Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review + GIVEAWAY: Pressing the Issue by Daryl Wood Gerber




Pressing the Issue
By Daryl Wood Gerber
Cookbook Nook Series #6
Beyond the Page, 2018


Summary

The Agatha Award–winning author of Grilling the Subject returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, where the annual Renaissance Fair serves up a helping of crafty courtiers, damsels in distress, and medieval murder ...

As the annual Renaissance Fair comes to Crystal Cove, Jenna Hart’s Cookbook Nook is packed with tasty treats and all things medieval, while her pal Bailey is ready to swoon over her upcoming nuptials at a local vineyard. But when the two friends discover the body of the vineyard’s owner bludgeoned by a wine press, all their merriment fades, along with their hopes for a vintage year.

Which churlish varlet did the deed? Was it the victim’s errant brother, who stood to inherit the vineyards? Or the owner’s crestfallen ex-girlfriend? Mayhap it was the newly arrived lusty wench, or her jealous husband. Fie on them all! Verily, Jenna can’t rest until justice is served, and she vows to track down the killer. But can she sniff out the truth before the villainous culprit strikes again?


My thoughts

Daryl Wood Gerber writes several successful mystery series and is consistently good. This is the first Cookbook Nook story that I’ve read, but I easily connected with the characters and would like to read the earlier stories. The main characters, warm and sometimes quirky, are well drawn and endearing.

The coastal California setting of Crystal Cove is vividly conveyed, making its beach and shops a place I’d love to visit. But the real setting, one that literally becomes a major character, is the Renaissance Festival. Food, crafts, theater, costumes, faire speak … the author does a great job of conveying the essence of the fair and enveloping readers in its atmosphere. If you've never been to a Renaissance Festival, you'll want to after reading Pressing the Issue.

Jenna, owner of the bookstore, is an appealing lead character with logic and sensitivity. Rarely do police and amateur investigators get along, but I’d love for the Police Chief to appreciate Jenna’s insight and intuitiveness. The murder victim was a likeable figure, making this story touching. It’s probably not appropriate to enjoy the scene when the protagonist’s life is being threatened, but the final revelation was quite creative and had me smiling.

Pressing the Issue is a clean read, which I greatly appreciated. This is a perfect story for cozy mystery fans and I look forward to more Cookbook Nook mysteries.

I was provided a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


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Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the brand new French Bistro Mysteries as well as the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. A DEADLY ÊCLAIR, the first French Bistro Mystery, comes out November 2017. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAY OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN.

Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!


Social Media Links:
http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com
http://facebook.com/darylwoodgerber
http://twitter.com/darylwoodgerber
http://youtube.com/woodgerb1
http://instagram.com/darylwoodgerber
http://pinterest.com/darylwoodgerber

Website:
http://www.darylwoodgerber.com

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INTERVIEW

I have enjoyed Pressing the Issue and it has been an honor to host Daryl today. Now enjoy as she shares some interesting things about the book and herself as well …

Q – A favorite mystery series, other than your own … Domestic Diva Mysteries by Krista Davis. I want Sophie Winston to come to my house and fill my freezer with goodies.

Q – A recent book you enjoyed that wasn’t a mystery … About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay, but caveat, it’s a steamy romance. But funny. Love her voice.

Q – If you could have lunch with any literary character, who would it be and why? Scarlet O’Hara - to have a chat about what she did wrong.  LOL  Nancy Drew, to figure out why she’s so bold. Hercule Poirot to find out how he became so darned smart.

Q – If you had a bucket list, one thing on it would be … I’d love to tour all the places in Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Is there such a tour?


Q – Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you have different career path in mind growing up?

      When I was young, I tried my hand at writing a Nancy Drew novel. I’m not sure how many pages I wrote or whether it even had chapters. My mother didn’t keep it in my “baby book,” but she kept the story about the long-necked giraffe. Hmm. What does that say about my first mystery? LOL
      But to directly answer the question, no, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer.  However, I sang and danced and wrote little plays for myself for years, so I guess I was always a storyteller. That passion to write for myself fizzed in 7th grade when I was dealt a mighty blow. A teacher said I shouldn’t be a writer. Now, honestly? What teacher does that to a child? I didn’t even think of writing again until I was in my twenties … I was an actress … and I wanted to write a screenplay that I could star in. That didn’t happen, but taking the step toward writing again and really putting my mind to learning the craft—I took a lot of classes—opened a whole new world for me.


Q – What is a must-have when writing to enhance your creativity? Writing aids, food, music?

      There are no “must-haves” for me, but I do enjoy listening to music. I have a number of playlists that are all instrumental.  The Secret Garden playlist is the one I use when I’m rewriting. It’s very soothing. When I start a project, I’ll choose a playlist that fits the mood of the book. Depending on which cozy mystery I’m writing, I’ll select Somewhere in Time, Christmas music, or The Secret Garden. For my suspense, I like to listen to jazz or movie themes. In my Cookbook Nook Mystery, Jenna likes to listen to what her mother used to listen to, Judy Garland (which of course has words and is not instrumental), so I often play that music as I drive to get me in the mood.
      As for writing aids: a computer.  Food: decaf coffee and maybe a sweet. Companionship: Sparky.


Q – What kind of research did you do for Pressing the Issue?

      This book focuses on the Renaissance Fair that has come to Crystal Cove. I attended many Renaissance Fairs over the years. Last year, I went to the fair in Los Angeles. It was splendid. The scope was vast. I dressed up. I drank mead. I took lots of pictures and touched something in virtually every seller’s booth so that I could get a feel for the event. I sang with some madrigals. When I was designing the fair for Crystal Cove, it was on a much smaller scope. I reviewed Renaissance Fair sites online for names of the shops and crafts. Fun!
      Now, the book also features Jenna’s pal Bailey’s upcoming wedding at a vineyard. I’ve done lots of research at vineyards over the years. There was one I went to in Santa Cruz that had a view of the ocean from its tasting patio. I used that as my basis, and the rest was my imagination.


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GIVEAWAY


To one commenter, Daryl is giving away commenter’s choice of one of the first five Cookbook Nook Mysteries or any of the Cheese Shop Mysteries, plus fun swag, including recipe cards and a utility measuring spoon.

To enter the drawing, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here. Winner will be drawn from those who share. And if you've ever been to a Renaissance Festival, please share about your experience.

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, February 28. Winner will be chosen by random.org and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents

135 comments:

  1. Thanks for a chance to win

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Best wishes in the drawing. Don't forget to leave your e-mail address.

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  2. This sounds like some good reading, thanks for the giveaway! lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

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    1. Pressing the Issue is good reading indeed, Connie. Thanks for visiting today.

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  3. You were on Murder She Wrote!!? How cool is that!!!!! I absolutely love the show. Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway. I haven’t read any of your books but they do sound fun!

    Soblessed020(at) gmail (dot) com

    Btw I didn’t have an option to share the fb post 😏

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    1. Murder She Wrote is still one of my favorite shows, Shamekka - the essence of cozy mystery. Hope you get to read Pressing the Issue soon.

      And thanks for trying to share. The option was there when I clicked the link and others have shared, but technical gliches happen all the time.

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    2. Shamekka, yes, I was. Angela Lansbury was a terrific person. ~ Daryl

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  4. One of my favorite writers! If you ever find a tour like that (All of AC's sites) I am so down for that! moodiesmum(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I'm with you on the Agatha Christie tour sites, Raquel. How fun would that be?! Thanks for sharing on Facebook.

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  5. I love the title. Enjoyed the review and interview. Thank you for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Me too, Paula. Cozy mysteries have such creative and quirky titles. Thank you for visiting and sharing on Facebook. That really helps authors.

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  6. I have read "Pressing the Issue" and I absolutely loved it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that loves a well written cozy mystery. This was my first book to read in the series which proves that it can be read as a stand alone book. Having not read any of the other books means now I MUST read them. Greatly appreciate the chance to win one of the other books in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries series.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Same with me, Kay. This was my first read of the series and I'm eager to read the previous ones, even though it does stand alone. That's a compliment to how well-drawn the characters are. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing on Facebook, Kay.

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    2. Aw, thanks, Kay. And thanks, Carole, for your lovely review. :) I'm so glad the story is resonating. ~ Daryl

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  7. This book sounds great! It is on my To Read list.
    mlduffer(at)att(dot)net

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    1. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, Pressing the Issue is an excellent story, Mary. Hope you get to read it soon.

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  8. Love the cover. Thanks for the chance.
    im2early4u(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I thought the cover was very well done and appealing, Leslie. Best wishes in the drawing.

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  9. I’ve enjoyed the other books in this series and look forward to reading this one, too.

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    1. So glad to hear you've enjoyed the previous books, Anne. I hope to start reading them soon. Daryl is such a consistently good writer!

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  10. Can't wait to read this latest book. I enjoy this series

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    1. Sheila, don't forget to leave your e-mail address if you'd like to enter the giveaway. Thanks so much for visiting today!

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  11. I love Daryl's answer for her bucket list! I too would love to tour all the places in Agatha Christie’s mysteries! A.C., my first and foremost love of books at age 9... nani_geplcs@yahoo.com

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    1. Sheryl, doesn't this sound like something a tour company should put together? I'm game. ~ Daryl

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    2. Sheryl, it was Agatha Christie that made me love cozy mysteries - Miss Marple, that is. I also love British settings, so what could be better than the tour Daryl suggested? Thanks so much for visiting today, Sheryl.

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  12. Thank you for hosting this giveaway! I shared your FB post and commented that I did.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Daryl is so much fun; it's always a pleasure to host her on my blog. Thank you for visiting and for sharing, Wendy.

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  13. I have heard your books are fun. I especially would love to read and review the cheese shop mysteries..rosep at bayland dot net thank you

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    1. Rosemary, I hope you will read them. I've had such a fun time writing them. ~ Daryl

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    2. Rosemary, if you enjoy cozy mysteries, I'm sure you will enjoy any series Daryl writes. I'm eager to try the cheese shop mysteries myself. Thank you for visiting and best wishes in the giveaway.

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  14. Replies
    1. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, try any of Daryl's series, Gale. And please leave your e-mail address if you'd like to enter the giveaway. Glad you dropped by today.

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  15. I loved the other books in this series and can’t wait to read this one. I shared on Facebook.
    cecilialyiung(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Cecilla, and I appreciate your thoughts on the earlier books in this series.

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    2. Cecilia, I'm so glad you've enjoyed the series. Thrills me to hear that. ~ Daryl

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  16. So excited about the new book! Thank you for the giveaway. bunkielisa at gmail dot com

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    1. It's a good story for cozy mystery fans, Lisa. Glad you dropped by.

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  17. This sounds like an amazing series; ReadingMama922 at gmail dot com

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    1. This series is all that a cozy mystery should be, Debbie. Hope you get to read some of Daryl's books soon.

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  18. Love this series! Shared your post. Thanks for the chance to win. awilcox1182@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. Always appreciated. ~ Daryl

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    2. Thanks so much for sharing, Amanda. Have you read any other of Daryl's series?

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  19. Love this series!! Thanks for the chance to win! ljbonkoski@yahooo.com

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    1. Then you'll certainly enjoy Pressing the Issue, Lori. Glad you dropped by today.

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  20. Love Daryl's books. Thanks for the chance to win. Lisamil46@gmail.com

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    1. Pressing the Issue is another good one, Lisa. Good luck in the drawing.

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    2. Thanks, Lisa. Glad you're enjoying them. ~ Daryl

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  21. Are we going to be able to read the Long-Necked Giraffe story?

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    1. Glad you mentioned the long-necked giraffe story, Sharon. That's just an early sign of Daryl's creative imagination!

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    2. I forgot to leave my email: catwoman-1(at)Comcast(dot)net

      Thanks again for the fun.

      Delete
  22. If you find out that there is such a tour take me with you.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm with you on that, Miss Janet. I'm addicted to British mysteries and would to be on that tour.

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  23. Shared on Facebook. So excited for the release. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Margaret Rushton
    scarletbegonia5858 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Margaret. I hope you get to read one of Daryl's mysteries soon.

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  24. Oh my gosh, this contest sounds fabulous!

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  25. imrnradnor@gmail.com

    I didn't know where else to leave my email address!

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    1. Got it, Cheryl. The contest is fabulous, but so is Daryl's book!

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  26. Great series with great book titles!! Thanks for all the posts! lindaherold999@gmail.com

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    1. Cozy mystery titles are so much fun, Linda. Thanks for dropping by today.

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  27. Great series! Thanks for all the fun posts! lindaherold999@gmail.com

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    1. Linda, you are welcome. Loving all the comments here. ~ Daryl

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  28. Reading Pressing the Issue now. Good so far. I’m sure I will enjoy it. Don’t know if I’m eligible (doubt it, seeing as I’m not eligible for the today prize) but just in case, my email is lauraalbert[at]hotmail[dot]com

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    1. Laura, you're eligible for any of the "today" prizes. ~ Daryl

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    2. Glad Daryl said you were eligible, Laura, because I couldn't see why you wouldn't be. I'm a cat lover, so that cat tea towel naturally caught my eye - not to mention Daryl's other books!

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  29. I loved the interview and am really looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the tour and giveaway! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Autumn. Glad you enjoyed. ~ Daryl

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    2. I enjoyed all that Daryl shared also, Autumn. Thanks for dropping by today.

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  30. I am so looking forward to diving into this book! Thank you for the interview & the giveaway! ma_ward(at)hotmal(dot)com.

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  31. Enjoyed the review & interview. An Agatha Christie tour would be fun!
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Wouldn't it, Jana? We could all dress up, too. Oh yeah! ~ Daryl

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    2. Jana, I credit Miss Marple for my love of cozy mysteries and I'm crazy about British settings, so yes, that would be a great tour.

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    3. Oh I hadn't thought about dressing up. That would be great!

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  32. Enjoyed this interview and love this book! Well done. servedogmom AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Joanne, thanks so much. Love fans like you. :) ~ Daryl

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  33. What a great interview and review for a wonderful book. Thanks for the chance. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. Kay, you bet. Didn't Laura do a great job with the review? I'm so thrilled she enjoyed it. ~ Daryl

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  34. I loved the interview and the cover of the book!
    moonbay7399@gmail.com

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    1. The cover was a work of love, Candace. My editors and artist and I worked tirelessly to get it right. Love Tigger in the hat. He's not amused. LOL ~ Daryl

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  35. Shared. Thank you for the chance.
    leliamae54(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Lucy. Best wishes in the giveaway!

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  36. I shared the FB post and I hope to follow the tour every day. I can't wait to read the book--I do like Renaissance fairs, although I've only been I think twice and it's been a while. One fun memory is that it was out of town and I was surprised to see that my first cousin and his wife had a booth there--it was out of town for them too. He had beautiful, intricate carved wooden crosses and she made windchimes from mistmatched curled sterling silver flatware found at thrift stores and garage sales. My kids loved the whole scene too. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh, Kara, the wind chimes sound heavenly. I collect them. ~ Daryl

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    2. Kara, this is really making me want to go. I checked and they still have one in the Atlanta area. Looks awesome!

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  37. I have bern to a Renaissance Fair. It was a lot of fun and it was interesting to see everyone dressed in period costumes and the knights in their armour.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Dianne, isn't it amazing how many people will dress up? ~ Daryl

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  38. Thanks for your great interview and being a part of this tour. I shared on FB.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  39. Love Daryl! Thanks for the chance. Shared on Facebook. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Good to meet another fan of Daryl's stories! Thanks for sharing on Facebook.

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  40. Shared. Looking forward to reading this! Kkcochran (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Kristin. You'll enjoy any of Daryl's stories.

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  41. I went to a Renaissance Fair some years ago in central New York state. Had a nice time and would definitely go again! Thanks for the chance to win.. Shared on Facebook.

    salvatoresmom71(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  42. Been to Scarborough Fair many times. Great costumes. Shared on Facebook. schmokercarol(at)gmail(dot)com

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  43. CoNgRaTs on the release! Shared the post 😉 Gaelicark(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  44. This was a great story, and I understand why my friend goes to the Renaissance fairs every year now!

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    1. Stephanie, it is truly fun. And the fair-speak that takes place? Delightful. ~ Daryl

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  45. I have never been to a Renaissance Fair. My inlaws love it they go every year. Thank you for the great interview. Thank you for the chance. Lamonicaks (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Karina, go with them some time. You'll have a ball. ~ Daryl

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  46. About 30 years ago was fun from what I remember. The people were warm and friendly and would answer any question you had.

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    1. Historical fairs can be so much fun, especially if it's a period you're really interested in, Kim. The only one I've been to is Williamsburg - not exactly a fair, though.

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  47. I have been to a Renaissance Fair along time ago love the costumes the people wore & the people were very informative & the food was great. lindamay4852@yahoo.com

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    1. I think it would be so much fun to go, Linda. Thanks for sharing.

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  48. I have been Renaissance Fairs in 4 different states and they are so fun to go to! cocanvaz(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Brenda, 4 states. That's impressive. Good for you. ~ Daryl

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    2. Brenda, another one who's been in 4 states. Wow! Kudos. ~ Daryl

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  49. Thanks for the chance to win! mcastor07 (at)Gmail(dot)com.

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  50. Thank you for the chance to win.
    CherylB1987 AT hotmail DOT com

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  51. Thanks for the chance.
    jelrobb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  52. Melissa, Cheryl, and Books A Plenty, thanks for chiming in. Great to see so many of the same names. ~ Daryl

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  53. Jane Dietz couldn't get her post to go through, so I'm sharing it here. We don't want anyone to miss this opportunity, Jane!
    "I have friends who are in a Renaissance reenactment group. This would be a fun read and a way to introduce my friend to your books. -Jane Dietz
    gmad5[at]ymail[dot]com

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  54. This sounds like a fun read! I loved the Renaissance Faire that we went to, and they had the biggest turkey legs that I've ever seen. ioncookbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I hadn't given much thought to Renaissance Fairs until reading this book, Kelly, but if the comments on here are indication, they sure are popular. Would love to hear more about those turkey legs!

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  55. Sounds like a wonderful book and i love to read about the faires but my scooter wouldn't make it battery would die! ptclayton2@aol.com

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    1. I don't think I'll ever get to visit one either, pt, but you'll almost feel like you're there when reading Daryl's book. Thanks for dropping by today.

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  56. What a great interview! I'm excited about the renaissance fair part of this story. cherryredh2@aol.com

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  57. Nice review! Congratulations on the new release!
    I enjoyed the fair I went to in Carver, MA. dm _ Richards (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  58. Already shared on Facebook. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a Renaissance fair, but I enjoyed the King Richard’s fair at the time. Thank you! Dm _ Richards (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  59. I love this series! Can’t wait to read Pressing the Issue! cking78503(at)aol(dot) com

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  60. I have never attended a Renaissance Fair. I think the one In Crystal Cove will have to do. They sound like a lot of fun but I'm not fond of crowds. And it seems like any that I have seen advertised, the weather is rather warm. Jenna talked about how warm she was in her costume. Anyway, I shared and I like everything I have read by Daryl and will continue to read her books. ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  61. Thanks. No fairs but how fun would it be.

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  62. I have been to a fair in Scotland that was an awesome experience not much different than the ones here. deniseaustin59@yahoo.com

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  63. I attended a Renaissance Fair when I was little. I loved the colorful costumes and the jousting. I recall not being a big fan of some of the food. carters@columbusacademy.org

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  64. I attended a Renaissance Fair when I was little. I loved the colorful costumes and the jousting. I recall not being a big fan of some of the food. carters@columbusacademy.org

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  65. Congratulations on the release of Pressing the Issue! I've never attended an actual Renaissance Fair before although I do think it might be interesting to do so. robbfan141729(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  66. Loved the book!
    a.connolley@gmail.com

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