The Chocolate Moon

Ask any grandparent and they will tell you that becoming a grandparent makes even a curmudgeon giddy with joy. I am the proud nana of two beautiful boys (eleven and four years old), and they are the highlight of my day and life.

The joys of nana-life include: rocking it out, playing Fortnite, mini-stick hockey, holding dance parties in the living-room, helping out with homework, and writing stories.

Introducing the newest author in the family; four-year-old, Henri, his debut novel is called: THE CHOCOLATE MOON.

He wrote this book (dictated to me and I typed it, and also served as his editor) in December and I had it printed it up, and gave it to family members.

I am sharing his book with you, and because the subject (chocolate) is so dear to my heart, I am including a scrumptious chocolate sauce recipe at the end of this post—you can even pour it on the moon. 🙂

Chapter One
The Dinosaur and the LadyBug

THERE ONCE WAS a dinosaur named Henrisaurus who lived in a big, purple rock.

Henrisaurus lived in the purple rock with a Ladybug named Star.

Star liked to eat oranges and crunchy carrots.

Henrisaurus loved to eat people, but not Nana’s.

Star told Henrisaurus that eating people was not a nice thing to do, so Henrisaurus stopped eating people.

From that day on, Henrisaurus ate chocolate, Italian cookies, chips, and jujubes.

Henrisaurus loved those so much that he did not miss eating people.

Chapter Two
The Gorilla

One day, Henrisaurus and Star went to the Dinosaur Store and they bought a big moon.

They put the moon in a box to carry it home.

On the way home from the Dinosaur Store they ran into a gorilla who was carrying a big bag.

“What is your name, big gorilla?” said Henrisaurus.

The Gorilla pounded his chest and growled loud. “My name is Skeleton, and I am strong.”

Henri said, “I think you need clothes.”

Skeleton growled again and said, “You should be scared of me.”

Henri shook his head. “I’m not.”

The Gorilla growled again and jumped up and down, pounding his chest.

“Star,” said Henrisaurus. “I think Skeleton would look good in a chocolate suit and shoes. Let’s take him home and dip him in chocolate.”

“That’s a good idea,” Star said.

The Gorilla ran away fast because he was scared of Henrisaurus.

The Gorilla dropped his bag and lots of oranges and carrots fell out.

Henrisaurus picked up two oranges, and three carrots, and gave them to Star.

Then they went home with their new goodies and the moon.

Chapter Three
Home for Lunch

At home, Henrisaurus and Star played with their friends, Microwave, Plant, Red, Isabelle, Pear and Apple.

Then it was time for lunch, so Henrisaurus took the moon he bought at the Dinosaur Store and dipped it in a big pot of melted chocolate.

Henrisaurus shared the chocolate moon with Star and all his friends.

It was yummy.

“What should we buy tomorrow, Henrisaurus?” said Star.

Henrisaurus said, “Let’s buy the sun. It will be good dipped in chocolate.”

They all laughed and clapped their hands.

After eating the yummy chocolate moon, and playing, they were tired, so they sat on a purple couch, and Nanasaurus put the TV on so they could watch Christmas movies and rest.

They talked about tomorrow and how they were going to go back to the Dinosaur store, and then play all together again

-The End –



MEET THE AUTHOR




Simple Homemade Chocolate Sauce

This easy to make (you can get the kids to help you out as well) chocolate sauce can be poured over; fruit, cake, cookies, ice-cream, yogurt, and even the moon, because when it comes to chocolate, the possibilities are endless.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (250 ml) water
½ cup milk (for extra richness and decadence you can use cream)
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
8 ounces of high-quality chocolate for the best flavor and texture–bittersweet or semisweet– finely chopped

Directions:

Turn stove top to medium heat.

In a saucepan, whisk together: water, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder.

Keep whisking until the mixture comes to a boil.

Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate, stirring until chocolate is all melted.

Put aside for 1 ½ to 2 hours, this will allow the sauce to thicken.

To serve warm, heat on low for a few minutes, or can be served at room temperature, just stir before drizzling.

Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days in a tightly covered container, and rewarmed before serving.

Enjoy!

25 Years after the Glass Slipper

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With the Royals making headlines all over social media and the news, I thought we should check out the other Royals that a lot of us grew up reading about—The Charmings.

It is disappointing that there was no paparazzi at the time to follow Cindy (Cinderella) and Print Charming to keep us up-to-date, so I am here to give you a sampling of what happened after that fateful-lost-her-glass-slipper-turned-into-a-hot-mess-girl at midnight, with the crushed Prince looking for his life-long sidekick.

Well, as you know, the Prince found the girl, the shoe fit and the rest is history, and they lived happily ever after…..or did they?

The crowned dude works hard for his monarchy and money. After so many years in story books, the old palace is in need of major repairs and a paint job (white glitter is so 1697).

Here’s a sneak peak at one of their happy-ever-after, loving conversations:

Cindy: “I’m throwing that cape out. It doesn’t fit you and we need more closet space.”

Charming: “How about dumping those glass slippers. They don’t fit you anyway.”

Cindy: “Are you saying I have cankles?”

Charming: “What the hell are cankles?”

Cindy: “Fat ankles, you idiot.”

Charming looks down at her ankles.

Cindy glares. “Why are you looking at my feet?”

Charming: “So about that closet. I can build you a new one.”

Cindy: “You think that damn swagger is going to get you out of this? Newsflash. That’s getting old. And so are you!”

Charming: “I’ll tell you what’s old. Your Step-monster and those butt-ugly daughters of hers sponging off of us.”

Cindy: “I agree!”

Charming: “I’ll order a hit on them.”

Cindy: “Ah, my hero.”

Charming puffs out chest.

Cindy rolls her eyes.

They put the slippers on E-bay and continue with their happy ever after.

Yeah, I think they’ll make it to the finish line. 🙂

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Romance heroines we love to write.

 

I’m always tickled and so grateful when receiving feedback from readers and other authors, and especially when they initiate a dialogue regarding the characters I created.

A few author friends have commented that Maddie Saunders, the heroine in my contemporary romance WHAT A GIRL WANTS is a great example of a well-developed romance heroine, and asked me to provide information on her character traits so they can share them either at a panel or at a writing workshop.

Their interest spurred this blog post idea, regarding heroines in a novel, and the character qualities I feel make for a strong, relatable female lead.

 

ABOUT MADDIE SAUNDERS:

She’s a twenty-nine-year-old, strong, independent, creative, sassy, modern woman whose laugh-out-loud moments are usually other people’s WTF moments.

maddie

Relationship status: Netflix. Chocolate. Yoga Pants.

Home: New York City, living vicariously through her fantasies.

Career: Full-time Travel Journalist, part-time extreme sports enthusiast.

Accolades: Holds the record for: “The woman with a black belt in mischief.”

Talent: Karaoke singing ninja.

Personal mantra: “Life’s a beach and then you have sex on it.”

 

Maddie’s Strengths:

  • Sense of humor
  • Shoots straight from the hip
  • She’s a self-rescuer
  • Intelligent
  • Persistence.
  • Goes after what she wants—most times in an unconventional manner, but she’s a writer and uses creativity in all aspects of her life. She doesn’t apologize for how she goes about getting what she wants, in her career, family, and sexual fantasy fulfillment.
  • Relatable quirks.
  • Quick wit
  • She works hard at not allowing her past (and things out of her control) or her challenges define who she is.
  • Cultivates and maintains strong, honest, friendship with both women and men.

Maddie’s Weaknesses:

  • Sense of humor: She draws on it constantly, especially when there is a serious issue that hits home with her. Some may say that she buries her true feelings, and at times doesn’t want to face reality.
  • She doubts her ability to succeed in a long-term relationship, much less be a successful wife and mother someday, because of the circumstances of her birth and upbringing.
  • Shoots straight from the hip: She tends to say out loud what most people would think in their heads at times.
  • She’s a self-rescuer: Wants to handle everything on her own, including financial situation and family situation. Yes, she does reach out to her friends for support, but she doesn’t fully let them into how hurt she feels because of her family situation, puts up a front most times.
  • Self-preserved. She feels to preserve her well-being and most especially her heart, she fights against falling in love. Resists it, even though it is obvious she has a deep affection for her friends (male and female).

Overall characterization:

Maddie is the type of heroine that readers want to hang out with because of her relatability. She’s accessible to the reader, and because of this, she is able to become the reader’s alter ego, and gateway into the story.

She has a way of grabbing the reader and having them become involved in her life’s journey (career, looking for her biological father, and fulfilling her sexual fantasies, and finding love).

Readers will relate to her desires, heartaches, fears, anxieties and her highs and lows. She’s not perfect physically, but doesn’t dwell on things that she can’t (and doesn’t want to change) about herself, instead, works with what she has.

A complex woman that has a huge capacity to love, even when that person is not loveable. Her journey allows the reader to travel with her as she learns about forgiveness, true love, facing one’s fears, pain (both physical and emotional) and working at living with certain things in life that for her will never be resolved.

 

 

 

Newbie Blogger – Please be gentle. The Blogging Goddess isn’t finished with me yet.

Welcome to my blog, I’ll be updating this blog (probably about once per week) with discussions on books, interviews (authors, editors, reviewers, anybody who will talk to me 🙂 ), recipes and much more.

I’ve been tinkering around, trying to figure this thing out, I think I got it. I’m sure if I did screw up, someone out there will let me know. That strike out thing is interesting, I’ve seen it on other blogs, no idea what it means, so I won’t use it. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I tend to press buttons and tinker with things I’m not supposed to at times.

For the first blog, I guess should post a short bio about myself, but in all honesty, that is one of the hardest things I’m asked to do. I do have a bio on my website, www.selenarobins.com and I tend to use that one when asked to submit a bio. I like to call it time management.

A few tidbits about me, not listed on my site’s bio:

I learned to play the accordian at an early age. Hey, I’m Italian, it’s a right of passage. I wasn’t that good at it. However, I did enjoy practicing at home and driving my older siblings crazy with my attempts at Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I also took Highland Dance classes. I bet you’re wondering why a little Italian girl took Highland dancing? I’m first generation Canadian, I was born in Canada, while my parents and siblings all immigrated from Italy. Hence, why my brothers convinced me I was found on their doorstep, but that’s another story.

My parents wanted to assimilate with the Canadian culture. My dad at the time smoked cigarettes (Export A). On the package was a picture of a woman, wearing a Scottish tam and my parents watched Don Messer’s Jubilee to learn the language. After I was born, they associated these things with the Canadian culture, so when I was old enough, they enrolled me in Highland Dancing.

I didn’t learn to speak English until I was six years old, sometimes this can still effect me, as I think in one language and things come out in English in an awkward way. “English wasn’t my first language,” is what I say. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I used to be quite the daredevil. Broken knee, wore a full leg cast (downhill skiing), shattered my radial head in my left arm (roller-blading), broken toe (fell down the stairs while multi-tasking, some will say, I can be a klutz, I don’t agree…well, not 100%).

My husband has recently stated that he’d love to start a blog called, “Things my wife says and does.” I’m not concerned, he doesn’t even like to write emails. Funny guy. He makes me laugh, I make him laugh. I love to cook, he loves to eat what I cook. I also like to make him blush, like when I publicly state, he has given me my happy-ever-after that I love to write and read about in romance novels.

Okay, enough about me………

 To kick off the Holiday Season and my first blog, I’m going to have a draw.

Comment on the blog, or ask me a question (anything goes…….well, almost anything) and I’ll enter your name for a chance to win 1 of three 3 Gift Certificates to My Bookstore and More. Draw ends, December 23rd.

P.S. I’ll be posting some recipes later on this blog.