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, ELAINE FRANKLIN, and her favorite recipe for Lemon-Blueberry Cupcakes with Blueberry-Lemon Buttercream Frosting!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN BEVERLY HILLS
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
BY ELAINE FRANKLIN
Overweight in Beverly Hills? That’s a misdemeanor. Overweight in show business? Ahh, that’s practically a felony, and JOANNA LEIGHTON, an interior designer on a local television show, semi-famous and fat, jokingly expects to be arrested at any time.
She’s thrilled to hear that the show is going national, and crushed when told that she either loses a great deal of weight, quickly, or lose her job.
Depressed, she spies an extraordinary ring in an antique store, makes a wish, and asks to be skinny. Miraculously, her wish comes true, her body shrinks in a matter of weeks, the pounds vaporize like ice cream left out in the sun. At first it feels like champagne pouring through her heart.
Certain that everyone will be thrilled for her, she’s stunned that her friends and family believe she has an eating disorder. Her marriage changes from relaxed and happy to emotionally charged, the television hostess wants her fired, and Joanna’s world famous movie star client decides she’s now worthy of his extreme private attention.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN BEVERLY HILLS
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
BY ELAINE FRANKLIN
“I want you.” The voice was low and breathless. “I need you.”
Desire surged through her. She felt helpless against its power.
No! She must resist. To give in would be a mistake.
“Joanna, come to me.”
The insistent, intoxicating rhythm of a rumba pulsed a sensual fire in her while she moved across the room. Twinkling lights danced overhead; the cool breeze from the open French doors wafted over her. Laughter and conversation swirled around her but she heard none of it. She breathed faster, consumed with the seductive allure of the forbidden, aware only that she had to rush toward her destiny.
The desserts were calling…
The tiramisu murmured, “I’ve waited just for you.” A chocolate chip cookie winked its chips at her. A custard éclair, smothered in rich, dark fudge, sighed, “I want you.” Joanna swore she heard heavy breathing when it added, “And you know you want me.”
Oh, yes, she did.How many calories could this little plate hold? Tomorrow she’d walk three miles. Two miles. Well, she’d walk.
Standing as tall as she could at five foot-two, stomach held in, she walked back to her table and her husband, Marc. A few people smiled and nodded at her; we recognize you, the gesture said. It had been a nice compliment ever since she started on local television five years ago. She did it herself whenever she saw a real celebrity and they happened to glance her way.
“Early birthday desserts,” she said to Marc.
“Looks good,” he said. No comments about her weight.
She leaned over and kissed him. He had loved her when the pounds had first come to visit, and when they had invited others to join their happy group. She had tried ejecting them, but they had refused to leave.
Soon after they got home, Marc put his arms around her. “Did you have a good time tonight?” he murmured, nuzzling her neck and points south.
“Yes, I did,” she said. The passion that ensued felt delectable; holding in her stomach, difficult, because she could still feel those desserts roaming around checking out their new home.
Shana, their nine-pound apricot toy poodle, politely averted her eyes and walked over to the upholstered bench at the end of the bed. She closed her eyes and took a refreshing little nap, delicately, daintily snoring away.
But the second Joanna tried to go to sleep, the miserable nightly monologue started pounding into her brain. When I’m around food, why does my brain disappear?
Why do I eat so fast? Why don’t I ever learn? She knew she had become obsessed with food. How many times—and for how many years—had she gone to bed with the same dismal idea in mind?
When she stumbled into the bathroom the next morning, she swore the scale had waited up all night for just this moment. A malevolent expression was fixed on its vicious little face and it seemed thrilled to report she had gained two pounds.
How? If you didn’t count dessert, all right, an overstuffed plate of goodies, she’d only had salad and fish. Plain broiled fish. With lemon. Only.
She had locked the door. Heaven forbid Marc should see her nude body this early in the morning. She could see it now on that tickertape they run underneath the programming on TV: Husband Keels Over in Fatal Heart Attack After Seeing Wife Naked, Shock and Horror Forever Etched on his Face. News at Eleven!
Of course, Marc had seen her naked, but usually at night when the lights were low. Really low. And only in bed, where she did her best to lie at a seductive angle with her stomach firmly clutched in. But never by dawn’s early light.
If only she could eat whatever she wanted and never gain weight.
Elaine Franklin met her husband when she was only 15 and he was an older man of 17. He invited her to an April Fool’s dance at his high school; she jokes that it was the biggest April Fool’s joke of all time because she got him for life!
She’s always loved writing, and while she was busy raising her two girls, she went to UCLA to study writing. At first, she tried her hand at a spy novel because her husband likes them, but the research depressed her. She’s always enjoyed light- hearted books and movies that made her feel better about everything. She loves “meeting” people in the books and going along with them on their journeys.
Laughing is a great cure all. When life gets grim, snuggling up with a fun book is like a massage for the heart and soul. It’s a vacation that you can take again and again.
The other thing that’s a great cure all is chocolate. It sends its siren call to her, and so do tiramisu and crunchy cookies. A lot of her character’s reactions to desserts come straight from Elaine’s experience.
“Once upon a time in Beverly Hills,” started with a casual conversation. She was having dinner with a friend, and having that conversation we all have:
“What do you want?” “I don’t know, what do you want?”
On this evening, when she asked, her friend said, “I want to eat wall to wall food and never gain weight.”
Elaine laughed and said, “If only.”
That conversation never left her mind. She started noticing that more and more people say “if only” about a lot of different subjects, wondering what could happen when an “if only,” came true. Of course, her “if only” had to include chocolate!
Elaine and her friends have been to studios, premieres and restaurants, where she observed actresses and actors eating the show biz way, in other words, not eating! At one premiere party the star of the film spent the entire evening clutching a glass of wine, never sipping from it, and certainly not eating.
One time, Elaine had to slam on her brakes to keep from hitting the paparazzi who were running in front of her car to take non-stop pictures of a star. The poor man just stood there, stoic, while the flashes assaulted him for what seemed like an eternity.
Elaine has taken the stories that her friends have told her, added them to her memories, and used them in the book. She’s also fallen in love with the three forty-something women in her book as they go through their adventures, and hopes you will, too.
Links to Elaine’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Elaine is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 625 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.
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. Thank you.
Lemon-Blueberry Cupcakes w/Blueberry-Lemon
EDITORIAL NOTE: Elaine’s favorite recipe originates from ALLRECIPES.COM.
Find this fabulous recipe here:
Lemon-Blueberry Cupcakes with Blueberry-Lemon Buttercream Frosting Recipe (allrecipes.com)
Thanks, Elaine, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!