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Talking About a Place I’ve Never Been…

6 Apr

It’s okay to dream, right? Well I do. Not that I dream of drive-ins, but I do like to set my books in places I’ve never been, especially when I then go there later. I love to research. What can I say?

This is Vicco’s Charburger in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

In my book, the second Knight Angels book, I am going to have a scene here for a first date. It’s cute, that sweet drive-in date feel. I love Colorado, and to think, I’ve only been in the airport. One day I will move to Colorado, so for now I am reduced to writing about it.

…and dreaming of really good burgers at cute drive ins…

I just hope I do the town justice, and I don’t screw up. If you’re from Glenwood and read my book, let me know how I do. If I screw up, I’ll change it!

Mmmm… burgers. Guess I’ll have to settle for sushi today, though.

e-books now universally available from:

Manic Monday: iPad iBooks, Waiting on the Mailman, and Shiver Book Review…

5 Apr
We Finally Meet iPhone’s Mama…
Well, I guess I should say that no, I did not run out and buy one. I’m an author, and quite frankly, an iPad won’t do much good for me other than reading books (typing without real keys = not going to happen). At the rate I read books, though, the screen will hurt my eyes.
I think it should have been named iTab…
Anyways. So my books are making their way into the iBookstore, if they’re not on there already. I got a notification telling me Feather: Book One made it, and so far that makes me very happy. So all you iPad-dlers out there, look for me 😀
Also look for me, coming soon to: Sony e-reader, Barnes and Noble Nook, and just about any other form, including in the Indonesian market, in your language! That’s right, we’re going global.
Waiting on the Mailman…

I’m awaiting my Author Review Copy of Knight Angels. Very Exciting!
He never comes at the same time, and there’s no way of knowing if it will come today, or tomorrow. It’s killing me, and it’s so fun to finally get to see what it’s going to look like in person!
*biting nails*
Shiver Book Review…
Ah, I love holidays.
I read the whole book cover to cover yesterday, and I don’t think I could have done it any other way. I am a sucker for romantic stories of star-crossed lovers. I figured that was rather obvious because of my writing…
I regret that I waited this long to read this book, and no, that does not mean I finished Beautiful Creatures. I’m still knawing my way through that one, not that it’s bad, it just wasn’t my taste. It’s like wine – personal taste.
what made it better was the fact it was cold and windy yesterday, so I really got a sense of the story. Of course today it snowed again, like it did friday… Gotta love April.

Tuesday Treats: Down the Rabbit Hole

2 Mar

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, `and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice `without pictures or conversation?’

Alice in Wonderland
 
What better book is there, that should be made into a movie? Especially with Johnny Depp? I was at Macy’s the other day and there was Alice stuff everywhere. They’re certainly planning to see this movie go far, and I’m sure it will. This chilling classic, has a lot to give…
 
Awesome ‘Stuff’
 
So, after peroosing the Macy’s stuff, I decided to peroose whatelse was out there, and what better place than Etsy? I found a lot of neat things, but these were the neatest, in my opinion. The piece features a real image from the original book. You can’t get more authentic than that!
if you love this as much as I did, visit her Etsy shop:
 
$28.50
 
 
Alice on Film
 
So, this Friday, just where will you be?

Weekend Makings: New Websites!

1 Mar

New Websites!

All day I have been madly working, and I mean ALL day (got up at 5:00am and it’s now 12:15) I’m not quite finished with them, because eventually they will have their own web addresses:

featherbookseries.com (still has the old one up)
knightangels.com

but you can still see what I’ve got so far here!

Knight Angels
Feather Book Series

Also, check out my friends: The Emerald Talisman

Brenda just entered the ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) and made it to the second round! She is now awaiting the next cut coming at the end of March. I am very excited for Brenda, and she deserves this! Trust me. Leave her a few good comments and make sure you watch her progress!

Wino Wednesday: Affordable Luxury and Romance on a Writer’s Budget

24 Feb

Looking for a little affordable romance?

Aren’t we all??

When I went to get the mail yesterday, I had no idea that it would spark the kind of evening it did. You know the kind – eating lavish foods and enjoying velvety wine. Watching a great movie that encases it all…

And above all – making it affordable!

I enjoy the romantic things in life: A great book (no Kindle!), writing, wine, cooking, art, movies, rich and well made things – handmade.

Heaven forbid this should dent my wallet!

Well… I’m here to tell you – to show you – that is doesn’t have to. Let me outline my evening for you, so that you can re-create it!
 

How It All Started

As I said earlier, it all started when I went to the mailbox. We (Husband and I) get Entrepreneur Magazine. My husband REALLY enjoys collecting wine, and he recognized the man on the cover right away. James Stewart, son of top winemaker, Michael Stewart, at Stewart Cellars in Napa Valley. James decided to break the mold of expensive Napa Valley wine. His father has long been the vintner of premium Napa wines, bottles priced near $100. His son, wanting to tackle a market that was suddenly suffering after the stock-market woes, decided to change things.

James looked at the market, trying to find the hole – the need. He noticed that there was a lack of affordable Napa wines in the twenty dollar range.

What James did shocked many. James took a batch of his father’s grapes that hadn’t made the cut for his premium wines and created his own – affordable – version. He called it Slingshot. In the first year he sold out, and in the second, he’s made more.

This was how my evening started, with a story…

 

The Big Guns

So, My husband finished the article, and looked at me. He then bounded down to the wine cellar (A bomb shelter under our garage, lol) and began to rummage. What you need to understand about my husband is that when he was in college, he spent more time researching wine than studying economics, though he’s still good at both.

I watched him go through boxes and boxes of wine (he has too many)

Out comes these two.

It’s one thing to read a story about a wine and wishfully dream, it’s another when your husband just happens to have it. This here (orange label) is James Stewart’s Father’s wine.

We opened it… SO GOOD!

It was salty, velvety, REALLY easy to drink. But as we know, this is definitely not affordable unless you think the way I did – he bought it before we got married, lol.

A good substitute is naturally the Slingshot I spoke of, or a good $12 Cab. Sauv. bottle like Melange.

With it, I made the below recipe. I RECOMMEND!!!!!

the other wine (Benson Cab. Franc) I’ll get to in a minute…

Affordable Lox and Toast

Package of Smoked Salmon (not the hard smoked, the kind that looks raw) 4 oz. I got farm raised Atlantic, saves a lot of money and tastes good. If you can afford wild, though, do it. this package cost me $4.50

Italian Bread, 4 slices about 1/2 inch. (Get the real waxy kind, NO SOURDOUGH)

Capers (Those little buggers are pricey, but they last a long time)

Herb Cream Cheese (I got onion and chive)

Red Onion (a few slices. Slice as THIN and possible)

1 Tbls. Olive Oil

Toast the bread in broiler, or toaster. DON’T BURN! Spread with cream cheese while warm. Top with a few onions (5-6 little sliced pieces.) Divide salmon into four, one ounce piles and place on top of toast. Drizzle with Olive Oil so that the capers stick. Spoon capers (some juice is good!) over the top. ENJOY!!!!!

Now, if you don’t have the Stewart, like I said, try the Slingshot! if not, eat with a general Cab. Sauv. The robust flavor of the salmon can hold it’s own, and it does not overpower the wine. Quick and salty/delicious!

Affordable Main Course

Now is where I get to involving the other wine. 2007 Cabernet Franc. VERY peppery, rosemary, and cilantro. This wine has a serious punch of those flavors.

Below is a recipe my husband found through his wine club with Cakebread – another expensive wine, but the Benson Vineyard one above was the affordable option. Naturally Cakebread paired it with a Merlot, which would also be good. You can try this recipe with either.

What I’m showing you is two versions – the pricey and the cheap.

I substituted the Filet Mignon for Sirloin, and it worked GREAT!

Recipe Courtesy of Cakebread Cellars…

 

Grilled Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Avocado
$ the pricey $

Their Version serves 4-6

2.5 pounds Beef Filet

1 head garlic

1/4 c. Olive Oil

2 sprigs Rosemary

2 c. Dried Morels, soaked in warm water

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. Tomatillos

2 Avocados

2 T. Cilantro, chopped

1 lime

2 oz. Queso Fresco

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the pointed end of the garlic off to expose all the cloves. Place in the middle of a sheet of foil. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap in foil to seal and place in the middle of the oven to roast for about an hour until the garlic is soft. Remove and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the pulp and mix with the remaining olive oil and chopped rosemary.

Clean the beef filet of any fat and connective tissue. Cut into two 3″ sections across the grain of the meat. Holding a large knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the filet lengthwise to form thin steaks, about a ¼” thick. Place in a shallow dish and rub with the roasted garlic mixture. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least two hours.

To make the salsa, soak the morels in warm water for twenty minutes until soft. Drain and rinse to rid them of any dirt. Cut into small pieces and sauté in a small skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil. Once mushrooms start to brown, add the garlic and cook for another minute, reserve. Place a small saucepan of water over high heat. Once water comes to a boil, add the tomatillos and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Roughly chop the tomatillos and avocado. Combine with the morel mushrooms and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Season with a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper.

To serve, remove the meat from the refrigerator and season with salt and pepper. On a very hot grill sear the steaks for thirty seconds to a minute per side. Serve with pinto beans, top with a spoonful of the salsa and garnish with the crumbled queso fresco.

My Faster and Affordable Version…
 
$ the cheap $
 
serves 2
 
1 – 8oz Sirloin Steak
6 cloves of Garlic – for marinad
6 T. Olive Oil – 5 for marinade, 1 for salsa
 1 T. Dried Rosemary
Salt and Pepper
6 Cremini Mushrooms, fresh
2 cloves garlic, minced – for salsa
 2 Roma Tomatoes
 Dash of Hot Sauce
 1/2 Avocado
 1/2 Lime
 2 T. Cilantro
2 oz. Feta Cheese
 One can plain Pinto Beans
 
 
 Marination 
 
I sliced the beef across the grain to 1/4 inch thickness and placed in a dish. I then warmed the oil in a pan on the stove. When oil was hot, I added the sliced garlic and removed it from the heat so it didn’t burn. Let the garlic simmer there for a few minutes (really cuts out all the time it takes to roast it.) Smash the garlic with a fork and add rosemary. Pour over beef (it’s okay if the oil is still warm) cover with plastic and put in fridge for at least two hours to marinate.
30 min before it’s time to eat warm beans in a little water on the stove.
 
Salsa
 
Heat 1 T. oil in a pan on stove. Add diced cremini’s and saute until they begin to sweat water. Add 2 cloves of garlic – minced. Remove from heat. Dice the tomatoes and 1/2 avocado and put in a bowl. Add mushrooms/oil/garlic. Add cilantro and squeeze 1/2 lime juice. Combine.
  
Putting it together
 
Remove meat from fridge and heat a pan (preferably a grill pan) on stove, Medium high. Grill meat for 1 minute on each side. dust with salt and pepper on each side while cooking. Remove.
Pile half the beans into the middle of plate, top with half the beef, then half the salsa. Top with a sprinkle of feta.
 
And Viola!!!! YUM YUM YUM!!!
 
Enjoy with that affordable Merlot or Cab. Franc!
 
The Movie that Pulls it all together
  
If you haven’t seen this, you don’t know what you’re missing. You really don’t.
it’s called Bottle Shock, and it’s all about california wine and kicking some french butt.

What You’ve all Been Waiting For…

9 May

Guardian, Book Two in my series is now solidified for release in 10-14 days, (May 19-23) Though I can barely contain myself to release the Kindle version, it will not be released for another couple of days, COUPLE OF DAYS!!!!!! Exciting!!! I think the second book is great for the state of the world today, and speaks a lot not just in the story itself, but in life….

Count down!!!

Feather Upgrade to Second Edition

2 Apr

Today was the official upgrade of the Second Edition of the Book One Feather on MobiPocket and Amazon’s Kindle. The first edition of Book One Feather is now only available on Paperback, sold through Amazon and the website, as well as some independant stores…

In the coming weeks, The second edition of Fetaher will also be printed in a Paperback form, so check back for expected release dates…

Book Two: Guardian, is also expected to release within the next month, do not mistake the Second Edition release of Feather with the Release of the second book in the series, Guardian. We have only made the first book better by editing it, and adding a few scenes…

Be sure to get your original first edition of Feather soon, and secure the “author’s release” all signed by me…whether you buy it from Amazon or through the website… Thanks for making the book a success, and enjoying the deep tale of forgotten and everlasting love 🙂

Thanks!

A.E.