Summer 2013

From Mary Kay's Front Porch - Summer 2013 Newsletter

Ice Cream Sundae Cake


For the Brownie Layer:

  • Vegetable oil spray, for misting the baking pan
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch, plus cornstarch, for dusting the baking pan
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the Ice Cream Layer:

  • 1 gallon ice cream, softened
  • 1 jar ice-cream topping of your choice, butterscotch, caramel, hot fudge or combination
  • 1 pkg. Heath Bar bits or crushed candy or cookie crumbs

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-by-11-inch baking pan by spritzing with vegetable oil spray, then dusting with cornstarch.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat, add cocoa powder and stir well. Remove pan from heat and stir in both kinds of sugars and vanilla. Add beaten eggs, quarter-cup cornstarch and salt and stir. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, till edges are firm, top is shiny and center is set.

Let brownies cool completely. With rubber spatula, smooth softened ice cream flavor of your choice on top of brownie crust, cover and freeze until hardened. Drizzle toppings over ice cream, sprinkle with Heath Bar bits or any other crushed candy or cookie crumbs. Cut in squares and serve.



The Breeze Inn
The Breeze Inn

Did you know that MKA’s own beach cottages—that she has lovingly restored with her own hands and decorated with her own junking treasures—are available for rent?! You and yours can chillax in beautiful beach cottage comfort in the very spot where MKA pens her bestselling novels. Smaller group? Choose The Breeze Inn which MKA took from ramshackle to the pages of BH&G in a year’s time back in 2009. For larger groups, check out MKA’s new treasure, Ebbtide, which she fixed up in her own signature style just in time for spring/summer 2013. Call Diane at Mermaid Cottages and book yourself in for the full MKA experience! If MKA’s places are not available, Diane has 50 one-of-a-kind cottages sprinkled around the island, all just a short ride on a beach cruiser away from each other. Get yourself on “Tybee time” and discover the magic of slowing down.


MKA Online

Dear Friends:

With beach season right around the corner, my thoughts turn to a special stretch of beach on Anna Maria Island, on the Florida gulf coast near Sarasota. Anna Maria and the tiny nearby fishing town of Cortez are the setting for my new novel Ladies’ Night, which is out June 4, and I spent nearly a month there over the past year or so, writing and soaking up the atmosphere. I spotted this guy on one of my beach walks—and he inspired a scene in the book.

Heron on the beach

Each evening I made it a point to watch the panoramic sunsets over the Gulf.

Sunset on the beach

During another stroll, I spotted this cozy cottage, which inspired yet another scene in the book.

Cozy Cottage

In Ladies’ Night, lifestyle blogger Grace Stanton finds her formerly glamorous lifestyle upended after she catches her husband cheating—and in an impulsive burst of anger, drives his expensive convertible into the family swimming pool. Grace’s story is one of revenge, reinvention—and ultimately, redemption. Publisher’s Weekly gave Ladies’ Night a starred review saying “Bestseller Andrews is at the top of her game, delivering a smart, funny perfect-for-summer read with a hopeful heart,” and Kirkus Reviews said “humorous and witty, and as entertaining as a good night out.” I happen to think Ladies’ Night is a perfectly delicious summer read—whether you’re headed for a beach like Anna Maria, the lake, the pool, or just a cool spot on your own front porch.

We’ll kick off the publication of Ladies’ Night with a fun launch party on June 3, at Kudzu & Company Vintage Home in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Tickets are available here. And then the big-ole’ book tour revs up with stops in Savannah, Sarasota, Charleston, Greenville, S.C., Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, Houston, Chicago, the Jersey Shore and a whole bunch of other places. My full schedule is listed to the right and also here. Plan to join me for a fun Ladies’ Night!

Now to the recipe. Because my daughter Katie has recently gone gluten-free, I decided to create a dessert that she can enjoy along with the rest of us during our summer cook-outs. I started with this fabulous gluten-free brownie recipe from my former newspaper colleague Anne Byrn’s new cookbook, and summerized it—using the brownie as a crust for an ice cream topping. Hope your crowd will enjoy it as much as mine did. Maybe you can make it for a ladies’ night with all your besties some time this summer!

All my best,


Dividing Stitch

Bookclub Corner

Do you have a book club? If your club is reading one of my books, I would love to call in and join your discussion. You never know, I may even be able to drop by in person if it works out right. E-mail us with your request and we’ll see what we can do! Be sure to include a snail mail address and info about the size of your club.


Book cover: Ladies' Night


Ladies’ Night Tour Dates

Mon June 3, 6:00 PM

Ladies’ Night Launch Party

Kudzu & Company

6450 Roswell Road

Sandy Springs, GA

Book sales courtesy of FoxTale Book Shoppe. $35 ticket includes signed book, appies, signature cocktail, tunes spun by a live DJ, swag bag, drawings for prizes, and a donation to Bright Pink. Get your tickets here.

Tues June 4, 4:30 PM

Omega Books, 100 N Peachtree Pkwy, Ste 13, Peachtree City, GA

Wed June 5, 3:00 PM

E. Shaver Booksellers, 326 Bull Street, Savannah, GA

Thurs June 6, 5:00 PM

Osteria La Botiglia, 420 King Street, Charleston, SC, Hosted by Blue Bicycle Books

Fri June 7, 11:00 AM

Moveable Feast, Pawleys Plantation Clubhouse, 70 Tanglewood Drive, Pawleys Island, SC

Sat June 8, 10:00 AM

Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street , Southern Pines, NC

Sun June 9, 1:00 PM

Fiction Addiction / Sunday Book Your Lunch, City Range, 615 Haywood Rd, Greenville, SC

Mon June 10, 12:00 PM

Decatur Public Library, 130 North Franklin Street, Decatur, AL

Mon June 10, 4:00 PM

Alabama Booksmith, 2626 19th Place South , Homewood, AL

Tues June 11, 6:00 PM

The Venue, 105 South Section Street, Fairhope, AL

Wed June 12, 6:00 PM

The Booksellers at Laurelwood, 387 Perkins Road Extended, Memphis, TN

Thurs June 13, 6:30 PM

Parnassus Books, 3900 Hillsboro Pike, Ste. 14 , Nashville, TN

Fri June 14, 5:00 PM

Louie’s Modern, 1289 North Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL

Mon June 17, 12:00 PM

Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Ave, Raleigh NC

Mon June 17, 7:30 PM

Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Ave, Raleigh NC

Tues June 18, 6:00 PM

Browseabout Books, 133 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Wed June 19, 7:00 PM

Nauvoo Grill, 121 Fair Haven Rd, Fair Haven, NJ

Thurs June 20, 1:00 PM

Warren Newport Library, 224 N. O’Plaine Road, Gurnee, IL

Thurs June 20, 7:00 PM

Fremont Library, 1170 North Midlothian Road, Mundelein, IL

Fri June 21, 6:30 PM

Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet , Houston, TX

Mon June 24, 6:30 PM

Joint event with Claire Cook

Book Exchange, 2932 Canton Road, Marietta, GA

Tues June 25, 7:00 PM

Bookmiser, 4651 Sandy Plains Rd, Roswell, GA

Fri July 5, 1:00 PM

Seaside Sisters, 1207 Hwy 80 East, Sundance Square, Tybee Island, GA

Tues July 9, 5:00 PM

Books-A-Million, 2441 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC

Thurs July 11, 10:30 AM

G.J. Ford Bookshop, 600 Sea Island Rd, St. Simon’s Island, GA

Fri July 26, 6:30 PM

Joint event with Patti Callahan Henry

FoxTale Book Shoppe, 105 East Main Street, #138, Woodstock, GA