Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hot Fudge Frame-Up by Christine DeSmet: Guest Author & Giveaway

Hot Fudge Frame-Up (Fudge Shop Mystery Series #2)

A new Belgian sleuth finds a home in the “Cape Cod of the Midwest”
by Christine DeSmet

Setting creates the mystique and the characters in a cozy mystery series. 

My new Fudge Shop Mystery Series features Belgian American Ava Oosterling and her Grandpa Gil, whom she lovingly calls “Gilpa.” 

They co-own Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer in Fishers’ Harbor, Wisconsin. 

The village is in the real Door County, known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest. Door County is that thumb of land in Lake Michigan surrounded by 300 miles of coastline. 

Door County is a quaint place in real life where fast food chains are banned in the picturesque upper half of the county. 

Two-lane, winding roads take you through cherry and apple orchards and under brilliantly colored maples in the fall. Because the county is a top producer of cherries in this country, I knew the first flavor of fudge my character had to make was cherry-vanilla. Called Cinderella Pink Fudge, it’s part of Ava’s new Fairy Tale Fudge line. Unfortunately, Ava’s fudge is used not only to hide diamonds but to choke a famous actress to death in First-Degree Fudge, the debut of my series.

For the crime in Book 2, Hot Fudge Frame-Up, which debuted June 3, I used one of the 11 lighthouses dotting the shorelines. The Eagle Bluff Lighthouse is located within beautiful Peninsula State Park. 

By coincidence the lighthouse has been chosen as “Featured Lighthouse of 2014” by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival Association. The lighthouse contains the original furnishings from one of the keepers. 

That lighthouse is also what you see when you go to my web page,

Door County’s Belgian heritage influences my plot and characters. Ava is the 21st century Hercule Poirot; that famous character was also a Belgian. 

For you football fans, Curly Lambeau—for which Lambeau Field is named, and creator of the Green Bay Packers—was a Belgian. 

Door County and its neighboring counties of Brown and Kewaunee courted the Belgians in the 1850s with land for sale at $1.25 an acre. As a result, over 15,000 Belgians came to the area. All of Door County’s population today is just 28,000. The area is said to have the largest rural population of Belgians in the United States.

The early-immigrant Belgians were farmers, fishermen, and foresters. You’ll find those sorts of people in my series.

Hard workers, Belgians have always loved hearty food and rich desserts. Belgians are known for huge gardens. Common meals might include fish caught from Lake Michigan, cooked or fried cabbage, potatoes (frites!), green onions, and dairy products such as cottage cheese.

They find any excuse to add Belgian chocolate to a dessert. Belgian pie plates from the old country are 12.5 inches across. In Hot Fudge Frame-Up, Grandma Sophie makes many flavors of pies and Ava serves a slice or two to the men vying for her affections. Traditional Belgian pie flavors include rice, chocolate, and anything with berries. Early settlers also used cottage cheese and to this day you’ll find that Belgians love cottage cheese. My own grandmother always served it with green onions. 

And that mocha? Belgians love their coffee with cream, and we like dunking our toast in coffee. There’s also nothing better than a coffee break with a nice piece of fudge!

Please stop by Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer soon. Be lazy in a chair on the dock, watch the bay, and feel the summer breeze while you enjoy a piece of Cinderella Pink cherry-vanilla fudge. Ava’s own original recipes are featured in First-Degree Fudge and Hot Fudge Frame-Up.


Blurb: Ava is gearing up for the First Annual Fudge Festival—a huge celebration that could draw national attention to her old-fashioned fudge shop in Door County, Wisconsin—known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” She’s invited two celebrity chefs to go head-to-head with her in a fudge contest. Everyone is having a tasty time…until a judge for the festival is found dead.

About the author: Christine DeSmet writes the Fudge Shop Mystery Series (Penguin Random House/NAL/Obsidian). She teaches writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies, where she’ll be teaching novel writing at the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat June 16-20. 

Christine is a Belgian American who was born among a large clan of Belgians in Moline, Illinois, then grew up on a farm near Barneveld, Wisconsin.

You can write to her at UW-Madison,

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Wednesday, June 11th for the chance to win a copy of Hot Fudge Frame-Up. (US entries only, please.)


Unknown said...

I love it, a new Belgium sleuth, how fun - step aside Poirot! Thank you, for the chance to win it :)

traveler said...

This sounds delightful and unique. thanks for this feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am captivated with this new mystery. What a great combination. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

The location sounds delightful. It would be a great place to visit.
And if some fresh fudge were also available, so much the better!
libbydodd at comcast dot net

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. This sounds like such fun. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good read, I love cozy mysteries.


Sue said...

Door County is on my list of places to visit---maybe I can start by visiting it in this book. Now ig I can just figure out how to get some of that fudge to eat while reading it.

Michstjame said...

You had me at 21st century Hercule Poirot. :) Actually, you may have had me at fudge--it's a weakness of mine. Sounds like a terrific series, both in theme and setting. Thanks for the giveaway!

michstjame at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I love fudge. Thanks for the giveaway! Raquel36m (at) gmail (dot) com

cyn209 said...

would so love to read this!!!
thank you for the giveaway!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

Meg C. said...

Sounds like a fantastic read.

Unknown said...

I just love the title, this is going on my wish list !

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review and the heads up on a new-to-me author and series. I'm going to have to read the first one! You really got me with the "live bait" as I am a fisher person. We're going to Alaska next month and do a little halibut fishing on a charter boat. Can't wait!
Sandy in So. Cali sxygrndma48(at)yahoo(dot)com

Debbie S said...

You had me at "fudge". This sounds interesting, I'll have to go check for the first book.

NoraA said...

I think I'm in love, with a new series.. I enjoyed the review and I'm looking forward to reading the book. I hope I'm the lucky winner.


Anonymous said...

Would love to win. Thanks!
patucker54 at aol dot com

Brooke Showalter said...

This sounds like a wonderful read. Great guest post, I enjoyed reading an inside look into the setting. :)

brookeb811 at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I keep hearing more and more how lovely Door County is! Must make it a travel destination at some point! Looks like a great book, thanks for the chance to win!

Anita Yancey said...

I would really enjoy reading this book. It sounds so good. Thanks for having the giveaway.