Welcome back, Charlee! One very lucky commenter will win a copy (pdf or print) of her brand new novella, Ladybugs and Fireflies!
Cheryl Alldredge is a long time fan of love, adventure, and happily ever afters. She grew up in Florida where a huge fallen oak tree in the swampy woods near her home served as her very own Star Ship Enterprise. Luckily the alligators were almost never a problem on her space ship as the flight deck was several feet above the muddy ground. She did lose a few tennis shoes on away missions, though. Her first short novel, Ladybugs and Fireflies, is a contemporary romance set in her home state of Florida. Cheryl blogs about books, life, and Florida at http://cherylalldredge.wordpress.com/ and all things SciFi at http://smartgirlsscifi.wordpress.com/. You can also find her at her website at http://www.cherylalldredge.com/ or on Good Reads at http://www.goodreads.com/cheryl_alldredge.
Thanks, Chicklets, for giving me this opportunity to talk about a very special cake. In a bit I’m going to offer some decorating tips, but first the story behind the cake.
I recently helped my son celebrate his 22nd birthday. When we talked a few weeks earlier, he informed me that he’d be okay if we didn’t do anything this year since he’s past the age where birthdays matter. Well, I wasn’t going to let that go. It has been a difficult year for him. After being out on his own for several years, he had to move back home. Until recently he was unemployed and relying solely on me to support him. A hard blow for an independent young man. So, what’s a mother to do to remind her son that he’s special and that his birth is worth celebrating? Make a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cake!
The TMNT cake was his favorite from age five to eight. At the time, we were struggling financially. I was a single mom trying to make ends meet, but we still managed to celebrate. I wanted to remind him how much fun we had together then, even when times were difficult. It worked like a charm. He was thrilled that I’d not only saved that old cake pan, but that I’d taken the time to make the cake. It didn’t turn out perfect, but that didn’t matter. It was the love behind it that made it special.
The main characters in my recently released novella, Ladybugs and Fireflies, each came from families who’d struggled through hard times. Those struggles shaped Taylor and Callie, causing them both trouble and joys on their journey toward love. In this story I wanted to show that life is complicated and messy, but family and love accepts imperfections.
So back to the cake! If you’ve never tried a specialty cake, I urge you to give it a try. Don’t worry that it might turn into a big mess. It will still be a sugary delicious splurge even if you have to eat it with a spoon. If you decide to try, here are some tips.
♥ Specialty cake pans usually come with instructions. Hang on to those! They can be very helpful.
♥ Specialty cake pans often have lots of bends and contours. Be sure to grease and flour the pan carefully before pouring in the batter. Use your fingers if you need to! You don’t want to end up with the cake sticking to the pan.
♥ Let the cake cool thoroughly before icing. You don’t want your icing to soften and run.
♥ If the cake doesn’t rise evenly use a big bread knife (serrated edge) to carefully trim the excess from the flat side of the cake.
♥ Make sure the icing you use is suitable for cake decorating. You can use the kind that comes in a tube at the grocery store or make your own, but make sure it’s decorator icing. It needs to be stiff enough to hold shapes.
♥ Don’t be afraid to substitute colors or deviate from the pattern to make it your own.
Have fun and make some memories! If you have already made a specialty cake, please share your tips in the comments. If you haven’t, but you think you might give it a try, share what type of cake you plan to make. I look forward to your comments!
What people are saying about Ladybugs and Fireflies:
“I fell in love with feisty Callie and sexy Taylor and you will too, run out and buy a copy as the book is great summer reading! ” ~Jackie Burris, Amazon Reviewer
“Red-blooded, classic romance with heart!” ~Bella Street, Amazon Reviewer
Ladybugs and Fireflies is a nice read for summer cottages or winter getaways. ~Alberta of ManicReaders.com