Welcome Back Guest Korina Moss #giveaway

aprilbluetx is the winner of Korina’s giveaway! Please watch for a message from her!

I’m always happy to welcome back a guest and especially Korina Moss! I read part of an early draft of her first book and am so happy she kept at it when that book was rejected. Now she has a hit series on her hands with her Cheese Shop Mystery series set in Sonoma Valley, California. Look for a giveaway at the end of the post as we celebrate the release of her fourth book, Case of the Bleus!


Korina: Have you ever tasted food that was so amazing, you couldn’t stop thinking about it?  That’s what happened to me last year when I first tried Rogue River Blue—a World Champion blue cheese made from the Rogue Creamery in Oregon. I felt “meh” about blue cheese until Rogue River changed me forever. It was like no other blue cheese I’d ever tasted. Covered in Syrah grape leaves that are soaked in pear spirits, it gives you the punch of blue cheese balanced with a fruity essence, all with a fudgy texture. I loved it in my salad, but honestly it was so good, I just ate it by itself with a spoon. It’s a seasonal cheese, released every year on the autumn equinox and is so popular that it’s only in shops for a few months. Because I couldn’t stop thinking about this cheese, I decided to write about it. I used it as inspiration for my fourth Cheese Shop Mystery, Case of the Bleus.

In Case of the Bleus, the secrets to an enigmatic and award-winning blue cheese may be gone forever when its creator –Willa’s former boss, Max — dies. But when the person everyone thought was inheriting the cheese is killed for those secrets, the hunt for Max’s Church Bleu begins. When Willa discovers she’s the intended heir, she must decipher the riddles Max left in order to find the cheese and a killer before the killer finds her.

GIVEAWAY (US only): If you’d like a chance to win a signed copy of Case of the Bleus, tell me about a food experience that rocked your world! Winner will be chosen by a random drawing.



Released Sept 26, 2023

What in the bleu blazes is happening in Yarrow Glen now?

Cheesemongers from across the Northwest have come to the Sonoma Valley for the Northwest Cheese Invitational. As owner of the local cheese shop, Curds & Whey, Willa Bauer loves it. The event showcases custom cheese creations, and it’s the perfect time to gather with old colleagues to honor her former boss, the late and grate cheese legend, Max Dumas. He was famous for journeying into the wild bleu yonder to where he aged his award-winning custom Church Bleu. Only Max knew the recipe and location to his beloved cheese, and many are eager to have these revealed at his will reading.

But instead of naming someone to inherit his cheese and its secrets, Max stuns everyone with one cryptic clue. When a fellow cheesemonger dies under mysterious circumstances––the woman they all thought would get the secrets to Max’s prized possession––everyone falls under suspicion. Willa adores Church Bleu as much as the next cheese connoisseur, but it’s not to die for. Is a killer trying to get away with murder…and the cheese?


KORINA MOSS is the author of the Cheese Shop Mystery series (St. Martin’s Press) set in the Sonoma Valley, including the Agatha Award winner for Best First Novel, CHEDDAR OFF DEAD. Her books have been featured in PARADE Magazine, Woman’s World, AARP, and Fresh Fiction. For more information about Korina, her upcoming events, and her books, and to subscribe to her free monthly newsletter, visit her website at korinamossauthor.com.

Social Media:




91 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations on your book release Korina. I’m a picky eater, so me trying octopus was amazing. Would I eat it again, doubt it, but I did try it.

      1. Just remembered calamari is squid and not octopus… however, I don’t eat any of it anymore.

    1. Like Edith, I LOVE grilled octopus so much. I had a grilled octopus taco in San Diego a few months ago. So yummy. I also got to try octopus ceviche for the first time there.

    2. Thank you, Dru! You were adventurous! I used to love calamari and grilled octopus , but like Edith, I’ve discovered how intelligent octopuses are (and I’ve kind of fallen in love with them) so I don’t eat it anymore. (Although I also watch sanctuary videos on IG so I ought to just become a vegetarian, but that’s not happening!)

    3. The first and only time I’ve had octopus was in Wyoming in the late 80s. Do you remember those rubber things that people used to plug drains? I might as well have been eating that! I know I should try grilled octopus sometime, but there’s that lingering memory.

  2. I am a cheese lover who is also not a huge fan of blue cheese. Maybe I just haven’t found the right one?

    As an adventurous foodie, I can still vividly remember the first time I ate seafood paella & a grilled mackerel appetizer in Spain. (FYI, I am NOT eligible for the book giveaway since I live in Canada).

    1. I suggest you try Rogue River Blue — it’ll only be out for the next few months. It’s unlike any blue cheese you’ve ever had, I promise. I’m sorry about having to limit the giveaway. Sine I mail the giveaway books out myself, shipping costs outside the US becomes prohibitive for me.

      1. KORINA: I totally understand the crazy shipping costs to Canada. We don’t have media mail here. As a result, it is also very $$ for Canadian authors to mail books within Canada.

        I will look into whether Rogue River Blue cheese can be shipped to Canada. We also have very good international cheese selection in Ottawa (& in nearby Montreal, Quebec).

  3. Congratulations on number four, Korina! We should get our Sonoma County sleuths together for a wine and cheese event. ;^)

    Yesterday I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant with a group of former work colleaques and the food was incredibly good. The green beans, fried with chopped peanuts, were heavenly. And a pork dish had pieces of what I think was kelp in an amazing sauce. I would eat there every day if it wasn’t an hour’s drive away. I’m still thinking about that kelp.

    1. Thanks, Edith! That’s the mark of a good dish, when you still think about it long afterward!

  4. The food that rocked my world was crawfish. For years I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of eating one. It lives in a hole in the ground, so why on earth would I want to eat that? Someone finally got me to try one and I was amazed! The ugly little things were delicious! Every crawfish season now, I have to go have boiled crawfish.

  5. Congratulations on your new book! I like a wicked extra sharp cheese with plain crackers, I don’t find the looks of blue cheese appealing (the blue looks like veins to me lol!), but I’m sure it tastes delicious – especially as you describe it! One of the food experiences I had wasn’t very exotic, but it’s memorable to me: I tasted authentic Mexican food in San Diego. I’d only ever had kinda tex-mex, a watered down version of Mexican food here in the northeast. But friends brought me to a real Mexican restaurant where all the foods tasted so different than what I’d ever had, so that really sticks out to me as a food experience that rocked my world!

    1. Thank you, Kathy! I know what you mean about real Mexican food vs what we usually get. I used to live in Texas, so we’d find the best little out of the way places to go that served authentic Mexican food. There’s a world of difference.

    2. Agree with you, Kathy, about the authentic Mexican food in San Diego. I spent 12 days there in August/September & ate dishes from family-red Mexican restaurants that are not available in Canada.

  6. The most amazing thing I’ve eaten is Mako shark. Shark is not that unusual to eat but this 9 1/2 foot bad boy I caught myself while fishing for little ole Bluefish on a 20 lb. test line!

      1. I am a big fan of this series. I love all of the characters and the overall mystery of each book.

  7. Korina,

    I’m so glad that A CASE OF THE BLEUS is out in the world. I’m a big fan of Willa and the rest of #TeamCheese so any time there’s a new case to read about, it is a happy day. Now I just have to get my hands on a copy.

    As for life changing foods, my aunt’s chicken dish was so incredible the first time I tried it that I’ve been pretty much addicted to it ever since. It’s not a complicated recipe or anything but it is just so tasty that I want to put my leftovers aside before I even have the actual meal.

    Also, one time I had an incredible bacon cheeseburger. I was having a meal before a concert and instead of the usual two or three small strips of bacon, when my meal arrived, they’d put a slab of bacon on top instead. It reminded me of something you’d see on The Flintstones or something. It was so damn good.

    1. LOL- a Flintstone-sized slab of bacon! That’s incredible. Now you’ve got me curious as to your aunt’s incredible chicken dish!! Thanks for being part of #teamcheese and reading my series, Jay!

  8. Living no where near a coast for the majority of my life, finding good seafood is not only hard to do, but when you do, it’s VERY expensive. My “meh” moment was the first time I got to eat crab legs. Oh my, I was in love with that sweet meat! Still don’t get to have it very often, which only adds to the great joy when I do. I’ll even admit to planning little side trips on our vacation in order to get to some place where we could dine on these delicious crustaceans.

    CASE OF THE BLEUS sounds like an amazing book and one I know I would very much love the opportunity to read and review. I’m always excited when I think about reading a book from an author I’ve never read before. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. It’s funny that I used to feel this way about lobster. I’d only had it once or twice until I moved to NH in the 90s where it was abundant and inexpensive, so I had it often. I’m still in New England and enjoy it on occasion, but I’ve had my fill. So sometimes it’s not a bad thing to only get it as a treat, because then you really appreciate and enjoy it! I hope you’ll give my cheese shop series a try.

  9. I tend to be a picky eater but have found that if I keep trying things I will often find that I like them after initially not. I really enjoyed trying Ethiopian food, which is served on injera, a fermented pancake like flatbread made of teff flour, which is a kind of grass. The fun thing about Ethiopian food is that you eat it with your hands, using the injera to scoop everything up. I liked this immediately,, although it was definitely outside my comfort zone. I recommend trying Ethiopian food if you get the chance. I like all kinds of cheese, including blue cheese. I would love to try Rogue River Blue Cheese. It sounds delicious! #Team Cheese all the way!

    1. Hi Sue! I have wanted to try Ethiopian food for a while and have not gone out of my way to look fora good place, but I really need to correct that! Thanks for being a part of #teamcheese!

  10. Steak with Bleu cheese sauce in IL Bordello ..Wapping High Street London .. with a nice bottle of Barolo about 15 yrs ago.. I have nearly mastered the sauce myself just by taste.. love to cook.. Gillian Johnston

    1. Hi Gillian. That sounds AMAZING. I’ve had some of the best food while visiting London.

  11. Three cheers to you on the new release, Korina! Like Wallace from Wallace & Gromit likes to say, “I’m just crackers about cheese!”
    I will never forget having Cajun chicken fettuccine for the first time. It was in 1990 and I was on a date with my now wife. It was a mind blowing dish.

    1. Thanks, JC! That sounds like the perfect date all the way around! (And I love Wallace & Gromit!)

  12. 2019…It was on a Pysanky tour to Western Ukraine in the Carpathian Mountain region. I was raised on the American version of this dish but it was amazing in Ukraine, the dish is called Banosh. It is a Hutsul dish that used to only be made from by men (sheep herders), it was cooked in a huge cast iron vat over a campfire. They only used a wooden spoon and stirred in one direction. A lot of history in this regional dish but it is so good.
    Banosh is prepared with cornmeal with added smetana (cream), served with bacon cracklings ,sautéed mushrooms, and bryndza on top.
    Bryndza is a rich creamy sheep’s milk cheese that has a bit of the sharpness of feta and just slightly salty but creamy like a Brie.
    Our Group experienced many culinary delights on this tour, it helped that our tour guide, Taras, was a young man of 30, that was a Foodie. So we had the best food in every city. Truly an unforgettable trip and memory.

    1. Wow, Jackie, that’s fascinating. Now I want to hear about the entire trip and all the amazing foods you got to learn about and enjoy. I love the history and cultural aspects of food. How incredible.

  13. When I was in Scotland I tried haggis . I was wary of it but wanted to say that I at least tried it. After the first bite i found that it wasn’t as bad as I thought and enjoyed eating the rest. It reminded me of a sloppy joe without the slop.

    1. I was only in Scotland for 3 days and I was not adventurous enough to try Haggis! Another author (can’t remember who) just posted on FB about being in Scotland and discovering he liked haggis.

  14. I’m not much of a seafood eater. I usually only eat shrimp. But I went to a Greek restaurant with friends and the ordered fried octopus (yes it’s the octopus again) and they convinced me to try it. It was really good and I actually ate a few more pieces.

  15. Congratulations, Korina! The last food to really rock my world was Yasso frozen yogurt bars. I’ve changed the way I eat for the better and thought I’d never be able to enjoy ice cream guilt-free again. Yasso Chocolate Fudge bars taste like the old-fashioned fudgesicles. So good. aprilbluetx at yahoo dot com

  16. This is nothing exotic or from a different country, but when I was in high school and working summers at the Wheel In Drive in , I tried a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich for the first time. It was hand breaded, melt in your mouth tender and delicious. This sandwich has long been a favorite of mine.

    1. I love Drive Ins! (We still have one in my town.) Some of the best foods are the ones that aren’t exotic but that you really love and are lucky to be able to keep having.

  17. It would have to be this amazing Chocolate Mousse I had at an Italian restaurant in New Jersey. I was there for my cousin’s wedding. The restaurant was where they had the rehearsal dinner. It was in 1998 and I still remember how delicious that Chocolate Mousse was.

    1. Don’t you love when something is THAT good!! I have a few dessert experiences like that.

  18. I never thought I liked calamari, until I had it at a local place – covered in panko bread crumbs and lightly fried. Yum. Didn’t like hummus until I tried homemade stuff at a friend’s restaurant – and my favorite was the one blended with a bit of sardine(?). Now I love roasted red pepper hummus with pita bread or chips. Had a seafood paella in San Juan, PR that was to die for. Shrimp as big as my fist.

    Congrats on the book, Korina!

  19. When I was a child I saw a lobster moving on a counter top and thought it looked like a spider. I avoided trying the meat until I was in my early teens. Now I wish I could make up for all the time I lost neglecting to be “brave”. This book is the safest I can ever get to bleu cheese, I am deathly allergic to it.

    1. oh my goodness, that’s scary to be allergic to a food. I’m glad you finally decided to try lobster!

  20. Congratulations on your latest, Korina! Looking forward to reading it.

    My absolute knock my socks off in an unexpected way meal happened in Jamaica back in the early 1970s. I was camping on Negril beach and one of the fishermen invited me to a meal at his parents’ house. The food was fantastic and I had no idea what it was. Turned out to be goat curry and a side of ackee and saltfish as a salad. For those who don’t know – ackee is poisonous unless properly harvested and prepared.

    1. Oh my goodness!!! Probably a good thing you were happily oblivious. Sounds like such a fun experience. There’s nothing better than eating with the locals when you travel.

  21. Congratulations not only for your books, but for your excellent marketing on social media, Korina! I enjoy your posts, and you let us readers into your world many times a day! Kudos to you! Traveling around allows one to experience many food items that would be disgusting to other cultures. I have tried so many items in my life, and can say I ate them, but they would not be on a menu in my home: Ants, grasshoppers, scorpions, tarantulas…and so on. I’d rather have some Rogue River Blue cheese as I read your signed copy of A Case of the Bleus 🙂 Thank you for enriching and entertaining us readers! I hope you will find intriguing stories to share with us. Luis at ole dot travel

    1. Thank you, Luis!! I enjoy interacting with my readers and the positive side of social media is that we get to do that. You sound very well-traveled and I love that you try foods from different cultures. It’s fun to say you’ve had it!

  22. Congrats on your new book. I haven’t had one amazing food experience that really stands out. Not that i don’t have a number of foods that i love to eat but just not just one meal/food that was outstanding. Is that weird? never thought it was before but now i’m wondering ….

    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

    1. Thank you. Hmmm, I don’t think it’s weird but I do think you should now go in search of the “rock my world” food! LOL. I love food so much — I think that’s why certain ones have stayed with me.

    1. Ok, I’m putting Bedford Farms on my bucket list and then I’ll let you know how it stacks up to my local creameries. (We have a lot of great local ice cream here in northeastern CT.)

  23. A captivating and memorable experience with authentic and delectable Italian food was 27 years ago when we were moving away. Our Italian nextdoor neighbor had prepared a feast. Each food item was created with care, love and was delicious and unforgettable.

    1. Oh, that’s so sweet. Part of our love for food, I think, is because of a memory attached, especially when the food is representative of love and friendship. (And Italians really know how to cook!)

  24. I once had a salad in Toronto that combined the most amazing flavors. I could live on that stuff.

  25. A simple but amazing meal that I ate in Italy at a restaurant. Grilled, flavorful fish, with veggies was extraordinary and special.

    1. All the food I ate in Italy was so simple and yet the most flavorful I’ve ever had.

  26. Congratulations on Case of the Bleus, Korina. I LOVE blue cheese, so your description of Rogue River Bleu had me positively salivating.

    1. Thank you, Barbara! You should really try to get some before it’s gone in a few months. You’ll adore it!

  27. I’m a picky eater so I’m not sure I’ve ever had a sublime eating experience… LOL. The closest I’ve come is during a (family) girls trip to the Smokies. A candy shop in Pigeon Forge had chocolate covered bacon. It was thick, slab bacon with a sweet glaze and then covered in rich chocolate. Completely decadent. It was so worth the price. And you had to get there right when they placed it in the car, otherwise they sold out in seconds.

  28. I have 2 amazing food experiences. The first is when I went to New York and ate at Esca. The atmosphere was amazing! The food was beyond belief. We had oysters on the half-shell, salt baked bronzino, and some fancy drinks and a fancy dessert. I would go back there again and again! We have a local restaurant called Myles and Jun that is in a strip mall, very unassuming. It is a Japanese Yakatori restaurant. We go there often. Most times, we will just order off of the yakatori menu and split a small entree. She makes a sake sangria that is AMAZING! We have never had bad food there. We probably go two or three times a year.

    1. That all sounds wonderful. I looked up Esca so next time I go to NYC I could try it, and it says it’s out of business. How sad. How nice, however, that you’ve found a great place near you.

  29. I just had butterbeer yesterday for the first time, and it was pretty impressive. Not sure it is enough to get me to write a story about it, especially since it came from Harry Potter….

    Congrats on book 4! (My copy has already arrived, so no need to enter me in the giveaway.)

    1. Hi Mark! I need to go to Harry Potter World at Universal. I went to the Warner Bros Studio Tour of Harry Potter near London and they also had butter beer. I wasn’t a huge fan — it was very sweet, sort of like cream soda. (I wonder if it’s the same recipe.) But I drank the whole thing because I was drinking Harry Potter’s butter beer and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever, lol.

  30. Interestingly enough, my food experience also involved Rogue Creamery cheese. Many years ago, I was at a dinner where they served a new cheese from Rogue Creamery. I’m distressed to say I don’t recall the name, but it was wrapped in a maple leaf and tasted just like a smoky campfire (in a really good way). I’ve been able to find it once since, at a New Seasons (a local Portland market). Congratulations on your latest release!

    1. The only exotic food I can think of that i enjoyed would be Lobster! I’m not a huge seafood person. I do enjoy crab cakes though!

      Thanks so much for the chance! Love the book cover!

  31. It would probably be avocado for me. I loved it the first time I tried it. My husband, on the other hand, won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. I am not sure what he thinks it tastes like, but to me it is creamy, smooth and delightful.

    1. I love avocado. I eat them often. That’s so funny that your husband is sure he’d hate it.

  32. I love bleu cheese! I love seafood and shellfish, but will not eat octopus or squid. Love a good bouillabaise!

  33. Your experience sounds like my first time trying Gouda cheese when I was a young girl. To me, that red round ball was filled with magic. I have been hooked on cheese ever since.

  34. Dim sum while vacationing in Hong Kong. The variety far exceeded what is available at the dim sum restaurants here.

  35. The most amazing food was when I helped a good friend make Pork Tamales in Texas in 1973. A lot of work, but fabulous food as is the Tex Mex in Texas especially yellow cheese enchiladas and Chile Rellenos (Poblano Peppers) battered and deep fried stuffed with Picadillo (beef and stuff filling) and a Mexican tomato sauce on top. Another was when we would go to Matamoros or Nuevo Progreso and get the Game Dinner–two meats (filet mignon, cabrito, quail, frog legs, along with other meats, guacamole, onions, celery, charro beans, French fries, onion rings, Spanish rice, a tossed salad, and a Kahlua after dinner drink along with Flan Flameado) for only $5.00 the first time. I loved the filet and frog legs. I must be a foodie though as I love lobster, Maryland crab cakes, crawfish and crawfish etouffee, dim sum and Szechuan Chinese, paella, any kind seafood and snapper Francaise that we got in the Keys. I could go on, but now I am hungry, even thoughI went to Pappadeaux today for my birthday and had Redfish Pontchartrain with shrimp and crab in a sauce. OMG… And don’t forget Gumbo and Muffelettas in NOLA.

    1. Happy Birthday!! And you’ve definitely made me want to travel and eat starting right now!

  36. I remember as a child stopping by a Mennonite roadside stand in Maryland on our way to my Mom’s home place. We would buy fresh bread and other things to take to share with the family. I have to say that eating fresh baked goods made with fresh ground flour and other ingredients was an eye opening experience. I was born in the city. My Mom and aunts baked home made bread, biscuits and other items. It makes a difference to use totally fresh items in preparing foods. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

  37. A bone-in pork chop with the crackling still on it in a little spa town in Hungary. 2004-ish? It was the first time I understood pork was not the “other white meat” in the words of the old ad – it could be pink and smoky and rich and have so much flavor.

  38. Once in Toronto, I randomly stopped for lunch at a sidewalk cafe and had the most amazing salad. I don’t even remember what was all in it, but the flavors just melded perfectly and my tastebuds exploded with joy.

Comments are closed.