Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with THE FORGOTTEN HOME #Christian #Mystery #Suspense by VS Gardner #Recipe ~ Corn Pudding

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with VS GARDNER!

Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, VS GARDNER, and her favorite recipe for CORN PUDDING!

A Christian Mystery Suspense


A police detective and his wife grieve the disappearance of their newborn baby as they search for answers. A group of children are given a safe and loving home until tragedy changes everything. A doctor’s treasured memories linger as his prayers seem to go unanswered. A local book club meets monthly to talk over the books they’ve read and share in each other’s lives. How does all of this tie together? Will the missing baby ever be found? What happens after the tragedy? Is this a case of truth being stranger than fiction? Discover the answers along with friends, Vonda and Leanza who once again find themselves caught up in mystery.

A Christian Mystery Suspense



After excitedly stepping down into the canoe nine-year-old Jaxson balanced himself as he walked to the center seat and settled onto it. As soon as he sat down, he pulled the zipper of his jacket all the way to the top, lifted his hood over his head and tied it’s string at the neck.

The night air was cool, not cold. The wind blew just strong enough to make for a cold breeze. He knew that being on the water it was bound to get even colder as the night wore on.

Matthew was already seated at the front of the canoe facing forward when Jaxson heard Steven’s boots splash into the water behind him. He felt the canoe push off from shore as Steven quickly climbed in and took the back seat. Almost immediately Steven and Matthew were working the oars in sync with one another. Working together they propelled the canoe evenly and smoothly out to the middle of the lake.

Never having been out in the canoe this late at night before Jaxson leaned his head back to look up. He couldn’t believe how many stars there were and how vastly they spread across the night sky. It was the prettiest thing he had ever seen, until he looked out over the lake and saw those very same stars reflected in the water. It seemed as though they were surrounded by stars at every turn. Jaxson had never been allowed to stay up this late before, let alone to venture out onto the lake, but tonight was special and its mission was important.

The air was thick with excitement but there was also an undercurrent of tension. Jaxson understood the excitement. He did not understand the tension. There was a lot about what was happening tonight that he would not understand. He had only been told what he needed to know. It left him with a lot of unanswered questions. He didn’t like that, but he understood it had to be that way.

If he were a man, like Matthew and Steven, he would know exactly why everything had to be done in the dead of night, under cover of darkness. He would know the reasons for what was happening. But that was for the grown-ups to know and for him not to worry about. He had accepted this because he trusted the adults in his life. He loved them and he trusted them. Steven and Matthew and Ms. Amber had given him a home in which he was loved and protected. They were his family now and he trusted them completely.
It was as simple as that.

Jaxson had learned, in his short nine years of life, that things didn’t always go the way people might think they would, or even the way they may want them to.

He was just a boy but he had faced things many children his age never had and never would. It made him courageous and strong. Matthew told him this while they worked around their home together, cutting trees for firewood, doing yard work and repairing the railing on the porch. Jaxson was smart, hard-working, funny and fun. Matthew pointed that out as well.

Steven leaned up toward Jaxson and interrupted his thoughts by asking quietly, “you remember what to do, right?”

“Yes,” Jaxson answered without hesitation. “I’ll stay in the canoe with my head down. I will not watch where you and Matthew go or look at anyone. I will not listen to what is said. Instead, I will count just as Ma has taught me. I will wait right here in the canoe and be ready for you to hand me the bundle. Once I have it, I will hold it tightly to my chest. I will not let it go as we go back across the lake. Although we all know it will not be necessary, I will protect it with my life. We are on a great adventure just like the ones we’ve read about in our books. I only have one job tonight. It’s a very important job and I will not fail. Tonight, I am the keeper of the treasure.”

“That’s right,” Matthew spoke from his seat in the front of the canoe where he had been listening intently. Though he had not turned to face Jaxson his voice, deep and soft, carried back to him clearly.

“Okay. This is it!” Steven said with a hint of excitement as the shoreline came into view.

“You’ve got this, Jaxson,” Matthew said. “No worries.”

Rowing smoothly and quickly the two men gently guided the canoe until it ran alongside the wooden boating dock.

Jaxson watched as Matthew reached up and grabbed the bar with his left hand. Reaching across with his right hand he wrapped the rope from the front of the canoe around and quickly made a loose knot in the rope to secure the canoe in place. Steven was doing the same at the back of the canoe.

Both men stepped from the canoe onto the dock and walked silently and quickly into the darkness toward the parking area. Jaxson immediately lowered his head, looked at his tennis shoes and began to count.

“Counting is a wonderful way to occupy one’s mind when waiting for time to pass,” Ms. Amber had said when she talked with him about his part in tonight’s adventure. “As you know there are sixty seconds in one minute and there are sixty minutes in one hour. Of course, you won’t be sitting in the canoe for an hour!” she had said with a laugh. “But counting will pass the time for you and when the guys return you will know how long you waited. The best way to count seconds is by saying ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two’ so just do that. When you reach one thousand and sixty you will know it’s been one minute. Then you say ‘two thousand and one, two thousand and two’ until you reach two thousand and sixty and you know it’s been two minutes. Just keep doing that until the men come back.”

The two of them had practiced counting seconds together many times after that day and before tonight.

Jaxson counted to three thousand and thirty before hearing Matthew and Steven coming back to the canoe. They had only been gone for a little over three minutes.

Loudly enough for Jaxson to hear him Matthew whispered, “Okay buddy, it’s time to do your job. Look up here now and get ready to receive the treasure.”

Jaxson raised his head and saw Matthew kneeling on the wooden dock while Steven stood beside him. Steven leaned down and very gently handed the bundle to Matthew. Matthew then leaned down and handed it to Jaxson who glanced at it quickly before immediately hugging it to his chest.

Steven dropped a good-sized bag behind Jaxson and the two men stepped into the canoe, sat down and began unwrapping the rope from the bar nearest them. By the time another minute had passed the canoe was smoothly and quickly crossing the lake toward their home.

About half-way across the lake Jaxson felt a stirring in his arms. He gently lowered the soft bundle into his lap and looked down at it. By the dim light of the moon, he could see that in the center of the tightly wound blanket was the sweetest little face. Two tiny, bright eyes were looking directly into his eyes. When a soft little cooing sound came from the baby Jaxson leaned his face close to hers.

“It’s okay,” he said. “Don’t you worry. I’ve got you. You’re safe with me. You will always be safe with me.”

Jaxson gently lifted the bundle up to his shoulder just as Ms. Amber had taught him to do. As he patted the baby’s back ever so softly, he silently vowed that nothing bad would ever happen to this little girl. Not as long as he could help it, anyway.

About Author VS Gardner…

After raising her family, relocating from Ohio to beautiful South Carolina and leaving the work force, VS Gardner fulfilled her lifelong dream by becoming a published author.

Her first novel, A Killing on Hardee Street. was published in 2020. The rocking chair on the front cover of the book is the author’s actual rocking chair; from which she enjoyed her morning coffee on the back patio of her home while watching a new build in her community. This is where the idea for the story originated. The main character, Vonda Graham does the same. A killing takes place at the construction site and, without realizing it, Vonda has clues to the crime. The story centers around a mysterious disappearance, new relationships, Vonda’s comforting memories, and faith.

VS Gardner’s second novel, A Brick to Remember, was published in 2022. The picture on the book cover was painted by the author’s husband, a self-taught artist, Steve Gardner. The main character is Leanza Williams. Her father went missing when she was only four years old. Leanza grows up to do two things. One is to become an advocate for missing persons.  Working with an FBI Task Force, Leanza goes to the Myrtle Beach area to solve the case of thirteen current missing persons. The second is to sleep-type.  This is something the author does, and where the idea for this story originated. While typing in her personal journal, Leanza falls asleep, but her mind and fingers keep working. The next time she reads her journal, the last several lines don’t make sense; they contain phrases about a brick wall, her father’s toy, a brick, a name, and several other clues to what happened to her father.

VS Gardner’s third novel, The Forgotten Home, was published in early 2023. The picture on the front cover, also painted by the authors husband, Steve, depicts a children’s home on Spivey Lake in Mount Tabor NC. In the story a newborn baby goes missing. The rest of the story follows the child, the child’s parents and the person responsible. While this is a stand alone mystery readers will recognize returning characters from the authors first two novels.

While VS Gardner is her Author name, her name is Vanessa. Holding to the belief that life’s greatest treasures are found in relationships, Vanessa’s favorite pastime is spending time with family and friends. When not writing, she enjoys reading, thrifting, exploring local points of interest, and trail walking. She is grateful for the many blessings of life.


Links to VS’s website, blog, books, #ad, etc.:

Amazon (The Forgotten Home):

Amazon (Killing on Hardee Street):

Amazon (A Brick to Remember):



Contact VS Gardner at vsgbooks2020@gmail.com


I hope you enjoy the recipe VS is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!


P.S. We’re at 642 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu,  you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: If an author’s favorite recipe isn’t their own creation and came from an online site, you will now find the entire recipe through the link to that site as a personal recommendation. Thank you.



NOTE FROM VS: My sister, Debbie, makes this and shared it with me upon my request. It’s a really moist, delicious corn side dish.

2 eggs
2 TBLS flour
6 TBLS sugar
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole corn
1 cup milk
Dash salt
6 dabs butter

Mix eggs, flour, sugar, salt, then add corns and milk & mix well. Top with dabs of butter. Sit dish in dish of water and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Lower to 350 for 50 minutes.


Thanks, VS, for sharing your book and recipe with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

12 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with THE FORGOTTEN HOME #Christian #Mystery #Suspense by VS Gardner #Recipe ~ Corn Pudding”

  1. Good morning, VS, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. I loved this excerpt! Pulled me right in and my brain is now working out the mystery. I have to know what happened to the baby and how Jaxson is involved. I have my suspicions! LOL Can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for sharing it with us today.

    Thanks, too, for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Thank you Karen. I’m so glad Chapter two piqued your interest. I do hope you’ll give me your feedback once you’ve read it! Enjoy the corn pudding, too.
      Thank you again for posting my book on your blog! I really appreciate the exposure and hope your followers will enjoy my story!

    1. And that’s what makes a book interesting am I right? I hope you choose to read my story. If you do I’d love to hear feedback via any of my contact methods shared today. Thank you for your comment!

  2. Good afternoon VS, wow, your books sound like great reads, I really love the sound of them and Thank you so much for sharing the blurb and the chapter with us! The book cover that your husband painted is Beautiful! Thank you also for sharing your corn pudding recipe, it sounds really good. Very nice to meet you , you are a new author to me. Have a great weekend. God Bless you and your family.

    1. Hi and welcome! My name is Vanessa and I’m so happy to meet you here today! I’m glad my stories interest you and hope you’ll read them and offer me your feedback. I love hearing from readers! Thank you for the compliment to my husband’s work. He’s done a great job for me on both my second and third book covers. Happy Reading and I look forward to an email or facebook message from you in the future! May God continue to bless you and yours daily!

  3. The recipe and the book sound like winners that should be tried. Unfortunately, I’m moving into a place that doesn’t have a stove. My daughter keeps saying I’ll have my own chef! Meals are paid for in the rent. Do want to read the book!!!

    1. Wow, that sounds like quite an adventure. Wishing you the best with your move and the food! Maybe you’ll get to know your chef enough to share recipes? I hope you do read my books and I’d love to hear your feedback so be sure to contact me!

  4. Thank you for the excerpt. This sounds like a book that will draw one in, raise many questions, and maybe break your heart. I do wonder how all these threads come together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.