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There is nothing like finding a dead body, clad only in a red satin thong, on your property to jolt you from a quiet routine. Jules Keene, owner of the posh Fern Valley Camping Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is thrust into the world of the Dark Web when one of her guests, Ira Perkins, is found murdered in the woods near her vintage trailers. Jules quickly discovers that the man who claimed to be on a writing retreat was not what he seemed, and someone will go to any length to find what he left at her resort. Jules, along with her Jack Russell Terrier sidekick Bijou, has to put the rest of the missing pieces of a blackmailing scheme together before her business is ruined.
Jules’s resort, set in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville in the quaint town of Fern Valley, offers guests a unique vacation in refurbished and upcycled vintage trailers. Hoping to expand her offerings, she partners with her maintenance/security guy to create a village of tiny houses, the latest home DIY craze, but a second murder of a reporter interrupts Jules’s expansion plans. Curiosity gets the best of her, and she steps up her sleuthing to find out what Ira Perkins was really up to and what he was really hiding at her resort.
Cinnamon and Chai Snickerdoodles
I’m Heather Weidner, and I write the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Jules’s parents bought the traditional campground before she was born, and after her divorce from the Idiot, she moved back to the resort, where she helped her father convert and repurpose vintage trailers. She saved a bunch from the scrapheap and was able to preserve their history and to create some upscale places for her guests to visit. All of the trailers come with wine chillers and posh amenities for glamping (glamorous camping). Jules and her team serve breakfast to her guests in the resort’s lodge.
This is a recipe for a fall cookie favorite at the Fern Valley Camping Resort. Look for more recipes that appear in the book at the end of Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers.
1½ cups of sugar (separated)
2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
½ cup of softened butter
½ cup of shortening
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Dash of salt
1 10-ounce bag of cinnamon baking chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Create the sugary topping by combining ½ cup of the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, mix the butter, shortening, the rest of the sugar, and two tablespoons of your sugary topping until it is fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
In another large bowl, mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Once blended, mix this into your other bowl with the butter and shortening. Mix in the cinnamon chips and ensure everything is blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the dough is firm.
Shape the chilled dough into one-inch balls. Roll each in the sugary topping. Place these on greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for about 13 minutes or until the cookie is set. Cool on wire racks.
About the Author
Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers is the first in her cozy mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. She also writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia (Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband).
Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.
She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
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