Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cranberry-Chicken Salad Recipe from L. A. Story

"This recipe for chicken salad makes enough for 12 croissant sandwiches – and I mean LARGE croissants, so you actually can get 24 sandwiches. It combines shredded chicken with dried cranberries, celery, almonds & seasonings. You may double, triple or quadruple the recipe for larger gatherings. I made it as part of the spread for my oldest daughter’s wedding reception. I had so many compliments and requests for the recipe afterward. And, as any God-fearin’, self-respectin’ Southern woman knows – recipe requests are the highest form of appreciation"~LA Story.

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cooked and finely shredded
6 oz. dried cranberries
6 oz. blanched slivered almonds, toasted
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic (dehydrated is fine, but I prefer using the stuff in a jar)
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
4 chopped green onions – greens and all – OR 1 tsp minced onion
3 pinches salt Black pepper to taste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 ½ cups mayonnaise
12 large bakery croissants

 Boil chicken breasts until tender. Allow them to cool and then shred or chop. After shredding the chicken, I recommend salting them to taste before adding anything else – this was my mother’s suggestion and it really works out great and the seasoning is perfect every time. In a large bowl combine chicken and all other ingredients except croissants. The mixture will be thick so a spoon is not an effective way to mix this chicken salad up. I recommend a potato masher or gloved hands – go natural! Pretend you’re playing in the mud! Use LIGHT mayo if you want to reduce calories and/or fat. (Personally, I prefer the regular, OF COURSE – DUH, ‘cause the fat’s what makes it taste so good.) Add more mayonnaise if the mixture is not holding when gently compressed. Slice croissants in half, almost all the way through. These are large croissants and do fine cut in half for larger gatherings – so half a croissant is a decent sized sandwich. Otherwise, enjoy a whole one! Great served with potato salad, coleslaw or a salad.

Meet LA Story
L.A. Story is a professional daydreamer and a naturalized Mississippian. She lives in an enchanted forest with her husband, a shaman poet, and two small dogs who believe they are vicious wolves. She lives near her four brilliant children, of whom she believes are scary smart with world domination potential. Among said children, two have managed to produce two grandchildren who are possessed of an equally frightening intellect.

L.A. has been creating stories in her head and attempting to put them on paper since she was old enough hold a pencil. She has been an award-winning staff writer and columnist for a local newspaper. Her poetry and fiction has also been published in numerous publications and has been a Rhysling and James Baker award nominee. She teaches poetry workshops for the Crossroads Poetry Project and works as editor of a paranormal romance magazine called Trysts of Fate (Alban Lake Publishing). She just released her first full-length novel, The Gifted (River Oaks Press), and is currently working on her second novel, Criers: Rise of the Prophets (River Oaks Press).

Check out her Amazon Page for a full listing of her books. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Research and the BlowUp Doll Review

The past week has been one of those busy weeks for me, and I haven't figured out yet what I managed to accomplish. However, I did hear back from my editor on Book 3 synopsis of the contemporary romance series I'm writing. He's like "Write it" and I'm like "I'm on it."

In the course of writing a story, there is always research or actually just Googling things I need to know more about or check out. So in the beginning of Book 3, some characters are planning a bachelor party, and I decided they should be inflating blowup dolls. Next, I decided to look up blowup dolls to see what tidbits I could pick up about them from reviews.

That led me to Amazon and the Inflatable Judy Doll! LOL! The Top Customer Review, "A Life-Size Friend at a Low-Size Price," which is about the funny saga of a broke father buying the doll for his kid's birthday present and taking it to her birthday party. You can read it here: 

I love it when research entertains. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Everything His Heart Desires Cover Roll Out

I was thrilled when my editor sent me the cover for EVERYTHING HIS HEART DESIRES, which is the next book in my Love Heals All series. The cover was so perfect for the book and I loved the vintage Mustang. In the book, Dr. Brett Harris, aka Hot Rod, collect classic muscle cars so it was a fitting tribute.

I did love writing Natalie and Brett's story.  Set completely in Lafayette Falls, Tennessee, it is a fun story filled with colorful characters. I will be posting more about the book later. 

This is a brief summary of the story:

Photographer Natalie Layton Spencer returns home to Lafayette Falls after recovering from injuries sustained during a bombing in Kabul only to find herself roped into a plot to save her wealthy iron-willed grandmother, who refuses to see a doctor regarding her heart. Unfortunately, for Natalie, her uncle’s scheme reunites her with a former high school nemesis, Brett Harris, the genius bad boy who had always thought she was a slacker.

At Lafayette Falls Medical Center, cardiologist Brett Harris, AKA Hot Rod Harris, has escaped the destitution of Trinity Road. But the legacy of being from the wrong side of town has made him overly motivated, assertive, and ambitious. He wants to replace the retiring chief of cardiology, and when he is offered political backing by Natalie’s powerful uncle, who needs a doctor to charm his obstinate mother, Brett readily accepts the challenge. How hard could it be to charm an old lady? On the downside, it requires that Brett team up with Natalie, a girl he remembers as clueless. 

Brett finds it is impossible to charm the Wicked Witch of the West. Plus as he gets to know Natalie, he finds himself still attracted to her and falling for the intricate woman she has become. Can a guy from the wrong side of town win the love of a princess? Natalie has always had a soft spot for Brett, but he’s driven to succeed. Is his interest in her just a ploy to gain the goodwill of her grandmother? In the end, will it be about love or ambition?

The book is available for pre-order now and will be out in Jan 2017.
Amazon Link: