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A Summer Facebook Party
Mattie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello everyone! 

Today I am thrilled to be hosting one of my favorite cozy authors, and just an around awesome lady, 
Connie Archer!

Connie writes The Soup Lover's Mystery series. 
If you haven't read this series, you must add it to your reading list!

Connie has been thinking a lot lately about who she wants to kill. In her books that is! 

After you read Connie's dilemma, maybe you can help her out by leaving a comment letting her know who you think she should and shouldn't kill. 

And to thank you, Connie is giving away a copy of your choice of one of her first three 
Soup Lover's Mysteries!

You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

So, lets see what Connie has to say. 

    Who should I kill next?
by Connie Archer

Someone recently asked me how I’ve managed to have one or more murders in each book of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series without depleting the admittedly small population of Snowflake, Vermont.  Originally, the town census was 953 but now, unfortunately, there are only 950 souls in the village.  (Psssst . . . . don’t tell anyone, but the murder rate in this charming village is rather high.)


Winter tourists come for the ski slopes, summer visitors for the lovely scenery and the reenactment of the Battle of Bennington and, of course, the Harvest Festival in the fall.  Outsiders are safe.  Well, I mean they’re safe for me to kill, but Snowflake may not be a very safe place for them to be.  And of course if anyone comes to town for nefarious reasons, I feel I have a completely free hand in bumping them off. 

So that got me to thinking . . . what would happen if one of the village residents, one of the regulars in town, were murdered?  Would that complete demolish the boundaries of a cozy mystery?  Would readers be upset and write angry emails to me?  And if I should decide to do just that, who would I choose? 


Speaking of bumping characters off -- I’ve watched pretty much every episode of Downton Abbey.  No, I’m not a rabid fan, although I really have enjoyed the series.  A reviewer recently described Downton as a “perfect soap opera.”  That gave me pause.  A soap?  Wow!  I hadn’t quite thought of Downton Abbey as a soap, but maybe that reviewer had a point.  Maybe whatever factors caused Downton to be so popular are the same elements that make a mystery series a success. 


Let’s examine some of the things that have happened at Downton.  Bates has gone to jail -- for a good long time for the murder of his wife, leaving Anna heartbroken and terrified.  It wasn’t looking as if Bates would ever be released.  Anna’s been raped by a monstrous valet.  The younger sister who ran off with the chauffeur (sorry, can’t remember her character’s name), has died after childbirth, and then there’s Matthew.  What a shocker that was at the end of the season! 


So here’s this marvellous series that pulls every fan in every week even though terrible things are happening to the Crawley family and other residents of Downton Abbey.  Could I take a leaf from that book?  (Speaking figuratively that is.)  Could I kill off a series regular character?  Is that actually DONE in cozies???  And who would I choose? 

Jack?  Lucky’s beloved grandfather?  Well, we know Jack has had some health problems and then of course there are his flashbacks to the war.  But no!  Not Jack!  Never!  Even though he’s 85 years young.  Besides, who would tell time by the bells if anything happened to that wonderful Navy vet?

Lucky?  Nope.  Can’t do that.  After all, she’s my main protagonist.  Without her there couldn’t be a series.  She has to stick around to solve all the crimes.  Sophie?  Lucky’s best friend?  Can’t see that.  Sophie just got married.  Well, she will have been married by the end of Book 4, Ladle to the Grave, which is coming out on March 3, 2015.  No, that would be terrible. 


Sage DuBois?  The Spoonful’s chef?  Yikes!  Who would make all those fabulous soup recipes?  And surely not Horace Winthorpe!  He hasn’t finished his book on the Revolutionary War years in Vermont yet.  He has a ways to go.  And definitely not his dog Cicero.  Never Cicero

Perhaps a more minor character?  Flo Sullivan who sends Jack into tailspins with her flirtations?  Hmmm.  Hank or Barry, the Spoonful’s regulars?  Uh, uh.  They’re the first customers of the day.  Killing them would cause a rift in the universe that is Snowflake, Vermont

The more I thought about it, I realized how hard the choice would be, if not impossible.  I love them all.  I need them all.  They people the pages of each book, lending texture and color and idiosyncrasies.  I couldn’t bear to kill any of them.  Just can’t do it. 

This title will be released on March 3, 2015.

What do you think?  Should everyone in Snowflake stay in Snowflake?  The important people I mean?  Even the ones who are so annoying, like Cordelia Rank?  Personally, I think it would just be too too sad.  I want them all there the next time I sit down to plot the new crimes in the village. 

What do you think?  Could you bear to lose anyone in Snowflake?  Would you never speak or write to me again? 

Wow! Connie sure is in a predicament. 

I'm going to throw in my opinion. 

I would hate to see any of the people Connie mentioned above get murdered. But it occurs to me there are semi-regular characters that could be killed off and it would add just the right amount of angst to the story without completely breaking our hearts by losing one of our beloved regulars. 

My pick would be Sage's brother, Remy DuBois. 

What do you think? Do you think Connie can kill off a regular? 
Or should she stick with visitors to Snowflake?

I can't wait to read your suggestions for her.

You can purchase Connie Archer's Soup Lover's Mysteries at you local bookstore or any of these online book sellers.


Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  
A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal and A Roux of Revenge are set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont.  
The fourth book in the series, Ladle to the Grave, 
will be released in March 2015.  
You can visit Connie at her website and blog: conniearchermysteries.com, Facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.

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

Want to follow my blog? 
Click on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page!

GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please read on for the answers to yesterday's
Monday Mystery Mashup!

?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?


SOLUTIONS

1. A Haunting Is Brewing

2. Murderous Muffins

3. Golden Malicious

4. Murder Most Maine

5. Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye

Check back next Monday 
for more Mashups!



Sunday, September 28, 2014


It's
MONDAY MYSTERY MASHUP

Do you like to solve puzzles?
Do you love to win prizes?
If you said yes to both questions,
you're in the right place! 

It's easy.
Below are five scrambled cozy mystery titles.
Unscramble the titles and enter your answers into 
the Rafflecopter form below.

The more titles you guess correctly, 
the more chances you have to win!

One lucky winner will win a
Surprise!

This giveaway is brought to you by me, 
a poor but happy blogger. ;-)
So, your prize could be a cozy mystery. Or it could be a notepad, magnet, key chain or something that's just fun or cute.

This giveaway is open to the US and Canada.

Sound fun?
Then go get them unmashed!

1. A Atuhnngi Si Webrnig 

2. Rmsuderou Fumfins

3. Oglden Imoacusil

4. Dremru Somt Imnae

5. Bayb Ocepor, Hsiyccp Yee

Please only leave your guesses 
through Rafflecopter. 

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

Like to follow my blog? 
Click on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page!

GOOD LUCK!

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's
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 
CHERRY CHEESECAKE MURDER by Joanne Fluke. 
Book 8 in the delightful new 
Hannah Swensen Mystery series.




I always get hungry and develop a major sweet tooth when reading this series. Fluke's lead character, Hannah, owns a bakery called The Cookie Jar. There are always delectable treats featured in each book. 

Today I'm featuring a cookie recipe that I think is perfect to make from this time of year, right into the holiday season. 
(Oh heck, all year round!)

PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM COOKIES 
(PBJs)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Rack in middle position

1 cup melted butter (2 sticks, 1/2 pound)
2 cups brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup white (granulated) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter
2 beaten eggs (just whip them with a fork)
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts (measure AFTER chopping)
3 cups flour (no need to sift)
approximately 1/2 cup fruit jam (your choice of fruit)


   Microwave the butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl for approximately 90 seconds on HIGH to melt it. Mix in brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until they're thoroughly blended. 

   Measure out the peanut butter. (Hannah sprays the inside of her measuring cup with Pam so it won't stick.) Add it to the bowl and mix it in. Pour in the beaten eggs and stir it all up. Add chopped salted peanuts and mix until they're incorporated. 

   Add flour in one-cup increments, mixing it in until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. 


   
Form the dough into walnut-sized balls with your hands and arrange them on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet. (If the dough is too sticky to form into balls, chill it for an hour or so, and then try again.)



   Make an indentation in the center of the dough ball with your thumb. Spoon in a bit of jam, making sure it doesn't run over the sides of the cookie.

   Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to turn golden. Cool on a cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. 


Yield: approximately 7 dozen cookies, depending on cookie size. 


   Hannah's Note: If you happen to run out of fruit jam and you have cookies left to fill, put a few chocolate chips in the indentation. You'll have to call those cookies PBCs, but they're wonderful! 


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

Anyone besides me hungry?
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that a few of you are going to be making these sometime soon. ;-)

You can purchase CHERRY CHEESECAKE MURDER by Joanne Fluke at your local bookstore or order it online


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. 

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

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

Keeping my Cozy Food Friday theme going with... 
CHERRY CHEESECAKE MURDER by Joanne Fluke
Book 8 in the Hannah Swensen Mystery series
My Book Beginnings for this week...


Prologue

Lake Eden, Minnesota---Wednesday, the Second Week in March

"Cut!"

Dean Lawrence had directed at plenty of locations, but Lake Eden was the worst. These yokels raised boredom to a whole new level. The chubby broad who ran the bakery made a great cheese cake, and that was the only good thing he could say about Podunk Central.

Nothing was working today. They were never going to get this scene. The local lethargy must be catching, and it was time to kick some butt. 

"What's with you Burke? You're supposed to make people weep for you! Get up. I'll show you what I want here." Dean pushed Burke out of camera range and got ready to play the scene himself. 

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.

Continuing with the CHERRY CHEESECAKE MURDER theme
My Friday 56...

(My 56 is from page 55 since page 56 is a recipe)

"That's him! I'm glad you said it, girl. I don't even want his name to pass my lips. And now I got to get going, 'cause if I set even one of my eyes on him, I'm going to kick his you-know-what to kingdom come!"

CHERRY CHEESECAKE MURDER by Joanne Fluke

There's no such thing as privacy in Lake Eden, but Hannah never thought things would go this far. Everyone has been telling her what to do ever since she got not one but two marriage proposals. Movie mania soon shoves Hannah's marriage dilemma into the background and even gives her cat a shot at stardom. The Cookie Jar serves as snack central with Main Street rented out for the week. She stirs lots of fresh gossip, whipping up treats for cast and crew, including demanding director Dean Lawrence's favourite - cherry cheesecake. Everything's on schedule until Dean demonstrates a suicide scene with a prop gun that turns out to be all too real. As filming continues, Hannah sifts through the clues, hoping against hope that the person responsible for Dean's death is half-baked enough to have made a mistake. When it happens, Hannah intends be there - ready to rewrite a killer's lethal script with the kind of quirky ending that can only happen in Lake Eden...

Includes fourteen original dessert recipes for you to try!

Joanne Fluke

Learn more about Joanne Fluke on her website

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, September 24, 2014

It's
THROWBACK THURSDAY!
Ready to learn about a new old series?

Today's new, old series is 
The Lucy Wayles Mystery series 
by author Alice Nestleton 

There are 3 books in this series.


This wonderful series introduces former librarian Lucy Wales, an eccentric birdwatcher with a knack for solving crimes. In this premiere mystery, Lucy investigates the strange death of a fellow birdwatcher.


When Lucy Wayles and the quirky members of her bird-watching crew arrive at a dinner for a famous field guide illustrator, they are just in time to witness him plummet to his death from the hotel's upper floors. The police call it a swan dive, but the unflappable Lucy calls it fowl play. Now she's hatching a plan to catch a killer, but if her scheme goes south--her own goose is cooked!


Amateur sleuth Lucy Wayles and her bird-watching group are surprised by the sudden announcement that one of their members is planning to get married after their morning session of birding. But before the bride can say I do, she's shot down during the ceremony. When the police are unable to find the killer, Lucy hatches a plan to trap the killer herself!

Have you read this one?

These titles are not available in paperback, nor are they available in eBook format. 
Check with your local used book stores or online sellers.  

Remember to check back every Thursday 
for more great Throwback cozy titles!

Want to Follow my blog? 
Click the link in the upper right hand corner.

And please, leave a comment. 
I always love hearing what you have to say!

?????????????????????????????????

Answer to Whodunit Wednesday


THE DOC'S LAST LUNCH - SOLUTION

   Sherman went to the doctor's refrigerator and opened the freezer section. "No ice in the ice tray. Just as I suspected. That's how the doctor's last patient got the kettle not to whistle until 12:35. He filled it with ice cubes and put it on a low flame." 

   "You mean the killer was the patient I saw leaving?"

   "Yes. This nut case, as Ms. Gould so aptly put it, was clever enough to make the crime appear to have happened later. He rigged the kettle, opened the tuna, and sliced the apple. He probably even moved the body into the kitchen." 

   "That's a cute theory," Wilson said. "But . . ."

   "Note the oxidated flesh of the apple." Sherman pointed to the browned fruit, then to the fruit knife in the victim's hand. "If the doctor had cut the apple
himself, as we're meant to believe, it couldn't have turned so brown so soon. We discovered the body just minutes after he supposedly cut it."  

LOL, I'm so happy I'm not the one guessing, because I got this one wrong too! 

How do you think you did?

Don't forget to check back next Wednesday for another Whodunit!