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!
You do not have to be a follower or publicize to enter
but I hope you will see something you like here and join.
Contest will end November 9 at 11:59 p.m. CST
Winners will be chosen by Random.org
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Liz Lipperman (Giveaway too!)”
Hi Liz, I love cozy mysteries and looking forward to reading Liver Let Die. Love the title..lol
Good morning, Miss Kallie. I can’t wait for you to read it. And dollycas, I’m still smiling over your review. You “got” my story and the characters. And I’m happy to say that unlike Jordan, my protagonist, I am a great casserole cook. Almost all of the ten recipes in the back of the book are right out of my own cookbook. I like to go to a restaurant, find a great dish, bring it home in a doggy bag and figure it out using easy ingredients. I got dinged in a review because I use canned soup and Cool Whop, but that’s how I like to cook.
If it’s okay with Dollycas, before I leave here today, I’ll post my husband’s favorite dessert. In the book I call it Ray’s Pumpkin Pie Crunch. It’s yummy and just in time for the holidays.
Great post as usual, Liz. I’m so glad you stuck with the writing, and you’re so funny in person, it makes sense that you would do such a great job with cozies.
I just love the name of the book. It would make me buy it.
Liz, don’t let one negative review bring you down, especially one on Amazon. I find some reviewers on Amazon to be less than reliable. I enjoy a bit of romance in my cozy reads. It adds another element of suspense and surprise. I love a good foodie cozy so your books will go on my to be read list. I look forward to the whole series! Love the title too. I grew up on liver and onions. My mom made it quite a bit!
Glad you did not let the term “cozy” steer you away! Sounds like a great series and I can’t wait to try the first book.
Never in my professional life did I get 100% accolades, no matter how good the work product. I think that true for plumber or doctor or author. So learn from what your critic says, if possible, and move on. The question of romance in a mystery is a matter of personal taste and surely not universally abhored. Christie did well with romance and mystery in The Secret of Chimneys.
Beth, I’m surprising myself by not getting as upset as I thought I might by a negative review. There are only a few of them, and most of the reviewers “get” it as Dollycas did. Some of my author friends tell me not to read my reviews, but I can’t resist. And I have good reviews on Amazon. It’s goodreads where I’m seeing negativity.
Thanks for your comment. Like my protagonist, I have never had liver in my mouth.
Hey, Liz–nice name!! And you’re so right about not being able to please everyone. I love what Dollycas said about the world being a boring place if everyone liked the same things. I have a friend whose taste in movies is so different than mine, I know when she recommends one, I probably shouldn’t see it. And I’ll have to find that Christie classic.
I always think back to dinner with friends when we are discussing a movie, not all of us liked it. It’s the same with books, concentrate on the ones who love it and dismiss the others as just not their taste.
Picking a genre is always difficult. An author friend’s agent had her change her adult fantasy book into a YA and it didn’t sell well because it was in the wrong genre.
Love the cover and always nice to come across a new cozy mystery. With the winter months coming along any book that you can read with a nice cup of tea in hand is a cozy treat.
This sounds like a great book, and a great start to a fun Cozy series 🙂
Liz, don’t let a reviewer get you down. I love a little romance mixed in. I also really enjoyed your post. I also try now to go out of my way to compliment someone who does an extra good job at something. When I’m reviewing I also point out it’s just my opinion and sometimes things just don’t work for me, but that’s not how it will be for everyone. I also try to find things that do work. But the truth is most books I review do work for me. I love cozies and I hope I win because I really want to try your series out.
Ha! Can’t wait to start this series! So much fun! and being a clueless cook, myself I’m thinking Jordan and I will get along great!
As for the romance bit- I like there to be some romance in a mystery. It adds to the story when the protagonist has to deal with another complication.( and isn’t romance always complicated?)
what would Stephanie Plum do without Morelli or, god forbid, Ranger!
Sound like you may a good person to feature on a Cozy Wednesday when your book comes out. Keep me posted!!
A great post. I love learning how authors get the ideas for thier books. This is on my TBR list.
Great interview and giveaway!!
I follow in all ways except the WordPress…could not find and link to it…
Kathleen, I have researched this and it’s weird. My first WP blog, the one they lived less than a week had a FOLLOW button right at the top. Today after reading a bunch of forums and articles it seems that is only for people who have WordPress accounts because they have WP blogs. This isn’t fair if it is not available to everyone so I will be removing it from future giveaways. If I find out something different I will post something so everyone knows. Thank you for following me every way you can. It has been a crazy month and people following me all over the place brings happy tears to my eyes. <3
Sounds like a great mystery! I have been trying to increase my mystery reading lately so thanks for the giveaway!
I love the way you say the series came about. And it sounds all the more fun to read for being different.
I just love the title (Liver Let Die) of this book. Very clever!
Holy cannoli!! I do a little editing and come back to all these comments. Let’s get right to them.
@Anita – You are one faithful groupie on my blog tour, GF. thanks so much. And Anita has a new release coming in November titled, EMBRACE THE HIGHLAND WARRIOR. If it’s half as good as the first book in that series, it’s going to be terrific.
@debbie – hey, thanks for commenting. I love the title, too. It was my editor’s brain child.
@Linda K – I’m glad I decided to write it, too. I discovered I really like being able to add the humor to the mystery.
@ Ann – thanks for your sweet advice. I really do need to do that. I got a letter from a woman form Minnesota yesterday that made me cry.It was so sweet and came at just the right time. And cuddled in a warm blanket with a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate with a good cozy has to be at the top of my list too.
Here we go with more comments.
@ Christine – thanks for commenting and for your nice words.
@Crystal – you sound like a great reviewer. I’m aware about the different strokes thing, but I also wish everyone would be gentle. I judge a lot of writing contests and the majority are from beginning writers. There have been time when nothing is working in the chapter they submit. I always manage to say a few nice things so as not to discourage them from continuing to write. One of my friends got “Don’t give up your day job.” on one of her entries. And I’ve been really blessed with good reviews. I’d love to have you review my book.
@ Laura – You are so right about a little romance. It does add a little something to the mix. who doesn’t love a little sexual tension and bantering back and forth. And all you cozy lovers out there, Laura just signed a three book contract with my editor. Remember her name!!
@ Nancy – thanks. I love hearing that.
@Kathleen. Thanks. I’ll let Dollycas respond to the Word Press issue since I am a total bozo on most things computer.
@Margaret – Hey, thanks for commenting. Fingers crossed you win one of the two books Dollycas is giving away.
@Sheila – I cringe every time I think of me writing about gourmet food. I am Jordan, my protagonist. I love fast food, casseroles, fried bologna and Ho Hos, and I’m a rabid sports fan. The only difference is that I’m a pretty good casserole cook– well and the fact that she’s young and skinny with good hair. With the exception of the Chocolate Decadence Cake, all the recipes in the back of the book are my own.
@LuAnn – as I mentioned earlier, my editor came up with the title. Mine was Ducks in a Row–how boring. BEEF STOLEN-OFF and MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT, the next two books in this series are my own, though.
Thanks for the giveaway. I have been seeing this on several blogs and the name really caught my attention. It looks very good.
I love mysteries of all kinds! This sounds like a great series! I really like the cover, too.
This looks like a very funny book! And I love the title too. Thanks for the giveaway.
@Judy @Carole @Margie – Thanks guys. Wish you could all win a copy.
Liz, what a great post and story! I’m glad you decided to never say never and that we now have Liver Let Die to read! It sounds like a great cozy!
I do like some romance with my mystery books. I think it makes them even more interesting. Really cute book cover and titile. Sounds like a great mystery.
I just love the quirky title of the book. Sounds like one I would enjoy reading.
Liz, Liver Let Die sounds like a cozy I’d love. Speaking of love, I do like romance mixed with mystery. Wishing you all the best!
@holdenj – LOL.Thanks. You guys are so nice.
@katsrus – thanks, Sue. I just sent the edits for book 2 to my editor and per her wishes, added another scene with my gal’s love interest. I love a little romance with my mysteries, too.
@ann – This was my mother’s name!! Thanks. I hope you get to read it.
Thanks for the giveaway!
good luck to Liz & i can’t wait to read Liver Let Die!!!!
thank you for the giveaway!!!
@ cyn – Hope you like LLD. And good luck in the drawing. Thanks for the well wishes.
Hi Liz! Oh my goodness a heroine I can completely relate to! You are an absolute late night genius! I am definitely interested in Liver Let Die. I love a cozy mystery and whenever I am on a diet (I am on hCG diet right now), I am a lover of all foodie things from cooking shows to recipe hunting in all my magazines. This really looks like a delight. If I don’t win, I can assure you that I will hunt it down! 🙂
Kelly, you have made my day. As for diets, I gave them up. I decided I was sick and tired of yo-yoing. so, I made a few changes, and while it’s slow coming off, it’s coming off. I’ve lost 22 pounds since summer. Sending good vibes for you on your diet.
Oh, and you probably shouldn’t read my next post. I’m putting up one of the recipes from the book. It’s my hubby’s all time favorite dessert ever, I guarantee you’ll never eat regular pumpkin pie again.
Okay, it’s after midnight in Dallas, and I’m not a spring chicken anymore, so I’m off to bed. I want to thank Dollycas and all you wonderful commenters who have made this really fun for me. A 5 star review doesn’t hurt, either. Thanks, Dollycas!! I’ll keep checking for a few days and reply to any late comments. In the meantime , here’s the recipe I promised–just in time for the holidays. This is soooooooooooooooooo good.
Ray’s Pumpkin Pie Crunch
1(15 ounce)can solid pack pumpkin
1(12 ounce)can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1½ cups sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
1 package classic yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup(2 sticks)butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture and top with pecans. Drizzle the melted butter over the top. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped topping. Refrigerate the leftovers and reheat in the microwave before serving. You will never eat regular pumpkin pie again!
I definitely agre – never say never. I say write what you love and out and not become defeated easily. I’m glad you kept writing and now you get to share your stories with readers all over 🙂 That pumpkin pie crunch recipe looks pretty tasty.
This sounds like a great book! Definitely one that I would enjoy! Thanks for the chance!
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net
Fabulous day!! Thank you Liz!!
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