Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Town In A Strawberry Swirl by BB Haywood

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The True Stories Behind Cape Willington, Maine

Welcome to the coastal village of Cape Willington, Maine, founded in 1737. Take a stroll down Main Street. Stop in at the Main Street Diner for a bite to eat, and catch up on the local news. Further along the street, you can visit the Black Forest Bakery for authentic German pastries. Then head down Ocean Avenue to see the historic Pruitt Opera House, the Lightkeeper’s Inn, and Town Park. Later, you can drive along the Coastal Loop for beautiful ocean views and a breath of fresh, salty sea air. And don’t forget to spend some time at the English Point Lighthouse and Cape Willington Historical Museum.

Through the course of five novels in the Candy Holliday Murder Mystery Series, including the upcoming Town in a Strawberry Swirl (available everywhere on Feb. 4th), Cape Willington has served as the setting and background for the series, and often as a character itself. And although it’s a fictional village, it has come alive in many ways, for it is based on real places, and many of its citizens and activities are drawn from actual people and events.

Writing under the pen name B.B. Haywood, we’re the series’ creators, Rob and Beth. In 2004, we decided to work together to write a cozy mystery set in a small village in Maine. Beth had grown up in New England, and both of us had lived in several small towns in New England for more than 20 years. As we began to develop the first novel, Town in a Blueberry Jam, we drew on events from real life and mixed them with fictional characters and events. Beth even used the names of towns we’d lived in to create the name “Cape Willington,” which is a combination Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where we lived at the time; Williamstown, Mass., where Beth grew up; and Hopkinton, N.H., where we lived before moving to Maine.

The village of Cape Willington had its beginnings on scraps of notebook paper stuck between the front seats of our family car. As we drove around Maine and the other New England states, we began to make up the town and the main characters. Beth recently spent some time looking through those scraps of paper, which say things like “Candy Holliday-Halloween,” “sidekick” (who became Maggie Tremont), “baker” (who became Herr Georg), “general store like the one we love in Vermont,” and “Candy selling her blueberry goods to make extra money for the farm.” Portions of Cape Willington resemble such real-life Maine villages as Blue Hill, Boothbay Harbor, and Bar Harbor. We also created long lists of possible titles.

The name “Holliday” came from some pre-made address labels that arrived in the mail one day. After settling on the name Candy Holliday for our protagonist, the other characters fell into place. Henry “Doc” Holliday is loosely based on a wonderful historian Beth met while working at the Portland Head Light museum in Cape Elizabeth, just south of Portland. Herr Georg and the Black Forest Bakery are based on a bakery in a small Alpine village-like shopping center we used to visit in New Hampshire. Once, when we visited Acadia National Park in Maine, someone actually did fall off the cliff trail into the ocean. We were on the beach when the rescue team came and cleared the area. Jock Larson took that same fall in the prologue to Town in a Blueberry Jam.

We had chickens at the time, hence Candy’s “girls.” Beth once saw a woman flossing her teeth while driving! That was the inspiration for Elsie Lingholt, now of hula hooping fame. While looking at homes to buy in New Hampshire, we really did encounter a woman with a bottle collection like Wilma Mae Wendell’s (from Town in a Lobster Stew). And when Beth came upon a local snow plow rodeo, she at first had no idea what it was. As she watched the plows drive a twisty course between orange cones topped with tennis balls and other obstacles, she thought it was more fun than the State Fair.  And Wanda Boyle! For now, we’ll say no more about her, except that she is certainly a fun character to write.

So that’s how the people and events we encountered while driving around New England for many years with our family turned into the growing fictional town of Cape Willington, filled with characters we love to write about. We hope our readers love them too, as they follow Candy, Doc, Maggie, Herr Georg, and the other residents of Cape Willington, Maine, from book to book. 

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twonSeries: Candy Halliday Mystery (Book 5)

Publisher: Berkley (February 4, 2014)

Genre: Cozy Mystery

ISBN-10: 0425252469

ISBN-13: 978-0425252468
ASIN: B00DYX9KGA
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

town-in-a-strawberry-swirl

In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has a mostly idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two…

Summer has arrived! But as the community gears up for another festive strawberry-picking season, the villagers are shocked when local berry farmer Miles Crawford is found dead in a hoophouse near his strawberry fields. Rumors have been swirling around about a secret real estate deal between Miles and Lydia St. Graves. And now Lydia is missing after she was seen fleeing the scene of the crime…

When Henry “Doc” Holliday becomes involved in the mystery, his daughter Candy finds herself caught in the jam as well. But things turn very sticky when Lydia suddenly reappears and asks for Candy’s help in finding the true murderer…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of  Town in a Strawberry Swirl to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on March 1st

 




 

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

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RobFeeman1- BB HaywoodB. B. Haywood is a pseudonym of writing team Beth Feeman and Robert Feeman. They Beth Feeman - BB Haywoodconceived the idea for the Candy Holliday mysteries while driving around the Maine countryside, stopping at different small towns throughout the state

 

 

 

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Candy Holliday Mysteries

Blog Tour 

2/3 Debbie's Book Blog


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2/10 Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows


2/10 Fresh Fiction


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Comments

  1. It is always fun seeing how authors gather their writing ideas. As I used to live in New England and traveled around there quite a bit myself, I have always enjoyed this series. Thanks for sharing an opportunity to learn more about the Candy Holliday series, the authors and for the chance to win.

  2. Love this series!  One of the few I'm caught up on-ready for the latest!

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