Authors’ Luncheons Can Be Murder
By MONIKA TEMPLEMAN and EILEEN BUZZARD
There were no dead bodies at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, when Susan Santangelo, captivated her large audience of over 200 members with a mixture of humor, pathos and intrigue as she presented insights about her entertaining and innovative series – Baby Boomer Mysteries.
In her inimitable and charming style, Susan revealed that when her husband of over 40 years retired, the events that followed served as her inspiration for the first Baby Boomer’s Mystery entitled “Retirement Can Be Murder.” The story focuses on the emotional impact of retirement on a typical Baby Boomer couple, Carol and Jim Andrews.
She also shared very interesting trademarks in all of her books. The murder weapon is always on the cover, but is not obvious to the reader until they read the story; her beloved English cocker spaniel, Lucy, is immortalized on the back cover of each book; delicious, easy recipes that are relevant to the story are included in the back of each book, and a dead body is discovered in the first 10 paragraphs of each novel and the rest of the story focuses on solving the mystery.
Aspiring writers in the audience were grateful for the insights Susan provided about writing and publishing a book, including the challenge of preparing a comprehensive 500 word synopsis that sells the story to a publisher without revealing how the novel ends.
Susan briefly chronicled her fascinating and rocky journey from editor, drama critic and feature writer for newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan, to successful published novelist. She shared the frustration of rejection, the elation of successful book sales, and the joy of receiving positive feedback from her readers.
Although she is a favorite of the Baby Boomer Generation, Susan is an impressive role model for women of all ages. As a breast cancer survivor, in 1999, she founded the Breast Cancer Survival Center (breastcancersurvival.org) and she actively supports this non-profit organization through her book sales and public speaking. After hearing Susan speak, most of the audience clamored to get copies of her wonderful mystery books that Susan graciously autographed.
LWRWC President, Patti Wrobel, expressed her appreciation to Susan and to the all the members of the author’s luncheon Committee for making this year’s event so successful. She gave special thanks to Barb Thorton for the gorgeous decorations and to Lynne Hall and Charlene Stocker for the fabulous Raffle Baskets.
Patti announced that Janet Stickel was the recipient of the 2014 LWRWC Woman of the Year Award in recognition of her dedicated service as recording secretary and Board member and her many noteworthy contributions, including chairing key Club events. The announcement was followed by thunderous applause and heartfelt congratulations to Janet for her well-deserved award.
A table manned by members of the philanthropy committee where club members could sponsor the purchase of cozy spa bathrobes that will be donated with a loving message “Wrap Yourself in Warmth and Love” to the new Moms at SOLVE Maternity Homes, an exciting raffle, a silent auction, and two 50/50 split the pot drawings enhanced the philanthropic efforts and the fun. The author’s luncheon was a fundraiser to benefit the Club’s adopted charities (HOPE, SMART and Solve.)
Lunch Entrée choices included:
- Parmesan crusted tilapia in red pepper sauce
- Grilled chicken breast with artichokes, roasted red peppers , olives and mushrooms in white wine sauce
- Vegetarian mushroom crepes in a mushroom supreme sauce
[All entrées served with a green salad, roasted potatoes and green beans almondine.]
While some author’s luncheons can be murder, this one was an author’s luncheon “to die for.”