Special ending & New beginnings!

As the year winds to a close, I’m baking up a storm preparing for the holiday season. None of that is particularly spectacular except for my new super seekrit cupcake experiment which I PROMISED my newsletter subscribers I would share. So, without further ado, I give you…

The Double Cuppie.

all about autumn3

 

They look pretty normal, don’t they? You’d never guess they were boasting a surprise inside that will make your friends and family members go wild!

I had a party to go to and needed something special, so I whipped up a batch of Apple Cobbler mini-cupcakes, frosted them with a caramel frosting and FROZE them. Then, I made a batch of pumpkin cupcakes and plunked my little frozen babies smack dab in the center and baked THOSE.

all about autumn

See those apple minis in the center of my batter?

The resulting cupcake ends up fully baked and moist (because my frozen caramel frosting kinda baked into the pumpkin batter keeping it from drying out). The full cupcake has a perfect blend of autumn flavors (pumpkin, caramel and apple) but really, you could use an endless option of batters. How about a chocolate and peppermint concoction for the holidays? Pineapple and coconut for New Years? Strawberry and margarita lime in the summer?

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the cuppie inside of a cuppie triumph– just waiting for FROSTING!

Give your holiday a new twist and try the double cupcake. Be sure to drop by my Facebook page and let me know how they turned out! I’m hosting a contest there for ONE week, to celebrate the new year and new covers for my Southern Seductions series. You could win a $15 giftcard, so drop by my page for the details.

NEW YEAR NEW LOOK CONTEST

Fall into Romance Hop & GIVEAWAYS!

Ahhh…Autumn! Whether it’s the crisp smell of apples or the crunch of leaves underfoot, fall is definitely my favorite time of year. It’s the special time of year where long summer days fade into cool evenings spent in front of the firepit cuddling with my favorite honey.

And nothing suits my mood better than a brand new batch of cupcakes to celebrate the season.

Those of you who follow my romance know that I am a bonafide cupcake FREAK. In fact, each of my hot romances features an original recipe for tempting treats in the back. So, in honor of fall, I’m featuring my favorite S’mores cupcake recipe and a new giveaway with the Sexy Scribblers.

Behold…the S’mores Cupcake!

S’mores are the perfect dessert to enjoy by the fire–but even if you can’t strike a match, you can fan the flames of desire for this chocolatey-marshmallow treat in cupcake form! (Pssst…Want more delicious recipes and good stuff? Subscribe to my VIP Newsletter!)

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Sorry for the horrible photo cropping. But don’t they look deliciously toasty?!

But before I hand out the recipe at the bottom, here’s the fantabulous Rafflecopter giveaway from the Sexy Scribblers. The Scribblers are a group of authors banded together to write traveling stories that you can enjoy for FREE. And just to give you a little something to keep you warm, we’re offering a load of free books for one lucky winner! a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, just because…I’m ALSO personally offering a $5 Starbucks gift card as a personal giveaway! Because, what goes better with cupcakes than some delicious coffee (or Coffey?)

Starbucks-5-gift-card

Two steps to win my personal giveaway, 1- Subscribe to my VIP newsletter AND 2- Comment below with “Done”, “I’m a member already” or “Not interested, thanks” and tell me what beverage you plan to get with the gift card!  I’ll be announcing the winner on November 22nd, before Thanksgiving, because I am SO thankful for my readers!! Be sure to check back.

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**UPDATE**- My contest is ended. Congratulations to the winner, Rhianona!

 

Now for the cupcakes to keep you company with their ooey-gooey deliciousness on these cold Autumn nights. Or mornings. Or…lunch…because, ain’t nobody judging you.

S’mores Cupcakes – makes 24

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So cute on my kitchen counter!

Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
•1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
•5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
•1/4 cup sugar
•9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Chocolate Cupcakes (or use your favorite chocolate box mix)
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•2 eggs
•1 cup milk
•1/2 cup canola oil
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
•2/3 cup boiling water
Meringue Frosting
•6 egg whites
•1 1/2 cups sugar
•1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 Instructions
Make the graham cracker crust first:
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
2.In a medium bow, mix together crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter until well blended and no dry crumbs remain.
3.Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each liner. Press the crumbs flat into the liner using the bottom of a small glass. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of chocolate over each crust. (Reserve remaining graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate to top the cupcakes before baking.)
4.Bake crusts for 8 minutes. Remove the pans and let crusts cool for at least 5 minutes before adding cupcake batter.
For the cupcakes:
1.After crusts are prepared, increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
2.In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3.Then combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and mix until combined. Then add flour mixture. Blend at low and then increase to medium. Beat for 2 minutes until blended and smooth. Remove bowl from stand and add boiling water. Gently stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Batter will be thin. Then let batter rest for 15 minutes and stir again gently before using. Fill liners with prepared crusts three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle with reserved chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Bake about 16-20 minutes until done. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Make the meringue frosting:
1.Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water in the saucepan. Hold the handle of the bowl with an oven mitt while whisking the egg white mixture until the sugar is dissolved and the whites are hot to the touch… about 4 minutes. Then transfer bowl to the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture, starting on low and increasing to high speed. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form and the meringue has cooled, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and whisk just to combine. Use frosting immediately.
2.Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe high swirls on the cupcakes and brown the meringue using a kitchen torch and serve immediately.
Enjoy!!
Source: Trophy Cupcakes & Parties! by Jennifer Shea, 2013
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New Face Time!

wine_sampleDo you live in the Charlotte, NC area? If so, I’ll be at a book signing this Saturday, from 7:00-9:00pm at the Aloft Hotel.

Grab your girlfriends, your book club buddies, and head to Aloft in Ballantyne for a one night only event featuring New York Times and USA Today bestseller Darynda Jones, USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, and award-winning author Elizabeth Michels, in addition to Nancy Northcott, Regina Jeffers, and many other local authors.

This event is held in partnership with Park Road Books as featured bookseller.

Participating authors include:

Paranormal/Fantasy: Darynda Jones, Jeni Burns, Nancy Northcott, Missy Lynn Ryan

Contemporary: Kieran Kramer, J.A. Coffey-Author, Andria Gaskins, Sophia Henry Books, Author Reagan Phillips

Historical: Award Winning Author Elizabeth Michels, Caroline Lee, Regina Jeffers.

No outside books allowed; all books must be purchased on site at the event.

 

#LOLHop- A Labor of Love!

Labor of Love Blog hop

From sweet to dark, divas of romance work their fingers to the bone for your reading pleasure. Join us 9/4-9/6 and enter to win a Kindle, plus new, heart-pounding titles just for you!

We’re partying and giving away prizes on Facebook. Come join in the fun! Each author has a great romance to offer, along with 3 grand prizes (see below). My feature is HELL ON HEELS, a NEW release in my Southern Seductions series.

Book 3 JA COFFEY- High ResolutionFlamboyant, artistic Caroline Cattrell is determined to remain independent of her wealthy family’s influence–even if it means losing her friends in the process. After losing her job, she’s forced to use her seductive personality and pose as a honey pot in an undercover operation to keep her head above water.

Stan Kendrick was the one man that everyone had it out for. Branded as a cheating ex, he was forced to uphold his bad boy image to save the lives of those he cared about. But working undercover gets a lot more complicated when the one woman who could help him nail an international crime lord and finally close the case is the last woman who would dare to help him. Buy it for 99 cents for a limited time!

 

In HELL ON HEELS, Caroline must go undercover to help a man she’s mistakenly hated for the past decade. A man who has a dangerous secret life. A man who desperately needs her help.

This excerpt features training for hand-to-hand combat from two combative characters under the watchful eye of his ex-partner:

They practiced it a few more times, until both of them were red-faced and breathing heavily from the contact. Then Stan fished around in his back pocket, and with an unreadable expression introduced something new to her. Something that made her knees go weak for all the right reasons.
“One last thing. If someone wants to keep you tied up, they’ll probably use these.” He held up a pair of clear, plastic zip ties.
“Trash bag thingies?” she asked.
He chuckled. “These are soft cuffs. They’re portable restraints. Easy to carry and easy to hide as they don’t set off metal detectors. Cops and criminals alike have been using them for years.”
“I see.” She didn’t want to know why supposedly boring Stan Kendrick knew about soft cuffs.
He leaned forward, reaching around her to pin her wrists together while he explained how the mechanism worked. “So, the theory is the same as before. You want to create space around your body when they are trying to secure you, so you have room to break free. If they tie you, spread your wrists or ankles as apart as far as you can. Make the space fat, so when they zip you, there’s room to move later.”
“Okay.” It was hard to think when he was this close to her. He smelled like soap and pine trees and…leather. Leather made her think of all kinds of interesting things, so she swallowed hard and forced the fantasy away.
Stan paused. They were face-to-face and her hands were cuffed behind her. If he wanted to, he could lean down and kiss her. He could do whatever he wanted to her. She found her lips pursing as if anticipating his caress.
“You okay? I can’t be gentle with this demonstration. And if the cartel catches you, they sure won’t be.” Stan’s gaze never wavered, his hazel eyes locked on her in a way that had her shifting in her shoes. If not for the presence of his partner a few feet away, she’d be throwing herself at his feet.
Caroline exhaled slowly and nodded. “Gotcha.”
“You look good cuffed,” he said in a low voice. The closest thing to an admission that she was affecting him.
He took a step back, his gaze traveling leisurely down the length of her. She resisted the urge to inhale, her hands bound behind her already forced her breasts up high. She felt her nipples stiffen under his hot stare.
Stan’s throat bobbed as he swallowed hard. “Caroline, I…”
“Everything under control over there? She knows the drill?” Allison hollered towards them.
“We’re fine.” Stan gritted over his shoulder. His eyes returned to her face, still burning with an emotion she didn’t dare name. “Everything’s under control.”

I loved the transformation of both Caroline and Stan Kendrick in HELL ON HEELS.  Their love is proof that some sparks are just meant to ignite passion!

Pick up your copy at the PREORDER PRICE of 99 cents (reg. $2.99) for this week only! And find the other books in the series here.

CONTEST ENTRY

To celebrate our hop, we’re giving away three prizes: 1) grand prize Kindle, 2) $35 Amazon or B&N Gift card (winner’s choice), and 3) $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card. That Kindle will be preloaded with fantastic books from participating authors. Don’t forget to sign up for my VIP Newsletter, COFFEY TALK, and then click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win BIG! And check out the other amazing authors in our blog hop for more chances and other prizes to win!!

The Great Shoe Cake-Over!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how frugal I am. But I’m pretty sure most of you are aware of my love of all things sweet. It’s why I sneak in recipes in the back of all my romances, and why I post more in my newsletter (which you can get by subscribing here). In fact, I have a Pinterest board devoted to all things cupcake, that you can follow.

I fell in love with a pair over at ShoeBakery.

But, I’m not spending $300-$500 on a pair of shoes, y’all. And I would fall over in heels that high. Especially at a three-hour booksigning.

So, when it came time to settle my wardrobe for an upcoming conference, there was only one thing a frugal, sweet-loving artsy girl could do.

A “cake-over” of a comfy pair of $30 heels. Extra padded for comfort. High enough for fun, low enough not to kill myself walking in. Nothing goes better with cupcakes than ice cream. And these heels are a hot fudge strawberry sundae cone full of fun!

ice cream shoes

don’t mind the mess on the table!

I can’t lie. I wasn’t exactly sure I could pull it off.

So, armed with a pair of nude colored heels. I piped on the cone lines. Then I shaded it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

shoes phase 1

very cone-esque

 

Next, I added the “ice cream”. Just some paint and a flexible art medium. Doesn’t have to be perfect, because melting ice cream never is.

shoes phase 2 2

drip, drip….can’t you almost taste it?

shoes phase 2

Final step, drizzle the “hot fudge” and “sprinkles”. Pipe more art medium with a frosting tip, add a fake cherry and voila!

ice cream shoes 3

Pay no mind to the paint tubes and plastic baggies!

ice cream shoes 2

They’re still drying. Then it’s time for a protective spray and maybe a high gloss glaze on those cherries. The Great Shoe Cake-over.  Just in time for RWA Nationals.  What do you think? Come find me on Facebook  if you want more details on how I did it. Or post a comment on my FB Author page !

 

 

 

Votes needed and some sweet deals

Sometimes as authors we feel the need to have “pretty things” to giveaway. We call it swag. As an artist, I get really excited when I find a graphic designer who does amazing work at a reasonable price. Well, I’ve found her…and she’s incredible!

Meet Talina at Bookin’It Designs. Say, hello, Talina! (She waved …at least I’m pretty sure she did. Cuz, you know…my computer isn’t a television screen, so I can’t actually SEE her, but that’s what I imagine her doing.)

I contacted Talina when I realized I needed a cost effective way to provide books at the upcoming #RWA2015 conference in New York. She’d done such a great job on my bookmarks, I knew she’d be perfect.JACoffey_bookmark_Backproof1 (2)

I came up with a plan for trading cards…with quotes…and freebie download codes…and pretty images. And a place for autographs, too! I wanted…ALL THE THINGS!

all-the-things

Talina ROCKED it. Like really, really nailed it. To the point where I can’t decide which ones I should get printed. So, I need your help in determining. I have two books I’ll be signing from my contemporary romance series. Here are the options. *Note: the trading cards are double-sided. The front of the card is on top and has the quote and the back of the card is on bottom and has a download code which will be printed on the stripe.*

VOTING OPTIONS FOR LIAR LIAR:

VOTE-OPTIONS_LIAR-LIAR no codes

VOTING OPTIONS FOR PANTS ON FIRE:

VOTE-OPTIONS_PANTSONFIRE no codes

Click on the images to enlarge. Aren’t they GORGEOUS? Spammers have tried to take me over, so I’ve turned off comments on my blog for now, but come tell me on Facebook or Tweet me to say which designs I should use for the swag bags and signing!

And now for the fun part!  Shhhh…it’s a well-known secret that I love a good deal. And this is really exciting. Talina is offering my friends a discount off her already amazing prices.

The offer from Bookin’It Designs:

10% discount on any orders $49.00 and below and a 15% discount on any order above $50

Here’s her social links and email just for easy reference:

website: http://www.bookinitdesigns.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/BookinItDesigns

Email: bookinitdesigns@gmail.com

You don’t need a code. Just email her and let her know that you found her through me and you get the DEAL!! Isn’t that great! She’s also put together three NEW swag design packages on the website which have pretty much everything an author needs to launch and brand their book at a great savings, too. Note: The above discount doesn’t apply to the NEW swag packages, because they are already nicely discounted! Check out all her work and sign up for the good stuff!

But wait, there’s more….

I also contacted the great company out in Cali that is printing my trading cards. And before you could say “cupcakes for everyone”, Alex over there devised a discount offer for you, too! (And he asked if I wrote rom-com because he thinks I’m hilarious. Why does asking for cheaper stuff make me a comic?)

PrintFirm Offer:  Use coupon code “JACoffey” upon checkout and grab your sweet discount.

The code is for 15% off (maximum discount limit of $150) and it’s good until 12-31-2021 (so, you know, you have time to revisit and print your promo items for YEARS) and it applies to ALL the products on the site. Did I hook you up, or what?

So, come tell me your thoughts on the card designs and help spread the word about this great offer. I’ll be watching for ya!

 

Endings and beginnings

With my latest manuscript sent to editors and beta readers, I find myself diving right in to the next one. Usually, there’s a bit of down time, where I get over the “creation pains” of completion, but for some reason, I’m so jazzed about this series, that I just kept going. 🙂

Book 2 JACOFFEY- High ResolutionThere’s going to be some celebratory giveaways and promos in March surrounding the release of my next hot contemporary romance PANTS ON FIRE (available for preorder on Amazon), but you can score your copy for free by subscribing to COFFEY TALK, my VIP newsletter. Just hit the subscribe button in the menu and take the leap into love and awesomeness. Fans of Carly Phillips may really enjoy my sexy Southern Seductions series.

Speaking of, there’s some exciting news that I can’t share yet, but be sure to sign up to be the first to hear, ya hear?

Exciting News!

Lots of great things going on this year…I can’t spill the beans just yet, but stay tuned for more exciting things regarding my romance books. 🙂

And if you haven’t had a chance to pick up your FREE copy of the debut, LIAR LIAR, you may want to snag your copy while you can. The promo won’t last, so get yours today!

Also, very excited to say that I booked my flight to attend Romance Writers of America’s 2015 conference in NYC in July. It will be so wonderful to catch up to old friends and greet new ones. And there’s a fabulous book signing for readers, so be sure to check it out!

That’s all for now. The words are calling me…xyvyfpdf

Where in the world is….

Thrace! Some readers have commented to me privately that they weren’t exactly sure where Doricha, the protagonist of HETAERA: Daughter of the Gods, hailed from.

Rhodopen_Balkan_topo_de

Originally, Dori was from Thrace, an area northeast of Greece with somewhat nebulous borders. Thracian people were roughly segregated into tribes or villages and are considered by some to be “noble savages” (loud drinking, singing and fighting) and athletic peoples. In the map above, the Rhodopis mountains are highlighted. I tried to depict them as large and lusty, and authentically passionate about their lives and their gods which seemed to fit the story.

Wikipedia has a pretty succinct description of the area:

The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. Noteworthy is the fact that, at an early date, the ancient Greeks employed the term “Thrace” to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly inhabited by the Thracians,a region which “had no definite boundaries” and to which other regions (like Macedonia and even Scythia) were added.In one ancient Greek source, the very Earth is divided into “Asia, Libya, Europa and Thracia”.

Typically, Thracians did not think of themselves as such, but in order to define herself as different than the neighboring Greeks, I had Dori making the distinction between Thrace and Greece throughout the book. I don’t consider that to be out of context. Even in modern times, people define themselves by their indigenous culture–whether it’s the country they hail from or the sports team they “pull” for.

And speaking of sports (of a sort!) one of the most infamous Thracians was…Spartacus!

Spartacus was a Thracian auxiliary soldier who deserted from the Roman army, was captured and enslaved, and led a revolt with an army of escaped slaves and gladiators that defeated many Roman legions in the Third Servile War. Gladiators were employed as a common sport of that time to amuse audiences with their physical prowess.

new-spartacus-trailer-released

I loosely modeled Dori’s father Delus off stereotypical “Spartacus” characteristics. Is it any wonder that Dori considers her father to be the finest soldier in the world? Looking at the new trailer for the new STARZ series, it’s no great surprise that Dori’s mother would be moved to join herself to Delus and sneak off from the temple, eh? Sign me up!

In a completely tangential coincidence, another famous Thracian was 5th century Greek physician Herodicus (tutor of Hippocrates) who is considered the “father of sports medicine”. Ha!