Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tempting Tuesdays ~ Top 5 of 2013


As 2013 comes to a close, we look back at some of your favorites recipes from the year. We've only been doing this weekly post less than a year, but they seem to be a success. We have plans for many more delicious recipes in 2014 and hope you'll keep reading.


Top 5 of 2013

#5



#4

http://author-to-author-blog.blogspot.com/2013/11/tempting-tuesdays-crock-pot-breakfast.html
#3


#2

#1



Thanks for making our first year of Tempting Tuesdays so much fun. Can't wait to get started on 2014!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Sneak Peek - Savannah Leigh



Blurb:
Drew and Lily sitting in a tree (or a church garden)
K-I-S-S-I-N-G (and then some)
First comes sex
Then comes marriage
Then, well, we’re just not sure what comes next.

Lily Kramer accepted Drew Hamilton’s marriage proposal but it wasn’t a traditional proposal. He wants her to marry him so his mother, who has dementia, will know that he got married. Lily, an over-thirty wedding planner, doesn’t see any other offers of marriage in her future so she accepts. Now she has to plan a wedding that looks and feels like a real wedding, but isn’t.  Drew doesn’t want a relationship, but he wants it to look like he and Lily are married, including living together, so that everyone believes.


Will they be able to pull it off? Will Drew’s mother succumb to the dementia before the wedding? Will Lily be able to shield her heart and still have the wedding of her dreams?

**This is the follow up novel to With This Ring.**

Excerpt:



When I reach my room, I stop short at one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.



Lily is curled up on my bed, her hair splayed out on the pillow, and she’s sleeping. She looks so peaceful and content; my dick twitches at the thought of burying myself inside her. My heart rate speeds up and I realize I really like this view. I want to have it view every day. Fuck. There go my plans to keep things simple. I’m falling in love with Lily. I didn’t see that coming, but I kind of like the idea. As I change my clothes, I wonder how this woman got under my skin so quickly.



I know I should let her sleep, but I have to touch her to figure out if what I’m feeling is real, if I want to put my heart on the line again and risk it being crushed. I climb carefully on the bed and she rolls toward me, but doesn’t open her eyes. I brush a few strands of hair away from her face and she smiles. That smile pushes me over the edge. I know I want this woman in my life, and I’m going to do what I can to keep her. It’s a foreign feeling, one I’ve fought for years, but it feels right. I pull her into my arms. She makes a small moaning sound and curls into me. She’s soft where I’m hard and we fit together like we were made for each other. I relax and get lost in the rhythm of her breathing. Soon, I’m dozing, too.
 

Buy Links: 
I Thee Wed
With This Ring


About the Author:
Savannah Leigh is a small-town girl with big city dreams. She has always had a love of romance novels and never thought she would actually be able to publish one of her own. Savannah is inspired by photos of shirtless men on the internet, hot actors in steamy scenes, and her own fantasies. A lover of wine and Bailey’s Irish Cream, Savannah enjoys spending time with friends and reading steamy novels.

Connect with Savannah:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Savannah-Leigh-Books/511879988884673
Twitter: @savannahlbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173576.Savannah_Leigh

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Snapshots: 12/28/13


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: New Years Kiss


http://www.fitsugar.com/How-Kissing-Affects-Your-Health-21073641


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tempting Tuesdays ~ Peanut Butter Cup Fudge and Classic Egg Nog


Merry Christmas Eve! I almost thought this day would never get here. We're bringing you two holiday favorites.

A lot of the memories I have from the holidays of my childhood are of the food. One thing I LOVED was my grandmother's fudge. Chocolate and nuts in a little block of goodness, what's not to like? When I found this recipe from Center Cut Cook, I couldn't help but drool a little and run to the store for some PB cups!

Ingredients

20 Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures, roughly chopped
2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cups of creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions


First, prepare your pan. Line and 8x8 pan with plastic wrap so that it will be easier to lift out of the pan when your fudge has set.

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk, then bring to a rapid boil. Cook and stir frequently for exactly two minutes. Stir in Peanut Butter and combine, then add vanilla.



Transfer mixture into a medium sized bowl. Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time and mix well. Mixture will be thick!


Press mixture into your prepared pan.


Sprinkle chopped Peanut Butter cups on top and press firmly into fudge.


Chill in refrigerator for an hour or until your think it is firm enough. Use the plastic wrap as handles and pull out of the pan. Cut into small pieces because if you cut large pieces, you will OD on the fudgy goodness with one piece.






Enjoy the fudge!

Egg Nog from scratch

For many of us, Christmas and New Years just isn't the same without egg nog. Most of the time we give in and pick up some from the store because there's certainly no shortage of options. However, once you've had homemade egg nog, you just might find the store offerings not quite standing up to the real stuff!





Ingredients
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 qt half-n-half, portioned into 2 servings of 2 cups each
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 dozen eggs, separated into yolks and whites.
  • 1-2 c spiced rum (if you like strong eggnog, lean toward the 2 cup end of the spectrum)
  • Spices: 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, cardamom, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract


What you'll do:



Step 1. Separate your eggs; yolks in your mixer bowl, whites in a large bowl (you'll need the room later)






Step 2. Put all of your milks (except for 2 cups of the half-n-half) vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves into sauce pan and begin to warm on low. 






Step 3. While the spiced milk is warming, prepare your egg whites. Sprinkle a generous pinch of Cream of Tartar over the top before you begin to help ensure light and fluffy whites ;)




You want to start your mixer on low, until the whites begin to come together, then give a generous sprinkle of Cardamom and increase your speed. Keep the bowl moving as you beat the whites until thick. This will take about 10 minutes. 





(Remember to stir your spiced milk every couple of minutes so it doesn't scald!)



Step 4. With the egg whites prepared, you can now work on your yolk base. Add the 2 cups of powdered sugar to the egg yolks and combine.





(Optional Step) You can go ahead and 'alcohol cook' your yolks if you are squeamish about raw egg products, but remember we are warming the milks to do this as well. To cover your bases, however, you can add 1-2 T of your spiced rum to the yolks and mix at this point.

Step 5. Temper the spiced milk and sweetened egg yolks. If you just dump your warm milk into your egg yolks, you are going to effectively scramble them and you will end up with lumpy egg nog. Nobody wants that. To do this: 
  • you simply add about 1/2 to 1 cup of your warm milk mixture to your egg yolk mixture WHILE YOU STIR. It is important to keep the mixture moving as the folding in of air will help to cool it down. 
  • gradually work another couple of cups of milk into the yolk, continuing to stir, then you can pour the yolk mixture back into the milk mixture, give it a good stir, then pour everything back into the mixer bowl the yolks originally started in.


Step 6. Turn on your mixer and add the 2 cups of Half-n-Half we held back at the beginning. Again, this step is to help bring the overall temperature of your eggnog back down. At this point, if you are making your eggnog alcoholic, you will go ahead and add the spiced rum, too.


Step 7. Fold in the beaten egg whites and top with nutmeg. You'll want to store in the refrigerator, covered, until cool before serving.


From my house to yours, Happy Holidays!























Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday Snapshot: 12/21/13

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: Emotions
Photo from: http://hplusmagazine.com/sites/default/
files/images/articles/sept09/can-bots-feel-joy.jpg

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Wednesday Word

Wednesday Word

Author To Author’s Newsletter                                                    

December 18, 2013

Writing & Publishing Tips


 Are you a perfectionist?


All authors put quite a bit of hard work into their books. Many hours are spent doing vigorous research, writing, and then rewriting. Editing, and then revising. Then there are the times when  simply deleting and starting all over again seems like the best idea.

Some of us are never quite satisfied with our work. I have found this to be true with my current work in progress, To Be Loved.

This novel was due to be released on December 26, 2013. I have cancelled the release date as I am not entirely satisfied with the finished product. Despite the editing, revising, and polished novel that stares back at me on my laptop screen, there is a pressing feeling inside of me that something is just not right.

This is because...I am a perfectionist.

I am rarely satisfied with the end product and quite regularly feel that something could have been better.

This lovely personality trait acts as a hindrance in my role as a writer.

Why?

Because there is no such thing as perfection.

So, I am telling you all, as writers, not to do what I do. How's that for advice?!

My current plan is to spend the holiday break going over my manuscript, in the hope that I will find that elusive "something" that I feel is missing. I have set myself a deadline and if I do not feel the finished product has reached it's final stage of perfection by that time then I must simply surrender to the obvious fact that it is complete, despite my worries.

At that point publication will take place.

If you too are a perfectionist, I suggest you do the same. Have a beta reader or two check it out and then make a decision.

If we all waited for perfection, nothing would ever be accomplished.

 
By Author to Author Member and Contributor, Andrea Goodson. You can learn more about Andrea on her website, www.andreagoodson.wordpress.com

Exciting News for Author to Author Group Members



Lindsey Gray's Christmas Short Now Available




Download your copy of Holiday Cure for the Cursed on Kindle today! http://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Cure-Cursed-Melting-Snow-ebook/dp/B00HDGC44O/

December to Remember Giveaway


You can also join Lindsey Gray in her December to Remember Giveaway that runs now through December 23rd! Don't miss it, there are 40 books up for grabs! http://lindsey-gray.blogspot.com/2013/12/december-to-remember-40-ebook-giveaway.html?zx=bef8a3908db3a876

Enjoy a Free Christmas Story



Sherri Hayes is offering A Christms Proposal FREE! Download your copy today!

 

Indie Book Fair

Join T.M. Franklin along with other authors at the Indie Book Fair this weekend! Click here for more information!


R.E. Hargrave offers holiday Savings!


Sugar & Spice will be available for only 99 cents throughout the month of December! Download your copy today!


 

The 12 Days of Christmas


Join Author to Author Members as we celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with a huge giveaway! Starting December 13th you can enter to win every day for 12 days by visiting the author's Facebook pages! The details will be posted on the Author to Author Facebook page, so don't forget to check in on the first day and enter for your chance to win!

Innocence Now Available


Innocence by Elise de Sallier is now available! Order your ebook or print copy today! http://ph.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/books/detail/110


Vote for Finding Anna


The Finding Anna Series is a finalist in four categories on Inner Goddess! Congrats to A2A member, Sherri Hayes! Go and vote for Sherri's book today!

Wednesday's Weird Word





Codswallop

Definition: Nonsense. (British)



Savvy Savings


Riverbend: The Collection

99 Cents

By Andrea Goodson

http://www.amazon.com/Riverbend-Collection-Andrea-Goodson-ebook/dp/B00FE5BTLK


Holiday Hijinx

99 Cents

By Roxy Queen

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZ01RRO


Sugar and Spice

99 Cents

By R.E. Hargrave

http://www.amazon.com/Sugar-Spice-R-E-Hargrave-ebook/dp/B00FJRVMYC


A Christmas Proposal

FREE

By Sherri Hayes

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Proposal-Hidden-Threat-Short-ebook/dp/B00A3DZ0TU/



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