Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bake, Love, Write...Week 4





Shelley Noble: Christmas Divinity

Divinity MUST be made on a dry day or it won’t harden. Do not attempt on a humid day. The egg white mixture MUST be beaten continually once you begin.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
pecan halves (optional)

Place sugar, syrup, and water in a heavy pan. Boil until sugar is dissolved and liquid is clear.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Add 1/3 of hot liquid to egg whites, beating constantly. (Remember, egg whites must be beaten continuously through the rest of the process.)

Return liquid to heat and cook until it spins a good thread. Add 1/3 more of hot liquid to egg whites, beating constantly. Continue beating and return liquid to heat and cook until it makes a hard brittle ball when dropped in cold water. Pour remainder of liquid into egg whites and continue beating. When it thickens, continue to beat by hand. When the mixture begins to hold its shape, add vanilla extract and nuts.

Quickly drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper before the mixture hardens. Can be garnished with a pecan half if so desired. Let set. It will melt in your mouth.

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, as well as the Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave.
 
As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction, most recently, Whisper Beach. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers. FMI, www.shelleyfreydont.comwww.shelleynoble.com

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Lisa Verge Higgins: Rum Pecan Pie

Full confession: I love to eat, but I’m a lazy cook. Life is too short to spend slaving in the kitchen when there are books to read and write. I love this recipe not only because the pie is delicious—especially served slightly warm with whipped cream—but because the recipe is of the mix-it-all-up-and-bake-it kind. Plus, once the rum is on the table, can cocktail hour be far behind?


1 pie crust (store-bought is fine)
3 large eggs
5-1/3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark or light corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a pie plate, then line it with the pie crust.

Mix the rest of the ingredients well and pour into the crust. Crimp the edges.


Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. When done, the center will be jiggly, but not liquid. Sip on a fresh Rum Runner while you’re waiting for the pie to cool enough for serving.


Lisa Ann Verge is the RITA-nominated author of seventeen novels that have been published worldwide and translated into as many languages. She started her career writing sexy, adventurous romance about hot men and dangerous women and now she also writes life-affirming women’s fiction under the name Lisa Verge Higgins.  Lisa is a five-time finalist in Romantic Times’ book awards, her novels have won the Golden Leaf and the Bean Pot, and twice she has cracked Barnes & Noble’s General Fiction Forum’s top twenty books of the year.  She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three daughters, who never fail to make life interesting. FMI, http://www.lisavergehiggins.com/



Buy Links:


Includes contributions by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors

What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes--selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review--with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. Recipes. Writing. Relationships. In this cookbook 105 authors not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they've ever received on love and writing.    









Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bake, Love, Write...Week 3


More recipes this week from Bake Love Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing. Many thanks to all of the featured authors who've been sharing with us!






Lynn Cahoon: Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake

16 ounces cream cheese (2 packages)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
graham cracker crust (pre-made)
whipped cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating after each. When smooth, set aside 1 cup of the mixture in a separate bowl.

Fold in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the larger quantity of batter. Pour into a graham cracker crust. Pour the one cup of batter you set aside in four separate dollops onto the pie. Run a knife through the dollops to gently marble the mixture into the pumpkin.

Bake for 55 minutes. Cool. Serve with lots of whipped cream.


New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies. Visit her at http://lynncahoon.com/


Jasmine Haynes: Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake

This is one of my favorite recipes my mother made when I was a child. On our birthdays we were allowed to choose our dessert, and mine was always Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake.

1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted shortening
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-3/4 cups hot water
grated orange rind (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, and nuts. Add milk, vanilla extract, and shortening. Stir lightly and pour into 1-1/2 quart casserole.
In a small bowl beat together 2 tablespoons cocoa, brown sugar, hot water, and orange rind. Pour over uncooked batter. Bake for 45 minutes. As the pudding bakes, the sauce will become rich and fudgy around the cake. Top with whipped cream if desired.



NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Skully is a lover of contemporary romance, bringing you poignant tales peopled with hilarious characters that will make you laugh and make you cry. Look for Breathless in Love, the first book in the fabulous Maverick Billionaire series that Jennifer is co-writing with Bella Andre. Writing as Jasmine Haynes, she’s authored over 35 classy, sensual romance tales about real issues like growing older, facing divorce, starting over. Her books have passion and heart and humor and happy endings, even if they aren't always traditional. She also writes gritty, paranormal mysteries in the Max Starr series. Having penned stories since the moment she learned to write, she now lives in the Redwoods of Northern California with her husband and their adorable nuisance of a cat who totally runs the household. Readers can visit her website at www.jenniferskully.com and sign up for her newsletter at http://bit.ly/SkullyNews

Buy Links:



Includes contributions by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors
What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes--selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review--with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. Recipes. Writing. Relationships. In this cookbook 105 authors not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they've ever received on love and writing.  








Have a good week, Everyone!

  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bake, Love, Write...Week 2



For the month of August I'm featuring several of the recipes from the book Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing. 

Enjoy!




Brenda Novak: Caramel Apples

The best caramel I’ve ever tasted! I make these every Halloween. My family LOVES them! Serves 6.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 medium-sized apples

Cook sugar, white corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, and salt over medium heat to soft-ball stage. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Quickly dip 6 med-sized apples and place on waxed paper.

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of fifty books. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity to raise money for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised $2.5 million. For more about Brenda, please visit www.brendanovak.com



Debra Holland: Strawberry Pretzel Dessert


1-1/2 cups salted pretzels, crushed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
9 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
8 ounces cream cheese
2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry Jell-O
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen strawberries, partially thawed
2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix pretzels with butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Pat into a 9”x13” pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Blend cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzel crust. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Dissolve Jell-O with the 2 cups boiling water. Add partially thawed strawberries. Place in refrigerator to thicken slightly.  Once slightly thickened, spread over cream cheese mixture.
Let set overnight. Cut into squares to serve.


Psychotherapist Debra Holland, Ph.D is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romance. She’s a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as one of the Top 50 Greatest Love Stories.
Debra is also the author of The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance) and the nonfiction book, The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving. She’s a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing. Sign up for her newsletter at http://drdebraholland.com


Buy Links:




Includes contributions by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors
What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes--selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review--with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. Recipes. Writing. Relationships. In this cookbook 105 authors not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they've ever received on love and writing.    








Books-A-Million: 



Have a great week, Everyone!














Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bake, Love, Write...Week 1




Last Fall, Lois Winston, one of my RWA buddies, edited and contributed to the book, Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing.

Whether you're looking for advice of writing, relationships or baking, I thought this book made a perfect "thank you" gift  to a colleague since she has never met a recipe she didn't want to try. 


Over the next few weeks, I'll feature several of the contributors along with their recipes. Each week, buy links will be included because there may be a recipe that peaks your interest.



Lois Winston: Apple Bundt Cake

The only problem with this cake is that you can’t stop eating it.

5 cooking apples
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup orange juice
4 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and slice apples. Place in bowl. Add cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix to coat apples. Set aside


USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.comFollow everyone on Tsu at www.tsu.co/loiswinston, on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/anasleuth and onTwitter @anasleuth. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.MyAuthorBiz.com/ENewsletter.php?acct=LW2467152513



Dale Mayer: Mayer Family Unbaked Cheesecake

Makes one 12” cheesecake.

6 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-1/4 cups margarine or butter, melted
3 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese
3 cups whipping cream
1-3/4 cup icing sugar
2 packages gelatin (Knox)
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup boiling water

Mix crumbs and margarine together in 12” spring-form pan. Spread the mixture along bottom and up sides, pressing firmly.

Optional: bake crust in a 350 degree F. oven until golden brown.

Dissolve 2 packs gelatin in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add 1 cup of boiling water, and 1/2 cup whipping cream.

In blender, chunk cream cheese, add gelatin liquid and 1/2 of the sugar. Blend until well mixed. Let sit.

In another bowl, cream whipping cream and the second half of the sugar until stiff. Pour cream cheese mixture into whipping cream, stirring gently until mixed. Pour into crust. Chill until set.

Options:
Fold fresh fruit into mixture at last step or pour half the cream cheese mixture into crust, add layer of fruit, then pour remaining cream cheese mixture. Top cake with fruit puree or chocolate. Use your imagination. The possibilities are endless.


Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy, break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com and on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/dalemayer.authorIf you like Dale Mayer's books and are interested in receiving her newsletter, sign up here - http://dalemayer.com/newsletter-subscription/



  Buy Links:








Includes contributions by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors
What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes--selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review--with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. Recipes. Writing. Relationships. In this cookbook 105 authors not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they've ever received on love and writing. 


Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Bake-Love-Write-Authors-Dessert/dp/1940795133/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435975897&sr=1-1&keywords=Bake+love+write


Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bake-love-write-lois-winston/1120365873?ean=9781940795133


Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Bake-Love-Write/Lois-Winston/9781940795133?id=6130748650509


Have a great week, Everyone!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Writing Contest Update!




For unpublished writers, contests are an extremely important stop on that road to publication. Aside from the opportunity to final or win, the feedback from judges is often invaluable.

Here's the lowdown on several approaching deadlines. Good luck!

"2015 Red Hen Press Short Story Award," sponsored by Red Hen Press; deadline, July 31, 2015; Entry, Original Short Story up to 25 pages; FMI, http://redhen.org/awards-2/rhpssa/

"Flash Fiction Contest," sponsored by Women on Writing (WOW!); deadline, August 31, 2015; short fiction -- 750 words max; FMI, http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php




"Heart to Heart Contest," sponsored by San Francisco Area Romance Writers; deadline, August 31, 2015; Entry, the initial scene where your hero and heroine meet; 15 pages with a one-page set up; FMI, http://sfarwa.net/contests

"2015 Melody of Love Contest," sponsored by Music City Romance Writers; deadline, September 7, 2015; Entry, first chapter up to 25 pages; FMI, https://www.rwa.org/mcrwmelodyoflove


Have a great week, Everyone!




(photos c/o facebook.com/snoopy)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

You always remember your first!





 Not too long ago, Kimba at the Caffenated Book Reviewer (http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/), did a daily post on favorite romance novels. I have too many favorites to count, but I remember my first. Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith was given to me by my grandmother. I still have have my yellow-paged, tattered, falling apart paperback from the 1960s.

Although the book cover has changed, I was excited, to find a re-issued 2010 copy on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and stunned to find someone had set up a Facebook page for the book! This book cover photo is courtesy of that FB page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joy-in-the-Morning-1963/168933889823825?sk=info&tab=page_info)







Blurb:

In 1927 Brooklyn, teenagers Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Through hardship and poverty, their commitment perseveres, and soon they realize that their greatest sources of strength, loyalty, and love will help them make it through, together. Joy in the Morning is, in the words of Best Sellers, “a human-hearted song of joy” from the immortal Betty Smith.


Amazon Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Morning-Novel-Betty-Smith/dp/0061774332/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430058722&sr=1-1&keywords=Betty+Smith


Barnes & Noble Buy Link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/joy-in-the-morning-betty-smith/1102178412?ean=9780061774331




Editorial Reviews (Reviews posts c/o Barnes & Noble)

Chicago Tribune

"A glad affirmation that love can accomplish the impossible."

New York Times Book Review
"A more dauntless heroine or a more appealing one has not turned up in a current novel in years." 
 Joy in the Morning listed on Wikipedia --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_in_the_Morning_(Smith_novel)

I just loved this book and read and reread many times.

Do you remember the first romance novel you read?






(bird photo c/o NovemberRaindrop @ morgueFile.com)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Conference Update







Conferences are a great opportunity to meet, share and learn from other writers and industry professionals. Here are several conferences scheduled for the Fall.

2015 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference; September 11, 12, and 13, 2015; sponsored by Rocky Mountain Fictions Writers; The Westin, Westminster, CO; FMI, http://rmfw.org/conference/

Reader Weekend/University, September 25, 26, and 27, 2015; sponsored by RomCon; The Renaissance Hotel, Denver, CO, FMI, http://www.romcon.com/about-reader-weekend

Chicago Writers Conference, September, 25, 26, and 27, 2015; University Center, Chicago, IL; FMI, http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/

The 2015 San Diego Writing Workshop, October 9, 2015; sponsored by Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop; Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley, San Diego, CA; FMI, http://sandiegowritingworkshop.com/?et_mid=756744&rid=235571114

New Jersey Romance Writers "Put Your Heart in a Book" Conference, October 16 and 17, 2015; sponsored by NJ Romance Writers; Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, Iselin, NJ; FMI, www.NJRomanceWriters.org

Emerald City Writers' Conference, October 16, 17, and 18, 2015; sponsored by Greater Seattle RWA; Westin Hotel, Bellevue, WA; FMI, www.gsrwa.org


Have a great week, Everyone!



(photo c/o vjk20w at morgueFile.com)