Hi Lily! Thanks so much for having me. Home Grown was released by Dreamspinner Press on Sept 3rd. Ethan and Peter are from wildly different worlds but they learn they have more in common than they think, and a past doesn’t set a future. The other big part of the story is their love of food. Ethan raises organic veggies for the farmers market and met Peter because of his great tasting heirloom tomatoes. One of my friends said it was food porn. I loved that. So I thought I’d share recipes that show up in the novel, plus a few extras. Good food and handsome men, what could be better!
With summer fading for most of us I thought it would be good to share my favorite lemonade recipe. Tart and sweet I love fresh lemonade.
2 cups sugar
8 cups of water
1 ½ cups lemon juice (leave the pulp, but watch for any seeds)
Ginger, a dime sized piece (optional)
First you need to make a simple syrup. This is easy, and only takes a few minutes. Mix together the two cups of sugar with two cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. It will be grainy at first and then turn cloudy. Once it’s clear, you have your syrup.
Add the lemon zest and ginger then let it simmer for about half an hour. They flavor the syrup wonderfully and are great to eat too. After the half hour has passed, turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
In your serving container stir together flavored syrup, lemon juice and the six cups of water. Chill and serve over ice.
~ Jon ~
Peter Stevens believes nothing tastes better than a vine-ripened tomato tended by a farmer’s hands. The craving for heirloom tomatoes leads him to his local farmers’ market and his favorite vendor, Ethan Hart. As Peter becomes a regular customer, the two find they have more in common than a love of good food. Just as Ethan begins to relax, Peter’s ex, Jay, appears and is all the things Ethan is not. A perfect storm of mistakes and poor choices, as well as Ethan’s haunted past, has him ready to admit defeat. With the guidance of friends and a goat far too smart for her own good, Ethan realizes he needs to have a tender hand and patience to grow a home for Peter.
Excerpt from Home Grown.
Ethan’s stomach fluttered, his anticipation building as he scanned the early morning farmer’s market crowd. Stop it. Peter will show up when he shows up. Ethan snapped his attention back to the present when the small gray-haired woman who ran the booth beside him tucked herself under his arm and hugged him tight.
“Morning, Maggie. How are things going?” Ethan kissed the top of her head and returned her embrace.
“Not bad, not bad. I’ve put out all the soaps. I hope everyone feels dirty today and stocks up.”
Ethan chuckled at the image of mud people gathering around Maggie’s stall. “Well, my customers can be clean. But I think business today will be good. The late season tomatoes are finally ripe, and I’ve had lots of people asking about them.”
Heat crept up Ethan’s cheeks. “Peter? I don’t know. Probably. You know he has a thing for my tomatoes.”
“Uh-huh, yeah. I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. Admit it to Auntie Maggie, you have the hots for the boy, and I think he has a thing for more than your tomatoes.”
Ethan brushed off her speculation with a wave of his hand. “Maggie, you’re crazy. That man’s some kinda high-powered muckety-muck downtown. He’d never know I lived in Wisconsin if I didn’t have the best tomatoes in the market.”
Ethan studied the forming crowd, their sounds echoing through the building. “It looks like it’s getting busy, I’d better check to make sure I got everything from the truck.”
He embraced her again and trotted out the side door to his pickup. I’m not ready to talk to anyone about my feelings about Peter.
Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books.
A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.