KNIGHT IN SHINING APRON by Carole Brown ~ a review

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KNIGHT IN SHINING APRON is a a cozy foodie mystery, yes. Yet it goes beyond that to become a psychological cozy tackling the issue of domestic abuse thoroughly, but also in a manner that won’t distress readers of cozies and classical mysteries. This is a well written story.

Sir Joel Peterman, an actual British knight who is a bonafide gourmet chef, is mistaken for a new hire dishwasher and gets off on the wrong foot with Starli Cameron, the owner of Apple Blossoms restaurant in West Virginia.

Starli has a lot of issues. She was severely abused by her deceased husband and as the novel opens is being stalked and threatened by her police officer brother-in-law. P.O. Roland Stratton, well respected in the town, blames her for his drunken brother’s deadly car crash. Then there’s the sulking assistant chef, the scheming kitchen worker, and the cloying banker who is in love with her. There are more twists and turn and red herrings than you can shake a spatula at.

The novel captures small town business rivalries to perfection. The culinary aspects of the novel ring true. After a break in at the restaurant where the freezer has been deliberately left open, Joel knows exactly how to save the meat. I particularly liked his menu ideas and wanted to eat dinner at Apple Blossoms.

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Pamela S. Meyers ~ Cozy Mystery Writer, an interview

Thyme For Love

Things move so rapidly in fiction publishing, it’s hard to keep up with authors. That’s why I’m so glad to have Pamela S. Meyers as a guest today. Let’s get to the interview and find out what’s been happening in her life.

Nike:  Like you, Pamela, I started out with a publishing company and then independently published. Tell us about that journey.

Pamela:  My first two published books were with a small press. Last January, at my request, I received back my rights and began the process of publishing THYME FOR LOVE, the first of the two books. Going indie has been a new experience, but I am finding it fun and not near as daunting as I thought it would be. I plan to start editing the second book very soon, LOVE WILL FIND A WAY, which is a sequel and get that one released.

I do have another book LOVE FINDS YOU IN LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN, which was published by Guideposts/Summerside in 2013 and that is still available on line. This was the book of my heart because I was so blessed to write a story set in 1933 in my hometown. I came to appreciate my roots much more than ever before through the research and learning things about my town I never knew before. I don’t live there now, but am blessed to only be about an hour’s drive away.

P Meyers, River Thru TreesNike: All of my novels have foodie sub-themes. I just love mysteries with a culinary twist. Tell us how you got the idea for THYME FOR LOVE and how you developed it?

Pamela:  I wrote the first draft of the story over six years ago. I love cozy mysteries and wanted to target a new cozy line that also wanted romance woven in to the story. I already knew I wanted the story set in an old mansion on a fictional lake close to my hometown. And I wanted her to be a chef. I brainstormed the plot with an author who had written mysteries and she helped me come up with the idea of my heroine working for a nonprofit organization that is housed in the mansion and she would take a daily snack cart around to the employees, many of them with unique personalities. She also helped me with red herrings and other things.

Nike:  What are the things you like most about your heroine?

Pamela:  My character April Love has the same sense of humor I do and I like that she’s spunky and determined. I also like that she’s also vulnerable and that she grows in her faith in God as she works through dealing with suddenly having her ex-fiancé in her life and him being framed for murder. I’m not giving away a spoiler. That’s on the back of the book LOL.

Nike:  Now for personal questions…what were you like in school. Tell us one of your fave school memories? BTW, were you good in English?

Pamela:  I was very sociable in school. In other words—chatty. LOL. I made okay grades, but did not make the honor role. After high school I went on to a state college, but I needed to grow up a bit before going to college. I had a great time there on the weekends, but I found myself back home the next year and working as a bank teller. I learned typing and other office focused skills and worked as a secretary, which later became administrative assistant. I finally returned to college some 20 years later and enrolled in a fast-track adult program. I actually got all A’s and discovered my ability and desire to write while there. I graduated in 1994. My mom wasn’t alive to see it, but my dad was. It was thrilling to see him beaming. He died four years later, right after my first paid article came out in Today’s Christian Woman Magazine. I didn’t think I did that well in English, but when I looked at the graduation program my major in communication was there and so was a minor in English. I guess all the writing classes I took were enough for me to qualify for that. I laughed about it.

Nike:  Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Pamela:  Of course I would love to meet Jesus in person, and I know I will when I go to heaven. Other than Him, I’d like to meet Amy Carmichael, the missionary to India during the late 19th Century. I love her writings. She was bedridden after an accident for the rest of her life and God used her beyond her years on earth through her writings. She is so insightful and so full of the Spirit and blessed that way. I’d love to sit at her bedside and soak in her wisdom.

Pamela Meyers

A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love, and Love Will Find a Way, contemporary romantic mysteries, and her 1933 historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Wisconsin and other midwestern spots for new story ideas.  http://www.pamelasmeyers.com                       Pamela Meyers 2

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Turkey Sausage Toscana Soup ~ Killing Belly Fat Is Murder

IMG_20151011_130937The last time I went to see my doctor for a regular check up, I’d lost another 4 pounds. That’s 44 pound gone in all (yippee). However, my doctor detected that my triglycerides were going up. That is a huge clue that means I’d been eating carbs. Yes, I had to confess; it was true.

Oh dear, found out and nothing to do but explain to my doctor. Yes, I’d been eating on the run lately. Eating prepared foods. High in carbs, sugar, salt. Not good. So, I vowed to get back in the saddle and fight the urge to eat bad carbs.

Here’s a tasty recipe, while not carb free, the carbs are all healthy veggie carbs.

Turkey Sausage Toscana Soup

  1. Spray the bottom of a 1 pt pot. Coarsely chop 1/4 – 1/2 C sweet onion, 1/8 – 1/4 C green pepper (mine came off the vine in my garden) and saute until translucent. If you need more spray, add 1 – 2 Tbsp water instead and continue to saute.
  2. Add 4 C chicken broth (low sodium if you’re watching salt), 1/2 package frozen spinach and bring to a soft  boil. (If you’re not counting carbs you can add a 1/2 can of rinsed and drained white beans here. I didn’t add the beans to mine.)
  3. Remove the casing off of 2 Turkey Italian Sausage links (I used Shady Brook Farms). Cut into bite-size pieces and drop into the boiling liquid. Season to taste with any or all of these (salt, pepper, celery seed, garlic powder, paprika, basil, oregano).
  4. Add 1/4 C – 1/3 C halved cherry tomatoes. (I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden.)
  5. Not to thicken, but simply to give body, add 1 level tsp of corn starch to several Tbsp cold water and shake until smooth. Add to the soup. Simmer about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. If you don’t want the carbs in corn starch, leave this out.
  6. Can serve with grated Parmesan cheese, or eat as is.

Serves 3 for lunch, 2 for dinner.

Deadly Designs 1400

In my new release, DEADLY DESIGNS, sharp-shooting, feisty and sassy female private detective Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels has embarked on a new, healthy way of eating. Even though she’s been injured by the villain, she insists upon cooking a meal with organic chicken for the hero. In the previous book in the series, HARMFUL INTENT, she went undercover at an organic cooking class and it changed her way of eating and viewing food.HI Price Reduction $1.99 PP

 

Summer Garden “Ceviche” ~ getting rid of belly fat is murder

IMG_1121All of my novels have a food angle to them. The1940s, historical Sanctuary Point mystery series presents families sitting down at the dinner table enjoying hearty meat and potatoes fare…not to mention the strudel, cake, and cookies. This depicts how people ate in that era.

My contemporary novel, HARMFUL INTENT, and my first indie endeavor, features a heroine who likes to eat. While Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, PI, is fit and trim, she can hold her own at the table and what she eats isn’t necessarily healthy. However, in the course of the investigation she takes an organic cooking class and is surprised by how tasty the meal is. The next time the reader sees Ronnie, she’s sleuthing away in the second book of the series, DEADLY DESIGNS (coming out at the end of the year)…and she’s had a change of culinary lifestyle. She’s taken a few health-conscious cooking classes. Her diet has changed and she now knows her way around the kitchen.

Although this recipe for Summer Garden “Cerviche” isn’t written about in either novel, it’s wonderful for adding vegetables and fruit to the diet. Vegetables and fruit are essential in fighting the battle of the bulge as well as fostering all over health.

Feeds 2-3 people (can easily be doubled)

1/8 C virgin olive oil

1 juice of one lemon with some pulp, remove seeds

1/4 C red onion, coarsely chopped

1 ear of corn, shelled

1/2 cucumber, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces

1 banana pepper, cut in half, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces

1/3+ C of mango and papaya chunks, removed from a can or jar of Dole Tropical Fruit

3 Tbps of juice from Dole Tropical Fruit

4-5 small fresh basil leave, cut into slivers

salt and pepper to taste

Ceviche has heat. See  note at bottom.

Combine all the fruit and vegetable ingredients and the slivered basil leaves in a glass bowl.

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In another small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice with some pulp, 3 Tbsp juice from Dole Tropical Fruit, and the salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and fruit mixture. Gently fold in and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

 

 

Heat note: There are several ways to add heat. If you seed and slice 1 jalapeno pepper into slivers and marinade it with the vegetables and fruit for the entire 2 hours, there will be a great deal of heat. The slivered jalapeno can be mixed through right before serving for less heat. Or you can place a gourmet bottle of your favorite hot sauce on the table and heat can be added individually according to taste.

Chill a footed desert glass (or a martini glass, or margarita glass). Remove vegetables and fruit with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place into serving glasses. Serve cold.

 

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Fitness Tip: increase walking. Take a stroll in the evening after you’ve digested your dinner. Walk you dog.

Note: Make sure you’re well hydrated. Take a bottle of water along for the walk.

It’s always advised for individuals to consult their doctor before going on any diet or exercise routine, and before making lifestyle changes.