Welcome readers. Today’s special guest is writer Patricia V. Davis. We’re chatting about her new paranormal Secret Spice Café Trilogy, including book 1: Cooking for Ghosts.
During her virtual book tour, Patricia will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.
Patricia V. Davis’s debut novel series, The Secret Spice Cafe, is comprised of three books: Cooking for Ghosts (2016), Spells and Oregano (2017), and Demons, Well-Seasoned. (2019) The audio books will be released in 2020 by Tantor Media, and narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. Patricia lives with her husband, who is both a poker player and a rice farmer, so she divides her time between southern Nevada and northern California. Say hello to Patricia at her author website.
Please share a little bit about your current release.
Cooking for Ghosts: Book I in The Secret Spice Café trilogy is a story about four remarkably diverse women from four different parts of the world, who find commonalities when they bond over recipes on a food blogging site to which they all belong. They share personal stories, but what they don’t share is that they each have a secret heartbreak they’re trying to overcome. When one of them learns that restaurant space is available to rent aboard the RMS Queen Mary, they decide, impulsively, to open a restaurant together. The Queen Mary is a real-life historic ocean liner that has been turned into a hotel and museum, and is docked permanently in Long Beach, California. The thing is, Time magazine has labeled it “one of the top ten most haunted sites in the United States.” The women are unaware of that when they go aboard. Each woman brings her own figurative ‘ghosts’ with her when she travels to the Queen Mary, little knowing that she will encounter spirits who want to meddle in the live to fix a few problems, and nudge them into solving a decades old murder that took place aboard the ship.
What inspired you to write this book?
My first overnight aboard the Queen Mary, I had a remarkable paranormal experience. You can hear more about that in this nine-minute video.
Excerpt from book 3: Demons, Well Seasoned:
At the exact time Queen Mary of Teck christened her ship—not one second later or earlier—a child was born more than four thousand miles away, just north of the French Quarter in New Orleans, in a grand colonial country home on Bayou St. John.
Here the time was six hours earlier than it was in Clydebank, just ten past nine in the morning. The weather was warm, the humidity thick enough to slice with a Cajun skinning knife. The scents of the marshland were peppery and ripe, and the water wasn’t tainted by shipyard waste. The bayou thrummed with life, slow-moving though it was. The fish and crustaceans swam in languid circles under the surface, making themselves an easy mark for the water snakes and alligators that lay in wait, hidden in the murkiness of the duckweed and hyacinths. The river turtles were a nuisance only to the insects, as they snacked solely on algae, mayflies, beetle larvae and the like. Along the marsh’s edge, in the surrounding foliage of cypress and tupelo trees, muskrats, raccoons, nutria, and other marine mammals scuttled and hid, trying to keep themselves from ending up a bigger creature’s breakfast, while at the same time searching for a meal of their own.
On the bank of the water, the white-columned manor was built in a style that kept hot summers in mind; the ground floor was enclosed with pastel walls of soft brick. The hipped roof was double-pitched and the briquette-entre-poteaux design offered structural support, as well as insulation. The doors were positioned across from one another to keep cool air moving, and extended galleries on both the bottom and top levels of the house kept the sun off the walls and offered outdoor breezeways. An opulent Venetian-style fountain bubbled in the center of the circular drive, birds chirping happily in its dancing spray. Lush gardens boasted sultry-scented magnolias, cerulean-blue irises, camellias as plump and pink as a young woman’s lips, and climbing white roses as old as the bayou itself.
The house was fitted with shutters to provide relief from the Louisiana sun, and in the bedroom where the baby had been born, they were shut tight to keep out lizards and prying eyes. But a determined mosquito could always slip in through the slats. That morning, they hovered over the laboring woman’s bed and crooned for blood.
They got it. The evidence of a birth gone wrong stained the bed linens red and spattered the elegant Persian carpet. It soaked the towels the midwife had tried to stave it with, covered her apron, smeared across her palms, and made dark crescents under her fingernails. Its tangy, metallic essence infused the air, clashing with the aroma of spiced catfish and eggs the cook had been frying up before the pains started. They came too early and too fast, as though Èrzulie Dantòr had made it happen, had wanted the child to arrive that day. And when the infant girl was brought forth, like so much else in the room, she was marked. But not with the blood of life.
Her mother knew two things: she wouldn’t live to see her baby’s second day on this earth, and the white man who thought he was the baby’s father wouldn’t want her.
What exciting story are you working on next?
What I am working on right now is very, very exciting. It’s a marvelous opportunity, and were I not sworn to secrecy, I would tell you all about it.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? It was not when I got my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. It was when my first content editor thanked me for writing a “real’ story that she could sink her teeth into.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?
I do write full time. I took some time off recently because I was contracted to write all three books in the trilogy at breakneck speed, so when it was done, I just wanted to spend time reconnecting with my family and nature. I also spent some time on our house, which we purchased and moved into the day after Cooking for Ghosts came out! It’s been sitting neglected for the past four years, but in the last five months, I have finally gotten a headway on making it look like people actually live In it.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I tape book outlines to the floor in my office, so that I can cross things off as I write them. Seeing that outline which goes across the whole room on large sheets of paper, and crossing out things as I get to them, is gratifying. Maybe not as quirky is that I send the final draft of every manuscript to my son who lives overseas. After the content editors get it, after my agent sees it, after the publishing house sees it, I want him to see it. He has a storytelling genius that to me is unequaled. It’s like I gave birth to the best editor I could have wished for.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I appreciate you, and I welcome your comments and criticisms.
Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
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