Guest Post by Author Sandra Lopez

Over the past few years The Book Diva’s Reads has had the pleasure of hosting visits from a variety of authors: indie and mainstream, as well as debut and established. The primary purpose for all of these author visits is to serve as an introduction to a new audience and, hopefully, bring new readership to their works. Having said that, The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to host a visit by Sandra Lopez, author of Esperanza: A Latina Story and Beyond The Gardens. Today Ms. Lopez will be talking about her recent visit to a writer’s faire.

Writer’s Faire 2013  by Sandra Lopez

I just went to the faire. 

No, I’m not talking about the OC Fair, where the chicken-fried frog legs, chocolate-covered bacon, and Krispy Kreme sloppy Joe’s are plentiful and make your stomach swirl (especially after a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl.) 

No, what I’m talking about is the Writer’s Faire, which was held at UCLA on August 25. 

The event hosted a variety of panels and lectures by published writers, who were all scheduled to teach a class in the fall semester as part of the UCLA Extension program. 

When I first heard about this, I just knew I had to be there, even though that meant a long drive through L.A. gridlock. 

It was about 10 o’clock in the morning when I (finally) arrived at the campus grounds; the panels were to start at 11, meaning I had a whole hour to find parking. I nearly had a heart attack when I found out that parking was $12. What?! 

One thing to realize about L.A. is: There is NO such thing as FREE PARKING. Even the Ralph’s across the street required a ticket for a 2-hour limit; if the stay exceeded past the limit, there would be an additional charge. 

After running around, I eventually found a lot with $5 parking—that was good enough for me. Of course, by that time, it was about 10:45, and I had absolutely no idea where I was or where I was going. UCLA was that HUGE. 

Breathless and sweaty, I arrived at the first panel session minutes before it started. One of the speakers began with an ice breaker that brought me out of my fatigue. “There are two kinds of people who have voices in their heads—Paranoid Schizophrenics and Writers…The incidental difference is that Paranoid Schizophrenics listen to the voices in their heads and follow their commands. Writers just turn them into stories.” (Lou Mathews)

Here were a few things I learned from the experts. 

Panel #1: Promoting Your Work and Branding Yourself as a Writer
-Be professional
-Do your research
-Build an audience

Panel #2: The Art of Writing and Publishing Short Fiction
-Appeal to the senses
-Give readers the experience in language
-Dialogue puts the plot into motion

Panel #3: Writing Compelling Work
-The key to writing compelling work is to answer the following questions: 
          1) What’s going to happen and how?  
          2) How will the characters react?
          3) What is happening?
          Each answer to a question poses another question, pulling in the readers to seek out the mysteries (even if your story is not a mystery)

Panel #4: Writing with a Day Job
-DO NOT give up your day job
-Write anytime, anywhere you can (lunch breaks, before work, kids’ soccer practice, etc.) 
-Don’t wait for time, make the time to write

Of course, there were several other panels that were going on, but I could only go to a select few. Still, what little I gained from each 40-minute lecture gave me new-found inspiration and the courage to keep doing what I do: write. And I will keep on writing for as long as I live. 

My only rule of thumb is: write, write, write (and read.) 


Born and raised in Hawaiian Gardens, CA, Sandra C. López is one of today’s influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Shortly after that, she wrote the follow up to Esperanza called Beyond the Gardens, published in October 2009. Now, this young writer is a full graduate of Cal State University Fullerton with a BFA in the arts. She was named as one of “2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch” by Latino Stories.  

For more information, visit the author’s website at or connect with her on Facebook at 

Buy The Books:



Guest Author Post by Lisa Owens

The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to host Lisa M. Owens as a guest blogger. Ms. Owens is the author of If Only and will be providing us with a little insight into her main characters with a character interview.

Character Interview with Bree and Scott Weston
By Lisa M. Owens (Guest blogger)

Hi Book Diva and all of you wonderful readers! *friendly wave* Thank you so much for having me today. My contemporary romance which is titled, If Only, is now available through Liquid Silver Books.

If Only touched me on a very personal level. My heroine, Bree, survived five years of physical and emotional abuse from the man who was supposed to love her the most; her husband. Once she escapes from her violent and troubled past, she reconnects with the man she left behind, her ex-fiancé, Scott. And he has a difficult job ahead of him; proving to Bree that real men don’t hit women and that even a woman with a past is worthy of love.

And once she allows him into her heart, he shows her a marriage of love and sexual awakening that she could have only dreamed of.

I thought that I would give you readers a chance to talk with them and see how they handled the emotional hurdles that I forced them to jump through.

Please welcome Bree and Scott.

Lisa: Thanks for joining us today. If each of you could describe this book in one word, what word would you use?

Scott: *waggles his eyebrows, making Bree laugh* Sexy

Bree: Emotional

Lisa: Did either of you ever think your life would end up in a book?

Scott: Hell no.

Bree: *chuckles* No, not really.

Lisa: What’s your favorite color?

Scott: Pink.

Lisa: Pink? That’s kind of a strange color for a man to prefer. Why pink?

Scott: *waggles his eyebrows* Bree has this hot pink lace bra and panty set that is…

Bree: *flushes bright crimson* Scott! *elbows him in the ribs* See if I model that for you again anytime soon.

Scott: *groans*

Bree: Next question please.

Lisa: Are you happy with the genre I picked for your story?

Scott: *shrugs* I would have preferred more of a manly genre. *Bree laughs* Maybe a thriller so I could have used a weapon, kicked a little ass.

Bree: *looks over at him and grins* Like you didn’t kick a little ass in Lisa’s story? *rolls her eyes* You punched your own brother and then wiped the floor with my ex. Trust me, baby, no one could ever label you as anything less than a manly man. *stares deeply into Scott’s eyes* You are my own personal knight in shining armor. And don’t you ever forget it.

Scott: *teasing* Stop it. You’re going to make me blush.

Bree: I was definitely pleased with the genre you chose. I love to read contemporary romance. The racier the cover, the sexier and less clothed the man, the more I like it!

Scott: *scowls*

Lisa: What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialogue or the 

Bree: *blushes and smiles* Without a doubt, the romance. Thank you so much for giving me another chance to have Scott in my life, Lisa. For the first time in a long time, I feel safe. Loved.

Scott: *places a reassuring hand on her shoulder* I only treat you the way that you should have always been treated. 

Lisa: If you could rewrite anything in the book, what would it be?

Scott: *voice hardens* I would have never let Bree walk away from me and marry that monster. What the hell were you thinking, Bree?

Bree: Scott, you know why Lisa wrote it that way. She felt she had to. She had a message to share and marrying Bryan was part of that message. And I was happy to help. Maybe the hell that I went through will help someone else.

Scott: You could have been killed.

Bree: But I wasn’t. Now I am where I was always supposed to be. Here. With you.
*Scott scowls but relents*

Lisa: Is there anything else that you would like for readers to know?

Bree: No woman or child deserves to live in fear. The National Domestic Violence 
Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Lisa: On that note, I’ll wrap up this interview and provide readers with a blurb and
excerpt from this book.

If Only (A Contemporary Romance)

What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?

Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.

She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?


Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.

She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.

Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.

Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.

The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?

His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.

She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.

His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.

“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.

That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.

“Scott,” she whispered. 

Author Bio

The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.

A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.

Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.

She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.

Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be reached at P.O. Box 9643, Tulsa, OK 74157-0643, or by e-mail, lisamowens[at]ymail[dot]com. 

Connect with the author:     

Website     |     Twitter     |     Facebook     |     Goodreads

Thank you for having me today, Book Diva! And a big shout-out to all of the readers out there.

And to those of you who have added my book on your TBR lists…THANK YOU!!!

If Only is the beginning of a series of books that I am currently working on. There is more yet to come!


Ms. Owens has graciously offered to giveaway one digital copy of If Only to one of The Book Diva’s Reads readers. This will be an easy giveaway, just comment on this post. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, September 22nd.

Buy The Book:

Liquid Silver Books  



The Good Wife (A Brennan Sisters Novel) by Jane Porter
ISBN:  9780425253670 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781101625194 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00BC24NAS (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 3, 2013 
Publisher: Berkeley

Is it possible to love someone too much?

Always considered the beauty of the family, the youngest Brennan sister, Sarah, remains deeply in love with her husband of ten years. Boone Walker, a professional baseball player, travels almost year-round while Sarah stays home and cares for their two children. Her love for her husband is bottomless—so much so that her sisters say it will end up hurting her.

Living apart most of the time makes life difficult, especially since Sarah often wonders whether Boone is sharing his bed with other women on the road, even though he swears he’s been true to her since his infidelity three years ago. While she wants to be happy and move forward in her life, Sarah constantly fears that Boone will break his promise. Now with Boone facing yet another career change, tension rises between the two, adding more stress to an already turbulent marriage. Emotionally exhausted, Sarah can’t cope with yet another storm. Now, she must either break free from the past and forgive Boone completely, or leave him behind and start anew. . .

The Good Wife is the final book in the Brennan Sisters’ trilogy by author Jane Porter. The previous books, The Good Woman and The Good Daughter, highlighted the lives of the oldest and then the middle Brennan sisters, Mary Margaret (Meg) and Katherine Elizabeth (Kit). All of the books focus on the greater Brennan family dynamics, as well as spotlighting the individual sisters and their personal issues and problems. Sarah is the youngest Brennan sister and has spent much of her adult life away from her family. Her husband, Boone Walker, is a professional baseball player. Sarah and Boone have been married for over ten years and all of that time has been spent following Boone as he’s moved from team-to-team. Now Sarah is thirty-five years old, a dedicated wife, and mother of two children: five-year-old Ella and eight-year-old Brennan. Unfortunately she doesn’t think she has a role in life other than wife and mother. Can she find happiness with her husband and children if she isn’t happy with herself?

Mirroring Sarah’s saga is the story of Lauren Summer, a local chef/baker. Lauren became an unwed teen mother at the tender age of seventeen. Fortunately she had the love and support of her parents and older sister and eventually became the co-owner of a local bakery-cafe. Lauren was dealt an intense blow when her son was killed in a tragic car accident. Due to the circumstances surrounding her son’s conception and birth, Lauren has severe trust issues with men. Her life had centered on her son and business for almost seventeen years and she needs time to grieve and reassess her life. This means leaving her hometown and family and moving a few hours away. When she attracts the attention of a professional baseball player she has to decide if she’s willing to accept male friendship, companionship and open herself to the possibility of love.

I found The Good Wife to be a fast-paced read. It was fascinating to see how Lauren and Sarah’s lives mirrored one another with their trust issues. Parts of the story were literally heart-wrenching as I read about the Brennan family’s grief over the death of the matriarch, Marilyn Brennan, to cancer, not to mention Lauren’s prolonged grief over the untimely death of her teenage son. Ultimately both Lauren and Sarah must learn to accept who they are and put just as much time and importance on their goals as they have with others. The Good Wife is much more than a story about an unhappy wife. Ms. Porter delves into the issue of self-fulfillment, marital fidelity, marital trust, forgiveness, grief, despair and a host of other family, as well as inter- and intra-personal issues. Sarah must decide if she has truly forgiven her husband for his past infidelity and trust that he is willingly in their marriage. Her doubts wind up making her borderline crazy and have the potential for causing her marriage to disintegrate due to her lack of trust issues. Is it possible to love too much? It probably isn’t possible to love too much as long as we learn to love without sublimating our individuality. If you enjoy reading about realistic family situations, then you’ll definitely want to add The Good Woman, The Good Daughter, and The Good Wife to your reading list. (Although this is the final book in the Brennan Sisters’ trilogy, I personally want more!)

Learn more about author Jane Porter and her books by clicking here or visit the author’s website:

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Buy the Book


Book 211: HOTSHOT Review

Hotshot by Julie Garwood
ISBN:  9780525953012 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781101624258 (ebook)
ASIN:  B009VMBZYS (Kindle edition)
Publication date: August 6, 2013 
Publisher: Dutton Adult

Peyton Lockhart and her sisters have inherited Bishops Cove, a small, luxurious oceanfront resort, but it comes with a condition: The girls must run the resort for one year and show a profit, only then will they own it.

A graduate of a prestigious French culinary school, Peyton has just lost her job as a food critic. Out of work and in a bad place personally, a year doing something completely different sounds wonderful.

There are countless challenges and too many people who want to stop the sisters from succeeding. Among them are Peyton’s contentious cousins, who are outraged that they didn’t inherit the resort, as well as a powerful group of land developers who have been eyeing the coveted beachfront property.

It’s soon apparent to Peyton that their efforts are being sabotaged, but she refuses to let the threats scare her until she’s nearly killed. She calls on her childhood friend and protector, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for his help. He saved her life once; he can do it again.

Peyton Lockhart has had a crush on Finn MacBain since she was six years old. Finn saved her from a potential drowning and then taught her to swim. For most of her preteen life she considered Finn her own guardian angel. As Finn grew older and went away to college their friendship seemed to gradually dissolve away, but Peyton has never forgotten him. 

Newly graduated from culinary school, Peyton wants to find a job and strike out on her own. The only job seems to be an editor’s assistant/food critic at a culinary magazine miles away from home. Peyton accepts the job and moves away from friends and family. Unfortunately the job comes with some undesirable attention; the lecherous attention of her boss . . . her married boss. The work environment is filled with hostile and unwanted sexual advances from her boss and she is told that she can’t file a complaint until she’s been there awhile. She tries to go over her boss’s head to the company owner, her boss’s father-in-law, but is thwarted at every turn. Peyton’s only recourse is to quit the job and go back home. 

Peyton returns home to find that her favorite uncle is giving her and her sisters a unique opportunity to strike out on their own. They have to take over the management of a resort hotel in Florida and make it profitable in one year’s time in order to become full owners of the resort. It’s an offer too good to refuse.

Peyton had hoped that leaving the magazine would end her problems, but they seem to follow her and her sisters to Florida. After she’s been shot at and had other close calls she resorts to calling her childhood guardian angel for help. Finn is now an FBI agent and he is just what is needed to keep Peyton safe.

Hotshot is not just the title but the childhood nickname Peyton had given to Finn. She’s hopeful that he’ll be able to ride into town and save the day as he often did during her childhood. The problem is that there are so many fires to be put out: saboteurs on the hotel renovation, death threats (presumably from previous employers), oblique threats from potential hotel rivals, and family drama from an unwelcomed (and horribly spoiled) cousin. I don’t know if it was just me, but the story wasn’t as tight as I usually expect from this author. I actually enjoyed the storyline about sexual harassment. The unwelcome cousin I felt was a bit much and didn’t really add that much to the story. I enjoyed the back story for Peyton and Finn, as well as their current developing relationship. I found Hotshot to be a quick read and it was interesting for the most part, but there was just something about the story that didn’t quite fit in my mind. The beginning of the story and the end I found plausible and enjoyable, but the middle just seems to get a bit muddled.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Buy the Book





A Dangerous Fiction by Barbara Rogan
ISBN:  9780670026500 (hardcover)
ISBN:  9781101622810  (ebook)
ASIN:  B00AFPTSLC (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 25, 2013 
Publisher: Viking

Jo Donovan always manages to come out on top. From the backwoods of Appalachia, she forged a hard path to life among the literati in New York City. At thirty-five, she’s the widow of the renowned author Hugo Donovan and the owner of one of the best literary agencies in town. Jo is living the life she dreamed of but it’s all about to fall apart.

When a would-be client turns stalker, Jo is more angry than shaken until her clients come under attack. Meanwhile, a biography of Hugo Donovan is in the works and the author’s digging threatens to destroy the foundations of Jo’s carefully constructed life. As the web of suspicion grows wider and her stalker ups the ante, she’s persuaded by her client and friend—FBI profiler-turned-bestselling-thriller writer—to go to the police. There Jo finds herself face-to-face with an old flame: the handsome Tommy Cullen, now NYPD detective.

A Dangerous Fiction marks the welcome return of Barbara Rogan and the start of a terrific new series.

Jo Donovan is no stranger to adversity. Her parents died when she was very young and she was then raised by her somewhat strict and not very loving grandmother. She survived her childhood and graduated from a good college before joining the literary world in New York City. As a young adult, she met and then married a world famous (and somewhat infamous) author, Hugo Donovan. Now that Hugo has died, she’s back in New York and the owner operator of a literary agency. Although still mourning the loss of her husband, she is striving to make her life meaningful with work and friends. But then a stalker turns up and clients are being murdered. Who knew the literary world was so cutthroat?

Jo’s agency suffers when her private files are hacked and her clients are spammed. Jo also has to deal with a would-be author-turned stalker that presumes she is his muse. If that isn’t bad enough, she must also deal with internal enmity from one of her agents. Thankfully Jo has her mentor and former agency owner to advise her, along with a former FBI profiler that is a now an author, client and friend. Oops, almost forgot that she must also deal with a well-known biographer writing her husband’s biography and digging into his past including their marriage. To add to the tension, Jo’s former summer boyfriend is the police detective assigned to her case. 

I found A Dangerous Fiction to be a fast-paced read that provides drama, murders, hints of romance and a lot of suspense. The characters are all well-developed and realistic, and the action is very plausible. Now having said that, the only character I thought had a few problems was Jo. Jo seems to have idealized her marriage and husband and was blind to the reality of her marriage. It is possible that this is due to the fact her husband was older and she married at a relatively young age. It seemed to me that there were moments when she just seemed a little too naive. This in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I have read and enjoyed previous works by Ms. Rogan and A Dangerous Fiction was no exception. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Buy the Book





Murder by Syllabub

by Kathleen Delaney

on Tour September – October, 2013


Book Details:
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Camel Press
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 298
ISBN: 978-1-60381-957-2
Purchase Links:  


A ghost in Colonial dress has been wreaking havoc at an old plantation house in Virginia. The house is owned by Elizabeth Smithwood, the best friend of Ellen McKenzie’s Aunt Mary. Mary is determined to fly to the rescue, and Ellen has no choice but to leave her real estate business and new husband to accompany her. Who else will keep the old girl out of trouble? When Ellen and Aunt Mary arrive, they find that Elizabeth’s “house” comprises three sprawling buildings containing all manner of secret entrances and passages, not to mention slave cabins. But who owns what and who owned whom? After Monty—the so-called ghost and stepson of Elizabeth’s dead husband—turns up dead in Elizabeth’s house, suspicion falls on her. Especially when the cause of death is a poisoned glass of syllabub taken from a batch of the sweet, creamy after-dinner drink sitting in Elizabeth’s refrigerator. Monty had enemies to spare. Why was he roaming the old house? What was he searching for? To find the truth, Ellen and her Aunt Mary will have to do much more than rummage through stacks of old crates; they will have to expose two hundred years of grudges and vendettas. The spirits they disturb are far deadlier than the one who brought them to Virginia. Murder by Syllabub is the fifth book of the Ellen McKenzie Mystery series.

Read an excerpt:

Mildred leaned back against the drain board, as if she needed it to prop her up. “Do you think he’ll be back?”

I set the dish on the drain board along with the other rinsed dishes.

“You mean the murderer?”

Mildred nodded.

I’d wondered the same thing. “I think it was Monty prowling around upstairs, looking for something. Why he was dressed like that, I can’t imagine, but I don’t think he found whatever it was he was looking for. The only reason I can think of for both Monty and whoever slipped him the poison to be here is they were looking for the same thing. I don’t think they found it. So, yes, I think whoever it is will be back.”

Mildred nodded. “I think so, too. That crate was no accident.” She paused before going on, her voice filled with apprehension. “You know, McMann isn’t going to buy the mysterious prowler story. He’s going to take the easy way out. Elizabeth fed Monty the poison before she left for the airport and we’re protecting her.” She sighed deeply and turned to the dishwasher. “Might as well load this. Can you hand me that bowl?”

She opened the door, pulled out the top rack and froze. “How did that get in here?” 

“What’s the matter? Oh no.”

We stood, frozen, staring at the immaculately clean crystal glass, sitting on the top rack in solitary splendor.

“That’s one of the old syllabub glasses.” Mildred turned around to look at the glasses on the hutch and returned her gaze to the dishwasher. She pulled the rack out all the way but the dishwasher was empty, except for the one glass.

I’d had a close enough look at the glass next to Monty to know this was from the same set. “It’s the missing syllabub glass.”

“Missing?” Mildred’s hand went out to touch it, but she quickly withdrew.

“Where are the others? Cora Lee and I packed these away years ago. There were eight of them. How did this one get in here?”

“Noah didn’t tell you?”

“That boy only tells me what he wants me to know. What was it he should have told me?”

“The set of these glasses were on the sideboard in the dining room where Monty was killed. Six of them. One was beside Monty with the remains of a sticky drink in it. That made seven. One was missing. The one the murderer used.”

We stared at each other then back into the dishwasher. “That’s got to be the missing one, right there.” Mildred took a better look. “It’s clean. Someone’s trying to frame Elizabeth.”

Author Bio:

Kathleen Delaney has written four previous Ellen McKenzie Real Estate mysteries, but has never before transported her characters out of California. A number of years ago she visited Colonial Williamsburg and fell in love. Long fascinated with our country’s history, especially the formation years, she knew she wanted to set a story there. Another trip with her brother and sister-in-law solidified the idea that had been rolling around in her head but she needed more information. A phone call to the nice people at Colonial Williamsburg provided her with appointments to visit the kitchen at the Payton Randolph house, where she got her first lesson in hearth cooking and a meeting with the people who manage the almost extinct animal breeds the foundation is working to preserve. A number of books purchased at the wonderful bookstore at the visitor’s center gave her the additional information she needed and the story that was to become Murder by Syllabub came into being. Kathleen lived most of her life in California but now resides in Georgia. She is close to many historical sites, which she has eagerly visited, not only as research for this book but because the east is rich in monuments to the history of our country. Luckily, her grandchildren are more than willing to accompany her on their tours of exploration. You can find Kathleen on the Web at

Catch Up With the Author:

Tour Participants