Wednesday, October 7, 2015

OPALESCENCE - A Romantic Suspense by Darla Jones

This week I'm hosting Darla Jones, a Central Pennsylvania writer. Her romantic suspense novel, Opalescence, published by the Wild Rose Press, was recently released. Darla is retired nurse who also enjoys painting as well as writing. Check out her blurb and excerpt below.


       Sensible nurse, LynAnn Johnson just wants to find her birth mother and raise her children in peace.  Widowed for four years, LynAnn isn’t looking for love especially not with the sexy district attorney with a well-known bad boy reputation.
     Prominent district attorney, Jeff Kelley turns LynAnn’s world upside down in more ways than one. With dangerous events pushing them closer together and unraveling a plot far beyond either of their imaginations, she gives her heart to the man.  But is she merely one more conquest in his game of sensous seduction?


The day moved in slow motion, and it was nearly over when Paulette rang her phone, her voice near to panic. “LynAnn, I received a call from your daycare. Cassie’s been hurt, and they’re taking her to St. Luke’s. They want you to meet them there.”

'Did they say what happened?” she asked, stunned with a new sick feeling knotting her stomach.
“Something about a fall.” Paulette’s gum cracked.

LynAnn grabbed her purse and flew by the receptionist before she had a chance to put her phone down. “Tell Dan I’m leaving,” she yelled back as she raced out the door.

When she neared Jeff’s Buick in the parking lot she pushed the remote control to unlock the doors, but when she tried the doors they were locked. “That’s odd.” She screwed up her face, distinctly remembering locking the doors earlier. She had to get to Cassie immediately. The woman at the daycare had to be very worried to send the girl directly to the hospital. She pushed the key fob for the second time and the doors clicked open. She jumped into the car, started the engine, and sped out of the parking lot.

The first traffic light at the end of the block was red and she stopped and drummed her fingers nervously on the steering wheel waiting for it to change and hoping Cassie’s injury wasn’t too serious.

Suddenly, she felt something cold on the back of her neck, and her body froze. “Don’t look back. Keep driving,” the man in the backseat commanded, his upper body leaning over the front seat of the car. His icy menacing tone told her he was in control.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Bon Appetite - A Weekend Treat: STUFFED PEPPER SOUP

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 cup uncooked or 2 cups cooked rice, plain or wild          
1 can Hunts flavored diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce (14.5oz can)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp basil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 box chicken stock (32oz)
2 cups water
2 tbsp powdered beef stock
3 bell peppers – green, red and yellow can be used
Cheese for topping (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper for garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot coated with cooking spray, over medium-high heat, brown the grown beef with the onions and rice. Browning rice gives it a nutty flavor, but do not let it burn.

Dice peppers into small ½" pieces, set side.
Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, chicken stock, water, and powdered beef stock, then allow it to come to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and allow it to cook 20 minutes then add the peppers and allow it to cook another 20-30 minutes depending upon the type of rice.

Serve with cheese on top (optional)
Serves 6 - [398 calories]

Friday, September 25, 2015


Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

For the Cake:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree           

For the Glaze:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl. Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated. The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Pour batter into a greased 7 x 11 X 2 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.

Make the glaze while you're waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Add more sugar or cider if needed. Pour over the cake while still warm. Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.

Monday, September 14, 2015


This is a yummy Texas Caviar made with black beans and pinto beans instead of black-eyed peas. Serve with scoop-style tortilla chips as a great party appetizer.

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 ounce) cans white corn, rinsed and drained
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 red bell pepper - cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 green bell pepper - cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped (or basil as a substitute)
1/2 cup rice vinegar                               
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Prep 35 minutes
  • Ready In 35 minutes

  1. Mix the black beans, pinto beans, white corn, green chiles, jalapeno pepper, red and green bell peppers, red onion, and cilantro together in a large bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, stir the rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and garlic powder together in a pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, and cool. Pour dressing over bean mixture, and toss to mix evenly.