Monday, January 30, 2012

LET'S GET COZY: IF FRIED CHICKEN COULD FLY - AUTHOR INTERVIEW, RECIPE, AND GIVEAWAY

 
 
GIVEAWAY ENDED 
IF FRIED CHICKEN 
COULD FLY
A Country Cooking School Mystery
BY PAIGE SHELTON

ABOUT THE BOOK: 
Isabelle “Betts” Winston loves teaching the secrets of mouth-watering country food in her hometown, Broken Rope, Missouri—famous for its past of outlaws, knife battles, and hangings. But when an all-too present murder threatens the start of tourist season, Betts must find a way to solve it without getting burned...

At Gram’s Country Cooking School, Betts and Gram are helping students prepare the perfect dishes for the Southern Missouri Show-Down, the cook-off that draws the first of the summer visitors. Everything is going smoothly until they discover the body of local theater owner Everett Morningside in the school’s supply closet. And then Everett’s widow points an accusatory finger at Gram... 

Betts must do everything she can to clear Gram’s name and keep the cook-off preparations on schedule—all while worrying about a mysterious cowboy only she seems to be able to see and talk to. And after shots are fired at her, Betts has to dig deep into Broken Rope’s history to find the modern-day killer—before the last piece of chicken is served...from the BERKLEY CRIME JANUARY NEWSLETTER 

A RECIPE FROM PAIGE SHELTON: 
Shockingly Simple Champagne Cake
"A couple blocks from my high-school-and-college years’ home in Des Moines, Iowa, was a place called Barbara’s Bakery. It was only a short time after we moved to Des Moines that I found Barbara’s and their amazing “Champagne Cake.” I fell in cake-love at first bite. I left Des Moines after college, and I have craved that cake ever since. As I finished If Fried Chicken Could Fly I put some extra effort into trying to duplicate Barbara’s recipe, but it was to no avail. I did come up with a yummy champagne cookie that I included in the book, but, sadly, the cake just didn’t come together.

However, even after the book was turned in, I wasn’t able to give up the quest."

Paige finally nailed this recipe and here it is! 
INGREDIENTS:
CAKE:
1 package white cake mix

(You need a “three egg” mix. I just use Betty’s, and it has pudding in the mix.)





1 (3 1/2 oz.) package white chocolate pudding mix
(Adding this ingredient is what I think magnifies all the delicious flavors. It’s subtle, but I can tell it’s there.)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream 

3 eggs

1 cup chilled champagne 

(I don’t even like the taste of champagne, but I LOVE what it does to a cake. And, I like my champagne-cake champagne like I like my bubblegum: cheap, pink and sweet.)
Red food coloring



FROSTING:
1 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons champagne
Silver dragees (edible/decorative balls – some people like silver edible glitter, but I’m team-dragee all the way.) 

Red food coloring



DIRECTIONS:
1)Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 9 inch pans.


2)Except for the food coloring, put all the cake ingredients into a bowl. Stir to combine, beat until blended, and then beat for 4 minutes at low speed. 3)While you’re beating at low speed, add some drops of red food coloring until you achieve a nice pink. I use gel food coloring and it takes me a good four drops to get to pink. 




4)Bake in the two greased and floured pans at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool about 5 minutes and then turn out to cool on rack.
5)After cake is completely cooled, place all frosting ingredients except for the food coloring into a bowl. Beat to combine and then start adding drops of food coloring until you again have a nice pink – for me this is also about 4 good-sized drops. Beat until stiff peaks form. 


6)Spread the frosting in between the layers


7)Then frost the entire cake, and sprinkle the dragees on top:





The recipe also makes about 30 cupcakes. I cut the frosting in half for cupcakes which leaves me scraping the bowl for the last few, but I find it’s wise not to have extra frosting hanging around. I can’t resist the stuff.
Paige's recipe was taken from MYSTERY LOVER'S KITCHEN BLOG.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Paige Shelton spent lots of years in advertising but now writes novels full time. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and son. When she’s up early enough, one of her favorite things is to watch the sun rise over the Wasatch Mountains. IF FRIED CHICKEN COULD FLY is the first book in her new series A Country Cooking School Mystery.

As a kid, Paige moved around a bunch, but went to both high school and college in Des Moines, Iowa. She moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1988.

After college, she spent many years working in advertising, mostly for the local Salt Lake City newspapers. Her attempts to become a published writer began in 1997, but it wasn’t until 2008 that the first contracts with her agent and Berkley Prime Crime were signed. Her pile of rejections is quite impressive. You can read about Paige's "Road to Becoming a Published Author" HERE. I found it VERY inspiring!
  


Also, be sure and check out Paige on social media and her blog: 
----"Like" Paige on her Facebook page 
----Blog: Radicle Root 

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PAIGE SHELTON:
1. Welcome, and thank you for agreeing to an interview for BOOKIN‘ WITH BINGO. Is there any personal information you would like to start out with today? 
Thank you, Bingo, it’s great to be here!

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, with my husband and our seventeen-year-old son. I spent lots of years in advertising, but now I write full-time.

2.  Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book? 
The “Gram’s Country Cooking School” idea was sparked during a brainstorming session with my editor. It was probably only natural that memories from my own grandmother’s kitchen surfaced and little things from my childhood started to show up in the story. So, I’d have to say that after the spark, it was childhood memories, family stories, and locations from where my grandparents lived – Rolla, Missouri – that served as some inspiration. Mostly, though, the characters drove the story, telling me very clearly where they thought it needed to go.

3. How did the title of your book come about?
I haven’t come up with any of my Farmers’ Market series titles, but right before I started writing IF FRIED CHICKEN COULD FLY, the title popped (kind of like a light bulb, actually) into my mind. In fact, the titles for the first three books of the series popped all at once. The second book will be IF MASHED POTATOES COULD DANCE and the third book will be IF BREAD COULD RISE TO THE OCCASION.

4. Do you see yourself in your characters? Which characters are easiest or more difficult to write?
I don’t see myself at all, which is strange because they are all me in one way or another. They all have distinct personalities and can be very insistent on which direction they want to go. I find it’s best not to fight them too much. Some characters just appear without any warning. In fact, Jerome, the ghost in IF FRIED CHICKEN COULD FLY did just that. I was relieved when my editor liked him, because both he and I wanted him to stay.

5. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out? What are you currently reading?
The books that have had a profound impact on me are:

Some of the usual suspects - LITTLE WOMEN, Nancy Drew and Little House books.

Also – OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, the first Sookie book by Charlaine Harris, and FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC by V.C. Andrews.

Oddly (an Amazon review calls it the best trashy novel ever written), FLOWERS might be the book that impacted me the most. I read it when I was pretty young, and, boy was it creepy. But it made me fully realize that books can be about anything at all, even stuff that’s creepy. Of course, since then I’ve read many other books that have reinforced this, but FLOWERS was the first one.

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s “11/22/63” and enjoying it.(BINGO'S NOTE: I am also currently reading Stephen King's book and loving it!)

6. What is the next or current book/project you are working on?
I’m working on Farmers’ Market 5, and Cooking School 3. I just turned in Farmers’ Market 4 and Cooking School 2.

7. What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?
I love football! My dad was a football coach when I was growing up, so I spent a lot of time at games. I have continued to be a fan, though there’s not a specific team (well, other than my son’s high school team, of course) that I cheer for. I just like watching the game.

8. Do you own an eReader of any kind and how do you feel about their impact on books, as well as you as an author?
I own two Nooks and enjoy them both, although I also still buy books.  I think it’s exciting to be living right in the middle of the transition to the digital age. I suspect that at some point books will only exist in museums which is too bad – I can’t imagine not knowing the way a book feels in your hands and the way the binding, paper and ink smell. But people who love to read will still read, and my hope is that as books continue to be only a click away, people will read even more. And more readers just make the world a better place. I think I’m most sad about what the digital age is doing to bookstores. I don’t have the solution, but I hope there’s a way for them to continue to stay in business. The passing of time will answer those concerns – I hope positively.
   
9. What is your advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?
Never, ever give up. It took a long time and lots of rejection before I was published. No one’s path is the same, but if you keep writing and keep believing in yourself, you will get there.

Thank you so much, Bingo, and I hope you and your readers have a wonderful 2012! 

And Thank YOU, Paige, for taking time to do this interview!
   GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO KAYLEIGH AND THE GOOD
FOLKS AT PENGUIN BOOKS, I HAVE TWO
COPIES OF THIS FUN MYSTERY SERIES,
IF FRIED CHICKEN COULD FLY, TO GIVE AWAY
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:


+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT IF FRIED CHICKEN COULD FLY THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING IN THE AUTHOR INTERVIEW ABOVE. IF YOU COULD ASK PAIGE A QUESTION, WHAT MIGHT IT BE?

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT PAIGE SHELTON 'S WEBSITE HERE


+1 MORE ENTRY: "LIKE" AND COMMENT ON PAIGE SHELTON'S FACEBOOK PAGE HERE ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY OR ABOUT THIS NEWEST BOOK 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, FEBRUARY 15
 GOOD LUCK!

132 comments:

lag123 said...

I want to see how Betts clears Gram's name and I also want to know more about the ghost.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

debbie said...

I like the idea of having a cooking school. I would love to see how they solve this murder.
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debbie said...

I am a email subsriber.
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lag123 said...

I like how the author describes her characters as having distinct personalities. I would like to know if they resemble anyone she knew from her past.

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lag123 said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/lag32583/status/163946561607450624

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lag123 said...

I learned that Paige's adverstising career was mostly with Salt Lake City's newspapers.

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lag123 said...

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holdenj said...

I have read Paige's Farmer's Market books and look forward to this one too!
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holdenj said...

I think it's funny that you're both reading the same book right now! And everyone talks about how much they like Outlander, I really need to check that out!
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holdenj said...

Well, her bio is pretty much covered here too, but I thought it was great that she'll be heading to the Tucson Festival of Books in March.
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holdenj said...

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petite said...

What a great book which is unique, special and entertaining. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

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petite said...

I am a follower. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Paige is certainly talented and creative. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

It was interesting to learn about her grandmother's influence and history. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

This fascinating story interests me greatly. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

The author's ability to create cookbooks and novels are inspiring. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Her career and advice on writing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

rubynreba said...

I love the title and want to find out how the mystery is solved.
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rubynreba said...

I live in Iowa. Where did you live when you lived here?
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Tore said...

I love mysteries. I love to see how Betts clears Gram's name. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Carol N Wong said...

Any cozy with a name like that has got to be great.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

From her interview, this author said that it is sad what the digital age is doing to bookstores. I agree with that. About how many years do think it will take until e-books take over or do you think it will ever take over?

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Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted:

http://t.co/inWHGvdx

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Carol N Wong said...

I can hardly wait until, "If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance" comes out. I think I want read all of this author's books that she had on website.

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Carol N Wong said...

I would love to go the Tucson festival of books. The author and a huge list of well known authors will be. I left a comment on her Facebook page.

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Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with an e-mail subscritption.


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Sue Farrell said...

The idea that a grandmother is a murder suspect that has to be cleared intrigues me.
suefarrell.farrell#@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I find it interesting that the author likes books that aren't cozy types at all--I find Stephen King very scary. I would like to ask her what kind of research she has to do for her writing.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

From the author's website I found her article on all the mistakes she made in trying to get published---I'm amazed that she has such a sense of humor about it.
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Sue Farrell said...

I am an email subscriber.
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I am a fan on facebook where I am Suzan Morrow Farrell.
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Joan said...

I love culinary mysteries and this one sounds like a good one. I like that it's about a cooking school.

Joan said...

I think it's amazing that she came up with the first three titles of her new series all at once.

Joan said...

I follow your blog via email.
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Joan said...

I follow with GFC

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I follow on twitter as @southerncooker

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I follow on facebook

Linda Kish said...

I love the title, I love fried chicken and the book sounds fun.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I love all of the book titles for this series. They make me want to pick them up when they come out. They all sound fun.

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Linda Kish said...

I am an email subscriber

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Karen B said...

Love the title! And what has Gram done???
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Karen B said...

I like that the cooking school is based on memories of her own grandmother's kitchen.
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Karen B said...

She fired her first agent! Good for you. :)
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Email subscriber.
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mamabunny13 said...

I'm intrigued by the ghost.
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mamabunny13 said...

I like Paige on fb-mamabunny shelor
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I follow you by email
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mamabunny13 said...

I learned on Paige's website that in March she will be attending the Tucson Festival of Books.

mamabunny13 said...

I would ask Paige what her top three favorite genre of books are to read (other than cozies).
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LAMusing said...

The book sounds so much fun - and if there's a recipe included I'm in heaven
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Norma said...

I like the sound of Broken Rope, Missouri!
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Norma said...

I follow you on GFC
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LAMusing said...

On her website The Farmer's Market series also sounds good - all such clever titles too.
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