Reclaim My Heart by Donna Fasano @DonnaFaz is #99cents

Save $3 on RECLAIM MY HEART ~ Now on sale for 99¢

More times than not, life isn’t tied up in a nice, pretty bow and we are left to figure out how to deal with friends or family members whose character traits are, well, less than perfect. But none of us are perfect, are we? We’re all just humans… being. (Many of my books touch on this fact.) The best we can do is learn to live and let live, learn to love those who are unlovable, and most of all, we must find it in our hearts to forgive. I’m so proud that RECLAIM MY HEART has done well (it made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List!), and I thank all of you who have read, enjoyed, and taken the time to review the book.

Reclaim My Heart

Some of my favorite review clips:

“This book really hit home for me… I enjoyed the characters as I could relate to each of them. I love the story and I have to say that I wish there was a continuing story. I would love to know how everyone is doing since the reunion… Thank you for a good, heart-warming story.”

“Excellent … Hard to put down. Looking forward to reading more from this writer. Truly a memorable reading experience.”

“The best book I’ve read in a long time.”

“…the characters came alive. …addressed so many issues and left you with so much meaning, pride and joy.”

Find this bargain-priced contemporary romance:

On sale for Kindle for 99¢

Available at regular price in Paperback and Audiobook.

Idea-Filled Week

When you tell them you’re a novelist, they ask, “Where do you get your ideas?” I say that, if you’re a novelist, ideas leap out at you from behind every tree, building, and overheard conversation.

I’m back from an idea-filled trip to my husband’s 60th Harvard reunion, where some of his fellow classmates asked me―guess what?

Angela Merkel

There were plenty of ideas floating around the oldest university in the United States. Some of them were supplied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who spoke to the annual alumni association meeting on commencement day. She gave me an idea for a short story at the beginning of her remarks, when she talked about growing up on the wrong side of the Berlin wall.

John Harvard

But there were lots of other moments for a writer to catalogue. I watched many of the graduating seniors pose with the famous statue of John Harvard. They were with their families, and I thought about what it would be like to have raised a child who was now graduating from a prestigious university. Or what it would be like to be that son or daughter. Where are they going from here? In a lecture room in Emerson Hall, I listened to a talk by Professor Theda Skocpol on how the development and organization of the Tea Party and the Anti-Trump Resistance paralleled each other. That sent me contemplating political passions and dedication. Then, on the ground floor of the building, I came face to face with a statue of one of the great thinkers of my own education—Ralph Waldo Emerson. Seeing him took me back to my American Studies classes at The George Washington University. And that led me to thinking about a good friend from GWU who recently died. I usually write happy endings. Do I want to write about loss?

Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are authors who have an easy time with writing humor. I have to struggle with it. But seeing the Harvard Lampoon building put a smile on my face. Who came up with that whimsical facade? It made me think about college-age humor writers sitting around a table trying to outdo each other—which led me to speculation about the groups of writers who came up with the jokes for the TV shows of my youth.

Harvard Lampoon Building

Then there was the art museum where Norman’s reunion class enjoyed a wonderful dinner. (The first wonder was that they served us very nicely prepared fish instead of chicken.) The courtyard could have been in an ancient Roman building. Then I looked up at the huge mobile hanging above our heads and the newly-installed glass upper stories. Around the courtyard were art galleries with both modern and more traditional art. I thought about the men and women who had produced those paintings and sculptures and how writers and artists have a lot in common.

And we had a final fun surprise. After the reunion we went to a barbecue restaurant in Kendall Square. We sat near a long table where a large group of men were laughing and talking after dinner. They were all fit and good looking―romance-hero potentials. Most were informally dressed, but one was in a Navyl officer’s uniform. After dinner, we walked out in back of the Navy guy, and I asked him about the group. He said they were in town for their 25th Harvard reunion—and they were all members of the Harvard football team. No wonder they were so impressive.

Fogg Art Museum Sculpture

If I don’t get a story out of this trip, I’ll be surprised. What do you think about when you tour new places?

The Complete NY State Trooper Series AND a New Release!

For a limited time, I’m offering the complete NY State Trooper Series as a collection for only .99. The first book in the series: In Two Weeks is the first book I’ve ever wrote and it was also the first book that I ever published back in 2007. It was originally published with Triskelion and was titled Right In Front of You. Sadly, only days after release, the publisher went bankrupt.

That was my first lesson in resilience in publishing.

I have had to reinvent myself a couple of time and just as soon as I think I’ve got it covered, something in publishing changes, and I find myself having to adjust my plans.

But there is one thing that has never changed and that is the reader. Without the reader, I don’t exist. I’m constantly trying to give back to my readers. That’s why I put the NY State Trooper Boxset together. When I worked with NY Times Bestselling Bob Mayer at Cool Gus Publishing, we ran on the philosophy that backlist isn’t backlist to readers who haven’t read it before. Wow. That’s a mouthful, isn’t?

One of the things I often do in my books is use a setting that I’m intimately familiar with. In the NY State Trooper Series, I set all the books in Lake George, NY (except the latest novella). In the first book, our heroine lives in the cottage house that my family rented when I was a young girl. Her brother owns the local pub that was in our backyard. In Dark Water I have our heroine living in a trailer park up in Hauge, NY where I’ve been many times. Deadly Secrets is set in the village of Lake George and I have the heroine living in a row of houses that my family rented when I was a teenager. Murder in Paradise Bay, well, I have a dead body in Paradise Bay, a bay in Lake George that my family often hung out in. But also, the heroine’s family home is model after a big white house on Assembly point that friends of ours used to live in. I sort of take a detour in the next book To Protect His Own because our hero and heroine live on a farm not far from Lake George. This farm is not based on any farm that I know of. But as we move on to Deadly Seduction I take us back to the village of Lake George and to a restaurant that I used to love to go to when I was a kid. I put an apartment over the top that in real life doesn’t exist. Hey. It’s fiction. Finally, in When a Stranger Calls, I bring us back to the original location of the first book. Only, the house our heroine lives in was an old abandoned cottage when I was a girl and the mobile home the hero lives in was actually my next door neighbor, only in the book I moved it to a different street.

Recently, I wrote a novella that I set in Florida, but it’s about a NY State Trooper. The title is His Deadly Past. It is included in the complete boxset.

Last up, I have a new release coming up on June 11th that is up for pre-order. I’m super exicted about this novella. It’s the 4th book in the Out of the Wild series. It’s titled: Rough Edge. I hope you’ll check it out!

Smith Island Cake #Recipe by @DonnaFaz #mgtab

Smith Island Cake

10 layer Smith Island Cake

Every state in the US has its symbols. Maryland’s include the Baltimore Oriole (bird), the Blue Crab (crustacean), the Chesapeake Bay Retriever (dog), the Checkerspot Butterfly (insect), and the Black-eyed Susan (flower). On April 24, 2008, Smith Island Cake was officially chosen as Maryland’s official dessert.

Smith Island is a three-by-five mile chain of islands that lie across the Tangier Sound portion of the Chesapeake Bay and can only be reached by boat. No one really knows who baked the first Smith Island Cake, but this impressive 10 layer confection is delicious and versatile. The recipe below, with its cooked fudge frosting, is probably the most popular version, but I’ve filled and topped this buttery cake with peanut butter cream cheese icing, with lemon curd, with flaked coconut, and many other flavors. The layers are individually baked. I happen to own 10 9-inch cake pans, but you could easily use 2 or 3 and bake the layers in batches.

Smith Island Cake

For the cake:
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

For the icing:
2 cups sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
5 ounces unsweetened (baking) chocolate, chopped
1 stick (4 ounces) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat over to 350°. Lightly grease 9-inch baking pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Stir in the milk, vanilla and water. Add the flour, salt and baking powder, and stir just until all the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated into the batter.
3. Measure 2/3 cup of batter into each pan, taking great care to level the batter evenly. Lopsided layers make for a sloppy (but still delicious!) cake. Leveling the batter in the pans is very important.
4. Bake 2 or 3 layers at a time on the middle rack of the oven for 8 to 9 minutes. Cake layers should be cooked through, but not over baked.
5. While the cakes are baking, make the icing. Combine the sugar and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and butter, stirring, until melted. Bring to a simmer and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. The icing will be thin, but will thicken as it cools.
6. As the cake layers come out of the oven, run a spatula around the edge of the pan and ease the cake layer out and onto a wire rack to cool. Assemble the layers on a cake plate, spreading 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the fudge frosting in between each layer. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides.

Serves 16

Smith Island is a quaint and beautiful area of Maryland. I hope you get a chance to visit someday. More information about Smith Island and the Smith Island Museum can be found at www.SmithIsland.org.

What are some of the best known symbols of your town, area, state, or province?

On Sale This Month

This month, I’m celebrating Father’s Day by offering the books in my Single Daddy Club Series for 99¢ each. Books 2 and 3 of the series usually sell for $3.99 each, so please take advantage of this price reduction.

Is there anything sexier than a guy focused on raising happy, healthy children? I say no!

Click here to buy the books:

Derrick, Book 1 ~ Jason, Book 2 ~ Reece, Book 3

Also, Montlake Romance has reduced the price of Reclaim My Heart to just 99¢. Save $3 now! BigAl’s Books and Pals called this, “Fasano’s best book yet!”

Click here to buy  Reclaim My Heart.