Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A #Recipe from the Cat Café: Thumbprint Cookies #MFRWHooks

Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café: A Furrever Friends Sweet Romance is now available free for review – click here to claim your review copy (Kindle, ePub, or PDF).

Since I'm writing about a café, of course I mention recipes. Here's a favorite. These cookies are easy to make, look pretty, and people adore them. Since you add the toppings after baking, you can easily do several varieties – I like lemon curd or lime curd, jam, and ginger spread.

Baked cookies with lime curd and apricot jam

Thumbprint Cookies

These pretty cookies are perfect for a party. Get several different types of jam in bright colors. What else could you use in place of jam? How about a small square of cream cheese or a small piece of soft caramel candy? Or try a few chocolate chips for chocolate thumbprints.

You can even press a chocolate kiss or miniature peanut butter cup into the cookie. In that case, bake the cookies 10 to 12 minutes first, until they are done. Once you add the candy, do not bake them anymore.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces jam, any flavor

  •     Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a cookie sheet, or use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  •     Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take 2 to 3 minutes with an electric mixer on medium-high speed.
  •        Separate the egg yolk from the white. Reserve the egg white for another use. Beat the egg yolk and vanilla extract into the batter. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together in a ball.
  •     Scoop up spoonfuls of dough and form them into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheet at least two inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with your thumb or the back of a small spoon. You want an indentation in the center, like a little bowl.
  •     Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms barely start to turn golden. Remove the baking sheet from oven.
  •     Use the back of a spoon to press the indentations in a little more. Fill each one with about 1/2 teaspoon jam. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, so the jam or chocolate melts slightly and the edges of the cookies turn lightly golden.
  •     Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.
Tip: Use two spoons for the jam. Scoop the jam with one spoon. Then use the back of the other spoon to slide the jam onto the cookie.

What do you do when you meet the guy of your dreams? Set him up with your sister, of course.

Kari doesn't have time for love when she's opening her new cat café. Renovating an old restaurant, hiring employees, fighting with the health inspector – oh, and welcoming 16 shelter cats – keeps her plenty busy. She's doing this for the cats, the community, and most of all her family. The café will give her sister, Marley, a job worthy of her baking skills.

Then a tattooed military vet wanders in claiming to be a master baker himself. The café doesn't need another baker, but maybe Marley needs a man. Surely she'll fall for a guy this sweet, this sexy, this tasty.

Colin has other ideas. It's Kari who makes him want to pour on the sugar and turn up the heat. But he's spent the last two years recovering from physical and psychological wounds. Is he really ready for a relationship? He's not even sure he should commit to Samson, the fluffy marshmallow of a cat who steals his heart.

Visit all the Book Hooks from #MFRWHooks - You might find your next great read!

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats.

Kris also writes romantic suspense set in the Southwestern U.S. If you love Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels, try Kris Bock’s stories of treasure hunting, archaeology, and intrigue in the Southwest. Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter  for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Espresso Brownie #Recipe from Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café: A Sweet #Romance by @Kris_Bock #MRFWhooks

Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café is set at a café with its own bakery, so of course we have recipes! 

In the book, Kari is opening a cat café with an in-house bakery. When a master baker shows up, Kari thinks he might be perfect for her sister, Marley. But Kari's heart has other plans. Here's a quick excerpt with the sisters. (Brian is Marley's nine-year-old son.)

Kari unwrapped an espresso brownie.

“Ahem.” Marley tapped the plate. “These are for paying customers.”

“Put it on my tab.” Kari took a bite. “I skipped breakfast.”

“Then this will really calm you down.” Marley shrugged and took one for herself.

“When I met Colin, I thought he might be good for you,” Kari said. “At first, I was thinking about a fun romance. As I got to know him …”

“You fell for him yourself.”

“No. Well, yes. But I meant I still thought you two should be together, only something more serious. I want you to be happy.”

“I want to be happy,” Marley said. “I am happy. More now than I have been in ages. I have a job I love. My son is getting more independent and turning into a cool human being. I have a loving sister and mother. I have a great new friend. What more could I ask for?”

Kari brushed brownie crumbs from her lips. “A partner?”

“Sure, that would be nice, but I’ve gotten along without one for this long. If the right guy shows up, and it works with Brian in my life, I won’t turn him away. But I don’t need a man.”

“Of course you don’t. No one does. Still.”

“Still, they do round out a life nicely, if you get the right one.” Marley took a bite of her brownie, chewed, and licked her lips. “Does this mean you’re going after Colin?”

Get this sweet romance on Amazon, or free with Kindle Unlimited.

And Here's the Recipe:

Easy Espresso Brownies

1 cup salted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup espresso powder, such as DeLallo
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips, optional

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and the sugar. Blend in the eggs.
  • Mix in the espresso powder. Blend in the flour and cocoa powder.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips if you want extra chocolate. (I never don't want extra chocolate.)
  • Pour the batter in the baking pan.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick or knife. Remember that these will set more after you pull them out. If you like gooey brownies, stick to the shorter end of the baking time.

Do you have a favorite recipe for muffins, scones, cookies, or other baked goods? What would you serve at your cat café?

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats.

Kris also writes romantic suspense set in the Southwestern U.S. If you love Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels, try Kris Bock’s stories of treasure hunting, archaeology, and intrigue in the Southwest. Sign up for Kris Bock’s newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more. Visit the Kris Bock website or Kris Bock’s Amazon page.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Bedeviled: Romantic Suspense by @madisonmichael_ FREE November 7-10

The Beguiling Bachelors, Book 3
By Madison Michael
♥♥♥ ~ Free November 7th - November 10th Only ~ ♥♥♥
About Bedeviled:
If You Build Your Love on Lies, You Better Run Faster than the Truth

Newly appointed Finance Director, Charlotte Roche escaped dangers lurking in Boston by moving to Chicago. A new name, a new beginning - all built on lies. Believing she is safe, Charlotte drops her guard and sets her sights on her ruggedly handsome and wildly sexy running partner, Alexander Gaines. Can she advance their relationship from the track to the bedroom and still maintain her charade? or will Alex's probing questions pierce her carefully rehearsed story?

Alex, with unrevealed secrets of his own, struggles to hold the irresistible Charlotte at arm’s length. But when Charlotte sustains a suspicious injury, Alex seizes the opportunity to cuddle up to the sassy beauty. Does he dare risk his reputation, his fortune, his friends, and his heart by letting her get close?

How can they build a bond with deceit on both sides? With exposure imminent, their freshly forged relationship is in jeopardy and so are their lives. Can their love survive or are they bedeviled? 

Join Alex and Charlotte, in this steamy romance, the third in the five-star rated Beguiling Bachelor series. The suspense builds as the characters you’ve met and loved in “Bedazzled” and “Beholden” help tackle the maze of half-truths and cover-ups threatening the lovers.

ASIN: B06WLQL2FT Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense Amazon Buy Link:
Excerpt from Bedeviled:
Keeping his mind on the topic always took all of Alex’s effort anyway. When Charlotte sat hip-to-hip with him as she had today, he felt the heat of her skin, saw the long length of thigh exposed in front of him, heard her heavy post-run breathing until he was in sensory overload. She smelled so good, not stinky and sweaty like he must. She smelled classy and expensive with all those clean, floral scents. She smelled like a woman he could trust.
More like a woman I want to trust.
Thinking back, Alex recognized that she had been hiding something all along. When he wasn’t lost in a sensual fog, he was able to zero in on where the conversations lagged, when she got testy with his probing or tried to change the subject. It had something to do with her life in Boston before she moved to Chicago and it was something that had been going on for a while. She was practiced at her excuses by the time she used them on him. She was making too many trips back East for ‘Harvard stuff.’ She had met Regan Howe through this same ‘Harvard stuff’ yet Regan went back to her alma mater only once or twice a year, if that.
Oh yeah, Charlotte is definitely up to something and I intend to find out what. I have been patient long enough.
Sitting waiting now for Charlotte to arrive at Starbucks, Alex promised himself that he would get to the bottom of this or walk away.
Since she had declined his offer of a ride, Alex currently sat at a shady outside table enjoying the last of summer, waiting for her to walk over and speculating on her possible secrets. He was planning his subtle interrogation during the few minutes Charlotte would need to make her way across the park,
Stubborn. She should have just accepted the ride.
You driving over or walking?” she had asked him, once they caught their breath.
“I have the car if you want a ride?” When she hesitated, he tried tempting her. “I have the new car.”
Alex was the proud owner of a brand new Mercedes AMG. The sleek, luxury sports car suited him despite most people’s image of him as logical, conservative and staid. The need for speed was actually deep in his blood. “You will love it, tight on the curves, fast and quiet. She purrs,” he had bragged.
Charlotte hesitated on his last remark and Alex had been sure she would accept. “The new car, huh?” she sounded intrigued. “I am excited to see it at last, Alex. You have certainly been talking about it long enough.”
“I need to walk off this tight hamstring, so I’ll have to pass this time,” she had replied reluctantly. “Meet you there in five.” Of course, Charlotte had been Charlotte, and that included being unpredictable.
Charlotte, leaving Alex standing there, had taken off across the park without a backward glance. Alex stood dumbfounded a moment, watching her slow jog-walk toward the trail across the grassy lawns of Lincoln Park. She was heading directly toward their usual post-run Starbucks and if he didn’t get moving, she would be there first.
Still he stood, willing her to look back and flash him that smile that changed her whole face. She didn’t, of course, and Alex was left standing there, admiring her lithe figure and the smooth bunch and release of her muscles in those tiny running shorts as she moved into the distance. Reminding himself to close his gaping mouth, Alex jogged to the parking lot, trading an extra moment of admiring a beautiful woman for a few short moments admiring his beautiful new car.
Arriving at the coffee shop several minutes before Charlotte, Alex was forced to cool his heels. He spent the time piecing together anything he could think of to uncover Charlotte’s deep, dark, secret. Admittedly, he needed the ten-minute head start away from her to give his overheated blood a little cooling time too. He kept envisioning the two of them in that sweet ride, sitting close with their sweat-slicked bodies. The image had intensified the jolts of.electricity already coursing through his veins from running beside her scantily clothed body.
Too bad she turned me down. One of these days we will be in tight quarters, all alone, and I will make my move. I have resisted too long already.

About Madison Michael: Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links: Website:
Maddy's Romance Madness:
Maddy's Blog:
Amazon Author Page:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Sweet, Swoon-Worthy #Romance plus #Recipes and Cats

Small towns and big cities, rock stars and Billionaires, Christmas stories ... all in KU, if that helps you. This group promo is for books that are “clean,” with a sweet, mild heat level. Get these books fast! This promotion ends November 8.

In other news ... 

I'm writing a series about a cat café. But I don't have cats. Huh?

I love cats. I have known cats and enjoyed them in small doses. But tragically, I am very allergic to cats, so I cannot let one keep me as a servant. (I'm getting allergy shots, so maybe that will change in the future.)

Instead, my husband and I keep ferrets. They are similar to cats in some ways. When they play, they are as rambunctious as kittens. Like adult cats, they sleep most of the time.

So I will write about a cat cafe, which gives me a chance to look at lots of pictures and videos of adorable cats and kittens. 😻

Since I’m doing a series set at a café, so of course I mention amazing baked goods! In case you missed it here, this recipe for Cookie Dough Brownies is included at the back of Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café. I add a from-scratch brownie recipe there, but here's the quicker version, just in time for holiday parties and cookie exchanges!

And my recipe for Cookie Dough Cupcakes is on this blog. A chocolate chip cupcake with a ball of chocolate chip cookie dough in the center, and cookie dough frosting. 😲

For a video that inspired a chapter of Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café, watch "Easy Cat Moonlight scenery drawing with Oil Pastels - step by step" on YouTube. It makes art look easy!