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Food Blogger Mysteries, Food Blogger Mystery Series, News & Events

Food Blogger Mysteries – The stories continue

I have big news! Ready for it?

There are going to be more Food Blogger mysteries!!!

In December, I signed a three book contract and I’m beyond thrilled! So much so, that I’m halfway through the first draft of Hope’s latest adventure. I don’t have a publication date yet, but what I can share now about the book is that the story revolves around Drew’s family. So. Much. Fun.

2022 has been a challenging, roller-coaster of a year. While things may have gone sideways, there have been blessings. I’m looking forward to this new year and writing more Food Blogger mysteries.

News & Events, Writing

New Sale, New Series, New Name

Last week Connie and I were thrilled to announce on social media the sale of HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES, the first in a new series to be published by Crooked Lane Books. Not only will this be my third cozy mystery series, it will be my first time using a pen name. That’s right, for this new book, I will be writing as Lexie Cooper. I thought I’d share with you how this new book came to be. Ready for a behind-the-scenes look?

Debra Sennefelder with her Shih Tzu, Connie.

It all started with an email to my agent on May 5th. I pitched her a few ideas. There was one that was more fleshed out – it had three chapters written. The two others were summaries – about a couple paragraphs each. About a week later I heard back and neither of the ideas really interested her. Back to the drawing board.

On June 4th, I sent another idea to my agent. It was a summary with about three paragraphs to describe the setting, the characters and story. There was an angle of the story she liked. WooHoo! However, my excitement didn’t last long. While on Amazon looking for comparable titles, I saw another cozy series that I hadn’t read because if I had, I would have known it had the same hook my series idea had. Yeah, these projects were too close to each other. Back to the drawing board. (BTW, I got the first book in that author’s series and it’s in my TBR.)

After some more brainstorming, I sent off another blurb about a new idea. I really liked that one. There were several elements my agent liked, but felt wouldn’t have been attractive to editors. Back to the drawing board.

Some more brainstorming and chocolate, I came up with a new idea. I sent my agent a short email and asked – what about a cookie shop mystery series? I love cookies. I included one paragraph about what the story would be.

Well, that seemed to be a winner! See, everyone loves cookies.

I got the green light to flesh out this story. I knew the main character was someone who had been working in a not-so-personally-fulfilling career. I knew that she had a connection to the town where she’d settle and start her business. I knew she would have a few family members in the town and a lifelong friend who would work with her. Over some hit and misses, I came up with Mallory Monroe. Then her life started to emerge as I started jotting down notes. What I didn’t know until I had to rewrite the first three chapters (in real estate it’s all about location, location, location – in writing it’s all about tighten, tighten, tighten) I discovered that her bestie’s dad is the Chief of Police and his sister is the police officer Mallory spoke with after she found the body of cranky food blogger. See, it’s a process.

Up to this point there were about 21 emails to finally get to an idea that had the potential to sell.

Now I was off to write a partial which included a synopsis, three chapters and summaries for future books in the series. I turned the partial into my agent and it took 30 more emails of going back and forth to get the partial ready to go out on submission.

Between the heat, humidity and feeling that I was hitting my head against a wall, it felt like a really long summer. Now I know it was worth every minute I spent working on the partial because I did sell the series! And I’m thrilled to be joining the Crooked Lane team. Crooked Lane publishes some of my favorite series!

Collage of cozy mystery book covers. Books included are Reading Between the Crimes by Kate Young, Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost, Deadly Ever After by Eva Gates, Murder by the Bookend by Laura Gail Black, and Death on the Shelf by Allison Brook.

Laura Gail Black’s Antique Bookshop Mystery series

Allison Brook’s Haunted Library Mystery series

Jacqueline Frost’s A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series

Eva Gates’ Lighthouse Library Mystery series

Kate Young’s Jane Doe Book Club Mystery series

I hope you enjoyed this look behind-the-scenes of this writer’s life this past summer. Right now, I’m finishing the first draft of the next Resale Boutique book, which is on track to be finished by the end of the month. Then I’ll start outlining HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES. I can’t wait to dive into that story. Have a great day!!!

News & Events, The Uninvited Corpse

Chocolate Chip Cookies – which do you prefer?

Question of the day.

Are you Team Chewy Chocolate Chip cookie or Team Crisp & Thin Chocolate Chip cookie?

In THE UNINVITED CORPSE, food blogger Hope Early is Team Chewy while her close friend and town Police Chief, Ethan Cahill, is on Team Crispy & Thin Chocolate Chip cookie.

I’m with Hope. I love my chocolate chip cookies chewy and soft and with a glass of milk.

Recipes for both types of cookies are shared in THE UNINVITED CORPSE, which is on sale this month for only $1.99 (ebook edition).

Which type of chocolate cookie do you prefer?

Coffee & Chat, News & Events

Coffee & Chat #17

Today we’re celebrating the 4th of July here in the states and it’s a hot one today. Actually, it’s been a hot one all week and we still have more days left for this heatwave to bake us. I’m trying to keep this in perspective but I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard. And while it would probably be a good idea to sip an iced coffee, I don’t like iced coffee so I’ll grab my mug of freshly brewed coffee and start today’s chat with you. I have something to share! And it’s below!

THE HIDDEN CORPSE (book 2 in the Food Blogger mystery series) has a cover and I’m thrilled with it. If you subscribe to my newsletter you’ve already seen the cover (if not, check your inbox). My publisher, Kensington, did a fabulous job creating the cover and I just adore Bigelow on the cover. Love him to pieces.

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Former reality TV baking show contestant and recent divorcée Hope Early is trying to find her recipe for success as a food blogger—but murder keeps getting in the mix . . .

When Hope’s elderly neighbor perishes in a home fire, she can’t help but feel somewhat responsible. Only the day before, Peggy Olson had called her over, having burned a pot on the stove while she was sleeping and filling the house with smoke. In fact, she couldn’t even remember cooking. Clearly, it was dangerous for the woman to live alone.

But it turns out she wasn’t alone. When a second body is discovered in the basement of the burned house, suddenly what appeared to be a tragic accident is beginning to look like premeditated murder. As rumors spread like wildfire, Hope is determined to sort out the facts and smoke out a killer, but she might be jumping from the frying pan straight into the fire . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

The book will be released on March 26, 2019 but is available for pre-order from your favorite book retailer (links are on the book page for The Food Blogger series if you’d like to place your order now.)

Keeping with writing updates, I’ve hit the 40,000 word mark in my first draft of SILENCED IN SEQUINS. I’ve mentioned before I work from a detailed outline but it’s flexible which came in handy a couple of days ago. I felt there needed to be an extra scene to heighten the danger Kelly has put herself in by nosing around the murder and to also let her have some reflection on her granny’s recent passing. The scene came together and I wrote it and so far it’s my favorite scene in the book.

Sometimes it seems like it’s all work and no play but I did manage to get out and work in the garden. I admit, it’s not my most favorite thing to do (bugs, poison ivy, excessive sunblock) but after awhile I do find myself enjoying the gardening tasks. And I definitely find myself enjoying the flowers that bloom.

I caught a glimpse of our raccoon and her FIVE babies the other morning. They were heading for their little home after a night of foraging. The babies were adorable. I also caught a glimpse of our wild rabbit. She was out for quite a while munching on leaves. I love all of the wildlife that I get to see here on our quiet little road.

I’m going to wrap up this post. It’s been great catching up with you and I hope you’ll take a moment and let me know  what you’re doing this week? Any vacay plans? What are you reading? I’m always looking for recommendations to add to my TBR.

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