Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames

Please join me in welcoming Avery Aames to Debbie's Book Bag today! Avery is here promoting her book, Days of Wine and Roquefort. Enjoy her guest post about why she chooses to write. The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames, see details at the end of the post.

Why Do I Write What I Write?

By Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Agatha Award-winning author of the national bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery and Cookbook Nook Mystery series

Savor the Mystery!

People ask me all the time: why do you write what you write? I write mysteries and thrillers because I enjoy reading them. As a girl, I didn’t realize I even liked to read until I was sick with the measles, and my mother gave me her childhood set of Nancy Drew mysteries, suggesting that I might like to pick one to while away the time…and to forget about the itching. I read the entire set in a week. I couldn’t put them down. I graduated to Agatha Christie works, and my love affair with reading grew. 

How did I become a writer? In college, I studied English literature as well as art history, the history of dance, and romance languages. After college, I became an actress. I also became a waitress and a legal assistant to support my acting habit. Along the way, I decided to write screenplays in which I could star. I studied the craft. Before stardom struck, however, my husband received an opportunity that we couldn’t refuse. We transferred across the country. Blithely, I said a writer could write anywhere, but a screenplay writer, unless already established, needs to live near Hollywood or New York City.

Not one to accept defeat, I switched my writing focus to novels. You’ve probably heard: “Write what you know.” Given my history, did that mean all I could write about was an actress who tap danced her way through a museum while offering legal advice or waiting tables? It could be cute, but not very inspiring.  No one would read about that.  Or maybe someone would.   [Hmmm, note to self...]  But I digress.

“Write what you know” really means write what you are passionate about so you can make others passionate about it. Knowledge alone is not enough to keep me writing for months on end. It’s certainly not enough to help me on those cold, lonely nights while facing a blank page. And, let’s face it, facts are not enough to keep my readers intrigued. To that end, as a writer, I have studied dozens of different topics that interest me. I have poured over scientific journals about cloning and enhancing genetics and computer hacking to instill my thrillers with authenticity. I have immersed myself in the history of Lake Tahoe so I could make the location in one of my suspense novels sizzle. My bookshelves are filled with books about poisons and investigation procedures and the dynamics of science in agriculture. I know a lot of facts, but only because I’ve done my research about something that interested me. 

At the moment, I’m passionate about cheese and cookbooks. The two series I write for Berkley Prime Crime focus on foodies who are also amateur sleuths. Did I mention that I also worked as a caterer while pursuing my acting career? I love to cook! Charlotte Bessette runs a cheese shop in the quaint fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Jenna Hart has moved back to the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California to help her aunt run a culinary bookshop and café. For both series, I have delved into some glorious research. I’ve explored the world of cheese. Did you know that it’s possible to taste a different cheese every day of the year…for years? Did you know that cheese is packed with vitamins?  Did you know that cheese is a living, breathing organism? I’m no expert, but I’m learning all the time, and it’s my passion that keeps me going--not to mention my research is tasty.  And cookbooks…wow. There are cookbooks dating back centuries that reveal historical lore. There are cookbooks for every kind of food. And there are fictional books about food that don’t contain one single recipe. Pure pleasure.

So why do I write what I write? Because I love a good mystery and I love food. I’ve been lucky enough to combine the two into a tasty career.

Why do you do what you do? 

Do you love a good mystery? What other genre do you read?

Book Details:

Days of Wine and Roquefort (Cheese Shop Mystery - Book 5) by Avery Aames

Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425255557
ISBN-13: 978-0425255551

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Avery Aames on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

The Long Quiche Goodbye (2010), Lost and Fondue (2011), Clobbered by Camembert (2012), To Brie or Not to Brie (2013), Days of Wine and Roquefort (2014)

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Days of Wine and Roquefort, courtesy of the author's website.


Agatha Award winning series
#5 in Cheese Shop Mysteries
Murder, like Roquefort, stinks...

Cheese Shop owner Charlotte Bessette's life seems quieter than ever with her fiancé 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.


Avery Aames returns with the fifth book in the Cheese Shop Mystery series, Days of Wine and Roquefort. What goes better with cheese than wine? Not much! In Aames latest book reads not only get to explore all of the great tidbits that the author puts into each book, about cheese, but they will also get some behind the scenes information about how winery's work and what goes into making the finished product. Aames is a stickler for great research and it's obvious she has done her homework here. A great new addition to this cheese-tastic series!

What I liked:

I will be the first to admit that I love cheese. I have tried all of the normal cheeses that you see in the grocery, like, Swiss and Cheddar and Monterrey Jack, but I had no idea that there were more cheeses than there are days of the year. A lot more apparently. And this time Avery Aames picks Roquefort for her title. I love the fact that she focuses on making Charlotte's shop so authentic. I can just imagine walking in there and smelling all of the different cheeses and being able to see and feel their textures. A feast for the senses to be sure. I think Aames does a lot of research to make each book as realistic as possible and it shows in the quality of her writing.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book in particular was that the author paired it with a wine related theme. You always here that wine and cheese were made to go together so it was a very natural and entertaining fit. Noelle a friend of Charlotte's brother Matthew needed a place to stay before becoming the new business manager of a local winery. Because of that readers are treated to some interesting info surrounding the wine business that adds a lot of interesting flavor to this mystery.

When Noelle ends up dead, there are plenty of suspects to go around, especially since she seemed to be having issues with the daughter of the owner of the winery and one of the managers. It was fun to watch Charlotte and Rebecca set about figuring out whodunit. Rebecca brings a lot of comic relief to this series and especially this book. She is quite a hoot when thinks every thing that happens is straight out of the latest episode of Criminal Minds or Special Victims Unit. Too funny! Aames has a great sense of humor and puts it to work in all of her books. 

What I didn't like:

I missed Jordan in this one. Charlotte's fiance is always a special part of each book for me and it was sad that he wasn't around to take part in this one, but perhaps he will be a bit more present once he is out of the Witness Protection Program, fans will have to wait and see.

Bottom Line:

This was an enjoyable addition to the Cheese Shop series. Readers were treated to info about wine and cheese this go around and Aames knew what she was talking about. Her research gives authenticity to the series. Read it, you'll like it!

Days of Wine and Roquefort is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Avery Aames is the nationally bestselling author of A CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY series for Berkley Prime Crime. The first, The Long Quiche Goodbye, won the Agatha Award for "Best First Novel." Avery is the pseudonym for Daryl Wood Gerber. Daryl has a new series coming 2013, THE COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES. Daryl also created the format for the popular sit-com, "Out of this World" and has won awards for her screenplays. Both Avery and Daryl like to read, cook, and garden. 

Avery & Daryl blog at Mystery Lovers Kitchen, - 
a blog for foodies who love mysteries. 

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, February 19th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your favorite kinds of cheese.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

Favorite cheese is mozzarella. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Karen B said...

Thin sliced Swiss!

Linda Kish said...

I like sharp cheddar, Swiss cheese, provolone and jack cheese. I guess the cheddar is my favorite.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

Mild Cheddar is my favorite cheese.

Carol M said...

That would be cream cheese as in cheesecake!! lol56

lag123 said...

I love Pepper Jack.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Sue Farrell said...

I like almost all cheeses and love to discover new ones---but I think a nice soft brie is my favorite.

cyn209 said...

sorry, not really a cheese fan......but i'll read about them!!!

Barbara T. said...

Pepper jack and many more...

holdenj said...

I'm a cheddar gal!

Unknown said...

I love the buttery, rich flavor of fresh mozzarella.

Linda said...

Jarlsberg although I don't care for Swiss cheese usually I like this. Jarsberg is mild, sweet and nutty. Jarlsberg tends to lend itself more readily to melting and is found on sandwiches, in fondues or quiches. But I do like sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and others. Just no the "spicy hot" like pepper jack except for queso!

bn100 said...

like all kinds

Renee said...

I've recently discovered goat cheese on a salad. I'm in love!

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite cheese is mild cheddar. Thanks for having the giveaway.


skkorman said...

Cheese actually is my favorite food, and my absolute favorites are brie and camembert!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net