Showing posts with label Bethany Blake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bethany Blake. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Welcome Author Bethany Blake with a Prize Package #BookGiveaway and Sweet Halloween Recipe

To learn more about
Dial Meow for Murder,
click here.
Like her amateur sleuth, author Bethany Blake also runs a pet-sitting business. We're thrilled that she's stopped by to tell us about the brand new entry in her Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries: Dial Meow for Murder!

Bethany is also sharing a wonderful October recipe and offering a generous giveaway package, so be sure to comment on the post with a way to contact you. 


Take it away, Bethany!

—Cleo Coyle 





🐾 🐾 🐾

Halloween is coming to quaint, pet-friendly Sylvan Creek, and that can only mean:

🐾  A one-eared, drooling
Chihuahua in a tiny clown costume;

🐾  A haunted hayride gone
horribly, horribly awry; and

🐾 The world’s cutest – angriest – black cat guarding a body in a spooky mansion.


If you’ve already “visited” Sylvan Creek by reading the first book in the Lucky Paws Petsitting series, Death by Chocolate Lab, you know that pet sitter and amateur sleuth Daphne Templeton tends to stumble into sticky situations involving pets with personality. And this Halloween is no exception. 

First, Daphne finds the town’s “professional volunteer,” Lillian Flynt, dead in a creepy, crumbling lakeside Victorian. Then Daphne and her stoic sidekick, basset hound Socrates, get stuck caring for Lillian’s prized Persian, Tinkleston, whose puffball paws hide a razor-sharp set of claws.

Daphne's stoic sidekick,
basset hound Socrates
To make matters worse, Daphne’s mother, ambitious Realtor Maeve Templeton, stands to profit from Miss Flynt’s death.

Last but not least, handsome, enigmatic Detective Jonathan Black’s ex-wife – gorgeous Elyse Hunter-Black – has arrived in town with two ghostly greyhounds. The fact that Elyse is still hyphenating her name is not lost upon Daphne’s best friend, vintage-loving Moxie Bloom. And Daphne has to agree that Elyse probably wants to get her lovely hands on more than some local real estate.

Not that Daphne sees any kind of future with Jonathan. Still, it’s all kind of confusing.

Thank goodness little Sylvan Creek is full of places to grab a soothing fall snack, whether it’s pumpkin cheesecake gelato – eaten while comparing clues with Jonathan – or sage-and-butternut squash dip, shared with hippie surfer Dylan Taggart at the historic Wolf Hollow Mill.

As for me, when I need comfort food of the sweet variety, I turn to my mother’s three-layer black-bottom pie. Recently, she was kind enough to give me the original recipe, on a yellowed card that has been tucked in a box in her kitchen since my childhood. The spicy gingersnap crust blends perfectly with a layer of bitter chocolate, mellowed by sweet vanilla and whipped cream.


In a nod to the upcoming holiday, I’m adding a seasonal twist, replacing the vanilla layer with a pumpkin mousse. I’ve also streamlined the recipe to avoid a step that calls for scalding milk and adding gelatin. (Sounds like a recipe… for disaster!) I call the revised treat Tinkleston’s Sweet & Spiced Black Cat Pie, in honor of Daphne’s latest furry family member, who tends to narrow his distinctive, orange eyes right before he pounces. Little Tinks is also a lot like the pie in terms of temperament. He’s somewhat bitter, quite snappish – but sweet at heart.

At least, Daphne and Socrates hope that’s the case! 

--Bethany Blake

🐾 🐾 🐾



Sweet & Spiced Black Cat Pie


INGREDIENTS

For Crust

18 gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup melted butter

For Chocolate Layer

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp softened butter
1 cup heavy cream

For Pumpkin Layer

8 oz softened cream cheese
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Crush the cookies and combine them with the butter until moistened. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a pie plate. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool.


Prepare the chocolate layer. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for about a minute. Slowly whisk the chocolate until melted and smooth. (This was honestly my first time making ganache. It was so easy!)


Gently pour the chocolate into the cooled crust. Starting to look good, right? Place the pie in your refrigerator for about one hour or until set. (Use the time to lick the whisk and bowl clean.)


Next, make the pumpkin layer. Using a stand mixer if you’ve got one, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until smooth.


Using a hand mixer or good, old-fashioned biceps, whip the cream in a separate, chilled bowl. Fold half of the cream into the pumpkin mixture. Repeat with the second half of the cream, blending until just combined. 


Carefully spread the pumpkin over the chocolate layer and smooth the top. Refrigerate for about two hours or until set and firm. Garnish with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and – if you have them – little black cats before serving.




And don’t feel badly if your slices look a little… scary.

 It’s Halloween!

🎃 🎃 🎃


About the Author


Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she's not writing or riding horses, she's wrangling a menagerie of furry, finned and feathered family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, an immortal goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet-sitting business called Barkley's Premium Pet Care.


🐾 🐾 🐾

*
*Keep in touch with Bethany!

Visit her website: bethanyblakeauthor.com

Like her on Facebook  by clicking here

Follow her on Twitter by clicking here


🐾


Bonus Giveaway from Bethany!


 🎃 Halloween Haul Prize Pack


🐾 Death by Chocolate Lab

🐾 Ominous Amish Blood-Red Popcorn 

🐾 Chocolate Black Cat  

🐾 Gourmet Chocolate and Caramel Pretzels


To learn more about or purchase
Bethany's new mystery, click
on one of the links below...

Amazon  * B&N 



Thank you so much for
joining us today, Bethany!


COMMENT TO WIN!

Leave a comment on this post by Midnight, Wednesday, October 18 (Pacific Time), and you are entered to win Bethany's new book and prize package. Be sure to leave an email address, or a link to your Facebook page, or another way we can contact you if you win.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Welcome Guest Bethany Blake with a Recipe and New Cozy Mystery Series!




Please give a warm welcome to debut author Bethany Blake! If you're an animal lover, then you'll be as charmed as I was by the first book in her new Kensington mystery series DEATH BY CHOCOLATE LAB

Like her amateur sleuth, Bethany also runs a pet-sitting business. We're thrilled that she's stopped by to tell us more about her new mystery series and share a wonderful recipe for a cold winter day. 

Bethany is also offering a generous giveaway package, and we congratulate her winner, Sue G.! so be sure to comment on the post. Take it away, Bethany!

~ Cleo Coyle



* * *

Daphne Templeton – heroine of my Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries – has a weakness for three things: 

* Pets in need of forever homes. 
* Cheese. 
* And, quite possibly, if secretly, a handsome, enigmatic detective by the name of Jonathan Black.

Daphne lives in the pet-friendly town of Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania, in the Pocono Mountains, where winter bites down hard and hangs on. People turn to soup for comfort. Therefore, today I’m making Daphne Templeton’s Coziest, Cheesiest Corn Chowder Ever. 

I’ll be cooking with the help of my (paws off!) sous chef, Big Pup, who will taste test anything that drops to the floor. You can see that she’s already found something.


But getting back to the mystery – Death by Chocolate Lab – and the soup.

In the novel, Daphne – a pet sitter with a Ph.D. in philosophy – is always in the kitchen when not walking dogs or solving murders with her sidekick, an introspective basset hound named Socrates.

Daphne usually keeps it simple when it comes to cheese. She’s happy eating a mozzarella stick at Sylvan Creek’s dive-bar-on-a-pier, the Lakeside, or digging into a gooey wheel of brie with her best friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa & Paw Salon.

But Daphne’s having a rough week. First, her one-eared foster Chihuahua discovered a body. Then her sister Piper was accused of murder. And Daphne keeps blurting out the wrong things in Detective Black’s presence. Times like these call for serious comfort food, preferably eaten fireside under a blanket. So I’m going whip up a soup that’s best served on the coldest, snowiest day you can imagine, when the wind is whipping around your house, and you crave something warm and hearty. However, like a good mystery, this soup also has a twist that will have you looking ahead to summer. Enjoy!




Coziest, Cheesiest Corn Chowder Ever







Cozy Corn Chowder

from Bethany Blake

Ingredients

3 strips bacon

1/2 cup cooking sherry

1 large white potato (any variety), finely diced

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

Approx. 45 oz. corn – That’s three cans. (If you’re lucky enough to be using corn you froze last summer, just estimate.)


2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)

2 cups whole milk

24 oz. shredded cheese – (any kind of cheddar will do. And, no, that’s not a typo. You’ll want 24 ounces!)

1/4 cup BBQ sauce, homemade or the brand of your choice






Instructions:



Using a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the strips and set them aside for later, leaving the flavor-packed grease for the next step.










Add the diced potato to the bacon grease and give the taters a quick stir to coat. Pour in the sherry and use it to deglaze the pot, stirring the potatoes and little bits of yummy browned bacon until the potato is slightly softened, about five minutes. Add the chopped onion and red bell pepper, cooking until these soften, too, about five more minutes. Stir in the corn.










Next add the chicken stock, then stream in the milk while stirring or whisking. Bring everything to a low boil, then turn off the heat, because it’s finally time for cheese!










But first, if you have a sous chef, and said helper is looking at you with desperate eyes, consider allowing a little cheese to fall to the floor. It won’t change the soup that much, and it will make someone’s day.




When the tail wags of gratitude subside, slowly whisk the remaining cheese into the soup, being careful not to dump in too much at a time, so things don’t get clumpy. Trust me on this. When the cheese is smoothly incorporated, bring the soup back to a simmer on low heat.


And the final twist? 


The barbecue sauce, which gives the soup sweetness and tang – and calls to mind summer. I am not much for measuring, so I guesstimated a quarter cup. However, you might want to add the sauce slowly and keep tasting. A little goes a long way. 


At this point, if you’re not already wearing pajamas – and you should be – get changed while the soup simmers and blends for a few more minutes. Then serve with a tiny drizzle of extra sauce, a palmful of cheese if you have any left over, and the reserved bacon, crumbled on top of everything. Crackers are optional – although I generally opt.




About the Author


Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she's not writing or riding horses, she's wrangling a menagerie of furry, finned and feathered family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, an immortal goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet-sitting business called Barkley's Premium Pet Care.




Keep in touch with Bethany!

Visit her website: bethanyblakeauthor.com

Like her on Facebook  by clicking here

Follow her on Twitter by clicking here


* * * 



Bonus Giveaway from Bethany!




And, of course, you will also win 
the launch book in Bethany's new mystery series!


To pre-order Bethany's book,
click on a link below...

Amazon  * B&N 



Photographs courtesy of Julia Kaszuba




Thank you so much for
joining us today, Bethany!





COMMENT TO WIN!



Leave a comment on this post by Midnight, Tuesday, January 31, and you are entered to win Bethany's new book and prize package. Be sure to leave an email address or 
a way we can contact you.




Congratulations to 
Bethany's winner...
SUE G.