Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Wednesday Word

Wednesday Word

Author To Author’s Newsletter                                                    

October 30, 2013

Writing & Publishing Tips

Going Deep


This is part one of a three-part series on Researching and Writing Historical Fiction originally written in 2012.

Reading an article is a grand thing, if one is doing a research paper.  Writing fiction, though, means that a writer has to be able to breathe with a character’s lungs, see with their eyes, smell with their nose, and hear with their ears.  The writer has to immerse themselves in a place that is, frankly, no longer extant. They have to go deep.
 

Know Your Era

 
 
In order to bring depth to your historical fiction, it is helpful to have an idea about the political scene (insofar as it was evident), societal norms, and artistic tastes or your era.  Reading biographies (or autobiographies, if so there be), examining the great works of art, and even studying the varieties of household furnishings can serve to enrich the world for yourself and your readers.  Do you have the opportunity to go to a museum to see artifacts from your chosen time period? Can you walk where the people walked, even though the landscape has changed since then? Do you know people who have been able to do so?
 
Studying clothing of the era is, of course, very helpful. It is not enough to just get the outer garments right, though. One should also look into undergarments (if they had them) and what the contemporaries thought of them.  And, if you can, try on costumes made to suit that era. Walk around in the breeches and waistcoats, the boots and garters, the wigs, the panniers, the leather wrapped around your legs.  How does the clothing affect the pattern of a stride?  Does the stride affect the rhythms of thought? The speed at which people moved, then?
 
Not only is this an outer thing, it’s also an inner process, the immersion. Language plays a huge role in different eras.  If one is writing about ancient Celts, for example, one can look into any surviving poetry.  Read the sagas, listen to the songs that have survived.  The heartbeat of a people is in its music and music carries history within it.
 
Reading commentary, news articles, or anything that was written near the time one is writing about is also helpful.  Getting a contemporary slant as to morals and values is important, too.  This does not always help with phrasing dialogue, however, as older cultures often wrote in a more stylized manner than they would have spoken, day to day. If the historical era in question is within the past three centuries or so, it is much easier to pinpoint social ideas and possible characterization references from contemporary sources.
 
A note: It is generally acceptable to write a quirky historical character, but make sure the quirks will fit in with the society or make sure that their quirks are noted by their contemporaries.
 

Resources You Can Use

 
One type of resource for more information about an era is finding people who are still connected with it in one way or another.  People are outstanding resources for the historical fiction writer. Do you need to internalize the religious values of a culture? Find people who know these values and can express them. You might even find practitioners!  Make very sure you approach them with respect; in trying to bring their culture to life within your story, you want to do it honor in every possible way.  Treat your living, breathing resources with respect and appreciation.
 
If you need help with languages, find experts. If you want to know how it feels to walk next to the Nile River, look around online, perhaps in travel forums.  People, I have discovered over the years, are happy to share their experiences with you.  Sometimes they appreciate being credited, other times not so much. That’s okay. You can always ask.
 
Another tool I find very helpful in writing historical fiction is Google Maps.  Shocking, but true.  You can better gauge distances over unfamiliar terrain by using this website.  I have a character, for example, who needs to walk from one location to another and I didn’t know how long it would take.  I plugged the two locations into Google Maps and asked for the walking route.  Granted, things today are quite different than they were three hundred years ago, but this gave me an estimate with which to work.
 
There is always latitude for creativity beyond this. But that is an article for another day.
 
By Author to Author Member and Contributor, Sandi Layne. You can learn more about Sandi on her website, http://sandyquill.com

Exciting News for Author to Author Group Members



Author to Author to Host HUGE Halloween Giveaway!

Join A2A members on Halloween as they give away up to $120.00 in Amazon Gift Cards! That's some serious Kindle Cash! Visit the Facebook page of each author and play Trick or Treat for your chance to enter! You can find the Facebook pages by visiting the A2A page on the morning of Halloween, October 31st! It's going to be BOOKtacular! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-to-Author/131653083691953

Odin's Murder $0.99 Sale



Authors Kira Gold and Angel Lawson have put their newly released book, Odin's Murder, on sale for just $0.99 until Halloween! Get it while you can! http://www.amazon.com/Odins-Murder-ebook/dp/B00F2ISDHM

 

 Lissa Bryan Hosts Ghost Story Contest


To celebrate the one year Book Birthday of Lissa Bryan's, Ghost Writer, she has hosted a ghost story contest! Find out who the winner is tomorrow! http://www.lissabryan.com/2013/09/ghost-story-contest.html




Sherri Hayes Hosts Giveaway


Stop by Sherri Hayes' blog to enter the giveaway for a signed set of Sherri Hayes' bookmarks and a Red Zone key chain! http://sherri-hayes.blogspot.com/2013/10/big-cocks-and-broomsticks-blog-hop.html?zx=51ae08dd043eac66

Happy Anniversary, MORE!


Author T.M. Franklin is celebrating the one year book birthday of MORE by making Window, a novella, FREE from 10/7-11/2013! Be sure to get your download, only a few days left! http://www.amazon.com/Window-ebook/dp/B00BU7TYBS

 

Join Author Lindsey Gray in the Paranormal Palooza


Lindsey Gray will be featuring her novel, Redemption, with a character interview, excerpt, and giveaway. The giveaway runs until October 31st. Head on over and join the fun, you have one more day! http://writeawaybliss.com/redemption-by-lindsey-gray/

 

T.M. Franklin To Make Appearance


Join Author T.M. Franklin as she signs books and teaches about bargain book trailers at the Northwest Bookfest this weekend at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. Visit the Northwest Bookfest's Facebook page for ore information! https://www.facebook.com/NorthwestBookfest


Andrea Goodson to Reveal Cover for To Be Loved



Join author Andrea Goodson on Thursday, November 7th as she reveals the cover to her upcoming YA new release, To Be Loved! You can also enter for a chance to win a signed paperback! Visit Andrea's website to learn more about her books, www.andreagoodson.wordpress.com.


Wednesday's Weird Word




Leiotrichous

Definition: Having straight hair

This word is near extinction!

Origin: Greek

Savvy Savings


Love in Disguise

7 Romance Novel Set on Sale for 99 cents!

By Multiple Authors, take a look!

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Disguise-Romance-Boxed-ebook/dp/B00FQMZB1A

Thank you for reading this week's edition of Author to Author's, The Wednesday Word! Visit us again next week for more news and savings to refresh your bookish pleasures! As always, feel free to share and spread the word!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tempting Tuesdays ~ Cinnamon Bun Bites


I usually get these posts together a couple days in advance. This last week I was trying to be proactive and get it done Thursday. I found a recipe for Candy Corn Cookies. I thought it would be a great seasonal treat. The whole process went perfectly ... until I pulled the cookies out of the oven.



Not what I was going for. So I combed Facebook and Pinterest and finally found something that looked yummy. I found this recipe on Inspired by Charm which was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. I think this one turned out much better than the Candy Corn Cookies. Try it out and be your own judge.

Ingredients

Bites:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus 1/2 stick, melted for coating
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


First, we start with our yeast. I know, I hate yeast as well. This wasn't too bad of an experience though. Pour your warm water into a bowl then sprinkle your yeast evenly over the water. 




Let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes until it gets frothy. Whisk until smooth then add 1/2 cup of flour to form a loose paste.



Let your mixture rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Add eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, salt, vanilla, and remaining flour to your yeast mixture. Kneed your dough until smooth. Now add 1 stick of butter and kneed until smooth and elastic. Put in a warm place covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Dough should be doubled or there about by then. Make sure to punch down the dough to get rid of any air bubbles.


This is a good time to grab a couple extra hands to make 1 inch dough balls. This recipe makes 45 to 55 balls depending on how big you end up making them and how the fit in your pan. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix your remaining 1 cup of sugar and cinnamon.

Roll each ball in 1/2 stick of melted butter.


Then roll in your cinnamon and sugar mixture.


Place in a pie plate and arrange in a dome-like fashion.


Cover your balls and let them rise by half for about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.


Now on to the glaze. Stir your sugar and salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix your milk, vanilla, and melted butter then mix into your sugar mixture until a smooth paste forms.


Let your bites cool for about 15 minutes before pouring on the glaze.
























I think we have a winner! Enjoy the cinnamon goodness.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Sneak Peek - Hidden Threat



Three o’clock rolled around, and a knock sounded on Matthew’s door. He’d been staring at his phone for the last ten minutes trying to come up with an excuse to cancel his meeting with Cali Stanton today. The problem was there wasn’t a valid reason.

The knock came again, but louder this time. It could only be one person, and he knew if he didn’t respond this time, Jason would just come in anyway. “Come in,” Matthew said without enthusiasm.

Seconds later Jason was through the door and standing in front of him, hands on his hips.

Matthew stared up at his brother. “What?”

“What?” Jason said, clearly unable to believe what he was both seeing and hearing. “What? Matthew you’re supposed to be upstairs right now for your weekly briefing. You’re still here. Why?”

Matthew’s mind was scrambling for an answer, but he didn’t come up with one fast enough to suit Jason.

“What is going on? You haven’t been yourself for days, and now you’re missing meetings? This isn’t like you.”

He didn’t need Jason to tell him he wasn’t himself---he knew that already. “I’ve just had a lot of things on my mind lately.” Grabbing on to the first thing he could think of besides seeing Cali again, he said, “I talked to Martinez. The tape was tampered with.”

It took Jason only a second to fully grasp that information. “Who?”

Matthew nervously tapped his fingers on his desktop as he glanced back to his computer screen. “I don’t know, but we have to figure it out. Until we do, we can’t trust anyone.”

Jason nodded. “What do you need me to do?”

This was a strategic move, and one that Jason would always defer to his younger brother. “I need to think.” After another minute, Matthew came up with an idea, not one to solve the mystery of the security tape, but one to solve his more immediate problem. He looked up at his brother. “Do you think you could cover the meeting for me today? I’d like to pick up that tape this afternoon and take a look at it myself.”

“Yeah. Sure,” Jason said. “I’ll take care of it.”

As Jason left the room, Matthew took one last look at the computer screen and the flashing message reminding him about the meeting he’d just handed off to Jason. Matthew wouldn’t see her today. He’d stick with his plan. He could do this. Space. That’s what he needed—just a little time and space—then all would be normal again.

Grabbing his jacket, he was out the door.

About The Author
Sherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn't good at spelling, or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author.
At the age of thirty, all of that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending, and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more.
Six years later, Sherri is the author of six full-length novels, and one short story. Writing has become a creative outlet for Sherri that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. She is most well known for her Finding Anna Series about a young woman rescued from being a sex slave by a wealthy Dominant. The third book in that series, Truth, released July 25, 2013.
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday Snapshot: 10/26/13

Saturday Snapshots is a picture prompt brought to you by Author to Author, meant to inspire the creative genius within you.
Maybe you’ll be moved to write flash fiction for it, perhaps it will kick start and old idea of a novel, or it may inspire a new short story. Whatever it does, we hope you’ll enjoy these images from around the web.
If inspiration does hit, we hope you’ll post a snippet or link in the comments.
Today’s image: Grief
Photo from:  http://rickmcnary.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/grief2.jpg

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Wednesday Word

Wednesday Word

Author To Author’s Newsletter                                                    

October 23, 2013

Writing & Publishing Tips


Quick Self-Publishing Tips



At some point in time all aspiring writers and authors face the question, do I self-publish or go the traditional route of attaining an agent and publisher?

The answer to this seemingly simple question is, at the very least, complicated. Writing an amazing, life-changing novel is one thing, and a huge accomplishment all by itself. However, when it comes to getting published, the amount of blood, sweat, and tears you will put into marketing and promoting your book to agents and publishers will be astronomical. The amount of rejections you will most likely face? Let's just say you better have a super-human ability to shake off negativity.

For the sake of brevity and blog space, let's say you've already decided to self-publish.

What are your chances of achieving success in the book world and what factors will influence that outcome?

Subject matter seems to be of little importance. In all of the research I have done, I have found that any idea is a good idea, because there will always be other people out there who can relate to your ideas and point of view. This is true in fiction and nonfiction. Whether it be an epic tale of love and loss, a “how to” book for projects, a sarcastic comedy, reflections on life, or even a novel about space alien zombies who make cheeseburgers for breakfast, someone, and usually many more than one, will find your ideas and concepts worthwhile and entertaining. So, if you have that evil little voice of self-doubt telling you that your idea isn't mainstream or popular enough, tell it to shut up and move on.

I have found the real issues to be as follows:

Is your work complete?
Is your work edited?
Is your work refined from it’s originally inspired version?
And, for the love of all that is holy, is your work spell checked?!

This last one may seem silly but I have found that I tend to miss errors, not because I do not know that they are errors to begin with, but rather, there is so much work to do and so much going on that an error can be easily skipped over without notice.

If the answers to the above questions are yes, then you are now ready to publish your work. However, the potential reach your book can achieve will depend on many more factors than the ones listed above.

The questions you must now ask yourself is:

Will I have the energy, not just now, but into the indefinite future, to market this book?

And the answer to this question better be yes. If it is no, you will need to re-evaluate your goals and ask yourself why you wouldn't want to work to promote something you slaved away so hard on, probably for many months and even years.

There is not one author out there who writes a book, sends it in, and then simply gets paid. Well, maybe Stephen King or Anne Rice, but other than a select few, every author has to work like crazy to promote their work. Even those well known authors whose books fly off the shelves put in their dues at the beginning, why shouldn't you?

So, now that you realize you have made yourself a slave for the foreseeable future, there are a few more things to consider:

Are you comfortable using social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google+, etc..) to self promote?

If the answer is no, refer to the above.

If the answer is yes, there are a great many resources at your disposal to aid you in this venture, one of my favorites being Hootsuite. This is a site that allows you to mass schedule status updates, Tweets, etc… containing links to your books, blogs, contests, and events. It is very convenient and I find that if I devote an hour or so to scheduling posts, I can have the entire week scheduled, which allows me much more time for writing and editing.


In my efforts to self-publish my series, Riverbend: The Collection, I had to do a huge amount of research. To save you time I will post a few links here, at the bottom of this post, that may aid you in your journey and decision on whether or not to self-publish.

First of all, Smashwords is an excellent venue. It is completely free to upload your work and, if edited properly, automatically uploads to Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, iPad, Amazon, and other venues as an ebook. Smashwords has very easy, step by step directions on how to properly format your book. Your royalties are around 60%, which is much higher than most traditional publishing royalties. Of course, you are doing all of the work yourself, so that is only fair and makes sense.

There is also a little marketing opportunity in using affiliates on Smashwords. An affiliate is someone who decides to post your work on their website or blog and, if a purchase is made through someone clicking on their link, they get a certain percentage of your sale. Mine is currently set at 20%. You can set the percentage yourself, the minimum to participate being 11%. I made mine 20% because those who pay a higher rate are likely to have more affiliates posting their links thus a wider reading base, so on and so forth.

Blogging and social networking is key to ebook success. A blog shows the world your writing, that you love to write, and serves as a tool for communication and marketing opportunities.

Hosting other authors and giveaways is another great way to get attention. Not only are you offering your readers more than your own work, but you are actively networking and helping other authors. Let's face it, you might need help at some point and what better way to get that help than to have author and blogger friends that you regularly worth with?

If you are interested in getting paperback versions of your book I would recommend Createspace. This is a site that is owned by Amazon that is easy to navigate, free to use, and your royalties are around 50%, which is again higher than many traditional contracts and more than fair to you, considering they print, bind, and ship your book on demand. There isn't any bulk ordering that you have to do and the sale never even passes through your hands, you just get your royalties from the sales.

Last, but not least, writing contests! Enter as many of them as you possibly can! The more you participate, the more you get your name and work out there. Becoming a member of a writing group is an excellent way to find out about and participate in these events.

Even if you are uncomfortable with editing and cover creation, there are very reasonably priced people out there who will do it for you. Social networking is an excellent way to find these artists and editors.

Usually, my posts are about inspiration and reflective thoughts on life but after all that I have researched in the past few months I felt it would be beneficial to share some information with all of you and perhaps save you some time! There is so much more to learn and believe me, I couldn't possibly cover it all in one post. I'm hoping this is a good starting place for you and wish you all the success in the world with your books. As well as a ridiculous amount of motivation and ambition too!

Useful links below:
http://www.smashwords.com/about/how_to_publish_on_smashwords
https://www.createspace.com/
http://www.slideshare.net/Smashwords/the-seven-secrets-of-ebook-publishing-success-7968488
www.hootsuite.com

By Author to Author Contributor Andrea Goodson. Learn more about Andrea and her books at www.andreagoodson.wordpress.com

Exciting News for Author to Author Group Members

Congratulations to Lissa Bryan



Lissa was recently featured and quoted in a Reader's Digest article about Henry VIII! With all of the research Lissa as been doing for her new book, Under These Restless Skies, who better to go to for interesting facts about all things Tudor? Learn more about Lissa on her website, www.lissabryan.com.

Odin's Murder Now Available in Print



Authors Kira Gold and Angel Lawson have released Odin's Murder in print format on Amazon! Click the link to get your copy! http://www.amazon.com/Odins-Murder-Angel-Lawson/dp/1492981168

 

 

Lissa Bryan Hosts Ghost Story Contest


To celebrate the one year Book Birthday of Lissa Bryan's, Ghost Writer, she is hosting a ghost story contest! You have about 2 weeks left to enter! Visit Lissa's blog for information on how to enter, rules, and bust out your notebook and pen! There are some fantastic prizes at stake and the winner will be chosen on Halloween! http://www.lissabryan.com/2013/09/ghost-story-contest.html

You can also join the TWCS Book Club on Facebook to discus Ghostwriter with Lissa the entire month of October! https://www.facebook.com/events/601835033192271/


Sherri Hayes Hosts Giveaway


Stop by Sherri Hayes' blog to enter the giveaway for a signed set of Sherri Hayes' bookmarks and a Red Zone key chain! http://sherri-hayes.blogspot.com/2013/10/big-cocks-and-broomsticks-blog-hop.html?zx=51ae08dd043eac66

Happy Anniversary, MORE!


Author T.M. Franklin is celebrating the one year book birthday of MORE by making Window, a novella, FREE from 10/7-11/2013! Be sure to get your download, only one week left! http://www.amazon.com/Window-ebook/dp/B00BU7TYBS

 

Join Author Lindsey Gray in the Paranormal Palooza


Lindsey Gray will be featuring her novel, Redemption, with a character interview, excerpt, and giveaway. The giveaway runs until October 31st. Head on over and join the fun! http://writeawaybliss.com/redemption-by-lindsey-gray/

 

New Release Coming Up for M.B. Feeney


Join Author M.B. Feeney as she gets ready to release Honour. Find out more about the author and her book on her website, http://mbfeeney.blogspot.com/.


Join A2A Authors at The Texas Book Festival


A2A authors, Sandi Layne, T.M. Franklin, Lissa Bryan, Sherri Hayes, and Lorenz Font will be signing books and swag at the Texas Book Festival! Visit them on October 26 & 27! Find out ore here, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Book-Festival/21770258123.


Andrea Goodson to Reveal Cover for To Be Loved



Join author Andrea Goodson on Thursday, November 7th as she reveals the cover to her upcoming YA new release, To Be Loved! You can also enter for a chance to win a signed paperback! Visit Andrea's website to learn more about her books, www.andreagoodson.wordpress.com.


Wednesday's Weird Word



Bromopnea

Definition: a bad smell emanating from the mouth.

Fancy lingo for bad breath?!

Origin: Greek

Savvy Savings

Amazon is offering a sale - "The Big Deal"- which offers up to 80% off on over 350 titles! Take a look and see what delicious deals you can find. Ends October 27th!

Thank you for reading this week's edition of Author to Author's, The Wednesday Word! Visit us again next week for more news and savings to refresh your bookish pleasures! As always, feel free to share and spread the word!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tempting Tuesdays ~ Bacon Cheeseburger Dip


This week I'm back to some good old comfort food. Bacon Cheeseburgers are an American classic. When you don't have time for a whole burger and just need a snack, this recipe is the perfect alternative.

This recipe was adapted from Raining Hot Coupons.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef
8 slices of crispy bacon
1/2 of an onion, diced
4 oz of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of ketchup
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese



First, Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then brown your ground beef and drain.


Next, cook your bacon to your desired crispiness. Note: Keep 1 1/2 tablespoons of your bacon grease.


Dice your onions!


Saute your diced onions in 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon grease.


In a large bowl, mix your cream cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and sour cream.


Add in your cheese, onions, ground beef, and diced bacon. Mix well and put in a 8x8 glass baking dish or glass pie plate.


Bake in your 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and enjoy with your favorite chips.






Have a happy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Sneak Peek - The Guardians

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Today, a little something different - an actual peek inside T.M. Franklin's copy of The Guardians, which releases November 7th!




Want to read more? Well, it's available NOW for PRE-ORDER!!


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(Coming soon for Kindle & iTunes)

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You can also pre-order a signed copy of either MORE or The Guardians (or both, at a discount) on T.M. Franklin's web site. Quantities are limited.

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And mark your calendars for The Guardians Release Celebration, starting October 25th at The Book Spot in Round Rock, Texas and including the Texas Book Festival in Austin, NW Book Fest in Kirkland, WA and a release party at Barnes & Noble in Kennewick, WA. T.M. Franklin will be on hand to sign copies of MORE and The Guardians at all of the events, so stop by if you're in the area. Get more details on any of the events HERE. 
There will also be a big Facebook/Twitter party ALL DAY on RELEASE DAY, November 7th. Join the Facebook party HERE, and follow T.M. Franklin on Twitter (@TM_Franklin) for a chance to meet some new authors, win eBooks, gift cards, & swag, and have a lot of fun! 
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Snapshots: 10/19/13


Saturday Snapshots is a picture prompt brought to you by Author to Author, meant to inspire the creative genius within you.

Maybe you'll be moved to write flash fiction for it, perhaps it will kick start an old idea for a novel, or it may inspire a new short story. Whatever it does, we hope you'll enjoy these images around the web.

If inspiration does hit, we hope you'll post a snippet in the comments.


Today's image: Black Cat

 http://www.smscs.com/photo/download_spooky_wallpaper.html#.UhjhEz8udjg


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tempting Tuesdays ~ Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Buttercream


I've done it. I've found an easy and tasty recipe with pumpkin in it. While making this, my house was filled with the wonderful aroma that I associate with fall. It was the perfect atmosphere to curl up with my newest Kindle find and read.

This recipe was adapted from NancyCreative.com.

Bread Ingredients

1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of packed dark or light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 1/4 cup of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

First of all, position the rack in your oven in the middle. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside.

Combine your flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium size bowl; set aside.





In another bowl, beat your eggs until lightened in color. Add your brown sugar and beat until combined. Now add your granulated sugar and mix on low for about 1 minute.


Drizzle in your canola oil and beat on the low setting. Then add your pumpkin and mix until completely combined.

Add your dry ingredients a half at a time. Blend until completely mixed then add your nuts if you choose to.

Spoon your batter into your loaf pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes. Cool in your loaf pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing to cool on your wire rack.

Frosting Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons pure pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons half & half or milk
1/4 cup nuts to sprinkle on top

Cream butter, pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon until throughly mixed. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Add you half & half or milk and blend well.

Note: I ended up making my frosting while I was baking my bread. Once it was mixed, I placed the bowl in the fridge to let it firm up a bit.

Once your bread is completely cooled, frost and add nuts as desired. 







Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or your favorite coffee.

What are some of your favorite pumpkin recipes?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Sneak Peek - Lissa Bryan

From the author of The End of All Things comes a collection of short stories about the Infection that swept around the globe, decimating the population, and leaving behind a small number of survivors, unprepared to deal with the brutal new world which had replaced the one they'd known.

The End of All Things told the story of Carly Daniels and Justin Thatcher's travels across a shattered nation in search of a safe place to settle, after the pandemic. But it was also a journey into love, and an affirmation of hope. Carly finds strength in her faith that things can be even better than they were before, that compassion and charity are not luxuries; they are what make us human. Life endures, and so does love. The End of All Things is only a beginning.

And now, Lissa Bryan gives us three new stories in Tales from the End

Two of them introduce us to new characters you will meet in the upcoming sequel to The End of All Things, and the other two are a visit with old friends.

The Horsemen
L.A.'s mayor has declared quarantine to try to halt the spread of the Infection. Pearl sets off across the city to buy supplies, but already the world is changing. Something strange is in the air. The Horsemen are coming ...

Veronica
When Veronica's mother doesn't come home from work and no one answers the phone when she calls for help, a nine-year-old girl is thrown into the chaos of a world coming to an end. Veronica decides it's up to her to find her family. "Veronica" is the story of a little girl's courage in the face of the end of all things.

"I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud"
They called her Shadowfax-- the mare Carly and Justin found on their travels. But before she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unusual tale of the end, told through the eyes of a confused and lonely horse, left in her pasture.

Birthday
A previously-published bonus story. Carly knows Justin has never celebrated his birthday, and after society crumbled, no one knows what date it is, anyway. But she wants to do something special for him. Celebrating the little things helps them keep hope alive, and as a blizzard rages outside, a small gesture of love warms their home.

Tales of courage, tales of survival... Tales from the End.


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Excerpt:

Pearl scooped her purse off the passengerseat and hurried into the store. There were no carts in the parking lot andnone in the vestibule. When she got inside, she saw why. Lines stretched to theback of the store and doubled back to curve along the walls. People heldgroceries in their arms, for lack of other options. Pearl opened her bag andwithdrew the thin, nylon shopping totes she kept in one of the side pockets.

The shelves were almost bare, somethingthat struck Pearl as being almost as fundamentally wrong as 911 being out ofservice. She’d grown up in the land of plenty, where stores could not only becounted on to have an abundance of food but multiple brands and varieties ofit.

Pearl hurried through the aisles andsqueezed between other shoppers to grab cans and boxes off the shelves. Her jawdropped when a woman snatched a can right out of Pearl’s hand then scurrieddown the aisle before she could react.

It seemed the whole world had gone mad.

Pearl filled her bags, took her place atthe end of the line, and shuffled forward inches at a time with the rest of theshoppers. She took out her phone and read some of the novel she’d started lastweek, but eventually had to give it up because her arms ached so fiercely fromholding up the bags. She couldn’t set them down. She’d seen what happened whensomeone did that. After a woman put her bag down to answer her phone, a mansnatched it off the ground. He’d blended back into the crowd before she evennoticed and shouted at him to stop. No one paid this small drama any heed, andthe woman had left the line, weeping, to scour the quickly-emptying shelves,her hours of progress lost in a moment.

Pearl wondered if she could let the womanahead of her in line, but that was one crime the shoppers seemed united inpunishing. Line jumpers were forcibly shoved to the back of the crowd.

An hour later, Pearl rounded the end of anaisle and saw the manager heading toward the front of the store with a sheet ofpaperboard he taped over the door. NO FOOD, SOLD OUT it read. He locked thedoor and stood by to let out the customers who were leaving. A couple came tothe entrance and pounded on the door, despite the manager shouting and pointingto the sign. They rattled the handle, as though the door could be persuaded bypersistence. The manager finally turned away to ignore them.

“I’ll give you five hundred dollars forone of your bags.”

Pearl turned and saw a thin, blond manstanding to her left, but he wasn’t in line. He had a wad of cash in his hand,and he held it up. “What do you say?”

Pearl wondered if he thought she lookedlike she needed money. If that was why he’d approached her first instead of theothers. “No, sorry.”

The guy didn’t react. He simply turnedaway and walked over to a Hispanic man a few paces away. Pearl gritted herteeth.

A loud crash made people jump and scream.She spun around. At the front of the store, the people banging on the frontdoor had taken a propane gas cylinder from the cage outside and thrown itthrough the plate glass window. As the manager shouted, a man gripped the womanby the waist and boosted her over the sill.

“Are you crazy?” the manager yelled. “There’s no food left here! I’m callingthe cops! You can’t—”

The man hit him with a roundhouse punchthat sent the manager sprawling onto the glass-strewn floor. As if that hadflipped a switch in the waiting customers’ minds, some of them began to drifttoward the front of the store. As more became emboldened, they followed. Thecashier shouted at them to stop, but they paid her no heed as they swarmedthrough the broken window and into the parking lot. It was interesting, ifappalling, to watch the progression. Eventually, the line looked like whatmight be seen on a normal afternoon.

One of the cashiers closed her registerand ran up to tend the manager who still hadn’t moved from his place on thefloor. She managed to help him to his feet. He put an arm around her shoulders,and she helped him through the store. His nose gushed blood that created agarish red bib on the front of his shirt.

Within a few minutes, Pearl had reachedthe register. The cashier was crying even as she smiled automatically andrecited a mechanical Hello, how are you?

Pearl said she was fine. It was anautomatic response on her part, too.

“Thank you for staying.” The cashierscrubbed a hand over her cheeks to wipe off the tears.

“Just the right thing to do,” Pearlreplied as she repacked her groceries into the totes after the girl scannedthem.

“That seems to be in short supply thesedays.” The cashier announced Pearl’s total. “What’s happening? Why are people acting like this?”

“The Horsemen have been loosed.”

A chill swept over Pearl and she turnedaround to stare at the tiny, old lady behind her, who’d spoken in asurprisingly strong voice for her apparent age and fragility.

“Horsemen?” the cashier repeated.

“War, Death, Famine, and Pestilence,” thewoman said. “It was foretold in the Bible—”

The cashier rolled her eyes. “Whatever,lady.” She handed Pearl’s change back to her with a word of thanks, and Pearlheard the old woman trying to explain again, but the cashier wasn’t interested.

She stepped carefully through the brokenwindow on her way out and looked around with caution, because it occurred toher that the breakdown of law and order meant she had no choice but to defendherself and the two precious bags of food. Pearl didn’t see anyone lingeringnearby, so she walked swiftly through the parking lot, her bags clenchedtightly in her arms.

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