Guest Author – Home Grown By Jon Keys


Home Grown

Hi Carol! Thanks for letting me visit! Home Grown was released by Dreamspinner Press on Sept 3rd, and I’m so excited. The guys in Home Grown are from wildly different worlds and this is a story about how they learn to work through problems both of them have in their past. The other big part of the story is their love of food. I mean, Ethan raises organic veggies for the farmers market. So I thought I’d share recipes that show up in the novel, plus a few extras. Good food and cute guys, what could be better!

So here’s another. This time it’s the cheese stuffed squash blossoms Peter made for a doubtful Ethan.

Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

3/4 cup fresh ricotta 1/2 cup coarsely grated fresh mozzarella 3 tablespoons finely grated parmigiano reggiano 1 medium hot pepper, minced (fishpeppers work great!) 1 egg yolk 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour Salt and pepper Canola oil 1/4 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup beer


Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, egg yolk, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine. Transfer filling to a resealable plastic bag, and snip off a corner to create an opening. (A pastry bag works great too)

Stuffing the blossoms: Carefully open the end of the blossom and place the end of your filling bag into the middle and squeeze gently on the bag. You want a couple of tablespoons of filling in each blossom. Pinch the end of the blossom closed and go to the next one.

Batter: In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour (reserve one tablespoon), cornmeal, and 1 teaspoon salt. Gradually add beer, whisking, until batter is smooth. Start with 3/4 cup of beer, and if necessary, add more a little at a time until you reach the consistency of a cake batter batter.

Make batter and fry the blossoms: Heat 1-1/2 inches of oil in a deep, heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F.

One at a time dip the blossoms into batter and then slid carefully into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about two minutes for each side. Be careful to not crowd the pan. As they reach the desired browning, move to a paper towel lined dish. Best hot. Serve immediately.

~ Jon ~

Home Grown-3


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, good-looking.”

“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.”

“Including Peter?”

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.

eBook Link: 





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.

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One Response to Guest Author – Home Grown By Jon Keys

  1. Pingback: Blog Tour/Recipes Blog – Carol Pedroso | Jon L Keys

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