BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, New-to-Me Author

Cooking Up a Mystery by Gail Pallotta

About the Book

Book:  Cooking Up A Mystery

Author: Gail Pallotta

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: April 24, 2020

CookingUpAMystery website large size

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She’s on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it’s all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney’s in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There’s more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions


“He’d wrapped her in shame and disgust and tied it as tight around her as if he’d bound her to a chair. No matter how much she tried, she couldn’t untie the knots.” Laney Eskridge, the protagonist in Gail Pallotta’s Cooking Up a Mystery, is hurting from the mistreatment in her first marriage and has no time for romance as she starts her dream restaurant. When she meets recuperating college professor Eric, will she rebuff his offers of friendship and possibly more because of her past?
The novel starts off a little slowly for my liking. The action picks up about mid-book with more mystery in the restaurant itself, some of it revolving around an unseemly simple painting.
Eric sounds like a winner, yet he can’t figure out why he scares Laney off sometimes. I read this thinking, “Slow down, pal, she’s giving off signals that say not to move too fast!!” So his puzzlement eludes me.



I love a good secondary character, and George is a wonderful one! He isn’t part of the romance, but he does want to help the romance along. He will do anything within his power to help Laney and gives extra of his time and thought to help her. He is just sweet and loveable. Nominated for best secondary character.
I like that Laney spends a good deal of her time actually at her restaurant, and we see her interactions there. I always think that it is important the main character truly works the job she supposedly holds. Kudos to Pallotta here.
Overall a great read.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are solely my own. 

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Finalist. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

More from Gail

In Cooking up a Mystery running a business with no background or formal training in accounting or management overwhelms Laney, the heroine. George, her assistant, tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You … have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”

I chose the food industry for Laney, a woman entrepreneur succeeding against the odds, because I have lots of cooking experience. I learned the skill at age ten. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. My husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.

Mt first woman entrepreneur appears in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy about a hairstylist. It’s set in Eve’s Clips, a salon in Triville, a fictitious town in the North Carolina Mountains where Laney opens Laney’s Delectable Delights.

A section in the back of Cooking up a Mystery, Laney’s Chefs in the Making, features over two dozen recipes. Only Laney’s Pineapple Rice is mine. The rest are from a book, Heavenly Delights, authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love.

Laney’s Pineapple Rice

Ingredients:

Rice (can be instant, but not boil-in-the-bag)

Cooking oil or spray

One small onion (chopped thin)

Five cloves garlic (or minced gloves equaling five cloves)

One tablespoon fresh grated ginger

One cup fresh pineapple

Small amount of pineapple juice

One teaspoon sugar

One lime

Cook rice according to directions on the box, but substitute a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup pineapple juice (depending on taste) for part of the water.

Chill rice

Coat a heavy bottom skillet with oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple and sugar and stir. Add cold rice, break up, squirt with the juice of one lime and stir until heated and blended.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 9

Blogging With Carol, April 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

She Lives To Read, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 12

For Him and My Family, April 13

deb’s Book Review, April 14

Worthy2Read, April 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 17

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 19

CarpeDiem, April 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 20

April Hayman, Author, April 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 22

Labor Not in Vain, April 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gail is giving away  the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10a4e/cooking-up-a-mystery-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite

A Latte Difficulty, #3 The CafFunated Mysteries by Angela Ruth Strong

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About the Book

Title: A Latte Difficulty

Series: #3 The CafFunated Mysteries

Author: Angela Ruth Strong

Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink

Released: April 2020

Can two baristas track down a gunman after the espresso shot heard ‘round the world?

When Marissa witnesses an attempted murder during the 4th of July parade, it starts a battle for her independence. She is forced to hide out in a safehouse, leaving her co-owner, Tandy, to run their coffee shop, track down the criminal, and, worse, plan Marissa’s wedding. Thankfully Tandy has help, but can she really trust the P.I. in a bow tie, her new deaf barista who acts more like a bartender, or a wedding planner who’s keeping secrets?

The threat on Marissa’s future goes from bad to worse when her bridal gown is covered in blood. Though her fiancé, Connor, agrees to give up his identity to join her in the Witness Protection Program, Marissa refuses to wave the white flag. Instead, she enlists Tandy to help her fight for truth, justice, and the Americano way.

 

My Review

The third book in the CafFUNated Mysteries, A Latté Difficulty, by Angela Ruth Strong, is a cozy winner. It is time for an extended celebration of the Fourth of July in the small town of Grace Springs. If you have read the first two novels in the series, you will welcome back old friends Marissa and Tandy, owners of the Caffeine Conundrum, and their boyfriends, Connor and Greg. While Marissa is in the throes of planning her perfect wedding, their frenemy, Randon, is attacked in their shop and his computer stolen. 
We see a bit more of sweet Billie and her rich, but rough-around-the-edges businessman boyfriend whose company becomes embroiled in ransomware, possibly involving Randon. Will the new deaf ex-barista Zam be a help or a hindrance as our foursome rush to save Randon’s life and keep themselves safe from the unknown assailant(s)? 
Zam is such a fun and amazing character to add to this cozy mix. With his mad juggling skills and lip-reading abilities, Marissa and Tandy are lucky to have him on their side… unless he’s not… 

A Latte Difficulty 1


Finally… it’s taken me three books to really like Goth Tandy. But do I ever admire her quick wit in this book and ability to get herself and Marissa out of trouble on more than one occasion because of it! 
Kudos to Strong for the cross-mention of crime scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire, by Christy Barritt. Scenes like that ramp up the reading fun. 
Fun, suspense, and faith. All of these factors into this cozy. The suspense is great, but Strong makes sure to place comic relief at just the right points. The other important factor in her books is faith. The main thought here is that the fear of the Lord if understood properly, will set you free from the fear of man. Wow! 

A Latte Difficulty 2

A Latté Difficulty had twists enough that the reader may have trouble, like I did, figuring out who to trust and who to suspect, yet I was still surprised. Well done, Mrs. Strong!! 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. 

My Rating

5 Stars – Superior – Hit My Reading Sweet Spot and leaves me begging for more CafFunation!

About the Author

4746114Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. Her debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO released in 2010 to a four-star review from Romantic Times. Angela loves connecting with fans and mentoring aspiring authors, which led her to start IDAhope Writers. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and three kids.