About Fortune's FoolNell Marchand has never worked a day in her life. When her philandering skunk of a husband suddenly drops dead, leaving her without one red cent to her name, she lands smack dab in the middle of the hard times she has only heard about in newsreels. Nell tries to find a job to support herself and the household that depends on her, really she does. Her typing is a disaster, she cuts off every call in her one day as a telephone operator, and laundress leaves her back aching. There has to be an easier way.
A reluctant visit to prosperous Joseph Calendar, her flighty mother-in-law’s medium, persuades Nell that there are fortunes to be made in, well, telling fortunes. As society fortuneteller Madame Nelora, she is soon the toast of Memphis. But when a desperate father begs Nell to find his daughter, she has a true vision of the missing girl. Terrified that she’s losing her mind, Nell turns to Calendar. She may suspect he’s a charlatan, but he is the only man who can help her embrace her gift and the responsibility it entails. To find the girl–and unravel a secret from her own past–Nell must outwit a corrupt banker and his gangster pals who will do anything to keep her hidden.
ABOUT JANE SEVIER:
Jane Sevier writes mystery-thrillers and love stories with a Southern flair. Her manuscripts and screenplays have received national and international recognition. Fortune’s Fool, Book 1 in her Psychic Socialite historical mystery series, was a finalist for the 2010 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart®.
As soon as she was old enough to hold a pencil, Jane knew she wanted to be a writer. She has been lucky and has always earned her living that way. As a feature writer, she covered fields as varied as artificial intelligence, the arts, the environment, and international affairs and traveled on assignment to exotic locales as diverse as Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and Texarkana, Texas. Several of her feature stories won national and regional awards.
Although she is the spawn of generations of small-town dwellers and grew up in small towns herself, at heart Jane is a city girl. She has lived in Nashville, Dallas, Paris, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. She recently came back to Nashville and home to her Tennessee roots.
AND NOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT JANE:
DONNELL: If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?
JANE: Wow, that’s a tough one. Hmmm. My two favorite countries are Scotland and Italy. Not that I’ve been to every nation on earth, but I have had the good fortune to visit to countries on five continents. If I had to limit myself to one spot to settle, though, it would be Edinburgh. The history, the people, the architecture, the food. (Notice that Italy also excels in these areas.) All that salmon. Pub food is tasty, I actually liked haggis, and there are lots of great ethnic eats in Edinburgh. I fell in love with the place at first sight, and just imagine an entire city full of men who sound like Sean Connery. Have mercy! “Moneypenny!”
DONNELL: If you’re not writing, what’s your favorite thing to do?
JANE: Another toss-up, depending on my mood. Read or watch a movie. They both transport me to other worlds, into a sense of heightened existence. It’s the same kind of in-the-zone experience that writing elicits when it’s going well. Of course, a truly sublime meal or even the perfect biscuit with butter, a bite of well-cured Tennessee country ham, or some homemade blackberry preserves can do that, too.
DONNELL: Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero but he wouldn’t go away?
JANE: No, but I adored Rafael Critz, the villain in my first manuscript, The Quetzal’s Tale. It grieved me that I wouldn’t get to write about him again.
DONNELL: You’re trapped in a burning building. Who do you want with you?
JANE: Well, I would sure hope no one else would have to be in there with me! It would be nice, however, if a tall, lean-muscled fireman burst through the door, threw me over his broad shoulder as though I weighed no more than a feather, and hustled me to safety. Y’all can fill in the rest.
Speaking of fire, I once blew off my eyelashes, the inner edges of my eyebrows, and the front of my hair trying to light my sister’s grill to cook a slab of salmon. The only thing that kept me from feeling like a total idiot was one of her friends saying that she (the friend) had done it twice. At the time, my hair was really, really short and looked so cute with the front burned off that my sister suggested asking the hairdresser if she could singe it the next time I went in for a cut.
Notice how I worked in something about food again?
DONNELL: LOL on your comeback’s Jane ;). What’s in your refrigerator right now?
JANE: Oh, good! A question about food. There’s a good bit of cooking and eating in Fortune’s Fool. Sometimes I think I should have been a food writer like M.F.K. Fisher.
The fridge. Lettuce, cabbage, feta cheese, bleu cheese, bacon, various dressings, and other yummy stuff for constructing salads. I inherited my mother’s love of salad. Daddy used to say that Mama would want one in heaven. Mama always said, well, why not since you were supposed to get whatever you wanted in heaven.
Greek yogurt. Blackberry preserves. Cherry preserves. A tub of light original Smart Balance with flax. Laughing Cow cheese wedges. String cheese. Hot dogs. Mustard. Mayonnaise. Dill pickles. Half of a red onion.
Does the freezer count? Frozen biscuits, which really do taste about as good as made-from-scratch now and are a whole lot easier. Buffalo chicken tenders. Chicken patties. Turkey burgers. Chocolate-and-peanut butter ice cream. Butter. Broccoli cuts.
DONNELL: Would you consider yourself organized? Or are you a packrat?
JANE: Organized. I think it’s a reaction to my childhood.
Daddy was a packrat. If you opened a cabinet in our kitchen, empty plastic containers like the ones pimento cheese comes in fell on your head for what seemed like half an hour. In the pantry, he had dozens of cans of hominy that he had bought from the dinted-can bin at the grocery store. I don’t think we ever ate but one of those, which Daddy mixed with a can of Kelly’s Chili one evening when he invited a couple of little old ladies to supper and said he didn’t have anything else to feed them. He called it Corn Juarez. There was an old cellar under the house, so maybe Daddy thought the hominy would come in handy if there were ever a nuclear holocaust.
DONNELL: Is Elvis really dead?
JANE: According to the coroner who examined Elvis and whom my brother the attorney once used as an expert witness, Elvis. Is. Dead.
DONNELL: What was your proudest moment as a writer?
JANE: Discovering that Fortune’s Fool had hit Amazon’s Best Sellers in Historical Mystery list three days after I released it. Getting the call last year that it was a Golden Heart finalist was a very close second.
DONNELL: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
JANE: Get up and stare in the refrigerator. Eat something or fix a cup of tea. Go for a walk. Take a tiny nap. Type anything that pops into my head onto the page. Those last three work best.
DONNELL: What do you do when you finish a book?
JANE: I read someone else’s, usually a book that I have saved as a reward for finishing my own. Reading other people’s writing while I’m working on a book inspires me, so I don’t put that aside the way some writers say they have to, but I do like to save a special book to celebrate finishing one. Cold Vengeance, the latest in the fabulous Special Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, was my reward for getting Fortune’s Fool off to the designer.
Jane, thank you. Now it’s your turn to ask the Readers a Question.
JANE SEVIER: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had, and where did you eat it? Mine was pompano en papillote at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, years ago. I can still see the waiter splitting the paper and peeling it back to reveal that succulent fish and can smell that divine aroma wafting from it.
NOW READERS, YOUR TURN. JANE WANTS TO KNOW: WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL AND WHERE DID YOU EAT IT? Commenters will be entered to win a digital download of FORTUNE'S FOOL, which as Jane said hit Amazon's Bestseller list three days after its release! Want more? Check out: http://www.janesevier.com/
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