Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bon Appétit and a Book: Terri Reed's Ransom

Ransom (Northern Border Patrol #4)

Synopsis: Ransom - Book #4 Northern Border Patrol - Terri Reed - February 2016

Liz Cantrell is terrified when she receives a call from a man holding her newlywed sister captive - and she's convinced her sketchy brother-in-law's involved. Willing to pay any price for her sister's freedom, Liz flies to Niagara Falls with the ransom: an uncut diamond necklace worth millions. But the moment she lands, a handsome, world-weary Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent takes her into custody. Blake Fallon's determined to catch a ruthless diamond smuggler - and the pretty antiques dealer trying to save her sister could be just the break his case needs. But as they team up to rescue Liz's sister and trap the criminal mastermind, a desperate stand-off will threaten everything they hold precious - including their lives.

Northern Border Patrol: Keeping the US-Canada border safe.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25897367-ransom?from_search=true&search_version=service

Chocolate Soufflés:

3 tbs unsalted butter, divided

2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 Large eggs

2 tbs granulated sugar

Pinch salt

Pinch cream of tartar

Raspberry Sauce:

5 oz fresh or thawed frozen raspberries

2 tbs granulated sugar

Powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use 1 tbs of the butter to grease two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and remaining 2 tbs of butter in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time.

In a clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar just until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the prepared ramekins. Soufflés can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated at this point for up to 1 day.

Bake until puffed and set, about 20 minutes (25 minutes if baking directly from the refrigerator).

Raspberry Sauce:

While the soufflés are baking, purée the raspberries and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender, until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

Garnish the chocolate soufflés with powdered sugar and serve immediately with raspberry sauce.

How-To-Tips for Aspiring Writers: Advice on how to break into the series-writing business.

1.    Read and study books in the series line you are targeting. Notice that each series has a different tone and different guidelines. Make sure you understand them so that your story can meet reader expectations.
2.    Find and hone your voice. This is the unique way that you tell a story. Honor your voice and stay true to it.
3.    Be creative with the genre tropes but not so creative that your work is unmarketable.
4.     Be persistence but professional. Keep submitting. Don’t give up on the first try.
5.    Be teachable. If you’re given feedback from an editor, agent, or a respected critique partner, heed it.  Keep honing your craft.

    Song Playlist: A prepared playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story.
 I can’t write without music playing, the more upbeat the better. Here are some songs that make me think of my characters from Ransom and their love story.
      1.    Niagara sung by Sara Evans --this country love song is so pretty, full of conflict and angst. And the book is set in Niagara Falls, after all.
  2.    All for Love sung by Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and Sting—the awesome talent of the three guys notwithstanding, this is such a powerful song and I think of Blake, the hero of Ransom, when I hear it.
      3.    Some Kind of Wonderful sung by Michael Bublé—such an upbeat tune and the words are indicative of Blake and Liz. They both are so closed off yet they have all these feelings that they don’t know how to express.
       4.    Waiting for a Girl Like You sung by Foreigner—not only is this my absolute favorite song from one of my favorite bands (I saw them in concert three times when I was in college-okay dating myself!) but also it speaks to the heart of Blake and Liz and the wounds of the past and the hope for the future.
       5.    Here and Now sung by Luther Vandross—a throw back to the 80’s but one of the all time best love songs and perfect for Valentine’s and for Blake and Liz’s HEA.

·         Love Lessons Learned:

Real life romance lessons learned from the book.
I would say the real life romance lesson is seen in the way Jillian, the heroine’s newlywed sister, remains faithful to her marriage vow, despite her new husband’s duplicity. A case could have been made that she could exit the relationship for a variety of reasons but Jillian and Liz were taught to honor their commitments. Liz admires Jillian and learns from her how to take a chance on love.

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