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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cooking with Author Tina Ann Forkner!



Who is Tina? For those of you who have not read any of her novels, you are in for a treat! I'm happy to have her as my guest today at my blog.





Tina Ann Forkner is the author of three novels including Ruby Among Us and Rose House (Random House), as well as her latest release, Waking Up Joy (Oct./Tule). Tina was raised in rural Northeastern Oklahoma where her most recent novel is set, but she makes her home in Cheyenne, Wyoming with her husband and their three teenagers. Tina has spent time serving on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board and is currently a substitute teacher for the Laramie County School District. Learn more: www.tinaannforkner.com

And here is one of Tina's favorite recipes.

Tina’s Easy Strawberry-Lemon JELL-O Cake

Joy Talley, in Waking Up Joy, is famous for her strawberry-lemon cake and people in the book want to get the secret recipe. As the author, I like to make the easy version that my Mom made when I was a little girl. You won’t believe how simple it is. Joy’s friends could have just made this one and it would have tasted almost as dreamy.



Ingredients:

One Prepared 13x9x2 inch Lemon Cake (From a mix, of course or it wouldn’t be easy.)
One Unprepared 3 oz. Pkg Strawberry JELL-O
1 Cup boiling water
½ Cup cold water
2 Prepared Pkg Dream Whip topping. (It has to be Dream Whip. Be careful not to let the berries “bleed” onto the dream whip. That’s why you prepare both packages. The thicker the cloud the better.)
2 pkg sliced fresh strawberries
1 thinly sliced lemon

Let prepared lemon cake cool
Dissolve JELL-O mix in the boiling water. Mix in the cold water. Set aside.
Use the end of a fork to poke holes evenly (or randomly) in the cake.
Ladle the JELL-O liquid over the cake evenly ensuring all holes have been filled.
Place cake in fridge for one hour. (Or hurry it up by putting it in the freezer.)
Lay 1 pkg of the sliced berries on top of the cake.
Prepare Dream Whip. Spread it on the cake until it looks like a fluffy cloud.
Add the rest of the strawberries to the top of the cake.
Refrigerate for another 2 to 3 hours. (Or hurry it up by… you guessed it…the freezer.)
When you slice it, the pretty yellow cake should have pink stripes. Serve it on a pretty paper plate and garnish with one of the thin lemon slices.


A bit about Waking Up Joy

Behind every dream lost lies a second chance. When Joy Talley wakes up from a coma, her quirky brothers and sisters think she is off her rocker, but she has never felt better. Now Joy must face her darkest secret and risk reopening old wounds. Taking risks brings change, and suddenly Joy’s once humdrum, rural life in Oklahoma is anything but routine. Filled with magical charm and a small-town love story that transcends time, Waking Up Joy tackles dark secrets and complex relationships with wit, humor, and insight.

"One title that should appeal to those crossover women's fiction readers is Waking Up Joy (Tule, Oct.), by Tina Ann Forkner. When the adored town spinster ends up in a coma and is shocked by the conversations she overhears about herself while down for the count, she is determined to fix things. Joy must face the past--and her failed romances--in order to embrace a brighter future." - Library Journal


You can find Waking Up Joy here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Historical Romance, Under the Silk Hibiscus



And in less than four weeks, my sixth novel, Under the Silk Hibiscus, will arrive!

This novel takes place in an internment camp in Wyoming where many Japanese-Americans were sent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There's upheaval, frustration, pain, and sorrow. Families are separated. Some members are accused of being spies, like Nathan Mori's father.

To balance the discrimination that evolved during this time period, I had to rely on humor and romance.

One of the most fun relationships I enjoyed crafting was between the main character, Nathan, and his aunt Kazuko. Even though she's single and has no children of her own, Aunt Kazuko knows how to keep Nathan and his brothers in line. She knows truth----particularly that a body can't live on hard work alone. She loves cookies and keeps morsels in her sweater sleeves, taking them out when she needs a "pep".

And of course, there's young romance. Nathan dreams of the lovely singer, Lucy, and wants her to notice him, but she seems more interested in his older brother, Ken.

There are two characters which are not people---one is Heart Mountain, the mountain viewed every day from those in the barracks at the camp. Then there is the Mori family's coveted gold watch, a family heirloom from Japan.

So the questions form: Will Nathan get the girl? What happens to the family heirloom during the war and after the war ends? Does Nathan's father return? How does war and discrimination change hearts? How does God's love prevail?

Here's the book blurb:

During World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan's one desire is to protect the family's gold pocket watch, a family heirloom brought over from Japan. He fails; the watch is stolen. Struggling to make sense of his life in a bleak camp as the only responsible man of the household, Nathan discovers truths about his family, God, and the girl he loves.

Read more at Amazon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Guest blogger, Author Sandy Ardoin




Today my guest is Sandy Ardoin, a fellow Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas author.



Let's take a peek into her new book.

It's Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor.

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others.

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town ... and in Violet's company.

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.






Passionate about horses and a fan of old westerns, it’s only natural that Sandra Ardoin sets her stories in the days of the horse and buggy. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, is no exception.

Her short stories have been published in both adult and juvenile denominational publications, and her story “Get A Clue” is part of the Family Ties: Thirteen Short Stories collection.

Sandy is the married mother of a young adult.

Visit her at her website (www.sandraardoin.com) and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. To receive updates, fun facts, and special offers, sign up for her newsletter.

You can get a copy of The Yultide Angel, published by Heritage Beacon, a division of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, by clicking here.