Giveaway- Murder Cuts the Mustard!


Jessie: In New Hampshire where the leaves are steadily blowing off the trees.

I am pleased as punch to mention that my third Beryl and Edwina Mystery, Murder Cuts the Mustard, is releasing next Tuesday! I love writing about these ladies and am always happy to be able to share another of their adventures with readers. This book is especially dear to my heart as the idea at the center of the mystery came to me many years ago.

I have a large notebook filled with blank paper that I sometimes use to work loosely on ideas at the beginning of novels. There is something about that blank, snowy sheet that makes it seem like anything is possible! When I was first thinking about what this story would involve I pulled that notebook out and commenced to leaf through it to find a fresh page. As I did so my gaze landed on a previously noodled story idea involving a character with an unusual affinity for mustard.

It was simply perfect for this particular story! I had never found a place to use it in any of my other novels and had sort of let the thought fade to the back of my mind. But, there it was, all shiny and perfect for this third Beryl and Edwina tale! I found an unmarked sheet in the notebook, began scribbling furiously and before long had the idea for the book fleshed out. I hope you will enjoy what came of that long-simmering idea as much as Beryl, Edwina and I all have!

Readers, do you ever have ideas follow you around for ages before you can take action on them? Writers, do you have stories waiting for jus the right book to use? I have two copies of Murder Cuts the Mustard for commenters who post by midnight ET on 10/22/19!

60 Thoughts

  1. Yes. I have had an idea for a story floating around in my head for years but never really did anything with it other than kind of / sort of develop it in my head. Before the last few weeks, I pretty much just had a name for a character and a title that I ripped off from a song by a Finnish symphonic metal band.

    But I’ve had some new thoughts recently so I’m actually thinking about committing something to a file. There was a book signing that I attended for Hank Phillippi Ryan and Steven Cooper which gave me a direction to look at for part of the story. And then I had a dream that gave me other avenues to explore with new characters that seemed to spring from my subconscious, full names and rough sketches of their personalities.

    That dream stuck with me when I first woke up from it so I pulled out a notebook and wrote down everything I could remember. I’ve never had that kind of thing happen to me before so it was quite a thrill to actually experience. Now if I can only pull things together to produce the starting point of an actual story.

  2. Congratulations on your new release! I love that series! My idea had to do with my career. When I was thinking about colleges in high school, I was thinking of going for library science. My parents encouraged me to major in business management, and I followed their advice. Although I did well in college, it wasn’t my passion. Flash forward 25+ years, I had my daughter and volunteered in her school library…. a lot! And the idea re-emerged that I should go and get my masters degree. Although logistics and finances didn’t make it possible for me to get my masters, I did go back and take library courses, and have been certified by the State of PA as a provisional librarian. I work in a public library (for almost 5 years now) and LOVE IT! So some ideas are just too good to toss away — even if it takes you a while to act upon them.

  3. I have ideas for craft or jewelry designs that follow me around for years – I too track them in a notebook of blank sheets, drawing or writing the concept and dating it….right now I have some going back to 2010 when I first started documenting. I’ll get to them someday! 🙂

    Love this series and can’t wait for the new book!

    1. Thanks, Jill! I am delighted to hear there are other people who keep ideas for years until they can get to them! I wish I had thought to put a date on that mustard idea!

  4. I keep notebooks of ideas…when they’re more ready (when I’m more ready) they are rehashed or reviewed and put in the computer, but I draw them out (diagram them) as well for more clarity.

  5. Yes, I have a few ideas I haven’t found the right book for yet. One day! Congrats on your upcoming release, and I love the new book’s cover!

  6. Good luck with the new book. I am intrigued.

    “Do you ever have ideas follow you around for ages before you can take action on them?” Do I ever. . Back in the 1980’s, I read some news stories about thefts of valuable stained glass windows from once-busy but now neglected cemetery chapels. I thought then, “What a fabulous background for a mystery” and saved the articles. Brooklyn Graves was published in 2014!

  7. Think we have all had ideas or dreams that follow us through our lives. So come to fruition and other stay in the backs of our minds.

    We had the idea of wanted to move to the Ozark that came to the forefront of our minds with every vacation trip there. However, we didn’t see how or when it would ever come to be. That is until 3 years ago when our life circumstances changed. We no longer had a reason to stay in the area or commitments to hold us there either. We pulled out our folders with previous thoughts of how, what and where we wanted to retire and decided to take action on those plans. BEST thing we ever did. I do know that by doing it, it has given me new light on other ideas we have tossed around through the years.

    Congratulations on the soon to be new release! Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “Murder Cuts the Mustard” and read more about the adventures of Beryl and Edwina.

    I’ve share everywhere, but fingers crossed to be one of the fortunate ones selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  8. Idea’s are always in the back of my mind never know when they will come in handy.

  9. I can’t wait for Beryl and Edwina’s newest adventure! Love the 2 of them.

  10. Happy almost release week! Yes, I have little bits of inspiration that hang out in the dark recesses of my mind until I need them.

  11. That’s great, Jessie. I have a notebook in Evernote with overheard conversations or snippets waiting for stories. I carried around “Holidays are the time when families get together to off each other” for years before using it in a Tom Burns story for a Thanksgiving-theme anthology (“A Family Affair” in The Killer Wore Cranberry 5).

  12. Interesting commentary. HAven’t read any of your books as Jessica Elliott. I’ll be looking for them.

  13. I often have an idea how to solve a problem that I have to take time and think through before acting,whether it be a call or letter.

  14. What a wonderful cover. I keep a notebook because I forever have ideas about quilting or card making. Some become something, others are inspiration. quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

    1. I love the idea of a notebook for art projects like quilts! I use an online site called Ravelry for my knitting projects but, am now tempted to add a physical notebook to my knitting bag!

  15. I love all your books, Jessie, this series is just the best.

    I know Barry at the Mustard Museum in Middleton, WI is looking forward to getting a copy. (Shameless plug.). Maybe he could be an extra outlet for the book.

  16. I no longer keep a notebook of ideas. Thanks for the chance to win this new book in this marvelous series.

  17. Haha — YES — I have designs on a book but it is sitting down and writing it that has me flummoxed! You have much better discipline when it comes to writing! Your series is great!! Fingers crossed I am one lucky gal!

  18. All the time! Lots of notebooks and hundreds of ideas! Then last week I discovered Enneagrams. Now I am trying to see character matches!!!

  19. I have pages and pages of one sentence facts to paragraphs of ideas that I would like to write about someday.

  20. Love the cover! I do get ideas in my head at times, but they don’t make it onto paper. “Murder Cuts the Mustard” sounds amazing, looking forward to reading the book.

  21. I have a folder on my computer I keep ideas and that led to me writing six mystery books with plenty of ideas to keep going…now to edit and do something with them. I used to keep my ideas on a large board by my desk but people would come in the house and give me strange looks… I think it was the “bury the body” ideas…that did it! But a notebook… funny, I just bought one for that very thing a few days ago…

  22. I’m not an author. I have a pile of recipes that I may make some day. Actually I make The cranberry relish every year. My sister-in-law’s mother used to make it.

  23. I used to get inspiration and answers for teaching at random times, driving, in the shower . . . the mind works in mysterious ways. Ray Bradbury wrote that he had a drawer of ideas he’d not found a place for, outtakes from edited pieces, random stuff, ready to be used elsewhere when needed. <3

  24. Sounds like a fun book, can’t wait to meet the mustard-loving character! Sometimes I do have ideas that just won’t go away, but I’ve learned that if I don’t write them done suddenly they will disappear.

  25. I’m a reader fan! I always have ideas for my yard or a craft that I have to wait to act on, so I write them in a notebook and sometimes make sketches as well. Congratulations on the new Beryl & Ed book, I love this series! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

  26. I used to get inspiration and call them minor epiphanies. Sometimes, like a teaching idea or dog training technique, one would come to fruition. But, most of the bigger or life changing ones still rest in my mind or have drifted away.
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

  27. I do! I usually write ideas down in my journal, or if it’s something I’ve seen that triggers the idea I’ll take a pic with my phone. I try to follow through, I really do, but sometimes I forget. I love the story behind your story, and I’m sure we (your readers!) will love the new book as well. Many congratulations on your upcoming release! 🙂

  28. Oh this looks delightful! I always have a house on the back burner. For some reason, I always love a book where the house is as much a character as the main character!

  29. Yes I have had ideas about writing a cozy mystery. It’s been floating around in my head for a while now. Have a great day!

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