Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MISSION IMPASTABLE Book Club Kit Available

Last week I posted an article explaining to authors what I was doing to help build readership and reader loyalty to my brand, Murders with Taste. (Clever, eh, for a culinary mystery series?)

I urged authors to consider creating book club kits for their readers who might select their book for a club option. I believe a marketing plan needs to include a full tool belt of various outreach efforts. The article for that piece is:

I posted here the entire kit (sans interviews yet) in case someone wants to download pieces of it. I tried to think what I would like in a book club kit. I want to know something about the book, the author, and what others think of the book. So that’s there.

 Additionally, if I were in charge of the book club meeting, I would appreciate some discussion suggestions and ideas about how to handle potential issues that arise. So, I put in my two cents worth.

Apart from that I decided to give “value-added” by including additional pieces I had not seen in book club kits I checked out.

I want to connect with my readers. I think that is the prime motivator of any author. We want our words to touch others, and we want to hear about the impact. To that end, I included ways to contact me via social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Also, I gave opportunities to connect with related content by my YouTube vids and through Skype.

Another piece that is often found at the back of historical fiction novels is what the author investigated while writing the book. I included what I learned about being a personal chef as well as ways to kill with poison. Fascinating! Tea, anyone? Bwahaha!

It occurred to me readers who find Mission Impastable interesting might like to know of other authors of the genre, so I put a page of names in.

But the real value added is a recipe from the book. How could I write anything without including a recipe, right?

Take a scroll through the Mission Impastable Book Club Kit included in the list of pages associated with this blog. Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 24, 2014


It's here! Mission Impastable went live on Amazon yesterday. Yep, MI's birthday is January 23, 2014 making this an Aquarius baby.

Aquarius is known to be curious, open-minded, and independent. Though creative, Aquarians are sometimes emotionally distant while appearing sociable. They are more interested in intellectual interests than practical ones. (based on Susan Buchanan's Sign of the Times) How in the heck does that relate to this book??? Maybe this sun sign thing only works with people. Ya think?

If you are a fan of culinary mysteries, you know you get a two-fer: mystery plus cookbook. How can it get any better than that? I hope you enjoy the recipes I included.

I am grateful to Sunny Frazier, acquisitions editor, and my wonderful and patient editor, Billie Johnson, publisher at Oak Tree Press who helped make it the book it is today.

Here's the final cover. I am very grateful to these wonderful mystery writers, Ilene Schneider, F.M. Meredith, Amy Bennett, J.L. Greger, and Lorna Lund Collins, for their early and quite lovely reviews. Now let's see what the rest of you think!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tweat Tweets Contest (revamped from 2011)

The prize is announced at the end of this post.

It’s possible that I am a reincarnated cryptographer from WWII. Possible, maybe even probable. How else to explain being the only one in my family who does crossword puzzles and other word games and whose favorite Christmas and wedding gifts were dictionaries?

Oh, I hear you! Jumping to conclusions again, are we? Huh! Being able to go beyond, to imagine, to try out alternatives, those characteristics defined the cryptographers who saved the world back then. I’m proud to claim that I (might) have been one of their company.

I think my past life explains, too, my fascination with tweeting recipes and cooking tips. I LOVE these little mini-puzzles. I bought Maureen Evans book of recipe tweets as much for the little word puzzles as the actual recipes I could make—It is unique among my cookbook collection. She was the first to tweet recipes, and now many of us do. Still, she reins as the “queen of tweats”.

Of course, the rules are, well, rules. Twitter will not (I know because I tried to circumvent their rules by re-writing the Twitter program code after I broke into their system one weekend) let you use more than 140 characters. That includes spacing and punctuation! OMG! Who chose 140??? Why not 125 or 150? It was probably somebody’s IQ or something like that.

Still, one can tweet recipes. I do very often @Good2Tweat. I’m going to let you try it, too.  I’ll tweet the best one left in comments here by midnight, MST, January 12th. Of course, I will give you credit! You can be a “tweat king/queen for a day”, too.

First, the recipe has to be written clearly enough that I could follow it. You can get creative with spacing (2 cups can be 2c). If you don’t have space enough for ending punctuation, capitalize the next word to signal ending punctuation without having to use it. Abbreviate common cooking and food words (e.g., “evoo” for “extra virgin olive oil”, “t” for “teaspoon”, “T” for “tablespoon”, and “mx” for “mix”, “H2O” for “water”, etc).

While I occasionally cut a recipe in two and tweet it in parts, I only do that for ones with a filling and base. This is not the case here. One tweet for this recipe.

The recipe you are to tweet is for the Food Holiday, National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day, on January 14th.  My BFF, Pattycakes, makes the BEST Reuben sandwich, but she uses corned beef not pastrami. You can choose either one for your tweeted recipe entry.

Pattycake’s Reuben Sandwich
2 slices rye bread, seedless
1 slice Swiss cheese
6 thin slices pastrami (or corned beef)
3 tablespoons sauerkraut, well-drained
1-2 tablespoons sour cream
butter to spread on bread for grilling

On one slice of rye bread layer Swiss cheese slice, pastrami (or corned beef), and sauerkraut. Put sour cream on one side of second rye slice. Put sour cream side down on top of other ingredients and press together. Spread butter on both sides of the bread, grilled-cheese style, and grill the sandwich until brown on both sides.

If yours is the winning tweet recipe, I will gift you a copy of my new culinary mystery, Mission Impastable. Now that’s worth trying for, isn’t it? I reserve the right to include other submitted tweats that day, too, if they are several good ones!

Give it a go!