Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kathleen Delaney's Murder for Dessert

Kathleen Delaney, author of Murder for Dessert, has dropped by to answer a few questions. Welcome back to the blog, Kathleen.

What inspired Murder for Dessert?

I wrote the book while I was living in Paso Robles, CA., the central coast’s wine country. As a real estate broker, I had some experience in the wine business, representing both buyers and sellers in the sale and purchase of vineyards and wineries. Plus, my daughter managed all the special events for one of the area’s best known wineries and had arranged many “dinners with the wine maker.” They always seemed perfect to those attending them, but behind the scenes—well, things sometimes got a little hectic. That’s what got me started.

Who's your favorite character?

 That would have to be Ellen’s Aunt Mary. She’s a woman in her early seventies who manages all of the fund raisers for charity in their small town, her favorite is rummage sales. It pleases her to see all those items with perfectly good use left in them go to someone who can use them instead of ending up on the trash pile before their time. And if something doesn’t sell and it’s close to her size, well, it goes home with her. It makes for some strange outfits, but she’s oblivious to such petty details. She’s a warm, wise person without a shred of vanity

Please give readers a synoposis of the book.

Ellen McKenzie and her fiance’, Chief of Police Dan Dunham, are on their way to the very upscale Harvest Festival Dinner, hosted by Ellen’s niece, Sabrina and her husband, Mark Tortelli. They are seasoned winery professionals. What could go wrong?

New to Silver Springs Winery, the Tortellis have been worried for weeks that their jobs depend on the success of this event, and the reputation of the guest chef hasn’t helped calm their nerves. Otto Messinger is noted for his temper tantrums. Ellen is hoping he’ll keep himself in check. Dan is hoping the Tortellis, who have been staying with Ellen for a month, will triumph and soon find their own place to live.

Tonight’s guest list seems to include everyone who has ever had a feud with Otto, a fact the chef is thoroughly enjoying. The dinner progresses, a little shaky but without disaster.

Then it’s time for dessert. But where is Otto?

Are you writing another book?

Murder Half Baked is the next book in the Ellen McKenzie series. It is scheduled to be released late this spring. This time, Ellen and Dan are to be married on New Years Eve and Ellen is overwhelmed with wedding invitations, guests arriving for Christmas and staying over for the wedding, a gift of a wedding cake Ellen hates, and a new real estate client. Grace House, a home for troubled women, needs a larger facility and Aunt Mary volunteers Ellen’s services to get the old one sold and find them a new one. Ellen reluctantly agrees, but then the elderly doctor who tends to the Grace House residents is found beaten to death in the cemetery and all clues seem to point to someone connected to Grace House itself. Only the house burns down and all its residents come to stay with Ellen and Dan. Is one of them a murderer? Will her house be burned down as well? Most importantly, will all of Grace House residents still be with her on her wedding day? Ellen needs to help Dan solve this one, and fast.

And Murder for Dessert is available on Amazon, through Poisoned Pen Press, and by special order through most book stores. Unfortunately, or fortunately, most independent bookstores are sold out. It is, however, up on Kindle. The first two Ellen McKenzie books, Dying For A Change and Give First Place to Murder are available through my web site and will also be up on Kindle by the end of this month. I will post the release date of Murder Half Baked just as soon as I get it, but it will be late spring, early summer. Check the website often.

Speaking of dessert, you submitted Old fashioned Applesauce Cake for the Killer Recipes book, a project that benefits cancer research. Tell us about it.

It truly is an old recipe. My mother made it when I was growing up and I made it for my children as well. It’s a great snacking cake, goes into lunch boxes or on picnics easily, and can be made with wheat or unbleached flour. I was delighted to contribute it to your wonderful cookbook. It especially pleases me that the proceeds go to fight cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, it is a cause dear to my heart.

Got events coming up?

The next event will be in February, at Cape Fear in Wilmington, NC. I will be on a couple of panels and will have books available for purchase.

I'm planning to attend as well. I'll look forward to seeing you.
You can learn more about me by visiting my web site I will be making changes to it in the near future, one of which will be the posting of a new short story or article once a month. The first one will be up the beginning of December and is entitled “Fire” a spooky little tale that came to me while I was driving down the side of a mountain that had recently burned. I’d love to have people visit and always encourage comments. I also blog with Creatures and Crooks and have a new one up. Check it out.

Thank you, Susan, for this interview. The questions have been great and fun to answer.

Nice to have you back, Kathleen. I'll see you at Cape Fear Crime Festival! Folks, Kathleen's books and Killer Recipes would both make excellent gifts. Remember that proceeds from the cookbook are donated to The American Cancer Society to help kill cancer in our life time. Have a Merry CHRISTmas and a wonderful New Year.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Kathleen and Susan,

Murder for Dessert sounds positively delicious! I love reading mysteries and discovering new authors to savor.

Best of luck with this interesting series!

Anonymous said...

Nice interview, Kathleen. See you at Cape Fear.