It seems everyone loves Hope’s blog these days, and she’s busier than ever volunteering to help other women create their own paths to success. So she’s shocked when a neighbor petitions to run Hope right out of her small Connecticut town! Set in her ways, apparently Birdie Donovan doesn’t like the chaos Hope’s sleuthing creates, the police activity and crime scenes, and it’s happening way too often lately. Eager to make amends, Hope bakes Birdie a batch of her best muffins. The delicious treats might have smoothed things over—until Hope discovers Birdie dead in her gazebo the very next day...
Now instead of worrying about holding on to her beloved home, Hope is trying to stay out of jail. Because suddenly she’s the lead suspect in the case. Not even her boyfriend, Police Chief Ethan Cahill, is promising he can clear her name, much less discuss the investigation with her. It’s up to Hope to get to bake new ground on the case before the lifestyle brand she’s created—and her whole life—crumbles...
I’ve been a fan of author Debra Sennefelder since I read her first book. She has never disappointed and that includes this wonderful book, THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO. This fifth book in the series is just as tasty as the four titles that came before. Actually, is has even more flavor!
THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO held me prisoner with every page. What seemed to be an open and shut case of our protagonist committing murder, evolved into a twisty turny who-really-dunit that had me second and third guessing myself right up until the heart racing end. In fact, it was so hard to put down it went with me to the kitchen for food and drink, and (Warning: TMI Alert) to the potty. J
Fans of the Food Blogger Mysteries and of Debra Sennefelder, will not be disappointed with this newest installment. Those who aren’t fans . . . that translate to “those who have never read a book by this author” . . . THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO will change that.
Did I mention the amazing recipes?
LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Debra!
DS: Thank you! I’m so happy to be here.
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about your new book.
DS: Food blogger Hope Early finds herself involved in the murder investigation of a persnickety neighbor. Birdie Donovan likes things a certain way, and it seems that few of her neighbors live up to her standards, including Hope. After a very public argument, Hope finds Birdie dead – murdered. Evidence quickly mounts up against Hope, and she has to find the real killer and clear her name.
LKBR: How many hours a week do you work in order to meet your deadline(s)?
DS: I work about forty hours a week for my writing business. That time includes admin work, social media, and promotion. Some days, my workload is lighter. Other days, it’s all I can do to get one thing crossed off my to-do list. I write my novels in several drafts, so I may be editing one manuscript while writing the first draft of another manuscript. It’s a constant juggling act.
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
DS: I am currently writing the first draft of a Resale Boutique mystery, which is due to my editor next spring. I’m also working on something that I can’t discuss at this time. Though, I can share that it’s so much fun!
LKBR: How many books do put out annually (if more than one)?
DS: Typically two a year.
LKBR: What is your brainstorming process like? Do you have a certain order you use when starting a new story? Such as, main character development, do you already have a murder in mind, the location it takes place?
DS: When I get an idea for a story, I first think about if that idea can carry a whole book. Some ideas can’t, and those get filed away to use perhaps as a secondary plot in the future. Once I get an idea for a story like I did for the manuscript I’m writing now, I start fleshing out the victim and the murderer. First, I need to know their history, what brought the two of them to this point, and I need to know what happened during the murder. Then I begin creating suspects and their relationships with the victim and the murderer (if there is one). Then I start plotting the story, and from there, I write my outline. The outline I sent to my editor for the Resale Boutique book I’m currently writing was 28 pages long. Actually, my working outline was closer to 35. In that outline I include snippets of dialogue, description, anything that comes to mind as I’m plotting that I don’t want to forget.
LKBR: Where’s the strangest place inspiration has hit?
DS: I can’t think of the strangest place. Inspiration hits all the time, but as I said earlier, not all ideas can be used.
LKBR: What publishing decisions are made by you, and what are made by the publisher? Such as, cover design, paperback/hardcover, publishing date, pricing, and so on.
DS: The publisher decides all those things. However, I do have input into the cover design. My editor asks for my ideas, and I provide him with a document with images. If the cover depicts the murder scene, I’ll include descriptions of the scene in that document.
LKBR: Have you done both self-publishing and traditional publishing? If yes, how do they differ? And do you as the author have to promote them equally, or does a publisher handle a lot of the promoting?
DS: I haven’t done self-publishing.
LKBR: Multiple questions here. Have you ever thought about giving up on writing? If yes, why? What kept you going? What would you see yourself doing instead? If no, YAY! J
DS: Yes, the thought of packing up my index cards, my plotting sheets, and my thick idea file has crossed my mind more than once. But, the truth is I love what I do, and at this point in my life, I can’t see myself doing anything else. But, if I did stop writing, I’d probably go back to food blogging.
LKBR: If you could make one request of a reader, what would that be?
DS: I would love readers to share what they are reading with their friends and family. think when you share what you are reading, you’re offering a wonderful gift to everyone around you.
LKBR: Thank you for joining us here today, Debra!
DS: It’s been my pleasure. I hope your friends will connect with me on social media so I can get to know them. Thank you!
About Debra Sennefelder
Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.
Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018.In addition to writing the Food Blogger mystery series, she writes the Resale Boutique Mystery series. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.
Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.