Monday, July 13, 2020

"Samuel Craddock Mysteries" from author Terry Shames--highly recommend reading-- Samuel Craddock, the former chief of police, steps in to fight crime in the fictional town of Jarrett Creek, Texas

A Killing at Cotton Hill


The chief of police of Jarrett Creek, Texas, doubles as the town drunk. So when Dora Lee Parjeter is murdered, her old friend and former police chief Samuel Craddock steps in. He discovers that a lot of people had it in for Dora Lee. The conniving rascals on the farm next door want her land for nefarious purposes; her estranged daughter could be seeking vengeance; her grandson wants money for art school; and then there's that stranger Dora Lee claimed was spying on her. Does Craddock still have what it takes to find the killer? In this debut novel, the strong, compelling voice of Samuel Craddock illuminates the grandeur and loneliness of the central Texas landscape and reveals the human foibles of the residents in a small Texas town-their pettiness and generosity, their secret vices and true virtues.

The Last Death of Jack Harbin

The shocking murder of a wounded veteran challenges the investigative skills of ex-chief Samuel Craddock.
Just before the outbreak of the Gulf War, two eighteen-year-old football stars and best friends from Jarrett Creek, Texas, signed up for the army. But Woody Patterson was rejected and stayed home to marry the girl they both loved, while Jack Harbin came back from the war badly damaged. The men haven't spoken since. Just as they are about to reconcile, Jack is brutally murdered. With the chief of police out of commission, it's up to trusted ex-chief Samuel Craddock to investigate. Against the backdrop of small-town loyalties and betrayals, Craddock discovers dark secrets of the past and present to solve the mystery of Jack's death.

Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek

Jarrett Creek is bankrupt. Gary Dellmore, heir apparent to the main bank, is dead, apparently murdered. Samuel Craddock thought he was retired but now he's been asked to return as police chief. Dellmore supposedly had a roving eye, although his wife says he was never serious about dallying. Still, Craddock wonders: Did the husbands and fathers of women he flirted with think he was harmless? What about his current lover, who insists that Dellmore was going to leave his wife for her?

Craddock discovers that Dellmore had a record of bad business investments. Even worse, he took a kickback from a loan he procured, which ultimately drove the town into bankruptcy. Many people had motive to want Dellmore dead. 
Then the investigation turns up another crime. As Craddock digs down to the root of this mess, many in Jarrett Creek are left wondering what happened to the innocence of their close-knit community.

 A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge: A Samuel Craddock Mystery

In the course of their developing friendship, Samuel Craddock has learned to accept that his neighbor Jenny Sandstone’s personal life is strictly secret. But when her dying mother tells Craddock that Jenny is in danger, he is confronted with a dilemma. He wants to respect Jenny's privacy, but he is haunted by the urgency in the dying woman's voice.

When Jenny is the victim of a suspicious car accident, Craddock has no choice but to get involved. He demands that she tell him what he needs to know to protect her and to solve the mysteries surrounding the strange events that began taking place as soon as Jenny’s mother passed away.

Forced to confront the past, Jenny plunges into a downward spiral of rage and despair. She is drinking heavily and seems bent on self-destruction. Craddock must tread lightly as he tries to find out who is behind the threats to her. But only by getting to the bottom of the secrets buried in Jenny’s past can he hope to save her both from herself and from whoever is out to harm her.

"She was a dangerous girl and people think she'll be a dangerous woman."

Nonie Blake is back home from a mental institution where she has spent the last twenty years, and people in Jarrett Creek are worried. Maybe too worried, for within a week of her return, Nonie is murdered.

Chief Samuel Craddock thinks the only possible suspects are members of her tight-lipped family. Ever since Nonie tried to kill her sister when she was fourteen and was sent away to the institution, the family has kept to itself.

Clues are scarce and Craddock is stumped. So he checks with therapists at the mental hospital to see whether they can add anything useful to his investigation. But he discovers that she has not been there for ten years. Now Craddock has to find out where Nonie has been all this time.

Soon Craddock finds himself dealing not only with murder, but layers of deception and secrets, and in the midst of it all—a new deputy, one Maria Trevino, sent by the sheriff to beef up security in the small Texas town.

An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

When the Jarrett Creek Fire Department is called to douse a blaze on the outskirts of town, they discover a grisly scene: five black young people have been murdered. Newly elected Chief of Police Samuel Craddock, just back from a stint in the Air Force, finds himself an outsider in the investigation headed by the Texas Highway Patrol. He takes an immediate dislike to John Sutherland, a racist trooper Craddock’s fears are realized when Sutherland arrests Truly Bennett, a young black man whom Craddock knows and respects. Sutherland cites dubious evidence that points to Bennett, and Craddock uncovers facts leading in another direction. When Sutherland refuses to relent, Craddock is faced with a choice that will define him as a lawman—either let the highway patrol have its way, or take on a separate investigation himself. Although his choice to investigate puts both Craddock and his family in danger, he perseveres. In the process, he learns something about himself and the limits of law enforcement in Jarrett Creek.

A Reckoning in the Back Country

A neurologist from San Antonio vacationing in Jarrett Creek goes missing. When Acting Police Chief Samuel Craddock investigates, the doctor's wife claims her husband has been kidnapped, though no ransom demands have surfaced or any other evidence.

The next day two boys hunting squirrels find his mangled body in the woods, and Craddock suspects a wild dog attack. Rumor has it that dogs bred for fighting have been let loose and run in packs in the wooded acres west of the lake. The more he looks into it, the more evidence he finds that the area where the doctor's body was discovered has been the scene of dog-fighting contests.

But Craddock is leery about asking too many questions. In the past, Texas lawmen have turned up dead while investigating this lucrative gambling practice, and he senses that the dogs could be set on him.

A Risky Undertaking for Loretta Singletary

A FAVORITE SERIES CHARACTER FINDS HERSELF IN HARM'S WAY. After using an online dating site for senior citizens, town favorite Loretta Singletary--maker of cinnamon rolls and arbiter of town gossip--goes missing. Chief Samuel Craddock's old friend Loretta Singletary--a mainstay of the Jarrett Creek community--has undergone a transformation, with a new hairstyle and modern clothes. He thinks nothing of it until she disappears. Only then does he find out she has been meeting men through an online dating site for small-town participants. When a woman in the neighboring town of Bobtail turns up dead after meeting someone through the same dating site, Craddock becomes alarmed. Will Craddock be able to find Loretta before she suffers the same fate? Finding out what happened to Loretta forces him to investigate an online world he is unfamiliar with, and one which brings more than a few surprises.

Terry Shames

From an early age, Terry Shames wrote stories based on the small town in Texas where her grandparents lived. Her Samuel Craddock mysteries, A Killing at Cotton Hill and The Last Death of Jack Harbin are set in a fictional version of the town that sparked her imagination. Terry lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband, two rowdy terriers and a mature cat.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

"Angelina's Bachelors: A Novel With Food"--by Brian O'Reilly--a young widow pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left—her passion for preparing food--and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors. In the process, she discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together . . . and maybe even to provide a second chance at love. Filled to the brim with homemade warmth, Angelina’s Bachelors is a sweet tale of overcoming grief, redefining family, and following your heart—through food. With recipes by Brian's wife, Virginia O'Reilly!


Angelina's Bachelors

Sometimes the shortest distance between two people is the length of a kitchen table. . . .

Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D’Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left—her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.

Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina’s food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him—two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors—and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together . . . and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.

Filled to the brim with homemade warmth, Angelina’s Bachelors is a sweet tale of overcoming grief, redefining family, and following your heart—through food.



"An utterly delightful debut novel from cookbook author and TV cooking-show producer O’Reilly. When Angelina’s husband suddenly dies of a heart attack, she is devastated. When she loses her job a few days later, she’s in real trouble. To escape her worries, she dives into the thing that has always brought her comfort—cooking. As a young woman, she had planned on culinary school, but her mother’s, and then father’s, terminal illnesses rerouted her dreams. Still, she’s a world-class amateur and treats her close-knit South Philly neighborhood to the results of her recent grief. One fan is Basil Cupertino, neighbor Dottie’s retired brother, who’s recently moved in. Basil—escaping his sister’s almost deadly cooking—makes Angelina a proposition: He will pay her handsomely for breakfast and dinner six days a week. Trying to hold poverty and depression at bay, Angelina agrees. Word spreads through the neighborhood, and soon Basil and Dottie’s handsome nephew Guy (escaping the seminary) joins in, as does young Johnny from across the street, the discerning Mr. Pettibone, the elderly Don Eddie and his driver Big Phil, and Jerry, who’s known Angelina forever. Her bachelors are treated to exquisite fare, and also company—the motley crew make a companionable dinner club in Angelina’s home. One night, feeling tired and faint, Angelina gets bittersweet news: After years of trying, she is four months pregnant. The thought of raising a child alone is terrifying, but the bachelors help out, and soon Angelina’s grief is replaced with the somber joy that her husband will live on. There are some mishaps along the way, including the city trying to shut her down, but Angelina triumphs when her long-lost dream of owning a restaurant becomes a reality. Filled with more than 20 (fairly complicated) recipes for Angelina’s gourmet fare, the food is only half of the novel’s winning ingredient—O’Reilly’s keen ear for the neighborhood swells lends a charming, timeless quality to the tale. Light comedy and good food make a winning combination." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“In this confection, young widow Angelina D’Angelo finds emotional and financial sustenance after her husband’s sudden death by cooking for seven bachelors in her South Philly neighborhood. The characters are Capraesque, from an ex-seminarian questioning his calling to a watch-chain-wearing Mr. Pettibone.…The food’s another story: described most deliciously and leaving you hungry for more. Luckily this debut from O’Reilly (creator of Food Network’s Dinner Impossible) includes his wife Virginia’s appealing recipes.” —People

“The unique storyline and the addition of recipes in every chapter make this book a double treat. O’Reilly is equally skilled at devising colorful descriptions for the food as well as the emotions. In one scene, where the character is having a heart attack, I swore I could feel every physical pull of the chest muscles. This was a brilliant, and delicious, read.” 4 and ½ stars —RT Book Reviews

“The story was moving, touching, and heart-breaking. The characters are full of insight and inspiration, each in their own way. The bachelors all have something to offer, and even when tension arises in the book, it happens in a way that shows the immense amount of respect that they have for Angelina and her family. Angelina herself is a strong, intelligent, driven character, who is immensely relatable. I see that the author is working on a second novel, and I definitely plan on keeping an eye out for it.” —Min Jung, Fresh

“This book is not leaving my house and deserves a place of honor among my cookbooks! The story is interwoven with wonderful recipes that help tell Angelina's story and will have your mouth watering just reading them.”—BookHounds

“Set in the colorful Italian enclave that is South Philadelphia, this account of the joy cooking can bring to both the server and the served, is a delightful and uplifting story, albeit not one to be read on an empty stomach! ... This is a wonderful story featuring an utterly appealing protagonist, surrounded by a charming cast of characters. The warmth of Angelina's neighbors shines through, and the vitality of her South Philadelphia surroundings makes the setting very much a character in its own right.” 4 stars For the Love of Books

“A lovely story and FABULOUS Italian recipes. How could I not like a book where the first chapter is titled, ‘Dreaming in Dark Chocolate.’” —Great Thoughts

"It was a very fun and uplifting read. If I did not know better, I'd swear that I was related to most of the characters in the book!"Mary Ann Esposito, cookbook author and host of Ciao Italia

“…a delightful, well written book full of characters everyone will love.” —Broken Teepee

“This novel is a perfect read for any season anywhere.” 4 starsLive To Read
Brian O’Reilly
Brian O'Reilly image 
Brian O’Reilly is a writer and producer.  He was the creator and executive producer of Food Network’s Dinner: ImpossibleAngelina’s Bachelors is his third book and first novel, after Mission: Cook! and Impossible to Easy.  His culinary collaborator is his wife and partner, Virginia, a lifelong cook and culinary producer of their production company.  In a perfect world, they believe, there’d be pie every day.

Friday, July 10, 2020

"Any Way You Slice It", Author AMY E. REICHERT serves up sweetly entertaining contemporary fiction with "THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE" AND "LUCK, LOVE, AND LEMON PIE"---enjoy them along with "THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER"--with recipes!

YOU'VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.
In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.


"Deliciously entertaining! Amy E. Reichert's voice is warm and funny in this delightful ode to second chances and the healing power of a meal cooked with love." (Meg Donohue, USA Today bestselling author of ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS and HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE )

"Amy E. Reichert whips up the perfect recipe for a deliciously fun read. Combine humor and romance with a dash of drama, then let it simmer. The sprinkle of Wisconsin pride is icing on an already irresistable cake. Warning: do not read this book hungry!" (Elizabeth Eulberg, author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB and BETTER OFF FRIENDS )

"Amy Reichert brings sweetness and substance to her delicious debut. Sign me up for second helpings!" (Lisa Patton, bestselling author of WHISTLIN' DIXIE IN A NOR'EASTER )

“…Reichert's quirky and endearing debut skillfully and slyly examines identity and community while its characters find love in surprising places. Clever, creative, and sweetly delicious.” (Kirkus Reviews)


From the author of the “clever, creative, and sweetly delicious” (Kirkus Reviews) The Coincidence of Coconut Cake comes a novel about a frustrated wife and mother who hatches a scheme to reignite her marriage—and risks everything in a gamble she hopes is a sure bet

When Milwaukee-area wife and mother MJ Boudreaux notices her husband Chris seems more interested in the casino than her, she’s more bothered that she isn’t upset than by her husband’s absence. She picks up poker as a way for them to spend more time together—and reignite their marital flame.

Although the game doesn’t give her the quality time with Chris that she’d hoped, MJ finds she has a knack for it. Increasingly unhappy at home, she turns to the felt top of the poker table for comfort. Intoxicated with newfound freedom, MJ begins spending more time at the gambling tables and less with her family, finally carving out for herself a place outside her role of wife and mother.

After a string of great wins, MJ finds herself in Vegas, attracting the attention of a certain magnetic poker star. But when she’s forced to choose between her family and her new exciting lifestyle, the stakes may be higher than she thought and MJ will have to play her hand carefully…or risk losing it all.


“As irresistible and delicious as an actual slice of lemon pie, Luck, Love & Lemon Pie has all of the sweet ingredients that make a book impossible to put down. From the fallible yet lovable characters to the smart writing and layered plot, we tore through the pages of this thought provoking story. Amy E. Reichert has a flair for writing heartwarming fiction that will give you sweet cravings!” (Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, authors of THE YEAR WE TURNED FORTY and THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS )

Luck, Love & Lemon Pie is touching, clever, and a hell of a lot of fun. Amy E. Reichert somehow manages to not only tell a stirring story about modern marriage, but also transport you poolside in Vegas. Simply put, Luck, Love & Lemon Pie is a great bet.” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE and AFTER I DO )

"Amy E. Reichert serves up another delicious serving of fresh wit and lots of fun in this charming tale of a woman determined to fix her marriage gone stale. This heartfelt novel is as funny as it is tender—in other words, the perfect summer read." (Colleen Oakley, author of BEFORE I GO )

The Simplicity of Cider

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.


"Reichert captures the food, relationships, and unique settings of the Midwest at their best. I was absolutely charmed by The Simplicity of Cider." (J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest )

"The Simplicity of Cider will quench your thirst for a smart, poignant tale of people who find their true selves, and in the process each other, in the most unexpected places. A sparkling tale of creating family where you need it, and learning to let go of the things that hold you back from your best life." (Stacey Ballis, author of Wedding Girl and Recipe for Disaster )

"The Simplicity of Cider is a novel as delicious as cider and as enchanting as magic--both of which are found in measured doses throughout the book. Amy Reichert has a way of writing about complicated relationships and seemingly impossible situations with a strong thread of hope that is both uplifting and substantive. This is a lovely book, meant to be savored." (Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Guests on South Battery )

"Brimming with hilarity, magic, and heartwarming unexpected relationships, The Simplicity of Cider is the ultimate ode to celebrating the dazzling splendor in small things. This will give you more fuzzy feelings than you can count.” (Redbook)

“A lot charming and a little bit magical, Reichert’s latest is warm and poignant and romantic… between the humor and the heart lies a subplot of family and setting yourself free — framed beautifully by a story that won’t let go.” (RT Book Reviews (4 star review)) 

Amy E. Reichert

Amy Reichert earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

"The Kitchen Daughter"--from author Jael McHenry--after the unexpected loss of her parents, a young woman discovers she can invoke ghosts by cooking from dead people's recipes--a poignant and delectable novel, chronicling one woman’s journey of self-discovery at the stove--with recipes!

 The Kitchen Daughter

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.



“This fresh, sharp story has as many layers as a good pâte à choux.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

"For Ginny Selvaggio, the protagonist of Jael McHenry's captivating debut novel, food is a kind of glossary and cooking provides its own magic, whether it's summoning the dead or softening the sharp edges of a world she finds neither comfortable nor familiar. THE KITCHEN DAUGHTER is sweet and bitter-sharp, a lush feast of a novel about the links between flavor and memory, family and identity."- Carolyn Parkhurst, New York Times bestselling author of DOGS OF BABEL and THE NOBODIES ALBUM

"Magical, strong, and compelling, The Kitchen Daughter asks what is normal, how well do you know your family, and where does grief go? Jael McHenry blends seemingly unmixable ingredients into sustaining answers. I read this book in one satisfying gulp and smiled in comfort when I’d finished this distinctive, nourishing, and wise novel."- Randy Susan Meyers, author of the international bestseller, THE MURDERER’S DAUGHTERS
"Jael McHenry's debut is a blast of fresh air, featuring an utterly original heroine who filters her view of an unpredictable world through her love of food. A fresh premise, terrific writing, and memorable characters blended beautifully - and made me devour The Kitchen Daughter."-- Sarah Pekkanen, author of SKIPPING A BEAT and THE OPPOSITE OF ME
"Equal parts sweet and savory, THE KITCHEN DAUGHTER by Jael McHenry is a fresh story with all the comforts of home. Ginny’s ability to conjure ghosts while dabbling in family recipes is so touching readers will want to pull up a stool. A heartwarming debut."- Lynne Griffin, author of SEA ESCAPE and LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER

"This debut novel from Jael McHenry is everything you want in discovering a new writer. The Kitchen Daughter is subtle and effortless and emotional and lovely. The food and recipes aren't gimmicky add-ons, but integral to the momentum of the story -- and they make you want to run to the kitchen, except then you’d have to stop reading. It's a layered and satisfying tale."- Stacey Ballis, author of GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT and THE SPINSTER SISTERS

"Gorgeously written and uniquely delicious, The Kitchen Daughter follows an endearingly awkward character after tragedy upsets the fragile order of her world. Jael McHenry is a true wordsmith who shines in evoking Ginny’s perspective of family and food, her compelling sense of self, and her eventual understanding that you don’t have to be like everyone else in order to belong. A feast of words that makes you glad to be a reader." - Therese Walsh, author of THE LAST WILL OF MOIRA LEAHY

“A delectable family drama, The Kitchen Daughter whips up a sumptuous blend of suspense, magic and cooking. A nourishing debut.” —Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of The One That I Want

The Kitchen Daughter is tender, charming and not at all what you expect—which is what makes it a true gem. A beautifully written, boldly thought out tale.—Monica Holloway, author of Cowboy & Wills

“A unique voice, richly drawn characters, and a dash of magic—all the right ingredients!”—New York Times bestseller Lisa Genova 
Jael McHenry
Jael McHenry

Jael McHenry is a talented and enthusiastic amateur cook who grew up in Michigan and Iowa before moving from city to city along the East Coast: Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and now New York, where she blogs about food and cooking at the Simmer blog, She is a monthly pop culture columnist and Editor-in-Chief of Intrepid Media, online at Her work has appeared in publications such as the North American Review, Indiana Review, and the Graduate Review at American University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing.

"A Taste of Sage: A Novel"--from talented new writer, Yaffa S. Santos, comes this unforgettable, heartwarming, and hilarious rom-com about chefs, cooking, love, and self-discovery--with recipes too!


A Taste of Sage

Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia—she can perceive a person’s emotions just by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a single mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she decides to take a chance and puts her heart and savings into opening a fusion restaurant in Inwood, Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines that have been a source of culinary inspiration to her.

When Lumi’s eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as a sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant in midtown owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. Lumi and Julien don’t get along in the kitchen--to say Lumi is irritated by Julien’s smug attitude is an understatement, and she secretly vows never to taste his cooking. Little does she know that her resolve doesn’t stand a chance against Julien’s culinary prowess.

As Julien produces one delectable dish after another, each one tempting Lumi with its overwhelming aromas and gorgeous presentations, she can no longer resist and samples one of his creations. She isn’t prepared for the feelings that follow as she’s overcome with intense emotions. She begins to crave his cooking throughout the day, which throws a curveball in her plan to save up enough money and move on as soon as possible. Plus, there’s also the matter of Esme, Julien’s receptionist who seems to always be near and watching. As the attraction between Lumi and Julien simmers, Lumi experiences a tragedy that not only complicates her professional plans, but her love life as well...

Clever, witty, and romantic, A Taste of Sage is sure to delight and entertain readers until the very last page.



"This sweet and spicy tale will bring out the romantic epicurean in all who pull it off the shelves."  (Booklist)

"Santos’s debut blends the rare but real condition of synesthesia into a fast-paced. . .romance. The recipes throughout make this a perfect recommendation to those checking out cookbooks with their romances." (Library Journal)

“This delightful debut charms the reader with its unique conflict, savory dishes, and engaging characters that warm your heart.” (Priscilla Oliveras, USA Today Bestselling author of Island Affair
 Yaffa S. Santos
Yaffa S. Santos 
Yaffa S. Santos was born and raised in New Jersey. A solo trip to Dominican Republic in her teenage years changed her relationship to her Dominican heritage and sparked a passion for cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing and visual art. She is a member of RWA. She has lived in New York, Philadelphia, Santo Domingo, and now lives in Florida with her family.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

"Christmas in Bayberry: A Small-Town Christmas Romance from Hallmark Publishing "--by author Jennifer Faye--Can a struggling candle company kindle a Christmas romance?--She’s trying to save the family candle company. He’s trying not to fall for Bayberry—and her—again.(see my review)


Christmas in Bayberry: A Small-Town Christmas Romance from Hallmark Publishing

She’s trying to save the family candle company.
He’s trying not to fall for Bayberry—and her—again.

Kate Taylor knows what she wants in life: to one day run her family's candle business, which is at the heart of the close-knit community of Bayberry, Vermont. But the company isn't doing well.

Wesley Adams is on the fast track to be an assistant vice president at his financial firm in Manhattan. Before the promotion is announced, he's sent to this small town from his past to do a analysis of the candle company.

He doesn't expect to bump into his childhood crush, Kate, and when he does, sparks fly. As he spends time in Bayberry, he falls for the town's Christmas traditions--and for her. But he has a responsibility to submit an honest report. Will it extinguish Kate's dreams...along with any chance they have for a future together?

This heart-warming romance contains a free Hallmark original recipe for Cast Iron Beef Stew.


MY REVIEW:  "Christmas in Bayberry", from author Jennifer Faye, is a charming contemporary romance filled with holiday heart and Christmas cheer.  In Bayberry, a quaint little town in Vermont, everyone's life revolves around the candle factory--they either work there, or they know somebody who works there. Many years ago, Wes Adams and his family had briefly lived in Bayberry--just long enough for Wes to develop a crush on a certain pretty girl named Kate. Now living in New York City, and working as a senior business consultant, Wes is quite surprised when he is given the assignment of traveling to Bayberry to do a business analysis for the candle company. Wes has long been hoping for a big promotion, and this could be his opportunity to really shine. Kate Taylor works for her Aunt Penney in their family-owned candle company, and she wouldn't have it any other way. While there are business concerns--growing expenses, old equipment, etc--the town wouldn't be the same without the factory, and Kate will do everything in her power to keep it going, not just for her family, but the sake of the community. Rattled by the presence of the handsome business consultant, Kate doesn't realize that she and Wes were short-time schoolmates, but he definitely remembers her, and he's still just as smitten. As Kate and Wes spend time working together, a friendship and awareness grows between them. Wes is feeling the pull of small-town life--even having thoughts about owing a house and a dog--and of course, there are his feelings for Kate. Having guarded her heart and devoted herself to the factory for so long, Kate is aware that Wes is gradually wearing down her emotional armor. There are many issues to be resolved, however, and if Wes does his job, and the results don't look good for the future of the factory, what hope could there be for a future together for Wes and Kate? "Christmas in Bayberry" is a sweet contemporary holiday romance filled with captivating characters who live in an ideal small-town setting.

Book Copy Gratis Hallmark Publishing

Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye 

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into more than a dozen languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Now living her dream, she resides with her very patient husband and two spoiled cats. When she's not plotting out her next romance, you can find her curled up with a mug of tea and a book. You can learn more about Jennifer at 

"One Night with Her Millionaire Boss"--by author Kandy Shepherd--When "country" meets "city", and opposites attract, will it be a match made in heaven? (see my review)

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One Night with Her Millionaire Boss

Always the groomsman, never the groom…

…until one night changes everything...

Ned Hudson has always known his destiny—to inherit and run his family’s rural Australian estate. Now, ready to settle down, his “wife wish list” is exact…so why can’t he get city-girl Freya Delaney off his mind? When Freya arrives to photograph his historic home, a spark ignites. And after one night of passion has unintended consequences, he might just find himself throwing the list out the window!

MY REVIEW:  Author Kandy Shepherd's magical storytelling skills give a delightfully fresh charm to "One Night with her Millionaire Boss". Readers first met Ned Hudson in his brother Wil's story, "Second Chance with the Single Dad". Seeing how his brother has found romance and happiness, Ned makes a list of the qualities he thinks he needs in a wife. Approaching thirty, and settled in to managing his wealthy family's estate, Ned is ready to be a groom, not just the groomsman he has been in numerous weddings of other people. When he meets Freya Delaney, a photographer hired by his mother to capture images of the family home after a renovation, he is enchanted by the city girl who is the opposite of his "wife list". Freya had expected Ned to be a stuffy son-of-privilege, not a ruggedly handsome man-of-the-land whose exterior belies his real warmth and kindness. While these two are opposites in many ways, the attraction between them is immediate and mutual. One stormy night, the passion flares, and the connection they have felt from the beginning becomes a reality. Ned wants a relationship, but Freya has always protected her heart from serious involvement--a defense mechanism created from a troubled childhood and too many hurts. Can Ned make Freya see that she is safe with him? Can "country" and "city" meet in the middle and blend together for a bright and happy future? For a contemporary romance lover's treat, read "Second Chance with the Single Dad" and follow up with "One Night with her Millionaire Boss".

Book Copy Gratis Author

Second Chance with the Single Dad

From long-lost friends…

To newfound family?

Georgia and Wil were best friends until he married and disappeared from her life. Now he’s back, asking Georgia to forget the past and help him secure his future—the daughter he never knew he had! Georgia’s heart goes out to new dad Wil, but there’s an uncharted chemistry fizzing between them and she must protect her heart. Can they confront their unspoken attraction and finally become a family?

MY REVIEW:  A vulnerable hero who grows stronger as his vulnerabilities are revealed highlights "Second Chance with the Single Dad". a touching contemporary romance from wonderful storyteller Kandy Shepherd. Wil Hudson is tall, dark, and handsome--and wealthy through his business success as a genius engineer. His personal life is another matter, and his world is turned upside down when he learns after his ex-wife's death that she had borne him a daughter. Stunned that she would keep such a secret, Wil is determined to care for his infant daughter, Nina, but he can't do it all on his own. He needs Georgia, the best friend he had turned away from when he had married Nina's mother. Georgia is still hurt by Wil's disappearance from her life two years ago. Now he's back, asking for her help, and against her better instincts for self-preservation, she agrees. After all, it's hard to resist two sets of beautiful, hopeful brown eyes--Wil's and Nina's, whose eyes are just like those of her father. Previously, in order not to lose their valued friendship, Wil and Georgia had kept their relationship strictly platonic, each ignoring a glimmer of longing for something more. Now, together again under such emotional circumstances, those longings are growing into a desire for a deeper relationship. However, each of them has their own issues to work through, especially Wil, who has never told Georgia the truth of the trying circumstances of his turbulent childhood. Can Wil and Georgia clear away the shadows of the past and look forward to a bright future with precious little Nina? Kandy Shepherd is one of my longtime favorite authors, and she writes appealing characters whose lives and loves evolve through compelling story lines.

Book Copy Gratis Author

Kandy Shepherd

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Kandy Shepherd is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. She swapped a fast-paced career as a magazine editor for a life writing fun, feel-good fiction.She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of four-legged friends. Kandy believes in love-at-first-sight and real-life romance--they worked for her!

She won the hotly contested RUBY award from RWA for best short romance novel of the year with Conveniently Wed to the Greek (her May 2017 release from Harlequin Mills & Boon).

Kandy's holiday story from Harlequin Romance is the Christmas-themed GREEK TYCOON'S MISTLETOE PROPOSAL (November 2016).

Also published in 2016 books two and three in the Sydney Brides mini-series from Harlequin Romance, CROWN PRINCE'S CHOSEN BRIDE (March 2016) and THE BRIDESMAID'S BABY BUMP (July 2016). Book one GIFT WRAPPED IN HER WEDDING DRESS was published in November 2015.

Two stand-alone romances from Harlequin Romance were published in 2015--HIRED BY THE BROODING BILLIONAIRE (August 2015) and FROM PARADISE TO...PREGNANT! (June 2015.)

Kandy's Dolphin Bay trilogy for Harlequin Romance is now complete--each book can be enjoyed separately but continuing characters all link to the Morgan family. THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT is the first (February 2014). It is followed by THE TYCOON AND THE WEDDING PLANNER (July 2014) and A DIAMOND IN HER STOCKING (December 2014).

As well as her titles published by both Harlequin and Berkley Sensation, Kandy is the author of the e-book romances THE CASTAWAY BRIDE (an Amazon best-seller) and SOMETHING ABOUT JOE; and the contemporary women's fiction title, REINVENTING ROSE.

REINVENTING ROSE, was inspired by her Kandy's years working as an editor in women's magazines, in particular the reader makeovers she enjoyed so much. REINVENTING ROSE is about love, friendship and the magic of a makeover.

SOMETHING ABOUT JOE is a heartwarming love story. The hero is hot, smart, great with kids, and he can cook--what's not to love about Joe Martin? But stressed-out executive and single mom, Allison Bradley, fights it all the way when she finds herself falling in love with her little boy's new nanny. Joe is one of Kandy's favorite heroes--he actually came to her in a dream!

Kandy's Amazon bestseller, THE CASTAWAY BRIDE, is a sexy, unashamedly escapist romance about a runaway bride who is shipwrecked on a tropical island with a mysterious stranger.

LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD, Kandy's debut novel for Berkley Sensation, is a romantic comedy set in San Francisco about a little dog who inherits a big fortune and the people he brings together.

Kandy's second book for Berkley Sensation, HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS, is a tale of romance, mystery and dogs. It's a follow-on book from LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD, and tells the story of Serena, the heroine's best friend in the first book. HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS is a stand-alone story that can be enjoyed without reading the first book.

Visit Kandy at her website: