Guest: Nancy Coco & #Giveaway

Edith here, happy to welcome my friend Nancy Coco (aka Nancy J. Parra) to the blog with the first book in a new mystery series!

Death Bee Comes Her blurb: Meet Wren Johnson, owner of Let It Bee – a shop that sells all things honey, from candy to lip balm to candles – in the small town of Oceanview along the Oregon coast. One day when Wren is walking her cat, Everett, on the beach, the kitty points Wren to the prone body of Agnes Snow among the dunes. Agnes is the arch-rival of Wren’s Aunt Eloise, and she is definitely dead. The only clue is a label from one of Wren’s handmade lip balms clutched in Agnes’s right hand. Wren calls 9-1-1 and meets Office Jim Hampton, a Paul Newman lookalike who is suspicious of Wren from the start. Wren is suspect number one in his eyes – and her Aunt Eloise is suspect number two. Wren, along with Everett, must follow the clues to catch the real killer and clear their names.

I read that a German proverb says “if you eat honey on New Year’s Day you will be sweet all year.”  A Jewish saying is “a piece of apple dipped in honey guarantees a sweet new year”. I love researching and researching about bees has been a lot of fun.

I love bees and if I didn’t live in the city I might even have a hive of my own. When I was a child, we lived beside a blueberry farm and each spring the farmer would bring in rented hives to ensure the bees would pollinate the blueberries. I found it all incredibly interesting. Then when my children were little we would visit the Natural History Museum on the campus of the University of Kansas. They had a live hive built into one wall with glass between visitors and the hive so that you could sit and watch the bees. That became my inspiration for the hive inside, Wren Johnson’s store, Let It Bee. Wren makes and sells all things bee and I enjoyed looking up bee lore and adding it to the story.

It’s amazing to know how many ways people use bee hive products. I read that honey used to be made with figs and then bee honey became the norm. When people use smoke to “calm” the bees, what really happens is bees get agitated and eat honey until they are so full they are calm. I think I’d love to have that much honey.

Honey in Baklava is my favorite way to use honey. Also, honey with peanut butter in a sandwich makes it crunchy and sweet.

Readers: Do you love honey? What is your favorite way to use honey? I’m offering a book to one lucky commenter (US only). So feel free to join in the conversation, and good luck!

Nancy Coco is the national best-selling author of the Candy-coated mystery series set on Mackinac Island, Michigan and the new Oregon Honeycomb series. She also writes cozy mysteries under Nancy J Parra and Nell Hampton.

80 Thoughts

  1. I love honey in baklava or on a hot buttered biscuit. Congratulations on your new release!

  2. I love this premise, Nancy, and thanks for joining us on the blog. My sister was a beekeeper in Quebec for many years. She and her partner helped run a bee museum/gift shop and they had one of those glass hives, too. I can’t wait to read Death Bee Comes Her!

  3. Congratulations on the new series — I’m looking forward to reading it. I love eating honey and peanut butter on toast.

    1. Oh, I hadn’t thought of putting honey in lemonade, but that makes perfect sense! Thanks-

  4. I’m looking forward to reading this book! My favorite way to have honey is on toast or as a sandwich with almond butter, bananas, and cinnamon.

    1. Renee, almond butter, bananas and cinnamon sound so yummy- might make for a great bar cookie.

  5. I enjoy adding honey to recipes where I can use it asa substitute for a natural sweetener. My husband wants to start our own hives…I am not so sure about that… 🙂
    I can’t wait to read your new series. I love the Candy Coated series, so I know I will enjoy this one as well. Thanks for stopping in.

    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for the comment. Beekeeping seems like it would be mindful- you must remain calm and focused around the hive. And probably the hives should be far from the house. 🙂

  6. I like honey on bread with peanut butter, but I also love it in baklava and other Mediterranean desserts.

  7. I do not like honey all that much. In fact, the only way I can recall eating honey is those Bit O’ Honey candies, which I somehow doubt really counts.

    However, a lot of the mysteries I read center around a topic that I have no practical experience with so my lack of a love for honey doesn’t mean I can’t read the book.

    So congratulations on the new series, it sounds like something that I would enjoy reading.

  8. One of my favorite books, If Not for a Bee, involved bees and it helped me to appreciate them more.
    I love honey (and lemon) in my green tea. It totally changes the flavor to something delightful. ☺️

  9. LOVE honey! I grew up eating honey on fried chicken, homemade biscuits and just about everything else. From the time I was a child my favorite cookie was the Ozark Honey Oatmeal Cookie. I’ve included that recipe below. As an adult, I make my Mom’s recipe often. It freezes well, ships well, and I’m often asked for the recipe.

    Most folks don’t realize how important bees are to us all. They definitely need to be protected and made to prosper or we will all be in some deep trouble. Love all the antidotes that promote honey. Might as well start off the new year right! 🙂

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “Death Bee Comes Her” and reading more about Wren Johnson and her Let It Bee shop. Fabulous cover!

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book!

    Ozark Honey Oatmeal Cookies
    1/2 cup Shortening
    1 ¼ cup Sugar
    2 Eggs
    1/3 cup Honey
    1 tsp. Salt
    1 tsp. Soda
    1 ¾ cup Flour, sifted
    2 cups Quick Oats
    1 cup Coconut
    1 cup Pecans, finely chopped or ground
    Heat oven to 375 degrees
    Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, honey, soda and salt thoroughly
    Stir in flour, oats, coconut and pecans
    Shape dough into rounded teaspoon sized balls
    Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet
    Flatten with bottom of a glass dipped into sugar
    Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
    Immediately remove from baking sheet
    Yields: 5 dozen cookies
    Honey-Raisin Cookies: Omit coconut and substitute 1 cup raisins
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Hi Kay, Thank you so much for sharing this yummy recipe! I can’t wait to make them-

  10. Hi, Nancy! And congratulations on the new series! What a great topic! I love honey and am lucky to have friends who own a honey farm only a couple of miles from us. I’m a big fan of honey and peanut butter sandwiches too. I use honey instead of sugar on my cereal, in my fruit smoothies, and in just about everything. Plus nothing beats lemon and honey for a cough or sore throat.

  11. Hi Nancy. Congratulations on the new book. I use raw honey to make mead. It’s quite yummy. I’m looking forward to reading your book.

    1. Hi Tami, I would love to hear how you make mead. So cool- I like all things historical.

  12. Nancy, I have always been fascinated by bees and their industrious lifestyle. We buy loads of honey products from The Honey Boutique in Salida, CO where Jamie is a fourth generation bee keeper. Her family has had bees in that area for a very long time, since 1908. I use the honey lip balm; eat the raw honey; use honey hand cream (we like the cherry/almond scent) and we give away honey to friends as gifts. I have collected books about beekeeping all my life, but like you have not ever had a hive of my own. I would love to read your book!

    1. Hi Judy, four generations of bee keepers that is fabulous! Thanks for sharing the store.

  13. My go-to remedy for a sore throat is tea with a generous dollop of honey. I’ve even passed it on to my son. When he feels sick, it’s one of the first things he asks for.

    Apples dipped in honey? Now there’s a New Year’s Day food tradition I can get behind.

    1. Hi Liz, yes, I agree completely. I’m doing the apples dipped in honey for my New Year’s Day- who doesn’t want a sweet year? 🙂

  14. Congratulations, Nancy! I’m so happy for you. Liz Mugavero took me to a fabulous honey/bee store in Westport, CT. I bought lip balm — fortunately there weren’t any dire consequences!

  15. Fascinating post. I am highly allergic to bees, but honey doesn’t bother me. That’s a good thing because honey on buttermilk biscuits is one of my favorite comfort foods.

    1. Hi Kait, bee stings are one of the worse allergies to have. Hugs! So glad you can still enjoy honey.

  16. I love peanut butter and honey on toast! Congratulations on the new book. I’m looking forward to reading it. It sounds fantastic.

  17. I am looking forward to your new series! I have loved every book you have written, so I am sure I will love this one as well!!
    Honey is awesome for sore throats, and we always try to use local honey, which helps with allergies!

  18. I like honey in my tea when I have a sore throat. I also bake with it. The book sounds like an awesome read.

  19. It took me a long time to find out why some baklava was different, and it turns out not everyone uses honey – how wrong they are – I too love peanut butter and honey sandwiches – take them on summer hikes because they don’t need to be kept cold and love it when the honey crystalizes – thanks for the chance to own the book

  20. Welcome back to the Wickeds, Nancy! I visited a blueberry farm once in Maine. It had been a very wet spring, raining everyday and the farmers finally had to let the bees they imported loose to pollinate the fruit in spite of the weather. The bees stayed quite close to their shelters, and only the blueberry bushes in concentric circles around them got polinated!

    1. Hi Barbara, yikes for the poor farmer! Funny how smart bees are. I love this story.

  21. Add me to the peanut butter and honey on toast crowd. And on buttermilk biscuits! This is the first year my daughter used beeswax candles in the menorah. Wow, They burned so clean and completely. Very easy to clean up. No scraping of dripped wax all over everything.

    I’m no big fan of bees when working in the yard, and I do get stung occasionally, but I also understand their great importance and just try not to irritate them.

  22. I love honey, but I don’t eat that much if it. Maybe I need to eat some on Wednesday, however, for good luck.

  23. I love honey. My Uncle Bill has hives and we have an endless supply of honey and comb! I drink a lot of tea while reading and I use it in my tea. If I’m not feeling well, I’ll just have a teaspoon or two!

  24. We use a lot of flavored honey in tea – particularly blackberry. I also make cookies using honey.

  25. I like honey in my hot tea. Reading another comment, I had no idea there was such a thing as flavored honey, I’ll have to check it out. Congrats on the new series.

  26. The book sounds great!!! I use honey a lot starting with a lil’ bit in my coffee in the morning, to soothing a sore throat with a plain ol’ honey spoon which is happiness when you feel anything but… my favorite, though, is hot milk, honey, vanilla and a dash of cinnamon on a cold night before bed! Yum! Look forward to immersing myself in your series!

  27. My parents used to raise bees so we had honey everything. On cereal, honey candy, honey sugar, honeycombs, plus the big blocks of wax that have a variety of household uses.
    So excited for this series, I know my mom will want to read it too. Ordering a copy for her birthday coming up.

  28. I do love honey! I usually put it on my toast. I just made some mashed sweet potato with honey and bananas for Christmas which everyone loved. I also use it on my chicken with spices to give it a sweet and spicy flavor.

  29. I love honey in my tea. Bees are amazing. I would love to read this book. Thank you.

  30. Welcome Nancy. What a wonderful cover. Congratulations on your new book. I LOVE honey. I drink a lot of hot tea and the first thing I put in my cup is honey. I can not eat grains or sugars anymore, so I make my own foods substituting honey for sugar. Happy New Year to you. May it be productive, full of wonder and healthy and happy.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  31. A former co-worker shares pictures of his beehives on Facebook. I don’t actually use much honey at home but I love the honey ice cream at the Pennsylvania Farm Show coming up next week!

  32. I love honey, and have used on many of the ways mentioned! My favorite winter not drink is Pumpkin spice chia tea with honey or hot apple cider with honey! I read Queen Bee by Dorothe Benten Frank and learned so much about beds and beekeeping! Sadly while I was reading Queen Bee, I heard the news that she died! Rest in peace Dorothea Benton Frank! I would love to read and review Death Bee Comes Her! Thanks for the chance!

  33. I love honey and use it in recipes, particularly my walnut bourbon balls that I make at Christmas. Congratulations on your new series!

  34. I use honey all the time, in my hot tea, on buttered toast, biscuits, cornbread, on cereal, on peanut butter sandwiches, I like graham crackers or windmill cookies dipped in honey, sometimes I just like a spoonful of honey, Happy, blessed, safe New Year all!!!

  35. I like honey dunking chicken nuggets in it. In tea too. Instead of sugar you can use honey in koolaide.

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