Today Lucy Berberian from On the Lamb, A Kebab Kitchen mystery is joining us at Ascroft, eh?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Hi. I’m Lucy Berberian. I live inside the Kebab Kitchen cozy mystery series. I’m in the latest book called, ON THE LAMB. It’s the fourth book in the series, but all the books can be read as standalone reads.
I left a Philadelphia law firm to manage my family’s Mediterranean restaurant, Kebab Kitchen, at the Jersey shore. It’s like my big fat Greek Wedding meets the Jersey shore. Right now, spring is in the air and the beach town is gearing up for tourist season, holiday festivities, and town-wide Easter egg hunts.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
I get most of the say, of course! But if you ask the author, Tina Kashian, she will argue she gets most of the say. It’s a daily tug of war.
How did you evolve as the main character?
I took over a part of the writer’s brain. I’ve been festering there for a while, but I knew it was time for me to have my say. As for the Kebab Kitchen series, I’ve evolved a lot over the course of the books.
In the first book in the series, HUMMUS AND HOMICIDE, I quit my law firm job after hitting the glass ceiling and went home to my family’s Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore for a temporary stay. I have to mention temporary because I had no intention of staying for good. But my best friend and family, along with a former ex-boyfriend who wanted a second chance, have a way of changing a lady’s mind. I evolved…or decided to stay and take on the role of manager of Kebab Kitchen. I haven’t regretted it since.
I’ve also made more friends in the same town community throughout the other books, STABBED IN THE BAKLAVA and ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE. It’s amazing how a small town can draw you in. A murder at a wedding in STABBED IN THE BAKLAVA and a dead body under the boardwalk in ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE have also added to my sleuthing abilities.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Yes! My long-time best friend, Katie Watson, is also my crime fighting partner. My parents, Angela and Raffi, are supportive and overbearing at times. My sister, Emma, and Sally, the head waitress of Kebab Kitchen. My eccentric new landlady, Mrs. Eloisa Lubinski, and her attack shih tsu and my feisty feline Gadoo (which translates as cat in Armenian). And Michael, the motorcycle riding bad boy who owns the bicycle shop next door to Kebab Kitchen, who also happens to be a good friend.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Ocean Crest is one of the most beautiful Jersey shore towns! This is my opinion, of course. But it is a mile stretch of pristine beach with seagulls and the Atlantic Ocean. The boardwalk is an eclectic mix of shops and the small town is a great place to vacation with your family.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
I find myself solving another crime. Spring is in the air and the beach town is gearing up for tourist season, holiday festivities, and town-wide Easter egg hunts. Things are looking up and I’m planning on hosting a Mediterranean Easter dinner, complete with lamb kebabs, for my family and friends at my new apartment. When the motorcycle-riding owner of the bicycle rental shop next door to the restaurant invites me and my girlfriends to a beach bonfire for a night of fun, we are eager to attend? The sound of the surf, the ocean breeze, and the blazing bonfire all make for a unique experience. But when a disliked landlord is found dead on the beach after choking on a piece of Melanie’s famous salt water taffy, I know my friend is in sticky mess of trouble. I need to find the killer before Melanie is skewered for a crime she didn’t commit and salt water taffy disappears from the boardwalk forever.
Thanks for introducing yourself and the series to us, Lucy. Readers can learn more about Lucy and also Tina Kashian, the author of the series, by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads and Instagram pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Tina Kashian: Tina is a bestselling author, an attorney, and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and the first book in her Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!