$.99 THE UNVEILING: Book One on Sale for a Limited Time

For a limited time, pick up a copy of this bestselling 4.6/5 star-rated medieval romance from USA Today Bestselling author, Tamara Leigh, for only $.99. Available at: Amazon.com  Barnes & Noble  Kobo Books

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12th Century England. Two men vie for the throne: King Stephen, the usurper, and young Duke Henry, the rightful heir. Amid civil and private wars, alliances are forged, loyalties are betrayed, families are divided, and marriages are made.

For four years, Lady Annyn Bretanne has trained at arms with one end in mind—to avenge her brother’s murder as God has not deemed it worthy to do. Disguised as a squire, she sets off to exact revenge on a man known only by his surname, Wulfrith. But when she holds his fate in her hands, her will wavers and her heart whispers that her enemy may not be an enemy after all.

Baron Wulfrith, renowned trainer of knights, allows no women within his walls for the distraction they breed. What he never expects is that the impetuous young man sent to train under him is a woman who seeks his death—nor that her unveiling will test his faith and distract the warrior from his purpose.

To read an excerpt, visitTamara Leigh: The Kitchen Novelist


Angel Food Cake croutons aren’t so odd, really. After all, this salad features raspberries and pears. And, er, bacon. And goat cheese. As for that last ingredient, it was the perfect addition. However, since my guys aren’t fans of delightfully tart goat cheese, I substituted feta for their salads. Verdict: fantastic!

Raspberry-Pear-Bacon Salad with Angel Food Cake Croutons

4-1″ slices angel food cake, cut into 1″ cubes

8 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce

4 green onions, sliced thin

4 stalks celery, sliced thin

4 oz goat cheese log, sliced into 8 pieces

2 ripe but firm pears, cored, quartered, and sliced thin

4 oz fresh raspberries

Dressing (recommend: Ken’s Steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) Place Angel Food Cake cubes on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes until golden and toasted; remove from oven and set aside to cool (they should crisp up a bit more)

3) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon pieces and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until crisp; remove from skillet and drain on paper towel-lined plate

4) Divide romaine lettuce between 4 plates; scatter green onions and celery over top; place two slices of goat cheese in center of each salad; scatter pears, raspberries, and croutons over top; serve with dressing

Servings: 4


Our family is a turkey bacon family. However, in recent months Junior Too has developed a taste for the real stuff. Since he and Senior have no weight issues whatsoever, I was tempted by a sinful cookbook titled Bacon Nation which has now taken up residence in my kitchen. My recipe was inspired by “French Toast Bread Pudding with Bacon and Cinnamon” and, after I tweaked ingredients and preparation, it turned out to be a major hit. Many greasy bacon thumbs up!

Bacon French Toast Casserole

6 slices thick-cut bacon (next time, I’ll give turkey bacon a try)

8 eggs, divided

1/2 cup granulated white sugar, divided

2-1/4 cup milk, divided

8 slices soft bread (I used potato bread)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup Craisins (or raisins)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch fine sea salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil 13″x9″ baking dish

2) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook 2-3 minutes each side until crisp; remove skillet from heat and place bacon on paper towel-lined plate; remove all but 2 tbsp bacon grease from skillet and set skillet aside (you’ll use it to cook the french toast); chop bacon and set aside

3) To large mixing bowl, add: 4 eggs (reserving 4), 1/4 cup sugar (reserving 1/4 cup), and 3/4 cup milk (reserving 1-1/2 cups); whisk until well blended

4) Return large skillet to stove top and heat over medium

5) Meanwhile, dip both sides of bread slices in egg batter and place in skillet (you’ll have to make in 2 batches of 4 slices each and, perhaps, add a bit more bacon grease); cook each side 3-4 minutes until golden; remove from skillet and cut each slice on the diagonal to form 16 triangles; overlap french toast in baking dish and scatter pecans and Craisins over the top; set aside

6) To large mixing bowl, add: 4 reserved eggs, 1/4 cup reserved sugar, vanilla, 1-1/2 cups reserved milk, half-and-half, maple syrup, nutmeg, and salt; whisk until well combined; pour over french toast triangles, sprinkle with cinnamon, and cover with aluminum foil; let sit 15 minutes

7) Place casserole in oven and cook 25 minutes; remove aluminum foil and cook additional 25 minutes; remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving; you can serve with maple syrup, but this dish is so moist and tasty you shouldn’t need it; enjoy!

Servings: 6

DREAMSPELL Wins the RONE Award for Best Time Travel

DREAMSPELL has won the RONE Award for best time travel romance!

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Sleep disorders specialist Kennedy Plain has been diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews. And yet, the more time she spends with the medieval warrior, the more difficult it is to believe he is capable of committing the heinous crime for which he has been reviled for 600 years.

Baron Fulke Wynland has been granted guardianship of his brother’s heirs despite suspicions that he seeks to steal their inheritance. When the king sends a mysterious woman to care for the boys, Fulke is surprised by the lady’s hostility toward him–and more surprised to learn she is to be his wife. But when his nephews are abducted, the two must overcome their mutual dislike to discover the boys’ fate. What Fulke never expects is to feel for this woman whose peculiar speech, behavior, and talk of dream travel could see her burned as a witch.

To Read an Excerpt Visit: www.tamaraleigh.com

Available from: Amazon  IBooks  Barnes&Noble   Kobo

THE KINDLING: Book Four (Back Cover Copy)

I’m wilting… But out of all this wilting that ‘s been going on for several days as I struggle with the back cover copy of THE KINDLING: Book Four (why does it have to be so hard?), I believe I’m close, maybe even there. Feedback appreciated:



Helene of Tippet is not her father or her brother’s keeper, and yet the secret she holds close threatens to visit her estranged family’s sins upon her when she is enlisted to use her healing skills to aid a fallen knight. Now she finds herself in danger of loving where she should not—a man not only of the nobility but who has cause to hate her if ever he learns of the blood that courses her veins. Dare she reveal herself? Dare she trust a warrior so bitter and intent on revenge? Dare she love?

Sir Abel Wulfrith, a man bred to battle, has the scar to prove one should never trust a woman. But when he is wounded by his family’s enemy, he finds himself at the mercy of a woman who could prove his undoing. Now he faces a battle against which no strategy can prevail, no blade can defend, no heart can escape unscathed. Can he forgive Helene the sins of the father—more, the sins of the brother? Can he reclaim his faith? Can he love?


Once again, I turned to the Bacon Nation cookbook for dinner, tweaked (a little) their “Crusted Salmon with Avocado and Red Onion Green Salad” and served up this amazing meal to some very grateful plate scrapers–and me. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: fish is not my thing. However, this fish was amazing. Was it the bacon? Avocado? Lime-Dijon dressing? I can’t decide, but YUM!

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad (2)

3 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

sea salt

ground black pepper

8-10 slices bacon (depending on length of salmon fillet)

1-1/4 lb skinless, deboned salmon fillet

4 cups baby spinach

1/2 red onion, quartered and sliced thin

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered, and sliced thin

2 tbsp shaved parmesan (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) In small bowl mix: olive oil, lime juice, and Dijon mustard; lightly season with salt and pepper; refrigerate

3) On a 10″ to 12″ long sheet of aluminum foil, layer bacon strips horizontally, overlapping slightly; center salmon fillet on bacon strips and fold excess left side bacon strips over top of fillet, then right side bacon strips over bacon strips

4) Heat large skillet over medium-high; lift bacon-wrapped salmon fillet by aluminum foil and gently turn into skillet so that loose bacon edges are in bottom of skillet; cook 4 minutes, gently turn (I used 2 spatulas to keep bacon intact) and cook additional 4 minutes; remove from heat

5) Transfer bacon-wrapped salmon fillet to 13″x9″ baking dish and bake in oven 8-10 minutes until salmon is just cooked in center; remove from oven, place on cutting board, and let sit 5 minutes

6) Divide spinach between 4 plates and scatter onion and avocado over top

7) Slice bacon-wrapped salmon fillet into 1″ thick slices and arrange on top of salads; scatter parmesan cheese over top (optional), drizzle with lime-Dijon dressing, and serve

Servings: 4


It’s been too long since I made this recipe and, let me tell you, it’s been missed. What makes it stand out is the chipotle chiles and the tomato-avocado-lime topping. Super yum!

Pork and Chipotle Bean Nachos

4 slices turkey bacon

1 lb ground pork (or beef or chicken)

1 tsp sea salt, divided

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1-16 oz can fat-free refried beans (great alternative: 1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed)

3 tbsp water

3 tbsp fresh lime juice, divided

2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced

1 tsp chili powder

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

2 green onions, sliced thin

1 tbsp olive oil

5 cups tortilla chips

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, salsa, sour cream

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees

2) In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp; remove from heat and chop fine

3) To same skillet over medium-high heat, add pork, 1/2 tsp salt (reserving 1/2 tsp), and pepper; cook 5-6 minutes until just cooked through; remove from heat, drain, and transfer to bowl; set aside

4) To same skillet over medium heat, add refried beans, water, 1 tbsp lime juice (reserving 2 tbsp), chipotle chiles, bacon, 1/2 tsp reserved salt, and chili powder; stirring often, cook 4-5 minutes until warmed through; remove from heat and set aside

5) To medium-sized bowl, add tomatoes, avocado, green onions, 2 tbsp reserved lime juice, and olive oil; gently mix to combine; set aside

6) Spread tortilla chips in large roasting pan and drop refried bean mix evenly over chips (you may need to add a bit more water to beans); scatter pork over beans, followed by cheese; bake in oven 5 minutes until cheese is nicely melted; remove from oven and evenly scatter tomato-avocado mixture over top; if you like, serve with optional toppings

Servings: 6-8 as an appetizer


This has been a relatively cool and wet–and humid!–Tennessee summer, which grants me license to include a soup in our family’s weekly dinners. Nothing too heavy, mind you–In this case, a broth-based soup with turkey meatballs tossed in to add protein to the meal. My guys were quite pleased and full 🙂

White Bean-Spinach Soup with Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese

3 tbsp bread crumbs

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium-sized red onion, diced

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 cup white cooking wine

4 cups chicken broth

2-15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

2) To large bowl add ground turkey, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (reserving 2 tbsp), bread crumbs, salt, and pepper and mix well; form into 1″ meatballs and place on baking sheet 1″ apart; bake in oven 15 minutes until just done

3) Meanwhile, to large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, onion, and thyme; cook 5 minutes; add cooking wine and cook 3 minutes; reduce heat to low, stir in broth and cannellini beans, and cook 5 minutes; add turkey meatballs and spinach and cook 2 minutes; remove from heat, ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with reserved Parmesan cheese; serve!

Servings: 4 hearty dinner-sized portions; 8-12 sides


Though seafood is pretty low on my favorite food list, scallops are an exception–some have been so-so, but most are fabulous. And this scallop salad is on the fabulous end of the scale. Really, the only way you can go slightly wrong is if your scallops don’t achieve a lovely sear, so pat-pat-pat those babies dry before adding them to the skillet. Three guy thumbs and one gal thumb up!

Orange-Red Onion-Green Olive Scallop Salad

3 oranges, peel cut away and discarded; orange quartered and sliced thin

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup pitted and sliced green olives

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1-1/2 lbs large sea scallops, patted very dry (important!)

sea salt

ground black pepper

4 cups fresh baby spinach

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) To a large bowl add oranges, onion, and green olive; add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp) and vinegar and toss to coat; refrigerate

2) To large skillet over medium-high heat add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil; add scallops to pan and cook 2-3 minutes each side until just done in center; lightly season with salt and pepper and remove from heat

3) Divide spinach between 4 plates and top with orange-red onion-green olive mixture; top with scallops and scatter with parsley; serve

Servings: 4


Junior requested this tasty, protein-rich sandwich as he staggered out of bed. Junior Too seconded the motion. Fortunately, it’s fairy easy to put together. Good eats!

Egg-Ham-Cheese Waffle Sandwich

4 frozen waffles (I used buttermilk but, believe it or not, blueberry tastes good too)

2 eggs

Dijon mustard, to taste

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (the busy-busy me often stoops to buying pre-grated)

2 slices provolone

2 slices ham (not too thick)

dash of salt

1) Pop waffles in toaster and toast until lightly browned; set aside

2) In skillet heated to medium, crack eggs and cook until whites firm up (about 2 minutes); flip with spatula (Note: if you’re not into runny egg, gently press down on egg with spatula until yolk breaks free of the white and begins to cook)

3) Top each egg with a swirl of Dijon mustard (to taste), cheddar cheese, a slice of provolone, and a slice of ham; turn with spatula (this allows cheese to melt between layers of ham and egg); cook 1-2 minutes until cheese melts; add a dash of salt

4) Slide egg/cheese/ham onto toasted waffle, top with another waffle, and serve to your bleary-eyed, soon-to-be-chipper young ‘uns 🙂

Serves: 2

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/11/12