Have you been following along? I have and it’s my story, hee hee. But the gamer makers have changed some aspects so It’s fun to see where they take the characters. They change the physical characteristics of the characters, too, which is fun for me. You can choose what you want the h/h to look like, wear, say, and do.
If you’re a gamer – or even if you’re just curious about the whole thing – go to the Chapters game app on your phone, upload the app for free and find my story.
You all know by now I Iove my Wild Rose Press sistahs and I love introducing you all to new writers I think you’ll enjoy. Today is no exception to that premise.
Meet Susie Black. Susie is new to the Rose Garden and her debut cozy humorous mystery, DEATH BY SAMPLE SIZE is out now and getting fab reviews. Susie was kind enough to stop by recently, answer my grilling questions, and then we discussed her beloved grandmother and a forgotten art: letter writing. She also gave me a little excerpt to share from her book and I think you’ll agree that once you read it, you’ll want to get this book!
First, here’s our interview:
Susie Black: The Writer Questions
What drives you to write?
Coming from a sales background, I am a student of human nature, a people watcher, and a born storyteller. During the course of my ladies’ apparel sales career, I have kept a daily journal that chronicles the quirky, interesting, and sometimes challenging characters I come in contact with, as well as the crazy situations I’ve gotten myself into and out of. My journal is the foundation of all I write.
What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?
I actually write in the humorous cozy mystery genre, but unrequited or ill-fated romance is usually one of the motives for the murder in my plots.
What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
I read romantic mysteries. I lean towards whodunits, but like them spiced up with some romance that usually drives the plot.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?
Honestly, I do not have a writing schedule. If I had only specific days and hours when I could write, then I would. I set my own schedules and find that writing when the urge to write hits instead of checking the calendar or clock to see if it is writing time, makes for a writing atmosphere that is much more creativefor me.
Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?
Most of the time I write in my office at my computer adjacent to a window that overlooks a golf course. I have also been known to write on my laptop while sitting on the deck of my houseboat.
6. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?
I am used to white noise around the house, so I am able to filter out the typical sounds of the day. Also, I have a hearing problem, so in this case, it is a benefit as I simply do not hear a lot of noise.
Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?
It depends. If I am working on a chapter that I have a good idea of how to write, then I listen to either cool jazz or oldies in the background. If I am working on a new section or one that is challenging, then no, I prefer as few distractions as possible, so no music for me to sing along to.
How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
The plotline/idea for my current WIP came from an incident I had with an unscrupulous buyer that I used poetic license to take to a much more dramatic level.
Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
I am a people person, so for me, the characters always come first. My characters always drive the plot, never the reverse.
What 3 words describe you, the writer?
Funny. Honest. Passionate.
Susie, the Gal…
Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!
I eat each item on the plate separately and completely before I go to the next item and I eat my least favorite item on the plate first.
Who was your first love and what age were you?
My first love was Dean Schneider. We were five years old.
If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….
My Wedding Day
What’s one thing you love about your significant other?
He makes me laugh every, single day.
If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it item, what would it be?
What three words describe you, the person? Honorable, Trustworthy, Sassy
If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?
“I won’t grow up” from Peter Pan
If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?
Nancy Drew because she got me interested in mysteries. We would solve a mystery together.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
Favorite sound: Waves breaking on the seashore
Least favorite sound: Fingernail scratches across a chalkboard
Best song every written: People, by Barbra Streisand
Worst song ever written: Woolly Bully by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
Favorite actor and actress: Favorite actor: Jack Lemon Favorite Actress: Meryl Streep
Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): Fearless Golda Meir because she was one of the first female heads of state in a major country and did what was necessary to defend Israel.
What turns you on? Love
What turns you off? Narrow minds
Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): “I’m sorry, but I’ve got to be at work really early tomorrow.”
What’s your version of a perfect day? My husband, son, and I are together enjoying one another’s company.
And now, A little on that forgotten letter-writing art form:
In this modern time of smart phones that do almost everything including talking for you, it is hard to believe, but back in the early days, telephones were difficult to use, often unreliable, and expensive to own. Not every family, including mine, could afford the luxury of having one.
Like many families, once my Nana’s siblings grew up and left home, they scattered across the country. Nana knew the importance of keeping her family together no matter how many miles separated them. Since a phone was not an option, as the oldest child, Nana was chosen to write letters to family members living far from home. With the same level of dedication as the postman; come rain, sleet, or snow, war or peace, prosperous times or the depths of a national depression, my blind-as-a bat without her coke bottle-thick glasses Nana sat every Monday night at her dining room table and wrote a letter to each of her siblings. Her letters sewed the thread that kept our close-knit tribe connected.
When I was in my sophomore year of college my family moved from Los Angeles to Miami. Despite their valiant attempts to persuade me to join them, I wasn’t interested in relocating to “God’s waiting room,” and remained out west. The good news was that Nana added me to her list of weekly letter-writing recipients. Lonesome for my family, Nana’s weekly letter was an eagerly-anticipated lifeline to my family’s heart and soul. For all of us, that letter was the glue that kept our family bound together no matter how far from home one of us wandered.
The designated town crier, Nana’s letters were more like a newsletter. A date with her friends at the movies? After reading her letter, I was in the seat next to her. She reported who went, what they wore, if they were late or early; where they sat, if they had a snack, what the snack was, editorials on how much the snacks and the movie tickets cost, and every detail of the movie that was so complete, the recipient of her letter could write a decent review based on Nana’s commentary. If she described what an attendee was wearing, I could close my eyes and picture the outfit perfectly. Her descriptions were so detailed and rich, that if she was describing a meal, I could smell the wafting aroma and taste the food.
Out of sentimentality or maybe a sixth sense that someday I’d need them, I kept every one of those letters. Like Nana, they were strong-willed and hearty; surviving dogs, a child, countless moves, several major earthquakes and a devastating house fire. I had no formal creative writing training when I decided to write my first manuscript. I had a story to tell, but no clue how to tell it. I instinctively pulled the carefully wrapped packets of letters out of the storage box and re-read every one of them. I could picture Nana at the dining room table writing the letters. I heard her voice inside my head speaking to me. My long-gone, full-service Nana had given me all the tools I needed. I re-packed the letters, started to write, and thanks to Nana, I never stopped.
In a detached society that values cheaper and faster, we are insulated from direct contact with one another more each day. E-mail and texting replaced a phone call, and Zoom is the new version of a face to face meeting. We don’t need brick and mortar to build walls anymore. Modern technology has certainly had an impact on society mores and improved many aspects of our lives. Regrettably, technology was also a death knell for several means of personalized communication. Nana would have been horrified that a quaint, old fashioned skill like letter-writing disappeared. My debut humorous cozy mystery Death by Sample Size is out now. Thanks to Nana, my story has been told in a distinctive voice that comes through loud and clear.
Peggy here: I lovelovelove writing letters – and receiving them!!
Everyone wanted her dead…but who actually killed her?
The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge.
When the elevator doors opened, I had to stop myself short not to step on her. There was Bunny Frank-the buying office big shot-lying diagonally across the car. Her legs were splayed out and her back was propped against the corner. Her sightless eyes were wide open and her arms reached out in a come-to-me baby pose. She was trussed up with shipping tape like a dressed Thanksgiving turkey ready for the oven with a bikini stuffed in her mouth. A Gotham Swimwear hangtag drooped off her lower lip like a toe tag gone lost. Naturally, I burst out laughing.
Before you label me incredibly weird or stone-cold, let me say genetics aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. If you’re lucky you inherit your Aunt Bertha’s sexy long legs or your father’s ability to add a bazillion dollar order in his head and get the total correct to the last penny. Without even breaking into a sweat, it’s easy to spout at least a million fabulous traits inheritable by the luck of the draw. Did I get those sexy long legs or the ability to add more than two plus two without a calculator? Noooooooooo. Lucky me. I inherited my Nana’s fear of death we overcompensated for with the nervous habit of laughing. A hysterical reaction? Think Bozo the clown eulogizing your favorite aunt.
I craned my neck like a tortoise and checked around. Then I clamped a fist over my mouth. Cripes, how could I possibly explain my guffaws with Bunny lying there? The disappointment was simultaneously mixed with relief when there was no one else in the parking lot. Where was security when you needed them?
I toed the elevator door open and bent over Bunny. I’d seen enough CSI episodes to know not to touch her. She was stiff as a board and I attributed the bluish tinge of her skin to the bikini crammed down her throat. I was no doctor, but I didn’t need an MD after my name to make this diagnosis. Bunny Frank was dead as the proverbial doorknob.
It was no surprise Bunny Frank had finally pushed someone beyond their limits. The only surprise was it had taken so long. The question wasn’t who wanted Bunny Frank dead. The question was who didn’t?
Born in the Big Apple, Susie Black now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries.
She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.
Just behind my college graduation, wedding day, and the birth of my son, June 9th was truly one of the most amazing days of my entire life. My debut cozy mystery Death by Sample Size was released for publication. I am humbled, honored, and proud to be able to say that now I am officially a published author! A life-long dream has come true, a hard-fought-for goal has been accomplished.
If you’ve been waiting to read the book, now is the perfect time to download it.
Innkeeper Maureen O’Dowd lives to cook and bake, spoils her family and friends, and is an expert at keeping secrets, especially about the man who’s held her heart for years. Police Chief Lucas Alexander is dealing with an aging father and a moody teenage son, and he’s in love with a woman who only wants to be friends. How can these two fiercely private people reveal their feelings for one another without destroying the friendship they already have? And if they’re successful, will another secret, if revealed, drive a wedge between Maureen and Lucas that can never be repaired?
So, the final chapter in my MacQuire Women’s series is Serena MacQuire’s story, PASSION’S PALETTE
I loved writing Serena’s story because she is a lot more like me than I’d like to admit in the stubborn and moody department!! It was fun setting her up with a man who put up with her moods and loved her more because of them!
Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivalled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.
But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.
Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?
With a hip resting against the tabletop,
he browsed through her paints and brushes, lifting one color pot, then another. “So. You’re an artist.”
“What do you paint?”
As he opened and closed the pots, Serena observed his hands, silently assessing the length and width of his fingers. Her mind registered the dexterous movements of each action, the deliberate, steady way his hands performed each task.
“This is pretty big equipment for a portrait. Where do your pictures hang? In castles?”
“Three do,” she told him, charmed when his neck reddened. “But this stuff will be for a mural I’ve been commissioned to do for a hospital.”
His eyebrows lifted. “Impressive. You must be good.”
Allowing a smidgeon of playfulness to creep into her voice, Serena gave him a shrug that rivaled his own. “Better than some. Not as good as others.”
On this brutally cold Sunday morning in New England ( -10 at my house!) I woke up to some wonderful news. My cover for BAKED WITH LOVE is up for InD’Tale’s monthly cover contest, CREME de la Cover! YOWZA!
In order to make it to the finals I need readers to vote for the cover, so I’m providing the link. You need to set up a quick account with InD’Tale to vote. I just did and it took less than 5 seconds.
I’d really appreciate any and all support for this. The winner gets advertising space in their magazine – which is expensive and something I’ve never been able to budget for.
So, if you have a moment, I’d appreciate your vote! And the cover designer, Diana Carlile, deserves the win, too!! Here’s the link: CdlC
Here’s a different take on the old #TBT ( throw back Thursday for those unfamiliar with the hashtag).
Every THURSDAY I’m going to add a little snippet from one of my backlist books from the beginning of my writing career. As writers, we tend to get hyperfocused on our newly published books. I want to give some love to my first titles, the ones that launched my career and made me sososo very happy!
Figure skater Tiffany Lennox is busy with rehearsals for an upcoming ice show when the only man she’s ever loved comes home after a two-year overseas stint. She needs him to see her for the woman she’s become and not the child he knew to ensure he stays home. This time, for good. With her.
For all his wanderlust and hunger for professional success, Cole Greer returns to New York wanting nothing more than to rest, relax, and recover. He is delighted in being Tiffany’s hero and has a special place in his heart reserved for her. But faced with the oh-so-desirable woman she’s become, he starts questioning his determination to keep their relationship platonic. When forced by the television network to go back on assignment, Cole—for the first time in his life—is torn between his career and his heart.
And here’s a little taste to whet your book reading appetite!
To recover his balance, Cole leaned back into the couch, grabbed what he hoped were her upper arms, and shoved. In a heartbeat, she was lying backward along the length of the couch with him spread out on top of her.
Both were laughing and wriggling, each trying to get the upper hand.
Tiffany squealed, trying to twist her hips out from beneath him. “Let me go!”
“Not a chance. I know how your devious little mind works, and I taught you how to do this. The minute I loosen up, you’ll hip check me over the back of the couch. No, thanks.”
Tiffany burst out laughing. “You rat. That was exactly what I was going to do.”
“You know retreat and surrender are inevitable, Tiff. I outweigh you, and I’ve got the distinct advantage of your injury in my favor. Give?”
“Okay, you win.” She went limp beneath him.
The corners of his eyes narrowed as he smiled down at her. “You must be maturing,” he said. “You never used to give up so easily.”
When he removed one hand from her arm, she reached up to trace the outline of one of his eyes. Her finger moved from the outer canthus to his cheek, smoothing the skin she touched. “You didn’t have these little lines when you left.”
Cole stared down at her face.
Her finger roamed down to the corners of his mouth, outlining them, then on to the small dent in the middle of his chin. An impish grin fanned across her face. “I remember being little and wondering if I smoothed this line away would I be able to see inside you, like it was a door or some kind of opening to your insides. Dumb, huh?”
“Sweet,” he said, softly. “Little girl sweet. Never dumb.”
Her eyes traveled up to his and locked there.
“When I got older I wondered what it would be like to kiss it.”
His breath hitched.
“Would it taste like soap, left over from shaving, or would it be all spiky and nubby because you missed a few hairs. Or would it taste uniquely like you do. I still wonder about that.”
Knowing what he was about to do, and to whom, should have sent him jumping off the couch, running in the other direction. Instead, when his head came down to hers all Cole could think about was how much he wanted to taste her again, how he wanted to lose himself in her, and how both those feelings somehow seemed right, even though he knew they shouldn’t.
Her body tensed as he inched closer. When his lips finally captured hers, she turned fluid under his hands.
Her smooth, small body slackened beneath him as his lips gently moved across hers, tasting them, savoring them. Releasing his grip on her arms, he leaned on his elbows and ran his fingers into her hair, cupping her face while holding fistfuls of the glorious mane.
New, strange emotions jumped about in his body, heightening the sensation of every touch, every caress. She had a mouth made for kissing, for being pleasured and for giving pleasure in return. When he parted her lips with his tongue and edged into the inner treasures of her mouth, taking every inch of it captive, Cole felt as if he was falling to an abyss of pure and total joy.
A moan escaped from somewhere within her, so raw, so seductively feminine, it made Cole’s heart jump, thrilling him with the knowledge that he was the cause.
Tiffany’s hands fisted in his hair, moved down to his neck, his shoulders, massaging, kneading the tight muscles.
His lips traced down over her perfect jaw to the small hollow just behind her ear, and she shivered against his mouth.
A hot burst of sanity blew through his mind.
With a suddenness that left him breathless, Cole pulled back and gazed down into green eyes that were cloudy and drowsy and utterly sexual.
“If you say you’re sorry, I’ll kill you.”
Taken aback, he flinched.
“I mean it,” she said, eyes now wide open and glaring straight at him.
“Tiff, I, I don’t know what to say.”
“The truth would be a good place to start,” she told him.
Cole pulled back to a sitting position and avoided her eyes. When he hung his head into his hands, and swiped his hair behind his ears, Tiffany sat up.
“I don’t know what’s going on here, with the two of us,” Cole said. “I can’t seem to keep my hands off you. All I think about is—God, I’m sorry.”
“You’re a dead man,” she said flatly.
Intrigued? If so, the book is Available from these ebook stores: ( and in print from Amazon!)Just click on the icon and it will take you directly to the site.
Since BAKED WITH LOVE releases in 3 more days ( YAY!!!!) I thought today’s snippet should be from the book to whet your bookreading appetites.
In this little snippet, Maureen and Lucas are discussing Lucas’s teenaged son’s first day of working at Inn Heaven – Maureen’s B&B. We get a little glimpse of Lucas’s feelings for Maureen – as does she – and for the first time see that he thinks more of her than just as a friend.
Lucas nodded. “He seems pretty stoked about working, something I’m surprised about. Glad, for sure, but surprised. I figured…” He shrugged.
“I know. I thought a fifteen-year-old boy would rather be any place than in a kitchen every day, but he actually asked to work most days during the week and on weekends for the weddings. We’ll see how long this enthusiasm lasts.” I grinned up at him while I towel- dried a mug.
“I don’t know, Mo. If it was me, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a kitchen every day—”
“That’s because you’re always hungry.”
“—if it was with you.”
My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain. Okay, what?
I’m usually fairly adept at not showing my feelings or have what’s running through my mind cross my face. Nanny has commented many times over the years I’m the person she least likes playing poker with because she can’t read me. The ability to hide my true feelings has gotten me through some testy times with my parents, a bad breakup with a verbally abusive boyfriend, and my twin’s illness then death. Plus, for as many times as we’d been together over the years, Lucas had never once guessed how I truly felt about him.
Right now, though, I was finding it next to impossible to school my features and body into its usual calm nonchalance. I can only imagine how I must have appeared to him, standing there with the towel thrust into the mug, my hand paralyzed—my body as well— as I stared up at him, silent.
“What’s wrong?” He uncrossed his arms and took a step toward me, his brows grooving toward the middle of his forehead. “Maureen?”
I blinked a few times when his hand snaked around my upper arm. A soothing, comforting warmth seeped through me from his touch. I wanted to move in closer, melt into his arms, and snuggle into all his heat. When I found myself shifting so I could, I took a step backward, mentally and physically. Lucas didn’t drop his hold but kept his hand on my arm, his other one following suit.
“Nothing. Sorry. I’m fine.” I shook my head a few times and planted what I hoped looked like a self- deprecating grin on my face.
“I lost you there for a second.” His gaze swept across my face, searching, silently questioning.
“Sorry. I’ve got a lot going on up here.” I pointed a finger at my head. “Thinking fifteen steps ahead about what needs to be done around this place.”
He waited a beat, those intelligent, intense eyes never wavering from my own. “Why don’t I believe that’s all it is?”
It was no wonder he was such a good lawman. With his gaze zeroed in on me, piercing and probing, and his voice low, deep, and commanding, almost seductively sly in its cadence, I imagined people who’d broken the law were no match for him when it came to his garnering confessions.
I pulled a Colleen-worthy eye roll. “Because you’re a cop and you’re naturally suspicious. It’s ground into your DNA. Like the green in your eyes.”
One eyebrow quirked high up on his forehead. “The green in my eyes?”
His mouth stayed perfectly straight, but I got the distinct impression he was laughing at me.
“It’s true. Your eyes are green, and you’re naturally nosy.”
His inspection grew more intense as he dipped his chin and glared at me. The heat in his stare shot straight down to my core and exploded.
I’m pretty sure I shuddered.
Lucas’s fingers kneaded my arms. Every nerve ending in my body stood straight up, like I’d walked across a rug in the dead of winter and then touched something metal, sparking an electric shock. I licked lips that had suddenly gone desert-dry.
His gaze took a slow stroll down to my mouth and lingered. Enough so those butterflies finally made a break for freedom. Without any will to prevent it, my mouth fell open and I dragged in about a quart of air, my shoulders lifting, then dropping with the effort. I lost the grip on the mug and when it slipped out of my hand, Lucas let go of my arms as we both reached for it at the same time.
My reflexes are quick. Lucas’s are like lightning.
Both our hands went around the cup at the same time, but in moving for it, Lucas had to bend from his substantial height. When he did, our heads connected and a resounding thwack echoed around us.
“Ow.” I let the mug go free into his hand and palmed the spot of contact on my forehead. “Your skull’s made of cement.”
Lucas placed the mug on the counter, then tugged my hand off my head.
I swatted him away. It was like slicing air because it had no effect on halting him from touching me.
“Let me see. Stop squirming.” He cupped my chin to hold me in place.
In all honesty, I’d gone statue-still again the moment his hand curled around my jaw. I knew Lucas’s fingers were strong, an effect of being a life-long shooter. Thick-skinned, coarse, and powerful, his grip was surprising gentle though, as he held my face in one hand and pressed against the throbbing notch on my forehead with the other.
“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”
“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.
“Better get some ice on it, fast.”
This time when I glanced up at him, he was attempting—and failing—to hide a grin.
Through narrowed eyes, I said, “Thanks for the advice. Mind letting go of me so I can?”
Lucas glanced at the hand wrapped around my chin, frowned, then drew his attention back up to meet my eyes.
Calling them green hadn’t done them a bit of justice. There are so many variations of the simple color, and none of them applied to Lucas.
They weren’t the bright green of a shamrock or the metallic sheen of jade. Neither were they pale like sage nor brilliant like winking emeralds. The purest and most accurate way to describe them was they mimicked the color of fresh moss at midnight: deep and dark with shards of yellow in the mix reflected in moonlight. Long lashed with a tiny tilt at the corners and subtle lines fanning out to his temples, Lucas’s eyes had always been captivating to me. Right now, with his hand holding my chin, and his body so close I could detect the brand of soap he’d used in the shower, they were mesmerizing.
The air between us changed in a finger snap. Energized. Ignited.
Something in Lucas changed, as well. His shoulders were drawn up almost to his ears, and his breathing went a little deeper, a little louder as we stood there. The groove between his eyebrows folded inward even more than it usually did. When his tongue flicked out and crossed over his bottom lip like mine had a few moments ago, I bit down on the need to press my own mouth to his.
I may have moaned.
The swift inhale Lucas took convinced me he’d heard the sound and recognized it for the naked desire it was. The hand at my chin tensed and drew me in closer. So close, I could count every hair of the afternoon stubble shading his etched cheeks and strong jaw.
An insane urge to run my tongue along the length of that shadow hopscotched through me. I might have succumbed to the impulse if Robert’s voice hadn’t spilt into the room.
“Dad?” We both blinked at the sound. “What’s going on?”
“Maureen dropped a cup,” Lucas told him after a moment, his attention never wavering from me. His voice was thick and low. “We bumped heads when we went to get it. Grab some ice from the freezer, would ya, son?”
Intrigued? You can preorder your copy here and have it when it releases on 12.9.2020 :BWL
And, if you’d like a PRINT version of the book, My website store is selling them for only $10.00 Waaaay below every retailer – including Amazon. You can order a copy here: BWL
And…….if you’d like to get an autographed print copy for free, you can enter to win 1 0f 3 copies in my Goodreads Giveaway, here: GRG
So all this week I’ve been doing edits on book 3 in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE. In the book there are several references to Maureen O’Dowd’s Insomnia cookies – the ones she bakes at 2 am when she can’t sleep. I figured it would be a good idea to share that recipe with cookie lovers to whet your romance reading appetite for the book which I’m hoping will be released this year.
Here’s a quick tease/reference to the cookies from the book, followed by the cookies themselves. And just incase you don’t think I really bake in real life, I’ve included a few photos from a batch of insomnia cookies I made on Tuesday when I was home cooking for my parents.
When I pulled into the inn, I spotted a familiar car in one of the private spaces I kept for family. The sound of laughter rang out from my kitchen.
“How come I didn’t know we were having a party?” I said when I came into the room.
My sisters were sitting at my table, each with a cup in front of them, the tin of insomnia cookies opened and on the table between them. Robert was at the sink, washing dishes, as Sarah pulled something from the oven.
“Where have you been?” Cathy had one of Colleen’s swollen feet in her lap and was massaging it.
“I had an errand to run,” I said, sneaking a side-glance at Robert’s back. “Why are you two here?”
“I wanted to check to see if everything was set for Friday’s event,” Colleen said.
“You couldn’t just call? Or send Charity? Slade specifically said he doesn’t want you driving alone at this phase.”
“He’s not the boss of me.” She pouted then reached in to the jar and brought out two more cookies. “He’s treating me like I’m the first woman ever to have a baby. I’m pregnant, not infirm or useless. And I’ve got a business to run.”
“He’s worried about you, sis. This is your first baby. His too. He gets to be overprotective if he wants.”
“Says who? I’m the one carrying around a basketball the size of Montana in my body, not him.”
“It says so in the marriage rules,” I told her. “First-time fathers are allowed to be a little overbearing and overprotective of their pregnant spouses.”
The pout morphed to a tiny grin. “I must have missed that chapter.”
“Most likely wasn’t listed in your Cliff Notes edition.”
“Must be. Besides, Cathy drove. I merely thumbed a ride and rode shotgun when she said she was headed here.”
I drew my attention to my oldest sister, lifted my eyebrows, and tilted my head.
“Any reason in particular? Or where you just craving cookies?” I asked when she pulled a handful from the jar as Colleen had and put them on her plate.
“Don’t chide me. I’m stress-eating,” she mumbled around the cookie. “There are a million details running through my brain, and I’m petrified I’m gonna forget something. Between work, this wedding, and getting everything settled for the two weeks we’ll be gone, I’m going crazy. I don’t remember being so stressed and nervous the first time I got married,” she added after swallowing.
Maureen’s Insomnia Sugar Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
2 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into squares
1 cup + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup white granulated sugar (for rolling)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and both sugars together in a large mixing bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix until well combined.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and mix until the dough is well formed. Do not overmix.
Using a tablespoon-sized scoop, scoop cookie dough into individual pieces. Gently roll each into a ball with your hands, then roll each ball in white sugar to coat.
Put the balls on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cookies will spread once they heat, and you want them to have room to do so without touching one another.
Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes, but do not overbake. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes.
I’m participating in a monthlong reading event from N.N. Light called BEACH READS BOOKISH EVENT. There are scores of fab authors represented in the event, and you can enter a contest to win an ebook bundle of all the books featured, including 2 of mine! WOKE (featured 7.19.2020) and Vanilla with a Twist (feature today)
Here’s where to enter to win an e-book bundle of all 51 books featured in the Beach Reads Bookish Event: RAFFLECOPTER