Welcome Back, Krista Davis and a #giveaway

I’m so pleased to welcome Friend of the Wickeds, Krista Davis back to the blog. Krista’s latest book, The Diva Spices It Up, the thirteenth book in her Domestic Diva series, debuted Tuesday. To celebrate Krista is giving away a signed hardcover copy to one lucky commenter below. (US addresses only.)

Here’s the description:

After a celebrity ghostwriter dies on the job, Old Town’s favorite entertaining expert and sporadic sleuth, Sophie Winston, whips up an impromptu investigation in the new Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis . . .
Sophie never considered ghostwriting as a side gig, until former actress and aspiring lifestyle guru, Tilly Stratford, trophy wife of Wesley Winthrope, needs someone to write her celebrity cookbook. Sophie agrees, hoping she’ll earn enough bread on this assignment to finish her bathroom renovations. But as it turns out, Sophie isn’t the first foodie to get a taste for recipe ghostwriting, and if the marginalia are any indication, this project could be a killer . . .

Thanks for joining us and take it away, Krista!

Thank you so much for inviting me. I’m truly honored to be a guest at The Wickeds.

Sometimes when I get an idea for a book, I start researching and wonder why I ever thought it was a good idea. But having Sophie Winston ghostwrite a cookbook was fun.

I knew that some cookbooks were ghostwritten but according to my research, it’s much more common than I thought. A lot of the celebrity chefs use ghostwriters to write their cookbooks. Some of them have two TV shows and four restaurants, not to mention public appearances, so maybe it’s not too surprising that they don’t have the time to write and compile all those recipes. There are some fun articles on the web about ghostwriters tailing the celebrities, trying to stay out of the way in hectic restaurant kitchens while writing down the ingredients and steps as the chef is cooking. One ghostwriter found herself packing a bag and following the chef to exotic locations, all the while trying to elicit recipe information from the chef.

It’s not quite so hectic for Sophie. At the request of her ex-husband, Mars, she’s helping Tilly Stratford, a woman who was a child star on television. Tilly is the wife of a congressman, trying to establish her own identity and brand. She’s totally intimidated by the other congressional wives. Sophie finds that hard to believe, after all Tilly was a star! But Tilly sees it differently, “Honey, have you seen some of these women? They run miles every day and lift weights. I break into hives when I pass a gym on the sidewalk.”

The trouble is that the original ghostwriter abruptly left the job, leaving Tilly in the lurch with an unfinished book. No one knows why and even worse, no one can find her. Sophie discovers odd numbers and letters on some of the recipes. They don’t look like any cooking instructions she has ever seen. Are they some kind of code that means add garlic? The ghostwriter’s elderly neighbor who was lucky enough to try some of the recipes says they needed a little spicing up. Still, that doesn’t explain the odd notes.

Readers of the series may be interested to know that there’s a major change in Natasha’s life in this book. No spoilers here, though!

Readers: We’re all cooking a lot more now that we’re staying home. What have you cooked or baked in the last few weeks that you absolutely loved? (To celebrate the release of The Diva Spices It Up, I’m giving away a signed hardcover copy. Please leave a comment to enter. Sorry, US addresses only.)

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her 13th book in the series, THE DIVA SPICES IT UP, was just released on April 28th. Krista also writes the Paws & Claws Mysteries for animal lovers that debuted with MURDER, SHE BARKED and the Pen & Ink Mysteries with covers that can be colored! Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two dogs and two cats.

Find Krista at:








86 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations, Krista on the latest Diva book…I love this series!
    SInce I was solo on Easter, I did not make a leg of lamb but instead had a very tasty braised lamb shank dish with plenty of garlic, rosemary and red wine/stock.
    (Don’t include in the book draw since I am not eligible).

      1. That’s too bad you have a hard time finding lamb. It is common here in Ontario and the braised lamb shank dish is one of my staple dishes.
        Like many self-isolated people, I made my own sourdough starter for the first time (it was easy). And sourdough loaf #4 came out of the oven this morning. I am just waiting for it to cool down enough to slice!

  2. Welcome, Krista! I have a friend who is a novelist and a ghostwriter – I’ll point her to this book. I made a recipe from Juila Spencer-Fleming’s friend Cecelia Wakefield last night and it was fabulous: pasta with garlic, capers, and black olive. And I have sourdough bread rising!

    1. Hmm, I have everything to make that. It’s time for me to bake some bread, too!

      1. I’m trying to learn how to use my new air fryer. So far roasted fresh root vegetables have been a big sucess. Frozen stuff not so much!

  3. Congratulations Krista. This is a great series. Looking forward to reading this.

  4. I made fried rice recently, which turned out really well. It takes a while to chop everything, but after that it’s easy.

    1. Chopping always takes longer than anything else. I’ve never tired making fried rice. Maybe Sophie will have to try it.

  5. I’m just trying to use up the boxes and cans that have literally sat on my shelves for years since I live alone. Sadly, I can’t recall anything standing out as delicious recently, which is only to be expected when using ingredients long past their “Best if used by” dates. Meals on Wheels at least adds variety to my day!

    1. Barbara, I don’t think you’re alone. I’ve found myself emptying out the pantry as well. Be careful with those cans past their due dates. They really might not be good for you. I was recently surprised that cornmeal which was supposed to be good for another week was already a goner.

  6. Congrats on the new book, I can’t wait to catch up with Sophie! I recently made an oven shrimp fried rice that was really good. Had to make rice, but pretty much everything else was from the freezer!

    1. Another fried rice! I really do miss Chinese food. I hope you enjoy the book!

  7. Congratulations on the new book…I can’t wait to read it. I’m not a super experienced cook, but I found a really easy chicken cordon bleu recipe that turned out really good.

    1. Christie, that sounds great! You’ll be an experienced cook before you know it!

  8. My boyfriend and I tried a recipe for vegan brownies. They were nice and moist but didn’t cut well. Next time we’re going to try refrigerating them.

    1. Good idea! I have a recipe for brownies that have to be refrigerated. They’re just not right when they’re fresh out of the oven, but once they’re cold they’re terrific!

  9. Congratulation on the recent release of “The Diva Spices It Up”! I can’t wait to read more of Sophie’s adventures. Love the premise of the ghost writer!

    We are retired so the stay at home isn’t as unusual for us as for a lot of folks. Also hubby much prefers home cooking so eating at home is pretty much standard for us. That all being said, we had planned all this past year for our trip to Utah to see all the national parks there. We would now be on that glorious trip if it hadn’t all been cancelled due to the epidemic. So since the day we would have arrived in Utah, I’ve been trying to at least experience Utah with foods I had found common to the state. Believe it or not, Jello is the state food so we have had a couple of Jello dishes with one being green Jello which seems to be the norm there. Another food listed for Utah is corn, so I found a corn casserole dish that was really yummy. I think the one food item listed for Utah that we both loved – and my first crack at making – was scones. Although we weren’t able to make that trip this year, we have been having fun exploring dishes listed as Utah foods or dishes similar to those that restaurants recommended in Utah are famous for.

    Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win a copy of ” The Diva Spices It Up”!

    Have a great day and please stay safe and healthy!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Kay, you are so creative! I love the way you’re having a culinary trip at home. Who would have thought Jello was a state food? Now that you know how to make scones, I bet you make the more often!

  10. Congratulations on the book! It might be a cheat, but we bought an Instant Pot before all this started and it really has completely changed the way we cook. So much more variety! I made chicken and dumplings that was so yummy, especially on a cold day.

    1. Thank you, Liz! An Instant Pot is not a cheat at all. I have one. It’s now my favorite way to hard boil eggs. It also makes wonderful chicken. Your chicken and dumplings must have been delicious!

  11. I bought the audiobook and it’s wonderful. Sophie always makes me want to cook This month Homemade marinara, corn and shrimp chowder, and buttermilk biscuits are my favorite new recipes.

  12. Welcome back, Krista! This sounds fabulous. I don’t like to cook but my daughter is home and she’s been making all kinds of great things. Her scones are my favorite. She just tried making them for the first time about six weeks ago.

    1. Thanks, Sherry. You are so lucky to have daughter who is cooking up yummy things! Now I’m craving scones! LOL!

  13. Happy release week! I made a veggie lasagna that was to die for. It took a little extra work, but it was worth it!

    1. I love lasagna but it’s a lot of work. Did you make it with zucchini?

  14. I really enjoy this series and would love to win a copy of this one. I don’t know when our public library will reopen so I am savoring all the books I have and ready for new ones! All I want to do these days is eat!

    1. I find myself eating more, too, Margaret. I’ve heard that some libraries are beginning to open. I know someone who has been re-reading all his favorite books in his personal library.

    1. I love penne! I’m trying not to cave to my desire for pasta, pasta, pasta!

  15. I tried a new recipe for caramel pecan rolls and it was absolutely to die for. They weren’t hard to make but it is time consuming because if the time for the dough to rise and then for the actual rolls to rise before baking. They were worth it.

    1. Yeast breads are so good. And now that we’re home, it’s not a big deal to let them rise. Caramel pecan rolls must have brightened everyone’s day!

  16. Hi Krista!
    I couldn’t believe I had never read cozy mysteries until I picked up your first and said “What have I been missing out on?!” I absolutely love them so a big THANK YOU for writing books that have gotten me hooked on a whole new world!
    I love reading about Sophie and all her friends, I think that it being the 13th book and also about ghostwriting is ironically perfect. I can’t wait to read it!
    Congrats on this one and hopefully many more to come!

    1. Josie, you are so sweet! You made my day. I’m so glad that you’ve found the world of cozy mysteries!

  17. I saw the recipe for blueberry cream cheese bread from Death of A Blueberry Tart online and made it – and I added lemon zest to the batter, since my husband brought home a lemon when he bought the blueberries. It added another layer of flavor to an already delicious bread.

    1. That sounds perfect! And for reasons I don’t understand, I happen to have five bricks of cream cheese in the fridge!

  18. As our grocery was low on many items for a while, I roamed the aisles to what was available. I found an envelope of complete chicken Marsala sauce except for the chicken. Sounded easy and good. When I got home I discovered I had one poor very little piece of frozen chicken. So I chopped it up and added veggies. Voila! Broccoli Marsala!

  19. I have finally had time to try out some of those instant pot recipes I have been finding on Pinterest. We have found some really good ones.
    Can’t wait to read this new book. I have had it on my amazon wish list for a while now. I’m so happy to hear that it is finally out!

    1. I hope you like the book, Cindy! I love my Instant Pot. I need to try more recipes in it.

  20. I have been in rehab after surgery so have not even tasted home cooked food. I crave comfort food like grilled hamburgers and chicken.

    1. I’m so sorry! But the good thing is that you’re on your way back to good health. I hope it won’t be long before you’re eating grilled burgers and chicken. Sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    1. Yum! I can go quite a while without certain foods but lately I’ve been craving potatoes. I think it’s that comfort food factor.

    1. Don’t we all? I’ve been thinking about chocolate chip cookies . . .

  21. I don’t really cook as it’s just me most of the time. But lately I’m eating a lot of cheese and been having a craving for Grilled Cheese sandwiches, which I haven’t had in a very very long time. Well, it was the best sandwich I ever had!

  22. I’m the exception. Eating more TV dinners? Yes. But I’m also trying to help local restaurants by getting take out. Heck, I went to a new restaurant I’ve been meaning to try for a few years now last night. Pretty good food. I’ll have to go back.

    1. Good for you, Mark! We’ve tried a couple of new-to-us places since everyone is sending out coupons!

    2. The restaurants surely appreciate your patronage. I bet a lot of people are discovering new-to-them restaurants that are great!

  23. Welcome Krista!
    This is such a great series and I’m excited to read the new book! My husband tried to make Toll House cookie bars and wanted them to be nice and thick. I told him to double the recipe and use two pans. He put the whole batch on one pan and needless to say, the oven smelled like burned cookies and he scraped batter off the bottom for a few days!

    1. Oh no! He’s going to hear about that for years to come. I hope some of it was edible!

  24. I haven’t had much time to bake since I still have to go to work but I made a quick batch of circus peanut salad the other day. If I get a day off I’d like to make black forest cake. I’ve had a craving but haven’t gotten around to making one in a long time since it’s kind of an all day process.

    1. What is circus peanut salad? I love that name! I’m a huge fan of Black Forest Cherry Cake. But you’re right that it’s a bit of work. I make it for special birthdays and holidays.

      1. The orange marshmallow-y circus peanuts, orange Jello, and whipped cream. Can also add mandarin oranges, pineapple, or both. If you like creamsicles this is a great dessert salad.

  25. I tried sweet and sour chicken and rice for the first time. It was pretty good. I can’t wait to see what Natasha has been up to! Thank you for the chance

    1. Oh! That sounds good! We have a limit on chicken now and they always sell out of chicken breast right away. I’m getting hungry!

  26. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies and ready to bake those again. My husband has been cooking egg foo young using the chow mein can and adding eggs with soy sauce which turn out better than expected. He does the cooking and I do all of the baking but I do end up doing all the cleaning. My cookies are always soft. I learn how to cook them a little less time.

    1. It sounds like you’re eating well. Those cookies much be delicious!

  27. I made beans and rice today. I’m still eating cocoa crunch cookies from a Joanne Fluke recipe. The new book sounds like a winner. Can’t wait to hear what’s up with Natasha.

    1. Hehehe! I hope Natasha’s new development will come as a surprise. Cocoa crunch cookies sound very interesting.

  28. Congratulations on your new release, Krista! I made pork chops and stuffing. It was one of Dad’s recipes and it’s easy and good. Thanks for the chance.

    1. Thank you, Dianne! Maybe this wasn’t a smart question to ask because now I want stuffing!

  29. I haven’t made anything special while being at home. Thanks for the giveaway.

  30. I’m a former RN, now disabled with MS, so I live with my older son and his family and babysit the children. My DIL likes to do the cooking and is really good at it, so it’s been quite a while since I made anything other than an omelet or sandwich. Everything she makes is great though! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

    1. How wonderful that she’s such a great cook! Stay well, Karaleigh!

  31. Stir fry chicken and green beans with black bean and garlic sauce.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  32. Made yummy cheese mushroom and tomato omlets for brunch. Sophie’s ability to just whip things up spontaneously is amazing. She is amazing!

    1. Your omelets sound very much like something Sophie would cook for her friends. Yum!

  33. Earlier this week my teenage daughter and I whipped up Fudgy Brown Sugar Brownies from the food blog Beat Bake Eat. I was having no luck finding granulated sugar and flour at the grocery store, so a recipe using brown sugar, which I could get, and only 3/4 cup of flour (also hard to get) was perfect. They were delicious and super fudgy! Of course my daughter, who has a huge sweet tooth, had to add additional chocolate chips on top! I’d love to win a copy of The Diva Spices It Up – it will most likely inspire me to try some new recipes!

    1. Allison, that’s a perfect example of being creative in the kitchen. I love it. Who’d have though you would find a great recipe that only used brown sugar? And even better, you’re spending time with your daughter!

    1. Isn’t it amazing what a difference onions and garlic make in a dish? I’m honored that you like the Divas!

    2. A lot of people are cooking sweet and sour chicken. I think I should give it a try!

  34. Lately I taught my son to cook my favorite tofu and baked vegetables recipe…it was REALLY good! The trick is to bake tofu with garlic and sweet onion. I love the Domestic Diva books, Sophie is my hero!

  35. I am not a cook~ The difference lately is that I am having groceries delivered!

Comments are closed.