Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spotlight/Book Giveaway/Guest Post: Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames

About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #5 in A Cheese Shop Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: February 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Murder, like Roquefort, stinks...

Cheese Shop owner Charlotte Bessette’s life seems quieter than ever with her fiancé out of town and her cousin Matthew and his children out of the house. But before she can put up her feet and enjoy a glass of chardonnay, Matthew asks her to play host to Noelle Adams, a bright sommelier visiting to help grow business for the local winery.

An affable wine aficionado, Noelle is paired well with the cheese expert Charlotte—but something seems to be troubling the secretive houseguest, and Charlotte’s life is upended when she finds the sparkling woman dead. Between Noelle’s hotheaded ex, the cagey owners of the winery, its jaded manager, and a wily reporter, Charlotte has her pick of suspects, but she needs to act fast—this is a mystery that only gets more dangerous with age.


Author Guest Post

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
By Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Agatha Award-winning author of the national bestselling
Cheese Shop Mystery and Cookbook Nook Mystery series

People often ask: where do you get your ideas? I love to watch people; I love to observe life; I have a very vivid imagination. I often think: what if. What if that woman is really a spy? What if that man is having an affair? The question: what if is a great start for coming up with ideas. At other times, I draw inspiration from reading the newspaper. Yes, I still receive a daily newspaper. It, too, is a great source for stories. How about the guy that lives in a cabin five miles from town and doesn’t own a car? Or the small liquor store that is trying to stay in business when the big box stores are trying to force it out of business? Or the unsolved murder?

There are times that I get ideas because I stumble upon them. For example, I was at a book signing for one of my Cheese Shop Mysteries. The signing was at a culinary bookshop in Occoquan, VA called Salt & Pepper Books. (The store has since moved to another location; it’s a fabulous store. Check out its web site!) I fell in love that day. With the cookbooks, with the variety of culinary mysteries and fiction for sale, with the darling culinary gift items like salt shakers and peppermills, cutting boards, decorative spatulas, and aprons. While there, I had an aha moment. I knew that the store would make a wonderful setting for a cozy mystery. I wrote up a proposal and submitted it to my editor, and she loved the idea. Because I enjoy writing culinary mysteries, and my fans appreciate when I include food, the mention of food, recipes, and the like, I added a café.

Why do I write culinary mysteries? I love to cook. I love eating. I love reading about food. During college and while pursuing an acting career, I catered and ran restaurants, so creating settings in and around food and kitchens comes naturally to me. In the Cheese Shop Mysteries, the protagonist, Charlotte Bessette, is a cheese shop owner in the quaint fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Charlotte adores cheese and loves to cook. In the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, the protagonist, Jenna Hart, a former advertising executive, moves back to the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California to help her aunt run a culinary bookshop and café. Jenna, like Charlotte, is an avid reader and foodie, but she’s not an experienced cook. In fact, recipes with more than five ingredients panic her, but she’s determined to learn. I created Jenna based on my mother, who was a brilliant woman but she never learned how to cook. Her mother did it all. My mom taught herself to cook over the years, and subsequently became a wonderful cook.

Ideas. I love them and I encourage them to come find me; granted, I can’t keep all of them in my head, so I keep notes in a file on my computer for future stories. I know I won’t be able to write all the stories that come to me—I’m not James Patterson who can hire other authors to churn out his multiple ideas—but I love the fact that my mind continues to come up with ideas. A vivid imagination—what a blessing.

Do you people watch? Do you ever think “what if”?


Now you can win a paperback copy of Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the form below.

2) US Residents Only

3) For an extra entry: Follow this blog

4) For an extra entry: Follow me on Twitter

5) For an extra entry: Follow me on Goodreads

6) For an extra 2 entries: Post this giveaway on your blog.

7) For an extra 2 entries: Tweet about this giveaway.

8) For an extra 2 entries: Like one of my reviews on Amazon.

9) For an extra 2 entries:  Leave a comment answering the author's question Do you people watch? Do you ever think “what if”?

The giveaway begins on February 5th (midnight est) and ends on February 12th (midnight est).

The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

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  1. I always people watch; terrible habit :)

  2. I used to but rarely do anymore as I am busier.

  3. "What if" questions are my life, lol. It's fun to think about what a stranger is really up to.

  4. Yes I do watch people. Sometimes I wonder about their lives.

  5. Yes, I do sometimes people watch -- more often in the summer, when friends and I are at the Farmer's Market or Concert on the Square. LOTS of interesting "characters" up town, LOL.

  6. I'm an avid people watcher---I don't like big crowds of people so I tend to hang at the edges and watch.

  7. Yes I do people watch sometimes. You wonder what is their story. I think it is kind of fun.

  8. I do watch people, and I'm always thinking what if.

  9. I love people-watching!!!
    the stories I come up with!!! LOL!!!

  10. I adore people watching and making up back stories for them, especially if I am waiting in line somewhere like the grocery store.

  11. I do, especially with my best friend when we are out and about.


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