Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thankful For A New Release--MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS

I have so many things to be thankful for and I could write about the traditional thanksgiving list of family, friends, health and on and on--all the things that surround me on a daily basis.  Truthfully as I grow older, I reflect on these things every day.  The one thing, as I get wrapped up in my day to day writing chores, that I sometimes forget to appreciate is the fact that I was gifted with the talent of telling stories in the written word and that I was fortunate enough to be able to share my stories with my readers.  So it seems significant that I celebrate my 103rd release this week with the publication of MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS, the fourth in my Daisy's Tea Garden cozy mystery series for Kensington Books.  And today I want to thank my faithful readers through the past twenty-seven years for believing in me and trusting me to produce a story that will warm your hearts and touch your spirit.  I have appreciated all of your kind words and supportive notes through the years.

MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS is a cozy mystery which revolves around Daisy's outreach to a homeless single father and his darling daughter.  I created a yummy cherry tart recipe for this book that is included in the back of the book. 

Pirated Treasures is an antiques shop that also plays a significant
role in the mystery.  Daisy purchases a Burton and Burton Victorian design teapot atop a teacup from the owner of the shop on one of her many visits to the shop while she is gathering clues to solve the murder of the store owner's nephew.  Notice its uniquely-shaped infinity handle.

What could better than a steaming cup of tea, delicious food and delicate china to soften the sometimes terrifying search for a murderer in the community of Willow Creek, Pennsylvania, deep in Amish country!

Here is a little summary of the book which is now available:

Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 


Saturday, November 2, 2019

WOOD You Shop Here? by Karen Rose Smith

Recently my husband and I went for a drive through Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Since my Daisy's Tea Garden cozy mystery series is set in PA Amish country, I like to take an occasional drive though the area to soak in the Amish way of life which was immediately evident as we veered off the Old Philadelphia Pike onto several side roads that wound through Amish homesteads and farms.  It was a beautiful fall day and the horse-drawn farm equipment was active preparing the fields for winter and next spring's crops. Amish scooter cycles were being maneuvered along the country roads and wash was strung on pulley lines from the houses to the barn roofs.

The Amish operate many of the business establishments along the main route.  I always enjoy shopping in these stores and appreciating the hand crafted quilts, wall hangings, garden ornaments and furniture.

We stopped at a small coffee shop in the town of Intercourse for a quiet lunch.  I enjoyed watching the horse and buggies clopping along the street and the multitude of tourists who were enjoying the shops and outdoor entertainment at Kettle Village, directly across the street.

Sharing the same building as the coffee shop was a furniture store with locally-crafted pieces, many from reclaimed wood.  This shop immediately reminded me of WOODS, the business that is owned and operated by Jonas Groft in my tea garden mysteries.  Daisy often makes the short trek down the main street in Willow Creek, Pennsylvania, the fictional town I created based in historic Lancaster County, to visit Jonas.

Jonas makes many of the pieces featured in his shop, most made from reclaimed wood he often travels to purchase. Sometimes wood is found in old buildings that are being demolished or renovated.  Daisy often observes the chairs lined in cubicles along one wall of the shop, very similar to the display in the store we discovered in Intercourse.  They also featured tabletops which could be mounted on the pedestal bases of your choice, reclaimed wood mantles, and beautiful doors.

Some unusual items also caught my attention.  The shelf planter bicycle would be the perfect addition for a porch or sun room.  There were also many signs made from reclaimed wood, some with just a single word, others with more thought-provoking messages.

 I really enjoyed this visit to a shop that took me to a place that I had created in my imagination and shared on the written page.   I truly felt friendliness, warmth and peace knowing that such places truly do exist.


Coming in December!


In Pennsylvania’s Amish country, Daisy Swanson has a tea shop to run, a daughter to marry off—and a murder to solve . . .

Daisy’s worried one of her employees at Daisy’s Tea Garden may be in a spot of trouble. Lately Karina’s been loading up on soup and second-day baked goods at the end of her shift—and while the shop’s scrumptious treats may be hard to resist, Daisy suspects there’s more going on, especially since Karina has been seen hanging out in a rundown part of Willow Creek.

Planning her own daughter’s wedding is enough to keep her busy, but Daisy can’t help feeling a protective maternal instinct—and an instinct to investigate. It turns out Karina has been helping a down-on-his luck single dad who’s been making ends meet—barely—by selling antiques at a place called Pirated Treasures.

But when an employee at the antiques store is bludgeoned to death with a marble rolling pin, Karina’s new friend is suspect number one. Though the motives are muddy and steeped in intrigue, Daisy is more than determined to flush the real killer out.