Reclaim My Life
Please welcome Cheryl Norman to Romance on Wheels this week. Cheryl is a fellow “Seasoned Romance” author and a cook too! I’m sure you’ll enjoy her story and her recipe. (Squee)
You may not know this, but I love to cook. I’ve authored four cookbooks (two of which are still in print) and host a cooking blog, The Hasty Tasty Meals Kitchen (hastytastymeals.com). It’s not surprising to find recipes and cooking in my romance novels, too. My most recent romantic suspense novel, REBUILD MY WORLD, features a heroine who struggles to cook. Actually, Taylor Drake struggles to do many of the day-to-day tasks most take for granted. She survived a brutal attack that left her emotionally and physically scarred. Learning to cook is easy compared to activities like leaving the house. Shopping. Driving.
Yes, agoraphobia is real and is crippling. Fortunately, I’ve never suffered from agoraphobia, but I interviewed people who have. Recently, celebrity cookbook author Paula Deen went public with her earlier struggle with agoraphobia, hoping to raise awareness of this anxiety disorder.
Sometimes it’s temporary, yet agoraphobia can last a lifetime. By definition, agoraphobia is the fear of leaving one’s safe place. Panic attacks seize the victim if she (More women than men suffer agoraphobia) feels trapped, embarrassed, frightened, or otherwise stressed. Taylor feels all of these.
Fortunately, there’s a hero, Adam Gillespie, who helps her work through her anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, he must protect her from the person who wants her dead. She’s a poor romantic match for him, but of course love isn’t logical. When she bakes him a pizza from scratch, she captures his heart, although he’s hardly ready to admit it. I hope you’ll enjoy the story of Taylor Drake as she works to rebuild her world at the risk of destroying his.
You get a glimpse of Taylor and Adam’s happy ending in the bonus short story, Veiled Threat. There’s also a recipe for Taylor-made Chili at the end of Rebuild My World, which I’ll share with you here:
Recipe for Taylor-made Chili
Serves 5 or 6
● 1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey
● 1 12-oz. can beer, any kind
● 2 onions, minced
● 2 cloves garlic, minced
● 1 bay leaf
● 1 Tablespoon chili seasoning mix
● 1 10-oz. can Rotel® diced tomatoes and green chilies
● 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
● 1 large can chili beans
● (Optional) hot sauce to taste
Place a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add beer and bring to a boil. Cook the ground turkey breast in the beer, using a spatula to break apart the meat When cooked, add all other ingredients, return to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for thirty minutes or transfer chili to a slow cooker. Slow-cook on low for at least four hours. Remove bay leaf before serving. Recipe can be tripled in a six-quart pot.
If you would like a signed copy *of Reclaim My Life, the prequel to Rebuild My World (featuring Taylor’s older brother Wil), simply answer the question:
Beans in your chili: yes or no?
*(If you live outside the US you will receive the electronic version)
Reclaim My Life:
When sleek, sophisticated Sofia Desalvo enters the Witness Security Program, she becomes nondescript English professor Elizabeth Stevens. Instead of practicing veterinary medicine in Lexington, Kentucky, she’s teaching in a small college town in Florida. She must testify against a murderer who wants her dead. No one in town can know her true identity, and no one in her family can know her whereabouts.
Sherriff Wilson Drake is attracted to Elizabeth despite her efforts to alter her appearance. He sees her charisma and charm but finds holes in her story about her past. If only she would trust him with the truth. When two women close to Elizabeth are murdered, his once-safe community turns into a sinister domain where high-stakes investigation takes over. It’s only a matter of planning and time before the killer hits again, sending another victim to a premature, violent death. Wilson knows Elizabeth is the next target, and it’s up to him to protect her. Next time…the woman he loves will die.
Cheryl Norman grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where she wrote her first mystery at the age of 13. She earned a BA in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta. After a career in the telecommunications industry, she returned to fiction writing and won the 2003 EPPIE award for her contemporary romance, Last Resort. Her debut with Medallion Press, Restore My Heart, earned her a mention in Publisher’s Weekly as one of ten new romance authors to watch. Running Scared, a romantic suspense set in Jacksonville, Florida, and Washington D.C., earned a Perfect 10 from Romance Reviews Today. Reviewer Harriet Klausner called her writing “Mindful of Linda Howard.” Rebuild My World is the third book in the “Mustang Sally” trilogy.
Cheryl helps writers with grammar via her Grammar Cop blog, newsletter articles, and workshops. She also writes cookbooks and an award-winning cooking blog, The Hasty Tasty Meals Kitchen (http://hastytastymeals.com). Visit Cheryl at http://cherylnorman.com .