Thursday, February 23, 2017

Are you ready to add another series to your TBR?
Of course you are!
I think you'll really enjoy this one!  

This week my series spotlight is on the
Cindy Brown

This is such a fun and unique series. 
Fans of cozies, and humorous mysteries, as well as lovers of musicals, and the stage are going to love Ivy Meadows.


Like every actor, Ivy Meadows knows that Macbeth is cursed. But she's finally scored her big break, cast as an acrobatic witch in a circus-themed production of Macbethin Phoenix, Arizona. And though it may not be Broadway, nothing can dampen her enthusiasm--not her flying caldron, too-tight leotard, or carrot-wielding dictator of a director.

But when one of the cast dies on opening night, Ivy is sure the seeming accident is "murder most foul" and that she's the perfect person to solve the crime (after all, she does work part-time in her uncle's detective agency). Undeterred by a poisoned Big Gulp, the threat of being blackballed, and the suddenly too-real curse, Ivy pursues the truth at the risk of her hard-won career--and her life.


All Ivy Meadows wants is to be an actor. And a private investigator. Plus she’d really like a pair of clean underwear, a place to stay since her apartment caught fire, and to overcome her fear of singing in public. Minor inconveniences aside, Ivy might be on a roll. She’s just landed her first real PI case, a seeming suicide in a retirement community. Not only that, but a big New York producer is coming to Arizona to see Ivy in the world premiere of The Sound of Cabaret (singing nuns AND Berlin burlesque).
But all is not raindrops on roses. A creep in a convertible is tailing Ivy, a local posse member is way too interested in her investigation, and something is seriously wrong with one of her castmates. And that suicide—could it be murder? As the curtain rises, Ivy finds herself smack in the sights of a serial killer.

Orphans. Thieves. Murder. And an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet!

When Ivy Meadows lands a gig with the book-themed cruise line Get Lit!, she thinks she’s died and gone to Broadway. Not only has she snagged a starring role in a musical production of Oliver Twist, she’s making bank helping her PI uncle investigate a string of onboard thefts, all while sailing to Hawaii on the S.S. David Copperfield.

But Ivy is cruising for disaster. Her acting contract somehow skipped the part about aerial dancing forty feet above the stage, her uncle Bob is seriously sidetracked by a suspicious blonde, and—oh yeah—there’s a corpse in her closet. 

Forget catching crooks. Ivy’s going to have a Dickens of a time just surviving.


Releases May 16!

Pre-order your copy today!

There’s a new sheriff in town—and she can sing! When Gold Bug Gulch’s actor-gunslinger Mongo winds up shot for real, actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows goes undercover as the ingΓ©nue in the tourist town’s melodrama. Unfortunately, she’s distracted by a pack of marauding Chihuahuas, a problematic love life, auditions for Annie Get Your Gun, and a personal mission: to show people the real Annie Oakley.

What’s more, the no-good, yellow-bellied varmint who killed Mongo isn’t finished with the Gulch—or with Ivy. Will our heroine prove she can get a man with a gun—before the killer gets her?

Don't those sound wonderful?


About author Cindy Bown

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered an Agatha Award nomination for best debut novel (MACDEATH), a scholarship to the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop, and several awards for her fiction, playwriting and screenwriting work.

Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.


Absolutely pre-order 

While you're waiting for it to release, get lost in the world of Ivy Meadows by reading






May 16!

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, February 22, 2017

Lisa Ks Book Reviews blog is proud to bring to you

This is a weekly online publication focused on connecting cozy mystery readers to favorite cozy characters by way of their town's newspapers. 

Today The Cozy Times is featuring the 
Aspen Hills Post

Check out what's happening in
Aspen Hills, Colorado!

Upcoming Local Events…

Little Ski Hill to open early due to early snow pack

Kevin Shields, local business owner and real estate mogul, shared some good news with this reporter when she found him dining at The Cafeteria. Of course, he wasn’t dining alone. His dinner companion, the lovely Shauna Clodah, happens to be a business owner herself. She and hometown girl, Cat Latimer, have opened up a boutique bed and breakfast called Warm Springs Writer’s Retreat. Only open one week a month, this new business has brought in writers from around the country, trying to pen the great American novel.

Anyway, before the salad course was served, Kevin told me that the ski hill should be able to open before Thanksgiving, which is two weeks earlier than last year. Have you bought your ski pass yet? Local’s get a discount if you purchase before the slopes open.

See you at the lodge!


Covington Library to hold an open house highlighting their most famous collection, the Hemingway papers

Hey literary geeks, this call out is for you. Miss Applebome, head librarian for the Covington Library has announced she has started making plans for a week long open house highlighting the life and times of Hemingway as well as curated pieces from his personal papers which are stored at the library. Talks, discussion groups, and even a showing of film versions of several books he penned during his lifetime will highlight the week which will coincide with Family Week.  Make sure you get your tickets early since the event is sure to be a sellout.


Cat Latimer to sign her newest book at The Written Word on Saturday

Speaking of our local author, she’s doing a signing over at The Written Word from 1-3pm on Saturday.

Cheer Charm Team – A Paranormal High story will release on Monday. Tori’s hell bent on trying out for the cheerleading squad, even though they do more spell casting than cartwheels. For once, she wants her looks and physical attributes to help her get something she wants. But when a practice goes wrong, can Tori find the reversal spell in time? Or will she need to craft her own knowing her spells have a habit of going astray?

Tammy Jones, bookstore owner, states she has plenty of copies, but if you can’t make the signing, you can still get a signed copy by calling the shop before Friday. All phone orders must be accompanied with a credit card.

There sure is plenty to keep you busy in Aspen Hills!
I may have to start planning a trip. 


To learn more about the cozy town of Aspen Hills, read the 
Cat Latimer Mysteries
Lynn Cohan!


February 28!

Pre-order your copy today!

Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .

Excerpt –

The world outside still clung to the previous night, the shadows not quite releasing their hold to the breaking light over the mountain ridge outside Aspen Hills, Colorado. With the first rays of morning, the fresh snow glistened and covered the lawn all around 700 Warm Springs.

Cat Latimer, owner of the Warm Springs Writer’s Retreat, housed in the old Victorian, sat at the kitchen table drinking a mix of hot chocolate and coffee. With a dab of freshly whipped cream, Cat thought Shauna’s winter concoction was just about the most perfect drink ever invented. Her friend, Shauna Mary Clodah, had taken over the role of cook, planner, and manager for the writing retreats. Shauna was a petite, pretty, Irish redhead that cooked like an angel. The small group sitting around the table was drinking the “virgin” version of her mixture. Later, the retreat guests would have the option of adding a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream or KahlΓΊa to their cups, an invitation to the muse.

Right now, her guests were tucked in their beds, sleeping. Which was where she wanted to be instead of sitting here in the kitchen. But then she took in the smell of coffee and chocolate mixed together and she sighed in delight.

“I can’t believe you’re taking the group up the mountain. I thought this was supposed to be about writing. They aren’t going to get many words written by spending the day skiing.” Uncle Pete had become a regular at the breakfast table, both when the retreat was in session and when it was just Cat and Shauna milling around the empty house. Her uncle was Aspen Hills’ police chief and Cat’s closest relative.

“It’s part of the Colorado experience.” Cat explained, thinking about her own manuscript sitting on her computer waiting for her to make time to write. The phrase making time to write was a joke. She either wrote or didn’t, and today her word-count chart would show a big fat zero, unless she had the mental energy when they returned from skiing. During the first retreat, she’d managed to get a few pages written—before one of her guests wound up dead in his room. This retreat she’d promised herself that she’d focus on her own work, even when they had guests. Shauna was in charge of the day-to-day activities when the retreat was in session. Cat’s job was to be the resident writer and set a good example as a professional writer. A job that sometimes was harder than other days, especially if she got drawn into a Facebook rotating loop of cute kittens or the occasional photos of hot guys—or worse, one simple question that grew into a research project on the entire history of the Salem Witch trials.

Today was about building relationships and having experiences. Writers needed both.

New to the series? 
Check out book one

Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an authors’ getaway—but Cat won’t let anyone get away with murder…
The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees.

Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. But it’s her uncle, the local police chief, whom she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?

About Lynn Cahoon

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER, book 1 of the series, won the Reader's Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She's also pens the Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, and FATALITY IN FIRELIGHT are available in mass market paperback. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at

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Is there a cozy town you'd like to see featured in 
The Cozy Times? 
Please let me know in the comments section.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book 8 in the Cat In The Stacks Mysteries
by Miranda James

The New York Times bestselling author of No Cats Allowed and Arsenic and Old Books is back with more Southern charm and beguiling mystery as Charlie and Diesel must find a killer in a room full of librarians...
Light-hearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself—in handcuffs...
Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.
It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset...
But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library...


Fans of Miranda James will not want to miss this excellent installment of the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series!

While TWELVE ANGRY LIBRARIANS is the eighth book in this series, it is only the third I have read. With each new title I am becoming more emotionally involved with its characters. Author Miranda James has imbued them with qualities that make it hard to not enjoy them.

I found the librarian convention featured in this story to be fascinating. I enjoyed reading the personalities of the different librarians, and indeed the one who is killed in the book, I’m sad to say, very much acted like one of the ones I have met (only mine is the female version).

As the title suggests, there were plenty of suspects is this story. There were so many that couldn’t stand the murder victim at all. Our own Charlie didn’t like him from over three decades before. So, it was tricky trying to figure out the killer. I suspected right at first, but author James did a great job of throwing me off the scent and leading me astray.

TWELVE ANGRY LIBRARIANS is written with the same consistent style and talent that has come to be expected of Miranda James. It’s this kind of writing that keeps us coming back for more. 

is available today!

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let me know what you think!

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Click on the link in the 
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Friday, February 17, 2017

I got a late start promoting Cozy Food Friday yesterday due to Internet issues.
Author Maria Grazia Swan has agreed to stay and play another day!
So, it's Cozy Food Saturday! πŸ™‚

Cozy Food Friday

and a


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

Today I'm featuring a recipe from
Book 1 in the Bakers Girls Cozy Mysteries
Maria Grazia Swan

Can't resist lighthearted comedy dressed with a little mystery that never takes you down a dark road? Good, because that’s what you get when you put two hot Italian imports together. Meet the hot pink Fiat 500 and its owner, real estate agent Monica Baker. Now stir in a dead body, a caterer about to lose her license, a real estate office coming off the rails, a goofy Great Dane, and a lively heroine who can’t help falling for the brooding bad boy. This is the world of Monica Baker: a high-speed mystery with a serving of mischief and a side of laughs.

About Maria

National Bestselling author Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people find happiness. 

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't? 

Maria has written short stories for anthologies, articles for high profile magazines and numerous blogs tackling love and life. 

"I love to hear from my readers. thank you"

Contact Maria:
-or- touch base with her on Facebook  



1 - $10.00 Amazon Gift Card - USA
1 - eBook copy of COOK, CROOKS AND A CORPSE -Worldwide  

Use the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post to enter.


On to the recipe!

Brenda’s Pasta Primavera

Food photo are courtesy of Google Images. your dish will vary in appearance.

Serves 4

This version works for vegetarians. 
If you are following a gluten-free diet, substitute gluten-free pasta for regular pasta. You can use your favorite brand. My choice is Barilla.


12 ounces of pasta. Brenda’s uses Barilla thin spaghetti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
½ pound of broccoli, trim thick stems
½ pound of cauliflower
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of heavy cream 

   Cook pasta according to directions.
   While waiting for water to boil chop broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces.
   Once the pasta is in the pot, melt butter in large skillet over low heat, but don’t let it brown. Set aside.

   Two minutes before removing the pasta from the boiling pot add the chopped broccoli and cauliflower to the boiling water/pasta.
   Drain well pasta and veggies, transfer to the skillet with melted butter, toss well. Add heavy cream and cheese, toss some more and serve. 

(4 servings)

Buon appetito

Monica’s 1 pot-15 minutes version….if you dare
Serves 2

8 ounces of pasta, (half a package) Barilla thin spaghetti 
   cooks in 5-6 minutes al dente
Salt and pepper as needed.
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoon of olive oil
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1-10 ounces package of frozen vegetables. Monica likes the Oriental Stir-fry plain, but any frozen vegetables would do.

   Cook pasta according to directions.
   While pasta is cooking, open frozen vegetables, discard wrapping and put vegetables in colander. Let hot water from kitchen faucet run over frozen vegetables. That way they will thaw but remain crisp.
   When pasta is done, turn off faucet and pour pasta over vegetables in colander.      Drain well.
   Quickly return the pot in which the pasta was cooked to the same burner, add butter. Allow it to melt over a low burner but do not allow it to brown.
Pour pasta and vegetables on top of melted butter, add olive oil and toss well.
Serve with grated cheese to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Admit it. 
You're stomach is growling, isn't it?


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

Both 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

My Book Beginnings

I parked my Fiat 500 inside the open gate and headed up the long driveway of the Dumont residence.

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 

"Swell, can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to meeting him," 
she said sarcastically. 


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let me know what you think!

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Click on the link in the 
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