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Saturday, January 30, 2016

For Cheddar or Worse by Avery Aames, Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

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cheddar or worse
For Cheddar or Worse:
A Cheese Shop Mystery

7th in Series

Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 2, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425273326
E-Book ASIN: B00X593CK8


In the new Cheese Shop Mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of As Gouda as Dead, an extra-sharp tongued cheese critic is cut down during a summer cheese festival.
It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.
Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a tainted pall on the festival’s future.


What I Thought:

I really love this series and this was another great installment.  Charlotte and Jordan are now married and they go to a local Inn for a Brain Trust.  Of, course there is a murder and Charlotte can't keep her nose out of the investigation.  There are a few suspects to this baffling murder, but as always, Charlotte is tenacious.  There is also the Cheese Festival going on with the Street Scene.  So Charlotte has a lot of distractions.  This one kept me turning the pages.  I think this series just gets better and better.  It also makes me really hungry for cheese and I end up trying cheeses that I have never tried before.  If you are looking for an entertaining, page-turner, then this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 

Daryl Wood Gerber 0218 100dpi

About The Author

Avery Aames is the Agatha Award–winning author of The Long Quiche Goodbye and six other titles in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. As Daryl Wood Gerber, she is the nationally bestselling author of  the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, including Fudging the Books, Stirring the Plot, Inherit the Word, and Final Sentence. Like her protagonist, Avery is an admitted foodie. Prior to writing, Avery (aka Daryl) acted on stage and television, including on Murder, She Wrote. Don’t forget to sign up for her fan club so you can be entered in all her contests! You’ll find that fan club on her website! Visit her website at
Author Links
Blog: (Blog Wednesdays)
Purchase Links
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I Flip through Cookbooks for Inspiration

By Avery Aames aka Daryl Wood Gerber

I need to eat gluten-free. It’s much easier nowadays because there are lots of products on the market that are gluten-free. Read the labels and you’ll see!

I'd like to share with you a recipe I found in the cookbook: The Gluten-Free Baking Book. This is an easy book to understand. There are lots of combos of recipes so you can play in the kitchen. I fell in lust with the one called Cheddar and Bacon Cornbread. What's not to like?  

Now, I toyed with this recipe. I often do tweak. I simplified the gluten-free flour selections. I also added a bit more cheese on top of the muffins about two minutes before they completed baking. Yum!  My cheese monger, Charlotte, would highly approve.

* NOTE: Though I've provided a gluten-free recipe, you can substitute regular flours for the sweet rice flour and tapioca starch and eliminate the xanthan gum and you're good to go for regular diets. You don't have to find GF creamed corn or GF bacon, either.  See how easy it is to make things gluten-free and then convert back?   (See below)

So do you or your loved ones have any dietary restrictions? If so, how do you cope?


(Gluten-free or regular)


     1 large egg

     3/4 cup creamed corn (make sure it’s gluten-free if necessary)

     1/3 cup cornmeal

     1/3 cup sweet rice flour

     1/4 cup tapioca starch or (more sweet rice flour)

     1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

     1 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

     1 teaspoon baking powder

     1/2 teaspoon baking soda

     1/4 teaspoon salt

     4 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled

     1/2 half cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350. Set 6-8 cupcake holders in a cupcake tray.

In a small bowl, combine the egg and creamed corn. Set aside.

In large bowl, set the cornmeal, gluten-free flours, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir.

Add crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese.  Stir. It will be thick.

Scoop mixture into 6-8 cupcake holders.

Bake 20-22 minutes until tester (toothpick) comes out clean.

Serve warm.

By the way, if you don’t have a toothpick, you can use a piece of  spaghetti or shish kebab skewer as a tester.


Avery aka Daryl is giving away 1 copy of winner’s choice of CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY, including FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE. Leave a comment!


Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California.  As Avery Aames, she also writes the Cheese Shop Mysteries, set in quaint Providence, Ohio. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote”. She loves to cook and read and has a darling, frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky. Visit Daryl or Avery at

Monday, January 25, 2016

Plain Dead by Emma Miller

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Plain Dead
by Emma Miller

plain dead
Plain Dead
(An Amish Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington (December 29, 2015)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758291769


When a newspaperman is murdered in the Amish community of Stone Mill, Pennsylvania, Rachel Mast digs up the dirt to find out who wanted to bury the lead…
Although she left her Old Order Amish ways in her youth, Rachel discovered corporate life in the English world to be complicated and unfulfilling. Having returned to Stone Mill, she’s happy to be running her own B&B. But she’s also learning—in more ways than one—that the past is not always so easily left behind.
After local newspaperman Bill Billingsly is found gagged and tied to his front porch, left to freeze overnight in a snowstorm, Detective Evan Parks—Rachel’s beau—uncovers a file of scandalous information Billingsly intended to publish, including a record of Rachel pleading no contest to charges of corporate misconduct. Though Evan is certain of her innocence, it’s up to Rachel to find the real killer. A closer examination of the victim’s unpublished report leads Rachel to believe the Amish community is far from sinless. But if she’s not careful her obituary might be the next to appear in print…

What I Thought:
This is a wonderful series and this was a great installment in that series.  I really like Rachel, she is truly stuck in two different worlds. She still has her Amish roots and values, but she wants to be in the English world, and knows how to survive in that world too.  She seems to always get herself stuck in a murder investigation, much to the chagrin on her boyfriend Evan.  This time, Rachel is a suspect herself!  So of course Rachel has to try to find out who the real killer is.  She is also busy running Stone Mill's first Winer Frolic, so Rachel is a very busy girl.  This book grabbed my attention and kept it through out.  I couldn't wait to find out who the killer was, and when each suspect was proven innocent, I was even more anxious to find out who the killer was, and it is a total surprise.  If you are looking for and interesting, well written book, that will keep you turning pages, then this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About The Author

Emma Miller is the author of Redeeming Grace and Anna's Gift. She lives with her family in Kent County, Delaware

Purchase Links

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Murder at the Grill by Christa Nardi

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Murder at the Grill
by Christa Nardi

Murder at the Grill
(Cold Creek Book 3)

Cozy Mystery
Self Published
Print Length: 204 pages


An amateur sleuth, Sheridan Hendley jumps at the chance to work with the defense when a favorite waitress is arrested for the murder of her ex-husband. Determined to prove Zoe’s innocence Sheridan probes into the victim’s past and why he chose to return to Cold Creek 15 years after the divorce. Personalities clash and Zoe’s family closes ranks as Sheridan attempts to unlock the carefully kept secrets of the family that owns and operates the Grill. The closer she gets to finding the truth, the more her own life might be in danger – a situation that strains her increasingly serious relationship with Detective Brett McMann.

What I Thought:

I was a little lost in this one because I haven't read the first two in this series.  This one apparently picks up where the last one left off.  It is well written and has a very good plot.  I thought it was pretty fast paced because you learn of the murder in the very first chapter.  I liked all the characters in this book and I also liked the setting.  If you are looking for a fast-paced, entertaining read, then this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.


About The Author

Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance and scifi/fantasy are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to the Cold Creek series, Christa has joined many other reader/writers in writing one genre she enjoys reading – the cozy mystery. The series started with Murder at Cold Creek College; Murder in the Arboretum is the second in the series. Murder at the Grill is the third. Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast who is well published in nonfiction and technical venues.
Author Links


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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames

Days of Wine and Roquefort (A Cheese Shop Mystery, #5)

Picture and synopsis from Goodreads:

Murder, like Roquefort, stinks...

Cheese Shop owner Charlotte Bessette’s life seems quieter than ever with her fiancĂ© 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.

What I Thought:

This was a great addition to a really great series.  I love visiting the town of Providence and all of it's quirky inhabitants.  Charlotte is a great protagonist and she usually ends up getting herself into some sticky situations.  This book kept me guessing till the very end.  Charlotte wasn't sure who the killer was till the very end either.  This book grabbed my attention and kept me enthralled the whole way through. My mouth watered most of the time from the descriptions of the luscious cheeses that Charlotte sells.  There were also so laugh-out-loud moments in this book between two of the town's shop keepers.  I really look forward to more in this series.  If you are looking for a fast paced, exciting story that will keep you guessing and turning the pages, then this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cinnamon Toasted by Gail Oust

Cinnamon Toasted: A Spice Shop Mystery
(Spice Shop Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery

3rd in Series
Minotaur Books (December 15, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250011060
E-Book ASIN: B00Y7S5222
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Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Case in point: Piper Prescott’s former mother-in-law Melly. Beneath her twin sets and pearls beats the heart of a geek—a geek whose programming changes for the point-of-sale software in Piper’s shop have the owners of the program ready to make her an offer she can’t refuse. “Trusty” Rusty Tulley and Chip Balboa swing by Brandywine Creek—just in time for the town’s annual Oktoberfest, which has cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom flying off Piper’s shelves in record numbers. News spreads faster than a text message, and Melly is the toast of the town.
But it isn’t long before Melly’s status changes to public enemy number one when Chip’s body is found at the foot of her basement stairs. Questions start to pile up when handsome police chief Wyatt McBride arrives on the scene and the coroner sets the time of death for the previous evening. McBride wants to know why it took Melly so long to report the incident—especially after she admits to arguing with Chip about the contract he wanted her to sign. Piper knows Melly would never hurt a fly, so she enlists the help of her BFF Reba Mae to clear her name—but can they find the real killer before Melly gets sent away for good? A mouth-watering entry in Gail Oust’s delicious Spice Shop series, Cinnamon Toasted is sure to delight cozy fans of all stripes.

What I Thought:
This was a very good book that caught my attention and kept it till I closed the back cover.  I really enjoy visiting Brandywine Creek and Piper and all of her eccentric friends.  Piper always seems to get herself mixed up in a murder investigation, and this time, her ex-mother-in-law, Melly, is the prime suspect.  Piper and her BFF, Reba Mae, get themselves into some sticky situations trying to find the real killer.  When all of Piper's theories prove wrong, she wonders if she will ever find out who the killer is and clear Melly's name.  This one was a huge surprise.  I loved the writing in this cozy, and I feel like I know the characters personally.  I look forward to reading more about Piper and her friends.  Great job, Gail.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About The Author

Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement.  While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington.  It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery.  Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL.  In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has  been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look.  Gail is currently writing the Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s.  When she isn’t reading, writing, or sleeping, she can usually be found on the golf course or hanging out with friends.
Author Links
Links:  www.gailoust.comGail Oust Author on Facebook, and Goodreads.
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