Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Joyce Tremel – Author of A Room with a Brew – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I just love it when Joyce drops by for a visit today! 

Thanks so much to Lori for hosting me a third time and setting up the tour. Last year, I was terrified to do a tour but Lori made it painless. I didn’t hesitate to ask her to set up another one this year.

Writing the three books in the Brewing Trouble series has been a blast. I love my characters and they’ve become like family to me. I have a feeling everyone who writes a cozy series feels the same way about their imaginary friends. For those who haven’t read the series, I decided I’d introduce some of my friends to “yinz guys” as we say in Pittsburgh.

Maxine “Max” O’Hara is the protagonist in the series. She’s a brewmaster who opens a brewpub in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh. She’s kind-hearted and usually sees the best in people. She’s the youngest (and the only girl) in a large Irish family. Her dad is a homicide detective, and her oldest brother is a Catholic priest. The family—at least the ones who live in Pittsburgh—gather for dinner every Sunday at her parents’ house and there’s almost always a pick-up football game in the backyard.

Jake Lambert is Max’s chef and also her boyfriend. He’s an ex-professional hockey player who had to quit the game early. He is one of her older brother’s best friends so she’s known him all her life. Max has had a crush on him for almost as long. Jake loves to tease her and often ruffles her hair like he did when they were kids. He has chocolate brown hair and eyes, and a dimple. A reader once told me, “I need more of Jake in my life.”

Candy Sczypinski owns Cupcakes N’at, the bakery next door to the Allegheny Brew House. Candy looks like Mrs. Santa Claus except she wears the black and gold colors of her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. Candy has an interesting past. She seems to know everything about everyone and Max constantly speculates how she manages to know so much. Her questions are answered in the third book, A Room With a Brew, when Candy’s background is revealed.

Kristie Brinkley is the owner and barista at Jump, Jive & Java, the coffee shop across the street. Kristie doesn’t look anything like the former supermodel with almost the same name. She resembles Halle Berry, if Ms. Berry had multi-colored hair.

Daisy Hart owns Beautiful Blooms, the flower shop. She wears her blonde hair in braids which makes her look much younger than she is.

Elmer Fairbanks. What can I say about Elmer? He’s my favorite character. He’s in his nineties and fought with the 101st Airborne in World War II. Elmer tells it like it is. He’s cranky, but belovedly so. I think he has a soft spot for Max, and vice versa. He and Candy often verbally spar, but it’s all good-natured. Most of the time anyway. I always have fun writing scenes with Elmer in them. It’s even better when I get to write Elmer and Candy insulting each other! Elmer looks out for Max. In the first book, To Brew or Not to Brew, he even offers to be her bodyguard. Max is pretty sure she doesn’t need a ninety-year-old bodyguard.

If you read the books, I hope you come to love them as much as I do. And I would love to hear what you think!

~Joyce

Thank you Joyce, I love these characters! 

 


A Room with a Brew (A Brewing Trouble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
3rd in Series
Berkley (October 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277713
E-Book ASIN: B01NCUHX14

It’s Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh, and brewpub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara is prepping for a busy month at the Allegheny Brew House. To create the perfect atmosphere for the boozy celebration, Max hires an oompah band. But when one of the members from the band turns up dead, it’s up to Max to solve the murder before the festivities are ruined.

Adding to the brewing trouble, Candy, Max’s friend, is acting suspicious… Secrets from her past are fermenting under the surface, and Max must uncover the truth to prove her friend’s innocence. To make matters worse, Jake’s snooty ex-fiancée shows up in town for an art gallery opening, and she’ll be nothing but a barrel of trouble for Max.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I get so excited every time Joyce Tremel releases a new book!

Readers arrive in town just as the Allegheny Brew House is getting ready for Oktoberfest complete with an “oompah” band. But when one of the group is murdered and her friend Candy is hiding something. Max can’t help herself from doing some investigating on her own.

Max and Jake are such a great couple. She knows beer and he knows food. They are both strong and independent and devoted to each other. Especially when Jake’s ex comes to town, we see he only has eyes for Max no matter how hard Victoria tries to drag him away.

The mystery this time was very complex. There are several twists to untangle as connections are discovered among many of the suspects. Some come from the past, things Max had no idea about, and those involved hesitate to let her in on the whole story.

Living in Wisconsin we have our share of German descendants, including me. I absolutely loved that every recipe included in the back of the book and mentioned in the story are for foods that graced out table growing up and many still do today. The pretzel salad is one of my faves! Max may be from a big Irish family but the girl knows how to celebrate Oktoberfest even if she has to catch a killer first.

I love these characters. I love the mystery. And love everything about the Brew Pub theme. Ms. Tremel has created a great cozy series. I just wish the place was real because I would love to actually visit 🙂

Each story can be read on its own but I recommend you read them all for maximum enjoyment.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

JOYCE TREMEL

About The Author

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband.

Her debut mystery, To Brew Or Not To Brew was nominated for the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Amateur Sleuth by RT Book Reviews. The second book in the series, Tangled Up In Brew was released in October 2016 and chosen as a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews. It was the winner of the 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. It was also named one of the Best Books of 2016 by Kings River Life Magazine.

Author Links –Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  kobo   GooglePlay


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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.
Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 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 October 18, 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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Joyce Tremel – Author of Tangled Up in Brew – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @PenguinRandom

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!! 

I am so excited to welcome Joyce back to Escape With Dollycas! 

JOYCE TREMEL

 

THE TOP FIVE THINGS I’VE LEARNED WRITING A COZY SERIES

5. It’s not as easy as it looks. Believe it or not, there are readers out there who think that cozy mysteries are inferior to other mysteries. Obviously, they’ve never tried to write one. I’ve found it takes quite a bit of skill to kill someone and not gross out the reader. The cozy writer has to get the horror of the murder across without showing much in the way of blood, guts, and the like. You have to describe what happened without actually describing what happened. This also applies to any sexy scenes. I’m perfectly content with not having to write those kinds of scenes. Banter, innuendo, and an occasional kiss that leaves the character’s knees weak is enough for me. I like to leave the rest up to imagination.

TANGLED UP IN BREW4. It’s sometimes hard to find adequate substitutes for swear words. I worked as a police secretary for ten years. Believe me, cops swear. I learned a whole new vocabulary when I worked for the police department. When you have officers talking in a cozy, you can’t very well have them use what must be their favorite word in the whole world because they say it three times in every sentence. And you can’t have them say gosh, darn, or golly either. Andy Griffith could get away with it, but that’s about it. My protagonist’s dad is a homicide detective and in one scene I have Max say something like, “My dad rarely swore but I could tell he held back a string of words that would have turned the air blue.” I do throw in an occasional damn and have used the letters S.O.B. Sometimes I’ll interrupt the dialogue just before the swear word would be uttered. So far, it works. I think.

3. There’s a fine line between educating the reader on the character’s craft or occupation and boring them to death. No one wants to read page after page of how your character does something. My protagonist Max is a craft brewer and there’s a lot of chemistry involved in brewing beer. If I started rambling on about how to calculate the specific gravity of a certain brew in order to calculate the alcohol by volume, I don’ t think readers would be too happy. In the best case scenario, they’d skip those pages; in the worst case, they’d throw the book against the wall. It’s a mystery novel, not a textbook. Information like that must be sprinkled in lightly.

to brew or not to brew

2. Recipes are hard to come up with. I’m usually thinking more about the plot and what the characters are doing than about what they’re eating or cooking. I’ve had to train myself to actually stop and describe certain foods and then search for a recipe to include. That’s probably why the first book, To Brew or Not to Brew only had two recipes. I did a little better with books two and three. Tangled Up in Brew has four, and next year’s A Room With a Brew will have five.

1. Write everything down. When I was about halfway through writing the first book, I realized I was NOT going to remember which character had blue eyes, who had brown eyes, how tall a certain someone was, etc. I started what we call a Character Bible. I jotted down each character, what they looked like, and anything else I thought might be important. I did the same with each shop and location in the series. I even drew a little map so I’d remember which store/shop/restaurant was where. And thank goodness I did. I refer to it constantly. Between that and the style sheet (which has even more detailed info on it) from my copy editor, I’ve saved hours that would have been spent searching through previous manuscripts for one tiny tidbit of information. All because I couldn’t remember something I thought I would.

These are the top five things I’ve learned writing a cozy series. Readers, what have you learned reading one?

~Joyce

About The Author

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband and a spoiled cat.

Her debut mystery, To Brew Or Not To Brew has been nominated for the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice award for best amateur sleuth by RT Book Reviews. The second book in the series, Tangled Up In Brew has just been released.

Author Links

Webpage Facebook Twitter GoodReads 

TANGLED UP IN BREWTangled Up in Brew (A Brewing Trouble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277706
E-Book ASIN: B01AHKXIAQ
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Synopsis

Another intoxicating mystery featuring brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara—from the author of To Brew or Not to Brew.

BEER TODAY, GONE TOMORROW…

Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend, Jake Lambert, are excited to be participating in the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival. Max hopes to win the coveted Golden Stein for best craft beer—but even if she doesn’t, the festival will be great publicity for her Allegheny Brew House.

Or will it? When notoriously nasty food and beverage critic Reginald Mobley is drafted as a last-minute replacement judge, Max dreads a punishing review. Her fears are confirmed when Mobley literally spits out her beer, but things get even worse when the cranky critic drops dead right after trying one of Jake’s burgers. Now an ambitious new police detective is determined to pin Mobley’s murder on Max and Jake, who must pore over the clues to protect their freedom and reputations—and to find the self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Belly up to the bar and try one of Max’s new brews.

Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend, Jake Lambert, are 2 awesome characters. Working with your significant other can be tough but these two compliment each other nicely and each have their own strengths. Max knows beer and Jake knows food and the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival is the perfect place so show everyone their talents. But cranky critic Reginald Mobley is not a fan of the Allegheny Brew House fare and delvers a scathing review. It puts them in the police’s cross hairs when he dies in front of a crowd of people while eating Jake’s burger. Max’s dad is also on the case but his partner has his mind made up. It may be time to call on a higher being, Max’s brother is a priest so he will be praying but Max is determined to save Jake, herself, and their pub any way she can.

The characters in this series are very interesting. Setting the story at a festival draws an eclectic group of people too. They are also very well crafted. The lead characters are both strong and independent, equals and very supportive of each other. They lean on each other but are not dependent on each other. They have known each other most of their lives and that gave them a strong bond before they even started dating.

The author also gives us a very strong plot with plenty twists. Reading the first book in this series, I figured out the culprit before Max, this time I was right there with her and figured it out at the same time. My early suspicions were totally wrong. She also gives us enough depth into the world of micro-brews with overwhelming the reader. I love learning new things.

I enjoyed the setting of the festival and could easily picture the booths and their layout. Ms. Tremel’s descriptions were so rich I could almost taste the beer and those burgers,

This is a fantastic addition to this series and I am really looking forward to the next installment, A Room With A Brew.  Now if I could just have a glass or two of Max’s citrus ale to hold me over until then…

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for Joyce for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 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 October 19, 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.

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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Joyce Tremel – Author of To Brew or Not To Brew #Giveaway too!

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Joyce Tremel to Escape With Dollycas.
Her first novel, To Brew or Not To Brew, was released yesterday!!

Joyce Tremel 1

First, I’d like to say thank you to Lori for letting me be her guest for today. It’s an honor to be here!

If someone had told me even ten years ago that I’d be writing cozies, I’m not sure I would have believed them. Back then, I was the part-time secretary for my local police department and the book I was writing was more of a police procedural, and my main character was an ex-cop who taught martial arts. It was definitely NOT a cozy in any way, shape, or form. It made sense to me to “write what you know.” I knew cops and I knew martial arts—I had a second degree blackbelt in Taekwondo.

Then in 2008, I was let go from that job and I wondered what to do next. Did I find another part-time job? Or should I take the opportunity to write full time and see what happened? Fortunately we didn’t need the tiny bit of income I’d had so I chose the latter and started a new book. The new story featured a police secretary named Irma Jean. She was a bit of a smart aleck. I let myself write without putting a label of “procedural” or “cozy” or anything else on the book. I just wrote the story. When it was finished I sent out queries and an agent liked it enough to work on revising it with me. She had me restructure the book and soon it was ready to submit to publishers.

Except…she dropped a bombshell on me. She was leaving to take her dream job with a publishing company. Eventually I found another agent who started submitting the book. Then she left agenting to go back to school, but the good news was another agent at the same agency took me on. Whew.

to brew or not to brewTo make this long story a little shorter, In Spite of Murder ended up on the desk of an editor at Berkley. She liked the story but the book wasn’t cozy enough for their line. She liked my voice and wanted to know if I’d be interested in writing a cozy.

Well, YES.

I’d been reading a lot of cozies and I realized deep down that was what I wanted to write. That was the genre I had the voice for. I just had to figure out what my book would be about. I didn’t do crafts. I did help hubby with some home improvement type things, but there were already cozies that covered that topic. I tried to think up unusual occupations, but it seemed like most had been done. It finally dawned on me ( I may have been drinking a beer at the time) that there were no cozies with a craft brew theme.

Max O’Hara, my protagonist would be a female brewmaster and I’d set it in my hometown of Pittsburgh. She’d have five older brothers and her dad would be a homicide detective. Her romantic interest would be her childhood crush—the best friend of one of her brothers. I wrote a proposal for what I was calling the Brewing Trouble Series. The proposal included a synopsis of the first book, To Brew Or Not To Brew, plus ideas for following books. I sent the proposal along with the first three chapters to my agent.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I am so thrilled to be able to finally share this book with readers. I can’t wait for you to meet and spend some time with all my characters. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do. Someone recently asked me if I had a favorite character and I think they were surprised it wasn’t the hunky ex-hockey player-chef, Jake. (An early reader said she needed more Jake in her life, lol.) I happen to adore Elmer, the ninety-two year old World War II vet. He says anything and everything that’s on his mind and doesn’t care who hears it!

I feel very comfortable in the world of writing cozies. Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else!

~Joyce

to brew or not to brewTo Brew or Not to Brew:
A Brewing Trouble Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 1, 2015)
In Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Cover Illustration by Bruce Emmett
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277690
E-Book ASIN: B00U5KNT3K
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

An all-new mystery series set in a Pittsburgh craft brew pub, featuring a brewmaster with a head for sleuthing.

The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification, and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats.

Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast—before her brand-new brew biz totally tanks…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to an exceptional start. This author has a strong cozy voice and she has written quite a mystery.

Hometown girl, Maxine “Max” O’Hara, comes back from Germany ready to open The Allegheny Brew House. But clearly someone is doing everything they can to prevent her from opening. The acts of vandalism were troublesome but finding her chef Kurt Schmidt dead in one of her precious vats made her wonder if her dream was ever going to come true. Her dad, a police detective, thinks Kurt’s death may have been an accident. Max knows it was murder and she is going to prove it.

I like these characters. We only meet Kurt briefly but I really liked him too and was sad he was the victim. But as Kurt exits, Jake enters. He is a friend of Max’s brothers and she had a huge crush on him. Max comes from a big family, 5 older brothers. We are also introduced to a kitten Max rescues and quickly names Hops.

Brew pubs are popping up all over and I am overjoyed that they have entered the cozy scene. The author educates us just enough without getting too technical about a how craft brews are made. We also learn a little brewing history as the building housing the The Allegheny Brew House was once a part of a large commercial brewery.

I did figure out the guilty party a bit before Max but that did not take away from my enjoyment. I wanted to see what happened with Jake and Max and see Max realize her dream. I think the two of them make a great team. She also needs someone to have her back because she does speak her mind even when she could be talking to a killer. I guess it is good she not only has Jake but her family and friends there when she needs them.

We are given a couple recipes at the end of the book and just a taste of Tangled Up In Brew, the next book in the series. I will be ready to belly up to the bar as soon as it is released.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. Her flash fiction has appeared in Mysterical-e, and her non-fiction has been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police magazine. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband and a spoiled cat. Her novel, TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW is the first in the Brewing Trouble mystery series. The second book in the series, tentatively titled TANGLED UP IN BREW, will be released late next year.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
1 copy goes to the Fan of The Month

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.

Leave a comment for Joyce 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 December 16, 2015 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.”