Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, GRACE RISATA, and her favorite recipe for CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIR TORTE!
MY DIRTY VACATION: AN ALPHA MALE MAFIA COMEDY ADVENTURE
Dirty Detour Book 2
BY GRACE RISATA
“When you think of Las Vegas, what comes to mind? Most likely it’s fine dining, extravagant shows, and lots of gambling. Not in my world. Not when you’re surrounded by alpha males with a penchant for violence who ignore your meticulously crafted itinerary and expect you to ‘go with the flow.’ Why does nothing EVER turn out like I plan?”
Come along for the ride with ex-mafia enforcer Rocky, his germaphobe girlfriend Violet, and a few of their friends as they take a little excursion to fabulous Las Vegas. Emotions run high, loyalties are tested, and danger lurks around every corner. With new villains emerging and game changing opportunities presented, their vacation is anything but relaxing.
Please note: This story contains a zombie survival paintball course, popcorn eating fish, several curse words (the heroine has a fondness for swearing), and a few descriptive bedroom scenes. Vegas has a tendency to bring out the wild side in some of us…and things that happen in Sin City can get pretty exciting.
This 96,500 word full length novel is the second book in the Dirty Detour series, but can be read and understood as a stand-alone story. Each and every one of my books has a Happily Ever After, no cheating, no cliff hangers, and a butt load of humor. Sit back, strap in, and enjoy the journey!
WHY ARE VACATIONS SO SHORT?
BY GRACE RISATA
Editorial Note: Edited for language.
I don’t do very well with vacations. I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “What the hell is her problem?” I’ll tell you what my problem is…
My husband wanted to get away from work for a few days and he suggested going to the beach and renting a condo for five days. Our plane would leave at 7am on the last day, so that really doesn’t count as a day. The plane arrived at 3pm on the first day, so I’m not counting that either. What’s my problem then?
Packing: I ran through my house like a crazy person trying to find everything I might need for three full days away. What did I want to pack? Everything. We’re hoarders and we can’t leave home for five minutes without the insane need to bring everything with us. A million panic scenarios run through my mind. What if I spill something on my shirt and I run out of clothes? (That’s why they have laundromats). What if I get sick and need cough medicine/cough drops/a thermometer/anti-biotic cream? (That’s why they have grocery stores and pharmacies). What if I get hungry on the plane and don’t want to pay $4 for a small bag of crackers? (oh s**t, better bring food for the plane!) I usually ending up needing NOTHING that I actually packed and everything that I didn’t pack. (This time I could have used a different bathing suit. My husband asked me why the hell my bikini bottoms were hanging off my ass to the point that it looked like I s**t myself. I had no reasonable answer other than, “DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND ONE OF THESE THINGS THAT FITS?!”)
TRAVEL: I’m not a fan of the airplane and sitting next to strangers. I booked a window seat. I paid EXTRA for this. (Okay…I had to pay extra for EVERYTHING on the flight…we each got one “personal bag” like a purse or a small backpack, but the carry on cost EXTRA. Since I wasn’t going to pay for TWO carry-ons because I’m insanely cheap, that meant I had to cram a house worth of stuff into one purse, one backpack, and ONE carry on. I also had to pay extra to choose my seats. I’m honestly surprised they didn’t charge me for the use of the oxygen on the plane). So we board the plane by groups and for some odd reason my group went first and my husband’s group went third. Totally weird. I got to our row first and I see some lady sitting in my window seat. I said, “Um…I think you’re in the wrong seat” and probably had a very grouchy look on my face. She pointed to her leg (in a cast) and said, “They let me sit here.” Well I can’t argue with her, now can I? She was also in her 60s so I didn’t throw down. My husband gets on the plane and he’s all, “who cares? Sit in the aisle!” and he’s consoling her about her leg like it’s a f***ing heart transplant or something. “Are you okay ma’am? How did that happen? Let me know if I’m taking up too much room.” EYE ROLL!
I’m part of the 99% and NOT the ONE PERCENT: The condo that my husband found on AirBnB was absolutely amazing. I’m talking granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a breathtaking view of the lagoon behind the condo, not one but TWO screened in balcony porches, and walls that are not REALLY walls but instead are floor to ceiling window doors (I guess you’d call them sliding glass doors…I’m a writer…I should know words to describe things!) facing the lagoon. Not sure if it was a lagoon or a marina or a canal or what. It was fancy water that boats traveled to and fro upon. I have none of these things at home. And I want them ALL. I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the most important part. There was a swimming pool. No. There were TWO swimming pools. And no one was using them. So it was like I had my own private pool for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS! I swam laps and pretended I was a movie star. Okay…that’s a lie. I pretended I was Michael Phelps and did every single swimming stroke I knew and some that I made up. While I did this, my mind wandered and I came up with a new book plot. For the present time, we’ll call it “Sexy Condo Story.”
Food is Weird: The food on vacation is very hit or miss and I usually love it or hate it. I got expensive shrimp that tasted dry and flavorless. I got cheaper shrimp that tasted amazing because they added mango salsa on top. I want to live in a place that has mangos and salsa combined. I currently do not live in such a fantasy land.
I annoy the native species: While this is not a problem for me, per se, it annoys my husband to no end. I feel the need to get as close as possible to every wildlife creature and take pictures of it like I’m a National Geographic Photographer. No pelican, gecko, or bird was safe from my camera. At one point I threw a bread crust to the bird on the beach and got in trouble. My husband said, “You’re going to KILL IT! That bird can’t digest all the preservatives in white bread!” Oh really? Then why the f**k did he lunge for my bread crust like he hadn’t eaten in a week and it was as appealing as shrimp covered in mango salsa? Mmhmm…that bird devoured my bread crust and came back for more. Unfortunately I had none to give him. Sorry bird friend, that sandwich was too good to share any more with you.
I’m obsessed with time: What time is it here? What time is it at home? Are we missing meals? I’m not hungry because we’re on vacation and my time schedule is messed up. Should I be hungry? Why am I going to sleep so early? Why am I waking up so early? Is my phone the right time? Did it switch over? Are we late for the flight? Why are we so early for the flight? Why do I care? I’m neurotic, that’s why.
I dislike coming home again after the vacation: It seems like you plan and get excited for the vacation for MONTHS… and then before you know it, you spent all that money and the damn thing is over with and you’re stuck back at work staring at the clock thinking to yourself, “Exactly 48 hours ago I was swimming in my private pool living like a rock star and now I’m answering phones and forcing myself to be polite to customers. How the hell did this happen? Why did I come back?
Sigh. Tis better to have vacationed and returned home to the bland routine than to have never vacationed at all.
In case you’re in the mood for a vacation, but can’t get the time off work or don’t have the extra money right now…maybe you can take a mental vacation without ever leaving home. What the hell am I talking about? Take a trip to a fictional world full of amazing characters you haven’t met yet…READ A BOOK!
About Author Grace Risata…
My professional biography is as follows (I’m not sure why it’s in the third person, evidently that’s the rule): Grace Risata is very excited to share her novels with the world, and she hopes you enjoyed reading them as much as she enjoyed writing them. Grace would like to thank everyone for giving her books a chance and she welcomes all feedback. Grace is happiest when reading, eating Portillos hot dogs, and patiently waiting for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Links to Grace’s Website, Books, & Social Media:
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2pR9Cz0
Feel free to follow me on Amazon….it’s the fastest and easiest way to keep up with all my new releases: https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Risata/e/B01AUXMZAO
Please check out my website for all the latest news, info, and crazy blog posts. You can also sign up to receive my newsletter and get EXCLUSIVE access to fun stuff like Advanced Reader Copies of books before they become available anywhere else! https://gracerisata.wordpress.com/
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I hope you enjoy the recipe Grace is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 312 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
Note from Grace: This is a recipe that was given to me by my mother-in-law. If you’ve read my first book (My Dirty Detour), “Dottie” is modeled after her.
This recipe makes enough for a 9×13 pan and it’s always requested at all my family gatherings. It’s extremely easy to make and requires no baking.
CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIR TORTE
1 box of graham crackers
2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding
3 1⁄2 cups milk
8 ounces whipped topping
1 tub of chocolate frosting
- Grease the bottom of a of 9×13 pan and line the bottom with the graham crackers.
- Mix pudding and milk.
- Fold in whipped topping.
- Pour a layer of pudding mixture over crackers.
- Add another layer of crackers, then pudding mix again then final layer of crackers.
- Spread chocolate frosting over top. Works best if you microwave it first for 15 seconds so it can just pour over the layer of graham crackers.
- Chill in refrigerator overnight.