Friday, March 27, 2015

Last Friday of the Month Recipe by Chocolatier and Author Nikki Woolfolk





Bonjour All!

Last week I had a Facebook party launching my interconnected dessert company that is closely tied to my Steampunk novella series Sweet & Steamy. Lebeau Chocolates & Confections is your Steampunk chocolatier, but while making elaborate and whimsical desserts, the classics are always a customer favorite. Though you can use vanilla for a classic flavor, you may add the twist of orange for more of a twist!

When making hand-rolled chocolate truffles you’ll need two batches of chocolate. You’ll need one batch for the ganache (chocolate center) and the other batch of chocolate to be the outer shell coating.

When using the chocolate for the shell coating you can dip your firm rolled ganache into warmed chocolate or you can place a little melted chocolate in your hand and roll the ganache ball around the center of your palm until the ganache is fully coated. Wait for it to harden then dip or roll once more and let dry. Remember the thinner the shell the better it will taste when you bite into the soft ganache center.

You can experiment with the use of cream by substituting Heavy Cream for either Crème Fraiche or Coconut Cream. Note that it will change the flavor of your finished product.

You’re also going to need a cookie sheet and parchment or wax paper for the rolled ganache to sit on.

When creating your truffles know that it is not just the inside that should taste good, but the outside that should be pleasant to the eye. Have fun and explore your decorative side when putting the finishing touches on your chocolate creations!

Dark Chocolate

1 tsp Orange Extract or Vanilla extract (classic)
1/2 cup of Heavy Cream or Cream Fraiche
8 oz. of Bittersweet Dark Chocolate (Ghiradelli’s), finely chopped (1)

Shell coating
2 to 4 oz. of Dark Chocolate 70% (Callebaut), finely chopped (2)
Cocoa Powder for rolling the shell coated truffles in

  •        Place the 8oz of chocolate in a Pyrex mixing bowl and set to the side.
  •        Place Cream in a sauce pan and heat until gentle rolling boil. Do not scorch.
  •        Take the Cream off the eye and stir in extract then pour the cream over the chocolate.
  •      Let sit for 1 minute then gently stir until smooth.
  •        Either let cool at room temp or place in refrigerator for a few hours until ganache is firm to the touch
  •      Using a small ice cream scooper roll out ½ oz. sized ganache and use your palm to roll them into spherical shapes. Place them on the parchment/cookie sheet.
  •        Once finished place them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool. While waiting warm the leftover chocolate for the shell coating.
  •        Remove cooled ganache balls and roll in chocolate and place on parchment to harden. Do this a second time. All ganache should be coated twice. Wait between each dipping or else you will have a thick coat that is not pleasant to bite into, think delectable dessert. It should be a light crunch not a dessert that needs a hammer and chisel to get into, okay? Okay.
  •      Either dust with Cocoa Powder, Shaved Chocolates, or leave it to be displayed in all its naked chocolate glory!

Bio: 
Nikki Woolfolk (@NikkiWoolfolk)  is the author of multiple Steampunk (Sweet & Steamy series) and Cozy Food Mystery stories and a Professional Chocolatier. 

Until a dozen years ago she feared all kitchens, but found inspiration from a film about a rat who longed to cook in a French kitchen and swiftly made her way to a NYC culinary school.

Working as a stagiere anywhere she could Nikki received her Advanced Pastry and Chocolatier Certification and has worked with some of the top chefs in her field. Nikki enjoys taking her readers on culinary adventures in a spectacular cogged and geared world with the perfect recipe of fun and adventure with a dash of wit! 

To Buy:  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Take Five and Meet Author Kate Hill



Today I'm happy to bring you Kate Hill and wait until you read which movie character she'd like to be.  I'm betting you won't guess.


Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Kate Hill.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book  St. Augustine's Silhouettes?

Thank you for having me here. I wanted to write a historical that dealt with the paranormal and serial killers. I also wanted the main character to be someone the reader wouldn't trust right away--someone a bit mysterious.

What were your experiences as a child that contributed to you becoming a writer?

I simply enjoyed stories. Reading was my favorite hobby and I also enjoyed making up my own stories. When I reached my teens I knew I wanted to pursue a writing career, so at sixteen I started submitting stories to small press magazines. It took ten years before I finally got an acceptance.

Do day-to-day life experiences influence your stories?

Yes, because using day to day life is one of my favorite ways of getting to know my characters. Throughout the day I'll often imagine how my characters would react to different situations, no matter how mundane. It tells me a lot about them.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?

I take lots of notes and I try to "live" with my characters by using the method described in the question above. I also like to have a loose outline written before I start working on the book.

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be?  And why?

Who would I be, or who would I want to be? :-) There are so many choices for who I'd want to be--Solomon Kane, Wolverine, Mr. Hyde. I guess at the moment who I'd want to be is Loki from the recent Marvel movies because of his charisma and powers. I'd like to think I could temper some of his destructive qualities and turn him into an antihero. As for what character I would be, the sad reality is Walter Mitty from the 1947 movie--just a daydreamer with no real power.

Give us a brief summary of St. Augustine's Silhouettes:
A killer runs loose in a small American town. When free-spirited Katherine allies herself with a man dubbed Satan by the townsfolk, has she found the man of her dreams or has she fallen into the hands of a murderer?

Buy Links:
ARe | Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

Bio:
Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets. She enjoys hearing from readers. Visit Kate online at http://www.kate-hill.com.

Find Kate at:


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Five Secrets From Co-Authors Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese


Today we learn 5 secrets from Co-Authors Erin McRae and Rachline Maltese.

Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese are authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry (Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015)), all from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella Midsummer (Love’s Labour 1), about a summerstock Shakespeare company, is from Dreamspinner Press (May 2015). They also  have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller; Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. They write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.

Hi Erin and Racheline, welcome once again to My Story ~ My Way, An Indie Adventure. Please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Doves (Love in Los Angeles, Book 2) or you, but will after today!
1)  One of our characters is autistic. We’re not sure if anyone’s noticed yet, but we think once they do, a lot more of what this character does and how they interact with the world will make sense. It wasn’t a conscious decision to make them autistic, either -- rather, the character informed us that they are on the spectrum.
2) This book is really dark, but it was actually much darker in earlier edits. 
3) Chekhov's gun doesn’t go off. And if you start the book, you’ll probably know pretty quickly what that is. But it doesn’t go off, and we never intended it to, but we keep hearing from readers who are shocked it didn’t. Which may mean our readers think we’re even more messed up than we are, which we’ll take as a compliment!
4) The baby will be a girl.
5) Near the start of the story, Paul and Alex, our protagonists, travel to Paul’s family farm in South Carolina. On the property is a cricket barn, where they raise crickets to sell for bait. Paul thinks this is normal; Alex is appalled. But the cricket barn is actually a real thing that exists! One of our first readers let us crib it from his own life.

Blurb :
The ties that bind...

Two years after the events of Starling, Cinderella story and star of The Fourth Estate J. Alex Cook is living happily ever after with his boyfriend, television writer Paul Marion Keane. But when Paul’s pilot, Winsome, AZ, gets picked up, the competing demands of their high-profile careers make them question their future together.

...can tear you apart

As Paul becomes increasingly absent from their relationship, Alex tries to regain control of his private life and establish a career path independent of Fourth's enigmatic, and at times malevolent, showrunner Victor. But the delicate web of relationships that connects Alex, Paul, and their friends — including Alex's excitable ex-lover Liam and his no-nonsense fiancée Carly — threatens to unravel.

With the business of Hollywood making it hard to remember who he is when the whole world isn’t watching, Alex is forced to confront major changes in the fairytale life he never wanted as he discovers that love in Los Angeles often looks nothing like the movies.

To Buy:
Ebook: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe | Torquere | iTunes

Paperback: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Find Erin and Racheline:
Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_m



Monday, March 16, 2015

Screenwriter Robert Gosnell on One Can Only Speculate



One Can Only Speculate
There is an old vaudeville era joke, about a man who tries to sell an axe. It's a very special axe, he explains to his prospective buyer, because this is the very axe that George Washington used to chop down the cherry tree.
"Of course," continues the seller, "it's had three new heads and four new handles, since then."
This joke came to mind while mulling one of my impossible screenwriting dreams: to sell, and have produced, the first screenplay I ever wrote.
That screenplay, written on speculation, has undergone many more changes, over the years, than the famous George Washington axe that huckster tried to sell. In fact, in many respects, it barely resembles its original incarnation.
One of the more positive roads which have been opened by the internet is that of enabling novelists to self-publish, market and sell their work. Were that not the case, my own book might never have seen the light of day.
While screenwriters also enjoy the advantages of internet marketing, allowing us to reach more prospective buyers much more readily than in the past, it falls short, in that we still must rely on agents, producers and studios to make a sale, just like in the old days.
And, just like in the old days, the most valuable tool at our fingertips is the "spec" script. In order to be noticed, we must write. In order to have our work produced, we must write well. After that, persistence, luck and timing determine our fate.
While the underlying dread of spending weeks, months or even years on an effort that may never be seen by more than a handful of people can dampen a screenwriter's motivation, the added benefits cannot be overlooked. Only by writing continuously can we improve. So, if our spec script's ultimate fate is to sit on a shelf and gather dust, it doesn't mean it was all for naught. It means our next script will be better, and the one after that better still. Practice does, indeed, make perfect. Beyond that, there also comes a sense of achievement, a growing confidence in one's ability and an increasing comfort in mastering a challenging writing form.
So, maybe it isn't George Washington's axe, but after three new heads and four new handles, it's probably a better axe than it was to begin with.
Today's excerpt from "The Blue Collar Screenwriter and The Elements of Screenplay" takes a further look at the screenwriter's best friend: The "spec" script.
 The “Spec” Script
The term "spec script" means you're writing it on speculation, and that means, you'll spend a lot of time and energy doing work with no promise of any reward at the end, aside from personal satisfaction. Maybe, it'll sell, maybe it won't. Maybe, it'll serve as a great writing sample that will lead you to a paid assignment. Maybe it won't.
I can tell you what it will do. It will make you a better writer.
Every script you put behind you provides an education, whether or not it ever gets produced. A half-dozen spec scripts that go nowhere can be just what you need to take your talent to a level that finally gets your great American screenplay on the screen.
If what you want to be is a professional screenwriter, you must remain diligent; constantly married to your keyboard, constantly churning out new work. It takes commitment.
The great satirist Art Buchwald once told the story of a man who wanted so much to win the lottery, he prayed every night for it. Each evening before bed, he would fall to his knees and beg God to "Please, let me win the lottery!" Finally, after months of this, he was in the midst of his ritual prayer, when he suddenly heard a big, booming voice from out of the heavens:
"Give me a break! Buy a ticket!"
The hapless fellow in Art Buchwald's story discovered that God himself couldn't determine his fate. Winning the lottery requires an investment. In that case, it's only a buck. In your case, it's time, effort, commitment, dedication, brain-drain and sweat equity. And, a little talent doesn't hurt.
Unfortunately, some aspiring writers see their first spec screenplay in a "lottery ticket" light.
"I'll dash out a great story," they imagine, "submit it to the market and wait for fate to sweep me up in its arms and propel me to fame and fortune!"
Okay, anything is possible. Maybe, they'll write that script, land a major agent from ICM who will get it directly to the green-light guy at a big studio, make a quick sale, deposit a huge paycheck and revel in glory on opening night as Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep bring it to life on the big screen, (probably in 3-D) amid whispers of Oscar nominations. Maybe, it will happen that way for them.
Or, maybe they'll win the lottery.
If you submit your spec script to an agent, and he likes your work, one of his first questions to you will be "Do you have more?" Maybe, it took you a year or two to get that first hot script sharpened to perfection. It can't take you a year or two to write the next one, but it has to be at least as good.
***
As you may have gathered from this excerpt, our spec script is only the first step in a screenwriting career which encompasses a varied and complex set of requirements. Writing a screenplay does not make one a screenwriter, any more than pouring drano down a clogged sink makes one a plumber.
Yet, every journey must start with a first step. For a screenwriter, that first step is a "spec" screenplay. Don't be afraid to take it. It can lead you to wondrous and exciting new places.
________________________________________

Robert's book, "The Blue Collar Screenwriter and The Elements of Screenplay" is currently available at:
Amazon digital and paperback
CreateSpace 
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Find Robert at:
Website (with information on classes)
Email






BIO: 
A  professional screenwriter for more than thirty years,  Robert Gosnell has produced credits in feature films, network television, syndicated television, basic cable and pay cable, and is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of Canada.

Robert began his career writing situation comedy as a staff writer for the ABC series Baby Makes Five.  As a freelance writer, he wrote episodes for Too Close for Comfort and the TBS comedies Safe at Home and Rocky Road.  In cable, he has scripted numerous projects for the Disney Channel, including Just Perfect, a Disney Channel movie featuring  Jennie Garth. In 1998, he wrote the  Showtime original movie, Escape from Wildcat Canyon, which starred Dennis Weaver and won the national "Parents Choice Award." Robert's feature credits include the Chuck Norris/Louis Gosset Jr. film Firewalker, an uncredited rewrite on the motion picture Number One With A Bullet  starring Robert Carradine and Billy Dee Williams, and the sale of his original screenplay Kick And Kick Back to Cannon Films. Robert was also selected as a judge for the 1990 Cable Ace awards, in the Comedy Special category.

In 1990, Robert left Hollywood for Denver, where he became active in  the local independent film community. His screenplay Tiger Street was produced by the Pagoda Group of Denver, and premiered on Showtime Extreme in August of 2003. In 1999, Denver’s Inferno Films produced the action film Dragon and the Hawk  from his script. In 2001, Robert co-wrote the screenplay for the  independent feature Siren for Las Vegas company Stage Left Productions. His feature script Juncture was produced by Front Range Films in March of 2006. 

Robert  is a principal member of the Denver production company "Conspiracy Films." He is frequently an invited speaker for local writers organizations,  served on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference in 2002, and in 2007 was chosen to participate as a panelist for the Aspen Film Festival Short Screenplay Contest. Robert  regularly presents his screenwriting class "The Elements of Screenplay," along with advanced classes and workshops, in the Denver area.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Get Hooked On Stone of Heaven with #MFRWHooks, #MFRWauthor

Book Hooks is a fun way to find out more about my books and new authors listed below.

Today I'm baiting the hook for Stone of Heaven.

In the short hand of Hollywood you could say it's Romancing The Stone meets Indiana Jones.

Set in the mystical and hot Yucatan, Stone of Heaven started out as a screenplay and won the attention of several producers, one of whom was told to buy by his female assistant.  She loved it because it has strong central female characters.  WOOT.  Alas, the film has yet to be made, but I loved the story so much I wrote the book.

Here is a snippet, their first real kiss. The setting is a raging river, Tori Carswell has just rescued Reid Hunter.

Touching his face, she ran a finger around his lips until he opened them and his mouth took her finger, his tongue caressing it, sending a hot arrow of pure need straight to her belly.
And she was going to warm him up.
He settled against her, molding his body to her contours as his mouth captured her lips in a kiss so soft, so gentle it stole her breath.
Her hand crept up to his head, pulling him closer to deepen the kiss. One part of her dimly realized she felt close-cropped hair, not hat, but then the primal instinct to celebrate their defeat of death overtook all her senses.
Canting one leg over his hips, she felt his male response to her kisses, and heady feminine power filled her. A new and decidedly wicked power.

Blurb:
For the Adventurer and Romantic in all of us
 STONE OF HEAVEN, Book One in the Carswell Adventure Series
Hurricane Michaela lashes the Yucatan Coast and uncovers what had best been left buried, the fabled Stone of Heaven.
Two twins couldn't be more different…
Tori Carswell is happy with her simple if reclusive life. But she worries about her younger twin, Abby, an adventure junkie seeking increasingly dangerous quests.

When Abby vanishes in the Yucatan rainforest, feared captive of an ancient Mayan cult, Tori leaves her safe life behind and sets off to save her, believing she is her sister's only hope.

Then, deep in the heart of the Yucatan jungle, Tori unexpectedly runs into her sister's ex-partner, Reid Hunter. A ridiculously  handsome Southern gentleman without a conscience, interested in only one thing.

Wealth.

He'll help Tori rescue her sister in return for all the treasure—the fabled blue jade called the Stone of Heaven.

The two rescuers couldn't be more different…
Tori can't trust him, even as she's drawn to the excitement and the raw masculinity that Reid wears like a second skin.

Will he help save her sister or will he put riches before life…and love?


Buy:
Amazon

Find me:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook author page | Twitter



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Take Five With Irish Author Sharon Black



Got to tell you that this book, set in Dublin, sounds really interesting.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Sharon.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Going Against Type.

Hi, Leslie, thanks for hosting me today. The inspiration for my novel came from an old Hollywood film, Woman of the Year, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey. I have seen all their films. In Woman of the Year, Hepburn plays a high brow newspaper pundit, who rubbishes sport. Tracey is a sports columnist who leaps to its defense and attacks Hepburn. In the film, they are forced to work together, and quickly fall in love.
For Going Against Type, I turned the stereotypes on their head, so my heroine is a sports reporter working in a modern, Irish newspaper. My hero is a fashion writer, and they start to attack each other through their anonymously penned newspaper columns. Meantime, they meet and fall in love, each not knowing that they are dating the enemy!

Have you been a lifelong reader of (fill in your genre)?  What are some the first books you remember reading?

I’ve always loved well written, commercial women’s fiction, and I particularly like humour. Which is why I wrote a romantic comedy. Two authors that I’ve always admired for their ability to write humorously, but still have depth in their writing, is the Irish author Marian Keyes and the English author Catherine Alliott. I read all the Irish authors now, and I am in awe. I picked out Marian because she was possibly the first I read and thought, wish I could write like that.

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

Sadly, I drink coffee. Not if I’m having a complete blank. Then I tend to go for a walk. But mostly I drink coffee. Sometimes I take myself away from my desk at the end of my kitchen (enter the area at your peril!!) and head down to my local Italian restaurant, where I will hide in a corner and write and drink excellent coffee. Usually nobody bothers me.

What would be your advice to people who are considering a writing career?

Have a plan. Don’t let anyone put you off, in fact, don’t talk about your writing at all. Structure your novel in advance, and write back stories for your characters. Write every day. Even if it’s only for a short time. Don’t give up, ever.

You’re having a dinner party.  What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up?  Why?

I wouldn’t like to have dinner with my heroine’s ex- brother in law. He treated Charlotte’s sister, Cathy, appallingly and still causes heartache, as he constantly lets his two children down. He’s arrogant and completely selfish.

Give us a brief summary of Going Against Type :
Going Against Type is a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of national Dublin newspapers. It’s the story of two rival columnists, who write under pen names, and who fall in love, without realizing that they are bitter enemies in print.


Buy Links: 
tirpub.com/gatype will take you to all the buy links.

Bio: 
Sharon Black grew up in Dublin. She studied history and politics at University College Dublin and then did post-graduate in journalism at Dublin City University.

She has worked for national newspapers, including The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner. 
She had short stories published in U Magazine and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition.
 
When she is not writing, she reads, walks and sees friends. She co-founded a local book club 14 years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, science fiction and good stand-up comedy.

She lives in Sandymount, Dublin, with her husband and their three children.

Social Media Links:  
sharonblackauthor.blogspot.comSharon BlackAuthor Page 



                              sharonblackauthor.blogspot.com sharonblackauthor.blogspot.com


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