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New Book: Kitchen Savvy

For my first book, Kitchen Sync, I had a virtual book launch complete with Alfred, my virtual bartender.


The book launch this time is a bit more understated. It’s been busy at work, I’ve got articles to write, editors to talk to, and about a million emails to respond to.  I need something a bit more low key.

That’s why I’m parked at the virtual bar, nursing a glass of Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir, while the piano player coaxes a slow jazz number from the baby grand behind me.  Alfred’s wiping down the bar.

“So why don’t you want a big party this time? Other than being tired?”

“Eh, this book is a smaller niche. This isn’t the quest for the perfect kitchen, it’s for homeowners who need to do a bit of maintenance for an older kitchen and don’t want to spend the money for a full remodel. Hence the subtitle: Solutions for Partial Kitchen Remodels.”

Alfred purses his lips and puts away the cloth before leaning forward, palms resting on the bar. “Seems like that would be a big audience: first-home buyers, people with older homes, investment and rental homes. Huh. Even for my place. I’ve got 3 more years in my condo before I move to London, and the counter’s sagging a bit at the sink. I’m sure not planning any big remodel. I’d never get the money back out of it.”

“London? You can’t move to London! I need you here.”

“Nice deflect. If you’re simply drinking wine, you don’t need me, Ms. Designer.”

“Haha. I’ll order a Gin Fizz then, Mr. Smarty-Pants.”

“I hate making Gin Fizzes.”

“Serves you right for moving to London on me.”

He nudges my hand, his not-so-subtle way of telling me to focus. “So why no big launch?”

I sigh.  “This book is about getting the most value for budget, and dealing with the emergencies. Believe it or not, some homeowners don’t live, breathe, or sleep kitchens. They just know that the oven died and they need to get a new one, not knowing that some oven depths have increased, never mind widths and heights. Or that the sink that needs replacing can only be a drop-in sink, because an undermount sink doesn’t install well or last in a laminate counter. Doesn’t seem right to celebrate emergencies with a party.”

Alfred nods. “So you just want to get the word out.”

I take a sip of my Pinot. “Pretty much.”

“So let’s take a look at it.”

Kelly's Kitchen Savvy_ebook - small


“Thank you.  I’m worried how it’ll be received.”

If there was a scorecard for virtual eyebrows hitting a hairline, Alfred would get top marks. “Why? People like your last book.”

“Yes, but there’s no pictures in this one. Just the facts.”

“Well, there’s quite a few real-life examples for homeowners to relate to. And you did get a professional editor this time.”

“Don’t make me squirm. I know, I know. Kitchen Sync needs some help but the info’s sound. I’ll work on editing for the second edition.”

Alfred finishes wiping the bar and starts lining up the martini glasses. “Well, I think the people who can’t afford a full remodel might be interested, especially if they have a kitchen emergency or repairs they’ve been putting off too long.”

“What if they get bored? Or think I’m repeating myself?” I sound whiny, even to myself. “And what about those who wonder why it’s only an ebook instead of a paperback?”

“You worry too much. Didn’t you tell me that at 131 pages, it would be too slender? Besides, if there’s interest, you can always make it happen.”  Alfred narrows his eyes. “How much wine have you had, missy?”

“Fine. Mock me. Some bartender you are if you can’t even keep count.”

Alfred reaches above his head to the glasses racked above him, sets a row of martini glasses on the bar and gets to work. “Seems to me that people might like to stop by to take a look. Dirty martinis good for you? In the meantime, give them a link.”

Kitchen Savvy Launch

Distracted by the olives, it takes me a minute. “Oh, right.” Grabbing my purse, I sort by feel rather than by sight: cabinet handles, a travel screwdriver, wallet, laser measure, cell phone. Ah.

“Here it is.”

Alfred deftly slides my wine glass out of the way, replacing it with one of the martini glasses before picking up his own. In the background, the piano player transitions to Only the Good Die Young.  I wince.

“Happy book launch, Kelly.” He clinks his glass to mine and raises it. “Happy 4th.”

“Thanks, Alfred. Happy 4th to you too.”

Until next time,


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  1. Kelly, congrats on the new book, it’s wonderful! I downloaded it the other day and spent last night reading it from virtual cover to cover. I really treasure your common sense “insider” advice.

    I had planned a big kitchen remodel right when the recession hit. Instead, I did what I called a 20% makeover – painted the vinyl slab cabinets inside and out, installed pullout shelves on all lower cabinets, added beautiful rubbed bronze pulls, and changed out all of the appliances except the white electric glass cooktop, which I hate but can use. When that stops working, the domino effect that you described will kick in. Although we installed a new electrical panel, the wiring that goes to the cooktop is not sufficient to power an induction cooktop and the wire run is under a vinyl clad floor with asbestos problems. We can easily run gas to the area but outside ventilation is a problem with a kitchen in the middle of the house. Regardless of which solution I choose, the cost and disruption will probably trigger the remodel that was delayed, because it involves that cascade that you described so well of cabinets, counters, etc. At any rate, I was pleased to read that I did most everything right with this partial makeover and it has made an excellent “trial run” for the eventual remodel.

    Thanks also for your great advice on keeping neighborhood expectations in mind.

    • Thanks, Lynn! I’m so glad that you liked it, even though it sounds like you didn’t really need it except to cross-reference. And you’re right, it really is a good trial run for the day you eventually get the new kitchen.

  2. Kelly, congratulations! I’d say an impromptu local book launch is in order, and we can go meet Alfred! I really look forward to reading the book. I don’t know how you do it all, but mazel tov…

  3. Wow I didn’t know I counted as a professional editor : ) Just kidding, I know you did hire a real one and I just simply did an early proof read, but I wouldn’t worry – if someone is looking for good information & tips – the book is chock full of them. Congrats on getting it finished up & salut

    • Haha, Sean. Well your thoughts on the beta read certainly qualified as professional, and I did a lot of editing based on them — does that count?

      You never saw all the examples I added afterwards, I think. If you want a copy, just let me know.

      • Ahh I was just simply trying to give out my recommendation that it was a great read based on what I had seen with a little whimsy thrown in – drats failed on the whimsy. Sure I would love a copy to see the changes made & hopefully do a full review on my site before the end of the century (said somewhat tounge in cheek, though time has been killing me recently)

        Hope you had a great 4th & congrats once again

        • Oh, the whimsey was definitely appreciated; typing fails to convey fun adequately, right? No worries on a review, just wanted you to see how it turned out. I know what you mean by that time thing. I’m working today….

  4. Congrats on the new book! Can hardly wait to read it!

  5. Carol in Denver says:

    Happy Independence Day to you, Kelly! I loved your first book and recommended it to friends who appreciated it, too. My kitchen needs a complete rebuild from studs on in but your new book should be just the ticket for lots of other people.

    • Thanks, Carol, for both the Independence Day wishes and the recommendations on my first book. I’m looking forward to seeing how you’ll finally make out on your kitchen!