Dec 272018
 

Batter Off Dead: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Crooked Lane Books (December 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318781
ISBN-13: 978-1683318781
Kindle ASIN: B07D2GWH2S

Sophia Cummings may be unlucky in love, but she knows that the way to a man’s heart is through his sweet tooth. This evening, she plans to use that knowledge—and her skills as a New York City-trained pastry chef—to open the hearts and wallets of Rumford, Kentucky’s richest men. Sophia, proprietress of For Goodness Cakes, has been commissioned to cater the Heart of the Town Library charity fundraiser at Grape Valley Winery. She’s spent all her dough to make this a successful event, raise her profile, and win more plum catering jobs.

At first, the going is as smooth as an elegant chocolate ganache. After nibbling Sophia’s tasty treats, Ray Peel, the winery’s landlord, announces he will pay off Rumford’s library loan. But the evening soon turns decidedly frosty when Ray is murdered—before he can make good on his promise, and before he can pay Sophia for her catering services.

For Goodness Cakes will collapse if Sophia can’t collect what she’s owed. So Sophia once again puts on her sleuthing apron to figure out who iced Ray.

With authentic Southern recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For Goodness Cakes is open for business and Sophia Cummings is doing everything to build her clientele and bring in customers. She is thrilled to be catering the desserts at the Heart of the Town Library charity fundraiser at Grape Valley Winery.  The library is planning a huge addition and most of the money has been pledged by Ray Peel. He is the winery’s landlord and has his hands in many other businesses in the area.

Shortly after the fundraiser begins he informs the librarian he will no longer be funding the renovations, insults local realtor and Sophie’s friend, Madison Ridge, has an argument with woman in town for a wine conference, and  tells Giles Dugan owner of Grape Valley Winery that he will not be renewing their lease and plans to shut them down at the conclusion of the night’s event.

Sophia thinks with all the chaos caused by Mr. Peel she’s better get her money for her part of the fundraiser as soon as possible. On her way to the main office, she trips over something and comes face to face with a very dead Ray Peel. She quickly makes a call to boyfriend, Sheriff Carter Kincaid who does his best to calm her down. After looking at the crime scene and interviewing witnesses he decides Sophie’s friend, Madison is his prime suspect.  Seriously?? For Goodness Sakes! This put Sophie into a tizzy and she proclaims she will do everything she can to prove her friend had nothing to do with that man’s demise.

I was having a stressful day, my husband was having a long and complicated surgery and I really needed something to keep my mind off that and watching the clock. I can say this book was just what I needed. Maymee Bell’s (Tonya Kappes) story worked on me just like A Calgon, take me away bath. Of course, I had to keep my giggling internal because the waiting room was full of people, but I did share bits with the woman sitting close to me. She was quick to write down the author and the title as well as some of the author’s other books I told her about.  🙂

Maymee Bell has a distinctive voice and she creates such unique characters. Sophie softens up the suspects with treats from her shop to get them to talk. Carter is not happy with her “help” and sometimes she tells him her plan and then does the complete opposite that frustrates him to no end. At least he knows from the start, she is going to butt in, especially with her best friend involved. Sophia’s mother, Bitsy, just cracks me up. She was my favorite in this story. The dialogue between all the characters is very comfortable which makes the story so easy to read.

Solving this mystery wasn’t easy. It was fun to follow along with Sophie as Operation Merlot was put into effect and suspects were crossed off the “murder board”. The story was very well-plotted with plenty of red herrings. I was totally surprised by the ending.

Engaging characters and a delightful mystery. A truly Perfect Escape for me. Thank you, Ms. Bell, your story was just what the doctor ordered. The pages flew and so did my day.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Cake and Punishment here.

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all.

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Find more wonderful books by Tonya Kappes on Amazon here.

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.”

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May 092018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Maymee (Tonya)drop by today! 

Death By Edits

 

I admit that when I started writing I had no idea what I was doing. I had an idea. I wanted ONE reader to escape their life by my one story. That was it. It wasn’t until I had written that book did I know what it really was like to be a writer.

Some people say that writing the novel is the hardest part for them. Ernst Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” I agree that writing a novel is far from easy. It takes discipline to sit down every day and knock out five thousand words. Believe it or not, that is the I immerse myself into a book as I’m writing it. I love those characters. I love their homes. I love the small town. I love everything about it. I live in their world for many months as I’m writing their story.

Then comes the part that I downright loathe! I mean it. I can’t stand editing. To make it less painful, after I write the first one-hundred pages of a novel; which is what I call the bones, I go back and add meat to those bones. I will add more descriptions, more dialogue tags, and more of the funny stuff. Then I will do this for the next one-hundred pages with a Diet Coke my side.

That’s not the end of the editing process. This is just the beginning. Once I go back and add the meat on the bones, I print it all out and do it all over again. I try to make the manuscript fat with words and with description all while making sure the timelines in the plot fit and work. After doing this a few times, then and only then do I send it off to the editor. But by this time another character from another series has already taken root in my head and started their story.

 

A few months later I get an email from the editor that their edits have been added and I have to take a look at them.  I’ve already forgotten the plot and what everyone in the town looks like because I have moved on. I grab a cup of coffee and hunker down.

This is very difficult for me. I’m not the type of writer who can write a couple books at the same time. I can’t. I’m not wired that way. It’s awful. Plumb awful.

Since I have to get the edits back to my editor, I have to stop writing the current work in progress, go back and reread the novel that needs edits and start all over. By this time, I’m so sick of the novel that I just want to move on.

Then I send it back to my editor for a couple more rounds of edits. I don’t hear from the editor for a few months. Then out of nowhere, I get a copy of the ARC of that novel that I’d been so tired of. My eyes swell. My heart dips. I rub the cover. I crack the spine and start to fall in love all over again with those characters and that small town. And it’s just in time for them to move right back in my head for the next novel in the series.

~Maymee

Thank you so much for visiting today! 


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover 257 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315711
Digital ASIN: B075QJM2W8

 

 

In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.

Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.

With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

When I first saw the cover of this book I didn’t know the author was a pseudonym for Tonya Kappes, but as soon as I read the first page, I knew I was reading a book by Tonya Kappes. She has a distinctive writing style and her characters are so much fun.

This new cozy series introduces us to Sophia Cummings, a pastry chef at a top Manhattan restaurant. That is until she finds her boyfriend, also a chef at the same restaurant, cheating on her. She decides to head home to Rumford, Kentucky to get a break.  She quickly runs into a friend from high school and finds herself making her wedding cake. The reception is being held at the Rumford Country Club where Sophia used to work. She knows she will have everything she needs there to create the wedding cake of her friend’s dreams. Unfortunately, when she arrives she finds the club’s head chef, Emile, dead on the floor with a cast iron skillet nearby. She notices something about the pan and informs Sheriff Carter.  The next thing she knows she has accepted the job as an interim chef for the club. Maybe while working there she can find out who clobbered the chef, but her main concern is that her friend’s wedding goes on without any more interruptions or dead bodies.

This series is off to a divine start. Sophia is a talented chef with a huge heart. She loves creating desserts that make people happy. She couldn’t say “no” to anyone, which is why she ends up committed to baking things even after the date she plans to return to Manhattan.  Her mother, on the other hand, is demanding, bossy, and you know a mom that really loves her daughter. She is also not beyond a little matchmaking. Her father does his best to keep the peace and has a strong bond with his daughter. It was great to meet all of Sophia’s high school friends, even the one she doesn’t recognize. These characters are so well developed already in this first book. I am excited to see the beyond high school relationships grow and evolve. Their Southern charm shines throughout the whole story.

The author has filled these pages with a great whodunit too with plenty of suspects and twists galore. So well-plotted and full of clues and just the perfect amount of humor.

Ms. Bell’s descriptive talents set the scene perfectly. She has created this wonderful little town of Rumford and I escaped away right into it.

Southern charm, mystery, great characters, fantastic dialogue, and a bit of comedy make Cake and Punishment a must read! The talk of sweet treats will also have your mouth watering.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY.

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Kappes Krew Recipe Exchange

Website    Goodreads     Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N   Kobo 
Click here to find all of Tonya’s books on Amazon.

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Tour Participants

April 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW
April 27 – The Book Diva’s Reads –  CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – Ms. Cat’s Honest World – REVIEW
April 28 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 30 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 30 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 2 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 3 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
May 3 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
May 4 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – Varietats – REVIEW
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
May 7 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
May 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 8 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – RECIPE POST
May 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 10 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 10 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
May 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
May 11 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW


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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.”

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May 072018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Kentucky, Connecticut, and Virginia.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Book 3)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review


Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Scotland
My Review will post tomorrow! 


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
Maymee Bell will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday as part of the Great Escapes Tour!


Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here this Thursday!

Current Escape


Release Date – June 6, 2018
Setting – Colorado
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Release Date – May 15, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
Devon Delaney will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Virginia
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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