Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with NAKED CAME THE SHARKS, A #Women #Sleuth Novel by JED DONELLIE & Devorah Fox #Recipe ~ English Toasting Bread

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with JED DONELLIE & DEVORAH FOX!

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, DEVORAH FOX, and her favorite recipe for ENGLISH TOASTING BREAD!


A Women Sleuth Novel


Chasing her dream of becoming an investigative reporter in San Francisco, Holly Rivera Berry has to return to her hometown of Bonafides on the Texas Coastal Bend to settle her recently deceased father’s estate. She discovers that just before he died her father researched the possibility that via an old Mexican land grant the Rivera family owns The Gap, a natural channel to the Gulf of Mexico. Land speculators plan to erect luxury homes, resorts, hotels, and a casino along The Gap, and Holly comes to doubt that her father died of natural causes.

The more she investigates, the more things don’t add up. One by one her allies fall victim to fatal accidents and it looks like Holly might be next.

Finalist in the 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading 2013-14 contest, “Naked Came the Sharks” is filled with clever humor, suspense, and spice as comical, quirky characters confront the real social and environmental issues faced by a small coastal community.

A Women Sleuth Novel

Holly Berry has returned to her hometown of Bonafides, Texas, to settle her father’s estate. Accompanied by her brother, Tres, she is trying to get information from the doctor who signed the death certificate.


Just as Holly shrugged in defeat, the door opened to reveal a shrunken, wrinkled man with uncombed white hair and a stubbly chin. His sleeveless undershirt was yellow with age and his faded twill shorts were ragged at the hem. A parrot missing most of its chest feathers perched on his shoulder. The man and the bird peered at the two callers.

“Sorry, I’m not seeing any new patients,” said the man. “Not seeing any old ones, neither.”

“Doctor Billy—Doctor Roberts,” Holly said, pushing her way into the dark, stuffy foyer. “I’m not here as a patient. I’m here about a patient. Clark Rivera.”

Oh, no, Tres thought and felt suddenly chill despite the heat of the day.

“Open wide,” the bird said.

Frowning, Doctor Billy Bob studied his bare feet housed in foam rubber flip-flops, then gazed at the ceiling. Holly described her father. Roberts thought some more. Finally, he said, “Clark Rivera. He wasn’t no patient. He was dead.”

“Yessir. He was. You pronounced him.”

Roberts nodded. “Of a heart attack.”

“This won’t hurt a bit,” said the bird.

“You’re sure? You’re certain that’s what he died of?” Holly asked, twisting her hair.

“Course I’m sure. That’s what you told me.”

“Me?” Holly said. “I wasn’t there.”

“Were too.” Doctor Billy Bob pursed his lips and nodded.

“You must be confusing me with my brother.” Holly turned toward Tres.

The doc peered at Tres. “Well, I’ll be,” said the doctor. “Twins.”

“Not exactly, but it’s not important. So you didn’t examine my father?” Holly asked.

“Nothing to examine. Right, Doctor Roberts?” said Tres. It was hard to sound cool and casual with his heart in his throat.

Doctor Billy Bob shook his head. “Uh, right. Didn’t have to. He was dead. Nothin’ I could do for him.”

“Just a little stick, just a little stick,” said the bird.

“But the cause of death, weren’t you concerned about that?”

“Nothing to be concerned about. Right, Doctor Roberts?” Tres said.

“Uh, right. Man was dead. I pronounced him dead. Someone wanted to know what he died of, they should have asked the M. E.”

“It’ll be over in a minute,” said the bird.

“But a heart attack? What about the big wound in his head?” Holly asked.

“What wound?”

Holly tapped her own skull. “Here.”

The doctor squinted at Holly. “I don’t see no wound, girlie. You got a little scrape there but it certainly ain’t no big wound.”

“Not me,” Holly said. “My father. The dead man.”

“Didn’t see no wound there, neither,” Doctor Roberts said. “When I saw the man, he was laying on the floor in his home office room. I didn’t move him any. I just checked his heart and it wasn’t beating.”

“If the heart isn’t beating, you’ve had a heart attack. Right, Doctor Roberts?” asked Tres.


“Open wide,” said the bird.

“You’re sure you didn’t see where his skull was cracked?”

“Sure I’m sure.”

Holly propped her hands on her hips. “I don’t believe you. It was plain as day.”

Roberts made a face. “Hell, woman, the man was lying on his back.”

“And you didn’t even turn him over?”

“Open wide, honey, open wide,” said the bird.

“What for? He was dead. I could tell that without rolling him all around the floor.”

Holly groaned and threw her hands up in the air in frustration. She turned to go.

Roberts said, “Ma’am?”


“Speaking of bumps on the head, that one you got there does look nasty. If I was you, I’d have a doctor look at that.”

“Open wide, honey, here I come,” the bird cried, and let out a cackle.

About the Authors…

JED DONELLIE is an acronym for Jerry Bateman, Don Lowe, Ellie Killian, and Devorah Fox, four book-loving writing friends who decided to collaborate on a novel.
Jerry W. Bateman grew up in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. He served in the United States Army and was stationed in Tokyo, Japan. He went on to have a sales career in Dallas, Texas. The father of two daughters and grandfather to three grandsons, as a retiree in Corpus Christi, Texas, he was a tireless volunteer. A wise and spiritual man, Jerry always had time to listen and offer a quick word of advice. Jerry passed away on January 21, 2011.
Donald H. Lowe was originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He served in the Navy as an inventory control petty officer in charge of Shop Stores for Navy Auxiliary Air Station, Cabaniss Field, Corpus Christi. Don was a successful business manager with 25 years’ experience as owner/operator and president of both retail and wholesale businesses. An accomplished artist and writer, Don wrote and published various technique booklets and manuals as well as articles for one of the two national ceramic arts magazines. Funny and outgoing, Don was a busy retiree who served numerous community organizations and houses of worship. He died on May 14, 2006.
Ellie Killian was born in San Francisco, California. She taught reading and writing to elementary students for thirty-five years and has written articles for teacher magazines. She has five daughters and 17 grandchildren. Retired from teaching, she lives in Portland, Texas. She was very active in Texas Retired Teachers Association, on the school board for St. Gertrude’s Catholic School, and a volunteer helper for the Kingsville Food Bank. 

It’s said of Devorah Fox that she writes outside the box. Its feelings hurt, the box gets up and stomps off. So she writes about that, too.

A multi-genre author, she has written a best-selling epic fantasy series, “The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam,” as well as an acclaimed mystery and a popular thriller, and co-authored a contemporary thriller with Jed Donellie. She contributed short stories to a variety of anthologies, penned several Mystery and Fantasy Short Reads, and has several five-star ghostwriting projects to her name. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky. 

The story that the four wrote together gathered electronic dust as a collection of files in a subfolder on Devorah Fox’s computer but like her departed friends, the book was never far from her memory. The year of Jerry Bateman’s death, she decided to dust off Naked Came the Sharks, finish it, and make it available so that others could enjoy it as much as she did.


Links to Devorah’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:


(includes Amazon, B&N, Apple, Google Play, etc.)




Espresso Book Machine: http://net.ondemandbooks.com/odb/selfespress/9780977824540

Email: devorahfox@aol.com

Website: http://www.devorahfox.com

Twitter: @devorah_fox

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/DevorahFoxAuthor

Amazon author page:

Smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mbapub

Books2read notifications: 

Barnes & Noble author page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/devorah-fox

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/devorahfox            

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/devorahfox


Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751371.Devorah_Fox

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/devorah-fox

Kobo author page:

Devorah Fox, Storyteller email newsletter signup form: URL: http://eepurl.com/LrZGX

I hope you enjoy the recipe Devorah is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!


P.S. We’re at 589 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.


[Courtesy of https://www.restlesschipotle.com]

NOTE FROM DEVORAH: For bread making, I usually use the bread machine I received as a wedding gift. Twenty-six years ago. Still works. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. But this recipe requires no machine and no kneading. Easy peasy. It’s called English Toasting Bread and it definitely wonderful toasted and slathered with butter. Recipe found at https://www.restlesschipotle.com/english-muffin-bread.


4 ½ cups flour, you may need less or a little more
2 tablespoons yeast, or 2 packets
1 tablespoon honey, or sugar
¼ cup warm water, 110F
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 ¼ cups warm milk, 110F
Butter and cornmeal for greasing and dusting the pans


Mix the yeast, honey, and water. Set aside.

Stir the salt, baking soda, and flour together.

Add the milk and one cup of the flour to the yeast mixture.

Blend well.

Add the remaining flour, OR ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU A SOFT GOOPY DOUGH and beat.

You should have a very soft, goopy dough. Yes. I said goopy. More a batter than a dough.

Spoon the dough into 2 loaf pans that have been greased and dusted with the cornmeal.

Set aside in a warm place until the batter has doubled and is at the top of the pans, or a little above. This may take 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425F

Dust the tops of the loaves with cornmeal and bake for 15 minutes or so. Loaf will sound hollow when tapped.

Bake for 20-25 minutes if you want a crisper, more golden crust.

Cool and slice.

Devorah’s Notes:

I used glass 9×5-inch loaf pans. The recipe indicates that ANY kind of loaf pan is fine. You can make two large loaves with this recipe or you can double it and make four. You can freeze it if you need to.

Use coarsely ground cornmeal to dust the pans. It will give you that flavor and slight texture that the conventional English muffins have. If you don’t have any cornmeal you can just dust the pan with flour instead. Not a big deal but not as good either.

Just use all-purpose flour in this recipe. I happened to use bread flour but all-purpose flour will work fine according to the recipe.

The batter should be very loose and gloopy. If you add too much flour you won’t have those lovely nooks and crannies.

Don’t cave to the temptation to slice it and eat it hot. Cool at least part way and then be sure to slice and toast it. It will be better that way.

You can make this with whole wheat flour, half whole wheat and half white.

Feel free to add raisins, dried cranberries, dates, etc. About ½ cup is right.

Bread Machine Instructions

Note: I didn’t use a bread machine and it’s not recommended but here are the instructions if you prefer to use one:

Cut the ingredient measurements in half.

Place all of the ingredients in the bucket of your bread machine, or as instructed by the manufacturer.

Program for basic white bread with a light crust.

Remove when done baking.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg


Thanks, Devorah, for sharing your story with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

14 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with NAKED CAME THE SHARKS, A #Women #Sleuth Novel by JED DONELLIE & Devorah Fox #Recipe ~ English Toasting Bread”

  1. Good morning, Devorah, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. I’m with everyone else. There’s nothing like a good slice of toasted homemade bread. I’m going to have to try this one. I can’t wait to read this book either! The excerpt is fun and snappy and I love how it all came together for all of you. I’m sure you miss your co-writers. I’m sure they’d be thrilled that you shared your story. Thanks for sharing it with us today!

  2. I love Naked Came the Sharks so much. It was an incredibly great read with a snappy pace, colorful characters, fun locales (vivid and funny versions of the Texas Coastal Bend) and plot twists that kept me riveted. I highly recommend this. It’s an excellent choice, appropriate for a sizzling summer!

    1. The bread is so easy to make even I couldn’t screw it up. And I must attribute the book’s success to my co-authors. Couldn’t have done it without them.

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