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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Pinterest Board... Facing the Music novels

It's been on my to-do list for some time, but at last, I have finally got started on a Pinterest board for the Facing the Music novels; featuring teasers, outfits, recipes, settings, inspiration, and more.

I will also be creating character sheets for each of the main characters over the coming months, as well as getting stuck into writing book 3, so be sure to follow the board to stay up to date with the latest pins.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Competition Time and a Thanksgiving Recipe with... Gina Henning


The How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie Blog Tour runs from November 7th until November 18th, each day of the tour a different character will share their favorite recipe for Thanksgiving. Stop by and see what’s cooking in the Hauser kitchen and be sure and enter the giveaway for a $50 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card, just in time for Thanksgiving!

Martin Hauser’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

The back office at the Hauser home has been converted into a mini-video recording studio for each member of the Hauser family along with two special guests to share one of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes other than the pecan pie.

Hauser Family File: Martin Hauser is married to Leia Hauser and the father of Luke, Megan, and Lauren. When Martin isn’t at work or enjoying great meals prepared by his family, he can be found at the golf course.

“Roll the tape.”

Martin strolls into the room and nods at the camera. He’s just returned home from playing golf with his friends.

“Alright, my favorite recipe to share, besides the pie.” He raises and eyebrow and pushes his lips out to form a masculine duck face. Martin places his index finger over his lips and taps them twice.

“A few years ago, Megan made the best stuffing I’ve ever had and believe me I’ve had my share of stuffing over the years.” He laughs and pats his stomach.

He eyes the camera. “Apparently, Megan got this recipe from one of those Food Network chef people.” Martin pulls out a piece of paper from his khaki shorts. “Here it is.” He holds the paper up to the camera.

Megan’s Cornbread Stuffing Recipe (Courtesy of Tyler Florence)

2 tablespoons butter                                                    2 onions, chopped
6 large cornmeal muffins, cubed                                Handful fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 egg                                                                            1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken stock                                                 Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Add sage and scrape into a large mixing bowl. Add the cornbread pieces, season well with salt and pepper, and give it a good toss until it's well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and stock, and pour that over the cornbread. Stir the stuffing together and stuff the cavity of the turkey. You could also spoon it into a buttered baking dish and put it in the oven along with the turkey. Bake until hot and crusty on top, about 30 minutes.

*Don’t miss the Hauser family Thanksgiving, available now from all these fine eBook Retailers:

Amazon US ¦ Amazon UK ¦ Nook US ¦ Nook GB ¦ Google Play ¦ Kobo ¦ 



A warm pie. A tasty guy. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.
Lauren Hauser is home for the holidays, and she’s been given a challenge: preparing her grandmother’s pecan pie. The problem? Lauren’s not famed for her baking skills. In fact, while her sister would win Star Baker every week, and her mom at least knows a sieve from a spatula, Lauren’s bakes have always been more dangerous than delicious!
Still, no Thanksgiving would be complete without dessert…which is why Lauren finds herself searching for pecans on Thanksgiving Eve. Stumbling into a gorgeous stranger laden down with bags of pecans seems like a holiday miracle…but despite Jack’s kissable lips he’s frostier than a snow cone…and out of sight before she can say ‘Macy’s Parade’!
As the clock counts down to Thanksgiving dinner, Lauren is running out of time. And without her grandmother’s perfect pecan pie it won’t be a very Happy Thanksgiving! What Lauren needs is a knight in shining armour. And it might just be that the magic of Thanksgiving will find her one after all…

Competition Time...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is also the link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d43499e02/

Blog Tour...


Be sure to stop by these blogs for sneak peeks and secrets from the Hauser Family!

7th November – Candy’s Raves
8th November – Avid Book Hoarder
9th November – Krysten Lindsay
10th November – Aurelia B Rowl
11th November – Rosie Amber
12th November – Holly Martin
13th November – Karen Aldous
14th November – Rebecca Raisin
15th November – eBook Review Gal
16th November – Mika Jolie
17th November – Katie Oliver
18th November – Gina Henning


Monday, 3 November 2014

Competition Time with... A.L. Michael

Santa, Baby
(Or: Writing a Christmas Teenage Pregnancy Story without Cliche)

The problem with writing is that eventually you realise that every single story has been done before. The thing you’ve got to cling to is that (hopefully) no-one else has done it with your voice.

I’ve blogged before about how certain topics come with a level of responsibility to the reader, to not appear one-sided or judgemental. When I write about sex, I try and write about safe sex, about mutual, consensual, crazy-about-you sorta sex. There is never going to be a moment where I write ‘don’t worry about the condom’. Yes, I know it happens in real life, but I want my characters, whilst fallible, to be working towards something positive.

So when I decided to write a pregnant teenager, I was faced with the same situation. Pregnancy happens. There’s meant to be a new romantic comedy movie coming out soon where the story is about a girl getting an abortion. The reason there aren’t often movies or books (or romantic comedies) about that response to pregnancy is that there is no story after that. I mean, unless she falls in love with the nurse, or meets a guy in the waiting room, that isn’t the beginning of a story. So whilst I’m pro-choice, I had to be sure there was a reason Megan would keep her baby. There is a part in the book where Megan discusses her own views, and why she feels like a hypocrite. Writing about pregnancy is a really big thing! You want to show that young mothers can do amazing things, but you also don’t want to make it seem easy. Raising kids is never easy.

It’s way too easy to get bogged down in the ‘what’s my message’ feeling of a book, when, really, you just need to let your characters get on with what they want to get on with. They’re human. Or they’re meant to be. The majority of real life people are motivated by their thoughts, beliefs, feelings and desires. Not by what other people think. So...I wrote a story about a young girl who was trying to please everyone else, and protect everyone, and was lonely and sad, and made a couple of bad choices. But the book is about how even when you’ve done an amazing job, when you’ve ‘made good’ and you’re living the best life you possibly can, you can still be scared that you’ll be defined by that one mistake, even if it turned out to be a great decision.


Megan McAllister is home for Christmas…whether she likes it or not!
Christmas is about family…and for Megan family means two people: herself, and her daughter Skye. It doesn’t mean her parents who, ten years ago, saw her pregnancy as anything but a miracle. And it definitely doesn’t include her irresistible ex-boyfriend Lucas Bright.
So ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ has never been top of Megan’s festive playlist. But for Skye, she knows she needs to spend the holiday season with the people she’s left behind. She can do this. Even if the thought of meeting Lucas under the mistletoe still has her feeling like she’s drunk one-too-many Snowballs!
But somewhere between the hanging of stockings and the crackle of wrapping paper, Christmas starts to sparkle. And Megan begins to wonder if family could be bigger than her and Skye after all…Pop the buck’s fizz, stoke the fire and prepare to giggle the festive season away with AL Michael!

Released: 28th October 2014
ISBN: 9781472096517

Amazon UK ¦ US
Kobo ¦ WHSmith
Nook UK ¦ Barnes & Noble
eBooks.com
Google Play
iBookstore
BlinkBox (Tesco) ¦ Sainsbury

Competition...


To win a Driving Home for Christmas goodie bag, including merchandise, festive treats and a £10 Amazon giftcard!