Friday, July 13, 2018

A message from beyond?

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Yesterday, I stopped at a couple of garage sales on the way to the grocery store. At one, I saw a brass bracelet that made my heart stop because it looked so much like one my Dad had made for me when I was in college. Mine is in silver, the one I got today is in brass.



Dad often worked in brass, silver, and stainless steel. When I asked the woman where she got it, she said a cousin had given it to her. (I should have asked her who her cousin was.)

 Dad probably didn't make the brass one. He never sold his jewelry, just making it for family. And he went to several jewelry-making classes at the Memorial Art Gallery here in Rochester, so this could have been made by a fellow classmate.

 Still, the lady said to me, "Maybe this is a sign from your Dad. Maybe he's saying hello."

 What do you think?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Summer Is Here!

by Karen Rose Smith


The best part of summer for our family is the vegetables from our garden and the fruits we can find at local produce stands.  This week, the English cucumbers and Black Beauty zucchini were hiding under the huge green leaves.  I bake, grill, broil and saute zucchini in a variety of recipes.  They are easy to insinuate into many recipes...even lasagna!  I use the zucchini instead of pasta.  


 Cucumbers are a mainstay of salad any time of the year.  But when they are plentiful, I use them in salads of their own.  They play well with cherry tomatoes and vinaigrette, also with dill and ranch dressing. I like English cucumbers, the long thin ones because they have fewer seeds.




Peaches are probably my favorite summer fruit.  In my area of Pennsylvania, there are plentiful bushels of peaches when winter has been kind to the orchards.  I believe a peach needs no other accompaniment.  But recipes with peaches are endless from peach cobbler, to peach crisp, to peach pie to peach custard.














I'm constantly being told I should drink more water.  I'm not a water drinker.  But this is a new way that I've found to drink water and like it.  This pitcher has a channel on the left where you can load in pealed and washed fruit.  Then just fill the pitcher with water and refrigerate. I like peaches best and strawberries are a near second.  The fruit infuses the water with a bit of flavor.  The pitcher needs to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to do the job well. 

I hope you enjoy the fruits and vegetables of summer!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Community...all welcome or not so much


I’m a woman alone and that’s just fine but lately I’m finding that my house/yard is a whole lot of work. So the question is...move or stay.
I love my house, I really do. My husband and I planted every tree, bush, flower, fence, trellis, fountain... you get the picture. The thing is he’s no longer here so that means I take care of all that  needs repair or gotten older and now huge and needs maintaining.
I’m not ancient...least I don’t like to admit that I am...but I’m no spring chicken either. So what do I do? Move or stay and hire out some of the work.
Yeah, hiring out the work is a great idea but getting someone is always tough and they will never do it like I do it. I need to compromise.

Or do I move and make new friends and get into a new life style while I’m in the mood to do such a thing. Moving is tough and I’m a loner. I like people and doing things but the new communities are really close with neighbors on you doorstep. The up side is there are bike trails, walking distance to shopping and restaurants, etc. The downside is the neighbor on the doorstep thing. 
So my question to you is... When you get to be a person of age will you stay put in your house or move to something more manageable and make a new life?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Florida State of Mind

by Maggie Sefton



A family favorite, the Betsy Ross Hotel, is one of those lovely Art Deco jewels on South Beach.



Once again, one of Mary Kennedy's wonderful Cozy Chicks Blog posts has inspired
one of my own posts.  Today, tons of memories were stirred awake about my family's very favorite vacation site---Florida.  And, specifically, South Beach, Florida.  Ah, yes-----what can I say about South Beach, Florida that hasn't already been said.  "SoBe," as it was referred to in the late 1990's by the Chic and Fashionable set, was every bit as brash and brazen as depicted in that marvelous and hilarious Robin Williams and Nathan Lane comedy movie "The Birdcage."  That movie was actually a take-off of the wonderful French hit "La Cage Aux Folles."

At night, the main street of South Beach was brilliant with bright neon lights that flashed from all those marvelous Art Deco buildings lining the street. When my husband and our oldest two daughters, Christine and Melissa, visited South Beach years and years ago, we would stay at some of the older hotels which were cheaper.  They were not fancy, to be sure, but they were right on the beach with a drop-dead view of the Atlantic Ocean.  I have always been someone who could sit and stare at the ocean for hours.  Soothing, relaxing, name your own adjective.  And when our family expanded with the births of our two younger daughters, Serena and Maria, we continued to drive to Florida for at least two weeks of beautiful sunshine, ocean breezes, and reading and relaxing under palm trees.


Daughter Serena---now a NASA Astronaut and presently at the International Space Station for six months---when she was just a toddler sitting in the sand at South Beach.  :)  


Funny memories came back as well.  Our family loved those beautiful colorful Hibiscus plants with the bright red blossoms so much that we would try to bring some plants back to our home at that time in West Lafayette, Indiana, where my husband was a professor of Electrical Engineering at Purdue University.  We would buy two or more plants in nursery tubs and then we'd take turns sitting in the back of the family station wagon with those plant tubs between our knees to protect them during the two and a half day drive back to Indiana.  :)  Of course, the plants were happy as long as it was sunny and hot outside in an Indiana summer.  But when Winter's cold winds blew and the plants had to be moved inside, those plants did not take kindly to the dry furnace heat.  Within three years, the plants would die despite all my ministrations----cleaning leaves, pampering them.  

Other memories intruded as well.  I remember floating out in that delightful ocean right across from the main street of South Beach one afternoon in July 1997.  My husband and I had had lunch earlier in the day at the News Cafe.  Our kids were vacationing with other family members.  All of a sudden, helicopters started flying over our section of the ocean and beach.  Not just one or two, but several helicopters appeared---hovering overhead.  That was totally unusual.  What everyone on that beach and floating peacefully in the ocean learned that evening on the news broadcasts was that the famous designer Gianni Versace had been murdered, shot, on the doorstep of his gorgeous mansion behind a black wrought iron fence.  I found a news media quote on Wikipedia that best describes it:   "On the morning of July 15, 1997, fashion designer Gianni Versace is shot and killed outside his Miami Beach mansion by wanted spree killer Andrew Cunanan."  We used to walk past that beautiful mansion every day on the way to the News Cafe.  It took days for police to find and catch the killer.  A very sad memory, indeed.    



  

Monday, July 9, 2018

FLORIDA'S CALLING--YES, EVEN IN THE SUMMER!

By Mary Kennedy
 
All my friends know I'm a huge Florida fan--in any season!  So every year, my thoughts turn to Florida and the Ft. Lauderdale condo. It's right on the ocean (many condos and hotels call themselves"oceanfront" but they are actually across the street--the other side of AIA.) This one really is oceanfront, it's right on the sand. I discovered it 20 years ago when I was headed to Key West to do some research for a Boxcar Mystery. I fell in love with it then, and go back every year.

                                                                           

 When it's high tide, the water comes up so close to the balcony, you can pretend you're on a cruise ship. Here's a picture I took from the deck.
                                                              
                                             


Day or night, it's a beautiful sight...
                                                            


 I have a teen series that features South Beach in the first book. The series is called the Hollywood Nights series (South Beach is known as "Hollywood East" because of all the movies they shoot there). Golden Girl is the first book and books 2 and 3 are set in Hollywood.
                                                         
                                             
Here is how Golden Girl came about. I was sitting in an outdoor cafe in South Beach, the News Cafe, watching the "beautiful people" strolling down the street, sipping iced coffees, chatting about their evening plans.
                                                                             
   
    South Beach is known for its glittery night life, and there's a constant round of concerts and clubs where people go to see and be seen.
                                                                           

One girl in particular, struck me as being the epitome of a "South Beach" teen, a lovely blonde who was walking alone. She seemed thoughtful and composed as she zipped up the steps of a fancy hotel and was greeted by the doorman. I decided right then and there to write a book about her, which became Golden Girl.  Just that brief sighting led to a whole plot taking shape in my head. What if she lived in that fabulous hotel and her father owned it? What if she was a top model in South Beach and craved a different sort of life? What if she wanted more than a constant round of parties and photo shoots? What is she had goals and dreams that had nothing to do with being famous? These are the questions I asked myself as I developed the plot.

 If I hadn't gone to South Beach for lunch on that particular day (I was staying in Ft. Lauderdale), the book wouldn't exist!

                                   
From there, I decided to add my two Hollywood teen books, Movie Star and the sequel, Confessions. to the series. They have different characters than the ones in Golden Girl, but they all revolve around the film business.  The glitter, the angst, the roller coaster of fame and success.  If you love books set in Florida and Hollywood, and are fascinated by movie sets, I hope you'll give the Hollywood Nights series a try!

Mary Kennedy

Friday, July 6, 2018

Coming Tuesday -- Poisoned Pages

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Like a box of a dozen doughnuts, the 12th Booktown Mystery will be available on Tuesday, July 10th.

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, throws a housewarming cocktail party in her new apartment and has cooked all the food by herself--quite a feat for someone who previously couldn't boil water. Then one of her guests is poisoned and dies. Tricia's left to wonder if her cooking is to blame or if there's something much more sinister at play. Either way, Tricia's once again in hot water with her ex-lover, Chief Baker.

Meanwhile the charming town of Stoneham is being disrupted by a vandalism crime wave. It's the hot topic in the race for Chamber of Commerce president which sees Tricia pitted against two bitter rivals. With all that's going on can she find the killer before she's the next item on the menu?

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Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Do You Remember?

by Karen Rose Smith




There are drawers and hidey-holes that just don't get cleaned out over years despite moves, redecorating and rearranging furniture.  We spruced up our kitchen a bit and I decided it was time to clean out and reline drawers, closets, a secretary/desk and a china cupboard.  They secretary/desk gave up the most surprises!

Do you remember S&H green stamps?  Every time my family bought groceries, participating stores would dole out green stamps for those purchases.  We had paper books to paste them inside.  My mom would sit and study the S&H green stamp catalog for items that she could earn FREE.  Yes, FREE.  There were photos in there of merchandise ranging from small appliances to furniture.  Those prizes helped stretch the budget.

In our secretary/desk the most recent things like paint color books and sachets, pencils, pens and journals were just pushed in.  The surprises were behind those.  First I found this Instamatic camera.  We used this for years on vacations and to take family photos.  I remember carrying along the packs of flash cubes and film cartridges so we didn't run out.  Most of those photos are in albums with the sticky back and cellophane covering that.  They are fading.  But the memories are still alive in our hearts.  And even the shadow of a photograph will bring back an event.







Do you remember fountain pens?  I went to a Catholic grade school and high school.  We had to use fountain pens.  Ballpoint pens weren't allowed.  However, we didn't have to use black or blue ink.  My favorite color ink was turquoise and that was allowed.  But I remember making a mess with filling ink into a cartridge for a fountain pen!









Do  you know the use of this little pot?  It's an egg poacher.  My guess is that when we moved twenty years ago, it was one of those items that I couldn't let go of.  When my son was small, I would make poached eggs for breakfast.  That little poacher has lots of memories attached to it--leisurely mornings before he attended kindergarten, rushed mornings to catch the bus when first grade started, weekends in pj's watching cartoons.  Yep, that little poacher might find a place of honor somewhere.




The secretary/desk is now organized.  I made it my tea cupboard.  But I'll keep this flashcube in one of the cubicles to remember days when life wasn't so rushed, when the telephone was attached to the wall, when conversation was more important than text messages. 


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

New Kelly Flynn Mystery---DYEING UP LOOSE ENDS

by Maggie Sefton






Yes, Cozy Chicks Readers and Fans, the 16th Kelly Flynn Mystery is now available in bookstores and online----DYEING UP LOOSE ENDS.  I just love the title.  My editor and her staff at Penguin's Berkley Prime Crime thought of it.  For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the Kelly Flynn Mysteries, I'm posting a brief hint of the plot line below.  For those of you who do give it a try, I hope you enjoy it!  :)




Kelly and Steve’s son, Jack, is now a lively four-year old preschooler. Jack keeps his mom on her toes and drinking all the coffee she can handle at Pete’s Porch CafĂ©.  Kelly’s friendly waitress Julie is hoping to become an accountant.  She makes sure she keeps Kelly caffeinated and up-to-date on her career progress. Kelly splits her time between Pete’s and Lambspun, where her fellow knitters love hearing all about Jack’s latest exploits.  They’ve also been taking a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about crimes that Kelly had a hand in solving over the years.  But the Lambspun crew is horrified when a very present-day  murder occurs in their midst---and Julie is the victim.  With her sleuthing instincts on full alert, Kelly starts asking questions.  The well-liked waitress may have had enemies no one knew about, or she could have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kelly and her friends at Lambspun soon learn that the answers are knottier and more shocking than they ever dreamed.   

DYEING UP LOOSE ENDS—Available July 3, 2018 from Berkley Prime Crime 

Monday, July 2, 2018

IF YOU'RE ASKED TO DO A RADIO INTERVIEW--SAY YES!

By Mary Kennedy                                                   

Authors are invited to make public appearances in all sorts of venues--schools, libraries, conferences, book clubs, book stores and even fashionable teas!

Some of my writer pals are hesitant to accept these invitations and I always urge them to set their fears aside and say yes. As a shrink (licensed clinical psychologist), I use the classic, "What's the worst that can happen?" to help them allay their fears.  
                                            

Here are a few tips I've put together on surviving (and yes, even enjoying) a live radio appearance.
I've been invited to do quite a few radio interviews since my Talk Radio Mysteries involve Dr. Maggie, a psychologist turned radio talk show host and amateur sleuth. Here are a few tips I've put together on surviving (and yes, even enjoying) a live radio appearance. 

Tip # 1. Say yes! Don’t procrastinate, don’t ponder the pros and cons. It is free publicity, it is “all good” as the kids say.
  
Tip # 2. This is the time to perfect your “elevator speech,” you know, that snappy one or two line description that makes listeners want to run out and buy your book. If you're wondering why they call it the "elevator speech," it's because you have less than a minute to say it. About the time it would take for an elevator ride. The classic story goes, "If you stepped into an elevator and Stephen Spielberg was there, what would you tell him about the movie potential for your book? You only have a few seconds, the clock is ticking!" Be concise, be entertaining, be compelling. 

Tip# 3. Send the host a copy of your book and some publicity material before the show. Don’t count on the publisher to do it. Cover all bases and do it yourself.

Tip # 4. Unless you’re a major player, it’s unlikely that the producer will bother doing a “pre-interview” with you. So no one will sit down and go over possible “funny” stories from your repertoire. You’ll have to come up with them on your own.

Tip # 5. Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to go wherever the host takes you. When I was a guest on the Wake Up With Taylor show, (Sirius XM Radio) it seems that the host, Taylor Strecker once dreamed of being a forensic psychologist. Although I now practice as a clinical psychologist, I did two years of forensic work, and Taylor wanted to hear all about my experiences. Naturally, I winnowed out the boring, grueling parts of the job and concentrated on funny vignettes. Which leads up to the final tip.

Tip # 7. Be entertaining! No one wants “dead air” (which coincidentally is the title of the first book in the Talk Radio Mystery series.) My five minute interview went into twenty minutes, and I know it was because the conversation flowed and the jokes rolled in like a tsunami.
                                                                                 


 Practice your patter until you have it down perfectly. And one last suggestion, don’t forget to mention the title of your book! I was so caught up in the excitement of the moment, I nearly forgot to mention REEL MURDER, but the co-host, Kenny Z, pro that he is, rescued me and repeated not only the name of the book, but the name of the series, THE TALK RADIO MYSTERIES. Thank you, Kate White, Taylor and Kenny Z for a wonderful opportunity!   

Mary Kennedy


Friday, June 29, 2018

Happy Songs

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Not going to mince words here, I am one UNHAPPY woman. My cats died 12 days apart in March. I've had a hard time getting back into writing after a long SAD winter. My mother has been gone now for three years and sixteen days. I'm friggin' SAD.

Which is why I've been singing happy songs. I used to have a really good singing voice. (No brag, just fact.) Kinda alto, but I could stretch to soprano if I had to. Today? Not so much, but that hasn't stopped me from singing -- especially in the kitchen and the car ... mostly when I'm alone. (Mr. L has never complained, but I remember my nieces complaining when my Mum used to sing.  "Please, Gramma, don't sing 'Animal Crackers' anymore." Mum was a HUGE Shirley Temple fan. : )

Lately, and especially when I'm making breakfast, I have been singing happy songs. The thing is ... they are not the songs of my generation. Nope. Maybe that's because ... really, how many happy songs can I remember from my favorite singers? ("I Can't Live if Living Is Wiithout You.")

Um...Um....

My top song lately?

Singing in the Rain.

Mind you, I have NEVER seen the movie. Nope, not once.  But I did grow up singing to Broadway musicals and I can't say I've ever seen any of them, either.  But my mother had all the records. Carousel, My Fair Lady (it was cool to sing along with Rex Harrison and get to say "Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!" Wasn't allowed to say it otherwise), Oklahoma, South Pacific, Gigi, and OMG -- West Side Story and Funny Girl. And my parents played records by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, and lots more.

But it's "Singing In The Rain" that I seem to sing most. (Oh, and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby" -- only I sing it a LOT FASTER!!!).

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000WTVE18/socialmedia053-20
I have a few Bing Crosby CDs and it's been a while since I listened to them, but I'm very fond of him, too. (From the 1940s. And I bought them on my own--because I don't remember my parents ever having those records.) My favorite is a compilition with the Andrews Sisters. 

But where did my fascination with "Singing In The Rain" come from?

Well, that was from a more contemporaty song.

Okay, I really like Bruno Mars.

I really, REALLY love "Uptown Funk."  The thing is, the first time I heard it I knew that it would have been a song that my Dad would have LOVED. He didn't seem to have any kind of prejudice toward new stuff, even though he was in his 80s.

And when I saw the mash-up featuring dancers from the 1940s and 1950s, that's when I saw Gene Kelly dancing to "Singing in the Rain" and "Good Morning."  Yeah, if you haven't seen it, you have been missing something great.  (So go watch it now.)

If that doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.

So, I think I'll go watch it now, because I can't get enough of smiling. (And if you can't get enough of dancing, try Rita Hayworth dancing to the BeeGees "Stayin' Alive." And not to forget "Foot Loose.")

What song makes you happy?  (Rolling Stones?)




Thursday, June 28, 2018

Zander and Freya, #Kittens a Year Later

by Karen Rose Smith


A year ago my husband's cell phone rang and he had no idea that taking the call would upset the balance of our feline family.  At that time we already had four inside cats and two outside feral visitors.  A good friend had found a litter of kittens under her parent's front porch while she was house sitting for them.  She was calling under the pretense that she needed advice on how to proceed with their care. 

We offered as much advice as we could from a short distance.  She later called to tell us she had been able to retrieve two of the kittens from their mother's hidden den, but that there were still more that she couldn't reach.  She took the rescued kittens home and was caring for them in her basement.  The following day she rescued the remaining four kittens and had lured the mama cat into the cat cage that we had loaned her.  The momma was scheduled to be spayed...with the intention of then releasing her into the neighborhood again.

The kittens were very small.  She took them to the vet and they were proclaimed healthy.  I kept resisting my urge to visit the new crew, but I couldn't stay away.  I knew there was a semi-long-haired black female in the litter and I convinced my husband we should take her home when she was old enough.  I wanted to spend some time with Freya (my friend had already named her!) but when my husband and I met the entire crew, a long-haired male caught his attention and nestled into his arms.  We had never adopted an inside male before. They were so small, only a pound and Freya definitely needed a companion to help her in the transition to a new family.  Our friend was socializing them, but with six it was difficult.  Even with attention, some gobbled food faster than the others. So...we brought Freya and her friend who we named Zander home and our feline family grew to six inside cats.  We knew the transition, not just for the kittens but for all of our furry family, could be challenging.                   



But with great patience, the kittens slowly worked their way into everyone's lives.  We kept them separated from the others for about two weeks so they would bond with us.  My husband and I took turns sleeping with them in the room so that they could cuddle with us as well as each other.  When we finally did open the door, there were hisses and growls but so many laughs too.  Our senior cat passed on a few months after we brought the kittens home.  (We had kept her separated from them because she was blind.)  When London passed, our youngest, Paddy, was in a funk and I hoped the kittens would help her.  It's taken a while but now she and Zander chase and play with toys together.  Today, a year later, we still have chases through the house and occasional skirmishes, but all have settled into routines that make for a peaceful coexistence...usually!     

Zander today


Freya Today

Freya Helps Fold The Laundry 

Zander Examines Our New Kitchen Counter

Freya Helps Unpack Groceries


Zander Poses

I can't imagine life without the kittens.  They are my constant companions and fill my days of writing, editing and promotion with beautiful moments and peaceful respites.  They provided the balance between work and play.  I'm so thankful for that phone call a year ago, so thankful for Freya, Zander and all of my furry friends.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer Fun!

Let the Games Begin
Summer means lots of getting together with family and friends outside. There’s the grilling and the drinking but what about the extra fun?




Do you have outside games you play?
If you are lucky enough to have a pool the games are endless. They make all kinds of water polo equipment, diving for whatever fun stuff and just playing Marco Polo is always a crowd pleaser.
I don’t have a pool to splash around in but my family loves cornhole.
For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s tossing beanbags into a hole on a board. It’s great for summer as you can hold a beer or drink choice in one hand and toss with the other. Also, it requires little physical effort and expertise meaning luck plays a big part and anyone can play.
I played a lot of croquet when I was a kid. Setting up the course was half the fun. It was the anticipation of the game and part of the ritual. I was pretty decent at it and loved blastin someone else’s ball half way across the playing field.
So what about you? Got a fave outside game you and your family play? 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mystery in the 1890s

by Maggie Sefton






Sorry to be posting later than usual today, Tuesday.  Sometimes there is simply so much on our plates, it slows us down.  Today is definitely one of those days.  :)



In case some of you have forgotten, I also write Historical Mystery.  SCANDALS, SECRETS AND MURDER is the first in my Historical Mystery series, The Widow and the Rogue Mysteries.  Take a look at a description below and see if it tickles your curiosity.  Enjoy!





SCANDALS, SECRETS, AND MURDER:
The Widow and the Rogue Mysteries
by Maggie Sefton


Powerful and corrupt U.S. Senator Horace Chester is stabbed to death in a Murder Bay brothel, wrapped in the arms of his evening’s entertainment.  His assailant escapes into the crush of unwashed bodies filling the streets of 1890 Washington’s notorious red light district just a few blocks from the President’s  House.  

Amanda Duncan,wealthy young Washington widow, tries to ignore the clairvoyant visions that flash unbidden before her eyes.  Since she couldn’t save her own family, perhaps her visions can help others.  Now, Amanda turns her back on Washington society and deliberately treads where no respectable lady would dare.  This latest vision was most troubling.  She saw a man stabbed to death by a shadowy assailant and a young girl screaming. 

Devlin Burke, English investor and sometime sleuth, is in Washington on family business and to rescue his nephew Freddie who’s gone bankrupt in one of Sen. Chester’s investment schemes.  In a rage, Freddie attacked Chester in a crowded Capitol Hill hallway only days before the senator’s murder.  Freddie has no alibi and is now the police inspector’s prime suspect. 

Devlin and Amanda join forces in a search to find Senator Chester’s killer, which takes them from the Capital’s poshest salons into the crime-infested streets of Murder Bay.  Devlin’s sleuthing instincts and Amanda’s psychic detection lead them ever closer to the truth.  But the closer they approach, the more desperate the killer becomes---and the more dangerous. 
  



Monday, June 25, 2018

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUP ICE CREAM PIE? OH MY!

by Mary Kennedy                                             
       

Summer's a great time for ice cream pie, it's cool, delicious and decadent! Here's a fave recipe for ice cream pie using miniature peanut butter cups. (Picture was taken before whipped cream topping was added.)

Ingredients:

1 pie crust, your choice. Either a baked pie crust shell or a graham cracker crust, or a chocolate crumb crust.
1 pint chocolate ice cream
1 pint vanilla ice cream
25 miniature peanut butter cups, chilled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cold heavy cream
3 Tablespoons of confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla                 

Directions:

Soften the ice cream by leaving it on the counter for a few minutes. Combine the vanilla ice cream with 3/4 of the peanut butter cups, blend well. Reserve 1/4 cup of the peanut butter cups for garnish.

Spoon half of the chocolate ice cream into the crust and spread evenly.

Add the vanilla ice cream (mixed with the chopped peanut butter cups) on top of the chocolate ice cream.

Scoop the rest of the chocolate ice cream on top of the vanilla and spread evenly.

Freeze the pie for at least 3 hours.

Before you serve the pie, mix cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until cream forms firm peaks. Scoop the whipped cream over the center of the pie. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften slightly before cutting. For easier slicing, use a knife that has been dipped in hot water and then dried. Do this for each slice. Drizzle with melted chocolate if you want. Or garnish with the remaining chopped peanut butter cups.

Enjoy!

Bon appetit!                 

Friday, June 22, 2018

BookBub

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Did you know that you could follow the chicks on BookBub?  Well, not as a group, but at least indivdually.  And did you know you could leave reviews on Bookbub? (And you can recommend books to other readers.  Check out my recommendations.)

What is BookBub?

BookBub is a free service that helps you discover books you'll love through unbeatable deals, handpicked recommendations, and updates from your favorite authors. BookBub doesn't actually sell books.

Why is BookBub important to authors? Because it helps us find new readers. With so many books out there, it's getting harder and harder to be discovered by new readers. But Bookbub lets you find your favorite authors, click on their books, and learn more about them.

Bookbub lets authors contact their followers when they have new books out. But wait! Authors need to have 1000 followers before they can utilize this service. Won't you help me get to 1000 followers?

Just click my name:  Lorraine Bartlett

And you can follow the other Chicks by clicking their names, too!

Mary Kennedy
Karen Rose Smith
Duffy Brown
Maggie Sefton 

Thank you!