Please welcome Kathleen Rowland, author of heart-stopping action-packed romantic suspense. Kathleen rings in the holidays with healthy Goat Cheese Tartlets with Spiced Apple-Fig Compote. This festive appetizer is 50 calories per serving and makes 30 tartlets.
- 30 item(s) mini phyllo shell(s)
- 1/3 cup(s) fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 5 1/3 Tbsp soft-type goat cheese, softened (1/3 cup)
- 1 item(s) egg white(s)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup(s) jam, fig variety
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 cup(s) mint leaves, fresh, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange phyllo shells on a cookie sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, egg white, honey and flour until thick and creamy, about 5 to 6 minutes; spoon 1 teaspoon of filling in each shell. Bake until set, about 15 minutes; remove from oven and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine apple, jam and allspice; set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until jam melts and mixture thickens slightly (juice from apples will evaporate); remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, spoon 1 teaspoon apple compote onto each tart; garnish with mint. Yields 1 tartlet per serving.
Deadly Alliance: Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspects she knows about his company drain and hires her.
Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.
The front door opened.
“Sorry, we’re closed.” Holding a broom, the owner of the bar swept behind the bar. Burlie didn’t look up.
Finn stepped closer. Drunken merrymakers, they were not. His heart hammered like it was stuck in overdrive.
“We offer protection.” Speaking with a Spanish accent, the shortest of the trio dressed like the others, and donned the ISIS-style black ski mask.
“I have protection.” Burlie’s big mouth nailed his coffin.
A second thug grabbed the bartender’s hand and pulled out clippers. “You’ll change your mind, one finger at a time.”
“I just paid the Irish.” Panic burrowed into Burlie’s high-pitched cry. He thrashed his arms as he tried to pull his hand back.
“Us you pay.” His utterance with the object in the first position identified him as an Arab speaker. Light glinted off shiny metal. The thug pulled a combat knife, grabbed Burlie’s arms, spun him, put the blade to his neck. Finn dialed 911 and then shouted, “Finn Donahue here. Gang trouble. Burlie’s Jazz Club.” To grab their attention even more, he heaved in a breath and released a long whistle. His distraction worked.
Burlie broke from the hold, and Finn thanked God for the curious.
“Where are you?” Heavy boots pounded toward him.
Finn’s phone vibrated, but he killed the call and darted into the first door he saw, the one with the frosted pink window. He spotted Amy at the sink and pointed his index finger up.
He took off his coat and wrapped it around his fist. After rapping on the glass, he wound up and threw a hard punch through the window. Glass splintered as he connected with the thug’s nose. Prepared to jump aside, he opened the door.
Amy followed and jumped over the guy spread on the floor, holding a hand over his bleeding nose.
He struggled to stand. Finn patted him down, took his gun, and pointed it at him. After the guy stood, Finn walked him to a chair. “Don’t move.”
“I’ll phone the police.” A high-pitched squeal came from the back of her throat. “Never mind. Police are here.”
From the street, the blue light of a cop car radiated across the club’s interior like a strobe. Uniforms burst through the door.
The first officer made radio contact with homicide, and the second, much younger, rushed to the nearest thug and pulled out flex-cuffs.
“Stand over there, Amy.” Finn motioned toward a corner.
She rolled her eyes and dashed toward Burlie who wrestled with the Arab and tried to keep him from moving toward the young rookie. Amy pulled an item from her purse. A Swiss army knife? Out came a miniature cork screw.
The rookie cop turned the Arab around to be handcuffed and leaned him against a wall. The thug used the hard surface as leverage to throw himself against him.
Finn saw it coming. A switchblade sprung from the Arab’s sleeve. In a split second, he drove it into the cop’s shoulder, but Amy stabbed him in the back with the wine opener.
The Arab spun and pulled a knife from his jeans’ pocket. Amy dodged, but he thrust it into a cop’s gut before running.
Finn waited for an opening and shot him in the hip.
Howling about uncivilized barbarians, he dropped.
Up from his chair, the loser with the broken nose swung his fists, raining blows and a kick to the nuts which Finn deflected.
“Don’t make me shoot you.” Finn stunned him with a chop to the neck, caught him in a headlock. With a gun at his back, he marched him forward.
Amy broke into the center of the room and turned around, taking in the menacing scene. The girl-next-door had street smarts, competency with the corkscrew, and fearless determination.
He walked over and touched her weapon-holding hand. “You didn’t have pocket-knife experience on your resume.” It didn’t make her invincible. Nor did it mean he should hire her.
She shook her head. “Never used it this way. It’s handy when hiking She looked at her pocket knife, folded and stuffed it in her pocket. Her eyes blinked in frenzy in spite of her bravery.
* * *
How about romantic travel to Lake Arrowhead, California, where Deadly Alliance takes place? Fall colors mix with evergreens around this pristine mountain lake. Bring a picnic basket and rent a pontoon!
Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Lily’s Pad and the Intervenus Series: A Brand New Address and Betrayal at Crater’s Edge are sweet. Deadly Alliance and her work-in-progress, Unholy Alliance, are contracted with Tirgearr Publishing and written for adults.
Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write. If you’d enjoy news, sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at http://www.kathleenrowland.com/