Monday, November 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Hi gang,

The wonderful and brilliant writer, Orly Konig-Lopez (Orly's website) tagged me to play a game called The Next Big Thing in which authors hold the microphone for a minute, answer ten questions about the stories they are working on, and then pass the mic to five other authors. It is has been illuminating. And fun.

Here is my shot at the microphone:

What is your working title of your book?

I am still throwing names at the wall. Here are a few that have stuck:
Love at the Epicenter
Her Guardian, His Angel
Um, any suggestions you have might be helpful. Seriously, any suggestions. Post in the comments and if I use it I will give you credit in the book.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Originally, it was a sequel to Catch Me in Castile set in Port-au-Prince, but my editor at the time rejected it because she didn't like the set-up. I will always be grateful for that rejection. I even sent the editor a thank you for rejecting me! Why? The timing was wrong.

If I had sold that original story it would have been released within days of the devastating earthquake. It might have felt disrespectful to those who had lost so much. In hindsight, that rejection was the best thing that could have happened to this story.

Instead, of celebrating the release of my sequel, I sat riveted to my television, tears streaming while I witnessed the human survival, strength and success stories in Haiti. I wanted to pour that love and human spirit into my book in honor of the survivors and those who fought to save lives.

Epicenter (or whatever it's name is) was born.

What genre does your book fall under? 

Single-Title (with a hint of paranormal)

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Luke Carter....Josh Lucas
Dr.Ysabeau Morno...Halle Berry
The two old Voodoo Priestesses who keep trying to steal the show will have to be great actors as well.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It is the love story of an American philanthropist and a Haitian doctor are fighting to save lives when the greatest earthquake Haiti has ever known rips their world apart. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

I am looking for an agent at the moment.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first first draft (the sequel to Catch Me in Castile) took about eight months. After my editor rejected it, I tossed out all but a few scenes and started over. After researching before and after the earthquake, scouring YouTube for any videos of the city prior to the devastation (thank you to those families who posted videos inside the Hotel Montana before it was leveled), watching the news and reading first-hand accounts, I started writing the new book and was finished with the first draft in two months. I honestly never thought I could write anything that fast. The story seemed to write itself.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

Hmmm. That's a tough one. Readers have told me that my stories remind them of Jodi Picoult's. That is a huge compliment.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

The earthquake survivors and the search and rescue teams who gave everything to save lives.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 

Don't be surprised if it makes you laugh, cry and knocks the floor out from beneath your feet. Currently, it is a finalist in four writing contests!

And now to pass the microphone to a few of my awesome writer friends. Look for their answers on their websites next week.

Selena Robins 

Renee Wildes 

Nancy Lauzon 

A. Catherine Noon

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Love To the Veterans

Today in the United States is Veterans Day.

I want to express my deepest gratitude and love to you amazingly brave veterans and to your families. What you all have sacrificed and given to this great nation is beyond words. Thank you!

To those still serving please stay safe and come home soon.

Big hugs from one grateful American,


Monday, November 5, 2012

Tasty Tuesday Sweet and Spicy Jalapeno Fudge

A couple weeks ago, I tore my calf muscle. Not totally, just enough to be bunged up and lying around for a while. My little boy wanted to make fudge for the Halloween party but since I couldn't help him, he made it himself.

I gotta say it was divine.

I asked him if I could share his recipe with you all for Tasty Tuesday and he flatly denied me.

Me! His crippled mother.

Oh well. He wanted to keep his recipe a secret, so I searched the web and found another with a little more kick. And his fudge did make me feel better.


Spicy and Sweet Jalapeño Fudge

3 cups sugar
¾ cups margarine
5 oz. evaporated milk
12 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet chocolate, chopped
7 oz. Puffed Marshmallow Crème
1 tsp of vanilla
5-10 pickled jalapeño pepper rings
1 tsp of cinnamon

In blender, mix the jalapeño peppers until fine.

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil.

In a large saucepan, bring sugar, butter and milk to full rolling boil on medium heat and keep boiling for 4 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add chocolate and marshmallow crème, stir until melted. Stir in vanilla and jalapeño peppers. Pour into 9-inch pan. Sprinkle cinnamon across the top. Cut into squares once cooled.

And here a few more recipes you might be interested in:

Zesty Guacomole Salsa by Moira Keith

I'm a Pepper...You're a Pepper by Selena Robins -