Welcome! We have two new books coming soon! Presto Springs: A Recipe for Magic and Thistle Teach You to Die!
Presto Springs: A Recipe for Magic Residents of lakeside town Presto Springs, Michigan, are delighted to learn their growing community will be home to an upscale French bistro, staffed by a trio of talented chefs. At least, it appears most residents are excited. Weeks later, complications arise when, after a successful opening and rave reviews, the eatery is forced to close after a suspicious attack of E.coli. Mixed into the story are clues discovered in a 1920s Speakeasy that help resolve a mystery and provide historical importance to the town. Presto Springs: A Recipe for Magic continues the story of characters from two previous novels in the series and adds some new names, all of whom deal with the challenges life brings and the surprises this magical town offers to residents and visitors Additional help is provided by singing sensation and summer resident Krystal Lawrence, star of the second in the Presto Springs series, A Magic Flame. Newly married and determined to spend more time in Presto, she is delighted that a gourmet restaurant will now offer more options for residents. As a result, she offers her talents and influence to draw business to the bistro and to support Drew. She brings her college friend and music collaborator Tess Sinclair into town to use her marketing skills to re-brand La Magique. Like Drew, Tess’ heartbreaking romantic past has made her vulnerable and closed to new love until she is introduced to the chef. Sparks fly from their first meeting, and a passion-filled relationship quickly ensues. Innkeeper Mimi Chase offers encouragement to the new pair as she navigates the prospect of revitalizing her own romantic life after welcoming Eric Michael Vaughn, assistant chef of the new bistro, to her inn. Eric is talented and arrogant, and Mimi finds herself inexplicably attracted to him. Sous chef Allie Morales, also a short term resident of Mimi’s bed and breakfast, bickers with her much older boss Eric, but agrees with him when he worries Drew might be over his head in trying to revive his closed restaurant. Both work hard to ready the business for a second opening, but they stand ready to take over the business if Drew is unsuccessful. Others in town, from a rival restaurant owner, Denise Roberts, to self-described gourmand and pushy professor Alan Emerson, are less than enthusiastic about the existence of La Magique. They do not seem supportive of its success nor consider it an asset to the Oakmont County community. Suspicious behavior from both cause some to suspect the E.coli bacteria outbreak at La Magique might not have been accidental. Unforeseen problems in both his personal and professional world tests both Drew’s determination to successfully run a gourmet restaurant and to establish a love affair with a woman he has just met. He and Tess find themselves falling in love but at odds with each other about the re-branding of the restaurant and Tess’ unplanned pregnancy. They break up after a disagreement over Drew’s fear of commitment, but the discovery of who sabotaged Drew’s new restaurant draws them together. In the end a discovery of valuable historic from the 1920s relics on La Magique’s premises assures a brighter future for them both. Presto Springs has once again brought its magic to rescue two vulnerable people and change their lives forever.
Thistle Teach You to Die Summary
Approaching thirty, scientist Tamara Thistle yearns to find a better work/life balance. Lonely and uninspired by her important yet stagnant position at NASA, Tamara’s world changes when she receives a letter mailed from her family’s home state of Michigan. In it, she learns she has inherited a garden shop owned by her recently deceased and beloved great aunt. The thought of re-awakening her love of nature and passion for flora and fauna in particular intrigues yet also frightens her. On an impulse she decides to dismantle her life in Florida and move north. Once in her new home of Edenville, Michigan, a place with many Scottish immigrants, she works diligently to resurrect the garden center and rebuild her life. However, shortly after her arrival to her new hometown, Tammy’s life is once more disrupted, this time even more dramatically, by the discovery of a dead body on her property. It is unearthed when she hires a company to install a waterfall her aunt had wished for. Under suspicion of murder from the local law enforcement personnel as well as select townspeople, Tammy must use her quick wit and scientific powers of observation as well as the skills of her new friends to uncover the motive and identity of the real killer. Along the way, she faces danger and roadblocks to solving the case while uncovering a mystery involving Scottish jewels. Throughout the early part of her residency in Edenville, she meets a number of townspeople who make her feel welcome and offer her the friendship she had difficulty finding in Florida. Babs, a waitress at the local diner, takes on the role of older and wise-cracking advice giver. Mavis, a local artist and gallery owner, challenges Tammy to stop acting as a bystander to life and encourages her to participate in the annual Scottish festival that draws large crowds each year in this lakeside burg. The women form a bond that takes on an investigative role after the death of nosy newshound Heather Douglas. Attorney Bart Scott and his wife Alma provide legal advice, a welcome to town but guard their own mysterious past. Others in Edenville complicate her life, however. Security guard Clay des Jardins hovers yet harbors secrets of his own and stirs emotions Tammy hasn’t felt in years. Heather Douglas, an overly ambitious local reporter, hounds Tammy from the outset of her move to Edenville and demonstrates she will do anything to get a story. Even the small police force led by Sheriff Lambright add complications to her ability to start over in this Midwestern town. Angus, a young man with an unexplained connection to her aunt Melissa, hides his sketchy background and becomes her assistant. Fortunately, his flat-coated retriever Jake offers Tammy canine companionship as they all take part in preparing the shop for a grand re-opening. The Scottish family heirlooms provide the means to solve the crime after Tammy and friends visit area antique experts and investigate suspicious acting locals. Information discovered allows Tammy and her budding romantic interest Clay to unravel the plot that led to the killing of the reporter who was about to publish a series of articles exposing Sheriff Lambright’s involvement in a gambling ring. Heather Douglas’ uncovering of his financial difficulties and indebtedness to gamblers causes a once honest man to take desperate measures against her and safeguard his freedom. Dramatic and life threatening events at the festival and the heroic actions of Tammy’s canine friend Jake lead to the arrest of the sheriff. He is the killer of Heather Douglas and is arrested by the state police. The epilogue outlines the fate of the sheriff, the new jobs of the Scotts, an announcement of an ongoing but hidden romance between Adam and Mavis, the appointment of Clay--now revealed to be a former State Police investigator--to be acting sheriff, the building relationship between him and Tammy, and the determination of Babs to start looking for love herself. We end the book, as is traditional in cozy mysteries, with an “article” written by Tamara Thistle, this one, a discussion of spring plantings.
Write off the Bookshelf background:
In the fall of 2011 we launched our new website "Write off the Bookshelf." We formed our writing partnership several years ago and have penned a number of novels, essays, and film scripts. Now, with the increasing access to and convenience of reading e-books, we decided to join the technology revolution and publish online.
We have several people to thank for helping us get this project off the ground.We want to thank our friend and colleague, Kitty Mitchell, for supplying expert information on teen alcohol use and drunk driving from her years of study, teaching and research. Thanks also to master gardener and scientist Tammy Voss for reviewing the scientific/environmental information details for accuracy. Our typist and webmaster Bonnie McGraw deserves most of the credit for helping us meander our way through the technology of designing and creating a website and for saving us time by typing our documents into the proper format. Amanda Davis, one of our most talented student artists, created the graphics for both the books covers and the website itself. Most importantly, we thank our families for tolerating the numerous meetings, late night hours and general hoarding of computers. They also provided honest advice and feedback, sometimes painful, but always constructive. We appreciate all of you and hope you know we will continue to rely on your support!