Lemon Tree Very Pretty by @JoanReeves #mgtab

You’re probably wondering why there’s a picture of a lemon on top of a can of tuna.

That’s the only thing I could think of to show perspective for this giant lemon my husband picked from our lemon tree today. This was our last lemon of the season, and it’s a whopper.

Since we really like lemon desserts, this beauty will be turned into one that will please us all. It won’t exactly be a cake, and it isn’t quite a pudding.

I call it my Fake Lemon Souffle. Whatever you want to call it, make one. You’ll love it if you like light citrus desserts. Here’s the recipe.

Fake Lemon Soufflé

Ingredients
· 1 cup white sugar
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 4 tablespoons plain white flour
· 1 lemon (just a normal size lemon)
· 2 eggs
· 1 cup milk
· 1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Select an ovenproof baking dish that will make a lovely presentation since you’ll be serving directly from the baking dish. Also put on some water to boil for step 6.

2. Grate the rind of the lemon until you have 2 teaspoons of rind. Squeeze the lemon to yield at least 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. In a bowl, mix sugar, salt, flour, rind, and juice.

3. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a glass or metal bowl, not plastic. (Egg whites won’t beat well in plastic.) In a large measuring cup or small bowl, beat the yolks, milk, and butter. Add this to the flour mixture. Then beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold carefully into the flour mixture so you won’t lose the lift.

4. Pour the mixture into the ovenproof bowl. Set the dish in a larger ovenproof pan. Pour hot water in the outer pan. (This technique is called a water bath, and it keeps soufflés and puddings from burning or getting hard on the bottom and sides.) The water should come up about an inch on the side of the baking dish holding the pudding.

5. Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 50 minutes. You know it’s done when you insert a knife around the sides and there’s no liquid left because it’s all been absorbed.

6. Serves 4-6. This delicate lemon dessert is as light and delicious as any soufflé you’ve ever had. Best of all, it can be served warm or cold.

If you’d like a sweet treat with no calories, try Brianna’s Season for Miracles, an Man and woman embracing in the winter snow forms the Cover art of Brianna's Season for Miracles by Joan ReevesAmazon exclusive, free read on Kindle Unlimited or buy for $2.99 and keep forever.

About Brianna’s Season for Miracles

Brianna Walker. She hated her life. Too much whisky, too much misery, and too much loneliness had resulted in a very public embarrassment. Vowing never to return to her hometown, she left for Vegas, a city where she could be anonymous instead of grist for her hometown’s gossip mill.

Brianna faced the fact that if she wanted her life to be different, she had to change. Instead of partying all night and sleeping all day, she ditched her so-called friends and the seductive persona she hid behind and vowed to do whatever was necessary so she could look at herself in the mirror without being disgusted. She knew that changing her actions wouldn’t do a darn thing to “fix” her, but she had to start somewhere.

When her father demands she come home for the holidays, she’s devastated and afraid she’ll revert to old habits to deal with social situations that have always terrified her. Then she meets Daniel Kelly.

His warmth and kindness—qualities she’d never found in any of the men she’d dated—attract her. To her surprise, she finds his intelligence, courtesy, and “niceness” enormously appealing—and sexy. Best of all, he’s a stranger in town and doesn’t know her reputation, but she’s learned it’s safer to avoid men like him for fear she might want forever out of the relationship. A man like Daniel would never want forever with her once he knew her true self, but believing that doesn’t stop her from falling for him.

Daniel already knows the secret Brianna is hiding. He knows he shouldn’t complicate the situation he’s in, but the attraction between them is hot and sizzling.

What will happen when Brianna realizes Daniel has a secret too?

Hope you enjoy my Fake Lemon Soufflé and Brianna‘s story too. Happy January!

My 100th Published Novel

 

EYES OF THE TIGER, my 100th book, is not a story that came easily to me. I got the idea when I saw my first Bollywood movie, Om Shanti Om. The theme of karma and reincarnation generated ideas for a reincarnation romantic thriller. It took an amazing amount of research, multiple tries to get it right and an incredible developmental editor who helped me see at last what I needed to do to make it an unforgettable story. Throughout the process, the story obsessed me.

Gems and jewelry speak to Gemma Hewitt, inspire her designs, and send her across the globe to seek out historic pieces. After her mother is brutally murdered, Gemma inherits her famed jeweled collar, which she hopes will lead her to her mother’s killer. Instead, she’s thrown back to 1901 India where she sees a young woman (Mayura) about to be married with a pendant that matches the collar. When she’s hired to find the entire bridal suite, she hopes she can use the jewels to save her family’s fortune. Can she trust the handsome, enigmatic British reporter/photographer Raj Sinclair who promises to help her on her quest, or is he the one she should be running from?

The gems and jewels of Mayura’s bridal suite create both the danger in the story and the link to three past lilves during the British Raj. For the jewels, I chose to use the stones of the Navagraha, which represent the planets that have a cosmic influence on humans.

The collar’s main stone is a ruby, which represents the sun to bring light into a life. The ring, with an emerald as it’s central stone, governs communications, travel and knowledge. The hathpool’s pearl indicates psychic abilities. The yellow sapphires of the earrings bring good fortune. The coral of the tikka give one the strength and courage to meet strife and struggle. The blue sapphire of the baju bands (armbands) indicate change and misfortune. The kammarband with its hessonite makes the wearer potent enough to fight enemies.

The most important part of the bridal jewelry is the mangal sutra, which is not worn by the bride before the marriage. Rather, it is tied by her husband around her neck as a symbol of their union. Mayura’s mangal sutra is a string of black beads and a central diamond, which governs love. Each piece of the bridal jewelry was marked by a tiger’s head on the reverse side, it’s eyes cat’s eye gems. It’s designer was said to imbue his work with his magic.

I already had the idea and much of the research done when I traveled to India with another author and her husband in 2010. There I learned so much of what I couldn’t know from book/Internet research. I absorbed the sights and sounds and the people (who must be the most polite people in the world). We stayed in hotels that were once palaces, toured forts with incredible artwork especially in the separate quarters for women, and thrilled to a stay at a tiger preserve.

Over the next year, I began writing the story between contracts but I stalled out for quite a while. Still, my story of a love that wouldn’t die refused to let me be. I finally spent an entire year writing the book while working on other projects. I was thrilled that my obsession paid off when I went to contract with Tule Publishing Group.

 

Now it’s time to celebrate EYES OF THE TIGER in digital and print formats, and to knowing this very special book to me is my 100th published novel.

 

AMAZON

BN

IBOOKS

KOBO

What’s 420 all about?

Where did the term 420 come from (and what does it mean)?
Anyone who has ever been a teenager and attended public schools probably already knows that 420 refers to marijuana. It’s legal now, either medical or recreational or both, in over half the states in the nation, so I suppose it no longer needs a code name or to be spoken of in hushed whispers. In Oregon, there are green cross dispensaries all over the place, advertising daily specials on placards out front. Or you can grow it at home in limited quantities. I never saw that one coming in the 70s.
Today, April 20, is also a 420 and the unofficial holiday, the date to ‘light up’ for partakers all over the world – legally, or course.
It all started with a date. Not a guy and gal going to the movies sort of date, but a ‘meet me after school’ date. Five guys in high school in 1971 had discovered a map to a supposed abandoned crop of cannabis near where they lived in California. The group, called the Waldos, set up a time to meet after football practice to obtain and take care of the precious weed. ‘420’ actually meant 4:20, the time to meet at their designated hookup spot in the center of campus.
Pretty soon, whenever the term ‘420’ was used, it meant either ‘are you stoned,’ ‘do you want to get stoned,’ or ‘do you have any weed,’ depending on how it was said.
There’s more to the story which involves The Grateful Dead, David Crosby, backstage passes, and housesitting, but bottom line is, the term 420 started as a meet up time for five high school guys.
Oh, and by the way, the abandoned marijuana crop turned out to be a ruse, a ‘fooled ya!’ joke by one of the Waldo five’s brother. Now, the California residents don’t have to go on an adventure for their party products. Of course, since they’re in their 60s, they’re just as likely to be seeking it out for pain relief as stress relief.


No matter where you live, a great way to distract yourself and ‘get high’ is by sharing the life and adventure of someone else by reading a great book. Or Eight. Check out Unforgettable Suspense, a box set of eight thrillers with a romantic edge, some edgier than others. Only 99 cents, or free to read with your Kindle Unlimited account.

Christmas Candy by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I love Christmas — the music, the decorations, the Salvation Army bell ringer, wrapping presents, the food — everything!

Every year I say, “I’m not scheduling anything from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.” I say this because I want to be free to dive into the holidays and all the fun stuff.

But…that never happens. Instead, I drive myself — and my husband crazy — trying to finish a book or short story, participating in FB parties, etc. To make matters worse, this year I took off a week to go on a cruise which puts me not 1 week behind, but 2 weeks behind— if that makes sense.

What’s a girl to do?

Forget about all of it and make Christmas Candy, of course. This is the month that I allow myself to cook — and eat — foods I normally avoid. As if it wasn’t enough to scarf down Chocolate Melting Cake and other delights on the cruise!

One of the things I love to make — and eat — are those high fat/sugar concoctions beloved in the South. I’m talking about Pralines. (Pronounced praw-leen, not pray-leen.) If you’ve ever visited New Orleans, you’ve probably had a praline.

They’re made of caramelized brown sugar, butter, and pecans, and they’re delicious, fattening, and irresistible. By the way, the nut pecan is pronounced puh-con. Not pee-can. (I always tell non-southerners that the latter is a vessel in which to collect urine.)

Cookbook author Nathalie Dupree wrote in Southern Memories: “I can’t imagine a world without pralines.”

Me either! You just can’t grow up in the south without learning how to make pralines. Today, I’m going to share my secret family recipe for those yummy melt-in-your-mouth confections.

Joan’s Christmas Pralines

Photo by Angele J from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/candy-caramel-nuts-pecan-pralines-128405/

You need: heavy flat-bottomed saucepan, candy thermometer, heavy cream or Pet Evaporated Milk, brown sugar, butter, pecans, something to spoon them onto like parchment paper, foil, granite, or a silicone mat already spread on the counter and ready to go.

In the saucepan, combine:

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cream (or 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup Pet Milk)

Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan so that the bulb rests in the liquid. Turn the heat on and bring mixture to a boil. Cook on medium heat to 238 degrees on the candy thermometer.

When 238 is reached, add:

1 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (Some people use pecan halves as in the picture above, but I find when they are broken into big pieces, you get more blobs of candy filled with pecans.)

Keep on the heat, and stir until butter melts and pecans are coated. Continue cooking until candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees.

At 245, remove immediately from heat. Quickly — before mixture seizes — spoon dollops of the mixture onto a silicone mat or parchment paper or whatever you planned on. The pralines will spread so try to use small spoonfuls until you get the hang of it and can make the size you want.

They crystallize as they cool. When completely cool, wrap each praline in a small paper doily or wax paper and store in airtight container. These make a wonderful gift, and they are simply scrumptious.

If you want to make some more Christmas goodies, try the recipes in my cake cookbook, Friday Is Cake Day, only $0.99. This collection of 52 family recipes has something for every level of cook. Some are super easy; some are intricate. All are delicious.

Whatever you make during the holidays, have fun doing it and sharing with family and friends.

Remember all the wonderful bargain box sets from our bestselling authors here at Authors’ Billboard.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Joan is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the underlying premise:  It’s never too late to live happily ever after. Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Join Joan’s Reader Friends and be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Get a free ebook just for signing up!