A Cozy Christmas Featuring Meera Lester #ACozyChristmas

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A Cozy Christmas at Brooke Blogs

A Cozy Christmas at Brooke Blogs is a celebration of wonderful cozy mystery authors and their books. Stop by daily from 12/11/16 through 12/25/16 for special posts and be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway. Curl up and get cozy this holiday season!

The Murder of a Queen Bee by Meera Lester cover

The Murder of a Queen Bee by Meera Lester

Henny Penny Farmette Mystery #2

All abuzz about murder . . .

Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie has made a fresh start as a beekeeper and farmer in picturesque Las Flores, California—but she never suspected her new hometown would prove to be a hive of criminal activity.

When Abby invites her free-spirited friend, Fiona Mary Ryan, owner of Ancient Wisdom Botanicals, to her farmette for lunch, she never imagines that Fiona’s no-show will lead to a murder investigation.

Only hours after their lunch date, Fiona’s body is found in a burning car in what at first appears to be a tragic accident. But after the coroner’s report is issued, it’s clear she was dead before being placed in the vehicle. Someone has gone to great lengths to cover up a murder. But who—and why?

Driven by her loyalty to her friend, and her deeply ingrained skills as a trained investigator, Abby sorts through suspects—who seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Speculating that Fiona’s herbal business might hold the key to motive, Abby isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to smoke out a killer . . .

Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!

Goodreads | Amazon

It’s an exchange between Abigail Mackenzie (ex cop, new farmette owner) and her former partner Katerina Petrovsky at a luncheon where their friend Fiona (the victim) is a no show.

“The tea is tepid,” Kat said, touching the pot next to the perfusion of orange nasturtiums in a widemouthed jar. “Dried bread, soggy sandwiches, and tea that probably should have been iced to begin with—”

“Oh, Kat, for goodness’ sake, please stop grousing.”

“Guess the heat and hunger are making a beast of me. I’m losing all sense of civility,” said Kat.

“Well, you’re not alone. My feathers couldn’t be any more ruffled than if I were a hen with an egg stuck in her butt,” said Abby.

Kat flicked at a small insect moving on the strap of her blue cotton sundress. The tiny creature spread its wings and flew away.

Abby blew air in exasperation. “It won’t hurt you.”

“How would I know?” Kat snapped. “There have been two cases of West Nile virus already reported in the county.”

“Mosquitoes,” scoffed Abby. “West Nile is carried by mosquitoes, not ladybugs.”

“Whatever,” said Kat. “I don’t rehabilitate bugs, like some people.” She rolled her eyes at Abby.
They sat in tense silence. Kat shooed the flies.

Abby fumed. After a couple of minutes, she reminded herself that there might be a good reason for Fiona being late. It served no good purpose for her to be locking horns with Kat.

“Sorry to be so testy, Kat,” said Abby. “I’m worried and annoyed at the same time. I was in Fiona’s shop yesterday and reminded her of our tea luncheon. I can’t believe that in only twenty-four hours, she could forget. And . . . it’s not like her to bail.”

“I hear you, girlfriend.” Kat used her napkin to wick away the moisture collecting on either side of her nose. “Okay, so here’s an earthshaking idea—maybe she’s in a funk. You did say she had hit the big four-o, right?”

“Yeah, but that was a week ago, and, anyhow, the forties are the best years of a woman’s life.”

“According to?”

Abby gave her a quizzical look. “Lidia.”

“Vittorio?” Kat asked incredulously. “The old lady on Main, with the jewelry store?”

“The same.”

“Yeah, well, Lidia should know. From the looks of her, she’s hit the big four-o twice already. Maybe three times.”

1) Do you write on a schedule or whenever inspiration strikes?
I write every day…if not on a book then on my Henny Penny Farmette blog. I just turned in my third cozy in the Henny Penny Farmette mystery series to my publisher (Kensington).

2) If you could write from anywhere in the world, where would you like to write from and why?
I write from my farmette and love it. I keep chickens and bees and grow heirloom vegetables and tend more than three dozen fruit trees. That said, I love the Greek island of Kefalonia where I wrote The Everything Women of the Bible book and made some notes on what would become The Everything Law of Attraction book (both from Adams Media). Travel is in my DNA and although I’ve been to twenty-nine countries and four continents, there are still places on my bucket list I want to see. In my cozy mystery series, I love populating my small town of Las Flores, California with visitors from other countries or cultures. Of course, they say everyone in California is from somewhere else so it’s absolutely plausible.

3) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
There’s a lot of work involved in taking care of a farmette like mine but I love living close to the earth and blogging about life here. Bare root is my favorite season because I’m getting ready for the early planting period. Then in May the apricots and wild plums ripen and I’m get busy with jam-making. Summer produce goes from garden to table; and in autumn, I’m harvesting fall fruits like persimmons, pomegranates, and pumpkins. Then, in winter, I do the pruning and cleaning. So that’s work and also pleasure. When I really want to do something fun, I’ll play my violin, paint in oils, or help my husband renovate our old house.

4) Do you have any fun holiday traditions?
We love making cookies for festive Christmas baskets full of jam and honey and citrus from our trees. These are the gifts we give to family and friends. All these bountiful baskets need is a bottle of wine or cider and a tin or two of fudge—it’s the way my Missouri farm family did gift-giving…all homemade.

5) What is your favorite holiday movie?
Oh, I love Bridget Jones’s Diary—Colin Firth in anything. That said, I also love the Nutcracker Ballet. I took my daughter and her twin girls one year, thinking they’d be crazy for the story, music, and dancing. But not so much, so I guess it’s just me. We have young relative who’s a ballerina and she danced in the production in San Francisco a few years ago. Magical!

About Meera Lester

Meera LesterMeera Lester is the author of the first Henny Penny Farmette mystery, A Beeline to Murder and her newest offering in the series, The Murder of a Queen Bee. She is the proprietress of the real Henny Penny Farmette, located in the San Francisco Bay area. While raising chickens and honeybees, she draws on her life with her animals and gardens as the basis of her Henny mystery series from Kensington Publishing. She blogs about her life at hennypennyfarmette.com. Infrequently, she blogs about writing on her author’s website at www.meeralester.com. She is also on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Her books are available online at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Walmart.com, and in traditional bookstores everywhere.

A Cozy Christmas Facebook Event

Stop by the Facebook Event for even more fun! Surprise flash giveaways and more ways to earn entries into the grand prize giveaway. Be sure to RSVP by clicking ‘Going’ and follow along on Facebook. 🙂

What’s A Cozy Christmas without a giveaway? Enter the widget below to be entered in the grand prize giveaway! Every awesome cozy mystery author participating (+ your lovely hostess) has donated prizes to the grand prize giveaway. Each day, new author entries will be added, so be sure to stop back every day! Meera Lester is offering two prize bundles. Each one will have a copy of A Beeline to Murder and a copy of The Murder of a Queen Bee. Thank you, Meera!

Several winners will be randomly selected at the conclusion of the giveaway from all eligible entries. Winners will be contacted via email at the conclusion of the promotion and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Mandatory blog comment entry must be completed each day or entries will not count. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me (brooke [at] brookeblogs.com). Please use the contact form on my contact page or e-mail me if you are interested in participating in my next author promotion.


8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I like how you put a little bit of culture in you settings. My bucket list is pretty long myself. I’d love to learn to make jam one day. Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. I’ve been seeing this book around…beekeeping is a very interesting theme. I appreciate the insights, and have placed it on my ‘Must Read’ list. Thank you…

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