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Thankful for…Social Media — Welcome Guest Mary Lee Ashford

Welcome, Mary Lee. I met Mary Lee at a Guppie lunch at Malice Domestic. (Guppies are the internet chapter of Sisters in Crime and it stands for the great unpublished.) Mary Lee is from Iowa and so am I so we immediately had something in common. And then in the way of small world things, I found out she knew the husband of a sorority sister of mine. I love how the world works. Mary Lee joins us to talk about her brand, spanking new series Sugar and Spice Mystery series. And don’t you just love the title — Game of Scones!

Thankful for…social media!

Now, you’re probably wondering if I punctuated that title correctly. Did I maybe mean for that to be a question mark? Am I actually thankful for social media? You bet.

It’s hard to remember a time before it, when we relied on emails, phone calls, or (gasp) letters to connect with each other. Don’t get me wrong, those are still great ways to connect. And I’m not so naïve that I don’t see all the issues with social media. I’ll admit things have gotten a little crazy out there.

But let’s leave the dark side out for a minute and think about the bright side of social media. Without it I believe we wouldn’t have the opportunity to connect with each other in the same way.

On Facebook, I keep in touch with family in Florida, Texas, and Scotland, and some that are just across town. I’ve connected with readers in Ireland and Australia, and many other places across the country, people who I’m certain I never would have had the chance to “meet” otherwise. I look forward to morning post check-ins from several friends and worry if I don’t hear from them. It’s a bit like an old-fashioned conversation over the fence each day.  If we lived in the same area, I’m pretty sure we’d be great friends, but

Pinterest is my go-to for creative ideas and I follow several people with similar interests. I fell in love with scones (and toasted tea cakes) when my son and daughter-in-law lived in England. As I worked on the first book in the Sugar and Spice Mysteries, Game of Scones, I was able to collect some fabulous scone recipes from others who share that love. Then when I moved on to book two, Risky Biscuits, guess what? That’s right, tons of biscuit recipes! In addition to scones and biscuits, my boards include Vintage Cookbooks & Recipes, Do-Overs (Things Re-Imagined, and, of course, Book Love.

Twitter is often my litmus test for what’s happening in the world…or at least in my corner of the world. I mostly follow people who are interested in books, recipes, and creativity. The #amreading hashtag is great for thoughts on what to read next. Also, I’ll confess that I’m fascinated with the “what’s trending” feed.  Sometimes it’s important stuff and sometimes it’s cute cat videos, but I guess it’s that writer’s curiosity in me wondering what has people engaged on any given day.

I’ve just begun dipping my toes into the Instagram world and I’m really enjoying the visual nature of that forum. So many gorgeous settings, amazing book covers, and fun posts. My favorites are travel posts or post from events. I get to vicariously enjoy that trip to Spain or that mystery conference I couldn’t fit into my schedule.

Readers: What about you? Are you thankful for social media? Do you have a favorite social media community? And, if so, what is it that you love about it? Mary Lee is giving away a copy of The Game of Scones and a copy of a Cozy Food cookbook with recipes from various authors to someone who leaves a comment.


In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, Mary Lee also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey. She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a current board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC Internet group, Guppies. Her delights are encouraging other writers, reading and enjoying her family, especially her six grandchildren.

More info here:


Game of Scones is the first book in the Sugar & Spice Mysteries. It comes out December 4th and is currently available to pre-order.

Here’s a little bit about it:

After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to her friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch . . .

But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again.

Pre-Order Links:


Barnes and Noble


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