The Christmas Fudge Miracle

Dear Readers,

Can you believe that release day is only two days away? If you haven’t preordered yet, you can still do so at the reduced rate. You can’t go wrong with 14 great stories for $.99!!  The paperback version is now available, too, at a discounted price.  Here are the links:   

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

In my story, “The Christmas Fudge Miracle,” BethAnn Byler learns the hard way that people aren’t always what they seem and that first impressions can be completely wrong. She doesn’t want to approach David Yoder to ask for his mother’s recipe for the community cookbook, but she reluctantly accepts her mother’s challenge to do so. Unfortunately, BethAnn also learns that things rarely go according to plan.

Here is an excerpt from the story:

“I’m talking about our Christmas cookbook, of course. We need to gather all the recipes right away so that the Englisch printer can have them back to us in plenty of time before the holidays. We want to sell them with our wreaths and homemade items at the Christmas market at the Cherry Hill library.”

“Okay. I know all of that, but I don’t think I’m going to like the job you’ve assigned to me.”

“Nonsense. You will be perfect. All the other ladies working on the book agree. And you do still want to help, ain’t so?”

“Sure.” Suddenly, BethAnn regretted that decision to offer her assistance with the book’s production in whatever way she could. “Why do I get the feeling that you’ve given me the task that nobody else wants.”

“Not so. You are absolutely the best choice for this.”

“Now I know it’s something completely despicable if you have to butter me up so much.”

Mamm smiled. “It will be easy. We simply want you to get Naomi Yoder’s chocolate cloud fudge recipe from her son.”

AchMamm! You know how David is about anything belonging to his mamm. It will take a miracle to wrestle that recipe from him. Didn’t someone ask for Naomi’s zesty potato salad recipe for a community picnic, and he flatly refused?”

“That was some time ago. You will have more success. After all, you went to school with David and have attended singings with him. Surely, you have talked to each other enough over the years to be freinden.”

“David was two grades ahead of me, and he stopped attending singings when his mudder passed. We might smile and nod at each other, but that hardly makes us best freinden. How about if I give you some more recipes instead? You have my chocolate peppermint fudge recipe and my peanut butter fudge recipe and even my special Christmas pie recipe, but you know how everyone loves my lemon squares. I can give—”

“Those are all scrumptious, for sure, but we need Naomi Yoder’s recipe. Not only is that fudge heavenly, but including the recipe will be a tribute to a dear freind. Just be your usual charming self, and I’m sure David will cooperate.”

“I’d rather snatch a rat from a rattlesnake’s jaws!”

Mamm burst out laughing. “How many times have you done that?”

“None, actually, but it has to be a lot easier than what you want me to do.”

Her mudder reached over to tuck a strand of BethAnn’s auburn hair beneath her kapp. “You will find a way to talk to David. I have faith in you.”

“I certainly am glad one of us has confidence in me because I have none whatsoever. I’d really rather take a beating, Mamm. Can I go out and fetch you a switch?”

I hope you enjoy all 14 of these wonderful Christmas stories!!

Blessings,

Susan

Christmas Memories

I know it’s almost Halloween, but I’m already looking forward to Christmas—and the release of the Amish Christmas Miracles Collection in just under two weeks! My novella is entitled The Christmas Fudge Miracle, so I thought I would post about Christmas goodies.

Christmas is such a special time of year. All of us probably have favorite traditions or memories associated with the season that we’ve cherished for years. One thing we always did growing up was bake an assortment of goodies.

Did anyone ever use the Betty Crocker Cooky Book? I used to love dragging the big, red book out every holiday and flipping through the pages with all those yummy recipes and beautiful pictures. Of course, we always baked the usual cookies—chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, sugar, gingerbread, and snickerdoodles—but it was fun to pick out something new to try. The pictures all looked so scrumptious, and we didn’t care if our finished products looked nothing like Betty Crocker’s perfectly shaped specimen.

Years later, my own daughters hauled out the very same book I had used as a child and pored over recipes just like I did. We rolled, cut out, baked, and decorated all sorts of treats as we waved away clouds of flour and scrunched on spilled sugar. One year, we got really ambitious and tried our hand at gingerbread houses. Sadly, that venture did not meet with a lot of success, but we had a lot of fun trying to get the walls to stick together and nibbling the decorations.

I still have the Betty Crocker book, and I still pull it out whenever I want to browse for cookie, brownie, or candy recipes. Just looking at the pages brings back memories of all the happy times I used the book in the past.

What special little holiday memory do you have? Did you bake any special treats year after year?

Here’s my “ancient” book (the price was $1.95) and a couple of my favorite recipes from that treasured book.

 

Chocolate Crinkles

 

½ cup vegetable oil

4 sq. unsweetened chocolate (4 oz.), melted

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups Gold Medal Flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla. Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt into oil mixture. Chill several hours or overnight.

 

Heat oven to 350˚ (mod.). Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into confectioner’s’ sugar. Roll in sugar; shape into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 min. Do not overbake!  Makes about 5 doz. cookies.

Note: If you use Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour, omit baking powder and salt.

 

Snickerdoodles

 

1 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

2 ¾ cups Gold Medal Flour

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. soda

¼ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

 

Heat oven to 400 ˚ (mod. hot). Mix shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar, and eggs thoroughly. Measure flour by dipping method or sifting. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt; stir in. Shape dough in 1” balls. Roll in mixture of 2tbsp. sugar and cinnamon. Place 2” apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 min. These cookies puff up at first, then flatten out. Makes 6 doz. cookies.

 

Note:  If you use Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour, omit cream of tartar, soda, and salt.

 

About Me

 

Susan Lantz Simpson has been writing stories and poetry ever since she penned her first poem at the age of six. She has always loved the magic of words and how they can entertain and enlighten others. Her love of words and books led her to earn a degree in English/Education. She has taught students from Prekindergarten to high school and has also worked as an editor for the federal government. She also holds a degree in nursing and has worked in hospitals and in community health. She writes inspirational stories of love and faith and has published a middle-grade novel (Ginger and the Bully) in addition to her inspirational romances (Plainly Maryland Series and Southern Maryland Amish Romances Series). She was a finalist in the OCW Cascade fiction contest. She is a member of ACFW. She lives in Maryland and is the mother of two wonderful daughters. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, walking, and doing needlework.

 

To Connect With Me

 

Website:

https://susanlantzsimpson.wordpress.com/

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Lantz-Simpson-372578556286726/?fref=ts

 

Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/susanlantzsimps/

 

My Writing Journey

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be part of the Amish Christmas Miracles Collection with thirteen awesome authors. I thought I would tell you just a little about my writing journey.

Is there something that you do but you don’t remember learning how to do it?
I am pretty sure that my writing journey began at birth or shortly thereafter. I have always been fascinated with words and how they can be strung together into sentences and stories.

I wrote a poem about my cat in the second grade, and I don’t remember ever learning what poetry was. That little poem earned me a red ribbon at the county fair. From there, my writing “career” was off and running. I had a special blue notebook that I outlined a novel, complete with chapter titles, about a little girl who loved ballet. My cousin joined forces with me one summer to plot out a “twin cousin” mystery series a la Nancy Drew.

As time marched on, I wrote stories for school, turned assigned journal entries into fiction, and penned poetry for the literary magazine. I didn’t even mind writing research papers! I wrote whole novels while sitting up nights with a sick baby. Of course, those stories never saw the light of day, but they were good practice.

Now, with a full-time job, I write anywhere and everywhere that I can. I don’t have a set place where the muse visits me. I write in my car while waiting for appointments, at my kitchen counter at night, at my desk during breaks at work, even in bed when some persistent idea won’t let me sleep. I write my first drafts in long hand so that I can take my manuscripts with me wherever I go. The down side of this method is that I then have to find time to type all those pages, and typing is not my favorite thing to do. I believe I will soon have to join the modern world and learn to create directly on the computer.

However it works out, it is all good. I am thankful for every scrap of time I can squeeze in to work on a story, and I am thankful for every idea God gives me. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful readers with whom to share my creations.

So, what is it that you do second nature?

Some writers have an office, special desk or another writing nook. These are a few places where I write!!


My Kitchen Counter


My Car

My first published book was Ginger and the Bully, a middle-grade novel about a fourth-grade girl who deals with a classroom bully.

My most recently published book is Lizzie’s Heart, an Amish romance.

About Me

Susan Lantz Simpson has been writing stories and poetry ever since she penned her first poem at the age of six. She has always loved the magic of words and how they can entertain and enlighten others. Her love of words and books led her to earn a degree in English/Education. She has taught students from Prekindergarten to high school and has also worked as an editor for the federal government. She also holds a degree in nursing and has worked in hospitals and in community health. She writes inspirational stories of love and faith and has published a middle-grade novel (Ginger and the Bully) in addition to her inspirational romances (Plainly Maryland Series and Southern Maryland Amish Romances Series). She was a finalist in the OCW Cascade fiction contest. She is a member of ACFW. She lives in Maryland and is the mother of two wonderful daughters. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, walking, and doing needlework.

To Connect With Me

Website:
https://susanlantzsimpson.wordpress.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Lantz-Simpson-372578556286726/?fref=ts

Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/susanlantzsimps/