Showing posts with label FINAL SENTENCE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FINAL SENTENCE. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Club Week: Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

Welcome to book club week. I hope you'll find a wealth of new books, authors, and recipes to devour.

I've moved so many times around the country that it's been hard to find a book club where I fit in. I started a book club in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were all agreed that we would read mysteries each week, but quickly that changed, the group grew, and we were reading mainly literary fiction. A very interesting transition (away from mystery). But fun!  Since moving back to Los Angeles, I've found myself enjoying talking to book clubs via Skype. I love when the entire group has read either a Cheese Shop mystery or a Cookbook Nook mystery and they hammer me with challenging questions!! [I write two series, one under my real name, Daryl Wood Gerber, and another under my pseudonym, Avery Aames.]

No matter what, book clubs are good for stimulating the little brain cells.

If you're not familiar with the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook mysteries, the series features Jenna Hart, an avid reader, a foodie, and an ex-advertising executive, who returns home to Crystal Cove, California to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and café.  The shop doesn't just sell cookbooks. It also sells culinary mysteries (like the ones by Mystery Lovers Kitchen authors) as well as literary fiction, like Chocolat or Like Water from Chocolate. There are a number of bookclubs that browse the shop. One club, featured in the third in the series (which is not yet out; neither is the second - that's coming in March) is a club dedicated to all things Wizard of Oz. How cool is that! Until now, I had no idea that there were book clubs dedicated to themes.  Here's a link to an excerpt from FINAL SENTENCE.

Is your book club dedicated to one genre, or do you mix it up? What's your preferred food for the club? Do you like books about food?

Here are a couple of questions to get you going if you decide to read FINAL SENTENCE at a book club event.

  1. Family is the most important thing in the world to Jenna.  How did it affect you to find out about Jenna’s husband and mother passing away in the same month? 
  1. A theme of the book could be how one moment can change your life forever.  How has this twist of fate affected you personally?  How did it affect Jenna?

Here's the link to a full array of questions.

At the book club I ran in Charlotte, we made sure we had cookies and coffee. Sometimes we served a range of appetizers and wine.

Here is one of the easiest recipes around for a savory cookie, featured in FINAL SENTENCE. They've got a zing!! and they'll last a long time - IF you can keep yourself from eating them. I serve them with a little jam. It's like a cheese appetizer. They taste great with a crisp pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.

(makes 30-36 cookies)

1 cup flour
4 ounces butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
1 teaspoon water (if needed)

Cut butter into flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Mix in cheese.

Chill. Roll onto a board using a rolling pin (and a dusting of extra flour to keep from sticking).

Cut with cookie cutters or (easy) into squares.

Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes, until lightly browned.

Serve with jam, if desired.

FYI, Jenna might be a foodie, but she's not a cook. She never really learned, so in the first book of the series, she's trying her hand at cooking. Five-ingredient recipes is the trick. This one has seven. She dared to try it, but you'll notice she went the easy route and rolled out the dough, then cut it into squares. She might try using cookie cutters next time. :)

Also, note, if anyone wants to make these gluten-free, just substitute the flour with your favorite GF flour and add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to the recipe. 

By the way, have you heard of the Book Club Cookbook? It's filled with all sorts of good recipes from books you've probably read in your book clubs, recipes directly from the books. Yummy!  Check it out.  [I've got another cookie recipe on their website.] 

* * *

Here are a few other links to previous appetizer and/or cookie recipes that I've posted on Mystery Lovers Kitchen, all of which are easy to prepare. Many of these are featured in the Cheese Shop and Cookbook Nook mysteries.

Mango chutney and Brie

Mascarpone and Stilton Torte

Mexican Wedding Cookies 

Coconut Chocolate Cloud Cookies

Maple Leaf Rag Cookies

Savor the Mystery!!


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Next up: 
Days of Wine and Roquefort, preorder here
Inherit the Word, preorder here

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Minty Summer Drink Recipe

From Daryl aka Avery

Cheers! This week has been a whirlwind for me. FINAL SENTENCE came out last Tuesday. I've received some lovely reviews from Cozy Mystery Book Reviews and Melina the Readers' blogs.

I then went to Arizona (yes, it was hot! 116 in the shade!!  91 at 5:30 a.m. yipes!!). I went for a Cozy Conference sponsored by Poisoned Pen Bookstore, known as "The Pen." Great event. I was on a panel with the NYT authors Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay (a former MLK'er).

Kate Carlisle, me, and Jenn McKinlay
 I also got to see a sweet friend, author Jane Cleland. She's holding her latest book, Lethal Treasure.
Jane Cleland and me
 We met a few Facebook friends who are AZ residents, including Elizabeth. Darling! And her husband Chris.

Jenn McKinlay with our lovely Facebook pal Elizabeth 

Then yesterday, I flew to New York for Thrillerfest, a conference for thriller writers and fans. [No pix yet!!  Next week.]

I go to this conference not only because I hope to have a thriller published someday but because my sweet son lives in New York. What a great excuse, right? I also get to see my editor. And this Friday, there will be a cocktail party where a couple of fans will attend, one of whom is the delightful Dru Ann love, a die-hard reader and fabulous reviewer on Cozy Chicks.

And then it's back home to write, write, write.

Oh, and I sent off the books to the winners for last week's giveaway. Congrats to NoraA and Linda R. 

Now...before heading for New York, I decided to enjoy the fruits of my garden in a new way. I planted an herb garden this year - just one pot, but it's packed. I wanted to see if the spot in the garden would help the garden thrive. Yes!!!

My mint especially.

I love mojitos. And I love mint in iced tea. But I wanted to see what else I could do with mint. I found this lovely mint drink recipe, non-alcoholic, and decided to try it. The recipe called for honey syrup, but I'd heard so many good things about agave that I decided to try using agave. Yes!

[According to All about Agave website, agave has a low glycemic index.  The glycemic index is a way of measuring the relative impact of foods on blood sugar levels.]

Here's a picture of a chart on the website. I hope they don't mind that I'm sharing, but I was intrigued. Agave has a lower glycemic index than an apple.

The drink is light and lovely and perfect for a summer barbecue.


Non-alcoholic Mint Cocktail

Makes 1 drink


1/4 cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup * RECIPE BELOW
2-3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
Chilled club soda or seltzer


Strip the mint of the stem. Mush the mint at a bottom of a 12-ounce glass with a muddler or spoon or the back of an ice cream scoop. Tip: Do you best not to crush the mint into tiny pieces. Just coax the essence out. Add the cooled syrup and lime or lemon juice. Stir. Add ice and fill to the brim with club soda or seltzer or even Pellegrino water.

Serve chilled.

HONEY or AGAVE SYRUP (for a lot of uses)


1 cup honey or agave syrup
1 cup water


Pour honey and water into a small pot. Bring to boil and stir until honey/agave is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

(If desired, you can add more syrup. If you really like it sweet, add one packet of a non-caloric sweetener.)


* * * * * * *

The first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is out!! It's set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California and features Jenna Hart, a former advertising exec who returns home to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and cafe.

You can order the book HERE.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out
You can order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

You can also follow and "like" Avery Aames the same way:  Facebook and Twitter.

or chat with my alter ego