I have a new release available! A culinary cozy mystery novel (that is, a mystery novel sort of in the style of Miss Marple and Murder She Wrote, with cooking) called YOUR SOUFFLÉ MUST DIE.
The print books are proofing–but the ebook is available now!
REVENGE IS BEST SERVED FOR DESSERT.
With her first cooking class (as a teacher!!!) coming up, her catering business starting to take off, and her heart starting to recover from her divorce, Sam Genoise wants nothing more than an easy night of blogging at her playful foodie website, www.FoodSlutOnline.com. Then a Horrible Internet Troll does the unthinkable: he threatens her soufflés.
Sam blows it off as a prank…
…but two batches of soufflés fall. During her cooking class. After she just tried to explain to her students that soufflés are easy.
Sam Genoise’s soufflés don’t fall. Ever.
Now Sam’s out for revenge, investigating ex-husbands, ex-chefs, so-called friends, and movie-star foodies while a serial dessert killer slaughters her best work.
Will Sam be next?
An offbeat cooking cozy, first in the Sweet Granadilla series, for foodies with an adventurous palate.
Sam stared at the screen in disbelief. She couldn’t hear a sound, and someone had sucked all the air out of the room while simultaneously replacing it with ice.
YOUR SOUFFLE MUST DIE, DEC 3 LOL.
Someone, some horrible internet troll, had left a comment on her latest post on her website, FoodSlutOnline.com. Horrible internet trolls had happened to her before, but she’d always had Harry to deal with them.
But her problems were no longer Harry’s problems, and she had no intention of calling him to ask what to do about a rude comment on her website.
Someone was making death threats on her cooking. And LOL. Honestly. It wasn’t funny.
She wished the comment would just go away, then suddenly realized that it could, if she wanted it to. Her mouse pointer hovered over the Trash button for a second. What if she needed it later? What if the troll sent another comment, just like it? What if they murdered her soufflé and she needed evidence for the police?
Okay. Time to stop going off the deep end, Sam. That’s exactly the kind of comment from you that would start a fight with Harry. Keep thinking things like that, and you’re going to prove him right: You’re a spaz. Six months without him, and your bank accounts are going to be a shambles, your site will close down, and your new catering business will fail!
Sam sighed, leaned back in her computer chair, and rubbed her eyes. Clearly, this was not a night to be alone. She turned off her computer monitor and the banker’s lamp over Granny’s roll-top desk, then padded downstairs in her sweatpants to call Kaley.
The house phone was downstairs on the far side of the kitchen, where she could pretend she couldn’t hear it ringing if she didn’t feel like answering. She picked up the handset, dialed Kaley’s number from memory, and waited. First ring, second ring…
Kaley’s mom answered. “Hello? Lugano residence. Marilyn speaking.”
“Hi, Marilyn,” Sam said, dancing from foot to foot on the cold tile. “Is Kaley home?” She felt like she was twelve again, instead of thirty-three.
“She is, dear. Would you like to speak to her?”
“If you please.” Sam giggled as Marilyn dropped the phone on the counter and yelled her daughter’s name at the top of her voice.
Kaley shouted back, “Got it!” and picked up the upstairs phone. Sam never called Kaley on her cell phone at home. The sheer drama and politics of family members answering each others’ calls was just too funny.
“Yeah?” she said.
“Aren’t you going to ask who it is?”
“I already know who it is,” Kaley said. “What do you want?”
“If you ask your mom if you can have a sleepover at my house, do you think she’ll be mad?”
Kaley snorted like a pig over the phone. “God, you’re such a twit.”
Sam laughed. “I promise I won’t get you drunk and fat.”
Kaley blew air across the phone, and it hissed in Sam’s ear. “Nervous about tomorrow?”
“No, I mean yes, some douchebag left a comment on Food Slut threatening my soufflés tomorrow.”
“How did they know that?”
“That the soufflé class was tomorrow? You didn’t announce the date change.”
“Oh, that’s true. I just sent out an email to the class.” Sam paced back and forth through the kitchen, running one hand across her countertops and her new marble slab for chocolate and a butcher’s block in the center island. “Hm…I don’t know.”
“Did you ask Harry about it?”
“When you get divorced, that means that the other person doesn’t want you to come running to them with all your problems anymore, Kaley.”
“Yeah, but death threats on your desserts.”
Sam wanted to laugh it off, but she couldn’t. “So come over? We can watch something out of Jack Malpeque’s oeuvre and try out the winter aphrodisiac nibbles for next month’s class.”
Kaley squealed. “The truffles came in?”
“No, sorry. We’re just going to have to use the frozen truffles.”
“When are they coming in?”
“Monday. Supposedly.” Three days away; an eternity, as far as she was concerned. “I’ll throw in some chai vodka.”
“Deal.” The phone beeped off, and Sam went back upstairs, turned on her monitor, and looked at the comment again.
She had no idea how to tell who it was from. She pasted the email address into a search engine; all that came back was that the address belonged to a remailer, which was (she looked it up) a service that took off your real address and replaced it with another one. It sounded like something that even Harry would have trouble with. Weird. One, why bother making empty threats on her soufflés? Two, why bother going through all the secrecy? Usually trolls didn’t bother hiding their identity too hard. They usually just wanted to yell at her for trying to make cooking funny and sexy instead of too complex and boring to bother with.
She usually got comments that boiled down to What’s the point of making delicious food if it isn’t hard? And Why do you have to make so many jokes about sex? Which always struck her as pretty stupid.
She turned off the monitor again, went into the back pantry and started pulling down ingredients. Raw avocado-chocolate pudding: avocados, cocoa powder, agave, sea salt, vanilla…Figs and chorizo: dried figs, Spanish sausage, pimentón, cinnamon, Manzanilla sherry, olive oil…Truffled ravioli: fontina, dried truffles, honey, pears, and walnuts… She stopped. She couldn’t remember what the last dish was.
Ah. Shrimp bisque. Harry’s favorite.
When the doorbell rang, she dumped everything on the counter, sniffed back tears, and opened the door for Kaley.
“Cutting onions?” Kaley asked.
She shook her head. “Shrimp bisque.”
Kaley dumped her bag on the floor and hugged her, then stepped in out of the cold. “Poor thing. You should take it off the menu.”
“No…it’s perfect,” she hiccupped. “I can’t tell you the number of times he dragged me to bed after I made him shrimp bisque. It works. I have to move on.”
Kaley shook her head at her. “Now you know why I never married.”
“You just haven’t met the right man yet.”
Kaley rolled her eyes. “I have met the right man. He’s just married and a professional hockey player. Oh, yeah. And I’ve never actually met him.”
“He signed your jersey.” But Sam was feeling better, wiping her face on a tissue, leading Kaley back into the kitchen.
“He signs everyone’s jerseys. Ooh, we’re going with the pudding? I don’t know about that. Raw food. It just sounds like it’s for a bunch of weirdos. I don’t know if anyone will try it.”
“We’ll give them some first and then explain how to make it. They won’t know what hit them.” Sam checked the avocadoes, which were hefty, full, and with just a little give under her fingers. “So rich…so delicious.” She stroked the avocado suggestively. “So…ahuacate.”
But she had already shocked Kaley with her explanation of the Aztec word for avocado (testicle), and Kaley, whose eyes must be in a perpetual state of dizziness from rolling at Sam’s bad jokes all the time, ignored her and went straight for the freezer. “I believe I was promised chai vodka.”
(Please note: print book still in progress!)