Monday, March 31, 2008

Fan Mail

Curious what other HPM subscribers have to say about Barbour Publishing's new mystery line? Check out what one reader had to say:

I wanted to tell you what a blessing it is to have your wonderful new books. I received my introductory shipment in the mail and have thoroughly enjoyed all the books!

The characters in each book are already like old friends. I hope to see continuing series of each of them. All the books are fantastic, and I love the humor in Trouble Up Finny's Nose and Recipe for Murder. I have been sick with bronchitis and sinus problems for two weeks. The books were uplifting and helped me feel so much better. The inspirational theme in each book is so well done and it never appears pushy.

When I started reading Mysterious Incidents at Lone Rock, I thought I would not enjoy that particular book because it is not what I am used to, but it was wonderful. Homicide at Blue Heron Lake was truly perfect in every way. I rated each book a perfect 10, because I can honestly say: I don't think they could be improved upon.

The covers on each book are beautifully done. I had intended to pass my books on to others when I finished re ading them, but I don't know that I will be able to part with them!
Thank you so much for your wonderful books. It is so nice to have books to read that aren't filled with explicit sex and bad words. How wonderful to have great books to read that reflect my Christian values. I look forward to remaining a member for the rest of my life. Please try to increase the number of books in each shipment at a later date. I am a caregiver for my husband and reading is my refuge and entertainment.

God bless you all,

Patricia from Louisiana

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Suspicion of Strawberries

My name is Andromeda Clark, and I’m the owner of Tennessee River Soaps in Greenburg, Tennessee. I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to say that I’m the proud owner of a real business. I’m thirty-five and I’ve tried lots of homespun type businesses but nothing ever seemed to take off. Until now. The first time I ever made soap and sniffed the results, I knew I’d found a business I can stick with.

Different scents can take us back to a favorite memory. For example, my cherries jubilee facial scrub makes some customers remember their favorite dessert. Or peachy keen brings them right back to peach-picking in grandma’s peach orchard. Lavender can help soothe stress. And the oats and goat’s milk bath salts are great for the skin. I’m all about bringing a bit of comfort to people.

Yet every business has a hard time getting started at first. My sweet, wonderful but often absent boyfriend Ben reminds me of this. Sometimes I’m not sure if he understands, with him out on the road long-haul trucking so much. I’m not complaining, really. Since you’ve never met him, I wouldn’t want to give you the wrong idea about the guy.

Back to the soaps, though. Before what happened at the store, I could hardly wait to see what happened after Charla Rae Thacker and her bridesmaids came for a morning of sampling my products. Charla and I actually perfected the cherries jubilee facial scrub together, which made me all the more heartsick over the whole situation. Not just about Charla, but about my business. After all, I intend my products to comfort, not kill.

First in the Scents of Murder series, A Suspicion of Strawberries
follows Andi Clark’s journey to find a murderer in a cozy Tennessee River town, and her journey to the altar—if her longtime boyfriend Ben has anything to say about it.

Lynette Sowell loves to spin adventures for the characters who emerge from story ideas in her head. She desires to take readers on an entertaining journey and hopes they catch a glimpse of God's truth along the way. Lynette is a Massachusetts transplant who lives in central Texas with her husband, two kids by love and marriage (what's a step-kid?), and five cats who have their humans well-trained. She loves to read, travel, spend time with her family, and also tries not to kill her houseplants, although her tropical hibiscus contemplated pressing charges after last winter.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fortune...or Fate?

Since Lovita always seems to be the one telling our story, I thought I’d put my two cents in for a change…

My name’s Sue Jan Pritchard, but soon I’m gonna be Mrs. Monroe Madsen. My handsome hunky husband-to-be is the love of my life, although he used to be more chunky than hunky, but that’s between you, me and the tree. To be honest, I don’t mind telling you that I’m a big, bodaciously beautiful woman. So’s my bestest-estest friend in the whole world and entire universe, Lovita Mae Horton. Together we run Lovita’s Cut’ n Strut Beauty Salon and Boutique in Wachita, Texas.

If you’re wondering, Wachita’s a small little town right next to Nowheresville and just east of Timbuk-three. If you sneezed you’d already be through it. And FYI, Wachita means “Place of Stagnant Waters,” in Indian, which pretty much describes it. I’m not kidding.

Anywho, back to the Cut’ n Strut. We have our regulars—town women who come in once a week to get their hair “did.” I pretty much do all the do’s and Lovita does the boutique part of the shop. We hired Bo not long ago to do the mani’s and pedi’s and she’s a real ar-teest. She painted teeny tiny daisies on my piggys and they looked so perfect I had to wear open toed shoes for a month just to show them off. When she’s not working at the shop with us, she waits tables at her parent’s restaurant, Chun’s Hong Kong Gardens—one of our favorite places to eat. Ya’ll, I’m gittin’ hungry just writing about it.

Which brings me to the why’s and wherefore’s of how this all began. It was at that very establishment that Lovita cracked open a fortune cookie to a menacing message. Imagine that! You’re probably used to gittin’ one of those silly messages in your fortune cookie, like “You will visit the pyramids of Egypt,” or “Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you.” And so were we. But that all changed when Lovita read this message, “Your father did not die of natural causes. A man in a black Stetson will tell you more tomorrow.”

Well, I need to stop typing for a spell. I think I’m gittin’ that carpool tunnel syndrome, and besides that, I’m hungry. All this talk about food reminded my stomach it’s running on empty. So long for now. Let’s do lunch sometime, okay?

Crack the case wide open in August, 2008, with the release of Misfortune Cookies by Linda P. Kozar. The first in the When the Fat Ladies Sing series, Lovita and Sue Jan continue combing the countryside in A Tisket, A Casket and Dead As A Doornail. These big, bodaciously beautiful women have an appetite for adventure and food, though not necessarily in that order.

Linda Kozar is an award-winning author and journalist. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild in The Woodlands, Texas, founded in 2003. Linda taught a women’s Bible study, Coffee, Tea and Thee, in her home for 14 years and is now Co-Leader of Babes With A Beatitude at Woods Edge Community Church. She and her husband Michael, married for 18 years, have two lovely teen daughters, Katie and Lauren as well as a black-and-white Terrier princess named "Patches.

Visit Linda at Coffee, Tea, and Thee.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Barbour Publishing is launching this line of cozy mysteries called Heartsong Mysteries. You can find out more about it here:

My first book in this book club comes in September and if you’ve been reading along the earlier posts you’re getting an idea of the fun all our authors are having being involved in this new line of books.

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories are the classic example of cozy mysteries.
On television, think Murder She Wrote.

My next turn to blog I’ll talk more about my own cozy mystery coming in September, the first of a three book series. But I’ll give you a blurb for now:

Of Mice…and Murder
By Mary Connealy
Being named in Great-grandma’s will was like hitting bankrupt on Wheel of Fortune. The whole family held their breath while the wheel ticked around and around, or rather while the lawyer opened the envelope. Then the wheel stopped on Carrie’s name and everybody else heaved a sigh of relief.
Carrie the heiress. Great.
Clean up the house.
Clean up the yard.
Clean up Great-grandma’s rap sheet.

Carrie hates mice and loves the big city. So why is she living in a huge mouse infested house in her dinky hometown? The dead guy in her pantry closet is the most interesting thing that's happened since she came home. Of course the carpenter who's helping her trap her mice and solve the crime is pretty interesting, too.
I created Carrie out of my own mouse phobia. How about you? Anyone else afraid of mice? Any other phobias?
The only truly unrealistic thing that happens in my small fictional town of Melnik, Nebraska, is...Carrie staying in that house once she sees the first mouse. The rest of it, an oversized stuffed mouse, a dead guy in the closet, a crazed pie-baker and a mouse obsessed drama queen, sure...those could happen. But staying in that house with the mice?
No way.
So tell me what makes you go EEEEKKK!!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

LaTisha Blogs

LaTisha Barnhart here, resting my bunions as I type out this message of greeting to you. Hardy, my husband, is hovering nearby, in a stew because he kept procrastinating returning some library books and now they're overdue. I told him, I said, "Hardy Barnhart, there's no sense in paying a fee for overdue library books when you only live a couple of blocks away from the place. You best get over there and pay up." Did he listen to me? No. He went and curled his hide up in a ball on the sofa. Sound asleep. That man. But you get me in the kitchen whipping up one of my Caramel-Pecan cakes and Hardy suddenly listens real good. Listens for the sound of the mixer mixing up the caramel frosting! Then, sure enough, he's right there at my elbow, big brown eyes pleading to lick the beaters. I always have to double the recipe in order to have enough. Of course, having raised seven hungry children, I'm used to doubling recipes, sometimes tripling them if they were favorites.

Now that's it's just Hardy and me, I try not to cook so much. Sure is tough though. Know what's even tougher? Seeing my babies leave the nest. Funny how it didn't strike me quite so hard until Lela--she's our youngest--left for college this past fall. Now the house seems too quiet and too big. And when Hardy plays his piano, I miss the sound of our babies singing along. It's a good thing I've got my college work to keep my mind busy.

Which reminds me, I need to hustle over to the library and return those books. Maybe I'll drop by Out of Time, the little antique store here in Maple Gap. I used to work there, but Marion and I didn't see eye to eye too often. I hear she's having a going-out-of-business sale, so it might be worth checking out, that is if I can get Hardy on his feet. I can hear him snoring all the way in here.

When LaTisha Barnhart sets foot into the Out of Time antique store, her bunions tell her something's afoot. Upon discovering the body of her former employer Marion Peters, LaTisha decides to put her Police Science degree to good use and do a little investigating of her own. But when her husband Hardy opens his trap and implicates her, the ante is upped, and she is determined to clear her name and find the real culprit.

She's burping Mark Hamm's bad cooking to investigate his beef with Marion. . .gettin' her hair styled at a high falutin' beauty parlor to see what has Regina Rogane in a snarl. . .and thinking Payton O'Mahney's music store lease might be the reason he's singing out of tune when discussion of Marion's murder arises. LaTisha's thinking she just might use the reward money to have her bunions surgically removed, but she's got to catch the crook first!

Murder on the Ol' Bunions, March 2008
by S. Dionne Moore
Check out my Most Beautiful Bunion Contest. Stop laughing, I'm serious!