The Southern Chocolatier – Savoring the flavor of snickers!

What’s better than eating a Snicker’s Bar? You guessed it! Eating a Snicker’s Bar on top of a cupcake!

Post image for Snickers Cupcakes


This is definitely a semi-homemade type of dessert; if you’re opposed to doctored up box mixes, no worries, just sub in your favorite chocolate cake recipe. Personally, I think the cake recipe below is pretty rocking and I use it when I am in a hurry or need an incredibly moist cake. I hope you give this recipe a try because it’s definitely a crowd pleaser!

Snickers Cupcakes

YIELD: 24-30 Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
24-30 frozen Snickers Miniatures

For the frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping; plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line (2) 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, vanilla and water.
4. Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared pans. {I use a large cookie scoop from OXO to scoop my batter; it holds 3 tablespoons}.
5. Gently push a frozen Snickers Miniature bar into the center of the batter and smooth the surface making sure to cover the candy bar with batter.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool cupcakes thoroughly on wire rack.

For the frosting:

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup and combine well.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more caramel syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.

Garnish with chopped Snickers bars and a drizzle of caramel of caramel syrup.

NOTES:

– Not a fan of Snickers? Sub in your favorite candy bar, just make sure you freeze them first.
– Not a fan of vegetable shortening? No worries, simply sub in butter for the shortening.

Borrowed from – http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/

 

Steeped in Southern Tradition – Tea

Today my choice of tea is a Raspberry Tea by Celestial Seasonings served in a pretty blue and white china cup and saucer.

You can’t go wrong with fruit teas.

 

IMG_3121

Never Surrender Your Soul by Brian Michael Good – Media Blitz

“Never Surrender Your Soul” is a synopsis of Brian Michael Good’s life struggles and triumphs, meant to encourage struggling individuals make sense of the world and find hope to live a meaningful life. The book explains how the author was able to rise from the ashes of defeat to live a successful and rewarding life and feel peace and contentment. Brian’s spiritual and lifestyle insights provide the truth and inspiration individuals need for creating significant life changes. The title reflects the heart of the book, as the author beseeches the reader to consider areas of life that can weigh them down, such as hardship, fear, and depression, which can drive them to give up their soul – their very ticket to the afterlife. Decide to keep your ticket to the afterlife by never surrendering your soul. This book will show you how!

BOOK DETAILS

Publisher: Big Bang Publishing

Publication Date: December 29, 2014

Genre: Self-Help/Spiritual/Memoir

Formats: Paperback, Kindle

Print Length: 104 pages

Paperback Price: $8.00

Kindle Price: $2.99

BOOK LINKS

Amazon Paperback: Paperback

Barnes & Noble Paperback: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-surrender-your-soul-brian-michael-good/1121024044?ean=9780986252723

Kindle: Kindle

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/24699224-never-surrender-your-soul

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Never-Surrender-Your-Soul/357581144409444

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Michael Good is a self-made man. He has lived a life buffeted by character-altering hurricanes. His life storms began in his trauma-filled childhood within his dysfunctional family.

He survived childhood verbal, physical, and sexual abuse; the death of two siblings; the stigma of being homeless – not once, but three times; two bankruptcies; a six-pound cancer that was doubling every two months; a near-fatal suicide attempt in 2003; the death of his best friend; three divorces; and the rejection of his only daughter.

How can one man encounter so many hurricanes, survive them, learn from them, and then strive to make the world a better place? This was the question Brian asked himself that led to “Never Surrender Your Soul.”

AUTHOR LINKS

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Brian-Michael-Good/e/B00RL2OGB4

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/10777469.Brian_Michael_Good

Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Michael-Good-Author/100000235296330

Twitter: www.twitter.com/1PearlofWisdom

Google+: www.plus.google.com/101467357273510278816/posts

Website: www.brianmichaelgood.com

Excerpt – 

SURRENDERING YOUR SOUL

We are taught to nurture the health of our body, mind, and soul; often they are neglected. While our health declines as each year passes, we value our soul more knowing that it is all that will remain.

We are born with free will, a soul, and a ticket to the afterlife. Your soul comes with a passport and visa with a destination of the afterlife. Your passport is your free will, which allows you to choose your belief system. You should nurture your belief system (your visa) as a mother nurtures an infant. It is best to choose a belief system that allows you to be fair-minded and even-handed. Be aware you may lose your visa based on the belief system you choose, making your ticket to the afterlife with your soul unable to reach your desired destination. Your ticket to the afterlife is your soul. Decide to keep your ticket to the afterlife by never surrendering your soul and count yourself a survivor.

If you surrender your visa, making your passport useless and thus your ticket to the afterlife worthless, one may not make it to the afterlife except for Weshemehe [my universal word for “God”] of second chances.

Reincarnation is a possibility. Even if one could prove reincarnation to be true, each life of reincarnation would most likely get substantially harder… especially if you kill, die by suicide, steal, or take someone’s free will. If you screwed up in a lifetime and surrendered your soul in your present life, you have until your last breath to meet your true destiny. A true destiny must be met without greed or thirst for money. It must be unselfish and spiritual in nature, only then will Weshemehe consider giving you a second chance. Continue reading

A Southern Tradition – Tea

Today’s tea is Lady Grey Tea served in a beautiful pink floral tea-cup that I came across in a little shop I visited year’s ago.

IMG_3118

 

What are you drinking today?

From Louisiana to Walnut Mountain – It’s vacation time! Part 1

We’ve been on vacation this past week. It started off with a bang – literally, and not in a good way. We were only about twenty miles from home and were going through a school zone when a man came running through the traffic waving his arms shouting, “Stop. A cop’s been shot!”

IMG_3010We were just moments behind the flying bullets which took down a deputy. He was shot in the eye, arm, and chest. Even with these injuries, he managed to get off a few shots at the assailant. When traffic was finally released and we passed the scene, five shots were noticeable in the truck’s windshield.

IMG_3015

While we sat in the middle of the highway only a few hundred yards away, but still in range of bullets, police and first responders swarmed in. We had a front row seat to the assailant being taken down by the police.

IMG_3014

What made the scene even more eerily, is this happened in a small town where I attended school as a child and the bus I rode turned in to the school in this very spot. Back then, this was unheard of. When crossing guards motioned for you to stop, you stopped. You didn’t get mad, flee the scene and return with a gun.

After an hour delay, we were on our way to New Orleans. We had just cleared New Orleans East when we came upon two company trucks, pulling road warning signs of all things. I say this because the driver of the second truck was busy texting and in the process wasn’t paying too much attention to how close he was getting to the truck in front of him. Although they were hauling road caution signs, they were not displaying much caution.

People texting while driving really irks me. While hubby drove along side the truck, I looked up the company name on my phone. Once we had the truck number, I phoned in to speak to the safety manager. He was a little surprised at the information we were able to provide. He asked what the driver looked like so he could be sure he spoke to the correct person. We not only provided a description of the driver, but the mile post, direction, time, and truck information.

The safety manager said that he was sure that the driver would deny the accusation, but also remarked that where there was smoke, there was normally fire and with the information we provided, he wouldn’t be able to easily weasel out of the problem. I guess when the driver decided to text, he wasn’t expecting a trooper to be watching. The safety manager thanked us for the information and told us he was glad we had called in.

I think we were heading through Alabama (from Louisiana) when we came across this on the interstate. I couldn’t resist clicking a picture.

IMG_3016

It’s not often you see this!

Our trip originated in Southern Louisiana and we traveled through Mississippi, Alabama, and then Georgia on this trip on our way to the Smokey Mountains in Northern Georgia. You see a lot of strange things out there on the interstate!

We headed through a rainstorm that insisted on following us part of the way north.

IMG_3017

With the morning delay, by the time we made it to Atlanta, we hit work traffic. It was a mess. I’ll never forget the first time I experienced Atlanta traffic. It was years ago. We came off of an overpass and around a curve and saw eight lanes of stalled traffic.

This was only six lanes wide.

IMG_3021

IMG_3022

North of Atlanta, we ran into more rain as we headed into the mountains.

IMG_3024

Even with all the delays and weather, we still ended up arriving at Walnut Mountain before dark – just! These photos were taken on the mile drive up to the top of the mountain. This is actually a very steep incline.

IMG_3025

IMG_3028

IMG_3029

IMG_3030

IMG_3032

IMG_3034

The fog rolled in as we reached the top.

I invite you to stay tuned for more of our adventures!

*Update – On the trip home as I was checking on the condition of the deputy that was shot, I stumbled across the name of the shooter. My heart skipped a beat when I realized that it was someone that I attended school with for five years. It is hard to reconcile the individual who picked up a gun and shot at another human being with someone I knew so long ago. Proves once again, it’s a small, small world.

The Southern Chocolatier – How to package those delicoius cupcakes

Cupcakes are my most FAVORITE thing in the whole world. I think I may have mentioned a time or two just how much I love them; little bits of cake that you don’t have to share! I was looking around on the internet and came across this post on the way I package cupcakes. It makes a wonderful treat to take home or as a presentation at a party.

an easy way to package cupcakes for parties

howtopackagecupcakes2

All the materials you’ll need are readily available at your local craft store.

How To Package Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place cooked and cooled cupcakes into plastic cups. If your liners happened to fade during the baking process, add another liner to each cupcake to make the design brighter and more visible.

2. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

3. Gently place cups into cellophane bags. Add your tags to the twine or ribbon and tie the top of the bag.

NOTES:

– If you are using a soft frosting such as cream cheese, meringue, or Italian buttercream, I would recommend attaching a spoon to your cup.

Borrowed from – http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/

A Southern Tradition – Tea

Today’s tea is Celestial Black Cherry Tea in a Mary Englebriet cup and saucer from my collection. This is the cup and saucer that started my collection. Those are also my cousin’s Koloches in the background. Yummy!

IMG_3122

 

What’s in your cup today?

Reflections of a Successful Wallflower; Lessons in Business, Lessons in Life by Andrea Michaels – Review

Reflections of a Successful Wallflower can only be compared to reading the diaries of Andrea Michaels, considered to be the backbone of the special events industry. This multiple award-winning business woman shares openly and candidly, not only the public wunderkind but the inner woman. Discover the workings of one of the foremost event producers in the world. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll be in disbelief and fascinated at the same time. Andrea is a storyteller, and her stories and her life are great lessons for everyone.

Purchase on Amazon

About the Author

ANDREA MICHAELS

President of Extraordinary Events

Winner of 39 Special Events magazine Gala Awards, Andrea was honored as the“Pillar of the Industry” during The Special Event Gala in 2014. This unique one-time-only achievement award, on the heels of the 25th Anniversary of Extraordinary Events, recognized Andrea for a lifetime of elevating the quality, integrity, creativity and impact of the events industry, as well as spearheading its international outreach. Andrea is also the first inductee into the Special Event Industry Hall of Fame and the recipient of the coveted Special Event Award of Excellence and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, she has won the M.P.I. Global Paragon Award and a SITE Crystal Award, among many other such honors. Andrea has planned and produced events since 1973, expanding from local Los Angeles based events to a dominant international presence.

How does Andrea stay ahead of the competition and consistently exceed her clients’ expectations? She listens. To her clients. To her vendors. To the industry. Then she integrates that very precise information in order to achieve her clients’ individual goals through creative marketing and integrated special events. What does this mean and how does it benefit you? It means that Andrea will promise that your needs are understood, your goals are met, and your budget is respected. All achieved through listening.

Andrea thinks of each event like a play…with an overture, acts, and finale, which brings a satisfying experience to all who attend her events. She believes in intense communication through marketing strategies designed to fulfill the goals of each individual project.

Whether it’s a multi-day festival at Mall of America, the opening of G.M. Place in Vancouver, hybrid events for MINI, the holiday spectacle for Go Daddy or multi-day programs throughout Europe, Asia or Latin America, no event is too small or too large. All are given equal attention.

Andrea’s conceptualization skills, logistical savvy, and ability to produce the mega-event for thousands of guests are legendary. Each event presented to her is analyzed for its specific needs. Her ever-growing clientele is loyal, and many clients have been with her for more than 20 years. These sought-after relationships are based on proven performance and enriched with trust and ethics. She listened carefully 25 years ago. She listens now.

Andrea is now a published author. Available on Amazon as a hard-bound book or on Kindle, as well as at Barnes & Noble book stores, her book, Reflections of a Successful Wallflower; Lessons in Business, Lessons in Life, is a tell-all, in-depth glimpse into her personal and professional life and is quite a read! Other books co-authored by Andrea include: Stepping Stones to Success with Deepak Chopra and Jack Canfield; Yes You Can! Reaching your Potential While Achieving Greatness with Dr. Warren Bennis and Jim Rohn; Bushido Business – The Fine Art of the Modern Professional with Tom Hopkins, Brian Tracy and Stephen M.R. Covey; and Mastering the Art of Success with Mark Victor Hansen, Les Brown and Jack Canfield.

Follow Andrea on https://www.facebook.com/pages/Extraordinary-Events/;https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reflections-of-a-Successful-Wallflower-Lessons-in-Business-Lessons-in-Life/

Purchase on Amazon

My Review –

Reflections of a Successful Wallflower is an extraordinary book. Andrea Michaels tells the story of her life and her life in the business with humor and candidness. You find yourself holding your breath as you read through the exploits and “almost didn’t come to fruition” stories. 

Andrea Michaels is someone who knows how to get it done and has proven this on many occasions. Before reading the book, I honestly had never heard of the author, but I was always curious about how huge events were pulled off. I found the book enlightening in both areas.

Reflections of a Successful Wallflower is both entertaining and informative and written with a sense of humor. I am giving the book five stars.

The Southern Chocolatier – Did someone say Oreo?

No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake!

No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake - this simple recipe makes an absolutely drool-worthy cheesecake without a lot of work time or ingredients

And oh my goodness, the recipe I came up with is incredible!  It is very rich and delicious.  And just the right amount of sweet and tart like any good cheesecake is.  And the best part is that it only took about 10 minutes to prepare!  The bad news is that it had to refrigerate for 4 hours before I could dig into it.  But let me tell you, it was well worth the wait!

This No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake is incredibly delicious and is sure to wow any guests!  This recipe is a keeper!

No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake

NO-BAKE OREO CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Beat approximately half of the milk with the cream cheese in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Add remaining milk and dry pudding mix and beat with a wisk for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Gently fold in crushed OREO’s and Cool Whip until combined.
  4. Spread into prepared OREO pie crust.
  5. Refrigerate at least 4 hours until firm and leave in fridge until ready to serve.
  6. Can garnish with whipped cream and more OREO’s if desired.

Borrowed from – http://www.simplydesigning.net/

 

Down the Shore by T. Torrest – Media Blitz

DownShore_banner

Down The ShoreBlurb:

Livia Chadwick is a photographer by day and a self-proclaimed rock slut by night.

Her dating life is a lackluster parade of evasive jerks and her boss is an unrelenting nightmare of a human being. What else can a girl do but rent a beach house with her girlfriends and blow off a little steam every weekend? But hey, she’s from Jersey. Barhopping down the shore all season is sort of mandatory. All is going according to plan… until she meets Jack.

Jack Tanner is a contractor-turned-musician in a small-town cover band suddenly thrust into the limelight. He’s already had enough of the rock-and-roll lifestyle, and groupies have never been his thing. Then again… there’s a gorgeous brunette in the audience tonight, checking him out with the most incredible green eyes he’s ever seen.

She’s looking for a fling.
He’s looking for forever.

It’s gonna be one helluva summer.

Set in the summer of 1995, Down the Shore takes the reader on a tour through some of the Jersey shore’s hottest hot spots over one, sleepless, flannel-clad summer. It’s a look back to a time when the music was groundbreaking, the rock clubs were king, and bar bands ruled the world. Read when you’re in the mood for: something light, funny, romantic, beachy, and nostalgic. For ages 18+.

***Not recommended for anyone under the age of 18.***

add-to-goodreads-button31

Buy: 

Amazon


Down the Shore  3

Excerpt:

Jack’s lips purse together, as if he’s literally trying to bite his tongue. Instead, his eyelids lower to half-mast as he says, “You’re not so tough, you know. You try to put up this big front, but your act is pretty transparent.”

I put a hand to my hip. “What the hell is that supposed to mean? I’m not putting on an act.”

“Sure you are. This whole groupie thing you’ve got going on. I’m not buying it.”

“I wasn’t trying to sell it.”

At that, he cracks a small smile, and it makes me feel more vulnerable than had I been standing there completely naked. You know, kind of like how he almost is. Continue reading

Southern Traditions – Tea

Today my choice of tea is Celestial Country Peach served in a beautiful china teacup and saucer that I picked up on a trip. The cup has magnolia flowers on it.

I am really enjoying the fruit teas by Celestial Seasonings.

 

IMG_3119

 

IMG_3120

 

 

 

Bridges of Paris by Michael Saint James – Review 5 stars

 

Book Details:

Book Title: Bridges of Paris by Michael Saint James
Category:  Adult Non-fiction,  280 pages
Genre: Travel Photography
Publisher: Citron Bay Press
Published: May 1, 2015
Available in: Print
Will send books: Internationally
Tour dates: April 13 to May 8, 2015
Content Rating: G

Book Description:


Bridges of Paris is a large-format coffee-table book, with over 350 original color photographs, which casts new illumination on the City of Light. The 37 bridges over the Seine River emerge as beautiful, historic destinations rather than unnoticed thoroughfares. The book features stunning portraits of each bridge as well as intimate riverside moments. Once you’ve experienced this river tour, you will never see Paris the same way again.

Living as a Parisian for a year, author Michael Saint James left his American lifestyle and spent his days and nights capturing images from over, on, beside and under the bridges of Paris. With over 30 years experience as a photographer, educator and world traveler, Michael immersed himself in French culture to search out his authentic artist self. The result is a visual treasure to share with everyone.

​About the author:
 
​Michael Saint James’ artistic pursuits include award-winning book design, film editing, and sound recording, as well as his first love, photography. Saint James is a world traveler, having visited more than 50 countries – doing everything from photographing penguins in Antarctica to trekking the Himalayas.As an educator with California teaching credentials, he has taught media production and technology arts as well as photography, art history and visual storytelling. He is an expert speaker on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Indeed, he walked in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in order to immerse himself in that troubled master’s vision.The father of two grown children, Saint James once owned a café in Berkeley, California. He has bicycled from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. and is rumored to play a mean blues harmonica.

Connect with Michael:  Website

My Review – 
Bridges of Paris is a magnificant book. It is filled with beautiful colorful photographs. Bridges have always held a fascination for me and this book has been a joy to sit and thumb through. The wonderful stories and history of the bridges added to the fascination of the book.
It was a wonderful journey to be able to view the bridges throughout the different seasons of the year and times of the day.  The layout of the book made it extremely easy to navigate as each bridge had its own section in the book according to where it was located in Paris – Palace bridges, Island Bridges, Upstream and Downstream bridges. I also enjoyed the satelite photos showing exactly where the bridge is located. I love maps and have a great courosity as to where things are located and this was a real plus for me to have this added bonus.
The photos show detail of the bridges that might otherwise go unnoticed. The photographs were of such quality and clarity that I was able to sit and study each photograph at length. By the time I completed the book, I felt that I had been to Paris.
Bridges of Paris is a beautiful book and worth everyone of five stars.
Tour Schedule:
 

April 13 – Readers’ Muse – review / giveaway
April 13 – Girl With Camera – review
April 13 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
April 14 – Bound 4 Escape – review / author interview / giveaway
April 14 – Seaside Book Nook – review / giveaway
April 15 – Breath of Life – review / guest post / giveaway
April 15 – Bluerose’s Heart – review / giveaway
April 16 – Bless Their Hearts Mom – review / author interview / giveaway
April 16 – 3 Partners in Shopping – review / giveaway
April 17 – Roughseaseinthemed – review / author interview
April 20 – Lavish Bookshelf – review / giveaway
April 20 – Minnesota Girl in the World – review
April 21 – My Life. One Story at a Time – review / giveaway
April 21 – Hello, my name is Alice – review / author interview
April 22 – She Treads Softly – review
April 22 – Life With Katie – review / giveaway
April 23 – Posting for Now – review / giveaway
April 23 – View From the Birdhouse – review / giveaway
April 24 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
April 24 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
April 27 – Psychotic State Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
April 27 – TW Brown on zombies, Border Collies, and the Indie Writing Scene – review / author interview
April 28 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – review / guest post / giveaway
April 29 – Chic Toronto – review
April 30 – Reading Authors – review / giveaway
May 1 – The Bookish & The Romantic – review / author interview / giveaway
May 4 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review 
May 5 – Impressions in Ink – review
May 6 – One Frugal Girl – review / giveaway
May 7 – Words and Peace – review / giveaway
May 7 – BooksatVioletCrush – review
May 8 – Create With Joy – review

Southern Traditions – Tea

Today, my choice of tea is an English Breakfast Tea by Twinings served in a Mary Engelbreit teaset.

 

IMG_3116

 

 

 

The Southern Chocolatier – Sinful Triple Chocolate Poke Cake – Need I say more?

When the name of a chocolate recipe has the word “sin” in it, does it really need any more explanation? Not in my book!

 

The Sinful Triple Chocolate Poke Cake combines a fudgy chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and chocolate whipped cream. Instead of using your typical sweetened condensed milk, I used a jar of hot fudge that I drizzle over the warm cake and then filled in the holes with a chocolate pudding. Then to top it off, I made a chocolate whipped cream. Whipped cream is SO easy to make. My favorite one to make around the holidays is Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream, which I used for this cake. Or, you can substitute the hot chocolate powder for cocoa powder. You really can’t go wrong with a cake like this.

 

Triple Chocolate Poke Cake
Prep time:  30 mins
Cook time:  20 mins
Total time:  50 mins
Serves: 16-20 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 Box Chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 Box Hershey’s dark chocolate instant pudding mix (3.4 oz)
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 2 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 C Milk
  • ½ C Vegetable oil
  • ½ C Light sour cream
For the topping
  • 1 Jar Hot fudge sauce (12.8oz)
  • 1 box Hersey’s Dark Chocolate instant pudding mix (3.4 oz)
  • 2 C Milk
For the Whipped Cream:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine cake mix and dry pudding mix with eggs, vanilla extract, milk, vegetable oil and sour cream. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Bake cake in 9×13” for 20-22 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. While the cake is still warm, take the end of a wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes all over the top of your cake.
  5. Heat the jar of hot fudge sauce in the microwave for about 30 seconds until you can stir it and thin it out. You may need an additional 30 seconds. Pour the entire jar of hot fudge sauce on the top of cake and allow it to absorb in the cake until cake is cooled. Let set until completely cooled.
  6. When the cake has cooled, prepare the pudding layer by mixing a package of instant dark chocolate pudding with 2 cups of cold milk. Before the pudding sets, pour it over the top of the cake and put the cake in the fridge to let the pudding set, about 15 minutes.
  7. Prepare the whipped cream. Put the bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to get them really cold (this step is optional, but a common practice I use.). In cold mixing bowl, pour in heavy whipping cream and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add hot chocolate mix and increase speed to medium high. Beat until stiff peak form.
  8. Spread whipped cream over the top of cake. You can top you cake with a chocolate drizzle and some crushed white and milk chocolate chips, or any of your favorite chocolate goodies.

Borrowed from and many, MANY thanks to – http://beyondfrosting.com/

Steeped in Southern Tradition – A cup o’Tea

Today, my choice of tea is an Irish Breakfast Tea. I hope you’ll grab a cup and join me with your favorite tea.

 

IMG_3117

 

 

The tea is Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea. My cup and sauce is by Mary Engelbreit.

 

 

Solitude Interrupted by LJ Scar – Review 4 stars

Laken – When you grow up like I did, you aren’t an open book. You guard your past, you don’t give everyone your life story. Sounds easy enough especially since I just graduated college, moved to the wilds of West Virginia with my dog, and signed a contract for an eighteen month nursing job. The problem is my landlord, Cole. He doesn’t get that I need to keep my distance. He jokes that I am on the run. Maybe I am. But this remoteness is what I need to put what happened in perspective, to put myself back together. I’m not running for the hills despite Cole’s pursuit. I may just end up running into his arms.

Cole – When you co-own an outfitter that specializes in guiding white water rafters everyday is an adventure. The elusive, blond beauty who rented my neighboring, riverside cabin was not what I expected. My brother and friend gave her two nights before she couldn’t take living out in the woods alone next to a relentless flirt who hadn’t shaved in six months just to win a bet. She said she came here to figure her life out without any distractions, at least not the romantic kind. But I love a challenge, I’m a thrill seeker. She needs a little excitement and I’m more than determined to be the one who interrupts her solitude.

Funny, thoughtful, and heart wrenching – “Solitude Interrupted” is the unforgettable love story of a courageous girl who overcame so much and the reckless adventurer who couldn’t turn away from her.

Content contains profanity and adult situations.

Purchase – Amazon

Author – LJ Scar is my pseudonym and alter-ego. She lives hillside in a tiny cottage that has a view of the mountains and the ocean on a sprawling parcel of land where all the people, dogs, and things she loves are within reach. She makes a living off the results of her imagination. She is a morning person who has great hair even after a rough night of sleep. She loves to exercise and doesn’t love junk food.

Nah…but someday. In the meantime, I live outside Louisville, Kentucky with my husband, a deceptively smart old border collie/husky mix, and a loving but troublemaking English Pointer/lab mix -both are rescues. I try to think up vivid locations based off places I’ve lived or vacationed and dream up romances and complications from observing strangers.

If you would like to see more please check out LJ Scar on Facebook (no spaces on LJ). On my page you will find photo albums of pics that inspired each of my books from the places depicted in each.

If you’ve read any of my books please take the time to leave a review on the website where you purchased it. I wish you could just leave a star rating but I don’t make the rules. Reviews are make or break for an indie author. Any comments are much appreciated.

My Review – 

Solitude Interrupted is a good book. I felt the story was well-written, the characters were solid, and the story-line believable. The cover of the book suited the story inside quite well.

This is a story of life and life’s struggles. It is a story of friendship and of finding yourself in the middle of chaos. The characters were very likable and real.

I did find a number of errors throughout the book and that caused a slight distraction for me. I enjoyed the story tremendously, but in my opinion, a 4-star book due to the errors.

Purchase – Amazon

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

 

 

The Southern Chocolatier – Did I mention how much I LOVE Malt?

The recipe caught my attention simply by the word “Malted” in the title. The word simply makes my heart palpitate!

This Malted Chocolate Mousse Tart is everything you want in a chocolate dessert. It is the most light and airy mousse atop a chocolate cookie crust.

The BEST Chocolate Malted Mousse Tart. An Oreo crust is filled with a light, chocolate mousse.

 

Satisfy your chocolate cravings with his Malted Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse.

This Malted Chocolate Mousse Tart needs to be next up on your baking agenda. It is a simple Oreo cookie crust filled with a light chocolate cheesecake mousse.

This was my first experience making a tart. I am not so sure what I was worried about! It was so easy and it released from the pan so smoothly. Just don’t carry it by the middle of the pan!

The BEST Chocolate Malted Mousse Tart. An Oreo crust is filled with a light, chocolate mousse.

The filling is prepared with a little bit of cream cheese, melted chocolate, malt powder, sugar and heavy cream. First you need to beat the heck out of the cream cheese until it is really light. I always start with cold cream cheese because I think that it helps keep the integrity of the mousse.

Sink your teeth into this Malted Chocolate Mousse Tart. Creamy, airy and full of flavor.

You can usually find malt powder with the ice cream toppings or the chocolate milk mix-ins. I like to keep it on hand to add to milkshakes, frostings and desserts like the mousse tart. I used a chocolate malt for this dessert, but a vanilla or “plain” malt powder would work too.

Easy Chocolate Mousse Tart

For the pan, I used a 7” by 11” rectangle pan, but I am certain that my recipe will work in a 9” or 10” round as well. If you don’t have a tart pan, you could even use a spring-form pan too. The nice thing about the tart pan is that it has the scalloped edges, and the bottom is easily removed.

The BEST Chocolate Malted Mousse Tart. An Oreo crust is filled with a light, chocolate mousse.

This no-bake recipe can be prepared in advance, and doesn’t require any baking. It’s great for summer and holidays! If there is one message to take away; it’s don’t fear the tart!

The BEST Chocolate Malted Mousse Tart. An Oreo crust is filled with a light, chocolate mousse.

 

Malted Chocolate Mousse Tart
Author: Julianne Bayer
Prep time:  20 mins
Cook time:  2 hours
Total time:  2 hours 20 mins
Serves: 12-16 slices
This Malted Chocolate Mousse Tart is everything you want in a chocolate dessert. It is the most light and airy mousse atop a chocolate cookie crust.
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg Oreos
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • For the filling
  • 1 pkg Cream cheese, 8oz (cold)
  • 2 oz Chocolate chips (milk or dark)
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • ½ C Chocolate malt powder
  • ½ C Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Heavy whipping cream
  • For the topping
  • 1¼ C Heavy whipping cream
  • ½ C Powdered sugar
  • 2-4 oz Chocolate bar, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, grind up Oreos into a fine crumb. Pour crumbs in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 6 tablespoons unsalted butter. Microwave for 30-45 seconds until butter is melted. Stir to coat crumbs with butter.
  2. Pour Oreo crumbs in the tart pan and use a spatula to press into the pan. Refrigerate crust until filling is ready.
  3. Remove cream cheese from refrigerator and beat on medium speed for two minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. In a small, microwave-safe dish, combine chocolate chips and butter. Melt for 30-60 seconds and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate over cream cheese and mix to combine.
  5. Add malt powder and sugar to the cream cheese mix, beat on medium speed until well incorporate. Add 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping and beat on high speed for 2 minutes to incorporated additional air into the mousse. Pour filling into prepared tart shell. Refrigerate until mousse sets, 2-4 hours.
  6. Before serving, prepare whipped cream. Whip heavy cream on medium high speed for several minutes until bubbly.
  7. Add powdered sugar and beat on medium high until stiff peaks form. Pipe onto tart.
  8. Use a sharp knife and chop chocolate bar into slivers. Sprinkle over tart.
Notes
“Cook Time” is resting time for the tart to set in the refrigerator.
Borrowed from – http://beyondfrosting.com/

 

Steeped in Southern tradition – afternoon tea

For many more years than anyone can possible remember, Southerners have enjoyed their afternoon tea. For me, this afternoon’s tea was Celestial Seasoning’s Blueberry Tea. Once you smell the heavenly aroma, you’ll be hooked!

This teacup is another from my Mary Engelbreit collection (I have a few!)

 

IMG_2968

 

 

Have a Happy Day!

 

 

The Southern Chocolatier – A simple American treat turned into a decadent dessert!

I love Petit Fours! Actually I love anything chocolate that I don’t have to share!  Petit Fours were made for people like me. I want my cake and I want to eat it – ALL – too. This is a perfect treat! Enjoy!

S’MORES PETIT FOURS

 

smores petit fours (10) copy

 The dark chocolate ganache topped with a sweet toasted meringue is just the right amount of richness to pair perfectly with any cocktail and is small enough to eat in just one or two bites!

smores petit fours collage 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 125 g butter
  • 60 g sugar
  • vanilla
  • 10 g egg yolk (half a yolk)
  • 172 g flour
  • For the dark chocolate ganache:
  • 425 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 225 g cream
  • 50 g butter
  • For the meringue topping:
  • 125 g egg whites (about 4)
  • 225 g sugar
  • 150 g powdered sugar, sifted
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit and prepare a rectangular baking frame on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  2. Mix together the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Add the egg yolk and finally the flour. Form into a smooth dough.
  3. Press the dough into the baking frame, making sure to get all corners and to make it as even as possible.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, bring the cream and butter to a boil in a pot over the stove.
  6. Place the chopped chocolate in a separate bowl. Once boiling, pour the cream and butter over the chocolate. Stir until all chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache.
  7. Pour the ganache over the baked crust and smooth evenly.
  8. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to speed things along.
  9. The consistency should be hard enough to cut out with a cookie cutter, but not completely frozen.
  10. Using the desired cookie cutter, I love using a small, round cookie cutter (appx. 4.5 cm) so the S’mores are the size of Petit Fours (basically 2 bites), cut out the S’mores being careful to clean the cookie cutter as you go to get a clean form.
  11. Once cut out you can begin to make the meringue.
  12. Place the egg whites in your mixer and begin beating on high. Once the egg whites have become bubbly, slowly add the sugar. Let beat until stiff peaks form and for the last 3 minutes, beat in the powdered sugar.
  13. Fill into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe out evenly onto each S’more.
  14. Toast with a small handheld kitchen flame gun.

 

Borrowed from – http://www.bakingmywaythroughgermany.com/

 

Steeped in Southern Tradition – A cup of tea

While some rise and shine each morning to a cup of coffee, I say to them, “Make mine tea, please.” This morning I enjoyed a cup of Lipton Mixed Berry Green Tea. I’ve become a little obsessed with berry teas as of late. There are so many and they are so good.

My teacup of choice this morning was a cup from my Mary Engelbreit collection. How about you – are you a coffee person or a tea person?

 

IMG_2974

 

 

Have a Happy Day!

 

Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins – Review

Not Without My Father 2Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero?

Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days.

After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.

As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did.

Andra Watkins 4Andra Watkins lives in Charleston, South Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She’s still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she’d end up starring in porn films. In addition to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.

Her latest book is the memoir, Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace.

For More Information

For More Information

      • Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace is available at Amazon
      • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

My Review –

First of all, I cannot imagine hiking the entire Natchez Trace! I have had the wonderful opportunity to drive the Trace on several occasions and it is a beautiful drive, no matter the time of year. We love looking for and spotting remnants of the old trail as it zigzags across the highway.

But to hike it, and to bring along a reluctant father? No – for all of the reasons Andra listed! But, then again, what a wonderful opportunity to get to know the person who was at least partially responsible for you being here.

To call this event courageous would be an understatement. Andra is a wonderful story teller and her wit will leave you laughing and crying throughout the book.

While the Natchez Trace itself is full of history and intrigue, Not without my Father is more a story about relationships and how a father and daughter came to terms with each other.

I definitely recommend the book if you love reading about relationships and also a little history thrown in. I’m giving the book 4 stars.

 

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Steeped in Southern tradition – Tea

I love a good cup of tea, whether by myself while curled up with a good book, or sharing conversation with good friends. Today I enjoyed a cup of Yogi Blueberry Green Tea in a teacup by Mary Engelbreit.

Throughout the days ahead, I’ll hope you’ll fix your own cup of tea and come back here to share a little Southern tradition with me. Until then, have a Happy Day!

 

IMG_2967

 

 

 

 

The Southern Chocolatier – Chocolate Mousse Pie

Yes! That is exactly what I said! Chocolate Mousse Pie!  If you love Chocolate Mousse (and I do!) then this is a slice of Heaven.

Sugar Wafer Chocolate Mousse Pie

Sugar Wafer Chocolate Mousse Pie...a creamy dreamy pie with a deliciously sweet crust!

 

NO BAKE! Sugar Wafer Chocolate Mousse Pie...a creamy dreamy pie with a deliciously sweet crust!

 

The filling is a super easy Chocolate Mousse. It’s a chocolate ganache mixed with whipped cream.

IMG_5178

Stir it until the chocolate is melted and smooth and then let it chill.

IMG_5188

While the ganache is chilling make your crust.

IMG_5192

Pulse up the chocolate wafers until they are coarse crumb…

IMG_5194

Mix them with some melted butter and press into a springform pan!

IMG_5197

Next whip up some heavy cream until stiff peaks form and fold it into the chilled ganache.

mousse

Spread that over the crust…

IMG_5204

And top with a little more whipped cream! I dusted cocoa powder on top just to be fancy.

No Bake Sugar Wafer Chocolate Mousse Pie...a creamy dreamy pie with a deliciously sweet crust!

 

Ingredients
Mousse
Crust
  • 32 Chocolate Sugar Wafer Cookies (about 8 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
Whipped topped
Instructions
Mousse
  1. Chop chocolate and transfer to a medium sized glass bowl. Add in salt and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan heat ¾ cup of heavy cream until it starts steaming. Don’t bring to a full boil. Pour hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for one minute to soften the chocolate. Immediately start stirring the chocolate until it’s completely melted with the cream. Place bowl in refrigerator and allow to cool for just 30 minute until it’s cooled. DOn’t forget about it, because you don’t want it to get solid. Just cool, but still “stirrable”.
  3. Whip remaining 1½ cups heavy cream in mixer with whisk attachment on medium high speed for 1-2 minutes until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Crust
  1. Grease a 9″ springform pan with butter, set aside.
  2. While the mousse is chilling place chocolate sugar wafer cookies in blender or food processor. Pulse until they are a fine crumb. The pulsed cookies will be slightly sticky, because of the filling. This is ok! Mix cookie crumbs with melted butter and press into prepared pan. Mixture can get sticky, I used my fingers to press in pan.
  3. Cover and chill this until ready to fill.
Assembly
  1. When chocolate is cooled remove it from the refrigerator and fold the extra whipped cream into the chocolate carefully. Continue stirring gently until mixed completely and there are no more chocolate streaks. Spread this into crust.
Topping
  1. Whip remaining 1½ cups heavy cream with powdered sugar with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and spread over the chocolate mousse. If desired dust with powdered sugar right before serving.
Notes
store airtight and chilled for up to 3 days
Borrowed from – http://cookiesandcups.com/

 

The Southern Chocolatier – Mississippi Mud – just doesn’t get any more Southern than that!

Mississippi Mud Pie

1

 

IMG_6550

Oreo/pecan base:

  • 1 packet Oreos
  • 2 1/2 oz. (75 g) pecans
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) butter

Melt the butter and grind or finely crush the pecans and the oreos. Mix and stir until well blended.

IMG_6443

Tip into a greased pie dish and press the mixture down and up the sides.

Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

IMG_6448

Bake the pie crust in a 350 ˚F (180 ˚C) oven for about 15 minutes, then leave to cool.

IMG_6453

Chocolate pudding

  • 3/4 cup (170 g) regular sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) pure unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
  • 3 tablespoons (30 g) corn starch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/4 cup (500 ml) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 oz. (100 g) dark chocolate (60% or 70% cocoa solids)

Put the sugar, corn starch, cocoa powder and egg yolks into a saucepan, stir well and add the milk little by little. .

IMG_6120

Place the pan on a medium heat. Stir constantly until bubbles appear, then boil for 30 seconds and take the pan off the heat.

IMG_6145

Pour the mixture into a large bowl.

IMG_6149

Add the chocolate, butter and vanilla extract, and stir well until melted into the mixture.

IMG_6156

Leave to cool slightly, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes.

IMG_6468

Pour the chocolate pudding mixture into the cooled pie crust.

IMG_6473

Place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

IMG_6477

Whip about 1 – 1 1/2 cup (200-300 ml) heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar.

IMG_4760

Cover the pie with a generous layer of whipped cream.

IMG_6479

IMG_6499

IMG_6504

Sprinkle some pecan nuts on top…

IMG_6550

The perfect pie for Valentine’s day…  pale-pink

I hope I was able to tempt you, have a wonderful day everyone.

200

Hugs from me to you.

PicMonkey Collage

200

 

Borrowed from – http://en.passionforbaking.com/

 

An Oath Sworn Cover Reveal, Diana Cosby

An Oath Sworn Book Banner

 

AnOathSworn3A man of honor.
A woman of spirit.

As the new castellan, Sir Nicholas Beringar has the daunting task of rebuilding Ravenmoor Castle on the Scottish border and gaining the trust of the locals—one of whom wastes no time in trying to rob him. Instead of punishing the boy, Nicholas decides to make him his squire. Little does he know the thieving young lad is really…a lady.

Lady Elizabet Armstrong had donned a disguise in an attempt to free her brother from Ravenmoor’s dungeons. Although intimidated by the confident Englishman with his well-honed muscles and beguiling eyes, she cannot refuse his offer.

Nicholas senses that his new squire is not what he seems. His gentle attempts to break through the boy’s defenses leave Elizabet powerless to stem the desire that engulfs her. And when the truth is exposed, she’ll have to trust in Nicholas’s honor to help her people—and to surrender to his touch…

Praise for the novels of Diana Cosby

“Cosby gives you it all—passion, danger, lush history and a touch of magic. Excellent reading.” —Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author

“A sexy new voice in historical romance. Scottish historicals have a bright new star (in Diana Cosby).”—Sandra Hill, USA Today bestselling author

“Diana Cosby writes wonderful historical romance!” —Susan King

FOR MORE INFORMATION

An Oath Sworn is available at Amazon

Diana CosbyA retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Her award-winning books are translated in five languages.  Diana has appeared at Lady Jane’s Salon, in NYC, and in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happily Ever After,” MSN.com, and in Texoma Living Magazine.

After retiring as a Navy Chief, AGC(AW), Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.

Her years of living in Europe inspired Diana to write in the medieval time frame.  After watching the movie Braveheart and with her passion for writing complex plots, the idea for the MacGruder brothers series was born.

With the release of her 1st book in her new Scottish medieval The Oath trilogy, An Oath Taken, which hit bestseller lists in Canada and the United Kingdom, she’s now preparing for the release of the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series on February 24th, and the last two books in The Oath trilogy, An Oath Broken – 22 June, and, An Oath Sworn – 23 December, 2015!

Diana has many passions in life, but one that resonates in her life is that of giving. She firmly believe that each of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life.  Some of the charities she supports are listed below:

The National Trust for Scotland, which acts asguardian of Scotland’s magnificent heritage of architectural, scenic and historic treasures.

Habitat For Humanity, which gives a deserving family more than a home, but a foundation upon which to build their dreams..

Semper Fi Fund , is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help with immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Homes For Our Troops, assists severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families through various venues to aid them in building a home that allows them live a more independent life.

The Navy SEAL Foundation, provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

For More Information

Visit Diana’s website.
Connect with Diana on Facebook  

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

The Calloways (series) by Barbara Freethy (Tour), Review

Callaway Tour Badge

All Callaway Book Covers

About the Callaway Blog Tour & All Its Great Prizes!

This is the week you finally meet the Callaways! Not only are they all over the web as part of their extraordinary blog tour, but they are also out and about in your neighborhood. That’s right; we’re celebrating the print launch with Ingram by throwing a party all over the world! Make sure to follow this tour closely for your chance to win gift cards, swag, autographed books, and other incredible prizes.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment—easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Callaway novels by Barbara Freethy (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Callaways: The Callaways were born to serve and protect! In Barbara’s new connected family series, each of the eight siblings in this blended Irish-American family find love, mystery and adventure, often where they least expect it! Each book stands alone, but for the full enjoyment of the series, you might want to start at the beginning with On A Night Like This! Get the eBooks via Amazon, Barnes & NobleiBooks, or Kobo.

About the Author: Barbara Freethy has been making up stories most of her life. Growing up in a neighborhood with only boys and a big brother who was usually trying to ditch her, she spent a lot of time reading. When she wasn’t reading, she was imagining her own books. After college and several years in the P.R. field, she decided to try her hand at a novel. Now Barbara is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author loved by readers all over the world. Her novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Learn more on her website, Facebook page, or in her Street Team.

My Review of the series – 

Every now and then I really enjoy reading a series. You have the chance to become part of a family and they become your friends for a while. The Calloways is just that type of series.

When I read that Barbara Freethy, the author of The Calloways and Bella Andre’, the author of The Sullivans were friends, I expected the series to be along the same lines. My instincts were correct. The two authors even share writing styles. For me personally, it wasn’t a disappointment because I enjoyed both series.

Regarding the storylines, I found the books enjoyable, although somewhat predictable. It didn’t deter me from reading them, because once you meet one sibling, you want to meet them all and in turn, they all have a story to tell.

I thought the writing was good and I found no grammatical errors. Each book is a stand-alone read, but you’ll find the books more enjoyable if you read them all and in order.

With summer almost upon us, or at least those beautiful spring days, if you are looking for a good clean romance series, The Calloways will fit the bill quite nicely. I’m giving the books 5 stars.

Purchase Links –

 On A Night Like This (Callaways #1)

So This Is Love (Callaways #2)

Falling For A Stranger (Callaways #3)
Between Now And Forever (Callaways #4)
All A Heart Needs (Callaways #5)
That Summer Night (Callaways #6)
When Shadows Fall (Callaways #7)
Somewhere Only We Know (Callaways #8)
or a boxed set of all 8 books – The Callaways (8 Book Series)

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

The Southern Chocolatier – Chocolate and Coffee

Chocolate and Coffee Mousse

IMG_2896

 

Ingredients

1 teaspoon gelatin powder

2 tablespoons cold water

3 tablespoons hot water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder pinch of salt

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions In a bowl, mix gelatin with cold water and let it stand for a minute. Then, mix hot water to it and let it cool to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, add sugar, salt and sift cocoa powder plus coffee powder to it. Add whipping cream to the bowl and using an electric mixer, whisk at medium high until it’s stiff. Scrape in between to make sure everything is mixed well. Pour the gelatin mixture, vanilla extract and whisk to mix everything together. Spoon it to individual containers, cover it and refrigerate it for a few hours. Serve it plain or add a dollop of whipped cream on top.

IMG_2897

Borrowed from – http://www.playfulcooking.com/