Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes! Every Thursday and Friday I will introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! This week I am bringing you author, Emma Carlyle, and her recipe for Thea’s Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies along with an introduction to her book, Hooking Mr. Right. Please join me in welcoming Emma and savor her recipe for brownies as you read about her new book!
Thea’s Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies
(Serves 8 to 10 — or one, depending on mood)
In Hooking Mr. Right, Thea Chandler escapes her problems by heading to the kitchen, never suspecting how her culinary activities will impact her life.
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces cherry preserves
Melt chocolate and margarine in microwave at HIGH for two minutes, stirring frequently until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool. Stir 3/4 cup of sugar into melted chocolate. Blend in two eggs and vanilla. Add 1/2 cup of flour, stirring well until well blended. Spread into greased 9-inch square pan.
Using a blender, mix cream cheese, remaining sugar, egg, and flour until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon over brownie mixture. Spoon cherry preserves over cream cheese mixture. Run a knife through batter to swirl mixtures. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into squares or bars.
Hooking Mr. Right, humorous contemporary romance
After writing a doctoral thesis that exposed fraud in the pop-psychology genre, thirty-two year old professor Althea Chandler has to sacrifice her professional integrity to save her family from financial disaster. She secretly becomes best-selling romance guru Dr. Trulee Lovejoy, a self-proclaimed expert on how to catch a man, even though Thea’s a miserable failure when it comes to relationships — especially those with the opposite sex.
Burned by a failed marriage, Luke Bennett finds himself pursued by Dr. Lovejoy toting women after a gossip columnist dubs him New York’s most eligible bachelor. When he at first mistakes Thea for one of the women out to snare him, sparks fly, but the two soon find themselves battling sparks of a less hostile nature, thanks in part to an alley cat named Cupid.
Luke believes he’s finally found an honest woman. Unfortunately, Thea is anything but honest. She’s got more secrets than the CIA and a desperate gossip columnist out to expose her. Cupid definitely has his work cut out for him.
Hooking Mr. Right
by Emma Carlyle
© 2012 Lois Winston
“The trouble lies in the Y chromosome.” Thea took a sip of her coffee and glared across the black Formica-topped desk at her editor, waiting to pounce on Grace if she challenged her statement.
“How so?” Grace leaned back in her chair and sipped her own coffee. Over the rim of the cup an amused expression played across her face.
“Simple genetics, really. Women have two X chromosomes. Men have an X and a Y. Do you know what the definition of Y is?”
Grace set her coffee cup on her desk and raised her eyebrows. “No, but I suppose you’re about to tell me.”
“Y is an X with a broken leg.”
Grace stared at her as if Thea had lost more than a suitcase in her recent, abrupt move from San Francisco to New York. “And your point?”
“Broken! Don’t you get it? Defective!” Thea slammed her hand onto a pile of unread manuscripts teetering on the corner of her editor’s desk, nearly toppling the unwieldy stack onto the floor.
Grace grabbed for her cup, barely averting a brown tidal wave.
“Ergo,” continued Thea, waving her hand in the air to punctuate her explanation, “there is no doubt that women are superior to men. No defective genes. Obviously, man was a rough prototype. God looked at Adam and said, ‘I can do better than that.’ Then he created Eve.” She placed her cup on the edge of the desk, leaned back in her chair, crossed her arms over her chest, and offered her editor a triumphant smile.
“So this explains why you cancelled your wedding and high-tailed it out of San Francisco? Defective male genes?” Grace shuddered. “Do me a favor, will you, Dr. Love? Keep these newly developed, radical theories to yourself. Unless, of course, you want to go from the New York Times Bestseller List back to an auditorium-size classroom packed with bored freshmen.”
Doctor Love. Thea winced at the nickname the press had dubbed her secret alter ego, Dr. Trulee Lovejoy. In truth, she did wish she could return to the classroom and the comforting monotony of teaching Sociology 101 to less-than-eager first year students. Not that she possessed an all-consuming passion for her chosen career in academia, but with everything she had lost over the past few years, at least she’d still have her integrity. However, she could no more turn back the clock and regain her compromised professional ethics than she could restore her family’s lost fortune. At least her popular how-to guides for finding the perfect mate had kept the collection agencies at bay.
“Some love expert! I couldn’t even keep my own fiancé from sleeping with my sister.” Thea raised her head and challenged Grace. “Now aren’t you glad I chose to publish under a pseudonym? Think of the public relations disaster I’ve averted. News flash: Doctor Love Causes Coitus Interuptus after Catching Sister and Fiancé in Flagrante Delicto on Eve of Wedding. Update at eleven.”
“Too erudite and wordy.” Grace brushed away the imaginary headline with a wave of her hand. “Who’d understand all that Latin?”
Thea grimaced. “I can think of at least two people.” Her brainy, Stanford-educated younger sister came to mind. As did her sister’s equally brainy, MIT-educated research partner who also happened to be Thea’s ex-fiancé. Too late Thea had discovered Steve and Madeline were engaged in far more than metaphysical debates while researching distant solar systems and spatial anomalies.
“Yes, well…” Grace fidgeted in her chair, her gaze dropping to her lap.
“It’s okay, Grace. I’m dealing with it. Putting three thousand miles between myself and them helps.”
“Out of sight, out of mind?” Grace raised her chin and met Thea’s eyes. “Come on, I know you better than that. You’re hurting.”
Thea exhaled a deep sigh and shrugged. “Guilty as charged.” She glanced over at the large scheduling calendar covering half of one wall in Grace’s office and laughed. The sound hung in the room, echoing with pain and resonating with irony.
“Just think, three weeks ago today my biggest concern was that the rehearsal dinner was getting cold because Steve was off in some corner deconstructing the theory of relativity. I used to dream we’d someday travel to Stockholm to pick up his Nobel Prize.” She leaned forward, propped her elbows on the desk and scowled at her nearly empty mug. “It just never occurred to me that the award would be for causing my world to stop spinning on its axis.”
Grace reached across her desk and patted Thea’s hand. “Trust me. You’re better off finding out the truth before the wedding rather than afterwards.”
“Speaking from experience?”
“More than I like to admit. Maybe I should take some of Trulee’s advice.”
“Get real! If you have any sense, Grace, you’ll let me out of my contract and forget about that third book. Finding Mr. Right? Hooking Mr. Right? I’m a fraud. I don’t know the first thing about how to get a man and keep him. I’m a thirty-two year old sociologist with a lousy track record when it comes to the male species. How can you trust me to write credible books on the subject when I can’t even trust my own judgment where men are concerned?”
Grace shrugged. “Maybe we both need to follow your advice. Others do and swear by your books. Besides, I’m not letting you out of your contract. Trulee Lovejoy is the best thing to happen to this company in years.”
“Trulee Lovejoy.” Thea shook her head. “What was I thinking? How did I ever let you talk me into that awful pseudonym?”
“If I remember correctly, I had a little help from a lady named Margarita. Several ladies named Margarita, actually. Besides, I’m hurt. You insisted on an alias, and I came up with the perfect nom de plume for you. After all, who would you believe when it came to matters of the heart, Dr. Trulee Lovejoy or Dr. Althea Chandler?”
Thea scowled. “Right now I’d suggest you might have better luck with Lassie.”
Meet the Author:
Once upon a time there was an author who began writing romance. She won awards for her unpublished manuscripts and eventually sold two romances, both of which also won awards. Life was all hearts and flowers and hunky heroes until one day she was attacked by a glue gun wielding amateur sleuth who forced the romance author to write her story. Thus, author Lois Winston turned her attentions from romance to mystery, writing the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. However, Lois found she had more romance stories to tell. So she decided to split her personality, remaining Lois Winston for mystery, becoming Emma Carlyle for romance, and diving into the digital publishing revolution. Hooking Mr. Right is the first of several digital releases from Emma Carlyle.
Hooking Mr. Right is currently available for Kindle at Amazon:
It will be available on other digital platforms the beginning of October.