The Making of a 3-Cook Broth

In a land where Cook=Author and Broth=Book…


Three connected books by three different authors add up to one irresistible mystery, starting with:  Who are these cats and how did they manage such an amazing feat as self-herding?

First, the finished broth.  The Return to Caddo Lake Trilogy is a Belle Bridge Books release,  October, November, December 2012.   A feast spread out on a 3-leaf table.  Yummy.

We asked Eve Gaddy to dish up some samples for us, and you’ll want to get your writing spoons out because your comment will make you eligible for today’s drawing—3 names!

Welcome Eve Gaddy, Roz Denny Fox, and Ken Casper!


Eve’s story:
Ken Casper, Roz Fox and I are friends who see each other mostly at writing conferences.  One conference we thought it would be fun to write a trilogy of books together.  We wanted to set it in Texas but not in West Texas, where so many stories are set.  We wanted something a little different.  About that time another friend, Rosalyn Alsobrook, walked by and mentioned the town of Uncertain, Texas on Caddo Lake in far East Texas.  We loved the name, so we all got together and visited Uncertain.  We took a ride on a riverboat that toured Caddo Lake and fell in love with the place.  The story goes that when the town first came to be the people were uncertain what to name it.  So they named it Uncertain.  Don’t know if that’s a true story but it sounds good, you have to admit.

Eve Gaddy is the award winning author of sixteen novels.  She lives in east Texas.


Roz’s story:
Ken, Eve and I had talked about working together on a story idea.  We always met at RWA and Ninc conferences, had a few glasses of wine and talked story ideas. It’s been a while since we did our research, but I think Ken tossed out the idea of writing about foster children.

He always wanted to put in a mystery–that’s the guy in him.  I’m abominable at things like red herrings and clues, so any that are in my book probably came from Ken or Eve.

We decided readers liked books set in Texas.  Eve mentioned not many were set in East Texas, hence our
choice of a general setting.  A friend of Eve’s suggested “Uncertain” and some of our ideas fell into place and seemed to fit right in the spooky, swampy area around Caddo Lake.

My husband and I picked up Ken and his wife and we four drove from San Angelo, Texas to Eve’s area.  Along the way we visited the Monday Trade Days location where I’d thought might be a good place for my main character to have been found as a baby. We really did have a lot of fun driving around, choosing the homes we wanted in each of our books.  As we talked to people we met, someone referred us to a man who once put out the Caddo Lake Newspaper from his house  It was called “The Uncertain News”.  He had a lot of great stories and took us for a ride through the swamp in his paddle wheeler. He had a great time and we did too.  It’s an area that is more like Louisiana than what people think of Texas.  And for us it was the perfect place to set a 20 year old murder.

Roz Denny Fox is the author of more than fifty romance novels.  She lives in Tucson, AZ.

Ken Casper

Ken’s Story:

Roz, Eve and I had agreed on two things: we wanted the main characters to be related, and we wanted it to be set in Texas. One other thing we’d agreed on was: don’t be predictable. So instead of making them blood relations, we made them foster children, and instead of setting the story in traditional West Texas or the Hill Country, we went to East Texas, so far east, in fact, we could literally see Louisiana.
Brainstorming is fun—the game of “What if…”—especially if you can do it face-to-face. We did some of that on our trip to Uncertain, but after that we were dependent on technology. As I recollect we made a few conference calls, but the lion’s share of our discussion was done via the internet. We exchanged over a thousand of emails before our project was finally put to bed. I can’t imagine what this project would have been like b.c., before computers.

Ken Casper is the author of more than 25 novels, short stories and articles. Born and raised in New York City, he’s now a transplanted Texan.

And now, the menu:

Forget broth and sink your teeth into these morsels…

Uncertain Fate - print UNCERTAIN FATE (Book 1)

Nineteen years ago, Frannie Granger disappeared . . .
Since then, the land at Beaumarais near Caddo Lake, east Texas, has hidden the secret of her fate. Now that secret is out, but a mystery remains: who is responsible for what happened on her last hectic morning so long ago?
The local sheriff is convinced Jed Louis, heir to the antebellum plantation house, breeder of Percheron horses, and the eldest of the three foster children Frannie raised as her own, is responsible for what took place.
Gwyn Miller, who leases land from Jed, is equally committed to proving the millionaire horseman was in no way involved.
She’s also determined to show Jed that nothing can ever threaten what they have with each other, not even his Uncertain Fate.

Uncertain Past - screen UNCERTAIN PAST (Book 2)

Nineteen years ago, Emmy’s foster mother disappeared, tearing their fragile family apart. After years of lonely wandering, Emmy returns to Uncertain, Texas to support her foster brother Jed, who’s been accused of the murder, and solve another mystery from the past—finding the biological mother who abandoned her.

Riley Gray, her teenage love and now a successful attorney, is the only person who can help her. The old sparks quickly reignite. The romance is as irresistible as before. They never stopped loving each other. But someone wants Emmy to stop asking questions, and is willing to threaten not only Riley but his young daughter, too.

Uncertain Future - screen UNCERTAIN FUTURE (Book 3)

Will McClain swears to bring his foster mother’s killer to justice . . . even if that person is his brother, Jed.
When Texas Ranger Will McClain discovers that his foster mother’s remains have been found in the East Texas town he left years before, he returns to solve the mystery of who murdered Frannie Granger and why.
While investigating the murder he falls for the lovely Tessa Lang, the archeologist who discovered Frannie’s bones.  He also reconnects with his foster siblings, Jed Louis and Emerald Monday. But Will is a Ranger and must do everything in his power to find the murderer, even when his foster brother is the main suspect.
Will has returned to the only home he’s ever known, but convincing Tessa that she can make it her home as well is a tall order.  For Tessa believes her career lies elsewhere, and that the love she’s discovered for teaching as well as her love for Will are both temporary.

Okay, let’s chew on this:

Why do you think small towns make great settings for stories about old mysteries?  What’s your favorite fictitious small-town mystery?  Or tell us about a real one!

Ken, Roz and Eve will each draw one name among today’s comments for a beautiful trade-size paperback copy of his/her book.


About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in Bell Bridge Books, mystery, mystery series, Return to Caddo Lake, Suspense. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The Making of a 3-Cook Broth

  1. Stonehawk says:

    the only mystery in town is figuring out who’s has a hearing disability and how they communicate. there’s a local college that offers a good program for people with hearing disabilities actually. the town is actually a small town in a bigger town.

  2. laurieg72l says:

    Everybody knows everybody else. They are good at keeping secrets. They are united in being close-lipped to strangers.

    Brenda Novak has had a couple of small town mystery series.
    Her Dead series was set in Stillwater, Mississippi.
    She had a series set in Dundee, Idaho with a mystery baby.
    Another set in Paradise, Arizona with a mystery surrounding a cult.

    Heather Graham had several murder mystery books set in and around the Florida Everglades.

    Harlequin had the Tyler, Wisconsin Murder series.

    Also there was the Texas Cattleman’s Club series with the dead body found on the golf course. I think it was set in Fortune, Texas.

  3. Liz Flaherty says:

    Small town people tend to protect each other, I think, and even though they know most everything about everyone else, they also tend to mind their own business–it’s the only way to survive. 🙂

    I’ve seen every episode of MURDER, SHE WROTE (numerous times) because it never quite lost its small-town flavor. Also, Diane Mott DAvidson’s Goldy mysteries are in a small town in Colorado.

    These books, BTW, all sound great!

  4. ellie says:

    Your books all are wonderful. Small towns have real character and real characters. So filled with unique appeal and different lives. I have read several mysteries set in small towns. The ones set in Leadville are unforgetttable.

  5. Eve Gaddy says:

    Thanks so much for having us here, Kathleen. We really enjoyed writing the trilogy. It’s been fun to talk about its conception. My husband grew up in a town that only had 3,000 people. I’ll have to ask him if there were any mysteries.:)

  6. pearl says:

    Small towns have their loyalty and their view to outsiders. Books that are situated in small towns appeal to me since I have only lived in large urban centers. Mysteries such as Louise Penny’s set in Three Pines, Quebec are compelling. Memorable locale and people.

  7. Kathleen O says:

    I love small town mysterys. I just finished reading the 2nd in a series set in a small town in Texas. Everyone gets in on the act of trying to bring the Hero and Heroine together and in this case solve this mystery of who she really was.. I can’t wait to get into this small town of Uncertain.

  8. Welcome, Eve, Ken and Roz! What fun to have all 3 of you aboard.

    And what an interesting topic. The ‘burb I live in now is probably my biggest town ever, and I don’t hear a lot of gossip. But I’ve been thinking back, and one sure thread you’ve always got going for you in the small town mystery is rumors. Like, rumor has it that so-and-so is really so-and-so’s father. Relationships make the world go round, and they also make people do strange things. That’s what draws me in.

  9. rozfox says:

    I live in Tucson. It’s billed by our chamber of commerce as a small town–called The Old Pueblo. But the only thing small-town about it is the lack of a good east-west route to reach the freeway. I wish I heard more gossip because that makes for good story ideas.
    Thank you, Kathleen, for having us here today.

  10. kylie brant says:

    Absolutely love those covers!!! BB puts out some of the best covers on the market, IMO. The books sound marvelous!

  11. loisgreiman says:

    Thanks so much for joining us today and best of luck with your beautiful novels.

  12. Eve Gaddy says:

    Thanks so much, Lois and Kylie. We love the covers too. We think they convey the feel of the books very well.

  13. I like small town books. Because all the people know each other and it makes for interesting combinations of characters. All three books look great! Love the covers.


  14. Hi, Roz, Ken, and Eve! I’m awed by the depth of research you did for this trilogy, and it sounds as if you had a blast in the process. Love the covers, too! My cat Eve (not necessarily named after you, Eve, but I think she has your personality) is determined to comment on this blog. She literally won’t leave me alone right now. She likes the covers, too. 🙂

    Hugs to all of you,

  15. Quilt Lady says:

    I love books set in small towns. I read a lot of them. I was from a small community and every one new each other and stuck together. We never had to lock our doors or anything like that. We all trusted each other. The place is just not quite the same now. Love the sound of your books and I can’t wait to read them.

  16. Gail says:

    Very interesting how the idea for the stories came about and the research you got to do. Small towns are wonderful if unless you don’t fit in. Uncertain, Texas sounds like a wonderful place. I can’t wait to read them.

  17. Eve, Roz and Ken—so great to see you here!! I love your covers, and the books sound wonderful!

  18. Hi, Roz, Ken and Eve! Research is half the fun, right? Or, if you’re on a research trip with friends, it might even be 99% of the fun. 🙂 Congratulations on the trilogy–I love the covers!

  19. Vicky Loebel says:

    I love the idea of three friends putting their heads together for a story about strong social connections. Beautiful green covers!

  20. Trish Jensen says:

    Can’t wait to read all three! Love the way this trilogy came together. And I ADORE a town called Uncertain.

  21. Eve Gaddy says:

    We did have a lot of fun with the research. Caddo lake is a really interesting area. It’s been fun being here too! Thanks for stopping by.:)

  22. rozfox says:

    Thanks everyone for coming by. I hope the book winners enjoy the series. We had way too much fun traveling around East Texas. Hey, maybe that’s a story in itself. Roz

  23. bn100 says:

    I think it’s because anything isn’t what it seems.

  24. Small-town mysteries work so well! And our authors have researched this setting very thoroughly. Great brainstorm of using foster siblings!

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