Special Guest: Avery Aames, aka Daryl Wood Gerber
Posted by Kate Carlisle Feb 5 2013, 12:05 am
I’m thrilled to welcome my good friend Avery Aames to the Lair today! Avery is the author of the delicious Cheese Shop Mysteries and will soon introduce the Cookbook Nook Mystery series under her own name, Daryl Wood Gerber. Her latest book, To Brie or Not to Brie, is out… TODAY! And to celebrate, Avery has brought oh-so-delicious Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles. Keep reading for the recipe!
And now, here’s Avery – er, Daryl – no, Avery…
HOW DO YOU KEEP ROMANCE ALIVE WHEN A DEAD BODY GETS IN THE WAY?
I started writing screenplays way back when I was an actress. I focused on romantic comedies. I loved those kinds of movies – like the fabulous ones by Nora Ephron, Sleepless in Seattle or While You Were Sleeping. One of my favorite all-time movies is It Happened One Night. [Granted, the latter might be a little dated and Clark Gable does play a dolt for most of the movie. Luckily, he matures.] Anyway, I wanted to write these kinds of movies. I wanted to star in them. [Didn’t happen. Oh, well.] But it stands to reason that, even though I’ve moved into the realm of mysteries and thrillers (I loved these kinds of movies and books all my life, too), I wanted to instill romance in my stories.
In A CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY series, the protagonist, Charlotte Bessette (The Cheese Shop owner) is in love with a mysterious cheese farmer. The chief of police shows interest in Charlotte, too. A little conflict never hurt in a romance. In the books I write under my real name, A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series (which debuts July 2013), cookbook store owner Jenna Hart, who still pines for her deceased husband—the love of her life—meets the handsome owner of a local sports store and suddenly finds herself feeling tingly all over. Could he become her next special someone?
One of the problems for mystery authors, however, is allowing a romance to blossom while there is murder afoot. Both Charlotte and Jenna are curious souls. As amateur sleuths, each, due to the nature of the genre, confronts a murderer or two. The men in their lives worry about them. Should either woman back off? I don’t think so. I, as a confident, independent female, want to see these women follow their instincts. I want them to catch a culprit and bring that culprit to justice. I certainly don’t want my protagonists to rely on men to save them. This could get prickly if it weren’t for the fact that I have crafted strong men who appreciate independent females. [Oh, hooray.] The men I write might be considered Renaissance men in the fact that they like to romance a woman right down to her toes, perhaps even sweep a woman off her feet, but they know and appreciate the fact that the women they choose are smart, strong, and resourceful.
And so, I ask you, would Mr. Darcy have minded if Elizabeth investigated a crime? I don’t think so. How do you feel about romance in a mystery?
Just because it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, here’s a fabulous recipe for delicious chocolate goat cheese truffles. Charlotte could cook them with her eyes closed. Jenna is a work in progress. Though she’s a true foodie, she is just learning how to cook. I think she could figure this one out, don’t you?
CHOCOLATE GOAT CHEESE TRUFFLES
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Triple Sec
1/3 cup cocoa powder, for dusting
Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on medium-low heat for about 2 minutes. Stir. Heat again at medium-low for another 2 minutes. Stir. Remove from microwave. It should be smooth when melted.
Blend the goat cheese and brown sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Add Triple Sec to the mix.
Refrigerate the mixture (from an hour to overnight).
When you are ready to make the truffles, roll mixture into walnut-sized balls, between the palms of your hands and set on waxed paper. When all the balls are formed, spread the cocoa powder in a flat container (like a pie tin). Roll the balls in the cocoa powder. Set the candies in pretty paper candy cups; they are ready to eat.
If you prefer to save them, put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. They will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. (The cheese is perishable.)
Posted in cheese shop mystery, cookbook nook mystery, guest blogger