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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"Tastes Like Murder" by Catherine Bruns - Excerpt and Giveaway!!

I've been looking forward to this one for the last month!  MRM is pleased to bring you an excerpt from Catherine Bruns' debut cozy, Tastes Like Murder, from the Cookies and Chance series.  I had a chance to read it ahead of release, and I think you'll love it. The icing on the cake, or, in this case, the cookie, is that Catherine is offering a free, signed copy of Tastes Like Murder to one of our lucky readers (US delivery only).  Don't forget to check out the details and enter the giveaway below.  Happy Reading!  ~Mrs. MRM

Update:   Congratulations to Kathleen Costa, winner of the signed copy of Tastes Like Murder! 

Excerpt of Tastes Like Murder
by Catherine Bruns

With divorce papers in hand and her cheating, former spouse in Florida, Sally Muccio has returned to her hometown in the Buffalo, New York region to start a novelty cookie shop with her best friend. All patrons receive a free, homemade fortune cookie with every purchase, accompanied by messages that are strangely foreboding. But there’s no warning when Sal’s ex-husband’s mistress turns up on her front porch one evening...dead.
“I wonder if she’ll get a huge crowd at her funeral,” my father mused aloud as he stared at his painting. He was probably wondering if his service would be larger.
“Dad,” Gianna said. “Her mother is the town socialite. They have more money than God. Amanda owned the only spa around here. Even if people didn’t like her, they’ll still go to the wake, at least for her mother’s sake.”
He waved her off and studied the paper again. “When I go, I want my obituary to take up an entire page. You’ll write it, Gianna. You’ve always been good with words.”
“Dear Lord,” my grandmother muttered under her breath. “All you think about is death! It is like living with the Grim Reaper.”
Dad shot his mother-in-law a look of exasperation. “You should be thinking about it too, old lady. You’ve got at least ten years on me. You’re liable to go anytime.”
“Sei pazzo.” Grandma Rosa shook her head.
“You’re the one who’s crazy.” My father frowned at her. “I bet you don’t even have a burial plot yet.”
I groaned. “Enough, please? Can we stop talking about funerals for one night?”
“Poor sweetie.” My mother wrapped her arms around me as I stared, eyes pleading for help, at my grandmother.
“Stop smothering her, Maria.” Grandma Rosa walked into the kitchen. “Sally is not a baby anymore, for crying out loud. She is a grown woman.”
My father snorted as he reached for his wineglass. “A divorced woman. I knew you never should have married that bum. Now his tramp is dead. They’re ruining your life.”
I put my weary head in my hands.
“You didn’t finish telling us what happened.” Gianna refilled her glass.
I blew out a breath. “There isn’t much more to tell. Brian made a call to the station and another policeman showed up. They searched the shop and waited while Josie and I locked the door, and then they left.”
“Will they close the place for a while and call in a forensics team?” Gianna, lawyer-in-training, asked.
I ate a small bite of braciole. “I don’t think so. They can’t be sure of the cause of death until the autopsy results come in, so they don’t know if it was an accident or—” I stopped myself, unable to say the word.
Gianna looked at me in surprise. “They actually think she might have been murdered?”
“Of course she was murdered,” my father bellowed. “The girl was evil!”
Grandma Rosa reappeared, setting a cup of espresso in front of me.
“If I have coffee now, I’ll be up all night.”
She handed me the cream and sugar from the nearby buffet table and shook her snow-white head. “Sally, my love, who are you kidding? There is no way you will sleep tonight, coffee or no coffee.”
I hated to admit it, but she was right. Sighing, I took a sip of the strong drink and almost choked, then cocked one eye at my grandmother. “What did you put in here?”
She shrugged. “Maybe a little Sambuca. It is good for you.”
My mother reached inside her cosmetic bag and pulled out a compact. She started removing her false eyelashes at the table. “Sal, the police don’t think you have anything to do with it, right? I mean, do they know what she did to you?”
I finished chewing another bite before answering. “I told Brian about our, shall we say, differences. He said they can’t speculate on anything until the autopsy comes back.”
“Who is this Brian?” Grandma Rosa raised one eyebrow and sat down across from me.
Gianna winked. “He’s the new cop on the force. I see him at Frank’s place all the time. He’s very nice. Cute too.”
“What are you talking about?” Heat rose through my face.
“Maybe we should invite him over for dinner.” My mother held the mirror out in front of her while she primped her long hair. It was dark like mine, but not as curly.
I looked at her in disbelief. “Mom, you don’t invite cops to dinner.”
“Why not? They have to eat too, you know.”
A small gurgle escaped from my mouth before I could stop it.
My mother stood, yawned, and stretched. “I need to get some sleep. I’m showing houses tomorrow morning.” She enjoyed dressing up and wearing her gold-plated name badge as she viewed homes with prospective clients. My parents didn’t need the extra money. Their house was paid off, and my father received a generous pension from the railroad, which was a good thing because in the six months since my mother started her real estate career, she’d made exactly zero in sales.
Mom ran around the table, kissing each one of us on the cheek and ending with my father. “Don’t be too long.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. “You know how I hate to sleep alone.”
He chuckled and swatted her behind. “I’ll be up in a minute, hot stuff.”
“Jeez Louise.” Gianna raised her eyebrows in disgust. “Do we really need to see this?”

Praise for Tastes Like Murder

"The delightful whodunit kept me guessing until the end, and the tasty treats had my mouthwatering from start to finish! A fantastic culinary mystery in the vein of Joanne Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson!"
Gemma Halliday, New York Times & USA Today bestselling mystery author

"Catherine Bruns has found a winning recipe for an exciting mystery mixed with a dash of humor and a heap of danger. Add in a little romance for spice, and you get one sweet reading treat." 

Mary Marks, Best selling author of the Quilting Mystery series

About the Author

Catherine lives in Upstate New York with a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, two cats and dogs. She has wanted to be a writer since the age of eight when she wrote her own version of Cinderella. Fortunately, Disney never sued. Catherine holds a B.A. and dual major in English and Performing Arts and is a former press release writer and newspaper reporter. In addition to the Cookies & Chance Mysteries, her Realtor for Hire Mystery series debuts in November with Gemma Halliday Publishing.

Connect with Catherine:

Win a Signed, Print Edition of Tastes Like Murder

Please comment below to enter the giveaway!  Share this post on social media or follow Catherine on Facebook and/or Twitter for a additional entries.  Don't forget to comment and let us know you did so.  Please Note:  If you are commenting anonymously, please leave your full Facebook name or email address so that we may contact you if you are the winner.  Winners will be chosen via random number generator at noon EST on Tuesday, September 15.  Congratulations to Kathleen Costa, winner of the signed copy of Tastes Like Murder! 


  1. Fun series, I look forward to reading this one; thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  2. shared https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/641168005146132480

  3. sounds like I would enjoy this book......
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  4. Sounds like a book I need to read:)

  5. Awesome book ... would love to have a signed copy. :)
    Already follow Catherine on Facebook and Twitter.
    Shared on Twitter https://twitter.com/peggyhyndman6/status/641252677117042688

  6. Great post. Sounds like a new series to try. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Would love to read this, thanks for the chance!

  8. Sounds like a great series. Read above paragraphs. Always looking for a new Author to add to my list. Thanks for this chance to win an autographed book. Can never have enough books.

  9. This sounds like a great series that I need to add to my to be read list. Thank you for having this contest. Pfistersk@yahoo.com

  10. I am following Catherine Bruns on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and I shared this post on my Facebook Timeline. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. It's a great story, and I'd really love the opportunity to have a signed paperback copy. kat8762@aol.com

  11. Would love to read this book~Thanks for the giveaway! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

  12. Would love to win. Thanks for the chance. janngrogan@yahoo.com.

  13. Sounds like a fun read! On my wish list in case I don't win.

  14. Shared with my sweetheart on facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenne.turner/posts/10207287002994391?pnref=story


  15. This sounds like a fun read. I welcome the chance to learn about new books and the chance to win them. Thanks.
    Emily Goehner

  16. I am always on the lookout for a new series! Thanks for the opportunity!

  17. Looks like a great book, love anything with a fortune cookie :-)


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