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Monday, July 29, 2013


Jenna Rutland’s days are spent working as a medical transcriptionist, but her nights are filled writing contemporary romance—stories of love, laughter and happily ever after.
Learn more about Jenna at to her website.--AP  

In my latest release, Just for the Summer, Dani Sullivan has several reasons for visiting Lake Bliss. The one I’ll focus on today is her need to spend the summer completing a cookbook she’s writing. The townspeople take it upon themselves to not only offer her their unusual recipes for possible inclusion in the book, but they have plenty of ideas for book titles. And sometimes, their ideas are a bit…creative!

I think we can all agree that food has become much more than simply fuel for our bodies. How many of us only eat for that reason? Certainly not me!

After growing up in a family of incredible cooks, it's no surprise that I found my love of the kitchen. And while I haven't always been successful with my meals (my family would love to tell you the story of my green chicken, or the hamburger and rice dish that even the garbage disposal wouldn't eat), I always have fun while cooking.

So what's the draw of food? I think food helps people connect with each other; it brings us together. Whether it's a grandmother baking cookies with her grandchildren, a husband and wife discussing their workday while preparing dinner, or a man gazing at his date across the table, food has a way of bonding us with each other.

From a good home-cooked meal to an elaborate feast, people use food as entertainment. Big, open kitchens are popular where people can cook with friends gathered around. It's not only about the meal but the atmosphere. Opening your home and your kitchen is an expression of love, not only for cooking but for the people you invite.

I've noticed an increase in the last few years of food coming into play in fiction. I like reading about a couple on their first date, enjoying their dinner and each other, or a man cooking for a woman that he'd like to get to know better. And what reader doesn't love to find a new recipe in the back of a book?

So whether you're reading a good book while stirring a pot on the stove or you're thinking about how much you loved the characters in the book you just finished reading, there's no better combination than food and fiction!

The recipe I’ve included in my post here has been in my family for as long as I can remember. Nobody even knows where it came from or who first made it. But it’s delicious—and a bit unique—and I’ve never shared it before, so please enjoy!

Taco Dip

2 pkgs 8 oz. cream cheese
1 carton of small curd cottage cheese
Bunch of green onions, chopped
Head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
Large tomato or several smaller tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Bottle of salsa
Taco chips

Combine cream cheese and cottage cheese in a bowl using a hand mixture until well blended. Transfer mixture to serving platter and spread evenly. Top with green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and salsa. Serve with taco chips. This recipe is versatile. Ingredients can be added/subtracted based on your tastes. Enjoy!

Just for the Summer

His temptation. Her secret. Their summer.

Dani Sullivan has come to Lake Bliss to write her latest cookbook and take a breather. After the year she’s had, she deserves a summer retreat to reevaluate priorities and make peace with past decisions. But from the moment single dad and sheriff Matt Reagan shows up, she has a hard time convincing herself that a life away from Lake Bliss could beat the life she might have here.

Recently divorced Matt is ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t want short-term—his son needs permanence, and so does Matt’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the smart-mouthed and sinfully sexy Ms. Sullivan who catches his eye. But when Matt learns Dani’s secrets, will he still want her to stay? Or will her chance for love last just for the summer?


judyalter said...

LOve this Jenna and so agree with you. I had an editor (note past tense) who thought I lingered over meals too much in my manuscript, but I insisted the food they ate defined the characters.

Unknown said...

Hi, Judy!

It's amazing - and wonderful - how popular food is in novels now. It's one thing we can all certainly relate to! Hope you enjoy the recipe, and thanks so much for stopping by.


kmt1976 said...

And I am eating a late lunch as i read this :)

Unknown said...

Hi, kmt1976,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your lunch time with us! Hope you enjoyed the blog.


Angela Adams said...

That recipe sounds yummy! Thanks.

Unknown said...

Hi, Angela!

Yes, it's delicious. But beware, it can become addicting! :)