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Ruthless by Lisa Jackson

For as long as I can remember, my family owned property around Molalla, Oregon part of my mother’s family homestead.

As children we cousins played for hours in the woods of old growth timber and deer trails on the forested hillside of my grandparents’ farm.  It was a magical place, made all the more so by my grandfather’s tales of growing up in the late 1800’s.  He was rumored to be the only living person who knew where the grave of Chief Henry, the last chief of a local Native American tribe, was located.

Grandpa had been questioned for most of his life about the grave site not just for local interest but because grave robbers believed there was great wealth buried with the chief.  Grandpa scoffed at the speculation and kept the secret, taking it to his grave, but as a child, running through the forest, I wondered where the chief was buried.  On the property was a small overgrown family cemetery, but I didn’t think the chief would find his final resting place with the original homesteaders.  Nor did I think he would be buried near the stately but crumbling old house the settlers had built a hundred years earlier.  However, I was convinced if my cousins and I dug up the pile of moss-covered stones at the base of one of the trails, we would uncover a moldering skeleton dressed in rotting deerskin and hiding immeasurable treasures.

We cousins wondered about the stones placed in the elongated shape of a coffin, but we didn’t dig them up.  To my knowledge one ever found the grave. Continue reading “Ruthless by Lisa Jackson”

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Scone Making by J.C. Eaton

We’re not even sure if this remotely passes for a hobby, but the one thing we do together other than write cozy mysteries is search for the perfect scone recipe and try it out. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, take it from us, it’s not. It’s the kind of activity that can try the patience of even the most level-headed, easy going person.

It usually begins with Jim scouring through old cookbooks to find scone recipes that were popular back when George Washington crossed the Delaware. Inevitably, he discovers something but the measurements are so “off” that it would take a team of mathematicians to figure it out. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s the ingredient dilemma to deal with. Good luck finding hemp or turbinado sugar. Or better yet, freshly churned butter.

Still, we manage to persevere. Barely. The process involves removing our cats from the kitchen but we rarely succeed. Combining the ingredients is the easy part but getting the dough to the right consistency is really an art. No too moist, not too dry. Not too heavy. Not too light. So, we just get frustrated and leave it as is.

We’ve tried all sorts of “add-ons” including chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, cranberries and dried apricots. Some recipes call for olives but we shudder.

Well, I’ve had my say. Now Jim will take you through one of his recipes. I hope it’s not the one with the raw sugar. Good luck!  Ann Continue reading “Scone Making by J.C. Eaton”

Cover Reveal!

“Won’t you come to bed, my lord?”

In a vulnerable moment, Alethea Forsythe allows herself to be seduced by a married peer. Now she is with child—and without recourse. Her reputation will soon be in tatters and she will be forced to wed a stranger—unless she takes matters into her own hands.

When Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, is summoned from the House of Pleasure on a matter of importance, he hardly expects to receive a marriage proposal. He’s long been aware of Alethea’s infatuation with him, but at twenty-three, taking on an expectant bride is not in his plans. Yet the desperation in the lady’s lovely eyes overrides his misgivings.

Alethea would not have believed it possible for a man to be too chivalrous. But though her new husband is perfectly amicable in public, he insists they maintain separate quarters. Desperate to possess his heart and prove herself a wife in every way, she boldly reaches out to Jack. And as their unexpected connection between silken sheets is tested by jealousy and misfortune, Jack must decide where honor ends…and true passion begins . . .

 

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An Around The World Dining Experience by Alli Sinclair

Food is often the centerpiece of significant moments in life—first dates, weddings, religious celebrations, reunions … the list is endless. And as someone who loves to try new dishes from around the world, it’s only natural that food plays a role in my stories. In each of my books, the heroine is visiting a new-to-her country for the first time and as part of the cultural experience (and being wooed by a very handsome foreign man!), my heroine gets to try local dishes.

As nice as it would be to travel around the world and taste an array of dishes, sometimes taking a journey in your kitchen can be just as much fun. If you’re planning a romantic dinner for your loved one, you might like to take them on an “Around the World Dining Experience”, complete with a Food Passport that you can stamp when each course is served. Who knows, this might become a new tradition!

Below are some of my favorite recipes that relate to the books in my Wandering Skies series. Hopefully this will get you inspired!

 

 

Gazpacho (Spain – Under the Spanish Stars)

Gazpacho is one of Spain’s most famous recipes and it originated in Andalucia. This soup is delicious when served with crusty bread just out of the oven, as well as a side of olives, cheese, artichokes, and avocado. It’s one of those recipes where you can add your own flair and make it totally yours.

You will need:

Olive oil
2 lbs of tomatoes
4 slices of stale bread
1 green pepper (or capsicum, depending on your nationality)
1 red pepper (as above)
1 yellow pepper (as above)
2+ garlic cloves (depending on how much you love garlic!)
1 tsp superfine sugar Continue reading “An Around The World Dining Experience by Alli Sinclair”

Making traditions – Mom’s Bunny Cake by Lynn Cahoon

WHO MOVED MY GOAT CHEESE which releases March 6th is the first of the FARM-TO -FORK mysteries set in River Vista, Idaho. Now, before you go and google the town, I’ll tell you right now, it’s a mishmash of a lot of different places around the area where I grew up.

The memories are all there, but the roads Angie drives to get to River Vista to her new restaurant, The County Seat, may be called something else.

As she drives, she goes right past the little farm house where I was born. My mom was the glue that held everything, and everyone together. She lost the love of her life a year after I was born. And she went from farm wife, to widow at thirty-five.

She eventually remarried and we moved to a farm house just a few miles away from the place I was born. And she became a farm wife again.

we had at the big wooden table that was often too small to hold all of the relatives who came for Sunday dinner.  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn (we’d frozen that summer), and always dessert.

One year, my mom found this recipe in one of her magazines. It was on Mom’s Easter table ever since. And now, that she’s gone, my sisters have taken up the baking of Mom’s Bunny Cake.

I got my love of food from my mother. In the FARM TO FORK books, Angie finds that same love of food passed down from her Nona. Angie’s recipes at the County Seat are definitely fancier than my own creations or to be honest, my mom’s. But we have one thing in common. We share a love for the food.

This recipe is none of that. You can make the cake from a recipe, it’s up to you. Boxed mix works just find. It’s a fun memory that I wanted to share with you.

Mom’s Bunny Cake.

1 box of yellow cake mix. (I like chocolate, but then you have to use chocolate frosting.)

Prepare to the package directions and bake in round pans.

Once it’s done and cooled out of the pan, put it on an aluminum foil covered piece of cardboard. This is your design pad. (Yes, we’re going fancy here.)

One of the rounds will be his face. Place that near the bottom third of your design pad. Take the other round and cut a bow out of the middle by cutting ears off the top and bottom using a half circle. Place the bow and the ears on your design pad.

Now comes the fun part. We’re going to cover it with white frosting from a can. Make sure you cover all the joints and edges so the cake doesn’t show.

Once the bunny has frosting, sprinkle coconut for bunny fur. You can take about ½ cup of coconut and dye it pink with food coloring.

Cut black licorice for the eyelashes, mouth, and whiskers. You’ll need jelly beans for the eyes, nose, and bow.

Lynn

 

Angie Turner hopes her new farm-to-table restaurant can be a fresh start in her old hometown in rural Idaho. But when a goat dairy farmer is murdered, Angie must turn the tables on a bleating black sheep . . .

With three weeks until opening night for their restaurant, the County Seat, Angie and her best friend and business partner Felicia are scrambling to line up local vendors—from the farmer’s market to the goat dairy farm of Old Man Moss. Fortunately, the cantankerous Moss takes a shine to Angie, as does his kid goat Precious. So when Angie hears the bloodcurdling news of foul play at the dairy farm, she jumps in to mind the man’s livestock and help solve the murder. One thing’s for sure, there’s no whey Angie’s going to let some killer get her goat . . .

Praise for Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap Mysteries

“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.” —Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries

“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.” —Fresh Fiction

Almond Marzipan Hearts by Ginger Bolton

5 ¼ oz granulated sugar
5 ¼ oz ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon honey
Up to 2 tablespoons water
10 drops red food coloring

Process sugar in food processor until sugar is powdered.

Add almonds and process until sugar and almonds are blended

Add meringue powder and process until mixture is blended

Add orange blossom water, almond extract, and honey. Process until mixture is blended.

Add 1 tablespoon water and process until blended. If marzipan is too stiff to handle, add up to 1 more tablespoon of water and process until blended.

Add food coloring and process until color is uniform.

Mixture will be warm, which is good—it will be workable. Turn out onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into a ball.

Roll between two sheets of parchment paper to desired thickness.

Cut with heart cookie cutters.

Keep in refrigerator. Almond marzipan can be refrigerated for up to one month or frozen for up to two months.

 

Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.

If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .

Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .

Review of Lethal Licorice

mjbreviewers

Lethal Licorice

Amish Candy Shop mystery, Book #2

Amanda Flower

5 Stars

35266996Synopsis:

Too many sweets spoil the murder . . .

Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young…

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Class Reunions are Murder by Libby Klein – Blog Tour and Giveaway!

The Book's the Thing


For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward—it’s deadly.

Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . .

Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her…

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Guest Amanda Flower

Wicked Cozy Authors

Edith here, writing away north of Boston. I’m delighted to welcome prolific and talented author palLethal Licorice Amanda Flower to the blog today, with a new mystery out in her Amish Candy Shop series – Lethal Licorice! Take it away, Amanda.

A Tale of Two Feline Editors

Cats and cozy mysteries have been walking paw and page since the genre appeared, and that’s no different for any of my books. All of my cozies have had a cat supporting character to bring some humor and comfort to my fictional characters’ lives. I am also lucky enough to have two felines in my real life to help me write my books. I call them the editors, and my readers who follow me on social media know them well. They are Editors Cheeps and Tummy Flower. Now, Cheeps and Tummy are their nicknames. They are both named after Chronicles of Narnia characters, Reepicheep…

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