Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nancy J. Parra is here!

Welcome Nancy, it is so nice to have you on my blog today! Her new book Gluten for Punishment was just released on May 7th.

Tell us about yourself.
 I've been baking, canning and cooking since I was five years old-My parents never bought me an easy bake oven-why bother when I could use the real one. I was under the mistaken opinion that if I wrote down the story in my head then it would go away. What I didn't realize was that the stories in my brain are like pop up tissues. The more you finish the more seem to still be in the box.

How did you come up with this book?
 I learned I had to eat gluten free about five years ago. I was getting sick all the time and it turned out I couldn't eat gluten. I have trouble with corn as well, but I can sneak corn items in more often than gluten. I missed baking and so set out to figure out how to make my favorite recipes gluten free. I would post my attempts on Facebook. It was a friend of mine who suggested I join my two favorite things and write a gluten-free bakery mystery.
What are you working on Next?
 I'm very lucky to be debuting two more series. So besides Baker's Treat series, There is "All Fudged UP" a Candy Coated series and "Her Hand in Murder" a Perfect Proposal series. It is so much fun to go from one community to the next to the next. There are things that are the same and things that are unexpected and different. I've moved a lot growing up and south or north or west, I learned that there were always similar characters in every town- I like to notice things about communities. One town we lived in had a church and a bank on every corner. Then we moved to a town that had a bar and a counseling center on every corner. My favorite had an ice cream shop next to a women's workout center on every corner. My current hometown has a wildlife preserve and a shopping mall on every corner. Oh, and amazing libraries!

What do you do when writing to keep yourself focused on your work?

Oh, boy, that's tough. I usually have the radio on for background noise. Little dog sits next to me and sleeps while I write. Some days the writing flows and other days it's like pulling teeth but I keep working. What I've learned is that the hard days are always at certain points in every book. If I just allow myself to write junk for a while then I push through it. When I reread for edits all the horrible stuff actually works. Perception is everything when writing.
What are the first 5 books in your to be read pile?
End Me a Tenor- a Glee Club mystery series-Joelle Charbonneau; 
Carbs and Cadavers: A Supper Club Mystery (Supper Club Mysteries) Ellery Adams writing as JB Stanley
Heather Webber's Witchy Series (Which my daughter stole from me.)
Topped Chef - a Lucy Burdette mystery
Desperate House Dogs by Sparkle Abbey.
I stopped at five because you set a limit... lol So many books so little time...

If you could have a dinner date with any character from any book who would it be and why?
Oh, no that's tough... Grandma Ruth would be absolutely hilarious and wicked smart- but Brad Ridgeway would be fun to flirt would Sam Greenbaum for that matter...hmmm I think it's fun that Toni is just a little bit afraid of all three.


Gluten-free baker Toni Ryder may not cook with wheat, but when there’s a criminal on the loose, she’ll do what it takes to figure out who has their finger in the pie… Even though Toni is used to going against the grain by preparing allergy-safe, gluten-free products for her online bakery, Baker’s Treat, opening a storefront in the middle of wheat country Kansas might be biting off more than she can chew. The town is already skeptical of her flour-free ways, but when a local wheat farmer is murdered outside her patisserie, skepticism turns into outright suspicion. With the help of her eccentric grandmother, her handsome lawyer, and the sexy new widower in town, Toni is determined to find the real criminal before bad publicity and increasingly personal acts of vandalism shut her down. But when another suspect winds up dead, Toni realizes that this half-baked killer isn’t just trying to get her to close shop—he’s trying to make sure that she’s made her last gluten-free cookie…forever.

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