Learn how to make fondant poppies

The cover of Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook features some bright red fondant poppies.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees 08022017 Cover new

A number of people have admired these poppies and have asked me how I made them. In response, Gregory and I made a YouTube video of how to make fondant poppies. It is easiest to use a poppy petal cutter to make these flowers but if you don’t have one, you can draw the petals onto wax paper, cut them out and use this as a stencil to cut out the petal shapes.

We use the poppies we made for this video to decorate a simple cake for a friend’s birthday.

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Happy poppy making!

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

Update on Audio Version of Swamp Ghosts

Good News!!

Thanks to an interesting and encouraging post by Don Massenzio, I decided it was time to make my work available as audio books. I signed on with ACX, put up a sample from Swamp Ghosts (the one I’ve had the most requests for), and found a reader whose voice I thought would work. Yesterday, I got the news she has finished recording, and now it’s up to me to listen to the entire book, suggest any changes I feel are necessary, within guidelines, upload the cover resized for a jewel case, and voila! It will be ready to finalize and publish.

So far, this has been an easy process, though with books as long as mine, it does take some time to get them both recorded (on the reader’s end) and proofread (proofheard?) on mine. I have to find 9 hours and 44 minutes in which to sit back and listen, chapter by chapter, author’s notes, acknowledgements, and all. That’s a big chunk of time for me, which I will have to tackle in bits and pieces, but in the long run, it will be worth it.  Audio books are growing at an unprecedented rate, and I believe it’s important to be sure readers have that option.

When this is all over, I’ll post about the entire experience, but I just had to share that the longest portion–reading a 400-plus-page book aloud–is over! I listened to the prologue tonight, and think it sounds darn good, so I’m really excited to see how my narrator has done with the rest, and very much looking forward to being able to offer all of my novels in audio form!

What about you guys? Any of you thinking  of producing audio books? Have you started yet? Do you like to read them, yourself? Have you had experiences you’d like to share? We’d like to hear from you.

News on #TheEmissary


“Ancient and overworked Warrior Angel hires a modern-day, recently-expired
trucker to help souls in peril. First week on the job, and he’s already in
trouble with the boss.”

Woohoo! Yesterday, I finished the draft of my upcoming novella, The Emissary. (You can read an unedited excerpt here.)

Those of you who are up to date on my Riverbend series, will know that Gabe Angelino played a small but pivotal role in Finding Hunter, as the trucker who brought Hunter Painter home to Willow, probably saving his life. He appears only in one short scene, but Willow has always believed he was a real angel.

I received so many questions about this mystery man and his possible angelic status, I decided his story needed to be told. The result is The Emissary, and I’m super excited to be moving into the editing phase, already. The feedback from my betas has been wonderful, so I’m crossing my fingers the book will be well received. A series of Emissary novellas might be in the works.

 In spite of the things that go bump in the night on Wake-Robin Ridge, this will be my first foray into what feels like Urban Fantasy, or perhaps Urban Fantasy Lite. I’m a bit nervous about that, but mostly, excited. Can’t wait to get this one out there, hopefully by October. Look for future updates right here on The Write Stuff!

Just a Reminder!

Just a reminder! I hope those of you in central Florida will consider joining us Saturday for a light lunch and a presentation on how things have changed in the writing and publishing world over the last 100 years. I uncovered so many interesting things when researching this talk for the traveling Smithsonian exhibit that I’ve been asked to present it again at several local venues, and I would dearly LOVE to meet YOU there! I’ll be available for a book signing afterward, as well. Come say hi!

NOTE: Reservations are necessary for this event. You may call the number at the top of the poster, OR 386 804 6987

 

A Big Thank You, and a Little Poem

I just wanted to thank each of you for making this #ExcerptWeek the best one, yet. To those of you who shared your work with us, my heartfelt thanks. I loved reading every single excerpt, even when I got too swamped to comment. To those of you who shared what you read here, you are the heart and soul of what The Write Stuff is all about. I love each and every one of you, contributers and sharers alike. (And a double hug for those of you who were both!)

Thought I would share a little poem from Summer Magic, which I wrote after defying the odds and publishing my first book. Those of you who have followed me for a while will recognize it, but I hope you won’t mind reading again. If I have anything of import to give you all, it’s this little bit of life philosophy. Enjoy. (But take it to heart.)

Attitude Really Is Everything

No!
Yes.
You can’t!
I can.
Why?
Why not?
It’s all wrong!
It’s all right.
You shouldn’t!
I should.
You won’t!
I will.
It could be bad!
It could be good.
Its’ too late!
There’s still time.
You’re too old!
I’m still here.
You did it!
I did.

And with that, consider #ExcerptWeek wrapped up until next time! Hope you  all enjoyed it as much as I did.


 

#ExcerptWeek – That Darkest Place by Marcia Meara

No one else has a scheduled excerpt for this morning, so I thought it would be a good chance for me to share something a bit different with you guys. Two short scenes from my latest novel, That Darkest Place. While it is very difficult to find scenes from this book that don’t contain spoilers, I managed to include a funny one (probably my favorite little moment in the whole book, because, for the town’s premiere ladies’ man, Forrest Painter is amazingly inept when it concerns love), and a more serious one, as Jackson makes a decision guaranteed to upset his younger brother. Thanks for reading, and I hope the first one makes you smile, and the second one makes you curious.

~~~

Scene from CH 26, Already in Jeopardy, edited slightly to remove spoilers, and containing some mild profanity. Jackson Painter,  his  middle brother, Forrest, and their respective love interests are seated around the kitchen table, ready to clean up a pretty bad mess caused by the latest disaster to befall Jackson. The previous evening, Jackson had given Forrest a very stern talking to about Forrest’s fear of proposing to Bailey Hunt.  Jackson had flatly ordered Forrest to go straight to Bailey’s house, get down on one knee, ask the question, and not to come home again until he’d done so. But Jackson has just noticed that Bailey is not wearing the ring Forrest has had in his pocket for two weeks. This is what follows, told from Forrest’s point of view.

Excerpt 1 from CH 26 of That Darkest Place

Rising, Jackson spoke to Mel and Bailey. “If you two will excuse us a minute, I have something I need to show Forrest. Help yourself to breakfast and more coffee, Bailey. There’s enough for all of us.”

Jackson crunched his way down the hall to his bedroom, not glancing back even once. With a sigh of dread, Forrest followed, but as soon as he reached Jackson’s room, he knew it would have been safer if he’d stayed where he was.

His brother’s arms were crossed over his chest, brows drawn so close together, they had essentially become a monobrow. His whisper was harsh. “I can’t help noticing there’s no ring on Bailey’s finger, Forrest. Care to tell me why that is? Because I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be here right now if she’d turned you down.”

Forrest’s tongue felt glued to the roof of his mouth. “Well, umm ….”

“Well what? You didn’t ask her?”

He shook his head. “No, but—”

“Don’t give me ‘but.’ Didn’t you get what I was telling you last night?”

“Yes. I did get it, Jackson. I might be a damn chicken, but I’m not totally stupid! And I was gonna ask her, but—”

“There you go again.”

Jackson scrubbed his hand over his face, and Forrest knew he’d disappointed him. He hated how that felt, especially when it really wasn’t his fault.

“Listen. I was gonna ask her as soon as I got to her house, but—I mean, then—we , ah, well, we kinda got distracted.”

“She twisted your arm again, I guess?”

“Sort of. It was more like we were both twistin’ each other’s arms, and before you know it, we were in bed again. I figured I’d ask her right afterward, except there wasn’t one.”

“Wasn’t one what? An after? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means we were hornier than we were hungry. We never left her bed, and after the third or fourth time, we fell asleep.”

Jackson’s eyebrows leapt for the ceiling, and his mouth dropped open. “Third or fourth, Forrest? Fourth?”

Sure he was on safer ground now, Forrest nodded. “Well, yeah. You know how it is, right?”

Mouth still agape, Jackson finally shook his head. “No, I don’t know how that is. I’m pretty sure I’d remember an evening like that, no matter how long ago it was. Four times, that’s what you’re saying?”

“Yeah, I think so. I mean, who counts? But the point is, you don’t stop in the middle of something like that, even to propose. I figured I’d do it later. And then we fell asleep. And then you called. And then, well … you know the rest. But I’m gonna ask her. I thought hard about what you said, and you were right. I can’t afford not to go for it, not if this is what I really want, and it is.”

He had no idea why Jackson was still staring at him, but after a long moment, his brother’s expression changed from stunned and skeptical, to affectionately amazed, and as Jackson turned to go back to the kitchen, Forrest heard him mutter, “Son of a bitch. Four!”

~~~

Scene 2 from CH 26, Already in Jeopardy. This one takes place after Jackson and Forrest have returned to the kitchen able.

Excerpt #2 from CH 26 of That Darkest Place

Jackson had hoped to talk to Forrest alone first, but no postponing this decision now. He dropped into his seat, dug out a breakfast sandwich, and popped the lid off one of the cups of coffee, aware that three sets of eyes watched his every move. Taking a long swallow of the now-cool coffee, he nodded at Bailey. “That’s my plan. Forrest, I hate to do this to you, but I don’t have a choice, here. I’m moving out.”

Forrest exploded out of his chair. “No! You don’t have to do that, Jackson.”

“You know I do. Please don’t make this any harder than it already is.”

Forrest sank back down.

“Me being here at night is dangerous. That beautiful big truck out there is a neon sign, advertising to the whole town that I’m home. It’s putting a bullseye on this apartment, on me, and worst of all, on you.”

His voice dropped an octave. “I can’t be the reason anyone else dies, Forrest. Please tell me you understand that?”

Struggling with the obvious truth, his brother’s protests slowed. Stricken and miserable, he grudgingly gave in. “It’s not fair. We’re just gettin’ our lives back to normal again, and now you’re leavin’? I hate this.”

“I’m not leaving. But I’m not going to sleep here every night and let a crazy idiot take potshots at us. What’s next? Molotov cocktails? Pipe bombs? I can’t do this, Forrest. I don’t want to die at this guy’s hands, and I damn well don’t want anyone else to, either.”

“What are you plannin’ to do, then?”

“Still working on that, but I figure I can stay at different motels for a while, at least. Maybe down in DeBary or Sanford. Give the police a chance to see if they can catch this ass. It doesn’t have to be forever. Surely he’ll slip up somewhere.”

Frustration close to boiling over, Forrest glared at the table. Bailey reached for his hand, the love in her eyes, obvious. “Forrest, he’s right. If Jackson can’t be found, he can’t be attacked. And that’s safer for both of you.”

Unconvinced, Forrest scowled. “Be damned if I want my brother livin’ out of a suitcase at a cheap motel, because some lunatic is determined to hurt him. It’s not right!”

Jackson laid a hand on his brother’s arm. “No, it’s not right. It’s not fair to either of us. But for now, let’s be careful. We’ll hope for answers soon, so they can put this guy away.”

Mel cleared her throat. “Excuse me? Could I suggest something? I might have a possible solution.”

~~~


Marcia Meara, Author

This is me with my son’s dog, Happy. There are umpteen bios of me around this site, so I’m not going to repeat any of them here. Let’s cut to the chase. I wrote my first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, at the age of 69, without a clue as to what I was doing. Four years and five more novels later, I’m 73, and I still don’t have a clue. And not just about writing, either. But I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in my life, and I plan to keep on going until I fall face down on the keyboard, or forget what words are, whichever comes first. Be afraid, World. Be very afraid.

Buy That Darkest Place Here

Follow me on other Social Media Here:

Email: marciameara16@gmail.com
Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com
Twitter: @marciameara
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/ 
To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here:
https://marciamearawrites.com/mail-list-win-free-stuff/

 

 

 

 

 

#ExcerptWeek – For the Girls by D. Avery

Back for an encore is poet D. Avery, with a  selection from her book For the Girls. We are very pleased to share this one with you, especially after the popularity of her poem about chickens, from Chicken Shift.

~~~

Dream Change 

Take charge
make change
don’t let worry
become sorry
no sorrow
the morrow
always comes
dawns
spawns hope
doors to open
pull, pry
push, try.

So be scared
then pick scared up
and mold it
shape it and rearrange
but don’t forever hold it
create peace
a place
to keep
your cares
hold sacred
something you can learn from.

Always be a dreamer
in dreaming be remade
love, live
life, lift
gift, give.
Live love, live
dream a sacred change
in dreaming be remade.

~~~

D. Avery, Author

D. Avery (196?-20??) has long been a compulsive poet. Despite a very important day job educating public school children, she is often distracted by this compulsion, as well as by life’s great questions, such as “Kayak, or bike?” Though she has come to realize that nothing difficult is ever easy, she believes that it’s all good.

Click Here to Buy For The Girls

Reach D. Avery Here:

Twitter: @daveryshiftn

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