Halloween – Cozy Author Style

I’ve always loved Halloween. I love the ghost stories and now I love binging on all those haunted shows. So much fun! I love the way the air feels on Halloween night. There’s anticipation of the unexpected, after all, you never know who’ll show up at your door. And when you’re a mystery writer, your imagination can run wild with that scenario. 🙂

This Halloween I’ll be celebrating the spooktacular day with my fellow Cozy Mystery Crew authors. Not a member? Don’t know what Cozy Mystery Crew is or where it is? Let me give you the 411. CMC is a Facebook group I belong to. We’re 13 mystery authors who’ve come together to form one big reader group. During the week one of us hosts and hangs out with you. We also have special events, like our Halloween event. Over the summer we had a reading program and we gave away prizes and had a big party at the end of the summer. We have a lot of fun things planned for the coming months but the most fun part for us is connecting with our readers. So if you’re not a member it’s not too late to join and spend Halloween with us. In fact, between now and then you’ll have the opportunity to hang out with some great authors.

Here’s a sneak preview at what will be happening on Halloween.

To join the Cozy Mystery Crew click here and you’ll be directed to Facebook. Be sure to answer the questions so you’ll be added to the group!

Question of the day – what do you love about Halloween?

Today I Am…

Today I Am…

Looking forward to moving my clothes back into my closet after an ugly incident with the rods. Luckily none of the clothing was hurt.

Recovering from a lower-body workout at GetHealthyUTV. Ouch.

Reading the Fall 2018 issue of D’Fyne magazine.

Decluttering the family room. Where does all this stuff come from?

Feeling happy that two friends have become engaged. Wishing Donna & Scott all the best!

Wat about you? What are you doing today?

Fall Baking Pantry Basics

Last week while driving home along the hilly, curvy road I saw something that made me smile. I’m talking about a big, big smile. I spotted leaves turning!!! First, I’m thrilled to see another sign fall is on its way. Second, I’m excited that this year thanks to all the rain we’ll have a beautiful, colorful fall. I’m ready for sweaters, boots, and socks. And I’m ready to bake.

Chilly autumn weather is not that far away and it makes me want to get all cozy and bake. The last thing I want to do is to have to dash out to the grocery store because I’m missing one ingredient for the recipe I want to bake. I just want to tie on my apron and get baking.

Now is a great time to review my baking pantry and make sure I have everything on hand so when I make a spur-of-the-moment decision to whip something up I have everything I need on hand. This is where Hope Early, my fictional character and food blogger in THE UNINVITED CORPSE, are very much alike. I know she’d approve of my list.

Twenty Must-Haves For My Fall Baking Pantry

  1. Flours: Unbleached All-purpose flour, Whole-Wheat flour, Cake flour, Oat flour, Gluten-free flour
  2. Baking Powder
  3. Baking Soda
  4. Sugars: White granulated sugar, powered sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar
  5. Unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. Evaporated Milk & Sweet Condensed Milk
  7. Pure Vanilla extract
  8. Dried fruit: Raisins, cherries, apricots, dates
  9. Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cardamom, cloves, vanilla bean
  10. Maple syrup
  11. Honey
  12. Molasaaes
  13. Corn syrup
  14. Cornstarch
  15. Unflavored gelatin
  16. Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts
  17. Baking chocolate: unsweetened, bittersweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate
  18. Unflavored gelatin
  19. Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts
  20. Canned pumpkin (many, many cans)

Those are the must-haves in my kitchen for my fall baking. I know with these staples I can whip up something yummy on the spur of the moment. What are some of your must-haves in your kitchen?



Blueberry White Chocolate Scones

Do you feel like summer is slipping away? Are you looking for a way to prolong it just a wee bit more? I’m not, but I know people like summer. And I think this variation to my White Chocolate Scones has a summery vibe to it – blueberries. When it was peak blueberry season, I had a bunch of blueberries for muffins and pancakes and cereal but I still ended up with leftover blueberries and I also had a yen for scones so I thought – substitute the raisins for blueberries. What’s the worse that could happen? Well, the answer to that question is me eating too many scones, that’s what.

When to scones came out of the oven I had a pretty good idea I made the right decision in tossing the blueberries into the batter. When they cooled just a bit and I took a bite – the brightness of the blueberries mingling with the melty-yumminess of the white chocolate chips – I knew I made the right decision. Heaven. And from my friends who I gifted some scones I’d heard the same feedback. These scones will be on a staple on baking list .

The scones come together quickly and easily, just be careful when combining the blueberries to the batter. This little extra love when mixing is well worth it when it comes time to eat one. 🙂

Ready for the recipe? I’ve made these scones a few times over the summer and I found that anywhere from 3/4 cup of blueberries to 1 cup of blueberries works, the more the better. 🙂

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry White Chocolate Scones
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • Buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup to 1 cup blueberries
  1. Place egg in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough buttermilk to equal 1 cup, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in white chocolate chips and blueberries. Add milk and egg mixture. Stir until dough clings together.
  3. Drop dough, use ¼ cup measure, onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Serve warm and enjoy!


Friday Reads

Happy Friday. I’ll dispense with the weather report because nothing has changed since Wednesday or the middle of July for that matter. But I’m hopeful there will be  drop in humidity over the weekend. Gotta have hope, right?

This weekend I’m going to be doing a massive clean-out and paper shredding along with a bunch of other things. Yes, my to-do list is very ambitious but I do intend to get some reading time in.

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is covering the deaths of two young police officers near Richmond, Virginia. On the surface, it looks like a tragic accident. But as she digs deeper into the investigation, Nichelle realizes that all is not as it seems.

Evidence goes missing.

A prosecutor vanishes.

Someone is trying to cover their tracks.

Nichelle is struggling to put the pieces together, until a seductive Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. But each step closer to the truth becomes exponentially more dangerous. And her investigation soon transforms into a murderous game of cat and mouse.

This is the first book in the Nichelle Clarke series by Lyndee Walker and I’m hooked. Nichelle is a likable, engaging character who has ambitions of working for a large newspaper and the investigation she finds herself entangled with may just be the ticket to her dream job. She has an adorable little dog named Darcy and a passion for over-priced shoes. Seriously, what’s not to love about a heroine like this?

So, there you have it, my weekend plans.  What are you plans for the weekend? What book are you currently reading?