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, DONNA MICHAELS, and her favorite recipe for STUFFED STRAWBERRIES WITH YUMMY CREAM CHEESE FILLING!
HER UNIFORM COWBOY by DONNA MICHAELS
Desperate for change after a verbally abusive relationship, Brandi Wyne leaves a symphony career, her family, and the Poconos to fall back on a designing degree and a chance to renovate a restaurant/pub in Texas. Even though part of a National Guard family, she’d sworn off military men when the last one proved less than supportive of her thyroid condition and subsequent weight gain. Too bad her body seems to forget that fact whenever she’s near the very hot, very military local sheriff.
Texas Army National Guard First Sergeant Kade Dalton never planned on becoming Harland County Sheriff or the attraction to a curvy, military-hating designer from Pennsylvania. Heavy with guilt from the death of a soldier under his command during a recent deployment, and dealing with his co-owned horse ranch and a bungling young deputy, it’s hard most days just to keep his sanity. But it’s the Yankee bombshell who threatens not only his sanity, but tempts his body…and his heart.
Fighting their attraction becomes a losing battle, and Kade soon finds sanctuary in the arms of the beautiful designer. But their changing relationship only brings more pressure to his guilt-ridden life…does he really have the right to saddle Brandi with his stress issues? And if so, can he take a chance on the town’s newest resident not abandoning him like others in his past?
HER UNIFORM COWBOY
By Donna Michaels
By the time he pulled up to the cottage, he had his emotions under control and hoped to God he could say the same about his body. A few good, solid inhales on his way to her door helped to firm his resolve. He was not, under any circumstances, going to throw her on the couch and pick up where they’d left off on Thursday. He was not.
Knocking a little louder than necessary, he stood back and waited.
The sexy designer opened the door, and her eyes widened while color rushed to her face. “Kade?”
The blush deepened the brown of her mesmerizing gaze, and his gut took an invisible blow.
“I…what…” She drew in a breath. “Why are you here?”
Apparently she didn’t get the memo. “Jen’s tied up at the hospital. She called me at drill and asked if I could fetch Cody.”
“Oh. I hope everything is okay.”
He shrugged. “More tests.”
She stepped back to let him in. “Cody’s asleep on my bed. We had a great day on the beach. He’s tuckered out. Do you want me to wake him?”
Once his brain caught up to her questions, he shook his head. “No. Unless you’d like me to leave.” He had no idea why he was acting and feeling so strange around her.
Probably because he wanted to throw her on the couch and pick up where they’d left off last Thursday.
She shook her head, the pretty blush deepening as she turned and began to pick plastic dinosaurs up off the floor. “No, of course not. Why would I want you to do that?” Dropping the toys onto the coffee table, she avoided his gaze and bent to pick up some more. “I mean, it’s not like I have anything to be embarrassed about. Oh, wait…yeah…yeah, I do.”
A strange giggle-hiccup followed her words along with inaudible mumbles and head shaking. He wondered briefly if she was having some sort of seizure until she stood and brushed past him to shove a box of crackers from the coffee table into a kitchen cupboard.
“And the award for biggest poopyhead goes to…yours truly.” She slapped a hand over her chest and laughed.
God, she was adorable. He knew he should stop her, but he honestly couldn’t get enough of the ruffled unrufflable woman.
She swiped the salt shaker from the table and cradled it to her chest with both hands. “I’d like to thank the academy, and a stupid ex-boyfriend for making me the idiot I am today.”
“Okay, enough.” He sprang into action, removing the shaker from her hand and cornering her against the fridge when she stepped back. “Hey…hey. It’s all right. Calm down.”
She shook her head and closed her eyes. “God, I’m so embarrassed, Kade. And so, so sorry for what I said…and did to you…”
“Brandi, look at me.”
She opened one eye.
“Both eyes, Brandi,” he said, a smile tugging at his mouth.
The other eye opened.
“That’s better. Now, listen to me. You have nothing to be embarrassed about.”
The snort that left her throat caused her head to jerk back and hit the refrigerator. “Yes, I do. A good number of things. But I am really sor—”
He pressed a finger to her lips, intending to stop her apology, but…ah hell, he hadn’t expected the instant awareness that spread through his body, heating his spine. She must’ve felt it too, because her brown eyes widened, and she trembled against him.
That’s all it took to send him to the same state he was in last Thursday on the couch. Just one touch. That was it. One miniscule touch. He had no defense. He was done. His brain shut down and need, fierce and consuming, took over.
Cupping her face, he closed the distance between them and covered her mouth with his.
Donna Michaels lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with her military husband, three of their four children, and several rescued cats. Although she’s been published since 2006, Donna only recently wrote her battle with Hashimoto Thyroiditis into a book. Her latest heroine, Brandi Wyne (HER UNIFORM COWBOY) suffers with the affliction, and Brandi’s battle with the disease was based on Donna’s own experiences. She hopes to spread awareness of thyroid disease. If you suffer from fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and are constantly cold, discuss it with your physician and ask to have a simple blood test to check your thyroid. Boy, does she wish she’d asked years earlier.
Links to Donna’s website, blog, books, etc.
HER UNIFORM COWBOY released December 15th, and has already collected over 29 Five Star Reviews!
Available now at Amazon:
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I hope you enjoy the recipe Donna is sharing with us today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 125 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.
Donna shares…I’d like to share a recipe my hero and heroine, Kade and Brandi, encountered in both, Book 2 (Her Unbridled Cowboy), and Book 3 (Her Uniform Cowboy) of my Harland County Series. Too bad both times the couple never got to taste the decadent dessert: Stuffed Strawberries. Yum. While writing the second book, Her Unbridled Cowboy, I searched the internet for a delicious dessert my hero and heroine could enjoy together. I came across the stuffed strawberry on several sites and modified it slightly, finding that less strawberries and extra chocolate tasted best. (The original recipes can be found on Food.com, allrecipes.com and aboutfood.com.)
STUFFED STRAWBERRIES with YUMMY CREAM CHEESE FILLING
30 fresh whole strawberries, large
Slice off the stem of each strawberry so the berries stand upright. Carefully cut each berry into 4 wedges, cutting almost to, but not through, the bottoms. (If you’re a klutz like me, you may want to ask someone else to do that part.) Fan wedges slightly, taking care not to break; set berries aside.
Beat together until light and fluffy:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Gently fold in:
2 tablespoons semisweet or milk chocolate, grated
(I’m partial to the milk chocolate and use a ‘heavy’ hand)
Fill the strawberries using a teaspoon or decorating bag with decorative tip if you’re proficient. Sprinkle them with a little more grated chocolate, if desired. (Okay, I desire and sprinkle with a lot more grated chocolate.)
If you’ve read either book, then you know the dessert is best when shared with a hunky cowboy…I mean, your significant other. 😉 Although, unfortunately, poor Kade and Brandi missed out twice. Maybe they’ll finally get their just desserts in Book 4 (HER FOREVER COWBOY) due out this April. 🙂
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Donna will give away a $5 Amazon Gift Card to one of her lucky readers who comments on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog!! Don’t miss this chance to read this book!! Thanks, Donna, for sharing your upcoming release and scrumptious recipe with us!