Welcome Back, Debra Goldstein!

The Wickeds are thrilled to welcome back to the blog our friend Debra H. Goldstein. Debra’s newest book One Taste Too Many (first in a new series!) releases one week from today. We can’t wait.

Takes it away, Debra!

My Kind of FUN – Songs and Words by Debra H. Goldstein

I love Broadway musicals. When the orchestra plays the first notes of an overture, I lean forward in my seat anticipating the curtain rising. For the next few hours, I am transported to a world different than my own. The transformation may be historical (Hamilton, 1776), geographical (South Pacific, Aida, Fiddler on the Roof), emotional (Evan Hansen, Come From Away), or humorous (Hello Dolly, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum).

What makes each musical special is its unique story and how song develops or enhances the plot. For me, even if a play has serious or sad moments, the entire experience created through the score’s lyrics is “fun.”

Reading cozy mysteries gives me the same “fun” release as attending a musical, but with a book. Sharing the “fun” is why I chose to write cozies. The only problem with my choice was most cozies deal with cooking or crafts – two areas I am woefully challenged in. In fact, when I got married, my friends threw me a kitchen shower to see if I could identify what was in the box.

Because my legal career trained me to be a good researcher, I read and tried faking cooking and/or craft expertise. The result was boring. The pages lacked pace, humor and weren’t even “fun” for me. If pretending wasn’t going to cut it and I still wanted to write a cozy, I had to change my tactics. I couldn’t use other people’s words and experiences.

There was only one choice – write what I and so many others know – a book about a woman who hates the kitchen. From that thought, Sarah Blair, my cook of convenience, was born. Unlike her perfect twin sister, Chef Emily, Sarah will do anything to avoid cooking. Her kitchen experience involves bringing take-out in or using prepared ingredients. In One Taste Too Many, the first book in this new Kensington series, Sarah finds herself with a cat named RahRah, a penchant for recipes like Jell-O in a Can and Spinach Pie made with Stouffers spinach souffle, and the need to figure out who killed her ex-husband with a taste of her twin’s award-winning rhubarb crisp.

The more Sarah came from my pen, the more I tingled with the excitement and joy I have when a musical unfolds. I couldn’t wait to see what song she would next sing. Sarah may live in my cook of convenience world, but writing her took me beyond my norm. For me, the process and the outcome were “fun.”

Readers: If you get an opportunity to read One Taste Too Many, drop me a note to let me know if you found it “fun,” but in the meantime, tell me, are you a cook or cook of convenience and what makes reading or writing cozies a “fun” experience for you?

About Debra:

Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of One Taste Too Many, the first of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery

Website – http://www.DebraHGoldstein.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DebraHGoldsteinAuthor/
Twitter – @DebraHGoldstein

Buy Links:
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Many-Sarah-Blair-Mystery/dp/1496719476
Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-taste-too-many-debra-h-goldstein/1128297322?ean=9781496719478#/
Books a Million – http://www.booksamillion.com/p/One-Taste-Too-Many/Debra-H-Goldstein/9781496719478?id=7404412233291
Indiebound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781496719478
Hudson Booksellers, Target, Walmart, and other indie bookstores.

33 Thoughts

  1. I am a cook of convenience who wishes she was a cook. People who can open the fridge, take out three or four ingredients and make a complete dinner without a recipe amaze me! As far as cozies go, I love the small town settings. The fact that everyone knows everyone makes it fun for me.

  2. Yay, Debra! You know I loved your book and can’t wait to see what trouble Sarah will get up to next. I happen to love cooking – and writing. I’m in the start of a first draft now and am loving watching it unfold and surprise me.

    1. Edith, I’m so looking forward to your need book (as Maddie Day) next week. I’m a devotee of every book and series you write….so, I was touched when Edith read and blurbed One Taste Too Many (in fact Kensington quotes her on Amazon and the cover of the book)

  3. I have always loved cooking and baking! I could read cookbooks for hours! That said, I think one of my favorite ‘chefs’ is Sandra Lee. She lets you know that there is nothing wrong with using prepared items as the base of your cooking or baking. As I am now older and no longer need to feed a husband and 4 daughters three times a day, I use prepared items as some of the bases for meals.
    Why do I love cosies? Let me count the ways! The cover art and the titles are so creative, to start with. The small town settings that most of them have. The characters and their families and friends and how their relationships grow. And some of the situations they can find themselves in! Most of all, it is the fact that any of us could find ourselves dropped into what is happening in the story. How simple would it actually be to be minding your own business, window shopping, sipping on a coffee and turn a corner, to witness a crime or to actually stumble upon a dead body? I talk from experience!
    I am hoping to read your book. The cover alone is a winner!

    1. Thank you…I agree Kensington did a great job with the cover. A secret — I love to read cookbooks, too. Unlike you, I don’t use them very often, but I collect them. My sister, who is a gourmet cook, thinks something is wrong ….. she has a limited edition of books and I have shelves of them. Thank you….and good luck!

  4. Your book sounds like a lot of fun. I particularly enjoy a cozy mystery with humor. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t care for baking, especially baking cookies. Much to my husband’s dismay. When we were first married, he would introduce me as, “This is my wife, Grace. She doesn’t bake.” When my daughters complained, I’d tell them that I was the mother who took them to the Kennedy Center instead.

    1. Grace, Funny you should say that. My oldest grandchildren share several grandmothers….one is the baker, one the wonderful cook….. and from day one, I designated myself as the reading grandmother (I never arrived without books or failed to take them to a bookstore during my visits) and as they got older, the theater grandmother. We all have our talents….and I have to admit, they’ve all grown to like mine..

  5. I’m halfway between a cook and a cook of convenience. I can take ingredients and make a meal, but I’m not above ordering in or using prepared items.

    Any book for me is all about the characters and the relationships.

  6. Hubby and I both love to cook/bake. Being in the kitchen together to us is fun. It brings joy to us for others to enjoy what we love to do. Isn’t it grand that not every one loves or excels in the same thing! How boring would that be. Just as I love to bake, I am horrible at sewing. I once made a little dress for our daughter only to have her come home from school with the pocket hanging half way down and looking like a half finished project. Tried to crochet and found it not relaxing as other said but tedious. My first project – a vest for same daughter made up of little granny squares, was a disaster. No one told me that there are different weights of yard. Poor thing, when I put the vest on her it was like she was wearing a suit of armor it was so heavy. Another item stuck in the closet never to be seen again.

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “One Taste Too Many”. I honestly think I will think it to be more “fun” because I can see the pitfalls she would and probably does fall into by my love of baking.

    Congratulations on your upcoming release!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  7. Hello, Debra! This post made me hungry….I am a cook of convenience most of the time, but there are days and dishes I really enjoy making, such as Christmas Day gumbo or the big vat of chili I will have going in a little bit. I am a terrible baker! You can’t be good at everything, right? Hamilton is my gym music! I listen to it every time I work out and love every note.

    1. I’m going to have to visit you for the holidays. Those are the kind of things I enjoy eating, but only make when it snows (thank goodness that isn’t too often in Alabama). If you work out to Hamilton, you must be working at a good clip!

  8. I enjoy cooking from scratch although I don’t like recipes with really long lists of ingredients.

  9. I love both cooking and baking, and trying new recipes. However, I have lots of friends who are “convenience cooks”. They enjoy letting me cook for them! Congratulations on your new series – it sounds like lots of fun and I can’t wait to read it. Oh, and I love Broadway musicals too. Wonderful analogy!

  10. If it doesn’t go in the microwave, I’m not interested. Does that make me a cook of convience or a lazy guy?

    Love musicals as well.

  11. My mother was a caterer, but in some way I’m a better cook because I can grab various ingredients (especially leftovers) and make a new meal – though I have to say spaghetti and nail polish would be a real challenge! However, I don’t particularly like to cook and prefer being a cook of convenience, or more and more as hubby and I get older, eating out. No, Mark, you are not lazy, just going with the flow that is you.

    I love cozies that are fun. They are the escape that is so needed at times.

  12. I meant to add that I am about to throw together a bunch of stuff (no recipe) to make a casserole for tonight’s book club holiday dinner. Good thing that group will eat anything!

    1. Would love to come to your book club. Sounds like the dishes are my type of eating. Enjoy! I fully agree, too, cozies are a means of escape….so why get stressed with a difficult recipe? Think you learned some of your cooking tricks from your mom or in rebellion to her perfect cooking?

  13. You know I love musicals! A great comparison. Congratulations on the new series!! So happy for you, and I can’t wait to read ONE TASTE TOO MANY.

    1. My parents started taking me to musicals when I was four years old … and I was hooked. Thanks for the congrats! Can’t wait to hear your opinion of One Taste Too Many… and btw congrats on your new series.

    1. I wish I did…. and I wish my family thought so, too. The day after Thanksgiving, I offered to make dinner (we’d eaten at my sister-in-law’s for Thanksgiving) at home and my son and husband simultaneously said, “No.”

  14. My mother was a wonderful cook and an even better baker. Since I lived at home, I didn’t cook until she couldn’t make the meals anymore. She did sit in the kitchen and coach me for a while. Now that she is gone, I find that I love to cook but don’t do as well baking but I keep trying.

    I love cozies because they have great characters with usually a lighter touch. I don’t mind reading about crafts and jobs that I don’t do. It’s the group or community that makes it interesting.

  15. Sally,
    You are very right… the group, the community, the people that populate the book is what attracts and keeps us coming back. When I pick up a Barbara Ross, Edith Maxwell (any of her different series works), or Louise Penny, I know I’m back with friends who I can’t wait to find out what they’re going to do next.

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