Donna is going to share her recipe for delicious Daffodil Cake, but first...
Three Random Questions for Author Donna AlwardHER LONE COWBOY, one of your 2010 books, won all sorts of awards, including the Booksellers’ Best (your second, right?) Congratulations! What did readers love about that story?
HER LONE COWBOY was a fairy dust book - it just seemed to write itself at times, probably because I was totally in love with the hero, Noah. I knew I was taking a risk writing an amputee hero, so right off the bat I told myself that he had to still lead and not wallow in his injury and the potential loss of his career. Getting that straight at the beginning helped a lot, and of course I needed a heroine who was no pushover, either. I think readers responded to that combination as well as the realism in the characters (or at least that's what I've heard!). And it didn't hurt that there were a few scenes that felt like magic to write and made me reach for tissues - namely a dance scene and a scene where Noah reveals all his scars to Lily. I was thrilled with the positive response it got - winning the Bookseller's Best (yes, my 2nd!), the Colorado Award of Excellence and finalling in the Golden Quill. :-)
You have lots of recipes on your website. How would you describe your cooking style? Are you a gourmand, or do you stick with the basics? Have you ever had a spectacular failure in the kitchen?
Definitely not a gourmand, and in some ways it's funny that I have a recipe page on my site. Not that I don't cook - I do, and a lot! I'm kind of a "comfort" food kind of person, so you won't find a lot that's frilly and fancy but you will find plentiful and delicious. My "style" is very "measure? Schmeasure!" I'm a dumper. Especially with supper dishes and those sorts of things. Baking is more precise, of course. So to sit down and actually figure out how much of something I put in is actually a big chore! The good part of that is that some of the recipes are ones I've tweaked because I'm willing to experiment.
I've had lots of spectacular failures! At both Christmastime and Thanksgiving we made cranberry sauce, but I totally forgot it was on the stove and burned it to the bottom of the pan. Bad enough I did it once, but twice? And back when I was pregnant with my first child, my husband had gone duck hunting. I remembered my Grandmother having duck now and then and since money was tight, I figured why waste a good duck? I had a great Italian recipe book that I used for several recipes, so I trusted it and made this duck dish that had bacon and rice and I don't know what else in it. It didn't smell the best as I was cooking it, but I chalked it up to pregnancy and my warped sense of smell. I served it up, took one bite and got a mouthful of shot. And that was the end of that. I haven't eaten duck since.
Tell us a bit about your latest release, THE LAST REAL COWBOY. What do you love about your hero and heroine?
Sam and Angela seem like they're on opposite sides at the beginning of THE LAST REAL COWBOY. He's sexy and arrogant and in control of the money; she's Executive Director of a second-stage housing shelter being opened in Cadence Creek. Both of them have to get over their initial impressions of each other to see the real person inside. Sam's a bit larger than life but he's also gentle, and tries to do the right thing. I had a blast writing this duet - next month The Rebel Rancher is out and has Sam's "brother" Tyson as the hero. Tyson's the family rebel - ex-bull rider and according to some, womanizer. And Clara is very sweet and a nurturer. But she's also got a history that means that Ty has his work cut out for him. :-)
You can read excerpts on my site at www.donnaalward.com.
Recipe: Donna Alward's Daffodil Cake
6 egg yolks + 2 tsp water
½ cup white sugar
½ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
Beat egg yolks and water until light and fluffy. Fold in sugar, flour and baking powder, salt and vanilla.
Pour in an ungreased pan, and add top layer.
Top: (White part)
6 egg whites
¾ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
Beat egg whites until light and fluffy. Add cream of tartar and beat until very stiff but not hard. Fold in sugar, flour, salt and vanilla. Pour carefully over dark part.
Bake at 300 degrees for ¾ hour.