September 25, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Cakes of Monte Cristo

I don't usually put up two blog posts in the same day, but I just received the cover for The Cakes of Monte Cristo and I'm too thrilled to wait. This is the 6th book in the Piece of Cake Mystery series, due to hit bookshelves and online retailers in January 2016.

From the back cover: 

In the fresh new Piece of Cake Mystery from the national bestselling author of Rebel Without a Cake, a pastry chef becomes embroiled in a suspicious death as a mysterious curse casts a pall over an annual New Orleans ball.

Rita Lucero, co-owner of New Orleans’s Zydeco Cakes, is thrilled to be catering an annual ball held at the Monte Cristo Hotel. Designing the high-end desserts is her priority—until she stumbles upon a mystery long-buried at her shop. It’s an ornate ruby necklace, hidden underneath her staircase and rumored to be cursed. 

After the gem’s appraiser suddenly drops dead and Rita herself is targeted by a menacing stranger, she’s no longer laughing at local superstition. Now with five cakes on order and an investigation into the necklace’s past revealing layers of unsettling clues, Rita has reason to keep looking over her shoulder while she’s frosting. Because any way you slice it, the next victim of the legendary curse could be her.
Follow this link to pre-order your copy.  As of this posting, the cover was so hot off the presses, it hasn't even been uploaded to other sites yet. 

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

I'm learning to embrace a new, much healthier lifestyle, so I'm also on the lookout for new, much healthier recipes. I found a new (to me) recipe for Tex-Mex Chicken Soup on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.

The pin took me to Taste of Home's website. You can find the recipe here, but here are the basics:

The recipe says that it takes 10 minutes prep time, which is about right as long as you've pre-cooked your chicken. Otherwise, you need to tack on time for that.

Total cook time is about 45 minutes. Again, that was just about right. And it smelled delicious as it was cooking.


1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes undrained
1 can (11 ounces) whole kernal corn, drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup salsa
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
tortilla chips (optional)

The verdict:

Very good. It tastes great, full of flavor and nicely spiced. I did sprinkle a little shredded cheese on my bowl but did not use tortilla chips, but even without the chips, the zucchini was cooked through but not mushy, so the texture was pleasant.

I'll definitely make it again.

photo credit: Food 003 via photopin (license)
photo credit: milho via photopin (license) 
photo credit: Clagett Farm Share Week 15 via photopin (license)

September 18, 2015

You Say Absaroka, I Say Absorkee

Longmire is one of my favorite shows on TV. I love the writing. The characters are richly drawn and deep. I love the friendship between Walt and Henry, but I also love the relationship between Walt and Branch. The books by Craig Johnson are wonderful, and nobody in the known world (with the possible exception of Mr. Johnson himself) was happier than I when Netflix picked up the series to stream for season 4. 

However, I have had one tiny quibble--and when I say tiny, I mean tiny. It's about one word. One single word. 

When I was a kid growing up in Montana, my dad always pronounced Absaroka as Ab-SOHR-kee. Three syllables, not four. When I started watching Longmire, it bothered me a bit that everyone on the show says AB-sah-RO-ka when they're talking about the county in which the series is set. It didn't bother me enough to stop watching or anything silly like that, but it was always there niggling at me. 

At first, I thought the writers, actors and directors just didn't know what they were doing. And then, I started wondering if my dad just got it wrong. (Gasp!) Could it possibly be? I mean, look at that face. Does it look like the face of a man who might say a word wrong? 

Well, yeah. 

Frankly, it wouldn't have been the first word he pronounced wrong. He spent his entire life putting the "T" in often. When I said it the way he did at school, I got a mighty scolding and some shaming from a teacher. And then there was the word chiropractor, which Dad always, somehow, pronounced CHOIRpractor, as if the doctor also led the singers at church, which was kind of funny since Dad loved listening to Mom, my sister and me pay the piano, but couldn't carry a tune himself. 

Through three seasons of Longmire (I haven't started the 4th yet.) I've wondered if Dad just had it wrong. But the other day, while procrastinating, I came across a Montana pronunciation guide put out by the Billings Gazette (the trusted newspaper of my youth) in which the mystery is finally solved. 

In Montana  (I can't speak for Wyomingites) the correct pronunciation of Absarokee/Absaroka is, indeed, Ab-SOHR-kee or Ab-SOHR-ka, not AB-sah-RO-kuh.  

There! My dad was right. Phew. 

I have to admit, it makes my heart happy to find out that, at least for the place we lived at the time, my dad nailed it. And now that I know that, Walt and Henry and Branch and the rest can pronounce it any old way they want. It won't bother me a bit. 


September 14, 2015

A Sneak Peek Today!

An exclusive offer for readers of Killer Characters: You'll find an excerpt from The Cakes of Monte Cristo (coming in January) on the blog today. Stop by and check it out!

The Cakes of Monte Cristo is available for pre-order now. If you like the series and want more books, put a hold on your copy now.


Jacklyn Brady is a national bestselling author who lives on the Gulf Coast. She writes the Piece of Cake Mystery series set in New Orleans. The series features cake artist and trained pastry chef, Rita Lucero. Rebel Without a Cake, book #5 in the Piece of Cake Mystery Series, is available now! 

Jacklyn loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on the web: Website | Facebook | Twitter