Wednesday, March 22, 2017

APRIL FOOL'S FUN WITH FOOD!

It's time to plan your April Fool's menus if you - like me - enjoy amusing yourself and others with food on April First. It's fun to tell my kids that we'll be having dessert for dinner and dinner for dessert. There are so many neat ideas on the net that I can't possibly share them all, but I have listed some of my favorites below. I included links to the recipes where I found them or to the picture if I couldn't find a recipe to go with it. Many of these cute ideas can be figured out simply by looking at the picture. So here we go, starting with savory dishes and then moving on to sweet.


SAVORY DISHES


"Cinnamon Rolls" (aka: Savory pulled pork pinwheels with BBQ sauce) 
Image from Food Pusher. Recipe link


"Caramel Glazed Bundt Cake" (aka: Egg stuffed meatloaf with beef gravy)
Image from Kraft. Recipe link




"Spice Cake with White Frosting" (aka: Two layered meatloaf covered with mashed potatoes)
Image from Pinterest. Image link

"Carrot Cake" (aka: Two layered meatloaf with mashed potatoes and bread crumbs)
Image from Taste of Home. Recipe link

"Bundt Cake with White Glaze" (aka: Bread dough with pizza toppings inside, topped with mozzarella)
Image from Taste of Home. Recipe link

"Ice Cream" (aka: Mashed potatoes in a cone)
Image from www.myrecipes.com. Recipe link

"Ice Cream Sundae" (aka: Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and cherry tomato)
Image from Bake At 350 blog. Recipe link

"Ravioli" (aka: Peanut butter crustless mini sandwiches with jelly dipping sauce)
Image from Party Pinching. Recipe link


Green Eggs and Ham!
Blue food coloring + yellow eggs  = green. 
Add coloring into raw egg before cooking
Image from GabWorthy  

SWEET DISHES

"Sunny Side Egg on Toast" (aka: Slice of pound cake topped with vanilla yogurt and apricot half)
Image from Taste of Home. Recipe link

"Orange Juice" (aka: Geletinized orange juice best eaten with a spoon)
Image from Taste of Home. Recipe link

"Sushi Rolls" (aka: Crispy Rice Cereal Treats with colored licorice strings wrapped in Fruit Roll-ups OR Twinkies cut crosswise, wrapped in Fruit-by-the-Foot and adding a Swedish Fish candy on top)
Image on left from Taste of Home. Recipe link
Image on right from Pinterest. Image link

"Pepperoni Pizza" (aka: round yellow cake, red frosting, shaved white chocolate, round cutouts from red fruit leather)
Image from Taste of Home. Recipe link


"Chicken Nuggets with Sauce" (aka: pound cake with special coating and vanilla pudding dipping sauce)
Image from Taste of Home. Recipe link

"Shepherd's Pie" (aka: Cocoa Krispies with marzipan or other candy veggies and marshmallow topping)
Image from Party Pinching. Recipe link

"Mini Hamburgers" (aka: Golden Oreo Cakester buns, Keebler Grasshopper cookie patties (or peppermint patties), colored frosting condiments, green coconut lettuce)
Image from Party Pinching. Recipe link

"Grilled Cheese Sandwiches" (aka: Pound cake with frosting tinted with yellow coloring for cheese)
Image from BuzzFeed. Image link

"Potato Fries and Ketchup" (aka: Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and strawberry or raspberry jelly for dipping)
Image from Aimee's Savory Dish. Image link

"Baked Potato" (aka: Shaped vanilla ice cream rolled in cocoa powder and topped with whipped cream and melted yellow Star Burst)
Image from Food. Recipe link

"Fruit Punch" (aka: Jell-o in a glass - be sure to insert straw before it gels)
Image from BuzzFeed. Image link

"Mini Mashed Potato and Gravy Bites" (aka: scooped out cheesecake placed on vanilla wafer, topped with caramel and grated dark chocolate)
Image from She Knows. Recipe link

Mix M&Ms, Skittles and Reese's Pieces all together. They all look so similar, you'll wonder who will notice the strange combination first.
Image from BuzzFeed. Image link

"Chicken Pot Pie" (aka: Pie crust, vanilla pudding and veggies made from Star Burst candies)
Image from BuzzFeed. Image link

"Hot Dog" (aka: Hot dog bun, banana, peanut butter and jelly)
Image from All Recipes. Recipe link

Hide a gummy worm (or two) at the bottom of a cup of pudding.
Image from FineCooking.com. Recipe link

Edible chocolate cups. Always fun to make and eat! Pour or brush melted chocolate (dark chocolate  keeps shape better and doesn't soften like milk chocolate does at room temperature after it's formed) in or around disposable molds (ie: plastic cups, inflated balloons, paper cupcake cups, etc). Let harden in fridge or freezer then peel molds away from chocolate - best to keep chocolate in fridge until ready to use. 
Image from Pinterest. Image link

"Chocolate Rocks" - store bought or make them at home by rolling fudge into pebble shapes and then rolling them in a cocoa powder/confectioner's sugar mixture)
Image on left from Hungry Happenings. Image on right from Walmart.

"Turkey Legs" (aka: Cocoa Krispies treats, pretzel rod, white chocolate) or "Meatballs" (aka: Cocoa Krispies treats rolled into balls)
Image from Mommy Savers

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

AMAZON ONLY: Paperback of SHADOWS OF VALOR set back one week!


For AMAZON orders only: The paperback reissue of SHADOWS OF VALOR won't be available until March 22nd when they will have the book in stock in their warehouse, BUT the KINDLE version is available starting today (March 14th, 2017)! Book also available on Barnes & Noble NOOK and for pre-order in paperback from Barnes and Noble. B&N's price on the paperback right now is $9.06! WOW, that's less than the Nook!

LINKS:
Amazon paperback
Amazon Kindle (ebook)
Barnes & Noble paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook (ebook)
Kobo (ebook)
Indigo

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Reissue Cover Reveal: SHADOWS OF VALOR - Available March 14, 2017


Everywhere online in paperback and ebook formats and in select stores March 14, 2017!

Watch the new trailers on YouTube here:
Trailer#1
Trailer #2
One Brave Knight (a full instrumental ballad featured in the book) 


BLURB
Something dark stirs within the peaceful walls of the prosperous city of Graywall, something only the mysterious knight-spy known as The Shadow—a man torn between a sense of justice and revenge—can overcome. In reality the nobleman Sir Calan, The Shadow is sent to hunt down smugglers who have run rampant after the levying of a harsh tax by King Edward the First. When he learns of a plot against the just ruler of the city, Lord Shaufton, on his mission, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Shaufton’s daughter under his guise of Sir Calan, even as he wrestles with emotions stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton’s niece. Elsbeth may be the only person who can heal Calan’s troubled soul, but she has a tale of her own, and the physical scars to vouch for it. Rife with deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and love, this page-turner will grip readers from the opening lines.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

SHADOWS OF VALOR and THE PERILS OF WRATH: Reissued and published!


It’s done (again)! Contract signed (again)! But this time with a new publisher, a wonderful company based out of Idaho, USA!

New cover by Dane Low!

Amberjack Publishing
is taking both of my books! SHADOWS OF VALOR will be reissued with a new cover March 14, 2017, and THE PERILS OF WRATH’s first edition is slated for a May 2018 release. I’m so excited! My music will again be included at the end of the books. SOO COOL!!! I’m super grateful, especially for THE PERILS OF WRATH as it is dedicated to my father-in-law and brother-in-law, both of whom have passed away!

THE PERILS OF WRATH is a spinoff from SHADOWS OF VALOR but is still a standalone that can be read aside from the other. However, reading both will make the main character and storyline more meaningful. I’ve taken the little red-haired orphan boy, Roland, from SHADOWS OF VALOR and weaved a tale for him when he grows up and becomes a knight.

THE PERILS OF WRATH blurb: In 1314 A.D., England, Roland searches for the truth behind a pair of suspicious deaths, which leads him to Guildon Castle, a foreboding structure near the war-torn Scottish border (I include a brief account of the battle of Bannockburn in this story as well). Roland poses as a disinherited knight to keep himself on the down-low, but when Guildon’s tyrannical earl gives Sir Roland the unusual assignment of taming his obstinate stepdaughter, Audrina Gibbons, by making her Roland’s squire, everything is flipped on end! A female squire! Unheard of! What emerges is a tale of mystery, secrets, dishonorable knights, medieval torture, and hardcore training that stacks up to any modern workout (does the NBC show, “Strong”, from last year come to mind? Yeah, it’s like that, but medieval!). But most of all, this is a story of love and overcoming personal weaknesses, turning them into strengths.

I’ve composed a ballad for THE PERILS OF WRATH just as I did for SHADOWS OF VALOR, which is featured in my book trailers. Here are the new trailers for the reissue of SHADOWS OF VALOR:
Trailer #1
Trailer #2
One Brave Knight ballad from the book

The sheet music to all my ballads can be viewed on this blog under the page tag “sheet music.”



Friday, December 9, 2016

New Cover for Brenda Corey Dunne's DEPENDANT!


I LOVE this new cover for the re-release of Brenda's novel DEPENDANT!

Blurb
When forty-five year old Ellen Michaels looses her husband to a tragic military accident, she is left in a world of grey. For twenty-five years her life has been dictated by the ubiquitous They—the military establishment that has stolen her hopes, dreams, and innocence and now in mere months will take away her home. She is left with nothing to hold on to but memories and guilt and an awful secret that has held her in its grip since she was nineteen. Written with honesty and grace, Dependent deals head on with real-life issues facing women in military communities today: loss, loneliness, frequent moves, the culture of rank and the specter of sexual assault. It presents a heartfelt view of the sacrifice and strength of the often invisible support behind the uniform.

Available here
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

About the Author
Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, Canada. She originally trained as a physiotherapist and worked several years as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting her Air Force pilot husband and taking her release. She has two other published novels, SKIN (2016) and TREASURE IN THE FLAME (2012). Brenda is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel. She currently resides in the Washington, DC area, but home is wherever the RCAF sends her hubby. When not writing, working or taxiing her three children she can be found either in the garden or on the beach with a book in one hand and a very, very large coffee in the other. Find her at Brendacoreydunne.blogspot.ca or @overdunne on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Shadows of Valor and Perils of Wrath on hold pending publisher


Today I received my rights back for my first published novel, Shadows of Valor, and for my second novel, The Perils of Wrath, that was close to publication when Jolly Fish Press (JFP) announced its closure.

Yesterday, JFP shared through social media, their business closure due to lack of funding. The authors and editors found out at the same time as the rest of the world, so it came as quite a shock to everyone. However, that same day, other information soon surfaced about possible investors coming in to save the company. Whiplash! For me, however, the damage had been done to my faith and trust, and with careful thought and consideration, I decided to take back my rights, leaving Jolly Fish on friendly terms (for I certainly still like the people who work there).

I'll move forward and seek another publisher to take my stories, and although JFP, whose future is still uncertain and being worked out, isn't directing the affairs of my books any longer, Shadows of Valor is still currently available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (and possibly other sites) as they still have copies in stock that they are allowed to sell at their discretion.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shortbread Plays Roll in Upcoming Novel: THE PERILS OF WRATH


My second medieval novel, THE PERILS OF WRATH (a PG-rated action-romance and spin-off of my first novel, SHADOWS OF VALOR, also a PG-rated medieval action-romance) is due out May 2018 through Amberjack Publishing! I'm so excited!

In THE PERILS OF WRATH my heroine loves sugary foods, especially shortbread, a sweet cookie/biscuit which also happens to be a favorite of mine. That's the fun of writing my own novels. I can put a little piece of myself (or anyone else) into each story. Well, the shortbread ends up getting my heroine into a bit of trouble in her unconventional position as squire to a stern (but handsome) knight who has banned her from eating sweet treats. The ensuing situation leads to some comical moments between the knight and his female squire.

I won't say more and spoil what happens, but in honor of shortbread, I'm posting a fun, modern take on the little cookie with a recipe I found on the Cooking Classy site. So here it is:

Photo Credit - Cooking Classy
Funfetti Shortbread Bites
Yield: About 335 bites

1 cup (226g) salted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces*
2/3 cup (142g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups (318g) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbsp (30g) nonpareils sprinkles (any color), then about 1/2 Tbsp more for tops if desired

Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and line with 2 sheets of parchment paper (one horizontally and one vertically. I also like to butter between parchment sheets so they stick) leaving a 1-inch over hang on all sides, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in almond extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until combined (it will take a while and will appear dry and sandy at first but it will start to come together). Mix and fold in sprinkles. Press dough into an even layer in prepared pan (I did it with my hands first then used the bottom of a flat measuring cup to help smooth it out). Chill dough in refrigerator 20 - 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lift dough from pan using parchment overhang on all sides. Cut into 1/2-inch squares using a large sharp knife (it works best to just cut long rows). Sprinkle more sprinkles over the top if desired and gently press into dough. Transfer about 1/3 of the cookies to an unbuttered baking sheet (also do not line pan with parchment or silicone liners) and scatter cookies out spacing cookies 1/2-inch apart. Bake in preheated oven 8 - 12 minutes (keep remaining that aren't currently baking refrigerated). Repeat process with remaining bites, adding them to a cool baking sheet. Cool completely then transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.
*Unsalted butter will work great too. Simply whisk in 1/2 tsp salt with the flour before adding if using unsalted butter.
Recipe source: inspired by Land O Lakes

Monday, July 18, 2016

Purple Mashed Potatoes!!!


I made a baked chicken dinner for my husband's birthday, and my 10-year-old daughter wanted to mash up our homegrown purple potatoes as a side. So we did. Turned out so fun! Yes, that is their actual color even after salt, milk, sour cream and butter added. Purple potatoes taste just like russets, but have 4 times the antioxidants!

They are so easy to grow, too. I bought the seed (starter) potatoes from our Walmart garden center in the spring and planted them in my garden boxes. Watered them every other night (every night when it got really hot) and when the plants that grew above ground dried out and died away, my girls and I dug all the potatoes up. Cured them for 10 days in a dark, dry area in our basement and then stored them until use. We'll be growing them again next year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cover Reveal: SNOW FRIGHT by Amie & Bethanie Borst


The final installment of the Scarily Ever Laughter MG (middle grade) series is almost here!
October 4th, 2016, is the big debut!

Snow Fright book Blurb:
Sarah White is gorgeous even if she is a little bit rotten. A mirror arrives on her twelfth birthday and she thinks it’s the perfect gift. But when an innocent game of laser tag gets out of hand, the mirror swallows her whole! Sarah finds herself dead center of the Underworld. As if repeated run-ins with Mr. Death weren’t bad enough, Sarah now has to deal with her decaying flesh and sudden craving for brains. Not to mention she keeps having brain freezes, all due to the seven worms living in her head. Of corpse, by the time Sarah escapes the Underworld, she finds her new zombie life less than appetizing. Even worse, she needs to return to the Underworld to save her friends, Cindy and Scarlet. With a poisoned apple, a crow named Raven, and a glowing necklace, Sarah’s pretty sure that if she doesn’t rescue her friends, she’ll be a brain craving zombie forever. And that’s more dead-ication than she’s willing to accept.

Add SNOW FRIGHT to your Goodreads account or pre-order your copy at Amazon or Indiebound

Be sure to check out the first two books in the series, Cinderskella and Little Dead Riding Hood!

Amie Borst loves glitter, unicorns, and chocolate. But not at the same time. That would be weird. She’s a PAL member of the SCBWI as well as a founding and contributing member of The Mixed-Up Files…of Middle-Grade Authors, a group blog dedicated to middle-grade books. Amie lives in Virginia with her three beautiful daughters, her handsome husband, and two cute dogs named Lily and Maggie. She wishes she could travel the country in a hot pink elevator but for now, her minivan will have to do.

Bethanie Borst is 16 and the author of three books but she was only 10 years old when she wrote her first one. She enjoys reading, writing, and archery. She’s also interested in paleontology and astronomy. Bethanie is fluent in both sarcasm and humor and is prepared for the zombie apocalypse and/or spontaneous combustion of the world. Because, let’s face it, both of those things are totally realistic.

Authors' website: www.amieandbethanieborst.com 

Rachael Caringella is an artist, illustrator, intuitive reader, and healer. And deep down, she is just like you; a rebel and truth seeker. Her days are spent in a little cabin as she paints, dances, sips delicious coffee, reads tarot cards, and, of course, illustrates! When she’s not in her studio, she can often be found wandering the woods, honoring her wild nature in the great outdoors searching for beauty adventure and inspiration.

Illustrator Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/treetalkerart 
Illustrator website: http://treetalkerart.com/

Friday, June 3, 2016

Barnes and Noble Teen Book Festival! June 10-11, 2016!


JUNE 10th & 11th! Looks what's coming up at many Barnes and Nobles across the country! The TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL!

I'll be signing books at the one in ST. GEORGE, UTAH (1720 East Red Cliffs Dr) from 4-6pm on both days. Share if you know anyone in the area who would be interested. Author presentations and panels begin Friday at 2pm and Saturday at 11am.

Come see me, Berk Washburn, Johnny Worthen, Dan Allen, and Nicole Hymas Conner.

I’m honored and delighted to be counted among such wonderful people at this event.

Here’s the Barnes and Noble (Red Cliffs Mall) event page: https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2331