A Bad Hair Day Cookbook – Cover Reveal


I am excited to share the cover for A Bad Hair Day Cookbook: Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series. Since I’m a foodie, I had fun working on this cookbook while exploring new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. I love to talk about food and post photos of the dishes I’ve made, and now I can share this interest with you. Let’s get cooking!

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook

Release Date: November 19, 2019
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9997932-4-4, Orange Grove Press, $4.99
Print ISBN 13: 978-0-9997932-5-1, Orange Grove Press, $15.99
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by www.formatting4U.com

Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.

Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes! Bonuses Include:

• Meet the Sleuth
• Introduction by Marla Vail
• Cooking Tips
• Excerpts from Series Titles
• Themed Menu Suggestions
• “A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother

For home cooks, food lovers, mystery fans, and cookbook collectors.

Being an empty nester for over a decade, I got out of the habit of cooking and my husband and I eat out all the time. Reading through this cookbook has revived my interest in getting back in the kitchen.” Rhonda Gilliland, Author and Editor of the Cooked to Death Series

“Fans of Nancy Cohen’s prior books already know that her Bad Hair Day series of cozy mysteries are compelling reads, but A Bad Hair Day Cookbook offers something different in presenting recipes by ‘Marla Vail’, the fictional Florida hairstylist and salon owner whose exploits power Cohen’s Bad Hair Day series.These recipes are anything but fictional, however. They not only supplement the series with a fun nonfiction twist, but emphasize Nancy J. Cohen’s original creations (along with recipes from friends and family), designed for busy cooks who may not be out solving crimes, but whose time is equally challenged.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Mysteries and cookbooks belong side by side on readers’ shelves. After untimely death unleashes chaos in fiction, recipe rituals, meal routines, and dining etiquette offer a semblance of civility to restore balance. A Bad Hair Day Cookbook serves up both food and justice.” Christine A. Jackson, Ph.D., Author of Myth and Ritual in Women’s Detective Fiction

PRE-ORDER NOW! Watch for the Print Edition coming soon to add to your Holiday Gift Bags.

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Are you on the hunt for new recipes? A BAD HAIR DAY COOKBOOK by Nancy J. Cohen is now available for preorder! #recipes #cookbook Click To Tweet

 


A Bad Hair Day Cookbook



New Book Release Dates


I have release dates for my next two books. A Bad Hair Day Cookbook will debut on November 19, 2019, and Easter Hair Hunt will arrive on March 10, 2020.

New Release

First, a bit of news – I am excited to share that my blog is #29 in the Top 40 Florida Blogs from Feedspot. Isn’t that awesome? Go here to see the list: https://blog.feedspot.com/florida_blogs/

Back to the launch dates. Why so far away? Because launching a book takes more than polishing your manuscript to perfection. It means soliciting reviewers and giving them time to read the book. It means planning a book launch party, writing blog posts, scheduling a virtual book tour, creating memes, reserving ads, ordering print materials, and much more. A lot of work and time goes into marketing a new book. This is also the reason to allow some space between releases. After a book is launched, you still need to promote it on social media, continue your guest blogs and in-person speaking engagements, collect and post reviews. You might run a sale on a backlist title or offer a giveaway. So it’s wise to allow for some breathing space between book release dates.

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook will be ready for pre-order soon, and I’ll be sharing the awesome cover with you in an upcoming post. This would be a great gift for your holiday gift bags, and remember to order one for yourself as well.

Be sure to follow me at BookBub or Amazon to be notified when my pre-orders become available: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nancy-j-cohen  and/or https://www.amazon.com/author/nancyjcohen

I will have a limited supply of digital review copies for the cookbook. Please notify me if you have any interest in being added to my list of potential reviewers. I ask for reviews to be posted on Amazon, plus BN, Apple, and/or Goodreads. Spotlights are also welcome on your blog site, in which case I’ll send you an info sheet alone. If you’ve reviewed my books before, you’ll get priority. Please add these release dates to your calendars.

Author Nancy J. Cohen announces the release dates for her next two books. #newrelease Click To Tweet

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Publix Cooking Class – Oregon


We attended a Publix Aprons Cooking School Class featuring the Willamette Valley in Oregon. I always enjoy these demonstrations with a sampling of different wines and recipes to take home.

Aprons Cooking School

We started out with a taste of Elouan Rose wine. It was light and on the dry side and a pleasant welcome drink.

STARTER COURSE

The first course was Coriander Encrusted Sea Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Apricot-Shallot Jam. This was delicious. Normally I wouldn’t make scallops at home or order them in a restaurant because they can become rubbery if overcooked, but these were tender and done just right. They paired well with the jam. The accompanying wine was a Chateau St. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc that was a pale yellow color with a slightly fruity taste.

Starter Course

Cooking Tips from the Chef (any errors are due to my misinterpretation):

Iodized salt, like table salt, can turn bitter when you cook with it. He prefers Morton kosher salt, which does not contain iodine and is consistent in quality. A second choice would be sea salt, but characteristics can vary depending on place of origin.

The chef prefers grapeseed oil as you can cook at higher temperatures with it. He suggests you don’t use extra virgin olive oil for cooking as it burns at a lower temperature. Vegetable oil or regular olive oil is okay. Use the EVOO in salad dressings and such.

If oil isn’t hot enough, the food can absorb it. Test with a popcorn kernel. When it pops, the oil is the right temperature.

When preparing scallops, remove the abductor muscle.

SALAD COURSE

Baby Kale Salad with Pears, Burrata, Bacon, and Spiced Yogurt Vinaigrette was our salad. The dressing went well with it. The accompanying wine was A to Z Pinot Grigio. We liked this one.

Salad Course

Cooking Tips

Slice an onion from root to stem, not the other way.

Burrata cheese is a mozzarella cheese stuffed with a ricotta-like cheese. It comes in a ball, and you can find it in the specialty cheese section.

MAIN ENTREE

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Orange-Cherry Gastrique and Shiitake Risotto was a tasty entrée and fairly easy to make. The accompanying wine was a Sidur 2017 Pinot Noir. This was okay but I like a Cabernet better.

Main Entree

Cooking Tips

You can buy the boneless duck breasts in the frozen food section. Defrost and slash the fat side to prevent it from curling when cooking.

Put honey for 20 seconds in the microwave to liquefy if it’s crystalized.

DESSERT

Peach Panna Cotta with Biscotti Crumble and Blueberry Compote wasn’t overly sweet and was paired with an A to Z Riesling.

Dessert

 GIVEAWAY

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Hurricane Prep Checklist


Are you ready in case a hurricane hits? As Dorian approaches the southeast coast of the U.S., those of us who might be in its path have to prepare. Here are some suggestions on what to do to Get Prepared.

Hurricane Prep Checklist

  1. Buy bags of ice. Put on lower shelves in freezer, and later in fridge if power is out, so melting ice doesn’t flood the interior. Or freeze water in plastic containers ahead of time to help keep food cool. You can use old water bottles instead of discarding them. Turn fridge to coldest setting ahead of storm.
    2. Buy bottled water, fruit juices, sports drinks, and caffeinated beverages that you can drink cold or at room temperature. Fill plastic pitchers and other containers with tap water and refrigerate for drinking.
    3. Have enough food in stock. Fruits that keeps well: grapes, apples, bananas. Applesauce and other packaged fruits are good buys. Get bread for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You can buy peanut butter in individual portions. Get snack packs with cheese, crackers, peanut butter, dried fruits, apple slices, or grapes. Canned chicken, baked beans, and nuts are good sources of protein. Canned tuna or salmon tend to smell more if there’s no garbage pickup. Or buy the tuna in water in a pouch. I also like Lunchables with turkey, cheese and crackers for a meal while the fridge is still cold.
    4. Cook and eat the perishable foods in your freezer and refrigerator. Hard boil your eggs, and make sure you cook dinner early as the storm approaches in case the power goes out. If you wish, have a cooler handy. When the power goes out, put a block of ice inside along with the refrigerated foods you’re likely to eat first. This will save you from opening the refrigerator door too often.
    5. Consider boarding your pet at a kennel or make plans to secure your pet with enough supplies.
    6. Back up important computer files. Send an email to yourself at another online address with your most recent files. Back up to a flash drive that you can carry with you.
    7. Bring in all loose objects from outside.
    8. Do the laundry.
    9. Perform personal grooming essentials. It’s hard to shave and wash hair with no lights, and the water might get contaminated.
    10. Fill gas tank in car.
    11. Get extra cash to have on hand. ATMs won’t work in a power failure.
    12. Pay bills due or coming due.
    13. Charge cell phone, tablet, and other portable electronics. Get a portable charger. Make sure they all have full power.
    14. Prepare a list of repairmen and tree trimmers who might be needed.
    16. Buy hand sanitizer and moist wipes in case the water is contaminated.
    17. Have paper plates and cups on hand along with plastic utensils and paper towels. Also invest in duct tape and plastic sheeting to use if a window breaks.
    18. Stock up on trash bags to clear away debris.
    19. Place a flashlight or battery-run lantern in each room or in a central location. Keep extra batteries in stock. Candles can be a fire hazard, and they don’t provide enough light to read by in the dark. Carry a flashlight with you wherever you go in the house in case the power blinks out. For solar-powered devices, make sure they’re well exposed to light beforehand.
    20. Put insurance papers and other important documents, including copies of recent utility bills, into a plastic bag for quick departure, or store copies in a separate location. Scan them into your computer and backup files to the Cloud. Put other important papers into a plastic container. Some folks suggest putting these papers into your dishwasher as it’s waterproof inside and closing it tight.
    21. Buy an emergency hand-crank radio that also comes with a light and a cell phone charger. I like the Eton brand. Make sure it has a USB port for charging your devices.
    22. Learn how to open your garage on manual in case power goes out. Keep instructions handy. Also know how to turn off the low battery alert on your security system if you have one.
    23. Get a Kindle or other e-reader with a backlight to use when the power goes out. Keep it fully charged.
    24. If you think water might get in the house, put some of your clothes into a large plastic garbage bag and seal it.
    25. Prepare your safe room. Put blankets on the floor unless it’s carpeted. Add a portable radio, lantern, reading material or e-reader, snacks, water bottles, and emergency papers in a plastic bag. Put your purse in there. Also have a go-bag with portable electronics, chargers and other emergency items.
    26. Keep the air-conditioning temperature very low so when the power goes, it’ll stay cooler a little longer.

Watch the weather reports at:
National Hurricane Center:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Navy Tropical Cyclone Page: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/TC.html
The Weather Channel: http://www.weather.com/
Broward County Hurricane Page: http://www.broward.org/hurricane/Pages/Default.aspx
Sun-Sentinel: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/
Orange County Emergency Information: http://www.ocfl.net/tabid/3761/#.XWbQUChKiUk 

Tune in to the radio in Southeast Florida:
Channel 7 is 97.3
Channel 10 is 101.5


The Editing Process


Editing a manuscript is a critical stage in the writing process. In an earlier post, I discussed the Five Stages of Writing. Currently, I’m in the editing or revisions phase with one book and the production phase of another. This often happens, because finishing the first draft of a book doesn’t mean you’re done. It’s only the start of more work.

The Editing Process

After my draft is complete, I begin an intense round of line editing. This means reading the printed pages word-by-word through the manuscript to tighten sentence structure, catch repetitions, fill in emotional reactions, add dialogue tags and more. Here is an example of what one page looks like from Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries.

I scribble changes on the printed page, then go back to the computer and make the fixes. Like this:

Easter Edits

Then I read through it again. Note one paragraph here has the same word, “staff”, three times. In the second round, I changed the middle one to “employee” entrance. This means another session at the computer and another printout.

Easter Page

I read it again and keep doing this process until each page is as perfect as I can make it. For revision tips, see my previous post here.

The next step is to send it to my freelance editor. She’ll return the file with remarks using Track Changes in Word. Here comes another round of corrections and one more read-through to make sure all is smooth and I didn’t miss anything. For traditionally published authors, they’ll get edits from their developmental editor and their copy editor.

Next round? For indie authors, that’s beta readers. These are ordinary readers like you who read the book the way they would any story. But they’re looking for flaws, misspellings, info dumps, inconsistencies, or anything that would give them pause. Their input is invaluable, and they always find new things for me to modify.

Is the book done yet? Nope. From here it goes to my formatter. Once she converts the file, I have to read through it again to look for conversion errors. This is akin to the advance reading copy that traditionally published authors receive. It’s the last chance for a final proofread.

This is why the editing process can take so long. I set myself a goal of 10 pages a day. For a 300 page manuscript, that’s 30 days with no time off. Sometimes after several rounds and numerous changes during one day, I still can’t finish those ten pages. I get too close to the material and have to put it aside until the next morning.

So please be patient, dear readers, if it takes longer for me to produce a book. I want it to be as perfect as possible by the time it reaches your hands. Or at least, the hands of my early reviewers. That’s a whole other topic.

Unfortunately, no matter how many passes we make through a book, including our editors and beta readers, some errors will slip by. It’s only diligent readers who can point them out to us. If you see them, please communicate in a kindly manner directly to the author via private email. Depending on our publishing status, we may or may not be able to fix these mistakes. Your eye for detail will be appreciated as long as you understand that most of us really do try our best.

What is The Editing Process? It's a critical phase in writing a novel. #amediting #amwriting Click To Tweet

Do you get annoyed by occasional typos in the books you read, or do you accept them as inevitable and keep reading? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 


Coronado Springs Resort Dining


Continuing our tradition of trying new places to eat in Orlando, we dined at Toledo, the new rooftop restaurant inside Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. A magical elevator takes you to the top floor where you emerge into a spacious lounge area. You can come for drinks and the view if you don’t care to stay for dinner. Here we are gazing toward Hollywood Studios. You can see the new Star Wars land under construction and the Tower of Terror.

View from Toledo

Inside the restaurant, we were led to a quiet table among the bustle. We began our meal with an olive medley and flatbread with melted cheese for appetizers.

I ordered tilefish for my entrée and was pleasantly surprised by the tasty dish. Dessert was the best, a couple of chocolate concoctions that we all shared.

Dessert at Toledo

Our other days in Orlando were taken up with family visits. On this night, we were celebrating our son’s birthday. We’ll soon have a lot more to celebrate as my husband and I become grandparents for the first time later this year.

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FAPA Conference – Day Two


I continued to meet new people on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) conference. Here I had a separate table to sell books in between workshops. Everyone was in the same room, and there was one track per hour, so nobody had to worry about choosing which panel to attend or running to another location.

Michael Joy and Raquel Reyes represented Florida Chapter of MWA at the conference.

First speaker of the day was Ava Doppelt, an intellectual property attorney, who spoke about copyright and trademark issues. She was followed by Tiffany Padgett from Ingram Content Group who told us about the different programs Ingram offers publishers and authors.

I particularly enjoyed Robert Macomber’s talk on Keeping Fans Engaged. He suggested authors bring readers inside the story by sharing your writing experiences, mistakes, and research adventures. Let them meet you in person via your author newsletter, Facebook page, and local reader events. Make your newsletter about your readers, too, such as showing a photo of a fan reading your book or getting your autograph at a signing. The goal, from what I gathered, is to engage your readers as much as possible.

Lunch was a buffet with Italian food and a delicious tiramisu for dessert.

Next it was my turn to speak on “First Class Marketing on a Coach Budget.” This consisted of a Power Point presentation and a 10-page handout.

The last session was by Tara Alemany on Road Map for Success. Then we divided into tables for an “Ask the Experts” Roundtable.

The awards banquet followed, beginning with a cocktail hour. After another buffet meal, we watched the mounted screens displaying the book covers for each award finalist. As our names were called, we went on stage to receive our medal. I received a gold medal for Writing the Cozy Mystery: Expanded Second Edition.

Below I am with my husband in photo one, and with Angelina Assanti, former FAPA president, in photo two.

 

See all my conference photos at https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor/

GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a free book from the prize vault at Booklovers Bench.

 


FAPA Conference – Day One


Last weekend, I attended the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) annual conference. It was held at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace across from Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Outdoors is a beautiful pool area with a covered poolside restaurant and a lazy winding waterway for tube rafts. If you follow the paths, you can find the pedestrian overpass crossing to Disney Springs.

The hotel has a pleasant lobby on the third floor with a large bar/lounge area where you can get drinks and appetizers starting in late afternoon. Our first evening, we enjoyed glasses of wine and a crab cake appetizer. I skipped the Friday workshops so we could settle into our room and explore the environs.

 

Downstairs on the first floor is a sundry shop, a quick-service café offering coffee, sandwiches, ice cream and other snacks, and another small gift boutique. On this level is also a full service restaurant. Friday night, we ate here with the gang from the conference. I had a tasty pasta dish with shredded beef short ribs and mushrooms.

That evening was a welcome cocktail party for conference attendees with a cash bar. We met new friends and greeted authors we already knew, such as Melody and Barry Dimick, Robert N. Macomber, Jane R. Wood, Raquel Reyes and Michael Joy. Angelina Assanti, outgoing FAPA president, did a great job along with the conference committee of organizing the entire weekend event.

Below: Nancy with Michael Joy in first photo and Robert N. Macomber in second photo. See all my conference photos at https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor/

Coming Next: Day Two

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Trimmed to Death – Large Print Release


NEW LARGE PRINT RELEASE! 

I am excited to announce the Large Print release of Trimmed to Death from Wheeler Publishing (Gale/Cengage).

Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. Can she unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life? Recipes Included!

Large Print Edition
Wheeler Publishing; $26.99; August 7, 2019
ISBN-13: 9781432866860
ISBN-10: 1432866869
Paperback, 451 pages
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2H4SH6P
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/304FbaL
Gale/Cengage: http://bit.ly/2LtbIV2

*Also available in trade paperback and digital formats at most online bookstores.

“From fundraiser activity, culinary insights, and probes into Marla’s logic to recipes and romance which pepper the story line and embellish its twists and turns, readers who want a cozy mystery filled with atmosphere, intrigue, and adventure should settle a chair by the fire for a good evening’s read.” Midwest Book Review

“The dialogue is sharp, the eye for detail is masterful, and the narrative pacing is just right. Plenty of suspicious-seeming characters raise the tension. Even if you’re not yet a “Cozy” fan, you’ll have a blast. All this and recipes, too.” Florida Weekly

“I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted cozy mystery. It is funny, has great characters and a good mystery to solve, so what is not to enjoy?” Open Book Society

“Trimmed to Death is a solid cozy replete with olive facts, dogs, small town rivalries, entrepreneurship, and killer recipes. Another entertaining read from author Nancy J Cohen. She kept me guessing to the end!” Muddy Rose Reviews

AUTHORS ACADEMY
Saturday, August 24, 10 am to 12 noon, “Agents, Query Letters, & Synopses” with Nancy J. Cohen, Florida Author’s Academy, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, 104 West Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: 561-279-7790. $25 fee for class. Advance reservations requested. http://www.flauthorsacademy.com/

GIVEAWAY
Enter August 1-18 to win a free mystery from the prize vault at Booklovers Bench.

 


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