Friday, September 1, 2017

"Assaulted Caramel" by Amanda Flower ... and a GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the release of her latest book, Amanda has graciously offered to give away an Amish-made pot holder (see below) (US ONLY). To enter, see the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. (Contest ends September 8, 2017.) If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information. Good luck!


"I still can't believe you left!"  Cassandra Calbera shouted into my ear. "They're making the announcement Monday. You have to be here!"

I held the phone away from my face and imagined my best friend standing in the middle of Jean Pierre's test kitchen in the back of JP Chocolates in Midtown, New York. She'd be in her chef whites and have her short, purple and black hair pinned behind her ears to keep it out of her eyes. I prayed that she was alone, considering the direction of our conversation. The fewer people who knew I'd left the city, the better.

While Cass continued to tell me all the reasons why I should immediately return to New York, I parked in the first spot I could find on Apple Street, which ran perpendicular to Main Street. Apple trees lined either side of the narrow lane. In the spring, they look like flowering white torches marching up the road, forming a beautiful canopy. When I was a little girl, I had asked my grandfather why the apple trees never had any apples. He replied that the English residents of the village didn't like the apples because they made a mess on the street and sidewalk, so the Englishers made the trees sterile. At the age of five, I had no idea what sterile meant, but it sounded bad. "It is the English way," he had said. "To change what Gott created into something more convenient."

This late in September, the tree's leaves had turned yellow-gold, and a few fell to the sidewalk in the breeze that rolled over the green hills surrounding the village.

"Bai, are you listening to me?" Cass demanded.

I took a deep breath. "I explained to Jean Pierre before I left. This is a family emergency. My grandfather is sick. Jean Pierre understood. Besides, it's only Thursday. I'll be home in time for the announcement on Monday morning."

"Jean Pierre might understand, but the selection committee will not. They're looking for any excuse to give that skunk Caden the head chocolatier job. Just because he's French, and they think it goes better with the brand of Jean Pierre's empire. Do you think I should run the mob just because I'm Italian?"

"You probably wouldn't be bad at it."

"First of all, that comment is both flattering and insulting. Second, you're completely missing my point."

"What would that be?" I asked, rubbing my forehead and staring out the windshield of the rental car I had picked up at the tiny Akron-Canton Airport. There hadn't been much selection, and the inside of the car smelled faintly of stale cigarettes. The smell was giving me a headache. As I stared out the window, an Amish buggy clopped down the cross street. Inside, an Amish man with a long dark beard chatted with the Amish boy in the passenger seat. The boy was laughing. I couldn't be farther from Midtown if I tried.

My review...

Chocolatier Bailey King is in line for a promotion at the world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. Her plans change when she learns of her grandfather’s failing health, causing her to head to Ohio. She learns that local developer Tyson Colton wants to buy her grandparents’ shop, Swissmen Sweets, an Amish candy shop. When Tyson turns up dead at the shop, Bailey’s grandpa becomes a prime suspect, and Bailey is determined to prove his innocence. That may prove to be a stickier challenge than she anticipated.

I love cozy mysteries, and this one is no exception. It’s the first installment in the “Amish Candy Shop Mystery” series. Flower has crafted a story with a charming setting (Amish country) and truly enjoyable characters…including a potbelly pig! Bailey’s questions about her purpose, job, and relationships will likely resonate with many readers. An excerpt from the next book in the series, as well as a yummy recipe for Salted Caramel Fudge, is included.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I was not required to leave a positive review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Amazon link for purchase.

About Amanda...

Amanda Flower, a national bestselling and Agatha Award winning mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she 'd found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a librarian in Northeast Ohio.

Readers can find Amanda online at:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I enjoy cozy mysteries because, when they're well written, it seems like a visit with old friends. I love a story with engaging characters (quirky is fine!), and enough of a mystery to keep me turning the pages. I'm usually sad as I approach the end of the book, because I know my visit is almost over. I especially enjoy when it is part of a series, because I can visit again!

    1. I totally agree. Cozy mysteries are one of my favorite genres for many of those same reasons. This book is the first in what is sure to be a wonderful series.

      Good luck, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. I have never met a cozy book but this looks like a good one as it is set in Amish Country and I love Amish books I also like that it's a series so I can look forward to revisiting the characters

    1. Oh, Jean, I know what you mean! Cozy mysteries are just so enjoyable. Amanda has a number of Amish-themed books. She also writes under the name Isabella Alan. I do hope you'll check some of those out, too.

      Thanks for visiting my blog, and good luck!

  3. I like to read Cozy mysteries because they are fascinating. I always want to know why something happened, and how the mystery turns out.

    1. Kaye,

      Me, too! Good luck, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. I love to try figure out mySteries as you go and I love Amish books.