A Day in the Life of Marlee Jacob by Sharon Farrow

Dying For StrawberriesGreetings from the shores of Lake Michigan. I’m Marlee Jacob, and you may have noticed the Dickensian twist to my name. That was no accident. My mom is an English professor who happened to be reading A Christmas Carol when she went into labor. It was also Christmas Eve. With a last name of ‘Jacob’, no one should have been surprised she chose ‘Marlee’ as my first name. Luckily, only fans of the Dickens’s story guess my namesake was Ebenezer Scrooge’s miserly business partner.

I find it ironic I chose to become a business owner, but only after a turbulent career as producer at the Gourmet Living Network in NYC. After one half of a celebrity chef duo poisoned her husband with an arsenic filled cake, I left behind my career in television to return to Oriole Point, my beautiful hometown in west Michigan. A longtime artists’ colony, this village of four thousand people is nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan. Due to the coastline’s sandy beaches, vineyards, lighthouses, and gorgeous lake views, our economy rests on tourism. And it is a favorite vacation spot for residents of Chicago, only a two-hour drive away.

My shop, The Berry Basket, is one of many downtown businesses which caters to these visitors. As the name suggests, everything in my store is berry related: berry jams, jellies, wines, juices, soaps, lotions, granola, teas, coffees, and lots more. Even berry jerky. Thanks to my baker, Theo Foster, I also sell six different berry pastries each day. Except for the berry pies, which are delivered each morning from Zellar Orchards. I get this extra perk because I’m engaged to Ryan Zellar, whose family is one of the biggest fruit growers in the region. With a January wedding on the horizon, I should devote more time to all things bridal. However, summer is high season in Oriole Point and The Berry Basket needs to take precedence. And this season promises to be busier than most.

As though the summer wasn’t already filled with a dizzying number of activities, Piper Lyall-Pierce, our indefatigable head of the visitor’s bureau, has launched a new event: the Strawberry Moon Bash. Because of the berry theme, there was no way Piper wasn’t going to involve me. And I already had enough on my plate after my friend Natasha disappears on the same day that her malicious husband decides to shut down my business. When this is followed by a murder, you’ll understand how I had no time to plan a wedding. Although I did manage to fit in my daily beach yoga classes amid the turmoil. I needed to find some way to relax after I learned a killer was on the loose and far too many people in the village harbored secrets. Including my fiancé. And I haven’t even mentioned the vengeful person from my past who arrives in town. Small wonder I needed to spend time in Downward Facing Dog. Namasté indeed.


Dying For Strawberries is the first book in the NEW Berry Basket mystery series, published by Kensington, October 2016.

With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder.

Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan two years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the thirty-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . .

But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Natasha disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Natasha, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.

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About the author
Sharon Farrow is the latest pen name of award winning author Sharon Pisacreta. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Sharon has been a freelance writer since her twenties, with her first novel released in 1998. Published in mystery, fantasy, and romance, Sharon currently writes The Berry Basket cozy mystery series, which debuts October 2016 with Dying For Strawberries. She is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-author the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries.

In her former life, Sharon turned her hand to a variety of endeavors from principal investigator on an archaeological site, college history instructor, caterer’s assistant, and dancing in a giant dog costume for a non-profit company (it’s a long story). Although Sharon has lived in Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey, she calls Michigan home, specifically the beautiful coastline of Lake Michigan. She is so enamored of the sand dunes, orchards and beaches of western Michigan, she set The Berry Basket mysteries in a town very similar to the one she is lucky to live in.

While much of her time is spent hunched over a laptop, Sharon does take breaks to enjoy the nearby lakeshore, usually while talking on her cell phone and sipping an iced coffee drink. Sharon’s reading and viewing pleasure spans everything from Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache novels to the Real Housewives shows on Bravo. And she is currently trying to maintain a stiff upper lip until the next seasons of GAME OF THRONES and OUTLANDER return in 2017. Connect with Sharon at sharonfarrowauthor.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Dying For Strawberries. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 27, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

42 responses to “A Day in the Life of Marlee Jacob by Sharon Farrow

  1. This could be a good one!

  2. Doward Wilson

    Sounds like a wonderful new series!

  3. I love strawberries and what could be better than a mystery with strawberries as a background theme!

  4. Nancy Roessner

    This sounds like a berry good series!

  5. Kristie Dilcher

    This looks like a great new series! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  6. Sounds like a neat new series.

  7. I haven’t heard of this author by real or pen name but would love to read the book. Thanks!

  8. Sound good to me. I do like that other series too.

  9. Sounds like a good series

  10. I’ve never been to Michigan, but based on this book, it sounds beautiful.
    You can’t beat the combination of food and mystery.

  11. Thanks for this delightful feature and giveaway.

  12. Sounds good. Thanks for the chance to win

  13. It does sound like she needs to make time for her yoga!

  14. I have had my eye on this book for quite some time. It would be great to win it! Thanks for sharing Dying for Strawberries on your blog today. Release day!!! How exciting that it’s finally here! If Sharon stops by maybe she could give us a hint on the next book?? I just know I’m going to enjoy this series. Congrats Sharon!! 🍓🍓🍓

  15. Sounds like a great read.

  16. I want to visit Orioles Point! This sounds like a fascinating book. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  17. Thanks, Rita. I hope you enjoy my first Berry Basket mystery. Book Two is called BLACKBERRY BURIAL and takes place amid the deadly centenary celebrations of Oriole Point’s Blackberry Art School.

  18. Good morning Dru Ann. You are always surprising me with a new author and their books. I’ve added Sharon Farrow to my list of authors and her books to check out. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway for her book. Have a great day.

  19. elainehroberson

    Another new-to-me author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  20. Another new author for me to try. Thanks for the review, Dru. The premise and character sounds so interesting – such a varied background. Love the cover art.

  21. Oh, I want to visit the Berry Basket! Thanks for the giveaway!

  22. Never get enough strawberries.

  23. Sounds good, now I want strawberries, LOL. Thanks for the chance.

  24. This sounds like a great new series…I can’t wait to read it!

  25. Oh yeah, love me some strawberries! Sounds like a great story.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  26. Like y his author no matter what she calls herself for this book.

  27. Can’t wait to read “Dying for Strawberries”. I like to read stories set on the shores of Lake Michigan. I’m from that area and we get the best strawberries from the strawberry farms in the area. Story sounds amazing.

  28. Wow would I love to shop at the Berry Basket. And sure would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance to do so!

  29. I love the Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries. The new series sounds delightful!

  30. Brian Frauenknecht

    I can’t wait to read this book. It sounds like a wonderful first book of a hopefully long series.

  31. Vicki Highley

    Thank you for the chance to win a book from a new series.

  32. set on Lake Michigan? Definitely my cup of tea!

  33. Great review. Sounds like a fun read.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  34. Thanks for offering the chance to win this book! I love reading mysteries!!🎃

    On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 10:01 PM, dru’s book musings wrote:

    > Dru posted: “Greetings from the shores of Lake Michigan. I’m Marlee Jacob, > and you may have noticed the Dickensian twist to my name. That was no > accident. My mom is an English professor who happened to be reading A > Christmas Carol when she went into labor. It was also” >

  35. I love the story about her name! I am hearing such good things about this new book, thanks for the chance to win!

  36. Sounds like it is going to be a fun, new series. I would love to win a copy of this first book. Thank you for the chance!

  37. Cynthia Blain

    This book series sounds wonderful. Such a great write up. Congratulations to the author on the release and please include me in the list of hopefuls. Thank you so much.
    Cynthia

  38. Pauline Barlow

    This new series by Sharon Farrow sounds like a must read, especially for anyone in Michigan.

  39. I love that each book is about a different berry – such a fun idea!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

  40. This sounds like a great new series and I always like to start with the first book and then follow a series through (in this case) a different berry. Here’s hoping I get a copy to read ASAP. Looking forward to it!