October 2023 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting my website.  It’s October.  Wow.  Where does the time go?  I’m just getting used to seeing Halloween decorations, and if you blink a few times, you’ll start seeing holiday decorations!  Can someone please slow it down?  We should be able to enjoy what’s happening now, but everyone is moving at the speed of light, and there’s barely enough time to enjoy each day as it comes.  I know, I’ve been on that soap box before, but try to stop and smell the pumpkin spice before it’s frankincense and myrrh.  😊

Now that we’re officially into Fall, for many of you it’s time to do the wardrobe switch-over.  What a royal pain that can be, but it’s a good time to purge some of those things that you will never, ever wear again.  Make a pile and donate them.  There are people who are in desperate need of clothing.  As my Aunt Irene would say, “let someone else enjoy it.”

On to fun stuff.  I am happy to say LIAR! has been getting great reviews, so I thank all my fans and readers!  AND it’s # 10 on the NEW YORK TIMES Best Seller List!  People really like the brother and sister team, Luna and Cullen.  SANTA & COMPANY is on sale now and is an “Editor’s Pick.”  For those of you who read SANTA CRUISE, you’ll be delighted to reconnect with Frankie, Rachael, Amy, and Nina as they hit the slopes in Lake Tahoe with lots of twists and turns.  (No pun intended…you’ll see what I mean when you read it!)

This month’s contest is a collection of books, including LIAR!, HIDDEN, WEEKEND WARRIORS, TICK TOCK, ON THE LINE, ABOUT FACE.  (Maybe some early Christmas gifts?)

Be well, be safe, be kind, and try to have some fun.

All the best, Fern

October 2023 Recipes

P.S.  Halloween is in a few weeks and we surely need a few treats, food or otherwise.  October is also Oktoberfest and I want to share a pretzel recipe with you:

Soft Pretzels

for 8 servings

  • 1 ½ cups water, warm
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • ⅔ cup baking soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • coarse salt


  • In a bowl, mix water, salt, and sugar until combined. Add yeast and let rest 5 minutes until yeast starts to foam.
  • Add flour and 2 tablespoons of oil and mix thoroughly until a dough forms.
  • Remove the dough and use the remaining oil to cover the bowl.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Cut dough into 8 pieces and roll them out into thin ropes, twisting the two ends to form a pretzel shape.
  • Add baking soda to a large pot of water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds per side.
  • Transfer pretzels to a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Enjoy!

Now for something sweet:

Pumpkin Bread

for 12 servings

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey, and water, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Sprinkle the whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt over the wet ingredients and fold until the batter is well combined.
  • Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and smooth the top into an even layer.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully unmolding.
  • Let the loaf sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing.