Sunday, June 21, 2020

Welcome Terry Ambrose for a Father's Day Guest Post and #Giveaway

Secrets of the Treasure King
by Terry Ambrose

Please welcome award-winning author Terry Ambrose back to the Kitchen! 

Terry is sharing a wonderful recipe, a fun giveaway, and a few words about his heartwarming new cozy series with a seaside setting that makes perfect summer reading. Take it away, Terry! 

~ Cleo

Happy Father’s Day!

With so many of us across the country self-isolating either by choice or directive, it’s definitely an unusual Father’s Day. The good news is, we can still eat, and eat well. Even more good news! All of the ingredients in this bread should be easy to get.

When Cleo asked me to be the Father’s Day guest here at Mystery Lover’s Kitchen, I was flattered. She said she thought of me because of my protagonists in the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series, dad Richard Atwood and his daughter Alex. Like all dads, Rick’s main concern is keeping Alex safe, even when that means grounding her because she’s done something she shouldn’t—like trying to solve murders before the cops. 

Secrets of the Treasure King is the fourth book in the Seaside Cove series. This time, the town of Seaside Cove is all abuzz with news about a murdered ship captain who claimed to know the location of a treasure worth millions. Once again, Rick is working with the cops, and Alex is going rogue. With a secret worth millions at stake, everyone’s out to solve the mystery.

I’ve always loved quick breads, but I started getting more serious about them a few months ago. I wanted a recipe that produced consistently tasty bread with the potential for variety. Ta-da! Introducing my Fruity Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe. This recipe is derived from my Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, but it has a twist—less chocolate chips and the addition of the pulp from blueberries, raspberries, or whatever type of berry you like.

Fruity Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 
with gluten-free option

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr - 1 hr 30 minutes
Serves: 1 loaf, pan size 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches


1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

3 bananas (ripe medium bananas peeled and mashed)

1 tsp milk (any kind should do: buttermilk, almond milk—use what you have in the fridge)

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-1 Baking Flour (Can substitute all purpose flour if gluten-free is not needed)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup blueberries (or other berry)

1 tsp Orange zest (If not available can use a few drops of almond extract)

Preparation Steps

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (can be done once you start mixing ingredients). Grease a loaf pan, size 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches.

2. Prepare the blueberries by smashing them in a small bowl and then straining through a sieve to extract most of the juice. Let the berries drain while you continue to assemble ingredients.

3. Mash bananas with the milk in a small bowl and set aside

4. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together

5. Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla on high speed in mixer until creamy. The mixture should be light when done.

6. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended (to avoid an errant shell, I like to put the eggs into a prep bowl first).

7. Finish mixing by hand. Alternately fold in about 1/3 of dry ingredients, then 1/3 of bananas into the sugar and egg mixture. Continue until all are combined, folding in the drained berries, as well, but do not overmix.

Note: The liquid that you drained from the berries is not part of the recipe. You can discard the liquid, blend it into a smoothie, or simply drink it like any other juice.

8. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Check during last 1/2 hour for doneness by inserting toothpick or cake tester. 

9. Allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Notes: The amount of time it takes for the bread to bake thoroughly is influenced by how much liquid there is in the berries.

Terry Ambrose has written and published fourteen mysteries. His Seaside Cove Mystery series new releases have risen to the Amazon genre Top 100.  

In 2014, Con Game, Terry’s second thriller in the License to Lie series, received the San Diego Book Awards Best Mystery/Thriller award. Terry also writes the McKenna Trouble in Paradise mysteries and organized an anthology written by bestselling mystery writers to benefit a literacy nonprofit in Hawaii.

To learn more about Terry and sign up for his newsletter, visit


Leave a comment for Terry below, and you will be entered to win a random drawing for a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. Be sure to include your email address for contact purposes if you're selected to win. 

Congrats to Terry's winner: 

Pat D.

Good luck, good reading, and 
thanks again to Terry for being our guest. 
Happy Father's Day!


  1. This sounds absolutely delicious!

    carstairs38 at gmail dot com

  2. The book sounds good.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  3. Always glad to see more male voices in the cozy genre for diversity. I follow your blog too, but not much of a scratch baker.

    1. Hey Glorious, thanks for following my blog. I understand not wanting to bake from scratch. It can be a lot of work!

  4. Terry is a new to me author. I LOVE books that take place at the sea or ocean so I'll be checking the Seaside Cove series out!


  5. I’d like to use the gift card to try your book. suefoster109 at gmail dot com

  6. This series sounds wonderful. I've added it to my TBR list. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Welcome Terry! I've added berries to banana bread before but have never been satisfied with the results. I find they make it too mushy. Adding just the pulp is genius! I'll definitely be trying that method.

    1. HI Abby, it was a trick I picked up on Food Network. My first attempt with this bread was a disaster because I didn't get rid of the liquid. Good luck with the recipe.

  8. Sounds like a good series. I haven't heard of these so I'll have to check them out.

  9. The bread sounds delicious! I will definitely check out the’s a new one to me. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  10. Thanks for this perfect summer treat. Everyone would enjoy this wonderful snack. Your book looks captivating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. His books are on my TBR list, so sure would love to win - thanks for the chance - trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

    1. Hi Taylor, thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the contest!

  12. The bread is extremely appetizing and delectable. Yum. I would enjoy your cozy. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. Thanks for hosting me today here on Mystery Lovers Kitchen! And, good luck to everyone in the contest!

  14. I just took a lemon pound cake out of the oven for Father's Day. I was thinking that I might enjoy the addition of chocolate chips if I make it again.

    I've gone back and looked several times, but I don't see when the berry mash is added. And the liquid from the berries is not relevant to this recipe? It's extraneous?

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    1. OMG, you caught me! You're right, the berries aren't added in the recipe above. They get folded in at the end. And the liquid, depending upon how much you like your berry combination, makes a nice little drink or can be discarded. I agree that the chocolate chips would be a nice addition to a lemon pound cake (so would cranberries, especially if you top it with a lemon glaze! Yum!)

  15. Sounds like an awesome recipe and easy. New series to me, looking forward to reading it.

  16. Hi Dianne, thanks for stopping by. I hope you love the series!

  17. I'm not much for chocolate chips in things. I think I'd make it without them. What does the 1 tsp of milk do? Not much, I'd guess. Your bread does sound tasty. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Linda, the milk changes the consistency of the bananas just a bit. You could also sub raisins for the chips, or you could just leave them out. It's all up to your individual taste. That's what I love about this recipe.

  18. This recipe sound yummy! Thanks for the chance.
    maceoindo (at)yahoo(dot)com

  19. Will have to read this! Thanks for the recipe. amandasmother(at) aol (.) com

  20. thanks for both the recipe and an introduction to a new series to enjoy. My mom made banana bread often, but it was too dense for my taste. I altered her recipe by doubling the bananas (to four) and decreasing the oil (from 1 cup to 1/3 cup). Butter usually makes baked goods taste better, so I am looking forward to trying it along with the Seaside Cove Mystery series.

  21. cool cover. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

  22. The recipe sounds yummy. No doubt it was fun tweaking it. I love the idea of a father-daughter “team” solving mysteries.

    1. Congratulations, Pat, you are the winner of the random drawing for Terry's prize. Thanks to everyone for leaving all the lovely comments and thanks especially to author Terry Ambrose for being such a wonderful and generous guest host.

      ~ Cleo

  23. Sounds yummy

  24. Happy Father's Day, Terry. Your bread recipe looks absolutely yummy. I'd love to get started reading your books in the Seaside Cove series.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Thanks Nancy! I hope you do start the series! Good luck in the contest!

  25. I love banana bread. The twist for this version sounds very tasty.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com