My 20 Must-Haves For My Fall Baking Pantry

I’m waiting on fall. With temps at or above 80 degrees (even up to 90) I’m growing impatient.  Hear that, Mother Nature? Baking pumpkin bread while wearing flip-flops is just wrong. Well, except for you who live down south. But here in New England? It’s not normal. Though, while I’m waiting on fall to arrive I can take a moment to review my pantry and make sure I’m well stocked.

There’s nothing more depressing than having a spur-of-the-moment urge to bake something and find that I’m missing one or two ingredients. Either I’d have to run out to the store or get excited about baking something else. And this fall, I don’t have the time for last-minute trips to the grocery store. Not with a book coming out and two manuscript deadlines back-to-back coming up real soon.

Okay, so here’s my list. Give it a look over and let me know if there is anything you have in your Fall Baking pantry that I’m missing. 🙂

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 (light and dark), 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. Molasses
  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)

Now that the list is all taken care of, I thought I’d share a snippet of my upcoming book, THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE. While participating on a town scavenger hunt, food blogger Hope Early finds one thing not on her scavenger list – a dead body. And what follows with three women claiming to be the dead man’s wife has Hope smack in the middle of a murder investigation and possibly the next target of a vengeful murderer.

Hope and her team have arrived at the Avery Bistro with their hunt list in hand. While her team heads inside the restaurant, something catches Hope’s attention to the back of the parking lot and she’s drawn away from her team – Claire, Drew and Jane. What she finds is a very dead man.

* * *









THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE will be out on October 29, 2019. If you do decide to purchase the book be sure to share on social media and tag me, I love seeing photos of my books out in the wild. 🙂 If you’d like to pre-order the book please click here or visit your favorite book seller.

Happy Baking!!!

Friday Reads

Friday Reads – Books on Sale!

Is it me or has the first couple of weeks of August flown by? Wasn’t it just July? This has me thinking that the rest of the month may follow suit. We’ll be celebrating Labor Day in no time. Well you know what that means. We have to finish up our summer reading and get ready for our fall reading. 🙂 Luckily my publisher, Kensington, has put many, many books on sale this month and among those sale books are several first-in series books so you can start a new series with a discount!



Book one in the Food Blogger Mystery series

Leaving behind a failed career as a magazine editor and an embarrassing stint on a reality baking show, newly divorced lifestyle entrepreneur Hope Early thought things were finally on the upswing–until she comes face-to-face with a murderer . . .

Hope’s schedule is already jam packed with recipe testing and shameless plugs for her food blog as she rushes off to attend a spring garden tour in the charming town of Jefferson, Connecticut. Unfortunately, it isn’t the perfectly arranged potted plants that grab her attention–it’s the bloody body of reviled real estate agent Peaches McCoy . . .

One of the tour guests committed murder, and all eyes are on Hope’s younger sister, Claire Dixon–who, at best, saw Peaches as a professional rival. And suspicions really heat up when another murder occurs the following night. Now, with two messy murders shaking Jefferson and all evidence pointing to Claire, Hope must set aside her burgeoning brand to prove her sister’s innocence. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer intent on making sure her life goes permanently out of style . . .

To buy THE UNINVITED CORPSE click here


Book one in the Literary Pub Mystery series

In the first in an engaging new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, the owner of a charming literary pub finds her fresh start on the rocks thanks to a case of murder.

Booklover Sadie Coleman knows that in life, as in fiction, the right setting can make a world of difference. The small town of Shady Creek, Vermont, seems like the perfect place to start over after losing her Boston job to a merger and her relationship to her ex’s gambling addiction. She’s bought and redecorated the old grist mill pub, transforming the Inkwell into a cozy spot where tourists and regulars alike can enjoy a pint or a literary-themed cocktail, or join one of several book clubs.

Little by little, Sadie is adjusting to the rhythms of her new home. Fall in Shady Creek is bookmarked by the much-anticipated Autumn Festival, complete with a pumpkin catapult competition and pie bake-off. Unfortunately, the season also brings an unwelcome visitor—Sadie’s ex, Eric, who’s angling for a second chance . . .

Before Sadie can tell Eric to leave, he’s found dead near the Inkwell. When the local antique shop catches fire on the same night, it’s clear the town is harboring at least one unsavory character. Now, with her Aunt Gilda, her friend Shontelle, and the pub’s patrons all in the mix, Sadie must uncover the truth . . . before a killer declares last call.

To buy WINE AND PUNISHMENT click here.


Book one in the Mystery Bookshop series

The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . .

Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

To buy THE PLOT IS MURDER click here.


Book one in the Tallie Graver series

There’s no reverse on the hearse . . .

For Tallulah Graver, marrying wealthy Waldo Phillips seemed like the best way out of the family business, the Graver Funeral Home. But when her marriage falls apart and Tallie is left with next to nothing, she turns to cleaning houses to make ends meet. As humbling as it is to tidy the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends, at least she doesn’t have to be around dead bodies. Until . . .

She discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest. This unpleasant shock seems to be part of a web of weird experiences: Tallie’s friend Gina’s shop is broken into, her ex is stun-gunned where it hurts the most, and now she’s receiving flowers from the dead woman. Granted the deliveryman is handsome, but seriously, that’s enough to cast a pall over anyone’s day. Now Tallie needs to dig deep to clean up this mess—before she finds herself in a grave situation.

To buy CREMAINS OF THE DAY click here.

I hope you’ll find this short list of first-in series sale books helpful because we all know our TBR piles are never quite tall enough. 🙂

Coffee & Chat

Sunday Coffee & Chat

August has arrived and I’d like to say that July flew by in a blink of an eye but I can’t because I felt every single day of the month. And wasn’t I lucky there were 31 days. The days were hot and humid (yes, I’m complaining about the weather and no, I don’t need to be reminded of the brutal winter ahead – I’m familiar with it) and there was so much work. Luckily, I love my job and my office is air conditioned. So no complaints there. But, I did not feel the month flew by at all. Let’s see if I’ll be able to say the same about August.

What have I been up to this past week? So glad you asked because I’m so happy to say the first draft of my Halloween-themed novella for the Resale Boutique mystery series is finished. It came in at 27,367 words. Yay! I also spent the week prepping book 4 in the Food Blogger series to send off to my indie editor. I have a few more chapters to review and tweak before the due date. I had the pleasure of reading a couple of chapters of my critique partner’s WIP. There’s a new one in my inbox so I’ll be reading that today. The thing on my to-do list all week that I didn’t get to was to begin writing the guest posts for the upcoming release of THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE. So that task is going on the to-do list for this coming week.

I also finished reading My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding. I really enjoyed the book and if you’d like to read more about it you’ll find my post here. In July I also read Manor of Dying, which I loved. If you’d like to read my post about that book you’ll find it here.

I also finalized the recipes in Food Blogger 4 so now I just have to select which ones I’ll share in the book. There’s one cookie recipe and muffin recipe that will definitely go in the book. I also selected the recipe from THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE that I will share on the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen blog.

My little guy Billy had no one but two visits to the vet’s office because of a bump on his head. It was drained at the first appointment but after 48 hours it became inflamed and red. Now he’s on some meds and the bump is looking better, just not getting any smaller. He has a follow-up in a few days.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! It’s been great catching up with you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re planning for this coming week.

Friday Reads

Friday Reads – My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding

It’s August already! It’s hard to believe that the season of beach reads is winding down. With that in mind I made sure that Wendy Wax’s My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding was up next to read. Before I discuss any more about the book, let’s first take a moment to admire. It’s beautiful!

A majority of the book takes place in the Outer Banks, North Carolina and it’s about two best friends who had a falling out but are still connected by one of their mother’s. Lauren set out for New York City to make it big as an author and her best friend was supposed to go with her but Bree changed her mind and remained in NC to marry Lauren’s ex-boyfriend. Over the years, Bree took over the local bookstore while Lauren launched her publishing career with an idea they both had come up with. Yeah, that’s a problem. Lauren’s mother, Kendra, has been the perfect mother showing both women that even given the most difficult circumstances a woman can survive and be successful. Too bad she has a secret that will rip her daughter’s heart to shreds and maybe show she wasn’t as brave as everyone thought. The three of them must find the strength to forgive and welcome each other back into their lives. I loved how the relationship between Lauren and Bree mended. There were scenes that I could totally relate to where the two women slipped into their old banter, their old rhythm of conversation, their suppressed feelings for each other and then quickly regrouped because after twenty years, their disappointment and anger of each other had festered so they couldn’t have that feeling of friendship, of love. Those scenes felt very authentic to me. I really enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to Wendy’s next release.

What are you reading? Are you getting ready for your fall reading? No, I’m not pushing the season (though I wouldn’t mind a little less humidity) but we do have to plan. There are only so many hours of reading time. 🙂



Silenced In Sequins Cover Reveal

SILENCED IN SEQUINS (book 2 in the Resale Boutique Mystery series) has a cover! I hope you love it as much as I do.

A little about the book –

Former Manhattan fashion buyer Kelly Quinn is turning her grandmother’s outdated consignment shop into her quaint hometown’s hot spot for upscale style—until her second-hand couture makes the scene of an ice-cold crime . . .

With her bottom line looking a little threadbare, Kelly is going all out to promote the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique. She’s counting on Black Friday to recover her start-up expenses—including a website and an advertising blitz. But the publicity is overkill when two warring divas, and one sparkly evening dress, thrust Kelly and her fledgling business into a scandal she can’t afford.

The gorgeous garment came to Kelly from the walk-in closets of Wendy Johnson, one of reality TV’s Long Island Ladies. When Wendy’s former co-star, Diana Delacourte, graces a Christmas gala in the dress that was once her rival’s, a very public catfight ensues. But is Wendy to blame when sequin-clad Diana turns up dead? Dodging the show’s ever-present cameras—and a detective’s stern warnings—Kelly hunts for a killer before the powerful celebrity-suspect makes good on her threats and rips her to shreds . . .

SILENCED IN SEQUINS is available for pre-order at all retailers (ebook only at this time with print to follow) and releases on January 7, 2020.