How to Make Caramel Popcorn–and General Update

The senior kidlet, who is a gourmet, has written a recipe post for the blog.  And lo and behold, he sounds exactly like the smart-aleck fourteen-year-old he is. 🙂  And he also sounds like he is talking to a bunch of other teenagers, rather than to ladies of his mother’s generation.  But oh well.  I have some general update following the recipe.

And if you need a query consultation, I have one up for bit at the Brenda Novak Diabetes Research Auction.

Caramel Popcorn

Hi I’m John a.k.a the senior kidlet. First off, this blog is pretty cool. Do i sound immature? Never mind.  If you don’t already know I’ve been on a cooking spree for a while now. Most of the time  I make slightly more complicated dishes than caramel popcorn but I just had to share this one because it’s just so delicious, easy to make and not expensive either.  This is great food for any sports event on TV, a movie you rented and brought home, or just a quick snack. Do you really want to know this recipe? I bet you do, you wanna know how I know it’s cause I’m a psychic. Not. All right, on to the recipe.

Acquire a bag of popcorn and about 1/3 cup of sugar. You can use more or less sugar and you can pop your own corn rather than a bag if you please.

Get a small pot

Put in the same amount of water as sugar in the pot.

Add the sugar.

Find yourself something to stir the mixture with. The chopsticks of Fire Flash are my choice but anything will do.

Stir! Stir you scurvy dogs!

Turn the heat up to High and stir until sugar is dissolved. You should probably put the popcorn bag in microwave now but if you’re making it in a kettle you should start a little earlier.







Put the popcorn in a big bowl and keep it nearby.



This is what it looks like before turning into caramel. I usually pour it in now because it’s much easier to pour and I think it tastes better as well.


Make sure that you stir it together and make sure nothing is sticking at the bottom

This is what it looks like in the end. Yeah not much but I assure you in the strictest confidence. It’s good.



This is a piece that is (expletive deleted by Mom) loaded with caramel you can mix and match as you please.



Just how good it is.

(Thank you, Sr. Kidlet, now back to Mom.)

General Update

I have finished the first book in the trilogy!  Woot!  It is very exciting–especially more so as the book hasn’t given me anywhere as much trouble as HIS AT NIGHT did.  I am full of cuddly feelings right now.

OK, so the truth is, the scaffolding is all done, but the plasterwork and the wiring and the interior decoration still leave much to be desired.  So as I go full steam at Book 2–2.5 weeks to deadline and 30k words to go–I’ll have to revise Book 1 as I go.  But a good scaffolding has always been my greatest problem in the past, so I am happy to have that out of the way.

The Harlequin title for Book 2, btw, is EIGHT YEARS AS A VIRGIN BRIDE–AND HOW IT ALL ENDED.  🙂

(There are no official titles for any of them yet.  Will be hashed out during cover meetings, which are to take place soon at Berkley, from what I understand.)

And of course, what is a general update post without a couple of foreign covers?

Portuguese PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS, the title of which translates into AN ALMOST PERFECT LOVE.

Japanese NOT QUITE A HUSBAND, which they call AWAKENING OF LOVE BURNING.  Me like.  🙂

And don’t forget that Meredith’s new book will be out in soon.  The excerpt is on her website.  I have the link to it in the sidebar.  Read and love.  In the meanwhile, I return to work and will–I devoutly hope–post the next update after both Books 1 & 2 have been turned in at the beginning of June.  Keep well and happy reading.



15 thoughts on “How to Make Caramel Popcorn–and General Update”

  1. Keep writing! Keep writing! Sounds like you are doing great so far.

    Nice popcorn recipe–looks easy enough–I’m wary of candy making because I don’t like the discipline of thermometers. I have a candied popcorn recipe made with cinnamon red hots, butter, and corn syrup all melted over the stovetop that I make as gifts every Christmas. Super healthy 😉 Your boy has a great breezy writing style–tell him you can sense his coolness right through the computer screen. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the recipe, Sr. Kidlet. I like caramel corn, but have never attempted to make it.

    Sherry, Congratulations on finishing Book 1. Were you writing the second book concurrently to have a deadline of only 2.5 weeks or did you mean 2.5 months? As an author, can you be objective and know when a book is not working or does it take your editor to point out needed character/plot changes?

    • 1.5 weeks left. Yes I was writing the books concurrently.

      As to your second question, yes, sometimes I can tell when a book is not working. It is a rare book that at some point I don’t go in and strip everything out. And mind you, even when I change a lot of things, I have, historically, still needed very strong input, i.e., “This sucks. Go make it better.” 🙂 Nowadays I kind of thrive on that kind of feedback.

      My main litmus test is my gut. I get a certain sensation in my stomach when everything falls into piece, when I know a plot/conflict/relationship cannot be handled any other way but the way it is done.

      (Sometimes I lose all judgment. I have a finished contemporary romance that my agent hated. I am so biased toward it that I needed a second read. Even when I got back the exact same opinion–in softer terms–I still look at it with rose-tinted lenses. )

  3. I just may have my personal assistant try out that recipe 🙂

    Way to go on finishing Book 1. I don’t know how writers find the discipline to write, let alone tackle multiple books. I’m in awe of your tenacity.

  4. Did you ever consider writing a blog post/workshop about tips on how to write a query letter? (Or is there one already that I haven’t found?). I for one would love to read what you’d have to say on the subject, and I’m sure there are many others who’d be interested. You’re famous for being the Goddes of Query Letters. 🙂


    • If you need some query help right away, my agent Kristin Nelson has some great query tips and examples on her blog.

      I do conduct an in-person workshop from time to time at my local RWA chapter, maybe I ought to propose it at Nationals next year.

      But here is the short and fast rule for me when it comes to query writing: Always remember that your goal is not to explain, but to entice. What entices? High-stake conflict. Put your sexiest/thrilling-est/most gut-wrenching conflict front and center.

      And a corollary: Don’t be vague. Don’t say you have high-stake conflict–that’s non-specific. Tell the agent exactly what it is.

      • Thanks for the tips, Sherry! Yup, I’ve read everything about queries on Kristin’s blog. I like her method of focusing on the first 50 pages of the novel, it makes it easier somehow. Although, when I showed such a version of my query to some people who’ve read my novel, they went “But… why don’t you speak about the Great Conflict of the Second Half?” Which seems to be along the same lines as what you’re suggesting. (So far, the consensus on my first draft after attempting this method seems to be “confusing”.)

        Anyway, I’m sure a query workshop from you would be much appreciated at Nationals! For myself, it’s a bit too far as I live in Europe. 🙂


        • Hi Selene,

          Okay, brace yourself. Since you brought it up, I am obligated to ask, why is the Great Conflict only there in the SECOND half? The Great Conflict should be evident from page one–or at least by the end of Chapter 3. What is going on in the first half of the book that is taking you so long to get to the Great Conflict? And is there anything you can do to introduce the Great Conflict much, much sooner?

          This is not just for the sake of the query, by the way, but for the sake of the book. When you Great Conflict starts, is when you book actually starts.

          • Heh, heh, you’re right of course, put like that the book sounds really dull.

            I wouldn’t call it a mystery, as it’s not a whodunnit and doesn’t include any bodies in the murdered sense, but it has a bit of the same structure. My heroine tries to find out what the heck is going on while keeping herself in one piece. Things escalate. The payoff is in the end, when my intrepid heroine figures it all out and is faced with the Big Choice, of which both options are less than stellar. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t sort of thing.

            So, some of my query-beta-readers who’ve actually read the book wanted me to lead up to and include that choice in the query, whereas I instead was focusing on the conflict and mystery she faces early on.

            Does that make any sense at all?


  5. Haha, your kid can write! =) It runs in the family…..

    I’m so happy that book 1 is almost done. I’m dying for more Sherry Thomas and I was like May/June is here but no sherry thomas….

    book 2 Harlequin title sounds hilarious.. what was book 1?

    • Thank you. The kid certainly has his own voice. Cocky youngsters.

      Book 1’s Harlequin Title would have been something like “What Not To Do When Seducing a Duke.” Or “Surprise! The Duke’s Vengeful Mistress.” Not quite as much fun. Or maybe “Vendetta: Darkly Fornicating with the Duke.”

      Hmm, I kinda like the third one. 🙂

  6. Terrific news! Although “His At Night” gave you trouble, I’m so glad you persevered because it is one of my favorites!

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