Cozy Mystery, desserts

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up!

Hi All!

You didn’t ask, but I answered. This is what I plan to make for Thanksgiving this year. Once again, we’re having a smaller gathering than in years past. I typically host upwards of 25 people, and it’s not just family. Anyone who has found themselves in need of a place to go has always been welcome at my table. Friends have become family in this way, and it’s always been a fun and festive event. I’m hoping things will normalize a bit for next year so we can resume the tradition.

I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving since I was 19. I’m now 40 something with two kids, and I’ve always made family recipes (along with one new recipe) each year. I’ve taken note of each person’s favorite side, and make sure to incorporate it into the meal. Since this year is different, I’m going to try something new. After pouring through stacks of Thanksgiving magazines with my little boys, we didn’t quite find anything that excited us. With the guest list being much smaller (6 of us), we’ve got to pare things down in terms of variety, so I wanted to make each dish count. We threw in the towel after an hour or so of searching, but I kept it in the back of my mind as I need to get to the grocery store ASAP.

Later on that evening, like a bolt of lighting, (which felt like more like a warm hug) it hit me. The boys and I would prepare a Ree Drummond Thanksgiving! We love to snuggle up and watch her show. The boys get excited every time they see a Pioneer Woman product in the store. They jump up and down and shout, “Mom it’s our favorite lady!

So it only seemed fitting that the theme for this year’s feast would be none other than the Pioneer Woman.

Thankfully, she’s been sharing some really winning recipes on her Facebook Page, and the planning was basically done for me! (THANK YOU REE DRUMMOND!)


Typically, I do a zillion apps. This year, I’m going to put a small batch around lunch time. This way, the family can pick at things while I cook away in the kitchen!

Cranberry Brie Bites

Cocktail Meatballs (I might omit Sriracha)

Sausage Pinwheels

Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Main & Side:

No traditional recipes this year. All new!

Dry Brine Turkey

Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Sweet Potato Casserole

Green Bean Casserole


Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter


Last year, I attempted the Piecaken. I made the frosting ahead, and it curdled on me on Thanksgiving day. When I saw THIS RECIPE I knew I had to make it. I’m making a ton of desserts. I love pie for breakfast the morning after a holiday!

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie

I’m compiling my grocery list now, and I can’t wait to get cooking! I’ll post pictures of the results in my Facebook Group. For those of you not celebrating or hosting, Here is a sweet cozy mystery deal to keep you busy.

Stay Cozy,


Cozy Mystery

Behind the Scenes with Daphne McLean

Hi All!

A big THANK YOU to all who filled out the survey last week, and volunteered to be ARC readers for me. We have a nice big team for now. I received many questions about me, my writing life, and how I came up with ideas. So, for those of you who asked, here’s a little about my story.

In October 2013, my son was about a year old. I was in a bit of a rut. I didn’t know any other local moms, and my good friends who had children lived over an hour away. “B”, my older guy, was a great baby. I mean they are all great babies, but this kid man. He was/is great. He was my little sidekick who just went with the flow. I loved being home with him, and having our own little adventures, but I was… lonely.

My good friend, and neighbor asked me to start going on daily morning walks. While she didn’t have kids, she loved “B”, and it seemed like it was a good idea for all of us. During that time, we would talk about everything. Marriage, friendships, kids, personal goals, you name it. Anyone that knows me knows that I dislike and avoid physical activity of all kinds. This person, “L” got me to walk daily. It was great.

Anyway, I’ve started and not finished a handful of books over the years. My process is to take something normal and innocent about my life and twist it in some way to make it different, complex, and sometimes sinister. It’s a way to be able to write what I know, without writing an autobiography. So, while we were out on these walks, I started thinking about this idea for a book about a true-crime loving stay-at-home mom, (raises hand) who happens upon a crime scene, and inserts herself into the investigation. I ran this idea by “L” and she said, “Write it!” So, I wrote the first three chapters, and sent them off to friends to see if there was something there, all of them responded to keep going. However, not too long after, life got a little different. “L” moved away, and “B” started needing more activity, and then before I knew it, my youngest, “W” came along and basically didn’t sleep for two years. (I forgive him, and love him deeply).

In late September of 2019, the air started to chill, and the leaves began to change. It reminded me of the time I spent walking with “L” and that old manuscript I started. A new family moved into “L’s” house and gave me a bit of inspiration. I re-wrote the first three chapters, outlined the rest, and by February 2019, I was a published author!

Pembury Acres and it’s inhabitants, are all (loosely) based on my life, and the people in it. The characters are a hodge podge of people I know, mixed with traits of other people I know. For example, the Chief is a mix of my high school ROTC teacher, my grandfather, and lots of police chiefs that I’ve seen on TV or read about in books.

Jennifer Temple and I are alike in that we are stay-at-home moms, we both have sons, chickens, and failing vegetable gardens. We also both love true crime. I however, can cook and would likely never stick my nose into a real police investigation. So there you have it. The inspiration for Red Picket Fences, and the subsequent books all came from my little neighborhood, and the people in my life.

If you guys have any more questions, please let me know!

Moving on… a few announcements Death at a Dinner Party is on sale for $0.99 until Sunday. It’s also now available in paperback! I’ve met many of you via BookFunnel, so I’m not sure if paperback is your preferred choice.

Also, I have two new books to share with you from my fellow author friends.

That’s all for now! Happy Reading!

Stay Cozy,


Cozy Mystery

Two Hot New Cozy Releases!

Hi All!

Well, I’m back from our little vacation, and settling into reality again. It was really nice to get away for a bit. The weather didn’t cooperate with us, so we didn’t get to see the ponies, but I’m grateful all the same. As requested, here are some pictures!

What’s the weather like by you? It’s raining again here, and I’m just working on some home organization projects. Have any of you seen The Home Edit on Netflix? It’s become my new obsession! Yesterday, I found myself sorting my boy’s Legos by color. I’m about halfway through. Doing mindless tasks helps me to think through book plots! My best ideas come from car rides, doing dishes, and sorting legos!

I continue to receive wonderful messages from some of you about Death at a Dinner Party. THANK YOU! Your feedback helps to keep me motivated to create more stories!

While you are waiting for book 4, here are my cozy mystery recommendations for the week!

That’s all for this week!

Stay well, and stay cozy,


Books, Cozy Mystery

Your TBR (To Be Read) list is going to get longer… Cozy Mystery Deals!

Hi All!

In between writing books, I like to read a whole bunch of books on craft, as well as a few cozies. However, this time, I’m taking a little vacation. My family and I have been in quarantine since March. We stumbled upon a camper for a very reasonable price recently, so we scooped it up, and are now parked at a camping spot on Chincoteague Island. It’s the safest way to travel these days!

Thank you to all who read and reviewed my latest release, Death at a Dinner Party. I’m working on a few more stories to share with all of you in the coming months. Until then, I have some books from my fellow cozy authors to tide you over!

This Entire Box Set is only $0.99!

This 20’s mystery is on Pre-order for $0.99!

If you haven’t done so already, please check out book 3 in the Jennifer Temple Mystery Series! Stay Cozy!

Cozy Mystery, Self Publishing

Death at a Dinner Party is LIVE

Death at a Dinner Party is LIVE

Hi All!

I hope this e-mail is finding you well, and that you had a lovely weekend! Although it’s not quite October, my children strongly encouraged me to decorate for Halloween. This holiday is a big deal at our house, and it usually takes me several days to complete. I will send pictures along next time or you follow me on Facebook to view the finished product!

In other news, Death at a Dinner Party is finally Live! I’m so excited to share my latest cozy mystery with all of you. I hope you are enjoying following Jennifer Temple, and the cast of quirky but lovable characters. This book was a labor of love for me. I wrote it through a very difficult time. It was hard some days to get up the energy to write, but I pushed on for you, the readers, and for my father, who I know would be cheering me on to cross the finish line, and finally write “The End”

For those of you who prefer the paperback version, that should be coming out sometime next week!
If you need me, I’ll be busy plotting Book Four” Death on Rugosa Bay. I can’t stay away from my characters for too long. I miss being swept away by the quaint little neighborhood of Pembury Acres.
As always, please reach out to let me know what you thought. I LOVE hearing from you guys!

Stay well and stay cozy!


Books, Cozy Mystery, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal…

Hi All,

It’s been a while. The end of the school year is no joke when you’re a mom of two school-aged children. I was lost in a sea of little league playoffs, moving up ceremonies,  and end of year celebrations. My oldest has now only been out of school a week, and that week was a complete blur.

We had a lovely 4th of July celebration at my house on Thursday.  Our whole neighborhood came out to celebrate, and we ended the evening with a fantastic fireworks display at our local ballfield. I will say it’s only the beginning of July, and I’ve had my fill of hamburgers, hotdogs, and macaroni salad!

I’ve picked up three books by Mary Kay Andrews and I’m sneaking in reading time when I can. Her books make for some wonderful summer reading!!!

Other than that, I’ve been slowly plugging away at my own books. Going forward, I’m not going to be giving out any timelines until I’m absolutely sure that I have a solid date. Life and the creative process are often times unpredictable. Rest assured though, I’m writing and progress is being made.

What recently ignited the fire for some very productive writing sessions was my cover designer sent me the proof for book two! I’m in love! Please let me know what you think!


I present to you…

Death at a Dinner Party



. wait for it…






. Keep scrolling!










Books, Uncategorized

Red Picket Fences Cover Reveal!

I was at the Dr’s office with my son, and he was playing with my phone. He handed it back to me when we went in to see the Dr. and while she was out checking on something, I glanced down and noticed I had an e-mail from my cover designer. My long awaited cover is finally here. I took a quick look before I switched back into Mom mode and spoke to the pediatrician. My heart was bursting because I’m so in love with it, and the book that I have been dreaming about is finally real!!

I have a chapter or two to write, and then I’ll be in heavy editing mode. Be on the lookout for the debut of Red Picket Fences Fall 2018!!