by Julie, still not wearing socks in Somerville
I’m thrilled to welcome Gayle Lesson to the blog today! Gayle is a multi-published author who is visiting us to talk about her Down South Café Mystery series. Take it away, Gayle!
If You Can Dream It Up…
My latest Down South Café Mystery, Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets, releases today. In the book, Amy Flowers, proprietress of the Down South Café, is tasked by the town manager to create a float for the Winter Garden Christmas parade.
So, a little backstory is needed here: Under the pen name Gayle Trent, I wrote a series of books about a cake decorator named Daphne Martin. My publisher and I sent books to Kerry Vincent to be used as prizes for the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show. Ms. Vincent invited me out for the event, and I attended twice. I had such fun! To see a short video from my visit with my lovely daughter in 2015, click this link: https://youtu.be/fjGYJf4eSiQ.
I met some wonderful people in connection with the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show, one of whom was Rosemary Galpin. Rosemary is a Master Sugar Artist (and a gifted seamstress—some people have all the talent!) who lives in Luling, Texas.
When I decided I wanted Amy to create an enormous cake to put atop her car—a Volkswagen Beetle—and drive through town in the parade, I knew Rosemary was the person to ask whether this feat would be possible. I sent Rosemary a message asking her: “One of her workers suggests she make a huge dummy cake [A dummy cake, or cake dummy, is a decorated cake made using cake forms rather than actual cake for contest and display purposes.] and anchor it to the top of the car for the parade. Is that feasible? I know those cakes are heavy, but if it’s a hundred pounds or less–if I could come up with a way for her to get it to stay–it shouldn’t cave in the top. Having never done a dummy cake, I thought I should check with the expert.”
Rosemary replied, “Yes, that can definitely be done!” And then she proceeded to walk me through the entire process. She told me how to make the cake board which would secure the cake to the car’s luggage rack. I used a bit of a cross-over to have a character from my Ghostly Fashionista mystery series make the cake board for Amy since the books are set in neighboring towns.
I incorporated Rosemary’s instructions on decorating the cake into the book, although rather than a wedding cake, like the one in the photograph with Rosemary, I decided Amy would create a café-themed cake.
My new question for Amy Flowers was, “What would a café-themed cake look like?” A Google search quickly provided answers. Which leads me back to the title of this post, “If You Can Dream It Up…” Because if you can dream it up, you can figure out a way to do it. I hope you’ll let this be an encouragement to you.
Readers, what dream(s) are you trying to make happen? Comment below, and I’ll choose one reader [U.S. and international welcome] using a random number generator to win an ebook copy of Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets.
About the Book
Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets, A Down South Café Mystery
Christmas comes with chaos—and a murder—in the fifth book in the Down South Café cozy mystery series!
Amy Flowers thinks her biggest problem is going to be creating an enormous cake dummy to mount atop her car for Winter Garden’s upcoming Christmas parade. But when one of Roger’s employees is murdered, making the float is the least of Amy’s worries. Her childhood friend is a prime suspect, Aunt Bess is making a new Pinterest board: Things That’ll Probably Kill Me, and her boyfriend’s mother is insisting on helping Amy make three-hundred-seventy-five sugar cookies to hand out along the parade route.
When Amy starts trying to clear Roger of the murder, she unexpectedly finds herself involved in international intrigue. How will our favorite café owner outwit sophisticated criminals who want to deck the halls with her head?
Read an excerpt at https://www.gayleleeson.com/excerpt-fbhc
About Gayle Leeson
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent, an author living in Virginia with a beautiful family and quite a few pets. 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. As Gayle Leeson, I write the Down South Cafe mystery series, the Ghostly Fashionista mystery series, and the Kinsey Falls women’s fiction series.