Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cover Reveal


Add Ax To Grind 
to your Goodreads
Southern Mystery Shelf

How adorable is this book cover? I think Henery Press publishers does such a great job with my Kenni Lowry Mystery Series!

Here is the blurb:
Bestselling author Berlye Stone, the most famous citizen to ever come out of Cottonwood, Kentucky, has died and put all her worldly possessions up for auction, but not without leaving one more manuscript behind. A hidden tell-all about Cottonwood that’s got more gossip than a ladies’ luncheon.

When Beryle’s assistant turns up with an ax in her back and the only witness is in a coma, Sheriff Kenni Lowry reckons someone in town will do anything to keep the manuscript from seeing the light of day. Her poppa’s ghost returns to help piece together the life of the Beryle he once knew, but his memory’s a little foggy, and any misstep could cause them a world of trouble. With the help of Deputy Finn Vincent, can Kenni sort through the secrets buried in Beryle’s books, or will this be her final chapter?

Books in the Kenni Lowry Mystery Series:

FIXIN’ TO DIE (#1)
SOUTHERN FRIED (#2)
AX TO GRIND (#3) September 19, 2017
SIX FEET UNDER (#4) Spring 2018  


Grab your copy of Fixin' To Die and Southern Fried here!







Thursday, April 27, 2017

WHAT HAPPENED?

This week for baking class we had to bring a double layer cake that was already iced so we could go straight into decorating it.

I have a couple of friends who are taking the class with me. The instructor wants the icing to be stiff icing. Yep...there are levels to icing. <<<This is why I'm taking the class. Not that I'm going to teach my readers to make stiff icing but it might be something like this...

The thought of Carter being a murderer weighed heavily on my mind. With each turn  of the mixer, my mind swirled with possibilities that I might not be able to help my friend from himself from this one. I poured in another couple of teaspoons of water into the icing to thin it out a little bit. It was much to stiff to use on the vanilla bean cupcakes that Carter liked. I had to take the  perfect dessert to him....

Totally just made that up, but you get the idea....

One of my friends came over to to bake her cake and make our icing because we were going to use the same colors to design our cakes during class. She was in charge of the icing. There's a recipe we use...but our icing was still to thin for icing a double cake. She swore she used the recipe.

In the middle of the night it dawned on me...I bet she put in tablespoons of water instead of teaspoons. When I saw her at the class, I asked her about the teaspoon/tablespoon thing. I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You can see the dark spots on my cake at the round and it's a little shiny....but it still turned out okay.

Have you ever added too much of this and  that to your cooking/baking?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Happy 18th!!

I just can't believe that my baby is 18 years old today. He's a spitfire full of life and has never met a stranger. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK!!!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Multitasking

I've always prided myself in being a GREAT multitasker! Is that a word?? It is now...
Anyways, I raised four boys, married, two dogs, a sweet Kitty Kappes, held down two jobs and kept a house (which involves all the cleaning and cooking and laundry and taxi service). I really took pride when people would say "I don't know how you do it."

I just did it and I never thought twice about it.

Now that I'm a weeeeee-bit older and almost empty nest, down to two dogs and only one job (writing), the house hold work has really slowed down, I can tell you that I'm not great at multitasking and I think back to that woman I was and think "how in the heck did I do that?"

My current work situation is editing three books. I've never ever had to do that. I've always written one book and edited it before I started a new one. Those were the beginning days of writing. I'm not complaining that I've got work. I'm beyond grateful, but three different books, three different dead people and three different murderers. I was beginning to get them mixed up.

I had to come up with something. As y'all know, I'm a huge planner and to-do list maker. My lists have vastly changed. Now my to-do list has times and task. It looks something like this:
6 a.m.-business stuff (blog, social media, emails etc)
7:30 a.m.- get ready for jazzercise and feed dogs
8-10 a.m.- jazzercise, shower, walk dogs and get ready for the work day
10-11 a.m.- edit one chapter (print) and type it in.
11-12 p.m.- work on development Kenni Lowry #3 edits
12- 1 p.m.- work on edits Kenni Lowry #4
1-2 p.m.- lunch and watch Days of Our Lives (stop judging!)
2 - 3 p.m.- write 2k words on Killer Coffee #2
3-4 p.m.- read
4 p.m- Eddy and kiddo home stop working

I have to literally lay out my day in order to keep me on track. Good news....I have a two month break in the summer, though I'll still be writing!

What about you? Do you multitask?





Monday, April 24, 2017

The Last One

Y'all know I've got four boys. I guess you could call them men because the fourth, Jack, will turn 18 this week. The rest are in college and out of the house during the year.

If you've been following me for long, you've seen stacks of shoes by the door, food upon food all over the house, nerf wars, cars, cars, and more cars, not to mention all the sporting events I've attended over the past twenty years.

Those days are starting to really slow down. Cody plays college soccer. This is his last year and unfortunately, he has his fourth concussion. He's going to have to forfeit his last year. I'm saddened for him, but we all know that his health is way more important.

Jack is graduating from high school, but his transition to college has been much easier because he already goes to the local university two days a week and high school three days a week. He's also the manager of Northern Kentucky University basketball team. Not only do we have season tickets (plus Jack gets a few tickets), my sister and her family have season tickets, and my parents. We're going to be busy going to their games.

But this weekend was the last prom I'll ever get one of my boys ready for. Jack and his buddies (girls included) decided to go as a group. It was so fun. Four years ago I took the top photo. The bottom photo was this weekend.

We've been blessed with Jack's group of friends. They are such good kids and all of them will be going their separate ways in the fall. They had a really good time. 


Sunday I had a lot of fun driving back to my hometown of Nicholasville, Kentucky for a baby shower for a very, very special dear to my heart. 
My sweet little Andrea. She's no longer a baby, but she was my neighbor when I was a teenager. I took her everywhere with me and her parents were so much fun. She even stayed in the sorority house with me in college as a bity little girl. Now she's going to be a mommy to a little boy, Lex Wilson Lutton.
Isn't that the cutest name? Andrea's middle name is Wilson. It's a family name and it's so fitting. 



Just a little back story about her parents. When I was student teaching in college I had a small apartment in Lexington. I had zero furniture. They came to see me. The next day a moving truck showed up at my apartment. They felt so sorry for me that they went home and bought all new furniture and sent me their old furniture, which was in amazing shape! I still have the furniture to this day. 

Their generosity didn't stop there. They were always there to talk and they came to everything I ever did. So, Andrea is super special to me and it was so much fun to get to spend the day with my parents, Andrea, her parents and my long time friends. 

How was your weekend?


Friday, April 21, 2017

Do you know who Dave Ramsey is? He's a financial guru who believes in being debt free.

In 2003, I went to one of his conferences and went through Financial Peace University. Since then, I've lived debt free except for my house mortgage, but not much left on that, so it's exciting!

When I first met Dave, his daughter, Rachel Cruz, was a teenager. Since then, she's started to work for him and travel around the US doing a Marriage and Money conference. She was coming to my church. There were only 2k tickets and I got a couple immediately. The place sold out.

Since I've loved Dave Ramsey, I wanted to go see his daughter even though I'd already done the program she was teaching. I ended up buying her book because I just think she's the cutest. 


So I'm reading her book, Love Your Life Not Theirs. 

What are you reading?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

In Honor Of April

This week in baking class we had to bring a baked cake because we were going to work on icing and decorating using some of the methods we've learned.

The cake part is good for me. I can bake. It's the decorating and the knowledge that I need for research. If you don't know what research, I'm taking this baking class because I signed a new contract with Crooked Lane Publishing on the Southern Baking Mystery Series debuting in 2018.

I can bake and cook, but I don't know much about decorating...at least not a few weeks ago.


I was amazed at the technique my teacher taught me on how to make the icing very smooth. Bounty paper towels and Viva. Yep...you read that right! Once I got the icing on and around the cake using the rocking method with the spatula, you lay a Bounty paper towel on the iced cake and use a spatula to scrap over the paper towel. You pick the paper towel up and do it all over the cake and the sides. It makes the cake even but not without the Bounty paper towel impression. This is where the Viva comes in. You do the same technique with the Viva and it smooths out the Bounty impression...seriously cool. Seriously!!



Then the decoration. She had me pick out a picture. I picked a giraffe in honor of April and traced the outline with clear gel on a piece of parchment paper. I transferred the outline on the cake and that's how I could outline the giraffe in the yellow icing.

Now...I was supposed to do the star pattern in the middle of the giraffe like you'd see on a baby cake, but it didn't turn out that way so I used a paint brush instead.

I took it home. The decorating might not be perfect, but Brady ate it up!

Any baking tips you want to give me?


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