EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Dana Marton’s Pabellón Criollo (from Forced Disappearance)


Food=love in my books.

Who loves unique books that break molds…and melt-in-your-mouth flank steak?

I do! I do! So, it pleases me to no end to share this Tuesday’s guest blogger with you:  Dana Marton, who will tell you about her new book, Forced Disappearance AND introduce you to the national dish of Venezuela.danamarton

Thank you so much for having me as a guest! Today is my running-around-like-a-headless-chicken day. I have a brand new release out, and I’m so excited about this book! I was lucky to have an absolutely superb editor who didn’t blink an eye that FORCED DISAPPEARANCE doesn’t follow the usual romance conventions. For one, it’s the heroine who saves the hero. Miranda is nobody’s damsel in distress.

Did you know that the Army has a special unit, Personnel Recovery, that looks for missing DoD personnel (military and defense contractor) if they disappear in a foreign country? Did you know that there’s no such thing for ordinary Americans who are kidnapped/disappear abroad? One of the great things about being an author is that I get to fix things in my books, so I invented the Civilian Personnel Recovery Unit where Miranda Soto ends up as a new investigator after a shattered military career.

Her first assignment is to locate and rescue wealthy American businessman Glenn Danning, a man who’d once been her best friend and first lover. These two were stars at MIT during their college years, so be prepared for some geeky humor. (Waiving to fans of The Big Bang Theory.)

Keep reading for a quick snippet. Miranda and Glenn are fleeing from the Venezuelan secret service, hiding in the jungle, and they’d just stolen some supplies from a group of botanists who are on a guided tour.


Pabellón Criollo
Recipe Type: main dish
Cuisine: Venezuelian
Author: Dana Marton
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
If you’d like a taste of Venezuela without leaving home, try out their national dish.
  • You will need:
  • 2-pound piece flank steak
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Directions:
  2. Cut flank steak into a handful of pieces. Mix the minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika and half of the jalapeño into a paste, and coat the meat with it, then refrigerate for an hour or two.
  3. Sauté half the onions and the green pepper in olive oil, then add steak and caramelize on both sides, then add 8 cups of water and boil under cover until the meat is falling apart (3-4 hrs).
  4. Remove steak from water and, cool, then shred by hand.
  5. Toss the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining onion, green pepper and jalapeño into a pan and sauté. Add shredded beef, cook until crisp, then sprinkle with with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with white rice, black beans, and fried plantains. Enjoy!



 by Dana Marton

After the great snack heist, they spent the rest of the afternoon searching for water to refill their old-fashioned aluminum canteens; then they boiled the water back at their campsite to sterilize it. They had food, water, and shelter—better than nothing.

Glenn picked through their newfound toiletry bag while Miranda put fresh leaves on their sleeping platform since last night’s bedding was full of bugs that had moved in during the day. The pink plastic bag held one bar of soap in a matching pink plastic case, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a razor, a comb, nail clippers, a handful of cotton balls, and a six-pack of flavored condoms—strawberry.

Okay, that brought back some college memories of discovering sex and really, really liking it, liking it more than engineering.

They might have been inexperienced, but both he and Miranda had curious minds, which turned out to be as much as an advantage in bed as it’d been in the class room. When faced with something unknown, they both believed in extensive experimenting and testing. Including nearly the entire contents of an X-rated novelty store one semester.

He held up the pack. “Somebody was hoping to get lucky while on vacation.”

She rolled her eyes. “Botanists. They’re all floozies.”

He grinned at the old college joke. A couple of girls in the dorm room next to Miranda’s had used the botany department lab to mix up herbal aphrodisiacs. They successfully sold a whole variety of love potions on the campus black market. But not as successfully as some of the guys in the department, who were always mixing things that could be smoked.

Miranda scanned the six-pack. “Those could come in handy. We used to get them in our army emergency pack. You can collect and transport water in them. Close to half a gallon, actually. Or use one to hold a wound dressing in place, keep dirt out, and make the dressing waterproof.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Okay. I have to say, my mind went to a different place entirely.”

She snorted as she shook her head, a half smile twisting her full lips. “One of those will keep your tinder and matches dry in a place like this, or if you have to wade through water.” She went back to working on their bed. “And condoms burn if you have no tinder. A onetime use, so preferably to be avoided. You can use them to make a slingshot and hunt. You can use them to prevent moisture or sand from getting into the barrel of your weapon.” She finished with the bamboo leaf bedding and wiped her hands on her pants as she turned toward him.

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Happy reading…and eating, my friends. Enjoy!


10 Replies to “EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Dana Marton’s Pabellón Criollo (from Forced Disappearance)”

  1. recipe sounds yummy.

    My brother is former Army, now civilian Army employee, and he does Homeland Security. I knew there’s a lot of stuff done in the background most people aren’t aware of, but is essential for security.

    1. Flattery will get you everywhere, Dana! So glad you’re here. And kudos for picking such an exciting and interesting setting for your book. I love the scientists angle, too. Well done! I can’t wait to read it.

    1. It’s amazing what goes when you’re on deadline, isn’t it? Fortunately, my hubby is pretty good in the kitchen. I’ve trained him well. 😉

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