Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Dear Tracie--

Thank you so much for the opportunity to present a recipe (and my new culinary mystery) to your readers.

I have a recipe in my first culinary mystery (Mission Impastable, Oak Tree Press, summer, 2013) with a story that begins more than 50 years ago in Ohio farm country. I had a very good friend from those days, but we lost touch over the years due to our various moves.

I found Pat Roth Cory again in early summer of 2009 through a high school classmate, and I called her. We talked for more than an hour, and then we began exchanging e-mails. In one of the e-mails, she told me her mother was still living at age 98, though not doing well, in Ohio. Pat lives in Tennessee these days.

Excerpted E-mail Exchange:
From me:
Aug. 27, 2009

Your mother had a lasting impression on me as a young teen. I didn't know her well, of course, and I only saw her a few times, but one night I spent at your home changed me.

As you may or may not know, we were very poor. When I was younger, food was sometimes an issue. We lived on farms, but that was for free rent, garden space, and half a cow and pig once a year if we would take care of the farm for the owner (not even as high a status as share cropper).

I didn't know much about the finer things in life. I babysat for a couple who played classical music all the time. I learned to love it, and to this day we play classical music a good bit.

At your home, your mother served blueberry muffins with dinner! I had never seen anything but biscuits or rolls served with dinner. Muffins were for breakfast. It seems trivial now, in the retelling, but it swung my world on its axis. There could be more to this culinary thing than fried foods and green beans cooked in lard. There was a grace and an elegance about the meal that was unlike what I knew. Your mother gave me a vision of a better way of life than what I knew up to then.

I know she probably won't even remember who I was, but next time you see her, give her a hug and a thank you from me. She gave form to my yearning for a different life I didn't even know I wanted until I glimpsed the alternative. I am grateful to her. To this day, I often serve fruit muffins with dinner! 

This was Pat’s reply:
Sept 18, 2009

I went home over Labor Day. Had a great day with my mother on Friday; took her for a ride out in her car. It was a beautiful day and we went over to Buckeye Lake, got a burger and a frosty from Wendy's for lunch and then drove by the cemetery and her old house. Saturday she was tired so we didn't go out. I pulled up her e-mails so she could see the letter you sent--she said she would like to read it again. Sunday I went out and thought she was asleep but unfortunately she had a stroke. She wasn't able to talk or swallow after that. She passed away last Friday (September 11).

Just wanted you to know that we both appreciated the email you sent.  And I thought you might like the recipe for the muffins.

Mrs. Roth’s Rich Blueberry Muffins
12 muffins
½ c blueberries (frozen okay)                                   
¼ c butter                                                           
1 egg                                                                       
1¾ cups flour                                                           
2½ t baking powder
¼ t salt
½ c milk
½ c sugar
Cream sugar into softened butter. Add the egg. Mix well. 
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and sugar together into the bowl. Add milk.  Beat until smooth.
Pour into greased muffin tins. Press 4 or 5 blueberries into each muffin.  Sprinkle tops with sugar.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. 

I am so grateful I found Pat at that time so I could thank her mother for what she couldn’t have imagined she did for me. I had no idea the timing would be so a propos. I put the recipe in my book as a tribute to her and her terrific daughter.

After 39 years as an educator, SHARON ARTHUR MOORE  "transitioned" to the life of full-time fiction writer. She's an intrepid cook, game-player, and miniatures lover. She writes culinary mysteries, women's fiction, historical fiction, short stories, plays, and erotic romance (Under the pen name Angelica French). Sharon has lived in every region of the country except the Pacific Northwest and loved every single one of them. Her current favorite region is the desert Southwest. She is married to the most extraordinary man and claims four children, one daughter-in-law, a grandson, and dog Maudie.

Find Sharon Arthur Moore Online: 
Write Away (Blog) 

In celebration of In Need of Therapy's one-year anniversary and the book's Cuban heroine, enter to win a copy of the cookbook Celebrate Cuban - 100 Great Recipes for Cuban Entertaining by Three Guys From Miami. You can enter up to 6 times using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will end at midnight on Wednesday, July 31st, and a winner will be announced on Thursday, August 1st. This contest is open to residents of the USA only.
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  1. Mmmmm, those look yummy. I'm going to have to try making them.

    1. While I have other blueberry muffins that are tastier, these please my soul in a very deep place. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Book Mama.

  2. Oh boy. Just another reason to love Sharon Moore! xoxoxo

    1. Thanks, Martha. You have been a continual support for me throughout this long process of publishing!

  3. I could eat muffins with or for every meal

    1. Me, too. I am currently on a buttermilk oatmeal muffin jag that my DH loves.

  4. What a lovely story. Isn't it amazing how brief encounters with people can have such a big impact on us? We never know the little things we do that might have a big impact on someone else. (And those muffins look fabulous!) Thanks for sharing the story, Sharon!

    1. Thanks for dropping in, Jackie, and commenting. It is so true. Each action ripples out and creates waves we don't anticipate. I am trying to be more mindful each day.

  5. What a touching story, Sharon! Including the recipe in your book is such a beautiful tribute! (And I love the title of your novel!)

    1. Thanks, Cat! I am so happy the events converged so I could thank her indirectly before she died. You should hear the titles of upcoming books in the series! LOL Making up titles is more than half the fun. (Can't wait to write Tequila Mockingbird.)

  6. That was great! It is amazing how people influenced our lives and they had no idea.