Sunday, October 29, 2017

Shrimp Far Diavolo!

In my book Torn Away, there's a scene where Sam makes dinner for Drew. I wanted to have a dish that wasn't hard to make, yet was really good and spoke to their relationship a little. Somehow, I got it in my head to use Shrimp Fra Diavolo. Only problem was, I'd never made it. So I looked up a few recipes and decided I'd have to try it. Of course, I don't follow anyone else's recipe to a T, but rather add my own flair.

My first attempt, my wife wasn't to keen on trying it so she had me make her shrimp cocktail style, but she tried mine and loved it. Since then, she's decided it's one of her favorite dishes that I make.

Below is the recipe as I make it.

 Shrimp Fra Diavolo
2 bags raw shrimp
4 cloves garlic
4-5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkling sea salt
1 bottle white cooking wine
2 lg cans Hunts diced tomatoes
1 tbs parsley
1 tbs oregano
½ - 1 tbs cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 box angel hair pasta

1) Peel shrimp (2 bags)
2) Dice 4 cloves of garlic
3) In Dutch oven, cover bottom with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
4) Add shrimp and use wooden spoon to turn cool shrimp until it starts to turn pink, remove and put in bowl. Put bowl in fridge. (Shrimp should be undercooked
5) Lower heat quickly and add garlic, use wooden spoon to mix with juices and add sea salt to taste
6) Dump in 2 large cans of diced tomatoes
7) Add 1 bottle of cooking white wine, or two small bottles from liquor store
8) Add a tablespoon of parsley, a table spoon of oregano, and either red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (To taste, usually a little less for the cayenne, probably ½ a tablespoon for this amount)
9) Let sauce cook for 20 minutes or more
10) Make angel hair pasta
11) When ready to eat, put heat up, add shrimp for 2 minutes, and then add pasta, mixing well.
12) Serve with plenty of water. No, more water than that.

Dedication in Torn Away

I wanted to share the dedication that's in Torn Away, coming 11-01-17


     Writing this book made me think about how important being connected to family can be, and in the early stages, I had the chance to reconnect with several members of my own.
      Many years ago, when becoming an author was nothing more than a dream, there was an argument within my family. While I was only a witness to the dispute as I was a kid, the actions of the adults in my life affected me greatly. I lost all contact with my aunts, uncles, and all of my cousins from one side of the family. This was before the age of the internet when contact could have easily been maintained on social media sites.
     Decades later, my cousin Marcus found me through one of these social media sites. It was amazing talking to everyone, even if I felt a little like a kid who had just found out his face had been on the side of a milk carton for years. Since then, I’ve had several wonderful conversations with many relatives that were torn away from me at an early age.
     First off, thank you to Marcus for finding me! And a special shout out to Gina for those great phone calls.
I want to dedicate Torn Away to those family members, in particular to my three aunts that I’ve been able to reconnect with. I can’t tell you how much it means to have you back in my life. Maria, Anna, and Che Che!!! I love you all so much!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Welcome to my Mind

Here, I hope to share with you all the news about my adventures as an author. I'll post about everything. My books as they're being written, released and promoted. Personal stuff. (But not too personal.) Thoughts on writing, the emotional journey's I'm going through, the learning process about the craft of writing, and anything else blog worthy.

Let me start by telling you about who I am. I'm a married father of twin girls, both currently in their 2nd year of college. I also have 3 terrific foster kids here, 1 of who is also in college.

I started writing young adult fiction. My debut novel was Vision of Shadows, about a 17 year old girl who was a psychic. She's  about to literally meet the boy of her dreams, and he'll either be the love of her life, or the end of it.

Soon I'd write a book called Just Breathe, which dealt with a girl named Cassie who is sexually assaulted, but saved by a young man named Noah. As the pair grow closer, she starts to realize that his past is darker than anything she could have imagined.

Now, I'm hard at work on my Torn Series. Book 1, Torn Away, won 1st place in the Saratoga RWA Great Beginnings Contest and will be published by The Wild Rose Press on 11-01-17. I just signed with TWRP for book 2, Torn in Two and I'm working on the finale, Torn to Pieces.

Here's the blurb for book 1 Torn Away:

Drew Duncan swore he’d never go back to Ember Falls again. After he was wrongfully charged with his high school girlfriend’s murder, he waited for a trial that never came. When he was released from jail a year later, he left everything behind. But when his sister is murdered, Drew is forced to return to the hometown where he and his sisters were brutalized by their alcoholic father.

Once back, not even his training as a Marine and point man for McAlister Security prepares Drew for what he must face--a surviving sister who refuses to forgive him for abandoning her, a nephew who trembles when he enters the room, and an entire town that thinks he got away with murder. To protect his nephew, Drew will face his most terrifying fear. Going home.

This is easily the best thing I've ever written and I'm so proud to share it with the world.

I've gotten into writing a lot of more emotional stuff, dealing with abuse, sexual assault, self loathing, domestic abuse and many other issues. I hope to handle them with the sensitivity that they deserve.

As I continue to write, I'll come on here, share news, my thoughts, and little extra's like a cut scene or little teaser.

But for right now, I just wanted to say hi and Welcome to my mind!!!

The 10 Rules of Writing. As per... me. Read them, if you dare.

                My ten rules for writing. 1)       Let it suck. This is rule #1 for a reason. When you write, if you’re obsessed ...