Susan G Mathis releases Sara’s Surprise
I’m thrilled to release book two of the Thousand Islands Brides novellas. Here’s the back cover copy:
Sara O’Neill, works as an assistant pastry chef at the magnificent Thousand Islands Crossmon Hotel where she meets precocious, lovable, seven-year-old Madison and her charming father and hotel manager, Sean Graham. But Jacque LaFleur, the pastry chef Sara works under, makes her dream job a nightmare.
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It’ll make a great Christmas read, would make a lovely Christmas gift, or a good read anytime. I hope you will hop over to Amazon or Barnes & Nobles and pick up a copy. Most of all, I hope you’ll enjoy it. To whet your appetite, here’s a short excerpt:
Sara hurried to grab the tray of petite, white, fluted ramekins she’d already readied. Bringing them to the pastry station, she set them down, waiting for further instructions.
“I will teach you to separate eggs the proper way. I noticed you drew them from shell to shell. That is incorrect. You pour them onto your palm like this.” Chef broke an egg with one hand and let the egg white run through his fingers in one fluid motion. He plopped the yolk in a bowl. “Now you try.”
Sara cracked an egg with one hand. But before she adjusted the shell and got her hand under the egg, the white fell to the table in a gooey mess. She panicked, and the yolk broke too.
“Imbecile! Non!You don’t even know how to break an egg.” He slapped her hand and showed her again, making the process look simple. Effortless.
“I’m sorry, monsieur. I will learn.” Sara blinked back tears and tried again, this time accomplishing the feat, albeit rather awkwardly.
Chef took her through the next steps of heating the cream to “temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling.” At his instruction, she gently mixed in the remaining ingredients, simmered it, and poured the custard into the dishes.
Chef LaFleur handed her a tea towel. “You must put a towel in the bottom of the pan and fill it halfway with water before baking.”
Sara did as he commanded her, baked them, cooled and chilled them, and grinned with pride at her accomplishment. Just before teatime, Chef pulled her away from preparing the teapots to show her the final step.
He took her hand and led her back to the pastry table, touching her arm as if he was courting her. She shivered even though it must’ve been ninety degrees in the kitchen.
“For the final presentation, we sprinkle sugar on top of the custard to create a lovely caramelized crust. We put them under the broiler for a few moments and voilà! They will be magnifique.” He put his fingers together and touched his lips to the tips, fanning out his hand as if to send some magical kiss to the heavens.
Sara wished he’d wash his hands instead.
Thankfully, the crème brûlée was picture perfect, and after he placed a sprig of mint and three blackberries on top of each one, they were a work of art. Chef LaFleur may be persnickety, but he sure was talented.
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