Evelyn Chartres Author

Review woes?

Got my first review on Amazon today. Normally I’d be excited, but it came in at two stars. By itself that may not be a bad thing, however it speaks exclusively as to not liking how I italicize words that are slang from the period.

I have no idea if this book is any good or not. I couldn't get past the first few pages because of all the random words that were unnecessarily italicized. Really drew me out of he (sic) story and made it impossible to read. If that was fixed then who knows, might be a great book.

It is their opinion and they do say they don’t know of the book is good. Still, would have been nice to see a positive review first! Oh well.

Beef and Macaroni au Four

Ground beef and macaroni with a pasta sauce is pretty much a staple of Canadian cooking. There is also seems to be no end in sight for variants on this particular dish and it is readily available in stores.

This variant is quick and easy to make. I use melt some shredded cheese on top using an oven. While I use a four-cheese or Portobello mushroom pasta sauce, any variants that catch your eye will do!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (225 g) of elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter
  • 1 pound (450 g) of ground beef
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of finely chopped roasted red peppers
  • 2 cloves (5-10 mg) of pressed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of pepper
  • 22 fluid ounces (650 ml) of pasta sauce
  • ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (per portion)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare macaroni in accordance with package instructions.
  3. In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Add beef, onions, red peppers, garlic and seasoning.
  5. Cook until meat is no longer pink, then drain meat.
  6. Return to heating element then add pasta sauce and macaroni.  Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
  7. Place a portion in a stoneware dish then cover in shredded cheese. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

The Grand – One Week Later

The Grand has been officially out for about a week now. I posted the announcement was on my social networking accounts along with a few groups. This release also enabled me to dabble with some advertising campaigns on Amazon, Facebook and Fiverr, to gain some insight with the tools.

Since The Grand has been officially out, almost 400 copies of the book have been downloaded on both Smashwords and Amazon! The book is seeing much more traffic than The Portrait, which I expected since this is a new release.

Of note, 100 copies of the book were downloaded before the official release. The Grand has been available for almost a month of certain sites, enabling me to widen availability and make it free on every site before release. Despite there being no involvement on my part, the book was being downloaded regularly on sites where the book was free.

Another interesting anomaly The Grand was ranked at 7,861 (266 for Horror) on Amazon the day after it was released. Currently it is ranked at 16,518 (435 for Horror) even with a noticeable spike generated by an ad campaign setup through Fiverr. There seems to be no real correlation between ranking and downloads.

I’m also a bit curious as to why it is ranked under Gothic and Fantasy Romance on Amazon. Although I have a feeling the answer would blow my mind!

The Grand is Out! Time to Celebrate?

Even things that go bump in the night need a place to unwind

The Grand is officially out and available on multiple platforms, formats and even in print! From Amazon to Smashwords the eBook is freely available for your delight. So time to celebrate? At least get to enjoy the doughnut!

The Grand shown in multiple formats, including print

Now for a little something about the Grand.

Nestled atop a cliff overlooking a cursed valley and surrounded by foreboding mountains you will find The Grand. At this ritzy French palatial-style hotel where things tend to go terribly wrong for some. This hotel is not only for the rich and famous but a favoured destination for things that go bump in the night.

Available free on:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indigo
Kobo
Smashwords
Scribd

Available in print on:
CreateSpace
Amazon.com

The Grand is a collection of Gothic horror stories that revolve around a town prosecutor who accidentally discovers a series of grizzly case files. Individual stories incorporate supernatural themes based in the Roaring Twenties to create a rich historical, linguistic and cultural backdrop.

Centred on victims of the Grand, each story brings a different point of view related to the hotel, their staff and esteemed guests.

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Aiglefin au Gratin

Haddock au Gratin

A lot of people I know avoid eating fish. They either do not like the texture or the taste; at least until they try this recipe.

This recipe combines Haddock with an easy to make cheese sauce and Panko breadcrumbs. For this recipe, haddock can be substituted with Cod, Tilapia or any other fish that strikes your fancy!

Ingredients

  • 1¼ pound (575 g) of fillets of haddock
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) or 1½ ounces (45 g) of fine chopped onions
  • 2 cloves (5-10 g) of pressed garlic
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.625 ml) of cumin
  • 5 cups (1,200 ml) or about 12 ounces (340 g) of old cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of flour
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of pepper
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of Panko breadcrumbs

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Thaw and pat dry fish fillets.
  3. In a greased 12×9 inch casserole dish, line bottom with fillets.
  4. In a small pan melt 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter over medium heat.
  5. Add onions, garlic and cumin. Sauté until onions are transparent.
  6. Spread sautéed onions and garlic over fillets.
  7. Shred cheddar cheese and set aside.
  8. Use a 1.5 quart (1.4 l) saucepan on medium heat; melt butter then add flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  9. While stirring, add milk gradually and make sure there are no lumps.
  10. Gradually add three cups (700 ml) of cheese to the saucepan. Continue stirring to integrate the cheese.
  11. Add Italian seasoning and pepper to sauce. Stir then remove from heat.
  12. Cover fish fillets with cheese sauce, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and breadcrumbs.
  13. Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has browned. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.