Hi, it’s Shane here. Candice wanted me to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Yes, she is a few days early, but she’s so busy preparing the Thanksgiving desserts for her loyal customers and opening the doors Wednesday to the community to stop by for a pastry. Anyway, she didn’t want to forget to thank all of you for reading our story.
This year we invited our family, friends, and neighbors to join us at the café for a delicious meal Thursday. The one thing about my wife, she loves to feed everyone.
Candice also asked me to share this recipe with all of you. She can’t remember where she found it but hopes you enjoy it. So if you try it, let her know. Also, if she perfects the vegan version she will post that recipe too.
Much Love from Candice, myself, and our family.
Preheat oven to 350°
Ingredients for Bar
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Oil (I use vegetable)
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 cups Canned Pumpkin
1 cup Walnuts
½ cup Raisins (optional)
Cream Sugar & Oil in a large bowl. Sift together Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, and Baking Soda in a medium bowl. Once shifted together, add dry ingredients to the sugar and oil. Now add Pumpkin, Walnuts, and Raisins. Mix well. Grease and flour a 15” X 11” pan. Spread your pumpkin mixture in pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
Ingredients for the frosting
1 Package 8 ounces Cream Cheese
6 Tablespoons Oleo
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
Let Oleo soften, and then cream all ingredients together. Spread over cooled bars and cut into squares.
I realize I do not blog as much as I would like to. With that said, I’ve been busy behind the scenes. Working on my next novel, keeping up with marketing, and of course gearing for the holidays since I host them.
This week I worked on learning how to make trailers for my novels. I began with iMovie, which was easy, but lacking template choices. Then I learned I can use PowerPoint. I never used PowerPoint before, however, it seemed like it would be a fun challenge. I was not wrong. I had a lot of fun learning the program and what it can do. I am very happy with how my trailers are coming along. The problem I encountered was Powerpoint 2007 (which I have) does not allow you to convert and save as a movie. I am upgrading to Office 2016 so I can make movies out of my Powerpoint presentations. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
Here are the links to the two videos I created so far with iMovie. Enjoy
Blossoming Act Trailer & Rise Above the Truth Trailer
Find my books on Amazon, Nook, Google Play, and various other retailers such as Kobo, Apple, Smashwords, and more.
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Below you can download and read Chapter Four of my novel Following Sweet Dreams Home. If you scroll to down you'll see the link to the Kristine Raymond's YouTube channel for "First Pages". There you will find her reading the first chapter from "Following Sweet Dreams Home".
Author Kristine Raymond has a youtube channel where she reads the first pages of a novel so you can get a feel for the story. Today she did a reading from my novel Following Sweet Dreams Home.
It's such an honor to have my book read. Thank you so much, Kristine, for doing this. You are quite the inspiration. And if any of you want to read Kristine's novels which I love, they can be found on Amazon. Click Here.
#firstpages #audio #whattreadnext #novel
We all know how music can change our mindset. Move us from despair to happiness. Helps us feel things we need to experience. Connect with the emotions we are hell-bent on avoiding or allowing the song to give us hope.
If you pay attention, you’ll hear melodies everywhere. In movies for the mood to help you get into the story and actually sense what you are watching without you even knowing it. In stores, they use music to make the experience enjoyable and keep you there shopping.
And I bet if you ask any author, they have a playlist for their WIP. I know I do. I have specific songs I’ll listen to before I write a scene. They get my mind in the mood to pour out the emotions the characters are feeling.
For Blossoming Act the song Unconditionally by Katy Perry felt right. When I watched the video after writing the story I was blown away by how the imagery fit perfectly. Although this would be Keefe singing to Sirenity, it still tells the story of unconditional love.
For Rise Above the Truth, 311’s Love Song would be how Curt felt about Misty. It speaks to the years he was not with her. And his dream of being hers that he knew was not to be.
Foreigner’s, Waiting for a Girl Like You embodies Shane’s feeling for Candice in Following Sweet Dreams Home. He would do anything for her even if it meant his heart would be broken.
I use music to explore my own inner turmoil to help get through life. I have dark songs I listen to and then cry while they play, but they help me understand I am not alone. Then I have those songs that get me out of my chair dancing and smiling like a crazy woman. And we cannot forget love songs that make us fall in love all over again with the person that is our rock through life.
I guess my question would be when you read a novel is there a song that runs through your mind when you are entangled in a scene? Because there is a song that goes with every scenario in a story. Many authors share their playlist.
Here’s the complete Playlist for Blossoming Act.
Iris………………………………Goo Goo Dolls
Safe & Sound…………………Capital City
The World I Know…………..Collective Soul
Ready to Start…………………Arcade Fire
Under the Milky Way………..The Church Band
Whataya Want from Me…….Adam Lambert
Into the Dark……………………The Juliana Theory
Blvd of Broken Dreams……….Green Day
Your Arms Feel Like Home…..Three Doors Down
Jewel to Sparkle…………………The Juliana Theory
To Be Loved………………………Sam Salter
Deep Inside of You……………..Third Eye Blind
Wishing on a Star……………….Rose Royce
To Be with You…………………….Hoobastank
You Make Me Feel Brand New….The Stylistics
Is This Love………………………….Whitesnake
Stand Up……………………………..One Direction
Jumper………………………………..Third Eye Blind
I have read many discussions on what makes a great book cover. For me, a cover is what encourages me to pick up the book and flip it over to read the synopsis. I walked right past most books because the cover did not grab my attention. I’m sure you do too. Of course, we each have our favorite covers that stopped us dead in our tracks. Covers, after all, are art, and as the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That works for book covers as well.
When I buy a book, I’m excited to delve right into the story. If after reading the story the cover did not represent the story, I feel somewhat deceived. I wanted to read the story that the cover conveyed.
As an author, you need to look at all the covers in your genre. Are there any that just jumped out at you? Made you want to read that particular novel without even reading the synopsis? Then check to see which cover artist designed your favorite covers. There are so many great cover artists you are bound to find one that can bring your book to the light you want it to shine under. You can also find many talented graphic designers on social media.
During the writing process, I tend to have a vision manifest in my mind. I see the cover idea, and then I scout for pictures representative of the story I’m telling. Once I have found a few that I believe would work I relay my idea and those photos to my cover designers. This helps my designer see what I am envisioning. Sometimes I can’t find the right picture and hire a photographer to do a shoot for me. Once my designer and I agree on a photograph I have the designer work her magic as the cover comes to life. Fonts and placement of the title are essential as well.
My covers must tell the story. If you look on the front cover, the spine, the back, you might be able to figure out where the tale between the pages will lead you. It’s all there on the print books front and back cover.
Bottom line, love the covers you put on your books. They represent you and your story. When it comes to book covers, they are just as important as the words held within the binding.
Here is Sirenity’s cover for her story Blossoming Act. What does this cover tell you without reading the synopsis? Why is she looking over her shoulder? Does she appear sad, scared, worried anxious, lost, or something else? Where is she? What do you see on the back cover? What is on the spine? These are the valuable clues to the story you are about to read between the pages.
MMy cover artist for this novel is Robin from www.wickedbydesigncovers.com
I want to add, this is only my opinion. We all have to search for what works for us. No two authors are the same or will have the same views.
#read #indieauthor #novel #romance #writer #booklove #readabook #bookclub #sanfrancisco #reading
I am an author. That is the one thing I know for sure.
I have enjoyed writing since I was a child. So of course as a writer/author, you need a reader. That’s where my mom comes in. I encouraged her to read a chapter. (Okay, I begged.) I needed to see if my story could keep her engaged. My mom was an avid reader. Therefore I trusted her opinion. To my surprise when she finished the chapter, she asked when I would have the next one ready for her. She was my motivator to get the story written. Her request pushed me to complete my first full length novel as an adult.
Then as all moms are known for, she gave me her advice, I needed to publish it. Yeah, right. This was just something I was doing for fun, but she insisted in her motherly way. My mom handed me an article on a publishing service called Createspace. Well, Createspace was so new at the time, I was afraid to try their platform. I searched for another way to publish and found a somewhat traditional publishing company. Off my manuscript went to the acquisitions desk for their consideration. “Oh yes, we’d love to publish your novel,” they wrote back. I can’t even tell you how excited I was. I read through the contract several times before signing it. The publisher informed me they would handle everything from editing, to cover, to formatting. The experience was eye-opening, to say the least. A few months later my book baby was out to the world, and I was proud of her.
Fast forward five years when I had my second novel Following Sweet Dreams Home completed. I knew I was not going to use my first publisher. I learned a lot in those five years. I decided to self-publish after watching the growth in the Indie world. My real reason to publish in the first place was to have my books in print for my family, friends, and the few people that might stumble upon the story. Knowing my motivation and what I was now looking for I bought out the contract of my first novel Rise Above the Truth. I hired an editor and released the second edition of my first novel. My book baby had a new cover now, and I sent her off into the world through Createspace. I loved having control over the cover, the interior, everything. During this time my second novel, Following Sweet Dreams Home, was with my new editor and was moving closer to release day.
I had the second edition of Rise Above the Truth out for a few years when I discovered Grammarly. Did I mention I am horrible at grammar? I can tell a great story, but I need a grammar specialist. I now use Grammarly before my book ends up on an editor’s desk. Anyway, I went through the book Rise Above the Truth reviewing and cleaning it up yet again. I have now released the third edition, with a new cover. I am very proud of the story and love the characters. But then I should they were the friends in my head for a few years.
What I want you to get from this post is to do your research. Do you want a traditional publishing company, vanity press, indie? Only you will know which service meets your needs. Trust your gut and keep writing your story. For me, I like the control I have over the story from start to finish. Indie publishing works for me.
The first two editions of Rise Above the Truth are out of print now. I am considering auctioning the three novels on eBay as a set. I will keep you posted if I do put them up for sale.
Hi Everyone. It’s Sirenity here. I wanted to thank Rebecca for writing my story for me and letting me take over her blog for a moment. It means a lot when someone shows they care. And I also want to thank all of you for reading my story. It was quite the journey to make it where I am today, but I did make it, and I am very happy. Never let anyone tell you that you are not enough. Be yourself and live your life on your terms. Keefe also wanted me to say hi to everyone. He’s on location right now, so he can’t be here to tell you himself. Big Hugs, Sirenity.
You can read more about me here for those of you that don’t know my story.
Hi, Candice wanted to share her favorite sweet treat. This particular recipe was her grandmother’s and each Christmas she knew her grandma would make them. This is a simple treat to make. Enjoy.
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
6 cups rice cereal, (I use Rice Krispies)
1 package semi sweet chocolate chips
1 package butterscotch chips
1. Bring peanut butter, sugar, and syrup to a boil. Stir until sugar is melted.
2. Add cereal, folding in until completely coated.
3. Press cereal mixture evenly into casserole or cake pan. I butter bottom of pan.
4. Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chip together, stirring constantly so it does not burn.
5. Once chips are melted, spread over the top of the rice.
6. Let cool. I stick them in the refrigerator, but remember you need to let them reach room temperature before you can cut into them. Cut into squares and serve. Everyone seems to love these.
PS. I’m not sure where my grandma acquired this recipe, most likely the newspaper. So, I don’t know who to give credit to for this easy and tasty treat.
Enjoy this recipe from me, Candice. You might also enjoy reading my story Following Sweet Dreams Home
My Coleslaw is pretty simple and fast to create. It is my go to when I just want something sweet to eat. I will make this when I’m short on time and desire something tasty and refreshing to round out a meal. I will be sharing more of my recipes soon.
Candice’s Winter Coleslaw
1 Bag Shredded Cabbage
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise (I use Veganaise)
2 Table Spoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 to 2 Table Spoons of cinnamon per your taste.
1 to 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, (Use as little or more to suit your taste.)
1/4 Cup chopped dried cranberries. (I get them at Trader Joe's)
1/4 Cup chopped Walnuts
Add some chopped apples. I use Fuji when I feel like adding the apples.
Mix the ingredients and let chill before serving.