It's a new year.
A new start.
A new outlook on all things Heather Miles.
I've set lofty goals for the new year, made some pretty big commitments to challenge myself as an author, and accepted new roles for 2017. As with all things new and evolving, I have also given up some things, some for the better, some for the worse and some just because. I'm not a fan of change. I think it's easy to fall victim to the lull of false happiness, but I'm starting to understand that change is not only beneficial for growth, but necessary to push forward in mind, body and spirit. Inaction isn't the answer. It's time to get uncomfortable. It's time to live up to my potential.
So here's what you need to know. I'm writing! I've taken time off from writing and narrating and, while my creativity seemed to wax and wane, it never went away. Even in dormancy I was plotting, imagining, dreaming stories, juicy tales and romantic scenes. I've even plotted a YA (young adult) novel for my daughter. I've been asked to be part of an anthology with ten other authors and I accepted. It's a novella and it's themed: Fate. I've written 8000 words this week. Words? Yeah. As an author we don't talk in pages or chapters, it's words. Let's just say, to write cleanly with not a lot of editing, that's a good start. New characters. New names. New plot. Completely different than my works of the past. It's suspenseful and edgy. I think you'll love it.
I've set a four novel goal for 2017! Scary, but I'm a believer. I'm sitting on four manuscripts as we speak. They are in various states of completion, but they're there. The wait is almost over. There's even a Merger Reignited waiting in the wings. It's the finale to a really great series that was embraced by most of you. I think you'll love the happily ever after! If anyone receiving this letter wants to read Merger, the first book in the series, that hasn't had the chance to fall in love with Kasey and Joshua, then let me know. I'll gift it to you for FREE! It's only .99 cents, but Happy New Year.
I'm about to get imploded with books. I signed up to judge the "Rita's". It's Romance Writers of America's highest honor in romance writing. Published novels that are submitted for the ultimate award in romance fiction. It's romance writings version of the Oscars. It should be interesting. I look forward to reading some of my favorite authors and some newbies as well.
2017 is the year I reignite the passions in my own life. I gave up a career because I wanted to be an author. I don't take that role lightly. I added narrator to it last year and this year I'm also launching a brand new website: Heather Unfiltered. Follow me on social media for all the details. Launch of Heather Unfiltered is January 21st! Thank you for the unwavering support.
Here's what I'm listening to:
John Lennon - "Imagine"
Here's what I'm making:
A tribute to my love affair with BACON!
"Spicy Caramel Bacon Popcorn"
Spicy Caramel Bacon Popcorn
5-6 slices of bacon
Nonstick cooking spray
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lay bacon side-by-side. Transfer baking sheet to hot oven and cook bacon for 15 minutes, and until crispy and brown. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. When cool, cut into dice-sized pieces.
2. Lightly coat two large heatproof rubber spatulas and a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray. In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover, and keep the saucepan moving until all of the kernels have popped, about 4 minutes. Transfer the popped popcorn to the large prepared bowl, removing any unpopped kernels.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and cayenne pepper. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Cook over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture becomes a light golden-yellow caramel, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda mixture (the mixture will bubble up). Quickly fold in bacon bits. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss, like a salad, until all of the popcorn is evenly coated with the caramel.
4. Pour the popcorn onto a large baking pan and quickly flatten and separate it into small pieces while it is still warm. Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Once it is cool, store it in a well-sealed airtight container.
5. Caramel popcorn will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Here's what I'm drinking:
Grapefruit Beer Mimosa Cocktails
(They served this by another name at the Golden Bee at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs)
2-3 ounces of fresh squeezed grapefruit.
6 ounces wheat beer (Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis is a good one)
1/2 t. of agave nectar or 1/2 ounce of simple syrup.
*For a different twist on this drink add two dashes of bitters to the mix. It's a different twist on a "German Radler".
Use a lemon slice to coat the rim of any glass, then dredge the rim in sugar. Place half a slice of grapefruit and ice in the glass. Add the grapefruit juice, the simple syrup and then the beer. Enjoy!
Words to live by...
"Learn to be what you are,
and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not"
- Henri Frederic Amiel
There's never a better time than now to live up to your potential! Happy New Year!