Romance Cooks

Baked Potato Salad – Vivien Dean

Having a birthday in the middle of July meant three things growing up: never getting to share cupcakes with my class, never getting an ice cream cake because it would melt too fast, and always having barbecue food for my birthday dinner. I couldn’t even look at potato salad for a long time, at least until I discovered this particular version. Now, it’s a staple in my family’s celebrations, no matter what time of year it is.

~ ~ ~



8 Russet potatoes

1 lb bacon

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Scrub and cut up the potatoes in bite-size pieces. Cover with water and boil for 20-25 minutes, or until fork-tender. Do not overcook.

2. Drain and cool the potatoes.

3. Cook and crumble the bacon.

4. Mix the sour cream and mayonnaise together.

5. Combine cooled potatoes, bacon, onion, and cheese.

6. Stir in sour cream/mayo mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.



Nothing has ever excited Tylen Merodine more than being invited by the Regent himself to celebrate the first solar eclipse in his planet’s recorded history. It’s the party of the millennium, and if he has to restrain his normal exuberant instincts to fit in, that’s what he’ll do to be a part of it. His good intentions vanish, however, the moment he’s presented to the Regent. Because there, in a gilded cage, playing music unlike anything Tylen’s ever heard, is the most beautiful alien he could imagine.

For more than twenty years, Dek has lived in captivity, performing at the whim of those who see him as an animal. The Regent is just the latest in a long line of owners, and while he’s kind, he’s still blind to Dek’s sentient nature. Only music gives Dek a voice, until Tylen breaks the rules and sneaks in to see and speak to him alone.

The time they have together is stolen and precious, the minutes ticking away until the eclipse is past and they have to go back to the way their lives were before. But when the Regent shows an unexpected interest in Tylen’s future, they begin to wonder if their worlds need to remain so separate…

~ ~ ~