Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Home for the Holidays with Liza O'Connor

Welcome one and all to Liza's happy home.
Jess, come say hi to our guests.
Jess: Hello. Do you have any doggie treats on you?
Liza: No Jess, today we are making treats for our guests.
Jess: What type of treats?
Liza: Do you remember in Worst Week Ever, Carrie makes chocolate turtles? Well, I'm going to share her recipe.

Jess: But those turtles had the narcotic Europa in them.

Liza: It wasn't in the recipe. It was in the dark chocolate from Russia. If you buy semi-sweet drops from a normal store, you'll be fine...well, you wouldn't be fine. Dogs aren't supposed to eat chocolate, but humans will be fine.

So here it is: 
Carrie Hanson's Grandmother's recipe for Chocolate Turtles. 
They come in handy when you need to bribe someone for a password.

This is your objective: 
Be warned this will be a big turtle.
Make sure the caramel flows halfway over the legs and head to prevent wandering body parts.
Then cover the top with melted chocolate.
You might want to avoid this particular supply of chocolate because it turned out to belong to a scary Russian mafia chef, who doesn't share nicely.

Now the actual recipe
         A bag of walnuts (shelled)
         A bag of pecans (shelled)
         A bag of brazil nuts (naked)
.   Chocolate
.   Caramel

Buy a big bag of semi-sweet chocolates unless you find rich dark chocolate bar in your pantry and you are fairly certain they don't belong to the Russian mafia.

If you want to make your own caramel:

         2 cups heavy cream
         1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
         2 cups light corn syrup
         1/2 cup water
         2 cups granulated sugar
         1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes
1. Prepare a large pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Construct your turtles according to the above diagram.
2. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. You want the milk and cream to be warm, but do not allow it to boil.
3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves.
4. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until it reaches 250 degrees.
5. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees.
6. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook until the thermometer reads 244, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.
NOTE: You can skip 2-6 and just buy caramel cubes at the store and melt them. But make sure you unwrap them or you'll make a terrible inedible mess.
7. Remove the caramel from the heat  and allow it to cool slightly then generously spoon on your turtle structure.  Be sure the caramel covers half the pecan legs and half the brazil nut head.
8. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler (or a microwave) then spoon it on top of the caramel
9. Cool your newly formed turtles in the refrigerator if you can find room.  If you leave them out on the counter, they will mysteriously disappear. 

Disclaimer: Liza makes no promises this will turn out well because she doesn't follow recipes. Nor if you use bars of fine dark chocolate can she promise Ivan the Russian mafia cook won't come after you.

Liza: Hope you have better luck with it than Carrie, because she's still apologizing for her turtles, two books later.
Worst Week Ever
by Liza O'Connor

New Adult, Humorous, Contemporary


What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?

Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever.

Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant (or as his drivers refers to Carrie: 'Trent's brain, left hand, and right hand'. He's had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he's threatened to fire her, he's not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction, that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson's Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form. (Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.)

And here's an Excerpt featuring Ivan the Cook and the turtles.

Sam hurried to the back entrance where he had to use both a security card and a physical key in a dead bolt. Upon entering, he turned and secured the lock, hearing the click as the security bolt fell into place. However, the click that echoed it sounded all too familiar and had nothing to do with a door.
He slowly raised his hands. “Take my money. I’m not going to fight you over it.”
“I don’t want your money. I want my chocolate bars,” a man with a familiar Russian accent replied.
“Ivan?” He lowered his hands and faced the chef. “Damn man, you scared me half to death!”
“You will be dead if you don’t return my chocolate.”
Sam really didn’t want to die yet, and certainly not for bars of chocolate, but that outcome seemed all too likely. Some serious firepower stared at him down a well-used, battle scarred silencer.
“With your left hand, slowly remove the gun you carry under your left arm.”
“I’m not terribly flexible.”
“Do it or I shoot you in the kneecap.”
Sam twisted his left hand to reach underneath his left armpit and, other than a bit of discomfort, found nothing. He’d left his gun at Dawn’s house. “I forgot my gun. I had a fight with my girlfriend and stormed out of her apartment.”
Ivan didn’t believe him until Sam stripped down naked
Once convinced Sam was truly unarmed, Ivan nudged him with his gun to the main room. Two U.S. army duffle bags, stuffed to the brim, one his, one Mars’, sat on the floor
“Am I going somewhere?” Sam asked.
“No, but they’ll get me through customs and out of the country faster.”
Ivan’s plan to take the duffle bag Sam had earned with four years of hard service in Iraq pissed him off more than threats of death or forced nakedness.
“Mars and I are kind of attached to those bags.”
“Cut the bullshit and tell me where my chocolate bars are.”
Sam decided to play dumb. “I’ve heard of people addicted to chocolate, but Ivan, you’ve gone way overboard, man. You need professional help.”

 Leave a comment with email address to be entered in the Grand Prize Giveaway. 
First Prize = $450+ Gift Card
Second Prize = 1 eBook from each participating Author
I'll be giving a free copy of Worst Week Ever EACH DAY away to EACH commenter who also likes my author page AND signs up for my monthly humorous newsletter.

Otherwise you can buy it at all these places:

Author Links


Trailer Link for Worst Week Ever Trailer

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  1. This sounds like a great recipe. Loved the book. Tweeted.

  2. That recipe sounds delicious, gaining weight just reading about it.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  3. This was a rather hilarious stop on the blog hop! It took me a little while to stop laughing in order to type up this reply (it's hard to type while trying to wipe up the coffee that wasn't exactly contained in your mouth when you weren't expecting to laugh while hoping along :P ) I am really looking forward to finding out more about the "A Long Road to Love" series! Thank you for the author page link and the newsletter link and also thank you for the recipe for the Chocolate Turtles. I am definitely going to give them a try!

    Thank you and I hope everyone has the happiest of holidays imaginable!

    Shelly H

    1. Thank you for such exuberant appreciation. Most of my blogs require a spew alert, so stop by more often sans liquids.

    2. I'll be sending out your copy of Worst Week Eve at the end of the night

  4. Thank you so much for the incredible recipe and for joining the giveaway!

  5. Thanks for sharing Liz;) Recipe sounds does the book:) Congrats!!

  6. Oops, forgot my contact info - kaydeeroyal AT msn DOT com

  7. My mom's favorite candy was turtles. We always got her a box for her birthday and Christmas presents. I'm sure they didn't use Russian Mafia chocolate but I'm also sure I can't make them. You already read about how inept I am in the kitchen. So I'll keep buying them and hope that I don't accidentally get Russian Mafia chocolate.

    I wish you many sales on your book! I loved the idea and excerpt. I'm also glad Trent is going to get his own story. And maybe be redeemed.

    daringzoey at

  8. Thank you for the awesome giveaway. I love homemade mashed potatoes.

  9. Ok so I am not stealing any chocolate from Ivan :) Thanks for the except and for the turtle recipe... I liked you page and signed up for newsletter.

    1. Smart woman and thanks for the signup. I'll send you Worst Week Ever at the end of the night.

  10. The chocolate looks awesome, I'm going to have to try it! I signed up for your newsletter and liked your author page as well! Thank you!

    1. That chocolate does look good, doesn't it. First edible thing I've ever painted that looks edible. I'll be sending you out a copy of Worst Week Ever tonight.

  11. These little treats look wonderful. I could see myself whipping these up when anyone pops over. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Can't wait too make the turtles the kids will love them! Liked author pg on facebook and signed up for your newsletter!

    1. Kids love them because they are toys that can be eaten.

      I'll be sending out your copy of the funniest book I've ever written this evening.

  13. I understand Ivans obsession...I feel that way myself about my!!! You lose some of that after becoming a mom though, Excerpt looked great! I liked your fB page and joined your mailing list!! Look forward to more adventures in humor!!

    1. And you will receive it. I'll send you Worst Week Ever this evening. (11/14) Don't drink when reading. HUGE spewing risk.

  14. Should I try the recipe or read the book? I think both is in order. I love Liza's books!

  15. Nice recipe. Thanks for the giveaway! Happy Thanksgiving!

    mimismithblue AT gmail DOT com

  16. OMG those look fabulous. Thanks for posting that recipe.

  17. This is why I love blog hops. I get to find amazing (new to me) authors & wonderful recipes Big Hugs & thanks. I liked your fb & added my email :D Cant wait to get to know u & you books & blog :D Big Hugs

    Missie Jones
    missie25524 (at) netzero (dot) com

    1. I'll send you a copy of Worst Week Ever this evening. Prepare to laugh...Some have advised against reading it in public. (People stare at you when you laugh aloud.)

  18. lol - wandering body parts and naked Brazil nuts - too much for me to handle. I love turtles. Will have to try this recipe.

    1. I imagine all author will read 'wandering body parts' as an editing nightmare...

  19. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    Followed your newsletter and liked you on FB

  20. Love the turtles! If I make them I'll be very careful about where my chocolate comes from (though imported dark chocolate does sound pretty delicious)

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

    1. Yes, Carrie is still apologizing for her turtles two books later.

  21. thanks for joining the hop

    ashlynnwiliams81 at gmail dot come

  22. sadly people in our house are allergic to nuts, so no turtles for us.

    1. That is a terrible and dangerous allergy. You have my sympathies.

  23. Anything with chocolate can't be half bad, right?

    The book sounds great, I'm definitely TBR'ing it!

    I've also liked your author page and signed up for your newsletter :) (on fb I am Liz Ziol******)

    nice to meet you!


    liz at fictional candy dot com

    1. Thanks for the support. I'll send you out a copy of Worst Week Ever this evening.

  24. love the recipe! I'm gaining weight following the blog hop! lol
    I also liked your author page & signed up for your newsletter

  25. Well, I'll be sending you Worst Week Ever later tonight. And I agree with you about the blogs. I keep wandering to the kitchen after I visit a blog searching for chocolate.

  26. I think I need to make candy this year. Too many awesome cady recipes keep crossing my path. Yumm delphinareadstoomuch at

    1. Yes, this blog hop will end any diet that exists.

  27. Well, it worked for me. I haven't smiled in awhile and I am still smiling. I loved the trailer and I think, well I know I would enjoy your story, it's brilliant. I have yet to make all my rounds but I love the turtle. I took a picture of it and of the recipe. I definitely would love to make this one day. I will make it one day. I loved it and it really does look like a turtle. That's great!
    I just wanted to say thank you for bringing some light back in my life. I've been overwhelmed since my husband's job closed down and we're barely paying the bills with what unemployment he gets. I think this is a precious gift that you all have gotten together to do.I tried early on to start early by entering giveaway after giveaway, until I was entering 20&30 at a time. I just was trying to win Amazon gift cards, even if they were $1 because I know every dollar helps. I wasn't lucky at all. I found this giveaway and I would jump up and down, cry, and be so grateful to win but if I don't then it will have to be ok. I've struggled all my life and I will make it up to my daughter somehow, someway. I think this is a great thing you all are doing.

    1. I hope things get better for you Angie, and any time you need a laugh stop by my blog and have one on the house. :)

  28. This is a great excerpt! Going to add to my tbr list! What a funny recipe! I think I will buy my turtles instead of making them! Thanks and have a great day!

    1. Thanks Amy. It's always safer to buy Turtles assembled, but you'll rarely find one using Brazil, walnut and pecans.

  29. Enjoyed the excerpt.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  30. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com (subscribed)
    GFC: BookAttict
    G+: Book Attict

    1. Thanks! I'll be sending you Worst Week Ever today

  31. Chocolate, Caramel, and Books....what a great combination.
    Thanks for the recipe and for a new book to read.
    FB liked-Michelle Bledsoe
    Email sign up-koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  32. Thanks for the amazing hop.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  33. Sounds delicious, I love turtles!

  34. Sounds delicious hope I have as much fun when I try it. Thanks for sharing the hop and giveaways. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season. evamillien at gmail dot com

  35. Sounds yummy. Love the tie in to the book

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  36. Thank you for participating. :)
    trb0917 at gmail dot com

  37. I love Turtles!! Thanks for the recipe and the excerpt!!!
    jasdarts at hotmail dot com

  38. Aww! Cute and delicious! Turtles are my mommas favorite! This recipe is a must read! Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway!! Your book looks awesome! Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  39. Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  40. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, blurb and giveaway. I'm love chocolate,so this recipe is up my alley. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
    Koala571 (at) msn (dot) com

  41. OMG, I love turtles!! Can't wait to try this!

    Thank you so much for being part of this wonderful hop.

  42. Thank you for being part of the hop. mrscrabbyfan(at)gmail(dot)com


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