Today we’re sharing a special blog tour post with a giveaway contest and an author interview. Check it out:
About the Book
A Bad Hair Day Cookbook: Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
Orange Grove Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 324 pages
Digital ASIN: B07XSH6C7B
Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.
Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes. Bonuses Include:
•Meet the Sleuth
•Introduction by Marla Vail
•Excerpts from Series Titles
•Themed Menu Suggestions
•“A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother
For Home Cooks, Food Lovers, Mystery Fans and Cookbook Collectors
Recipes are listed in these categories:
ENTREES – BEEF
ENTREES – LAMB
ENTREES – POULTRY
ENTREES – FISH
ENTREES – VEGETARIAN
“Reading through this cookbook has revived my interest in getting back in the kitchen.” Rhonda Gilliland, Author and Editor of the Cooked to Death Series
“Designed for busy cooks who may not be out solving crimes, but whose time is equally challenged.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
“Mysteries and cookbooks belong side by side on readers’ shelves. A Bad Hair Day Cookbook serves up both food and justice.” Christine A. Jackson, Ph.D., Author of Myth and Ritual in Women’s Detective Fiction
About the Author
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, was nominated for an Agatha Award and won a gold medal at the President’s Book Awards from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.
What are your real, author, and/or pen names?
Nancy J. Cohen
What is your location?
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles?
I’ve been published since 1994 when I sold my first title, Circle of Light, to Dorchester. This book won the HOLT Medallion award. In total, I wrote four science fiction romances for Dorchester and then four more for The Wild Rose Press. These included the Light-Years series and the Drift Lords series trilogies. Then I began the Bad Hair Day Mysteries for Kensington. They published nine of these titles before I switched to Five Star (Gale/Cengage). This publisher produced four titles in my mystery series. Then they cancelled their mystery line. Meanwhile, Open Road Media licensed the rights to six of my books from Kensington.
Now I am getting all of my rights back. I have been reissuing my backlist titles as revised Author’s Editions, and I am indie publishing my new titles, although some of them have been published in large print by Wheeler. You would call me a hybrid author.
Tell us a little bit about your books including the genres. If you write a series, please share all past books, any upcoming releases, or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
Permed to Death is book one in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries that features South Florida hairstylist sleuth Marla Vail. This series has 15 books plus a short story and a novella. Trimmed to Death is my latest title. Coming next is Easter Hair Hunt, due out March 10, 2020. These are cozy mysteries with a pinch of romance and a dollop of humor. If you like fast-paced humorous murder mysteries, these are for you. They are clean stories and can be read by any age group.
I’ve also written an instructional guide titled, Writing the Cozy Mystery. This book was nominated for an Agatha Award and won a gold medal in the President’s Book Awards sponsored by Florida Authors and Publishers Association.
Meanwhile, A Bad Hair Day Cookbook complements my mystery series as it includes excerpts, anecdotes, and commentary from my fictional sleuth. But anyone who loves cooking and wants over 160 quick and easy recipes, would like this cookbook. It also makes a great gift for the holidays!
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Keep learning. Keep writing. Don’t give up. And do your homework same as you would for any career.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I wrote six books before I sold one. I went from writing science fiction romances to mysteries when the markets changed. Now it’s still hard to stay published with lines getting cancelled and authors getting dropped by their publishers. And if you go indie, you have other challenges, such as the need for strong branding and frequent releases.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
Yes, I belong to Sisters in Crime, Florida Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Florida Writers Association, Florida Authors and Publishers Association and Novelists, Inc. I’ve served as president of FRW and FMWA (Florida Chapter of MWA).
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
Reading, cooking, cruising, visiting Disney World, dining out, taking walks.
Some authors like to make an argument or address an issue when they write. Is there an issue that you’re addressing with your book? If so, what is it?
Cooking a good meal doesn’t have to be hard. You can follow easy recipes and have fun in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to add your own creative embellishments. A Bad Hair Day Cookbook is meant for home cooks who want to save time doing meal preparation while creating tasty dishes for their family and friends.
What gave you the idea for your book?
I enjoy cooking and experimenting with new dishes, taking photos and sharing the recipes on my website. But this list kept growing until I thought of compiling the recipes into a cookbook. Once the idea took hold, I ran with it. Little did I know how much work this project would require. It was a true learning process.
What are the most important things about you that you would want prospective readers to know? (Personal challenges you’ve faced that influenced you while writing this book, funny stories about the writing or research, etc.)
I hope my cooking directions are clear. As a home cook, I am used to throwing in a handful of this herb and a sprinkle of another. But I came to realize that not everyone has that skill level, and I had to explain the basics. Plus, my measurements had to be a lot more precise than a bunch of parsley. I worked hard to get every recipe just right. Along the way, I turned a couple of proverbial lemons into lemonade, like the cake that broke apart when I tried to roll it up. I turned it into a torte instead.
What’s the craziest/funniest/most enjoyable thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
For Perish by Pedicure, I explored an old-style Russian shvitz in North Miami while wearing a swimsuit and carrying a camera under my towel.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
Getting discovered by new readers is the biggest challenge. I appreciate feedback from readers and interactions with fans the most and the pressure for constant marketing the least.
What do you like about writing in your genre?
I like writing cozy mysteries because they’re more about the amateur sleuth’s relationships to the people in her life rather than the crime. The murder is presented as a puzzle that the reader can solve along with the sleuth. It’s fun to determine the suspects and then to figure out what secrets they are hiding. It gives me a thrill when all the different plot threads come together to present a solution. And in a series, we can follow the heroine’s life as she grows and evolves. These characters become your imaginary friends.
With so many books being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
Marla, my hairstylist sleuth, grows and evolves during the course of the series. She doesn’t stay static, and that’s critically important to the success of a series. Plus, my books include humor and a touch of romance. Readers learn something new with each installment, and so do I, because this is what makes each book exciting to me.
Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
I write a synopsis before I start the story. First I’ll create the suspects and the victim so that I already know their motives and secrets. Then I’ll write a synopsis to act as a writing guideline. This doesn’t mean I have to follow it. If the story takes me in unexpected directions, I’ll revise the synopsis accordingly after I finish the first draft.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
Yes, I read reviews. I thank the reviewer if it’s a good one. If it’s bad, I don’t respond. I have a personal reviewer list that I’ve gathered over time. I keep track of advance reading copies I’ve sent out to see if the recipient posts a review. If they do, I will retain their name for the next release.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)? Who designs your book covers?
The book cover is critically important to attracting readers. I am fortunate to have Patty G. Henderson from Boulevard Photografica to do my covers. She’s a talented artist.
Please give us an insight into your main characters. What do you think makes them special?
Marla Vail, my hairstylist sleuth, is a caring person who wants justice for crime victims as much as she wants her salon clients to look good. She likes to cook and share recipes, which is why she decided to write A Bad Hair Day Cookbook. She’s overcome a lot of strife in her life and has been successful with her career choice, and now she has a loving family with whom to share special events.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming an author?
You have to be exceedingly well-disciplined to be a professional author. Sometimes this means giving up social events to stay on track and to make your word count. You have to carve private time for your writing and this can mean less time with family and friends. Being a professional writer takes sacrifice and hard, constant work. If you’re a workaholic like I am, it’s important to take breaks from the computer and to force yourself into the real world to play and engage the senses. It refills the creative well and is a necessary part of the writing process.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write full-time in my home office.
What do you think the hardest part of writing is? What is the easiest?
The hardest part of writing for me is starting a new book. The easiest part is when the characters take over and the story flows from fingertips to keyboard.
Do you blog and share book reviews of other authors? Tell us all about it.
Yes, I blog about the writing process, my travels, and adventures in dining. I do write book reviews and share them on Goodreads.
What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you? Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
I love to hear from readers. You’re the reason why I keep writing. Your feedback and reviews are very meaningful to me, so please keep in touch. You can join my newsletter at https://nancyjcohen.com/newsletter
You can win a kitchen gift basket! Check it out in the link below.
November 20 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
November 20 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
November 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
November 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
November 23 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
November 23 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT
November 24 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
November 24 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT
November 25 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
November 25 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 26 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
November 27 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 27 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
November 27 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
November 28 – THANKSGIVING – OFF
November 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – REVIEW
November 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 30 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.