Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy when Laura Bradford stops by for a visit!
By Laura Bradford
(Post provided by Publicist)
When I was a little girl, I was mesmerized by the power of the magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. I even remember imagining what it would be like to have magic beans in my pocket.
So it’s kind of ironic that not too many years later, I’d be bitten by the writing bug. You see for me, writing books is a lot like having a pocketful of magic beans. When you pull them out and look at them, they look like regular ordinary beans. But when you plant them in the ground, they become so much more.
Looking back at the twenty plus novels I’ve written, each one has been born from a single bean—something that I heard or saw or learned that perked up my ears. Sometimes, that bean is really small—a quick fact gleamed on a tour, or a character quirk observed while out and about in everyday life. But small or not, it always sets my plotting wheels in motion.
That’s what happened when, in the fall of 2014, I headed to Lancaster County, PA for my annual research trip. I was exploring the Amish countryside as I always do—taking tours, visiting Amish-owned shops, and chatting with the Amish, when I stumbled across a new-to-me fact I’d not learned during my previous trips…
When it comes time for the Amish to purchases a horse, more times than not they look to retired Standardbred racehorses. Trotters are particularly appealing to the Amish because of the horse’s experience pulling a sulky. These horses are disciplined and can transition well to pulling the family’s buggy.
Suddenly, I had a bean that I wanted in my pocket. I didn’t yet know if it would prove to be magic or not, but I knew it was worth exploring.
Armed with that single bean, I reached out to a reader I know who also happens to own racehorses. Over the next week or so, I fired countless racehorse-related questions at this woman. I didn’t know what I was looking for, specifically, but I knew that as I broadened my knowledge, there was potential to add to that original bean.
The next thing I knew, I had a grieving racehorse owner, a dead farmer, missing money, and an unknown person preying on Heavenly, Pennsylvania’s Amish community for the latest installment in my Amish Mysteries, A CHURN FOR THE WORSE.
Trust me when I say this is a “beanstalk” worth climbing!
About This Author
Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey) is the author of several mystery series and a handful of romance novels. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, playing games, and catching up with friends. In addition to the Amish Mysteries, Laura also writes the Jenkins & Burns mysteries, the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (as Elizabeth Lynn Casey), and the upcoming Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries (Éclair and Present Danger, Book # 1, will debut in June).
A Churn for the Worse:
An Amish Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley Prime Crime (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Mary Anne Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00Z8VTJ8U
The national bestselling author of Suspendered Sentence returns to Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly and Detective Jakob Fisher must put on their thinking kapps to solve a string of robberies and a murder in the Amish community…
When an Amish farmer is found dead in his barn, his family accepts his death as God’s will. But Detective Jakob Fisher knows the farmer didn’t hit himself in the head with the shovel lying beside his body. And when it comes to light that a stranger appeared at the farmer’s home and now money is missing from their milk can, Fisher suspects robbery as the motive—especially when another Amish family is victimized.
Getting to the truth proves difficult, however, since Fisher has two strikes against him in the eyes of the Amish—his chosen career, and the Amish roots he left behind. Desperate to stop a murderous thief, Fisher turns to Heavenly Treasures shop owner Claire Weatherly for help. The trust she’s earned from the Amish community enables her to go where the detective cannot—straight into the path of a killer…
Another Heavenly trip to Heavenly! Laura Bradford continues to give us wonderful stories starring some of the most engaging cozy characters. When I pick up one of her mysteries it is like wrapping myself in a warm cozy blanket.
Claire Weatherly is in love and not only with Jakob Fisher. She loves this town, her work, and all the heartwarming people of Heavenly. Her greatest wish is to bring Jakob and his family together again after they have shunned him when he decided to become a law enforcement officer after he had been baptized. She pushes the boundaries to help him have contact with them while trying not break the rules of the Amish.
This time an Amish farmer has been killed and no one calls the authorities. “God’s Will”. Money goes missing, no one reports it. The man seemed “kind”. Well word gets back to Claire and she is sure to let Jakob knows what is going on. But will he be able to help if none of the Amish will talk to him? Claire does her best to keep her ears open and Jakob tries to get the Amish to understand he just wants to help. There is also a strong subplot that ties together a missing racehorse and the horses the Amish purchase to pull their buggies.
I love the way Claire and Jakob’s relationship is evolving. The pace has been perfect. They have built a trust working together, become friends and have now moved to courting. The author continues to nurture these characters in a delightful way.
I enjoyed learning about the horses too. I never really thought about the horses pulling the buggies and now it makes perfect sense. It is easy to see Ms. Bradford thoroughly researched this aspect to her story.
They main mystery in the story has someone preying on the local Amish community. It has to be someone familiar with their ways and traditions. We are given several suspects and a lot of different diversions as we try to solve the mystery right along with Jakob and Claire. I was totally wrong and surprised.
I loved this story and I love this series. Laura Bradford has churned up another captivating cozy for us to enjoy. Don’t hold your horses, race right out to get this one today.
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.
This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas
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Contest Will End March 23, 2016 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.
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.”