Friday, September 30, 2011


I've spent this week finishing up the second book of the Country Cooking School Series, IF MASHED POTATOES COULD DANCE. I'll put a final spit shine on it today and send it away.

Manuscripts travel back and forth between me and my editor a few times, but it's always this first time I send it in that feels funny; I'm excited that it's done, but anxious that maybe I've written something atrocious and I'll have to rewrite the entire thing, and I'm also a little sad. I spend so much time with the characters that when they leave, I miss them a little.

The recipes in this one are:
Mashed Potatoes (the way my grandmother made them, which is now called whipped)
Twice Baked Potatoes
Funeral Potatoes
Skillet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Pie (with an egg and marshmallow meringue)

It's always fun to taste-test the recipes.

Hope you have a great week.


Friday, September 23, 2011


Though it's my favorite time of year, I'm surprised at how I'm not ready for fall. Summer in Salt Lake City just wasn't hot or miserable enough for me to welcome the cooler temperatures. However, I expect we'll have a grand leaf season. We drove up to a restaurant in the mountains on Sunday and there were already splotches of red and yellow everywhere. A couple weeks and we'll take our annual leaf drive. I'll probably force my son to go along. He'll complain but then want to take pictures of his own once we're up there.

As I'm sure it has been for everyone, we've been pretty darn busy. School, my deadlines, and this is the busiest time of year for my husband. But, by chance, we did one thing this year that has made all the craziness a little easier. My son's a junior in high school and he was able to finish lots of credits during freshman and sophomore years, summers included. Every other day this semester he doesn't have a first period. He's on a block schedule so that means he doesn't have to get to school a full hour and half into the day. I can't believe the difference it has made. Since he plays football, he gets pretty beat up, and even though he has one fewer class, the rest of his classes are pretty intense so he has plenty of homework. That extra hour and a half has allowed him to get some extra recuperative sleep, or get to bed at a reasonable hour and do his homework in the morning. We got lucky, but if I had to do it again, I would do all I could to make sure he got that open period.

Oh, and - when he sleeps in, so do I. Yay!

Hope your summer was wonderful and I hope your fall is spectacular.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Day in the Life

Stop by Dru's Book Musings for a look at a day in the life of Becca Robins, the farmers' market mysteries protagonist. Thanks for the post, Dru!

A Day in the Life

Friday, September 9, 2011


March 10-11, 2012 -- I'll be attending the Tucson Festival of Books. I'm thrilled that I'll get to be a part of a cozy mystery panel with fellow authors Rebecca Hale, Jenn McKinlay, Avery Aames and Kate Carlisle. And, I get to do a cooking thing with Avery Aames who writes a great (I should have said 'grate' huh?) cheese shop mystery series. I'm really looking forward to the weekend. If you're in the area, stop by and introduce yourself.

I love Arizona - mostly. I think cactus are fabulous and I'm fascinated by all the amazing colors you can find in the desert. But the July and/or August heat can be pretty brutal. I can't imagine how difficult it is to work outside during those months.

A few years ago, my husband, my son and I took a trip to Tombstone, Arizona. Even though it was brutally hot, I had a great time. As much as I love Arizona, I really really loved that trip. In fact, though the setting for my Country Cooking School series is in the fictional town of Broken Rope, Missouri, it's a lot like Tombstone -an Old West tourist town. I doubt I'll have time in March, but I hope to get back to Tombstone again soon. Even though much of it is about "fun," there's something really wonderful about the sense of history you feel as you meander down the boardwalk and watch a gunfight or two. Loved it.

Hope you have a great week and read some amazing books!