Happy Easter, 2017!

I simply want to wish my fellow human beings and animal friends a very wonderful Easter Sunday.

Now, here’s a sweet treat (and naturally gluten free). My gentleman friend (GF) and I made a Martha Stewart recipe for coconut almond macaroons. We added chocolate chips and they came out quite delicioso!

Coconut Almond Macaroons

The very simple recipe:

1 cup natural cane sugar

3 large egg whites

3 cups unsweetened shredded cocounut

3/4 cup sliverred almonds

1 & 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a medium bowl. Stir in coconut, almonds, vanilla, salt, and, if desired, chocolate chips.

3)Drop the coconut mixture by 2 tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

(I used a giant cookie sheet and this made about 24, but you may want to use two sheets.)

4)With moistened hands, squeeze each mound tightly together to form a compact ball.

5)Using a spatula, flatten one side at a time to form a pyramid shape. (I didn’t have the patience for this, but my GF did.)

6)Bake in oven until golden brown on bottoms and edges, 15 – 18 minutes. (Switch baking sheets top rack to bottom rack halfway through if you use two sheets.)

7)Transfer sheets to wire racks and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer macaroons to racks, and cool completely, about 20 minutes. (No, we didn’t wait that long before tasting.)

ENJOY! Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

March Madness, Marketing, and March Hares

March Madness usually refers to basketball. For many writers, the madness of March is the push to get older manuscripts finally finished, to begin new stories that have been kicking around in their heads for too many long winter months, and to figure out that elusive creature called “marketing.”

I know I’m definitely juggling all three as I finish up Book 4 of The Defiant Hearts series, which should have been finished and published about two years ago. At the same time, I couldn’t help but write back cover copy for two books that don’t exist yet. The characters have been nagging at me to get started so, at the very least, I wrote the bcc so they know I’m serious. Those pushy people in my head. Sheesh!!

Lastly, I’ve been delving into the land of newsletter marketing. Many writers, including a good friend of mine, were stranded by the closing of one business that handled relatively inexpensive emailings to large lists of thousands of subscribers. The next closest seemed to be prohibitively expensive since my friend has 25,000 signups to her newsletter. Then I discovered that for me to help her produce her newsletters, I don’t have to go with the expensive, canned variety, such as MailChimp, Mailer Lite, AWeber, or Constant Contact.

No, for very short money, under $50 per year, I can use a WP plugin to integrate her newsletter signups to her list and send her emails from an independent SMTP. This part is important since it might be a headache (meaning slow and unwieldy) to use her website’s host server to send out 25,000 emails at once.

Too technical for many, I love figuring this stuff out. All part of my March Madness routine, adding more things to my plate until I’m running around like a March hare!!! Honestly, maybe I look more like this guy on the right:

Cover of Presenting Lady Gus

I love the cover created by Philip Re. And the happy couple is standing in front of the real Thornbury Castle featured in the story.

Meanwhile, I am still enjoying a warm reception to my latest novella, Presenting Lady Gus. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet . . . click here. And if you already have, I would be grateful if you could leave a review.

Happy Spring!!

 

Ever Wish for a Book Boyfriend

This is purely for fun. Click here to create your own book boyfriend (be patient and wait for the “Get Started” message to appear at the bottom of the screen). Answer a few questions or put in keywords and, soon, you will be matched with the type of hero that you enjoy reading about in novels.

You can request periodic email notes from your book boyfriend with suggestions on books that feature your kind of hero. Clever idea. I hope it works out. I guess it depends on the size of the book database. Maybe my book boyfriend will suggest one of my own books back to me. How exciting!

I was greedy and created two book boyfriends, one is a sabre-wielding regimental soldier (pictured here; source: BuildaBookBoyfriend.com) and one is a pistol-dueling peer of the realm. Yours can be from present day or even from the future.

Let me know if you try it out and what your results are.