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Whimsy, Decadent Chocolate Pie…
and a (Virtual) Book Club Just for You!

Greetings, gentle readers.

Artists of all types—including writers—are putting their creativity to work in figuring out how to manage their stay-at-home time.

I’m an introvert and have worked mainly from home in some capacity for twenty years, so working from home isn’t as big an adjustment for me as it is for my friends who are teachers—and my friends who are extroverts. Still, I miss seeing so many of you and lovely readers like you! Book clubs, conferences, workshops—all wiped off the calendar for now.

I’m using all this suddenly ‘found’ time, which coincides with Kinship Book Three (yes, there WILL be a book three, and thank you to all who have asked via email and social media) being in editorial review, to play with new projects that have been simmering at the back of my mind for a while.

At first, it felt awkward, given what’s going on in the world, and then I thought—I’m a writer. I write.

And then it felt forced: I need to write this, I need to write that. And then I thought—nope. What I NEED to do is… follow my imagination (rather than trying to tell it where to go). I’ve ended up in some pretty interesting (imaginative) places!

I’ve also put my creativity to work on finding new ways to connect with all of you—more on a Virtual Book Club and my Facebook LIVE videos in a bit.

And I’ve been fascinated by how other artists are using this time. Taylor Copeland, an acquaintance of our younger daughter, is an illustrator who has been creating commissioned pet cartoons to supplement lost income during this time.

We sent photos of our four cats and some thoughts on how we imagine them, and Taylor sent these digital files. (We'll find a way to print them!) Learn more about Taylor's art (and contact her if you're interested; the prices were very reasonable) at or on Instagram at @taylorcopelandart.

Clockwise, from upper left corner: Mycroft (as a detective), Luna (as a lady-on-her-way-to-tea), Waldo (wait, where’s Waldo?), Sammy (as a reporter).

Read on for more info on the new Jess Montgomery Virtual Book Club, my Facebook Live videos, a Double Chocolate Ganache Pie recipe, and of course, a giveaway exclusive to enewsletter subscribers!

Be well,


Introducing the Jess Montgomery Virtual Book Club!

Let’s give this a try!

My calendar was chock full of book club meetings, but they’ve all been cancelled—or moved online. I’ve been meeting with books clubs, that I would otherwise meet at restaurants or in members’ homes, on Zoom, Facetime, Skype, and even a quirky but fun little app called “Zooroom.”

I have four book club meetings via Zoom on my calendar in May.

And I’ve been interviewing authors on Zoom.

So, it occurred to me… why not set up a virtual Jess Montgomery Book Club! And… why not try it first with my most loyal fans—that’s you all, dear readers!

Here’s how it will work:

  1. If you don’t already have Zoom, download the app to your laptop, desktop, ipad, phone—whatever you’re most comfortable using. It’s free. Here’s the link.
  2. Save the Date And Time: Saturday, May 23, 11:30 a.m. EST. We’ll meet up, and I’ll chat with you about my Kinship Series. You can ask me questions when we meet, or send me questions ahead of time. And if you think of a book or two you’d like us to read and discuss, you can make that suggestion as well. I’m open to fiction and memoir or narrative nonfiction for adults. We’ll gather some ideas and, assuming this experiment goes well, meet up online once a month. (Don’t worry about committing to every month; it’s fine to drop in and out as your schedule permits!)
  1. Fill out this little Google form. I just need your name and email, so I can send you a private invite, and log-in instructions/password. And sure, I’ll send you (via postal mail) the goody bag I give to book club members when I visit in person (if you’d like that!)

NOTE: For those who are worried about privacy in using Zoom or other online meeting platforms, all I can tell you is there is risk with anything online, even email, but I’ve had no problems with Zoom. By my ‘managing’ the meeting and keeping it private, we should be fine.

And of course, if YOU have a book club you’d like me to virtually visit, just email me at!

She’s ALIVE!!! (On Facebook. And otherwise.)

In The Widows and The Hollows, my character Nana likes to say, “Life is hard. Have tea!”

Boy howdy, does she have that right—especially these days!

So, I decided I’d have tea (or sometimes, I admit, coffee) with fans and readers on Mondays, at 3 p.m. EST, on my Jess Montgomery Facebook Author page

Sometimes, I’ll answer questions fans and readers have asked (you can leave a question in a comment on one of my “Tea (or Coffee) with Jess” Facebook Live event announcements or email me at

Other times, I’ll interview an author, as I recently did, chatting with Mariah Fredericks about her newest novel, Death of an American Beauty.

And occasionally, I’ll read something I’ve written—or share exciting news.

If you can’t join the tea/coffee break on Mondays at 3 p.m., don’t worry—I’m saving each session so interested folks can watch the 10 minute videos (20 minutes or so if I’m interviewing an author) at their leisure.

Pie of the Month:
Decadent Double Chocolate Ganache Pie

Yes, this is a VERY decadent pie!

But don’t we all need a delicious homemade treat (or two) in these difficult times?

This pie is super easy to make. You can use any pre-baked crust, but I like the no-bake graham cracker crust fancied up with a bit of chocolate.

(By the way, since I can’t go to the recreation center for water aerobics/swimming, I’ve set up a little exercise area for myself, with light hand weights and exercise videos for aerobics and strength training. More on that… maybe… next month. It’s how I justify all the extra baking I’ve been doing!)

Bonus: as fancy-schmancy as this pie sounds, and as yummy as it is, it’s actually really simple to make.

Here’s the recipe!

“Chocolate” Cookie Crust


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs—minus two tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Then, I add in 2-4 tablespoons warm water, eyeballing the mix to see if it’s all sticking together. (This will vary with humidity.)
  3. Spray a pie pan or a tart pan with cooking spray.
  4. Put in your crumb mix, and press flat and up the sides of your pan.
  5. Put the pan in your freezer for at least half an hour.

Chocolate Ganache Filling:


  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I prefer Baker’s Semi-Sweet. Three boxes equals 12 ounces. It melts much more readily than chocolate chips, which are treated to not melt easily!)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


    1. Put the semi-sweet chocolate (broken into squares) in one heavy saucepan on low or warm, just enough heat for the chocolate to soften.
    2. Put the remaining ingredients in another saucepan.
    3. Stirring constantly over medium heat, bring to just a simmer.
    4. Pour the mixture over the semi-sweet chocolate. Turn off the heat. Let sit for five minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, remove crust from your freezer.
    6. After the five minutes have passed, whisk the cream mixture and chocolate until smooth.
    7. Pour into crust.
    8. Refrigerate for two hours or until set.

    Other favorite variations:

    • Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and about a teaspoon (to taste—depending on how much heat you like!) of chipotle chili powder to the cream mixture, for an extra kick.
    • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, or berries, or a raspberry sauce, or even drizzle with caramel sauce. Yum, yum!

      May eNewsletter Exclusive Giveaway (Tea Time!)

      Thank you to all who participated in the April eNewsletter survey and giveaway, about spring flowers.


      • Other—38% Now, that really has me curious, and I wish I’d offered a way to write in just what readers meant when clicking “Other.” Email me at if you have a variety of spring flower in mind besides the ones listed below. Expand my flower knowledge! (Flower power?)
      • Daffodils—23.8%
      • Pansies—19.0%
      • Tulips—14.2% (This would be my choice. Tulip power!)
      • Hyacinths—5%

      Congratulations to Diane from Indiana, who chose pansies and won April’s random drawing. She chose Linda Castillo’s short story (ebook format), The Pact.

      Thank you all for being faithful readers. Here’s a quick survey about iced tea! Share your answer for a chance to win one of these treats (winner’s choice).

        Click here to participate
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        Jess Montgomery

        6077 Far Hills Ave Suite 156, Centerville
        OH 45459-1923 United States

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