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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Biscuit, A Casket by Liz Mugavero, Review and Guest Post


A Biscuit, A Casket by Liz Mugavero
Cozy Mystery – 320 Pages
July 7 – July 16, 2014
A Biscuit, a Casket
Series: A Pawsitively Organic Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0758284802
ISBN-13: 978-0758284808

The small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, has wholeheartedly embraced Kristan “Stan” Connor’s new business – preparing quality organic treats for dogs and cats. On a healthy diet, the animals may live longer…but one local farmer won’t be so lucky. As Halloween approaches, Stan is asked to cater a doggie costume party hosted by the Happy Cow Dairy Farm. Part of a local co-op, Happy Cow specializes in organic dairy products, and farmers Hal and Emmalee Hoffman have started opening up the farm for parties, offering a “haunted” corn maze as an added attraction. When Hal’s lifeless body is found in the maze, the police at first suspect his wife, but Stan soon learns the dairy farmer had plenty of enemies – from bitter family members to shady business associates. If Stan can’t extract a kernel of truth from the labyrinth of lies, she may be the next one to buy the farm…
My Review:
I know the cover of a book doesn't have anything to do with how good it is, but I just love the cover of this book, it is so cute.  It was a great book that I literally almost could not put down.  Liz does a such wonderful job with writing, that this book just flowed so well, and it was a very fast read.  It kept me guessing till the very end, which is what I like in a cozy mystery.  I was also set in a charming place filled with charming and quirky characters.  I really liked the animals in this story also, as I am a huge animal lover.  I say great job Liz, I will definitely be reading more in Pawsitively Organic Mystery Series. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About This Author
Liz Mugavero has been writing stories since she could hold a pen. Before that, she would tell them to anyone who would listen (not many at the time). After deciding early on she would write books for a living, she practiced by writing bad, angst-filled poems, short stories and even a storyline for a soap opera–all by age 15. She never wavered from her goals despite all the usual questions including, “So are you going to be an English teacher with that degree in English?” or, “That writing thing sounds nice, but how are you REALLY going to make a living?”
She went on to get a master’s in writing and publishing and spent time in journalism, PR, and presently, corporate communications. And she’s confident this writing thing IS the way to make a living.
Aside from writing, she loves animals (has a houseful), the beach, reading other writers’ masterpieces and Starbucks coffee.
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Guest Post


Life in Frog Ledge


One of my favorite parts about writing a cozy series is building the town - the place where all the action happens, where the characters live and evolve and the story comes to life.

Frog Ledge, Conn., where the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries are set, is a fictional town, created from a hybrid of places nearby to where I live. When I was brainstorming the series, my mind kept going back to the town green where I take my dogs for walks. This town green wasnt like any Id ever seen. First, it was huge. It had a walking trail around it, and I could tell it was the place where life happened in this town. Farmers markets, concerts, fireworks, you name it - it all took place on the green. I knew immediately this would be the center of my fictional town.

In the books, Stan buys a Victorian house on the south end of the green. From her upstairs windows, she gets to keep a pretty good pulse on whats going on. Also around the green are the town library, the historical society, some Revolutionary War historical buildings and the general store.

Of course, a lot of this is an ad-lib from the real thing. I chose the pieces that worked from the real town and changed the ones that didnt. I added some aspects of another town in close proximity, including some of the history, to shape Frog Ledge. But I also made it more modern. I gave it a gourmet coffee and chocolate shop (something Id love to see in my town!), and a classy Irish pub. I gave it a bed and breakfast with an alpaca farm built in. I gave it a vet clinic that offered natural treatments along with traditional. And I gave it a caring, compassionate animal control officer who cares deeply about animal rescue. Which, in my mind, makes it a hugely desirable place to live!

The most important thing, though, is to make this town resonate with readers. They have to want to come back and visit. And while the small town setting has a lot to do with that, the town would be empty without its citizens. So as I created Frog Ledge, I imagined the kinds of people Id expect to be living there - and then some Id never expect. This is how I found Char Mackey, southern transplant and B&B owner who still expects drive-through daiquiri stands like the ones she left behind in New Orleans to make an appearance someday. And Izzy Sweet, the exotic sweet shop owner. Even Stan, who is so out of her element around dairy farms and cow manure. Frog Ledge has its share of farmers, too, which makes sense given its longstanding agricultural nature, but its much more than that. Its quirky, its quaint, its a traditional New England gem - and I hope readers enjoy visiting it as much as I love writing about it.