Hello, my name is Chris T. Kat. I'm a new m/m author, published with Dreamspinner Press. I'm very happy to have the opportunity to do a guest post at Helen's blog—thank you, Helen!
So far I have published the novella Seizing It and a short story, called “Cuddling Up” in Dreamspinner's Animal Magnetism anthology. On September 26th my new story Silver Lining will be released. It belongs to Dreamspinner's Bittersweet Dreams line.
What is a Bittersweet Dream?
“A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.”
The thing is—I'm a fluff writer, an absolute and total fluff writer. Touching, kissing, cuddling, to name just a few things, are integral parts of my stories. I like them to be lighthearted, sweet and hope for the story to evoke a smile and positive feelings within the readers. I, myself, often avoid books without happy endings because when I read I want to escape reality, lose myself in a fictional wonderland where no matter what, everything gets straightened out and everyone lives happily ever after.
Why did I end up writing a Bittersweet Dream nonetheless?
Truth to be told: I have no idea. Even during my time writing fan fiction I only wrote a couple of stories without happy endings. But: the idea for Silver Lining jumped me, dug its teeth into me and wouldn't let go. I had the whole story in my head, jotted it down on paper so I wouldn't forget anything but at the time couldn't start on it because I needed to finish another manuscript. I thought (hoped even) the pressing urge to write Silver Lining would vanish or at least lessen. As you already deduced, it didn't.
As soon as I had the time I sat down and wrote the story. It just poured out of me. I felt for my main characters, Riley and Scott, even made myself blink against tears as I typed up the end. Silver Lining exhausted me but I couldn't stop writing it. As much as the writing process hurt me, it also felt incredibly liberating.
Silver Lining simply needed to be told. I still feel bad for Riley and Scott but the ending also seems right to me. I sincerely hope that readers will give this story a chance and see the deep bond and love between Riley and Scott.
Thanks again, Chris! It was great to have you here today.
Alfredo Sauce... guaranteed to put inches on your waistline, but oh So worth it!
Home made Alfredo sauce is one of the easiest things in the world to make; I got the recipe from one of my old bosses, an amazing chef from Sicily.
You can make as much or as little as you like, all you need to do is combine equal parts ricotta cheese and heavy whipping cream (half and half may be substituted) and half as much grated Romano or parmigiana (fresh, NOT that stuff in the green can!)
So for example, if you're using 8 oz cream and 8 oz ricotta, you'd use 4 oz grated Romano/parm. (It's not an absolute exact science--you can you 3 oz or you can use 6 oz).
I figure in one clove of garlic for every 4 oz of final product. (8 + 8 + 4 = 12.... so 3, maybe 4 cloves of garlic. Unless you're my husband. Then you double that. I *don't* recommend it for the rest of audience however).
The best thing to do with the garlic is roast it with a little olive oil, like we talked about a while back.
On VERY low heat, bring the cream up to just BELOW a simmer -- do not let this stuff boil. Whisk in the ricotta, mixing thoroughly. You can add a little rosemary as well (maybe a quarter to a half a teaspoon), and a little basil. (I once found something called "Tuscan herbs", basically Italian herbs: oregano, basil, and thyme--with Rosemary added. It made a GREAT Alfredo).
Slowly stir in the grated parm/Romano. You'll want to add a little at a time, let it melt, add in some more... by now you should be experts at cheese sauce :D
Go ahead and turn off the heat. Once your garlic is soft, give it a good mash; add it (along with the olive oil) to the pot.
The very best way is to make it the night before to let the flavors marry.
There you go; I can just about guarantee family and friends will be impressed ;-)