Monday, January 1, 2018

Around the Kitchen Table and Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!

Sometimes a new year brings changes and that's the case for Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. We're waving a teary farewell to Victoria Abbott. We hope she'll still drop by once in a while to tell us what she's doing. On a happier note, today we're welcoming Denise Swanson to the kitchen. Many of you know Denise from her beloved Scumble River Mysteries. She has a tasty new series coming, too. But we'll let her tell you all about that!

Today on Around the Kitchen Table, we're chatting about our "possibilities" for the upcoming year and maybe give you a few insights into what is coming up in the publishing world.

One commenter will win this cute Around the Kitchen with MLK authors tote bag. See giveaway below.




From Daryl:  Well, the publishing world turned a bit topsy-turvy this past year. I lost two contracts, but I gained two new ones. So as I  keep a positive mental attitude about what the future may hold, I continue to write and drum up new characters. I love living with my characters. They bring me joy. They help me problem solve. I find wonderful resolution solving cases and serving up justice to the "bad guy." What's coming for me this year?  The 6th Cookbook Nook Mystery, PRESSING THE ISSUE, will come out in February. Because this is through a new publisher, it will have a different look and the paper version will only be available on Amazon, through print on demand. I hope that won't put you off. It's still the same gang of characters and set in Crystal Cove. The Renaissance Fair  has come to town and Bailey is planning her wedding at a vineyard, hence the title using the word: pressing (grapes).  I don't have the cover yet, but it will be available SOON. In June, the paperback version of the first French Bistro Mystery, A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, comes out. In July, you'll see the release of the 2nd French Bistro Mystery, SOUFFLÉ OF SUSPICION. Better get my PR dancing shoes ready!

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From Krista:  Those of you who aren't involved in the publishing business might not know that one publisher decided to cut back on cozy mysteries, and another cut them altogether. We have lived through some turbulent times! I'm pleased to say that I have a new series, the Pen and Ink Mysteries. By day, Florrie Fox manages a bookstore and by night, she's creates adult coloring books. She's a doodler, too, and doodles the clues she's thinking about. You can find them on the cover of the book, which can be colored! COLOR ME MURDER will be released on February 27th.

The Domestic Divas have moved to a new publisher and will be back on May 29th in THE DIVA COOKS UP A STORM. Sophie and friends are back (including Natasha). When a neighbor dies under odd circumstances, everything points toward his wife as the killer. Sophie is the only one who can't believe this woman killed her husband. But is she right?

I am also happy to announce that the ink is drying on a new contract for two more Wagtail books!

🍀

From Sheila: Once upon a time, in a universe far, far away, the publishing world was simple. It was made up of a handful of long-established and well-respected publishers, and any new writer's dream was to be accepted by one of them. But then the Internet was invented and things changed. And even those of us who were published by the Big Six (and then the Big Five) were sometimes orphaned. It happened to a lot of talented people. Publishing is a business, and decisions were based on sales numbers, not whether we were talented, hardworking writers.

But the good news is, we at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen have survived, and we've found new publishing homes, or in some cases created our own. We write because we love to write, so we're still writing. I will miss some of the characters from series that did not go on, but I can have some of them drop into new series, or I can go ahead and publish more books in a series myself. There are a lot of opportunities these days.

The County Cork Mysteries have been picked up by Crooked Lane Books, and the newest one, Many a Twist, will come out this month. I've got a new series coming from St. Martin's Press: the Victorian Village Mysteries, starting with Murder at the Mansion, which will appear in June--and that's where some of the characters from the Museum Mysteries will appear now and then. I'm planning to continue the Orchard Mysteries with Beyond the Page Publishing in the fall, and the Relatively Dead series as well.

Our characters become our friends, and a part of our lives. We can't just let them disappear, so we find new ways to get their stories into our readers' hands. We hope you'll continue to enjoy their company.

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From Peg: You know the saying, when one door closes, another opens. As those posting before me have already said, the publishing world is changing...again. Nothing is a constant in today's world. But I'm pleased to say that a lot of new opportunities have opened up as well!  I'll be continuing my Cranberry Cove series with Beyond the Page--like Daryl and Sheila with two of their series. I'm also debuting a brand new historical mystery series, Murder, She Reported, with the Alibi imprint of Random House. It will be ebook only. It's a new profit model for writers, and I'm excited to see how things turn out! The series is set in 1938 NYC and my protagonist, Elizabeth"Biz" Adams, is a debutante turned crime photographer for the Daily Trumpet. The first book comes out on July 31.  I will also continue my Lucille Series for at least one more book--when Lucille and family and friends go to Italy and have fun with gondolas in Venice, motorbikes in Rome and a close encounter with Michelangelo's David in Florence!  Wishing you lots of exciting possibilities in the year to come!

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LESLIE: Like my blog sisters, I too was affected last year by the post-merger decision of Penguin Random House, home to Berkley Books, where we all started our mystery careers, to significantly cut paperback original fiction. (Not just cozies and not just mystery; it was a business model change, not a reflection on sales or on readers' tastes or buying habits.) As a lawyer, I can understand those changes; as a creator, I know how they can mess with the mind. Fortunately, I can cook and soothe my sore head and twisted tummy with tasty food! My Food Lovers' Village Mysteries moved to Midnight Ink, and the 5th, As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, will be out in June 2018. I've got a lot of proverbial irons in the proverbial fire---and I'm looking forward to a smokin' New Year!

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LINDA: Okay, you've heard it all before, the news about the topsy-turvy publishing world. I look around at the demise of series written by friends, series I was hooked on, and think, what's going on! Obviously, I wasn't consulted. Nor was I consulted about my own series. The third book in the Dinner Club Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, MARINATING IN MURDER, comes out in March, 2018 but I'm sad to report, that series  has not as yet been renewed, and I don't expect it to be. I'm happy to report though, that I'm writing a new series for a new publisher, Crooked Lane, where a number of us has happily landed. It's called the Castle Bookstore Mysteries and the first one (working title is The Body at the Blye) appears in Nov., 2018 and along with the new everything, I'm a new person, too. Hope you'll make note of the name Essie Lang, that's me, and that's who's now immersed in the life of bookstore co-owner, Malin Stahr, and the day to day business of bookselling, and murder, in spectacular Blye Castle, on Blye Island in the Thousand Islands. Here's to great reading adventures for us all in the New Year!


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LUCY: I too have found a new home with Crooked Lane, this for two more books in the Key West food critic mystery series. DEATH ON THE MENU will be out on August 7, and I'm busy writing #9. After that, who knows? I have two other projects in the works that are not cozy mysteries. Hopefully I can get them in readable shape and find homes for both. I look forward to many more books from my friends at MLK--and we are so grateful for you, our readers and friends!



CLEO: Marc and I have been writing professionally for decades and non-professionally (as a vocation) since we were children. What we know for sure about this sort of life is that nothing is sure. When we entered the publishing business, it was described as a volatile landscape, full of seismic changes—that was more than thirty years ago. And so it goes. With few exceptions, the artist’s life has more in common with a roller coaster than a carousel (which explains why you sometimes see authors throwing up hands and screaming). Our philosophy: never lose your love of storytelling; make friends with risk (there are virtues in it); try not to take yourself too seriously; and always be game for a wild ride. For now, our ride is continuing with our longtime publisher, and we sincerely thank our readers (along with so many kind booksellers and librarians) for the priceless treasure of their support. If you are among them, we hope you will continue to enjoy our upcoming works. Our 17th Coffeehouse Mystery will be published in April, read more about it here. Our 18th is now underway and scheduled for release next year; and our 6th Haunted Bookshop Mystery finally has a firm pub date of October 2, 2018 (and will be available for pre-order soon). If you'd like to keep in touch, subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss updates to our writing life. Whether you read our works or that of our co-bloggers, we thank ALL READERS for supporting your favorite authors. You can give us no better gift. We wish you all a happy, healthy, and industrious New Year!

🍓


And from our newest writer, Denise Swanson: Happy 2018! It's wonderful to begin the new year with a new project and joining Mystery Lovers' Kitchen has got to be one of the most fun. Like many of my fellow cozy mystery writers, 2017 brought a LOT of changes for me. After 17 years and 25 books, I left Penguin Random House. And in September my new publisher, Sourcesbooks, debuted a reboot of my long-running Scumble River series, dubbing it Welcome Back to Scumble River. While the titles are no longer Murder of a.... and the covers are markedly different, the characters and setting are exactly the same. In my most recent book, Dead in the Water, Skye experiences a tornado, a kidnapping, and she gives birth!

April of 2018 will bring about my new culinary mystery series, Chef-to-Go. In the first book, Tart of Darkness, you'll meet Dani Sloan a former HR consultant and the brand new owner of the Chef-to-Go culinary business. She and her three boarders, college girls from the nearby university, immediately get elbow deep in a murder.

My third series, the Dime Store mysteries are on hiatus for a year. I may bring them to another publisher or I may publish them myself, but Dev and the gang will continue to solve mysteries in Shadow Bend, MO.

🌺

Victoria Abbott Well, it's good-bye from me and alter ego Mary Jane Maffini. We are still hoping to have more book collector mysteries following all the turbulence in the industry. MJ is finishing the seventh in her Canadian Camilla MacPhee series and we have several projects in the planning stages. Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay in the loop. Just click here

We have loved being part of Mystery Lovers Kitchen and the fabulous group of friends and readers here and we'll be popping to get recipes and the news. You will really enjoy having Denise Swanson here 'in the kitchen'. I know you'll welcome her with open arms.


Giveaway

Leave a comment and tell us what are you looking forward to this coming year. 
Remember to include your email so we can contact you if you win the tote bag.


47 comments:

  1. I am excited that Denise Swanson has joined Mystery Lover’s Kitchen...I’ve been a fan since the first Scumble River Book! I am looking forward to all the books mentioned. The Mystery Lover’s Kitchen authors are all high on my list of favorite authors. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Chris! I'm thrilled to be here.

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  2. Happy New Year!!! This year, I'm looking forward to turning 30, as well as reading more great books from all of you. EMS591@aol.com

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  3. I am retiring in a few days and looking forward to the changes that will bring, spending more time with my grandchildren and reading more great books. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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    1. Dianne, I envy you! I'm almost there...! Fortunately I still manage to spend plenty of time with my granddaugther and reading will forever be a part of my life!

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  4. Happy New Year! So glad to hear that many of your series will continue with new publishers. I look forward to many more great reads, recipes and eating in 2018!
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

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  5. I look forward to many new cozies, and most important of all great recipes! moodiesmum at yahoo dot com

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  6. Happy New Year!! I'm really excited about all the news related by everyone. So many wonderful series, so many new series - what's not to love. I've already found that Crooked Lane, Alibi, Midnight Ink, and others publish some fabulous books. Good luck to all of you and I'm very excited about attending Malice again this year.

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    1. Thanks, Kay! There are still a lot of great publishers for us, that's to be sure. ~ Daryl

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  7. I’m glad that so many series have found homes with new publishers but I wish they didn’t charge so much more for paperbacks. I do have a kindle but prefer reading physical books. It means that unless the library gets a book I have to pick and choose which ones I can afford to read.

    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    1. Sandy, My new publisher puts out regular $7.99 paperbacks.

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    2. Sandy, my library loans out ebooks and yours probably does, too, if there's something you want to read that isn't in print.

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  8. I'm looking forward to seeing that all my favorite authors and friends find new home for every series they can ever dream of. I'm looking forward to many years of reading pleasure from this group of amazing women who've made my life more complete with their skills with words and plots.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

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  9. I look forward to enjoying so many of your wonderful books which give me great pleasure. Hoping that my health will be stable and improve. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. Thank you for this most wonderful site which provides me with recipes, great features and most of all memorable books. I will continue to enjoy your creative and unique writing. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. I am looking forward to reading lots more books from all you wonderful authors & cooks. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  12. Personally, I think most of the publishers should be sent to bed without supper!
    Thanks heavens you are all so resourceful!!!
    Best wishes for new year filled with stories.

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  13. Poop on all those publishers, making life difficult for you guys! They should all publish anything you write. Hmph.

    I was asked just after the stroke of midnight on New Year's to be an admin for a cozy novel Facebook group, so I'm jazzed about that and excited to be a part of it in the New Year.

    booknerdcat@gmail.com

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    1. We look forward to hearing more about the cozy Facebook group!

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  14. I had a great year of reading cozies and meeting so many new book friends and author friends. thank you for the giveaway! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. I am excited to read all of the new books by all of you.

    Nancy B
    nlb1050 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  16. Makes me so sad to hear about the difficulties getting cozies published. I love them find few things as satisfying as a cozy mystery in my hand. I look forward to reading all your books in the future, as long as I can get my hot little hands on them!

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    1. I think it's the way of the world for so many businesses, not just ours. Downsizing is real. Sigh. ~ Daryl

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  17. For 2018 I'm looking forward to the three murder mystery dinners we'll be doing at my winery. We have so much fun putting them on, it doesn't seem like work. cheers at MarjimManor dot com

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  18. Love getting the inside scoop as well as the yummy recipes!jmlane@gmail.com

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  19. Welcome Denise! Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to reading all the new books coming out from my favorite authors. Thank you for this chance. I love tote bags! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. Nice that you have joined Denise. I salute all of you for pursuing your dreams in this sometimes crazy world! Happy 2018!

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  21. I'm looking forward to (hopefully) new challenges at work, and to reading more cozy mysteries AND non fiction books. Happy New Year to all of you, and welcome to Denise! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Autumn, you have won this giveaway by random number generator. Congrats! I'll be in contact. ~ Daryl

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  22. Happy New Year! I am glad to hear that so many of the series that I love will be continuing! Congratulations to all! Welcome Denise! I'll miss you Mary Jane!

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  23. I look forward to retiring and seeing my two grandchildren more often.

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  24. I'm spending time with my family today. I pray for a happier and prosperous year. I hope that I'll get more time with my husband. He drives a truck and is gone two weeks and a time. when he's gone I read and listen to books to pass the time at night. I also hope for more time with my mom she's 77. I look forward to spending time with my kids. Also with my dogs. Cooking black eyed peas, fried Chicken, yams,turnip greens, cornbread and sweet potato pies. I hope that everyone will have a better and safe year.

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  25. I am really looking forward to the new series and the continuation of series that I already love. I sure hope to see more recipes too!

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  26. I'm looking forward to all the books by the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen authors, especially the 6th Haunted Bookshop mystery - can't wait to catch up with Jack.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  27. Very interesting article on how the publishing industry thinks readers want and what they want to read. I really prefer reading print books, but I can't afford to buy hardcovers and it's really frustrating to have to wait for the mass market paperback. I'm looking forward to reading a lot of good reading in 2018. Happy New Year!
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. I'm really looking forward to all your books, new series and old. At first I was afraid to start reading this blog but what wonderful positive news. Looking forward to Saturday. with Denise. Ruth Nixon ruthenixon(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  29. I love all of your books and am so sorry about the state of affairs with the publishing world. I am sure glad you all seem to have found other publishers and other ways to get your books out there. I miss the simple way it was before this though, lol. Thanks for pushing to get your work out there for US! kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

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  30. Exciting news! I am looking forward to more of the series I’ve come to love as well as trying some new now that I’ve found these pages. Bethanne0664@gmail.com

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  31. I love all of your series of books and am glad that they are still being published. I am looking forward to new books with old friends! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

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  32. Welcome Denise. Victoria I sad to see you go and I wish you all the best. I will continue to follow you. I am looking for some down time to read all the new releases of my favorite authors. Happy New Year!

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  33. I am ready for the next coffee shop mystery and the next diva mystery. centraleast2 at gmail dot com

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  34. Along with looking forward to new books coming out by my favorite authors, I'm hoping to de-clutter my house and be able to update it since it hasn't been updated since it was built in 1978.
    scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. This giveaway is complete. The winner is Autumn T. I'll be in touch. Thanks to ALL for your wonderful comments. And happy new year. May it be great for all! ~ Daryl and the gang

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  36. Good to hear there will be more cozies

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