Jun 242016
 

Jen:  Today we welcome Janel Gradowski to Romancing the Book.  Janel, will you share a short bio with us?
Janel: Janel Gradowski lives in a land that looks like a cold weather fashion accessory, the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. She is a wife and mom to two kids and one Golden Retriever. Her journey to becoming an author is littered with odd jobs like renting apartments to college students and programming commercials for an AM radio station. Somewhere along the way she also became a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking recipes found in her formidable cookbook and culinary fiction collection. Searching for unique treasures at art fairs, flea markets and thrift stores is also a favorite pastime. Coffee is an essential part of her life. She writes the Culinary Competition Mystery Series, along with The Bartonville Series (women’s fiction) and the 6:1 Series (flash fiction). She has also had many short stories published in both online and print publications.

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Jun 242016
 

Banana Muffins & Mayhem by Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition (# 5)
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Pages: 195
Source: book provided by the author for review
recipeicon2

 

 

From #1 bestselling cozy mystery author Janel Gradowski comes her next to-die-for recipe for murder…

Culinary competitor Amy Ridley is as excited as anyone in Kellerton, Michigan to have DIY Home Improvement star, Phoebe Plymouth, come to town for the first annual Cabin Fever Cure event. However the TV personality’s sour attitude quickly curdles people’s opinion of her. When she’s found dead, at the business owned by Amy’s husband, Alex, the heat is on to catch the killer before his professional reputation is ruined!

When Amy seeks help in preparing for a vegan baking recipe contest, she also finds assistance from an unlikely team of sleuths who want to help her catch the murderer. But things go from bad to worse when Alex and his business suddenly suffer a series of less-than-random attacks. Are the murder and attacks related? Amy vows to figure it out before her and her husband’s lives are ruined…or ended permanently!

 

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Jun 242016
 

Fudge Brownies & Murder by Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition (# 4)
Release Date: December 17, 2015
Pages: 191
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Source: book provided by the author for review
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From bestselling mystery author Janel Gradowski comes another deliciously deadly mystery…

Culinary whiz and reluctant amateur sleuth, Amy Ridley, has a lot on her plate. Her very pregnant best friend, Carla, can barely move from her couch per doctor’s orders. So Amy is tasked with preparing meals for the expanding family along with baking endless pans of brownies to quench Carla’s pregnancy cravings. Not only is she playing chef, but she’s also trying to convince the mommy-to-be that she needs to have a baby shower. But when a restaurant owner is murdered at a blogging conference, Amy finds herself in a race to catch the killer before the baby is born.

As Carla’s baby bump gets bigger, so does the list of suspects. While Amy pares down the potential murderers and staves off disgruntled cooking competition rivals, the clock ticks down, the baby’s arrival draws closer, and the danger grows stronger! If Amy doesn’t watch her back, she may be the next member of the competition going down.

 

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Jun 242016
 

Doughnut & Deadly Schemes by Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition (# 3)
Release Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Pages: 211
Source: book provided by the author for review
recipeicon2

 

 

From bestselling mystery author Janel Gradowski comes a deliciously deadly mystery…

Amy Ridley’s best friend, Carla, is getting married, and Amy is delighted to be recruited as the head wedding planner—even if Carla’s demands are less than conventional. Case in point: Carla insists on a tower of doughnuts in place of a wedding cake. But navigating the world of nuptials becomes the least of Amy’s problems when the owner of a menswear shop is found dead, and Carla’s fiancé is assigned to the case. With the honeymoon in jeopardy, Amy and Carla vow to help track down the killer…but they soon discover there are even more sinister happenings affecting the businesses in downtown Kellerton, Michigan. If Amy doesn’t figure out who is behind the deadly schemes, the nearly newlywed detective may just be solving another murder—hers!

 

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Jun 242016
 

Christmas Canapés & Sabotage by Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition (# 2.5)
Release Date: April 26, 2015
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Pages: 35
Source: book provided by the author for review
christmasICONrecipeicon2shortstoryICON

 

 

From bestselling mystery author Janel Gradowski comes a tasty holiday treat…

Amy Ridley is excited to be participating in the Holiday Celebrations Competition to kick off her Christmas season in Kellerton, Michigan. Local cooks are set to compete for prizes then serve their best party dishes to holiday revelers. Amy has her eye on a special prize, but she has a difficult time concentrating on creating a perfect party buffet when a plague of problems begins to whirl around her. Can Amy figure out who is sabotaging the competition in time to create a prize-winning tablescape and take home the ultimate Christmas gift?

 

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Jun 242016
 

Chicken Soup & Homicide by Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition (# 2)
Release Date: February 18, 2015
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Pages: 199
Source: book provided by the author for review
recipeicon2

 

 

Amy Ridley and her friend, Sophie, have perfected their chicken soup recipe, and the winter-weary residents of Kellerton, Michigan can’t wait to watch them compete against other local chefs in the Chicken Soup Showdown. But the charity event starts out with a bang, literally, when one of the rival chefs falls out of a freezer and onto Amy. If it wasn’t stressful enough for Amy to catch a dead body, the detective in charge of the investigation targets her best friend, Carla, as the chief suspect in the murder.

In order to clear her friend’s name, Amy does her own investigating. The problem is nobody liked the arrogant murdered celebrity chef, and soon her suspect list is longer than the list of ingredients in her secret chicken soup recipe. Can Amy figure out who killed the celebrity chef? Or will Carla be spending the spring in jail?

 

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Jun 242016
 

Pies & Peril by Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition (# 1)
Release Date: July 4, 2014
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Pages: 196
Source: book provided by the author for review
recipeicon2

 

 

When Amy Ridley decided to compete in the Kellerton Summer Festival Pie Contest, the last thing she expected was to find the reigning pie queen, Mandy Jo, dead—a raspberry pie smashed on her face! Mandy Jo made fantastic pies, but she accumulated more enemies than baking trophies. But when Amy receives a note threatening her own life, she decides to do some investigating herself.

It seems that half the town has a reason to kill the mean pie queen, and Amy finds herself sifting through a list of suspects that’s longer than her list of recipes. Not to mention playing cupid for her love-shy best friend, fending off a baker intent on finding out her prize-winning culinary secrets, and ducking the deadly attentions of Mandy Jo’s killer. If Amy doesn’t find out who wanted the pie queen dead soon, her own goose may be cooked!

 

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Jun 232016
 

Jen: Today we welcome Joanna Lowell to Romancing the Book. Joanna, will you share a short bio with us?
Joanna: Joanna Lowell divides her time between North Carolina and Vermont, where her family runs a small farm. Her love of books is rivaled only by her love of cows, particularly her brother’s wondrous Jersey, Blackberry.

You can get updates about Joanna Lowell and her books on Facebook.

Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Joanna: Dark Season is a Victorian romance with Gothic atmosphere and a mystery subplot. I started writing with a sense of the hero and heroine and their conflicts. Isidore is a (gorgeous) viscount tortured by the guilt he feels at his fiancée’s death. Ella is a young woman who suffers from epilepsy; she’s on the run from her cousin, but more importantly, she’s on the run from who she is. The heart of the book is these two characters; they face each other’s demons and then find the strength to face their own. Everything else grew from there.

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Jun 232016
 

Dark Season by Joanna Lowell
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Pages: 296
Source: book provided by the publisher for review

 

 

Haunted by her Future

Tainted. Degraded. Doomed. Doctors told Ella Arlington that her epilepsy would prevent her from living a normal life. When her cousin tries to put her in an institution, she flees to London, determined to control her own destiny. But while at a séance, Ella’s epileptic fit is mistaken for spiritual possession. Loath to reveal her scandalous condition, she goes along with the misperception, and soon finds herself attracting the attention of a devilishly handsome viscount determined to keep the past buried.

Tortured by his Past

Viscount Isidore Blackwood’s fiancée died with secrets he’s vowed to keep, but nothing could have prepared him for the arrival of a mysterious woman who’s rumored to have contacted her ghost. He doesn’t believe for a moment that Ella possesses supernatural powers. Her presence, however, shakes him to his core and when he accuses Ella of being a con artist, sparks unexpectedly ignite between them.

When some surprising truths come to light about Phillipa’s death, Isidore concocts a plan to stage a spectacle of a séance for the ton with Ella’s help. Their devil’s pact might just flush out a killer, but will Isidore let his fury and guilt consume his own soul in the process? And can Ella trust him enough to gamble on a future she never thought she could have?

 

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Jun 222016
 

author photoToday we welcome Jamie Wesley to Romancing the Book.  Before we get to Jamie’s playlist for her newest release, The Deal with Love, let’s learn a little more about her.

Jamie Wesley has been reading romance novels since she was about 12 when her mother left a romance novel, which a friend had given her, on the nightstand. Jamie read it instead, and the rest is history. Her debut novel, TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD, was released by Entangled Publishing in 2014. She’s thrilled (and a little relieved) that this wasn’t her last book published.

She adores rooting for her hometown Dallas’s pro sports teams and her college alma maters, visiting Walt Disney World, and keeping up with pop culture. Want to know if your favorite TV show is going to be canceled or what the newest Disney attraction is? Ask Jamie. She’ll probably know the answer.

To be the first to hear about Jamie’s future releases, sign up for her mailing list here.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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