The Mystique and Technique of Effective Critique
RWA 2012 Conference, Anaheim CA
Submissions for Critique
Critique group composed of: Avon and Harlequin author, Katy Madison, NAL author Heather Snow, former Golden Heart finalist, Leigh Stites, and former Emily finalist, Keri Smith.
- Workshop is Friday 4:30-5:30
- Must be present to receive a critique
- We will pick one to two pieces to critique during the workshop, depending on time
- Submit first scene of a romance novel, 2000 to 3000 words (approximately 8-12 pgs.)
- Must be willing to hear criticism of their work and agree to have the work shared with the audience.
- Please send as a Word doc or include in the body of the email.
- Send submissions to KatyMadison*@*gmail.com (remove asterisks)
- Send manuscripts no later than July 20, 2012
Scroll down for the Extra Epilogue to ALL ABOUT SEDUCTION!
An Award winning romantic suspense novel. Available for the first time in digital formats.
Caroline blinked her eyes open. The same fluffy clouds drifted overhead as had a few minutes ago, but she had clearly fallen asleep. She propped herself up on her elbows wondering what had woken her.
Then Johnny’s laughter bubbled as Jack swung him in a circle. Her husband set their two-year-old down and then got down on his hands and knees chasing their son through the grass in a raucous game of monster tag. “You’ll give him nightmares,” she called.
“Ah, he knows his papa would never hurt him. Don’t you, Johnny?”
The boy giggled and took a swing at Jack, who played dead for all of two seconds, then they were back at it.
All right, maybe she was being too protective.
After a few minutes of play, Johnny stopped and rubbed his eyes. Then he yawned.
Jack winked at her and scooped up his son. “Time for a story.”
Holding Johnny and talking in a low voice, he walked toward her. “Once upon a time there was a poor hard-working man, who fell in love with a princess.”
“Mon’ser,” bellowed Johnny.
“Oh, there was a monster all right.” Jack sat on the blanket and cradled their son on his lap. “The monster kept the princess locked away in his castle and wouldn’t let the poor man do anything but stare at the pretty princess as he worked hard to make the monster rich.”
“Jack!” Caroline protested.
He looked over at her. His eyes crinkled, but he continued on with his story. “Now the monster was horrible with scary…scales and big fangs.” Jack curled his fingers and clawed the air above Johnny. “Rarwh.”
The toddler half giggled.
“Now the monster hated the poor man. And he hated the princess.”
“Kill the mon’ser,” said Johnny, then he stuck his thumb in his mouth.
Caroline frowned. “His nursery maid should have been here by now.”
“Stop interrupting,” said Jack with mock severity. “Now the poor man couldn’t kill the monster, but he could make the princess very, very happy.”
Caroline rolled her eyes. As long as he didn’t get into how the poor man made the princess happy, she supposed the story might be allowable.
Johnny’s eyelashes fluttered. He stared up at his father his pupils mere pinpricks in his irises.
Jack lowered his voice a little, the soothing burr of it lulling her, except she wasn’t sure how Jack would keep this story appropriate. “The monster wanted the princess to be happy so she would give him the perfect present of a little prince.”
“Jack,” warned Caroline.
He shook his head at her and continued with his story. “To make the princess happy the monster let the poor man come inside his castle. The princess and the man were very, very happy, but then the monster got jealous as monsters do.”
Johnny took a deep shuddering breath and closed his eyes.
Still Caroline wasn’t entirely certain Jack would finish the story in a way that wouldn’t give her son nightmares.
“So the monster tried to kill the poor man, but the princess warned him, and he got away.” Jack gently shifted their son onto the blanket between them and continued his story while stroking the boy’s hair. “Now all the people loved their princess and when the poor man told them how bad the monster was, they all came and surrounded the princess with the love and protection she deserved. Then the poor man came back with an army to take the monster away. When the monster saw that he couldn’t hurt the princess any more and the poor man was now strong enough to capture him, he gave all his money to Prince Johnny and—”
“Really?” Caroline interrupted.
“—the monster’s black heart burst, allowing everyone to live happily”—Jack leaned over and pressed a kiss on her mouth—”ever”—then a second kiss—”after.”
The whisper of his breath across sensitized lips curled into a thousand pinpricks of excitement. “I don’t know where that nursemaid is.”
“You certain you told her where to find us?” Jack sat back up. He cast a glance at their sleeping toddler between them.
“Perhaps she didn’t understand how far from the house we’d be and thought she mistook my directions.” Caroline sighed. People often thought Jack couldn’t walk far. The truth was he could walk nearly as well as any man, and his rubber modifications to his brace, kept it from chafing. But she didn’t like the idea of him having to carry Johnny back the two or more miles. Nor was it likely he would allow her to carry their sleeping son since she’d just told him she was pregnant.
“I could carry him, you know,” said Jack practically reading her thoughts.
When she started to protest, he shook his head. “I can see the wheels turning in your head. Or you could take a nap, and we’ll head back later.”
“I wanted to learn more about how the poor man made the princess very, very happy.
“Me too,” murmured Jack. “I wanted to demonstrate.”
The corners of her lips turned up in spite of her efforts to keep from smiling.
He stood up and looked in the direction of the rubber works. “I’ll just walk to the top of the rise and see if I can see her coming. Maybe if she is confused I can hail her.”
She watched him climb up the hill. Near the top were a couple of trees. Perhaps they should have placed their blanket in the shade. Taking out the second blanket she’d stashed in their picnic basket, she tented it over the basket, shading Johnny from the sun when it peeked out from behind the clouds. She stood and stretched and looked up at Jack. “See her?”
He shaded his eyes, but then shook his head.
She climbed up to stand beside him and looked for herself. The rubber manufactory blocked the village from view, but they could see the drive to the house. The empty drive. Other than a few dips through the moors, the path they had taken from the house was visible.
“Didn’t believe me?” he asked.
“I was hoping you were mistaken.” She stepped toward the trees a half-dozen feet away.
Jack sighed and moved to lean against a thick oak’s trunk. “What shall we talk about, my princess?”
“I’m only a lady,” she said with a sideways glance at him.
“I know, Lady Caroline, but when one is just a millworker, princess, lady are all one and the same.”
She rolled her eyes.
He caught her hand. Tingles raced up her arm and low in her gut. After nearly two years of marriage he still could make her pulse race with a mere flick of a glance, a touch, or a kiss.
He pulled her up against him, her back to his front, and then rested his chin on her head. They could look down on their sleeping son. “We should change his name before the new baby arrives so they share the same surname.”
“Best to get it done before he has to learn to spell Broadhurst,” she agreed.
“I’m not certain Applegate is any easier.”
“Well it is one less letter.” She tilted her head to the side and looked back at Jack. And if you are ever knighted, then I believe he’d much rather carry your name than the mill’s name.”
Jack stiffened. “Knighted?”
“Yes, you’d be Sir Jack—”
“Sir John Applegate, and there isn’t a chance of that.”
She laughed softly. “Oh there is a chance. The queen listened rather keenly when Robert was describing how you make the rubber sleeve to cushion prosthetic limbs. And I will go around Sir Johnning you all the time.”
She doubted he’d like it any better than she did when he went around calling her Lady Caroline. Probably less so. Of course if he were knighted, she would rightfully be Lady Applegate and she rather liked the sound of that.
His gaze lowered and he didn’t seem at all pleased with her teasing.
“If you do not wish it, I will tell Robert to stop telling the Queen of the wonderful things you do.”
“If it were not for the war in the States, I would not have made so many medical devices. I hate profiting from so many men being injured.”
“Hush now. You did not promote the war, and you are helping hurt men live better lives than they would without your devices. It is not as if you are supplying them with the means to go on maiming each other. Besides I am the one who is guilty of war profiteering with all the extra cotton I bought.”
“Hardly the same. You did not directly profit from the war, only your anticipation of it.”
“Yet, you seem to regularly miscalculate and leave almost no margin for profit after shipping your medical devices across the ocean.” Caroline knew his figures were off deliberately. Jack was too good at what he did to make errors like that. But she didn’t object if he wanted to sell his prosthetic limbs, tubes, and modified crutches at cost.
He smiled slowly. “I make enough from other things.”
“Enough of business talk. If Queen Victoria does see fit to knight you, how shall you call yourself in your fairy tale?”
“The luckiest of men,” he answered.
She pressed a kiss on his chin. The skin was smooth indicating he’d recently shaved. Perhaps he had been planning more than a meal with their picnic, too.
He turned her and caught her face between his palms, his thumbs sliding under her jaw to tilt her up to look at him. “I am that in real life, too.”
“And I the luckiest lady in all the land.”
He kissed her slowly, reverently, and she was lost in the heady power of his kiss.
She ran her hands up his arms, reveling in the hard bunched muscles. He might own and run his rubber factory, but he often was the one wrangling new machinery or shaping the forms used to mold the melted rubber.
His hands slipped lower, fingers trailing lightly down her neck, sliding down her spine until he could pull her against the evidence of his desire. He would often start so, with easy light persuasive touches that grew more urgent and demanding as her passion rose. He needn’t be so careful of her anymore, but that he was a heady reminder of his love and protection.
She, on the other hand, suffered no such restraint. She loved watching his face as his control slipped and watching the war he fought with himself to avoid hurting her, yet unable to restrain his baser urges. She slid her hands down his chest. She traced the back of her nails along the hard ridge under his trousers.
“Caro,” he murmured, an objection and a plea rolled together.
She cast a look over her shoulder at their child on the blanket. “They say once he is asleep a marching band could circle him and he wouldn’t wake up.”
He kissed her thoroughly until her toes curled. Then he looked deep into her eyes. “But the nursemaid might still show up.”
“You would see her long before she was close.” She slid her fingers under his waistband popping open the top button.
“Not if I’m looking at you.” His rough voice cascaded over her and left her shivering in anticipation.
“Well then, we shall have to be a little circumspect.” She popped a second button free.
“Caro, what are you doing?”
She tilted up on tiptoe and whispered in his ear, “Shhh, just enjoy. I am in a mood to please you.”
“Nothing you do could displease me, but…ahhh.” His objection was lost, as she closed her fingers around him and bit his earlobe.
His nostrils flared as she stroked him and pressed her lips to his. He deepened the kiss heating her through and through. He flattened his palm against her breast, rubbing, coaxing the tip to strain against the layers of her clothes. Her body tingled with anticipation. She rubbed his member, savoring the weight and heft of his arousal.
He broke from the kiss, his breath heaving. “I will not last if you keep doing that.”
His cheeks had darkened and his eyes were intense as she continued to stroke his member.
“I do not see that as a problem,” she said.
He gave a tiny shake of his head as if she puzzled him, but was willing to cede her control. He’d always been willing to give her as much control as she needed to feel safe, to find pleasure, to love him as deeply as a woman could love her man. But poor Jack, how could he not know that he was more than worthy of being knighted, more than worthy of her love, and more than worthy of all the happiness and joy in the world. She wanted to show him.
She gave him a seductive smile, then dropped to her knees. She ran her tongue around the swollen red tip and then took him in her mouth.
His groan of pleasure was more than she could have asked. His fingers brushed her cheek as she ran her tongue over the velvety skin over iron hardness. The sensation was evocative and she tried to mimic the motion of intercourse, but found to her surprise, she wanted to take time and savor this means of bringing him pleasure.
She nipped the hard ridge than encircled the tip and ran her tongue into the break in it. He jerked. His fingers tightened in her hair almost as if he wanted to pull her tight to him. He straightened his fingers and moved his trembling hand to her shoulder.
“Caro.” Jack’s voice was strained as if he were holding back. “You don’t…have to do this.”
She rocked back to her heels and looked up at him. “I want to.”
Surprisingly, the words weren’t a lie. She not only wanted to taste him, but the idea of pleasuring him this way heated her blood. The thought of making him tremble with excitement the way he often had her quivering with need stirred her. Most of all she wanted him to know how very much he meant to her. This was just one small way of demonstrating.
She pressed her lips to him, exploring him with her mouth while lifting his stones in her hand. She’d explored him plenty of times with her fingers, but this was new between them. She took her time and gathered clues about what pleased him from his hands clenching on her shoulders, his groans and gasps for air.
When she had tortured him and his stones had drawn up tight and his skin seemed stretched impossibly tight, she took him deep in her mouth.
He pushed her back. “Arghh…damn the…nurse.”
Caroline twisted to look behind her, but Jack was trying to push her hands out of the way and button his fly.
She stood. Far away, the nursemaid pushed the bulky perambulator down the drive of the house. At least it was likely the nursemaid. She was a mere ant. “It’ll take her at least ten minutes to get here, probably longer with that pram. She won’t have an easy time of it over the grass.”
His dark eyes wide, Jack stared at her as if she’d lost her mind. Perhaps she had. She tugged him around to the far side of the tree. She peeled his hands away and dropped to her knees again.
She took as much of him in her mouth as she could and slid back using her hand on him too. He hissed out a protest, but if he truly wanted to stop her, he could have so she ignored it.
His hips rocked as if he could no longer stay still and his thighs were hard as the oak tree behind him. He was shaking all over and a winging triumph flew through her. If she allowed him, he’d have her quivering in no time, but this time she was taking him to the same splintering amazing place.
Her cheeks tightened as she envisioned him trying to call her Lady Caroline, now.
Then he held perfectly still and she felt it almost like it was her own orgasm as that moment of pure pleasure held one captive then broke in hard pulses.
Jack stared down at his amazing wife then hauled her up to kiss her. Then he pushed her shoulders back to stare at her. His breath was still coming in gulps and the intensity of his pleasure had tempered his anger. “What were you thinking?”
Caroline smiled at him.
God he loved her smug mischievous smile, but damn he had not expected that. Hell, he had teeth marks in his hand where he’d bitten to keep from yelling out. “Dear God, what if the nursemaid came upon us?”
“Then I expect she would not mention it like any good servant.”
He tried to find his indignation. “She’s an unmarried girl, an innocent.”
“Ah then, I’ll never do that again,” said Caroline with a lifted eyebrow as she tucked him in and started buttoning.
He knew she did not mean it, but raw emotions tumbled through him. She was just being haughty, but he knew that was an act, and usually when she was uncertain. He searched her blue eyes, her reddened cheeks, swollen lips. “Not even if I beg?”
“You hate begging.”
“I’d make an exception for that, Jesus Christ, Caro, you are full of surprises today.” Taking him in her mouth when they both knew that she’d been thoroughly disgusted by that act before, announcing that her brother was working toward him being knighted, and lastly telling him she was carrying his baby when this time all the world would know it was his.
Caroline leaned to the side, “And there she is.”
He twisted seeing the nursemaid crest the moor a furlong away yet.
“Can you walk? Or do you need to rest here a bit?”
“Of course, I can walk.”
Her brows drew together in a vee. “Really? Because if the tables were turned, I think I would be quite insensible.”
“I’m never insensible.”
She pursed those swollen lips of her. “Perhaps I could improve my technique?”
He checked to make certain the nursemaid was still too far away to hear and lowered his voice just in case. “If you did anything better, I’d probably die of pleasure.”
A charming pink swept over Caroline’s cheeks. He pulled her head close and kissed her forehead. “You’re a little mussed.”
She patted her hair, and he tucked in a stray lock. She was going to look a lot worse by the time he took her home. He caught her hand and they descended toward the blanket where Jack was sleeping.
“I’m so sorry, sir, my lady.” The nursemaid’s face crinkled. “A member of the family arrived and there was a bit of a stir. I didn’t realize the time.”
Jack winced and his neck tightened. His father and stepmother and the younger of his siblings were supposed to be in Bath. Daphne, Beth, and Anita were enrolled in girl’s schools there. David was sitting at Cambridge. The middle boys were all tucked away in boarding schools. He clicked off all his myriad family members in his head, wondering which one had descended on them this time.
“It is quite all right,” Caroline said.
“Which one?” demanded Jack.
The nursery maid’s eyes widened and then she blinked.
Caroline put her hand on his arm, soothing him. She had been sympathetic, but he lived in dread of the day one of them assumed too much or behaved so gauchely they could not be forgiven.
“Which one of my family members is causing trouble now?” he asked again.
“Oh no, sir, it wasn’t any of the Applegates.” She turned to Caroline. “It was Lady Brennon.”
“Amelia?” said Caroline. She frowned then started forward. “I should go to her.”
Damn, he wasn’t ready for their alfresco affair to end.
“Oh no, ma’am.” The maid turned pink. “She’s above stairs with Lord Brennon now. I don’t think they wish to be disturbed.”
Caroline’s brow curled. “What exactly happened?”
The nursemaid turned a brighter pink.
“Lover’s quarrel I expect,” he whispered.
But Caroline’s attention didn’t swerve from the girl and she had a way of looking at people that could leave them shaken.
“Her ladyship arrived and said she was to live with us and she was never going back.” The girl twisted her hands on the handle of the pram. “A half hour later his lordship arrived and dragged her to the room that was made up for her. We didn’t know what we should do. So we listened and they were yelling at each other. Then Mrs. Burns knocked and they both told her to go away.” The girl’s shoulders rose. “Well, then they stopped yelling at each other.”
Judging from her hue, the sounds that had come after the yelling might have been far more interesting. He resisted the temptation to ask what exactly had been overheard.
“Thank you,” Jack said. “Why don’t you go ahead and take Johnny back now.”
The girl succeeded in getting their sleeping child loaded into the pram and turned to push it away. He caught Caroline around the waist and held her lest she have second thoughts about following them home.
“You wanted to ask, didn’t you?” Settling her in front of him, he slid his arms across her stomach.
“What they were saying to each other.” He splayed out his fingers and put his hand over her abdomen. Of course it was too early to feel anything yet, but this time he would get to experience the rounding of her form all the way through her pregnancy.
“Of course not,” she said indignantly.
He pulled her tight against his body and rocked her.
“But if you find out, you will tell me,” she said.
Ah the joys of being a working class man, he could question the servants in ways that she couldn’t.
She took his hand and pulled it up to her ribs. Did she want him to remove it? “It’s all your fault anyway.”
He stiffened. “What is?”
She placed his on her breast and arched into it with a swift intake of breath. Ah, his lovely lady wanted to play some more. A new surge of wonder and excitement thickened his blood.
“Amelia wants her husband to treat her as you treat me.” Caroline’s voice grew breathy. He knew exactly how she wanted to be treated in this moment, and he was more than willing to comply. Urging her down to the blanket on the ground, he covered her body with his.
He kissed her long and slow. She whimpered and twisted her hips, straining against him. He reached to unbutton her dress, but she stopped him. “I can’t take off my dress outside,” she said.
He growled. She could, but he wouldn’t push her. Instead he lifted her skirt and pulled her legs apart. Impatient he slid his hand up her thigh and found her slick and ready. Perhaps she had enjoyed what she had done for him. Lord knew he had.
He pulled back and looked at her face. “I believe turnabout is fair play.”
“Jack,” she breathed, her eyes dark with passion. She strained toward his hand.
He leaned in and kissed her neck, then slid lower until he could dip his head under her skirts. Her appreciative sigh was more than he could have asked for.
It was a bit like being in a tent with the multiple layers of petticoats around him and the sunlight filtering through. All right, the pantalets were coming off, even though the center slit allowed him access. He untied the tapes and tugged them down. Trailing his fingers along the inside of her creamy white thigh, he pressed his lips to her knee.
Her impatience was a tangible thing, but he knew how to tease, too. He nipped and licked the sweet soft skin of her thigh, ever so slowly moving higher and then detouring to her other knee.
“Jack, ple-ease,” she whimpered.
He took his time, then settled in on his elbows and spread her open. The diffuse light coming through her skirts gave him a lovely view of the parts that were hidden from him most of the time. If he gave her time to think she would probably object to his studying her nether parts on the grounds of propriety or some nonsense, so he leaned forward and flicked the sensitive nub with his tongue.
Her legs quivered.
She opened the world to him, and he wanted so badly to give her everything in return. Pleasure was just a small gift within his means. One day when his business had grown into what it could be, he would be able to drape her in jewels, take her on exotic trips, and anything else she wanted. Although he might be best served building schools for the less privileged in her name.
Still in the time since Mr. Broadhurst’s death she was really coming into her own. She ran the cotton mill with a velvet encased steel hand.
There were times he marveled at the idea that this brave, beautiful woman was his wife and partner. Still as he brought pleasure upon her, his own desire and need rose, until he was urging her toward completion.
Her orgasm was accompanied by her soft coos and moans. He flipped up her skirts and shoved down his trousers. He wanted so badly to be inside her as her pleasure throbbed away.
She stared up at him, her eyes glassy under lids at half-mast.
“Are you insensible now?” he asked as he positioned himself.
Her answer was more of a moan than anything. He took that as a yes, as he thrust. “Incoherent too. Such power I have, perhaps I shall have to become the man of magic spells.”
She put her arms around his shoulders, the weight of them languidly pressing against him. He rocked and her little mews enchanted him.
Afterwards as they lay together bodies still entwined, she said through her soft pants, “Insatiable wizard.”
In spite of himself he felt his lips curl. “I will never have enough of you.”
She pushed back his hair and asked, “Jack, have you never been rendered insensible?”
He propped himself on his elbows and looked down on her. Her blue eyes were wide and her brow furrowed as if confused. It wasn’t an expression he saw often on Caroline’s face. “Very nearly the first time, but I believe that was exhaustion.”
A shadow passed across her expression. “With anyone?”
“No. Caro, I love you. It is magical and perfect with you. Well, except I really would have preferred less clothes.” The bunch of her skirts and petticoats was a lump under his stomach.
“Well, there has to be something to look forward to on our next picnic.”
“Tomorrow maybe,” he suggested, knowing full well tomorrow they would both be back at work.
Caroline’s face screwed up as if she were sorting through their obligations. “Not tomorrow, but possibly next Sunday. If the weather holds. And if my sister and her husband don’t stay. Also if—”
Jack put his fingers over Caroline’s lips. “Next Sunday.”
She sighed. “Next Sunday,” she conceded. “Because you are better than any prince or wizard or even a knight in shining armor.”
“What am I then?”
“You are the man who put the color back in my world. You seduced me into living and loving and hoping again when I thought that would never happen.”
He kissed her. “I think you are forgetting just who seduced whom.”
“Never. I solicited, you seduced.”
“No, darling, you never solicited. I volunteered after you seduced me.”
She rolled her eyes. “Either way, I’m terribly glad it was you, Jack Applegate.”
“On that we are in agreement,” he avowed.
Coming soon to BN.com and Amazon
Pictures from StitchReadCook blog
A Day in the Life
History of Valentine Cards
Ever wonder why grade school kids come home with shoeboxes full of cartoon character, cuddly critters, or chubby cupids cards? A lot of the credit can be laid at the door of Esther Allen Howland, an American entrepreneur and a woman ahead of her time.
As a teenager in Esther received an English Valentine and was so excited by it her father, who owned a book and stationary shop, decided to order several Valentine’s Day cards from across the pond. Esther was entranced by the beautiful cards, but thought she could do better. She ordered paper lace and started in designing her own. In 1847, she made up samples and her brother, a salesman for her father’s stationary business, took them out to sell. He returned with $5000 worth of orders for her Valentine’s Day cards.
Esther had to employ several friends and began an assembly line to make the cards (sorry Henry Ford, Esther beat you to the punch.) Her business grew until she was employing up to 30 workers and making over a $100,000 annually. A pretty hefty sum for the mid 1800s
As well as increasing the popularity of Valentine’s Day cards, she is credited with several innovations to the cards, most particularly adding color wafers to lace card to make them pop. She also introduced accordion folded paper to make her cards three-dimensional and give extra appeal to her beautiful creations.
Here are a few of her cards to enjoy!
The Wedding Duel ~*~ Available in e-book! Buy from:
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~*~The Second Shot~*~
Coming soon to e-book!
Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
If you like Girl Scout Thin Mints you’ll like these!
6 Peppermint Candy Canes
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter room temperature (1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup flour
1 pound to 18 ozs. dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1) Break Candy Canes into pieces and chop in food processor until pieces are very small. (Should yield about 1/2 cup of powder with little chunks of peppermint.)
2) Cream together butter, sugar and candy cane powder and pieces.
3) When smooth stir in egg, vanilla and salt.
4) In a separate bowl whisk together cocoa powder and flour.
5) Fold cocoa/flour mixture into creamed butter/egg mixture. Do not over beat. Mixture should hold together but be a little crumbly. (If you’re using a mixer be aware that the cocoa powder tends to fly everywhere. I know this because I tend to be impatient. Better to fold in with a spatula.)
6) Preheat oven to 350°.
7) Half dough and roll between wax paper to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. (If dough is too sticky it can be refrigerated for 20 minutes, but too long will make the dough too stiff to work with.)
8) Cut into 2 inch circles. (Shot glasses make the perfect size.) Repeat steps 7 + 8 with the rest of the dough.
9) Place circles on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes in middle of the oven. Do not overcook.
10) Cool wafers on wire racks until room temperature.
11) In double boiler heat water, chocolate chips and peppermint extract stirring together until smooth. (Chips, water can be melted in microwave safe bowl at 50% power for 2 minutes and at thirty second intervals until smooth. Stir in extract once chocolate is melted.) I like dark chocolate, but semi-sweet or a mixture of the two works well. Since chips come in 12 oz bags it takes about a bag and a half.
12) Using a fork dip wafers in chocolate, thoroughly coat with chocolate mixture. With cookie on the fork tap the fork against the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchament paper or waxed paper lined cookie sheets. (I just flip over the parchament paper I used to bake with.)
13) Place cookie sheets in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to cool and harden.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies