I’m delighted to welcome Tina Kashian back to the Wickeds. Because our last names are close in the alphabet, I’ve been able to sit next to Tina at several Kensington events. Tina is lovely, warm, and funny just like her books. Look for a giveaway at the end of the post!
Tina: Thank you for featuring me as a guest on The Wickeds!
In Mistletoe, Moussaka & Murder, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to the Jersey Shore to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. As you can tell by the title, it is a holiday themed book. Lucy signs up for the annual Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for a local senior center. But what happens when forty-six swimmers brave the frigid Atlantic Ocean and only forty-five make it out alive? Who is the killer?
When I first started writing, I’d often get the advice “write what you know.” But after publishing, I realized what I should really keep in mind is “write what you love.” There really is a difference.
I love the Jersey Shore. I’m fortunate enough to live less than an hour away. I vacationed there as a kid, and we still vacation there with our own two girls each summer. The famous boardwalk is an eclectic mix of food eateries, T-shirt shops, and entertainment. I can’t imagine a beach vacation without a ride on the big Ferris wheel at night.
As for the Polar Bear Plunge, I’ve never made it over my head in the Atlantic Ocean in December, but I have made it up to knees. Not fun!
Let’s get back to the summer and pictures I took of two of my favorite Jersey Shore towns, Wildwood and Ocean City, NJ.
Here’s a picture of the tramcar on the Wildwood boardwalk that passengers can ride. In One Feta in the Grave, Lucy ends up chasing a suspect onto the moving tramcar.
The Ferris wheel is a great way to see the entire beach and boardwalk…as long as you are not afraid of heights.
The boardwalk is famous for its saltwalter taffy and fudge. Tourists can watch candymakers pull saltwalter taffy and make fudge in copper kettles in the front windows of the candy stores. Lucy uses one of these heavy copper kettles to escape from a killer in one of the books in the series.
Where else can you find 3D mini golf and Old Time Photos side-by-side? The Jersey Shore boardwalk, of course! I used both of these boardwalk shops in my Kebab Kitchen series and they made for some funny, mystery scenes.
We couldn’t resist and dressed up as gangsters for our own Old Time family photograph. The funniest part surprised all of us. After we paid and took the photo home, we realized John is accidently pointing a prop pistol at my daughter in the picture. How the heck did this happen and why didn’t the photographer notice? We had a great laugh about this, and we wait to see if family or friends notice when they see the picture. I included the same mistake in “Mistletoe, Moussaka & Murder” between Lucy and her fiancé, Azad, the head chef of Kebab Kitchen. Life makes for great fiction!
Giveaway! Win an ebook or signed, print copy of Mistletoe, Moussaka & Murder (U.S. residents only for print). Do you prefer warm or cold vacations? And where? Please share for a chance to win!
Thank you again for featuring me!
Tina Kashian is an attorney and a former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two daughters. Please visit her website at http://www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!
You can also connect with Tina at:
A Kebab Kitchen Mystery
Not even her impending nuptials can keep Lucy Berberian, manager of her family-owned Kebab Kitchen, from the Jersey Shore’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. But her dive into the icy ocean is especially chilling when she finds a fellow swimmer doing the dead man’s float—for real . . .
Who would kill a man in cold blood during Ocean Crest, New Jersey’s most popular winter event? When Lucy learns the victim is Deacon Spooner, the reception hall owner who turned up his nose—and his price—at her wedding plans, she can’t help wondering who wouldn’t kill the pompous caterer . . .
Perhaps the culprit is the wedding cake baker whose career Deacon nearly destroyed? Or the angry bride whose reception he ruined? With her maid of honor, Katie, busily planning Lucy’s wedding without her, Lucy will have to get to the bottom of this cold-hearted business in time for Kebab Kitchen’s mouthwatering Christmas celebration—and before her hometown’s holiday spirit washes out to sea . . .
“With a warm cast of characters and an ingenious main character, this is a series that will prove delightful for cozy fans.”
—Parkersburg News & Sentinel on Stabbed in the Baklava
“Clever and charming . . . A culinary delight that will have readers salivating over the food and hungry for literary answers.”
—RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars, on Hummus and Homicide
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2V2R4NV
Google Books: https://bit.ly/3hrFS73