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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway for Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford

Living in a Cozy World and I am a Cozy Girl

Mary Lee Ashford

When you talk to readers about when they started reading mysteries most often you hear that the began with Trixie Belden and/or Nancy Drew. That’s certainly true for me.
And when I talk to readers about cozies, I find that some relate to the term and others simply know that they like mysteries without certain elements – mostly graphic violence. 

But there’s more to a cozy than removing the graphic elements and they reason I read (and write) cozies are those other essentials. You can find a wide-variety of plots, a ton of different types of characters with an assortment of jobs, and, of course, settings galore. The main character may be old or young, well-off or struggling, highly educated or street smart. They may live in a beach town or a small town in the Midwest. I’ve written both and I love to read different settings. It’s sort of a mini-vacation when you can’t leave town.

Still, what makes me love this sub-genre the most are three things that most cozies have in common.
·         An average person (usually female) without formal law-enforcement training can solve a crime and set things right. Maybe that harkens back to those Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden stories where an ordinary girl with determination could find the answer no one else was able to see.
·         Our sleuth is generally surround by friends or family who sometimes help, and other times hinder the crime-solving. Because of this we get to know more about her and about her world. And often those friends and family have great side stories of their own.

·         Because most cozies are first-person, the reader is along for the ride and gets to discover the clues with the amateur sleuth. Trying to figure out what those clues mean and whether they’re true hints or red herrings is what keeps me trying pages. 

Mostly at the heart of why I love cozy mysteries is exactly what I hear from readers. I love the stories and I care about the characters. 

In the years I’ve been writing mysteries, I’m always honored when readers “get” my characters. With the Sugar & Spice Mysteries, they ask about Sugar and Dixie, they wonder how Sugar’s landlady Greer is doing, what’s up with crotchety Mrs. Pickett, and what will happen with Sugar and Max. Clearly, they feel like they are real people. I love that because they’re very real to me!

People have different taste in books and movies, and thank goodness for that. Some love thrillers, action-adventure, or sci-fi. For me, at the end of a long day, the perfect escape is a cozy mystery. The people are interesting, the place is unique, and at the end of the story justice is served. 

And those are the reasons, as a reader and as a writer, I am very much a cozy girl and I’m living in a (fictional) cozy world!

About the Book

 Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Setting - Iowa 
Lyrical Underground (July 9, 2019) 
Paperback: 190 pages  
ISBN-10: 1516105079 
ISBN-13: 978-1516105076 
Digital ASIN: B07JDXFM7G 
Former magazine editor “Sugar” Calloway’s life has taken a delicious twist since she launched a community cookbook publishing business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer. Now these amateur sleuths must solve a small-town murder—without getting burned . .
Sugar and Spice Cookbooks’ newest project is a fundraiser organized by the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club, famous for their all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy events. But when a group member is found dead, Sugar and Spice’s priorities change from raising dough to figuring out who put murder on the menu.
The return of former badboy Nick Marchant has stirred the town’s gossips too. Add a few grudges and some old-fashioned greed over a land deal into the mix, and it’s a recipe for mayhem. And when someone serves up a second helping of murder, Sugar and Spice need to sift the guilty from the blameless, or their next breakfast may be their last . . .
* Includes delicious recipes! *
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

I had so much fun with this book! Let's start with the series name which is just adorable fitting the two women's personalities to a tee. Sugar is trying to keep up with local gossip as she learns everything about small town life so i t was nothing to her when Nick Merchant returned to town. Before she can completely catch up an older friend is found dead under mysterious circumstances. Sugar decides to investigate with the help of Spice and a few friends. Add in another murder, a surprising suspect, and a surprise ending to get a mystery you will refuse to put down. The addition of the mouth watering recipes just makes it that much better. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.

About Mary Lee Ashford

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries. In addition to writing the Sugar & Spice mystery series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books. Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest. She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a current board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter on a variety of topics at workshops, conferences, and writers’ groups. In her day job, Mary Lee is a Deputy Chief Information Officer. She currently resides in the Midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her family and especially her six grandchildren.

Author Links  

Purchase Links  

August 5 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
August 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST  
August 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
August 6 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
August 6 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW  
August 7 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
August 7 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE  
August 8 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
August 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY  
August 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST  
August 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE, GIVEAWAY  
August 9 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY  
August 10 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
August 10 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST  
August 11 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
August 11 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST  
August 12 – Cassidy's Bookshelves - SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE  
August 12 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW  
August 12 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
August 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
August 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT  
August 13 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
August 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY  
August 14 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT


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