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Friday, May 8, 2020

Review of Shelly Frome's "Miranda and the D-Day Caper" - Another Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tour

Miranda and the D-Day Caper

by Shelly Frome

on Tour May 1-31 2020


Miranda and the D-Day Caper by Shelly Frome

A modern day mystery with WWII tactics, old-time heroes and values, and the efforts of two amateur cousin sleuths from the Heartland.

On a sparkling spring morning in the Blue Ridge, small-town realtor Miranda Davis approached the tailgate market, intent on dealing with her whimsical cousin Skip’s unexpected arrival from New York. It turns out that Skip was on the run and, in his panic, grabbed his beloved tabby Duffy, recalling that Miranda had a recent part in solving a case down in Carolina. His predicament stemmed from intercepting code messages like “Countdown to D-Day,” playfully broadcasting the messages on his radio show over the nation-wide network, and subsequently forced to flee.

At first, Miranda tried to limit her old childhood companion’s conundrum to the sudden abduction of Duffy the cat. But the forces that be were hell-bent on keeping Skip under wraps by any means after he now stumbled close to the site of their master plan. Miranda’s subsequent efforts to decipher the conspiracy and somehow intervene placed both herself and her old playmate on a collision course with a white-nationalist perpetrator and the continuing machinations of the right-wing enterprise, with the lives of all those gathered for a diversity celebration in nearby Asheville and a crucial senatorial vote on homeland security hanging in the balance.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Published by: BQB Publishing

Publication Date: March 1st 2020

Number of Pages: 338

ISBN: 1945448571 (ISBN13: 9781945448577)

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

“Okay, I get it,” said Miranda, assuming it was playtime as always. “We’re double agents. You keep reading the paper and light a cigarette. A minute later, you toss the cigarette and leave the book of matches on the table with the coded inscription Moscow rules. That’s when I take it and slip away awaiting further instructions.”
This was flippant Miranda. The one with the short bob, over thirty, just trying to set the tone on this glorious Saturday in the Blue Ridge and ease out of it. But at the moment, playful Skip seemed to have lost his way. His eyes were bloodshot, underscored by dark circles. And the signature mischievous smirk on that sliver of a face had been replaced by a worrisome twitch.
Folding the newspaper, with his cornflower blue eyes still gazing into the distance, Skip said, “I don’t know, kiddo. I tell you, I just don’t know.”
“Which makes two of us. So tell me why you couldn’t simply e-mail me?”
“Why? Am I holding you up or something?”
“No, you’re not holding me up. Look, what do you say we cut to the chase? Glancing around, taking his sweet time, making sure no one was within earshot, Skip said, “All right.”
“From the top.”
“Okay. Like I indicated, I was filling in, got a break on a prestige AM station.”
Getting more anxious by the second, his lanky body beginning to twitch, Skip said, “So, when opportunity knocks, you seize the day. Right?”
“Out with it. I am still waiting.”
Scrunching forward this time, Skip said, “One night I started to wing it. No more of this ‘Yup, it’s midnight, folks. Some of these homespun Indiana tales should ease you right off to sleep.’ I was antsy. I’d had it with Russ Mathews who’d signed off that night right before me, sounding more and more like some fear monger back in the day.”
“And what day was that?”
“World War Two.”
More glancing around on Skip’s part. More checking the flow of visitors coming and going.
Getting antsy as well, Miranda said, “Will you get on with it? Is there an upshot in our future? ”
“I’m coming to it,” Skip said, looking right at her this time. “Right after my kazoo rendition of I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash, I lean into the mic and say, ‘Guess what? Ole Russ Mathews must be on to something. I’m talking the plot against America. So I tell the insomniacs all over the Liberty Broadcasting system that, at first, I thought Duffy was pulling down on the blinds out of longing.”
“Just your average ginger house cat, left alone, separated from other felines on the prowl. But I come home to my sublet and notice he’s perched in the exact same spot, his green eyes staring across the street. So, over the airwaves, I said, ‘What if I told you night people something was up in a dilapidated rooming house in Hoboken? Right across the river from the Big Apple?’” “That does it,” Miranda said, getting to her feet. “How am I supposed to follow this? When you’re ready to get to the point, let me know.”
“Wait a minute. Don’t you see?” said Skip, getting to his feet as well. “I stumbled onto something. Before you know it, my ratings are starting to climb. But since the weather’s getting warmer, those guys across the street aren’t scurrying in and out of the cold. They’re loitering by the stoop, glancing across the shadows. Next thing I know, I’m getting negative call-ins. Listeners telling me to knock it off or else. Undaunted, I tell everyone in radio-land what’s going on out there may have far reaching consequences. Unless I intercept.”
“Oh, please,” said Miranda, walking away. “Listen to me.” Skip scurried over and held her arm. “I tell you, at the same time, those guys across the street were carting off concealed stuff.”
“I’m not listening anymore.”
“You’ve got to. You have obviously become a born tracker. Tracked down a poison pen perpetrator like the paper said.”
“Enough. Stop hyping everything up. Look at you. You’re coming down with full blown hysteria.”
“Exactly. Because it appears there’s no longer any line between entertainment and politics. While messing around, doing a take-off on Russ Mathews and boosting my ratings, I may have stumbled onto an actual plot utilizing WW II codes.”
Excerpt from Miranda and the D-Day Caper by Shelly Frome. Copyright 2020 by Shelly Frome. Reproduced with permission from Shelly Frome. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Shelly Frome
Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media’s Black Mountain News. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, Moon Games and The Secluded Village Murders. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Miranda and the D-Day Caper is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Catch Up With Shelly Frome:, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

05/01 Review @ Ebeeari
05/01 Showcase @ Im All About Books
05/03 Showcase @ Nesies Place
05/04 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
05/05 Guest post @ Its Raining Books
05/06 Showcase @ Reading A Page Turner
05/07 Guest post @ BooksChatter
05/08 Review @ Bring on Lemons
05/11 Showcase @ Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
05/12 Review @ sunny island breezes
05/13 Interview/showcase @ CMash Reads
05/14 Review @ Nik’s Nook
05/17 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods
05/18 Showcase @ Just Books
05/21 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
05/24 Showcase @ Eien Café
05/25 Review @ Cheryls Book Nook
05/27 Review @ Celticladys Reviews

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Shelly Frome. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on May 1, 2020 and runs through June 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


And today's review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto:

I had such a delightful time reading Shelly Frome's latest cozy mystery titled Miranda and the D-Day Caper ! It did take me until chapter 3 to really get into it, so I would tell you to give it a chance. This may have been more about the current state of our nation than anything to do with the book though - so take that for what it's worth. I found the characters to be likeable and enjoyable and the plot had plenty of twists and turns that kept me on my toes. There was lots of dialogue which helped draw me into the story. I felt the story was filled with just the right amount of drama and intrigue and I think we all have a "Skip" in our life - so his whimsy often made me smile. Reading this book was enjoyable and I'd absolutely recommend it to a friend! 

About today's reviewer:

Crystal is the office manager, council secretary, financial secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, Auntie, babywearing mama, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children, two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, horses Darlin' and Joker, and over 250 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal milking cows, riding horses, and riding unicorns (not at the same time), taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books here, and at the WOW! Women on Writing blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade and she has never (not once) been accused of being normal!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Dandelion Cookies

You'll love these delicious and attractive dandelion cookies! I know we do!

Dandelion Cookies - (yields about 3 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)

1C butter
1/2C white sugar
1/2C dark brown sugar
2T local honey
2 farm fresh eggs
2t vanilla
3C flour
1t baking soda
2C dandelion petals (just the yellow part) - harvested from a pesticide free area and thoroughly rinsed

1) Prepare the dandelion petals by rinsing them (they become sticky and will reduce from 2C fluffy petals to about 1C once wet)

2) Start at the top of the list (with the butter) and add the ingredients together. Stir thoroughly after each ingredient is added. You can adjust the flour as needed - batter should not stick to the bowl but should also not be crumbly. If crumbly, add more butter or a splash of vegetable oil. If sticky, add a bit more flour.

3) Roll your dough into 2 logs and wrap in saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight)

4) Prepare for baking on the center rack and preheat the oven to 350 F

5) Slice your cookie log and place on parchment paper on your baking sheet (we stamped ours, but you certainly don't have to, and if you'd like you could coat with a light dusting of sugar or a mix of cinnamon and sugar instead of or in addition to stamping)

6) Bake for 11 minutes - depending on altitude, check the first batch often and adjust time
accordingly - they'll start to brown a bit when they're done.

5) Remove from oven promptly and allow to 'rest' for 1 minute before using a spatula to move from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack for drying/cooling.

6) After fully cooled, place cookies in an air tight container.  Resist the urge to keep your cookies in a cookie jar that is not air tight - they'll get dried out and lose some softness

7) Enjoy and Share!