Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring - A Season to be Creative

http://www.iheartnaptime.net/orange-cupcakes/

This adorable, colorful cupcake inspired me to write this blog. Yes, the colors of Spring are inspiring. How can you not smile when you see this photo? It's the perfect time to discover the best of the old and the new. Throw away all the heavy baggage you might have accumulated over the winter and move forward with something new and exciting. 
The colors, the holidays, and of course the wonderful chocolate candies are all a sign that Spring is on its way. Although, I'm a dark chocolate fan, these mini Cadburry eggs are my favorite Easter candy.

For me it's about new experiences, new foods, and cleaning out my closet.


Check out this seasonally appropriate excerpt from Chocolate Magic. Someone has stolen Chloe's Valrhona chocolate bunnies.


“Oh my ganache.” Chloe stood frozen in the doorway of her chocolate shop.
Nothing appeared unusual as Phil parked his van in front of the Chocolate Boutique. The street was deserted at this late hour except for a few stragglers. The shop’s window twinkled with pink lights the same color as Chloe’s frosted hair.
Chloe had to jiggle her key in the lock several times before it opened. She realized something was not right. When she turned on the light she knew exactly what was wrong.
Not only had someone messed up her perfect rows of candy in the display case - an entire row of chocolate bunnies was missing from the overhead shelf.
“Chloe, is something wrong?” Ethan came up behind her resting his hands on her shoulders.
Phil asked a similar question. Their voices were no more than a mumble passing through Chloe’s mind. She couldn’t respond. The shelves without the bunnies looked so sad and empty. The sadness was so acute it hurt her physically to look at the vacant rows. She had fallen through Alice’s rabbit hole and couldn’t find her way out.
When she found her voice, short fragmented sentences were all she could manage. “The bunnies were all done.  Lucy helped me decorate them, box them, and put them on the shelves.” Chloe moved toward the bare wall.
Phil inched his way around her. He looked confused. “What bunnies?”
 “I think the bunnies were supposed to be on this empty shelf.” Ethan stood next to Chloe. He placed his hand on her elbow offering her support. “Am I right?”
“Maybe this Lucy chick put them some place else,” Phil said.
Chloe managed to shake her head in disagreement while she stared at the empty rows.
“We should call the police.” Phil snickered. “Tell them your bunnies escaped.”
     “You’re not funny.” Chloe retorted. “These weren’t just any chocolate candy. They were made from Valrhona Chocolate.”
“Val… what?” Phil looked from Chloe to Ethan.



Saturday, February 23, 2013

S'mores Galore


I'm often asked if I actually made all the recipes I mentioned in my Love By Chocolate series. The truth is, I'm not a from scratch baker. When I bake I use boxed mixes and very often ready made cookie dough. Baking is much too precise for me. One ingredient off and the taste can be ruined. And when I bake a large cake or batch of cookies I find myself eating it all.

That's why I love s'mores. You can make one or dozens. They're compact and I can be as creative as I want with all the ready made ingredients. My personal favorite is made with 2 ginger cookies smeared with Nutella. I recently discovered a new Kraft product- marshmallow stackers. They fit perfectly between the thin ginger snaps.


Another non-traditional s'more that's easy to make - I adapted a little. I use a frozen chocolate chip cookie baked with micro-mini marshmallows and additional mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top.
http://www.hugsandcookiesxoxo.com/2011/10/smookies-make-you-smile.html


And how about a s'more for Passover?


http://www.ingredientsinc.net/2012/04/passover-smores/#.USFnyWH3B8E

Do you have a favorite s'more recipe?

Thanks for stopping by and remember to eat chocolate everyday.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Heartbreaker Blog Hop - Music, Movies, and Books




 I write sweet romance that always ends with a Happily Ever After. http://tinyurl.com/aq49gwa 
However, my favorite romance with my all time favorite heartbreaker does not end that way. 


If you can watch this youtube video for the Way We Were without your eyes tearing than you're  a better person than I am. Just listening to the song as I write this blog makes me teary eyed. 


www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNEcQS4tXgQ
In the movie, Robert Redford's character, Hubbell is my perfect heartbreaker. He is smart, sexy, an all American officer and a gentleman with a hint of bad boy. And he breaks Katie's heart as well as mine. The heart wrenching  story only adds to the attraction. My favorite scene is in the middle of the movie when  Hubbell and JJ are sailing. JJ asks Hubbell to list his best years. Hubbell replies, 1941, 42, 43.... all the years he knew Katie. 

Any time I hear the theme song I immediately picture the end of the movie. Hubbell sees Katie across the street from the Plaza Hotel. I reach for a tissue. By the time he crosses the street my sobbing is out of control. I can quote verbatim the dialogue in that scene. For me it is the most memorable heartbreaking scene  in any book or movie.

Who is the  heartbreaker from a book or movie who has that affect on you? 


Check out what over 200 other authors have to say about heartbreakers. Leave a comment for a chance to win the grand prizes.

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
"http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=168769"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions - No Thanks!





You as a reader can go to EACH blog "http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=168190
Comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

I'll pick a random comment and give away a Dunkin Donuts gift card.

I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions and this year is no different. I have a life goal to live each day to the fullest. I don't let others define me. 
What about yourself do you like best?
I like to indulge in simple pleasures -
                                                           Read
                                                           Eat chocolate ( preferably dark)
                                                           Take a bubble bath
Indulge- Jan. 8 is National Bubble Bath Day
What's your simple pleasure?
Taking risks and going to the extreme is another way to live each day to the fullest. This year, dressed like Robo Cop I attempted to ride a bike on steroids down Whistler Mountain. I didn't make it down the twisting bumpy trail, but I did descent over 2000 ft. intact. Not sure what I'll try this year.
Take a risk- That is not me, but you get the idea. 
What risks have you taken?
If reading and chocolate are your simple pleasures all the books in  Love by Chocolate series are available hardcover, paperback, and on Kindle.

Peace, Love and Chocolate for the New Year.