Monday, November 24, 2014

"Knot in My Backyard" by Mary Marks

I was lucky enough to receive and advance copy of "Knot in My Backyard" from Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review BUT I was already a big fan after Mary's wonderful first book "Forget Me Knot." So what's Mary Marks' new book about?

Baseball may be America's official pastime, but for Martha Rose and her friends, quilting is far more fun...and a lot less dangerous.
A diamond brocade pattern is more quilter Martha Rose's style than a baseball diamond--especially when it comes to the new eyesore of a stadium ruining her lovely San Fernando Valley neighborhood. Martha doesn't know a bunt from a bundt cake, but when she stumbles upon the battered body of baseball coach Dax Martin, she doesn't need a scorecard to know it's foul play. LAPD homicide detective Arlo Beavers is convinced one of her neighbors is responsible. But Martha and her fellow quilters Lucy and Birdie soon discover a whole field of suspects who might have wanted to take the coach out of the game permanently...

When Martha Rose stumbles across a dead body while on a walk one day as part of her latest weight loss plan, she stets off a chain of events that involves a group of homeless people, a motorcycle gang, and a giant of a man she refers to as a golem. Martha is a middle-aged, down to earth character who is thrust into several situations her conscience can't let her back out of and she is determined to discover who killed the baseball coach - in spite of the advice of her boyfriend Arlo Beavers. While she doesn't always make the safest decisions, Martha pokes her nose into a few dangerous situations and is lucky there is always someone there to save her.

Not being Jewish, I found I did stumble over some of the words Ms. Marks uses, but the charm and "homey" sense of the novel made it work and answered any questions I may have had. "Knot in My Backyard" neatly answers the question of who killed Dax Martin, but it also leaves us with a graceful lead in to Ms. Marks' next book to find out what will happen next in Martha Rose's romantic life.

You can find "Knot in My Backyard" on Amazon. Simply click on the book title!


Find more books by Mary Marks here.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 2014 Round Robin Blog Fest



Welcome back to another episode of the Round Robin Blog Fest!! This month's topic is:

What is your favorite food or meal?

Hmmm....this wasn't an easy one. I love all kinds of food, except cabbage rolls, I don't like cabbage rolls. (Sorry, Mom.)
When I think about foods that mean a lot to me, the two tops are my favorite Christmas treats: Gingerbread and Baked Caramel Corn. YUM! There is a good reason why I only make them to enjoy at Christmas and give most of it away. I've discovered it's the one treat a lot of my friends won't make since it is a finicky recipe, but they all love receiving along with both gingerbread and peppermint cookies. Yes, my house smells amazing around this time of year!
My late mother-in-law came across this recipe long before my kids were born and it quickly became a family favorite. Sweet and crunchy--especially when you add nuts!--as the cookbook says "WARNING - it's addictive!" Many a waistband has exploded after consuming copious quantities of the stuff!

I do hope you'll try my recipe. Make sure to follow the directions carefully, the caramel has to be just right or it won't work.
Baked Caramel Corn

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
6 quarts popped corn

Preheat oven to 250F (120C)
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.
Bring to a boil for 5 minutes (this is the finicky part!!) DO NOT STIR!
Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.
Put popped corn in a well-greased roaster. 
Gradually pour syrup over, stir well and bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Happy Munching!!

Still hungry? Why don't we go over and see what Beverley Bateman enjoys to eat?
And if you have a large appetite, drop on by the other authors in the Round Robin Blog Fest to see what they like to munch...

Skye Taylor:  http://skye-writer.com/
Ginger Simpson:  http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax:  http://helenafairfax.com/

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Death of a Jaded Samurai Available Nov 3 2014


I am so excited to announce the release of my new novel DEATH OF A JADED SAMURAI
November 3!

Gilda Wright thinks she's landed a dream job managing a karate school. Sure, her boss, Sensei Mick Williams, is almost as demanding as he is sexy, but Gilda is inspired by the strength of people around her and hopes to absorb some of that into her own life. But when Gilda finds the body of one of the instructors laying in the dojo with a sword though his chest, suddenly she must find her own inner strength and fast! The police see everyone as a suspect, including her boss, and it's up to Gilda to find out what really happened. She follows the clues of the missing scroll of the Four Possessions of the Samurai down a deadly path filled with lies, deceit, and poisoned ninja stars! If she doesn't watch her step, she just may become the killer's next sparring partner.

To order your copy today, go to: http://www.gemmahalliday.com/Halliday_Publishing/ourauthors/Diane_Bator/