July 2021 Update

L. Starla's Kitchen Adventures

Have you ever tried cooking with gelatine? What about gelatine that your partner is trying to work into a dish they’ve never cooked before? So yeah, that was a disaster.

My husband recently took it on himself to try making a variant of the brandy alexander pie recipe my mum handed down to me. He wanted to make something using this cherry chocolate port a colleague had given him so that he could take it in to share at work. Why did I suggest this recipe of all things? I was able to salvage it somewhat, but it took a bit of quick kitchen foo. The result tasted delicious, even though it was a bit lumpy.

Lessons learned:

  • Gelatine is extremely time sensitive despite what the recipe says. Prepare everything else before you start to mix it with water.
  • Don’t assume you have enough caster sugar when shopping for ingredients.
  •  Don’t leave hubby unsupervised in the kitchen when he is trying out complex recipes with new techniques.

Goodreads Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of Crystal’s Crucible, I have 1 signed paperback and 4 eBook copies to give away, plus free eBook copies of the first 2 books in the series for all winners.

To enter:

  1. Add Crystal’s Crucible to your Goodreads “Want To Read” list;
  2. Complete the entry form (closes 20th August 2021).

Beta Reading Opportunity

I am currently recruiting beta readers for Winter’s Thrall (Winter’s Magic #2.5). This continues the Winter’s Magic series, and advanced copies of the first two instalments will be provided to beta readers who have not yet read them. In addition to early access to this book, Beta readers will gain my eternal gratitude and their name in print.

About the Book

(Spoiler alert! This blurb reveals some Winter’s Maiden 2 content)

There are dark places in the world where the lines between lesser evils become too murky to distinguish.

Brendan Winters, enchanter mage, playboy, and consummate maker of poor life choices, has outdone himself once again.

In a moment of weakness, Brendan struck a deal that turned his life upside down. The filth he first witnessed in Bridey’s den of sin was just the tip of the iceberg. As her new favourite, Brendan is thrust into a world of debauchery where he learns there is no limit to his mistress’ depravity. So, when the opportunity to undermine her authority presents itself, he jumps in headfirst.

Sent to investigate a Cult of dark mages with their roots in Ancient Egypt, Brendan embarks on a collision course with organised crime, a God, and his own magical doppelganger. Yet, none of this cloak and daggers business blindsides him more than the companion he finds in the very house of his captor.

What lengths will Brendan go to for a chance to reclaim his freedom?

Note: This book directly follows the events of Winter’s Maiden 2, so it is advisable to read that before starting this story.

**Trigger Warning** Winter’s Thrall is a dark paranormal romance with strong sexual content that blurs the lines of consent. It also includes graphic m/m, BDSM, and incest scenes.

What I am looking for from my beta readers
As a Beta, I need you to read my manuscript with a critical eye and provide feedback on as many of the following as possible (and at least answer the first question):

  • Did you like the book overall? If not, why?
  • What star rating would you give the story (out of 5)?
  • Did I give you a good sense of the setting?
  • What parts did you dislike, and why?
  • Are there any plot holes or plausibility issues?
  • Do my characters (primary and secondary) feel real? Which of them need more work?
  • Grammar and punctuation (if this is a strong suit of yours, no biggie if not).
  • Highlighting typos and filler words if you notice any.
If you are interested, please join my Beta Team and nominate Winter’s Thrall as one of the books you want to beta read when completing the signup form.

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