Release Day Blitz: April 14th

It’s Tuesday and we love today because that means new books!

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Release Day Blitz is where we highlight some new books that hit the shelves today that we think you might like! Let’s take a look at the releases.


all the rage courtney summers

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date: April 14th
The sheriff’s son is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is. Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up.

Amazon

 


Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy #1) by Kerstin Gier

Publisher: Henry Holt
Release date: April 14th
Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re her classmates from her new school in London.

Amazon


the fearless emma pass

 

The Fearless by Emma Pass

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: April 14th
When the Fearless invaded, they stripped everyone of their humanity. Seven years later, when Cass’ brother Jori is taken by the Fearless, Cass will risk everything to get him back.

Amazon


where the staircase ends stacy stokes

Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes

Publisher: Month9Books
Release date: April 14th
After her best friend orchestrates the lie that destroys her reputation and an accident leaves Taylor’s life hanging in the balance, Taylor must climb a seemingly endless staircase into the sky.

Amazon


Fabulous list of books! Which one will you be picking up? I think we’re getting them all…there goes our wallet!

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Love The Twins

Red Carpet Day Job Blog Tour

Today we’re excited to be part of Red Carpet Day Job Blog Tour!

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Author Tasha Cotter is taking over the blog and we also have an excerpt from her book. So no dillydally, let’s get started! Welcome Tasha Cotter!

Hi guys! Glad to be here. It’s a funny thing, the writing life. Over time, you start to see certain patterns emerging in your work. Certain…themes. I’m starting to think that a theme for me, in my own work, is not the emotional turbulence of an ill-fated romance, forbidden feelings, or questions about the nature of love, but rather, how misunderstandings and misinformation can lead to certain assumptions being made about another person.

The books I’m really moved by often touch upon similar topics: why do we devote ourselves to people (ideas?) that are likely to destroy us? Or, in some cases, what propels us to leave a good life for something we imagine is life itself? To me, these are very good questions. These are questions I think a lot about. These are questions I write about.

I’m interested in this: the cruel ghost walking the halls, the nagging question that spins like a top in the back of our minds, creating its own little storm of energy. I love a good love story (comedic ones, tragic ones). Is there anything better than when caution is cast aside? I love it when someone takes a risk. Call it silly, call it frivolous and sentimental. I think it’s interesting. I think it’s the most interesting thing in the world, love.

That being said, here are three books that had me staying up late, burning through the pages. 

1. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

2. The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides

3. Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields – Ashley Capps

little women

On Little Women

It’s hard to choose a favorite scene in Little Women. I loved the moment Laurie told Jo he really cared about her. And I loved the moment where, in a storm of dejected rage, he left her, retreating to his home where he began playing Sonata Pathetique on the piano. I loved the exquisite agony of it all! When I read Little Women for the first time, I’d never heard Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique, but I could imagine how it sounded: angry and stormy; full of rage.

I own three editions of Little Women and I even played Jo March on stage in my college days. I loved following the March sisters and watching them grow up before my eyes. (The March sisters were their own love story.) More than anything, I loved Jo March. I loved her wit and spunk. I loved how she wrote at night by candlelight. I still remember the punch in my gut the moment I read that Amy had burned her manuscript. How Jo reached into the flames, hoping to recover some of it, but it was gone. And yet, she went on.

 

marriageOn The Marriage Plot (Novel)

The three main characters that make up The Marriage Plot were all so real to me. You have our heroine: English major Madeline Hanna, the unlikely guy she falls for: Leonard Bankhead, and her college friend Mitchell Grammaticus, who resurfaces later on, certain he Madeline and he are meant to be together. They graduate college and go out into the real world. The title reflects the story, sure, but I also liked learning about Madeline’s ideas on the marriage plot in some of the English language’s great novels (think Jane Austen and George Eliot). As a reader, I’m drawn love triangles. This novel had complexity and emotion, and intimacy in spades. It’s impossible not to see yourself a little bit in these characters.

 

mistakeMistaking the Sea for Green Fields (Poetry)

I think there are some books you come across that connect with you in some deep way and it’s hard to even articulate why they are so special. I’m a firm believer that some books find us, we don’t find them. This book, published by the Akron Poetry series in 2006, is one of those beautiful mysteries for me. Capps focuses on the natural world and connects it to all too human experiences: heartbreak, deception, and loss. In reading the book, there are moments of claustrophobia and the feeling of being buried alive. Perhaps Poet Cathy Smith Bowers said it best when, describing this book, she wrote “This book breaks my heart, even as it mends it.” I return to this book all the time. I always feel like it’s teaching me something about grace. About humility.

 

Are there thematic similarities in these choices? I think so, especially with the novels. I once read that George Eliot explored similar topics in her poetry and fiction, orbiting around the same question, as if working to find a way into the soul. I think writers tend to get obsessed with understanding certain questions. We want answers (but a lot of the time we don’t get answers). We at least want to get close to the answers and writing helps us get there. Finding a book that takes the journey you are most interested in taking is really key. I take something new away from Little Women each time I read it. For years, I hated that Jo and Laurie didn’t end up together. But as I get older, I see that life isn’t that simple. I’ve come to accept that Laurie and Jo weren’t meant to be, though sometimes I wonder what happened on down the line: maybe Jo and Laurie do get together (a part of me still wants that ending) because sometimes the greatest love stories are not just years in the making, but decades in the making. And what about Madeline, Leonard, and Mitchell in The Marriage Plot? Not to give anything away, but the book made me think about the nature of love and how we choose the person to share our life with. And when it doesn’t work out, we try to get away and separate ourselves from those who haunt us. Why is it that some people are easy to get over, and with others, there’s really no hope. Running away doesn’t always work. Capps explores some of the same ideas in Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields. There’s a feeling of horror at how we live, how we love, and how we treat the planet. But yet, how nobly we fall.

Thank you for joining us Tasha! Now an excerpt from Red Carpet Day Job!

Excerpt

Red Carpet Day Job

Tasha Cotter

BookFish Books LLC.

We sat in comfortable silence, lost in our own thoughts. The splash of the water in the fountain echoed off of the buildings around us. The steady hum of traffic and the occasional toot of a horn in the distance added its own music to the night. It was beautiful. Tiny fairy lights that had been strung on the trees sparkled against the skyscraper backdrop.

Nick looked so sexy, so at ease, sitting beside me. I fished out my phone and snapped a picture of him. He arched a brow.

“I just wanted something to remember this moment by,” I shrugged.

“How about a better picture then?”

I thumbed open the photo gallery, and clicked on the picture I’d just taken. “Nope. This one’s perfect.” And it was. He looked relaxed, comfortable. Not posed or stiff as he often looked in movie posters.

“Well, I think I should have one of you too, then. Smile, Sophie.”

I faced him, a genuine smile curving my lips. It had been so long since I’d felt this happy—too long. And it had also been too long since I’d visited this place. It used to be my favorite place in the city. When had I stopped coming?

“Penny for your thoughts.”

“I was just thinking how much I love it here.”

He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, his fingers lingering on my pulse point. “I usually don’t, but tonight I do. Must be the company I’m keeping.” He picked up my hand and squeezed gently. “Tell me something more.”

“I used to dream of living here in the Big Apple, doing my dream job―a talent agent to the stars.” I leaned my head on his shoulder. “I pictured what it would be like.”

“And what did you see?” He pressed a kiss to my temple.

“It looked a lot like this, right now. Sitting under the stars, happy at the end of the day.” I peeked up at him. “I’ll never think of Union Square the same again. It’ll always be special, because of you.”

He pointed at the fountain. “You know, a very famous couple once jumped in there?”

“Really? Who?”

Nick got up and walked toward the fountain. “Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. They were the stars of their day, you know. The King and Queen of New York. They did it just for the hell of it. Isn’t that incredible?”

“It is. But I don’t believe you.” I lingered on the bench for a moment, enjoying the night, and then followed him to the edge of the fountain.

Nick crossed his heart. “It’s the truth. I swear.”

“I don’t know. It sounds like you’re making it up.”

“Maybe I should push you in. Create our own moment so some future couple can argue about it. It could be like that scene from The Princess Diaries 2.”

“Maybe you should. But, if I were reenacting that scene, I’d do it a bit differently.”

“Oh, yeah? What would you do?”

I grinned and set my hands on his shoulders. “This.”

I shoved him backward, and he bumped into the low edge of the fountain. He reached for me, but I danced away. He lost his balance and fell into the fountain with a loud splash.

He stood, water streaming over him. His almost-transparent shirt revealed a six-pack that most guys would kill for. Heat rushed over my skin, burning away the chill of the night air.

“You do realize you’re going to pay for that, right?”

“Yeah. I certainly hope I do.”

 


About the author:

red

 

 

Tasha Cotter is the author of That Bird Your Heart (Finishing Line Press) and Some Churches (Gold Wake Press). A graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Bluegrass Writers Studio, her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in NANO Fiction, Verse Daily, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. You can find her online at www.tashacotter.com or on twitter.

 

 

 

 

young elegant woman in red dress sit on chair, studio shotMost of the working-class secretaries in New York City don’t spend their mornings wrestling skirts from beneath roosting chickens or cleaning egg yolk off their heels. But Sophie Waldrop does, thanks to her boyfriend, Scott, and the organic egg business he runs out of her 5th floor walk-up. Though they’ve been dating since high school, Scott no longer pulls his weight in the relationship—financially or emotionally. Sophie’s ready to send him, and his chickens, packing.

The day she breaks up with Scott, Sophie’s boss introduces her to the firm’s new client, Nick Jackson—the hottest up-and-coming actor in Hollywood. Sophie can’t believe her luck when her boss volunteers her to be Nick’s date for a red carpet award ceremony that same night. Freshly single, Sophie tries to keep things in perspective as her “work event” leads to a budding romance. She didn’t expect to like Nick, and she certainly didn’t expect him to like her.

When her dream job lands in her lap, Sophie rejoices that her hard work has finally paid off. But she soon learns that it may have been Nick’s influence that opened the doors and created the opportunities that she would rather have earned for herself.

Nick’s hectic schedule, the persistent leading ladies with whom he works, and Sophie’s own promotion and career ambitions further complicate their fairy-tale romance. Can Nick and Sophie make their love last, or will their relationship be more like the paparazzi’s camera flashes—fast, bright, and fading?

Order the book here.


Red Carpet Day Job is a fun read with an enjoyable main character you can’t help but fall in love with! Wonderful romance that sweeps you off your feet.

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Love The Twins

 

Monday Funday with Author Kristen Hunt!

Today is a special day peeps!

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Today I interview my twin Kristen and reveal her book cover! She’s been working hard on this book and I’m so proud of her! She designed the totem on the front cover and  several more that will be made into temporary tattoos.

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Let’s take a look at Blonde Eskimo!

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blonde eskimo

Publisher: Spark Press, A BookSpark’s imprint. A division of SparkPoint Studio, LLC

Neiva Ellis knew the town of Spirit, Alaska held some kind of secret; a secret that her Grandmother and the whole town were keeping from her. It was something so mysterious that Neiva was determined to find out what it was, but she wasn’t prepared for what lay ahead. On the night of her seventeenth birthday, the Eskimo’s rite of passage, Neiva is suddenly thrown into another world; a world full of mystical creatures, old traditions, and a masked stranger who awakens feelings deep within her heart. Along with her best friends, she uncovers the truth behind the town of Spirit and herself, but when an evil force threatens those closest to her Neiva will stop at nothing to defend her family and friends.

Eskimo traditions and legends become real as two worlds merge together to fight a force so ancient and evil it could destroy not only Spirit but the rest of humanity.

Order your book here!


Now to the interview!

dr evil

1. What inspired you to write?  

Kristen: Well, my very talented twin sister is the one who inspired me to write. (wink wink). She’s the one that told me to let the stories flow from my brain down into my hand….to let them be free where new adventures and worlds will be born.

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Awwww thank you Kristen!

2. What is your writing routine?    

Kristen: HAHA! Compared to you? Who’s so organized and outlines everything? I just write. I have no organizational skills. This book had 10 to 12 drafts by the time I was done. If you read the first draft, which I started almost 5 years ago, you would see a big difference. It’s been through several editors and  I cried a lot through this whole process. But I know my routine is going to change and you’ll be the big cause of it.  With the book you and I are doing together, I know I will be doing outlines, character building and the whole enchilada. So, it will be a huge change…a nice change. and I am sure I will have a new routine in the end :)

 

3. Tell us something crazy about yourself!    
elevator

Kristen: I’m allergic to watermelons and afraid of elevators. Watermelon make my lips swell up to where it looks like I had bad lip injections. I think you recently slipped watermelon into my fruit one year to see if I was still allergic….Huge lips for two days! Hard to explain to the boss…….  And yes, elevators. I thank the movie Speed for that one…..meh

4. What do you like to have with you while writing? Coffee? Candy?  

coffee 

 

Tawney: Coffee!! I need that extra push or I might fall asleep while I’m writing…and it’s happened a couple of times.. zzzzzzzzzzz

 

5. You like to cosplay, what do you like to dress up as? Why do you love it so much? 

cosplay

 

Kristen: I love getting body painted and dressing up with my friends. I don’t do it a lot but when I do it’s fun. You can say it’s like writing. You become the character and bring the character to life for your audience. My favorite cosplay was venom, when I did the venom and carnage shoot with my talented friend Freddie Nova. It was a great project that I got to be apart of. and I feel very honored to have been apart of it.  I’m finishing up a cyborg project with a creative fx makeup artist. This is a character he helped me create and I hope to use her in a future story about cyborgs with a steampunk edge. So, I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I’ll get pictures up soon.  :)

Thank you so much for sharing your writing adventure today! I’m so proud of you!


About the Author:kristen

Kristen Hunt is an artist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid fan of movies, graphic novels and Young Adult literature. Anything evolving fantasy and supernatural experiences captures her interests. As a young child Kristen visited her family in Nome, Alaska and learnedof her Eskimo heritage. Her Grandmother, known as the blonde Eskimo because of her golden hair and blue eyes, told Kristen the many legends found throughout Alaska, such as the Ishegocks, totems, and much more. It was these stories that inspired Kristen to write her current novel.

Follow Kristen on Twitter, Facebook.

 

 


 

 

Until next time!

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Love Tawney Twin

Monday Funday with Paula Stokes: Interview

Today we’re glad to be part of Paula Stokes blog hop for Liars INC!

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Let’s take a look at Liars Inc!


 

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Order your book!


 

Now to the interview with Paula Stoke!

1. How did you get the idea for Liars, Inc. and why did you write this book?

Paula:  I actually got the idea for LIARS back in early 2010, before I was agented. The idea for the business of Liars, Inc. came partly from an illegal lottery my brother ran in sixth grade and partly from a movie I saw in South Korea called The Alibi, in which a guy provides professional alibi services, mostly for men cheating on their wives. But although lying for profit is a fun hook, ultimately this book went in a darker direction.

I wrote LIARS for entertainment purposes, but just because it’s not “literary” doesn’t mean there’s nothing to think about. Like how well do we know people? How do we decide who we should and shouldn’t trust? How far are we willing to go to protect ourselves? How far are we willing to go to hurt others? Are there times when it’s better to always tell the truth? What is the true definition of family? My goal was to write a dark, fun book that’s compulsively readable and has a satisfying ending. I like the idea of giving people something to think about too, but I never really start a project with a big moral or message in mind.

 

2.What is your writing technique like? Do you have a certain spot you write? Do you drink coffee? Tell us your secret!

Paula: I write mostly at my kitchen table. Sorry, I know that’s not very exciting. Not only do I drink coffee, apparently I drink it super-concentrated. My mom just sent me a package that said:“Makes up to 40 cups” and I think it made about ten cups for me. Am I going to die from that?

Other than turbo-charged coffee, my secret is a lot of hard work. Most of you would be horrified to know how many hours I sit tethered to my computer each week. I also make lists and deadlines for everything. I haven’t had an actual publisher deadline since last year because I’m waiting on edit letters for both 2016 books and my 2017 manuscripts aren’t due until the end of the year. But I make my own writing and promotional deadlines every month to stay productive, and most of the time I meet them.

 

3.Are you working on anything new?

I’m always working on a multiple projects, so after LIARS there *might* be an indie NA book at the end of 2015—the fun variety, not the uber-dramatic kind. I go back and forth on really wanting to put out a second book this year and telling myself to slow down because there’s no rush and it’d be better to sell it to a publisher. But whenever and however it ends up releasing, I’m super excited about my first NA book. It’s full of best friends and romance and bromance and hilarious old people and travel hijinks all around Thailand. If that’s not win x 5, I don’t know what is :)

Then there will be both VICARIOUS and BAD LUCK CHARM in early 2016. VICARIOUS is a psychological thriller, the story of a high-tech Korean stunt girl who has to search worlds both real and virtual to find her missing sister. It’s dark, dramatic, and twisty. Perfect for fans of ALL OUR YESTERDAYS or THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. BAD LUCK CHARM is the story of an Irish girl who’s convinced she reflects bad luck on people around her. She crosses paths with a boy tennis pro who doesn’t believe in bad luck, and the two of them engage in a series of seven challenges designed to test her “curse.” It’s fun and romantic, perfect for fans of THE ART OF LAINEY or SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE.

 

4. Tell us something crazy about yourself!

It saddens me to realize most of my wild stuff is from long, long ago. But here’s something–I am the only person on the whole internet with my real name. My parents blessed me with a weird first name and a weird last name, neither of which I like >_< Paula is a nickname and Stokes is a family maiden name. What else? My sister and I once got interrogated by Customs agents who thought we had drugs because we were the last people off a cruise ship. I’ve petted a full-sized tiger and a full-sized gray whale. And a stingray. And a sea lion. And a monkey. And a dolphin. And a boa constrictor. And an elephant. I’ll stop now, but I could keep going :D

 

5. Any words of wisdom for newbie writers?

Paula: Find your own particular way and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong. Before I started working for Paper Lantern Lit (writing Venom) I wasn’t on twitter or FB and I was only a member of one writing forum. I wouldn’t trade all the great people I’ve met (or e-met) since then for anything, but sometimes I miss that insulation. I miss having a quiet head that isn’t full of other people’s worries and accomplishments. So if you don’t want to be super-connected, especially before you get published, that’s fine. If you want to plot or not plot, that’s fine. If you write in chronological order or in “scene with most kissing to scene with least kissing” order (I prefer #2 :D) that’s fine. If you vomit-draft, that’s fine. If you revise as you go along, that’s fine. Sometimes what works will change from week to week or book to book. Yep, that’s fine too.

Also, find solid crit partners. A good CP sends feedback that energizes you to make your book better. If your feedback either convinces you that your book is perfect or makes you think you’re so bad you should just quit altogether, you need to find new partners. I mean, unless you really really don’t want partners, in which case that’s fine too.

Thank you so much for appearing today Paula!


 

About the author:Displaying Paula Stokes 2 web res.jpg

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of THE ART OF LAINEY, INFINITE REPEAT, LIARS INC., and several other forthcoming YA novels. When she’s not writing, she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

 

Follow Paula on:

http://www.liarsincbook.com

www.authorpaulastokes.com

twitter.com/pstokesbooks

instagram.com/pstokesbooks

www.facebook.com/pstokesbooks

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show


 

Until next time!

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Love the Twins

Southern Fried Wiccan Blog Hop

Today we’re excited to be apart of the Southern Fried Wiccan Blog Hop! Today we have some yummy recipes to go with this delicious book!

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Let’s take a look at Southern Fried Wiccan!


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Cilla Swaney is thrilled to return stateside, where she can hang up her military-brat boots for good. Finally, she’ll be free to explore her own interests—magick and Wicca. But when she arrives at her grandma’s farm, Cilla discovers that life in the South isn’t quite what she expected. At least while country hopping, she never had to drink G-ma’s crazy fermented concoctions, attend church youth group, make co-op deliveries…or share her locker with a snake-loving, fire-lighting, grimoire-stealing Goth girl…

…Who later invites her to a coven that Cilla’s not sure she has the guts to attend. But then Emilio, the dark-haired hottie from her charter school, shows up and awakens her inner goddess. Finally, Cilla starts believing in her ability to conjure magick. Until…

…All Hades breaks loose. A prank goes wrong during their high school production of Macbeth, and although it seems Emilio is to blame, Cilla and Goth may pay the price. Will Cilla be able to keep the boy, her coven, and the trust of her family? Or will this Southern Wiccan get battered and fried?

Order your book here.

southern 2About the author:

Born and raised in North Carolina, Susan Sipal had to travel halfway across the world and return home to embrace her father and grandfather’s penchant for telling a tall tale.  After having lived with her husband in his homeland of Turkey for many years, she suddenly saw the world with new eyes and had to write about it.  Perhaps it was the emptiness of the Library of Celsus at Ephesus that cried out to be refilled, or the myths surrounding the ancient Temple of Artemis, but she’s been writing stories filled with myth and mystery ever since.  She can’t wait to share Southern Fried Wiccan with readers in March 2015.

  


 

How fabulous is that cover? Now to the fabulous recipes with S.P. Sipal!

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Brewing Up Your Own Bubbly from Southern Fried Wiccan By S.P. Sipal

Do you like soft drinks? Are you a Coke or Pepsi person? Mountain Dew or Sprite?

I used to love soft drinks until I realized a few years ago that I felt better without so much sugar, or even the artificial sweeteners of the diet versions. It was then that I discovered that I could make my own fizzy drinks in a more natural way. In fact, modern-day soft drinks are descendants of the ancient practice of fermentation.

Cilla Swaney, the main character in my Young Adult novel Southern Fried Wiccan, thinks the stuff her aging hippy grandmother brews up in her farmhouse kitchen is vile. But as she gets to know her G-ma and discovers that the hottie she’s been eyeing at school loves the ginger beer, she decides to give it a try. Turns out, homemade soft drinks aren’t that bad. And like any good kitchen witch, Cilla likes concocting her own potions by playing with different flavors.

So I thought it might be fun to share a couple of G-ma’s best recipes with you. Emil, Cilla’s soon-to-be boyfriend, is partial to ginger beer, but Cilla develops a fondness for the versatility of kombucha, a fermented tea. Both of these drinks get their bubbly from the natural process of fermentation rather than simply adding CO2.

Note: As these are beverage ferments, both recipes produce a very slight alcohol content, but not so much that they can’t be sold to minors in stores.

Beware: Both of these brews can get quite bubbly. Cool bottles in the fridge before drinking, and then you probably want to open them over a sink!

Kombucha Recipe

If you understand the basic concept of what kombucha is, it’s really easy to make. Kombucha is tea that is fermented, then bottled and allowed to ferment a second time until the bubbly builds up. That’s it.

You’ll find lots of recipes online that vary slightly, but the general rule is to brew tea, add sugar, and then when it cools, add your culture (called a SCOBY or a mother). SCOBYs can be found online or maybe locally. I’ve had success with both Ebay and Craigslist. For the kombucha starter, you can buy a bottle of kombucha at a local health food store to get you started and also see what you’re shooting for. But if it’s your first time tasting kombucha, let me warn you…the homemade version is a lot better because you can stop the fermenting to suit your taste!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tea bags, or 6-7 tsp loose-leaf tea
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 14 cups water
  • 1 SCOBY
  • 1 cup Kombucha starter

Equipment:

  • A big, glass bowl or jar that will hold 1 gallon
  • Some cotton kitchen towels that you don’t mind getting stained
  • A plastic strainer

Directions:

Brew the tea just like you would anytime you’re making tea. Some people make kombucha out of green tea, but kombucha is traditionally made from regular black tea. You don’t want to use herbal tea, however, as then it would not be kombucha.

While the tea is still hot, stir in the cup of sugar until dissolved. Let cool, then pour into your container of choice. I like to use a wide Pyrex gallon bowl because the greater circumference seems to help the brewing process. But lots of people brew in a big gallon jar.

Once the tea is cooled, add in your SCOBY and your starter culture. Then, cover the mouth of your bowl or jar with a towel secured by a large rubber band. This will keep out flies and other varmints while your kombucha ferments. Set it in a warm, dark space away from traffic.

Length of time to ferment varies based on your personal taste (whether you want it sweeter or tangier), temperature in the house, and type of vessel you’re fermenting in. The minimum, in my experience and with my taste, is 5 days. But in winter, I’ve seen it take 2-3 weeks.

You can determine when it’s ready by taking a straw, slipping it between the side of the container and the SCOBY (that should have spread across the top), and taking a sip. If you like the taste, it’s done!

Then, using clean bottles that you can stopper firmly, and using a funnel (and strainer if you want to weed out the culture), pour your tea into the bottles and close them up. Leave the SCOBY (which has probably grown a baby) and enough of the kombucha in your jar for your new batch. Place your bottled brew in a warm, dark space to brew for about 3-5 more days, and then store in your fridge until you’re ready to drink.

**Note – During the second ferment, when adding the kombucha to the bottle, it is at this stage that some people, like my gal Cilla, choose to add different flavors. You can find many recommendations online. Play with it and have fun!

You can find more detailed directions with step-by-step pictures online as well.

Ginger Beer Recipe

To make ginger beer, you first ferment what’s called a “bug,” then add this starter to a ginger syrup, add water, and bottle.

To make the bug:

  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water

Stir all this together in a jar, then cover it with a dish towel sealed with a rubber band, and keep in a warm place out of traffic. Feed your bug by adding the same ingredients above daily until it starts bubbling.

To make the beer:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2-4 tsp grated ginger (to taste)
  • 5 cups sugar

Boil these ingredients together for about 12 – 15 mins. Let cool.

Add the juice of 2 lemons and the bug (reserving a couple of TBSPs if you plan to keep the bug going).

Run the mixture through a strainer, and then add water to make a full gallon.

Bottle in clean, sealable bottles. Place in a warm spot and let ferment for 10 days – 2 weeks, again depending on your taste and the warmth of the room. Store in the fridge until ready to drink.

yum

Whether you’re a witch or not, I hope you like brewing up your own soft drinks. You can find so many more recipes online and experiment with your own flavorings. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even try G-ma’s beet kvass or grape cooler!


Doesn’t that sound yummy? We have a sleeves rolled up and are ready to try this!

ready

Love The Twins

 

Look Out Wednesday:

Hello friends!

You know what today is?

wed

That’s right! Look Out Wednesday is our weekly post that spotlights upcoming books we can’t wait to read! Today’s book is by an author we love and have been following for some time. We discovered her with a bunch of other upcoming authors on the blog YA Misfits! This is one blog you should be following because they have a wealth of knowledge for writers and book lovers.

Let’s take a look at Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca!


 

  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 9, 2015)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready to be left.Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…


gina

About the Author: Author of LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE (Simon Pulse, 2015) Respecter of the Fluff. Lover of love. I am represented by John M. Cusick at Greenhouse Literary.

Follow Gina on Twitter,Facebook and/or her blog

 

 

 


 

A swoon worthy read we can’t wait for!

swoon

Add the book to Goodreads! You know you want to!
Love The Twins

Release DAY Blitz: March 24th

Release Day Blitz! It’s where we highlight some new books that released today we think you might like! We’re so excited for two releases today!

books

Today we’re spotlighting two great authors! Aisha Seed has been part of our Pre-Pub Adventure on The Writer Diaries. We’re excited for her release! Paula Stokes has been an author we’ve been stalking  following for some time. Her new book is intriguing and we can’t wait for you to read it!

Let’s take a look at the releases today!


 

wrath

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (March 24, 2015)

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

Order your book: Barnes and Noble, Amazon

 

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (March 24, 2015)

A dark and twisted psychological tale that will keep readers guessing, perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston’s body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….

Order you book: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


Don’t these books sound fabulous?

want

What are you looking forward to reading?

Love

The Twins