Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Brown butter caramel cookies recipe plus a tasty excerpt

Writing has been a slow, painful process for me in the past few months. But I did manage some, and I'm determined to pick up the pace - and the desire - during the next couple of weeks when my personal life should settle down a bit.
So, I guess I can admit it publicly now - I've been working on a novel about an ex-soldier turned baker and an artsy college student. It's set in Cambridge and has a feel-good vibe to it which I adore. It'll be very low angst but it'll surely make you drool.
Why? Because said ex-soldier turned baker has his own bakery and baking tasty treats is his favourite past time as well as his job! I promise I'll write at least one sex scene involving sticky caramel being spread on various body parts.
I have a delicious title and an even more delicious cover thanks to my super talented friend Jay Aheer. I'm hoping to be able to reveal them all soon!
So, keeping up with today's blog post theme, here's a recipe that inspired the very first scene in my new book:


Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies Filled with Caramel and Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 caramels
  • 12 tsp peanut butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180C. 

In a small sauce pan melt butter on low heat until it has become a golden brown colour and remove from heat.

In a bowl mix both sugars, egg and vanilla together. Add the browned butter.

Mix in the oats, flour, salt and baking powder. Once the dough has come together refrigerate for 20 minutes.

After removing from refrigerator, roll into 12 equal sized balls. Place each cookie dough ball on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches a part.

Push a caramel square into the centre of each cookie dough ball. You can form the sides of the cookies a bit if you want to cover the caramel more.

Dollop a tsp of peanut butter on the top of each caramel.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are golden. 

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes then enjoy.



And here's the delicious excerpt I promised - it's the very beginning of the novel.


“How hard is the caramel in the brown butter caramel filled cookies?”
My head snapped up from packing a twelve piece box and my eyes searched for the guy asking the most ridiculous question I’d ever heard.
“Is it really runny? Coz it sounds so good,” he continued, groaning a little as the last word rolled off his tongue. “But I really don’t want to mess my outfit.” He bit his plump lower lip when he finished talking, the sparkle in his eyes resembling childish mischief.
I stared at him. I couldn’t help myself. He was so fucking gorgeous that I didn't care if he asked stupid questions. He could ramble all he wanted as long as I got to feed him caramel filled cookies and lick the sauce dripping down his chin.
“Um...” He glanced uncertainly behind me at Chris as she poured a shot of espresso in a cup of frothed milk.
Realising I was staring at him, unblinking, like an idiot, I tore my eyes away, handed the lady in the line before him her takeaway box and wished her a pleasant evening with a charming smile.
Then I focused my full attention at caramel guy.
“I tell you what,” I said, placing my elbows on the counter. “You can have the chunky oatmeal now and I guarantee you won’t mess your clothes.” I slid my eyes down his body appreciatively, taking in his lithe frame dressed in dark slacks and crisp green button down. “And I’ll wrap a couple of the brown butter caramels for you to enjoy later.”
A cheeky smile made an appearance on his full mouth and, God help me, his cheeks dimpled as he tried to contain it.
The woman behind him rolled her eyes, pointedly looking at her wrist watch.
“Cool. Thanks,” caramel guy said, lowering his lashes.
Chris appeared next to me and took the woman’s order. Double skinny latte. No cookies. I hated her even more.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Books I can't wait to get my hands on


Valor on the Move
Keira Andrews

This book looks absolutely amazing! Forbidden love between the son of the US president and his bodyguard? Yes, please! 
I have a confession to make - it'll be my first Keira Andrews book and considering how much my friends love her stories, I can't wait to dive into this one.

Release date: September 9 2015


Vespertine
Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn

I'm a huge Leta Blake fan! I've read all her books and she's an autobuy author for me. I haven't read anything by Indra Vaughn yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
Vespertine is about another forbidden love story - between a rock star and a priest! I'm wildly excited to see how this plays out!!!

Release date: September 10 2015




Rattlesnake
Kim Fielding

I love Kim Fielding's writing! She usually mixes reality with a touch of fantasy/historical fantasy in her writing - which I don't usually go for and I've loved everything I read from Ms Fielding - but this book is contemporary romance with no fantasy elements. I'm looking forward to it.

Release date: 31 August 2015


Sloe Ride
Rhys Ford

I do a little happy dance every time a Rhys Ford book shows on my kindle. I've read all her books and I've loved each and every one. Another autobuy author for me.
Sloe Ride is the 4th instalment in her Sinners series and tells the story of another Morgan - Quinn. I can't wait to read this - missed all the Morgans like crazy!

Release date: September 4 2015


Sunset Park
Santino Hassell

One of my all time favourite authors has a new series out - Five Boroughs. The first book Sutphin Boulevard was fantastic and I can't wait for book 2, Sunset Park. I get giddy just thinking about it. The UST in that book is going to be a killer but, man, it'll hurt so good!
I also can't wait to see the cover! The cover for Sutphin Boulevard is stunning and I really hope the rest of the series keeps up with the trend.

Release date: December 2015






Thursday, 3 September 2015

Throwback Thursday - Dance

I haven't written in a while - school's still out for the summer and I can't find time or concentration to write - and honestly, I'm already itching to! Kids are going back to school on Monday so yay!!! to writing again.
I've been feeling a bit melancholic lately, looking back to my older works, thinking of the time I was writing them and how it felt. It's weird how every book comes with its own unique set of feelings and emotions. 
Anyway, I've decided to revisit Dance this Thursday and post some of my favourite moments.
Enjoy!
xx















Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Book of the week - Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell

If you haven't experienced Santino Hassell's writing yet, I feel sorry for you. And a little jealous at the same time because you'll get to read all his fabulous books for the first time and I'll never get that feeling again. *sigh*
Before I start a full on fangirling tirade, let me just say that Sonny has a new book out called Sutphin Boulevard and it's amazing! It's the first book of a five book series (yay!!!!), book 2 coming out in December. 


Book Description

Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.



How did I like it?


So many feels!!!

There are very few things that I can say with absolutely certainty - my hair will always be frizzy if humidity in the air is above 0.01%; soft taco shells are a genius invention; I'll read anything Santino Hassel ever writes.
Everyone knows by know how much I love ICoS because I'm fangirling about it to anyone who'd listen. Sometimes even to people who wouldn't listen. My point is, I fell in love with Santino's writing (and Ais's of course - I wish she'd publish something of her own soon) with ICoS, and I fell hard. I love the realness of it, the roughness, if you will. Santino writes real characters, real stories, real thoughts. Life isn't rainbows and unicorns all the time and his writing reflects that. In other words, shits gets real, fast. 
Having said all that, he can be romantic and sappy as hell, melting my heart with a single sentence.

All of that is true for Sutphin Boulevard.

What a ride! 

Sutphin Boulevard is about Michael And Nunzio.

They've been best friends for 20 years, but never anything more. Sure, they love to have fun and party together, but their friendship is solidly platonic.

Until it's not.

The first chapter of Sutphin Boulevard is probably the hottest thing I've ever read. It changes the dynamic of Michael and Nunzio's friendship and sets the tone for the rough ride ahead.

Nunzio is perfection! *sigh*

I absolutely loved him! I want a sexy, moody Italian of my own even more now!
We only get to see glimpses of him as the story is told from Michael's POV, but Santino promised some additional side stories from Nunzio's POV soon and I can't wait to see more of what's going on in his head.

Michael is angry, and sad, and scared, and while his defence mechanism produces some really funny sarcastic comments, behind the grumpy, smart-mouth attitude hides a man at the end of his rope. God, Michael is a mess. A hot fucking mess from the very beginning. He digs himself deeper and deeper into the quicksand his life, his soul, is sinking into, until there's no way out in sight.
He needs to grab to the last, faint glimmer of hope, of happiness, and hold on to it or disappear. 

Sutphin Boulevard is a bumpy, rough ride. It's not your typical romance with a sprinkle of Disney and some angst on the side. 
It's honest.
It's hot.
It's sad.
It's funny.
It's touchingly real.

It's perfect.



You can buy it HERE and HERE.