Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Blueberry Cupcake Mystery by Naomi Miller

September 5, 2016 Amish, Christian, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Naomi Miller 8

about the book

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s sugar cookies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop, taking care of customers and baking delicious treats . . . not exactly a profession where one expects to be thrown into the midst of mysteries and mayhem.

But when the bakery is broken into, someone has to find the thief . . . besides finding another place to do the baking and get the orders to the customers.

Is this a random theft, or is the thief trying to ruin the town’s Independence Day celebration?

 

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SERIES: Amish Sweet Shop Mysteries #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery, Amish
PUBLISHER: S&G Publishing
RELEASE DATE: May 31, 2016
PAGES: 154

First of all – cover love! I think this cover is absolutely adorable!

Second – a warning. Reading this book will make you hungry for baked goods. That’s probably self-explanatory from the title and the cover, but I’m nothing if not diligent in making sure you are fully informed. You can thank me in baked goods because … well… see above. 😉

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery book reviewBlueberry Cupcake Mystery by Naomi Miller is technically a cozy mystery but I would even classify it further as a “sweet mystery” and not just because of all the sugary goodness from the Sweet Shop Bakery. Cozy mysteries still have a measure of violence, murder, etc. and this book doesn’t have any of that. In fact, according to the Q&A at the end of the book, the author set out to write a “light mystery with a happy ending… that shows the good in people”. I think she’s done exactly that!

It’s a shorter novel – I would almost classify it as a novella – so it’s a quick and easy read. In fact, the writing style is light and simple and reminded me of the tone and pace and structure of a middle grade novel. Because of this, Blueberry Cupcake Mystery is a book I would easily recommend for tweens and up. No violence, a reminder of the good of community, and the sweet tone also make this a great pick for that age group.

Bottom Line: In my opinion, the simpler writing style of Blueberry Cupcake Mystery would appeal more to a middle grade audience than an adult one, and there’s not much of a mystery to speak of.  It’s really more about why than who, and there are none of the typical elements found in a mystery, other than the initial crime. However, the why allows Naomi Miller to envelop the story in a message of love and kindness and forgiveness, and there is a warmth to the storytelling that begs this book to be read aloud with a cluster of snuggly children and a toasty fire.  Blueberry Cupcake Mystery is cute and sweet and it will make you smile. And frankly, we could all use a little more of that in our lives, couldn’t we?

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 3 stars for adult readers but I would give it 4 stars for middle grade readers

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Follow along with the Celebrate Lit tour to see what others are saying about Blueberry Cupcake Mystery!

Blog Stops

August 23: A Baker’s Perspective

August 23: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

August 23: Blogging With Carol

August 24: cherylbbookblog

August 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 24: Running Through The Storms

August 25: A Greater Yes

August 25: A Holland Reads

August 25: Mary Hake

August 26: Gypsy Road

August 26: D’s Quilts & Books

August 26: Cassandra M’s Place

August 27: Bigreadersite

August 27: Bibliophile Reviews

August 27: Christian Bookaholic

August 28: Lighthouse Academy

August 28: Book Babble

August 29: Karilyn Putt

August 30: Karen’s Krayons

August 30: Daysong Reflections

August 31: Quiet Quilter

August 31: Blossoms and Blessings

September 1: Lights in a Dark World

September 1: Just Commonly

September 2: Singing Librarian Books

September 2: His Grace is Sufficient

September 3: Bukwurmzzz

September 4: Ashley’s Bookshelf

September 4: just the write escape

September 5: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 5: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

about the author

Naomi Miller mixes up a batch of intrigue, sprinkled with Amish, Mennonite, & English characters, adding a pinch of mystery – and a dash of romance!

Naomi’s day is spent focusing on her writing, editing, and blogging about her experiences with writing. When she’s not working diligently to finish the next book in her Sweet Shop Mystery series, Naomi tries to make time for attending workshops and writers conferences. One of her favorites is the four-day event that the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization holds annually.

Naomi also enjoys traveling with her family, singing inspirational/gospel music, taking a daily walk, and witnessing to others of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.

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from the author

Hello! I’m Naomi Miller — and I’m honored to be featured on Celebrate Lit!

I want to share with you how the title and cover for my debut book, Blueberry Cupcake Mystery, was chosen. This is a story I haven’t shared with anyone else — yet. The story behind the blueberry cupcake…

I was actually writing an Amish suspense novel last winter, when God placed it on my heart to write a shorter story — a cozy mystery, with no suspense, no danger, but plenty of faith, family, compassion and community.

blue-1326154_1920While thinking of the best way to begin the story, my daughter made a batch of blueberry cupcakes, which happen to be one of my favorite treats. Of course, the idea to use a favorite treat was too good to resist. Then, during the early days of writing, I began experimenting with the idea of baking cupcakes — but adding blueberries before baking. Two favorite treats in one!

And there you have it . . . once we had a picture of a blueberry cupcake, the designer quickly sent back a cover I fell in love with (although there were a few more tweaks before the final cover was approved).

I actually began writing many years ago — 1990 to be exact. But I had just become a single mom and I didn’t have time to pursue it. I wrote notes, letters, articles, short stories, and I occasionally thought about a career as a novelist, but not once did I consider that dream to ever become a reality.

Several years ago, after my children were grown, my daughter challenged me to write a novel. I began a sweet, Amish fiction story about a young girl—but about halfway into the story, someone was almost murdered! Needless to say, I was surprised, but kept going. Once done, I went back to the beginning to do a major re-write on what was now an Amish suspense novel.

And that’s . . . the rest of the story.

I’m also excited to be doing two special giveaways — 1) a gift bag full of treats and 2) an advanced reader digital copy of Christmas Cookie Mystery (but you’ll have to wait for it)!

In the meantime, here’s the recipe for those delicious blueberry cupcakes

Blueberry Cupcakes

Ingredients
1 white or yellow cake mix
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water

Prepare cake mix according to the directions. Add blueberries and fold into batter. Bake following instructions on cake mix box.

Icing
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp. milk
additional milk as needed

Directions
Prepare icing, mixing small amounts of confectioner’s sugar with milk to desired consistency. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.

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To celebrate her tour, Naomi is giving away a gift bag full of treats and an advanced copy of her new book Christmas Cookie Mystery!

Click here to view this promotion.

What about you? What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Carrie

8 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Blueberry Cupcake Mystery by Naomi Miller”

  1. Robin in NC

    Sometimes a sweet mystery novella is all we need! 😉 Thanks for sharing in the blog tour!

  2. Donna B

    Brownies would be my sweet treat choice. This book sounds like an nice easy read! Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  3. Jackie Tessnair

    Mine is Oatmeal no bake peanut butter cookies.Goes really good with a great book.

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