Guest Post with Giveaway ~ The Cakes Of Monte Cristo by Jacklyn Brady


Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog today. I’m thrilled to be here.

One of the most frequent questions I get as a writer is where ideas for a book come from. There’s no one answer, of course. Sometimes an idea comes in a flash. I might see a character in my imagination or overhear a snippet of conversation, and my creative muse is off and running. Those times are great, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love when that happens.

There are other times, however, when the idea is more elusive, the thread of a plot harder to find, the characters more difficult to discover.  Most writers like to talk about those flash-of-inspiration moments because they’re interesting and exciting. I think readers like to hear about them, too. I know I do. But I’m afraid that finding the plot and the characters for The Cakes of Monte Cristo wasn’t one of those lovely experiences.

I had the idea for signing Rita up to cater the Belle Lune Ball while writing Rebel Without a Cake. It seemed like a great idea, a chance for Rita and Milk Explosion PubDomainthe crew to stretch and grow. Besides, the title for The Cakes of Monte Cristo had come to me in a flash, and I loved it. But when I sat down to write the book, that’s all I had–an obligation for Rita established in the previous novel and a title I adored. Nothing else.

I’d already created the Monte Cristo Hotel in Rebel so that locked me into holding the Belle Lune Ball there, but I didn’t worry. I was so excited about the title, I expected the ideas to pour forth like … well, like something wonderful and fluid.

Dried Mud Pub DomainInstead, the ideas were hidden under layers of thick, dried mud.

It took a while and a lot of brainstorming with my editor at the time to excavate the plot and find the treasure that had been hidden at Zydeco Cakes this whole time. I think we were both as surprised to find it as Rita is. It took a while longer to discover the characters. Rita hired no less than six assistants to fill in for Edie while she’s on maternity leave before Estelle finally suggested her niece, Zoey. But once Zoey showed up, I knew we had our gal.

As difficult as the story was to chip out of the rock, I grew to love it and the characters involved as I wrote. Every day brought something new and unexpected. Every conversation between Rita and her friends, family and co-workers was a revelation. Characters did and said things I wasn’t expecting, and I had no idea how the book was going to end until Rita and I got there together.

I don’t know about other writers, but for me, a hard-won book earns a very special place in my heart. The Cakes of Monte Cristo is going on that shelf, for sure.  To make it even more special, the art department at Berkley Prime Crime did a terrific job with the cover. I love the dress cakes!

Thanks so much for having me. I hope you and your readers enjoy the book.

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cakesSeries: A Piece of Cake Mystery (Book 6)
Publisher: Berkley (January 5, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0425258289
ISBN-13: 978-0425258286
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


In the fresh new Piece of Cake Mystery from the national bestselling author of Rebel Without a Cake, a pastry chef becomes embroiled in a suspicious death as a mysterious curse casts a pall over an annual New Orleans ball.

Rita Lucero, co-owner of New Orleans’s Zydeco Cakes, is thrilled to be catering an annual ball held at the Monte Cristo Hotel. Designing the high-end desserts is her priority—until she stumbles upon a mystery long-buried at her shop. It’s an ornate ruby necklace, hidden underneath her staircase and rumored to be cursed.

After the gem’s appraiser suddenly drops dead and Rita herself is targeted by a menacing stranger, she’s no longer laughing at local superstition. Now with five cakes on order and an investigation into the necklace’s past revealing layers of unsettling clues, Rita has reason to keep looking over her shoulder while she’s frosting. Because any way you slice it, the next victim of the legendary curse could be her.

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of The Cakes of Monte Cristo to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on February 14th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

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The career path toward being an author didn't exactly follow a straight line. Sherry (Jacklyn's real name)  has worked such prestigious jobs as manager of a convenience store, Christmas tree decorator, poinsettia dresser, keyboard player/vocalist in a band, secretary in an insurance office, secretary in a bank, and finally secretary and administrative assistant for an attorney who eventually became a federal judge

In late 1993, Sherry sold her first three books to Berkley Prime Crime. By early 1994, she'd sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance. CALL ME MOM was published in January 1995, with NO PLACE FOR SECRETS following in July. 

In 1996, Sherry gleefully left the court to pursue a full-time writing career. Still as much in love with books as ever, Sherry is currently at work on her third mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime under a pseudonym and a new project for Harlequin. She’s a long-time member of Romance Writers of America, where she served for four years on the Board of Directors, including one year as President. She's also a member of Sisters in Crime.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

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  1. Cynthia E. Blain says:

    I have read at least two of the books in this series and really enjoyed the story, the location, and the way the story was told.   I am looking forward to being introduced to the latest book very soon.   I would be thrilled to become the recipient of this book in this contest, but I know that is a slim chance.  I am just very pleased that Sherry has continued this series and hope for more as well.   Thank you for the interesting article today.

    Much success Sherry.



  2. Della Williamson says:

    A great post.  And the book looks like a great read.  I am hoping this will be an early start to reading the series.  My daughter saw the cover and said I HAVE to get that book.  I will, one way or another.  She told one of my friends about the cover ohhing and awwing over the dresses.  So Carol used her daughters Barbie doll and made my daughter a doll cake.  The layers forming the ball gown's skirts and piped the frosting so it looked like lace on lace, layers.  Patience I do not have.  She copied the top on the blue dress on the doll.  Lynn what quite delighted.   It was almost too pretty to eat.  Thanks for a great inspiration.   

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