Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Toes. Also, an Awesome Mystery Novel

by Stephanie Black

In Rob’s blog yesterday, he asked for fresh ideas for how to plot a novel or—this is a direct quote—“a kick in the butt.” I’d love to oblige him in the latter request, and will file it away for the next time I see him, along with a note to borrow my daughter’s heavy cop boots. If you’re going to land a good kick to the patoot, you might as well do it right, but truth is, I have no doubt that by the time I see him, Rob will be back in the swing of plotting and writing another incredible novel and won’t need the motivation. Not that there wouldn’t be plenty of other reasons to kick a smart-mouthed-Mafia-Wars-addicted-MBA punk.

Speaking of heavy-duty foot protection, I could have used some the other day. There I was, walking to the park with my preschooler daughter and a friend and her daughter. It was a cheery sort of sunny day, and I was wearing sandals. Upon crossing the street, I sort of miscalculated—wasn’t paying attention well enough, apparently—and wham! I slammed my big toe into the concrete curb. This involved a certain degree of pain and blood, though, for the record, I didn’t swear. Truly, you have no idea how much force you put into taking a normal step until some obstacle gets in your way. I thought I might have broken the toe, but by the next day it was feeling much less sore. Now it’s just—never mind, I won’t describe it on a family blog, because it’s a little icky. The moral to the story is watch where you’re going. Or wear boots.

Speaking of toe injuries, you know how when your feet are cold—somehow it hurts worse when they’re cold—and you splinch your toes on the leg of a chair? I hate that. Then there was the time when I was squeezing my way past my family seated on the pew at church, and I inadvertently stepped on my teenage daughter’s foot with the wooden heel of my shoe and really ground it in (not maliciously, of course. Honest.) It was in the middle of the meeting and she didn’t want to scream, so she just had to sit there with her eyeballs bulging out of her head. No wonder she’s so fond of those heavy boots now.

Okay, sorry. I’ll stop telling injured foot stories. Instead I’ll tell you that I just read Josi Kilpack’s new mystery novel, Lemon Tart, and it was awesome. When Sadie Hoffmiller’s neighbor, Anne Lemmon, is found murdered, Sadie is determined to figure out who killed her. The police want her to keep her nose out of the investigation, but feisty Sadie can't bring herself to just sit back--not when she's a suspect herself, and not when people she cares about might very well be involved in the crime. Josi Kilpack has crafted a wonderfully intricate mystery, filled with twists and turns. I’ll be really impressed if someone tells me they figured out the villain before he/she was revealed, because I sure didn’t. If you haven't had a chance to read Lemon Tart, grab a copy at the first opportunity.


At 5/06/2009 2:53 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I did NOT figure out the villian early in this book--which was amazing. Then I heard through the grapevine that the author herself didn't know the identity of the true villian until she was near the end. Don't quote me on that :)

At 5/06/2009 3:58 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

This looks like such a fun book and I LOVE the cover!

At 5/06/2009 4:54 PM, Blogger Carolyn V. said...

I loved that book! I honestly couldn't put it down.

As for the toe damage... So, so sorry. Stinkin' curbs.

At 5/06/2009 5:01 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Stephanie, I think those toe injuries are karma for being so mean to me.

At 5/06/2009 7:47 PM, Blogger Josi said...

Heather is correct--I didn't figure out who-done-it until page 270 or so--which about gave me an ulcer. I swore I wouldn't do that to myself on the next one and. . . I figured it out at about page 250 that time. Now I'm 80 pages into book three and scratching my head. I'm sure other mystery writers sniff at such disorganization--come to think of it, so do I, but, well, clever doesn't come easy to me.

Thank you for the great feedback--wow, what a great review! I'm so glad you liked it.

And last summer I dropped a dog house I was buying on my toe, had to go to 7-11 to buy bandaids after bleeding all over my car--it was a week before I could wear shoes again--so I know exactly what your toe looks like. Thank you for sparing us :-)

At 5/06/2009 8:23 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

I read Lemon Tart this week and was completely blow away. It's such a delicious feeling to have no idea what's happening, and then to think you know, only to have the ole rug pulled out from under you. Josi pulled it off beautifully.

I also read Fool Me Twice this week and - wow! Also a blown away sort of experience. It was immediately evident why you won a Whitney. You're up there in the realms of Mary Higgins Clark, in my opinion.

At 5/06/2009 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As soon as, um, a certain person said, um, certain things, I knew he had something to do with Anne's death. I can't help but figure out most "who-done-it" scenarios as long as there is logic in the story. I've been married to a cop for twenty-eight years. I guess that's why I loved Lemon Tart so much. It was clean, logical and scrumptious. Josi signed a copy of her book for me at the Storymaker's conference. I was thrilled, and had it read inside of forty-eight hours. Who can let a murder go unsolved any longer than that?


At 5/06/2009 11:51 PM, Blogger Paige's Pages said...

Sometimes even if you are watching where you are going, you still cant help but have "accidents." :) I speak from experience. I have at least one accident a week. They know me by name at the local Insta Care. This last weekend I was totally watching where I was going and still... well lets just say that accident involved a staircase, an arm/hand, a lotta blood, and a visit to the oh so familiar insta care. That particular arm has landed me in a splint and or cast three times since October. My mom calls these accident "Bella Moments" and my friends are inventing a wardrobe of bubble wrap. :) Good luck with that toe! Hope it heals soon! Oh and Josi, I love your books!

At 5/07/2009 10:20 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

That's totally wild that Josi herself didn't know who the villain was. Good thing it didn't turn out to be Sadie :)

Deb, you're a genius! Way to peg the bad guy/girl!

Paige, ouch! I hope your arm is feeling better soon and that your friends get you that bubble-wrap wardrobe to you as quickly as possible :)

Kimberly, wow, THANK YOU! You made my day!

Rob, I think the toe was karma for not being mean enough to you. I try, but then you blink those big puppy dog eyes, and how can I pick on someone so young and innocent?

At 5/10/2009 10:20 AM, Blogger Karlene said...

I've read both Lemon Tart and Fool Me Twice and I loved both of them. LOTS and LOTS! I tell everyone about them.

And sorry about the toe thing. Ouch. But at least it's warm and you can wear sandals that won't put any weight or pressure on it while it heals.


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