Hello, everyone! I’m the McKay half of Ari McKay, and I’d like to thank Open Skye for letting me stop by as part of our launch tour for Seeking Solace.
Seeking Solace is the third book in our Walker Boys series, which focuses on some of the men of the expansive Walker family from Buffalo Lick, Texas. Each Walker Boys book features a self-contained romance with a different couple, but characters from the previous books often make appearances.
Although the Walker boys are from Texas, only the first book is set entirely in Buffalo Lick. The main action of Seeking Solace occurs on board a cruise ship.
This series continues our tradition of writing about characters who like food and enjoy cooking. One of our first series – Recipe for Romance – centered around characters affiliated with a restaurant in Charleston. That series is being revamped for rerelease as second editions, but in the meantime, we’ve got the Walker boys!
We launched the series with Striking Sparks, which we wrote for the Dreamspun Desires line. Ari and I both enjoy cooking competition shows, so we decided to make a BBQ showdown the primary conflict. Beau Walker and Jake Parnell have to deal with family trauma while trying to hash out their personal differences all while being followed around by a TV crew and trying to prove their restaurant’s BBQ is the best!
In the second book, Breaking Bonds, we went from Texas to North Carolina, where Liam Walker volunteers to take over the kitchen of the resort where he’s vacationing. He tells himself he’s only doing it to help the owner, Carter Galloway, keep the resort afloat, but really, he just doesn’t know how to relax – and cooking helps distract him from how attracted he is to Carter.
And now in book three, Devin Walker indulges in an ill-advised shipboard romance with Paul Mercer, unaware that he’s falling for the soon-to-be CEO of the cruise line! Both Devin and Paul have experienced devastating heartbreak and betrayal, and the pain that haunts them might bring them closer together or tear them apart.
One reason why Ari and I keep returning to cooking as a theme in our books is pretty obvious: we both like to cook. I began cooking simple dishes in my teens with recipes taken from cookbooks on my mother’s shelf. From that, my cookbook addiction began! I love cookbooks, especially unique ones. When I travel, I usually return home with at least one cookbook featuring the local cuisine.
My criteria for buying a cookbook is that I have to flip through and find at least three recipes I’d really love to make before committing to purchasing it. That sounds reasonable enough, but the problem is I always find at least three, if not more!
I do have my tried and true recipes that I return to over and over, but when I’m in the mood to try something new, I grab one of the cookbooks off my kitchen shelf – because yes, I have enough that I need a small bookcase dedicated just to cookbooks – and put sticky notes on the pages of recipes that catch my eye. Then I narrow it down to what I want to make and compile my grocery list.
I also love handed-down recipes. I’ve collected recipes from friends and family, and I have several of my grandmother’s cookbooks, which are battered and stained and stuffed full of newspaper and magazine clippings and handwritten recipes that she collected over the years.
I’d like to close by sharing one of those recipes, one I’ve made successfully for several years.
Hilda’s Corn Pudding:
(note: I have no idea who Hilda is, but that’s the name of the recipe as written on the paper.)
1 can cream corn
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
1 tbsp flour (the recipe doesn’t specify, but I used All Purpose, and it worked fine)
salt & pepper to taste
Melt butter; add eggs, flour, milk, salt, pepper, and corn. Mix after each ingredient. Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
I can see this being served at Walker’s BBQ Shack in Buffalo Lick or Liam’s resort restaurant in Maggie Valley. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it!
Seeking Solace will be released on November 6, by Dreamspinner Press.
All hands on deck for a shipboard romance—with a secret.
Like his cousins, Devin Walker aspires to be a chef, but he wants to indulge his wanderlust while feeding his customers, and working a cruise ship seems like the solution. Since he can’t find an opening in the kitchen, he’s happy to start out in a position behind the bar.
While onboard Poseidon’s Pearl, Devin is assigned to shepherd a visiting executive. Paul Bailey is quiet and unassuming, and a car accident that cost him his leg also shattered his confidence. He doesn’t think he’s attractive to other men anymore, and Devin is eager to show him just how wrong he is. Paul has a surprising secret that might sink their passionate affair before it even leaves port.
Barnes & Noble: