Unconventional Valentines

Jan 12, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kate Lansing

Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a signed copy of the book, and a link to order it from Amazon.

Now that we’ve settled into the New Year, commercial attentions have shifted to the next major holiday: Valentine’s Day. Which happens to be when my latest book, Mulled to Death, takes place. As such, I thought it’d be fun to share a bit of my inspiration for incorporating the purported day of love.

Despite its humble beginnings, this holiday has always seemed charged with emotion and expectations. A time for secret admirers, bold proclamations, candlelit dinners, and romantic gifts. While this certainly can be true—my husband (to whom my book is very appropriately dedicated) and I have shared many a wonderful Valentines—another memory stands out in my mind.

Let me paint the scene: I was a senior in college and perpetually single, with no plans besides helping the CU Applied Math department grade Calculus exams, as I was wont to do as a TA. These gatherings were always quite fun; there was free food and interesting conversation with professors and peers. The only nod to the holiday was a particularly tricky problem involving graphing a three-dimensional heart (in case it isn’t blatantly obvious, I’m a total nerd).

All told, I felt fairly apathetic about the whole thing. Until I returned to my apartment that night.

I didn’t get home until nearing eleven o’clock, but what I found was a vase of colorful flowers waiting on my doorstep. They were from my dad. It warmed my heart that he wanted me to feel appreciated, that he thought to send me such a cheerful bouquet.

But there’s more…

The reason the flowers had remained in the hallway of my cheap and somewhat shady apartment complex was because my roommates were occupied across the hall, where a group of our guy friends conspired to surprise the lot of us with a homemade dinner. They quickly invited me over and supplied me with a plate they’d kept warm. And if the lauding of my roommates was to be believed, the food was exceptional. Which it was, spice-encrusted chicken with rice and vegetables, and dressed-up ice cream for dessert, if memory serves. But the meal could have been horrendous for all I cared—it was the thought that counted.

Kate Lansing

When I went to write Mulled to Death, I knew I wanted to include all the facets of love: familial, friendship, and, yes, romantic. Because that’s what celebrating Valentine’s Day is all about. Letting the people you love know that, well, you love them.

As we gear up for Valentine’s Day, I hope you find yourselves surrounded by love, in any or all of its wondrous forms. Cheers!

About Mulled to Death: A Valentine’s Day getaway is on the rocks when a young winemaker discovers a body at an alpine resort in this delightful cozy mystery.??When Parker Valentine decides to take a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Reid, a ski trip seems like the perfect choice. Between hitting the slopes and persuading the resort’s wine director to sell her mulled wine, Parker is eager to mix business with pleasure. But her plans are muddled when she finds the resort owner’s body on a treacherous portion of ski trail near the resort.??As a result, not only is Parker’s romantic weekend thrown into chaos, but now that the owner has died, her business deal is due for a frosty reception, and her life might be in danger as well. After a series of unfortunate mishaps befall Parker, she realizes that whoever killed the resort owner might want to tie up loose ends. Parker’s going to need all of the investigative skills at her disposal to catch a killer before they put her on ice.

To enter to win a a signed copy of Mulled to Death, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “mulled,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 22, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the latest book in the series or click here. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link:

Kate Lansing is the author of the Colorado Wine Mystery series. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, daughter, and a chair-napping tabby cat named Maple. You can find more information about Kate on her website at katelansing.com.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Kate Lansing is a new author to me. Thank you for highlighting her and her books through your blog.

  2. Using real-life ideas into a book
    makes the story more realistic.
    Sounds like a good read.

  3. I love this! As a perpetually single gal myself I think this is a great interpretation of Valentine’s Day. Can’t wait to read the book too!

  4. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  5. I enjoyed this post today, would love to get a copy of the book! tWarner419@aol.com

  6. Mulled to Death by Kate Lansing sounds like a warm and wonderful wintery read!

  7. Sounds like a great book. New author to me. Would really like to read.

  8. This sounds really goid!! Thanks for the chance!!

  9. We have a winner!


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