Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Surprise! Liz Lipperman's Debuting today!!

interview with Suzanne

Suz: Romance Bandits, all of our Bandit Buddies and readers, I have a surprise guest for y'all. Today I'm chatting with my friend Liz Lipperman. Liz is one of the people who first made me feel welcome in my DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors) chapter when I first moved to Dallas. Now I get to return the favor by hosting her for the release of her brand new debut, first-ever published book, LIVER LET DIE: A CLUELESS COOK MYSTERY available Oct 4th!

Liz, please pull up a barstool and we'll have the Lair's chief cabana boy, Paolo bring us a pitcher of Margaritas.

Liz: Yum! Margaritas are my favorite. No salt, please. And what's more fun than drinking it with you Suz, and the fabulous line-up of Romance Bandits and their readers? And I can only imagine what Paolo looks like! Thanks to all of you for inviting me here today.

Suz: So Liz, I love the story on how you came to write a cozy mystery series. Can you tell our readers what events led up to you writing LIVER LET DIE?

Liz: First of all, I didn't even know I was a mystery writer until my agent told me. Duh! I had been chasing the romance market for many, many years and never ever finaled in a contest. Guess my dead bodies and big explosions didn't go over with the romance judges.

Anyway, once I realized she was right, I wrote a paranormal mystery, the first in a proposed series. It's about a trash-talking ghost who helps her sisters solve her murder. My agent sent it to a new editor at Berkley Prime Crime who'd just moved from an inspirational publishing house. I thought it would be a resounding "no" since there is a lot of bad language, sex, and gruesome murder scenes.

Turns out you can never tell about people. Not only did she love the story, she read it twice and quoted some of my ghost's best lines. BUT (don't you hate those?) she couldn't buy it since she was acquiring cozies, and she'd have to cut out the best parts. She wanted to know if I could write a cozy, specifically a "foodie." That's when I rushed out to the bookstores and grabbed up a bunch of them to read.

What I found was that most of the foodie cozies were about gourmet food, and there was no way I could pull that one off. I am one of 9 children. We ate casseroles, and to this day, I hate fancy food. So, I said no, I couldn't write it. Fortunately, my agent knows me better than I do, because she said yes, I could and to sleep on it.

I woke up the next morning with this great plot in my head about a wannabe sports reporter who gets dumped in Dallas and ends up in a small town writing personals. When she is offered the culinary column temporarily for a woman who is out with a broken hip, she jumps on it, seeing it as a way to mover closer to her dream job. The problem is, she was raised with four brothers, and although she can throw a great touchdown pass, she can't cook a lick, surviving on fried bologna sandwiches, fast food and Hostess Ho Hos. Three chapters and a synopsis later, I had a three book deal.

Suz: I love that story! LIVER LET DIE is set in a small town in Texas. How did you get the small-town feel for the story? Is there one key element about small towns that you think plays into the way a cozy mystery fits into it?

Liz: You've hit on one of the big requirements for a cozy, Suz. They're all set in small towns with a protagonist who just happens to fall in the middle of a murder. There are usually no cops or private eyes solving the mystery. As for the small town, originally I wrote it with a specific town in Texas. However, I changed it later because a fictional town offered way more options-that and the fact that I called the cops Dumb and Dumber.

Here's an excerpt from LIVER LET DIE:

Jordan dropped her review on Dwayne Egan’s desk and stepped back to await her fate. She’d spent the entire morning researching foie gras on the Internet and had come away outraged and ready to make a stand on the issue. 

That was before Egan grabbed the report and lowered his eyes to read, and all her bravado dissipated. Shifting nervously and second-guessing herself, she tapped out the melody of a rock song along the side of her slacks with her fingers.

Too late to change her mind as Egan motioned for her to sit.

She eased into the chair behind her, eyes fixed on the editor while he finished the first page and flipped to the second. Her nerves were like aliens ready to burst through her skin.

“You actually ate this?” he asked, finally glancing at her over the top of his silver-rimmed reading glasses.

“Yes and no,” she replied. “Mostly, no.”

Egan had already turned back to the report, re-reading the first page. “And this is how they get the duck liver?”

Her eyes lit up. Maybe he wouldn’t scream at her after all. “Yes sir. They force-feed the animals to fatten them up.” She paused, remembering how the pictures had sickened her, how seeing the tubes shoved down their throats had nearly made her gag. “The ducks are kept in tight cages so they can’t exercise or even move around.”

“Geez! And they’re serving this right here in Ranchero?”

“Yes,” she answered quickly. “At a price that would water your eyes.” She stopped, not sure she wanted to remind him how much she’d charged on the company card.

Egan dropped the report on his desk and leaned back in the chair, hands behind his head, making his ears protrude even more. “This is going to ruffle a few feathers at Longhorn Prime Rib.” He grinned, obviously pleased with his play on words.

Jordan shifted in the chair. “I was totally complimentary about the restaurant in general.” She thought about the Chocolate Decadence Cake that had doubled as breakfast that morning. “The desserts were phenomenal and the service – fantastic.”

Egan studied her face, his head tilted as if in deep thought. “I had you pegged for a simple meat and potatoes girl. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why you’d order this when you’re obviously so outraged at how they get it.”

Here it is! This was where she’d have to admit she was clueless when it came to fancy food. This was where he’d realize what a big mistake he’d made giving her the job. “The waiter recommended it. Said it was imported from Canada. Since I knew it was too expensive to ever try on my own, I went with it.”

“I still find it hard to believe you’d even order the dish, knowing how you feel about it.”

“I thought it was chicken,” she blurted, looking away for a moment, imagining the pink slip falling from this week’s pay envelope.

Egan threw back his head and laughed. And continued to laugh until Jordan finally gave in and smiled.

“So, let’s see,” he began when he was finally able to speak. “I have a culinary expert who has no idea what she orders at restaurants.” He slapped the desk. “That’s rich. Loretta would never see the humor in that, of course, nor would she be caught dead ordering anything but a thick, juicy steak.” He leaned forward and lowered his voice. “And just between you and me, she wouldn’t know foie gras from chicken piccata, either, even if it bit her on her overpaid butt.”

“I’m sorry, sir. Maybe you should give this job to someone else.”

His eyes bored into her. “Are you joking? This is going to grab the attention of every animal lover in Ranchero who probably has never even looked at Loretta’s column before.” He slid the papers across the desk. “Take this down to the copy room ASAP. I want it in tonight’s edition.”

Stunned, Jordan grabbed the report and headed for the door.

“Oh, and McAllister?”

She whirled around, expecting her little bubble of excitement to burst like a piñata at a birthday party with eight year old boys on a sugar high.

“From now on, you’ll do a bi-weekly column with recipes and food information. Fancy food like this. A couple of exposés would be great.” He rubbed his hands together. “If my gut is right, with the exception of the restaurant owner, the good citizens of this fine town are going to love you.”

“What about the Personals?”

He smiled. “Look at this as a freelance opportunity,” he said. “And the Personals as your day job. Now go.”

Jordan wondered how he could say that with a straight face, but she was too excited to care. She hurried out the door, surprised to see Jackie Frazier smiling. She’d obviously been eavesdropping. She imagined her, as Roseanne Roseannadanna saying, “It’s always something,” and she smiled back.

Who knew fatty duck liver could wipe the sarcasm off the secretary’s face and maybe even jump-start her career?

Suz: Your heroine, Jordan McAllister stumbles into more than a new career when she takes over the food critic position at the local paper. Can you give our readers a little hint about the trouble she gets into?

Liz: Her first assignment is to critique a steakhouse on the edge of town that has just reopened after being closed for six months when one of the owners died in a botched robbery. Since Jordan only eats hamburger meat well done, she asks her hunky waiter what on the menu isn't red meat, not seeing chicken anywhere. He tells her the foie gras must be good because the guy across the restaurant ordered the pricey dish every week. After one look at the squashy fatty duck liver, she nearly gags, and the entire entrée ends up in a borrowed purse. Two days later, the hunky waiter is found dead outside her apartment with her name and number in his pocket. And that's when it all starts.

Suz: Alex Moreland is the hero of LIVER LET DIE, how does he fit into the story?

Liz: Did I mention I am a romance writer at heart? Everything I write has a little romance in it. I knew I needed a love interest, but she's just new in the town, and the only friends she has are residents of her apartment. Most cozies are written in first person, but I am more comfortable with 3rd person and asked the editor if she had any problems with that or with multiple POVs. She said no. Later she had me take out a couple of short scenes written in a "he" point of view as the killer, but she liked that we were in Alex's head at times. She felt like the deleted scenes weren't necessary since we found out the info later in Jordan's POV. She was right. Anyway, Alex thinks Jordan is the killer, and she thinks he's been ransacking her apartment.




Suz: In cozy mysteries there are always some whacky secondary characters. Do you have any waiting to help or hinder Jordan and Alex?

Liz: I think the secondary characters are what convinced Berkley to buy the series. The editor loved the wacky residents of Empire Apartments who took Jordan under their wings that first day when she arrived broken and unsure of herself. There's a retired sixtyish cop with his seventyish psychic "lady friend", two gay guys who own the apartments, one of whom is my favorite character of all times to write, and a hippyish fifty year old who has been married four times and does all the cooking for the gang.

Suz: What's next for your series?

Liz: BEEF STOLEN-OFF will release in July, 2012. It's about modern day cattle rustling and has the same cast of characters with a fresh batch of suspects. Here's the down and dirty short blurb.
On an assignment to write a column about the famed Cattleman's Ball in Fort Worth, Texas, Jordan is the guest of wealthy ranch owner, Lucas Santana, who sees her review as a way to increase the sagging beef sales in the county. He's even hand-picked her escort, his right hand man, Rusty Morales, who looks like he just stepped off the cover of GQ, Cowboy Edition. But instead of dancing the night away, Jordan ends up in the emergency room where her date is DOA.

Currently, I am writing the third book of the series, MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT, where I have sent Jordan and her friends on a Caribbean Cruise to judge a cooking competition. (think Bravo's Chopped.)

One last thing before I have to shut up-beginning October 4th through the 31st, you can enter the LLD contest where the prize is a Pandigital Kitchen Technology Center worth $399. I'm also putting up my straight mystery, MORTAL DECEPTION, on Amazon next week as a marketing tool for LLD, kind of a try-me-you-might-like-me thing. For the entire month of October, it will download for $.99. Check out my website www.lizlipperman.com for details on both.

Okay, I've done all the talking. Now, it's your turn. Since I had to walk into B & N and pick several books to tutor me about cozies with no knowledge of cozy writers, I made an interesting observation about myself. I made my choices after reading the first line. The cover may catch my eye initially, but ultimately, it has to grab me with the opening line. What about you? What teases you into buying a book from a debut author or one you're not familiar with? The cover? Blurb? Chatting with them on a blog? All of the above? None of the Above?

I have one copy of LIVER LET DIE to give away, thanks to Berkley. To enter, leave a comment with a valid email address. This is open to US residents (publisher's request.) Suz will pick the winner. Before I leave, I want to thank Suz and the Romance Bandits again for having me here today. Answering these questions has been fun.

115 comments:

Nancy said...

Liz, welcome! And congratulations on your debut. That's a great excerpt, and the book sounds wonderful!

I'm with Jordan, sitting at the beef-well-done table. :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, I got da chook! If he doesn't behave, he's cacciatore! \

Liz, congratulations on your debut. The books sound delicious - pun intended. And what clever titles. Did you come up with those? I love the puns! I've recently discovered cozy romances. Ages ago, I read a lot of English Golden Age mysteries that would be considered cozies now although I doubt the definition applied back in the 1920s. I've definitely put yours on my list. Hope you sell a million!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no!!!! That wicked Nancy cooked my goose! The cacciatore joke must have made him fly back to the US!

Nancy said...

Oh, looks like I got the rooster! Hmm. I have to do some shopping for M&M. He can go along and be useful.

Liz Lipperman said...

Thanks for the welcome, Nancy. And did you get the GR? That sounds like a fun thing to pass around.

Wait till you see Jordan in the next book where its all about beef!!

Liz Lipperman said...

The funny thing, Anna, is that one of the titles for a future book in the series is CHICKEN CATCH-A-KILLER.

Love the delicious pun. Most "foodies" have recipes in the back, and I submitted 10 of my own, thinking the editor would choose one or two. She wanted all ten of them, and they are yummy. Two are posted on my website www.lizlipperman.com. The copy editor gave me fits on them since all my recipes are a dash of this, a pinch of that.

For BSO, I sent her ten more. I'm a glutton for punishment!

I need to read those early cozies as I'll bet they are way different. I was even allowed to use a few bad words!!

Liz Lipperman said...

Are you all GH finalists? As I mentioned, I never finaled in any contest. I always got a few really good scores and one judge who followed the romance rules like they were bible and hated me. Probably had something to do with the dead bodies.

I am in awe of you guys who finaled in the "big" one.

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha, the cacciatore is definitely going around! I love Dorothy L. Sayers' mysteries, Liz. And there's a wonderful romance running through them that I think you'll like. They're English and set in the 20s and 30s.

We are all 2006 Golden Heart finalists - so glad that was my year and I hooked up with Bandita sisters.

Liz Lipperman said...

I'll definitely check out those cozies, Anna. Since I write in third person POV, I had a hard time finding cozies that weren't 1st person. If anyone knows of any, let me know.

It dawned on me that I forgot to answer your earlier question. The inertial title of the book was Ducks in a Row, the first of the Casserole Lovers Series. When it went to the marketing meeting, it was changed. My editor actually came up with LLD. She has Beef Stolen-Off (my own title) right now, and so far, I think they're keeping that one.

I'm guessing all you girls are "across the pond" but here in Texas, it's way past my bedtime. I'll see you in the morning.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

This sounds like a great book, a few days ago I learned about steampunk and now I am going to learn about foodie mysteries.

As to your question I have found several authors right here in the lair. Books I would never have even glanced at if left to my own devices. I think the blogs and the ability to actually talk to authors is the best thing since sliced bread.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Ack, forgot the email address

Hrdwrkdmom52 at aol dot com

Maureen said...

Congratulations to Liz on her debut! For me, I need to know more about the story to buy it and that can come through many ways. It could be an excerpt, a review, a recommendation or a post like this one.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Helen said...

Yay Nancy have fun with him

Liz
Your books sound really good I love a good mystery and with food involved they will certainly entertain me I look forward to reading it when it is released.

As for me I love chating to new authors on blogs and the blurb will always be a favourite way of mine to choose a new book.

Thanks Suz for inviting Liz along today and Liz congrats on the release

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome, Liz! Congratulations on your debut and thanks for sharing your story with us.

Love the sound of your book and especially your sporty heroine! Will definitely put that on my list.

Catchy titles like yours always spark my interest! Occasionally covers do too, but I'm not often sold on covers. I always read the blurb and the first page.

These days, most of the new authors I come across are guests in the Lair.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Liz! Welcome to the Lair!

I adore the titles! How fun!

Congrats on your debut and all the buzz on your great story. Loved the excerpt too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

In a battle for the chook, Nancy gets him! Grins.

Nancy said: Oh, looks like I got the rooster! Hmm. I have to do some shopping for M&M. He can go along and be useful.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Liz! Some of the early commenters are from Aus - but not the Rooster Nabber. :>

You said:
I'm guessing all you girls are "across the pond" but here in Texas, it's way past my bedtime. I'll see you in the morning.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Morning, everyone! And congrats Ms. Nancy on snagging the GR. You're going to take him shopping? Wow, you really know how to torture a bird! hehehe

Suzanne Ferrell said...

I'm a beef girl, too, Nancy.

Gave up anything having to do with liver when a doc reminded me it is the toxic waste dump for the body.

No liver for me, ever again!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Anna!

I have to confess that other than Agatha Christie's books, I hadn't read much cozy type mysteries until our Kate started writing them. Then there are the ice cream mysteries by my friend Wendy Watson, and now Liz's books.

Aren't the titles a hoot?

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Liz said:Love the delicious pun. Most "foodies" have recipes in the back, and I submitted 10 of my own, thinking the editor would choose one or two. She wanted all ten of them, and they are yummy.

OHHHHHHHHHHh boy! I love to come across new recipes. Do you make them up yourself?

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Diana!

How are things up there in WV today?

I have to agree with you about the blogs, especially ours, leading us to lots of new authors!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Maureen!

Always good to see you in the Lair.

I think a good cover will catch my attention first, but like you, knowing a little bit more about the story or the author will have me looking for that book at either Amazon or the book store.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Don't forget gang, clicking on Liver Let Die's cover on the post will take you right over to Amazon to order it!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Anna S!

Occasionally covers do too, but I'm not often sold on covers.

I do love a good cover. Sigh. I kept seeing this one cover on the bookshelves for weeks. I'd pick it up, look at it, read the blurb, put it back. Over and over. Finally, I gave in. Should've listened to the part of it making me put it back.

I hated the writing and the story. Never finished it.

Now I always listen to my little voice that says, "read the blurb and the first page". Unless of course I met the author on the RB blog!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Jeanne!

You know, we can watch the sun move across the sky in the Lair by who pops on here, can't we?

The Aussies, then Anna S over in England, you in Washington. Nancy was being a night owl last night, and of course I'm just crawling into bed down here in Texas! Soon more of the East Coast/Midwest girls and later the West Coast girls.

Wow, we're like a nuclear clock!

Liz Lipperman said...

Wow! I love waking up to all this chatter. I feel like you're all enjoying coffee with me this morning.
So, hrdwrkdmomakaDianna, it's meeting new authors on the blogs for you. I read a Sisters in Crime survey last year that suggested blogs were way down the list of successful ways to market a book. Guess that, like everything else in life is subjective.

Thanks for commenting and for the address. If you don't win the book here, I'm giving away five copies on goodreads and one every day in October. You just have to follow me around!!

Liz Lipperman said...

Maureen, I have a feeling most people use several different criteria to pick a book like you do. I forgot to add this one, but meeting an author at a conference is another biggy for me, especially if he/she has a sense of humor.

Liz Lipperman said...

Helen, my girl uses the recipes from her friends after they slap on a fancy name for them- think casseroles in disguise.

Thanks for all the good thoughts my way.

Liz Lipperman said...

Anna, how lucky am I to be a guest on this great blog? My group blog is Mysteries and Margaritas, so if any of you want to come join us over there, I'd love to have you. We love showcasing authors, too.

Addison said...

Liz:

Congratulations on your debut - I've been anxiously waiting for this one!!!

And I really love your road to publication story. It's so important to recognize our core gift is storytelling - and there are a lot of stories we can tell when we set our minds to it!!

I love cozies and I'm thrilled to have a new series to devour (ha, ha!!)

Addison

Liz Lipperman said...

Jeanne, aka the Duchess --I'd love to hear the story behind that one.
Ah, so we have the "down under" girls and an "across the pond" one, plus Nancy who is just a late bird like me(pun intended.)

Doesn't anyone ever get tempted to eat the thing? And where's Paolo? I could use an Almond Ball this morning. (You have to read Book 2 for this recipe!! Just let me say it has Bailey's in it. Is it 5 o'clock in Aus yet?)

Kathy Ivan said...

Hey Liz and Suz

Liz is a fabulous writer and this book is a definite must buy for anybody who loves a good cozy mystery and a lot of fun secondary characters (they are hysterical).

Liver Let Die is a definite win on my list, and I love your roundabout way of getting into writing what ultimately got you your sales. Congratulations, girlfriend. (It was fun seeing you Saturday, too!)

Liz Lipperman said...

Suz, all that coffee you probably drank while you were delivering babies has you talkative this morning. As far as liver goes, I have never had that in my mouth, although I have to admit that growing up, my mom fixed kidney stew. We begged for it, but now, I can hardly even say it without nearly gagging.

I love Kate's books, too. Thanks for introducing me to her work.

Most of my recipes were my mother's. Unfortunate, she died of Alzhemers just about the time I was old enough to care about them. (I was number 8 of nine children as I mentioned.) Anyway, out of 5 girls, I am the only one who really cooks, so they were no help to me when I needed the recipes. I set out to re-create them, only I use shortcuts (cake mixes, bottled spaghetti sauce, etc.) My sisters are amazed at how much they taste like my Mom's.

Now, I love to go to a restaurant and find a really great entree, bring it home in a doggy bag, and figure out how they did it.

Liz Lipperman said...

And thanks for the plug, Suz. One of these days you'll have to whisper in my ear what book disappointed you so much.

And Dianna, I grew up in Ohio about a mile from Wheeling, WVA. Where are you?

Liz Lipperman said...

Addison, (Franny??) thanks for your good words. I was asked in another interview if my strong suit was writing or story-telling. For me, it's all abut telling the story, "painting the picture" as my sister always said. Since I am a card-carrying plotter, I can't just sit down and write, although I am terribly jealous of those of you who can.

Let me know what you think about LLD after you read it. The reviews are just now starting to come in, and so far, so good.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Liz, this series sounds like so much fun. My sister loves cozy mysteries, especially ones related to food, so I'm sending her the link to this interview. Maybe she'll pop by later.

Liz Lipperman said...

It's good to see another DARA face on the blog. Thanks, Kathy. It was great seeing you, too.

Secondary characters are what make cozies--and probably every book out there. When it was time to start book 2, (remember I sold on three chapters of book 1 and nothing on the other two.)I asked my editor what she needed from me- a synopsis, outline, three chapters? She said the book was already contracted and I should just write what I wanted--as long as I brought along the wacky friends on the ride.

Thnks for popping in.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: You know, we can watch the sun move across the sky in the Lair by who pops on here, can't we?

So true! The rare East Coast Night Owls - me, Nancy, Cassondra - often throw off the curve, but for the most part you sure can track it, can't you?

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Trish, thanks for the shout out to your sister. I've kind of followed your career, too. You must have a similar publishing storybook publishing story. I'd love to hear it.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: I do love a good cover. Sigh. I kept seeing this one cover on the bookshelves for weeks. I'd pick it up, look at it, read the blurb, put it back. Over and over. Finally, I gave in. Should've listened to the part of it making me put it back.

I hated the writing and the story. Never finished it.


Oh, don't you HATE that? I picked up a highly touted book at National with one of THE most gorgeous covers I've ever, ever seen. Stunning. I coveted that cover art.

Couldn't get past Chapter two. And you know, for me, that's bad. I can usually give a book at LEAST 100 pages.

Sigh.

But the cover art was GREAT!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Now, I love to go to a restaurant and find a really great entree, bring it home in a doggy bag, and figure out how they did it.

OMG Liz!! I do that, too!

Had roasted chicken and sweet potato risotto at Brio's restaurant with our friend JD Tyler the other month. It haunted me all weekend. I just KNEW I could make it.

So I set about learning to make risotto. Result: Hubby wanted to lick the pain after 3 helpings!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Liz said: Doesn't anyone ever get tempted to eat the thing? And where's Paolo? I could use an Almond Ball this morning. (You have to read Book 2 for this recipe!! Just let me say it has Bailey's in it. Is it 5 o'clock in Aus yet?)

The GR is probably too stringy and tough to eat, not to mention that he's incredibly entertaining - when he isn't being annoying. :> He gets into a LOT of mischief, but always comes out of it preening.

And an Almond Ball? Okay, I'm "not going there" on what I was thinking when I read that. Baileys, ohhhh yeah. Baileys is good with everything. :>

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome to the lair, Liz, and congrats on your debut release! Sounds like a fantastic book *g*

A wonderful excerpt (like the one you shared with us) will always get me to try a new author. If I'm browsing at the book store, I usually buy based on the back cover blurb and the first few lines of the story. But a great title and/or cover does catch my eye!

Nancy said...

Anna, I also love Sayers' Lord Peter, especially the later books. Gaudy Night is one of my all-time favorites.

Liz Lipperman said...

Suz, that's funny that you do the same thing I do. In LLD I used Rattlesnake Pasta. Texas Land and Cattle used to make a yummy vresion of this, then took it off the menu. So, I researched it and came up with my own. Like y our hubby, mine does tricks for this one.

I was talking about it one day on my own blog and one of the comments was Ro*tel? What's that? Nearly everything I make has this in it. Rattlesnake Pasta actually has jalapenos in it to give it a bite.

Liz Lipperman said...

Jeanne, I hate that, too. Knowing what I now know about how peons like me have little say over the cover, I no longer use that as a criteria. I have to admit, it does draw me to the book, though..then it has to pass the magical first line test.

Liz Lipperman said...

And, Jeanne, keep in mind this is a cozy! Almond Balls are hot chocolate with a few spices and of course, the Baileys. The recipe includes making hot chocolate from scratch, and is it ever yummy. Of course, the Baileys and the whipped cream have a lot to do with that.

Now, if you were reading my indie book, MORTAL DECEPTION, your first thoughts about it might be right!!

Liz Lipperman said...

Thanks for the welcome, Beth. It sounds like it is pretty unanimous that most of us use multiple criteria. Don't you just hate it when you pick up a book from a big-time author, only to find you have spent $26 bucks and can't even finish it?

Liz Lipperman said...

Nancy, are those cozies? I tend to read anything in the mystery/suspense genre. I have three completed books I'm trying to decide what to do with. The ghost story is with the new Amazon mystery line, waiting to be read. The other two break too many rules, so they will probably go up on my own. What about you guys? Anyone considering self pubbing?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Liz said: And, Jeanne, keep in mind this is a cozy!

Grins. I know. Hence my lack of snarky commentary. Heehee. The drink itself however sound deeee-vine.

Donna MacMeans said...

Liz - Welcome from another Berkley Babe. Have to say I love the sound of your book - what fun! You have such great titles - too cute! Congratulations and wishes for a fantastic launch!

Buying a debut...well, debut or not - the cover has to grab me or I probably won't pick the book up. I hate admitting that as an author because I have no say over the cover - but the cover is really important. Than I go for the back cover blurb - and the sub-genre. I prefer certain time periods over others in historicals and I prefer certain types of "woo-woo" over others in paranormal. I like humor so I look for some indication of that as well. Finally, I'll open the book and read the first couple of paragraphs.

Sometimes a review will make me interested in a book and I'll buy it based on that as well. Recommendations from friends are the best, though. I have purchased books by some of our guest bloggers just because I loved their voice in the blog. So you never know what will trigger that "buy me" impulse.

Good Luck!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

What a fabulous interview and the book sounds amazing!!! It's on my to-buy-immediately list :-)

Kris Yankee said...

Congratulations, Liz, on your debut! The books sounds scrumptious and I can't wait to read it. : )

Julie said...

Liz, when I heard about you book, I thought the concept was wonderful. I love the twist that instead of being a gourmet your character isn't.

Liz Lipperman said...

Waving at Donna. You make a good argument for the cover, although like you said, the author has very little control over that--unless you're Nora!

On another note, my author copies of LLD just arrived. OMG! I would never have believed a small green book could be orgasmic!!

Liz Lipperman said...

Thanks, Kari and Cris. These gals are two of my fellow Book Cents Babes and both have debut books out there. Check them out.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Julie, as I mentioned, there was no way I could write a gourmet series. I still put ketchup in my chicken noodle soup--a staple from my childhood.

Julie Benson said...

I can't wait to curl up with your book.

Julie Benson said...

Liz, I think that's one thing that will make so many readers identify with your character! We can see a little bit of ourselves in her cooking. My husband and I have a running joke about one of our early cooking experiences Tuna Oriental. Talk about scary. And I remember you mentioning bologna sandwhiches. One of the things I remember from my childhood is fried bologna sandwhiches.

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Hi Liz!! I will be heading to B&N on debut day to get my copy!! I can't wait to read it. and the second book sounds just as great!

Liz Lipperman said...

Julie, I love bologna, especially fried bologna. There's a scene in LLD where they find out she has a knife missing from the set. She has no idea where it is, saying she only uses it to cut the side of the bologna before frying it. Anyone who has ever done this knows you have to cut it so it doesn't curl when it's cooking!!

I also love hot dogs, and my friend is always lecturing me on the evils of nitrites. I still eat them raw.

As for curling up with my book, I can't wait to do the same with yours.

Liz Lipperman said...

Ah, another BC Babe. Hey, Barbie, thanks for dropping by. Soon, we'll be following you around on your blog tour.

jo robertson said...

Great interview, Suz! Congratulations on your debut release Liz. Liver Let Die sounds hilarious. At first I thought the title was a typo LOL.

I'm almost always hooked by the blurb, although I've made a few mistakes over the years.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Liz! Just sending you love.

Nancy said...

Liz wrote: Nancy, are those cozies?

I guess they'd qualify as cozies. Lord Peter Wimsey, the detective, is an amateur sleuth. From Strong Poison, in which Lord Peter acquires a love interest, the books are best read in order because of the relationship arc. But I think the early ones could be read in any order. My favorites are Murder Must Advertise, late in the series, and Gaudy Night, the next to last.

Sayers also wrote some Lord Peter short stories for the London Spectator during World War II. I was able to get copies of those through inter-library loan.

Jill Paton Walsh finished Sayers' unfinished novel, Thrones, Dominations and wrote a sequel. Her voice is different, and that was an obstacle for me, though I think a lot of other readers liked them.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Liz, this was an amazing post. I'm so excited for you. You are going to be huge!

Anita Clenney said...

Great post, Liz. I loved the background on the story, and the excerpt was so much fun to read. I can't wait for the book.

Mary Marvella said...

You girls do an interesting interview! Liz, you never fail to make me smile!

Liz Lipperman said...

Jo, I have to give the credit for the title to my editor. I called it Ducks in a Row. How boring!! And I have to say, the blurb is the second thing I look for.

Liz Lipperman said...

Love that love, Vicki. You make the this Plotting Princess proud. Are you tired of reading the same old excerpt yet??

Liz Lipperman said...

Ooh, Nancy, now you really have me intrigued. I will definitely check those titles out.

Liz Lipperman said...

Tiff, you are another of my best cheerleaders. I hope you enjoyed the book.

Liz Lipperman said...

Thanks, Anita. I always try to give hope out there for all the unpubs. If it can happen to me with all my rejections, it can happen to anyone. You just have to believe.

Liz Lipperman said...

Welcome, Mary. The feeling is mutual. And where is that darn cabana boy? It's after noon and I want a margarita!

So, Romance Bandit girls, how many books total have you all sold?

Virginia said...

It all of the above for me. I love reading authors debut book,it gives me a chance to see if I am going to like their work. Congrats on you new debut book would love to read it, sounds really good.

Barbara E. said...

The cover may catch my eye, but the blurb will hook me and convince me to consider reading the book. I usually make my mind up more from word of mouth, seeing reviews and people talking about a new author's work than just browsing in a store.
Congrats on the release of Liver Let Die, it sounds like a fun read. I love the small town setting, there are always such great characters living in small towns.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

p226 said...

"What about you? What teases you into buying a book from a debut author or one you're not familiar with? The cover? Blurb? Chatting with them on a blog? All of the above? None of the Above? "

The ONLY thing that convinces me to buy any book is word of mouth. Only a few times in my life have I bought a book based on a title, a cover, or a blurb. And those were situations like being stuck in an airport, and needed something to occupy my mind and my time right then.

Every book I've read for the past ten years has been based upon the recommendations of people whose opinions I value.

Liz Lipperman said...

I just got my first look at the cover copy for book #2 from my editor and have to share, I love it.
And they kept my title, BEEF STOLEN-OFF--Yay!!!

Aspiring sportswriter Jordan McAllister never imagined she’d be a food critic. Yet here in Ranchero, Texas, that’s exactly what she is. And while she may not know a flank steak from a filet mignon, she certainly knows how to rustle up trouble…

As the food columnist for The Ranchero Globe, Jordan McAllister catches the eye of cattle baron Lucas Santana, who invites her to the Cattleman’s Ball, hoping a positive review for the ball might boost the county’s sagging beef sales.

To ensure Jordan enjoys herself, Santana sets her up with a prime cowboy companion for the event—Rusty Morales. Jordan’s delighted to go with him and two-step the night away. But instead, she winds up in the emergency room where her date is DOA.

When Rusty’s mother begs her for help, Jordan knows she needs to grab the bull by the horns and get to the bottom of this mystery before she corrals herself into trouble…

Liz Lipperman said...

Thanks, Virginia. I would love for you to read LLD and let me know what you think about it.

Liz Lipperman said...

Barbara, I agree that word of mouth is important, too, but I am a little cautious about that, too. I have a friend who (or is it whom??) I love dearly, but i know when she recommends a movie to me, I shouldn't go. Our tastes are that different.

I started freaking out thinking about reviews, but I have to remember the story about my friend. Not everyone is going to like what I write. Hopefully, note will than won't, though. That's the best I can ask for.

Liz Lipperman said...

p226, I see you use word of mouth, too. Glad that works for you. I guess the trick is to know which people in your life shares your same likes and dislikes.

I hope someone tells you how good LLD is!!!!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Trish!

My sister loves cozy mysteries, especially ones related to food, so I'm sending her the link to this interview.

This is what I do with my mom and my aunts, except often, I just buy them their own copies and send them.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Donna!

By the way, Liz is another transplant from Ohio to Texas. :)

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Kari!

Welcome to the Lair.

It's on my to-buy-immediately list

It's on mine too!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Kris!

Welcome to the Bandit Lair.

Glad to see Liz's buddies have dropped in for the day.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Addison!!

Waiving madly!!!

Can't wait to see you next week!!!

And I really love your road to publication story. It's so important to recognize our core gift is storytelling - and there are a lot of stories we can tell when we set our minds to it!!

Isn't this a great story? I really wanted Liz to share it. My favorite part is, instead of saying, "nope, can't do it", Liz ended up doing something different and succeeding at it.

Hmmm, wonder where I've heard that before?

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Julie!

I love the twist that instead of being a gourmet your character isn't.

And I bet her reviews of regular home-style food is way better than gourmet foods!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Julie Benson!!!

Y'all this is one of my Texas girls and a debut author (who will be with us the end of November!)

Glad to see you here, Julie!

My husband and I have a running joke about one of our early cooking experiences Tuna Oriental.

Uhm, do I dare ask what this is?

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Barbara Jo!

***whispering in your ear***

You can click on the picture of the cover in the blog and pop right into Amazon to get a preorder copy.

******* just sayin' *******

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Beth!


A wonderful excerpt (like the one you shared with us) will always get me to try a new author. If I'm browsing at the book store, I usually buy based on the back cover blurb and the first few lines of the story. But a great title and/or cover does catch my eye!


So, basically, you're easy? hehehe

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Jo!

Thanks. It's fun and easy to interview people like Liz. Y'all she's this much fun in real life!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Vicki Batman!

Glad to see you stopping by the Lair!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Tiffanie and Anita! Glad to see you stopping by the Lair. Come around often and you'll meet our wonderful cast of characters.

Gladiators
Hockey Hunks
Cabana boys

and

a dragon named Ermagarde

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Mary!

You girls do an interesting interview!

Thanks!

Sandy Blair said...

Seriously great interview, ladies!!! And LOVE your premise and titles. I can't wait to order the book. (I hope it's available in Kindle...I've become addicted to the silly thing.)

Big hugs, Liz!!
Sandy

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Sandy, we miss you in Dallas. I'll get to see you next weekend and catch up. Thanks for the kind words.

And Suz, it's good to see you awake and alert. You are saying some awful nice things about me. I guess I'll have to buy you a drink the next item I see you!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Liz Lipperman said...

And Dianna, I grew up in Ohio about a mile from Wheeling, WVA. Where are you?

I am in Charleston Liz, right smack dab in the center, that is how Charleston was named the capitol, it was between Charleston and Huntington, both were on the river, both relatively large cities but Charleston was more centrally located.

Liz Lipperman said...

I love Charleston, Dianna. I was a nurse in my other life and I took state boards there.

My agent is from Charleston--lives downtown within walking distance of the capital building. She's in the middle of moving to NY, though, and has her house on the market.

Small world.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Ms. Sandy!!!

Is the weather cooling off up there in NH? Ready for snow yet? (It was 88 here today. hehehe)

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Liz: And Suz, it's good to see you awake and alert. You are saying some awful nice things about me. I guess I'll have to buy you a drink the next item I see you!

But of course!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Virginia,

I love reading authors debut book,it gives me a chance to see if I am going to like their work.

I'm pretty willing to try any new author, but will only buy the second book, if I loved the first. Have a feeling I'm going to be buying lots of Liz's books.

Joan said...

Welcome Liz!!!

OMG...this sounds so fun!!! Er, for a murder mystery....

My horizons have opened quite a bit having grown up reading basically romance when I read our own Kate's cozy series....I'm a fan of them now!

Can't wait to read this and did you come up with the title??? Love. It.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey P226!!

You said: Every book I've read for the past ten years has been based upon the recommendations of people whose opinions I value.

Me too, mostly, P226. And most of my good recommendations come from my fellow Banditas. Grins.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Wow, the DARA gals are out in force here today, aren't they? :)

Yes, Liz, it took me 11 years to get published, but hey, it was worth it. :)

And Suz, I did buy a copy of Liz's book today and it just might find it's way to Washington state.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Joan, thanks for the welcome. LLD is a fun book. The editor let me get away with a few things that were a little racy but fun.

As for the title, she came up with it. Mine was boring-Ducks in a Row. The good news is that I just heard she is keeping my title for book #2 - Beef Stolen-Off. Yippee.

And Kate is a hard act to follow. I love her humor.

Liz Lipperman said...

Trish, thanks for the purchase. I hope you like it. I've been told it is already in some B & N stores.

And 11 years isn't that bad. I have a friend who has a debut cozy out next month who took one class, wrote one story, finaled in the GH and sold withing a few months after that. I tease her all the time about it. She teases back and says I went to bed and woke up with a three book deal. I wish it had been that simple. Most of us had dues to pay.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Barbara!

I love the small town setting, there are always such great characters living in small towns.

My parents are from a small town. Boy are there some characters that live there!

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Liz,
I love the excerpt! Can hardly wait to get the book. And I love, love, love the titles! Good luck with your release!

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats on nabbing the boid, Nancy! Hope you get some work out of him!

Love the excerpt, Liz! And your titles are priceless!

Cozies like this are my fun read when I want to completely relax and have fun. Looking forward to reading yours!

Sonali said...

Mostly when choosing a new author i look at the blurb and the cover...interaction with the author on the internet is just a plus point.

Liz Lipperman said...

Karilyn, it's great to see another DARA member here. What an awesome, supportive chapter. Thanks for your kind words.

Liz Lipperman said...

Louisa, cozies are fun reads with a lot of humor. I really hope you enjoy this one. The next one is really a cowboy story.

Liz Lipperman said...

Sonali,--what a beautiful name, BTW--are you saying you don't even read the first line? For me, that's critical. I like the idea of chatting with an author I don't know, also. Then when I read the book, it seems more intimate.

Liz Lipperman said...

Just one last note to thank the writers at Romance Bandits for letting me hang out and play with them today. I also want to thank the people who commented and made me feel like a princess.

Invite me back.