Sunday, June 19, 2016

Welcome Lisa Q. Mathews with Orange Sunshine-Frosted Cookies + Book and Mug #Giveaway!

by Lisa Q. Mathews

Lisa Q. Mathews is a terrific author who recently launched a sweet, funny, and highly entertaining new amateur sleuth mystery series called The Ladies Smythe and Westin.

Lisa is also a former editor of Nancy Drew (and, like most of us, she's a huge fan of the girl sleuth). So it's an extra special sleuthy honor to have her here today! 

In a generous gesture, Lisa is giving away the first book in her series (pictured right), as well as an adorable mug and spoon set, to one lucky person who comments on this post. 

This giveaway is now over. Thanks to everyone who left comments! The winning comment, by random number draw, is Donamae K.  of Wisconsin. Congrats, Donamae!

Now, take it away, Lisa!

~ Cleo Coyle 

Like my odd-couple co-sleuths Summer and Dorothy—aka the Ladies Smythe & Westin—I have a serious sweet tooth. I must also confess that the three of us have something else in common: We all love to eat, but don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. For very good reasons, of course.

Dorothy, a seventy-something widow, used to cook, but since nightly, formal dinners are de rigueur in the Canyons dining room at the Hibiscus Pointe Senior Living Community in Milano, Florida, there is really not much point. 

Her twenty-something neighbor Summer, a semi-reformed party girl who’s camping in her late grandma’s condo, never learned to cook, because her family back in LA had a series of personal chefs. 

Summer usually grabs her food on the run, or from the free, Welcome buffets set out for prospective residents. She and Dorothy also treat themselves to bayside lunches and elegant dinners at the trendy downtown restaurants, especially when they’re working undercover on a murder investigation. And me? Well, let’s just say my husband feels it’s safest if he does most of the cooking at our house. 



Occasionally, too much sugar can get you into trouble, as the Ladies found out the hard way on their first case, CARDIAC ARREST. But not to worry, these easy-to-make orange cookies are delicious and packed with Floridian Vitamin C. They’re perfect for quick pick-me-ups, book club refreshments, late-night snacks, or even breakfast. And Summer got the recipe directly from Gregoire, the sous-chef at Hibiscus Pointe. (My mom-in-law Sylvia just happens to have the very same one in her arsenal.) 

A quick note re: shortening vs. butter: Dorothy wanted to use a traditional, brand-name vegetable shortening from a can, but Summer vetoed the thick, white stuff. They compromised by picking up a package of high-fat butter (Kerrygold) from the nearest Publix grocery store. 

If they’d gone the shortening route, as Dorothy suggested, the dough would have held together more and resulted in orange ball cookies, rather than the flatter ones pictured here. Also, Dorothy did put her foot down on the importance of sifting both the flour and confectionary sugar—definitely worth it, she insists. (So does my mom-in-law.) Enjoy! ~ Lisa

Serves 2 dozen

Prep Time: 30 mins. (or less, if you’re a pro baker!)

Cooking Time: 8-10 mins.


For Orange Cookies:

2/3 cup of shortening (Summer and Dorothy used 2/3 cup real butter)  

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 

2 Tablespoons grated orange rind

2 cups self-rising flour* 

*Note: If you prefer all-purpose flour, add ½ teaspoon each of baking powder, baking soda, and salt

For Orange Butter Frosting:

2 ½ Tablespoons soft butter

1 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar 

1 ½ Tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice 

2 Tablespoons grated orange rind

Shredded coconut (optional) 


For Orange Cookies: 

Mix shortening (or butter) with sugar and egg thoroughly. 

Stir in orange juice and rind. Measure flour by sifting. Stir dry ingredients, blending well. (If you're using all-purpose flour, don’t forget to add the ½ teaspoon each of baking powder, baking soda, and salt!) 

Drop rounded teaspoons of dough about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly brown around edges.  Cool on wire rack.

For Orange Butter Frosting: While cookies are cooling, blend all ingredients well, until smooth. 

Frost cookies when completely cool. 

Top with coconut, if desired,
for an extra-tropical touch!

Lisa Q. Mathews was a lifeguard, a competitive figure skater, and a Nancy Drew editor before starting to write her own mysteries. She was also an executive editor at Random House Children’s Books and penned kids' series such as Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Lizzie McGuire Mysteries. Like her odd-couple co-sleuths in The Ladies Smythe & Westin series from Carina Press/Harlequin, Lisa loves swimming, rich desserts, romantic comedies, and above all a good mystery!

To learn more about Lisa and her books, please visit her website at

You can also join Lisa at:

Chicks on the Case (group blog)

When a guy drops at your feet, you’d better hope he’s not dead...

Twenty-something party girl Summer Smythe is starting over in the unlikeliest of places: Hibiscus Pointe, an upscale retirement community in glitzy Milano, Florida. Her new gig? Working for Dr. A, Milano’s much-loved cardiologist. But being in over her head is the least of Summer’s worries when her new boss drops dead…right in front of her. 

Longtime resident Dorothy Westin prefers to mind her own business. But when the young blonde already causing ripples through Hibiscus Pointe becomes a person of interest in Dr. A’s murder, Dorothy springs into action. Not only because the real killer is still on the loose, but because there’s simply no way her clueless-but-kind new friend could have poisoned someone. 

Dorothy and Summer soon discover that, despite his chosen specialty, Dr. A had quite a reputation for breaking hearts. And if the Ladies Smythe and Westin don’t identify the guilty party fast, Summer may end up in handcuffs…and Dorothy in a body bag. 

CARDIAC ARREST and the Ladies’ second case, PERMANENTLY BOOKED, are available wherever e-books are sold. And don’t forget to mark your engagement calendar for FASHIONABLY LATE, available September 5, 2016!


Leave a comment on this post
by Midnight, Tuesday, June 21,
and you are entered to win: 

This giveaway is now over. Thanks to everyone who left comments! The winning comment, by random number draw, is...

Donamae K.  of Wisconsin

Congrats, Donamae!

An e-book copy of CARDIAC ARREST with...
Matching mug and spoon set (pictured above). 

Open to US and Canadian readers.
Be sure to leave a way for us
to get in touch with you, and...

Good luck!


  1. Such a fabulous summer treat recipe. And the book, mug, and spoon are wonderful!

    1. Thanks, LizNoVeggieGirl! (I don't care for veggies much, either.)

  2. These cookies sound wonderful. I will substitute with gluten free flour and try them. Thanks for the recipe. The book sounds good. I haven't read this series but will have to.

    1. Thanks, Deb. Great idea on the gluten-free! Also, in my opinion, the frosting is great on anything.

  3. These cookies sound wonderful. I will substitute with gluten free flour and try them. Thanks for the recipe. The book sounds good. I haven't read this series but will have to.

  4. Those cookies sound super---I'm always on the lookout for good cookie recipes that do not include chocolate. I'd love to start reading your new series.

  5. The book sounds great and the recipe looks delicious. Thank you for this chance.

    1. Thanks and you're welcome, Robyn! (Love your email addy.)

  6. Welcome to the blog, Lisa! I can't decide what sounds more delightful -- your series or the cookies!

    1. Thanks, Leslie--you are sweeter than sunshine cookies!

  7. I love citrus flavoured cookies, so thanks for the recipe. The book sounds like a good read, and the mug/spoon are a nice gift. Thanks for the chance to win! grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

    1. You're welcome, Grace! Hope you enjoy the cookies.

  8. The cookies and book both sound delightful. Thanks for the chance to win. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. I like the idea of orange cookies but I'm not big on frosting.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    1. The orange cookies are great as stand-alones, Sandy! The orange zest gives them extra zing.

  10. I was born to a mother who loved to bake and my thighs show it. lol! I can't wait to Lisa Q. Mathews book and to try the orange sunshine cookies. Thanks for including Lisa on your blog.

    1. Thank you, Robin! I have those happy thighs, too, lol. Definitely worth it.

  11. The cookies sound wonderful and look so pretty with the coconut on top. It must have been amazing editing Nancy Drew books -- how exciting! Thanks so much for visiting and for the wonderful giveaway.