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The Missy DuBois Mystery Series by Sandra Bretting

There are several reasons I don’t commit white-collar crime, in addition to the most obvious ones.

First and foremost: I don’t relish the thought of going to jail. Not to mention, it’d damage my moral compass.

Another reason, though, involves the FBI. What would they think if they perused the hard drive on my computer? Its agents would peg me for a wacko…or worse.

Check out my computer’s search history, and you’ll understand my fear. In the last week alone, I’ve researched the shelf life of arsenic, autopsy procedures specific to Louisiana, and the type of Glock officers carry in St. James County Parish.

It’s all part of writing a mystery series and trying to get the details right.  Since I began my career as a journalist—I wrote for publications like the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle—I’ve been trained to ferret out mistakes before they go to press. Continue reading “The Missy DuBois Mystery Series by Sandra Bretting”

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The Secret Ingredient by Sharon Struth

“The name garlic is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from gar—a spear, and lac—a plant…”

We hung on Roberto’s words while inhaling in the universal aroma of good cooking. Our Sienese guide led us to a doorway in a blemished, white stucco building with aging-evergreen shutters. A sign read Trattoria. Long gold fabric cords hung from the top frame and danced with a breeze, but Roberto confidently pulled them aside and motioned us through with a wave of his hand.

Our day tour from Siena, Italy was filled with promises of the historical, natural, and culinary treasures awaiting us in Tuscany. Roberto delighted us at every turn with word origins, stops at old Etruscan tombs, and jaunts up narrow alleyways constructed in the dark ages.

And now it was time for lunch at his friend Marcello’s place.

The tiny trattoria had a seating capacity of no more than fifteen. Terracotta-colored walls showed the cracks of age, but managed to hold a few ceramic plates and yellowed photographs.

It wasn’t printed anywhere, yet I knew this was a place for the locals…

Traveling is my hobby. I can never get enough of moments like the one described above.

When I wrote The Sweet Life, I couldn’t stop thinking about my visit to Marcello’s restaurant, a mere dot on a map in the small town of Staggia, Italy. It might have been the best meal I’ve ever eaten.

Marcello served us Tuscan Bread Soup, Pappa al Pomodoro. Pungent garlic, flavorful basil leaves soaked in sweet tomato juices, all surrounding thick chunks of hearty bread. Next came a boar stew. Tender meat drenched in a flavorful broth of rich wine, rosemary, garlic and tart tomato presented on a bed of thick, flat pappardelle noodles. Simple. Nourishing. Unforgettable.

How does a meal evoke such strong memories six years later?

Maybe it was the endless glasses of Chianti. Or learning our chef and host loved to write poetry.

After we ate, he’d appeared with a sheet of paper in his hands, cleared his throat, and said, “Il Chianti.”

He read his poem. I didn’t understand a single word (although Roberto later translated). Yet the rhythm of the beautiful romance language sang in my ears, its flavor satisfying my heart much like the Tuscan soup had nourished my hunger.

Or perhaps I recall the meal so vividly due to the awe on my daughters’ faces while Marcello read aloud. Their attentive gazes drank in appreciation for the special moment; a stranger sharing his heartfelt love of Tuscany and his belief that visitors are always considered new friends.

Marcello gave us copies of his poem, signed and dated. His beautifully written words describe the splendor of Tuscany…the fields yielding their fine wines and olives, hilltops lined with cypress trees – reminiscent of an era gone by, a country table filled with delectable gifts for our taste buds.

It’s his last line, though, that resonates in my heart: Whilst the visitor – always a friend and never a stranger – drinks with joy this sincere wine.

Thinking about that meal, my soul fills with love for my family, a fresh understanding of the pleasure found in new friendships, and cherished taste bud recollections. All brought to me through a secret ingredient…the joy Chef Marcello spread to us through his love of cooking.

If you are salivating after reading this (like I am), here’s a recipe for Tuscan Bread Soup. http://www.recipesfromitaly.com/pappa-al-pomodoro-recipe/. Now start cooking…

Continue reading “The Secret Ingredient by Sharon Struth”

Kensington + B&N = A Cozy Mystery Bonanza

It’s no mystery, readers know cozies are the most fun novels to devour, and B&N is the best place to find them—especially now! When you buy any three Kensington cozy mysteries from B&N 9/5 – 10/5/17, register for your chance at the grand prize worth $300! Plus, EVERYONE who registers automatically receives a FREE Kensington Cozies Recipe Booklet and a Download Code for A Story To Kill by New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon!

Now is your chance to find all the cozy mysteries you’ve been searching for. Look for the Kensington Cozy Mystery Display at your local B&N from 9/5 – 10/5/17, buy ANY 3 Kensington cozies & get 1 free! Don’t miss out, visit your B&N store today!

 

When you’ve made your purchase @ B&N.com enter here !

 

 

One Grand Prize Winner of Kensington’s Cozy Mystery Bonanza will receive a medley of exclusive advance copies of forthcoming cozies, plus:

• Magic folding book lamp (USB rechargeable)

• “I Need More Books” Throw Pillow

• Brainwright Cat Stax Perfect Puzzle Game

• Zak! Designs confetti purple serving bowl

• Happy face mixing spoons

• Delicious loose leaf tea from NovelTea in a special “The Picture of Earl Grey” book lovers’ tin!

A Particular Darkness by Robert E. Dunn

From the author of A Living Grave comes a gripping police procedural fea-turing sheriff’s detective Katrina Williams as she exposes the dark underbelly of the Missouri Ozarks . . .

Dredging Up The Truth

Still recovering from tragedy and grieving a devastating loss, Iraq war veteran and sheriff’s detective Katrina Williams copes the only way she knows how—by immersing herself in work. A body’s just been pulled from the lake with a fish haul, but what seems like a straight-forward murder case over the poaching of paddlefish for domestic caviar quickly becomes murkier than the depths of the lake.

Soon a second body is found—an illegal Peruvian refugee woman linked to a charismatic tent revival preacher. But as Katrina tries to investigate the enigmatic evangelist, she is blocked by antagonistic FBI agents and Army CID personnel. When more young female refu-gees disappear, she must partner with deputy Billy Blevins, who stirs mixed feelings in her, to connect the lake murder to the refugees. Katrina is no stranger to darkness, but cold-blooded conspirators plan to make sure she’ll never again see the light of day . . .

 

Robert Dunn is the author of the novels The Dead Ground and Behind the Darkness, as well as the Katrina Williams detective series. He can be found online at robertdunnauthor.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @WritingDead.

A Great Hobby for History Lovers – Genealogy by Heather Hiestand

I’d been seeing those Ancestry.com ads for years regarding getting your DNA tested to learn about your ethnic background. As an adoptee, I’d always been leery of dipping into dangerous waters. Did I really want to know anything about the people who’d given me away to strangers? Did I really want to know what the circumstances were behind this (presumably) enormous decision?

However, a part of me was always deeply curious about my greater family tree. I had questions, and what little I had been told as a child about my ethnicity didn’t match up with what I’d accidentally learned as an adult. So when my husband expressed momentary curiosity about his family tree, namely to learn if he really was part Native American or not, I jumped on it and bought two DNA test kits when they were on sale over the holidays.

Well, we’ve had so much fun that my parents became interested as well. So now I have four different people to research! And yes, my husband really is part Native American. So am I! I had no idea I’d discover that the “Cherokee princess” myth so many families have might possibly be true in my case. If you have deep roots in the American South it’s something to look into…

I had a connection to my British-set novels, too. On the subject of my Grand Russe series with Kensington, I discovered that I actually had ancestors in London in the 1920s. They weren’t working in a grand hotel, though. They were in the garment trade in the east end, and many, if not all of them, immigrated to Canada and the US during this decade. I’ve been humbled by my imaginings of what it must have taken for my great-grandparents to journey from Russia/Poland to the UK, to Canada, and then to the Unites States, all in one generation. Tough, tough people that I’m descended from, don’t you think? I’m pretty sure that my great-grandparents would have had the moxie to battle the Russian baddies in my books. Continue reading “A Great Hobby for History Lovers – Genealogy by Heather Hiestand”

A Cozy Mystery Bonanza

Take a photo of yourself at Barnes and Noble with Assaulted Caramel and Kensington Publishing Corp.‘s cozies and get a free gift! Email photos to authoramandaflower@gmail.com by October 1, 2017. Send you snail mail address too, so I can mail you your gift.

 
When you buy any three Kensington cozy mysteries from B&N 9/5 – 10/5/17, register for your chance at the grand prize worth $300!
Register here.

Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander

Under a Sardinian Sky was chosen to be a Fresh Pick at Fresh Fiction

Visit FreshFiction

 

“A beautifully told story about one woman’s determination to exorcise the sorrows of her family’s past. It brought tears to my eyes more than once—always a good sign. I look forward to reading more novels by Sara Alexander.” —Holly Chamberlin, author of Home for the Summer

Set against the beautiful backdrop of post-World War II Sardinia, Sara Alexander’s evocative novel is a sweeping story of star-crossed romance between an American lieutenant and a local girl. Continue reading “Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander”

Cover Reveal: A Manor of Murder: A Twin Sisters Mystery #3 by June Shaw

Home renovation, like romance, can cause its share of headaches. And in Louisiana’s Bayou country, the path of love can be strewn with murder . . . 
  
Between maintaining a home renovation business and patching up their personal lives, twin sister divorcees Sunny Taylor and Eve Vaughn are too busy to meddle in their aging mom’s romantic affairs. That is, until the strong-willed senior makes plans to marry her retirement community’s newest resident. Her cadre of buddies at Sugar Ledge Manor are worried that Mom’s beau is only after her money. But when the groom-to-be’s nephew, Edward, is found dead in the house he’d hired the sisters to remodel, the situation gets even stickier. Continue reading “Cover Reveal: A Manor of Murder: A Twin Sisters Mystery #3 by June Shaw”

Cover Reveal: Wild Passion: A Montana Mountain Romance by Dawn Luedecke

One of the last outposts of the American West, the Montana Territory is filled with promise and adventure for those with brave souls—and open hearts . . .

Leader of the Timberbeasts, logger Simon Sanders’ biggest problem a year ago was deciding which willing woman to seduce. But since being mauled by a cougar he’s become a pariah in Missoula’s social circuit—and to himself. All he wants is to hide his scarred face and disappear into the bottom of a whiskey bottle. His plan is going well—until his sister’s best friend, Carrie Lane, kidnaps him and forces him to deal with his demons. If he didn’t know better, Simon would swear the bossy beauty is a demon herself . . .

Carrie doesn’t like to use the word kidnap. Unknowingly transport, perhaps. In any case, she can no longer watch Simon destroy himself in self-pity. Not since she lost her heart to him as she nursed him back to health. Now, whatever happens between them, she’s determined to bring him back to the one place he swore he’d never return to, the place she’s sure will reignite his spirit. But if things go awry, will she

will she lose all hope for him to win back his life—much less share it with her? . . .

“Well written, well researched. Like the river, this plot runs faster and faster. Readers won’t be able to put it down.”

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas on White Water Passion

A country girl born and bred, Dawn Luedecke has spent most of her life surrounded by horses, country folk, and the wild terrain of Nevada, Idaho and Montana. She enjoys writing historical and contemporary romance and spends as much time as she can working on her current manuscript. For more information visit dawnluedeckebooks.com.

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