Tasty Thursday

Today’s super yummy recipe comes from Tide of Love. One of Aislynn’s favorite things about being human (besides having sex) is eating.  She has NO idea she’s meant to count calories so she eats without abandon. As someone who has to watch everything she eats and then sometimes I swear I gain weight simply by walking by food, I LOVED writing this side of Aislynn.

 I make this cake when we’re going to family gatherings because it is loaded with hip expanding ingredients but it’s ohhhh sooo good.

 Paula’s Volcano Cake (From Paula Deen’s food network website)

Ingredients

Cream mixture:

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1 stick butter, room temperature

2 cups 4X or 10X sugar

Cake:

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1 cup pecans

1 (18.25-ounce) box German chocolate cake mix, prepare by following directions on box

10 bite-sized almond and chocolate covered candy or candy of choice

Glaze:

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

For the cream mixture:

Beat ingredients together with an electric mixer. Set aside until ready to use.

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch cake pan.

Line bottom of greased pan with coconut flakes. Sprinkle pecans on top of coconut. Set aside.

Follow directions on back of box to prepare cake. Beat for approximately 2 minutes, using an electric mixer. Fold in bite-sized candy. Pour into cake pan. Evenly space dollops of cream mixture on top of the cake. When the cake cooks, the cream will sink down to the bottom. This will be your “volcano” of flavor. Place in oven for 40 to 45 minutes. While cake is still hot spread the glaze evenly over the cake.

For the glaze:

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in cocoa powder and add milk until you get a thin consistency. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. While bringing the butter and milk mixture to a boil, whisk in confectioners’ sugar and almond extract. Glaze should be thin. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using.

I’d love to hear what your favorite sky high calorie dish is…

Writer Wednesday

Finding balance.

My latest release, Tide of Love, is a paranormal/suspense romance with an environmental subplot.   While I’m not to the far corner of the green movement, I do believe we need to start balancing things. Sort of like I need to balance my M&M and wine consummation with eating carrots and drinking water. Aislynn, my heroine in Tide of Love, takes this approach. She doesn’t say her friend’s woodlands can’t be developed but they should do so with nature in mind. Aislynn is a character of balance. She likes her sex edging into the dominance yet she’s a strong enough to face a down a serial killer.

I know authors (many who I enjoy so this is in NO way a slam) write heroines or heroes that are made of steel.  They live in a black and white world. I, however, live in a foggy gray world so most of characters tend to swing for bad ass to cuddly.  I’ve tried to write hard ass heroes with a in your face heroine and fell no plummeted into the abyss of horrible writing. I thought my critique partner was going to jump on a plane so she could slap me.  

 My current WIP another paranormal with some sharp left turns has a heroine who just doesn’t want to be the heroine. She wants to go home to her boyfriend and dog NOT battle demons; figure out why a 1,000 year ghost has kicked started her hormones into overdrive. It’s safe to say her bowl is an even mixture of carrots and M&M’s J

 I’d love to hear about some of your favorite heroines and where they fall on the kick ass scale.

Tasty Thursday

It’s cold…it’s snowing AGAIN… it’s the end of the month so this weeks tasty recipe is a wonderful combat against all of those. It’s a soup, it a cheap to make, and it’s a crock pot to free up time for the end of the month word crunch 🙂

yummy :)

yummy 🙂

Chicken Taco Soup

 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (I shred leftover chicken and freeze it until I have enough)

1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed ( I’ve also used salsa that was on sale)

1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups water

1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn (I saute this with the peppers and cilantro because that just what I do)

 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

7 corn tortillas (corn chips are great also)

vegetable oil

1.  Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

 3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.

 4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

What is your favorite money and time saving comfort food?

Motivation Monday

Drum roll please… I’m starting on a new project. Not the ultimate fighter that I’ve been sharing the hot hero waiting for me, he’ll have to hang out a little longer. I’ve started on a steamy romance (no suspense – just relationship drama) about a motocross racer (hero – Dezmond Regan) and a stunt rider (Jada Elkins) called Kick Start.

My new WIP's hero and heroine

My new WIP’s hero and heroine

I hanging on to my positive ‘can-do’ attitude and added Kick Start to my writing que after seeing a call from Pink Petal Publishing (interested in their special calls? http://pinkpetalbooks.com/special-submission-calls.html) without taking anything off 😉 I’ve had the plot bunnies for this story in my head for soooo long they are grown into rabbits with grandkids but I put off writing it because I didn’t think I’d be able to place it (still don’t know if they will pick it up).

I have a four-day weekend (mid-winter break) starting this Friday. So I did ‘a lot’ (for a die hard pantser anyway) planning this weekend so if I hit my nightly goals with the weekend word count goals for Friday and Monday I should be okay 😉

Anyone else starting new projects?

Motivation Monday

Recap & goals.

2013 didn’t start off with the bang I had hoped. My overall word count for January is 25k less than my target and I didn’t submit my naughty fairy tale… 😦

I have sever asthma and spent a week focusing on breathing. It’s hard to write humor or sexy when the only thing on your mind is getting oxygen into your lungs. With this disclaimer the area where my word count really fell short of my goals is on the weekends. I made my week daily goals 92% of the time. So I’m going to keep the word count goal the same for February. If I fail again then I’ll re-evaluate.

I do need to revise my submission goals which I’m going to wait to do until the end of the month.

So for February the bar is:

He's still waiting - my next hero

He’s still waiting – my next hero

Minimum 500 words daily during the week.

Minimum 3,000 words on the weekend.

Submit the naughty fairytale.

Complete the romance suspense novella

Complete the rough draft of book 1 in the young adult fantasy

Start the steamy romance suspense – full length

Finish the next novella in the ‘The Cabin’ series.

Promotional was pretty much a bust this month also.

One the ‘personal’ front – the diet is limping along and I’m doing my exercising plan. I also have started and planned out my next copy of craft projects.

I’d love to hear how your 2013 is going.

Tasty Thursday

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.

In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.

Motivational Monday

I think Mother Nature is having some issues… record cold, 9 inches of snow in a six hour period, etc. I’ve offered to order her Girl Scout cookies, to buy her M&M’s, and to make her brownies. Told her I’d play Magic Mike and leave all the curtains open so she could watch…as I’m writing this it’s 12 degrees out, snow is pelleting my windows, and there is a high wind advisory. So clearly, I’ve hit on nothing that will motivate Mother Nature to give Northern Michigan a mild winter.

If I had sent the pages on fire with a high count, would he have come and put it out?

If I had sent the pages on fire with a high count, would he have come and put it out?

This last weekend I signed up for writer’s marathon. I received ‘cheering-on’ messages, had a writer partner to check in with, and hubby agreed to make his own meals (which means he ate eggs and hot dogs for two days). So am I going to dazzle you with a high word count??? Nope.  I did do a deceit amount but truly little more than average.

I’ve come to realize that like Magic Mike can’t sway Mother Nature, writing marathon’s don’t do it for me. In truth I do better if I just stick to my ‘daily’ grind plan. Because this weekend’s higher than average word count just puts a cement block into my flow for the week when I have less time to plot ahead due to the day job. So come next Friday will I still be ahead of my projected word count goal for the month? It’s hard to say….

Do write – ins or marathons help boost your overall word count?  How do you prepare for them?

 

Teaser Tuesday

I’ve been tagged several times on facebook to do the 77-7-7 from my novel.  This is from my upcoming paranormal suspense romance, Tide of Love, that will be released next month and because it was x-rated with language I’m posting it here.

She's a mermaid who wants to experience every emotion known to humans. He doesn't believe in letting emotions get in the way

She’s a mermaid who wants to experience every emotion known to humans. He doesn’t believe in letting emotions get in the way

 

“I was disappointed the human changed his mind in the park.” A smile of pure evil curled his lips. “Your screams of ecstasy gave me a hard-on.” He ground his crotch against her hip. “I would have liked to watch him fuck you. See your face and hear cries of pleasure as you crested the peak. I can hardly wait to introduce you to the pleasures of pain.”

 

 

If anyone else would like to share thier 77-7-7, leave me a comment and I’ll tag you on facebook.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Writer Wednesday – Getting to Know my Heroine

In keeping with my promise to ‘strength’ my writing muscles, I have started doing some writing exercises.  In prep for my the next romance suspense I plan on working on, I picked a prompt from 1,000 Character Writing Prompts chefs and cooks selection. My heroine is a pastry chef.

I selected 193 which isn’t really much of a stretch. Cayla Rogin, my heroine, is pastry chef like the prompt, but she doesn’t work in a vegan bakery. Cayla runs her own bakery business. The prompt has her growing up in foster families as did my heroine – it’s in one of these homes she meets the hero. While this doesn’t seem like much of a ‘stretch’,  I still decided the prompt – ‘what would the members of her family think of accomplishments?’ would be character building since I tend to gloss over my character’s. Picking a few events. So what did I learn about Cayla from this???

My newest heroine I'm meeting

My newest heroine I’m meeting

  • 1) I had to establish her bio-parents. Was it a single mother? Did she go back and forth between bio home and foster placement. Was she taken due to abuse, addictions, or negligent? This I would have done without the prompt.
  • 2) How many foster placements she had (I would have never answered this unless it came up while writing).
  • 3) Who she remained in contact with and why – this added a nice subplot twist
  • 4) I flushed out her motive for becoming a pastry chef
  • 5) Did any of her foster parents use her service? No, but I have supplying birthday cakes to one home she stayed at. This would have never developed without this prompt.

I found this prompt much more use than the 3 page character sheets I’ve tried in the past.

Do you use writing prompts? If so as ‘warm-ups’ or to break writer’s block?  What are some prompt books you’ve found useful.

 

Motivation Monday

I return to the day job today after 15 days off.  I’d like to say I have incredible word totals – completed work to brag about. Nope.  Discovered a major plot flaw in my holiday romance suspense novella so I had to go back and chop leaving it without a left leg or head.  I have reconstructed the leg and I’m working on the face.

I also did some ‘prep’ work that I’m hoping will lead to higher word counts while juggling the day job.

So this weeks goal –

  1. Finish the holiday suspense romance novella
  2. Make edit changes on the naughty fairy tale
  3. Finish the world building for my new young adult

I really really really want to finish my holiday suspense romance novella. What is my ‘dangling carrot’? The thing that is driving me to complete this novella? Sure I have my next adult  suspense romance waiting in the wings. BUT….it’s my next hero. He’s a MMA fighter (and my heroine is a cookie baker.) My hero…he’s hot, he’s edgy, and he comes with a healthy dose of attitude.

 

Who wouldn't write about him???

Who wouldn’t write about him???

mm jan 7

This guy is waiting for me…

My motivation this week….