Attention All Authors! I need your swag!

I’m putting together a workshop about promo adequately titled EYE-CATCHING PROMO–Cheap, Unique and Utterly Chic. If you’re like me, you’re on a really restrictive budget and  sometimes have to rely on your own creativity to get your name out there. Because of said creativity, I am now known as the “Shrinky Dink Chick”. I made bookmarks with Shrinky Dink charm adorned tassels. It was fun and a heck of a lot cheaper than buying actual  charms. Trust me, I priced charms. Some came up to almost $2.00 per charm. Uh, sorry… don’t think so. Then, while Googling promo ideas, I discovered a forum about Shrinky Dinks. A guy had used printable shrink paper to make key-chains. I then realized that printing and baking my own Shrinky Dink key-chains was tons cheaper than buying them from a promo item website.

Anyway, I digress. What I’d like is other authors to showcase their own cheap/unique/interesting promo items (including romance trading cards). I’m looking for 20-40 pieces of swag (or  more, if you’re willing to part with them).

If interested, please contact me using the contact form here with “PROMO WORKSHOP” as the subject, and I will provide you the address to send the items.

Thanks so much!
Sidney

Poll is now closed… the votes have been tallied

It was a unanimous decision. Card #2 won. When I say unanimous, that’s what I mean. 100% of the voters chose the closeup of Serah. Thanks to everyone who voted and voiced their opinions.

Poll: Help choosing a trading card for Serah SanGermano

I need some help. I designed two cards for Serah and want to know which card everyone like better. Clicking the images will load a larger version in a new window if you need a closer view.

Choice #1:

Choice 2:

Choose only one. Poll will close at Midnight on April 2nd.

Thanks so much!

Sidney

[merlic_poll id=”90″]

Romance trading cards mockups – Demons Like it Hot

The new title for Icing on the Demon has been chosen. They’ve decided to go with DEMONS LIKE IT HOT (Which Lisa K. suggested from my earlier contest). Congrats Lisa!

I’ve made some mock up designs for the hero and heroine, Matthias Ambrose and Serah SanGermano. Ipersonally think the Serah card is kind of cheesy, but I absolutely love the Matthias one.

Let me know what you think!

Matthias:

Serah:

 

My Romance Trading Cards are here!!!

I was so geeked to find four packages waiting patiently at my doorstep. I’m one of the authors participating in the Romance Trading Cards venture started out by the wonderful Jeannie Lin.

So I wanted to share with you all my not-so-masterpeice-worthy design. I’m a little broke and am in a deadline crunch, so I opted to go with something a little more simple. I used Photoshop to design them. I took a class a couple years back, and I think I need a refresher. LOL.

The first set is for DEMONS PREFER BLONDES— Available June 1, 2011 from Sourcebooks Casablanca.

And this is the one I did for WINGS OF DESIRE (Written under my other penname, Arianna Skye)

As soon as I get the final art for DEMONS LIKE IT HOT (Sourcebooks, December 2011), I’ll post those cards as well.

Let me know what you think!

Also, if you are interested in receiving any of these cards, please use the contact form on the blog or on my website to send me your info.

Hugs!

Sidney

Friday Funny – An ad I found in an old Popular Mechanics Mag…

I was scanning through some old Popular Mechanics Magazines that we found in my grandmother’s basement when we were cleaning it out for her estate sale. The issue is from November 1939 (and I believe the ad ran in the December 1939 issue, as well). We were reading the ads out loud, because there were some real zingers. But this one stuck out like a sore thumb. If only they knew that over seventy years later, it would have a whole new connotation.

And now men know why it works too!!!

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Sidney

Hi, My name is Sidney and I’m addicted to french toast…

I was laying in bed one morning contemplating what I wanted to make for breakfast. My muse must have been hungry, because she instantly sent my creative mind into overdrive. I remembered the McGriddle sandwhiches McDonalds serves on their breakfast menu. Syrup infused bread. But I decided I’d kick that up one notch and be a little healthier. I took some fresh whole grain bread and cut it into slices then brushed a light coating of low sugar syrup on the bread. I cracked and egg and whisked it up. I soaked the bread in egg and cooked it up. After the french toast was done cooking, I fried up some eggs and bacon. While the eggs and bacon cooked, I threw the slices of french toast in my toaster to make it a little toastier and warm. When the eggs were done, I smooshed them between the two pieces of french toast.

Holy hotcakes! It was good. And now I am an addict… I wanted to enjoy french toast any time of the day.

And now I have! Today I found some garlic dipping sauce mix that was almost gone. I sprinkled it in with some EVOO (Sorry, I’m a Rachael Ray fan!) , brushed the EVOO mixture on the bread and dipped it in egg and toasted those babies up. I was a little worried about the taste, but it was just an experiment anyway. I wasn’t planning on serving it to the president or anything.

I have to say, the french toast came out pretty damn good. It even smelled savory. So far so good. Then I browned some ham and added a slice of Havarti cheese. It melted so nicely. Tomato and spinach finished it off. You all should try it! It was YUMMY!

Savory Ham and Havarti French Toast Sandwiches

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 Pieces of thick bread
4 Eggs
Italian bread dipping sauce*
Ham
Havarti
Tomato
Spinach

Directions:

Brush dipping sauce on both sides of bread. Place bread slices in egg mixture and flip. Take out and let excess egg mixture drip off. Cook as you would normally cook french toast. When browned on both sides, remove from heat. In the same pan, you can brown your ham. Put toast in toaster to keep warm and a little toastier. When toasted to your specifications, take out the toast. Add ham and cheese and garnish with spinach and tomato. Feel free to brush on a little of the remaining dipping sauce and cover with other piece of  bread.

* Dipping Sauce recipe

1/4 cup Olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Parmesan cheese

Mix ingredients. Voila!

If you happen to try this, please let me know what you think! I imagine you can even use your own favorite types of cheeses and meats too. I chose Ham and Havarti because that’s all I had in the house right now.

Wow! I designed my own recipe. Isn’t that cool?

Hugs,
Sidney

Recipe Review: Brie and Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

My mother and I found this recipe at the local grocery store. I had brie once a long time ago and I wasn’t sure if I liked it much then.  I tried a piece of brie again and found it is not that bad. It’s a little mild and creamy, not that pungent at all. Maybe I just had some bad brie the first time I tried it.

But brie, apples and chicken sounded like an interesting mix. I’ll post the recipe here and leave my comments after.

This recipe comes courtesy of the National Chicken council.

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 small apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt and
  • 1-2 Tbs flour
  • 4 slices Brie cheese
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Warm 1 tablespoon butter in a large, non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and sauté until softened. Set the sauté pan aside because you will need it again. Tuck a slice of Brie and several slices of apple into the pocket on the underside of the chicken breasts between the breast and the tenderloin. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Pat a little flour onto both sides of each chicken breast.
  • In the sauté pan, warm 1 tablespoon butter over high heat. When the butter foams add the chicken breasts and brown them on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a sheetpan, stuffed-side-down, and put it into the oven for 12 to 14 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Pour the cider and broth into the sauté pan and boil it over high heat until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, divide the chicken among 4 plates and pour a little sauce over each.
First off, the preparation was simple. My mother and I decided the hardest parts were peeling the apples and waiting for the sauce to boil down. There was one small end user error where I spilled some flour, but I don’t blame the recipe for that!
At first I was worried about the lack of seasonings besides the salt and pepper. The unique flavor of the brie, chicken and apples is a rich flavor that blends together nicely. Any more seasonings and it would have been too overpowering, in my opinion. I am not a foodie, so I am using complete layman’s terms here. I was pleasantly surprised. The picture with the recipe suggested pairing this entree with green beans. The addition of my mother’s nutmeg seasoned beans was also pleasant mixture to this delicious dinner.
The only thing missing was the wine. I’m not sure what pairing would be good with this, but I am leaning toward a Riesling.
Ingredients: A
Preparation: A
Taste: A
Overall: A
Hope you enjoyed my inaugural recipe review. Let’s hope there are more to come!

FYI: New Title for Beauty School Demon and a Contest!

There has been a title change to Beauty School Demon. It was determined that having the word School in the title drew away from the sexiness of the novel. So I sent off several title suggestions to my agent and publisher and Beauty School Demon has now been retitled as Demons Prefer Blondes.

I’m loving the new title.

But now I need to come up with a new title for the 2nd book in the Demons Unleashed series. It is currently titled Icing on the Demon, but we need a stronger title to match the new title of book 1.  It involves caterers, cheesy cooking/reality shows, and of course, Demons.

I’ve put up a contest on my website to help come up with titles. You can find more information here: http://www.sidneyayers.com/contest.html

Good luck everyone!

Hugs,
Sidney

Lunar Eclipses, Solstices, and Demons, oh my!

Last night a rare phenomenon occurred. If you aren’t aware, there was a total lunar eclipse last night. To make matters even more intriguing, it happened just before the Winter Solstice which occurs later on today. This event will not happen again until 2094. I have always been fascinated by the moon and it’s cycles and phases. I even have a lunar calendar app downloaded on my phone. It was only fitting that I needed to use this event in a story. Throw in that creepy antique chest, and all hell broke loose in my overactive imagination. Gotta love it!

Beauty School Demon is that story. It was fun writing a story set during the winter. My heroine, much like myself, tolerates snow, but only in small doses. Even though it is set during Christmastime, it IS NOT a Christmas story. Christmas is more of a backdrop or setting more than the theme. I am not sure it would be that easy writing a Christmas themed story starring a half-succubus.

Even though Beauty School Demon releases next June, six months after this extraordinary event, it will still tickle your funny bone and deliver a kick-ass story.

And thank goodness no demons broke free from the bowels of hell last night. Or did they?

AVAILABLE NOW
Demons Like It Hot

Demons Prefer Blondes

An Absolute Mess

Wings of Desire

(As Arianna Skye)

COMING SOON!
A Demon to Die For