Sophie jumps at the chance, ready to meet Chicago’s hottest teenage boy. Shortly after the deal is made, Sophie and her mom get in a terrible fight, causing her mom to fire her. This prompts Busia to pronounce that Sophie's love life is now cursed. But when Sophie meets two incredibly gorgeous guys that same afternoon, she decides she’ll need to secretly date them both until she discovers if they are good luck or bad news.
When the International Gourmet moves into their strip mall, the bakery business begins to tank. Sophie can't sit by and watch her future burn to a crisp. Can the three women patch up their differences and get the bakery back in business, or will Sophie's undercover double-dating scheme continue to curse them all? Only Dola knows for sure.
While hiding out in the back room of our family-owned Polish bakery, I spy my mother’s therapist—the June issue of Cosmo — lying on a shelf next to the flour. I flip through it, searching for my favorite feature, the relationship quiz.
My mother’s voice terminates my bliss. “Sophie! Come here. It’s getting busy now.” Her Polish accent isn’t nearly as thick as my grandma’s, but it’s still undeniable.
“Be right there!” It can’t be that big of a rush, so I’m staying put until I finish this month’s quiz, which is titled “What’s Your Guy-Q?” Given that I’ve only gone on three dates in my sixteen years — one with a moron, one with a liar, and one with a perv — I’m pretty sure my knowledge of guys will rank somewhere between dumbass and totally clueless.
Too bad my best friend, Teegan, isn’t here now, because she’s had a smorgasbord of boyfriends. She’d ace this quiz for sure. Luckily, she tells me everything. I concentrate on what she’sconfided to me in the past, zipping through the first eleven questions. I can’t believe how easy it is to figure out which answers will give me the highest points. If school were this easy, I’d have straight Bs.
Five minutes later, Mom’s slacker alarm goes off. “Sophie, let’s go!”
“One second!” I answer the last question and tally up my points. Hmm...weird. A thirteen. Must be one of those quizzes where a low score is better. I scan the ratings on the bottom and see that a thirteen puts me into Category D: In Desperate Need of Help. Thanks, Cosmo. I know that’s just another way of saying shitty. How can I expect to snag a decent date when my Guy-Q is the pits?
Guess I shouldn’t be too shocked. “Shitty” pretty much sums up my life, period. We live in a shitty apartment above our Polish bakery; my job is shitty; school is shitty except for off-campus lunch and my friends; my shitty father left when I was a bun in the oven; and the icing on the shit cake is that today is the first day of summer vacation and Cosmo says I won’t be changing my social media profile to In a Relationship anytime soon.
I always try to come up with a title that has a double meaning––one that works both figuratively and literally. Wanted: Dead or In Love is reminiscent of the old Wanted posters, which fits Clyde Barrow (one of the narrators in this novel), but also fits Clyde’s sentiment about how he feels about those he is romantically linked to (if they don’t love him back, they might as well be dead).
Did you ever think you'd be a published author?
Ha – good question. I wanted to be one in my twenties and thirties and didn’t have a clue how to make that happen. I thought, “Do people just sit down and start writing out their thoughts?” But once I bought a “How-To” guide on how to write books, it all became clearer, and then I was determined that I wouldn’t stop until I achieved my goal. It’s been the best feeling ever––definitely worth the ten years’ of work it took to accomplish my goal.
Where did you get the idea for your books?
As I hear about a topic that interest me, either from the news or a twist on something I overhear, I type those topics onto a file on my computer. Then when I’m ready to start a new novel, I read the over and change them or combine them. I’d written down things like: space camp, time travel, animal rights protestors, insomnia, and falconry...and have incorporated all of those ideas into stories.
Do you prefer your books in print or e-book format?
I like them equally, as well as a third style too––audible books. I read print books in the hot tub, ebooks on my Nook next to my bed, and audible books when I ride my bike or run. I love the variety and glad I don’t have to choose.
Humor me, because this is my favorite (mythical) animal: Would you ever consider putting a platypire in one of your books?
For sure! I’d love to include a platypire as a pet for one of my protagonists because platypires are adorable and dangerous – the perfect combination. If Busia whipped up the wrong chant for my Polish teen girl Sophie, for example, it could charm the guests that came to the Polish diner....or possibly eat them. Would add lots of tension not knowing!