Killer Cakes – Issue 25

Posted on Jun 20 2011


It has certainly been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry for the extended absence (the last newsletter issue was posted on March 28!), but Gayle and I have been really busy. Gayle has been penning a novel, and I’ve been making lots of cakes. Good for business, but not so great for keeping in touch with my friends.

Gayle has added “Monday’s Cake Series Quote” to her Facebook page. Check it out each Monday for a quote from the series. She’s also doing “Sneak Peek Saturday” where she gives readers a glimpse into upcoming books.

Site Spotlight: Cake Decorating Events

Nothing says “summer” like a road trip, right? And what better road trip than going to a cake decorating event? Hopefully, one of the following will be taking place near you:

June 24-26, 2011: Celebration of Cake, Gilbert, Arizona

June 25-26, 2011: ICES June Day of Sharing, Marlborough, Massachusetts

July 10, 2011: Capital Confectioners Annual Day of Sharing, Round Rock, Texas

July 10, 2011: Veterans Benefit Cake Show, Toms River, New Jersey

August 20, 2011: Cove Country Cake Show & Challenge, Bedford, Pennsylvania

September 11, 2011: Cake Decorating EXPO, Houston, Texas

For more upcoming cake events, please check out the American Cake Decorating website.

Killer Cakes – Issue 24

Posted on Mar 28 2011


Murder Takes the Cake launches tomorrow, March 29! Gayle is planning lots of fun events in conjunction with the launch.

Tuesday, March 29: Virtual Book Launch Party on Facebook – If you don’t already, please “like” Gayle’s author page and then stop by on the 29th (starting at about 8 a.m.) to win some terrific prizes (books, gift cards, cookies, tote bags, etc.). If you’ve been to one of Gayle’s virtual launch parties before, you already know how much fun they are. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?!

If you live here in the Southwest Virginia/East Tennessee/Northwest North Carolina region, here are a couple events you might enjoy:

Friday, April 1: Book Signing and Cupcake Decorating Competition at Babycakes Cupcakery in Kingsport, TN – The first 25 people to arrive for the book signing will receive a free Babycakes cupcake! Entrants in the decorating competition must bring their decorated cupcake(s) to Babycakes by noon. Winners will be determined by visitors to the shop. First prize is a $25 Amazon gift card.

Saturday, April 2: Book Reading/Signing at Barnes & Noble in Johnson City at 2 p.m. – Gayle would love it if you’d stop in to say hello!

In addition, PocketBooks is sending Gayle on a huge virtual book tour:

Thursday, March 31 – Mega Blog Tour:


 I hope you’ll join us!

Guest Spotlight: Regina Shinall, Little Inspirations by Regina

During Gayle’s virtual book launch party, she’s planning to give away a regional prize pack.  This prize pack will not only contain Murder Takes the Cake prizes but will also showcase local talent. One of the prizes will be a framed photo contributed by Little Inspirations by Regina. (She made the photo to the right for me!) I spoke to Regina about her work:

Daphne: How did you get interested in photography?

Regina: I have always been interested in photography! When I was in elementary school, I had one of those cameras with the snap on flashes. I was always the one to take the pictures at family outings. I sort of got out of it and got back into it last year when I finally got a digital camera. Now I have two! 🙂

Daphne: Do you take all your own photos or do you find some online?

Regina: All the photos I offer as Little Inspriations are original work. I have begun to take appointments for photo sessions also.

Daphne: How long have you been doing Little Inspirations by Regina?

Regina: Little Inspirations is only a few months old. I started taking photography classes and field trips by Sam Bass who lives in Kingsport. He is an award-winning photojournalist and has his photography displayed in galleries all over. I guess you can say he has really caused my love for photography to intensify lately.

Daphne:  What do you like best about photography?

Regina: The best thing about photography is it is an outlet for creativity. No matter what you are photographing, it isn’t wrong. It is about what you like. The more you work at it, the better you become. And I love the Sam Bass field trips because you get to meet others who share your passion for photography. So it’s a lot of fun!

Daphne: Thank you for being with us, Regina, and for being a part of the Murder Takes the Cake launch party!

Killer Cakes – Issue 23

Posted on Mar 14 2011


If you’ll recall, in my last issue I mentioned Gayle was hoping to do a book signing at a local Barnes & Noble to coincide with the release of Murder Takes the Cake. She has been scheduled for a reading/signing at the Barnes & Noble in Johnson City, Tennessee, on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. If you’re in the area, please stop by! She’d love to meet you.

Even if–or maybe especially if–you aren’t in the Southwest Virginia/East Tennessee region, be sure to mark your calendar for the Facebook virtual release party on March 29. That promises to be a fun day as well.

I called it right in the last issue when I told you about Gayle becoming a blogger for Killer Characters. Myra Jenkins was the very first one of us to blog. But that’s okay. She said some really nice things about me and my cakes. 🙂

Project Spotlight: Floral Petits Fours

Actually, I suppose you could call these petits fleurs. ((giggle)) This is just a quick batch I made to test the new Nordic Ware baking pans, but I think they turned out really well. With the huge bundt cake mix that came with the pans, I had enough to fill both cake pans and a six-inch round pan.

I decorated the cakes using icing tubes like you’d use for cookies, rather than take the time to use a decorator bag and tips. I see a lot of possibilities for these, though, don’t you? For example, I could dip them in various colors of candy melts to create a colorful, completely covered bouquet. Or I could drizzle them with a vanilla glaze. Or I could decorate them like tiny cupcakes.

Just the way they were, they were delicious. Leslie, my niece, especially loved them. I even gave her mom a few to put in her lunch.

Killer Cakes – Issue 22

Posted on Mar 01 2011


I’m getting excited about the rerelease of Murder Takes the Cake on March 29. As a matter of fact, I was so wired, I forgot to post yesterday! But here I am today.

You’ll be seeing more of me as Gayle begins blogging at Killer Characters. Gayle’s blog date is the 12th of each month, so I’ll be there. I imagine Myra will put in an appearance, too. You know how she loves to be in the thick of things. Amanda Lee’s character Marcy Singer, as well as other Tallulah Falls denizens, will be there as well.

Look for Murder Takes the Cake on the trade paper front of store new release table at Barnes & Noble stores from April 5 – April 8. Gayle is hoping to do a BN signing or two. If she can’t make it to your area, but your BN is interested in signed bookplates, please let her know!

Also look for Murder Takes the Cake in the April e-newsletter of, Buzzing About Books, and in Mystery Scene Magazine and Suspense Magazine. Plus, you won’t want to miss the Facebook launch party on March 29! If you’ve attended Gayle’s virtual new release parties in the past, then you already know what all the excitement is about. If you haven’t, be sure and “like” her FB page and then visit the page first thing on the morning of March 29 to get in on all the giveaways!

Item Spotlight: Nordic Ware Bakeware

I recently bought some Nordic Ware baking pans (my first from this company). I took them out of the box yesterday and was absolutely delighted! I got the 3D Easter Bunny pan and the mini flowers pan. They came with vanilla bean Bundt cake mixes, so I’m eager to bake up some flowers and see how they turn out. I’ll be sure and post photographs.

Have any of you used Nordic Ware bakeware? If so, please give me some product feedback!

Killer Cakes – Issue 21

Posted on Feb 14 2011


Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope all of you are having a great day. As a special treat, I’m including a video Deb Smith made from some photos I took at the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show a couple years ago.

Site Spotlight: Great Cake Bake

Imagination Library in East Tennessee is holding its 2nd annual Great Cake Bake on Saturday, March 26, 2011. All local bakers and cake makers are invited to participate. Am I planning to participate? No…. But I would love to go check out the fantastic cakes. The event will take place at the Tennessee Terrace in UT’s Neyland Stadium, and funds raised will be used to support Imagination Library. The library sends free books to Knox County children through the mail until they are five years of age.

Entries will be accepted for:

All Occasion Cake

Wedding Cake

Single Cupcake

(New this year, the All Occasion and Wedding cakes will be separated into different groups: buttercream frosting only and fondant/gum paste/mixed sugar art.)

Entry divisions include junior decorator, beginner, intermediate, and professional. The entry fee is $10, and the entry must be received by March 14.

Complete rules and photographs of last years’ cakes may be seen at the event’s website.

Successful Launch Party!

Posted on Feb 01 2011

We had so much fun at the Stitch Me Deadly launch party today! At one point, the book was ranked 1,477 on Amazon. I truly appreciate everyone’s support and encouragement.

Congratulations again to today’s prize winners:

Tina Connor Myers – $10 Starbucks Gift Card

Nicole Vos van Avezathe (Follow the White Bunny) – Signed copy of Stitch Me Deadly

Nancy Hill Bradford – Signed copy of Stitch Me Deadly

Lisa Tiffin – Signed copy of Stitch Me Deadly

Jessica Sharrett – $25 Amazon Gift Card

Cathy Hall – Mrs. Fields Heart Cookie Tote

Kathy Hankla Sheffield – $15 Amazon Gift Card

Melissa Lapierre – $25 Amazon Gift Card

Dee Gol – $75 Amazon Gift Card

Dee and Melissa came in 1st and 2nd in answering the following questions (see if you know the answers):

1) What is the name of the child born to Tess in Thomas Hardy’s book Tess of the d’Urbervilles?

2) What is the name of the red cartoon character in this photograph with Bugs Bunny?

3) Who had the single “Should’ve Known Better” on his 1987 debut album?

4) Who was the very first actor to portray Batman?

Dee answered in 2 minutes, and Melissa was just a few seconds behind her! The answers are:

1) Sorrow

2) Gossamer

3) Richard Marx

4) Lewis Wilson

Again, congratulations to our winners! If you didn’t get to participate in today’s launch–or if you did but didn’t win a prize–be sure to “like” the Gayle Trent and Amanda Lee Facebook page and watch for upcoming information on next month’s launch of Murder Takes the Cake.

Killer Cakes – Issue 14

Posted on Aug 16 2010


Sorry I’ve been away so long. Gayle has been doing a blog tour, so she has been concentrating on that and working on Killer Sweet Tooth. She has also been celebrating the successful debut of her other novel, The Quick and The  Thread. The book was the #6 bestselling mass market paperback mystery in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide the week of August 3.


I know it’s a few days late, but check out the Friday the 13th video from CakeWrecks!

Killer Cakes – Issue 13

Posted on May 17 2010


I have exciting news.  Gayle’s publisher has decided to move the release date up for the revised Murder Takes the Cake to January 2011! She’s still working on Killer Sweet Tooth, and is looking forward to having that hit the shelves as well. Myra is, too. You guys don’t know how much Myra is looking forward to “being famous.”  She thinks that now if she could just nab her a rich husband… (eye roll).  Tune in to Killer Sweet Tooth to see if she has any luck with any of the Elvis impersonators who come to Brea Ridge! Hopefully, Gayle will get a book trailer together for Killer Sweet Tooth in the next few months.

Site Spotlight: Bake, Decorate, Celebrate

Where can you learn all kinds of decorating techniques step by step, get delicious recipes and even have your questions answered by an expert? Bake, decorate, celebrate! 

Bake, decorate, celebrate is the name of a television show in which the hosts provide information and detailed instructions on baking and decorating cakes. The website is a continuation of the show and helps novice as well as professional cake decorators learn new techniques and stay on top of trends.

The show hosts are Nancy Siler,  Melanie Glasscock and Beth Madland. Nancy  has been baking and decorating for over 25 years and is Director of the Wilton School. Melanie is a former broadcast journalist who brings a homemaker’s point of view to the BAKE DECORATE CELEBRATE! series. Beth is a former reporter who enjoys filling in for Melanie when Melanie takes time off to be with her family.

Check out Bake Decorate Celebrate! You’ll be glad you did.

Killer Cakes – Issue 11

Posted on Apr 06 2010


I hope all of you had a happy Easter! I enjoyed having my children home with me Friday and today. Unfortunately, that’s all the spring break they got thanks to the snow. But we had fun during the snow days, too. 🙂

I’m sorry I neglected the newsletter in March, but it was a busy month. I, of course, was baking; while Gayle was finishing Stitch Me Deadly, book two in the embroidery mystery series. Soon she will be revising Murder Takes the Cake, for its rerelease in 2011 and finishing Killer Sweet Tooth, an account of my most recent escapades.

Be sure to check out Gayle’s latest Fresh Fiction contest: Beautiful and Cozy Springtime Prize Pack.

Site Spotlight: Sweet Sensations…Cakes & More

Today I’m highlighting a cake decorator from Kentucky. Sweet Sensations…Cakes and More was originally called Cakes by Kaye. Kaye has been baking for more than 16 years. Some of the cake flavors offered by Sweet Sensations…Cakes and More are:

Dark Chocolate
Milk Chocolate
German Chocolate
French Vanilla
Italian Creme

In addition to cakes, Kaye makes candies, cupcakes, cookies and such specialty items as pumpkin rolls! (Yum!) If you live in the Kentucky area and have a special occasion coming up, be sure and check out Sweet Sensations…Cakes and More!

Killer Cakes – Issue 7

Posted on Jan 11 2010


Happy New Year, everbody. I hope it has started well for you. For those of us in Southwest Virginia, we’ve been off to a snowy start. The children were supposed to go back to school on January 4, but they haven’t been back yet. And we’re supposed to get more snow this week!

Gayle got a mention in GalleyCat! You can read the piece by clicking the link. Gayle is really thrilled about it. I, of course, am happy about the good reviews both Murder Takes the Cake and Dead Pan have been getting.

Reader Spotlight: Denise Turocy

DeniseThis is a Killer Cakes first…but I hope it will be the first of many. After enjoying Murder Takes the Cake, Denise wrote Gayle and sent links to some of her own work. Gayle asked her to participate in this newsletter.

Denise’s adventures in cake decorating began in the early ’80’s when she took her first class through her local parks and recreation department in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. She went on to decorate cakes for family and friends. Basket

Later, her interest waned and she gave up her hobby until Christmas of 2008.  She sold a few Valentine’s cakes and then worked at a famous Pittsburgh bake shop during the 2009 holiday season. In her spare time, she taught cake decorating, knitting and crocheting classes.

cookiesDenise has taken three or four Wilton cake decorating classes and attended an “Enthusiast” class at the Pittsburgh Culinary Institute in Sept. ’09  where the topic was Sheet Cake Decorating. “Says Denise, “We got to torte, fill, frost and decorate our very own sheet cake and take it home.  It was a fantastic learning opportunity and fun experience to say the least.”

E-mail Denise at