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 favorite 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, CATE BEAUMAN, and her favorite recipe for PARKER’S SPLIT PEA SOUP!
Bodyguards of L.A. County #10
BY CATE BEAUMAN
Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Finding Lyla – book ten in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. County series.
With over 4700 reviews and a 4.3 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.
Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days—and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.
Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.
Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated—something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.
Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.
New to the series? No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary. Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters. Don’t hesitate to jump right in!
The Inspiration Behind Finding Lyla:
Typically I get my story ideas from crime documentaries or some sort of crime television program, but I can’t say that is the case for Finding Lyla. When I was coming up with ideas for this novel, I knew I wanted to tell a story about a hero that had struggled through some rough times and a heroine that had some unresolved issues of her own, but was soft, strong, and gentle all at the same time. During the summer months, I started paying close attention to the ongoing Russia/US conflict and Lyla and Collin assured me they wanted their story to revolve around an adventure that combined all of these elements together.
The Unofficial Finding Lyla Soundtrack
Music plays a HUGE part in my writing process. I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube while I create my stories and compile a collection of songs that I feel represent my characters or the situations they face as each novel unfolds. It’s a rare occasion that my creativity demands silence (And that’s a good thing. I’m a mother of two boys. Quiet doesn’t exist in my house.). I thought it would be fun to create a list of songs that ‘spoke’ to me while I wrote the Bodyguards of L.A. County series. You can listen to the “soundtrack” for each book on my website www.catebeauman.com.
The soundtrack, of sorts, for Finding Lyla:
- Today by Steve Moakler
- Beautiful Things by Gungor
- Teneferie Sea by Ed Sheeran
- Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon
- Anywhere but Here by Safety Suit
- Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickelback
- Nirvana by Sam Smith
- Don’t Deserve You by Plumb
- Unconditionally by Katy Perry
- You’re in Love by Taylor Swift
- Fight Song by Rachel Platton
Bodyguards of L.A. County #10
BY CATE BEAUMAN
She crossed her legs, the picture of calm, even as her temples began to pound with the sudden headache. “I’ve turned my back on nothing. Dance is personal. My reasons are personal, but I can assure you nothing would make me happier than to see peace restored between the two countries I call home.”
“And you will help with this?”
She frowned. “Help restore peace? Roman, you overestimate my influence.”
“Perhaps you underestimate your power. Are you not Mina Markovik’s daughter? Have you not followed in her footsteps?”
God knows she’d tried. “I will never be my mother.”
“But you are ‘Russia’s Princess.’”
But she wasn’t. The weight on her shoulders grew exponentially—as it did every year when the title she’d never asked for was thrown in her face.
“This comes with great responsibility,” Roman continued, staring at her, clearly waiting for her response.
She consciously relaxed her hands when she realized her knuckles were white. As their gazes held, she swallowed. How was she supposed to tell him she had canceled her plans to travel east? By honoring her father’s requests to stay in New York, she disgraced the woman who’d died giving her life. With an inner sigh, she sat up straighter, remembering that she owed the beautiful woman who perished nearly twenty-five years ago. “I understand my responsibilities. I accept my duties.”
“Russia has heard nothing from you since the tragic bombing in Saint Petersburg almost two weeks ago.”
Another request from her father: to distance herself from the politics of extremists and deadly acts against the Russian Federation. “Of course I’m deeply saddened and disturbed by such a horrible tragedy.”
“Your father wasn’t shy about his condemnation of the attack. He’s quoted as calling them guerrilla tactics that cannot be tolerated by the United States any more than they are the Russian Federation.”
“Yes. My father is very troubled by the violence.”
“Rumor has it your father is discouraging your travels to the Mother Land for fear of your safety.”
Her spine snapped straight at such a clear invasion of her privacy. How could anyone know that? She discussed her personal issues with very few people. “The rumors you hear are wrong.”
“Ambassador Avery hasn’t pressured you into staying home safe and sound in New York?”
“No, he has not.”
“So you won’t be postponing your trip to Russia?”
“No, I will not. I’ll be coming for my three-week holiday as I always do, and I’ll be performing The Markovik Number at the Bolshoi Theater.”
Roman gaped. “You’ll dance The Markovik Number?”
He edged closer in his seat. “It’s never been seen before. The choreography is unknown to all but a few.”
“Yes,” she repeated.
“This dance is a pas de deux?”
She nodded while her mind raced as she dug herself deeper into her current mess. Not only was she now going to Russia, she was also committing herself to imitating the steps of a true legend. Many had compared her to Mina through the years, but that was nostalgia. No one would ever hold a candle to Mina Markovik on stage.
“Who will you partner with?”
“Sergei Ploeski,” she decided. As soon as word spread, there was no doubt Russia’s best male ballet dancer would be committed to learning the choreography.
Roman’s eyes grew wider. “You will dance with Sergei Ploeski?”
“Mmm. A token of goodwill between two beautiful countries.”
Roman all but rubbed his hands together. “The headlines will be wild. “Ploeski and Markovik-Avery: History.”
“It will be an honor.”
“Your father knows of this?”
“He encouraged me to reach out to Sergei, to bring my mother’s last dance to life during such uncertain times,” she lied without qualm, knowing such a statement would put her father in a positive light.
“This is fantastic, Lyla.”
“I’m excited,” she fibbed again as she struggled not to fidget.
“And your visit at Orphan House Ten, will you still meet with the children?”
“I plan to carry on with my usual schedule.” Which would drive Dad crazy.
“With added security and precautions no doubt.”
She shook her head. “No. You know I don’t use security.”
“Surely your father will insist.”
“My father and I both believe that we must be cautious with the new threats, but we must also live our lives. I plan to carry on in Russia as I always have—drive my own car, walk the streets without being flanked by any sort of protective personnel, eat out with friends and family.”
“You can’t exactly call yourself a normal citizen.”
“Normal citizens aren’t from the womb of great dancers. Few can call themselves the daughter of an American ambassador.”
“I am both of these things, and I’ve never wanted to be treated any differently than anyone else.”
“There is certainly truth in that, Princess.” Roman shut off his recorder and stood abruptly. “Thank you for sitting down with me.” He bent forward, absently pressing a kiss to Lyla’s cheek. “We’ll catch up when you land in Russia next week. I want an exclusive.”
“Of course,” she muttered, waiting for him to disappear around the corner before she let her head settle against the back of the seat. Closing her eyes, she groaned as she rubbed at the throbbing in her temples. What had she done? Dad was going to lose it when she explained what had just happened. She stood and started back toward her dressing room, not looking forward to the call she was about to make. But there was no turning back now. Every word she’d spoken was on Roman’s handy little tape recorder.
Did you enjoy the excerpt? You can read the first chapter on my website, www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book with the links below!
About Author Cate Beauman…
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.
Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.
Links to Cate’s Website, Books, & Social Media:
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I hope you enjoy the recipe Cate is sharing with us today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 243 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.
NOTE FROM CATE: I love to cook and bake. As you all know, I also love to tell stories. Often times, as I’m getting to know my characters, I like to think about the foods they might like to eat. Sometimes I go searching for recipes that my heroes and heroines would probably enjoy and find great fun in giving them a try.
In Finding Lyla, Collin and Lyla end up in a few very precarious situations. At one point, they’re on the run in the freezing cold. I thought about foods that might be an option as they try to find a way out of their predicament, and split pea soup came to mind. I’d never had split pea soup before I started telling this tale. For some reason, the idea of peas made into soup kinda grossed me out. I’m so glad I was wrong! Split pea soup has actually turned into quite a family favorite around here. Ina Garten’s version (with a few adaptations of my own) is something everyone in this house happily eats up. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.
PARKER’S SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup olive oil
½ dried oregano
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots
1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled
1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups chicken stock or water
In a stockpot on medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, potatoes, split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for about 40 minutes, or until peas are tender. Simmer twenty minutes more, uncovered. Stir frequently to keep solids from burning to bottom. Serve hot and enjoy!