Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#Thanksgiving and Pumpkin Cheesecake

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and has the opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. For a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, I often make pumpkin cheesecake. If you want to give it a whirl this year, here’s my favorite recipe. Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

 PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Crust: Crush 10 whole graham crackers and mix with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of butter. Press into a 10 inch cheesecake spring pan (bottom and 2 inches up the sides). Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove.

Filling: Beat together until smooth, 2 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese (works best if softened), 1 cup of light cream, 1 cup of canned pumpkin, ¾ cup of sugar, 4 egg yolks (save whites in a separate bowl), 3 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the pumpkin mixture. Pour over prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Baking times vary, so make sure the center is set. I’ve found it often takes longer than the 1 hour noted in the recipe.

Topping: Gently mix 2 cups of sour cream, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until well blended. Spread topping evenly over cheesecake and bake another 5 minutes. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Edinburgh, Scotland

No trip to Edinburgh would be complete without a trip to the city’s famous castle. The imposing fortress stands guard over the rest of the city below. Leading away from the castle is the famous Royal Mile lined with shops and pubs galore. A person could spend an entire day wandering this historic street its hidden closes. 



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Real Life Exaggerated

Fishing stories, the concept has become synonymous with exaggeration. No harm is ever intended, but after countless retelling the story often morphs into something much more interesting and exciting than the original. The two-pound fish that took several minutes to reel in eventually evolves into an eight-pound monster which battled valiantly for half an hour before succumbing to your superior skill. This is how many of my real-life adventures have infiltrated my adventure and romantic suspense novels.

I’ve explored numerous Mayan ruins tucked into steamy bug-infested jungles in several countries, yet I’ve always managed to avoid ruthless kidnappers; I’ve pondered the current of the Rio Grande, sticking my toe in to test the waters, but have suppressed the urge to jump into the churning mud and attempt an illegal border crossing; and I have ridden horseback down a terrifyingly steep slope while I clutched the horn with all my might and scenes from Man From Snowy River flashed through my mind, all without a single gunshot from a foreign enemy aimed at me or my trusted steed. If you’ve read my novels you may recognize some of these scenes, grossly exaggerated, of course. If you haven’t, I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity enough to give one of them a try.


To check out any of these adventures on Amazon click on any book  cover/link to the right.. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Song of the Shepard Woman - #Christian Fiction

Carlene Havel writes historical stories set in Biblical times.  Today she’s sharing some background on the creation of her latest release, “Song of the Shepard Woman”.
One of the questions I’m asked most often about writing books is, “Where do you get your ideas?”  The short answer is I don’t know. Thoughts bubble and coalesce around a theme, and the plot for another story begins to form—at least that’s the process for me.  My latest release, “Song of the Shepherd Woman” began at Christmastime, although it’s not a Christmas story per se.
As I read through the familiar verses from the second chapter of Luke, the shepherds abiding in the fields captured my imagination.  How amazed they were to receive Christ’s birth announcement from an angelic choir.  What joy and hope they must have felt as they ran to the stable in Bethlehem. How did others react to their story afterwards? Was it possible people thought the shepherds drank too much wine? Or simply fabricated a fantastic story? And what if one of the shepherds had a child, a baby boy, who happened to be in Bethlehem when the soldiers came looking for the Christ child? A character took shape, a disappointed idealist, a man whose life and dreams were shattered early in his life. But suppose, after years of bitterness, this man was given another chance to believe? Maybe in his old age he and his wife were unexpectedly given another child to raise. What if…
Writing “Song of the Shepherd Woman”, like all of my books, was a labor of love. Sharon Faucheux wove her historical research into my narrative, resulting in a story we hope readers will love as much as we do.  We are offering this full length novel at an introductory price of 99 cents for a while, and it’s available just about everywhere ebooks can be found.  Here are some links:
Click here to buy on Amazon for only $0.99 for a limited time.
Blurb: In the first century, Channa’s stepfather gives her to her maternal great-uncle Avram to raise.  He is known to be a peculiar, perhaps dangerous, man with a wife who cannot speak.  Nevertheless, they are kind to Channah and teach her how to care for sheep. When her stepfather unexpectedly announces her betrothal to a Jerusalem tanner, the girl is forced to leave the only home she knows. 

Channah looks forward to a loving husband, but soon learns she is to be Enos the tanner’s second wife. The beautiful first wife is barren, and she resents her youthful rival. Channa struggles to adjust to marriage and city life, cherishing the hope of someday having her own child to love.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Last #Free Access to National Parks for 2017

The last chance in 2017 to enter your National Parks for free is Veteran's Day Weekend, November 11-12. Hopefully the roads in your favorite park are still open for the season. For more information about fee-free days visit https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm