Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Giveaway: Win a August 6 Cozy Mystery Release

Cozy readers, I can't wait for the August 6 New Releases. This month there is an amazing selection of books on offer...

Do or Diner by Christine Wenger

Plainly Murder by Isabella Alan

If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion by Paige Shelton

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen

Cover Story by Erika Chase

Cross-Stitch Before Dying by Amanda Lee

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

Murder on the Rocks by Allyson K. Abbott

Cold Turkey by Shelley Freydont

Little Black Book of Murder by Nancy Martin

From Herring to Eternity by Delia Rosen

A Cold White Sun by Vicki Delany

Pall in the Family by Dawn Eastman

Remnants of Murder by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay

Seed No Evil by Kate Collins

I'm very fortunate that many readers use my Amazon Affiliate to purchase their books and authors advertise with my site. I like to use this revenue to give back to my readers, so this month I'm having a fantastic giveaway for two August 6 New Releases.

Two winners will get to pick which new release they want from the above list, and their book will be pre-ordered and sent to them via Amazon, either on Kindle (International) or Paperback/Hardback (US only).

The bonus of this giveaway is that as I am purchasing the books myself, the authors will also get two book sales!

To enter complete the rafflecopter form below. I will contact the winners via email, at which time they can confirm their selection.

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Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town with Kate Collins

5 Top Places to Visit in New Chapel, Indiana
by Kate Collins

Abby Knight is the main character in the Flower Shop Mysteries and knows her home town of New Chapel, Indiana, better than I do, so I’m going to let her take you on a quick tour around the town square, where her flower shop is located. Here’s Abby.

It’s no surprise that the first stop will be Bloomers, my cozy little flower shop situated across from the big limestone courthouse in the middle of the town square. At Bloomers we sell not only floral arrangements and gift items but also coffee, tea, and the best scones in the northern hemisphere right from the coffee shop within Bloomers.

With its two big bay windows displaying a colorful array of flowers, and its old-fashioned yellow frame door with beveled glass center, Bloomers is my paradise. It occupies the entire first floor of a turn-of-the-century narrow, three-story, redbrick building, running from Franklin Street in front to the alley in back. The left side of the shop houses our flowers and the right side is our coffee and tea parlor, where customers sit at white wrought iron tables and watched the happenings on the square. People who work downtown line up every morning for our gourmet coffee and scones, made by our very own British expert and woman-of-all-trades, Grace Bingham.

A typical day for me goes like this: Callas, roses, daisies, murder, carnations, mums, kidnappings, corsages, bouquets, mayhem . . . So, even though my town square is as typical as a Midwest town can be, I’m not your typical florist.

Two doors down Franklin Street is the Down the Hatch Bar and Grill, owned by the hottest male in town, Marco Salvare, Army Ranger Special Ops-turned-PI. Lucky me, he’s all mine, but what a journey we’ve had. (FYI: My nickname is Trouble Magnet).

Marco’s bar is the local watering hole, a meeting place for the judges and attorneys from the courthouse across the street, as well as a hang out for college students from New Chapel University, located five blocks off the square. Decorated in a corny fishing theme -- complete with a fake carp mounted above the long, dark wood bar, a bright blue plastic anchor on the wall above the row of booths opposite the bar, a big brass bell near the cash register, and a fisherman’s net hanging from the beamed ceiling – Down the Hatch screams for a rehab. Unfortunately, Marco is afraid to touch it for fear of an uprising among his faithful patrons.

Another popular place just off the town square is The Daily Grind, a small, eclectically decorated coffee shop with soft lighting and jazz playing in the background and a comfy sofa against the back wall. Chairs are tables are in soft pastel colors and none of them match. Yes, they are somewhat of a rival, but I do like their almond milk chai lattes.

Windows on the Square is a popular women’s boutique located on Lincoln Street, facing the big limestone courthouse. Windows looks like a place where my mom would shop, but the owner does a great job of appealing to the younger set. Like most businesses on the square, Windows has been renovated to keep its old-world charm but with modern amenities. The clothes are a bit pricey, so I just wait for their fantastic sales.

A visit to New Chapel wouldn’t be complete without a dinner at the elegant Adagio, our one and only cosmopolitan restaurant, set with real china, white linen tablecloth and napkins, and a votive candle in a crystal goblet. Adagio is special to me because it’s where Marco and I had a few really special romantic dinners.

If you were a florist, I’d add one extra stop to the tour, Happy Dreams Funeral Home, a huge, Victorian, cream-colored clapboard house with dark green and light green trim and accents of mauve - a style commonly known as a Painted Lady. But you really don’t want to go there unless you have to. And just so you know, although I’ve helped solve a number of murder cases involving citizens of New Chapel, I promise you’ll be completely safe with Marco and me as your guides.

Please come back and see us again. I’ll even give you a discount on flowers. If you want a murder solved, however, it’ll be a bit extra.

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series. Her latest mystery, SEED NO EVIL, #14 in the series, hits the shelves on August 6, 2013.Her books have made the New York Times Extended Bestseller List, Barnes & Noble best-seller lists, the Independent Booksellers lists, as well as lists in Australia and England. All of Kate’s mysteries are available in print, digital, and large-print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK. Kate’s historical romances are also available in digital format at Amazon, B&N, and other e-book sellers. For more information visit Kate at: Kate loves for fans to visit her on her Facebook page, too.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Erin Murphy from The Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

Fourteen years ago, I couldn’t wait to leave Jewel Bay, Montana, where my family’s lived for more than a hundred years. I loved my life in Seattle, working as a grocery buyer for an international warehouse chain. But when an elderly friend left me a cat my landlord hated, and the manager of the Merc—the local foods market my mother runs in my family’s hundred-year-old former grocery—ran off to Vegas with her boyfriend the Elvis impersonator, it was time to come home.

The best part of coming home is enjoying all the places I love—some from my childhood, some new—and sharing them with visitors to Jewel Bay, like you.

Le Panier: Wendy Taylor met Max Fontaine in cooking school in Paris, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a marriage made in heaven. They moved here a few years ago—this is Wendy’s hometown, too—and opened Chez Max, a totally yummy, totally French bistro. Now Wendy has her dream: a genuine French boulangerie and patisserie. That means bread and pastry for us all. Bon appetit!

Red’s Bar: Jewel Bay is not what people expect in a Montana town. Cutting-edge art and lip-smacking restaurants instead of cow pies and shoot-outs on dirt streets. But we have our belly-up bar, with a courtyard out back that’s perfect for the Festa di Pasta, our new festival to kick off summer. Come join us!

Dragonfly Dry Goods: Another gem that opened while I was away. Van loads of shoppers come from all over for Kathy Jensen’s yarn and fabric selection. I don’t knit or sew—that’s my sister Chiara’s department. But when I need grounding in the physical world—or the straight scoop, no gossip—I stop here. A petting zoo for yarn addicts.

The riding trails above Caldwell’s Eagle Lake Lodge & Guest Ranch: I learned to ride as a teenager, when Kim Caldwell and I became best friends. Not BFF, alas, but that’s another story. Everything looks better from the back of a horse.

And of course, the Merc. If your own shop isn’t one of your favorite places in the world, you’re in the wrong business.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime, August 2013). The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as the Food Lovers’ Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare. So when Erin Murphy takes over her family’s century-old general store, she turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. But Erin’s freshly booming business might turn rotten when a former employee turns up dead…

Leslie’s first book, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books) won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. Visit her website or on Facebook
Pre-Order Death Al Dente from Amazon.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Lizzie Turner (from Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries by Erika Chase)

Welcome to Ashton Corners

I’m Lizzie Turner, your tour guide of my hometown, Ashton Corners, AL. I was born and raised here, went away to college and after a short work stint, came back home. I wanted to be close to my mama who lives in an assisted living facility, and to my friends. The town’s just the right size – too big for everyone to know what’s happening in your life yet small enough that you always meet someone you know when scooting about town. Here are some of my favorite places:

THE BOOK BIN, the local independent bookstore is on Main Street and just calls out to me each time I pass by. It’s cozy and invites you to linger in one of the comfy chairs, enjoying a freshly brewed coffee while reading back covers of new arrivals. Or, you can watch a DVD of a PBS series, if you have the time. It’s also the main source for my book club, the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society.

THE ASHTON CORNERS POLICE STATION, further along the street, because I seem to spend a lot of time there, being inadvertently involved in solving murders every now and then. But mainly because my guy, Mark Dreyfus, is the police chief. I had a crush on him in my senior year at high school and now, we’ve been together for almost a year and wow…having an adult crush is so much better!

MOLLY MATHEWS’S HOUSE, although that’s not doing it justice. It’s an antebellum mansion and it’s been a second home to me all my life. Molly’s elegant home serves as the site for our book club’s monthly meetings, and as a site for the literacy program, where I teach one night a week. As well, she opens her doors each year to several home tours, as part of her philanthropic endeavors.

ST.JOHN’S EVANGELICAL CHURCH, where my choir, Musica Nobilis holds it’s weekly rehearsals. It’s an elegant although austere church built in the late 1860’s and at times when we perform our annual concert as a thanks for the use of the space, I can imagine the parishioners of old, covered heads bowed, sitting in comfort on the pews if they brought their own cushions, drawing inspiration and strength from the music.

THE JOSIAH PITT TOWN SQUARE, named after one of our founding fathers, and the center of attraction. Like many small town squares, there’s an ornate bandstand painted white, large enough to hold the traveling section of the AC High School Band. I’ve enjoyed many summer nights listening to the wide variety of musicians, local and visiting, who grace the stage. And at Christmas, it’s a massive display of lights, with the enormous town Christmas tree towering a few feet away.

Erika Chase is the author of the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, published by Berkley Prime Crime. She has been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada. Cover Story, the third book in the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, will be released on August 6 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon and other online bookstores.

Follow Erika Chase on the web: Facebook, Website and Twitter

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Stan Connor (from the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries) by Liz Mugavero

Top 5 Places to Visit in Frog Ledge

Welcome to Frog Ledge, friends! The small town where the people are...interesting, animal companions are plentiful and things are usually pleasant. Except for a few murders, but nobody said it was perfect all the time!

This town was a welcome change for me after years of city life and corporate demands. I quickly staked out my favorite places to hang out - here are a few:

Frog Ledge Town Green - This is where it all happens. The town green, smack dab in the middle of town and directly across the street from my adorable house, is truly the center of the action. It’s where people walk, run, meet for coffee, do yoga, sit on a bench to pass the time and work on their tans. We have concerts, tag sales, farmers’ markets, parties, fireworks, Revolutionary War re-enactments, Tai Chi festivals and I even heard rumblings about a crystal fair next month. We’ve had memorial services and protests too - but those aren’t as often. The point is, if you want to know what’s going on in town, hit the green. You’ll get more info there than at Town Hall.

Izzy Sweet’s Sweets - If you have a sweet tooth (or teeth) you can’t pass this place up. A gourmet coffee, chocolate and pastry store, coffee fiends and sugar hounds will basically want to move in. You can get lattes, truffles, homemade muffins, biscotti, pies, quiche, soups, sandwiches - I should stop, I’m getting hungry and I’ve already been there twice today. The owner, Izzy Sweet, is a delightful lady and good friend of mine. She has three dogs, a great sense of humor and an unwavering respect for Coco Chanel. I adore her. Locals can be tough on her though, especially some of the old timers, who prefer the greasy spoon-type diners. So if you’re in town, show Izzy some love.

McSwigg’s Irish Pub - Irishmen and women (and anyone who likes a good pint of Guinness) take heart and head over to the north end of town, where Jake McGee has the Irish pub of all Irish pubs, in my opinion. It’s the real thing - you’ll feel like you’ve landed in Ireland. The food is amazing, the beer is rockin and the owner is super hot. Need I say more?

Alpaca Haven Bed & Breakfast - An alpaca farm, B&B and gift shop run by two of my favorite people in town - Char and Ray Mackey. Char is a displaced southern belle who brings a bit of New Orleans to everything she touches. She’s also queen of town gossip. Raymond is also the town’s volunteer handyman, which gives him a unique insight into the townspeople. And who can resist the adorable alpacas?

Frog Ledge Memorial Library - I’m a self-professed geek and I love libraries in general. That said, our library is amazing. Betty Meany, our librarian, has worked hard to get the library tons of grants and as a result, we have the best library in eastern Connecticut. Tons of visiting celebrities, parties and fundraisers happen here - and all of them fun. And, well behaved pets are welcome, which always makes things better!

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries. Kneading to Die, the first in the series, is available now. A Biscuit, A Casket, the second book, will be released in April 2014.

Check out pics of some of these places on Pinterest.

Visit me on Facebook, Twitter, or my website

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Loretta Simpson from the Poppy Cove Mystery Series by Barbara Jean Coast

My Favorite Places in Santa Lucia

Hi there, guys and gals! As the Society Editor of the Santa Lucia Times, I am in the know of all the happening places in our toddling California town. Some folks find it eerily similar to Santa Barbara, which we all feel is a fine compliment. Here are some of the hottest spots for visitors and locals alike.

Poppy Cove – The dress shop and design atelier at the corner of Poppy Lane and Cove Street in the heart of Santa Lucia. Owned and operated by my two best friends, Designer Margot Williams and Accessories Buyer Daphne Huntington-Smythe, it is the place for the elite to get gorgeous and catch up on the latest gossip.

Antonio’s – A fabulous little Italian restaurant run by Antonio and Maria Chelli located on our main Cove Street. It’s darling with checkered tablecloths, a vine covered loggia, Chianti bottle candles and pasta, pasta, pasta!!!

Poppy Lane Tea Room – A great spot for breakfast or a little nibble. Lana’s homemade muffins, soups and sandwiches in this bright and airy café make it a delightfully perfect place for ladies who lunch.

Avila Square – Right in the center of town, the square has a beautiful fountain and Spanish terracotta and mosaic tiles. It’s the spot for the Saturday Farmer’s Market which is a feast for the senses with colorful produce, charming hardworking locals and lively music.

Santa Lucia Fisherman’s Wharf – Another great place to watch the world go by. Located at the foot of Cove Street, there’s something for everyone -- the Penny Arcade for the teenagers, the Sand Dollar with fresh take out fish and chips and ice cream delights from the Milky Way. With all the artists offering their wares and busking musicians to accompany the sounds of the ocean waves and fresh sea air, there’s no better way to while away the day from sunrise to sunset.

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of co-authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff.
STRANGLED BY SILK is the first novel in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series set in 50’s/60’s California, published by Cozy Cat Press. Purchase Strangled by Silk at Amazon.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Kath Rutledge, from the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Top 5 Places to Visit in Blue Plum

This was tough. Some of the places are obvious, but I wanted to make it the top 10! This leaves out the Little Buck River and the beautiful quiet cemetery where Granny is buried. (Notice how I sneakily got them in anyway? Hah!)

The Weaver’s Cat – Look in the front windows of the Weaver’s Cat, and see if you can resist the colors and textures of yarns and fabrics on display. Anyone with the least fiber fetish has to work very hard not to salivate when stepping over the threshold. The shop is rarely silent; fondling and cooing are openly encouraged. The Cat is located on Main Street in one of three attached, antebellum, brick houses making up the only row house in Blue Plum. Fiber artists and needle crafters – enter at your own risk!

Mel’s on Main – Another dangerous place! Anyone within a few blocks of Main Street can close her eyes and stumble her way to Mel’s café by following her nose to the headwaters of cinnamon, yeast, and whatever spices are dancing through the day’s specials. MMmm – onion soup and crusty cheese, berry pie and rosemary olive oil cake with dark chocolate.

The Holston Homeplace Living History Farm – You could say the Homeplace is Blue Plum’s own miniature version of Williamsburg, except that it’s a farm instead of a city and it represents the early nineteenth century instead of the late eighteenth. But there are costumed guides, historic buildings, and a visit to the heritage breed farm animals in the barn shouldn’t be missed.

The Blue Plum Repertory Theater – It’s a small company, but ambitious. They’ve staged everything from “Macbeth” to their own musical version of Agatha Christie’s “The Mouse Trap.” The theater is in the old train depot and performances “pause” when freights go rumbling and whistling past.

A TGIF meeting – Thank Goodness It’s Fiber (TGIF) is a group of needlework artists, not a place, but attending one of their meetings is usually educational and always entertaining. General membership meetings, with a speaker or demonstration, are held at 7 pm the first Tuesday of each month at the Weaver’s Cat. Special interest groups – Saturday Spinners, for instance, or Wednesday Weavers – meet at various times throughout the month. The knitters who attend Fridays Fast & Furious have set themselves a challenge – knit 1,000 baby hats for charity by the end of the year. They also have an unadvertised sideline in solving crimes, so if you have an itch to investigate a murder, grab your knitting needles and meet them at 4 pm any Friday at the Weaver’s Cat.

Molly MacRae is the author of the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries. The first book, Last Wool and Testament, and the second book, Dyeing Wishes, are available now in paperback, ebook and audio. Shop Amazon for her books

Visit Molly's Pinterest page to see pictures of her imaginary Blue Plum, including pictures and patterns for some of TGIF’s baby hats. Or catch up with Molly on Facebook or at my website.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Willow Vanderling, from the Threadville Mysteries by Janet Bolin

My Favorite Places in Threadville

Hi, I’m Willow Vanderling. A few years ago, many of the Victorian-era stores in the village of Elderberry Bay had been boarded up. My best friend, Haylee Scott, persuaded her mother and her mother’s two best friends to join her in opening stores catering to needlework crafters. Before long, the village became known as Threadville, and Haylee convinced me to open In Stitches, which specializes in sewing and embroidery machines, plus all of the supplies needed for machine embroidery. Each woman has a unique (a couple of them very unique) apartment. During the day, we teach workshops to busloads of tourists. At night, we sometimes need to investigate crimes…

Here are five places you won’t want to miss in Threadville:

The Beach: Elderberry Bay is on the Pennsylvania shore of Lake Erie, just west of Erie, where the Elderberry River joins the lake. We have a long, wide sand beach on the lake, smaller beaches on the river where people can launch kayaks and canoes, and a concrete boat launch for larger boats.

The Riverside Hiking Trail: A hiking trail runs for miles from the beach up the Elderberry River. I had a gate installed in my back fence so that my two dogs and I can easily slip out for walks along the trail. We often head for the beach.

The Cottage Colony: In summertime, people stay in quaint cottages along the shore. Many of us, villagers and cottagers, gravitate toward the ice cream stand most evenings, where we joke and chatter with each other while savoring the world’s most delicious icy desserts. The exhilarating holiday mood lasts all summer.

The Elderberry Bay Lodge: My (ahem) friend Clay helped the new owner restore the lodge to its Victorian glory. With its beautiful dining room looking out through French doors toward lawns sloping to the beach, the lodge is popular for special events and weddings. That lodge may harbor a few secrets, though.

Lake Street: In addition to In Stitches, needlework aficionados can browse (and buy) in Haylee’s fabric store, her birth mother’s yarn shop, her mother’s best friends’ notions and quilting stores, and in other stores, including a home décor shop and a costume design and rental shop. You might want to stop at the bakery, too, and enjoy a meal or two in the restaurants.

Janet Bolin’s first Threadville Mystery, DIRE THREADS, was nominated for both an Agatha Award for Best First novel and for the 2012 Bony Blithe Award . The second in the series, THREADED FOR TROUBLE, was nominated for the 2013 Bony Blithe Award. Her third mystery, Thread and Buried, is available at these booksellers

Visit Janet at Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cozy Mystery Swag Package Giveaway

Even though I love receiving swag from authors, I don't have the space to keep all of it (along with the hoards of books!), so I'm giving away a special cozy mystery swag package.

I'm giving away a great little notebook called "Samantha Kidd's Guide to Sleuthing in Style" from the series by Diane Vallere, bookmarks from Larissa Reinhart, Amanda Flower, and my own special cross stitch bookmark that says "Keep Calm and Read a Cozy Mystery", a Amanda Flower mirror compact and a book cover necklace from Larissa Reinhart.

Awesome right?

To enter:
1. Complete rafflecopter below
2. I will ship this package international.

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Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Marcy Singer from the Embroidery Mystery Series by Amanda Lee

My Favorite Places in Tallulah Falls

The Seven-Year Stitch - Is it crass to mention my shop first and foremost? I hope not because I totally love it there. It's where I spend most of my time, my dog Angus accompanies me to work, and all my friends--as well as customers--visit me there. You see, I have a sit-and-stitch square on one side of the shop where patrons are invited to come and work on their current projects. I also host embroidery classes at the Stitch three evenings a week, and Marilyn-Monroe-lookalike mannequin Jill oversees everything.

MacKenzies' Mochas - Just down the street from the Seven-Year Stitch is this charming coffeehouse owned by my best friends Sadie and Blake MacKenzie. MacKenzies' Mochas used to be a bar before Blake and Sadie converted it into a coffeehouse. They serve the best coffees--my fave is the nonfat vanilla latte with cinnamon, pastries, and lunch items. They make the absolute BEST chicken salad croissants! I get those for lunch way too often. By the way, it was Sadie who talked me into leaving San Francisco and coming to the Oregon coast to open my embroidery specialty store.

The Brew Crew - The Brew Crew is a craft brewery and pub owned and operated by my friend Todd Calloway. Todd is a real sweetheart. In fact, Sadie tried to fix us up when I first moved to Tallulah Falls. We really liked each other, but it was as friends. Anyway, Todd brews up some interesting stuff. I don't care for beer, but even I like his apricot beer.

The Tallulah Falls Public Library - This library is absolutely gorgeous. It's an old Victorian house that has been transformed into the coziest library you could ever want. My friend Reggie Singh is the head librarian. You should see her office. It's an eclectic mix of Indian and seashore décor. I know you wouldn't think it, but if you'd see it, you'd think it was very chic. You might also think a small town library would have a limited choice of books, but Reggie works hard to make sure her library is as well stocked as any.

The Tallulah Falls Sheriff's Department - Okay, the building itself is not one of my favorite places. In fact, I've been through there a couple of times when it was downright scary. But one of my very favorite people works there--Detective Ted Nash. We've been dating for a few weeks, and he makes me so happy. Also, the sheriff is Manu Singh, Reggie's husband, and he's a pretty great guy too.

*Please visit Marcy's Shop at See the book trailer for Cross Stitch Before Dying, the latest book in the Embroidery Mystery Series, at
Pre-order Cross Stitch Before Dying on Amazon.
Amanda Lee is a pseudonym for author Gayle Trent, who also writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mystery Series under her own name for Simon & Schuster's Gallery imprint.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Special Offer From Bev Editions

This week I was contacted by Bev Editions with a very special offer for my readers. The Archaeological Mysteries by Lyn Hamilton are now being published by Bev Editions, previously published by Berkley Prime Crime, and they are offering the first three books for free on e-Book.

Lara McClintoch, her marriage ended and her antiques business sold, eagerly embarks on a trip to Mexico to help an old friend solve a mystery. On arrival, her friend puts off their meeting and then disappears. After Lara witnesses a brazen robbery of a valuable statue of the ancient Mayan civilization and stumbles on a corpse in a museum of antiquities, she becomes a police suspect. Afraid of the police and unsure whom to trust, Lara follows clues pointing to black marketeers and zealous revolutionaries. This dangerous trail takes her to remote archaeological ruins, lush jungles, and bustling streets filled with revelers. Lara engages in a thrilling battle of wits and courage to unmask a killer and stop a tomb-robber in the shadowy world of Xibalba, the Lords of Death.

Antiques dealer Lara McClintoch expects a working holiday on the Mediterranean island of Malta will be a nice break from the Canadian winter–until she discovers a dead body stuffed inside an antique chest and another impaled on an ancient knight’s sword. Lara joins forces with an RCMP officer assigned to her case to solve the murders and foil an assassination plot in this exciting thriller. Lara’s adventures are set against the backdrop of Malta’s fascinating history, including the legendary Knights of St. John, in this fast-paced addition to the acclaimed Lara McClintoch series.

Lara McClintoch, an antiques dealer based in Toronto, thought her life was finally getting back to normal. One failed marriage and a failed business behind her, Lara’s new antiques shop is doing well and her personal life is nothing to complain about either. That is, until her ex-husband decides to set up shop across the street. After winning a bidding war just to spite her ex, Lara gets more than she bargained for when her antiques shop suddenly becomes a target for burglary, arson and murder. It turns out the box of junk from the auction isn’t as worthless as she thought. What she assumed were cheap reproductions turn out to be actual ancient artifacts—and illegal ones at that.

In an attempt to save her store, her reputation, and ultimately, her life, Lara journeys to Peru where more danger awaits. She cons her way into the crew of an archeological dig, but soon discovers she isn’t the only one there with a hidden agenda. Unsure of whom to trust, Lara is left to her own devices to take down an entire faction of black market antiquitites dealers and an army of grave robbers to boot!

The free downloads are available only on the Smashwords site:, but the books are available for sale on other popular sites.

1. coupon code for The Maltese Goddess is NV65Z (not case-sensitive).
2. coupon code for The Moche Warrior is CJ29W (not case-sensitive).
3. coupon code for The Xibalba Murders is UH85X (not case-sensitive).

I haven't read these yet, but I have grabbed my copy on Smashwords and plan to start them soon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town By Gigi Fitzgerald from the Gourmet De-Lite Series by Peg Cochran

My Favorite Places in Woodstone

I wasn’t sure about living in a small town after life in the Big City, but I’ve come to love Woodstone, Connecticut. I’d like to share some of my favorite places with you.

The Book Nook: And not just because my friend Sienna Paisley owns it. It’s a mix of old and new books and no one minds if you browse for hours. In fact there’s a “coffee corner” where customers can help themselves to coffee or tea and sit on comfy old sofas and chairs and browse to their heart’s content.
Declan’s Grille: Because the food is heavenly and so is Declan! Seriously, he takes English cuisine to a whole new level and, as a bonus, Declan’s is a warm and comfortable place to share a meal with friends with fires going in the fireplaces in the winter and a lovely patio with a view of the river for summer meals.
Abigail’s: Even though I can hardly ever afford it, I love Abigail’s dress shop. They carry beautiful things that are smart and sophisticated yet still appropriate for wear in Woodstone. And Deirdre, the sales clerk, always alerts me to any sales. 
The Woodstone Diner: Because sometimes you just want turkey on white bread with gravy and mashed potatoes or a grilled cheese or plain old BLT. The décor hasn’t changed in decades, but that’s part of its charm.
The Woodstone Police Station: Bet you didn’t see that one coming! It’s an ugly squat building but it’s where Detective Bill Mertz’s office is, and I’m kind of sweet on him. Even though he often gets annoyed with me for meddling in his cases!

** You can see some images I’ve collected of the places I imagine for my series by following me on Pinterest at Or catch up with me on my web site:

Peg Cochran is the author of the Gourmet De-Lite Mysteries, and the Sweet Nothings Lingerie Mysteries, under the pen name of Meg London. Follow here on Facebook & Twitter.

Blog Tour: Daryl Wood Gerber visits with a recipe for Brie Blueberry Ice-Cream

I’m so proud of this recipe. When I was writing TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, the fourth in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, I wanted Charlotte, the protagonist in the series, to come up with something really special as a dessert, something that brides would serve at their weddings. This ice cream is divine. It can also be made with blackberries (which happens to be the photograph I have taken – guess I forgot to take one with the blueberries, oops). That sounds like something my new protagonist in FINAL SENTENCE, the first in A Cookbook Nook series, would do. Jenna is a former advertising executive and deft with marketing, but she’s not quite up to speed in the kitchen. Making a five-ingredient recipe throws her into a tailspin. But she loves food. And she’d love this ice cream.

Savor the mystery!


1 cup 1% milk

1 cup half-and-half
1 cup cream
4 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of nutmeg
4 ounces Brie or Fromage d’Affinois, trimmed of its rind

1/2 cup blueberries (rinsed and de-stemmed)

Put vanilla, milk, cream, and half-and-half to sauce and cream pan. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally until steaming.

In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Once the milk is hot begin ladling small amounts into the eggs while whisking.

After adding about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture to the eggs, pour the cream-egg mixture back into the pot and stir continuously while it thickens. Once the mixture starts steaming gently again, you can turn off the heat. Keep stirring for a few minutes.

Add the brie in chunks and stir vigorously to melt the cheese into the custard. Add a dash of nutmeg.

Place the creamy mixture in a bowl, cover, and chill thoroughly, about 2 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker per its instructions. [Mine requires 30 minutes of automatic stirring action.]

Five minutes before complete, add in the blueberries. Serve with blueberry sauce.


1/2 cup blueberries
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar

Place all the ingredients in a pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then refrigerate. Reheat gently if you want a warm sauce.

Doesn't that look delicious? If you love delicious recipes and great mysteries, then check out Final Sentence, the first book in this series.

In need of a change, Jenna Hart leaves the high-pressure world of advertising to help her aunt Vera open a culinary bookshop and café. Back with her family in Crystal Cove, California, Jenna seems to have all the right ingredients for a fresh start--until someone adds a dash of murder.

As a marketing expert, Jenna wants to make sure the grand opening of the Cookbook Nook draws a crowd, and no one is better at getting attention than her old college roommate, celebrity chef Desiree Divine. But when Desiree arrives in quiet Crystal Cove to do a cookbook signing, the diva stirs up more trouble than business...especially when she turns up dead.

Known for stealing husbands and burning bridges, Desiree left behind plenty of suspects--including Jenna. Though the celebrity's life always appeared to be an open book, Jenna will have to read between the lines in order to clear her name, and catch a killer before another body is served cold.

Now onto the giveaway. Thanks to Daryl Wood Gerber we have ONE paperback copy of Final Sentence to giveaway to one lucky reader.

To enter:
1. Complete rafflecopter below
2. Giveaway is open US only.

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