Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Inherit the Word by Daryl Wood Gerber. This book is the second in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. The book will be released March 4th.

I really enjoyed the first book in this new series and was excited to see what happened next, especially after that ending in Final Sentence. The mystery of Jenna's husband continues as Jenna prepares to host the Grill Fest. Cooking competitions can get fierce and there was no love lost between Natalie and some of her other contestants. Natalie won't get her 8th consecutive win, however, instead she gets murdered. Jenna's second mom is a prime suspect and, although Jenna doesn't want to get involved, she has to look into things, at least a little.

I enjoy the adventures of Jenna learning to cook, the antics of Tigger, and all the talk of grilled cheese, so I'm going to stop writing this post and continue reading this fun book!

Recipes are included! Since Daryl Wood Gerber is also Avery Aames, author of the Cheese Shop Mystery series, you can be sure the grilled cheese concoctions will be wonderful!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sinister Sitcom - An Interview with Sally Carpenter

I'd like to welcome Sally Carpenter to the blog today. Sally writes the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mystery series.

Kathy: Sandy Fairfax is a former teen idol. Did you have a favorite teen idol when you were young? Was Sandy based on him?

SC: Sandy was inspired by The Monkees, specifically the Monkees TV show. I had watched the show in its initial run when I was a kid but didn’t fall for the guys until the late 1990s when Nickelodeon ran the episodes every night. Then I became a die-hard fan and started going to concerts. I read everything I could about The Monkees. I was intrigued by the whole teen idol mystique. When I started writing my series, I read up on other teen idols of the era—David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman and Donny Osmond. Sandy is a composite of all these guys.

Kathy: Sandy has some interesting sidekicks. Can you tell us about them? Is there any particular reason you chose an animal and a little person?

SC: I wanted to get away from every character being a healthy, average type of person. We live in such a diverse society but in cozies everyone tends to look alike. Joseph Graves is an actor who’s also a dwarf. Joseph is cocky and hard-nosed guy but that’s his defense against a hostile world. The character was inspired by two dwarf actors: Michael Dunn, who played Dr. Loveless on “The Wild Wild West,” and David Rappaport, who portrayed a lawyer on “LA Law.” Because of their size they stood out (pun intended) amid the other actors. Dunn stole every scene he was in.

Scruffy is an animal actor who plays the family pet on the sitcom “Off-Kelter,” the show on which Sandy is a guest star. Scuffy’s a terrier mix and he’s handled by his owner and trainer, Frances Fontenay. When I worked at Paramount Pictures we had two animals actors on the lot: Moose, who played Eddie on “Frasier,” and Salem, the cat on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” Salem had his own dressing trailer. Two or three black cats were used in the scenes in which Salem moved and the animals were kept in the trailer when they were not in use.

I had the privilege of meeting Moose’s trainer, Mathilde DeCagny. I’d see her walking Moose around the lot. She was friendly and nice. I used her as the starting point for the character of Frances.

A few times I saw other animals on the lot, usually in trucks or a trailer outside the soundstage waiting to start work. A number of companies in Los Angeles handle animal actors (that’s the term). Providing animals for pictures is a big business.

Kathy: You've had a variety of interesting careers. Do you have a favorite job?

SC: Certain aspects in all of my jobs were enjoyable. Each job had its “season.” Some of the jobs would be too physically taxing for me now. My current job at a newspaper is probably the best fit for my temperament at this time. I learned about good writing techniques from the editors and copy editors. I write headlines and photo captions which sharpens my skills. Of course, I’ve always loved writing fiction. My life seems “settled” for now and I can focus on writing books without having to look for another job or think about moving.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

SC: I never knew cozies existed until a few years ago. My hometown library didn’t stock many cozies, only the gory, graphic crime novels that I don’t find entertaining. I like cozies because they won’t offend me and sometimes they make me laugh. I write cozies because I don’t want to spend my time with gritty, coarse characters.   

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

SC: I started out writing science fiction but couldn’t crack into the genre. I’ve also written plays for churches. In college I wrote two plays that were award finalists. But playwrighting is a tough field as most theaters won’t produce new plays. Producers are particular about how many and what type of characters they want in a play (so they can cast the show from their company), how much the setting will cost and if people will pay to see the show. I ended up in the mystery field because that’s where I found the most support and success.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

SC: I have one series, the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series. Sandy’s a former ‘70s teen idol and TV star that discovers that making a comeback can be murder. When he performs at various venues he keeps stumbling over dead bodies, sometimes literally.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

SC: I assume someone other than my own series character! My favorite fictional detectives are Sherlock Holmes (naturally), Lt. Columbo and Trixie Beldon. I like Columbo because he’s funny and down to earth but he’s brilliant. I love how the clues unravel on the show and how the characters interact. My parents gave me two Trixie books for Christmas and that started me reading that series. Trixie was much like me as a kid.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

SC: Besides The Monkees TV show, the whole genre of ‘70s detective shows, including “The Hardy Boys,” with the “personality cop.” Those shows were short on accurate police reality but were family friend and highly entertaining. I liked the idea of a guy who played a kid cop on TV in the ‘70s and is now solving crimes, somewhat reluctantly, in real life.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

SC: I always write with an eye toward publication. I have a worthwhile message that I want to share with others. And I feel good when someone says they enjoyed my book. In my mind, providing wholesome entertainment to others is a worthy service.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, whom would you invite?

SC: Rod Serling, William Link and Robert Levinson (do writing partners count as one or two?), Mildred Wirt Benson (she wrote the original Nancy Drews) and E.A. Poe because he needed a friend.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

SC: I’m finishing up “Schlock Homes: The Complete Bagel Street Sage” by Robert L. Fish and “A Deadly Justice” by Kate Bennet. Next up are “Burying Ben” by Ellen Kirschman and “The Accused Architect” by Christian Belz. Hope to squeeze in a re-reading of “The Parables of Peanuts” by Robert Short. I like to mix in religious reading when I can.

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

SC: Years ago I earned a black belt in tae kwon do which was hard work but great fun. I took part in a number of tournaments and brought home trophies. I plan to use martial arts in one of my books. I used to act in plays which I don’t do now because it would take time away from writing. I have black cats. I’m a lector (scripture reader) at my parish and involved in a Bible study. When I crash at the end of the day I like watching my favorite TV shows or old movies or listing to music from my record and CD collection.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

SC: Milk, Hansens Diet Cherry Vanilla soft drink, Dark Chocolate Dreams (peanut butter with chocolate) and cheese slices for making grilled cheese sandwiches.

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

SC: The first Sandy Fairfax book, “The Baffled Beatlemanic Caper” is out of print but I will be re-releasing and self-publishing the ebook version on Kindle. I’m looking for an early 2015 release for the third Sandy mystery, “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper.” He’ll be performing on a cruise ship with his estranged sister. I have ideas for other series but my writing time is limited. Maybe after a few more Sandy books I’ll try to work in another series.  

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

SC: Playing god (not The God of course) in that I can create a world, populate it how I wish, make everything work out in the end and bring the bad guy to justice. As Michael Nesmith would say, I have “total control.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Pearls and Poison by Duffy Brown. This book is the third in the Consignment Shop Mystery series. If you haven't started this series-you need to do so! I love, love, love this series and this book is a great addition.

Reagan Summerside's mom, the judge, is running for Alderman, but things get sticky when a nasty mudslinging opponent winds up dead, poisoned by some honey bourbon, bourbon the judge said she was bringing him as a good will gesture. Reagan just wants to protect her mom and keep Aunt Kiki out of harms way-but as usual, she finds lots of trouble.

I just love the antics of this Southern crew. Duffy Brown has a great cast of characters who make murder fun! If you like your mysteries on the zany side, this book and series is for you!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Meet Traci Andrighetti - Interview & Contest

I'd like to welcome Traci Andrighetti to Cozy Up With Kathy. Traci writes the Franki Amato Mystery series...and Franki and I have something in common.
Kathy: Like Franki Amato, I was a police officer in Austin, Texas, however, I left the force and moved to Western New York while Franki went to New Orleans. Why did you decide to set your story there?

TA: Oh, WOW! I wish I could have picked your brain before I wrote Limoncello Yellow! I knew I was going to write colorful mysteries (can you tell by the color in the title?), so I wanted a colorful setting for the series. Of course, Austin’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” but no city in the U.S is as weird, wonderful and wild as New Orleans. I mean, Austin has jazz, but we definitely don’t have plantations, voodoo, or Mardi Gras debauchery!

Kathy: In addition to murder, Franki has to deal with a meddlesome Sicilian grandma. Are you able to admit to some personal experience in this matter?

TA: My nonna was from Le Marche, one of the lesser known regions of Italy (among Americans). But she was definitely a meddler, i.e., a manipulator, so I do have some personal experience in the matter. But the inspiration for the Sicilian nonna actually came from my studies of the Sicilian language and culture and my hilarious experiences with an old friend of mine’s elderly Sicilian great aunt.

Kathy: If you had to choose between eating only Tex-Mex food or Italian, which would you choose?

TA: I can’t believe that I’m going to publicly admit this, but I would have to say Tex-Mex food. Here in Austin the breakfast taco reigns supreme, as do cheese enchiladas and the mighty burrito. These things are as essential to my diet as water, and every time I leave Texas (even to go to Italy), I crave them like a junkie (probably) craves heroin.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

TA: Reading Nancy Drew as a child and years of watching Murder She Wrote reruns. I also blame Agatha Christie for my cozy obsession, even though I think she’s considered traditional mystery. What it all boils down to is that I’m not interested in reading about gory murders—I just want to know about the personalities and motivations behind the murders.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

TA: No, just cozy mystery because I view it as such a flexible genre. In addition to the mystery piece, it allows for romance, hobbies and comedy. And I’m all about funny.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

TA: Here’s the official blurb: “When Franki Amato left her cheating ex and unpredictable job as a rookie cop in Austin, Texas, she was hoping for a more ordinary existence working for her best friend Veronica’s private investigation firm in New Orleans. But life in The Big Easy turns out to be anything but routine. To solve a series of colorful murders and the mystery of her lackluster love life, Franki must rely on a highly unlikely cast of characters.” But unofficially, I tell people that my series is about color, as in personality. Specifically, it’s about colorful characters in a colorful setting solving colorful murders.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

TA: Oh yeah. Glenda O’Brien (a.k.a. Lorraine Lamour), Franki and Veronica’s ex-stripper landlord. I love describing her risqué outfits, creating her brash dialogue, and cooking up her outrageous behavior. And it’s a whole lot of fun researching her stripper shoes.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

TA: Yes, Italian authors Andrea Camilleri and Gabriella Genisi. He writes the Inspector Montalbano series set in Sicily, and she writes the Inspector Lolita Lobosco series set in Bari, Puglia. From Camilleri, I took the Sicilian heritage and the emphasis on language and culture. And Genisi’s flamboyant protagonist and fruit-themed titles inspired me to come up with my own colorful character and titles.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

TA: It was kind of an accident that I got published. A fellow writer suggested that I enter an online contest for the experience. So, I did. And to my complete shock, I ended up with a two-book publishing deal.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

TA: Hm. As of right now I would say Janet Evanovich, Gemma Halliday, and the two Italians who inspired me, Andrea Camilleri and Gabriella Genisi. It would be fun to see how the American and Italian mystery writers would interact, especially since all of them have so much personality.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

TA: I’m just about to start J.B. Lynn’s Nearly Departed. The book is getting rave reviews, and it’s about a crime-scene cleaning lady who can talk to ghosts. How can I lose?

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

TA: Yes, but you may die of boredom! I worked for years to learn Italian, and then I was lucky enough to teach it at the University of Texas at Austin for eleven years. To maintain my language skills, I watch Italian soap operas and write a nerdy Italian literature and language blog called italicissima. I interview Italian authors for the blog, which played a huge role in the creation of Limoncello Yellow.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

TA: Nutella, pasta, espresso and olive oil. Can you tell I’m Italian-American? LOL!

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

TA: Yes to both! Right now I’m writing the second novel in the Franki Amato Mystery series. It’s called Prosecco Pink, and you can read the book blurb on my website at

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

TA: Seeing my books come to life in the minds of my readers. I love it when someone tells me that the book reminds them of their grandmother or a vacation they once took to New Orleans. That’s the best!

Kathy: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

TA: Thank YOU! Grazie mille!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Currently Reading...

I'm just about to start reading Pearls and Poison by Duffy Brown. I'm excited to start this book, the third in the Consignment Shop Mystery series, as I loved the first 2. I'm expecting tons of fun and lots of laughs!

This entry has Reagan Summerside's mom campaigning for Alderman and winding up the prime suspect in her opponenr's murder. I can't wait to see what Auntie Kiki gets up to!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Spotlight - Murder with Ganache

I'd like to shine a spotlight on last weeks release of Murder with Ganache by Lucy Burdette. This book is the 4th book in the Key West Food Critic Mystery series.

From the back cover:

Hayley Snow, the food critic for Key Zest magazine, has her plate heaped high with restaurant reviews, doughnut and sticky bun tastings, and an article on the Hemingway cats. But this week she's also in charge of her best friend's wedding. And then someone adds a side of murder.

For better or worse, Hayley has agreed to bake more than two hundred cupcakes for her friend Connie's wedding while still meeting her writing deadlines. The last thing she needs is family drama. But her parents come barreling down on the island like a category-three hurricane, and on their first night in town, her stepbrother, Rory, disappears into the spring break party scene in Key West.

When Hayley hears that two teenagers have stolen a Jet Ski, she sets aside her oven mitts and goes in search of Rory. She finds him, barely conscious, but his female companion isn't so lucky. Now Hayley has to let the cupcakes cool and assemble the sprinkles of clues to clear her stepbrother's name-before someone else gets iced.

Recipes are included.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Welcome Back to Key West-An Interview with Lucy Burdette

I'd like to welcome Lucy Burdette back to Cozy Up With Kathy. She first appeared here last May. (You can check out that interview here.) Her latest Key West Food Critic Mystery, Murder with Ganache, was just released this week.

Kathy: Like Hayley Snow’s mom, I too am a Hayley Mills fan. Three of my favorite Hayley Mills films are The Moon-Spinners, The Trouble with Angels, and Summer Magic. (I just couldn’t limit my choices!)  Are you a fan? If so, do you have a favorite Hayley Mills movie?

LB: How funny Kathy--I would say my favorites were THE PARENT TRAP and THAT DARN CAT! But more than me being a fan, in MURDER WITH GANACHE I wanted to show Hayley's mom's cheerful nature and optimism, and how she thought about life and her daughter. And how these traits brought immediate conflict with Hayley's dad...
Kathy: Hailey consults a tarot reader. I own several tarot decks, although I haven’t practiced reading them in years. Have you had your cards read? Do you own any decks yourself?

LB: I did buy a deck once I realized that there would be a recurring character who was a tarot card reader. Every night in Key West, to celebrate the sunset, street performers and tourists gather in Mallory Square, which is at the very tip of the island. One of the regulars is Ron, a tarot card reader. Once I spotted him in his vest and turban—of course I couldn’t resist a reading. And I couldn’t resist developing a character who looks and acts like him, although I've changed his name to Lorenzo. I also took him to lunch when I was writing TOPPED CHEF--he gave me so many wonderful details about the island!
Kathy: The Key West Food Critic covers are always so tropically inviting. Do you have any input in their design?

LB: Here's the thing--I consider myself sooooo lucky to have these artists working on my covers. I think they are all gorgeous! About a year before a book's publication date, my editor asks me if I have ideas for the cover art. I always do--I collect photos for each book on a Pinterest board, knowing that these will be useful when the publisher has the cover conference. Here's my board for MURDER WITH GANACHE. If you look over the photos, you'll see that the house on the book cover is exactly what the Hemingway House looks like.
Kathy: Before writing about a food critic, did you read and/or follow any food critics? Did you ever want to be a food critic? Did that change after writing about Hayley?

LB: I love the Wednesday food section in the New York Times, especially the reviews by Frank Bruni when he was their food critic. I also have enjoyed Ruth Reichl's books. What I've realized so clearly the more I read is that while I love food and eating, I would not enjoy the life of a critic. I like to eat what I like to eat:), not what I think others want to hear about. And there are places I simply won't go--like tentacles! And eating out two or three times a day would get old quickly--not to mention being fattening.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for Murder with Ganache?

LB: This book is a lot about family. Hayley's best friend is getting married and all of Hayley's family is coming to Key West to help celebrate. I tried to think of a situation that might escalate the tension--and came up with the combination of a surly teenage boy and spring break in Key West. Lethal! I also enjoyed including some police procedure details from the Citizens Police Academy class I took last spring. In the end, the book is about finding and embracing your family in whatever form it takes.
Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Hayley?

LB: I'm working hard now on finishing the book that will be out in December 2014. It will be called SEASON'S GRIEVINGS. A new chef in town asks for Hayley's help in identifying who is making mischief in her kitchen, and of course, things spiral out of control. It's set against the magical season of Christmas on the island.
Kathy: A new interview section-this or that. Pick one of the 2 choices given.
Kathy: Library or Bookstore 
Kathy: Expositional or Continuing Story 

Kathy: Editing or Marketing 

Kathy: TV or Film 

Kathy: Chocolate or Vanilla 

Kathy: Mountains or Beach 

Kathy: Tea or Coffee 

Kathy: Cats or Dogs 
Kathy: Summer or Winter 

Kathy: Normal or Paranormal NORMAL
LB: Vampire or Werewolf AFRAID OF BOTH

Kathy: Cake or Cupcake 

Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of 12 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West series featuring food critic Hayley Snow. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She's a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Roberta Isleib writing as Lucy Burdette
MURDER WITH GANACHE coming February 4
Pre-order right here
Follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyBurdette
Or "Like" her on Facebook

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs. This book, the 15th in the Tea Shop Mystery series, will be released March 4th! Theodosia Browning leaves tea and turns to wine-at least for the fancy new wine reveal at Knighthall Winery. Unfortunately, the opening is marred by murder. The owner's son, and organizer of the event, is found his own barrel of wine. Pressured by her good friend Drayton she starts asking questions, and is soon driven by her own curiosity to investigate the murder. What exactly was going on at the winery? What is "green alien"? Could it be something even more dangerous than men from outer space?

I love this series and, from what I've read so far, this book is a great addition. Recipes are included.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Say Cheese- Interview with Avery Aames & Review & Giveaway

I'd like to welcome Avery Aames back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Avery visited back in July under her other name, Daryl Wood Gerber. (You can check out that interview here.) Avery has a new Cheese Shop Mystery coming out this Tuesday!
Kathy: Days of Wine and Roquefort brings together two of my favorite things-cheese and wine (three of my favorite things if you include a good mystery!). I love all sorts of cheeses (aside from the majority of the blue family) and most types of wine (my favorite is a Gewürztraminer) and enjoy pairing them. Do you have a favorite cheese and wine pairing?

AA: My favorite cheeses include Manchego, Irish Cheddar, and warm Brie. A good merlot or pinot noir goes with all cheese. One of my favorite pinots is Evening Land from the Willamette Valley.  By the way, if you add a slice of dark chocolate with that…divine!

Kathy: I would love to visit Fromagerie Bessette. I’m lucky, in that I have an artisanal cheese shop nearby (The Little Bleu Cheese Shop). Do you have a local specialty cheese shop?

AA: Yes, Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City. It’s a darling place, with just the right amount of cheese to not overwhelm you. Ask for a nibble, and they’re glad to provide a taste. They also offer meals: salad, sandwiches, and more. And they have a premium wine selection, plus crackers, jams, etc. Fun!  I found the wooden barrels that are part of the décor in Fromagerie Bessette at Artisan Cheese.  There is also a great selection of cheeses at the local Whole Foods in Tarzana, and they, too, will offer tastings.

Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for Days of Wine and Roquefort?

AA: I was reading an article in a wine magazine that got me thinking about murder and mayhem. I put it past my editor, and she loved it. But if I told you what it was, you might figure out the mystery too soon, and then I’d have to kill you. Shhh. J 

Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Charlotte?

AA: Love is in the air. Charlotte and Jordan will plan their wedding. Urso will find love. Rebecca will move on to…hmmm, yet another secret. And Grandmère and Pépère will set the standard for what it means to be in love. Oh, yes, there will also be another couple of murders, too, and Charlotte knows and cares about both people.

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

AA: Actually, next month, I have the second in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries coming out: INHERIT THE WORD. I’m very excited about it. Jenna and the Cookbook Nook will host the upcoming grill fest, which features grilled cheese. The eight-time champ, owner of The Word Diner (short for Mum’s the Word), will meet her match and possibly her doom.

Kathy: You write cozies under 2 different names, Avery Aames and Daryl Wood Gerber. What made you decide to do so?

AA: Avery came first. The publisher wanted a series about a cheese shop. I was not yet published. My agent put my name to the editor, and I auditioned and got the job. That is considered a work-for-hire, where the publisher owns the original idea. I get paid like all other writers, but it’s theirs in the long run. I had to choose a pseudonym so that, in the event the publisher wanted someone else—heaven forbid—to write the series, they could, using that name. Sort of like Carolyn Keene for the Nancy Drew series.

I write under Daryl (my real name) because I came up with the idea for another series, the Cookbook Nook mysteries. My publisher loved the idea and bought three (to start). It’s confusing having two names, but I think my fans are getting used to it.

Kathy: A new interview section-this or that. Pick one of the 2 choices given.

Library or Bookstore – 
AA: Bookstore, I like to stay current; but I love libraries.

Kathy: Expositional or Continuing Story – 
AA:Continuing stories are fun because you get to follow a character’s full life.

Kathy: Editing or Marketing – 
AA: editing; I love to rework a story. I hate marketing but I will do it.

Kathy: TV or Film – 
AA: both; they’re offering so many different stories nowadays. Film actors are on TV and TV actors star in movies. It depends on the story. I love sitting in a movie theater, and as a former actress, I have to admit I would have loved to star in a movie.

Kathy: Chocolate or Vanilla – 
AA: both. I like dark chocolate candy. I love vanilla ice cream.

Kathy: Mountains or Beach – 
AA: both. I love to go skiing or smell the wonderful scent of pine trees. I like a crisp, cool lake to swim in. I also adore going to the beach. I love the sound of the surf, the smell of salt, the sunsets.

Kathy: Tea or Coffee – 
AA: coffee. Decaf. I adore a latte. But there are times I do drink tea. It’s very soothing. Early morning writing sessions are often written with a cup of green tea as my beverage.

Kathy: Cats or Dogs – 
AA: I’m a dog person. I love the companionship. I love long walks. I have had cats, as a girl, and they were fun, but they can be so darned independent. The cats in my stories are not nearly as independent. They love spending time with their humans. [My fantasy!]

Kathy: Summer or Winter – 
AA: Summer. I like warm weather. I love shorts and tee shirts. I love the colors of summer. The scent of roses. Fresh fruit. Swimming.

Kathy: Normal or Paranormal – 
AA: Normal.

Kathy: Vampire or Werewolf – 
AA: Neither, thank you. I do like ghosts.

Kathy: Cake or Cupcake – 
AA: Cake. Cheesecake. Choco-socko cheesecake. That’s a recipe I’m sharing in DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT. I’ll share pictures on my Mystery Lovers Kitchen blog in February. Tune in!



Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames
Fifth in the Cheese Shop Mystery series

Charlotte Bessette, feeling a bit lonely with her cousin and his twins gone from her house and Jordan out of town, is happy to have a houseguest. Noelle Adams, an old friend of Matthew’s and the new employee at Shelton Nelson Winery is staying with her until the cottage she’s renting is ready. When Charlotte returns home unexpectedly one evening she finds Noelle in her workshop-dying. Noelle is able to utter a cryptic comment before she dies, murdered. Though Charlotte is determined to let the police handle it, Matthew and Rebecca pull her in and the investigation is on!

One of the great things about cozy mystery series is the ability to see our main characters grow and evolve. They’re multidimensional and real. In Days of Wine and Roquefort even the new characters have depth. There’s much more to the violent ex-boyfriend, the smarmy reporter, and the vintner and his daughter, than meets the eye. In a short amount of time author Aames gives these characters both history and a meaningful life. Although  Days of Wine and Roquefort deals with loss on several levels, it doesn’t get maudlin. In fact, the antics of Prudence and Sylvie brought lots of humor to the story.

I love the Cheese Shop Mystery series as much as I love cheese! The books give me something to savor with tons of character and lots of pleasure while consuming it! Plus-no calories! I highly recommend this book and this series.
For a chance to win a copy of Days of Wine and Roquefort simply leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite cheese and wine. A winner will be chosen at random from comments left by next Saturday, February 8th at 11:59pm EST. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you! Also, be sure to enter the Rafflecoptor for another chance to win! Sorry-you must have a US address to win.

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