Shannon here: Southern Fried Fiction author, Ane Mulligan shares the inspiration behind her current book and her recipe for shepherd’s pie. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy of winner’s choice of a print or e-book copy of her latest release, Home to Chapel Springs. U.S. only for print. E-book for international. Deadline: June 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Ane:
A Recipe for Romance
Claire Bennett is the heroine in my Chapel Springs series. She’s not your young twenty-something; she’s forty-six when the series opens, with grown children. But Claire doesn’t feel forty-six. She still feels like she’s thirty-five. So how did her kids get so old? And somewhere in the ho-hum of her humdrum life, the romance drizzled out of her marriage.
In Chapel Springs Revival, the first book in the series, Claire wonders if her hubby Joel is really the one God wanted her married to. After all, she wasn’t a Christian when they were first married, so she never prayed for a husband. No, she wished on a star. Then she met him in high school and fell head over heels in love.
Claire was gifted with an artistic gene and she’s a potter. As irony would have it, she sees how the Master Potter is molding her like she molds her pottery and often laments that she wishes she were more pliable, like her clay.
The gene Claire was not gifted with (or even had a toe dipped into the pool) is the culinary gene. No, beyond Jell-O Jigglers, coffee, and a basic salad, she can’t cook. She failed home economics … twice. In Chapel Springs Revival, she tried to take a cooking class with disastrous results.
It’s a good thing her hubby likes to cook. Joel would have been a chef, but his daddy wouldn’t allow any son of his to be a girlie chef. Guess he never saw Emeril Lagasse or Guy Fieri.
Claire is tickled pink to let Joel do all the cooking in their house, and her favorite dish is husband-cooked anything. She begins to realize just how perfect he is for her as they happily work side-by-side, Claire chopping and Joel cooking. And in the midst of preparing a wedding feast for their eldest son, the spark of their own romance is rekindled.
Moving on in the series, in Chapel Springs Survival, we follow Claire’s youngest son as he marries a 21st Century mail-order bride. And in the recent release, Home to Chapel Springs, Claire’s twin daughters are falling in love.
Did you know the residents of Chapel Springs wrote a cookbook? It was one of the mayor’s better ideas. It’s available on Amazon and called Chapel Springs Cookbook. It’s a real collectors item, being written by fictional characters. Here’s a recipe from the book:
From Kelly Appling: Kelly is the owner of the gift shop The Gifted Gifter & director of Lakeside Players
(Serves 4-6 but can be expanded easily)
1 lb Ground beef
1 small onion (or ½ large one), diced
1 – 4 cloves of garlic (this depends on how much you like garlic. I don’t think one can ever have too much)
1 (14 oz) can of corn, drained
1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes, drained
3 – 4 potatoes, cooked and mashed
Brown the onion and garlic in some olive oil. When it’s slightly caramelized add the ground beef and cook till brown. Add the corn and tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain off grease.
Put the meat mixture in a baking dish, top with the mashed potatoes and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°
This is an old family staple, a one-dish meal. It’s also cheap. Serve it with bread rolls. It’s the kind of thing you simply throw together. I guessed at the amounts. You can adjust them to your tastes. You can add other things if you want, like mushrooms or peas.
About Ane: While a floppy straw hat is her favorite, novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many including pro-family lobbyist, drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane writes her Southern-fried fiction in Sugar Hill, GA, where she resides with her artist husband, chef son, and a dog of Biblical proportion. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Home to Chapel Springs:
A homeless author, a heartbroken daughter, and a theatre ghost. There’s trouble in Chapel Springs.
There’s always someone new in Chapel Spring, either coming home or stirring up trouble.
Bestselling author Carin Jardine’s latest book is a flop. While the reviewers are happily skewering her, her racecar-driver-husband walks out on her and she’s evicted, because he hasn’t paid the lease on their condo for the last three months. Then she discovers he also drained their bank accounts. Homeless and broke, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she inherited from her nana in Chapel Springs—the house that’s been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life.
After the residents thwarted Howie Newlander’s plans for a Miami-style resort on Chapel Lake, he’s running for mayor and spreading rumors about diverted water and misused taxes. The Lakeside Players want to remodel the town’s old theater, but it’s rumored to be haunted. When Newlander and Mayor Riley go head-to-head, Claire gets caught in the middle.
Claire’s youngest daughter is in love with a young man whose daddy is none other than Mayor Felix Riley…the man who blames Claire for every wrong in Chapel Springs. Having him part of her family isn’t in Claire’s plan. The years of her heartache should warn her daughter off this boy. So far, her daughter’s heart isn’t hearing the warnings.
With hearts pulled in all directions, will they find a home in Chapel Springs?
Question for Readers: So tell me, has cooling ever played a part in your romance? Or in any friendship or family relationships you have?