Saturday, March 31, 2018

Great Escapes Book Tour

I'm so happy to be a stop on the 
blog tour for author
Kate Dyer Seeley
and her new book
Book 1 in the Rose City Mysteries

Cut down among the flowers . . .
Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.
For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .

Thanks so much for having me on as a guest! I’m eager to share this book with readers and give them a glimpse into the luscious world of my fictional version of Riverplace Village located on the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Portland is affectionately known as the Rose City, and for good reason. I grew up in Vancouver, Washington just on the other side of the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Every year in the late spring my family would pack a picnic and head to Washington Park for the day. We would start the morning at the Oregon Zoo, where my brother and I would race to see the giraffes and elephants. After we had worn ourselves and our feet out trekking to see the many animals and exhibits in the zoo we would head for the Rose Garden and have a picnic amongst row after row of beautiful, colorful blooming roses. It always reminded me of a rainbow of flowers and the smell was like nothing else I had ever experienced.

Much later as an adult, I came to realize how lucky I was to have grown up in the Pacific Northwest and in the heart of rose territory. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world visit Washington Park and the Portland International Test Rose Garden. When I began researching Portland’s long history with roses for this book, I learned that the Rose Garden is the oldest public test garden in the nation. Over ten thousand of roses bloom in the garden each year from May through September. The best part is that admission is free. No wonder my parents always packed a picnic for us to share and planned to linger for the afternoon. Visitors can stroll through over four and half acres of rose gardens and take in upwards of six-hundred and fifty different varieties.

The International Test Rose Garden is a must-see when visiting Portland and armed with inspiration from my childhood along with the rich history of roses I used that as my backdrop for Natural Thorn Killer. My protagonist, Britta Johnston has returned home to Portland to help her Aunt Elin run their European-style flower shop Blooma. Blooma is located in Riverplace Village, a quaint shopping district with cobblestone streets, cherry trees, and world-class views of the Willamette River and Mt. Hood. Britta has left the Midwest and a lifeless job working at a wholesale flower market behind. She’s thrilled to be back in the land of color and blooming roses.

No spoilers but roses play a big part in this book. Britta is a rose expert and her skills are going to be put to the test when it comes to figuring out the meaning of each beautiful stem and whether or not a Deep Secret blood-red rose could have led to murder. I hope you enjoy spending some time in the Rose City with Britta and hopefully you learn a bit about Portland’s most beloved flower!



Winner(s) will be chosen after April 6
at the end of the tour

1 lucky reader will win an autographed copy of


USA only

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

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, and hosted by
 Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

About the Author

  Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three. 
Author Links 
Purchase Links


March 26 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
March 27 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
March 27 – Valerie's Musings – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 28 – The Power of Words - REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 29 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 30 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 31 - Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 31 - Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
April 1 – Texas Book-aholic - REVIEW
April 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 3 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 4 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
April 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 5 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
April 5 – A Blue Million Books - AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 6 – Laura's Interests – SPOTLIGHT


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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.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Cozy Food-Flashback Friday

Today I'm featuring a Cozy Food Friday from
March 27, 2015.

This is a special one for me because if
combines two of my reading loves . . .
Cozy mysteries and Cookbooks!


Cozy Food Friday!

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

Today's recipe comes from

It was was originally seen in 
Book 2 in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series 
by Daryl Wood Gerber

More Than 100 Recipes From
Today’s Bestselling Mystery Authors

Avery Aames/Daryl Wood Gerber

Ellery Adams ~ Connie Archer

Leslie Budewitz ~ Laura Childs

Cleo Coyle ~ Victoria Hamilton

B. B. Haywood ~ Julie Hyzy

Jenn McKinlay ~ Paige Shelton

Great meals don’t have to be a mystery—but they can come from a mystery. Selecting the most delicious recipes from some of the most popular names in crime solving, The Cozy Cookbook serves up mouth-watering appetizers, entrΓ¨es, and desserts that will leave your family or book club group asking, “Whodunit?”

In addition to recipes, choose a sleuth du jour from our menu of mystery series and get a taste of each of our authors’ bread and butter—page-turning puzzles and stay-up-all-night suspense in excerpts from their bestselling works.

Whether you like your meals sautΓ©ed, roasted, baked, or served cold like revenge, The Cozy Cookbook has something to satisfy every mystery fan.
This book contains previously published material.

is available for pre-order 
Releases on April 7!

On to the recipe!


~ From INHERIT THE WORD by Daryl Wood Gerber ~

The Monte Cristo sandwich is a classic. It was one of my mother's all time favorite sandwiches. She used to serve it for brunch on Sundays. It's such a perfect combination of sweet and savory, and you know, it's not too hard to make, even for me. It looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but don't panic. The whole thing layers together like a regular sandwich. The hardest, or messiest, part is dipping the whole shebang in the egg mixture and setting it in the hot oil. Again, don't panic. It's easy once you get the hang of it. Make sure you have plenty of confectioners' sugar on hand to make it pretty! Savor!

Makes 2 Sandwiches

2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 slices bread (white or a brioche-style bread works great; gluten free bread                                     works, too)
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
2 slices cooked turkey
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 slice ham
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil (canola preferred)
Confectioners' sugar, for decoration 
2 tablespoons jam

   In a pie plate, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cinnamon.

   To assemble the sandwich: Place the bread on a cutting board. Spread mustard on each piece of bread. Place turkey on 2 slices of bread. Top turkey with 2 slices of cheese. Then add the ham. Put remaining pieces of bread on top.

   To cook: On medium-low heat, heat butter in a large, nonstick skillet. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture. Turn the sandwich to coat both sides. Set the sandwiches in the skillet. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, just until the underside begins to brown. Make sure you don't burn the bread. Flip the sandwich with a spatula and press down to compress the sandwich. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the underside begins to brown. If necessary, turn once more and cook until the cheese has melted completely, about 1 to 2 minutes. 

   Transfer to a plate, and sprinkle with confections' sugar. Cut diagonally and serve with a spoonful of jam alongside. 

NOTE: All images are from Google Images and/or Pinterest. 
Your dish may vary in appearance.

Oh my goodness. 
My stomach just growled so loud! 
How about you? Are you wanting a Monte Cristo now?

Pre-order now.
Tuesday, April 7!

Jenna Hart moved back to Crystal Cove, California, to recapture her joie de vivre and to help her aunt Vera run the local culinary bookshop and cafΓ©. But it's hard to follow a simple recipe for relaxation when murder gets thrown in the mix...
The Cookbook Nook is set to host the town's upcoming Grill Fest, a tasty tradition which pits local amateur chefs against one another to concoct the most delicious dishes. This year's challenge: grilled cheese. But with competing chefs bearing grudges from past years, more mouths are running off than savoring the fare.
The expression "too many cooks" proves all too true when the eight-time champ is found murdered in the alley behind the cafΓ©. Soon a local diner owner (and Jenna's "second mother") is suspected of bumping off the competition, and Jenna has to douse the flames before the wrong person gets burned...

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

Note: On March 27, 2015, I featured a book from the Murder She Wrote series for the Book Beginnings and Friday 56.
I've updated this today to feature


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
(Using the Note from the Editor)

Welcome to THE COZY COOKBOOK! If you're looking for a side of mystery with a heaping helping of some truly delectable recipes, you've come to the right place.  

My 56
(Using page 24 featuring Jenna's Monte Cristo Sandwich)

 The Monte Cristo Sandwich is a classic. It was one of my mother's all-time favorite sandwiches.

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

Also, become a Follower of my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page

Thursday, March 29, 2018


 Southern goodness y'all!


by Jamie & Bobby Deen & Melissa Clark
Forward by Paula Deen

This one-of-a-kind cookbook features simple, yet irresistible recipes for weeknight meals, laid-back gatherings, potlucks, picnics, tailgating parties and more from the Deen brothers. - Chapters spotlight the Deen brothers' specialties--from Bobby's all-time favorite goulash to Jamie's amazing cheeseburger pies.

- Fresh and upbeat, it's spiced up with lively Deen brothers' tidbits and stories giving you an inside look at their lives.

- Deen family photos and recent photos of the brothers shaking it up in the kitchen with family and friends add a special touch.



One lucky reader will receive their own copy of
Use the Rafflecopter form at the end of the post.
USA only
This prize will not ship out until after April 15.
If you win, please be patient with me. πŸ™‚ 


This book is ten years old, but it contains some amazingly ageless, down home simple fare. And I’m a big fan of that! Come on, you know you are too.

Beautiful color photos though out, showcase the delicious dishes included. There’s not a photo for every recipe, but enough to make readers mouths water.

Many of the chapters are broken down into individual meals. For instance, Gather ‘Round The Table breaks meals done by the day. Monday starts off the week with Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast with Chile Cheese Sauce, and Red Potato and Green Bean SautΓ©, and Thursday brings Bobby’s Special Seared and Backed Thick-Cut Pork Chops, and Couscous Salad with Feta, Tomato, and Olives. Unfortunately, Friday seems to have been forgotten. Well, we can just eat out that night.

Other chapters contain meals to take on outings, classic favorite, and of course, desserts. You’ll find Tender Southern Pound Cake, Sweet Potato Meringue Pie, and Double-Fudge Bread Pudding. Yumola!

All in all, THE DEEN BROS. Y’ALL COME EAT is a recipe book I’m sure you’ll turn to often when you’re in the mood for simple comfort food dining.

Here’s the thing, my review is from 2018 for a book written in 2008. I found this $24.95 hardcover online at the for just $2.39! It appears to be out of print now, but the BookOut still has over 100 copies as of 3/37/18!

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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.