Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guest Post by Shelia Roberts, author of "Angel Lane" - Book Blog Tour. UPDATE: With Review Added!!

Today, I am honored to have Shelia Roberts, author of “Angel Lane,” guest blogging for me as a part of her Book Blog Tour.

Shelia’s book, “Angel Lane,” is a delightful novel of women’s friendships and how that bond can change an entire town’s attitude with just a little elbow grease and love!

Here’s Shelia –

by Sheila Roberts

I love chocolate and always make sure I get a good daily dose of “vitamin C” (and I’m not talking about those orange flavored pills!). I’m glad that researchers have discovered its many health benefits. It’s nice to know as I’m packing new pounds on my hips that I’m also consuming a mood elevator that enables me to not care that I’m packing those pounds on my hips.

The claims of chocolate’s benefits are many and varied. It contains antioxidants, raises good cholesterol, and may diminish appetite. (Ha! I always knew chocolate was a diet food.)

So, considering how good it is for us, I thought it would be fun to have a character in my book, “Angel Lane,” who owns a chocolateria. Jamie Moore is not your normal female because she manages to run this shop and still keep the kind of figure that has local cop Josh Armstrong drooling.

I really enjoyed writing this tale of three women entrepreneurs who decide the people in their small, lakeside town need to reconnect. Jamie’s other two cohorts are Sarah Goodwin, who owns the town bakery and Emma Swanson, who owns a struggling quilt shop. You could put what I know about quilting in a thimble, so I had to recruit help on all things quilt related. But baking?
Chocolate? That’s another story entirely, and I had a wonderful time collecting and inventing recipes for the book.

They are all fabulous. And of course, many of them are chocolate.

Here’s a great recipe that somehow didn’t make the cut. I’ve had it for years (got it from my friend Stacia when I was first married) and it’s wonderful. Consider it a bonus, a gift from one chocolate lover to another.

Best Ever Brownies


2 cups flour
1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, well-beaten
1 tsp soda
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp salt
1 cup water
3 Tb. Nestle’s Quick
1 tsp vanilla


Sift dry ingredients together with sugar into a large bowl and set aside. Put margarine, water and Nestle’s Quick in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients and mix. Put eggs, soda, buttermilk, and vanilla into another bowl and fold together, then add to other mixture, mixing well. Pour into a greased and floured cookie sheet the old-fashioned kind with a lip around the edges) and bake 20 minutes at 350. When cooled, frost with frosting recipe below.

Brownie Frosting
½ cup margarine
1 one pound box of pwd sugar
3 Tb. Nestle’s Quick
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
6 Tb milk
1 tsp vanilla

Directions: Mix margarine, Nestle’s Quick, and milk in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat but don’t boil. Once it’s all melted remove from heat and then add the powdered sugar, nuts and vanilla. Mix well and frost the brownies.

If enjoying these brownies doesn’t elevate your mood . . . give up. You’re dead.

About the Author:

Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She's happily married and has three children. Writing since 1989, she has had 24 books published, both in fiction and nonfiction under different names and in different languages. However before she settled into her writing career, she did lots of other things, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. But writing and helping others to find ways to make their lives better are her greatest passions.

Her down-to-earth wisdom and quirky upbeat sense of humor make Sheila a popular speaker to groups large and small. Her books are becoming perennial hot sellers. Her book “Bikini Season” was a Bookscan top 50, a Target Breakout Novel pick and an Amazon Beach Read pick. On Strike for Christmas will be released this year for the third year in the row and has been optioned for film. Her new release "Love in Bloom" has been chosen as a Reader’s Digest Condensed Book. Now… if she could just get on “Dancing with the Stars”!

You can visit her website at http://www.sheilasplace.com/. Be sure to check out her Angel Lane Chocolate contest while you are there!!

Thank you so much, Shelia, for your wonderful blog and recipe! And thank you to Dorothy Thompson of “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” for providing the opportunity.

UPDATE: My Review of "Angel Lane"!

Angel Lane
By Shelia Roberts
St. Martin’s Griffin; $13.99

Small town living can be delightful, until that small town is overrun with folks looking for that “special” atmosphere that a big city can’t offer.

Determined to prevent Heart Lake from becoming another big little town, three friends band together to bring the “heart” back into their hometown.

“Angel Lane,” by Shelia Roberts, is a delightful novel of women’s friendships and how that bond can change an entire town’s attitude with just a little elbow grease and love!

Jamie Moore, owner of the Chocolate Bar, is dismayed at how the “small town” feel of Heart Lake is rapidly dissolving. People were just not as friendly to each other as they used to be. So Jamie enlists the help of her friend Emma Swanson, owner of Emma’s Quilt Corner, and her aunt Sarah Goodwin, owner of the Sweet Somethings Bakery, to come up with a program of rewarding good deeds and actions about town, a kind of “pay it forward” idea.

Meanwhile, Emma is fighting to keep her small quilt shop open, and is growing a little weary of being alone all the time. But where will she find her Prince Charming?

Sarah has been down in the dumps as well since her daughter’s family has moved away, leaving her grandchildless for the time being. Instead of embracing the “empty nest,” Sarah begins to look for ways to fill her time, much to the chagrin of her husband, and to the delight of a new neighbor who has less than stellar motives.

As the Christmas season descends upon the tiny town, the three ladies throw themselves into the “good deed” project, never realizing just how much this simple plan would soon change all of their lives for the good.

Shelia Roberts revisits Heart Lake in her second novel of the series, “Angel Lane,” bringing her readers up to date on the activities of her characters first introduced in “Love in Bloom.” “Angel Lane” is a heartwarming read that includes romance, a little bit of mystery, and a whole lot of fun.

A wonderful bonus is all the luscious recipes that Roberts includes with this book! They will send you into a chocolate lover’s heaven!

Thank you to Ryann Gastwirth of St. Martin’s Press for the review copy of “Angel Lane.”


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

These sound delicious! Yum. I love chocolate and it's so nice to know that there are health benefits to eating it.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Sheila said...

Hi Sharon! Thanks for having me today. And, speaking of great recipes, loved all the great ones I found thanks to your fall festival of recipes exchange!

Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

Thank you for coming by Elizabeth! You're always such a loyal commentor!

Thank you Shelia for coming by!

....Petty Witter said...

Thanks for that post Sharon. As always it was interesting and, as for, the recipe for those brownies - yummmmeeee. Pretty good timing as well, it being National Chocolate Week here in the UK.

holdenj said...

It sounds like a good book! Interesting recipe that was shared, having Nesquik in the brownies! May have to try that one!

Ingrid King said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, and the brownies sound positively decadent.