Cover Reveal — Guest Debra Sennefelder

We are delight to welcome back Debra Sennefelder and share the cover of her debut book The Uninvited Corpse! It’s available for pre-order here. It comes out March 27, 2018 from Kensington Publishing.

Thank you Wicked Cozy Authors for inviting me to reveal the cover of my debut novel, The Uninvited Corpse. I’m beyond thrilled to here today and I’m so excited to have the cover my book. It’s truly a dream come true.

Here is the back cover copy for  the first book in the Food Blogger Mystery series: Leaving behind a failed career as a magazine editor and an embarrassing stint on a reality baking show, newly divorced lifestyle entrepreneur Hope Early thought things were finally on the upswing–until she comes face-to-face with a murderer . . .

Hope’s schedule is already jam packed with recipe testing and shameless plugs for her food blog as she rushes off to attend a spring garden tour in the charming town of Jefferson, Connecticut. Unfortunately, it isn’t the perfectly arranged potted plants that grab her attention–it’s the bloody body of reviled real estate agent Peaches McCoy . . .

One of the tour guests committed murder, and all eyes are on Hope’s younger sister, Claire Dixon–who, at best, saw Peaches as a professional rival. And suspicions really heat up when another murder occurs the following night. Now, with two messy murders shaking Jefferson and all evidence pointing to Claire, Hope must set aside her burgeoning brand to prove her sister’s innocence. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer intent on making sure her life goes permanently out of style . . .

I had a blast writing The Uninvited Corpse. For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be an author. I had visions of spending my days writing scenes, chapters and hitting bestseller lists. Silly childhood dreams, right? I discovered mysteries beyond Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, cozies in particular when I found the Miss Marple books. I was hooked.

Fast forward a few more years and I was browsing in the local bookstore of my new hometown after I married and I found the Faith Fairchild mystery series by Katherine Hall Page. Once I read The Body in The Belfry I knew what I wanted to write. Then I discovered Valerie Wolzien, Diane Mott Davidson, Claudia Bishop and so many other wonderful writers. Then life happened and I stepped away from fiction writing. I eventually started a food blog, The Cookbook Diva. In that space I was in control of everything – content, schedule, promotion. No one was editing me. No one was rejecting my work. I loved it. I enjoyed sharing my recipes, I enjoyed the blogger community and I really enjoyed spending time in my kitchen. But over time I felt that tug of something that was missing. What was missing was fiction writing. When I really thought about it I couldn’t see myself in ten years from then still writing a food blog but I could see myself as an author.

One weekend I decided to pull out my idea file (writers usually have thick folders of ideas for books) and I started thinking up plots and characters. I slowly got back into the writing community, found my critique partner, mystery author Ellie Ashe, and set forth to write a novel. I knew my amateur sleuth would be involved with food somehow. I considered several options and the one that seemed the best fit was food blogger. I had experience with that world and it was something different for the cozy world. Once I was well into the first draft of The Uninvited Corpse I made the decision to shut down my food blog and focus entirely on fiction writing. I’m so glad I did because I’m exactly where I should be writing novels.

Thank you for sharing my cover reveal with me today!

Readers: What is your favorite thing about culinary mysteries? Or what is your favorite thing about finding a new series?



Wicked Wednesday: Lessons from Cozies

On Wicked Wednesdays, we all chime in on a topic. This week, what cozy series have you learned from? What has made that enjoyable?

Julie: Two series come to mind. First of all, Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody series. It is about Egyptologists at the turn of the last series. Really fun, funny, and I felt like I was learning about the scientific methods of the time. And then, when I went to Egypt, I brought Barbara Mertz‘s book Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphics. Interesting, since Barbara Mertz and Elizabeth Peters were one and the same person.

The other series is Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile series. I love learning about book binding, and the frame she has put around the series.

Jessie: I know I’ve mentioned her before but I love all the series by Charlotte MacLeod. Her books are lessons in silly fun that is balanced by well developed, meaningful relationships between people. Her characters are funny but they way she treats them celebrates who they are and the lives they live in a way that shows the regard she has for them.

bouillon_paper_smallEdith: Many years ago, when I realized I wanted to write a mystery novel, I was reading Katherine Hall Page‘s series, featuring caterer Faith Fairchild in a fictional Massachusetts town; Susan Wittig Albert‘s China Bayles herb shop series, set in Texas; and Diane Mott Davidson‘s Goldy Bear Catering Mystery Series. I drew lessons about writing a foodie cozy from all of these and kept them in the back of my mind, I guess. They all feature a WholeEnchiladafemale protagonist with a quirky female buddy. The amateur sleuth is courageous, funny, and an entrepreneur, and either at the start or later in the series they all have children at home, which I did at the time (and still do, blessedly, just not at home!). Who knows, my protagonists Cam or Lauren might acquire a child or two one of the these days!

Sherry: I came across Clare O’Donohue’s Someday Quilts Mystery Series because she was one of the authors on a panel I moderated at Malice. In the Double Wedding Ring, the characters, plot, and setting all were fully developed and felt real. I have several old quilts that my grandmother made. One of them is a double wedding ring. It was interesting to read about modern day quilt and pattern making while reading a great mystery.

billionaireblendBarb: I always mention Cleo Coyle’s Coffee House Mysteries. I love the way she turns Greenwich Village and the community around the Village Blend Coffee House into perfect cozy setting. Her characters are diverse and interesting and the back story (and how it plays out in the present) is fabulous.

I also learned a lot from three Maine-based series: Kaitlyn Dunnett’s Liss MacCrimmon Scottish Mysteries, Sarah Grave’s Home Repair is Homicide Series and Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone Mysteries. At first I was a little intimidated to jump into their ranks, but now that I have I realize what an inspiration these books are.

Readers, your turn: What cozy series have you learned from? What has made that enjoyable?