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Showing posts from 2014

Irish Coffee Macarons with Jameson Whiskey Cream (Recipe)

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Basic Macaron Recipe (gluten free, dairy free)

Total time: Do you really want to know?

There are a lot of different recipes for macarons out there, but this is the one that I found works for me. Before you start, I would really recommend looking up some tutorials so you know what everything is supposed to look along the way. Food Nouveau has one here that is incredibly helpful with extensive tips and a great troubleshooting guide. The Cupcake Project has another one with some great pictures here.

You will need:

2 egg whites

1 cup powdered sugar

2/3 cup ground almonds

¼ cup fine granulated sugar

Equipment:

Blender or food processor

Hand mixer

Sifter or fine sieve

3 or more baking sheets

Non-stick baking paper or silicone baking mats

A medium stainless steel bowl

Rubber spatula

Pastry bag

Pastry bag tip (note: a tip with a ½ inch opening is recommended. The one I have is a bit smaller, so I pipe them in spirals and they come out more or less the same, but it takes longer)


Method:

The day before: Separate …

Cover Reveal! Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2) by Allison Merritt

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Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2)
Author: Allison Merritt
ISBN13: 978-1-61922-634-0
Length: 70k
Release date: April 7, 2015

If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.
Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.

Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.

Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.

Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in c…

Guest Post: Annette Mardis, Author of Shore Feels Right

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Thanks for hosting me today, Jessica, and congratulations on your new release. I sat down the other day for a chat with Monica Sims, a marine biologist and sea turtle expert at Gulf Shore Aquarium. Monica is one of the characters featured in my Gulf Shore contemporary romance series and she stars in Book 2, Shore Feels Right. 

Hi, Monica. How are things at the aquarium?

Busy, as always. We just took in several more turtles in our rehabilitation center. They’re green sea turtles afflicted with the fibropapilloma virus, which causes cauliflower-looking tumors to grow on their flippers, face and other soft tissues. They’ll be scheduled for laser surgery to remove the tumors. And we admitted a couple more turtles—a loggerhead and a Kemp’s ridley—that required endoscopic surgery to remove the fish hooks they swallowed. It’s a tough time to be a sea turtle, that’s for sure.

I know you have a special affinity for sea turtles. Have you always loved them?

Yes. They’re all my babies and it hurts to…

No Sleep 'Til Christmas Blog Tour

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Three things:

One:

TYBURN IS OUT NOW!!! IT'S OUT NOW!! YOU CAN BUY IT FROM REAL STORES!!

If you have yet to get your copy, you can find it on Liquid Silver, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and All Romance E-Books (with an extra-long excerpt!)

Two:

The first review is in and Samantha Ryan gave it a solid five stars:

"Tyburn is a tale of lies, love and debauchery set in the Restoration, a little used but fascinating era of history. Set in the familiar locale of London, it pulls back the modern perceptions that we are so used to and displays the seedy underside of a city we think we know. Jessica Cale manages to weave a believable narrative around actual personages whilst evoking the zeitgeist of Stuart London. You can almost smell the streets when the characters walk them and taste the food they eat. That is not to say that this story is bogged down by over-wrought descriptions or flowery language, just incredibly evocative of the themes and the scenes it is trying to portray."…

Special Feature: Bound By Blood by Margo Bond Collins

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Happy Saturday, everyone! Today I have a special treat for you: a character interview and an excerpt from Margo Bond Collins' new horror novella, Bound By Blood. It's gritty, imaginative, and at only $0.99 for the Kindle version, a great way to spend a Saturday night (or Sunday morning... with the windows open and all of the lights on)! 


Character Interview: Dr. Lili Banta
Lili, quick. Describe yourself in seven words or less!

Filipino-American, Texan, doctor, epidemiologist, scientist.

Tell us something about your current hometown.

I recently moved back to Houston. I went to medical school in Maine because I wanted to get as far away from home as I could—but eventually, I was ready to return. I'm staying with my mother—my Inay—until I find a new place. That might take longer than I initially planned, because my ex-boyfriend just called me in to consult on a strange case at his hospital.

What's the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?

When I was a child, my grandmot…

Contraception in History V. “Love's pleasing Paths in blest Security”: Condoms in Restoration London

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This is the last installment of Contraception in History before Tyburn is released on Monday, so I thought I would write up a little something for the occasion.

As you’re reading Tyburn, you might notice that condoms (or “cundums”) are present. “Now, Jess,” you might be thinking to yourself, “I know you’re obsessed with contraception, but were people really using condoms in 1671?”

Yes, reader. Yes, they were. 

The invention of modern condoms has been attributed to many people, and one of the front runners was Gabriello Fallopio (three guesses what he gave his name to) who recommended linen sheaths soaked in salt and herbs to prevent disease in his De Morbo Gallico (1564), a treatise against syphilis (translation: About the French Disease). 

He was hardly the first person to use them for this purpose. As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, condoms have been used in various forms as far back as ancient Egypt (and beyond, if you believe that cave painting). By the Restoration, a Colonel Quon…

Excerpt #3: Nick gets very uncomfortable... again

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Hello, everyone!

For the third and final excerpt before Tyburn is released IN ONE WEEK (can you her me hyperventilating?), we have Nick, Sally, and some very interesting scars. You've read Nick's interview with Denise A. Agnew, now you can peek inside his head. Ladies, gentlemen, creatures of the night, the final excerpt:

Excerpt #3

“You don’t need to fear me,” he said, in a voice he hoped was soothing.

“I don’t,” she replied, her voice hoarse. She cleared her throat. “Thank you for saving me.”

As Nick sat on the edge of his trunk behind her, he settled his thighs around her hips, pulling her close enough to allow him to see the even silk stitches he had placed a fortnight before. Her head swayed with the movement and he caught the sweet smell of her skin as she drew near. 

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before answering, “You don’t need to thank me. I’m glad I was able to.”

He eased the shift off her shoulders, his hands skimming her smooth sides. Her arms crossed her che…