Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Club: Talk of the Town by Karen Hawkins

By: Ronlyn Howe
Welcome to Glory, North Carolina! I’ve somehow managed to miss this adorable little town in all my literary travels, but I’ve been found it now.

To assist in my preparation of this book club discussion I’ve received a dossier on the main players:

Roxie Treymayne: recently went through an ugly divorce and dyed her hair blond, much to her mother’s dismay. She’s on a path to try to find herself and apparently that path got her into a tattoo parlor to get an eagle tattooed on her rear.

Sheriff Nick Sheppard, former town bad boy turned good guy. He returned to Glory after some dubious circumstances in Atlanta, where he was a police officer for a few years. He and Roxie have a history.

The Murder Mystery Club of the Pine Hills Assisted Living Center. I could tell you more, but they’re top secret.

Miss Tundy Spillers. Roxie’s maid has agreed to travel to Glory with Roxie and her brother to attend their ailing mother.

Lilah Treymayne, Roxie & Mark’s mother who has fallen ill and inadvertently started everything in motion. She hates that. I probably should feel sorry for her.

So, now that you know who’s who, stop by Micki & Maud’s Diner for some peach cobbler and to greet Karen Hawkins! Karen will be offering up a copy of "Lois Lane Tells All," the follow-on to "Talk of the Town" to one commenter today. Find out more about Karen and her books.

• 8 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
• 1/4 cup boiling water

• 3 tablespoons white sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.


Aly said...

Oh Howe...I love you! Really! I do! Your creativity just amazes me up!

Must go to work but will come back later to chat!

krisgils33 said...

That was a really great intro!! I love Karen Hawkin's books. They are sooooo much fun! I'm on the road all day today, but have a great book club!!

Marie Force said...

Welcome everyone! Looking forward to the chat today!

Nancy Naigle said...

Count me in ... totally my kind of book.


Ronlyn said...

Hey everyone!! I couldn't believe it when I realized that I had been so busy playing with Karen's Highlanders that I hadn't stopped by Glory for a visit. I think I buzzed Karen right away and basically said, "WHERE have I been?!" LOL
I had SO MUCH FUN reading this book. Maybe it was the small town girl in me that was plotting my escape from an early age that found a like mind in Roxie. Although, I don't have an eagle or goose or whatever tattoo'd on *my* rear. *ahem* LOL. I'm so excited that Karen has agreed to stop by and chat with us today, as well as give away a copy of "Lois Lane Tells All"! YAY us!! :-)

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

Wow, this book sounds great. I've had my eye on Lois Lane Tells All and have had it on my TBR, but sometimes good books get lost in my giant pile, so it's nice to have authors come out here and remind me of hidden gems that are hidden in my TBR. Can't wait to read this. I actually just bought To Scotland With Love and then realized there is a book that comes before it. With your MacLean Curse series, can I read them out of order or should they be read in order?

Alison said...

This book is so much fun! I've had this book in my TBR pile for a while, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until this week. Why did I wait so long!?!?!?

Tundy cracked me up! The showdown at the gas station between Robin and Roxie was too much...LOL!!

My word verification is OUREO!! LOL!!

Marie Force said...

LOVE the word verification! I found out yesterday that it's the diet coke that is making me fat, so that means more Oreos for everyone! :-)

Mary G said...

Loved the presentation. Alas, I've been sick in bed since getting up Monday at 4AM to toss my cookies. I ache everywhere, feel like I've been hit by a truck. Wanted to go buy Talk Of The Town but haven't been conscious enough to read anyway. Sounds like my kind of book. Love the premise of a reunited couple & the tattoo LOL.

Marie Force said...

Ohhhh, Mary G! Hope you feel better! That sounds terrible!

Ronlyn said...

Alison!! that show down at the gas station had me in TEARS from laughter. With everyone standing by watching and Nick having to have it all explained to him. HILARIOUS!! Oh man.

Another favorite is when Roxie inhales the bit of the condom wrapper. I can't count the number of times I've read about a woman (or man for that matter) tearing the condom wrapper open with their teeth and I've thought, "I would choke on that. I know I would." LOL

Ronlyn said...

oh, and thank you everyone for the compliments on my dossier. :-) It just seemed like the thing to do with this book.

Alison said...

I forgot about her choking on the condom wrapper!! Too funny!

Crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crystal said...

I'm in Ronlyns boat. I've read all Karens Historicals, but I haven't had a chance to visit Glory. Will make that a must!

Crystal said...

Mary I hope you feel better soon!

Marie I have figured out that my sweet tea that I am shamelessly addicted to is making me fat. I feel your pain. Yes I think I'll grab an oreo! lol

Ronlyn you did do an excellent job on the intro. I'll order a sheriff Sheppard from you please!

Karen said...

Ronlyn, I dig that post, especially the picture of Nick. That's exactly what he looked like in my mind, too. Mmmm!

Hellllllooooo, everyone! I'm looking forward to the book club discussion!

Hi, Aly, Marie, Nancy,

krisgils3, thank you so much! :)

Ronlyn, I'm so glad you enjoyed Glory! I have a total of 11 stories I want to write about the town. I've written two and want to write another next year. I'll let you know when it's scheduled!

Jolene, you should be able to read the MacLean Curse series in any order. I work really hard to make each book a standalone, since it's sometimes difficult to get them in order.

Alison, I loooove writing the Murder Mystery Club. My great grandmother lived to be 102 and she was a crackjack to the end. Her favorite teevee shows were Divorce Court and Wide World of Wrestling. Heh!

Marie, please tell me Diet Coke doesn't make a person fat. I have one at my elbow right now and it's my FAVORITE drink. Why can't they find out that spinach is bad for you and not something tasty?

Mary, I'm so sorry you're ill! Hope you feel better soon!

Thank you, Crystal! :) I hope you enjoy Glory, NC, too.

Marie Force said...

Welcome, Karen! Thanks for joining us today! Yes, new studies out tying Diet Coke to heart attacks and strokes and belly fat, of all things. I hear you on the spinach! They need to determine THAT is bad for us, not the necessary life blood known as Diet Coke!

Hope said...

I haven't read this book is still on my TBR pile, I got our bookclub books mixed up and read next weeks this past week, but good news is I am ready for next week :) Just wanted to pop in and say hello gals *waving*....have a great chat today and give Karen a great Wench welcome!!!

Hope said...

Oh and thanks for the cobbler recipe, I have been looking for a good one for my Valentine and this will work perfect (as always)

James said...

Loved Talk of The Town and can't wait to read Lois Lane Tell All!
This book had me laughing out loud!
Love your historicals too!

James said...

oh lol didn't realize it would put my hubby's name on the post haha! Bre

Ronlyn said...

LOL. Beware when Googling for "hot cops" or "Sexy cops" as you will find a plethera of crossdressers, sexy costumes for women and other...odd...type things.
Although, now that I'm thinking of it, I should have petitioned Hot Cop (aka Karen's man) for a photo. He'd have been game to pose for me, right? LOL

The Murder Mystery club CRACKED me up! Their gin stil...OMG. I'm still laughing.

Clarice said...

Good morning!

Love Karen Hawkins and loved Talk of the Town. Its been awhile since I read it. I think I need to pull it off the shelf and revisit glory.

Ronlyn said...

Hope, you'll love this recipe. It's simple and OH SO YUMMY. ~swoon~
And, it was so easy to pick this recipe for today since Roxie (much like myself) loves cobbler.

Ronlyn said...

Karen, can you tell us who you want to write about next? And will the Murder Mystery Club be peering in the windows trying to take nudie pics of him? ;-)

Karen said...

Marie, so I can now blame any belly fat I may have (ahem!) on Diet Coke? Wow. I had no idea. (sniff, sniff) I'm going to miss you, Diet Coke!

Thank you for the warm welcome, Hope!

Bre-James, thank you! If the book made you smile, then I'm a happy writer. That's EXACTLY the reaction I was angling for. YAY!

Ronlyn, my husband - aka Hot Cop - is camera shy, even though I think he's a hottie and then some. And you're right about googling for 'Hot Cops' -- I know because I did it for FROS once and discovered that apparently a lot of men have a Hot Female Cop fantasy. Who knew? '8-O

Clarice, so glad the Glory books are working for you. I've had the best time writing them. The next one will be about Ethan, but no -- he isn't going to fall in love with Connie at Micki & Maud's Diner. Some people have suggested that, but I have the perfect person in mind. A new-to-town too-sexy-for-her-own-good Kindergarten teacher who the Murder Mystery Club decides is a femme fatale Russian Mafia Operative in disguise. It should be lots of fun!

Karen said...

Ronlyn, I printed up the recipe and I'm going to give it a try this weekend. I need something yummy after this last deadline week.

I have one more Hurst book (the final historical in that series) due before I write a Glory book, but I have plans to do 11 stories in total for this series. If they continue to sell well, my publisher will continue to back them, and they did very nicely, indeed, so I think we're good to go!

Ronlyn said...

WOO HOO!!! And I'm already laughing about the Murder Mystery Club deciding she's part of the Russian Mafia. I can so picture it. And poor Connie is going to be heartbroken. Again. *sigh*

One word about the recipe, be sure the oven is preheated before you put the peaches in. If the oven is still in the process of heating up when they go in you'll get a cobbler with a burnt bottom. And no one wants their bottom's burned, right?

Kara C said...

Morning all! Another glorious snow day here. I read Talk of the Town when it first came out, as it came highly recommended by my bookstore owner friend. After reading all the comments about favorite scenes, I'm going to HAVE to go back and read it again.
Ronlyn, did you say EASY recipe? I admit to kind of skipping over that with a wistful 'wish I was a cook' thought. But EASY? Will go back and check it out. :-)

Ronlyn said...

oh KK, I wouldn't lead you down a cooking path I didn't think you could manage. Cobbler is great for "mix all this stuff together and dump it in a baking dish" EASY! You can do this! Just make sure it actually makes it into the oven. ;-)

Knitsy said...

i haven't read anything by this author - but, all this talk about how funny it is makes me wanna read it.. I love funny books w/ HAWT guys. NUM NUM NUM!!!

Oh Marie - I saw that on the news yesterday about regular coke being healthier than diet coke. WOH WOH WOH!

I'll be back a lil later, I am going start this book! Toodles

Ronlyn said...

Karen: was the switch from historical to contemp difficult?
And, did you model Tundy after someone you know or have met in real life?? LOL

Ronlyn said...

pssst Aly "amazes me up!" I like that. :-)

Karen said...

Ronlyn, preheat -- check. I'm really looking forward to making that! Anything with peaches AND cinnamon is a Heck Yes in my book!

Kara C, I'm so glad you enjoyed Talk of the Town! Please thank your bookstore owner/friend for the rec. I know they see a LOT of books, so that's very special.

Knitsy (great nomer, btw!), I hope you enjoy the book. I actually met my now real life husband while I was doing research on that book. I interviewed a bunch of cops using the same set of questions, and I was just amazed at how well thought out his answers were, PLUS he was darned funny and I'm a sucker for a man with a sense of humor. Don't you just love a man who can make you laugh?

Ronlyn said...

Karen! I didn't know that how you met Hot Cop! VERY cool! I now have a mental image of you sitting in an interrigation room with a line of cops to come in and answer your questions....

Karen said...

Ronlyn, not at all. Someone asked me if it was hard to write in a 'contemporary voice' and I was amazed ... I mean, I LIVE in this time. I write in a 'contemporary voice' every time I write an email or a blog post, so no, that was easy. I'd think it might be hard to go in the opposite direction, though, since you assume an historical voice when you write in a different time period. To do that, I read a lot of books actually written in that time -- letters, memoirs, plays, etc. That gives you a little feel for the tone.

As for Tundy, she's not based on any one person, but an amalgamation of The Worst Maid Ever, Country Common Sense, and Trailer Park Queen. Mash those up and put them in a hot pink sweatsuit with the word JUICY written across the ass, and you'll have Tundy.

I like to come up with my own characters. If I patterned my characters on people I actually knew, then I wouldn't get to tell them what to do or say, they'd have to stay within that mold. It's much for fun to be in charge of everyone!

Ronlyn said...

That's a good point. Have you ever written a character and then later on met someone who seemed to "fit" that character's personality and quirks? that would be sort of fun/sureal.

Marie Force said...

I love that you met your husband while researching a book. I think there might be a BOOK in that story!

Aly said...

So if I start to research a book - not that I write - does that mean I get to meet a hot guy & marry him? Cause then I am all about becoming an author...

Tara said...

I finished the book on my flight home last night, and when I saw the great display today, I thought someone had read my mind on how I saw the characters.

Karen this is the first book of yours I read, and I loved it! I am so excited that you are going to write more about Glory and its' unique occupants. Some of the scenes had me laughing out loud. The gas station stand off and choking on the condom wrapper had me in tears, so funny. So, whose story is next in Glory?

Ronlyn, thanks for the great recipe. I am going to try it out soon, but am still craving Doritos’s post read.

Marie, Thanks for hosting book club, had it not been for the club, I might have missed out on this great book.

Marie Force said...

Great to hear that book club is introducing some new authors to you. Same for me. My TBR pile would be overflowing if it wasn't for the fact that I now read almost exclusively on my iTouch. My RITA judging duties and novella deadline have put me WAY behind on book club reading! WILL catch up!

Amy in sunny CA said...

sounds like a great book!

I put it on my list!

Ronlyn said...

Tara, I'm so glad you like the photos I found. I admit to having fun (maybe too much fun?) while hunting those down. And you're very welcome for the recipe. I'm thrilled so many people are going to try it out.

Johanna R Jochum said...

I have not read this one yet! I will be getting it for my next Amazon order! Looks so good! I can't wait to read it!

windwarning said...

I loved this book. Roxie is so fun. I think part of my favorite is the senior citizen group, some of the characters remind me of 'characters' in my life.

Karen said...

Ronlyn, yup, that's how we met. But wow, wouldn't that be awesome -- your own interrogation room and an entire line of sexy cops ready to answer your every question ... ***dreamy sigh*** :)

And while I've never met anyone who reminds me of a character I've written, I HAVE met people and thought, "Ooooh, I'm going to steal THAT part of their personality for a character." That happens pretty frequently.

Marie, it would be a fun story, wouldn't it? Sort of like Castle, but the genders are switched. :)

Aly, research is one of the best parts of being a writer. I really do get to meet all sorts of people -- sexy, powerful, and just really neat people. So I HIGHLY recommend being a writer.

Karen said...

Tara, I'm so glad you enjoyed Talk of the Town! The second book is already out -- Lois Lane Tells All and it's about Susan (the dispatcher turned reporter) and Roxie's brother, Mark. Then, this summer I hope to write Ethan's story. Next I *think* will be Connie's. I'm not sure after that, although I have a bunch of others sort of mapped out. It's just such a fun town to write about!

Amy, I hope you'll enjoy it. I like to read fun and snuggly books, so that's what I try to write.

Ronlyn, the pictures were AWESOME. I especially loved the one of the Murder Mystery Club fencing. That could SO happen!

Karen said...

Johanna, I hope you enjoy the book when you get it!

windwarning, I love writing the Murder Mystery Club. They get to say all of the things we all think, but are too polite to say. That's always a blast!

windwarning said...

Karen when I am old enough to get away with saying what I really think... I can only dream. Right now I still have to bite my tongue. A lot!

I can't wait to read the second one.

Knitsy said...

So - after reading Everyone Loves a Hero I thought I was gonna start hanging out in airports to hopefully see someone as beautiful as Cole, but I am thinking I wouldn't mind hanging around the police station now.. =)

Marie Force said...

LOL Knitsy!

Ronlyn said...

I'm dashing off for Mom-duty, but want to thank Karen SO SO MUCH for coming out to play with us today! It was such great fun! I hope the newbies will stop by next week too.

Marie Force said...

Echoing Ronlyn! Thank you so much, Karen! I'll let you two decide on the giveaway winner! Thanks to you both!

Karen said...

windwarning, I'm with you on that! My own tongue is a bit sore, too. I think SO many outrageous things, but can't/shouldn't say them. It's a relief to have some characters who can blurt out their every thought.

Knitsy, my husband works with both the police and the FBI. And let me tell you -- wowza. There are some hotties mac-hot on both forces.

Karen said...

Thank you for having me, Ronlyn, Marie, et al! I had a great time.

If you have any more questions about my books, please feel free to email me via facebook.

And by the way, author Sabrina Jeffries and I are having a drawing for a kindle as soon as we both reach 4000 fans. She just got there and I am only 300 or so short, so if you haven't "liked" my fan page, please do so and maybe you'll win the kindle!!/AuthorKarenHawkins

Thanks for having me!

Ronlyn said...

And the winner of LOIS LANE TELLS ALL is....KNITSY!!
you can either email me at or connect with Karen via Facebook message and get one of us your snail mail address and Karen will get your prize out to you.