Newsletter – October 2015


Murder at Peacock MansionArson, a bad beating, and a recluse who claims someone is trying to kill her all collide in this third Blue Plate Café Mystery with Kate Chambers.

Torn between trying to save David Clinkscales, her old boss and new lover, and curiosity about Edith Aldridge’s story of an attempt on her life, Kate has to remind herself she has a café to run. She nurses a morose David, whose spirit has been hurt as badly as his body, and tries to placate Mrs. Aldridge, who was once accused of murdering her husband but acquitted. One by one, Mrs. Aldridge’s stepchildren enter the picture. Is it coincidence that David is Edith Aldridge’s lawyer? Or that she seems to rely heavily on the private investigator David hires? First the peacocks die…and then the people. Everyone is in danger, and no one knows who to suspect.

Publication date: November 11th, 2015

Want a sneak peek of this book? Here, enjoy the first chapter: Chapter One – Murder at Peacock Mansion


It’s almost here!

Texas is Chili Country
Published by Texas Tech Press

It’s almost chili weather so it’s time to bone up on the history, folklore and cooking of chili. Texans love to eat, and one dish they can’t get enough of is chili—so much so that chili con carne is Texas’s state meal. This seemingly simple staple of Texan identity proves to be anything but, however. Beans or no beans? Beef, pork, or turkey? From a can or from scratch?

Texas Is Chili Country is a brief look at the favored fare—its colorful history, its many incarnations, and the ways it has spread both across the country and the world. The history includes chuckwagon chili, the chili queens of San Antonio, the first attempts at canned chili, the development of chili societies and the subsequent rivalries between them, and the rise of chili cook-offs.

And what would a book about chili be without recipes? There are no-fat recipes, vegan recipes, and recipes from Mexican-American cooks who have adapted this purely American food. Some have been tried, but many are taken on faith. Recipes are included from state celebrities such as Ladybird Johnson, Governor Ma Ferguson, and chili king Frank Tolbert.

Available October 15th in your local bookstore or on several digital platforms, including Amazon


We’d Rather Be WritingMost people know, from my books and blogs, that I love to cook, so I’m pleased and proud be be part of another writers cookbook project. Much as I love it, cooking often takes up a huge chunk of time. In We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips you’ll find easy, nutritious recipes for meat, poultry, pasta, soup, stew, chili, and vegetarian meals. All of the recipes require a minimum of prep time, freeing you up to read, exercise, garden, craft, write, spend more time with family, or whatever.

Thanks to Lois Winston for coming up with the idea and pulling it all together in time for great Christmas gifts. The authors who contributed to this book are a creative and resourceful bunch when it comes to carving out time from their busy lives. So in addition to timesaving recipes, within the pages of this book you’ll find timesaving and organizational tips for other aspects of your life. And if you happen to be a writer, you’ll also find a plethora of great ideas to help you organize your writing life.

Available now for pre-order on Amazon.

E-book delivers November 1; print to follow.


Changing Horses in Mid-Stream

With great regret I report that the publisher who gave me my break and encouraged and fostered my mysteries is closing the doors. As of November 1, all Turquoise Morning Press titles will come down from retail sites. I plan to put all eight of my titles back up, probably staggering them a month or two apart—and doing mostly e-books, although I know the last Kelly O’Connell, Desperate for Death, has never appeared in print, and I’ll fix that. It’s a favorite of mine. All books will be under my Alter Ego Publishing imprint.

The first one I want to re-launch is Murder at the Blue Plate Café. If you haven’t read it, you might want to read it quick before Murder at Peacock Mansion, third in the series comes out. The characters are continuing, though you can read each book alone and not feel lost.

Other than that…

Life goes on. I can’t believe it’s October already, but my local grandson is well settled into fourth grade, my friends and neighbors are all around and usually come for supper on Sundays, and life is good. I’ve been troubled with a weak leg and hip, but I’m sure we’ll find out it’s something minor and easily correctible.

I’m still cooking as often as I can—latest adventures were lasagna soup and mushroom stroganoff—both outstanding if I do say so. I love to prowl through food magazines, find new recipes I want to try. My current fascination is with figs—just as they are about to go out of season.

My appetizer suggestion for the day: split figs in half, top with crumbled goat cheese, drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar and broil. So good.

Keep reading, folks, and have a happy Fall with a prank-filled Halloween and a bounteous Thanksgiving, as we thank God for all his gifts to us.

Want to keep up with me? Read Judy’s stew.

And thanks for being my friends.

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