Thursday, June 25, 2015

What We're Writing: @LucyBurdette #FATALRESERVATIONS #giveaway


 Breaking news: The winner of Fatal Reservations is Beth Kanell!

LUCY BURDETTE: with Fatal Reservations launching in less than two weeks, it’s hard to think about anything else. Never mind write about anything else! So if you'll indulge me, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite characters in the Key West series.

In Fatal Reservations, my recurring character, Lorenzo the tarot card reader, is accused of murder when one of the other street performers from the Mallory Square sunset celebration is found dead.



Lorenzo has been a character since the debut of the Key West series with AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. While writing that first book, I’d seen a tarot card reader on Mallory Square, and knew he belonged in the story. I imagined my protagonist Hayley Snow taking her mother’s lead, preferring a reading to a psychotherapy session. I had no idea how important Lorenzo would become. And how he’d also become a friend, and a muse. In honor of the real Lorenzo, and the Lorenzo in FATAL RESERVATIONS, I will take you on a short tour of how his role has changed…




AN APPETITE FOR MURDER: At this point in time, neither Hayley nor I really knew Lorenzo...

this is the first time I talked with Lorenzo
After leaving the bar, I drove my scooter the length of Whitehead Street toward Mallory Square to see if Lorenzo was working. Every night at sunset, except in the very worst weather, street performers marked off sections of the pier and set up shop to entertain tourists and part them from a few of their dollars. Along with the zaniness of Duval Street, the spectacle of the sun setting over Mallory Square tended to stick in the minds of visitors more than anything about Key West.



Lorenzo has been working the square for almost twenty years, wearing a star-studded turban, a deep blue cloak with a matching blue stone glued to his forehead, and a mustache waxed into loops. Sounded hokey, but even I felt more confident having my cards read by a guy who took the time to look and act professional.



DEATH IN FOUR COURSES: Hayley's mother, Janet, was the person who got her hooked on having her cards read. Here Hayley has taken her mom to meet Lorenzo.



Lorenzo turned over my three cards: the devil, the tower, reversed,  and the emperor.
I groaned. “I knew I should have skipped this today.”
Mom patted my leg, a worried frown playing on her lips. “It’s only cards.”


But I’d seen how happy she looked when Lorenzo turned over the two of cups and explained that true love lay in her future. She believed completely in this stuff. Two new customers, middle-aged women wearing tropical sundresses and heavy tans, approached Lorenzo’s table and peered over my shoulder.

“Oh my gosh, she’s got the tower,” said one to the other, and then they backed away.


It made no sense to let myself react so strongly to a couple of colored cardboard cards, but the last time Lorenzo had turned up the tower, I’d nearly been killed by a crazy woman.





By the time TOPPED CHEF, the third book, came along, I had had lunch with the real Lorenzo, and so Hayley and Miss Gloria did the same:



But where’s your eye makeup? And your turban?” asked Miss Gloria. “Hayley and her mom described you but you look nothing like what I imagined.”


Lorenzo's style evolution
He touched both hands to his dark hair, looking sad. “Oh, I loved that turban. I felt like Lana Turner when I wore it. But all dressed up like that, I was being treated like a tourist attraction. People kept coming up and snapping photographs while I was reading my customers’ cards. They didn’t take me seriously—treated me like a fool. And it was so intrusive for the people waiting to hear what I had to say.” He sighed dramatically. “There’s a mass level of consciousness—or should I say unconsciousness—that turban tapped into, so I had to give it up.”




MURDER WITH GANACHE:  Now I had begun to feel I couldn't quite write a book, without talking to Lorenzo. Hayley was feeling the same way about Lorenzo and her life...



at Mallory Square
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. In the distance, the Disney Magic cruise ship had swung around and started to chug through the channel, on to its next stop in the cycle of manufactured fun.

Lorenzo had set up his table about ten yards from the water, looking distinguished in sunglasses and a jacket shot through with gold threads. Three middle-aged women were stacked up only feet from his table, fidgeting and trying not to stare at his current customer as they waited for their readings.


DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS: Hayley and Lorenzo have become friends...



Ten minutes later, Lorenzo took the seat beside me, carrying a cup of tea and a slice of pie. His dark hair curled like mine in the humidity, and he wore Harry Potter–style round glasses and red clogs. I felt instantly calmer in his presence.

“I was hoping you weren’t on a diet,” I said, pointing at his plate.

“The cards say, ‘Never pass up key lime pie,’” he told me as he swallowed the first creamy bite.



And finally, comes FATAL RESERVATIONS. In this book, Lorenzo is at the center of the mystery, when he's accused of murdering one of the other street performers. In real life, of course, no such thing has gone on. I can only say he's been such a good sport!



Lorenzo with Tonka
Lorenzo nodded, adjusted his collar, and came forward. By dress alone, he stood out from most everyone in attendance: long-sleeved white dress shirt, high-waisted black pants, black tie, tortoiseshell glasses—even his wavy hair had been smoothed into a neat ponytail. All very proper and distinguished. But his face shone in the spotlight and large damp circles spread from his underarms to the body of his shirt. He looked very hot. And rattled.





FATAL RESERVATIONS will hit bookshelves on July 7. But you can order it now, wherever books are sold, including...




And I’ll be giving a signed copy away today because I’m too excited to wait! Leave your email address to be entered in the drawing...

64 comments:

Joan Emerson said...

Ah, Lorenzo is one of my favorite characters. Thanks for these wonderful reminders of the part he's played in each of the stories. I can hardly wait to find out how Lorenzo got tangled up in a murder . . . .

[email: AE215jfe@aol.com]

PlumGaga said...

My family is visiting Key West this week, so this has a special attraction for me.
taft.jane@gmail.com

Marilyn said...

Wow I love the Tarot Card Readings. Sounds quite exciting. Please enter me.
Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

cyn209 said...

one of my favorite series!!!
congrats & continued success.......

cyn209 at juno dot com

Dianne B said...

I'm looking forward to reading this new to me series. dbahn@iw.net

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Jane, I hope you get a chance to meet him down at Mallory Square!

And thanks to all for the kind words:) xo

candace knight said...

I can't wait to read this. Thank you for the chance
Moonbay7399@gmail.com

Doward Wilson said...

Just got started with the series and can't wait to get caught up!
doward1952@yahoo.com

Beth Kanell said...

Such a wise attitude about Key lime pie! Lorenzo is a good guide ... to more than the cards. Thanks, Lucy! Looking forward to this new book. BethPoet@gmail.com

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

" 'The cards say, ‘Never pass up key lime pie,’ " he told me as he swallowed the first creamy bite. — words to live by! Can't wait to read!

kiki w said...

Cool, sounds like great cozy mystery.

xzjh04@ Gmail.com

Kaye Barley said...

I love that Lorenzo has had a style revolution!

FChurch said...

When even the minor characters grow through a series, you know the author is not just coasting along from book to book, but working hard to make each book the best book possible. Love Lorenzo--and the cards! My tarot deck is now lovingly in the hands of the next generation.

fjchurch@hughes.net

Gram said...

I think I need a Lorenzo in my life -in print! grammyd01@comcast.net

Hallie Ephron said...

I heart Lorenzo. I heart Hayley Snow! I loved Death With All The Trimmings and can't wait to get my hands on Fatal Reservations!

Deb Romano said...

He does indeed sound like a good sport!

I'm looking forward to Fatal Reservations!

Karen in Ohio said...

Lorenzo is adorable, both in real life and in his fictional recreation. Thanks for sharing him with us, in your Hayley Snow books, and on the blog.

I really want to learn more about tarot. We have a Halloween party every couple of years (it's a big deal, so every year would be enough to put me out of commission, I fear), and the next one is going to have either a palm reader or a tarot card reader.

In the meantime, looking forward to Fatal Reservations!

Margaret Turkevich said...

looking forward to reading your latest, Margaret.turkevich@gmail.com

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

I SO love this series! It's smart and classy and funny and a great mystery every time. And I love that you can read them in any order, and that they are so--well, they're smart. What a terrific main character--I love Hayley!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

MEANWHILE:

ANd the WINNER of the ARC of WHAT YOU SEE is SUSAN who chose High Society on Tuesday's blog. Susan, email me h ryan at whdh dot com with you are address!

HURRAY!

And now back to FATAL RESERVATIONS!

Linda said...

I would love to read this series, starting with the new one (which I will hopefully win) - no better recommendation than from HPR!!
armommy@gmail.com

Brenda Buchanan said...

I love Lorenzo - he's such a fabulous continuing character!

I cannot wait to read FATAL RESERVATIONS.

Mary Sutton said...

Lorenzo sounds like a great character. And I'm with him on the key lime pie. Congrats on the new book!

NoraA said...

Definitely yes on Key Lime Pie. One of my kids friends (who we assimilated into the family)is a C.I.A. Graduate Baker. He always brings a Key Lime Pie when he comes for holiday meals.

I love the series and I always enjoyed reading about Lorenzo. I own the five previous books and would love to add this one to my home library.

NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

Debi Huff said...

What a great way to tease those of us who don't know Lorenzo into his web. I'm off to get the series now! Thanks! Huffdebi71@yahoo.com

Jeannie D. said...

Looking forward to reading the new one. Love this series. Lorenzo is one of my favorite characters along with Hayley's darling little room mate or should I say boat mate. dr.oldsmobileaticlouddotcom

Celia Fowler said...

Great feature on Lorenzo! Thanks for sharing with us!

Deborah Crombie said...

Lucy, that was fabulous! Lorenzo is one of my favorite characters (in one of my favorite series!) and such fun not only to see him evolve in the books, but to see the real Lorenzo!

Hank said it--this is such a great series; smart, funny, classy, with believable and appealing characters that you can't wait to see again. Not to mention the great setting and the FOOD:-)

Sue F said...

I really like this series. You make me happy. suefoster109@netzero.net

mmgage said...

These tid-bits give me a great glimpse of Lorenzo, and now I know I need to go read all the books & get to know him!

mmgage at comcast dot net

Nancy Maxwell said...

I really enjoy your books! I love being transported back to every KW street, site and restaurant that you mention in your stories.

nan215max@gmail.com

Mark Baker said...

Looking forward to this one! Already have my copy and will probably start it next week while I'm in Georgia for work.

Karen B said...

What a fun post! I need to get up to speed on your series.
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Julia said...

What a fab look at the real and fictional Lorenzo, Lucy! You two should do a book-signing/card-reading event the next time you're in the area - which I think will be at the Mystery Writers Key West Festival in August, right?

B J English said...

I am just as excited as you are to find out why poor Lorenzo is being accused of harming anyonr.

Bettyjo.english@gmail.com

B J English said...

I am just as excited as you are to find out why poor Lorenzo is being accused of harming anyonr.

Bettyjo.english@gmail.com

B J English said...

I am just as excited as you are to find out why poor Lorenzo is being accused of harming anyonr.

Bettyjo.english@gmail.com

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Thank you all for the kind words!

Julia, I will not make the Key West mystery fest this year:(. But LOVE the idea of a booksigning/card reading party!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Aw, thank you, Linda! xx

Libby Dodd said...

Marvelous evolution of fiction and fact. Love it!
Did Tonka get a reading, too?

Sorry to hear the yokels made him feed he had to change his style, but he looks good (albeit different!) both ways.

libbydodd at comcast dot net

I need to go back and check about that reversed tower. Isn't that supposed to reverse the meaning of the card?

Karen in Ohio said...

Oops, missed adding my email address: kmaslowski at fuse dot net

And thanks for the opportunity!

Anonymous said...

On cultural appropriation and wearing a "gypsy costume": http://littleredtarot.com/cultural-appropriation-tarot/

Basically, unless you're Roma, don't do it.

Kathy Reel said...

As you know, Lucy, Key West is my favorite vacation spot, and reading your books allows me to stroll down the streets and take in all the ambiance that make this place so special. I have loved Lorenzo from the first book, as he represents so much of what makes Key West unique. Not that other places don't have Taro readers, but sitting on the boardwalk beside the ocean while having one's cards read is such a treat. In my first trip back to Key West in seven years last fall, I made sure to include a reading by Lorenzo. He's very professional/serious about what he does, but he's also a very nice. I, of course, had to mention my connection to you.

I have started reading Fatal Reservations, and I can't wait to see what happens with Lorenzo! I started it late Tuesday night and didn't get to read yesterday because of being out of town overnight. I'm champing at the bit to get back get back to it this afternoon!

Pat D said...

Goodie. Another book for the TBR pile! If I ever make it to Key West I will have to meet Lorenzo. I've never had a tarot card reading. But I have eaten Key lime pie. Lots of times.

Julie Dixon said...

Thanks for the opportunity!
sharonbabyme@yahoo.com

Terry said...

Going to Key West in September! dotsyschild@gmail.com

Sue Ellen Snape said...

Loved all these books, look forward to the next!
ses@snape.com

Brandi Alexander said...

b.alexander9212@gmail.com
Thank you for this awesome opportunity!

Margo Bittner said...

So much fun to learn more about each of the characters! Cheers@MarjimManor.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a paperback of Fatal Reservations my email is lindamay4852@yahoo.com, I never have won any Mystery books, keeping my fingers crossed. Linda May

storytellermary said...

Love Lorenzo! Love this book! You have made me want to come to Key West <3

Mary Holshouser said...

I'm reading Death with all the Trimmings right now.
Love this series.
thanks for the chance to win
txmlhl@yahoo.com

Ann Mettert said...

So neat to find out about Lorenzo. :)

pmettert@yahoo.com

Nancy said...

I'm sure I will love this series as I love the author's writing in another series under another name.

betty hall said...

I surely hope I win.....can't wait to read it! betty6931@fuse.net

Unknown said...

Can't wait to read it. annseams@yahoo.com

Chris said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win the newest book in one of my favorite series! cking78503@aol.com

B J English said...

I am excited too. I cannot wait to read this book.
Bettyjo.english@gmail.com

B J English said...

I am excited too. I cannot wait to read this book.
Bettyjo.english@gmail.com

B J English said...

I am excited too. I cannot wait to read this book.
Bettyjo.english@gmail.com

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Yesterday's winnner of FATAL RESERVATIONS is Beth Kanell. thank you all so much for the wonderful comments! xo

Pamela Johnson said...

Lorenzo sounds like quite the character and fits into your stories so well that without the pictures, I would have thought you made him up. The book sounds like a trip to the light fantastic and I can't wait.

Susan Cerulean said...

Wonderful saga with Lorenzo!!

Jack Getze said...

Lorenzo says I have a chance to win an eBook copy.