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, CHARLENE TESS & JUDI THOMPSON, and their favorite recipe for PEANUT BRITTLE !
A Second Chance at Love Medical Romance
BY CHARLENE TESS & JUDI THOMPSON
A chance encounter leads to a journey of healing and romance.
James Ross is a major league baseball player and widower raising his son, Matt, alone.
On a cold, rainy night, James Ross’s car accidentally collides with a dog, and his life changes forever when he meets the beautiful Doctor Angela Michaels at the emergency veterinary clinic.
James and Angela soon discover a mutual attraction that quickly evolves into a serious relationship.
But James has emotional baggage, and Angela has secrets about her complicated past.
When Matt becomes seriously ill, Angela offers the boy a priceless gift, and James’s whole family discovers the bottomless depths of Angela’s heart.
You will cherish this tale of compassion, sacrifice, and love that defies all odds.
A hard-driving rain pelted the car’s windshield, splattering on the glass faster than the wiper blades could erase it. An unusual weather pattern flooded the streets of Southern California with record rainfall.
James Ross turned his head and spoke softly to his son Matt, who sat in the backseat. His arms were folded around his skinny body. “How ya doing, buddy? Your stomach still hurting?”
“A little bit, but I still don’t feel so good. I feel like I could puke.”
James chuckled and said, “You’ve got your barf bag, right?”
“Yeah, Dad,” he whined indignantly.
Matt had missed school the last two days while suffering from a stomach bug, and he wasn’t improving. James would call tomorrow and take him to see a doctor. The kid was never sick, but his appetite had been off for the last few weeks, and he hadn’t been himself.
A bright flash of lightning off to the right, followed by a crash of thunder, startled them both as James gripped the steering wheel tighter and Matt squealed. “We’re almost home, kiddo.”
Water pooled on the sides of the street near the curb, and James slammed on the brakes, causing the car to fishtail on the wet asphalt when something ran in front of his car, and he heard a sickening thump.
When the car screeched to a complete stop, James’s hands were shaking. He knew he had hit something. Good Lord, please don’t let it be a person. He jumped out of the car while calling over his shoulder, “Stay there, Matt. Stay in the car.”
The rain still fell in buckets, and wiping his eyes, he spotted an animal lying on the road. A dog. He gently touched it to see if it was alive and was relieved to hear a soft whine.
“Dad, Dad, what is it?”
He looked up to see his son dripping wet, standing in the rain. “I told you to wait in the car. You’re already sick. Do you want to get pneumonia?”
“But it’s a dog. Is he going to die? Please don’t let him die.” Matt was sobbing and reached down to touch the dog’s wet fur. “Please don’t let him die.”
Matt had always been a sensitive child who felt things more deeply than most of his friends, and those emotions intensified after the death of his mother five years earlier.
“Hurry, Matt. Get the blanket I keep in the back. We’ll bundle him up and take him to the vet. I’m sure there’s an emergency clinic around here somewhere.”
Doctor Angela Michaels pushed her glasses up on her forehead and looked at the notes she’d written concerning the last patient she’d seen. A miniature poodle, Missy, with sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhea. The blood work had ruled out any significant issues, such as diabetes or kidney disease, and Angela had placed her on IV fluids.
The owners would pick up the little dog in the morning, and she would advise them to follow up with their regular vet for further testing. Emergency services for dogs were expensive, just like they were for people, and she tried to be as easy on their pocketbooks as possible.
When the receptionist in the small lobby called out to her, Angela quickly closed her computer, slipped on her glasses, and hurried toward the door. A soaking-wet man met her, carrying a dog covered by a blanket. A small boy followed closely on his heels.
“I hit this dog with my car. I’m so sorry. It was raining hard, and I didn’t see him until he was right in front of me.”
Angela’s voice was calm and reassuring as she said, “I’m Doctor Michaels. Let’s take him into the exam room, and I’ll take a look. Place him on the table and then take a seat in the waiting room. I’ll come and talk to you as soon as possible. I’ll have the receptionist bring you some towels.”
She took in the stricken face of the boy and reached out to touch his shoulder. “I’ll take excellent care of your dog.”
“He’s not my dog. He …” Tears pooled in his big brown eyes, and his lips quivered.
“He doesn’t belong to us,” James said. “He just ran out in front of my car. My son’s obviously very upset, and so am I.”
His attitude impressed Angela. Sadly, too many people wouldn’t have bothered to bring a stray dog to an emergency clinic for care. She hoped she didn’t have to give the boy sad news.
After leaving the small room, Angela turned to her assistant and removed the blanket from the dog. She checked its eyes and gums, gently felt its body, and gave instructions for treatment to her assistant.
Later, when she walked into the lobby, the man and his son stood immediately, and Angela took a seat across from them and motioned for them to sit back down.
“I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself or my son earlier. I’m James Ross, and this is my son, Matt.” The eyes that met hers were a vivid green, and she stared into them longer than she intended. His hair had dried, and she noticed his soft smile and handsome face.
She blinked and looked away as she said, “The first thing to know is that he is a she. I’ve examined the injuries, done blood work, and placed her on fluids. Fortunately, she doesn’t appear to have any internal injuries, but she has a fractured leg requiring surgery. That’s the good news.”
“What’s the bad news?” the boy said, leaning forward. His hair was dry now and curled into a million soft, dark brown swirls.
“Even though you’re not the owner, you are responsible for her care because you brought the dog into the clinic. I can donate my time but not the medications. She didn’t have a collar or tags and wasn’t chipped, so I will have to classify her as a stray. She’s young. I would say around five or six months and probably a border collie and shepherd mix.”
“I don’t care about the money. Do the surgery if that’s what she needs.”
“And what about after the surgery? I can try to find a rescue group that will foster her, but that’s not a guarantee.”
James glanced at his son’s troubled face and then back at Angela. “We’ll be taking her home. When will you do the surgery?”
She looked at her watch and said, “I’ll do it now, and if all goes well, you can pick her up tomorrow afternoon.”
James raked his fingers through his messy hair and felt shocked at what he’d agreed to so quickly. He would have gladly given his son anything he wanted within reason, and Matt had always wanted a dog. James was a professional baseball player who traveled eight months out of the year for several days at a time while Matt stayed with his grandparents. A dog hadn’t been a possibility.
But since he was retiring at the end of this season, which wasn’t that far away, he could spend all his time at home with Matt and the dog. He would make it work for Matt’s sake.
Doctor Michaels returned to the waiting room with a clipboard and explained the permission and financial responsibility documents that James needed to sign.
When he handed the papers to her, she removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes. He thought they were a lovely shade of golden brown fringed by long black lashes, and she wore her dark brown hair pulled back in a loose ponytail.
Something about her looked familiar, but he was sure he would have remembered if they had met before. She was a captivating beauty who seemed genuinely friendly and caring. Although he felt an instant spark of attraction, he didn’t plan to do anything about it. He had too many responsibilities to think about dating. Besides, he’d probably never see her again after he picked up the dog tomorrow.
Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson are sisters who live over 1400 miles apart. They combined their two last names into the pen name Tess Thompson and write novels as a team.
Judi Thompson has been writing since her early teens. She lives with her husband, Roger, in Texas. She is a retired supervisor for special education in a local school district.
Charlene Tess is a retired writing teacher and writes educational materials and grammar workbooks available on TPT.com. She lives with her husband, Jerry, in Colorado.
Links to Charlene & Judi’s website, blog, books, #ad, etc.:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Charlene & Judi is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: If an author’s favorite recipe isn’t their own creation and came from an online site, you will now find the entire recipe through the link to that site as a personal recommendation. Thank you.
PEANUT BRITTLE FROM ALICE BOURLAND
Note from Charlene and Jodi: This is our mother’s recipe for peanut brittle that she made every Christmas. She was an elementary school principal and would gift all the teachers and staff with boxes of her delicious candy. It’s easy to make, but be careful. Don’t burn yourself while you make it.
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 cup light Karo syrup
2 cups raw peanuts
1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons of butter
In a heavy pan, combine the sugar, water, and Karo. Use a candy thermometer and bring to a hard ball stage. Remove from heat, add the peanuts, and return to stove. Continue cooking until the temperature reaches hard crack stage. Remove from stove and add soda and vanilla.
Carefully pour the **very hot** mixture onto a buttered surface. I use a large cookie sheet. My mother asked my dad to make a special cutting board, and she used it to make all her holiday candies.
When it has completely cooled, crack it into irregular pieces. Store in airtight containers.
Special Giveaway: Charlene & Judi will give away a copy of any ebook in our catalog https://amzn.to/3dfTfJR to one reader who comments on their Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog.
Thanks, Charlene & Judi, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!