Tag Archives: VINNIE ESPOSITO SERIES

Food in Fiction: Why cozy mystery author J.M. Griffin loves writing about food

While shopping the other day, I ran into a woman who reads my books. She asked me a question that I find I have to answer quite a lot. She wanted to know why I include food in all of my novels. Initially, I chuckled when she asked, and then gave it some thought, as I always do when asked that same question. I think it goes back to childhood, really, where meals together were an important time to catch up with our daily happenings, and to enjoy the taste of homemade goodness.

Image: andyskitchenblog.wordpress.com

Image: andyskitchenblog.wordpress.com

My mother was a great cook and an even better baker. We had wonderful meals, homemade bread and pastries, and in summer, our garden produced the best veggies ever. I watched Mom make delightful meals and luscious desserts. We always had dessert after dinner, and a yummy snack before bed. No junk food at our house, we lived in the countryside, where there were no stores to run to for snacks.

When I married, an Italian, no less, food played a huge part in our household. I enjoyed baking and still do. Back then, when certain fruits were in season, I’d make jams, jellies, pickles and all those delicious things we’d enjoy throughout the winter. My husband’s father was a chef, who taught me to make chicken cacciatore, eggplant casseroles, the tastiest pasta sauce ever, and many other meals that tickled the taste buds of our friends and family.

My kids grew up and left home, but became great cooks in their own right. Now my grandson cooks on Sundays, making meals for his week ahead. I guess that food plays a major part of all our lives and is comforting to us.

Image: eatathomecooks.com

Image: eatathomecooks.com

The Vinnie Esposito series began some years ago with Vinnie stopping by her parents’ house to cadge a meal from her family. Even though she and her father butt heads more often than not, he still manages to give her a bag of food to take home with her. Vinnie’s best friend, Lola Trapezi, owns a deli not far from Vinnie’s house, so again, food becomes part of the story. As the other characters in the novels stop by Vinnie’s house, she offers them a snack or a meal. Again, the story includes food. There’s just something special about that and I get comments all the time concerning the importance of how the food plays into the story.

Death Gone AwryMaybe it’s the comfort of food, or the fact that is brings warmth and meaning to our lives. I’m unsure of the answer, but when I’m asked why I include food in all my novels, I simply say, “It brings us together.” For, if you truly think about it, food does that. How many times do we meet friends for a meal, a snack, or a cookout? Often, we have business meetings that include food. Somehow, it soothes our anxiety.

So, tell me this, how do you feel about food and what does it mean to you? I’d really like to know. In the meantime, I’m off to throw an antipasto together for later. Good eating my friends and thanks for stopping by!

OUR DEAL OF THE WEEK is Death Gone Awry, Book 6 of the Vinnie Esposito Series by J.M. Griffin. It’s a killer of a cozy mystery!

GET IT FOR .99 CENTS RIGHT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING. THIS WEEK ONLY.

CLICK HERE TO BUY.

Get Death Gone Awry AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING FOR ONLY .99 CENTS THIS WEEK ONLY, or on amazon, BN Nookkobo, or iBooks.

Connect with J.M. Griffin on social media: twitter, web site, facebook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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Filed under COZY MYSTERY, COZY MYSTERY SERIES, craft of writing, FOOD, Food in Fiction, Lachesis Publishing, MYSTERY, MYSTERY SERIES

It’s a killer of a cozy mystery! DEATH GONE AWRY by J.M. Griffin (Deal of the Week!)

Death Gone AwryOUR DEAL OF THE WEEK is Death Gone Awry, Book 6 of the Vinnie Esposito Series by J.M. Griffin. It’s a killer of a cozy mystery!

GET IT FOR .99 CENTS RIGHT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING. THIS WEEK ONLY.

CLICK HERE TO BUY.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

This is what Vinnie Esposito knows: When you see a guy floating in the water, you jump in and save him. You don’t stop to ask if he’s connected to the mob. Unfortunately for Vinnie, he is. And now she’s in trouble. Again.

Her boyfriend, hunky State Trooper Marcus Richmond, is fed up with Vinnie’s misadventures, not to mention that every mobster in town seems to know who she is. At least Vinnie knows she can rely on her best friend Lola Trapezi to whip up some delicious dinner at her deli. She also knows Lola is always ready to help, even if it means getting into some hot water herself.

Everything Vinnie knows and doesn’t know—including how she really feels about her sexy friend and upstairs tenant FBI Agent Aaron Grant, and whether her dad really is connected to the mob—is all up in the air. And what Vinnie doesn’t know, might just get her killed.

EXCERPT:

Please don’t be dead.

I peered at the floating body as I stripped off my jacket and ran toward the water. Frigid temperatures and freezing waist-deep water numbed my skin, leaving me with uncontrollable shakes as I hauled the body toward shore. Struggling against strong winds and soggy clothing that hugged my skin, I slogged on. His clothing drenched, he grew heavier and heavier as we drew closer to land.

Blood floated halo-like around his dark hair, leaving a trail behind us. While blood is my least favorite thing in the whole world, I doggedly ignored it in order to get this stranger ashore. My stomach hadn’t revolted from the sight of it, not yet anyway, and I guessed I was safe. In shallow water, he became heavier still, and my breathing labored at the strain of his weight. Land was within reach. So what if it just happened to be a cemetery, big deal.

In good physical shape, I stand just short of six feet, tall for a woman, but I take after my aunt Livvy. I’m not a weakling either, though my struggle to pull this inconsiderate fool ashore tested my strength. We finally reached dry ground. Shivering and puffing from exertion, I dragged him by his arms and flipped him onto his back.

Pale, cold skin stretched tight across his prominent features. He wasn’t dead pale, so I dropped down onto my knees and felt his neck for a carotid pulse. Pressing an ear against his chest, I listened for a heartbeat before I checked for breathing. With my cheek near his nose, I didn’t feel any warmth from his breath. I should have known better, I’m never that lucky.

My jacket lay on the ground where I’d flung it before wading into the bitter and still wintry water of the Scituate Reservoir. With fingers stiffened from my recent drenching, I fumbled in the dry jacket pocket for my cell phone. I dialed 9-1-1 and set the phone on speaker mode. In the time it took for the operator to answer, I had started CPR. I’m not trained as a professional life-saver, but I’m certified to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Besides, I figured the guy had nothing left to lose.

A distant male voice echoed as I counted chest compressions. His voice droned from the speaker as he asked what the problem was.

“I’m performing CPR on a guy who drowned in the Scituate Reservoir. Send me some help. I’m in the cemetery behind the church in Scituate village.”

“What church would that be, ma’am?”

“The only damned church with a full-on cemetery behind it.” I breathed into the man’s lungs and started counting compressions once again.

“Ma’am, that isn’t enough information. What is your name and present location?” The voice was calm. I was not.

“One and two and three and four and five and . . .” I counted and breathed, counted and breathed. Silently, I prayed this man wasn’t beyond help.

The cool, collected dispatcher waited for enlightenment. Of course he wasn’t soaked to the skin, freezing his ass off, performing CPR on a dead guy, and trying to talk all at the same time, either. I could have used a break here.

“Listen up,” I yelled toward the phone, “alert the freaking North Scituate Fire Station and tell them to help me, Vinnie Esposito. They’ll know who, and where, I am.” I ignored the man’s babbling and multi-tasked for another moment.

Seconds later, sirens blared as trucks left the station less than a quarter mile away. Sound carried in the small rural village, edged by the reservoir. Within those same seconds, my victim coughed, spewing water and saliva onto my clothes as I leaned over him.

How lucky could I get?

Turning him on his side, I watched the bedraggled man while blood continued to dribble from his head wound. Folding my legs beneath me, I leaned back and listened to him haul ragged gulps of air into his lungs. His breathing steadied as color flowed into his face. I huffed and puffed, shivered and shook, while watching the man become stronger with every breath.

Fire and rescue trucks halted at the top of the slope. I glanced over my shoulder. The rescue team was heading toward us at a run. Relief spread through me like warmth from a crackling fire.

Thank God.

Bill MacNert, an old timer at the fire station, approached. His lips always held a secret smile and I never could figure out what went on behind his twinkling eyes. I’d known him and his family for what seemed like forever. He drew closer, his eyes on me, while shaking his head back and forth.

Directing the younger men toward the victim on the ground, as though they didn’t already know what they were doing, I moved back and smiled at Bill.

“Leave it to you.” He smirked.

“Hey, I did my good deed for the day,” I said and took the emergency blanket a team member handed me.

The EMS crew knew their stuff. They worked on the floater and then loaded him into the rescue. A large bandage was wrapped around his head, heavy blankets were piled over him, and an oxygen mask covered his nose and mouth. I watched the rescue move away, figuring the stranger was fortunate indeed.

Eyeing me with a keen gaze, MacNert asked, “Ya know this fella?”

“Never laid eyes on him until today.” Shivering, I walked toward my coat where it lay in a jumbled pile on the ground. I glanced around and realized that I’d hardly visited with my dead aunt.

There’s always tomorrow, Livvy.

Visits to Aunt Livvy usually occurred when my life had turned to crap or I’d managed to stick my way too curious nose some place it didn’t belong. I would unload my woes onto her grave and feel better for having done so. Livvy isn’t a ghost or anything. Don’t get me wrong, she’s as dead as they come, but it just gives me comfort to know I can come here and talk. She had always been a great listener. I missed that the most now she was gone.

A local cop arrived on the scene. Slowly, I hiked up the slope toward the road, my feet squishing in soggy sneakers while drenched jeans chafed my skin. Dressed in winter attire, with a heavy jacket and husky boots to keep his dry feet warm, I envied the cop. Knowing full well that he would want a report, I sauntered forward. Gosh, I was cold, shivering so hard my teeth chattered nonstop. After all, it was only the beginning of March, and in Rhode Island, it’s a cold, wet month.

“Are you Lavinia Esposito?” The officer stared at me.

“The one and only.”

His narrowed eyes held a doubtful gleam, but I ignored it. Cops tend to be suspicious about everyone and everything. I know this for a fact, since I teach criminal justice at a local university to cops, or po-pos as they’re called, and to security personnel, nicknamed wannabes by the cops. Often, a few legal students take my classes as well, which, in turn, creates an interesting, yet kindergarten-like atmosphere. The egos alone are a challenge when it’s time for order in the classroom. I know they’re adults, but it doesn’t always seem as if they know it.

“Did you see the accident?”

“No, I heard a splash. Branches snapped, and I went to see what happened. The guy was floating face down in the water.”

His wary expression never left my face. “What were you doing here?”

Like what you’ve read? 

Get Death Gone Awry AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING FOR ONLY .99 CENTS THIS WEEK ONLY, or on amazon, BN Nookkobo, or iBooks.

Cheers! and Happy Reading. 

J.M. Griffin. is the author of two cozy mystery series for Lachesis Publishing. The popular (and sexy) Vinnie Esposito series and the fun (and yummy) Deadly Bakery series.

Connect with J.M. Griffin on social media: twitter, web site, facebook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

Leave a comment

Filed under COZY MYSTERY, COZY MYSTERY SERIES, CRIME, Lachesis Publishing, MYSTERY, MYSTERY SERIES

You know you do it. You even have the pictures to prove it.

DEAD WRONG COVERFrom time to time, I consider writing a screen play for the Vinnie Esposito series. My first problem is that I know nothing about screen writing, though there are some incredible books on the matter. It takes knowledge, commitment and, yes, know-how to get a book into the right format that works smoothly.

When I write, my stories run in my head the same way as a movie does on screen, so it wouldn’t be too farfetched for me to put a screenplay together. Now for the reason I don’t do so. Churning out books is one thing, stepping out of my comfort zone is another. But, hey, I do that most days anyway, so why wouldn’t I take that personal dare, right? Here’s why . . . Time! Plain and simple. Time is an element that works against us, whizzes by in a flash, and for the life of me, I can’t seem to find where it goes.

If I were asked to put my novels up on the big screen, my first concern would be who would play my characters. My dream cast for the Esposito series is as follows:

Angie Harmon as Vinnie Esposito

Angie Harmon as Vinnie Esposito

Maggie Gyllenhaal as Lola Trapezi (Vinnie's best friend)

Maggie Gyllenhaal as Lola Trapezi (Vinnie’s best friend)

Dwayne Johnson as Aaron Grant

Dwayne Johnson as Aaron Grant

Ethan Hawke as Marcus Richmond

Ethan Hawke as Marcus Richmond

Barbara Hershey as Theresa Esposito. Vinnie's mother

Barbara Hershey as Theresa Esposito. Vinnie’s mother

Robert De Niro as Gino Esposito, Vinnie's father

Robert De Niro as Gino Esposito, Vinnie’s father

Estelle Getty would have been perfect as Vinnie's grandmother.

Estelle Getty would have been perfect as Vinnie’s grandmother.

As for Vinnie’s grandmother, I haven’t the vaguest idea of who would fit the part. It definitely wouldn’t be someone like Debbie Reynolds, however, Jessica Tandy would have been perfect if she was still alive. Estelle Getty would have been wonderful, but then again, she’s not around any longer either, and that’s a serious loss to the industry and to those of us who adored her, especially in the sitcom, The Golden Girls.

Angie Harmon - the perfect Vinnie

Angie Harmon – the perfect Vinnie

When I first began writing Vinnie’s stories, I envisioned Angie Harmon as Vinnie. Angie has that sparkling smile, wild and gorgeous hair, long legs, and a great personality that would fit Vinnie’s character perfectly.

Since Lola is the best supporting actress and Vinnie’s BFF, I couldn’t think of anyone I;d rather have play her than Maggie Gyllanhaal. A talented actress, Maggie would be a great fit for Lola’s personality. Changes in hair and eye-color would be needed, but Maggie’s face is definitely Lola’s.

Dwayne Johnson - oh so sexy!

Dwayne Johnson – oh so sexy!

No one could fit the part of Aaron Grant better than Dwayne Johnson. He’s built the same, has a dazzling smile, is tough and then shows a soft side when need be. Dwayne also fills the bill for an undercover FBI agent and mob infiltrator, while he ( all 6’4″ of him) delicately tiptoes on the narrow line between law enforcement and mob status.

As for Marcus Richmond, a stalwart RI State Trooper and Vinnie’s boyfriend, Ethan Hawke has what I consider the perfect build, attitude, and look for the part. Having seen him onscreen, playing a similar character, he was the first actor to come to mind.

The very talented Barbara Hershey would be my choice for the part of Vinnie’s mother. Her coloring is right, she would be a brilliant and excellent fit where Theresa Esposito is concerned. A great artist, and wonderful actor, her screen and stage credits are exceptional.

James Gandolfini would have been a perfect choice for Vinnie's Dad.

James Gandolfini would have been a perfect choice for Vinnie’s Dad.

As for Vinnie’s father, my first choice would have been James Gandolfini, however, since he’s deceased, my second choice is Robert De Niro. I envision him with a towel draped over one shoulder while cooking dinner, and taste testing it as he goes along. The best fit is when I see him playing cards at the Knights of Columbus Hall with his cronies and Vinnie stops in with questions and more problems than she can handle. Robert’s acting is perfect for the way he could bring Gino Esposito’s grouchy character to life.

These actors, other than Angie Harmon and Dwayne Johnson, weren’t set out in my mind when I initially wrote the books. As I began to think in terms of screenplays, I thought hard to come up with a cast that would work well with the characters I’ve written. This list is one that consists of extremely talented people who would more than do justice to the series.

What do you think? I’d love to hear you thoughts, so please share them with me.

Death Gone AwryJ.M. Griffin. is the author of two cozy mystery series for Lachesis Publishing. The popular (and sexy) Vinnie Esposito series and the fun (and yummy) Deadly Bakery series.

Connect with J.M. Griffin on social media: twitter, web site, facebook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bestselling Authors, COZY MYSTERY, COZY MYSTERY SERIES

It’s a killer of a mystery! Check out J.M. Griffin’s new release! by Joanna D’Angelo

Death Gone AwryDeath Gone Awry, Book 6 of the Vinnie Esposito Series is here! J.M. Griffin’s killer of  a cozy mystery series is on a roll.

Get Death Gone Awry from Lachesis Publishing, or on amazon, BN Nookkobo, or iBooks.

I have so much fun editing this series. I adore Vinnie Esposito. I root for her. I laugh at her antics. She gets into trouble. A lot. But she is always doing the right thing. I am always on her side. And that’s important when it comes to the relationship between the reader and the heroine/hero. We have to connect with the heroine in order to follow along on her journey. No matter what the journey is. Otherwise we won’t be able to get through the book. We have to like the heroine too. We have to be able to understand her, and her motives. And a great writer, like J.M. Griffin, enables us to do that.

I hope you enjoy reading Death Gone Awry as much as I did.

Here’s what it’s about:

Vinnie Esposito Series (Book 6)

This is what Vinnie Esposito knows: When you see a guy floating in the water, you jump in and save him. You don’t stop to ask if he’s connected to the mob. Unfortunately for Vinnie, he is. And now she’s in trouble. Again.

Her boyfriend, hunky State Trooper Marcus Richmond, is fed up with Vinnie’s misadventures, not to mention that every mobster in town seems to know who she is. At least Vinnie knows she can rely on her best friend Lola Trapezi to whip up some delicious dinner at her deli. She also knows Lola is always ready to help, even if it means getting into some hot water herself.

Everything Vinnie knows and doesn’t know—including how she really feels about her sexy friend and upstairs tenant FBI Agent Aaron Grant, and whether her dad really is connected to the mob—is all up in the air. And what Vinnie doesn’t know, might just get her killed.

Get Death Gone Awry from Lachesis Publishing, or on amazon, BN Nookkobo, or iBooks.

Cheers! and Happy Reading.

J.M. Griffin. is the author of two cozy mystery series for Lachesis Publishing. The popular (and sexy) Vinnie Esposito series and the fun (and yummy) Deadly Bakery series.

Connect with J.M. Griffin on social media: twitter, web site, facebook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under COZY MYSTERY, COZY MYSTERY SERIES

COLD MOON DEAD by J.M. GRIFFIN (mystery)

Tuesday’s Revolving Book is the much anticipated cozy mystery COLD MOON DEAD by J.M. GRIFFIN!
TITLE: COLD MOON DEAD (Book 4 in the Vinnie Esposito Mystery Series)
WHERE YOU CAN BUY THE E-BOOK:
AMAZON KINDLE: http://tinyurl.com/bvlw9nm
and:BARNES AND NOBLE NOOK: http://tinyurl.com/92uoft8

SYNOPSIS:
Telling Vinnie Esposito to stay out of trouble is like telling a wolf not to howl at the moon.But you can’t blame Vinnie this time. She’s just trying to be a Good Samaritan. How is Vinnie supposed to know that the little old lady, stranded at the side of the road, is a carjacker? And when Vinnie helps her artist friend paint a mural in a big, fancy mansion—how is she supposed to know that the owner is the biggest, most notorious, mobster in the state? And she can’t help it when she finds a dead body at the art show.

And next thing you know her parents are fighting; and her boyfriend, hunky State Trooper Marcus Richmond, is mad at her; and her sexy, upstairs tenant, FBI agent Aaron Grant, is up to something.

And Vinnie has to make everything right.

But before she does that, it’s going to get even more wrong.

CONNECT WITH J.M. GRIFFIN ONLINE:

WEB SITE: http://jmgriffin.net/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/mycozymystery @mycozymystery

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/JM-Griffin/246751368685078

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Filed under Books, COZY MYSTERY, CRIME, J.M. GRIFFIN, MYSTERY, MYSTERY SERIES, ROMANCE AUTHOR, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC COMEDY, ROMANTIC ELEMENTS, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, SENSUALITY, SUSPENSE