About Me

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Welcome to Heartstrings.Thanks for stopping by. I am a mother, a grandmother, and an author of historical western romance and contemporary romantic fiction. Ethan's Heart, book one of The Blackwood Brothers' series won the 2017 Maggie Award for Excellence. Book two, Escorting Darby Bloom, features Blackwood brother Isaac and will be released in December 2017. Stay tuned for more books in this series. If contemporaries are more your thing, check out Carly's Rule and Dusty's Fate. They are both Amazon Best-Sellers.

In The Kitchen

Recipes & Food 

Mardi Gras cake made for the 2012 Fiction Writers' Boot Camp on the beach held in St. Augustine, FL and sponsored by Ancient City Romance Authors (ACRA). The Mardi Gras cake was made by Carrie's Cake Delights ~ Statesboro, GA.  Carrie's Cake Delights also made a "Jane Austen" cake.

"Jane Austen" cake, made for the Ancient City Romance Authors 2012 Mardi Gras Bootcamp on the Beach. The top book, Pride and Prejudice, rests atop a "copy" of Sense and Sensability. Chocolate cake, royal icing, homemade fondant. Thanks to Angela Bowen for her help with this "romantic" cake.

If you want tips and recipes for healthy meals with low fuss, visit Chef Cheri's Hasty Tasty Meals Kitchen website. 
Hasty Tasty Meals

Cheryl Norman

If you've ever had the pleasure of eating anything author Dolores J. Wilson makes, you know this next recipe submitted by her will be melt in your mouth good. The next time you have company, you will want to serve these lovely Scones with Devonshire Cream.  Enjoy!

Basic Scones
2 cups flour
1 TB baking powder
2 TB sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 TB butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in 6 Tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk (regular milk okay).  Mix until dough clings together and is a bit sticky--do not over mix.  Turn out dough onto a surface and shape into a 6 to 8 inch round about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Quickly cut into pie wedge or use a large round biscuit cutter to cut circles.

*The secret of tender scones is a minimum of handling.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, being sure the sides of scones don't touch each other.  Brush with egg for shiny, brown scones.  Bake at 425 for 10 to 20 minutes or until light brown.

Devonshire Cream

5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 TB heavy cream, reserved
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Sift confectioner's sugar into a medium size bowl, beat softened cream cheese, sugar, and 1 TB reserved cream with hand mixer until smooth.  With rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream.  *Do not over mix (should be lumpy).  Store in airtight container for up to 2 days.  Makes 2 cups.

Check out the open book cake made by Carrie from Carrie's Cake Delights for the Fiction Writers' Boot Camp held in October 2011.  (You absolutely have to try one of Carrie's cakes.  They are so delicious.  Just ask the Ancient City Romance Authors.)  The right side features the Boot Camp logo.  The left side represents the bookseller for the event.  The book seller was The Book Rack of Edgewater, FL, owned by Cheryl Brooks.


Favorite recipe of Summer Stephens, author and historical researcher.

"Recipe? Me? Okay, here's my favorite: call your favorite pizza joint.  Order pizza. Pick it up. My second favorite: see a Subway. Slam on brakes. Order sub. Eat."  She says, "I don't cook. I hurt myself when I cook, so Bob does the cooking.  Seriously, I try not to heat chili in a bowl in the microwave, because I always forget my dishes heat up in the microwave, and I burn myself on the BOWL! If he doesn't cook, I eat a sandwich or a bowl of cereal. Or cookies."

Summer's favorite breakfast recipe.
 Refrigerate leftover pizza overnight.  In the morning, eat straight from the box.
 Note: this doesn't work for subs. By morning, subs have morphed into garbage.

Thanks, Summer.  Visit her on facebook.  Summer Stephens


  1. Love this part of your blog, Vickie. Feel free to share anything I post, if you'd like, at my Hasty Tasty Meals Kitchen. (http://hastytastymeals.com)

    "Chef" Cheri ;-)

    1. Thanks, Cheri. I just added a link to your Hasty Tsty Meals Kitchen website and your photo.

    2. You are a sweetheart. Your blog has a wide appeal, which is why I bookmarked it originally. Good job!