Tuesday, February 4, 2014


 LUCY BURDETTE:  I know it's What We're Writing week, but honestly I'll be surprised if I write one word today. Because today's launch day for MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West foodie mystery and I'm celebrating! I loved writing this book (except for the parts I didn't love, LOL) and I'm very grateful for all the help I had along the way. (Here's looking at you Reds...)

I think there must be writers who make up everything about a book--the setting, the characters, the story...but for this Key West series, I can't seem to help taking things from real life on this island and tweaking them so they become part of the book. And since I received my early author copies, I've enjoyed taking them around to thank the real life people who make a little appearance. I'll give you a few examples.

Tonka on Benchie

Across from the Green Parrot Bar, there is a corner deli--owned by Fred Saunders--famous for staples such as Cuban coffee, Cuban mix sandwiches, 5 hour energy drinks, aspirin, and beer. Outside the door sits a double bench, which is occupied over the day by coffee drinkers, homeless people, business lunchers, and folks listening to the live music across the street. In the mysterious way that Facebook works, the bench has developed its own page and an entire persona. Lots of people from across the world take pictures of themselves sitting on "Benchie." As I was working on MURDER WITH GANACHE, one of my critique partners, Ang Pompano and I came up with the idea at the same time: There would be a clue discovered on Benchie's Facebook page.

Fred and Lucy on Benchie
"I brought Rory’s Facebook photo up again on my iPhone and tried to explain to Allison and my mother why a bench in front of a deli would have a Facebook page. “It’s a novelty,” I said. “One person set the page up, and now the bench has thousands of friends. People take pictures of themselves on the bench when they’re visiting, drinking Cuban coffee in the morning or beer at night. The bench herself posts about the weather and the bands playing at the bar across the street. It’s just a crazy, fun Key West thing.”
    “But what was Rory doing there and who are these people?” Allison asked, peering at the screen. Her eyes were wild with worry and confusion.
    “We’re going to figure all that out,” I said, patting her leg. “We’ll find him.” MWG

I could go on and on about all the places where I got ideas and introduce you to every one of the characters. I'll leave you with just one more--you may remember Lorenzo, the tarot card reader, from the previous books. Here's the real Lorenzo (aka Ron)--isn't he cute?

"Anxious to get a tarot card reading from Lorenzo, I pushed through throngs of tourists enjoying the Mallory Square party. The last few days had left me feeling sad and unsettled--I hoped he could shed some positive light on the future." MWG

Remember a couple of months ago when our new Red, Susan Elia MacNeal, did a post on cocktails? It was so adorable--I got to wondering whether she could come up with something to celebrate this new book in a special way. Of course, she could and she did. And so we invite you to join the party and pour a glass of "Murder with Ganache!"

"Murder with Ganache"
(to celebrate the new book!) 

1 part Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liquor
1 part half-and-half
1 part Godiva or other chocolate-flavored liquor

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or shavings of dark chocolate.

Thank you so much for indulging me today! And thank you for reading our books and our blog--without you guys, we'd be spitting in the wind.

And PS, if you haven't got around to it yet, MURDER WITH GANACHE is available wherever books are sold!


Joan Emerson said...

Launch Day Congratulations, Lucy . . . I can hardly wait to start reading “Murder With Ganache” . . . and I’ll really have to have one of those yummy-sounding Kahlua/Godiva drinks . . . .

I really enjoyed your comments on the real life touches that grace the pages of your story. I’m definitely going to take a look at Benchie’s Facebook page --- positively delightful . . . .

Mark Baker said...

I was lucky enough to get an ARC. Go read the book. Trust me on this, you'll love it. And congrats on launching it, Lucy.

And I kept meaning to look for Benchie's page. I figured that was real, and it's pretty fun, too.

Reine said...

Hi Lucy,

What a perfectly wonderful happy blog today. Thank you. I am so cheered up I don't anything to say and better leave now before that last statement begins to worry me. xoxo R

Jack Getze said...

It's another wonderful book in a great series. Keep them coming Miss Lucy.

Edith Maxwell said...

Oh yum! Mine is on order. And I plan to enjoy it tomorrow with that cocktail during the snowstorm. Congratulations, Lucy.

Karen in Ohio said...

Happy launch day, Miss Lucy. And isn't Susan a great add for the Reds? Creating cocktails just for you--now that's a good girlfriend!

Benchie--now I want to go to Key West and have a brief sit. And Ron is tres cute!

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

THANKS, you guys are going to make me cry into my coffee:). I so appreciate every good wish. Reine, you crack me up--I think you'll be okay:)

Thank you Mark, thank you Joan and Jack and Edith, and Karen--and yes, we are so happy to have Susan with us!


Kristopher said...

Happy launch day Lucy! The book is wonderful and I just know that readers around the country are going to enjoy reading about Key West as we struggle through a cold winter.

Enjoy your day!!

Denise Ann said...

Reading "Fairway to Heaven" as I await Ganache! I will have it this afternoon, and am very excited!

I've always been curious about Key West (the Hemingway connection), and you have taken me there!

Benchie! What a riot.

Have a great day/week/more of celebration. You deserve every bit of praise.

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

LOVE this book! Hearty congrats, Lucy! Going to make some "Lucy Burdette's" and pimento dip tonight to celebrate with Miss Edna and the crew! (P.S. She's now a big fan, too!)

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Hurray, Lucy! This isSUCH a good book..and we are celebrating with Susan's "Burdette's" in Boston!

Tell us about your launch day--if you have a spare second!

And did I say--HURRAY!!!

Tammy said...

Congratulations Lucy/Roberta! Can't wait to read it!

Deb Romano said...


I MUST get that book! Your Key West books always make me want to jump on the next plane down there!

And Susan, I'm not much interested i cocktails but I make an exception for something with Kahlua, so I MUST try that cocktail!

storytellermary said...

Art taken from LIFE -- I love it! I'm looking forward to a vacation in a book!

Kim said...

Happy Launch Day Lucy! I can't wait to read this new volume in the series ... while drinking a decadent Murder With Ganache!

Kaye Barley said...

Yay, You - Happy Launch Day!

And I must say - Susan came up with a brilliant drink to go along with your newest, didn't she? Perfect!

jan godown annino said...

Brava for Haley!
Bet she is as excited as you.

Would be so fabulous, for there to be an image of HER sitting on the famous Benchie.

Just... sayin'.....

BRAVA! for GANACHE/l. Burtette/Bobbie I., a clever, clever scribbler!

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

I know, isn't Susan brilliant? Thank you each and every one for the good wishes.

This is actually the first book where I will be in Key West for the book launch instead of Connecticut. I will miss my appearance and talk at RJ Julia Booksellers (though they may be relieved to have a break, LOL.) Instead tomorrow, I'm hosting a book signing at a bar--Kelly's Caribbean. So Key west!

and lots of blog appearances too--our own Kristopher's BOLO Books, plus Femmes Fatales, and Lois Winston's place. Hope to see you all this week and thanks again!!!! xo Lucy

Lisa Alber said...

Woohoo, Lucy! Congratulations--can't wait to order it. I will today.

Susan's cocktail post inspired me to think about signature cocktails too. Gotta love the signature cocktail. The "Murder with Ganache" cocktail sounds delish--two of my favorite liquors!

Kristopher said...

Thanks for agreeing to the interview Lucy. For those that haven't stopped by, Lucy is over at BOLO Books today answering questions about the new book, golf, the Hemingway cats and even a bit about why we all love the Jungle Red Writers blog.

Deborah Crombie said...

Lucy, huge congrats! And long distance hugs!

I love the book. I love "Benchie" and am no going to find him/her/it on FB:-)

I was going to make Haley's pimento cheese on Sunday, bought all the ingredients except the roasted red peppers because I had some in the fridge, then discovered the ones in the fridge had gone moldy. Argghh. So disappointing... But will try again. Enjoy you special day, and have one of those cocktails! xx

Lisa Alber said...

Going over now, Kristopher!

Libby Dodd said...

I'm so glad your book has officially launched! Now I've been able to go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads and post reviews!!!
It's a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone in the north who needs a warm get-away, but can't go any further than their favorite chair.
That drink sounds like dessert for adults in a glass!

Leslie Budewitz said...

Godiva makes a liquer? Hand me that bottle through the screen, Lucy!

Congratulations on a yummy new release! I'm feeling warmer, just thinking about Key West!

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Did you get it Leslie? Or did one of the other Reds drink it on the way over??

Debs, thank you!! Moldy red peppers, what a disappointment!

And thanks so much for your reviews Libby--and anyone I missed, THANK YOU! xoxo

Kathy Reel said...

Lucy, Happy Launch Day! This series sends me to such a happy place as I read about Haley walking the streets and visiting places of my favorite vacation destination in the country. Key West appeals to my quirky sense of everything, and you capture that quirkiness perfectly. "Benchie" encapsulates the spirit of Key West, and I am on my way to "like'" the FB page after this posting. Now, if a certain favorite author would only visit Camille's and perhaps include that Key West foodie favorite of mine.

I feel so bad that I haven't read Murder with Ganache yet. You were so gracious to send me and advanced copy, and I am very diligent about reading such gifts and posting advanced reviews. Alas, a tragic family event interrupted my reading schedule, and I apologize profusely for my delay. I am rather OCD about reading a series in order, and I am finishing up Death in Four Courses today and then immediately starting Topped Chef. I will have read Murder with Ganache and reviewed it by the end of the week, at the latest. I can also blame Rhys for my tardiness, as I was finishing up the Molly Murphy series and couldn't stop until I was through. How great is it that the Jungle Reds have authors whose books you can't put down!

So, as the ice comes down here this afternoon, I will be cozily ensconced in the delightful world of Key West and drooling over all the scrumptious food described. Thank you, Lucy, for creating this wonderful series. You do Key West and writing proud.

P.S. I have been curious about what cocktail Susan would dream up. She appears to have done well indeed.

Pat D said...

Congrats, Lucy! I wish I were in Key West right now. I've never been; maybe that's where I could get my husband to use his last few days of vacation. Have you had a tarot reading by Ron? Food, drink, adventure--it all sounds heavenly. Got to read your book!

Hallie Ephron said...

A huge HIP HIP HOORAY! And don't we all wish we were down in Key West getting our cards read and watching the cat wrangler and chowing down on key lime pie, watching the sunset (green flash, anyone?) while sipping our Murder with Ganache cocktail.

I got to read an early copy of this book and LOVED it.

stitchkat said...

I received the copy I won here and read it ferociously fast. It's my first of the series and the others or at the top of my TBR list. I really liked it and the food sounds just to die for.

Congratulations on this newest venture, Lucy! Keep them coming.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Thank you all so much for the kind comments. Kathy PLEASE don't apologize for your family emergency interrupting a review! As Hayley would tell you, family always comes first.

Pat D., yes, bring your hub on down!

I am willing to give Rhys some blame however. I am reading CITY OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT right now and it's causing me to stay up way past my bedtime and feel groggy during the day:(.

S.W. Hubbard said...

Congratulations Lucy/Roberta! I loved reading MWG because I recognized so many of the locations, including Benchie! I know I sat on it, but I don't think I posted my picture. Hmmm-may have to come back. Have a fun release day, anf enjoy all the great reviews that have been rolling in.

Marilyn S. said...

Congrats on the launch! I hope my Amazon copy gets here before we head to Key West Monday. Can't wait to check out all the places in the book (and I friended "Benchie":) )

Julia said...

Congrats, Lucy! MURDER WITH GANACHE is definitely your yummiest mystery yet!

(Sorry. I'm trying to wean myself off the puns.) I loved it, and I know there are a lot of readers out there who are going to be delighted to discover you.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Thank you Susan, Julia, and Marilyn, I so appreciate the support! Marilyn, have a wonderful trip to KW!

Renee Paley-Bain said...

Congratulations! And lucky you, to be in Key West while we New Englanders endure yet another snow storm. Ordering my copy now.