Showing posts with label Denise Swanson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denise Swanson. Show all posts

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!

🍏

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.

🍒

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!

🌷

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!

🍸

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!


🍴

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.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Please welcome guest Denise Swanson & #Giveaway

I'm thrilled to welcome our guest Denise Swanson to Mystery Lovers Kitchen!  Denise and I share a "book birthday" on Tuesday, July 4.  Don't miss the latest in her Devereaux's Dime Store Series!


Lions and Tigers and Murder Oh My, the sixth book in my Devereaux’s Dime Store series debuts July 4 and to celebrate, I'm giving away a signed copy. Just leave a comment below to enter.
In this book, Dev is both trying to solve a kidnapping that turns into a murder and figure out which guy she really loves. Since a wedding might be on the horizon, I decided to help Dev eat a little healthier. With that in mind, I’m sharing my Turkey Sausage Ragù Over Polenta recipe. This recipe has a reasonable number of calories, is tasty, and doesn’t make you feel as if you’re leaving the table hungry. Just add a salad and you have a hearty, healthy dinner.




Turkey Sausage Ragù over Polenta



 Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
I lb. hot Italian turkey sausage (remove casing)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onion
10 oz. shredded carrot
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 1/2 cups water, divided
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted tomato sauce
2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)



Directions
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in pepper. Remove sausage mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Remove pan from heat (do not wipe out pan).


Add onion, carrot, and garlic to pan, return pan to medium-high and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add sausage mixture, 1/2 cup water, and tomato sauce to pan; cook 1 minute.


Bring remaining 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in polenta. Reduce heat; cook 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently with a whisk or spoon. Stir in cheese. Serve polenta with ragù. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
 ***
New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson lives in rural IL and writes the Scumble River and Devereaux’s Dime store mysteries, as well as the Change of Heart and Delicious Love romances. She loves to cook, especially now that her own personal hero has retired and become her sous-chef.  
Denise is currently working on the first book in her new Chef-to-Go mystery series and Dangerously Delicious, the second in her Delicious Love romance series. 
To help celebrate the publication of Lions and Tigers and Murder Oh My, Denise will send a copy of the book to one of the people who comments on this post. US only, please. Her post office in rural Illinois has difficulty handling non-US mail. Her last attempt to mail something to Australia ended up in Austria. 











Sunday, August 30, 2015

Denise Swanson's Can’t-Believe-It’s-Healthy Chili



Join us in welcoming our guest blogger, best-selling author Denise Swanson!

Now that both my sleuth Skye and I are eating healthier, I’ve been on the hunt for tasty meals that don’t break the bad-for-you budget. My incentive to eat better is because I’ve suddenly developed some food sensitivities. Skye’s has a lot to do on with what she and her new husband did on their honeymoon—or maybe before (wink).

Skye and I agree that because we both have good reasons to do so, we’ll change our eating habits. But we won’t give up taste. Neither of us are trying to get into a size four or even a fourteen. We are happy with ourselves and our only goal is to be healthy.



With both our eating requirements in mind, I’m avoiding sugar and gluten and Skye’s doctor telling her to eat foods high in fiber and rich in iron, I found the perfect recipe.


Turkey Chili

Ingredients:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
12 ounces of ground turkey
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
   and green chilies
1/2 cup white wine
2 teaspoons freshly ground
   black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried ground sage
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 cups unsalted vegetable
   or chicken stock
3 (15-ounce) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted kidney beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 cups chopped kale (I use a whole bag)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano


Preparation:

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.

Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through sausage); sauté 4 minutes. 


Add tomato and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper).

Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 1 minute).



Stir in stock. Combine 2 cans cannellini beans and 1 can kidney beans in a medium bowl; mash with a potato masher. Add bean mixture and remaining beans to pan.


Bring to a simmer; cook 5 minutes.

Add kale; cover and simmer 30 minutes.



Sprinkle with oregano and serve with a crusty bread—mine is gluten free.

--New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson writes the Scumble River and Devereaux's Dime store mystery series and the Change of Heart romance series. Her eighteenth Scumble River release, Murder of an Open Book, debuts September 1 and in it her sleuth, the recently married Skye Denison-Boyd, has a bun in the oven.





New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson, who was a practicing school psychologist for twenty-two years, writes the Scumble River and Devereaux's Dime store mystery series and the Change of Heart romance series, beginning with Good Girl Overboard. Her eighteenth Scumble River release, Murder of an Open Book, debuts September 1 and in it her sleuth, the recently married Skye Denison-Boyd, has a bun in the oven. Her books all feature small-town heroines with lots of heart.

Denise’s books have been finalists for the Agatha, Mary Higgins Clark, RT Magazine's Career Achievement, and Daphne du Maurier Awards. She has won the Reviewers Choice Award and was a BookSense 76 Top Pick. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr, and their cool black cat Boomerang.

For more information, please check her website. http://www.DeniseSwanson.com or find Denise on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/DeniseSwansonAuthor or follow her on twitter at DeniseSwansonAuthor



A nasty faculty feud leaves one Scumble River teacher belly-up. . . .

Her honeymoon may have been less than relaxing, but Skye Boyd née Denison is still high on marital bliss with her new husband, Wally. The fact that their family is about to get bigger is even more exciting, even if Skye is dealing with morning sickness—and trying to hide the news from her ever-meddling mother, May. 


But Skye quickly comes crashing down from cloud nine when the body of one of her coworkers, science teacher and volleyball coach Blair Hucksford, is found in the school swimming pool. The troublesome trainer was on the bad side of almost everyone on staff and many of the girls on her team, leaving Skye to sort through a huge roster of suspects. Now she must figure out which wronged party was mad enough to kill, and quickly—before someone else in town gets bumped off.



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Grandma Swanson’s (healthier) Lemon and Ginger Muffins


Thank you for inviting me to the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. Today I'm going to share one of my grandmother's recipes, but I’ve given it a makeover in order to make it a little healthier.

Although my grandmother was originally a pastry chef, she ended up spending most of her life as a farm wife. Unlike my husband and I who work hard, but do it sitting in front of a computer, Grandma, Grandpa, and their five children did strenuous chores involving a lot of physical labor. Crops and livestock do not raise themselves.

This meant that her great recipes were loaded with ingredients that wouldn’t be a problem if you spent twelve hours a day toting that barge and lifting that bale. But for those of us who only write about hard work, they really pack on the pounds. Adjusting savory dishes is pretty easy, but breads and sweets are a bit more of a challenge. Of course, those are my favorite foods, so I had to give it a try.

When I was forced to change my diet due to food sensitivities, the item that I really missed was Grandma’s fabulous Lemon Ginger Muffins. So I did a little tinkering, and the makeover version is what I’m sharing with you today. When these are in the oven, the smell is literally mouthwatering.

Grandma Swanson’s (healthier) Lemon and Ginger Muffins
Yield: 12
1/3 cup softened Smart Balance® Omega-3 Buttery Sticks
½-cup sugar
½-cup Truvia sugar substitute
4 egg whites
2 Tablespoons Gourmet Garden minced ginger
2 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 cups flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-cup plain Greek yogurt


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mix softened butter, sugar, and sugar substitute until well blended. Beat in egg whites. Add ginger and lemon peel and stir. Combine flour and baking soda. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the yogurt. Mix until smooth. Pour into muffin cups coated with nonstick cooking spray. The cups should be 3/4 full.


Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing the cups from the pan.


In my upcoming book, Murder of the Cat’s Meow, Skye doesn’t have time to cook since she’s busy solving the mystery of who killed the cat show judge. But the Jade-ite cookie crock that’s broken in the first chapter was inspired by my grandmother’s jar. Hers was always filled with homemade treats, but Skye’s usually contains Oreos. 



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New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson started writing in Kindergarten where she got into trouble for using up her entire Big Chief tablet to create her own alphabet book. Today she writes two series—the Scumble River mysteries and the Devereaux’s Dime Store mysteries. Visit Denise at her website and at Killer Characters.