BLOG TOUR – Bamboozled – REVIEW & AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Welcome! I apologize as this is very late going up, but I am hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Bamboozled, the second book in the Mah Jongg Mystery series by Barbara Barrett. I will have an author interview below the review for your reading pleasure as well.

About the Book

Bamboozled (The Mah Jongg Mysteries)
Cozy Mysteries
2nd in Series
Self Published (April 3, 2018)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1948532037
Digital ASIN: B07C9CLL4R

Purchase Links: AmazonB&N

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Synopsis

Essential oils distributor Dorcas Wiley is the boss everyone loves to hate. So when she turns up dead, killed by her own trophy, disgruntled saleswoman Cathy Broderick is the obvious suspect in her murder. Despite opportunity, motive and incriminating evidence, Cathy declares her innocence and enlists her mah jongg pals—Sydney Bonner and her cronies Marianne, Micki and Kat—to help save her from the death penalty.

Hot off a recent and nearly deadly investigation, the women are cautious about putting themselves in peril again. Syd’s spouse isn’t thrilled about another mystery in their lives, either, but he can’t resist the plea of Cathy’s husband. Soon, Syd is leading the way as they tangle with grumpy salespeople, the victim’s estranged husband and boyfriend, a mysterious housekeeper, a litigious customer, an annoyed sheriff and Cathy’s own arrogant lawyer.

The women have their own issues to deal with in their central Florida town of Serendipity Springs. Kat faces a health challenge, Micki fields a mysterious inquiry from her ex, Marianne has a chaotic anniversary and Syd wrestles with her husband over who’s really in charge. But nothing puts everyday life into perspective like the moment when their investigation brings them face to face with danger.

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Review – 4 out of 5 stars

This second book in the Mah Jongg Mystery series is a fun read!  I’m still enjoying the characters and the setting. The characters are quirky, well-developed and just fun!

I had a little difficulty getting into the storyline this time. I’m not sure why, but I did. Once I got into the book though, I couldn’t put it down!  Definitely as good as the first, maybe even a little better.

I do recommend starting with the first book in the series, Craks in a Marriage if you want to read the series, but all in all it’s a great book!

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Author Interview

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Q1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?  Do you enjoy your day job?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: Although I started writing several years ago when I was employed full-time as a human resources analyst, I’m now retired, and my days are my own. When I was employed, I very much enjoyed my job.


Q2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: I am usually engaged in some way in my writing career from around ten in the morning to mid-evening, although I take many breaks and a good share of my writing time is devoted to promoting my books. I usually have no set number of pages to write per day, unless I’m nearing a self-imposed deadline. I don’t play music; instead, I have the television on as background noise. Terrible habit, but it began when I was in high school, and I’ve never broken it.


Q3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reins” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: On occasion my characters have seized the story for themselves. I never intended for one of the four characters in my Mah Jongg Mystery series, Katrina Faulkner, to be a blossoming lounge singer, but when I was drafting the first book, Craks in a Marriage, she seemed to grab the microphone from me and run with it. I found I loved the contrast of her introverted persona by day with her more flamboyant songstress personality by night.

I don’t start out by just writing, nor do I outline before I start a new story. Instead, I focus on what my characters want to accomplish, why that is important and what is keeping them from meeting their goals. I try to work out this framework before I write “Chapter One,” but sometimes I get impatient to try out my ideas. Once I’ve completed the first draft, I go through the story and do a scene-by-scene analysis. When it is finished, I review it for holes in the story or the logic. At that point, I might do a very rough outline of what yet needs to be done.

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Q4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: By the time I started writing (contemporary romance novels), there was so much competition at the large print publishing houses, an unpublished author needed an agent to get her work seen, or she had to final in a writing contest. I spent several years attempting to get an agent and to have my work seen by editors. I lost track of the rejections, because I thought keeping count would only frustrate me. My break came when digital publishing emerged. New digital publishers were seeking inventory, and I was lucky enough to attract their attention. Six years ago, I received my first offer. I published eight books (two stand-alones and two three-book series) with one publisher before I self-published three contemporary romances last summer. I recently added cozy mysteries to my repertoire. Since I was now familiar with indie publishing, they, too, are self-published.


Q5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

I generally go through at least three revisions: the first a thorough line-by-line read-through, the second checking for spelling, logic, and redoing phrasing to read better, and the third a sort of catch-all. I don’t have a beta team. Instead, my editor does content and line editing, and she does a second edit once I’ve addressed her comments. I set the draft aside while she’s editing and work on other projects, but she’s fast, so I don’t have much time for the manuscript to gel in my mind.


Q6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: In Bamboozled, the villain is the victim, so there wasn’t much time to develop her before I knocked her off. The more challenging task was to develop plausible reasons why each suspect wanted to kill her without revealing too much about the real killer.

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Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional? 

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: So far, I have used the names of two friends in my books although the characters aren’t based on them. I’ve been playing mah jongg for over nine years. In that time, I’ve played with numerous individuals who would make great characters in the mah jongg mystery series, but I’ve made a conscious effort not to base any character on a specific person, as I’d like to still keep playing with them and keep them as friends. My characters and the mah jongg scenes depicted in my books are an amalgamation of my experience and my imagination. A few fellow mah jongg players have read the books, anxious whether they have been portrayed; I think they may actually have been disappointed not to find themselves, although there might have been hell to pay if they did.


Q8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: Although I have a Master’s Degree in American History, I have deliberately steered clear of writing historical pieces because I haven’t been ready to do the research necessary to lend them the credibility I feel they’d need. But should the mood strike me at some point, I’d like to write about the women in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (later the WACs) who trained at Fort Des Moines in my home state of Iowa in 1942. I regret that the idea did not occur to me when I was doing original research for my thesis at Drake University.


Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: I’m in two book clubs. Most of the books I’ve read have been our monthly selections. So far this year, these have included The Woman in Cabin 10, Run, Hillbilly Elegy and Little Fires Everywhere. I liked them all but especially Run and Little Fires Everywhere. I am currently reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah about the wilds of Alaska, since we are taking an Alaskan cruise in June. After that, I want to get back to mysteries, starting with Glass Houses by Louise Penny. I met her recently at the Malice Domestic 30 conference in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: Years ago, when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life, I read Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, M.D. The book focuses on the role self-image has in helping or hindering someone achieve their goals. I haven’t gone back to the book since, but some of those concepts still reside in my brain and influence my actions. In the seventies, I read Shana by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Until then, I dismissed romance novels as “those books” my mom read. But the emotional tug of this book got me interested in writing romance. (I debated whether to mention the Bible, because I thought everyone must mention it. But after I got this far, I realized I couldn’t finish without adding it to the list. It also has influenced my life.)


Q11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: It would probably be Micki Demetrius. She’s a former English teacher from a boarding school back east now turned freelance writer in her retirement. She’s the first one to see shopping as the panacea for any ailment or difficulty. She’s also much brighter than she realizes. She would keep me entertained.


Q12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?

Ms. Barrett’s Answer: I try not to but sometimes I can’t resist. Though it wasn’t all bad, one didn’t feel there was enough passion between my hero and heroine, that there wasn’t enough depth to their relationship. Though that goal is always on my mind when writing a romance, that opinion sticks with me and prompts me to go deeper with each new couple.

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Thanks for joining me today. I do apologize for how late I was in getting this up. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below and visit the main tour page.

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BLOG TOUR – Shadow Dancing – GUEST POST

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Welcome! Today, I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Shadow Dancing by Julie Mulhern.  Julie has been gracious to provide a guest post with an excerpt from the book, so all information about the book, including purchase links and a Rafflecopter giveaway will be below the guest post!

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Guest Post by Julie Mulhern

What is funny?

To me, funny is Tim Conway with Harvey Korman in a dentist’s chair. Funny is physical and clever and the spectator at the US Open who yelled, “Dilly, dilly!” when Dustin Johnson teed off.

Anyone who’s ever had a pet knows funny. Given enough time, the disaster stories (chewed handbags and shoes, chewed drywall, chewed couches) turn into comedy. That time the dog flooded the guest bathroom? Hilarious. That time the dog had to go to the vet three times in one week? Funniest story ever.

For Ellison, Max the dastardly dog brings the funny.

An excerpt from Shadow Dancing:

Max slipped through the opening and stood in the driveway laughing at us. Ha! said his doggy smile. Just try and catch me.

I might—might—have been able to lure him inside with the promise of a dog biscuit, that or a turkey club sandwich with extra bacon, but Max spotted a squirrel.

Sadly, the squirrel did not spot Max.

Max’s jaws missed the squirrel’s tail by less than a quarter of an inch.

The panicked animal ran and Max followed.

“Max!”

Max ignored me.

The squirrel cut across my yard and ran into my neighbor’s lawn. My evil neighbor’s lawn. Margaret Hamilton was a witch of the flew-a-broomstick-at-midnight, stirred-a-cauldron, had-warts-on-her-chin (not really) variety. And she did not like my dog.

“Max!”

Intent on the chase, he didn’t even turn his head.

And the squirrel? Why was it ignoring a perfectly good oak tree?

It was unfortunate (but not surprising) that Margaret chose that moment to step outside. She possessed some kind of witchy internal radar that alerted her when any member of my household so much as touched a blade of her grass.

It was even more unfortunate that, having made the decision to scowl at me from her front steps, she didn’t close her door behind her.

Most unfortunate of all was the squirrel dashing between her legs and into her house.

No. That’s wrong. MOST unfortunate was the fact that my dog followed the squirrel—through Margaret’s legs and into her home.

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About the Book


Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Henery Press (June 19, 2018)
Print Length: 210 pages
Digital ASIN: B07BMJM89K

Purchase Links: Amazon – B&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Synopsis

Visiting a psychic is outside the norm for Ellison Russell. Finding bodies is not. Unfortunately, the psychic’s crystal ball says she’ll soon be surrounded by death. Again. Drat.

Now there’s a corpse in the front drive, a witchy neighbor ready to turn Ellison and her (not so) little dog into toadstools, and a stripper named Starry Knight occupying the guest room.

How did 1975 go so wrong so quickly?

Ellison must handle Mother (who’s found a body of her own), make up with a certain handsome detective, and catch a killer, or the death surrounding her might be her own.

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About the Author

– Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Author Links

Website – www.juliemulhernauthor.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/juliekmulhern/?ref=hl

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKMulhern

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573907.Julie_Mulhern

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BLOG TOUR – As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles – REVIEW

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, the fifth in the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery series by Leslie Budewitz.

About the Book

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752419
Digital ASIN: B075W25FNF

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself—alive till Christmas?

In Jewel Bay, all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily has turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Includes delicious recipes!

Review – 4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed this latest installment in the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. It’s always fun to return to Jewel Bay and visit the characters there and this book was no exception!

It’s Christmas and this year is extra special because Erin and Adam are getting married on Christmas Eve!

Our victim, Merrily, seemed like a sweet girl. It’s too bad she and Erin won’t be able to be friends. But alas, someone has to be the victim.

The plot was great and kept me guessing. I wondered about the villain, but I was never sure until it was revealed!

I do wish there’d been a little more about the wedding, but all in all it was another fun adventure in Jewel Bay!

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About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter

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BLOG TOUR – The Spook in the Stacks – REVIEW

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for The Spook in the Stacks, the fourth book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates aka Vicki Delany. I was so excited for this book to come out! After the series was cancelled, there was seemingly very little hope, but Ms. Delany was able to get the rights to the series from the old publisher and found a new home with Crooked Lane publishers! I’ve been looking forward to this one since she made the announcement over a year ago!

About the Book

The Spook in the Stacks: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (June 12, 2018)
Hardcover: 250 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315803
Digital ASIN: B075QJ59PX

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

Halloween in North Carolina’s Outer Banks becomes seriously tricky when librarian Lucy Richardson stumbles across something extra unusual in the rare books section: a dead body.

Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce. Unfortunately, while the library is hosting a lecture on ghostly legends, Jay becomes one of the dearly departed in the rare books section. Now, it’s up to Lucy Richardson and her fellow librarians to bone up on their detective skills and discover who is responsible for this wicked Halloween homicide.

Meanwhile, very strange things are happening at the library―haunted horses are materializing in the marsh, the lights seem to have an eerie life of their own, and the tiny crew of a model ship appears to move around when no one is watching. Is Lucy at her wit’s end? Or can it be that the Bodie Island Lighthouse really is haunted?

With The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on everyone’s minds and ghoulish gossip on everyone’s lips, Lucy will need to separate the clues from the boos if she wants to crack this case without losing her head in The Spook in the Stacks, the delightful fourth in national bestseller Eva Gates’ Lighthouse Library mysteries.

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Review – 4.5 out of 5 stars

This installment of the Lighthouse Library Mystery series was worth the wait! It was wonderful.

I love the main characters anyway. They’re all very well-developed and well-rounded. It’s like reading about old friends each time I pick up one of these books. I love cozy mysteries, but there are only a handful of series that I will re-read. This series is one of them!

The plot this time around was great. There were plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing about who the villain really was. I did not figure it out ahead of time this time around, which is great. It’s always more fun when I do not figure out who is the villain!

If you wish to read this series, I suggest starting with the first book in the series, By Book or By CrookYou can read any of the books by themselves but the interpersonal relationships will make more sense if you start from the beginning!

Check out this and the rest of the Lighthouse Library Mystery series and enjoy!

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About the Author

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany @evagatesauthor

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BLOG TOUR – A Deadly Eclair – GUEST POST & REVIEW

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Welcome!!! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for the paperback release of A Deadly Eclair by Daryl Wood Gerber, the first in the French Bistro Mystery series. It’s a great book! Daryl Wood Gerber has written a guest post for us today and then you’ll find my review underneath, along with the information about the book and the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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Guest Post – Daryl Wood Gerber

Hi, all! I’m so happy to be on the Great Escapes Tour. I’d like to share some of my favorite recipes from A Deadly Éclair, the 1st French Bistro Mystery. It came out in  hardcover in November, but I’m excited to say it’s out in trade paperback as of June 12. Yay!  And the second in the series, A Soufflé of Suspicion, comes out July 10!

Well, this is one of my favorite cookies recipes. Madeleines – just the name is pretty. It’s simple to make yet so elegant because of the cookie’s shape. Perfect for afternoon tea. Do you love a nice cuppa?  When I read, I do. Making these cookies does require a madeleine pan. I purchased one online at Amazon that worked beautifully.

 Why am I sharing two versions of this recipe? Because one is a gluten-free version, and I like my fellow celiacs to enjoy as much as they can. Not surprisingly, that set of cookies turned out as moist and delicious as the regular version; however, one of the tricks to keeping them that way is to individually wrap the cookies in plastic wrap and store in a sealed bag or canister.

Note:   Good quality honey matters! Cardamom has its own unique flavor, so you’ll want to use it if you can. If you don’t have it in stock, don’t despair. You can mix equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg to enhance the cookie flavor.

Enjoy the recipe, and please tell a friend about A Deadly Éclair and the giveaway for this tour!

Madeleines

Orange Cardamom Madeleines
(Makes 12)

For the cookies:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

For the glaze:

  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Brush molds of a madeleine pan with butter; set aside.
  • Make the batter: Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in honey and vanilla. Let cool 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees, setting the rack in the center.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and eggs. Gently fold in the flour mixture until combined. Add the butter mixture and fold until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared madeleine pan, filling each mold halfway. Tap pan on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. If necessary, use moistened fingers to press the batter into the mold.
  • Bake until cookies have puffed and the edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the madeleine pan to a wire rack; let the cookies cool slightly. Unmold the cookies onto a rack, and let cool completely.

Make the orange glaze:

  • In a small bowl, stir together sugar and orange zest and juice until the glaze is smooth and thick. Using a small pastry brush, paint the ridged side of each cookie with the glaze. Let set 15 minutes.

Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Orange Cardamom Madeleines
Gluten-free Version
(Makes 12)

For the cookies:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sweet rice flour (or a gluten-free blend you enjoy)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

 

For the glaze:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Brush molds of a madeleine pan with butter; set aside.
  • Make the batter: Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in honey and vanilla. Let cool 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk gluten-free flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and xanthan gum; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees, setting the rack in the center.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and eggs. Gently fold in the gluten-free flour mixture until combined. Add the butter mixture and fold until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared madeleine pan, filling each mold halfway. Tap pan on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. If necessary, use moistened fingers to press the batter into the mold.
  • Bake until cookies have puffed and the edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the madeleine pan to a wire rack; let the cookies cool slightly. Unmold the cookies onto a rack, and let cool completely.

Make the orange glaze:

  • In a small bowl, stir together sugar and orange zest and juice until the glaze is smooth and thick. Using a small pastry brush, paint the ridged side of each cookie with the glaze. Let set 15 minutes.

Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container up to 3 days.

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About the Book

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Crooked Lane Books (June 12, 2018)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683316046
Kindle ASIN: B06XWDWRLF

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

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Review

I think this is a great start to the series and I enjoyed it. I did have a little trouble getting into it, but once it caught my attention, I couldn’t put it down.

Our main character, Mimi, is great. She’s well-rounded, complex, and fun to read about. Her sidekicks, Heather, Jo, and Raymond are all great too. In fact, I almost like Heather and Raymond more than Mimi. Almost. 🙂

The setting descriptions were great, which I’ve come to expect from this author. She usually has a good balance of details and leaving some things to the imagination. I’m totally in love with the fact that the inn and gardens are based on Monet’s house in Giverny. Visiting Giverny is on my bucket list of “someday I’ll get there”. 🙂

The plot line was well done and well-written. I didn’t know who the villain was until very close to when they revealed it, which is always great in a mystery! I like mysteries that keep me guessing. 🙂

I really enjoyed this book. It didn’t quite have enough sparkle and pizzazz to put it over the top into a 5 star book, and it did take me a bit to get into it, but it’s a solid 4 out of 5 stars and I definitely recommend it for those who love cozies and/or other books by Daryl Wood Gerber! Enjoy it!

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About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog Avery’s Blog Mystery Lover’s Kitchen Killer Characters

Facebook: Daryl Avery Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads: Daryl Wood Gerber Avery Aames

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DEADLY ECLAIR TP BANNER 184