Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Guest post and giveaway extraordinaire: J.B. Stanley, author of the Supper Club and Collectible cozy series

Today, it is such an honor to welcome one of my absolute favorite authors in the cozy genre. You might remember I reviewed Stiffs and Swines and The Battered Body, which I also featured in a Tuesday Teaser . Just to refresh your memory or if you happened to be in outer space that day and missed it, (lol!) I've included links. So let's welcome J. B. Stanley and see what she has to say and giveaway.

Author, Eavesdropper, & Dialogue Thief by J.B. Stanley

A few weeks back, when I was well into the first draft of the sixth book in my supper club series, The Vulgar Vegetarian, I found myself in search of a villain. Literally. I wanted to drive around until I found someone who was perfectly deceitful, immoral, and malicious (or, at least I could envision them that way). Is there a shortage of bad guys/gals in the world? I think not. One just has to look for them, but at the moment I didn’t want to leave Barnes & Noble.
“Writer’s block?” One of the booksellers teased, noticing that I hadn’t typed a word since I’d sat down with my iced coffee.
“Not really.” I smiled. “Can I ask you an odd question?”
“Those are the best kind,” she replied (to my delight).
“Can you think back to high school or junior high and tell me if there was someone who was especially mean to you?” I plowed on. “A bully?”
Slightly suspicious, she nodded. “Yeah, I knew someone like that. Why do you want to know?”
“Well, I’ve already based characters on people who have wronged me, my immediate family, and even my cat. At the moment, I’m fresh out of villains. But if you knew someone who had an extra supply of cruelty, then I could add him into my book”
She nodded immediately. “In high school. His name was Russ.”
Russ? My antagonist had a first name. I’d make up his last name later. “What did he look like?”
“He was your average blue-eyed blond, but he was too mean to be cute. He only smiled when he thought he was hurting someone.” She paused in the middle of straightening a row of Seventeen magazines. “His face was always bunched up in a smirk. Like a little frog.”
I could picture him already, but as a grown man in his mid twenties. “What kind of things did he tease you about?”
The bookseller’s face clouded over. I could see that Russ’s words still haunted her and she was in her mid forties. “He told me that no one would ever ask me out. He said that I looked like a fat boy. He called me fat boy all the time. I hated him.” She gazed out the window and then turned back to me. “You know what? I still hate him.”
I moved closer to her, my heart already hardened against this brute. “How would you like a little payback?” I inquired. “I need a bad guy for my next book and I think Russ would make a terrific scoundrel.”
Her eyes lit up. “Are you going to kill him?”
I laughed nervously at her eagerness. “I don’t think so. But he’ll get his comeuppance.”
“Thanks,” she said, smiling shyly. “He was mean to lot of kids. He was really good at making people feel small.”
“For the record,” I told her before returning to my laptop, “You’re not fat, you don’t look like a boy, and I think you’re cool.”

This is a true story, folks. I do oddball stuff like this all the time. Sure, many of the ideas appearing in my books come from my own experiences, but not all. I’ve overheard snippets of gossip in eateries that I knew could plump up the dialogue of one of my ongoing scenes, I’ve seen how rude people can be when talking on their cell phones and have planned on teaching one of my characters a lesson about etiquette as a result, and I’ve studied the quirks and mannerisms of people at work.

In short, I spy on people all the time and I borrow upon these real-time observations to color my narrative. Sometimes I’m just shopping for a physical description. If I cast my eyes around the bank or the grocery store or the gym, my gaze will alight on someone whose unique appearance will transfer into fiction in a few, succinct sentences. My job is the most rewarding form of people watching.

I’m also always on the lookout for exhibitions of warmth, generosity, courtesy, and pubic displays of affection. I revel in the pure happiness folks illustrate at bakeries or ice cream parlors. Have you ever seen a person sitting at a patio table shaded by a yellow and white striped umbrella, licking a chocolate-dipped soft serve cone? Do they look unhappy? Never! They look so content that you want to pull into the nearest parking space and get yourself some of what they’ve got!
So yes, I’m a spy and I eavesdrop, but it’s all for the sake of my writing. Promise!

J.B. Stanley’s Supper Club series was called ‘heavy on fun’ by Publisher’s Weekly. There are five book in the series: Carbs & Cadavers, Fit To Die, Chili Con Corpses, Stiffs & Swines, and The Battered Body. The first book in her new Hope Street Church series, Stirring Up Strife, will hit the shelves 12/29/09. For more information or to send an email visit http://www.jbstanley.com/
Find me on Twitter or Facebook under jbstanleyauthor or visit my regular blog with The Cozy Chicks at http://www.cozychicks.com/

Now for the first time published, here is the recipe that will appear in the next Supper Club Mystery to be available in 2010.

Dolly’s Blueberry Dream Pie


4 oz cream cheese, softened (Dolly prefers Philadelphia brand cream cheese)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups fresh blueberries

1. In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream. Spread into pastry shell.
2. . In a large saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice. Stir with wooden spoon until smooth and then stir in blueberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with a sprig of mint (optional)

Now for the giveaway. Reader’s Choice Prize – I’d love to send you any one of my books (signed, of course) along with some coffee, a scented candle, a journal, and a whole slew of other goodies!

Thank you so much for spending some time with us. Wow, J.B., that is one super generous prize. Okay, kids, here are the rules:

Contest open to US and Canada only. No P.O. Boxes. Deadline to enter is July 18th at 5 P.M. Please put all info in ONE comment box and be sure to include an e mail address.

For official entry just comment you want to win
For 3 bonus entries~ become a follower through google connect (follow publicly)
For 2 bonus entries~ post about the contest and leave me the direct link
For 1 more bonus entry~ put a link in your sidebar
For 1 more bonus~ send a friend to enter, have them mention your name and you both get the extra entry.

To make it a little more interesting: if we get to 160 followers by the deadline, I will send 2 of J.B's books, A Killer Collection and Deadly Dealer to a second winner. These are gently read books from the Collectible series. Good Luck!


  1. I'd love this. +3 follower.


  2. No No No. What about Australia? we are practically and island of the US :)

    Maybe next time LOL

    Great interview though and I am glad to hear that bully should finally get his comeuppance (in the book). I disliked him already as well! It was wonderful of JB Stanley to share that story.

    Ok I am off to Amazon to go add another book to my wish list.

    Thanks for the great post.

  3. I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

  4. These sound like such fun! I'd love to be included!

    + 3 follower

    melacan at hotmail dot com

  5. Oh please enter me.

    bella [at] abibliophile.com

  6. I want to win :) This is a great giveaway!

    stacybooks at yahoo

  7. 1. I want to win!!
    2. I follow!!
    3. Does tweeting count? I tweeted: http://twitter.com/dreys_tweets/status/2515031628/

  8. I hope to win. I'm a follower.

  9. my email address is fatimastreasure(at)hotmail(dot)com

  10. e mail address.
    spvaughan yahoo com

    For official entry
    i do, indeed i do want to win! please and thank you.

    3 bonus entries
    i follow (hodgepodgespv with avatar of small white fuzzy dog oscar)

    1 more bonus entry~
    you are listed under "i want to win books" on http://hodgepodgespv.blogspot.com/

  11. I would love to win! Thank you for the giveaway and the recipe! I can't wait to try it!

    I'm a follower through google connect .

    Carol M
    mittens0831 AT aol.com

  12. Please enter me, I haven't tried this series yet. That was a great interview!

    I'm a follower

    thetometraveller *at* yahoo [dot] com

  13. Please enter me and I became a follower.

  14. I love the guest post and I can't wait for Russ to get his comeuppance! milou2ster(at)gmail.com

  15. Yes please enter me. +1

    I'm a follower. +3

    I posted on my blog: link at Tutu's Two Cents +2

    You're also on my sidebar in the list of contests. +1

    You can see I really want to win. Thanks for hosting the interview and the contest.


  16. Great post!

    I am already a follower.


  17. I want to win this book!!!!

    I follow!!!!


  18. I want to win.

    I'm a follower.


  19. I bet my husband would love that pie! What a great interview. Please enter me!!

    I am already a follower :)

    I also posted this in my right sidebar at:

    jgbeads at gmail dot com

  20. I like her!!! I love the way she came up with Russ but I do wish she'd kill him off just so the other gal could feel better!! :)
    That recipe is to die for!! Thanks for that and the giveaway chance for all those great goodies!!

    **I am follower!

  21. lol--I love the story. Ah, Russ, I will savor reading of your comeuppance.

    Thanks, Kaye & J.B., for the exciting giveaway(s)! Of course I would love to win. Cozies are my "thing", and I'd love the goody package. (hehe)

    I'm a follower, and I've posted a link to your giveaway: http://skemommlenskedaddle.blogspot.com/2009/07/cozy-up.html

  22. Really liked this post - the author sounds great.

    Please count me in.

    +3 i follow

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

  23. What a wonderful interview.
    I would love to win the book.

    I follow your blog through google.

    bstilwell12 AT comcast DOT net

  24. Oh I really love the interview! Very good, very down to earth. Loved the story if Russ.... LOL

    I follow your awesome blog!

  25. This was a great post. I feel like I've personally "met" a new friend. I love the way she people watches. I do the same thing. Now I want to read her books.

  26. Hi, Kaye: I would love to win this signed mystery novel and all the other goodies. I am already a follower!


  27. What a lovely group of readers you have! Please stay in touch folks! I'm on Facebook (under jb stanley) and Twitter (under jbstanleyauthor). Let's be friends for a long time! :)

  28. Hi! Just posted this on Win A Book.

  29. This looks fun! Please enter me!

    I love the story of how the villian got his name! Perfect!

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  30. And I'm a new follower!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  31. I would really love to win - and I am a follower too (+3)
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

  32. I would like to win!
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  33. Fabulous giveaway! Please count me in!

  34. + Wow! What a fantastic giveaway. I've had Ms. Stanley's COLLECTIBLE series at the top of my list for quite awhile now.

    + I follow


  35. I want to win. Please count me in.
    Thanks. jessica(at)fan(dot)com

  36. I'd like to enter, please.

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

  37. I want a chance to win this awesome giveaway!

    I'm also following you on google connect now.


  38. This one sounds great and add 3 I am following. thanks chocolateaandcroissants at yahoo dot com

  39. This is a big time giveaway extraordinaire! This was a great interview too. I love the details and I am definitely making that new recipe! Yum!!

    - I am a loyal follower.
    - I added this to my sidebar.
    - I posted about the contest.


  40. Holy Cow! So many interested commenters! Late to the party as usual. Oh well. I loved JB's story - about coming up with inspiration for the characters in her real story. Insight behind the scenes/in the mind of an author or the creative process fascinates me. I love love love the clerk's reaction to getting revenge - kill him - hahaha! I have you in my Google Reader already - I don't publicly follow in general. Keep up the great feature posts like this one from JB!

  41. What a great giveaway. I'd love to be entered.

  42. Thanks for the great giveaway. Please enter me. I'm a follower, too.


  43. I'd love to win this great prize!

    +3 I follow publicly

    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

  44. I am a new follower, a great giveaway.

  45. ooh count me in please!

    +3 follower

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  46. Please include me in your giveaway.

    +3 I follow

    Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at CoolCanucks.ca


  47. Great giveaway! Thanks so much
    +3 follower


  48. Please include me.


  49. Girl! Thank you for alerting me to your awesome giveaway. I totally want to win. Please enter me!
    +3 I am a follower

    +2 I blogged your giveaway: http://enroutetolife.blogspot.com/2009/07/flash-more-giveaways.html

    +1 I posted a link on my left side bar

    Congrats on hitting 160 before your deadline!

    Thanks for the chance!


  50. I would be very happy to win this! Thanks! +3 I follow

  51. Aren't you fabulous! Thanks for the giveaway~

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  52. Thanks for this lovely giveaway. I would love to win. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  53. I would love to win this book. I can't wait to try the recipe.


  54. I follow your blog


  55. I would love to win! I enjoyed reading this guest post and seeing how JB Stanley finds ideas for her characters and novels.

    I just become a follower here on google connect.

    I posted in my sidebar.


  56. This sounds great. Please enter me. Thanks for having this giveaway.


  57. I would love to win!

    JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com

  58. I would love to read this and I follow

    chocoalteandcroissants at yahoo dot com

  59. oops I spelt chocolate wrong above

    the email is chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

  60. I want to WIN! I follow ....& I will put your giveaway on my sidebar.
    julyso@grandecom DOT net

  61. Please include me in this giveaway.

    +3 I became a follower - thanks.

  62. Books, coffee, and candles...count me in! This is wonderful.
    This would be a new author for me.

    I'm a new follower.


  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. Please enter me and I am following.


  65. I'm usually not this late for anything, but ... count me in!
    Submitted a post and on sidebar, with link on zqueenbees.blogspot.com -- following, too.
    Thank you!

  66. +1 I'd love to win this giveaway!

    +3 I'm a follower

    +2 Blogged about this contest HERE

    +1 Posted this contest on my sidebar HERE


  67. I'd love to be included in the giveaway.


  68. I really enjoyed the interview, Thanks! Would love to read these books=)
    +3 I am a follower~

    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

  69. I would love to win this! I am going to follow you after I post this! Your blog is awesome.
    Thanks! Bobbie


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