Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Chris Taylor, and her recipe for Caramel Slice along with an introduction to her Australian romantic suspense, The Profiler (Book #1, Munro Family Series). Please join me in welcoming Chris and savor her recipe for Caramel Slice as you read about her new book.
1 cup of condensed milk
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cups of brown sugar
1/2 cups of coconut
185g melted butter
2 Tbsp golden syrup
250g melted chocolate
- Put flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl and mix together.
- Melt 125g of butter and mix with dry ingredients to form base.
- Press base in lamington tin.
- Bake in moderate oven about 15 mins until brown.
- Combine golden syrup, condensed milk and 60g of butter in a bowl. Pour over base. Return to oven until top is brown and bubbly (about 20 minutes).
- Mix together melted chocolate and copha.
- Pour over slice. Set in fridge.
Makes about 20 pieces.
A psychopathic killer is stalking the women of Sydney . . .
Federal Agent Clayton Munro, a criminal profiler with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), has been called upon to assist in hunting down a vicious murderer who is intent upon carving up his victims while they’re still alive. Guilt-stricken over his wife’s suicide, Clayton’s forced to set aside his personal issues in order to focus on the case.
Detective Ellie Cooper is also no stranger to heartache. Pregnant and abandoned at the altar by a fiancé intent on pursuing a career with the AFP, her opinion of the elite body of officers is anything but favorable. Angered when her boss orders her to partner with the Fed, she’s determined not to cut him any slack.
But women are dying on the streets of western Sydney and the pressure is mounting to find the person responsible.
Will Clayton and Ellie be able to put aside their animosity and work together to catch a killer before it’s too late? And what about the special fascination the killer seems to have with Ellie . . .
Ellie pushed away from the bench and moved closer to the stainless steel gurney where Dr Samantha Wolfe, the head of Forensic Pathology in the Westmead morgue, examined the head of the unknown woman. The doctor’s glossy black hair was tucked up in its usual position under a blue surgical hat and although Ellie knew the woman wasn’t much older than she was, the years spent working with the dead were etched into the lines of fatigue on her face, making her appear older than she was. Even so, Ellie was pleased Samantha had caught the case. The doctor was the best forensic pathologist in Sydney.
“So, whatdo you think?” Ellie asked, trying hard not to breathe in too deeply of the smell that was unique to the morgue.
Samantha peered at her from behind clear plastic safety glasses. It was well after nine, and Ellie was feeling the effects of the long day. And it wasn’t over yet.
She’d told Luke to go home. No sense in both of them hanging around. At least one of them ought to get some sleep.
“There’s no trauma to the head as such.” The doctor sent her a wry look. “If you don’t count the fact that it’s been severed from its body.”
Ellie smiled reluctantly. There was something very weird about trading jokes while a woman’s head lay on a gurney between them.
With gloved hands, Samantha brushed long, golden-brown hair out of the way and turned the head this way and that. “She’s definitely Caucasian. I’d hazard a guess she’s of European or Mediterranean descent. From the broadness of her features and the olive tones of her skin, even taking into account its deterioration, she’s not an English rose.”
“The initial report was that it was a black woman.”
“Easy to mistake, given the length of time she’s been there.” Samantha spared her another glance. “We all turn black, eventually.”
“How long do you think she’s been dead?”
She shrugged. “Hard to put an exact time of death. This time of year, tissue breakdown is slowed down by the cold. We’ve had some fairly severe frosts over the past few weeks. It’s a bit like being kept in a freezer. If I had to guess, I’d say two, maybe three weeks. She’s still in pretty good shape, but as I said, the cold weather would have something to do with that.”
The doctor dropped a small metal object into an empty kidney dish lined up beside several others on a trolley next to the gurney.
Ellie leaned in closer. “What’s that?”
“An earring. There’s one in the other ear, too.” A few seconds later, another object clattered into the dish. Ellie hunted around for a plastic evidence bag.
“Over near the door.” Samantha indicated the rack of shelves on the far side of the room beside the door through which Ellie had entered. She made her way over to it and found what she was looking for.
“I’ll take these with me.” Scooping them up with gloved fingers, she dropped the jewellery carefully into the evidence bag. “They might help us identify her.”
“No sign of the rest of her?”
Ellie shook her head. “Not yet.” She sighed wearily. “I guess we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
“Come and look at this.”
The doctor’s tone had sharpened. Ellie’s heart accelerated. “What is it?”
Samantha was working her way through the woman’s dark, matted hair with a pair of tweezers. Bending closer, she extracted a small particle and dropped it into a clean kidney dish.
“I don’t know, but her hair’s full of it.” She continued to part sections of hair, retrieving more and more slivers.
Ellie moved closer and peered into the dish. It was difficult to say what they were. Pinkish-brown in color, the particles were irregular in shape and size, the biggest about half the size of her smallest fingernail.
“I’ll send them to the lab.” Samantha indicated with her chin towards the other dishes lined up beside the gurney. “Along with those. Hair and tissue samples, blood samples, mouth swabs. Until someone comes forward with an identification, it’s the best I can do.”
Ellie suppressed a sigh. Someone out there was missing a daughter, a sister – maybe even a mother. ““I appreciate your help, Samantha. Any clues on how it was removed?”
The doctor turned the head until it rested on its side. Ellie tried not to look at the single, milky-brown eye as it stared sightlessly up at her. Pointing with her tweezers, Samantha indicated the area where the woman’s neck should have been.
“If you have a look here, you can see where the head has been severed. It looks to me like it’s been sawn off. You can see the striations in the vertebrae.”
Ellie swallowed and shook her head. “What sort of a monster does something like that?”
“I’m afraid it gets worse.” Samantha poked at the ragged, exposed flesh. “There’s still blood in this tissue.” She raised her head and stared at Ellie. “Have you ever seen a dead heart pump?”
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Chris Taylor grew up devouring romance books. After working as a criminal lawyer for fifteen years, it was a natural progression to marry her love of romance with the gritty, fast-paced world of crime and thrillers. It is this background that has allowed her to write suspenseful, racy, no-holds-barred romantic suspense novels set in her home country of Australia. From the streets of Sydney to the outback, Chris’ novels not only keep you on the edge of your seat, they also take you on a journey across the beautiful landscapes that make up Australia.
Chris was a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Finalist in 2013. The same year, she won the Romance Writers of Australia’s most prestigious award for unpublished writers, the Emerald Award. Chris lives with her husband and five children on a small farm in rural New South Wales, Australia.
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!