Sunday, October 4, 2015

Guest Laura Childs, serving Cream Scones and a #bookgiveaway

Leslie here, delighted to welcome my cousin---really, truly; I'm not being metaphoric---the fabulous Laura Childs, New York Times best-selling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Cackleberry Club Mysteries, and Scrapbooking Mysteries, and next summer, a new thriller series under her real name, Gerry Schmitt. And it's wonderful that she's talking about her dogs. Dogs play a role in many of her books, and family collie, Duke, was the first dog I ever loved!

Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a signed, harcover copy of PARCHMENT AND OLD LACE, the newest Scrapbooking Mystery!

A funny thing happened to me in the kitchen the other day. My dogs decided to watch me make scones. These are two snooty, deign-to-even-take-notice Chinese Shar-Pei named Asia and Moosha. Yet they seemed delighted when I measured out all the ingredients, transfixed when I mixed the flour and butter with my fingers, and sat – staring and immobile – while my scones baked in the oven.  What was the result of all this kitchen love? A great pan of scones that was enjoyed by all!  (See photo of them noshing away.) And because I manage to slip tea drinking and scones into pretty much every mystery I write, I thought you’d enjoy my basic cream scone recipe. 

Basic Cream Scones
 2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and diced
½ cup cream
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter and, using fork or fingers, mix until ingredients form a coarse meal.  hisk egg and cream together in a separate bowl and then add to flour mixture. Knead gently to thoroughly moisten and form dough. Add more cream if mixture is too dry. Drop dough (about a ¼ cup’s worth) onto lightly greased baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart.  

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Yields 1 dozen scones.  

Note:  This is a basic recipe, so you can always toss in a cup of chocolate chips or butterscotch chips if you prefer your scones a little sweeter!

Leave a comment on this blog post by Sunday, October 11, for a chance to win a signed, hardcover copy of PARCHMENT AND OLD LACE.

Here's the scoop on the newest Scrapbook Mystery, PARCHMENT AND OLD LACE: 

In this cozy-thriller from Laura Childs, scrapbook maven Carmela Bertrand tries to track down the killer of a young bride-to-be who’s been brutally murdered in a New Orleans cemetery. Could it be the conflicted groom, stalker attorney, jealous bridesmaid, or crazy mother-in-law to be? As Carmela sorts through this dysfunctional group of suspects, snippets of antique lace and parchment become critical clues in the case. And it all comes to an enormous head at a raucous casino party that ends with a frantic chase through an abandoned theme park. Scrapbooking tips are included along with recipes for Pecan Pie Muffins, Sweet Potato Casserole, Big Easy Butter Chicken, and more.

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. 

Little Girl Lost, the first in her new hard-edged thriller series written under the name Gerry Schmitt, will be out in June, 2016.

Learn more at Buy the books at Amazon, B&N, BAM, IndieBound, or your local mystery or independent bookseller.