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#Spotlight Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery) by Tara Lush
Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
by Tara Lush
About Grounds for Murder
Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC
When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.
Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.
With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer.
After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?
In my debut mystery novel, GROUNDS FOR MURDER, heroine Lana Lewis is a coffee lover whose family owns a popular beachside cafe. She’s a coffee expert, but also knows that she must serve snacks to her customers. So she bakes treats to sell in her shop, but they all have only a handful of ingredients.
Lana and I share a love of simple recipes and sugary snacks. Here’s one of my favorite simple treats, one that’s mentioned in Grounds for Murder.
QUICK AND EASY TROPICAL CAKE POPS
- 1 box cake mix, lemon flavor
- 16-ounce container vanilla frosting
- 32 ounces candy coating of your choice (also called candy melts or candy wafers, found in the baking section of your local supermarket). White chocolate is nice for this recipe.
- Coconut flakes
- Pink sugar sprinkles (or color of your choice)
- Make cake mix according to directions using a 9” x 13” pan. Bake and cool completely.
- Once cake is cooled (very important), crumble it into a large bowl. This is the fun part — really get in there with your hands. Make sure it’s crumbled to a fine texture.
- Add ¾ of the container of frosting. Mix together until it’s firm and not too sticky.
- Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls. Each ball should be around and inch and a half.
- Set on a wax paper coated baking sheet. You can either allow them to chill for several hours in the fridge, or about 15 minutes in the freezer.
- Sprinkle the coconut flakes on one plate, and the sugar sprinkles on another.
- When the cake balls are done chilling, melt the candy wafers according to the package directions. Transfer into a bowl.
- Using a fork, spoon, toothpick or other skewer, carefully dip the cake ball in the melted candy mixture until it’s nicely coated.
- Roll the cake ball in coconut and/or the sprinkles. It doesn’t need to be perfect!
- Place the balls on a wax paper coated baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.
- If you’re feeling fancy, impale the cake balls with popsicle sticks. If not, eat with a toothpick or fingers. Enjoy with a cup of coffee and a good book!
About Tara Lush
Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award-winning journalist. For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.
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