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, Celebrate Lit Tour

No Small Caper, #1 A Tiny House Mystery, by Cynthia Hickey Plus Giveaway

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About the Book 

Book: No Small Caper45452718._SX318_

Author: Cynthia Hickey

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release Date: May 3, 2019

 

“No one does a final suspense scene like Cynthia Hickey!” – Stewart Writing Services

A rash of burglaries?

What kind of job had she been hired to do?

CJ Turley is excited to begin her new life as overseer of Heavenly Acres, a tiny house community in the Ozark mountains. As she’s handed the keys to her new house, by a woman who seems far too eager to leave the job to someone else, CJ is told the community is experiencing a rash of burglaries and she should visit the nearby Park Ranger for help.

Can CJ and her new friends stop a thieving murderer before they lose something far more precious than jewels? Their life!

From first day, to spending time with handsome ranger, Eric Drake, to a cast of quirky characters who are all suspect in CJ’s mind, you’re bound for a fun, hilarious, romp in this first book of a new small town, cozy mystery series by best-selling and award-winning author.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

“It’s your job now to keep these crazies in line, Miss Turley.” Opening with this engaging first line from No Small Caper, #1 A Tiny House Mystery, Cynthia Hickey has my attention. I loved meeting Heavenly Acres’ new overseer, CJ. Young, energetic, and enthusiastic, she is unafraid of anything or anyone.

i stared at her and she stared right back both knowing the other was as fake as a glass diamond.
As CJ meets the people in the tiny home park, she attracts followers, besides her dog, Caper. There’s Mags, a crusty older lady that won’t be set on the shelf, a gorgeous hunk of a ranger, Eric, and Amanda, a nurse and possible alternate love interest for Eric. What a great concoction these four make. I am very excited to see that there are more books already published in the series. No waiting for sequels.

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I was a little confused by the number of men in the story that I couldn’t keep straight. Perhaps there could have been fewer minor characters to keep tabs on?
The ending was very satisfying. Huzzah! What I took exception to, was, murder was not the main problem being solved, as in typical cozy. Maybe this was Ms. Hickey’s way of changing the cozy formula up a bit. Definitely a fun, clean read with more sequels available immediately for the asking.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

4 Stars- Excellent – I Would Recommend

About the Author

 

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Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey has sold close to a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters, and small writer retreats. She and her husband run the small press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona and Arkansas, becoming a snowbird, with her husband and one dog. She has ten grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.

 

More from Cynthia

I’ve always been fascinated by tiny houses and love writing cozy mysteries. What’s better than a cozy mystery series in a tiny house community? Not an inch of space wasted. You’ve got to be creative with your storage. Even hiding things in the floor which occurs when CJ Turley takes over as manager of Heavenly Acres. The pup she inherited when her grandmother died has a nose for diamonds. Who’d guess there were so many places in a tiny house to stash things?

 

I don’t live in a tiny house, but my husband and I downsized from a 2100 sq. ft home to a 1,000 sq. ft. home. Guess which one we prefer? The smaller one 😊 We always know where things are, it’s easier to keep clean, and no stairs to go up and down when we forget something. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live in anything less than 400 sq. ft. if I lived alone, but it was fun to write about those who do.

 

I’ve watched so many tiny house shows, I’m pretty sure I could design one with everything I’d need. We even told our son that if he moved where we live, we’d build him one in the backyard! He wasn’t amused.

 

On a serious note, just kidding. While my cozy series have humor, they also have murder and mayhem with quirky characters and a dash of romance. I like my readers to chuckle as the characters strive to take down the culprit without too much danger to themselves.

 

Happy reading!

 

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 7

21st Century Keeper at Home, August 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, August 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 9

Genesis 5020, August 10

deb’s Book Review, August 10

She Lives To Read, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 13

Blogging With Carol , August 13

Texas Book-aholic, August 14

Inklings and notions, August 15

For Him and My Family, August 16

Mary Hake, August 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 18

CarpeDiem, August 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 and a copy of the book!!

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/ff4f/no-small-caper-celebration-tour-giveaway