Book 6 of the Ocean City Boardwalk Series is here!

New Release! Book 6 of the Ocean City Boardwalk Series!

The Ocean City Boardwalk Series isn't just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!

Tawny McNealy is a driven, high-achiever who fully expects to someday take over and run the family accounting firm. But when an attempt is made to use her as a pawn, Tawny flees to the only place she’s ever felt truly free and happy—the beach.

Jack Barclay spends his summer days creating romantic seaside weddings for lovers. His laid-back attitude has served him well over the years. He feels stressing out about work only causes a person to miss the best parts of life.

Jack and Tawny are as different as sea and sky, but the fascination they find in each other’s company can’t be denied. Can they withstand the crazy twists that fate tosses their way?

Be the first to review this New Release!

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Also available in Paperback

Titles in the series:


Brownies - Turn Ordinary Into Extraordinary! #Foodies #Recipes

Have plain ol’ brownies ever made you yawn? Here’s a pick-me-up that is sure to make you smile. When the box of brownie mix sitting in my pantry made me say, “Meh,” I knew I needed a solution. Quick. So I concocted this fast and easy fix that will turn ordinary brownies into extraordinary! I’ll never look at brownies the same way again.


I call these Double Chocolate English Toffee Brownies and my husband LOVES them.

Bake a batch of brownies as directed on the box. As soon as you pull the pan out of the oven, sprinkle the brownies with 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate pieces (use more, if you like). I use Nestles Mini Morsels because they melt faster than the regular sized chocolate chips. Wait about five minutes and then use a butter knife to spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the brownies. While the chocolate is still lusciously melty, sprinkle about a cup of Heath English Toffee Bits over the top. Wait until the brownies cool and then cut into squares. Delicious!
    

Do you have a quick and easy fix that changes a recipe from ordinary to extraordinary? Please share in the comment section below. 

While I have your attention, can I tell you about the newest book in my A Family Forever Series? A REASON TO BELIEVE is a cute little fairy tale that’s chockfull of Irish Folklore. It’s available in ebook and in paperback. I hope you’ll look for it!



About the book: 

It seems like a grand idea, temporarily trading her pixie wings for a womanly form to help handsome widower Paul Roland with his baby girl. And the moment she holds the precious bairn in her arms, Fern knows true happiness for the first time.

But Fern never anticipates the dizzying emotions she feels for the man who not only needs her as a nanny, but as a woman whose passion can heal his wounded heart. Suddenly the forbidden fairy rule she gently bends because of the baby is in danger of being irrevocably broken.

Some things are meant to be…

Have a safe and happy holiday!



6 Home Remedies for Bug Bites

Help! A mosquito bit my arm. Twice! And the red bumps left behind itch like the dickens! What to do? Here are some home remedies for bug bites.

1. Baking soda – Mix a bit of baking soda with water and coat the bite. Sodium bicarbonate will relieve itching. (I have some smeared on my bites right now!)

2. Toothpaste – Yes, toothpaste! Most brands of toothpaste contain menthol which alleviates itch and swelling. Toothpaste also contains astringent ingredients that draw out fluid from beneath the skin which helps with swelling.

3. Basil – Mince up some fresh basil and rub it on the mosquito bites. Basil contains eugenol which relieves itchy skin. Don’t have fresh basil? Simmer some dried basil in water (as if you were making tea). Let the basil water cool, and then dip a cloth in the water and apply to the bites.

4. Ice – Apply ice to the bites to help relieve itching and swelling. Only apply ice for about 10 minutes at a time. And never fall asleep with ice on your skin.

5. Garlic – There are compounds in garlic that relieve itching and swelling. Place a slice of garlic and put it on the bite. This might not be the best remedy to use with children as garlic can sting.

6. Aloe – Keep a bottle of aloe vera gel in your fridge. The gel will cool and help heal red, itchy skin.

Did you know you can make your own mosquito repellent? It’s easy!

Insect Repellent

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon rubbing alcohol
2 Tablespoon water
25 drops citronella oil
25 drops eucalyptus oil
40 drops peppermint oil

Pour all ingredients into a small spray bottle and shake. Make sure you shake before each application.


What’s your best home remedy for bug bites?

A Reason To Believe is now available! #Kindle #Nook @Kobo @iBooks Google

New Release! A Family Forever, Book 3

Ready For A Real Fairy Tale?

It seems like a grand idea, temporarily trading her pixie wings for a womanly form to help handsome widower Paul Roland with his baby girl. And the moment she holds the precious bairn in her arms, Fern knows true happiness for the first time.

But Fern never anticipates the dizzying emotions she feels for the man who not only needs her as a nanny, but as a woman whose passion can heal his wounded heart. Suddenly the forbidden fairy rule she gently bends because of the baby is in danger of being irrevocably broken.

Some things are meant to be…

Find this New Release:

US Kindle        UK Kindle






Also in paperback


Many people say family is everything. There is nothing more beautiful than two people coming together for the sake of a child, finding love, and forming A Family Forever. Look for other titles in the series:



A Reason to Believe


Texas Charm by @JeanBrashear ~ Never Forever by @EricGDove

My friend and colleague, Jean Brashear, is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. The newest book in her much-loved Sweetgrass Springs series, TEXAS CHARM, is now available. She had quite an experience with this book and I invited her to here to tell you about it. Take it away, Jean.
~ ~ ~
I've had the most fun adventure! I had a crazy idea and thanks to the kindness of the very talented narrator of my Texas Heroes audiobooks, Eric Dove, it's become a reality.

My newest book, TEXAS CHARM, has a hero who's a country superstar and who has made cameo appearances in several of my books. Well, it just so happens that the very talented narrator of my Texas Heroes audiobooks, Eric Dove, is also a gifted country singer himself. He's been a songwriter in Nashville and opened for acts such as Jason Aldean, Sugarland, Little Big Town and Josh Turner.

So I had this crazy idea: wonder if Eric would consider writing a song for Walker and would he sing it in the audiobook version of the story?

TEXAS CHARM centers around Jeanette Carson, who has been a fixture as a waitress in Ruby’s Café ever since high school, and Walker Roundtree, country music’s brightest star, known by all for his laid-back charm and irresistible appeal to the opposite sex. Ever since his first visit to Sweetgrass Springs, there have been verbal fireworks between him and Jeanette as she proved to be the only woman immune to his charm.

Now their paths have crossed in the outside world, and they’re seeing each other in a new light. Fireworks of a very different sort are sparking the sky—but then Walker’s world is upended by a tragedy, and the only one who steps in to help him is the very woman who swore never to put herself at his mercy. For a few days, they have only each other to rely upon, and these two lonely hearts find refuge in each other.

But all too soon, the real world demands its due, and their refuge is no longer private. The days of dreaming, the nights of yearning and hope face the harsh light of reality, and the only question is: Whose heart will be the one to break?

To my great delight, Eric was intrigued and took on the challenge—and boy, did he deliver! I wanted the song to reflect the poignancy of two hearts from opposite worlds drawn together, knowing they cannot have a future.

The result is Never Forever, Track 6 on Eric's newest album, All Kinds of Reckless, available on iTunes, Amazon and CDbaby. When I wrote the scene in which Walker sings Never Forever to Jeanette during a concert, I got teary. I'm now every bit as moved hearing the song that accompanies it. I am deeply grateful to Eric for giving the yearning of these two hearts such a gorgeous melody, and I am tickled pink to be able to share it with readers—especially those who've waited so long for Jeanette to have her story!

Here's the YouTube video trailer for TEXAS CHARM that has a sample of Never Forever as its sound track:



To order the book, TEXAS CHARM:

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Also available in paperback    

~ ~ ~

Donna here again. Jean, thank you for sharing your unforgettable experience. I can't wait to read TEXAS CHARM, and I hope all my blog followers will check out the whole Sweetgrass Springs Series.


White Bean Spread with Pita Chips #Recipe #Foodies

Beans are cheap. And they’re an excellent source of protein. Beans are full of good, healthy things: complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Furthermore, research shows that people who eat beans live longer than those who do not. This white bean spread is delicious and filling. And there’s something about the textures—creamy spread on crisp pita—that is so satisfying. I almost always have a bowl of this in my fridge.

White Bean Spread with Pita Chips

For the spread:
1 15-ounce can cannelloni bean, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley, minced fine (after measuring)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chips:
1 package of store-bought pita rounds
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

To make the spread: Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, rind, 1/4 cup olive oil, and minced parsley into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the blade until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Add a little water if necessary (up to 3 tablespoons, adding only 1 tablespoon at a time). Store covered in refrigerator. Will keep up to 5 days.

To make the pita chips: Cut each pita round in half. Cut each half into 8 triangles. Place triangles in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and Italian seasoning, tossing to coat. Spread the pita bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 to 15 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown, turning halfway through.
~  ~  ~
Did you know that I've put out a cookbook that includes 75 delicious recipes? Did you know that you can get it for just 99¢? It's available for 

Kindle     Nook     Kobo     iBooks    Google


Print Friendly and PDF

Mountain Laurel Sale! #99cents Kindle Nook Kobo iBooks Google

It's a 99¢ Sale! Thru May 23rd Only!

My husband and I share a love of the outdoors. Early in our marriage, we enjoyed renting a cabin at Herrington Manor State Park and spent vacations there during different seasons of the year. Although cabin 18 (our favorite!) was rustic, it did have the necessary amenities—an indoor bathroom and kitchen.

Some of our favorite activities were picnicking on the edge of the lake and hiking up to the top of the mountain. One day, we happened upon an old grave site. Shafts of sunlight trickled through the high, leafy tree tops and silence permeated the air, giving the spot a truly seraphic feel. At nightfall, we would head out to the meadow, spread out a blanket and lie on our backs to take in the glorious show. The stars of the Milky Way are a stunning sight to behold; especially so, far away from the city lights.

The time I spent in the park left an indelible mark on me. It was here that the idea for MOUNTAIN LAUREL was born. Michael Walker is a rugged forest ranger (of course!) and Laurel Morgan is a young woman who, well, is doing the best she can. Here’s more about the story:

So what if Laurel Morgan hasn't had a date in years? Her dysfunctional family makes creating a private life next to impossible. But if all it will take to convince her teenage sister to turn her life around is to go on a few dates and have some fun, it’s a bet she can beat. And before she can change her mind, rugged forest ranger Michael Walker agrees to play the part of her ardent admirer.

Laurel is stunned by Michael's convincing acting abilities. Whenever her sister’s watching, Laurel finds herself wrapped in a heady embrace with a passionate kiss on the way. Her captivating cohort promises a performance that will win her the wager, but when the curtain closes, will she lose the only man she will ever love?

MOUNTAIN LAUREL is on sale for 99¢ through May 23rd. Save $3!

“…perfect, page-turning romance.” ~eBookLuver

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New Release! 8 #SweetRomance Stories for 99¢

It's Release Day! 

Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life, love offers a fairy tale. You are cordially invited to celebrate family, friends, laughter, even a few tears, as cute, furry, four-legged pets play matchmaker and lead their owners to happily ever after in these 8 new, never-before-published sweet romances by New York Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors.

Find this BARGAIN-PRICED Bundle of Sweet Romances:

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Here's more about what inside this awesome boxed set:

Mimi Barbour, NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author – Love of My Life
Abandoned puppies, an unexpected elopement, and a dangerous fire enliven this captivating romance when two delightful characters share a duplex.

Donna Fasano, USA Today Bestselling Author – The Wedding Planner’s Son
Tawny, a newly engaged workaholic, flees to Ocean CityMaryland, and meets a man who could change her thinking about life…and love.

Denise Devine, USA Today Bestselling Author – The Encore Bride
Jenny Landon’s heart was broken when her husband tragically died. Can she put the past behind her and learn to love again?

Raine English, USA Today Bestselling Author – A Little Romance
When a dog left in her care disappears, will Taylor Wayne find the missing pooch and redeem herself in the eyes of Mr. Right?

Cheryl Harper, USA Today Bestselling Author – Plus One Basset Hound
In the fourth grade, Audrey promised the last of the bad Blanchards that she’d marry him someday. He’s back in BaxterLouisiana, but for how long? Planning a rehearsal dinner to save the day may turn to love.

Cindy Flores Martinez, USA Today Bestselling Author – Moonstone Beach
A bridesmaid loses her coworker's Yorkie in CambriaCalifornia, before her best friend’s wedding. The groomsman, who was her high school crush, helps her search for him, sparking new romantic feelings between them.

Mimi Milan, Award-winning, Bestselling Author – Scent of an Angel
Tanner has seen some serious battles, but this army veteran’s defenses go down when he meets a beautiful grad student and her determined dog.

J.L. Campbell, Award-winning, Bestselling Author – Blindsided
When his bride abandons him at the altar, Gordon Raimes is devastated. Will Caroline continue to keep secrets, or will she trust him with her heart?

Following His Heart #99cents for Kindle Nook Kobo iBooks

It's a Spring Sale!


I've reduced the price of the ebook version of Following His Heart, Book 1 of the Ocean City Boardwalk Series, to $0.99 at these stores: 


US Kindle        UKKindle






Following His Heart was the winner of 
the 2015 Readers' Choice Award for Best Romance.


Grilled Vegetables - #Recipes for #Foodies

Spring means long walks in the park, smelling those newly-bloomed hyacinths… and pulling out the grill! One of my favorite springtime meals is a simple plate of grilled vegetables. It doesn’t matter if you use a grill pan or a hinged basket or simply place the veggies directly on the grill’s grate. The key is in slicing the vegetables to the same thickness and size so they cook evenly… and don’t over cook. You want a little scorching for flavor, but you also want to keep some of that fresh crispness.  

This recipe is delicious, and so easy! Just choose your favorite veggies, season well with oil and spices, and toss them on a hot grill. What are you waiting for?

Ingredients

4 Portabella mushrooms, stems removed
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 red peppers, cut into quarters, seeds removed
2 zucchinis, sliced length-wise into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
Spice mix (recipe below), to taste


1.     Wash vegetables and pat dry.
2.     Slice/cut into uniform pieces. (Mushrooms can be grilled whole.)
3.     Brush with oil and season on all sides.
4.     Place on hot grill. Grill to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side. (Whole, large Portabellas will take a little longer.)

Spice mix:
1 teaspoon each: salt, pepper, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder

Place all spices in a glass jar, cover, and shake to combine. Keeps several weeks in an airtight container. Try swapping out the spices listed for those you like—cumin, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, cayenne, etc—or spice blends such as Italian Seasoning or Seasoned Salt. With spices, the sky is the limit!





Two Announcements! (Is Anyone Listening?) @DonnaFaz

Hello, there! I have two announcements for you, both of which make me VERY happy! Read on:

First Announcement: A New Release!

A Secret Made in Paradise

Her child is alive! For ten years Amber has believed her child was lost to her forever. Then an unexpected inheritance leads the lovely doctor back home… to the man she’s always loved. There she discovers her beloved Jon is a bachelor father, and the little girl he is raising is their daughter!

Jon has vowed to protect and cherish his child, yet he opens their lives to let Amber in. But this dedicated father is no longer the young lover Amber remembers. Can she uncover the tender man she has never forgotten, and convince him to take a chance on their newly formed family, and their own true love?

This is a sweet romance novel and you an find it in these fine stores:

US Kindle        UK Kindle





Coming soon in paperback

Also part of the A Family Forever Series:
A Beautiful Stranger – Available Now
A Reason To Believe – Coming Soon

Second Announcement: A 99¢ Sale!

My romantic comedy/contemporary romance THE MERRY-GO-ROUND is on sale for under $1! Save $3! This book is only available in the Kindle Store. Readers have called this book "engaging" and a "must-read." The Wilmington News Journal calls it "funny and realistic." If you haven't read it yet, now's your chance to enjoy this cute story AND save some money.



Rich Applesauce Cake by @DonnaFaz #Recipe for #Foodies

Yesterday, I fiddled with my applesauce cake recipe and came up with this delicious confection. I hope you’ll try it. If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, just double the amount of vegetable oil.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Pre-heat oven to 350º. Spray a 13” x 9” baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, applesauce, water, coconut oil, vegetable oil, molasses, and eggs. Mix until well combined.

4. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, beating only until flour mixture is incorporated. Do not over mix.

5. Add the raisins and the nuts and stir to combine. Scrape batter into cake pan, smooth into an even layer, and bake for 55-65 minutes. At 55 minutes, poke center of cake with a wooden toothpick. Keep checking every 5 min. When toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Let cool.

I topped this cake with a simple cream cheese icing. I had a 4 ounce package of cream cheese that I brought to room temperature. I combined the cream cheese with a heaping cup of powdered sugar and added a splash of milk to make the mixture a spreadable consistency. This cake is perfect with a cup of hot tea or coffee.



May the Luck O' the Irish Be With You! @DonnaFaz #StPatricksDay

All my life, I have heard the phrase "luck of the Irish." On this St. Patrick's Day, I decided to do a little research. Here's what I discovered:

Ireland has a tragic past, yet the Irish people--through determination, hard work, and a dash of luck--have continued to prevail through every struggle.

Luck actually originated in the Middle Dutch language; the word luc means happiness and good fortune.

The phrase "luck of the Irish" was first used in the United States during the California Gold Rush to describe Irish immigrants who found their "pot of gold" while mining. Some people say this was a derogatory term to insinuate that the Irish needed luck rather than skill to find their fortune.

The Irish have a great sense of humor and an awesome pride in their country. They are loved by nations all over the world.

Green is the color of choice for St. Patrick's Day because Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. Hmmm... wait a second. I also read that wearing green makes one invisible to leprechauns, and everyone knows those pesky fairy creatures pinch everyone they can see! 


Wherever the phrase comes from--and whatever you choose to wear today--go out and have fun!



Beautiful Buttermilk Biscuits by @DonnaFaz #Foodie #Recipes

Few people would use a word like 'beautiful' to describe these easy homemade biscuits, but that's just the way I roll. (Pun intended!) You see, I have an on-going love affair with food so it's easy for me to see any type of bread as beautiful (as well as delicious)!

Today, I'm sharing my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe. Mmmmmmm!

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. (Preheating the oven is important.)

Measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Work in the butter and shortening until you've got a crumb-like consistency. (I use my fingers, and I work fast so the butter and shortening won't melt.) Add the buttermilk and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Dough will be sticky.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and fold it a few times. Pat into an oval that's about an inch thick. I use a drinking glass to cut the biscuits into rounds. Gently reform the 'scraps' and cut into rounds. Place the dough rounds on a cookie sheet. If you like soft-sided biscuits, let the rounds touch. If you like crisper sides, give each biscuit some room on the sheet. Bake for 15-20 until they're tall and golden brown.

Alton Brown has a similar recipe, but suggests using a little less salt. Even with all those cookbooks and cooking shows under his belt, what does he know?

Here are some other delicious biscuit recipes I've found on the web:

Paula Deen offers a great recipe for Garlic Cheese Biscuits. Yum, y'all! Yum!

These Mayonnaise Biscuits look interesting, although I haven't tried them. Yet.

And for those who feel biscuit-challenged, here's a neat video from the Joy of Baking website. (Please note, I never add sugar to my biscuits.)

If you're looking for fast and easy, the Betty Crocker website has a recipe using Bisquick, that very well-known all purpose baking mix. I've added chopped herbs and a 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese to this recipe to make dumplings for chicken stew. Everyone knows a dumpling is simply a steamed biscuit!

Whether they're slathered with butter, honey, or jam - or steamed on top of a pot of thick, luscious chicken stew - there's nothing quite as delectable as a fluffy biscuit!

If you enjoyed my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe, or any of the recipes I've linked to, please use the buttons below to share this post. Thanks, and happy eating!


Falling for a Single Mom #99cents through March 5

It's A Birthday Sale!

If you haven't read these books, now's your chance.
Get this 2-book bundle for under $1. On sale through March 5th only.
Happy Birthday to me!


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A Beautiful Stranger - On Sale for #99cents #Kindle Nook iBooks

A Family Forever Series, Book 1

Now $0.99 for 4 days only!

When Sean Hudson arrives to claim his new daughter, he discovers the adoption hinges on the impossible. Unless he finds a wife immediately, the tiny orphan will be snatched away from him forever. But before Sean can abandon hope, a beautiful stranger proposes a surprising solution—marriage.

Sean swears the love in his heart is only for his soon-to-be daughter. And that is perfect for Nicki Willis, whose restless spirit yearns to have a family for just a while. But the tenderness of Sean’s touch soothes Nicki’s fears as well as little Sona’s. Now Nicki aches to become a family forever… and she refuses to believe she can’t make this dream come true.

Find this New Release:

Find this book:


US Kindle        UK Kindle



WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER Now Available for Pre-Order! #Kindle #Nook @iBooks @Kobo

Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 3

Cathy Whitley’s two best friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.

Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has left him swimming in circles.

Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell. Hopewell had traveled the world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?

One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…

Pre-order you copy today!

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Titles in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series:
The Wedding Planner’s Son, Book 6 (coming in April)

Don't miss other books in The Inheritance Series!

Roasted Eggplant Spread #Recipe AND New Cover Sneak Peek

I am just finishing up the third book of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series, WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER. If you are reading the series, you know that Cathy Whitley is the owner of The Sunshine Café. She loves to cook, and I have been adding recipes to the end of each story in the series. Here is one of the recipes I’ll be using in the book.

If you'd like a sneak peek at the book's cover, slide down to the bottom of the post.  Look for WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER on February 21st!

Roasted Eggplant Spread


Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4" rounds
2 cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
Sea salt + ground pepper
Crusty Bread or Pita for serving

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

2. Arrange eggplant rounds on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, turning once or twice until eggplant is softened and golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

3. While eggplant is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and stir often until caramelized. This will take about 20 minutes. Don’t rush it. The caramelizing process brings out the sweetness of the onions. Add minced garlic to the onions during the last 8 minutes of cooking so it doesn’t burn. Set aside onion/garlic mixture.

4. Peel the eggplant and discard the skin. (I use a spoon to scrap the eggplant away from the skin.) Add the flesh of the eggplant to the bowl of your food processor. Add onion-garlic mixture, holding back 1 tablespoon. Process until ingredients are pulverized and of a spreading consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place spread in a serving bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and place the remaining onion-garlic mixture on top. Decorate with a sprig of basil or parsley (optional).

5. Serve immediately with pita, toasted baguette, or assorted veggies. Best when eaten fresh, but will keep in the fridge covered for a couple days.

Here's a sneak peek at the cover of WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER! What do you think? This is book 3 of my Ocean City Boardwalk Series; however, it's also part of The Inheritance Series. Very cool, huh?