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, MARA A. MILLER, and her favorite recipe for FRUIT PIZZA!
The Blissful Bites Series Book 1
BY MARA A. MILLER
Joey Slater broke Patience Daniel’s heart the night she found out he asked her sister to marry him at a party.
And then the crash happened. Joey made it. Sarah didn’t.
That night left Patience when she lost two of the most important people in her life. Now, she’s in college and managing her Grandmother’s bakery, stronger than ever. Life’s mostly okay… until Joey walks back into her life, asking for cupcakes.
Joey only wants to be a part of Patience’s life again. After tragedy strikes her family once more, he knows he can’t walk away from her this time. All he seeks is redemption with this beautiful girl. He’s no longer that messed up, confused seventeen-year-old boy who couldn’t decide who he loved.
Patience must not only navigate her feelings for Joey, but she must also deal with another shocking loss in the family. She can’t lose the bakery. It’s the one thing which always brought together her family, and somehow through it all, Joey has become her rock again.
Can Patience forgive Joey for breaking her heart?
Editor’s Note: Edited for language
Uncle Butch is unbelievable.
The twenty-dollar bill he gave me feels like a twenty-pound weight in my pocket. My uncle gave me two choices: pick up his surprise cupcake order for Aunt Rita or forget about keeping my job at The Crab Shack because I poured coffee on a rude bastard.
Under normal circumstances, I could go without the job, but I’m trying to move out of my mother’s house. There is a standing invitation to move in with Uncle Butch and Aunt Rita if things don’t work out with Mom. My cousin, Rachel, is also between roommates in her apartment. It has a garage and a washer and dryer in the basement. I’m more tempted to take her up on her offer than my aunt and uncle, no matter how much I love them.
Being Butch’s little bitch errand boy is the last thing I wanted to do today. Not sure if it’s worth it to pick up a box of cupcakes in the last place I wanted to be today. Uncle Butch is a Marine—so when he barks orders, you do it, no questions asked. It’s easier to follow his orders instead of arguing, but I should have f**king argued.
It wasn’t an easy decision to stay in Ohio after I turned eighteen. After the accident, my mother shipped me off to Ohio and my father argued with me until he was blue in the face that it was the best thing for now. I love my Dad, and being with him and my stepmother was simple, so I stayed long enough to give it a try in college. All that shit fell apart.
So, I moved back to Oaksville, South Carolina. I promised myself I’d let Patience Daniels keep living her life without barging my way back into it, even though deep down, I know she is part of the reason I came home.
Uncle Butch makes me question my decision to move out of Ohio daily, for too many damn reasons.
Two customers are in front of me at The Blissful Bites Bakery. An older man and woman, both bicker about what they want to purchase this afternoon. If I had to guess, they’re in their late forties. The woman has her graying hair piled on top of her head while she sneers at everything in the display case. The man steps forward to smack the old-fashioned bell.
“Jesus… how much longer do you think it will take?” the woman asks.
Their accents place them outside of the state, somewhere up north, like New Hampshire. My hands clench—they think it entitles them to act rude. The man smacks the bell a few more times.
“We’re leaving if they don’t get their asses up here. I’m not looking forward to the rest of this damn drive,” he says.
Grinding my teeth, I decide not to comment. There could be several reasons the bakery owner isn’t up here yet. The last time I saw Martha Daniels, it delighted her that her granddaughter, Sarah, had just applied to a few ivy league colleges during her senior year, and she fed us both so much cake it gave me a stomachache.
I swallow at the thought of my ex-girlfriend. Memories with Sarah are all over this damn bakery. It’s one reason I’ve avoided it since I left my Dad’s in Ohio.
Sarah always worried for her grandmother because she was getting up there in age. Martha must be past her nineties by now. If she’s even still working—one of her other four granddaughters could run the place now, although it’s doubtful Anne-Marie would move out of Pennsylvania.
Patience scurries up front, punching something into the cash register and adjusting her apron before she looks up at the rude couple.
The sight of her is a punch in the gut.
Patience always talked about getting out of town as soon as she graduated. I figured she would be off to college; hypocritical when I think about it, because I haven’t done jack with my education, since I dropped out against Dad’s wishes. Wisps of golden-brown hair frame her face. She’s gained some weight. The good weight—Patience always fretted over her size too much early in high school. Patience looks so much like Sarah that my heart aches.
I should get out of here. Coming to the bakery to be Uncle Butch’s errand boy was a mistake. He told me to pick up his cupcake order when he damn well knew I wanted to avoid all the Daniels women. They must all blame me for Sarah’s loss. I was the one who f**ked up that night when I drunkenly begged both girls to listen to me. I was the one who agreed it was okay to drink even though Sarah wanted to be designated driver. I was the one who climbed into the car even though my girlfriend was sobbing so hard she couldn’t breathe.
Patience’s warm, chocolate eyes pin me in my place.
“Miss? Excuse me? Are you f**king stupid, or are you going to take our order?”
The woman shatters the moment. Patience shakes her head, breaking our gaze. Something snaps in my chest—I could go on all day staring at this beautiful girl.
“Um, sorry,” she says, turning her attention to the man and woman. She plasters a genuine, megawatt smile on her face. “It’s been a crazy day. What can I get for you?”
“Well, now that you’re paying attention…”
“Hey, there’s no reason to be rude assholes,” I interrupt, unable to help myself.
It would be different if one of the other girls were up here, or even Martha. Brenna could definitely handle herself—and there’s no way in hell Butch would get his cupcake order today if she were here. Martha would be full of “bless your hearts” and warnings about politeness in her family-run business. Harper would flat out turn them away. But that these impatient assholes are insulting Patience?
Even if she can defend herself if customers get out of line.
The woman turns around to look at me, hand flying to her heart. “Excuse me?”
Mara Miller discovered her passion for writing romance in her mid-twenties after a stressful divorce and no real direction. Writing has been a part of Mara’s life since her pre-teens, but writing romance gave her a direction she didn’t know she needed to move in until she finished Cheap Guitars. Although she loves writing about strong modern heroines and harder country boys, she also dabbles in other romance sub-genres with vampires or time travel. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. Mara resides in Kentucky with her boyfriend, their two dogs, bunny, tiny parrots, and an army of chickens.
Links to Mara’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Mara is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
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- 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1/3cup sugar
- 1/2teaspoon vanilla
- 2 kiwifruit, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 cup halved or quartered fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup apple jelly
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray. Break up cookie dough in pan; press dough evenly in bottom of pan to within 1/2 inch of edge. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 30 minutes.
2. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled crust.
3. Arrange fruit over cream cheese. Stir jelly until smooth; spoon or brush over fruit. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, cut into wedges or squares. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pizza.
Thanks, Mara, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!