Happy February and Happy Valentine's Day. Daffodils are already peaking through the cold ground in Atlanta! Our Georgia groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, did not see his shadow (early spring!) while Pennsylvania Punxsutawney Phil did (six more weeks of winter..sorry!)

So, while I will be (hopefully) enjoying spring soon here, Jan will be adapting to the Chicago chill as she and her husband head that way this month. But she will be continuing on with her Storyology Design after settling in with her relocation!

Jan is now selling beautiful items that won't be needed in their new place, so keep scrolling to see if you might be interested.

Also, don't miss your chance to vote on which cover for THE CAROUSEL TRAVELER appeals the most to you! Which cover do you think would encourage a reader to pause in Amazon scrolling and click on the book?

By giving your feedback, your name will be entered in the drawing for a free copy of the book when it is published!

Are you free the evening of February 18 and interested in meeting local authors in a free online event? Scroll below to RSVP for Hometown Novel Night!

I'm always on the hunt for fun holiday cookie recipes, and I found a tasty and gorgeous one from Preppy Kitchen to share with you.

Looking for a new mystery book series to keep you up reading until you know 'whodunit'? Let me introduce you to Mary Anne Edwards' Charlie McClung Mysteries!


Have a happy and healthy heart month!

Anne & Jan

PS-
Want to spread the Valentine love? Join me in donating to the American Heart Association in honor of or in memory of a special loved one. Click on the link at the end of the newsletter.

Ethan Allen lamp $25
Brass and Iron Firescreen $50
Northgate Leather Wall Hanging $30
Oil Painting $25
Henredon Table $30
Alabastar Lamp $30
Oil Painting $25
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO ATTEND
"STORIES OF THE HEART" VIRTUALLY - FREE!
Valentine Cookies

These show-stopping pink and white striped sugar cookies have a touch of sparkle thanks to some pink sanding sugar and make for a perfect Valentine's Day treat!

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
chill time30 minutes
Total Time27 minutes
Servings16 cookies
Calories139kcal
AuthorJohn Kanell

INGREDIENTS
  • 1  cup  unsalted butter 227g, unsalted, room temp
  • 1  cup  granulated sugar 234g
  • 2  eggs
  • 4  cups  all-purpose flour  500g, sifted
  • 3/4  cup  cornstarch 80g, sifted
  • 3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt 4g
  • 1  tablespoon  vanilla extract 15mL
  • 1/4  cup  pink sanding sugar 50g
  • few drops pink food coloring

Instructions
  • It's easiest to make two separate batches of cookie dough; one uncolored and one pink just use half the ingredients for each batch. You can however make a big batch of dry and a big batch of wet ingredients then divide in half using a scale, color one and mix.
  • In these instructions we will be making two batches starting with the uncolored batch.
  • Sift 2 cups flour, 40g cornstarch, and about 1/3 tsp salt into a large bowl then whisk to incorporate.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream 1/2 cup room temperature butter, and 1/2 cup sugar together.
  • Mix in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, then one egg to the sugar/butter mixture.
  • Add 1 egg to each sugar/butter mixture.
  • On low, mix in dry mixture until almost combined. Scrape the bowl down then mix once more until just combined.
  • Roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness then transfer onto a baking sheet and place in refrigerator to chill. I like to roll my cookie dough between two layers of plastic for ease of transfer and clean up.
  • Now it's time to make the pink batch. Repeat the above steps but add in a few drops of soft pink food coloring to the butter sugar mixture along with the vanilla.
  • Roll out as before and sprinkle about ¼ cup pink sanding sugar onto the pink batch. Give a gentle roll to press the pink sugar into the dough.
  • Cover with plastic, transfer to a baking sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes to firm up.
  • Once the dough has chilled use a ruler and a sharp knife to cut ½ inch strips of dough. Return to fridge while you work on the next batch.
  • Layer pink and white stripes so that they are touching.
  • Cover dough with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper then roll to create a seal. Transfer to the fridge to chill on last time.
  • Preheat to 375 degrees F.
  • Cut cookies with a heart shaped cutter.
  • Carefully lace cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes then allow to cool before enjoying.

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One of the great fortunes of being part of the Atlanta Writing Community is getting to know other local authors. I met Mary Anne Edwards through the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. I love book series and I love mysteries, and Mary Anne writes exactly what I love! She has six Charlie McClung Mysteries so far in her series, and each one tops the one before! You know you have chosen a great read when the one and only Hank Phillippi Ryan (if you've not read her books!...oh, you must) blurbs the author!
Hank writes "Fans of Nick and Nora, fans of Tracy and Hepburn—rejoice. You’ll love Marian and Charlie. The talented Mary Anne Edwards weaves a charming, entertaining and delightfully romantic tale of small-town deceit. It’s as if Agatha Christie wrote Hart to Hart—and happy readers will eagerly await the next page-turning puzzle.” ~Hank Phillippi Ryan - Anthony, Agatha, Mary Higgins Clark, and Macavity winning mystery author. Emmy-winning journalist.

If you enjoy listening to books, Brilliant Disguise is on audiobook, which is a brilliant way to read the first in the series - but warning: you will want to devour all the others!

Synopsis From Amazon:
Are you sure you could tell the difference between murder and suicide?
Having had more than enough of the big city, Detective Charlie McClung moves to a small town looking for a simpler life.
Turns out his first case is the most complicated of his career.
A young woman is found shot and while everyone is telling him suicide, his gut, and the dead woman’s beautiful neighbor, are telling him something quite different.
How far can he dig before he uncovers secrets never meant to be unearthed? Throw in a shady police chief and an unexpected love interest and McClung quickly finds himself with more trouble than he ever imagined.



ABOUT MARY ANNE

Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia for most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne listened to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January 2014. She released the next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth, soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, was released on June 30, 2017. Mary Anne released the sixth book, How Deep is the Darkness, on December 2, 2019, and is working on book seven, Complex Kid, with at least three more to follow.

Although Mary Anne is a middle-aged woman, she believes no matter how old you are, you should have fun. Don’t let anyone steal your joy by telling you you’re too old. The main female protagonist in the Charlie McClung Mysteries is an exciting snapshot of the author’s sensibilities.

Mary Anne and her husband of 40 years live in Smyrna, GA, with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is active in the Sisters in Crime and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.
CONNECT WITH MARY ANNE EDWARDS


AVAILABLE Amazon

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READ THE FREE
PREQUEL NOVELETTE

AN
EMBOLDENED KISS

When Mirabelle Montgomery visits Paris on an antique buying trip for her critically ill mother, she finds an aged note in a 1900 Paris Exhibition coin purse souvenir: Meet me at the Luxembourg Carousel —M.

On a whim, Mirabelle stops at the Carousel, where she is sent into its whirling time travel vortex. She becomes The Carousel Traveler, transported to 1900 Paris to alter a man’s destiny. But whose?

Weak and disoriented. Mirabelle accepts assistance from sexy yet secretive Jacques Thibaut, a disgraced former police detective accused of being a violent anarchist trying to overthrow the French government.

Fiery passion ignites between them, despite the clash of Mirabelle’s modern feminism with Jacques’ male superiority. Although he will not attempt to clear his name, Mirabelle believes she has found her man …but she has been sent to change his fate, not fall in love.

Proving Jacques innocent is the only way the Carousel portal will reopen, allowing Mirabelle to travel to the present and her mother. Yet, her return means that over a century will separate the lovers.
Unless…they become Carousel Travelers, together. 
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