I’m excited to announce a new experience for me – I am one of the stops along a blog tour for a new mystery book called Cordial Killing by Vikki Walton that just came out November 5, 2018. Continue reading for a summary of the book, an interview with the author, author biography, and a recipe for Elderberry Cordials. If you love cozy mysteries, I’m sure you’ll want to get a copy of this book.
Cordial Killing (A Backyard Farming Mystery)
Anne is excited for the opening of the Brandywine Inn. Kandi and Hope are her partners in the bed-and-breakfast in Carolan Springs, Colorado, where they also provide homesteading and herbal workshops for guests.
As soon as the guests arrive, it’s plain that the five old college chums have bad blood between them. When Anne finds a threatening note, it’s clear that someone is out for revenge. Then they find a guest dead. At first, the death appears to be natural, but suspicions begin to grow.
When a blizzard threatens the Inn, will it trap them all with a killer and no way out?
Cordial Killing is a classic who-dun-it with a twist. Set in the fictional small town of Carolan Springs, you will enjoy an armchair getaway into beautiful Colorado.
An Interview with the author, Vikki Walton
Q: What would you like readers to know about your books?
A: They’re cozy mysteries with a modern twist. There’s a mystery to solve but there’s also time spent on getting to know the characters.
Q: How did you get interested in writing mysteries and the cozy genre in particular?
A: I guess if you could blame someone it would be Mildred Wirt Benson aka Carolyn Keene who wrote over twenty of the Nancy Drew Books. Those adventures with Nancy were my first taste of the cozy mystery genre. Later, Agatha Christie books became my favorite who-dun-it’s. So it wasn’t hard to see that mysteries would become my favorite genre.
Q: Where did you get the inspiration for this book?
A: I’ve always been interested in herbs and grow many of my own. I also make my own tinctures, tonics and salves. I came up with an idea for the delivery method for a murder and my imagination took off. I thought back to my own garden and some of the flowers that had grown there. That’s when I knew what I would use for the means for the murder.
Q: When you write your mysteries, do you have the whole mystery plotted out before you write, or does it come to you as you write?
A: Yes. Let me explain. An idea comes to me. Over days and weeks, scenes will come to my mind. Then I’ll jot down a very simple outline. I have the beginning, I know the means and the motive, I know what the clues and red herrings and I will be know the ending. But once I start writing, new characters will often pop up, new ideas come to mind that I include, and changes may occur on when and where something happens.
Q: This is the second book in the series. Do you feel people should begin with the first in the series or will it be ok to start with this book?
A: If they want to know more about the characters, then starting on book one is a good idea as the characters develop in each subsequent story. But if they just want to read a mystery, they can easily read the second book as a standalone story. Each story has it’s own beginning and ending on that particular mystery.
Q: What three words would you use to describe your book?
A: A bit funny, A bit spooky, A bit classic trapped group of individuals. More than three words but that’s what you’ll get when you ask a writer!
Vikki’s first words were “I get it!” This attitude became her life-long mantra to always go after what she wants. It also helped her realize her desire to help others get what they really want out of life.
After spending years as a registered interior designer, Vikki began to write. While writing for periodicals, Vikki found herself on assignment interviewing publishers in Colorado Springs. It wasn’t long before the natural beauty of Colorado captured her heart.
After moving to Colorado, Vikki worked with nonprofits. However, she soon realized she needed more autonomy in her work.
Vikki started her own business as a nonprofit consultant and grant writer. She has helped nonprofits across the U.S. to receive millions of dollars for their work. Yet, she realized doing one thing wouldn’t satisfy her for long.
Vikki became a Work Quilter™ combining her many passions to create multiple income streams. She started speaking and teaching adults on myriad and diverse topics around her knowledge, skills and passions. She’s taught and spoken on Creative Writing, Design for Heart and Home, Fundraising Fundamentals , Suburban Homesteading, Permaculture, How to Get What You Really Want, and of course, Work Quilting. Two words that continually appear on instructor and speaker feedback forms are “engaging” and “knowledgeable.”
Born in Chicago, Vikki lived outside of Paris for a few years as a small child. That may account for her love of travel. She moved to Wichita with her parents before going on to live most of her life around the San Antonio, Texas area. She is the founder of #girlswantago and you can connect through Facebook or www.girlswantago.com
Vikki is also an experienced, professional global house and pet sitter.
Vikki’s favorite genre is mystery so it wasn’t long before she had begun her first cozy mystery series. Incorporating her love of suburban homesteading, or as some call it, backyard farming, Vikki’s first book is Chicken Culprit.
You’ll most often find Vikki out hiking with her dog, outside gardening, traveling abroad, house or pet sitting, or writing her next book.
Marie’s Elderberry Cordial Recipe
- Quart canning jar with lid
- Funnel (large mouth)
- Wooden spoon
- Label or masking tape
- Cheesecloth (optional)
- Strainer (optional)
- Decorative Bottle (optional)
||1.25 cup dried or 2 cups fresh
||For fresh, remove from stems.
||Can also use other alcohol but brandy is most commonly used.
||¼ to ½ cup (or to taste)
||Vegans or those who don’t have access to good local raw honey can substitute maple syrup. Acquiring local honey will provide your cordial with its own unique flavor.
||Flavor along with Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory properties
||Extra Vitamin C
||1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
||Flavor along with Antioxidants
- Place elderberries (and any optional ingredients, if using) into quart jar.
- Cover with brandy.
- Add honey.
- Stir with wooden spoon or put lid on and shake.
- Place in dark, cool space (usually a cabinet will do) for three to four weeks.
- If desired, strain with cheesecloth and using a strainer, put into a decorative bottle.
- Or you can leave ingredients in jar.
- In winter take 1-2 tbsp daily for immune-boosting. If ill, take 3-4 tbsp (basically a shot glass) a few times a day until symptoms improve. This cordial can also be used as a base for poor-tasting tinctures such as osha.
- Can last for a year with fresh berries and longer if made with dried berries—if you have it that long!
Elderberry is a wonderful plant to have in your yard or on your property. It has many medicinal benefits and uses. The elderberry plant most commonly associated with immune-boosting and flu-fighting properties is the dark berry plant (Elderberry Sambucus Nigra). Elder flower is also used in elixirs, teas and food. Elder was the International Herb Association’s Herb of the Year in 2013. It’s usually harvested in September.
This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Cordial Killing (A Backyard Farming Mystery Series—Book Two) www.vikkiwalton.com