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Southern romance and cornbread come together in Mary A. Felkins' new novel
Wednesday, January 31, 2024 by Sally Jo Pitts

Investigating Food Used in Novels

This month’s recipe and food scene is a southern treat from Mary A. Felkins’ latest novel, When You Smile for Me, in the Heart of Moreland Manor series.

Moreland Manor in Louisiana’s Cajun country is the setting for this romantic mystery, exploring the power of sisterhood and the strength of family bonds.

Lettie Thibodeaux, is the manor’s feisty house manager  who knows how to deliver thick scented southern Cajun influenced home-cooked meals.

Following is a scene where Lettie is reintroduced to super model Laurel James. After scrutinizing Laurel’s frame, Lettie declares, “I aim to see our guests keep a full belly, and you lookin’ on the sorry side of skinny, so we got work to do.” (Don’t you love Lettie?)

Here’s the scene:

Moreland’s house manager offered a genteel smile.

“Pleezed to see you again, Miz Laurel.”

“You as well.”

“Supper be out shortly.

“Judging from the wonderful smells from the kitchen,

that’ll be easily solved.” …

Lettie returned with a basket of steamy, buttery

cornbread. She set it on the table near Laurel’s plate. The

dear woman smelled of home cooking and looked like a

mother’s love. Stomach growling in readiness, she unfolded

her linen napkin and draped it over her lap.

“The weightiest question is ... why did my biological

father abandon me?”

Gabe leaned an elbow on the armrest. “Probably never

knew. Happens all the time, unfortunately.”

“Lies are easy to detect with a trained eye.” Jude took a

dinner fork in hand. “Once I question him, I’ll know.”

“Laurel, you have our full cooperation in keeping this

quiet.”

Serenity’s pledge to secrecy tied a cord of solidarity

around the table.

Laurel pinched a cube of buttery cornbread and set it

on the edge of her plate. Her cell rang. Angelika’s ring tone.

Ah. Still alive. She put it on speaker. “Hello, Ange.”

“I have communicated with Monique, and you are due

in LA on the twenty-third of this month for Fresh Face

Cosmetics. You are the face they have chosen to launch

their new product line.”

“Yes, but—”

“I am not asking for your careful consideration, Laurel.

Thus far, I have spared your career so you can see to your

mother and provided explanations to disgruntled clients

until I am blue in the face. This cannot be moved. Call time

is eight a.m. sharp, three weeks from now. You are to arrive

clean face, clean hair.”

Could the dear woman not bring her boiling aggravation

to a simmer?

“I understand, Ange. I’ll be there.”

She ended the call and pasted a smile on her lips.

“That’s my agent. She gets a little testy sometimes.”

As clients go, Angelika’s highly esteemed representation

made the coveted Fresh Face Cosmetics contract possible.

Laurel fought the lure of higher-paying projects when

they went against her values. God had called her to

properly finesse her power and persuasion and model a

life of character. To urge young women to leave a legacy of

integrity, because outer beauty would fade.

Thus, Laurel deeply regretted her decision to accept the

lingerie booking—for all the good it’d done for her to have

abruptly walked from it.

Her mouth watered at the untouched cornbread on

Jude’s plate. If he wasn’t going to eat it ... “Guess this means

you and I will be traveling to LA, Jude.”

He took the cornbread and bit half of it.

Darn.

Mary shares this adaptation of her own cornbread recipe, gives credit to Lettie and includes advice that surely would come from Ms. Lettie Thibodeaux.

                        Lettie’s Cornbread

For the recipe go to Investigatin’ Recipes above under Investigator’s blog or Click Here.

 

More about When You Smile for Me:

A lonely model.

A troubled warrior.

A mystery that begs to be solved.

International model Laurel James has a perfect life—at least in the eye of the world. But her private life is shattered by a secret long-kept by her Dad who confesses he’s not her biological father ... and everything she’s ever known is a lie.

The identity of the man who abandoned her is out there and she’s going to find it, even if she has to put her career on hold. Her only clue is an old photo. But she’s no detective, and worse, she’s the target of a pesky superfan.

Enter Major Jude Buchanan. Stateside after meritorious combat experience, he’s on the hunt for a worthy cause to fight—anything to distract him from pestering syptoms of PTSD. So when the opportunity to be Laurel’s bodyguard while assisting her search for her father arises, he accepts.

But when Laurel’s superfan proves to be the stalker Jude believes him to be, he’s caught in the crossfire. Now, Laurel will have to make a choice—the truth, or the happy ending she never saw coming. What will it take to rescue the man she hired to keep her safe?

And is the answer to the mystery the one thing that can save them both?

 

About the author:

MARY A. FELKINS is an inspirational

romance author, blogger, and contributor to

writer’s blogs and online publications. She

sprinkles hilarity, passion, and truth

throughout her novels. Gardenias, Peanut

M&Ms®, happily ever afters, and—above

all—Jesus, please.

 

 

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Comments

Mary A. Felkins From Texas At 2/1/2024 9:53:11 AM

You do just a fantastic job of connecting readers to story and favored foods featured in the books. I still use a pasta recipe another author shared on your blog last year. Easy and adaptable! Thank you for promoting Laurel and Jude's hard-fought romance.

Reply by: Sally Jo Pitts

I love sharing wonderful stories and recipes to go with them. Best wishes this latest book in the Moreland Manor series.

 

 


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