Welcome to the eleventh day of the Trick & Treat SPOOKtacular, hosted by myself & Lori from Lori’s Reading Corner!
Every day, from now through Halloween, a different author will be stopping by for a guest post with a giveaway. On one of our blogs you will find a TRICK post and on the other blog you will find a TREAT post, both written by the same author. Each author has generously donated at least two copies of one of their titles for us to give away. The entry form is the same on both blogs, so you may enter on one blog, or you can double your chances and enter on both blogs. Check the bottom of the post for the rest of the authors that will be posting here during our Trick & Treat SPOOKtacular.
At the end of our SPOOKtacular, Lori & I will be giving away one BIG treat! Make sure to check back on Halloween for all of the details and to enter for your chance to win.
Our eleventh Trick & Treater is MICHELE SCOTT! Today she is providing you with the same post for both me and Lori, but be sure to check out Lori’s blog to double your chances of winning the giveaway!
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. First off, I have a major sweet tooth. I LOVE candy. There aren’t too many candies I don’t like. I used to love candy korn. I would actually eat each little section separately—you know—bite the little white piece off, then the yellow and finally the orange. Yes, I have always been weird. Then there were those candy cigarettes. I don’t think they sell those anymore. I hope not anyway. I mean who ever thought that was a good idea? Let’s make candy cigarettes and sell to small children. But then again, it was a different time. I used to smoke the hell out of those things. They are the only ciggies I have ever smoked. My favorite candy had to be and probably still is a Snickers bar. What is there not to love about a Snickers? Caramel, nuts, nugget (what the hell is that anyway? I’m not even certain how to spell it but it sure tastes good), and chocolate. Oh God I can taste it now.
Aside from the candy and costumes, which I can’t remember too many of other than the Princess one my mother sewed and I wanted to wear every day after Halloween until infinity, the best part about Halloween as a kid for me was the animals. Yes, I wrote animals. If you know me then you know I am basically an animal freak. I tried to think of a trick I had played as a kid for this blog and the only one I could come up with was the Halloween night that I “rescued” a kitty. He just followed me. I swear they did. My parents believed it anyway. My favorite cat who I named Pinto followed me from the neighbors at the top of the street. I thought he was homeless. Really I did. I didn’t coax him at all. Okay, so maybe my friends and I repeated, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty,” over and over again until Pinto came home with me and lived at our house as my cat. Oh and maybe I picked him up and carried him a good way down the street. I now feel kind of guilty that two years after the fact that the neighbors who “owned” him spotted him at our house. They thought he’d been eaten by a coyote. Nah. It was just a kid who wanted another cat. The neighbors didn’t claim him though. I mean, who really ever owns a cat anyway? I have brought many animals home over the years. I still do. Last year I brought three yearling fillies home. Hey—they were free. They aren’t exactly free anymore because they eat a lot, but they sure are sweet and cute. I think over the years I have found a couple of dogs, three cats, and now the fillies. I can say that the best Halloween treat I ever had was that little black and white kitty cat who I named Pinto. If you’re reading this, Mom and Dad, I’m sorry. Really I am. TRICK!
Here is a tasty and easy recipe that I like to make this time of year. And keeping in line with a little Nikki Sands (who will be back on the scene Summer 2012) I have paired it with a nice wine.
Fiery Pumpkin Soup (it’s not too spicy. Swear and that’s not a trick)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 serrano chiles, chopped (use 1 if you want less heat. Also, seeds add heat, so it’s up to you how fiery you want your soup to be. Less heat-take out the seeds)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ a small can of Ortega green chilis.
- 4 cups fresh roasted pumpkin (You may substitute an equal amount of canned pumpkin for the fresh roasted pumpkin if desired).
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- juice of one lime
- salt to taste
- pomegranate arils
- Cotija cheese
- Cilantro Pepita Pesto (recipe below)
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and let heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add serrano chiles and garlic and cook, stirring, for another couple minutes. Add smoked paprika and cumin and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add Ortega chile, roasted pumpkin, chicken stock, and honey. Turn up heat, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a blender or in the pot using an immersion blender. Return soup to the pot (if necessary) and stir in the cream. Add the lime juice and salt to taste (I used a little more than a teaspoon of salt). Reheat over low heat before serving. Garnish with Cilantro Pepita Pesto (recipe below), fresh pomegranate arils and crumbled cotija cheese (may substitute feta). Serve with fresh lime wedges.
Cilantro Pepita Pesto
(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
- 1/3 cup toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
Blend pepitas, cilantro, garlic, parmesan, and lime juice in a blender or food processor (or using an immersion blender). With blender running, slowly add olive oil. Blend until fairly smooth then season with salt to taste.
If you like wine like I do, then pair this soup with The Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2010. It displays all the essence of the Viognier variety. It has pure aromas of apricot nectar, honeysuckle and orange. The palate is long, rich and luscious, with intense stone fruit – particularly apricots – and finishing with an aromatic citrus freshness. Perfect for food with a little heat.
This wine will continue to grow and develop in the bottle, firstly showing enhanced apricot and spice flavors, before developing honey flavors and toast after approximately two years.
About the Author
I started writing when I was nine-years-old. I used to write short stories on my dad’s notepads. One day he read one and he said to me, “You are a writer.” It stuck. My dad is still my biggest supporter and he is also my mentor in many ways. I went to college at The University of Southern California. My parents though didn’t think that “creative writing” at USC was a major that would likely be lucrative in the long run, so I figured I would be logical and look at writing in the journalistic field. God (the Universe), etc. had a different plan for me. Soon after I graduated from USC I gave birth to my first son. He was six weeks premature and he had some health issues, which caused me to decide that going into a career at that time would not benefit my son. So, I stayed home with him and I wrote my first book. That first book is tucked away in a box somewhere because it’s pretty darn bad, but it gave me the confidence I needed to know that I could start, write, and finish a book. From that point on, it took me twelve years to become a published author and several manuscripts. It has been a wonderful and amazing process, and although many challenges have presented themselves along the way, I have never quit writing. It is my passion!
My other passion is Horses. These amazing animals are very dear to my heart and I have been known to take in “strays.” My daughter and I are very active in the horse world. My daughter is involved in pony club and three day eventing.
I enjoy work with other writers when I can , especially kids. I designed a program for young writers to help them learn how to write short stories and picture books to writing complete novellas for older kids. I have mentored several students now and it’s a joyful experience to see young writers and their creative minds at work. It is something I am working on expanding with some local teachers in my area.
Family and friends are extremely important to me. I am the proud mother of three amazing kids who have always supported me and are just great, awesome human beings (yes, I know I sound like every mother in the world about their kids, but I really mean it). My husband is my best friend and a very patient man, which is a real positive—he is married to a writer after all. We also have three dogs, a kitty, and eight horses.
When not writing, riding, or being a taxi-cab driver for my youngest, I try to find time to do a little yoga, meditate or cooking. I love cookbooks and cooking!
Website ~ http://michelescott.com/
Blog ~ http://adventuresnwriting.
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/
Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/#!/
Email – Michele AT MicheleScott DOT com
The author has graciously donated a copy of Daddy’s Home (print or ecopy) or Covert Reich (new book – print or ecopy) to 2 lucky winners anywhere in the world!
A KILLER STALKS HIS PREY…
A calculating and deadly killer is in search for what he terms as his perfect family. Preying upon single mothers and their innocent children, the police have dubbed him “The Family Man.”
HE WATCHES THEM…HE TAKES THEM…
He plays out his role as the perfect father. When things don’t go so perfect in his insane fantasy world, the family man kills.
HOLLY JENNINGS IS ON THE CASE…
Crime Scene Investigator Holly Jennings of the San Diego Police Department is determined to track him down and see that justice is served. With Holly being a single mother herself, this man’s crimes are deeply personal to her, and turn more so when a friend and her daughter become the latest victims of “The Family Man.”
Along with tracking an evil killer, Holly is dealing with her own internal demons. She is raising her daughter Chloe alone after the death of her husband–a death she feels guilty for.
To complicate her life further, Holly is doing her best to avoid possibly falling in love again with charming veterinarian Brendan O’Neil. As Holly delves deeper into solving the murders, she finds herself being sucked into a game of cat and mouse by “The Family Man,” that may lead her down a dark path too horrible to bear. One that may cost her gravely-her family, her new found love, and even her life.
Young, homeless, pregnant minority women and their unborn infants are dying in the emergency rooms in East Los Angeles.
When three pregnant, homeless women die within a week of one another inside the emergency room of County Hospital in East Los Angeles, Dr. Kelly Morales begins to question why and how. When Dr. Morales attempts to question her colleague pathologist Dr. Jake Hamilton he becomes agitated and obviously anxious at her questions. Hours later Dr. Hamilton is murdered.
A cryptic e-mail is sent to journalist Georgia (Gem) Michaels insisting she look into the brutal slaying of a San Diego County family in 2008 that was chalked up to The Mexican Cartel. The e-mail also insists she keeps an eye on her neighbor. At first, Gem thinks the e-mail is nothing but a joke, but her gut tells her that maybe checking out her handsome but odd neighbor is worth her time.
Terrorized and brutalized chemist Dr. Ryan Horner is being held against his will. He knows that if he does not do the bidding of a group who call themselves The Brotherhood that the lives of his wife and children are at grave risk.
In a race against good versus true evil, Dr. Kelly Morales, Gem Michaels, Dr. Ryan Horner, and Detective Tony Pazzini search to uncover the truth and expose it behind the deaths and murders that make up Project Covert Reich.
How to enter:
1. You must use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter this giveaway.
2. You may enter using any of the listed entry options in the Rafflecopter widget. You may choose one option or all options. Each option is worth one entry into the giveaway.
3. For each option you choose to enter with, click on “CLICK FOR INSTRUCTIONS” FIRST, follow the instructions, then click on “I DID THIS” and fill out the required information.
4. The giveaway ends on November 11th at 11:59pm EST.
5. At the conclusion of the giveaway, we will verify all entries.
6. Once the verification process is complete, we will use the Rafflecopter widget to select the 2 winners and contact them.
7. The winners will have 48 hours from our notification emails to respond with their full name and mailing addresses. If we do not receive a response, their prize will be forfeited and another winner will be selected. Please be sure to check your spam filters!
8. All winner information will be forwarded to the author for prize fulfillment. We are not responsible for lost or misdirected prize shipments. Please check your address carefully before submitting it to us.
Oct 14th ~ Krista Davis
Oct 17th ~ Heather Webber
Oct 18th ~ Rick Mofina
Oct 19th ~ Elaine Viets
Oct 20th ~ Cleo Coyle
Oct 21st ~ Cathy Lamb
Oct 24th ~ Ellery Adams (aka J.B. Stanley)
Oct 25th ~ Brenda Novak
Oct 26th ~ Lorraine Bartlett
Oct 27th ~ Hank Phillipi Ryan
Oct 28th ~ Michele Scott (aka A.K. Alexander)
Oct 31st ~ Maggie Barbieri
Oct 31st ~ Lori & Jen’s TreatTacular