As Gouda As DeadI’ve always been an early riser, and I love breakfast! It’s that one meal I won’t skip, even if it’s a quickie, like the one I’ve got in mind for today. There is so much to do today. Quiches to bake at the shop. Deliveries of fine cheeses coming in at ten. A group meeting about who is crafting which gift basket for this coming week’s event. My lovely grandmother, bless her, came up with a spectacular Lovers Trail theme, including cheese tastings, wine tastings, sleigh rides, and more.

And did I mention I’m getting married in a few days, too? Yipes! Married!! To the man I adore!!!

“Rags! Get in here! We’ve got to get a move on.” I banged a wooden spoon on Rag’s cat food bowl. He didn’t scamper into the kitchen. “Rags!” I peeked in the laundry room. My sweet Ragdoll cat was nowhere to be seen. “You snooze, you lose.” I rattled the food in his bowl and set the bowl on the floor. “It’s your fault if you miss out.”

Me? I had to eat. Pronto. I whisked open the door to the refrigerator, pulled an English muffin from a pack, split it open with a fork, and swathed it with homemade strawberry jam. Then I nabbed two slices of Pace Hill Farm Double-cream Gouda, one of my favorite cheeses. Nutty and firm but it melts like a dream. I popped my mini-meal into a toaster oven and set the timer.

“Ragsie!” I yelled again. Where was the little beast? I heard a meow and a scratch. “What the heck?” I whipped open the door leading to the backyard. Rags scampered in. “Did I lock you out after I fetched the newspaper? I’m so sorry.” I nuzzled his head. He marched past me. Not mad, not hissy. He went to work with me. He knew I wouldn’t leave without finding him.

Ding! I hurried to the toaster, fetched my meal, and read the front pages of both of the newspaper sections while I ate. Providence didn’t produce a huge paper, just enough to keep locals and tourists informed. Today: no crime; no obituaries. Photos of upcoming events filled the front page: the Ice Castle was sponsoring a competition; the Bozzuto Winery was offering a wine tasting with live music; the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor was setting out a number of kiosks so we could get ice cream any time, anywhere. A balloon vendor, his cart loaded with heart-shaped balloons, was featured, too.

As I washed Rags’s and my dishes, I hummed an Irish tune, the one that would play after my beloved and I said, “I do.”

Yes, indeed, love is in the air. It is going to be a perfect day. Nothing can spoil it. Have you ever felt as upbeat as me?

You can read more about Charlotte in As Gouda As Dead, the 6th book in the “Cheese Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is The Long Quiche Goodbye.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on February 9 for the chance to win your “choice” of any title in the Cheese Shop Mystery Series plus some fun swag. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes.

About the author
Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series. As Avery Aames, she pens the DarylGnationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series. Next Cookbook Nook release: Fudging the Books, August 2015. Latest Cheese Shop Mystery: As Gouda As Dead, Feb 2015. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more. Visit Daryl or Avery at She loves to cook and test recipes. She blogs & shares many recipes on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen.

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