Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Daryl Wood Gerber | Top 5 Reasons to Read A SPRINKLING OF MURDER + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 20, 2020

Top 5 Reasons to Read A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, the first Fairy Garden Mystery Have you heard of the Fairy Garden Mysteries? They’re new. The first, A Sprinkling of Murder, is just out. It’s set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and features Courtney Kelly, a former landscaper who has taken a leap of faith and created her own fairy garden shop called Open Your Imagination. Courtney believes in inviting magic into one’s life, but when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . . There are a lot of reasons that readers are falling in love with the Fairy Garden Mysteries, but here are the top five. Fiona, the righteous fairy. Fiona is a fairy-in-training. She should be a full-fledged fairy by now, but imp that she is, she did one too many pranks in fairy school, so the queen fairy has booted her out and subjected her to probation, during which time Fiona must get serious. By helping a human solve problems–that’s what righteous fairies are good at–she could earn her way back into the ranks. Fiona is fun, whimsical, and earnest. A powerful combo. Courtney Kelly, fairy garden…

Debbie Wiley | Cozy Mystery Recommendations
Author Guest / July 13, 2020

Canceled plans, social distancing, and masks are a regular part of our lives nowadays. Can we all just give a huge round of applause to the authors, editors, and publishers out there who have kept the books coming even as the world has seemingly shut down? In fact, I’m supposed to be just returning from an Alaskan cruise right now, sharing pictures and memories of what was to be a trip to rival my outstanding trip several years back to Ireland. Thankfully, there are a plethora of phenomenal books out there to keep me entertained (and keep my mind off that missed Alaskan cruise LOL!). Daryl Wood Gerber adds a dash of the paranormal to the cozy mystery, A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, where readers enter a world where fairies exist and they have to complete certain goals to earn their wings. Courtney Kelly loves sharing her belief in the world of fairies with others through her store, Open Your Imagination, where she teaches and sells various items to help with landscaping, including how to design fairy gardens. Her own personal fairy, Fiona, is visible to those who are willing to believe. Can Courtney and Fiona uncover a murderer? Readers will…

Carrie Doyle | 20 Questions: DEATH ON WINDMILL WAY
Author Guest / June 29, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  DEATH ON WINDMILL WAY. It is the first book of The Hamptons Murder Mystery Series. 2–What is it about?  Antonia Bingham, a noted chef and the new owner of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn, moved across the country to escape a harrowing past. Unfortunately, danger has followed her and she is terrified to learn that all of the previous owners of the Windmill Inn have died under mysterious circumstances. Antonia has no choice but to investigate the past crimes—or she may end up the next victim! 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Resilient. Antonia Bingham had to leave her abusive ex-husband, dismantle her entire life and move 3000 miles away to start a new life as a restaurateur and an innkeeper. Despite the setbacks she remains upbeat, positive and a hard worker. 4–What makes your story relatable?  I think the troubles as a small business owner that Antonia Bingham confronts are relatable. There is no break when you run a restaurant and an inn—even when there is a murderer around. I also think we see Antonia develop relationships and friendships where she relies on people and asks for help. She is not superwoman,…

Dana Dratch | Present Imperfect + Giveaway!
Author Guest / June 8, 2020

When I sit down to write a book, part of the process involves thinking about the future. To make the stories pop, I like to imagine what will be going on in the world when a reader finally curls up with this book. Everything from the weather and the seasons to real-life events. Boy, did I get it wrong this time. And I’m guessing that pretty much none of my fellow cozy mystery writers had “global pandemic,” “social unrest,” “economic crisis,” and “political protests” on their backstory bingo cards. As a result, there’s a whole spate of mysteries coming out that bear little resemblance to the world we now see out the window. And maybe that’s a good thing. From the beginning, cozies and mysteries have served as an escape. So as we worry about a deadly virus with no vaccine and the racism that has no place in our world, books provide an off-ramp from reality. A chance to see the world the way we want it to be. An opportunity to drop our problems for a few moments. Imagine a world where you can eat, mask free, in a restaurant without a second thought. Or sit at a…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Summer Escapes
Author Guest / May 25, 2020

Ahhh, summer. Warmer temps—when? Sunny skies—where? And great reads—thank God, I got one right! It’s the perfect time of year to read and relax, something all of us need right now. To start the holiday off right, I thought I’d recommend a few mysteries to freshen up your library and clear out all of those stress induced cobwebs—the real ones, and the imaginary ones in our brains—shouldn’t we have cleaned all of those out by now? I hope you enjoy them all! (The books not the cobwebs—nasty buggers.) Short and Delightful! Botched Butterscotch An Amish Candy Shop Mystery 4/28/2020 Amanda Flower Mother’s Day is a sweet and busy time at the candy shop Bailey King runs with her Amish grandmother. This year is extra special, because Bailey’s parents are visiting Harvest, Ohio. Bailey’s father has rarely returned since leaving the Amish faith over thirty years ago, but Bailey is confident that the right treats can help sugarcoat any awkwardness. For Mother’s Day Tea at the local church, she’s whipping up her mom’s favorite: butterscotch pie. All’s going well, until a sticky-fingered thief makes off with the money raised for a local women’s support group. While Bailey tries to discover who…

Debbie Wiley | Cozy Mysteries are the Perfect Escapist Reads!
Author Guest / May 11, 2020

by Senior Reviewer Debbie Wiley With the long days of quarantine both behind and still in front of us, if you’re like me you’re tired of hearing nothing in the news but gloom and doom. Luckily for us as readers, we have a great selection of cozy mysteries to curl up with and take our minds off seeing only the people we’ve been quarantined with. So, sit back, pretend it’s a cold day inside by the fire where staying inside is fun, and let’s look at a couple great books to choose from! Amanda Flower is one of my go-to cozy mystery authors and what could be better than a novella including an appearance by Jethro, the support pig? In BOTCHED BUTTERSCOTCH, a Mother’s Day fundraiser goes awry and now Bailey King is determined to uncover a thief. Amanda Flower offers up just the kind of heartwarming mystery we need, as BOTCHED BUTTERSCOTCH showcases Abigail’s Farm, a program opening up in the Amish community to help women recovering from substance abuse. We have a lot of fun bantering the wedding that isn’t even an engagement yet and yes, we have a great Jethro scene!  SIX CLOVES UNDER by Gin Jones features…

Peggy Ehrhart | All the Comforts of Chocolate + Giveaway!
Author Guest / April 20, 2020

Stay safe! Stay inside! Limit trips to the grocery store! We’re all hearing advice like this as we wonder how long the coronavirus is going to be with us. Food writers suggest inventorying our pantries for overlooked supplies and creating meals out of what we have on hand–though my trips to the grocery store have revealed that many people are limiting their trips by buying a few months’ worth of food at once, including the woman I saw with two filled-to-capacity carts, pushing one and pulling the other. But I like the idea of discovering and putting to use supplies I had forgotten I had. With this in mind, I explored the contents of my freezer yesterday and found . . . half a package of brownie mix! It was hidden way in the back, between the box of raisins and the bag of walnut halves (I freeze almost everything I don’t use often). The brownie mix dated from last year when I was experimenting with a way to make easy cookies for my Knit & Nibble mystery #6, Knit of the Living Dead, coming out this August. As you can guess from the title, it has a Halloween theme,…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner Interview: Gayle Leeson
Author Guest / February 24, 2020

There’s something about a crime-fighting duo that draws me in. Batman and Robin, Holmes and Watson, Scully and Mulder—they just make the story that much richer as a team. The same can be said about a couple of witty authors who put their heads together to write a fabulous mystery. Double the criminal masterminds at work! I’ve interviewed Lorraine Bartlett here on Fresh Fiction, and now I have the honor of interviewing her new partner in crime, Gayle Leeson! What a rocking duo these two make! *** Kym:  Welcome to the Cozy Corner Gayle! Gayle:  Hi, Kym! Thank you for having me! You’ve started writing A Victoria Square Mystery series with Lorraine Bartlett, how did that come to be? Lorraine was swamped with her existing series and needed some help meeting deadlines. She liked my writing style and thought our voices would mesh well together, and now here we are.   I love when two authors collaborate for a great book and I’m always amazed at how many different methods authors use to write as a team. In this series, however, it’s even more complicated since you came in on book five of the series. Can you tell us how you and Lorraine wrote Yule…

G.P Gardner | Festival Favorites
Author Guest / January 17, 2020

First of all, let me thank Fresh Fiction for a great review and for inviting me to visit with you. And second, I want to thank READERS for making the first Cleo Mack Mystery a USA Today Best Seller! Murder at Harbor Village tells how Cleo moved to Fairhope and fell into a new job managing a retirement community. The second book, Murder at Royale Court, centers on a murder that occurs during an antique automobile show. And now, the third book in the series—Murder at the Arts & Crafts Festival—shows Cleo with a big circle of friends who help with the sleuthing when Twinkle Thaw, the famous portrait artist, crashes her sister’s dinner party, comes between an old sweetheart and his wife, takes over a local art gallery, and dies. The series is set in Fairhope, a quaint, bayside community in coastal Alabama. Unlike the murders, the arts & crafts festival actually occurs every spring. I love attending it for many reasons, some of which I’m listing below, along with a few photos from recent festivals. The main thing we expect to find at art festivals is art—paintings, drawings, photographs, and other things that hang on the wall. Art…

Debbie Wiley | Crafty Cozies as Self-Care
Author Guest / January 13, 2020

Mindfulness and self-care are hot button topics right now in our fast-paced, technology-driven world. Whether it’s gratitude journals, vision boards, yoga, self-help books, etc, everyone nowadays is looking for ways to refresh and re-energize themselves, particularly with 2020 launching a whole new decade. Reading is also a way to rest and rejuvenate, particularly if it’s books that spark your imagination and creativity. What better place to look than cozy mysteries with a crafty theme? I’ve seen hygge yarn in the stores, but it’s Sally Goldenbaum’s A MURDEROUS TANGLE that sent me to google to learn more about the hygge lifestyle. The Seaside Knitting Studio is hosting its first holiday hygge and all the members are looking forward to a quiet gathering knitting or crocheting before a warm fire in their comfortable clothes with hot spiced cider and homemade cookies. Unfortunately, a murder disrupts the town of Sea Harbor and now the Seaside Knitters are tracking down a murderer in their midst. Sally Goldenbaum’s warm and inviting characters make me want to pull out my loom and knit with soft music and the scent of lavender in the air. If you’re looking for a cleverly crafted mystery that also inspires you…