Showing posts with label guest author. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest author. Show all posts

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mary Kennedy's Summer Chili #recipe #mystery #giveaway

Please welcome our very good friend, the talented Mary Kennedy.  We're so happy to have her here today and we're thrilled to get this summer chili recipe. We know you will be excited about her giveaway as well!   Read on: 

Here's Mary: Thing are heating up in Savannah, but it's never too hot for Summer Chili. It's lighter than the winter version and very popular with the folks at the Oldies But Goodies candy store and cafe.


1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes  

1 sweet Vidalia onion or red onion
2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp chili powder

4 oz ham (optional)

1  bell pepper,any color

3 (15 oz) cans white chili beans or cannellini beans

3 tomatoes
2 tbsp parsley


Slice the sun-dried tomatoes, place in a bowl, cover with hot water and set aside. Chop onion and garlic. Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium hat. Saute the onion, garlic and chili powder for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Slice the ham and dice the pepper, add both to the onion mixture and cook 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans. Roughly chop the fresh tomatoes. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, saving 1/2 cup liquid. Add the fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and reserved liquid and beans to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Parsley makes a nice garnish.

Mary Kennedy is the author of The Dream Club Mysteries and the Talk Radio Mysteries for Penguin-Random House as well as a teen series called The Hollywood Nights. She is a national best-selling author with sales of over 4 million books. In addition to her novels, she writes entertainment and healthy living articles for USA Today, the Huffington Post,, NPR, Gannett News and Publisher's Weekly. Mary is a practicing psychologist on the east coast, where she lives with her British husband and six neurotic cats. She has tried unsuccessfully to psychoanalyze both husband and cats, but she remains optimistic. You can visit her at or at the Cozy Chicks, where she blogs every Monday. 

A Premonition of Murder by Mary Kennedy. Abigail Marchand, a famously reclusive Savannah heiress, tells Ali and Taylor that she had a dream foretelling her death. Ali hastens to reassure her and promises to discuss it with the Dream Club Members. But the Dream Club meeting  is cut short when the police announce that Abigail has been pushed to her death down a flight of stairs. Now Taylor, Ali and the Dream Club need to catch a killer before someone else is laid to rest.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Chapters | Indiebound | Book Depository
Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

And now Mary has a GREAT GIVEAWAY for a lucky reader!


Leave a comment here and the winner could choose either this lovely prize of a this adorable cat tote bag  OR a signed copy of Dream a Little Scream, the first in the Dream Club series.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Welcome our guest Hank Phillippi Ryan!!

Hank is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate. She's won 32 EMMYs, 12 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. A bestselling author of seven mystery novels, Hank has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: three Agathas, the Anthony, Daphne, Macavity, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. National reviews have called her a "master at crafting suspenseful mysteries" and "a superb and gifted storyteller." Her 2013 novel, THE WRONG GIRL, has the extraordinary honor of winning the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and the Daphne Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller. Her newest hardcover, TRUTH BE TOLD, is a Library Journal Editor’s Pick and RT Book Reviews Top Pick, with starred reviews from Booklist and from Library Journal, which raves, “Drop everything and binge read!” She's a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.

Thanksgiving Solution!

Thanksgiving is coming! (You don’t need me to remind you, I know.) Every time I think of Thanksgiving, I think of my mom. She taught us that turkey was best if it was dry, not juicy. Seriously. I grew up thinking that juicy turkey was undercooked.

At our Thanksgiving table, you’d hear—“Oh, yum, Mom, this turkey is great, it’s really dry.”

Good going, mom. Fooled us all these years. (I still prefer dry turkey. But that is another blog.)

TRUTH BE TOLD, there’s no such thing as a holiday for a reporter, so the last time Jane Ryland (the lead character in my latest series) sat down to a fabulous holiday dinner is—well, never.  I know the feeling. As a reporter for the last 40 years, I’m often working on Thanksgiving, so all I get are the leftovers.

However! Making something out of nothing is the hallmark of a good reporter—as well as a good story-teller. And in this case, it’s especially wonderful if the “nothing” includes wine and fresh mushrooms. And leftovers.

First, get the leftovers from a roast turkey. (Okay, I know this may be a problem. If you’re doing Thanksgiving, it’s easy. If not, get some turkey. But it can’t be sliced deli turkey. It’s got to be authentic turkey that a real person actually cooked.)

Then, read this recipe all the way through before you start because its success depends on doing several things at the same time--and having the ingredients prepped and the utensils ready to go. It sounds a little more complicated than it actually is, and the first time I made it I burst out laughing--it looked like I had used every pan I owned. Now I've made it so often I don't even need the recipe anymore!

You can use more or less pasta and mushrooms and turkey--it doesn't really matter. An added bonus--your kitchen will smell fantastic while this is cooking.

This serves about 6-8 people-- and reheats beautifully. This is so delicious and decadent, we look forward to this just as much as our holiday turkey.

And read to the end for a special MLK only giveaway!

 Turkey Tetrazzini ala Hank

*1 pound mushrooms
*1/4 to ½ pound spaghetti or macaroni
*two or three cups shredded cooked white meat turkey (leftover from your holiday turkey!)
*3 Tablespoons butter, plus three more tablespoons butter
*I clove chopped garlic
*3 Tablespoons flour
*2 cups chicken broth
*1 cup heated whipping cream (fat-free half and half will also work)
*3 Tablespoons dry white wine
*salt and pepper
* grated Parmesan cheese.


Preheat the oven to 375.

*1 pound sliced mushrooms
 Saute' in butter and chopped garlic...keep warm, while at the same time you

*1/4 to ½ pound spaghetti or macaroni.

While this is cooking,
Take the leftover meat from your holiday turkey--shred it so you have
*two or three cups shredded turkey
(I like just using white meat--but it works with dark too)

Set aside in a bowl large enough to allow you to add to it.

Okay, I know this sounds complicated, but at the same time you're going to make a sauce:

*3 Tablespoons butter
Sprinkle with
*3 Tablespoons flour
Stir to make a paste, then add  (a little at a time…)
*2 cups chicken broth
Allow to thicken...this will take about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, then stir in
*1 cup heated whipping cream (fat-free half and half will also work)
*3 Tablespoons dry white wine
*salt and pepper

**Drain the pasta, put it back into the pan and mix in the sautéed mushrooms. Add one half of the sauce to this mixture.

**Add the other half of the sauce to the bowl of shredded turkey.

**Put the pasta and mushroom mixture in a greased baking dish. Make a hole in the center, and

**put the turkey/sauce mixture in the middle.

**Sprinkle the top with
* grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake till lightly browned and cooked least 20 minutes.

SO delicious! You will not believe it. So--make a lot.

HANK: Well, now I’m hungry. But do you have any turkey secrets? Leave a comment..and you’ll be entered to win the Hank book of your choice: THE OTHER WOMAN, THE WRONG GIRL, or TRUTH BE TOLD! Remember to leave your email address so Hank can contact you if you win.

Visit Hank online at, on Twitter @HankPRyan and Facebook at

Here's a teaser for:

TRUTH BE TOLD begins with an all-too-familiar tragedy in today’s headlines: a middle-class family evicted from their home in the suburbs of Boston. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story—and on other foreclosures—reporter Jane Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret.

Boston police detective Jake Brogan may have a liar on his hands. A man has confessed to the Lilac Sunday killing, a long-unsolved murder that haunted Brogan’s police-commissioner grandfather. While Jake’s colleagues take the confessor at his word, Jake is not so sure.

In the meantime, Ryland and Brogan’s paths are once-again intertwined—and as their private relationship heats up, it may mean difficulties in their professional lives.

Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love… What happens when everything you believe is true turns out to be a lie?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Welcome our guest Miranda James!!!!

Welcome, Miranda James!

Dean (aka Miranda) James is the New York Times bestselling author of the “Cat in the Stacks” series featuring Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat Diesel. He lives in Houston, Texas, with his two cats and thousands of books. He’s almost always plotting another murder…

Most Southern women of a certain age have a favorite cookbook, box of recipes, or an index in their heads of easy, tried-and-true recipes for most occasions. For my father’s two sisters, it was caramel cake. For my mother, lemon icebox pie. My paternal grandmother made the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever tasted. One of my mother’s sisters several years ago shared a recipe for cookies that’s fast and easy. There are different types of skillet cookies, but the one constant is that they are cooked in a cast-iron skillet. Some are a single large cookie that fills the skillet, others are smaller, individual cookies like those in my aunt’s recipe. I can attest that they are delicious, and I suspect that it won’t be long before they pop up in my new “Southern Ladies” mystery series. Though the two main characters, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote, rely heavily on the assistance of their long-time housekeeper, Clementine.

Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote, two of the most prominent citizens in Athena, Mississippi, had their debut in Out of Circulation. I had so much fun writing them that I couldn’t let go of the characters. They kept talking to me, insisting they should have their own series, and I had to give in. Thus the “Southern Ladies” series was born.

These two fictional characters are based, in large part, on two real sisters who share their names. The real sisters are much younger and are both married with children. I had fun imagining, however, what Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce would be like, though, if they’d never married, were wealthy, and had a knack for running things like charities, committees, and the social activities in a small Southern town. They make their debut as detectives in Bless Her Dead Little Heart.

Skillet cookies

½ cup margarine (or butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped dates
2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 tsp vanilla
1 small package of grated coconut (approx. 1 cup)
Melt margarine in skillet (iron, preferably), stir in sugar, egg, dates, and pecans. Cook over low heat until thick – about 12 minutes.

Remove from heat, let cool slightly until it can be handled. Stir in rice cereal and vanilla. Roll cookies in small balls, then roll in coconut.

Yield: about 4 dozen


Today, Miranda/Dean is giving away a copy of BLESS HER DEAD LITTLE HEART to one lucky commenter!  Remember to leave your email address so we can contact you and tell you!

You can find out more about Miranda/Dean 
on his website:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Welcome our guest Sofie Kelly!

Welcome our guest, Sofie Kelly!

Sofie Kelly writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats Mysteries.

The next book in the series, CAT TRICK, will be available February 5thVisit Sofie at

Let Them Eat Cake

   Have you ever had one of those days when all you want to do is to eat a cake and wallow in a little self pity? The problem is, when those days happen there never seems to be a cake handy, or if there is, let’s face it, someone else in the house is going to notice that you ate the whole thing. Not to mention what eating a full-size, double layer cake with frosting is going to do to your thighs. Days like that are perfect for Cake in a Mug.
 Cake in a Mug is not a gourmet recipe. It’s not fancy, but it tastes pretty good and if you share it with a friend or two it’s not that self-indulgent. And it beats the heck out of standing over the sink eating Hershey’s Chocolate syrup off a spoon. Not that I’ve ever done that.

Cake in a Mug
4 tablespoons cake flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons chocolate chips

   Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa in a large mug. (A two-cup measuring cup will also work.) Add the oil, milk and egg. Beat with a fork. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top. You can substitute butterscotch or peanut butter chips instead.

 *Cake flour makes a finer textured cake, but you can use all-purpose flour. I use rice milk in this recipe, but soy milk or cow’s milk works just as well.

 Microwave on high power between 3 and 4 minutes. How long depends on how powerful your microwave is. Don’t worry if things overflow a little.

Slide a knife around the inside of the mug and slide the cake on to a plate.
Cut into two or three pieces—or not, depending on just how bad the day’s been—and enjoy.

I’d love to hear how you all decompress after a bad day. Any cake involved?

 * * *