Saturday, April 19, 2014


This dish is so fast and easy with only two ingredients that you'll make it all spring and summer long! Plus, it's gluten free, dairy free and healthy. This is also one of the recipes that you'll find in my dessert cookbook, The Mall Fairies Sweet Tooth Cookbook. Enjoy!


3-4 bananas, sliced and frozen (slice before freezing)
a generous tablespoonful of peanut butter (or other nut butter, see my recipe above for nut butter, I use cashew butter for the sweetness, can be omitted for a lower calorie ice cream)
2-3 tsp. cocoa powder (for chocolate ice cream, can be omitted)

Put your bananas into the food processor (not a blender) and blend. This takes a while and you will need to stop and check to see if all the frozen pieces are getting chopped. When it gets smooth, add the other ingredients add the other ingredients and blend again and eat! If you want it to be more of a firm instead of a soft serve, put it in the freezer for a few minutes.  Will freeze to the consistency of sorbet if left in the freezer, but is just as delicious.

Try other frozen fruit, like strawberries for strawberry sorbet.
Add a touch of vanilla, always good.
Or rum flavoring and nutmeg for a different taste (this works with or without the chocolate).
Add coconut flakes and chocolate bits and nuts for a rocky road ice cream.
Or maraschino cherries and chocolate bits.
Or lemon flavoring,  or—the list goes on! Try your own!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What works and what doesn't with marketing books

 The re-release cover of my cozy mystery novel, Starke Naked Dead!

Best thing about this new publishing world: No longer do authors have their books pulled from the shelves after a measly 3 to 6 months. All the marketing authors do online stays online and continues to market.

Worst thing about this new publishing world: No longer do authors only have to worry about a book's release for the three months before and after the release date. Books remain published and available for years and the pressure is on to promote each title all the time they are available. Plus, authors are always grinding out "content" for all the social media and other online sites, while reading the arguments pro and con for this site or that strategy, on and on. When do we write?

So what's an author to do? Relax, there's help for us all! I've found a secret through the marketing maze. And it's simple, if three different steps.

First step is to do what you enjoy. Okay, I can hear you all saying, "Yeah, right." But there are numerous social media sites that all provide a different approach and will get your name out there. You can't do them all, trust me, I've tried. If you choose one that you enjoy, you're much more likely to visit, post, comment, whatever more often and get more followers, views, whatever. For example, I adore Pinterest and so visit it daily. Daily I repin and pin (it's like having hundreds of great teapots, all for free and none that need washed, ever!). As a result I have 1300 followers and more people follow me all the time.

Second step is to provide content that is pertinent to your interests (see teapots above) and not only around writing or selling product. Yes, I have writing boards on Pinterest, but most of my boards are about my interests, jewelry and jewelry making, recipes, fitness and of course teapots. Some of these are tangential to my novels, I have a main character who is a jeweler, for example, but not most. This avoids the dreaded "Buy my book!" syndrome as well. People will "discover" you as an author instead of being annoyed by endless pitching.

That brings me to the third step, which is think outside the promo box. It's a different world because of eBooks, so don't be trapped inside of "you must belong to Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and post daily, etc. etc." My example? I love writing reviews, all kinds. I have over 80 reviews on TripAdvisor. So what, you ask? So I've had 19,000+ people read my reviews. Since I've placed one of my book covers on TripAdvisor as my profile photo, that's 19,000+ people who've seen my name and cover. If only a tiny portion of them register this ...

What do you think, dear readers? Useful ideas? Or?