Friday, April 29, 2011

Book and a Recipe Book Club: SAVING RACHEL by John Locke

Okay - the Royal Kiss is over. Time to get down to business!

It's a Book and a Recipe Book Club!

Up for some fun discussion? Remember, every person who joins in by leaving a comment, enters a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card. So leave those comments! Even if you haven't read the book! The winner will be announced Saturday evening (remember to check back for the announcement unless you leave an email address for notification).

Please help me welcome guest host, Markee Anderson - Markee, tell us about our book today!

This month, we’re reading Saving Rachel (a Donovan Creed Crime Novel) by John Locke. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed in this twisted story! It’s like a roller coaster of a book, where you swear you haven’t breathed until you get to about chapter thirteen.

Here’s the blurb from

What if the best morning of your life suddenly turned into your worst nightmare? Sam Case is about to find out. Saving Rachel is the story of what happens when killers force a man to choose between his wife and his mistress...and the one he rejects must die. But wait--all is not as it appears to be. In fact, nothing is what it appears to be!

Saving Rachel is a scary, funny, roller coaster ride through hell, with twists, and turns that will slap your face and suck you in!

For a recipe, here’s a classic, from my husband’s grandmother (our daughter LOVES this at any time during the year). It’s been sworn to secrecy, so SHHHH!!!!

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie


2 unbaked pie shells (I use premade)
2 eggs
1 large can of pumpkin (29 ounces)
4 tablespoons molasses (1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk (that's one can)
1 cup of water--add to evaporated milk to make 2 1/2 cups total liquid
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger


1. Put pie shells into pie pan (or buy already in aluminum pie pan). Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Add sugar, flour, salt, and spices to one bowl and mix together.
3. In a larger bowl, beat eggs, then add the ingredients of the first bowl and mix.
4. Then add pumpkin, molasses, and diluted evaporated milk.
5. Mix together thoroughly (I use a mixer)
6. Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells and put pie pans on a cookie sheet (in case it overflows).
7. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes. Reduce to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, then take out to cool. If the pies aren't set (if they're still gooey), turn off the oven and let them set for about 15 minutes or longer or until set. They will set farther when cooled.

Let the discussion commence!


Markee Anderson said...

Hey, Karen!!! I'm so glad today's Friday, and I hope a LOT of people can join us! This was one fantastic book, all twisted and fun to read.

Thanks for having us here today!

L.C. Evans said...

I have the book and I'm planning to read it soon. The recipe sounds delicious. I love pumpkin pie.

Karen Cantwell said...

You said it! A roller coaster of a story. If you're looking for something that's a fast and intense read, this is it.

And this is the first in the series - Markee, do you know how many are in this series right now?

Markee Anderson said...

This is delicious pie, too, L.C. The molasses makes it sweet, but not too sweet. Our youngest daughter can eat a whole pie in a night...but doesn't like the crust. HAHAHAH!

Markee Anderson said...

Karen, I THINK there are six of them in the series. That's what I count on Amazon. And's an amazing book! It reminds me a lot of the movie 'Sneakers' because you really have to follow on an intellectual level and think. Very cool! I love books like that!

Laura B said...

Let's see, Locke charges 99 cents for each of his books, right? So a $10 gift to Amazon means ten of his books, right? Because there are no shipping charges when you buy an e-book.
I like that in a book.

Markee Anderson said...

Yes, Laura! You're VERY right! Just can get all of his books with money left over! COOL!

John Locke said...

Hi Everyone! I heard about your group and today's discussion and just had to stop by! I'll check back from time to time today in case anyone has questions for me. I'll start by saying there are 7 books in the Creed series, and Saving Rachel is the 3rd. But it reads great as a stand alone, so don't let that stop you! If you like it, you can go back and start from the beginning. I hope everyone is having a great day!

Markee Anderson said...

Welcome, JOHN!!! It's SO good to see you here!

Seven? I stand corrected. :) That's fantastic!!! You can bet I'll be reading more, after getting my feet wet with Saving Rachel. What a cool read! Thank you so much for writing it!

John Locke said...

Hi Markee! I had you down on my calendar for today because you were so nice to invite me a couple of weeks ago on DeeDee's interview blog. My website is and if you go there you can see the order of the Creed books. There is also a TV mention and book trailers about some of my books. I think the Saving Rachel book trailer is the best one I've ever seen. I hope you'll check it out. It was actually played in movie theaters during Ironman II's premier last year!

Markee Anderson said...

WOW! That's amazing!!! Your book trailer was played at a Hollywood movie? So when are they going to make this book into a movie, too? I'd LOVE to see it, especially the ending scenes. AMAZING!

I'm so glad you came on over here, John! So tell me...where do you get your ideas from?

Barbara Silkstone said...

John, I'm finishing up Vega Moon. I get breathless reading your books. They are not like any other novels. Readers have to suspend logic and get ready to be surprised, shocked, laugh a lot, and do some serious head-scratching. We're looking forward to your submission on A Moose Walked into a Bar. Can't imagine which one of your characters is going to show up.

Markee Anderson said...

I just watched that trailer...oh's FANTASTIC! It really fits the storyline, too! Great job!

For anyone wanting to see it, check out and go to the second trailer down on the right. Very cool!

Did you have a company do that? FANTASTIC JOB!!!

Karen Cantwell said...

Thank you so much for stopping by John! I do have a couple of questions. First, which is the first book in this series? And second, Saving Rachel is a WILD story - how did the idea for this plot come to you?

Kate Madison, YA author said...

I LOVED Saving Rachel. John Locke's writing is aggressive and different. And Donovan Creed is this great, enigmatic character.

I just finished Now and Then a couple of nights ago. I really enjoyed that one, too, and am off to post a glowing review.

Has anyone read Locke's western: Follow the Stone?

Also, thanks for the recipe. I'll have to give an attempt this weekend. (Baking has proven to be an elusive skill for me.)

Kate Madison

Markee Anderson said...

Me, too, Kate, on the baking, but even I can make this one. It's yummy!

I can't WAIT to find time to read more John Locke books! You're very right...they're aggressive and different books. But man...I can read one in one sitting, wondering what happened to the time!

Markee Anderson said...

FROM SANDY WOLTERS: Sandy is having problems posting, so I'm writing this for her.

"Do you have to read all of the books in the series before you read Saving Rachel? Or do they make sense standing alone?"

My answer was they stand alone. I had no problems reading Saving Rachel and loved it!

Markee Anderson said...

Side note: If anyone wants to be included in the contest, make sure you let us know your email. If you don't want to post it here, you can send it to me at Thanks!

Barbara Silkstone said...

I'd like to step into John's head for one question...
Where were you when you came up with the idea of a CIA agent who lives in peoples' attics? This is marvelous material.

Claude Bouchard said...

First of all, do we have to bake that pie to participate in the discussion? :)

Secondly, all I can say about Saving Rachel is that it fits into the wild and wacky realm of my buddy John's seriously twisted mind as well as any of his other books. I've read them all and not one has left me un-entertained though, I will admit, some have made me cry. That's how hard I was laughing.

I think one of the reasons for John's success is his unique writing style. I've read countless authors and have yet to find one who comes close to resembling Mr. Locke.

Keep em coming, John! :)

Karen Cantwell said...

Kate - baking is to me as sobriety is to Charlie Sheen. :-) Can't do it. Thank goodness Markee provides the recipes here! I ADORE pumpkin pie, so may have to try it anyway. What's the worst that could happen? My family will ask, what's that yellow rock on the cooling rack?

Markee Anderson said...

Claude...if you make the pie, they will come. BWAHAHHAHA! But if you make it, you have to make enough for everyone. :)

I love John's style of writing, I have to admit. I didn't think I liked present tense writing until I read this I'm hunting for more (like A Foxy's Tale and John's other books) because it's euphoric to me! I'm right there in the middle of the action! You don't know if the characters will live or's that intense.

John Locke said...

Barbara, please email me and remind me of the deadline for my story. Is an embarrassing moment from my actual life okay?

Thanks LC and Karen!

Laura, yes, I'm trying to do my part to help people average-down the initial cost of their reading devices by providing 99 cent content!

John Locke said...

Thanks Kate!

Karen, here are the Donovan Creed books, in order:

Lethal People
Lethal Experiment
Saving Rachel
Now & Then
Wish List
A Girl Like You
Vegas Moon

Thanks for asking!

John Locke said...

Markee, my agent is having talks with 3 Hollywood producers about movie rights, but I'm more hopeful about a possible TV series featuring Donovan Creed.

Barbara, where was I when thinking up the idea of Creed living in people's attics? Why, I was in YOUR attic, of course! ;-)

Markee Anderson said...

Wow...that would be SO cool! I'd watch the TV show OR a movie!

Also, knowing Barbara, I don't doubt you WERE in her attic. She leads a very interesting life and no doubt, she has skeletons...I MEAN people in her attic. BWAHHAHAHAHA! (Sorry, Barbara!)

CK Webb said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Saving very first John Locke book and so glad I reviewed it. Any writer who adds a menacing midget in the mix-up wins my heart everytime!!!

Karen Cantwell said...

Thank you for giving us the ordered list of Donovan Creed books, John. BTW - I love that name, Donovan Creed. It really works.

And to add my two cents to Sandy Wolters' question - I agree with Markee that they don't necessarily have to be read in order. I read Saving Rachel first and didn't feel like I was missing anything. Although now I will have to go back and read Lethal People.

Markee Anderson said...

Karen, I'm with you. I just one-clicked 'Lethal People' to get the back story on Donovan Creed. But I'm going to wait until I have the time to read the thing in one day. I'm not patient when it comes to cool plots. :)

Markee Anderson said...

FROM SANDY WOLTERS: Her browser still isn't working right, so here's her next comment:

"Let him know how excited I am about the series and it sounds like great vacation reading. I was able to see that he posted the series books in order before I got kicked out again and I'll put them on my wish list. Thanks so much."

I agree...I saved the list on my computer, so I know the order. :)

Karen Cantwell said...

I just updated the post to show Amazon links for all seven books in order.

and CK - I agree. I howled the first time the midgets showed up on the scene. :-)

Markee Anderson said...

Great idea, Karen!!! I should've waited to one-click before buying, huh? Sorry!

Eric B. Thomasma said...

Saving Rachel was my introduction to the Donovan Creed series and I couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to get to the rest of the series, too. And thank John they don't have to be read in order. Outstanding stories! If you haven't read John's books yet, what are you waiting for?

Barbara Silkstone said...

John, that's what that thumping noise in my attic.
Sorry about the bug bombs.

Janel said...

This was my first Donovan Creed book and I loved it! So many twists. I was reading it while waiting for doctor appointments, my kids to get out of school, etc. Hated it when I had to stop reading because I was always at a good spot!

John Locke said...

Thanks everyone for the great mentions. Today is very busy, since the waters are rising in several areas, but the computers are working, and I will keep stopping by as I can to answer any questions. Barbara, I asked Creed about the the bug bomb and he said compared to the weapons testing, it was not a problem. Then he added, "Sorry about your cat, though." From what I gather, Creed likes cats, except when he's living in people's attics. Apparently, cats keep looking up at the ceiling, and make owners suspicious.

Karen Cantwell said...

Stay dry John!

Are you currently writing any new books for us to enjoy?

L.C. Evans said...

John, thanks for giving the order of the books, though I'm sure it won't matter that I'm reading Saving Rachel first. My question is how do you keep your books up there in the top sales rankings? Is it just a matter of never letting up on the promotions or do you keep coming up with different ways and places to promote?

NarmyMom said...

You can't go wrong reading this series. Price is right and John Locke is the new author to watch. He's the best!

John Locke said...

Karen, Thanks for asking. My Emmett Love series is a crazy wild western adventure that starts with Follow the Stone. I just finished the sequel, "Don't Poke the Bear!" which should be out in a couple of weeks. This is a series that will eventually link to Donovan Creed, over time. The link between the series is a witchy girl named Rose, who appears for the first time in "Now & Then."

John Locke said...

LC, About how my books have been on the Best Seller List for so long? I'm just very fortunate to have a deep and loyal audience, and they go out of their way to tell their friends about me. Those who have bought all my books are part of a club that I call OOUs. It means "One of Us" and when the OOU's write to me with their opinions, I listen! They are in this writing adventure with me, as partners and friends, and I love them. They're the best friends a writer could ever have. My main goal in writing is to bring a few hours of smiles to someone who might need them today. I guess a lot of folks out there still need some smiles! :-)

Markee Anderson said...

Your Emmett Love series sounds very interesting, kind of like a 'Wild Wild West' on steroids type of series. Fantastic!

I think readers need to realize that you're also a very compassionate person. I saw one blog where you consoled authors who received bad reviews. I always thought you were just a tough guy, but the more I think about it, your compassion shows through in your writing. Have you ever considered writing a series where compassion plays a key role?

John Locke said...

Markee, your question made me smile. Here's the thing: I CAN write better than I do, It's just that I refuse to! What I mean is, I don't want to change the world or have my work studied in high school english classes. I'm not trying to write great literature, and don't take myself seriously at all! I just want to be silly and have fun and give people the fastest, most un-put-downable books they could ever possibly read! It's pure escapism! Having said that, there are two books I've written that made some readers cry as well as laugh: Follow the Stone and Lethal Experiment:-)

Karen Cantwell said...

John, I'll have to check out the Emmett Love series now - they sound like my kind of books.

I also want to say I love that you just want to write fun books that entertain. When I set out to start my own series, I asked myself what I really wanted to accomplish, and it was exactly that - I wanted readers to put down my books when they were done and say, "Now that was fun!" Now, whenever I get a review that has the word "fun" in it, I give myself a high five. :-) Kudos to you!

And thank you AGAIN for stopping by and joining in. You made this a very fun day. John Locke and The Royal Wedding! What could be better?

Markee Anderson said...

What can I say...I'm a smiles kind of gal, with a happily ever after goal (I write it kind of figures).

Follow the Stone...that's the first in the next series and it looks GREAT! Congrats on that one, because it looks HILARIOUS!!!

Markee Anderson said...

I definitely agree, Karen. I'm SO glad John stopped by, because I think his books are WELL WRITTEN and just downright fun (with SOME compassion thrown KNOW I HAD to write that, right? :) )

Anyway, if you want to include 'Follow the Stone' on the original post, too, I'd like to one-click it, as well. That looks like a HOOT!!! I have friends who write western romances, but they can't hold a candle to this one, I bet!

John Locke said...

Thanks Karen and Markee, for a great day! I've got to end things now because we're going to the Derby Ball in 90 minutes, and I need to head home and don my tux! Take care, and have a wonderful weekend! :-)

Karen Cantwell said...

Enjoy the party, John!

To everyone here: everyone who leaves a comment until 11:59 EST enters that chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift card. If you didn't leave an email address for us to contact you, make sure you check back here Saturday night after 7:00 pm EST for the announcement!

As always, thank you SO much for following Fiction for Dessert!

Markee Anderson said...

Thank you John and Karen!!! :)

jenny milchman said...

I thought the trailer was great, as you said, Karen...And the book only sounds better. Thanks for posting!