GLIAS Readers today we’re in for a treat. Liz Lipperman is not only my friend, she’s a fantastic author who has one of the best heroines ever, Jordan McAllister. She's also the author of The Clueless Cook series with a new book to add to her stables. Shall we find out about Chicken Caccia Killer?
Chicken Caccia Killer Back Cover blurb:Forced to fight to keep her job as the culinary reporter at the Ranchero Globe, Jordan covers the International Italian Festival coming to town. But along with the festivities and great Italian food, she must deal with meeting her boyfriend Alex’s mother and sister for the first time.
When an arrogant Italian playboy falls to his death from a suite at a swanky hotel during a pre-festivities party and Alex’s sister Kate is charged with his murder, Jordan springs into action to find clues that could prove her innocence. But someone doesn’t appreciate her getting so close, and Jordan finds herself in the hands of the murderer. Facing life or death in a Texas pasture, she must find a way to catch the killer.
DONNELL: Liz, welcome back to Get Lost in a Story. I read the excerpt, and once again Jordan’s got her hands full. An Italian playboy. Not that I’m complaining—sounds like a hunk. But what inspired this mystery?
LIZ: First of all, I want to thank you for inviting me to your blog to talk about my new release. As for the question, I wanted a theme since I post ten recipes in the back of each book in this series. I chose Italian because I love the food from that country. Then I had to come up with a plot. Since my brother-in-law is 100% Italian and goes to the Italian Festival every year in West Virginia, I decided that would be the perfect way to introduce new characters before I kill them off!! I actually dragged hubby to a small town in Mississippi for an actual Italian festival last year for research. We had a blast.
DONNELL: How much fun is it to write a character like Jordan McAllister and how much is she like Liz Lipperman? And in what way is she different?
LIZ: She’s more like me than I want to admit. I am also picky with food, hate gourmet, and won’t touch a steak. I was one of 9 children and grew up on casseroles, so originally, I sold this series with the title –The Casserole Lovers Series. In a marketing meeting at Berkley, this was quickly changed to The Clueless Cook Series, and I fussed. I thought it made Jordan sound dumb, but when I really took time to ponder on it, I realized they were right. The story centers on the fact that Jordan can’t cook yet ends up as the culinary reporter for her local newspaper rather than her posting casserole recipes with made-up fancy names from her neighbor. I can’t tell you how many emails I get from people who relate to her. Like Jordan, I am a rabid sports fan—even run my own fantasy football league every year. Unlike Jordan, I am a really good cook and most of the recipes in the books are my own. Oh, I forgot, she is also young and pretty and has great hair. Only in my dreams!!
DONNELL: I’ve read Jordan’s first mystery. Are the same zany secondary characters still around and does Jordan have a love interest?
LIZ: Yes, how could I not include them since they are as important to the books as she is? My favorite to write is Victor because he has no filter. In Chicken Caccia-Killer he made me laugh so hard in one scene where he tries to compliment a woman who has information they need. The problem is the woman has no idea he’s gay and comes on to him, which scares the heck out of him. And I must say his idea of a compliment needs a lot of work. (I’m smiling now just thinking about it.)
DONNELL: Where did the idea for Chicken Caccia Killer come from? Then let’s let readers in on a secret: What do you enjoy most about writing? What do you like least?
LIZ: As I mentioned above, I was looking for a theme for the recipes. And as I do with all my stories, I came up with the catchy title and went from there. There’s a great (my own made-up) cacciatore recipe in the back as a bonus.
DONNELL: You not only write a mystery series, you write some sizzling romantic suspense. Have you noticed a special theme running through them?
LIZ: I always have a strong but vulnerable heroine in them and a hero who isn’t afraid to cry or, like Alex in the series, to cook. I grew up with 4 sisters, all strong women who taught me how to laugh at myself. As Tessa, my ghost in another series would say,” Never take life seriously. No one gets out alive.”
DONNELL: When you’re not writing, where will we find you? What’s your favorite thing to do outside of writing?
LIZ: I love spending time with my kids and grandkids. Matter of fact, next summer we are all going on a Caribbean cruise together. I also have a wonderful group of friends that I have played bunko with for thirty years. We leave hubbies and family behind to vacation together in Florida every year where we spend up to 8 hours a day playing water volleyball. Can you imagine—10 grannies in a pool?? There’s a book right there.
DONNELL: You’ve got a whole lot going on writing-wise. Care to share with us?
LIZ: I keep saying I am going to slow down, but I always find another project to work on. At the end of December, I have a compilation coming out with 8 other best-selling, wonderful authors. My story is a prequel to a new romantic suspense/special ops series I hope to sell early next year. In May, the second book of A Dead Sister Talking Mystery Series will release from Midnight Ink. This is a series about 5 sisters—one of which is a trash-talking ghost who comes back first to help them solve her own murder, then to help whenever they are in trouble. I patterned the sister relationships around my own sisters, and except for the Tessa the ghost, who basically is a potty mouth, these relationships ring true. My own sister, who died way too young, married her HS sweetheart and had 4 kids. My ghost would have been dull and boring if I had made her like Theresa!! And my younger sister is mad because she said I made her character too dull!! Anyway, back to the question. I get sidetracked so easily. I sold a short story to Amazon’s new line called StoryFront, and that one will come out sometime next year. I am currently working on book 3 of the ghost series, and I have a new cozy series in the works. Are you sorry you asked?
DONNELL: Never. Always want to know what you're up to. Thanks for joining us. Liz, now it’s your turn. Time to ask readers a question. (here you can indicate whether you’d like to do a give away (generally we state for International digital only) but it’s your choice whether or not to even offer a giveaway to our readers. Send me any links you want included also. And thanks so much for getting me this on such short notice!
LIZ WANTS TO KNOW:Okay, I’ve bared my soul today. Now it’s your turn. Since I write in several genres, I want to know how many of you are wiling to cross genres to read an author you enjoy-- like the romance readers out there who read J.D. Robb, Nora Roberts’ futuristic suspense novels? One lucky commenter will receive either an autographed copy or a digital download (Print for US and Canada residents only.)