Friday, August 24, 2018

Welcome Ginger Bolton!

Meow! My guest this week is author Ginger Bolton!

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat . . . Survival of the Fritters came out in February, 2018. Goodbye Cruller World appears August 28, and Jealousy-Filled Donuts is in the works. When Ginger isn't writing or reading, she's crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs, and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes were folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.

Hi and welcome Ginger! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thanks ROCCO!  As Janet Bolin, I wrote the Threadville Mystery series, murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.
Now I’m writing the Deputy Donut Mysteries as Ginger Bolton. Emily Westhill is a former 911 dispatcher. Now she and her father-in-law, a retired police chief, own Deputy Donut, a coffee and donut shop catering to, among others, cops. Whenever a crime occurs in the small town of Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, Deputy Donut is a good place to hear rumors and pick up clues. Emily’s mischievous cat is also named Deputy Donut. If Dep could talk, the murders might be solved sooner, but all Dep can do is arch her back and puff up whenever she spots someone she thinks she might not like.
When I’m not reading or writing, I might be cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, or when I feel especially brave, plunking out a few tunes at the piano. Occasionally, I get up and walk our two elderly rescue dogs, not always at the same time. Together, they like to weave their leashes around my legs, creating macramé with me in the middle.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?
Be careful about believing that Dep is giving you a clue when she arches her back and puffs up. She likes herring. Red herrings . . .

Please tell us about your newest release  
Named after her beloved tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill's donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she's expanding into catering weddings. But a killer is about to crash the reception . . .
Normally, Emily's eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner—the former police chief of Fallingbrook—she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there's no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

What was the inspiration behind this story?

I heard about donut walls and knew that one of them would be perfect for a wedding reception, and who doesn’t want to write or read about a wedding reception that goes horribly wrong?

Okay, many people don’t. But mystery readers and writers are, ahem, special.

Tell us about your main character.

Emily Westhill was a 911 operator who wanted everyone to live happily ever after, something that doesn’t always happen when there are life-threatening emergencies. On one fateful night when she wasn’t working, her life was forever changed. To console herself, she made donuts, lots and lots of donuts, more donuts than she and her friends could eat. She took some to the police station. One of the policewomen asked Emily for birthday cakes made of donuts stuck together for her twins. Soon all of the kids between 2 and 12 in Fallingbrook wanted Emily’s birthday cakes made of donuts. Their parents loved the coffee that Emily brought. Emily and her father-in-law ended up opening Deputy Donut, a donut and coffee shop catering to, among others, first responders. Emily loves making and serving delicious coffee and donuts, and she likes the people who flock to Deputy Donut to enjoy them and one another. Wanting everyone to live happily ever after means that Emily can’t help trying to be a matchmaker, especially for the two friends she’d known ever since junior high. Emily is courageous yet vulnerable.

Which is your favorite minor character and why?

Well, Rocco…when talking to you, I think it has to be Dep. a.) because she’s a cat; b.) because was kind enough to let Emily and Tom borrow her illustrious name for their donut and coffee shop; and c.) writing about her, I can feel her soft, warm fur and her comforting rumble of a purr.

Tell us something funny about one of your characters.

Dep has never learned to climb down trees and the carpeted pillars in the kitty playground she has in the office at Deputy Donut. She tried going down frontward once, and that was it. She won’t climb anything that doesn’t have an obvious, frontward way down. Her kitty playground has kitty-width ramps and stairs.

One of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where does he/she go and what does he/she buy?

Emily goes to Dressed to Kill across the driveway from Deputy Donut. One of the owners, Jenn, designs the most wonderful sweaters. Emily buys a lot of them . . .

Please share a few favorite lines or one paragraph.

I threw on a red down-filled jacket and picked up the periwinkle step-on wastebasket that I’d trimmed with white lace and gold ribbon. “Goodbye, Dep,” I said. “I’ll be back really late. Don’t wait up for me.” She rubbed a paw over her head, flattening an ear. “Pretend you can’t hear me, Dep,” I teased. “I know you can.” She flattened her other ear.

Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult?
Sue Grafton’s mysteries taught me what that all-important quality in fiction, voice, is. And that a main character can be a little snarky and still be endearing.

Do you think you may ever go into another genre?  If so, which one?
I’ve tried my hand at writing suspense, and really like it.

Can you tell us some of your latest news?
The third Deputy Donut Mystery, Jealousy-Filled Donuts will be out about a year from now. Emily and Tom have a new assistant. The three of them provide jelly-filled donuts for the Fallingbrook Fabulous Fourth of July picnic. A half dozen of those donuts get into trouble later that night…

If you could live in the world you have created, would you? If no, why not?
I would love to live in Threadville and be able to walk to buy crafting supplies. I would have to move Deputy Donut there, too, for the delicious coffee and donuts. But…murders every year? Maybe not.

Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us?
I’m participating with other authors in the Kensington Cozy Mystery Convention at the Forest Park Public Library, 7555  Jackson Blvd., Forest Park, Illinois 60130, on September 1, 2 – 5 PM

Where can we learn more about you and your books?

Random Quickies!
Favorite movie?
Working Girl
Favorite book or author? Yeah we know it can be hard to choose! ;)
Mary Stewart, for her suspense novels
Hardback/Paperback or eReader?
Favorite color?
How many paperback/hardcover books do you own?
Too many!

Thanks for a great interview, Ginger!


Ginger will give away a signed copy of Goodbye Cruller World to one lucky commenter in either the US or Canada!

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! Contest closes midnight August 31!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

ROCCO welcomes guest poster Elaine Faber and Mrs. Oddbody

What makes a mystery book a  S.U.C.C.E.S.S? 
     Elaine Faber

When is a novel a SUCCESS? Is it when an edited manuscript  is submitted to a publisher? A writer certainly feels a measure of success at that milestone.

Or must the book be published and delivered in four cardboard boxes to the writer’s front porch? That would absolutely be the definition of success.

Better still. Must it be an Amazon best-seller to a considered a complete and total “success”? Let’s analyze my latest novel, Mrs. Odboddy- And then there was a Tiger! Will it be a success?

What makes a book a Success?
S IS FOR SECRETS. There must be a secret yet to be discovered-that is key to the plot. The reader must be willing to accompany our heroine as she discovers the compelling secret. Without a secret, there is no reason to keep turning pages. Who would address a rat-filled shoebox and leave it on Mrs. Odboddy’s porch, and then break into her house? That sounds like a compelling secret worth following.

U IS FOR AN ‘UNKNOWN’ VILLAIN   An unknown antagonist is vital to the plot. Without a villain, life would be smooth sailing, and a cozy mystery can’t have that. Someone has framed Mrs. Odboddy for the Wilkey’s Market burglary. With her reputation in tatters, Mrs. O set out to find the culprit. Surely, the villain  who would do that is a scoundrel, indeed.

C. IS FOR COMPANION OR-CONSPIRACY The heroine must have a sidekick or companion to share the mystery. And a good conspiracy never hurts. Mrs. Odboddy and her friend, Mildred Higgenbottom, host a pumpkin carving booth at the Harvest Festival. But Mrs. O stumbles onto a terrible crime that sets tongues wagging. Who would do such a thing in The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light?

C. IS FOR CLUES..Clues are often sprinkled throughout a good plot along with red herrings to complicate and confuse the reader. Seeking resolution to a seemingly insurmountable problem, Mrs. Odboddy sets out alone to follow a clue and subsequently becomes the victim in an even larger insurmountable problem.

E. IS FOR EXCITEMENT. Without a fair amount of drama and excitement, the reader may lose interest in a book and pick up the Wall Street Journal instead. No problem with And Then There was a Tiger. With the introduction of a carnival tiger and Mrs. Odboddy’s bizarre and wacky decisions, there is plenty of excitement to hold the reader’s attention.

S. IS FOR STRATEGY –How the protagonist in a novel uses strategy to solve the mystery is as important as the clues she finds and follows. As a home front warrior and self-appointed scourge of the underworld, Mrs. Odboddy believes her ingenuity, resourcefulness and the silver chopsticks she wears in her hair will save her from any challenging circumstance.

S. IS FOR SUSPICIONS   Plenty of suspicions, sometimes correct, more often incorrect make a good book even better. And Then There was a Tiger is certainly no exception. Mrs. O follows her head and her heart. Only by good luck and the grace of God does she survive some of the nonsense she backs herself into.

About Mrs. Odboddy -And Then There was a Tiger:
While the ‘tiger of war’ rages across the Pacific during WWII, eccentric, elderly Agnes Odboddy, ‘fights the war from the home front’. Her patriotic duties are interrupted when she becomes a suspect in the Wilkey’s Market burglary.
A traveling carnival with a live tiger joins the parishioners’ Harvest Fair at The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. Counterfeit bills are discovered at the carnival and when the war bond money goes missing, Agnes is determined to restore her reputation and locate the money. Her attempts lead her into harm’s way when she stumbles onto a friend’s betrayal and learns even more about carnival life than she bargained for.

Elaine’s Bio:  Elaine Faber lives in Northern California with her husband and four feline companions. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Northern California Publishers and Authors. She volunteers at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. She enjoys speaking on author panels, sharing her novels. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and multiple anthologies. All her books are available at Amazon for $3.99 in e-book         Mrs. Odboddy-Undercover Courier        Mrs. Odboddy -Hometown Patriot      Mrs. Odboddy–And Then There was a Tiger     All Things Cat        Black Cat’s Legacy       Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer     Black Cat and the Accidental Angel


Elaine will give away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter!
To enter, leave  your name and email address in the comments section!  Winner will be selected at random using on August 16!

Friday, August 3, 2018


Meow, everyone!

It's that time of month again! time for my cozy mystery reviews!
Let's start off with
A Writer's Apprentice Mystery
Julia Buckley
Berkley Prime Crime
July 31, 2018
four and a half stars

This series is written in the style of the old fashioned gothic mystery/romance novels.  Lena London has settled into her job as assistant to a famous novelist n the town of Blue Lake Indiana, and things have settled down considerably since she and her employer cleared her boyfriend, the  mysterious Sam West, of suspicion in the disappearnce of his ex-wife.  Now she finds Sam in trouble again when he's accused of the murder of her mail carrier!  Is someone deliberately framing Sam?  Lena thinks so, and she's out to prove it.    I love the grit and determination of the main character, and the way the author weaves in homages to the gothic mysteries of days past is charming. And, of course, there is a cat! Four and a half paws!

A Tale of Two Kitties
A Magical Cats Mystery
Sofie Kelly
August 7, 2018 (Paperback reprint)
Berkley Prime Crime
Four and a half Paws

Who doesn't love this charming series?  The main character, Kathleen, is as sharp as Nancy Drew when it comes to ferreting out clues, and her two kitties, Owen and Hercules, are no slouches themseves.  Of course, it helps that Owen and Herc have - ahem - magical powers unlike your normal, everyday house cat that come in handy for mystery solving.   This time out Kathleen is trying to find out who killed Leo Janes.  The poor guy was tryng to reconcile with his brother Victor, who had an affair with his wife who was later killed in a car accident.  Kathleen wonders just how much amenable Victor was to a reconciliation with his brother, and sets out to investigate.  Watching Kathleen talk to the cats every step of the way as she investigates the case is half the fun of reading these books!  Definite four and a half paws!

Death in the Stacks
Library Lover Mystery
Jenn McKinlay
Berkley Prime Crime (paperback reprint)
July 31, 2018
four Stars

Lindsey Norris is back, getting into trouble as usual.  This time it's a fundraiser, where the new president of the library board Olive Davidson, seems determined to make Lindsay's life hell.  Lindsay is positive Olive is trying to get her to quit, and is certain of it at the fundraiser when Olive tries to get Lindsay's assistant fired.  You can see where this s going:  Lindsay and Olive have a heated confrontation in front of half the town, then Olive turns up dead, so now Lindsay has to find the real killer to clear her name!  Fans of this series will enjoy watching Lindsey track down clues to expose a killer before she's the one behind bars!  Four stars!

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding
Rhys Bowen
  • Berkley
  • August 7, 2018
  • Four Stars

Lady Georgiana is back, this time planning her wedding.  and as usual, it's Murphy's Law time.  Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong...including murder.  It all starts out when Georgiana begins hunting for a place for her and Darcy to live.   The grounds are in dissarray, and a gas leak smells like an attempt on her life to Georgie. Who would want to kill her.  Before any wedding bells can ring, that's what she's got to find out.

Like the other books in this series, Four Funerals is great fun and intriguing.  If you haven't tried one of these books I urge you to do so!  Four Paws!

Died in the Wood
Peggy Ehrhart
A Knit and NIbble Mystery
August 27, 2018
four Paws

Meet Pamela Patterson, avid knitter and amateur sleuth!  This time out Pamela finds a dead body at a High School charity event where she's selling stuffed aardvarks!  the victim is a very unpopular History teacher, so Pamela now finds herself back at school to track down a killer.  Very cute series. I enjoyed the first one, Murder She Knit, and the second was just as entertaining.  four paws, only becasue I guessed the killer early on - but you'll have fun piecing the clues together along with Pamela.

Win one of ROCCO's review copies?
ROCCO will choose one of the following for one lucky commenter: DEATH IN THE STACKS, FOUR FUNERALS AND MAYBE A WEDDING, OR A DARK AND TWISTED PATH!  Leave a comment to guess which one he'll pick and you could win his review copy!

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck!  Contest ends midnight, August 10!