Plates of Summer Goodness

So it’s August and the hottest of several hot months here in my corner of Texas. To say that we are tired of 100 degree days is an understatement. But this time of year the markets are brimming with our favorite summer veggies and lately I’ve been making summer veggie plates for dinner. Last week the okra looked good, and the corn so I made fried okra with corn on the cob, and simmered a batch of collard greens. It took me back to the summers of my childhood when my parents made a huge garden every year. There was always something good from the garden at every meal…cream peas, tomatoes, green beans, and always luscious tomatoes that tasted good still warm from the sun with just a sprinkle of salt to bring out the flavor.

Yesterday I got some very nice looking zucchini and some turnip greens that will become tonight’s dinner served along with a platter of sliced heirloom tomatoes, a pitcher of iced tea and watermelon for dessert.

Easy chocolate muffins

Easy chocolate muffins

However, even these plates of summer goodness can’t stop me from wishing for fall when it will be cool enough to bake again. Here is one of my favorite fall recipes–delicious chocolate chip muffins made with only three ingredients. This recipe makes a dozen muffins that are perfect for breakfast, or a mid morning coffee break, or tucked into the kids’ lunch boxes for school. I hope you enjoy:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 12 muffin tin with cooking spray or use paper liners. In a large mixing bowl combine one 16.5 oz box of chocolate cake mix with one 16 ounce can of pumpkin ( NOT the pie filling, just the plain pumpkin) and one cup of chocolate chips. Mix thoroughly, pour into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes or till the muffins test done. COOL COMPLETELY before attempting to remove from the pan.

Want to Win A Kindle? Come on to the party!

It’s giveaway time again, friends. The Very Official Fair Magnolias Blog Tour begins today, to be followed next month by an online author chat with me and my co authors, Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, and Elizabeth Musser. I’m interested to see how this is going to work since Elizabeth lives in Lyon, France! The time difference will mean she will be up really late taking part in the conversation. Anyway, our wonderful publisher is giving away a KIndle as part of the publication celebration. Even if you already have a Kindle,  maybe you’d like to win it to give as a gift.

AmongFairMagnolias1The party will be held on August 13th. All four of us will be reminding you of the date until you are sick of it, but please do come and chat, and invite your friends to attend as well. This will be my fourth Facebook author chat and it’s always a very fast  hour with trivia games and prizes and lots of fun.

Keep up with the latest here:

See you there!

It’s Official Publication Day for FAIR MAGNOLIAS

I”m so excited that the  Among the Fair Magnolias collection is officially published today. My co authors Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray and Elizabeth Musser and I had so much fun writing these four stories set across the Old South. And all of them just perfect for a long summer afternoon on the porch with a glass of lemonade, iced tea,( or the libation of your choice.)

AmongFairMagnolias1From a Tennessee plantation to a South Carolina sea island to a Texas ranch and a Georgia plantation, these four stories take you on a tour of our favorite region of the country. Our heroines may look different and have different challenges, but they all long for the same thing–a true and lasting love.All of us wish you a lovely summer wherever you are, and we hope you will fall in love right along with our four heroines: Abby, Savannah, Emily, and Nora.

If you have a chance to read Fair Magnolias, I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment here, or join me on Facebook.


Want Some Free Content?

If you’ve been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you know that July 14 marks the release of AMONG THE FAIR MAGNOLIAS, the novella collection I’ve co authored with Tamera Alexander, Elizabeth Musser and Shelley Gray. In an effort to spread the word about this new book, which has already received great reviews, our publisher has asked each of us to write some new additional content connected to the book that will be unlocked for free once the graphic has been shared 300 times on Facebook.

AmongFairMagnolias1We have passed the 200 share mark but we’d love it if you could pop over to my facebook page,, find the #FairMagnolias post and hit “share.”

Next up for me is A RESPECTABLE ACTRESS coming out in October, and then something totally different for next spring—a biographical novel for which I’ve just completed a research trip. I can’t wait till I can share the details and the pictures.  My publisher says this is the book I was born to write and I surely hope readers will agree.

Meantime I hope you will fall in love with Abby, Savannah, Emily, and Nora, the four heroines of Fair Magnolias, and with their fabulous heroes and that you’ll drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you.