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New York Times bestselling mystery author Kate Carlisle is a native Californian who worked in television production for many years before turning to writing. Kate also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Kate’s latest book, DECK THE HALLWAYS (a Fixer-Upper Mystery), is available in paperback and ebook wherever books are sold.

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Visit Kate online at www.KateCarlisle.com, and be sure to pop into the Secret Room, where she’s giving away a DECK THE HALLWAYS Christmas ornament every day in November!

DECK THE HALLWAYS is my first Christmas mystery, and I dove headfirst into a big pile of the holiday spirit! Small-town Christmas parade, neighbor with crazy lights, a community pulling together to help others, and even a whole volunteer crew of somewhat naughty Santa Clauses.

“Did you know you’ve got a bunch of . . . of Santa Clauses out there?” Sean let out an exasperated sigh. “Never mind. It’s too bizarre to explain. Just come with me.”

 Sean took off at a run and I hurried to follow him. Whatever was making him freak out had to be important. He was usually so calm. We turned the corner and that’s when I saw what he was talking about. Yes, there was Steve and his buddy Mitch, but in addition to those two, there were at least eight or ten more men dressed exactly like them. Like Santa Claus.

 They were everywhere.

 This wasn’t a Santa Brigade. This was a Santa Army.

In DECK THE HALLWAYS, Shannon Hammer is heading the most ambitious project the Holiday Homebuilders have ever undertaken—transforming a Victorian mansion into individual apartments for deserving families. The only sour note in this Christmas carol is Mr. Potter, the obnoxious banker with more enemies than Santa has elves. And enemy number one is Shannon’s own dad, who’s heard threatening the banker just hours before he’s killed. What with the project, helping to plan the Christmas parade, and oh yeah, clearing her father’s name, she doesn’t have a whole lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Here’s what she’ll be bringing to this year’s potluck:

Cheesy Cherry Crumble

(The full recipe is written out at the end of the blog.) Preheat oven to 350. Cut ½ cup of cold butter into 1-1/4 cups of flour until the butter pieces are about the size of lentils. Stir in ½ cup of chopped pecans

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Pat mixture into an ungreased 13×9-inch cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Unlike in this picture, which is darkly golden (dare I say brown) at the edges. Cool to room temperature.

Mix together 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature, 1 cup of powdered sugar, and six ounces of Cool Whip. Spread over the crust. Leave the oven on.

Spread two cans of cherry pie filling over the cheese mixture. Refrigerate.

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Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup of rolled oats (not quick oats), 1 cup of flour, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Put in an oven-safe cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes.

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Cool completely, then sprinkle over the cherry mixture. Refrigerate until serving. This dish, like murder, is best served cold.

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Kate Carlisle’s Cheesy Cherry Crumble

Ingredients:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons of butter, divided

2 ¼ cup flour, divided

½ cup chopped pecans

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

6 oz Cool Whip

2 cans of cherry pie filling (or any pie filling you prefer)

½ cup rolled oats (not quick oats)

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Cut ½ cup of cold butter into 1-1/4 cups of flour until the butter pieces are about the size of lentils. Stir in ½ cup of chopped pecans. Pat mixture into an ungreased 13×9-inch cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Unlike in this picture, which is darkly golden (dare I say brown) at the edges. Cool to room temperature.

Mix together 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature, 1 cup of powdered sugar, and six ounces of Cool Whip. Spread over the crust. Leave the oven on. Spread two cans of cherry pie filling over the cheese mixture. Refrigerate.

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup of rolled oats (not quick oats), 1 cup of flour, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Put in an oven-safe cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Cool completely, then sprinkle over the cherry mixture. Refrigerate until serving. This dish, like murder, is best served cold.

 

 

 

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