Wednesday, September 23, 2020



In the final Enchantment Lake mystery, Francie's search for the truth about her mother--and herself--plunges her into danger during a North Woods winter

When she wakes in her aunts' cold cabin on the shore of Enchantment Lake, Francie remembers: everything about her life has changed. Or is about to. Or just might. Everything depends on the small, engraved silver box that she now possesses--if only she can follow its cryptic clues to the whereabouts of her missing mother and understand, finally, just maybe, the truth about who she really is.

Francie, it turns out, has a lot to learn, and this time the lessons could be deadly. Her search for answers takes her and her best friends Raven and Jay as far afield as an abandoned ranch in Arizona and as close to home as a sketchy plant collector's conservatory and a musty old museum where shadows lurk around every display case. At the heart of it all is a crime that touches her own adopted North Woods: thieves dig up fragile lady's slippers, peel bark from birches, strip moss off trees, cut down entire forests of saplings to sell for home decor. But Francie is up against no ordinary plant theft. One ominous clue after another reveal that she possesses something so rare and so valuable that some people are willing to do anything to get it. When Francie's investigation leads her into the treacherously cold and snowy North Woods, she finds out that she too is being pursued.

Book Details:

Title: The Silver Box

Author: Margi Preus

Genre: middle grade mystery

Series: The Enchantment Lake Mystery Series

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (October 6, 2020)

Print length: 200 pages


A few of your favorite things: my little writing house and everything in it.
Things you need to throw out: half of everything in my big house.

Things you need in order to write: paper & pen.
Things that hamper your writing: the phone.

Things you love about writing: you can do it from anywhere, be any age, and you can’t be fired.
Things you hate about writing: tendonitis.

Things you love about where you live: our woods and creek; proximity to trails and lakes, great neighbors, and I love Duluth!
Things that make you want to move: late March, April, sometimes May when winter hasn’t yet ended . . .

Favorite beverage: a cappuccino in the morning and a glass of good wine in the evening.

Something that gives you a pickle face: fermented things.

Favorite smell: the pine-scented air of the Northwoods.

Something that makes you hold your nose: lawn chemicals. Why? Why do people put poisons on their lawns and therefore into watersheds?

Something you’re really good at: throwing big dinner parties on short notice.

Something you’re really bad at: cleaning up afterward. (Fortunately my husband is good at it.)

Things you always put in your books: questions.

Things you never put in your books: a moral.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: so many people! Writers! Artists! Heroes! Writers: Louise Erdrich, David Mitchell, Philip Pullman, Amor Towles, Anthony Doerr, Colson Whitehead, Billy Collins, Celeste Ng, Margaret Atwood. . . the list goes on . . . (Fortunately I am good at throwing large dinner parties—see above.)
People you’d cancel dinner on: current resident of the White House and family.

Things that make you happy: being on water (preferably in a canoe or kayak); being on snow (preferably on skis); foggy days; sunny days; good food; good friends; family.

Things that drive you crazy: leaf blowers, fireworks all summer long, lawn chemicals (see above), clear-cutting, car locks that beep or honk, extraneous noise in general.


Margi Preus’s books for young readers include the Newbery-honor-winning Heart of a Samurai and its companion The Bamboo Sword, also West of the Moon, Enchantment Lake, and Shadow on the Mountain. Her books have been ALA/ALSC Notables, received multiple awards, landed on many “best of” lists, been featured on NPR, and have been translated into several languages. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, speaking, and visiting schools all over the world.

Connect with Margi:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  
Bookshop  |  Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, September 15, 2020




Known for its mouthwatering traditional breads, the Yeast of Eden bakery has gained fame across Northern California’s coast. Now the shop is bound for Reality TV—but a murder may kill its reputation . . .

People come to the beach town of Santa Sofia as much for the healing properties of Yeast of Eden’s breads as for a vacation getaway. And now a cable food channel has selected the bakery as a featured culinary delight for a new show. Baking apprentice Ivy Culpepper is excited as the crew arrives, ready to capture all the ins and outs of the renowned bread shop. But instead they capture something much harder to stomach: the attempted murdered of the show’s cameraman just outside Yeast of Eden . . .

With no motive and no clues, and the town craving answers, it will be up to Ivy to sift through the evidence to find the truth. But she’ll have to move quickly before someone else is targeted or the wrong person gets the heat—and the business collapses like a deflated soufflĂ©, right before her eyes.

Book Details:

Author: Winnie Archer

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: A Bread Shop Mystery, book 5

Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)

Print length: 352 pages



If you could talk to someone (dead), who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would love to talk with Agatha Christie, the queen of mystery. I’d like to learn how she came up with so many amazing plots and characters, and where here inspiration came from.

If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
I have had another career: middle school English teacher. If, for some reason I couldn’t continue as a writer, I’d definitely go back to teaching. I loved teaching and miss it sometimes. Not right now during the pandemic, though!

If you had to do community service (or already do volunteer work), what would you choose?
I am on the board for our town’s Friends of the Library. I volunteer in the book donation room, at book sale events, and do whatever else is needed. I really enjoy it!

If you could choose a fictional town to live in what would it be and from what book?
I’d definitely choose one of my own fictional towns, but it would be a toss up between Santa Sofia, a coastal town in California from The Bread Shop mysteries, or Devil’s Cove, from the upcoming Book Magic mysteries, an island village in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I’m a small town girl, which means the towns I create for my books have qualities that really appeal to me.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

Oh gosh. I don’t know! I love where we live now—in North Carolina. I’d love to live on the coast here (minus the hurricanes, of course). Three of my kids live in Los Angeles. If I could live in an awesome house on the beach there, I might go for that. Or a beach town in Europe somewhere would be awesome. Apparently I want to live by the ocean!


5 favorite possessions: 

  • my Nook
  • my wedding ring, which was my grandmother’s
  • my computer (can’t live without it!)
  • my yoga mat
  • any one of my mother’s water color paintings that are on my wall

5 things you love about writing:  

  • being able to be home with my dogs (Bean the pug and Dobby the chug) everyday
  • being able to spend times with the fictional friends I’ve created in my books
  • working from home because I love my house
  • having wonderful writer friends
  • being able to share the stories and characters that live in my head

5 things you love about where you live:  

  • I live in North Carolina and I love
  • the trees
  • being so close to so many cool places
  • the little lake we live on
  • having so many wonderful friends
  • our cute town

5 things about you or 5 words to describe you:  

  • determined
  • considerate
  • compassionate
  • creative
  • loving

5 favorite places you’ve been:  

  • Girona, Spain
  • Prague
  • North Carolina coast
  • Montpelier, France
  • the mountains in Virginia


What’s one thing that very few people know about you? 

I recently finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training. I wasn’t sure at the end that I actually wanted to teach yoga, but I’m teaching once a week (socially distanced) and am really enjoying it.

What’s the most beautiful sound you’ve heard? 

The rushing water of a waterfall. And the sweet crying of each of my newborn babies <3

What’s your favorite meal? 

Depends on the day. I love my tacos, pizza from our new pizza oven, egg burritos, and baba ganoush come in at the top.

What’s your favorite snack?
Lately it’s been Honeycomb cereal. It’s pretty low cal and meets my sweet craving!

What’s your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing to do?

Binge on a great TV show!

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?

I have a great photograph of my kids walking down these cool steps when we were in Valencia, Spain a few years ago. I love the photo and have it as all my screensavers!

What do you collect?

I’m not a big collector, but I have taken a fancy to cute teapots lately. I just found a super quirky one of three chefs (!) at an antique store in Staunton, Virginia when we were there last weekend!

What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: homemade pizza with an Ooni pizza oven. Cooks at 900 degrees and in one minute. SO good!
Music: I’ve been listening to the Bridge on Sirius XM.
Movie: Chef. I love this movie!
Book: Circe. Just read it and enjoyed it a lot.
Audiobook: anything by Liane Moriarty
TV: old The Closer episodes.
Netflix/Amazon Prime: I’m currently loving In the Dark


Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and by night she’s the author of the Bread Shop Mystery series. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

Connect with the author:

Website   |  Facebook Kensington

Buy the book:

Saturday, September 12, 2020




Waylon Jenkins has a problem. Well, he's got a few of them. The ghost of Betsy Ross lives in his house, he's pretty sure his favorite client is the victim of ongoing domestic violence, and he's been roped into helping the police investigate a series of murders. 

And his penis fell off in the shower this morning. He needs a new one, but none of his friends are willing to donate theirs to the cause. 

In case it isn't obvious by now, Waylon Jenkins is a zombie.

He's also one of the most highly respected and in-demand makeup artists in Hollywood, and that keeps him busy, no matter how dead he is. But now he needs to find out who's committing a string of murders, and make sure nobody hurts Mitzi (one name only), one of his most faithful (and famous) clients. 

He also needs a new penis. 

Pluck & Cover is the first in the Zombie Cosmetologist Novellas, a new series by J.D. Blackrose, author of The Soul Wars and The Devil's Been Busy.

Book Details

Title: Pluck &Cover

Author: JD Blackrose

Genre: humorous fantasy/cozy

Series: Zombie Cosmetologist

Publisher: Falstaff Books (March 5, 2020)

Print length: 126 pages


A few of your favorite things: books, books, all the books!
Things you need to throw out: books, books, all the books! Well, maybe not throw them out, but donate or sell. 

Things you need in order to write: two monitors. I have to be able to Google things or look at my Evernote files while I’m writing.
Things that hamper your writing: Facebook and Twitter! Social media sucks up time like nothing else.

Things you love about writing: creating a story out of your own head and sharing it with other people. It’s the closest thing to magic I know.
Things you hate about writing: finding a way to convey all the details you see in your mind to your reader without dumping ten pages of stupid, boring stuff.

Easiest thing about being a writer: making things up.

Hardest thing about being a writer: not making any money doing it.

Things you love about where you live: I live in Cleveland, and it is a fabulous place to raise a family. It is affordable and has culture and outdoor spaces. The Midwest is great.
Things that make you want to move: snow. I’m so over it.

Things you never want to run out of: fresh water, toilet paper, food, basic medical supplies.
Things you wish you’d never bought: for some reason, I own approximately seven meat thermometers. I’m pretty sure I could pare down on those.

Words that describe you: compassionate, driven, caring.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: impatient, insecure, occasionally inattentive.

Favorite foods: I like almost everything except . . .
Things that make you want to throw up: anise, fennel, and black licorice because they have the same flavor. I’m literally repulsed by it. I can’t even smell it.

Favorite smell: Bath and Bodyworks Jasmine/Vanilla body wash. It’s my favorite, and it is discontinued!

Something that makes you hold your nose: a dirty catbox. There is almost nothing worse.

Something you’re really good at: I’m a good cook. I love cooking and experimenting with different recipes and flavors. 

Something you’re really bad at: sewing. If it has to do with a needle and thread, I’m terrible at it. I can sew a button on but that is about it. Cook a dinner for twelve? No problem. Hem a pair of pants? Not on your life. 

Things to say to an author: I love your books. I recommended your books to my friends. I really enjoyed that scene when . . .
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I think you should have written your book differently. I have an idea for a story that I’m going to tell you and you should write it. I really liked the story, but I gave your book a one-star review because it arrived at my door in bad condition. (Authors have no control over shipping!)

Favorite places you’ve been: Italy. Oh, Italy.

Places you never want to go to again: Newark airport. Sorry, Newark.


J.D. Blackrose is currently writing a new urban fantasy series for BellBridge Books. She published The Soul Wars, The Devil’s Been Busy, and two Zombie Cosmetologist novellas through Falstaff Books. Her short story, "The Ghost Train," was published by Third Flatiron in their Spring 2019 Anthology and their Best of 2019 Anthology. She spends a lot of time chatting with the imaginary people in her head and is often accused of having a hearing problem. As a survival tactic, she has mastered the art of looking interested. She credits her parents for teaching her to ask questions, and in lieu of facts, how to make up answers.

Connect with the author:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon author page 

Buy the book:


Thursday, September 3, 2020




A quiet night in the city of Colby is shattered by a crime that leaves a young man dead and a cop looking for answers. Hitting a stone wall at every turn, Officer Mike Collins and the Colby Police Department follow the trail of one young man's criminal act to discover a crime that leaves a family in shambles. Police officers know evil exists, they face it every day, but the evil that looms in the city of Colby may be more than they can handle. 

Book Details:   

Title: Family Secrets: A Colby PD Novel

Author: Ronnie Ashmore

Genre: crime fiction, crime thriller, mystery, suspense

Publish date: June 2020

Print length: 166 pages


A few of your favorite things: spending time with my family, golf, and reading.
Things you need to throw out: anything that doesn’t contribute to overall happiness.

Things you need in order to write:
a quiet place and a busy mind.
Things that hamper your writing: the internet and research can kill my writing time. 

Things you love about writing:
telling a story that hopefully makes much more sense in written form than thought form.
Things you hate about writing: finding a way to not have cliches fill my writing.

Easiest thing about being a writer: having that first spark of an idea. 

Hardest thing about being a writer: turning that initial spark into a full story.

Things you love about where you live: it’s Texas. That is all that needs to be said.
Things that make you want to move: nothing, except maybe the Texas summers.

Things you never want to run out of:
love from my family.
Things you wish you’d never bought: I don’t really think of things in that fashion. Everything is a learning experience.

Words that describe you: honest.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: short.

Favorite foods: most anything my wife makes. She is a great cook.
Things that make you want to throw up: certain smells that you experience in my line of work that as I get older seem to bother me more.

Favorite music: love all kinds of real music. Sinatra, country music, southern rock, jazz.
Music that make your ears bleed: most of the new stuff that is being mass produced these past few years. Although there are some great singers among the mess.

Favorite beverage: water.

Something that gives you a pickle face: sour things.

Favorite smell: leather.

Something that makes you hold your nose: some of the same things that make me want to throw up.

Something you’re really good at: poker and most trivia games.

Something you’re really bad at: running marathons. Never done it, never will because . . .  well, why?

Something you like to do: I like to play golf. I am not very good at it, but I enjoy it. 

Something you wish you’d never done: quit college.

Things you always put in your books: I try, though not always possible, to include something that connects to what inspired the story whether a person or a saying or whatever.

Things you never put in your books: anything that seems fake.

Things to say to an author: loved the book.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Wow. That story sucked.

Favorite things to do: travel, golf, and spend time with the kids and wife. 

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: spending time with fake people.

Things that make you happy: my kids laughter, my wife’s smile. A good cigar and a nice drink. 

Things that drive you crazy: being put on a schedule.

Proudest moment: being a father. Not to sound sappy, but a lot of my pride and joy is wrapped up in my wife and kids. 

Most embarrassing moment: this involves a story from my younger days in patrol and is too lengthy to get into, but it involves a snake and an elderly woman. 


Ronnie Ashmore is a two-time chief of police who started his law enforcement career as a jailer working his way up through the ranks. He has written short stories, poems, and books.

When he is not working or writing and has some spare time, he enjoys playing golf, fishing, and traveling with his wife and kids.  You can contact him at

Connect with Ronnie:
Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Goodreads 

Buy the book: