Sunday, January 16, 2011

Welcome Our Guest Blogger Terry Odell: What's in a name? + Honey and Orange Glazed Chicken!

Author Terry Odell
Terry Odell is an author who straddles the genres of mystery and romance. I've enjoyed her fiction, her blog, and her friendship. She's a terrific writer who loves to cook, which makes her the perfect guest for Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Please join me in welcoming Terry to our blog...  ~ Cleo Coyle

Thanks so much to Cleo for inviting me to be her guest here today at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. My newest release, What's in a Name? is actually a re-release of a former Cerridwen Press title. One great thing about the trend towards e-publishing is that authors can bring back books no longer in print.

My romantic suspense, What's in a Name? had garnered some respectable credentials: A Daphne du Maurier Finalist, A Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist. 2nd Place, Volusia County Laurel Wreath 3rd Place, Aspen Gold Romantic Suspense. A Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews, Four Stars from RT Magazine. So, I'm glad to see it back on the shelves—even if they're virtual ones.

Kelli Carpenter has changed her name, her appearance—her life—to avoid being connected to a crime she committed in self defense years ago. But just when she thinks she has nothing to fear, handsome stranger Blake Windsor shows up. 

When someone makes an attempt on Kelli's life, she runs—but she takes Blake with her. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer is her philosophy. And Kelli is convinced Blake knows something that will link her to her former lover's death, ending her life as she knows it.

What's in a Name? is full of twists and turns as Blake and Kelli try to keep one step ahead of whoever is following them—while they try to figure out why.

And because this blog is about cooking, and there are always references to cooking in my books, I thought I'd share a bit of a scene where my characters start working together.

Here's a snip of a scene where Blake, the hero, makes an attempt to start dinner. Luckily, Kelli, the heroine, shows up to help. And below my recipe you'll find a scene that occurs a little later, when Blake remembers helping his mother cook.

Okay, but now what? He started rooting through cabinets and drawers, trying to remember what he'd seen in the kitchen at Camp Getaway.
       "Need some help, Windsor?"
       He spun around at the sound of Kelli's voice, cracking his head against an open cabinet door. "Crap!" Rubbing his head, he could tell she was trying not to laugh.
       He saw her taking in his attempts to start cooking and when her expression softened, he had a sudden urge to use the kitchen counter for an entirely different course of action. "Umm … I thought I'd start dinner. Unless—?" He cocked an eyebrow.
       "I think dinner's the more sensible option." But her smile gave him hope for dessert.
       She stepped closer, brushing her hip against him while she found a frying pan. "You've got the right idea, anyway." When she raised her eyes to meet his, she laughed. "About dinner. It's always a good idea to get all the ingredients out and ready before you start cooking. There's even a name for it. Mis en place."
       "I think I love it when you talk cooking." He embraced her, making no effort to deny his arousal.
       She lingered against him for a moment, then pulled away. "Down, boy. Hand me the garlic."
       He watched in fascination as Kelli gave the garlic clove a resounding whack with the side of the knife blade, slipped off the skin, then chopped it fine.
       "You know how to dice an onion?" she asked. She poured some olive oil into the pan and adjusted the burner.
       "I think I can manage." He reached for the knife. "Dice means cut up into little bits, right?"
       "Let me show you." Kelli cut the onion in half, made a series of horizontal cuts, then vertical ones. "Don't go all the way through the root, though, or it'll fall apart. Then, all you do is cut crosswise and … voilà … dice!" She handed him the knife. "You can do the other half."
        He copied her moves and although his end product wasn't quite as uniform as Kelli's he thought he'd done a fine job. He blinked as the onion brought tears to his eyes.
       "Not bad." Kelli scraped the onion into the hot pan. "Work on your speed and you'll be done before the fumes get to you."

And, because this blog is also about sharing,
here's the original recipe...

Honey and Orange
Glazed Chicken

8 servings

2 (3 lb) broiler-fryers, cut up
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ c orange juice
¼ c honey
2 T. red-wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. dried thyme

Heat oven to 350°. Place large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, working in batches, and cook until nicely browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Remove chicken to a 9x13 baking dish. Drain all but 1T of chicken fat from skillet. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and garlic; sauté, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.

Stir in all remaining ingredients except salt. Mix well. Pour over chicken and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear, basting occasionally with sauce. Remove chicken and onions to platter. Transfer chicken juices over medium high heat until sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Season with salt. Serve chicken and onions with sauce.

(If you use boneless breasts, reduce cooking times accordingly. With these, you can also do the whole thing on the stovetop.)

"It just hit me. Like someone jammed a two-by-four in my gut." His hands gripped the arms of the chair and she saw his knuckles whiten. "I had this memory … of my mom."
       She put her hand over one of his, gently massaging it. "You said she died when you were three. That's not too young to have memories."
       "She used to bake chocolate chip cookies. Bri and I would help—but mostly I got to lick the bowl." He gave a quiet snort.   "You were right about that."
       Her own memories intruded—her and Luke in the kitchen together, laughing and making messes when he'd tried to help. She lowered her head into Blake's chest.
        His voice resonated through her. "Once she let me stir. The dough was so stiff and I sent the whole bowl crashing to the floor. Smashed into bits. Bri pitched a fit, but Mom told me it didn't matter. She cleaned up, made another batch of dough and put the bowl in the sink for me, so it wouldn't go anywhere."
       "Sounds like she loved you."
       "I don't know why that came back. I opened the bag of chips and—wham."
       "The sense of smell is a powerful trigger for memories. That and everything else you've been thinking about—family—you know."
       "Guess so. But I think there's another problem."
       "Hmm?" Thoughts of Dwight Hollingsworth and people trying to kill her were fading away. She snuggled into Blake's lap and noticed he probably had something else on his mind. He adjusted her so their eyes met. Her breath quickened.
       He touched his lips to her forehead. "I'm in love with you." 

Thanks again to Terry for joining us today!

To learn more about Terry, visit her website,  

or her wonderful blog, Terry's Place,


Here are some handy buy links for
What's in a Name?(Note: Introductory prices of 99 cents are in effect
for one more week. Don't wait too long!)

Use coupon code XC48J 

You can leave a comment or question
for Terry below. Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!


  1. Welcome to the blog, Terry! I've downloaded "What's in a Name" and am looking forward to reading it. :)

    This honey and orange glazed chicken looks amazing! I think I have all the ingredients here at the house and can't wait to give it a go. Thanks!

  2. Elizabeth - thanks. Hope you enjoy Blake & Kelli. The recipe was one of my mom's company dishes.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  3. Terry, this recipe sound delicious and the photos look so yummy. I'll have to give it a try. I always enjoy how you weave a little time in the kitchen with your characters.

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. Thanks, Mason -- characters have to eat, right!

  5. Thanks for joining us today, Terry! For once, I have all the ingredients on hand, too. Sounds easy and delicious. I'm looking forward to trying it.

    ~ Krista

  6. Oh this looks and sounds so delicious, Terry, and you have very tempting fictional presentations too! Glad you were here today.

  7. I was just thinking, "what's for supper tonight?" Then I saw your post. I'm thinkin' Honey and Orange Glazed Chicken!
    I bought What's In A Name last week and am loving it! Can't wait until I get to this part.

  8. Hi Terry - great recipe, and wonderful excerpts. Thanks for sharing - I'm all set for a really enjoyable afternoon!

  9. Krista, - it IS easy. And if you're lazy, you don't have to brown the chicken, because it'll be buried in the sauce!

    Mary Jane - I'm glad to have been invited. This is a wonderful blog.

    Rachel - so glad you're enjoying the book. I don't think these excerpts were spoilers.

    Julie - enjoy!

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  10. The recipe looks great and I just happen to have a chicken in the freezer! Also, can I put in an order for the guy on the front cover of the book? I promise to feed and water him every day!! ~Nurse JudyMac

  11. LOL, NurseJudy - If you want, I can give you the link to the cover model's website. :-)

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  12. Terry - thanks again for being our guest today! Your recipe is a must-make for me (wish I could dive into that plate right now), and I just downloaded What’s in a Name?

    Confession. I don't have a Kindle (or any e-reader yet) but Amazon now has Kindle for PC and I installed that program in about 20 seconds. (My laptop is practically another limb so I have no problem enjoying your book on my laptop’s screen.) BTW - I'm impressed how savvy you are with e-books. Your posts on the subject have been very informative.

    Cheers, thanks again, and big congrats on the accolades you've garnered for WIAN,
    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  13. Terry, thanks for joining us. I love orange and chicken combo. I make it all the time. And yes, the cover model is a hunk!

  14. Cleo - I have the Kindle app on my phone, which comes in handy when I'm stuck somewhere I didn't think I'd be. That way, I always have something to read. I have the NOOKcolor, and I love it, especially with such limited space in our new house. And thanks again for having me here.

    Avery - when my son was helping me design the cover, I kept telling him, "Make the eye candy bigger!")

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  15. Terry so glad to see you over at MLK. So use to seeing you on Twitter :). This recipe sounds really good and I think we will have it tonight. I have everything we need.

    Eye Candy is always nice :).
    The World of Book Reviews

  16. Babs - Thanks for your comment, and nice to see you here, too. Hope you enjoy the chicken.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  17. Orlando waving at Terry. So great to see you "in the kitchen". You're definitely serving up some yummy stuff -- including one our fav cover models, Jimmy Thomas -- oh, and the chicken looks good too :)

  18. Molly - good to see you here, too. Yeah, I think Jimmy outshines the chicken.