A Look Back, a Look Forward

News Flash: Ginny C is our lucky puzzle winner! Congratulations, Ginny, and please check your email.

Edith/Maddie writing from north of Boston, finally mostly ready for Christmas and looking forward to it. Read down for a giveaway!

How did it get to be nearly the end of the year already? My 2022 writing year was full and wild, with, um, two book releases plus a novella, three short story publications, three books and two short stories submitted, a new series begun, and a new historical mystery polished and sent to my agent. Whew! I worked hard, but since it’s my dream job, I (mostly) enjoyed every day at my desk.

I also got back into the writing world in person, attending Malice Domestic (and COVID), Bouchercon, and New England Crime Bake. At Malice, I was finally able to deliver my acceptance speech for Charity’s Burden winning Best Historical Novel in 2020 and pick up my Agatha teapot.

Library and bookstore events with real-live people were so fun, as was zooming into book groups and panels all over the country.

But that’s all old news, and I’m really looking forward to 2023. First up is the release of Four Leaf Cleaver at the end of January. It’s not too late to pre-order it as a gift for your bookish loved one! You can print out a gift certificate here.

Shortly after the release, Hugh and I take off for Puerto Rico to help my son John celebrate his marriage to his beloved Alexandra. I can’t wait!

Later in the year there will be more conferences, more panels, and more books.

My next release, Murder at a Cape Bookstore, Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #5, will be out at the end of August.

Isn’t that a fun cover? You saw it here first! The book is already up for preorder. As an illustration of how far ahead publishers work, last week my editor asked for cover ideas for #6, Murder at the Rusty Anchor, which I won’t even start writing until April!

And the Cece Barton Mysteries launch in the fall (more about that later).

But enough news. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the solstice, or something else, I wish you a warm, delicious, and book-filled holiday.

Readers: What’s your favorite winter holiday food or drink? I’ll send one commenter one of my last two Country Store Mysteries ten-book jigsaw puzzles.

76 Thoughts

  1. Happy Holidays! For some reason I used to enjoy Egg Nog, but not anymore. So I don’t really have a favorite winter drink. As for food, I don’t think my favorite food is geared towards a season.

    The best of 2023 for you!

    1. One of my favorites is a coffee we get from a local coffee roaster called Jingle Bells…it’s spiced vanilla. First and foremost it’s really good…but the name is so festive, it makes me want to drink it around this time of year. Although, I’d still drink it if it were just called ‘Spiced Vanilla’. I could see Robbie serving her own version of it at Pans ‘N Pancakes throughout the holiday season.

  2. It sure has been quite the busy year for you Edith. And it’s been great for your readers that you’ve had so many new works out in the world for us to read. Just wanted to say thank you again for the things you’ve done for me. Meeting in Amesbury, the other lunch during the year, the ARCs and the get well card are always appreciated along with the friendship!

    And I love the cover of MURDER AT A CAPE BOOKSTORE! No need to enter me into the giveaway though as I have the puzzle already.

    Merry Christmas and here’s to another new year filled with great stories with Robbie and Mac!

    1. So delicious! I’m hoping to enjoy eggnog with family and friends on the weekend – if the man downstairs proves to have a cold and not COVID (running out this morning to get a fresh rapid test for him).

  3. I love spiced cider, or just a hot spiced tea. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season! See you at Malice!
    kkcochran (at) hotmail (dot) come

  4. Merry Christmas Edith! I don’t have a particular food, but love to bake this time of year! Stay warm, and Happy New Year!

  5. Merry Christmas Edith! I don’t have a particular food, but love to bake this time of year. Happy New Year and enjoy Puerto Rico!

  6. Three cheers to you, Edith! That is a whale of a year. And I absolutely loved your speech at Malice.
    My go-to holiday drink is probably egg nog with a healthy splash of spiced rum. Holidays and the Islands all wrapped up together!

  7. Eggnog! Nothing like the first sip of eggnog of the season! So delicious. Happy Holidays!

  8. You’ve had quite the year! Congrats and best wishes for many more wonderful years and books. I love them all! Happy holidays!
    My favorite drink is definitely hot chocolate, with marshmallows. Food is probably cutout cookies and fudge, as it’s not something I tend to make at other times of the year.

  9. Honest I have several favorite holiday foods, but for sake or not boring everyone, I’ll only mention two.

    One of them is the mini – no bake fruitcakes my Mom use to make and I still do. They are everything you like in a fruitcake with all most dislike taken out. How can you go wrong with ground vanilla wafers mixed with melted marshmallows and eagle brand milk then folded in candied cherries and pineapple and lots of chopped pecans? Mom use to make them mini muffin size calling it portion control because they are so yummy.

    Second would be the Three Day Coconut Cake (and yes you have to make it three days ahead of time before eating it). Mom use to make a fresh coconut cake which meant cracking, peeling and then grating a fresh coconut. Plus the cake was all homemade. Great if you are young and have lots of strength. As Mom got older the harder it became to make. She found this recipe which is a great way to cheat on her original recipe. Imagine her delight to find frozen fresh grated coconut in the freezer section of the store. It’s also great because you make ahead of time leaving the fast paced time close to “the” day free for other things needing to be done. The longer the cake sets the better and moist it gets too. Here’s the recipe.

    Three Day Coconut Cake
    1 box of Duncan Hines Butter Cake mix
    3 pkgs of the fresh frozen coconut (freezer section at WalMart usually during holidays or Kroger year round) thawed
    8 ounces of sour cream
    2 cups sugar
    Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
    Recipe calls for 3 layers – this gal now used the 9 X 13” pan and then just split the cooled cake into two layers.
    Cool 10 minutes and then cool on racks.
    While cake is baking make the icing.
    Mix the sour cream and sugar stirring until sugar dissolves – DO NOT BEAT.
    Then stir in the thawed coconut and place in refrigerator until ready to ice cake.
    When cake has cooled spread icing onto cake already on cake plate that has a sealed cover like Tupperware. Top with layer(s) and finish icing. Cover with lid, seal and place in refrigerator for a minimum of three day before eating. I check once a day and if any liquid comes off cake I spoon back to top of cake. If you do the sheet cake with two layers, you can also put first layer back in pan, put half the icing mixture, top with top layer and then top with remaining icing. Doing it this way you don’t need to check it daily. Just put in refrigerator and forget it for 3 days.

    After three days, you will never know there is sour cream in the icing and it’s the best moistest cake you will eat. It will just continue to get better. It will never dry out. The longer it sits the better it gets IF you can have it last long enough to find that out. It also freezes very well.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  10. Congratulations on a great year, Edith and it sure sounds like the pace isn’t going to get slower for you. I’m always up for a nice cup of hot chocolate, sometimes with a shot of butterscotch schnapps.

  11. Thank you, Edith/Maddie for sharing so much of yourself with us readers who are entertained over and over with your brilliant writing! Thank you also for visiting my book club via Zoom in November. We will be talking about you for months to come about how special you are, and how much we learned from you! I just finished Christmas Scarf Murder and really enjoyed the plot of your novella! Fortunately, there are more adventures to read coming up! Favorite Fall Holiday treat? It is eggnog for me…Merry Christmas, a Prolific New Year, and congratulations on your son’s wedding in Puerto Rico!!! Buen Viaje!

  12. Good grief, woman, when do you have time to breathe? I can’t even keep up reading all your books. How do you find time to write them all? But I love every minute of reading your output, dear.

    Favorite holiday dish? My own homemade pumpkin pie. Of course, I could make it anytime of year, but it’s a specialty at our house made only for holidays and our daughter’s birthday.

  13. I love all things peppermint and eat way too much of it this time of year. (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

  14. Wow, talk about prolific! Well done.

    Fav winter drink? Hum, I’d say bourbon egg nog – hot or cold. One of those is not egg nog, but a Tom and Jerry. Don’t remember which one though. They are both yummy.

  15. Happy Holidays! My favorite holiday meal is pork schnitzel and spaetzel and my favorite drink would be coffee with Bailey’s.

  16. Happy holidays! We just returned from celebrating our son’s wedding in sunny Florida! My favorite winter food is Christmas dinner: beef tenderloin, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, and seven layer salad. Whether for two or twenty, that is our menu!

  17. I’m with Mark, all things peppermint! I also enjoy a cup of hot spiced tea, with lots of orange and cinnamon flavor and if it comes with a tasty spritz cookie or two, all the better! No need to enter me in the giveaway. Thanks for all the great reading this past year! Love the cover of the new book.

  18. My maternal grandmother’s Santa cookies and husband’s eggnog are favorites.

  19. Definitely eggnog! I look forward to drinking it every year! Thanks so much for the chance!

  20. My favorite food is still turkey or ham and all the trimmings. My favorite drink besides my VO and finger is Evan Williams Egg Nog. I work so many puzzles, but I never win yours and I really want one! Thanks. Feliz Navidad!

  21. I love Seven Layer cookies and sugar cookies at the holidays. I drink iced tea year around. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas. God bless you.

  22. The favorite beverage is Glogg. Swedish hot drink that involves red wine, vodka or akavit and slivers of almonds and raisins. When it is all hot, you put sugar cubes in a strainer (metal only) , light the liquid on fire and pour the flaming glogg over the sugar cubes. Remember to turn off the lights for the full experience. After it goes, serve in cups with some almonds and raisins in each one. SKOL!

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