Welcome to a Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday!
Liz is one of the busiest authors I know so I am delighted that she can
still squeeze in a visit to Escape With Dollycas.
Wow! It seems like only yesterday I was a guest with Dollycas to promote book two of my Clueless Cook series from Berkley. How time flies! Here I am, again hocking another book – – or two – – or three.
Yep, you heard me right. Now that I have your attention I wanted to tell you a funny story about my research for Murder for the Halibut, the latest in the series that released last week. When I decided to send my heroine, Jordan, on a cruise to judge a culinary contest, I knew I needed to do some investigating to get it right. Sure, I’ve been on cruises before – – love them, in fact – – but I’ve never paid enough attention to detail to write about them. (BTW, you can get a seven-day cruise out of Galveston for a little over 300 bucks in February or March.
Anyway, the first thing I had to do was get the crazy characters from the Empire Apartments on the ship with her – – orders from my editor! With that figured out, I started the actual research.
You guessed it. Hubby and I took the seven-day cruise from Miami to the Western Caribbean islands. On the day we boarded the ship, I marched right down to the main desk and announced that I was a writer and that I needed to interview the head chef and the head of security. The lady looked at me as if I had three heads. It seems you have to schedule stuff like that months in advance, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to talk to someone.
Well, anyone who knows me already suspects I didn’t take no for an answer. On our first day at sea, there was a cooking demonstration in the main lobby, and several of the chefs were there. When it was over, I made my way to the head honcho, introduced myself, and basically asked if he wanted to help me write a book. Of course, that drew a crowd of interested chefs, all foreigners, mind you, and it was decided we would all meet the next morning in the coffee shop.
When I rounded the corner and saw four of them, all in their white starched uniforms and gigantic hats waiting for me, I nearly died. I introduced myself again, told them the name of my book and the basic plot, and voila! Before long I had all four of them chiming in with ways to kill someone using food on a cruise ship. I can’t even begin to describe the faces of the other passengers who couldn’t help overhearing as they sipped their cappuccinos. With enough material to get me started, I thanked the chefs profusely and left with a lot of great ideas to work with.
I never thought any more about it and concentrated on taking notes about the islands so I could include them in my story. On Friday night, our last night at sea, there was another huge cooking demonstration in the main theater, and hubby and I went. When it was over, one of the chefs came up to me and asked if I would meet him in an hour at the coffee shop. I figured he’d thought of another angle for my plot. Imagine my surprise when he was waiting for me with the typed recipe for Grilled Halibut Caribbean Style with the killer ingredient added. I nearly kissed the man.
Although he gave me his e-mail address, I haven’t received an answer back from him yet. I don’t know whether the e-mail is wrong or he’s ignoring me. I would like him to know that I acknowledged him in the front of the book and would love to send him a copy so he could see his own personal recipe included in the back.
All in all, we had a great time and I would do it again in a New York minute. Oh, what we sometimes have to do in the name of research!
And those other books I mentioned earlier—I have a romantic suspense titled SHATTERED DREAMS releasing in March and the first book of A Dead Sister Talking Mystery titled Heard it Through the Grapevine debuts in May from Midnight Ink. Pardon this shameless plug.
So tell me, have you ever been on a cruise, and if not, where would your dream cruise take you?
So jealous, I have never been on a cruise but hope to someday!
About This Author
Liz Lipperman started writing many years ago, even before she retired from the medical field. Wasting many years thinking she was a romance writer but always having to deal with the pesky villains who kept popping up in all her stories, she finally gave up and decided since she read mysteries and obviously wrote them, why fight it? She now calls what she writes Romantic Mystery (RM) since there is always a hunky hero and a lot of flirting. In October of 2011, the first book of her Clueless Cook cozy mystery series, Liver Let Die, debuted from Berkley Prime Crime. Since then she has published two more. The latest, Murder for the Halibut, released this month. The first book of her new series from Midnight Ink will debut in May. She writes her cozies under her real name and her mainstream mysteries as Lizbeth Lipperman so that her cozy readers will know the books written under this name are not G rated.
She lives north of Dallas with her HS sweetheart hubby. When she’s not writing, she spends her time doting on her four wonderful grandchildren. She loves hearing from readers.
Murder for the Halibut
(A Clueless Cook Mystery)
3rd in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 31, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 624 KB
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Laura K. Corless
A sports writing job would have been the perfect catch for Jordan McAllister, but in Ranchero, Texas, all she could reel in was the food column. Though she may not know her way around a kitchen, she has no trouble finding herself in a kettle of fish…
Tempted by the offer of a free Caribbean cruise, Jordan accepts a spot as a judge in a week-long big-time cooking competition aboard the Carnation Queen. She just better hope no one finds out that her famous palate is far from refined.
But there are bigger fish to fry when arrogant chef Stefano Mancini falls face first into his signature halibut dish during the first event. While evidence suggests that the handsome Italian chef’s death was an accident, Jordan thinks otherwise. But she’ll have to keep her wits about her—and the sea sickness pills handy—if she’s going to solve this one…
This third installment of the Clueless Cooks Mystery is the best one yet. We escape to the Caribbean on a cruise with fantastic food, the characters we have grown to love, and culinary mystery that will keep you entertained from the first page to the last. This story is absolutely hilarious. Caution: Do not eat or drink anything while you are reading about the appetizer portion of the competition. I will be sending my laundry bill to the author 🙂
As one of the worst cooks ever and a very picky eater I identify with Jordan very easily. Of course I am extremely jealous because I have never been on a cruise but hopefully someday I will be able to cross that off my bucket list.
Famous chef George Christakis, on the cruise to judge the cooking competition, quickly became by favorite character. Classy guy. Down to earth. Maybe he’ll visit Jordan in Texas someday.
Liz Lipperman has served up cozy worthy of 3 Michelin Stars or 5 Dollycas Starfish!!! Get ready to board the Carnation Queen and set off on an exciting adventure with Murder for the Halibut. Bon Voyage!!!
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!
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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.”