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|July News from Susan Wiggs
Lakeside Cottage won the RITA Award. I’m not gonna lie, I’m ridiculously proud of this achievement. It’s an award granted by fellow writers, who are notorious for being the world’s pickiest readers. However, what I’m proudest of when it comes to this book has nothing to do with awards and everything to do with a particular reader.
Alma M. wrote me a letter saying that she believed reading this book saved her daughter’s life. Whether this is true or not, I’ll never know, because I’ve never met this woman or her teenage daughter, Kimmy. But the letter was sincere. Kimmy had been suffering from mysterious symptoms, just like the fictional teenager Callie in Lakeshore Cottage. Kimmy felt terrible but they could never pinpoint what was going on with her. While reading the book, Alma realized Kimmy might be suffering from the same problem as Callie, so she took her back to the doctor. Turns out the diagnosis was exactly the same. (Trying not to include a spoiler here.) Anyway, this is by far the proudest moment for this book.
I can’t promise Lakeside Cottage will save your life, but I bet it will brighten your day. A struggling single mom, a mysterious man with a secret past, a secluded cottage by a lake, a fun recipe collection in the back of the book…come on, what’s not to like? Jump on in. The water’s fine!
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My most-requested recipe:
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1. Place the butter in a large bowl and cream at high speed until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until completely mixed.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture at low speed until just combined and add vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl down, until blended. Do not overmix.
3. Add chocolate chunks and mix till thoroughly combined. Refrigerate batter until cold, preferably overnight.
4. Preheat a conventional oven to 350 degrees or a convection oven to 300 degrees, and line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets and bake, turning tray once, until golden brown around edges and soft (but not bubbly), about 9 minutes in a convection oven or 12 in a conventional one. Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 36 to 72 cookies, depending on size.
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