Posted in Characters from my books, Marvelous Guests, Reading and Reviewing

It’s Delightful Delight DeLure of Fuchsia Fame

Today I welcome Delight Delure, former owner of Ella’s Enchanted Forest and current owner of The Pink Percolator to my blog. Delight is one of Granny’s best friends and also is the niece of Jezabelle Jingle of Brilliant, MN. Let’s see what Delight has to say.

Wow, I can’t believe I am actually a guest on a blog. Usually it is Granny that gets that honor. Let me see, what can I tell you about myself?

I was the former owner of Ella’s Enchanted Forest. It was a bistro type experience. I served coffee, tea, my own made up concoctions and goodies to my customers. Trees and plants were a huge part of my business too. I was the go-to place for funerals, weddings and “just because”occasions. I actually had trees growing in my building with the ceiling extended so they could grow and thrive. But all that ended when Granny got me involved in a new investigation of hers. Someone stole my trees and planted them in Granny’s back yard. Then we found out the floor moved down into the underground streets. Gravy, that’s Gile Graves, owner of Graves Funeral Home, thought my building would be the perfect place to relocate his mortuary because when the weather was bad, they could transport the casket to the Mausoleum in the cemetery by way of the underground streets. The city thought so too so they gave me funds to build my own new coffeehouse so Gravy could move to my building.

You can’t miss the Pink Percolator if you drive into Fuchsia. It is shaped like a giant percolator, pink of course, attached to a teapot addition. In the middle is our patio with our whipped cream fountain. It really is a better place for me to create my concoctions.

I have a daughter and her name is Ella. She helps me with the coffee and tea along with falling in love from time to time with various men in this town. My husband is dead but that doesn’t mean I am not looking to replace him. Don’t tell Ella, that might upset her. My Aunt Jezabelle lives in Brilliant. She is more my age but she is still my aunt. I can’t mention her name in front of Granny because they are a little competitive. Jezabelle solves crimes too, and Granny doesn’t always approve of the way she does it. I think Granny is just being ornery and doesn’t want to admit that maybe together the two would be a dynamic duo. Just my opinion.

Folks in Fuchsia are friendly. I know most of what goes on. I eavesdrop on conversations and I have been known to mike a table so Granny and her gang can find out what the men are up to. They seem to think all we should do is knit. The last time Granny held a knitting needle she skewered someone.

I also have a van, although Granny finally added to her car collection with a van so I don’t always have to use my business van to drive us on our escapades. Her van is Fuchsia so it does get noticed, but then no one outside of Fuchsia suspects a group of little old ladies can be cunning and dangerous.

I have Granny to thank for helping me have faith in myself too. My husband usually made all the decisions. I thought I couldn’t think for myself but with Granny’s help, I know I am a successful delightful woman. I like to giggle. It’s up to you to guess what I might be giggling about. I will tell you it might shock you.

It’s time to go. I need to come up with a new coffee drink. Granny made Mavis a drink, an alcoholic drink with coffee to make her quick blubbering. I need to mimic it but leave out the tequila, or maybe I won’t. Until next time. It’s been fun.

You can find Delight Delure most days in The Pink Percolator and getting in trouble with Granny from the Fuchsia, MN cozy mystery series. Or visiting her aunt in Brilliant in the Brilliant, MN series. Make sure you leave a comment or a tip on a new coffee drink or pastry delicacy that Delight can try.

You can find Delight and the books here.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

Mabel, Murder & Muffins by Sharon Mierke

Mabel and Flori are not strangers to me. I became their fans when I read the previous books in the Mabel Wickles Cozy Mystery Series. Mabel is the main character in these series, an older woman, an amateur sleuth and a very interesting character. Flori, is her friend and gets dragged into Mabel’s sleuthing adventures.

This time they take themselves out of their comfort zone which is their little community of Parson’s Cove. They take a chance and travel to Yellow Rose, Texas. and an adventure where not only do they try to to track down a murderer, but meet new friends with cultural differences they are not used to. It makes for an interesting read and an even more interesting mystery.

The writing is superb in that it has more twists and turns and clever plots to keep a reader on their toes. I would definitely give this five stars. You won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait until the next book in this series.

Mabel, Murder & Muffins

In Mabel, Murder, & Muffins, Mabel and four other contestants win a trip to Las Vegas. When one of them, Grace Hobbs, is found murdered and left in the woods in Mabel’s hometown of Parson’s Cove, Mabel’s sleuthing instincts heat up. Along with her friend, Flori Flanders, and retired sheriff, Reg Snee, Mabel goes on a hunt for the killer. A search that will take her all the way to Yellow Rose, Texas. It’s then she realizes how complicated the mystery is when no one appears to be who they say they are. As Mabel says, ‘it’s like a story our of Alice in Wonderland.’

About the Author

“I’m not sure when someone decides to become a writer. I was once asked why I started and I said, ‘I got tired of reading so decided to start writing!’ Some dream about it but never do it and others are foolish enough to try. I have always loved Daphne DuMaurier’s quote: ‘Writers should be read and not seen or heard.’ I loved the thought of writing but having anonymity at the same time. I doubt that can be achieved in today’s world. I write to be true to myself. I share it because I hope others will find joy in reading it.”

As most writers, Sharon started writing short stories. After having several published and finding it hard to squeeze a story into only a few hundred words, she decided to follow her dream and write novels. 

Her book, VIRTUAL ENEMIES, is a mystery and introduces readers to Beryl Swallows, a retired police officer and now a private investigator. In this story, she is hired to solve a murder – by the victim herself. A mystery within a mystery. This is the first in the Beryl Swallows Mysteries. In the second, CASE CLOSED.not, Beryl finds one of her mother’s old diaries and it takes her back into a past she never knew existed. Was her own mother a murderer? 

Sharon has four current books in the Mabel Wickles mystery series: DECEPTION BY DESIGN, CALAMITY BY THE CAR WASH, COLD CASE CONUNDRUM, and FROZEN IDENTITY. Mabel is good at finding trouble; however, along with her friend, Flori, and other Parson’s Cove citizens, she always seems to find the way out. And find the guilty party!
Besides writing mysteries, Sharon writes historical fiction. Her first historical fiction, SARAH’S VALLEY, carries us on a journey from the east coast of the United States, through the Midwest, and up into Canada. The sequel, RETURN TO SARAH’S VALLEY, continues the story. Now it is Patrick’s turn to tell his life story to one of Winnipesaukee’s descendants. 
Her second historical fiction, THE WIDOW’S WALK, centers around life in the early 1800s on the Texas Panhandle and down to the island of Galveston. 
A poem written by the author’s mother, Ellen Bunse, in 1929, was the inspiration for Sharon’s latest book, OLD HOUSE. The house was built in the 1860s and through the next hundred years, you will read of all the people who found shelter within its walls, from a Texas cowboy with a bounty on his head, an old prospector, and a woman seeking refuge.  

Sharon’s books contain no graphic violence, sexual content, or coarse language.

Sharon Mierke and her husband live in Manitoba, Canada, where the summers are hot and the winters, cold. Their second home is Galveston, Texas, where they have established many friendships over the past twenty-some years. They have four grown children and four grandchildren. Sharon’s hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, and photography.

Join Sharon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin.
www.sharonrosemierke.weebly

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Granny Is Back!

Did you hear her yell the words “I’m Back?” Yes, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt is back.

From a water-skiing mishap where she finds a dead body to a trip to the Mall of America — have you seen Granny’s freeway driving — the Ecstatic Emporium is being reopened as an escape room venue and Granny’s granddaughter, Angel, thinks she needs to be like Granny. What more could you ask for in the sixth book in the Fuchsia, Minnesota Cozy Mystery Series?

Not only is it now available on Amazon on Kindle and also in print, but it is available on KOBO, Nook, at BarnesandNoble.com, on Overdrive for Libraries and other venues.

Granny, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt, is dear to my heart. When I began the Fuchsia Series I wasn’t sure where it would go. I had intended to end it at the fourth book but my readers wanted more, and so hopefully I can keep up the momentum.

In this book Granny is a tiny bit more serious. She is getting older, aging is a fact of life in our real lives but should we address it in he cozy mystery series? Do you all feel that’s a no-no? I haven’t decided. What I do know is that Angel is getting more like her step-grandmother every day and maybe she will have to step in and learn from Granny and her friends.

Granny’s life has not always been easy. She was forced as a teenager to quell her wild ways, get married to a wonderful man but one who felt women should do what they are told, and she tried to comply, raising her children the way society felt she should. As she got older she realized she has to be who she is which is witty, silly and unconventional. It is a lesson for all of us on living our life.

Fuchsia is a fictional Minnesota community. I never mention where it is, just like I never mention Granny’s age. I like to leave that to the readers imagination. I made Fuchsia non-conforming too. Our communities have become clones and we are restricted on what we can do with our yards and even the color of our homes.

I grew up in a time where the restrictions were less and we could be creative on our properties. I did grow up in a pink home, two of them in fact. Neighbors maybe didn’t always agree with what we did, or what we had in our yards, but people were respectful of each other and they weren’t so much into the perfect yard. I happen to love dandelions and so did my mom.

That’s it in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy the journey of Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt and her family and friends, and the community of Fuchsia where wacky rules. Laugh, enjoy and get away from reality for a smidgeon of time. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the Brilliant Series. It is brilliant.

You can find Granny Bricks A Bandit at these two links:

Kindle

Kobo, Nook and others

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

Siren by Celina Grace

I would like to preface my review for my cozy mystery fans with the fact this is not a cozy mystery. I do like to read all kinds of genre and my tastes occasionally run to something a little more hard hitting.

This is the first book I have read by Celina Grace but it won’t be the last.

Kate Redman has a boyfriend recently moved to New York and a busy life as a British detective. While pondering a move across the pond a new case heats up her life when a respected business man is found murdered in a sadomasochistic way.

This is the ninth book in the Kate Redman Series but I felt this book could be read without reading the first eight although it makes me want to go back and forward. Well written with many twists and turns it kept me reading late into the night. I would give it four stars. As a mystery writer I am always trying to figure out the whodunnit and the author cleverly keeps you guessing.

The Siren

Simon Farraday was a respectable business man; successful, wealthy and with a loving wife and family. He was also heavily into sadomasochistic sex with virtual strangers, judging by the manner of his brutal, squalid murder.  

Detective Sergeant Kate Redman could do without the complexities of this case, coping as she is with trying to maintain her long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Tin, deal with her recurrent attraction to her boss DCI Anderton and support her friend DI Mark Olbeck in his efforts to adopt a child. But investigating a case with such dark undercurrents of desire and jealousy means that the solution to the mystery may hit just a little too close to home…

Siren is the ninth book in the bestselling series The Kate Redman Mysteries, from crime writer Celina Grace.

Amazon

Selina Grace

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

Check Out Ten Minnesota Authors

Sprinkled Notes by Julie Seedorf

Published in the Albert Lea Tribune and Courier Sentinel the week of October 18, 2018

One of the blessings of writing this column and being an author is meeting my readers. This past weekend I was at the Deep Valley Book Festival in Mankato. I met some fabulous authors and interesting people. This coming weekend the big book event is in Albert Lea.

Sweet Reads Book Store in Austin is sponsoring a book event with 10 southern Minnesota authors at the Interchange Coffee House in Albert Lea on Saturday, and I am one of them.

Small, independent bookstores are making their comeback in our society today, and Sweet Reads is very supportive of local authors. Besides myself, Sherrie Hansen, Sean Williams, Benet Stoen, Judi Bergen, Chris Norbury, Margaret Smolik, Jeffo Oilman, Lydia Emma Niebuhr, and Karl Shaper will be in attendance.

Not only will we be displaying and selling our books, but we will also be on the authoring stage for 20 minutes apiece explaining our various genres and talking about our writing. I get to start off the morning at 10 a.m. and it will be cozy, meaning cozy mysteries. Do you know what they are? I didn’t until I wrote one and was accepted by a cozy publisher, Cozy Cat Press. I was amazed to find out it is a popular category in the fiction world.

Maybe you have heard of us, or maybe these names are new to you. My problem with attending a book event is that I want to buy all of the books. Did I mention I tingle when I am in a bookstore or library? We all know about the New York Times best-selling authors and those from large publishing companies whose names and books are advertised in every magazine and online by their publishing companies. We always tend to gravitate toward these books because we feel they must be the best because we see them front and center constantly in the media.

I encourage you to read authors you have never heard of. I find by taking a chance on an unknown author, I read some of the best literature and novels. The difference between these authors not being recognized is because small publishing companies do not have the capital to advertise, and independent authors also do not have the means of promoting their books because of lack of ways for exposure. It’s work to get your name and book out there. Big stores like Barnes & Noble do not always carry small publishers or independent authors’ books because of return policies. Small publishing houses cannot meet their requirements or they would be out of business. Always ask if you can’t find the book, because they can be ordered from the store on an individual basis.

There are many books by unknown authors that are not on the New York Times best-selling list or have not won any awards but are award-winning reads in readers’ minds. What many do not know is the costs involved for a book to be considered for an award — again, small publishing houses and authors do not have the money to enter their book for the prestigious awards. The same can be said for reviews by esteemed reviewers such as Kirkus reviews. It can cost an author $425 for them to review your book. It may pay off in the end, but many independent authors and small publishing houses, again, can’t afford the cost.

What I am saying is to not write off an author or a book because you don’t see that award sticker or prestigious review on the book. Instead, read online reviews of the book by readers or talk to the author or take a chance on one book —  you may want to buy the next.

Anyone can publish a book these days, and there are those clinkers out there which are badly edited and loosely put together, but I always feel they do not have the support in a good editor — because editors, too, are expensive. But these authors had a dream and their dream has been realized — to see their book in print.

I will never be in the category of William Kent Krueger or Allan Eskens. There is a difference between a great author and a good author. I will put myself realistically in the good author category because some people do like my books. I will never win any awards, as I don’t try for any, but I have been in the top 100 Amazon Cozies with my books and I have been No. 1 occasionally when my new books come out. That is enough for me.

The best reward for my writing is to meet my readers, get to know them and see what they enjoy reading. Their lives count and so do their stories. Every person has a story in their lives. It may yet be written.

Come down on Saturday to Sweet Reads and meet the authors, share your stories and let us get to know who and how we influence your lives. The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Interchange. Visit for a short time or stay for the day.

“Authors by the hundreds can tell you stories by the thousands of those rejection slips before they found a publisher who was willing to gamble on an unknown.” — Zig Ziglar

Take a gamble on an unknown

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Murder In Vail by Judy Moore

51EXvWdU5+LMurder In Vail by Judy Moore

Sally Braddock’s serene lifestyle atop a mountain in Vail, Colorado, changes drastically each year when her three spoiled children and their spouses visit her – and her money – for Christmas. They live off their trust funds, which are disappearing quickly, and spend most of the holidays bickering and hitting up their mother for money.

This year, Sally makes an announcement that sends her children into a tizzy, an announcement so extreme that it pushes someone in the house to murder. The storm inside the house

My Review

Judy Moore is a new author to me. It was one of those books that I downloaded on my Kindle and was wishy-washy about reading it. I tend to read authors  I am familiar with first when picking a book, and seem to put those I am not familiar with on my to-read list, sometimes removing it from the Kindle before I read it. I am glad I did not do this with Murder In Vail.

It drew me in right away. I had a few days of trying to to get through another book and not being able to get into it so I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t want to put this book down.

I liked the characters and thought the family dynamics were interesting. It was a good story on what pulls families together or what pulls them apart. Along with highlighting no matter how much we differ or we fight we seem to defend our families and the Braddock family in this book is no different.

The plot was easy to follow but the mystery was not so easy to solve. I kept flopping back and forth trying to decide the guilty party. The easy style of the writing drew me in, kept me focused so much that I finished this in an afternoon. I could also identify with Sally and her questioning her parenting decisions. Don’t we all do that with our adult children?

I good read. A new author for me to explore. I can’t ask for anything more.

To find out more about Judy Moore and her books visit her Amazon page.

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Meet Author Karen Shughart

A New Cozy Author.

B1dqRR8IRuS._US230_Karen Shughart, a new author with Cozy Cat Press, has a new book called Murder In The Museum.

Murder In The Museum51oDncYUWXL._SY346_

Early one gray November morning, retired Lighthouse Cove, NY police chief, Edmund DeCleryk, finds Emily Bradford’s body on the beach at the base of the bluff where the local museum and historical society stands. At the same time, a break-in has been reported at the museum, and Emily’s coat and purse are found hanging on a peg in the museum’s gift shop where she worked. Was her death the result of a burglary gone bad or something more sinister?

When the police chief is called out of town for a family emergency, he hires Ed, now working as a criminal consultant, to assist deputy police chief, Carrie Ramos, with the murder investigation. After several leads don’t pan out, the chief, now back in Lighthouse Cove, decides to close the case. Confident that with more time the murder can be solved, Ed is determined to continue investigating on his own, with encouragement from his wife, Annie the museum’s executive director.

One morning while in the basement of the museum, the couple discovers a copy of a map dated 1785, and Ed’s instincts tell him it may be connected to Emily’s death. On a hunch, he and Annie travel to Toronto, Canada, where he learns of the original map and a manuscript written in 1847 that was unearthed during an archaeological dig. The manuscript contains information about a ship that capsized during a fierce storm on Lake Ontario — in 1785. Now Ed has clues as to why the murder occurred, but he still doesn’t know who committed the crime. Or does he?

About Author Karen Shughart

Karen Shughart has worked professionally as a journalist, writer, editor, publicist and non-profit executive. Her passions include her family, cooking, gardening, writing, photography, walking, and learning new things. Karen’s first novel, Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery (Cozy Cat Press, April 2018) is the first in a series that takes place in Lighthouse Cove, NY on the southern shores of Lake Ontario. It is available in all Amazon formats. In addition, she is the author of two non-fiction books: The Pennsylvania Bed and Breakfast Guide and Cookbook; and Creating Special Events, from Dollars to Dessert.

My Review

This mystery takes place in Lighthouse Cove, NY. From the opening pages until the end this well-written book will keep you captivated. I especially was intrigued by the Prologue and the way the characters were introduced in the first few chapters. A museum murder and a mystery tied to happenings many years ago weave together a  plot that is perfect for a mystery tied to a museum.

You can find Karen’s book on her Amazon page.

Visit her website at Karen Shughart.com

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Virtual Enemies by Sharon Mierke

It is no secret I am a fan of Sharon Mierke and her writing. I read Virtual Enemies a couple of years ago and I decided to read it again. Beryl Swallows goes back home to attend the funeral of a classmate who committed suicide. She hadn’t seen her classmate or her friends in years. It seemed everyone had a secret and that included her dead classmate Mary Lou.

I find Sharon Mierke books comfortable reads. By that I mean they take you along with characters as if you fit into their lives and are standing right there observing everything. Not only did this mystery remind me we occasionally find the people who used to be important in our early years may change so you can’t really go back home. The book moves along easily but at no point could I guess whodunnit and believe me as a mystery writer I like to figure it out early in the book.

I am moving on again to her other books, the ones I have read and the ones I haven’t put on my kindle yet. Take the time and see what Author Sharon Mierke has to offer. You won’t be disappointed if you like Cozy Mysteries.

51lYcrtg2fL._AC_US218_Virtual Enemies

When Beryl Swallows attended the funeral of a former schoolmate, Mary Lou Sanders, she had no idea that instead of renewing old friendships, she would be making new enemies. She also did not know that she would find herself immersed in a murder investigation – hired for big bucks by Mary Lou herself. The question was: Was Mary Lou murdered or did she really commit suicide as her note indicated? After not seeing her former friends, Lydia, Julia and Esther, for almost thirty years, they were virtually strangers or as she was to find out, virtual enemies.

B1pPGxbFAAS._UX250_Sharon Mierke

Sharon Rose now writing as Sharon Mierke!

Sharon Mierke’s mother was a writer and her father, a photographer, so it seemed natural to drift into the writing field and also keep her love for photography. She began writing many years ago but it wasn’t until her four children had left home that she began to do some serious writing. While taking a three-year writing course, she had several short stories published and two novels: Who Needs Enemies? and Missed by a Hair (both now out of print). Sharon enjoys writing mysteries and historical fiction.

Her book, Virtual Enemies, is a mystery and introduces readers to Beryl Swallows, a retired police officer and now private investigator. In Virtual Enemies she is hired to solve a murder – by the victim herself. A mystery within a mystery. This is the first in the Beryl Swallows Mysteries. In the second, Case Closed.not, Beryl finds one of her mother’s old diaries and it takes her back into a past she never knew existed. Was her own mother a murderer?

Sharon has four current books in the Mabel Wickles mystery series: Deception by Design, Calamity by the Car Wash, Cold Case Conundrum, and Frozen Identity. Mabel is good at finding trouble; however, along with her friend, Flori, and other Parson’s Cove citizens, she always seems to find the way out. And find the guilty party.

Besides writing mysteries, Sharon writes historical fiction. Her first historical fiction, Sarah’s Valley, carries us on a journey from the east coast of the United States, through the Midwest, and up into Canada. Her second historical fiction, The Widow’s Walk, centers around life in the early 1800s on the Texas Panhandle and down to the island of Galveston. The sequel to Sarah’s Valley, Return to Sarah’s Valley, is now available on Amazon. Now it is Patrick’s turn to tell his life story to one of Winnipesaukee’s descendants.

Sharon’s books contain no graphic violence, sexual content, or coarse language.

Sharon Rose Mierke and her husband live in Manitoba, Canada, where the summers are hot and the winters, cold. They have four grown children and four grandchildren. Sharon’s hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, and photography.

Visit Sharon At:
Posted in Book Reviews

Murder of Course by Diane Weiner

B1DEGTNeYKS._UY200_This new series by Author Diane Weiner is my favorite. Her first book, A Deadly Course  in the Sugarbury Falls Series introduced us to Emily and Henry Fox who moved to Sugarbury Falls to kick back a little from their city life. Murder of Course continues on with life in Sugarbury Falls but as we all know small-town life has its secrets and its issues too. Emily and Henry find that out when a murder happens almost next door. Add a teenager, animals and good characters and you have a mystery worth reading. There are surprises at every turn.

This series is my favorite of Diane’s books. There is something about Sugarbury Falls that makes me wish I could spend some time there and meet the people who live and work in the community, perhaps even the murderers. The mystery is well written. I give this book Five Stars.

51tcIIiDevLMurder Of Course

Middle-aged couple Emily and Henry Fox moved to Sugarbury Falls, Vermont to enjoy a quiet life, but when their neighbor pounds on their door at the crack of dawn pleading for help, they can’t refuse. A dead woman lies on the floor of their neighbor’s rental cabin. Who is she and what brought her to town? While struggling with the mystery, Emily also struggles with an impossible new boss at the quaint college where she teaches–a boss who may be guilty of her own heinous crime.

About Diane Weiner

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats and a little white dog. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her teenage daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Murder in the Middle is the third book in her Susan Wiles School House Mystery series and she has plans for many more.

Links to Diane:

Amazon

Website