Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Much Ado About Muffin by Victoria Hamilton


Inventing the World of Merry Muffin Mysteries

One review of a Merry Muffin Mysteries book complained that with so many nicknames offered in the first few pages – Pish, Lush, Doc, and more – she or he became exhausted and gave up on the book. Not, obviously, my intention. No writer wants to do something that puts readers off, or makes them abandon a book unread. Was there any validity to the reader’s complaint? I don’t think so, not really, but maybe there is a tiny sliver of truth. However, I do have an explanation for the proliferation of nicknames (if that is so) in my Merry Muffin Mysteries.

First… I will say that one of my most cherished compliments came from my editor at Berkley. She told me that I was able to make every series that I wrote feel unique; they each had a distinctive feel and tone and voice. It’s what I strove for, so the compliment meant a lot to me.

How did I do it, in particular with the Merry Muffin Mysteries?

Well, that’s where all the nicknames comes in, I guess. In the Teapot Collector Mysteries I wrote as Amanda Cooper I don’t think there was a single nickname, just nice normal folk with nice normal names. It’s the same in the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries I write. Queensville feels like an idyllic little backwater touristy town, but everyone there is pretty normally named: Jaymie, Becca, Heidi, Bernie. Well, there is Valetta, but that’s a real name, and though she is nicknamed ‘Val’, she is usually called Valetta.

And then there’s Autumn Vale, New York, site of the Merry Muffin Mysteries. So, the use of nicknames? It’s a part of how the Merry Muffin Mysteries is different from my other series. Autumn Vale is an odd little pocket of weirdness. Sunny most of the time, and in a valley, it is in direct opposition to a neighboring town, Ridley Ridge, which is always gloomy, foggy, and desolate. The people of Autumn Vale are occasionally odd, but endearing, I hope. Merry has found a home among them, at least, as have Pish and Shilo, her two best friends.

When you write three series it is important to establish some unique characteristics in setting, plot and people. I’ve used many tools in my kit to achieve that. Ultimately, an author does the best she can, and then leaves it up to readers to decide how successful she has been.

I hope you enjoy the unique folks, places and even names in my Merry Muffin Mysteries!

Guest post provided by the publisher.

post-divider rightmuffinSeries: A Merry Muffin Mystery (Book 4)
Publisher: Berkley (August 2, 2016)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0425282589
ISBN-13: 978-0425282588
ASIN: B01839Q4WW
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


In this fresh mystery from the national bestselling author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.

When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it’s dough or die…
Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry’s Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town’s postmistress—and Merry’s bitter foe—Minnie Urqhart.
But Roma and Minnie’s heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she’s eager to get her mitts on the real killer…

post-divider rightThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Much Ado About Muffin to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on September 3rd


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

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victoriah-150x150Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of a nationally bestselling romance author.

She now happily writes about vintage kitchen collecting and dead bodies for Berkley Prime Crime in the Vintage KitchenMysteries and (soon-to-be-announced) another cozy series. Besides writing about murder and mayhem and blogging at Killer Characters, Victoria loves collecting vintage kitchen wares and old cookbooks, as well as teapots and teacups. 

Victoria also enjoys crafting, especially cross stitch and crocheting.


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Merry Muffin Mystery

Vintage Kitchen Mysteries





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  1. Gloria Walshver says:

    Great title for a book especially I like muffins,

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