Bringing you bits & bites you can sink your teeth into

Crave – food & drink

Recipe – Bruschetta

  • 8 slices firm, crusty Italian bread
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • 3–4 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium, ripe tomatoes
  • ½ c. fresh basil leaves
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Core and dice tomatoes. (Note: I grow wild cherry tomatoes, so I sometimes use these, as pictured below.) Chop basil. Combine tomatoes and basil in glass bowl. Add 1 t. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Bruschetta Fixings

Bake bread slices on cookie sheet, turning once, until golden brown (approx. 2–3 minutes on each side). Remove from heat and rub surface of bread with garlic; use ½ clove of garlic for 2 slices of bread.

Brush each bread slice with extra virgin olive oil.

Finely chop one clove of the garlic that was used on the bread slices; stir it into the tomato mixture. Place tomato mixture atop bread slices. Serve immediately.

Bruschetta

Crave – food & drink

Recipe – Stuffing (includes Vegan option!)

  • 1 lb. firm French or Italian bread (including crusts), cut into ½-inch cubes
    (I like to use a mix of 6 oz. of French bread, 6 oz. of Italian bread, and 4 oz. of baguette)
  • 8 T. butter (Vegan option: 4 T. extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 c. celery, finely chopped
  • ½ c. minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 ¼ t. dried sage or 1 ¼ T. minced fresh sage
  • 1 ¼ t. dried thyme or 1 ¼ T. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¾ t. ground black pepper
  • ¼ t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • 1 ½ c. chicken stock (Vegan option: 1 ½ c. vegetable stock)
  • 2 large cage-free eggs, beaten (Vegan option: 2 t. ground flaxseed and 2 T. water; mix and let stand for 2 minutes)

Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Toast bread cubes until golden brown (approx. 10–12 minutes). Place in large bowl and set aside.

Heat butter in large skillet on medium-high heat until foam subsides. (Vegan option: Heat olive oil on medium heat). Add chopped celery and onion to skillet, cook and stir until tender (approx. 5 minutes).

Remove skillet from heat and stir in parsley, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cloves. Add this mixture to the bowl of bread crumbs and toss until well combined.

StuffingMixture & Bread Crumbs

Add chicken stock and eggs to bowl (Vegan option: Add vegetable stock and flaxseed/water mixture to bowl) until stuffing is lightly moist but not packed together.

Place stuffing into 13” x 9” buttered baking dish. (Vegan option: Use extra virgin olive oil to grease the dish.)

Bake at 350ºF until the top is crusty and the stuffing is heated through. Approx. 25–30 minutes.

Stuffing

Book Buzz – Awards

RISING named a finalist in the international Book Excellence Awards

The 2018 Book Excellence Awards selected RISING, the second novel in the DARK SURF series, as a Finalist in the “Fantasy” category.

2018 BEA Finalist Seal 72 DPI PNG

The international competition is described as a “global celebration of literary excellence.” According to the awards program: “There were hundreds from entries from around the world and your book was selected for its high quality writing, design and market appeal. Receiving a Book Excellence Award is a tremendous honor that represents the hard work, dedication and commitment that went into creating a book.”

2018 BEA Certificate 

In 2017, the Book Excellence Awards selected DARK SURF, the first novel in the DARK SURF series, as a Finalist in the “Fiction” category.

Book Buzz – Events

“Page Turners” — A Local Authors Book Fest on July 15, 2018

You’re invited to attend the first-ever “Page Turners Book Fest.” The free public event will take place Sunday, July 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Monterey Elks Lodge, 150 Mar Vista Drive in Monterey, Calif.

I will be one of more than 30 local authors displaying and selling books at the event. Come meet and talk with us in the ocean-view exhibit room. It will be a great opportunity to get books signed for yourself or for gifts. A wide variety of books will be offered at “below Amazon” prices. A no-host bar and snacks will be available.

As a bonus, from 1 to 2 p.m., author D.S. Kane will discuss “How to Write a Thriller Novel” in the lodge conference room. Kane, a covert intelligence agent for more than a decade, is the author of the “Spies Lie” novel series.

Page Turners is co-sponsored by Central Coast Writers and the local Elks Lodge. Part of each participating author’s registration fee will be donated to the Food Bank at the Veterans Transition Center at Fort Ord, and a donation box will be available at the event.

See you there!

Book Buzz

In the March/April 2018 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine, Paul Goat Allen has a very informative article on what it takes to earn a 5-star review. He has worked as a genre fiction book critic and written thousands of reviews for companies like BarnesandNoble.com, Publishers Weekly, the Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews. In this article, he offers 5 criteria that provide a glimpse into how a veteran book reviewer dissects and evaluates a novel.

BlueInk Review logoIn December 2014, Paul Goat Allen chose DARK SURF as one of 10 must-read self-published vampire fiction novels. He said in his review written for BlueInk Review, “This debut novel is so good—so insanely audacious—I actually stood up and applauded when I finished reading it! … This novel blew me away—one of the most imaginative vampire novels I’ve ever read.” Thank you, Mr. Allen, for that review and for this article!

BeachStyle

Where will today take you?
Footsteps in Sand

BeachStyle

Watching the Super Blue Blood Moon set over the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 31 was incredible!

Super Moon & Glowing Wave

Super Moon Crescent & Wave

Crave – food & drink

Recipe – Coffee Tequila Liqueur

  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups instant coffee [e.g., Folger’s Classic Roast instant coffee crystals]
  • 4 cups (1 quart) silver tequila [e.g., Milagro silver tequila)
  • 1 vanilla bean

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Mix sugar and instant coffee together in a bowl, then add this mixture to the boiling water. Dissolve and bring to a boil again.

Add 4 cups of tequila and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. [Note: Watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t boil over.]

Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a glass container or bottle. Add 1 vanilla bean. Store for 4 weeks.

Remove vanilla bean. Keep in large bottle or pour into small bottles.

Sugar & instant coffee mixture

Sugar & instant coffee mixture

 

Coffee liqueur cooking on stovetop

Coffee liqueur cooking on stovetop

 

Coffee liqueur in bottle

Coffee liqueur in bottle

Book Buzz – Awards

RISING wins Regional Fiction/West category in 6th annual Beverly Hills Book Awards

The 2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards® named RISING the 1st place winner in the Regional Fiction/West category!

Here’s what the awards program has to say: “Beverly Hills is synonymous with excellence, the best of the best. We want to celebrate the physical book in print that has always and will always be a part of our worldwide culture.” The awards program accepts fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of topics and categories.

RISING is the second novel in the DARK SURF series.

BHBA Banner

Book Buzz – Awards

DARK SURF named a finalist in the international Book Excellence Awards

The 2017 Book Excellence Awards selected DARK SURF, the first novel in the DARK SURF series, as a Finalist in the “Fiction” category. The international competition is described as a “global celebration of literary excellence.”

BEA Certificate

According to the awards program, “receiving a Book Excellence Award is a tremendous honor that represents the hard work, dedication and commitment that went into creating a book. Books that have received a Book Excellence Award have been recognized for their high quality design, writing and overall market appeal.”

This is the 13th award for the DARK SURF novel!

BEA Finalist Seal 72 DPI PNG