Friday, 24 October 2014

Dorianna Release Day & Shiny New Covers

Catherine Stine, friend and member of my writing group, has a new release out today - Dorianna, a YA horror published by Evernight Teen. YA and horror? I cannot wait to read this one. Congratulations, Catherine.


Internet followers, beauty, power. It all sounded good. 

Until it transformed into a terrifying reality Dorianna couldn’t stop. 

When her father is jailed, her mother ships Dorianna to her aunt’s house. Dorianna yearns to build a new identity, but the popular Lacey bullies her—mostly for getting attention from her ex, Ander. 

Ander takes Dorianna to Coney Island where Wilson, a videographer, creates a stunning compilation of her. She dreams of being an online sensation, tired of being plain and lonely, and vows she’d give anything to go viral. Wilson claims he’s the Prince of Darkness and offers her the beauty and fame she's dreamed of—warning her that a pledge has its downsides. Dorianna has no idea of how dire those consequences might be.

Buy Links

If you're on Facebook, Catherine and Bewitching Tours are holding an online party on October 29th to celebrate Dorianna's release. There will be lots of fun games and two guest YA authors.

Catherine also has fabulous new covers for her two Fireseed novels. Aren't they stunning?

That's it for this week. I'll be back on Monday. Happy reading and writing.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Will You Join Me for Afternoon Tea?

Today's post is radically different than my usual fiction-related posts. Good friend Holly Sinclair (you probably know her as Southpaw), has published a series of cookbooks. I jumped at the opportunity to take part in her Foodie Blog Tour when she announced it, and being British, chose her Afternoon Tea cookbook.

So, why not join me for afternoon tea? Perhaps I'll tempt you into trying some of Holly's delicious afternoon tea recipes? Also, one commenter on this post will win a free digital copy of this cookbook. To enter, just leave a comment. If you want to leave a comment but don’t want to enter, add “I hate food” to your comment. The winner will be announced October 31st on Holly's blog.

Before I share with you what I cooked, I'd like to say a little about using an eBook cookbook. I was really surprised at how much easier it was in comparison to a traditional cookbook. While I did have to do a fair amount of page swiping, I didn't have to weigh the pages down to keep them open like a traditional cookbook, and I didn't have to worry about getting any ingredients on the pages. A quick wipe with a cloth, and my Kindle was sparkling clean.

The Menu

Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches
Bacon Cheddar Eggs
Cornbread with Honey Butter
English Breakfast Tea

Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches

1/3 cup crumbled blue or Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 lb sliced deli roast beef, finely chopped
1/8 cup minced sliced red onion
Butter or margarine, softened
6 slices white bread
Salt and pepper to taste 
Red leaf lettuce

Combine cheese, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Stir in roast beef and red onion.
Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread beef mixture on top of
butter-side half of bread. Season with salt and pepper, top with lettuce, then
the remaining bread slice butter-side down. Trim off crusts, then cut into
triangles or fingers.

Bacon Cheddar Eggs

4 large hard-boiled eggs
1/8 cup sour cream
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tablespoons finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar 
1 slice bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled for garnish 

Peel eggs, then slice in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks and place in a bowl.
Set whites aside. Combine yolks with remaining ingredients, except garnish.
Spoon into egg whites. Sprinkle with additional bacon. 

Cornbread with Honey Butter

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Combine flour, sugar,
cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Whisk milk, eggs, oil, and
butter. Stir into the flour mixture until just blended. Pour into baking pan,
and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out
clean. Cool on wire rack. For honey butter, stir honey into softened margarine
or butter at a ratio of 1:2. 


Afternoon Tea was packed full of delightfully sumptuous recipes for a perfect afternoon tea with friends or family. The cookbook comes with a menu suggestion for each month of the year, which you can follow or mix and match as I did. In addition, there are chapters on the notion of afternoon tea itself and how to prepare the perfect cup of tea. All-in-all, a little gem of a cookbook.

The roast beef tea sandwiches, bacon cheddar eggs, and cornbread with honey were easy to prepare and tasted like heaven!

Holly Sinclair on Tea

I asked Holly to share a tea memory. This is what she had to say:

My first memory of tea has nothing to do with drinking it. It's about making it. Something about making sun tea in the summer as a kid brought me joy. It's so simple too. Big glass jar, fresh water, a bunch of tea bags, and the hot summer sun. Maybe it was checking on it throughout the day, watching the gradually color change and guessing when it would be ready. The funny thing is I don't remember drinking it, not when I was little. Now I do, and there is something a little special about the flavor of sun tea.

Afternoon Tea 

Afternoon Tea is a wonderful way to catch up with your family or enjoy an intimate gathering of close friends. This book offers a different take on teatime with seasonal thematic flavors for each month highlighting a different tea. Recipes included are for tea sandwiches, light appetizers, scones, tea breads, cakes, and pastries.

Cost: $10.00 print | $2.00 ebook
If you buy the print version of the book from Amazon, you get the digital version free.

Where to get it:

About the Author

Holly Sinclair, who goes by Southpaw on the Interwebs, finds cooking cathartic. The recipes she's created and collected grew into cookbooks. Holly's trying her hand at fiction and food seems to creep into most of her books.

Join Holly on the rest of her Blog Tour, each stop features a different cookbook and a chance for a free ebook!

You can join in the fun by signing up for the End of Tour Foodie Blog Hop!
Talk about a fond food memory, describe your disasters in the kitchen, post your favorite recipe or pictures of food, or do anything food related. Sign up here. 

Thank you, Holly. It was an absolute pleasure. That's it for this week. Happy cooking, my friends.