Cozy Wednesday with Nancy J. Parra – Author of Engaged in Murder (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!!

Nancy J. Parra is my guest today and I am so excited about her brand new series!!


Summer Escape

Hi- thanks to Lori for having me on the blog today. She is featuring escapes on her blog this summer. Like most of you, my childhood escapes were in books. I remember reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “The Long Winter” in the middle of an un air-conditioned summer and still shivering from the cold. You know you have great writing when that happens.

DSC00311If you follow me on Facebook you know I travel a lot for my day job. But my favorite escape is to Upper Peninsula of Michigan where my parents have a small house on a lake. It is quiet and calm. The air is fresh and smells of trees and the coolness that can be found in the great white north. My mother says they are rich because they get to live in such a beautiful place. In the morning we drink coffee and listen to the loons call from across the lake. I tease my dad that he is an “Old Poop” like Henry Fonda from “On Golden Pond.”

In truth my parents try to lure me up there for good as a perfect writer’s retreat, but I am so spoiled. The internet in the north is spotty at best. Cellphone reception is best up the hill, across the street and on top of a very large rock in the middle of the woods.  (Okay, truthfully, they discovered that there is a new cell tower by the lake so you can also go down to the laIMG_20131013_142249_720ke and get good reception.) Meanwhile, I am hooked on social media and stopping to do an internet search for research on a story point the moment it comes to me. Things that can’t be done easily there.

We won’t talk about the fact that this January my parents lived in the coldest place On the planet – based on statistical norms. It was even colder than both poles. Then the snow was well over the top of the cars-and that wasn’t the plowed drifts that was simply what fell from the sky. I think I’ll keep my escapes to the better weather months.DSC00324

In my opinion, if you live in a place you can no longer use it to escape.  At least that is what I learned in my twenties when I lived on a tropical pacific island for 18 months.  That completely ruined me for places like Hawaii.

Engaged in Murder coverMy books are all based on places I’ve lived. This month’s release-Engaged in Murder , book 1 in the Perfect Proposal series from Berkley is set in the Chicago, Illinois suburbs. Close enough to the big city to enjoy the museums and night life and theaters. Except that our heroine,  Pepper Pomeroy,  is far too busy building her new business and sleuthing out dead bodies to even think about nightlife.  Murder Gone A RyecoverToni Holmes, lead in the Gluten free “Baker’s Treat” Mystery Series from Berkley, lives in small town Kansas where the locals know everything about everyone and the kids cruise Central for their nightly entertainment. Last of all is Allie McMurphy, of the Candy-To Fudge or not to fudgeCoated Mystery Series set on Mackinac Island Michigan. Mackinac is one of the best treasures in the USA. It is a small island that time forgot as cars are not allowed. People get around by foot, or bicycle or horse drawn carriage. The tourists come for the quaint Victorian summer homes, the genteel perfection of the manicured grounds and the world’s best fudge.

I wouldn’t  trade any of the settings as they all bring me back to a time and a place that tugs at my heart and I hope you find the communities and the stories a wonderful  escape.  Of the three settings, which is your favorite?

Happy Reading!


About This Author
Nancy J. Parra’s discovered she had a severe gluten allergy and had to give up her second favorite passed-time, baking. Six months into her forced new diet, she was back in the kitchen figuring out how to make her own gluten-free baked goods and soon posted delicious pictures on the web. When a good friend suggested she mix her two loves-baking and writing, she wrote her first cozy mystery, Gluten for Punishment (A Baker’s Treat Mystery), was released in 2013 and Murder Gone A-Rye was released May 6, 2014.

On a happy roll, she soon sold a Mackinac Island Fudge Shop mystery series. All Fudged Up was released in 2013. To Fudge or Not to Fudge will be out September 2.

Engaged in Murderthe first in a Brand New Series by set in the Chicago Suburbs featuring a wedding proposal event planner turned amateur sleuth.  Available now!!

With an MA in Writing Popular Fiction, Ms. Parra has written articles on writing, and has given workshops on writing techniques to various library and writers groups.

Visit her website at for more information, a list of her books and full reviews.

She can also be found on:
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Engaged in Murder cover
Engaged in Murder
(Perfect Proposals Mystery)

A Brand New Cozy Mystery Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (June 3, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270356
E-Book File Size: 2527 KB


There’s no planning for murder…

Pepper Pomeroy has found herself unemployed after being let go from her job as an event planner. Her sister’s boyfriend, Warren, asks her to help him plan the perfect way to propose to her sister. It just another event. She can handle this, no problem. She does such a great job he tells her she should open her own business. When he tells her this he doesn’t know about the drunk guy she found in the bathroom, who wasn’t so much drunk as he was dead. Or does he?? Before that marriage takes place Pepper needs to be sure her sister isn’t marrying a murderer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pepper is a fantastic protag, red unruly hair, a little jealous of her sister’s life, but she is an independent, creative woman determined to get her life back on track. Even if she has to solve a murder while she does it. She does put herself in a few dangerous situations.

I really enjoyed the relationship she has with her parents and her sister. They are a typical mid-western family. Her parents want to help Pepper get her business going even offering her old room back and half of another room for an office. They also want to pay for her sister Felecity’s engagement party. Pepper handles her parents offers perfectly.

The mystery was well plotted as well. It really kept me guessing and when the clues started to come together I didn’t think there were enough pages left to solve it. I almost thought we were going to have a cliffhanger. Thank you Nancy for not doing that to us.

This is a truly awesome start to a new cozy series. I could actual picture in my mind the entire story and I can imagine the plethora of directions Parra can take us with Pepper and her family.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

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.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Leave a comment for Nancy for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End June 25, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”

37 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Nancy J. Parra – Author of Engaged in Murder (Giveaway too!)

  1. Nancy, love your Baker’s Treat series. Just read your first candy-coated mystery and enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one in September. And, yes, Engaged in Murder is going on my TBR list which is out of control. Thanks for giveaway chance.

  2. We drove across the Mackinac Bridge so I’m sure that would be my favorite. I’m going to try to read all of the first one’s in those three series. I have Gluten for Punishment and a grandson who is Celiac, so will start with that one.

  3. I’ve always wanted to go to Mackinac Island. Especially after the book and movie SOMEWHERE IN TIME. You’d think living in NE Indiana, I would’ve mad it by now!! 🙂
    All three books sound good. 😉

  4. I’m looking forward to reading this one. Mackinac Island is on my ‘must see’ places.

  5. I have been to, or lived near, many of your places. It’s fun to know the place where the action is taking place. Thanks for the memories.

  6. Putting all these delightful cozies on my tbr list. Love the pictures of the lake – sounds like a wonderful retreat.

  7. You are a new author to me. Looking forward to reading your books.
    Enjoyed your interview.

  8. I look forward to reading Engaged in Murder and the next Fudge Shop book. I enjoyed the first book very much.

  9. Ooooh, they all look like great series! I’m definitely adding all of them to my TBR pile!!

  10. Hi Nancy, I have Murder Gone A-Rye in my TBR box, and I’ve read and enjoyed your fudge series first book.. I’d love to own this new series also and hope that I get lucky today.

  11. I have to say Mackinac Island sounds wonderful, my brother visited there years ago and loved it, I’ve always wanted to go…someday. 🙂

  12. How exciting to get to travel like you do and your parents home sounds absolutely lovely.
    I haven’t read your books, yet. I’m looking forward to reading it soon.
    Thanks 🙂

  13. I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book for months! Can’t wait to read it.

  14. I am originally from Michigan, so I understand your love for it. I was keeping up with the winter this year and the icing of the Lakes. Amazing. Hopefully everyone benefits from all that ice. I love mysteries and this is the perfect time of year for cozies.

  15. Hi Nancy! I’m always up for a new-to-me cozy series. Thank you for offering up one that sounds delightful!

  16. I can’t wait to read this- being a redhead from the Chicago suburbs myself, I can identify with the main character!

  17. i like reading books that are based in places i have lived too. I used to live in suburbs of Chicago. i liked the sound of this relationships are great.

  18. I love trying new series and the cover looks great! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  19. Hi Nancy, you asked which of the three settings would be my favorite. I would say Mackinac Island. I loved the concept of no cars and the slower pace. Of course I loved eating the fudge. Beautiful area to visit. Thank you for the giveaway.

  20. I think the Mackinac Island setting sounds nice. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  21. I love the sounds of this book, and the pretty cover. I haven’t read any books by this author yet, so I’d love to try this one. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  22. I haven’t read any of your books yet but I love the cozy mysteries and am always excited to find new authors! Can’t wait to read your books! Thanks for the post.

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