Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger Deborah Sharp

Today we’re welcoming mystery author Deborah Sharp to the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! Deborah writes the Mace Bauer mysteries—and each book is filled to the brim with Southern flavor and humor. Thanks for dropping in, Deb!

DeborahSharphideousveil My husband thinks I've lost touch with reality, just because I'm a bit wrapped up in the matrimonial theme of my latest mystery, MAMA GETS HITCHED,

''You do know Mama is a fictional character, right?''

''What's your point?'' I snapped at him, as I tied tulle to ''Mama's'' bridal veil, which I wore for the book's launch party last week. (See photo of me in our backyard, practicing keeping my head from flopping over under the weight of so much nuptial foppery).

I've made favors, written vows, even had a wedding cookie custom-made with ''Best Wishes, Mama and Sal.'' All for a woman who doesn't exist and a wedding that never really happened.

So, when Elizabeth extended an invitation to join the talented foodie-authors at Mystery Lovers Kitchen, I knew immediately what I'd do. I'd fake it. Fact is, my husband and I have no children, and he travels some 200 days of the year as a TV reporter. I spend a lot of time alone, and I'm not even close to being the kind of cook the gals at the Kitchen are. If I contributed a REAL recipe for what I eat at home, it'd be tortilla chips heated in the toaster oven with onions, jalapenos, and melted cheddar cheese. In my defense, I always remove the chips from the metal tray and plate them before eating.

Weddings, though, are all about food. I actually gave a lot of thought to what Mama would serve when she ties the sacred knot of matrimony for the fifth time. For the launch party, I even replicated the punch served at Mama's bridal shower, from one of my favorite scenes from the book. I'm happy to report that no fistfights broke out at my book party. Unlike at Mama's shower, no high-heeled guests ended up rolling around on the floor in spilled punch and cake icing.

One guy at the signing did point out that Mama's Nuptial Nectar had a peculiar yellowish tinge. ''I learned in the Army not to drink any punch of that particular color,'' he announced to the audience.

See? I told you I'm not the person people usually beg for recipes. Truly, the punch was delicious. But if you decide to try it, you may want to increase the ratio of bright red cranberry juice.

Mama's Nuptial Nectar Punch


2-liter bottle of ginger ale
1 liter lemon-lime soda
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 large can pineapple juice
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups rum (or more, depending on the crowd)
1 each, lemon and lime, thinly sliced
1 small jar maraschino cherries
Pour soda and juices into large punch bowl
Decorate with sliced citrus and cherries
Avoid inviting guests who may start a fight, knock over the cake, and shatter your grandma's punch bowl

Mama Gets Hitched Deborah Sharp writes the funny, southern-flavored Mace Bauer Mysteries. The third book in the series, MAMA GETS HITCHED, came out July 1 from Midnight Ink. Deborah, a former USA Today reporter, is married to NBC TV correspondent Kerry Sanders. They live in Deb's hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, where she spends entirely too much time in restaurants, avoiding her kitchen.
You can catch up with her on the web:


  1. I love punch, especially for breakfast.

  2. Thanks again for coming by the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, Deb!

    I agree with Dru! Punch--it isn't just for parties anymore! Although this recipe would work great for a party...especially with 2 cups of rum! Love it!

    And your toaster oven tortilla chips don't sound bad at all--in fact, I think I'm about to start rummaging around in my kitchen. :)

  3. My son does the toaster oven tortilla chips and cheese all the time, except he uses the microwave and he doesn't bother getting a nice plate. The punch sounds interesting. I'm not a big fan of pineapple juice. Can you taste the pineapple juice over all the other flavors?

  4. This sounds tasty enough to overcome any fears over the color! I bet the book launch party was a blast!

  5. Congrats, Deb! So happy to have you here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen!! I can never find a good punch recipe when I need one, so I will definitely keep this one handy next time an occasion arises. Heck, if it's good enough for Mama, I know it'll be great!

    Thanks for sharing. Love your post!


  6. Deb, I have to tell you, when I saw that picture of you in the veil on my phone, it was so small, that the veil didn't quite look like a veil. I thought, why is Deb wearing a mean rooster on her head? Anyway, hope you're coming back to Malice Domestic next spring! And maybe you'll wear the veil?

  7. Hi, y'all ... Thanks for inviting me, Elizabeth. You (and this site) ROCK.
    Barb: A mean rooster on my head??? Now, that's an idea to get some real attention. Yep, I'll be at Malice, and maybe the veil (which is taking on a life of its own) will be there, too.
    Julie: I'm THRILLED to be here with all the talented gals at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Maybe Ollie, your White House chef, wants to borrow Mama's recipe for the next State dinner?
    Janel: We DID have a blast, and the punch was pretty tasty, except for ....
    Yep, Bookwoman ... the pineapple juice IS a tad overwhelming, especially if you're not a fan. But you can increase the cranberry, or substitute orange juice if you like. (I made small batches in glasses beforehand to test it, improvising ratios as I went. More rum is always good, too!)
    Which brings me to Dru: Rum punch at breakfast??? unless it's a VERY special occasion, I usually just go with beer (kidding, kidding!)

  8. I'm going to have to get the latest Mace Bauer book. My pile of books to read it so high right now my husband is making threats to remove it from the bedroom and relocate it to parts unknown (I apologized when it fell over on his foot). I wish I could remember how I found your books but I read the first two back to back and loved them. Thanks for sharing the recipe and congratulations on the new release!

  9. I like the sound of the punch. Haven't had any in about 8 years. And Deborah, I love the veil!!!!!

  10. Wait! What do you mean "fictional character"? And a wedding that didn't really happen? I had so much fun reading Mama Gets Hitched, I felt like I was at the wedding with Mace and her sister's. Although, I am glad I didn't have to wear the "Gone With the Wind" themed bridesmaid dresses complete with parasol and crinoline.

  11. Deb, love the punch,love the veil. LOL

  12. The punch sounds really good will have to defiantly try. I will also have to check out your series as they sound very charming and cozy.

  13. 2 CUPS RUM!!!

    Whoop de Doo

    I took the same double take about seeing a rooster on your head.

    Southern and Southern weddings and a southern 5th wedding at that... now where could you find any humor in that???

  14. Hey, y'all ...
    A Year on the Grill: Whoop de Doo, indeed! And you're right ... a fifth wedding, completely over-the-top, gals rolling on the floor in Nuptial Nectar punch ... sounds like one of MY family affairs.
    Babs: If you try it, let me know what you think (after a few cups of the rum punch, you're going to like EVERYTHING!)
    Throuthehaze & Nancy: thanks for reading, and for the kind words.
    Avery: I'm so pleased to see you here. You're going GREAT guns, girl! (And, ps: you can borrow the veil whenever you want!)
    Dawn & Victoria: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, and for the nice words about Mama ... and V: You'd look LOVELY in crinolines! Do they wear those in southern Canada? ;-)
    D: How's the hubby's foot?

  15. No Deb, we wear housecoats and toques in Canada

  16. P.S. What a great blog. Count me in as a regular reader from now on

  17. Deb - Howdy! Love the punch and the author signing story. But be careful: Vogue may just steal your fashion idea for next year's bridal issue. "White Veil and Bikini for Your Sun 'n' Sand Nuptials" -- and a fantastic beach read like MAMA GETS HITCHED would have to be included. As for models, if you're busy, I think Valerie Bertinelli is available. :)

    Cheers! Honored to have you join us this week, and big congrats on MAMA #3!
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  18. I believe the foot to be fine, but I notice him giving my books a suspicious look as he passes them. I may move them on my own before they begin to disappear.

  19. I need that hat!! It would really be stunning next winter during a deep freeze! I was one of the few who thought it was a strange tropical bird :-)
    Always good to have a punch recipe on hand. Thanks!! I have added your books to my precariously high TBR pile.