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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chilly? Try My EZ Chili!

A different twist on a hot old fave...a real hit in my family, and so easy to make!

When my kids were little and hated "spicy" stuff, I omitted the chili powder and substituted a can of diced green chiles, or nothing at all. My favorite ways to serve this dish is either wrapped in a warm buttered tortilla burrito style, or served with tortilla chips and topped with grated cheese and sour cream.

EZ CHILI


You'll need:

2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 16 oz cans beans (I use 1 can kidney and 1 can black, but you can select your own combo)
1 can chili beans
2 large cans whole tomatoes, snipped
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1 can corn
1 8oz (approx) can sliced black olives
Chili powder, seasoning salt, and pepper to taste


Brown ground beef in skillet; pour into large pot or slow cooker. Saute onions and garlic until soft; add to pot. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook at low heat, simmering on stove top for up to 1 hour until flavors blended or start in slow cooker on low heat up to 4 hours before. Serves 8.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Must-Have iPhone apps for Writers!

Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon this year and got an iPhone. I figured it was just a fancy phone-slash-music/media-player, but I was shocked to find that there are tons of applications for those with a passion for reading or writing as well. Here are a half dozen favorites, available from the iTunes store. They also work with the iPod Touch. Best of all, most are free!

Story Tracker
Awesome database app for keeping track of your submissions, markets, monies earned on each title sold, etc. View data like turnaround time on subs, statistics on who has taken or rejected work, genres, and much more. A definite must-have for the serious writer! At $4.99 it's one of the most "costly" apps, but well worth it. Plus, there's a free "lite" version you can get to try it out before you buy.

Saisuke Free (Google Calendar Sync)
Do you use Google Calendar? It's a great tool for organizing all your author events, submission and editing deadlines, book release dates, etc. And iPhone has an app that lets you consult and edit your calendar wherever you go, then sync it with your desktop when you get home. Great for those on-the-fly times when you stop in at a bookseller and set up a book signing, etc.

Stanza
My favorite eBook reader for the iPhone. Download books, sort by author, titles, genres, etc. And you can even use it to read text files in just about any format on your computer, using the optional desktop transfer application. I use this not only to read downloads from places like Fictionwise or AllRomanceeBooks, but also to look over my own manuscripts as well.

Kindle for iPhone
Yep, no need to buy Amazon's $$$ reader when you've got an iPhone or iPod Touch. The Kindle app is free and allows you to search and download books right from Amazon. While I prefer Stanza for most reading needs, I have this as well in case there's a particular title I can only find on Amazon.

Documents To Go
Stick your latest Work-in-Progress on your iPhone/iPod and edit or work on it while you're out. Sync with the desktop when you get home, and the computer version of your book manuscript will be updated with the changes. While I won't pretend typing is easy as pie on the phone's keyboard, it's a great option when I don't want to use pen and paper, then retype later. You can also create a new document when that idea for your next book strikes.

Awesome Note
This is a great little folder-and-stickynotes-based app that lets you organize your book project--or several. Customizable folders you can put notations inside work great for brainstorming characters, plot arc, timelines, world building, etc.

iPlotWheel Lite
In need of ideas? Writer's block? Or just want a break from the latest plot for some wacky fun? Give this app a spin and over 1,000 combinations of plot motivations.

Do you have any favorite iPhone apps? I'd love to hear about it. Post in the comments!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winner of Fang-Tastic Giveaway!

I had a blast over at Roxanne Rhoads' Fang-Tastic books blog the other day, and enjoyed the comments everyone left about THEIR SECRET PARADISE!

And now without further ado, the winner of my holiday gift pack is...

Tracey D, aka booklover0226! Thank you for posting, and to everyone else who enjoyed my excerpt from PARADISE.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Guest Blogging and a Contest!!

I'm the guest blogger at Fang-Tastic Books today, as part of Roxanne's 25 days promo!

Come find out about THEIR SECRET PARADISE and post a comment there for a chance to win a fun little holiday gift pack!

http://www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Recipe: Best Fudge Ever!

This is my favorite fudge recipe, perfected by accident one year when my DH brought home a wrong ingredient. The results were creamy and sweet, and tasted exactly like the fudge I bought at Disneyland's candy shop every year!

Fantastic Fudge

You'll need:

24 oz (1 1/2 bags) milk chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
a dash salt
1 tsp vanilla

Lightly grease a 9" square baking pan, or use nonstick and line with waxed paper. Pour chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan; melt slowly over very low heat (or double boiler, careful not to let steam/water get into chocolate or it will seize up and ruin). Stir constantly. Just before chips finish melting, stir in salt and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan; let cool (I like to chill it in the fridge) and cut into squares. Makes about 25 squares, depending on the size you like to cut!

For fun alternatives, try these:

--substitute peanut butter chips for 1/2 of the chocolate chips
--add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
--use semisweet chocolate instead
--add crushed candy canes right before pouring into pan
--double fun: melt one batch with all peanut butter OR all white chocolate pieces, and another with semisweet chocolate. Use a 13x9 pan and spread one layer on top of the other OR use a butter knife to make a swirl effect as soon as you pour your batches into the pan. If you make these simultaneously, have a friend help stir a batch or your mixture may scorch.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Interview with Karenna Colcroft!

I'm being interviewed today over on Karenna Colcroft's blog, talking about THEIR SECRET PARADISE, my advice to new authors, and who my favorite character is among all that I've written. I hope you'll swing by and leave a comment!

http://karennacolcroft.com/?page_id=18

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Special Holiday Gift For You!

Okay, hunky Santa not included. LOL

In honor of the holiday season I've got a very special offer! Give the gift of an eBook and earn a gift for yourself--or for your recipient!

eBooks make a great eco-friendly AND eco-nomical gift, and the recipient needn't have a special eReader device to enjoy them. eBooks can be read on a regular computer, laptop, netbook, or even on smartphones like the iPhone or Blackberry!


Order a J. Rose Allister title during December (Kata Sutra or Their Secret Paradise) in any eBook format and I'll send a small Thank You holiday pack featuring fun little goodies to the address of your choice. The pack is holiday wrapped and perfect for tucking into your favorite romance reader's stocking--or enjoying yourself on a winter afternoon!


To qualify for a gift pack, Email me at jroseallister@verizon.net with your name, date of purchase, title purchased, location of purchase, and receipt number (where applicable). Include the name and address of the recipient for the gift pack. One pack per verifiable title purchase.

Happy reading...and happy holidays!

I'm Guest Blogging About Secrets! Shhh


I'm blogging today over on Brigit's World about secrets! Do you keep them? Do I? And what about my latest book characters?

Find out more here: http://brigitsworld.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm up for Book of the Month!

Color me shocked...Dark Divas reviews emailed me to say that KATA SUTRA is up for their Book of the Month award. Voting goes on all this week. I hope you'll stop by and put your two cents in on the poll!

Vote Now

About Kata Sutra:

Evan and Makoto are masters of their bodies in the art of karate. Powerful fighters and skilled lovers, they are about to become masters of their student Desiree's body as well.

When Desiree signs up for eight weeks of self-defense classes, the last thing she expects is hands-on, two-on-one training in erotic arts from a pair of muscled and breathtakingly gorgeous karate instructors. But can the passion of this ménage survive the secrets each of them is hiding?