Kensington and Barnes & Noble Team Up Again for a Sale

Hi, Wickeds Fans (and Not Yet Fans)! From July 10 to August 20, just in time for beach reading, Kensington and Barnes & Noble are offering another Buy 3, Get the 4th Free Sale.

This time the books include two Wickeds first-in-series, Flipped for Murder, first in the Country Store Mysteries by Maddie Day, and Clammed Up, first in the Maine Clambake Mysteries by Barbara Ross. If you’ve been resisting the charms of these series, now might be the time to plunge in. Plus the sale includes books by Friends of the Blog, including Carol J. Perry, Devon Delaney, Alex Erickson, Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis and many others. (If we skipped you inadvertently, let us know in the comments.)

As always, we went in search of the endcap display for the sale out in the wild. Here’s Edith at the Newington, New Hampshire B & N near Portsmouth.


Barb is living somewhat B & N deprived in Maine. (There’s only one and it’s in Augusta.) But here are the books at the Framingham store in Massachusetts.

Edith: And here’s the full display in Newington. As you can see, every store displays them differently.


If your store doesn’t have one set up, ask them! And if yours does have the end cap,  we wouldn’t mind if you rarranged our books to be top, front, and center. Just saying…. ;^)

Here’s a link to the Kensington page which shows all the books included in this round of the sale. (Scroll down once you get there.)

Here’s a link to the B&N sale if you’re buying online.

Readers: Happy shopping! Is there a book series you’ve been wanting to start? Let us know in the comments.

Wicked Romantic

balloon-1046658_1920Jessie: In Washington D.C. thinking fond thoughts of my beloved.

Today is my wedding anniversary and my thoughts naturally have turned to romance. I know I like a bit of romance in the books I read and the ones that I write and I wondered if the rest of you do as well? 

Julie: I do like the romance, especially as a reader. As a writer, I’ve learned from all of you that pacing is important. Really important. Keep it going, but don’t frustrate everyone. I loved writing about Ruth and Ben’s relationship in my Clock Shop series. I am figuring out Sully’s romantic path in my Theater Cop series. She has a couple of options, but is also a strong single woman. In my new series, Lilly Jayne is a widow. There may be romance at some point, and there is an interesting next door neighbor, but for the first three books Lilly’s romance is with life, and embracing it again.

Mommyand me

With my mom about ten years ago

Edith: Yes to both, and happy anniversary to you and the dark and mysterious husband (who must be delighted that Brazil is going strong in World Cup competition). I’ve written conflicted relationships and ones that go more smoothly, but in the end I want my protagonist and important supporting characters to be happy in love. One of my favorites was giving Cam Flaherty’s widower great-uncle Albert in the Local Foods Mysteries a new sweetie – who turned out to be my late mother, Marilyn Muller! She never got to read any of my books, and I so love including her on the pages. Romance in the assisted living residence: it’s never too late.

Liz: Happy anniversary, Jessie! I do like a little romance in books – especially crime fiction, where the rest of the world we’re in is so dark. I’ve had fun with Stan and Jake’s relationship in my Pawsitively Organic series, and in a twist unplanned even to me, Stan’s mother also found love in a small town. Romance can definitely add a nice flavor to the story.

Sherry: Happy anniversary! I’ve always love a side of romance dating back to my early reading of Phyllis A. Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Mary Stewart. I’ve enjoyed the twists and turns in Sarah’s love life. Most of them were unexpected. Seth? Never planned on him even having a name, let alone continuing on through future books.

Readers: Romance in your mysteries, yay or nay? Are there any you’ve read that didn’t work for you?

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Jessie: In Washington D.C. wondering how it could possibly be so hot on Planet Earth.

white paper with yeah signage

Photo by on

The Wickeds have been thinking about additional, interesting ways to connect with our readers. At this year’s retreat we decided that a Wickeds newsletter seemed like it might be just the ticket. So, we wanted to let you all know that as of Autumn 2018 we will begin sending out a newsletter.

To quote Barb, “It will arrive in email boxes on a regular but not annoyingly frequent basis.”

If you would like to receive notice of our upcoming releases, book cover reveals, appearances, giveaways, and bonus content, we hope you will consider clicking below and using the form to sign up. We look forward to visiting your in boxes starting in the autumn!

Readers, what do you like to see featured in author newsletters? Writers, do you send one out yourself? Any tips you would like to share?

What we’re reading this summer

We’re heading into the best time of year for reading – the lazy days of summer! Hopefully we’ve all got some plans to hit a beach with a stack of books (I definitely do!) So, Wickeds and readers, what’s on the list this year?

Liz:  I’ve got a few things on my list – finally picked up The Handmaid’s Tale, and I’m getting caught up on my William Kent Krueger series. Also have Walter Mosley’s Little Green, in preparation for this year’s Crime Bake, as well as Harlan Coben’s Caught.

Julie: I am adding some thrillers to my TBR list, and am looking for suggestions! Especially with a female protagonist. Need to catch up with the Wickeds, and am also planning on reading Walter Mosley. Can’t wait to see him at Crime Bake this year.

Edith: Julie, I recommend Ingrid Thoft’s series, with a female protag in the Boston area. As for me, I’m excited to have Kaitlyn Dunnet’s new Crime and Punctuation and Leslie Budewitz’s As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles on the stack, and I’m also reading a book called The World as I Hear It by Lansing V Hall published in 1878. It’s about his life as a blind man and it’s research for a character I’m including in my fifth Quaker Midwife Mystery. Then I want to finally read some Ann Cleeves. Where should I start?

Barb: I also have Crime and Punctuation high on my tbr pile, like starting it tonight. In the meantime, I read R. G. Belsky’s Yesterday’s News. He’s on a panel I’m moderating at the Maine Crime Wave today. Since the panel is titled “Irresistible Openings,” I only planned to read the first scene to prepare. However, the opening must have been irresistible, because it sucked me right through and I finished the book last night.

Sherry: I just finished an interesting thriller written in 2004 called Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy. And I’m looking forward to reading Darker Than Any Shadow by TIna Whittle. And as mentioned by others Crime and Punctuation!

Readers: What is on your summer reading list?


Opening Lines: Behind the Parking Garage

Add your opening line for this shot, which Liz reports she took, “when Shaggy took me for a walk behind the parking garage…”


Edith: If I told him once, I told him a million times – don’t leave your paint rags behind the garage. And ya know what? Dried blood sure looks a lot like rust.

Julie: He bet me that he could use a pipe as a boomerang. He was wrong, and lost his shirt.

Barb: My Clue solution is: Colonel Mustard, behind the garage, with the lead pipe.

Sherry: Apparently The Hulk was on the loose again. Such a show off bending pipes and ripping off his shirt.

Readers: Add your opening line in the comments!

Wicked Wednesday: May-December Romances

Edith here, blog wrangler for the month, happy we made it to the end of May! 

Many years ago I was chatting with a poet friend, the now-late Miriam Goodman, who was about fifteen years older than me. She mentioned that she’d had a May-December romance. I’d never heard the term, so she explained that it was when one partner was significantly older than the other. In her case, Miriam had been the older one. I saw one definition that said the gap has to be eleven years or more to be a real May-December situation. In our culture, the man being the older one of the couple is a cliche, but certainly it happens in the other order as well as with same-gender couples.


So let’s talk about May-December romances. Do you have stories from your own life or those of friends who are/were in such a relationship? How about fictional instances in books, movies, TV shows where one partner is a couple of decades older or younger? [Because we try to avoid politics on this blog, let’s omit the current residents of the White House. Let’s not talk about celebrities, either.] Go!

Sherry: It seems like lots of classic literature has May-December romances. I haven’t read Rebecca for a very long time, but it’s hard to forget how young Rebecca seemed and how old her husband was. Although for the time period that wasn’t so unusual.

Julie: Jane Eyre was also much younger than Mr. Rochester. Lots of those romances in novels. I will admit I was always a fan of Cary Grant and Fred Astaire, both of whom had much younger screen partners late in their careers. It never really bothered me, though I will admit seeing Fred and Leslie Caron in Daddy Long Legs recently gave me a start. She was so, so young. And the story celebrates a May/December romance that doesn’t necessarily age well.

Barb: I do have a few friends in my own life who meet the eleven year definition (which I had never heard before). Shall we give a shout out to French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte?

Edith: Sure! I was in such a relationship for a couple of years, with a man more than twenty years older than me. Sweetest guy I’ve ever known. We used to go walking in a beautiful cemetery and find gravestones of couples with similar age gaps. It ended because I very much wanted to have children and he’d already had four with his ex-wife.

Readers: Who do you know? Who are your favorite May-December couples from literature or the screen?

In Memorium

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday formerly and still solemn for many, that once was called Decoration Day.  Its origins lie mostly in the immediate post-Civil War period with the women who decorated the graves of fallen soldiers and began a move toward a national day of mourning. According to Wikipedia, the early southern Decoration Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the dead and tend to local cemeteries. The custom spread to the north and became widespread, incorporating military parades.


By California Historical Society Digital Collection, via Wikimedia Commons

Decoration Day, celebrated on May 30 because of the proliferation of spring flowers, was first called Memorial Day in 1882. It wasn’t officially named that until 1967, and in 1968 became one of several national holidays to take place on a Monday rather than a date certain.

More than a million military men and women have given their lives in military service to the United States of America. Wickeds and friends, who will you remember today? In which conflict did he or she die?

Adoniram Judson Dickison. (My brother has the sword.)

Barb: I’m not aware of anyone in my family who has been killed in a war. My father served in Korea, his father in World War I, and his uncle and uncle-in-law in World War II. My great-great grandfather served in the Civil War. You can read some of his letters home to his niece, Alice, here. informs me of many veterans before them, going back to the Revolution and beyond. It’s a long chain of sacrifice to bring us to today.

Sherry: Like Barb I’m not aware of anyone in my family who was killed in action. But my dad served in WWII. He’s buried in Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida. While we were in Florida visiting my mom over Christmas, my husband and I were able to stop at Barancas on our way to the airport. It was a cold, rainy, windy day. But It’s a very moving place and I’m grateful to the strangers who place wreaths every year at Christmas.


Edith: My grandfather and father served in the military during World Wars I and II, and my brother is a veteran, too, but they all survived. My grandfather’s brother, Leslie Maxwell, died in combat in WWI, and my beau Hugh’s uncle Hugh William, whom he is named for, died in the Pacific in WWII. I was able to find this picture of his grave marker in the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines – all I did was email his name, and they generously mailed back the digital picture. I had a print made and gave it to his youngest sibling, Hugh’s Aunt Joyce, the last living member of that Lockhart generation, who was deeply touched.


Liz: I don’t know of anyone in my family either who died in a war. My grandfather had an illness that prevented him from fighting in WWII, but he and my grandmother both volunteered in the war efforts. I remember hearing them talk about it when I was young. I remember my grandfather being disappointed he couldn’t be in the actual fight, and my grandmother being proud to have contributed in the ways she did.

Jessie: There are many veterans in my own family but none who died in conflicts. My mother’s paternal grandmother served in WWII and out ranked her own sons before the end of the war. She and her sister are the inspiration for two characters in my Change of Fortune series, Elva and Dovie Velmont. My maternal grandfather served in the Pacific theater in WWII and one of my uncles served in Vietnam. Another of my uncles served in the same time period in the Coast Guard. Knowing how their efforts colored the rest of their lives is humbling today and always.

Julie: One of my grandfather’s served in World War I, and the other served in World War II. My uncle served in Vietnam. One of the people I think about was my father’s cousin, David Holmes, who was shot down in Vietnam in 1966 and was declared dead twelve years later. He and my father were close, and he was the only child of Aunt Frances and Uncle Al. David’s loss is but one story about how one person loss has repercussions throughout a family. To all who served, or who have served, thank you.

Readers:  Who do you remember today?