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Fall/Winter 2005

Welcome Friends,

My best friend, and mother-in-law, Harriet Goodrich Valentine, once said that if you live long enough two things are certain...
  1. Life would one day throw you to your knees.
  2. And when it did, having a dear friend to pick you up off the ground, pour you a cup of tea and remind you that 'this too will pass' is more precious that finding a pot full of gold.
Dorsetville has become that kind of friend to its many readers. As one put it...

"It's a place filled with the kind of people that you'd like to pull up a chair and have a little chat with."

This newsletter marks an exciting new facet in the Dorsetville series. Through its pages, readers can learn of new releases; upcoming book tours and my growing number of speaking engagements; and even join in the fun of a contest that we occasionally throw in. (Make sure to check out the one included in our first issue!)

It will also be a means of exchanging stories, recipes and photos of ordinary folks—their families, pets and just about anything that makes living in a small country town unique.

I look forward to hearing from all of you and keep passing the message along that Dorsetville is a great place to visit!

Blessings from your friend,

Dorsetville... a place where everyone is family and miracles abound.

Many readers have asked, "Does Dorsetville really exist?" The answer is, you bet!

You can find Dorsetville wherever folks care for the suffering, the lonely, or offer to 'watch' with those who are experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul. A place where strangers are welcomed and treated as extended family members because in God's eyes... they are.


"Trails are just God's way of furrowing the soil so saints and miracle can grow."
—Father James

Kate's Reading list...

A writer must be an avid reader. I've consumed tens of thousands of books since that day in first grade when I held my new copy of Dick and Jane and came under the spell of the written word.

It's also seemingly impossible for me to get rid of a book. I find it akin to getting rid of a child which is why my husband, (Saint) Paul, has grown so tired of hearing me ask him to build 'just one more bookcase'.

Recently he said, "I should just build you a library and stick your bed in the middle of it and have it done with!"

I'm currently reading...
    Redbird Christmas, Fannie Flagg. (I swear I'd pay to read a shopping list if she wrote it!) Ever since I stumbled across Green Fried Tomatoes I've been a fan. I loved this last book so much that when I finished reading it though, I started right in to read it again.

    The Art of Travel, Alain de Bottom. The author made me look at traveling, not as just an escape to somewhere different, but as an opportunity to discover a different somewhere.

    Adventures in Prayer, Catherine Marshall. An old favorite that I reach for whenever I feel my prayers grounding down to a halt. This book is like going to an old friend and asking for spiritual advice.

    Isle of Palms, Dorothea Benton Frank. The author's description of the beauty and tight knit community surrounding South Carolina's low country, made me pack a bag and check it out for myself. She was right! It's an enchanted place where folks can pull up a chair, sip a glass of ice tea and listen to the locals spin colorful tales.

    The Summer I Dared, Barbara Delinksy. Barbara is not only a wonderful writer, but I am blessed to call her a dear friend. I continue to marvel at her writing talent. She gets better with every book.

On A Wing and A Prayer... coming this September

An excerpt...

Four miles out of town, on a hilltop that rose above the meadow to Platt's farm, a tall, broad shouldered young man stood gazing down at the town below. As shadows thickened, tiny orbs of light pin-pricked the darkness, reminding him of a galaxy of stars.

From this vantage point, it was easy to make out the band of buildings strung along the town's main street. There was Dinova's Grocery Store which he knew would remain open for several more hours so folks coming home from work could pick up their orders. And when the last customer had been served, Gus Dinova, who had inherited the store from his father, along with his love for Italian opera, would drop off a package of Social Teas on his way home for Fred Campbell. Arlene had left them behind when she had come in earlier with Ethel.

Down the street from Dinova's, at "Second Hand Rose" a crate of dishes was being delivered. He smiled just thinking about the treasures soon to be discovered packed inside.

And then as he thought about all the other good people who lived in the town, he heard the soft peel of St. Cecilia's church bells. He closed his eyes and let its sweet music fill his soul. The sound sent his thoughts back to that night 2000 years ago when the first bell chimed in commemoration of Jesus' birth.

Darkness was quickly descending across the small village like a curtain closing at the end of a play. A strong breeze blew down the mountainside and the wind whispered something in his ear. He nodded and then placing his hands inside his large sleeves, he started down the hillside towards the town that beckoned.

My readers ask the darndest things...

Have you met my crotchety father-in-law? George Benson is just like him.
—Memphis, Tennessee

What kind of potatoes does Harry Clifford use for his famous homefries at the Country Kettle?
—Scenery Hill, PA

If the people at St. Cecilia's every get tired of Father James could our parish borrow him for awhile. (I guess, I should mention that we're Lutherans.)
—Rye, New York

A Dorsetville 'look-a-like' contest.

Does your town resemble Dorsetville? Is it filled with good people? Do they gather at your version of the "Country Kettle" each morning to share a cup of coffee and some gossip? Does it have a Deputy Hill? a Sheriff Bromley? a Father James? Does your church or countryside make you feel closer to God?

Send us the photos of the places around your town and its people with a short one page essay on why you think it resembles the Dorsetville described in Katherine Valentine's novels. Ten (10) winners will be chosen to receive a copy of Dorsetville's newest installment, On a Wing and a Prayer with a personal inscription by Katherine and their photos will be posted on the website. * Note, photos will not be returned.

Mail entries to:
Doubleday Marketing
1745 Broadway, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10019

Recipe request...

Readers repeatedly ask for Lori Peterson's famous Haddam Hall Gingerbread Recipe which has its origins in a recipe my mother-in-law gave to me. It's a New England staple and one which I happily share with all of you...

Lori Peterson's Haddam Hall Gingerbread with Spice Cream

In a large bowl blend:
    1/2 cup Crisco
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    1 egg
    1 cup dark Molasses
Blend Crisco with sugar then add egg and dark Molassses. Mix until smooth. Set aside.

In another bowl add:
    1 3/4 cup flour
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ginger
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
Blend dry and egg mixture together but don't over mix.

To this add:

1 cup boiling water. The batter will be runny.

Pour into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven. Cool for 10 minutes and invert onto a cookie sheet lined with foil.

    1/3 cup sugar
    3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Spread over hot cake. Place cake on the cookie sheet under the broiler until the sugar begins to bubble. Be careful not to let it scorch. Take out and let cool completely. Serve with Spice Cream.

Spiced Cream:
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Pinch of cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, ground ginger and a pinch of salt.
Combine all ingredients in medium size mixing bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form. Serve immediately.

Folks at Dorsetville are always swapping recipes

Next issue we're sharing Church Covered Dish Recipes. Do you have one you'd like to share? All entrees will receive a lovely Dorsetville Bookmark, so be sure to include your address when you forward it to:

Doubleday Marketing
1745 Broadway, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10019

Readers write...

I hope you continue writing for years! It is so hard to find books that I want to read and find myself searching the Christian bookstores for something to share with my daughter, sisters, and the rest of my family. My mother was a New Englander and I find myself saying, "yes, that's how they are!" when I read about your characters.
—Deedee, Phoenix, Az.

I received one of your books last month for my birthday from a daughter. What an inspirational and faith filled book that came at just the right time. I was going through cancer treatments. The book was just awesome! People who read your books are certain to have their faith strengthened. I hope you keep writing forever, so I can keep on reading!
—Ellen, Spokane, Washington

Even when I don't have time to stop and read, I feel your books drawing me to them. The stories always help to lift my spirits and fill me with hope. Thank you for sharing such wonderful and refreshing stories.
—Linda, Camillus, N.Y.

I so enjoy your books and eagerly look forward to each new installment. They fill me with inner hope and faith, helping me to remain steadfast despite problems that crop up in my daily life. Regardless of "Dorsetville" being a fictitious place, we all know of many 'real' unexplained small and large miracles which occur in this world. It is wonderful to be reminded of them as I turn the pages in your books.
—Diane, Cranston, RI

Just finished "Grace Will Lead Me Home". It was exactly what I needed at this time of my life...
—Eddie, Woodbury, Ct

My husband and I went up to rest in New Hampshire where I found a small bookstore that had a display of your books. The owner highly recommended them. So, I bought one of each and read them through within a couple of days. They're just wonderful! I cried and cried at the wonderful miracles that took place and the sense of God's great love. Your books are truly a special gift.
—Sharon, Bay Shore, New York

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