Which do you want first — the dessert or the dessert? Trick question! The obvious answer, of course, is both. Here you go, a double helping of dessert courtesy of author Sydney Winward.
Here’s dessert No. 1: Sydney Winward has released a new fantasy book, filled with vampires and bloodlust. Bloodbond is part of her Bloodborn series.
Here’s the blurb:
Zachariah Degore spent ten years locked under ground as a feral vampire. Now he has to redefine what it means to be healthy and whole. With his human life behind him, he starts anew in the vampire city of Ichor Knell with the vampire shah as his kin. He must prove he is worthy of his place in this new world.
Laurel Covaci is vampire elite, she would never court a feral vampire. After two hundred years she has yet to find a mate who meets with her satisfaction. She hides the pain of past hurt and abandonment behind a cold façade. Zach is confident that Laurel is the vampire for him, but can he break through her icy walls and convince her he’s the mate she’s been waiting for?
And here’s an excerpt:
She stared at him. And stared. Until it became uncomfortable.
So he stood and started to pack up his things, but she glared at him and pointed to his seat.
“Sit.” He did. Who could disobey a tone like that? “You can’t kill?” she asked incredulously. “You only recently came out of being feral, correct?” He nodded. “And you can’t kill? Human blood doesn’t send you into a rage. You refused to drink from the goblet at the service.”
“Have you been spying on me?”
She ignored his comment, and her mouth puckered slightly as if in deep concentration. He couldn’t help but stare. He’d never seen her do it before. Another endearing quality he added to the lengthy list of what made Laurel Covaci absolutely perfect.
“I have searched high and low, but I simply cannot find any answers to this particular conundrum,” she finally said. Heat rose to his ears. She’d been thinking about him?
He grinned. “Well, well, Lady Covaci. I didn’t realize I was filling up your thoughts.”
She blushed prettily, and he almost expected her to get up from the table and leave, regretting she even sat down in the first place. But she stayed put. In fact, she stared right back as if challenging him. He enjoyed the eye contact. Her eyes were so blue. So beautiful. They took him back to green fields of his childhood, of staring back at the blue sky as clouds lazily drifted past.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvqlfMc19Is
And dessert No. 2? Sydney has taken care of that too:
Whenever I have a book release, I love to celebrate with something sugary, sweet, and a little bit sinful in the calorie department. Cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite desserts, so I wanted to share my recipe with you! What I love about this cheesecake is that it has a few, simple ingredients. It’s easy to bake, and it’s always the first dessert to disappear at parties. Not to mention all the compliments I receive! If you are looking for a little piece of heaven in a springform pan, this is the dessert for you.
Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons sugar
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese (Philly brand is best)
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 4 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Press into bottom only of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly while you make the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 300°.
In mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and 1 ¼ cups sugar using a paddle attachment, not whisk. (A whisk will add too much air to the filling, causing the cheesecake to fall and crack while cooling). Scrape sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour over crust. Bake in 300° oven for 1 hour. Turn off oven and allow cheesecake to sit in oven for an additional hour. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
1 cup mashed strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup water
Combine sugar, water, and cornstarch in saucepan. Stir in strawberries. Cook until thick. Cool completely. Pour onto cheesecake 3-4 hours before serving.
Note: You can be creative with the cheesecake. Stir in ¾ cup miniature chocolate chips, ⅓ cup cocoa, or swirl fruit jam into the batter before baking. Use gingersnaps, chocolate wafer cookies, or other cookies for the crust.
Here’s a little about the author:
Sydney Winward was born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way. At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing, and she hasn’t been able to stop writing since. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure. When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.