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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Patty's Pick for 7/31/14 - "The Art of Keeping Secrets" by Patti Callahan Henry

Patti Callahan Henry gives us a story of a family trying to recover from losing their father and husband to a plane accident two years in the past. When the wreckage of plane is found, it tears open the wounds they bore from this tragedy again. As the story opens, Annabelle finds out that her husband, Knox, did not die alone. 
The effect this news has on all the characters create interesting interactions. I love southern lit and Patti Callahan Henry does it well. "The Art of Keeping Secrets" comes with complex characters and beautiful descriptions of the places which they inhabit, like the low country town of Marsh Cove.

The love story and marriage of Annabelle and Knox starts with their high school romance and continued until Knoxs' untimely death. His death sets the tone for the actions and reactions of the characters in this book. The family and friends are left to deal with this tragedy again. Annabelle must learn to really move forward and really rebuild her life that has been on hold since his disappearance. She must decide if their marriage was a sham or the true love she thought she had. 

When we find out that there was a woman with Knox on the plane who also died, this story kicks into high gear. The mystery of why she was there and who she was has the family and friends questioning if they really knew the real Knox. Who was this mystery woman and why was she on the plane?  There are quite a few secrets these characters have been keeping from each other. From Marsh Cove in South Carolina to the coastal North Carolina town of Newboro, Annabelle and her son, Jake, try to unravel the mystery of this passenger. They discover old acquaintances and develop new relationships. When the mystery of the passenger gets revealed, many lives are forever changed. The rich illustrations of the characters and locations will pull you in and hook you until the end.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Patty Pick for 7.24.14. is "Pies and Peril" by Janel Gradowski

Hope you all enjoyed the interview with Janel Gradowski last week and the introduction of her new book, "Pies & Peril" that was published on July 8th. This cozy mystery will introduce you to Janel's main character Amy  Ridley. Amy will be featured in future books that Janel has planned for The Culinary Competition Series. 

In "Pies & Peril", Amy and her best friend Carla try to figure out the mysterious death of her main competitor, Mandy Jo. Poor Mandy Jo was found dead under the pie table in the contest room. 

There have also been threats against Amy herself that grow more dangerous every day.
As these threats escalate from a rock on her deck to someone trying to run her off the road, the mystery deepens. Amy and the police work harder to uncover who is behind 
this crime wave in their small town. As we are introduced to the characters and their quaint town, you will definitely want to read more of Amy's adventures.

Janel will be including recipes and other stories with this series. Check out her website, for more information. The winner of the free ebook copy 
of "Pies and Peril" was Linda Henderson. Way to go Linda and hope you enjoy this 
adorable book as much as I did. Thank you to all who entered the contest. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blog Tour with Janel Gradowski! Her Book - "Pies & Peril" is now out!

     Today we have an interview with Janel Gradowski and she will be sharing with us how she began her writing career and about her new book series, The Culinary Competition Mystery Series. The first book, "Pies & Peril" was published on July 8th. Please comment below to this post on why you would like to read it, to be entered to win a free eBook copy! Be sure to include your email address so you can receive the book if you win!! You can post your comments until Monday, 7/20/14 at 6pm and the winner will be announced on next weeks blog with a review of the book. Definitely one you will want to put on your "To Read" List!

1) How long have you been writing and what other books/articles have you written? 

I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was in the fifth grade. I wrote a story about a talking car and my classmates asked the teacher to read it twice. I was hooked! While I have written in various forms throughout my life, from press releases for a racetrack when I was college to beadwork patterns after my children were born, I didnt seriously start writing fiction again until 2010. Then I began with flash fiction, stories that are 1,000 words or less. I have had many of those stories published since then. I have also self-published four books in two series over the last few years. Pies & Peril is the first full-length book I have written. 

2) What lead you to writing a culinary series? 

I love to cook. Many years ago I started reading Diane Mott Davidsons culinary mystery books. I was instantly hooked on the genre. Now I have a bookcase full of culinary mysteries by various authors. I also have another bookcase full of general culinary fiction books from authors like Barbara ONeal and Judi Hendricks. Its a dream come true to write and publish books in my favorite genre.

3) How many books do you have planned for the Culinary Competition Mystery Series? 

I am working on the second book right now. There will also be a short story for the series published in a holiday anthology this fall. Beyond that, who knows how far the series will go!

4) How do you develop your characters come from? 

Sometimes a character seems to develop out of thin air, but I know its just the writer in me pulling characteristics from people that Ive seen on TV or met in real life. I need a t-shirt that warns people Im a writer and that the fictional version of themselves may end up in one of my books. Common advice for writers is to write what you know. Little aspects of my life creep into my characters, like the love of cooking or a coffee obsession. Its easier to vividly describe things when you have experienced them yourself.

5) Will you be including recipes with your books? 

Yes. That is one of the things that first attracted me to culinary mysteries. After reading about delicious foods in the text, you can then make some of the dishes yourself. Soon I will also be publishing more recipes from Pies & Peril on my website.

6) Are you a GoodReads author? 

Yes, I am! You can find me here: 

7) How long did it take you to write Pies & Perils?

I didnt really keep track of how long it took, but Id say the first draft took about 2 months to write.

8) How can people buy your book? 

This page on my website lists all of the places where it can be ordered:
Janel Gradowski lives in a land that looks like a cold weather fashion accessory, the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. She is a wife and mom to two kids and one Golden Retriever. Her journey to becoming an author is littered with odd jobs like renting apartments to college students and programming commercials for an AM radio station. Somewhere along the way she also became a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking recipes found in her formidable cookbook and culinary fiction collection. Searching for unique treasures at art fairs, flea markets and thrift stores is also a favorite pastime. Coffee is an essential part of her life. She writes the Culinary Competition Mystery Series, along with The Bartonville Series (womens fiction) and the 6:1 Series (flash fiction). She has also had many short stories published in both online and print publications.

Page with book purchase links in case you would like those:

Don't forget to add your comments below so you will be entered to win the free eBook of Janel Gradowski's "Pies & Peril".

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Patty Pick for 7/10/14 is "The Blue Bistro" by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand has been very successful with her novels set in the Nantucket area. She always brings interesting characters that usually seem not to fit together. Their interactions are what make this novel blossom. When they do get together it just seems right but conflict usually follows relationships. 
In "The Blue Bistro", the setting is once again Nantucket. We meet Adrienne Dealey, in her late twenties,  fresh off of a jarring experience with a criminal boyfriend. Thatcher and his partner Fee are about to become a big part of her life. This book is a growing up story for Adrienne. She has been wondering through life trying to find her way and usually making the wrong decisions, like her last boyfriend. Actually Thatcher has some growing up to do too. 
Thatcher and Fee are at a crossroads in their lives. The restaurant that his been theirs for years is closing at the end of the summer - for good. Fee has cystic fibrosis and her health will not allow her to continue to be the chef. She and Thatcher have been friends from childhood and saying they are close is an understatement. 
As Thatcher and Adrienne become closer and Fee's health declines, they all must make a decision on the direction of their lives. We want the obvious, that Thatcher and Adrienne to be together but 
he chooses Fee. What happens before this and after this, will help Adrienne grow up and their 
choices make for great reading. A terrific summer beach read that will get your heart going. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blog Tour with Janel Gradowski in one week!!

"The Pies and Peril" author will be joining us with information on herself and her new
novel in her Culinary Mystery series! Be here on July 17th for all the fun to include a
free copy of her ebook to one lucky winner who comments on the blog!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blog Tour Date for Janel Gradowski!

Janel Gradowski is bringing her Blog Tour for "Pies & Peril" 
on July 17th. She will be sharing info on herself, the series, 
and how you can find it. She has also generously agreed 
to give away a free ebook of "Pies & Peril"! Be setting 
this date in your calendars!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blog Tour Coming!

Janel Gradowski will be joining us on July 17th on her Blog Tour for her new book - Pies & Peril ! 

We will be giving away a free ebook so look for all the details coming soon!