This is a real honor for me, because I am
a HUGE fan of Sally's work!
We will be holding a drawing this week to
win an autographed copy of one of Sally's
books, just send us an email or comment on
any of our blogs this week to be entered in
My thanks to Jenn for the invitation to guest
on this wonderful blog. What a treat to be in your kitchen!
Jenn asked for a little personal info first—and I’d be happy to
provide some highlights from my checkered past. Here goes, in
staccato fashion: I’m a Wisconsin native, attended an all-girls
boarding school in Green Bay (yes—go Pack!), became a nun and
taught Latin in St. Louis, left and finished graduate school
(Indiana U), taught philosophy, married a nice Jewish man,
worked at the PBS station, WQED in Pittsburgh (when Mr. Rogers
was there—a highlight!), taught, wrote, edited medical ethics
and veterinary journals, had wonderful children (and now
grandbabies). I’ve written about 30 novels, and
am having a most delightful time with mysteries. Exploring
murders is such excellent therapy when the dishwasher breaks,
the basement leaks and the dog has an accident in the living
room. My husband and I live in Prairie Village, KS, in a brick
house with a screened porch where much of my writing is done,
weather permitting. I’m fortunate to have a writing friend in
town who joins me there on most nice days. We write during
daylight hours, keeping each other on task, then toast our work
with a glass of wine at sundown.
My current Obsidian (NAL) series’ name is The Seaside Knitters Mysteries. The stories are set in Sea Harbor, Mass, a town on Cape Ann, just north of Boston. The town is fictitious but the place is not—and I hope to lure readers to visit this wonderful area someday. (And it isn’t pure coincidence that I have a daughter, son-in-law and two beautiful grandchildren living there …) The four seaside knitters range in age from 33 to 80, and become fast friends over knitting in Izzy’s shop, eating Nell’s pasta, enjoying Birdie’s fine wine, and delighting in Cass’s tales of lobster fishing off the Cape Ann shores. Together they knit beautiful sweaters and scarves while they explore the lives, loves, and mysterious secrets of their neighbors and friends. (Death by Cashmere, Patterns in the Sand, and Moon Spinners [spring 2010])—and a, for-now, nameless Seaside holiday mystery [Nov. 2010]).
I started the knitting mysteries after writing the Queen Bees mysteries. These three novels are set in Kansas and focus on several women in a college town who quilt together Saturday mornings and solve perplexing crimes occurring right in their own backyard.
Is your protagonist a salt or a sugar person (as in would she reach for a chocolate bar or a bag of chips in times of stress)?
Definitely chocolate …. A hot fudge sundae might be perfect for Nell. For 80-year-old Birdie, perhaps a mango mousse Masala chocolate—soft and creamy with a hint of heat, just like Birdie. Izzy would go for creamy milk chocolate with almonds hidden inside. And Cass always has a stash of dark chocolate bars hidden somewhere in her boat for days the sky threatens or all the lobster traps are empty.
Does your protagonist like to cook?
Nell Endicott holds the knitting group together with her special salads and pastas that she brings to each gathering at the Seaside Knitting Studio. (The group originally got together over clam sauce linguini and a fine peach cobbler.) She loves to cook (and has my dream kitchen) — and it all plays out nicely because the seaside knitters love to eat.
Nell and her husband Ben also host summer Friday night dinners on their deck. It’s open to all, and is a bit like the loaves and fishes—there is always enough grilled salmon to go around and the martinis never seem to run dry.
And now, for the author, what is your idea of a perfect meal?
Ah…….do I have to have just one? I love sea bass or fresh tuna, cooked rare on the grill with a lemon butter and wine sauce. Pasta and grilled vegetable with flakes of basil or cilantro tossed in at the last minute would be nice and just a hint of hot sauce. And crisp white wine, a nice pinot grigio perhaps.
Do you have a recipe to share with us?
This is an improvised recipe that changes every time I use it.
Linguine and Scallops in Thai Sauce
3 1/2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
4 large mushrooms, sliced
1 lb sea scallops
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
1 T light brown sugar
1 1/2 T fish sauce
2 T fresh lime juice
1 cup snow peas
1 package linguine
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
½ cup parsley
1 T fresh ginger, grated (I keep ginger root in a baggie in the freezer to keep it form going bad. Also, it’s easy to grate when it’s frozen)
1/2 T Thai green curry paste (check for taste—can be stronger or weaker)
Heat 2 T oil in pan until hot but not smoking, then sauté onions and garlic, until lightly browned. Add snow peas and mushrooms and sauté for just a few minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Pat scallops completely dry and season with salt. Heat remaining oil until hot, then cook scallops until browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side (do not overcook. They should be slightly undercooked).
Add vegetable mixture back in, then rest of ingredients and simmer, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Cook linguine in salted water until al dente. Drain.
This sounds delicious!!! Thanks so much
for joining us, Sally!
For more information about Sally
and her work, check out: