Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chocolate sorbet, no milk & Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan

We made Chocolate Sorbet based on Ina Garten's recipe. I liked it as is, but John preferred it with a 1/4 c of coconut milk to mellow the intense chocolate flavor. We froze it in cubes and blended it in the blender, but a food processor would work. Left out the cinnamon and booze, boosted vanilla to 1 tsp. didn't have espresso so used coffee. We'll definitely make it again. It had lots of 5 star reviews.

Besides, it's almost impossible to find non-dairy ice cream I like in the store, and if I do it's crazy expensive. This solves that issue, and I buy my cocoa powder in bulk anyway. Not many home cooks have 5 lb bags of cocoa powder around, but when you make your own chocolate and almost all of your food, it's smart. We get everything from 25 lb of popcorn to sides of beef now to keep the cost down. If you can't use it all yourself, see if you can split the bag between friends.

Argh! I just found it on Amazon with free shipping for less than I've been paying at Cash n Carry. Well, better late than never.

I also recommend Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan. I'll never go vegan, but I appreciate the way the diet neatly avoids the use of milk and eggs while delivering beauty and flavor. Hats off, lady.

Chocolate Sorbet

1 c sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch or dash salt
2 c water
1/4 c coffee
1/4 c coconut or almond milk, optional (mellows the flavor)
1 tbsp vodka/booze (keeps from freezing rock hard if storing leftovers in fridge)

1. Heat all but vanilla to boil, remove from stove, add vanilla and let cool. Chill in fridge and then

freeze in ice cream maker, or freeze in ice cube trays and blend in blender.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Snippet: dangerous men

A furious rush of conversation ensured. Everyone was concerned about elfish trickery, and Rook wondered why his wife had never mentioned the Creeds.
Griffin raised a hand. “Sage knows his business, thank you. The Creeds are ready to sell the business and retire, and they would like to see their daughter settled. They’d like to see if any of you catch Fiona’s eye.” His eyes twinkled as he glanced at Jordan. “Not all of us can be so lucky as to have our love dropped outside the gate.”
Jordan kissed his cheek. “You’re wonderful, too. I wish you’d let me know that company was coming sooner, though. We’ll need to stock more groceries and prepare rooms.”
Griffin snorted. “Mrs. Y could feed an army with what’s already in the pantry and cellar and the house will prepare the rooms. We’ll be fine.”
“Yes, but when are they coming?” Howl demanded. Charcoal grey with a light grey mane, his jaws were long, wolf-like, and his spine curved, giving him a slightly hunched look. His carriage was closer to a rearing dog than a man’s. His wit could be sharp and he had an unholy love of bacon. Sweets didn’t appeal to him. The gargoyle girl might be a wizard at candy, but could she be trusted?
Griffin glanced at the window, mildly concerned. “I’d expected them tonight, actually. They’re late.”
“Should we send out a scouting party?” Rook asked, ready to push from the table.
“You can’t go,” Lance reminded him. “Your first responsibility is your mate and eggs. “I’ll go. Lads?” He checked his brothers and nodded at their assents. “It’ll be fun.”
“Count me in,” Sam said, his eyes igniting red. “I can find anyone in dream world, and I can take you to her faster than you can fly.”
There were general groans and muttering. The gargoyles knew better than to ride a pooka without dire need. They weren’t called Nightmares for nothing.
“The last time you took us through the dream world, I had bad dreams for a month,” Lance complained. “You ran through a field of men with sledgehammers breaking sleeping gargoyles.” He shuddered.
Sam snorted. “You can handle a few bad dreams, tough guy. Let’s go.”
“Be careful,” Jordan called at the exodus.
Lance grunted and snatched one last roll, stuffing it in his mouth.
Jordan looked at Griffin. “Sam can run in the dream world? What does that mean? It sounds exciting.”
“No,” Griffin said firmly. “You don’t want any part of it, Jordan. Samhain is a great brother, but his gifts aren’t to be taken lightly. You can die in a dream, and Lance wasn’t joking about the nightmares. He woke screaming for weeks.” He looked at the empty doorway. “The family loves you, Jordan, and they would never hurt you, but never forget that my brothers are dangerous men. It comes in handy sometimes.”

Gargoyles n waffles

I've come to love some of the new things my allergies have forced me into. Waffle burgers, brats in a waffle bun with the works, the Southern fried chicken in cornmeal waffles, buffalo chicken or pulled pork waffle sandwiches with homemade siracha mayo and turmeric pickled onions.... Oh. My.

We've perfected No Bake Cookies with Rice Chex, and I made fortune cookies, which are going to become a staple. Of course, there's peanut butter pie, which makes my eyes cross to think about. I've even used waffles to make a French Toast breakfast casserole, and olive oil crust quiche is scooped up quickly here.

I have a rule, though. Food should not be weird. Who thought making a cauliflower crust pizza was a good idea? I'm embarrassed to admit I actually made that. Once.

Shaking it off. Brr.

Thankfully, I like to experiment, which is why all of my books are as different as I can make them. I hate repeated plots and personalities, and I don't like reading books where all the characters from the series try to crowd into the same book.

Which is why my gargoyles from Gargoyle Girl are going to hide in the attic as long as I can keep them there. Why are they so reclusive? What are they doing up there? The tension will be fun.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fire, Stone & Water coming to print

There will be two elemental print books after I finish formatting the books on CreateSpace. Books 1 & 2 will include Scorched Earth & ONTB, and volume 2 of Fire, Stone and Water will include WTSB & Wind Burn. Each book will be nearly 300 pgs long. They should be available next month.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I'm formatting Fire, Stone & Water for print and I have a dilemma. It's 572 pages if I combine all four books into one print book. One the one hand, yay, I wrote a lot more than I thought! On the other, that's meaty handful. I suppose I could order a proof and see what I think.

Eventually I want to combine all the I&H works under one cover; ditto with Under the Bridge. Of course, I have to finish writing them first...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gargoyle Covers finished!

Okay, now they're finished.

GGITA cover in progress

Covers need tweaking to match better, but almost there. I'm recovering from a blood sugar crash with bonus pollen, so that'll conveniently give me an excuse to work on them. Although feeling like this sucks, it's WAY better than it used to be, so I'm reminded how far I've come. It's only a few days until pollen is done, so that helps.

The neighbor has the cutest Aussie puppy and it's pure pleasure to watch her romp on their lawn. I took my Jack over to meet the pup, so that was fun. That neighbor is wonderful about training his dogs and makes me happy to see them.

Working with my daughter on covers is a learning curve for both of us. I show her highlighting and computer art tricks and she tries to be patient with me. She's doing great.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Gargoyle Girl release date

Release date: May 9, 2014

Gargoyle Girl
Sometimes a heart of stone is a good thing.
Cachet dreamed of a handsome gargoyle mate of her own, and Rook swept her away with his dark good looks. Since the Purge, gargoyles are rare, so when a young gargoyle miss arrives, claiming to be his true mate, Cachet smells something fishy. She’s not sharing her mate, and the little harpy has to go.
There’s going to be a catfight in the old house tonight, and only one gargoyle will get her man.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Scorched Earth

available 5/2/2014 at Smashwords, B&N, Amazon and other fine booksellers

Scorched Earth

One will find a love that shakes the earth itself.

Cara’s compassion freed three dangerous elementals from a hellish prison. Released from centuries of incarceration, these powerful beings have the potential to leave a scorched earth. Can Cara give the earth elemental a reason to care, or will the power the Fates unleashed in her be her downfall?

35,000 words

Charcoal prevented an allergy attack

I started to have an allergy attack yesterday from cross-contamination with wheat, based on the symptoms (immediate asthma, blurred vision). I thought I'd be unable to work for hours, but I took a charcoal tab and within twenty minutes I was at the keyboard again. I didn't even need an allergy pill, though I had one handy just in case. If it had been a milk allergy, I'm not sure if I'd risk it because I go into shock and my throat swells, plus the charcoal might absorb and negate the allergy medicine.

That said, I've headed off milk allergy with coffee (caffeine saves lives) and an allergy pill, so I might test it some day...with an epipen and coffee close at hand, of course. I'm not a fool.

Gargoyle Girl Cover rough draft

I commissioned my daughter to do a cover for Gargoyle Girl. It's not finished, but I like where it's going. I was nervous about working on a project with her; she's ADHD and jumps between projects on a whim, plus has to accept some artistic criticism (I'm trying to be gentle). It's a bit dark, but we can fix that with texture on the house. I can't do what she does, but I have a few tricks I can show her. She's really coming along with Corel Draw.

Also, it means committing to a second or third cover so they match. Mind you, she's 15. Nevertheless, I think she's up to it. Besides, it beats scouring Shutterstock and composing covers when I'm busy.

I have a list to remind me of many things that go into publishing a book. This is separate from the household list that keeps us in food and laundry, btw. The kids really help with chores, thankfully, and John keeps the cars running and the house in repair.

Update website
Fix website tech issues for hours because: gremlins!
commission/make cover art
update Facebook and blog
upload for preorder on Smashwords, Amazon, B&N
release latest book
balance the books, tally receipts, write checks
Write a blurb
Write the next book