I Hope This Holiday Is Everything You Wish It Will Be
Happy holidays! Yes, things are still super stressful in the world, but I’m hoping you’re going to be with good friends and family over the next few weeks and enjoy lots of delicious food! As I write this, my family and I are all set to fly to our home in Uruguay to spend Christmas and New Year’s there, but I’m aware that things could change in a heartbeat. Fingers crossed it all works out. If so, my next newsletter will come from there!
I wish you all a safe, wonderful holiday season.
Though our November stay at the amazing Chan Chich jungle lodge in Belize was mainly for birdwatching, I got tons of writing done in our enchanting cottage.
I So Appreciate Your Support
As the year comes to a close, I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who made 2021 such a successful year for me as an author. I was very pleased with the sales of my ’21 stand-alone suspense novel, THE FIANCÉE, and am also thrilled that previous books of mine, like THE SECRETS YOU KEEP and HAVE YOU SEEN ME?, continue to sell. Once we get into 2022, I’ll tell you about my next thriller, THE SECOND HUSBAND, which comes out in June, and I’ll also reveal the awesome cover Harper Books designed for it. I loved writing this book, and I think it’s one of my best. I’m praying you’ll really like THE SECOND HUSBAND, too.
If you haven’t yet read my most recent suspense novel, THE FIANCÉE, it’s only a click away. And it would be a great Christmas gift for a friend who loves suspense fiction.
What I’m Reading/Watching
By Sarah Vaughan
Several couples meet in a prenatal class and form a bond for years–until a baby girl’s mysterious injury threatens to upend not only the friendships but also the lives of the child’s parents. This gripping novel has a plot that feels fresh and different, and you race through the pages with a mounting sense of dread and horror, desperate to know what’s really going on. And isn’t that what reading thrillers is all about?
BritBox (I watch through Amazon Prime)
I was addicted to this detective series when it first came out and was delighted to see that after a pandemic-related hiatus, it was back with season six. Set in the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, it couldn’t be more scenic. Don’t expect any major fireworks with the plot this season, but it’s hard to take your eyes off the charismatic local police detective, Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, and I love the fact that he’s only a little bit tortured compared to detectives on other series. Because I don’t know how much detective angst I can take on these shows anymore.
What I’m Cooking/Making
In celebration of heading to Uruguay soon, I recently made these charred tomatoes from a recipe of the great Uruguay-based chef, Francis Mallmann. Do not be aghast at how burnt they look in the photo because the taste is awesome. This dish is definitely best in summer, when tomatoes are at their peak, but I sometimes prepare it in winter, too, because the tomatoes look so nice on a plate with roasted chicken. Though at this time of year I add an extra step to help make the tomatoes tastier.
First, heat a cast iron skillet on high and then add tomato halves (with the cut sides down and coated with a little olive oil) for ten minutes without moving. You want them charred black on the cut side. Now, here’s the extra step I add at this time of year: Using a spatula, remove the tomatoes from the skillet and place cut side up on a lightly oiled cooking sheet and roast anywhere from ten to twenty minutes at 375F until the tomatoes get a little saucy with a roasted flavor. (This is what adds some kick to winter tomatoes). Remove from oven and arrange on a platter. Chef Mallmann recommends adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to each tomato along with sea salt and some fresh oregano.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!