Sunday, March 5, 2017

Welcome guest Laura Bradford + book & mitt #giveaway!


Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the brand new Tobi Tobias Mysteries. She also pens the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (under the pen name, Elizabeth Lynn Casey). She is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Laura is offering a giveaway below!  Don't miss it!

Take it away, Laura!

*


One of the best parts of writing The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, is the opportunity it affords for research—specifically baking research. And let me tell you, after a day spent coming up with names for the emergency-themed desserts mentioned in each book, I can’t keep myself away from my measuring spoons and mixing bowls.

Of course all this “research” may be why the numbers on the scale keep creeping up, but hey, anything for my readers…

In honor of Tuesday’s release of The Silence of the Flans (book # 2 in the series), I solicited my daughter’s help to make a batch of the Black-And-Blue Cookies my protagonist, Winnie Johnson, might deliver to someone who has suffered a fall or been banged up in an accident of some kind.

And let me just say, after seeing everyone’s reaction to their first bite of this cookie, Winnie has quite a hit on her hands.

Black-And-Blue Cookies


Cookie ingredients:

1 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsalted butter (softened)
½ cup sugar
1 egg

To Make the Cookie:

Cookies:

       1)     Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl.


       2)    In second, smaller bowl, mix vanilla and buttermilk.
       3)    In still another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until combined well. Add egg and beat until blended.
       4)    Slowly beat in flour and buttermilk mixtures a little at a time, alternating between each one until all has been added. Mix until smooth.
       5)    In ¼ cup serving sizes, spoon batter onto baking sheet lines with parchment paper.


       6)    Bake in 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes (tops will be golden and springy).
       7)    Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting.



Blue frosting ingredients/directions:

3 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons hot water
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
A drop (or to desired color) of blue food coloring


       1)    In bowl, whisk confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, and hot water together.
       2)    Add in vanilla and mix.
       3)    Add blue food coloring. 
       4)    Spread blue icing over one-half of each cookie.
       5)    Set aside.


Chocolate frosting ingredients/directions:

2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted.
    
       1)    In bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and hot water. Stir until smooth.
       2)    Melt chocolate (in microwave or in double boiler—watch carefully to avoid burning)
       3)    Add melted chocolate to mixture and stir well.
       4)    Spread on remaining half of each cookie.
       5)    Let icing set (at least 30 minutes)




***

The Silence of the Flans is the second delectable Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery from the national bestselling author of Éclair and Present Danger.

Baker Winnie Johnson does her best work when the heat is on. As owner of the Emergency Dessert Squad, she has a deft touch in the kitchen and a soft spot for lost causes. So when her business professor beau, Jay Morgan, expresses misgivings over having to fail one of his fourth-year students, Winnie cooks up a sweet solution.

She’ll offer an extra credit opportunity in exchange for a little help with her growing business. But when her protégé’s first dessert delivery poisons a student journalist, the publicity threatens to burn Winnie’s business to a crisp. Now the entrepreneur-turned-detective must uncover the ingredients behind a recipe for murder before she crumbles under pressure...


Giveaway

I am giving away a copy of The Silence of the Flans plus a fun Emergency Dessert Squad hot pad to one lucky commenter. Tell me if you have a soft spot for lost causes or...do you have a cute "emergency-themed" name for a treat?  Remember to leave your email so I can contact you if you win!

***

To learn more about Laura, visit her website: www.laurabradford.com, or hang out with her on Facebook She can also be found occasionally tweeting at: @Bradfordauthor.


125 comments:

  1. I help out at a homeless shelter serving food and helping make it. My soft spot is the homeless.I'm new and your book sounds really good to me.I'm going to look for your book!thanks for the chance to win the second one.donamaekutska7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Donamae! I think it's great you help at a homeless shelter!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  2. I help out at a homeless shelter serving food and helping make it. My soft spot is the homeless.I'm new and your book sounds really good to me.I'm going to look for your book!thanks for the chance to win the second one.donamaekutska7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hope my comment went through!donamaekutska7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope my comment went through!donamaekutska7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Welcome, Laura! Love the recipe and I definitely am grateful for this giveaway opportunity. My "emergency-themed" name for a treat is Company's Coming Cookies. I made a mean batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies (if I do say so myself) and it's so quick and easy to prepare, that it's perfect for those times when unexpected company is heading over and I want to still have a nice treat to present to my guests, even when working against the clock (I consider this to be a hostess emergency, haha). EMS591@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A hostess emergency, indeed!! Sounds yummy!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  6. I don't have any emergency treats that I make. Now I feel the need to come up with something though. Lol. As for lost causes, I'm hopeless and have a hard time letting go when I know I really should. Sheesh.
    Awilcox1182@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, that knowing when to let go is a tough line. Thanks for stopping by today!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  7. Lost causes - I've been known to have a few.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  8. How about a batch of Bad News Brownies? A woman needs her chocolate in these situations. Or some Adversity Apple Dumplings. I am too stubborn to give up on lost causes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love Bad News Brownies!!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  9. My emergency treat is usually frozen strudel. I usually keep a couple on hand. If I have a days notice then I volunteer my boyfriend to bake a cake.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never tried frozen strudel!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  10. Read the first book in the Emergency Dessert Squad series and fell in love. Can't wait for the next book!!! kkdaley at comcast(.)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed Éclair and Present Danger. The Silence of the Flans is out Tuesday!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  11. ER cookies. It stands for extra rich. suefoster109@netzero.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Great!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  12. Love your recipe & enjoyed your last book.
    cmeier2001@live.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Speed Bump! The Silence of the Flans is out Tuesday!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  13. Ready to go cookie dough! Some of my favorite cozy mystery characters taught me always have this on hand in case of friends or suspects stop in for a late night nosh.
    amysue511(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  14. I always have an ER treat ready for the little ones when they drop by to visit. This is a requirement in my house. It can be rugelach one week, another week marble cake and sometimes mini muffins. Your recipe is definitely delectable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome!!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  15. How can you go wrong with an Emergency Dessert Squad? (What's their contact information?). My go-to last minute dessert is Scotch shortbread--I think it has four ingredients, and there's no rolling or cutting. Mix, squish in pan, bake--done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fast and easy, always a good thing!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  16. I have lost causes which I have maintained for my entire life, but emergency treats are available since family demands them and grands moreso. These are loved, chocolate covered cookies, lemon biscuits and mandelbrot. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds yummy!!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  17. Ugh...I need to get with it and be prepared lol...
    Roxie.faubion@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Hugs!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  18. These cookies look delicious! I loved the first book in the series, and I can't wait to read the second one. What about Strawberry Short-Date for people who had a date that went sour and didn't last long. ( It popped in my head. Hopefully it wan't in the first book because if it was it stuck with me ) Thank you so much for the chance to win!
    magicgirl2357@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cute name!!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  19. It sounds weird but I have a soft spot for my online friends that need a friend or just someone to talk to. People I've never met but I feel I've known them for years, we can talk to one another solve our problems and I always come away feeling like I've really helped brighten someone's day. I would probably call a dessert for this type situation my "depression-proof delights!" barbie17 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have some online friends like that, too!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  20. Years ago my daughter wanted to eat something from the children's show Dragon Tails. We had chicken and Italian dressing, so I marinated the chicken in the dressing, cooked it, served it with gravy and biscuits and called in Quetzl's chicken, after the wise old dragon in the show. We still call it that. An emergency dessert we have is to take a clean, empty plastic ice cream container (Blue Bunny), fill it with a bag of crumbled oreo cookies and a can of eagle brand condensed milk then let it freeze. It is awesome. bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for having me here, today, Mystery Lovers Kitchen!!

    ~Laura Bradford

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have a soft spot for animals. I can't believe how badly some people treat them. If I see an animal that needs food or water. I will stop at the store and buy them some. Living in an apartment I have my cat who was a a very sick kitty who I took in and have had for 13 years. I wish I could take care of all the furbabies (animals). I want to read this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We bought a bag of food on our last vacation and put them out for a whole load of stray cats.

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  23. I have a very soft spot! But my husband says its endearing!

    rockergoddess2002@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soft spots usually are, Tracy!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  24. Forgot to add my e-mmail address usersns8800@aol.com comment is above.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have a soft spot in my heart for animals. If I had the money and resources, I would save them all. Fantastic recipe and giveaway. I love black and white cookies, but black and blue cookies take them to another level. Thank you for this chance! areewekidding@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn, they are delicious!! Big hit in my house!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  26. I have a soft spot for animals. Wish I could adopt them all. Love the concept of an emergency dessert squad! mommatoodle at msn dot com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by, Pam!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  27. I crosspost cats in shelters on Facebook. I read the first book in the Emergency Dessert Squad series. It was really good. I really want to read the second book. norbert8bubba(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed Éclair and Present Danger, Jamie!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  28. I used to keep the rolls of cookie dough in my home. Don't do it so much anymore with kids grown. But occasionally we will bake cookies, because I try to keep supplies in house. Thanks for the giveaway, love your series. daw655(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to have cookie making fixings in the house at all times, too!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  29. I had to stop going to shelters to see the animals because we kept bringing them home and we were way over the limit on dogs for our unincorporated area. They just tug on my heart strings. Right now we have six. The oldest is mine, he is 15 1/2. We take such good care of them, they live forever.
    I'm not sure I could wait for the period of time required for the icing to harden on the cookies. I would want to eat them immediately. They look so good.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It hardens quickly, Linda...and worth the wait! :)

      ~Laura Bradford,

      Delete
  30. I foster orphan kittens, especially ones with physical problems. My current foster was found with a mangled leg. It was surgically removed but he was in bad shape. I nursed him back to health and worked with him on walking, balancing and other issues. He's healthy and ready for adoption now! :) So yes....I am a sucker for lost causes. They didn't expect him to make it...but he did! :) mommawyant at redplanet hobbies dot com

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    Replies
    1. I love kitties! Good for you, Juli!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  31. Everybody loves my hash browns and cheddarwaust cassarole.
    judytucker1947@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, sounds great, Judy!

      ~Laura Bradford

      Delete
  32. those cookies look so good - thank you for sharing. jcook22@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have a soft spot for the stray cats in my neighborhood. My husband built a shelter and it sits on our deck. We even fixed an area in our garage for those cold nights and call it "Moo's Place". She was the first stray to adopt us.
    I can not wait for this book! I loved Éclair and Present Danger.
    MarshaMysteryreader(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. So glad you loved Éclair and Present Danger. I think you'll really enjoy The Silence of the Flans, as well!

      Delete
  34. I have a soft spot for many things. My neighborhood seems filled with feral cats an in fact we have a beautiful long-haired tuxedo cat that sleeps on a shelf in our garage. I love putting our kibble or can food for them. I also enjoy donating books to the nursing homes in our area and at Christmas we try to purchase a gift for someone who has no family. Baking muffins or cookies for others is fun too. It doesn't hurt to take a few minutes to benefit others. My fingers are crossed that I might be lucky to win this giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the image of the tuxedo cat sleeping on your shelf!

      Delete
  35. The black and blue cookies are a fun twist of an idea! I reach for my bundt pan in quick emergency desserts situations. A little powdered sugar on top of most flavors and you are ready to go! Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a suckered for little kids selling things such as Girl Scout Cookies or useless stuff they sell from schools. It is hard to tell a kid no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a sucker for Girl Scout cookies, too! :)

      Delete
  37. haven't got to read 1st one on my list for next week..my soft spot would be a cat that someone dropped off at our house and she was pregnant..took care of her and kittens..she is gonna now but I still have on of her Tom cat and he's comfortable as long as I leave food out for him..he does bring friends around sometimes..lol
    greeneyes2755@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you for taking care of the mom and her babies.

      Delete
  38. I have a soft spot in my heart for all furry lost causes and would bring every animal at the shelter home if my husband would let me.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have a soft spot for animals, the dog and two cats I have are both rescued, the dog and 1 cat from off the street, the other cat from pet smart, heck even the fish tank I have is because someone was moving and couldn't take it. You don't need to enter me in the giveaway, I have it pre-ordered and can't wait.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have a soft spot for animals. elainehroberson@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Definitely a soft spot for animals that need homes. Hate to see them caged up. My Son brought everything home, baby rabbits, lizards, baby mice, you name it he took care of it. Guess it runs in the family. embam1969@comcast.net

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  42. I love lost causes because I love a challenge!

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  43. Emergency treats? Does wine count? Do you count trying to lose weight as a lost cause? I'm beginning to. . . Cookie dough with buttermilk in it sounds interesting. How is the cookie by itself? Or does it need the icing to give it flavor?
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Interesting question on the cookie by itself. I'm curious about that as well. But with the frosting, it's outstanding.

      Delete
  44. Rescue animals always tug at my heart, but I know my limitations. We had 3 rescue dogs (one passed about 2 years ago at age 11) and one rescue cat. Luckily they all get along. I often visit the rescue inside our local PetSmart (where I got my cat), but I don't want to disrupt our present harmony. kuzlin@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. I've had a few rescue cats myself and they sure changed my life for the better.

      Delete
  45. I don't know abou "lost causes," but I do seem to be the person choosing or being tasked with helping folks who others have washed heir hands of. Ok, lost causes it is. Lol. I don't think I have a true "emergency name" for any treats I make unless "hey-we're-out-of-cookies" cookies counts ;-). I'm going over to Hiidreads right now to put you in my shopping list :). Rbehling1916 at yahoo dot com Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I think that name very definitely counts! :)

      Delete
  46. I'm not sure I believe in the "no win scenario." There is always a possible solution to causes that some say are 'lost.' Time is always useful.
    For me my emergency treat is referred to as my 'Low-blood Sugar' treat...
    kat8762(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I volunteer for find a grave. Take pictures of tombstones. Really helpful if into genealogy and can't travel to it y ourself.

    Looking forward to the new book.

    Pugpower63@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I always find lost causes to get involved in, some work out & some don't. Thanks for the great giveaway! doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always great when they work out though, huh?

      Delete
  49. amy guillaume lindermanMarch 5, 2017 at 6:05 PM

    mine is Grammie's Dump Cake which i can just toss in a crock pot and go.! aelinderman@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  50. Used to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Love to eat them when they came out of the oven. Have not made any for a long while. I may need to go make some this week. slpars@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I have a soft soft for mentally challenged people. Unfortunately many end up in our court system where I work. I try to help them by offering solutions to their problems. Sometimes they come about domestic or drug abuse. I try to give encouragement and locate resources for them to get assistance. Thanks for sharing the recipe and a chance to win! kristilewis.lrc@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I loved the first book in this series and look forward to reading this one! I do root for the underdog and seemingly impossible causes, like pet overpopulation and struggles of wildlife. I'm also a Buffalo Bills fan - enough said. Sigh.
    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. LOL on the Buffalo Bills comment...LOL!

      Delete
  53. I have a soft spot for animals that are mistreated and many of the animal charities I contribute to because of my love for animals.
    I would very much love to be in your drawing!
    Thanks!
    nlf@windstream.net

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh, I am so excited for this book. Really enjoyed the first one in the series! Idea for a dessert:

    Apple Turnover a New Leaf (for new beginnings)

    brookeb811@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. I have a soft spot for animals and a lot of causes. I'm a softy at heart.
    Can't wait to read "The Silence of the Flans" and to try the recipes.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're gonna love The Silence of the Flans, Dianne!

      Delete
  56. I like to help out at my local shelter. The book sounds really good!
    Zeta(at)iwon(dot)com

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. I have two causes that I support one is St. Josephs Indian School and Alley Cat Allies. I don't have an emergency go to treat. vlhcats@gmail.com

    March 5, 2017 at 8:52 PM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May I suggest a brownie? Always a good treat! :) Then there's cookies, too. (I'm a hopeless treat lover)

      Delete
    2. I love brownies, so that would work.

      Delete
  59. Black and blue cookies sounds like a treat I might enjoy! My big cause is animals no matter where we go if there is a stray in the area they seem to find me. I am currently feeding three stray cats that seem to like me enough to stick around. My friend has a vet she takes them to that fixes them and sends them back to me. I loved the first book in your series! Thank you for the chance.
    edtercross7304atyahoodotcom

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    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed Éclair and Present Danger!!

      Delete
  60. Hi Laura! I love Éclair and Present Danger and am so excited to read Silence of the Flans. I have a soft spot for just about everyone & everything. Most of my energy goes into supporting veterans and causes that benefit children. My hub and I are member of Patriot Guards of America, a wonderful group who honor the military who have passed away. Thanks for a chance to win! sxygrndma48{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I have a soft spot for animals and less fortunate individuals (especially children). As far as emergency food names, ,y mom had a small supply of what was called famine fare (small quantities of nutritious food reserved for times money was tight and food in short supply. Bug out bag meals for time in tornado and/or bomb shelters (yes, I grew up when we actually had bomb shelter drills and locations. Note: many still exist in and around Chicago!servedogmomATyahooDOTcom

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  62. Iced brownies from scratch use to be my go to quickie for emergencies, but now with celiac disease in our family I don't really have an emergency snack. My cause is rare childhood diseases and in honor of my 2 year old granddaughter who has been diagnosed with one after her 1 year shots, I am working on launching a non profit that all proceeds will go to help children and their families with rare diseases...the financial strain on a family is unbelievable.
    Thank you for the opportunity!
    anealthirtyone@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hope my comment about my three unacceptable kittens went through. My volunteer work at rescue is my soft spot.
    Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I just finished Éclair and Present Danger! I love your books. My go-to recipe are banana muffins with streusel, and I've named them Hangry Muffins after my two boys who tend to be Hangry after a long day at school. Email: anitananda at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Your cookies made me think of the old riddle--
    What's black, and white, and re(a)d all over?
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  66. My emergency dessert is a dump cake using cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, yellow cake mix, and butter. It's really good and so easy.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  67. I am a firm believe when adopting your pets look for older animals...they need love too! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

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  68. My soft spot is for stray & homeless animals. It feels like a lost cause with so many running loose or all in the shelters. I'm just glad it isn't a lost cause with so many of us.
    My go to emergency dessert is either hot chocolate chip cookies or brownies. They make just about anything better.
    bpwoodfield (AT) gmail (DOT) com

    ReplyDelete
  69. I have a huge soft spot for animals especially cats. I believe some cats are actually nicer than some people!! lindaherold999@gmail.com

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  70. The winner of this giveaway, by random number selector, is Amanda W. Laura will be in touch. Congrats. Thanks to all for chiming in! ~ Daryl

    ReplyDelete