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September is a time of transition - the air starts getting crisp, the leaves begin to change colors, and kids return to school full of excitement and renewed energy (hopefully ). Well, Cookie Connection is jumping on that bandwagon and transitioning too - from one live chat series to another, that is!

On October 5, we'll kick off a live chat double feature at 10 am (central) with CookieCon 2020 keynote speaker @LilaLoa (aka Georganne Bell) marking the start of this year's CookieCon Speakers Series! You might be thinking, "Hey, what's going on here?! We haven't even closed out our Cookie Competitor Series yet!" True that! But have no fear, we'll be wrapping up that series at 12 noon with @LeslieM (aka Leslie Marchio of Four Peas and a Dog), second-place winner in my recent 3-D Cookie Art Competition™. Two awesome cookie decorators all in one day - how thrilling is that?! 

Questions for Leslie will naturally center around her recent cookie competition wins, not just at my competition, but also at CookieCon 2019 (with that stunning piece in her chat banner). And, of course, we'll want to press Georganne about her plans for CookieCon 2020. But these cookiers are both multi-faceted and multi-talented, so prepare your questions to run the gamut!

Both cookiers' chat rooms are now open to receive advance questions (here for Leslie, and here for Georganne). As always, we like to log (and answer) as many questions as possible even before we go live. (These chats are text-based, and live typing can slow down the chat.) To enter advance questions, simply click on either pink link above, and follow the instructions at the top of the page that opens up. To join either chat live, log into the site at the appointed time, and then click on the same link above. It's really that simple!

Now, before the chat, don't forget to read up on our guests, so that you're well equipped to get the most from them and our time together. Both women's chat banners and bios are below, as are links to their various social media platforms. Happy reading, and I look forward to "seeing" you all at the chat(s) on October 5!

Let's start with Georganne, since we'll be chatting with her first . . .

Georganne Bell Chat Banner

Georganne Bell is the sugar artist behind the popular cookie decorating blog LilaLoa and author of The Cookie Companion: A Decorator’s Guide. She began her journey into sugar through cakes, but quickly switched to cookies when she moved to South Korea and discovered that her oven was the size of a bread box. Georganne has been teaching the basics of sugar cookie art all over the world, including on television, and her cookies have appeared in magazines such as Cake Masters and American Cake Decorating Magazine.

A mix of innovation, science, and sugar, she continues to create cookies, design cutters, and teach local cookie decorating classes while raising her four young children and river-rafting on the weekends. She also gives plenty of unsolicited advice and occasionally does laundry before it becomes strictly necessary. You can visit her at www.lilaloa.com where she will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about decorating cookies. (Please also check her out on Facebook and Instagram.)

Now, for Leslie . . .

Leslie Marchio Chat Banner

Leslie Marchio has been decorating cookies professionally for the last seven years, but only recently broke into the cookie competition circuit. Her meticulously clean designs and abstract concepts are really turning some heads and helping her to carve out a niche in the upper echelon of cookie artists across the country.

When she began growing her family, Leslie took on cookie art as a hobby amid juggling four children, but the demand for her work quickly turned that hobby professional. With a Masters in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a prior career as a designer in a high-end residential firm, Leslie has translated her design perspective and 3-D modeling skills to a new medium.

In the last year, she has been recruited for online tutorials, televised documentaries, and cookie competitions, where her success speaks for itself. Leslie managed to take two first-place awards at the most recent CookieCon, as well as second place in Julia M. Usher’s 3-D Cookie Art Competition at the Show Me Sweets Show. To see Leslie's cookie work, please visit her site and Facebook and Instagram pages.

Again, to join us on October 5, just sign into the site, and click on each of these chat room links at the appointed time:

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