Happy Thanksgiving! I wish
you a day filled with family, fun, and feasting. Here's a nice pie recipe to
help you celebrate this Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Streusel Pie
1 – deep dish pie shell,
For the pie filling:
1 16 oz can pumpkin puree
1 14 oz can sweetened
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
For the streusel topping:
½ cup dark brown sugar,
½ cup flour
¼ cup butter, chilled and
⅓ cup chopped pecans
·Pre-heat oven to
·Mix together the
pie filling ingredients until well incorporated. Pour filling into unbaked pie
shell. Bake for 15 minutes.
·As the pie bakes,
make the streusel topping by stirring together the brown sugar and flour. Cut
in the butter with a pastry cutter (or use a large fork). Stir in the nuts. The
streusel topping should be about the size of small peas.
temperature to 350º. Bake pie for another 25 minutes.
·Remove pie from
oven and distribute the streusel topping evenly over the pie. Return to oven
and bake an additional 15 minutes. Topping should be golden brown and filling
should be set.
Let me tell you about my
wonderful publishing experience! I have to back up a little bit… to this past
spring. I self-published a romance titled Reclaim My Heart. The book received
great reviews immediately, and it sold well from the beginning. Very well. In
fact, during the first week of August I was enjoying a mug of coffee while
perusing the USA Today Bestseller’s List (my usual Thursday morning routine),
and I nearly choked when I saw that Reclaim My Heart was sitting at #123 on the
list. A couple of days later I was contacted by an editor from Montlake. She
told me she’d read one of my books months before and had been keeping an eye on
me. She said she’d read Reclaim My Heart and loved it. Now, what author doesn’t
love to hear that? She made an offer I couldn’t refuse. The Montlake editor and
the design team loved the cover that was on the indie version of the book;
however, Amazon had trouble licensing the rights to the image. So we searched
for weeks before finding the picture that’s on the current cover. I love it!
And I hope my readers do, too. I’m happy to be writing romance novels for
Montlake. I feel wanted and appreciated, and it can’t get much better than that
in the publishing industry!
Enter the world of Sloane Monroe in Black Diamond Death...
On the slopes of Park City, Utah’s newest ski resort a woman is found dead. At first glance, it has all the makings of an accident. But what if she was murdered? Although skeptical, PI Sloane Monroe takes the case and learns not everyone is who they seem, and some will go to any lengths to protect their identity.
SINNERMAN: Book 2
PI Sloane Monroe has solved every case that’s come across her desk with the exception of one—the brutal murder of her sister Gabrielle. Three years have passed without a trace of the serial killer until today, when a young woman’s body is discovered on a patch of dirt in front of the local supermarket. Will Sloane exact her revenge before Sinnerman slays his next victim, or will she be too late?
I HAVE A SECRET: Book 3
It’s been twenty years since PI Sloane Monroe has returned to her hometown of Tehachapi, California, but when a former classmate is stabbed and tossed overboard during the high school reunion cruise, Sloane isn’t about to allow a murderer to run free in her own backyard. But in a town where everyone is harboring secrets, how many more men will die before she discovers the truth?
About Cheryl Bradshaw
Born and raised in Southern California, USA Today bestselling author Cheryl Bradshaw became interested in writing at a young age. In high school, Bradshaw enrolled in various literature and writing classes. As a result, her poems were selected for publication in a paperback called The Looking Glass. During this time, she also submitted several short stories for consideration to various magazines and media outlets. In 2009, Bradshaw wrote her first novel, Black Diamond Death (the first novel in the Sloane Monroe mystery/thriller series). She currently has five novels in the series and has also started a new paranormal thriller series this year as well.
When she is not hard at work writing her next novel, Bradshaw is an avid reader. She enjoys a variety of genres, and is especially passionate about vintage novels. “When I’m not reading whodunits, I love a good throwback to another place in time, especially books that make me want to travel and dine with the likes of Mr. Darcy and Hercule Poirot.”
Bradshaw also loves to travel and has visited New York, London, Paris, Jamaica, Hawaii, and Alaska, to name a few. But she’s most fond of locations with historical ties, her favorite being Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and childhood home. “Each place I visit offers inspiration in one form or another which I draw from when I’m writing,” says Bradshaw, who chose Park City, Utah as the inspiration for the Sloane Monroe Series. “I chose Park City because I lived there and have a fondness for the quaint ski town, which I visit often.”
Bradshaw’s novel Stranger in Town (Sloane Monroe series #4) is a 2013 Shamus Award finalist for Best PI Novel of the Year, and I Have a Secret (Sloane Monroe series #3) was a 2013 eFestival of Words winner for best thriller novel.
Charlotte’s Last Breath
The air was calm, but I was restless. I had a decision to make so I did what I always do when push comes to shove, I shoved back, but not in the way one might think. Skiing had always been my release. There was something about being surrounded by fresh powder and clean, open air that reminded me of what it felt like to be alive again. I would stand on a mountaintop with a world of trouble on my mind, but it didn’t matter. Every care always dissolved just like the snow soon would, leaving tiny patches of white, mere remnants of a ski slope that once provided the town’s entertainment for the season.
In a few minutes I’d have lunch with Audrey and do something that didn’t come easy, tell her the truth. I never lied to her; I just preferred keeping things to myself.
I rounded the last narrow pass on the slope and travelled downhill through the trees. My tongue had gone numb over the past couple house, and each time my teeth hit against it, I felt nothing, like my tongue wasn’t even there. My throat felt like a strand of lit matches were pressed hard against it.
Was I getting sick?
The flu had made its way around town, but if it was the flu, why had I lost all the feeling in my face? I ran my gloved hand across my goggles, but it didn’t help. I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again, but the trail in front of me was still a blur. With what little force I had left, I jammed my poles into the snow and tried to stop, but the slope was too steep, and I couldn’t bend my hands or even move them. My fingers felt like long shards of ice, and in one simultaneous motion they launched a mass of frozen liquid throughout my body.
What was happening to me?
In a panic I gasped for air, but there wasn’t any. I tried to cry out, but I was alone, and in my hysteria it hit me. I had felt a similar feeling before, like my body was giving out on me and I knew what it meant: I was dying.
Sam grabbed an unused diaper from the passenger seat and pushed his car door open. At the same time, the woman unlocked her passenger-side door and bent down and placed the sack of groceries on the seat of her car. She was too preoccupied to hear him approach.
“Excuse me,” he said.
The woman retracted out of the car and turned and faced him.
“Do I know you?” she said.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” he said with a crooked smile, “but do you know how to change a diaper?”
She looked at the diaper in his hand and then back at him.
“Why do you ask?”
“My sister asked me to watch my nephew for a few hours, and I can’t seem to get the darn thing on right.”
He angled the diaper in the direction of his car.
“I’m parked right over there,” he said. “Do you think you could help me?”
The woman hesitated and studied the man’s car for a moment and then shrugged her shoulders.
“I really need to get home,” she said.
The man smiled, but not just any smile. It was one he’d practiced in the mirror over and over again until it conveyed what he needed it to: trust me.
“It will only take a minute,” he said.
They walked over to Sam’s car, and he was careful to remain a few paces behind her. He glanced over his left shoulder and then his right. All was still, and since the store closed in five minutes, he was certain it would remain that way. He watched the woman peek through the window of his car and relished the startled look on her face when she didn’t see a baby. With a perplexed look, she turned and faced him.
The man reached into the front pocket of his hoodie with all the calmness of a drug addict who’d just smoked a bag of weed and pulled out a needle and inserted it into her shoulder. In an instant her body went limp and she sagged into him.
Happy anniversary, he thought.
Beside the door a shadow emerged and gravitated in his direction. Doug hunched over to get a better look, but his eyes played tricks on him, and everything was a haze. The figure halted. Doug squeezed his eyes shut and opened them again, but the image in front of him was still a blur. And then it occurred to him—whoever lurked there seemed too tall to be his pint-sized wife.
“Is that you, Candice?” he said. “Because I’m still not interested. I love my wife. You have to stop this—right now.”
The figure shook its head but did not speak.
Since the first day of the reunion cruise Candice had stalked him, showing up at the same excursions he was on with Trista and making obscene gestures whenever Trista glanced the other way. The mere sight of her made Doug’s insides feel like they were on a continual roller coaster, and he just wanted to get off. On the second night, Candice had even cornered him in the hallway and slammed him up against one of the guest rooms. Doug had more than his fair share of drinks that night, but he’d managed to shove her off him before he stumbled down the hall to his cabin where Trista was waiting.
“Hello, Olivia,” a man’s voice said.
A man in a black ball cap and mirrored sunglasses smiled and pointed at the ground. “You dropped something.”
“Here, let me get it for you,” he said.
The man scooped up the painted star and held it out in front of Olivia. “Go on, take it,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”
Olivia didn’t know why her stomach felt like a bunch of ants were crawling around inside, but she did know the way it made her feel: scared. She wanted to shout for her mother, but when her mouth fell open, nothing came out. She looked down at the ground, hoping when she looked back up, the man would be gone. But he wasn’t.
“Come here, sweet thing,” the man said. “It’s okay. I don’t bite.”
When Olivia didn’t move, the man knelt down in front of her. He lifted up her stiff body and set her down on his knee. “Do you want me to take you back to your mommy?”
Olivia squeezed her eyes shut, but when she opened them, the man’s hands still wound around her tiny arms like a boa constrictor. If he wants to help me find my mommy, why is he holding me so tight?
“How far away is your mommy?” the man said.
“How about this—give me a hug, just a little one, and we’ll look together.” He held a finger out in front of her. “Pinky promise.”
Olivia wanted nothing more than to be back with her mother again. The man’s breath smelled like her mom’s when she hadn’t brushed her teeth in the morning. Olivia leaned in just enough for the man to hold her close, but jerked back when the mountain of stubble on the man’s chin scratched her face. She knew her cheek wasn’t on fire, but it burned like the metal from a seat belt on a hot day.
The man patted Olivia on the back and stood up. “There now, take my hand.”
Olivia looked down. Her fingers were clenched in a tight ball, the edges of her untrimmed nails digging into the soft skin of the palm of her hands. She stuck out her tiny hand, and the man wrapped it in his. But when they got to the end of the aisle, he didn’t turn toward where Olivia had pointed, he kept walking.
A faint whisper echoed in the distance. “Olivia, honey, where are you?”
She wanted to cry out, “Mother, I am here!” But the man clasped her hand so tight, she was too afraid to say anything.
Hand in hand, they walked through the front door.
“What is it?” Leonard asked.
“A mine shaft.”
“Men used to go down that hole, get stuff out of the ground, and sell it.” Willie stepped forward, making his way to the bottom of the hill. “Ya best step where I step, okay? I don’t need ya breakin’ a leg out here. You dig?”
“This place wasn’t always a ghost town,” Willie said.
Leonard swallowed—hard. “There are…ghosts here?”
Willie reached back, patting Leonard’s arm. “Not real ones, dipstick. A ghost town is a place people leave behind—the buildings are still here, but not the people. Not many of them, anyway.”
“Is that why most of the stores in town are closed?” Leonard asked.
“Now yer gettin’ it.”
“Why’d they all leave?”
“Hated it, probably. Same as us.”
“Why would they leave all that money?” Leonard asked.
“Maybe it ran out. Maybe they got everything they could out of the ground and there wasn’t any more left.”
“Is that why grandpa moved here—for money?”
Willie reached the opening of the mine and knelt down. “Outta sight! Leonard, check this out.”
“Is it safe? It doesn’t look safe.”
“’Course it is. It’s not like we’re going in. We’re just takin’ a peek. Nothin’ wrong with that.”
Leonard bent down next to Willie. “How far down do you think it goes?”
“I dunno. Why don’t ya hop on in and find out?”
Willie pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his back pocket. He flipped one into his mouth, lit up, and took a nice, long drag.
Leonard sat on a rock next to him. “Dad know you have those?”
Willie twisted the sleeve on Leonard’s shirt and yanked him close. “No, and you’re not gonna tell him either.”
“I won’t—let go.”
The two sat in silence for the next two minutes, Willie taking occasional puffs on the cigarette and Leonard flipping a Slinky back and forth between his hands.
Willie finished the cigarette, stood, and flicked the butt out of his hands, smashing it into the scorching earth with his foot until he couldn’t see it any longer. “Come on. We’d better get back.”
Leonard hopped off the rock. The Slinky slipped out of his hand and tumbled toward the mouth of the shaft, catching on a patch of sagebrush, the only thing stopping it from falling into the hole. “My Slinky!”
“Leave it,” Willie said. “You can get another one.”
“I don’t want another one. I bought it with my own money. It took a whole month to save up for it.” Before Willie could interject a second time, Leonard had bolted forward until he was close enough to the Slinky to reach down and grab it.
“Leonard, no!” Willie yelled. “Don’t!”
The next few seconds moved like a Ferris wheel in slow motion. Leonard reached for the Slinky, but it broke free of the sagebrush and fell into the blackness. He leaned over, peering into the shaft. And then he made a big mistake. He tried to stand, but the pebbly rocks beneath his feet offered no traction. He slipped, plummeting feet first into the mine.
Be sure to check the other stops on the tour to see more from
Christy Hayes and the Golden Rule Bundle
Donna Fasano and the Single Daddy Club Boxed Set
Faith Mortimer and the Diana Rivers Mystery Set
M.P. McDonald and the Mark Taylor Omnibus
Melissa F. Miller and the Sasha McCandless Series Sibel Hodge and the Sibel Hodge Box Set
Barbara Silkstone with the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set
Reader drawing is international
Grand Prize Winner : $60 Giftcard to Amazon or Barnes and all eight boxed sets
First Prize Winner: $40 Giftcard and all eight box set
Second Prize winner - 4 (winner’s choice) boxed sets
I have known Colleen Faulkner
for 25 years. She's a like a sister to me. She's also a wonderful writer. You can follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook, and read her blog.
Colleen has a brand new book out. Please take a look:
It's how you love that matters.
Alicia Richards loved her
daughter from her very first breath. Days later, when tests confirmed what
Alicia already knew—that Chloe had Down syndrome—she didn't falter. Her
ex-husband wanted a child who would grow to be a scholar. For Alicia, it's
enough that Chloe just is.
Now twenty-five, Chloe is sweet, funny, and content. Alicia brings her to adult
daycare while she teaches at a local college. One day Chloe arrives home
thrumming with excitement, and says the words Alicia never anticipated. She has
met someone—a young man named Thomas. Within days, Chloe and Thomas, also
mentally challenged, declare themselves in love.
Alicia strives to see past her misgivings to the new possibilities opening up
for her daughter. Shouldn't Chloe have the same right to love as anyone else?
But there is no way to prepare for the relationship unfolding, or for the
moments of heartbreak and joy ahead.
With grace and warmth, Colleen Faulkner tells an unflinching yet heartrending
story of mothers and daughters, and of the risks we all take, both in loving
and in letting go.
Praise for Just Like
"This deeply moving
story of maternal love and renewal will touch your heart. It's a celebration of
the capacity of the human heart to heal itself and embrace change, beautifully
written with rare insight." ~Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times
"Be prepared to weep
tears of sorrow as well as tears of joy. This is a novel you won't soon
forget." ~Holly Chamberlin, author of Last Summer
"Just Like Other Daughters as
so real, so honest . . . I laughed, I hoped, I cried. It's that good." ~Cathy
Lamb, author of Henry's Sisters
Helping others makes me very
happy and gives me great satisfaction. There is no doubt in my mind that giving
to charity offers the giver a deep sense of well-being. Well, now Amazon is
offering shoppers a way to give a portion of every purchase to their favorite
charity. And it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply sign in and choose the
organization you want to support. Wait… that's as easy as 1, 2! Wow!
When I'm feeling stressed or
blue, I'll often make food that takes me back to simpler times, food that
brings back memories and puts a huge smile on my face. My grandmother was a
wonderful and loving lady who could make macaroni and cheese like no one else!
Here's her recipe.
1 lb elbow macaroni
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese,
1 stick butter
1 12 ounce can evaporated
6 large eggs
8 cups of water
2 teaspoons salt
Bring the water to a boil.
Add salt and macaroni. Cook 12 minutes, or until tender. DO NOT DRAIN.
Add the cheese and butter to
the pot. Let sit, covered, until cheese and butter are melted.
Beat the eggs and milk
together. Add egg/milk mixture to the pot and stir to combine thoroughly.
Butter a large casserole pan
(2 ½ qt). Pour mac & cheese into the pan and bake in a preheated 350º oven
until bubbly around the sides and golden brown on top, 25-40 min.