Romance and recipes #giveaway

aba-valentine-hop

Welcome to my blog, one of the stops on the Valentine blog hop – A time for Love, organized by Casi McLean. Follow the links to different blogs for some great reads, fun posts, and awesome prizes but before you do that, take a minute and read an excerpt from my newest novella, get a delicious winter recipe and a chance to win free eBooks.

Valentine Day is near and with it the release day of Valentine Kisses, Inkspell’s anthology for all romantic souls out there. It’s a collection of diverse romance stories, from fantasy to suspsense, from sweet to steamy.

Hearts must be broken is a bit darker than my other stories, but despite the mystery and suspense, there’s a sweet love story at its core.

When a ghost from her past wants to take revenge on twenty-year-old Anais, the only onheartsmustbebroken-v01e she can turn to for help is Damon. But things quickly become complicated because he has feelings for her and she doesn’t want a relationship.

Excerpt

He said quietly, “I’ve always thought you were perfect, Anaïs.”

“Damon …”

“Is it because I’m stone broke?”

His bitter words scattered across the pillow between them like glass shards, shimmering with the promise of heartache.

The past few days, she’d felt closer to him than she’d been to anyone in much too long. The problem was it was too close. She couldn’t have him read the emotions off her face like sheet music. She couldn’t give him that much power over her. She’d given up too much, lost too many people in order to become free and independent, to waste it on a pair of soulful eyes and a few heartfelt words. Regardless of how good they made her feel.

“No. It’s not that,” she said, and the lie slowly turned into the truth as she dug the hole in her heart, deepening it with every fib she uttered, uprooting everything which was decent and tender in her.

He turned away and didn’t look at her even after she called his name twice. She leaned closer and wanted to kiss his cheek, but then he turned and her lips touched his.

~*~

This is just one of the six stories. For a taste of the others, check out the anthology website or pre-order the book. The $0.99 offer will only last till end of February so go grab your copy!

~*~

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And while the stories warm up your soul, you’ll need something warm and delicious for your body. So here’s a recipe for a red kuri soup.

Finely chop one onion and saute it in a bit of olive oil until it softens (around 5 min). Add one medium red kuri squash (works equally well with other winter squashes, such as butternut), peeled and diced, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add enough vegetable stock (or simply water) to cover the squash and a few sage leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer for about ten minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove the sage leaves and pure the squash in a food processor. Add half a cup of cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and mix well.

Serve with a few drops of cream and croutons or pumpkin seeds. Eat warm and in good company!

~*~

For a chance to win an ebook copy of either my snowboarding novella On the Slopes, road trip novel Letting Go, or roommate romance My Summer Roommate, enter the first Rafflecofter giveaway below. Plus, by commenting on my blog you can enter the blog hop wide Rafflecopter giveaway for two $50 Amazon gift certificates (enter below). So comment and enter!

Thank you for joining me on this stop of the blog hop, now on to new adventures and discoveries! Spread the love, my friends!

 1. The Perfect Time For Love ~ Casi McLean 2. Spunk & Hunks ~ Anna Durand
3. Love in the Month of February ~ Mary Morgan 4. Love Potions and Charms ~ Sorchia Dubois
5. He said he wasn’t the romantic kind of guy, but… ~ Peggy Jaeger 6. Love and War ~ Gini Rifkin
7. Sexy Chocolate Cakes ~ Kayden Claremont 8. 50 Great Date Ideas ~ Devon Mckay
9. Hearts Abound ~ Tena Stetler 10. Love Every Day ~ Darlene Fredette
11. Importance of Valentines Day ~ Maureen Bonatch 12. Souls Forever Bound ~ Judith Sterling
13. Mysterious Origins of Valentine’s Day ~ Barbara Bettis 14. A Romantic Valentine Dinner ~ Jana Richards
15. Steamy Romance Meets Spooky Suspense ~ Kathryn Knight 16. Book Bling ~ Elizabeth Alsobrooks
17. Sweet Romances ~ Katherine McDermott 18. Historical Heartbeats ~ Brenda B. Taylor
19. An Awesome Bewitching Author Valentines Day ~ Lisa Voisin 20. Idea City ~ Kitsy Clare/Catherine Stine
21. Welcome to the ABA Valentine Hop ~ Linda Nightingale 22. Bridie Hall YA Author ~ Bridie Hall
23. A Time For Love Valentine Blog Hop ~ Amber Daulton 24. ‘Out Of This World’ Romance ~ Hywela Lyn
25. Time Travel For Love ~ Karen Michelle Nutt 26. Valentine’s Day – A Family Tradition ~ Holland Rae
27. Historical Heartbeats

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Foodie weekend

April is the time for asparagus. Have you ever tried it? The one that grows in the wild, not the cultivated type? I have, and I love it. Its taste is a little bit bitter compared to the cultivated variety, but it has a stronger taste that is ideal in risottos, soups or omelettes. We had asparagus on our menu yesterday. I want to share two simple recipes, if you’re in the mood to cook.

The first one is for the risotto. The amounts are for two servings.

a medium bunch of asparagus asparagus
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
200 g of rice
3 tbs of olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream

Chop the onion and saute it on the olive oil. Once it turns translucent, add the garlic and half a minute later add the rice. Saute it for a minute, then add water (or vegetable stock, if you prefer). After ten minutes, add the asparagus, chopped into smaller pieces. Cook until the rice is done and the asparagus is still a little bit crunchy. Add the cream and season to taste. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a glass of dry white wine.

Omelette with asparagus and bacon

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1 medium bunch of asparagus
6 slices of bacon
grated parmesan cheese
salt, pepper

Whisk the eggs, add grated cheese and asparagus chopped into small pieces (reserve some whole stalks for decoration). Add salt and pepper. Fry several small omelettes in a pan. In another non-stick pan, fry the bacon and the whole asparagus stalks. Stack the omelettes one on top of the other, with slices of bacon and a few stalks of asparagus in between.

Bon appétit! 🙂

Publication day and giveaways

Today is a wonderful day! I’m celebrating the publication of Letting Go and one year anniversary of Evernight Teen. Twice the excitement, twice the reason for cake and wine (wine’s already being chilled, cake’s still baking). But I’ll get down from my publication day high to share some gifts with you all.

But first, here it is, fresh off the press (not really, but you know): Letting Go

letting-go-teenIsabelle is left stranded at the airport, and her only chance of getting home is with her boyfriend’s older brother, Harper. When this good girl and bad boy set off towards home, it turns out that maybe she’s not such a good girl after all. And even bad boys have reasons for their bad behavior.

The road trip is full of shocking revelations and unexpected emotions, bringing the two of them closer than Isabelle ever thought possible. Maybe too close.

Evernight Teen
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Next, I’d like to share another recipe that is mentioned in Letting Go: this one is for the peas and cheese tart that Isabelle’s mom used to make. Unfortunately, I can’t send you Harper to make it for you, so roll up your sleeves and start baking!

Peas and cheese tarttart

For the tart:
175 g flour
90 g butter
a pinch of salt
1 or 2 spoons of cold water

For the filling:
190 g young peas
90 g Gorgonzola cheese (or any other blue cheese)
120 ml heavy cream
2 eggs

Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter chopped into smaller pieces. Use your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour. Add a spoon or two of cold water until you’re able to knead it into a homogenous pastry. Wrap into plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.

If you’re using fresh peas, cook them in salted water. Crumble gorgonzola into small pieces.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Roll the pastry and place it into a tart mold (8″). Puncture it in several places with a fork. Blind-bake the tart for fifteen minutes. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them. Add the cream and season to taste. Spread the peas onto the tart, then pour the egg and cream mixture over them. Spread out the gorgonzola pieces on top. Bake for 20 minutes.

Bon appetit!

Now on to the giveaways (yes, as in several giveaways!):

To enter my giveaway, answer the following question in the comments section (make sure you leave your email or a way to reach you):
Which character in the book used to make the above mentioned peas and cheese tart? (ETA Since my question could be understood in two different ways, I’ll accept both possible answers. ;-))
If you win, you’ll receive:

  • prize10$ Amazon GC
  • 20×30 print of a photo of poppies (an important scene in Letting Go revolves around poppy artwork)
  • 2 signed Letting Go postcards
  • leaflet with three recipes from Letting Go (panna cotta, the above peas and cheese tart, and an exclusive chip mint ice cream recipe!), and quotes from the book

Visit other bloggers celebrating Evernight Teen’s 1st birthday and enter their giveaways here:

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Enter the Evernight Teen’s Rafflecopter giveaway for 100$ iTunes GC here:

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Evernight Teen is also taking 25% off all Evernight Teen titles on the ET site from 1/24-1/31.

Harper’s panna cotta

I don’t know a girl who wouldn’t want her boyfriend to cook for her. There’s something incredibly hot about a man in an apron, isn’t it? Harper, the bad boy from my novella Letting Go, is a passionate foodie. He decides to teach Isabelle to cook. Seeing how she only knows how to use the microwave, that’ll be quite a challenge.

If you want to test if you’re a good enough cook to join Harper in the kitchen, here’s a panna cotta recipe.

For 4 servings you’ll need: panna cotta

5 dl of heavy cream
50 g sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 package of gelatine leaves

And for the coulis:

250 g of berries
3 sprigs of mint
50 g sugar
juice of one lemon

Put the gelatine in about 1 dl of cold water for 10 minutes. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Pour the cream into a pan, add the sugar, the halved vanilla bean and its seeds. Cook on medium heat for about five minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Put aside. Strain the gelatine leaves and add them to the cream. Stir until the gelatine dissolves.

Pour the mixture into four glasses and put them in the fridge for a couple of hours so that the gelatine solidifies.

Put the mixed berries into a pot, add the juice of one lemon and the sugar. Cook for a few minutes so that the berries let out a bit of their juice. Don’t overcook them.

Serve panna cotta with cooled coulis and decorate with sprigs of mint.

Now, if you can find a cute boy to prepare it for you, it will taste even more delicious. 😉