Sunday, October 1, 2017

Welcome author Allison Brook + book #giveaway

A former Spanish teacher, Allison Brook writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for young readers. She loves traveling, reading, knitting, doing Sudoku, and visiting with her grandchildren, Olivia and Jack, on FaceTime. She lives on Long Island with Sammy, her feisty red cat. This is her FIRST Haunted Library mystery. Allison is also known as Marilyn Levinson.  She writes the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club mysteries and the Twin Lakes Mystery series.

Giveaway below!

Take it away, Allison!


I love making soups! I came to soup-making late in life. I think I used to worry that I’d do something wrong and all that food would go to waste. But now soups are one of my favorite foods to make. The process can be time consuming, but since I make a lot each time, there’s plenty for several dinners. Soup-making is flexible and forgiving. I’ve discovered that after you’ve included the basic ingredients for a particular soup, you can make it truly yours by adding a few ingredients of your choice—either what’s available in your fridge and/or pantry or your favorite veggies. My two favorite additions are red pepper and mushrooms.
Gazpacho is the perfect soup to serve at lunch or dinner on a warm summer day since no cooking is involved. My librarian sleuth Carrie Singleton will be making a batch of it in the third book of my Haunted Library Mystery series, which has yet to be written. I love to serve it not-too-processed, topped with croutons and diced Persian cucumbers.

But let’s start at the beginning:
Ingredients: (remember, this is a soup, not a cake, so you can alter the amounts somewhat. I’m telling you what I used):
1 red pepper
1 Vidalia onion
2 large cucumbers
 a handful of garlic cloves
 half a handful of fresh parsley
 7 large mushrooms
3 teaspoons of red vinegar
the juice of one lime
46 oz can of Sacramento tomato juice
28 oz  can of Red Pack crushed tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Process the pepper, onion, garlic, cucumbers, parsley and mushrooms in a large Cuisinart. Pour into a very large bowl and add the tomato juice and crushed tomatoes, vinegar, lime and salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge for at least three hours. Garnish with croutons and diced Persian cucumbers.


 Allison is offering a giveaway today of her new book - in hardcover!  Leave a comment and tell her what you love about libraries...or soup.  Remember to leave your email so she can contact you if you win.  

Here is a tidbit about...
(A Haunted Library Mystery)
Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she's offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura's case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it's due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook. 

Follow Allison aka Marilyn using these social media links:


  1. Welcome, Allison! What I love about libraries is that they're such a wonderful resource for books (as well as DVDs, CDs, etc.) that also supports local communities.

    1. Me, too. I spend a lot of time in my library, at various programs and chatting with library workers.

  2. I love libraries, so nice to be able to increase your knowledge for free; I love that soups can be made with really anything you have on hand, versatile. Thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  3. Hi Marilyn or should I say Allison. Welcome to our blog world. Cozy mysteries are my favorite type of story. I first found them in the library. What I love best about libraries is that you do not need money to enjoy any of the services they offer. One can take home the number 1 bestseller or any book on absolutely any subject in the universe and if they don't have it, it will be ordered from another library. There are movies, games, puzzles, music, actual films,magazines, tapes, CDs to teach or entertain you.I love the author visits, lectures and local programs for adults, teens & children. I've been going to a library for over 60yr. They are great places. They can never be replaced by computers!(

    1. I'm glad to be here, Robin. I agree, libraries are one of our best entertainment sites. And these days it's often the hub of a community.

  4. Libraries and soup always make me feel better, nourishing mind, body, and soul. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. You're right. Libraries and soup both nourish the mind, body and soul.

  5. I love libraries because that is where the books hang out! I love the book clubs that meet there as well as the author events they have. Going to try your soup recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  6. amy guillaume lindermanOctober 1, 2017 at 8:14 AM

    my husband and i met in library school. i always wanted to be a librarian. my husband makes really good chicken soup

    1. Chicken soup is especially wonderful when you're ill with a cold.

  7. I like making soup, especially when it's cold out. And it freezes well.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    1. I never have any soup left to freeze, but it's good to know that I can do this. Thanks, Sandy.

  8. Welcome! Since I learned to read very early, I've always loved libraries. One small problem: when I got my first library card, around age 5, I thought the books I took out were mine to keep, and I stuffed them under the bed. My mother was not pleased!

    1. Glad to be here, Sheila. We writers like to be surrounded by books, don't we?

  9. Libraries are such a great place to discover books and authors that you didn't know existed. minishoes(at)msn(dot)com