Interests and Impressions

My daughter’s favorite phrases lately are, “I’m not interested” and “I’m not impressed”. Different things, situations, and people evoke these different thoughts and sayings with her. If it’s something she doesn’t like, it doesn’t interest her. If it’s a person or something hyped up, she’s not interested.

She’s always been a go her own way type. Sure, there’ve been times she’s fallen in line with what popular, or what someone else likes it wants, but eventually, she makes her way back to being her own person.

I’ve always admired that about her. Yes, she’s been home schooled mostly, but she’s been in public schools too. She wasn’t impressed or interested in the cliques, in the sluts, in the users and posers, in the backbiting, in the drama. She had a few friends to choose from and she chose wrong, she paid the price, and she’s learned.

But being your own person is terribly lonely. There’s no fitting in, no following the trends, no popularity. It feels as though people forget you exist after a while. There’s a lot of silence and a lot of doubt that sinks in from time to time. You begin to wonder, “what’s wrong with me?”

In all actuality though, the answer is nothing. But it’s no easier for a near 20 year old to realize that, than it is for a near 43 year old to do so.

I mentioned on Twitter this morning that it’s like being on an island. You feel cut off when there are so many collaborations, so many outings, so many conversations going on and you’re not part of any of them. You’re alone in a sea of peers and strangers.

There’s not much to do in situations. Rejection is no fun when you try to mix and mingle. Being left behind is no picnic either. You miss friends but they’ve moved on or moved backward, and you just can’t go there. You miss laughter, conversation, connection, but what’s the price?

I love being an author and I’ve met some wonderful and outstanding people. And there are times I wish for popularity and being wanted in the mix of all that’s going on… But, there are other times I look around, watch the conversations, see where the mentality is and think to myself, “I’m not impressed. I’m not interested.” I’ve been hurt, I’ve done some hurting. Neither of which is a place of pride.

It’s nearly the end of 2013 and it’s the normal time for reflection and a time when we all try to figure out what we’re going to different in the coming year. In this reflection, I’ve thought of all the awesomeness authors I’ve witnessed too.

As as I’ve observed how people treat others, how open and welcoming they are to outsiders, listened to how ‘friends’ treat friends, watched and witnessed how success and bestseller lists change people… Those awesome few authors stand out and if I had to or could emulate and pattern my behavior after anyone, it would be them. Granted, I have a long way to go…

If you’re wondering who they are… Lori Foster, Amanda Usen, Samantha Kane, Delilah Devlin, Dakota Cassidy, Leah Braemel, Selena Illyria… They are their own people. They do their thing. They share about who they are, not just their books. They are open and willing and kind and there if someone needs them, needs advice, needs help, needs a friend. There are a handful of others, but these came to mind immediately… I see how they treat people, other authors, readers. I see how they conduct themselves.

As my daughter has found, there are levels to aspire to and levels to sink down to… It’s a hard lesson to learn at any age, especially when you want to fit in, when you want the friends, when you want the respect. It’s hard for a mom to stand by and watch, to not step in and protect, but these are valuable lessons to learn and that are needed in life.

So, the phone might not ring. Messenger may not chime. Email might not light up. Your name may not be on everyone’s lips. People may forget you or may never have given you the time of day because you don’t project shock and awe or run with the popular kids, authors, guys, jocks, etc… It may even be a very quiet life of home and doing things alone, but… Being you, being me, is interesting and impressive.

~lissa

Winners of Lissa’s Birthday Giveaways #2 and #4

So, I’ve used Random.org again (it’s my friend) and it has helped me to choose winners of the Keep Cups and of the 3 books by Dakota Cassidy. The responses to all giveaways have been tremendous, but man, those Dakota books has people coming out of the woodwork! Just goes to show how very awesome everyone thinks she is… And they would be right.

Keep Cup winners are: Rachel and Barbara

Dakota Cassidy books winner is: Robin

Now, there is one other giveaway that has been announced and it is the Keurig giveaway. Here’s the link to it along with all the important details. I am still working on a Facebook page giveaway as well, and as soon as Brandy has recovered from her arm surgery, we’ll get that going for you. If you haven’t liked my Facebook page, click on the Facebook icon coffee cup on the sidebar and it’ll take you there…

Have a great night, y’all. Winners have been contacted and tomorrow on the blog, author Miranda Baker is joining us…

~lissa

In The Kitchen With…Bailey! And Birthday Giveaway #4

My first book from Samhain Publishing was a fun, naughty little title, Pink Buttercream Frosting. The title alone garnered quite a bit of publicity. It’s catchy, cute…

In the book, the heroine, Bailey is a divorced baker who’s opened a small bakery on the bottom floor of her work/live townhouse. One of the things she’s trying to perfect, is the color of her buttercream frosting. She wants pink. A delicate, very pretty, pale pink… She wants to frost dark chocolate cake with it. I can understand this. I love brown and pink together. Brown and blue. Brown and green. Brown and purple. Pastel colors against a dark brown. I think it’s both warm and whimsical at the same time. Bailey did as well.

She’s a lot like I am. She bakes when she’s stressed. She bakes when she needs to work through something. It’s a passion and a release for her. It’s that for me , as well.

I thought I’d share with you a recipe for fudge cupcakes, followed by a recipe for buttercream frosting. I made some myself for Valentine’s Day and they were delicious…and, gone within a couple of days.

Fudge Cupcakes (from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hanson)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted**
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1/3 cup mini morsels instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 27 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

These are the most tender cupcakes on the inside. Light and just delicious.

The frosting I use is one I learned in cake decorating class. It’s not fat free, sugar free, cholesterol free, calorie free, etc… It’s not free at all. It’s loaded with sugar and butter and shortening. But, it’s delicious. I use shortening in my frosting because it keeps longer and makes for a stiffer consistency when piping. I love making strictly buttercream frosting, but it must be refrigerated.

This recipe is from Wilton. I made a few modifications. I use half and half to thin it out toward the end. I add real vanilla extract, not clear and not imitation. I don’t use butter flavoring, I use real butter.

Buttercream Frosting:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened (I use unsalted butter and then add a pinch of salt at the end to cut some of the sweetness)

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract (I use pure vanilla extract)

4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

2 tablespoons milk

Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

Instructions:

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed (I use a Tablespoon of Merigue Powder in this stage because it helps the frosting whip up fluffier). Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk (this is where I use half and half).

For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

For the coloring, I use Duff Goldman Icing Colors

And this is my pride and joy…

Fun and delicious on all counts!

Desire: Blend sinful with sweet. Whip to perfection. Don’t forget to lick the spoon…

Aidn Greer is a much-sought-after Dominant in the BDSM lifestyle with an unusual problem. He hasn’t owned a submissive in more years than he cares to think about. He’s bored with unchallenging women, yet mentoring other Doms and training subs has left him cold as well. He’s craving something other than plain old vanilla—a taste of something sinfully sweet that, for once, he can really sink his teeth into.

Professional cake baker Bailey Harris wasted ten years bored to tears with her marriage, enduring a job she hated, and harboring a secret desire for something passionate, fulfilling and dark. Then she found it…in the world of BDSM. Exploring on her own brought the kind of mind-opening experiences that led her to declare her independence—and exposed a yearning to find the one Dom for whom she’s willing to kneel. Permanently.

When Aidn and Bailey meet, it’s fire and ice. Sugar and spice. And an experience that satisfies every detail of both their fantasies. Almost. While the big, beautiful sub is everything Aidn wanted, her fierce independent streak could be more of a challenge than he bargained for…

Warning: This book brings together scorching-hot counter sex, decadent pink frosting, and no-holds-barred BDSM play for a spanking good time. Be sure to bring an ice-cold drink along…

 

Now, the giveaway…

One of my favorite people in the book business is an author by the name of Dakota Cassidy. She’s got several NY series: Accidental series, Hell series, and the awesome Ex-Trophy Wives series. Dakota is hilarious, snarky, sweet as pie, open, and one of the least standoffish women I’ve met. She’s down to earth and she’ll have you rolling with laughter until you have tears streaming from your eyes. And then, you’ll come back for more!

So, because I think she’s just fabulous, I am going to give one of you 3 books in her Accidental series, or the 3 books in her Ex-Trophy Wives series.

To enter, comment here and tell me which author you’d love to meet… Leave me your email address when you comment. You’ve got until Saturday, February 25th at 6pm EST!

~lissa

 

Lissa’s Birthday Week Post #1

Wednesday is my actual birthday, but as some of you know, I usually have a month long celebration on my blog here. I didn’t do it this year…obviously, but never fear, I’ll be back to it next year with authors and bloggers telling stories and giving away presents to readers. For now, though, you’ll have to settle for it just being me.

Presents this year will consist of books (including my new release, Forever In Blue Jeans, book 3 in my Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series), gift cards, tote bags, coffee items, cupcake items, and the big one…no, not an ereader, not an iPad, we authors do those all the time, but rather, a Keurig.

Yes, this one. It brews 3 cup sizes, you can program the time on and time off, even program the water temperature. I adore mine. Y’all know I adore mine.  Unless I’m having iced coffee crack,  I use my Keurig every day. It might be for hot water to make hot chocolate for the family, or to use the already hot water for instant oatmeal, but it gets used every day. You can get tea, coffee, and cocoa in K-cups. I generally prefer the coffee or tea or just hot water. I don’t care for the hot cocoa K-cups, but that’s just me, I know others who love them.

So, that’s the birthday list… Don’t be surprised though, if I change it up a little and add a few other little things here and there.

Today, is a tote bag I found at Barnes and Noble. It’s bright, colorful, and perfect for toting books.

I know many still read print books, but whether you do or not, you can never have too many tote bags (okay, you can because I’ve been told I have too many, but…I don’t listen and neither should you). Along with the tote bag, you will receive 3 books. What 3 books is up to you. Whether digital  or print (up to $15 per book), is up to you.

What do you have to do?

Tell me what 3 books or what series you’ve always wanted to read, but just never have.

Are there classics like Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Elizabeth Lowell, or Susan Johnson that you’ve never read and wanted to?

What about Nalini Singh, Larissa Ione, or J. R. Ward?

How about Shayla Black or Maya Banks? Delilah Devlin? Lori Foster? Dakota Cassidy?

Mari Carr? Vivian Arend? Cat Johnson? Melissa Schroeder? Samantha Kane? Cherise Sinclair? Moira Rogers? Eliza Gayle?

Tessa Dare? Jess Michaels? Julia Quinn? Lisa Kleypas? Nicole Jordan? Courtney Milan?

There are so many to choose from and those names above don’t even scratch the surface of good books out there. I haven’t read even a fraction of all the books I want to read, of all the books I keep saying I’ll get to just as soon as I can. So, tell me, what do you want to read that you simply haven’t yet?

The winner of the tote bag and books will be chosen Friday by noon and posted Friday afternoon. There will be giveaways all week long here on my blog. There will be one on my Facebook Fan Page as well, along with one during the Author Chat at Righteous Perverts on Wednesday night, February 22nd. So, feel free to come by and ‘Like’ my Fan Page, feel free to drop by the chat Wednesday night and meet some authors and fellow readers. Of course, none of these extras are required, but I did want to give you the options of all presents.

Most questions you’ll have to answer this week are about birthdays, so…be ready to divulge information. 😉

Have a great Monday, y’all… Oh, and don’t forget, you have until 6PM EST today (Monday, February 20th) to enter to win books or M&M’s from my celebratory post after Kyle Busch and the #18 M&M’s Toyota won the Budweiser Shootout in Daytona on Saturday night. Click here to be taken to that post…

~lissa

 

 

 

Some new things in the world of Lissa Matthews…

Where to begin? Let me see…

Okay, well… You saw that I’ve gotten back into Snippet Saturday. So be sure to tune in for that each week.

I have over on the sidebar of the blog and on the sidebar of the home page a Newsletter sign-up box! Every so often I get an email or message about a newsletter and how I need one, how someone wishes I had one, etc… Well, I listened, reluctantly. I never thought to have a newsletter but we’re going to. We’re all in this together. If I’m kicking and screaming about it, you’re coming along too! Sign up and I’ll be getting the first issue ready to go in January.

I have a new Facebook Author Page. I need you to go LIKE it! Pretty, pretty, pretty please? Again, never thought to have one, but it’s there. It has the yummy-ass cover of Twisted Up on it! If for no other reason you go to like it, that male torso and hand holding the rope ought to be enough. Here’s the URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lissa-Matthews/252635701464917

This is release month… There are a lot of things happening. I will be guest blogging all over the place starting December 14th on Delilah Devlin’s blog. This is information that will likely be up on the Facebook Author Page as well, where I’m going to be guesting, giving away, etc…

I’ve joined with some authors in the second book of a charity project: Authors Helping Harry… raising funds for cancer research. You can read about Harry, here! I was thrilled to be able to participate in this, which was arranged by author Karin Tabke’s assistant.

You can find the first book on Amazon: Author Moments… All proceeds go to help fund cancer research. There are amazing authors in this… Shayla Black, Melissa Schroeder, Kris Cook, Virna DePaul, Sophie Oak, Karin Tabke, Eliza Gayle, Elizabeth Silver and many more…

The second book, Author Moments II isn’t out yet, but I’ll let you know when it is. The awesome Kendra Egert created the cover for it:

Please visit the Facebook page for Authors Helping Harry as well as the blog!

I believe that’s all I have right now for y’all. I’ve hired an assistant. She will be helping me, or rather forcing me to give up control of my calendar and a few other things so I can get onto and into the business of writing. Her name is Brandy and she’s going to be an awesome change for me. Y’all want books. I want to write books. The business end of this business is time consuming and she’s going to help me with that along with regular blog content, cover thoughts, etc… I’m gonna have a well-oiled or at least a well disciplined machine here if it kills me!

Y’all, my readers, are awesome! Have a great day!

~lissa