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.

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  2. Fabulous book! Good luck everyone!

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

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

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  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

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

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

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

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

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  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

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  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

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

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    1. dr(dot)oldsmobileaticloud(dot)com

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  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.

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    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

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

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  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

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  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

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

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

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

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

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  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

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

    tinglen05@gmail.com

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  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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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