Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Interview with Nancy J. Parra, Author of the Baker's Treat Mysteries



Welcome, Nancy! What inspired the Baker's Treat Mystery series?
I've been gluten free for nearly six years now and I wanted to write about a character with Celiac and show how regular people cope with the illness. Toni Holmes takes it all in stride and makes lemonade out of her lemons.

Do you bake gluten free? Any special recipe you'd like to share? 
Yes, I do bake gluten-free. Self taught. I've been baking since I was five years old and missed that when I first was gluten-free. So I decided to try my hand at gf baking. The more you know the easier it gets.

A really simple special treat that's gluten free is GF Pretzel S'mores. You need gf pretzels, gf chocolate chips, gf milk chocolate bars and marshmallows. place one small square of chocolate bar on a marshmallow- sandwich with two gf pretzels - bake in a 400 degree oven until marshmallow begins to melt. Remove - be careful handling as the marshmallow is hot sugar and can burn you. When they are cool enough to handle, melt chocolate chips in small bowl in microwave. Dip cooled Pretzel Sandwich into melted chip coated one corner. Let cool - enjoy!

What's next for Toni? 
Toni hosts her first big family Thanksgiving and learns more about Grandma Ruth as Grandma becomes a "person-of-interest" in a second murder due to incriminating scooter marks left at the scene of the crime.

What do you have for pets? 
I have a sweet Bichonpoo - I refer to her as Little Dog online. She is a cuddle slut with a princess attitude. I've learned a lot about persistence from her. :)

What's the last cozy mystery you read? 
Oh my, there are so many good cozies. I've been reading books from the Killer Characters Blog authors - and Heather Webber/Blake and Joelle Charbonneau and Julie Hyzy- just to name a few.

You have a second series coming out in November with Kensington (All Fudged Up, written as Nancy Coco). Tell us a little more about that series. 
All Fudged Up is a bit of "Northern Exposure" set on Mackinac Island, Michigan the Fudge capital of the world. The quaint island is known for it's restriction on cars - so that horse drawn carriages and bicycles are the way to get around the island. This series includes fantastic fudge recipes and a darling bichonpoo named Mallow (Mal for short) There is a wonderful timeless quality about the setting with painted lady Victorian summer homes, pool houses and festivals. The possibility for murder is endless as the flow of tourists and the highly competitive Fudge industry.

Is it hard to write 2 cozy series at the same time? 
Um, no... lol - I'm actually writing three as I've sold 'Her Hand in Murder - a Perfect Proposal' series from Berkley Prime Crime that debuts next year (2014) Each cozy has their own place and time in my head. I have a copy writer bible for each series to keep from having the same names pop up. The settings are as different as night and day and help to develop the story.

One thing about yourself your readers might be surprised to learn? 
I served four years in the Air Force stationed on the island of Guam in the south pacific as well as Aurora, Colorado. My military service taught me a lot about discipline and what it's like to live on a small island.

Nancy J. Parra
GLUTEN FOR PUNISHMENT, a Baker's Treat Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, 7 May 2013
All Fudged UP, a Candy Coated Mystery, Kensington, Nov 2013
Her Hand in Murder, a Perfect Proposal Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, TBA 2014
check www.nancyjparra.com for upcoming events

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