Thursday, November 7, 2013

IN TOUCH Holiday Edition 2013


The release of my first mystery STAGED TO DEATH is new!  This first novel in my Caprice De Luca mystery series is set in south central Pennsylvania in the fictional town of Kismet between York and Harrisburg.  Caprice is a home-stager who takes in stray animals, cares about her large Italian family and cooks for anyone she loves.  This series is a challenging lark for me to write and I'm loving it.

To celebrate the release of STAGED TO DEATH, I'm having a Facebook Launch Party on December 3, 2013 from 6 - 9 p.m.  If you'd like to attend, stop in at my author page on Facebook and "LIKE" it.  Then you can join in the fun.

I'll also be having a book signing on December 7, 2013 at Books-A-Million in the North Hanover Mall from 1 - 3 p.m.     

Recently I've formed a street team of readers who want to help me promote my mystery series.  If you're interested in joining, read about it and fill out the form on my mystery website at http://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com/team-caprice.html

In addition to Team Caprice, I've formed a Readers Group on Facebook with giveaways and chat.  To join, message me on Facebook or email me at Karen@karenrosesmith.com.

Right now, I'm actually working on book three in the mystery series and it will have a Valentine's Day theme.

I receive email every week asking if there will be a sequel to HER SISTER.  I'm happy to say that I'm plotting it now.  I hope to begin writing it in early winter.

Books in my SEARCH FOR LOVE series are now available in print.  ALWAYS DEVOTED, ALWAYS HER COWBOY, CASSIDY'S COWBOY, as well as HER SISTER are available in print, e-book and audio book.  I hope to have NATHAN'S VOW in print early in the new year.   

Recently I also had the pleasure of touring a wolf sanctuary. Though these amazing creatures are not around MY house, I will be visiting them again this month for a private tour. I suspect besides learning about them and their care, I could be using info I gather in an upcoming mystery.


This is the time of year when I cook rather than garden.  I've created an original recipe for the celebration of STAGED TO DEATH's release.  Here it is: 


Caprice's Choco Chunks and Chips Cookies!

1/2 cup salted butter softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz milk chocolate (I use two 3 oz Dove bars broken into small pieces or chunks.  These bars break or cut up easily.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixer, cream softened butter and peanut butter.  Mix in brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamed together.  Add eggs and mix well.  Add cinnamon and vanilla.  Add baking powder and baking soda.  Blend well.  Add 2 cups of flour, a quarter cup at a time with mixer on low speed, constantly scraping bowl.  Stir in the other cup of flour, a quarter cup at a time, by hand until completely blended.  Stir in chocolate chips and chunks.

Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and press down slightly with palm of hand.  (I usually put 12 cookies on one cookie sheet.)

Bake 11 - 12 minutes until golden brown and set.  (The type of cookie sheet you use can affect the baking time.  Darker cookie sheets bake faster.)

Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit a minute on a cool surface.  Remove from pan.

Recipe makes about 30 - 36 cookies.  Let cool until the chocolate hardens.  Unless you eat all of them gooey warm!


Our inside cats have settled into a routine and sisterly friendships over a year after Zoie Joy joined the family.

Ebbie enjoying a leisurely sunbath!
London snoozing under (or should I say OVER) the watchful eye of Zoie!
Still mischievous Zoie
Also around our house, we have a few feral cats.  Four at last count are visiting our feeder.  Since we took away the patio planters, we've utilized hay bales as a barrier against the wind as the temperatures drop.  We also have feral shelters the cats can use when they need them.  Two near the house have heat pads.  This one in a side garden is for the cats who don't want to get too close but who need our protection.

Feral Cat Shelter in our yard


 Feral Cat Feeder on our patio


The prize this month is a Micro Boom Speaker.  I just love mine!  If you have a smart phone, an Ipad or an Android device that is blue-tooth ready, you can use this little speaker that sounds like a boom box!!!  It's about 2 1/4 inches high and round.  Wireless, it's easy to take anywhere to have a terrific sound listening to an audiobook or music.  With this prize you will also win an e-book copy of ALWAYS HER COWBOY.

Use the button on the right to enter the contest.  Please only one entry per email address.  They are sorted.  The contest ends December 31 at midnight EST.  Winner will be notified by January 15 and will have to email me his or her snail mail address.  If winner does not respond by midnight January 31 2014, a new winner will be drawn.  THE CONTEST IS OPEN TO US/CANADA WINNERS ONLY.  

Good luck!  Have a wonderful holiday season...and a happy new year.

Don't forget to drop by my blog CATS, ROSES...AND BOOKS!

For excerpts, short stories, bio and booklist go to Karen's Romance Website

Click here for Karen's Mystery Website

©2013 Karen Rose Smith