Sunday Sweet #2 :: Cinnamon Bun Cake

 
Mmm….I’m thinking this would make a mighty fine breakfast. A big ole slab of cake and a cup of coffee. Thats the breakfast of champions, right there. Or it is for those of us addicted to sweets! *wink*
 
 

Cinnamon Bun Cake

CinnamonRollCake

What you’ll need for the Cake:
3 cups of flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup of sugar
4 tsp. of baking powder
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter

For the Topping:
1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients for the ‘cake’ together, except for the butter, until smooth. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan.

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Pour it evenly over the batter and swirl the mixture around with a knife.

Bake the cake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

For the Glaze:
2 cups of powdered sugar
enough milk to make a runny glaze – about 6 or 7 tablespoons
1 tsp. vanilla

While the cake is still warm, drizzle the glaze over the top and enjoy!.

(I’ve seen others say this is best the day its baked so wait until you have enough people to finish it….Or hide in a closet and eat it all yourself. Either will work fine.)

Has anyone had this before? And does it taste as good as it looks?

I saw this recipe over on the blog Housewifery. I’m not sure if its an ‘original’ or not but just in case…I’m linking. Check out the other blog posts while you’re there. I found a lot of neat stuff to explore when I visited.

Newsletter Changes

 
I’ve been having a hard ‘think’ about my newsletter lately. It feels a bit like a wasted oppurtunity to me. I only send them out when I have something ‘important’ to say, mainly because I don’t want to fill readers’ inboxes with a bunch of mail they don’t want. But… that sort of defeats the purpose ‘of’ a newsletter.

I’ve been growing my subscriber list for two years now but I think its time for a change as I realize not every reader wants the same thing. Some just want to know when new books have come out. Others like the extra stuff they get throughout the year. So…in order to accommodate everyone, I’ve created a ‘NEW’ subscriber list.

To sign up for JUST book release alerts, enter your email address below. This list will ONLY email you when there is an actual book release. You’ll receive no other email thorughout the year.



To sign up for the monthly newsletter, enter your information below. This list will go out once a month and contain giveaway information, book news, (as in what I’m working on and my progress), special promotions and exclusive ‘newsletter subscriber’ contest.

Subscribe to Lily’s Monthly Newsletter

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You can unsubscribe from any of these list at the bottom of the actual newsletters you receive. For those of you already on my main newsletter list, starting in February, I’ll be releasing a new Free Read, a few chapters every month until the story is told, plus a brand new Gift Card giveaway in every issue, just for subscribers.

The Februray newsletter will go out soon so make sure you’re on my (monthly) list to be included in the exclusive, newsletter only, giveaway.

Sunday Sweets #1 :: Oreo Cookie Cake

 
I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to sweets. It doesn’t even have to be chocolate (although it helps). As long as its covered in syrup, sugar or a glaze, I’m all over it!

I’ve found some of the BEST dessert recipes, and have a few that my family has been making for a while, and thought I’d share them with you here on the blog every week so…new weekly feature, alert! Sunday Sweets. Clever, huh?

For week 1, I have this beauty. I have NOT made this yet as I’m ‘supposed’ to be watching what I eat *cough* but its in my ‘will try this despite the 1,000+ calories I’ll consume when eating the whole thing in one sitting, recipe file.

 

Oreo Cookie Cake

Lily Graison's Sunday Sweets: Oreo Cookie CakeJust looking at that thing makes my mouth water!

What you’ll need
1 box of Duncan Hines “Chocolate Fudge” cake
4 – 1 ounce squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup of butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups of whipping cream
20 Oreo Sandwich Cookies, divided
(Note: The ‘Mint’ or “Peanut Butter” Oreos would probably be to die for on this!)
 
Directions
Mix and bake the cake according to the box instructions and place in two 9-inch cake pans. When the cakes are done, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks until the cakes are cooled completely.
When the cake is cool to the touch, break 12 of the Oreo cookies into chunks. You can do this by placing them in a zip-lock bag and giving them a good ‘smoosh’ with your hand. Set the cookies aside when you have them crushed.
 
The Filling
Pour your whipping cream into a large bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Set this aside, too.
Mix the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium until the ingredients are well blended, then gently stir in the whipped cream and crushed cookies.
 
Now we assemble!
Cut the two cake round in half, horizontally. Place on of the four rounds on a cake plate and spread a bit of the filling on top. Place a second cake round and again, spread the filling on top, repeating until all the cake layers are covered. You’ll end with the filling on top.
 
Garnishing
Melt the chocolate squares and butter in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir the chocolate every 30 seconds so the two ingredients melt and combine. Cool mixture for 5 minutes. While the chocolate is cooling, crush the remaining 8 cookies.
Spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides, then sprinkle on the cookie pieces before the chocolate sets and refrigerate until ready to serve.
 
Then eat until you’re in a chocolate induced coma.
 
Okay, that last bit wasn’t in the original recipe but it should have been. I’m going to try this soon, maybe for Valentines Day JUST so I have an excuse to eat it and not feel guilty about it because we all know calories don’t count on special occasions and Holidays. *cough*

So who is going to try this? And what do you think of this new weekly feature?

I originally found this recipe over on Facebook, on the page, Amy’s Down Home Cooking. I’m not sure if the recipe is hers or someone elses’ so if its yours, let me know and I’ll credit you.

New Free Read: A Touch of Heaven by Lily Graison

I’m always so behind despite my To Do list. It seems as if I get one thing checked off, only to put three more back in its place. Which is why this story has taken me so long to post!

A Touch of Heaven was my FIRST published book. Anyone who reads my stories now will be able to read half a page and ‘tell.’ That baby-writer in me made every ‘writing mistake’ there was to make but despite the minor flaws, the book earned me a Reviewer’s Choice Award from eCata Romance and has always been a reader favorite.

I removed the book from distribution some time ago. I just didn’t feel it was ‘up to par’ with my current work and I didn’t want anyone to pick it up as their ‘try this author out’ book and judge ‘all’ my stories on that one. So I removed it. Along with my ‘second’ published novel, Destined Hearts. (That one will be free soon as well)

Here’s a peek at what A Touch of Heaven is all about…

A Touch of Heaven by lily Graison

A Touch of Heaven

by Lily Graison

Contemporaryn Romance

Format: eBook

Length: Novella

1st Edition: Released-2005 by Linden Bay Romance

2nd Edition: Released-2007 by Alinar Publishing

Free Edition: Released-2014 by Lily Graison

Paige Foster planned the perfect get-together for her best friends from high school in honor of their ten-year class reunion but her plans go up in smoke when an impromptu trip to The Pleasure Dome, an elite club that features the hottest male dancers in the country, ends up on their to-do-list. Forced into going, she complains until she meets Simon—the main attraction.

When Simon looks into the audience before his act and sees familiar faces from his past, he has second thoughts about his performance—until he sees Paige and old memories come flooding back. Knowing she won’t recognize him as the shy, awkward boy he used to be, he breaks club rules and pulls her to the stage during his act.

The heat they generate doesn’t dim when the lights go down and what should have been a one-night stand turns out to be something more. Will Paige accept Simon when she finds out who he really is or will the secret be the end of their affair?

This story is more ‘erotic’ than my westerns so if naughty words and detailed sex scenes aren’t your thing, you may want to pass on this one.

If you want to get your naughty on, then head this way to get your Free, A TOUCH OF HEAVEN, eBook Download.

Enjoy!

(NOTE: To give me a a piece of mind, and to deter children from accessing the story, I’ve added an extra step in order to get the download. I’ve password protected the page. By typing the password in, you’re telling me you’re old enough to read adult rated material so parents, don’t give me greif if your teen downloads the story. I did my part. The rest is up to you. Now, the password to access the page is…. Simon.)

Don’t want to miss any of my blog posts? Then Subscribe and get them delivered right to your inbox.

Free “Wicked Series” Bookmarks

 
 
I’ve been cleaning out my files and folders, and trying to store things on flash drives instead of my computer, and ran across these bookmarks. I don’t even rember when I made them. Of course, those books came out in 2008/2009 so its no wonder. That’s a long time ago! I can’t remember why I walked into the other room most of the time, let alone when I made a graphic. *wink*

 

The Wicked Series by Lily Graison - Free printable booksmarks

 

These are made so you can print them yourself. If you’d like your own set of these bookmarks, just click the following link and follow the instructions on the page.   Wicked Bookmarkers

And the winner is….

winner

Good morning to you! I wanted 2013 to go out with a bang and my Christmas Website Giveaway did just that! There were over 3,300 entries and I have winners for all those prizes I had up for grabs. Check below to see if your name is on the list.

Grand Prize: Kindle Paperwhite (US Only) or $120.00 Amazon (or) Barnes and Noble Gift Card (International) – Christie S.
2 x Signed paperback of THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS – Alex E. and Alexa G.
1 x Signed paperback of WICKED: THE COMPLETE SERIES – Christina R.
1 x $25.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card – Alicia J.
1 x $10.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card – Dawn B.
1 x $5.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card – Shelly H.

If your name is on this list, check your email. I’ll be contacting you soon to let you know how to claim your prize. For those who didn’t win this time, head over to the CONTEST page and enter January’s giveaway. It’s pretty special too, so don’t miss out!

Peacock Christmas Tree

 

I mentioned on my Facebook page right after Thanksgiving that I was going to change my tree up this year. It’s been a very traditional looking tree for years and I very rarely deviate from my color scheme but this year, I saw something that made my inner child stand up and scream. Peacock Christmas ornaments!!

peacock christmas tree ornaments peacock christmas tree ornaments peacock christmas tree ornaments

 

I love peacocks. I’ve been trying to get the Hubby to get me a few for years but they tend to ‘wander’ and we have a few wild dogs about. They wouldn’t last long in our yard. So, when I saw these decorations, I snapped them up and decided to bring the peacocks ‘inside’ the house.

Most of the decorations are very fragile but so far, the grandbabies haven’t messed with them much.

peacock christmas tree ornaments peacock christmas tree ornaments peacock christmas tree ornaments

I found peacock feathers at A.C. Moore and have those inside the tree from top to bottom and I even found a peacock there I could use as a tree topper! Isn’t he gorgeous?

peacock christmas tree ornaments peacock christmas tree ornaments

And if everything wasn’t already perfect, as I was leaving the craft store, the lady who was making bows hung one as I was walking by. A big fancy thing made from peacock ribbon. It was meant to be!

peacock christmas tree ornaments

So, there’s my peacock tree. I’ll have a hard time taking this one down after Christmas. I LOVE looking at it and for once, I don’t mind it taking up so much space.

peacock christmas tree ornaments
Click on photo to see a larger verison

A Willow Creek Christmas – #1 Best Selling Western Romance!

The Lawman, book 1 in the Willow Creek Series, made it all the way to #2 in the Bestselling Western Chart on Amazon.com back in March 2012. As excited as I was, I’ll admnit to being a bit disappointed it didn’t hit #1. Every author wants their books to do well and being so close to that #1 coveted spot and losing it was a major downer.

So imagine me bouncing in my seat when I checked Amazon this morning to see A Willow Creek Chirstmas has hit the #1 Bestselling Western chart in a record 2 weeks!

A Willow Creek Christmas by Lily Graison - #1 bestselling Western Romance

Did I mention its also at #4 on the Historical Romance chart? It’s my first time ranking on the historical charts! Thank you to everyone buying the book and for recommending it to your friends! You have made my year!