Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Olive And Let Die by Susannah Hardy


Do you love to watch cooking shows? Dating myself here, but I grew up watching reruns of the Galloping Gourmet (confession: had a little crush on him, mostly on his hair) and Julia Child, both chefs I found endlessly entertaining. My hometown was small, with 5 television stations. Two Canadian channels, CBS, WPIX out of New York (always showed the best old movies and sitcoms), and PBS. So viewing choices were somewhat limited until a cable company eventually came to town.

Did I actually ever cook anything I learned on the shows? I don’t remember, but probably not. We didn’t have fancy copper saute pans hanging from a pot rack, or butcher block counters, or giant kitchen knives to debone whole chickens. Nor did we have much in the way of fresh produce beyond iceberg lettuce, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, and apples.  But the shows inspired me to cook and to think of food as something to be enjoyed.

It’s a good thing, too. I was the oldest of five children, and the daughter of a working mom in a time when most moms of my acquaintance stayed at home. So if I didn’t start dinner, we didn’t eat until quite late—after which the dishes for seven people still had to be done. By hand. If you think that’s a lot of dishes, you’d be right. Fortunately, the sister next in line and I got along most of the time, because we spent a lot of time together in front of the sink.

Over the years, I learned to be a pretty good cook. At least, I don’t remember anyone complaining. I mastered meatballs and pasta with jarred sauce, chicken and dumplings, and something called Spanish Rice, which as far as I can tell now had nothing to do with Spain, consisting of Minute Rice, hamburger, the aforementioned jarred tomato sauce, onions, and occasionally green peppers. My dad and uncles were hunters and fishermen, so I could cook venison and bullheads (a fish similar to a small catfish) in season or from frozen.  I made a decent chili and cornbread (hmmm, more tomato sauce!), made mashed potatoes, and could open a can of green beans like nobody’s business.

But my first love was baking. Mom belonged to something called a Food Co-op (yes, it was the seventies!), so we had a more or less endless supply of flour, sugar, butter, cocoa, oatmeal, and chocolate chips. I remember having a kids’ cookbook I’d gotten from the school book order—actually, I think Mom still has that somewhere, battered, dog-eared and grease-stained—and the sugar cookies were my favorite. When I got to high school, my baking skills really came in handy. My physics teacher had a sweet tooth and a wife who couldn’t bake. It was a simple matter to get out of Friday quizzes by planning an impromptu cookie party with some of my friends in the class. We’d bring assorted cookies or cakes, and Mr. Strong would cancel the quiz. Worked like a charm, every time.

So when I decided to write my first novel, Feta Attraction, it was only natural that I would make food and family an integral part of the story. All those years of watching cooking shows and making dinner for the family paid off! Now I get to watch the food channels and research recipes and try them out on my willing victims—I mean, my own family—and never have to feel guilty about the time I spend doing so.

Do you watch cooking shows? Do you ever try out the recipes? How about the ones in cozy mysteries?

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oliveSeries: A Greek to Me Mystery (Book 2)
Publisher: Berkley (November 3, 2015)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0425271668
ISBN-13: 978-0425271667
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


The second Greek to Me Mystery from the author of Feta Attraction

As manager of the Bonaparte House, a historic landmark and Greek restaurant in upstate New York, Georgie Nikolopatos knows her local legends—and her traditional Greek recipes are to die for.

Between her soon-to-be ex-husband Spiro coming out of the closet and her budding romance with Captain Jack Conway, Georgie’s life is beginning to feel like a soap opera. And that’s before a surprise visit from her estranged mother Shirley, better known as soap star Melanie Ashley. But the dramatic family reunion takes a chilling turn when another long-lost relative turns up dead.

Just outside Spiro’s new restaurant, Georgie and Melanie find the body of Doreen Webber—a cousin Georgie never knew she had. With Spiro’s partner Inky on the list of suspects, Georgie begins to wonder what else her mother may be hiding. Is the dead-broke diva capable of murder? She’d better find out before someone adds a new twist to the family plot.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Olive and Let Die to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on November 25th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

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susannaSusannah Hardy is the author of the Greek to Me Mysteries, coming January 6, 2015 from Berkley Prime Crime. If you like your mysteries cozy, culinary, and a little bit crazy, you’re going to love Georgie and the gang at Bonaparte Bay. It’s available for preorder now! Click here. Please!

Suze is a member of the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the Romance Writers of America and the Connecticut Chapter of RWA. Susannah is originally from Northern New York State (Way north! Only a few miles from the Canadian border), graduated from St. Lawrence University, and now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

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