Pre-Order my 3rd Callie’s Kitchen Cozy Mystery, SECRETS AND PIES, today! Plus, Blog Tour News!


I’m excited to announce that you can now pre-order SECRETS AND PIES on Amazon! Please visit the book’s Amazon page to get a complete synopsis of my latest Callie’s Kitchen Mystery! Of course, Callie has a lot on her plate — and the books includes mystery, mayhem and delicious recipes!

If you visit my Facebook page and let me know that you pre-ordered, you will be entered in a random drawing to win author swag and a $25 Amazon gift card! Please let me know that you pre-ordered by commenting on the pinned post at the top of my Facebook author page. Newsletter subscribers who pre-order will be eligible for even more prizes. So don’t wait — pre-order now! And sign up for my newsletter: I’ll have more details on my special subscriber giveaway very soon.

For all of my paperback readers (I love paperbacks, too!), I will have a paperback version up soon.

The official launch date for SECRETS AND PIES is October 19th. I’m happy to tell you that lots of book launch events will be taking place throughout October and beyond!

Here are just a few things: I will be on a blog tour (see below), I’ll be co-hosting a Facebook launch party with Karen of A Cup of Tea and a Cozy Mystery blog and I’ll be participating in several online cozy mystery events. These include Halloween cozy mystery parties and a cozy mystery “pajama” party. The one thing all of these events have in common is that we will have games, prizes, book giveaways and lots of fun!

escape with dollycas secrets and pies book tour image

Check this link for a list of blogs participating in my “Great Escapes Blog Tour,” hosted by the Escape with Dollycas cozy mystery blog. Mark your calendars and check my Facebook author page often for updates!

I also hope you will RSVP to my Facebook Book Launch party. Facebook parties are fast-paced and fun. This is a great opportunity to connect with readers — I can’t wait! We’ll have lots of games, giveaways and prizes, too, of course! I hope to see you there! Here’s the link to find out more and to RSVP to the party. No pressure — stop in whenever you have time during the two-hour event.

secrets and pies beyond the bookmarks

As always, stay up to date via my newsletter and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

This is a busy and exciting time and I will share updates as I have them. Thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm about The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series!

Until next time,






COVER REVEAL: SECRETS AND PIES: A Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Book 3!!

Secrets & Pies-eBookI can’t believe I’m already showing you the cover for BOOK 3!! Here it is: SECRETS AND PIES. What do you all think?

The book is still in the editing process and I expect it to be available for pre-order sometime in September. In the meantime, here’s a description of SECRETS AND PIES:

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Callie’s Kitchen!
It’s summer in Crystal Bay and that means tourist season for Calliope “Callie” Costas, owner of Callie’s Kitchen, a Greek-meets-Midwest from-scratch food business. Business is booming but so is the stress: besides agreeing to bake dozens of “pitas” or savory Greek pies for the annual Greek Fest, Callie is taxed by her regular workload, including an abundance of orders for her famous summer fruit pies.

It doesn’t take long for things to get as juicy as the succulent berries strewn all over Callie’s Kitchen. When Callie agrees to contribute the cast party treats for a murder mystery night at the elegant but slightly spooky “Harris House,” she finds herself an unwilling player in yet another murder! Worse yet, the dead body just happens to be a family friend.

Add personnel problems at work, family mayhem, a long suspect list, a deepening romance with a local detective and a constant stream of outdoor festivals requiring her Greek and Midwestern delicacies and Callie could be in for a long, hot summer!

Keep up to date with all of my author news by joining my mailing list and visiting me on my Facebook author page.

Back at you soon!


Giveaway plus Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Book 3 updates

Callie's Kitchen Mystery Series Beach Read Post

I hope you all have a chance at my latest giveaway — a reader-favorite item! I’m giving away a Callie’s Kitchen Mystery coffee mug to a random reader who posts the pic above on their Facebook page. Visit my Facebook page for details.

If you’re looking for my series, you can find it right here on Amazon.

I’m very excited about the next book in the Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series, which will be out in the early fall. I will be announcing the title having a cover reveal in the near future, but in the meantime, here are some clues to both the title AND the cover:



spanakopital round pie

Here are some hints about the plot: historic homes on the Bay, a murder mystery acting troupe, the annual summer Greek Fest, an influx  of summer tourists at Callie’s Kitchen and a romance that’s heating up.

Did that whet your appetite? I hope so.

The winner of the Facebook post share contest will be announced on my Facebook author page this coming Monday!

See you then!


All About Greek Meze, Plus a Spring Fling Recap and Goodreads Giveaway!

Greek mezeThe Midwest is experiencing a heat wave which has me thinking about Greek meze! What is meze (pronounced meh-zay), you may ask?

Meze is the term for a traditional Greek way of eating — lots of small dishes, served with drinks, and enjoyed with family and friends over several hours. Some people may view this as eating lots of appetizers, but appetizers are meant to whet the appetite, not create an entire meal. Greek meze is so much more than that!

My husband loves to eat the “meze way” — in fact, it took some getting used to. I grew up eating the traditional Midwestern way — large plates of food, in other words. Eating lots of little dishes didn’t seem like a “real” meal, but I soon adapted and now, when visiting a Greek restaurant, especially in summer, it’s meze all the way!

Traditional meze will include both hot and cold dishes and they are usually really simple items with big flavors. Things like feta, olives and tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt dip) will usually be present. Meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, taramosalata (fish roe spread) and grilled octopus, vegetable salads, breads, Greek sausages, spanakopita triangles — these can all be part of a meze meal. With your tasty foods, you’ll drink a nice, piquant retsina wine (an acquired taste with it’s piney, almost minty, aftertaste, but one I like) and maybe even a shot of ouzo. (What do I mean maybe?)

Here’s an example of a lovely and easy “meze” dish for you to try:

Feta and olive oil appetizer with crackers

My next Callie’s Kitchen Mystery (title soon to be revealed) is set in the summertime and of course, I will include a meze recipe or two. More on Book 3 soon! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter today, since I will be sending out a new issue this Friday — and it’s got some subscriber-only info. Don’t miss out! You can sign up by clicking here.

Be aware that it may take a while to get your confirmation email. Gmail seems to take longer than others. If you have problems, let me know.

Culinary Cozy Spring Fling Recap

Thanks to Linda Reilly for joining me and all of our wonderful readers for a successful online Facebook event just a few weeks ago! It was so much fun to connect with all of you and Linda is a gem! In fact, she is one of the first people to encourage me regarding my Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries. Linda is a gifted writer and a lovely person. I hope you’ve all had a chance to get her latest cozy mystery “A FRYING SHAME.” Plus, Linda’s new series — The Cat Lady Mysteries — is going to be great! The first book in the series is called “Escape Claws.” You can find Linda’s books at major retailers and Amazon. Visit Linda’s website for all the latest news.

My First Goodreads Giveaway

I’m hosting my first Goodreads Giveaway to celebrate the first anniversary of the release of ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK, my first Callie’s Kitchen Mystery. One signed paperback copy of the book is up for grabs! You can enter the giveaway by clicking here. If you are a Goodreads member, please add my book to your shelves and tell your fellow Goodreads friends. And if you enjoy my book, write a review!

 Upcoming Events

Big thanks to cozy author Karoline Barrett for interviewing me for her author newsletter — this interview will be out in June. Karoline asked me some great questions! She’s the creator of the culinary cozy “Bread and Batter” series, so be sure to check out her entertaining books. She will be published by Summer Prescott books in the near future, so sign up for her newsletter for all the latest — including my June interview. 🙂 You can do that by visiting her website.

There’s always lots going on at my Facebook page, so be sure to “like” it to get up-to-the-minute author news,  events, giveaways, recipes — and more!

Until next time, friends!


Greek Easter Bread Recipe, Plus a Callie’s Kitchen Paperback Giveaway!

lambropsomo greek easter bread pic

I thought this was the perfect time of year to share a seasonal Greek recipe: Lambropsomo, or Greek Easter Bread. The bread is braided from three ropes of dough, to symbolize the Trinity. The red Easter eggs symbolize the blood of Christ.

If you’ve never dyed Easter eggs red, they really do look beautiful, especially if rubbed with a bit of olive oil afterwards to give them a sheen. These eggs, beside being symbolic, are also used in the Easter egg game, where you crack eggs with your opponent and try not to let your egg break. (My husband has a very effective method — we hardly ever win against him!)greek easter egg game

The following recipe is my mother-in-law’s. Not being Greek herself, she got the recipe from The Santa Monica Evening Outlook in 1969, when the family was living in LA. Why not from her own Greek mother-in-law? As with many Greek cooks and bakers, my husband’s yiayia never wrote recipes down and did not learn how to cook via written recipe. She learned by watching others as well as by doing. Family members got recipes from her by watching her cook or by having her tell them how to make something and then they wrote it down.

This is a beautiful bread, fragrant with the scents of orange and anise. It is a little time-consuming, but not difficult. Bread baking can be very relaxing in our fast-paced society! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Joyce’s Greek Easter Bread

Prep time: 2-1/2 hours (this includes time for the bread to rise). Cook time about 35 minutes


6-7 cups flour, sifted

¾ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp grated orange peel

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup water

¾ cup milk

2 tbsp margarine

2 (room temperature) eggs

½ cup orange juice

½ tsp anise extract (or 1 tbsp ouzo)

3-5 hard-cooked eggs, dyed red (Use bottled red food coloring)

1 egg mixed with one tablespoon water (for glaze, before baking)


Note: This method does away with the tricky step of dissolving yeast in warm water. Instead, undissolved yeast is added as a dry ingredient with the other dry ingredients. Most of the beating can be done with an electric mixer.

In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, grated orange peel and undissolved dry yeast. Combine water, milk and margarine in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are warm.

Gradually add liquids to dry mixture and beat 2 minutes in an electric mixer at medium speed. Add eggs, orange juice, ouze or anise extract and enough flour (about 1 cup) to make a thick batter. Beat at high speed two minutes. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.

Turn onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn over to grease top of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Shape 2/3 of dough into a rope about 30 inches long. Place in a round on a greased baking sheet, shaping into a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Take the rest of the remaining dough and divide in half. Make each half into a rope about 13 inches long. Place over dough, crossing in the center. Tuck ends underneath dough.

Place a red hard-cooked egg on top of the rope where it rests on the ring. Put remaining hard cooked eggs around the center of dough.

Blend together one egg and 1 tbsp water; brush dough. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Bake about  35 minutes and cool on wire rack.

When the loaf is finished, brush with melted margarine to make it shine.

Makes one large loaf.

(Photos by Google Images. Put the red egg in the center of the dough for the recipe shown here).


Please visit my Facebook page to enter my latest giveaway. I’m giving away ONE paperback each to TWO different winners. Winners will choose which Callie’s Kitchen title they want.

callie's kitchen mysteries paperback

Also, see the post pinned to the top of my Facebook page for an e-book giveaway hosted by Henery Press — you can win up to 32 e-books plus a Kindle Fire! An e-book copy of my debut, ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK, is included in this giveaway. Lots of your favorite authors, too, so check it out!

Until next time,


Drum Roll Please…The Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries Are Now in Paperback! Plus, a Facebook Party Official Invite!

callie's kitchen paperback photos

They’re here! I’m thrilled to be able to offer paperback version of The Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries to my readers. Some people just prefer paperback and these are beauties! My cover designer really did an amazing job. I’m very excited about the final product and I hope you will be, too.

back cover of paperback Callie's Kitchen

Paperback versions are great for book clubs and they make wonderful mystery reader gifts. Based on feedback, I know that many of you enjoy a paperback, so I hope you enjoy these!

Linda & Jenny's Culinary Cozy Mystery Spring Fling updated!

Meanwhile I’m busy writing Book 3 and in the meantime, some of you may know about my upcoming Facebook party with bestselling author Linda Reilly, author of The Deep Fried Mysteries and the upcoming The Cat Lady Mysteries with Kensington. Linda and I will be alternating our hostess duties during the two-hour live Facebook party and do we have some good stuff planned! Games, giveaways, prizes, ask the author — and a few surprises. You’re going to have to show up to find out! Here’s our party page link. Especially if you’ve never participated in one, I encourage you to attend — Facebook parties are a blast. Every time I’ve been involved with one, the time just flies!

I’m going to be offering a fun opportunity for newsletter subscribers in the next couple of weeks. How would you like your name to be given to one of the characters in the next Callie’s Kitchen mystery? If you subscribe, you can enter for your chance to “appear” in a cozy mystery! (Don’t worry — I won’t make you the murder victim). Sign up here and check your mailbox for details that I’ll be sharing soon.

I hope you have a wonderful Friday and relaxing weekend!

Until next time,




“Cozy Food Friday,” Wisconsin Supper Clubs and an Upcoming Online Event!

cozy food friday graphicHappy Friday, everybody! I’ m really excited to be featured on Lisa K’s Book Reviews today — her Cozy Food Friday feature is one of my favorites! On her blog, I talk about the wonderful world of Wisconsin supper clubs and include two yummy recipes for Wisconsin Club Cheese Spread and a Brandy Old-Fashioned Cocktail. I include a Wisconsin Supper Club scene in my book, SPICED AND ICED. Here’s the link to check out my post! Be sure to comment and let Lisa know you stopped by!


Facebook party with author Linda Reilly and me: My friend and fellow culinary cozy mysteryI party on Facebook author Linda Reilly and I are hosting an online Facebook party on April 13th! Please mark your calendars! Linda is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. She’s the creator of the “Deep Fried Mysteries” about a charming New England fish and chips shop: Out of the Frying Pan, Fillet of Murder and the soon-to-be-released A Frying Shame. She’s also the author of the upcoming Blue Cat Mysteries. In other words, Linda is a busy author and I’m thrilled she is taking the time to host this party with me! It’s going to be a fun time with giveaways, games, ask the author and much more.

We’re planning on 7-9 EST but it that changes, I’ll let you know. Linda and I will be sharing a lot more information soon, so check our Facebook pages and this blog to keep updated! Also, I hope you’re on my email list — I’ll have full details going out in an upcoming newsletter. You can sign up for it by clicking here, or visit the landing page of this website for a link.

PAPERBACK NEWS: I am thrilled to say that paperback versions of my Callie’s Kitchen series will soon be available. They are in final proofs, so stay tuned for the official release.

It’s Spring Break for my kids next week and this year we’re staying put, but I still have some good stuff planned with the family and some outings with my husband. I’m looking forward to a little bit more of an open schedule so I can tackle some more chapters in Book 3 of The Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries. It’s coming along — so far, so good!

See you next time,