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Review of Murder With A Cherry On Top


Murder With A Cherry On Top

A Lickety Splits Mystery, Book #1

Cynthia Baxter

5 Stars


Kate McKay had doubts about swapping her high-powered life in Manhattan for Wolfert’s Roost, the quaint Hudson Valley village where she grew up. But when she moves back to care for her ailing grandmother, Kate decides to start fresh and indulge her dream of running an ice cream shop. All goes smoothly–until she’s reunited with old acquaintances nuttier than a vat of rocky road . . .

Kate should be thrilled about opening Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe in the heart of town. Instead her spirits melt like soft serve in the summer when she learns that her childhood frenemy, Ashley Winthrop, has started selling frozen treats in the bakery across the street. Turns out, Ashley hasn’t sweetened since high school. And, once again, she’s game for some very unfriendly competition . …

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This is second book in the Poppy McAlister series. I am looking forward to reading it. Gluten free recipes are included


PUB!ISHER – Kensington Books


When her sleepwalking aunt is accused of committing murder, Poppy McAllister finds out there’s no rest for the weary . . .

Between trying to get her gluten-free baking business off the ground and helping her aunt remodel her old Victorian into the Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, New Jersey, Poppy is ready to call, “Mayday!” And now Aunt Ginny—who’s a handful wide-awake—is sleepwalking on her new sleeping pill prescription and helping herself to neighbors’ snacks and knickknacks. “



A new author for me and the first in a new series. The writing flows easy and characters are developed. The descriptions will…

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Milkshakes,Mermaids and Murder

Lisa s Everyday Life


book link

This series is a winner. –Denise Swanson

Ellie Avery planned a perfect family getaway: fun in the sun on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with a side visit to the eBay vendor who’d mistakenly sent her the wrong handbag. But what should have been a simple exchange turns into a fatal transaction when Ellie discovers Angela495 floating face-down in her pool.

With some savvy snooping, Ellie learns that Angela’s dangerous double life included blackmail, compromising photos, and a scandalous secret that threatens a local celeb. When a kidnapping shatters her family’s safety, Ellie leaves the white sands behind to face down a killer whose warm Southern charm masks a cold, cold heart.

Includes great tips for super family vacations!

Praise for Sara Rosett’s Ellie Avery Mysteries

“No mystery is a match for the likable, efficient Ellie.” —RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“Charm, Southern sass, and suspense abound . …

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The Secret, Book and Scone Society (Miracle Springs, North Carolina #1) by Ellery Adams

Carla Loves To Read

The Secret, Book and Scone Society5 Stars

Published October 31st 2017 by Kensington

The Secret, Book and Scone Society is the first in a brand new cozy mystery series from Ellery Adams. We were introduced to the beautiful setting of Miracle Springs, a charming small town as well as a group of four women who become friends while trying to solve a murder. When a newcomer to town is pushed in front of a train, the women all want to see justice served, thus The Secret Book and Scone Society is born.

Nora Pennington was badly injured with extensive burns, She never tells anyone what happened and prefers to be left alone. She came to Miracle Springs for healing of her spirit more than anything. She opens a bookstore and uses what she learned from a nurse in the hospital to become a “book psychologist”. When she meets three other women in this small town…

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The second installment in the All Day Breakfast series Gia Morellia worried that her cafe has zoning problem and might have to close. Marcia Steers, the President of the City council asked to see Gia. Marcia tells her she has documents that will help Gia. Marcia is found dead in a swamp before she found the papers. The sheriff suspended her boyfriend from his office. The affair goes back 20 years. The case involved the murder of a friend’s Mother. Before it ends Gia will encounter greed, revenge and police corruption. Gia romance with the Sheriff deputy continued. How does the Breakfast Cafe stay open? You feel The terror during the tornado.

I found this book hard to rate. I would give 3.5 stars, if possible. There was an improvement over the previous book. Gia character still bothered me as her terrors seem irrational to me. I…

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The One and Only Beach Day Must-Have By Laura Bradford

If the quintessential summer beach day could be summed up with five bullet points, my list would look something like this:

*Low 80 degree temperature with a slight breeze.

*A low-to-the-sand chair (preferably striped because that’s extra beach-y).

*A vanilla milkshake within arm’s reach.

*A super big (and super cute, of course) beach bag next to my chair.

*And whatever must-read book I’m working on at that moment.

A pretty good list, if I do say so myself. Though really, if I could “only have one” as my mom was fond of saying throughout my childhood, I’d pick the must-read book without missing a beat. I mean, think about it…

The 80 degree thing is nice, but without a book boredom will invariably come knocking.

The low-to the sand chair is cozy, but without a book, what’s the point?

The super big (and cute) beach bag is great, but if it doesn’t have a book inside, why risk the potential back strain?

The vanilla milkshake is yummy, of course, but without a book to quiet your inner I-shouldn’t-be-drinking-this voice, guilt will rule your day.

But a book? On a beach? Well, that’s truly the ultimate beach day, in my book (see what I did there?).

So here’s to a summer filled with ultimate beach days for all of us!

~Laura Bradford Continue reading “The One and Only Beach Day Must-Have By Laura Bradford”

My Favorite Research by Dianne Freeman

I write historical mystery which requires a great deal of research. Fortunately for me, my novels are set in the late 1890s. As history goes, that’s not so long ago and information is boundless. I can lose myself in the newspaper archives for hours and sometimes I lose my focus as well. I’ve wiled away hours researching the process for leasing a house, a typical dinner menu, or what a butler would be paid, detail that never made it into my books. I don’t know if I’m researching or procrastinating but I find this information fascinating and I’m sure to need it someday.

But some of my favorite research has nothing to do with writing. It comes when my editor says those magic words—do you have some ideas for the cover? Do I ever! The cover is so much fun—fashions and hairstyles and hats—oh my! I don’t have much of a style of my own, jeans and tee-shirts are fine with me, but there’s something about pouring over vintage fashion plates; the sumptuous fabrics, the draping, the colors, the sheer artistry of design that brings out my inner fashionista.

One of my favorite places to search is the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum . That’s where I found this fabulous confection. Doesn’t it just conjure the image of Eliza Doolittle at Royal Ascot shouting, “Come on, Dover! Move yer bloomin’ arse!”

As it happens, my main character, Frances doesn’t attend the races, at least not in this book, so I had to move on to more appropriate attire. Another of my go-to sites for 1890s fashion, is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s digital collection, which contains fashion plates from the Costume Institute.  Here I don’t have to settle on a typical outfit of the era. I can narrow my search to the year and even the season. This evening gown is from September of 1899.

Again, the hat is simply a work of art. Do I wear hats? No, never. I can’t explain my fascination, but I love whiling away many happy hours browsing through these plates.

Continue reading “My Favorite Research by Dianne Freeman”

Donna Kauffman-Tara Sheets Interview

Hi Tara!

I’m so happy we get the chance to chat today. First, I wanted to congratulate you on your Golden Heart win and subsequent sale of the book. So exciting! From a fellow Kensington author, welcome to the fam!

Thank you so much! I am thrilled that Don’t Call Me Cupcake found a home with the Kensington family. This book is very close to my heart, and I can’t believe I’m finally at the point where I’ll be able to share it with readers.

Q: I immediately fell in love with The Holloway Girls in your first release in that series, Don’t Call Me Cupcake. I also fell in love with Pine Cove Island. Tell us about how you came to pick Washington state for the location. Any fun research stories to tell?

I lived in Washington state for almost twenty years, and there’s a group of islands off the Pacific Northwest coast called the San Juan Islands. My family and I spent many summers on Friday Harbor, which is the inspiration behind Pine Cove Island. I remember visiting and thinking how the waterfront town, the tourist shops, and the gorgeous ocean views seemed a little bit magical and romantic. Plus, there were many sweet shops selling cupcakes, ice cream, and all sorts of delicious treats. That’s when I began dreaming up the story of the Holloway girls.

Q: Cupcakes! Aren’t they just addictive? I spent a year consumed by all things cupcakes while researching my Cupcake Club books. You’d think I’d be so over them, but no ma’am. Your book was an instant-buy on the title alone. What drew you to writing about baking and cupcakes?

I’ve never been very interested in cooking, but I definitely love to bake. My parents owned a small coffee shop, and my sister and I used to take turns trying out new cupcake and cookie recipes in the kitchen. My grandmother also owned a similar shop in Hawaii, so I think the idea of magical cupcakes evolved from those experiences. And I do have a sweet tooth, so let’s just say, many cupcakes were “tested” during the writing of this book. Research is so important, you know!

Q: If the title hadn’t already hooked me, when I discovered that your heroine, Emma Holloway, bakes wishes into the cupcakes? I love that SO, so much! I also love the name Fairy Cakes for Emma’s bakery. Where did your “little something extra” idea come from?

I’ve always loved fairy tales. There’s something whimsical and fun about sprinkling a little bit of magic into a story. When I thought of Emma and her baking, the magical talent was always a part of that from the very beginning. I knew that I wanted these Holloway women to each have a special ability that helped people. I chose the name Fairy Cakes not just because it refers to cupcakes, but also because it gives a nod to fairy tales and Emma’s past.

Q: Tell us a little about Hunter Kane and the trouble he has in store for Emma. She’s so flustered when she meets him she sells him three of her magical Sweet Success cupcakes. Oh boy!

Yes, the deliciously handsome Hunter Kane visits Emma’s shop and she thinks he’s just a passing tourist. When he mentions he’s there on business, she gives him magical cupcakes to bring him success. Later she finds out that his “business” is the fancy new restaurant and bakery opening up right next to her shop. Emma is furious. The hot guy who charmed her is the new rival who’s going to take away all her profits? Not acceptable! She turns to her cousin Juliette and together they scheme to make him leave town forever. Magic and mayhem ensue . . .

Q: Like Hunter and Emma, I love it when the hero and heroine go from adversaries to a forever-kind-of-love. So much tension! And when a lot of it is sexual? Even better! Is this a favorite of yours as a reader? What other themes might be in store for us? (Childhood friend to lover is another fave of mine. Hint, hint!)

I definitely enjoy reading stories where the characters go from enemies to lovers. That slow-burn kind of romantic tension is the best kind. It makes the final moment where they realize their feelings for each other so much more satisfying. Plus, it’s just so much fun watching them trying—and failing—to resist each other! As for stories where the hero and heroine go from childhood friends to lovers, that’s another one of my favorites. It sparked the idea for the second book in the series.

Q: Okay, okay, so I have to stop talking about Emma’s Fairy Cakes cupcakes and Hunter’s everything hotness for just a moment (wah!) You have such a fascinating story yourself, I want to hear more about that. You were born on Guam and your family is Chamorro. Tell us a little about your cultural background and if that has influenced you in your writing in any way.

I am Chamorro, born on Guam and raised overseas. My family traveled a lot and I grew up in different countries including Dubai and Cairo, Egypt. Even though we had such different experiences, I still feel very connected to my island life. A lot of my family is now in Hawaii. I think it just made sense for me to base my first series on an island, because I’m familiar with that small-town atmosphere and lifestyle. In a way, my fictional town of Pine Cove Island melds that with what I’ve learned about living in the Pacific Northwest. I also created Emma’s mother’s character using my experience of what it was like to move from place to place growing up.

Q: I hear your great-grandfather has a bronze statue in his honor on Guam. How awesome is that? And it has something to do with ice? You definitely need to tell us all about that! Continue reading “Donna Kauffman-Tara Sheets Interview”

Minerva’s Bird Sanctuary by Minerva Spencer

When I moved from Houston to rural New Mexico one of the first things I wanted to do was get chickens. I’d grown up with chickens and missed the companionship of hens and (apparently) the persecution of roosters.

We’d only had birds for about a year when a strange thing started to happen: people began to stop by our place and ask if we would take in “stray” or unwanted birds. Of course I said YES: the more the merrier! At one point we had over 100 birds. We took in anyone who needed it and ended up with lots of chickens, two emus, a llama (yep, not a bird—we figured that out pretty quickly!) turkeys, geese, peacocks, and ducks. Oh, and LOTS of roosters.

But I’m getting ahead of my story . . .

Back to the beginning.

Building the coop was the easy part. Before we could even think about getting birds we had to work on our fences. Bears, coyotes, weasels, skunks, raccoons and—especially—wild dogs are some of the predators we face.

So I started fencing. And then I did a little more fencing. And a little more… If you’ve ever been around a farm (even a small one) you know how fencing is an unending job.

We ended up making a series of concentric enclosures. The inner was 40 feet by 8 feet was entirely enclosed and the wire sides were buried down a foot! Yes, it took a lot of time and digging, but it would provide safety at night and when we couldn’t be here.

The second ring had 6 foot fences buried a foot, but no cover.

And the third ring enclosed the whole property.

Here is a picture of the second enclosure (you can see the initial enclosure within):

You can see the outer, bigger, fence works great to keep in hounds but not so great to keep in chickens…. That is Miss Kitty on the fence and Schmoo inside.

Anyhow, when I felt everything was secure enough I placed an order from a local hatchery in Albuquerque. I wanted birds that would do well in our high desert climate, which has temps between -22 and 100.

Here are the first girls:

These ladies are called Giant Cochins—not so giant here.

This is Drusilla, a Polish Crested Continue reading “Minerva’s Bird Sanctuary by Minerva Spencer”

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