Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-five books, has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To learn more about Margaret and her books visit her website.
Tropical Fruit Salad with Toasted Coconut
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Outdoors Series, Picnics and Tailgates, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Time-Life Books, 1998).
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 fresh mint leaves
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe and mango. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle with the toasted coconut and spoon onto small plates. Garnish with the mint leaves.
This is a good recipe to convey my story, which takes place in the Amazon. If I was stranded in the jungle, I would want someone like Brock Slader to be with me or I’d probably starve. Although I don’t like coconut out of a can, when it is fresh from the tree, it is great. It has a strong nutty flavor. I imagined Samantha and Brock eating something like this on a good day. However, probably not cut neatly like the recipe calls for.
Brock and Samantha do find themselves stranded but Brock is very capable of surviving in the jungle. Brock knows his way around and that’s a good thing for Samantha who is searching for her brother. The problem with that is others are searching for her brother, too, and they mean him harm.
Dangerous Pursuit, book one in The Protectors Series
Reading about danger never prepared Samantha Prince for the desperate phone call from her brother in Brazil that sent her from the safety of her New Orleans bookstore into the rugged, inhospitable Amazon in search of him and a hidden treasure. And reading about romance never prepared Samantha to resist the mysterious appeal of Brock Slader, a guide she hired to help her in her quest.
Alone with Brock in an alien world of orchids and anacondas, primitive headhunters and very up-to-date gunmen, she struggles to keep their relationship strictly business. Will Samantha survive the dangers in the jungle only to have her heart broken by a man who lives on the edge—no strings attached?