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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway for Risky Whiskey by Lucy Lakestone

New Orleans is a rich backdrop for mystery, from history to hurricanes

by Lucy Lakestone

It’s no accident so many novels are set in New Orleans. It’s a beautiful city, rich with history and culture and mystery, not to mention fantastic food and cocktails, which are the concern of the mixologists who star in my new novel Risky Whiskey.

New Orleans has also been the site of tragedy. Even though I’m writing comic whodunits, the heroine of the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries, Pepper Revelle, was a survivor of one of those events: Hurricane Katrina. Though the mysteries take place several years later, the storm and her subsequent estrangement from her parents are part of her backstory, and the Hurricane Katrina Memorial is a setting in the book. 
  She, like the city, is resilient and as effervescent as a glass of champagne. But I know the memories of the storm run deep for residents who were there in August 2005 when the hurricane struck.

The Category 5 storm was “only” a Category 3 at landfall, but the rains led to the failure of levees that inundated much of New Orleans. There are differing numbers on how many people died in the storm and as a result of catastrophic flooding, but it was well over a thousand; the official National Hurricane Center figure for Louisiana exceeds 1500.

I visited the city a handful of months after the storm to write a newspaper article. Parts of the city still looked post-apocalyptic – including the Lakefront neighborhood, where my fictional Pepper grew up. Houses were wrecked, and streets had been buckled by the flooding (and still are, in some places).

In other totally abandoned neighborhoods, gray, dead trees lined the streets and piles of debris from flooded houses sat at the curb. People’s entire lives were left in those piles for months. I’ll never forget interviewing a man in what was left of his house, a house he’d probably never rebuild, in front of a galaxy of mold spots climbing the walls to the floodwater line — a line well above his head. 
  Another venue that was severely damaged in the storm was the Lakefront Airport, a small airport on Lake Pontchartrain. Over the years, its beauty had been largely destroyed by “modernization.” Fortunately for all of us, the city chose to save it and restore it to its original art deco glamour, making it the ideal venue for a big party and the climactic scene in Risky Whiskey.
  In spite of widespread damage in NOLA, the historic French Quarter survived Katrina pretty well. That’s what most tourists see. It’s lively and exciting and fun, like my characters. When they’re not dodging danger, they get to enjoy the best New Orleans has to offer, including wonderful watering holes like Latitude 29 and the French 75 Bar.

Pepper embraces fun and life, and that quality makes her a pleasure to write. Sure, she’s gifted at finding trouble and curses a bit too much and gets in over her head with men, but she’s also brave and smart. She’s a survivor.

We’re all learning a bit too much right now about surviving disasters, but my Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries are set in the “before time,” or perhaps an alternate universe, where people still get together at large events like Risky Whiskey’s fictional cocktail convention in New Orleans. Like Pepper, I hope we can all look forward to a time after tragedy when joy is abundant.

And in the meantime, we can find our pleasures (and escapes) in reading about good times and wonderful places like New Orleans.

Learn more about Lucy and her books at

About Risky Whiskey

 Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Publisher: Velvet Petal Press (July 21, 2020) 
 Print Length: 250 pages
  Digital ASIN: B088Q9NW98
Stirring up trouble in New Orleans ...
Eager to shake up her drinks and her life, mixologist Pepper Revelle jumps at an invitation to join the elite Bohemia Bartenders. Leader Neil thinks she’ll be the perfect advance gal for his team at a colorful cocktail convention in her hometown of New Orleans, but the job turns out to be more bananas than a drunk monkey. Setting up the key tasting for their distiller client, she and Neil discover their whiskey has gone dangerously bad. But how? And was this shocking poisoning more than an accident?
As Pepper and Neil try to figure out what happened, keep the drinks flowing and help distiller Dash Reynolds survive the weekend, they find themselves the target of increasingly scary attacks. Maybe it’s the danger, or maybe it’s the drinks, but Pepper also can’t help an inconvenient attraction to cocktail nerd Neil as they stir up trouble and try to figure out who’s out to get them — before they’re sliced and squeezed like a lemon twist in a Sazerac.
Risky Whiskey is the first book in the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries, funny whodunits with a dash of romance set in a convivial collective of cocktail lovers, eccentrics and mixologists. These cozy culinary comedies contain a hint of heat, a splash of cursing and shots of laughter, served over hand-carved ice.
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

I had a little too much fun reading this book! We meet Pepper who has quite the name I must say as she is getting ready for a big event. She works as a cocktail bartender with some incredible skills at creating drinks. A distillery is being spotlighted with their new run and more. Set up goes great  until the servers are late due to a delayed flight and the whiskey is no where to be found. This creates chaos so she is sent to find the missing liqueur. Imagine her surprise to find the one watching the cases unconscious. He needs to be rushed to the hospital. The whiskey has been tampered with though no one knows how or why. This makes for quite the mystery as they try to figure it all out while still running the event after scrambling to replace their product. Makes for a well written fun mystery full of surprises and well rounded characters offset by a intriguing atmosphere. A must read for cozy fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.

About Lucy Lakestone

Lucy Lakestone is an award-winning author who lives on Florida’s east central coast, among the towns that serve as an inspiration for the hot romances of her Bohemia Beach Series and the jumping-off point for the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries. She’s been a journalist, photographer, editor and video producer but prefers living in her imagination, where the moon is full and the cocktails are divine. Learn more at

Author Links  

Purchase Links for Risky Whiskey

July 29 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT  
July 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf- GUEST POST  
July 30 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW  
July 31 - Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT  
August 1 - Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE  
August 1 - Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
August 2 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST  
August 3 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT  
August 3 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW  
August 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST  
August 4 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW  
August 4 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTIGHT  
August 5 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
August 5 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW  
August 6 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
August 6 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
August 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
August 7 – Author Elena Taylor's Blog – GUEST POST 


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