Literary Friday ya’ll….

Friday- oh Friday 🙂 🙂

1. Deep South Mag’s #literaryfriday is up- and this weeks edition has the following: Goodreads’ Best Books of 2012 (Congratulations to Joshily Jackson and Emily Giffin for making the list!), Holiday Crafts to make with Books, and much more.

2. In honor of the holiday season, Deep South Mag is also having 12 Days of Giveaways. Check back daily to see what is being given away, make a comment on the post, and GOOD LUCK!

3. Other giveaway news- Meg Donohue is giving away cupcakes and her book How to Eat A Cupcake-blog, tweet, facebook about the giveaway to be entered for a chance to win. And don’t forget that December 15th is National Cupcake Day!

4. Last Saturday, I met the delightful and charming Peggy Sweeney- McDonald at Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS. Chatted with her about her book (Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde) and learned several tid-bits. Look for the blog post about meeting Peggy and a review of the book (hopefully next week!) on my blog.


5. With Christmas only being a short time away- some people are in a frenzy of decorating, baking, etc. Have noticed several Christmas trees decorated to the nines and even some made entirely out of books! How fabulous- a Christmas tree made out of books? Someone pinch me! Last year, I made a Christmas tree out of my Janet Evanovich books with a Cupcake topper (because I’m a Team Cupcake girl). Now, it’s not a pretty tree (and nowhere near as elaborate as others I’ve seen pictures of) but here is mine:


6. What is your #fridayreads? Mine is 50% Off Murder by Josie Belle- a pen name Jenn McKinlay uses.

7. Cozy Mystery Week is almost over! Each day, I’ve discussed a different Cozy Author I enjoy- Joanne Fluke,Ellen Byerrum,  Cleo Coyle, Jenn McKinlay, and Lucy Burdette. Jenn’s Bookshelves has been celebrating Cozy Mystery Week all week long- check her blog out for more cozy authors. Did Cozy Mystery Week help you discover a new cozy series to read?

Happy Reading and have a great weekend!


Cozy Mystery Week: Cleo Coyle


Cozy Mystery Week is December 1-8. Today’s featured author is Cleo Coyle  of the Coffeehouse Mysteries.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are set in the Village Blend in NYC. The main character is Clare Cosi. Clare is a smart woman, bright and inquisitive. She has a daughter named Joy with her ex-husband and current business partner, Matteo. During the everyday happenings of the Village Blend, Clare usually finds herself in the middle of a mystery and helping the cops solve it. Because of her coffee and her nose for news, Clare has found favor with some of NYC’s finest- especially one man in particular. Her romance with Mike Quinn is the romance of storybooks- a simmering connection with a man who makes her heart melt.

Cleo Coyle has 12 books so far in the Coffeehouse Mystery series- for a fun read, talk of coffee and food, the excitement of NYC (specifically Greenwich Village) and the best coffee shop (Village Blend)- give the Coffeehouse Mysteries a try. Having just read book #12, Holiday Buzz, I can tell you that this series only gets better and I’m already awaiting #13 (Billionaire Blend-to be released in 2013).


Cozy Mystery Week: Jenn McKinlay


This Cozy Mystery Week and Jenn McKinlay is the author of today’s blog post.

Jenn McKinlay is the author of several cozy series (The Cupcake Mystery, Library Lover’s,  and Good Buy Girl’s- written as Josie Belle). Over the summer, I discovered the Cupcake Mysteries and really enjoyed the characters of Melanie, Angie and Tate- liked their friendship, the way they talk about movies. The books have an easy-going vibe, fun, light-hearted and Jenn McKinlay writes funny lines for her characters. The Cupcake Mystery books are quite enjoyable. For fans of cupcakes, childhood crushes, and best friends- this is the cozy series to try.

After spending the summer reading the Cupcake Mysteries and enjoying them (but being disappointed that the next Cupcake book was not coming out till April 2013), I found Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lover’s mysteries. Lindsey is a librarian and Beth is her best friend. The town is Briar Creek, a small-ish coastal town. Some of the women in town have Craftafternoon Club (a combination of knitting and discussing books–generally a classic book.) The people in town are friendly, interesting, and one in particular is quite charming. There is a charming connection developing between Lindsey and Sully. For fans of library series, knitting talk, and book clubs- Library Lover’s is the cozy for you.

The Good Buy Girl’s series is a series about women who enjoy being thrifty, getting good deals on things from clothes to food, and enjoy each other’s company- the Good Buy Girl’s are great. Currently still reading the first book in the series- I’m enjoying the series, thus far. The 2nd book will be released on Dec 31, 2012.

Each of the book series Jenn McKinlay writes are funny, interesting, and really great. If you’re a fan of cozy books, give Jenn McKinlay a try.

Cozy Mystery Week: Ellen Byerrum


In honor of Cozy Mystery Week- a different cozy author will be discussed daily. Today’s is Ellen Byerrum, Crime of Fashion author.

Meet Lacey Smithsonian- a fashion reporter for the Eye Street Observer uses “fashion clues” to help solve crimes in the Washington, DC area. With the help of her friends, Stella and Brooke, Lacey finds herself solving crimes that leave the police scratching their heads.

In Lacey’s first book, Killer Hair, an up and coming hairstylist is found dead with a terrible haircut. The police think it’s suicide- but Lacey knows (because of the fashion clues) that a hairstylist does not kill herself with a hair cut like that. As Lacey probes further- she finds that the answer may be part of the Washington political set.

Each book finds Lacey using fashion clues to solve crimes, her friends Stella and Brooke, and a man named Victor Donovan that makes Lacey’s knees go weak. Another character is Lacey’s aunt’s trunk- filled with fashion designs from the 40’s- a fashion period that Lacey adores. The book also has Lacey’ s fashion columns for the Eye Street Observer- funny commentary on the fashion of Washington, DC and how to survive in a sea of blandness.

Ellen Byerrum has 8 Fashion Crime Mysteries published- her 9th book (Veiled Revenge) will be released February 5th, 2013.



Cozy Mystery Week: Lucy Burdette


In honor of Cozy Mystery Week, a different cozy author will be discussed. Today’s author is Lucy Burdette, author of A Key West Food Critic Mystery series.

In the Key West Food Critic series, Haley Snow is the main character. Haley is a “foodie”, believes in going by to see the tarot card reader, and is a recent transplant to the Key West area- after following a boyfriend who broke her heart shortly after her move.

In Appetite for Murder– the reader meets Haley, a young woman who is trying to become the food critic for a Key West lifestyle magazine. Too bad that her boss would be Kristen, the woman she finds her boyfriend in bed with. But Haley knows food critic jobs are few and far between- and she likes the Key West area- so she tries to make the best of a potentially bad situation by applying for the job. Then Kristen is murdered and Haley is a prime suspect! With the help of Eric (Haley’s therapist friend), her tarot cards, and sheer determination to prove that she is not the killer- Haley does manage to find the killer. But does she land the job?

Death in Four Courses lets the readers know that Haley did in fact land her dream job. To make things even dreamier, there is a food conference happening in Key West and Haley had tickets to attend with her mother- who is down for a visit. At this food conference, Haley will get to rub elbows with some “foodie” people that she’s dreamed of meeting, and hopes to have a great time and network some. When the keynote speaker, Jonah Barrows, body is found by Haley- she finds herself in hot water with the police again. However, she is not the suspect- since her friend, Eric, is. Haley’s determined to prove that Eric could not be the killer- even if it appears that there was a very good motive. Haley’s mother decides to tag along while Haley investigates, writes her food critic articles, and has flirtatious (but slightly awkward) run-ins with the cute Detective Nate Bransford. Is Haley able to help clear Eric? Read to find out!

Reading A Key West Food Critic Mystery series is like going on vacation. The description of the food, scenery, location is wonderful. Haley is a delightful character- and the chemistry between her and the Detective is simmering. Lucy Burdette makes Key West sound like a great place to visit (or live!) and the food descriptions are fantastic.

The next installment of A Key West Food Critic Mystery is Topped Chef– to be released May 7, 2013.


Cozy Mystery Week: Joanne Fluke



In honor of Cozy Mystery Week- December 1-8, a different cozy author will be discussed.

Joanne Fluke, author of Hannah Swensen Mysteries, has 17 books in the series (the 18th will be released Feb 2013). Joanne Fluke has also written a cookbook of Hannah’s recipes.

In the debut book, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, the reader meets Hannah Swensen and the cast of characters of Lake Eden, Minnesota. Hannah is the oldest Swensen daughter and owns a a shop in town called The Cookie Jar.  Other characters: Delores (mother), Andrea (Hannah’s sister), Bill (Andrea’s husband & local law), Norman (son of Carrie- Delores’s best friend), Mike ( newly transferred local law).

In Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Hannah discovers the body of Ron Lasalle- a delivery man for Cozy Cow Dairy (also a beloved local legend for his football days) in an alley- Hannah is dismayed for 2 reasons: finding the body and the fact that her cookies were scattered around the crime scene. Hannah decides to investigate, partly to keep the reputation of her cookies intact, partly to help Bill get a promotion, and partly because Hannah wants to know what happened to her friend Ron.

Through the “invisible coffee server”trick, Delores’s gossip line, and other connections- Hannah finds suspects and eliminates some as well. Will Hannah find a suspect that can’t be eliminated? Will Bill get the promotion he’s been wanting?  To find out, read the book!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is a charming debut. Hannah and the town of Lake Eden, Minnesota make the reader feel warm and happy. The way a cozy should feel.

As the books progress in the series, Hannah is pursued (and begins to date) two men: Norman and Mike. Over the last few books, there has not been much progress with either relationship- and the cozy series has lost some of it’s initial charm. If new to the series, do begin with the first book (Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder) and work from there.

Literary Friday ya’ll….

Friday- end of the month. Tomorrow is December 1- which means 24 days till Christmas day. So line up those pictures with Santa, listen to some Christmas music, and enjoy the holiday season.

1. Deep South Magazine took last week off from their #literayfriday post due to the holidays-but is back up and running for this week. Included in today’s #literaryfriday is how to donate a new or used book to victims of Hurricane Sandy, a review of The Cutting Season (a book on DSM Fall/Winter Reading List), links to the “Best of 2012” book lists, and news that Robin O’Bryant’s Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves is 99 cents for November 30, 2012 (TODAY Only!)

2.Robin O’Bryant– author of Ketchup Is A Vegetable has been hosting giveaways all week to say “Happy Birthday, Ketchup!” If you haven’t won a giveaway, have rotten luck, dislike Facebook- whatever the reason-do not despair- Robin’s book Ketchup is 99 cents today! Sit back with a copy of Ketchup is Vegetable, a glass of wine and prepare to laugh until you cry!

3. Tomorrow, December 1, at Lemuria Books- Peggy Sweeney-McDonald will be signing copies of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde: Life Stories about Food. I plan on attending and will be doing a blog post about the event later next week.

4. What are you reading for #fridayreads? I’m reading Peach of a Murder by Livia J. Washburn. Not just loving it, but attempting to give it a fair shake!

5. I just finished Broken Harbor by Tana French- and while from the jacket cover description I expected to LOVE it, I was at times not loving it. It took some turns that I wasn’t digging. But, it was still a pretty good book. If you’ve read Broken Harbor, let’s discuss!

6.December 1-8 is Cozy Mystery Week! If cozy mysteries are your type of books- then join Jenn’s Bookshelves for Cozy Mystery Week! Cozy Mystery Reviews will also be celebrating Cozy Mystery Week- giveaways, recipes, authors dropping by!

7. If you’re a fan of Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse Mystery Books (like I am!) the wait for the newest book in the series is not much longer! December 4 Holiday Buzz will be released! Yay!

8. Be sure and stop by She Reads today- Man in the Blue Moon is being discussed all day over there!

9. Oh and if you love Pinterest (and come on- who doesn’t?) check out Deep South Mag’s Pinterest page!

Happy Reading!