Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bon Appetit and a Book

Congratulations to "Tammy Y.", the winner in BJ, Maisey and Allison's giveaway! Thank you to all who participated.

With: B.J. Daniels

One of my favorite recipe is some warm comfort food this time of year. This enchilada casserole does the trick alongside a book like REUNION AT CARDWELL RANCH that hopefully keeps you turning the pages so fast, you won’t eat too much.  

Song playlist: 

Country classics. I grew up on country music that tells stories like the song HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY and I FALL TO PIECES. I used to know all the words to EL PASO. Songs like YOUR CHEATING HEART and HE’LL HAVE TO GO make me think of characters for books and stories to go with them.

How-to tips: 

I’ve been asked for advice so often by aspiring writers that I finally wrote a book called WRITE YOUR damn BOOK

Writer’s Space:

I write in the most wonderful 100-year-old building. It used to be the original telephone company. Since it was built, huge glass-block windows have been added to give me lots of light. I love working here.

Love Lessons Learned: 

In REUNION AT CARDWELL RANCH, Obsidian “Sid” Forester is on a mission and determined not to let anyone stop her – especially a man. She hasn’t even thought about love. Then along comes Laramie Cardwell. I’ve been there. You’re not even looking and a man comes into your life that you realizes you don’t want to live without. My husband Parker and I have been together 24 years. Every day is an adventure!

Movie Star Cast: 
I like Rachel Adams for the role and someone strong like Johnny Depp and a little quirky. What do you think?

2 cups chicken, turkey (or browned burger would work great too) (I used diced turkey)
3 cups grated cheese (I used both cheddar and jack)
1 4-5 oz green chiles (I used 4 fresh ones from the garden after taking the peel off under the broiler)
1 pkg corn tortillas (12)
1 16 oz can refried beans
1 19oz can of enchilada sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 35-45 minutes in a 13x9 inch dish

Mix meat with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese and all of the chiles.
Put a few spoonfuls of sauce in bottom of baking dish. Layer 4 tortillas on top of the sauce. (You can cut them to make them fit. I overlapped them to fit in the bottom)
Spread beans over tortillas (I didn't, but I think they would spread easier if heated)
Add half of the meat mixture and half of the remaining enchilada sauce
Put four tortillas on top.
Spread on remaining beans and meat mixture.
Put remaining tortillas on top
Add rest of enchilada sauce
Sprinkle on 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
Cover with foil. Bake. Garnish with green onions and serve.

With: Maisey Yates

New Year’s Resolutions:
Sid is going to paint more, definitely. And, of course, planning her wedding. Laramie will be busy moving the operation of Texas Boys Barbecue to Montana and making his future bride happy. 

Well, I was going to bake something lovely so that I could offer up a nice photo and recipe to share with you all. (I promise I was! And you can’t prove it if I wasn’t…)

But yesterday, the power went out for 14 hours! Yes, an unexpected snow storm (the likes of which the east coast would laugh at) was too much for the power lines in Southern Oregon and 25K people ended up with no electricity, including us. 

So I couldn’t bake. But, I will share a few things I learned with you: Costco macaroni and cheese heats up nicely on a camp stove. So does apple cider and mulled wine, which you can also handily keep warm on the woodstove!

So here is my Lights Out, Desperation Hot Drink Recipe for you. 

Apple Juice
2 Cinnamon sticks
Whole Cloves 

Red Wine
2 Cinnamon 
Whole Cloves

Heat up on your trusty camp stove (don’t catch a chill standing out in the snow!) then move them in and set the pans on your wood stove. It makes your house smell nice and it’s a great way to keep warm if you end up with no heat! 

Bon App├ętit and a Book: 
A delicious holiday recipe of your choice to enjoy alongside the book with an image.   
My favorite cookie, year-round, is pictured on one of my holiday cookie trays—Glazed Fudge Drops.  (The little round frosted chocolate cookies in the very front.)  I even used the recipe in a prior book.  It’s a frequent request from my family.  The combination of chocolate with a hint of almond…love it!

Cookie Recipe:
1 ¾ C sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ C sifted unsweetened cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1 C granulated sugar

Sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.  In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly.  Stir in oil, extracts and sugar until thoroughly combined.  Mix in dry ingredients until smooth.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Drop by rounded teaspoonful, 2” apart, on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes, remove to wire rack and cool partially before glazing.  (recipe follows)

2 C sifted confectioner’s sugar
2-3 TBSP milk
¼ C unsweetened cocoa
pinch salt
few drops almond extract

Mix all glaze ingredients until desired consistency.  Spread on slightly warm cookies.
Song Playlist: A prepared playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story.  

While writing Fortune’s Secret Heir, I listened to a LOT of Ed Sheeran.  Which is interesting, because I’m usually all about country music…

How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers: Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry.

I have very few tips for aspiring writers, but they are pretty much written in stone (forgive the pun.)  Write what you love.  And sit down and do the work.

Writer’s Space: Photos and a brief description of the place where you do your writing.
My writing space is my home office, which has a bay window overlooking our front yard, with lovely trees across the street.  Attached is an image looking into the space.  I tend to rove around a bit, working on my desktop computer some days, or sitting in my reclining chair with my laptop.  Usually there is a mess of papers strewn about from my notes…the picture shows things very tidy in preparation for holiday guests.  Ha!

Love Lessons Learned: Real life romance lessons learned from the book.
Love doesn’t always strike where you expect it.  But a smart person pays attention when it does strike.  (Personally, I like to think I paid attention when I met my husband!)

Movie Star Cast: The author picks movie stars to play the characters in a movie.
Ben Fortune is very “Jamie Dornan” in a suit.  Ella Thomas was a wholesome-ish Emilia Clarke with auburn hair. 
New Year’s Resolutions: What are the character’s resolutions for 2016?
Ben’s resolution is to focus a bit less on the business and a lot more on his relationships—namely getting Ella Thomas down the wedding aisle!

One lucky person leaving a comment or email entry will win a copy of these three books!!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 31st. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. US residents only.


  1. These sound good thank you for the chance to win,

  2. The books sound great and the recipes sound yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for the giveaway and the recipes

    alysap at yahoo dot com

  4. tasty recipes

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Great recipes and I want these books. yenastone at aol dot com


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