Saturday, October 27, 2012


A KILLER MAIZE hits bookstore shelves on December 4.

And on I'll be signing with the fabulous Jenn McKinlay on December 8 at the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jenn's December release is BOOK, LINE, AND SINKER.

Book, Line, and Sinker (A Library Lover's Mystery)

If you're in the area, we'd love to see you.


Monday, October 22, 2012


Stop by Dru's blog today - 10/22/2012 - for a visit with Jake Swanson from the Country Cooking School series, and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of IF MASHED POTATOES COULD DANCE.

Thanks, Dru Ann!

Click here!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Email Question

It's wonderful to receive email from readers, and there's usually a bump in activity about a week after a book releases. I always try to predict what the main comment or question might be but I'm never correct. IF MASHED POTATOES COULD DANCE released on October 2, and I've already pinned a common theme on the POTATOES emails. Many people have had the same question.

First, though ---- SPOILER ALERT.  If you haven't read the book, you might not want to read what I've written below. It won't ruin the mystery, but it's something you might want to discover for yourself. Scroll down if you'd like to see what readers are asking me.


Here's the number one question: Did Lizzie Borden really have an illegitimate half-brother?
Answer - Yes, she did. And, it's been considered that he was the killer, but there wasn't enough proof to convict anyone.

Thanks so much for reading the book, and as always thank you for your kind comments and emails.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Upcoming Releases

First of all - thank you! I have been receiving emails asking about books I have publishing through 2012. Seriously, I have the best readers ever - your enthusiasm and and kind words make all the hard work very worthwhile. Again, thank you!

Here's what's coming up ---

September 4:
This was an absolute blast to write! It's a Farmers' Market mini mystery that will be available as an ebook only. It's priced at $2.99 (it's definitely a short story) and it will have previews of A KILLER MAIZE as well as IF MASHED POTATOES COULD DANCE included.

Becca travels to Arizona to do some farmers' market research, but is, of course, thrown right into the middle of a a murder mystery.

Timeline wise, the story takes place between CROPS AND ROBBERS (published last December) and A KILLER MAIZE (publishing this December) but it is very stand alone. If you haven't met Becca, it's a chance to get to know her. If you have met her, it's a chance to watch her in action again - she meets a "real" detective in this one and I'd like to maybe someday bring him into another story. She loved asking him "detective" questions.

I think the cover is wonderful, and I kind of wish it wasn't just an ebook. I'd love to see it on shelves.

October 2:
This is the second book in the Country Cooking School Mystery Series. Betts, Gram, Jake and the other Broken Rope, Missouri residents all return to solve another modern day murder as well as a mystery from the past. This is the first book I've written that I did some intensive research for. I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say at this point - the blurb isn't up on bookseller sites, yet. Fingers crossed I don't get in trouble for sharing this so soon, but the ghostly visitor from Broken Rope's shady past is an ax murderer who killed her parents. Sound familiar? It was fun to weave some facts from a similar well known legendary crime into my fictional character's story.

Again, I love the cover. I think it captures the "feel" of the story very well.

I'll be cooking, baking, eating and writing.

December 4:
This is the fourth book in the Farmers' Market Mystery Series and, yes, Becca does choose. I promise. This was one of the most emotional books I've ever written. I really enjoyed it, but I felt like that along with solving the murder mystery, the characters needed to go through what they needed to go through. That probably won't make much sense until you read it, but I was really happy with all their "journeys."

And - I hope this doesn't sound arrogant because I have absolutely nothing to do with this part of the process - I think this cover is one of the best covers I've ever seen. You never really know how it will look on the shelves until it's there, but I think it's amazing and I'm very grateful for my Berkley Prime Crime cover artists. Thank you!


What I'm currently writing - IF BREAD COULD RISE TO THE OCCASION, the third book in the Country Cooking School series and Farmers' Market 5 (still, sadly, untitled). Both of these books will publish in 2013.

I'm also working on some other projects, but I know I'd be wet noodle whipped if I talked much about them at this point. Details soon.

One more time - thank you! I hope the rest of your 2012 is fabulous, and please stay in touch.


Friday, June 22, 2012

A New Kind of Vampire

I read the cutest book, and I just have to share.

CONFESSIONS OF AN AVERAGE HALF-VAMPIRE by Lisa Shafer surprised and delighted me.

It's written for a middle school/jr. high audience, but I enjoyed every second of it. Eric, the half-vampire, is a very appealing character. I'm not good at writing reviews, but here's what I emailed to Lisa:

Well, I just loved your book. It is cute, sweet, fun, touching with just the right amount of scary. I wondered how you’d be able to add vampire behavior and still keep it age appropriate – you did a great job! I see how it’s directed to a younger audience but I thoroughly enjoyed it – you didn’t “talk down” to either kids or adults.

I'm posting a link to the Kindle version, but there's also a paperback version available Check it out.

Click here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Mysterious Ladies Literary Club

     I enjoy attending book clubs. They are filled with people who love to read. Those are my kind of peeps, for sure. It is an honor to have one of my books be chosen by a club. I've been fortunate in that many local groups have, in fact, chosen one and then have invited me to attend a meeting. It is great fun and I get to meet so many wonderful people. Thank you!

     A couple months ago I got a call from a woman who said she was the president of the Ladies' Literary Club and that her name was Lorraine. She was so sweet and funny that I adored her immediately and was thrilled to be invited to the group's April meeting. I asked for an address and she said the meeting would be held at 850 E. South Temple. There are many old, large historical homes on this part of South Temple, and I enjoy exploring them so my curiosity was piqued. But then I asked who owned the home, and she said that the Ladies' Literary Club owned it and that no one lived there. I was now even more curious. I'd never heard of the Ladies Literary Club of Salt Lake City; the fact that they had their own place - a home - made them seem very established, and I wondered how I'd managed to miss their existence.

     The day of the event, I drove by the place twice because I was so surprised to see that the address was attached to a beautiful old brick Frank Lloyd Wright-esque (I'm not sure if it really is a FLW, but it sure looks like it) house. I wondered two things: Did I have the correct address? And how in the world could a literary club possibly afford to buy such a house? Must have been a donation?
      Stepping into the house was simply like stepping back in time. The entryway and the front room (parlor?) were still as they had been in the late 1800s when the club was first formed. Beyond the entryway was a large stage and a huge seating or eating area.

      Okay, now I really *needed* to know the story of the Ladies' Literary Club. Fortunately, Lorraine was there to greet me and gave me a wonderful and educational tour. Here's a quote from some literature I was given: In February 1877 a small coterie of broad minded and forward-looking women met in the home of Mrs. Tina R. Jones and laid the foundation of the Ladies' Literary Club. It was one of the first twelve founded in America and the first west of the Mississippi River. Nine years earlier the Sorosis Woman's Club of New York, the pioneer women's club, was founded. END QUOTE

     Apparently, Mrs. Jones wasn't Mormon, and she was anxious to find a group of women with whom she felt she had things in common; thus, the club was born. I was told that the "What religion are you?" question hasn't been asked in years. All religions have been welcome for a long time.

     The entire story of the evolution of the club is interesting, but I'll just touch on some highlights. For the first twenty-one years the club led a nomadic life, holding their meetings in many different homes and buildings. Then in 1898, they opened their first "clubhouse." It was located on Third East, between South Temple and First South; close to their current location. In 1913, the club built and moved into the Frank Lloyd Wright-esque building. The costs were $7500 for the property and $25,007.94 for the building. The women used to tether their horses out front.

     The club was responsible for the first free Salt Lake City library as well as the first free kindergarten. Other projects they have sponsored over the years include placement of art in local schools, traveling libraries, high school art and music contests, a scholarship fund at the University of Utah and Hugh O'Brien Leadership Training. So, evidently, they've always been about more than just books.

     I met some wonderful women at the meeting and I think I will remember their intelligence and spunk forever. Unfortunately, this post must end on a sad note. After over a hundred years of existence, it seem the Ladies Literary Club is on its last legs. Times have changed. Salt Lake City has changed. The Internet has made the world a different sort of place, and though book clubs will always exist, this one just can't continue the upkeep on their beautiful home. Most of the current club members have known each other for years, decades even, and there hasn't been a steady infusion of new blood for some time. Something good will come of the house - the club is required to donate it to another non-profit and they have some interested and enthusiastic groups to consider.

     Though the club might cease to exist, the most important thing is that it *did*, in fact, ever exist. Times change, circumstances change, but I am convinced that the women of the Ladies' Literary Club have contributed to the wonderful place that Salt Lake City has become. Thank you, ladies, for all you've done, all you will continue to do, and for inviting me into your world. I am humbled and honored.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Picture . . . and Librarians

UPDATE AGAIN - Bonnie saved the day twice. I know I looked on ebay yesterday, but to no avail. She found it today, right there. It had a "Buy it now" option and I bought it. YAY!!! Thank you, Bonnie!

It looks like copies of the print/painting that my grandmother had are out there - mostly at antique stores, I believe. So, I'm posting today with the hope that a bunch of people who like to shop antique stores will take a gander at the picture and then keep their eyes open as they venture out.

I have an inkling that the print will be found mostly in the Midwest, so though I'll hit my local shops I doubt I'll have much luck in Utah.

If you happen upon one, I'd love to know its location, and, of course, I'd offer a finder's fee. I think finder's fees are a percentage of the cost, but I'm happy to discuss it.

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to know that copies of this picture are in circulation. It's something that enchanted me as a child; those things stick with you.

I've been looking for this picture for years. Every now and then I'd search the Internet for 'kittens on vanity' or 'kitten licking face cream,' etc., but with no luck. The other day I posted a plea for help on my Facebook page and in ten minutes, I had a link to a picture of it. Bonnie, a librarian in Baltimore, and I have become pretty good friends over the last couple of years, and she came through big time regarding the picture. I'm constantly reminded that Neil Gaiman's quote is so true: "Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one."

Thank you, Bonnie.

So, here's my call to Antiquers - help if you can! Many, many thanks!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Looking for Something . . .

UPDATE: item found. The amazing librarian, Bonnie, from Maryland pointed me to it in less than ten minutes. Librarians are amazing.

Here's the picture if you're curious. Picture


My grandmother had a framed picture on the wall by her front door. It was probably a framed print, but I'm not sure - it might have been a painting, but I doubt it.

It wasn't huge - maybe 1' by 1 1/2'.

The picture was kittens playing on a vanity. I distinctly remember one of the kittens was licking cold cream/moisturizer from a small open container. That's the only real detail I remember. The vanity was something we'd now consider antique-y.

The style of art was similar to what's shown in these links:

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3

I can't find a copy of it anywhere.

The horrible part is that I had it. I got it after both my grandparents died, but I lost it, probably in a move. It's truly a mystery because it was so precious to me that every time we moved, I made sure I carried it with me. Somehow, I lost track of it, and, of course, I'm sick about having lost it. Every now and then I'll try to search for it on the Internet, but I haven't had any luck.

I'm hoping someone out there can direct me to a copy or perhaps the artist. Many, many thanks.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cactus Down

I killed a cactus. It wasn't just any cactus; it was one my sister-in-law Kathy gave me two Christmases ago. I hate it when I do stuff like that, but truth is - I'm not very good at being domestic no matter how badly I want to be.

But, thanks to a new reader who posted a review of FARM FRESH MURDER on her blog, I realize that it's okay to mess up in the kitchen, in the garden, with the yarn, etc. And it's almost okay to kill a cactus - that's a pretty tough thing to do, I can't quite cut myself slack on that one yet.

There is no place on the planet I'd rather live than Salt Lake City, Utah, but I gotta tell ya, there are lots of Domestic Goddesses around. Cooking and baking are big things and those kinds of things are insidious - yes, that's the word I mean. Just when you think you're fine stopping by a bakery or not giving in to canning, or turning your eyes away from that adorable baby blanket that's being crocheted, you find your curiosity growing until you just can't deny it any longer. You actually WANT to can something.

It wasn't until a few years after I moved to Utah that the domesticity bugs bit me. And once I gave in, I wasn't to be stopped. Though I don't have a lot of time, I do crochet some, and of course the canning has become an even bigger part of my life because of the farmers' market books. The cooking school books have "forced" me into the kitchen more. And I love every minute I spend doing those things, but sometimes the mistakes I make are colossal. I forget ingredients, I drop things, I break things, I burn myself. I'm truly Domestic Goddess challenged.

Anyway, after the FFM review, I wrote a thank-you to Our Lady of Perpetual Chaos. Here's her funny and entertaining site: Lady of Perpetual Chaos. She's a fellow Utahn which was a fun discovery. She told me how much she loves her gardening and canning activities, and I thought I should let her know that I loved those things too but I'm not all that good at them. She wrote back and said that she, herself, experiences a canning disaster every now and then, too. She's really funny though, so not only was I relieved, I was laughing with relief.

It goes back to that old saying, I guess: Nobody's Perfect - [for some reason the memory of a yellow t-shirt illustrated with those words and a brown owl just popped into my mind. Anyone else remember that t-shirt?]

And it doesn't matter - if you're doing something you enjoy, mistakes are just part of the process, part of the fun if you've got the right attitude.

Thank you again, Lady of Perpetual Chaos, for fixing my perspective - and for the kind review, of course.

I'm going to need a little extra time to get over the cactus killing, though.

Happy Reading!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Road Trip

I'm so excited to be going on a mini book tour. I'll be at the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend with fellow authors Rebecca Hale, Jenn McKinlay, Avery Aames and Kate Carlisle, and lots, lots more. Next Wednesday, Rebecca and I will be signing books at Murder by the Book in Houston. If you're in either area and have the time, please stop by and say hello.

Here's the Tucson info:

And, here's the Houston info:

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Just Wanted to Milk a Cow

I don't forewarn my husband and son anymore when I'm thinking through a plan for a new project. It's better that way. I don't have to listen to any protestations regarding the project, and they don't have to worry about how much they might or might not enjoy what I have in mind.

My latest plan was the butter plan. Well, actually it was the milk-a-cow plan but for some reason that plan was doomed from the beginning - a beginning that began almost two years ago.

When I was working on FRUIT OF ALL EVIL (2nd farmers' market book, which includes a dairy farm) I realized that my teenage son had never milked a cow. This bothered me more than it probably should have. I milked a cow when I was young - doesn't everyone get to have that field trip? (If you know me you might be saying: but, Paige, you grew up in Iowa. EVERYone milks cows in Iowa. But they don't, and my milking experience was when I was really young and lived in Ohio and visited an Amish farm, which was a great experience even if I was a cynical child and thought all the "actors" would lose the costumes as soon as we left.)

So, I set out to find a way that my son could milk a cow. And not only that, but take the cream from the milk and turn it into butter. A couple Christmases ago we were in southern Utah and I thought we'd stop by a dairy farm in Delta on the way home. But it started snowing so badly that I decided we should skip the farm. And then time just kept passing and there were no opportune dairy farm visits to be had. And I forgot about it. Until I read a book a couple weeks ago.

THE DIRTY LIFE by Kristin Kimball is the true story of a NYC woman who falls in love with a farmer. A friend (thanks, Marianne!) recommended it, and once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I could never, ever, ever go to the extremes this couple has gone to, but there's no denying that I love growing food for my family. I love not using pesticides, and I love the idea of knowing where our food came from, what was happening to it while it was growing (well, reasonably, I suppose. I don't hang out in the garden 24/7) - everything, from seed to plate. Without a doubt, organic is becoming more and more important to me, and I only trust labels and signs so far.

I don't know if it was these feelings that drew me to the idea of writing a farmers' market series or if writing the series has infused me with more and deeper such feelings.

Either way, after reading THE DIRTY LIFE I not only began to plan this year's garden, but more than ever I wanted my son to get to milk a cow. I found a dairy farm about forty-five minutes from Salt Lake City and decided we'd go last Saturday.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. We were sick. Son has been really sick (two ER visits, though he's doing okay now), so we didn't go. But since we were sitting around on Sunday and we all had enough energy not to be asleep, I ran up to the grocery store and bought a pint of heavy whipping cream. I brought it home, pulled out the Ragu jar I use for the hummingbird food, poured the cream in the jar and told husband and son we'd take turns shaking it until it turned to butter.

Understand, I frequently get these "project" ideas. Most of the time I'm met with cautious acquiescence, but sometimes I get eye-rolls and groans. I was pleasantly surprised when all four of their eyes opened wide and they both said, "Okay, cool." These non-mid-western folk are fascinated by farm stuff, I tell you.

At about the seven minute mark, we had whipped cream. I was having a blast. We were watching Elvis' BLUE HAWAII on some Retro channel and just as he and a bunch of two-piece-bathing-suit-clad woman started dancing on the beach (at about the eleven minute mark), I opened the jar again. Inside was a chunk of butter and some buttermilk.

They loved it! I loved them loving it.

I poured out the buttermilk and then rinsed the butter with cold water, running a fork through it and squeezing the rest of the buttermilk out of it. I added a little sea salt (optional) and we ended up with a good-sized and creamy meteorite-shaped chunk of butter. I stirred some honey into half of it and then made some biscuits - using the leftover buttermilk, of course. Even though we haven't had much of an appetite, we all enjoyed our snack. It was even better on days two and three, but that could have been because of our improving appetites.

When you milk a cow, there are more steps to the butter-making process than just throwing the milk into an old Ragu jar and shaking. You have to strain the milk and then let the cream rise to the top. It's that cream that you skim off and then throw into the Ragu jar for a good shake.

So, we still haven't gotten our hands on any teats, but son is now a little more aware of how the world around him works, and the best news is that even at seventeen he was kind of interested in the lesson. It was fun for us all.

Next time, I'll tell you why I'm putting lard back into our diets.

Happy Reading!

Friday, February 3, 2012


It's been a crazy few months. The holidays and two book releases had me going a million different directions at once, but it's been very fun. I hope your new year is going in the directions you wanted.

To my readers - thank you for your kind words about the books - the reviews, the emails, the facebook comments. You are amazing!

I've gotten back to work in a serious way. I'm writing a Farmers' Market short story that the publisher will release as an e-special (digital only) later this year. I think it will be priced at $2.99. IF MASHED POTATOES COULD DANCE will publish October 2 and the fourth full-length Farmers' Market book will publish in December. In the meantime, I'll be also writing Cooking School 3 and Farmers' Market 5 which will have a Christmas-y theme.

Sending you somewhat tardy wishes for a fabulous 2012! May this be a healthy and prosperous year, and nothing like what the Mayans thought it would be. ;-)

Always -

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


What I did:

I drew for the smaller prizes first and then put those winners' names back into the hat for the laptop. I decided that if the person who won the laptop also won one of the smaller prizes, I'd redraw for the smaller prize. It worked out that I didn't need to redraw. Here are the winners:

Copy of CROPS AND ROBBERS or bookstore gift certificate equal to the retail value of the book:
Jill Bourne
Dottie Vining

$20 Bookstore Gift Certificate:
Maureen Hayes
Toni Gregg

Christa Manning

Thank you, all, for playing. I ended up with over a hundred entries which far surpassed my expectations. And thanks for all your kind support.

Happy reading!


Contest Results

. . . will be posted Tuesday afternoon. Thanks!