New Down South Cafe Mystery and Character Interview: Silence of the Jams

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In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

silence-of-the-jamsIt’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!


Island Confidential: Aloha Amy, and welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Amy: Hi! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Amy Flowers, and I own and operate the Down South Café. We’re gearing up for Independence Day. In Winter Garden, that means a town-wide celebration! Since the café also kind of serves as a bakery—because the closest bakery outside of Winter Garden is about a twenty-minute drive away—I’ve been baking extra cakes and pies so patrons can come in and buy them for their individual celebrations. A lot of reunions take place around the time of the Winter Garden Independence Day Festival. You might not know this about me, but I love to dance. I’m not really good at it, and I prefer a nice slow dance to a fast dance, but swaying in the arms of a handsome man is just wonderful. And I know just the man I want to dance with…if he asks me to the dance, that is.

Which character in Silence of the Jams do you get along with the best?

Amy: I guess I’d have to say that the person I get along with best is my mother. She and I lived on our own for a long time—my dad left when I was just a little girl—and we’ve always gotten along really well. I think I always recognized the sacrifices she made for me, and I’ve always appreciated her. I know it takes some kids at lot longer to come to that realization than I did, but I’m glad I came to that conclusion at a young age.

Which other character do you not love so much?

Amy: Oh, my goodness! Have you got the rest of the day? George Lincoln gets on my last nerve. That man is impossible. First, George tried to get Pete Holman to sell the café to him instead of me. I didn’t have a problem with that. In fact, I encouraged Pete to get the best deal he could. But Pete knew that George was planning on tearing down the café and putting a bed and breakfast on the site, and Pete didn’t want that. He wanted something of the café his grandfather had built to remain. And so he sold it to me, and my friend Roger helped me renovate it. You’d think that would be the end of it, right? Not for George Lincoln! He still comes in two or three times a week to tell me how poorly the restaurant business is doing, what my odds of going broke are, and trying to get me to sell out to him. No matter how many times I tell him no, he just keeps on asking. If I had a parrot, all the poor bird would know how to say would be, “No, thank you, Mr. Lincoln. I’m not interested, Mr. Lincoln.”

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Gayle?

Amy: I like Gayle pretty good. But since this is just between you and me, I’ll tell you, she tends to procrastinate. You can get her off track with a single email, and she’ll neglect her work for hours. She’s like a racoon or a crow—show her something shiny, and off she goes. “Oh, my goodness,” she’ll say. “Did you see that puppy video on Facebook? Wasn’t that the cutest thing? And, I meant to get right on those edits, but then I saw a sale that just during the lunch hour. I didn’t buy anything, but you never know, right? So then I saw the Google doodle for William Shakespeare’s birthday. [Sigh] William Shakespeare…well, you can’t ever know too much about him, can you? So, I clicked through and—” And that’s when I interrupt her and say, “You know, Gayle, maybe old Bill was so prolific because he didn’t have the Internet to distract him from his work.”

What’s next for you?

Amy: Well, I love to support the local farmers in the area, and I’ve been talking with Stuart Landon about selling some of his honey on consignment in the café. I think that will be a good business decision for both of us. Don’t you?

Readers: Find out in HONEY BAKED HOMICIDE, coming in December!


About The Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


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New Tea Shop Mystery: Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy of Pekoe Most Poison<<<

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS


About the Author

laura-childs-from-facebook

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Visit Laura’s webpage or find her on Facebook.


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New Spice Shop Mystery and #Giveaway: Curried Away by Gail Oust

>>>Enter to Win a Mini Gift Box of Penzey Spices<<<
Piper Prescott, proprietor of Spice It Up!, has persuaded Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been dating, to demonstrate Indian cuisine at her shop. But before Doug’s presentation of classic chicken curry is completed, Ned Feeney, local handyman, bursts in with news of a murder.

curried-away-cover

Sandy Granger, the director of a local production of Steel Magnolias, was found strangled in the third-floor balcony of the Brandywine Creek Opera House. Sandy, it seems, had not endeared herself to cast or crew. Complaints about her ran the gamut from her management style to her lack of people skills. Everyone connected with the production falls under suspicion, including Piper Prescott’s BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, who made it well known how unhappy she is that she was cut from the cast.

When the spotlight for the dastardly deed shines on Reba Mae, Piper rushes to her friend’s defense. Who among Sandy’s detractors was angry enough to wrap a silk scarf around her neck—and pull tight? Will Piper succeed in solving the case before she becomes the killer’s encore performance? And will she ever learn just how to prepare the perfect curry? As delicious as it is charming, the latest entry in Gail Oust’s mouth-watering Spice Shop Mysteries is sure to delight both old fans and new.


Q: Reba, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Tell us a little bit about yourself—maybe something that readers might not guess.

RMJ: Hey, y’all. I’m Reba Mae Johnson, Piper Prescott’s BFF. After my husband Butch drowned during a fishin’ tournament—some say too much beer, not enough bass, but no matter, dead is dead—leavin’ me to raise twin boys, I reinvented myself. I’m the proud owner of the Klassy Kut, the best little beauty shop in Brandywine County. But what most folks don’t know is that I’m more than a pretty face. I’ve actually got a darn good head on my shoulders when it comes to business. Stay tuned. I’ve been savin’ up nickels and dimes to expand my horizons. I haven’t even breathed a word of my plans yet to Piper.

Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best?

RMJ: Like I said, Piper and I are besties and have been ever since when she moved into the house next door years ago. Both of us were new moms back then so we bonded over diaper rash and soap operas. Even after Piper moved to a bigger, grander house and joined the country club, our friendship remained unchanged. Piper’s the same gal she always was—sweet and steadfast. Why, when Butch died and I found myself up to the wazoo in debt, it was Piper who loaned me money for beauty school. She told her then-husband she’d needed the money for a tummy tuck. To this day, I don’t think CJ ever figured out her trim tummy was her own doin’ and not a plastic surgeons.

Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with?

RMJ: That’s easy. CJ Prescott, Piper’s ex, tops the list. He dumped my best friend to chase ambulances and a bimbo in a short skirt. Ask me, and I’ll tell you that makes him a fool in my book. CJ’s changed a lot over the years. I suspect he resorts to Clairol Nice ‘n Easy to keep his hair that yellow color. And his teeth are so white, it makes me want to grab my shades. But it’s his holier-than-thou attitude that really gets my goat. I’m usually not the kind to criticize, but you asked the question.

Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of Gail Oust?

RMJ: She’s a good ol’ gal—for a Yankee. Most of the time she gets things right. She might not have been born in the South, but as she said, she got here as soon as she could.

Q: What’s next for you?

RMJ: What’s next? All kinds of changes comin’ up for me in Gail’s next book, Ginger Snapped, available next December. Keep it on your radar.


About The Author

gail-oust

Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement.  While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington.  It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery.  Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL.  In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has  been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look.  Gail is currently writing the Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s.  When she isn’t reading, writing, or sleeping, she can usually be found on the golf course or hanging out with friends.

Keep up with Gail on her blog, Facebook, and Goodreads.


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A new Italian Kitchen cozy mystery: The Seven Course Christmas Killer by Rosie Genova

Culinary mystery author Rosie Genova has a new novella out just in time for Christmas!On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes. . .

the-seven-course-christmas-killer-high-res

Rosie Genova, author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, serves up a new dish this week with the release of her e-book holiday novella, The Seven Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen, only 99 cents!

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, as Vic and the gang prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for their annual holiday party. But before you can say “shrimp scampi,” Mayor Anne McCrae takes a nasty fall that may not be an accident. Add a nosy reporter, guests with grudges, and a missing kitchen knife—and Vic suddenly has all the ingredients for murder.

Italian Kitchen

The Italian Kitchen Mysteries by Rosie Genova

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.
But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .


About the author


A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for her cozy series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. Her debut, Murder and Marinara, was voted a Best Cozy of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. Her books have been described as blending “mystery with comedy, romance, family drama, a vivid and affectionate portrayal of the Jersey shore and…oh yes, cooking.”

The proud mama of three grown sons, Rosie still lives in her home state with her husband and a charming mutt named Lucy. She also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista.

Shop for the Italian Kitchen Mysteries

 


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Introducing a new culinary cozy series: The Crêpes of Wrath: A Pancake House Mystery by Sarah Fox

In the debut of a delightful cozy mystery series, Sarah Fox introduces a charming new heroine who finds herself in a sticky situation: stacking pancakes, pouring coffee, and investigating murder.

Bonus content: includes original recipes inspired by the Flip Side Pancake House menu!


When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes.

 

Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.

After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.


About The Author  

Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

Author website http://www.authorsarahfox.com/

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/authorsarahfox

Twitter: @thewritefox

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14950357.Sarah_Fox

Buy:

Penguin Random House     Amazon.com     Amazon.ca   Chapters     Barnes&Noble     Google Play


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#Giveaway and Interview: Gayle Leeson, author of The Calamity Cafe (new Southern culinary cozy series)

>>> Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card! <<<
The Calamity Cafe is the first book in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!


 

 

Q: Thanks for stopping by Island Confidential, Gayle. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Any?

A:  Amy Flowers is a young woman who has a serious goal but who doesn’t forget to have plenty of fun. She makes time for her friends and family while hoping to realize her goal of opening her own café.

Q: How much of you is in Amy?  How would you feel about her if you met her in real life?

A:  I’m sure there’s a little Amy in me, especially where she was so devoted to her grandmother who is deceased when we meet Amy. And, like Amy, I have a tendency to want to adopt and/or feed animals and people (especially children). Whenever my children were growing up, I was known for my cookies and cupcakes. Even when my son was in high school, I’d have to make and send chocolate chip cookies to his friends.

I’d love Amy if I met her in real life. I think we’d be good friends, but I’d have to avoid seeing her too often because if I didn’t, she’d feed me until I was as big as a house!

Q: Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

A:  They do. That’s something I’ve really enjoyed with other series I’ve written (the embroidery series written under the name Amanda Lee, in particular) and that I’m looking forward to exploring in the Down South Café series. I like that each individual book can be read as a standalone but that readers who start at the beginning and continue through the series can enjoy the nuances of watching the characters grow and develop.

Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean? 

A:  Oh, my goodness, I have done it! In my cake decorating mystery Battered to Death (written as Gayle Trent), I killed a man who’d been mean to my son. The man was such a jerk, and I took great joy in beating him over the head with a cake stand and then drowning him in cake batter!

Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

A:  Both. Winter Garden is a fictional town in Virginia, but it’s close to real-life towns: Glade Spring, Meadowview, Abingdon, Bristol. In fact, at my website, I’m including photograph slideshows from various regions. I only have three so far, but I’ll continue to add to it.

Q: When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

A: Maybe Emily Osmet as Amy and Robbie Amell as Ryan. They’d be so cute together. Now you’ve got me excited about this movie! Who can we call to make it happen?

Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

A:  Worst advice: “You have to move to New York or Los Angeles to make it as a writer.”

Best advice: Never give up!

 

 


 

About The Author  

 

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Author Links:

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


 

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