22 July 2014

Tasty Tuesday Guest Post: Ava Miles swings by the kitchen to dish a bit of Country Heaven

Join Ava Miles  the bestselling author of the Dare Valley series that includes number one bestseller NORA ROBERTS LAND  as she stops by to dish a bit of COUNTRY HEAVEN - the first book in her spinoff Dare River series.

Combing country music, down home cooking, and hot, sweet, and spicy romance, COUNTRY HEAVEN is a joy to read.

In addition, Ava's published a Country Heaven Songbook (featuring the lyrics and songs she wrote for the book) as well as a Country Heaven Cookbook. Now this cookbook is GREAT! It includes all the recipes from COUNTRY HEAVEN as well as a great selection of family recipes from Ava Miles. (See below for your a chance to win your very own copy.)

Keep on the lookout for the second book in the Dare River series, THE CHOCOLATE GARDEN, to be released on 12 August. And hop on over to Ava's Facebook page to see the just-revealed cover!

So join me today for the launch of Tasty Tuesdays and let's hang out for a bit in the kitchen with Ava!


Let Them Eat Cake in the Country

So, hi there! I’m Ava Miles, the new contemporary romance writer who burst onto the scene with her book NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off my acclaimed Dare Valley series. Now, I’m delighted to announce the first book in a connected series called Dare River, set in the deep South, titled COUNTRY HEAVEN.

Thanks so much, Emsy, for hosting me today to talk about my new release. The story is about a down-on-her luck cook who uses food’s magical properties to tame a beastly country singer after he hires her under false pretenses to restore his image. Since Lori loves cooking as much as I do, I thought I’d give you all an excerpt from my heroine’s cookbook, one she faithfully uses to try and tame the beastly country singer, Rye Crenshaw, when he’s…ahem…being beastly. Tory Simmons is his private chef on his multi-city country music tour, and heavens, does that man try her patience when he’s not looking steamy in his cowboy hat.

This cake was our signature birthday cake growing up, and we had it a lot since I am one of six kids. I hope you enjoy the excerpt and recipe.

My Grandma made a lot of cakes, but my favorite was her Lady Baltimore—an old school, spongy white cake that you don’t see too much anymore. Maybe it was the name, which reminded me I was special, but I always chose it for my birthday. She’d frost it with a mouth-watering buttercream frosting in the colors I liked best, adding cabbage roses in the corners. Other times, I’d select a “shape” cake, like an elephant or a horse, and she’d cut the cake into pieces and reassemble it, transforming a normal cake into a magical creation. By the time the cake was punctured with candles, it was a work of art. And while you were sad to see the magical cake disappear, you never thought twice about eating it. With one bite, it hooked you.

Lady Baltimore Cake
¾ cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
½ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
6 egg whites

Sift the cake flour with the salt and baking powder. Cream the butter and sugar. Whip the egg whites to stiff. Combine milk and water with vanilla. Mix half the flour mixture and milk/water mixture into the creamed butter and sugar. Stir. Repeat the process. When blended, gently add the egg whites in batches until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a buttered and floured pan. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Tory Simmons’ Simmering Family Cookbook

So tell me. What’s your favorite cake?

Enter the Giveaway

Win a copy of Ava Miles' COUNTRY HEAVEN COOKBOOK
There are two chances to win! 
Just fill out the form and make sure to answer Ava's question above in the comments below.

Congratulations to giveaway winners, Robin Driscoll & Deena Knight!
Read my review of Ava Miles' COUNTRY HEAVEN COOKBOOK


More about Ava Miles' COUNTRY HEAVEN



COUNTRY HEAVEN, Book 1, The Dare River Series, by Ava Miles
Contemporary Romance/Fiction/Original
$4.99 (eBook), $14.99 (print) ISBN: 978-1-940565-05-7

A down-on-her luck cook uses food’s magical properties to tame a beastly country singer after he hires her under false pretenses to restore his image.

When famous—and infamous—country singer Rye Crenshaw saunters into the diner where she cooks, Tory Simmons is certain she’s got him pegged. He’s a bad boy who indulges himself in all things, women included. But while she couldn’t care less about country music or arrogant men, Rye makes her an offer she can’t refuse when he asks her to be his private chef on his multi-city concert tour. The job is the answer to all her prayers: it will clear out her debt and finance the fresh start she desperately needs.

Rye is certain his sassy new cook is the last woman who’d ever tempt him, but spending time with the wholesome girl next door will do wonders for his damaged public image, whether she likes being forced into the spotlight or not. Her food also happens to be the best he’s ever eaten, both comforting and seductive. But spending time with Tory on the road shows him a new side to her—one that’s as impossible to resist as her food. And when an emergency in his family whisks him home, he does the one thing he’s never risked: he lets a woman into his heart…

Soon the emotions Rye faked for the tabloids become all too real, but will the country heaven he’s found in Tory’s arms survive in the real world?

Buy it here:



A little more about Ava Miles


USA Today Bestselling Author Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off The Dare Valley Series and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Much to Ava's delight, USA Today Contributor Becky Lower selected it as one of the Best Books of the Year. 

Ava continued The Dare Valley Series in FRENCH ROAST, which Tome Tender says “raised the entertainment bar again” and then THE GRAND OPENING, which reviewer Mary J. Gramlich says “is a continuation of love, family, and relationships.” 

The next books in the series, THE HOLIDAY SERENADE, was met with high praise and her ode to the early 1960s, THE TOWN SQUARE, what she calls Mad Men in a small town with a happy ending, melted reader’s hearts. Ava based her original series on a family newspaper, modeled after her own. Her great-great grandfather won it in a poker game in 1892, so Ava is no stranger to adventurous men and models her heroes after men like that—or like Tim McGraw, her favorite country music singer. 

Now Ava shares the Dare River series, set in the deep South, telling the story of a country singer and a beautiful cook. 

A former chef herself, Ava used her culinary background to infuse the story with family and personal recipes, but she also used her love for music to write country music songs to set the stage in the novel, creating a unique book experience. 

Ava—a writer since childhood—now lives in her own porch-swinging-friendly community with an old-fashioned Main Street lined with small businesses.

Keep in touch with Ava