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Mattie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Lisa Ks Book Reviews blog is proud to bring to you
THE COZY TIMES

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

The Cozy Times will be available every Wednesday right here on Lisa Ks blog.

I think it's time to see what some of our authors are up to, don't you? The Cozy Times has sources everywhere, and here's what they found this week!
(All accounts listed below are fictional and just for fun)


Author News


Author Kate Dyer-Seeley has traded Portland for Ashland! Not to worry Portlanders, she'll be back. Ms. Dyer-Seeley, author of the wonderful Pacific Northwest Mysteries, was spotted in Torte, Ashland's place to be for the most delicious  pastries and coffee in Oregon! "She's in town for the season's kick off of the Oregon Shakepeare Festival", Juliet Capshaw, co-owner of Torte explained to The Cozy Times. When ask what the author had to eat at her bakery, Ms. Capshaw said, "She had a plum tart with powdered sugar, and a cup of our fresh ground  coffee with a vanilla espresso shot." 


Later that evening, Ms. Dyer-Seeley was again spotted. This time, she was three rows back for that night's performance of Romeo and Juliet. "She gave us a standing ovation, and came backstage to congratulate all of us", squealed an excited actress who played a minor role in the play. "Even those of us who didn't have speaking parts!" 

~*~*~*~

Is there nowhere author Sherry Harris won't travel for a good yard sale? Our guess is no.  The author showed up in Ellington, Massachusetts for what seemed to be a town wide yard sale. (The Cozy Times is sure the author was also doing research for her newest mystery.) Everywhere you looked, folks had their front yards packed with trash and treasures. Mrs. Wilma Deaver said Ms. Harris stopped by her house where the author purchased, a couple old postcards, a macrame infinity calendar, an old rusty meat cleaver, and a bag of Legos. "She was a real nice lady, but she did get in a scuffle with a blonde lady over the meat cleaver. She kept shouting 'I saw it first, Ellie!'. They finally flipped a coin, and the other lady lost. But she did buy my old bent ice pick!"  


~*~*~*~




The Cozy Times goes international for our next sighting. We received word all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland, that author Paige Shelton had been doing some pretty in-depth research for her current WIP. (That's "work in progress" in author speak.) It seems the author was spotted everywhere. The local bookshop, the pub, several historic sites, another pub, the library, back at the first pub, and even out on the Moors...in a kilt...with bagpipes. Locals swear they could hear her shouting, "Nessie! Here girl!" In all fairness to Ms. Shelton, many of the aforementioned locals, had themselves also been to several pubs that evening, so The Cozy Times refuses to call the "moor incident" anything but a rumor. Either way, we're sure the author had a great time in Scotland, but we hope she is now back in the US and working hard on that new book! 

~*~*~*~*~


Remember to keep your eyes peeled dear readers. You never know when one of your favorite authors may be visiting your hometown.

📕📖📗📖📘📖📙

I hope you enjoyed this special author spotlight issue of 
The Cozy Times.


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, November 29, 2016



Christmas is coming!

So many things come to mind when thinking of Christmas, and they all bring a smile to my face. 
One of the things that brings the biggest smile?

COOKIES!!!

Dessert, parties, cookie exchanges . . . 
Cookies play a big part in the holidays.

Every Tuesday, now until Christmas, I'll be sharing some amazing cookie recipes from some of your favorite cozy authors and books!  

ESPRESSO SHOT
by Cleo Coyle


I shared this recipe back in May of 2015, but I think it's worth repeating!

Anginetti 
(Glazed Lemon Cookies)


Makes 3 to 4 dozen, depending 
on size and shape of cookie

Cookie Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (grated from rind) 
1/8 teaspoon salt (pinch or two) 
3 large eggs 
1/4 cup whole milk 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted) 
4 teaspoons baking powder


Lemon Glaze Ingredients 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons lemon extract 
2 cups confectioners' sugar (sifted) 


Make Cookies

   With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together with vanilla and lemon extract, lemon zest, and salt. 

   Add eggs and beat for a minute or two until light and fluffy. 

   Add in the flour and baking powder, blending well with the mixer until you have a dough (be careful not to overmix the dough or cookies will be tough). Dough should be soft and sticky. 

   Chill for at least an hour---could dough is easier to work with. 

   Preheat the oven to 350° F.

   Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone sheets or spray surface with cooking spray. 

   With well greased hands, shape bits of dough into small ropes (about the thickness of a woman's wedding ring finger), make a ring with the rope of dough about 2 inches in diameter, and press ends together on the baking sheet. Or for lemon drops, simply roll pieces of dough about 1 inch in size and place on baking sheet.  (If you really want to go rustic, then don't even bother chilling the dough. Simply drop teaspoonfuls of the sticky dough onto the baking sheet.) 

   Bake about 10 to 15 minutes. Don't over cook. Baking time may vary, depending on your oven. 

   Let the cookies cool before glazing and decorating. 


Make Glaze

   In a nonstick saucepan, place the butter, water, and lemon extract over low heat. Stir until butter melts. 

   Add confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until sugar dissolves before adding more. Continue until all sugar has been added. Stir or whisk until your glaze is smooth. 

   Use pastry brush to glaze your cooled cookies. (Optional: If you wish to add decorations to your cookies, such as nonpareils or colored sugar, be sure to sprinkle while glaze is still warm. I (Cleo Coyle) actually prefer the cookies without decorations, just the lemon glaze.) 


I can smell the lemon. Yum! 

Perfect for a cookie exchange!

Check back next Tuesday for another yummy cookie recipe! 

🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

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.

Monday, November 28, 2016


I'm so happy to be spotlighting the new 
Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery
by Karen Rose Smith

SHADES OF WRATH


***From USA TODAY Bestselling Author KAREN ROSE SMITH***
SHADES OF WRATH, Book 6, Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series.
Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca's life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume. 
 
Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet's women's shelter, Sunrise Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter's director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice's decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself. 
 
When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs--and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open--before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair...

A Word From Karen Rose Smith


Hi!  I'm Karen Rose Smith.  I write mystery, romance and women's fiction. My 97th novel will be released in 2017.  Besides writing, my passion is caring for my four rescued cats--Zoie Joy, Halo, her daughter Paddy, senior London...and siblings--Bonnie & Clyde--who are strays who come twice a day at least for wet food.  My hobbies are gardening, cooking, watercolor painting and photography.  An only child, I've always delved into books as an escape.  But as part of a large Italian family, I had cousins and relatives around me often. Families are a strong theme in my novels, both mysteries and romances.  In my Caprice De Luca mystery series, my sleuth Caprice takes in stray cats and dogs and finds them homes.  I love to chat with readers so feel free to search my Facebook pages--lots of cat photos--and join in. 

SHADES OF WRATH is a special book to me for two reasons.  I tackled the subject of domestic violence.  I hope I did it in such a way that I brought an honest glimpse to this crisis for women.  I've interwoven this plotline with healthy relationships too to bring warmth and joy to the novel.  The second reason SHADES is heartfelt is the dedication to Sunnybud and his inclusion in the book. He was a yellow tabby that I befriended for 3 years.  He was a wanderer but he came to trust and depend on me and my husband.  We lost him last February to an FIV complicated infection.  But I'll never forget how he trusted me to feed him, warm him with heat bags in winter, and simply give him love. 


I hope you enjoy every bit of SHADES OF WRATH.  This novel was more than a mystery to me. It was a labor of love. 

Social links:




Goodreads:  

Romance Website:  www.karenrosesmith.com/

Mystery Website:  karenrosesmithmysteries.com/


MY REVIEW


SHADES OF WRATH is the stand out book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mysteries!

It was clear with the first book in this series, STAGED TO DEATH, that author Karen Rose Smith loved every bit of what she was writing. In SHADES OF WRATH it’s even more obvious. I could really sense through her words that this author put her all into this book.

There is so much going on in this story. From the absolutely adorable cat, Sunnybud (Based on a real life cat in Ms. Smith’s life) who tugged at my heart, the excitement of Caprice’s TV gig, the very real issue of abused women, and the must be included murder, STAGED TO DEATH had me riveted to my seat reading faster and faster. By the time I had finished the last page, I was breathless.

Extraordinary writing, amazingly defined characters, and a solid mystery, make STAGED TO DEATH a must read! 


Karen Rose Smith's plots are all about emotion. She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. After expressing feelings in poetry, earning a degree in English and French, completing short stories that became too long to find a market, she turned to her love of relationships in romance. This award-winning best-selling author (USA Today List and Borders Bestseller List, as well as Amazon's Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Love and Romance Bestseller lists) has seen published over 95 books since 1992 and has published with Silhouette, Harlequin, Kensington and Meteor/Kismet.  She has added 4 indie never-before published works to her e-book list as well as 4 short story anthologies.  Her awards include two Golden Leaf awards in short contemporary romance, the Golden Quill in traditional romance, two cataromance.com's awards for Best Special Editions and Romance Review's Today's Best series romance award.

          An only child, Karen spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books.  She dreamed of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from.  On weekends she was often surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins. The root of her plots include family relationships. 
          Karen married her college sweetheart and they have been married for 45 years. She believes in the power of commitment and the hope that goes along with the promise of everlasting love.  Along with enjoying time with her husband, Karen enjoys cooking, gardening, shopping, listening to music and keeping her four rescue cats company or vice versa.  She also cares for a stray sibling pair her hubby dubbed Bonnie & Clyde.
          She is busy working on her home staging mystery series as well as her Daisy Tea Garden cozy series for Kensington. Readers can follow her on Facebook (KarenRoseSmithBooks), on Twitter @karenrosesmith, through her blog Cats, Roses...and Books! as well as her newsletter IN TOUCH. She welcomes interaction on social networks and would love to chat.


SHADES OF WRATH
is now available for pre-order
and releases tomorrow
November 29!


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.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


SPOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
Book 8 in the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries
by E. J. Copperman


Alison’s shady ex needs to use her haunted guesthouse as a hideout in the latest from the national bestselling author of Ghost in the Wind.
Where Alison Kerby’s ex-husband goes, trouble follows. This time, unfortunately, he’s brought that trouble right to her doorstep. On the run from a business deal gone bad, Steven, aka “the Swine,” owes some scary people a staggering sum of money. No need to panic, though. He has a plan: Sell Alison’s Jersey Shore guesthouse to pay them off.
 
Before Alison has a chance to read Steven the riot act, he disappears—after a mysterious man trailing him ends up full of bullet holes. Now the police are next to darken her doorway. For all his faults, Steven is still the father of Alison’s daughter, so with the help of ghosts Maxie and Paul, Alison sets out to find her ex and clear him of the murder. But if the bad guys get to him first, he may not have a ghost of a chance...

MY REVIEW


This spirited eighth installment in the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries will have you wanting ghosts of your own!

In SPOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, author E. J. Cooperman delivers a para-cozy tale that will have fans of this series, and of the genre, thrilled! This story has amped up everything good from the first seven books to deliver to readers what just may be their favorite book in the series so far.

With series lead, Alison’s ex-husband back in town trying to hide out from people who would prefer him dead, Alison seems to be at wits end. I get the feeling she’d like to kill him herself, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to clear his name when he is accused of murdering someone! And, spectral fan favorites, Maxie and Paul are back to lend a helping hand.

This latest addition in the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries is everything readers have come to expect of E. J. Copperman and this series. With wonderful writing of a plot that will keep you turning the pages, SPOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL will be right at home with the other para-cozies on your bookshelves!


Now available for pre-order
Releases 
December 6!


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.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


PROSE AND CONS
Book 2 in the Magical Bookshop Mysteries
by Amanda Flower


Magic, books, and cats collide in a village near Niagara Falls in the latest mystery from the author of Crime and Poetry...
 
In Cascade Springs, New York, Violet Waverly and her grandma, Daisy, are the proprietors of Charming Books, where the power of the written word is positively enchanting...
 
October in Cascade Springs means tourists are pouring in for the annual Food and Wine Festival, and Daisy hopes to draw those crowds to the store. She asks Violet and the local writing group, the Red Inkers, to give a reading of the works of Edgar Allan Poe in the shop’s back garden to entertain the revelers. Everyone eagerly agrees.
 
Yet their enthusiasm is soon extinguished when Violet discovers one of the writers dead during the event. After the shop magically tells Violet she’ll need to rely on Poe’s works to solve the murder, she enlists the help of her trusty tuxedo cat, Emerson, and the shop’s crow, Faulkner. But they must act fast before someone else’s heart beats nevermore...

MY REVIEW


Another charming story in the Magical Bookshop Mystery series.

A master at her craft, author Amanda Flower aka Isabella Alan has proven she can pen an outstanding mystery no matter the main topic. Be it a magical bookstore, the Amish, history, quilting, or middle school, it’s plain to see that this author does her research.

Amanda Flower consistently brings readers a well written story that they’ll take with them long after they’ve read the last page. That certainly is true with PROSE AND CONS. This mysterious para-cozy had me under its spell from the beginning. I was so enthralled in the story that I lost all track of time.

Eclectic characters, delightful pets, and a wonderful setting (both bookshop and town), PROSE AND CONS is an extremely entertaining tale that will leave readers satisfied yet anxiously awaiting the next installment.

If you haven’t read a book by Amanda Flower/Isabella Alan, it is certainly time that you do! 

PROSE AND CONS 
is available for pre-order
and releases
December 6!


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.