Friday, January 5, 2018

Cozy Food Friday

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

I'm excited to also be on the
Great Escapes Book Tour for
Book 5 in the Spice Shop Mysteries
by Gail Oust

And . . . There's a giveaway!!!

Murder comes well-seasoned in Ginger Snapped, Gail Oust's newest novel in the charming, "must-read" (Publishers Weekly) Spice Shop mystery series.
Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.
Shirley, the town's Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt's suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.
Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper's shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth, and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.



As I sit down to write this, thoughts of Christmas are blotting out things I need to do in order to promote my new release, Ginger Snapped. Things such as recheck my Christmas gift list, replace Fall decorations with Christmas ones, and pick up last minute items at the grocery store.  In addition to preparing for the holidays, a craft show hosted by a lovely group of local ladies is only days away. I’m going to be there too, selling and signing my books.  It’s not as simple as just showing up with a pen, a stack of books, and a smile.  I’ve ordered crime scene tape to adorn my table, a large poster to display my new cover, and I need to remember to bring a table, chair, and maybe even a space heater because the old cotton gin where the craft show is being held doesn’t have heat. And I need to bake cookies, lots of them--gingersnaps, of course--to lure potential readers away from all the glittery jewelry.  My mind feels cluttered with a to-do list so long that I hardly know where to begin.  I’m sure many of you feel the same way at times.  Stressed.  Overwhelmed.  A bit cranky.

Focus! I tell myself.  Focus!  Take a deep breath, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Taking my dilemma down to basics, it’s a matter of using time wisely for greatest effect.  I forced myself to step back from my formidable to-do list and take a refresher course on what has worked for me in the past.  Years ago while holding down a full-time job as well as writing and publishing on a semi-regular basis, I still managed to be a wife and mother in a busy household.  One trick I learned was to maximize my energy. Sounds good, but what does it mean?  Let me explain.

Think of your daily energy quota divided into five levels.  Before you begin, however, take the time to increase your awareness of your own distinct biological time clock, a circadian cycle--such as, are you a morning person or a night owl?—as a series of peaks and valleys.  Then adjust your activities accordingly.  At Level 1, you are at your creative, problem solving peak, capable of doing the best you can ever do.  Level 2 is just under peak.  You can do many but not all difficult things.  Level 3 is the level at which you ordinarily carry out usual tasks.  You can even carry out fairly difficult tasks as long as they are familiar.  During Level 4, you are definitely under par so mentally take it easy.  Beware when you enter Level 5.  Decision making is hazardous, sustained concentration is impossible, and rarely does a new thought occur. 

A couple of other tips helped me stay on course.  First, set a specific goal with a date it must be accomplished.  Next make a list of actions required to meet that goal. And, lastly, prioritize the actions.  Statistics prove it’s worth the time to put your plan into writing.  I once read that only fifteen percent of people have goals and, of those that do, only five percent write them down, BUT of the five percent who do, ninety-five percent of them actually accomplish them.

I hope I’ve given you, dear readers, something to think about. I know I needed a refresher course on how to better manage my time as the holiday season gears up and to lead me into a more productive, less harried New Year.


Author Gail Oust has created another mouthwatering mystery with, GINGER SNAPPED!

I’m always so excited to read a new installment in the tasty Spice Shop Mysteries. Spending time in Brandywine Creek with Piper Prescott, Reba Mae Johnson, and the rest of the quirky Southern cast is one of my favorite ways to escape the real world.

I am such a fan of the Spice Shop Mysteries! And this fifth book in the series has only served to solidify that. In GINGER SNAPPED, Oust has penned another top notch mystery filled with secrets, murder, and fun! Once started on this story, I couldn’t set my book down. Between her smooth, fluid writing, and talent for building a tale to a thrilling conclusion, I was the author’s willingly captive audience.

 GINGER SNAPPED has left me hungry for more stories in this wonderful series. After all, when it comes to cozy mysteries like this one, you can’t have enough of a great thing!


Winner will be chosen after January 12
at the end of the tour

One lucky reader will win an autographed print copy of


USA only

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

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

On To The Recipe!

All food photos are by  borrowed Lisa Ks Book Reviews  from Google Images and its contributors, with many thanks. Your finished dish will vary in appearance.


1/2 c. Butter
1/4 c. Shortening such as Crisco
1 c. Firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Ground ginger
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground cloves
1/4 c. Molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 c. All-purpose flour
1/4 c. Granulated sugar

In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.  Beat until combined.  Beat in molasses and egg.  Beat in as much of the flour as possible with the mixer, then stir in any remaining flour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll balls in the granulated sugar to coat.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges and set and tops are crackled.  Cool cookies on a cookie sheet for for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack and let cool.


Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement. While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery. Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL. In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look. Gail has written five Spice Shop Mysteries  for Minotaur/St. Martin’s. Her favorite pastimes are reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants
January 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY (REVIEW, GUEST POST)
January 4 – Valerie's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 4 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
January 5 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW
January 5 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, GUEST POST WITH RECIPE
January 5 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
January 6 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
January 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
January 6 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 - Varietats – REVIEW
January 7 - Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
January 9 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
January 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – The Self-Rescue Princess – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW
January 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW
January 11 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
January 12 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
January 12 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Community Bookstop -REVIEW


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

"Like it or not, honeybun, Shirley and Wyatt make a strikin' couple."

My 56%

An alertness entered his cool blue eyes in variance of his casual demeanor.

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.


  1. Those ginger snaps look delicious! Sounds like a wonderful treat for a cold day like today. Congrats to Gail on her new release :-)

  2. Thanks, Lisa, and who doesn’t love ginger snaps? Happy Friday!

  3. Thank you not only for the information and review on GINGER SNAPPED but for the fabulous recipe that I have to try.

  4. I'm ready to visit Brandywine Creek & all the inhabitants now.

  5. Delightful looking book...and cookies. Although I'm not a fan of Ginger Snaps, for some reason.

    Enjoy! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  6. This does sound like a fun series. I'll have to add it to my list. This week I'm reading The English Wife by Lauren Willig. Happy reading!

  7. Recipe makes my mouth water and book info makes my mind cascade with thoughts of reading something so scrumptious .

  8. Sounds so good! Thanks for the ginger snap recipe too! Happy weekend!

  9. I love gingersnaps. I can't wait to try this recipe. I wouls love to win the book it sounds fun. Thank you for the chance.

  10. This sounds like an awesome series. Looking forward to reading the series.

  11. I really like the description of the book. Sounds like a great read.

  12. I've been wanting to read this series. It looks so good. Have a great weekend!

  13. I've enjoyed some of her other books and I can tell by the beginning this one will be fun too. Already added this to my cozy list!

    My Friday 56 from Murder On New Year's Eve

  14. Oh I loved this one! It was my first in the series and once I got over the idea it was a Christmas read I really liked it. Great teasers!

  15. Congratulations to Gail on her new release. I'm ready to eat it up..oops I mean to read it up. I love the cover. I'm excited about the opportunity for the chance to win "Ginger Snapped". I'll have to acquaint myself with the series. And lastly. a Very Happy New Year Gail and Lisa.

  16. Looks tasty as well as an entertaining cozy read. Happy weekend!

  17. Those cookies look so great! Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  18. I'm looking forward to checking out this series! Thank you for this opportunity. :)

  19. Nice cover. Makes me want to continue eating all those Christmas cookies that are still around.

  20. That ginger snap recipe is making me so hungry. Thanks for adding it in - that was a really nice touch.

  21. HI! Ginger Snapped? Did she murder someone? I'm curious!

    Great book beginning. Here is mine:

    Have a lovely weekend x