Sunday, July 15, 2018

Welcome Author Lisa Q. Mathews with 5 Blueberry Recipes and a Great #Giveaway

A terrific author is with us today. Please welcome Lisa Q. Mathews who's sharing five wonderful blueberry recipes and a prize package giveaway that includes the second book (PERMANENTLY BOOKED) in her cozy mystery trilogy and other delicious prizes. Find out more at the end of this post. Now take it away, Lisa!



It’s steamy mid-summer, but my odd-couple sleuths Summer and Dorothy—aka the Ladies Smythe & Westin—and I have a lot on our (paper) plates. I’m working on a new book and the Ladies are working to solve a murder. And as the Goddesses of High Humidity would have it, all three of us need to whip up some tasty, quick-and-easy treats for our next book club meetings ASAP. 
Dorothy, a seventy-something widow, has fond memories of the long-ago summers she and her husband spent in a cozy Maine cabin. Now that she lives year-round at the Hibiscus Pointe Senior Living Community in Florida, those cool, pine-scented days can seem very far away. 

But she vividly remembers how much she loved filling baskets with freshly-picked, wild blueberries, and the simple but delicious recipes her mother jotted onto berry-stained cards and filed in a small wooden box. In fact, Dorothy keeps that same, faded box with the blueberry wreath painted on the lid in a place of honor on her kitchen counter. 
Dorothy’s twenty-something neighbor and co-sleuth Summer, an ex-party-girl from California who’s camping in her late grandma’s condo, doesn’t have much experience with blueberry-picking. 

But she knows those berries are full of antioxidants and Vitamin K to pack a punch in her favorite smoothie. Plus, she loves the idea of minimal cooking and maximum yum. Book club refreshments (or unexpected visitors) problem solved—and more time to solve a mystery! 


Summer loves these blueberry-lemon oatmeal cookies—with added chocolate chips—for breakfast and late-night snacks!

Serves 2 dozen

Prep Time: 30 mins. 
Cooking Time: 10-12 mins at 350° 


¼ cup soft butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup sugar 
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 cup flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ cups old-fashioned oats 
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 cup blueberries
Chocolate chips or chopped walnuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (for easy blueberry clean-up!) 

In large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon zest on Medium until smooth. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until combined, then mix in oats with wooden spoon. Add chopped walnuts or chocolate chips, if desired. Carefully fold in blueberries. 

Use cookie or ice cream scoop to form and drop cookies onto lined cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with back of scoop. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let stand on sheets for a minute or two, then transfer to wire rack for cooling. 


Dorothy brings this classic, refreshing beverage to the pool in a Thermos to share with Summer and their adorable 6-year-old friend, Juliette-Margot. (At cocktail hour, the Ladies sometimes add a little vodka to theirs.)

Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 20 mins. 


½ cup sugar
1 cup blueberries 
¾ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ lemon (sliced)
Mint leaves or springs 
Water (total 7-8 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS: To make a blueberry simple syrup, stir sugar and 1 cup water together in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in blueberries and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 3-4 minutes, until blueberries pop.

Strain blueberry mixture and discard skins. Allow liquid to cool.
In large pitcher, whisk together blueberry syrup, lemon juice and 6-7 cups water. Chill in refrigerator.

Serve over ice. Add a few more blueberries, lemon slices, and mint to each glass, for a festive touch!


Need a morning or late-afternoon pick-me-up? The Ladies have the perfect answer, especially if you have a lot of reading to do! (If you prefer, though, you can substitute decaffeinated tea bags.)


1 16-oz package frozen blueberries 
½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
4-6 cups of water
3 large tea bags 
¾ cup sugar
Lemon slices and mint leaves or sprigs

INSTRUCTIONS: Bring frozen blueberries and lemon juice to a boil in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer. (Dorothy suggests doing this over the sink.) Discard skins and rinse saucepan.

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in same saucepan. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, stir in sugar and blueberry syrup. Pour into pitcher, add more water to fill. Cover and chill. Serve with ice and garnish with lemons and mint.


This was Summer’s favorite side dish back in LA. It’s so fast and easy, you may have time to catch some rays (or a murderer) before book club!


1 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups diced cucumbers
3 cups diced watermelon
½ lime, juiced
Pepper and pinch of sea salt to taste
Mint leaves 

INSTRUCTIONS: Mix together the watermelon and cucumber. Drizzle with lime juice and stir. Carefully fold in blueberries. Add pepper to taste (if you’re not eating til later, wait to add the salt). Garnish with mint, stick in the fridge, and hit the beach!



The Ladies and I found we still had plenty of blueberries left over, even after making so many book club treats. Dorothy went back to her mother’s old recipe box for this one—try it over pancakes, yogurt, toast, graham crackers, bananas, in smoothies and, of course, over ice cream for a perfect sundae. (Stir into slightly-melted, classic vanilla and, presto! Designer-blueberry ice cream.)


3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. corn starch dissolved into 3 Tbsp. water
½ tsp. vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS: Place 2 cups of the blueberries in saucepan. Cover with water; add sugar and vanilla. Heat over medium-high until mixture comes to a low boil and blueberries start to pop.

Add dissolved cornstarch to saucepan and bring mixture to rolling boil. Turn down heat and simmer on low for about 2 minutes, until sauce reaches desired thickness. (If it gets too thick, add water, a tablespoon or two at a time.)
Remove from heat and add remaining blueberries. Stir gently. May be served warm or cold. 

Lisa Q. Mathews was a lifeguard, a competitive figure skater, and a Nancy Drew editor before starting to write her own mysteries. She was also an executive editor at Random House Children’s Books and penned kids’ series such as Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Lizzie McGuire Mysteries. Like her odd-couple co-sleuths in The Ladies Smythe & Westin series from Carina Press/Harlequin, Lisa loves swimming, rich desserts, romantic comedies, and above all a good mystery!

To learn more about Lisa and her books, please visit her website at:

You can also join Lisa at: 

Facebook  *   Twitter * Chicks on the Case (cozy-mystery group blog)


To learn more or buy,
click here.

Permanently Booked 

by Lisa Q. Mathews

The final chapter…?

Semi-reformed party girl Summer Smythe is finally feeling at home at the Hibiscus Pointe retirement community. All that’s left to do is replace her late grandma’s massive book collection with a big-screen TV. Donating them to the on-site library is the perfect solution—until she finds the librarian buried in books. Literally.

Summer and her sleuthing partner, longtime resident Dorothy Westin, can’t imagine who would want to kill poor, dedicated Lorella. Soon they’re on the case…and the Hibiscus Pointe Book Club is the perfect cover for their investigation.

A murdered librarian is headline news in South Florida, and even outsiders, including an oddball professor and a pair of dueling authors, are eager to join the once-dull group. But one menacing member has Dorothy and Summer bookmarked for the morgue. If the Ladies Smythe and Westin don’t nab the killer fast, the Hibiscus Pointe Book Club may be reading their own obituaries next…

PERMANENTLY BOOKED, CARDIAC ARREST and the Ladies’ most recent case, FASHIONABLY LATE, are available wherever e-books are sold. And don’t forget to mark your engagement calendar for October 1, 2018, when the paperback edition of PERMANENTLY BOOKED officially pubs (you can pre-order here)! 



An e-book copy of PERMANENTLY BOOKED (if preferred, print copy available to winner late August) with matching mug and spoon set and a tin of blueberry green tea. Available to US and Canadian readers. Good luck!

Congrats to Lisa's winner

Martha Franks!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment for Lisa with an
email address or way to reach you if you are 
selected to win! Good luck and thanks to
Lisa for her generous giveaway!

Drawing for winner will take place
after 12 Midnight, Wed. July 18



  1. Another fabulous guest post, Lisa, thank you so much for coming back to our Kitchen, and sharing such a lovely and generous summer giveaway! xoxo ~ Cleo

    1. And thank YOU and Mystery Lovers Kitchen for having me back, Cleo! I had fun whipping up these recipes--you can never have too many blueberries! (The blueberry lemon iced tea is my favorite.)

  2. Love recipes that use in season fruits and vegetables. Looking forward to trying these blueberry recipes and reading Permanently Booked. I would prefer a print copy. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

    1. Thanks, Dianne! The blueberries at our house are a little late this year--but fortunately we have some U-picks nearby that are open for business.

  3. Love the recipes especially the blueberry sauce,

    1. Me too--not only is it versatile (sundaes are still my fave!), but easily frozen for year-round goodness.

  4. Looking forward to trying the lemonade and iced tea recipes and reading Permanently Booked. Thanks for your giveaway.

    1. Thanks, parTea Lady! (Love your handle, so cute.)

  5. The recipes look delicious! I want to make the ice tea. Our summers here in east Texas are hot so it sounds like a great way to cool off. We also have the Blueberry Festival here every June so our blueberries are fresh and plentiful.

    1. Linda, the iced tea recipe is my favorite. I've already made a zillion more batches to beat this heat--it's perfect!

  6. I love blueberries.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    1. Yay! We sure have a lot of them for you here. :-)

  7. The recipes are perfect for this hot summer. Delightful and refreshing. Tea is soothing and my favorite drink. I would enjoy Permanently Booked greatly. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks, Traveler! Another iced tea fan--definitely try this one.

  8. I am so happy when it is blueberry season! Frozen ones are good, but fresh are better! Thank you for the recipes! Love your books!
    Thank you for the contest.

    1. Thanks so much, Deb! I was afraid the fresh blueberries might be trickier to work with than frozen, but they're both easy!

  9. I love blueberries and trying new recipes! I also love reading mysteries and my mom is a retired librarian so this is perfect! I’d love to win the giveaway! I’m at! Thx

    1. Thanks, Vicki! Hope you like them. (My mom was a librarian, too.)

  10. Thank you for the blueberry recipes - can't decide which one to make first!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    1. It's a tough choice, Taurus--I made them all at once! (Easy clean up.)

  11. Blueberries are so versatile and ideal. Your book sounds captivating and unique. I love tea. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks, Petite! I practically consume tea on IV drip.

  12. Thank you for the blueberry recipes . I am going to try many of them and going to read your book .

  13. This is so much fun and what a great title. thanks

    1. Thanks, Desdemona. I had fun writing and cooking, too!

  14. I have already made a blueberry pie and blueberry blondies so I think I know what is next!! Good use for all those blueberries in my fridge and freezer!!

    1. Absolutely, Sharon! Did you use Cleo's blueberry blondie recipe for National Blueberry Day? (I had no idea there was a holiday!)

  15. That is a boatload of blueberries! When you make a syrup are you throwing out the boiled blueberries?

    1. Actually, I didn't want to waste the strained blueberries, so I spooned them into little Tupperware containers and stuck them in the fridge. Presto! Instant "jam!"