A special recipe for Release Day!!!

huckleberry mousse & berries

Is there any better reason to celebrate with an author than the day her first mystery is launched? Or any better way to celebrate than with Huckleberry Chocolate Mousse? (If there is a better way, pour me a glass toot-sweet!) I’m a guest today at Dying for Chocolate with mine-own recipe — and a bit of a story, naturally!


Bon Appetit!  huckleberry mousse

Celebrate with me! It’s a Book!

Untitled-4Update: The guest blog listed for today will appear Friday — and there WILL be a book give-away over the weekend — just leave a comment at Suspense Your Disbelief to be entered in the drawing!

Today is the day! Death al Dente is officially a book! I feel  like a 5 year old who’s been waiting for Christmas for years and can’t believe it’s finally here.

It takes a village to catch a killer — and to publish, launch, and celebrate a book. With assistance from Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Books) and the UPS man, I was able to launch the book a few days early in Bigfork and Missoula, as part of the 35th Annual Bigfork Festival of the Arts and Missoula’s First Friday Art Walk.

So many favorite moments from the weekend. Walking in to Frame of Reference Gallery in Bigfork Thursday evening and seeing the cover poster hanging on the wall with my Birch Grove painting — the banner on my website — and paintings by ten local artists celebrating Bigfork in Paint and Print. Seeing the food — so stunned I forgot to snap a picture — catered by Chef Dan Solberg from BruMar Estates using recipes from the book. Seeing my friend Louise Lamontagne, whom I met in Seattle 26 years ago and who now lives near here, and the marvelous landscape she painted for the exhibit. (The gallery owners fooled us and didn’t tell us we were both part of the exhibit!)

Leslie & Louise


You can spy a small painting by Louise over her shoulder, and a pastel by my friend Jeanette Rehahn behind me. Both had other pieces in the exhibit.



Here’s Louise holding my book cover while standing in front of her painting. Aren’t her landscapes stunning? Louise & painting







Friday, it was on to Fact & Fiction in Missoula, the bookstore where I shopped — and shopped and shopped — when I first started writing seriously. Barbara Theroux, the manager, hung my cover poster right next to James Lee Burke’s latest! (Just out of view is a poster for Ivan Doig’s next book!)






And then it was back to Bigfork for the 35th Annual Festival of the Arts. The sun and glare made picture-taking tricky — consider this shot proof that I was there! By then, a few people had already read the book. I can’t decide whether my favorite compliment was “I stayed up way too late reading” or “I made the garbanzo bean salad from your website, and it tasted just as good as it did at the signing!”



Next week, we’ll be at Huckleberry Days in Whitefish, enjoying more opportunities to talk with readers — and eat huckleberries, which those of you who’ve already dipped into Death al Dente know are a passion Erin and I share!


I’ll also be a few places online this week. Please join me — all the Aug 6 date include a chance to win a copy of Death al Dente!

Tues Aug 6, talking about the motto for my writing life on Suspense Your Disbelief.

Wed Aug 7, talking about moving from writing fact to writing fiction — and a very special birthday (not mine) — at Jungle Red Writers.

Thurs Aug 8, a day in the life of Erin Murphy, protagonist of Death al Dente, on mystery maven Dru Ann Love’s  blog, Dru’s Book Musings.

And Saturday, join me at Poe’s Deadly Daughters for a conversation about how belonging to a book club influences a writer.

Thanks for being part of my village!

The Saturday Writing Quote — OW Holmes

“It is a good plan to have a book with you in all places and at all times. If you are presently without, hurry without delay to the nearest shop and buy one of mine.”

— Oliver Wendell Holmes (the elder) (1809-1894)


Or one of mine: Death al Dente is officially out on Tuesday, August 6 — though if you’re in the Flathead  this weekend, swing by the Bigfork Festival of the Arts. I’ll be selling and signing all my books.