National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Let’s celebrate! It’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in the UK and the USA.Chocolate Chip Cookie

Do you love your cookies thin and crisp? Or would you rather have your cookies soft and moist? Do you love nuts in your cookies? Or do you prefer a nut-less cookie? There are as many chocolate chip cookie recipes as their are people who love to EAT chocolate chip cookies.

Now for some recipes!


And here’s a recipe for BIG, FAT CHEWY ones.

(:::Whispers::: The secret to soft cookies is to slightly underbake them.)

If you love THIN AND CRISPY COOKIES, try here. Or you can try this recipe.

I couldn’t believe it, but I actually found a NO BAKE cookie recipe.

Let’s talk nuts! Food and Wine magazine has a nutty version where you can add either walnuts or pecans. While Bon Appetit adds hazelnuts.

Let’s talk flavorings. Here’s a recipe that features NUTELLA. Here’s one that adds OATMEAL. And here’s one that makes the dough CHOCOLATE. (Can there be too much, chocolate? I don’t think so.)

Parade Magazine offers recipes with a twist–additions like caramel, browned butter, peanut butter, bananas, and more. I urge all bakers to check out this article!

I don’t know Johnny Iuzzini, but over at Ambitious Kitchen blog they’re featuring his recipe for KILLER cookies. Take a look to see what you think.

I even found some recipes dubbed THE WORST EVER. I have to admit, I was chuckling. Can there BE a bad cookie?

You can find my traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe here. It is an adaptation of the recipe I found in my Betty Crocker Cookbook. I made a few changes.

You can find my favorite non-traditional recipe here. This recipe features white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts. Yum!


Is listening the best way to read a book?

When my fifty-year-old niece begged me to put my books in audible form, I was very hesitant. The expense alone made me hesitate… and then there was all the work involved in a world I didn’t know anything about. And between us, I shied away from having to delve into yet another publishing arena. I’d already taken on too many frustrating responsibilities as a successful author. You don’t want to get me started on all the chores Indie authors have to deal with… we’ll just say I’ve been expensing wigs lately because my hair’s only going to last so long.

But with each visit, she didn’t let up – explaining earnestly that the only time she ever had a spare moment to pick up a book was either when she was driving or doing her exercises. And she could see her peers were pretty much in the same boat.

She confided that her new favorite way to read a book was to listen to it. That way, she didn’t feel like she was sitting on her buff not getting her work done. She’d even started tuning into her books while she cooked, baked, cleaned the house, and got ready in the morning.

Plus, she really wanted to read MY books. Okay – she was working me, and between us, it was rather effective.

So… I decided that I would try an audiobook for myself to see if she knew something I didn’t. At first, I just used the earphones my husband had bought me years ago, and I downloaded a book to my phone. I’ll admit that walking my pup, Charli, everyday became a lot more fun. Soon… I noticed that the wires from my earphones were getting all caught up in everything, and so I invested in a pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones… and that did it.

I was hooked.

It was about that time the other ladies at the Billboard came up with the idea that we needed a separate page on our website for Audible books. Ones that our members had created. I was thrilled. Being that I’d started the process of getting my own popular series put into audio book form, I totally supported their idea.

And so our beautiful new page appeared.

If you click on the Audiobook’s link in the website’s list above, you’ll see some wonderful choices for you to browse through.

***I know there are various plans on the buying end Amazon activated that you might want to look into.

So far, I have three of my books in the Undercover FBI series available, and they can be found in the above page.   

Check it out! Let us know what you think?


And… if you’ve never listened to a book, try it soon.

The Audibles app is available on everyone’s phone in the Play Store.

You’ll love it!

🎁 Free Books are like Big Macs! Find out how they compare. #ChristmasInJuly #FreeBook @Author_Carmen

As I wrote that line, not only was I reminded of Joe Fox’s comment in You’ve Got Mail about vats of olive oil, but I also realized — and this is fitting to the post — not everyone likes Big Macs. Me, eh … not really, I’d rather have a black-bean burger. But I LOVE McDonald’s french fries and coffee. I digress … 

The M in McDonald’s is probably the most commonly known trademark throughout the world, and yet, McDonald’s advertises…

EVERYWHERE! Radio, TV, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, your mailbox… 

Yes, even though there’s a good chance that you’ll go to McDonald’s in the near future — umm … for coffee — they still pay millions of dollars to bring you into their lair. And one of their most popular draws is the freebie or discount, often called a “loss leader.”

Yes, that lure of a free or bargain sandwich is what gets you in the door. Sure, you could just order the Big Mac, but oh, those fries smell so good, and then you’ll want a nice refreshing soda — Diet Coke, of course — to wash it all down. Yep! They gotcha! They know if you come in for the free sandwich, more than likely, you’ll go away with more, and there’s a good chance, you’ll bring a friend or two.

Well, that’s what a free or $0.99 eBook is like. Like the Big Mac, authors offer you a bestseller at FREE or $0.99, hoping you’ll order a follow-up novel, and maybe even a third. 

I’m not particularly fond of cliffhangers… I always like to end the current situation, and then dangle another situation in front of the reader. But even a cliffhanger is like a Big Mac. Sure, you could just have water, but authors hope that once you finish the book, your mouth is watering for something more. Water … love it. But some things, like burgers and pizza, just taste better with Coke. Wasn’t that a campaign, too? 

I always offer a snack. It just seems like a nice way for us to meet. If your mouth doesn’t water for another course, that’s okay. I just hope you enjoy a little escapism on me.

In celebration of Christmas in July, I’m giving away Chicago Hope, a single women’s fiction with a hint of romance, on! Want more? I always offer a few treats on my website,

Until next time, happy reading, friends!

Carmen DeSousa

Thank you for reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer.

Womb Mates and Then Some

This is the family’s newest mate, my grandson Jax, but please bear with me as I take a stroll down memory lane.

About a decade ago, Joe and I traveled to Virginia for a family reunion. My aunt was about to turn 83 years young and we were also going to celebrate a cousin’s milestone birthday, too. I felt crazy excited to be going because I hadn’t seen my aunt since 2009, shortly after my mother passed.
Over the course of the weekend, my aunt and I shared some spirited conversations about life in general and what we’d been doing since last we’d met. However, comments she made most mesmerizing were sharing how it feels to be the surviving twin, once a beloved sibling is gone.
Aunt has always referred to Mom as her Womb Mate. Mom was a dependent kind of woman, while Aunt was independent and a doer. She stood close by her sister and took care of her, emotionally and financially, especially after my parents divorced. Whenever Aunt visited us, she used her gifted wit to keep us all laughing.

I can’t remember a time that Aunt didn’t have Mom peeing her pants with her outrageous sense of humor. They were two of a kind in that department, and although Mom was needy, she never lost her own good humor, or the ability to love and be loved. Mom was also a talented artist and her paintings grace the walls of every family member’s home. That she relied on others bothered no one, because she was a shining star in her own right.
So, when we arrived at my aunt’s house, I was totally taken aback by her resemblance to Mom, perhaps for the first time ever. Mom and Aunt are fraternal twins, but as they grew older, their mannerisms and speech patterns became nearly identical. It was like seeing my mother once more.
The visit we had shared proved to be a powerful reminder of how much we both loved and missed Mom. Aunt is now half of a whole and I think she may miss Mom more than I if such a thing is possible. Those two had a special bond not everyone has the pleasure to share. They were conceived and born of one woman’s body. This makes them Womb Mates. And that’s kind of cool when you think about it…

My womb mate’s my brother, Eddie – although we didn’t share space at the same time, providence declared us mates just the same. We are so close I wrote a book about him and me, and what it was like to be siblings in the sixties when one of us was a special needs child. When people didn’t understand and how we persevered as children with an abusive father. Now, not only am I his Womb Mate, I’m also his guardian.

The story is called Running on All Fours and is the only nonfiction story I have ever penned. Because I lean towards romantic humor and suspense, writing the story was both a challenge and a labor of love. He is my best friend after all.

The book is currently on sale for 99 cents everywhere.

Because of Covid, I haven’t been able to see my Womb Mate as often as I’d love to, but here’s our Easter Sunday photo:

Anyway, I know you’re looking for humor during these trying times, or just because you like reading this fun genre – so kindly check out our Cute But Crazy Trio!

Yep! THREE of them! CBC3: Enjoy 8 side-splitting tales of love & screw-ups from USA Today & NY Times Bestselling Authors. CUTE BUT CRAZY 2 – DITZY DUDES – the follow-up boxset: Laugh at the 3rd bringing love & joy into UNIQUE AND UNPREDICTABLE!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and wish you many blessings.

Have you checked out The Authors Billboard’s Monthly contest for July yet? There’s still time to savor Free and Bargain books – for beach reads, of course.

Thanks for reading – xo