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: