>Remember the House of Six Doors by Patricia Selbert? I have a treat for you – a guest post! I love to find out how writing has changed and enhanced a fellow writers life. Especially one who is published. I always find tidbits from these guests posts that I can apply to my own writing life and I love it.

So without further ado … (be sure to read to the end, there is a fabulous recipe ….)

Thanks so very much for the wonderful review. I’m thrilled you enjoyed my book and grateful to be on your blog.
I rode horses for 27 years before I took a pen in hand and started writing. I had no idea that a novel was being conceived. It just happened organically. One night at 3 o’clock in the morning, when I couldn’t sleep and was frustrated with the chatter in my head, I decided to sit down and write. After about two hours at it, I went happily back to bed and fell asleep instantly. This quickly became a habit and soon I had accumulated a number of stories. I’m a neat freak, and recycle anything I don’t have a use for. One day, as I was clearing out my desk, I considered consigning what I’d written to the recycling bin, but before I did, I reread some of the stories, and they intrigued me.
I’m dyslexic, and English is my fourth language, so my nocturnal writing definitely needed a lot of work, but I was inspired to work on it. I took time each afternoon while my nine-month-old was napping to edit what I had written and show it to my husband. He had yet more edits, but he loved the stories. Then I joined a weekly woman’s writing group, which became the womb where my writing was read, nurtured, and could grow into The House of Six Doors.
Writing has allowed me to master yet another one of my challenges, and has tremendously enriched my life. It has opened up a locked door to a whole new world. Granted, I had to chip away at the door for years with every tool I had, but it was incredibly worth it.
About chocolate – well, in my mind it’s a food group. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Rogue Chocolates. Rogue’s 25-year old chocolate maker handpicks his beans from all over the world, and makes his chocolate as if he were making a fine wine. He even describes the flavors in his chocolate bars so that you know what to expect and can choose the bar to accompany your mood. Tasting Rogue Chocolate is definitely a luxurious experience. http://www.roguechocolatier.com/
My favorite recipe is for Infused Hot Chocolate.

3.15 oz tablet of chocolate (Mexican)
4 cups milk, almond, coconut or soy milk

Here’s the trick! You can add a single flavor of these:
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Lavender Extract
1 tsp. Raspberry Extract
1 tsp. Almond Extract
1/2 tsp. Orange Extract (or better yet: half an orange peel)
1 tsp. Orange Water (Agua de Azahar)
1 tsp. Coconut Extract (or use coconut milk for a dairy free treat)
1 tsp. Cherry Extract
1 tsp. Rose Water
8 fresh Mint Leaves
8 fresh Lemon Verbena leaves (incredible!)
Let your imagination be your guide

Bring milk to simmer. Break a tablet of chocolate into pieces and add to simmering milk. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted and is well combined. Then beat it to a froth, by putting a small amount at a time in a blender (or use a hand blender) and briefly pulsing it. Add the flavoring essence of your choice.