March 2021 Featured Article

Cookie Love

I released another book in February called Heart Pressed. It is the second book to the Independence Island Elnora Series and the main them throughout the book is family. Broken family, happy family; small family, big family; new family, old family—all types are represented in full island display. Now, the two main families are vineyard owners, but both families are steeped in tradition and carrying on the family legacy that spans generations. So, when Sandra Barela asked what I wanted the author hop to consist of, my own family tradition came to mind—Cookies!


There are very few foods that can warm your heart and take your cares away, even for a moment. More so, if they are made with someone you love like a grandparent or your children. The laughter, the lessons in baking, the conversations—it all works together to weave the bonds of family. The joy that fills the air seals itself into your memory and even when those you spent those moments with are gone, you associate the act of baking with them as love. Hence the term, “made with love”.


I have several memories that involve cookies and loved ones. For instance, my grandpa Apsey (mom’s dad) was a cookie thief and would eat what ever cookie he could get his hands on. My grandpa McKay (dad’s dad) liked the windmill ginger cookies. My grandma Apsey would make several kinds of cookies and each had their own jars—chocolate chip had the biggest jar, Oatmeal raisin had a brown jar, and molasses or ginger snaps had a smaller jar. Grandma McKay would buy Nabisco’s vanilla wafers and make banana pudding dessert with them (Oh, I can taste that one already. Might have to add the ingredients to the grocery list this week).


Now that all my grandparents are gone, it is up to me to pass on the tradition of “cookie love”. I know it sounds silly, but we all will eat a cookie before we would grab a pice of pie or cake. Every Christmas, I ask the kids if they want special cookies and they ask for my great-aunt’s cookies (I won’t give that one away) or my mother-in-law’s Christmas cookies and we bake them together. I get to see a glimpse of the little children they once were as we split the jobs in our tight little kitchen, but I also witness how mature they have become. We talk about what things where like when my husband and I were dating or school stress or even faith. For a brief moment, they let me into the deepest parts of their secluded teen-aged world and I realize they still need me.

Back to the author cookie hop.


To celebrate my book release, all the authors shared a cookie recipe from their own cards. Well, below you will find a compilation of those recipes for you to print and enjoy. I encourage you to make them with those you love and make some memories. Fell free to reach out to the author whose cookies you bake and tell them how yummy you found them. We like hearing from you all.



Melissa Wardwell


Download your free copy of the book here!

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