Sunday, February 21, 2010

At Witt's End

A warm welcome to Beth Solheim, author of AT WITT'S END, the first in a new series about a ghost whisperer. I had the privilege of reading this book in advance, and was blown away when I saw Cleo's interview with Mary Ann Winkowksi, a real ghost whisperer. In the spunky character of Sadie, Beth has nailed the life of a person who helps the deceased resolve their earthly problems so they can cross over.

Like the main character in her Sadie Witt mystery series, Beth Solheim was born with a healthy dose of imagination and a hankering to solve a puzzle. She learned her reverence for reading from her mother, who was never without a book in her hand.

By day, Beth works in Human Resources. By night she morphs into a writer who frequents lake resorts and mortuaries and hosts a ghost or two in her humorous paranormal mysteries

Raised and still living in Northern Minnesota, she resides in lake country with her husband and a menagerie of wildlife critters. She and her husband are blessed with two grown children and two grandsons.


Mayhem is on the rise at the Witt’s End Resort, especially Cabin 14, where no guest ever leaves alive. To make matters worse, Sadie Witt must untangle a murderous web while struggling to prevent an unscrupulous sheriff’s deputy from shutting down her lakeside resort.

When guests arrive at Cabin 14, they’re stunned to learn Sadie is their conduit to the hereafter. Clad in outlandish outfits—clothing typically reserved for those without sagging body parts—and sporting hairdos that make bystanders want to look away but can’t, Sadie realizes one of the guests has been murdered and works against the clock to prevent further chaos.

Cozy mysteries often feature pets. From turtles to dogs, cats to ferrets, birds to gerbils, these critters stand by as the protagonist wades into one predicament after another. The pets, with their unique talents, often play a part in solving crimes.

Belly LaGossa, a dog of questionable heritage, is no exception. He’s been designated the official taste-tester at the Witt’s End Resort and suffers bouts of indigestion because of Jane Witt’s questionable culinary skills. He’s also got another dilemma—he sees dead people! Should my cozy mystery have been titled The Trials and Tribulations of Belly LaGossa? Belly thinks so.

Actually, Belly doesn’t belong to the sisters. He belongs to the neighbor. He refuses to acknowledge that, though, and has taken up residence with a regal flair in Cabin 14. He dines off Jane’s hand-painted china and sleeps on a satin pillow. Belly has long legs, a stubby nose, a rotund body covered in brown spots, and a cropped-off tail with four elongated hairs growing out of a bald portion of its tip. Even though his physique resembles a cement truck, he has a weasel’s knack at sneaking into locations at the wrong time. Specifically, the mortuary next door.

Is Belly an exception? No. There are approximately 68,000,000 owned dogs in the United States. Four in ten or 40,000 households own at least one dog.

We love our pets. We dote on them and relish the joy they bring into our lives. Nutrition is an important issue in our pet’s wellbeing, too. Veterinary visits help keep pet owners on track to provide the necessary vaccinations, but what about healthy meals? Healthy treats?

It’s just as easy to mix up a batch of healthy dog treats as it is to whip up several dozen chocolate chip cookies for our cookie jars. Our dog-loving friends will be just as thrilled with our home-made doggie treats as their cuddly canines are.

A favorite dog treat in our neighborhood is Peanut Butter Paw Paws.

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1 ½ cups wheat flour
¾ cup dry oatmeal
¼ cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
½ cup water

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate dish, blend the oil, honey, peanut butter and water. Combine the two mixtures together and stir well. (If too moist to roll into 1 ½ inch balls, add flour until you achieve the desired consistency)

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

When cooled, store in air-tight container.

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I’m featuring a dog treat recipe contest to coincide with the release of At Witt’s End, the first in the Sadie Witt Mystery Series. Contest information can be found on my website HYPERLINK ""


  1. What a fun idea for a release contest! And thanks for the recipe for Paw corgi will love them~!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth. The Paw Paws were taste-tested by two reliable pups and received full approval.

  3. What a wonderful new series. I can't wait to read it. We do love our pets. They are a part of the family. These Peanut Butter Paw Paws sound like something Brisco (our English Shepherd) would love. Can't wait to check out your site.

  4. Beth, congrats on your series. I can't wait to read it and I can't wait to make these Paw Paws for my rescue dog, Max! Perfect! Max also loves peanut butter painted into a hollow bone. He can chew for hours.

  5. My dogs are panting over your Paw Paws!

    Readers will love your new series, Beth. I loved Sadie and her sister -- such fun characters.

    Thanks so much for joining us today!


  6. My Cooper loves peanut butter. He insists on having some in his Kong every day! I'm sure my daughter would love to help me make these.

  7. Welcome, Beth! What a fun recipe, and what an intriguing premise for your book. I'm looking forward to reading AT WITT'S END!


  8. I love stories with ghosts in them and a
    mystery makes it even better. Thanks
    for the great recipe, too!

  9. Can't wait to read At Witt's End! That subject really interests me!

  10. Oh what fun! I used to make doggie treats as gifts for my Grand Dogs.. I should start doing that again.