Sweet Pea Hummus

Hey bookworms!!

I just turned in my latest Harrison Street Crew book to my editor and PHEW. Has it been a crazy couple of weeks! With moving to the new house (we’re STILL unpacking, y’all) and my deadline (did you see Simcoe’s note? hehe) along with our sad little trip to London that was canceled AND Sean signing at Free Comic Book Day… it’s just been a whirlwind. And I am exhausted. Amidst all this craziness, I always have a hard time eating healthy and finding the time to cook.

While on deadline, I made this sweet pea hummus which I swear I lived off of for a good couple of days! I ate it with fresh cut veggies–carrots and peppers for lunch. I used it as a side dish on my chicken for dinner. And I even spread some on my sandwiches for lunch.

It’s healthy, simple, and EASY to make! So, naturally, dear readers, I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups shelled peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (spearmint)
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream (optional; I left this out because I was trying to limit my dairy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes (for spice, to taste)

    1) Sauté onions and garlic: (Do I really need to describe this? If you don’t know how to saute onions and garlic, I recommend you go check out Youtube real quick 😉  Anyway, add the chopped onion and sauté until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes.

    2) Add peas and water, boil: (Again, pretty sure y’all know how to boil peas, but just in case!…) Add the peas and the water, cover and bring to a boil. Let this cook 5 minutes.

    3) Drain the Peas, Garlic, and Onions: I’m really not explaining this one.

    4) Purée in food processor: Put the peas and onions into the bowl of a food processor and add all the remaining ingredients. Pulse until you have a rough purée. Serve chilled.

I’m Not In Love With You, I’m Just Bad At Naming Characters.

I’m bad at naming my characters. Like really bad. Like so bad that you should replace my name with Leroy Brown and there should be songs as an homage to how bad I am.

And so as a result, I use people in my life. In Soul Stripper, Monica’s last name (Lamb) is named after my best friend from undergrad. In my soon to be released book, Healing You (A Maple Grove Romance, #2), the main character is Yvonne Sarzacki… named after my veterinarian, Yvonne Szacki. And in Wicked Exposure, Cassandra is named after our realtor who sold us our house in Portland and the detective’s name Sam McCloskey is named after a guy I used to date. Although I use the word “date” very loosely. And please note, I always alter the names slightly. He and I had kept in touch for a while, but a few years ago he disappeared off social media. I basically forgot about him until I was writing Wicked Exposure, trying to name my hero. That’s when his name popped into my head. I always liked his name. And it fit the character. And since I hadn’t seen or heard of him in years, I figured, what harm could this do? A couple of months before Wicked Shots came out, this guy (we’ll call him Sam even though that’s not his real name) popped up on social media once more. All of a sudden, there was his smiling face on LinkedIn. And Twitter. And Instagram. I sent him a friendly hello, excited to see a familiar face and even more happy to see he has a beautiful fiance and a gorgeous daughter. We chatted, caught up, did the perfunctory follows of each other and then I thought little else about it.

Fast forward two months to the release of Wicked Exposure. All of a sudden, I’m posting teasers and covers and images, etc. Within these teasers, I have dialogue and Sam McCloskey’s name featured in them. As I noticed his name pop up as liking one of my posts, I froze. HOLY MOTHER LOVING GOD. It hadn’t occurred to me, not once, that he would see anything within my writing. It doubly didn’t occur to me that he would ever discover his own name featured in my (very erotic) books.

Let me tell you… I nearly face palmed myself into a coma. So, SAM, if you’re reading this… please hear me when I say, I’m not harboring silent feelings about you and waiting for the day that we will both leave our spouses and be together.

I’m not in love with you… I’m just really freaking bad at naming my characters.

I Should Be…

Writing. I should be writing right now. But I’m not. Well, I guess you could argue I’m BLOGGING which is SORT OF writing, but I think my editor would argue with you considering this book is due in ::checks watch:: a couple of months.

It’s like my brain knows that my heart’s not into it, so every time I sit down and open that document, it wanders. It more than wanders…my damn brain breaks free of its leash and goes tearing through the neighborhood like an escaped dog.

This is how my brain works to avoid buckling down:
“It’s time to write, Kat. Write. Write. Sit down and use your fingers to move across the keyboard. Write. Wright. Wright brothers. Airplanes. Flying. Travel. Croatia–man, I want to go back to Croatia. I wonder how our friends that we met on our honeymoon are doing? She worked in PR for DSW. Oh, is DSW having any sales? Hm, no. Maybe Zappos has something. Oh, that’s right, free shipping. Oh, wait, now that I’ve bought something I should get rid of something. What’s in my closet? Awww, my monkey slippers! I love these things. Monkeys are adorable. I wish I could adopt a monkey…is that legal in Brooklyn?”

THIS IS HOW MY MIND WORKS. ::sigh:: So, anyway, time to get back to writing.

“My Writing Process” Blog Tour!

Hello, my lovelies!

To start, I want to thank Ursula Shand (http://blog.ursularenee.com) for inviting me along on this blog tour! Ursula is our RWA NYC Chapter president and her debut novel, Sweet Jazz is currently in revisions and will be hitting the virtual shelves soon!

1) What am I working on?
The more accurate question is, what am I NOT working on? Hopefully this answer will explain why my poor, little blog has been so ignored lately. I am currently writing four stories–one of which I just finished last week (squee!). I’m writing the novella (Wicked Shot) that prequels my erotic suspense, Wicked Exposure (which I am also currently writing) all the while plotting the second novel in the series.

These are the most important of my tasks to finish because the deadlines are rapidly approaching. However, on top of the Wicked Exposure series, I am also currently writing my first New Adult novel and finishing up another erotic romance novella.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’m asked this question a lot and I never quite know how to properly answer. There are so many fabulous erotic romances out there and while there are some key things that are needed to qualify them as such, I find all of them to be unique.

I think that perhaps the biggest difference within what I write is that even though I usually have touches of BDSM within my books, it’s more about self-discovery than anything else. My stories specifically tend to feature sassy, strong female leads who are faced with equally snarky heroes. In most cases, there’s a touch of power play–a struggle for dominance, where who ‘wins’ the dominant role isn’t always who you expect.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I think to answer this, it begins with the question: Why do I write? And that answer is simple. Because when I’m not writing, I want to be. I would say 75% of the time that I’m not in front of my laptop, spilling words onto the page, I wish I was. Of course, then sometimes I get in front of my computer and stare listlessly, but that’s a whole other issue, huh?

Now, as for the question: Why do I write erotic romance? That’s another tough question. It’s like asking, Why do you read erotic romance? It’s a hard question to answer, right? Similar to, Why do you like pizza? Ummmm, because it’s delicious! So, why do I read/write erotic romances? Because they are delicious! I connect to sensual stories with heart the most. There’s a realness and a rawness to these stories that I connect to.

Also, they’re fun. A lot of fun.

4) How does your writing process work?
I’m a plotter. I like to have a skeleton to work from with any story–otherwise, that evil little thing called writer’s block infiltrates my brain and takes over. But if I have a story mapped out already, I can curb that block and find a side road to get to my destination.

As many of you probably know, most writers have day jobs. I’m so lucky in that I’m a self-employed photographer. I can make my own hours and calculate my deadlines so that I’m not slammed with photography stuff during those weeks. That being said…my process tends to go a little something like this:

-A brilliant novel idea comes to mind in a dream (ha!)
-That morning, I open a new document and write 1-3 paragraphs summarizing the story
-In the same document, I breakdown each scene/chapter so that I have a detailed summary outline of the whole book
-Begin writing the story.

I also write chronologically–meaning, I start with chapter one and go in sequence until the book is done. I find it very difficult to skip around scene to scene. My daily schedule begins with me doing morning business things (emailing, blogging, photography business). Then after lunch, I usually go to a coffee shop or set up on my couch to write. Typically, it takes me 15 minutes of staring at my blank page and revisiting what I worked on the previous day before I get into the groove. I aim to write 2,000 words daily. Some days, I far surpass that–other days, those 2k words are like pulling teeth. But I stay with my butt in chair until I finish those 2k words…even if they don’t turn out all that well.

Well, I believe that is all for now! Be sure to check out next week’s writer’s who will be continuing this blog chain. My two amazing friends and equally amazing writers, Alyssa Cole and Suzan Colón.

Alyssa Cole is a Brooklyn-based romance writer; she hosts a Romance Book Club and teaches romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. www.alyssacole.com

Suzan Colón, a former senior editor at O, the Oprah Magazine, is the author of the inspirational memoir CHERRIES IN WINTER and the novel BEACH GLASS. http://suzancolon.net/blog/

 

 

Newsletters

This past weekend, I spoke about newsletters for authors. I’m currently gathering emails to begin my author newsletter–and let me tell you, it’s quite a process!

I’ve done newsletters for my photography business, but never as an author. The small group I talked with on Saturday also had some great ideas and suggestions–such as gathering with more than one author to create a dynamic well-rounded newsletter.

So my question to you, readers…what is it you like to read within newsletters? Do you like to know about author appearances? Q&A with other authors? Seasonal stories? Excerpts? Giveaways? Recipes? All of the above?
Let me know–either in the comments or shoot me a message!

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, everyone!

At 7pm last night, I finished book 3 (SOUL SURRENDER) in the Soul Stripper series! I celebrated with an iced coffee and dinner with the hubs. This is usually the time that I take a day off, relax, go to the beach…but unfortunately, my best friend and beach buddy is currently in Chile laying out without me.

While for others, Fridays are the party day–the last work day before two glorious and blissful days off. But for me? They are like my Wednesday. Tomorrow I have a big day of photoshoots (6, to be exact!) and on Sunday I have a sweet little newborn session.

So…as my big celebration this morning for having finished my book, I stayed in bed an extra thirty minutes. WOO-HOO. Also, I feel this photo sums up my Friday morning pretty well.
Only instead of a cat named Cat, it’s a chihuahua named Bebop laying on me.

A Chat in the Hamptons

Last week Sean and I were in the Hamptons (Yes, the Hamptons!) speaking at a writing camp. There were roughly 25 kids between the ages of 15-20. Their interests varied wildly–from songwriters to poets to fiction, some of them were dabbling in everything.

Sean and I were brought to discuss life as two writer’s in one house and how we deal with that. But when we were going over our bullet points prior to the chat, we couldn’t help but think that these kids had a long way to go before they are in a co-habitation artist sort of home with their lover. We talked about it a few minutes, but overall, I wasn’t sure that’s what they wanted to hear.

So what DID they want to know? We ended up asking them a lot of questions. We talked about branding and marketing–two things that I’ve always believed are wildly underrepresented when educating artists. We talked about the power of knowing business and gave them a list of fabulous books to read, including How To Make Friends and Influence People, Story and Book in a Month.

We opened the floor to questions and hands really shot up–and thank GOD for that! It’s a scary thing talking to a room full of teenagers. And we had no idea if they were listening…let alone interested in what we were saying. But when those hands raised in the air, it was like a wave of relief that they listened enough to have questions for us.

At the end of the talk, I encouraged ALL the kids to visit my website and email me. I told them to send me some pages and I will give them a critique–particularly fiction. One girl had a CD she had put together, which she handed to me. Talk about being prepared! That was exactly the sort of business sense we were talking about. Have materials ready. Don’t just hand them out to everyone and anyone, but have them prepared so that if someone opens that door, you can be the first to hop in. Sean and I listened to her songs on the way home and they were really well done.

So, if the young writers are on my site right now, trying to gather the courage to email me–consider this your invitation! Send me a message!

SUMMER!

When I went to type this title–I spelled USMMER! Ugh. That defines what mush my brain is these days.

The past few weeks have been absolute insanity and have consisted of me TRYING to get back to my normal writing schedule. I was out of town for almost two weeks visiting my awesome family (some adorable pictures to come of my niece’s dance recital). Then Sean and I had Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. Soul Stripper did quite well in its ComicCon premiere. And–I unintentionally had a few too many martinis on Saturday night wherein I found it appropriate to talk to everyone and anyone about my writing processes as an erotic author.

Yeah. Yikes. If you were caught in that crossfire……well, I’m sorry.

When we arrived back to the city (Monday at midnight), I had to meet one of my best friends (also a writer and someone with whom I write with every single day at a coffee shop) to say goodbye. She was packing her things and moving cross the country to the city where palm trees and beaches rule–LA. It was one of the hardest days and the longest cries I’ve had in a long time. Krista is a large personality. And as such, her absence leaves a gaping hole wherever she goes.

She’s going to be fabulous out there. And I hope she’s happy with all that sunshine and beaches and tepid winters…ugh. New Yorkers HATE those things. ;0)

In the meantime, I’ve spent the past week trying to write alone in coffee shops. Which when you’ve had someone across from you to bounce dieas off of for two years–writing alone is incredibly intimidating.

So–that’s what’s going on with me. If you see me curled in a coffee shop corner sobbing, feel free to come give me a hug. Or a latte. Or just ignore me…cause hey, that’s what NYers do.

Happy Sunday to all!

News!!!

You guys!!! I just realized that while I announced this news on Twitter and Facebook, I completely overlooked the announcement on my blog!

So, here it is…drum roll, please……

I officially signed with Louise Fury of the L.Perkins Agency!!!! Louise is fabulous and I honestly cannot imagine anyone better to be my advocate in this crazy world we call publishing.  Louise reps some amazing other authors including but not limited to Hope Tarr, Lisa Renee Jones and Megan Frampton among MANY others. Check out her list and her client’s books. Seriously, they’re amazing.

That is all for now!

Style Files – Craving

Contrary to popular belief ::ehem:: I am not suddenly a millionaire now that I’ve sold my first book. (For the record…I’m not sure many people actually believe that writers are millionaires anymore, but it felt like a good way to start…)

I love to shop. But I don’t necessarily have the money to shop as much as I would like. Hence the reason pinterest and online window shopping are amazing things. I would like to add this look to my style files…It’s the perfect casual outfit in my opinion!

::sigh:: who wants to go to Uniqlo with me??

I love everything about this outfit. The only change I might make is a more dangly earring. I’d put the pearls in my second or third piercing though.

 

I would wear this coat over top if it was still chilly out. Because…I mean really. Look at it. It’s beautiful. And it’s called the “Coffee Shop Cardigan.” IT’S CLEARLY MEANT FOR ME!

 

This bag doesn’t necessarily match perfectly, but it is SO CUTE. And I like that extra pop of color it adds. Particularly since this is an outfit I would wear to go write at a cafe. And this bag looks as though it could hold my laptop.

 

 

 

 

And lastly, this is how I would wear my hair. Because it’s cute. It’s casual and it fits with the whole look.
If anyone wants to buy me ANY of these things I will happily accept said gifts. =0) Happy hump day, my friends!!