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Thanks to those of you who wrote such lovely notes about my mother-in-law’s passing last week. You shared such kind thoughts. I will respond to each of you individually, but know your words were much appreciated by both Tom and me.

Yesterday morning, we got the sad call that my mother-in-law had passed away at the age of 94 ¼. I feel like those extra percentages get to count when you are under 10 and over 90, and she earned that ¼ yesterday. She had been declining for a while, but news like this always catches one off guard. The sheer finality to it. She was an avid reader, mostly of beach books and “books where everyone ended up happy.” She knew I would find those for her; trust that I was glad that a few authors had written resort-themed books that I could give her for Christmas. By her February birthday, I typically was coming up short.

I love watching “The Kitchen” on Food Network. If I am doing cooking or baking for the week, I try to time it for their 1:00-2:00 airing on Sunday afternoon. A couple of weeks ago, they did a segment about great spring menus. Included were lemon meringue cupcakes. My mom loves lemon, so we made these for Mother’s Day. Before you ask, here is the recipe. Now I did not read the recipe before I made these as I recalled what they had done. That is the reason that Tom and I ate the tops of the cupcakes that he scooped out, instead of placing them back on top of the lemon curd. We highly recommend these. Next time I would pipe the meringue in some more interesting designs.

When you have been running Bookreporter for 25 years, you get a chance to see the growth of authors whose careers you have followed for a while. This week, we are reviewing the latest books from two of those authors: Mary Kay Andrews and Wade Rouse.

I still remember when Stuart Krichevsky, the agent for Mary Kay Andrews (or MKA, as we all have come to call her), slipped me a manuscript for a book called SAVANNAH BLUES that I just loved. It had a great voice and lured me in with its look at what MKA calls “house porn,” where we all covet reading how homes are restored and “fluffed up.” For years, MKA had written mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck, but she wanted to try something new. This sparked a whole new trajectory to her career, and this week we are reviewing and celebrating her 30th book, THE HOMEWRECKERS, her 20th as MKA. And yes, there is “house porn” in it. Thirty books is a lot of plotting and a lot of writing to please readers. Our congratulations to her on this very special milestone!