Oct 212015
cozy wednesday 2013 640
Amanda Flower, I mean Isabella Alan is here today,
well they both are!!

Can you tell I am excited??
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday and WELCOME ISABELLA!!

Amanda Flower photo

October to Remember
Amanda Flower / Isabella Alan


October is here! It seems that I have been preparing for this October for a long time. By a complicated turn of events, I have three books releasing this month from three different publishers. Of course, they are all mystery (that’s my thing), but they are all very different books too. I thought it would be fun to tell you why I’m excited about each one and why each book is special to me.

MURDER PLAINLY READThe first of these is Murder, Plainly Read, the fourth novel in the USA Today Bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series, which I write as Isabella Alan. In this mystery, my protagonist is solving a murder committed on a library bookmobile. In addition to being a mystery author, I’m a librarian. For a long time, I’ve wanted to mix my two occupations into an Amish mystery. The start of this novel really began when I was invited to do a ride along in the Holmes County District Library’s bookmobile a few summers back. The bookmobile services mostly Amish patrons, and as an undercover librarian on the bookmobile, I was able to see how important the library is to the Amish community in the county. I knew the moment that I stepped on the bookmobile I was going to have to set a mystery on one. I even told the library director so.

The second book is Andi Unstoppable, the third middle grade mystery in the Agatha Award-nominated Andi Boggs Series. This book was so much to fun to write because I got the idea from my brother. My 12 year old sleuths, Andi and Colin, solve a ghost story while on a birding assignment for their science class. Yep, you read that right, a birding assignment. My brother is an avid birder. He’s always on the lookout for new birds to see and will travel great distances to see one he’s never spotted before. I wanted to share a little bit of my brother’s birding culture (because it is truly a culture of its own) with the world. I thought it would be most fun in children’s book, and I threw in the ghost story because kids like ghosts, right?

The third and final book is Amish Christmas at North Star. WaterBrook/Multnomah, which is an imprint of Random House, was putting together an Amish Christmas novella collection and asked me if I wanted to join the authors Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark, and Katie Ganshert in writing it. They are all great authors, so I jumped at the chance. However, I wasn’t sure how it would work out since they were all romance authors and I am a mystery author.

On a conference call with the three other authors and my editor for this project most of the talk was about the romance for the four novellas, which made me even more nervous. I enjoy reading romances. Some of my best friends are romance authors, but I wasn’t prepared to try my hand on one with so many big time romance authors in the collection. When there was a lag in the conversation, I interjected, “Can I kill somebody?”

I don’t know what the other authors thought, but the editor responded immediately. “Of course, we want a mystery from you. You can kill someone.”

What a relief that was to hear.

I’m so excited to share all three of these stories with readers, and even though they are different stories set in different worlds with different characters, they still very much my stories. So as usual readers can expect witty dialogue, hijinks, and lots of fun!


Amanda Flower, a three time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes as USA Today Bestselling Author Isabella Alan.

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MURDER PLAINLY READMurder, Plainly Read:
An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

Cozy Mystery
4th Book in Series
Setting – Ohio
An Obsidian Mystery (October 6, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451475022



In the latest from the author of Murder, Served Simply, an Amish man checks out permanently, but quilt shop owner Angie Braddock’s got this mystery covered…

With so much to do between running her shop and spending time with her new boyfriend, it’s amazing Angie is able to help organize the Rolling Brook library’s annual book sale. Luckily she’s working alongside brash librarian Austina Shaker, a lady who isn’t afraid to make waves to get books to her patrons—even the Amish. Unfortunately, this draws the ire of cranky Bartholomew Beiler, an Old Order Amish bishop, who publicly vows to ruin Austina.

And she certainly might be ruined after Belier is found dead in her bookmobile. Now Angie must employ the help of her loyal quilting circle—as well as her beloved French bulldog, Oliver—if she hopes to prove Austina’s innocence before the real killer books it…


Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have loved this series from the very beginning. Murder, Plainly Read is an excellent addition.

Angie is involved in not only the Rolling Brook library’s annual book sale but the grand opening of The Miller’s Amish Pie factory’s as well. She also needs to run her own quilt shop. Thankfully she has good help there because when Bartholomew Beiler is found dead in the bookmobile and Austina Shaker, the bookmobile librarian, is charged with his murder she has to add FIND THE REAL MURDERER to her long list of Things To Do!

Because Angie’s aunt married an Amish man she is a little more accepted in the Amish community than most Englischers. Not by all but many of them welcome her into their homes and businesses. Bartholomew Beiler is the bishop for an Old Order Amish sect and they are not as open or welcoming even when Angie explains that she is trying to help them.  These characters are so well written and so real. It is so interesting getting to know all of them. I enjoyed the new characters and my favorites were all back too, including a certain goat that has stolen my heart.

Angie jumps into solving the mystery with both feet and we get to tag along right with her. She does raise my blood pressure when she follows the clues and puts herself and her bulldog Oliver in peril. The author has stitched together quite a mystery. She not only keeps the reader guessing until the final reveal but has us in stitches with some delightful humor too.

I read this book at in one sitting. The was no way I could put it down. Now I am excited for Murder, Handcrafted coming this summer.

a perfect escape



Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Isabella for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 4, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  31 Responses to “Cozy Wednesday with Isabella Alan – Author of Murder, Plainly Read – #Giveaway”

  1. Great series, Thanks for the review.

  2. This was a great interview and review. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. Murder, Plainly Read sounds like a book I will enjoy reading, and the cover is delightful! Thank you for the review and giveaway.

  4. Love the series, thanks for the chance 🙂

  5. Love this series! Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower can guarantee her readers a fun read. Her books are as sparkling and adventurous as she is. I can’t wait to get this latest one and devour it. robeader53@yahoo.com

  7. How did I miss this series…must look for #1.

  8. This book sounds like a a good cozy! I’d love to read it. I’m going to have to look for more of her books as well.

  9. I’m a fan of this author and am happy to say I already own 2 books in this series. I’d love to add a third to that collection.

  10. Looking forward to reading this next in a series I enjoyed so much

  11. What a wonderful giveaway and captivating series. Thanks.

  12. Read one of her books and I am hooked.

  13. I really enjoy both Isabella’s and Amanda’s books. The new ones sound interesting can’t wait to read them

  14. Thank you for introducing me to another new author. This series sounds like one I will enjoy reading.

  15. I need to check out this series! It sound very good.

  16. Sounds like a fun read! I love Cozies!

  17. I would like to read this “Plain” cozy.

  18. I loved the comment made during the conference call about the Christmas Novella: “Can I kill somebody?” I’ve definitely have some new TBR books!

  19. I’d say this book had me hooked from the first page but I don’t want to get into any quilting puns.

  20. One of my favorite series – can’t wait!

  21. I absolutely love this series, and can’t wait to return to visit Angie, Oliver, and Petunia. This is one of the laugh-out-loud series that just makes a day so much better. Can’t wait to read it!!

  22. Thank you for the wonderful post, Lori!

  23. I love this series and am reading Murder, Plainly Read as we speak. It’s a library copy though, and I’d love to have my own copy. Thanks for the fun chance to win!

  24. Thank you Lori for having Amanda/Isabella with you today. I absolutely love Isabella’s writings! I’m anxious to read Murder, Plainly Read and am thrilled that #6 will be out this summer. Thank you for the chance to win!

  25. This sounds like a story I would enjoy.

  26. I hadn’t heard about this series–looks great. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I love this series! Lori I’m so glad you featured Amanda today.

  28. I live in a rural area—and the bookmobile is my lifeline to reading pleasure. I’d love to read this book.

  29. Books & Mysteries= YES!

  30. I have very fond memories of “bookmobiles.” Every other Friday the county bookmobile would roll up to our elementary school. The mobile librarian would always make sure the next Nancy Drew book was ready for me to enjoy. I am very interested in Isabel’s book! Thanks for hosting a great giveaway!

  31. I have not read a cozy with the Amish in it yet. It should be a very fun read. I grew up in “Amish Country” in Amherst Wisconsin. They definitely are a culturally unique group.

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