Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cheese Shop Mystery #giveaway from author @AveryAames

With the upcoming release of FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, I'm in Cheddar cheese mode, and I'm sharing a delicious grilled cheese recipe in just a sec plus a book giveaway below. IN FACT IT'S ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE GRILLED CHEESES! So don't miss it!

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But first, alas...(a lot of you know this already) my publisher doesn’t want to publish the Cheese Shop Mystery series any longer after the release of #7. Rats!

FYI...from day one, working with Berkley Prime Crime has been wonderful. I can't say enough about the people there. The editors, copy editors, artists, and publicists and all wonderful. I have been blessed to write the series. The response I received after THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE was published was a huge boost to my ego. Truly a month before I was given the contract, I was ready to give up writing all together. I stunk, I was awful. I thought I’d never make it. And then the magical happened. And because of the Cheese Shop Mysteries’ success, I was able to score another contract for The Cookbook Nook Mysteries.

So why are they saying it's the end? Well, let’s just say Penguin has changed its practices after merging with Random House, and I imagine the standard for cost effectiveness must be higher than what the Cheese Shop Mysteries reap. Bah humbug on the almighty dollar, but that is the way of the world.

I am awash with mixed emotions. I’m glad as well as sad. Why sad?  I love writing the series. I love spending time with Charlotte and her family and friends. With the series' end, I feel like I’m moving out of Ohio and none of us have email or phones so we can keep in contact. Shoot! I guess I could always write a little story for myself just to bring the to life, right?

I hope fans will be happy with the way I’ve capped off the series. I have taken care to make sure that the story is solid but the conclusion is, what you might say, open-ended, just in case the publisher changes its mind. (Ha! Not likely!) I’m sure I’ll hear if you aren’t pleased. So many have written me over the years, with praise as well as critiques. Do you know that one fan really hates the word ogle? And another simply can’t stand how frivolous Charlotte’s assistant Rebecca acts. She is early twenties, and I know a lot of frivolous, darling 20-somethings, but that’s beside the point. LOL

Now, just so you don’t panic, it’s not like the books won’t be available. So if you haven’t read them all yet, feel confident that you’ll be able to find them in a bookstore or online, or you'll be able to order them. There are lots of people who haven’t read them. If only I had all those readers!  J

I do have a few reasons why I’m glad the Cheese Shop Mystery Series is ending:

First, having the protagonist marry in a series is tricky. How many spouses appreciate that his or her amateur sleuth spouse is always in danger? But I'm glad I married Charlotte off. I know she will live a happily-evera-fter with Jordan. I know that many of you wanted her to wind up with Umberto Urso (U-ey), but he has his future, too. You’ll learn more in this new book. Promise.

Secondly, I’ll no longer have to spend a fortune on expensive cheeses just to say that I’ve tasted them, though I will continue to eat cheese and experiment with some costly ones. That part of my research has been a blast!

Thirdly, I could conceivably write another series set in the foodie world, and one of those people in the series might be a cheese maven. She or he just wouldn’t be the protagonist. Certainly I will have Jenna, in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, cooking with cheese and visiting the cheese shop in Crystal Cove.

Lastly, I have always wanted to write suspense. That’s where I started my writing career, but I set that genre aside when I was lucky enough to be offered a culinary mystery series.  So…yes, I’m going to focus on publishing a suspense novel. The first is one that my husband loved. If all goes well, it will be coming out soon!  Watch this space or sign up for my newsletter so you’ll find out when!

And just as a footnote: with this new paradigm at the publishing house, I'm not certain my Cookbook Nook Mysteries will be picked up. Uh-oh!  Oh, if only I knew what that magic number was! Anybody have a crystal ball? Oh, wait, Jenna's aunt does. Hmm. I'll ask Vera. But if you like that series, please get the word out to friends. Otherwise…I might be writing two suspense novels. And reading. And walking Sparky. And digging in my garden.

Ah, the life of an author!

(Makes 2 sandwiches)

4 slices bread
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 green onions, chopped
2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
6 ounces white or orange Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked crisply, cut in half

Butter each slice of bread on one side. Spread the cream cheese on the other side of the bread. [Note: This is the inside of the sandwich; the butter side is the outside.]

To assemble: (For each sandwich) Sprinkle two slices of bread, cream cheese side up, with the spices and top with chopped green onions. Place half the Cheddar cheese on top of the onions. Place 4 halves of crisp bacon on the cheese. Top with the remaining cheese. Set the other slices of bread on top of the two sandwiches and press slightly.

If cooking on a stovetop: Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Set the sandwiches on the skillet and cook for 4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches, using a spatula and being careful not to lose the avocado and other goodies. Cook another 2-4 minutes. You can compress the sandwich with the spatula. Turn the sandwich one more time. Press down with the spatula, and remove from the pan. Let cool about 2-3 minutes, and serve.

If cooking on a panini or sandwich maker: Set the sandwich on the griddle and slowly lower the top. Cook for a total of 4 minutes. Remove from the griddle and let cool 2-3 minutes, then serve. Beware, the insides might ooze out the sides. If the lid is too heavy, you might want to consider resorting to the stovetop method.


Today, I'll be giving away winner's CHOICE of the first 6 Cheese Shop Mysteries plus some fun swag. 

Winner will be picked Friday, the 15th. Leave your name and email so I can contact you if you WIN, and tell me what is your favorite cheese for a grilled cheese? 

Savor the mystery and say cheese!

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

Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
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Plus check out our website with lots of trailers, excerpts, plus a fan club with puzzles and giveaways!

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

New in February
Click to order.


  1. While I'm sorry that the series is ending, I'm happy if you're happy about it. Your books are amazing! My favorite cheese for a grilled cheese is gouda.

  2. I am sorry that the end is near; I'm still enjoying your book adventure and exploring cheeses. But, as they door closes, another door opens. I hope you find that other door.

    1. Kathleen, I will always find the other door. That is what positive people do. :) Thanks!

      ~ Daryl/ Avery

  3. Sorry that the series is ending but looking forward to suspense! So many cheeses to choose from - I love them all. Sharp cheddar with a little pepper jack is always delicious. And every once in a while I have the old standby from childhood: Velveeta and a bowl of tomato soup. Not very gourmet but good memories. Best of luck and fingers crossed for series for the future.

    1. Sally, my husband loved Velveeta! It was a family thing for him. Since childhood. Gourmet is what you make it. ;)

      ~ Daryl/ Avery

  4. I'm sorry to hear that the series is ending. I have loved learning about cheese and will miss the series. Thanks for the recipe sounds delicious grilled cheese is my comfort food. It's what my mama always made me when I was sick. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. Lisa, you and me both. I've learned so much while writing the series. It's been a fun, delicious ride.

      ~ Daryl/ Avery

  5. I am sorry to hear the Cheese Shop series is ending, and I will miss it. I do hope the Cookbook Nook Mystery series continues!
    Cheddar cheese is my favorite when it comes to grilled cheese.
    Thank you for the recipe, and the giveaway.

  6. I like a combination of American and Swiss. Looking forward to reading this last book and while I will miss this series, sometimes it's better to end on a high note than allow it to become stale. Good luck. Kuzlin at

  7. I love this series and hate it is ending. I like swiss and cheddar on my grilled cheese.

    1. Deb, thanks so much for the sweet words. I hope you'll follow me wherever my new writing might lead. We'll see.
      ~ Daryl/ Avery

  8. I love this series and hate it is ending. I like swiss and cheddar on my grilled cheese.

  9. Thank you very much for this snippet. I love this series so much. Charlotte's world is magical to me on a way. Sort of perfect and fancy. Everything I am not, but wish I were. Best wishes with your next endeavors. PS...for some reason, I don't imagine you have ever eaten a grilled cheese.

    1. Jody, perfect and fancy. Ha! Charlotte would be laughing, too. She is anything but perfect and fancy. Thanks so much for the good wishes!

      PS I eat grilled cheese at least once a month. I ADORE grilled cheese. Now I'm curious. Why would you think that! :)

      ~ Daryl/ Avery

    2. Would refined be a better description for Charlotte's world? Think that because I imagine you to not eat something that simple. Maybe it is a bias toward West Coast living and being intimated a bit by it

  10. My condolences on the end of the Cheese Shop mysteries, but you're not alone, and it's certainly not your fault. Penguin Random House and Berkley are still undergoing major upheavals. But at least there are publishing opportunities that didn't exist when we started. (Now, if we could only remember why we got into this uncertain business...)

    At least you got to wrap up the series on a positive note.

    1. Sheila, I know why I got into this kooky business. I love to write and I love to tell a story. And I love hearing from fans that they love stories. And I know that's why YOU got into the business, too. :) Hugs.

      ~ Daryl/ Avery

  11. Well, that just stinks! The present day world of publishing is a bizarre one. It truly is hard to know what really goes on in their minds when they make decisions like this.
    Your books have provided hours of fine entertainment. I'm sure whatever you choose to write from now on will be equally fine.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net