Saturday, September 7

Interview & Giveaway: Bran New Death by Victoria Hamilton

Bran New Death

Bran New Death
Merry Muffin Mystery, Book 1
Victoria Hamilton

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime

Date of Publication: September 3, 2013

Number of pages: 304

Cover Artist: Ben Perini & Leslie Worrell

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Sony     Kobo     OmniLit

Expert muffin baker Merry Wynter is finally ready to turn her passion into a career. But when a dead body is found on her property, she’s more worried about cooking up an alibi…

Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvyn. The house is run-down and someone has been digging giant holes on the grounds, but with its restaurant-quality kitchen, the place has potential for her new baking business. She even has her first client—the local retirement home.

Unfortunately, Merry soon finds that quite a few townsfolk didn’t like Uncle Mel, and she has inherited their enmity as well as his home. Local baker Binny Turner and her crazy brother, Tom, blame Melvyn for their father’s death, and Tom may be the one vandalizing her land. But when Tom turns up dead in one of the holes in her yard, Merry needs to prove she had nothing to do with his death—or her new muffin-making career may crumble before it starts...
Today, we welcome Victoria Hamilton to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!

I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?

Writing Specific
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
Well, I love languages. In high school I took French, Spanish and German. I think knowing a little about other languages helps me understand English better. Not that I’m fluent in any of them; I’m not. But I do love the sound of other languages!
2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Reading always comes next… I adore books, and usually have a couple on the go. But I also like going antique hunting, though I never spend much money. I like thrift shops and junk stores, mostly, and love getting a bargain. I enjoy crafts; jewelry making, crocheting, cross stitching.
3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
I write what I’ve always read.
4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
I always read classic mysteries; I think that gave me the groundwork for creating mystery plots. They taught me pacing and gave me a natural feel for story structure. I read a lot of Jane Austen and other classic fiction, which taught me about character, and how to subtly shade with nuances, rather than making broad strokes and creating unrealistic people. And I read writing books, in particular Lawrence Block’s The Novel: From Plot to Print. That gave me pretty much everything else!
5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Toughest criticism:
I’ve been very lucky, criticism wise, and I can’t think of anything I haven’t been able to take in stride. 
Best compliment:
I just got this one; a reader wrote to tell me how much she enjoyed one of my books and that it took her away for a while from her worries about her elderly mother, her health, and life in general. That is by far the best compliment I could ever be paid and the one I value most because I’ve been there… I have read books (and still do) that lift me from worry and care, and it is the best feeling.
Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
I usually answer Jane Austen or Agatha Christie to this question. Let me think of someone else… hmmm… nope; it’s still Jane Austen or Agatha Christie!
7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Chocolate. Oh, and chocolate. And third… chocolate
8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
Um… yikes? Can’t think of anyone today I’d want as a parent.
9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Boring! Yogurt, salad stuff, Brita water, vegetable juice, and about a hundred and three condiments. Who needs that many different kinds of relish? I mean, really! Peach salsa? Zucchini relish? Thai Sweet Chili sauce? Except that is really good, the Thai Sweet Chili sauce. 
10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Life and Times of a Shameless Liar
Think Fast
Summer or Winter? Fall.
Coffee or Tea? Both.
Cake or Pie? Cake, Chocolate, of course.
Car or Truck? Bicycle. Fun Fact: I don’t know how to drive.
Print or Electronic? Print.

Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
1 - Always wear comfortable underwear when you are going shopping.
2 - Never drink wine while you’re cooking.


Autographed copy of Bran New Death & swag pack

Book Tour Info: 
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:

August 30:
Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview

August 31:
Brooke Blogs – Review & Guest Post

September 1:
Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – Review

September 2:
Cozy Up With Kathy – Review & Interview

September 3:
StoreyBook Reviews – Review

September 4:
Books-n-Kisses - Review & Guest Post

September 5:
Booklady’s Booknotes - Review & Interview

September 6:
Melina’s Book Blog - Review & Guest Post

September 7:
Musings and Ramblings – Interview

September 8:
A Chick Who Reads – Review

September 9:
readalot – Review

September 10:
Girl lost in a book – Review

September 11:
Mochas, Mysteries and More - Review & Guest Post

September 12:
My Recent Favorite books – Review

September 13:
Socrates’ Book Review Blog – Review

Author Bio:

Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) Victoria writes two other mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 3, Freezer I’ll Shoot, debuts November 5th) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, June 3rd, 2014.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog (21st of each month) | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. Thank you for being part of this tour!

  2. Great interview! Victoria, we have some things in common, like an interest in languages.

  3. Nice and what is wrong with so many condiments I have at least 3 kinds of mustard and 3 or 4 relishes and sweet chili sauce is a much. great interview and I have this one my TBR list. Thanks again.

  4. LOL I'm with you on the chocolate. And yeah the relish too. lol I don't have relish like that but mustard. I think there are 5 in the fridge right now. *hangs head* Love the title of the book and the cover!

  5. Thanks for coming by Lark! I love when I find things in common with an author. The more I know about an author, the more I can enjoy what they wrote.

  6. I think I might be in trouble here. I only have 2 kinds of mustard and 0 relish in my frig. (Relish, yucky!) But I do have 6 kinds of salad dressing, all open. Thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy the book!

  7. There can never be too much chocolate!! And you are right about the cover, I can almost smell those muffins. Anyone else getting hungry?

  8. Great interview.I'll take note on her final words to wear comfy undies lol.Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. I like that these cozy mysteries are fun to read and interesting and I love the cooking theme, and if you do eat too much bran you feel like you died.. (LOL) poor joke -

  10. I take special note of that tip all the time, lol!

  11. It earned a snicker from me, so it's all good. :)

  12. I love cozies because they usually have quirky characters and are a great escape.

  13. Yes, exactly. Some of the quirkiest and snarkiest characters I have ever read (and enjoyed) have been in cozies.

  14. I hope you are enjoying getting to know the authors as much as I am, Rita. :)


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