Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A SPRINKLING OF MURDER book #giveaway + CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BROWNIE #recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber



GIVEAWAY BELOW!!!  DON'T MISS IT.
From Daryl:

With a new book comes a lot of public relations work. A friend on Instagram asked if I'd ever written a blog about what goes into PR.  Sure, I've shared a bit here and there. I tell you guys all about the promotions I'm doing, but what really goes into it from the get-go?

Okay, here goes (there's a brownie recipe -- regular and gluten-free -- below and a giveaway if you want to breeze past this!)  LOL

Months before the book is out, I update my website, first and foremost, and then I start putting together promotional materials. Bookmarks and swag featuring the new book cover or series name.  Recipe cards. I update tote bags and such. Sometimes I even get charms or tea towels to give away. Fun stuff all focused on the theme.

I make a plan as to when I'll be giving everything away. Four weeks ahead? Two weeks ahead? Should I have a countdown? Will I do it on all my social media sites? Or just Mystery Lovers Kitchen and Facebook? I did do a countdown for A Sprinkling of Murder on my Facebook page, putting an item a day into a box. It was fun to do a reveal of each item. My fans enjoyed that. One fan won the entire box.

With the help of known bloggers and a wonderful woman who puts together an intensive blog tour, I arrange to do a virtual blog tour. This involves writing blogs or recipes or doing interviews for a variety of cozy mystery bloggers. Many of them read and write reviews for the book and many of them draw a diverse crowd of readers that I might not otherwise reach, so I feel these are worth it to build up the amount of new "eyes" on the book.  But, boy, it can be daunting plugging each of those blogs during the week or two around the release of the book. On Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram. Whew!

I  do live chats on my Facebook page so that I can communicate face to face (I don't get to see the fans' faces, but they see me). I tell fans what I'm up to. They chime in. We say hello a lot.  Last weekend, I actually built a fairy garden on the live chat to show how it can be done. I'm proud to say a few who might have been daunted by the thought of making one are now going to do so. Yay!

I schedule a couple of interviews either via podcasts or with fellow authors who have created a platform on their channels to interview other authors. Again, this introduces me to their fans, and my fans to them. A mutual admiration society.  Here's a link to a podcast that was super fun to make with Public Display of Imagination

In addition, I make a book trailer. Sometimes I do how-to videos and post them on YouTube as well as on my website. 

And I update my newsletter! BTW, that's the best way for any fan to hear about my releases, plus you get a dose of Sparky and a recipe!  Do you receive my newsletter yet?

 
Last but not least, I coordinate with my publisher's PR person to learn what they would like me to do. For example, we put together a number of virtual bookstore events - you can watch those interviews here: (Murder by the Book and  Mysterious Galaxy) and I appeared on a few Facebook group events where fans read the book and we met as if in a book club. They did a LOT more than this -- magazine articles, promotional materials, etc. -- but this is just a taste for you.

Oh, and in the meantime, I must write. So I carve out hours of each day to do that.

Needless to say, I had NO IDEA when I became an author what the PR would entail. I thought I'd simply write a book and it would sell. NOT.  Doing the PR is fun, challenging, sometimes near impossible, but I'm glad I am a published author and have the ability to share my books with readers.

NOW . . . FOR THE RECIPE I PROMISED.   This chocolate caramel brownie is scrumptious. It's featured in A SPRINKLING OF MURDER and is one of Brady's grandmother's secret recipes.  But guess what?  I know the secret. Heh-heh.  Enjoy.  *If you want to make it gluten-free, that recipe follows the first!! 



Chocolate Caramel Brownie
(regular version)
(Yield: 15-20)

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa, *choose the best
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans, if desired

Caramel sauce:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons salted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, cocoa, oil, eggs, and milk.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture until well blended.  Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans, if desired.

Spoon two-thirds (2/3) of the batter into the 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. 

In a 3-quart saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook at medium heat. Stir until combined. Do NOT stir again. Bring to a boil and let boil until a candy thermometer reads 350 degrees.  It takes a few minutes. Carefully add the butter and whisk until butter is melted.

Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in the cream, stirring with a wooden spoon all the time until the cream is incorporated.  You want the caramel to thicken up. If necessary, return to low heat and stir until thick. Set aside to cool.

Remove the partially-baked brownies from the oven. Pour the melted caramel sauce over the brownies and spread evenly.

Add the remaining one-third (1/3) batter by spoonfuls over the caramel layer. Using a knife, swirl the caramel with the batter.

(Note: If you didn’t pour enough of the batter in the bottom half, don’t worry. You just have more brownie on the top. However, it won’t swirl as well. If you want to make it perfectly, this means you’ll have to eat this entire batch and make another. Poor you.)

Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out semi-clean. You don’t want to over bake brownies. Ever. 

Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Chocolate Caramel Brownie
(gluten-free version)
(Yield: 15-20)

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa, *choose the best
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (*I used a sweet rice/tapioca mixture)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans, if desired

Caramel sauce:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons salted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, cocoa, oil, eggs, and milk.

In another bowl, combine the gluten-free, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder.

Gradually add the GF flour mixture to the egg mixture until well blended.  Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans, if desired.

Spoon two-thirds (2/3) of the batter into the 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. 

In a 3-quart saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook at medium heat. Stir until combined. Do NOT stir again. Bring to a boil and let boil until a candy thermometer reads 350 degrees.  It takes a few minutes. Carefully add the butter and whisk until butter is melted.

Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in the cream, stirring with a wooden spoon all the time until the cream is incorporated.  You want the caramel to thicken up. If necessary, return to low heat and stir until thick. Set aside to cool.

Remove the partially-baked brownies from the oven. Pour the melted caramel sauce over the brownies and spread evenly.

Add the remaining one-third (1/3) batter by spoonfuls over the caramel layer. Using a knife, swirl the caramel with the batter.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out semi-clean. You don’t want to over bake brownies. Ever. 

Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

(Same note as noted above: If you didn’t pour enough of the batter in the bottom half, don’t worry. You just have more brownie on the top. However, it won’t swirl as well. If you want to make it perfectly, this means you’ll have to eat this entire batch and make another. Poor you.)















If you'd like something a little lighter and citrusy, here is another recipe included in the book, but I posted it on MLK months ago as a teaser.  Lemon Lavender Cupcakes


GIVEAWAY

I'm giving a copy of A SPRINKLING OF MURDER
to one commenter (paper or ebook) plus a
Fairy Best Wishes tea towel.

What would you like to do or serve
at a fairy garden birthday party
Include your email address
so I can contact you if you win.


🧚


A SPRINKLING OF MURDER 
now in audio, too!

You can read all about it and order it on a variety of sites via my website HERE
Plus I've posted a few pictures of my fairy gardens and I've included some trailers,
a PDF of where I buy some of my fairy garden supplies, and more.


Don't forget to order the 9th book in the  
Cookbook Nook Mystery series,  
in trade paperback and e-book.
You can read all about it and order it on a variety sites via my website, HERE


And here is my latest Aspen Adams novel of suspense. 
Order FAN MAIL, the second in series, trade paperback and e-book: HERE






SAVOR THE MYSTERY!
 
Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Plus check out my website
Follow Daryl on Bookbub

60 comments:

  1. I would serve petit fours at this type of birthday party.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  2. Something lemony, with spun sugar on the side!
    Jholden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never spun sugar, but I'm sure my bakery pals in the book have. ;)

      Delete

  3. chocolate delight dessert for sure. jcook22@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would make a dirt cake (the kind kids like with the gummy worms). Only instead of gummy worms, I would decorate it with little fairy statues and it would look just like your cover. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riley, you're the winner of this giveaway by random selection. I'll email you for your info. Congrats & tell a friend.

      Delete
  5. Cucumber sandwiches in triangles, Mini custard fruit tarts, vanilla scones, meringues, and chocolate mousse. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. thank you for the recipe. looks so yummy. hmm i would serve things like small cupcakes with sprinkles, sugar cookies with a little fairy put on top when they come out of the oven, tiny sandwiches with jelly, etc
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the recipe! I would serve lemon bites ( little lemon bars), little egg salad and cucumber sandwiches, fruit tarts and chocolate dipped strawberries. Thanks for a chance to win! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bruschetta, a tomato and chopped cucumber salad,lemon biscotti, chocolate wafers and lemonade. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tea sandwiches, tiny cupcakes, sugar cookies and lemonade.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Citrusy cupcakes and decadent brownies? Great combination.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think it would be fun to have a party where everyone makes a fairy garden. The brownies look really delicious. Looking forward to reading the book and making the brownies.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the plan. Everyone makes a fairy garden and celebrates with tea. It should be fun. I hope nothing "dire" happens.

      Delete