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When Did I Become a Writer–and a Giveaway by Vickie Fee

Wicked Cozy Authors

Barb here. I’m so happy to welcome Friend of the Wickeds Vicki Fee to the blog today.

Vickie will give away a signed paperback copy of Til Death Do Us Party to one lucky commenter here.

The next entry in Vickie Fee’s Liv & Di in Dixie cozy mystery series, TIL DEATH DO US PARTY (with the electric pink cover), comes out March 27. The Dixie gang travels to Las Vegas for Mama and Earl’s rockin’ Elvis-themed wedding, while Liv juggles a bachelorette party for Mama and a problem-plagued soirée back home. Mama and Earl’s happily-ever-after seems like a sure thing, but all bets (and nuptials) are off when they get to the Burning Love Wedding Chapel. Their Elvis-impersonating minister has left the building…permanently. And worse, Liv’s cousin, Little Junior, is suspected of his murder. With Mama’s happy ending on the table and Little Junior about to lose it all…

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Mirabelles London by Sara Sheridan

Since starting to write the Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries I’ve become fascinated by the 1950s. It was an amazing decade when the entire country recovered from the ravages of WWII. At the beginning it was a grey time of rationing and bereavement but by the end as we slipped into the Swinging 60s, psychedelic hotpants and newly available contraceptive pills in tow, Britain had changed beyond imagining.

Part of my job as an historical novelist is to go in search of the 1950s, particularly around London where Mirabelle spends part of her time – the books are set in the capital and in Brighton. There are lots of places where you can still time travel, if you have the inclination. So, for your delectation, here’s my guide to Mirabelle’s London.

1 Go to Duke’s Hotel for Martinis.

This is where Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond used to go for his. Just around the corner from Buckingham Palace and stealth wealth to the point of obsession, the bar in this gorgeous hotel was the drinking hole of choice for the palace’s military officers as well as debutantes and other Belgravis and St James’s staple characters, both today and historically. Today the barmen are slick and Italian but the martinis are just the way Mr Fleming liked them…

2 Hit the Masonic Museum in Great King Street

Yes, you read that right. Built after WWI as a monument to peace the HQ of UK’s Freemasonry has a museum. Take a guided tour and you’ll get to see some of the ceremonial rooms and social spaces used by London’s 20th Century masons – some of whom were royal. It’s fascinating and after the tour they let you sit in their public lounge for a while and just watch it all go by. You’ll recognise the interior from sundry movies but what I like is the sense of an institution and the original unspoilt touches like the telephone booths in the hallway from a time when not only did people not have their own mobiles but whole offices shared a phone…

3 Daunt’s Bookshop Marylebone

We won’t dwell on it because naturally, we LOVE Foyle’s best, but Daunt’s in Marylebone was a purpose built, old fashioned bookshop that would have been in its heyday when Mirabelle’s contemporaries pounded the streets. If you must go to another shop, then buy Penguin classics here…

4 Maison Bertaux in Greek Street

Cake was a treat in ration bound 1950s but as the decade progressed and foodstuffs came off the coupon, Soho buzzed with coffee shops. Maison Bertaux is just the kind of place that Mirabelle would recognise – old fashioned to us now but hip for 1955… Get good and hungry and then treat yourself.

5 Fish and chips

Homelessness was a massive problem in 1950s London. Hundreds of thousands of Londoners had their homes destroyed in the Blitz and rebuilding took a while, so people roomed up in cramped bedsits in the kind of make-do-and-mend living conditions that would send modern-day Channel 4’s interior design shows screaming into the night. Lots of people didn’t have kitchens so if you wanted a hot meal it was fish and chips. There aren’t many genuine 1950s fish and chippers left these days but Seafresh near Victoria was established in 1965 and you can see how it would be been and there’s Poppie’s in Spitalfields which isn’t 1950s really, but is a good reproduction.

6 Denis Severs Museum in Folgate Street

Times were tough and people were poor. There was a lot of slum housing and people rarely build museums to that kind of thing. So I came here, to the house of the late Denis Severs who lived in this tiny Georgian gem near Liverpool Street Station. He kept the house just as it was when it was occupied and different floors are set in different eras. It’s not 1950s but it’s what we’d call a slum today – no heating bar an open fire, no running water or indoor toilet etc. Squint past the Georgian clothes on display (now worth a fortune) and you can see very clearly how crammed 1950s slums must have felt.

7 The Yucky stuff

The NHS had only just been founded in the 1950s and some of the statistics of its early years offer a terrifying glimpse into medical reality for London’s poor. There was a rush at the start not only on NHS glasses (how many people hadn’t been able to see?) and on dental care (ouch) but also on prolapse operations for working class women (that’s prolapse of the womb – I warned you.) People were wandering around in a bad way. You can visit any of London’s Museums of Health and Medicine and arrange to take a tour with a qualified medical historian – from Great Ormond Street to the Wellcome Centre. Not for the squeamish but it will give you new respect for your granny.



Dangers abound in 1950s Brighton as former Secret Service operative Mirabelle Bevan cuts to the chase to solve multiple murders . . .

When sportswriter Joey Gillingham stops off at a Brighton barbershop for a shave and a trim, he gets more than he bargained for—a slashed throat. The journalist’s next headline story in the paper is his obituary.

With the ghastly murder the talk of the seaside town, Mirabelle and her close friend and coworker Vesta Churchill find themselves irresistibly drawn to the case. Rumors of the newspaperman being a member of the freemasons lead the ladies to the group’s local lodge, where they happen upon a cleaning lady in the throes of poisoning. Are the two deaths related? The common thread seems to connect to the secret society.

Despite being warned off by Superintendent McGregor, the fearless friends continue to investigate, breaking into an abandoned royal residence in Brighton and following a trail of clues to a Cambridge college and bizarre masonic rituals.

To beard the lion in his own den, Mirabelle and Vesta will need to walk the razor’s edge—but with desperate characters and more bodies turning up, it’s going to be a close shave . . .

“Adventurous and tough, the heroine must fight the perception that women are useless as sleuths, and her sidekick has an even tougher time battling prejudice against both women and black people as they unravel a puzzling mystery.”– Kirkus Reviews

“Sheridan has a gift for evoking the era’s class, racial, and social tensions.” – Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries

Brighton Belle

“An entertaining mystery read—light, intriguing and ideal for a weekend escape.” —RT Book Reviews

“A wonderful book for those who like to take a peek at life in the 1950s, including the mores, manners, and clothes.” —Publishers Weekly

“One part Nancy Drew, two parts Jessica Fletcher, Mirabelle has a dogged tenacity to rival Poirot.” —Sunday Herald

“Great fun. The world needs Mirabelle’s feistiness, intelligence and charm.” —James Runcie, author of the Grantchester mysteries

London Calling

“An extraordinarily rich historical.” —Publishers Weekly

“As a British historical mystery, this fits the bill.” —RT Book Reviews

“A beguiling page-turner.” —Good Book Guide


Cover Reveal!

“Jacob Stone is equal parts Thomas Harris, Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo, and Stephen King. CRUEL will leave you shaking . . . with fear, excitement, and the uncontrollable compulsion to keep on reading.” —Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author of True Fiction

“17.” L.A. detective Morris Brick knows the number all too well. It was the gruesome signature the Nightmare Man left next to his victims’ bodies. Brick’s father was the first to investigate the killings. Five women were butchered before the perpetrator vanished. Seventeen years later he resurfaced—to kill again in the same depraved ways. Now another seventeen years have passed. Brick knows in his gut that it’s time for the Nightmare Man to reawaken. But even Brick can’t imagine the madman’s true agenda. Or just how terrifying the sleepless nights are going to get in the City of Angels . . .

Praise for DERANGED

“A dark and different serial killer novel that will haunt the reader long after the book is closed.”
—John Lutz

“Los Angeles has seldom seen such grisly fun. It’s James Ellroy meets Alfred Hitchcock on the psychotic side of the street.”
—Paul Levine

“One of the most compelling, thrilling, and truth be told, at times look-away-from-page-frightening serial killer novels I’ve read in a long, long time.”
—Vincent Zandri

“A fascinating and exciting blend of misdirection, topsy-turvy, and violence.”
—Reed Farrel Coleman

National Chocolate Carmel Day Recipe-

The Recipe Box * LEL

  • Chocolate-Caramels_exps116443_HCA2081250B01_14_4b_RMS1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, stir the sugar and corn syrup together until the sugar is completely moistened. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until it turns a very light caramel color, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and very slowly pour the cream into the hot sugar (be careful-it will bubble up) and stir to combine. Return the mixture to medium-low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer inserted in the pot reads 238 degrees F, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate and butter until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased 8-by-8 inch square baking dish. Allow to cool completely (at least 2 hours)…

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It Takes A Coven: A Witch City Mystery #6 by Carol J. Perry

* Credit Mystery Playground

Author Carol J. Perry joins us today to brew a wicked good drink for her new novel.

The newest book in Carol J. Perry’s Witch City Mystery series from Kensington Publishing is It Takes a Coven. Seems that there’s a new Witch-hunt going on in Salem, Massachusetts. With witches dropping dead before they even come out of the proverbial broom closet, and with thousands of crows  descending on Salem, Lee Barrett’s best friend River thinks she may have unleashed a terrible curse on the Wiccan population of the city. With the aid of a talkative crow named Poe, and her clairvoyant cat, O’Ryan, Lee sets out to investigate. She learns that casting light on the wicked truth can be one killer commitment.

The Black Crow is a well-known, simple to make old standby in rum-loving New England. Nothing fancy, but it does seem appropriate for a story involving thousands of the big black birds. Appropriately enough, the collective noun for such a gathering is “a murder of crows.”

Here’s the recipe:

Black Crow
1 part 151 Rum
4 parts Root Beer. (Lee uses Barq’s.)

Mix together with crushed ice in a glass. Garnish with mint leaves if you like.

Here’s the book trailer for It Takes A Coven… Continue reading “It Takes A Coven: A Witch City Mystery #6 by Carol J. Perry”

Review of The Quiche and the Dead




Is Val’s breakfast pie the quiche of death? Owning her own business seemed like pie in the sky to Valentine Harris when she moved to the coastal California town of San Nicholas, expecting to start a new life with her fiance. Five months–and a broken engagement–later, at least her dream of opening a pie shop has become a reality. But when one of her regulars keels over at the counter while eating a quiche, Val feels like she’s living a nightmare. After the police determine the customer was poisoned, business at Pie Town drops faster than a fallen crust. Convinced they’re both suspects, Val’s flaky, seventy-something pie crust maker Charlene drags her boss into some amateur sleuthing. At first Val dismisses Charlene’s half-baked hypotheses, but before long the ladies uncover some shady dealings hidden in fog-bound San Nicholas. Now Val must expose the truth–before a crummy killer tries to…

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Cal Orey will be @ B&N!

Cal Orey will be at B&N, 5555 S Virginia St. Reno NV on Saturday, March 17 at 1pm to discuss her recent book, THE HEALING POWERS OF TEA (Citadel, January 2018, ISBN:  978-0-8065-3826-6)


With a Foreword by Will Clower, Ph.D., CEO Mediterranean Wellness and Author of The Fat Fallacy and The French Don’t Diet Plan

“A fascinating book that goes beyond just ‘green’ to include the medicinal benefits of black, white, and herbal tea blends.” —Ann Gittleman, Ph.D.

Wellness in a Cup—Discover the Benefits of Tea for Your Body and Mind!

It picks you up and calms you down, warms you and refreshes you. With black, white, red, green, and herbal varieties, there’s a tea for every taste, and now this time-honored superfood is trending as the drink of choice for health-conscious people of all ages and cultures. Continue reading “Cal Orey will be @ B&N!”

Cover Reveal!

A raging winter storm and a holiday spent pet-sitting reveals there’s more than one kind of animal in the house…

When Emma Lafferty is hired by a billionaire CEO to watch his pets over the holidays, she expects to enjoy a quiet Christmas in opulent surroundings. What she doesn’t expect is to spend the week trapped in the mansion with Trevor Hamilton, the CEO’s sexy great-nephew—and heir—whose motives are as shady as his desire is crystal clear . . .

Praise for Donna Kauffman and her novels

“Kauffman’s stories show that the bravery to reach for a connection is all we need to discover joy; she excels at expressing the struggles and joys of giving in to love.” –Publishers Weekly on Sandpiper Island

“We all know where there’s Donna Kauffman, there’s a rollicking, sexy read chock-full of charm and sparkle. Kauffman’s characters are adorably human and so very magnetic.” –

“Kauffman pens a touching romance . . . a quirky community and secondary characters with enough personality to make readers want to come back. A light romance with a touch of heat, a pinch of intensity and a dash of mysterious small-town magic.” –Kirkus Reviews on Pelican Point

“Sassy, witty, and sexy.” –Library Journal on Snowflake Bay

“Charming characters, emotion galore, a small town—you’re going to love Donna Kauffman!” – Lori Foster



5 Questions With Author Mandy Mikulencak @DurangoWriter

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