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Friday, April 28, 2017

Last Friday of the Month Recipe from Author Joy Smith ~ GLUTEN-FREE Pumpkin Pecan Squares

I love these Last Friday of the Month recipes, I try them and they are truly delicious.  We've had a few GLUTEN-FREE recipes recently, and you all have told me you're so pleased with them. So, here is another and as I love pumpkin, it sounds perfect. 

Hi L.A. Thanks for hosting me today, and for giving me the chance to spend time with my daughter, who has celiac disease. Like the heroine in my book, she loves making desserts and has developed some great gluten free recipes. I chose to make pumpkin squares as they are mentioned in the first chapter of HEAR ME ROAR, plus the fact that I love anything pumpkin. We worked together, enhancing her basic recipe with pecans. I managed to snap these pictures before our tribe wolfed them down. These cake-like squares are lusciously moist and delicious, and you would never guess they are gluten-free. The cream cheese icing compliments the pumpkin, and the sugared pecan provides a nice sweet crunch. S-o-o-o good!


Gluten-free Pumpkin Pecan Squares
Oil spray
1 8-ounce package pecan halves, divided
4 eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Sugared Pecans
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 ounces pecan halves
Cream Cheese Icing
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound confectioners sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan with oil spray. Chop 4 ounces of the pecans, and set aside the rest. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil until well blended. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to Cool. Meanwhile, make the sugared pecans and the icing. Sugared pecans: Heat the sugar and remaining pecan halves in a 10-inch skillet until the sugar liquefies and the nuts are coated and shiny. Stir constantly as this happens quickly. Remove nuts from pan and cool in a single layer on a piece of foil or waxed paper. Set aside. Cream Cheese Icing: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and continue to beat until blended. Frost the cooled cake and decorate with the sugared pecans. Cut into squares and serve.

Blurb for Hear Me Roar
Jan Simmons never expected trouble to move into her quiet Charming Way cul-de-sac. Nor did she expect her husband Jeff’s weakness for fast money to drag their once happy family into danger.

When her husband turns to crime, Jan, a people-pleaser with little self-worth, must release the death grip she has on her failing marriage for the sake of her children and draw on her inner strength.

As Jan fights to free her family from a web of lies and deceit she also battles to save herself.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Wild Rose Press

I've authored a mish mosh of genres. The truth is my nonfiction books have followed my life’s learnings. Thirty-five years ago, when we bought our first boat, I began collecting info that might make cruising easier for other boaters, new and old. When my to-be-married daughter asked for my recipes, I started a cookbook, and then a Lord-help-me book for mom’s going through the wedding planning process.

So fiction writing? How about that? Well, I needed a little fantasy in my life. Did you know writing a novel is more challenging than a how-to book? When I’m not contriving a plot or doing heavy research, you may find me aboard our boat enjoying the salt air or fighting heavy seas with my handsome captain. Oh, and I crochet like mad—prayer shawls to be donated to those in need of a hug—at dock, underway, or at home. I’d love to hear from you! Email me at

Find Joy: 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Take Five and Meet Author Anne Louise Bannon

Once again I'm lucky to find a new-author-to-me. 
Wait until you read the new challenge she's undertaking!! 
And you should love answer to question four, I did.  

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Anne Louise Bannon.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book The Last Witnesses?

My research for the first two. It’s kind of hard to explain here, because it involves a potential spoiler. But as I was learning more and more about the 1920s for Fascinating Rhythm and Bring Into Bondage, I heard about this weird conspiracy theory that was going around at the time. Can’t say more, sadly, but I couldn’t help thinking “What if..?”
Also, my two characters, Freddie Little and Kathy Briscow, they kept talking to me and I kept getting more and more interested in them and their lives and the people around them. The only problem I’m having now is that the cast is getting a little on the large side for book number four, Blood Red.

Have you been a lifelong reader of mystery?  What are some of the first books you remember reading?

You know, I think I have been. One of the first chapter books I read all by myself was a book called Key to the Treasure, about some kids who find clues from an old treasure hunt left by (I think) their great-grandfather. I also did some of the classics, Charlotte’s Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach. I didn’t really discover Nancy Drew until I was 11 or so, but I was definitely reading mysteries before then. And ever since.

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

I walk. I mostly prefer to get from Point A to Point B when I walk, and sometimes I end up focusing on what I’m going to do when I get to Point B. I’m working on a distance walking challenge, and even when I’m in urban areas, there aren’t a lot of distractions, I’m not falling asleep, and on really good days, my brain just kicks into high gear and I’m solving plot problems and developing character twists.

To you what makes a great romance hero or heroine?

I like people who are real in my reading. Nonetheless, my favorite romantic hero is Professor Emerson from the Amelia Peabody series. Emerson is completely passionate about his wife, Amelia, but he also respects her intelligence and challenges her even as she challenges him. And I love their ongoing relationship through the series. That, to me, is almost always more interesting than the happily ever after thing.

You’re having a dinner party.  What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up? Why?

You mean besides the bad guy? But, actually, there is also another minor character who I would not want at my dinner table for any amount of money and that’s Father James Callaghan. He’s one of Kathy’s many uncles in New York, and unlike the rest of them, he’s a sour old man. It’s not that he’s a priest – and I have several priest friends. It’s that he’s old and cranky and more than a little self-righteous. Not at all fun as a dinner guest.

Give us a brief summary of The Last Witnesses:
It's back to the 1920s with socialite author Freddie Little and his editor and not-so-blushing bride Kathy Briscow. In fact, Freddie and Kathy are happily enjoying their newly-married bliss when Freddie's sister, Honoria, finds a dead body in her apartment. Honoria had taken the young woman in as a favor to a friend but it soon becomes clear that the favor caught up. Honoria goes into hiding and Freddie and Kathy take up a chase that will lead all three of them across the country and into a conspiracy that, no matter how unbelievable, could get them all killed.

Anne Louise Bannon is an author and journalist who wrote her first novel at age 15. Her journalistic work has appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Wines and Vines, and in newspapers across the country. She was a TV critic for over 10 years, founded the YourFamilyViewer blog, and created the wine education blog with her husband, Michael Holland. 

She also writes the romantic fiction serial, Book One of which is out now. She is the co-author of Howdunit: Book of Poisons, with Serita Stevens, as well as the Freddie and Kathy mystery series, set in the 1920s, and the Operation Quickline series and Tyger, Tyger. She and her husband live in Southern California with an assortment of critters.
Find Anne Louise: