Sunday, September 13, 2015

Welcome guest author Nancy Martin! It's #bookclubweek + book #giveaway!



It's Book Club Week and we have guest author Nancy Martin as our Sunday guest!!

Nancy Martin is the author of nearly fifty popular fiction books in four genres—mystery, romance, suspense and historical. Her best-selling Blackbird Sisters Mysteries have been hailed by Fresh Fiction as, “perhaps the best cozy mystery series going.”  Nancy is the founder of Pennwriters and has served on the national board of Sisters in Crime. 

Her upcoming book, MISS RUFFLES INHERITS EVERYTHING, has mystery author Carolyn Hart saying, “As Texas true as Tanya Tucker and boot-scootin’ fun. Miss Ruffles will capture hearts. I LOVE this book!” 

TAKE IT AWAY, NANCY!  And to all of our readers, remember to tweet #bookclub @MysteryKitchen to share with your other book club-loving friends.




Texas Sheet Cake

Four years ago, this is the only thing I knew about Texas: Texas sheet cake, a delish chocolate dessert perfect for sharing at picnics, parties, book club meetings. (If your members are chocoholics, prepare to be adored.) A confirmed Yankee, I’ve lived all my life in Pennsylvania, and I write books set in my home state. (Have you read my Blackbird Sisters Mysteries?) Except for taking the kids to Disney World and visiting my parents in their vacation home just north of Jacksonville, Florida, the furthest south I’ve ever really spent any time was –uh---Philadelphia. So for me, Texas meant Texas sheet cake. I made it for our recent block party. Not a crumb was left over.



But four years ago, my daughter moved to Texas with her husband and my grandson, Bobby.  A few weeks later, my daughter delivered a baby girl—my granddaughter Edie, who is officially Texas born and has come to personify everything I am learning about Texas. She’s a red-headed spitfire. (Do people really use that word outside of romance novels? In Edie’s case, yes.) Edie loves horses, cowboy boots, even football (she’s only four!) and a lot more non-Yankee stuff. I felt the need to learn about my granddaughter’s state, and the result was not just a cake, but a book--my look at a place that sometimes feels like an alien planet, but I fell in love with it anyway.

How can you not love a state where parishioners are encouraged to sit on their horses in church?

One result was that I wrote MISS RUFFLES INHERITS EVERYTHING, which is the story of a flamboyant wealthy woman (believe me, Texas has more of their fair share) who leaves her fortune to her dog, Miss Ruffles. Miss Ruffles is a Texas cattle cur, a herding dog, not a lady’s lap dog. She’s a troublemaker, and Sunny McKillip has the extremely difficult job of keeping Miss Ruffles out of mischief. When the wealthy pup gets dognapped, Sunny must ride to the rescue. Trouble is, Sunny is from Ohio and doesn’t understand the ways of her adopted home, so she must get to know the people of Mule Stop, Texas, in order to save the ornery Miss Ruffles. It’s a fun story. Who doesn’t love books with cowboys? And horses? And barbecue? MISS RUFFLES INHERITS EVERYTHING will be published November 3rd, so keep your eyes peeled. HERE'S THE LINK 

My father’s favorite life statement was, “Bloom where you are planted.”  He lived within the same Pennsylvania twenty miles all his life—a good, full life with an exciting career, extensive travel, a devoted family, many leisure pursuits, so he wasn’t held back by remaining where he’d been planted. But families are farther flung now. Do you have an adopted home? Is it different from the place where you grew up? It’s a theme I explore in MISS RUFFLES INHERITS EVERYTHING. If your book club happens to choose this book, I bet everybody has a tale to tell about being a stranger in a strange land.

While you’re thinking about that, here’s the Pinterest page where I save all the recipes I think will make a good dinner for my book club when it’s my turn to cook.  HERE'S THE PINTEREST LINKAnd the recipe for Texas sheet cake is below. Make it for your next book club meeting. They’ll thank you!


Texas Sheet Cake

In a large saucepan, boil (2 minutes) one cup of water and two sticks of butter.

Take pot off the heat and add:

*2 cups sugar
* 2 cups flour
* 1 tsp baking soda
* ½ tsp salt
¼ cup cocoa
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup buttermilk


Bake in a buttered sheet pan @375 degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, wash out sauce pan and make frosting:

Melt 1 stick butter with ¼ tsp cocoa, 6 Tbsp milk, 1 box confectioner’s sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. (Okay, to be honest, I add another half stick of butter, more cocoa and milk and extra sugar, too. A little frosting is good, but a lot is better, right?) You can add a dash of cinnamon, too, or a shot of espresso. Why not?

When smooth, add a cup of chopped pecans, then keep the frosting warm on the stove until cake is done.

When cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour warm frosting over the cake and let cool. Serves a crowd. Add ice cream if you’re really feeling decadent.



Today's giveaway!
Since Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything isn't out yet, I'm offering to give away the first three in my Blackbird Sisters Mysteries

Leave a comment plus your email so I can contact you.

In the meantime, tell me do you belong to a book club? If so, what's your favorite book club treat? If you don't, what's your favorite book-reading treat?


Visit Nancy’s website. 

Or stay in touch with her on Facebook 








97 comments:

  1. Love the backstory with the recipe, and the book sounds absolutely fantastic! I don't belong to a book club, but my favorite reading treat is a freshly-baked chocolate chip blondie. EMS591@aol.com

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  2. Oh my goodness! This sounds delicious! And so does the book! Thank you for sharing!
    angelhwk68@yahoo.com

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  3. Love your books!, ,I ,am not a book club member

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  4. Love your books!, ,I ,am not a book club member

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  5. No book club right now, I found it too structured and confining. Prefer to just meet and everyone talks about a book they just read and enjoyed. For reading snacks, though, I go back to what I loved to eat while reading as a teenager - potato chips and soda.

    Looking forward to this book, and thanks for the giveaway.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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  6. I love chocolate cake, and it looks so good! I am not a member of a book club, but I do like to read. Right now my favorite treat is Rice Chex dripped in peanut butter and chocolate. Thank you for the recipe and the giveaway.
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. No, I do not belong to a book club, although I with I did. I don't know of any that have hardbacks of mysteries, my favorite genre. As for treat, anything chocolate :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  8. My grandmother used to make a cake that looks exactly like this one so I am glad to have your recipe. Thanks. I would love to read your books too. jr_dj_gantt@juno.com

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  9. I do not belong to a book club, but I wish I were savvy enough to devise a cozy mystery book club. Treats an essential part.

    ejbs3s@yahoo.com

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  10. Another Pennsylvania girl waving at you! (Well, only about half my life, and not your part of the state, but still.) I love "fish out of water stories"--does your Ohio Sunny have to ride a horse to get the job done? And being an outsider lets her ask all the dumb questions that readers will be wondering about. Oh, and the cake sounds great too.

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  11. No book club, I stick to myself pretty much and those I do see don't like to read. I am not a snacker but I always have a lemonade and/or water to drink. If I do have a snack it's whatever is handy. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  12. Thanks, Nancy! I'm not in a book club (unless you count all the blogs and Fb author pages, I frequent). :) I find chocolate goes well with anything I'm reading, as well as coffee or tea. patucker54 (at aol dot com)

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  13. Enjoyable blog that made me hungry for sweets! Yes I am involved with 3 Bookclubs.
    My mystery club "Murder, Mayhem, and the Madame Sleuths" meet every month.
    We have a great time, some go out to dinner before mtgs and at meetings there's always chocolate!
    Miss Ruffles Inherits Eveything sounds like fun!
    cgenna27@aol.com

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    1. Cathy, congrats on your award! That's a very big deal, girl!

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  14. I've never been in a book club, but I do love a good treat while I'm reading a cozy. I prefer a piece of rich chocolate cake with a nice glass of red wine. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  15. I did belong to a book clubs, but then I got behind in reading, so I cancelled my membership. I do love reading, love reading Mysteries & romances. Thanks for this amazing chance. Linda May My email is lindamay4852@yahoo.com

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  16. I,ve never been in a book club but another friend and i share our books and discuss them than send them to friends around the world who also enjoy reading cozy mysteries. Georgiann Hennelly my email is ladyshortyg@att.net

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  17. No book club but I LOVE Texas sheet cake. My mom would make them for potlucks. This book sounds awesome and I love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.
    MarshaMysteryreader@yahoo.com

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    1. Marsha, by random number generator, you have won! Nancy will be contacting you shortly. Congrats!!

      ~Daryl aka Avery

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  18. Sadly I don't belong to a book club but my favorite reading spot is on my front porch with a cup of coffee and my four legged babies beside me🐾 I would love to read and review your books. Thank you for the chance. Pennymarks@frontier.com

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  19. No book club sadly. Although one of my best friends and I always discuss the cozies we are reading!

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  20. No book clubs in my area for me to belong to. I wish there was. This cake sounds delicious. Thank you for the chance to win. Dnrocker@yahoo.com

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  21. Love the new series idea and the cool recipe. I am not in any bookclubs.
    Johnnabooks@hotmail.com

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  22. (doing Nancy's patented happy dance) I'll wait for Miss Ruffles to come out Nancy, I already own the first three Blackbird Sisters books.

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  23. No book club unfortunately. The Texas sheet cake looks yummy.
    I'd love to read this series!
    karen dot kenyon at rogers dot com

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  24. I do not belong to a book club, but that cake looks big enough to bring to work and share with all my co-workers. ;) They always appreciate a nice treat. The new book sounds like its gonna be a fun read! Will add it to my list for sure! :D

    kidisitor@yahoo.com

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  25. I have never had Texas Sheet Cake but it looks and sounds good. I would love to read your books.

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  26. My favorite book reading snack is a chai tea latte and an Effie's Oat Cake. I love Texas sheet cakes and make a variation of the recipe using Dr. Pepper -- it is so delicious! Thank you for the giveaway! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  27. Your recipe looks easy to make, thanks for the recipe. I am not in a book club but I enjoy reading. I don't really eat anything while I read, sometimes I might have a hot chocolate. Looking forward to reading your books! Thank you for the opportunity to win! crossxjo@hotmail.com

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  28. Love Texas Sheet cake. I don't belong to a book club, but when I read I always have to have to have a cup of green tea. I don't really snack much when I read.

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    1. Oops forgot my email dr(dot)oldsmobileaticlouddotcom

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  29. I don't belong to a book club, but I have my tea and scone and my faithful canine by my side. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. The sheet cake looks delectable. I read on my own and have chai with toast. Thanks for your great giveaway. elliotbencn(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  31. I was born in PA, and have lived in MD, UT, TX and KY as well. Although I wasn't born here in Kentucky, it is definitely 'my home'. I've got a cloudy memory of learning to make a cake like that in a cooking class in school. It was delicious! Don't really have a 'go to' reading beverage or snack, but have been known to down a Coke Zero or two on a really hot day. luann(dot)braley(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. I'm not in a book club but I love to have a glass of wine while I read unless it's early morning then it's a cup of jasmine green tea.
    P.S. The cake looks yummy!
    scarletbegonia5858@gmail.com

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  33. I like to drink iced coffee and nibble on dark chocolate. Cake has too many carbs. Your cake looks too good not to be high carb. valeriamh@yahoo.com

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  34. I belong to an online bool club. Not quite as good as an in-person one. I snack on m&ms & ice tea. I love your mysteries! Thanks for reminder about Texas sheet cake. I used to make them often. Always delicious. This new one set in Texas sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Tennisace50(@)yahoo(dot)com

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  35. I am not in a book club, but I love books in a series. Get them all then read one after another. I love eating fruits and drinking ice cold water with lemon
    slpetera@yahoo.com

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  36. I am not in a book club, but am looking at an online book club. I like chocolate and the Texas sheet cake looks fantastic. Thank you for having this contest! pfistersk@yahoo.com

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  37. I have heard you will not be writing/publishing any more Blackbird sisters mysteries. Please say this isn't so. I love your books. I don't belong to a book club but follow several blogs. During the summer I enjoy an iced tea of some flavor while reading but a cup of warm Chai tea in the winter'/cooler weather does it for me. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  38. I am new to your books, and excited to be in the running for a starter set of books. I don't belong to a book club, but if I did, treats are paramount! I always feel the treats need to enrich the reading experience. I'm reading Coffeehouse Mysteries, so you need to serve coffee, flavoring options, homemade scones, and jams and jellies! Yeah! kat8762@aol.com

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  39. i used to have this recipe and lost it. now I have it again. thank you and i am looking forward to the new books.

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  40. This new book sounds great.
    What is it about Texas? My daughter has moved from south Florida where I live to outside of Houston. No spouse or kids, but I miss her. Guess I need to start suing some frequent flyer miles.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  41. I was introduced to your books through our local library. My favorite book reading treat is coming across a book I read and put on my bookshelf because I know I will want to read it again some day!

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  42. I love the Blackbird sisters, and Roxie, of course, so I'm really looking forward to meeting Miss Ruffles. The only book club I'm in is a family one; we only meet a few times a year, when we're all able to be together. Our most recent book was a disaster (I did NOT pick it)...so tedious I could barely get through it. (In fact, I didn't....I skimmed a little, read some online reviews, and bluffed my way through by acting very opinionated.) Luckily for the aforementioned bluffing, our favorite book club treat is wine, usually lots of it. :) mychildsclosetbiz@yahoo.com

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  43. Born and raised in Western NY I spent a year in Cleveland Ohio before moving to Texas. I lived in Austin for 10 years before returning to WNY. I enjoyed my time in TX and still have great friends there-but I needed to be North of the Mason-Dixon Line!

    I don't belong to a book club, but sure read plenty of books on my own!

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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  44. I belong to a book club. We're called Murder by the Book. We've been meeting for 24 yrs. Each meeting, we bring "treats to share". Some times we have all sweets, but most times we seem to have a little bit of every thing. dbahn@iw.net

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  45. I don't belong to a bookclib, but would like a chance to read some if your writing. Plus like many have said it sounds very appealing.

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  46. I don't belong to a book club, I travel too much. But my favorite book reading snack is the original homemade Chex mix, with ultra-thin pretzels that I can spear the Cheerios onto. The books sound great!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  47. Love all of your great recipies. Mine is a little different but still a crowd pleaser. jchizmar01@windstream.net

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  48. I don't eat while I'm reading because I don't want to get anything on the book.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  49. Was looking at your recipes and there is some I definitely will be trying -- don't belong to book club but when my friends and I get to talking the conversation always gets around to what we are reading -- I usually have a drink of some sort when I am reading but don't usually have something to eat; when I do it usually popcorn -- thanks for the great giveaway - would love to win those awesome books

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    1. forgot to add my email to above comment -- jody.714@hotmail.com

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  50. I don't currently belong to a book club but wine, cheese, baguette, a roasted meat carved into then small pieces, crudite, fresh and dried fruit, nuts and a chocolate dessert were always served. And always welcomed since it was simple finger food but filling

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  51. Would love to win. I love mysteries that include recipes. annstanley1418@gmail.com

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  52. oops forgot to add.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  53. oops forgot to add.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  54. I'm a children's librarian so I run two book groups, one for boys and one for girls. I try to bake something for every group, and the kids seem to enjoy whatever the treat is for that month. One time I made a World War I era spice cake for the girls with a recipe from the book we were reading and that was probably the biggest hit. Thanks for the fun giveaway! rencw@verizon.net

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  55. Being from Texas I'm all about the sheet cake. Lol. I was in an inspirational book club at the library I worked at. I recently quit to homeschool my teenage son. I headed up the group and always had something with chocolate to eat at the book club. Thanks for the giveaway .
    Jhdwayne@peoplepc.com
    Deana

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  56. Pat (patdupuy@yahoo.com)September 13, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    No book club for me. I'm afraid I'm too ornery to read others' choices. Although our local library branch has a mystery book club that meets monthly, but I've never been able to make it. I read at all times of the day but if it's evening I enjoy a glass of wine and maybe some cheese. I haven't read the Blackbird Sisters yet but intend to.

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  57. Love my book club, The Book Ends!!! We meet once a month for our meeting and once a month for game night or other activity. We all love to read and eat! We go out for lunch before our meeting and supper before our game night activity.

    jawdance@yahoo.com

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  58. Not a member of a book club. Love my kindle and enjoying reading all types of books. Book club treat would be lemon bars stored in the refrigerator. Would love to read your books! Judwah@sbcglobal.net

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  59. Would love to win your book I am looking for something new to read. Thank you for this opportunity! I am not in a book club but I love to read with a cup of tea and a couple of cookies. mommomsworld@yahoo.com

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  60. I will have to read Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything once it comes out. A dog with money! Ha ha.
    I copied that Texas Sheet Cake recipe. Yum!
    I would love to win the first books in the Blackbird Sisters mystery series. They sound like my kind of cozy.
    I don't belong to a book club that meets or anything but I do belong to many cozy FB pages that discuss & review books so it's kind of the same thing. It's enjoyable to share good cozies.
    bpwoodfield@gmail.com

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  61. Miss Ruffles sounds like a fun read. :)
    pmettert@yahoo.com

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  62. Miss Ruffles sounds like a really funny read - a great cozy mystery. Need to read your Blackbird Sisters books. Love Texas. Love sheetcake. cheltgirl60@me.com

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  63. I'm not in a book club, but my favorite thing is a big bag of m&m's with a book!! Thanks for the chance to win some of your books :) darholley1@aol.com

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  64. Dark chocolate and a glass of red wine. Love the Blackbird sisters. Bobbipad@gmail.com

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  65. I just found you and am looking for ward to reading your books. I'm home and on disability so I get to read a lot. I am not in any book club. my email is
    patty5419@hotmail.com
    Thanks, Patty

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  66. So sorry I am having so much toubles responding to your lovely comments! (The wifi where we are staying doesn't like my iPad!) I'm sotickled to hear from so many cozy readers. I think you're all going to love Miss Ruffles!

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  67. Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com. You and your series are new to me. The series sounds delightful and has been added to my TBR list. The sheet cake does look good and my daughter agrees with you. The more frosting. The better the treat. don't belong to any book clubs.

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  68. I am a Texas transplant also. And I love Texas sheet cake. Along with many other Texas delights. Your books are fantastic. I am not in a book club. I love eating milk duds while reading because reading is like being at the movies. Only better!! My email is hdkris11@yahoo.com. I look forward to your new book!

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  69. I am a Texas transplant also. And I love Texas sheet cake. Along with many other Texas delights. Your books are fantastic. I am not in a book club. I love eating milk duds while reading because reading is like being at the movies. Only better!! My email is hdkris11@yahoo.com. I look forward to your new book!

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  71. I have never been in a book club but have participated in several Facebook groups that read and discuss an author's latest release. I love talking to authors and other readers on Facebook and Goodreads because authors and readers are the nicest people on the planet. Thank you so much for the description of your newest book and the recipe as well as the awesome giveaway! dblaser@windstream.net

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  72. I am not in a book club, but my favorite snack while reading are cookies. Doesn't matter what kind, as long as they taste great I'm game. I'm a born and raised Texan, and I love this state! I have never read any of your books, but I have had my eye on the Blackbird Sisters series for a while. Thank you for the amazing chance to win!
    magicgirl2357@yahoo.com

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  73. Looking forward to this new book. I've tasted Texas sheet cake, but didn't know it was called that. It was over the top delicious. I'll use your recipe for the next work carry-in.
    Thanks. hharra at BSU dot edu.

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  74. The cake looks great. Wish I could bake. centraleast2 at gmail dot com

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  75. Haven't read your series yet but it looks great! Loved the post! kec200@aol.com

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  76. love the cover would like to win and thanks for doing the giveaway - jeanniedowning@hotmail.com

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  77. Thanks for the recipe! I would love to read another one of your books. This one looks like a fun one.
    eeyore722@gmail.com

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  78. I would love to read more of your books and the cake looks yummy!!!
    Lisa
    hseaside5@aim.com

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  79. I would love to read the Books thank you for the chance. I'll have to try the cake as this looks like something I could actually do...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  80. Hi Nancy ~ I moved to Texas when I was 13 yrs. old and have lived in many places across the state. All so different. My husband is a native, and his mother (a great "country cook") and her family just called the yummy dessert Sheet Cake. Great recipe!

    I only have time for occasional online book clubs these days, but am a great fan of your writing, esp. the Blackbird Sisters series. (I'm also a former TLC backblogger, still miss those days!) Keep up the good work! Can't wait to read about Ruffles! All the best to you and the family.

    lola_777 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Oh, the days of T LC! How we miss those laughs, Lynne! But I don't miss all the behind the scenes work. So glad to find you again here!

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  81. My Mother-in-Law makes this and it was always a treat when she did. And you're right, not a crumb was left. I've never thought to ask for the recipe! Silly me.

    I use to belong to a book club but it was church based and we had too wide of interests to keep it going.

    I've been married for 30 years and still live within 10 miles of the house I grew up in (my parents still live there) and my in-laws are closer yet.

    I'm following your dinner pinterest board, have added Miss Ruffles to my shopping cart, and am thankful for the chance to win the first three Blackbird Sisters books. I'm at bookdragonslair AT gmail.com

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    1. Oh, isn't Pinterest a time waster! But I looooove it.

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  82. We have a sort of book club. At my winery is a little free library whenever someone visits it we have an impromptu meeting cheers@marjimmanor.com

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  83. I can't wait to read this book. Zeta@iwon.com

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  84. Am I too late? Even if I am I still feel like a winner because I found out about your books and they sound TERRIFIC!! I wish I had a big chocolately slice of Texas sheet cake right now!
    Last year, at the age of 60+ I was the first and so far only of my mom's chicks to fly from the nest of central IL when I moved to SE WI where both daughters' families are living. It is pure joy to see four of my grandkids on a regular and frequent basis. My son lives in UT and so visits with my other 3 grandkids are not as frequent as I would like but made even more special when we are together. bskts4unme@hotmail.com

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  85. That Texas sheet cake sounds like MORE! And I can't wait for Ruffles (book, that is) to be available. (No book club for me either.) I added my e-mail as my url. Does that work? Nope does. So rhuss @ willowgables.com

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  87. Hi, Your books are fun to read. I am in 2 book clubs. We like cheese and crackers or Blueberry Newtons with our drinks. -- They don't get "ickies" on our books! beckyann555@gmail.com

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  88. Cheryl, I envy you being so close to so many of your grands! And Utah must be fun to visit. I just wish Texas wasn't quite so far away!

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  89. I'm from Louisiana, and currently live in Louisiana, but I called Texas home for 25 years. I'm glad to be back home, but there are things I miss about Texas! It was a good place to live.

    No book club here, but I do like the Texas sheet cake!

    bunkielisa at gmail dot com

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