A Wicked Round Up

Dear readers, the Wickeds have had a full very 2015. Here’s a list of our books and stories that were released this past year.

Liz: It’s so fun to look back at all our accomplishments! I started off the year with a short Murdermostfinickystory in the anthology Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes(Actually, Tuffy the Maine coon wrote it, I just helped.) Then in March, The Icing on the Corpse was released. And on December 29 Murder Most Finicky, the fourth book in the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, comes out. What a fun way to close out the year!

Edith: [Deep breath] It was a very good year. My historical short story, “FlippedcoverA Questionable Death,” came out in the History and Mystery, Oh My! anthology. Then my recipe for Local Leek Tart popped up in the Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. The third Local Foods mystery, Farmed and Dangerous, released in May. In the summer my essay “My First Time” came out in a collection of stories about Mount Auburn justkillingtimeCemetery, Dead in Good Company. And finally, my alter-ego Maddie Day’s first Country Story mystery, Flipped for Murder, appeared in October. Whew! 2016 is shaping up to be almost as full, which is a blessing.

Julie: Well, the debut of Just Killing Time was it, but more than enough! What a thrill, still!! So glad to joined the ranks of the published on this blog.

musseledoutaudioBarb: Musseled Out, the third Maine Clambake Mystery, came out in April and my short story, “The Perfect Woman,” was in Best New England Crime Stories 2016: Red Dawn in November.

stickyJessie: A Sticky Situation, the third Sugar Grove Mystery, released in April, 2015.

longestyardsaleSherry: What a productive group of writers — you all amaze me! The second in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series, The Longest Yard Sale, came out in June 2016. I am so lucky to be on this adventure with the Wickeds!

Gathered Round

Jessie: In New Hampshire, feeling grateful that unlike last year on Thanksgiving, the snow has not yet started to fly.

One of the things I am grateful for this year is the sense of community built up around this blog. And nothing seems to reinforce the feeling of community like time spent together round a table, sharing stories, experiences and a good meal.

Since we can’t all be together the physical world today I thought it might be nice to imagine seeing all of you around a cyber table. I am imagining a gathering of all of those readers who comment and all of those readers who simply enjoy reading and nodding their heads quietly. I’d love for any of you to join in by mentioning in the comments which favorite food you would like to bring to the feast and maybe a thing you are thankful for this year.

I’m planning to bring my protagonist Dani Greene’s Maple Pumpkin Butter. Dani likes to beat it together with some cream cheese and use it as a dip for pretzels. It is also great on hot toast or spread between the layers of a cake. The recipe comes from my book, A Sticky Situation. Its main ingredient is pumpkin and it always makes me think of Thanksgiving every time I make it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Maple Pumpkin Butter

30 ounces canned pumpkin puree

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves and cardamom

Spray a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl combine all ingredients then add to the slow cooker. Cook on low setting for 6 hours or until the mixture is reduced to a thick, spreadable consistency.

Wicked Wednesday — Festivals

stickyWe continue to celebrate the launch of A Sticky Situation by Jessie! In the Sugar Grove, New Hampshire, the Greene family—including Dani’s irksome Aunt Hazel—are busy preparing for the annual Maple Festival. But nothing kills the festive spirit like murder…

So Wickeds have you ever helped set up a festival? Do you have a favorite one?

Liz: I’ve never done a big festival like the Maple Festival, but last year I was part of a very cool Tea and Art Fair–an indoor wellness festival. It was fun to see the event come together and meet like-minded people. And thankfully, no one was murdered!

Julie: I have never set up a festival, but I have been part of organizing a few theater festivals in my day. There could be a cozy series on festivals alone. In fact, there probably is one! It is great to see like minds coming together for a shared purpose, as Liz said. But then there’s the egos. NEVER a dull experience.

Edith: Not festivals, but I have helped organize conferences, something Barb and Julie know quite a lot about with their experience co-chairing the New England Crime Bake. I worked on a couple of academic conferences long ago, and they included much wrangling of difficult egos. I’m excited to be on a panel at the Newburyport Literary Festival with Liz and Jessie at the end of April, with Leigh Perry (Toni L.P. Kelner) moderating. It’s a fabulous all-day festival, and this year I’ll be an author instead of an attendee. Honored.

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Jessie: Every year my village holds a Fourth of July parade which culminates in activities  in the park like performances by local bands and treats for the kids. One year the Friends of the Library organization put on a soda tasting. All the sodas were from local companies and the event was such fun. Participants bought a glass as a fundraiser for the library and  used it to try samples of as many different soda flavors as they liked. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of happy kids there that day. One of my personal favorites was the Maple Cream soda by Squamscot  Beverage Company.

Sherry: I haven’t ever organized a festival but I’ve attend some memorable ones around the country as we moved from place to place. The Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, Ohio — our daughter had just turned three and kept her fingers up her nose the entire time we were there because it was stinky. Stinky, yes, but the food was delicious — even the sauerkraut fudge. The National Book Festival in DC — I’ve been able to hear so many fabulous authors talk about their books. And though it’s small the Apple Festival in Bedford, Massachusetts is always a good time.

blueberryfestivalBarb: I’ve never organized a festival, either. But I did get to “research” a few. Boiled Over ($1.99 for the ebook this month, btw) takes place over a fictional Founder’s Day Weekend in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. It is very, very loosely based on two festivals in Boothbay Harbor–The Fisherman’s Festival and Windjammer Days. Also to research Boiled Over, my husband and I traveled to the Wild Blueberry Festival in Machias, Maine. Oh, the sacrifices I make for my art!

Readers: Do you have a favorite festival or have you ever organized one?

Happy Book Birthday Jessie Crockett!

Today we celebrate the third book in Jessie’s Sugar Grove Mysteries, A Sticky Situation. Take a look at what’s in store for Dani:

stickyAunt Hazel isn’t exactly sweet, but she’s not the only one putting syrup maker Dani in a sour mood. Her family is trying to help renovate the town’s Opera House, but their contractor Russ Collins seems to specialize in finely crafted excuses. And his latest one is killer.
In the Opera House basement, Russ uncovers the remains of Spooner Duffy, a charming drifter thought to have skipped town decades ago with a hefty sum of the town’s money. Tapping into some unpleasant memories, Spooner’s bones also threaten to reveal a murderer’s secret, and now it’s up to Dani to catch a killer before the town is stuck with a deadly reputation. Recipes included!

Liz: Yay Jessie! So excited to read this. I love these books and I’m looking forward to Dani’s next adventure. Great cover, too!

Sherry: Woo-hoo! Another fun read and great mystery to look forward to reading! I don’t know how you do it but Dani always makes me laugh. I can’t wait to see how she gets out of this mess.

Barb: So happy to be back in Sugar Grove! Cannot wait to read this.

Julie: LOVE that is has to do with a theater restoration! Can’t wait to read this! Congratulations my friend!

Edith: Ooh, sounds like another wonderful story, Jessie. So happy for this release! My town had an opera house, too, but it burned down a few decades after it was built, alas.

Jessie: Thanks so much everyone! I can’t believe the third book in this series is already out in the world. It seems like just yesterday that Sugar Grove was still just an idea.