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

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fe782e84/

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

http://asyouwishreviews.blogspot.com/p/12-days-of-christmas-blog-hop.html

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A Free Book to Celebrate My 13th Wedding Anniversary!

At this time, 13 years ago, I’d been married for an hour. Fast-forward to today and I still find myself starting to watch the clock in the afternoon for when my husband will be home, I still can’t fall asleep without his arms wrapped around me and I still have the best fun with him. Oh, I’ve found true love… the kind that dances with your heart, strengthens your spirit and lightens any burden you may come across. I was and am irrevocably in love with my husband.

But, it wasn’t all sunshine and honeydew… oh, we had quite a few obstacles from external sources that we had to overcome. But, that’s my own love story and perhaps I’ll share it in future, perhaps not.

What I will share with you today is the contemporary romance novel, Home for Love. It was an Amazon US and UK paid and free top 100 bestseller for contemporary romance. I’m making it free for today and tomorrow because I can’t wave a wand of red roses and color the world with romance today… a free book is my alternative. I’m also giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card for those who share the link and post it in comments on my Facebook Page, Aneesa Price – Sugary, Spicy Reads (https://www.facebook.com/AneesaPriceSugarandSpice). Go and have a look, please share and enter the share contest. I’ll randomly chose a winner on the 22nd November. 

Home for Love

Home for Love

Home for Love Amazon links: 

http://www.amazon.com/Home-Love-Adult-Contemporary-Romance-ebook/dp/B00BPWNA5E

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Love-Adult-Contemporary-Romance-ebook/dp/B00BPWNA5E

Home for Love blurb: 

Seven years ago sexy Bree fled Devil’s Peak, Alaska, disillusioned with her high school romance and with a baby in her belly. Now, she’s back and seeing devilishly handsome Todd again challenges her carefully constructed plans for amicable co-parenting.
Todd’s delight at Bree’s return swiftly turns to disgust when he discovers her secret and he vows to keep her at arm’s length. Upon discovering the context behind her secreting their child, he decides to give their daughter the love and stable family home he never knew. Despite her attraction to Todd, Bree has no interest in rekindling their relationship and is focused on settling into the town.
But the town and its match-making busy-bodies are not willing to allow the lovers to remain apart and test their resolve in a series of planned misadventures.
Bree is home for good but will she be home for love?

 

I’m off now to go and spend time with hubby. The fates have blessed us with an unexpected public vacation day here in Kuwait. So, he and the kids are at home. The romantic in me is taking that as a sign to get off my laptop and go snuggle while the desert rain falls softly again the window and he and I feel safe and comfy, snuggled up in a mood possible only in gloomy weather. Ha.

Yours in Romance and Reading,

Aneesa xxx

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

The Best Kind of Book Promo ‘Swag’

I am most definitely not a saint! I’m a regular mom, wife, writer and woman. Like many indies, I have become intimate with swag – for events, promotion and because it is just so awesome! Yesterday, I watched something on TV that led to some serious introspection and so I decided that instead of doing a monthly swag giveaway for my fan club, I’d do something for charity. It took about an hour of internet searching and a couple of phone calls to find a few worthy causes. Some wanted donations and I did that but I did not only want to donate. I wanted for my girls and I to take the time to get what was needed and deliver it in person. I have many reasons – it’s a religious month of charity, in South Africa we celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday by ‘giving back’ (it was his 95th birthday yesterday), and I wanted my girls to learn some valuable lessons. I do my bit for charity – I donate money or ebooks, share and promote Facebook Charity Events and give away things I no longer need to others who do. But, I no longer get actively involved in charity work – not since I attended university. It was time to change that.

And so, I went on a journey of self-discovery that I believe I’m so much better for. Indie writers often speak of ‘Indie Karma’ but when we do; we refer to helping each other out or supporting the newest, big cause. The causes indie writers support have been worthy and we’ve done fantastic work in raising money. Today I found that ‘Indie Karma’ has a place in my backyard too!

Shopping for Charity

Shopping for Charity

And so I found myself rushing out of the house because I was running late – I just had to hit publish on KDP first. Fortunately, I managed to shop with my two kids in tow and get a store assistant to push the additional shopping cart to my car. Then came crunch time and I was so nervous, my hands were clammy. After getting lost a few times, I navigated the car down a steep, muddy hill. The building was as expected – clean, sparse and in need of a fresh coat of paint. The girls I met were not what I expected. I’d been nervous to meet them but I pushed on because I wanted my daughters to experience the joy of giving and to see how fortunate they were. I’d known the basics – they were all young, teen runaways who had been raped. It’s weird, even having counseled rape victims and with my background in psychology, I was nervous. I didn’t want to inadvertently upset these girls or come across as some condescending jackass donating with smugness. Goodness knows, I’m no ‘Daddy Warbucks’. So, I did what came naturally – I focused on logistics and getting the goods from the car to the house.

The house was tiny. They’d converted what was the original lounge into a communal bedroom. In it were six beds and a single, tiny cupboard. Of course, I realized as soon as I noted it, that runaways don’t travel with suitcases. The place was spotless but furnished with the very basic of necessities. There was no TV, no computer, no posters (those who have teenagers know how strange that is – no Bieber, no 1D adorning the walls – the only décor I could detect were three ratty teddy bears perched against a threadbare pillow on one of the beds. Awkwardness began to engulf me. I felt sorry for them. Here I was, a happily married woman with a holiday house and kids that attend a private school and get almost everything they want. The girls at the shelter have so little; my heart aches to think of it. The harsh reality is that they ran away because those who should have taken care of them hurt them instead.

Glancing at my kids to make sure they were behaving, I followed the troop of girls to the kitchen. If the room was sparsely furnished, the kitchen was even more so. The most notable thing in the kitchen was a baker’s tray of bread. It was filled with packets of what looked like bread that was day’s old, as though a number of people drop the leftover bits off at the house.

It’s not that easy to act casually when these images are thrown at you. You’re supposed to feel shock and empathy. But I couldn’t show my hosts these emotions – it would be tacky and unkind. Once again, I took refuge in managing logistics. It was easy to unpack the goods and hand it out but I was ever cognizant of doing so with humility. I think I managed to do that though because I watched their reactions closely and they remained friendly. Once that task was complete, I was again awkward. These things don’t come with manuals, so what the heck was I supposed to do next? It seemed as though they were waiting for me to say something. I decided to go with my gut.  I found myself thanking them for the opportunity to allow me to give them food, toiletries and some treats. I was honest and told them that I did it because I needed to – because I could; and because my kids needed to know how lucky they were. I nearly cried doing this because here I was giving them basics like toothbrushes and they seemed so grateful. Afterwards, I was ready for a quick escape. My humanity, thankfully, didn’t allow it, and so I turned back and began speaking to the girls, joking with them. I started to relax around them. I no longer saw them as rape victims but as a group of young, giggling girls with the spirit to survive. My daughters were chattering comfortably with them, completely unaffected by the issues I had had because children have so much less baggage and fears to color their interactions. I wanted to teach my daughters a lesson and to give back to the girls at the shelter and ended up learning more and receiving the most. In that instant, it became less about me and my insecurities and need to teach my daughters, and more about them. I got to know a bit about who they are and connected with them. If I hadn’t, I would indeed have been nothing more than a smug donor of goods. Oh, the irony!

In the end, we had a great time and we’re going back this Sunday. My girls have decided to raid their ample toy closet and have made up parcels for the girls. I’m going to buy cake, ice-cream, sodas and a huge bucket of KFC so my kids can play with the girls at the shelter. And, this time, I can’t wait!

Thanks to the members of my fan club for agreeing to my idea of ‘charity instead of swag’. I’ve discovered that charity is the best swag ever!

child abuse portrait

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.