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, CICI CORDELIA, and her favorite recipe for CHICKEN FRICASSEE!
THE HIGH-SOCIETY WIFE
Brides of Little Creede Book 5
BY CICI CORDELIA
RICHARD . . .
After his grandfather passes away, Richard Blackwood travels East to collect his stubborn Granny Zinnia and bring the grieving widow back home. When a passionate encounter with a childhood acquaintance ends in a refused marriage proposal, Richard returns to Little Creede with a wounded heart.
EVELYN . . .
Educated and groomed to make an advantageous marriage, Evelyn Calhoun faces parental censure when a secret, romantic tryst results in scandal. Desperate to escape her father’s wrath, she flees Baltimore, seeking Richard’s protection.
LOVE AND FAMILY . . .
Can Richard and Evelyn work past their differences, and a sinister threat from the past, to make a life with each other in Little Creede?
“Five more miles to Little Creede,” the driver called out, causing Evelyn’s dread to increase.
Should I have come?
What if Richard turned her away? She could not travel back to Baltimore on her own. That fear had stayed with her the entire trip to this unfamiliar territory. She was out of funds, not to mention too weak to manage such a trip.
Not again . . .
Her traveling companion smiled gently. “It’ll be all right, honey. I’m sure your man will be waiting for you when you arrive.”
He offered her his water canteen, and she took another small sip, even though she hated feeling like she was accepting charity. She was in no position to refuse his generous offer.
“Thank you, Mister Prescott.” She returned his canteen. “You have been so very kind.”
“Now, you just call me Tommy. We don’t stand on ceremony in Little Creede, and I expect we’ll bump into each other now and then.”
The elder gentleman had been most attentive to her since they’d left the stagecoach station in Georgetown. Seemingly concerned over her weak state of health, he’d taken it upon himself to be sure she had food and water during the journey to Little Creede. Sharing with her what little he had on him had afforded her the energy to remain somewhat alert.
“I wish I could repay you somehow, but I’m afraid I used the last of my coin in Georgetown for my final coach ticket,” she said.
He patted her hand. “Don’t you worry your pretty little head. Why, you’re about the same age as my granddaughter. I hope if she ever found herself in the same situation someone would help her.” He studied her critically. “You should try to rest. I’m sure your husband will be there to meet you upon arrival.”
Not bothering to correct his assumption, Evelyn closed her eyes, pretending to sleep as the stagecoach ate up the last few miles to Little Creede.
Yet her mind continued to whirl. Her stomach roiling with both nerves and hunger pangs, she prepared herself to come face to face with the man she’d spurned back home, but whose help she needed more than anything on God’s green earth.
Relaxing on the front porch of the jailhouse, Richard tipped his chair back against the rough-hewn log exterior. Townsfolk scurried about, tidying up the street and hanging welcome banners for the Menagerie Museum which was expected to travel through town, sometime soon.
Since returning to Little Creede, he’d spent more time here than at his deputy post in Rocky Gulch. He’d also traveled to Silver Cache for his nephew Duncan’s birth, staying a couple extra weeks to lend a helping hand to the new family.
Tucker Phelps, hired on as replacement deputy once Richard took over as the Gulch’s new sheriff, was perfectly capable of handling things over there, easing some of his guilt. Helping Granny settle in had been a higher priority, even if she still held a chip on her shoulder the size of the Rio Grande. Maybe she’d find it in her heart soon to forgive her family for neglecting her all these years.
As much as Richard regretted it, what was done was done. Now he’d do all he could to ensure her remaining years were happy, surrounded by her loved ones.
If she’d let them.
Joshua Lang ambled through the open door and plopped down on the other chair, a single encompassing glance taking in the bustling activities of his town. A satisfied smile curved the sheriff’s lips as he propped his dusty boots on the railing. “Nice to see everyone having fun in anticipation of the menagerie coming through. It’s been a while since Little Creede had a large event.”
“I have to admit, I’m looking forward to it too.”
Joshua squinted into the sun, thumbing his Stetson off his perspiring forehead. “Gonna be hot the entire time they’re set up here. I’m right glad I’ll be getting out of town for a bit.”
“You still planning on fishing over at Upper Bonney? There’s some good trouting in that creek.”
“Yep, taking Davey with me. That fool man works too damned hard.”
Davey Bentley had been the Gulch Mine foreman for years, barely taking off any time to spend with his family. If anyone deserved to relax on a creek bed and drop a pole in the water, Richard reckoned Bentley did.
“You’ll miss the first few days of the Menagerie,” he commented idly.
“True. I expect the family’ll forgive me.” Joshua shot him a sly look. “You escorting a special lady? If not, I know Vivian has a few friends who’d be interested in stepping out with you. Take your pick.”
Richard snorted. This wasn’t the first time Joshua had tried to interest him in a woman. “I don’t know, Lang, seems like marriage is turning you into a matchmaker.”
He shrugged, appearing unbothered at the accusation. “I respect you, Blackwood, and consider you a friend. I’d like to see you as happy as I am. And there’s nothing better than a good woman to bring sunshine into a man’s life.”
Richard started to form a snappy retort when an approaching stagecoach at the outskirts of town caught his attention. He watched as it slowed, taking the turn toward the station, wheels and hooves kicking up dust. The coach came to an abrupt stop amidst neighs from the team, Purdy’s by the look of it. The grizzled driver ran travelers back and forth from Georgetown and Canon City in the warmer months when he needed extra gambling money.
Keeping a lawman’s eye on the stage gave Richard a reason to ignore Lang’s suggestion. Besides, his emotions had yet to recover from his last dalliance with a female, and it wasn’t something he was anxious to repeat.
Women were fickle.
Leading a man on with softness and warmth.
Stomping his pride into the ground under a dainty foot.
Richard’s focus remained on the arriving travelers. Purdy threw on the brake and hopped down, hurrying around the side to unlock the coach door.
His thoughts strayed to Evelyn Calhoun, the flawless beauty who’d spurned him in Baltimore. When the stagecoach door popped open, Purdy held out his hand to assist a lady who looked a hell of a lot like her.
Must be my imagination.
He blinked in confusion, because never would the woman he remembered stoop to travel West to a dirty mining town. She’d made that very clear last time he’d seen her.
His eyes narrowed, straining to make out her features. Evelyn came from money and wore only the finest clothing, her appearance always immaculate. The way she carried herself spoke of a refined upbringing.
This bedraggled woman wore a traveling gown that hung on a frame thinner than the deliciously feminine curves he recalled, curves he’d loved exploring in minute detail during their time together.
Joshua pushed back the brim of his Stetson. “You know her?”
Richard began to shake his head in denial, when she descended the rickety coach steps. Her hat slipped off, hanging around her neck by its ribbons, exposing a tangle of familiar sun-yellow curls.
Recognition hitting him like a kick to the gut, he leapt to his feet.
What the hell is she doing here?
“Looks like she’s sick,” Joshua commented, when Evelyn staggered.
Richard took off in a run as the woman he’d spent hours making love to in Baltimore, for a while believing they might have a future together, swayed forward. Tommy Prescott’s anxious face appeared in the doorway behind her.
Only Purdy’s quick thinking saved her from hitting the ground when the driver caught her around the waist.
Richard reached them seconds later. A knot of unease tightened his shoulders. Joshua was correct, she looked sickly.
“I’ll take her.” Richard held out his arms.
“She yours?” Purdy asked suspiciously, handing her over. “She puked a lot on the trip.”
Richard’s gaze fell to Evelyn’s belly, protruding from her otherwise gaunt frame.
With child. The swell he spotted beneath her travel-wrinkled gown changed everything. There was no doubt in his mind whose babe she carried.
He gulped, nodding as Joshua came to stand next to him. “Yes. Yes, she’s mine.
Award-Winning author, CiCi Cordelia, is the pen name for the writing team of BFFs Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko. Their books have won or finaled in many writing contests, including Heart of Excellence Readers Choice Award, Heart of the West Great Beginnings Contest, The Beverley, InD’Tale Magazine’s RONE Award, the International Digital Awards (IDA) Contest, and more.
Published authors in their own right, they share a love for well-written stories infused with their favorite romantic genres: paranormal, suspense, and erotica. Both are fans of Alpha Men and the women they’d lay down their lives for. You can find them both on Amazon & Facebook.
Links to Cici’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Cici is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
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Start with a whole chicken. If it’s alive, wring its neck and chop off the head, let the blood drain out, then dip the carcass in boiling water to easily pluck the feathers, making sure to get all the pin feathers. Rinse well in cold water and pat dry.
1 chicken, cut into pieces
Flour for dredging
Palm-sized lump of butter
Salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in chicken pieces. Boil until the chicken is cooked through. You can test doneness by poking the pieces with a fork. Wings and legs will cook faster and can be pulled out early and set aside.
Once chicken is done, remove from pot and set aside to cool, enough that you can handle the pieces. Leftover broth can be used to make a sauce or gravy.
Remove the skin from each piece and discard (you can leave the skin on the wings). Dredge each piece in flour, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, melt the lump of butter. Arrange flour coated chicken pieces in the skillet and brown on all sides until golden brown. Sprinkle each piece with more salt and pepper to taste.
Variation: add white wine to the butter and blend well before adding the dredged chicken pieces. Once the browned pieces are removed, add some of the broth to the skillet and deglaze, scraping up the browned bits left over from the chicken. This can be made into a thin sauce or a thicker gravy for the chicken.
Thanks, CiCi, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!