Friday, November 2, 2012

Tina Gayle Doing the Donut Dance with Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz



Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz is an acquisitions editor and author of four upcoming books from 4RV Publishing.  Coming in 2012 are Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch, both middle grade novels, and Boo's Bad Day, a picture book.  Scheduled for publication in 2013 is another picture book, Many Colored Coats.  Penny has been writing for adults and children, professionally, since 1993, with many non-fiction articles and short stories to her credit. She has three romances, Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror, published by MuseItUp Publishing and also works as a line editor for that house.  Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is published by Sam's Dot Publishing.


Penny can be found online at her blog,, and her website,

Hi everyone, my name is Ann. I’m the main character in Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz’s contemporary romance, Love Delivery.

While I wouldn’t say life has been good to me, I am divorced after all, I can’t complain.  I live alone with my cat, Mittens, and I work a short bus ride away from my apartment at a great little independent donut shop.  I’m the day manager, so I start really early.  I have to make sure all the fresh-made donuts are in the trays and fresh coffee is ready for the first customers of the day.

I don’t exactly consider myself gorgeous, what with my pear-shaped body and all, but I get by.  There is a real hunk of a delivery guy, Tom, who comes to the shop on a regular basis. He and I talk and joke a lot.  Sometimes I think he feels like I’m the little sister he never had.  Still…

Guess you’ll have to read Love Delivery to see where my life takes me.

Today, though, I want to share one of the baker’s recipes for making donuts.  First, the ingredients:

2 packages of active dry yeast (or if you use the jar, check the label for the equivalent amount)

¼ cup warm water (around 105 to 115 degrees)

1 ½ cup lukewarm milk…  I like who milk best.

½ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup butter (or shortening, but I love butter)

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 quart of safflower or peanut oil for frying (Olive oil can’t handle the really high heat you need to fry the donuts)

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, stir gently, and let sit about 5 minutes.

Put the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and two cups of flour into a large mixing bowl.  I like to use my heavy-duty mixer.  Mix at a low speed for about two minutes.  Continue mixing at the low speed and slowly add ½ cup of flour at a time until the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  If you’re using a mixer with a dough hook, switch to the dough hook.  If not, remove the batter from the bowl.  Knead for five minutes, either with dough hook or by hand on a floured surface.  Put the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover with a linen towel, and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until double in bulk.

Remove from bowl.  Put on floured surface.  Roll to ½ inch thick.  Using either a glass dusted on the edge with flour or a donut cutter, cut circles from the dough.  If you use the glass, you will need to cut out the center, or depress with your thumb or a spoon.

Now you’re ready to fry.

Use a large pot.  Put in the quart of oil.  The oil needs to be deep enough that your batter will be covered.  Place the pan over high heat and bring to 325 degrees F.  Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.  Lower the heat and maintain 325 degrees.  If the temperature drops, raise the heat a bit.

When the oil is ready, use a long-handled slotted spoon to immerse the donuts, one at a time, into the oil.  Be sure you don’t crowd the pot.  When they turn golden brown, they’re ready.  Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to cool.

While they are still slightly warm, roll in confectionary sugar, dip in melted chocolate, or drizzle with icing.  You can also add sprinkles.

I know donuts aren’t very healthy, so I don’t eat them very often.  Working in the donut shop, I quickly learned I don’t want to eat too many.  Amazing how those extra pounds seem to gather around my hips when I indulge my sweet tooth.

Be sure to leave your name and email address to be entered into a drawing for a free short romantic story.

Title: Love Delivery
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Author: Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy Link:



A waitress in a donut shop, Ann is happy with her single life and her cat, Mittens, until she finds herself interested in Tom, the handsome man who makes deliveries to the shop.  Unfortunately, Tom comes with some baggage, including five cats; Maria, his vicious ex-wife; and Maria’s adorable daughter he calls Kitten. 

When Maria is hired at the donut shop and learns Ann and Tom are beginning a relationship, she does everything she can to tear them apart.  Will Ann and Tom’s love prevail, or will the evil ex-wife win in the end?  Love Delivery is a sweet romance, which will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your lips.


“Here it is,” he said, steering her to a quiet corner. Candles lit the table. A bottle of red wine stood open. Tom held the chair for her, and then sat close so their knees touched. “Would you like a glass of wine?” he asked, reaching for the bottle.

“No thanks,” Ann said. “I don’t drink.”

Tom poured a glass for himself. “Here’s the menu.” He handed it to her.

“I know what I want.”

“What’s that?”

“Fettuccini Alfredo.” Ann shook out her napkin and placed it on her lap.

“This chicken dish is good,” Tom said, pointing to an item on the menu.

Ann grimaced.  Is he a control freak? I already told him what I want. “I don’t eat meat.” Her voice sounded harsh in her own ears.

“Ah, well, okay, then. Fettuccini Alfredo it is.” Tom called the waiter and ordered the Alfredo for Ann and a spicy chicken dish for himself.

I guess we don’t agree on everything after all. He drinks and eats meat, too. I hope he doesn’t drink a lot. Maybe we weren’t made for each other. Not knowing what else to do, Ann took a sip of water and smiled.

Tom smiled back. “You’ll have to come meet my cats one of these days. Tyra, a gorgeous, long-haired black female, is my bathroom kitty. Whenever I’m sitting in there, she has to be in my lap. There’ve been times when my pants have been around my feet, and she’s curled up in my underwear.

“Then there’s BeeBee. She’s a Siamese. When I first got her, I thought she liked to cuddle, but it turned out she was just scared. It took me a long time, with lots of persuasion, to get her to come close to me. Finally, I was able to pick her up. I had her in my arms, and I put my face down to smell her fur. Suddenly, she turned and bit me on the nose.

“I think my favorite, though, is Loki. He’s the smallest of the bunch. He has allergies, and if I don’t get him to the vet for a shot in time, he loses his fur on his rear quarters, right by his tail. He loves to ride on my shoulders. Looks just like I’m wearing a fur collar.

“Then there’s the two new ones, they’re the kittens. They haven’t developed personalities yet. You should always get two kittens instead of one,” Tom said when the food arrived.

“Why?” Ann asked. Her face hurt from laughing at Tom’s cat stories. Mittens never did any of the things Tom’s cats did. 

While she ate, Tom continued to share funny stories about the cats and kittens. “Kittens play with each other so you don’t need to play with them. You can just sit back and watch them. When I have kittens in the house, I don’t even turn on my T.V. set.” Tom twirled pasta on his fork. He lifted the fork halfway to his mouth and stopped. “Looks like we have company,” he groaned.

Ann turned. Maria and a curly-haired blond child entered. Ann watched Maria’s smile turn to a frown. Maria pulled the child toward their table. Ann gulped. Now what? Can’t she leave us alone? How can Tom and I ever get to know each other if she’s always showing up? She pasted a false smile on her face and clutched her napkin tightly.

“So you decided not to listen to me,” Maria spat at Ann.

“Daddy!” the little girl cried, holding up her arms.

“Hi, Kitten,” Tom said, scooping the child into his arms. He gave her a bear hug, and she giggled. “I want you to meet my friend, Ann. Ann, this is Kitten.”

“Hi, Ann. Daddy calls me Kitten, but you can call me Catherine.” The child put her arms around Tom’s neck and hugged him.

“Hello, Catherine,” Ann said, finding her voice.

“At least you could have gone somewhere else, Tom. We always ate here,” Maria accused and pushed Tom’s shoulder.

Tom moved Catherine to his other knee and glared at Maria. “Do we have to fight in front of Kitten?”

“Hey, Mr. Nice Guy, you’re the one who left us, remember?”

Removing Catherine from his lap, Tom stood up and faced Maria. “You’re creating a scene. Why don’t you leave before things get ugly?”

“Maybe you should have thought about that a long time ago.” Maria poked Tom’s chest with her finger.

Ann watched in fear. Only moments ago, she and Tom were enjoying dinner. Maria’s face now looked hard and dark. She swore at Tom and poked him again. Then she shoved him on the shoulder.

Tom grabbed her hand. Maria spat at him and reached up, clawing his face with her other hand.

“I hate you,” she screamed, grabbed her child, and ran out crying.

Tom turned to Ann. There were bloody scratches on his face. Ann dipped her napkin in her water glass and dabbed his cheek. “I’m sorry, Ann, I guess this spoiled dinner.”

            This is never going to work for us, not as long as Maria is in the picture. Ann nodded her head. “Sure did. I’m not very hungry now. I think I’d better just go home.”

Available at

Thanks Penny for stopping by. Hope you have a great holiday season,




Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Tina, thanks so much for hosting me today. What a great idea to share recipes with your readers.

Amy Denim said...

Mmm, the donuts and the book look especially yummy!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi, not sure why, but I got a notice that Lorrie also left a comment. It isn't here, so thanks to both Lorrie and Amy for stopping by.

Cheryl said...

Nice bio! Cute excerpt!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Cheyl, thanks for stopping. Always nice to see you.