I have a very special guest on the blog today. The charming and very sweet Lucy Lakestone! *drum rolls*
Lucy is the author of Bohemia beach series (romance) and Bohemia Bartender series (mystery). Having read the Bohemia Bartender series, I must say I am in awe of Lucy’s storytelling.
I got a chance to ask Lucy a few questions. Let’s see what she had to say about Bohemia Bartender series, cocktails and much more. 🙂
Hello Lucy and welcome to my blog The Book Decoder. Please tell me and my readers about yourself.
Hi and thanks for the chance to chat! I’m an author who lives in Florida, which is the jumping-off point for the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries, my new series. I’ve also written a series of hot romances, as well as an adventure series under another name. That one is about storm chasers – chasing storms is something I do for fun.
I’ve always loved writing, and while writing fiction on the side, I channeled that love of words into a journalism career for many years. Now, in addition to writing books, I edit books for other authors. I’m also into photography. I really have too many passions for my own good!
What are the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries all about?
The Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries are fun whodunits with a dash of romance. The series stars Pepper Revelle, a mixologist and bar owner who strives to up her game by joining the Bohemia Bartenders. The bartenders work at different bars in their coastal Florida town but team up to make cocktails at big events. Sometimes they’re working for a client, like the distiller at a New Orleans cocktail convention in Risky Whiskey. At other times, they’re there to support the event itself, like the South Florida tiki convention in Wrecked by Rum. Always, they stir up trouble and have to solve a mystery or two in an atmosphere that’s colorful, chaotic and comic. Complicating matters for the effervescent Pepper: She’s attracted to Neil, the nerdy lead bartender.
The first two books in The Bohemia Bartenders were released recently. Tell us more about Risky Whiskey and Wrecked by Rum.
Both of the books are inspired by events I’ve actually attended. Risky Whiskey is set at a cocktail convention in New Orleans that is not unlike Tales of the Cocktail, which I’ve attended multiple times. It brings together mixologists, liquor industry types, distillers, drinkers and writers, all of whom share a love for classic craft cocktails and the stories that go with them. At the fictional version, Cocktailia, the Bohemia Bartenders are hired to make drinks to show off whiskey made by a distiller from their Florida town. But the plan goes horribly wrong when one of the staff is poisoned by a bad batch of liquor, and they need to track down the villain … all while making hundreds of cocktails.
In Wrecked by Rum, a high-profile rum collector is murdered during a tiki convention, and a precious bottle of rum vanishes from the crime scene. It turns out the rum collector made some enemies, and everyone wants to get their hands on the rum, so there are lots of suspects for Pepper and the crew to sort through. This time, Pepper’s brought her adorable dog Astra, who chews all the wrong things while sniffing out a clue or two. This fictional convention is inspired by a real one called The Hukilau that features wonderful drinks, bands and artists.
What is the inspiration behind The Bohemia Bartenders mystery series?
I have a great fondness for cocktail culture. My husband and I make a point of going to the best cocktail bars when we travel, and we both enjoy gatherings like the ones described in the books. There are always outrageous tales surrounding liquors, distillers, pirates and drinkers, and the stories and the personalities associated with them make great fodder for mysteries.
The series fits into the culinary cozy subgenre in the sense that craft cocktails have really come into their own as a culinary art form. A well-made drink can be as delicious, balanced and beautiful as any chef’s creation or baker’s cupcake.
Tell us about The Bohemia Beach Series. Are they in any way related to the Bohemia Bartenders mysteries?
The Bohemia Beach Series of romances has a location in common with the mysteries, in that the books are set in Bohemia Beach and the mainland town across the causeway bridge, Bohemia — but they are quite different in that the romances are sizzling hot. While there’s a hint of heat in the mysteries, the romances are quite steamy and will probably appeal to a different audience.
That said, any readers of both may spot a few familiar characters. Neil was a minor figure in the romance series, as those characters always ended up drinking at his bar, The Junction Box.
I really love writing in this world of my own creation. Series can give authors an opportunity to explore so many layers of a community and its characters. The interconnected backstories make the novels richer, I think.
Having read the Bohemia Bartenders mystery series, I cannot not ask you about cocktails. What is your favourite cocktail?
It really depends on the moment. Whiskey drinks are my go-to, like an Old-fashioned or a Manhattan (or a Sazerac, one of the drinks most associated with New Orleans). When it comes to tiki drinks, I always order a Jet Pilot at the Mai-Kai, the restaurant in Fort Lauderdale that inspired the fictional Pau Hana. And a well-made gin and tonic makes me happy.
What’s next for Pepper Revelle?
Pepper’s next gig with the Bohemia Bartenders is in Vexed by Vodka, which is set in her town, at the Bohemia Beach Film Festival. The festival has a cocktail theme this time, so a lot of familiar characters will make an appearance, and we’ll learn more about the mystery surrounding Neil’s grandfather, which was in the background of the first two books. And there will be hijinks with Pepper’s annoying ex-boyfriend, Mr. Mixy, who thinks someone is out to kill him.
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing Vexed by Vodka while my subconscious works on Jiggered by Gin, the fourth book in the series, which will take the bartenders to London, a city I love. I hope we can all enjoy travel again soon, because I want to go back, but I don’t think I’ll get there before Pepper does. I’m happy I get to live vicariously through the Bohemia Bartenders.
You can have a look at the book trailer of Wrecked by Rum here. (The link will take you to YouTube)
You can follow Lucy on:
Lucy, thank you so much. It’s an honor to have you on my blog. 🙂