Thursday, January 18, 2018

"Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes"

USA Today bestselling author Karen Rose Smith's 100th novel is a 2018 release. She writes both cozy mysteries, romance novels and women’s fiction. One of her romances was aired as a TV movie on the UP TV network. Her passion is caring for her five rescued cats. Her hobbies are gardening, cooking, watercolor painting and photography. An only child, Smith delved into books at an early age. Even though she escaped into story worlds, she had many cousins around her on weekends. Families are a strong theme in all of her novels. She's recently working on her Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series as well as her Daisy Tea Garden mystery series.

Smith applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes, and reported the following:
At its core, the first book in my new Daisy’s Tea Garden series Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes, is a novel about family—my sleuth Daisy’s family as well as the murder victim’s family and relationships. Page 69 is significant because it spotlights the significant relationship between Daisy, a widowed mom, and Jazzi (Jasmine) her fifteen year old adopted daughter.

From page 69:
...The name of the website was Bonds Forever. After a quick look, Daisy could see it was one of those websites where children who were adopted could register to find their birth parents.

Jazzi must have seen the stunned look on her mother’s face. “This has nothing to do with you,” she told Daisy quickly. “I mean, nothing to do about you being my mom. I want to find my birth parents.”

Over the years, they’d had plenty of discussions about being adopted—how Jazzi had been a gift to her and Ryan, how she’d been a child of their hearts. But since Ryan had died, they hadn’t talked as much as they should have. Her daughter Violet had expressed her grief and sadness over her dad's loss much more openly than Jazzi, and Daisy had given her younger daughter the opportunity and the time to grieve in her own way. But maybe that hadn't been the right thing to do. After all, their life had been in Florida. With Ryan gone, Daisy had moved them back to Willow Creek, changing everything.
How does Daisy feel about this elemental turn of events? How will her biological daughter Violet look at her sister searching for her “real” parents? How will this distract Daisy from her search for a murderer when her Aunt Iris—co owner and manager of Daisy’s Tea Garden—becomes Detective Rappaport’s main suspect?

As Daisy involves the murder victim’s family in conversations, their dysfunctional co-dependency turns her feelings inward when considering her family relationships. Although Daisy’s family is close, Daisy gets along with and confides much more easily in her aunt than her mother Rose. She and her father Sean are close. Loving and supporting her sister Camellia in her career choices, Daisy had still felt friction between them as they'd grown up...mostly because of Daisy’s mom.

If readers read page 69, I believe they will understand what “family” means to my cozy mysteries.
Visit Karen Rose Smith's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Karen Rose Smith & Hope and Riley.

--Marshal Zeringue