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Seelie Kay: A little bit of this, a tiny pinch of that… (Recipe)
Thursday, March 8th, 2018

When I am not writing, I bake. Quite simply, baking relaxes me and helps clear my mind. I have charted many a character’s path while separating eggs and creaming butter!

Taught to bake at the knee of my Slovak grandmother, I began taking formal cooking classes at age 10. Since then, no one and nothing has managed to keep me out of my kitchen! (If I had not begun writing at a much earlier age, I may have become a pastry chef rather than a writer.)

My two favorite recipes are turtle brownies, basically your standard fudge brownie recipe with a swirl of caramel, pecans, and mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips, and three chocolate mousse cake, which is a luscious four-layer devil’s food cake with white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate mousse in between the layers. When feeling particular ambitious, I might even encase this chocolatey confection in whipped cream!

And when I want the sweet smell of fall, I make an apple-pie-in-a-bag, a local favorite in southeast Wisconsin, or a no-knead bread, made with good old Wisconsin beer!

While I bake everything from scratch, I have learned a few short cuts over the years. For example, when pressed for time, I may substitute a box mix for the brownies or cake, and simply add the extras. And sometimes, I may even make the mousse from store-bought faux whipped cream and mix it with pudding rather than melted chocolate. And I make apple pies two at a time, so I always have one in the freezer. Of course, when I am feeling the need to cut back on the sugar and/or fat, I may utilize natural sugar substitutes or pureed fruits. (Who knew Gerber’s pureed prunes worked so well as a fat substitute in brownies?)

When I am in a reading mood, I am likely to brew some cinnamon hazelnut coffee and bake one of the most mouth-watering coffee cakes I have ever eaten. It’s a recipe passed on to me by a librarian from the Missouri Court of Appeals when I was a law clerk. She spoiled us by bringing in baked goods at least once a week, and the recipe we loved most was her Cinnamon Coffee Cake. When you have the urge to curl up with a good book and a hot cuppa, this sweet treat will provide a nice little slice of heaven!

CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE

1/2 cup margarine 1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar 2 eggs
1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour, sifted 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream margarine, shortening and eggs. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Spread it in 9 x 13 pan. In a separate bowl, mix:

1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine 2 cups chopped nuts

Layer on top of cake batter, swirl in slightly with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

KINKY BRIEFS, QUATRO

(released 2/9/18)

Take another kinky voyage through Lawyerland!

Indulge in a walk on the wild side with these sizzling short stories about lawyers in love, with a dash of kink. From painting well-hung nudes at a networking event or thwarting terrorists intent on harm to finding love despite a chronic illness or exploring kink on a train, these lawyers pursue love with a vengeance. And while affairs of the heart may come in all shapes and sizes—a law school ménage a trois, a middle-aged A.G. and a law firm associate, and a new marriage suddenly threatened by a spouse long believed dead—these relationships thrive despite the odds. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and yes, the resultant loin heating might even make you blush, but in the end, you’ll run out and buy a set of handcuffs. Because that’s the only way to defuse the sizzle created by these hot, sexy stories.

Buy Links:
Extasy Books: https://goo.gl/t6cCm8
Amazon: https://goo.gl/qtz4er
Barnes and Noble: https://goo.gl/s3svp2
Kobo: https://goo.gl/CtKrZE
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/rA8N7h

Diana Cosby: Giving The Gift Of Thanks (Contest & Free Recipe!)
Sunday, December 17th, 2017

UPDATE: The winner of the mug and tote is Michelle Duhon!

* * * * *

Diana Cosby ©2017

Gifts come in many shapes and sizes, but I believe the most precious ones are those delivered from the heart. It’s easy to get caught up in the mayhem of life, particularly during the Holidays, but every day, there are people amidst the chaos who help you, who take time out of their busy lives to make a difference in yours. This year, why not return that gift?

This holiday season, as wrapped gifts exchange hands, I ask you to pause, reflect on those who’ve truly made a difference in your life, and if possible, find a special way to say thank you. This can be a simple gesture—something like a greeting card, a bouquet of flowers, or a heartfelt poem. Maybe you could bake their favorite cookies? Or, present them a coupon book filled with everyday chores, which they can tear out and give you to do on those days when they really need a helping hand. The absolute best gift you can offer another person is one given from the heart. And when special-delivered, without any strings attached, it touches their own.

This Christmas, I’m making gift baskets filled with my favorite homemade things, such as macadamia-butterscotch chip cookies, shortbread, double chocolate-orange-pecan biscotti, Vermont maple syrup, and more. With each one, I’m sharing a part of myself with the other person.

What ideas can you think of? Remember—the more original and inventive, the more fun! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear your ideas! ONE person will be drawn from all who post, and the winner will receive one of my totes and a mug.
(*Contest ends the 23rd of December, 2017.)

*~*~*~*

My gift to you, one of my favorite recipes: Butterfinger Ice-cream Pie!

Apple Pie Ice-cream Pie

INGREDIENTS:
Chocolate cookie pie shell
1 Quart Apple Pie ice cream
Whipped cream
1/3 Cup of brown sugar
1/2 Cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
1/16th Tsp. cloves
Chocolate syrup
Caramel syrup

DIRECTIONS:
Place 1 quart of softened Apple Pie ice cream into chocolate cookie pie shell and smooth out flat. Layer with ½ inch or slightly more of whipped cream. Sift on brown sugar/chopped nuts/cinnamon/cloves mixture. Drizzle on top lines of chocolate syrup and caramel syrup. Cover, freeze and enjoy!!!

*~*~*~*

I wish everyone a fabulous holiday season filled with friendship, laughter, and blessings!
Sincerely,

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
www.dianacosby.com

Diana’s next release, Forbidden Vow, book #3 The Forbidden Series, is available for pre-order. Release date 15 May 2018.
http://www.dianacosby.com/ForbiddenVow.html

About the Author

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and books #1 & 2 of The Forbidden Series, she’s now working on book #3, Forbidden Vow which will be released in May 2018.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Website | Facebook
Forbidden Knight page | Forbidden Vow page

Adele Downs: Short on Time, Long on Good (Recipe!)
Monday, December 4th, 2017

The holiday season can fray the nerves of the most organized woman, and time spent on shopping, wrapping, baking and entertaining can erode the quiet time we enjoy with a book. What to do? Ease the holiday crunch with a short Christmas read and a super easy crock-pot recipe for Christmas candy your guests will love.

Here’s a sample of my contemporary short-read HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY, the standalone sequel to KISSING HER COWBOY, and a delicious recipe for sweet and salty holiday candy that can be modified for gift giving any time of year. I hope you enjoy them.

HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY

 

Tragedy brought them together, but joy met them on the other side.

Excerpt:

Clearly, the man had no concept of his effect on her.

When Daisy pulled up to Trey’s house and saw him standing at the base of the steps to greet her in nothing but low slung denims and work boots, she’d found it hard to breathe. Suddenly, Jack Frost and his Pennsylvania winter lost their appeal. Who needed snow when a smokin’ hot cowboy waited for her? Welcomed her? Wanted her?

If she hadn’t come to Houston, she wouldn’t have met the handsome ranch hand who filled her dreams night after night. Trey had become her single compelling reason to work through her personal pain. That and the fact that she’d never give up police work. She’d find a way to succeed, one way or another. It was hard for a cop to be flexible, since theirs was a structured world, but she was trying her best to adapt to her new environment.

Daisy took a bite of her chicken salad while Trey munched his roast beef. They ate in companionable silence while Big Blue grazed beyond. Trey took a swallow of bottled ice tea and then spoke. “Would you like to spend Christmas Eve together, here? Maybe help me trim the tree?”

Daisy’s spirit lifted again with the invitation, though she tried to stay cool. She and her sister Rose had already been invited to Christmas dinner with Trey’s family, and she’d promised to bring homemade pumpkin pie and oven fresh bread. Rose was making apple pie and a side dish.

Daisy hadn’t expected to spend Christmas Eve with Trey too, but she was glad he asked. “Sure. I’d like that.” The heaviness around her heart broke free and her mood lifted. She imagined the two of them in an embrace, making love beneath the twinkling lights of Trey’s Christmas tree, and realized she was…happy.

It had been so long since she’d known the feeling it took seconds to realize what had come over her. She smiled and savored the moment. Trey made her happy. Spending Christmas with him was the best gift the season could bring.

There would be no snowfall in Texas. Or winter’s chill.  No downhill sledding, hot cocoa, or ice covered boots. There might not be snippets of holly gracing the table, but there would undoubtedly be mistletoe. With that final thought, Daisy leaned over and gave Trey a deep, gotta’ get-back-to-work kiss.

He smiled at her, and just like that… Daisy found her Christmas spirit.

***

Buy The Book! Only .99!

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PCF0ORW/
Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/491117

Recipe: Holiday Crock-pot Candy

Ingredients:

16 ounce jar of unsalted peanuts
16 ounce jar of salted peanuts
12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 ounce bag of milk chocolate chips
(2) 10 ounce bags of peanut butter chips
(2) 1 pound packages white almond bark or use vanilla candy coating

Directions:

Starting with the peanuts, layer all the ingredients inside the crock pot, and turn on low heat. Cover and continue on low for 2 hours. Remove lid and stir to combine the nuts, chocolate, peanut butter chips, and almond bark or vanilla. Replace lid and continue melting on low for another 30 minutes. Stir a final time, and then spoon the mixture onto wax paper, parchment paper, or non-stick aluminum foil. Allow the candy to harden for least one hour. Serve or package the candy for gift giving.

About the Author

Adele Downs is the award-winning author of more than 20 romance titles, including those written under another pen name, and a former journalist with hundreds of articles to her credit. When not writing in her home office in rural Pennsylvania, she can be found reading a book on the nearest beach, taking photographs, or riding in her convertible.

Books by Adele Downs on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Adele-Downs/e/B00G1RRS60
Visit Adele Downs website: http://adeledowns.com
Like Adele Downs on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/authoradeledowns
Follow @Adele_Downs on Twitter!  https://twitter.com/Adele_Downs
Follow Adele Downs on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/adele_downs/
Find Adele Downs on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/httpwwwgoodreadscomAdeleDowns
Sign up for Adele’s Newsletter http://www.adeledowns.com/newsletter.html

Diana Cosby: Giving The Gift Of Thanks
Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Gifts come in many shapes and sizes, but I believe the most precious ones are those delivered from the heart.  It’s easy to get caught up in the mayhem of life, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, but every day, there are people amidst the chaos who help you, who take time out of their busy lives to make a difference in yours. This year, why not return that gift?

This holiday season, as wrapped gifts exchange hands, I ask you to pause, reflect on those who’ve truly made a difference in your life, and if possible, find a special way to say thank you.  This can be a simple gesture—something like a greeting card, a bouquet of flowers, or a heartfelt poem.  Maybe you could bake someone their favorite cookies?  Or, present them a coupon book filled with everyday chores, which they can tear out and give you to do on those trying days when they really need a helping hand.  The absolute best gift you can offer another person is one given from the heart.  And when special-delivered, without any strings attached, it touches their own.

This Christmas, I’m making gift baskets filled with my favorite homemade things, such as macadamia-butterscotch chip cookies, shortbread, double chocolate-orange-pecan biscotti, Vermont maple syrup, and more.  With each one, I’m sharing a part of myself with the other person.

What ideas can you think of?  Remember—the more original and inventive, the more fun!  I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

My gift to you, one of my favorite recipes:

Griffin Westcott aka Wulfe’s Chocolate Covered Pecan-Hazelnut Balls

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar                             1 cup butter                             ⅛ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking powder             2 ⅓ cup flour                           ¾th cup hazelnut spread

½ cup pecans                           Melted chocolate to use to dip pecan-hazelnut balls into

Directions:

Mix together sugar, salt, nuts, baking powder and butter.  Add flour, mix.   Press into an even layer in a greased 8×8 inch dish.

Bake:

Bake at 350˚F until golden brown.  (About 30-35 minutes.)

Cool. 

Once the shortbread is cool, crumble, and then mix in the hazelnut spread.  Chill.  Make balls with mixture, and place them into the freezer.  Once frozen, dip the pecan-hazelnut balls into melted chocolate.  Place on wax paper leaving ½ inch between each ball.  Cool.

Enjoy!

Author’s note:

An avid baker who enjoys creating new twists on recipes, Griffin Westcott aka Wulfe is the hero of, “His Seduction,” the 5th book in the best-selling MacGruder brothers’ Scottish medieval romantic suspense series.  For more information about the MacGruder brothers visit Diana’s website!

dccapture

*~*~*~*

I sincerely wish everyone health, friendship and happiness this holiday season.

Sincerely,

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
www.dianacosby.com
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
Forbidden Series:  Forbidden Legacy-#1/Forbidden Knight – June 6th, 2017

Diana Cosby ©2016

About the Author

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series are translated in five languages.  Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.  After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and Forbidden Legacy, book #1 of The Forbidden Series, she is now working on book #2, Forbidden Knight.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

www.dianacosby.com

Mia Hopkins: COWBOY VALENTINE (Sale + Giveaway + Recipe!)
Monday, February 15th, 2016

UPDATE: The winner is Colleen C.!

* * * * *

Hi, everyone! Mia Hopkins here. I write contemporary romance and erotic fiction. I’m also a food-obsessed home cook and baker. Today I’m happy to be back on Delilah’s blog sharing a sweet recipe.

In my book Cowboy Valentine, hero Caleb MacKinnon is a rancher’s son whose family also owns an almond orchard. Before his girl Cora leaves for college, Caleb spends long, sweet afternoons under the almond trees making out with her (and um, doing other stuff).

Cowboy Valentine is the first installment of my Cowboy Cocktail series. It’s also my first published book, so Cora and Caleb will always have a special place in my heart.

Caleb’s almond orchard was on my mind last week as I was making a fresh batch of marzipan. If you’ve never had marzipan, it’s sweetened almond paste that’s often shaped into little fruits or pigs. Like almost everything in the world, it tastes even better with chocolate.

The following recipe is ridiculously easy. You can get almond flour and almond extract on Amazon; I got mine at the local Whole Foods. Blitz everything up in a food processor and in a couple minutes you’re ready to roll (literally).

Today only, Cowboy Valentine is on sale for 99 cents. To sweeten the deal, I’d also like to offer a $5 Amazon gift card to one commenter below who answers this question: Inquiring minds want to know. Where did your sweetest, most romantic kiss take place?

Please include your email address. Contest ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. I’ll contact the winner the next day.

Good luck! Thanks, everyone.

Wishing you good reads (and good eats),

Mia
XOXO

MARZIPAN KISSES

mhMarzipan

adapted from Korena in the Kitchen
makes about one pound

For marzipan:

1 ¼ cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill blanched finely ground almond flour)
2 cups powdered sugar plus more for rolling
¼ cup corn syrup
½ tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. water
red food coloring

For decoration:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
sprinkles, nonpareils
small paper baking cups

In a food processor, pulse the almond flour and powdered sugar to break up any lumps. Add corn syrup and almond extract. Pulse to combine. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in 1 tbsp. of water. Stop as soon as the mixture begins to form clumps.

Line your work surface with plastic wrap. Dump the marzipan onto your work surface. Carefully add a tiny drop of red food coloring and knead the marzipan until the color is evenly distributed. (You might want to wear disposable gloves.) Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Roll marzipan into balls; use a little powdered sugar to help with any stickiness. Decorate some balls with nonpareils in a daisy design. Use a small spatula to top the other marzipan balls with chocolate. Leave as is or add sprinkles.  Let chocolate cool and place in paper cups. Store in the refrigerator.

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT COWBOY VALENTINE

mhCowboyValentine_300final

“Cowboy Valentine delivers a fast-paced, well-written smoking read.”
Reader Girls Blog

“This is a yummy erotic romance…You can expect some really erotic scenes and a fast moving plot in this steaming novella.”
V’s Reads

“From the beginning, the chemistry between Cora and Caleb is hot and stays hot.”
Travels n Reads

“Cowboy Valentine was a scrumptious little treat filled with sizzling chemistry, hot sex, and just enough sweetness to leave me wanting more.”
Crystal Blogs Books

BUY THE BOOK

Kindle
Nook
Samhain
Books-A-Million
Kobo
iTunes
Google Play

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.” She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

Connect with Mia!
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram

Summer Devon: We Celebrate Our Upcoming Release with Food (Free Recipe)
Thursday, October 29th, 2015

krMerchant  Clergyman_300dpi

The Clergyman and the Merchant, a book out October 26, is our latest Summer  Devon/Bonnie Dee gay historical romance

One of our heroes, Declan Shaw, the merchant of the title, appreciates good food which inspired me especially after experimenting with a dreadful shake (one that involved frozen bananas, protein powder and kale…skip the details.)

I read over Bonnie’s description of a meal prepared by Declan. I wanted to be like Declan and explore new worlds of food—perhaps ones that did not involve kale.

Declan Shaw is British, but he’s particularly interested in Italian food. I figured I’d try a typical Italian dish from the 1880s.

The first place to check is http://www.foodtimeline.org/food1.html to find something good from the Victorian era. No, nothing there.

I did more Googling—interestingly enough most of the historical articles I discovered were about the Italians contributions to American cuisine–their influence in the U.S. flourished from about the 1880s on.

But what about actual cooking in Italy in the 1800s?  As most people know—and I soon learned—Italian cooking is all about the different regions. This site claimed that northern Italians didn’t even really eat pizza until the 1930s. http://www.foodbycountry.com/Germany-to-Japan/Italy.html

Whenever we write about a particular place, and I do some reading about it, I end up longing to head off for exploration. Maybe I should head to Italy and take a course? http://www.deliciousitaly.com/cooking-holidays/tuscany-cooking-courses-in-cortona

In the meantime, I gave up finding an authentically Italian recipe from the nineteenth century because, apparently, the French were the food writers then. I did find an elegant pesto made with a knife instead of a food processor so the flavors mingle but are slightly separated:  http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001570.html

But by then I was hungry enough to make my own version: Basil, and parsley (because I didn’t have enough fresh basil), almonds (because pine nuts, the usual variety are rather expensive), lots of garlic, lots of parmesan cheese, olive oil and a touch of water…and a tiny squeeze of lemon. And all ground together in the food processor into a twenty-first century paste.

In honor of Declan’s nationality and Bishop’s Hartfeld, the fictitious village of the book, I’ve also made pop-overs, my local form of Yorkshire pudding.  So allow me to present food of the sunny south and a hearty British staple.

Summer’s pesto:

1 part nuts to 2 parts parmesan or asiago cheese to 3 parts green stuff (usually basil with a touch of parsley) at least a clove of garlic, and as much olive oil as needed. Or, if you’re feeling like you want zing, some lemon juice too. And if you’re feeling virtuous, cut back the cheese and olive oil. If it’s too thick use a mix of olive oil and water.

Summer’s popovers: 

Preheat oven at about 400. Heat up the muffin pan you’ll be using too. Butter them.

Mix:
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing your pans (that’s important)
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
Add 1 ½ cup flour.

The batter will be thin. Whip it until there aren’t any big lumps. Pour batter into preheated baking cups/muffin tin fill about halfway (12 regular muffin tins)

Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 425, without opening the oven. Then lower the temperature to 350 for a while more. Maybe ten minutes—it depends on the oven you’re using. Serve with homemade jam you bought at the church fete.

Links to our new book, The Clergyman and the Merchant
Amazon http://amzn.com/B01506KZ5S
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-merchant-and-the-clergyman-bonnie-dee/1122636662?ean=2940152340655
All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-themerchantandtheclergyman-1896440-162.html

Link to our blog (which we often forget exists) http://www.duetpublishing.blogspot.com/

Link to each of our pages!
Summer Devon http://summerdevon.com
Bonnie Dee http://bonniedee.com

The Clergyman and the Merchant

An excerpt from The Clergyman and the Merchant that includes some food and other yummy things:

When James’s gaze locked on his once more, Declan told him in the gravest tone possible, “You are beautiful in every way, and I want to shower you with affection, not flay you with a tongue like a blade.” He slipped his hand around the back of James’s neck and pressed a searing kiss to his mouth.

His own lips tingled when he pulled away. “Now, I want you to crawl over to that sweet little nest you’ve made up for us, take off the rest of your clothing, and await your next order.”

James exhaled a soft groan of contentment before moving to obey. The sight of him on hands and knees was enough to make Declan even harder. He quickly removed the rest of his clothes and dumped the formalwear in a pile. Cool night air tickled his skin like fingertips as he strode over to James, now nude and kneeling, head bowed in subservience.

Declan used his tie to loosely bind James’s wrists together, and took the clean handkerchief from his jacket pocket to blindfold him. “Enhances your other senses,” he explained. “I want you to open yourself to all the sensations I will give you.”

He rummaged in his small parcel of provisions and found what he was looking for, a fig so sticky it clung to his fingers. He smeared the dried fruit across James’s parted lips. “Taste,” he ordered, and James licked his lips.

“Sweet,” James murmured. “Honeyed fig?”

“Indeed.” Declan smeared again, then leaned close to kiss the sweetness from his lover’s mouth. The stickiness made their lips cling together a little as he pulled away. With his clean hand, he smoothed James’s hair back from his high brow. It sifted like fine silk between his fingers.

Declan knelt before James and continued to feed him morsels like a favored pet. A little cheese, a bit of meat, wafer-thin slices of bread which were only slightly broken from being stuffed in his pocket. He told James to tip his head back and squeezed a wedge of orange so the tart juice poured into his open mouth. Again, Declan licked and kissed that open mouth, plunging his tongue inside and crushing their lips together with bruising force.

James’s trusting willingness was coal to the fire in Declan’s belly. He would love to thrust a lot more than food into James’s mouth, but first… He uncorked the bottle of cheap wine James had brought and again ordered his obedient partner to tilt his head. Declan allowed the wine to trickle into James’s mouth, but it also struck his lips and dribbled down his chin, throat, and chest. Declan stooped to lick every drop from James’s skin. The combination of fermented grapes and salty flesh was more delicious than any famous chef’s concoction could ever be. James whimpered and shifted as Declan tongue-bathed him all the way up to his mouth…

Melissa Thomas: Grandma’s Creme Brulee (Free Books)
Monday, July 27th, 2015

Hi Delilah! Thank you for having me as your guest today!

July 27th is National Creme Brulee Day. To celebrate, I’d like to share my grandma’s recipe and then share with readers how to download my newly released paranormal novel for free.

Grandma’s Creme Brulee

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons white sugar
6 eggs

Prep time: 10 minutes.

Cook time: 30 minutes.

Total time: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Separate eggs, discarding whites and retaining yolks.
  3. Combine egg yolks, four tablespoons white sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat until thick.
  4. Heat cream in a saucepan over low heat until simmering. Before it comes to a boil, remove from heat.
  5. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Pour mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water for three minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Pour mixture into a shallow baking dish.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  10. Refrigerate for an hour or more.
  11. Preheat oven to broil.
  12. In a small bowl combine two tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar. Sift sugar evenly over custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar caramelizes (approximately two minutes). Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
  13. Remove from heat and cool.
  14. Refrigerate until custard is set again.*

*Serve with blueberries, strawberries, or peaches.

Phoenix Contract

Author: Melissa Thomas
Genre: A New Adult paranormal fantasy
Published on:  June 15, 2015

mtpiZap_1434504512076

Centuries after the fallen angels left heaven to live among humans, their Nephilim descendants dwell in secret, hidden from the modern world. Once, a charismatic leader known as the Phoenix led their people, but he vanished centuries ago. The few surviving Great Houses are in decline, bickering over petty rivalries while a handful of faithful warriors battle to keep the forces of evil at bay.

Eighteen-year-old Aiden McLachlan devotes her life to her studies and pursues her lifelong goal to become a full-fledged Watcher. But everything she knows of her life is a lie and everyone a liar. Through a strange twist of fate, she finds herself caught up in an ancient prophecy.

The stars predict the rebirth of the Nephilim leader, but the mystery must be unraveled or the Phoenix cannot rise. With a soul-eating demon, a coven of ancient vampires, and a hardheaded Celtic warrior competing to subvert the Phoenix, Aiden doesn’t know where to turn or who she can trust.

All of the serial parts of Phoenix Contract (Parts 1-5) will be FREE on Amazon Kindle JULY 27TH:

Phoenix Contract Part One:  http://goo.gl/6XkZ5P

mtPhoenix Contract Part One

Phoenix Contract Part Two:  http://goo.gl/Xc0nQg

mtPhoenix Contract Part Two

Phoenix Contract Part Three:  http://goo.gl/0aJaOC

mtPhoenix Contract Part Three

Phoenix Contract Part Four:  http://goo.gl/S3CTf7

mtPhoenix Contract Part Four

Phoenix Contract Part Five:  http://goo.gl/cJSxsk

mtPhoenix Contract Part Five

Links to Boxed Set (Parts 1-5):

$2.99 on Amazon  Kindle:  http://goo.gl/nEBP8o

Excerpt 1:

He’d always had the worst of luck, and the day he died was no different.

Thrash stared into the chasm of space between the building roof and city streets, contemplating the eighty-story drop. It was a long way down. The city’s lights glimmered against darkness, millions of fluorescent stars. Surrender did not come easily to him, and it tasted bitter in his mouth. He’d spent his life training to fight, but what could he do against an enemy that could shape shift at will?

Six-foot-six and muscular in the manner of body builders, Thorton David Aston III or Thrash to his friends, was an albino. He was born without skin or hair pigment, his skin perfectly pale, his hair white. He rivaled the city lightscape for its clean brightness. He disliked the attention his condition attracted, so he’d cropped his hair short and dyed it metallic blue.

Thrash’s athletic body thrummed with tension. Perspiration beaded on his pale forehead and made his palms clammy.

The Soul Eater was coming for him.

Excerpt 2:

“I won’t help you,” Matthew said, “no matter what you do to me.”

“Oh, but I think you will,” Daniel disagreed. “Once I turn you, then you’ll be more than happy to help.” Lightning swift, the vampire lashed out and seized Matthew’s wrist, forcing the priest’s arm down.

Matthew cried out in pain as Daniel squeezed his wrist until his hand opened and the crucifix dropped to the ground.

Aiden shouted and swung her crucifix around to protect Matthew, but she was too slow. Daniel dragged Matthew away and thrust the priest toward his minions.

“Hold him,” Daniel said.

Immediately, the carrot-topped boy and the policewoman caught hold of the priest.

Aiden expected Daniel’s attack, but that didn’t prepare her for the vampire’s speed. Daniel rushed her, progressing so fast his contorted face filled her vision. She kept the crucifix level and aimed for the vampire’s eyes, but Daniel caught hold of her wrist with disturbing ease. Then he twisted her arm, causing a wrenching pain in her shoulder. Against her will, Aiden bent over to avoid having her arm torn from the socket. She lost her grip on her crucifix.

“Let her go!” Matthew shouted. “She’s done nothing.”

Daniel immobilized Aiden, ignoring her struggles. He forced her head to the side and exposed her throat. “Oh, I don’t think so. I want you to suffer, Matt,” he said. “As a self-styled Lord of the Night, I’m rather pleased with the revenge I’ve concocted. So I’m going to eat your pretty daughter and make you watch.”

Excerpt 3:

Magnus loomed over her, attempting to inspect her injuries. His fingers were hot and alien against her skin, and she flinched from his touch.

“Stay put while I retrieve the crucifix,” Magnus ordered. He moved away from her. A moment later, he returned carrying the crucifix.

Aiden shook her head but stayed still. She automatically tried to place his accent and failed. There were too many layers. “Where are you from? I can’t quite place your nationality.”

“I’m Averni.” He sank to the ground beside her, and those six-fingered hands touched her again, causing her flesh to crawl.

“The Averni were a Celtic tribe,” Aiden said. Her foggy mind recalled little else other than the Averni had been from the region of Gaul before it became France.

“That’d be correct.” The Celt reached out with his strange, strong fingers and pushed Aiden’s head to the side to expose the wound. He removed her hand and examined the bite. His glittering gold eyes were intelligent and inhuman. Up close he smelled earthy and sensual, a suggestive scent which caused Aiden to flush and look away.

“Why is your name Latin?” she asked.

“My mother was Roman. Stay still,” he replied.

“How bad is it?” Matthew asked.

“Not too bad.” Magnus threaded the crucifix’s chain through his fingers so the holy symbol rested in his palm. He opened the silver flask and poured holy water over the crucifix.

Aiden felt excited and afraid and so tense she wanted to crawl out of her skin. “Are you really immortal?”

“Yes,” Magnus said. “This is going to hurt. I’m going to have to hold you down.”

Author Bio and Links:

Sexy redheadMelissa Thomas breathes life into her dreams, bringing imaginary characters and fantasy worlds into our reality. She loves her characters so much they become her alter-egos, enacting the exciting adventures she envisions for them. She is a resident of San Francisco, California and adores the picturesque city by the bay. Her hobbies include surfing and scuba diving.

Phoenix Contract is her debut novel.

You can learn more about Melissa at http://thephoenixascending.blogspot.com/
Email:  MelissaThomas214@gmail.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MThomas_author