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When I found out my Caprice mystery #3 was scheduled for February, that was the perfect time to create a plot that surrounded Valentine's Day!  Hearts and Flowers might be the theme of Caprice's home staging, but murder is on the menu along with Caprice's sister Nikki's Valentine Day offerings.

As many of you know, Caprice has a penchant for attracting strays and finding them good homes. This little kitten shows up in Caprice's yard one cold winter night. I modeled the kitten in the mystery after our own London. She was a cutie!

Pre-order GILT BY ASSOCIATION on Amazon
Pre-order GILT BY ASSOCIATION on Barnes & Noble


As I promised, here is the recipe for TRIPLE CHOCOLATE DIVINE cookies that I developed just for my readers with the release of GILT BY ASSOCIATION.  Yummy at Valentine's Day and anytime of the year!
Triple Chocolate Divine Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2 sticks butter (softened)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
4 oz. Baker’s semi-sweet baking chocolate bar, broken into pieces
2 1/2 cups flour
12 oz. MILK-chocolate chocolate chips
Cream butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add baking soda, baking powder and cocoa. Mix until all ingredients are blended well and batter is smooth and velvety. Melt chocolate bar pieces in microwave for 1 minute.  Stir. Continue to heat in ten-second intervals until completely melted (My 1400 watt microwave takes 1 minute 40 seconds). Do not wait until cool. Stir again and add to mixer bowl. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in chocolate chips.
Lightly grease cookie sheets. Drop batter in nicely rounded tablespoons.
Bake 11-13 minutes until set. Let stand one minute, then remove from cookie sheet.  Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Makes about 40 cookies. 

Our household is different now with Mason and Tia settled in at their loving new homes.  Both have adjusted beautifully.  Mason has bonded with his new brother and his new parents.  The two female cats in the household are taking their time getting acquainted, but I'm sure Mason will win them over.  Tia has bonded with her new parents.  A new older brother grooms her and cuddles with her.  The other male in the household is taking longer but they all play. Here at the Smith household, Zoie and Paddington run up and down the condo and like to play hide and seek under the bedspread.  Halo and Paddington are still close, cuddling and napping together.  London is sometime "grumpy cat" but she waits for Halo and Paddington to emerge from my office every morning.  She doesn't want to play herself, but I think she likes the company. Many afternoons she naps on the same bed as Halo and Paddington upstairs while Zoie stays with me downstairs.

As you can see, we have a cedar shelter as one of the protective places stray cats can settle in.  See my blog below on Feral and Stray Cat Shelters for other ideas. One of our strays, Sunnybud, actually comes into our basement to eat...but he won't stay.  (When he started coming to our yard, he was gaunt and infested with fleas. After a few months of food and a flea treatment, he's looking so much better.) Since we don't know if he might have some kind of home, we don't want to keep him in against his will.  But as our veterinarian says, one of these days he might decide he'd like to be warm and dry instead of cold!  Two of our outside shelters have heated pads and we're hoping he stays in one of those.

New desserts this year for the holidays--pumpkin spice cream cheese pie and cranberry fluff!

We might have to leave the reindeer in our front yard throughout the winter to give the yard a little sparkle!

Blog on Feral and Stray Cat Shelters
Go to my FACEBOOK Author Page to to enter my Kitty Contest.
Karen's Facebook Author Page

How awesome would it be to kick off the new year by winning thirty books from thirty different romance authors? Susan Mallery, who started out writing category romances and now rocks the bestseller lists with her women's fiction novels and the Fool's Gold romances, has invited me to participate in her "New Year, New Author" contest. One lucky reader will win a prize pack of 30 books.

To enter, visit the Contest Page at under the MEMBERS ONLY tab. If you're not a member yet, you can join for free in just a few seconds.

Good luck!!

Eleven Authors will be giving away books as well as a $100 Amazon gift card!  You can enter on my Facebook author page KarenRoseSmithBooks from February 1-7.
Karen's Facebook Author Page
Until next time...
Romance Website
Romance Website
Mystery Website
Mystery Website
Even though the official release date for GILT BY ASSOCIATION is February 1, you can pre-order now. (Button is on the left that will take you to Amazon.) You can find this cozy in bookstores, as well as with on-line booksellers. GILT BY ASSOCIATION has a Valentine's Day theme. Caprice De Luca's latest house staging is all about hearts, flowers, lace and chintz since Valentine's Day is around the corner. She never expects her client to be murdered in the greenhouse the day of the open house. With her pup Lady by her side and her own love life in disarray, Caprice ferrets out clues from the victim's best friend, Caprice's mother, the housekeeper and a special male friend who insists his relationship with the victim was platonic. However, as Caprice digs deeper, she finds the victim's past is felled with secrets that she kept from her husband for thirty years.The past isn't merely history. The present isn't always what it seems. When hearts are involved, passion even murder aren't far behind.


Here is Mason in his forever home with his new brother! They have become fast friends.
Mom Halo and daughter Paddington.  Paddington is a teenage kitty now!
Zoie likes to watch and play.  She and Paddington are friends.  She and Halo are coming to terms.
London is enjoying the sunshine.
Halo in the sun.
Book 2 in Karen Rose Smith's Caprice De Luca cozy mystery series.
Quiet Kismet, Pennsylvania, may look like any other small town, but as a home stager, Caprice De Luca can see behind closed doors--and it seems someone has designs on murder. . .Life is a full house for Caprice these days. She's dating, she's rescuing adorable cocker spaniels, and she's decorating the roomy interiors of Kismet's most well-heeled residents with fun fantasy themes. But she's worried about her pregnant sister. Bella's marriage is coming apart like a bad wallpaper job, and to make matters worse, she's decided to meet up with a former flame Bob Preston, a house painter Caprice frequently employs. When he's found dead in a pool of green paint swirling with blood, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation. With all eyes trained on Bella's husband, Caprice shifts her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit. . .
Discounted for Kindle in January Buy DEADLY DECOR
Cozy mystery, Book 1 in the Caprice De Luca home-stager mystery series

Caprice DeLuca stages houses for high-end clients. When she discovers a body in the castle-mansion she staged to sell and starts asking questions, she finds herself in danger. On the way to solving the murder, Caprice's large Italian family helps and hinders. She also finds romance with Dr. Seth Randolph. But does her brother's partner, attorney Grant Weatherford, care about her, too? Or is he just worried she'll get herself killed and her family will blame him?

Enjoy solving the mystery with Caprice, cook along with her, see her find homes for the stray animals she protects, be a part of the De Luca STAGED TO DEATH.
Discounted for Kindle in January Buy STAGED TO DEATH
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