Category Archives: Marcella Bernard

Darker Temptations Relaunch: Secrets, Surprises and #Giveaways

As you may have noticed, Darker Temptations has been undergoing some changes.  Its time for a relaunch.

So what’s new?  We’ll still be blogging a common theme every two weeks, two themes per month. But not daily and with a leaner team of bloggers.  Now we’ll be here every Tuesday and Thursday, blogging on paranormal and science fiction mysteries, romance, evil doers and much, much more.  We may even write an original story or two.  And it starts now!  With a party.  Come join us for…

champagne glasses


At most great parties, secrets are spilled.  And this is a great party, so we’ll share our secrets for the first theme. Each one of us–Marcella Burnard, Tina Christopher, Sabrina Garie and Viki Lyn–will reveal one secret about ourselves in our post. It can be anything. And we mean anything.

Don’t feel left out. We’d love for you to share your secrets with us. We won’t tell. 😉  Shy?  No problem, just  share your insights on our secrets.  We’re offering incentives.

Surprise Giveaways

At the end of our two weeks of secrets, they’ll be an author gift basket giveaway.  Each author gets to choose from one of the following three items to put in the basket:  1) an ebook; 2) a print book; or 3) a gift card.  We aren’t telling. Secrets, remember?  So the winner will receive four surprise prizes.

How do you win?

Easy. Comment on the blog post of our authors.  All commenters will be assigned a number and entered into a raffle. A winner will be chosen with, which selects numbers at–you guessed it–random.  You can increase your chances of winning by commenting on several authors’ posts. There are four of us, so if you comment on all four of our blog posts, we will assign you four number in the raffle. If you comment on just three, then you’ll be assigned three numbers, and so forth.

Come and join the fun.  What’s your secret?


Darker Temptations Holiday Kindle and Book Bundle Giveaway!

Update: While the Kindle Contest is running, this post will stay at the top of the blog. Please scroll down for new posts. Thank you!

Hello everyone! We have a HUGE holiday giveaway going on this month at Darker Temptations—A Kindle and a bundle of fabulous books.  The winner will be a random commenter from any post between now and December 19th. It’s that easy.  Check out the official rules below.

*Hi folks! Erin here adding that these are ebooks for your new kindle:

Erin Kellison:  SHADOWMAN and e-novella SHADOW TOUCH
Marcella Burnard:  Winner’s choice of either ENEMY WITHIN (book 1) or ENEMY GAMES (book 2)
Danica Avet: Winner’s Choice of either RUBY: UNCUT AND ON THE LOOSE or SUCCUBUS-IN-WAITING
Rebecca Zanetti: Winner’s choice of either FATED or CLAIMED
Cynthia Eden: ANGEL OF DARKNESS and my two e-novellas: BOUND BY BLOOD and BOUND IN DARKNESS

Open to all readers, 18 years or older, in US or Canada, who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Grand prize winner drawn randomly by By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the contest sponsor. Winner will be notified via email and posted on the blog.

Maple Pumpkin Pie

I’m evil. I freely admit this. Thus, I gleefully bring you one of my family’s favorite recipes for the season. This came from Bon Appetit Magazine (when they were – you know – still actually a magazine and not a memory).

Maple Pumpkin Pie

  • One can of plain solid pack pumpkin (not pie mix)
  • 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup

Mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin, then mix in the liquids. Pour into pie shells and bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean about 35-40 minutes. (This will depend entirely one whether you’re using 8″ shells, 9″ shells, deep dish, etc – this part is art rather than science.) Serve with whipped cream slightly sweetened with maple syrup. OPTION: I like cloves in my pumpkin pie. Hubby does not. The recipe doesn’t call for them, but when I make a batch for me, I add a scant 1/8 tsp of cloves.

This pie is slightly less sweet than other pumpkin pies you’ve had. But rich? Oh my, yes. Quite a diet bomb. I make it to recipe once a year for Thanksgiving dinner. The rest of the time, I modify it to accommodate the dieting members of the household. Here’s the ‘not such a diet bomb’ version:

  • 1 can of plain, solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 3/4 cup of Egg Beaters or other egg substitute
  • 1 cup lowfat or fatfree evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup

Since pie shells are a huge fat hit, we forgo crusts altogether. Pour the batter into ramekins, place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake at 350. These will take no more than 20 minutes or so, depending on the size of the dishes. The custard will puff up. Jiggle the cookie sheet. If there’s no liquid motion to the custard, begin checking with toothpicks for doneness.

This recipe can also sub in evaporated goat’s milk (Meyenberg is the brand I see in stores) if someone has milk sensitivity. This lower fat/no fat version of the custard won’t be as smooth and velvety as the original recipe, but it is still very tasty and the calorie hit is no where near whallop. If you want to reduce the sugar rush, use 1/2 a cup of egg substitute and one real egg. Use lowfat rather than fat free evaporated milk. The fat helps mitigate sugar absorption a touch. While maple syrup is a far less refined product that white sugar, it is still sugar – it will just hit your system a little bit slower when buffered by the fiber in the pumpkin and the fat in the egg and milk.

If, like me, the whole point of having pumpkin pie or pumpkin custard (as we call the crustless version) is to put whipped cream on top, try lowfat vanilla yogurt as a lower calorie stand in. I won’t lie. It’s not the same. But it’s not bad.

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