Herb and Lemon Soap by Staci McLaughlin

Not only is it fun to make soap, but for people like Ashlee and me, who are on a budget, it’s a great option for gifts. Gretchen showed me how, and it couldn’t be easier.

First, pick up a package of glycerin soap from a craft store. Using a microwaveable bowl, heat a few blocks in the microwave in thirty-second intervals, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Mince one teaspoon of thyme or rosemary and one teaspoon of lemon peel. You can also use other include other herbs. Thoroughly stir into the melted glycerin until it is a nice light yellow. Make sure not to add too much of the herbs or peel, as it makes the soap crumbly.

Lightly oil a small plastic container, and pour the mixture. I used little shallow food containers that Mom gave me a while back but you can also use shallow yogurt containers, or cute molds craft stores sell. After a minute, gently stir the soap in case the herbs and peel have settled to the bottom.

Let the soap rest for an hour, then freeze for another house before popping it out of the container. Voilà! Beautiful soap! Be sure to use it within a few months.


About the Book

Business has never been better at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa in Blossom Valley, California. But a murder has two of its top employees ploughing for clues at a commune where tree-huggers are wary of the modern world–and a killer may be disturbing their peace…

When Dana Lewis and Zennia Patrakio go to the Blossom Valley farmer’s market, they expect to find luscious fruits and vegetables to delight the spa’s guests. They are not expecting to see Birch Keller, Zennia’s one true love. But Zennia’s excitement over “the one who got away” is short-lived when Birch is found dead in her garden. Kitchen-challenged Dana takes over grief-stricken Zennia’s cooking duties at the spa–but the biggest challenge will be searching for answers at the commune where Birch had been living. The residents are nuttier than granola, and as Dana tills up the truth, she’ll discover a killer with a wholly unwholesome appetite for revenge…

StaciMcLaughlin_sm1About the Author

Staci McLaughlin was a technical writer in Silicon Valley for eight years before becoming a freelance writer. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime; and of the LadyKillers, a group of thirteen writers who alternate posting daily blogs at www.theladykillers.typepad.com.