Friday, June 30, 2017

is one of my favorite blog days.
Today I'm sharing
a yummy recipe from a past
Cozy Food Friday!

Cozy Food Friday!

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

Today I'm featuring a recipe from the cozy mystery 
Book 5 in the Library Lover's Mystery series
Jenn McKinlay 

The New York Times bestselling Library Lover's mysteries continue with a hot new case...

Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.

Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water…


On to the yummy recipe!



1 (10 - ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 (16 - ounce) container sour cream
1 (8 - ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise 
1 package Knorr vegetable soup mix
3 green onions chopped (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and let chill for 2 hours.

Serve in the bowl with dipping options such as bread cubes, crackers or fresh veggies on the side. 

You can also hollow out a large loaf of sourdough bread and put the dip inside.

Tear up the removed inside of the bread for dipping. Yum.

                                                             Please note that all food photos are from Google Images.
Your version may vary in appearance.

This sounds like a nice change from all the hot versions of this dip. And so easy to make! 

Perfect for all the holiday dinners and parties coming up!

You can purchase 
ON BORROWED TIME by Jenn McKinlay 
at your local bookstore or order it online

For signed copies you can order from...

NOTE: I am not in an affiliate program with any online company.
I do not receive payment in anyway for my suggestions to you or 
if you make your purchases from a company I mention. 

Praise for the Library Lover's Mysteries

“Sure to please cozy readers everywhere.”—Ellery Adams, 
New York Times bestselling author

“Terrific…Intelligent, fun, and lively.”—Miranda James,
 New York Times bestselling author

“Fast-paced and fun…An endearing protagonist.”—Kate Carlisle, 
New York Times bestselling author

“A sparkling setting, lovely characters, books, knitting, and chowder! What more could any reader ask?”—Lorna Barrett, New York Times bestselling author

“A winning formula.”—Library Journal

The Author
The hardest decision New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay ever had to make was what to major in during college. Then she discovered the sanctuary of the library and library science—a major that allowed her to study all the subjects. She loves working as a librarian. After all, what other occupation allows you to research the ethnobotanical properties of agave, perform a puppet show for twenty wiggly toddlers, and try to answer why the rabbit’s foot is considered lucky, all in the same day? Jenn is the author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, including Sugar and IcedGoing, Going, Ganache, and Red Velvet Revenge, the Hat Shop Mysteries, includingDeath of a Mad Hatter and Cloche and Dagger, and the Library Lover's mysteries, including Read It and WeepBook, Line, and Sinker, and Due or Die. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a house that is overrun with books, pets, kids, and her husband’s guitars.

Learn more about Jenn on her website 


I hope you enjoy this Cozy Food Friday Flashback!

The Library Lovers Mysteries is still one of my favorite series. If you haven't read it, you need to check it out!

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, June 29, 2017

For this week's series spotlight I wanted to feature a series I had never heard of. So I went in search of a topic I have been hearing a lot about lately on Facebook. Bargains!

Several of my FB friends have been sharing photos of yard sale and thrift store finds. And recently I've started sharing coupons with a good friend and her mom. So, when I spotted this series, short though it may have been, I thought it was a perfect fit.

My spotlight is on the
by Sharon Dunn

Solving a murder mystery is much more than the BHN bargained for!
What could Ginger the baby boomer, Kindra the college student, Suzanne the pregnant mother of three, and Mary Margret the silver-haired real-estate agent possibly have in common? Who would’ve guessed…a passion for garage sales! 

This motley crew forms the Bargain Hunters Network–bonding while clipping coupons, attending half-price sales, and scouting clearance racks in their hometown of Three Horses, Montana. But when one of the four turns up missing, these shop-till-you-drop women must set their bargain hunting aside to take up an entirely new venture altogether–solving a crime.  

As the three amateur sleuths retrace their friend’s fateful steps, they discover clues that lead them to suspect her murder is linked to an unusual garage sale purchase made on the morning of her death. But when their search unearths a disturbing secret that’s been carefully concealed for over twenty years, the women are drawn into a dark underworld filled with bribery, greed, and deception. With determined criminals who will stop at nothing to keep their secret safe, will these fiscally conscious females end up paying the ultimate price?

Another murder mystery for the Bargain Hunters Network–only this time, one of them is a suspect!

Ginger and her husband, Earl, are in for a wild ride in Calamity, Nevada, along with the other BHN ladies–college student Kindra, mother-of-four Suzanne, and sassy senior Arleta. They came to town for the Invention Expo and some outlet shopping, but instead they endure lost luggage, broken air conditioning, and a long line of people angry at hotel owner Dustin Clydell. With the Invention Expo and the Squirrel Lovers’ convention both in town, the Wind-Up Hotel has somehow overbooked.

Before the night is over, a man has been found dead in a teddy bear costume, the Invention Expo has been canceled, Binky the water-skiing squirrel has gone missing…and the authorities want to talk to one of the BHN ladies! What else could possibly go wrong?

Once again, the Bargain Hunters Network swings into sleuth mode to solve the murder–and this time, clear one of their own. Along the way, Ginger discovers something even better than a bargain.

Only two in this series, but I think it sounds like a good one! What do you think?

If you've read this series, I'd love to hear your thoughts on 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, June 28, 2017

Don't have your own copy of 

Author Lee Hollis wants to change that!


Lee Hollis is giving away 
6 signed copies of 
Book 9 in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mysteries

This giveaway is open Worldwide!!!

Use the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post 
for your chance to win!

Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell is off on a girls’ getaway with her two best friends. But soon they’ll have to get away from a killer...

The quaint fishing village of Salmon Cove, Maine, seems like the ideal location for a girls’ weekend with Hayley’s gal pals, Liddy and Mona. Liddy’s on the rebound from a breakup, but when she meets a handsome tourist, it looks like a little romance might liven things up.

Unfortunately, Liddy’s new sweetheart is found dead on the beach the next morning at the town’s Lobster Bake, next to an overturned cooking pot. The liberated lobsters may be scrambling back to the sea, but Hayley’s not about to let a murderer escape so easily. To crack the case, she’ll need to blow the lid off some serious undercover activity—or risk becoming ensnared in a killer’s trap...

Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley’s kitchen!

I'm still reading
so I don't have a review available for you.
I can tell you, it's wonderful, and it makes me laugh out loud just like the first eight books in this series!

About Lee Hollis

Holly Simason
Holly Simason is an award winning food and cocktails columnist who worked for the Mount Desert Islander newspaper in Bar Harbor, Maine for ten years.
While working at the paper, she won her first award for her column in 2010. It was at that point her brother Rick Copp saw an opportunity. He writes mysteries and she writes recipes. Combine the two for a new book series. They would write under a pen name comprised of their middle names “Lee” and “Hollis”. And the successful Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery series was born.
Holly now resides on the Crystal Coast in North Carolina where she continues to write the popular series with her brother. She is also busy creating and testing new recipes for a future Hayley Powell cookbook.
Holly continues to visit her home town of Bar Harbor every summer where the series is set to reconnect with friends and keep her Maine roots intact.
Any similarities between her and Hayley Powell are strictly coincidental.

Rick Copp
Rick Copp is a veteran TV and Film scriptwriter whose many credits include The Golden Girls, Wings, Teen Titans, The Brady Bunch Movie, Scooby Doo, Barbershop among many others. Currently he writes, produces and stars in the hit web series Where the Bears Are.
In 2003, he wrote his first comedic murder mystery The Actor’s Guide to Murder, which was followed by two sequels. He also penned a 2007 stand alone novel Fingerprints & Facelifts and a 2010 graphic novel Celebrity Zombie Killers. Once he read his sister’s food and cocktails column, he became an instant fan of her recipes and it was his editor at Kensington Publishing who first suggested a cozy mystery series with recipes featuring an intrepid food columnist with a nose for crime solving.
Rick bounces back and forth between LA where he continues to work on TV and film projects and Palm Springs, California where he writes the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series.


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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I'm thrilled to be a stop on the 
book tour for 
Ellie Alexander
and her new book
Book 6 in the Bakeshop Mysteries

Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .
Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary cafรฉ to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .
Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambรฉing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?



Winners will be chosen after July 11
at the end of the tour

Check out the prize and
Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

Giveaway open to USA only

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

An Interview with Ellie Alexander

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today!

EA: Thanks so much for having me!

LKBR: Please tell us a bit about your book/series.

EA: I write the Bakeshop Mysteries set in Ashland, Oregon. They feature a romantic pastry chef, Juliet Montague Capshaw, who has returned home to heal her broken heart and help her mom run their family bakeshop, Torte. Ashland is a real place in the southernmost corner of the state of Oregon. It’s home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and themed like an Elizabethan village. I love getting to fictionalize a real place and add touches of the eclectic people who are drawn to Ashland.

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

EA: A Crime of Passion Fruit is the 6th book in the series. In the first book, we learn that Jules has left her husband and her adventurous life as a pastry chef for a boutique cruise ship behind. I’ve known for a while that I wanted to send her back to the ship (temporarily) to be able to officially say goodbye. So much of her story is about the idea of coming home and finding home again, so it was important for her to be able to compare her vastly different experiences of home—in Ashland and at sea. I’ve always like the idea of a closed group of suspects in a mystery. Jules is in the middle of the Caribbean when the murder happens, so we know that the killer has to be someone onboard. The question is who?

LKBR: Do you have a favorite character in your book/series?

EA: That’s always hard because now that I’m six books into the series all of the recurring characters feel like friends. I would say that the character I enjoy writing the most is Lance, the artistic director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Jules’s sleuthing pal. Lance has a very distinct voice. I can get away with making him a bit more dramatic because that happens in the theater, especially in a town like Ashland. He makes scenes come to life. The minute I hear his voice in my head I can imagine him sweeping his hand over Jules’s body and commenting on her fashion choices. Originally, he wasn’t going to be in this book. Since Jules is on the cruise ship she can’t bring everyone from Ashland with her. When I was reading through the first draft the book felt flat and I realized it was because Lance was missing. I went back through and added email exchanges between the two of them. Suddenly the book came to life. And I won’t give anything away, but Lance comes up with perhaps the best line in the entire book via email.

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

EA: Hmmm. I think the hardest thing now is making Jules’s reaction to finding a body believable. She’s discovered six bodies in the tiny and charming town of Ashland (okay technically one onboard the ship) in less than a year. It’s hard to find new ways to show her responding with utter shock each time she stumbles upon a dead body. My mystery writer friends call it the “Jessica Fletcher” syndrome.

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

EA: Absolutely. I use so much of my own life experiences in the books. I go to Ashland three or four times a year to really immerse myself in the town. I spend time in coffee shops, Lithia Park, at the theater complex, and in all of the places that Jules inhabits in the books. I’m definitely a writer who has to touch, and see, and smell a place in order to capture it in words.

LKBR: When you’re in the process of writing/creating a book, do you use a computer, typewriter, dictate, or use pen to paper?
EA: I always outline in pencil because I tend to go back and change names and motives, even things potential suspects might by lying or hiding. Once I’m working on an actual manuscript I type it on my laptop. But, I don’t do any editing as I go. I keep a notebook (sometimes multiple notebooks) next to my desk and I’ll jot down ideas and edits as I go. When I have a finished first draft I print it out and then let it sit for a while. At least a few weeks, maybe more like a couple months. Then I go back to the draft with fresh eyes and incorporate changes from the notebooks.

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

EA: Not exactly. One thing I do to get my head into Jules’s world is change out my office. For example, when I was working on A Crime of Passion Fruit, I plastered my office walls with tropical pictures and posters of beaches and fruity drinks with paper umbrellas. I created a playlist of steel drum music to get myself in the mood. Now I’m working on book #8 in the series. Yes, you read that correctly. Even though book #6 is just coming out, I’ve already finished and delivered book #7. In the book that I’m working on now there’s a wedding so my office is covered with pictures of wedding cakes and dresses, dessert bars, twinkle lights, everything dreamy and romantic. It’s not such a bad gig most days.

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

EA: They are beyond supportive. My husband and son tagalong to book events pretty much anywhere I go. I was just at Malice Domestic last month and they came, too. While I’m doing panels and signings they go explore on their own. We’ve been all over the Pacific Northwest on book tour. It’s so much fun to have them with me and cheering me on!

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

EA: My mom. She was an avid reader and loved mysteries. She got me hooked at a young age. Helen, Jules’s mom in the series, is based on my mom. I love that I get to pay tribute to her. And I also love hearing from readers who say that Helen is their favorite character.

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

EA: That you need more than just a well-written book to get a traditional publishing contract. You need a book proposal, solid query letter, and should already be developing a social media platform before you start pitching the book.

LKBR: What book are you reading?

EA: At the moment, I’m reading The Alchemist by Paula Coelho. My son is reading it for his Spanish class, so I decided to join him. Of course, I’m reading the English translation. It’s lovely. I can’t believe I didn’t read it when it first came out. I also just finished The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, by Jennifer Ryan. I highly recommend it. It has a similar tone and style to one of my all-time favorite books The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.

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

EA: Be professional in your approach. Join writer’s groups, attend conferences and workshops, read everything you can in the genre and about the publishing industry, introduce yourself to authors and bookstore owners—they will both be huge assets in your career.

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

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

EA: Thanks again for having me!


Another sweet mystery treat from author Ellie Alexander!

When I saw the first book in the Bakeshop Mysteries, MEET YOUR BAKER, I fell in love with the cover. When I read the back of the book, I bought it. Before I even finished reading the book, I knew I had found a new series to add to my top favorite cozy mysteries list!

I’m not a big fan of stories where the main characters visit another location for most of the book. To me, the main town of a series is as much a character as the people. I miss the familiar setting of the characters’ homes and businesses when the story is set elsewhere. When I learned that A CRIME OF PASSION FRUIT would be taking place on a cruise ship, I was a bit nervous about how I would like it. However, despite the location, like the five books before, I absolutely became engrossed in this book! (How could I doubt it?)

Author Alexander had me so caught up in the goings on at Torte pre-cruise, then the preparations for the trip, and the excitement of getting underway and being on the ship, I forgot I was reading a mystery. When the discovery of the body came, I “gasped” right along with Jules it caught me that off guard! From that point, the mystery was on big time!

A CRIME OF PASSION FRUIT was a fantastic, fast paced story that had me flying through the pages.  Not only was it a compelling mystery that had more twists than waves in the ocean, it was a feel good cozy that made me smile (and shed a few tears). To top it all off, stomach growling recipes that you are going to want to make soon as you close the book!

A delectable cozy mystery feast, A CRIME OF PASSION FRUIT was the perfect story to send the Bakeshop Mysteries to the half dozen mark!

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she's not coated in flour, you'll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. 
Author Links Web: 
Purchase Links: Amazon B&N IndieBound


June 27 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
June 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 28 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 28 – Books, Dreams, Life - SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
June 29 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
June 29 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 30 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
June 30 - That's What She's Reading – REVIEW
June 30 – Mystery Playground – Drinks and Reads
July 1 – Babs Book Bistro - REVIEW
July 1 – A Cozy Girl Reads and Writes – REVIEW
July 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 2 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
July 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 3 – My Reading Journeys - CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 3 – Celebrating Authors – INTERVIEW July 4 – OFF
July 5 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
July 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST July 7 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 7 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
July 8 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
July 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 10 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
July 11 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST


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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.