Mar 162016

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Kristi Abbott visit with us today!

kristi abbott from FBGuest Post by Kristi Abbott
(Post provided by publicist)

When my editor at Berkley first talked to me about writing the Popcorn Shop Mystery series, I was thrilled. I developed a thing for Garrett’s Caramel Cashew Popcorn when I lived in Chicago about a bazillion years ago. That stuff was like crack. One taste and I could not stop. Writing about a gourmet popcorn shop felt like a totally natural fit. Besides, who doesn’t like popcorn?

kernel of truthSome books are just easier to write than others. They flow easier. The words bring you more joy. The plot naturally evolves in a way that’s both inevitable and surprising. It’s kind of like having an easy baby. You’re never sure what special alchemy occurred to have a book that is a joy to sit down to every day any more than you really know what made that kid sleep through the night at six months. Kernel of Truth was one of those good-sleeping babies.

So far so great. Delicious popcorn. A book that’s flowing from my fingers into my laptop via my keyboard (an external one since I sort of accidentally poured ice water on my computer, but that’s another story). My editor sent the back cover copy. It was, in a word, adorable. Things were bursting. Problems were being resolved in a jiffy. Suspects were popping up. And recipes were included!

I wrote to my editor telling her how much I loved the copy and asking who worked up the recipes. She wrote back that she was pretty sure we’d talked about that way back when we were discussing the contract and I was supposed to be coming up with recipes. Once she said that, it did ring a bell. Thanks tons, middle-aged brain.

Cue panic mode. In the book, Rebecca had developed all kinds of special popcorn products like popcorn breakfast bars and popcorn fudge. Everyone loves them. Now I had to make them a reality. Really?

To say my first attempts were less than stellar is a bit of an understatement. My breakfast bars were more oozy breakfast lumps. The popcorn fudge wasn’t bad. I mean, how far wrong can you go with sweet and salty together? Not far in my book or in my life. Still, the chocolate was a little too stiff and the popcorn got a tiny bit soggy.

Enter my good friend and amazing author, the lovely Spring Warren who is not only a good cook, but understands the science of how food works. There was a bad moment when she asked me what I was using to hold the breakfast bars together and nearly choked when I told her marshmallow crème. Apparently, marshmallow crème is not considered to be a healthy part of a balanced breakfast. Who knew?

Spring, being the fabulous friend that she is, spent about four hours in my kitchen one afternoon and by the end of it, I had the recipes for Kernel of Truth. They were edible and replicable. I even shipped some off to my kids in care packages. Of course, twenty-year-old boys will eat pretty much anything, but they were still well-received.

I have at least two more popcorn books to write. That means I need somewhere between six and ten new recipes. Anybody have any favorite popcorn recipes they want to share? You’ll totally get a shout out in the acknowledgments of the next book if I use them!


You can find out more about Kristi on her webpage here. Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Contact her here with recipes 🙂

kernel of truth

Kernel of Truth:
A Popcorn Shop Mystery
Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Catherine Deeter
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280911
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores


An all-new Popcorn Shop Mystery bursts on the scene, featuring gourmet popcorn entrepreneur Rebecca Anderson and her poodle Sprocket.

Opening a gourmet popcorn shop was never on Rebecca Anderson’s bucket list. But after a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she’s ready for her life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket to start a new business—naturally called POPS. As a delicious bonus, Cordelia “Coco” Bittles, a close family friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca, owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking of combining their businesses.

But when Coco’s niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but Rebecca isn’t so sure. As suspects start popping up all over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring the killer to justice in a jiffy!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Warning – pop some popcorn before you start reading this story. You are going to want to be munching as you read.

POPS is the newest shop in Grand Lake, right next to Coco’s Cocoas. In fact Coco and Rebecca have found they work pretty well together and are planning a new venture. That is until Coco is found dead in her shop. Robbery gone wrong, Rebecca doesn’t think so. She starts popping up all over town trying to prove it was murder and will bag the killer herself if she has to.

What a great idea for a mystery series. A Popcorn Shop with a peppy protagonist and a poodle named Sprocket, yes a poodle.

Kristi Abbott is off to a fantastic start. I was sad that our victim was Coco though, she seemed like a grand lady. Everyone loved her and her fudge, who would want her dead? Surprisingly there are plenty of suspects if Sheriff Cooper would open his eyes. He is Rebecca’s best friend and he is married to her sister, he can’t seriously think she had anything to do with the murder?

I liked all of these characters, Rebecca really pops off the page. She has escaped a bad marriage and is putting herself first for a change. I love the way she stands up to her ex. She has been friends with Dan forever and is thrilled he married her sister.  She lives on their property and they have dinner together often. It is hard when he has to keep the case confidential and Rebecca keeps butting in where she shouldn’t. This family dynamic pulls us right into the story.

The mystery is very believable too and well written. A little predictable but the “why” was something that was not what I thought at all. There were several twists that made me think maybe I was wrong along the way. There is a surprising secret revealed when Rebecca rushes into a situation that was so not what she thought at all that put me back on the main track.

The story has just the start of a romance and I was happy that it is starting slow. I think Rebecca needs some time for just herself.

Bottom line, this is a charming start to what I hope becomes a long running series. The theme is unique and the characters are fresh and I hope to pop in for another visit very soon.

enjoyable 2016


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.

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

Leave a comment for Kristi 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 March 30, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
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 Kristi Abbott – Author of Kernel of Truth – #Giveaway too!”

  1. I really loved the story about the recipes! This was a great interview. Thanks for sharing. I have this book on my wish list.

  2. Great interview, really like the sound of this new cozy series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. A shop devoted to popcorn only sounds like an interesting background for a new series. Thanks for the review and the giveaway.

  4. I am looking forward to becoming familiar with your series. Living in Ohio it is always fun to read books set in Ohio. I’m not sure if you are aware of the various popcorn shops located in or near Cleveland, OH. In the West Side Market in Cleveland there is Campbell’s. They not only sell excellent popcorn but chocolates and cupcakes. Then there is Ellie’s who have popcorn, ice cream and the best looking Belgian waffles that they gussy up to taste like a S’more. Hope I’m fortunate enough to win your book so I can get a’cracking on it.

  5. This book is one I can’t wait to read, your mystery books are amazing, Thanks for this chance.

  6. Thanks for this captivating and delightful cozy.

  7. love a good mystery.

  8. I sooooo want to read this new book!!! It’s on all of my wish lists and I can’t wait to get to it!

  9. Looks like a great new series. Thank you for the giveaway!

  10. I like my popcorn with a splash of Tabasco, with butter, too, is nice but I try to resist that addition.

  11. Sounds like a great read.

  12. I enjoyed reading about cooking with popcorn first attempts. Popcorn fudge sounds really delicious. I don’t know any popcorn recipes, but I know one that may be good with popcorn — caramel brownies ~

  13. This would be a great book to add to my cozy challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  14. Great interview! I can’t wait to read this book.

  15. I love the sound of this one, I can’t wait to see what recipes you came up with. 🙂

  16. Thanks for another book for my tbr pile. It sounds great! I don’t mess around a lot with popcorn recipes, but love popcorn, so I am going to have to try some. I am always looking for a new snack and as a boy scout mom, I always have popcorn. =)

  17. This sounslikethe cutest series!!! Can hardly wait to read!!!!!! follo and shred Facebook and Twitter

  18. Oh, my!!! Sounds like a fabulous start to a wonderful series! Recipes are the icing on the cake, or should I say the butter on the popcorn!!

  19. I love the theme of this book….hmmmm popcorn and murder! Yeah!

  20. If you would like a recipe for carmel popcorn, let me know. I think I know where it is.

  21. I am really excited about this book! You are a new author to me and I love popcorn! I loved your interview we love popcorn with garlic salt and parmesan cheese!

  22. Another series that I’ll have to add to my list!

  23. I can’t wait to read this. The cover is cute and the story sounds great

  24. I love the idea of this series and can’t wait to start ot. Thanks for the contest.

  25. This sounds like a delicious new cozy series! I can’t wait to read it.

  26. I’m looking forward to reading this one!

  27. I wish there was a popcorn store around here. That would be a fun place to visit. I’d love to read your book since there isn’t and pretend.

  28. Thank you for the chance to win!


  30. I love a good mystery, and since it’s set in my home state, that’s a bonus.

  31. Am most interested in reading this book by Kristi Abbott. Have not yet had the pleasure of reading one in her series. the synopsis looks most interesting Love the cover. So am hoping to read it sooner rather than later

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