One of the things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving is the wonderful opportunity I had to interview Phyllis Newsom, star of The Fresh Baked mystery series! The latest book in the series, The Gingerbread Bump-Off, is available in stores now. I recently finished reading the book, and I loved it!
The action starts when Phyllis agrees to feature her home in the annual Jingle Bell Tour of Homes. She spends hours decorating the house for Christmas, but before the guests arrive someone is attacked right on her doorstep. You won't want to put this book down as Phyllis and her friends canvas the neighborhood, trying to determine who had it out for Weatherford's latest victim, all while trying to prepare for Christmas and a Christmas Eve bridal shower!
I rate this book 5 out of 5 CozyUps! Read on for my interview with Phyllis. A big thank you to Livia J. Washburn for "introducing" me to Texas's most famous sleuth!
CozyUpBlog: Hi Phyllis, welcome to the CozyUpBlog! We are delighted to be speaking with you today.
Phyllis: Thank you so much for having me here. I really enjoy reading the blog.
CUB: CozyUpBlog is all about celebrating the seasons. What is your favorite season and why?
Phyllis: The whole time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas is probably my favorite not only because of all the good food associated with both holidays but also because it's the time of year when family and friends come together more. There's nothing I like more than spending time with all the people I love.
CUB: In The Gingerbread Bump-Off your home is being featured in Weatherford, Texas’, annual Christmas Jingle Bell Tour of Homes. That sounds like a fun holiday tradition- can you tell us about it?
Phyllis: Well, it's a considerable amount of work for the people who decorate their homes and open them for the tour, I've discovered. But it's worth it when you see people's eyes light up with enjoyment, especially the children. I think when it comes to Christmas lights and decorations, we're all sort of children at heart.
CUB: Gingerbread takes place during Christmastime. You live with two of your best friends, Eve and Carolyn. Which one of them has the most Christmas cheer?
Phyllis: Oh, that puts me on the spot! I think they both have a lot of Christmas cheer, they just express it in different ways. Eve is all about the shopping and the hustle and bustle of the season, while Carolyn tends to enjoy the cooking and the quieter, more reflective times. But they both love Christmas.
CUB: You and Carolyn love to enter baking competitions, but they often end in murder. Would your son, who happens to be a police officer, ever ask you to stop competing?
Phyllis: I hope not! I think Mike knows that all those things were just coincidences. Honestly, there's no reason why someone should wind up being murdered every time I enter a baking contest, now is there?
CUB: Speaking of protective men, your romance with Sam, one of the tenants in your home, seems to be heating up faster than a Christmas cookie in the oven. How are things with him?
Phyllis: Sam is a wonderful man, and I certainly enjoy spending time with him. (A lady should always be discreet about such things.)
CUB: Phyllis, thank you so much for coming by and answering all of our questions! The Gingerbread Bump-Off by Livia J. Washburn is available at all major booksellers. Click here to buy your copy now from Amazon.com.
The Gingerbread Bump-Off is just one of six books in the popular Fresh Baked Mystery series. I have read each and every book in the series and I highly recommend them all. I am listing the books in the series below, according to their season (not the order in which they were published).
· Read The Pumpkin Muffin Murders this Thanksgiving- it’s sure to put you in the mood for turkey and stuffing
The Christmas Cookie Killer is best read at Christmastime, and includes Phyllis’ mouthwatering recipe for lime sugar cookies
· In Killer Crab Cakes Phyllis and her friends go to the shore to look after her cousin’s Bed & Breakfast, only to find a body on the pier!
· Murder by the Slice is the perfect fall read, involving mayhem at a local school carnival
· A Peach of a Murder takes place during the peach picking season, when it’s boiling hot in Texas!
A very special thank you to Phyllis Newsom and especially to Livia J. Washburn, who was very helpful in setting up this interview :) Happy reading everyone!