Sadie Hoffmiller has always liked things to be just so. A place for everything and everything in its place. Order over chaos. And of all things Sadie should be able to control, her own wedding is at the top of the list.
With the big day just three weeks away, Sadie is busily adding the final touches to her wedding plans but the arrival of a mysterious letter from San Francisco changes everything. The only person Sadie knows in San Francisco is her older sister, Wendy, whom she hasn’t seen since their mother’s funeral nearly fifteen years ago.
Sadie has faced off against murderers and criminals in recent years, yet the possibility of reconnecting with her sister is both overwhelming and frightening. Sadie soon discovers, however, that the letter is just the beginning when Wendy’s world turns out to be a place of unanswered questions, twisted truths, and more than one person with a motive for murder.
The more Sadie digs into her sister’s past, the more she places her own future at risk.
Author Guest Post
When I wrote the first book in this series, Lemon Tart, it was just one book. I’d never written a series before and so I approached her as I do any other character. In a stand alone book you’re showing growth in your character from page one to “The End” so that there is change that takes place, resulting in a better, stronger, wiser person when the book is closed. When we decided to make it into a series I realized that I had to change the way I was used to writing characters. In a series, you still need that character growth but you can’t have the same type of dramatic changes that are expected in stand alones. If you do, then Harry Potter is too different in book five than he was in the beginning. At the same time, if Harry remains the wide-eyed little boy despite the things that happen to him, he’s stagent.
As an author I had to figure out how to write Sadie in a way that is consistent with who she has been in prior books but still kept her in a growth pattern. There had to be changes and growth and realizations, but she could not stop being who she was. As the series has continued this became more and more of a challenge because so many things had happened to her–life altering, traumatic, intense things that I had to account for without making her different. My writing group was priceless in this respect and they would often give me feedback such as “I just don’t think Sadie would do that” or “When she faced a similar situation in another book she reacted like this, why is she reacting differently?” this forced me to do one of two things: 1) change the scenerio that wasn’t reflective of her character 2) clarify what it was that had changed her reaction. It was a fascinating process that challenged me as a writer, but also challenged Sadie. I had to look at more than just “this” story while also anticipating what kind of changes Sadie would reflect in future books based on the elements taking place in this book.
Book Seven in the series–Banana Split–came about specifically because of this process of being attentive to Sadie’s growth. In that book I had her struggling to cope with Post Traumatic Stress regarding a threat made on her life. She had to face her internal limitations, she was frozen with fear and anxiety and was not the strong and “Get to it” woman she’d been; but she had to have cause for it. It is the most character driven book in the series but I felt I had to have her face something dramatic, otherwise she was some kind of super hero. Since that book she reflects back on some of those things she encountered in the story, some of them still hold her back, other aspects help her remember her strengths. It added an entirely new dynamic to her character without which I’m not sure I could have continued the series to all twelve stories. In a sense she had to be weak again so that I could then make her strong.
Fortune Cookie is the next most character driven as Sadie faces some demons from her past in the form of her estranged sister who has been murdered in San Francisco. As she embarks on solving the mystery of both her sister’s life and her sister’s death, Pete is facing his own remembrances of his late wife. The two plots take Sadie to a lot of emotional and introspective places, reflective of past while questioning her future with Pete.
In the next book Sadie faces the threat she’s been running from since Book Six and pulls upon all the things she’s learned and ways she’s grown in the prior books. It was bitter sweet to write that final story, I’ve come to love Sadie over these years but am ready to have her find a peaceful future and explore some other ideas that have piled up while my attention has been so focused on her.
Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, children and super-cute cat.
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
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