Monday, May 1, 2017

5 Things to Know About Ginger of the West

I’m so excited to announce that my latest project, Ginger of the West: A Witches of Broomfield Bay Mystery, will be out this Thursday! This book, which I’ve co-written with Amazon best-selling author Jools Sinclair, is a lighthearted mystery brimming with cozy magic. Since this is a new book and a new series, I thought it would be helpful to do my usual “5 things to know…” post for those who want to know more!

1. What is Ginger of the West about?

Ginger of the West: A Witches of Broomfield Bay Mystery is about a cafe owner named Ginger Westbrook who lives in a small town on the Oregon coast. It has paranormal elements in it, but it also has plenty of cozy elements, too. Here’s the official description: 


A dead mayor.
A wacky aunt.
An uppity millionaire romance author.
And a small town full of explosive secrets…
It’s one headache after another for witch and café owner Ginger Westbrook.
When Mayor Penelope Ashby rolls her car off a driveway and into the ocean, everyone in the small, sleepy seaside town of Broomfield Bay, Oregon is shocked.
Everyone but Ginger’s Aunt Vivian, who “saw” the grisly death coming long before the unlikable mayor plunged into the Pacific.
But when it’s discovered that the death may not have been an accident, accusations start flying and Ginger and Vivian find themselves smack dab in the middle of a modern-day witch hunt.
Strange things are afoot in Broomfield Bay this summer, and it will take all of Ginger’s powers – supernatural and otherwise – to keep the small town’s pitchforks and torches at bay.
Amazon best-selling authors Jools Sinclair and Meg Muldoon join forces in this magical tale. Full of mystery, romance, humor, and chowder, the first book in the Witches of Broomfield Bay Mysteries is this summer’s perfect cozy mystery beach read.


2. Why co-write a series?

Jools Sinclair is a fellow indie author and I'm a huge fan of her best-selling paranormal mysteries, 44. We’ve been talking about co-writing a series about witches for years now, so it’s so exciting to see this work published! This book is a real collaboration -- we’ve both brought our best storytelling talents to the table for this series. You'll see shades of Cinnamon Peters and Abby Craig throughout the book.


3. What makes Ginger of the West different from other witch cozy mysteries out there today?

There are tons of witch cozy mysteries out there these days, but Jools and I like to think of Ginger of the West as being special for several reasons. The book is a true mystery that will leave readers guessing right up until the end. Also, Ginger takes place on the Oregon Coast -- a place that both Jools and I know very well and love. We're both from Oregon, and have both spent lots of time on the coast. I think that comes through really clearly in the book, and makes it a fantastic summer read. The book is also very much a cozy, with lots and lots of mouthwatering food descriptions!!


4. Will there be more in the series?

Ginger Snaps, the second book in the Witches of Broomfield Bay Mystery series, is set to come out this fall. In total, we’re planning on writing 5 books in the series.


5. Are there recipes included in the book?

Yes! In true cozy fashion, we’re including five recipes in this book straight from Ginger’s cafe. These include marionberry scones, ginger lemon bars, and a delicious recipe for salmon chowder.


Ginger of the West will be available on Amazon this Thursday! Jools and I can't wait to share it with you guys!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week

Dear Readers, 

I've been writing cozy mysteries now for a while, but I have always considered myself first and foremost a reader. Like many of you, I love reading and I always have. One of my biggest New Year's Resolutions has been to read more -- I often get caught up in my work and reading is the first thing to get crossed off the list. However, so far this year, I've kept my resolution of reading more (the only one, in fact! :) Three months, nine books, and going strong! It's been so fun to get back to it, and I thought I would have a little feature here on my blog sharing what I'm reading lately. I'd love if you'd comment and tell me what you're reading lately, too! Or if you've read any of these, let me know what you thought of the book! 

Just Read: 

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan


I'm on a bit of Western kick lately. This non-fiction biography is about Edward Curtis, the photographer who spent his life photographing and documenting North American tribes in the early 1900s. I absolutely loved this book and can not recommend it enough, especially if you enjoy reading about the West! I love reading about people who are completely consumed with their art and work. This is also a fascinating look at Native American cultures and how much was lost in the years following Western expansion. An excellent read. 






Currently Reading: 

American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus


As I said, I'm on a bit of a Western kick! This one is particularly fun for me because I live less than a mile away from the haunted hotel that this book is about -- The Julia Staab Mansion, which is now the La Posada Hotel here in Santa Fe. I'm enjoying this book so far. I'm reading it partly as research for a Santa Fe-based mystery series I'm planning on releasing in 2018. 










Jammed by Deany Ray


I was hooked by this cute cover! I enjoy reading a lot of different kinds of books, but sometimes I enjoy reading books in my own genre, too. I liked the opening line of this one: "What does it mean that the highlights of your workday are a cookie and the chance to slip out early?" Been there! :)










In Reading Queue: 

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

I love reading mysteries based in Los Angeles, and for some reason, I particularly love reading them in the spring. I got to meet Michael Connelly at Bouchercon this past September (actually, it was more like I took my friend's picture with him and nervously smiled while hoping I didn't mess up the photo. :) I've read some of the Lincoln Lawyer series, and I've seen the Amazon television show for the Bosch novels, but haven't actually read them for myself. I'm excited to finally start on this series! Especially with season 3 of Bosch coming out this April. 





What are you reading these days? Post in the comments below. I'd love to hear about your own reading lists! 

MM

Ginger of the West's Tomato Tart

Dear Readers,

Happy Spring! Hooray for making it through the winter! (At least on the calendar anyway :) I just wanted to let you know that Ginger of the West: A Witches of Broomfield Bay Cozy Mystery -- the paranormal cozy that I've been working on with best-selling author Jools Sinclair -- is coming out in early April. Yippee!! This book has been so fun to work on with Jools, and I'm so excited that the first installment is finally coming out. In honor of its spring release, I asked Jools to share a recipe on my blog here. She went with a drool-worthy recipe that we mention in the book: a Tomato Tart that Ginger, the main character, makes for her crazy witchy aunt, Aunt Viv. This tart has become one of my very favorite meals, and it's perfect for the warmer days ahead. So without further ado, here's the recipe with a little introduction by Jools!

Jools Sinclair Says:

Ginger knows that there is true magic in excellent food prepared with fresh ingredients and lots of love, so it’s no wonder that this rich and soul-satisfying French Tomato Tart recipe is one of her must-make-often dishes. It’s also one of Aunt Viv’s favorites, and she reminds Ginger of that by returning the empty tart pan as soon as every last bit of the buttery crust has disappeared, in hopes that another tart will soon be on its way.


In a perfect world, you’d always use your own tomatoes growing outside in the garden, but if you don’t live in that kind of world or it’s simply off season, no biggie. Just make sure the tomatoes you do purchase are chemical-free and flavorful.


This recipe is featured (and was found on) David Lebovitz’ blog, who in turn got it from Kate Hill. It’s highly recommended to add a glass or two of your favorite rose, and to sit in some sunshine when consuming.


Bon Appetit!

Tomato Goat Cheese Tart



Tart Filling


One unbaked tart dough (see recipe below)
Dijon or whole-grain mustard
2-3 large ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon
8 ounces (250g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese, sliced into rounds
Optional: 1 1/2 tablespoons flavorful honey


Tart Dough


1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
4 1/2 ounces (125g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water


1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.


2. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of ice water.


3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.


4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. “Dock” the bottom of the pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.


If making a freestyle tart, simply transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet; no need to make indentations with your fingers.


5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC). See note below.


6. Spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough and let it sit a few minutes to dry out.


7. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.


8. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, then drizzle with some honey, if using.
(If baking a free-form tart, gather the edges when you’re done, to envelope the filling.)


9. Bake the tart for 30 minutes or so, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.


*You might wish to check the tart midway through baking and turn it down a bit in case the top is getting too dark, before the crust and tomatoes appear to be cooked.


***If you wish to make a free-style tart, roll the dough out to about 14-inches across, then transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Assemble the tart, leaving a 2-inch (5 cm) border, which you’ll then fold up to enclose the tart.


Enjoy! 

Jools & MM :)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Upcoming Meg Muldoon Books

Dear Readers, 

I hope all of you have been having a great 2017 so far! I've spent this first part of the year organizing my work schedule and working on some upcoming books. I wanted to share my tentative schedule with you here:


It's going to be an exciting year! Ginger of the West: A Broomfield Bay Cozy Mystery (Book 1) is first up, and is set to come out in mid-March. I'm co-writing this one with Amazon best-selling author Jools Sinclair. More info about this book and the others to come soon! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Silence of the Elves Now Available on Amazon!

Dear Readers,

The Silence of the Elves: A Holly Hopewell Cozy Mystery (Book 1) is now available on Amazon! It's priced at 99 cents for 2 days only, so be sure to get in on the deal! It's also part of the Kindle Unlimited program, so if you are a KU subscriber, it's FREE to read!

You can buy your copy HERE:


If there’s one thing that every elf in the North Pole knows, it’s this:
Never get on Mrs. Claus’s bad side.
Never. Ever.
Ever...

After getting reassigned from the North Pole by a jealous Mrs. Claus, misfit elf Holly Hopewell is sent to work in the worst place imaginable: The North Pole Emporium Department Store in Mistletoe, Oregon.

The elves call it Mistletoe Row: a place so devoid of joy and Christmas spirit, that many a curly-toed folk has lost their poor mind working there.

But just when Holly thinks things can’t get any worse, the store’s manager, who also happens to be Mrs. Claus’s nephew, is found murdered in his office. And good-natured Holly Hopewell finds herself as the prime suspect in the local police’s investigation.

Will Holly be sent to a row of a different sort for a crime she didn’t commit? Or will the handsome yet mysterious homicide detective assigned to the investigation find the real murderer before the gumdrops hit the fan for Holly Hopewell?

The legend of the North Pole gets a spicy and humorous revamp in this lighthearted, humorous cozy mystery. 

Thanks so much for your support, readers! And if you do end up enjoying the book, I would be so grateful if you would take the time to write a review for it on Amazon. 

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading! 

MM

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Silence of the Elves Coming Soon!

Dear Readers,

I hope the most wonderful time of the year has been treating you well so far! I just wanted to let you know that my latest book, The Silence of the Elves: A Holly Hopewell Cozy Mystery (Book 1) will be out on Amazon this weekend. The idea for this book has been rolling around in my head for the past two years, so I'm so excited that it's finally been written and that I'll be able to share it with you so soon. In the meantime, here's the description and cover:


If there’s one thing that every elf in the North Pole knows, it’s this:
Never get on Mrs. Claus’s bad side.
Never. Ever.
Ever...

After getting reassigned from the North Pole by a jealous Mrs. Claus, misfit elf Holly Hopewell is sent to work in the worst place imaginable: The North Pole Emporium Department Store in Mistletoe, Oregon.

The elves call it Mistletoe Row: a place so devoid of joy and Christmas spirit, that many a curly-toed folk has lost their poor mind working there.

But just when Holly thinks things can’t get any worse, the store’s manager, who also happens to be Mrs. Claus’s nephew, is found murdered in his office. And good-natured Holly Hopewell finds herself as the prime suspect in the local police’s investigation.

Will Holly be sent to a row of a different sort for a crime she didn’t commit? Or will the handsome yet mysterious homicide detective assigned to the investigation find the real murderer before the gumdrops hit the fan for Holly Hopewell?

The legend of the North Pole gets a spicy and humorous revamp in this lighthearted, humorous cozy mystery. 


Coming soon!

MM


Friday, December 9, 2016

Hope

Dear Readers,

Four years ago today, I hit the "publish" button on my first cozy mystery ever -- Murder in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery.

At the time, I was a nervous ball of energy. Writing a book on its own is a big endeavor, but what you don't really realize until you send it out into the world is that your work has really only just begun. There's marketing, getting reviews, and more or less, building up a whole career from scratch. Then there's the thinking and praying involved which accounts for a whole other kind of work. You hope that the book will get noticed. Then if it does, you hope readers will like it and appreciate the heart you put into it. You hope that readers won't forget about you when books two and three and four come out. You hope that you never disappoint. You hope to always bring a little joy into readers' lives with each book you write.


Going into this business four years ago, I had a lot of hopes. In addition to the ones listed above, I hoped to be able to pay a bill or two in January with my earnings from Christmas River in 2012. Or at least, to buy a pizza one night. I hoped to supplement my meager pay at the newspaper I worked at with a few book sales here and there. And when I let myself truly, truly hope, I hoped that one day, I'd be able to write these books full-time and make a comfortable living where I had enough free-time to travel and enjoy life the way I wanted to enjoy it. It was a far-fetched dream that people loved to say was impossible. And even when they didn't say it, I knew they were thinking it. But I couldn't help wanting it anyway.

It was a rocky beginning. A few short days after hitting the publish button on December 9, 2012, I got my first review on Amazon. I was thrilled that somebody had read and decided to review Murder in Christmas River until... I saw what rating they gave it. It was a 1-star: My first real review ever was a 1-star from someone who didn't even get past the first chapter of the book because they hated the writing style. For a new writer, it was a devastating blow. I walked around for days feeling the sting of that review, wondering if I had a thick enough skin for this business.

But other reviews started coming in -- much better reviews -- and the book was moving. People were actually buying it. I wasn't anywhere near a bestseller, but to me, it was the most promising, exciting thing to ever happen career-wise. I sold about 340 copies that first month, and the feeling from knowing that your book is in the hands of 340 people is absolutely breathtaking when you're just starting out as a writer. There's nothing quite like knowing that all around the country, and sometimes the world, your words and characters are part of other peoples' lives. People you've never met, and most likely will never meet -- yet you're connected through words.

Four years later, and 13 books later, the thought of that still makes me giddy.

So much has changed in my life these past four years. My impossible dream of writing full-time, living the life I always wanted to live, has been attained. Since going full-time with this two years ago, I've been able to travel so much more, live in new places, experience new things, and enjoy more time with my family. I know I'm one of the lucky ones. I try not to ever forget that.

And now, being on this side of it all, I can see that my whole business has been built on hope.

Hoping isn't something you ever stop doing, even when you reach your dreams. Today, I still hope. I hope readers will like my newest series and fall in love with the characters. I hope when my readers finish one of my books, they feel happy. I hope to get another BookBub ad. I hope to make the USA Today Bestsellers' list. I hope to see one of my books or series on the Hallmark Movie Channel one day.

I hope to always be the best writer I can be.

I put a lot of work into my business, but I'm really only one part of the equation. Hope is another part. And another very important part is my family -- who has helped me at nearly every point along the way. They've read all my books, waded through a ridiculous amount of run-on sentences and poor word choice, given me invaluable feedback, designed covers for me, and taught me how to self-publish in the first place. Not to mention the financial, emotional, and spiritual support they've given me over the years.

The final part of the equation has been you, dear reader. Many of you have been with me since Book 1 of The Christmas River Cozy Mysteries and have bought ever subsequent book the very day they came out. You've been patient with me when I push back deadlines. You've written reviews and shared your enthusiasm for my books with me and encouraged me to keep going. I can't even express to you in words how meaningful that's been. And even if you've just bought one or two of my books, or just recently discovered one of my series, your support has been just as appreciated.

Thank you so much for everything these past four years. It's been such a beautiful journey I've been on.

Writing is a very solitary business, but thanks to you guys, I've never felt alone in any of it.



MM