Apr 192017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Jenn McKinlay stop by today.
Her latest Cupcake Bakery Mystery was released April 4!!

 

Where do your characters come from? Are they really you?
by Jenn McKinlay
(Post Provided by Publicist)

 

I get this question a lot. I mean a lot. Here’s the short answer – No, they aren’t me. I mean, I don’t think they’re me. Maybe just parts of me? When I step back and look at the characters in the cupcake bakery mystery series, I see glimmers of myself in all of them. So, I suppose it’s sort of like your children, you know, when you don’t see yourself in them but people keep telling you that the toddler — usually, when he’s screaming his head off — looks just like you. Um…thanks?

Melanie Cooper the chief baker of Fairy Tale Cupcakes is tall, okay, that’s me, blond, nope, not me, and very self-conscious, ha, totally not me. Her partner in baked goods, Angie DeLaura, is short, nope, not me, Italian, sadly, not me, and has a wicked temper as is evidenced if you mess with the people she cares about, okay, there I am! And then there’s Tate Harper, their male counterpart. Tate is brilliant in business, laughably no, not me. He’s level-headed and reasonable, okay, sometimes I can pull that off with three days warning and lots of practice. And he’s a dude, nope, not me.

Moving on to the entourage of side characters in the cupcake bakery series, there’s octogenarian Marty, who is a cranky curmudgeon. I am working my way there in another forty years or so. Marty is my hero! And there’s Oz, a young Hispanic skater dude and wannabe chef. We do share a love of the Ramones, skateboards, and baked goods, so while Oz is not me, he clearly is my people.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret. The bad people and the victims in my books are usually loosely based on people I do not like. They may be the jerk who cheated on my friend, the woman who slept through the green arrow when I was in a hurry, the boss I did not enjoy working for back when I had a real job, or the news story that caught my attention about a reprehensible human who was cruel to an animal who I desperately want to slap until my arm gives out…ahem. So, that’s the birth place of the bad people.

And lastly, how do I come up with what my characters look like? Magazines. Mel and Angie in particular came off the cover of Prevention Magazine back when I was working as a librarian at the Scottsdale Hospital and cobbling together the very first proposal for Sprinkle with Murder. I was doing some reference work for a doctor on bone spurs and my mind wandered — it happens — and I started thinking about what those two cupcake bakers would look like when I glanced down at Prevention Magazine and there they were on the cover. Yes, sometimes it is just that easy.

So, that’s the long answer to the question of whether my characters are me. I guess I have to change my original answer. In a way, they are all me but they are also all of the people in my life, good and bad. The shenanigans my people get up to are frequently turned into something the characters in the books would do. And sometimes when I meet a particularly interesting person, I take their whole backstory and use it for a character or two or three. I believe the moral of this tale is be careful what you say and do around a writer because you just might find yourself in a book. Pro tip: You don’t want to be the dead guy.

And now, here’s a brief description of the next cupcake bakery mystery Caramel Crush so you see what the crazy crew is up to this time. Who knows? You may see someone you know it there!

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…

Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as bridezilla Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

Thanks for letting me visit! Happy Reading!

~Jenn

Thank you Jenn for visiting today.  Caramel Cupcakes for everyone!! Well virtual ones anyway! Enjoy!! 

 

Caramel Crush
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Arizona
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583810
Kindle ASIN: B01J2STXDU

 

 

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…
 
Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

INCLUDES SCRUMPTIOUS RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay absolutely crushed this mystery! It just became my favorite in this series!

Angie is planning the “perfect” wedding and Mel, Tate, Marty and Oz are paying the price as she turns into a classic bridezilla, complete with breakdowns and blowups. Can they survive 3 more months? To add to the drama a college friend of Mel’s would like her to make a special cupcake delivery. Diane Earnest, has had enough of her fiancé and she is breaking up with him by sending him cupcakes and has asked Mel to use her phone to catch his reaction. Sadly his reaction time is pretty slow because when she finds him he is dead. Again, Mel is in the wrong place at the wrong time and becomes a suspect. She starts investigating to get herself out of this sticky situation all the while being the best maid of honor possible.

These characters always make me smile. The dialogue cracks me up because they all talk just the way I talk to my friends, sarcastic, blunt, zany, but always caring when they need to be. This is a group that would be fun to be part of. I love the different stages of romance. Angie and Tate, but mostly Angie, planning their wedding. “Dear Joe” and Mel’s relationship is moving in the right direction. Even Marty and Olivia trying to live together. There is never a dull moment.

Mel’s old roommate, Diane, is holding something from the past over Mel’s head, telling Mel she “owes her”. Diane is one pushy woman and because of the way Mel reacted to her constant requests I knew it had to be something major. Diane was that character that you really don’t like but she needs to be there to make the story work and push it forward. You know, the character you love to hate. She does help us learn about Mel’s past.

The story has a few very suspense filled moments but they are tempered with humor. I was laughing out loud numerous times. The pace was very quick and I think this was the fastest I have read a book in a long time. I was engaged and excited to see how it all played out.

Then in Jenn McKinlay style she wraps up one mystery and teases us with just enough for the next book to really whet our appetite. With a little taste (an excerpt) of what is to come and a title like Wedding Cake Crumble, I can only imagine what she has in store for these wonderful characters.  I know we will probably have to wait until next April to find out but I know it will be worth the wait!

Every book in this series is a must read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Library Lover’s Mysteries

Check Out Her New Romance Series

Click on covers to order from Amazon.
Click here to see more books by Jenn McKinlay.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Contest Will End May 3, 2017 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.”

  32 Responses to “Cozy Wednesday with Jenn McKinlay – Author of Caramel Crush #Review / #Giveaway / #GuestPost @BerkleyMystery”

  1. Funny interview! I haven’t read this author before; I can’t wait to try her books.

  2. I like the hat shop series. This cupcake series is worth a read.

  3. I love mysteries when they iinvolve a wedding. The cupcake series is a great read.

  4. This sounds like a fun series, which I’d love to read.

  5. I’d love to read the book. The title already has my taste buds working!

  6. Love this series! Next on my list to be read.

  7. One of my favorite series!

  8. Sounds like a great series. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  9. I so want to read this book it sounds like a wonderful mystery! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  10. Thanks for this captivating feature and giveaway

  11. Great review, I love this series I’m looking forward to this one. thanks
    Penney

  12. Always love a good mystery.

  13. Sounds like a great cozy.

  14. Your books are all wonderful — I can’t wait to read Caramel Crush!

  15. I love Jenn’s books!! The library series is my fav, and then the cupcake bakery series

  16. I love this series, what am I saying, I love all her series. Love hearing how characters come to be. It amazes me how writer’s can keep them separate with individual traits.

  17. Looks like a fun book! Thank you for the contest!

  18. Love this series! Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. I love this series. I’m a few books behind, I will need to catch up quick.

  20. I’m looking forward to the mystery—and the recipes.

  21. Love your books. Count the days to a new title.

  22. Really like Jenn’s series and looking forward to this most recent addition.

  23. I love this series, it is one of my favorites. I’m really looking forward to reading “Carmel Crush”.

  24. Loved the review and have read everything by Jenn Mckinlay.

  25. Have enjoyed all the titles in this series and can’t wait to read this book.

  26. You must have a wild, and wandering imagination. I guess that’s fun. At least more fun than my linear one. Even with that, it’s not very good. Your book sounds terrific.

  27. I love the recipes included in this series. Thank you for sharing how you get your ideas and your characters, especially the bad guys.

  28. Can we jump into the series at random? For readers who haven’t read the other Cupcake Bakery stories are they standalones?

  29. Fun stories and absolutely love the covers. Thanks for the chance to win.

  30. I love all the different series that this author does. Thanks for the great post & giveaway!

  31. I am just starting this series and I would love to win a copy! Thanks for the chance to win!

  32. absolutely love everything this author has written!!

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