2020 A Year to Remember!
Hello everyone! I hope you and your families are safe and well. I apologize for not keeping up my newsletter. It was hard to be creative while facing the challenges we’ve all had to endure. I have been reading some of my favorite authors this year. It’s like going home again. Robyn Carr does that for me! I love the Virgin River series. If you watch Netflix, season 2 is premiering on November 27th! I can’t wait. I also read RaeAnne Thayne. Her books are awesome, heartwarming stories. For those readers who love regency, Anne Gracie is another favorite. Her characters are so well developed and the heroines lead their men on a merry chase!
I’m putting the finishing touches on Plain and Fancy to send to The Wild Rose Press. If you like westerns, TWRP has a new western series coming out in December! The Wylder West that takes place in Wylder, Wyoming. I hope to submit a story for the series next year.
Since we all need a little comfort food right now, I’m including my mom’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies!
Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour ¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda ¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup butter, (1 stick) softened 2 large eggs
½ cup Crisco
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi- sweet chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, Crisco, granulated sugar,
brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a
time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until
golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Since I’m in the mood for nostalgia, I am also including a free short story about love the second time around.
Love the Second Time Around
Julie drove slowly down the tree lined streets of her hometown. She passed old Victorians, similar to her Grandmother’s and enjoyed the sounds of summer. The scent of fresh mown grass and soft breezes triggered memories of her teenage years here with her family.
She passed the park and white gazebo where, if the stories were true, more first kisses and pledges of love had been shared over the years. Jack, her high school sweetheart had pledged his love, then took it away when he left town.
She never knew what happened to him. Julie shook the painful memory away and focused on her future, a bread and breakfast in her Grandmother’s house. The old Victorian came into view and she smiled. It was just as she remembered.
Her realtor and best friend Marcia waved and rushed to her car. “Welcome home.”
“I can’t believe I’m really here.” Julie said, as Marcia hugged her and handed her the keys.
“Sorry, I can’t stay, I have another showing. An electrician is coming to give you an estimate on the electrical work you want done.”
“Thanks Marcia, we’ll get together soon and talk about old times.”
Julie unlocked the front door and stepped into a world filled with memories of slumber parties, first loves and hours that she spent with her Grandmother cooking and baking.
She ran up the staircase and checked each bedroom, making mental notes where she would need to make upgrades.
“Hello, anybody home?” A decidedly male voice spoke from below.
“Just a minute,” Julie said as she walked down the stairs. A tall man stood by the door. He looked familiar and she faltered on the last step.
“Jack is that you?” He was older now, his tanned face had more lines and his brown hair showed a little gray.
“Julie? I heard you had bought the place. I had to see for myself.”
She blushed, smoothed her hair, and smiled at her old boyfriend.
“You look beautiful, just as I remember.” Jack said.
“Thank you for the compliment, but I think you need glasses,” Julie laughed. “It’s been a long time.”
“Not that long, it seems like only yesterday.”
“I heard you got married.”
“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, how about you?”
“My husband died last year.” Julie said.
“Sorry for your loss.” Jack said quietly.
“Thanks.” Julie pointed to his clipboard. “Are you the electrician?”
He smiled that devilish smile she remembered so well, the years began to melt away.
Jack followed her through the house and made notes on his clipboard for the planned upgrades. He even made a few suggestions of his own. It was almost five o’clock when they were finished.
“Listen, I’ll be back in the morning to start work. I was wondering if you would have dinner with me tonight.”
Julie hesitated. “I’m kind of tired.”
“You have to eat and I bet you don’t even have any food in the house.”
“How did you know?”
“I remember from high school that when you were really focused on a project, you would forget to eat.”
“Well, I don’t do that so much anymore.” She laughed.
Jack smiled. “I’ll be back in an hour. We’ll go to Andy’s Place on the river.”
“Andy’s is still here?”
“Sure is. Andy’s son runs it and they have the same great food.”
“I’ll look forward to it.” Julie said as Jack left.
Julie put her hands to her face. An hour, what was I thinking? She ran for her suitcases and dragged them up to the bedroom. After a quick shower she put on makeup and brushed her hair. Julie chose a flowered sun dress, sandals and a sweater in case the evening got chilly.
She stood in front of the mirror and stared at her reflection and began to think she was crazy for accepting Jack’s invitation to dinner. But at that moment, Julie decided that this was a new beginning and she would follow it where ever it led.
An hour had passed and Jack had not arrived. Julie bit her lip. Had she been dreaming? Had he changed his mind, like he did years ago?
The sound of Jack’s truck banished her fears and she opened the door.
“You look beautiful.”
“Thank you. You clean up pretty well yourself.” Julie chimed in.
He drove them to Andy’s and over dinner they shared local gossip and stories about their families. It seemed like old times.
After dinner, Jack stopped at the park. They held hands as they walked to the gazebo. It was dark and they were alone. He kissed her.
Julie pulled back. “Jack, you’re moving way too fast.”
“No Julie, back when we were young, I didn’t know what I wanted, but now that I’m older, I’m hoping you’ll give me, give us, a second chance…at love.”