A Wicked Welcome to Gayle Leeson **plus giveaway!**

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.

34 Thoughts

  1. Would that be the dream of clearing my email inbox (back up to 16,305), reviewing all the ARCs (still 50+ past-due), or cleaning the trailer?

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    1. I’ve given up on clearing out my email inbox, but I do still dream of cleaning all the unnecessary stuff out of the bedroom…that is, until I see something else I NEED! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We fulfilled one dream three years ago when we sold out, downsized and moved to our dream destination. Fulfilled a second dream at the same time by being able to design and build our smaller dream home with all the upgrades we had only dreamed of before. Definitely believe we can have more than one dream and once one is accomplished we can start on another. After moving and building our home, our dream was to travel and to see all the wonderful sights to see in this great nation of ours. The first year we went to Maine in the fall. The next two years we went to Yellowstone one year and Glacier and the Badlands the next. This year was to have been Utah’s national parks and Amish country, but Covid-19 put a halt to that. So my dream is that things improve and a vaccine found so that we can once again continue on with our travel plan. Praying for next year to make the next step happen. Because of health issues, we aren’t sure how much longer we will be able to travel. However, once that happens we will set our dreams and goals onto something else. There is always something to dream about and to look forward to.

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a copy of “Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets”.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  3. Love your books Gayle! Right now, I’m trying to find a job so we can finally get a condo and hopefully get a boat. It’s tough being unemployed in the time of COVID.

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  4. I tried to respond to each comment, but every time I posted a new one, the previous one disappeared! 😦 So, I’ll say that I wish you all tremendous success with all your dreams and that I so appreciate your kindness, support, and encouragement! *hugs*

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  5. My immediate dream is to declutter my house which I have been doing. It feels so freeing after it is done. My longer term dream is to retire next year one week after I turn 65.

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  6. Wow, that is amazing! What a great thing to get to research too! I am working on my dreams, glad to have a healthy family for now! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  7. What a wonderful connection to be able to use for research. It’s amazing how some of those connections come about and our out, isn’t it?

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  8. I’m trying to figure out how to plant a garden next year so that I can be one of the ones posting ‘harvest hauls’ on social media. Really, I just want to grow some tasty stuff, though.

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  9. Getting the apartment “spring clean from top to bottom” for a start. Lol. Getting my tbr stack built up again. Been in lovkdown since March, I also need to lose about 15-20 pounds. Lol thank you.

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  10. Wahooo and congrats on the new book. It looks amazing. Right now our dream is to move to CO. We are in the process, but oh boy is it a pain. Things are moving, but we take one step forward and two back. Still making a tiny bit of progress some how though. Thanks for the chance to win!

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