Friday, July 12, 2013

Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop! 

Here's how the hop works! Each author invites other authors to answer five questions about their current summer release or WIP and a tasty recipe that ties into it! I'm so thrilled to be a part of this hop with so many wonderful and talented ladies! Not going to lie, I'm fan-girling here.  I was invited to particiapte by my sister, Rachel Van Dyken who, in turn, was invited by the amazing Sophia Barnes!  (like I said, fan-girl!) Deep breaths.

Here's the original link for those of you interested:Avon Hop 

First I want to share my newest release with you, "To Refuse a Rake".  It's brand new, not even week old yet! And guess what? It's only .99! 

Emma has sworn off love.

After all, it is pointless to subject oneself to such torture when in the end, heartbreak is inevitable. Just like her sister had suffered. So, when Lord Daventry, the muddy brown-eyed boy from her childhood, returns to society she refuses to even look at him... well, maybe she'll look once.

Or twice.

But only because his eyes have changed into the most decadent color of dark chocolate. And his tanned skin from his travels is distracting, especially paired with his wide and devilish grin.

The stirring of her blood from his hot whisper in her ear is nothing... at least that's what she tells herself.

Lord Daventry has one response to marriage. Drink Brandy. Especially when his mother decides it is time for him to produce an heir. Reluctantly, he attends his first ball since returning from India, swearing to head to White's shortly after the first dance. However, he is pleasantly surprised to discover that Miss Emma Kingsly, the same girl he tried to kiss when she was nine, is still unmarried.

Her frigid demeanor should have warned him off... but unable to ignore a challenge, he plunges in head first... never expecting to fall in love with the one woman in the ton completely set against marriage.

Who can resist a rake with searing gaze the color of dark chocolate? Maybe  Emma...maybe not.

Barnes and Noble Purchase Link
Amazon Purchase Link

And now for a recipe...When visiting London this past year I learned the importance and delight of tea time.  One of my favorite experiences was at Gorings, their high tea was amazing, as in you wanted to re-wind time and have it over and over again.  *sigh*  To celebrate the release of "To Refuse A Rake" I'm going to share my favorite recipe for Blueberry scones.  I've got blueberries on the brain because my hubby and I picked about thirty-five pounds last weekend!

Blueberry scones
4 cups flour
6 tbsp of sugar ( I add more because I like it sweet)
4 1/5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cold butter ( you can add a bit extra too..I always do)
2 Eggs
1/2-1 cup of whole milk. ( enough to make it moist but not too sticky)
2 cups fresh ( or frozen) blueberries
A few extra tbsp of granulated sugar for dusting.
Egg wash
Preheat oven to  375

Cut the butter into the flour, salt and sugar.  Add in the baking powder. Mix well. In a separate bowl, add the eggs to the milk (start with a 1/2 cup) and stir.  Add the egg/milk mix to the flour mix. Combine gently, don't over mix.  Lumpy is good. Fold in the blueberries.  Now you have a choice.  You can take a large spoon and scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet, making circular scones that look more like biscuits, (works great if your in a time crunch) or you can dust your countertop with flour and divide the dough in half.  Put one half on the flour surface and press it down gently, adding a bit of flour to the top so that your hands don't stick.  Press down till you have a circular shape then take a sharp knife and cut it into 5-6 wedges. Take each wedge and place it carefully on a cookie sheet.  Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Take a few tbsp of water in a measuring cup, add an egg. Mix well and brush the tops of your scones with the egg wash. Sprinkle sugar on top and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes.  You want them golden brown but not too brown. The egg wash will give them a glossy touch that will give it that caramelized color.

Ok. I'm hungry now.  But that's not saying much. I'm also a little over six months pregnant at this time (with number five!) so hungry is just my lot in life right now!

Let's start with the questions!
1)When writing are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?: 
Didn't I just mention I was six months pregnant?  Yes.  Love to snack while I write. But that's not necessarily a good thing.  Truth be told, I usually think I want to snack, then get irritated when I feel like I need to finish my snack and it's in the way of me writing as fast as I want to.  But if given the choice, I'll choose sweet over salty, but I usually take fruit of some sort.  

2) Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of their pants? Are they real pants or jammies?:
I start with  vague idea, then pretty much go by the seat of my pants. I know what I want, how I want to get there, but I'm not that organized.  I wish I were, but alas, I'm not.  I really respect people who can sit down and do the detailed outline!  And the pants are pants, or a skirt, rarely jammies, unless it's late at night.

3)When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe exactly or wing it?:
Wing it. Always.  I love baking and cooking, anything in the kitchen really. Which is a good thing since I have a big family.  I joke with my husband about being able to stay in the kitchen all day and stay busy because someone is always hungry.  I 'm also a field editor for the magazine, Taste of Home. I enjoy baking my own bread, and have had to learn the science of baking gluten-free as well because of my husband and son's allergies.  THAT has been an adventure.  

4) What's next for you after this book?: I'm actually switching directions.  I'm almost finished with my first Young Adult with the title "Beyond Broken." And I just started another NA WIP yesterday...gotta love it when you wake up in the middle of the night with a great if I could only get back to sleep afterward!

5)Last question...on a level of one being slightly naughty to ten being whoo whoo steamy, where does your book land?
"To Refuse A Rake" would probably be a 6 or seven? May a bit higher depending on your scale.  It's not, by any means, erotica, but it is hot enough to make me blush a bit when I re-read it.

I want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this blog hop!  And thanks everyone for stopping by!  It's been fun but my time is up, primarily because my two year old is tugging on my skirt and trying to climb into my lap right now...for the fourth time.  Have a great weekend!

Continue on the hop by visiting:

Take Two on Romance

Iris Blobel's site

Ruth Hartman's blog