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March 25th~~Waffle Day

Belgian Waffles

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
2 TBs. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside
Preheat waffle iron to desired temperature.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat until blended.
Ladle batter onto the preheated waffle iron.
Cook the waffles until golden and crisp.
Serve immediately.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015NGU8P2 digital copy $2.99
Want a signed printed copy? Order on this site under Books.


Chocolate Covered Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

In Celebration of Chocolate Covered Raisin Day!!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chocolate covered raisins
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine butter, vanilla, and sugars, beat until creamy.
Add the egg, then gradually add flour mixture and oats, mix well.
Stir in raisins and pecans.
With a small melon scoop or tablespoon, drop mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 30 cookies.

Four Phases of Falling in Love

Today, I welcome Ginger Monette to my blog with a great article about writing romance.

Thank you, Ginger! Wonderful information.

Falling in Love: Plan it, Plot it, Show it—in Four Phases

by Ginger Monette

As romance novelists, it’s our job to weave stories that give readers a front row seat to watch the unfolding of a beautiful love story.

So what’s the best way to show a couple moving from “Hello my name is” (or even “I despise you”) to “You’re my soulmate and I want to spend the rest of my life with you?”

Having been disappointed by numerous novels where the couple claimed to suddenly “be in love” without actually “falling in love,” I went on a quest to investigate this mysterious process of falling head over heels. What I discovered changed my writing.

I dissected some fifty romance novels and made notes. All the couples had hefty doses of attraction, but the most satisfying stories went beyond attraction to something deeper. They showed the characters passing through four phases that moved them step by step from “meh” (or downright hatred) to “wowie-zowie he’s the most wonderful person in the world.” And each phase seemed to be characterized by distinct thought patterns—particularly if at first Prince Charming seemed to be more of a frog than a prince. Here are the stages I observed:

Acknowledgment

-Acknowledges some good quality about him (talented, kind, generous, etc)
-Finds him attractive
-Hyper aware of him, or hyper-critical of his shortcomings (which often signals preoccupation or a subconscious denial of admiration)
-Acknowledges an attraction, but blows it off

Appreciation

-Defends his character while not necessarily liking him
-Is genuinely thankful for a good quality
-Beginning to warm towards him
-Not so judgmental towards him
-More willing to consider his opinion on a matter

Admiration

-Takes his advice
-Imitates quality or action of his
-Admits her initial criticism or objections were exaggerated or biased
-Curiosity grows—willing to spend more time in his company
-Acknowledges similar values or mutual interests
-Finds she is thinking (fondly) of him more and more

Adoration

-Openly acknowledges her love/warm feelings for him
-Desires to be in his company
-Thinks he is wonderful
-Thinks he is perfect match
-Misses him painfully when he is gone
-Thinks about him constantly

So how did this awareness of stages change my writing? In my novel Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, I kept these stages and behaviors in mind as I crafted scenes. They became an outline of sorts that I wove with compelling action, mystery, suspense, and historical detail. When my characters (Jane Austen’s iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet) are reunited at a WWI field hospital, Elizabeth is none too happy to encounter Darcy. And although she disdains him, I had her acknowledge that he is handsome and there is something between them. This cracks the door to romance and gets readers rooting for the couple.

Then, I moved her into the appreciation stage by having her surprise herself by praising and defending Darcy to a colleague. After she directly benefits from his wise leadership, she comes to appreciate him, even though she still doesn’t like him. Readers can feel her slowly warming towards him and eagerly turn pages to find out how the couple will sort out the baggage between them.

As truths of Darcy’s past are dramatically revealed and she comes to understand him better, I have her admit that her initial criticisms were misplaced. Now, with a softened heart, she’s able to look at him more objectively. Then I set up an ah-ha moment where she realizes they both share a similar deep-seated insecurity which turns her reservations about him into empathy. Now that her appreciation has turned to admiration, her feelings are almost there! And readers are waiting with bated breath to find out what it will take for him to fully win her heart.

I gave him some scenes that show off his admirable qualities, so not only does she find herself attracted to him, she admires his leadership, work ethic, and drive. Then I purposely played up the things they have in common and showed her enjoying his company. In short, I showed them building a relationship. Finally, after they share a heroic act and laugh over a tent whipping in the wind, she realizes that in fact, she adores him.

Intentionally crafting scenes that follow this four-stage progression of romance enables readers to sense her falling in love, so it’s no surprise when she finally declares it. I think a lot of romance authors make the mistake of never showing the characters moving beyond physical attraction and chemistry. It’s not easy! But to write a fulfilling romance, the characters need to interact on a deep level and share common interests. Readers should see the couple building a relationship and hear their internal dialog as their thoughts and feelings evolve.

Using this four-step model, I think Darcy’s Hope has succeeded in providing readers a deep sense of satisfaction as they watch the heroine’s tiny bud of acknowledgment open into appreciation, then expand with admiration, and finally blossom into full adoration.

What challenges do you face showing a couple falling in love?

Website: http://www.GingerMonette.com

Author’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ginger-Monette-Author-612096318934524/

Video trailer Beauty from Ashes link: https://youtu.be/px2fUiZdpGI?t=3s

Purchase Links: Feel free to use just the universal links if you’d like.

-Darcy’s Hope Beauty from Ashes:
Universal link for all retailers. https://books2read.com/u/47kXOj
-Amazon USA : http://bit.ly/2cy01KFBlogTourAmaUS

-Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey:
Universal link for all retailers. https://www.books2read.com/u/3GMPaK
-Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M6A76CZ/

Downton Abbey Meets Pride & Prejudice!

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside Jane Austen’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You’ll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences at a field hospital only miles from the Front. When injury and espionage separate the couple, Darcy is crushed. But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.

“…a stellar example of fine Austenesque literature. …an exceptionally moving story complete with a compelling plot, danger, mystery, action, introspection, vivid detail, and an emotionally wrought romance.” ~Austenesque Reviews

***** 90% of reviews are five star!

The Darcy’s Hope Saga:
Vol 1: Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes
Vol 2: Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey

Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/px2fUiZdpGI?t=3s


Winner of Char/Meck Library’s 2015 “Picture This” grand prize, Ginger Monette lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she’s not writing historical romance, she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.

 

Release Day Celebration Giveaway

 

On April 4, my new adult romance, Chirp, will release. I’m super excited and to celebrate, I’m having a giveaway where one lucky winner will receive signed copies of my novels, along with my Sweet Thangs, Southern Sweets from Two Sassy Sister’s cookbook!

They’ll also get a “Come Fly With Me to Bluebird, Texas tee-shirt just like the one Rance gave Blaze in the book. To sweeten the deal, I’ve included 2 bars of Hanna’s goat milk soap with a wooden holder and Texas Tiffany’s original designer Beer Bling Bracelet. A vinyl tote bag will hold all these goodies for you!

                     

The giveaway runs from 3/21 thru 4/15. So enter today!! Good luck!

Here’s the link: a Rafflecopter giveaway <script src=”https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch

Poultry Day Recipe~~Chicken Casserole

In honor of Poultry Day, here’s a quick and easy recipe to try.

Chicken Casserole

1 boned chicken (boil your own or buy a rotisserie one)
1 onion chopped and sautéed in 2 Tablespoons of butter
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ cup milk
Flour tortillas
Grated cheese to taste

Mix chicken, onion and green chilies together.
Heat flour tortillas one at a time in buttered skillet until limp.
Fill with chicken mixture.
Roll and place close together, seam side down in a lightly greased 9×11 pan/baking dish
Heat:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
Pour over tortillas
Sprinkle with grated cheese
Bake uncovered in 350-degree oven until heated and cheese is melted.

Great Book Giveaway

Over 30 authors have joined together to promote their young adult and new adult books. I’m happy to be a part of the effort. Nothing to buy. It’s like #Christmas and your #Birthday all rolled into one! Go here to enter:

https://AuthorsXP.com/giveaway

Ann Everett, Best Selling Author

Ann Everett, Best Selling Author

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