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Book Club Questions for A Haunting at Dunbar Lane

1. Have you ever renovated your own house, or known someone who did renovate theirs? Did you or they ever find something unexpected in the house? Did you, like Elle O’Connell, ever feel the presence of someone who might have previously lived there?


2. Elle seems to be a rather private person. If you had known her, how would you have explained the changes you noted in her? What would you have suggested she do?


3. Do you believe in the possibility of ghosts or spirits? Do you believe there can be both good and evil spirits? What does the concept of exorcism mean to you?


4. Are there any characters you wish you could have given advice? Who? And what would you tell them?


5. What did you think of Tom King? Do you think he should have been more aware of the changes in Elle’s demeanor? What was the turning point for him?


6. Did you have a favorite character? What made them special? Who was your least favorite character? Why?


7. Did this story challenge or change your perspective or opinion on something?


8. What did you think of the spiritualist, Celina? Do you think there are people who can communicate with the dead?


9. What was the most memorable or shocking scene or twist in the story for you?


10. How did you feel about the ending? Did it make sense and tie up all the loose ends? If you weren’t satisfied, what do you think happened to the characters after the end of the story? Did you want more?

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COUNTRY CHERRY PUDDING

For years we always believed my father ran the show in our house. Seriously, I was well into adulthood before I realized my mother was the one behind the curtain. It has been a joke in the family how she would always tell one of us how good we were with cooking or baking or sewing or whatever. And it worked. Her daughters basked in the praise and performed. She would tell us we could make whatever we wanted to try for dinner or dessert and that meal would be covered. She made sure all her four daughters had Singer sewing lessons and even requested and accepted our making clothes for her; she was the mender. My mother had an equal number of sons, but my father handled the chores for the boys. Mom’s daughters always thought the boys were her favorites!


Anyway…I don’t know where Mom got this recipe, she did clip recipes, but I don’t actually remember her making it. I did and it has always been a favorite of mine. So much so, that I planted two cherry trees at my last house in Eureka, California. The Pink Lady is the Victorian house on the cover of A Haunting on Dunbar Lane. Enjoy!

RECIPE:

Serves 6-8 Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1 can (1# 1oz) dark, sweet, pitted cherries packed in heavy syrup
1/3 cup butter, ¼ tsp salt, 1 cup sifted flour, ¼ tsp nutmeg,2 tsps double-acting baking powder, 1 cup sugar,1 cup milk, ½ tsp almond extract.

Drain cherries and reserve syrup for sauce. Melt butter in a 1 quart baking dish in the oven and then remove.
Sift (I never do) flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar into mixing bowl.
Gradually stir in milk and almond extract. Do not beat. Turn mixture into the hot baking dish with its butter; butter will come to the top. Spoon drained cherries into center. Bake in the pre-heated oven 40-50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Make sure the batter is set. Allow to stand about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.


Pudding Sauce: Gradually stir in 1 cup reserved cherry syrup into 1 Tbsp cornstarch and a dash of salt, until mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring constantly over moderate heat until thickened. Stir in 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp rum or cognac and pour over warm pudding. Top with ice cream or whipped cream if desired!


Note: recipe card only shows first page of recipe. Enjoy!

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