Monday, July 19, 2010

Avery Aames Says CHEESE!!

by Kate
I'm thrilled to welcome Avery Aames to the Lair today! The first of her Cheese Shop mysteries, The Long Quiche Goodbye, is out this month and I know you'll love it!

Today, Avery wants to tell you all about a very special Love Affair she's having. Take it away, Avery!

Shhhh! I’m having a love affair with cheese. I think about it all the time. When I wake up, when I go to sleep. I dream about it. I crave it. I walk into a cheese shop and the scent of cheese makes my heart skip a beat. As I approach the cheese counter, I look over my shoulder to make sure no one’s watching because I know, yet again, I’m going to caress the cheese labels with my fingertips as I read the names: Roaring 40’s blue, Taleggio, Capriole Goat Cheese, Bonne Bouche, Baby Swiss, Butterkäse, Crème Fraiche, Pecorino Romano. The names roll off my tongue. A tuneful song comes to mind. I find myself humming a sexy tune. Face it, cheese is sexy, delectable, aromatic. No words can describe what I’m tasting, but people try: savory, brothy, salty, grassy, with the flavor of toasted-marshmallow, a hint of clover or hazelnuts.

I get to eat cheese. Every day of the week, if I want. Because I have to. [That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.] I have to, for research. Who am I kidding? I eat it because I love it.

Before I started writing The Long Quiche Goodbye, the first in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, I knew a little bit about cheese. I knew I liked it on pizza, in lasagna, and on a cracker. I ate the usual suspects, including Cheddar, Swiss, and Mozzarella. I liked to sprinkle Parmessan on my salads. It was cheese. It tasted good. Oh, and it had milk in it, so I was getting my calcium.

But when I had to learn more about cheese…for research…I forced myself to visit cheese shops. Forced? A herd of horses couldn’t have kept me away. Thanks to the help of some wonderful cheesemongers, I discovered that there were hundreds—no, thousands—of cheeses, from all over the world. I started wandering into every cheese shop I could, to taste, to smell, to savor. At one, I was treated to a piece of Tuscan Tartuffo. Sinful. I was advised to take it home and drizzle it with honey. This morsel was as good as any dessert I’d ever eaten. And a bite of Rosemary Crusted Mitica Romao? Taken with a dollop of chopped olive, it is downright decadent.

The heroine in The Long Quiche Goodbye, Charlotte Bessette, is on a quest to taste every cheese in the world. She is a woman who has had a love affair with cheese since she was a little girl, and as The Cheese Shop owner, she has made it her mission to introduce people to the world of cheese. Me, included. [Shhhhh. I haven’t told her I’m the one who makes her up. She believes she’s real.] She lives in the quaint fictional town of Providence, Ohio, surrounded by rolling hills, dairy farms, honeybee farms, budding wineries. Her delectable cousin Matthew is her partner and he runs the wine annex. Don’t get me started about wine. Pair a delicious Sancerre with a nutty Pecorino and fresh fruit and you might ascend to heaven.

Tourists flock to Providence to buy wares like Amish quilts and antiques and art. Fromagerie Bessette, or The Cheese Shop as the locals like to call it, is a hot tourist spot. That’s because Charlotte and her fellow townsfolk make Providence inviting.

Charlotte would particularly like to share her passion with one handsome farmer, Jordan Pace. Whenever he walks into the shop, [cue: Hollywood-style cowboy music] Charlotte’s heart flutters. Charlotte is thirty-something and not very confident around men. She wants to be, but when her ex-fiancee abandoned her in the middle of the night to follow a dream of being a chef in France, her confidence gave way. She dreams of having a full-blown romance, but whenever she finds herself in Jordan’s presence, she gets a little, well, you know…dreamy. She has to talk herself back down to earth to put a coherent sentence together. Jordan has only been in town a couple of years. Though a number of eligible women have tried to snare him, he seems to be happy living alone. He owns a huge farm where he provides a service for the community. [Now stop that. Not that kind of service.] He is the first to build an affinage center, a concrete structure buried into the hillside where he and his staff take on the aging process for some of the smaller farms’ premium cheeses. He’s normal, Charlotte thinks, so why does she believe there’s some mystery to his past?

Forthright in all other ways, Charlotte makes sure that she sets up meetings with the local farmers on a regular basis, if only to drink in the scent of Jordan. And she always has his favorite cheese, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, on hand. During the course of the murder investigation in The Long Quiche Goodbye…did I forget to mention this is a mystery novel? During the mystery, Charlotte and Jordan grow much closer. Suffice it to say that, by the end of the book, Charlotte is not only dreaming about cheese.

So tell me, have you ever had a love affair that you wanted to shout to the world? Have you ever tried to keep it quiet? If you could set yourself in any town in the world, where would it be? Would you follow your passion? Would that passion be part of your daily life? And have you ever had a bite of cheese that you absolutely had to share with someone else?

To find out more about Avery and her Cheese Shop mysteries, visit her website at http://www.averyaames.com, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, and on two blogs: http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com and http://www.killercharacters.com.

33 comments:

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Cheese? I thought someone said Rooster?!?!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I have to say, they have the absolute BEST Cheeses in France. As the old joke goes: Zey smell like zee feet of zee angels! :-)

AC
who could live on soft smelly cheese and fresh baguettes

Helen said...

Well done Aunty Cindy i say get him fanning you today if it is still hot over there

Hi Avery

I love the sound of this book yummo and cheese I love it although i haven't tried as much as you have seeing as how I haven't been out of Australia much LOL. I love cheese with lots of food as well and there is nothing nicer for a snack than a really nice cheese and a cracker.

As for the questions I think when I was a very young teenager there was a guy I had such a crush on but was too scared to say anything to anyone even my closest girlfriends LOL and I never ended up with him although I did end up with someone who had the same first name .

Thanks Kate for inviting Avery today I will be looking for this book.

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I have never really had a grand passion for anything like cheese. I do get very excited talking about books though! I am looking forward to the Cheese Shop mysteries, I love it when stories take unusual turns and twists and The Long Quiche Goodbye sounds like it will fit the bill nicely.

Donna MacMeans said...

Yaay - a book set in Ohio! I must admit to loing cheese, but lately it has not been a mutual affection (grin). Sometimes, though, it's worth the misery to have a good cheese.

Sounds like a fun book! Love the title and the cover.

Terry Odell said...

I enjoyed The Long Quiche Goodbye -- full of information, not only about cheese. (If you can't get enough recipes here, Avery is my guest tomorrow at my blog and she's sharing more). We went to brunch at the Broadmoor Hotel yesterday and their cheese offerings made me think of you.

Avery Aames said...

Helen, have you tried Roaring 40s bleu cheese? It's made in Australia and it's fabulous!!!!

Diana, sounds to me like you have a passion for reading. :) Me, too.

And Donna, I'm sorry about the issues with cheese. Have you tried to stick to just hard cheeses (aged cheese) and none of the soft? If it's lactose intolerance, you might be able to eat those. In moderation, of course. Google it. Lactase is cooked out of aged cheeses.

~Avery

AveryAames.com
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Grace Topping said...

All that cheese and you still manage to stay so thin! How do you manage it? With an eye on my cholesterol levels, I have been avoiding cheese, so your descriptions of the cheeses you have been enjoying made me blue cheese green with envy.
Congratulations on your book and best wishes for your continued success.
Grace Topping

Kate Carlisle said...

Good morning everyone! Yo, Aunty, congrats on snagging the rooster!! Mmm, maybe he'll serve you bits of baguette smeared with yummy cheese while you swing in your shady hammock. :-)

Welcome Avery! I hope the cabana boys are making you feel welcome and fluffing up the pillows for you. I know you've been very busy lately, so do let us know if you need Sven to perform any...er, services for you. ;-)

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Avery! Welcome to the Lair...I'm pretty sure we have some excellent cheeses in our larder! If we sweet talk Sven, the keeper of all things decadent in the Lair, he might be persuaded to bust some out for us!

I've actually been through Ohio Amish country. It's a directly in the path from Columbus where I grew up to Canton where my hubby did and when we took the scenic highway we'd always stop at the quilt shops and some of the cheese shops! So, I am sooooooooo looking forward to this book!!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Kate and Avery! Your post took me back to the days I lived in Europe (92-95 and 02-05) - the best cheese, bread, butter, and chocolate!

The Long Quiche Goodbye sounds fun and will recommend to my Ohio friends, including the inlaws who currently have my kids for Camp Grandma. Perhaps I'll buy the book as a thank you gift.

MIL has awesome quilts from the Amish markets.

And I constantly shout out about Romance to the military spouses in Hawaii - they eagerly await my return from RWA to see what goodies I bring home!

Avery Aames said...

Kim and Suzanne, let your relatives knows that I'll be signing books at Foul Play in Ohio in August. You can find my book tour schedule on the website. I'd love to see friendly faces.

So glad everyone is enjoying the cheese. I'm sure Sven could select three to everyone's liking, don't you think? Such a palate! (tee-hee_

~Avery
AveryAames.com

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Avery! I know absolutely nothing about cheese except that I like it on pizza and crackers & likely your book. I"ll have to pick up a copy asap!

Thanks for coming by today!

Avery Aames said...

BTW, hope I can do a little bit of bragging, but I received a really nice RT (Romantic Times) book review this weekend. If you want, check it out at:
rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/avery-aames-dishes-cozy-read-giveaway

MsHellion said...

Ah, I love cheese. *sighs* Brie esp, on a warm baguette. And blue cheese. And muenster. And cheddar...and...

Love affairs.

I have a long standing love affair with books...and also Englishmen. The accent, you know. So I'd love to set myself up in a rare bookshop in England somewhere, somewhere dreamy and quiet (so probably not London.) Somewhere near some cheese.

Avery Aames said...

Hellion. A rare bookshop sounds lovely. The scent of books. Yum
~Avery

Cassondra said...

Hi Avery, and welcome to the lair!

I've gotta tell ya that this book sounds right up my alley. For more reasons than one. About seven years ago I started studying wine seriously. And like cheese, wine studies are endless. And that thing about tasting every one in the world? For me and wine, that's a pipe dream. Partly because next year's vintage will be completely different from this year's. But still, one can try, right?

When I go to wine tastings, my husband, Steve, acts as my designated driver. He doesn't drink at all really. Maybe one kahlua and cream a year when he's in a strange mood.

But at the wine tastings I attend there is always cheese, and that's become his main interest at the tastings. He can remember the cheeses like I tend to remember the wines. He's hooked! We have a dairy farmer in the region who has switched over to cheese as his product rather than raw milk. So we get to taste all kinds of wonderful cheeses (though we don't have an actual cheesemonger in our town and I wish we did) because all the local tastings put out his cheeses.

I own a copy of The Wine Bible already, and this fall I plan to get Steve a copy of The Cheese Bible.

In between, I think I'll pick up this book because it sounds fantastic, and our Kate has hooked me hard on mysteries. Kate, Madelyn Alt, Annette Blair, and now you!

Can't wait to read this!

Nancy said...

AC, Congrats on the rooster!

Avery, welcome! I love cheese, too. Though I have to say I'm not very adventurous. I particularly like English white cheddar, which is hard to find around here.

But sharp cheddar is great with apples or pears. My grandfather used to have cheese with his apple pie. In his opinion, "apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

Your characters sound fabulous! Good luck with the series.

Avery Aames said...

Nancy, my dad liked cheddar with his apple pie, so in honor I made an apple pie with a cheese crust. It's a recipe on my website! Enjoy!
~Avery

Kate Carlisle said...

Cassondra, I knew about your interest in wine, but that's so cool that Steve has gotten into cheeses! You two are the perfect couple. :-)

Helen said...

Congrats on the review Avery and no I haven't tried Roaring 40's bleu cheese but must check it out

Have Fun
Helen

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Avery! The Long Quiche Goodbye looks fabulous and congrats on the great RT review!

I love cheese and have recently been able to try a few new (to me *g*) varieties. Love havarti on shrimp quesadillas while my husband and older daughter adore very sharp cheddars :-)

Can't wait to read your book!

PinkPeony said...

Hi Avery & Kate!

Great post! Flings and cheese!

I was in an exchange program overseas at the end of my junior year in college. There was a lifeguard. :)

Cabot cheddar makes the best mac and cheese. There was also a cheddar from the UK that had horseradish in it that was really good, but I haven't been able to find it lately. Do you have a copy of the "Cheese Primer"?
congrats on the GR, AC!
cheers! Jen

Avery Aames said...

Jen, I have a copy of The Cheese Primer and The Cheese Chronicles. Both are excellent for information. I constantly refer to them as well as my local cheesemonger.

If you're in the mood for a great cheddar, try Collier's Welsh Cheddar. It's delish, with wine, for appetizer or dessert. Melt-in-your mouth good.

I've got more suggestions in my newsletters [on my website] and also in all the recipes that I post on the Mystery Lovers Kitchen blog. Enjoy!

~Avery

AveryAames.com
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Jen, how cool that you studied abroad. The cheddar with horseradish sounds great!

Nancy, your grandfather sounds so cute! I've never had apple pie with cheddar but I'll bet it's a perfect combination.

Beth, I love sharp cheddars, too, and those quesadillas you mentioned are making my mouth water. :-)

All the comments are making me hungry!

Jennifer said...

Avery, I "feel" your passion and now I'm interested in your book. It sounds like a fun mystery!

My passion is probably chocolate and I will bite anyone who tries to take mine :-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Avery, thanx so much for spending time with us in the Lair today! And BIG THANX to Kate for bringing you here, not to mention all the YUMMY talk about cheese...

The GR and I have been jockeying for position in front of the fan all day. The weatherman LIED! Last I heard it was 99 degrees outside, and yes, my air conditioning is working but the fan keeps the cool air circulating so nicely... But those blasted feathers keep tickling my nose!

ACHOO!!! Bloody bird!

AC

Avery Aames said...

Jennifer,

I love chocolate, too. Dark chocolate. I make a mean cheesecake with chocolate in it. Recipe to come soon on my blog. I find that dark chocolate is one of those things that really curbs the appetite. But then so does a piece of cheese. Hmm. A bite of cheese with a bite of chocolate. What do you think? Very sexy, very sensual. Oh, yeah, I'm going to try it later. I know cheese tastes good with honey.

~Avery

AveryAames.com
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Kate Carlisle said...

Avery, the thought of that cheese/chocolate combination is sending me right over the edge! Yum!! My stomach is shouting FEED ME! LOL

Thanks so much for visiting us today! It was great fun talking about cheese and romance and chocolate and roosters and mysteries with you!

Avery Aames said...

Kate, thank you and the rest of the gang for having me. I truly enjoyed the day. Love hearing everyone's stories about cheese and love affairs with books (etc.)

Say Cheese!

~Avery

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Avery! Cheese is an expensive lover, I can tell you that. My favorite favorite (because it's impossible to have just one favorite when it comes to cheese) is a Basque sheep cheese that costs a fortune. Sheer, pricey bliss.

Keira Soleore said...

Hello Avery, Banditas and Buddies. I've come to this blog very late, but I'm so glad I did. Between reading the interview, Kate, and returning to comment, I bought QUICHE. Loved the title, the premise, and overarching series premise. Looking forward to reading it...

Avery said...

Hey! My name is Avery, also and I have a whole website dedicated to cheese because I love cheese also! It is averylovescheese.com. Please contact me on the from the web page if you enjoyed the website. Thanks!