Hello everyone! Today I am so pleased to welcome author A.M. Arthur to the blog. A.M. is here to talk about her latest release, No Such Thing (which Crissy recently reviewed and loved). She has also brought a recipe for treats! Hurray! Plus a copy of the book to give away. So please join me in giving A.M. a big welcome!
I’m so excited to be here at Joyfully Jay to help celebrate the release of my new book with Carina Press, NO SUCH THING. This launches a brand-new series for me, with a new cast of characters, set in Northern Delaware, and I’m so in love with these guys. Not only Jaime and Alessandro, the stars of NO SUCH THING, but also Ezra and Romy, and some other guys you’ll meet in Ezra’s book, MAYBE THIS TIME, which comes out in July.
Food always finds its way into my books somehow, and not just in a two-guys-having-dinner kind of way (although that happens too). I’ve written characters who are line cooks and caterers. I’ve had food become the one thing a character could control in his out-of-control life. Food is something I think about a lot, personally, because I’ve dealt with weight and digestive issues my entire life. I also dearly love to cook.
Cooking has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Some of my oldest memories are of standing near the kitchen counter, watching my mother roll out and cut homemade dumplings with a butter knife for her chicken-and-dumplings. She never managed to teach me how to make them, but there’s a frozen variety that makes do when the urge to whip up a pot strikes. It’s an easy way to feed a lot of people at once.
I was lucky in that my high school offered quite a few different cooking classes as elective credits. My junior and senior years, I was able to pick those classes for my free periods (this was before block scheduling, when I had eight periods a day, including lunch). They were all taught by the same wonderful lady, and my absolute favorite was Bake Shoppe. I already knew the basics of baking, like sifting flour and what leavening agents did, but a lot of the other students didn’t. We learned a recipe for a fabulous Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake that I still make to this day, on special occasions.
So when it came time to figure out a good, central location for NO SUCH THING, I knew it would have to do with food. But I didn’t want another all-night diner like Dixie’s Cup. Then Jaime’s sister Shannon stepped up and said, “Hey, lady, it’s a bakery that does breakfast, like that little joint you used to drive past down by the shore.” And thus Baker’s Dozen was born. It’s a breakfast only bakery that also serves food, open until noon, that boasts thirteen different muffins every day.
I don’t have any favorite muffin recipes (I’m sad to say I’ve yet to perfect one that isn’t out of a boxed mix, and there are some fine boxed mixes on the market). Instead I’m going to share the next best thing: Cream Cheese Cookies.
Cream Cheese Cookie Recipe
- ¼ cup margarine, softened but not melted
- 1 eight-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 1 package of your favorite cake mix, any flavor
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the butter and cream cheese. Blend in the yolk and vanilla. Add the cake mix 1/3 at a time. By the end it will get tough to stir, and you may have to switch from a beater to a spoon (be warned: I did once kill an electric hand beater because I tried to use it all the way to the end). Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Drop by teaspoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. Leave them lumpy. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until they start to lightly brown on the edges and are set. Careful they don’t burn!
These cookies are chewy and delicious. The fantastic thing about the recipe is you can make them using pretty much any cake mix flavor. Vanilla is classic, but I’ve tried chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, and cherry chip, and they’re all amazing.
What are some of your favorite sweet treats?
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) and “The Young Riders” with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/), as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur), and Facebook. Other titles by A.M. Arthur are available from Samhain Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.
A.M. has brought a digital copy of No Such Thing to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, February 20th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.