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, Caroline Clemmons, and her favorite recipe for CORN CASSEROLE!
The Surprise Brides
BY CAROLINE CLEMMONS
Thank you, Karen, for hosting me today.
Do any of you remember the old movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”? The movie is old, but still shown on cable. Several of us discussed the movie and what fun it would be to do a group of books like that. Cynthia Woolf originated the idea and asked Callie Hutton, Sylvia McDaniel, and me to participate in The Surprise Brides.
Seven couples were too many, so we pared the brothers to four. No kidnapping wives, though, and we wanted a minister available to marry them while they’re snowbound. We solved that by making one of the brothers a minister. Hmm, is it legal for a minister to perform his own wedding? In these books, it is.
Set in Angel Springs, Colorado and the Fraser Circle F Ranch, the setting is beautiful. Colorado is one of the loveliest states I’ve visited and I enjoyed planting these young women from the Chicago area on a picturesque ranch. Between the four couples, humorous situation arose.
These four books are released simultaneously (except that I mistakenly jumped the gun a few days) and are available as e-books at most online markets and in paperback from Amazon, Create Space, and Barnes and Noble.
We had no idea how difficult meshing the four stories would be. We each had to tell our story and include the other three couples but not give away their stories. Later we all agreed this was the hardest book each of us had ever written. However, they are fun, romantic and adventurous novels. I have to admit I like the way mine turned out.
Here’s the gist of the plots. Fiona Fraser wants her boys married. Each has promised, and Jamie is a widower, but she wants four suitable daughters-in-law and lots more grandchildren. Posing as each of her sons, Fiona writes away for a mail-order bride for each of the men.
All four women arrive the same day in a snowstorm that keeps them snowed in for five days. Mama Fraser is happy; the brothers, not so much. The brides are shocked they’ve been duped into coming halfway across the country to marry men who don’t want them.
All four brothers love their mother and are especially considerate of her since the death of their father. Dragging their feet, each one agrees to go through with the wedding—some more graciously than others. For various reasons, the women came to get married and consent to go through with the wedding.
The brother I drew is Jamie, the eldest, who is a widower with two rowdy children. He’s a handsome rancher who loves his family and thinks kids should be allowed to be kids (Translation: they run wild like little hellions). The woman Mama chose for him is Olivia Stewart, a school teacher. Mama figured a woman used to teaching a room full of kids could handle two.
The Surprise Brides
BY CAROLINE CLEMMONS
Olivia Stewart risks everything to accomplish her dreams. She’s tired of being pitied because she’s been jilted, tired of teaching other people’s children without any of her own. When she signs with a matrimonial agency, a letter from Jamie Fraser sounds perfect. A widower with two young children will give her a head start on the family she’s determined to have. But Colorado holds surprises for Olivia that endanger her goals and even her life.
Rancher Jamie Fraser is shocked to learn his mother has written for a mail-order bride for him! He has two children and no plan to marry again. Ever! His late wife taught him women can’t be trusted. Even his beloved mother isn’t above tricking her sons to achieve her heartfelt ambitions. Now he’s stuck with a wife he didn’t want—a stubborn woman bent on changing his home and his life.
Can two strong people at odds achieve happiness? Angel Springs, Colorado is a small town that inspires big dreams. Olivia and Jamie just might find their dreams meld to form a powerful and enduring love.
The Surprise Brides
BY CAROLINE CLEMMONS
I thought you might enjoy a brief excerpt from THE SURPRISE BRIDES: JAMIE set the second night of their marriage:
That night when Olivia and Jamie were in their room, she slowly undressed. All day she’d thought about what she would say. How naïve to think she could trust this man so easily. How stupid she’d been not to ask more questions before surrendering to him.
Somehow, she had the sense of having been cheated in the marriage bed. She had no real experience to go on because she had no one in whom she could confide. Judging by the novels she’d read, though, there should have been talk after their coming together.
She faced him. “Jamie, why did you go through with the wedding?”
He sat on the bed holding the boot he’d just removed then set it on the floor. “No choice.”
What a maddening answer. She wanted to plant her fist on his handsome chin. Instead, she took a deep breath before speaking and exhaled slowly.
“Of course you had a choice. You’re the head of the family and could have refused and sent me back where I came from or set me up in town so I could meet someone else. Barring that, you could have paid me off and sent me to Denver. There’s always a choice.”
He shook his head as he started on his shirt buttons. “Not in this case. Any of those options would have caused talk. After you’d been here several nights, your reputation would have been compromised.”
“If I weren’t here, why would that matter to you?”
His hands stilled. “Ah, well, because Mama’s reputation would also have been damaged, as she pointed out to us boys.” He removed his shirt and hung it on the bedpost.
As she unfastened the ties of her petticoats, a horrible thought occurred to her and she froze. “Do you mean you don’t want more children?”
His powerful chest muscles rolled with a shrug. “Wouldn’t mind, now that we’re wed, but I was content with Jake and Cat. Matter of fact, earlier today I mentioned how nice life would be with us brothers taking our kids to visit with their cousins.” He stood and unbuttoned his pants.
She turned her back and slid off her clothes then quickly pulled on her gown. “Weren’t you lonely?”
Her back was to him and she couldn’t see his expression, but his voice sounded hard, “Look, Olivia, you seem like a nice enough woman, attractive, and intelligent. Sorry as I am you were brought here under false pretences, I don’t know what you expected to find.”
Again, she froze for a moment. He thought she was attractive? When she turned around, he was sitting up in bed with the sheet at his hips. How could she concentrate on the conversation with all those rippling muscles and skin in sight?
Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends.
Links to Caroline’s website, blog, books, etc.
The books are $2.99 each for e-book and JAMIE is available at these sites:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Caroline is sharing with us today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 220 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.
Thanks to Karen for letting me share Friday Fixin’s.
As the weather (hopefully) grows cooler, I love casseroles. One of my family’s favorite vegetable casseroles is the one below, which is also great for covered-dish dinners. I’m sure Mama Fraser served this on the Circle F Ranch in THE SURPRISE BRIDES: JAMIE.
1 can creamed style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup corn meal
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 small onion chopped (I prefer several spring onions)
Place stick of butter in the casserole pan. Place in 250° oven just until butter is melted. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Drain the whole kernel corn. Add all the ingredients and mix. Pour into the hot butter and bake in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes at 350°.
Thanks again, Karen. Happy dining.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Caroline is giving away an e-copy of her novel THE SURPRISE BRIDES: JAMIE to a reader who answers the following question: Were you ever snowbound in a remote location? on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog. Don’t miss the chance to read this book! Thanks, Caroline, for sharing your story and recipe with us!