Thanks to All Author for this Halloween treat!
Drop by Melissa’s blog.
Several myths and legends surround this delectable dessert that has become a staple in Italian (and many non-Italian) restaurants worldwide.
Here’s my favorite legend…
In the late nineteenth century, the competition among the bordellos in Venice was extremely fierce. Hoping to attract more customers, one bordello offered espresso coffee as a complimentary beverage. Other bordellos followed suit.
As the competition escalated, so did the treats. Savoiardi Cookies (similar to lady fingers) and sweet liqueurs were added as further enticements. An enterprising Madam decided to combine all these ingredients—espresso coffee, savoiardi cookies, sweet liqueurs—with eggs and Mascarpone cheese.
Continue reading on Brenda Whiteside’s blog.
Concerned about the lack of attention paid by libraries and bookshops, author Sarah Weldon took matters into her own hands and created National Cozy Mystery Day. Observed annually on Agatha Christie’s birthday (September 15th), this is a day set aside to celebrate cozy mystery books, movies, and television series worldwide.
In her research, Sarah discovered that cozy mysteries are the second most popular genre (after romance) on Amazon. Unfortunately, she has not been able to easily find cozy mysteries in UK libraries and book stores. In fact, she often has to describe the books to sales associates. Sarah’s ultimate goal: Dedicated bookshelves of cozy mysteries in each literary establishment.
A long-time fan of the genre and author of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series—A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room, A Different Kind of Reunion—I also have to describe the genre to interested friends and potential readers.
Here’s my description…
A cozy is a mystery that includes a bloodless crime and contains little violence, sex, or coarse language. The crime takes place “off-stage,” and very few graphic details are provided. Sex, if there is any, is often behind closed doors. It is not unusual to read about a couple enjoying a romantic dinner and then turn the page to find them waking up to breakfast.
The sleuth is usually female and not a medical examiner, detective, or police officer. A bright and intuitive woman, the sleuth gravitates toward such “people” professions as a librarian, florist, teacher, homemaker, caterer, and nun. Some examples of amateur sleuths include Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote.
While the local police force doesn’t take sleuths too seriously, these women manage to find connections (relatives, friends, love interests) to classified information. In the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, the protagonist is a career development practitioner, and the chief detective on the case is her former high school crush.
The cozy takes place in a small town or village. While I’ve stretched it a bit and based the novel in the mid-size Ontario city of Sudbury, I have introduced characters who grew up in Gatchell, the Italian section of town.
A cozy is a “fun read” that engages the reader. By the end of the story, the criminal is punished, and order is restored to the community.
Book 1 in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series
Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.
When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.
As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.
I noticed a man making his way through the crowd that had gathered outside the front window. Tall and lean with salt and pepper hair, the man sported a black leather coat and a light gray suit. When he stopped to talk with Uncle Paolo, he flashed a badge. As I approached the two men, my heart started beating faster. Carlo Fantin. How could I have forgotten my old high school crush? If anything, he looked even better now than he did back then. He hadn’t bulked up or lost his hair. He was still hunk material.
He stared, his blue eyes widening in surprise and something else I couldn’t quite define. Amusement. Anticipation. Maybe even lust. Whatever it was, he had stopped talking to Uncle Paolo and was now giving me his full attention.
He flashed the beautiful smile that had once captivated me and every other female student at Sudbury Secondary. “Hello, Gilda. It’s good to see you again. Uh, in spite of these circumstances.”
“Hi Carlo, I’m–”
“Detective Fantin.” My uncle shouted.
Before I could say anything, Aunt Amelia piped up, “We’re so glad you came, Detective. We’ll sleep better tonight knowing that you’re in charge.”
My mother and Sofia appeared at my side. All those years ago when I had fantasized about connecting with Carlo, I had envisioned many wonderful scenarios where we would bump into each other and fall in love—on the beach, dance floor, even at a bar. Never in a million years, did I think we would reconnect in these circumstances with my family in tow.
“How attached are you to the name Anna May?”
Sandy Isaac’s question took me and six other members of the critique group by surprise. While I appreciated most of the suggestions I had received, I wondered about Sandy’s question. Anna May Godfrey is the villain in A Season for Killing Blondes. I had spent several years in Anna May’s company and wasn’t prepared to change her name.
Sandy noticed my hesitation and explained her resistance to the name. Said quickly, Anna May becomes “anime,” a style of animation often featuring themes intended for an adult audience. Two of the other members nodded while five of us merely shrugged. But Sandy’s concern raised several questions in my mind.
How would my readers respond?
Would they make the same connection as Sandy?
Would Anna May’s name suit or hinder her villain status?
Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.
When I shared an early draft of A Season for Killing Blondes, a beta reader complimented me on my use of red herrings and suggested the title could also be considered a red herring.
Puzzled, I asked for clarification.
She explained, “A red herring is a literary device that leads readers toward a false conclusion. Glancing at the title, I expected to read a thriller about a serial killer who had designated a specific time period for the Rampage.” She winked. “That’s definitely not the case here.”
A bit worried, I wondered if I was misleading my readers. Would they expect a thriller and be disappointed when my novel turned out to be a cozy?
Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.
I am thrilled to announce the release of Edge of Danger: A Mystery Thriller Sampler featuring a collection of sample chapters from the novels of the following Wild Rose Press authors: Vincent Morrone, Oliver F. Chase, Lance Hawvermale, Karen C. Whalen, Sylvia Nickels, CJ Zahner, Randy Overbeck, Cynthia Harrison, June Summers, and Joanne Guidoccio.
Torn Away by Vincent Morrone
Drew Duncan swore he’d never go back to Ember Falls again. After he was wrongfully charged with his high school girlfriend’s murder, he waited for a trial that never came. When he was released from jail a year later, he left everything behind. But when his sister is murdered, Drew is forced to return to the hometown where he and his sisters were brutalized by their alcoholic father.
Camelot Games by Oliver F. Chase
When a secret political machine maneuvers California war hero, Scott McHale and his beautiful activist wife, Angie into running for political office, an entirely new and frightening evil is unleashed upon the American public. As the wildly popular Latino couple’s success and independence grow, hidden kingmakers quietly put into play a plan designed to plunge the nation into chaos.
The Echo Holders by Lance Hawvermale
Rookie anthropologist Emily Radsco has come to the Colorado mountains to investigate old and mysterious carvings on aspen trees. She soon finds herself at odds with the local logging industry. If she doesn’t work quickly, she’ll lose the very trees which hold the clues to the riddle she’s trying to solve. Complicating matters is her increasing attraction to soft-spoken Hopi, Mason Hitapwa, one of the loggers endangering her research.
Just What I Kneaded by Karen C. Whalen
While shopping for bread to serve at her gourmet dinner party, Jane Marsh overhears the pastry chef’s murder in the bakery’s kitchen. The killer also destroys an elaborate and expensive wedding cake made for a celebrity couple.
To recoup the loss, the bakery owner files a lawsuit against his insurance company, a client of the law firm where Jane works.
With a murderer on the loose, and Jane as the only potential witness, she must solve the crime in order to defend her client…and take a killer off the streets.
Disguise for Death by Sylvia Nickels
Royce Thorne had a good marriage, at least she thought she did. when her husband, a police officer, is killed in the line of duty, Royce’s life is turned upside down.
Royce soon finds out her life has been a lie- her marriage was not as good as she thought and her husband was not the man she thought he was. Lies and betrayal is what if left behind after her husband’s death, as well as a bank account with specific instructions for Royce.
The Suicide Gene by CJ Zahner
Doctor Emma Kerr had no right counseling them. Adopted and her birth records lost, she believed she was born a McKinney. Her face, intelligence, and depression resembled theirs. For years people mistook her for their sister. So she devised a plan. What begins as a scheme to counsel the McKinney family and determine if they are blood relatives, quickly causes Emma to wonder if she had truly done the manipulating. Is someone following her?
Blood on the Chesapeake by Randy Overbeck
Wilshire, Maryland, a quaint shore town on the Chesapeake, promises Darrell Henshaw a new start in life and a second chance at love. That is, until he learns the town hides an ugly secret. A thirty-year-old murder in the high school. And a frightening ghost stalking his new office. Burned by an earlier encounter with the spirit world, Darrell doesn’t want to get involved, but when the desperate ghost hounds him, he concedes. Assisted by his new love, he follows a trail that leads to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, when two locals who try to help are murdered, Darrell is forced to decide if he’s willing to risk his life—and the life of the woman he loves—to expose the killers of a young man he never knew.
Lily White in Detroit by Cynthia Harrison
Private investigator Lily White has a client with a faulty moral compass. When the client is arrested for murdering his wife and her alleged lover, Lily follows her intuition and her own leads. If she’s wrong, she’ll at least know she did her job.
Detroit police detective Derrick Paxton remembers Lily from another case. He understands she suffers from PTSD and thinks her judgment is impaired. He goes after her client and the evidence he needs to close the case. When Lily is kidnapped, the case takes an unexpected turn.
Before We Fade Away by June Summers
Horrific, recurring nightmares are making Danielle Reynolds’ life miserable. Losing sleep and falling grades lead her to seek help from her college counselor, a psychologist, and against her better judgment, a psychic medium. To her amazement, she discovers her dead grandfather is trying to contact her to prove his innocence in the murders of the Cunningham family on Halloween night back in 1971. Turning to the police, she convinces a handsome young officer to reopen the murder investigation.
A Season for Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio
Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the body of golden girl, Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside Gilda’s office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation. When three more dead blondes turn up, all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders.