Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thyme for Love!

Congratulations to fellow writer Pamela S. Meyers, who’s debut novel, Thyme for Love, was recently released by OakTara. This romance with a twist of murder mystery is set in one of my favorite places, the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area, which happens to be where Pam grew up. Here’s a quick blurb about the book: When April Love signs on to be an in-house chef at an old mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she has no idea that her former fiancĂ©, Marc Thorne, works there. It doesn’t take long for the old magnetism to recharge, but April can tell there’s something he’s reluctant to reveal. When their boss is killed, Marc is accused of the murder. Read on to learn more about the book and author, and…LEAVE A COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF THYME FOR LOVE!

ALSO…Congratulations to Laury Hubrich, who won a copy of Mind Over Madi by leaving a comment on the previous post.

One of the lessons we writers learn from the get-go is “write what you know.” Now that doesn’t mean we can’t delve deep into our imaginations, it simply means we should pepper in people, places, bits of dialogue, images, and experiences from our life to add color and realism to our books. Pam did that in a big way with her character, April Love, who is a chef. Pam loves to cook (making her a perfect guest on Taste the World), and was raised in the area where her book is set. I don’t know if she ever had a hotty like Marc Thorne in her life, but we’ll let Pam keep that mystery to herself.

Q: Thanks for joining us, Pam. I love the combination of romance and mystery in Thyme for Love. Can you tell us a little more about it?

A: April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. When her Aunt Kitty hears of a in-house chef position for a non-profit organization housed in a lakeshore mansion next door, April returns to Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, where she’d spent many summers growing up, to apply for the job. When she discovers her former fiancĂ© Marc Thorne working there, she wonders if this position was really God’s intention for her. After all, Marc all but left her standing at the altar to chase his own dreams in California. It doesn’t take long to realize Marc is hiding secrets and despite returning feelings for the man, April determines she will not make the same mistake as she did eight years earlier. But when their boss is found dead and Marc is framed for his murder, April has no choice but to turn sleuth to keep Marc from being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

Q: What inspired you to write this story and use the Lake Geneva setting?

A: I’ve always loved romance and mysteries, and decided to write a story that married the two elements together. I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and have always been fascinated by the many 20th Century mansions that dot the lake’s shoreline. I toyed with the idea of setting the story in one of those homes, but decided to create a smaller lake and village just to the east of Lake Geneva to gain more freedom with some of the details of the story and its characters. I loved having the area located close enough to Lake Geneva that April and Marc could go there for a meal at one of the actual restaurants there. I also gave them backgrounds that involve working on Geneva Lake as many college students do during the summer months.

Q. Will there be a sequel to Thyme for Love?

A. I’m so glad you asked. Thyme for Love is part of a three-book series called On the Road to Love. Books 2 and 3 involved April and Marc, and both are set in Canoga Lake. In Book 2, Love Will Find a Way, April moves into an old Victorian home with plans to turn it into a restaurant and catering business. It isn’t long before a discovery made while they are renovating the home threatens to hijack plans for the grand opening. In Book three, Love’s Reward, April and Marc’s wedding plans are in full swing, until it becomes apparent there is someone who doesn’t want them to marry.

Q: Will we be seeing other books from you in the near future?

A. Oh yes. I’m very excited about Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, coming out in June 2012 from Summerside Press. It’s a 1933 historical romance, and I had a blast researching for the story.

Q. When you aren’t writing, what fills your days?

A. I volunteer at my church in the multicultural ministry, helping Japanese women learn to speak English and lead a women’s small group Bible study. I’m also chapter president of my local ACFW chapter which meets monthly. Also, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise) and movies.
I love to cook and find new ways of making things. You’ll find an adaptation of a recipe someone gave me called Chicken George at the back of Thyme for Love. The original recipe involved canned soup. Very tasty, but no trained chef would use canned soup in a recipe, so I set out to break it down and compose a healthier recipe from scratch. I thought it turned out well, but what would my friends say? I served it at my women's Bible study Christmas dinner and everyone raved about it. I loved having April prepare it in the novel, and look forward to experimenting with more recipes for the sequels.

Pam was kind enough to share her Chicken George recipe so we can all give it a try. Thank you, Pam – it sounds delicious!

Pam’s Revised Chicken George

6 boneless chicken breasts, split
8 oz. sliced Swiss cheese
10 oz. sliced Baby Bellas (mini portabella mushrooms)
1 medium chopped onion
1-1/4 cup Sour Cream (non or low fat)
1-1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
½ Cup regular sherry (not cooking sherry)

Saute mushrooms and onion in olive oil. In medium bowl mix sour cream and chicken broth (I used an electric hand-held blender tool) until blended and smooth. Add mushrooms, onions and sherry to sour cream mixture. Mix together.

Arrange chicken breasts on bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Layer Swiss cheese over chicken.

Mix herb stuffing mix with Smart Balance (I use that in place of butter or margarine). Layer over cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove cover and bake additional ½ hour.


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me Susan! If you try Chicken George, let me know what you think! In honor of TFL releasing I plan to make the dish again for my women's Bible study group this Christmas :-). I can't wait to hear who will win TFL in your drawing. I hope whoever reads the book will enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

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  2. Oh, Pam. I'm so thrilled. This is a wonderful book and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

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  3. Sounds awesome! I would love, love, love to win a copy of Pam's book! :-)

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  4. Oh that recipe sounds delish! And the book sounds like so much fun to read! I've been to Lake Geneva but didn't grow up there. Beautiful area and the book sounds fascinating! silygoos at gmail dot com.

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