Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vegan "Meat" Crumbles-Joe's Special

12:30 AM 1 Comments


It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

LAST CHANCE!! Stay tuned below for TWO giveaways that end today!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!

A couple months ago I posted about PB2, a delicious, low-fat chocolate peanut butter. Today I have another healthy product to share with you--vegetarian meat crumbles that cook up like ground beef.  I used these to cook up one of my husband's signature dishes--Joe's Special.

Boca Veggie Ground Crumbles

These are made from soy protein and are vegan, non-GMO, and only 70 calories per serving!  I found this in the frozen foods aisle at my local Clark's Nutrition Center and decided to give it a try. 

They cook up in a skillet just like you would ground beef, and right away I noticed they smelled great! My kid even came out of her room to ask what was cooking. Even though I added no salt, onion, garlic, or anything to it, the crumbles were quite flavorful. When I cook up ground turkey etc., it can be very bland without seasonings.

The crumbles can take the place of any pretty much any recipe that calls for ground meat, but this night I was looking for a way to use up some leftover rice and spinach. While the crumbles were cooking, I reheated the rice and spinach by steaming separately. I combined the ingredients and tossed with a little soy sauce for flavor. The end result was really yummy, and so quick and easy! Mike adds one more ingredient to this when he's making the dish--chopped scrambled eggs (or rather, egg substitute).



Joe's Special recipe:

Ingredients
1 lb ground meat (turkey, beef, or the equivalent in vegan crumbles --about 3 cups)
1 pkg frozen spinach
3 cups cooked rice
2 eggs (or equivalent of egg substitute, about 1/2 cup)
Soy sauce to taste

Directions

Brown meat in skillet until cooked; drain (not necessary with vegan crumbles). While meat is cooking, prepare spinach according to package directions. Combine meat, spinach, and rice in large bowl; toss to combine. Scramble eggs in skillet until desired doneness; use spatula to chop into small pieces. Toss with meat mixture. Sprinkle with soy sauce to taste. 

Serves 4


Special Giveaways!

Comment below for a chance to win the April drawing! All commenters will be entered in a drawing for a $25 Bath & Body Works gift card.

AND... 

Author Lisa Renee Jones has decided to feature recipes on her blog all during the month of April. If you stop by and post a comment mentioning that you were referred by jroseallister.com, you'll be entered in a prize drawing. Even better, if you win, I win too! So I hope you'll check out her quick and easy recipes and get your name in the drawing. Good luck!
http://www.lisareneejones.com



~~~
J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Why I Hate Entering Contests but Love Running Them

12:00 AM 1 Comments

If you saw my crazy post earlier this month about the grandma with a gun who saved my husband,you may have read that I've been reconnecting on social networks. It's been awesome to catch up with people I've missed and to meet lots of new folks to chat with! That said, getting up to speed has quickly reminded of this weird thing I have about contests. 

I hate contests. 

The ones I'm referring to today are "Best _____ Ever"  contests that sound like merit-based awards, when in fact they are popularity contests. These competitions are decided by popular vote, meaning entrants are pegged against one another to see who can promote/beg/bludgeon/bribe the most votes out of people.

Maybe this sounds like the sour grapes of someone who loses these contests, but I've actually won some in my day. I did the rounds, relentlessly announcing and cajoling and posting all over the internet in order to get votes. I was happy to win, sure! But afterward, I asked myself what that reward truly said about me. In the end, I decided it said I'm kind of annoying, because I was willing to repeatedly harass friends, colleagues, fans, and perfect strangers in the name of the Almighty Win.

Meh.

Since then, I've discovered that handing out awards is far more enriching than trying to get them. Sometimes it's a "just because" award, like when I participate in various blog awards or when I offered my Green Reader award for people embracing "green" approaches to reading or writing. (Go ahead and grab this graphic if you're an e-reader owner or otherwise a green reader!)  Other times, I've hosted a merit-based contest, like the Best NaNoWriMo Line Written contests I held three different years.

Well, this past week I decided to start a not-contest that is a combination of both these types. I'll be giving out a Superb Snippet Award every Sunday to the writer whose Snippet/8 Sunday post is my absolute favorite. That definitely makes it merit-based, but since these are handed out spontaneously to people who never entered a contest, it's also a "just-because" award.  It's my way of recognizing folks to thank them for their efforts. I had the pleasure of handing out the first award yesterday, and it really made me smile. (If you want to see that winning snippet, check out Teresa Cypher's blog! And if you're unfamiliar with Snippet Sundays, check out any of my Sunday posts or Weekend Writing Warriors. )

Okay, comments! Have you ever given or received a "just because" award? Do you find it annoying when people repeatedly troll for votes? 

And now for that plug I promised! Tomorrow is the last day for my April commenting contest! Anyone posting comments this month will be entered to win a $25 Bath & Body Works Gift Card. Have a happy week!


~~~~
On Mondays, I gab about whatever's going on. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Goodreads. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Takin' it Straight- Snippet Sunday

12:00 AM 12 Comments



~~Adult language/mature themes~~

It's time for Snippet Sunday! I hope you enjoy today's tidbit. And all those who comment will be entered in my $25 April drawing!


This week's snippet is from my WIP, Book 6 of the LONE WOLVES OF SHAY FALLS series.  This book is as-yet untitled. Vote for your favorite title in my poll (see right column). Thanks!


“You think the only reason we’re bein’ nice to you is because we want to fuck you,” Zane said.

Lana jerked a little at the crude wording, but then again, she was the one who’d asked for straight talk.

“Yes, I suppose that puts it right out there,” she replied, shoving her fists under her armpits.


“You want me to deny Jayson and I hope to see you in our bed?”

He stepped closer--too close--and her heart skipped enough beats to prompt a wave of dizziness. Maybe straight talk had been a stupid idea.

“Yes,” she whispered, unable to meet his eyes while she said it.

“You already sense that we want you. Ain’t no use in me lyin’ about it.”



~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *

For more awesome snippets, check out 

~~~~

I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Hair Product You Can't Live Without! Stylin' Saturday

12:00 AM 0 Comments

A few weeks ago I posted about my favorite hair styling tool, my flat iron for wet hair. In that blog post, I mentioned another of of my can't-do-without products, and here it is: "one 'n' only" argan oil treatment spray.

Moroccan argan oil has gotten wildly popular these days, enough to where you can find shampoos, finishing products, and serums of this oil at drugstores and "big boxers" like Target. This product, however, is slightly different. I picked up this 6-oz bottle on a whim at Sally's. The best $9.99 I ever spent. It comes in a spray bottle that is just PERFECT for spritzing on dry or damp hair.

My hair is naturally dry, plus I torture it with regular bleaching and some use of hot styling aids. Not to worry--one 'n' only comes to the rescue! When my hair is feeling dry (often right after bleaching), I give each side a couple quick spritzes and brush it through well. I do this in the morning and again at night. The product smells wonderful and gives a nice sheen. And within just a few days, I notice a big difference in how silky and healthy my hair feels.

I also use this spray in addition to a heat protectant when using a flat iron or other hot implements. It not only takes the brunt of the heat, but the heat actually helps infuse the oil into my hair. A built-in hot oil treatment!

Ten bucks for a 6oz bottle may sound pricey, but that bottle goes a long way. My hair is long, thick, and dry enough that I use the spray almost every single day, plus I sometimes use it on my daughter as well. My current bottle is roughly half full after almost four months.

I honestly can't say enough about this oil spray. Grab some and give it a try for your brittle, dry hair--2-3 spritzes per side, depending on the length and thickness of your hair both morning and night, as well as whenever you use hot products. Hold the bottle 4-6 inches from your head and make sure to brush it through well to distribute evenly. If you get a little extra in one spot, brush well and it should distribute. If you get really crazy, your hair will look greasy. A spray of dry shampoo will fix it up.

Buy one 'n' only argan oil treatment spray online HERE

~~~~
On select Saturdays I post hairstyles we've tried at our house, ones we've seen online that we want to try, or hairstyling tips and tools.
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!-

Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting in the Mood with Guest Lissa Trevor!

12:00 AM 4 Comments
image from sxc.hu
Today I'm happy to welcome Lissa Trevor, author of SPANK ME, MR. DARCY. Comment below to win a free pdf copy! If you like erotic stories and are a fan of Jane Austen, you've got to jump in on this one!

Getting in the Mood: 
Beyond Putting Your Butt in the Chair
By Lissa Trevor

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” -- Douglas Adams
            
Whether you have signed a publishing contract or you are looking for an agent or publisher, you eventually have to face a deadline.  Personally, I’m much more motivated to write when I’ve got a doomsday clock counting down when I have to send in a perfectly sculptured manuscript into the hands of an editor who is eagerly waiting for it.  Otherwise, to be honest, I can find an excuse not to write every day.  Then once I get my butt in the writing chair, I can easily while away the hours on the Internet or catching up on e-mail.
          
But when I really need a starting gun to hit the track full out, here’s what I do to set the mood:

  1.  I need to be alone.  Whether that is physically being alone or in the same room with my husband with headphones on, tuning out the real world.
  2. I need background noise.  Until I get into the zone, I need white noise to block out the other distractions.  Pandora Radio is a music website that allows you to choose radio station channels.  I put on “Spirit of Reiki Radio” and allow the pan flutes and crashing water to take me away.
  3. I light a candle and I keep it out of the way of the cat, who has a habit of investigating open flames and winding up looking like Albert Einstein when she singes her whiskers.  Yankee candle has some nice fragrances.  I also like shopping locally and buying beeswax or soy candles from artisans.  The flame in the candle helps me focus and the scent relaxes me.
  4. I grab a beverage.  If it’s going to be a short sprint, I go for a diet coke or ice water.  Longer hauls have me brewing pots of tea.  My new release, SPANK ME, MR. DARCY was written with pots and pots of Teavana’s Pineapple Kona Pop.
Find your routine by asking yourself five questions:
  1. What relaxes me? (Maybe it’s a glass of wine, or a snack.)
  2. What helps me be creative? (Maybe it’s wearing a certain hat or scarf, or sitting in front of a picture.)
  3. What allows me to focus? (Maybe it’s meditation or prayer.  Perhaps doing exercise or deep breathing.)
  4. What do I need to do first so I can concentrate on my writing? (Is it the laundry?  Is it making everyone’s lunches for tomorrow?  Do it or you’ll be distracted.)
  5. What am I going to accomplish this session?  (Do you want to finish the scene?  Get the confrontation out of the way?  A thousand words?  Have a small goal in the back of your mind before you start.
Once the mood has been set, I start writing.  If I’m lucky, I ended last night’s session in the middle of the sentence so I can pick up the flow and go.  However, sometimes I end on a scene and I’m facing a blank page.  As daunting as that is, I know I’ve got to start somewhere. To get the words flowing, I’ll start with dialogue.  My heroine will say something like “How could you do this to me?” and the hero will react and the words come naturally.  Or I’ll describe the scene and put in something deliberately wrong, such as “The sky was green,” and try to fit the setting so I can keep the weird description.  If worse comes to worse, I’ll pick up a writing prompt. You can Google writing prompts, but Writer’s Digest has some really good ones.  I pick the prompt on top and start writing stream of consciousness.  If it relates to my story, great.  If not, I find that eventually, my story will get jealous about being ignored and I’ll be back in business.

But whatever you do to get you in the mood to write, make sure you write.  A notebook and pen will suffice if you can’t get to a computer.  If you need to assign a ritual to get your mind in writing mode, pick a song that gets your blood up.  Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman,” Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” or what I used to get in the mood to write the erotic retelling of Pride and Prejudice SPANK ME, MR. DARCY, the song “Payphone” by Maroon Five.  I’m not sure if it was Adam Levine’s tattoos or the way he looked at the blond in the video, but it inspired me.

Good luck and keep writing!  One lucky commenter will receive a pdf copy of SPANK ME, MR. DARCY.

Lissa Trevor has her stilettos firmly entrenched in the romance community.  Spank Me Mr. Darcy is her debut novel from Riverdale Avenue Books.  She is a frequent reader at Manhattan's Between The Covers events, where her novellas Wild Oats and Timelash from Coliloquy’s Entwined volumes 1 & 2 have been very popular.  Lissa also created an erotic story template for Coliloquy's ValEntwined promotion that allowed readers to download a personalized ebook starring themselves and their significant other. You can find her at http://lissatrevor.wordpress.com/

About SPANK ME, MR. DARCY:

Netherfield, infamous for its debauched parties of excess and luxury, has a new Master. 

After finagling an invitation to the ball, Elizabeth Bennet is introduced to the powerful and prideful Mr. Darcy, while her sister Jane has captivated the new owner, Mr. Bingley.  Having contented herself with the pleasurable caresses of her best friend, Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth is intrigued with the sensuality she finds at Netherfield. But it isn’t until her sister Jane is taken ill and Elizabeth stays at Netherfield to nurse her back to health that she finds the dungeons of Netherfield and the man in the black mask who becomes her Master.

By the time she leaves Netherfield, Elizabeth will have become disenchanted with her childhood playmate and obsessed with Mr. Darcy, her Master, who has told her that she would be more marriageable as a Netherfield submissive than as a curious virgin.  Elizabeth holds on to her affront at his callous regard for her until Charlotte marries Mr. Collins and Jane is discarded by Mr. Bingley.  Unwilling to save herself for a man who'll make a good match and determined not to suffer Jane's heartbreak, when she meets Mr. Darcy again at Rosings Park, she decides to become his slave and offers him her virginity.

But when she finds out that her cruel Master has destroyed Jane’s chance at marriage with Mr. Bingley, she rejects Mr. Darcy – even as he reluctantly proposes marriage to her. It isn’t until he saves her sister Lydia’s reputation and brings Jane and Bingley together, that Elizabeth realizes that she loves him. If he still loves her, she would be most willing to take her punishment for rejecting him – and live happily ever after.

Spank Me, Mr. Darcy can be purchased at these fine locations:

My publisher is offering $3 off the book for a limited time, if you order from Riverdale Avenue Books. Just put the code ROMANCE in when you check out.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fate-with Guest Tallulah Grace!

12:30 AM 2 Comments
On select days I showcase other authors and their books. Today I welcome Tallulah Grace, who is on a blog tour to promote her paranormal/romantic suspense title Fate, Book 1 of the Timeless Trilogy

GIVEAWAY: Be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win a book off Tallulah's backlist! You might also want to follow today's book blast tour on her other blog stops, because the more you comment, the more chances you have to win. Find other stops HERE!


Fate: Timeless Trilogy, Book 1

by Tallulah Grace
 Buy Now: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Smashwords | Kobo

Book Trailer on You Tube: http://bit.ly/mC5UfX



About Fate:


Death stalks Kris in dreams and in reality. The target of a cunning serial killer, Kris must defend her life and her love. Visions prepare her for what’s coming, but is knowledge enough to change the future? Or will demented mania claim victory over fated love?

The good things in life are coming together for Kristina Collins. She’s found her ideal home, her career is on track for mega success and the man of her dreams has finally come back into her life.

In Fate, the first installment of the Timeless Trilogy, Kris Collins discovers the benefits and risks of having precognitive visions while being stalked by a serial killer. Her friends can’t help her, the FBI can’t save her; she must save herself.

The Timeless Trilogy heroines, Kristina, Veronica and Cassandra, each deal with paranormal abilities as they discover and rediscover eternal love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Excerpt:The edge of the blade felt like ice against her skin. One breath too deep, one movement—ever so slight—would give the knife a taste of her blood. It’s a part of the nightmare, she thought, even as she felt the breath of her attacker lightly touch her face.

The nightmares that had been plaguing her for weeks warned of this moment. Images, too terrifying to be real, flashed quickly across her mind’s eye in an instant replay of her recent night terrors. Running down a long, empty hallway, filled with doorways on either side, chased by some unknown monster that knew her deepest fears. Running towards a movie, scrolling incessantly with images of those she loved most trapped in a fiery hell. Sepia-toned faces, twisted in pain, were a stark contrast to the blue, red and yellow of the flames engulfing them. The echoes of their screams filled the dark, never-ending hallway. She couldn’t look away and she couldn’t stop running; her only escape was straight ahead, towards the horror show.

 So far, the nightmares ended with her sitting straight up in bed, breathing hard in a cold sweat. He hadn’t caught her yet.

The all too real feeling of cold steel pressed against her neck gave the nightmare an alternate ending. Kris tried to control her breathing so her attacker would think she slept. Her mind raced as she tried to think of a way to reach the loaded SIG waiting beneath the extra pillow beside her. She didn’t always keep a gun so handy, but recent events, including the dreams, made it a necessity.
  
“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty.” The familiar voice spoke the words softly in her ear.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~


 About the Author:

Tallulah Grace is an aficionado of anything paranormal, loves to read a good thriller and creates characters that become friends. Tallulah was born and raised in a small southern town located in the foothills of the vibrant Blue Ridge Mountains. When she's not developing characters and weaving stories, Tallulah enjoys antiquing and bead-weaving.

Links:

Website: http://www.tallulahgrace.com

Blog:  http://www.tallulahspeaks.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TallulahSpeaks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grace.tallulah

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/tallulahgrace


~~~
About tour host:
J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people.

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

OMG Overnight Oatmeal-Super Easy/Healthy Breakfast!

12:30 AM 4 Comments

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

Stay tuned below for TWO giveaways and more awesome recipes!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!

Okay, a few weeks ago I posted microwave-in-a-mug muffins that were a fast, easy, and healthy way to avoid skipping breakfast during the morning rush. Here's another breakfast idea that will take you zero time in the morning and five minutes of prep the night before--this time using that wondermous invention, the crock pot.


OMG Overnight Oatmeal 

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, where it was a re-post with like a ton of shares and likes, so I never did figure out where it originated. Talk about easy! Dump it all in, let it think about what it's done overnight, and you have healthy, heavenly-smelling oatmeal in the morning. Oh, yeah. And if you buy pre-cut apples, you don't even have to pull out a knife.

Ingredients

2 apples, slicked
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
A pinch salt 
2 cups of oatmeal (not instant)
2 cups of milk 
2 cups water. 


Directions


Lay apple slices in bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle on brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Pour oatmeal over this, followed by milk and water. 
Do NOT stir. 
Cook on low heat 8-9 hours (overnight). Enjoy! 


3-4 Servings


Special Giveaways!

Comment below for a chance to win the April drawing! All commenters will be entered in a drawing for a $25 Bath & Body Works gift card.

AND... 

Author Lisa Renee Jones has decided to feature recipes on her blog all during the month of April. If you stop by and post a comment mentioning that you were referred by jroseallister.com, you'll be entered in a prize drawing. Even better, if you win, I win too! So I hope you'll check out her quick and easy recipes and get your name in the drawing. Good luck!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Facebook *Friends* and Other Soul-Searching Fun

12:00 AM 0 Comments

It's another Monday already, and Mondays are when I promise myself I'll tackle an unpleasant chore or make some sweeping change. Today I'm facing both by dealing with something I've been dreading for a while.
It's time to cull my Facebook list. 

I've never dared do this on Facebook before. People seem to take it a lot more personally there than on Twitter. Maybe because the terminology "unfriending" sounds so much more hostile than "unfollowing". I don't know. Because I didn't ever want to seem rude, I've kept around a lot of folks. Now, the gloves have got to come off.

I currently have upward of 440 friends, far below the dreaded 2k ceiling. Hitting the limit isn't my worry, however. It's keeping up with folks in my stream. Unfortunately, far too many great people get shoved into oblivion by constant updates on book or product releases, reviews, works in progress, shameless requests for votes/purchases/shares/likes, political stances, and sales links. It's like self-promotion went on steroids and developed a bad case of 'roid rage. A bulk of these people never interact with me and appear unaware that I exist.

Enough's enough.

I knew this day was coming and tried to head it off. I stopped approving most friend requests months ago. I've tried lumping certain folks into groups, but then I'm jumping from one to the other to the next--more time consuming than simply daring to peek at my main feed. I've used the suggestion of "hiding" problem friends from the news feed, but I don't see the point. It feels like such a cheat, somehow, being that one-sided (although I have no problem not following back on Twitter if the user comes off looking like a sales machine). Twitter is different. Facebook is friends, not food. Please don't devour the stream.

In real life, I do not have over 400 "friends". My last name is not Kardashian. I'm a wife/mother/writer/worker with no time to juggle that kind of social calendar. Facebook is no different. If I have to block someone's news, I'm not being a *friend*. And if I can't interact with someone because I keep missing their updates, we're both missing out. I'm sure there are social media hounds out there who will disagree with this philosophy, but I realized some time ago that I'm not on Facebook to sell. Oh, I give my horn a little toot now and again, but I use other venues for most of that. For me, 90% of Facebook is about having a place to take a break from the author mill and get to know people. And I'd like my list to be populated with those who feel the same.

So I'm staring at my friend list, knowing what I have to do.  I hope I get through it this time without telling myself, "Just wait until next Monday." 

~~~~
On Mondays I gab about, well, pretty much whatever I want!
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ain't That Irony's Bitch-Snippet Sunday

12:00 AM 16 Comments


~~Adult language/mature themes~~

It's time for Snippet Sunday! I hope you enjoy today's tidbit. And all those who comment will be entered in my $25 April drawing!


This week's snippet is from my WIP, DISCIPLINED COWBOYS, Book 6 of the LONE WOLVES OF SHAY FALLS series.

Remember last week's First Kiss? Moving on...



“Well, ain’t this just irony’s bitch?” came a voice from the doorway.
Lana and Zane broke off the kiss as Jayson strode in, his narrowed eyes fastened on Zane.
“You chewed my ass up one cheek and down the next for makin’ a move on her behind your back, and now I ain't gone five minutes before you’ve got her in bed and start kissin her?”
“We ain’t in bed, we’re sittin’ on a bed, Zane said. And it might interest you to know that she kissed me.”
Is that a fact?” The teasing tone was back as he leaned closer to Lana. “Now since when did our fancy lady get so free-wheelin’ with her lips?



~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *

For more awesome snippets, check out 

~~~~


I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pretty Flower Braid-Stylin' Saturday

12:30 AM 0 Comments

On select Saturdays I post hairstyles we've tried at our house, ones we've seen online that we want to try, or hairstyling tips and tools.

Okay, this week's style came by way of a friend of mine from work. She and I like to mess around with hairstyles and show each other pics we snap of our experiments. Brenda is a WHIZZ at braids, and when she showed me this style she did on her niece, I just had to share it with you here. Isn't this just so pretty? It really looks like a flower in back. This style looks complicated but really isn't--assuming you have  experience with braids. And it's definitely easier on someone else, but doable on yourself.

By the way, If you want to see some of Brenda's other photos, she's over on Pinterest. Give her some follow love!

How to do this style:

Begin with a side part. From the bigger side of the part, begin a Dutch French braid around to the back. When you reach the far side of the head, change directions and zigzag the braid the opposite direction (If you've not seen this done, check out THIS TUTORIAL).  Braid down to the end of the hair and secure with elastic. Now, take the braid and tug the loops on ONE side to loosen them and make them stand out wider--these will make the flower petals. (To see what I mean about tugging the braid, look at the photos in my Celtic 11-Strand Braid post). Coil the hair around the back of the head into a flower shape, making sure the loose "petals" are running around the outside. Pin into place. Tuck in the end of the braid and hide with bobby pins. How pretty for a date night, party, or special event!

Thanks, Brenda, for sharing this awesome style!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Will Your Next Book Be "THE ONE"?

12:30 AM 2 Comments

~~Today I welcome special guest author and all-aound awesome dude Armand Rosamilla.~~

Is This (Finally) The One? 
by Armand Rosamilia

I imagine I'm not unique as a writer when I finish a story and I'm kinda happy with it (we're writers, we're never really happy with it, but it gets to a point where we've had enough rewrites and hemming and hawing and just want to sub it or publish it) and decide to let it go into the ether, and I wonder what this particular tale can do for my career.

Whether it's a short story or a novel, and whether you write full-time or on the off-hours when you aren't at the day job, each finished tale leads you somewhere. But where?

I know I'm in the majority when I say, when my first novel was finished, I started seeing dollar signs and new cars and yachts and living like a rap mogul (no idea why that part, I just did). Why not? I'd just committed to paper (figuratively) that greatest epic known to man, Cthulhu and/or the animal kingdom. I was about to be rich! The Benjamins were going to flow in my direction, and I could buy my parents a new house and use hundred dollar bills at the McDonalds drive-thru.

That didn't happen on the first book, and it hasn't happened yet for me. Will it? I hope so. Yeah, yeah… I know, the politically correct thing to say is 'I write because I love it.' I get that. No matter what happens, I will never stop writing. I don't care if the bottom completely falls out for me and I go back to a crappy job, I will still find time to write. That's not the issue. But I still want to get paid a big chunk of cash, too. I want to be able to live comfortably off of my written word and not have to worry about paying a late electric bill ever again.

I finished two short stories this week. I'm over halfway done with both Dying Days 3 and Dying Days: Origins, and my goal is to have both for sale by June 30th. Will I make it? I think so. I keep writing each and every day and getting closer. What will happen once they come out?

I wish I knew. I wish I could type THE END (by the way, I never type THE END - I hate that for some reason) and know beyond a shadow of a doubt it is about to net me my first million. Heck, I get excited when anyone buys any of my releases. And I have over 70 of them to choose from right now on Amazon. I want to keep writing and releasing, using a mix of self-publishing, small press and larger press. However I can get stories into reader's (old and new) hands.

Until I get that magic power, I will keep writing and hope for the best. I'll never write a story in the hopes of making it more commercial in order to sell more copies, but I will keep plugging away and hoping one of them strikes a chord in the reader's imagination, and more and more readers will find it and cherish it. Or even like it enough to pay for it.

Until then… I'll be in my usual seat, pounding away at my daily 2,000 word a day goal. And finishing more and more stories. But never, ever typing THE END.

Armand Rosamilia


 Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida. He writes about zombies and horror and Heavy Metal. Yes, he does have 70+ releases. Go look: http://www.amazon.com/Armand-Rosamilia/e/B004S48J6G/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365639346&sr=8-2-ent





Tuesday, April 16, 2013

World's Best Peanut Butter Balls

12:30 AM 2 Comments

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

Stay tuned below for TWO giveaways and more awesome recipes!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!

Yeah, it's dessert time again, and this week's treat was shared with me by a co-worker when she dazzled everyone by bringing in these yummy treats. These are just SO. GOOD. and easy! A great one to make for guests or as gifts.
WORLD'S BEST PEANUT BUTTER BALLS 

Okay, there's no pretending this is going to be one of those "make it healthy", sugar-free recipes I've been trying to include. But there are times when you want to splurge on a treat, and these are good for two reasons. 1. They are filling, so a little bit will satisfy that sweet tooth. 2. Peanut butter and cereal have SOME nutritional value, yes?

Now, you COULD make some substitutions by using a whole-grain cereal, low-fat peanut butter (or a big batch of that PB2 85% fat-free peanut butter I wrote up a while back, not a cheap option), and Smart Balance or your favorite healthier-style margarine instead of butter.  But yeah, let's call it what it is--a cheat treat. ;)

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar 
4 cups crisped rice cereal
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Directions

Melt peanut butter and butter in saucepan over low heat. In large bowl, mix cereal and sugar well. Pour melted peanut butter/butter over cereal mixture and blend together thoroughly. Form into 1-inch or smaller balls. Place on cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator until firm or overnight.


Melt chocolate chips in double broiler or over very low heat, stirring constantly. Keep warm/melty while working.* Dip balls in chocolate, using teaspoons to coat. Place back on cookie sheet (line with wax paper to keep the mess down) and chill again until firm.

Keeping these covered in the fridge isn't a bad idea, since it will help keep the chocolate from melting in a warm kitchen. 

Depending on the size of the "balls" you make, you can expect around 2-5 dozen. And yes, this recipe halves well in case you don't want (or like me, dare make) that many. :)

*If you are having a lot of trouble getting the chocolate thin enough to coat easily, try adding 1 tsp-1 tbsp or so of shortening to it and stir well until you get the consistency you want.

YUM!


Special Giveaways!

Comment below for a chance to win the April drawing! All commenters will be entered in a $25 Bath & Body Works gift card.

AND... 

Author Lisa Renee Jones has decided to feature recipes on her blog all during the month of April. If you stop by and post a comment mentioning that you were referred by jroseallister.com, you'll be entered in a prize drawing. Even better, if you win, I win too! So I hope you'll check out her quick and easy recipes and get your name in the drawing. Good luck!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Grandmas With Guns: My Week in Review

12:30 AM 4 Comments
Last week, while I was ironically blogging about good luck, was the kind I could never write about in a novel, or else my editor would force me to change it because fiction should be at least SOMEWHAT believable. All I can say is, "Thank heavens for grandmas with guns."

And yes, I mean that literally.

Perhaps this post would be better as a WTH Wednesday feature, but just to get this streak of craziness into the past tense, let's get it out now.

The Grandma Thing

My husband was shopping with our daughter when he was confronted by three very large and equally angry males just outside a fabric store. They were apparently retaliating against the store for a No Soliciting sign they'd just erected.  The guys came at Mike and Bri, yelling foul and racial comments. Mike ordered Bri to RUN into the store, which she did, crying and terrified. He and other bystanders (cowering inside the store) were all calling 911, but he knew he would be assaulted-probably severely-before anyone could intervene.

Enter the Dragon. I mean, the Grandma. 

Out from the store marches an old woman with her hand in her purse. "Is there going to be a problem here?" she demanded of the attackers. "Because I have a gun in my purse, and I WILL shoot you." Bad guys took off running, the day was saved, and Grandma hopped into her Mercedes and drove away without another word. (Whoever you were, THANK YOU a hundred times over.)

Honestly, at a FABRIC store? In broad daylight?

This was by far the craziest thing in our week, but hardly the only one. That brush with near crime was joined by others:

1. Mike accidentally caught someone breaking into carports at our complex and was threatened (again, broad daylight).
2. His car was nearly stolen (broken into, steering wheel club pried off, but couldn't defeat our security system).
3. A random drunk started banging on the car hood and shouting at a fast food drive-through 
4. MY car was nearly stolen and found with the hood popped open (since the thief couldn't get it started-more on that in a minute).
5. Our car was almost run off the road.
6. We saw our neighbor digging through our mail (just tossed in the garbage).

These miscreants wouldn't have pulled such crap on Grandma Gunslinger, I'll bet. Has the whole planet gone wonky or what? And beyond the near-crime spree, my car broke down (but at least that foiled the thieves), taxes were a load of OMG, and oh, yes, Bri just came down sick...AGAIN. 



Okay, now THAT'S off my chest. How about the flip side report? Starting off with this cute photo of Bri in the costume Daddy made despite the fabric store debacle. She won a contest in her girl Robin outfit--and also beat Superman at arm wrestling. LOL

I spent the week pushing up word count on DIS____? COWBOYS, the as-yet-unnamed Book 6 of my LONE WOLVES OF SHAY FALLS series. So for you fans who have been wondering when the next installment will be written, I'm on it! (And be sure to click on the poll at right to choose your favorite title.) Zane and Jayson are hot 'n' fine cowboys--and one of them has some Indian thrown in! 

I've also been running around promoting on hops and the social nets, and I finally got around to signing up on Goodreads. If you're over there, please gimme a shout! And after some thought, I decided to pledge a larger bulk of my social networking time to Twitter. You can follow me there at http://twitter.com/jroseallister.

This week, I'll be focusing on some spring cleaning, getting Bri healthy again, deciding what to do about my car, and more writing/promo. And just maybe wondering whether we can hire Grandma back as a personal security detail.

OH, and my April commenting contest is still in effect! Post a comment for a chance to win a $25 Bath & Body Works Gift Card. Have a happy week!


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On Mondays, I gab about whatever. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Goodreads. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

That First Kiss-Snippet Sunday

12:00 AM 25 Comments


It's time for Snippet Sunday! I hope you enjoy today's tidbit. And all those who comment will be entered in my $25 April drawing!

This week's snippet is from my WIP, DISCIPLINED COWBOYS, Book 6 of the LONE WOLVES OF SHAY FALLS series.

God, Lana had wanted Zane to kiss her back in that kitchen, but he had walked away. Now, Lana stared at his sinfully full lips, no longer able to hear his response because of the loud voice in her head wondering what it would be like.


She had been leaning closer to him without fully realizing it, and unable to resist the experiment, she did something she’d never done before. She kissed a man first.

Their lips met with only a soft, tentative introduction, but the jolt that shot through her blanked out everything else. No more bad dreams, no more killers on the loose. No more loneliness. There was just Zane and his incredible mouth, tasting of wild nights and tender whispers in a lover’s ear.


~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *

For more awesome snippets, check out 


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I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

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