Sunday, September 21, 2014

Welcome Kathy Aarons!





A very warm welcome to Kathy Aarons, who may quickly become everyone's best friend because she writes a chocolate mystery series! Kathy is the author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime. 


Today, she has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new book. To enter, please leave a comment below with your email address so we can reach you if you win.


A Chocolatier’s Gift

Learning to make chocolate was the best part of researching the Chocolate Covered Mystery series.

In Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the main character Michelle Serrano is a successful chocolatier who loves to pass on joy through her truffles. She believes that in a world full of good and evil, her chocolates come down solidly on the good side.

Besides taste-testing A LOT of chocolate, I interviewed chocolatiers about their businesses. Isabella Knack, owner of Dallmann’s Chocolates in San Diego, invited me into her work life and answered all of my questions about the daily challenges and rewards of a chocolatier.

Chocolatiers deal with everyday concerns of any small business --- employee issues, government regulations and increases in rent or utilities. But shifts in general eating habits, like low-carb diet crazes, can have a huge impact on their success.

Chocolatiers don’t think of their job as selling products – they get to pass on a little gift of happiness with each bite.

Isabelle supplied the recipes in Death is Like a Box of Chocolates. (Hers are much prettier than mine!) My absolute favorite is the recipe for Lavender Truffles:



Lavender Truffle
Recipe by Isabella Knack



Ingredients:

12 fresh lavender flower heads

1/3 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Directions:

Place the flower heads and cream in a small pot. Heat on high until cream starts to simmer and melt the butter in the mixture. Take off heat and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.

Divide the chocolate into two equal 5 ounce portions, and set one portion aside.

Heat up the cream mixture again and, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the cream into the chocolate in a small mixing bowl; discard the flower heads and bits of lavender.

Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until somewhat firm, but not hard, for about 1 hour.

Melt the other half of the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until liquid.

Line a baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Roll the lavender mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls, and dip into the melted chocolate mixture using a skewer or toothpick.

Place onto the prepared baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to harden.


Death is Like a Box of Chocolates

Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for…

Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.

As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…

Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!


Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.


After growing up in rural Pennsylvania and attending Carnegie Mellon University, Kathy built a career in public relations in New York City. She now lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters where she wakes up far too early, and is currently obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary, finding the perfect cup of coffee, and Dallmann’s Sea Salt Caramels.


You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.

And don't forget to leave a comment with your email address by September 24th to enter the giveaway for a copy of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates!

147 comments:

  1. I adore chocolate and love reading cozy mysteries. I look forward to reading Death is Like a Box of Chocolates. I just started following you in Facebook (just right now). Congratulations on being #7 on Barnes and Noble mystery mass market bestseller list! Please enter me in the contest. My email is myrifraf @ gmail.com

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  2. I stopped in Barnes & Noble tonight, and they'd sold out of your book. Now I really need to win a copy.

    carstairs38 at gmail dot com

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  3. Can't wait to read the book and recipes. My daughter reminded me that I still have all of my chocolate molds from when my children were little and I made special treats. Servedogmom@yahoo.com

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    1. I still have all of my molds too - including Sesame Street. :-) Good luck!

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  4. Books and chocolate, can't get much better than that.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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  5. Love chocolate and love books. A cool autumn evening with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book is heaven.
    dotkel50 at comcast dot net

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  6. Chocolate and books...my two downfalls! Can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. Kuzlin at aol.com

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  7. Not commenting to enter the contest, just want to congratulate Kathy on her fascinating new book and wish her much success. Good luck to those entering the contest, you'll love the book.

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  8. Cozies and chocolate -- I can't decide which I love more! Kathy, your book has been on my radar for a while, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  9. Ive wondered about this book, but I haven't jumped yet. Maybe winning will start me off on a new series. suefoster109@netzero.net

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  10. I think taste-testing chocolates could be the VERY BEST job in the world. Thanks for the giveaway.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  11. There is SO much to like, about this book!


    patucker54 at aol dot com

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  12. I think you need a greatgrannie to help with your chocolate tasting research. I'm volunteering!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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    Replies
    1. All you have to do is taste test and send me details! Good luck!

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  13. What could be a better combo than chocolate shop/book store? Expand to add a wine bar? I look forward to reading this series.

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  14. Oh, Kathy, I bet it was a hardship doing all that tasting and going to bookstores. Hmm. What a horrible, horrible hardship. LOL Thrilled for your new release! Love the recipe.
    Wishing you much success!
    Daryl / Avery

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Daryl! What we writers have to do for our craft. :-) Thanks for having me!

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  15. This new series sounds wonderful, as does the recipe. I will definitely plan to check out both. Thank you! rencw@verizon.net.

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  16. I never met a chocolate i didnt like. Lol !
    Joannlowehunter@aol.com

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  17. This looks like a great book, I can't wait to read it! Roseygirl16@yahoo.com

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  18. Cozy mystery plus chocolate sounds good to me.
    dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

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  19. Looks like a great cozy mystery.

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

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  20. I love mysteries that involve such yumminess! Cant wait to read!! alilbitoffaith@gmail.com

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  21. Chocolate and cosy mysteries. Perfect! I bet the research days are your favorite, lol. Mmmm cnhale@gmail.com

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    1. Doing more research for the third one in the series. :-) Good luck!

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  22. MMmmm! Chocolate..yum - truffles - yum! Books, yay! This sounds like a good one!
    robin(dot)christofaro(at)yahoo(dot)com
    Thanks!

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  23. You had me at chocolate ;)
    jdeisbeck@yahoo.com

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  24. OMG - chocolate and cozies! Couldn't ask for a better combination. Can't wait for this one. bhandy1661@hotmail.com

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  25. I would very much like to win this book. I haven't had the pleasure of reading one of your books, so to win this would be a special treat. p.cushing@live.com

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  26. I love this book thanks for the review
    Penney

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    1. Sorry forgot my email it is; penneyw AT sbcglobal DOT net

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  27. Mysteries and chocolate - two of my favorite things. You haven't said if you feature cats or dogs in your book. That would be an added bonus. Or, something to think about for future books. I'm looking forward to reading Death is Like a Box of Chocolates. My email address is: ncroessner@comcast.net

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  28. You have me for life. I got hooked on mysteries with recipes when Diane Mott Davidson got me on her first book. Already have my friend sending lavender. Keep this series coming and can hardly wait to read!!!! Oneponychick66@hotmail.com
    .

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  29. Both are delightful. :) jmwilliams052@gmail.com

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  30. I would love to read this! And I love all the recipes in cozies, If I made them all I wouldn't be able to fit out the door! Thank you for the chance... rockergoddess2002@yahoo.com

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  31. I would love to sample your new "chocolate" book! I bet it is sweet! Hope I win it! Nola Nottingham, nola@marimibst.com

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  32. Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates? I can't wait to read this one! Of course, I appreciate the yummy recipe as well. Thanks! Quinnmarijo@yahoo.com

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  33. I love chocolate and a good mystery so I would love to win this book! Thank you for the giveaway! Email: bluetothebone@hotmail.com

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  34. The book and the recipe both look yummy. cheesygiraffe at gmail dot com

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  35. I read the whole description of your book! It sounds amazing. I would love to win and receive this. Two of my favorite things chocolate and a great cozy mystery!! Thank you, Brian Frauenknecht. frauenb@aol.com.

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  36. This sounds like a book I would like to pick up and read. I love eating chocolate.

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  37. This sounds like a deliciously tempting series.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  38. I hope to win a copy of this fun cozy to start a new series. Thank you

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  39. A mystery and chocolate, you can't go wrong! I would love to read this book.
    Thanks. email: b5sycop@nefcom.net

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  40. I love discovering new chocolate-related cozy mysteries. I'm looking forward to reading this one. amp67@mchsi.com

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  41. Cannot imagine a better combination than chocolate and mysteries. Thank you for the opportunity to win the book!

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  42. Sounds like an awesome new book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Mrsalimashai@yahoo.com

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  43. Chocolates and books sounds like a heavenly combination. Looking forward to devouring a book that combines both. Thanks for the chance to win.

    robbfan141729@yahoo.com

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  44. Being both a chocoholic and an avid reader, your books meet my needs. Look forward to reading your new book. But better still would be to win a copy.
    Benglish@whro.net

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  45. Great recipe . Looks like a great cozy mystery. Can't wait to read it.

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

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  46. Mystery book and Chocolates - Lovely :)
    jsescil@rochester.rr.com

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  47. This book sounds sinfully delicious!

    sandie.white@live.com

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  48. As a confirmed chocoholic who reads with my tea mug that says "save this planet, it's the only one with chocolate" I couldn't be happier than with a cozy and my favorite sweet. ;-)

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  49. Looking forward to enjoying this first in a new series!

    Tennisace50 @ yahoo.com

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  50. What a great series - the perfect combination mystery and chocolate - life is good :)

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  51. This book looks like a great read! Pinkobsessed@yahoo.com

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  52. Chocolate and mystery, what more could anyone want? (especially for the person who wins this giveaway! Me, please?) LOL

    lovesdogsandbooks@yahoo.com

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  53. I love chocolate, and I do love a good mystery! Thanks for the giveaway!

    bunkielisa (at) gmail (dot) com

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  54. Sounds great, thanks for the chance to win.

    lauraalbert@hotmail.com

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  55. oh i am pretty sure i would gain a pound or two while reading this one. how could i not want to eat chocolate while reading. and of course the pages would be marked with chocolate smears. this one will be oh so enjoyable to read. mardox@consolidated.net

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  56. I have always loved mysteries but I have just recently become a normal human being and started loving chocolate. Until this summer I never liked chocolate (and I'm 61) but recently I have become addicted. I'd love to feed my new addiction by winning this book, it sounds great. Thanks kphans08@gmail.com

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  57. Chocolate~books~Chocolate~mystery~Chocolate~new series ~Chocolate~giveaway. Can't get much better than this! Thank you and best wishes!!
    Connie
    cps1950@gmail.com

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  58. Chocolates and books? A perfect combination. I want to try the lavender truffles, but I'm not sure where to get the lavender. Guess, I'll have to go shopping.

    bevarcher AT me DOT com

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  59. The power of chocolate never ceases to amaze me. It has the power to rein in my bad mood and transform it within one little bite. Looking forward to seeing what kind of special powers your Chocolatier uses to solve mysteries. :D

    Cb (at) carolbee (dot) com

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  60. I used to love making homemade candies when I was younger but now I have so many demands on my time that I have to stick with buying my chocolates from the chocolate shoppe. All of the deliciousness, none of the effort ;-)
    Greeneyesredhair@gmail.com

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  61. Can't wait to read it. I love these recipes. bessert57@gmail.com

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  62. That sounds so good but I'll have to wait until next summer for fresh lavender.
    I'm looking forward to the new series.
    harbingerdc @ gmail.com

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  63. you got me at 'chocolate'....& a cozy, to boot!!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  64. I am a CHOCOHOLIC, this series sounds like my kind of books. I would love to win. I will probably gain a lot of weight, licking and drooling over the books. They aren't chocolate scented are they? That would be real bad for me. I love new recipes, especially chocolate. As you see I can't wait to read your book. Thank You. saba121167(at)usa(dot)net

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  65. The books sounds wonderful and the recipe sounds delicious! I love chocolate! Thank you for this wonderful giveaway. areewekidding@yahoo.com

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  66. Two of my favorite things chocolate and mystery books. Forrest Gump says life is like a box of chocolate - you never know what your gonna get , but with a good mystery you always do. thanks

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  67. Ooh! Mystery and chocolate?!?! Definitely sounds like a good time!

    tcuevas@iccable.com

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  68. Sounds like a wonderful cozy mystery!
    Chocolate and a good book, oh my!
    CherylB1987@Hotmail.com

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  69. I am going to try this recipe for thanksgiving! I can't wait to read your book!
    Dtk070305@gmail.com

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  70. Talk about a really good combination, chocolate and a good mystery. ckiku24@consolidated.net

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  71. These sound yummy! I can't wait to read your book.
    kpowers784@yahoo.com

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  72. Love chocolate, but really don't think I want to make it -- eating what someone else has made is much better. :)
    Same goes with reading -- don't want to write about Chocolate or any cozy, just much more enjoy what others have written.
    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

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  73. Chocolate, great cozy book, how can you go wrong? This sounds like fantastic combination.
    Becky Prazak
    rjprazak6@gmail.com

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  74. I am so super excited, chocolate recipes and a great book all in one. I'm in heaven.
    karen.koval@gmail.com

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  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  76. I love mystery series :-). mysteryfix66@gmail.com

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  77. Looks so delicious. Thereadmaster(at)me(dot)com

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  78. A perfect combination - cozy mystery + chocolate! Looking forward to a long, long series. (Now where did I put that "emergency" organic dark chocolate bar?) jan_healthandhealing@yahoo.com

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  79. Congratulations and good luck! Sounds good and I'd be honored to win! :)

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  80. mystery and chocolate can't wait. tcm776@gmail.com

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  81. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Look forward to reading your book. Fingers crossed. :-) E-mail is on my profile.

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  82. Congratulations!! You have written the perfect book for this avid book lover and chocoholic.
    stardustindy@yahoo.com

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  83. Chocolate and books!!! My 2 favorite things!!! I soooo hope I win!!!

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  84. Can't wait to read this book. Jlsbookclub (at) nc (dot) rr (dot) com

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  85. Looking forward to this one!
    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

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  86. I love mysteries. Can't wait to read it.
    rachaelabrams317@gmail.com

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  87. Chocolate and murder. What could possibly go wrong?

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

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