Jane Sevier

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.


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.


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/

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join us on tomorrow October 21st, when I return to host the fabulous Jo Robertson. Remember to check back daily to GET LOST in your favorite stories! ~ Donnell Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address. Those leaving comments through Sunday at noon CST following this post will be eligible for the drawing.


  1. Jane, I love the tagline of physic socialists. Congratulations on Fortune's Fool's success!

    My most memorable meals came from a visit to New Orleans - specifically, the po' boy, shrimp ettouffe and the muffaletta. So good that I'm still dreaming about them more than ten years later.

  2. Jane, I first came into contact with Fortune's Fool in the Daphne. It was a perfect, ingenious read. So glad you've taken it on the road. Of course, it's rocking the best sellers ranks. You're an amazing author.

    Wow, I think the most amazing meal I've ever had was in Florida and my great aunt's wonderful cooking. Black beans and rice, Platillo -- Yellow rice & chicken. Devil crab and some meal with crab in spaghetti. It was such a different food combination to me, and more it was served with love. Perfect.

    Thanks for being with us, Jane! Best wishes!

  3. Thanks, Abigail!

    New Orleans cuisine is hard to beat, isn't it? I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there. Just thinking about the po' boys has my mouth watering.

  4. Thank you, Donnell, for the interview. GLIAS is such a great blog, and I'm excited to be here.

    And, goodness, thank you for the kind words about Fortune's Fool. I love Nell, Calendar, Hattie, and Bess, of course, and it tickles me when other folks do, too.

    Florida is such a wonderful melting pot of cultures and cuisines. I had a great meal at a Cuban place in Tampa that I still remember although the name of the restaurant is gone from my head. Nobody fixes black beans like the Cubans.

  5. Fabulous interview, ladies! The book cover is GORGEOUS, Jane, and the story sounds fabulous! Must download to Kindle now..... Hurray on the bestseller status!!

    I think my most memorable meal was the first time I had Ethiopian food at The Blue Nile in Berkeley, California. You eat everything with your hands, using spongy rounds of flat "injera" bread (which has a tang like sourdough) to scoop it up, and the spices are AMAZING. Similar to Morrocan food, but unique. Ground lamb, interesting greens, carrots that may be the most delicious things I've ever tasted. My fingers were bright yellow afterward from all the turmeric. Oh, man....I shouldn't have started thinking about this at 8 o'clock in the morning!!!!

  6. Yes, Elisa, go directly to your Kindle and download Fortune's Fool. Do not stop. Do not pass go. Hope you enjoy it!

    The amazing and gifted April Martinez did the cover, which I dearly love. The first time I saw it, I just said, "Wow."

    Yum on the Ethiopian food! When I lived in Adams Morgan in D.C., there were three Ethiopian restaurants just around the corner on 18th. Meskerem was my favorite. There's something about eating with your hands that makes it even more satisfying.

    Dang, I may have to have lunch at 10:30. Wonder where the closest Ethopian joint is. Anybody in Nashville know?

  7. I think I need to go to New Orleans to eat. My most memorable meal? I'm Sicilian. Meals are an event in my family. Hmm, I would say Benni Hannas in Atlanta. I was there with friends and spent most of the time terrified the chef wouldn't catch the knives. Food was awesome! Show was terrifying.

    Okay, one more. (Because you knew there wouldn't be just one.) Bergamo's in Orlando. I love being entertained during dinner and the singing waiter/waitresses were so talented. Great food, good wine and a fun night.

    Lisa Mondello

  8. Lisa, would you adopt me, please? I've always had this fantasy about being part of a large Italian family. Guess I've watched "Moonstruck" too many times.

    I'm sure there's great Italian food in New Orleans, too. It's my favorite eating town, although there are some pretty good vittles in New York, too. Have you ever been to Villa Mosconi in the Village? When my sister lived in the Big Apple, we went there whenever I visited. It always seemed so old-style Italian to me. Again, like something out of "Moonstruck."

  9. Hi Jane! So great to have you here. :)

    I too love Edinburgh. My brother lived there for a few years so I was lucky enough to go visit a few times. (But remind me never to go again in late November... rained every day and only about 7 hours of daylight. It's so far north -- and I live in Canada.)

    I probably have a few memorable meals, but the first one that sprang to mind was at a Toronto restaurant called Susur--not there anymore--owned by chef Susur Lee who's been on the Food Network a fair bit. Best meal I ever had. Venison with stilton cheese... but with kind of an Asian flare if you can believe it. His food looks like art and tastes like heaven on a fork.

  10. Wow, Maureen! Asian venison with Stilton sounds incredible! You're in a great eating town, too. Can you tell I often look for food the minute I arrive somewhere?

    Both times I was in Edinburgh, it was summer, which means the sun came up about 4 and set about 9. Guess that's part of the trade-off for the darker winter. I think I could adjust, though.

  11. Uh, oh, y'all! I just looked up Nashville Ethopian restaurants on Yelp. Gojo (www.gojoethio.com/) gets four stars, isn't too far from me, AND has a lunch buffet. Danger, Will Robinson!

  12. What an interesting sounding story, Jane, and a great cover to go along with it. I just downloaded it onto my Kindle, and I'll read it as soon as I finish Donnell's terrific book. Can't wait.

  13. Jane your book sounds awesome. Congrats on how well it is doing. My most memorable meal was my fifteenth wedding anniversary. My hubby took me to Ruth's Chris and to my surprise about thirty members of my family and close friends were there to celebrate with us. They showered us with gifts and then my husband gave me an amazing new diamond ring. On top of that, he had reservations for us to go on a mountain getaway for a week starting the next morning. The only downside was that it hadn't occurred to him that we would need clean clothes, so I was up all night doing laundry!

  14. Jane,
    Fortune's Fool would make an enticing and titillating film. You know how to send a character to its depths then make them rise whether they want to or not... continue to soar, my friend!

  15. Abigail, lol, you needed your coffee this morning! Just for additional clarity; socialite not socialist :) ;)

    Jane, your book sounds delightful! On my MUST READ list!

    I can't make up my mind about the meal. I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for two years and experienced some amazing cuisine...and chiles! But there is this little restaurant in Santa Barbara, The Hungry Cat, that serves the most mouthwatering grilled mussels sprinkled with a light cilantro based sauce...just...M-mmm!

    And what is it about Edinburgh? Sigh. ;)

  16. I love the title of your book, Jane, and can't wait to read it. My most memorable meal had to be one I ate in a house in Costa Rica. The floor was packed earth and swept spotless, the kitchen outside the main living area with a woodburning stove and no running water. My hostess wanted to know whether I "ate animales." Thinking that eating animales = not being vegetarian, I said yes. It was my only experience of eating iguana, braised and served with rice, black beans, homemade corn tortillas, hot pepper vinegar, and cabbage-and-tomato salad. A squeeze of mandarina (like lime juice) over it all. Delicious! And no, it did not taste like chicken.

  17. As one who has already read Jane's book, trust me, it's FABULOUS! I can hardly wait for the next one. In the meantime, I'd love to visit Edinburgh.

    Most memorable meals? First thoughts were grilled lamb in the Plaka of Athens and a huge lobster in a family restaurant on Cape Cod (needed a bib for cracking and eating that one). I love all New Orleans and San Francisco food!

  18. Hi Jane,
    Fortune's Fool is on my Nook and next in line on the TBR pile -- can't wait! I'm always envious of people who know food. I love food. I don't enjoy cooking it. Which, I guess, makes me a perfect guest at a dinner party--since I surely can help clean up :-) My most memorable meal was in Seattle about 11 years ago. I wish with all my heart I could remember the restaurant name, but I do know I had Sea Bass and it was the most delectable thing I'd ever put in my mouth. Still is, although there was some awfully spectacular salmon and halibut in Alaska when I lived there. Nobody does those two fish like a true Alaskan.

    Congratulations on the book, Jane, my dear. I'm so proud or and for you. I wish you countless sales!

  19. GREAT interview, ladies! Jane, I'm so psychd for you and your career! Congratulations!

  20. LOL on Abigail's flying fingers. We have Abigail's pysic socialists. Jane has written a psychic socialite story, not a World War II experimentation camp :) Too cute. Jane, hope you're having a lot of fun promoting your fabulous book!

    And you're right, no one makes black beans and rice like the Cubans. I'm very proud of my heritage by the way, and a great lover of Cuban coffee.

  21. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I didn't even notice the socialist part!!

  22. Polly, thank you so much for stopping by and especially for downloading Fortune's Fool! I hope you love Nell's story.

  23. LOL, Lena! I'm sure the new diamond and that steak dinner made up a little for the all-night laundry session. Your husband sounds like a keeper!

    Thank you for coming by to say hello.

  24. Neringa, honey, thank you! I would love to see a movie of FOOL. I see Simon Baker as Joseph Calendar. Have any suggestions for who to cast as Nell?

    Hollywood, are you listening?

  25. Jane -- I gotta say -- a) I think we have the exact same refrigerator contents! (except I have gerkins, not dill) and b) I read this earlier today and have been trying to come up with my best meal and just can't choose ONE. Was it the seafood dinner in Mystic? the Thanksgiving turkey the year there was a crisis with the brine that turned out to be the most fortuitous accident ever? Or maybe it was the sushi feast out at Surrey writers conference? Or maybe.... and then I just got too hungry to respond - lol!

    Great post. Best of luck with Fortune's Fool -- I love this story!! I can't wait to see how it ends!!!

  26. Grilled mussels, Jillian? I've never had them grilled, but it sounds divine. I love me some moules marinières, and here's a recipe for mussels in white wine from the Food Network: http://tinyurl.com/3osmtqf

    I just had a pretty decent lunch, but this conversation has me starving half to death!

    As for Edinburgh, it's at least partly that the Scots are so durn charming. I wonder if there's a French restaurant in Edinburgh that serves mussels.

  27. Sandra, I think you've trumped us all! Iguana. The Food Network doesn't have a recipe for that. When I worked at USAID, some of my buddies talked about eating friend iguana in Central America, but I never had that opportunity. The way you describe it makes it sound like a dish fit for a queen.

  28. Jan, you are so sweet. Thank you! All authors adore hearing that folks like their books, and it just thrills me every time someone says it about FOOL.

    Lamb in Athens. I love it that our memorable meals encompass so many spots on the globe! And, yes, SF is another great food town.

  29. Liz, sweetheart, thank you on all counts! I hope one day that B&N will add the cover for FOOL on their site so you can download it again, cover in place.

    Was the Seattle restaurant The Flying Fish? My Seattle cousins Ben and Ginger took Mama and me there, probably about 11 years ago, and it was fabulous. Wouldn't it be funny if we were there at the same time? Want to hop on a plane and meet me there?

  30. Thank you, Lexi! I'm so glad you stopped by.

  31. Congratulations on that best selling list--with such a great story, no wonder!

    My best meal might have been fish and chips on the coast of Oregon several years ago. It was fresh and delicious, the air was cool, the view amazing. :)

  32. Donnell, I'm having a great time with y'all. Thanks again for having me on GLIAS!

    Cuban coffee! The Dominican kid at Sleep Well here in Nashville, where I bought my mattress, said there's a Cuban restaurant here called Back to Cuba. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but you've got it on my mind again. If you find yourself down this way, I'll take you. My sister has a favorite Cuban restaurant in Los Angeles, Versailles, that makes an incredible garlic chicken that is one of the best things you've ever put in your mouth.

  33. Abigail, bless your heart! My fingers get tangled up sometimes, too. Our brains just get ahead of us.

  34. Jen, I'm not a gerkin girl, but maybe I just haven't had the right gerkin.

    You know, with all this talk, I'm thinking about just how many marvelous meals I've been lucky enough to eat. Commander's Palace still sticks in my mind as especially memorable, but I'm also remembering how good Tennessee country ham tasted every time I came home from Texas, especially with some good red-eye gravy.

    Thank you for all the wonderful support!

  35. Gillian, fish and chips done right are hard to beat. And in that setting . . . . Sometimes, simple things really are the best.

    OK, so now I'm thinking about pulled pork barbecue with a spicy vinegar sauce like the one they used to have at Bozo's in Mason, Tennessee.

    Thanks for coming by!

  36. Great interview. Your book sounds like fun. Sigh. Another in my towering TBR stack. :-)

  37. Ellis, as long as you put FORTUNE'S FOOL at the top of the stack, you'll be just fine!

  38. Love FORTUNE'S FOOL and great interview, Jane.
    Hoody's in Round Rock serves up a terrific Philly Cheesesteak! It's not lamb or iguana, but YUM!

  39. Thank you, Gary!

    I guess I missed my chance for a Hoody's cheesesteak, but maybe next time I'm out your way.

  40. Jane, thanks so much for being with us today and talking about food. Yeah, thanks a LOT :) seriously, best wishes and success on FORTUNE'S FOOL. Fabulous read everyone!

  41. Hi Jane, I alos love the look and sound of your book. As a WRW lurker, I've enjoyed hearing about its journey and have been sending good thoughts for the last year for you. Congrats on the Amazon Bestseller list! I love the bit in your interview about hominy so I'd like to share a recipe of my grandma's with you if that's okay. It's simple. "Hot Hominy" 3 cans white hominy-drained, small tub sour cream, small jar jalapeno cheese whiz or pace velveeta picante cheese, small can chopped green chilies. Mix all ingredients in casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes till hot and bubbly. I've had people who balk at hominy fall in love with it afterward. Much luck Jane, Carlene

  42. Donnell, I know! All the food talk had me about ready to chew the baseboards.

    I had a fantastic time here on GLIAS. Thank you again for having me, and thank you everyone who came to say hey!

  43. Carlene, I appreciate all the good wishes!

    And, of course, it's OK to share your grandma's Hot Hominy recipe. It sounds scrumptious--like a jazzed-up Rotel dip--and I want to try it myself. Great snack for Sunday afternoon football watching. Or moving watching. Or reading, of course.

    Thank you for saying hello. WRW rocks!

  44. Not the most delicious meal I ever ate, but definitely the most memorable--eating fugu (poison blowfish) with my daughter in Japan. Every part of the fish was served to us---fried, baked, grilled, as sashimi, in salad, in soup, and even fugu tea. We even ate the dreaded liver. Abiding by tradition, we stopped by the kitchen on our way out to thank the chef that we survived.

  45. That was positively intrepid, Pat! I'm glad you survived to tell the tale and observe the tradition with the chef.

    I'd like to get to Japan someday, but I'm not sure I'll have the nerve to sample the fugu!