We’re thrilled to have the delightful and talented Mary Lee Ashford visit today as our Guest Chick! To celebrate the release of GAME OF SCONES, the first book in the Sugar and Spice Mystery series, Mary Lee is doing a GIVEAWAY OF a copy of the book (ebook or print, winner’s choice), plus a GAME OF SCONES T-shirt to one lucky commenter (Please include your e-mail address with your comment so author can contact the winner)! Take it away, Mary Lee!
I am so excited to be writing this new series as I’ve been a reader of culinary mysteries for years. I love the theme (and the recipes), but still for me a story is always about the people. Who are they? What makes them tick? Why do they make the choices they make? And where do they live? In this particular story, it was that last question that I spent a lot of time thinking about.
You’ve heard the saying attributed to Mason Cooley, “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” Stories are like that for me. I often travel without leaving my chair. So, when I was deciding on the setting for the Sugar & Spice Mysteries, I thought quite a lot about where Sugar and Dixie, the two main characters, should live. I wanted a town that was not too big – it’s just that kind of story – but big enough for a murder mystery or two without wiping the town off the map.
After a great deal of thought and inspired by my friend, Holly Jacobs, who shares her love of Erie with her readers, I decided to share my love of the Midwest and set the series in Iowa. St. Ignatius is a fictional town but it has many of the elements I love in the beautiful small towns around the Iowa. A central courthouse, a town square, unique little shops, and, well, shall we say, interesting characters. Writing about it has reminded me of all my home state has to offer, and I’m hoping it will be a town readers will want to visit again and again.
About the book:
After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to her friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch . . .
But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again.
About the author:
Mary Lee Ashford writes the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington, and also pens the Pampered Pets Mysteries as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey. She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a current board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC Internet group, Guppies. Her delights are encouraging other writers, reading, and enjoying her family, especially her six grandchildren. Learn more about Mary Lee and her books at: www.MaryLeeAshford.com
Are there certain fictional towns you love to visit again and again? Real life locales, maybe vacation spots, you can’t wait to get back to? Comment below — and remember one lucky commenter will WIN a copy of GAME OF SCONES and a T-shirt!
WINNER in the drawing for the GAME OF SCONES book and T-shirt is Christi King! Congrats, Christi!