Saturday, March 6, 2021

Maria DiRico's Long Island Iced Tina Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Maria DiRico here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.

Thanks Maria and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Long Island Iced Tina Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Maria!


Mia had a good reason for the delay in de-plastic-ing her furniture. Business at Belle View Banquet Manor, the catering hall she ran with her father, was brisk. The May and June calendar had boasted weddings every weekend, as well as smaller events, July was going well, and August looked to be a repeat of the previous successful months. Two murders at the manor in early spring hadn’t hurt business and may have helped. It’s like they say, Mia thought to herself while showering, the only bad publicity is no publicity. She toweled off, then headed to her bedroom, stepping over the prostrate Doorstop. Mia pulled on a pair of black linen capri pants and a snug purple tank top. She sniffed the air, suddenly redolent with the scent of butter and Italian sausage. “Mia, vieni,” her grandmother yelled from the apartment below in the two-family home the women shared. “Come. I made breakfast.”

“Sto arrivando,” Mia yelled back. “I’ll be there in a minute.” There was no animus in either woman’s voice.

Yelling to each other was simply the way the Carina family had always communicated. Mia scurried down the stairs and made her way through a small foyer into her grandmother’s modest first floor digs. Elisabetta Carina, dressed in her uniform of tracksuit and sneakers, stuck a fork into a sausage sizzling on top of her forty-plus-year-old oven and deposited it on a bed of fried onions and peppers already gracing a plate next to a pile of buttery scrambled eggs. Mia took a seat at the room’s decades-old dinette set. Elisabetta tore a hunk off a loaf of fresh Italian bread and added it to the plate, which she placed in front of Mia. “Mangia. Eat.”

“Si. Grazie, Nonna.” Mia dug into the heavy breakfast, vowing to follow it up with a lunch of carrot and celery sticks. At least one meal in her day needed to be low-cal and less artery clogging.

Elisabetta fixed herself a plate and took a seat across from Mia. “Did Minnie call you?”

“Yes. She and Linda are gonna host a baby shower for Nicole at Belle View.” Mia sawed off a chunk of sausage and speared it, along with some peppers and eggs. “I’ll finally get to meet the infamous Tina.”

“Tina. Puh.” Elisabetta made a stink face, then spit, as Minniguccia had done earlier. “Puttana. She stole Ron from right under poor Linda’s nebbia. Linda’s an angel. Never says a bad word about her. But we know what she is, a—”

“Puttana,” Mia chorused with her grandmother. “I’ve heard that word more in the last hour than in my entire life. I almost feel sorry for this Tina.”

A look of horror crossed Elisabetta’s face. She threw her hands in the air. “Marone, no! Never even think that. We are, what, how do you kids say it? We’re Team Linda.”

“Linda’s insisting Tina be invited to the shower, so I think she’s made her peace with the situation. So, it’s more like we’re Team Minniguccia.”

“This is why I don’t like sports,” Elisabetta grumbled.

“Too many teams.”
Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens — in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events — like murder — are not the kind you can schedule.

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View — but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina.

Italian recipes included! 

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

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  1. Thanks so much for hosting me! Forgive the delayed response. Life!

  2. Thank you for this nice sharing
    . Great post.