When I saw the title of this book, I knew I had to “meet” this author. I immediately wrote her to ask her to guest post and was so happy when she agreed. Then the book arrived and I loved it and could wait for her to get here! She is here today so help me give her a warm welcome.
First of all I want to thank Lori for inviting me to hang out with her today. She’s one of the many avid readers/reviewers out there whom I’ve gotten to know through Facebook. I love Facebook, BTW. Anyway, I’ve developed a new respect for all of you out there who love reading so much and are so generous with your reviews. So many people are quick to tell you what they don’t like but forget to mention a good experience. This happens in all walks of life, not just book reviews, and I’m sorry to say I’ve also been guilty of it.
Not anymore! The next time I get a waiter/waitress who does a really nice job, I’m filling out the comment card on the table. If there is none, I’ll make sure I let him/her know I appreciated the good service.
Anyway, I got off topic for a minute, but I wanted y’all to know how much writers appreciate it when you tell us if you enjoyed our books. Enough of that and onto the post.
When I asked Lori what I should blog about, she suggested I talk about myself and how I got the idea for the book and the series. So here goes.
I’m a retired RN with two grown kids and four adorable grandchildren. Unlike most writers, I wasn’t much of a book reader growing up. My goal was always to be a nurse and marry my high school sweetheart—– both of which I did! About 20 years ago, I got the first wild hair that I wanted to write. I’d always known I could express myself better on paper, even used letters when hubby and I would fight. It wasn’t until I went back to college and took a creative writing class that I really got the itch.
So, I started my first novel about a nurse who was kidnapped and smuggled into Columbia. It’s a beautiful love story, and since I was chasing the romance genre, I thought it would be my breakout novel.
Hello, New York Times Bestsellers’ List… I thought.
Little problem here. My two heroes and the fact that “romance in Third World countries doesn’t sell” (their words, not mine) got me rejected faster than you can imagine. I suppose all the explosions and dead bodies had something to do with it.
It wasn’t until I signed with my agent that I had a rude awakening. “You know you don’t write romance, right?”
It was as if a light bulb had gone off in my head, and it released me from all the romance rules I had been struggling with. I could now write the story exactly as it played out in my head.
Two completed manuscripts later, my agent submitted the first of a proposed paranormal mystery series to an editor at Berkley. It’s the story of five sisters, one of whom dies and comes back to help solve her murder. My ghost is trash talking and irreverent and says exactly what she thinks. The editor loved the story, even quoted some of the ghost’s best lines, but…
Sheesh! I hate that word.
She was looking for a new cozy series and said she’d have to ruin the ghost story to make it work. She asked if I could write a cozy, more specifically a “foodie” since a series like that had just ended.
I’d only heard the word cozy mentioned up to this point, so I said no. I had just broken out from under the romance chain of rules. No way I wanted more… but (again that word) I would sleep on it and let her know. Since most of the foodies out there were about gourmet food, my first thought was that even if I agreed to write it, there was no way I could pull it off. I’m number 8 of 9 children, and I grew up on casseroles. I hate gourmet food.
Prepared to tell my agent to ask one of her other clients if they wanted to give it a shot, I fell asleep with all this on my mind. About three in the morning, I shot up in bed with the idea of Jordan, my heroine, being the exact opposite of every other “foodie” protag out there. What if she unexpectedly had the opportunity to write a food column for a small newspaper, despite the fact that not only did she know nothing about cooking, but she also survived on fast food, fried bologna sandwiches, and Hostess Ho Hos.
I brewed a cup of coffee then ran to the computer. In less than a week, I had a synopsis and three chapters. When I hit Send to my agent, I wondered if both Jordan and I could pull it off. Two weeks later, I had a three book deal from Berkley.
So my message today is never say never. Sometimes being clueless isn’t the worst thing. And as a side note, I just got my edits for book 2 in the series. My editor wants my love interest to have a little more air time.
Go figure!! I guess I write romantic mystery.
BUT I just got dinged on Amazon because of it. So now it’s my turn to find out how you feel about a touch of romance mixed in with your murders and mysteries.
Great Post Liz! Don’t let one reviewer ever get you down!! If everyone liked the same thing the world would be so boring.
Liver Let Die (A Clueless Cook Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
A Brand New Series
Cover Illustrated by Sarah Oberrender
Cover Design by Ben Perini
Jordan McAllister wants to be a sports columnist, but she follows her boyfriend to Dallas and sports columnist jobs are few and far between. Even worse her boyfriend breaks up with her after she has turned her life upside down for him.
The only job she can find working at a newspaper is at the Ranchero Globe writing the Personals ads, while she awaits her dream job. After just three months on the job she is summoned to the editor’s office. Not having a clue what she did, she slowly makes her way there. She quickly learns he wants to offer her a job in addition to her Personals work. He wants her to fill in for the Culinary Reporter who is on leave recovering from an accident.
Jordan knows absolutely nothing about food, but this may take her one step closer to becoming a sports columnist, so she decides she will figure out the details later and accepts the job.
Her first assignment puts her right into the hot water. She really is trying to stay away from red meat and she has been sent to review a local steakhouse. She asks the waiter for a recommendation and he suggests the foie gras. As soon as she sees it she knows there is no way she is going to be able to eat it, so she tries to go unnoticed as she slides the plate full of food into her purse. She has ruined a good handbag, but that is nothing, when the next night she finds her waiter dead in her building and he had her name and phone number in his pocket.
She is now the prime suspect and could end up being served as the main course on the real killer’s menu.
I loved this book on so many levels. First of all I am one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. It drives my family nuts but my dad was the same way. Growing up my mother owned a restaurant and was a wonderful cook. She loved to cook casseroles but about the only one dad and I would eat was her tuna casserole. The rest ended up as specials on her restaurant’s menu. Foie Gras was never on the menu but Liver & Onions was a weekly special. This story reminded me of all those dishes she used to serve.
Now, my husband is the chef of the family, so like Jordan I don’t know too much about food. This whole idea of someone like Jordan writing a “Kitchen Kupboard” column is something easy for me to relate too. The recipes in the back are a nice bonus that I will pass along.
I don’t want to give to much away but foodies and non foodies, will love how this “clueless cook” makes it work. Even a dead body and slew of suspects doesn’t stop Jordan from returning back to the steakhouse at the owner’s request, of course she is going to do a little snooping along the way. It wouldn’t be a cozy mystery without a nosy protagonist.
Liz has a winner start to her new series. Great characters, a really good mystery and what may bud into a little romance for Jordan. I especially liked all the connections of the people in Jordan’s apartment building, meshing together as a family. It is going to be fun watching this characters develop as the series continues and Jordan gets herself into more sticky situations.
A savory cozy not to be missed!!!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. 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.”
Are you ready for a
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies of the tasty book to giveaway!!!
U.S. and Canadian Residents Only
Since I lost all mt Google Friend Connect and Email Followers in the move.
Followers who follow anyway on the list will receive
5 Bonus Entries for each way they follow!
If you help me by Publicizing this giveaway or this new blog you will receive
an additional 5 Bonus Entries for each link you provide!
You will receive 5 more Bonus Entries if you leave a comment for Liz!
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Contest will end November 9 at 11:59 p.m. CST
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