Harlequin April Spotlight…Want Ad Bride by Cheryl St. John




Second Chance Bride  

When Daniel Gardner convinced the residents of his Kansas boomtown to advertise for mail-order brides, he never expected the woman he once loved to respond. But Leah Swann steps off the bride train…pregnant and widowed and in need of a husband. Drawn to protect his fragile childhood friend, Daniel proposes a marriage of convenience.

Seeing her onetime best friend waiting to meet the bride train is a wonderful shock for Leah. After her first rocky marriage, a practical partnership with Daniel sounds perfect—as long as her heart doesn’t get involved. But when she starts to fall for her husband, will her plans of a fresh start be ruined…or is a real marriage to Daniel exactly what she needs?

Cowboy Creek: Bringing mail-order brides, and new beginnings, to a Kansas boomtown.



Bon Appetit and a Book

I have a passion for cake, and especially Bundt® cakes. This one is probably one of my very favorite recipes ever and my family tussles over the last crumbs. I’ve included tips at the bottom, because this type of cake bakes differently depending on the pan and your oven, so experiment a little and watch the baking process carefully.

If you make this cake, do let me know how it was. I dropped one off to a neighboring daycare, and the report was, “This cake is evil. It’s the best I’ve ever had.” I think that means it’s a winner.


Glazed Citrus Bundt® Cake

¾ cup softened butter

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 Tbsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 – 2 tsp lemon extract

3 cups sifted flour

1 cup Sprite or Squirt


Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease and flour Bundt® pan well


Beat butter with hand mixer. Add sugar one cup at a time and mix until creamy.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing briefly after each.

Stir in lemon zest and extracts.

On medium speed alternate adding flour and Sprite. Don’t overbeat.

Pour batter into pan.


Baking time varies depending on your oven and your pan. I use my convection oven setting. My heavy NordicWare® pan bakes more quickly than my silicone pan. In the NordicWare® I bake this about 40 minutes, then cover with foil for another ten. Test and if a toothpick doesn’t come out clean, add more time. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack ten minutes. After ten minutes remove cake from pan and allow to cool.



2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbsp Rose’s sweetened lime juice (I find this in the liquor section)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Whisk until desired consistency and drizzle over cooled cake.


Bundt Cake Tips:


  • There is a difference between a tube pan and a Bundt® pan. A tube pan is more shallow, while a Bundt® pan has higher sides. Each will hold a different amount and will bake the same batter differently.
  • Cooking spray doesn’t cut it for a Bundt® cake. Grease with shortening and dust with flour to help the cake rise in the pan.
  • Always sift the flour.
  • Over mixing the batter gives cake a tough texture.
  • When creaming sugar and butter, have the butter at room temperature, mix on medium and add the sugar gradually.
  • Don’t overbeat eggs. Mix with a whisk or on low with the mixer, just until blended.
  • After removing from the oven, cool the cake on a wire rack for ten minutes. Any longer and you risk the cake sticking to the pan. Finish cooling on a rack.


After years of being asked for recipes, Cheryl St.John spent a summer writing down ingredients and baking times, baking and asking for beta testers in order to put together this collection of mouthwatering recipes for Bundt cakes.. Cheryl’s philosophy: Eat cake! It’s someone’s birthday somewhere.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/All-About-Bundt-Cake-Recipes/dp/0988904543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458610110&sr=8-1&keywords=all+about+the+bundt



About the author:

CherylStJohn_headshotCheryl is the author of more than fifty books. Her first book, Rain Shadow was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best First Book, by Romantic Times Magazine for Best Western Historical, and by Affaire de Coeur readers as Best American Historical Romance. Since then she has received three more RITA nominations, a Writer’s Digest award for a feature article, and several Romantic Times Reviewers Choice awards. Many of her books made the Waldenbooks Top Ten lists, USA Today, and Big Sky Brides climbed to #35 on the NYT list.

Cheryl has been a keynote speaker numerous times and has taught workshops at: Romance Writers of America National Conference, American Christian Fiction Writers National Conference, Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, Mid-America RWA Conference, Desert Dreams Conference, Orange County RWA, Midwest Mystery and Suspense Convention, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Writers Conference, Nebraska Literature Festival, Nebraska Writers Guild, Rocky Mountain Book Festival, Friends of the Public Library, Romance Authors of the Heartland, Iowa Romance Novelists, Prairie Romance Writers, and Carolina Romance Writers.

Cheryl has had articles on the craft of writing published in Romance Writer of America’s Romance Writers Report Magazine, and numerous chapter newsletters. She was featured in the Writer’s Digest Romance Writer’s Sourcebook and the UK magazine, Writers Forum featured her in a two-page article, How To Break Into Western Romances. Cheryl’s online workshops have garnered praise from new writers and multi-published authors alike.

One thing all reviewers and readers agree on regarding Cheryl’s work is the degree of emotion and believability. Words like ‘heart-warming, emotional depth, touches your soul, tugs your heart, endearing characters and on my keeper shelf’ are commonly used to describe her work.

In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real life situations.” Amazon and Goodreads reviews show her popularity with readers.



  1. kathy valentine says:

    the bundt sounds yummie will have to try!

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