Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL**
Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors.
Introducing author, SALLY BERNEATHY, and her favorite recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies!
BOOK PEEK ~ Death by Chocolate
Lindsay Powell’s only secret is the recipe for her chocolate chip cookies, but she is surrounded by neighbors with deadly secrets. Suddenly Lindsay finds herself battling poisoned chocolate, a dead man who doesn’t seem very dead and a psycho stalker.
Her best friend and co-worker, Paula, dyes her blond hair brown, hides from everybody and insists on always having an emergency exit from any room. Secrets from Paula’s past have come back to put lives in jeopardy.
Determined to help Paula and to save her own life, Lindsay enlists the reluctant aid of another neighbor, Fred, an OCD computer nerd. In spite of his mundane existence, Fred possesses tidbits of knowledge about such things as hidden microphones, guns and the inside of maximum security prisons.
Lindsay needs more than a chocolate fix to survive all this chaos.
Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy
“Are you in some kind of trouble?” I asked Paula. “Tell me, damn it! I’m your friend. Let me help you.”
She shook her head, chewed her thumbnail and looked across the room.
“Did your husband beat you?”
The crude question got her attention. Her head spun toward me so fast, I was afraid it would keep on going and we’d find ourselves in the middle of a scene from The Exorcist. Two pink spots stood out like clown makeup on her cheeks.
“Please don’t do this, Lindsay,” she said.
“Well, that answers that question! Since I already know he put that scar on your face and that you’re hiding from him, you might as well tell me the rest.”
Again she confirmed my speculation by failing to deny it. “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am that you gave me a job and a place to live. You saved my life and Zach’s. You’ve always been there for me, and I’ll always be there for you. I’ll do anything you ask me to do, except tell you about my past.”
“Well, we’ve made some progress. This is the first time you’ve admitted you have a past and didn’t spring fully grown, from the front seat of that rolling wreck you used to drive.”
Paula bit her lip as if she regretted saying that much. Her blue-gray eyes clouded, and I realized the subject was closed.
I pushed myself up from the sofa. “I guess I’ll go see what I can do to get Rick out of the house with minimal damage to what’s left of my emotions.” I leaned over to Zach. “Give Aunt Lindsay a hug.” He reached up and hugged my neck then planted a kiss on my cheek. A bonus.
“I want you to know I’m not mad at you,” I told Paula, “just because you’re supposed to be my friend but you won’t even tell me the intimate details of your sex life.”
She relaxed enough to smile.
I ruffled Zach’s hair then crossed the room and unlocked the door. I turned back to say goodbye and wasn’t surprised that Paula had followed me. She’d have that door locked again before I was across the porch. “Time to touch up those blond roots,” I said, just to let her know I’d noticed. “And those blond brows and lashes are a dead giveaway.”
Paula blanched, losing what little color she’d regained. “Do you think they noticed?” The question came out in a desperate whisper, and I immediately regretted adding to her fear.
“I don’t know. Men can be pretty unobservant about stuff like that.” But I didn’t for one minute believe Trent had failed to notice. “Any time you need help, you know where I live,” I said.
Paula nodded, that jerky motion again, and twisted her lips in an imitation smile. “Thanks.”
I left her house feeling like a jerk for the blond roots remark and like I ought to do something to help her, but clueless what that something might be.
I wasn’t even sure I could help myself. I took my time going back toward my house. I wasn’t in any hurry to face the task of dealing with the man that one part of me wanted gone from my life and the other part wanted back. In a different way, I was every bit as terrified of him as Paula was of the abusive man, I was now positive, she’d known in her past.
I slapped the fender of Rick’s SUV as I went past, deliberately leaving fingerprints. He hated that.
I stepped up onto my porch and saw another problem. The cat was still there, lying on my door mat, draped over Taz, creating a perfect border for the Go Away! part. Obviously he couldn’t read.
But then, neither could Rick who had stood on that same mat last night and paid just as much attention to the message as the cat did.
“Go home,” I ordered.
He stood up and stretched, arching his back.
I picked up the newspaper, opened the door, and he darted inside.
Yes, it was pretty obvious this cat was a male. He ignored me just like Rick did.
“What’s that cat doing here?” Rick demanded as the feline leapt gracefully onto my faded rose-colored recliner. He was a big cat, completely filling the seat and draping his head and front paws over one arm of the chair. He looked up with those killer blue eyes and gave a contented meow before settling down, completely at home.
Rick sprawled on my sofa, making himself as much at home as the cat. I’d been gone long enough for him to shower, blow dry his hair with my dryer, shave with my razor, and slip back into his khaki Docker slacks, Italian loafers and white Polo shirt that enhanced his tan. To top it all off, he was drinking from my favorite mug, the one that said “Life is uncertain. Eat chocolate now.”
“Go home,” I repeated.
“Yeah, cat, go home.”
“I was talking to you. This is—” I looked at the regal creature in my chair— “this is King Henry, my new cat. He’s staying and you’re going.”
I grew up in pre-television days in a small rural town in Oklahoma. Our favorite entertainment on summer evenings was to sit outside under the stars and tell stories. When I went to bed at night, instead of a lullaby, I got a story. That could be due to the fact that everybody in my family had the singing voice of a bullfrog with a cold, but they sure could tell stories—ghost stories, funny stories, happy stories, scary stories.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a storyteller. Thank goodness for computers so I can write down my stories. It’s hard to make listeners sit still for the length of a book! Like my family’s tales, my stories are funny, scary, dramatic, romantic, paranormal, magic.
I have sold fifteen romance novels ranging from comedy to dark suspense. For these novels, I won several awards including National Readers’ Choice, Romantic Times Best Silhouette Romance and two Rita finalist slots.
“Death by Chocolate,” available as an e-book, is a cozy mystery with lots of humor and chocolate. My heroine, Lindsay, is a chocoholic who just wants to enjoy her brownies in peace and quiet, but her neighbor’s secrets put her life in danger. I’ve included some of Lindsay’s favorite recipes at the end of the book.
Connect with Sally….
Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy is available at:
I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 35 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt (bigger dash if you use unsalted butter)
1-1/2 cups flour
(optional) 1/4 cup finely ground nuts or nut meal (I love hazelnut or walnut)
1/4 cup oat flour (can be purchased or made in blender using oats)
10 (or more) oz. chocolate chips (I like to combine semi-sweet, dark and white)
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts)
Cream butter with sugar. Add egg and vanilla and stir determinedly until well mixed. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Dough should be very stiff and just a tiny bit sticky. Add more flour (wheat, oat or nut) or butter if necessary to achieve this state.
Form dough into balls and lay on cookie sheet. Bake at 375º for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of the spoon and how crisp a cookie is desired).
Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies, depending on how big that spoon was and how many samples were tested before baking.
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: As an extra special treat, Sally will give away a copy of DEATH BY CHOCOLATE to one lucky reader who comments on her Killer Fixin’s blog post! Multiple comments only count as one entry. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, May 7th. Good luck! Thanks, Sally, for sharing your recipe and story with us!