Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Snapshots: 8-30-14


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: Lady in Red


Photo Credit: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/enchanting-forest-fantasy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Wednesday Word

Wednesday Word

Author To Author’s Newsletter                                                    

August 27, 2014

Writing and Cooking



I realized why I enjoy cooking.

Not baking. I haven’t baked my own bread since we moved to Maryland, though I need to get back to that.

But cooking. Cooking just works for me.  It helps me appreciate writing more.

When I cook, I have a challenge to myself to get everything (as close as I can, anyway) to be done as close to the same time as possible.  To time the garlic bread with the spaghetti sauce with the pasta with the salad and so on.  Additional challenges in this kind of thing include making a special sauce for my younger son, who has texture issues, and making sure the garlic knots and the garlic bread both come out evenly, so that all my guys get what they want to eat.

The ingredients are all over the place. I do all my preparations and open my spices and lay out any cooking tools and the pots and pans and so on… and then, I work. And I work hard. And I time the stirring of my pasta with the adding of the rosemary to the meat and so forth. For me, this is exhilarating.  Each aspect of the meal to be treated with respect, of course, and to be boiled, stirred, chopped, etc. as required. And then all the timers go off and everything comes out and ta-da! Dinner for four, served in the kitchen.  Everything is hot and tasty and we are all satisfied.

When I write, this is much the same. I love the ingredients that go into a story. I familiarize myself with the main ones before I begin writing. My lectures and seminars to my furniture might amuse people, but they work for me as I prepare my story for the flurry of creation.  And when I write, each plot line of the story has to be timed just so, so that they resolve themselves within a chapter or two of each other. Thus, the tension is equal throughout the book and my readers are kept engaged (I hope!) as they follow the story lines. And in the end, ta-da! Conflicts resolved, everyone has reached a place of stability of one sort or another, and sometimes, I even let them have a happily ever after.

Hey, it happens!

If you’re a writer and you don’t spend some time cooking on a regular basis, I would challenge you to do so.  Pay attention to the textures of your ingredients and their smells and tastes.  Appreciate the sudden power of diced scallions and the way cinnamon captures air pockets in a pot of water.  Inhale the steam after you take the lid off of a pot of steamed basmati rice.  Immerse yourself in the experience of cooking. You might even wish to take notes.  The beauty of a scene is sometimes in the small details that make it real for a reader.

Baking is fun and it is a challenge as well, but it doesn’t, for me, providing the soul-savory experience that cooking a meal does. Maybe it’s the scallions.

Written by A2A Author and Contributor, Sandi Layne. Learn more about Sandi and her work at www.sandyquill.com
 

Exciting News for Author to Author Group Members


T.M. Franklin on Netgalley

Author T.M. Franklin's books are available on Netgalley for a limited time! Don't miss this opportunity to check out the MORE trilogy for yourself!

MORE: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/19899
The Guardians: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/33310
TWELVE: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/51354



Jeanne McDonald has a new Preorder Available


Preorder Branded: A Bad Boys Anthology on Amazon today! http://www.amazon.com/Branded-Boys-Anthology-Jo-Matthews-ebook/dp/B00MYAL7QU


Sherri Hayes Book Sale


Author Sherri Hayes has books on sale on all sites for some seriously low prices! Take a look! Her newest work, Crossing the Line, is also available for preorder on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and TWCS!


Participate in a Cover Reveal


Join Author Lorenz Font in her upcoming cover reveal on September 12th for Hunted and Tormented! Sign up here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1kg5HxzgPASZ3cGXeIqHnUtgmDGiBbM4pzJOI3TrEYwo/viewform

 

Win a Signed Paperback


Author Sydney Logan is giving away two signed paperbacks of Soldier On! Register on her website for your chance to win! http://www.sydneylogan.com/2014/08/soldier-on-signed-paperback-giveaway.html

Wednesday's Weird Word


Abomasum

 This refers to the fourth and final stomach compartment in ruminants (i.e. cows, etc...) This secretes rennet which is used in the cheese creation process. Provolone, anyone?


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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Celebrating One Year of Tempting Tuesdays with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cake



I can't believe it has been a year already! Time has really flown.

With help from fellow A2A author, Sydney Logan, I decided we needed to celebrate with a from scratch cake. Sydney found this amazing recipe on Family, Food, & Fun.

Ingredients for Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. buttermilk (or 1 cup brewed coffee)
4 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled


Ingredients for Frosting

(Might need to double the batch, but you'll have some leftover.)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 bag Miniature Reese's cups, halved and or chopped


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9 inch round pans.





In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.



In mixer, beat butter until soft and creamy. Add sugar and beat for about two minutes. 



Add eggs and yolks one at a time, scraping the bowl before adding each one. Beat in vanilla. 



Once all combined, slowly alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk or coffee, ending with the dry ingredients. 



Finally, fold in the melted chocolate. Separate batter into two designated pans.



Bake for 26-30 minutes.



For frosting, combine powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt with mixer until creamy. Add cream and mix on high until light and fluffy. Chill for a bit in the fridge to let frosting set up.

Once cake is cool, let the assembly begin!

Frost top of bottom layer and sprinkle with peanut butter cup pieces if you like. Place second layer on top of bottom layer and frost top and sides. Decorate with halved and chopped peanut butter cups as desired. ENJOY!






Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday - Lindsey Gray






Fireworks 
Release Date: June 20th, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance


Sophie McKibbin finds herself back in Sam Crawford’s life after ten years. Unfortunately, Sam is dating Lola, Sophie’s high school nemesis. Lola dumps Sam the day before he was supposed to introduce his mystery girlfriend to his family over the Fourth of July holiday. With the looming fear of disappointing his mother once again and his long held feelings for Sophie, he asks her to take Lola’s place. With family feuds, an old flame, and feelings that have been locked away for a decade, there is bound to be some fireworks.




 Goodreads
• Amazon
 Itunes







Special thanks to NJ Cole for acting as producer on this project. Thanks to RE Hargrave, MB Feeney, Ali’s Bookshelf, and Offbeat Vagabond for taking the time to read and review Fireworks. Your thoughts make me happy. Last but not least, thanks to the creators of the perfect song, Happy by Secrets in the Stereo. The first time I heard the song, I knew it would be perfect for the trailer.


About the Author

Lindsey Gray dreamed of being several different things as a child such as a doctor, an actress, and a chef, but none held her attention like putting pen to paper and creating her own world through words. She has written three full-length novels and one short story for The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House and is now taking the self-publishing leap with her novella, "Fireworks".

A mid-west native, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading almost anything she can get her hands on, and making life interesting at each and every turn. 

Find Lindsey





Listen to Lindsey's Radio Show, Gray Matters, Tuesdays at 7pm EST on
The TMV Cafe or the TuneIn app

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Snapshots - 8-23-14


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: Summertime Fun


Credit: ©  | Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tempting Tuesdays ~ Old Fashion Sour Cream Donuts


This is the final recipe in my breakfast series and no ordinary donut would do. I found this delicious delicacy on Tastes Better From Scratch.

Ingredients

Donuts

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
Canola oil, for frying

Glaze

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup hot water




Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.



Beat butter and sugar together until well combined, should be a sandy texture.



Add yolks and mix until blended.



Add flour mixture and sour cream in three stages, sour cream then flour, sour cream then flour, sour cream then flour. Combine until dough forms.



Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for one hour.



Right before dough is done chilling, combine all ingredients for glaze and mix well.



Remove the dough from plastic wrap onto floured surface. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out with donut cutter or circle cutter. I got six the first time, then rolled out the scraps to eventually get six more.



VERY IMPORTANT: Heat oil to 325 degrees F. Do not get oil too hot, because the outside will burn and inside will be raw. Use your best judgement on how long to cook. Original recipe recommends 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to soak up grease.

Place on wire cooling rack to cool. Once cool, dip each side in glaze then set on rack for 15-20 minutes to let the glaze set.

Enjoy immediately!





Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Sneak Peek - T.M. Franklin

Banner.png

Today, we get a sneak peek of T.M. Franklin's upcoming release - TWELVE, Book Three in the MORE Trilogy...and she has a special guest to help her out.

 Well, Bond (James Bond) must be more of a chick-lit guy. T.M. assures us that he was definitely causing trouble, as you could hear in the background, but nothing valuable was destroyed. This time.
Want to get your own SIGNED paperback ARC of TWELVE? Enter now!

Goodreads-Giveaway.png

Goodreads Book Giveaway

TWELVE by T.M. Franklin

TWELVE

by T.M. Franklin

Giveaway ends August 21, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Snapshots - 8-16-14


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: Heart On the Sky

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LUA8kXXgV2s/Ui137-UToHI/AAAAAAAAFoY/v3mFvVUJoAI/s1600/heart+on+the+Sky.jpg

Photo credit: 
http://www.stuffmakesmehappy.com/2013/09/inspirational-nature-photography-by.html


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Wednesday Word

Wednesday Word

Author To Author’s Newsletter                                                    

August 13, 2014


Are you ever self-conscious about what you write? 

This question was asked of me a couple of weeks ago at a book fair. I write contemporary romance and BDSM erotic romance, so this particular person was specifically asking about the sex I write in my books.

She went on to ask me if I would feel comfortable with my family reading what I wrote. The answer to that question is simple. Yes, I'm comfortable with my family reading my books. My mother and sister-in-law have read most of the books I've written.

Over the last three years, I've been asked these questions, and similar ones, regarding the genre I write. For a reason I'm still trying to wrap my head around, romance has this stigma attached to it. Granted there is some pretty racy stuff out there, but there are also sweet romances that contain no sex at all, and everything in between.

Romance is a genre that encompasses a huge variety of sub-genres and writing styles. At its heart, however, it is about relationships. Since when did love become that dirty word that can't be talked about?

Then again, it's not the love part some people have a problem with. It's the sex. Again, this confuses me. Most adults I know, especially those in romantic relationships, are having sex. It's human nature. So why is it taboo in books about the development of an adult relationship?

I'm not sure this stigma of the romance novel will ever completely go away. There will probably always be those who will look down their nose at the genre thinking it is inferior. It's not. There are romance authors that spend hours writing, revising, and editing the same as writers of any other genre. Writing is an art, no matter the genre.
 
Written by A2A Author and Contributor, Sherri Hayes. Learn more about Sherri on her website, www.sherri-hayes.blogspot.com

Exciting News for Author to Author Group Members


Lindsey Gray's Giveaway

Author Lindsey Gray has a giveaway going on to celebrate 1500 Likes on her Facebook page and the 2nd Birthday of her novel, Revisited. Check out the post pinned at the top of her Facebook page to enter! https://facebook.com/LindseyGray11

You can also check out Lindsey's radio show, Gray Matters. Catch up on past shows and listen to new ones as well! https://archive.org/details/GrayMattersRadio



Win a Signed ARC from T.M. Franklin


Join A2A Author T.M. Franklin on Goodreads for a very special giveaway! Entries are open now through August 21st! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/103669-twelve


 

Wednesday's Weird Word


Anfractuosity

 This refers to a channel, crevice or passage full of windings and turnings, not quite a maze, though some mazes certainly take on an anfractuous appearance, one that is sinuous or winding.



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