Category Archives: Romance

Crescent City Lies…

My Book Blurb is Done!

Well.. I hope it is! I love to hear what you think. Would you read this book?

“Crescent City Lies”

Emeline Drake’s great-aunt was dead. A heart attack the coroner concluded, but her aunt’s long-time housekeeper disagreed. She suspected murder.

Returning to New Orleans to claim her inheritance, Emeline thought the harrowing life of a war photojournalist was behind her for a while. She was wrong. Sinister phone calls and blackmail threats, an aggressive real estate agent, and the return of a lost love were only the beginning. Someone was following her.

As the threats against her life and those she loves mount, Emeline stumbles across a fifty-year-old family secret. A secret that could get them all killed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now to decide what to write about the author. Yikes! That’s me!!!

Advertisements

The Muffuletta!

** The Muffuletta **

Have you ever eaten a Muffuletta sandwich? If not, then you’ve likely never visited New Orleans. There is nothing more unique or tasty in the Crescent City.

Emeline Drake, the main character in my novel, “Crescent City Lies,” gets a hankering for one of these delicious sandwiches. A hankering that reopens her past and changes her life.

Yes, the sandwich is that good.

A friend who lives in New Orleans regaled the story of the Muffuletta during a visit. The sandwich was created by the owner of Central Grocery, an Italian market located in the French Quarter. The origin of the name is unclear. It may have been named for a customer or for the baker who created the round Italian bread (the unbelievably delicious bread) used.

There are many places in New Orleans to find this iconic sandwich, but none beat the Central Grocery.

(http://www.centralgrocerynola.com/)

While Central Grocery does mail order, it can be pricey. From the blog “GumboPages,” here is a recipe shared with the blogger by New Orlean’s cook and cookbook author Chiqui Collier. The olive salad recipe is a closely guarded secret by Central Grocery, but this recipe according to Collier comes from the creation of the original muffuletta.

From Collier: “The recipe for the olive salad is the exact way it was given to me. It makes over a gallon, but since your comments indicate that you love it, I’m sure you won’t want to cut it down. It stores very well in the refrigerator for many months and makes great gifts along with the recipe for the sandwich. It does appear in my cookbook, “Cookery N’Orleans Style.”

The Muffuletta

For the olive salad:

• 1-gallon large pimento stuffed green olives, slightly crushed and well drained
• 1-quart jar pickled cauliflower, drained and sliced
• 2 small jars capers, drained
• 1 whole stalk celery, sliced diagonally
• 4 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
• 1 small jar celery seeds
• 1 small jar oregano
• 1 large head fresh garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 jar pepperoncini, drained (small salad peppers) left whole
• 1 pound large Greek black olives
• 1 jar cocktail onions, drained

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and mix well. Place in a large jar and cover with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 Crisco oil. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours before using.

For the sandwich:

• 1 round loaf Italian bread
• 1/4 pound mortadella, thinly sliced
• 1/4 pound ham, thinly sliced
• 1/4 pound hard Genoa salami, thinly sliced
• 1/4 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced
• 1/4 pound Provolone cheese,sliced
• 1 cup olive salad with oil

Split a muffuletta loaf or a loaf of Italian bread horizontally. Spread each half with equal parts of olive salad and oil. Place meats and cheeses evenly on the bottom half and cover with top half of bread. Cut in quarters. Enjoy!

Serves four timid dieters, two hearty New Orleanians or one incredible maiale.

http://www.gumbopages.com/food/samwiches/muff.html

Enjoy!!!!

muffuletta-sammies-square-3

Book Covers

The most effective way to entice a reader to read your book is a killer blurb. The question is how do you grab the reader’s attention so they take the time to read it? The best way is by creating a great cover to catch their eye.

I’ve been playing around with Photoshop for several years, so I have this (insane) belief that I can create my own cover.

Delusional, perhaps. Cheaper, definitely.

So I followed the advice of several helpful book cover design sites located through Google and did the following:

• Chose an image that reflects a scene from the story.
• Used only quality images using free-use photos so there are no copyright infringements.
• Title large and easy to read.
• Fonts: No more than two. No comic sans or Papyrus. Did not use all-capital letters, italics, stylized letters. The font is legible.
• Garish colors often turn a reader away according to the tips. I used subtle colors to soothe the eye and allow the title to stand out.
• Followed the guidelines for cover dimensions posted by the publishing platform.

(There was another tip – always use a professional to create a book cover. I ignored that one.)

Crescent City Lies is set in New Orleans and two pivotal scenes take place in a cemetery in the Garden District of the city. I chose to use the iconic tombs from the cemetery to not only represent part of the story but also as symbols of New Orleans.

A side note:

I think book covers are incredibly subjective. It would be a rare cover that garnered universal praise. Personally, I detest the ripped shirt, bare chests images of the male hero of a romance novel. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against bare-chested males. I like them. I do have issues with the notion that there is a standard which must be followed for certain genres, primarily romance. While the argument that the formalistic image makes a romance novel easily recognized is valid, just once I’d like to see a less dramatic, predictable cover.

Well – off the soapbox and on to my attempt at a cover. My cover still needs a bit of tweaking, spacing and the like and as you notice, the area where the blurb should go is still empty. I hate writing blurbs.

I would love your opinion of the cover.

ccl-template-4-small-1-copy

*** Coming Soon*** Crescent City Lies

I’m excited, my first novel Crescent City Lies is currently being edited. A romantic suspense, it’s the story of a woman who inherits a home and art gallery in New Orleans from her great-aunt, only to discover her aunt may have been murdered.  Stay tuned for more on the book and a prequel to introduce the main character.

With publishing is just around the corner and I thought it would be fun to document the journey.  I know the publishing process can be frustrating and daunting for a lot of people. Hopefully, by posting the trials and tribulations of publishing through Amazon Kindle, I can help take some of the mystery out of the process.

Hope you will join me in my journey to publication!

 

CCL FB Banner

The Last Chance… New Episode

The Last Chance Book Cover  Sm copy

Previously on The Last Chance:  In the aftermath of the attack by Grainger’s men, tensions are high on The Last Chance. They know Grainger won’t stop until he gets what he wants… Eme and the ranch. When Eme foolishly places herself in danger, McCord realizes he’d do anything to keep her safe.

Click on The Last Chance on the menu bar and select page 14.

The Last Chance… New Episode

The Last Chance Book Cover Sm copy

Previously on The Last Chance:  Grainger acts, sending his henchmen to The Last Chance to demand Eme sign over ownership of the ranch and take her to Grainger. McCord and the ranch hands confront Grainger’s men thwarting the attack, but the fight takes its toll. Chuck is injured, and Eme killed a man to save McCord. As they deal with the consequences, they wait for Grainger’s next move.

Click on The Last Chance on the menu bar and select page 13.

 

The Last Chance…. New Episode!

The Last Chance Book Cover  Sm copy

Previously on The Last Chance:  After Grainger’s visit to The Last Chance, Eme and McCord know it’s only a matter of time before the situation escalates. While McCord is on watch late one night, Eme joins him to explain why protecting the ranch is so important to her. As their attraction to each other grows, the knowledge Grainger won’t quit until he has what he wants hangs over them.

Click on The Last Chance on the menu bar and select page 12.