Tag Archive for: #food

Let Us Eat Cake

Untitled Post


’Tis the Season for Food, Food, Food

by Saralyn Richard

and food have a symbiotic relationship. You can’t have one without the other.
The same can be said for mysteries and food, at least in the two Detective
Parrott mysteries,
Murder in the One Percent and A Palette for Love
and Murder


The former
begins with a December birthday weekend retreat at a country mansion in the
lush Brandywine Valley. The guests indulge in a gourmet dinner consisting of
nine courses and wine pairings. The menu for this elegant party is stunning. It’s
one of the elements readers remember most about the book, and several book
clubs have replicated the menu to add authenticity to their book discussions.

A Palette
for Love and Murder
is set on and around Thanksgiving. Local favorites are
included on the menu, and throughout the book. All of the characters, whether
they are part of the wealthiest one percent or the people who serve them, consume
interesting and delicious meals. To give you a hint, do mushroom-barley soup or
pumpple cake from the Flying Monkey Bakery tickle your fancy?


If you’re
watching your diet, don’t worry. Reading mysteries burns calories. Sitting on
the edge of your seat and reading those heart-thumping scenes will take care of
whatever snacking you might do while reading. And turning pages into the night
helps, too.


Detective Parrott mysteries are temporarily unavailable on Amazon, but can be
purchased online at http://murderintheonepercent.com
on the bookstore page.

Saralyn Richard is the
author of the Detective Parrott Mystery Series, as well as A Murder of
 and the upcoming release, Bad Blood Sisters. A
member of the Author Talk Network, Saralyn enjoys meeting with readers through
book clubs, organization meetings, and other speaking engagements. Join her
next Tuesday at 5 pm Central for the Facebook Live event, Cooking with
Blackbirds. And if cooking is your thing, grab the pdf booklet, Epicurean
Feasts, featuring the dishes from the gourmet dinner party in Murder in
the One Percent.
 All you need to do is sign up for Saralyn’s monthly
newsletter to receive this and other special offers. Subscribe at http://saralynrichard.com.


Living Under An Assumed Name

Guest Post by Mary Lee Ashford

Huge thanks to Linda Rodriguez who very kindly offered me her spot this month to talk about my new identity and my new series. Thanks, Linda!

You know, I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a secret identity. An assumed name. Perhaps a name that’s mysterious and dangerous sounding. And now I have one, an assumed name that is. Only it’s not very dangerous sounding and it’s definitely not something I want to keep secret.

We’re all familiar with pseudonyms or the fancier term, nom de plumes. However, I never imagined when I started writing that I’d have more than one pen name. Initially I assumed I’d write under my own name. Instead I have two pen names: Sparkle Abbey, where I’m half of a writing team, and now also, Mary Lee Ashford, where I’m writing a new cozy mystery series for Kensington Books/Lyrical Press.

I’m so excited about this series and it has been such a joy to write on so many different levels. First off, I’ve read culinary mysteries for years and jumped at the chance to try my hand at one. Also, this series is set in a fictional small town in the midwest and it’s been fun to be able to put into the books all the things I love about small towns.

Additionally, for me, it’s always about the characters. That’s where it all starts. So I’ve loved the opportunity to develop Sugar Calloway and Dixie Spicer, the not-to-be-stopped ladies who drive the story. Sugar and Dixie have each had some things in their lives that didn’t turn out exactly as planned. (Haven’t we all?) They are both ready to start a new chapter and are well on their way but then…life throws another curve ball and suddenly they’re in the midst of a murder investigation. (By the way, if you’re reading this and you’re a writer, Linda Rodriguez has a fabulous book on characters: Plotting the Character Driven Novel.)

Here’s a little bit more about the first book, GAME OF SCONES,  which just came out this week:

After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch.

But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again . . .

The second book in the series, RISKY BISCUITS, will be out in July of 2019. And I’m working on book three right now so stay tuned for more news on that!
GAME OF SCONES is available at all your favorite places to buy books: 
If you’d like to stay in touch with the new me (and I hope you do) please visit my website MaryLeeAshford.com and sign up for my newsletter. 
You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and I have tons of tasty recipes on Pinterest. #GameOfScones #RecipesToDieFor #SugarAndSpiceMystery
Again, thank-you Linda for inviting me to step in on your day to introduce my new series…and my new identity. 

Clicking Our Heels —Food We Most Hate!

Our Heels – Food We Most Hate

this holiday season, many worry about gaining weight because of the snacks,
sweets, and delicious holiday only food we will be eating. Rather than have
that be an issue for The Stiletto Gang, we thought we’d let you, our potential
hosts and hostesses, know the “Foods We Most Hate.”
H. Goldstein – Lettuce. It’s slimy, green, grassy, and dull

Dru Ann
Love – Cooked fruit. Don’t like it not in its natural state. I make an
exception with raisins though – not a fan of dried fruit as well.  

Flood – Can’t think of one. Growing up, it was any vegetable available for
lunch in the school cafeteria. Anyone else remember shredded carrots with
raisins or the salty, overboiled green beans?

Bethany Maines – Mushrooms. Taste like dirt. Feel like slime.

M. Phillippe – I have been trying hard to learn to at least tolerate food I
normally hate ever

since I did a total reversal on Brussel sprouts and realized
I may be missing out on some good stuff I usually write off. But I can’t do
food texture, like mushrooms, certain seafood, and types of tofu.

Abbey – Sparkle is not into liver. Ever. Yuck!

Kendall – I loathe okra. My lip curls at the mere thought of it. Slimy,
dastardly stuff.

Aragon Fatula – Anchovies. I love seafood, I love fish. You couldn’t pay me

to make me eat anchovies. If I was starving I’d eat a bowl of lard with
a hair in it before I’d eat anchovies.

Holiday Strategy

It’s that time of year again. The holidays.  Starbucks is apparently hating Jesus because
they continued their paired back design aesthetic and put out simple red
cups.  (Yes, because from hell’s heart
they stab at Christians with a red cup filled with the artfully foamed blood of
the saints – muwahhahahahah!!) Black Friday ads are starting to pop up
everywhere (stampede!!) and relatives are booking flights and scrambling to
arrange schedules so that everyone can see everyone and be annoyed by everyone
all in a very short amount of time.
As yet, I have made no moves on the great holiday game
board. I’m still trying to determine strategy. Do I try and ride the “I have a
baby” thing for another year and do practically nothing? Or do I pull out all
the stops and try to get the best gifts EVER for everyone?  Should I shoot for every holiday party I’m
invited to, or do I try and find out everyone’s dates in advance and RSVP
according to the level of food awesomeness at each?  Generally, I try and do a really fun
Christmas card, but that takes energy, forethought, and great idea for some
artwork.  Maybe I’ll just skip that one
and move straight to the Christmas letter stage where I make friends and
relatives barf with the saccharine sweetness and absolute perfection of my
life. BECAUSE YOUR ENVY FEEDS MY SOUL. That’s definitely what the holidays are
all about, right?
Below are the following factors I’m using for determining my
holiday event strategy:
1.  Pie. 
  • Is there pie?   If the
    answer is yes, move to the top of the list.
  • Is it home made?  If the answer is no, then I don’t go.

2.  Sleep.
  • Will it cause my baby to be awake far longer than a tiny
    human should be?  If the answer is yes,
    your event will not be considered. 
    Unless there is enormous amounts of pie.

3.  Husband.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how badly is he going to complain
    about this event?  If the answer is ballet, then he will not be attending.
  • Can I bribe him with pie?

What are your strategies for coping with the oncoming
storm?  Hunker down or go fly a
kite?  What is your favorite way to do
the holidays?
Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie
Mae Mysteries
, Tales from the City of
and An Unseen Current.
You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube video
or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.

My Husband is Living With a New Woman

My Husband is Living With A New Woman by Debra H. Goldstein

My husband thinks he’s living with a new woman.  He isn’t sure who I am. Suddenly, I’m doing things and talking about subjects that are absolutely foreign to what he associates with me.

The fact is that we’ve been married long enough that he thinks he can predict what I like or dislike. Ask him and he’ll tell you that I love him, our children, books, eating out and theater (although he’s not sure what order, at any given time, those things fall in) and that sporting events, exercise, and cooking top my “forget it” list. Lately though, he thinks his wife has been replaced by a “foodie.”

Not only does he keep finding the television tuned to the Food Network, but he’s noticed that I keep coming home with cookbooks and new food gadgets. Even weirder, I’ve been turning down the option of going out to dinner to try a number of new recipes out on him. Of course, not all of them have been successful. For example, I made chicken soup from scratch for our Passover Seder, but I didn’t realize that the wide noodles I added a few minutes before the service would soak up all the soup during our short service. You can imagine my face when I peered into the pot to ladle out portions and could actually see my soup evaporating. The good thing, as we all agreed, was that the matzah balls, noodles, and chicken ended up being very well seasoned.

At least those things sans soup were edible. Recently, I made a fish dish that not only looked beautiful in the picture in the cookbook, but also on our plates. The only problem was that I got distracted when I was measuring some of the ingredients. Take it from me, 2 tablespoons of black pepper make a dish a lot spicier than ¼ of a teaspoon. Thank goodness we had plenty of water with that meal.

Last night, I dragged my husband to a new type of dinner experience – Dinner Lab. Young chefs come into town and serve a meal in a pop-up restaurant. Although the diner knows the chef and menu in advance, the location isn’t revealed until the day before dinner. The dinner itself is more like a tasting menu in that each course provides a different eating sensation. I liked the warehouse used, thought the menu novel, and enjoyed each course. My husband had the same reaction he had when he saw The Blue Men Group – “that was different.”

The reality is I haven’t changed. I still prefer to eat out. What has changed is that my newest work in progress (about 51,000 words so far) is a cozy with recipes. Writing accurately and interestingly requires research. Whether it is the voice, setting, or characterization, accuracy counts. So, I’ve become addicted to food shows, cookbooks, and cooking (okay, make that attempted cooking) for the sake of my craft. Can you possibly think of a more fun way to get the story right – even if it means my husband is living with a new woman?

Bouchercon 2014 redux

It’s been a week since Bouchercon ended and I miss the fun times hanging out with my friends.  For a recap of my trip, click HERE.

While in Long Beach, I went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame; saw the Hollywood sign; saw Steven Spielberg’s compound, and saw the house on stilts that was featured in one of the Lethal Weapon movies.  I also saw many, many, many authors, which you can read about on my blog post.

Sometimes it’s all about the food…

and sometimes it’s about other things

and that was my Bouchercon.

What was the last author/reader convention you attended? A book signing?

Food For Thought

By Evelyn David

Sometimes I’d like to lose 10 pounds. Most times, I just
think about it.

Food evokes all kinds of responses.
I have friends who
genuinely don’t care what they eat. They eat just to live, could care less what
they ingest.
Some see food as a barrier to their ultimate goal – to be thin. Model
Kate Moss, scarcely a role model, nonetheless summed it up for way too many
young girls: Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

Wow, not for me. Of course, that might be part of my
problem, but lots of things taste way better than skinny ever felt.

I’ve only been really thin once in my life. The months after
my father died, I stopped eating. It was the only time I was a size six – and
it didn’t matter one whit to me. And I guess I wasn’t even that thin, compared
to today’s concept of size zero being a worthwhile achievement.

One of the happiest times for me is when I’m at the table,
surrounded by family and friends, enjoying each other’s company, as well as delicious
food. I like to cook. It’s my hobby. But for those who don’t, I enjoy the food
just as well if we’re together, at a restaurant or eating take-out. Food paired
with those I care about is the perfect combination.

But I also like the adventure of food. Some friends think
spending money eating out is a waste. They want something tangible for their
money, like books, clothing, jewelry. Heck, I like those things too, but I also
like the fun of finding new restaurants, not even particularly expensive ones,
and sharing the experience of new tastes.

Some times, food is a source of comfort. That’s probably
wrong, but does it work better if I say that food prompts memories that give me
joy? When I make a Kugel (noodle pudding), I remember the lovely lady who gave
me the recipe. I got a thrill when my granddaughter was asked what she wanted
to eat when she got to Grandma’s, and she announced that Grandma always made her macaroni and cheese
(her favorite). My homemade chocolate chip cookies are a staple for holidays,
expected by family and friends.

We host a luncheon every year on the first day of Rosh
Hashonah (the Jewish New Year). One friend shared with me that he woke up the
morning of the holiday, just a week after the tragedy of 9-11, and knew no
matter what else was happening in the world, he could count on the baked salmon
I cook every year for the guests. That sense of continuity gave him comfort in
a time of uncertainty. This year, when I changed things up a little with a new
chicken dish, you would have thought I had introduced pizza as the main dish
for Thanksgiving (which wouldn’t offend me at all if that is what your family
has traditionally served).

So I’d like to lose 10 pounds, but I’d also like to continue
to eat my favorite foods. You don’t have to tell me. Moderation is the key,
with patience required for slow, but steady results. Yeah, I hear you.

In the meantime, what does food mean to you? And what is your
favorite food memory?

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David



A HAUNTING IN LOTTAWATAH – the Kindle ebook version will be a free borrow during October for Kindle Prime Members. Also the ebook will be offered as a free Kindle download for all during Oct. 1-5, 2012. Click Here


Sullivan Investigations Mystery
Murder Off the Books KindleNookSmashwordsTrade Paperback
Murder Takes the Cake KindleTrade Paperback (exclusive to Amazon)
Riley Come Home (short story)- KindleNookSmashwords
Moonlighting at the Mall (short story) – KindleNookSmashwords


Brianna Sullivan Mysteries – e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past CemeteriesKindleNookSmashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah KindleNookSmashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of LottawatahKindleNookSmashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah – Kindle (exclusive to Amazon this month)
Lottawatah Twister – KindleNookSmashwords
Missing in Lottawatah – KindleNookSmashwords
Good Grief in Lottawatah – KindleNookSmashwords
Summer Lightning in Lottawatah – Kindle NookSmashwords

The Ghosts of Lottawatah – trade paperback collection of the Brianna e-books
Book 1 I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries (includes the first four Brianna e-books)
Book 2 – A Haunting in Lottawatah (includes the 5th, 6th, and 7th Brianna e-books)

Love Lessons – KindleNookSmashwords