Guest Post: Laura Childs – HAUNTED HIBISCUS

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Hello, my fellow bibliophiles. I hope that everyone is safe, warm, and dry given the ever-changing weather happening worldwide these days. Unlike many of my family and friends, I’m not a coffee drinker although I used to be. I don’t know what happened, but about 20 years ago I could no longer stand the smell or taste of coffee and immediately switched to loose-leaf tea. I began to research the history of tea, grabbing every book I could find and stumbled across The Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs and was hooked. I began to eagerly await each new release in this series and tried to guess what tea or herbal tisane might be featured. My ex-husband’s family is from the Middle East and loves drinks made with hibiscus so I figuratively jumped for joy at the chance to feature the newest release in the Tea Shop Mystery series, Haunted Hibiscus, and then literally jumped for joy when I found out Laura Childs would be providing a guest post. (Hey, book diva here!) So sit back, enjoy your beverage of choice (today mine is a nice cup of hibiscus herbal tisane, of course!), and enjoy today’s visit by Laura Childs as she talks about recipes. Thank you, Ms. Childs, for all of your delightful books and for visiting with us today. The blog is now yours.

Let There Be Recipes!

by Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author

of Haunted Hibiscus, a Tea Shop Mystery

Okay, who doesn’t love a recipe? I for one am constantly scrambling to clip recipes out of magazines and newspapers – especially if they sound irresistible, are a special new treat, or simple to prepare. Yup, I’m big on easy-peasey. Which is why I make sure all the recipes featured in my twenty-two Tea Shop Mysteries are quick and affordable with easy-to-source ingredients. Oh, you don’t want to trip from grocery to co-op hunting for star anise or licorice root? Me neither.

I also can’t carve out an extra hour in the day for prepping ingredients and then cooking them. Nope, I’m a hurry up, get it done kind of cook. And I promise you that the recipes in Haunted Hibiscus for Charleston Apple Pudding, Best Banana Bread Ever, Chai-Flavored Cupcakes, Pumpkin Soup, Crab and Avocado Tea Sandwiches, Southern Peach Crisp, and several more are a snap to fix.

I’d rather you spend that extra hour taking it easy. Reading a book (any book), sipping some tea, and kicking back. As you well know, this is the time for self-care. We’ve all been through a whirlwind this past year. It’s been exhausting, fruitless, and very trying.

So before you drain your energy trying to bake a tricky Tarte Tatin Flambé, why not just drain a can of peaches and make Southern Peach Crisp.

Sound good? Here’s the recipe:

Southern Peach Crisp

3 cups canned peaches (drained)

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup sugar

1 egg

6 Tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place peaches in baking dish and sprinkle with lemon juice. In medium sized bowl, mix flour, sugar, and egg together – mixture will be lumpy. Spread mixture over peaches, then pour melted butter on top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Yields 4 servings. (Hint: May be served with whipped cream or ice cream.)

Wishing you all my best,

Laura Childs

Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

About Haunted Hibiscus

Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
22nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489691
ISBN-13: 978-0451489692
Kindle ASIN: B089S6MFBH

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Google Play | IndieBound

Tea maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It is the week before Halloween and Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are ghosting through the dusk of a cool Charleston evening on their way to the old Bouchard Mansion. Known as the Gray Ghost, this dilapidated place was recently bequeathed to the Heritage Society, and tonight heralds the grand opening of their literary and historical themed haunted house.

Though Timothy Neville, the patriarch of the Heritage Society, is not thrilled with the fund-raising idea, it is the perfect venue for his grandniece, Willow French, to sign copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.

But amid a parade of characters dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, Lady Macbeth, and the Headless Horseman, Willow’s body is suddenly tossed from the third-floor tower room and left to dangle at the end of a rope. Police come screaming in and Theodosia’s boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, is sent to Willow’s apartment to investigate. But minutes later, he is shot and wounded by a shadowy intruder.

Timothy begs Theodosia to investigate, and shaken by Riley’s assault, she readily agrees. Now, she questions members of the Heritage Society and a man who claims the mansion is rightfully his, as well as Willow’s book publisher and her fiancé, all while hosting a Sherlock Holmes tea and catering several others.

But the Gray Ghost holds many secrets, as do several other key suspects, while this murder mystery plays out on the eve of Halloween.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:
Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31

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March 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
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March 5 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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March 6 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
March 9 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 10 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
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Guest Post: LAVENDER BLUE MURDER by Laura Childs



Good day, book people. I’m always excited to welcome guests to The Book Diva’s Reads, especially when it’s an author that has graciously taken time away from their busy writing or touring schedule. When it’s the author of a series that I read and admire, I go total fangirl, so reader beware. I’m a huge fan of the Laura Childs Tea Shop Mystery series, probably because it’s tea (I used to own a tea business) and I began reading it when I lived in Georgia (it’s a Southern thang). To say that I’m pleased to welcome Ms. Childs here today is a massive understatement, but close enough. I’m incredibly pleased and honored to welcome and introduce you to Ms. Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mystery Series, including the latest addition Lavender Blue Murder, as today’s guest. Ms. Childs will be sharing with us some of the joys of writing an amateur sleuth and more. Without further adieu, ladies and gents, I give you Laura Childs.




Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author of Lavender Blue Murder, writes about the Free-Wheeling Amateur Sleuth



If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, then you know that most main characters tend to be curious, heroic, and highly intelligent amateur sleuths. They’re not afraid to ask questions, go undercover, figure out clues, and occasionally tiptoe into situations where they probably shouldn’t. 

What I love most about Theodosia Browning, my main character and tea shop owner in Lavender Blue Murder, is that she’s not bound by the normal constraints that law enforcement is. She doesn’t have to Mirandize suspects, obtain search warrants from judges, follow procedure, call in a Crime Scene team, or deal with bureaucrats and police politics.   

Along with her dog, Earl Grey, Theodosia is a dynamic character who gets involved in very personal ways. When solving a murder, she has the smarts to make logical deductions and sniff out clues (often to the consternation of the police), as well as run her own shadow investigation to help winnow out who’s merely a suspect and who’s the real killer. 

It’s this free-wheeling manner that allows my tea shop owner’s fun personality to shine through. Yes, she’s solving crimes, but she’s also an entrepreneur who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in the heart of Charleston, SC. She’s socially active, has a boyfriend, is surrounded by a cast of characters that are often larger than life, and has a real sense of fair play and justice.

Here’s a synopsis of Lavender Blue Murder to show you how Theodosia gets embroiled in a nasty murder:


On a Sunday afternoon in autumn, tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at Reginald Doyle’s Creekmore Plantation. Because Doyle and his wife Meredith are rabid anglophiles, they’re treating their dozen or so guests to a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. 

But as gunshots explode like Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort. It’s a sharp pop, like the distinctive sound of a handgun. Worried now, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers Reginald Doyle bleeding to death. Help is summoned, first responders arrive, but it’s too late for Reginald.

Doyle’s wife Meredith is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the plantation house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Theodosia wonders who wanted Reginald dead and out of the way, and maybe even torched the house to destroy evidence? Could it be the surly caretaker Jack Grimes, Reginald’s business partner Guy Thorne, neighboring land owner Carl Clewis, the so-called “lavender lady” Susan Monday, or even Reginald’s son Alex or even his wife Meredith?


So you see, an amateur sleuth is a curious breed, succumbing to the pleas of others, often putting her own interests aside and herself in danger. Sound like fun? It kind of is!

Thanks to the Book Diva’s Reads for inviting me here today, and many thanks to all you wonderful readers.


Love,

Laura Childs



Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)

by Laura Childs

About Lavender Blue Murder

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
21th in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489667
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R



Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!


Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play IndieBound


About Laura Childs




Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.


Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31



Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway




TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

March 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

March 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

March 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 4 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

March 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

March 5 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 6 – I’m All About Books-SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW

March 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLGHT

March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

March 14 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

March 16 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

March 16 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT


March 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW



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