12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

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Blog Hop: 12 Days of Christmas
Event Date: December 1st – 12th 2013
Hosted by: As You Wish Reviews & Confessions of the Paranormal
Sponsors: As You Wish Tours & Book Dragon Designs

melktert

Melktert – A South African favorite for the holidays! 

For the pastry:

  • 1/2 cup cold butter, chopped into cubes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups of self-raising flour
  • (Or just go out and buy ready-made butter, tart pastry shells. Although, these are worth the time and effort.)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • milk, 4 cups
  • butter, ½ cup
  • eggs, 3 – yolks and whites separated
  • sugar, ½ cup
  • vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon
  • cornstarch, ½ cup
  • flour, 2 teaspoons

 To serve: ground cinnamon

To make the pastry, whisk the butter and sugar until it becomes fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well. Then add the self-raising flour, a half a cup at a time and mix with your fingers until you obtain a moist dough. The dough will be slightly crumbly. Flatten the dough and wrap in cling film. Leave it to rest in the refrigerator for one hour.

Preheat oven to 180° C / moderate temperature / 350 degrees F. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a well floured work surface. Line a round tart tin, 26 cm in diameter or mini tart pans. Or do as I do and use a muffin pan.  Prick the dough with a fork, cover with baking paper and pour over beans (i.e. blind bake). When it gets golden, remove baking paper and beans and let it rest on a cooling rack.

For the filling, melt butter in milk over medium heat. Beat egg yolks with sugar and vanilla and then add the cornstarch. Add a tablespoon of hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring to avoid eggs from scrambling. Add the remaining milk, mixing until everything is smooth and has the consistency of  thick custard. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold them custard mixture.

Pour the filling into the tart shell, sprinkle the surface with cinnamon. Now, you’re welcome to try to wait for it to cool down before you have one, but there’s no need to torture yourself. I love these hot, warm or cold.

Bon Appetit! Let me know what you think of melktert.

The Romance Collection, A Christmas 2012 Special 3 in 1 Romance Edition

The Romance Collection Christmas 2012 3 in 1 Bundle

The Romance Collection Christmas 2012 3 in 1 Bundle

“I can’t wait to read more by this author.” (Tattle Tale)

This is a special romance collection that includes sizzling tales that have each received excellent reviews. Catering for the lover of adult romance, it includes a paranormal tale of love and deception, a sweet contemporary romance about a woman who needs to find her independence and a scorching paranormal erotic novella. 

Coffin Girls, Elegantly Undead

A vampire descendent from the original Coffin Girls, Anais runs a successful event and wedding planning business from her majestic New Orleans plantation house. When Yves, her maker and head of the Vampire Council requests her assistance in hosting the mysterious, yet dashing Prince of Witches, Conall, she has no option but to accept. But Anais is the keeper of secrets; secrets that can kill. Conall and Anais are drawn together when confronted with fatal encounters and an unimaginable destiny… if she’s willing to accept it and fight.

Finding Promise

Caroline had led the life of a high society daughter and wife, one that was filled with soul-destroying emotional abuse. Upon the death of her husband, she finds that she is financially incapable of supporting herself and flees New York without a plan or destination in mind. Her travels lead her to the quirky town of Promise. Here she begins to explore her new found independence and the pleasurable side of love with ruggedly handsome local, Luke Edwards. Her contentment is shattered as her past resurrects itself and she needs to find the courage to face it before she can truly re-build her life.

Ghosts & Lovers: First Confession (An Erotic Novella)

Simone, the quintessential desperate housewife, is primarily absorbed on settling her family into their new home in the vibrant, metropolitan city of Johannesburg, South Africa. Unbeknownst to her, the greatest threat lurked not outside of the eight-foot walls and electric fencing but within the walls she seeks sanctuary. But the threat comes disguised as tantalizing pleasures of the most carnal nature that challenges her views of love, marriage and sex. Can Simone resist and rescue her family from the evil she’s let into their lives? This is her first confession.

Bonus Material –  4 holiday recipes from the author

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Grand Prize: $150 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

First Prize: One (1) eBook from Every Participating Author

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For more Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes & Giveaways – Hop along the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

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My Muse was Steamy, Muddy and Wet

Re-blogged from Victoria’s Gossip (http://victoriasgossip.com/blog/?p=2678)

Head on over to Victoria’s Gossip to stand a chance to win a $20 Amazon GC and ebooks! 

http://victoriasgossip.com/blog/?p=2678

My Muse was Steamy, Muddy and Wet by Aneesa Price

In June this year, I found myself stuck. I could not move forward with my current novel. I tried everything, from going for walks on the beach, to exercise and taking time out to read. Nothing worked. I knew I had a story to tell. In fact, I could feel its need to surface but something was blocking it from even sticking a finger out of the black hole life’s events had buried it in.

Dramatic much? Well, sure. I know I was being hugely melodramatic. I have a good excuse, though. My husband had left a month earlier for Kuwait and the kids and I were anxiously waiting for our visas so we could join him. Our family was relocating to the Middle East and had packed up, sold up, rented out and a myriad of other things. These tasks are stressful on their own, add them all together and you get a guarantee for brain-whipping migraines. The funny thing about stressing is that the more you stress, the more you stress about stressing, so the problem just compounds. I eventually gave up and focused on the kids as they were going through the change too and had the disadvantage of not fully understanding the reasons for it.

One day I took them to a day spa. While they giggled in the lemongrass-scented bubbles of the hydro-bath, I went off to enjoy a steamy moment in the rasul. A rasul is a Moroccan steam room on an über-luxurious scale. This rasul was lined in white marble and black stone with glints of sparkle in it. In the middle of the square room was a plunge pool to cool off in if the steam became unbearably hot and to the side, on the built-in seating area, rested a wooden bowl of Dead Sea mud. The treatment consists of applying the mud to your body, steaming and then finishing off the session with warm rain cleansing your skin as it falls from the star-studded ceiling. (And yes, the ceiling really does look like the night’s sky in a rasul.) It is an act of blissful self-indulgence.

After a few moments of mentally going through lists of things to do and emotional frustrations, I found my mind wandering. At that moment I began to relax and a new scene began forming in my mind. Thank goodness! And, the scene that kick-started the return to and completion of Supernatural Seduction was born.

rasul nice pic

An excerpt from Supernatural Seduction – Sophie and Sylvain have an interesting encounter in the rasul:

The therapist steered her away from the hot tub though towards a room signed “Rasul.” Following instructions, she hung her robe, stepped out of the slippers, and entered the room through a frosted glass door. The therapist had since left, and Sophie was alone in what must be the most decadent steam room, she’d ever seen.

Steam clung to the atmosphere of the room, making it comfortably hot. Music streamed in through hidden speakers. In the middle of the room was a small, square plunge pool, decorated in mosaic tiles and above them. The ceiling mimicked the night’s sky where thousands of tiny lights twinkled in a multitude of colors.

“What do you think?” Sylvain asked from behind her. He’d stepped into the room and was wearing only the baggy shorts that surfers wore. Her gaze raked over his chest noting the long, lean torso, and rippling muscles as he moved towards her. Her eyes moved up towards his broad shoulders and strong neck. The enticing vein throbbing with his blood made her fangs hurt and they dropped. Then she made another mistake and looked at his face. The man was too good looking for his own good. For a moment, she wondered why on earth she was there with him, half-naked, and across the Atlantic.

“What is this?” she inquired.

“A rasul,” he replied. “Although not Moroccan, this is the nicest one I’ve been too, and whenever I visit this hollow, I try to find time to come here. It is relaxing, although I don’t think I’ll be doing much relaxing after seeing you like this.”

Sophie ignored the scorching touch of his eyes as they swept over her body and thanked the Goddess that she’d had the forethought to shave and have a pedicure done recently. “Well it certainly is an original way to end a date.” Sophie tried to detract from the predatory gleam in his eyes as he took her hand and led them to the built-in marble seats.

“Who said anything about ending?” Sylvain stated before he dropped his head and took her lips with his. The room was hot, but her insides were hotter. He tasted of cumin, mint, and the sexy thing that hot dreams were made of. She heard herself moan and he used that opportunity to slip his tongue into her mouth. Tongues battled, pulling, and sucking while their lips locked together as though they wanted to breathe each other in. Dieu! This was heavenly.

Sylvain continued his oral assault while his hands brought her forward until they were kissing, chest to chest, her hardened nipples against his sculpted muscles. Darn, but if the vibrations that rippled through his six-pack didn’t turn her on even more. Involuntarily, she moved in and swung her arms around his neck, lacing her fingers in his hair, and pulled him down to her. She wanted to feel every inch of him, especially the hardness growing against her belly. Sophie moved to straddle him, bringing them even closer. Sylvain hissed as she began to move, grinding her pelvis against his. Then everything went frantic. Pushed by the unexpected force of their passion, she forgot everything, but his hands gliding down her back and cupping her buttocks to bring her further against him. The tranquil music permeating the room was forgotten and replaced by her moans of pleasure. Putting everything into the kiss, she drowned in it.

“I want you more right now than anything I can remember,” Sylvain broke away from their kiss. “But, I did promise you retribution for your earlier teasing and I’ve been looking forward to claiming it.” 

Supernatural Seduction - CG2 - Final Cover

 

“Once again Aneesa Price succeeds in transporting us to this magical world full of romance, action, & excitement! I am a true Aneesa Price addict…constantly needing more, more, more!” ~ Jeni’s Bookshelf & Reviews

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Supernatural-Seduction-Coffin-Series-ebook/dp/B00E1LF496

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Supernatural-Seduction-Coffin-Series-ebook/dp/B00E1LF496

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/supernatural-seduction-aneesa-price/1116227626

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/338802

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18218817-supernatural-seduction

From Chocolate Beignets to Heartbreaking Heroes!

Very few women can deny having a deep appreciation for the wondrously healing properties of both chocolate and a good book.

Rhonda Plumhoff has found a unique way of combining these two blissful pastimes (reading and eating or cooking with chocolate)! Following the first cookbook, Literary Chocolate, she tantalizes us once more with recipes created for interesting and quirky characters from the novels of indie authors! And what’s more, this entire recipe book is dedicated to chocolate! Oh yes! Chocolate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even beverages! What more could we want to accompany our daily reads?
Try Voodoo Chocolate Beignets (created for Aneesa Price’s Miss Suzette from Coffin Girls, Coffin Girls (Elegantly Undead: Book 1 of the Coffin Girls Series)) or Shayne’s I-should-of-told-you-the-truth-and-I’m-sorry Steak (based on the characters, Shayne and Enrique in Morgan Kearns’ Lucky 13, Lucky 13 (Deadlines & Diamonds)) and when that’s not enough literature-inspired chocolate for you, have a go at Rock My World Chocolate Treats (based on Broken Promises by Belinda Boring, Broken Promises (The Brianna Lane Series))! This is a killer combination of a chocoholic and readaholic’s fantasies in a book!
Find character descriptions from Two of My books as well as the recipes created for them below.

Book link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BA1BHVY

Literary Chocolate - A second helping

Chocolate Mocha Crème Brulee

 

Caroline had led the life of a high society daughter and wife, one that was filled with soul-destroying emotional abuse. Upon the death of her husband, she finds that she is financially incapable of supporting herself and flees New York without a plan or destination in mind. Her travels lead her to Promise, a small town on the New England coast.

Following instinct, she settles in Promise and begins to explore her new found independence and the pleasurable side of love with ruggedly handsome local, Luke Edwards.

Her financially privileged upbringing had provided her with the opportunities to travel and with her love for cooking; she shares culinary delights from all over the world with the willing residents of promise. But her new-found contentment is shattered as past resurrects itself and she needs to find the courage to face it before she can truly re-build her life.

Finding Promise by Author Aneesa Price: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Promise-Series-Romance-ebook/dp/B008N25Y80

Finding Promise

Finding Promise

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup prepared espresso (strong black coffee)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325° degrees. Place 8, (6 ounce) ramekins on a baking sheet.

In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, add cream, sugar, vanilla and espresso. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and heat until cream begins to simmer. Remove from heat. Place egg yolks in a large bowl, and slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until you have added approximately half the cream mixture to the yolks. At this point, pour in the remaining cream mixture and whisk smooth. Stir in chocolate chips, and let rest for 5 minutes. Stir the mixture until chocolate is smooth and creamy. Pour evenly into ramekins, cook for 30 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 45 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate for 6 hours. Before serving; move the oven rack to the top position in the oven, preheat oven to broil. Sprinkle the tops of each Crème Brulee with granulated sugar, evenly coating. Place ramekin on baking sheet, and place under the broiler until sugar bubbles and turns a light caramel brown. Keep an eye on sugar it bubbles fast and you do not want it to burn. Serve immediately.

Yields 8 servings

 

Voodoo Chocolate Beignets

 

This endearing Voodoo, Cajun mama is a favorite character of many who read Coffin Girls. She rules the kitchen of Papillion Plantation, the majestic mansion of the witch-vampire sisters, with a wooden spoon and gruff affection. What’s more, she’s the human that grounds the powerful Coffin Girls and who encourages them to overcome the risky challenges that they face, including those that touch their magical hearts.

Miss Suzette is known for her Voodoo, or ‘kitchen magic’ but she is also a whizz with culinary creations believing that food replenishes the soul and nourishes the heart.

Coffin Girls, Elegantly Undead by Aneesa Price: http://www.amazon.com/Coffin-Girls-Elegantly-Undead-ebook/dp/B008N0GWVA

Book 1 of the Coffin Girls Series

Coffin Girls Elegantly Undead

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions

Before you begin to deep fry beignets, fill pan with oil until 3 inches deep, heat vegetable oil to 350° degrees in a deep heavy pot, over medium-high heat (or deep fryer).

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, heavy cream, hot water, egg, shortening, and salt; stir in yeast mixture. Mix dough just until combined and smooth. Let dough rest in bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel, 30 minutes. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch squares. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning as soon as they brown on one side. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. While still warm, give beignets a generous dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

Yields 20 beignets

Is Erotica Literary Porn?

If a book contains sex scenes does it make it erotica?

hot couple 2

To me, the answer is no.

I write romance and recently, also erotica. With my first book I purposefully kept any descriptions of sex scenes mostly suggestive, however, with my second book, the sex scenes were more explicitly described. I did not describe body parts and the acts in detail. I did, however, describe the emotions and sensations in tantalizing depth and sex was a major initiator for many events in the book.

My first novel, Finding Promise, was not labeled as erotic. It was labeled as I meant it to be – a sweet, small town contemporary romance for adults. My intention with the second book, Coffin Girls, was not to be erotic either – it was to provide a realistic description of what occurs within adult romance, which in my book (both literally and figuratively speaking) means a description of sex. I purposefully curbed the level of detail provided. However, I was surprised (neither pleasantly or unpleasantly) when I received feedback that the book was in fact erotic. This confounded me.

I’m a firm believer that whatever the reader feels is their reality and thus true for them and so I accepted that to some, the book may seem to be erotic. This acceptance was shaken when most of the feedback I received was that Coffin Girls definitely fit into the erotic paranormal romance category. I then sat back and thought – very long, extremely hard (no pun intended *grin*).

What I was struggling with is that I had indeed read erotic literature long before the hype around “Fifty Shades of Grey” arose and as early back as when I was a university student. Back then I devoured the colorful descriptions writers such as Anais Nin and Henry Miller gave to carnal endeavors. To me, that was erotic. These classically acclaimed writers, to my mind, celebrated sex through the mastery of their words.

At this point, it may shed clarity to share my philosophy on sex in literature and other entertainment media. To me, sex is a natural activity that occurs between consenting adults and a very important one. As a romance advocate I cannot imagine a happily ever after for a couple who do not enjoy sleeping together. This is one of the many reasons I do not enjoy YA (Young Adult) reads. They seem to leave something to be desired due to the nature of the genre – like the proverbial ‘coffee without caffeine’.

I was baffled. Here I thought I was being very conservative with Coffin Girls and yet, the general consensus seemed to label it as “erotic with a bit of fang”. I then embarked on a journey to try and figure out if it indeed was erotic and if my definition of erotic was accurate or more akin to literary porn.

A series of events occurred. I read and reviewed a few newly released indie books labeled as erotic. I found that they weren’t actually erotic in my book and that Coffin Girls was indeed more explicit than they were. As I was outnumbered, I had to concede defeat. Next, I read explicit erotic short stories and here found that they made Coffin Girls look like a Disney production, which was more aligned to my original thinking. So, still in a state of confusion, I pulled out the old erotic classics and re-read them and reeled back in shock. They weren’t explicit in nature but what they were, were terribly illegal. A strong word but I cannot find any other to describe the grotesque acts I re-read in those books. Shocked and disappointed in writers I had previously looked up to, I then decided to read their journals. And that clinched it for me.

What I found in reading Anais Nin’s journal in particular was that she hated what she wrote.  The erotic works she created were commissioned by a benefactor that had no desire to read ‘poetry’. They wanted cold, hard, despicable acts of sex with an undercurrent of darkness and sometimes violence. Anais (also the name of the main character in Coffin Girls – and yes, I named her after the famous writer) experienced an enormous amount of dissonance but had been compelled to write those stories because she needed to earn money. She, in short, felt as though she was prostituting her art.

This was a revelation for me and it was is what led me to realize that what separates erotica, as a masterful literary art-form from literary porn is the story and the conscience within the work. If a book contains sex that discriminates and violates unless it is part of a story then it is porn. However, if sex is part of the story, adds richness and depth to the story and is not the story in itself, then, it is erotica. Erotica does not exploit its characters, instead the act of sex provides insight into how they think, feel and behave. It is not an attempt to fulfill a reader’s more promiscuous desires but to provide the reader with a full experience of the character’s hearts and minds. Erotica is then to me, a further development of adult romance. Sex is not implied, it is celebrated along with the other emotions and behaviors that characters possess.

And so I’ve discovered that I do indeed write erotica because my definition of it has matured.