The Book Savor series grew out of my passion for good friends, great books and interesting conversations about what we are reading. And what better way to wind it up than with a “best of” the who-is-coming-to-dinner question.


Read on to see what interesting people are serving for dinner and to whom.

Q: You can invite any author, living or dead, to dinner at your home. What are you serving and what will the conversation be about?

Novelist Anne R. Allen: Dorothy Parker, and the conversation could be about anything she wanted: I’d just sit back and take notes. For the best stories, I’d probably better serve martinis.

Social Media Marketing Expert Frances Caballo: I’m serving paella, Manchego cheese with quince, salad and flan for dessert. I would invite Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time, and ask her about how she conducts the extensive researched needed for her books.

Canadian Author Sandra Nikolai: I’d invite forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, bestselling author of the Dr. Temperance Brennan series on which the program Bones is based. I’d serve lasagna with a tossed green salad and a bottle of Chianti. Nothing with bones! We’d chat about her books and Montreal—a city we both know well. I’d wait until we’d had coffee and tiramisu before asking her about the grisly details of her work in the lab.

Comic Artist TJ Robinson: Hemingway, and we will be serving whiskey and peanuts.  The subject will be about anything besides writing.

Fabretto CFO Monica Drazba: Well, aside from Carmen Amato and a variety of Mexican dishes, it would probably be David McCullough or maybe Robert Caro. I’d serve up something simple (grilled tenderloin, roasted vegetables, pilaf), so I could spend my time outside of the kitchen listening to their anecdotes and insights on modern history. Founder Monica Olivera: Rudolfo Anaya, I think. I would serve warm pork tamales (if I knew how to make them), fresh limonada, and maybe flan for dessert. Or tres leches. We would talk about the desperate need for our children to hear and read these stories that reflect our childhood experiences and how by writing we in some way immortalize said childhood and the loved ones who may have since passed on.

Mystery Author Jerold Last: I think it would be Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser series.  We’ll serve braised pheasant, shot by me, and found, pointed, and retrieved by Jolie, one of our dogs, from the freezer.  Side dishes include mashed potatoes with garlic, since there’s a lot of gravy, and salad (it’s California so there’s always fresh veggies).  Conversation would be about mystery writing, and whether Spenser’s and Susan’s German Shorthaired Pointer, Pearl The Wonder Dog, would have fit into our pack of three GSPs.  Jolie, the model for Juliet in “The Deadly Dog Show”, seems to have a similar temperament to Pearl’s, but is much better trained. Finally, I’d like his opinion of whether Roger makes a good, albeit much more educated, Spenser-type hero, and what he thinks of Bruce as an assistant hero in the mold of Hawk.

Marketing Expert Bobby McDaniel: Douglas Adams. I’m a geek and I love to laugh, so I imagine hanging out with Douglas Adams would be an amazing experience. I would serve Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, Gin & Tonics, and steak . . . preferably from a talking cow, but I guess any cow would do. Editor Lorraine C. Ladish: Stephen King, because he says it like it is. We´d have Spanish tapas and beer or wine. I´d ad lib. I´d love to hear how he cranks out the word.

Writer Elizabeth A. Martina: I adore the couple writing team, Bodie and Brock Thoene. I would serve them barbequed spare ribs, mustard potato salad and moscal wine. Ribs, because they are country folk and would probably enjoy that. The wine, because it is sweet and my favorite. Conversation would inevitably turn to history of the 20th century, which is predominantly their book themes, and to Christianity which is always their secondary theme.

Crime Fiction Author Jason Beech: Charles Dickens. I’d serve him my mother’s Sunday dinner of roast lamb, new potatoes, green beans, stuffing, spring (I think) cabbage, Yorkshire puddings, and mint sauce, smothered in gravy (onion). Then I’d ask him if he could have cut a few hundred pages from most of his novels, and ask if Britain has moved on much from Victorian times in social terms.

Thriller Author Khaled Talib: Mary Shelley. I’ll be serving saffron-based beryani rice with mango chutney, salad, stuffed chicken and various accompaniments. This would be followed by custard cake for dessert with chocolate sauce and Turkish coffee. I’d like to probe her mind about the soul of man, and on the light side, we’ll talk about her travels and adventure. The conversation will be electrifying!’s Jason Sullivan: Without a doubt, my choice would be Edgar Allan Poe. For dinner, we would have the Mid-Atlantic specialties of Silver Queen corn and extra-large Chesapeake Bay crab cakes. We would discuss Virginia and Maryland, an area we both know well. I would have secured a bottle of the finest cognac for after dinner. Once the first glasses of cognac were finished, we would sit by a roaring fire and begin to talk about everything imaginable. We would discuss Romanticism and poetry, delve into his seminal influence in Science Fiction and Mystery, and as the shadows begin to make ghastly figures upon the wall, he might share a word or two about the genre for which he is most famous – Horror. I would also want to hear his views on some of the major events that occurred after his death, such as the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the two world wars, technology and globalism. I would bring up a few things of particular interest to me. For instance, what are his views on the nature of time and affection, and what were the circumstances surrounding the writing of “A Dream Within A Dream”? He might mention what transpired during those last few days in Baltimore, but I would not ask about this. Finally, in the early hours of the morning, as the fire drew down, we would dare to speak of the eternal secrets … before falling asleep in our chairs to the glow of the last few dying embers.

Who’s coming to dinner at your house? Are we invited?


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coming to dinner


Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.


coming to dinner
Author Carmen Amato

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