Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to welcome Cynthia Baxter to Escape With Dollycas!
Confessions of an Ice Cream Addict
By Cynthia Baxter
In some ways, I’m a shining example of self-control. When it comes to what I call “real food,” I’ve pretty much got it down.
Breakfast is coffee sweetened with chemicals and lightened with milk that has apparently undergone liposuction. I check off the boxes on a few important food groups with cottage cheese smeared on whole-grain organic crackers made with chia seeds, pomegranate seeds, acai berries, and a few other foods I never even knew existed until a few years ago. I know they’re healthy because they have the texture of roofing shingles.
Lunch is similarly wholesome, hitting the most admirable of the food groups: fruits and vegetables.
But then comes three o’clock.
Ever since elementary school, three o’clock has been synonymous with Afternoon Snack. The idea of being rewarded with a treat at that hour is as ingrained in me as the necessity of pushing in my chair and walking, not running, in the hall.
In adult life, the Afternoon Snack takes on the form of a coffee break. And no one appreciates the value of a mid-day hit of caffeine as much as I do.
Yet as wonderful as coffee is, it’s not actually food. You need something to go with it. And there are plenty of choices. Cookies, cake, pie, scones, biscotti . . . if it’s made with butter and sugar, I’m all for it.
But none of those possibilities compare with ice cream. Not only is ice cream as an Afternoon Snack fabulous on its own, which is good news for anyone who isn’t a caffeine addict like me; it also goes great with coffee.
To me, ice cream is the perfect food. It’s a little bit sweet, a whole lot creamy, and has enough flavor to keep your taste buds humming without overwhelming them.
And the varieties are endless. Gone is the time that chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry monopolized supermarkets’ ice cream freezers, along with coffee and butter pecan for more adventurous types. These days, there are more flavors available to us than there are cable channels. Flavors that until recently were as unknown to us as chia seeds are now sold at ice cream shops everywhere. Ingredients like lavender, olive oil, salt, and honey have pushed aside more commonplace competitors like cocoa beans and strawberries.
And just think about all the positive associations that we developed in childhood! Birthday celebrations? That means cake and ice cream, right? When I was growing up, that was the whole point of birthdays, even more important than new roller skates or a trip to Six Flags. Fourth of July and summer vacations? Ice cream cones melting in the hot summer sun are as much a part of them as fireworks and sand in your underpants.
Then there’s ice cream’s healing properties. Every woman knows that the cure for a bad breakup is a pint of ice cream, ideally eaten straight out of the container.
Given ice cream’s importance, I’ve decided that there’s no reason not to eat some every day. It’s just too tasty and too satisfying to do without.
In fact, I think of enjoying ice cream every day as a way of holding a private little celebration. I consider it as much a part of everyday life as brushing my teeth and checking my phone at least a thousand times a day. Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Substitute “ice cream” for the name of that fine city and you’ve got my personal philosophy in a nutshell. Or a cone.
Thank you, Cynthia, for visiting today! Your book is a real treat!
Murder with a Cherry on Top (A Lickety Splits Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Kindle ASIN: B073NN1PMQ
Kate McKay had doubts about swapping her high-powered life in Manhattan for Wolfert’s Roost, the quaint Hudson Valley village where she grew up. But when she moves back to care for her ailing grandmother, Kate decides to start fresh and indulge her dream of running an ice cream shop. All goes smoothly—until she’s reunited with old acquaintances nuttier than a vat of rocky road . . .
Kate should be thrilled about opening Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe in the heart of town. Instead her spirits melt like soft serve in the summer when she learns that her childhood frenemy, Ashley Winthrop, has started selling frozen treats in the bakery across the street. Turns out, Ashley hasn’t sweetened since high school. And, once again, she’s game for some very unfriendly competition . . .
But before Ashley can kill Kate’s new business, someone kills Ashley—stabbing her to death inside the bakery. Worse, the murder occurs right after the two rivals drew crowds with a heated argument, leaving half of Wolfert’s Roost speculating that Kate was finally pushed over the edge . . .
With rumors swirling and her reputation in serious trouble, Kate is determined to get the real scoop on the crime—even if it means joining forces with a former flame. As she pieces together clues to a chilling scandal, Kate soon realizes that she’ll need way more than a sprinkle of wit if she wants to expose the killer and live to see another sundae . . .
Includes mouthwatering ice cream recipes from the Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and Cynthia Baxter has scooped up a tasty mystery for us readers to enjoy!!
Kate McKay has returned to Wolfert’s Roost to take care of her grandmother and to follow her dream of opening an ice cream shoppe. Lickety Splits has a prime location but it is directly across the street from a bakery owned by Ashley Winthrop, a woman Kate knew in school and wishes she could just avoid. When Ashley becomes her competition by selling ice cream Kate has no choice but to confront her. Their argument was loud and very public with no clear resolution until Ashley is found stabbed to death in her bakery. Katy wishes she could have frozen time, back before the war of words. Things really start to melt she becomes the prime suspect. To make things even chillier, her old high school boyfriend comes to her rescue. Maybe together they can clear her name before her dream is crushed and her ice cream shoppe is just a memory.
This series is off to a delicious start!
Kate McKay is so dedicated to getting her business up and running. She has created unique ice cream combinations that will keep her customers coming back for more. I wish the book came with free samples. Her friend Willow has been helping out but she really needs a full-time person. Her niece, Emma, arrives looking for a job at the perfect time. Plus she can move in to help with grams. We also meet others from Kate’s past including her high school boyfriend, Jake Pratt. They haven’t seen each other since he failed to pick her up on prom night. Their reunion is pretty icy. These characters are all very interesting and we are just getting to know them.
The author’s descriptive writing style really drew me into the store. Descriptions of Grams Victorian home and Kate shop made me feel like I was right on the scene. The descriptions of the ice cream flavors, sundaes, and other treats had me practically drooling. It also lent well as Kate went around asking questions, trying to find the real killer. It was very easy to visualize everyone she talked to and where they were. The mystery portion of the story wrapped up in a way I was not expecting and was surprised by who the real criminal turned out to be.
I love ice cream so this theme is one I am excited about. Cynthia Baxter has peaked my curiosity with this first installment. I can’t wait for the next Lickety Splits Mystery!
About the Author
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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.”