Alpha InstinctI’m very pleased to welcome author Katie Reus to the blog today. Katie’s new paranormal romance series, Moon Shifter, begins with Alpha Instinct, which was released this February by Signet Eclipse. Katie is also the author of many romantic suspense novels including Deadly Obsession. Please give her a warm welcome.

Thank you so much to Carolyn for letting me hang out here today! Since today’s topic is ‘Top 10 Favorites’ I knew exactly what my list would be about. Food. If you know me, that’s probably not a big surprise. I live in the South and food is so much a part of the culture around here so I somehow narrowed down my 10 favorite southern foods.

1) Gumbo There are probably 100+ ways to make this. Some ingredients that may be found in this delicious soup are okra, shrimp, andouille sausage, bay leaves, Cajun spices, peppers, mushrooms, and I could go on for a while….I don’t know two people who have the same recipe to make gumbo. The only common thing most people do is serve their gumbo over a bed of rice.

2) Biscuits and gravy One of my besties is Canadian and apparently this is a foreign concept where she lives (near Vancouver) and she lurves this stuff! And for good reason. It’s a calorie nightmare if you’re trying to watch your food intake and probably why I only eat this a couple times a year. There are a few ways to make this. If you don’t like to cook, just buy biscuits in a roll and gravy in a jar…Ahem, it won’t be as good as the homemade stuff (which is the only way I know how to make it!). The prep time is really quick (like maybe 30 minutes) to make biscuits and gravy from scratch (and for an even better meal, don’t forget the sausage!). All recipes and Paula Deen have easy peasy recipes.

3) Shrimp deep fried, sautéed, in a sandwich, on a salad, skewered on a kabob with grilled veggies, Cajun style, shrimp scampi, shrimp Alfredo, coconut shrimp, shrimp bisque, Creole shrimp dip…There are so many ways to prepare shrimp and I can’t think of one I don’t enjoy. Living so close to the coast means seafood, especially shrimp, is a huge part of the local diet which is good for me since I’ve been having a love affair with shrimp for as long as I can remember.

4) Conecuh sausage This is actually a fairly new concept to me, but apparently it’s big in the South. Conecuh is a brand (something I didn’t realize until recently) and the sausage is produced by a company in Alabama. I’ve tried to find out how to make it but with no luck. I think they add a lot of Cajun spices and sugar to the meat, though it’s not too spicy. I’m probably not being descriptive enough. All I know is that it’s freaking delicious and it’s great with Jambalaya.

5) Hot tamales No, I’m not referring to the little red candies. Hot tamales are steamed masa filled with various meats like pork (very common) or chicken, cheeses, peppers, chilies, and/or salsa. Like with the gumbo mentioned above, no two people make tamales alike. If you want a really good tamale recipe, Google ‘Mississippi Delta hot tamales’ and you’ll get some sweet ways to prepare them.

6) Bourbon pecan pie Pecan pie + bourbon = awesomeness. My mom makes the absolute best pecan pies around the holidays and this year she decided to mix it up with a new recipe that added chocolate chips and bourbon. Omg, I was in freaking heaven. It’s a good thing she made two pies for Christmas because I ate half of one of them in like two days. I only wish I was kidding.

7) Beignets Café du Monde in New Orleans is known for these! Roll them in powdered sugar and eat them with a café au lait and you’re good to go!

8) Hoecakes made with cornmeal, these are sort of like a combo of cornbread and pancakes. I’ve actually never made these but my MIL does and all I know is they’re total yum! They’re prepared in a skillet with oil/butter and are really good when they’re a little crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I eat them with syrup!

9) Pulled pork sandwich This is a family favorite and very easy to make. I just take a shoulder of pork, cook it in the CrockPot all day until the meat falls off the bone (it literally looks like shredded meat). I combine it with a bottle of barbeque sauce and spices, mix it up thoroughly and it’s ready to serve. You can also add half the bottle to the meat, put it in the oven for fifteen minutes so the meat soaks in the barbeque better, then mix the rest of the bottle after you’ve taken the pan out. Just depends on how impatient (hungry) my family is.

10) Po Boys fried shrimp Po boys are my favorite. What is this? Fried shrimp on a sub roll. You can add any condiments you want. Super easy to make and a big favorite down here. You can actually buy them in some gas stations, which freaks me out a little. I don’t like to buy my food where I buy my fuel. Kinda weird.

These are just a few of my favorite Southern foods and don’t even begin to encompass all the delicious food this region is known for. Most people probably would have included fried chicken, but I don’t eat much of it so it’s not one of my faves. Another, which isn’t food, but is a staple around here, is sweet tea. My BIL made the mistake of telling my MIL that I made better sweet tea than her once…that was not pretty. And lastly, crawfish is really big in the South. Unfortunately my first trip with my husband (before we were married) to visit his family I got food poisoning because of it so that was my first and last time eating crawfish. It sucks because in the summers people are always having crawfish boils…um, no thank you! I’ll stick with my shrimp Po Boy 😉

So what about you? What are some of your favorite foods? Have you tried any of the above listed and did you like them?

Thanks again to Carolyn for having me!

Katie fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in psychology and working too many jobs she hated, she finally figured things out.

She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her publishers include Carina Press, Harlequin Nocturne, Ellora’s Cave and NAL/Signet Eclipse (Penguin). Regardless of genre, she always includes a happy ending. When she’s not creating stories she loves spending time with her husband and family.

To find out more about Katie and her books, visit his website, You can also connect with her on Twitter (@katiereus) and Facebook.


Katie is kindly giving away a copy of Alpha instinct to one lucky commenter. To enter just follow instructions given by the Rafflecopter widget below. This fab giveaway is for UK & US Residents ONLY and ends Friday 2nd March 2012



Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


Kika283 February 29, 2012 at 8:41 am

Was a fun list; I'm Mexican, so I have to admit was a big sorprise, see in the top 10 the Tamales, a tipical mexican food (^____^)


Nedraw February 29, 2012 at 11:36 am

I love Sausage gravy and biscuits my MIL made the best. Pulled Pork and Beignets are also some of my favorites. My brother brings me NC pulled pork whenever he comes to visit. Yummy stuff and you just can't get up north.


LorettaLynn//Temprance February 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Looks like a a great book:)
I love food, And of the list i have had; Pulled Pork,"with colslaw" Hot tamales..wooo yum, Shrimp, Biscuits and gravy.. Sooo yummy. I love to cook, so i really dont have a all time fav. As long as it's good, I'll try it:)
Thank you for the giveaway..


Julie S February 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Sausage and biscuits sounds good. I also love a good stir fry.


laura thomas February 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I don;t really have a favorite. I have tried all but the hoecakes, since I live in southern Alabama!
Great food!


Kelly February 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I LOVE shrimp! Also, chocolate…any kind of chocolate, lol.


AlexSarahLouise February 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I never eaten any of the food that was on that list but it all sounded like it tasted nice,
I like any food that is Chinese! :')

Thanks for the giveaway !


ilona February 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I love shrimps but haven't tried any of the recipes in today's post (yet) 😀

I think my absolute favourite food has to be stir fry – easy, quick and can be made with almost anything 😀


IreneRJ February 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I have never eaten any of the foods on the list. I've never heard of half of them :)
I would really love to try Beignets one day. A lot of books that are centered in New Orleans mention them and they seem so tasty.
My all time favourite meal is lamb chops,new potatoes,peas and fresh crusty bread dripping with real butter.
Irene Jackson


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Hi, Kika! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, tamales are a big favorite where I live :)


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Hi Nedraw! It's so fun to see the differences in food even in different areas of the same country. My MIL makes some mean biscuits and gravy too. I love going over there b/c I don't have to cook :)


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Thanks, Loretta! I know, it's so hard to pick! I could have easily doubled that list :)


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Hi Julie! I love stir fry too, especially with shrimp or chicken.


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Hi Laura! Someone else who knows what Conecuh is too :)


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I'm with you, Kelly! I could dedicate an entire blog to chocolate. Hmmm, maybe I'll do my top ten favorite types of chocolate next time :)


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Hi Alex, I really enjoy Chinese food too. Thanks for stopping by today :)


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hi, Ilona! Stir fry is always great, especially on days when I need a quick and easy recipe.


Katie Reus February 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Hi Irene! Beignets are wonderful. That picture is actually one of my own taken right in Cafe du Monde from my last trip to NOLA. :) Lamb chops sound delicious!


Mandee February 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I've eaten some of them but different recipes of course. :)


kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews February 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm

…and suddenly I'm starving :)) Great list. I probably had some variation of these meals. Beignets look familiar. Remind me of doughnuts I had in Russia. Not the sticky chewy stuff you get from the supermarkets in UK, but fluffy airy wonderful dough. You put sugar powder on them as well *sigh*


tetewa February 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Love shrimp any way but shrimp cocktail is my favorite!


Mel February 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I confess I've not eaten much in your list – but they all sound yummy! Being british I think you can't get better than fish and chip – especially if the chips are big fluffy ones covered in salt and vinegar and the fish is covered in crispy batter…hmmm…yummy! :)

Mel S


Onge March 1, 2012 at 1:03 am

I am kind of a food snob. I will try anything once but most of the time that is it. I do love a good gumbo though. Potatoes are my absolute favorite. I also enjoy salmon, on the barbecue, asparagus, zucchini, corn on the cob, barbecued hamburger with grilled anaheim pepper…
Now to make me some potatoes.
Thanks for the giveaway!!


Julie W March 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm

All of the foods mentioned above sound delicious, but I have a particular fondness for pecan pie! My daughter makes me one every Christmas because I love it so much! I am definitely going to tell her to add chocolate chips and bourbon next time she makes it because that sounds awesome!!


Alicia0605 March 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm

My fav from that list is Beignets


ReadingIsSoMuchFun March 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Hello Katie. Love your book covers and the books sound really good. I must do some book shopping 😀

Great post so many yummy looking foods 😀 I have tried Gumbo, Biscuits & Gravy, Shrimp & Pulled pork sandwich.. My favorite dish is coconut shrimp. I Love Shrimp 😀



Holz March 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

i have never tried any of those foods! I feel kind of cheated…the conecuh sausage and hoecakes sound divine. *wipes drool off face*
BUT i am going to new York in a couple of weeks so maybe i can try some!! :)

I really like pasta…give me pasta and i'll be happy. Oh and a indian curry..chicken korma and sag aloo is amazing! 😀

Hollie M


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