Keri Ford here and I’m taking my first spin on the Carina Press blog! (psst…lots of you leave me comments so the people in charge will be all “whoa, she’s amazing. look at all those comments!”). What can I say? I like to impress. My husband calls this brown-nosing (and several other things I won’t repeat here).
But as for me and my heroine, Kara Duncan, we are aiming to impress. Especially Kara. A few years back, she really gave the town of Bella Warren something to talk about. I don’t hold it against her.
Y’all know what it’s like. You’re young, you’re 18 and the guy you’ve been crushing on for *ages* finally notices you. You want it to be special. And you want the guy to think you’re special. So clearly, you need something to set you apart and make you different from all his former girlfriends. Am I right? I know I am (just jump in here in my head if you don’t agree. You’ll see the light soon).
For poor Kara though, her plans didn’t work out so well. And the more she tried, the worse it got until she got so deep in her own muck, that she just packed up and got out of town. She was scared and she didn’t know what to do.
Fast forward to present day and Kara’s back in town. Back in the same small town where her crush is still living. Oh, and he’s still single. Not that she can deal with that. She’s got to make amends with her past and get her reputation together. She’s also got friendships to fix. Like the one with her very best friend, Whitney….who also happens to be the younger sister of Kara’s crush.
Yeah, poor Kara. She didn’t, well…she…yeah, well, she just didn’t handle her past well at all, bless her heart. But if there’s anything a good cook knows, it’s that food is the way back into good graces, and Kara can cook. She learned from the best. A lady who happens to be her crush’s mom.
During Never Stopped Loving You, Kara makes several things. One of them is rainbow cupcakes she makes for Whitney. My editor had asked me about these cupcakes, so I thought, why not share them? So I did.
First start with your favorite white colored cupcake mix (this recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens 1950s cookbook)
Once the batter is made, split it into however many different colors you want. Kara made rainbow cupcakes, but since it’s the holiday season (and I couldn’t find all my food colorings), I went with red and green. (You’ll need a lot of red to make it red-red. I don’t know how much I used. I swiped that bottle from my mom’s house and used it all.) I’m hearing red and lime green are *THE* colors this year, so I just did a few squeezes of the green. Mix the batters well.
Next, spoon the first color in the bottom of your cupcakes. Why no, I’m not using cupcake wrappers. Was I trying to be all let the colors shine once they’re baked!? Nope, I was out of wrappers! Mom had some Easter ones, but this is Christmas, Bunny. So I have naked cupcakes. Next, spoon the second color on top of the first. You see how I started one? look at that *waves arms in mythical motions while making woo-woo noises*.
Put cupcake tray in your preheated oven, and 20 minutes later (or however long your cupcake recipe says to cook them for) we have… Cupcakes!
And pretty big! I guess I did have enough for the 12th hole. I just didn’t share. Anyway. I like the ones with green on top better.
Now frost. Then sprinkles, because who doesn’t like sprinkles? (Funny story about the sprinkles: I was frosting and it’s white so I thought it looks like snow! and then I added YELLOW sprinkles. YELLOW. Don’t eat the yellow snow! ran through my head in spit-fire paces.) And since I was trying to be spectacular to impress you all like Kara does, I made some chocolate into stars, snowmen and gingerbread guys. I spent hours cutting them into shape.
I lied. I melted the chocolate and poured it into a mold. Ta-da! *jazz hands*
Kara really wants to find her place back home. Cooking is what she’s good at and so long as people are eating good food, they’ll be happy, right? I think it’s a solid plan.
I know at some point we’ve all tried to impress somebody by doing something. I found out my husband’s favorite dessert was chocolate pie and I whipped that baby right on up. What’s something you’ve done to impress someone. Doesn’t have to be someone you were flirting with, but a parent? Sibling? Friend? Tell me!
At eighteen, Kara Duncan had already made her fair share of mistakes, choosing the wrong boy and earning herself a bad reputation in the process. Hurt and humiliated, she’d packed up and moved on, sure that everyone in Bella Warren, Arkansas, would be better off without her. She’d planned never to return, but when crisis strikes, she has nowhere else to turn.
After seven years, Wade Chester thought his feelings for Kara were finally ancient history. Until he sees her again, standing on his front porch just as she’d done a million times before. She needs his help—and his family’s crops—if her canning business is going to survive. The rest of his family has let bygones be bygones, so why is it so hard for him to let go of the past?
While Kara claims to be interested only in putting things right, the old heat flaring between them is undeniable. But Wade will need to risk his heart—and the reputation of his farm—to prove that they’re meant to be together.
Keri Ford was raised in South Arkansas on a farm surrounded by family, horses, cows, donkeys, ostriches, emus, chickens, ducks, Canada Geese, and enough dogs one would think they were a pound…and then she bought a Cosmopolitan when she was twenty-two. All it took was one excerpt of a sexy romantic suspense and her life would never be the same. Well, parts of it. She still lives on that farm.
Visit Keri all over the place. She mostly lives on Twitter. But you can find her at Facebook too. She has Tumblr that she’s still trying to figure out. Then, there’s her website. Don’t forget her newsletter! She gives away a lot of books on her newsletter.