Authors at Work: Lisa Doyle

Today we welcome Lisa Doyle, author of MILKED, to share her writing space with us. Lisa’s desk may be very clean and uncluttered, but her writing is full of heart, hope, and humor. Read on to learn why a clear space works for Lisa.

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My writing space may seem a bit utilitarian, and it is, but it’s the perfect space for me.

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Ever since I learned how to KonMari and clear the clutter from my life, I’ve embraced the items that spark joy–and inspiration.

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A favorite baby photo of my son. My ideas notebook, which is never far from me. A reminder on the wall that I can and will grow as a writer. And, my tried and true laptop to accompany me along each character’s journey.

About Lisa Doyle

LDoyleheadshot_2014

Lisa Doyle is a communications manager and freelance writer based in the Chicago area. A graduate of Miami University, she spent several years editing business-to-business publications for the personal care industry before moving to the nonprofit sector, and currently works in advocacy for homeless families at Bridge Communities. Her writing has appeared in Writer’s Digest, The NaNoWriMo Blog, Global Cosmetic Industry, Skin Inc, Salon Today, Modern Salon, Renew, Suburban Life and the essay collection Women Reinvented: True Stories of Empowerment and Change (LaChance Publishing, 2010). Her fiction debut, Milked, was published by Simon & Fig in November 2014. Keep up with Lisa on Twitter and Facebook for updates on events, book news and more!

20140929-230405.jpgBy and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have thebest taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.

Authors at Work: Isabella Louise Anderson

 

Today we welcome Isabella Louise Anderson, whose short story “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe” appeared in our Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright. Isabella is a romance author, and her writing rituals definitely evoke the romantic! Read on to learn what puts her in the writing mood!

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While I am fortunate to have an office outside of my home, my favorite places to write and edit are in my home-office–in the dark while listening to Spotify, (depending what the stage is that I’m working on, the music station changes), and drinking a glass of hibiscus tea. I also have on my Scentsy warmer that makes for a great atmosphere, (at the moment, I’m warming Flower Shop, which makes it highly motivating for working on “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” my upcoming release).

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Here are three things that make me the most productive:

Working in the dark: While a lot of authors I know seem to work best in the morning, I work best in the afternoon or early evening (at least before the hubby comes home). So, in my office, I close the shutters and get to work. Some might think working in the dark is odd; it helps me feel along with my characters, hoping to make them the best they can be.

Just do it: When I have writer’s/editor’s block, I’ve come to realize that using the Pomodoro Technique helps me the most, in ways of being the most productive. I try to do at least seven twenty-five minute sessions a day.

Find a cheerleader: Whether it be a parent, sibling, friend or a beta-reader, be sure to find someone who can cheer you on, especially when the words aren’t coming easily to you. Give them a call and tell them your problem, then I bet your brain will be flooded with ideas to help you continue with your WIP.

Isabella Louise Anderson

IsabellaPicIsabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She focuses her time on featuring other writers on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with organizing Goddess Book Tours, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. 

She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Mexican food, margaritas, gin on the rocks (with a splash of lime). She loves spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Texas Rangers. Not only is Isabella an author, she’s also a Scentsy hoarder and consultant.

Isabella’s short story, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe,” was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel. Her next release, “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop” will be released soon, and she is currently working on another book. Connect with Isabella via her Author Website,  Chick Lit Goddess, Facebook – Author Page,  Goodreads, Facebook – Chick Lit Goddess Page,   Twitter-Isabella Louise Anderson, Twitter-Chick Lit Goddess, and Instagram

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Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

Authors at Work: Laura Chapman

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We’re going behind the scenes in our new series, Authors at Work, and taking a peek at our authors’ work spaces! The creative process can happen just about anywhere, as our first author, Laura Chapman, will tell you. Laura’s short story, “Twelve Drummers Drumming,” appears in our Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, and is a reader favorite.

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“I write in airports, bars, coffee shops, and even sometimes dictate dialogue in my car. But I’m so lucky to have this gorgeous office as my home base. I have shelves full of the stories I love, walls covered in bookish artwork, and little gadgets and gizmos acquired during my travels and as gifts from friends. I even have a cute love seat where my cats, Jane and Bingley, can curl up to watch me work. It’s an inspiring and cozy place to work.” ~ Laura Chapman

About Laura Chapman

Laura Chapman Mug

Laura Chapman is the author of, Going for Two, First & Goal, The Marrying Type, and Hard Hats and Doormats. Her work also appears in Merry & Bright, A Kind of Mad Courage, and All I Want For Christmas. Laura serves as a municipal liaison for National Novel Writing Month, is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and was appointed to the board of the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association as its 2016-2017 author representative. She previously served on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. A native Nebraskan, she loves Huskers and Packers football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Connect with Laura: Facebook Twitter Instagram Goodreads  YouTube Blog, Website

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Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

 

Holiday Recipe: Baileys Chocolatini

This holiday recipe is a treat for those who like a little extra oomph with their chocolate! Thanks to Isabelle Andover, author of Cocktails at Le Carmen, for sharing her favorite holiday recipe with us. Add it to your gatherings for an indulgent libation to help get you in the holiday spirit.

Isabelles Chocolatini

I’m a big fan of the holiday season for all the delicious drinks that start popping up, like mulled wine, gingerbread lattes and cinnamon hot chocolate, to name but a few.

In my family, it’s tradition to bring out the bottle of Baileys to get into the festive spirit (no pun intended), so today I’m sharing a recipe for a Baileys Chocolatini Cocktail. It looks great, tastes even better, and it’s really easy to make.

You will need

  • 75ml (2.5 fl. oz) of Baileys
  • 25ml (0.85 fl. oz) of vodka
  • Ice cubes
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Optional extra – in this video, Baileys uses a wafer stick to garnish the cocktail, although I personally use a sprinkle of grated chocolate

How to make

Simply combine the Baileys and vodka in a cocktail shaker, add a dash of chocolate syrup and some ice cubes, and shake well. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish for added flair, and serve.

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When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm, Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.

author pic 2Originally from England, Isabelle Andover moved to France after graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages. She lives in Paris with her tabby cat Oscar, who occasionally blogs about apartment-style living in the City of Light, and who also inspired a prize-winning short story when he was a kitten.

Following several years as a media analyst, Isabelle now works at a Paris-based media company specialized in the international beauty market. In addition to fully embracing the culture of her adopted country by way of consuming plenty of French wine and cheese, Isabelle can also be found indulging in the typically British pursuits of shopping at Marks and Spencer on the Champs Elysées and drinking copious cups of Earl Grey. You can learn more about Isabelle by visiting her website.

Holiday Recipe: Apple Spice Cake

Anna Garner (a.k.a. Libby Mercer) stops by today to share her favorite holiday recipe, Apple Spice Cake, with us. Writing as Libby Mercer, Anna’s short story, Secret Santa, is featured in our Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, and is sure to delight any reader with a penchant for romance and a dash of mystery. And her recipe looks equally delightful!

Anna's Apple Spice Cake

‘Tis the season for all sorts of wonderfully scrumptious sweet stuff! I first discovered this recipe many years ago when I was perusing the Joy of Cooking, looking for something festive to bring to my sister’s potluck Christmas dinner, and it’s been one of my all-time faves ever since. It’s very dense, and very, very sweet, which is why I like to say my holiday apple spice cake is both naughty and nice.

Apple Spice Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 8 x 8-inch pan or line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl, pinching out any lumps in the brown sugar:

  • 1 ½ c all-purpose flour, or a combination of all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour
  • 1 c packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp freshly ground or grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Add and stir together until smooth:
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional: 2 tbsp rum or brandy

Stir in:

  • 1 c chopped apples
  • ½ c chopped walnuts or pecans*

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pan. Invert the cake and peel off the paper liner, if using. Let cool right side up on the rack. Serve warm or plain with vanilla ice cream, or let cool completely and frost with icing.

*I’m not a big fan of nutty cakes, so I usually add an extra ½ c chopped apples and leave the nuts out.

I like to ice my apple spice cake with a very basic frosting, since the cake itself is so flavorful. Here’s a recipe for a “quick” butter frosting:

  • ½ c (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2-4 c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or cream (more as needed)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Whip the butter on low to medium speed, gradually adding sugar. Beat until the sugar is fully incorporated and the butter is light both in color and texture. Taste as you go to decide where to stop on the sweetness scale.

Add the liquids and whip until blended. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk or cream as needed to reach the desired thickness. If it’s too thin, add more sifted sugar as needed.

Use immediately to frost a cake or store, covered, in the fridge for a few hours. The frosting will harden slightly as the butter chills, but you can bring it back to room temperature and beat it again before using.

MERRY-BRIGHT-SALESip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

blonde author photoFormer fashion journalist, Anna Garner, wrote her first “book” at the age of seven. She now writes old school chick lit stories as Anna Garner, as well as quirky love stories under the name of Libby Mercer. Anna currently lives in San Francisco. You can learn more about Anna by visiting her website.

Holiday Recipe: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

We’ve got more pumpkin yumminess today with Laura Chapman’s favorite holiday recipe, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls! Laura’s short story, Twelve Drummers Drumming, is a reader favorite in our Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, which is just 99 cents through the holidays.  And we’re pretty sure these cinnamon rolls will also be a reader favorite. Read on for some serious sweetness.

Laura's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

From mid-September through the end of the holiday season, my culinary thoughts turn to pumpkins. I’m talking sweet treats like pumpkin pies and pumpkin breads and more savory foods like pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin pasta bakes. This year I have a new favorite to add to the list: pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I tried these out for the first time this fall and they were a big hit with my guests when I served them alongside chili. (That’s a Nebraska thing—and I highly recommend it.) Because this recipe involves yeast, it does take some time to make, but the finished baked goodies are well worth the investment.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond, because that’s what I keep in stock)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • No-stick spray
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Frosting

  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice

Dissolve yeast in warm water letting it stand for five minutes. Add two cups of flour, pumpkin puree, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Turn dough onto a floured surface, kneading until elastic. This takes a while, so brace yourself. Add additional flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Coat a large bowl with no-stick spray and place dough in it covering with plastic wrap. Store it in a warmish place and allow it to rise for 45 minutes. It should be about twice its size.

In another bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until the mixture becomes coarse.

Punch dough, recover, and allow to rest for five minutes. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture on top. Roll the rectangle tightly, pinching the ends to keep it from unwrapping. Cut into 12 1-inch slices. Spray 9-inch pan with no-stick spray and place cinnamon rolls in it. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 25 minutes. The rolls should be twice as big before baking in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes.

Combine frosting ingredients with a mixer. Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool before glazing with pumpkin cream cheese frosting.

Enjoy!

MERRY-BRIGHT-SALE Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

About Laura Chapman

Laura Chapman MugLaura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, The Marrying Type, and Hard Hats and Doormats. Her work also appears in Merry & Bright, A Kind of Mad Courage, and All I Want For Christmas. A native Nebraskan, she loves Huskers and Packers football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Laura is currently in pursuit of a fantasy football championship while penning her next novel.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laurachapmanbooks
Twitter – https://twitter.com/lmchap
Instagram – https://instagram.com/lmchap614/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/lmchap
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7374940.Laura_Chapman
Blog – http://www.change-the-word.com/
Website – http://laurachapmanbooks.com/

Holiday Recipe: Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Cheesecake

Today in our holiday recipe series, we’re featuring another sweet treat. This is a favorite from Isabella Louise Anderson, whose short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, appeared in our Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, which just so happens to be on sale for 99 cents for the holidays!
Isabella's Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Cheesecake
I try to stay healthy, because once I see bright colors of pumpkin and squash, I start imagining all I can make with them—from butternut squash ravioli, pumpkin lasagna, to pumpkin soup—the list is endless. Thanks to Skinnytaste.com, these recipes make fall cooking a lot easier, without the hassle of trying to not splurge so much, and still stay satisfied. That being said, I make this at least one in October and November, and it’s one of my favorite recipes from Skinnytaste.com.
Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Cheesecake
Original recipe featured on Skinnytaste.com 
Servings: 8 • Size: 1/8th slice • Weight Watcher Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 222 • Fat: 13 g • Carbs: 25 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 3 g • Sugar: 16 g
 Sodium: 224 mg • Cholesterol: 28 g
 
Ingredients:
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 4 oz Truwhip, thawed
  • 9 inch reduced-fat Graham Cracker Crust
Directions:
In a large bowl whip cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar for a few minutes until fluffy.  A hand mixer or spatula both work fine. Add Truwhip and whip until smooth.
I have used a pre-made original graham cracker crust, and it’s still delicious, but for a homemade version, see below:
Easy 3-Ingredient Low-Fat Graham Cracker Crust
Servings: 8 • Size: 1/8th • Weight Watcher Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 88 • Fat: 4 g • Carbs: 13 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 1 g • Sugar: 6 g
Sodium: 101 mg • Cholesterol: 8 g

Ingredients:

  • 6 sheets graham crackers (3.5 oz total)*
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold whipped butter

*Use gluten-free graham crackers to make this gluten-free.

Directions:

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times. Add 1 tbsp water and pulse a few more times until it has a texture of coarse meal.

Step 2 – Press into an 8-inch pie dish making the crust about 1/8-inch thick evenly all around and up the sides.

IsabellaPicIsabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with working on her next book.

She created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies!  She loves featuring authors and their books.

Currently, she lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

MERRY-BRIGHT-SALESip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

Holiday Recipe: MILKED and Cookies

Welcome to our Holiday Recipe Blog Series! Here at Simon & Fig, were big fans of holiday baking, cooking, drinking, and eating! And thought it would be fun for all our authors to share their favorite holiday recipes with our readers. First up, we have Lisa Doyle, author MILKED, which Kirkus Reviews called “a fun, frothy read bolstered by a likable heroine and a snappy, fast-paced narrative.” We couldn’t agree more. And Lisa’s holiday recipe looks equally as fabulous! Read on for Lisa’s Pumpkin Cookies.

 

MILKED & COOKIES

What goes better with a delicious read than cookies? Couldn’t tell you. But I will tell you that these iced pumpkin cookies are absolutely fantastic–light, sweet, and with a hint of spice, much like Amanda in MILKED. Enjoy with tea, coffee, milk, or if you’re really like Amanda, a Guinness.

Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Icing:
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

-Heat oven to 350.
-Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
-Beat sugar and shortening with a mixer or by hand. Add pumpkin and vanilla, then slowly add flour mixture.
-Drop in large spoonfuls on cookie sheet.
-Bake for 15 min.
Yields approx. 24-30 cookies

Once cookies have cooled, prepare icing:
-Microwave the butter, milk, vanilla and brown sugar for 90 seconds.
-Stir in powdered sugar and frost cookies immediately.

MILKED Kirkus Cover By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.

LDoyleheadshot_2014 Lisa Doyle is a communications manager and freelance writer based in the Chicago area. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois and a graduate of Miami University, she spent several years editing business-to-business publications for the personal care industry before moving to the nonprofit sector, and currently works in advocacy for homeless families at Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She has written for major beauty trade publications (Global Cosmetic Industry, Skin Inc, Salon Today, Modern Salon, Renew, Suburban Life) and is a contributor to WOMEN REINVENTED: TRUE STORIES OF EMPOWERMENT AND CHANGE (LaChance Publishing, 2010). Doyle is represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary, Inc., a full-service agency based in New York. For more about Lisa, please visit her website.

Independence Day Giveaway!

On the eve of celebrating America’s independence, we thought a Parisian-themed giveaway was in order! It is only fitting since we just released Isabelle Andover’s fabulous debut, Cocktails at Le Carmen, which captures a bit of that independent spirit our forefathers had back in 1776. Only in this case, Chloe leaves behind her London life to embark on la vie Parisienne! So, we’ve put together a fun giveaway with a copy of Cocktails at Le Carmen, a lovely tote for carrying around your favorite Chick Lit books, some adorable Parisian magnets, memo pads, a travel journal, and even a little scented candle that will transport you to the gardens of Paris while you’re reading Cocktails at Le Carmen.

Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Sorry, only open to US residents. Giveaway ends on Bastille Day! That’s July 14th, in case you’ve forgotten your French history. Good luck!

Paris Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrating Women’s Fiction

We are super excited to sponsor this fantastic event next month to celebrate Women’s Fiction! If you’re in the Los Angeles are, join us for a fun panel discussion, Q&A, book signings, and refreshments!

Celebrating-Women's-Fiction