Cooking The Books – Leisl Leighton

Chef with cookbookToday it’s my pleasure to welcome fellow Destiny Romance author,  Leisl Leighton. Leisl’s debut romantic suspense Killing Me Softly was released this month. Not only is it a gripping read but it features one of the most haunting covers I’ve seen for a long time. Very spooky!

Leisl has an interesting background in the arts which makes her well-placed to talk about food. So welcome Leisl!


It’s exciting to be here on Cooking the Books among such talented Australian authors. Thanks for having me, Louise.Leisl Headshot tweet

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about how the other authors featured here feel about the food in their books. Their reasons for using various foods their characters eat, share and bond over, shows that the purpose of food in our society is for more than just fueling our bodies. Having worked in hospitality for many years and running my own Theatre Restaurant for six years, I completely understand the value of good food being an essential part of the way people relate to each other and I try to include some of that dynamic into my books.

Whether we can cook or not, food fascinates us. You just have to turn on the TV or do a search on Google to see the truth of this. We celebrate over food, commiserate over food, get to know people over food. It is the common denominator that ties us together – we all have to eat. But it is more than this. There is nothing so miserable as a person sitting at home or in a restaurant, eating by themselves. Even if they are enjoying the finest meal they’ve ever eaten, if there is nobody to share it with, it isn’t quite as special. In my novel, Killing Me Softly, Lexi has been in that awful position for the last ten years of eating mostly by herself. She has lost her mum and dad, her twin sister is catatonic and lives in an asylum and she travels too much to build friendships. She is alone and apart and food is nothing but sustenance.

KillingMeSoftly_coverBut now that has changed. She has built a home for herself and has hired a husband and wife team, Bev and Karl, to help her run her farm and look after her sister when she brings her home from the asylum. Bev is a wonderful country cook and for the first time since she lost her mum and dad, Lexi has someone cooking for her, someone to cook for, someone to eat with, talk about the day’s events with, friendships to grow. And suddenly food is something she looks forward to. The value of bonding and building relationships and not being alone anymore, makes everything taste so much better. And it is something she can fall back on when dealing with Daemon, the rock star she has agreed to work with.

Sharing a plate of her favourite biscuits with coffee and tea, allows Lexi to feel comfortable enough to open up and talk to Daemon and he with her. In fact, many of their best conversations happen when they are sharing one of Bev’s sought after slices or muffins. In talking about their enjoyment of the food, it opens them up and allows them to connect on a deeper, more satisfying, level. Even amid the danger of the stalker who is after Lexi, and the tumult of putting together an album and dealing with Lexi’s twin, sharing their worries over family meals helps them cope with the stress of everything going on.

One of Lexi and Daemon’s first conversations is held as they share Bev’s fruit mince slice. I found an easy recipe at that was pretty similar to what a friend of mine used to make at Christmas time. Enjoy with a friend or loved one over a cup of tea or coffee.

 Killing Me Softly

Reclusive record producer, Alexia Deningham, guards her privacy fiercely. When she agrees to work with superstar Daemon Flagherty, and his band, it is only on the condition that they stay with her at her isolated country estate.

Fresh from a messy divorce, Daemon is determined to focus on his music. He wants to work with the best and that means Lexi. He certainly isn’t looking for romance, but he finds himself intrigued by Lexi’s secretive behavior.

Despite Lexi’s reservations, their attraction grows.  But someone is watching Lexi. Someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the woman who has ruined his life. When his campaign of terror ratchets out of control, Lexi must fight for survival but who can she really trust?

You can buy Killing Me Softly at -:



Angus & Robertson-: and at the iTunes, iBook store.

About the Author.

Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).

After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.

Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dog, Buffy, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She sometimes sings in a choir and works as a swim teacher in her day-to-day job.

Killing Me Softly is Leisl’s first published book.

You can follow Leisl and find out more about her and her books on her website:

Follow her on Twitter @LeislLeighton