Sunday, May 4, 2014

Murder Gone A-Rye by Nancy J. Parra: Guest Author & Giveaway

Murder Gone A-Rye

People ask me all the time if I’m really gluten-free. The answer is yes. A little more than six years ago, I was sick all the time and after many tests and much discussion it was suggested that I try to eat a gluten-free diet. Now I love to bake. I’ve been baking since I was a small child. In fact I was five when I made my first cake from scratch. It was a lazy day cake which is a simple two egg yellow cake. The idea of never being able to bake again was horrifying. Still when you are sick all the time there comes a point where you try everything-even giving up gluten. Within a week, I was much better. 

It was a natural progression then to create a character who owned a gluten-free bakery. Toni Holmes is a lot like me. She grew up in a small town in Kansas and has a very large and eccentric family. Large families are a blessing and a curse. Large families filled with brilliant and creative people can sometimes be embarrassing – especially when you set them in the middle of a conservative oil town in the Bible belt, the heart land, the breadbasket of America. People in Kansas have relatives who are upstanding, responsible farmers, ranchers, oilmen, bankers and truckers not writers, artists and carefree hippy types. Thus conflict is everywhere for poor Toni who is trying to run her gluten free bakery in the heart of wheat country.

In Murder Gone A-Rye, Toni’s beloved Grandma Ruth is brought in for questioning when incriminating scooter marks are found near the murder scene of Grandma’s arch rival, Lois Striker. It’s not enough to get Grandma Ruth out of jail; Toni must keep her out of trouble as Ruth decides to investigate Lois’s death.

The book is set around Thanksgiving and full of crazy relatives and yummy recipes for gluten-free pies, cakes and cookies. If you know someone who is gluten-free then you know there is a full spectrum from so highly sensitive that they can’t walk down a flour aisle at a grocery store to those who think a piece of real chocolate cake is worth the price of getting sick for two days.

Below is my recipe for Gluten-Free pumpkin custard.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.pure pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk – can be fat free  


MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into casoral dish – place dish in a baking pan filled with approximately ½ inch of water – keep an eye on the water to ensure it does not evaporate completely during baking.

BAKE in preheated 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.


Blurb: Toni Holmes is the best gluten-free baker in Oiltop, Kansas—okay, she’s the only one—but when her grandmother becomes a murder suspect, she’s more concerned with keeping Grandma free….

When Toni’s beloved—and eccentric—grandma Ruth is arrested for the murder of her archenemy, Lois Striker, it’s time for a senior moment of truth. Telltale tracks from a scooter like the one Grandma Ruth rides lead the police to suspect the outspoken oldster, but Toni knows her grandmother wouldn’t burn a cookie, let alone extinguish a life.

In fact, the case has Grandma more revved up than her infamous scooter. A former investigative journalist, she decides to solve the murder herself—with help from Toni—by digging up long-buried town secrets. But as Grandma scoots in where others fear to tread, Toni needs to make sure she not only stays out of jail but out of harm’s way….

Giveaway: Do you have a favorite gluten-free recipe? Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, May 9th for the chance to win a paperback copy of Murder Gone A-Rye. (US entries only, please.)


Unknown said...

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies - easy to make, yummy.

Unknown said...


Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I've many times thought that I should try to cut out the Gluten and see how I feel. Have yet to try though_

Kimberlee said...

I don't have a gluten-free recipe, but I have been gluten free for over a year now and can totally relate to the every day struggle. I have a hard time with giving up my favorite foods, but I am the same way, sometimes that little taste isn't worth the sickness for two days. It's a rough thing to go through, but I love reading your books that help me realize that I'm not the only one going through this.


traveler said...

A recipe which is delightful and tasty Blueberry Crumble Crisp. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Gluten Free Brownies in a jar is delectable. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

Not surprisingly, I have more and more friends who are going gluten free.

Doctor's Notes said...

I'm not gluten free but have thought about it.

Kim said...

The book sounds good.

I don't have any Gluten Free recipes. I would probably have to be a cook for that.

The book sounds really good. And, I LOVE the cover.


Sue said...

I'm just beginning to learn about gluten free eating so I don't have any good recipes yet---but that pumpkin custard sounds like something I'm going to try.

holdenj said...

I haven't had the opportunity to try any gluten free recipes, but I am looking forward to Toni's next story! Thanks!

cyn209 said...

I don't cook 'regular' food, so I wouldn't have a gluten-free recipe........
thank you for the giveaway!!

cyn209 at juno dot com