Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hope Street Mysteries

We are thrilled that Jennifer Stanley is joining us today! Jennifer is known for her delightful Supper Club Mysteries, and this month, she's launching a new series called Hope Street Mysteries. Check out her website at for more information on this series …where good folks study The Good Book, but everyone loves a good mystery!

Publisher's Weekly says "Stanley's faith-based crime detection has plenty of charming appeal.”

Even better, Jennifer is giving away a signed copy of her new book, Stirring Up Strife, to one lucky person who leaves a comment today!


When I joined my first Bible Study two years ago I expected to read a lot of Scripture and do a great deal of soul-searching. I had no idea I would also encounter the most amazing baked goods on heaven or earth!

No one can bake like a church lady. Sorry, but Emeril and Rachael Ray have nothin’ on a bunch of women who’ve been baking cookies, breads, coffee cakes, sausage spirals, casseroles, and pastries since I was in diapers.

That’s why baked goods feature so prominently in Stirring Up Strife, the first of the Hope Street Church Mysteries. The main character, Cooper Lee, lives with her parents. Her mother, Magnolia Lee, bakes gourmet cookies for a living so I spent weeks baking and testing recipes. (No worries - I only gained five pounds)! The three best are featured at the end of the book.

In fact, each of the Hope Street Books will contain three recipes, but I plan to post more on my website throughout the year. (See HYPERLINK "" for recipes from the Hope Street Books and the Supper Club mysteries).

Publisher’s Weekly can do a better job telling you about Stirring Up Strife, so I’ll leave it to them:
“The lighthearted first Hope Street Church mystery introduces 32-year-old Cooper Lee as she grapples with the end of a five-year romance. Despite the best efforts of her loving sister and grandmother, the Richmond, Va., office machine technician can't muster the enthusiasm to move on. When a client, Brooke Hughes, invites Cooper to attend a service at her church, Cooper decides it's a good opportunity to mingle with a new crowd. On her first visit to the imposing church, Cooper is welcomed into the Sunday morning Sunrise Bible Study group and learns that Brooke has been murdered and the police are holding her husband as the prime suspect. The Sunrise members believe him innocent and sweep up Cooper in pursuit of the real killer. Stanley's faith-based crime detection has plenty of charming appeal.”
Now I’d love to ask you a question: What is your absolute favorite baked good? Anyone who posts a comment will be entered to win a signed copy of Stirring Up Strife!

Good luck and thank you for letting me stop by today! Here’s a cookie recipe to cure the winter blues:

Magnolia’s Marvels: Comfort Cookies

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup sweet & tart dried cherries (Maggie uses Sunsweet)
3 cups oatmeal, quick cook or old fashioned

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In large bowl, cream sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Gently stir in flour mixture and then stir in dried fruit. When well mixed, stir in oatmeal.
Drop by the tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on sheet before placing on racks.


  1. Hi, Jennifer! Thank you for hanging out with us mystery writing cooks today. I have to say that I love the inspirational premise of your new series. (Great cover, too.) In answer to your question - what is your favorite baked good? You know, I was going to say cookie, but then I thought of...doughnuts! A freshly made doughnut with a hot cup o' joe is almost impossible for me to pass up! Have a great Sunday, Jennifer, and thank you again for stopping by to tell us about your wonderful new series.

    author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

  2. Hi Jennifer! Great to have you over at the Kitchen today.

    Cookies make a good breakfast, too. :) I frequently eat my sweets at the beginning of the day...thinking I'll burn off the calories quicker!

    Love your new series and can't wait to read the new release!


  3. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for coming by the Kitchen for a visit. :)

    Cookies are awesome for breakfast, too..I'm hungry just reading your recipe! I figure if I eat my sweets at the beginning of the day, I'll have a better chance of burning off the calories!


  4. My favorite baked good? Hands down, my mother's gumdrop bars. I know they wouldn't be for everyone, but they mean Christmas to me, and I even close my eyes and smell them before I take the first bite.

    Good luck with Stirring Up Strife, Jennifer!

    Lesa -

  5. Thanks, Jennifer, for joining us. Brown sugar, raising and cherries? Oh, yum! Good luck with your new series. May it bring comfort to those who read.

  6. Welcome, Jennifer! Stirring Up Strife is already on my TBR pile and I love the fact that it's everywhere. I've been seeing it prominently displayed at all my local bookstores - which is *great*! I love the story's premise and can't wait to read it. Even though I'm not in the running to win ... my favorite baked good is probably cookies. They seem so small, so harmless. Until I finish half a plate of them! Butter cookies are usually my all-time favorite, and I particularly love shortbread. Or chocolate chip cookies, straight out of the oven.

    Thanks for joining us today.

  7. I'd say my favorite baked good would be my grandmother's sweet potato pie. It would melt in your mouth. I've tried to make it but it never turns out like hers. You're recipe sounds great. Looking forward to reading your book.

  8. My favorite baked good is a childhood comfort food: Grandma O'Neill's cookies. Gma O'Neill was my maternal grandma. The cookie is a brown sugar cookie with the powdered sugar/milk icing. My kids love them.

  9. Good luck with the new book and series, Jennifer!

    My favorite baked good is cinnamon rolls. My mother used to make big batches of them and then give them away to all of my aunts and uncles when I was growing up.

  10. My favorite baked good is my mother's upside down pineapple cake, especially for breakfast.

  11. Hi Jennifer. I have your new book sitting ready on my shelf to read soon. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm really trying to not love baked goods so much, but the recipe you posted sounds lovely. I'm not much of a raisin lover, so I wonder if you could just leave those out? My favorite baked goods relate to Christmas mostly. I love gingerbread cookies. They can be cut out into shapes or just rolled and pressed down. Tastes the same. Yum! Good luck with this new series.

  12. I'm with the cinnamon roll contingent for favorite. But it's not just baking. Some of the best food I've ever had has been at church potlucks, those Baptist women can COOK! As far as my experience goes, this holds true for Methodists, Church of Christ, and Catholic women, too, so I'd imagine it's a non-denominational phenomenon.

  13. Hi Jennifer. i love the idea of these books. i have a very personal relationship from my past with those angels in aprons, the Church basement Ladies. I wrote a story about them on my Thanksgiving post...

    Hope to see you back on this site soon!


  14. Hershey Bar cake. Yummy, rich chocolate pound cake.

  15. Jennifer, thank you so much for joining us today! Your new book sounds wonderful. Can't wait to see who wins it!

    ~ Krista

  16. I'm going to look for your book; it sounds like a terrific read (I read 3-4 books a week so am always looking for something new and good).

    My favorite baked good..I can only pick one??! Gosh... homemade bread, I guess.. but then there's..

  17. Boy, reading about cookies, cakes, and cinnamon buns has made for the perfect Sunday evening. To heck with a diet resolution, I'm going downstairs to have a brownie!

    Thanks for having me!

  18. Hello Ms. Stanley :)

    I totally agree with you about those ladies at church - they can cook up a storm! Our Christmas church bazaar features a lot of tempting treats. Sometimes it can be hard to pick just what to bring home. This year I brought home a cranberry relish that was very popular - bazaar is held just before Thanksgiving (though called a Christmas bazaar).

    My favorite baked good? To pick just one really narrows the list down tight....I would have to pick my Grammy's brown sugar pecan icebox cookies. She would make those every Christmas. I make them at Christmas now and just the smell brings back fond childhood memories of Grammy, family and especially Christmas.

    Best wishes on your book, it sounds wonderful. Wishing you much success!

    :) Abigail

  19. Hurray Hurray hurray!! What a wonderful review..and I think it's YOU who has charming appeal!

    Yes, yes, homemade bread for me..but I've already ordered your books--so let someone else win.

    Congratulations!! SO happy for you! (And Hi MLK gang!)

  20. "Stirring Up Strife" is a great title and since I am a fan of your other books, I will certainly add this to my TBR mountain. Favorite baked good? Only one? Then probably my Chocolate Chip Fudge Walnut Cheescake. I don't bake it often because I live alone and that much cheesecake for one person in a week is a heart attack just waiting to happen ;-) Now that would be the way to kill a character all right--with them over-indulging in their own baking LOL...

  21. Thanks for sharing the cookie recipe, sounds great and I can't wait to try it out.

  22. Hi Jennifer!

    I'm a day late, naturally. (My deadline for Buttercream Bump Off is Friday. ACK!) But I
    wanted to say, "Welcome to the Kitchen!" I can't wait to try your recipe. Maybe after I get my Christmas tree down. LOL!

    Back to work! Jenn M

  23. No worries, Jenn. I just put my last box of decorations in the attic this morning!

    Can I even begin to tell you how much I love buttercream?


  24. My favorite dessert is my pastry-chef-in-training son's chocolate truffles. They are to die for! (so says a mystery author :) )

    And mark your calendars for Wednesday, folks, when Jennifer visits my blog: