Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pirates and Raspberry Filled Cupcakes

What am I reading now?  A Change of Plans (Donna K. Weaver)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  Y'all know I don't often blog about adult romance books--like next to never unless it is chick lit, but this isn't and I'm blogging it. I try to stick with YA because I'm a teacher and connect with a lot of teachers through blogs and Goodreads, but this book would easily fit into a high school classroom library, so here it is!

I had a hard time getting into this book, but I'm recommending you buy it and stick with it. There's a great payoff if you do: several chapters are cry-worthy and the love story is sweet and memorable. I truly enjoyed it!

Author Interview

Tell us about your book in 30 words or less.

A pacific cruise. An intriguing guy. Pirates. What’s not to love?

Yeah. I know. It’s 11 words.

What inspired this story?

A dream. There was this guy and gal marooned on an island with a huge old tree and a tree house. Of course, in my dream, they found this concrete building full of dry toilet paper (don’t ask me how that happened on a tropical island) and bottles of shampoo. Yeah. Definitely a dream because that didn’t happen in the book. My challenge was figuring out how to get them on the island.

Where did you draw ideas from for the scenes?

Some things were based on experience, since I spent two years living in the Philippines as a girl. I’m too familiar with the humidity, torrential rainstorms, and huge bugs. I also lived through a typhoon—there was a ripping storm scene that was cut from the book. I’m going to have to figure out how to share that some time.

Which parts of the story did you have to research and how did you go about that?

Yes, you would remember some of my research issues, wouldn’t you? The catamaran and island, especially, were fraught with research issues. I watched YouTube videos, reached out to people I know with medical and geology expertise, and brainstormed with other authors. It’s funny where some (obvious) answers can come from. I tried actually talking with someone on the Coast Guard to help me verify some information, but their online guide answered my questions.

What else are you working on?

I’m currently editing a companion novel to A Change of Plans, where one of the secondary characters—a guy—will become the main character. He’s so broken (readers don’t realize just how much), and it’s been a lot of fun to write about his healing journey. When I’m finished with that, I have a YA fantasy duology that I’ve written but still need to edit.

Raspberry Filled Cupcakes
This is a hurry-up dessert (made from cake mix)
•Bake the cupcakes as directed on the box.
•Then cut the center out of the cupcake and hollow out a well.
•Place 1-2 raspberries in the well

•Fill with pastry cream (recipe below) and place the cap of the portion you cut out to cover the hole.
•Mix one small jar of marshmallow cream with purchased frosting.
•Frost cupcakes

Recipe for Pastry Cream
(The fluffy-happiness you suck out of Twinkies)

1 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter
1 egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla

Blend together until smooth then add:
2-3 c. powdered sugar and
1/3 c. hot milk, dribble this in slowly after mixing in the sugar. You don't need to add all the milk if the frosting looks like it is lickable smooth.

Keep this recipe around to fill Cream Puffs too!


Donna K. Weaver said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Canda!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, be prepared - you write one sequel and there will probably be another!
Congratulations again.

lady reader said...

This post was all I could ever ask for today. GoodNESS!

Pirates, kissing, and raspberry cupcakes. I'M IN HEAVEN.

Thanks for posting!