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The Tricks And Treats of Fall by Sarah Fox

I’m always a bit sad to see summer disappear—and along with it the days of swimming outdoors—but I’m never too disappointed, because fall is my favorite season of the year. I enjoy so many things about autumn, but what I love most of all is Halloween.

All things spooky are right up my alley and one of my favorite things to do in late October is to carve pumpkins. I used to grow my own pumpkins—and sometimes I still do—but they rarely ended up big enough to suit my needs. So now I make an annual visit to the pumpkin patch. With hundreds—maybe even thousands—of pumpkins to choose from, I can find ones that are the perfect size and shape for my carving plans.

It’s not unusual for me to carve around half a dozen pumpkins each year. I typically carve two or three traditional jack-o-lanterns and sometimes I use pre-made patterns for fancier designs. For at least one pumpkin each Halloween, I like to make my own pattern. In the past I’ve carved pumpkins that featured a cover from one of my books and characters from one of my favorite television shows, like The X-Files. Last year I won a prize in an X-Files pumpkin carving contest, much to this long-time X-Phile’s delight.

This year I’m looking forward to pumpkin carving as much as ever. I’ve been working on some patterns and I’ve got all my tools ready to go. Let the carving commence! Continue reading “The Tricks And Treats of Fall by Sarah Fox”

A KILLING BY THE SEA by KATHLEEN BRIDGE (A By The Sea Mystery #2)

Books, Books and More Books!

A Killing by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery #2)The breathtaking barrier island of Melbourne Beach, Florida, is every tourist’s fantasy—until murder washes ashore . . .  

Indialantic By The Sea in Melbourne, Florida, is home for Liz Holt. Has been for generations and now she is back home after a bad relationship and an injury she would rather not talk about. Back with Aunt Amelia and the quirky characters who own the shops in the Emporium, she is feeling safe and loved and just maybe she can write again.

But before she can settle in to write, a body washes up on their beach. The body of a local fisherman. But it doesn’t look to Liz like an accident. So with their big Pirate’s Weekend coming up and her guy, Ryan, she’s poking her curious nose in dangerously close to a killer while a hurricane is getting closer by the moment.

There is a lot of action going…

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Cocoa-Crunch Cookies by Joanne Fluke

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

1 and 1⁄2  cups softened butter  (3 sticks, 34 pound, 12 ounces)
1 and 1⁄4  cups white (granulated) sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄2  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄4  cup unsweetened cocoa powder  (I used Hershey’s)
2 and 1⁄4  cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 and 1⁄2  cups finely crushed plain regular potato chips (measure AFTER crushing. I used Lay’s, put them in a plastic zip-lock bag, and crushed them with my hands)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate  chips (I used Nestlé)
1⁄3  cup white (granulated) sugar for dipping

Hannah’s 1st Note: Use regular potato chips, the thin, salty ones. Don’t use baked chips, or rippled chips, or chips with the peels on, or kettle-fried, or flavored, or anything that’s supposed to be better for you than those wonderfully greasy, salty, old-fashioned, crunchy potato chips.

In a large mixing  bowl,  beat  the butter, sugar,  eggs, salt,  and  vanilla  extract  until  the mixture  is light  and fluffy.  (You can do this by hand, but it’s  a lot easier with an electric mixer.)

Add the quarter-cup of unsweetened cocoa  powder. Mix it in thoroughly.

Add  the  flour  in  half-cup  increments,   mixing  well after each addition.

Add the crushed potato chips and mix well. Continue reading “Cocoa-Crunch Cookies by Joanne Fluke”

Just in Time by Suzanne Trauth – Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Book's the Thing


FACE THE MUSIC

Business is humming at Dodie O’Dell’s Windjammer Restaurant, where she offers theme menus connected to the Etonville Little Theatre’s amateur productions. This June, the theatre is collaborating with the neighboring Creston Players to stage Bye Bye Birdie under the stars—their first musical! There’s a contest in the play to pick a fan to receive rock idol Conrad Birdie’s last kiss before he ships off for the Army, so Dodie plans a contest to pick the food for a pre-show picnic.

But before the show opens, Ruby, the rehearsal accompanist, is found dead in her car. Why would anyone murder the crusty old gal who loved to sneak a smoke and a nip between wisecracks? Once again, the resourceful restaurant manager must play the part of amateur sleuth, accompanied by Police Chief Bill Thompson, who also happens to be her beau. Confronted with a chorusof suspects, she’ll need…

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Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours–The Gold Pawn

mjbreviewers

I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author L. A. Chandlar and her new release The Gold Pawn.  This is the second book in An Art Deco Mystery series.

The Gold Pawn (An Art Deco Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713435
ISBN-13: 978-1496713438
Digital ASIN: B078QSRGRY

Purchase Links

 

November 1936. Mayor La Guardia’s political future buckles under a missing persons case in New York City. Simultaneously, Lane unravels devastating secrets in the outskirts of Detroit. As two crimes converge, judging friends from enemies can be a dangerous game . . .

Finally summoning the courage to face the past, Lane Sanders breaks away from her busy job at City Hall to confront childhood nightmares in Rochester, Michigan. An unknown assailant…

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Autumn Blog by Nancy Bush

When it comes to writing, I’ve always done my best in the fall. I try to block out my summers with fun . . . although I just went to Urgent Care two days in a row after never having been in my life for separate injuries, the first to the thumb on my right hand, the second for the middle finger on my left that made it tricky to type and have that FUN I just spoke of . . . more about that later.

Before the afore mentioned injuries, I was working on my next thriller, BAD THINGS, which I plan on completing this fall. I’ve already settled  into my writing station with my computer, my paper tablet where I write notes down in longhand about what’s in every chapter, a cup of decaf coffee – yes, I decaffeinated years ago, which leaves me open to napping in the middle of a sentence and interesting results on the computer screen – and my Kindle. The weather’s changing, but I still get a morning walk in and it’s the best time of year for clearing my head. That change of scent in the air. You can almost smell the cold coming. The  brown and gold and red leaves.  No, wait, that red was the blood spurting from my finger injury that made my thirty-eight year old daughter scream, “MOM!” and gave me a jolt, too, at how fast it ran down my hand though I said calmly, “It’s okay,” and wrapped a paper towel around my finger and then another and another and well, back to Urgent Care . . . more about that later.

So autumn . . . it really is the best time to write. (I can still feel a teensy pain from my middle finger as I pen this.) Recently my husband moved from his office and is working from home now, too. It’s so nice for us to be together and enjoy our days sitting on the deck and communicating our thoughts. Actually, I have a tendency to stare at him and wonder if forty-two years of marriage is maybe long enough. Can we really share communal space 24/7 and survive? I guess time will tell. But he was the one who drove me to Urgent Care for the thumb injury where I jammed a splinter under my nail to the quick and the Urgent Care staff weren’t certain they would be able to get it out. They did manage to, with my daughter aiming the light directly onto the end of my thumb so the doctor could get the tweezers in and drag that miserable splinter out. I didn’t scream when it released but I jumped a foot and every muscle in my body contracted. I had bravely and possibly foolishly decided to have the splinter removed without a deadening agent. My husband was in the waiting room, pacing. It sounds like he was worried but he does that at home, too, above my head as I’m writing in the room below him. It’s just his way. Pure bliss.

My daughter and her family had been spending a good portion of August with us in Oregon as she lives in southern California. I had purchased a round loaf of blue cheese and onion bread from the local bakery. Delicious. But after that first thumb-splinter incident, I wasn’t as good with my right hand. Nevertheless, I persevered and got out the bread knife and started sawing against the rather slippery left edge and well . . . bread knife, flesh, blood, my daughter’s scream . . . off to Urgent Care the second time and the same doctor suggesting maybe I should try not to come back again. Continue reading “Autumn Blog by Nancy Bush”

Jane Fonda and Spice Cake by Edwin Hill

Nothing quite says fall to me like a New England fair, and my favorite one of all is the Sandwich Fair in New Hampshire, which takes place every year over Columbus Day Weekend. My uncle lives in Sandwich – where much of my first novel, Little Comfort, takes place – and I’ve been going to the fair for as long as I can remember. One of the most memorable years for me is 1981, when I was eleven.

That year, the whole town was abuzz because filming had completed on the movie version of On Golden Pond, which was shot on Squam Lake, and was due to be released in December. People had stories about seeing Jane Fonda at the local general store, or hearing Katharine Hepburn talking as she walked in the woods. The filmmakers were trying to keep a lid on the location of the lake, which the locals agreed to in theory – except they talked about it all the time. 

I didn’t much care about the movie. What I did care about was my spice cake.

Like most fall fairs in New England, the Sandwich Fair is an agricultural fair, meaning there is sheep shearing and oxen pulls and, yes, bake offs. I proudly baked up a spice cake for the junior competition. So what if it was a tiny bit lopsided and I may have forgotten the ginger when I mixed it up? Who cares if the Tupperware I stored it in tipped over during the drive from Massachusetts? I’d made it. It tasted good. I knew I’d win. Continue reading “Jane Fonda and Spice Cake by Edwin Hill”

Survive the Holidays Like the Amish By Amanda Flower

The Christmas and holiday season is a hectic time for everyone with extra commitments, parties, family gatherings, recipes, decorations, and shopping. The Amish may live a simpler life than most of us do, but they aren’t complete spared from the stress of the holidays. Here are some tips from the Amish that can help you make your holiday season simpler.

 

  • Remember that the holiday season is about family. It’s easy to forget why you’re running around, shopping, baking, and decorating. Try to focus on your family and not all the things to do. I know this is easier said than done.
  • Don’t over decorate. The Amish don’t even put up Christmas trees at Christmas. They may string some greenery over their fireplaces and doorways, but that’s about it. I’m not advocating for no Christmas trees. I love Christmas trees, but if your decorations feel like more like a chore than a show of merriment, try to scale back.
  • Focus on the children in your life. During the holiday many of the Amish schools have presentations and play put on by the children. This is one the biggest events that happen around the holidays for the Amish. Even if you don’t have children of your own, you can appreciate the children’s hard work to make the season even brighter.
  • Limit your gift giving. The Amish aren’t ones to go all out for Christmas gifts. In fact, they usually only give each other small handmade gifts and this is to close members of the family. I love gift giving, so I definitely can understand going overboard. Sometimes, I have remind myself that time with a person is more important than presents.

Continue reading “Survive the Holidays Like the Amish By Amanda Flower”

Don’t Call Me Cupcake (The Holloway Girls #1) by Tara Sheets

Carla Loves To Read

Don't Call Me Cupcake (The Holloway Girls, #1)4.5 Stars

Published April 24th 2018 by Zebra Shout

In the small town of Pine Cove, the Holloway family have been known for their magic for generations. Emma’s family has baked magic infused cupcakes to fix what ails, bring contentment, success, or lift someone’s spirits. Emma meets a new, handsome man in town and sells him her “success” cupcakes. He eats all three, before Emma finds out that he is Hunter Kane, a big city entrepreneur who has come to Pine Cove Island to build a competitive business near her cupcake/sweet shop. Emma can’t afford to lose any business as money is very tight. Her old house is in need of urgent repairs, her mortgage is past due, and she can’t pay her rent on her shop. Emma wants Hunter gone, so she and her cousin plan to whip up a cupcake that will make him want to leave. Unfortunately…

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