Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's #bookclubweek w/PEACH RASPBERRY CAKE #recipe + giveaway from author @DarylWoodGerber

It's Book Club Week!  Welcome all readers!

Tweet #bookclubweek @MysteryLovers and ADD the MLK page link in your browser to help your book club and other book clubs find questions, recipes, and more!

Book #giveaway below...even if you aren't in a book club!  See details.

Way back when, when I lived in Charlotte, NC, I belonged to a book club. It only lasted a few months. It was hard to get everyone to want to read the same book, meet on the right day, etc. Now that I'm back in Los Angeles, I have to admit that I've been so busy with life I haven't sought a new club. I love to read! But I'm not always into the latest "women's fiction" books. I like mysteries. I have done a few Skype interviews with book club groups that like mysteries, so if you're me via my website.

In the meantime, for those book clubs (or readers) who like mysteries, like I do, I couldn't think of a better book to introduce you to than FUDGING THE BOOKS, the 4th in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series, because, in the story, it's not only Pirate Week, it's National Chocolate Month!! And the Chocolate Cookbook Club -- that's right, a cookbook book club, my type of club -- is celebrating! 

Here's the blurb:

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her culinary bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…

FUDGING THE BOOKS has garnered some terrific reviews.

"I have to say first of all that I love The Cookbook Nook Series. It is among my favorites. Also author Daryl Wood Gerber is one of the finest cozy writers around, regardless of genre’, she rocks! … Plenty of twists and turns, and all of them intelligent and feasible. Jenna isn’t weak nor does she search for answers with abandonment. She is sensible and thorough. And I want to be her friend."

If you and your book club choose FUDGING THE BOOKS as one of your good reads, here are a few questions: 

1.    It’s Pirate Week in Crystal Cove. Have you ever play-acted as a pirate or seen a pirate type show?

2.    It’s also National Chocolate Month, so the shop is sponsoring a Chocolate Cookbook Club where they will share chocolate recipes, dine, and meet authors. Is this a book club you’d be interested in?

3.    When Coco Chastain and her editor, Alison Foodie, get into a fight, did you believe them? When Coco is accused of murder, did you flash back on that mock-fight?

You'll find more book club questions on my website: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE LIST

* * *

Now very important to a book club - at least what I remember - is food! We always had delicious treats. Sweets seemed to be the preference. So I'm sharing a delicious recipe that can serve 9 or 27. How? Weird math!  No, just kidding. You'll see.

We also sipped wine, cocktails, coffee, or tea. Check out the recipe for my "special" tea!

A few weeks ago, on this blog, I shared what might be the perfect "chocoate-y" treat for a book club event. It's called Pirate Booty Fudge, a recipe straight out of the book. CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK.

For those of you who prefer something fruity, I made up this easy, delicious peach raspberry coffee cake.

This coffee cake cuts into 9 lovely large squares, or 3 small slices from each square perfect for a dainty bite! (See how the math works? 27 slices) 

Yes, I know peaches are almost at their peak, but they're still good and sweet, and if they're cooked in a coffee cake...perfect.

(Gluten-free recipe here - 
*Regular flour option below)


2/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanillin (you may use real vanilla if you have no reaction to it)
2 eggs, large
1 cup cream cheese
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 cups gluten-free flour *
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon xanthan gum


1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 peaches peeled and sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon, if desired


¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 9 pan or line with parchment paper.

For the batter:  In a large bowl, mix melted butter and sugar and vanillin (or vanilla).  Add eggs and beat on low.  Still beating on low, add cream cheese and vinegar.  Then add the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum and stir until thoroughly mixed.

For the filling:  In a small bowl, mix raspberries and peaches, sugar and cinnamon (if desired).

Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan. Pat down with your fingers. This is the fun part – like working with play dough.  (I wet my fingers to make it easier.)
Layer all of the filling on top of that. 

Spread the rest of the batter over the filling. Again, pat down with your fingers (wet, if necessary).

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until nicely browned. 

Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle topping all over the coffee cake.

Let cool for 20 minutes and remove from the pan. Serve warm or room temperature.

* NOT GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: If you want to make this NOT gluten-free, switch out the gluten-free flour to regular flour and omit the xanthan gum!

And now for that "special" tea. If you want something refreshing to sip, try this tasty SPARKLING PEACH TEA. I served it at my virtual launch party for FUDGING THE BOOKS. It's yummy! 

Sparkling Peach Tea 
(from Food Network Magazine July/August 2015)
Inspired by Geoffrey Zakarian
Makes 6 drinks

1 cup sugar
3 black tea bags
3 herbal peach tea bags
1 large peach, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½  cups Prosecco, chilled
lemon slices for garnish

Make the simple syrup: combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. [The recipe said it would make 1 ½ cups, but mine only made ¾ cup. Hmmm.]

Make the tea: Steep all the tea bags in 3 cups hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the bags and add 2 cups cold water.

Now, put the chopped peach, ¾ cup simple syrup [like I said, that’s all mine made] and the lemon juice into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Press it with a spoon to get all the pulp. 

Stir together the peach-simple syrup mixture and the iced tea. Pour half of the peach tea into ice cube trays and freeze until sold. Refrigerate the remaining peach tea.

To make the cocktails: fill a tall glass with the peach tea ice cubes. Pour ½ cup of peach ice tea ove the ice. Top with Prosecco and a lemon slice!


Today, I'm giving away a copy of FUDGING THE BOOKS to a commenter. 
Answer me any of the following: 
If you're in a book club, how did you find it? 
What drew you to it? How often do you meet? 
If you're not, are you looking for one? 
Have you checked out your local library? 
Do you have book club "rules"?
What's your favorite book club treat?

Remember to leave your email (full or cryptic) so I can 
track you down if you win! Winner will be picked by Friday at midnight.


Savor the mystery!

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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Check out our website.

FUDGING THE BOOKS, the 4th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is HERE!  Click to order.

New in February
Click to order.

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so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 


  1. I am in a book club. We are the Book Ends. I found this special group of ladies through a friend of mine. We meet once a month for our book club meeting and once a month for game night or another activity. Some of us go to lunch together, see plays together and just go out to have a good time. We are all very special to each other and have the best time together. We have a annual picnic where we let the guys join us. Our Christmas party is where we pick our books and restaurants for the next year. Yes, we love to eat and go to lunch before each meeting and supper before our game nights. When we go to literary events we always stand out because we wear our Book Ends t-shirts.

    1. Judy, how much fun! A regular club for all events! I love it. You are very lucky. And the name of the group is terrific!

      ~Daryl / Avery

  2. No book club yet, but I've thought of putting one together. Sharing ideas and thoughts about a particular "cozy" book, of course, but sharing the recipes would be essential. These two recipes combining my two favorite fruits, peaches and raspberries, would be perfect!

    1. Kathleen, sounds good. It is fun when you're the ringleader. You get to choose how and what. :)


      ~Daryl / Avery

  3. Terrific treats and as usual a great story.

    I was in a book club but guess it was the wrong one because it felt like being in school, and not yummy food like this. I want to belong to the type of book club I've heard about where everyone brings the best book they recently read and tells why they loved it.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Sally, that sounds like fun. Where everyone brings a book to share! I love that idea! And yes, pooh, on being "taught" when in a book club. I didn't like that aspect of one I went to. :)

      ~Daryl / Avery

  4. I was in a book club 20 years ago...women in our church wanted to start we met once a week in the basement of the church..but...they were all academic women...we lived in a small college town at the time and the books were weird..not mysteries...not my cup of tea, but I remember telling myself to broaden my horizons and give it a year was enough for me! and no treats!!!! I agree with Grandma Cootie....I think each should read a book and discuss what they like....besides, you get to find different authors that way.

    1. SueAnn, isn't that funny how an experience like that can put you off? I love academic women, but sometimes they can get too serious! :)

      ~Daryl / Avery

  5. Thank you for all of the recipes! I don't belong to a book club. I think I would view reading the assigned book as a chore instead of a fun activity. I like the freedom of reading whatever book I want. Thank you for the giveaway.

    1. Jen, there is that! Reading when you want to and what you want to. I think that's what went wrong in our book club. We all wanted to read the first book, but then the selections changed, toward the academic, and we felt trapped.

      ~Daryl / Avery

  6. Yes, I am looking for a book club. I like hardback books and mysteries and would love to belong to a book club. Nice recipes :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com