I’m happy to welcome Judge Debra H. Goldstein. Today, Debra shares her author journey and new release, One Taste Too Many, the first book of the new Sarah Blair Cozy Series from Kensington.
Six months after my first book, Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus in the 1970’s, was published by a small publisher, I was on cloud nine. Maze had received an Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY), I had speaking engagements planned for the next year, and I had just appeared on my first conference panel. My euphoric mood ended when I received an e-mail telling me the publisher was going out of business.
Not ready to accept my series was one and done, I sought advice from authors and agents about what to do next. Everyone told me the same thing: “Write something new.”
Although it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, I began a new work in progress. In 2016, a larger publisher released Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery. Once again, I was flying high dreaming about the books I’d write in my new series. At least, I was until the publisher announced it was dropping its mystery line.
Orphaned twice, there was no question what I needed to do: “Write something new.”
I focused on writing short stories and the first book of a third potential series. In 2017, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine published by short story, “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place” and Kensington offered me a three-book contract for the Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. I didn’t think I could get any happier — but I did. “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place” was named an Anthony and Agatha short story finalist and I received a cover for One Taste Too Many, the first book in the Sarah Blair series, that I absolutely love. One Taste Too Many will be released on December 18, but it already is available for pre-order. In fact, as you can tell from the cover, One Taste Too Many is a perfect gift or stocking stuffer for people who love cats, are cooks of convenience (it has recipes like Jell-O in a Can and Sarah’s Spinach Pie which is made with Stouffer’s spinach souffle), or simply want to be rewarded for surviving the holiday season.
One Taste Too Many Blurb
For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!
Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired town she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant . . .
Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!
Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. Its first book, One Taste Too Many, debuts in January 2019, but is available for pre-order. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra is president of Sisters in Crime’s Guppy Chapter, serves on SinC’s national board, and is vice-president of the Southeast Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.
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One Taste Too Many is available in print and e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Hudson Booksellers, Target, Walmart, Indiebound and local indie bookstores. One Taste Too Many will also be published in a large print edition in 2019.
“Write something new” is the best advice a writer can get. You did, and you got rewarded for it. The story about your first book is familiar. Same thing happened to me with my first one. Congratulations on your success and best wishes for more of the same.
Congratulations! I understand what you went through. Been there…. Your protagonist sounds like mine from my first series. Fun to write! Can’t wait to read it!
Thank you. I didn’t know you had the same experience with your first book. If I can have half the career (love your writing) you’ve had, I’ll be quite happy.
Amazing how many writers have been there, even before the recent publishing massacre. Hope you do read One Taste Too Many and enjoy it — and I’m going to have to look for your first series because, as you note, this kind of character is fun to write.
Congrats on being a publishing survivor. The new book sounds GREAT.
Thank you. I’m excited ….
Wow! I love your persistence. All the best with your series. And congratulations on being on the Anthony and Agatha short story finalist. 🙂
Thank you. When it is a passion, it becomes easier to be persistent. there isn’t any other choice :).
Debra, you’re a role model to all of us. I love the cover of One Taste … and look forward to reading it. I wish you much success.
Thank you for leaving a comment and for your good wishes. Between us, I love the cover, too. I think Kensington did a great job with it.
Publishing is in a flux! I’ve seen so many changes since I’ve started. I admire your tenacity. Hugs, VB
It has been a wild ride for many of us… thanks for stopping by.
SUCH a fun book! And you are a inspiration! xoo
Thank you … you are my role model (only I can’t do it as well).
Always love to read about authors ‘ writing journeys. Debra is such a giving person, who shares and encourages Guppies and all writers!
Beth, you’re being too kind. But, it has been and continues to be a wild ride.
Happy you’ve found a new publisher. Can’t wait to read the first in your new series.
Thank you. I’m excited about my new Sarah Blair series. Can’t wait to see the real copies of One Taste Too Many. And, let me put a plug in for you…. you’ve had quite a journey yourself, but I’m thrilled your book will be out this summer from Henery.
That is a fascinating writing journey you’ve taken, Debra. One Taste Too Many sounds intriguing. I wish you much success with your series.
Thanks Cat. It has been a wild ride, but so much fun to follow my passion.