30 January 2018

Curses, Boiled Again!

by Barb Goffman

I work full-time as a freelance editor, which means that I get to spend my days helping other people's dreams come true. I don't have a magic wand like Glinda the Good Witch. (Wouldn't that be fun!) But I do have a hardworking red pen, which I use to help make novels and short stories shine. But publishing is a hard business, and for authors aiming for traditional publication, there's no guarantee a book will get picked up, no matter how good it is.

That's why it's wonderful when one of my clients gets a contract with a traditional publisher. And it's especially wonderful when that publisher is one of the big ones in New York, and the deal is for three books. And it's even more wonderful--wonderful to infinity and beyond!--when that client is also one of your closest friends, and the contract is for her first published novel, and that first book finally comes out.

Well, today all that wonderfulness is wrapped into one with the publication of Curses, Boiled Again! by Shari Randall. The book, the first in the Lobster Shack Mysteries, went on sale at a Barnes & Noble in Virginia last weekend where Shari appeared at a signing, but today is the day folks everywhere can buy a copy of this book, published by St. Martin's Press.

So what's it about? This is a cozy mystery whose main character, Allie Larkin, is a ballerina who's back home in Mystic Bay, Connecticut, recuperating from a broken ankle. Her beloved aunt Gully has recently opened a lobster shack--her dream come true. But it soon turns into a nightmare when Gully is involved in a foodie competition, one of the judges dies after eating a competitor's entry, and suspicion turns on Gully. Did she tamper with the food? Allie isn't going to let her aunt be railroaded, and she won't let a broken ankle keep her down either, so she sets off to solve the mystery and find the killer.

Signing at Barnes & Noble
The book is filled with delightful characters, delicious food, twisty twists, and Connecticut charm. What's not to like?

So take it from me, who edited the first draft of this book, the final version is sure to knock it out of the park. How do I know? I've also edited two of Shari's short stories (one in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder, and the other in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies, which is coming out in April). And I edited a fabulous, unpublished stand-alone novel Shari wrote, which could be the start of a separate traditional mystery series--hint hint to any acquisition editors out there. So I know firsthand not only how well Shari writes, but also that Shari is an author who takes editorial notes and runs with them, making her work better and better. I have no doubt she took what was a good first draft of Curses, Boiled Again! and turned it into a great book, especially after working with her editor at St. Martin's.

But don't take just my word for it. Here's what some other authors who've read the book think:

"Not only is Curses, Boiled Again! a suspenseful and entertaining mystery, but Shari Randall left me longing to visit the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack―even though I'm allergic to crustaceans!" ―Donna Andrews, author of the multiple award-winning Meg Lanslow Mysteries

Cheers to Shari Randall!
"Delightful! A fun whodunit full of New England coastal charm and characters who feel like friends. Warm humor, a delectable plot, and clever sleuthing will keep you turning the pages." ―Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries

"A mystery as richly layered as a genuine Connecticut lobster roll!" ―Liz Mugavero, Agatha Award-nominated author of the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries

"Curses, it's over already! Shari Randall introduces a lively cast of characters who had me dancing through this book. Allie Larkin charmed me with her sense of humor when faced with a heartbreaking injury. The climactic scene is like nothing I've ever read or seen and I loved it!" ―Sherry Harris, author of the Agatha Award-nominated Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

And if you head over to Goodreads, you'll find around twenty-five reviews of the book, and they're all good. That's no surprise to me, of course.

The only disappointment is that the next book in the series, Against the Claw, won't come out until July. But at least it can be pre-ordered now. And I'll get to see the first draft of the third book in the series this spring. I can't wait to get my editorial claws all over it. Yes, sorry for the pun, but we're talking cozy mysteries here. It was a given!

****

Let me take a moment for a little BSP: Yesterday my short story "Whose Wine Is It Anyway?" from the anthology 50 Shades of Cabernet was named a finalist for this year's Agatha Award. I have stiff competition from four writers whose work I admire: Gretchen Archer, Debra Goldstein, Gigi Pandian, and fellow SleuthSayer Art Taylor. Woo-hoo for us all! I'm sure all the nominated stories will be available online for you to read soon (if they're not already), but in the meanwhile, you can read mine by clicking here.

14 comments:

Leigh Lundin said...

If you say the Lobster's good, it's got to be good.

I saw on-line your nomination (and Art's), so CONGRATULATIONS, Barb!

Barb Goffman said...

Thanks, Leigh!

Paul D. Marks said...

Congratulations on helping your client get a book deal, Barb.

And especially congratulations on your Agatha nom!

Barb Goffman said...

Shari got the deal all on her own, Paul. But I'll accept the thanks on the Agatha nomination. Much appreciated.

O'Neil De Noux said...

Congratulations to you and Art.

janice law said...

Best of luck with your story- and for all your editorial clients. I am sure they are lucky to have you behind the red pen.

Shari Randall said...

Barb, you are a doll! And an amazing friend and editor. Writers, this lady’s magic red pen will make your manuscript shine. Many, many thanks Barb and many, many, many congratulations on your nomination!!!! (I know, I know, too many exclamation points.)

Melodie Campbell said...

This was definitely a feel-good post! Barb, congrats on having an editing client do so well! I bet it feels similar to when I've seen one of my students hit the big time - there is no better feeling. And of course, once again, I am not surprised to see your name on the shortlist. Hugs all around!

Melodie Campbell said...

And Shari - I now see your comment directly above mine - big congrats on the launch of your book! I'll be looking for it - sounds great fun :)

Barb Goffman said...

Thanks, O'Neil, Janice, Shari, and Mel about the Agatha nom. Shari deserves all the credit for her book. She's a wonderful writer. And there's just something special about celebrating a first novel. Yay, Shari!

Art Taylor said...

Nice post on Shari's book--and enjoyed attending her event last night. You got lots of shout-outs there as a great editor! And congrats again on your Agatha nomination--hooray!

MaryAnn Corrigan said...

I couldn't make last night's book event, but I got to congratulate Shari in person earlier in the day. I'll do it again here. Congratulations to Shari on her actual book birthday and to you, Barb, for your part in editing the book, as well as on your Agatha nomination.

Barb Goffman said...

Thanks, Art and Mary Ann. And Art, I'm really happy to be sharing this honor with you again this year. Maybe at Malice we can have a drink together, as long as it's not that stuff you had me drink that time at the library. ;)

Art Taylor said...

I'll find something more to your liking, promise!