Books

Fudge or Fowl? Lakes and Lighthouses?

Does fudge make you smile? Make you remember good times?

Do you enjoy lakes and lighthouses?

Are chickens funny? (Of course!)

Those are my specialties in my stories and novels.

I’m currently working on the NEW and national-bestselling Fudge Shop Mystery Series from Penguin Random House. This cozy mystery series is set in Door County, Wisconsin. Books 1 and 2 (First-Degree Fudge and Hot Fudge Frame-Up) are in bookstores now. Book 3 will be out in the April 2015. It’s called Five-Alarm Fudge.

My fudge series features a Belgian-American family. Grandpa Gil Oosterling and his granddaughter, Ava Oosterling, operate Oosterling’s Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer on the docks in the village of Fishers’ Harbor, Wisconsin, on the big bay of Lake Michigan. Grandpa has constant trouble with his boats, while Ava has constant trouble involving her fudge and felonies.

Each of my books includes original recipes for fudge, but I also fit in recipes for such Belgian specialties as booyah, which is a red tomato-based stew usually made with chicken. Booyah is a traditional stew made outdoors in giant vats and over a fire. It’s always served at such events as a community’s fall kermis, or harvest festival. The recipe in one of my books in the series came from a kermis I visited in northeastern Wisconsin.

Most of the places in my Fudge Shop Mystery Series are real. So I invite you to visit the “Cape Cod of the Midwest” whenever you sit down with my mystery series and a piece of fudge.

I’m also the author of several short stories set in fictional Moonstone, Wisconsin, that have appeared in many anthologies from Whiskey Creek Press. The anthologies are currently out of print, but you’ll still find copies at libraries. I have a few copies. I hope to have those stories back in print soon! I’ll keep you posted. Each of those Moonstone stories contains something about silkie chickens. Silkies are fluffy and totally funny creatures that many people have has pets.

My first novel was a far more serious piece of writing, a romantic suspense called Spirit Lake, which is available now. It’s published by Hard Shell Word Factory, which is part of Mundania Press. That novel is set in northwestern Wisconsin. The manuscript won first place in a Romance Writers of America contest.

Here’s more about my past books and stories

My most recent short story, a warm-hearted Christmas story, is “The Christmas Magi of Birch Bay,” set on the shores of Lake Superior in a town that looks like the real Bayfield, Wisconsin. Birch Bay is all fictional, though! You’ll find this lovely story about a widow of a war hero in the book, Christmas Gems/A Jewels of the Quill Christmas Anthology, again, not available at this time but it may be in your local library.

“The Moonstone stories are so entertaining you don’t want to miss one.” ~ Stephanie B. for Fallen Angel Reviews

Welcome to Moonstone, Wisconsin, a small town on the shore of Lake Superior. Here you’ll find mystery and romance, good-hearted neighbors and hilarity, with a dash of intriguing food on the menu at the local restaurant, The Jingle Bell Inn.

CONTENTS of my two collections, Mischief in Moonstone and Men of Moonstone (limited copies available; contact the author directly)

Mischief in Moonstone

“When Rudolph was Kidnapped” (Story 1): When her pet reindeer, Rudolph, is stolen from the live animal holiday display, first-grade teacher Crystal Hagan has a big problem on her hands. Her students fear that Christmas will be canceled. Ironically, the prime suspect is a man who lives in a mansion known as the “North Pole.” And to her shock, Peter LeBarron admits to kidnapping Rudolph and he won’t give him back without some romantic “negotiations.”

“Misbehavin’ in Moonstone” (Story 2): When the men of Moonstone suddenly seem to be off fishing a lot in the evenings, thus cutting down on her new restaurant’s business, chef Kirsten Peplinski becomes suspicious. She discovers a topless touring boat has set up business in Lake Superior, just outside the jurisdiction of Moonstone. She sets out to give a “dressing down” to the boat’s owner, but Jonathon VanBrocklin kidnaps her, having “undressing” and marrying her on his mind.

“Mrs. Claus and the Moonstone Murder” (Story 3): On her second day of duty, new county deputy Lily Schuster finds herself smack dab in the middle of Moonstone, Wisconsin, trouble. She arrests archeologist Marcus Linden for trespassing, then finds she needs his help in solving the murder of a pie contest judge. The suspects involve none other than the town’s Santa, Henri LeBarron, an 84-year-old man now cavorting with the sexy, mysterious newcomer, Felicity Starr, 27. But can Lily trust her trespassing prisoner, Marcus, who seems to be willing to exchange kisses for clemency?

“When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass” (Story 4): Three days before Halloween, Alyssa Swain finds a man dead in his car in a ditch. She runs for help, but when she returns, the body is gone. When scruffy, tall dead man, John Christopherson, shows up alive on her doorstep, he insists she called him to help her with the house she’s refurbishing—to get it ready for a traditional Halloween party to celebrate the lives of her loved ones who have died. A party for dead people?! To her chagrin, the crazy man won’t leave her house or her heart. But how can she keep him from his destiny of crossing over in the afterlife at midnight on Halloween?

And never-before-published, exclusive to this Mischief in Moonstone Anthology—

“A Moonstone Wedding” (Story 5):  When grocery store owner Margie Mueller’s fiancé—chef Tony Farina—sends her a “fertility rug” to stand on at their wedding, she panics. Margie’s no spring chicken and she’s not about to hatch a big brood for the Farinas. Before she can call off the wedding, the Farina clan invades Moonstone for partying and interference in the wedding preparations. But Margie doesn’t mind—behind the scenes she’s got a murder to solve. A dead man has shown up wrapped in the fertility rug. And it looks like her fiancé may know more about it than he’s letting on.

Men of Moonstone

More romance, mystery, and mayhem.

They’re tall as the oaks, bold as the bulls they’ve ridden in rodeos, and they don’t talk about the past. They’re three buddies who’ve seen the worst the world has to dish out. One by one, they ride into Moonstone for missions impossible and women improbable.

Men of Moonstone:  The Moonstone Fire (Story 1)

John “Bozeman” Hall hales from Bozeman, Montana, where he grew up raising longhorn cattle, hunting grizzlies, and eating snake meat over a campfire. He thought he could handle anything. Then he arrives in Moonstone. After a suspicious fire that destroys newlyweds Crystal and Peter LeBarron’s cabin on their Moonstone farm, John comes to town to find the pyro criminal. His first suspect? The surly squatter refusing to leave a cave on the farm—a young, homeless woman and her son.

Men of Moonstone: All She Wore Was A Bow (Story 2)

Kincaid “Kade” Hunter rocked the rodeo world with a record-breaking bull ride in Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s a rising star! He grew up wild and willing to try just about anything—except marriage. He’s had five near misses and he plans to keep it that way. But when he comes to Moonstone at Christmastime to save his friend John “Bozeman” Hall from marrying what looks like the wrong woman, Kade meets with interference extraordinaire: Gloria Gibson, the wedding planner from Hell. Gloria has her own ideas about where to hang mistletoe and what or who Kade should be riding to glory.

Men of Moonstone: Pest Control (Story 3)

Jason “Flyboy” Schuster grew up in a media family in San Francisco. He was supposed to become an actor with his good looks and brash personality. Acting skills helped when he went undercover as a drug informant, became a cowboy and a pilot for secret missions involving national security. Now he’s come to Moonstone where his sister, Lily, is in trouble. She’s the town’s only cop, about to lose her job over a rash of burglaries at the local grocery, other businesses, and the Post Office–a federal building. He agrees to go undercover for the FBI. He sets up a sham business in pest control, pretending he can rid your home of those cute squirrels and mice gnawing on everything. One of his pesty clients invites him to join a quilting and knitting group, which his sister suspects is just a front for the burglary ring. His pals John “Bozeman” Hall and Kincaid “Kade” Hunter are laughing their guts out over this. Further embarrassing, while Jase infiltrates the group as the only man making a quilt, the prime suspect infiltrates his heart. And before he knows it, he’s been set up and caught with the goods. The “Flyboy” looks grounded for good. With his own career on the line as well as his heart, does he have a chance of changing the comely thief before they both go to prison for good?

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