Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with THE SHANGHAI SECRET, The Tidewater Chronicles Book 1 #GildedAge #Mystery by Vanessa Lind #Recipe ~ 15-Minute Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with VANESSA LIND!

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, VANESSA LIND, and her favorite recipes for 15-Minute Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes !

The Tidewater Chronicles Book 1


Two women. One chance to get it right…

“This town has stories,” Jo’s mother tells her. “You’re the one to tell them.” Now her mother is gone, and Jo blames herself. In the Gilded Age boomtown of Astoria, Oregon, she sets out to prove herself as a girl reporter. Following the trail of a missing maid, she finds her newspaper’s publisher dead. Left in charge of the paper, she discovers danger is a lot closer than she thinks.

In present-day Astoria, Olivia is running from her failures. The more she tries to control her life, the more it gets away from her. Now she’s got a bookshop she never wanted and an offer that will turn the town against her. Jo’s unfinished Gilded Age story could be the one thing she gets right, if only she can make the pieces fit. Is Jo’s secret the key to her redemption?

The Tidewater Chronicles Book 1

In the turret of her father’s mansion, Josephine Felch pressed her face to the window. Below, Astoria spread out like a patchwork quilt, all color and light, a mishmash of houses and shops and mills and canneries and saloons.

A town with stories, Jo’s mother used to say. Stories behind every closed curtain. Stories in the depths of the forests where the loggers sent massive trees crashing to the ground. Stories in the tunnels that ran beneath the streets. Stories behind every complaint muttered from the fishermen who came and went from the riverfront.

Jo hadn’t always been fond of this town. Falling in with Astoria’s wealthy set, she’d begged to spend the winters as they did in San Francisco, enjoying bustle and cosmopolitan excitement that rivaled New York. What a mistake that had been. A mistake that had haunted her for years.

No more.

“Miss Jo? Your father will see you now.”

Jo stepped away from the window. Effie stood in the doorway, red curls sticking out from under her maid’s cap. Straightening, Jo summoned her resolve. “Very well.”

“Don’t you go upsetting him now.” Effie knitted her brow, a show of concern. “He’s got enough on his mind.”

Jo came alongside the maid. “He only needs to give his permission, and I’ll leave him alone.”

Effie harrumphed. “Indulged you, he has, and your mother with him, God rest her soul.”

They headed for the stairs. “I’m not a child anymore,” Jo said.

Effie tipped her head, looking up at her. Little over five feet in height, she could make herself a force to contend despite the boundaries of her station. “I’m only saying every odd notion doesn’t need acting on.”

“Wanting to accept Mr. Wisener’s offer is hardly an odd notion.”

“A girl like you, with every privilege in the world, hankering for a job. Why, you’ve no more need of a salary than a sparrow winging on the wind. Every comfort and then some. Be glad you haven’t had to work yourself to the bone to get it.”

“I don’t mean to be ungrateful, Effie. I appreciate Father’s wealth. But I want to do something for myself.”

“Newspapering.” Effie grunted as they started down the stairs. “Man’s work.”

“Mother published in Mr. Wisener’s paper.”

“Poems. Society pieces. That’s different.”

“Melvina Lockwood has her newspaper in Portland, and she writes much more than just society pieces. Mother quite admired her, you know.”

“Your dear mother was a saint in more ways than one. But admiring is a far cry from wanting something for your only daughter.”

Reaching the first floor, they proceeded to the tall, polished wooden doors of the library. Effie rapped twice. “Miss Josephine here to see you, sir.”

“Send her in,” Jo’s father said.

Effie opened the double doors, then stepped from view as Jo entered the room. Clicking the doors shut, the maid retreated. Until summoned again, she would make herself invisible.

Lined with floor-to-ceiling shelves, the room smelled of lemon polish and leather. From behind his desk, Lewis Felch stood. So did Noah Elliott, who sat next to the desk.

“I intended to see you earlier,” her father said. “But then Noah came over with some concerns about the cannery and, well, time slipped away from us, didn’t it, Noah?”

“It did. I’ll leave you two to your discussion.” Noah started to stand. “Sorry to have taken so much of your time, sir.”

“Nonsense. Stay right there. Why, you’re almost part of the family. Whatever Jo has to say, I’m sure she won’t mind getting your opinion as well as mine.”

She did mind, actually. Convincing her father would be challenging enough without her best friend’s brother chiming in. She’d seen little of the Elliotts since they’d moved across the river, and she was still getting used to thinking of the boy who’d stuck frogs down the back of her dress as being grown up enough to run her father’s cannery.

But she didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot by objecting. “As you wish, Father.” She took the chair nearest the fireplace. On this spring day, the morning fire had already burned down to embers.

“Noah has been proving his worth already. Only on board a week, and already he’s found some discrepancies in the books.” Though this was meant to be reassuring, the pained look on her father’s face and the way he rubbed his temples suggested it was anything but.

“I’m sure whatever those discrepancies are, they’ll work themselves out.” Jo glanced sharply at Noah. He knew about her father’s headaches, about the heart weakness the doctor had warned of. His job was to relieve burdens on Lewis Felch, not exacerbate them. That had been her father’s idea in hiring a young family friend over an older, experienced manager. Noah was a nice enough lad, but Jo had her doubts about her father’s bringing him on.

Noah held her gaze. “Preliminary figures. The season’s just getting underway.”

“Plenty of time to turn things around,” Jo said.

“Your mother always said a trustworthy manager was worth his weight in gold. So much she was right about, your mother.” This last part was a line he’d repeated nearly every day since her mother’s death. Jo had been only five when they’d met and married, but even at that tender age, she’d sensed something exceptional about their love.

And she’d known instinctively that Lewis Felch was a good man, gracious if hard-nosed about his business, which Jo’s mother always said he had to be, so people didn’t take advantage. A Salmon King. That’s what folks called him and the other cannery owners in Astoria. A good deal of the money that flowed through this town came from fish pulled from the wide, brown Columbia River.

“I want to speak with you about a conversation Mother and I had before… while she was alive. I was sixteen, and she’d taken me to hear Mrs. Lockwood speak. The newspaper woman from Portland.”

“Campaigning for women’s suffrage, wasn’t she? And temperance. I recall your mother being quite impressed. So I’m favorably inclined toward the woman even if her ideas run a bit toward the…” He glanced at Noah, who seemed to be listening intently. “Radical.”

A good start. Jo shifted in her seat. “Walking back to the hotel from the lecture, Mother and I spoke of how wonderful it was that a woman like Mrs. Lockwood could be in such a position of influence. How newspapering was no longer just for men.”

Her father sighed. “This is about Cecil Wisener’s offer, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but—”

“No daughter of mine is going to roam the streets digging up stories for a penny’s wages. I thought I’d made myself clear. What would you have people say? That Felch’s Canning and Packing is doing so poorly that my daughter has had to resort to scribbling stories?”

About Author Vanessa Lind…

Vanessa Lind loves writing about strong women from the past, especially the ones who’ve got a secret or two. She enjoys heartfelt stories that keep readers turning pages with characters that aren’t easily forgotten.

Vanessa grew up in Illinois but has since migrated to the Pacific Northwest, where she lives near a town rich in history (and breweries). She has a serious book-buying problem, never turns down a cup of tea, and gets her best ideas while walking her boxer dog. Her goal in life, besides writing unforgettable books, is to be a good ancestor.


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

Amazon: Click here to order The Shanghai Secret, Book One
in the historical fiction series The Tidewater Chronicles. 

Want to be the first to know about Vanessa Lind’s latest books
and receive a free copy of The Errand, a novella from The Tidewater Chronicles?

Sign up for her Passion for the Past newsletter.


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


P.S. We’re at 637 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 as a personal recommendation. Thank you.



EDITORIAL NOTE: Vanessa’s favorite recipe originates from Monique Volz’s site at Ambitious Kitchen.

Find this fabulous recipe here:

From Monique Volz at Ambitious Kitchen https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/sweet-potato-salmon-cakes/


Special Giveaway: Vanessa will give away an ebook copy of THE SHANGHAI SECRET to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Vanessa, for sharing your books with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

9 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with THE SHANGHAI SECRET, The Tidewater Chronicles Book 1 #GildedAge #Mystery by Vanessa Lind #Recipe ~ 15-Minute Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes”

  1. Good morning, Vanessa, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. I really enjoyed your excerpt. It’s rich with setting and era. As a ex-journalist, I can appreciate how far women have come in reporting. I feel for Jo’s dilemma! I look forward to reading her story. Thanks for sharing it with us today.

    Thanks, too, for sharing the recipe. Sounds like one I’m going to have to try!

  2. Thank you for sharing an excerpt of your book. Sounds like my kind of read. I also like the recipe you shared and it’s one I’ll have to try.

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