Welcome to the 1st Cozy Wednesday of 2016!
Today is also the last day to enter the Blogoversary Giveaways!
I am so happy to welcome Paige Shelton back to Escape With Dollycas. She has a new cozy series. The first Dangerous Type Mystery, To Helvetica and Back, was released yesterday. This series is off to a great start. Read my review after Paige’s guest post.
Potato Stamps by Paige Shelton
In my new Dangerous Type Mystery Series, Clare Henry and her grandfather, Chester, run The Rescued Word, a shop that specializes in rescuing all sorts of words. They offer services like typewriter repair and book repair. They also sell every type of pen and paper under the sun. It’s a pretty amazing place.
As I was writing the first book, TO HELVETICA AND BACK, and things like fonts and typefaces were being discussed by the characters, I had a flashback to something I’d done when I was a kid. I remembered it being a fun project and a pretty simple way to personalize paper or notecards. I had to try it again.
My memory was correct; it was simple, and pretty fun too. Potato stamps.
Start with the supplies: Potatoes of course, a knife to cut the potatoes in half, an X-acto knife, and some clay tools if you happen to have them handy. My son likes to sculpt so I borrowed a couple of his scooping tools. You’ll need something to stamp on – I used a couple of notecards. And, finally, some paint – I had some bottles of cheap acrylic.
First of all, write down the words you want to carve. Either write them backwards or on something see-though that you can turn over. You’ll need to carve everything backwards.
Commence carving. Take your time, but don’t worry too much about being even. This is fun and it’s supposed to look handmade. Nothing wrong with uneven letters or spaces. It’s a little tedious, but doesn’t take a bunch of time.
Once you’re carved, ink the potatoes and print. Really easy and fun. And I think the end result is unique and gives a nice touch to simple, plain paper.
It’s not quite printing press quality, but sometimes it’s the personal touch that matters.
Thanks for letting me post today, and see you all in the bookstores.
I remember this from my childhood, going to try it with my grandchildren 🙂
To Helvetica and Back:
A Dangerous Type Mystery
Brand New Series
Setting – Utah
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Sarah Oberrender
Cover Design by Anne Wertheim
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKMB8
The New York Times bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries introduces readers to Star City, Utah, and a little shop called the Rescued Word…
Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?
When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?
This theme is a really unique twist for a cozy series. Chester Henry owns The Rescued Word and his granddaughter Clare has been truly learning at his knee her entire life. Today they fix old typewriters, restore old books, and sell every kind of paper and pen imaginable. Set in an area of Star City, Utah, called Bygone Alley, The Rescued Word and other shops bring back the days of yesteryear. The Rescued Word also has a resident cat named Baskerville. He is a pretty temperamental feline who watches from a shelf high above the wares for sale. If he likes you he may hop down to say “hello”.
The alley is popular with both the locals and the tourists in town to hit the slopes. We meet Clare’s best friend, Jodie Wentworth, and her brother, Clare’s ex, CJ. Both are Star City police officers. We also meet local residents, Homer Mayfield, former newspaper editor and Mirabelle, typewriter owner and author. James Cassidy, who hales from my neck of the woods, is a geologist and new to Star City. He wants to get to know Clare a lot better.
This story has a stranger rush into The Rescued Word where he makes quite a scene as he insists he must have a particular typewriter, not one like it but that exact one. Clare is shaken but calling the police sends the stranger on his way. Clare is relieved until she sees something suspicious outside the back door and discovers the stranger dead as a door-nail. Did someone kill him because she failed to give him the typewriter? The story of his life came to an abrupt end, Clare is going to find out why…
These characters virtually pulled me right into this story. They are so real and fleshed out. I was engaged immediately. Everyone was so nice, I felt right at home. Chester has a secret but it is a sweet secret. Clare takes so much pride in the shop and her work and she gets excited about each new project. I love the way her romance with James is just beginning. With friends in the police department things can get sticky or helpful depending on the situation. Clare and Jodie are still finding their way.
The setting drew me in as well. I had been to Utah a couple of times several years ago. The descriptions in the book brought back memories of how beautiful things are there. Imagine living so close to the slopes that you can watch skiers from your windows or just ski from your backyeard. It would be wonderful to wake up to that day after day.
Now, the mystery was excellent, just what I expect from this author. She lays out a great base and then clues are dropped like snowflakes, you just have to catch them. Tracking down this killer is no easy task and the final reveal had me on the edge of my virtual lift chair. An epic read!
About The Author
Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”