Welcome to the first Cozy Wednesday of 2012. I am so excited about today’s guest. Paige has been a friend to me and a supporter of my blog for almost the whole two years. She even sponsored a Blogoversary Giveaway. (There is still time to enter.) The real excitement for me today is that yesterday she premiered a whole New Series, The Country Cooking School Mysteries. The first book If Fried Chicken Could Fly had me right from the title. I have been anxiously awaited this book ever since I heard Paige was working on it. It was well worth the wait, it is fabulous, but I’ll post my review at the bottom.
Now please help me welcome the guest of honor. Welcome Paige!!!! I am so glad you are here and so are my readers!!!
Thank you, Lori and your readers, for letting me stop by today. Happy New Year!
Sometimes you don’t even know you’re getting ideas for books.
A few years ago, my son and I were tromping through a small, old cemetery outside Rolla, Missouri, in search of the grave of one of our ancestors. The day was sunny and warm, but the cemetery was shadowed by trees and the long white-washed church building located next to it. It was both wonderfully peaceful and kind of spooky.
This ancestor, my great-grandmother, someone I’d only recently learned about because of a new interest in genealogy, had died a horribly tragic death. Sadly, we didn’t find the grave, but the experience created a foundation for something I would write a few years later – and it published just yesterday.
When I first started If Fried Chicken Could Fly the cooking school in the story materialized in my mind as a long white building that had at one time been a church. It was located out in the country and next to a cemetery that was a hot summer tourist spot because of the infamous criminals who’d been buried there. Honestly, at that point I didn’t even realize I’d plucked the church building and adjoining cemetery from my memory.
However, once I met the ghost (a ghost who wasn’t originally supposed to be a part of the story, by the way) of Jerome Cowbender, infamous dead bank robber who couldn’t shoot straight enough to hit the side of a building, I realized I was putting this story together with other stories – stories I’d heard from my family about my ancestors. Thankfully, they’re a pretty colorful group.
Of course, I should have realized that when I started writing a book about Gram’s cooking school, my subconscious would go to that place where my own grandmother had been. My parents and their parents grew up in and around Rolla, and when I was little that’s where we went for holidays and vacations. My grandmother’s kitchen will always remain the stuff of legend. She cooked fried chicken like no one else, whipped up holiday dinners that I’d start craving in July, knew how to add a little of this and a little of that and somehow bake chocolate chips cookies I’m sure I’ll never taste the like again. Her home and her kitchen were all about good food, good times and family.
Gram’s personality in If Fried Chicken Could Fly isn’t much like my grandmother’s, but they share some of the same cooking and baking ideas. If keeping a container of bacon grease next to the stove or cooking with cast iron skillets sound familiar to you, Gram’s ideas might remind you a little of your grandmother. I hope I’ve at least partially done justice to that amazing generation of women.
So, I’d like to welcome you to Broken Rope, Missouri, and Gram’s Country Cooking School. We’ve got ghosts and a slew of strange and mysterious deaths, but mostly we’ve got Gram and her down home and delicious cooking methods. Come on in and sit a spell.
Thank you so much Paige. I need to mention that, yes, there are recipes in the back of the book. My son and his friends made the Red Velvet Cupcakes this past weekend and they were so yummy. As a mom here though I think every recipe should end with “Clean Up Your Mess!” I am sure Gram teaches that at her Cooking School, whether the mess comes from regular baking, a small fire or a dead body.
Want to find out how Paige got her start at writing mysteries This is a great article. To find out more about Paige and her books this is a link to her web site.
If Fried Chicken Could Fly (Country Cooking School Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Country Cooking School Mystery
Brand New Series
Cover Illustration by Dan Andreasen
Everyone loves their grandma’s cooking. My grandma even ran a restaurant for awhile. Gram reminds me a lot of my Grandma Lue. She also made the best fried chicken. The whole idea of a country cooking school fascinates me. I was just a teenager when my grandma passed away so I never really had a chance to learn from her but do have a few of her recipes in my recipe box.
I have to say the appearance of Jerome Cowbender did surprise me but as he became a major player in the plot I couldn’t imagine the story without him. I now understand how sometimes characters just appear in these stories without the author’s control. He was a brilliant addition to a wonderful story.
The story has a perfect mix of cozy fixings, with a “surprise ingredient”, blended expertly to make a culinary masterpiece for our reading pleasure.
The town of Broken Rope seems to have more than it’s share of quirky residents, which means plenty of fodder for future installments of this new smokin’ series!!!!
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End January 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”