Amy Pershing / Maddie Day Mashup!

Edith/Maddie here, writing from north of Boston.

NEWS FLASH: Amy’s winner is Kay Garrett, and my winner is Janet Alcorn. Please check your email, ladies!

And smiling at what we bring you today.

Graphic by Jennifer McKee

When I realized the fabulous Amy Pershing had An Eggnog to Die For, her new Cape Cod Foodie mystery, coming out a few weeks before Murder at the Lobstah Shack, my third Cozy Capers Book Group mystery, I invited her onto the blog. I thought it would be fun to do a mash-up, to have her Samantha Barnes and my Mackenzie Almeida meet up on Cape Cod! She loved the idea. What follows is mostly her creation, with a bit of tweaking from me.

When Sam Met Mac: A Thanksgiving Tale

“I knew this was a bad idea,” I said to Grumpy.  Grumpy is my much battered and, well, grumpy pickup truck.  He is, however, a good listener. “I don’t like riding bikes.”

              The truth was, bikes don’t like me. The last time I’d ridden one, I was on my way to meet a killer. That time I’d only fallen off once. Which might have been a personal best.

              And yet here I was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in front of Mac’s Bikes in Westham trying to wrestle my Aunt Ida’s bicycle out of the back of the truck for a “tune-up.” And all because when I’d asked my harbormaster boyfriend what he wanted to do for his birthday the Friday after Thanksgiving, he’d suggested a bike ride along the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

              “If Mac can’t fix it,” my best friend Jenny had said, “then your next stop is the dump.” I was kind of hoping my next stop would be the dump.

              But this Mac person had had other ideas. She’d wandered out of her shop when she’d spied me through the front window being bested by an inanimate object. She looked, with her head of short curly hair and friendly smile, like a very fit teenager, not the thirty-something owner of a successful business.

              “Hi,” she said, “I’m Mac.”

              I paused in my efforts. “Samantha Barnes,” I said. “Sam.”

              “Samantha Barnes. I read about you on Wicked Local Cape Cod. Aren’t you the Cape Cod Foodie who solves murders?”  

               “Not at the moment, no,” I said, looking balefully at the bicycle dangling from Grumpy’s tailgate. Then I remembered something I’d read in the Cape Cod Clarion. Mac. Mackenzie Almeida.

              “Aren’t you the Mac Almeida who solves murders?”

              “Not at the moment, no,” she said with a laugh, and stepped over to the truck. “Here,” she said, “let me help.”

              She deftly lifted the brute out of the back of the truck. “This is a classic,” she said, “What’s the problem?”

              “I’ve got to go on a bike ride on Friday,” I said.  Okay, whined. “But it’s pretty wobbly. Here, I’ll show you.”

              And without further ado, I climbed aboard Aunt Ida’s bicycle and wove a half block down the sidewalk. At which point the front wheel promptly fell off. Followed by Yours Truly.


“Feeling better?” Mac asked as she poured me a cup of coffee inside the shop, which was stocked with new bikes, repair supplies, stretchy neon outfits, helmets, and more, with a workroom visible beyond.     

              “Much,” I said. “Nothing really bruised except my pride.”

              “Good. I can fix that front wheel easily.”

              “I can’t believe I’m going to have to ride that thing on Friday,” I said. Okay, whined.

              “I take it you’re not one of those get-back-up-on-the-horse types,” Mac said.

              “Not that horse.” I grimaced. “I wish I could look like I’m riding a bike, but that somebody else would actually take the reins, so to speak.”

              “Yeah.” She nodded. “That’s the way I feel about Thanksgiving.”

              “You don’t like Thanksgiving?” I was horrified.  “Thanksgiving is all about food. What’s not to like?”

              “I love Thanksgiving,” she said. “It’s the ‘you can bring a pie for dessert’ part I don’t like. The last time I tried to make a pie, it looked like your bike after the wheel came off.”

              That made me laugh. “Not good,” I agreed.

              “Why do they ask me to bring a pie for Thanksgiving?” Mac asked. Okay, whined. “You know how store-bought always looks, well, store-bought. And I refuse to ask Tim, my baker boyfriend. He’s already bringing two pies.”

              “I’m not a good baker either,” I said. “But my friend Jillian covers for me. That’s why, before I came here, I stopped to pick up a couple of her fantastic pecan pies.”

              And then we looked at each other like the great detectives we were.

              Which is how it happened that Mac Almeida walked out of her shop that day with one of Jillian’s homemade pecan pies and I walked out with a gift certificate for the rental of a tandem bicycle.

              And a Happy Thanksgiving was had by all.

Readers: Share a bicycling adventure – or mishap – you have had. Amy and I will each give away a copy of our new books!

Christmas is coming to Cape Cod, but when Sam Barnes finds a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant, it’s up to her to sift out suspects who have been naughty vs. nice…

Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbormaster; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.

Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated.  There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests.  There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate.  And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes to prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?

Buy links: Amazon:  Barnes & Noble:  IndieBound:

Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before sitting down to write the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series, including A Side of Murder — which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read” — and An Eggnog to Die For  — which Kirkus Reviews gave a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.” The third book in the series, Murder Is No Picnic, will be published in the summer of 2022.

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97 Thoughts

  1. Drat. The bike I bought years ago at Women in Need is still sitting out in the shed with flat tires that probably need to be replaced but there is no bike shop within an hour (one way) drive, even if I had room in the trailer for the stuff I would have to take out of the van so I could take the bike to a bike shop.

  2. I was riding with my friend Blanche one summer in the early evening and I was crossing the street and got hit by a driver who was driving on the wrong side of the street. I landed next to his passenger side tire, I got up, picked up my glasses and went to go get my bike and it kept going after I had fallen off. I then noticed all the neighbors had gathered and my mom had come running, then someone said OMG she is covered in blood. That is when the pain started. I only had road rash and a broken little toe. I got to stay home from school for a few days as it was June. I spent those days in our hammock reading and waving when the school bus went by. Now I don’t ride, I tried a few times but I just can’t do it. Thank you for this chance at your giveaway! pgenest57 at aol dot com

  3. Love the mash-up!! Oh, I practically lived on my bike in the summer growing up! We’d decorate them with streamers for neighborhood bike parades. Dad always got us Huffy bikes, no gears or different speeds. Felt like big freedom back then!

  4. I rode my bike to deliver papers. During winter I was in a hurry – I was supposed to have a school concert that night- and took my bike to so my route. I turned in my driveway and tipped it on ice. I fell and broke my ankle.

  5. How to answer this one was super easy for me. You see on my 13th birthday I broke my left hand. Yes LEFT hand. For a right handed person in school that was a REALLY bad thing. It meant I still could write and still had to do my school work. But I digress. Two weeks later I was riding my bike. I’ve always been accident prone, but never one to say “can’t do that”. Maybe not such a good idea. I was at the same friends house that I broke my hand. That day didn’t end any better than the last one. I ended up having a bike accident which crammed my hand back up into the cast breaking it again plus I hairline fractured my right elbow and twisted my right knee. I ended up with a new cast on the left hand, the right arm in a sling and on crutches. Although I was still able to do my school work, I was allotted an extra 10 minutes between classes to be able to get there. Although it only put a damper on my spirit for a short time, I was almost thought of as the plague at my friend’s house whose parent were terrified whenever I showed up to visit.

    Thank you for the wonderful chance to win not one but TWO fabulous books on my TBR list! Shared but hoping to be the fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  6. What a great mash-up!

    I don’t think I’ve had a bicycle mishap since I was a girl. I was over at my grandparent’s, riding my grandmother’s old bike, which had a rearview mirror on it. I got so caught up looking in the mirror, that I hit a broken piece of concrete and fell, shattering the mirror and lodging a shard of it in my knee. I walked the bike a block back to my grandparent’s, blood streaming down my leg. I was concerned she’d be mad about the mirror. She, of course, was more upset about my cut. I still have the scar.

  7. I actually learned how to ride a bike when we were newlyweds with my husband’s help! We took many fun rides in a nearby neighborhood.

  8. Loved the mash up! While learning to ride her bike, my daughter could not figure out how to get the brakes to work. She would aim for our vegetable garden,which had a wood frame, and just fall into the soil and whatever was actually growing amidst her chaos. She finally figured it out and the garden survived.

  9. Great story mash-up! When we were kids, my younger sister thought it quite funny to run into me or cut me off when riding bikes so I ended up in the gravel fairly often.

  10. both of these books look like a lot of fun.
    When our two kiddos were 3 and 5, the four of us went out to breakfast on our bikes. On the way home we stopped at the school yard by our house, we paused to play a little. The two kiddos and I got on the jungle gym and were gong around and up and down. Then we all decided to jump into the sand. Well, I let the kids jump first. When they were out of the way, I jumped. And…. I twisted my ankle real bad. Sigh. LOL My husband took the kids home (around 4 blocks away) They came back for me with the car and took me home and proceeded to help me take care of my ankle. Strangely to this day (33 years later) that ankle is still weak. And I have done exercises for all those years. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  11. Love the mash up! Now here’s my smash up. When I was a kid I guess I got distracted going down our hill on my bike and veered to the right. Right into the curb. I flew over the handlebars and luckily landed in grass. How I didn’t get hurt, I just don’t know. If I did that nowadays it would probably break every bone in my body.

  12. Cute story. The scars on my knees tell the story of my younger days riding bikes on dirt roads with my friends. No helmets knee or elbow pads for us.

  13. This is so awesome 😁 I love it!

    Biggest bike oopsie of mine would have to be when my grandpa was trying to teach me to ride. He thought I was ready to fly solo so he gave me a good push and let go… I was not ready! I slammed into a big oak tree, and my Grandpa felt so bad! 😖😂 Good memories!!

  14. I would love to read a book that the two of you co-wrote. The world’s greatest mash-up! As a kid, I rode my bike everywhere. Parents would get arrested nowadays for letting me ride all over town by myself, but I was generally pretty careful and had a ball. Such adventures. Never had anything more than a scraped knee or two. I was so excited when I got a headlight with real batteries. It was a simpler age.

  15. Hi, I enjoyed reading this post, Thank you. In my younger years I rode my bike all over as I was too scared to drive. We have 2 adult children with little families of their own. Well, when our daughter was in 2nd grade and our son was in kindergarten we were lucky that we lived in front of our elementary school that was for 2nd and 3rd graders, so I would walk our daughter to school, now kinder through 1st grades were at a different school which was a about a half mile away from our house and there is railroad tracks that need to be crossed, so I would take our son on my bicycle which had a child seat on it. One morning there was a little ice puddle on the street, and you could see some water underneath the ice, well, it looked a little tempting to me, but I just went around it and I thought to myself, hmm, maybe I’ll catch it . Well, I dropped my son at school and on my way back home, I road right on the ice puddle, well, the bike tire slid and down I went! I get up as quick as I could all embarrassed looking all around hoping nobody had seen me fall, Thank goodness the street is very wide and there were no cars coming or going, plus the ice puddle was on the side of the street. Thank God I was not hurt at all, just my pride. 🙂 Needless to say I never, ever did that again. Have a great week and stay safe.

  16. What a great mash-up

    Bike adventures, oh yes. The best was the time my then boyfriend and I decided to Bike Shark Valley in South Florida. Despite the name, Shark Valley has nothing to do with sharks and everything to do with alligators. They are everywhere. It’s not the place you want to be on foot – although many are.

    Midway around the loop, my boyfriend’s front wheel all but collapsed. He pulled it back in shape, got on and–it collapsed again. He was 6.6″ and I’m 5’4″, nevertheless I managed to mount the bike and low and behold, it held at my weight. Neither of us had brought bike tools with us, and by this time the alligators were getting curious so I took off his his bike and he on mine to return to the parking lot. We were quite the sight to see. Me reaching tip toes to the pedals to make enough contact to turn them and him with his knees nearly to his chin to pedal. We made it though – and it was our last bicycle date.

  17. Very nicely done ladies, I am a fan of both Mac and Sam! My riding mishap involves cletes and hill. My husband encouraged me to try a sprint triathlon, which meant riding a bike in addition to swimming and running. We are the types who go “all in” when taking on a new challenge so ot was off to the local Trek store for a road bike and all the equipment. After some friends worked with me on the mechanics of clip/unclip pedal and shoe process, I was ready for our first ride. We took a leisurely route with just a few hills, and I was doung really well with unclipping at intersections and such. Then we hit a hill that seemed to go vertical and I seemed to be going slower and slower until that moment when my forward momentum stopped and I oh so slowly, tipped over. Thankfully my bike was okay. As for me, no black and blue bruises, just a little red from embarrassment. We all shared a good laugh as my friends told me that I was now an official biker having had my first clipped-in fall.

  18. I’m currently reading AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR and it’s well-known how much I love Edith’s work so this was a real treat today.

    And I have to print it out to add to the bevy of stories that Edith is involved with. If I ever get to go back to work.

  19. I adored tamales, I had small servings because it was his thing for him. I didn’t like the outside. They came in a jar. It was not a regular thing. We Grew most of our food and canned it for winter.
    The family had a tree business. On the property was an Apple orchard and they grew Evergreens, Forest all around.
    Grandpa had to have The Largest Tree. Made Gran nuts, back then it was the old silver strips of tinsel. Put up early to enjoy. I have pictures of his best tree. I carry on his Tradition as best possible. I have all the ornaments And pictures up on a small tree All year in memory of all of those beloved people who raised me with fabulous memories of everything good.

  20. I was humming the “Daisy, Daisy..Bicycle Built for Two” song at the end of the story which was great fun, thanks! Years ago when our sons were children, we all had mountain bikes. Once the boys started feeling really confident on their bikes and literally riding circles around slowpoke me, I decided I was not contributing anything to their biking enjoyment. When they both graduated from high school and entered college, my husband and I gave our bikes to the local charity shop. I feel certain, some person with a lot more skill than I ever had could be enjoying the bikes to this day. Best of luck to each of you with your newest books!

  21. I never added my own childhood mishap story. I was riding my bike, counter to my mother’s caution, wearing what we back then called “beachwalkers” or “zories” and are now called flip-flops. My wheel hit some gravel, and one big toe scraped along the pavement, taking off a major layer of skin and flesh. I still remember what it looked like!

    My friend JoAnn pedaled with all her might back to my house. Mommy came and picked us up. I never rode in flip flops or sandals again, and tried to instill in my sons that they MUST wear closed-toe footwear when they rode their own bikes. The injury didn’t stop me from riding again, though!

    1. Now every time I see a child riding a bike in flip flops, I’m going to have to stop them and say, “Let me tell you a story about my friend Edith…”

  22. I haven’t been on a bike in years. As a kid we went everywhere on our bikes. Looking forward to reading both books. Thanks for the chance.

  23. I haven’t been on a bike in well over 10 years. I kinda miss it.
    My bicycle story is when I was in college, I rode my bike to campus with a full mug of soda in one hand, which meant I was riding one handed. That wasn’t really a problem until I rode into the trunk of a parked campus police car & down I went. Fortunately, the car was unoccupied & all that was bruised was my pride.

  24. I am not sure that I have a bicycle story to tell about myself. I do have a few concerning my husband. At one time, my husband would work nights. We would put his bike in the car. I would take him to work. He would ride his bike home. I remember one morning that he side swiped a car while riding his bike. He denies that he fell asleep while riding his bike. The car was not damaged, but he did have a few bruises and scrapes. Thank you for the opportunity.

  25. I got my first bike when I was 9 years old. I remember it so well because my Mom was in the hospital recovering from surgery. A few months later I was “showing off” riding with no hands on the handlebars and took a nasty spill! I had bruises and scabs for weeks! I never pulled that stunt again! Many years later when I was in my 20’s, my Dad restored that same bike and I got many more years of enjoyment from it.

    1. I’m just impressed that you could ride (even if only for a short while) with no hands. I never mastered that (too chicken to even try, actually).

  26. Great mash-up story Amy and Edith, with a happy ending for both Mac and Sam, too.
    I loved riding my bike as a kid. My fave bike had a long sparkly purple banana seat (not sure if that is the right term). I was sad when I shot up in height in a year (from 5 foot 1 to 5 foot 7) and had to switch to an adult-sized bike. That one was a white Raleigh 10-speed with a standard bike seat. BORING!

  27. I remember being on my bicycle and crashing (I don’t remember why) in my grandmother’s gravel driveway! Ouch!

  28. This was wonderful! Loved the voice(s) and the humor! As to bicycle mishaps, I don’t have any, because I’m probably the only human in the planet who doesn’t know how to ride a bike. My father was terrified I’d get hit by a car, so he forbade me to learn. I’m clumsy, so when I was old enough to learn anyway, I decided not to bother.

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