Recipe & Book with
Mari ManningA lot of people don’t know this, but the Golden Delicious Apple was born in West Virginia. It was the result of a one night stand between two native apple trees who met by chance. The unwelcome offspring started life as a scrawny weed on the Mullins’ farm in Clay County. Needless to say it proved itself worthy despite its rocky start and is the official apple of West Virginia.
Since my story, Holding Out for a Hero is set partially in West Virginia (and partially in Chicago) I give my favorite apple crisp. Use golden delicious apples if you want to be authentic.
Mari’s Apple Crisp5-6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup of Craisins (raisins are okay, too; dried cherries are amazing as a substitute)
3 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Toss apples with 3 tbsp sugar and Craisins in a 9x12 glass dishStir together flour, oatmeal, sugars and cinnamon. Drizzle in butter, tossing ingredients with fork to blend. Do not overmix. Mixture should be crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
One month before her wedding, Seneca Simms discovers that everything she believed about her life is a dangerous lie. Will Collin Atlee, the detective she hired to find the truth, be able to protect her when the past comes calling?
Seneca Simms hurried down the narrow corridor. Her eyes scanned the numbers on the office doors as she brushed past them. When she reached number 425, she stopped. Through frosted glass and thick black letters announcing Collin Atlee, Private Investigator, the shadowy figure of a man hunkered over a computer.
She twisted the knob and pushed. For a moment the door stuck in the frame. Then it gave, banging against the wall with a dull thud, and Seneca gazed at the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. His features were sharply cut, forehead high, cheekbones prominent, nose straight. His mouth was generous, almost sensual, a feature the dark stubble covering his square jaw failed to hide. Beneath blond hair and dark brows, long-lashed eyes glittered like a king’s ransom of sapphires.
A few seconds ticked by while Seneca adjusted to the presence of a handsome stranger sitting in Collin Atlee’s office. He frowned at her, perfect brows knitting over the sharp bridge of his nose. Concern creased the corners of his mouth.
Seneca hitched up the heavy purse slung over her shoulder and folded her arms. “Where is Collin Atlee?”
Mr. Beautiful’s eyes narrowed until the blue barely showed beneath his sweep of lashes. “If you are looking for Richard, ma’am, you’re on the wrong side of town.”
“I’m looking for the guy whose name is on the door.” She jerked her head sideways at the lettered glass. “Collin Atlee.”
His head tipped back. His eyes widened in surprise. “I’m Collin Atlee.”
“I’ve met Mr. Atlee, and you are not him. If you don’t tell me where he is right now, I’ll-I’ll . . .” What would she do? She itched to punch him, but from the width of his shoulders, she guessed a jab delivered by a woman barely five-foot-two wouldn’t convince him to start talking.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“You know very well who I am. Mr. Atlee put you up to this, didn’t he?”
Mr. Beautiful rose to an intimidating height, requiring her to tilt her head to keep an eye on him. As he came around the desk, he fished something out of the back pocket of his desert camo combat pants. He produced a worn leather wallet and flipped it open. An Illinois state driver’s license with the name Collin R. Atlee stared out at her along with a fairly hot DMV photo.
You can see Mari’s weekly blogs and upcoming releases at: Website
Oh, Mari, you have no idea how much I love apple crisp! Thanks for the yummy recipe.
How about you, readers--Apple or Cherry???