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, Pauline Gruber, and her favorite recipe for TOFFEE BARS!
THE GIRL AND THE GARGOYLE
BY PAULINE GRUBER
Being half-witch/half-demon and dating Marcus, a gargoyle and demon enemy, is complicated enough for Lucy. She can almost tolerate Jude, her demon father, forcing her to undergo combat training. But when Marcus’s long-lost family returns to Chicago, her world begins to crumble. Marcus’s mother wants him leave to join the gargoyle clan; his father wants him to help kill Jude. There’s one major problem with this: if Jude dies, Lucy dies.
Marcus will do whatever it takes to save Lucy and her father. Meanwhile Lucy has her own plan and with the aid of a surprise newcomer, seeks help from the most unlikely—and dangerous—source.
THE GIRL AND THE GARGOYLE
BY PAULINE GRUBER
The clatter of my cell phone bouncing against the nightstand startles me awake. My heavy lids refuse to open. Another late night on the roof with Marcus—and that was after spending two hours working on a killer CD mix for him. Did he struggle this much when he made my CDs last year?
I snuggle into my pillow, sleep beckoning. My phone vibrates again. I reach for it with a groan. Marcus is probably the only person I would forgive for bugging me this early. Maybe my gargoyle boyfriend wants to meet me for an early morning kiss? Nothing could top that.
Seriously??? Are you kidding me??? You’re the luckiest girl alive!
I reread Katie’s text, but it makes no sense.
I bolt upright. Is it possible she saw us last night? Crap. I fell asleep on the roof with Marcus. He and his wings, in all their glorious beauty, delivered me safely to the ground. He doesn’t need his wings for that small of a jump. He did it for me. He knows I love them.
I swallow a shriek as I spot the figure leaning against my dresser.
“What are you doing in my bedroom?” I snap, my heart hammering against my rib cage.
Jude crosses his arms over his chest. In the year that I’ve known him, my father has learned to mimic human gestures well. Then it hits me. That’s one of my most common gestures.
“I would like to meet your great-uncles.”
I swallow hard. “I told you it would happen when the time’s right.”
“I’m done waiting.”
“Let me ease them into it,” I plead.
My phone vibrates in my hand. That’s when I remember Katie’s message.
What do I say to my best friend and neighbor if she saw Marcus deliver me to my bedroom window? Play dumb?
My uncles putter around the kitchen, clanging pans and chopping vegetables. The smell of fresh brewed coffee drifts into my bedroom, followed by the heavy, smoky smell of bacon.
“Perfect. We can have breakfast together,” Jude says.
I return my cell to my bedside table.
“Please,” I whisper. “Not today.”
The front door creaks open. Sheldon grabbing the Sunday paper from the sidewalk? How do I get rid of Jude? I throw off my sheet and blanket, thinking through a safe response to Katie.
“Bernard? Can you come here, please?”
Something about Sheldon’s tone causes the back of my neck to get all prickly. Do they know Jude’s here? How did he get in, anyway? Did he pick the lock on the front door?
“Lucy?” Bernard calls out.
Jude pushes himself off the dresser. “I’ll be out front. Come and invite me in.” In one smooth motion, he climbs out the window. So that’s how he did it.
I change out of pajamas and into shorts and a T-shirt, my stomach churning.
How do I introduce Jude?
Sheldon despises him for what he did to Momma. Never mind that he’s been absent my entire life. How do I explain that Gram played a role in keeping my father and me apart? And that she used magic to do it? My uncles are in the dark about everything. They don’t know Gram was a witch. They don’t know about all the supernaturals living in the three-flat building. And they don’t know I’m half-witch, half-demon. If they did, I think their heads would explode.
“Lucy?” Sheldon’s voice is much louder this time.
“Hey, Sheldon. Bernard. What’s up?” I say as I enter the living room. Travel brochures decorate the coffee table. Are they still debating between Costa Rica and Alaska for our family vacation?
“We were going to ask you the same question.” Bernard frowns, his hands on his hips.
They know about Jude, but how?
Sheldon grabs my hand as Bernard pushes aside the drapes and jabs his finger toward the window. “What in the world is that?”
I look outside.
Katie’s text message now makes sense.
My mouth falls open as I stare at the brand-spanking new dark blue car that screams, Officer, I’m a teenage driver, please pull me over. Shiny and gorgeous, adorned with a humongous red bow on top with words written in gold, so large I can read them clearly from the apartment, Happy Belated Birthday, Lucy.
My entire nervous system buzzes with panic. Subtlety is not Jude’s strong suit.
I feel the weight of my uncles’ stares.
“Something you want to share with the class, Luce?” Sheldon asks.
I wrap my arms around my stomach. Forget butterflies, I’ve got a violent case of hornets swarming in my belly. “Yeah, that’s a tough one.”
Pauline Gruber is a self-professed music junkie, cat wrangler, and travel nut. She went to Paris in the 90’s where she discovered a love of three things: croissants, old cathedrals, and gargoyles. Deciding that the paranormal world could use a new kind of hero, Pauline translated her fascination with the protective gargoyle into a suspenseful love story. She is the author of the young adult series, The Girl and the Raven, The Girl and the Gargoyle and the forthcoming novel, The Girl and the Demon. By day, Pauline is a legal assistant for a Chicago law firm where she steals identities and incorporates them into her books. If you tell anyone, she’ll deny, deny, deny.
Pauline lives outside of Chicago with her precocious black cats.
Links to Pauline’s website, blog, books, etc.
Author Facebook page:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Pauline is sharing with us today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 209 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.
1 package graham crackers (maybe a little over 1 pkg)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar (I prefer to mix light and dark brown sugars)
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 x 8” baking pan (jelly roll pan with 1” edges all around) with aluminum foil. Arrange graham crackers in a single layer on the foil (you can break them down to make them fit). Don’t worry if pieces overlap.
Place butter and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook a few minutes or until the mixture comes together and doesn’t look oily (I take it to a good healthy boil). Pour mixture over graham crackers as evenly as possible Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.
As soon as graham crackers come out of the oven, sprinkle with the chocolate chips. The chocolate will melt from the heat of the toffee. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. With a knife, spread the chocolate as evenly as possible.
Chill until the chocolate and caramel are set (preferably overnight in the refrigerator). Break into uneven chunks.
(*This handwritten recipe was originally given to me by a friend using matzo crackers. I was attending Passover dinner with some family friends and was in charge of dessert. Afterwards, I thought I would try it on graham crackers for other events and it’s always been a huge hit!)
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Pauline is giving away a digital copy (winner’s choice of vendor) of THE GIRL AND THE GARGOYLE to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special** blog. Don’t miss the chance to read this book! Thanks, Pauline, for sharing your story with us!