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Author uncovers the mystery behind her books

Her career as a CBS desk assistant and obituary writer, the estate sales of items belonging to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Diana, and the 1992 presidential campaign have all served as inspirations for books written by bestselling mystery writer Mary Jane Clark.

“I write about what I have experienced and what I have seen around me,” Clark told an assemblage at Burbank’s Buena Vista Branch Library this past week. Appearing as a part of the library’s continuing events programs that are coordinated, promoted and staged by Louise Paziak and Joan Cappocchi, Clark revealed her latest books — the Wedding Cake Mystery series — have been inspired by a book her mother had on cake decorating she loved looking through as a child.

Along with the opportunity to get a better understanding of how Clark crafts her suspense novels, the gathering was also treated to slices of wedding cake and a surprise appearance by the author’s daughter, actress Elizabeth Clark, who, with altered hair and eye color, plays the part of her mother’s current heroine, Piper Donovan on Facebook, and has assisted in the character’s development.

The author of 12 novels, including “To Have and To Kill” and the just-released “The Look of Love” of the Wedding Cake series, Clark concluded her Burbank appearance with a question-and-answer session and book signing.


Clutching her freshly signed copy of Clark’s latest tome, Bonnie Smith said she has been reading Clark’s books with her mother, Donna Stebbeds, who joined her for the event. “I really enjoy her stories and style,” said Smith. “I especially love her strong feminine characters.” Rebecca Johnson, an avid reader and Clark fan, who was also in attendance with her mother, Denise Johnson, agreed with Smith. “I like her characters and how she sets up her clues,” she said.

This past week also saw Family Promise of the East San Fernando Valley kick off their three-month Buy One, Give One campaign that, through a partnership with the online bedding store, the Company Store, provides comforters to families in need.

Family Promise’s local executive director, Jaci White, was joined by the chapter’s president, Harold Jordan and board member, Mary Anderson-Harris at Lundigan Park for the Wednesday event as they welcomed executives, employees and volunteers from neighboring Family Promise chapters and assisting organizations including Chris Najarro, Lynnea Hughes, Casey Crosbie, Sherri Theimer, Tim Peters, Phil McCollum, Tyesha Hilliard, Tim Davis and Linda Malerba.

Established in 2010, Family Promise of the East San Fernando Valley is one of over 160 networks across the country committed to providing low-income families with safe shelter, meals and support services designed to redress the underlying causes of homelessness and achieve lasting independence.


This coming Saturday, the organization will host a free e-waste collection event that will give Burbankers the opportunity to dispose of and recycle retired electronic items such as computers, cells phones and televisions. The e-waste drive will take place in the parking lot adjacent to 1545 Victory Blvd. in Glendale. For more information on this event and the work of the local Family Promise chapter, call (818) 588-6723 or log on to