Friday, March 2, 2018

Fictional Cops and Fabulous Cookies by Lynn Blackburn

Elizabeth Goddard here. Suspense Sisters is so excited to host guest blogger Lynn H. Blackburn today!

Lynn will be giving away a copy of her new and exciting release, Beneath the Surface, book 1 in her new Dive Team Investigations series with Revell (a division of Baker Publishing). Please remember to leave a comment with your contact information to be entered in the drawing!

Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, Covert Justice, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, Hidden Legacy, released in June 2017 and her new Dive Team Investigations series kicks off in March of 2018 with Beneath the Surface. You can follow her real life happily ever after at and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Thank you for having me today! I’m thrilled to be here!

I grew up as a preacher’s kid. Our house was frequently filled with visiting pastors, Bible college students, teachers, evangelists, and missionaries. My mom could make a delicious meal from next to nothing and it was a good thing because we never knew when Dad might call and say, “So, I’m bringing someone home for dinner!”

I was thinking about that when I wrote the first chapter of Beneath the Surface - Book 1 in my new Dive Team Investigations series. As I got to know the characters in this story, Leigh Weston, the heroine of Beneath the Surface, quickly distinguished herself as the “hostess with the mostest.”

Leigh’s a Carolina girl who learned to cook from her mama. She loves to entertain and feed the people she loves, and one of the first things she does is feed the entire dive team—all from food she had in her pantry and freezer.

Her mama taught her well!

As the story progresses, Leigh whips up everything from omelets to chicken and dumplings, but the thing that has the entire sheriff’s office wrapped around her little finger is her generosity with her famous chocolate chip cookies.

While Leigh makes almost everything from scratch—and usually without a recipe—there actually is a recipe for her cookies. And there’s nothing super-secret about it. It’s a variation of the “Neiman Marcus cookie” recipe that can be found all over the Internet.

In her version, Leigh skips the grated Hershey bar—and the nuts—opting instead to add toffee brickle.

The Carrington County Sheriff’s Office approves . . . I think you will, too!

Leigh graciously shared this and many of the other recipes mentioned in Beneath the Surface so I’ve created a Dive Team Investigations Mini-Cookbook—it’s an exclusive gift for my newsletter subscribers. I’d love for you to join our team!

Grace and peace,

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

The recipe makes 96 cookies, so feel free to use half the ingredients, or better yet, roll the leftover dough into balls and freeze for later.


• 5 cups oatmeal (ground fine in the blender – don’t skip this step!)

• 2 cups butter

• 2 cups packed brown sugar

• 2 cups granulated sugar

• 4 large eggs

• 2 teaspoons vanilla

• 4 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 2 teaspoons baking soda

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2-4 cups chocolate chips (to taste)

• 2 cups toffee brickle


1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Measure oatmeal and grind in a blender to a fine powder.

3. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla.

4. Mix the sugar mixture with the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda.

5. Add chocolate chips and toffee brickle.

6. Roll into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 10 minutes at 375° or until golden.

Notes and variations:
The original recipe called for a grated Hershey bar to be added in with the chocolate chips, but Leigh found that to be a time-consuming extra step and almost never does it.

Leigh doesn’t love nuts so she never adds them. But feel free to add up to 3 cups of chopped pecans or walnuts to this recipe (you may want to decrease the amount of chocolate chips/toffee brickle).

Thank you so much, Lynn!! I think I speak for all of us  when I say we're definitely going to try that cookie recipe, sign up for your newsletter and try to get a copy of Beneath the Surface! Remember, readers, leave a comment to be included in the drawing for Beneath the Surface!

About Beneath the Surface:

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.


  1. Good morning Lynn, I am looking forward to reading Beneath the Surface and I also want to try your cookies! Thank you for sharing the recipe and giveaway.

    1. Thank you, Connie!
      The recipe *can* be cut in half, but really, I would just bite the bullet and make the entire batch and freeze some leftovers for later... you won't be sorry! ;)
      Grace and peace,

  2. I haven’t baked cookies in awhile but these sound like the most decadent chocolate chip cookies on the planet! Wow! And I have to mention that your cover is striking as well. I love the colours and balance of movement. Thanks for the recipe and giveaway! Have a wonderful weekend, Laurie

    1. Hi Laurie -
      I actually haven't made these in a while myself...I'm wondering if some "product testing" might be in order! LOL! And thank you for the cover love. I'm rather partial to it myself! The designers at Revell are amazing!
      Happy baking!
      Grace and peace,

  3. Loved the post - when will the cookies be done!! I'm anxious to taste the toffee chip!!

    1. If I could trust myself to only eat one or two I'd bake them today . . . but I know that would turn into one or two dozen!!

  4. those cookies sound so yummy. Can't wait to read your book

  5. Hi Lynn, I can't wait to read your new book! Also, I need to bake those cookies they sound amazing! Thanks for the interview and the chance to win your book!

    Mary Jane

  6. I can remember my mother putting together a meal with 'stuff' when company would be there unexpectedly. I did not get that gene. I'm nore likely to suggest going and getting a pizza, or burgers, or such. [Oh, and I am a pastor's wife - but he retired last Oct.]
    But those cookies sound awesome. I don't have a blender tho, so is there someway else I could get the 'oat flour'? Maybe you needed to bake all 96 and send them to me? :)

    I look forward to reading your Dive Team Investigations series.

    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

    1. I didn't really get the gene either! I'm a big fan of takeout!! :)

  7. Hello Lynn, it's a pleasure meeting you! These cookies sound DELISH!


  8. Sadly,I'll need to wait 4 weeks to make the cookies, but I just finished the book and it is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Kept me constantly guessing, and glued to my couch till I finished it! SO good! And now begins the wait for book can't come soon enough!!!

  9. Lynn is a new author to me. This sounds like a real page turner that I would enjoy reading. I love the dive team aspect.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

  10. Cookies and the book both sound awesome. I would love to read the book and make the cookies Thank you. rose blackard (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. I haven’t read any of Lynn’s books, so I can’t wait to read this one!! I will also have to give these cookies a try!!

  12. You are a new author to me & I would love to try your new book. My husband was a preacher's kid, too & his mother was a very good cook! Wish I could try your cookies, but they won't fit into my diabetic diet!

    1. Ah - yes, these are definitely not diabetic friendly. :(

  13. Your book looks so good! Would love to read it. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

    Faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  14. Oh, my! Those cookies sound great! I'm going to have to try them sometime.The book sounds great and i'd love to add it to my list.

  15. Lynn is a relatively new-to-me author. I am just starting one of her books in the Love Inspired Suspense line.

    I've long been a fan, though, of freezing extra cookie dough. Homemade delicious treats in a hurry! I'll have to try this recipe. I've never made cookies using ground oats (or toffee brickle), but these sound great!

    The book being given away is already on my wishlist, but I would love to participate in the giveaway drawing. Contact info is jeanfamily92 at Yahoo dot com.

    1. Yes! If you're going to have the kitchen a mess you might as well make a bunch and then have some in the freezer! And I'm rather partial to being able to just make a couple of cookies at a time - because I have zero willpower and will eat way more than I should! :)

    2. With two sons (ages 15 and 20) and my husband, we don't have any trouble finishing off most anything! The hard part is getting cookie batter into the freezer :)

      I finished the LIS book. It was good! Looking forward to reading the Dive Team series.

  16. I love to try new cookie recipes. The book sounds like an exciting page turner.

  17. I would love to read the book! I will even consider converting the recipe to gluten free, I'm sure they will still turn out well! florencebarkman(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. OOH - if you make them GF let me know how they turn out!!