Thursday, February 6, 2014

Spotlight/Book Giveaway/Guest Post: Town in a Strawberry Swirl by B.B. Haywood

About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #5 in A Candy Holliday Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: February 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has a mostly idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two…

Summer has arrived! But as the community gears up for another festive strawberry-picking season, the villagers are shocked when local berry farmer Miles Crawford is found dead in a hoophouse near his strawberry fields. Rumors have been swirling around about a secret real estate deal between Miles and Lydia St. Graves. And now Lydia is missing after she was seen fleeing the scene of the crime…

When Henry �Doc” Holliday becomes involved in the mystery, his daughter Candy finds herself caught in the jam as well. But things turn very sticky when Lydia suddenly reappears and asks for Candy’s help in finding the true murderer…


Author Guest Blog

The True Stories Behind Cape Willington, Maine
by B.B. Haywood, author of Town in a Strawberry Swirl

Welcome to the coastal village of Cape Willington, Maine, founded in 1737. Take a stroll down Main Street. Stop in at the Main Street Diner for a bite to eat, and catch up on the local news. Further along the street, you can visit the Black Forest Bakery for authentic German pastries. Then head down Ocean Avenue to see the historic Pruitt Opera House, the Lightkeeper’s Inn, and Town Park. Later, you can drive along the Coastal Loop for beautiful ocean views and a breath of fresh, salty sea air. And don’t forget to spend some time at the English Point Lighthouse and Cape Willington Historical Museum.

Through the course of five novels in the Candy Holliday Murder Mystery Series, including the upcoming Town in a Strawberry Swirl (available everywhere on Feb. 4th), Cape Willington has served as the setting and background for the series, and often as a character itself. And although it’s a fictional village, it has come alive in many ways, for it is based on real places, and many of its citizens and activities are drawn from actual people and events.

Writing under the pen name B.B. Haywood, we’re the series’ creators, Rob and Beth. In 2004, we decided to work together to write a cozy mystery set in a small village in Maine. Beth had grown up in New England, and both of us had lived in several small towns in New England for more than 20 years. As we began to develop the first novel, Town in a Blueberry Jam, we drew on events from real life and mixed them with fictional characters and events. Beth even used the names of towns we’d lived in to create the name “Cape Willington,” which is a combination Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where we lived at the time; Williamstown, Mass., where Beth grew up; and Hopkinton, N.H., where we lived before moving to Maine.

The village of Cape Willington had its beginnings on scraps of notebook paper stuck between the front seats of our family car. As we drove around Maine and the other New England states, we began to make up the town and the main characters. Beth recently spent some time looking through those scraps of paper, which say things like “Candy Holliday-Halloween,” “sidekick” (who became Maggie Tremont), “baker” (who became Herr Georg), “general store like the one we love in Vermont,” and “Candy selling her blueberry goods to make extra money for the farm.” Portions of Cape Willington resemble such real-life Maine villages as Blue Hill, Boothbay Harbor, and Bar Harbor. We also created long lists of possible titles.

The name “Holliday” came from some pre-made address labels that arrived in the mail one day. After settling on the name Candy Holliday for our protagonist, the other characters fell into place. Henry “Doc” Holliday is loosely based on a wonderful historian Beth met while working at the Portland Head Light museum in Cape Elizabeth, just south of Portland. Herr Georg and the Black Forest Bakery are based on a bakery in a small Alpine village-like shopping center we used to visit in New Hampshire. Once, when we visited Acadia National Park in Maine, someone actually did fall off the cliff trail into the ocean. We were on the beach when the rescue team came and cleared the area. Jock Larson took that same fall in the prologue to Town in a Blueberry Jam.

We had chickens at the time, hence Candy’s “girls.” Beth once saw a woman flossing her teeth while driving! That was the inspiration for Elsie Lingholt, now of hula hooping fame. While looking at homes to buy in New Hampshire, we really did encounter a woman with a bottle collection like Wilma Mae Wendell’s (from Town in a Lobster Stew). And when Beth came upon a local snow plow rodeo, she at first had no idea what it was. As she watched the plows drive a twisty course between orange cones topped with tennis balls and other obstacles, she thought it was more fun than the State Fair. And Wanda Boyle! For now, we’ll say no more about her, except that she is certainly a fun character to write.

So that’s how the people and events we encountered while driving around New England for many years with our family turned into the growing fictional town of Cape Willington, filled with characters we love to write about. We hope our readers love them too, as they follow Candy, Doc, Maggie, Herr Georg, and the other residents of Cape Willington, Maine, from book to book.

NOTE: Other titles in the national bestselling series include Town in a Wild Moose Chase and Town in a Pumpkin Bash. All are available in print or as ebooks from Berkeley Prime Crime. Large print editions of all the books and an audiobook of Town in a Blueberry Jam are also available. For more information on the series, visit


How would you like to win a paperback copy of Town in a Strawberry Swirl by B.B. Haywood? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the form below.

2) US Residents Only

3) For an extra entry: Follow this blog

4) For an extra entry: Follow me on Twitter

5) For an extra entry: Follow me on Goodreads

6) For an extra 2 entries: Post this giveaway on your blog.

7) For an extra 2 entries: Tweet about this giveaway.

8) For an extra 2 entries: Like one of my reviews on Amazon.

9) For an extra 2 entries:  Leave a comment for the author.

The giveaway begins on February 6th (midnight est) and ends on February 13th (midnight est).

The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Cape Willington sounds like a charming place! I love books set in Maine.

  2. I enjoyed this feature. thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Yvonne, thanks for hosting another terrific giveaway! I'll add it to my blog's sidebar. I like that this cozy includes recipes!

  4. I'm a huge fan of this series and own all of them but this one. I hope to remedy the situation by being the lucky winner. LOL

  5. I enjoy reading your books and looking at the covers.

  6. I have read one book in this series and really liked it. This sounds just as good.

  7. this series is in my TBR pile!!!
    cannot wait to start reading it soon!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  8. Sounds as if this is a great series. I am eager to get started.

  9. Sounds absoutely fantastic. I love stories that take place in a seaside town. I would love to read this book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  10. Great guest post! This is a series I've been wanting to read.

  11. So interesting to read the history of how youe series and characters came about.

  12. Those strawberries look so good, especially when I'm sitting here cold waiting for strawberry season. I love the cover and the story sounds interesting. Thank you for the chance to win.

  13. While I am sad I missed the giveaway,
    I do have this on my Amazon wishlist.


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