Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Celebrating DEATH ON THE MENU with a Hemingway Contest!

LUCY BURDETTE: Death on the Menu is in bookstores today! Finally! (And it's also the book birthday for Rhys's FOUR FUNERALS AND MAYBE A WEDDING--Hurray--she'll be telling you more about that tomorrow.) To celebrate, I declare this Hemingway copycat contest day. 

What does that mean? I'll tell you...but a little background first. Sometimes I go in directions I never imagine when I’m writing, and end up adding a subplot that I certainly didn't plan. For example, in DEATH ON THE MENU, food critic Hayley Snow is checking out a suspect and discovers that he is a Hemingway wannabe. 

And then while googling and studying up on Hemingway, I learned that there actually was a contest for "Really Bad Hemingway" in which contestants submitted a page of bad Hemingway-esque writing and prizes were awarded. So then of course I had to write a page that this character had supposedly written.

Here’s how it went, starting with Hayley chatting with her suspect:


“Fun fact: did you know there is a contest for bad imitations of Hemingway’s writing?”

I shook my head.

“You should Google it—there are some snippets posted online and they’re a hoot. I entered a couple of years ago and got an honorable mention.”


“You entered a bad Hemingway contest? Do tell!”


He laughed. “Of course I have it memorized for moments like this. I called it ‘A Farewell to Harm,’ and it went like so:


He had hired the guide again after one too many women gone wrong. ‘You drink too much,’ the woman said. ‘You stink of beer and fish.’

The man and the guide had been at sea for hours, and reeled in two marlin. Both of them were big as Spanish bulls and that strong too; heaving silver bodies, that glinted in the sunlight and left the man and the guide breathless.
‘Let’s have a drink,’ the fishing guide said, though he knew the man’s history. ‘One drink won’t hurt you.’
‘OK, but only if it’s rum and beer. And only if you pour the rum slowly so the foam resembles the beach at low tide.’
‘Not until five. The tide won’t run out until five PM,’ the fishing guide said. ‘That’s when you see the foam.’

By the end of Rusty’s recitation, I was laughing too hard to speak. 

So I thought it would be fun to have a contest right here, among all you clever Red readers. Put on your Hemingway fishing caps and post your best Hemingway-like paragraph in the comments. We have a great prize package for the winner including Lucy Burdette's DEATH ON THE MENU, a hardcover copy of Deborah Crombie‘s GARDEN OF LAMENTATIONS, a copy of Hank Ryan’s SAY NO MORE, Ingrid Thoft's LOYALTY, a paperback copy of Jenn McKinlay's DEATH IN THE STACKS, and a copy of Hallie's YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR. We will announce the contest winner later in the week.  

On your marks, pencils and keyboards ready, go!

And ps, please come to Brookline Booksmith on Wednesday at 7 pm to hear about both new books and meet five Reds at once!

Or come to RJ Julia at 7 pm on Thursday the 9th in Madison CT, where Rhys and I will chat and sign books and eat cake!


About the book: Lucy Burdette, Death on the Menu from Crooked Lane Books


Food critic Hayley Snow is thrilled to be working at a three-day international conference at the Harry S. Truman Little White House. But things get off to a bad start when Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal (which belongs to Cuba and is on display for this weekend only) disappears. And they only get worse when a body is discovered in the storeroom. Hayley must spring into action before the killer adds another victim to his menu. 

“There’s a lot to love about this series—deft plotting, likable characters, and an ending that always satisfies. But one of the things I love the best is how the author transports her readers to Key West with every page, describing real landmarks and restaurants with such realism that I feel I’m actually there. Magical and delicious fun!”—Suspense Magazine

"Fascinating details about the Truman Little White House, Cuban American history and relations, Cuban food, and Hemingway’s years in Key West are woven through this atmospheric cozy."—Booklist

“Burdette’s loving descriptions of food and the appended recipes are an added fillip for readers who enjoy some history and romance with their mysteries.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Tightly plotted, with plenty of island-style red herrings and mouth-watering food-prep descriptions, DEATH ON THE MENU is also full of friends helping friends, and the sweetness of love.” –Kingdom Books 

You can buy the book wherever books are sold.

82 comments:

  1. Happy book birthday, Lucy . . . Happy book birthday, Rhys. It’s definitely a day for celebrating!

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  2. "A Meowable Feast"

    He was a six-toed cat who had now gone three hours with nary a bite. He was thin and getting thinner. He could feel his fur losing its luster, his orange stripes fading. Everything about him was getting dull.

    Except his eyes. They were the color of an elusive marlin swimming at sea, and allowed him to see in the dark of night.

    "Meow," he said. He touched his human's face with six, cramped toes.

    His human grunted and turned away, dragging the pillow over his head.

    The cat sat and waited. He would try again, because cats are not made for defeat. Perhaps next time he would use his claws. But he knew his human wouldn't wake until the bell tolled at daylight. He had learned long ago that when the sun rises, the human also rises. This time of year the days were short, and the nights stretched long.

    His stomach rumbled. He was now almost into the fourth hour of starvation.

    Some days nine lives seemed like a blessing. Other days, like a curse.

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  3. As a cat owner, I would not presume to follow Marla's wonderful offering - it is purrfect!

    I'll simply say happy book birthday Lucy and Rhys!

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    1. Glad you both liked it! I always think of polydactyl cats when I hear Hemingway's name, so it seemed only right to craft an entry from kitty's point of view.

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  4. Congrats on the book birthday for Lucy and Rhys!

    I was lucky enough to win a copy of Death on the Menu last week and I will look forward to reading it. My plan is still to make it to Brookline Booksmith tomorrow night where, as Kristopher from Bolo Books said on FB, it looks like it is turning into a gathering of the JRW authors/fans. Hope to see everyone there!

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    1. I'll try not to disappoint then. *Picks out best heavy metal band T-shirt*

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    2. Wish I could be there to see the other Reds, and you, too, Jay!

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    3. Ingrid, well that's good to know that you will miss all of us. :D

      Of course, I'm still waiting for your next book tour when you come back east and I can attend what will hopefully be a return to the stop I've seen you twice at now.

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  5. Going to my bookshelf and taking down a Hemingway right now... it's been awhile.
    Lucy, I'll be at Brookline Booksmith tomorrow night!

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    1. I know you will Hallie, you'll be asking us questions and helping us look smart and charming:)

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  6. looking forward to reading both new books. Congratulations to Lucy and Rhys. I had heard of the bad Hemingway contest before but I'm not even going to try. Instead I'll enjoy the efforts of others.

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    1. Why not enjoy as a spectator Judi--we need those too. thanks!

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  7. I don't think I've read Hemingway in forty years, and this certainly isn't my day for creativity.

    Congrats on your book birthdays Lucy Roberta and Rhys. I wish I had half your talent and all your skills at story telling.

    I am into plagiarism this morning, so here comes my bad Hemingway discovery, courtesy of Norman Lessing, who made me laugh:

    "The Snow Spiraled Down Like Dandruff
    The snow spiraled down like dandruff, flaking the head and shoulders of hatless Angelenos. It was
    strange weather for L.A.—especially strange for August. The man came into Harry’s Bar & American
    Grill. He shook snowy pearls from his matted hairpiece. The woman wore leather pants. She twisted
    around on her stool. It made a noise like stepping on a frog.
    She looked at the man, oddly. “Dandruff?”
    “Nay, but my name is Robert Jordan.” He spoke in the pure dialect of bullrings the world over. “I know
    naught of a sucker called Druff”….
    He spat an oyster at the spittoon. It missed. The shiny opalescence put him in mind of the eye of a
    slaughtered bull, left overlong in the sun. “And what of the girl,” he said, “the close-cropped one?”
    “Nay, but the earth moved for her twice more, Ingles. Then it stopped.”
    “It is a matter of small wonderment. After forty-two years.”
    Norman Lessing

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    1. That made me laugh out loud, Ann!

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    2. Thank you Ann. This should come with a warning label"Don't read while drinking coffee."

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  8. OMG, I don't think I could top Marla's entry (at least not at 8:41 in the morning on only one cup of tea).

    Congrats to Lucy and Rhys. Someone is going to win a fabulous pack of books!

    Mary/Liz

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  9. Fish thrashed in the farm pond. Big fish. Hybrid blue gills. A large hand surfaced. Bigger than a fish. Blue gills all over it.
    “Seen the new fish guy? Wonder if the blue gills got him. They bite on anything.”

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  10. Congratulations Lucy. Happy Birthday Rhys. I look forward to the movable feast of responses.

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  11. See! This is why we all get up in the morning and read this blog. You just never know if you will have a moment, an epiphany, or just spit your coffee out!

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  12. Lucy, first, wow!!! What fabulous reviews for you and Hayley!! Looks like this one will be sailing off the shelves!! (And congrats to Rhys, too!). I need some summertime mojo--and it sounds like a Key West fix is just what I need!

    Here's my entry--untitled:
    Madeleine lay under the mosquito netting and watched the smoke of her cigarette curl away, each puff more languid than the last, the spirals spelling out a message of 'more'. More what, she wondered? Coffee? Cheetohs? The man (she thought of him as The man now, the last of the whiskey flaming in the fire burning away whatever had been left, the tatters of her feelings for him). The man was out in the bush again, his gun bigger than his ego, after the lion which had roared in the night, challenging him to bring his gun and new khaki shirt, his polished boots—not that he had ever done the polishing—his beaters and yes the whole damned camp to chase forever across the endless veldt in search of the one thing he could never reclaim. His soul? Or so he said. Madeleine snorted, stubbed out her cigarette and threw back the netting. For Gawd’s sake, he was a dentist from New Jersey, with too much money and no—none at all—common sense. She hoped the lion ate him.

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    1. Oh Flora, just brilliant, thanks for playing!

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    2. Aw shucks, thanks! Just don't ask me to try Faulkner. . .

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  13. No time this morning to badger my brain into thinking like Hemingway. Who will never be my favorite author, and whose alcohol-soaked prose always gives me a contact hangover.

    But happy book birthdays, dear Rhys and Lucy!

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    1. Thanks Karen!! Contest will be open all week, so maybe something will come to you...

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  14. Lucy, huge congrats on the book! What terrific reviews!! Can't wait to read. (Going to check mailbox for my copy...)

    And LOVE the Hemingway contest! Can people post entries in the comments all week?

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  15. Happy release day to both of you! I'll give this faux Hemingway thing a think after a bit. And see you tomorrow night!

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  16. I'm enjoying being part of the reading audience today. These entries have been extremely entertaining! It's probably time for me to reread Hemingway. Somewhere, maybe in a box in the basement, I have all his novels. Haven't looked at them since about a year after graduating from college.

    Lucy/Roberta,
    Over the weekend I saw Death on the Menu at Barnes and Noble. It is now mine! It was a great trip for me, as Donna Andrews' new book was there, too! Now I'm waiting for Rhys' book and Hank's. (Why spend money on food, when I can spend it on food for thought?!)

    DebRo

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    1. Oh DebRo, thank you so much--I'm thrilled that you found it in BN. And look, if you're hungry, let us know and we will send care packages!

      The truth is, I'd never really read any Hemingway. My writers' group friend Ang was horrified! So the idea for the faux Hemingway was born... xoxox

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  17. Hurray hurray hurray!!!!!! SO HAPPY for you!!!!

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  18. Lucy, I look forward to the online book club chat with you on the Cozy Experience / Facebook page tonight! You saw my post yesterday on Instagram :-) and thank you for posting it in your stories. The Sun Rises novel by Ernest Hemingway is on the list of the 100 books for the great american reads. I was able to find your two previous Hayley books at the library. I am hoping that I will be able to find your Death on the Menu at the local chain bookstore.

    Looking for an Ernest Hemingway quote to share here. I was reminded of something I learned at the Book Passage Mystery Writing Workshop several years ago. I am going to quote from the first page of the book The Sun Also Rises.

    "Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am much impressed by
    that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn."

    Happy Tuesday,
    Diana aka wonderwomand

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    1. thanks so much Diana aka wonderwomand, I was delighted to see and share your post. And look forward to the Facebook party tonight too. Y'all come!

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  19. I'm afraid I'm not familiar enough with Hemingway to be able to enter the contest, but I did want to say happy book birthday. It was so wonderful to be back with the Key West gang.

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  20. Happy Book Release Day to the both of you. I'll pass on the contest because this is a ripoff of A Clean Well-Lighted Place. But it was fun. Now, back to mowing my lawn.

    A Clean, Not-So-Well-Lighted Place
    It was very late and everyone had left the Truman House except a young food critic who stood in the shadows the boxes of the storeroom made against the electric light. In the evening the house was busy with diplomats. But now the police had removed the body and the young girl wanted to get her own take on what had happened because she was curious and now at night it was quiet and she felt the difference.
    Her mother still in the kitchen had catered the event. She knew that the young critic was about to get in over her head. And while she was a good daughter she knew that if the girl became too involved there would be more death on the menu.

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  21. It was hot in the plaza. damned hot
    "Rodrigo" said the old man. "My son, come with me."
    "I ?" Said the youth.
    "thou," said the old man. " today we face our destiny in the sun and the blood and the sweat. Today is the day we stuff the olives."

    ...sorry, couldn't resist. About to set out on book tour

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    1. hahaha just howling Rhys. thank you! see you tomorrow! xoxo

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    2. Rhys, you made me snort my coffee. Hysterical!!!

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    3. Rhys, love this! Happy book birthday! I look forward to reading Four Funerals and Maybe A Wedding.

      Diana

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  22. Death on the Menu arrived in my in box this morning. All house hold chores have stopped.
    Really never liked Hemmingway.. and this will most likely show it.

    The old woman was thin and guant with wrinkles on the tips of her fingers from the wash water. Everything about her was old except for the soap that stood pristine near the wash board. She was an old woman who washed alone and had gone eighty four days without a shirt,
    the first 40 days the girl had been with her but after 40 days her parents told her she was unlucky. It made the girl sad to see each day the laundry hung without a shirt and she always went down to hand close pins. The laundry hung unfurled moving in the sodden plodding wind.

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    1. hysterically brilliant Coralee, thank you for playing! xox

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  23. Ah, Maria and Flora, I like yours so much better than the original. I join the "heretic" . . . when students asked, "Is every author your favorite?" I answered, "No, dears, not Hemingway."

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  24. Like Mark, I have not read enough Ernest Hemingway to try to imitate his style -- the last book of Hemingway's I read was THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA in high school, which I didn't think I would like, but I was amazed by how good it was and how I was drawn into the fisherman's story -- I could not put it down. Congratulations Roberta and Rhys on your book birthdays!

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  25. Happy book birthday to Lucy and Rhys! And well done to those of you trying your hand at bad Hemingway!

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  26. Happy Book Birthday, Lucy! Happy Book Birthday, Rhys! I think you know by my review, Lucy, how much I loved Death on the Menu. I'm going to run my blog post reviewing it on FB again today. And, Rhys, I'm hoping my copy of Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding arrives tomorrow. I thought I'd pre-ordered it and apparently hadn't, so I did yesterday. How I wish I could be at the party tomorrow at Brookline Booksmith. I look forward to some great pictures from the event. Reds rule!

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  27. Lucy/Roberta and Rhys,

    Happy Release Day! I wish you both continued success with your wonderful series!

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  28. Hooray Lucy/Roberta and Rhys! I hope to pick up both of your books later this week. As for Hemingway, we'll see if I feel like sassing him later. The last time I tried to read one of his books I had to stop. Felt like I was reading a parody.

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  29. Happy book birthday, Lucy/Roberta and Rhys! I hate Hemingway. Short. Brutal. Misogynistic. Depressing. I understand that he was a man of his time, and spoke elegantly and eloquently to the war-shattered audiences of his age, but he's way, way, WAY down my list of authors I would ever read for fun. And why read if you don't enjoy it?

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  30. Congratulations, Lucy!!! Love the Hemingway contest. Brilliant. I always remember the tale that Hemingway crafted an entire story in six words: For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. I checked Snopes and they say it's not true. Darn. I always like that story about Papa. May DEATH ON THE MENU sell oodles of copies! XO

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  31. I remember reading The Old Man and the Sea and The Snows of Kilimanjaro in school. I didn't like them and that was way too many years ago to parody. Happy book birthdays.

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  32. Congrats on your new releases, Rhys and Lucy. Looking forward to reading both books.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  33. A good and fine weapon senor, who is its maker? The barman reached for the gun but it recoiled when it growled at him. Congratulations Lucy! I found this parody of Hemingway. I really want to read all these books! I hope I put enough of it on here. Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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  34. I am reading For Whom the Bell Tolls after listening to the audiobook of Love and Ruin. Enjoying it and finding it plenty complex.

    Congratulations Lucy! I am just missing being able to go to either book launch. Driving to New Haven tomorrow and then back to Falmouth Friday. Grammie duty!! Best wishes.

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  35. He sauntered in. He sat. He stared. He stared at me. He slowly blinked. And stared. He groaned. Four o'clock. Dinnertime for the dog.

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  36. Happy Book Birthday to both of you! I just got Death on the Menu in the mail and so excited to start to read real soon! ptclayton2@aol.com peggy clayton

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  37. Happy Book Birthday. I would love to read it.

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  38. Congratulations !! I can't wait to read it. I love the cover !! Scoobyspenny@gmail.com

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