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#12DaysofCozies

Happy December. There’s a lot to celebrate this month, and we’re starting with the 12 Days of Cozies.

Today I’m co-hosting reading sprints on Twitter at 5:00 EST. You can find me @joyfuljel .

Then at 8:00 it’s time for a live chat. I’d love to see you there. Plus, there are opportunities to win prizes! Different authors host each day, and it’ll be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!

Fun November News

I’m excited to share with you I’m part of a cookbook coming out Tuesday, November 16. I share a family favorite recipe that Andi Grace makes in the upcoming fourth book of A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series.

I’ll share links as they become available.

Also on November 16, I’m part of a Facebook party. It takes place from 8:00-9:00 PM EST. We’ll be celebrating new books by Sarah Burr and Carol Ayer. I’ll be there as well as other authors, and we’ll be giving away prizes! If you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll be able to stop by.

I appreciate all of you. Happy November!

Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers

Congratulations to Heather Weidner on Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers. The title is so cute, and the story is great.

Here’s my quick review of Heather’s newest book.

Jules Keene is focused on her vintage trailer camping resort. Her priorites shift when a dead guest is discovered in the woods and her aunt is questioned by the authorities. Jules decides to help catch the killer, but she already has a full plate. Now Jules must stop the culprit, keep her guests satisfied, grow her business, run for president of the town’s business council, and stay alive when the bad guys come after her. This book is a joy to read.

Here’s the blurb:

There is nothing like finding a dead body, clad only in a red satin thong, on your property to jolt you from a quiet routine. Jules Keene, owner of the posh Fern Valley Camping Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is thrust into the world of the Dark Web when one of her guests, Ira Perkins, is found murdered in the woods near her vintage trailers. Jules quickly discovers that the man who claimed to be on a writing retreat was not what he seemed, and someone will go to any length to find what he left at her resort. Jules, along with her Jack Russell Terrier sidekick Bijou, has to put the rest of the missing pieces of a blackmailing scheme together before her business is ruined.

Jules’s resort, set in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville in the quaint town of Fern Valley, offers guests a unique vacation in refurbished and upcycled vintage trailers. Hoping to expand her offerings, she partners with her maintenance/security guy to create a village of tiny houses, the latest home DIY craze, but a second murder of a reporter interrupts Jules’s expansion plans. Curiosity gets the best of her, and she steps up her sleuthing to find out what Ira Perkins was really up to and what he was really hiding at her resort.

If you’re interested in reading Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers, here are the links:

Book Links:

Apple Books: ‎Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers on Apple Books

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GGBFWT5

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vintage-Trailers-Blackmailers-Heather-Weidner/dp/1685120369

Barnes and Noble: Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers by Heather Weidner, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Booktopia: Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers eBook by Heather Weidner | 9781685120375 | Booktopia

FNAC: Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers – Dernier livre de Heather Weidner – Précommande & date de sortie | fnac

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/vintage-trailers-and-blackmailers

Thalia: Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers von Heather Weidner – eBook | Thalia

Georgiana Daniels Crumb & Punishment

I’m excited to welcome Georgiana Daniels today.

Georgiana and I became friends in 2020.

Georgiana, tell us something you love about where you live.

Thank you for hosting me today, Jackie! It’s always fun to hang out with you.

If only I lived near the beach, like you! Instead, we live among the brambles and tumbleweeds in Arizona. Ha—okay, it’s not really that bad. We’re in central AZ where we have a nice variety—sunshine, rain, and snow. Still, I’d love to live near the beach where I could bob in the waves on weekends.

As for me, I’m a writer, homeschooling mom, and master of library and information science student. I will finally graduate with my master’s in December! It’s been a wild ride. Thankfully, I have a patient husband, and three daughters who are super understanding while I attempt to spin one too many plates.

Share with us about your book and of course we’d love to see the back cover blurb.

Crumb and Punishment is book 2 in the KC Crumb Mysteries, though you don’t have to read book 1 to have fun with this one. I loved writing about KC and her posse as they try to find the killer! These ladies are a hoot!

KC is a former social media manager who moves back to her hometown when she loses her job and her boyfriend at the same time. In book 1, Crumbs of Passion, she finds the dead body of her ex in her rental and must clear her own name. In book 2, KC and the gang need to clear the name of their friend.

Back Cover:

A granny, a gunshot, and a bingo game gone bad…

After an altercation at the Beaver Bluff Senior Center, a local busybody and philanthropist winds up face first in a hot fudge sundae at Yum Yum’s Ice Cream Shop. Reluctant sleuth and social media maven KC Crumb and her posse are on the scene, ready to clear their friend Walter’s name and save his shop—until they discover a secret link to the victim in the ice cream peddler’s past.

When suspicions mount, the gang from Crumb’s Bakery starts to turn on each other. And when hunky officer Antonio Hamson gets involved, it’s anyone’s guess who will be next behind bars. As the clock counts down, can KC and her pals solve the murder? Or will they find themselves in the ice cream killer’s crosshairs?

Did you do any fun research?

I could stretch the truth and say I needed to research ice cream flavors and cupcake frosting for some of the scenes, but alas, I’m already an expert.

What I’m not an expert in is knives, so that’s where I did a bit of research. Then I took what I’d found out and had the most outspoken person in KC’s posse (Polly) clue the gang in when they found a knife stuck to the door. Polly cracks me up, because she just says what she thinks, constantly shocking her pals (and me!)

What was the most interesting fact you discovered while writing?

Bingo cards have a specific numbering…who knew? LOL!

Every part of the writing and creative process is interesting to me. If someone were to see my browser history, they might just think I’m nutty (or scary, maybe both, ha!) I just had a blast writing this book and introducing some new characters to the crew, including a few new furry friends.

Now I’m working on plotting book 3, A Crummy Way to Die. I’m looking forward to more murder, mystery, and fun!

Thank you for hosting me today! I enjoyed hanging out with you. You can always find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Bookbub!

Bio:

Georgiana Daniels is an author, homeschooling mom, and master’s degree student. “Busy” is her middle name, but if she finds a nugget of free time she enjoys knitting, reading, and fumbling around on the piano to the dismay of others. Though previously published in romance and women’s fiction, she’s dipping an anxious toe into cozy mysteries—because murder and mayhem are so much fun!

Crumb and Punishment link:

Georgiana, thanks so much for taking time to visit with us today.

Friends, I’ve started reading Crumb and Punishment, and it’s a delight.

Hers to Love by Sherrinda Ketchersid

This month Sherrinda Ketchersid’s newest book released, and I’m so excited to share the news with you. Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. She resides in Dallas, Texas with her preacher husband and scruffy dog, Phineas.

Welcome, Sherrinda!

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today! I thought I’d share a little history behind my new book, Hers to Love. The story is set in the early 1200’s in the Scottish Highlands. I was so excited to dig into research, but quickly learned that there is little written history in early medieval Scotland. I soon realized that there weren’t even many castles that had been built in the time period of my story.

While King David of Scotland began inviting Normans into Scotland in the middle 1100’s, these landowners build wooden “castles”, motte and bailey style (wooden structures with a moat). And only the very wealthy could build these. Large Scottish clans began to build castles, but it wasn’t until the late 1300’s that they began to really populate the landscape.

Alas, I so wanted to write a story with a castle. It seems so much more romantic, right? But I stayed true to history and put my hero, Adam MacIntosh, laird of a small clan, into a remodeled blackhouse. What’s a blackhouse, you ask? It is a long structure that is divided in two halves. The family lived and cooked in one half, while the livestock stayed in the other half. Yuck, right? I decided to have Adam remodel the house and get the livestock out BEFORE the story begins. I made it more of a manor house, with a large hall for eating and entertaining, more bedrooms, and a kitchen. Much more civilized, to be sure.

Another historical aspect I used in my story was the rule about divorce. I found out that the church during that time period (at least in England) did not allow divorce except for a few reasons. None of the reasons included unfaithfulness. Adam’s wife, Elspeth, betrays Adam and runs away, so when Fiona happens upon the scene, he is still married. I quickly take care of this issue in the story…this is a Christian story after all, but I can’t tell you what I did, or else it will give the plot away. Needless to say, the church’s rules in medieval times worked to my advantage to create tension and conflict.

Conflict and tension always make for a better story. I’m sure Jackie will agree—you definitely need good tension in cozy mysteries!

Thanks again for hosting me!

Sherrinda, thanks so much stopping by and sharing.


He’s running from his past—she’s running from her future.

Back Cover Copy:

Fiona McGowan, a beautiful Scottish widow without hope for a family of her own, travels to St. Mary’s Convent to become a nun. In route she is kidnapped by handsome Highlander Adam MacIntosh in a case of mistaken identity. Adam, laird of the MacIntosh clan, is attempting to free his brother held captive by the rival Fergus clan. The failure of his plan leaves him reeling with betrayal, death, and a wee babe in sore need of a healer.

Though forced to delay her vows, Fiona’s anger and distrust thaws as rising tensions within Adam’s clan threaten to ignite an uprising. She chooses to aid her noble but beleaguered captor in his quest to restore peace among his Highland clan. But as the two learn to trust each other, the question remains: Can they move beyond the hurts of their past, or will the past be their undoing?

Sherrinda enjoys connecting with readers. Here’s where you can reach her.

You can find with Sherrinda via her website at www.sherrinda.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Bookbub, Goodreads, and Amazon. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter HERE and receive the prequel novelette to her medieval series. 

Double Chocolate Cookie Murder

I recently introduced you to Devon Delaney. Today I’d like to share a little about her newest book.

You’ll notice Heinz isn’t the only one who enjoys reading cozy mysteries.

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Devon Delaney weaves a wonderful mystery linking a fire in the past with a current day murder.

Sherry Oliveri is back home for a long Thanksgiving weekend to help her dad at his carpet store for Black Friday. It’ doesn’t take long for the first dead body to appear. The characters are realistic and fun. There are twists and turns and you wonder how this amateur sleuth will pull it all together.

I don’t want to give too much away, but this is a delightful cozy, and there are recipes included.

Texas Photography

I met Chris Munson through Abandoned Texas Facebook Group. His photography captured my imagination. Chris graciously agreed to let me share his photographs and reflections with you. His pictures are from Pilot Point, Texas.

Chris said in his post.. “I once helped to keep perishables in the community fresh”. “I once provided fuel to the vehicles that passed this way”. “I once held the funds of the citizens here”. “I once promoted a product”. “I once served as a watering hole….”And so each of these structures and signs remain, not as monuments, nor as historical markers, but as reminders yet, as testaments to a different time and place….Where they served needs no longer essential, nor sought, nor practical, as those who had need for them have also passed….and all are at rest. Pilot Point Texas, 9/11/21

Farmers and Merchants bank, built 1899, closed in 1929 at the Great Depression and never reopened as a bank. Current usage unknown.
Fuller long shot of bank.
The back/side view of former bar.
This is an odd building behind the “bar”. It’s use/former purpose is completely unknown.
Assuming this was a service station at some point, simply because of its design. The building to the right has an open door which goes into a small room with many electrical conduits, but nothing else.
Love this original advertisement, unfortunately the angle of the sun cast an unavoidable shadow.
Unknown buildings, once used as a gathering place.

Thanks so much Chris for sharing your thoughts and photographs with us today. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Devon Delaney Author of Double Chocolate Cookie Murder

Today I’m delighted to welcome Devon Delaney. I’m confident you’ll enjoy getting to know her.


Thank you so much for having me! I’d love to answer some questions so that my readers and potential readers may get to know me a bit better. First, let me tell you a bit about my new release.

The latest book in my cooking competition mystery series, Double Chocolate Cookie Murder, deals with the consequences of a character’s past actions. Think of the countless brushes you’ve had with people throughout your life and how the interactions may have affected the path of your life. Throw in the possibility that moment in time will come back to haunt you and you have a snippet of the book’s premise. A cook-off is, of course, central to the mystery. There are milestone family decisions to be made and a murder to be investigated. Come with a full belly when you read the book, only because you will leave hungry if you don’t. Lots of food, fun, and hometown family spirit shape the foundation of my writing and make the task of putting words to paper a joy. My goal is to entertain.

Do you have a pet? 

I had a Jack Russell terrier for sixteen years and that’s the breed I chose to feature as my main character’s pet. The active, possessive breed isn’t for everyone, and I pride myself for having let Frosty train me to be a great companion rather than the other way around. Our partnership was one a feel blessed to have had. Now I have an equally wonderful Standard Poodle. How lucky can a girl get?

How long have you loved to cook/bake? 

To be honest, I’m not the greatest baker. I do bake a mean cookie. And a great muffin. I don’t love to bake as much as I love to eat baked goods. I have a free-wheeling style in the kitchen and having to measure every single ingredient in order to keep the chemistry perfect stifles my creativity. On the other hand, I have competed in the Pillsbury Bake-off three times. The difference being, at their bake-off the cooks begin with a boxed mix or a prepackaged dinner starter, a good jumping off point. Your creativity and imagination take you to the finish line where you collect a prize or not. That’s the style of cooking I love.

Main courses and side dishes are my forte. I’ve been sous-cheffing since I was about six or seven. My dad had a few recipes he prepared over and over, like Ceasar salad and chicken stir-fry. He was methodical about the prep and instructions, so I felt very comfortable knowing my role, whether it be crack an egg or chop the chicken. Looking back, I built my confidence in the kitchen under his tutelage and spread my wings after I was married and had a captive taste-tester. 

Do you follow a recipe?

I prefer not to, but I admit I do occasionally follow a recipe if I’m looking to learn a new technique or a new piece of kitchen equipment, such as my daughter’s Insta-Pot. That’s more of a rarity. Playing a game of “Chopped – Home Edition” each night at five o’clock is more my style. Whatever ingredients my family hasn’t scarfed down over the last twenty-four hours is my springboard to parts unknown on our dinner menu. My goal is to make the dish my own and put the “Devon twist” on the recipe, for better or worse. Making mistakes teaches me as much as finding success, when it comes to creating contest entries. Many a time I take a tried and true recipe of mine and, rather than follow the steps exactly, I substitute new ingredients to test out a new flavor combination.

What’s your favorite meal to prepare? 

My favorite dish to prepare is my Grilled Ranch Steak Bruschetta in the summer when the tomatoes are fresh and I’ve purchased a fresh baked country bread. The recipe won me a contest sponsored by Cooking Light magazine:

Ranch Steak Bruschetta Salad (Devon Delaney)

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons ranch dressing

1½ tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground coffee

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1½ teaspoons ancho chile powder

4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed (1 inch thick)

Cooking spray

¼ cup chopped shallots

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

6 cups loosely packed arugula

12 (1-ounce) slices French bread, toasted

Preparation:

Combine dressing and horseradish in a small bowl; cover and chill.

Combine black pepper, coffee, cumin, and chile powder. Rub both sides of steaks with pepper mixture; let stand 10 minutes. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium heat. Coat steaks with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; let stand 7 minutes.

Combine shallots, basil, bell peppers, juice, and tomatoes in a small bowl; toss well.

Arrange 1 cup arugula on each of 6 plates; top each serving with 2 toast slices. Cut steaks diagonally across grain into thin slices. Divide steak evenly among toast slices; top each serving with about 2 tablespoons tomato mixture. Drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon dressing mixture. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

Do you have a dish that’s won multiple contests? 

I have used a particular theme a few times but you can’t use the same recipe. Once the recipe is submitted to the contest, whether it wins or loses, the recipe then becomes the sponsors property. Ingenious marketing plan, right? The sponsoring company receives many new recipes for their products from the entrants and it’s a win-win for them. Technically, a recipe can have three major changes from the original to be called a new recipe and that’s not hard to do. So, I have taken a theme, such as a surf and turf burger and made a few significant changes in order to freshen it up.

Have you ever created something you thought would be delicious and it completely flopped? 

Simple answer: more than I can count.

Do you prefer the beach or mountains?

Mountains. I’m a hiker and a skier. I did grow up in Long Island, NY so I spent plenty of time at the beach. Too much, my dermatologist would say.

Cats or dogs?

No one else in my family likes cats but I love them. I love dogs. I am an animal nut, actually. We joke about moving to a farm to have lots of animals, but I might be too lazy.

Paperback or ebook? 

I have never read an ebook in my life. Can you believe that?

Haha, that’s amazing, Devon.

Sweet or salty?

Popcorn, chips and soy sauce. Can’t get enough! I get a lot of exercise, so my body loves salt. I don’t hate a great piece of chocolate cake, though!

Devon, thanks so much for spending a little time with us today.

Friends, Double Chocolate Cookie Murder is available now. You can learn more about Devon and her fascinating live at her website. http://www.devonpdelaney.com/

National Beach Day

August 30 is National Beach Day. It’s about more than having fun though. We also need to focus on safety and preserving our beaches.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBeachDay

Tybee Island Beach

A few safety tips include”

  1. Only swim in designated areas.
  2. Never swim alone.
  3. Whether you’re in the ocean, a lake or a river, watch the currents.
  4. Don’t swim longer than you’re capable.
  5. Learn CPR

Learn how to survive a riptide. Don’t swim against the current. Relax. Swim parrallel to the shore until you leave the riptide.

Provided by the National Weather Service

You can also organize a group to clean a section of your favorite beach. If you don’t have time for that, you can pick some trash up on your own.

I hope you are able to enjoy your favorite beach soon.