featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. When she’s not writing, Marianne can be found chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, shoe shopping, scarfing down dark chocolate, and relaxing with a glass of wine and a romance book. Learn more about her and her books at her website. 

Thank you for having me on your blog, Lois. I share your love and passion for food and recipes and tend to incorporate them into my books. I’m thinking about adding a recipe book section to my website as well. Anyone interested in that?

So, a little bit about the heroine’s “taste” in my latest release, Playful Hearts. Outspoken and spunky Mackenzie Pratt owns Coast & Roast in the small coastal town of Rocky Harbor, Maine and serves some delectable desserts as well. Her brownies have been mentioned in all three Rocky Harbor books, and in book four, Playful Hearts, we get to learn about her story. Although brownies aren’t the center of Mackenzie’s world, it’s her coffee shop…and soon the hunky, playful Blake Riley that monopolize her thoughts.

I’ve enjoyed writing this series so much, especially the food parts (lots of goodies in Strawberry Kisses) and I hope you’ve had a chance to devour the Riley siblings as well. They’re super yummy. Oh, and so are the brownies. Here’s the recipe:

Mackenzie’s Brownies
These aren’t cake or fudgey brownies but somewhere in between. If you don’t like your brownies too sweet, you don’t have to make the frosting (maybe toss in some chocolate chips or chopped walnuts to the mix instead!).

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

6 T melted butter
6 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T honey
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9” x 13” glass pan with PAM (or grease with butter).

In a large saucepan, melt 1 cup butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla. Stir in 2/3 cups cocoa, the flour, salt and baking powder. Don’t over mix!

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (don’t overbake).

To make frosting: Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. If too thick add a tsp. warm water. Frost brownies while they’re still warm.

***Photo credit goes to Allrecipes.com. Sadly my oven has been broken since April and I haven’t been able to make Mackenzie’s brownies.***

Playful Hearts
Having fun and living his life on a whim is Blake Riley’s motto.

When he moves back to Rocky Harbor, Maine, he thinks his life is about to turn predictable…until he meets Mackenzie Pratt. Her smart mouth and quirky attitude make him want to see how wild they can get together. 

Mackenzie’s too busy running the local coffee shop and caring for her mom and doesn’t have time for a real relationship. However, a sex-lationship is just the thing she needs, and Blake, with his crazy sense of adventure and raw sex appeal, is the perfect man for the job.

As their relationship begins to creep from the bedroom and dangerously close to her heart, their casual trysts develop into something more—something neither expected. 

But Blake’s former life is full of secrets that threaten their developing relationship. Can Blake keep trouble away from Mackenzie? Or will their playful hearts grow cold when his past comes calling?


Marianne Rice said...

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Lois. A turn of events...our new ovens were installed the other day. I had brownies in the oven twenty minutes after the installation guys left!

Angela Adams said...

Yum-yum!!! Thanks, Marianne, for sharing!!!


Marianne, I love your priorities!

Marianne Rice said...

Yup! I usually have my priorities in check :-)