Monday, February 19, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Chocolate Fondue

7:03 AM 0 Comments
Fondue! What a fun way to do dessert! Plus, it's the perfect thing for kids because they get to dip things into chocolate! I wish my boys were a bit younger and doing sleepovers because this may have been a total hit!

Ingredients:
1.5 cups chocolate chips of your favorite type
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional, if you want to make a more adult fondue:
1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 Tablespoon rum
1 Tablespoon Peppermint Schnapps
1 Tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream
1 teaspoon peppermint, orange, coconut, etc. extract
Pinch of espresso powder
(add one, not all!)

Directions:

These ingredients fit perfectly into the Little Dipper crockpot. If you want to do a larger batch, just increase the amount of ingredients or put an oven safe dish inside your larger crockpot. If you do this, there’s no need to add water to the crockpot.

 Put chocolate chips in the crockpot. Add the heavy cream and teaspoon of vanilla. Cover. Plug in and cook on low (or the ON setting for the LD) for about an hour. Stir.

Serve with apple chunks, banana slices, cubes of pound cake, strawberries, or marshmallows. 

Dip, swirl, and enjoy!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Announcement: Sarah's Journal is Free For a Limited Time!

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Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I'm super excited to be able to say that from today until February 28th, anyone who purchased or received both The Tether: None Good and Except One can receive a free pdf copy of Sarah's Journal before it goes live on Amazon!

To receive your copy, email proof that you own the books(you holding the books or your kindle showing both books, amazon order history, etc) to close2midnight@gmail.com and we'll send you the pdf! Easy peasy, right?

Don't own the books yet? Don't panic! That's why we're doing this until the end of the month. I wanted to give you all a gift in honor not only today and the fact that I love and appreciate every single person who reads one of my books/stories but also the fact that February 21st is the one year anniversary of our re-release of None Good. It was my first ever novel to work on as a writer and it means so much to me that so many of you supported me!

If you have any questions, drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer them!






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Monday, February 12, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Coconut Cake

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Coconut is one of those flavors that people seem to either love or hate. I don't think I've ever met anyone who just thought coconut was okay. Luckily for all of us, I think coconut is awesome! So is cake! Combine the two and mmmmm....

Ingredients:
White cake mix
The ingredients that the mix calls for in the amount it calls for.
Can of coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract

for use after baking:
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Sweetened shredded coconut
Cream cheese frosting (optional)

Directions:

Follow the directions on the box for the amount of eggs and oil used. Instead of using milk or water for the liquid, use coconut milk. Make sure to shake the can really well, to mix the cream. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the batter.

Save the rest of the can of coconut milk.

Spray your crockpot with cooking spray, and pour in batter. Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When the cake is finished, mix 1/2 cup of the reserved coconut milk with 2 T of powdered sugar. Poke holes in the hot cake with a skewer and pour the sweetened coconut milk over the top of the cake. If you are not going to frost, sprinkle on shredded coconut. If you are going to frost, save the coconut for later.

Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about an hour. If you want to frost it, do so after chilling the cake.


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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cover Reveal: Sarah's Journal

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During NaNoWriMo this year, I was hard at work doing the final edits for The Tether - Except One and working on a piece that starts at the end of None Good and carries over into Except One. I was nervous as all get out because up until then, this had been Nick's world, his sandbox, and I had just gotten to play in it. As soon as Except One ended, it became my world. Nick is just a consultant and my favorite person to poke me when he feels that I ought to be writing.

Fast forward to the end of December... Except One was now available on Amazon and I wrapped up the last bits of what became Sarah's Journal. I handed it off to Nick, prayed he'd like it, and breathed a huge sigh of relief when he told me it was perfect. I'm sure that it isn't perfect, but him liking it was all I needed to breathe again. Then, the wait began...It would be up to him to add in all the legal mumbo jumbo, format it, and to create the cover.

On Thursday night, as I was walking to my car, I received a message with this in it:


Isn't it gorgeous?!? Nick does such an amazing job and I feel blessed beyond belief that he not only trusts me with Sarah's world but he puts in this kind of work to make sure that what we put out is beautiful. I couldn't wait to share it with all of you, but I promised those on my fan page that they'd get first peek. If you'd like to be among those, please feel free to like the page!

Stay tuned for the next exciting announcement about The Tether - Sarah's Journal coming soon!








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Friday, February 9, 2018

Book Review: Always For You

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Come back to Burton!

If you fell in love with this quirky Georgia town in THE ONE Trilogy, you'll want to return for this trilogy and catch up with your favorite characters...

Maureen Evans has had a crush on Smith Harrington since they were in college together. She always knew he didn’t see her as anything more than his best friend—just one of the guys—but that didn’t stop her from weaving sexy fantasies about him.

Now, after years of maintaining a long-distance friendship, Smith’s moving to Burton, Georgia, Maureen’s hometown, to become her partner at the veterinary clinic. After all this time, she should be able to handle working with him without getting hot and bothered.

Or maybe not.

The more determined Maureen is to maintain their just-friends bond, the more Smith seems intent on testing those boundaries. And when flirting crosses the line into something more, it ends in a night neither of them can forget.

When friendship is no longer enough, there’s always love.

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I have been a fan of Tawdra's for ages now though it's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to read any of her work. So, when her newsletter came out and mentioned that this gem was available for free on Amazon, I didn't hesitate to have it sent to my ancient Kindle!

I am so glad that I did. There is something just refreshingly real about her characters. Not to mention that having come from a small town myself, I've seen just the types of things mentioned in this book and it did make me long for the types of friendships that these characters have and are able to maintain.

This book was an easy read, like all of Tawdra's books are. If you're looking for deep, dark material, keep on moving. This is one of those tales that is perfect for a chilly winter's day under the blanket...or in my case, sitting in the car waiting for a kid to get out of his sax lesson.

Now, me being me, has to point out the flaws, tiny as they may be. A few times I noticed that some of the word orders were swapped. As someone who writes a lot, I know just how that happens. The brain gets too fast for the hands and then your proofreader's brain autocorrects it when they read it. It wasn't enough to pull me out of the story, but I did notice it. My only other complaint? I honestly have no idea which book in which series this is...The cover on my Kindle copy says Love in a Small Town - 4. The cover on Goodreads and the text there says Always Love #1 and Amazon says Love in a Small Town book 5. Now, it's entirely possible that the book is part of two series but there's no way it can be both book 4 and 5 in the same series! Like I said, minor issues and none of them take away from the story itself.





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Monday, February 5, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Cherries Jubilee

6:54 AM 0 Comments
I absolutely adore cherries. I love them raw, I love them dried in things, I love them in pies...I love cherries. I especially love yummy, hot cherries on top of ice cream...

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 (15-ounce) cans pitted black cherries in heavy syrup
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup brandy (optional)
vanilla ice cream

Directions: 

Use your 1.5 quart crockpot for this recipe.

Melt butter in the microwave, and whisk in cornstarch until it's completely dissolved. Drain cans of cherries, and add to crockpot. Pour in cornstarch mixture. Add sugar and lemon zest. No need to stir. If you're going to add the brandy, do so now.

Cook on high for 2 hours, and serve hot over vanilla ice cream. 


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Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Review: The Completely Inappropriate Tales of Gandersnitch the Goblin

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DO NOT READ THIS BOOK...

...if you are pregnant, nursing, plan to become pregnant, hope to ever have a chance at getting a girl pregnant, hate goblins, have an irrational fear of giant man-eating spiders, have lost loved ones in the Troll Wars, are illiterate, lack all sensory organs, are easily offended, despise tea, faint at the thought of bloodshed, are a raving lunatic who obsessively stalks authors to murder them in their sleep, are driving a motorized vehicle, or have not yet experienced puberty.

Within these pages, you will find nine short stories (and two poems) detailing the darkly depraved, mildly amusing, ultimately unscrupulous, seriously sordid, and wretchedly rotten life and adventures of Gandersnitch the Goblin, the Banished Barber of Goblonia. This book is not for the wee-set of the wee, the innocent and pure, or those with massive heart defects. These are Goblin Tales, in all their gory glory! All claims of damages arising from the misuse of these pages will be mocked most mercilessly. You have been duly warned. Continue at your own bloody risk, and enjoy the show!

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I'm almost hesitant to write this review. Why? Did you read that back copy? How do you follow that?!?

I was given this book ages ago and somehow it got put in with a stack of other things and I didn't get to read it until recently. This is the perfect book for when you just want to escape the real world and all of its ugliness and dive into a book with a lot of ugliness but awesomeness. The stories are a lot of fun but absolutely geared to adults. I wouldn't leave this around where my younger child could pick it up..if I had a younger child.

My only real negative for this book? The fact that it took me ages to find it again and to get it read. It reads as if you've pulled up a stool in the bar and the guy next to you, who's had a bit too much to drink, wants to tell you his life story. Some of the stories were better than others, but hey, that's pretty real to life, isn't it?

If you're a little dark, a little demented, and love a good book...Have you met Gandersnitch?







I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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