Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Guest Post and Giveaway with J.B. Stanley

Oooh, I am so totally thrilled to have J.B. Stanley back for another visit. If you missed her last guest post, here is the link. Y'all know how much I love her books! If by some weird quirk of karmic fate you have not read any of her books, *gasp!* you can read a review of Stiffs and Swines and The Battered Body, which I also featured in a hilarious Tuesday Teaser . She's giving us her new recipe that will appear in her latest book coming out in January. So you, dear readers, are waaaay ahead of the curve.

J.B. is again being so generous in allowing me to give away a galley copy of her new book, Stirring Up Strife. She is sweetening the pot by adding in some coffee and gourmet cookies to munch on while reading. But let's welcome J.B., enjoy her latest guest post and then the giveaway details will be at the end.

It’s Not Too Late to Plant a Garden

By Jennifer (JB) Stanley

I love this time of year. The pulse quickens with the coolness in the air, the night descends a bit earlier, and breezes stir the baked leaves on tired trees. One of my favorite things to do about now is to plant my fall garden. I’ve been working on this for the last two days and yesterday, as I was pulled leggy impatiens from the ground, I thought about how gardening is like editing a piece of writing.

You’ve got your summer garden bed. It’s colorful in places, yes, but in others the plants are withered, or spotted with brown, or just plain dead. Writing is like this too. When we sit down to compose something, we know when we’ve created something good. We know when what we’ve written is vibrant and blooming because the rereading of the passage gives us (and hopefully others) pleasure. The less successful writing is flat and lifeless as a parched plant or is corroded with grammatical or structural errors until the sentences are ready to fall apart like a rosebush that has been ruthlessly gnawed at by Japanese beetles.

As I dug holes for a grouping of Autumn Joy sedum and some “Fiesta” violas, I thought about how I should be doing a better job prepping the soil, but I felt rushed and lazy so I just stuck the plants in the ground and promised to fertilize them later. I’m shamed to admit it— I’ve done this with my writing too. Haven’t felt in the mood or have come across a writing block the size of the Great Wall of China and just turned away instead of figuring out how to climb over it.

But now it’s the season of change. If you’ve got something in your mind you’ve been longing to commit to paper or have a manuscript tucked far back in the desk drawer, dig it out! Weed out the bad writing and blend in some new colors—some marigold, crimson, and electric orange. Then sit back and wait for rain.

RECIPE: Magnolia’s Marvels: Butterscotch Cheesecake Squares


¾ cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Filling :

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Drizzle (optional)

¼ cup semi-sweet morsels
2 teaspoons shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking pan.
Crust: Combine butter and butterscotch morsels in a saucepan and, stirring constantly, cook over low heat. Once blended, add graham cracker crumbs.
Pack crust evenly onto bottom of baking pan.

Filling: Beat cream cheese and condensed milk in a small bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. (Maggie likes to use an electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes. Make sure all the chunks of cream cheese have been beaten smooth). Pour over crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan and then cut into squares.

Now for the giveaway:
No P.O. Boxes and open to residents of the US & Canada. Just comment on something from the guest post and be sure to leave an e mail address; no e-mail or appropriate comment, no entry.

Bonus entries can be earned by:

  • +2 Becoming a new google friends connect follower

  • +2 Already being a follower

  • + 2 Post about contest and leave me a link

  • + 1 Put contest in sidebar or tweet and leave me a link

  • Put all info in ONE box, please! If you are already a follower, remind me please. Deadline to enter is Guy Fawkes day, November 5 th at 5 P.M Good Luck !


  1. I love Fall gardens! The colors are so deep and rich! Speaking of rich, that recipe with cream cheese and butterscotch chips...yummy!

    I am a follower and a subscriber.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  2. Well, Kaye, it looks like you have introduced me to another author that I absolutely must read! I read your linked reviews of her two books and who can possibly pass up a story about a supper club called the Flab Five! I will definitely be checking out her first book soon.

    In the meantime, I would love to be entered in this fun giveaway :)

    Mstermind1 at gmail dot com

  3. How yummy do those cheesecake squares sound? I'm going to be making myself some of those!

    I'm already a follower.

    melacan at hotmail dot com

  4. Well I know what I'm baking this weekend to take on my trip south...yum yum cheesecake squares!

    Now I guess I'll have to be a good girl and go put my own puny garden to bed.

    I'm already a loyal follower.

    You're in my contest sidebar at Tutu's Two Cents


  5. A fabulous interview...can't wait to try the recipe, too...thanks.

    I'm a subscriber :)

    karen k

  6. The cheesecake square sound so good. I always wish I had more time to bake.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  7. That recipe sounds delicious. I'm planning to do some baking this weekend and think I'll give it a try.

    +2 I'm a follower


  8. I'm SOOO trying the recipe...it sounds so delicious

    kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

  9. Hi Kaye :D Those sweets sound super yummy!

    Have a Happy Day!

  10. Lovely recipe! I would like to be entered.

    Already follow!


  11. Ooh, butterscotch and cheesecake... too tempting! If I had time, I'd whip up a batch and bring 'em to my book club tonight. Not that we bring food and insult the hostess, but hey. I'm the leader. I can do whatever I want.

    No need to enter me, Kaye. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  12. The recipe sounds wonderful!

    I am already a follower.


  13. Don't fall over but I haven't heard of this author!!! Sorry but now after this awesome guest post and that to die for recipe i will be looking for these!!

  14. I love the sedum I have in my garden. It's so hardy for fall and I even divided one last year! The recipe looks awesome too!

  15. Hehe. Hooray for Guy Fawkes day! And, mmyumm-- butterscotch sounds really good.

    Thanks for the giveaway and the interview. I am not a writer, at least not creatively, but still manage to feel that familiar writing paralysis, and like the advice to dig in.

    I am a follower. :)

    ammieloris at hotmail dot com

  16. I vote for the drizzle!

    I am a google follower!


  17. Butterscotch Cheesecake Squares sound so good. I love this time of year too.


    I'm also a follower!

  18. Oh my I am going to have to add those ingredients to my grocery list cause I wanna try out the recipe.. I hadn't ever heard of the author but I enjoyed the post and would love to read her work Thanks
    +2 new follower


  19. Loved the recipe - will be trying it out...

    Got to start on my fall garden!

    New google follower!

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  20. I am a weird quirk but I have not read any of this author. The books sound really interesting and the recipes too. I also like the way she describes this time of year, she could write a book about that too!

    cjay2 at iavalley (dot) edu

  21. That recipe...yummy! I'll be making it.

    Loved what she said about writing. As a struggling writer, every bit of advice helps!

    +2 I am already a follower.

    +1 Posted in right sidebar http://thetruebookaddcit.blogspot.com/


  22. I would love to be entered. I've never read JB Stanley (hanging head in shame), but I love this post. I'll have to add her to my list whether I win or not.
    stacybooks at yahoo

  23. Yummy butterscotch & cheesecake recipe. I'd love to read more recipes from J.B. Stanley.

    Already a follower.
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/darcy1956/status/5080102896

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

  24. I have never met a cheesecake I didn't like. That recipe sounds wonderful. Would love to win your book.

    I am a new follower.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  25. Well, I hope my writing is livelier than my garden right now! It's dipped below freezing quite a few times and most of my plants are limp and barely hanging on for the season. Maybe some of those cheesecake bars would help with the writing....

    I am already a follower :)

    I blogged about this in my right sidebar at:



  26. Have not read this author before, but from the reviews...the books look like some that I would like....murder and mayham! Exciting mysteries with a sense of humor. And that recipe sounds delicious! Pleae include me in the drawing.

    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  27. Hi. Have tried the recipe at my volunteer group at church. Love it. Would love this book. I love trying new recipes and reading. Cheers. polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail *dot* com

  28. I like the gardening analogy. I'm just starting to grow plants (this year) and realize how a little extra weeding, pruning and fertilizing make a difference. I guess, much like writing, studying and diligence at work.

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    I am a follower and googlereader subscriber.

  29. Thanks for the recipe. I'll try it. walkerd@primus.ca

  30. The recipe sounds really yummy, need to go to the store
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

  31. # +2 Becoming a new google friends connect follower
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

  32. Thank you for the lovely comments! I am revamping my website and hope to have at least twenty recipes posted for your perusal by this time next week! Stay tuned and keep reading.


  33. Great interview - the recipe sounds yummy!

    +2 follower

  34. Sign me up please! I know this is a favorite author so that alone had me hooked. Of course cookies and coffee never hurt either!!

    I already follow, forever and ever.

    Added to my sidebar.

    Added blog post.


  35. I love her recipe and can't wait to try it.
    I just subscribed with google friends connect.

  36. I love the way she used metaphors and similies to compare gardening to writing...were I still teaching, I could use this as a wonderful example for my students of figurative language.

    I am a follower..you know as who else knows about Guy Fawkes Day like I do (Ka-boom!)

    And I'd love to win this book as it sounds like this writer knows how to weave those words into a great story! Thanks for the chance!

    kdhaney (at) gmail (DOT) com


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