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Okay, much to my mother--and probably mother-in-law's--chagrin, I am not Suzy Homemaker. But Halloween + author friends + competitive baking?! SIGN ME UP.

I based my entry on my love for dystopian fiction. Societies where every move you make is scrutinized freaks me the heck out. Teri Hall's THE LINE, Pam Bachorz' CANDOR, Suzanne Collins' THE HUNGER GAMES, and classics such as 1984, THE HANDMAID'S TALE and BRAVE NEW WORLD are some of my favorites.

So I chose to make All-Seeing Eyeball Cupcakes!!



Here's a close shot:



Inside (what you can barely see are the "bloody" red streaks through the cake--but in person they look awesome):


To make your very own All-Seeing-Eyeball Cupcakes:

- Whip up some yellow cake batter
- Add several drops of red food coloring to the batter. Do NOT mix the food coloring all the way--you are going for pinky-red streaks.
- Bake cupcakes as directed and let cool.
- Frost with white frosting (sorry, prncssdidi - I used store bought) and sprinkle with white sparkle sugar to get that glistening effect.
- Dot the top with gummi ring candy (I used Peach Rings) and use dark M&M's for the pupil
- Skinny licorice whips make great lids and bloody veins.
- Sprinkle red sparkle sugar for those last dashes of gory bloodshot detailing.

Enjoy...if you can get past the guilt of having your dessert watch you eat it! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!


The Creepy Cake N Bake-a-Thon is ON! Vote for your favorite entry by commenting below. You can comment on EVERY Cake N Bake post, one entry per post, for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate from Barnes and Noble or an official Creepy Cake N Bake doll! Please include your email in order to be entered to win.

Trophies will be awarded on Halloween for the top creeptastic creations. Winners will be chosen by our special Celebrity Judge, Adam Rex, author of such deliciously creepy creations such as FAT VAMPIRE, FRANKENSTEIN TAKES THE CAKE, FRANKENSTEIN MAKES A SANDWICH, and PSSST!

Check the list of contestants and their post dates so you don't miss any of the fun:


Mon Oct. 3 - Saundra Mitchell - Zombaby Bread!
Wed Oct 5 - Stacey Jay - Insane Clown Zombies!
Friday Oct 7 - Erin Dionne
Saturday Oct 8 - Sydney Salter
Mon Oct 10 - Brenna Yovanoff
Wed Oct 12 - Tara Hudson
Friday Oct 14 - Karen Healey
Saturday Oct 15 - Robin Bridges
Mon Oct 17 - Michelle Zink
Wed Oct 19 - Julia Karr
Friday Oct 21 - Victoria Schwab
Saturday Oct 22 -
C.Lee McKenzie
Sunday Oct 23 - E. Kristin Anderson
Mon Oct 24 - Natalie Zaman
Wed Oct 26 - Stephanie Burgis
Friday Oct 28 - Dawn Metcalf


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Red velvet goodness

Tonight, I did something I haven't done in a long, long time:

Baked cupcakes.

I love to bake. And cupcakes are the dessert equivalent of pizza: one of the world's most perfect foods. However, time constraints usually get in my way, and Nestle Break n' Bake cookies have (sadly) become my best friend as of late, especially when it comes to bringing treats to school. Not today!!

Tonight, I whipped out the Blue Rocket, my KitchenAid mixer (which, as you can imagine, doesn't get much action) and cracked open a tube of Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcake Mix to get down to business. Yes--I know--I'm supposed to bake from scratch. But YOU buy a tube of this Beverly Hills cupcake mix (or get someone to give it to you as a gift, like Stylish Sis did for me), follow the directions explicitly, and see if you don't forsake your flour sifter for the pretty brown can. Dare you.

When I was done creaming the butter, mixing the vinegar and milk (yes--try it, I tell you!), and blending the whole concoction in the Rocket, it looked as though an unspeakable crime had taken place in my kitchen: deep red flecks of batter dotted the counter, and a bloody-looking bowl rested in the sink. Oh, that batter tempted this pregnant woman the way a blonde in a Corvette taunts a middle aged man. I had to restrain myself from going at it with a spoon in each hand.

The idea is that FH and I will enjoy these treats as our dessert tomorrow after our Valentine's Day dinner. Thus far, I have been able to resist their tempting aroma. I wonder how many will be left when I get home after work tomorrow? Bets, anyone?


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News

• MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING (Dial 2013) was highlighted in the Atlantic Wire's Summer Reading Roundup!

• TOTAL TRAGEDY was named to the master list of Massachusetts Children's Book Awards 2013-2014

• New book alert! MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING will be in stores July 11 2013

• NOTES FROM AN ACCIDENTAL BAND GEEK is out in paperback! And it's on the Texas Lone Star List!

• TOTAL TRAGEDY has been named to the Texas Lone Star list as well as Kansas' KNEA Reading Circle catalog (with a starred recommendation)

• TOTAL TRAGEDY is out in paperback! Ask for it at a bookstore near you.

• TOTAL TRAGEDY has gone into its third printing! Thanks to everyone who bought it!

• MODELS has gone into its fifth printing! Thank you!!

• Have you seen the TT trailer? Go here & check it out:
http://bit.ly/b5xeGw


• Disney's Family Fun Magazine and Girl's Life mag both loved TT! Check out the reviews in their February issues!

• I've signed stock recently at the following stores:
- Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA

• Booklist says, "Some sisterly bonding, the sweet flutterings of a first romance, and a creatively contrived comeuppance for the mean girls make [TOTAL TRAGEDY] a cheerful read for younger middle-schoolers."