San Antonio to Colorado, and Back Again

monicaferrisnov141578697890-0-0As I mentioned in one of my recent comments, my husband and I just returned from visiting my mother in Colorado Springs. I have to say, that the trips up there have changed so much that whenever I go there, it’s as if I’m visiting for the first time.

While our son and daughter were growing up, we made yearly trips out to Colorado to visit our children’s grandfather, grandmother, uncle, and Aspen. [We actually visited through two Aspens! Aspen was – or in this case I should say “were” – my father’s beloved Cocker Spaniel(s).] We are now visiting just my mother, my brother, her Spaniel, and all three of the rotating 24/7 health care providers who are assigned to my mother.

Yes, our visits are quite different from those times when we would sit out on my parent’s patio, gazing up at Pike’s Peak, eating some of the best Chicago Dogs (ever!) from a little hotdog stand in Manitou Springs. Gone are the days of cog railway rides up Pike’s Peak and all of us going to Cripple Creek to ride the narrow gauge railroad and watch the melodrama. You know what they say about time passing >>> and it certainly has!

Now that my mother goes to bed so doggone early, and since our bedroom there doesn’t have a TV (the health care providers sleep in the guest bedroom with a TV), my husband and I have found that our Kindles have come in mighty handy! I had been reading seasonal/holiday mysteries, most by authors I had never read before, but decided that I would stop reading those in lieu of reading one of my favorite authors: Monica Ferris.

I knew that at the end of the days, I would be in need of a book that would hold my attention and I also knew that I would find comfort in visiting the “friends” I have made who inhabit the Crewel World needlecraft shop. I knew I would want to sort of be transported to a fictional town, where Betsy would be sleuthing and my favorite character of the series, Godwin, would be teaching new-to-needlecraft people the ins and outs of the how to knit/crochet or needlepoint.

Now that we are back in San Antonio, I just bought my next Monica Ferris Kindle Cozy Mystery book (my mom doesn’t have WiFi) for another time when I am in need of immersing myself with Betsy and Godwin – fictional friends with whom I enjoy passing time.

Is there an author who you always want to take on a vacation with you? If so, could you tell us why you absolutely need this author’s characters, setting, and/or mysteries to accompany you?

Two New Cozy Mystery Series Coming in December 2014

December will soon be upon us, so what better time for me to tell you about two new Cozy Mystery series that will make their debut during that month. These two new Cozy Mystery series are written by three authors with whom most of you are already very familiar. One of these authors is Duffy Brown, and the other two authors are the Lavenes: Joyce and Jim.

Geared for the Grave by Duffy Brown Duffy Brown will be releasing the first book in her second series, entitled Geared for the Grave. The Cycle Path Mystery Series will take place on lovely Mackinac Island. Our sleuth, Evie Bloomfield, works at Rudy’s Rides bike shop on the island, but quickly sees she’s going to have to be good at sleuthing in order to keep her employer out of jail. Some of you may be familiar with Brown’s Consignment Shop Mystery Series, starring Reagan Summerside, owner of Prissy Fox Consignment Shop. Brown’s debut series has already earned her plenty of fans – let’s hope her second sleuth, bike shop employee Evie Bloomfield, leaves just as strong an impression!

Spell Booked by Joyce and Jim LaveneThe other new series beginning in December will be released by Joyce and Jim Lavene. This will be their seventh (or eighth?) series >>> and that’s only including the books they’ve written under the Lavene name, not the ones they’ve also written as J.J. Cook and Ellie Grant! Titled Spell Booked, this book will begin the Retired Witches Mystery Series starring Molly and Elsie, operators of a curio shop who are also (you guessed it!) retired witches who sometimes solve crimes.

If you would like to see more New Cozy Mystery Series by authors on the Cozy-Mystery site, click here: New Cozy Mystery Series

Also, if you would like to see the entry I wrote about the new Cozy Mystery series some of our favorite authors are bringing to us this month (November 2014) click on this link:

Two New Cozy Mystery Series Coming in November 2014

Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival on Saturday, November 8, 2014

blognov14111111111111I just got back from visiting my mother up in Colorado Springs (more on that some other time) and realized I didn’t pre-plan an entry about this terrific mystery fair they will be having in Suffolk, Virginia all day this Saturday. I know this is short notice, but for those of you in the area, this looks like an absolutely wonderful festival!

blognov142222222222222222222Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival >>> Saturday, November 8, 2014, 11:00 am – 7:00 PM

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts >>> Free & Open to the Public 757-514-4130

Take a look at the roster of bestselling Cozy Mystery authors who will be attending:

Ellery Adamsblognov1433333333333333 (aka J.B. Stanley, Jennifer Stanley, and 1/2 of Lucy Arlington)

Melissa Bourbon (aka Misa Ramirez)

Mary Burton

Mollie Cox Bryan

Joyce and Jim Laveneblognov14444444444444444444 (aka J.J. Cook & Ellie Grant)

Maggie Sefton

Gayle Trent (aka Amanda Lee)

LynDee Walker

blognov14555555555555555555Wendy Lyn Watson (aka Annie Knox)

(Wow! It’s like reading a who’s who list of Cozy Mystery authors!)

The very first annual Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival is being sponsored by the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, the Suffolk Public Library, and blognov14666666666666666666the Suffolk Division of Tourism. The authors will be signing books, meeting Cozy Mystery fans, and performing readings. Also, there will be “how to become a mystery author” workshop and an author panel.

If you want more information, please go to their site:  and click on the Suffolk Mystery Authors area. And, for those of you who blognov1477777777777777777777live in the area, the site looks like they are sponsoring all types of fun in other venues.

Makes me wish I lived on the east coast!blognov14888888888888888888888888



Christmas Mystery Books being Released during December 2014

Wow, it’s hard to believe that the year will be coming to an end so soon! It feels like just yesterday we were taking down our Christmas tree, but here we’ll be putting it up again before too long!

As usual, December will be a pretty good month for Christmas-themed Cozy Mysteries, though more are being released during November! We can look forward to another two Christmas related mysteries and a non-mystery by one of our mystery authors in December, so let’s get right to it!

blognov141111111111185687980-9First, Isabella Alan will be releasing the third book in her Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series, Murder, Served Simply. Though the Amish Quilt Shop series has already built up quite a following, most Cozy readers are as likely to recognize her work as Amanda Flower, the name she has used for her previous works. This entry in the Quilt Shop series will see Christmas in Rolling Brook, Ohio, and Angie Braddock’s family will be visiting – unfortunately including her ex, for some reason!

blognov14222222222222689809-=0==Lucy Burdette
will be releasing Death With All the Trimmings, the fifth book in her Key West Food Critic Mystery Series. Food critic Haylee Snow is asked to help investigate possible arson by a local chef, when a corpse turns up in the wreckage! As with many Cozy writers, Lucy Burdette has written under a different name in the past – you may be familiar with Roberta Isleib‘s Advice Column Mystery Series and Golf Lovers’ Mystery Series. Well, Lucy Burdette is also known as Roberta Ileib!

blognov143333333333336979089-9-Finally, Carla Neggers will be releasing a story set in her Swift River Valley Romance Series, titled Christmas at Carriage Hill. This isn’t a Christmas Cozy exactly, as it isn’t even a mystery, but rather belongs in the romance genre. However, Neggers writes enough Cozy material that she has lots of fans here so I thought I should mention it.

If you just can’t wait to get started reading Christmas-themed mysteries, you might be more interested in seeing one of my previous articles, Christmas Books Released in November 2014. If even waiting for the rest of this month is too long, you might consider instead starting at my Christmas Mystery Book List.

Kate Kingsbury Special Pennyfoot Hotel Christmas Mystery Series Released during Past Novembers

kate kingsburyoct141111111111111154687978Goodness gracious, it’s only the beginning of November and one of my holiday traditions has already bit the dust! This year will be the first year since 2003 without a Special Pennyfoot Hotel mystery. A Christmas-themed series that has been released annually, Kate Kingsbury‘s series has become a regular November release every year for over a decade, though there was a two year gap after the first release when she didn’t put out a Christmas book.

The Special Pennyfoot Hotel holiday series began as a spin-off from the main Pennyfoot Hotel mystery series, Kate Kingsbury’s original series. Published in 2003, No Clue at the Inn was a continuation of the characters and setting, which had been shelved since 1999 with the final Pennyfoot Hotel release. (I wanted to post these covers since I think they are so beautiful. Shrouds of Holly is the 3rd in this Christmas Cozy Mystery series, and Decked with Folly is the 5th.)

Shrouds of Holly by Kate Kingsbury (aka Allison Kingsley and Rebecca Kent)Kate Kingsbury is still putting out books, of course, though she isn’t using the name Kate Kingsbury any more. Instead, her new series, the Raven’s Nest Bookstore Mystery Series, is published under the name Allison Kingsley. I don’t know why she decided to change the name she publishes under, as my understanding is that the Pennyfoot holiday series continued to be well-received and popular with her fans. (Also, I should mention that she wrote the Bellehaven House Mystery Series as Rebecca Kent.)

Decked with Folly by Kate Kingsbury (aka Allison Kingsley and Rebecca Kent)So, as I said at the beginning, this will be the first November in years without a Cozy Christmas  Pennyfoot Hotel mystery. It seems like a strange thing to get a bit sad about, but I feel like the month will be a bit different without what had sort of become a tradition for me.

Do any of you happen to share my tradition of curling up before the fire (well, leave out the fire part here in San Antonio!) with a good annual holiday mystery? Is there another holiday tradition that you’re fond of that you’ve had to let go of in recent years? As always, I appreciate all comments.

December 2014 Mystery Book New Releases

The following Mystery Books will be released in December 2014:

Isabella Alan (aka Amanda Flower): Murder, Served Simply (This will be the 3rd in the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series.) (This is a Christmas theme mystery.)

Jo Bannister: Perfect Sins (This will be the 2nd in the Gabriel Ash & Hazel Best Mystery Series.)

Juliet Blackwell (aka Hailey Lind): Keeper of the Castle (This will be the 5th in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery Series.)

Duffy Brown: Geared for the Grave (This will be the 1st in the NEW Cycle Path Mystery Series.)

Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib): Death with All the Trimmings (This will be the 5th in the Key West Food Critic Mystery Series.) (This is a Christmas theme mystery.)

Laura Childs: Scorched Eggs (This will be the 6th in the Cackleberry Club Mystery Series.)

Jane K. Cleland: Blood Rubies (This will be the 9th in the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery Series.)

Barbara Cleverly: Enter Pale Death (This will be the 12th in the Joe Sandilands Mystery Series.)

E.J. Copperman (aka Jeffrey Cohen): Inspector Specter (This will be the 6th in the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery Series.)

Cleo Coyle (aka Alice Kimberly): Once Upon a Grind (This will be the 14th in the Coffeehouse Mystery Series.)

Waverly Curtis: The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice (This will be the 4th in the Barking Detective Mystery Series.)

Kathi Daley: Alaskan Alliance (This will be the 12th in the Zoe Donovan Mystery Series.) (This is a New Year’s theme mystery.)

Krista Davis: The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer (This will be the 2nd in the Paws and Claws (or the Pet Hotel) Mystery Series.) (This is a Halloween mystery.)

Jeffery Deaver: Trouble in Mind: The Collected Stories, Volume 3 (This will be a Short Story Collection.)

Christopher FowlerBryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (This will be the 11th book in the Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery Series.)

Rebecca M. Hale: Aground on St. Thomas (This will be the 3rd in the Mystery in the Islands Mystery Series.)

Karen Harper: Broken Bonds (This will be the 3rd in the Cold Creek Mystery Series.)

Susan Hill: The Soul of Discretion (This will be the 8th in the Simon Serrailler Mystery Series.)

Tami Hoag: Cold, Cold Heart (This will be a Stand Alone.)

Kay Hooper: A Deadly Web (This will be the 2nd in the Bishop Files Mystery Series.)

Diane Kelly: Paw and Order (This will be the 2nd in the Megan Luz Paw Enforcement Mystery Series.)

Josi S. Kilpack: Wedding Cake (This will be the 12th in the Culinary Mystery Series.)

Joyce and Jim Lavene: Spell Booked (This will be the 1st in the NEW Retired Witches Mystery Series.)

Edward Marston (aka Conrad Allen & Keith Miles): Deeds of Darkness (This will be the 4th in the Home Front Detective Mystery Series.)

Carla Neggers: Christmas at Carriage Hill (This will be a story in the Swift River Valley Romance Series.) (This is a Christmas theme story.)

Gail Oust: Kill’em with Cayenne (This will be the 2nd in the Piper Prescott Spice Shop Mystery Series.)

James Patterson & Emily Raymond: The Lost (This will be the 5th in the teen sci-fi Witch and Wizard Series.)

Ann Purser: Suspicion at Seven (This will be the 14th in the Lois Meade Mystery Series.)

To go back to the Cozy Mystery New Book Release page, click here.

(These are the mysteries by authors who are currently on the Cozy Mystery site.)

Halloween Mystery Book being Released during December 2014

The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer by Krista DavisWell, this is a little bit early by my normal schedule (I usually try to get this sort of thing up at the beginning of the new month, instead of the end of the old) but I thought it is appropriate since Halloween is tomorrow! Unusually enough, we’ll have a Halloween release in December. Hmmm >>> I’m not sure, but I think this is the first time I remember this happening. I guess rather than look at the release date as late, we can look at it as early for next year’s Halloween season!

Krista Davis will be releasing the second book in her relatively new Paws and Clutter Mystery Series, The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer. In this entry to the series, ghost hunters will be descending upon Holly Miller’s pet-friendly Sugar Maple Inn. When a girl turns up dead at a famously haunted location in town, Holly (and her faithful pets, Jack Russell, Jack, and kitten, Twinkletoes!) will need to prove that the culprit was a flesh and blood criminal… not only to put a killer behind bars, but to prove that her beloved town of Wagtail isn’t haunted!

If you would like to see more Cozy Mystery Halloween-themed books, click on this link to take you to the Halloween Mystery page.

Also, here are the entries I wrote about the Christmas mystery books that will be released during this month – November 2014:

Christmas Mystery Books being Released during November 2014