Tuesday, December 10, 2019

It’s a Wonderful Life

When I was a little girl I really only remember two Christmases. The first was when I was eight. Santa brought me a bride dress for my doll and a chalkboard that said, “Merry Christmas from Santa.” My mom had made the dress from an old satin formal of hers because we had very little money for gifts. I’ll always believe in Santa Claus!
The other Christmas was the morning we four kids tore into our packages Santa brought, but I remember how haggard my mom looked, as if the gifts had been a financial burden they couldn’t afford. I was ten. Still, we never went without and we all grew up and lived fairly happy lives.
   Now as we are retired and have grandchildren I realize what a wonderful life God has blessed us with. He has allowed us to be neither rich nor poor. We have everything we need or want to the point of having to tell our children no more gifts! We’ve run out of room! But we will always have room in our hearts for the Christ child who is the very one making our lives so richly blessed.
  May you have a wonderful Christmas this year as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.

~Nancy Jill Thames

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Cozy Mystery Lovers Gift Ideas!

Hello, dear readers! 

I hope this holiday season finds you and your family well and safe. With traveling more to grown children's homes for the holidays, I'm toning the decorations down a bit. Anyone else experiencing this change of events?

The next thing to start thinking about is gifts and what to give. Last year my son gave me a mystery anthology and I’ve loved reading the stories. I count a new book as a definite treat!

If you'd like to give a friend or a loved one a gift that keeps on giving, the Jillian Bradley mysteries might be a good choice. Rated G with no profanity or offensive scenes, they are the perfect gift choice for readers on your list. Books range in price from $7.99 to $11.99 for paperbacks and FREE to $3.99 for eBooks. Not bad when you consider one can purchase the entire series for under $99.00 + tx and s/h. (Amazon Prime members enjoy free s/h!) 

Besides the 10 book series, there are short stories about Jillian and Teddy included in "The Jillian Bradley Short Story Collection."

Here is a complete list of books and buy links:

Whatever gifts we give and receive, may we be reminded of the greatest gift of all - Jesus, God's only begotten Son. 

Happy Holidays!

~Nancy Jill

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Hello everyone! With the cold weather setting the mood for the holiday season coming up, I just had to share my new favorite (and easy) for cranberry sauce. 

And with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner and for many of you Black Friday, too, I've decided to offer my first book "Murder in Half Moon Bay" as a free gift. You can download it now to read later when you're ready for a break during the hectic holidays. (Or January perhaps?)

      Barnes and Noble
All Jillian Bradley wants is to spend a quiet weekend by the ocean and enjoy her afternoon tea. But a startling discovery draws Jillian and her garden club friends into solving a mystery that threatens her life and changes her future.
"Murder in Half Moon Bay" Book 1 in the Jillian Bradley Mystery Series, introduces Jillian's little companion Teddy, a Yorkie who falls prey to danger but rises to become a sleuth dog in the next book.

Please feel free to share this offer with anyone who might enjoy a cozy mystery. Thank you! 

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving full of blessings with friends and family this year.

Cabernet Cranberry Sauce


~Nancy Jill 

Friday, November 8, 2019

When I Grow Old

As I age one thing is certain-I only have today. Just today to do what’s important. For me, making a cozy home for my husband and me is the thing I care about most. 
   Around the holidays now, instead of trying to plan around our children’s families, I have laid out a plan to bake and cook meals for only the two of us. Extra cookies and candies will be gifts for neighbors and my husband’s friends at the golf course. Special meals will be shared as luncheons for friends.
   Because I’m older the holiday decorations are put up as soon as Halloween is over and not taken down until after New Years. Since it takes us four days to decorate I want to enjoy the festive atmosphere for more than one month!
  Today I baked these White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies. I found the recipe on Pinterest. If all goes well, I’ll be making ten kinds of homemade cookies, four homemade candies, three special desserts (four if I can find persimmons), seven appetizers, and five holiday meals. All for my husband and me and our friends. 
   Yes, we’ll be with children on the holidays but they’ll be cooking their own special recipes. Perhaps they’ll make one or two of mine. But if they don’t, it’s quite all right. 
   Happy Holidays!
~Nancy Jill Thames


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Chili Hot Dogs to Die For!

If you love hot dogs as much as I do, you may enjoy this delicious recipe. It’s adaptable to your tastes, of course. When we were first married a tradition was started by having chili hot dogs every Sunday night during the cold months on a cozy little table in front of the fire. Whenever we eat them now we’re reminded of those fond times.
Our son recently shared his method for making them now for his family, so I’m sharing it with you!

Yummy Chili Hot Dogs


8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1 can of chili
1/2 an onion, diced
cheddar cheese
sweet relish


  • Line inside of hot dog buns with mayonnaise and sweet relish. (I know this sounds crazy, but the mayo did something magical to the bread! It stayed super soft and yummy!)
  • Evenly add mustard (I added ketchup too). Fill with hot dogs and squish into a 13×9″ baking pan.
  • Top hot dogs with chili, cheese, and diced onion. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.
See you in my books!
~Nancy Jill Thames

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Autumn’s Sweet Whisper

This week finally feels like Autumn here in Texas, despite an awful tornado touching down in North Texas where my grandsons live. Still, today the air is cool and crisp as Autumn should be.
   With the change in seasons the appeal for a nice cup of something warm and soothing seems a necessary part of the afternoon, along with a good book to read. I love books! Even if I never purchased another one I have enough to last a lifetime. 
  Currently my husband, daughter, and I, are reading through the Redwall Abbey series-22 books in all. They're full of adventure, good versus evil, and lovely descriptions of food enjoyed by the goodbeasts in the stories. I even have the Redwall Cookbook for added inspiration. The books are appropriate for any age.
   If you're looking for books that are more mystery than adventure and are cozy and clean please checkout our Cozy Books page and give them a try. If you enjoy them, good reviews are always appreciated.
My new teapot and cup and saucer this year serving Grandma's Pumpkin Spice tea from East Anora, NY.

Happy Autumn!

Nancy Jill Thames

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Rest Your Body While Improving Your Mind

Just as a vacation is supposed to reinvigorate, reading will improve your mind while you relax, unless, of course, you are reading something bloodthirsty or vile, which I'm sure none of you lovely readers do. And even at that, the news reports say nightmares are good exercises to help get us out of difficult situations. Great! 
   Every afternoon after completing my chores, I look forward to laying on the sofa, cuddled in a micro fleece throw, with phone, newspaper, and current book in hand. When I'm finished (after about three hours) I rise, make a cup of tea, and eat a small supper. I'm rested just enough to make it though the movie du jour with my husband. 
   I believe this routine contributes to good health and a happy disposition. Some exercise their bodies. I like to exercise my mind.
   For some good cozy mysteries that probably won't give you nightmares, check out our Cozy Book Page.
See you in my books!
~Nancy Jill Thames