Showing posts with label Blackbird Sisters Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blackbird Sisters Mysteries. Show all posts

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