Stirring The PlotI’m so excited. The Winsome Witches fund-raiser is this week! You don’t know about it? The Winsome Witches—no, we’re not really witches; we put on fun hats and raise money for literacy—come to town from all over the state. One of my dear friends, Pearl Thornton, she’s a therapist in town, came up with the idea a few years ago. We have a faire—that’s today, on the grounds of the fabulous Crystal Cove Inn—which kicks off the week. The faire will feature gift items, antiques, delicious food, and there will even be a fortuneteller…that’s what I do. Well, it’s not all that I do. I also own a culinary bookshop with my niece. However, I love seeing into people’s futures and giving them advice about how to approach the fun. A few days from now, we’ll have the fund-raiser. In the meantime, there are all sorts of exciting Halloween events in town, like the Black Cat parade and the pumpkin-carving contest. Our mayor, also a good friend, loves to come up with weekly experiences to lure tourists. After all, Crystal Cove could not survive from only the funds of locals.

You’ve never heard of Crystal Cove? Too-ra-loo. Let me introduce you. Crystal Cove is a lovely California seaside town, rich with history. Rolling hills border the town to the east; the ocean lies to the west. The climate is heavenly pretty much year round. A little fog now and then, but nothing that a sweater can’t handle. This week at The Cookbook Nook, we’ve got a few exotic events planned—a magician for the children, an herbalist to teach our adult readers how to make potions, and more.

You’ve never heard of the Cookbook Nook? Really? Ooh, you must stop in! We’ve made a few headlines recently. A few months ago, I convinced my niece Jenna to move back home. For the past two years, I’ve been so worried about her. Losing her husband, losing her mother, losing her smile, and working those long hours in advertising. A young woman in the prime of her life shouldn’t suffer so much. We all do—life happens—but even so, I vowed I would try to protect her with every ounce of my spirit.

But back to the headlines I mentioned. We’re not simply in the news because of the fabulous cookbooks, foodie mysteries, and culinary goodies like aprons and cookware that we sell at the shop, although we have gotten a stellar reputation and rave reviews. No. We’re also in the headlines because—mind you, this does not happen every day—when we threw our grand opening and invited one of Jenna’s dear friends, a celebrity chef, to do a book signing, someone killed her. Poor dear. Can you imagine? And then two months ago, we had a Grill Fest at the shop, and another incident…and well, hence, the notorious headlines. Jenna dove in, both times, to help the police find the culprit. She’s all heart, my niece. Can you tell I adore her?

I hope nothing untoward will occur this week. I don’t sense any bad vibes. Jenna would pooh-pooh me about saying I could sense anything. She doesn’t believe I have extrasensory powers. And perhaps I don’t. But I do feel. Deeply. Sometimes the amulet I wear vibrates. Truly. I believe I can sense evil approaching. If I do, I warn those in danger. It’s only right. But at my age, I can only do so much.

Have you ever sensed evil and warned someone? What was the result?

You can read more about Vera in Stirring The Plot, the third book in the “Cookbook Nook” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Final Sentence.

Stirring the Plot Synopsis

Trouble is brewing with a dash of murder.

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster…

Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.

When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there’s no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth…

Praise for the series:

“[A] witty, well-plotted whodunit that will leave you hungry for more.”—Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author

“Daryl Wood Gerber has found the perfect recipe for all of us who love cozy mysteries and food.”—Lesa’s Book Critiques

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on October 7 for the chance to win a copy of STIRRING THE PLOT. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Agatha award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series. As DarylGAvery Aames, she pens the nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series. Latest Cookbook Nook release: Stirring the Plot, Sept 2014. Next 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 blogs and shares recipes on Mystery Lovers Kitchen; her characters appear on the Killer Characters blog.

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