I'm so happy to be a stop on the blog tour for
WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES
Book 7 in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries
by Daryl Wood Gerber
The Agatha Award–winning author of Pressing the Issue returns to the Cookbook Nook, where Jenna Hart is busy decking the halls and ducking a killer . . .
The holidays are Jenna Hart’s favorite time of year, but just as she’s decorating the Cookbook Nook for all the festive events, her imperious older sister makes a surprise visit, anxious that her husband’s been more naughty than nice. To make matters worse, her father’s good friend Jake shows up on her doorstep with a frantic report that his friend has been murdered—trussed with Christmas lights and impaled with a tree star.
Worried that Jake was the intended victim, Jenna makes a list of suspects and checks it twice. Swapping her Santa’s hat for a sleuthing cap, she gets busy investigating Jake’s long-lost sister, his Grinch of a neighbor, and a stamp collector who covets Jake’s most treasured piece. When Jake himself is poisoned and nearly dies, Jenna knows she’ll have to do whatever it takes to corner the culprit before it’s lights out for Jake . . .
Includes tantalizing holiday recipes!
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at the end of the tour
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This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.
LKBR: Daryl, thank you for being here today!
DWG: Thank you for having me. It’s always a delight.
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about your book/series.
DWG: WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES is the 7th in the Cookbook Nook mysteries. It takes place during the holidays. Jenna is very excited about setting up the shop for all things Christmas. So is the town. There’s a Christmas festival at Azure Park, and to Jenna’s surprise, her sister Whitney shows up with her family because the daughter will be featured in the music portion of the festival. They’re staying at Jenna’s father’s house while he’s on a cruise. Along the way, Jenna and her niece bond. Things heat up when Jenna’s father’s friend Jake shows up on Jenna’s doorstep, frantic because his friend is dead, trussed with Christmas lights and impaled with a tree star. When Jake becomes the main suspect, Jenna, as her father’s proxy, will stop at nothing to help him. When Jake is poisoned, Jenna ramps up her investigation before it’s lights out for Jake.
LKBR: How did you come up with the concept?
DWG: I wanted to do a story set at the holidays, and I asked my fans on Facebook to give me an idea of how someone might die using Christmas items. You wouldn’t believe how many decorations are lethal. You wouldn’t believe how sinister my fans are! LOL As for the festival theme, I love roaming festivals. I added a winter festival in my Cheese Shop Mysteries, but centering this one around Christmas made it all the more merry. I hope readers will feel like they’re really at the festival. The scents, the tents, the twinkling lights.
LKBR: What are your future plans for this series? Any hints or spoilers you can give us about the next book?
DWG: I’m writing the 8th, SIFTING THROUGH CLUES. It will come out in April 2019. In Crystal Cove, it’s Book Club Week. For those who know the series, each book features a theme. For the book club that Jenna belongs to, they’re doing a traveling feast, moving from house to house, tasting and talking about the delicious culinary mystery they read for their club selection. Watch out because, yes, one of the hostesses has been murdered.
PS I have a new mystery series coming in 2020. That’s all I can say right now. But I’m very excited about it. Fans should sign up for my newsletter so they can stay up to date.
LKBR: Is writing an energizing experience, or does it take a lot out of you?
DWG: I’ve got to admit, when I’m in the “zone,” it’s energizing. Almost euphoric. But that is a rare occasion. Mostly, it’s focus, focus, focus. There are so many things in life that can take me out of the zone: doubting my talent to tell a story; getting stuck in the muddy middle of a book where I have to lay in all the clues and suspects; doing PR to sell/promote a book; life in general. So finding that “zone” is especially thrilling whenever it happens. I will never admit to writer’s block. A writer can write, even if it’s rewriting or outlining or crafting a thank you note. Putting my rear end in chair every day seems to get the job done. But I pray for the zone!
LKBR: Once you knew you wanted to be a published writer, who was the first person you reached out to for help?
DWG: I joined a Sisters in Crime online group called Guppies (for the Great Unpublished – they swim upstream). I was already part of Sisters in Crime and in a critique group in Charlotte, NC, and that was good for me, but joining the Guppies “energized” me. I realized there were so many like me. Starting out. Needing business information. Needing a fresh eye. I found a terrific critique group. We are all published now. I’m still great friends with two of them, Krista Davis and Janet Bolin who writes as Ginger Bolton.
LKBR: What sort of research do you do for your books? Is it more computer based or hands on?
DWG: My recipes are hands on, but for all my other research—and I do a lot of it—I use the internet. For WREATH, I looked at a lot of Pinterest photos to give me ideas of festivals and wreaths and decorations. I even found a couple of things I wanted to bake by looking at Pinterest photos. I often check things like the temperature in my locale to make sure I get that right. I research methods of death (ick) and I get ideas for what people are wearing and how they look. I’m very dependent on the internet for names of cookbooks and reviews of those books so I can make Jenna as knowledgeable as possible. Research is a ton of fun.
LKBR: What is your writing process? Place, time of day, by the hour or word count?
DWG: Most mornings, after walking my goldendoodle Sparky, exercise, breakfast, and doing the crossword puzzle, I go to my office at 9 a.m. and I write until noon. I take a break for lunch and news, and around 1 p.m. get back to the desk. Now, to be honest, I break up the writing with PR and emails and such, but mostly I try to write one “scene” every two days. I write it or sketch it out the first day and polish it the second. [This will be polished at least 10 times in rewriting.] I hope to finish 2 chapters a week. If life gets in the way—and it often does—I don’t berate myself for only getting a chapter done in a week. I’ll still make my deadline. I work with serious deadlines. I stop writing around 5 p.m. That’s when it’s time for me to read someone else’s book.
LKBR: How do you come up with character names?
DWG: I start with an alphabet. I try not to duplicate names with the first letter, though I have, especially if someone is part of a couple or family (Matthew and Meredith from the Cheese Shop Mysteries come to mind). I then think of the ethnicity of the person and I research names with that in mind. I like a rhythm to a name, in the same sort of way that people name their babies. Jenna Hart came to me because I loved the show Hart to Hart. Jenna seemed a softer version of Jennifer, and let’s face it, Jenna has “heart.” She cares about everyone in her life. Rhett, her boyfriend, got his name because at first glance, he reminded her of Rhett Butler—that dashing smile and wicked sense of humor. Once I have named my series’ cast, the guests get names with letters that haven’t been used. However, there can be more than 26 characters in a book, so when that happens, um, yes, some letters will be duplicated. It’s a system. It’s not perfect.
LKBR: Is it difficult to write characters of the opposite sex? Do you have someone you use for advice?
DWG: I have no trouble writing men. I have and have had lots of men in my life. A father, a husband, a son, a stepson, a nephew who is like a son, my stepdaughter’s husband. 7 boy grandchildren. I listen to them. I also pay attention to anyone I meet at stores and coffee shops. Men are a little more black and white with their feelings than women are. Secret: I have often drawn on the knowledge I gleaned from the book: Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. J
LKBR: Do you read reviews of your books? If you do, and a review is bad, what effect does it have on you? (I know some reviews are mean as opposed to constructive.)
DWG: I try not to read reviews. If I see a book has a one-star or two-star rating, I ignore it. Reviews help sell books, so I’m thrilled when fans leave reviews and they’re good, and I can share a line or two in my publicity, but I can’t pay the bills with reviews. I used to be an actress, and when I auditioned for jobs, I had to develop a tough skin because of all the rejection. That has helped me as a writer. One of my favorite letters from a fan was, “I read it but I didn’t like it.” My attitude…why didn’t you stop reading it? That dismissal will never offend me. Not every book is right for every reader.
LKBR: What are 3 things readers may not know about you?
DWG: (1) I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Yes, I was with a parachuting coach, but it was still scary. We were 13,000 feet up! I loved every minute. (2) I hitchhiked around Ireland by myself. Wouldn’t suggest anyone do that ever, but I needed to at the time and it really helped me find an inner power I didn’t know I possessed. (3) I love to sing. I will put on the car radio and sing at the top of my lungs. Rock, opera, Broadway, jazz. All genres. And I often car-dance to the music, too.
LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?
DWG: VISIT MY WEBSITE: www.darylwoodgerber.com
SIGN UP FOR MY Newsletter, which comes out once a month and with a new release
LKBR: Thank you so much, Daryl for letting us get to know you better!
Author Daryl Wood Gerber has started off my Christmas season right with this murderous holiday themed tale.
I know when I have a new Cookbook Nook Mystery to set aside a day where I can read the book from beginning to end. Seriously, I want no interruptions. With WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES I have set a new record for finishing a book in one setting. I even went back and reread my favorite parts!
There was more than one story happening in WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES. The question is, are they all connected? (What? I’m not telling you!) There were so many plot twists, each one was like opening another gift. And trust me, that made for a lot of unwrapping. But the author unraveled the tangled ribbon of clues and deceptions and delivered a reveal that I never would have guessed!
I love every minute I get to spend with Jenna and friends. I always feel like I’ve come home. The way author Gerber writes this series, I can hear the character’s voices as I read and envision every detail. I truly I feel as though I have walked every square inch of the Cookbook Nook, and every mile of Crystal Cove. Writing like this is what made me the reader I am.
There is one more important ingredient of book. Recipes! Over a dozen wonderful, mouthwatering recipes!
Daryl Wood Gerber had outdone herself with WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES!
DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.
Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.
“They” blog on www.mysteryloverskitchen.com as well as www.killercharacters.com
Daryl’s Blog – http://www.darylwoodgerber.com
Avery’s Blog – http://www.averyaames.com
Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com
Killer Characters – http://killercharacters.com
Facebook: Daryl http://www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerber
Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber
Goodreads: Daryl Wood Gerber https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4750535.Daryl_Wood_Gerber Avery Aames https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3153786.Avery_Aames
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As always, please leave a comment and
Thank you for being part of the book tour for "WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES" by Daryl Wood Gerber. Enjoyed the interview because I always love learning more about author's whose books I love to read. WOW -jumping out of a plane! Parachute or not, with my fear of height, I just couldn't do it. :)ReplyDelete
So excited at the prospect to reading this book on my TBR list. Absolutely love the cover!
2clowns at arkansas dot net
I don’t think I’d jump out of a plane.ReplyDelete
sgiden at verizon(.)net
Thanks for sharing your review and interview. I still have this one to read.ReplyDelete
Thanks for a wonderful review and interview! I’ve done para-sailing, jumping is HUGE! I’m starting Wreath when I finish my current read.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a great holiday read. Really enjoy Daryl's books.ReplyDelete
I'm too chicken to jump out of A plane!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the review!ReplyDelete