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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday with Guest Author Margaret L Carter

My newest feature is Throwback Thursday, where I showcase the very first book or story ever written by some talented authors.  Today I'm happy to have Margaret L. Carter, author of Legacy of Magic. She's here to share a throwback to her very first work.


Throwback Thursday with Margaret L. Carter

I owe my first fiction publication to the great science fiction writer and editor Marion Zimmer Bradley, creator of the planet Darkover and author of MISTS OF AVALON. She edited numerous volumes of Darkover stories as well as an anthology series called “Sword and Sorceress.” My story “Her Own Blood” in FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER (1985), one of MZB’s earliest anthologies, wasn’t the first thing I’d ever had published. Previously, in the early 1970s, I’d edited two paperback horror anthologies (CURSE OF THE UNDEAD and DEMON LOVERS AND STRANGE SEDUCTIONS) and had a nonfiction book, SHADOW OF A SHADE: A SURVEY OF VAMPIRISM IN LITERATURE, released by an obscure small press. “Her Own Blood,” however, was my first professionally published fiction at any length. 

My experience in getting this story written and accepted involved a large measure of luck (or maybe Providence). When MZB sent out the call for submissions for FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER, her letter to me had the wrong ZIP code on the envelope. Somehow it took the Post Office about two months to reroute the letter to the capital of Maryland (which shouldn’t have been that hard to find, one would think!). By the time I received the letter, which came as a total surprise, the deadline was only a few weeks away. Nevertheless, I was so excited at being included in the call for submissions that I felt I had to whip up something, no matter how remote my chances of acceptance.

Since I’ve always been fascinated by the Ugly Duckling archetype—the character suffering from what looks like a handicap that turns out to be a gift—I decided to write about a girl who learns the truth of her birth as the nedestra (illegitimate) daughter of the local lord. As a result, she has inherited a laran (psychic gift) that makes her terribly sensitive to the pain of any nearby living creature. When she discovers this apparent curse gives her a latent talent for healing, she decides to join the Free Amazons rather than live in luxury in the lord’s household—thus tying the plot into the theme of the anthology. I was astonished as well as thrilled when MZB accepted this story, the first of many she bought from me.

Thanks to the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, you can buy “Her Own Blood” (as well as dozens of other stories from the anthologies, by many different authors) as a stand-alone e-book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ACB3GBW/elisawater-20

My husband, Leslie Roy Carter, and I had one collaborative story in another Darkover anthology, TOWERS OF DARKOVER. Together we’ve had a fantasy trilogy published, of which he is the primary author. In 2013 a prequel to the trilogy, LEGACY OF MAGIC, was released, which can be read on its own. Unlike most of the people in her country, Merina doesn’t admire sorcerers and want to become one. She detests magic because she thinks it ruined her mother’s life. When Merina’s fiancé announces his plan to get trained as a healer sorcerer, her world turns upside down:


About the Author

Margaret L. Carter specializes in vampires, having been marked for life by reading DRACULA at the age of twelve. Her vampire novel DARK CHANGELING won an Eppie Award in the horror category in 2000. Other creatures she writes about include werewolves, dragons, ghosts, and Lovecraftian entities with tentacles. In addition to her horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance fiction, she has had several nonfiction books and articles published on the supernatural in literature. With her husband, retired Navy Captain Leslie Roy Carter, she has collaborated on a sword-and-sorcery trilogy, beginning with WILD SORCERESS. Her recent works include LEGACY OF MAGIC (a prequel to the trilogy), PASSION IN THE BLOOD (a vampire romance), “Bear Hugs” (an erotic romance shapeshifter novella), and SEALING THE DARK PORTAL (a paranormal romance with Lovecraftian elements). Explore love among the monsters at her website, Carter's Crypt: http://www.margaretlcarter.com.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Top Ten Writing Tips by Beverly Ovalle

Today I'm happy to have Beverly Ovalle, who's stopping by during her blog tour to share her latest book, Touched by the Sandman, as well as to tell us her top ten writing tips, several of which should all be #1 IMHO! And be sure to enter her Rafflecopter giveaway (see the box at the bottom.)

Top Ten Writing Tips
by Beverly Ovalle

Let’s see, top ten writing tips.

1. If I won’t read it, I won’t write it. Okay, I will but that section will never make it to the publisher. I tend to write what I like to read and if my writing doesn’t interest me, why should it interest anyone else?

2. Double check! Kind of like double tap from Zombieland. Once is never enough. I reread my manuscripts about four times before I send in the final draft. I always find something to correct. Bad spelling and bad grammar drive me crazy. I don’t want to see it in one of my books.

3. Even if you are a total pantser like me, make sure your storyline doesn’t contradict itself.

4. ALWAYS make sure your hero and heroine’s names are correct. I once read a book where in the last chapter the hero’s name was different. ARRRRG!

5. Make sure the sex scenes can be followed. I admit I have one that I think I even confused myself. I rewrote the one scene like five times and had it checked by four people to make sure it worked. Sadly, on occasion it still causes confusion. Maybe if it had been an orgy…

6. Always have your writing space prepped. Procrastination is NOT my friend. I need my water and coffee, snacks (anything that won’t leave marks or crumbs on my keyboard!) and a box of tissues handy (allergies). My chair has to be comfortable and the curtains pulled to just the right spot. 

7. DO NOT GO ON FACEBOOK. DO NOT GO ON FACEBOOK. DO NOT GO ON FACEBOOK.

8. Make sure no one is home while writing. I tend to repeat what I write out loud. My husband has enough ideas without me giving him more!

9. Do my research before I start to write. Procrastination is NOT my friend. Research often leads to interesting but off topic information. Like Pinterest. I LOVE Pinterest. Come join me. http://www.pinterest.com/ovalleba/

10. Write, don’t edit and just write. Separate editing sessions from your writing sessions or you’ll never get any decent amount of writing done.

Touched by the Sandman
By Beverly Ovalle

~A lonely woman's torrid sexual dreams and fantasy partner await her as a dominant reality in another dimension~
The sandman visits those that need him, assisting them to sleep. Until one night he meets a woman that he cannot help but return to time after time.
She is lonely. He comes to her as she drifts off to sleep, the man of her dreams. Awake or asleep, which is her reality?
He knows she is the one meant for him. He will find a way to make both of their dreams come true.

About the author
Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband Edmond of 24 years and two Chinese Water Dragons. Having her own Dragons is expected as she is dragon crazy and anyone that walks in her house can tell. Her son Nicholas visits when he is on leave from the Marines.  Her daughter Susannah visits from time to time to make sure us ‘old’ folks are alive and kicking.

Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

Beverly has been reading romances since her Aunt introduced her to the gothic romance in the fourth grade and is still reading every chance she gets. 

Connect with Beverly:
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Beverly-Ovalle/e/B00BOGT8MU/ 
Website/Blog – http://ovalleba.wix.com/beverly-ovalle#
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyOvalleAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SSLYblog
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BeverlyOvalle0211/ 
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/ovalleba/
Tumblr – http://ovalleba.tumblr.com/
Blog – http://SSLYblog.wordpress.com
Yahoo – http://about.me/beverly.ovalle
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982787.Beverly_Ovalle 
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/BeverlyOvalle
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SslySmileSomebodyLovesYou

GIVEAWAY

5 book Lunchbox Romance subscription from Boroughs Publishing Group

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link - http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9944253c70/

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chocolate Nut Bark -Guest Author Stacy Juba


It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious! Today I'm happy to welcome back special guest Stacy Juba, author of  a romantic suspense mystery titled Twenty-Five Years Ago Today. She's here to share a recipe with chocolate in it! Enough said. Take it away, Stacy!

CHOCOLATE NUT BARK

I love this recipe because it is super easy, looks impressive, and best of all, because it contains chocolate and nuts, two of my favorite ingredients!  The heroines of my mystery/romantic suspense novels, aspiring reporter Kris Langley from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and personal trainer Cassidy Novak from Sink or Swim, would love this nut bark also as like their creator, they adore chocolate. 

And when I say it's easy, I'm not kidding. The recipe has just three ingredients. It's a great dessert to prepare for a holiday or a family gathering if you don't have a lot of time, but want to make something tasty. 

You'll need: 
Wax paper
12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sliced or chopped almonds

Lay wax paper on a cookie sheet. Also loosely cover a bowl with wax paper and melt chocolate chips in microwave for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds. (Check it in 1 and a half minutes as the timing can vary by microwave.) When done, the chips will still be slightly in their form, but when you stir them, they will become creamy.

Add nuts separately then stir again until the nuts are mixed into the chocolate. Clump the mixture onto wax paper on cookie sheet and flatten with rubber spatula. You want it to be fairly thin.

Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Pull chocolate away from the wax paper. Break into pieces and keep in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. 

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
by Stacy Juba
Should we dig for the truth when Pandora's Box is a coffin of buried secrets? For twenty-five years, Diana Ferguson's killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, not only does she fall in love with Diana's sexy nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the obituary page herself. A unique blend of literary mystery, cozy mystery, and romantic suspense. Get in on the secret - join thousands of readers in discovering who killed Diana Ferguson.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Five-Years-Ago-Today-ebook/dp/B003U4WVKA/ref
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-five-years-ago-today-stacy-juba/1017979048?ean=2940011980930
Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_3?asin=B00B8VUQM2&qid=1359725371&sr=1-3

About the Author
Stacy Juba loves to write stories about Characters at a Crossroads: individuals who are finding themselves and getting on the right life path after overcoming obstacles. Her goals are to entertain readers of all ages as well as inspire them. She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers. Stacy has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag. She has had a book ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Browse her website www.stacyjuba.com for more information on her mystery, romance, and contemporary fiction books for adults, teens, and children, guest author features and resources on how to build your own “character,” and for her book/product reviews and advocacy relating to Type 1 Diabetes.

Website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacy-Juba/100155471301
Twitter https://twitter.com/stacyjuba

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dog Days of Summer Vacation

LIFE STUFF 

It's vacation time, and the days are flying by much too quickly for my taste, thank you very much. That said, it's been great having time to hang out and not always be in a rush to finish one task and get to the next.

Bri in her Texas diva hat waiting for our flight home
Texas was hot and humid, but it was wonderful to visit the family, and I had some of the best food I've eaten in a while. I also had fun whipping up some good eats for my Mama. She absolutely loved my pumpkin chili, and I made enough to leave some behind in the freezer for her. 

Now that we're back, the rest of vacation will be for catching up on some movies, swimming, reading, and more yummy food. Although I'll have to do some final lesson prep and curriculum purchasing at Barnes and Noble for the upcoming homeschool year, which starts for us next week.

WRITING STUFF
Book seen at the airport

Writing stuff right now is still about reading stuff. I'm almost done with The Good Guy and Doctor Sleep, the two books I picked up to entertain me on vacation.  I almost bought another book at the airport--the Shakespeare version of Return of the Jedi just looked rather funny. But I decided to stick to the two books I already had.

TV/MOVIE STUFF

My daughter and I saw How to Train Your Dragon 2, and I have to say it was really cute! I did enjoy the first one quite a lot as well. Toothless is just too adorable.  I really want to go see Lucy, the Scarlett Johansson movie where she turns into a superbrain. Maybe this week, since Mike just got back from Comic Con (where he spoke on a couple different panels). 

As for TV, True Blood still has me reeling from the weekly death toll and general mayhem. And has anyone seen the new season of Hemlock Grove? Parts of it had me intrigued, but I wasn't sure where they were going with it. Then again, that pretty much was the same thing as last season. The finale had me scratching my head, though. I was like, "What just happened? Seriously?" That's pretty much how Teen Wolf is going for me as well. 

~~~~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. 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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday with Guest Author Andrea Cooper

My newest feature is Throwback Thursday, where I showcase the very first book or story ever written by some talented authors.  Today I'm happy to have Andrea R. Cooper, author of Sons of Dragons. She's here to share a throwback to her very first work.


Throwback Thursday with Andrea Cooper


The very first full-length book I ever wrote was a Native American historical romance. To date, it is unpublished: 

Cheyenne Gold

Henry staggered, leaving footprints of blood on scattered hay. ”Dear God, at least let Christine be all right.”

Gritted his teeth and pulled his body to the back of the cabin. Splinters dug into his palms from the pine. 

The sun dimmed. A spinning blackness enveloped him. His knees buckled. 
His memories gathered before him like the dirt devils to choke him. Henry clawed at the dirt dragging his body towards the edge of the cabin. He raked his memory of how he could have saved his wife and daughter.

Henry left the two arrows in his thigh and the one beneath his right shoulder blade. If he yanked them out, he’d bleed to death in minutes. He squinted trying to see into the distance for any sign of his wife or daughter. Please, God don’t let those heathens have found Christine. Don’t let them do to her what they did t-to Camilla. 

I wrote this after learning how one of my ancestors hid her husband in a well when the Confederate soldiers came looking for men to make fight in the Civil war. In my story, I made Henry’s daughter, Christine, who is hidden in the well by her mother and escapes the massacre of her family by Indians. However, the Native American hero, must help her to overcome her prejudice and fear. 
What I learned was to create a romance; the focus must be on the internal and/or external struggles of the hero and the heroine. Without rewrites, this novel is primarily a historical fiction with romantic threads. I do plan on rewriting it and attempting to get it published.

I only submitted this story to a few publishers, but I’m sure with rewrites and edits, it could be published. Another thing I learned in my writing career, don’t give up. Keep writing, learning, researching, and if you get a rejection, try again.

About the Author
Andrea R. Cooper has always created characters and stories, but didn’t start writing them down until her late twenties. She writes fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. Currently she lives in Texas and when not dancing under the moonlight, she journeys to the fantasy and historical worlds with her characters. 

Find Andrea at www.AndreaRCooper.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @AndreaRCooper. 

Her latest novel is Son of Dragons Book 2, Legends of Oblivion series – a fantasy, paranormal romance 

In a time of false peace, the dead rise as soldiers for the Warloc’s scheme. For thousands of years he has stood ready for the final battle. Though the witch and her cursed Elvin have destroyed his physical body, now with his protégé, he has honed a new way to wage war.

Shunned by her own people and weary-hearted from centuries of lost loves, Elvin warrior Mirhana scours the land to silence the undead. Her heart has turned as cold as the sword she wields, until a prince seeks her aid.

Never has Prince Landon met a woman like Mirhana. Both beautiful and deadly, she haunts his dreams. The battle at hand becomes more enchanting than fighting to remain true to his unseen betrothed.

When a traitor emerges, new alliances are tested and the only remaining hope is to follow the prophecy and find the … Son of Dragons.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bacardi Rum Cake -Guest Author Ayla Ruse


It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious! Today I'm happy to have special guest Ayla Ruse, author of  Temptation Released, a naughty pirate tale. And in the true "spirit" of that title, she's here to share her recipe for rum cake! Take it away, Ayla!


Hi J Rose, and thank you for having me here today. One thing I love almost as much as reading and writing, is food. I love to cook and to share the deliciousness with others. When I sat down to this post, my mind spun with what yummy goodness to share with you and all your readers. My mind flipped between recipes and going over my recent release, a hot summer pirate tale. The way my mind works (as do most of our minds, I’m sure), it went something like this…

Food—book—recipe—pirates—hot—summer—sweet—spicy—dessert—drinks—rum—concotions---then it hit me: I’d share a recipe for a rum cake!

This recipe (it is a Bacardi Rum Cake, after all) has been around for ages. I remember my mother making it when I was little and I love to hear the squeals from my own kids when I make it today. It is super moist and too delicious to compare. Easy as anything to put together, and so worth the effort to have a sweet “nightcap” at the end of your day. Or lunch. Or breakfast. *grin*  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

BACARDI RUM CAKE

Ingredients
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (toasting is optional)
1 box of your favorite yellow cake mix
1 3.4oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
½ cup cold milk
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup Bacardi dark rum

Glaze
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup Bacardi dark rum

Directions
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts on the bottom of the pan. Combine the cake and pudding mixes. Add in the eggs (1 at a time), milk, oil and rum, and combine thoroughly. Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes on high. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool completely in pan. Invert onto serving plate. Prick top with a fork (or for more in-depth, poke into cake with a wooden skewer). Drizzle glaze over top. Yes, use all the glaze. Serve and enjoy!

To make the glaze: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and slowly stir in rum. Be careful, doing this will bubble and steam.

Thanks again, J Rose, for letting me spend some time with you. And for your readers, while enjoying the cake, why not pick up a copy of Temptation Released. You’ll find a strong pirate captain and a determined captive that go head-to-head in this steamy, summer tale. You can pick it up from Totally Bound, Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and more.

Temptation Released
by Ayla Ruse

About the Author:

I write erotic romance in my in-between moments of rearing and teaching three amazing boys. I love to hear from readers, and you can contact me through my website, or for more links, visit my about.me page.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday with Author JC Conway

My newest feature is Throwback Thursday, where I showcase the very first book or story ever written by some talented authors.  Today I'm happy to welcome back JC Conway, author of Hearts in Ruin. Last month, he was here with a recipe for New Mexico Green Chile Stew. Today, he's sharing a throwback to his very first work.


Throwback Thursday with JC Conway


By the time I wrote my first romance story, I'd written a number of tales in other genres, such as science fiction and fantasy. The first story I ever wrote is now long gone and I could never recreate it. But I was fortunate enough that my very first romance story was actually published. It was a piece of flash fiction called Time, Heat and a Smoking Ember. I wrote it in 2011 and in 2012 it was published in the non-paying market, Daily Love, edited by author E. S. Wynn. Daily Love is no longer published, but it was an honor to have my first story accepted for publication. The story begins like this:

Gina should have said, “No thank you.” Then she would be home with her slippers and tea. It would have been much simpler. She checked her eyes in the rear view mirror. She’d done a shabby job on the shadow—not very subtle at all. But it would have to do.
Not that it mattered. She and Nathan broke up long ago. A college fling, really—nothing more—and even then they weren’t a great match. He smoked. He drank. He skipped class. In retrospect, she wondered what she ever saw in him.
Still, she was curious what brought him back to town. He was always city bound. When he left for law school and she returned home to help Mom with the bakery, she assumed that was it … which was fine with her. No complications. He was fun, but immature. Not what she ever envisioned as a serious relationship.
She stopped the car and texted, “Here.”
Nathan responded immediately. “Be there soon. Stopped to pick up something.”
She rolled her eyes. She had always waited for Nathan. He was constantly forgetting his cigarettes somewhere, or his lighter … it was the number one reason he ran late.
“Bad habit,” she responded.
She stepped to the sidewalk and enjoyed the evening air. It was a great town and everything was going just fine. She would tell him that. It was none of his business whether she’d had a date in ages, and really none of hers whether he had either. It was odd how their phone conversation this afternoon felt like no time had passed since graduation. The only real change she sensed was a calmer tone. He didn’t sound today like he was talking through a cocky smirk.
“You look … amazing.”
Gina spun. Oh my.
Where she expected a cute, smart-mouthed college student with disheveled hair, she saw a well-dressed, confident man—Nathan as she would have ordered him, had she thought it possible.
She drew a breath. “Thank you,” she managed…

 The story continues for another 486 words, and can now be read HERE.

Hearts in Ruin
by JC Conway

My debut novel, Hearts in Ruin, is a suspenseful romance published by Liquid Silver Books. It's presently available in all eBook formats.

Andrea had one goal in life, a quiet career as a mainstream archaeologist—nothing more nothing less—and she's one ancient secret away. When she is teamed with maverick prodigy Daniel Fuchs at his controversial pre-Clovis dig on tribal land, she soon realizes his wild theories may sidetrack her career. Her smartest move is to expose him and that is exactly what she plans to do. Except…he’s hot, sexy, and there is a chance his theories may be right.

As the dig deepens and outside forces mount, Andrea and Daniel find their careers and their shaky relationship on the brink of ruin. Who can she trust? To survive professionally and emotionally, Andrea must decide between what is expected and what she believes, because time is running out and the developers' bulldozers are poised to level the site.

Delve into the mystery and excitement of an archaeological dig in the New Mexico desert and experience the drive, determination, and passion surrounding the quest to unlock the Paleolithic past in this contemporary, romantic suspense. Hearts In Ruin…no shovel required to join this adventure to discover an ancient truth!

Hearts in Ruin is available at:
·        Amazon
·        Barnes & Noble
·        Liquid Silver Books
·        Kobo
·        All Romance eBooks
·        Also available in the iTunes Store

About the Author
J. C. Conway writes romance, science fiction and fantasy. He is also a complex litigation attorney, a former high-school teacher, a supporter of community projects and activities, and a mental health advocate. He has published numerous short stories in each of his genres and Hearts In Ruin is his debut novel. To learn more about J. C. Conway and his stories, visit his website at http://jcconway.com, check out his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/J.C.Conway.Writer, or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jcconwaywriter.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saucy Baked Chicken -Guest Author Angela Smith


It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious! Today I'm happy to have special guest Angela Smith, author of Final Mend, who's here to share a recipe for a mushroom and balsamic baked chicken that sounds divine. Take it away!


Hi, my name is Angela Smith and I’m here to share with you one of my favorite all-time recipes, and one that Jake cooks for Winona. Jake, the hero in my newest book, Final Mend, is a recovering alcoholic who cooks food as a means to relax and work off his anxieties. Saucy Baked Chicken, paired with Herbed Vegetables, and cherry cheesecake or strawberry shortcake for dessert is the absolute perfect way to impress a date. My husband cooked this for me, and it’s one I beg for time and time again. This dish pairs well with chilled Moscato wine, but Jake chooses to drink sparkling apple juice. Following the recipe is a short excerpt of this scene where Jake cooks for Winona. Thanks for joining me, and I’d love to hear what you think!

SAUCY BAKED CHICKEN

Adapted from Time Life recipe card

Ingredients

6 chicken cutlets (about 1 ½ pounds)
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cup chicken broth
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450. Pour oil into large roasting pan. Add chicken, onion, and mushrooms, turning to coat with oil. Bake 5 minutes; turn chicken over and stir vegetables. Bake an additional 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk flour into chicken broth. Add vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, stirring well.

When chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, add broth mixture to roasting pan, cover with foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil; stir vegetables and baked, uncovered, until sauce bubbles and is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. 

Heat broiler. Turn chicken over. Place pan 6 inches from heat and broil until chicken just starts to turn golden, about 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately. 


Side Dish: Herbed Squash, Potatoes, and Green Beans

Ingredients

1 to 1.5 pounds total of the following: green beans, squash, and potatoes, or any vegetable in season at the time. Almost anything works well with this dish. 
2 tsb olive oil or butter
3 largely sliced shallots
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp grated lemon zest
¼ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
½ cup heavy cream

Directions

Bring ½ cup heavy cream to boil. Add vegetables and simmer low under tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Adjust to taste or depending on how saucy you like it. You can also drain any sauce if you don’t want saucy. 

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sugar; cook until softened and golden, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, lemon zest, basil leaves, and vegetables. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes.


Final Mend
by Angela Smith

A recovering alcoholic, Jake Inman has found a new, healthier addiction: training for his successful triathlon career. But when his manager is murdered and beloved goddaughter kidnapped, another obsession takes hold: doing whatever it takes to find Brandon’s killer and keep Amy safe. Jake turns to a private investigator for help in solving the case, and though he finds temptation in her whiskey-colored eyes, he knows he must resist his attraction, or risk losing his heart.

After a devastating case, Winona Wall has turned her back on her skills as a private investigator, preferring a quiet life as a part-time bartender. That is, until Jake storms into the bar, demanding her help in tracking his missing godchild. Unable to resist Jake’s charm, she reluctantly agrees. But even after Amy is found unharmed, Jake insists Amy’s mother was more involved with her kidnapping than the police suspect. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Winona must trust her instincts in order to save them all - and avoid falling in love.

Buy Links: 
Amazon:  http://ASIN.cc/B00KI2EYKW 
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Angela_Smith_Final_Mend?id=FG-fAwAAQBAJ
Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com/crimson-romance-ebooks/crimson-romance-book-genres/romance-suspense-novels/final-mend/ 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22081601-final-mend?from_search=true 
Other links listed at www.loveisamystery.com/my-books



About the Author:
During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read Brer Rabbit to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before actually learning to read. She’s always enjoyed stories about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed her love of suspense. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys off-roading, crafting, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day. 

Angela Smith LOVES talking to readers. You can contact her in the following ways:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAngelaSmith 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/angelaswriter 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173505.Angela_Smith 
Website: http://www.loveisamystery.com 
Blog: http://www.loveisamystery.com/my-blog
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/authorangelasmith 
Email: angela@loveisamystery.com 
Google+: https://plus.google.com/104911226706379689979/posts?partnerid=gplp0 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/asmithauthor/ 
Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com/crimson-romance-ebooks/crimson-romance-books-by-author/angela-smith/ 










Monday, July 14, 2014

Y U No Writing?

It’s official-I waved the white flag of defeat on CampNaNoWriMo after writing less than 2k. I was sad about this, but my muse nodded in quiet acceptance. After all, I’d just given myself the birthday gift of not driving myself so hard this year, and July is probably my busiest month of the year. I did decide this doesn't break my 7-year NaNo winning streak, either, since “NaNo” is officially in November for me and this was supposed to be something extra and fun. All that said, since my natural state of being involves writing at least three or four days per week, every day that goes by without word count finds me longingly dreaming for the time when prose will again flow onto the page with ease. It’s getting antsy inside this skin, folks.

I will say this--there's a spot in my brain that I meticulously trained years ago to stay in permanent writer's mode. So even during these Dark Times, it sits in the background, coming up with ideas and working out plot points while I'm busy getting frazzled with Life Stuff. 

LIFE STUFF

I’d barely revamped my Organized Writer schedule when I realized it wouldn’t work. July is a weird time, when birthdays, annual vacation, Mike’s departure for San Diego Comic-Con to speak on panels, and gearing up for a new homeschool year all collide in a big puff of to-do lists, day planners, and good intentions. So this week, while I was busy simultaneously researching flight times, planning 5th grade curriculum, shopping for a baby shower, and going blonde for the summer, I realized that my Organized Writer blog series was incomplete. I needed another section for handling those solid blocks of time when I need to be super organized, yet any and all attempts to conduct my usual schedule will result in a complete breakdown of the space-time continuum. So, as soon as the circus train has pulled out of the station, I’ll be working on an additional post in the series to address this. I hope this paves an easier path for July 2015.


baby shower cake!
One of my personal rules is that if I can’t be writing, I’d better be reading, and I’ve been doing that. I started Dean Koontz’s The Good Guy, which is very promising thus far, but I put it aside for now to read Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (the sequel to The Shining). The reason I switched reads was quite practical—Doctor Sleep is a huge hardcover that will be much harder to tote around when Bri and I fly out to Texas at the end of next week. The Good Guy, on the other hand, is a nice little paperback. I usually read eBooks and thus don’t have these issues, but yes, physical books still pass through my hands from time to time.

I’ll be away from my laptop next Monday, and after that I have to make the final sprint to finish vacation fun with my daughter and get her homeschool year prepped. I won’t be doing an update post for a couple weeks or so because of this, but I’ve lined up some special guests to share recipes, throwbacks to first fiction, and more. The blog is in good hands until I’m back, all vacation-refreshed and ready to rock on a new schedule.

TV STUFF

Okay, True Blood...any bets on how many will still be standing by the final episode? Geeze Louise. And the stuff going on with Eric, as well as Jessica, well damn. There are still some story lines I could care less about (::cough Adilyn:: ::cough Holly's kids::), but they've got me suckered into watching the season. And as for Teen Wolf, it shot out the gate with a confusing bang, and I'm not sure where it will end up. But Stiles and sometimes Derek still makes this one worth watching.



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On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. 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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Top Ten with Alisa Anderson


From time to time I showcase other authors and books on my blog. Today I'm happy to have Alisa Anderson, co-author of Fallen Angel book 1 and 2 (part 2 releases today!) She's here to give us something a bit different--a top ten romantic poem. Take it away, Alisa!

The Top Ten of You

10. When you caress my ear for no reason at all.
9. When you tackle me to the bed, but are sure to catch me when I fall.
8. When you touch me in that spot you know drives me insane.
7. When you bring me home...after you already came. *winks*
6. When its breakfast in bed, but there is no food.
5. When the meal is me, just to get me in the mood.
4. When you taste me, and say I’m your favorite dish.
3. When you look at me and tell me I’m the answer to your every wish.
2. When you touch my soul and make it sing.
1. When I know deep inside….I am your absolute, cry for, lie for, die for…everything.

Fallen Angel
by Alisa Anderson and Cameron Skye
Buy Links:
Amazon 
Barnes and Noble
iTunes

When Jess packed up her belongings and fled her small hometown in Kansas, she never looked back. Free from her family’s dark past she was finally able to pursue her lifelong dream as a professional dancer. She never expected to find herself at his door...or at his club.

Nikolas was unlike any other man she had ever met. Sexy…Alluring…Predatory. Dangerous. The kind of man with more secrets than even she had. Every instinct warned Jess against knowing him further, but she always did like playing with fire…

Nikolas Roman took one look at Jess and knew she was trouble from the very start. But something about the defiant twist of her mouth and the wide, haunted eyes of a damaged soul touched him in places he had long ago thought dead. He knew he needed to stay far away from her for his own sanity, but like a moth to a flame he was helpless to resist…

Working at Takers gentleman's club was the last place Jess thought she would find herself, but she quickly learned how the game was played. See what you want, take what you can get…but at what cost?

About the Authors:

Alisa Anderson
well...alisa did stuff and is still doing stuff. only now she has two boys crazy enuff to want her as their mommy. hey, at least she tried to warn them, so her job is done. she doesn’t like to capitalize, partially because she likes how lower case letters look visually, but mostly out of laziness. please don't judge. it could be you. and she would say, hey. you're alright, buddy. you're ok in my book. now c'mere for a hug. the hug might be pushing it. air kiss? you are strangers, after all, with only a mutual love of poor grammar.
she lives for a world full of controllable anatomically correct, android men programmed to meet her specific feminine needs (wink, wink, nudge, nudge with a big waggle of the eyebrows). who look like the rock. and ian somerhalder. and idris elba. and that's it she promises. variety. gotta have variety, right?

but alas...apparently that exists only in johanna lindsey's genius mind. so until then, she enjoys her incredibly warped sense of humor. she reads tons of erotica and romantic, drippy goo that makes her heart go pitter patter. then she thought, hey. what, she said to herself. (softly, of course, so no one finds out she is indeed, 2 nuts short of a fruitcake) maybe you should write this stuff too. maybe someone will like it and maybe buy it. so she said, huh, you think? then she said, well...yeah, i wouldn't have suggested it...(inserts sarcastic tone) and then she was like lose the attitude, ok? then she was all, would you just shut up and write, already? sheesh! and she did. :)

Cameron Skye
When Cameron is not in the lab working toward a Ph.D. in Neuropsychopharmacology, which in laymen's terms is basically finding the effects drugs have on mood and behavior, she is writing stories, crating vivid, intense characters you will never forget.
She believes while life can take you down every path but the right one, eventually everyone will find their happily ever after.


Alisa’s Website: www.houseofalisa.com
Cameron’s Website: http://cameronskyebooks.wix.com/cameronskye
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlisaAndersonBooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bitchesbewritin
Blog: http://alisaanderson.wordpress.com/

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