Friday, June 28, 2019

#NewRelease from Luanna Stewart and a Recipe!

Luanna Stewart joins me today to celebrate the release of LOVE PROOF, part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press. Since her main character in the story is a pastry chef, Luanna dug deep into her recipe files for sweet treats to use in the story. Today she shares a recipe that didn't make the cut, but it sounds delicious! And don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post. Welcome Luanna!

New Release! Love Proof, a Deerbourne Inn story.

You know the best part about writing a foodie character into a book? They talk about food.

As something of a foodie myself (I’m one of those who reads cookbooks like they’re novels), I spend a least a couple hours in the kitchen every day. While I enjoy cooking, baking is my favourite of the kitchen arts. And whipping up a cake or batch of cookies is my most favourite.

When I brainstormed about who would make the best heroine for Love Proof, I wasn’t too surprised when she developed into a baker whose shop sold cupcakes and bar cookies. (If I come back in another life, I hope it’s as a pastry chef.)

I enjoyed incorporating different cakes and cookies into the story, quite often becoming hungry as I wrote. With all the sweets descriptions in the book, it only made sense to add a recipe or two.

I couldn’t just slap any old recipe in there, though. It had to be my own creation, or one I heavily adapted, and it had to be rigorously tested, and sampled. A few times. Which is another best part about writing a foodie character.

Here’s one of the recipes short-listed for inclusion in the book, but space constraints forced it out of the running. I got this recipe from my mom, who got it from a neighbour, who got it from who-knows-where. One of my all-time favourites.

Currant Squares
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled

1 cup currants
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 large eggs, beaten.
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, the icing sugar and the salt. Cut in the chilled butter until the mixture is mostly pea-sized clumps. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
Combine currants, brown sugar, and coconut in medium bowl. Stir in eggs, vanilla, salt, 2 teaspoons flour, and baking powder. Mix well. Spread mixture on top of crust. Bake 25 – 30 minutes, or until set.
Place on rack and cool completely before cutting.

Optional: I often cover the squares with orange-flavoured icing.

3 cups icing sugar
pinch of salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon milk, plus additional
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest from 1 orange

Place icing sugar and salt in bowl of stand mixer. Add butter and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add juice and milk, increase speed to medium, and continue mixing, adding additional milk as needed, until light and smooth. Stir in vanilla and zest and mix well. Spread on thoroughly cooled squares.


Unemployed photojournalist Raynor Elliot stops at a bakery near the famous Deerbourne Inn. Not only does he get a lead on a job but the bakery’s owner is that awkward kid he knew in high school, only now she has fabulous curves and an irreverent sense of humor. The cozy bakery, with its aroma of sugar, vanilla and spice, has more to offer than tasty cookies.

Fiona MacLeod has been plagued for years by the need to make amends for telling The Big Lie. When the lie’s victim strolls into her bakery with his icy blue stare and killer charm, she feels like she’s standing too close to a hot oven.

Between running her bakery and frosting cupcakes for the Mad River Garden Party, she's pretty sure she's falling in love with this infuriating, sexy man. Can Fiona dredge up the courage to confess, face the consequences, and hope for forgiveness?


“I remember those days.” She pushed the calculator to the side, too tired to worry about planning the week’s baking schedule. “Why’d you study journalism?"

“Truth is important to me. I was tired of all the lies in government, at every level. I wanted to change that. Ultimately make the world a better place. Easy peasy, right?” His lips quirked and he shook his head.

“That’s why I decided to be a baker. Brighten someone’s day with a special treat.”

He scooted his chair closer and pointed at the column of numbers on the page. “You want me to do the rest?” His arm, bare to the bicep, lightly tanned, dusted with blond hair, a little lighter than on his head, rested less than an inch from her own spindly pale arm. Not spindly compared to other women, hefting bags of flour and moving trays of baked goods did take some muscle power. But spindly compared to his manly toned muscles flexing under skin that she’d bet her last jar of sprinkles was smooth and warm. She clenched her hand.

No touching allowed.

“We have cupcakes to frost.” She bounded from the chair and rushed into the kitchen.

Holy moly, the guy oozed sex. In a good way. A very good way. She pulled a clean apron off the shelf and cinched it around her waist. An extra layer of armor between her and temptation in the form of Raynor. The seeker of truth. The man whose mission in life was to expose lies. The reporter who thought liars were not decent human beings.

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Luanna’s bio:

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. At the tender age of twelve she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, after which all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Luanna spends her days writing sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s either in her kitchen baking something delicious, or protecting her garden from the chickens. She lives in Nova Scotia with her incredibly patient husband and two spoiled cats.

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  1. Thank you, Jana, for letting me visit with your readers!

  2. Thanks for visiting Luanna. Best of luck with LOVE PROOF! Love the title.

  3. Replies
    1. It is, Jennifer. One of my all-time favourites. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Sounds like a great read, and I love the recipe. Best of luck.

  5. Best of luck with LOVE PROOF, Luanna. And those current squares sound amazing!!

    1. They are amazing, Barbara. Almost too delicious for those of us with little will-power, hehe. Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Isn't research great. Recipe sounds amazing. Best of luck.

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