We are so happy to welcome back fun, contemporary author Maria Geraci to The Romance Dish! I say fun because her books are so much fun to read! She is the author of the popular Bunco Babes Tell All and Bunco Babes Gone Wild. Read Andrea's review of the latter here. Her newest, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, releases today! Read Andrea's review below. Needless to say, she enjoyed it! Welcome, Maria!
by Maria Geraci
Thank you to the wonderful ladies of The Romance Dish for having me here today! I’m excited to be talking about my new release, The Boyfriend of the Month Club and holiday traditions.
The Boyfriend of the Month Club is a romantic comedy about a woman who turns her dysfunctional book club into a boyfriend club, where members come together to discuss the men they’ve dated, comparing them to classic literary heroes and villains. Here’s the back cover blurb:
At thirty, Grace O’Bryan has dated every loser that Daytona Beach has to offer. After the ultimate date from hell, Grace decides to take matters in her own hands and turns her dwindling book club into a boyfriend of the month club, where women can come together to discuss the eligible men in their community. Where are the real live twenty-first century versions of literary heroes such as Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy?
Could it be successful and handsome Brandon Farrell, who is willing to overlook his disastrous first date with Grace and offers financial help for her parents’ failing Florida gift shop? Or maybe sexy dentist Joe Rosenblum, who’s great with a smile but not so great with commitment? Unfortunately, just like books, men cannot always be judged by their covers...
This book was a lot of fun for me to write, especially because my main character, Grace, is half-Cuban. I’m Cuban-American myself, and I gave Grace a really quirky family, including her Cuban grandmother, Abuela. Abuela is a font of wisdom. After Grace “messes” up with Joe, her dentist, she goes to Abuela for some sage advice.
Abuela managed to keep one eye on the screen and gaze at Grace at the same time. “What’s the problem, mi amor?”
“I need to apologize to someone. I was thinking maybe a nice card or—”
“Man or woman?”
Grace hesitated. “Man.”
“Flan,” Abuela blurted. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. When your abuelo Pedro was courting me, my mother used to make him flan. He couldn’t resist it. Make him a flan and he’ll throw himself at your feet.”
Grace didn’t want Joe at her feet, but maybe Abuela was onto something...
The chapter in which Abuela teaches Grace to make flan was especially near and dear to me. I used my own mother’s traditional flan recipe in the book. If you’re not familiar with flan, it’s a custard like desert. My mom’s recipe uses cream cheese, so this particular flan has a cheesecake like taste to it. It’s delicious and really easy to make, and a holiday tradition around my house.
FLAN DE QUESO
•1 -8 ounce cream cheese
•1 tsp vanilla
•1 can 12 ounces evaporated milk
•1 can 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
•½ cup sugar + 2 cups of sugar for the syrup
•Pinch of salt
Combine all the ingredients (except the 2 cups of sugar) in a blender and set aside.
In a large skillet melt the 2 cups of sugar over medium/high heat until the sugar completely melts into a syrup. Pour the syrup into a baking pan with a circle in the center (like a Bundt pan) making sure to cover as much of the pan’s surface with the syrup as possible. Let it set for a few minutes. Carefully pour the liquid egg mixture in the pan over the set syrup. Place the pan inside a larger pan filled with an inch of hot water (a baño de Maria ) and place the whole thing in a 350 degree oven. Cook for 35-45 minutes until set. Let cool to room temperature and chill well. Before serving, let the chilled flan sit out on the counter for about 20 minutes (so the syrup warms up a bit), then turn onto a plate letting all the syrup drip over the custard. Serve and chill any leftovers.
What holiday deserts do you make every year? Leave a comment, and I’ll randomly select two people to win an autographed copy of The Boyfriend of the Month Club and a special Boyfriend of the Month Club desk top calendar for 2011!
Maria Geraci writes fun, romantic women’s fiction. She lives in north Florida with her husband and children and two dogs and two cats. You can visit her website at http://www.mariageraci.com/ and her facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/MariaGeraciBooks