Friday, April 1, 2016

Guest Post: Author Connie Archer on Vermont (w/Giveaway)

Meows from Mudpie!

Today we have a guest post from one of our favorite authors, Connie Archer. (Back in 2013 Connie and her husband vacationed in Vermont and Mommy got to have lunch with them!)

Connie writes the Soup Lover's mystery series set in the fictional town of Snowflake, Vermont. The fifth book in the series, A Clue in the Stew, is due on store shelves next Tuesday, April 5th.


Ah . . . Vermont
by Connie Archer

Just the sound of that word conjures up visions of green hills, cows, barns and quaint villages.  Just like Snowflake, Vermont where you can find the By the Spoonful Soup Shop in the Soup Lover’s Mystery series.  Take a deep breath and feel your heart rate slow and your shoulders relax.  A place we’d all like to escape to when the going gets rough.  Bucolic and peaceful, right?  Well . . . it wasn’t always so.  In fact, it would rival the history of the Balkans in terms of disputed territory. 

I grew up in New England but I have to admit my knowledge of colonial history is sketchy at best, so in writing this series, I felt it was only fair to devote some time to Vermont research.  Here’s what I discovered: 

Back in the day, everybody wanted a piece of what is today Vermont.  The Dutch and the British were constantly warring over claims to territory.  To complicate matters, in 1620, King James I of England declared that the land from 40 to 48 degrees north latitude, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans belonged to him.  Quite a claim!  King James was nothing if not ambitious.  Some might say avaricious.


It took another forty-four years before the English finally succeeded in chasing the Dutch out of North America.  But the people of New York weren’t happy.  They thought their boundaries should be the same as they were under the Dutch, i.e., its eastern border should be the Connecticut River.  Its eastern neighbors disagreed.  Bottom line, no one quite knew where Vermont began and ended.  King George III, yes, James the First was gone by now, in 1741 decided the southern border of Vermont would follow the Merrimack River until the river turned north.  So that took care of that. 

Not quite. 

Vermont's northern border was still in dispute.  This was a very big issue because the area of (now) Québec hosted a large population of French-speaking people.  The British had driven the French out of the area and the Québécois (I guess you could call them that then) were nervous.  Without France to protect them, those greedy English-speaking Protestants to the south would overrun them.  They were probably quite right to be afraid. 

The English really didn’t care.  They just didn’t want anything to interrupt commerce along the St. Lawrence River.  The best thing, they decided, was to draw a line and leave those French-speaking people to themselves and not rock the boat, if you’ll pardon the pun.  So in 1763, King George III declared that the 45th parallel from the St. Lawrence River to the Connecticut River, would be the border between the province of Quebec and the colony of New York.  


This still didn’t very well because when the New York tax collectors attempted to extract tax money in the area that is now Vermont, they were confronted by the muskets of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys.  Believe it or not, it was the American Revolution that saved the day.  It began just in time to prevent violence.

Vermont declared its independence. 

The Continental Congress refused to recognize it. 

Vermont threatened to ally itself with England.

Congress then voted to invade Vermont!


It was George Washington who was able to calm hotter tempers.  He pointed out that his troops would have no interest in fighting fellow Americans.  A good thing too, because the Green Mountain Boys certainly did their share in fighting the British. 

It wasn’t until 1789 that Congress officially recognized the state of Vermont and marked its borders. 

Whew!  A good thing, if all that hadn’t happened, we never would have had a Vermont . . . or a Snowflake.  Even if that tiny village does have a rather high murder rate. 

Here’s a bit more information if you’d like to read more: 


From the publisher: When Lucky Jamieson opens up By the Spoonful to host an event with a famous author, she’s not expecting a bunch of nuts to descend on her small-town soup shop. But the author’s exasperating entourage—from a prickly publicist to a snippy son and his tipsy wife—give fresh meaning to the phrase, too many cooks spoil the broth.

The evening is more than spoiled, however, when it ends with a homicide. When the manner of the murder—as well as another recent unsolved crime—echoes the author’s fiction, Police Chief Nate Edgerton realizes he has a copycat killer on his hands. And Lucky hopes that one of her regular customers who has mysteriously gone missing isn’t involved. Once again, the soup shop owner will need to stir up some clues to find her friend and catch a cunning killer—before things really take a tureen for the worse...


Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, April 8th for your chance to win a copy of A Clue in the Stew. (US entries only, please.)

54 comments:

  1. Looks great and I hope to get a chance to read it :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Lisa. Best of luck!

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    2. I love this series. I hope it goes on forever.

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  2. I enjoyed reading about Vermont's history, and it was entertaining. (So glad I was not there during those times.) A Clue In The Stew sounds like a great read. Thank you fro the giveaway.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hi Jen - So glad you enjoyed the post! I thought Melissa might like this one too. Good luck!

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  3. I love Archer's work—thanks for the chance to win a copy of A Clue in the Stew!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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    1. Great to see you here today! And very best of luck!

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  4. I'm addicted to cozies and always looking for a new author and series to follow. Sounds like fun!

    laurathomas61(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Hi Laura - li hope you get to visit the village soon! Best of luck!

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  5. Melissa, it is so cool that you got to have lunch with her!!
    Vermont sure has a lot of interesting history!

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    1. It was cool for me too! We had a great lunch together and probably could have chatted for hours. I was so happy to actually meet Melissa in person! Good luck in the giveaway!

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  6. Sounds like a very interesting book!

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    1. I hope you get to meet all the characters in the village! Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  7. How great that you've had lunch with the author, Melissa! I bet you were thrilled. And what an interesting lesson on Vermont. I had not idea the state had such a profound history.

    A Clue in the Stew sure sounds like a fun read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy! Purrs!

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    1. It was my bonus that Melissa had time to meet with me! How could I go to Vermont and not get together with her? It was a complete treat for me! Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  8. I've been to many states but have not had the opportunity to visit the New England states. Connie Archer's books have provided me with an insight into the state of Vermont. Perhaps I will be able to visit someday and see the leaves changing and eat some wonderful seafood. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Robin - that's the best thing about reading, you can visit places in your mind! Best of luck!

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  9. Great history lesson.
    And also a great series.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Hi Libby - I've learned so many things I never knew about Vermont just from writing this series! Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  10. Nice history lesson. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom.

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    1. Hi Kim, I'm glad you enjoyed it! The research surprised me too! Good luck!

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  11. Thanks for this lovely feature. When I lived in Mtl. we drove to Vermont and Maine for our summer vacation. Wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You must have wonderful memories, Sharon! Best of luck!

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  12. What a delightful post today which resonates with me. Such a pretty and ideal place to visit during the holidays. Drives are beautiful. I enjoy your captivating novels. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. Thank you so much! That's wonderful to hear! Happy reading and good luck!

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  14. What beautiful pictures! Growing up on the West Coast, I visited Vermont as a child, but I don't remember a thing about it, sadly. Perhaps I will have to journey back as an adult. The book sounds like a fun read, too!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to get back to Vermont. It's still beautiful there! Best of luck!

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  15. Thanks Melissa/Mudpie and Connie. I'd love to visit Vermont, too. patucker54 (at aol dot com)

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    1. Oops I replied in the wrong spot! Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  16. I love Vermont. That looks like a good book.

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    1. Melissa and I love Vermont too! Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  17. Connie Archer is a "new-to-me" author ... thank you fore the introduction. I love reading cozies ad A Clue in the Stew sounds like a good one.
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Hi Peggy - I hope you get to meet everyone in the village soon! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for visiting today and lots of luck too!

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  19. I love your Senator from Vermont!

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    1. I love Bernie too! Isn't it neat that he's the Senator for Snowflake Vermont!

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  20. Hi Patricia - I hope if you can't visit Vermont for real, you'll be able to visit with the Soup Lover's series. Best of luck!

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  21. Hi Melissa - thanks so much for hosting me today!!! Wish I were there in Vermont, I'd call you to have lunch!!!

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  22. I love this series. Happy to see a new one. Congrats

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

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    1. Thank you! Wishing you the best of luck!

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  23. I get to watch (and sometimes join) reinactments around Wisconsin. Mainly at The Wade House Stagecoach tourist place.

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    1. Wow, Laura ! That sounds like so much fun. What a great thing to do. Thanks for stopping by!

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  24. What interesting history! I'll have to find out more about the Green Mountain Boys.
    Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  25. Hi Sue - Ethan Allen must have been one unique character! I doubt anyone would have wanted to get on his bad side! Glad you could visit today!

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  26. This book is on my TBR list. I can't wait to visit Snowflake VT when reading your book. A perfect place for a soup kitchen mystery.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. hi Dianne - thanks for visiting! I hope you really enjoy your next visit to the village. Best of luck!

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  28. I've never been to Vermont in real life, but can't wait to visit Snowflake again! Thanks! JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Happy reading! You can visit Vermont in your imagination! Best of.luck!

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  29. Oh boy! It's finally time for the new Soup Lover's Mystery! That means a fabulous trip back to Snowflake for me (some of that being rereading the previous books to reacquaint myself with those little details, the rest in enjoying A Clue in the Stew). Thank you for sharing this interesting slice of history. (Something tells me it will be lurking around in my mind while reading.) Thank you as well for the chance to win.

    robbfan141729@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you, Meg! It's so great to hear you love Snowflake and all the eccentric characters! I really hope you enjoy Clue!!!

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  30. I really enjoyed the write up. Would love to win and read the book. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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