Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bracing for the Holidays





Tiffany Kedrowski blogs for

The Paws and Claws Mysteries

by Krista Davis




Every year my grandmother chooses some horrible place for our family to celebrate Christmas. Seriously. Imagine the shabbiest motel with dusty tinsel on the registration desk. My mom wants to stay home, and I totally agree with her. But we're not that lucky. This year we're going to the Sugar Maple Inn on Wagtail Mountain. From what I gather, Wagtail and the inn might be a cut above our usual destinations. But there's a problem.

We're gathering in Wagtail to celebrate the engagement of my cousin Norma Jeanne to some guy from Wagtail. The big meeting of the families. Ugh. Norma Jeanne is the pretty one. The one who wears stylish clothes and spends hours getting dressed. As long as I can remember, my mother has been after me to be more like Norma Jeanne. But I'm not interested in being a fashionista!

Since the moment Norma Jeanne announced her engagement, my mother has had wedding fever. Can you imagine anything worse? I know what I'm in for this Christmas. It will be a nightmare!

So here's what I'm thinking. I'll invite the guy I've been dating! Mom won't be able to criticize my lack of a boyfriend if one shows up for the holidays. Right? What do you think? Do I invite him to come to Wagtail and spend Christmas with us? Or is that a bad idea? For once, I might just steal the show!

NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING is coming in one week! Look for it on November 7th. To celebrate, Krista is giving away TWO copies. Leave a comment with your email address to enter. Good luck!

COLOR ME MURDER (new series coming in February)
THE DIVA COOKS UP A STORM (coming in May)

KristaDavis.com
mysteryloverskitchen.com
www.facebook.com/KristaDavisAuthor
pinterest.com/kristadavisbook
twitter.com/kristadavis

Monday, October 30, 2017

Summer Fun and I’m missing it!


Image result for santa at the beach

By Jackie O’Reilly from the Year Round Christmas mysteries by Vicki Delany

Pooh!  It’s Christmas in July. Santa Claus is coming to Rudolph, New York, to start his annual vacation by the lake, and the town’s putting on a boat parade.  Once the flotilla arrives at the beach, Santa will set up his chair and meet with kids. The whole town will be out for the occasion: musical acts on the bandstand, an ice cream stand, craft and baking tables, games for kiddies. 


Fun fun fun.

Where will I be? Stuck here, in Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, all alone.  Even Merry, the store owner, won’t be here. She’s acting the role of Mrs. Claus. She gets to ride on a boat, and play dress up at the beach, and flirt with Alan Anderson, Santa’s head toy maker.

While I have to work!

It’s not fair. Kyle, my boyfriend, is working at the ice cream stand. I bet he looks really cute in his uniform.

No one’s going to be interested in doing any shopping, not with all the activity going on down at the park. If I sneak out, Merry will never know.

No one’s going to come into the shop.

Find out if someone does come into Mrs. Claus’s Treasures when no one is there in Hark the Herald Angels Slay, the third Year Round Christmas mystery from Vicki Delany, coming November 28 from Penguin Random House.  


Vicki would like to give one lucky reader a copy of the new book. Please leave a comment below to enter. Contest closes November 2nd. US entries only please. 

Vicki Delany is the author of the Year Round Christmas series, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series. Please visit www.vickidelany.com, and sign up for newsletter info and contests at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Those Spooky Toys--and a GIVEAWAY.

Series: Vintage Toyshop Mysteries
Author: Barbara Early

Liz McCall here…

When you think of toys, the mind naturally goes to Christmas and all those shiny presents under the tree. But at Well Played, our vintage toyshop, we stock any number of toys and games perfect for a spooky Halloween.

Here’s my list of the top five toys guaranteed to trigger nightmares in those little brats who toilet-paper your trees.


1. My sister-in-law Cathy might disagree with me, but you could put just about any doll, but especially those with chipped faces and not-quite-focused eyes, onto the list. Then again, if the eyes focused, that could be creepier.

2. Santa. Santa is scary. Ask any toddler who has been unwittingly shoved into his lap. You could hide any serial killer under that white beard. (Even if his eyes don’t glow demonic red.) This one was likened to a “bad Christmas Eve over Chernobyl” in MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS.


Musical Jolly Chimp1
3. The cymbal monkey, otherwise known as Jolly Chimp. If you’ve read DEATH OF A TOY SOLDIER, you know I’ve nominated this one as the toy most likely to be inhabited by a hoard of demons. It probably didn't help that ours had a slippery catch and started moving on its own. Happy to say I found a home for this one.











4. Any ventriloquist dummy, but counts double if it has some age and is wearing a toddler’s vampire costume. (Say hi to Charlie. If Charlie says hi back, I’m out of here.)













5. More specifically in the doll category…moving dolls, especially if there’s maniacal laughter involved.


And yes, we have all these currently in our shop, Well Played, and I think you should come and buy them…mainly so I don’t have to look at them anymore. (Shudder.)



Read more about Liz McCall—toy shop manager and amateur sleuth—in the Vintage Toyshop mysteries!

Death of a Toy Soldier (now in paperback!)


Murder on the Toy Town Express (recently released!)




GIVEAWAY: Have any children’s playthings ever given you the willies?


I’ll be giving a Kindle copy of your choice of either Death of a Toy Soldier or Murder on the Toy Town Express to one commenter. Please include your email address in a safe format, ie, myname (at) provider (dot) com. Winner chosen at random. Giveaway closes at noon on November 1st.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Craft Retreat Dreaming Plus a Giveaway!

By Cora Chevalier
Macrame Murder
Cora Crafts Mysteries
By Mollie Cox Bryan

There’s just something about the fall that soothes me. Being in Indigo Gap, N..C., surrounded by the mountains is breathtaking. Gazing out over the mountains is like looking at a colorful quilt some days. When I think of the fall, I also think of hot apple cider, pumpkin pie, and all things cinnamon. Yum.

This year, I’ve been dreaming about craft retreats. Of course, I have my own, here at Kildare House. But I’ve been to a few others as a guest teacher—and I’ve also heard about some amazing ones. So I decided to compile a bucket list of craft retreats.

The Makerie (http://www.themakerie.com) is housed in Colorado, but the teachers travel to other places across the country. Like our craft retreat, they invite guest teachers and focus on a different craft with each retreat. They just held a weaving retreat—which I would have loved to attend. (Learning to weave is on that bucket list of mine!)

Art & Soul Inspirational Mixed Media Craft Retreats (https://www.artandsoulretreat.com)  are held all over the country. Week-long retreats, attended choose from a wide array of classes and workshops—all surrounding the mixed media topic. Some of their classes included making studio prayer flags, feather collages, and  a Day of the Dead Kachina doll. Sound like fun, right?

Speaking of dreaming. The Crafty Retreats in France, are high-end “luxury” craft retreats. From their website “offers unique residential quilting, felting and textile art courses to crafting and sewing enthusiasts in the ultimate of inspirational locations. Situated in a mountainous and scenic part of Central France, our holiday retreats give you much more than the chance to be creative.” I’m in, how about you? (http://www.craftyretreats.com)

 The Bluebird Lane Retreat ( http://bluebirdretreat.com ) is in Mounds, Oklahoma. You can take your group of crafty friends there and retreat in a space just made for crafting. They also offer massages.  From time to time, they also have classes and workshops on things like quilting and scrapbooking. 

 Squam Workshops http://www.squamartworkshops.com ) is in Providence, RI, and offers quite a growing community of crafters and artists. Their retreats are taught by different teachers each time—some of the crafts include modern macramé,  making shadow box assemblages, and printmaking. Sound amazing, doesn’t it?

 The trouble is when you are a busy craft retreat owner yourself, it’s difficult to find he time to visit any of these other retreats. The best I can hope for is an invitation to teach a class. Have you ever been to a craft retreat?

Here's something I made recently and you can win, along with a mini-sewing kit, and a signed copy of Macrame Murder. Click here to enter. 





Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries with edge and romances with slow, sweet burn. She’s just published the third book in her new Cora Crafts Mystery Series: Macrame Murder. The first book in the series, Death Among the Doilies,  was selected as "Fresh Fiction Not to Miss" and was a  finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award. The second book, No Charm Intended, was named a “Summer 2017 Top 10 Beach Read” by Woman's World. She also wrote the Agatha-award nominated Cumberland Creek Mysteries. Several of the books the series were short-listed for the Virginia Library People's Choice Award. She makes her home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Va., where she works as a researcher and fact checker and writes in the early morning hours. Visit her and sign up for her newsletter at molliecoxbryan.com. Or follow her on Twitter @molliecoxbryan, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/molliecoxbryanauthor/, Pinterest or Instagram.  








Friday, October 27, 2017

A Late Frost Winner!

Thank you all for your comments about being a newcomer. I'm with you: my family moved when I was 3, 5, 7, 10, and 13, then I went to college, and after that I lived in North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. So I was often the new kid. That may explain why many of my books are about a woman who finds herself in a new place and has to struggle to make a home for herself.

The winner of a copy of A Late Frost is Mary Preston. 

Trick or Treat, in Jewel Bay! @LeslieBudewitz


Trick or Treat, and I am not a mean old witch!
By Sally Grimes, from the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

That snooty Erin Murphy thinks I only love Halloween because my shop, Puddle Jumpers Clothing and Toys, sells costumes for kids. And I admit, it’s a profitable time of year—did you know Americans spend more than 9 billion dollars on Halloween? That’s billion, with a b. I don’t mind getting my share, and neither does she, selling bags of Montana-grown popcorn with recipes for caramel corn and popcorn balls. And her her pumpkin spice blend—I sneak a bit into my coffee this time of year.

She thinks I’m a grumpy old woman who can’t stand to see anyone have fun. Not true.

Not true at all.

And besides, I’m younger than her mother, and she would never call Fresca old.

In fact, Halloween is what got me designing and sewing kids’ clothing. When my Sage was a toddler, I made her the most adorable butterfly costume with folding wings so she could wear them and sit. Other mothers started asking me to make costumes, and before you know it, I opened my own shop. Butterflies, fairies, princes, Superheroes—you name it, I’ve made it. Trends come and go. Zombies this year, pirates the next. Witches are perennial favorites. For the tiny ones, pumpkins and ghosts are popular. I thought my Mr. Potato Head design a hoot, but no one bought it. The strawberry costume made grandparents smile, but the kids thought it was dumb. Watching the children trick or treat through the village shops on Halloween afternoon is one of the highlights of the year for me. I know they only come to my shop for the candy – I always hand out full-sized Snickers bars -- but I don’t even mind.

Now Sage has her own little one, Olivia. Wait until you see the costume I made for her. Come on down to the village and join the fun.

And we’ll just see what that Erin Murphy does when my shop is more popular than hers.

What do you love most about Halloween?

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dutch Treat

by Monica Albertson
from Peg Cochran's Cranberry Cove series

It was early when I woke up.  The floor beneath my bare feet was cold and when I looked out the window, I saw that snow had dusted the bushes, trees and ground.  I was excited because today the VanVelsen sisters were showing me how to make oliebollen.  Oliebollen are a Dutch treat usually eaten on New Years.  They are a round, fried doughnut and are delicious.

“Hello, dear,” Hennie VanVelsen said when I arrived on their doorstep.

Gerda and Hennie are identical twin sisters, and I pride myself on the fact that I can now tell them apart.

Gerda was already in the kitchen setting out the supplies we would need on the counter.

“Hello, dear,” she said, in a voice so similar to her sister’s it was like an echo. 
“We’re going to start by breaking up our compressed yeast and stirring in the warm milk.”

Gerda broke the yeast into a bowl while I watched, then she grabbed a small pan off the stove and poured in the warm milk.

“Next we’ll sift our flour and salt into a bowl,” Hennie said, taking up the task.  “And now that that’s done, we’ll add our yeast mixture and an egg.  See what a nice smooth batter it makes?”

I nodded as I gave the batter an experimental stir.  “What now?”

“Now we add our fillings,” said Gerda with a twinkle in her blue eyes.  “That’s my favorite part.”

She picked up a bowl filled with currants and raisins and added them to the batter.

“Can you give that a stir, dear?”

When I finished stirring, Gerda and Hennie both peered into the bowl.

“That’s perfect,” Hennie said. “Now we’ll cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place to rise for an hour.  In the meantime, would you like a cup of tea?”

Hennie made the tea while Gerda sliced some pound cake and put it on a plate.  The hour went by quickly as we enjoyed our snack and the sisters told me tales of Cranberry Cove back in the early days.

Finally it was time to finish the oliebollen.

Gerda filled a heavy pot with oil and turned the burner on underneath.

“You take two spoons like this,” Hennie said, demonstrating.  “And drop the batter into the hot fat.  They’re done when they’ve turned a nice golden brown.”

“Then you drain them on paper towels,” Gerda added, “and sprinkle with plenty of powdered sugar.”

“They’re best eaten hot,” Hennie said, “but be careful you don’t burn your fingers.”

The oliebollen were delicious, and I can’t wait to try making them myself.  I couldn’t help wondering how they would taste with some dried cranberries inside?

Did you learn how to make a special dish watching your mother or grandmother?

A NEW Cranberry Cove book will be coming out in the spring!  
Stay tuned for more details!

If you haven't started the series yet, the e-book version of Berried Secrets, book #1, is $2.99!  





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Being the New Kid Can Be Deadly

by Meg Corey Chapin and Seth Chapin, from A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11) by Sheila Connolly


“I feel guilty, not doing anything,” Meg Corey (she was still trying to get used to using Seth’s last name Chapin) said, stirring her coffee.

“You’re not doing nothing,” new husband Seth Chapin told her firmly. “You’re conserving energy for the coming season. Right now your apple trees are resting, and so should you. You’ll be more than busy enough in a month or so, so enjoy your time off.”

“I’m trying.” Meg sighed and forked up some of Seth’s pancakes with local maple syrup. “How are the plans for WinterFare coming along?”

“We’re good to go,” Seth told her. “The high school gym is booked, and we've got plenty of vendors to fill it. Monica Whitman has really thrown herself into the project and pulled it all together. She’s definitely an asset to the Granford community.”

The orchard in winter
“I sympathize with her. I remember when I first arrived in Granford—I didn’t know anybody, I had no idea what I was doing, and then there was that problem with the body of my ex-boyfriend in the septic tank. Did you really think I’d killed him?”

Seth smiled. “Well, you were the obvious suspect, and it was your septic tank. But I didn’t know you then. Clearly you couldn’t kill anyone.”

Meg smiled back. “I’m glad you noticed. I can’t even kill spiders. But I understand where you were coming from then. You were protecting Granford, because it’s your home and you are an elected official of the town. I came in a distant third.”

“It’s your home too now. Isn’t it?”

“Of course it is. Believe me, I understand. I think Monica is smart, finding a way to meet as many people as possible quickly. And I love the idea of a festival at this dreary time of year, and I’m sure people will welcome the chance to get together and talk and enjoy local foods and crafts.”

“So we all owe Monica a vote of thanks. It’s going to be a great event,” Seth said.


And so it was—until something went very wrong. You’ll have to read A Late Frost to find out what happens, but here’s your chance: leave a comment about being a newcomer by midnight on Thursday and I’ll draw a name to win a copy of A Late Frost (yes, I have copies already!) before it’s released on November 7th.

Or you can order it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

www.sheilaconnolly.com


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

#Bookgiveaway, a Haunted Walk, and a Ghost Tour

Character:      Savannah Webb
Series:           Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries
Author:          Cheryl Hollon

Hi, Savannah here. I'm deep into preparations for Halloween. I live in a cute Craftsman bungalow in a section of town that attracts Trick or Treat visitors from all over town.

The whole neighborhood gets into the spirit by hosting the Annual Haunted Hike on the third Saturday of the month. The hike leaves from the intersection of 13th Avenue and 13th Street North every fifteen minutes from 6:30 until 8:30 pm. This family-friendly Haunted Hike is a one-mile guided walk tour that takes approximately an hour to complete. Friendly, leashed dogs are permitted on the hike.

Guides will lead visitors down my neighborhood's creepy alleys and brick-paved streets to old homes and landmarks where costumed characters will tell spooky stories.

Another popular activity is the Ghost Tour of St. Petersburg. The company offers nightly tours through Halloween and beyond. Do you believe in ghosts? Attendees will discover what lurks in the shadows of the Sunshine City with true ghost stores and real haunted houses. Find out where they buried the bodies. 

I'm definitely going this year. What's happening in your town?




########

Etched in Tears releases on November 28, 2017 and is available for pre-order on AmazonNookKobo, and all your favorite bookstores. It is published by Kensington Books 


About Etched in Tears

When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it's up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer's cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah's first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis's return home has her reflecting on the past--a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father's records sheds new light on Dennis's history, but it seems his present life wasn't so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it's up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.



###########


There's a #BOOKGIVEAWAY! Leave a comment and your email address in the form of name(AT)server(DOT)com to avoid the SPAM bots. Do this by midnight on October 25 for the chance to win a signed copy of Cracked to Death (Webb's Glass Shop Mystery, Book #3). This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes.



Meet the author:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

Visit Cheryl and her books at her WebsiteFacebook or Twitter



Monday, October 23, 2017

Predatory Smiles

from Janet Marsh of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Hello, it’s Janet Marsh again, with more about our peculiar visiting author, Daphne Wood. Here’s a bit of my conversation with Christine, at the ceilidh, after Gillian Gillespie thought she was introducing Daphne to Tom the photographer (as well as being Gillian’s significant other) only to find out that Tom and Daphne had already met, already been on a photo shoot, and were already working on a calendar together. The ceilidh, being held at the library, was meant to be a lovely party with food and dancing to welcome Daphne to Inversgail.

“What do you think a predatory smile looks like?” I asked Christine.

“Like this.”

“Whoa. Where did you learn to do a thing like that?”

“Shark Week, a few years back. Tony adored those documentaries,” Christine said, referring to her late husband. “Why?”

“The way Daphne smiled at Tom Laing, just now.”

I’d hopped up after Tom announced he and Daphne were working together on that calendar. Gillian’s reaction to the news had convinced me it was the perfect time to get more lemonade for everyone, and I’d interrupted Christine’s mother in the middle of describing her latest bout of vertigo to ask Christine for help carrying. When we reached the drinks table, I filled Christine in on the developing awkwardness. Then, still haunted by the unpleasant salad greens I’d eaten, I downed another whole glass of lemonade while Christine looked back toward Gillian, Tom, and Daphne. Tom and Daphne were talking and laughing. Gillian appeared to be stabbing my blackberry tart. 

“Huh,” Christine said. “I didn’t see Daphne smile, but my professional diagnosis is that she isn’t predatory; she’s crazy. Or to quote from the official DSM translated for Scots, she’s a bampot.”

“You’re a social worker, not a psychologist,” I said, “but she’s definitely an odd duck. The dog, for instance. A husky, in the wilds of northern Canada, that I can understand. But a Pekingese? And she brought it tonight? Has Sharon or anyone from the library noticed?”

“Good points,” Christine said. “Did no one check her out beforehand?”

“There probably wasn’t a sanity box to check off on the application.”

“But surely there was something like an interview.”

“You know how much a clever person can hide in an interview.”

“Good Lord, yes.”

“It’ll be a relief when her book signing’s over next week,” I said. “Then I can stop being so unnaturally nice to Daphne. It’s too much hard work.”

You’re a bampot,” Christine said. “You’d be nice to Nessie if she paddled in to buy books.”

“That’s called good customer service and for Nessie, it wouldn’t be hard at all. Not compared to Daphne.”

“Well, she’s not quite normal,” Christine said, “but who would be after living alone out in the woods for so long?”

“I wouldn’t be normal. I like watching people too much.”

“We call that being nosy,” Christine said, patting me on the back as though I was a good puppy, “and we love you for it. So why aren’t you back there sticking your nose in right now?” When I didn’t say anything, Christine looked at me. “You’re staring into your lemonade.”

“Trying to see myself,” I said. “I don’t like the image of me sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong.”

“No one’s at her best reflected in the bottom of a lemonade.”

Have you ever met someone like Daphne, who seems to have a talent for creating tension?


Book giveaway! To get ready for the January release of Scones and Scoundrels, book two in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries, we’re giving away a copy of book one, Plaid and Plagiarism. Leave a comment by noon (CST) on Thursday, 10/26, for your chance to win.

Coming in January 2018, Scones and Scoundrels, bringing together a body outside  a pub, a visiting author determined to find the killer, and a murderously good batch of scones . . .

Molly MacRae is the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or you can sometimes find her the first Monday of a month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts



Sunday, October 22, 2017

Welsh cakes for all...by Carol Hill



Carol Hill here…the only one of the four women who run the WISE Enquiries Agency who likes to (or can!) bake. With the cooler weather coming along I decided it would be a good time of year to bake a good supply of Welsh cakes – to share with my colleagues. If you’re not familiar with Welsh cakes, all I can say is you’re missing out on a traditional treat. I’ve given you the recipe below, if you fancy giving them a go. I’m going to pack some up in a nice tin and deliver them to Mavis and Althea over at the Dower House this afternoon. Maybe they’ll have some with their afternoon cuppa. 



Ingredients:

1 lb all-purpose flour
7 ozs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp fine salt
6 ozs currants
7 ounces chilled, cubed butter (I prefer slightly salted)
1 medium egg
Milk (as necessary)
Flour for rolling out
(Makes about 40 cakes, using 2 inch-diameter cutter)

Equipment:

Bakestone (this is a large, flat disk made of cast iron – you’ll find most Welsh households have one. It’s placed directly on the heat. When I migrated to Canada I carried mine in my suitcase – it takes a lot to separate a Welshwoman from her bakestone!)
Alternatively – cast iron griddle or cast iron pan
Fork
Cutting ring – your choice of diameter – I used 2 inches, fluted edge is traditional
Rolling pin
Metal spatula/slice for flipping while cooking

Method:

1) Bring bakestone/griddle to high heat, then turn down to low – heat needs to be constant when you’re cooking
2) Mix flour, salt, sugar and currents together
3) Rub butter into the mixture until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency
4) Make a well, crack in your egg
5) With a fork, whisk the mixture into the egg, adding milk as you go to produce a dry-ish mix that just hold and squashes together
6) Place in a mound on a floured surface, roll out to about one quarter of an inch thick
7) Cut rounds and place them on a large, cold plate  8) Put one cake on your griddle to test temperature – the heat needs to brown the cake without burning it. You flip it over just once, then cook until it’s no longer squishy – meaning the center has cooked. This test allows you to work out temperature and timing. Usually the first one doesn’t work out too well, which is why you try just one, rather than loading the griddle.
9) Load the bakestone/griddle and turn cakes just once.  
10) Allow to cool.
11) To be served cold, without butter, jam, or anything at all – they are perfect just as they are!
 
Either store in an airtight container for a week, or freeze (for up to three months) and allow to thaw naturally.




 Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries.  You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: http://cathyace.com/