Crime and Clutter by Cyndy Salzmann and Book Giveaway #5!
“When life gets sticky, dip it in chocolate,” say the six feisty members of the Friday Afternoon Club (FAC) whom fans of Salzmann’s first book, Dying to Decorate (check out my review), fell in love with. Luckily, the FAC always has plenty of chocolate on hand. At one meeting, the dog was poisoned with chocolate. (She survived, thankfully, although the carpet wasn't so fortunate.) Another time, they decided to highlight their own hair, resulting in pumpkin-colored stripes. But while carpets can be cleaned and hair color restored, this coming April, the FAC girls are about to find themselves in the middle of a sticky situation with ominous consequences.
Club member Mary Alice keeps a perfect house, cooks perfect meals, and documents everything about her perfect world in her coordinated scrapbooks. Therefore, everyone is astounded to learn that she's hiding a decrepit 1963 Volkswagen mini-bus that she refuses to talk about. It doesn't take long before M-A's secret is out. She's a flower child, born on a commune to hippie parents. The van is all M-A has left of her father. But as the gang helps her sift through the junk, they stumble upon a deeper mystery.
Set in both the present day and the turbulent 1960's, Cyndy Salzmann takes her readers along on a journey filled with as many twists and surprises as there are recipes and household tips. The novel is full of hints such as how to create a sweet-smelling house using vinegar, baking soda, and soaked cotton balls. It even has recipes ranging from Vegetarian Lentil Stew to Pesto Cheesecake. And, of course, there are chocolate recipes enjoyed by the FAC girls.
Cyndy Salzmann is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and the author of three nonfiction books on home management, one of which focuses on getting rid of clutter. She speaks nationally on the topic of home management and has a weekly radio spot airing on Moody station WDLM. Her novels celebrate life while making her readers laugh at the dilemmas faced by millions of modern women.
- A chocolate recipe
Triple Chocolate Pecan Brownies
1 package brownie mix
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package. Add remaining ingredients to batter.
3. Put batter in greased 9 x 9 pan. Bake 40-45 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
- A household tip
Uses for salt…
· Add a pinch of salt to your coffee basket before brewing. This will make the coffee less acidic tasting.
· To clean silk flowers and plants, place them in a large bag with one cup of salt. Shake vigorously for a few minutes. Your plants will come out dust free.
· Remove rust from household tools by making a paste with salt and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply to rusted area with a dry cloth and rub.
- An organization tip
Too many books?
- How many days do you wear your blue jeans before they go in the laundry?
Jeans are so much more comfortable on the second day. Plus, laundry is the bane of my existence. I am always behind. My only solace comes from Gen 2:25, “They were naked and not ashamed.”
- How many sizes of clothing do you have in your closet? In storage?
I sometimes think I should have those little size rings in my closet 8, 10, 12, “none of your business.” : )
- What is your comfort food?
My mom’s fried chicken and cream gravy. Especially in the summer when she serves it with homegrown tomatoes, green beans fresh from the garden and creamy mashed potatoes. Maybe this is why I should have those size rings in my closet…
- White chocolate? Milk chocolate? Dark chocolate?
Definitely dark chocolate now that researchers say it is a “super food” that’s better for you than blueberries. Plus I just found out that Harry & David sells dark chocolate covered blueberries. I can just feel the vitamins coursing through my body when I pop one of those babies into my mouth. : )
- What’s your favorite mode of communication? E-mail, Instant Message, Land Line Phone, Cell Phone, Old-Fashioned Snail Mail Letter?
I adore receiving a snail mail note or letter. There’s something special about seeing someone’s handwriting and knowing they took the time to write and post a letter. However, thoughtless person that I am, I always use email.
- What’s your idea of a day of relaxation?
Massage. Pedicure. Lunch. Movie.
- When you are stressed, who’s the first person you call?
I have this reminder on my fridge… “Go to the throne before you go to the phone.” But I usually call my hubby at work to whine – unless it’s Friday. Then I can make it to and whine to my FAC friends.
- What’s your biggest pet peeve?
My husband and son’s channel surfing. I want to scream, “Just make a decision and stick with it!”
- Who would play you in the Cyndy Salzmann movie of the week?
My friend Marilyn recently told me that my new hairstyle makes me look like Renée Zellweger. (Marilyn is now my very favorite friend.) So, I guess I’d have to let Renee at least audition for the part…
10. If you could do one thing over in life, what would it be?
Work less. Play more. That is so shallow…