Happy Thanksgiving!

Season’s Readings

I’m thankful for you–my readers who’ve supported me during my writing journey! I hope you enjoy your holiday season and have a chance to read some great books!

In this issue of my newsletter, I’m excited to share some news about my upcoming books and a Southern recipe from fictional character, Nancy Parsons, who serves as the sassy grandmotherly guide to the paranormal. 

What are you reading?
Lately, I’ve done some beta reading for author friends, but I’ve mostly been busy writing books two and three in the Isle of Palms Suspense series. As you recall, in the first book, The Haunting on Palm Court, the story follows Blake Nelson and her journey to banish her ex-fiance, Parker’s evil spirit, to the Other Side.  The next two books will follow different members of the Mason and Nelson families.

Returning to Palm Court
My alpha readers are reviewing the first draft of book two in the series, Return to Palm Court. This story shares the perspective of Blake’s youngest sister, Brittany, who returns to the cottage to help manage the family bed and breakfast and care for her unruly niece. After a short time, Brittany realizes that the ghosts of their past may not have been laid to rest after all.  I can’t wait to see what these early readers have to say and get the book to my beta readers and editor. I’m hoping to release this novel in spring 2021. 

Book three–don’t forget the middle child! 
While I’ve been waiting to hear back from my alpha readers, I’ve started working on the third book. It’s still early to share very much about this project, but readers will learn more about the middle Nelson sister, Elaina – as well as how her gift differs from the rest of the family. I had to show the middle child some love!  

Embracing family connections 
All of the Nelson sisters are different, and the books reflect these differences. However, readers will find one constant–sisterhood, love, and strong relationships, especially among the women who kick butt while protecting their family. 

Now, let’s talk turkey, leftover turkey, that is! Read the recipe below to learn fictional character Nancy Parsons’ recommendations on what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Nancy’s Turkey and Dumplings
Don’t know what to do with the leftover turkey? Hon, I’ve got the recipe for you. 

Good gravy! 

  • After Thanksgiving supper, put your remaining turkey and the pan drippings into a stockpot. 
  • You probably don’t have enough stock, so grab a quart of chicken broth to help supplement the drippings to make a delicious gravy. 
  • Drop in half a stick of real butter. No margarine here, y’all. 
  • Turn stove eye on medium heat.

Hey, dumplin’…
If you haven’t ever made dumplings, don’t fret, sugar! Making my drop dumplings is as easy as pie. 

Combine all of these goodies in a bowl, using a fork: 

  • 3 cups of self-rising flour 
  • 1 cup of heavy cream 
  • 3 tbsp. softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pepper to taste, I prefer at least 3 tsp. 

Set dumpling mixture aside and allow them to rise. Add another tbsp. of flour to the outside of the dumpling mixture ball to help prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. Repeat this step as needed.

Bring your gravy to a boil, use a large spoon to pull the chunks of turkey aside, and begin dropping in spoons full of dumplings until all of the mixture has been used. Simmer for at least an hour on low before serving to allow the dumplings to soak up the gravy. 

Hint: Dumplings are always better the next day. If you can keep your family from devouring them right after you make them, refrigerate them and enjoy your Turkey Day leftovers. 

Southern café serves up biscuits, chicken and, best of all, love

Walking into the cozy Southern eatery, I found a comfortable spot to settle in and drink in the atmosphere.
A large round table and built-in countertop bar overlooked the cooktop and grill, where hands busily dipped chicken in batter and patted out butter-smothered biscuits. The cook provided the music, varying from a somber hymn to an uplifting Appalachian folk song. As the other diners anxiously awaited the promised comfort food, they chattered about their day; children ran through the kitchen, laughing. Sunlight filled the expansive room, adding to the warm energy and friendliness.
Soon, the cook delivered piping hot platters of broasted chicken and fluffy biscuits along with heaping bowls of butter-laden mashed potatoes, bacon-grease sawmill gravy and green beans seasoned with hambone. Salivating, I couldn’t wait to dig into this feast, but I remembered there was one thing we had to do first. I bowed my head as one of my dining companions prayed to thank God for our many blessings, including the food on our table.
Afterward, I took my turn, filling my plate with the Southern delicacies laid before me. My stomach growled. I was indeed thankful; who wouldn’t be for this dining experience? The chicken and its delicate batter melted in my mouth, and I closed my eyes to savor the rich flavor of the biscuits and peppery gravy. I ate until I couldn’t move, but the scent of the peach cobbler warming in the oven called my name. The cook tempted me with a scoop of the dessert topped with a mountain of vanilla ice cream melting down the sides. I sighed and accepted my fate, thankful I’d worn a baggy dress instead of my favorite pair of jeans. Full disclosure—I didn’t pay a dime for my food, and this wasn’t my first visit to this buffet of Southern comfort.
You’re probably wondering where I found this delightful café. It was my Granny’s kitchen every Saturday morning. I never had to worry about what I was wearing, and best of all, it was a short walk from my parents’ home. I’ll always remember the love my grandmother put into preparing every meal. Next to Jesus, she prioritized feeding her family until their pants were bursting at the seams. I don’t know of a soul who could say they left her house hungry. Thank you, God, for giving us this incredible matriarch to protect and love us. I know she’s watching us from Heaven now, waiting for the day that she can serve us up a humongous batch of biscuits and an even bigger hug.

Virtual Book Launch

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE, and ENTER THE CONTEST HERE.

The video had to be prerecorded due to a family emergency. Please view the video launch my first novelThe Haunting on Palm Court: An Isle of Palms Suspense on my Facebook author page or YouTube channel. One of my best pals, Lia Ballentine, served as the event host, and the talented Burn the Treaty performed–thanks Morgan and Scott! I shared insights about the book, and you’ll have a chance to ask me questions in the comments section under the video. Last but not least, we’re going to give away some awesome door prizes! During the video, we shared key words. Anyone who chooses the option with all of the words here will be entered into a drawing to win the Grand Prize. Those who select another option will still be entered into a drawing for the other four prizes. All entries must be placed by 11 p.m. on Sept. 2. See the prizes below.

Join me for my virtual book launch!

Front CoverHi, friends! I hope you’ll join me at 7 p.m. EST/6 CT/5 MT on Sept. 1 for a live, virtual broadcast on my Facebook author page or YouTube channel as I launch my romantic suspense novel, The Haunting on Palm Court: An Isle of Palms Suspense, and the companion coloring book, Pearls of Wisdom, which features witty Southern colloquialisms by fictional character Nancy Parsons.

We’ll be giving away door prizes including a $50 Amazon gift card, signed paperback copies of the novel and coloring book, and other fun giveaway items. You must be present at the virtual launch to win. Preregistration isn’t necessary.

 

 

 

I’ve set the date!

The Haunting on Palm Court, my first novel, will launch on Sept. 1. Pre-orders will go live online within the next week or so.

In October 2018, I started writing a book. I didn’t know who the characters would be or the plot, but I knew the location-–Isle of Palms, South Carolina. My husband and I fell in love with the island during our first visit 15 years ago. When we visit, it feels like we’re going home.

If you haven’t ever visited the island, you owe it to yourself to experience its many charms. Regardless, you’ll have a chance to experience them through my characters. The publishing journey has been exciting, and I’m glad to have you along for the ride!