Review-Assaulted Caramel: An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #1 by Amanda Flower

Assaulted Caramel

Book Info

Title: Assaulted Caramel

Series: Book One in the Amish Candy Shop series

Author: Amanda Flower

Published by: Kensington Books. Mass market edition. 329 pages.

Genre: Fiction, Cozy Mystery

The Book-Assaulted Caramel

Baily King lives in New York City and is up for promotion to head chocolatier at world famous JP Chocolates. But she returns home to Harvest, Ohio, a fictional town set in Ohio’s Amish country, when she receives word from her grandmother, Clara King, that Bailey’s grandfather, Jebediah King, is in poor health. Baily, though not Amish herself, is close to her Amish grandparents, especially her grandfather. He is the reason she is a chocolatier; as co-owner of Swissmen’s Sweets candy shop with her grandmother, Bailey learned about candy-making during summers spent in Ohio.

But what was initially planned as a short visit home turns into a murder investigation when Baily finds Tyson Colton, a greedy developer who had been unsuccessfully pressuring Jebediah King to sell his shop, dead in Swissmen’s Sweets kitchen with Jeb King’s candy knife buried in Colton’s chest.

Bailey can’t leave Harvest; the sheriff considers her a prime suspect in Colton’s murder. His order to stay puts her promotion at JP Chocolates at risk since she may not be back in New York City in time for the announcement. Also, the continual stress isn’t good for her grandfather’s health, so Bailey decides to help, in her own way, the sheriff department’s investigation. As a result, she keeps running into Deputy Aiden Brody and must constantly remind herself Eric Sharp, a well-known chef back in New York, is her boyfriend.

Assaulted Caramel is the first book in award-winning author Amanda Flower’s latest series, the Amish Candy Shop mysteries. Assaulted Caramel is a cozy mystery with plenty of red herrings to keep a reader guessing and humor to keep the chuckles coming throughout the book. I’m not a cozy mystery fan, unless it is one of Flower’s books, then I can’t get my hands on the latest book fast enough. Chapter One of the next book in the series, Lethal Licorice, is included at the end of Assaulted Caramel.

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WIP Wednesday

WIP-Chapter 4

This has been a tough week writing-wise, but when Tuesday morning came around, I wrote, instead of tending to the mass of grading that should’ve been done and returned days ago. I found I couldn’t let the writing go, a good thing, and the 52–week challenge is a big reason for my butt-in-chair, get something written accomplishment. (Not to say they were good words, but at least they were words. Revision will take place at a later date.)

Synopsis-thus far

This chapter flips back to 1806, six years after Joshua and his then-pregnant wife arrive in the backwater village of Buck’s Eye. Joshua, a Revolutionary War veteran, plans to settle on the land grant he’s received as payment for his service.

Snippet-Chapter Four

(This is still fairly rough and needs more work. The goal with the challenge is to get this book done.)

“Have you seen my girls?” he asked a few people on the fringes of the crowd. When they shook their heads, he dropped to the ground and pulled on his boots. As he stood, a dog shambled up to the crowd, from the path that led to the Sweet Water river.

The girls had been after him to get them a puppy; the shopkeeper’s mutt had given birth and he was giving away the puppies to anyone who would take them. Joshua had refused, not wanting another responsibility in his life when he struggled to meet the ones he had.

Joshua slapped his leg. “Come here, boy,” he said. A bit of red tangled in the dog’s matted fur had caught his eye. He worked it free and his legs began to shake as he held it up.

“What is it?” Joshua heard someone ask. His tight throat held his words captive.

“It’s a ribbon,” one of the women said, coming forward to take it from Joshua. He held it tight, refusing to give it to her. “It belongs to Mary,” she said. Mary was well-known in the village for her love of red, and several of the women had parted with their own scraps, forgoing the color red in their rugs and quilts, to make the motherless girl with a drunk for a father, happy. “But it was tangled in the dog’s fur.”

“The dog that just came up from the river,” said a man. “Speech needs to wait.”

Joshua, jolted into sobriety, struck out for the river, gripping the ribbon. “Mary!”

WIP Wednesday Chapter 3

WIP-Chapter 3

It was hard motivating myself to sit at my desk and write another chapter this morning (I’m several chapters ahead of the snippets I post. I wrote chapter 4 this morning and maybe I will get some of chapter 5 done today too. Bonus!). I reserve Tuesday mornings, and possibly afternoons, for my writing. I teach writing classes at a local university and by the time I’m done talking in class and/or reading student work, I’ve got nothing left for my own work. So Tuesday mornings are sacred and all mine.


This chapter shifts back to 1975 and Terri’ s point of view. Terri is a widow and must move back, with her daughter, to Terri’s childhood home, a move she loathes to make, but must.

Chapter 3 Snippet

I laughed. “No. I lived in a house. We just can’t see it from here.” I climbed back into the car, wincing as I bumped my ankle. I drove a bit farther, stopping just before the road dips and begins to slip down into a small valley.

Below was the land that had been in my family for generations. A land grant as payment for fighting in the Revolutionary War, the farm had remained in family hands through the generations, tied to the land in ways many in Buck’s Eye were tied to their property — through family that never really seemed to leave.

“It looks like our other house,” Chelsea said, and in many ways it similar to the one we’d left — white farmhouse with wraparound porch, a barn not far from the house, a small shed. This farm had some differences — a small fishing pond where I and my grandfather spent hours with fishing line dangling into the water, not too concerned with whether or not we caught anything. When he passed, he was buried in the small family plot set back into a stand of birch trees a short distance from the house.

The faint slam of a door reached us up on the knoll and a small figure stepped out of the shadows of the porch, shading her eyes as she looked up the road. One oak tree stood beside the steps; not two. The missing tree reminded me things had changed while I was gone. My grandmother’s beds of irises, daylilies and morning glories were covered in grass. The farm pond’s bank was bare — only four grey, splintered posts remained of Grandpa’s small fishing dock.

“There’s Grandma D,” Chelsea said.

“Yes, it is.”
“She has horses!” Chelsea said, clapping her hands. “Look Charlotte!” She snatched the small rag doll off the seat. “Horses!”

“Where?” I asked. I didn’t see any horses; never had, even though the phantom herd I’d heard my mother talk about was an intricate part of my childhood.


WIP-by the chapter

One of my writing goals this year is to complete my own never-ending story; i.e. finish the novel already. To help me along, aka a cyber kick in the pants, I signed up for a writing challenge. (Search #52 week writing challenge for all kinds of good stuff, including the initial post). This week, I’m posting a bit of a sample from the chapter, from my still doesn’t have a title, personal never-ending story or my Work In Progress.

The novel is a fictionalized account of local historical events.

Synopsis-as the novel is now

The novel moves between two time frames and two points of view. The first chapter introduces us to the main character Terri and her daughter Chelsea. The time frame is Ohio, Summer 1975.

This sample shifts back in time and is in third person point of view. The main character is Joshua (have yet to figure out a last name).

Joshua is a Revolutionary War veteran and as payment for his service, he was granted land on the Ohio frontier.

This is also a newer chapter, so it is still in a rough draft stage.

Chapter Two-sample

In spite of the high, fast-moving water, the trip across was quick and uneventful, thanks to the skill of the rafter taking them across. Sarah hadn’t waited until they were on the other side of the river to get off the wagon. She stood beside it, holding onto the wagon frame while planting her feet as wide as she could. The baby inside her belly flipped and poked, swimming in a pool of it’s own.

“You seem to like the water,” Sarah said, rubbing her belly and groaning a bit as a foot or an elbow poked her in the side. “You’ve not been this active since Fort Pitt,” where the wagon had crossed both the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers on it’s journey to the Ohio frontier. She wasn’t sure where her husband’s parcel was located; she just hoped it was far from the river.

“Need a ride across the river,” said the small man, jumping off the raft and walking up to the wagon. It wasn’t so much a question as a statement.

“Yes, we do,” replied Joshua. “I’m here to settle on my land grant.”

“War vet, then?” replied the man, leading the horses onto the raft.

“Yes sir. Fought with the Virginia boys,” Joshua replied. “And I’m here to claim my payment.”

“Not the first,” the river man said, as he started the raft across the river. “Several have come here ahead of you in the last few weeks. The raft bumped up against the landing on the other side of the river. “Welcome to Buck’s Eye,” the river man said as he tied off the raft.

“Buck’s Eye,” said Joshua and Sarah at the same time, but in different tones of voice. Joshua sounded happy, while Sarah asked a question.

The river man led the horses up the bank while Joshua helped Sarah. When they reached the road, Joshua took control of the team and the river man walked toward a few trees instead of back to his boat. Joshua and Sarah watched as he bent over and picked up something from the ground. As he walked back, he wiped it against an already dirty and tattered shirt before handing it to Sarah.

She turned over the brown object with a tan mark on one side.

“Buckeye,” the river man said. “You’ll find the trees and their nuts,” he nodded at Sarah’s hand, “all over.”

“That’s where the village got it’s name,” Sarah replied.

“Indeed,” the river man said. “Looks like the eye of a buck if you think about it.” He pointed toward the small cluster of cabins. “You’ll find some supplies there and answers to questions,” he said. “I need to get back to my boat.”