because it's fullproof and it makes 4 cups of cheese spread. ~ Mary Kennedy 


2  7-ounce jars pimentos, drained
30 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup mayonnaise


Process the pimentos in a blender or food processor until smooth. 

Using an electric mixer, beat the cheese and pimentos. 

Beat in mayonnaise and chill. 

Southerners would serve this on white sandwich bread, and some folks like grilled pimento cheese sandwiches. 

They're delicious either way.

Yield: 10 sandwiches

I've never tried pimento cheese. 
Have you?

If you try any of these recipes 
I'd love to hear about it!

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


My Book Beginnings and Friday 56
 for this week are also from 
are also from 
by Mary Kennedy

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 pick up where I left off on my BB from July 17.

It was a hot summer evening in Savannah and Ali had jacked up the AC before the members of the Dream Club arrived for their weekly meeting. Sybil looked flushed in one of her typical caftans and was gulping down vast quantities of sweet tea served in mason jars. Persia Walker appeared thoughtful, fingering her chunky handmade necklace from Nepal. 

My sister Ali, as always, looked cool, blond, and slender in white skinny jeans and a pale yellow beaded top. As the proprietor of Oldies But Goodies, a Savannah candy shop, she dresses casually but always looks put together. The Dream Club meets weekly in her apartment above the shop, and she serves sweet tea, coffee, and a delicious array of pastries. She calls the Dream Club members her "beta testers", and she adds the most popular items to the café menu downstairs. 

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 is actually from page 57 this week...

I remembered the frantic scrambling as we all searched for the EpiPen. Olivia had tossed the contents of Sonia's purse on the floor in a panic. Then she'd turned her own tote upside down. There wasn't a trace of the pen.....

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, July 30, 2015

FUDGING THE BOOKS by Daryl Wood Gerber
A GILDED GRAVE by Shelley Freydont
CRUSHED VELVET by Diane Vallere  

Book 4 in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series 
by Daryl Wood Gerber 

The Agatha Award–winning author of Stirring the Plot returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, California, where February brings Pirate Week, National Chocolate Month—and bitter murder…

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…



The Cookbook Nook Mystery series is one I keep at the top of my favorites list. When I finish reading a book in this series, I get right online to find out how long I’ll have to wait for the next. For the record, the wait time between books in a cozy mystery series is normally around a year. But with this series, it feels like more like two years. So, I can say with all honesty, the worst part of this book was finishing it and beginning my wait!

With perfect settings like Crystal Cove, and the Cookbook Nook and its café, it was wonderful to become lost between the covers of this delightful mystery.

Author Daryl Wood Gerber really throw everything into this story. In this installment, one of my favorite cast of characters is dealing with pirates, thieves, and chocolate! Oh…and murder of course! Fast paced, full of twisty turns and tons of surprises, FUDGING THE BOOKS, is my new favorite in this series. I know, I say that a lot, but when it’s true…hey, it’s true!

Fans of this series and of author Daryl Wood Gerber/Avery Aames are going to go mad over the sweet bounty that is FUDGING THE BOOKS. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, you can start with this one and not feel lost. But please, do go back and read the others too!

And check out the back of the book for yummy chocolate recipes, and the sneak peek of FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, book seven in the Cheese Shop Mystery series by Avery Aames.  


Book 1 in the Newport Gilded Age Mystery series 
by Shelley Freydont 

First in a new series from the author of the Celebration Bay mysteries
In 1895, the height of the Gilded Age, the social elite spend their summers in Newport, Rhode Island. Within the walls of their fabulous “cottages,” competition for superiority is ruthless … and so are the players. 
During her first Newport season, Deanna Randolph attends a ball given in honor of Lord David Manchester, a Barbadian sugar magnate, and his sister, Madeline. The Manchesters are an immediate success—along with their exotic manservant and his fortune-telling talents.
But on the nearby cliffs, a young maid lies dead—and suspicion falls on Joseph Ballard, a member of one of the town’s most prestigious families. 
Joe humiliated Deanna when he rebuffed an engagement to her, but while he may be a cad, she knows he isn’t a killer. Now the reluctant allies must navigate a world of parties, tennis matches, and séances to find the real murderer. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip…


A delightful debut novel. Author Shelley Freydont has made a wonderful transition from the twenty-first century cozy mystery to the nineteenth century historical mystery. It is so clear she has done her research of the Gilded Age. Her character’s words, behavior, and mannerisms are all perfect for the era.

Deanna Randolph is an unlikely sleuth, yet in the talented hands of author Freydont, she is not only believable, she is very much up to the task. It’s going to be interesting to watch Deanna grow as the series continues.

This was an incredibly well plotted mystery with more suspects than a few. With twists and turns all the way to the exciting end, I second, third, and fourth guessed myself and yes, still guessed wrong!

A GILDED GRAVE is sure to be a hit with historical and cozy mystery fans alike.


Book 3 in the Italian Kitchen Mystery series 
by Rosie Genova

The national bestselling author of The Wedding Soup Murder returns to the Jersey Shore where a killer is stirring up trouble during a hurricane…

At the Casa Lido, the end of summer means a party, and hit whodunit writer Victoria “Vic” Rienzi and her family are cooking like crazy for the restaurant’s seventieth anniversary celebration. As they chop onions and garlic, old family friend Pete Petrocelli stops by, saying he knows something that would make for a good mystery novel. Curious, Vic asks Nonna to elaborate on Pete’s claim and learns of a relative who mysteriously disappeared back in Italy…

The night of the party brings a crowd—and a full throttle hurricane. When the storm finally passes, everyone thinks they’re in the clear—until the first casualty is found, and it’s Pete. Remembering his visit, Vic isn’t certain Pete’s death was an accident and decides to dig deeper into his story. What she finds is meatier than Nonna’s sauce…


Blend together a book full of mystery with pages of humor and briskly mix them together with the Jersey shore and authentic Italian cooking. Stir it all together with a hurricane and you will have murder and intrigue in a recipe called A DISH BEST SERVED COLD.

In this third installment of the Italian Kitchen Mystery series, author Rosie Genova serves us a mystery that boils and burns with surprises in a tightly plotted story that is penned with skill. With that same delightful writing style of the first two books in the series, MURDER AND MARINARA, and THE WEDDING SOP MURDER, Ms. Genova has outdone herself with a story that will not only have you questioning yourself, it will leave you breathless by the time you reach the exciting conclusion.

A DISH BEST SERVED COLD is the perfect addition to a delicious series and is sure to whet your appetite for more.

Don’t miss the great Italian recipes author Genova has included in the back of the book!


Book 2 in the Material Witness Mystery series
by Diane Vallere

“Diane Vallere has stitched up an engaging new series.”—Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats Mysteries

Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business—this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder.

With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it’s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect.

Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There’s just the small matter of Genevieve’s own incriminating confession: I’m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl’s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams—and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch…



If I had material like CRUSHED VELVET to read all the time, I could zip through books faster than running my nylons or snagging my cotton blends.  :-)

I am such a fan of the Material Witness Mystery series. Book one, SUEDE TO REST was a great first installment, but it doesn’t compare to the wonderfully textured read that is CRUSHED VELVET.

I hardly put this book down from the moment I opened it until sadly, it was over, with no more to read. I simply didn’t want it to end. Between the wonderful writing, twists and turns, delightful characters like Polyester Monroe, and adorably punny shop names such as Material Girl and Flowers In The Attic, this book kept a smile on my face the entire time I was reading.

Author Diane Vallere has sewn together a mystery that mixed just the right weave of intrigue, action, and humor to make this cozy whodunit a serious contender for my favorite book of the 2015. It is for sure in my top 5 favorites.

Stitch together some time for reading and add CRUSHED VELVET to your “must read” list. If you haven’t read the first book. SUEDE TO REST, get them both and read them back to back. You’re going to love them!

And don’t miss the fun craft project, and excerpt from SILK STALKINGS, book three in the fantastic series! 


Book 3 in the Chili Cook-Off Mystery series
by Kylie Logan

The author of Death by Devil’s Breath takes the chili cook-off circuit to southern Texas to prove that revenge is a dish best served hot . . .

Everyone in San Antonio remembers the Alamo, but how many remember the Chili Queens? Back in the early twentieth century, these spicy señoras sold their lip-smacking chili in plazas all around the city. Now, as part of the Chili Showdown, Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, are dressing up as the Chili Queens to raise money for charity.

But someone wasn’t feeling too charitable toward a local troubadour, who is murdered at the fundraiser. When their friend Nick Falcone, head of security for the Showdown, actually becomes the prime suspect, it’s up to Maxie and Sylvia to turn the heat up on a killer, who’s planning a chili reception for them . . .



Let me start off by saying this. If you haven’t read a book by author Kylie Logan, you have been missing out on some wonderfully fun and well written mysteries. It’s my suggestion that you change that today. The Chili Cook-Off Mystery series is a good place to start!

REVENGER OF THE CHILI QUEEN was simply a pleasure to read. The combinations of author Logan’s skillful writing and her sense for plotting a great mystery, took me on a fun ride through this fabulous story.

I love series lead Maxie and her half-sister Sylvia. They have a great dynamic that insures any scene with them together is going to be fun to read. I also think Maxie and I would get along great. We can both be a little sarcastic.  ;-)

The discovery of the body comes pretty early in the book and from that point on, it was a thrill ride of mystery and surprises. There were several time where I even held my breath, with the longest being near the end of the book during the killer’s reveal. Honestly, if that part has been a few pages longer, I may have passed out from lack of oxygen!

Congratulations, Ms. Logan. REVENGE OF THE CHILI QUEENS was the best in the series to date!

Included in the back of the book is a yummy tummy rumbling chili recipe, and also an excerpt of, AND THEN THERE WERE NUNS, book four in her League Of Literary Ladies Mystery series! 

All of these great titles are now 
available for pre-order
Release date:
Tuesday, August 4

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.