Monday, April 29, 2013

The Vacant Chair

May 1st is supposed to be the official release date, but I uploaded the files for The Vacant Chair yesterday and it's already up at the Kindle store. I'm in the process of formatting it in paperback version as well, but that will take a while still, as will the e-book version appearing in other retailers such as Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

But hey, it's out!!!

I put so much work into the research for this one, more than in any other book, including my Bagram Special Ops series. I can't wait for you all to learn about the Michigan Wolverines and the ugly part of the war they were involved in. You'll also learn a lot about medicine during the Civil War, and what it was like for the citizens of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, when the city fell to Union forces.

I'll be doing a proper blog tour at the end of May as well as a Twitter party, but in the meantime if you know any historical romance fans, I'd sure appreciate it if you helped spread the word about The Vacant Chair.

In other news, I finished up the first book of my new romantic suspense series (Incendiary), which I'm going to publish in July. This week I'm starting on the second of the series, so stay tuned for more details.

Happy reading!
Kaylea :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Latest

More news to update you on! I got a call last week from the New England Romance Writers of America chapter, telling me that Darkest Caress is a finalist in their Bean Pot contest. I'm thrilled! If you remember, Deadly Descent finaled in the romantic suspense contest last year. Fingers crossed for this year.

Also, my Civil War book (The Vacant Chair) is through edits and copy edits, and has been formattted. I'm getting ready to upload everything in the beginning of May, and my promo tour for it will start at the end of May. Exciting! I put so much work into the research behind this one, more than in any of my other books, so I hope that shines through.

And lastly, I'm just finishing up the first of a new romantic suspense series (I'm tentatively calling this one Blown Away), and should be done by early next week. I'm really struggling with my decision about what to do with it, because my dream was always to find an agent and get a print deal with a NY publisher. That dream has now faded, and at this point seems impractical. Because I find it easier to write shorter length stories than longer these days, going indie will allow me to write the word length I want, plus control the cover and price, and when the books come out. Theoretically I should be able to put more stories out in a shorter period of time. On the flip side, I'll be all on my own for promo, which is kind of scary. (Eep!)

Ah, decisions, decisions.

Hope you're all doing well! I received a DVD with all six Inside Combat Rescue episodes on it, so I'm super excited to finally watch the series. Pararescuemen are amazing!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Grandma C's Apple Crisp

If you read Tactical Strike, then you met my grandma at the end of the book. And you'll likely never forget her now! That scene is based on a true story of the first time she met one of my sister's boyfriends and it's become family legend. She was such a force of nature, it's weird to think of her not being here anymore, but I know she'd be absolutely tickled pink at being included in one of my books.

I'll never forget when she called me after my first book (Out of Her League) came out. A few of my relatives had bought paperback copies to support me, and grandma, who was an avid romance reader, called me up one day. We didn't speak on the phone often because we weren't super close and only saw each other a few times a year. Still, while I was growing up, whenever she was in town she always made a point of coming out to watch my curling and softball games (sports she played herself, and curling at the national level!).

Anyway, during the conversation about OOHL, she says to me, "I didn't realize you knew so much about sex!".

LOL. At the time I'd been with my DH for 15 years and had a two and a four year old. *g*

Now, as much of a character as grandma was, she was known for having a good time and not for her cooking. In fact, my father still grimaces when he talks about the food he was forced to eat growing up. But there was one dish she made for dessert that's still my dad's favorite and my DH loves it too.

Here it is, grandma C's famous apple crisp recipe!

4 Macintosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced into small pieces
4 large Granny Smith apples, same as above (using the combo of the Grannys with the Macs is awesome because the Macs cook down into an almost applesauce consistency and the Grannys give it texture and tang)
sugar to taste (I don't like mine overly sweet, so I use only a few tablespoons)
cinnamon to taste (we like ours with lots of cinnamon!)
dash salt
zest and juice of one lemon (optional, but I like the zing it gives the filling)
-mix together in large bowl and leave to sit about fifteen minutes until the sugar and salt begins to draw the juices out of the apples
-stir well and pour into an oven safe dish. Remember, a shallow dish will give you a higher topping-to-fruit ratio (the topping's the best part, but you could use a deep dish and get more fruit per serving instead if you prefer)

1 pound of butter (room temperature)
3 cups dark brown sugar
2-3 cups of all purpose flour (will depend on where you live, how humid it is, etc)--start with 2 cups and add more as needed
-crumble all ingredients together with your fingers or a pastry blender in a large bowl until it holds together in clumps when you squeeze it in your hand. You don't want to over mix and make the topping a paste; it should still have texture to it
-you can add a handful of oatmeal or chopped nuts into the topping, but that's a big no-no in our house so I always just keep it plain
-this makes a big batch of topping, so freeze the leftovers in a Ziploc freezer bag for easy use next time
-sprinkle enough topping over the apples to make a one inch thick layer
-bake at 350 degrees for one hour
-cool a little and serve warm with milk, whipped cream or ice cream