Kernel Of TruthComing back to the town I grew up in sometimes makes me want to pull the covers over my head and not get out of bed like possibly ever. But somebody has to take Sprocket, my standard poodle, out for a walk and someone has to make the popcorn breakfast bars that have the people of Grand Lake lining up in the morning (even the ones who talk about me behind my back like I’m still the wild child who skated out of here with her hair on fire before the strains of Pomp and Circumstance could even fade out at my high school graduation). That someone would be me, Rebecca Anderson. Ex-wife of celebrity chef Antoine Belanger. Best friend of Dan Cooper, now Sheriff in our small town. Mentee and darn close to adopted granddaughter of Coco Bittles, owner of Coco’s Cocoas.

All those relationships are important, but it was really Coco who got me to return to Grand Lake when I wasn’t sure what to do after my split with Antoine. She helped me set up my new gourmet popcorn shop, POPS, and continued to coach me as I learned how to run a successful business. You can imagine how devastated I was when she was found murdered in her shop in what Sheriff Dan thinks is a robbery gone wrong.

Problem is, that explanation just doesn’t make sense to me. To make matters worse, some people in town think I might have had something to do with Coco’s death. Then another woman business owner is attacked. Does someone have it in for the female shopkeepers?

Between Sheriff Dan constantly hauling me in when he catches me snooping, my dog stealing toys from babies, and Antoine constantly trying to get me to come back to him, my life is pretty complicated. Good thing I have the new lawyer in town, Garrett Mills, on speed dial.

Kernel of Truth is the first book in the Popcorn Shop Mystery series published by Berkley Prime Crime, March 2016.

An all-new Popcorn Shop Mystery bursts on the scene, featuring gourmet popcorn entrepreneur Rebecca Anderson and her poodle Sprocket.

Opening a gourmet popcorn shop was never on Rebecca Anderson’s bucket list. But after a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she’s ready for her life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket to start a new business—naturally called POPS. As a delicious bonus, Cordelia “Coco” Bittles, a close family friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca, owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking of combining their businesses.

But when Coco’s niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but Rebecca isn’t so sure. As suspects start popping up all over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring the killer to justice in a jiffy!

Includes Popcorn Related Recipes!

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Meet the author
Kernel of Truth is Kristi’s first book with Berkley Prime Crime. She has been obsessed with popcorn since first tasting the caramel cashew popcorn at Garrett’s in Chicago. If you’ve never had it, you might want to hop on a plane and go now. Seriously, it’s that good.

Kristi lives in northern California, although she was born in Ohio like the heroine of Kernel of Truth. She loves snack food, crocheting, her kids, and her man, not necessarily in that order.

Kristi also writes as both Eileen Rendahl and Eileen Carr. For more information, visit or

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Kernel of Truth. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end March 8, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

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