Authors: T'Gracie Reese,Joe Reese
2. Use a mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix together. Pour in the vanilla and blend until combined.
3. Pour the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until combined.
4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Use an ice cream scooper to form tablespoonfuls of the dough. Place the dough on the baking sheet two inches apart.
6. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes.
7. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
And to the crowd assembled, Pat Hershey said: “Now just enjoy! And remember to buy and read our newest cozy
The Mystery of the Jaded Jambalaya!
Also remember that with every Kindle purchase of one of our cozy mysteries, you get a free recipe for one of our world famous pies! And we’ll throw in a free kitten as well!”
With that, Nina noted that the limousines had been loaded, the cats stored, and the cozy writers were now standing in a ring in front of the vehicles, waving and shouting:
“GOOD BYE, NINA AND MARGOT! THANK YOU BOTH FOR EVERYTHING!”
To which Nina and Margot responded:
“GOOD BYE, COZY MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA! COME AGAIN TO MISSISSIPPI!”
But Harriet Crossman, who’d joined the group now, shook her head, looking first at the crowd of writers and then back at the two women standing by the table in the yard of Candles.
“It was wonderful, it really was. But our hearts are with our characters, who all are at home in little seacoast towns in New England. And for true cozy writers––”
She stared at the group of writers now and said:
And shouted in unison:
“THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!”
Then they got in their limousines and drove away.
And so Nina and Margot returned into the house.
Where they poured each other a glass of wine.
Then they retired to the rickety white table in the front yard.
Where they watched the sun set.
And where they chatted about this and that.
And where they planned the trip back to Bay St. Lucy (which, luckily, had been spared major damage by the hurricane.)
And where they saw suddenly, high above them, a tall red-haired woman appear on the balcony above the main entrance.
“My God,” hissed Margot. “Do you see her?”
“Yes,” said Nina, in astonishment. “I do!”
“It’s Sarah. Sarah Morgan. But look!”
They looked and saw that the figure was holding a suitcase, and waving.
Then the balcony was empty.
“But come on! She left something on the balcony railing!”
Within a minute, the two women had entered Nina’s room.
They rushed to the balcony that overlooked the lawn, on which they found a brief note, written on elegant brown stationary.
The note read:
“I’m going to a motel. I can’t stay here anymore. These cozy writers scare me to death.”
The note was signed:
“Ghost of Sarah Morgan.”
They looked at each other.
“The Smathers sisters were right. You’ve been depossessed.”
“No, we haven’t! We paid every bill on time and we––”
But Nina merely took her arm and said:
“I’ll explain it to you later, Margot. Now let’s go finish our wine. We’ve got a trip to make tomorrow.”
And because they did––
The grand Mississippi loomed before Nina and Margot as they sat on top of the hill overlooking the ferry boat landing.
The boat approached. It was not, however, the ferry they’d ridden over on two days earlier, having been replaced by what seemed an exact model of a mid-nineteenth century steamboat.
“Would you look at that?” asked Nina. “We might as well be living in 1860!”
“Must be something the town’s doing to boost tourism. Anyway, they’re letting the chain down; we can drive on.”
They did, and stood by the rail as the old craft chugged its way across the current.
Finally, as they were nearing the far shore, the captain came down.
He was dressed all in white, with frizzy white hair and sparkling blue eyes. He smoked a cigar.
“Did you ladies have an enjoyable time in Abbeyport?”
They each nodded.
“Well, that’s good to hear. Did you go to the jumping contest?”
Nina: “What jumping contest?”
“Why, the frog jumping contest! I heard some joker put buckshot into one of the contestants. Did you two hear anything about that?”
They both shook their heads. The captain shook his, too, and threw his cigar butt into the river.
“Well, probably just a tall tale. You get a lot of those up here in Mississippi.”
So saying, he turned and, with a wink of his eye, disappeared into the boat.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Pam ‘T’Gracie’ Reese is an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). Nina Bannister was created while T’Gracie was a doctoral student at the
University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She has happy memories of exploring Acadiana, dancing the Cajun waltz, catching beads at Mardi Gras and listening to French on the radio. (Geaux Cajuns!) Still, she also loves her new life in Ft. Wayne and enjoys getting to know northern Indiana. (Go Mastodons!)
Joe Reese is a writer and teacher. He’s only partially responsible for the six Nina Bannister mysteries (co-written with his wife, T’Gracie), but he has to take full blame for
Kate Dee and
Letters from a Texas Farm Girl
and the play
A Play for Our Times
He and his wife have three children:
Kate, Matthew, and Sam. The two of them now live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where each teaches at IPFW.
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