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Thursday, April 27, 2017

First Book Gets a New Look: Throwback Thursday

On select Thursdays, I like to share a throwback to past writing, book trailers, or randomness about me and/or writing life.

I'm so excited about today's throwback! 

My very first novel, a contemporary romance titled Visions, has just celebrated the 10th anniversary since its release. In honor of this, I added a chapter, extended some scenes, and gave it a brand new cover. Released under my alternate (mainstream) pen name, it hit #27 in Contemporary/Romance in its first week.

The story was based on a dream I had where a celebrity bumps into a stranger and suddenly develops their psychic ability...and in that moment, he sees a future involving the two of them. But romance isn't the only thing that lies ahead.

About Visions:

Her “gift” turns a hot movie star into a real-life hero…


Actor Trenton Dane is researching his next role when he bumps into a beautiful stranger—and suddenly develops her psychic powers. When his enchanting benefactor disappears in the crowd, Trenton launches a search for the woman who invades his dreams and may hold answers to his new ability.
Single mom Glory Windsor would rather hide from the man who reawakened the “gift” she thought she’d buried. She’s as determined to steer clear as Trenton is to explore the visions, as well as his feelings for her. But his movie-star smile and unique pull makes it hard to stay away. Between bills to pay, the paparazzi intent on publicizing their psychic bond, and a jealous ex-husband who wants to ruin everything, she’s got more on her plate than she can handle.
Convincing Glory that the visions shouldn’t be ignored won’t be easy, but Trenton must succeed to fulfill premonitions of their future as well as to save Glory and her child from danger. He will fail at one of these tasks.
Finding a happy ending will prove the most challenging role he’s ever undertaken.



~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 

I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Setting the Stage: Feng Shui Tips for Your Writing Space

On Select Wednesdays, I post tips and strategies for writers. 

SETTING THE STAGE: FENG SHUI TIPS FOR YOUR WRITING SPACE
by J. Rose Allister

Setting the stage for your next book begins before you ever sit down to outline a character, setting, or plot. Writers  often hear talk about the right "mindset," that elusive state of thought that plunges one into a world where creativity and productivity soar. One of the best ways to set the stage for a writing mindset is to surround yourself with a writing space that is conducive to workflow. Let's consider two scenarios to demonstrate.

Scenario 1: A mystery writer is eager to work on their first book. They have pages of notes that they wrote while making dinner the night before. They sit down, ready to work...but first they have to move stacks of mail to make room for their coffee. On top of the pile they see the gas bill and remember that today is the deadline to pay it. Now for those plot notes...where are they again? Oh right, they're in the other room. The writing area is a nook without any dedicated "business" space. The writer hops up and grabs them from the kitchen table, spotting the unwashed dishes on the way back. The space where the laptop is set up at needs dusting, but it's only somewhat noticeable because the light bulb in the nearby lamp is burned out. They set their notes on top of Junior's baby toys and start organizing their thoughts. The cluttered space and all the things that need doing vie for attention. Two halted paragraphs into the writing session, the baby wakes up from his nap and starts crying. The writer sighs and heads off, thinking, "Maybe tomorrow."
Let's consider another scenario.  A writer is tackling a romantic suspense novel. Coffee in hand, they wander to their writing space. The area is dusted, brightly lit, and already set up as a dedicated writing zone. There's a corkboard on the wall with story cards and representative photos of the main characters. An inspirational quote for writers hangs nearby. A scented citrus-scented candle, meant to awaken and sharpen the mind, wafts a nice fragrance in the air. Nothing in the "zone" diverts attention from the work at hand. The writer sits down and brushes off a casual thought about the errands that need to be done later. It's writing time. They get an entire scene hammered out before the baby wakes up.

Thinking of these examples, which writing space would you prefer to tackle your next project in? Having a set space you not only write in, but have set up as a zone conducive to the creative mindset can help immensely. Does this mean a corkboard and aromatherapy guarantees a book finished in thirty days? No. Does this mean you can't finish a book while surrounded by household distractions? No again. (I've done it myself--many times over.) But taking a little time in advance of your next writing project to give your spot a "feng shui" makeover can help put you in a more writerly frame of mind. Even the action of setting up the space is important. You're demonstrating how serious you take your commitment to the craft.

There are many factors that go into feng shui philosophy, but here I'm just going to give you some basic makeover advice. 

Feng Shui Tips for Your Writing Space:

1. Make sure your area is brightly lit with no burned out bulbs.
2. Clear all clutter.
3. Dust/mop/vacuum whatever is in your view from the space.
4. Place writing items in this space-neatly.
5. A writing "inspiration" piece or two can help you mentally "purpose" the space for writing. This could be a mug with a writer quote, a wall hanging, your lucky writing hat. Just don't overdo it. Clutter is Enemy #1 for a feng-shui-friendly, mentally enriching environment.
6. Engage the senses-lightly. Include a scented candle or diffuser with a light, pleasant scent (avoid those that are meant for relaxation and sleep, though).
7. Add music or a water feature as pleasant white noise. Music, either themed to the genre of your book or a generic instrumental, can help stimulate the creative side of your brain. Alternatively, you can add a small fountain to the area 
8. Real plants produce brain-stimulating oxygen. A healthy living plant is nice to look at, but also helps clean the air and releases oxygen, so consider adding one to your space. (If you have a brown thumb, however, you might want to skip this. Stressing out over yellowing leaves and watering schedules isn't going to be conducive to writing.

By setting up your writing area like this, even if it's just a tiny corner of a bedroom, you may find you get an immediate mental lift. I hope you find it useful!

What tips do you have for setting up a writing area?
~*~*~*~
For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Homemade Tempura Batter

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


While I do try to highly restrict the amount of fried foods I eat, I am a sucker for a good tempura. The combo of crispy skin and barely tender vegetables or meat inside is hard to resist. So of course I had to learn to make it at home.
Lots of veggies work for this. My favorites are sweet potato, zucchini, and whole mushrooms. 

Homemade Tempura Batter

 Ingredients

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. milk
1 tbsp. melted butter
Your choice of items to dip in batter: veggies cut in uniform pieces, peeled/deveined shrimp, whitefish.


Directions

Beat eggs briefly, then stir in milk and butter. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a medium bowl; stir into egg mixture and combine all until batter is smooth. 

For deep fryer:
Heat fat to 360 degrees. Dip vegetables/shrimp/fish in batter and place in strainer in fry basket. Fill only 1/3 full to keep batter from overflowing basket. Lower into oil and use spoon or tongs occasionally to keep items from sticking together. 

If you don't have a deep fryer, use a wok or saucepan filled with a couple inches or so of oil. 

Fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Note: if doing both seafood and veggies, do the veggies first so they don't pick up a fishy odor.


~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Monday, April 3, 2017

New Books, New Puppy, TV Endings

On (usually) the first Monday of the month I gab about what's going on with me, my writing, and life in general.

April is here! April Fools, Easter, taxes...April tends to be a hoppin' busy month, and I feel like I got a running start on  that during March. Lots of things going on!


New Books


I've got not one but two new releases. Even better, both are free! For urban fantasy fans, I've re-released Their Secret Paradise, a little-known spinoff title to my Immortal Paradise series. Written for a tiny digital press, this is the book that inspired a series set on an exclusive resort island whose guests aren't always human. 

Also, under my new contemporary romance pen, I released a special 10th anniversary expanded edition of my first novel ever, Visions. This is the book that Barnes and Noble accidentally listed as having been written by Dr. Seuss! Imagine that happening to a new author with her very first book launch, heh.

New Puppy

Naptime is when I can write!
In last month's update, I mentioned I was suffering from a lack of time. Well, if there's one thing that can bring any carefully crafting writing schedule to a screeching halt, it's becoming the proud owner of a four-month-old furball of energy. But after a long time of waiting and wanting to add a canine companion to our family, we finally went to a nearby rescue shelter and came home with Tina, a beagle-daschund mix. Life is full of puppy kisses, walks, long naps (for her, not me), and for now, keeping her "cone" on and her stitches intact following her spay surgery. But I'm pleased to say I'm still getting *some* writing done in the meantime. Some. Usually during naptime.


TV Ending


The shows I watch have been wrapping up, some for now, some forever. The Walking Dead is done until fall, Grimm and Bones forever. Sigh. Then Game of Thrones won't be starting until July, so I'm getting impatient. At least Fear the Walking Dead starts up soon. I binged Vikings so fast that I'm already out of episodes, drat. At least there's still a few more of Reign, but I was bummed to hear that's ending too. All good things, I suppose.

Until next time...


~*~*~*~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Half Panicked, Half Fascinated -Snippet Sunday

Today's snippet contains brief mature content.

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm alternating snippets between this blog and my mainstream romance pen name. This week, I've got another snippet from Their Secret Paradise. It's in soft launch and will be officially released soon.

Quick synopsis: Parapsychology graduate Gina Munson finds her uncle's island resort fascinating-but romantically dangerous. The supernatural seduction of the island backfired on her before. Now, her only interest is to study the phenomenon without falling victim to it’s “charms.” Contractor David Gilroy wouldn’t believe in that power even if he knew about it. He cares only about his building job...until he discovers Gina sunbathing topless in a secluded tropical nook. When Gina won’t trust what they’re feeling, how can David convince her his passion is real? What if it isn’t?

The snippet...
(Edited slightly to fit the format)
Last time, David was trying to backpedal after accidentally photographing Gina while she was sunbathing topless. After explaining that he was hired for construction at the resort, he questioned whether the public was allowed to sunbathe topless there in the first place. We ended with: 

“I wasn’t looking for public sunbathing for obvious reasons,” she said, her gaze sliding over to the abandoned swimsuit as though she could will it back onto her body.

Let's move on from there...

David’s smile widened as he took in little details about her. Sun glinted off a thick rumple of strawberry blonde hair. Every limb and angle on her lithe form was sleek, tanned, delectably curved, and beyond edible. Against his better judgment, he took a long stride toward her.
Her eyes goggled, and she shrank back until the lounger pressed against her calves halted her retreat. “Stop or I'll scream.” Yet her voice had lowered to a contradictory whisper as he drew closer, not stopping until he was a foot or so away.
Her half-panicked, half-fascinated stare held his own as he leaned toward her. She jerked and sucked in a loud breath as he reached past her to snap up the bikini top. He held the garment out to her, which she now stared at as though it would bite.
  
...So what do you think?

Coming soon...



For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Checking out the Scenery -Snippet Sunday

Today's snippet contains brief mature content.

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm alternating snippets between this blog and my mainstream romance pen name. I've got another snippet from Their Secret Paradise. I sent the cover reveal to my mailing list, so I'm ready to showcase it here! I'll post it below.

Quick synopsis: Parapsychology graduate Gina Munson finds her uncle's island resort fascinating-but romantically dangerous. The supernatural seduction of the island backfired on her before. Now, her only interest is to study the phenomenon without falling victim to it’s “charms.” Contractor David Gilroy wouldn’t believe in that power even if he knew about it. He cares only about his building job...until he discovers Gina sunbathing topless in a secluded tropical nook. When Gina won’t trust what they’re feeling, how can David convince her his passion is real? What if it isn’t?

The snippet...
(Edited slightly to fit the format)
Last time, David had accidentally snapped photos of a topless, sunbathing Gina, who jumped up and accused him of wanting to sell them on the internet. We ended with: 
Ridiculous as the accusation was, he had to quirk a smile at her candor. 

Let's move on from there...

“I’m a contractor, not a porn site owner,” David replied. I was hired to build an addition to the resort.” He cocked his head, sliding both hands—including the camera—into his shorts pockets. “I was just checking out the scenery.”
“So I noticed.”
“I have permission to be out here. What about you?”
“Me?” she asked, her cocky glare flickering with guilt.
“I don’t recall there being public sunbathing on this side of the hotel.”
“I wasn’t looking for public sunbathing for obvious reasons,” she said, her gaze sliding over to the abandoned swimsuit as though she could will it back onto her body.
  
...So what do you think?

Ooh, and here's the cover! I'm excited about re-releasing this.



For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

London Broil Crockpot Style

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


Sometimes, we get a hankering for red meat at our house. By "we," I especially mean my husband. By "sometimes," I mean he craves it every week. When steaks and pot roasts have been trotted out on the menu a bit too often, I have a super easy, but flavorful dish that he loves...and all it takes is a few seasoning packets plus my crockpot.

I ran across this recipe on the internet quite a few years ago. You can see the original, along with reviews from folks who've tried it, HERE on Cooks.com. Serve with biscuits or rice to sop up the gravy, or mashed/riced cauliflower if you're avoiding grains/carbs.

London Broil Crockpot Style

 Ingredients

1 London broil roast (average size)
1 pkg. brown gravy mix
1 pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
1 pkg. Italian salad dressing mix
1-1/2 cups water

Directions

In small bows, combine the package mixes together with water and whisk until smooth and dissolved. Set roast in crockpot and pour the mixture over top. Cool on LOW heat overnight or until tender. Serves about 4.

~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Luck o' the Irish, Lots of Books, and Lack of Time

On (usually) the first Monday of the month I gab about what's going on with me, my writing, and life in general.

Happy March! The past month has been so weird, with me feeling like I'm constantly behind in my work even though I got a lot done. I did decide to slow my roll just a little to take some extra time for R&R, yet my TBR is piling up high again. (One of my "R's" for March should stand for "Reading!")


Luck of the Irish


So here's wishing all of you a happy Valentine's Day, because without all of us devouring books and sharing our favorite reads, I wouldn't likely be here blogging about writing plans, the weather, and my latest recipes.


Lots of Books

The main reason I'm behind on my TBR is that I spent a large portion of the month reading over not one but three of my own manuscripts. I've been prepping Their Secret Paradise (the spinoff title to my Immortal Paradise series) for re-release as a free read. I also completed a special edition rewrite of Visions, my first novel which will be re-released free under my romance pen name.  And I'm re-reading what I wrote for my November NaNo project, Always the Bride (also for the romance pen name). When I leave a project behind for a while, I find it helpful to give it a quick read before trying to dive back in.



Lack of Time

It may be time to revisit my Schedule You Need Right Now, because I'm at a point when I spend more days than not feeling as though I'm not accomplishing everything I should.  It seems like I don't get enough writing done, the housework is behind, I need to touch up the roots on my dye job, and I haven't caught up with a TV show since I Love Lucy was in its first run. 

That all said, I HAVE been keeping up with one of my guilty pleasures-The Walking Dead. I'm not a fan of posting spoilers, so I'll just say this season has been quite a ride thus far. Negan keeps me on the edge of my seat, and even characters that normally aren't my favorites have had some moments. 

Until next time...


~*~*~*~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Adventures in Photography -Snippet Sunday

Today's snippet contains brief mature content.

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm alternating snippets between this blog and my mainstream romance pen name. This week I'm moving on from the WIP I was thinking about reviving (and probably will, thanks to your feedback!)

Current WIP: I've been hard at work giving Their Secret Paradise, an urban fantasy that dovetails into my Immortal Paradise series, a thorough thrice-over. I'll be offering this 2009 release free to readers. A brand new cover is in the works, and I'm stoked about the design my ARC Team voted for hands down! (It's not quite ready for a blog reveal yet, though. No one else has seen it.)

Quick synopsis: Parapsychology graduate Gina Munson finds her uncle's island resort fascinating-but romantically dangerous. Where the gods Love and Lust reside, none will leave untouched, but the supernatural seduction of the island backfired on her before. Her only interest is to study the paranormal without falling victim to it’s “charms.”

Contractor David Gilroy wouldn’t believe in that power even if he knew about it. He cares only about his building job...until he discovers Gina sunbathing topless. But Gina knows she can’t trust what they’re feeling. How can David convince her that his passion is real? What if it isn’t?

The snippet...
(Edited to fit the format)
Last time, contractor David was snapping photos of the resort when he stumbles over a topless woman sunbathing. We ended with: 
He jumped as the heavenly mirage swung around on her lounger, the woman’s feet swooping into delicate sandals as she rose. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Let's move on from there...

“I’m sorry,” David managed. “I didn’t realize this space was occupied.”
Eyes that mirrored the lush green of the surrounding leaves simmered as she nodded to the camera in his hand. “And once you saw otherwise, you decided to take home a few naked picture souvenirs?”
“Of course not.” 
“What’s the matter, can’t a handsome guy like you get a real date?” 
“Look, lady, I don’t photograph naked chicks as a hobby—I’m here on business.”
“So you sell them. I feel so much better knowing my photo is in the hands of a pro, destined for Desperate Losers dot com.”
Ridiculous as the accusation was, he had to quirk a smile at her candor. 
...So what do you think?


For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Books Imitate Life: Inspiration for Characters

On Select Wednesdays, I post tips and strategies for writers. 

BOOKS IMITATE LIFE: INSPIRATION FOR CHARACTERS
by J. Rose Allister

Careful, or you'll wind up in my next novel.
You've probably seen a variation of this joke on memes, t-shirts, or coffee mugs. While it may bring a smile to the lips, it might also prompt the question, "But is it true?"
It kind of is.
This confession may conjure images of writers killing characters remarkably similar to the guy who stole their parking spot. Or the nosy neighbor who reported them to the HOA for not trimming the lawn. OR the mailman who always dents the box marked "Fragile." Some may take deliberate delight in cranking out untimely ends for Specific Individuals. For the rest, it's a bit more complicated.

I've had people who, upon learning I'm a writer, ask me to make them a character. To  that I smile. I don't take Jane Smith and toss her whole-hog into a personalized adventure. But Jane's line of work, the way her mouth quirks when she smiles, or her habit of standing outside at precisely five a.m. to await the morning newspaper might be fodder. The first romance hero I wrote, Trenton Dane, is an amalgam of several men. I mashed traits together to give him the  right blend of down-to-earth vs dashing movie star. Other times, the influence of real life on my fiction is accidental. It doesn't become clear until later on.
This isn't to say that all I'm after are fun little nuances. Villains in romance may not meet an untimely end, but it's still satisfying to give them a comeuppance. In my current work in progress, the antagonist is a cheating ex-fiance who's out for revenge. Who wouldn't want to dish out a dose of hard consequences? And in a past werewolf series I wrote, one of the recurring antagonists is a grizzled former colonel type.  My son was injured during a tour with the military not long before this character was created. Though I had no clue at the time, I realized later just what demons I was exorcising when I wrote that guy. (You can imagine that things didn't go well for him by the end.)
So Yes, Virginia, you could wind up in my next book. Parts of you. Hopefully that doesn't sound like a horror novel in the making.


~*~*~*~
For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Camera Fire -Snippet Sunday

Today's snippet features a hint of brief mature content.

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm alternating snippets between this blog and my mainstream romance pen name. This week I'm moving on from the WIP I was thinking about reviving (and probably will, thanks to your feedback!)

Current WIP: I've been hard at work giving Their Secret Paradise, an urban fantasy that dovetails into my Immortal Paradise series, a thorough thrice-over. I'll be offering this 2009 release free to readers. A brand new cover is in the works, and I'm stoked about the design my ARC Team voted for hands down! (It's not quite ready for a blog reveal yet, though. No one else has seen it.)

Quick synopsis: Parapsychology graduate Gina Munson finds her uncle's island resort fascinating-but romantically dangerous. Where the gods Love and Lust reside, none will leave untouched, but the supernatural seduction of the island backfired on her before. Her only interest is to study the paranormal without falling victim to it’s “charms.”

Contractor David Gilroy wouldn’t believe in that power even if he knew about it. He cares only about his building job...until he discovers Gina sunbathing topless. But Gina knows she can’t trust what they’re feeling. How can David convince her that his passion is real? What if it isn’t?

The snippet...
(Edited to fit the snippet format)
This is from the opening chapter, a little ways in. David is snapping photographs of the resort he's been hired to do a construction project for when his camera lens discovers something unexpected...

David pushed into the press of exotic flora, hoping his mosquito repellent was enough to keep hungry tropical critters at bay. Fronds snapped back in place behind him, and he popped out into a generous, cylindrical nook. With interest but no conscious thought, the camera came up again. His finger depressed the shutter automatically for a rapid-fire round of photos as he took in the space. Maybe ten photos had already snapped off when he peered over the top of the Nikon just a bit too late. An occupied lounge chair was straight ahead, featuring the most luscious, mouth-watering pair of...
“Hey!”
He jumped as the heavenly mirage swung around on her lounger, the woman’s feet swooping into delicate sandals as she rose. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”


...So what do you think?


For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

No-Flour, No-Fuss Chocolaty Goodness Cake

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


After going pretty much off the rails with my diet over the holidays, I've been trying to be super good with my diet...and bam, Valentine's Day rolls around, taunting me with all its chocolaty goodness. I wanted a treat I could indulge without guilt, and this flourless chocolate cake is just the thing!

This batter whips right up in the food processor and produces one small round (9") cake that is fudgy and pretty dense, not tall and fluffy like other cakes. This I like, because the richness satisfies. After seeing the premise of a flourless/black bean cake elsewhere, I grabbed this version from the Hungry Girl website. I'm not a fan of the artificial sweetener she calls for, so I adjusted the sweetening here.  I'm also not opposed to egg yolks, especially coming from nice, fresh organic/cage free eggs. 

If you don't have applesauce on hand, double the amount of canned pumpkin and you should be okay. If you're out of pumpkin, on the other hand, doubling the applesauce will change the texture and affect this setting up a little. But you could give it a try. Maybe drain the applesauce a bit first? 

If you're not "too" concerned about calorie count, serve with whipped cream. I like strawberries sliced on top.

No-Flour, No-Fuss Chocolaty Goodness Cake

 Ingredients

One 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs OR 4 large egg whites
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar or alternate sweetener (honey, maple syrup)
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life vegan chips)


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a round cake pan (9-inch) with foil and grease generously (I use coconut oil. Gives a nice, bare hint of flavor...and I found it in spray form).  Put the above ingredients in a food processor except the chocolate chips, and pulse until batter is smooth.  Gently stir in 1 tbsp. of the chocolate chips. Spread mixture into pan, smoothing with spatula or back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle on remaining chocolate chips, lightly pressing into batter. 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out pretty much clean, 35 - 40 minutes.  This will remain fudgy no matter what, so don't worry about a smidge of batter clinging to the toothpick. But if it's coated in the stuff, bake a little longer.

Let cool completely before cutting into this, if you can stand it. Otherwise you might find yourself digging in with a spoon. Enjoy!

~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!