A New Down South Cafe Mystery and character interview from Gayle Leeson: Honey-Baked Homicide

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The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . .

It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the café early one morning.

As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects—and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills—and her Southern charm—to find her way out of this sticky situation…


Character Interview:

Amy Flowers from Honey-Baked Homicide by Gayle Leeson

Amy, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Well, I guess it’s that I’m a real girly-girl, but I have a tomboy side too. I love dressing up, hanging out in my “fancy room” (I transformed my mom’s old room into a girly paradise), and wearing makeup. But somedays, I’d just as soon not bother with the frills and go play softball, or hike, or climb a tree.

Which character in Honey Baked Homicide do you get along with the best?

I get along well with all my family. I mean, I adore my mom. Aunt Bess is a hoot—she keeps us all on our toes. But, I think my best friend is my cousin Jackie. We’ve always been more like sisters than cousins, and we work side by side every day.

Anyone you have a conflict with?

I have a little bit of a problem with Sheriff Billings. I get the idea he doesn’t approve of my dating his deputy—Ryan Hall—and that he doesn’t entirely trust me. I mean, yeah, there have been a couple of deaths on my property—I mean, the first one was before I even owned the place. And I had nothing to do with those! Still, the man likes my cooking, and I believe I might be starting to win him over.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

She’s sitting here beside me whispering, “Tell them I’m great! Tell them you like me!” So…yeah… she’s great and I like her. But it certainly doesn’t take much to distract her. I do wish I could block her Internet, especially during work hours. She goes to look up a word and comes back half an hour later. Or she needs to research something “real quick” and she doesn’t get back to writing until the next day. What is up with that? If I did my customers that way, I’d run myself out of business in a hurry!

Amy, what’s next for you?

Well, the holidays are right around the corner, so I’m sure I’ll be doing plenty of baking. But, I might need to put some mistletoe over the door jamb for when a certain handsome young deputy pays me a visit. 😉


About The Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


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New Down South Cafe Mystery and Character Interview: Silence of the Jams

>>> Enter to Win a signed paperback, Down South Cafe t-shirt, and Flirty Apron Oven Mitt Set <<<

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

silence-of-the-jamsIt’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!


Island Confidential: Aloha Amy, and welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Amy: Hi! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Amy Flowers, and I own and operate the Down South Café. We’re gearing up for Independence Day. In Winter Garden, that means a town-wide celebration! Since the café also kind of serves as a bakery—because the closest bakery outside of Winter Garden is about a twenty-minute drive away—I’ve been baking extra cakes and pies so patrons can come in and buy them for their individual celebrations. A lot of reunions take place around the time of the Winter Garden Independence Day Festival. You might not know this about me, but I love to dance. I’m not really good at it, and I prefer a nice slow dance to a fast dance, but swaying in the arms of a handsome man is just wonderful. And I know just the man I want to dance with…if he asks me to the dance, that is.

Which character in Silence of the Jams do you get along with the best?

Amy: I guess I’d have to say that the person I get along with best is my mother. She and I lived on our own for a long time—my dad left when I was just a little girl—and we’ve always gotten along really well. I think I always recognized the sacrifices she made for me, and I’ve always appreciated her. I know it takes some kids at lot longer to come to that realization than I did, but I’m glad I came to that conclusion at a young age.

Which other character do you not love so much?

Amy: Oh, my goodness! Have you got the rest of the day? George Lincoln gets on my last nerve. That man is impossible. First, George tried to get Pete Holman to sell the café to him instead of me. I didn’t have a problem with that. In fact, I encouraged Pete to get the best deal he could. But Pete knew that George was planning on tearing down the café and putting a bed and breakfast on the site, and Pete didn’t want that. He wanted something of the café his grandfather had built to remain. And so he sold it to me, and my friend Roger helped me renovate it. You’d think that would be the end of it, right? Not for George Lincoln! He still comes in two or three times a week to tell me how poorly the restaurant business is doing, what my odds of going broke are, and trying to get me to sell out to him. No matter how many times I tell him no, he just keeps on asking. If I had a parrot, all the poor bird would know how to say would be, “No, thank you, Mr. Lincoln. I’m not interested, Mr. Lincoln.”

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Gayle?

Amy: I like Gayle pretty good. But since this is just between you and me, I’ll tell you, she tends to procrastinate. You can get her off track with a single email, and she’ll neglect her work for hours. She’s like a racoon or a crow—show her something shiny, and off she goes. “Oh, my goodness,” she’ll say. “Did you see that puppy video on Facebook? Wasn’t that the cutest thing? And, I meant to get right on those edits, but then I saw a sale that just during the lunch hour. I didn’t buy anything, but you never know, right? So then I saw the Google doodle for William Shakespeare’s birthday. [Sigh] William Shakespeare…well, you can’t ever know too much about him, can you? So, I clicked through and—” And that’s when I interrupt her and say, “You know, Gayle, maybe old Bill was so prolific because he didn’t have the Internet to distract him from his work.”

What’s next for you?

Amy: Well, I love to support the local farmers in the area, and I’ve been talking with Stuart Landon about selling some of his honey on consignment in the café. I think that will be a good business decision for both of us. Don’t you?

Readers: Find out in HONEY BAKED HOMICIDE, coming in December!


About The Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


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New Sewing Cozy: Better Off Thread

Santa finds himself in a stitch of trouble in the tenth in the series from the national bestselling author of The Stitching Hour…

better-off-thread

Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can’t refuse—especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Despite the ridiculous outfit, Marcy finds herself enjoying spreading cheer—until the hospital’s administrator is found murdered.

Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to fill her stocking with coal, evidence pins the crime on Moe. Now it’s up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend Ted and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe’s name—before someone else winds up crossed off Santa’s list for good…


Gayle Trent (and pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series and the Embroidery Mystery series. The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. She also writes the Down South Café Mysteries as Gayle Leeson. 

gayle

Author Links:

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


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#Giveaway and Interview: Gayle Leeson, author of The Calamity Cafe (new Southern culinary cozy series)

>>> Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card! <<<
The Calamity Cafe is the first book in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!


 

 

Q: Thanks for stopping by Island Confidential, Gayle. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Any?

A:  Amy Flowers is a young woman who has a serious goal but who doesn’t forget to have plenty of fun. She makes time for her friends and family while hoping to realize her goal of opening her own café.

Q: How much of you is in Amy?  How would you feel about her if you met her in real life?

A:  I’m sure there’s a little Amy in me, especially where she was so devoted to her grandmother who is deceased when we meet Amy. And, like Amy, I have a tendency to want to adopt and/or feed animals and people (especially children). Whenever my children were growing up, I was known for my cookies and cupcakes. Even when my son was in high school, I’d have to make and send chocolate chip cookies to his friends.

I’d love Amy if I met her in real life. I think we’d be good friends, but I’d have to avoid seeing her too often because if I didn’t, she’d feed me until I was as big as a house!

Q: Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

A:  They do. That’s something I’ve really enjoyed with other series I’ve written (the embroidery series written under the name Amanda Lee, in particular) and that I’m looking forward to exploring in the Down South Café series. I like that each individual book can be read as a standalone but that readers who start at the beginning and continue through the series can enjoy the nuances of watching the characters grow and develop.

Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean? 

A:  Oh, my goodness, I have done it! In my cake decorating mystery Battered to Death (written as Gayle Trent), I killed a man who’d been mean to my son. The man was such a jerk, and I took great joy in beating him over the head with a cake stand and then drowning him in cake batter!

Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

A:  Both. Winter Garden is a fictional town in Virginia, but it’s close to real-life towns: Glade Spring, Meadowview, Abingdon, Bristol. In fact, at my website, I’m including photograph slideshows from various regions. I only have three so far, but I’ll continue to add to it.

Q: When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

A: Maybe Emily Osmet as Amy and Robbie Amell as Ryan. They’d be so cute together. Now you’ve got me excited about this movie! Who can we call to make it happen?

Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

A:  Worst advice: “You have to move to New York or Los Angeles to make it as a writer.”

Best advice: Never give up!

 

 


 

About The Author  

 

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Author Links:

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


 

KEEP UP WITH PROMOTIONS, EVENTS, AND NEW RELEASES:

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List