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Guest Blog by Author MARY JANE CLARK

[ Edited ]

Today's guest blog is by New York Times best selling author MARY JANE CLARK - enjoy!!

 

 

Check out her website here: http://www.maryjaneclark.com/

 

She's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/authormaryjaneclark

 

And her main character, Piper Donovan, has her own Facebook page here:

 

https://www.facebook.com/piper.donovan?sk=wall

 

 

 

 


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About Mary Jane Clark

 

Mary Jane Clark's media books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and other national bestseller lists. Her books have been published in 23 languages.

 

The Associated Press says: "Her novels are like Agatha Christie's whodunits, but they have a hard, contemporary edge that enhances the fear factor.

 

They are so addictive, in fact, that her readers would surely suffer withdrawal symptoms unless they kept coming on a regular basis... She is one of the most talented story tellers around."

 

 

Mary Jane spent three decades at CBS News' New York City headquarters... where she began her career as a desk assistant after graduating with degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Rhode Island.... and worked her way through the ranks to become a producer and writer.

 

Her first books came from that experience. She developed KEY News, a fictional television new world where the characters go out into the world to cover their stories and get involved in mystery and suspense.

 

Those twelve novels include: Do You Want to Know a Secret? Do You Promise Not to Tell? Let Me Whisper in Your Ear, Close to You, Nobody Knows, Nowhere to Run, Hide Yourself Away, Dancing in the Dark, Lights Out Tonight, When Day Breaks, It Only Takes a Moment and Dying for Mercy.

 

To Have and To Kill is the first book in The Wedding Cake Mystery series.

 

"My aim is lay out all the clues in such a way that you don't even realize that you've been given the answer to the mystery until you get to the end... and then realize "Aha... it was there all the time but I just didn't see it." ...Mary Jane Clark

 

Mary Jane is the mother of two grown children and has homes in New Jersey and Florida.

 


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Wedding Cake Mysteries

 

click to pre-order the The Look of Love

I know, I know. Wedding cakes are a world away from broadcast news, but, the writing style is still the same, with the aim to create satisfying suspense. With romance, family relationships, sweets and suspense, To Have and To Kill has something for every reader. It's been challenging and fun to create a new cast of characters who I think you'll find appealing.

 

As always, I've tried to come up with clever plotting, a driving narrative and lots of surprises.

This does not mean that there will be no more KEY News stories. I love that fast-moving and suspenseful TV news world, as well as the characters populating it, and I always will. But, I was excited by this new idea and wanted to tell this story. I'm hoping you'll be willing to give something different a shot.

 

Books in the Series

 

To Have and to Kill (Wedding Cake Mystery Series #1) 

The Look of Love (Wedding Cake Mystery Series #2)   

 

 

 

 

 


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KEY News Thrillers


Printable List of Books (PDF)

(click on any of the book titles to learn more about that book)

DYING FOR MERCY
Hardcover: July 28, 2009
Paperback: August 31, 2010
ISBN: 0061286117
ISBN-13: 9780061286117
HarperCollins Publishers

 

Dying for Mercy (KEY News Series #10)  

When death shatters the serenity of the exclusive moneyed enclave of Tuxedo Park, New York, Eliza Blake, co-host of KEY to America, is on the scene. While attending a lavish gala at her friends' newly renovated estate, Pentimento, Eliza's host is found dead -- a grotesque suicide that is the first act in a macabre and intricately conceived plan to expose sins of the past involving some of the town's most revered citizens. 

IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT
paperback July 28, 2009
hardback July 29, 2008
ISBN-10: 0061286095
ISBN-13: 978-0061286094
Publisher: William Morrow

 

It Only Takes a Moment (Sunrise Suspense Society Series #2)  

New York City news anchor Eliza Blake, now back at the morning TV show KEY to America, pays a price for her high media profile in this riveting novel of suspense from bestseller Clark (When Day Breaks). When kidnappers seize Eliza's seven-year-old daughter, Janie, and Eliza's Hispanic housekeeper on their way home from camp in New Jersey, Eliza's comfortable life turns into a living nightmare. 

 

 

WHEN DAY BREAKS
June 05, 2007
ISBN: 0061286079
HarperCollins Publishers

 

When Day Breaks (Sunrise Suspense Society Series #1)  


The Sunrise Suspense Society series brings together three of the most memorable characters from my previous books along with a new addition. Eliza Blake, B.J. D'Elia, Annabelle Murphy and Margo Gonzalez dub themselves the "Sunrise Suspense Society" at KEY News, when they initially join together to solve the mystery surrounding the death of Constance Young, the powerful and controversial co-star of the top-ranking morning news program, KEY to America. 

LIGHTS OUT TONIGHT
July 2006
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312323174
Available in:
  Hardcover July 11, 2006
  Audio July 11, 2006
  Large Print August 2006

 

 

Lights Out Tonight (KEY News Series #9)  

As KEY News film and theater critic, Caroline Enright knows her opinions have influenced the box office habits of millions of Americans. She has taken her fair share of irate phone calls, and even an occasional threat... but she is unprepared when her trip to the Warrenstown Summer Playhouse is interrupted by murder.

 

 

 

 

DANCING IN THE DARK
July 2005
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312323158
Available in:
  Hardcover, Audio; Large Print
  Paperback May 30, 2006

 


Trying to mix business with pleasure, KEY News correspondent Diane Mayfield has brought her children and her sister to the New Jersey shore town of Ocean Grove to investigate a story on “girls who cry wolf” for the season premiere of Hourglass, television’s highly rated news magazine. 

 

 

 

 

 

HIDE YOURSELF AWAY
2004
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312323131 
Available in:   Hardcover, Paperback, Audio; Large Print

 

Hide Yourself Away (KEY News Series #7)  


It should have been an ideal week during a perfect summer in "America's First Resort" in Newport, Rhode Island. When one of the KEY interns is killed and another disappears, this year's crop of fledgling journalists are targets -- including Grace Callahan, a single mother who came to the City-by-the-Sea determined to launch a future in television news. 

 

 

 

NOWHERE TO RUN
2003
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312288778 
Available in:   Hardcover, Paperback, Audio; Large Print

 

Nowhere to Run (KEY News Series #6)  


As medical producer for "KEY to America," Annabelle Murphy makes her living explaining horrific conditions to the nation. So when a KEY News colleague dies with symptoms terrifyingly similar to those of the latest scourge, she knows the panic spreading through the corridors of the Broadcast Center is justified. 

\

 

 

 

NOBODY KNOWS
2002
St. Martin's Press 
ISBN: 0312983832
Available in:   Hardcover, Paperback, Audio; Large Print

 

Nobody Knows (KEY News Series #5)  

 

Cassie Sheridan has made a critical mistake. She is transferred to Miami, to wait out the end of her contract. While covering a hurricane that's moving up Florida's west coast, Cassie meets 11-year-old Vincent, who has just made a grisly discovery on the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLOSE TO YOU
2001
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312938063 
Available in:   Hardcover, Paperback, Audio; Large Print

 

Close to You (KEY News Series #4)  

 

Someone wants to get close to KEY News anchorwoman Eliza Blake -- even if it takes murder to do it. Eliza is back from Do You Want to Know A Secret?.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LET ME WHISPER IN YOUR EAR
2000
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312261918 
Available in: &  Hardcover, Paperback, Audio; Large Print

Let Me Whisper in Your Ear (KEY News Series #3)  

 

KEY News Reporter Laura Walsh has an uncanny ability to have celebrities' obituaries ready to roll. But when the glamorous host of the network's most high profile news show meets a devastating end, Laura's ready-to-air obit raises not only the suspicions of her co-workers but the police as well. 

 

 

 

 

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?
1999
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312938071 
Available in:   Hardcover, Paperback, Audio; Large Print

 

Do You Promise Not to Tell? (KEY News Series #2)  


Farrell Slater, a TV news producer, is at a crossroads. Her job at KEY News hangs in the balance when she fails to convince her boss to broadcast the story of the auctioning of the legendary Fabergé Moon Egg. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?
1998
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312969244 
Available in:   Hardcover, Paperback, Audio; Large Print

Do You Want to Know a Secret? (KEY News Series #1)  

 

Eliza Blake is a newswoman on the rise. Then Bill Kendall, a senior anchorman, dies unexpectedly and Eliza is thrust into the limelight -- offered her biggest opportunity ever.

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[ Edited ]

Some of Mary Jane's upcoming events:

 

1/25: Burbank Public Library 
(Buena Vista Branch/ Burbank, CA)
—Discussion & Signing, 7pm

1/26: Rancho Mirage Public Library 
(Rancho Mirage, CA)
—Discussion & Signing, 7pm

 

3/03 & 3/04: Broward Public Library Foundation 
(Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
—Literary Feast 2012

3/10: Fairfield Public Library 
(Fairfield, CT)
—Honorary Chairwoman -- Mystery in the Stacks: A Library Lovers’ Gala, 7:30pm

3/12: Spring Lake Library 
(Spring Lake, NJ)
—Discussion & Signing, 7:30pm

4/28: American Society of Journalists & Authors 
(New York, NY)
—Panel: Plotting Fiction

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The Look of Love (Wedding Cake Mystery Series #2)  

 

The Look of Love (Wedding Cake Mystery Series #2)

 

Overview

“One of the most talented story tellers around.”
Associated Press

“Clark has perfected the suspense novel…in classic Christie fashion.”
Booklist

 

New York Times bestseller Mary Jane Clark introduced readers to professional wedding cake decorator and amateur sleuth Piper Donavan in her acclaimed mystery novel To Have and To Kill. Piper’s back in The Look of Love, on cake creating assignment at a West Coast luxury spa for the wealthy and famous—where nip and tuck and murder are offered in equal measures.

 

Clark really hits her stride with The Look of Love, providing a winning recipe for delectable mystery that combines chills, twists, humor and often very romantic suspense in the bestselling vein of Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Faye Kellerman, Elizabeth Lowell, and Jayne Ann Krentz. She even includes scrumptious pastry recipes and fabulous cake design tips.

 


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Guest Blog by

 

MARY JANE CLARK

 


 

Write what you know.

 

That famous dictum led me to pick the television news world as the background for my first twelve books. The KEY News media thrillers were inspired by my three decades at CBS News.

 

 



Now, with an actress daughter striving to make a career for herself in Hollywood, I have gotten insights into what has to be the world’s toughest business. I have been gaining new knowledge about another world and a new series, the Piper Donovan / Wedding Cake Mysteries, is developing.

 

 

Piper Donovan is a struggling actress who makes wedding cakes. Each commissioned cake means a new bride and groom, a different location and various family members, friends and characters who populate the wedding venue. As Piper creates her frosted masterpieces, she gets involved in mystery and suspense. 

 

 

 

(Note: Piper is portrayed by my daughter Elizabeth, wearing a blond wig.)

 

But what did I know about cake decorating? Very little. So, I took cake decorating lessons. Here is the result:

 

 

 

OK. So the cake pros don’t have to worry about competition from me…but now I know enough to write about it. I know how to use fondant, know how to make frosting from scratch, know how to handle a piping bag and the various tips, know how to fashion a rose with icing and a flower nail. 

 

 

THE LOOK OF LOVE is set in Los Angeles, land of sunshine, palm trees and beautiful people. Amidst the glamour, The Monastery of the Angeles, a cloistered convent, sits nestled beneath the famous Hollywood sign. The juxtaposition of physical and spiritual beauty intrigued me. I wanted to know more.

 

 

I visited the convent and said a prayer in the chapel, sitting in the part of the church that is open to the public. I could hear the hidden nuns praying on the other side of a screen behind the altar. It was both eerie and comforting.

 

Afterward, I made a stop in the small gift shop that the sisters run to make money to support the monastery.  The discovery of their convent-baked pumpkin bread was a revelation. It’s wonderful! That bread ended up inspiring Piper’s wedding cake and one of the (imaginary) nuns becomes a murder suspect in THE LOOK OF LOVE. 

 

 

The point is: the best mysteries are written by people who know what they are talking about. Readers can tell if the writer is faking it. You’re already asking the reader to suspend disbelief. A factual inaccuracy pulls the reader out of the reading experience and distracts them. The reader asks: “If the writer got this fact wrong, what else isn’t right here?”

           

In my books, I want to keep the reader engrossed in the story and eager to keep turning the pages. I don’t want the reader to have to hit the brakes. You have to know what you are writing about so the reader gets the best possible literary roller coaster ride.

 



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Re: Guest Blog by Author MARY JANE CLARK

Hi, Mary Jane, I have seen your books at the library I work at. I have not read any yet but they do look interesting.

 

I like the titles.

 

Are you related to Mary Higgins Clark? I am sure you get this question a lot.

 

I hope that you have a great visit here.

 

ReadingPatti

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Nuns' pumpkin bread could be a savior

Pumpkinbread250

 

An economic slump that is jeopardizing the Monastery of the Angels in the Hollywood Hills could be a recipe for the destruction of a Hollywood tradition, say devotees of the convent's pumpkin bread.

The spicy bread hasn't changed since it was first baked as a replacement for fruitcakes the nuns sold each Christmas. They were forced to drop the cakes when the cost of ingredients -- whole cherries, pineapple, halved pecans and walnuts -- escalated in the early 1970s.

The switch to pumpkin bread came after Sister Mary Agnes used her Canadian grandmother's recipe one day to bake loaves to serve to other nuns at dinner.

"The bread vanished," a nun recounted to The Times in 1986. "Then she made loaves for Guild card parties and they disappeared. We decided to bake and sell 40 loaves at $1 a loaf. It also vanished. It got to be 80 loaves a day, and now 600 a day for those two weeks around Christmas."

These days the monastery produces 18,000 loaves a year, which sell for $9 each. And an expansion of that output could help generate revenue to offset the convent's losses in investments from declining donations, say volunteers hoping to prevent the monastery from being sold for development.

Nuns are skeptical that their bread can be duplicated. But over the years The Times has twice published the recipe. The last time, in 1974, food writer Rose Dosti wrote: "Bless the Monastery of Angels for this moist, delicious pumpkin bread."

So try it, if you think you have a prayer of a chance of replicating the monastery's pumpkin bread:

3½ cups sifted flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1½ tsp. salt
4 eggs beaten
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin
Walnut halves

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Combine eggs, oil, water and pumpkin and mix well. Stir into dry ingredients. Turn into 3 greased loaf pans and top with a few walnut halves. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before slicing. (Tastes best slightly warm, spread with butter.) Makes 3 1-3/4 lb. loaves.

--Bob Pool

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Very interesting that you actually took cake decorating classes in order to write your wedding cake series. It's kind of like actors doing something that will make feel like they have gotten into the role they are playing. Loved the blog and I hope to read your books soon.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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After reading your description of The Look of Love, becke, I went to my library's website and now have the book on hold. Can't wait to read it! Don't know if I am brave enough to try the recipe for Pumpkin Bread that the nuns make, though.

 

Reading Patti, I checked out the bio of Mary Higgins Clark and found that Mary Jane Clark is her former daughter-in-law. Kind of interesting that M.H. had both a daughter and daughter-in-law follow her footsteps in the Mystery Novel genre, no?

 

I'm glad to report that the buttons for bold, italic, and underline--in fact, the entire gray colored strip at the top of the message rectangle, has reappeared. Thanks for contacting the tech peeps, becke.

 

Maxcat, I agree that it's neat that MJC took cake decorating classes so she could write about that topic with authority in her books. I know that the Michael's store has those classes offered on a regular basis, and I've thought about taking those classes myself, but don't think I could trust myself not to start eating the frosting before the cake was completely decorated!

Do you ever watch some of the shows on TV that are centered around cake decorating, like Ace of Cakes?

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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Fricka wrote:

After reading your description of The Look of Love, becke, I went to my library's website and now have the book on hold. Can't wait to read it! Don't know if I am brave enough to try the recipe for Pumpkin Bread that the nuns make, though.

 

Reading Patti, I checked out the bio of Mary Higgins Clark and found that Mary Jane Clark is her former daughter-in-law. Kind of interesting that M.H. had both a daughter and daughter-in-law follow her footsteps in the Mystery Novel genre, no?

 

I'm glad to report that the buttons for bold, italic, and underline--in fact, the entire gray colored strip at the top of the message rectangle, has reappeared. Thanks for contacting the tech peeps, becke.

 

Maxcat, I agree that it's neat that MJC took cake decorating classes so she could write about that topic with authority in her books. I know that the Michael's store has those classes offered on a regular basis, and I've thought about taking those classes myself, but don't think I could trust myself not to start eating the frosting before the cake was completely decorated!

Do you ever watch some of the shows on TV that are centered around cake decorating, like Ace of Cakes?


I love cupcake wars - did u ever watch that show on the food network.
Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Let's talk wedding cakes! What were your wedding cakes like? If you've posted the pictures on Facebook, on blogs, etc. you can copy and paste the images here. If you scan your wedding picture into your computer, send it to me as an attachment and I'll post it here. If you need my email, shoot me a personal message here.

 

I'll post images of some cool wedding cakes to get us started!

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