Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for…
Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles. As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away… FIRST IN A NEW SERIES Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!
Kathy Aarons is the author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime.
"Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores."
Jillian: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Kathy: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Our first grade teacher was reading us a chapter a week, but I couldn’t wait so I got it out of the library. I’m sure that’s what started my unfortunate habit of sometimes reading the end if I can’t stand the suspense.
Jillian: Who's your favorite cartoon character?
Kathy: Scoobie Doo. Must be the mystery-solving.
Jillian: Yeah, his sleuthing skills for sure. ;)
Jillian: What sound or noise do you love?
Kathy: The sound of my girls playing piano and singing Broadway show tunes. They play and sing with such talent, enthusiasm and joy. As a family, we’ve seen a lot of theater, so I’m glad they get to enjoy it hands on.
Jillian: What was the first story you remember writing?
Kathy: In high school, I wrote a story linking the death of a plant by overwatering to an overbearing mother. My mother found it and worried that it was about her. It wasn’t. I’m pretty sure I got an A on that story.
Jillian: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Kathy: Something in the nonprofit world, helping disadvantaged youth. I’m passionate about arts education for youth. I volunteer for the Canyon Crest Academy Writing Conference, the only free high school writing conference in the country. One of the speakers noted that because of the inspirational and educational workshops it provides, San Diego is going to have more than its fair share of accomplished authors and writing professionals in the future.
I also recently joined the board for Playwrights Project http://playwrightsproject.org/ which expands playwriting education and opportunities for youth and adults.
Jillian: What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were?
Kathy: I love to talk about my critique group. We call ourselves the Denny’s Chicks because we are scattered all over San Diego and Denny’s was the most central place to meet. I would not be published today if it wasn’t for Barrie Summy (barriesummy.com) and Kelly Hayes. We motivate each other and bring different talents to the table when reviewing each other’s work.
Jillian: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Kathy: I walk on the beach a few times a week, for both exercise and to unwind. My husband said that when I walk on the beach with others, it’s good for my health, and when I walk by myself, it’s good for my soul.
Jillian: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Kathy: So many things! I have a dream agent (Jessica Faust, BookEnds, LLC) and dream editor (Robin Barletta, Penguin Random House). I’ve held my book in my hand! I’ve been able to thank people who’ve supported me over the years in the acknowledgements. And I’ll see my book on the bookstore shelves very soon!
Jillian: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Kathy: Coffee for sure. Almost a full cup of newly ground beans in a French press for five minutes. Cream, no sugar. The only way I can wake up!
Jillian: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
Kathy: You’ll have to ask my husband or kids. On the other hand, maybe not.
Kathy has a question for GLIAS readers: What unsolved mystery would you’d like to see solved? Kathy is giving away a copy of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates to one lucky commenter! Leave your contact information along with your comment if you wish to be included in the giveaway raffle.
You can follow Kathy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.aarons or Twitter: @kathyaarons or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.
***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.