Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited to welcome Jacklyn Brady here today!!
I think the most common questions I get as an author are those about characters. How do I come up with my characters? Are they based on real people? Do I come up with characters or plot first? The answers, of course, always different for every book.
Years ago, when I first started writing, I worried about my characters because they never wanted to follow directions. I’d create someone to be shy and demure. She’d turn out to be loud and brassy. I’d set a story in the winter. The protagonist would climb up on his roof to replace shingles following a summer storm—and refuse to get down.
For a long time, I thought this was a sure sign that I’d never be a “real” writer and I nearly despaired of having a writing career. And then one day I read an article on characterization written by a multi-published mystery writer (one I particularly admired) in which she mentioned that her characters did the same thing. I read that article at least twenty times and finally started to think that maybe my headstrong characters might not be proof of failure after all.
Since then, I’ve tried to give my characters free rein to be just what they are. I think my favorite books are those in which the author merely tells the characters’ truth, whatever it is. And that’s what I did in The Cakes of Wrath, the fourth outing for Rita Lucero, the protagonist in my Piece of Cake mystery series.
In the fourth book in the series we meet up again with Rita and spend time with most of the recurring characters in her world. Miss Frankie (Rita’s almost-ex-mother-in-law and business partner) is on the scene, as are the cake artists on staff at Zydeco Cakes: Ox, Isabeau, Estelle, Dwight, Sparkle and Edie. Gabriel Broussard from the Dizzy Duke makes an appearance, as well.
Speaking of recurring characters, I never planned for Ox to challenge Rita’s position at Zydeco, and I never know what he’s going to do next. Edie’s announcement at the end of Arsenic and Old Cake came as a complete surprise to me. I found out when the rest of the Zydeco crew did. In this book, I learned a few things I didn’t know about Sparkle.
We also meet a cast of new characters in The Cakes of Wrath. The story began to take root when I began to imagine a woman named Aquanettia Fisher. Several months before I began writing the story, I heard her first name in casual conversation. It grabbed my imagination and wouldn’t let go. For months, I wondered what someone named Aquanettia would be like. She could have been anyone, but in Rita’s world Aquanettia turned out to be the single mother of two adult sons, Isaiah and Keon. Both of her sons appeared in my imagination fully formed after I met their mother. Aquanettia runs a thrift shop called Second Chances, and she’s acting head of the Magnolia Street Small Business Alliance, of which Rita is a reluctant member.
Other members of the alliance include the much-tattooed Moose Hazen, owner of the nearby Chopper Shop, and his wife Destiny, a woman with more problems than a person can shake a stick at. Destiny is the first person I “met” in the Hazen household and the moment I saw her in my imagination I knew she battled addiction. I’ve known a number of people who struggle with addiction over the years, so I recognized the tell-tale signs the instant she opened her mouth. In the beginning Moose was just a big guy with lots of muscles, but then he showed up for the alliance meeting and revealed all those tattoos. I was surprised at first, but that’s who Moose was, so I just stepped aside and let him go.
This time out we meet Miss Frankie’s cousin, Pearl Lee Gates. Yeah, I know her name is a little odd. I honestly didn’t plan it that way. She walked through the door at Zydeco and introduced herself, and that was that. There’s no arguing with Pearl Lee, as you’ll discover when you meet her for yourselves. Along with Pearl Lee, we meet her “special” friend, Scotty Justus, a retired commercial fisherman who also happens to be Destiny Hazen’s father.
Also showing up is Zora Rappaport, owner of the Feathered Peacock yoga studio. I expected her to be a yoga enthusiast, but she set me straight soon enough. She hasn’t actually practiced yoga in years. Edgar Zappa from EZ Shipping is also a member of the alliance. He insisted on defending Destiny when others turned against her, but he wouldn’t tell me why for a long, long time. And then there’s Sebastian Walker, the neighborhood pharmacist. He’s a friendly guy who bears a completely unexpected resemblance to Will Ferrell.
I hope you’ll come and meet everyone in The Cakes of Wrath and that you enjoy getting to know them as much as I did.
About This Author
Jacklyn Brady is the national bestselling author of the Piece of Cake mystery series. You can find her online on her Website on Facebook and on Twitter
The Cakes of Wrath
(A Piece of Cake Mystery)
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Mystery (September 3, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Chris Lyons
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 721 KB
Miss Frankie has decided Zydeco needs to join the local small business alliance and Rita needs to represent the business in addition to everything else she has to do. It should be a great way to meet more people in the neighborhood but the meetings seem to drag on forever with the members arguing over silly details.
After one heated meeting Rita and Moose, the owner of Chopper Shop, are discussing an upcoming project when a van comes speeding at them. Moose’s quick reaction saves them both from being hit by the van but Rita is pretty bruised up from hitting the ground and most of Moose landing on top of her. The doctor prescribes some pain medication but the next day when Rita really needs them she can’t find them anywhere. She remembers Destiny, Moose’s wife, being in her office the day before. Destiny has a history of drug use so Rita decides to track her down. She is too late. When she arrives at the Chopper Shop she finds Destiny dead with the pill bottle in her hand. Suicide or murder? The detective on the case decides right away that Rita is involved and refuses to believe anything Rita or anyone else tells him. She needs to find the truth herself before she is baking cakes behind bars.
Jaclyn Brady has baked up another tasty mystery!
I love these characters. Rita, Miss Frankie, Ox, Edie and Sparkle are joined by some very crazy characters in this installment. Pearl Lee, Sonny, Moose, Zora, Aquanetta and more. What a group! Pearl Lee just cracked me up. Edie has her own drama with her parents not very happy with her situation and Miss Frankie gets right in the middle of everything. Add to this a busy cakery, a neighborhood clean-up project and a dead body and you have everything you need for a great cozy mystery.
The author really had me puzzled with this one. A couple of suspects really stood out and then the clues started to stack up just like cake tiers and it all made perfect sense.
I really enjoy the subplots that continue from book to book. The surprises at the very end that leave you wanting the next piece of cake…um…next book…right now!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Leave a comment for Jacklyn for 5 Bonus Entries !
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Contest Will End October 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
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CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM
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.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Jacklyn Brady (Giveaway too!)”
I was so disappointed to read the synopsis that is written above “Dollycas’s Thoughts”. I wish the writers of these story descriptions would realize that much of the “mystery” in a mystery is trying to guess who the victim is going to be as well as who “dun it”. It takes a lot of fun out of the book for me to already know that Destiny gets killed and a very probable “murder
weapon” . (pill bottle in her hand , and of course…a viable suspect being the one that had the pain pills to start with. Just really way too much detail . Its like watching a movie preview that shows you all the good parts.
Thanks for the great giveaway.
Interesting characters with interesting names…Dee
Thanks for the giveaway, I can’t wait to start this series, I love mysteries that revolve around bakeries and I love baking cakes so this is perfect for me
I love the cover – so important when trying to decide which book to read. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
I like the characters in this series
Thanks for the giveaway.
I love the series and wish you much continued success with it. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of the first book and I believe I also have at least one “real” book buried somewhere on my bookshelves since I remember reading it.
I’d love to win this book and add it to my already overburdened home library.
I love how authors “meet” their characters. I think it’s fascinating as I have absolutely no imagination.
I enjoyed the synopsis as well as the review. Another great cozy to add to my TBR list!
this giveaway sounds unique and special. Thanks.
This series is great. thanks for this giveaway.
Looks very good…and yummy lol. My daughter writes and her characters have minds of their own too 🙂
Love the title! Can’t wait to read this, it’s going on my wish list !
Thank you for the review, it sounds like a good book. I like that one of the characters has my name. lol
Sounds like a good series.
Finally the next one is out! Love this series. Thanks for the giveaway!
I love this series. I am going to get Cakes of Wrath in my next buying trip.
Such a fun series. Hope you continue it for a long time!
Please keep baking up great books.
I’m excited about this series. Thank you for the giveaway.
I’ve found the same thing with my characters – I’m glad I’m not alone. Can’t wait to read this one.
This sounds like such fun. I can’t wait to read it.
I love this series, am looking forward to reading this one.
I am a huge fan of this series and can’t wait to read this next installment. The new characters sound very interesting.
This sounds like a good series, love the cover!
What a great cast of characters, the cake crew and friends sound fun.
Congratulations on the publication of The Cakes of Wrath! I enjoy food-related mysteries and have added this book to my TBR list. Great post on characters and how they have minds of their own. Thanks for sharing.
I love reading mysteries. You have some “different” names for some of the characters . I like baking and this one sounds like a good read for me . thanks
Looking forward to reading this one….
I am looking forward to reading Rita’s new adventure. I really liked Jaclyn’s comments about characters and how they seem to take on a life of their own. Thanks!
Thanks for stopping by yesterday everyone! I had great plans to check in throughout the day and then ended up in the car all day taking an unexpected road trip from Texas to Florida. Life’s just one big never-ending adventure, isn’t it?
Jacklyn, I have also heard that characters write themselves. I think that’s an awesome phenomenon and one that I can easily see. Too often, when I’m watching tv or a movie and a character dies, I have to remember that it’s not real. These people leap off the screen or page when they are well-developed and well-written. Thanks for bringing characters to life!!
I enjoy getting involved with the characters in a series and following them from book to book. Soon they seem like old friends to me.
This is a fun series to read. I love the book covers as well.
I really enjoy Cozy Mysteries. I can’t wait to read this series. Thanks for having the giveaway.
sounds good.thanks for the giveaway
Love this series- I cant wait to read this new book.
I hope I win.
Always looking for a new cozy series and since I was a caterer, I love foodie reads!
new book for my collection … cool
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