If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Guest blog: Judith Fertig--A Writer Who Bakes

Thank you to the amazing Linda Rodriguez, poet and author of Every Hidden Fear (and two more Skeet Bannion novels) for inviting me to guest blog.

I confess, I have my fair share of murderous instincts, just like anybody else. 

As a cookbook author and food writer turned debut novelist, I could have had a character stab someone with a chef’s knife or drown someone in a vat of barbecue sauce or poison someone with arsenic in almond paste.

But none of those scenarios felt right to me.  (But you can tell I thought about them.)

I finally realized I’m not a writer who kills. I’m a writer who bakes.

When I started working on The Cake Therapist, I got sidetracked and then mesmerized by one of life’s mysteries—how flavor touches something deep inside each of us. How a challenging or abrasive flavor reminds us that life is hard. How a luscious flavor affirms that life is good.

How a bite of fresh banana starts our mornings with a hint of the exotic, memories of packed lunches for school field trips, and sense of safe adventure.

How potent and lingering spice, like nutmeg or star anise, evokes a sense of nostalgia or, at deeper levels, remembered grief for loved ones we have lost.

How strong coffee and dark chocolate get us going again after any of life’s difficulties. Starting out as raw cacao or coffee beans, they had to go through fire to be great. So do we.

Like music or scent, flavor can tell a story because it evokes emotion. And emotion is at the heart of every story.

Flavor and emotion are at the heart of mine. My main character “Neely” is a talented pastry chef who leaves her New York life behind to open a bakery in her Midwestern hometown. She is reinventing her life, just as her blue collar town has reinvented itself, improbably, as a bridal district. Former mom and pop grocery stores, the five-and-dime, and the old library have been refitted as bridal gown, wedding invitation, and honeymoon travel boutiques.

Neely’s bakery fits right in. Her extra gift is both a help and a hindrance. She can “read” people as flavors. Like contemporary musician Pharrell Williams and the late writer Vladimir Nabokov who experienced sounds as colors, Neely has that fusion or “synesthesia” of the senses.   


When Neely meets with a special bakery or wedding cake client, she senses a flavor, which leads to a feeling and then that person’s story.

She’s not in the therapy business, however. She’s in the bakery business. So, she adds the perfect flavor combination to a cake or a cookie to wordlessly help that person mourn a loss, celebrate a happy occasion, or just move on with life.

Yet the sour flavor of anger, the “feeling” behind alternating flashback chapters, starts to intensify. Neely can’t figure out why.

This is the dark, secret filling—the mystery—that the cake therapist has to resolve.  It’s a feeling and a story, told over generations, that has had a long-term, caustic effect on those involved.

It’s a flavor that could have killed, eventually.

But I’m a writer who bakes.

About Judith Fertig

Judith Fertig is an award-winning and bestselling cookbook author, specializing in baking, barbecue, and the regional cuisine of the Heartland—where flavor and storytelling combine. After college at Wittenberg University and Ohio State, she studied at École de Cuisine La Varenne (formerly in Paris) and The Cordon Bleu in London plus The Iowa Writers Workshop. Her food and lifestyle writing has appeared in The New York Times, The London Sunday Times, Country Homes & Interiors, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Natural Awakenings, Better Homes & Gardens, Saveur, Country Living, and Cooking Light. Fertig has appeared on the Food Network and many TV and radio programs.

Her debut novel is The Cake Therapist (Berkley, June 2015).          
FB:  Judith Fertig, Author
Twitter: @JudithFertig


James Montgomery Jackson said...

Congratulations on your debut novel. I find it interesting how each of us relies more or less on our various senses. Since my sense of taste is not well developed, I rely on it the least.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

Your book and your protagonist sound interesting. I enjoy reading about how people experience the world differently. Thanks for coming on WWK.

Grace Topping said...

Quite an interesting concept. It will appeal to mystery lovers, readers who like food mysteries, and those who enjoy a bit of the paranormal. Sounds like a sure winner. I wish you much success with your series.

E. B. Davis said...

What an unusual premise! Lovely and who's to say it's paranormal. I wrote a short involving the flavors of ice cream in the Carolina Crimes anthology. Much to my surprise it came naturally writing about flavors. I can understand how writers who bake can write so well about baking, but then I cook and bake, too. Thanks so much for guesting with us, Judith. I love the cover art--someone did a great job. All those tasty layers...

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks for joining us today, Judith!

Everyone, this novel is super. I strongly recommend it. The only drawback is that you'll be salivating so badly by the time you finish. ;-)

Gloria Alden said...

Welcome to WWK, Judith. This will be the third time I've tried to leave a message and it won't let me do so. Anyway, I think your book sounds delicious and one I would like to read. Bananas awaken memories of my first grade where we stored our lunch bags in the cloak room. It was during WWII and bananas were hard to find, but my father found a grocer who had them. I'm thinking they were probably overripe ones which is why the smell of bananas makes me think of that time.

Kait said...

What a delightful post. Your book sounds wonderful. Your take on flavors as emotions is wonderful and accurate. I am intrigued to discover your protag's ability to flavorize her clientele. Well done.

Shari Randall said...

Judith, your book sounds so intriguing I can't wait to read it. And I really wish your publisher could arrange to have a real version of the cake on the cover accompany each book purchase!

Kara Cerise said...

Wonderful blog, Judith! I'm salivating just reading your book description. Neely sounds extraordinary too. I haven't read a book where the main character has synesthesia.