There are vegans in Michigan, right?

Hey Scamps! Great day to be an American, right?

everything sucks and I wish I was Canadian.

You know what state borders Canada, has a boss climate this time of year, and is home to the characters in today’s book?

If you guessed Michigan, you’d be right. So let’s get there quick before the Canadians start building a wall built out of Mounty hats and maple syrup, shall we?

The author of this book is giving veganism a try, or she’s cutting back on meat, or she forgot to pick it up at Giant Eagle/Safeway/Kroeger/Fairway, whatever. Either way–so the recipe to accompany her book is a spicy black bean and potato burger with chipotle aioli. It is so good, and will keep you warm on the long walk to Windsor, Canada.

What’s the book?

The Blurb:

For Olivia Marquis, moving back to the small northern Michigan town of Paradise Bay is a new beginning. She’s leaving heartbreak, sadness, and everything that once held her down behind. The most important thing she’s leaving behind, is trouble.

All she wants now is a quiet life surrounded by childhood friends, family, and her art. Paradise Bay is a place where dreams become reality, and she’s ready to make something of her life. Of course, the last thing she expected was to be drawn to a man everyone in town warns her against, hopelessly caught up in his dark eyes and quick wit.

Andrew Silva, bestselling horror author, veteran, and notorious womanizer, has been living a mostly quiet life in Paradise Bay for the past year. After years of a revolving door of different women in his life, he’s decided to swear off dating for a while.

Until he sees her. Until he meets the sweet, smart, creative, witty woman who turns his life upside down and, in the end, shows him what it is to truly love someone.

Between Andrew’s issues and Olivia’s haunting past, they’ll have to fight every step of the way to build a life worth living, together.


I’m a little verklempt, and more than a little taken aback. The blurb is so unassuming–even mild. I thought it’d be a sweet milquetoast romance good to pass the day away when all I see on tv is Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, and the Presidon’t. However, I was pleasantly surprised!

The novel starts out with Olivia returning to her hometown, Paradise Bay. She is leaving behind the bad relationships and energy of the past several years in Detroit. (metaphor, much?) She meets this hottie with a body and broody ‘tude, Andrew at a brewery her friends drag her off to one evening. Sparks fly, orcas sing in Lake Michigan, (hey, when I was a small child growing up in the Great Lakes Region I thought there were orcas in Lake Erie. Don’t doubt me…much.) the Millenium Falcon showed up for some reason. You get the point, there was a combustible chemistry and it was happening fast.  (It could make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.)  He’s an author–she’s an artist. In case you couldn’t tell from reading my blog, THAT MEANS THEY’RE BOTH CRAZY. (All artists are crazy–present company included.)

But because they are artists, they are great at being expressive–but maybe not with each other. It becomes more complicated when it becomes clear that they both suffer from PTSD. PTSD is incredibly complex, and manifests differently for every person who suffers from it. Unfortunately, for these two, their PTSD manifests in opposing ways. You can see how this could become an emotional nadir for two people who need each other, but can’t move beyond their own horrors to truly see one another.

Ms Linden gets PTSD right. Without going into details, I will tell you that I have quite a bit of personal experience with PTSD, and Ms Linden does a great job describing the disorder and the chaos it lets loose on the mind.

The romance does NOT take a backseat to the conflict. After all, if there wasn’t desire and love, there wouldn’t be conflict or reason for it. I found myself really becoming absorbed in their love story because of their conflict, but I stayed engaged in the novel because it was engaging. By the end of the book, I felt like I could map out each character because they were all fairly developed by the end, and it set me up to be eager for the next installment. The romance wasn’t rushed, but it was fast enough to give me all the proper tingles, and the intimacy was sexy but understated.

Between the Lines is a colorfully-drawn gem of a romance with enough grit and challenges to keep even a reluctant romance reader in its thrall.

Five Stars.

Also? Because I am originally from Ohio, I have to mention, Ann Arbor is a whore.

There are #vegans in #Michigan, right? 5 Star Book Review and black bean and potato burgers w. chipotle aioli. Click To Tweet

And now?

Recipe, Please!

Ella Linden is the romantic alter-ego of paranormal romance/urban fantasy author, Colleen Vanderlinden.  Today on Facebook she talked about veganism. Of course, I had something to offer. These spicy black bean and potato burgers with chipotle aioli really hit the spot. They’re also super easy and quick to make with no need for a food processor and they’re gluten free. The g-free thing was a fluke, really, but it still stands.

Spicy Black Bean and Potato Burgers with Chipotle Aioli.

black bean and potato burger with chipotle aioli

Spicy Black Bean and Potato Pancake and Chipotle Aioli
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What Goes In?

    For the Burgers!
  • 10 oz. frozen hash browns
  • 1 can vegan refried beans
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • For the aioli
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chipotle tabasco
  • 1/4 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Avengers, Assemble!

  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. combine all burger ingredients with hands
  3. form into patties
  4. place on parchment lined sheets
  5. bake 10 minutes
  6. crisp in skillet with evoo in it set to high
  7. for aioli!
  8. whisk together


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