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Giveaway and Recipe: Mostly Magic by Donna June Cooper

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Welcome to the release celebration for Mostly Magic, Book 2 in the Books of the Kindling series by Donna June Cooper. Join in the fun as Donna shares a delicious recipe from Woodruff Mountain and offers a chance to win a lovely charm and a copy of both Books 1 and 2 in the series.

~ DETAILS ~

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Title: Mostly Magic – Book 2, Books of the Kindling

Author: Donna June Cooper

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Release Date: 3 June 2014

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Cover By: The fabulous KaNaXa

 

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~ BOOK SYNOPSIS ~

One terrifying premonition brings them together. Another will threaten their future.

Do dreams come true? Dr. Daniel Woodruff hopes they don’t, because his dreams predict a devastating future for him, for those he loves—and for the planet.

His latest premonition, which blows a huge crater in his eroding sanity, holds a singular horror—the loss of a wife and unborn child. Yet another reason he can let no one into his chaotic life, least of all a perky, persistent investigative reporter he finds simultaneously frustrating and fascinating.

Mel Noblett leaves no stone unturned in her one-woman crusade to save the environment. When a whistleblower in Italy proves too frightened to talk, Mel turns to a fall-back lead, an extremely eccentric, beekeeping professor who might just make the trip worthwhile.

Despite their instant attraction, Mel is relieved when Daniel keeps her at arm’s length. After all, she has a secret of her own—one that makes her preternaturally good at her job. And, when Daniel’s terrifying visions prove cannily accurate and begin to revolve around Mel—it is a gift that could put her life in danger.

Warning: Reluctant seer of a bleak future meets petite force of nature who lights up the heart of his darkness. Where there’s smoke, there could be an unpredictable blaze of passion, but the rewards are oh, so sweet…

~ BUY THE BOOK ~

 Samhain | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

~ THE RECIPE ~

There is a lot of cooking, baking and eating in the Books of the Kindling. In Mostly Magic there is even verbal sparring about sharing some of those recipes. One recipe that I am certain the farm’s resident cook Ouida would never share with anyone is her Apple Stack Cake, which Grace served to Nick in More Than Magic. But if you promise not to tell Ouida, I will share it with you!

Cooking on the Mountain

Apple Stack Cake, sometimes called Tennessee Stack Cake and sometimes Kentucky Stack Cake, has a story, as does almost every recipe particular to my mountains, but this one involves love and marriage! Before folks in the mountains could afford fancy wedding cakes, Apple Stack Cakes filled the role. Every guest invited to the wedding would bring a cake layer and the hostess would just add the apple filling. Of course, the more layers the cake had, the more popular the bride.

There are many versions of the recipe, arguments about whether the cake is spongy or cookie-like as well as whether the filling should be chunky or smooth. Some people even make a version with dried peaches. I believe this recipe is closest to the one that would have been handed down generation to generation in Ouida’s family. I hope someone out there gives it a try!

Cake Ingredients:

– 5 1/4 cups plain all-purpose flour (White Lily, of course)
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 2 1/2 packed cups brown sugar
– 1 cup vegetable shortening
– 2 large eggs
– 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup buttermilk

Filling Ingredients:

– 5 cups water
– 1 pound dried apples
– 2 cups packed brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Decoration:

– Confectioner’s sugar

Cake Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease and flour 9-inch cake pans. Reuse pans as needed.

Combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Cream brown sugar and shortening 2-3 minutes, then beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour until just combined. Divide dough into seven (3/4 cup) portions to bake.

Bake each layer 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Stack with hot apple filling (below) between layers. Cake is best if you can let it stand. Top it with wax paper (to prevent sticking) and wrap it in plastic wrap for 24 hours before serving. If desired, sift confectioners’ sugar over top of cake through pattern for decoration.

Filling Instructions:

Bring water to boil in Dutch oven. Chop dried apples, using a food processor if you have one. Add apples to water. Cook uncovered over medium heat until all water is absorbed, 20-25 minutes. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

From the “White Lily Sunday Best Baking” Cookbook.

~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~

775_thumb.jpgWhen she’s not being dragged down the sidewalk by her Jack Russell (if you know Jacks, you understand), Donna June Cooper is belly dancing (shiny!), reading (three books at once), writing (of course!) or complaining about the heat (no matter the temperature). A child of the Appalachians who was transplanted to Texas by her Italian husband, Donna returns to her mountain roots as often as possible, and takes us with her in her Books of the Kindling. Visit Donna at www.donnajunecooper.com.

~ SOCIAL MEDIA ~

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Blog

~ GIVEAWAY ~

When you read Mostly Magic, you will understand why I’m giving away a honeybee charm.

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