Welcome to Fern Michaels

HIDDEN is #3 on The New York Times Best Seller List & #15 on USA Today!

Hello and Welcome!

Thank you for joining me today.  The website has a whole lot of information about my books, but right now I want to get personal.  Each month I hope to share some insight as to what inspires me, and what I am up to when I’m not writing.

Dear Friends,

This is what I wrote a year ago:

Let me start with wishing everyone a happy, healthy, stress-less 2021.  If you feel like you’ve been living in the spin-cycle of the washing machine, you are not alone.  2020 was a year where you wanted to hide under the bed as we were bombarded with bad news on a daily basis.  So, for this new year’s resolution let’s “resolve” to be strong and kind.  I know it’s hard to be pleasant when your life is in chaos,  but remember you are not alone.  We are all going through this together, even if we are apart.  Hang in there.  I truly believe better days are ahead.

It  doesn’t seem like much has changed, eh?   Feels like life is a hamster wheel or a recurring nightmare.  All I can say is the same things I said before.  Be strong.  Be kind.  Have faith.  And yes, I still believe we can get back to an old normal, because this new normal is kind of stinky.

The cats managed to mangle a few Christmas trees.  They think ornaments are toys.  Next year I may invest in rubber ornaments if they make them.  If they don’t, then someone should!  Based on the stories I heard, most pet owners would buy them for sure!

Once again I want to thank you for all your support last year and the years before.  Your kind words on social media mean a lot to me.  I’m not a big fan of social media because too many people use it in negative ways, so I greatly appreciate positive feedback and spreading a little cheer.

Time to talk books. For those of you who are Sisterhood fans, 19 Yellow Moon Road is on sale now.   If you haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, have no fear.  There is a lot of back story so you don’t have to start at the beginning of the series. This one was interesting to write because it deals with a very wealthy man who lures young women into a sex slave enterprise.  Sound familiar?  The subject has been in the news lately.  Sometimes I scare myself when I write about things that eventually happen.  Believe me, I do not claim to have any psychic abilities whatsoever.  It just seems to occur from time to time. Too bad I can’t do that with the lottery!  So this month’s contest will be a signed copy of 19 Yellow Moon Road.

No matter where you live, the weather seems to be unpredictable.  We’ve had temperature swings from 65 to 35 degrees in two days.  I worry about the trees and the plants.  They have no idea what’s going on.  Come to think of it, it seems like the weather has the meteorologists perplexed as well.

Let’s hang on to our hats, coats, and pantaloons and face the New Year with as much gusto as possible.  To help with that I am including some comfort food to fuel your soul.

Be well, be safe.  Be kind.  Have fun.

All the best,

Fern

Easy Minestrone Soup  (Minestrone comes from the Italian word Minestra which means soup!) Easy Soup Soup!

This is a very healthy, hearty soup.  It can keep in the fridge for about a week, and you can freeze it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – I prefer Italian olive oil (EVOO or Light – up to you)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked pasta (Mezzi Rigatoni or Shells)
  • 1/3 cup teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Sauté the celery and onion in oil and butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add macaroni; cook, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

Another hearty stew/soup:

CABBAGE & BEANS     

  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried beans, soaked overnight (or 16 oz canned white beans, drained)
  • ½ pound smoked sausage (or your favorite vegan substitute – sounds like an oxymoron to me) Pepperoni or Chorizo is good for this – set aside a few slices for garnishing
  • 16 oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

Directions:

In a large pot, combine the beans, sausage, broth, cabbage and butter.

Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and set a lid on top but leave a crack for steam.

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the lid, add the tomatoes and; simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

And if you’re in a cheesy kind of mood:

Grilled cheese sandwiches.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  BTW, did you know you can substitute mayonnaise (the real stuff) instead of butter?  I recently discovered that many diners use it in place of butter.

Grilled Swiss Cheese, Bacon & Tomato – I like it on Rye Bread

Make sure the bacon is cooked first.

*Slather up two slices of bread with either butter or mayo.  Place slathered side down on medium heat in frying pan.

Place 2-3 slices of Swiss cheese on each slice of bread.  When cheese starts to melt top with bacon and a slice of tomato.  Let melt for another minute.  Carefully flip one of the slices over and place on top of the other – cheese meets cheese.   Yummy.

If you want a little tang:
Sourdough bread
Provolone
Cheddar
*Same routine as above substituting cheeses

Even more tang:
Your choice of bread
Monterey Jack
Jalapeno peppers – as much heat as you can stand
*Same routine as above substituting cheese and adding peppers

If you’re like me, technology can be a little confusing.  Okay, a lot confusing, so here’s a little more info to help you navigate.

We put all my books from 2021 on the 2021 page and all the upcoming releases on the 2022 page.

The SERIES TAB explains each series and the books in the series.  There’s a tab about  me, Mary Kuczkir—yep that’s my real name; recipes, and my furry friends.

Thank you! Enjoy!