Spotlight & Giveaway: Murder Marks the Page by Karen Rose Smith

Posted April 3rd, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 40 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Karen Rose Smith to HJ!

Hi Karen and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Murder Marks the Page!

Hi everyone! It’s so good to be here again to spotlight the release of MURDER MARKS THE PAGE, the first book in my new cozy mystery series TOMES AND TEA!

To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:

I’m so excited about MURDER MARKS THE PAGE because it’s book 1 in my new TOMES AND TEA cozy mystery series for Kensington Books. In my previous series, DAISY’S TEA GARDEN, Daisy’s daughter Jazzi was a teenager. Now at 25, Jazzi Swanson is pursuing her adult life in the lake resort town of Belltower Landing near the Finger Lakes in New York. She and her best friend Dawn own Tomes and Tea, a bookstore with a tea bar.

Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:

“Maybe anything could happen as she turned a new page in her life.” Jazzi

“I only dress to impress myself.” Jazzi’s roommate Dawn

What really got to her was the marking in the middle of his nose that looked like a heart. (Jazzi rescues a kitten)


What inspired this book?

I spent four years with Jazzi in the Daisy’s Tea Garden series. Since she was adopted, she went on a search for her birth mother. I watched her grow up. So now I took her to an entirely different setting in a town built around a lake and its activities. Of course, I love books and Jazzi loved tea so a bookstore and tea bar was perfect for her.


How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?

I was familiar with Jazzi’s character so no surprise there. As I developed her partner in the bookstore, Dawn Fernsby, she and Jazzi had bonded in college because she was adopted too. She’s more flamboyant than Jazzi with less of a filter. She sometimes surprises me.


What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scene was when Jazzi and Oliver, a sexy Australian pub owner, go on a bike ride and get shot at!


What was the most difficult scene to write?

The most difficult scene to write was the final action scene when Jazzi had to fight the killer to save her life.


Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?

This book definitely showcases my writing style though many of the characters are younger than those I’ve written about in the past. But my style always centers around relationships.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

Life in a resort community can be a little different from other towns. The lake and forests bring a particular beauty to the setting. But people’s emotions, motives and desires can be the same no matter where they live.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

I’m currently working on book 2 of the Tomes and Tea series–BOOKED FOR REVENGE. It will be released in 2025.


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: US residents only — a $25 Amazon gift card


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What is your favorite setting for a mystery?

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Excerpt from Murder Marks the Page:

Rows of onlookers were pressing against Jazzi and Dawn now as they peered between the slips to the open lake. The pontoons had slowed their journey around the lake in order for the mayor to get a good look at their boat. The tail end of the boats was rounding the review stand and loud applause was spreading through the crowd. Clapping became louder and louder and cheers went up along with whistles rending the air.

At one moment, Jazzi was standing at the edge of the dock, peering across the lake. The next second—she was in the water, sputtering…gasping for breath…taking in water because she hadn’t been prepared. What many people she interacted with didn’t know was that she’d grown up in Florida before her mom had moved them to Willow Creek, Pennsylvania. She was a swimmer and had done well on the swim team and had loved the ocean.

The lake water was cold, but it took her less than the time a thought could float through her head that she had to gather her wits and not suck in water. The cold water had been a shock. Now she kicked with her feet and easily bobbed to the surface.

Dawn called Jazzi’s name as her ball cap floated farther out on the lake.

In two strokes, Jazzi was at the edge of the dock, wrapping her hands around the boards. Dawn reached a hand down to her and helped pull her up over the edge. Tourists she didn’t know were asking her if she was all right…if she needed help…if they should call the EMTs.

Jazzi waved them all away. “I was standing too close to the edge,” she managed with some aplomb.

Yet she didn’t feel at all calm about what had happened. She had been standing close to the edge. But she knew one certain fact. Somebody had pushed her in.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

The first in a new series spun off from the Daisy Tea Garden Mysteries, Daisy’s daughter Jazzi Swanson has opened her own book and tea shop, providing a variety of literature and flavored beverages for a rural New York community. But Jazzi has not only inherited her mother’s gift for brewing tasty drinks—she also has a nose for sniffing out murder.

New York State’s Belltower Landing is a lakeside resort town where tourists spend their summer days boating, floating, and paddle-boarding on the water. It’s also the perfect place to cuddle up with a good book and enjoy a cup of tea, courtesy of Tomes & Tea. Owned and operated by Jazzi and her best friend Dawn Fernsby, the book bar is beloved by vacationers and locals alike, but browsers grabbing brews in the off season aren’t enough to help them make ends meet.

Between brainstorming social media publicity ideas for the shop and fending off flirtatious men she has no interest in or time for, Jazzi befriends a woman named Brie who has recently made contact with her biological father. As an adopted child herself, Jazzi is more than happy to give Brie emotional support, especially as her wealthy father’s wife and children see her as a threat.

But Brie is also looking to start a family of her own. Unfortunately, all the potential princes she’s met through a dating app turn out to be frogs. Then, when Brie is found murdered, Jazzi finds herself playing detective. With a list of suspects ranging from jealous half-siblings to less-than-suitable suitors, Jazzi may need to consult some of her shop’s bestselling mysteries to help her uncover a killer . . .

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Hi! I’m Karen Rose Smith. I write mystery, romance and women’s fiction. MURDER MARKS THE PAGE is my 110th published novel. Families are a strong theme in my novels, whether mysteries or romance. One of the highlights of my career was to see my romance turned into a movie—A Very Country Christmas. Besides writing, my passion is caring for our six rescued cats. I have herb and flower gardens that help me relax. In the winter, I cook rather than garden. And year round I spend most of my time with my husband, as well as my cats who are my purrfect companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding me life isn’t all about work, awards and bestseller lists. I’ve ventured onto TikTok (@Karenrosesmithauthor). You can also chat with me on my Facebook author page at KarenRoseSmithBooks.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |




40 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Murder Marks the Page by Karen Rose Smith”

  1. Nicky Ortiz

    I don’t care as long as it’s a good story.

    Thanks for the chance!

  2. Texas Book Lover

    Anywhere really as long as it is written well and I don’t figure it out too soon!

  3. Glenda M

    I don’t really have a favorite location. I just want a well written mystery

  4. Susan C

    Anywhere can be made into a mystery, it is the story that catches me!

  5. psu1493

    Small towns because you know there are always secrets to be discovered.

  6. Laurie Gommermann

    Train like Agatha Christie’s Murder On the Orient Express

    A cruise boat would be my 2nd choice

  7. Patricia Barraclough

    A good mystery can be set anywhere. Small towns seem to be the best setting for cozy mysteries.