Welcome back Nancy Coco – Summer Festivals and a Champagne Fudge Recipe

By Liz, happy to welcome our friend Nancy Coco back to the blog! She’s got an amazing recipe for you today – take it away, Nancy!

One of my fondest memories of growing up in Michigan is of going to the summer church festivals. There would be rides in the parking lot and inside the school were different games in every classroom. The games were the duck pond where for a set number of tickets you got a chance to grab a rubber ducky and read the number off the bottom and find out what prize you won. I never could hit a balloon at the dart toss, but sometimes I’d get lucky at the ring toss. Still my all-time favorite was the cake walk. 

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

I can still here my dad say, “Cakenicklechance” in a Polish accent. It was what the ladies would call out to get you to join the cakewalk. A nickel a chance to win a homemade cake – all you had to do was end up on the right number when the music stopped.

Mackinac Island has some wonderful festivals. For my latest Mackinac Island book, “A Midsummer Night’s Fudge” I envisioned a midsummer night festival to help raise money for the health clinic. But it’s  no cake walk, as Allie McMurphy discovers the festival Director floating dead in the water. Soon it appears other members of the committee are targeted, and she is on the lookout for a killer.

What festivals happened in your neighborhood? Did you have a favorite festival event or game? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of the book. And for celebratory fun, here is a boozy fudge recipe.

Champagne Fudge


3 cups of dark chocolate chips

1 cup of heavy cream

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup of champagne (sparkling wine – fizzy or flat will work)


Butter an 8×8 inch pan. In microwave, microwave on high for 1 minute the chocolate chips, cream and pinch of salt. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds and stir until melted. Remove and whisk in the champagne. Pour into pan and cool. The fudge should spring back slightly. (Hint: If it is too wet, put back into a bowl and add powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time until firmer consistency.) Pat back into pan. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Enjoy!

The tenth in the Nancy Coco Candy-coated mysteries, “A Midsummer Night’s Fudge” is out May 24, 2022. For more information, go to www.nancyjcoco.com.

USA Today Bestselling Author, Nancy J Parra AKA Nancy Coco AKA Nell Hampton is the author of over 30 published novels which include five mystery series: The Oregon Honey-comb Mystery Series (Kensington), The Candy-Coated Mysteries (Kensington), The Kensington Palace Mystery Series (Crooked Lane), The Wine Country Tours Mystery Series (Crooked Lane) The Gluten-free Baker’s Treat Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), and The Perfect Proposal Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime).  Her writing has been called witty and her protagonists plucky by reviewers around the world.  Nancy is a member of Sisters in Crime and loves to hear from readers. 

40 Thoughts

  1. Welcome, Nancy! My town had the Camellia Festival, with floats made by various scout troops and youth groups. I was in the parade for twelve years, starting with being selected for the royal court in the first grade! Then marching with Girl Scouts and with the high school drill team. Great memories.

  2. I so need to catch up on this series. I was just reading the fudge recipe and thinking it sounds easy and then I read the part that if it’s too wet. Our favorite aunt would make us fudge every time we visited or she visited us from Ohio even as adults. Sometimes it was what we called runny and we would just get us some spoons and eat the fudge that way. Still yummy.

  3. Fun and excellent writing, Nancy! I understand why you’ve been called “witty.” Add brilliant descriptions to your bio. I’m looking forward to reading more of your books.

  4. Oh, this book sounds like so much fun, Nancy. I think my all time favorite festival was about 40 years ago in a small town west of Boston, It was an apple fest and there were so many great foods and activities.

  5. When my kids were little, I was in the schools PTA, and we had a school fair with that same duck game! The little ones really liked that. Then I brought my grandkids to a local church’s autumn fest where they had the whole church designed as a giant Candyland game with colored paper for the walkway and each room decorated to be a part of the game. That was so unique and cute! Your new book sounds great!

  6. Mackinac Island is on my bucket list ever since I saw the Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie – now I have another reason to go!

    As a child of the 1950s/1960s local festivals are a part of my DNA. We had parades for every holiday that marched through our mile square town and most included festivals. My favorite was the 4th of July. We had the usual fireworks at night, but during the day the town’s largest park turned into a carnival complete with rides, food booths, judged food contests, and pet contests. It was a magical time.

  7. Not only are we the Folk Music Capital, we are a small town gears towards tourist with several festivals each and every year. This year we kicked off the year off with the Folk Festival in April, followed by Iris Festival and Cowboy Music and Arts Festival in May, and still to come is the Country Blues and BBQ in June, the Mountain View Mountains Music and Motorcycles in August, and the Bean Festival and Championship Outhouse Races in September. That’s all in between two annual Bluegrass Festivals and special events for things like banjos, guitar and Dulcimer. Even when there isn’t a festival going on, there’s music everywhere from the Pickin’ Park, the Courthouse Square and concert venues.

    As for me, my favorite is the Bean Festival and Outhouse Races. Not only is it fun, but folks come from around the world to eat beans and watch outhouses racing down the strip. It’s a fun time for all that attend. It’s also when things start to slow down for the year for the town.

    Thank you for the yummy sounding Champagne Fudge recipe. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “A Midsummer Night’s Fudge”! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  8. Welcome back! When we lived in Ohio there seemed to be a festival every weekend. The most memorable was the Sauerkraut Festival. It was smelly — but the food was delicious. There was even sauerkraut fudge!

    1. OMG, Sherry, I need to think about Sauerkraut fudge- I love sauerkraut!

  9. Champagne fudge sounds delicous, I’ll have to try it. Would love to win A copy of your book!

  10. Congratulations on your book! Thr recipe sounds delicious! Can’t wait to read your book.

  11. FUN-tastic Nancy! I enjoy your great books, but am not done with the series yet…so glad there is more fun reading to come! My favorite ‘festival’ is the world renowned Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thet is the festival to top any festival. I hope you have an opportunity to be a part of it…because you can’t just be a spectator 😉 Thank you for sharing your writing talents with us eager readers! luis at ole dot travel

    1. Oh, I’ve always wanted to go and experience Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro –

  12. I wouldn’t call it my favorite festival, but I did enjoy the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, PA. Even the mushroom ice cream was good!

  13. I’d never seen a cake walk until the last few years. My church does this as part of their Harvest festival. I never enter since I can’t eat a whole cake by myself. (Well, I could, but I shouldn’t.)

    1. Mark, as a kid I imagined winning a whole cake just for me! LOL

  14. I remember entering our cat in the local cat show that was held on the playground of the grammar school. Our cat was just an ordinary breed, but he was special to me!

  15. Welcome, Nancy! I don’t remember the church I attended growing up having a festival, but my parish now has one. It always draws a ton of people. Games, food, flea market – what’s not to love?

  16. My favorite festival is my towns Pumpkin festival. I know, I know, pumpkin everything! I do look forward to all the pumpkin food, desserts and drinks. All the pretty pumpkins I bring home is fun!

    Thanks for the chance!

  17. I love this series! I can really picture Mackinac Island when reading the books and smell the fudge in the air. Can’t wait to read “A Midsummer Night’s Fudge”. My favorite festival is the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan.

    1. Oh, goodness, Dianne – I remembering singing this song in elementary school: Tulips are blooming in Holland…Michigan. Tulips bright colored and gay. Dance on the scrubbed streets of Holland…Michigan. When tulips bloom in May!

  18. Congratulations on the new book! Growing up, my town didn’t have festivals, but each elementary school had a Halloween carnival every year. I like the duck pond because everyone won something.

  19. As soon as you mentioned the cake walk, I remembered the turtle cake I won at our church festival one summer when I was a little girl. Someone took a round cake (single layer) and put cupcakes next to it for legs and a head. And frosted the whole thing green. I thought that was the best thing ever. I carried it all the way home so carefully! Congratulations on the new book!

  20. We have the Lucas County Fair. We used to have the Lagrange Street Polish Festival. There is the Greek American Festival, the German American Festival to name a few. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

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