Tasty Tuesday: Caramels from #Romance #Author Jill Haymaker #dessert #candy #recipe #Colorado #fiction

Today for Tasty Tuesday we have a real sweet treat! Contemporary romance author Jill Haymaker shares her recipe for homemade caramels! Yum! Tell us more, Jill!

Today I’d like to share with you my Caramels recipe. This recipe has been passed down through five generations of my family since sometime in the 1800s. My mother did not bake a lot, but growing up every year during the cold winter months, it has always been a special treat to have the delicious homemade caramels. I have had the joy of watching my children and grandchildren delight in the sweet treat as much as I did.

Jill’s Caramels

Combine in a large sauce pan:

½ lb. butter

2¼ cups brown sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Slowly boil, stirring constantly until you reach 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, or just after you reach the soft ball stage. (Hint: the caramel will darken in color just before it is done.)

Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish and refrigerate to cool. Cut into squares and wrap individual pieces.

My Peakview Series centers around the small Colorado mountain of Peakview. Although the town is a product of my imagination, it is a composite of many small mountain towns where I have had the pleasure to spend time. The most consistent and well-liked character in my series is Violet Crandall who owns and runs the small café in the center of town. Violet is known for her kindness, her baking skills, and her uncanny ability to know everything that is going on in Peakview County. The internet has nothing on her. She also prides herself on being quite the matchmaker. If you ask her, she is responsible for every romance that has happened in Peakview.

If you’re single, you better watch out, Violet will know your perfect match before you do. The eighth book in the series, Colorado Golden Sunset, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07828MFF1 was released just before Christmas.

Violet’s own romance can be found in the second book in the series, Breakfast for Two. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VA616G, or at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Google Play.

Breakfast for Two current coverThe tiny, mountain town of Peakview, Colorado, wouldn’t be the same without Violet’s Café, and its owner, Violet Woods. Widowed in her fifties, she leads a solitary life with only her cat Lucky to keep her warm at night. All thoughts of romance died with Stan. They had a wonderful, long happy marriage, and she’s content to live out the rest of her life with her memories.

Howard Crandall, Peakview’s only mechanic, is a confirmed bachelor and something of a hermit. When Stan died, he took it upon himself to look out for Violet, and Violet has kept him alive with her cooking skills. Over the years, they have become friends, but it isn’t until the past he has hid from for thirty year past suddenly catches up with him, that he opens up to the idea of finding love.

Is there a second chance for these two lonely souls?

On any given day you are likely to find Violet in the kitchen baking something homemade for her daily special. Many times she’s joined by her adorable granddaughters or any of the many local children she’s taken under her wing.

Jill Haymaker PicJill Haymaker was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado. Ms. Haymaker made her home in Fort Collins until her recent move to East Texas. She practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters. She also has three granddaughters.

Jill has always had a passion for writing. Colorado Sunset was her first full-length romance novel in her Peakview, Colorado, series. Her latest book, Colorado Golden Sunrise, is the eighth book in the series. If you love small town romance, you will love the characters in this series. She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, the most recent in the book Random Acts of Kindness.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys The Colorado mountains, horseback riding, gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on her favorite teams. She has a passion for working with high school youth; she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a high school mock trial team, and is a volunteer at cross country and track meets.

Email: jillhaymaker@aol.com

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/jillhaymaker/e/B00VU1T4QY

Website/blog: http://jillhaymaker.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JillLHaymaker

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jillhaymaker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjillhaymaker

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13636693Jill_Haymaker

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/Jill-Haymaker

I’ll say it again: yum! I’ve been out to Colorado several times, and plan to go again this year for the RWA conference in Denver this summer. Beautiful is an understatement! Thanks, Jill, for sharing your recipe and your stories!

Do you like to make candy? Caramels sound like something easy to make and delicious to boot. What kinds of candy do you all enjoy eating, if not making?


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.


Tasty Tuesday: Pairing Pasta with Pilsner by #romance #author Liz Crowe #ravioli #recipe #craftbeer #brewingpassion #mustread #fiction

The first 2018 Tasty Tuesday recipe is a real treat for us all! Romance author Liz Crowe brings us not only a delectable ravioli recipe but also a tale set in the world of the craft breweries. I’ll let her explain. Take it away, Liz!

One of the things I am learning as part of the process of becoming a Certified Cicerone* is how to pair great food with the perfect beer. I’m sure you’ve heard all about drinking red wine with red meat and white with poultry or fish, but these days, with “craft beer” as the latest trend in bars, it’s important to understand that matching your malted beverage with your food properly can be an interesting and fun way to explore the craft beer universe.

The other way to explore it is to dive into my “Brewing Passion” series from Totally Bound Publishing. I’ve crafted these stories set in and around the brewing world in Grand Rapids, Michigan (a.k.a. “Beer City U.S.A.” two years running!).

The second book in the series, LIGHTSTRUCK, features a kick-ass lady brewer who is also a French-trained chef. For her first date with the cocky brewer at Fitzgerald Brewing Company she decides to show off a bit, making some dishes that he might have a tough time pairing his beer with. But he’s taken on her challenge of bringing some of his rare brews that he “guarantees” will pair with whatever she makes.

I’ve decided to share the incredible—and somewhat labor intensive—main dish she makes for him:

Roasted butternut squash ravioli with sage, hazelnut, and brown butter sauce. Mind you, Elisa (or Elle), the aforementioned, kick-ass brewer/chef makes her own pasta for the ravioli but you can skip that part and buy it pre-made if you don’t have someone as hard to impress as Ross Hoffman, Master Brewer!

Butternut Squash Ravioli



2 butternut squash, halved and seeded

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest

2 teaspoons chipotle puree

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 sheets pasta dough, 12 to 14 inches long by 4 inches wide

2 eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Chopped chives

Brown Butter Sauce:

2 sticks unsalted butter

1/4 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts

8 sage leaves, chiffonade

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place squash on a baking sheet and roast until soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out flesh and run through a food mill. Place the puree into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until almost dry. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay a sheet of pasta dough on a lightly floured work surface and distribute a heaping teaspoon-sized portion of the filling at least 2 inches apart. Use your fingertip or a brush to moisten the edges of the pasta sheet with the egg wash. Carefully place a second sheet of the pasta dough on top of the first and press with your fingertips to separate the rows of filling. Repeat with the remaining dough. With a ravioli cutter or pastry wheel, cut along straight lines on the vertical and horizontal to form each ravioli square. Press the edges closed with your fingertips to seal well. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop in the ravioli and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain, plate and spoon butter sauce over and garnish with finely chopped chives.

Brown Butter Sauce:

Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook until the foam subsides and the butter begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the hazelnuts and sage and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In case you were wondering, Ross brings a mild brown ale, brewed in an English style but using crystal malt which imparts a richer, almost chocolate flavor which is a wonderful pairing with her rich, creamy, buttery entrée. An ideal food/beer pairing either complements or highlights by contrast. You should all wish me luck as I get ready for my big test this winter on my way to becoming a Certified Cicerone!

*The word Cicerone (sis-uh-rohn) designates hospitality professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers. To claim the title of Cicerone, one must earn the trademarked title of Certified Cicerone® or hold a higher certification. Those with a basic level of expertise gain recognition by earning the first-level title Certified Beer Server. Only those who have passed the requisite test of knowledge and tasting skill can call themselves a Cicerone.



A unique new romance series set in the trending world of the craft brewery. Meet the owners, employees and friends of Fitzgerald Brewing as they live, love, lust and laugh their way through the ups, downs and sideways shifts of small business ownership.


Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby, and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—much less the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.

When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious, and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and can’t help but fall hard, fast, and deep, which places him square in the middle of her horrific, until-now secret backstory.

Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.

NOTE: TAPPED is book 1 of the series but it can be read out of order and enjoyed!

Lightstruck—get your copy and find out how that dinner goes….but understand that a Liz Crowe romance is chock full of reality, which makes the HEA that much sweeter!

Amazon   Amazon UK  B&N   iBooks   Totally Bound

Liz-32fullAmazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe voice brings something new and unique, both in settings and characters, that will thrill readers of romance, women’s fiction and chick lit alike.


Facebook Fan Page

Facebook Profile

Twitter Feed

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Page

Sign Up for Liz Newz

LizCroweBrand_BlogHeaderLiz Crowe writes intense true-to-life stories that make you feel. Whether it’s anxiety, love, fear, hate, bliss, or loss woven into her plot lines, you will feel it deep down to your very soul.

—Audrey Carlan, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author

“If you want a story that will grip your heart and bring all your emotions into play, then do not miss a Liz Crowe story.”

—International Best Selling Author Desiree Holt

“I’ve learned to expect the unexpected with any Liz Crowe novel—along with 3-dimensional characters and well-written, realistic plots.”

—USA Today Best Selling author AM Hargrove

I had to look up what “chiffonade” means – “finely shredded leaf vegetables used as a base for a dish or as a garnish” – since that was a new word to me. Thanks, Liz, for teaching me not only a new word but a new preparation method!

But what did I tell you all? Both the pasta and the pilsner sound delicious, but I really want to know what happens in Lightstruck as well! I’m thinking if I try the pasta, though, I’d have to buy it. I’ve never made fresh pasta… Have you? Do you think I should try to make my own or leave that up to the pros?


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Apple Pie #recipe from #military #romance author Judythe Morgan #ambaking #dessert

Tasty Tuesday the day after Christmas brings us a delicious pie recipe from military romance author Judythe Morgan. I don’t there’s anything better than some warm apple pie, whether for dessert or for breakfast. Take it away, Judythe!


Those of us with a military background know how much you can miss home cooking. It’s the recollection of tasty home cooked meals that get us through our days away. Plus, the occasional care package filled with goodies from home.

If you’re serving a hardship tour and eating rations, MREs, or mess meals, the memory of home cooking becomes even stronger.

Lieutenant Colonel David Sands, the hero in my newest release Until He Returns is completing his final hardship tour before retirement. His favorite home cooked dessert is apple pie, which is not easy to include in a care package.

Even the most well packed goodies can end up as crumbs in their journey to APO and FPO addresses. Think cookie crumbs.

Shirley, David’s girlfriend (though she’s not willing to admit that status just yet) thinks apple pie crumbs probably wouldn’t taste as good as cookie crumbs. David agrees.

She offers to send small, fried apple pies, but David doesn’t care for those treats. He prefers the flaky piecrust of a realio-trulio apple pie. As a compromise, Shirley promises a big, juicy apple pie for his first meal back home.

Here’s Shirley’s Apple Pie recipe:

Apple PieIn a small bowl, combine

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Next, slice and peel enough tart apples for 6 to 7 cups. Place apples in a large bowl, and then toss with one tablespoon of lemon juice and the sugar mixture.

Shirley also makes her own pie crust using this recipe.

  • crust compressedIn a bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

  • Next, cut in 2/3 cup shortening until crumbly.

  • Gradually add 6 to 7 tablespoons cold water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.

  • Divide the dough into 2 balls, being sure one is larger than the other.

  • Roll larger ball  to  fit a 9×10 inch pie pan. Trim dough to edge of the pie pan.

  • Add the apple filling.

  • Roll out the second ball to fit over the filled pie pan, or cut into strips and create a lattice top.

  • Before baking beat one large egg white until foamy and brush over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil.

  • Bake the pie at 375°. After 25 minutes, remove the foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy a tasty treat.

Months after David’s return from deployment, Shirley prepares another unique apple pie for him and it’s even more special than his homecoming pie.

You can read all about that pie in Until He Returns, Book 3 of the PROMISES Series. The four book series tells the stories of two men and one woman who met at Eighth Army Headquarters, Yongsan, South Korea in the sixties. Their chance encounter bound them together forever. The series chronicles their lives from the turbulent Vietnam War years through the decades that followed. (Note: each book in the PROMISES series is a complete story and can be enjoyed without the others.)

until he returns_r2UNTIL HE RETURNS


Shirley Carlson’s husband has been MIA in Vietnam for decades. She’s filled her life with family, friends, her business, and David Sands’ companionship. Now David wants more. Only she wants her husband home and buried before she moves forward with another relationship.

David Sands has loved Shirley for years, patiently waiting for her to come to terms with her husband’s death. After one last assignment to the Middle East, he’s retiring from the Army. All he wants is Shirley at his side, as his wife. He proposes before he deploys.

Will Shirley make a commitment without closure to her past, or will she watch her new love walk away?

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Until-He-Returns-PROMISES-Book-ebook/dp/B0784KJC33/

Nook Book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/until-he-returns-judythe-hixson/1127536341

iTunes Book Store: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/until-he-returns/id1318306621

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/until-he-returns

2017 cropAward-winning author Judythe Morgan has worn many hats. She’s an Air Force daughter, Army wife, one time-Department of Army Civilian, a mother, a grandmother, antiques dealer, teacher/ administrator, former mayor’s wife, and, sometimes, church pianist.

Those experiences have made her life full, her stories authentic, and her characters vivid. Her belief in true love, second chances, and forgiveness means her stories have a happy ending.

Please visit her website at www.judythemorgan.com or her blog at www.judythewriter.com to learn more.

Connect with Judythe:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/judythe2

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Judythe2

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Judythe-Morgan/e/B00802MJPY/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450879.Judythe_Morgan


I do love a good apple pie! Sounds like a delicious recipe worth keeping right along with the story Judythe shared. What’s your favorite kind of pie?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Triple-Chocolate Romeos by #romance author Lucinda Race #cookie #recipe #todiefor

Most everyone loves chocolate, and this week’s Tasty Tuesday brings you a triple-chocolate treat from contemporary romance author Lucinda Race. Enjoy!

Romeo… where are my Romeos?


It’s a pleasure to share with you one of my favorite recipes, Triple Chocolate Romeos. I‘ve written a seven-book series based on the McKenna family who live and love in a small town in Western Massachusetts.

Cooking has always been central in life with my daughters. When my youngest daughter was in middle school she dreamed of becoming a baker. Often, I would come home from work and the kitchen counters would be smeared with egg shells, melted chocolate and so many other ingredients. This final recipe is the product of her earlier attempts and the inspiration for Kate McKenna Donovan who is featured in Ready to Soar, book five in The Loudon Series.

Magic Cover Art Only Amazon 2560x1600-2            Lucas saw the troubled look flit over Kate’s face. “Hey, I’m sorry, I guess I shouldn’t have brought it up. For what it’s worth, I think Cari liked taking control of the kitchen. She made these triple chocolate cookies that were to die for, I think she called them Romeos. Have you ever had one?”

            Kate laughed. “Not only have I had them, but I’ll confess I made them up when I was about eleven. Mom had to tweak the recipe a bit to make them actually taste good, but the basic idea was mine.”

            “Cari made them on two different days and they sold out before lunch. I had to save one from the second batch just so I would get a sample. Sounds like you’ve always had a knack for being in the kitchen.”


Triple Chocolate Romeos


2 sticks butter softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda and salt- each

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons half and half or light cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate- melted

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 ¼ cups flour

1 cup white chocolate chips


Cream, butter, sugars baking soda and salt for 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and half and half and vanilla. Then combine melted chocolate, cocoa and baking powder. Add flour and white chocolate chips. Dough will be soft.  Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Cool and enjoy.

Coffee and Romeos

I hope you enjoy the cookies. They freeze great and if you can wait, let them come to room temperature and enjoy.

For more on the Loudon Series visit my website at www.lucindarace.com.

Until next time,

I wish you happiness.


This recipe will be added to my cookie recipes. Yum! Thanks so much for sharing this cookie recipe, Lucinda! Do you guys have a favorite cookie?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Meatballs and Sausages #appetizer w/ #romance #author Lynn Crandall #recipe

Let’s talk about appetizers on this Tasty Tuesday, shall we? With all the parties of the holiday season, this might be one you’d enjoy to contribute. Romance author Lynn Crandall is here to share her story Nutcracker Sweet and a recipe for meatballs and sausages. Take it away, Lynn!

I’m happy to be on Betty Bolte’s Tasty Tuesday to share a little bit about my new release, Nutcracker Sweet, and a recipe mentioned in the story. Thank you, Betty!

My mom was making chocolate Christmas cookies and gathering all the family around the kitchen table to stretch out a blob of hot candy into a platter of peanut brittle. It was a tradition, and one in which we all bonded together.

We were not unique. When the holidays come around, many of us celebrate with family traditions. According to Amy Griswold, Family Life Educator at the University of Illinois County Extension, traditions are part of the fabric of family.

Research shows that these traditions are important in building strong family relationships between generations,” Griswold wrote on the Extension’s website. “Traditions are stories, beliefs, rituals, and customs that are passed from one generation to the next. Keeping traditions for the holidays as well as the ordinary days help teach children the things their family values. These traditions help fill the individual’s need to belong. Being a part of the special things our family does, helps us to have that sense of belonging.”

In my story, Nutcracker Sweet, Noël Hartley is facing the holiday season burdened with sorrow over her sister’s death. Family holiday traditions, including attending a performance of the Nutcracker ballet each Christmas with her older sister, Reggie, are painful reminders that her sister is no longer around and her family is falling apart. Her parents have left town, her younger brother and sister are looking to her to hold the family together, and on top of everything, the firefighter Jonah Grant, the man who didn’t save Reggie from the fire, keeps trying to make pathways into her life. Ugghh.

Rather than trying to ignore Christmas, Noël plans a holiday get-together for the three of them, and turns to traditional foods to help create a sense of belonging. Her contribution to the festivities is a zingy cheddar cheese ball. Her sister, Brie, supplies the peppermint mocha coffees, and her brother, Oliver, brings the hot meatballs and sausages in a family-favorite, tangy sauce. Unexpected guest, Jonah, adds his homemade apricot liqueur eggnog and a whole lot more than Noël expects.

Nutcracker Sweet FINALcover

Here’s the blurb:

A year after her sister’s death, Noël Hartley is haunted by memories of Christmas past. All around, life is going on, including all the happy celebrations of Christmas. Noël is having nothing of it, or the firefighter who failed to save her sister Regina from the deadly fire.

Firefighter Jonah Grant is going through the motions of working and living his life. The night he fought a fire in Regina Hartley’s house replays over and over, but always ends the same. He went into a fire to save her, but came out without her.

A wall of pain keeps Noël and Jonah apart and alone in their suffering, though in mid-size Cranberry Cove they’re finding it challenging to avoid one another. But when a stalker puts Noël’s life in danger, Jonah has to find a way to prevent another tragedy and prove to her that their futures rely on facing the past.

Amazon: http://a.co/at5I5sm

Here’s an excerpt from Nutcracker Sweet:

“Excuse me, could you help me get that box of crackers on the top shelf?”

The female voice sounded familiar and Jonah looked up, ready to assist. His heart stopped. Please floor, open up and swallow me now.

It was Noël Hartley, standing two feet away and asking for help. She blinked, twice, and swayed a tiny bit. It was a very quiet sound, but he heard her gasp.

“I’m sorry.” The words just fell out. “I mean, sure.” He couldn’t move.

She held his gaze, silently, for a full, frozen minute. “Hi, Jonah. Do you mind?” She pointed to a box of seven grain, sea salt crackers. “Please?”

He grabbed the box and handed it to her, his arms were heavy logs. “Just one box?”

She slanted her head, and his pulse sped up. Cute was not a strong enough word to assign to her face. Cad.

“No, two would be better.”

He gave her another box and paused, their eyes meeting again. His mouth went dry. Words, where were his words? Nerves rattled in his head. “I came in to get something for dinner, but I don’t know…” He let the sentence drop and twisted as though searching for something to buy.

She chuckled lightly, and it steadied his rambling thoughts. “Me too. I have to pick up things for a meal, anyway.” She chewed on her lip, drawing his attention to them.

His heart ached for her. The apologies he had made to Noël and her family just after the fire were the last words he’d spoken about the tragedy with them. His words had been so inadequate that thinking of them now he felt his skin blanch. He lifted his gaze and found Noël searching his face.

“Jonah.” Her expression got very somber. “I don’t hold any hard feelings for you. Don’t feel uncomfortable for what happened.” She dropped her gaze, but not before he saw her eyes reveal her pain. Then her expression perked up. “It’s been almost a year. I’m fine. I hope you are too. Now, I need to finish my shopping. Good luck with finding your dinner.”

So we’re going to gloss over everything wrong. She was not fine, and that crunched his heart. But he wouldn’t press, not here, not in the grocery store. “Thanks. I’ll find something.”

She pushed her cart away from him, but he stood watching her retreat, helpless in her despair. He couldn’t just go on as he’d been over the months since the fire. Noël had graciously let him off the hook, but the truth was in her eyes. It had pierced his soul and he couldn’t continue as though nothing had happened but he didn’t yet know what to do either.

Now for the recipe Oliver made for Brie and Noël.

Meatballs and Sausages in Tangy Sauce


1 pound ground beef

1 16 ounce bottle Catalina dressing

1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice

1 package cocktail sausages


  • Shape ground beef into small meatballs and brown on all sides.

  • When meatballs are done, pour full bottle of Catalina dressing and  entire can of pineapple chunks with juice in a crockpot. Stir, and add meatballs and sausages to the crockpot mixture. Stir again.

  • Cook over low heat in crockpot  until meatballs are done, about two or three hours, depending on your crockpot.

  • Keep mixture warm in pot  to serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as an appetizer for any kind of gathering this holiday or any time you throw a party. Check out Nutcracker Sweet to read how I used the dish in the story.

May your holiday season be full of peace, love, and joy!

my best author picLynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don’t back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love.


Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Crandall/e/B00AX9OA40/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1511570977&sr=8-1

Website http://lynn-crandall.com/

Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrandallAuthor/?ref=settings

Twitter https://twitter.com/lcrandallwriter

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6198966.Lynn_Crandall

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lynncrandallwriter/

Instagram lcrandall246

That’s an easy and tasty appetizer, isn’t it? The story sounds tempting as well. Do you have a favorite pitch-in dish you take to gatherings?


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Scottish Cranachan #dessert w/ #regency #romance #author Regan Walker #recipe

For Tasty Tuesday I have a very special guest and recipe for you all. Regan Walker writes regency historical romance and this story is a Christmas story set in Scotland and featuring a really delicious confection, cranachan. What is cranachan? Well, here’s Regan to tell you all about it. Enjoy!

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert served at the Stephens in Arbroath in A Secret Scottish Christmas. It was a favorite of William Stephen, but new to his English guests. Today, it’s usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey, and fresh raspberries topped with toasted oatmeal. But in the Regency era, whisky was the equivalent of moonshine and the upper classes would more likely have used brandy if they wanted to make it with liquor.

Some of the best raspberries in the world are grown in Scotland, but in winter, bottled and preserved raspberries would be used. Today you can use frozen raspberries out of season, of course. If no cream was available, the Scots would use a traditional cream cheese called Crowdie.

The scene on Christmas Eve when cranachan was served:

For dessert, they had Will’s favorite, cranachan, a Scottish tradition their English guests had not sampled before.

“Anything in it we should know about?” asked Hugh, his spoon suspended above the layered confection.

“Not unless you are averse to toasted oatmeal, cream, honey, raspberries and a dash of brandy,” replied Ailie. “I assure you, no kale is hiding beneath the layers.”

Everyone laughed and picked up their spoons.

“Our cook bottled the raspberries herself last summer,” offered Emily.

Will licked some of the honeyed confection from his bottom lip. “If you don’t want yours, Ormond, old chum, I’d be happy to take it from you.” He made as if to reach his spoon toward Hugh’s cranachan.

Hugh raised his spoon like a sword poised to repel an attack. “You’re not getting mine ‘old chum’. I do believe I will like the dessert.”

Many chuckles echoed around the table.

Walker-Secret Scottish ChristmasSpies and Scots and Shipmasters, oh my!

Scotland 1819

Twin brothers Nash and Robbie Powell of Powell & Sons Shipping, London, sail with their fellow Agents of the Crown to Scotland for a secret celebration of Christmastide, a holiday long frowned upon by the Scottish Kirk. But more than Christmas is being kept secret. The two brothers have accepted an assignment from the Home Secretary Lord Sidmouth to ferret out a fugitive fomenting rebellion among the Scots.

Aileen Stephen, the only daughter of an Aberdeen shipbuilder, had to be clever, devious and determined to gain her place in the family business. She succeeded to become a designer of highly coveted ships. One night, a man’s handsome face appears to her in a dream. When two men having that same face arrive on a ship full of Londoners, Ailie wonders what her second sight is telling her. Is the face she saw a portender of the future, a harbinger of danger, or both? And which of the two Englishmen is the one in her dream?

Older than Nash by a mere five minutes, Robbie has always been protective of his twin. When he realizes Nash is attracted to the sister of their Scottish host, he thinks to help matters along. But Nash wants no help from his brother, not where Ailie Stephen is concerned because Robbie is attracted to the girl himself!

Two brothers vie for the affection of the Scottish lass but only one stirs her passion. Which one will it be? And what will she do when she learns they are spies?

Walker-CranachanScottish Cranachan


  • ⅓ cup + ¼ cup steel cut (pinhead) oats
  • ⅓ cup Scotch whisky (use a top quality brand)
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 3 tbsp. Scotch whisky
  • 3 tbsp. organic raw honey
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream


  1. The night before you want to make the dessert, toast ⅓ cup (2 oz.) of the oats in a cast iron or very heavy pan until very lightly browned- this won’t take long, so keep a close eye, as you don’t want burnt oats. Put the oats in a bowl and cover with ⅓ cup (3 oz.) of whisky. Cover and let stand overnight to soak.
  2. When you are ready to make the Cranachan, toast the second batch of oats, exactly the same as you did the first. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Choose a few choice raspberries to decorate the top and set them aside.
  4. Crush the rest of the raspberries in a bowl, with a spatula or fork (just a bit, we’re not making jam).
  5. Sprinkle the raspberries with 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of whisky. Mix well and set aside.
  6. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add the other 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of whisky. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form, then fold in the whisky-soaked oats.
  7. At this point, we are ready to assemble the dessert. I would recommend doing this relatively close to serving time as the dessert will taste better fresh. (If possible, don’t make it in the morning to serve for dinner.)
  8. Place a spoonful or two of the raspberries to cover the bottom of the glass, then add some of the cream mixture.
  9. Sprinkle the cream with some of the toasted oats, then repeat the layers. Finish with the sprinkled oats and top with a raspberry or three.

Refrigerate until ready to eat, but take them out about 20 minutes before serving, for better flavor.

See it on Regan’s website here: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/cranachan.html

Regan Walker profile picRegan Walker is an award-winning, Amazon bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. A lawyer turned full-time writer, she has seven times been featured in USA TODAY’s HEA column and nominated six times for the prestigious RONE award. (Her novels, The Red Wolf’s Prize and King’s Knight, won Best Historical Novel in the medieval category for 2015 and 2017, respectively.) In 2017, her novel The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland won the Gold Medal in the Illumination Awards, and To Tame the Wind won the International Book Award for Romance Fiction.

Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government have given Regan a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her stories often feature a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for special assignments. Each of her novels includes real history and real historical figures as characters. And, of course, adventure and love.

Follow Regan on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Regan-Walker/e/B008OUWC5Y) and BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/regan-walker

Keep in touch with her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104 where you can join Regan Walker’s Readers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReganWalkersReaders/. You can sign up for her newsletter on her website, www.reganwalkerauthor.com


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104

Pinterest Storyboard for the book: https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/a-secret-scottish-christmas-by-regan-walker/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35064223-a-secret-scottish-christmas

Amazon buy links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076BBG6HV

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076BBG6HV

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B076BBG6HV

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B076BBG6HV

Thanks so much, Regan! That cranachan sounds like something I may have to try this Christmas, right after I read A Secret Scottish Christmas story! Thanks for swinging by and sharing the recipe and snippet from the story.

What about you? Are you tempted to try either or both? Are you enjoying these guest author posts as much as I am?


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Cinnamon Buns and Kick-Butt Characters w/ #romance #author Roxanne Snopek #breakfast #recipe

Tasty Tuesday has arrived and brought my first guest author for this round of posts, Roxanne Snopek, to introduce you to her kick-butt characters and cinnamon bun recipe. Take it away, Roxanne!

When I was about sixteen, a friend told me that I’d make a wonderful grandmother. Think about that for a moment: old, soft, a little out-of-touch, good at baking buns and knitting and providing peppermints is not exactly the image one aspires to as a teenage girl! However, now that I’m at that age, I have a different view. Yes, many of my friends who are grandmas are good at baking and knitting but they are also tough, smart and dare I say it, young, too! They are Kick-Butt Grannies and they rock a lot more than chairs!

In my new Sunset Bay series, I have a character named Daphne who’s the ranch cook. She’s got a rough past, a kid and grandkid she doesn’t see, a soft heart and a cinnamon bun recipe that has made her a local celebrity. But don’t let the helmet-hair and granny-jeans fool you. She also kick-boxes in her spare time, has zero tolerance for crap and cusses like a sailor when necessary.

For the many wounded people who find their way to Sanctuary Ranch, she’s just what they need. Here’s a glimpse of Haylee, my heroine, watching Daphne interact with her new assistant, Jamie.

Haylee was at the main house the next morning with a whole minute to spare.

“Good morning Daphne,” she said to the cook.

“It’s morning,” Daphne replied, wiping her hands on her apron. “Can’t comment on the goodness, yet. Just when I think Jamie’s turned a corner, she pulls something new. Today it’s potato mutation.” She leaned toward the cellar steps. “They’re sprouting, you ninny!”

Jamie’s voice floated up. “They’re squishy and gross. It’s like a horror show down here.”

“Kids these days,” muttered the cook. “No life skills.”

“She’s hardly a kid, Daphne,” said Haylee.

“And I’m an old woman, getting older by the second. Bring them up now, Jamie,” yelled Daphne, “or I’ll make you peel them too.”

Daphne loved Jamie like a daughter.

A thumping, bumping noise sounded from the cellar, followed by the heavy wooden door slamming, then footsteps stomping up the stairs as the girl huffed her way into the kitchen, holding the plastic tub out at arm’s length.

“They look desperate, like they’re reaching out for help,” said Jamie. “It’s bad energy.”

Jamie had dabbled in reiki at one time. She’d dabbled in a lot of things.

“It’s life force,” corrected Daphne. “If you put those in the ground outside, they’d turn into a whole garden of spuds.”

Jamie tipped the tub of tubers into the farmhouse sink and turned on the cold water. “Then why aren’t we doing that?”

“You know those green plants you spent three hours weeding yesterday? Potatoes. In another month or so, we’ll be eating them fresh. Until then, we finish last year’s crop. Quit being such a girl.”

Jamie’s jaw dropped. “You can’t say that.”

Haylee bit back a laugh and looked away. She was used to Daphne.

Daphne pointed her knife at the butcher-block work station. “Then woman up, girl.”

That’s the kind of granny I want to be, when the time comes. I don’t knit, but I do bake. In fact, the cinnamon buns Daphne makes for the ranch guests come from a recipe I’ve used many times. My family loves them and when they’re in the oven, the whole house smells of yeasty, cinnamon-y goodness.

Everyone is more than they seem and I love watching my characters find out how tough they really are. I may seem soft and mild at times, but like Daphne, I’ve learned to kick butt when necessary. I bet there’s a warrior inside you, too.


CinniesThese legendary cinnamon buns were first introduced to the University of British Columbia’s students in the early 1950s. The recipe has been printed numerous times in The Vancouver Sun and every year they still get requests for these light-textured buns. Although large, they’re not as rich and gooey as some cinnamon buns.


3 cups (750 mL) milk (2 per cent M.F.)

6 tablespoons (90 mL) butter

6 tablespoons (90 mL) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt

1 teaspoon (5 mL) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) lukewarm water

2 (8 g) packages traditional active dry yeast

2 large eggs

9 cups (2.25 L) all-purpose flour, about


11/4 cups (300 mL) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (30 mL) ground cinnamon

3/4 cup (175 mL) melted butter, divided


  • Dough: Scald milk. Stir in butter, 6 tablespoons (90 mL) sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  • Dissolve the 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar in lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast over water mixture. Let stand in warm place for 10 minutes; stir.
  • In large bowl, combine lukewarm milk mixture and eggs. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add 4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) flour and beat well for 10 minutes. With wooden spoon, gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  • Turn dough out on to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed. (This is a soft dough.) Place in well greased bowl and roll dough over to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
  • Meanwhile prepare filling: In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  • Punch down dough and turn out on to lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half.
  • Roll out each piece of dough into 18×9-inch (46×23 cm) rectangle. Brush each rectangle generously with melted butter. Place remaining melted butter in bottom of 161/2 x111/2 x21/2-inch (42x29x6 cm) pan.
  • Sprinkle an equal portion of sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over each rectangle. Roll each dough rectangle up tightly like a jelly roll, starting from the long side; pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) slices. Arrange slices, cut-side down, in prepared pan and cover loosely with greased wax paper. Let rise in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 35 to 45 minutes or until baked. Remove from oven and immediately invert on to serving tray.

Makes 18 large cinnamon buns.

Approximate nutritional analysis for each serving: 433 cal, 9 g pro, 14 g fat, 69 g carb.

Snopek-grin cropUSA Today bestselling author Roxanne Snopek writes contemporary romance set in small towns, big cities and secluded islands, with families and communities that will warm your heart. Her fictional heroes (like her own real-life hero) are swoon-worthy, ultra-responsible, secretly vulnerable and occasionally dough-headed, but animals love them, which makes everything okay. Roxanne writes from British Columbia, Canada, where she is surrounded by flowers, wildlife and two adoring dogs. She does yoga to stay sane. It works, mostly.

Visit her at www.roxannesnopek.ca

Sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/vqXgv

Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RoxanneSnopekAuthor

Join her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RoxanneSnopek

Follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/RoxanneSnopekAuthor

Follow her on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roxanne-Snopek/e/B004UO6RQ8/

Follow her on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/roxanne-snopek

Snopek-SBScover (388x640)The spectacular scenery and craggy beaches draw tourists to the small Oregon town of Sunset Bay. But Sanctuary Ranch offers a different kind of experience: a refuge for people—and animals—desperate for a new beginning . 
Haylee Hansen has made a career out of caring for and training the dogs and horses on her aunt’s ranch. Part halfway house, part work camp, it also gives troubled kids and adults the tough love they so desperately need. Haylee should know. She was her aunt’s first success story. But now her turbulent past is about to show up on her doorstep . . .

After thirteen years running a level one emergency room in Portland, Aiden McCall arrives in Sunset Bay a broken man. Anger and anxiety have nearly taken over his life—and could sabotage his new job at the local hospital. Until someone proposes an unconventional solution: a therapy dog.

Haylee has seen her share of damaged people, but no one like Aiden. As she tries to match him with the perfect dog, he’ll help her to see that no one has a perfect life. And that opening yourself up to love is the only way to heal your soul . . .

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Bay-Sanctuary-Novel-ebook/dp/B06XFK9BFV/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sunset-bay-sanctuary-roxanne-snopek/1125896933

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/sunset-bay-sanctuary

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sunset-bay-sanctuary/id1212554748?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Roxanne_Snopek_Sunset_Bay_Sanctuary?id=IdFDDgAAQBAJ

Yum to both the buns and the story! I think that sounds like a super grandma to have around. What do you think? Is this a story you’d like to read while nibbling on a cinnamon bun?

Next week I’ll have another guest author, so until then, happy reading and may your mornings start with a delicious breakfast!


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: What I learned about #colonial #cooking #recipes #American #history

Well, Tasty Tuesday fans, the adaptations have come to an end, so I thought I’d sum up a few lessons I learned about colonial cooking. But just because my adaptations are done doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on some new delicious recipes! I’ve invited some other authors to share a recipe from one of their stories, to introduce their characters to you. That will start next week. Today, I’d like to recap a few of the more interesting things I discovered in this adventure.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900Before I do, I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, if you’re in America. It’s the perfect time to read my latest paranormal, The Touchstone of Raven Hollow, which happens during Thanksgiving week in the Cumberland Plateau of southeastern Tennessee. Tara and Grant have quite an adventure when they escape Roseville to take a day hike in the woods! See below for the description and links where you can buy your own copy. I hope you enjoy it!

So, let’s turn to, in bullet form, the lessons and observations I think are worth sharing:

  1. Ground mace is too strong for my taste buds, so I needed to substitute with ginger, or cloves, or nutmeg, or even herbs at times. I used my judgment based on our preferences.
  2. Adding chopped up oysters into fish sauce makes it taste really good!
  3. Adding diced mushrooms adds richness to sauces. Note that I hadn’t previously cooked with mushrooms except in ground beef stroganoff, so this was a revelation to me.
  4. Many of the meat recipes called for sauce, which we grew rather tired of after a while. They were fairly rich and heavy, so I ended up serving them on the side to add as desired.
  5. The “gravy” they used is more similar to what we call broth or bouillon. I recommend using one of those instead of making the gravy from the recipe, which proved time-consuming and rather expensive.
  6. The ingredients which seemed readily available to 18th-century cooks are now not quite as at hand and expensive when they are. Veal, chestnuts, and truffles and morels come to mind as examples.
  7. Cooking with lettuce was an entirely new concept to me! It never crossed my mind to use to thicken sauce.
  8. I was reminded that I shouldn’t try to fry! Ever.
  9. Meat recipes with gravy and/or force meat balls were too rich and heavy for our taste, even though they tasted good to begin with. Perhaps omitting the force meat balls would have made them a bit more palatable.
  10. One of the recipes called for fish liquor, so I bought some Fish Sauce in the oriental aisle of the grocery store. Used it twice, then discarded. The taste just hung on my tongue for way too long!
  11. Adding cut up oranges to salad really perks up the flavor.
  12. Sautéed spinach with garlic and olive oil is a tasty and healthy way to cook it. I’ve done that repeatedly since “discovering” that technique.
  13. Cake pans must have been huge back then. The quantity of flour, sugar, and eggs is at least twice what today’s cake recipes called for. I’m grateful to the ladies who wrote Revolutionary Cooking for adapting the pound cake recipe for me!
  14. Women must have been really strong and/or traded off the work of beating a cake batter literally by hand for an hour. Can’t imagine!

So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey as much as I have. Here is the complete list of blogs and recipes in case you missed a few:

Veggies and cooking techniques https://wp.me/p6TEhM-rW
Stewed spinach and eggs http://wp.me/p6TEhM-sn
Potato pudding https://wp.me/p6TEhM-sU
Meats and cooking techniques https://wp.me/p6TEhM-ts
Brown gravy (Strong Broth for Soup/Gravy) http://wp.me/p6TEhM-u1
Oyster sauce http://wp.me/p6TEhM-vN
Force-meat balls http://wp.me/p6TEhM-we
Scotch collops http://wp.me/p6TEhM-wG
Beef collops http://wp.me/p6TEhM-xS
Lamb pie http://wp.me/p6TEhM-ys
Fish types and cooking techniques http://wp.me/p6TEhM-yX
Salmon – broiled, and baked http://wp.me/p6TEhM-zB
Fried Fish; Shrimp Sauce http://wp.me/p6TEhM-A5
To Dress A Crab http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Aw
Fowl and other birds http://wp.me/p6TEhM-AT
Brown Fricasey with chicken http://wp.me/p6TEhM-B3
Roast chicken with chestnuts http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Bs
Stewing chickens http://wp.me/p6TEhM-BN
Duck with green peas http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Cw
Collops and eggs http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Cb
Salmagundy https://wp.me/p6TEhM-D1
Apple pudding https://wp.me/p6TEhM-Dv
Stewed pears https://wp.me/p6TEhM-Er
Pound cake https://wp.me/p6TEhM-EK

Do you have a favorite recipe from the batch of adapted ones? Did you try any of them? Will you?

See you next week when we start the guest author recipes! See you then.


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic.

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest tests divulge geologist’s Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-kindle

B&N: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Kobo

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-AU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-CA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-UK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-iBooks

Google: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-GoogleBks

Tasty Tuesday: Pound Cake #colonial #dessert #cooking #cake

One of the biggest challenges for me and my Tasty Tuesday recipes is adapting the cake recipes. Why? Well, let me explain.

Take a look at Hannah Glasse’s receipt for Pound Cake and then I’ll share my reaction to it.

Art of CookeryTo make a Pound Cake.

Take a pound of butter, beat it in an earthen pan with your hand one way, till it is like a fine thick cream; then have ready twelve eggs, but half the whites; beat them well, and beat them up with the butter, a pound of flour beat in it, a pound of sugar, and a few caraways. Beat it all well together for an hour with your hand, or a great wooden spoon, butter a pan and put it in, and then bake it an hour in a quick oven.

So, 12 eggs? A pound each of sugar and flour and butter? How big of a cake will this make? I truly believe I don’t own a pan large enough to bake this cake. But then the show-stopper for me was beating it by hand, literally, or I could use a big wooden spoon, for an hour. An hour? Well, that couldn’t happen since I’m not strong enough to last for an hour. I’d have to use my mixer.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that the eggs then were smaller than today’s. What I don’t know is the equivalence. Not knowing how big a cake this recipe would make, I wasn’t certain how to cut it down. So I went looking in my other colonial and early America cookbooks to see if there was another pound cake recipe I could use. And yes, I found one in Revolutionary Cooking by Virginia T. Elverson and Mary Ann McLanahan.

Let’s take a look at both the original receipt and the adapted recipe, which I followed with one small change.

Revolutionary CookingOriginal receipt by Mrs. Mary Randolph, 1824, in The Virginia Housewife; or, Methodical Cook (p146)

Pound Cake

Wash the salt from a pound of butter, and rub it till it is soft as cream—have ready a pound of flour sifted, one of powdered sugar, and twelve eggs beaten; put alternately into the butter, sugar, flour, and the froth from the eggs—continuing to beat them together till all the ingredients are in, and the cake quite light: add some grated lemon peel, a nutmeg, and a gill of brandy; butter the pans, and bake them. This cake makes an excellent pudding [aka dessert], if baked in a large mould, and eaten with sugar and wine. It is also excellent when boiled, and served up with melted butter, sugar and wine.

Here is their take on how to make a modern sized cake:

Pound Cake

2 cups sugar

Eggs and Butter2 cups flour

½ pound butter

5 eggs

1 teaspoon each of lemon, rum, and vanilla extract


Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch tube or bundt pan generously. Mix all ingredients at one time in a mixer and beat for about 10 minutes, or until smooth. Turn into greased pan. Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour, until cake tests done.

Note: As in the original, there is no liquid or baking powder or baking soda.

Pound CakeThe only change I made is that instead of the three extracts I used 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. It still turned out really tasty!

Even though I used my electric mixer, my right arm let me know it wasn’t okay to do so. I’m still not quite back to pre-surgery strength but almost.

What I love about this recipe is that there are only five ingredients (the way I made it) and all wholesome foods. I wondered about reducing the sugar but I’d need to do some kitchen science research to understand how that might impact the results. Would less sugar make a smaller cake, for instance, since there is less mass introduced to the batter? I don’t know the answer but suspect it would be denser. Anyway, it’s a yummy recipe and I hope you’ll try it!

Next week’s blog will be a summary of the lessons I’ve learned, the recipes that I will earmark to use again, and those that I won’t. Until then, happy reading!

Remember that my A More Perfect Union series (ebooks) are on sale for the holidays! And the prequel novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, is also only 99 cents for the ebook at Amazon.

AMPU Covers-4


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

My latest romantic witch story is The Touchstone of Raven Hollow, and it takes places in an enchanted valley during Thanksgiving. What a perfect time to give it a try! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing Tara and Grant’s love story!

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic.

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest tests divulge geologist’s Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-kindle

B&N: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Kobo

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-AU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-CA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-UK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-iBooks

Google: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-GoogleBks

Tasty Tuesday: Stewed Pears #colonial #dessert #cooking #recipes

Have you been following along with the many Tasty Tuesday recipes? Have you tried any for yourself? This week’s dessert, stewed pears, is simple and delicious!

First, let me explain why I didn’t do the apricot pudding as promised. I had fully intended to try it, but when I went to my grocery store they did not have any fresh apricots because they’re out of season. My bad for checking on when they’d be available before I made my schedule. If I do another round of adapted recipes, something I am pondering, maybe I’ll add it back into that schedule.

Moving on to this week’s dessert recipe… I wasn’t sure we’d enjoy baked pears, but we did and they were very easy to make, too. Let’s take a look at the original recipe:

Art of CookeryTo stew Pears.

Pare six pears, and either quarter them or do them whole; they make a pretty dish with one whole, the rest cut in quarters, and the cores taken out. Lay them in a deep earthen pot, with a few cloves, a piece of lemon-peel, a gill of red wine, and a quarter of a pound of fine sugar. If the pears are very large, they will take half a pound of sugar, and half a pint of red wine; cover them close with brown paper, and bake them till they are enough. Serve them hot or cold, just as you like them, and they will be very good with water in the place of wine.

First adjustment I realized I’d have to make is to cut back on the number of pears and the quantity of sugar. I also wasn’t too sure about using a piece of lemon peel. Mrs. Glasse doesn’t say how long to bake them, just until “they are enough.” But overall, this is straightforward kind of recipe. Here’s what I ended up doing:

Betty’s Stewed Pears


Pears and Lemon4 Bartlett pears, pared, quartered and cored

1 fresh lemon, sliced

1 T sugar

½ c. white wine

3 whole cloves


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the pears in a baking dish.

Arrange lemon slices on top of the pears.

Combine wine and sugar and pour over the fruit.

Add the cloves scattered among the mixture.

Bake 30-40 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

ready-to-eat.jpgWe enjoyed them very much. If you don’t like cloves, I think you could omit them but they did add a warm note to the taste of the pears.

Oh, and try them chilled with a dip of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Talk about delicious! We enjoyed that way of eating them, too.

Before I go, I want to share that not only did Elizabeth’s Hope just release on November 3, but the first three ebooks in the series are all on sale. Emily’s Vow is only 99 cents, just like Elizabeth’s Hope; Amy’s Choice is $1.99, and Samantha’s Secret is $2.99. I hope you’ll pick up a copy for yourself or to give as a gift over the holidays! Also, if you buy a paperback, contact me and I’ll tell you where you can send it to me and I’ll sign it – personalize it for the recipient – and mail it back to you.

AMPU Covers-4Only one more recipe to attempt: pound cake. Wish me luck on that one! And after I finish with this round of historical recipes, I’m hoping to share some recipes from a slew of guest authors like I did last winter/spring. We’ll see how many authors take me up on the offer. Until next time!


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Elizabeth's HopeNow available! Elizabeth’s Hope!

Introducing the lives, loves, and dangerous times of the men and women in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series! This prequel novella takes place when Charles Town, South Carolina, is about to face the British enemy during the American Revolution.


Joining the revolutionary army was the honorable thing to do—but Jedediah Thomson hadn’t realized how long he’d be away from the lovely, spirited Miss Elizabeth Sullivan. They’d only begun their courtship when the occupation of Charles Town, South Carolina, trapped her in the city, making it dangerous to get to her.

Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for American freedom; for her father, pretending to be a loyalist; for family and friends, caught between beliefs; and most of all for Jedediah, the man she loves, who was doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing how swiftly it could be taken away.

And that made her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2xuGoNB

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2yoixg2

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2wDNmv3