Spotlight & Giveaway: Tangerine Marmalade Murder by Meg Benjamin

Posted June 13th, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 21 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Meg Benjamin to HJ!

Hi Meg and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Tangerine Marmalade Murder!

Hi Everyone. Thanks for visiting.

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

Tangerine Marmalade Murder is the third book in my Luscious Delights cozy mystery series from Wild Rose Press. My heroine, Roxy Constantine, has her own jam label (Luscious Delights) but she also works part-time for her Significant Other, Nate Robicheaux, at his family’s catering company. Trouble is, both Roxy and Nate are feeling overworked and unappreciated. When a strange woman is murdered up the road from Roxy’s farm, the pressure increases and the two have a bad quarrel. The “strange” woman turns out to have a connection to Roxy and she plunges into the investigation. There’s some romantic give and take, a dangerous hit and run, and lots of questions before everything gets resolved.

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

Donnie dropped onto my couch, gasping. “There’s a woman,” he began and then stopped to catch his breath.
“What woman?” Uncle Mike said. “Where?”
“Up by the road. In a car.” Donnie gasped again, and I dropped to my knees beside him.
“What about her, Donnie? What’s wrong?”
“She’s dead,” he blurted out. “She’s dead up there in the car.”


What inspired this book?

I live in Colorado, and I love visiting the mountains. The town of Shavano, where Luscious Delights takes place, was inspired by several Colorado mountain towns, including Salida and Buena Vista.
After I decided to do a series about a jam-maker, I started making jam myself and really enjoyed it. I’ve made tangerine marmalade, but it’s kind of a pain in the tuckus since it involves boiling down the tangerine rinds and cutting them into ribbons.
I decided to throw a wrench into the relationship between Roxy and Nate that I’d established in the first two books because I thought things were going a little too smoothly. But I couldn’t bring myself to actually break them up. After all, they’re made for each other (literally).


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

Roxy is the narrator of the book and I got to know her by letting her talk. When I worked on a chapter I always knew where I wanted to go, what plot points had to be included, but often I’d just let myself ramble on and see what Roxy wanted to talk about. It was always fun and sometimes surprising, although I often came back later and tightened it up a bit.


What was your favorite scene to write?

I loved doing the reunion scene between Roxy and Nate, but I really enjoyed describing the catering job they did right afterward. It was a family birthday dinner, featuring the dad’s favorite foods that had to be kept secret until the last minute. I had a great time working out a retro-style menu based around meatloaf and mashed potatoes and thinking of all the challenges for Nate and Roxy.


What was the most difficult scene to write?

The scene where Roxy and Nate quarrel and come close to breaking up. My first impulse was to let Roxy off the hook and make it all Nate’s fault, but that made Nate entirely responsible for getting them back together again. Plus it didn’t seem realistic. So I had to accept that my heroine, whom I love, was also capable of doing something that justifiably enraged her guy–in this case, walking out in the middle of a catering job.


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

It showcases my cozy mystery writing style, which is different from my romance writing style. It’s first person, first of all, and mysteries (even romantic ones) have a slightly different focus. But I think readers who’ve tried my romances will still recognize the tone.


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

I want readers to enjoy the experience of figuring out who done it, as well as the experience of knowing Roxy and her friends and relations. I had lots of fun creating Shavano, Colorado, and I hope readers have a good time visiting.


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

I’m working on more Luscious Delights books. Book 4, The Honey Jam Murder, will be out later this year.


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: I’m giving away a print copy of Tangerine Marmalade Murder to a randomly chosen commenter (US residents only, please).


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you like a little romance in your mystery stories, or do you prefer to take your murder mysteries straight?

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Excerpt from Tangerine Marmalade Murder:

I climbed into the SUV beside Nate, trying to remember what kind of groceries I had around the cabin. I was sort of hungry, but not enough to do anything much about it.
“I miss you,” Nate said quietly.
I turned to look at him. He stared ahead at the star-spangled sky over the mountains, making no move to start the SUV.
“What?” I said, although I’d heard him clear enough.
“I miss you.” He turned to look at me, his face dim in the spring darkness. “All this time we’ve been apart. Every weekend I thought about what a screw-up this was, and how I wanted to get you back, needed to get you back. But I didn’t know how to get around the distance between us. And yeah, I know I was mainly to blame for making that distance. So I went on missing you.”
Part of me wanted to throw my arms around him so much, but I was still sort of pissed. “I’ve been around.” And you could have called. I would have answered.
“I know. I know.” He reached toward me, slowly, so slowly, letting me turn away if that’s what I wanted to do.
I wasn’t entirely sure. He’d hurt my feelings, and he’d made me angry. But the bottom line was, I’d missed him, too. Desperately.
After a few fairly intense moments, Nate raised his head to look at me. “Come home with me?”
There were a lot of reasons not to do that, but more on the other side. The biggest one was that I really wanted to do it. “Okay.”
“Do you need anything out of your truck?”
I thought about it. “My normal clothes.” Since I didn’t want to sit around in my chef’s coat all night.
“You’ve got some clothes at my place.”
I’d forgotten about that, but he was right. We’d gotten to the point where he had some of his clothes at my cabin, and I had some jeans and a couple of shirts at his apartment. “Okay. Then no, I don’t need anything.”
“Good. I don’t want to stop.”
Neither did I, I discovered.
So we made up. Several times, in fact.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

When a stranger is murdered near Roxy Constantine’s farm, she’s sure it has nothing to do with her. But the investigation turns up surprising links to Roxy’s past. As if that weren’t enough, Roxy’s quarreling with her Significant Other, Nate Robicheaux, and facing a possible break-up. Just when the stress begins to ease, the murderer strikes again, sending Nate to the hospital. Now Roxy needs to figure out the link between the Constantine Farm and a blackmailer before she becomes the killer’s next target.

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

Meet the Author:

Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of romance and cozy mysteries. Meg’s Konigsburg series is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Salt Box and Brewing Love trilogies are set in the Colorado Rockies (all are available from Entangled Publishing and from Meg’s indie line). Her new cozy mystery series, Luscious Delights from Wild Rose Press, concerns a jam-making sleuth based in the mythical small town of Shavano, Colorado. Along with romance and cozies, Meg is also the author of the paranormal Ramos Family trilogy from Berkley InterMix and the Folk trilogy from Soul Mate. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers, and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers.
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21 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Tangerine Marmalade Murder by Meg Benjamin”

  1. psu1493

    I do enjoy a little romance in my cozy mysteries. It amps up the tension.

  2. Patricia B.

    Romance is part of life. I don’t mind it in a mystery as long as it doesn’t get in the way and detract from the mystery. It should be a supporting part of the story.