Festive Mayhem is on tour, and I’ve joined up. Thank you to the authors and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for all the information – and the recipe!

As you can see, the festive season books are already pouring out. Unlike Snowflakes and Shivers, this is a set of cosy mysteries with a festive theme, by seven ‘authors of color’ which I’ve put in quotes because I don’t usually take any notice of this. Maybe it helps to positively discriminate, I don’t know. Did I mention there’s also a recipe?

Festive Mayhem 2 (Seven Holiday Culinary Cozy Mysteries)

By Paige Sleuth, Francelia Belton, Angela Henry, Rhoda Berlin, Carolyn Marie Wilkins, Barbara Howard, and Stella Oni

Festive Mayhem 2

Festive Mayhem 2 (Seven Holiday Culinary Cozy Mysteries)
Culinary Cozy Mystery Anthology
Independently Published (October 1, 2021)
Number of Pages: 215
Amazon and GoodReads Links – Coming Soon

Seven crime writers of color have teamed up for the second year running to offer you the gift of escape this holiday season. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Halloween to New Year’s, cozy mystery fans are bound to find a favorite holiday represented in this limited-time collection of exclusive, never-before-published seasonal short stories.

Author Links

Paige Sleuth: http://www.marlabradeen.com/

Francelia Belton: https://Francel.Be/Writing-Stories

Angela Henry: http://angelahenry.com

Rhoda Berlin: https://rhodaberlin.com

Carolyn Marie Wilkins: https://www.carolynwilkins.com

Barbara Howard: http://www.barbarahowardmedia.com

Stella Oni: https://stellaonithewriter.com

Purchase Links – Coming Soon

And now – Matisse’s Praline King Cake; the recipe!

Matisse’s Praline King Cake

Related Story: “A Praline for Pepe” by Carolyn Marie Wilkins

Description: Carrie McFarland’s psychic powers are tested when a showboat featuring a racist revue brings a handsome stranger, a new cuisine, and a cold-blooded killer to Aaronsville, Indiana in 1921.

Recipe provided by Carolyn Marie Wilkins.


I’ve done my best to translate these to metric/imperial, using The Calculator site. I’m not sure about some of the folding instructions, but I’m intrigued to try it. Maybe I’ll end up with my own Festive Mayhem!


  • 8 oz (225ml, 3/8 pint, 8 fl.oz) sour cream
  • ⅛ cup (28g, 2 oz) butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup (50g, 1.8 oz) sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (75 ml, 1/5 pint) warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ½ cups (455g, 1 lb) bread flour


  • ¼ cup (50g, 1.8 oz) sugar
  • ⅛ cup (25g, 1 oz) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup (55g, 2 oz) finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup (75g, 3 oz) raisins


  • 1 ½ cup (180g, 6 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • Purple, green and gold sugar sprinkles

Prepare the dough

  1. Combine sour cream, butter, salt, and ¼ cup of the sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until butter melts, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to 100°F to 110°F (c50°C, warm to touch), about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir together yeast, water, and remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Combine sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, 1 egg, and 1 cup of the flour and beat until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups of flour, beating until dough forms.
  4. Turn out onto a surface dusted with part of the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Knead, gradually adding the remaining ¼ cup flour, a tablespoon at a time, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a well-greased bowl; turn to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85°F, 29°C) until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Prepare the filling

  1. Combine sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in egg.
  2. Separate the chilled dough into seven parts.
  3. Roll the first part as thin as possible into a 5 by 10” inch (12×25 cm) rectangle. 
  4. Spread the sugar mixture on half of the long side of the first part of the dough. Sprinkle a generous portion of finely chopped pecans and raisins on top of the filling.
  5. Roll out the second part and layer it on top of the first one. Add filling, nuts and raisins as before.
  6. Repeat procedure until you have seven layers covered with filling.
  7. Fold the dough in half (2.5×10″, 6x25cm) covering the filling. Be sure to pat the dough down firmly so the dough will stick together.

Braid the dough [if you have trouble visualising this, checkout the version here]

  1. Cut dough into three long strips lengthwise. Press the tops of the strips together and braid the strips. Press the ends together at the bottom.
  2. Gently stretch the braid so that it measures 20 inches (50 cm) again(?). Shape it into a circle/oval and press the edges together.
  3. Transfer the ring to a parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F (180 °C/160 °Fan). Bake the cake until it is golden brown, 20–35 minutes. (It should feel firm to the touch, and have an internal temperature of about 190°F – 90°C.) Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet and then place it on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Add the baby

  • After the cake is done, make a slit in the bottom of the cake and hide a small plastic baby, coin or piece of candy inside.

Prepare the icing

  • Stir together powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir in 3 teaspoons milk. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until pourable but still opaque. Pour evenly over cakes; sprinkle with sparkling sugars, alternating colors to form bands.

And there’s a Giveaway!

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Book Tour, Giveaway and Recipe! Festive Mayhem 2

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