New Country Store Mystery by Maddie Day with Character Interview: Biscuits and Slashed Browns

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Enter to win a print copy of Biscuits


For country-store owner Robbie Jordan, the National Maple Syrup Festival is a sweet escape from late-winter in South Lick, Indiana—until murder saps the life out of the celebration . . .As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans ‘N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes—and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur’s knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her winning maple biscuits to search for answers. But can she help police crack the case before another victim is caught in a sticky situation with a killer?


Character Interview: Robbie Jordan

Robbie, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers something about yourself? 
First let me thank you for giving me this opportunity to chat here! Well, I’m Robbie Jordan and I’m pleased to meet you all. I’m in my late twenties, and the owner and head chef at Pans ‘N Pancakes, my country store restaurant. Did you know I am a California girl? I’ve lived in southern Indiana for almost five years now, but I confess to missing the beaches of Santa Barbara and the smell of orange blossoms in the air in the winter. On the other hand, I’ve made a home for myself in small town South Lick and my country store has become a community gathering place, which was my dream for it.

Who’s your favorite other character in Biscuits and Slashed Browns? 
I love hanging out with my Aunt Adele. She’s over seventy and going strong. She’s opinionated, competent, and caring. She lives on her sheep farm, but was formerly the mayor of South Lick and the fire chief before that. And can she ever bake bread!

Anyone you don’t get along with so well?
I’ve had my share of conflicts with state police detective Oscar Thompson. He doesn’t like the fact that sometimes I’ve figured out who the murderer is before he has. He’s good at his job but isn’t much of a people person. But we’re starting to work out our differences.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
Maddie/Edith? She loves writing fiction, I’ll say that much for her. She’s at her desk writing by seven in the morning six days a week. She’s a pretty good cook, too, and loves gardening in the summer. She’d never be able to keep up with me on a bicycle, though – she says she doesn’t like riding uphill.

Robbie, what’s next for you?
I’m excited to be finishing my new bed and breakfast rooms upstairs, and that my father and his wife will be visiting from Italy in June! They’ll be my first guests, and my author says you can read about what happens in Death Over Easy, which will be out in late July.


About The Author

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she write the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at http://www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every week day with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.

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Interview: Amanda Flower, author of The Final Tap

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March on Barton Farm can only mean one thing: maple sugar season.

 


To combat the winter slump, resilient director Kelsey Cambridge organizes a Maple Sugar Festival, complete with school visits, pancake breakfasts, and tree tapping classes. Kelsey hires curmudgeonly maple sugar expert Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the classes, despite misgivings over his unpleasant demeanor. It’s a decision she ends up regretting when, before the first tree can be tapped for sap, Dr. Beeson turns up dead.The maple sugar expert’s death threatens to shut down not only the Maple Sugar Festival, but also Barton Farm itself. Kelsey must solve Dr. Beeson’s murder to escape the increasingly sticky situation.


 Q: Amanda, welcome back to Island Confidential! Re-introduce us to your protagonist, Kelsey Cambridge.

A: Kelsey Cambridge is a historian and the director of Barton Farm, a living history museum located in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley. The Farm is struggling to stay afloat, and Kelsey will do whatever it takes to keep it open even hosting big events, like the Maple Sugar Festival, that get her into a lot of hot water. She is also divorced and a single mom of a precocious five-year-old boy named Hayden.
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Q: How much of you is in Kelsey? How would you feel about her if you met her in real life?

A: There is always a little bit of me in all my protagonists. In the case of Kelsey, I love history like she does, and I worked a living history museum when I was in college. I knew then that it would make a great setting for a mystery novel. If I met Kelsey, I know that we would be friends. We have the same sense of humor. However in a lot of ways, I’m more like her best friend Laura Fellow than I’m like Kelsey herself.

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

A: My characters definitely change as a series goes on. In the case of Kelsey, she’s healing from a messy divorce and is wondering if she will ever be able to trust another man again.

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

A: Yes, I’m not saying who.

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

A: The setting is based on a real living history museum in Ohio, so the setting is close to fact. I took liberties in the way Barton Farm is owned and operated and how much freedom Kelsey as the director has. She needs freedom to sleuth. I don’t think the director of an actual living history museum could get away with as much as she does.

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

A: Kelsey Cambridge—Olivia Wilde; Chase Wyatt—Chris Pratt; Detective Brandon—Christina Hendricks; Gavin Elliot—Andrew Garfield.

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

A: The best advice was from the very talented Heather Webber who also writes as Heather Blake. She told me once many years ago. “Always be writing something new.” She said this because the publishing industry changes so rapidly you need to have something ready in order to adapt to those changes.

The worst advice was from a well-meaning high school English teacher who told me not major in English in college because I would never find a job. I changed my major three times my freshman year because of that one comment, but in the end, I majored in English because I wanted to write and knew that degree was going to help me achieve my dream. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to him.

Q: Where can readers follow you? 

A: My main website is amandaflower.com, and you can follow me on Facebook,Twitter , Goodreads Pinterest, or  Instagram.


 

 

About The Author  

Amanda Flower  is an academic librarian and the Agatha Award-nominated author of Maid of Murder, the Appleseed Creek Mysteries, and the India Hayes Mysteries. She also writes the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries under the name Isabella Alan.


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