I’m Tara Lain and I’m delighted to be here today with Jessica celebrating the release of my new MM contemporary novella, Heats and Flour! Believe it or not, this book is about the unexpected love between a passionate raw food loving vegan and a cupcake baker. A cross-dressing cupcake baker. As you can tell, it’s not a plot you’ve seen every day!
Do you love cupcakes? I think the world is divided between people who love ice cream and people who love cake. That’s not to say that the two together aren’t great, but if you had to choose, which would you prefer? Me, I’m an ice cream girl all the way. But cupcakes are wildly popular! There are shops all over Southern California where I live and people stand in lines wrapping around the stores to get them. When I was in Santa Fe last October with some girlfriends when we were attending GayRomLit, we all searched the Internet to find a cupcake store! (I went next door for frozen yoghurt! LOL)
Still, they do have some amazing recipes.
How about Orange Clove Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream icing?
Lemon Meringue cupcakes (I might succumb to those)
But while exotic flavors sound wonderful, my experience is that carrot cake is often the best tasting thing at the table, so here is a recipe for Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
Carrot Cupcake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Read more about it HERE
With inspiration from Cook's Illustrated
1 C flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 C lightly packed finely shredded carrots (I used 2 carrots)
1/3 C dried cranberries (or raisins or omit)
(Next time: 1 tsp of orange zest)
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 bar of cream cheese (4oz)
1/4 C maple syrup
Optional topping: finely chopped toasted pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease them.
Shred your carrots on a box grater (be careful, mind your knuckles) or in a food processor with a shredding disc, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together.
In a food processor or blender, blend the granulated and brown sugar with the eggs until thoroughly combined. With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil and continue to mix until the mixture has lightened in color and is somewhat thicker, about 30 seconds. Pour it into the dry ingredients and add the shredded carrots and dried cranberries and mix until no streaks of flour remain.
Divide the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 17 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake in the center of the pan comes out clean. Rotate the pan halfway into baking time. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool on a rack to room temperature.
As the cakes are cooling, take out half a bar of cream cheese and let it soften a little. To make the frosting, simply whisk the cream cheese with the maple syrup until smooth. Frost the cupcakes when they have cooled and top with chopped pecans if preferred.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Would you like to join our I Love Hearts and Flour Party? You can win a $10 GC to Sprinkles Cupcakes OR a $10 GC to ShopOrganic Or a $10 GC to Amazon (take your pick)! You may know that Amazon has eliminated Tags which makes it harder to find books online. SO, will you help people find Hearts and Flour by promoting it in some way? You can -- Tweet it, Post it on FB, Pin it, email to friends, Like the Amazon Page, Post it on Google Plus, Share in a Goodreads group, add it to Shelfari, etc. Be creative! Then put a comment below saying what you did (with your email so I can find you!). OR you can use the Rafflecopter. Or both! To see all the rules and prizes, come on over to Beautiful Boys Books. (And you can enter there too! Plus there are other chances to win!)
And HERE is a nibble of Hearts and Flour
Excerpt : HEARTS AND FLOUR by Tara Lain; MM Contemporary; The Vegan and the Cupcake Baker
To Micah Truveen, raw, vegan food is his religion. So when his devoted customers show up with white flour cupcakes, Micah could kill. Then Micah comes home to find his boyfriend, Dharamaram, in bed with someone else. He throws the rat out and agrees to go to his friend’s orgiastic anti-Valentines party where he meets a gorgeous cross-dressing guy who gives him a night to remember.
Southerner Quentin Darby wishes he could stop wearing women’s clothes. He so wants to live up to his grandmother’s glowing opinion of him, he’s never even told her he’s gay. And now there’s Micah who makes him wish he could just be who he is. But Micah finds out that Quentin is the baker responsible for the plague of cupcakes afflicting the community! And Dharmaram adds a little blackmail to the mix. Can two hearts rise above the flour?
Micah took both his hands and led Quentin out of the living room and down the hall to the room at the end. Sigh. His bedroom.
Like the rest of the house, the room was pretty simple, but the bed stretched across the room with clean white sheets and a lovely, deep blue and yellow comforter.
Micah backed himself to the edge of the bed and sat, still holding Quentin’s hands. “May I see your other self now?”
His smile was so sweet, no way Quentin could refuse. Whew. He was nervous as a cat in a rocking chair store.
He freed his hands from Micah’s and slowly unbuttoned the silk blouse. When it gaped open, he pulled it off, leaving him bare to the waist except for the padded bra. He dropped the blouse on the chair beside the bed then reached back and unfastened his bra.
When it came off, Micah’s eyes widened. “Beautiful.”
Quentin grinned. “Why? There’s not much to see.”
“Your chest is very masculine. Well-muscled but boyish. So pretty.” Micah reached up and ran his hands over Quentin’s nipples.
“Oh my.” The buds tightened in anticipation.
Micah smiled and pulled back his hands. “What’s next?”
Quentin giggled. “You’re enjoying this I think.”
“Oh my, yes, as you would say.”
“OK.” Quentin reached up and slipped his thumbs under the edge of his wig.
Micah gasped. “Wait. I thought that was your hair.”
“No. It’s just a very good wig. Shall I leave it on?”
He shook his head. “No. No, I want to see.”
Quentin glanced at him sideways. “You could be disappointed.”
“No. I want to see.”
Quentin pulled the wig off. His own hair was so light, he didn’t have to cover it to wear the wig. As the wig came off, he shook his head like a dog in the water and his curls flew around his head.
Micah smiled. “I’ll be damned. How could you be prettier with your own hair? But you are.”
Quentin’s heart beat fast. He had never done this. He was Quentin or he was Queen. He’d never gone from one to the other with someone watching. “You say the sweetest things.”
Tara Lain’s first erotic romance novel was published in January of 2011. She’s now on book 17. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series of 2011, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm, and she carries her promotional instincts into her writing career as well. She lives with her soul-mate husband in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
Author blog: http://taralain.blogspot.com
Book blog: http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/taralain