Sunday, July 3, 2016

Welcome Julia Buckley!




A very warm welcome to Julia Buckley! Julia writes the Writer's Apprentice Mysteries. What a fun idea to write a series about someone who has become the assistant to a bestselling suspense writer.

Julia is very kindly giving away a copy of A DARK AND STORMY MURDER, which debuts July 5! Leave a comment with your email address below to enter. 

Good Luck!

 
Hello, Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen!

Thanks for inviting me onto the blog today. I’m celebrating the release of my new mystery, A DARK AND STORMY MURDER. While this is not a culinary mystery, a lot of eating takes place in Blue Lake, the fictional Indiana town that Lena London discovers at the beginning of the novel (and which is based on THIS place that I once visited).

Blue Lake is situated somewhere between Chicago and Indianapolis, a lovely lakefront town not yet discovered by more than the most adventurous tourists.


Lena’s culinary introduction to the town begins at Wheat Grass, an elegant eatery just off of Green Glass Highway; she shares some memorable meals with other characters here, and part of the plot is linked closely to this restaurant.

She also discovers Willoughby’s, a homey little diner with a sign in the window that says “Join us for breakfast or lunch! Willoughby’s is NOT open for dinner.” This diner becomes the backdrop for some of the most important moments in the mystery.

Lena consumes all sorts of meals in the book: sweets ranging from Willoughby’s waffles to cupcakes made by Rhonda, the cook at Graham House (where she works with her employer, the famous suspense novelist Camilla Graham), to Schuler’s Ice Cream, famous in Blue Lake and sold at, among other places, Bick’s Hardware, an eccentric little store on Wentworth Avenue. (How many commas did I use in the previous sentence? I think I might have earned a comma award). She also consumes gourmet salads, delicious soup, elegant sandwiches, and much more—just a part of life and sleuthing in a lovely little resort town.

There are no recipes in the book, but one of the things on the Willoughby’s menu is a meatball sandwich. I am sharing my own super-easy recipe for meatballs here, and I don’t even need to consult a list of ingredients, because they are simple:

Willoughby’s Restaurant Meatballs (for sandwiches or sides)



1 pound ground beef

1 cup Panko bread crumbs (plain)

2 packets dried onion soup mix (Mrs. Grass preferred)

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

(optional: diced red pepper)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients well; then roll into medium-sized, uniform balls and place in a flat baking pan.

Bake for 40 minutes; remove and let cool.

You should taste one or two meatballs just to be sure they’re delicious. J Then serve on crusty white bread with your homemade or store-bought tomato sauce, OR whip up a pot of pasta and serve these meatballs with the noodles and the above-mentioned sauce.

So good!

Now, while you’re eating those meatballs, you might want to consider adding something to your TBR pile. Dean James wrote of A DARK AND STORMY MURDER, “I can’t remember when I’ve been so enthralled by a story and its characters.”

The book is an homage to Mary Stewart and her stellar suspense novels, which captivated me so much in my impressionable teen years that Stewart remains, three years after her death at age 97, my favorite writer. In a little burst of wish-fulfillment, I allowed my main character, Lena London, to live out a fantasy I would have loved: to meet her idol, suspense novelist Camilla Graham, and to live and work with her as a sort of writer’s apprentice. The two of them end up confronting a real mystery while they are plotting a fictional one, and thus begins the tale.



Summer, delicious food, and an intriguing tale: what more could we ask? (Maybe some money to spend on more books)?

I hope you’re all having a terrific summer; happy Fourth of July, happy halfway through the year, happy long summer days, happy cooking, and happy reading!!

Julia Buckley is a Chicago area mystery and suspense writer. She also teaches secondary English and journalism. She lives in the suburbs with her husband, her two sons, three cats and a black Lab named Digby,



who gets into everything but is always forgiven because he is so cute.

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address to enter to win a copy of A DARK AND STORMY MURDER!

86 comments:

  1. I grew up on the Mary Stewart books. She truly was a master of romantic suspense.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fabulous book! Good luck everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely sounds like an awesome book! Great recipe as well. EMS591@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for the chance to win :)
    zukeeper.geo@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post, I'm hungry after reading it. I'm from NW Indiana and there are a few lakes here and there. Sounds like a good book, adding to my TBR list and thanks for the chance to win.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great idea for a new mystery series! Thanks for the chance to win. grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. This sounds like fun. I used to make meatloaf with onion soup. I think I'll try this today. suefoster109@netzero.net

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would live to read your new book...and your recipe sounds tasty...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd love to read that new book---it's title is just perfect as is the cover art.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. My son loves meatball sandwiches. I'll have to save this for when the temperature drops a bit so I can turn the oven on gain. Thanks for the recipe. I'd love to read your new book.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved reading Mary Stewart. She and Victoria Holt were some of the earliest books that I read in grade school. Thanks for the chance to win. I have this on my Must Read list. doward1952@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have lots of good things about this book. The recipe sounds really good. Love meatball sandwiches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dr(dot)oldsmobileaticloud(dot)com

      Delete
  13. I saw this book at Barnes and noble yesterday. The cover of your book and title made me pick it up and look at it.I love the cover and the title! I also saw it was a first in a series. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw this book at Barnes and noble yesterday. The cover of your book and title made me pick it up and look at it. I love the cover and the title! I also saw it was a first in a series. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this book. crossxjo@hotmail.com

      Delete
  14. Can't wait to read this book! The cover is so enticing! njcar22@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I remember reading Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart too. What fascinating plots they wrote. Looking forward to reading this similar style of writing. Happy 4th of July! dbahn@iw.net

    ReplyDelete
  16. Like the others, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt were my introduction good suspense writing. I always enjoy books writeen in and about the midwest.

    wismomworks@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. The book sounds wonderful! And the meatballs delicious! rockergoddess2002@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. That recipe sounds yummy! And so does your book! Thanks for sharing and the chance to win.
    Awilcox1182@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This sounds like a definite book to read. Thanks for the chance. Sharon Maher irish9795@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like the title and the cover.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sounds like my kind of book. Loved Mary Stewart, live in the area and love food! Thanks for the chance to win and read.

    bobntoni@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like these kinds of books and discovering new series to read.

    tinglen05@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I grew up reading Mary Stewart books as well and would love to read A Dark and Stormy Murder. Thanks for the giveaway! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  24. The cover is wonderful and I can't eait to read it. Vickiela3@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. The book sounds very good. Thanks for the giveaway. My email is: norbert8bubba@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am so excited to read this book. I can't wait. Frauenb@aol.com.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love the cover. Sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway
    dcriley8409@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't wait to read this book. Love the cover. pgenest57@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. This book has to be added to my TBR list. Thank you for the chance.
    marlene.ezell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Looking forward to reading this book (hopefully soon)!

    ReplyDelete
  31. This book looks terrific, can't wait to read. Thanks for the giveaway.
    allenxpaa@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would love to have the chance to read this new series and the only way that will happen is if I'm the extremely lucky winner. I doubt very much whether the Brooklyn or Queens County library system will order copies to put in circulation.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Can't wait to read this book! mrsstarkent (at) gmail (dot) com.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the chance! In the town where I live we have 3 restaurants that are only open for breakfast and lunch! They have a booming business and are always packed! I love the cover of this book! Thanks for the recipe!
    edtercross7304@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Every time I see your book's title, I think of Snoopy on top of his dog house, typing his novel. ❤

    llcejka at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm really looking forward to reading this new book. I have heard some fantastic reviews by those lucky enough to have gotten advanced reader copies. peggysbookshelf1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Loved Mary Stewart when growing up! The recipe looks delish...going on the menu for next week. Would love to win the book. It sounds wonderful!! Thank You! Pucsbride13@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. My mother introduced me to Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt many years ago. How she would have loved all these cozies.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. The book sounds great and so do the meatballs. Bobbipad at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sounds like a fun book to read. Semystery@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. This sounds like a great book for summer reading. jillybeans41@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. What a great idea for a story!
    The cover is wonderful, too
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  43. What a great title!
    Thanks.
    Cnhale@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Pat (patdupuy@yahoo.com)July 3, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    My gosh this sounds like the perfect combo! Nice little towns, quirky places to eat, good food, scenic area and murder! Thanks for the meatball recipe. My husband was just asking the other day if I had any. I wonder if that was a hint. I look forward to reading your book and characters.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh, those meatballs sound DELICIOUS! Adding this to my saved recipes. I've had the book on my wish list. Sounds like such a great new mystery series.

    brookeb811 [at] gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Perfect timing for this recipe to hit the mystery kitchen as i have been craving meatballs for awhile and every cooking show that i watch they have it featured. I have written down this recipe and i will be making them next week. Also the new cozy series sounds just so good and would love to read and review. ptclayton2@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. This sounds like such a fun read and who wouldn't want to be an apprentice to a suspense writer. caragon6 (at) sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  48. Sounds awesome!!!! Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I would love to win this one! catlaw2@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks for all these great comments, and thanks again for hosting me at MLK!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sounds like bite sized meatloaves to me. And I do love meatloaf! ;)

    kidisitor(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I love a good meatball recipe... thanks for sharing! I also love a new series and lake settings. Thanks for generously offering to give away a copy of your book! Happy Independence Day!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Can't wait to read this book!
    Dtk070305@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. This sounds like such a fun series and something completely different. Here's crossing my fingers to win a copy...
    hsim3691@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Looks good. And the book sounds good. :)
    Did you know there's a real Blue Lake in Indiana? It's not a town. The nearest town is Churubusco. A friend of mine used to live there. I'm about 20 minutes away.
    pmettert@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. A Dark and Stormy Murder sounds like a great story; my interest is certainly piqued.
    Thanks for the meatball recipe--yummy.
    maforbes231@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I have added this to my TBR list and can't wait to read it. brichardson0056@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I can't wait to read this book. It sounds really interesting. utaker555@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. This book sounds great and the recipe looks awesome. Thanks for the chance!
    moonbay7399@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. sounds great. I also loved the recipe. grammyd01@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  61. I've read many great things about this debut mystery & am really anxious to read it! We will share July 5th as a day to celebrate the release of A Dark and Stormy Murder & my 68th birthday. Congratulations! sxygrndma48{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  62. Love the cover! This is my kind of read, looking forward to reading. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  63. Love the cover! This is my kind of read, looking forward to reading. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Congrats on your upcoming release. New author/book so exciting. Love the premise. Most intriguing. Is that a cat with the dogs? Will have to try that meatball recipe. We are always looking for a good one. Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Wow now I am hungry for a meatball sandwich. Sounds good and the book does too
    lhxp73@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Wow now I am hungry for a meatball sandwich. Sounds good and the book does too
    lhxp73@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  68. CAN'T WAIT TO READ YOUR NEW BOOK! JUST THE COVER IS GETTING ME EXCITED! THANKS FOR INSPIRING A FUTURE MYSTERY WRITER! RRETAMA@GMAIL.COM

    ReplyDelete
  69. Those meatballs look delicious and I can't wait to try them, I am looking forward to reading the first book in your new series. Good luck to everyone!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I can't wait to read this series!

    kpowers784@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. Sounds like a great read! ! Smlj1980@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. I love mysteries and would love to win this!! Thanks for the chance!! lindaherold999@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. That looks very good! I would love to win!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. This new series sounds wonderful. Thanks for this feature. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  75. Captivating and unique cozy. Love to read this. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  76. I can't wait to read this book. Zeta(at)iwon(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  77. What a fun premise for a new serlies! Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  78. Oh my gosh I love Mary Stewart what a perfect homage...thank you for the contest.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  79. Sounds interesting! Looking forward to trying it out! Dm _ Richards @ Yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  80. Love the cover and the story! Added to my reading list and thanks for the Giveaway!
    oh_bother88@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  81. Happy Fourth of July!! The meatballs made me drool, so I'll be making them one day soon! Thanks for sharing and your book sounds fabulous!! Awesome cover!
    mtrver@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. Would love this
    quickchangeus@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. Thanks to all of you for your comments. It sounds like there are many fellow Mary Stewart lovers in the group, as well as cozy mystery lovers, food lovers, and lovers of Midwestern settings. I hope you enjoy those meatballs, and the book, if you happen to pick it up.

    Meanwhile, the winner of the drawing is KAREN B. Karen, I will send you an e-mail to get your home address.

    Thanks to MLK for hosting me!

    ReplyDelete