Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with SHANON GREY!
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, SHANON GREY, and her favorite recipe for SIM’S BREAD PUDDING!
Suspense Military Action Fiction
BY SHANON GREY
The lone survivor of a horrific helicopter accident, Owen Zachery Henderson, even with a recently amputated arm, is determined to accompany the body of one of his Marine brothers home to Ruthorford and to the grieving widow.
Sandra Carter Beauchard has been trying to face the fact that Ethan is gone. When Ozzy shows up, she’s surprised to see the wounded ex-Marine. They’d met before when he’d stayed at the Abbott Bed & Breakfast, having come to protect his boss and best friend from a murder attempt. Not only is she surprised to learn that Ozzy was the lone survivor of the helicopter crash, but that he knew her husband better than just about anyone, including her.
When Ozzy collapses, he is rushed to Ruthorford’s clinic. After an exam, the doctor decides Ozzy would be a great candidate for an experimental operation. Little does Ozzy know he’s about to get a lot more than an advanced prosthesis.
Soon, it’s discovered that there are secrets Ethan kept from everyone, hoping to take them to his grave. If those secrets begin resurrecting themselves, the results could change lives, and possibly Ruthorford, forever.
Suddenly, Sandra and Ozzy find they need one another. Her, to understand what happened to her husband and for him to understand more about himself. And, together, maybe they can stop the impending danger before it disrupts not only Ruthorford but the entire nation.
The Jayhawk helicopter maintained course. Ten minutes out. This would be the seventh and last mission. So far, so good. They’d slipped in, set up, he’d done his thing, and they’d left. Piece of cake. Except for his body. It’d been years since he’d been a “grunt,” and keeping up with his Marine brothers had been one for the books. Not that he’d admit it and take the ribbing, but damn he’d be glad to be stateside, back home, and in a Jacuzzi. It would take a lot of coaxing to get his ass out of one for a long while.
He heard a noise, then the click of the fast-release on his harness and, before he could register what the hell was happening, the helicopter dipped, and he was out of the fuselage, flailing. Another dip and the rotor swung toward him, a searing pain ripped through him, and the earth shot up at him just as blackness overtook him.
He blinked, trying to open his eyes. Every bone in his body screamed. He tried to lift his head. He saw smoke rising not that far away.
“This is gonna hurt like a son-of-a-bitch, but you’ll live.”
He turned his head toward the voice and saw the Marine grab his arm. A flash blinded him and pain, unlike any he’d ever felt, coursed through his body. Then blackness called once more.
Again, he blinked, pulling himself toward consciousness. The Marine was running toward the smoke. Then, he wasn’t. He was lying next to him, a piece of the Jayhawk sticking out of his chest, where his heart should be, the eyes staring at him, vacant in death.
Teresa stood behind the hand-carved mahogany reception desk on the far side of the lobby, penning an entry into the leather-bound reservation book. The hand-tooled books were as much a part of the tradition at the Abbott Bed & Breakfast as was the restaurant through the tall French doors to her left. At the end of each year, the filled book was placed in the collection with other reservation books kept at the Abbott House Foundation library in Atlanta, and a new book took its place.
She would enter the information in the computer later for the accountant. Still, she enjoyed the physicality and the look of writing the elegant script she used to make each entry in the book.
A shudder went through her body, the hairs on her neck rising. She shook it off, letting her daughter’s infant giggle grab her attention. She smiled as she watched Sandra tickling Aby in the carrier that rested atop the table by the back window in the restaurant. Her daughter would never lack for attention, of that she was certain. She went back to her work, smiling.
Movement outside the lobby’s front windows drew her attention, and she saw an official-looking sedan pull into a spot. Watching the men get out of the vehicle, her stomach drew into a tight knot, and she hit #1 on her cell phone. “Mike, we’re fine, but I need you to come. Now.”
She put her cell phone down and tried to smile as the men entered the lobby. Spotting her, they crossed over to the counter.
“Mrs. Yancy?” one of the men in uniform asked.
“Yes,” she responded and moved around the counter, putting her hand against the tightening of her stomach.
“Come with me,” she said and led them to the private parlor on the other side of the large formal staircase. She waited until they were in the room before she turned back and pulled the sliding pocket doors together behind her. She didn’t need to be an empath to know why the Marine officer, accompanied by a Marine Chaplain stood in front of her. “I called my husband. He’s a doctor,” she said.
“Is Mrs. Beauchard here?”
Teresa nodded, trying to delay the inevitable, giving Mike a little more time to get there. “She’s working in the restaurant at the moment.”
“Are you close to Mrs. Beauchard?” the Chaplain asked.
“Then, I will ask that you stay after she comes in.”
She nodded, swallowed, and spoke softly, afraid her voice would crack. “I will go get Sandra.”
Teresa slipped through the doors, walked across the lobby and into the restaurant, where Morgan and Jasmine were having lunch with Morgan’s twins and entertaining her daughter. She looked at the two women. Jasmine studied her, put her hand on Morgan’s arm, and nodded. Teresa moved past them and into the kitchen, where Sandra was wiping down the counter.
She swallowed and stilled her mind. “Sandra,” she said quietly. “I need you to come with me.”
Sandra looked up. The smile on her lips froze and died as she studied Teresa’s eyes. She left the cloth on the counter, glanced around the kitchen to make sure everything was off, and walked toward her boss.
Teresa turned and walked back through the restaurant, sending a quick glance at Morgan and Jasmine as they left the dining room. Sandra slowed when she saw the doors to the parlor were closed. Taking a deep breath, she stopped, waiting for Teresa to pull the doors open. When she saw the officers in uniform, she felt the tears pooling in her eyes and forced them back.
One of the officers turned to Sandra. “Mrs. Beauchard, I’m Captain Lewis. This is Chaplain Stewart. may I have your full name?”
“Sandra Carter Beauchard.” She was surprised that her voice came out stronger than a whisper.
The officer nodded, “Will you please be seated?”
Teresa took Sandra’s hand and led her to the settee, where she sat next to her. She let the images Sandra was projecting flood her and pushed calming energy back.
The officer looked at Sandra with kindness. “The Commandant of the Marine Corps has entrusted me to express his deep regret that your husband, Ethan Lemoyne Beauchard, was killed in action on March 28th. The Commandant extends his deepest sympathy to you and your family in your loss.” The words were rote but kindness shown in his eyes.
The chaplain stepped forward and took the chair next to Sandra. Sandra was staring ahead at the officer. The only indication that she was aware of what was going on was the trembling that Teresa felt in her hand.
“Mrs. Beauchard,” the chaplain began, “arrangements are being made to bring your husband home.”
The doors pulled open and Mike walked in, his bag in hand. Sandra looked up at him and her lips quivered. No longer able to control the tears, they slipped from her eyes and slid down her cheeks. Mike stopped where he was, watching her.
Sandra turned to Teresa, a frown creasing her brow. “The cemetery?” she asked softly.
Teresa nodded, finding it hard to keep her own tears in check.
“An officer will contact you tomorrow to discuss arrangements, if you wish,” Captain Lewis said. He held out an envelope. Teresa reached out and took it when Sandra made no indication that she could or would move.
Teresa nodded to the men. “We’ll take care of her.”
They nodded. The chaplain rose.
That was it. Mere minutes to change her life. Mere minutes to have the world as she knew it to come to an end. As they turned to leave, Sandra spoke, her voice quiet. “Did you know him?”
The officer turned back to her, “No, ma’am. Not personally.” He smiled gently. “I did know some of the men he served with, and I know how respected and liked he was, ma’am.”
“Can you tell me what happened?”
“Not at this time, ma’am. I’m sorry. I am so sorry for your loss.”
Teresa started to rise but, when Sandra’s grasp on her hand tightened, she remained seated.
“I’ll see them out,” Mike said.
Shanon Grey weaves suspense and action with mystery and romance. Under contract with Crossroads Publishing House and TOVA Publishing House, her books are available in e-format and print at most booksellers.
Shanon spent most of her life on coasts, both the beautiful Atlantic and the balmy Gulf. A major hurricane taught her the fragility of life and the strength of friendship, family, and starting over.
She found out that her son had salvaged notes and pages of her original novel, Capricorn’s Child, which she thought had been destroyed along with everything else. (Ironically, a neighbor found her marriage certificate in a tree.) She plans to resurrect her original novel one day soon.
She now lives in Georgia, trading the familiarity of the coast for the lush beauty and wonder of the mountains, where her husband fulfilled her lifelong dream—to live in a beautiful cottage in the woods, where inspiration abounds.
Having dual careers, one as an author and the other in IT Security, affords her, in her dual personas, to meld expertise from many disciplines and venues into stories that keep her readers coming back for more.
Jerry Hampton, the companion attendant to the alter ego, Shanon Grey, provides the discipline and order to the creativity. She also provides the artistry that does into covers and accompanying materials for web sites, events, and book signings.
Links to Shanon’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Stay up to date on other Shanon Grey books and events by visiting her website at: www.ShanonGrey.com
You can write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She (or Jerry) would love to hear from you.
I hope you enjoy the recipe Shanon is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 590 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.
NOTE FROM SHANON:
If you’ve read my novels, you know that much revolves around Ruthorford and the Abbott Bed & Breakfast, a hub of activities for the “descendants.” In my latest novel, Descendant Rising, the Abbott B & B is much in the mainstream, as are the wonderful foods coming out of the restaurant kitchen. One particular favorite is Sim’s Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. It’s not difficult and quite delicious, with or without the sauce. I went for easy to save time and I will give credit to a really old Southern Living recipe for the whiskey sauce, one my step-mother used, to the best of my memory.
I’ll share the story about that sauce now. It might give you a laugh. When developing the recipe, I knew I needed some whiskey for the sauce. Not being much of a liquor consumer, I remembered that my husband kept some high up in the upper cabinets. Not being able to reach it, I called out to him, “I need some of your whiskey.”
“Work getting to you?”
“Nope. I need it for a recipe I’m creating.”
“How much?” He asked as he reached up and pulled a cylindrical box out of the cupboard.
“Between a quarter to a half cup.”
His hand stopped in mid-air, high over my head. “What?”
I repeated myself.
He stared, more like glared, at me before heading to the cabinet and pulling out a measuring cup. He reverently removed the bottle from the container and very slowly poured out 1/4 cup, handing it to me. I immediately dumped it into the Eagle Brand/Butter concoction I had on the stove and heard his gasp.
“What?” I asked.
“You do realize that you just dumped 12-year-old, single malt, very expensive whiskey into that pan, don’t you?”
I dipped in a spoon, stirred, and tasted. “That’ll work.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him leaning against the counter with his mouth hanging open. For his troubles, I did give him the first serving—with lots of sauce over it. Haven’t heard a complaint since.
350° Oven, preheated
Loaf pan, large, buttered
Baking sheet (to hold pan)
For Bread Pudding
4 Slices Cinnamon Raison Bread, very lightly toasted and cubed
4 Slices Hawaiian Break, very lightly toasted and cubed
1 T butter, melted and cooled
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 C Milk
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 tsp Vanilla (about what a cup-full is)
3 Dashes Cinnamon (I use Saigon Roasted for its intense flavor)
3 Whole Eggs, 2 Egg Yolks
1 Can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 C butter (or a touch more)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 C Whiskey or Bourbon
I put 4 slices of Hawaiian Bread and 4 slices of Cinnamon Raison Bread on the rack in the toaster oven (I have Emeril’s Air Fryer Oven) and toasted them with setting on 1 slice—about 3 to four minutes, just to stiffen bread, since mine was fresh.
Cube bread. It should come to about 3 cups of cubes. Add to buttered loaf pan.
In a bowl, add 1 can Eagle Brand, 3/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon butter (melted and cooled), 1 cap vanilla, 3 dashes of cinnamon, 3 whole eggs and 2 yolks, and stir until mixed thoroughly. Add pecans.
Pour over cubes in pan. Gently mix to moisten all of the bread. Let it rest for 30 minutes or more. Press down occasionally to make sure the liquid is absorbed. (I only waited a half-hour.)
Place loaf pan on a baking sheet and put in a preheated 350° oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. I cooked it for 50 and feel it could have been less, depending on how moist or cakelike you want it.
While it is cooling slightly, put I can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk in a pan (I use non-stick). Add 1/4 C butter (which is 1/2 stick of butter), cut up. Place on low and heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp Vanilla and 1/4 cup whiskey or bourbon (ask before using someone’s single malt.) Stir.
Serve over warm bread pudding.
You can top with whipped cream or ice cream if you can grab the plate from someone’s hands.
Warning: If you aren’t accustomed to liquor, licking the spoon too many times and enjoying a generous serving might make you tipsy. Just saying.
Note: It is my understanding that you can replace the alcohol version with non-alcoholic flavorings, like rum or brandy flavor extract or a bourbon flavor extract. I may try that in the future, since I can’t reach the cabinet.
Thanks, Shanon, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!