Friday, July 5, 2013

Interview/Giveaway with Sarah Steding, Author of A Diet to Die For

A Diet to Die For: A Skinny Mystery

Today I'm excited to be interviewing Sarah Steding, author of the fun new Skinny Mystery series. Thanks to the publisher I have an extra copy of A Diet to Die For to give away to one lucky commenter! US entries only, ending 7/8.

Tell us about A Diet to Die For...what inspired the Skinny Mystery series?
I inherited my love of mysteries from my mother and grandmother. We are all totally obsessed with Agatha Christie. And, like many other women, I'm also totally obsessed with food—especially junk food. I love it, I resent it, I want it, I despise it... I just can't quite get a handle on a normal, healthy diet. I am intimately familiar with all the principles of healthy eating, but putting them into action is a whole other story. So as I explored these obsessions I realized I had the makings of an exciting and really fun mystery story.

Are you a baker? Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share?
I am not a baker so much. I want to be a baker, I try to be a baker, but something always goes wrong! My husband says that if I followed the recipes it would work out better, but I always have to add ingredients or substitute. Eventually I'll get it, right?

My favorite recipe in the book is the pork rind nachos. They're just so bad in theory, and delicious, and I've only had them a few times—but what blows my mind is that if you eat those and steer clear from carbs, you actually will lose weight. When I was younger I once ate only Buffalo wings and Caesar Salad for almost two weeks and dropped eight pounds. The human body—it's fascinating! My second-favorite recipe is the low-carb chocolate mousse. It's mouthwatering and so rich tasting. Lots of heavy cream.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Yes! Jen Stevens, the main character, is really based on my personal experience, but of course she gets herself into way more trouble than I usually do. She's got two best friends, Elizabeth and Gabby. Elizabeth is a workoutaholic and very slim, and Gabby embraces her full-figured curves and eats with gusto. I feel like they're an angel and a devil on Jen's shoulders, although it's hard to tell who's the angel and who's the devil sometimes because they both are wonderful friends! Those characters are definitely a mash-up of my real friends too!

Who are some of your favorite TV chefs?
I love to watch Alton Brown—I love the science behind the food preparation techniques. My mom and I watch the Barefoot Contessa together and adore her. I want to love Giada but she's so skinny! No, I take it back; that's such a weightist comment. Her recipes are truly delicious. And I do love Rachael Ray. My five-year old loves to watch the competition show Chopped.

What's a typical writing day for you?
I love to get up early when everyone else is sleeping and write. It's 5:15am as I write this, and I'm just sitting by the window with the cool morning air drifting in, and it's amazing. Unfortunately, I don't get a nap most days so I end up being a zombie after dinner. Tradeoffs!

Do you have any pets?
I have twin boys who are almost two and another boy who's five years old... I think they count as pets, right? I'm totally a dog person but right now my house is full-up of residents who need potty-training and daily walks.

What are you working on now?
Lots! I'm working on the next book in the Skinny Mystery series, and a proposal for a middle-grade mystery series, and lots of little projects in between. I'm also trying to get a YouTube channel off the ground to do some recipe demonstrations for the Skinny Mysteries—so be on the lookout for some fun videos!

About A Diet to Die For: 
Meet Jen Stevens—a hungry New York City event planner who’s 31 years old, 30 pounds overweight, and flirting with disaster when it comes to sticking to her diet. Working for the food-centric Yummy Channel, it’s hard to resist temptation. But when there’s a crime for Jen to solve, it’s easy as pie. . . .

Baker extraordinaire Bess Brantwood is one of the Yummy Channel’s brightest stars—and biggest divas. Despite the off-camera drama, Jen has to admit that Bess’s chocolate buttercream cupcakes drizzled with caramel are simply to die for—and kill for, as it turns out—when Bess’s body, like a baked good gone bad, is discovered . . . in a Dumpster.

Who iced the cupcake queen? Jen is determined to find out. With the help of her BFFs—fab foodblogger Gabby and lively life coach Elizabeth—she starts sifting for clues. She’s got all the ingredients to solve the perfect crime, including one delectable detective, one divalicious diary, and enough industry rivals for a battle of the network stars. But is Jen prepared to risk her life as well as her waistline? No matter how you slice it, revenge is sweet—and loaded with carbs.

About the Author:
Sarah Steding has cut carbs, calories, white foods, yellow foods, packaged foods, and fatty foods (not all at the same time, or any for more than a few well-intentioned days). She’s tried grapefruit, cayenne-spiced lemonade, macrobiotics, and even gummy bears. While crusading against thunder thighs, she has developed quite a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. She hails from Denver, Colorado and lives in Brooklyn, New York with three little boys and a husband who has learned to say she looks quite slender in those jeans.



Unknown said...

I have just started reading "fun" "cozy" mysteries and this sounds like a great one to add to my list. I just hope I don't get too hungry while reading it. Thanks for the interview!

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview, thank you. It's always fun to learn more about the author. The book sounds great, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Unknown said...

Pork rind nachos? That must be illegal some place!

holdenj said...

Great to meet Sarah! I think this series sounds like something I'd really like to read and I'll keep my eye out for her foray into middle grade as well. Thanks for the info and chance to win!

Carol N Wong said...

I love the Food Network and almost all the different knids of shows, like Chopped, the Iron Chef and many others. Loved the intereview. I think I would like to work for Channel Yummy!

Thank you for this giveaway!!!1


Babs said...

This series sounds great! This main character is definitely some one I can relate to! I love food and a good mystery so I will put this book on my "must read" list!

Sue said...

Seems like I'm always on a diet of some kind---so I guess this is the perfect cozy for me to read.

Merry said...

Yummy Channel sounds good to me... Please add me to the drawing for A Diet To Die For.
Worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

kiki w said...

Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it.

Unknown said...

Wow! I'm a combination foodie and cozy mystery reader, so this sounds like the prefect book for me. Definitely going on my TBR list.

Carol M said...

This sounds like a book I would really like. I love mysteries and I love watching the Food Network! Thank you for the giveaway!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a really fun mystery, and Jen is a great character. I would love to read this one. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Brooke Showalter said...

What a great interview. I love cozy mysteries (my fav genre) and I love food-related ones. Thanks for an awesome giveaway.

brooke811 at

Rachel Shubin said...

I'd love a chance to win, it sounds interesting. Always looking for new reads.

Amanda Ray said...

Another cozy to add to my TBR list! Cozy mysteries are my favorite genre by far! Great interview!

Michelle Fidler said...

Sounds good. I just looked at the excerpt on Amazon and I'm sure I'd enjoy it. I love cozies and cupcakes. Hadn't heard of this book or author before.