Friday, November 18, 2016

Last Friday Recipe of the Month From Author Ann Everett; Fresh Apple Cake

Yeah, I know, it's not really the last Friday of the Month, but hey, this is a recipe you'll want to have before, during and after Thanksgiving.  
So you can thank Ann Everett right now for FRESH APPLE CAKE. It sounds perfect

The recipe and why you love making it:

Hi, L.A., thanks for having me on your blog. This recipe comes from Sweet ThangsSouthern Sweets from Two Sassy Sisters, which is based on the fictional bakery in my Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy. (The stories have a little mystery, a bit of steamy romance, and a kick of humor) Sisters, Pattiecake McAlister and Sugarpie Monroe own the place and many scenes happen there.

Now, before you roll your eyes at the cheesy sister names, let me explain. The two characters are based on my real-life sister and me…and that’s what our grandchildren call us. When I decided to write the series, I wanted to include us in the book. So with names like Pattiecake and Sugarpie…I figured we could be bakers…or pole dancers! 

This cake is one of my favorites, because other than apples, you’ll probably have most of the ingredients on hand. It’s a perfect choice for young cooks because other than a Bundt or Tube pan, you don’t need any special tools. Not even a mixer! Just combine everything together and stir by hand.

It’s moist, keeps well, and since it’s made with fresh fruit…you can tell yourself it’s good for you!!

Fresh Apple Cake (with caramel sauce)

2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1¼ cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups finely grated Granny Smith apples (or some other good baking apple)
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients by hand until combined. Batter will be very thick.
Pour into greased and floured 10-cup Bundt pan. 
Bake for 1 hour.
Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack and cool completely.
Garnish with caramel sauce, if desired.
In Ann Everett’s Tizzy/Ridge Romance Trilogy, fictional characters Pattiecake McAlister and Sugarpie Monroe cook up delicious confections at Sweet Thangs Bakery. These recipes are from the kitchens of real life sisters, Pattie Ball and Carol Mayfield.
Inside this book, they share more than 130 homemade recipes, including luscious cakes, yummy cookies, sweet salads, delectable pies, scrumptious candy, and delightful drinks, perfect for special occasions or gift giving.
Amazon | Kobo 

Award winning and Amazon Best-Selling author, Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking at conferences and to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her special brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.

She lives on a small lake in Northeast Texas, where she writes, bakes, and fights her addiction to Diet Dr. Peppers.

Find Ann: 
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Take Five and Meet Jill Haymaker And Her New Christmas Novella

Today I'm excited to bring you Jill Haymaker, who is a repeat guest, 
and has a brand new Christmas novella to tell us about. 
I love Christmas stories. Love them!!

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Jill Haymaker. Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, Colorado Cowboy Christmas?

Hi, L.A., thanks for hosting me again, it's always wonderful to be here. I’ve always loved Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year and the best time for romance. I love my small fictional town of Peakview, Colorado so what better place to have a holiday romance? This is my first novella. I know how busy everyone is this time of year so I wanted to write a shorter story that people would have time to read.
 If you were not a writer, what vocation would you pursue?
Well, my “real” job is an attorney. I started writing to escape the nastiness and conflict that I have to deal with. Currently, I spend about 50% of my time writing and 50% practicing law. I hope for it to be 100% writing someday.

Do you prefer to read in the same genre you write in, or do you avoid reading that genre?  Why?

I write romance and that is what I read the majority of the time. I just love happily ever after. I see so much unhappiness in my day job, that I love to start a book knowing that everything is going to work out in the end whether I’m writing the story or reading it. We can’t have too much love in this world.

How do you create internal and external conflict in your characters?  I find conflict often the hardest to create when I start planning a book.

Conflict is always hard for me. I just want everyone to get along and be happy, but that doesn’t make for a very interesting story. I’m a pantser, so I try to find conflict as I go along. Being an introvert, and shying away from confrontation, I find it easier to create internal rather than external conflict.

If you could live during any era of history, which one would you choose?

If I had to choose an era other than today, I think I would choose the 1950’s. Life seemed simpler when I was a small child. Families had more time to spend just being together without the distractions of the digital age. We all knew our neighbors. Everyone took weekends off from work.

Give us a brief summary of Colorado Cowboy Christmas.
Cynthia Welch has made a name for herself as one of Chicago’s top divorce attorneys at the expense of her personal life. Burnt out, she heads to Peaktop Guest Ranch for a couple of months of solitude over the holidays.

AJ Coulter, a cowboy from Wyoming, has been a loner and a drifter ever since his divorce and his teenage daughters leaving for college. He finds a temporary job at Peaktop Ranch as the head wrangler.

When their paths cross, Cynthia begins to question her life in Chicago, and AJ struggles to find a way to keep her in Colorado. Can the spirit of Christmas bring these two people from very different worlds together and help them find their way to true love?

Buy Links: 
Jill Haymaker was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado in 1975. Jill has made her home in Fort Collins ever since except for three years in the 1990’s when she left to attend law school at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters. She also has three granddaughters.

Jill has always had a passion for writing. Colorado Sunset was her first full length romance novel her Peakview, Colorado series. The second through fourth books in the series, Breakfast for Two, Colorado Cabin in the Pines and Colorado Wrangler are also available at Colorado Cowboy Christmas is her first Christmas Novella. She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, the most recent in the book The Joy of Less, on sale April 19, 2016.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys The Colorado mountains, horseback riding, gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on the Broncos, the CSU Rams, and the Huskers. She has a passion for working with high school youth- she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a high school mock trial team and is a volunteer at cross country and track meets.

Find Jill:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Take Five and Meet Author Carmen Stefanescu

It is my pleasure to have Carmen as a return guest. 
If you've not met her, you're in for a treat. Guess where she lives!
And if you have had the pleasure of meeting her here, 
you'll learn new things about her today.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Carmen. Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Till Life Do Us Part?

Hi, L.A., thank you for hosting me again. It's always a pleasure to be on your blog. My strong belief that there is something more for each of us after we leave this human world led me to thoroughly reading books on this topic - rebirth, past life regression. I also was inspired by an article I read some time ago about the last witch in Europe. This is how Till Life Do Us Part paranormal, part mystery, part romance came to life. I wrote it using the story within story technique.

How do you use setting to further your story?

I love using setting to create emotional triggers for my characters because we're not just affecting the character's feelings, but the reader's too, and this draws them deeper into the story and makes the experience much more compelling.

I also love incorporating historical settings into my paranormal stories to add a little Middle Age flavor. I think it adds interest and depth, and it's also a lot of fun for me, too.

How do you construct your characters?

I start with their names. I try to create character names that sound different from each other, by starting with different letters of the alphabet. Thus the reader is not confused.

Another important technique  I use is to give  my characters “tags”- things which identify a character and set him or her apart from other characters.

On a first draft, I often feel that all of my characters are speaking like I do. Even though they do things I wouldn’t do, they still explain things like I would, complain like I would, or argue like I would.  So I try giving each character a few unique verbal tics, or habitual words. 

How is your main character completely different than you?

Most of my feminine characters have something from my personality. I must confess I myself lived some odd moments  in my life that may be called as paranormal events. But unlike Barbara in Till Life Do Us Part, I have never had the fortunate event of being contacted by a departed soul to give a message to a dear one left behind. I wish I’d had.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!
Except reading and writing, my other “hobby-horse” is playing computer games! Role play games  especially, where I am the good, wise wizard saving the world from evil forces.

Give us a brief summary of Till Life Do Us Part:
Barbara Heyer can hear voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.

Buy Links:

Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

High school teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping into a parallel world of books.

Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002.

Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

Find Carmen: