Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Guest Author Gail Barrett with a Potato Recipe!

Today I have guest author Gail Barrett stopping by. She's got a great new book out this month, and a yummy, easy recipe to share!

To Protect a Princess
Gail Barrett
November 2008
Silhouette Romantic Suspense
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-27608-0
ISBN-10: 0-373-27608-7
Book Two of THE CRUSADERS: Chasing legends, capturing hearts.

Logan Burke is no hero, but princess Dara Adams needs the legendary guide to help her restore an ancient artifact to her people. Logan has vowed never again to take a woman across the treacherous Andes. But with a sniper on Dara's trail, the sexy loner has no choice but to sweep her from harm's way. Searching for the lost Inca city, they journey deeper into the heart of danger -- and discover a passion even more perilous...

"Filled with nonstop action and adventure." Romantic Times - 4-1/2 Stars TOP PICK!!!

You'll find To Protect a Princess in stores nationwide and online. And if you make Gail's potato recipe for dinner, you'll have even more reading time ;-)

Gail Barrett's Easy Potatoes

1-1/4 cups milk (I use nonfat)
3 TB butter
2 cups water
1-1/2 tsp salt

1. Bring that to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Remove from the heat and add the following, stirring until everything is melted:

3 cups potato flakes (they come in a box)
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped chives (dried are okay)

3. Put the mixture in a greased casserole dish. Dot with butter and paprika.

4. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Serve! :-)

Visit Gail's website to read more about her latest releases, and get some behind the scenes looks at her books!



  1. Anonymous7:37 AM

    Hi everyone. I hope you'll take a moment from the election coverage to stop in and say hello!

  2. Hi again. Gail here. I'm trying to post as someone other than anonymous....

  3. LOL, Gail! And you look so much better as yourself than undercover anonymous author! :-)


  4. Cathy Shouse9:09 AM


    I read some of the info. on your blog. Your bio says when you sat down to write romance you realized it was harder than you thought it would be. Would you please explain how you were able to learn the elements from writing your first few books that didn't sell, and how long it took?

    What are your best tips for the rest of us? :)

    How important was going to conferences and making connections?

    Also, was there a process you went through to figure out how to incorporate your travels into romantic suspense?

    You've got a lot of releases coming up. How many books do you write a year? And what was it like signing with Nora Roberts?


  5. Hi, Cathy! When I first started to write, I already did some things well. I understood point of view, and I had a good grasp on conflicts, both internal and external. I understood how to set up a plot, how to have the character grow and change throughout the story. And, in fact, I won the first contest I ever entered, so I thought I was well on my way to publication!!!

    What I didn't understand was how to show the romance developing in a believable way. I fell into the typical beginner's trap of showing conflict-conflict-conflict (with lots of lust thrown in), and then suddenly, the characters were supposed to be in love. It took me awhile to figure out that I also needed to show and prove why they were RIGHT for each other.

    I'm not sure when that realization struck. The first book I sold was the sixth full novel I'd written (with various partials thrown in.) I read every how-to-write book I could find. I listened to tons of RWA tapes on writing. I religiously attended my local chapter meetings, and of course, I read my target line (Silhouette Intimate Moments) as much as I could.

    I believe that all those workshops helped me enormously. I don't think that networking was a factor, just the workshops about writing technique and also the business in general. I finally sold through a contest.

    I think I learned from every failed attempt. I'm still learning. I keep setting the bar higher, and perfection looks farther away with each book!!!

    As far as the travels go, I love settings. I am very influenced by what is around me. I really enjoy setting my books in different locations. It gives me an excuse to travel and see new places. Peru lent itself really well to the suspense aspects because of the misty mountains and ruins.

    More in a minute....

  6. (Part two).

    Right now I'm writing two books a year, but I'm hoping to increase my output.

    And signing with Nora is amazing. Her fans come from all over the region and line up for hours to see her. It is really fun and exciting to participate. And by the way, I'm doing another signing with her on December 6th, so if anyone is in Maryland......

  7. Gail,

    Thank you for the potato recipe. I've been looking for new ways to use the fake potatoes. Your recipe is actually low salt! Husband is on a restrictive diet so, I am always looking for low salt/low fat stuff.

  8. Michelle S. (Micki from JWI)11:31 AM

    Fake potatoes! LOL I've got a great recipe for hamburger pie that uses "fake potatoes." I just don't have any tater flakes right now, so it's crockpot stew day with a snowstorm moving in.

    Anyhoo, Gail, was the trip to Peru tax deductible? Research expenses and all. LOL

    How long from the moment you started writing with the intent of being published until you actually achieved it?

    What is your favorite how-to book on writing?


  9. Well, I don't think the recipe is non-fat, but it certainly tastes good. My problem is I have to refrain from eating too much of it!!!

    As far as how long it took me to sell a book....twelve years!!! Actually, for about three of those years I was too depressed to write. I'd been getting so many rejections that I wasn't sure what to do. Then I decided that I was more miserable NOT writing than I was getting rejected, so I started up again.

    So you could say that I wrote six books in nine years (plus those partials). Either way, I was definitely not an overnight success!

    Oh, yes, the Peru trip was definitely tax deductible. I could either deduct it as research, or I could deduct it as a charitable contribution because the medical group I went with is a legitimate charity.

    Favorite "how to" books... One would be Deb Dixon's Goal, Motivation, and Conflict book. Another is Scene and Sequel by Jack Bickham. I'd say those are two great books to read if you haven't already. Another is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King.

  10. I ditto Gail's recommendations for those books! Those are two of my favorites, too!

    And don't feel bad, Gail! I wrote 10 books in 8 years before I sold. I tell everyone I was either a slow learner or a glutton for punishment ;-)



Share a recipe or thought, and remember to visit www.shirleyjump.com to read about Shirley's latest book!