Sew Deadly – Issue 101

Posted on Sep 16 2014

Marcy’s Musings

Today I want to invite you on a little tour of the Oregon coast, courtesy of RubiKon Adventures!



And, to go along with the post, here is the link to a beautiful complementary lighthouse pattern for you from Cyberstitchers!

Killer Cakes – Issue 97

Posted on Sep 08 2014


Once again, I found a recipe that I simply must share with you! Talk about a simple, elegant dessert! All you have to do is use refrigerated sugar cookie dough, pie filling (various flavors), and a cinnamon crumble topping.

Mini sweet potato pie with sugar cookie crust recipe idea

Rather than explain it all here, I’m going to provide the link to Mini Fall Dessert Pies so you can see the step-by-step tutorial and try it for yourself!


Killer Cakes – Issue 96

Posted on Aug 25 2014


I ran across this recipe and simply had to share it with you. Remember when the E.I.E.I.O.–that group of Elvis missionaries–came to Brea Ridge and I had to make lunch for them? Killer Sweet ToothWell, it’s too bad I didn’t have this recipe around then. Those guys would’ve loved it!

Best Ever Banana Pudding Pie

Prep time
Total time
Author: This Gal Cooks
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 8
  • 1 9 pinch pie crust, prepped, baked and cooled
  • 2 C chopped vanilla wafers
  • 2 small bananas
  • 1 8oz tub Cool Whip, divided
  • 1½ C milk
  • 1 5.1oz box instant vanilla pudding
  • juice from one lemon
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling
  1. Slice the bananas thin and then toss with the lemon juice. The lemon juice will prevent them from turning brown as fast as they normally would.
  2. Whisk together the milk and pudding. Mix in half of the cool whip. Mix in 1 C of the vanilla wafers and then the bananas. Scrape into the cooled crust. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until set.
  3. Top with the remaining Cool Whip, using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining vanilla wafers and then drizzle with the caramel sauce.

Please visit This Gal Cooks (! You’ll love her blog!

Killer Cakes – Issue 95

Posted on Aug 11 2014


Today I’m sharing with you a fondant baby shoe tutorial from Cake Supplies Plus. I hope you enjoy it!


Sew Deadly – Issue 100

Posted on Aug 06 2014

Marcy’s MusingsThread End

Have you heard about the fiber arts exhibit at Figge Art Museum? Here is a quote from the article:

Two new exhibits at the Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport show artists who have pushed thread into uncharted territory, be it weaving, knitting, embroidering, felting or sewing.

More than 70 pieces from across the country and abroad are included in “Innovators & Legends” from the Muskegon (Mich.) Museum of Art, and six from the Quad-City region are in “Local Threads.”

The works do not follow patterns such as a quilt or an embroidery sampler that are mainly intended to be beautiful without hidden meanings. These blur the distinction between traditional craft and fine art. Some elicit a “what’s that?” reaction. 

I thought the article was apropos since THREAD END deals with an antique textile exhibit. I hope nothing tragic happens at the Figge Art Museum!

Since this is the 100th Sew Deadly issue, I’m giving away either a signed paperback or Kindle copy of THREAD END to one blog commenter. Readers located in the United States will have their choice of the paperback or the Kindle version. International readers will receive the Kindle copy (or Nook copy, if you prefer!). Winner will be drawn with help from on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

Good luck!


Killer Cakes – Issue 94

Posted on Jul 28 2014


With all the picnics, family reunions, and cookouts taking place this time of year, I thought you might enjoy this recipe from Handle the Heat:



For the crust:

20 mint Oreo cookies
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the mint chocolate chip ice cream:

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 to 4 drops green gel food coloring (optional)
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

For the chocolate ganache:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter


For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cookies until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes then cool completely. Cover and freeze the crust until ready to use.

For the ice cream:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ice cream ingredients except the chocolate chips until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. About 5 minutes before the ice cream is done churning, add the chocolate chips.

Spread the ice cream into the pie crust. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream and freeze for at least one hour, or until firmed.

For the topping:
Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and add the butter. Let stand for 3 minutes before stirring until smooth and shiny. Let cool slightly before pouring over the ice cream. Freeze until firmed. The pie can be stored wrapped in plastic in the freezer for up to 1 week. The colder the pie is, the easier to will be to cut nice clean pieces of pie.

Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

*I suggest you click on the link to enjoy the complete tutorial!

Sew Deadly – Issue 99

Posted on Jul 23 2014

mr owlieMarcy’s Musings

Hi, there! Today I’m sharing some vintage embroidery patterns with you, like this owl pattern that was originally in a late 1960s crewelwork set. The owl pattern is courtesy of Stitchy Britches, and you can read all about it at the link.

The Dotted Butterflies pattern (circa 1945) from would make a beautiful candlewick pillow.

Needle ‘n Thread shares two beautiful patterns: a scroll design and a decorative pillow top.

We also have a lovely pattern from circa 1920 called Fantasy Flowers.

There’s a beautiful dogwood pattern at Drap Cushions.

And, finally, here’s a floral pattern from The Old Design Shop.

I hope you enjoy these patterns and that, if you make any of them, you share photos with us in the comments!

Killer Cakes – Issue 94

Posted on Jul 14 2014


I found a wonderful recipe/tutorial that I just have to share with you. It’s Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes. I’m posting the recipe below, but you really should click the link and visit the tutorial to get the full effect.

How to make Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

1. Bake chocolate cupcakes
2. Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe one layer of hazelnut buttercream
3. Sprinkle crushed hazelnuts on top of buttercream
4. Swirl two more layers of hazelnut buttercream
5. Drizzle Nutella on top of buttercream
Top the cupcake off with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate
6. Enjoy!!

Sweetened by Kagi


Excerpt from The Portable Writers’ Workshop

Posted on Jul 09 2014

PWCHi, everybody! Marcy here. I couldn’t let Daphne Martin outdo me by giving up one blog post for Gayle Trent’s new writing book, THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP. After all, Gayle (as Amanda Lee, in my case) writes about our adventures, so we have to help her out where we can.

So today, I present you with an excerpt from THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP:



One way to get to know your characters is via a character sketch. I’ll use characters from both Anything For A Buck and Photo Finish [two of my earlier works] to demonstrate.


Roxanne Weatherly from Anything For A Buck

First, let’s look at the name. I needed a name that would fit a sophisticated young woman but also one that could be given a male derivative since she will be posing as a boy at the construction site. I chose Roxanne–“Rocky” to the guys at the site. “Weatherly” has a certain “old money” sound to it that fit her and her situation too.


Next comes the physical description. Roxanne has to have a boyish figure in order to pull off the charade at the construction site. She’s fair, has shoulder-length ash blonde hair and green eyes.


Then I needed to establish some character traits that would make Roxanne who she is and/or who she will become by the end of the story. She’s a spunky, loving mother who is a tad paranoid.  Her greed brought her to the point she is today (when the story begins), and she’s determined not to make any more mistakes—especially where her daughter is concerned.


 Jay Andropoulis from Photo Finish


Jay is a secondary character. I gave him the first name “Jay” because 1) it’s not complicated, 2) I wanted to Americanize him a bit, and 3) since he’s filthy rich, I wanted to create a little “initial recognition.” (J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, etc.) 


Since Jay is Greek, I listened to Greek language tapes in order to get a feel for the cadence of the language. I also gleaned some words Jay could use to give credibility to the nationality of his character. For example, he calls the heroine “oraia” throughout the book. “Oraia” means “beautiful.”


As a secondary character, Jay didn’t need an extensive character sketch. I did have fun with him, though, and made him gorgeous and accomplished in business as well as the arts (classical piano) so he could be a good foil for the two major male characters who are “regular guys.”


Julia Weatherly from Anything For A Buck


Julia is Roxanne’s two-year-old daughter. If you aren’t around children very much, I suggest you tread carefully here. This is one area where writing what you know is crucial. If a child is vital to your plot but you’re still treading on unfamiliar ground, have a friend or critique partner who has children read the first draft of your manuscript for accuracy concerning the child’s speech and actions.


In physical appearance, Julia is a lot like a miniature version of her mother. In temperament, she rides that emotional roller coaster that comes with being a two-year-old. In one scene (where Roxanne is picking Julia up from day care), I describe Julia like this: “She [Roxanne] opened her arms wide and braced herself as a thirty-pound bullet in a pink romper crashed against her chest.”  I took this incident directly from experience.


The Portable Writers’ Workshop

Posted on Jun 30 2014

PWCHi, there! Daphne Martin kindly agreed to give up her KILLER CAKES spot to me today, so I could promote THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP.

I was speaking at a creative writing contest ceremony this past weekend, and I mentioned that I would be publishing THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP this week. One attendee asked, “What’s a portable writer?” I explained that it’s the workshop that is portable…although, I suppose we’re all portable writers in that we write wherever we go.

This portable writers’ workshop is designed to give you all the information you’d receive at a regular writers’ workshop without the hassle, inconvenience, and expense. Part one of the workshop is directed at novel writers. I’ve written eight (and counting!) novels in Obsidian’s embroidery mystery series under the pseudonym Amanda Lee. I’ve written four novels in the cake decorating mystery series—two for Bell Bridge Books and two for Simon & Schuster. I’ve written a few standalone novels, and I even had my own publishing company for a few years. While operating the publishing company, I managed to get my mystery imprint’s line featured in Woman’s Day magazine in October of 2005 for a giveaway.

Part two is designed for freelance writers. There is a great need for content and a variety of places that hire freelance writers. You might think that a slow economy would make it difficult to find freelance work. In fact, the opposite is true. Some companies downsize and eliminate full-time employees and then hire freelance or independent contractors to work on a project-by-project basis.

Part three is a collection of articles I’ve written as features or blog posts, and I thought you might find them helpful. I wish you all the best in your own writing and hope I can help you achieve greater success!