Carla Stewart's Buffalo Chicken Strip Pasta Salad


Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She’s the author of three novels: Chasing Lilacs, Broken Wings, and her latest release, Stardust. Carla is an alum of the Guideposts Writer’s Workshop, two-time winner of the ACFW Genesis contest, and a two-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. She believes in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She and her husband have four adult sons and six grandchildren.

Carla's Newest Book Release: 

Stardust is the story of a young mom who’s unfaithful husband drowns in the bayou of East Texas in 1952. Shortly after she buries him, Georgia Payton inherits the derelict Stardust Tourist Court from a distant relative. Faced with opposition from the aunt who raised her and others in the town, Georgia breathes new life into the cottages.

The guests who arrive, though, aren’t what Georgia expects: her gin-loving mother-in-law; her dead husband's mistress; an attractive drifter who's tired of the endless road; and an aging Vaudeville entertainer with a disturbing link to Georgia's past. Dreams of a new life are crippled amid the havoc.

Woven throughout is the presence of polio, both as a fearsome possibility and a stark reality for some. When polio strikes close to home, Georgia's only hope is that she can find the courage to forgive those who've betrayed her, the grace to shelter those who need her, and the moxie to face the future. One thing is certain: under the flickering neon of the STARDUST, none of their lives will ever be the same. Purchase this book here. 

Carla's Buffalo Chicken Strip Pasta Salad:
Now that summer is just around the corner, I’ll be making this cool, refreshing main dish salad often. Since we’re empty nesters, and this makes a huge bowl, we can enjoy it several times. And it can be customized to include the veggies that are your favorites. Enjoy! 
1 pkg. frozen Buffalo Chicken Strips (Tyson)
1 box tri-color rotini pasta
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small can sliced black olives
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped OR
1 small container grape tomatoes, halved
1 bottle “good” Italian dressing (Newman’s Own or similar – NOT creamy)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Cook Buffalo Chicken Strips according to package directions. Cool. At same time, cook rotini pasta until al dente. Drain and cool. While chicken and pasta are cooling, chop veggies. Toss all but the grated parmesan together in a large bowl with Italian dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle fresh grated Parmesan on top before serving.

Variations: There are no limits to the kinds of veggies you can add to this. Eliminate those your family doesn’t care for and feel free to substitute green or orange bell peppers for the red and yellow ones. Other things I’ve added at different times: 1 can artichoke hearts (in brine, not marinated), chopped, a can of chopped green chiles, and chopped celery. Usually whatever I have on hand is what goes in the salad, but I must say, the artichokes are one of our favorite additions. 

This keeps for several days covered in the refrigerator. We enjoy it as a main dish with warm sourdough or crusty French bread. It’s a great side dish for summertime barbecues as well.

Deborah Raney's Blackberry Cream Cake


Deborah Raney dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. After a happy twenty-year detour as a stay-at-home mom, Deb penned her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, which won a Silver Angel Award and inspired the acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Since then, her books have won the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, National Readers' Choice Award, as well as twice being finalists for the Christy Award. Deb teaches at writers' conferences across the country. Her newest novel, After All, is the conclusion to the three-book Hanover Falls Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, love small-town life in their native Kansas––the setting for many of Deb's novels. They have four children and four precious grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at

Deb's Newest Release: After All
Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she's finally beginning to heal. But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave. A secret that changes everything she thought their marriage had been. For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?

Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence--because her dearest friend was someone else's husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls' fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters who lost their lives that awful November night. 

Can he ever shake the feeling that he should have somehow prevented the tragedy? As Pet tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County's Station 2, is seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected. Purchase Deborah's book here 

Deborah's Blackberry Cream Cake Recipe:
Cake Layer:
Mix a yellow cake mix and bake in a 9x13 or 10x15 baking pan according to package instructions. Cool completely. 

 Cream Layer:
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat till smooth and creamy, then spread over cooled cake.

Stir 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice (or ReaLemon) into one can of blackberry pie filling. 
OR, if fresh blackberries are in season, you can make your own topping:
Mix 1 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons cornstarch and a pinch of salt with 1/2 cup water and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (or ReaLemon). Stir on stovetop with wire whisk until smooth. Add 2-3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries and simmer until sauce is thickened.
Spread gently over cream layer and chill till ready to serve. Keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.