Sloane Taylor - Sweet as Honey, Hotter Than Hell

December 7, 2016

Your Taste Buds Will Cheer

from Dominique Eastwick

With my latest appetizer creation. Roquamole is an invigorating, and easy, twist on taco salad. This is the perfect dip to enjoy while cheering on your favorite Super Bowl team.

ROQUAMOLE

Photo by tiramisustudio

1 cup crumbled Roquefort or St. Agur cheese
¼ cup sour cream
2 ripe avocados
2 tbsp. finely sliced scallions
¼ cup jarred sliced pickled green jalapenos
¼ tsp. paprika
1 bag blue corn tortilla chips

Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl.

Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.

Roughly chop the sliced jalapenos. Stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced scallions.

Arrange in the center of a plate or dish. Dust with paprika and surround with tortilla chips.

Dive in!

Here’s a little from Dom’s sexy paranormal romance for your reading pleasure.

The babies are coming… the Wiccan Haus will never be the same.

Things are not as calm at the Wiccan Haus as they usually are. The impending birth of Dana and Rekkus’ cubs has everyone on edge. The last thing anyone wants or expects is a series of uninvited guests.

Ashlynn Stone hasn’t spoken to her sister Dana since she left for the Wiccan Haus over a year earlier. But when a fluke accident on the fashion runway forces her to seek the healing of the Wiccan Haus, she has no choice but to pack her bags and take the ferry to the island with her family in tow.

Shadedor has been sent to the Wiccan Haus to assess the situation. But he soon finds more than he expected. His soul mate in need of healing. Can he negotiate the issues of the Wiccan Haus and overcome the walls Ashlynn has built to protect herself.

As the Haus prepares for the biggest event since it opened, can the siblings find harmony and manage to do what they do best, heal those in need? Or is it too much for them to take?

Welcome back to the Wiccan Haus.

EXCERPT
He walked. This morning, he had been right next to her, and there had been constant contact. Now they would appear to anyone passing to be complete strangers. “You want to tell me what is going on?”

“We are attempting to remove all stress from your life in hopes of easing the headaches.”

“No, with you. If you would prefer to be elsewhere, I can go back to my room and lie down.”

He stopped. “There is nowhere I would rather be.”

“Then why are you acting like I have the plague? Was it the kiss earlier?”

“I overstepped my boundaries this morning. I should not have done so.”

“Do you regret it?”

“I am assisting the staff here in your healing. It is inappropriate for me to come on to you.”

“Are you on staff here?”

“No.”

“That settles it.” She smiled. Closing the distance between them, she wrapped her arms around his neck. “I do not know what is going on, but I do know my pain and fears ease when you are near. I don’t claim to understand how you discern all you do, but I am starting to see things here aren’t always black and white, and sometimes I have to have faith and trust.”

After a brief second of him standing as still as a statue and her wondering if she read too much into this morning’s embrace, he relaxed. His arms snaked around her, pulling her against his hard body. His mouth came down on hers begging her to open for him, demanding she submit to his kiss. She might have started this dance, but he would damned well be leading it.

BUY LINKS
AmazonDecadent Publishing

Award-Winning author Dominique Eastwick currently calls North Carolina home with her husband, two children, one crazy lab and one lazy cat. Dominique spent much of her early life moving from state to state as a Navy Brat. Because of that, traveling is one of her favorite pasttimes. When not writing you can find Dominique with her second love…her camera.

Learn more about Dominique Eastwick on her website, blog, and Amazon author page. Be sure to join her Newsletter for up to the minute info on new releases, contests, and more.

Stay connected on Twitter, Tublr, Tsu, and Pinterest.

Sloane said @ 12:10 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

December 5, 2016

Cookies Santa Will Love

by Sara Daniel

My favorite holiday recipe is for Candy Cane Cookies. I love these festive cookies for their hint of almond flavor and the crushed candy canes on the top. I only make them once a year, and I double the recipe below.

I will warn you to make sure that you only use peppermint candy canes (or peppermint candies). A couple years ago, I went around our family Christmas tree, plucking off all the red and white candy canes. I crushed them into the topping, which I then sprinkled onto the cookies. Well, you can imagine my dismay when I took a bite and discovered mixed in with the refreshing mint flavor was also the not-so-refreshing taste of watermelon candy. Yes, unbeknownst to me, one (or more) of the candy canes I crushed was watermelon flavored, not mint, and I can NOT in good conscience recommend it to anyone! This year I used round peppermint candies to ensure there was no mix-up!

Candy Cane Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1½ tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
½ – 1 tsp. red food coloring
1 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candy

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine butter, shortening, and powdered sugar. Mix in egg, almond extract, and vanilla. Continue mixing as you add in flour and salt.

Divide dough in half. Place in separate bowls. Blend food coloring into one bowl of dough.

Shape one tablespoon of dough from each color into a rope. Place ropes side by side on a cookie sheet. Press together lightly and twist. Curve down the top third to form a candy cane.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle cookies with crushed peppermint candy.

Wait until cookies are cool to prevent breakage when removing them from the pan.

Enjoy the tastes and smells of the season. Happy holidays!

~Sara

Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, and loses her car keys several times a day.

Learn more about Sara on her website and blog. Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Sloane said @ 1:23 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

November 16, 2016

Time for an Old Favorite

Hi Everyone,

The following menu is what I normally prepare each Thanksgiving. But not this year. This year Mr. & Mrs. Studs will be enjoying Southern hospitality as we travel through Memphis (that you Jean Paquin for all your terrific suggestions) New Orleans, and Nashville on our two week honeymoon. Yep, Studs and I are getting married this Saturday and celebrating with family and close friends.

But your family and friends can enjoy all this delicious food. So turn on the football game, grab your aprons, and let’s start cooking!

Roast Turkey
Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Sautéed Broccoli
Corn
Cranberry Sauce
Gravy
White Wine – Riesling

Roast Turkey
Turkey
Butter
2 leeks including some green – chopped
2 large onion – chopped
15 baby carrots – chopped
4 tomatoes – chopped
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dried marjoram
1 large bay leaf
Bacon strips to cover breast

Chicken stock
Disposable pan
Cooking rack
Cookie sheet – for stability

Place unopened turkey on a cloth lined cookie sheet and thaw in refrigerator 7 hours per pound or one day for every four pounds of frozen turkey.

Thanksgiving Morning:
If turkey’s not completely thawed, set in a large pot of cold water to complete. Dispose of packet inserted in cavity. Rinse well, then pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cooking times:
10 – 18 lbs. 2 – 2½ hrs.
18 – 22 lbs. 2½ – 3 hrs.
22 – 24 lbs. 3 – 3½ hrs.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large frying pan. When the foam subsides, lay the turkey on its side breast down. Brown the breast until golden, first one side then the other. Be careful moving the turkey around, it’s heavy and awkward.

Set disposable pan on cookie sheet. Insert cooking rack. Add chopped vegetables. Place turkey on rack breast up. Lay bacon slices over breast to cover well. Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the pan bottom by 1 inch. Cover the turkey and pan edges with aluminum foil, crimping the sides well.

Remove from oven at the predetermined time. To test if the bird is done, use a paper towel or pot holder and shake hands with its leg. The leg should move freely. If you use a meat thermometer it should read 185° when inserted in the thigh. For an accurate reading, be sure not to touch bone. Tent with foil and allow to rest 30 – 45 minutes before carving.

Stuffing
1 package bread stuffing cubes plain or seasoned
½ pound Jimmy Dean Original Sausage in the tube
1 rib celery chopped
½ medium onion chopped
1 stick butter
Chicken stock about 2 cups maybe a little more
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 egg

The stuffing may be prepared a day or two in advance up to the baking point.

Fry sausage, breaking into small chunks until lightly brown.

Melt butter in a medium size skillet. When the foam subsides add the celery and onion. Sauté 3-4 minutes, be careful not to let it brown.

Empty bread cubes into a large bowl. Add sausage and vegetables with all their juices. Mix well.

Beat egg in a small bowl. Pour onto stuffing. Sprinkle sage and thyme across the top. Mix well.

Stir in chicken stock until mixture is very moist, but not soupy.

Spoon into baking dish, do not pack in, and cover tightly with foil. (This is your stopping point if you make this before Thanksgiving. Refrigerate the stuffing until you are ready to bake it.)

Thanksgiving Day:
Remove stuffing from the refrigerator early in the day to allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the stuffing for a half hour. Remove foil and continue to bake until the top has browned.

Mashed Potatoes
1 small russet potato per person
Chicken stock
Butter
Sour cream
Milk
Pepper

The Day Before:
Pour one inch chicken stock into saucepan. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then place in saucepan. Add tap water to cover by one inch. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower temperature to a strong simmer. Cook approximately 25 minutes. Test for doneness by poking a fork into a potato. It should insert easily.

Drain potatoes. Mash well without adding other ingredients. Cool completely in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Thanksgiving Day:
Remove potatoes from the refrigerator early in the day to allow them to come to room temperature. When you are ready to serve, microwave potatoes until hot. Stir in butter, sour cream, milk, and pepper to the consistency you prefer.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
32oz. can of sweet potatoes – my favorite is Royal Prince Candied Sweet Potatoes
½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
1 stick of butter
1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. Cut large pieces in half. Lay potatoes into a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.

Sprinkle brown sugar across the top, then dot with butter.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Scatter marshmallows over the yams and bake for 15 minutes or until the marshmallows are brown.

Services 8.

Broccoli Stir-fry
4 mini carrots sliced on an angle
½ cup olive oil – possibly more
½ medium onion sliced
1 inch piece gingerroot peeled and cut into strips
1 head broccoli trimmed and cut into florets
½ small sweet red pepper cored, seeded and cut into strips
½ small yellow pepper cored, seeded and cut into strips
2 large garlic cloves pressed
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 green onions sliced on an angle
5 mini Bello mushrooms cleaned and sliced into thirds
1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice

Have all the ingredients prepped and on the counter before you begin cooking.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onion, carrot and gingerroot. Sauté until carrot is almost soft. Test by inserting a toothpick into the carrot. Remove as many gingerroot pieces as you can find. Don’t worry if some are left in the pan.

Add broccoli, red and yellow peppers, and garlic. Sprinkle on red pepper flakes. Stir constantly to insure broccoli is well coated with the oil. Add more oil if necessary. Squeeze on the lime or lemon juice. Sauté 2 – 4 minutes, but be sure the broccoli and peppers still have crunch to them.

Blend in green onions and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are heated through. Serve quickly.

Serves 4 – 6 so adjust accordingly.

From the corn through the gravy you’ll learn just how lazy I can be on holidays.:) 
Corn
1 can of corn per 4 people – my favorite is Green Giant Niblets
butter

Drain corn, then pour into micro wave safe bowl. Lay 2 or 3 pats of butter across the top. Micro wave for 3 minutes, stir and serve.

Frozen corn:
Follow package instructions

Cranberry Sauce
1 can of sauce per 6 people – my favorite is Ocean Spray Jellied

Lay the sauce into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until ready to serve.

Gravy
1 jar of gravy for 4 people – my favorite is Heinz Home Style Gravy Roasted Turkey

Pour the gravy into a saucepan. Stir in a few tablespoons of the juice from the roasted turkey pan. Heat through and serve.

I’ll be back Monday. Until then…

Have a wonderful holiday!

Sloane Taylor
Twitter
Amazon Author Page

Sloane said @ 12:09 am | Cooking,Holidays | Comments

November 9, 2016

Easy & Quick – Drama Queen Style

The comedian of The Last Timekeepers is undisputedly Treena Mui. Out of all the characters in my YA time travel series, she’s the one who cracks me up and makes me smile the most. But did you know ‘drama queen’ Treena has another talent besides acting her way out of a tough situation during a Timekeeper mission? She loves to cook. Surprised? You shouldn’t be, since cooking is in Treena’s blood. Her parents own the Lucky Goldfish, the only Chinese Restaurant in White Pines, so they have entrusted her with a few secret family recipes. One such dish is their Famous (and Quick) Pork-Fried Rice.

Simple and easy to make, the Lucky Goldfish’s Famous (and Quick) Pork-Fried Rice is a crowd pleaser at the Mui’s restaurant, as well as at their dinner table. The secret is truly in the sauce they use, and in the way the Mui family lovingly prepare all their meals for their guests and patrons. With a prep time of only 25 minutes, the below recipe only serves enough for two, so I suggest that you double (or triple) the ingredients just in case you have any surprise stragglers bellying up to your table for supper.

The Lucky Goldfish’s Famous (and Quick) Pork-Fried Rice

1 egg
1 tsp. water
2 tbsp. Asian Sesame Dressing (yup, that’s the secret sauce, and the Mui’s like to use the Kraft® brand dressing)
1 cup chopped cooked pork tenderloin
1⅓ cups hot cooked long-grain rice, cooled slightly
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 carrot, coarsely shredded
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Beat egg and water with fork until well blended. Add to large nonstick skillet; cook on medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until set, stirring occasionally. Transfer to bowl; cut into small pieces. Wipe skillet with paper towel.

Add dressing and pork to hot skillet. Stir-fry on medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add rice and soy sauce; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add carrots and onions; stir-fry 1 minute or until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in egg.

Top with nuts (if desired).

NOTE from the Lucky Goldfish Restaurant: This is a great way to use leftover cooked rice. Just warm it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes before using.

Once you’ve filled your tummy with this Asian feast, you may want to sit down and digest your dinner. While you’ve got your feet propped up, why not pick up my new The Last Timekeepers book and peruse the latest mission with Treena and her time traveling cohorts?

Escape to the past and have a blast with an outstanding new release by Sharon Ledwith, and published through Mirror World Publishing. The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret is Book 2 in The Last Timekeepers series. This WWII fantasy is filled with action and is an excellent read for everyone ten years old through adulthood.

Only a true hero can shine the light in humanity’s darkest time.

Fourteen year-old Jordan Jensen always considered himself a team player on and off the field, until the second Timekeeper mission lands him in Amsterdam during World War Two. Pulled into the world of espionage, torture, and intolerance, Jordan and the rest of the Timekeepers have no choice but to stay one step ahead of the Nazis in order to find and protect a mysterious book.

With the help of the Dutch Resistance, an eccentric baron, Nordic runes, and an ancient volume originating from Atlantis, Jordan must learn that it takes true teamwork, trust, and sacrifice to keep time safe from the evils of fascism. Can Jordan find the hero within to conquer the darkness surrounding the Timekeepers? If he doesn’t, then the terrible truth of what the Nazis did will never see the light of day.

EXCERPT
“I wonder what else is down here.” Drake beamed his cell phone across the basement, hitting jars of jams, pickles, and relishes. His stomach growled.

Jordan pulled the cheese from his pocket and handed it to Drake. “Trade you for your phone.”

“Best. Trade. Ever.” Drake passed his phone to Jordan.

Jordan walked over and grabbed a jar of pickles off the dusty shelf. At least they wouldn’t arrive at the baron’s place hungry. He hoped his uncle had managed to stop Amanda’s bleeding. His hand tightened over the jar, the ridges of the lid cutting into his palm. A scrape from behind the shelves made Jordan jump.

“Hello?” he asked, pushing jars aside. He flashed the cell phone into the small, dark area.

“Who ya talking to, Jordan?” Drake asked with his mouth full of cheese.

“Shhh, Drake.” Jordan listened. Hearing nothing, he shrugged and turned back around.

“I thought I heard—” Jordan stopped and pointed the phone at Ravi. His jaw dropped. “A-Are you serious, Sharma?”

Drake spat out his cheese, snorting with laughter.

“Is there a problem?” Ravi asked, tying the bowtie of his tuxedo.

“You look like a penguin with attitude!” Drake slapped his knee.

“Say what you want, but I’m glad we didn’t hit the cleaners on the way to school now,” Ravi replied, pulling down his sleeves, “or else I wouldn’t have these dry clothes.”

Jordan chuckled. Suddenly, he heard a door creak open, followed by heavy footsteps squeaking down the stairs. Panicking, Jordan stuffed Drake’s phone in his track suit jacket’s pocket and waved Drake over by the shelves. Drake slipped behind Jordan just in time, before the small light bulb above the bottom of the stairs clicked on. Jordan swallowed hard. There, staring directly at Ravi was a portly man in a blood-stained apron. Tufts of blond hair sprouted from the sides of his balding head. His brown trousers were pulled up past his waist, making him resemble an evil garden gnome. In one of his hands, he held a huge butcher knife, its blade flecked with blood.

Wielding the knife, the man pointed at Ravi. “Who are you?”

Ravi licked his thick lips nervously. “The name’s Bond. James Bond.”

BUY LINKS
Mirror World Publishing: PaperbackeBook
AmazonAmazon.caKOBOBarnes & Noble

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Mirror World Publishing, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books.

Sloane said @ 1:15 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments are off

November 7, 2016

NEW RELEASE for Sexy Sara Daniel

The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow are BACK. That means an all new irresistible bad boy, loads of steamy romance, and a dash of small town shenanigans are coming your way. All books are standalone and can be read in any order. If you’re new to the series, you can dive into the first one, The Bad Boy’s Gift, for free at your favorite e-retailer. And for the month of October, book 2, The Bad Boy’s Guilt, is on sale for only $.99!

He’s supposed to be the town hero. He’s not!
Haunted by comrades he was unable to save, Drake Miller walks away from his military career for the relaxed, quiet life of running his father’s bar in Regret Hollow. Too bad no one tipped him off that his father sold the bar.
While the townspeople treat him to a hero’s welcome that he doesn’t want and doesn’t deserve, he finds one person who doesn’t fall at his feet, calls him out for bad behavior, and kisses like a fantasy. Unfortunately, she also owns the bar that was supposed to be his.
As a single mom and small business owner, Mallory Marquette takes her commitments and responsibilities seriously. She can’t give away her livelihood just because Drake thinks he’s entitled to it—even if he is the town hero and the first man in a decade who gets her blood flowing. Besides, she needs a reliable bartender much more than she needs a lover.
Can this hero turned bad boy step up to a lifetime commitment, or will the freedom he sacrificed so much for cost him everything?

EXCERPT

“Wait a second.” He held up a hand. “I know you. You’re the stuck-up high school princess who was too good to give me the time of day. Mallory Yates.” His lips curled into a sneer.

In what universe did a pizzeria waitress have anything in common with a princess? Whatever. She couldn’t reason with guys like him. She didn’t bother to correct him on her name, either. If not for Ryan, she’d have returned to the Yates surname after her divorce. “I don’t know what you’re talking about and neither do you, but thanks for showing me you’re still the same insensitive jerk you’ve always been.”

He laughed. “You’re ever so welcome, princess. Now are you going to spray me with that pepper spray or just intimidate me by waving it around?”

She glanced down at the tiny bottle in her fist. If the rumors about his capabilities were true, he could disarm her in the blink of an eye. Regardless, he sure wasn’t the least bit intimidated.

“Neither.” She shoved the canister in her back pocket and advanced on him. “I want you to think next time before you do something stupid.” She shoved his chest, which proved as solid and unmoving as a brick wall.

He grasped her hands before she could withdraw them, trapping them against his heat. His eyes glittered in the growing darkness.

“Sometimes thinking is overrated. I like to do and deal with the consequences later.” He lowered his head toward her.

No way. He wouldn’t. He had as much disdain for her as she had for him. She glared at him, refusing to call his bluff and pull away.

His lips pressed against hers, hard and demanding. He plunged his tongue into her mouth. She gasped as fire raced through her veins. Clenching her fingers around the fabric of his T-shirt, she met the demands of his mouth.

She refused to be intimidated just because he was sexier than sin and could kiss a hell of a lot better than anyone in recent memory or, um, in ever. Oh God, she couldn’t remember anyone else. She couldn’t even remember her own name.

A moan tore from her throat. She bit down on his lip then thrust her tongue, tangling it with his.

He bracketed her ribs, sliding beneath her jacket and the hem of her shirt then over her waist and up, cupping her breast.

Holy hell. Who knew being groped could feel so good? With one touch, she nearly believed she could leave behind stress and responsibility and reclaim her femininity. “Fondle me, you bastard, and make it good.”

Buy links:
Amazon
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Google Play


Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, and loses her car keys several times a day.

Learn more about Sara on her website and blog. Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Sloane said @ 12:02 am | Author Friend New Releases | Comments are off

November 2, 2016

Chicken with an Italian Twist

Here’s a quick dinner that looks and tastes like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen. Add a salad and your meal is complete.

CHICKEN MARSALA

4 medium chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
¼ tsp. thyme
8 ozs. baby Porto Bella mushrooms, halved if large
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup Marsala wine
½ cup heavy cream at room temperature
Rice or pasta
Parsley

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle thyme evenly over breasts.

Melt half the oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet set on medium heat. When the foam subsides add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Spoon vegetables into a bowl and set aside.

Use the same skillet and melt remaining oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Sauté 10-15 minutes, until no pink remains. The time depends on meat thickness. Remove chicken to a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm or place in a 200° oven

Add Marsala and stock to the same skillet. Bring to a boil while scraping in any bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by almost half.

Reduce heat to medium. Slowly stir in cream. Heat through but do not bring to a boil.

Return chicken and mushrooms to the pan. Heat through for 2-3 minutes.

Move chicken to the center of a serving dish. Surround with rice or pasta. Spoon mushrooms and broth over the platter. Sprinkle parsley across the top to decorate. Serve immediately.

May you enjoy all the days of your life around a well laden table!

Sloane Taylor
Twitter
Amazon Author Page

Sloane said @ 12:29 am | Cooking | Comments are off

October 31, 2016

Humor is Good – Even in Bloodsuckers!

by Lizzie T. Leaf

I like humor in my life. I like to read humor and to write it. So when originally approached to write a Halloween story, no surprise my mind went in the humor direction.

When I mentioned to a friend the possibility of a vampire story that wasn’t horror, she suggested making the heroine Jewish (which my friend is) and throw in Kosher (yet again, my friend’s food style) to add conflict to the drinking blood issue. I took the bull by the horns and off I went. Thus evolved DEAD Awake, where the heroine is a socialite whose grandmother, a Reform Jew, keeps a Kosher Kitchen.

Our gal, is a little on the wild side…think Paris Hilton…and a paparazzi darling. Her connection with the hot guy in a vampire costume at her Halloween party, leads to a life change she’s not too pleased about.

She wakes up smelling pine and discovers, thanks to the helpful stranger lurking outside the mortuary, she’s not one of the living dead. And, her new main food supply is blood. Yuk! She doesn’t eat food that’s snuggled with blood, let alone drink the stuff.

Not to bore you with details, I finished the book and moved onto other work—my vampire days behind me—so I thought.

Then readers started to ask, “When’s the next book in the series?” Series? My mind hadn’t gone down that path, so what to write next? Then another friend said, “How about a vampire who faints at the sight of blood?”

Once she planted the seed, my mind wouldn’t leave the idea alone and plans for DEAD Faint came to be and with that the DEAD series was born. The next book in the works is DEAD Hunter, about what else…a vampire hunter (or so she thinks…snicker).

Then there is DEAD Memory. What if you’re a vampire, but don’t remember that little detail. All you know while you’re recovering from your wounds from what must have been an awful beating is blood smells wonderful. Why does his hot care provider insist on cooking the food…raw works.

Vampires don’t always have to be blood thirsty beasts. They can have an attitude that will make you smile and love problems, too. Check out Mary Janice Davidson’s, Undead series (which I had not read until after my first DEAD released and readers kept telling me I had a similar style, to which I say “thank you for the compliment,”) and you’ll find humor.

Are there more in my DEAD series? Definitely! DEAD Hot is another story in the planning stages and there are several more on the dying to come onboard.

People have to stop planting seeds in my head. Combined with all that appear on their own, I have a headache. Now I’m off to pop a couple of martinis and write…which is the only true way I can purge the noise.

Here’s a brief intro to my vampire story that is guaranteed to heat up your chilly fall nights.

Socialite Deb Stein lives a life of luxury until she takes the hunk dressed as a vampire to her bed. When she wakes up one of the living dead, she’s pissed-off. To complicate matters more, she has to find a new identity since everyone thinks she’s dead. Plus, if she’s dead, she can’t touch her trust fund, and that means she has to work! How can someone who has never had a job find one?

And her social life is in the tank. Her new friends are a street guy called Rat and fellow strippers at the dive where she works. If she ever sees Aaron Lowell again, she’ll put a stake in his heart.

Aaron Lowell feels guilty he took his mentor’s advice and left town after taking the sexy socialite into the undead world. Concerned, he returns to check on her and discovers she’s become a stripper – and not a very happy one when she sees him. But she’s still hot, and he can’t stay away from her, even if their meetings are explosive.

Can two vampires move beyond anger, combined with a strong sexual attraction, to find the kind of love they both crave?

Buy Links
Decadent Publishing
Amazon

To read excerpts from other books by Lizzie T. Leaf please click onto Amazon.

Lizzie T. Leaf loved books since she opened her first one. Her dream was to write them herself. Lost in the hectic day to day world of family, job, laundry and housework, writing became a distant memory. When the twinkling ember did spark, it was usually doused by someone demanding their share of her time.

Lizzie’s life went full circle. The desire to put the stories that continued to play in her head on paper emerged stronger than ever, and at a time when there was someone who encouraged. Now she lives her dream.

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Sloane said @ 12:19 am | Author Friend Promo,Holidays | Comments are off

October 26, 2016

SHIFTERS and SPICE

20 Shifter stories by 20 authors


For a limited time 99 cents

If you dream of shifters, this set of 20 brand new shifter stories featuring USA Today and New York Times best-selling authors has you covered. Whether you like them large and in charge or sleek and sexy, you’ll find the right story to spice up your night in these pages.

Featuring:
A.J. Bennett — Masquerade 
Becca Vincenza — Contracted 
Blaire Edens — Frenzied 
Carolyn Spear — Taming the Puma 
Dara Fraser — Lion’s Pretend Girlfriend 
Desiree Holt — Shadow of the Wolf 
Dominique Eastwick — Bearing the Hunger 
Erin Hayes — I Found My Rhino 
Ever Coming — The Mismatchmaker
H.D. Gordon — Blood Sport 
Hazel Boyer — Accidentally Mated
Kate Richards — An Evening in the Superstitions 
Lila Felix — Wolf Protector 
Lisbeth Frost — Encounter on a Mountain 
Louisa Bacio — The Luna Twins 
Margo Bond Collins — Laugh Out Love 
Marissa Farrar — Wolf Torn 
Merryn Dexter — Bear Faced Lies 
M.J. Haag — Escaping the Lutha 
Rachael Slate — Untamed Lord of Thessaly

Bearing the Hunger 
Shifters of Yellowstone Book 2
by
Dominique Eastwick


If Grant had his way, humans and their stupidity would be banned from Yellowstone, leaving the shifters who knew the land to live and take care of it. Until he meets human geologist Morgan Jenkins, who is only working in Yellowstone until winter comes. Suddenly, the one shifter in the park who most wanted all humans gone found he wanted one human to stay forever.

Also Available for 99 cents
Bear with Me
Shifters of Yellowstone Book 1


Yellowstone National Park is known for its majestic beauty, breath taking scenic views and the opportunity to see nature up close and personal. Park ranger Quinn loves everything about her job. But her canny ability to find grizzlies is starting to raise eyebrows. When she stumbles across a close encounter of the bear kind, she is suddenly thrown into a side of Yellowstone she never imagined existed.

Brutus has been watching his mate from afar for too long both as human and bear. But another clans actions force him to introduce himself early then Quinn was ready. Forced to defend his beta he brings her into his world. A world that
hangs in the balance if Quinn can’t take her rightful place as his beta.

Can the grizzly alpha make her see that they could be hotter than the geysers at
Yellowstone or will it be too late when rival males start moving into the park?
Award winning author Dominique Eastwick currently calls North Carolina home with her husband, two children, one crazy lab, and one lazy cat. Dominique spent much of her early life moving from state to state as a Navy Brat. Because of that traveling is one of her
favorite pastimes. When she’s not writing, you can find Dominique with her second love…her camera.
  
Sloane said @ 12:20 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments are off

October 24, 2016

JoAnne Keltner Knows Her Goth

Welcome to the 2-week blog tour for Goth Girl, Virgin Queen, a YA Paranormal, by JoAnne Keltner releasing December 3, 2016 from Solstice Publishing.

Follow the tour and connect with wonderful bloggers, read reviews of the book, and meet the author.

Here’s a brief introduction to this soon-to-be best seller.

Calling Jackie Turov psychic makes her cringe. But Jackie’s no normal seventeen-year-old. She picks up emotions from people and objects like a freak. The emotions make her sick, and the guilt she feels for lying to her church when she was twelve causes her to deny her psychic abilities.

So Jackie goes goth to make others stay away from her and forget her past. But her past is soon resurrected when her jealous friend Trish invites a demon, a persecutor of healers, to steal away Jason’s love for Jackie. The demon causes Jackie to be bullied for the lie she told and puts her best friend, Jason, in danger.

Jackie must learn how to use her gift to protect Jason and herself and to heal the negative energies of those around her. To do so means she must overcome her guilt and accept who she is before the demon claims her soul.


EXCERPT

The medicine cabinet mirror—dotted with rust and turning gray—made the powder foundation on Jackie’s face look ashen and her jet-black hair, blurry. She looked like a shadow of a girl. She smeared black lipstick on her lips and shook out her shoulder-length hair. Her straight-cut bangs veiled her mascara-lined eyes, and the layered ends of her hair stuck out in defiant wisps.

Some of the kids at school—the ones she didn’t hang out with—called her Goth Girl. Some, whose memories wouldn’t die, called her VQ for Virgin Queen.

Jackie preferred Goth Girl, to be one of the living dead, to be numb to the emotions that plagued her. But this was what she wanted, not what she got.

Goth Girl or Virgin Queen, she was a freak, absorbing the emotions around her like a sponge. Sometimes the emotions made her sick. Sometimes they made her see things.

Because of this, she kept to a tight-knit group of goth friends—Jason, Zeta, and Trish—and avoided social activities. She attended high school only because Mom wouldn’t let her homeschool. Mom was afraid she’d hang with Babu all day, making piroshki and doing needlepoint instead of studying. Jackie, afraid of what life offered a freak like her beyond high school, had to admit that hanging with Babu all day was tempting.

Typically, Fridays were movie nights for Jason and her, but tonight would be different. Tonight, she’d subject herself to a hodgepodge of emotions from crowds and rides and the very ground she’d walk on to protect Jason. For this, she would need physical and spiritual strength, which she sought from Babu these days.

Babu’s door was cracked, and Jackie slowly pushed the door open. “Babu?”

The room smelled of beeswax and down. A candle burned on the shrine on the dresser. The flickering flame animated the icon of the Virgin of Vladimir and cast shadows across the picture of Babu, Grandma, Mom, and Jackie. Although Babu didn’t speak English, and Jackie didn’t understand much Russian, Jackie knew Babu kept that picture on her shrine to pray for Grandma, who passed away several years ago; for Mom, who divorced Dad; and for the girl who saw the Virgin when she was twelve—for the girl she had become as a teen.

Babu sat in bed, a country quilt spread over her legs, her thumb pressed against a knot of her prayer rope, her head bowed sleepily, and her lips wording prayers.

“I wanted to say goodbye,” Jackie whispered.

Babu crossed herself and then smiled at Jackie, her gold eyetooth shining from the light of the bed-stand lamp. She patted the empty space beside her. “Sadees.”

Jackie sat down beside Babu at the edge of the bed and took Babu’s hand in hers. Babu’s hand was warm and knotted with arthritis. Jackie rubbed her thumb over the bumps on Babu’s knuckles; her black fingernails were a sharp contrast to Babu’s flour-white skin.

She wasn’t afraid to touch Babu’s hands and absorb her emotions. Jackie got a good feeling from her. Babu filled Jackie’s inner vision with white light. She renewed her spirit. And this is what Jackie needed for the commitment she had made for tonight.

“Kooda eedyosh?” Babu asked.

“I’m going out,” Jackie said as if Babu understood her. This is how they communicated: Babu telling her stuff she couldn’t understand, Jackie telling Babu stuff she couldn’t understand. Somehow they carried on fine this way.

“Eedyosh sdroozyamee?”

“I’m going with Jason.”

Babu rubbed the top of Jackie’s hand and ran her thumb over black fingernails. “Fsyevo kharoshevuh,” she said in a comforting tone and gently squeezed Jackie’s hand. Then she cupped her hands around Jackie’s jaws and pulled her forehead to her lips. Jackie imagined Babu’s kiss imprinted on her forehead and carrying Babu’s blessings and love with her tonight.

BUY LINKS AmazonSolstice Publishing

JoAnne Keltner is the author of Goth Girl, Virgin Queen (Solstice Publishing, 2015) and Obsession (Musa Publishing, 2013 ed.). As an only child and avid daydreamer, she spent hours alone in her backyard on the South Side of Chicago, which she imagined to be everything from an alien planet to the Antarctic. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, four dogs, cat, and three chickens. When she isn’t writing or freelance editing, she’s obsessively streaming popular TV shows.

Learn more about JoAnne Keltner on her website and Goodreads page. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog tour arranged by
Sloane said @ 12:21 am | Author Friend New Releases | Comments are off

October 19, 2016

FALL in LOVE with THIS EASY DINNER

from Eris Field

If it is one of those times when you want the heady scent of something delicious cooking gently in the oven to welcome people coming home, go for labor-free, my fail-proof Beef and Sherry casserole, but add a surprise with the refreshing taste of a gremolata topping.

BEEF and SHERRY CASSEROLE

1 ½ pound of chuck beef
1 can Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup
½ can of water
½ package of Lipton Onion Soup mix
½ can of good sherry, use the one you drink and have a glass before dinner.

Preheat oven to 325°F

Cut the beef into bite size pieces, about ¾ of an inch, (no browning thank goodness). Lay meat in a Dutch Oven. Stir in the other ingredients, cover, and then bake for 2 ½ hours.

GREMOLATA

Photo by Popo le Chien

¼ cup finely chop parsley, flat parsley is better but curly is good too
2 tbsp. coarsely grated lemon rind
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Mix these ingredients together. Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.

Serve the casserole over cooked noodles or rice. Or add cooked baby white potatoes, tiny boiled onions, and mushrooms at the last minute to cooking the beef and heat through.

Top the dish by sprinkling the gremolata.

This recipe serves four but can be doubled and the cooking time increased to 3 hours.

In my contemporary novel, No Greater Love, on a snowy evening in Western New York, Janan adds gremolata to a casserole of lamb shanks and serves it to the man she has just fallen in love with. Here’s a little more about their turbulent romance.

Janan, orphaned at age eight by an earthquake in Turkey and adopted by an American couple in a small town in Western New York has grown into a beautiful woman, a Circassian beauty. She dreams of having a home of her own, a home with love, but spends her time working as a nurse and looking after her family that includes an elderly, honorary uncle, Carl who had been sent as a child from Leiden to escape Nazi deportation of Dutch-Jews and now yearns to go home.

Jilted once, Dutch child psychiatrist Pieter has retreated from life and devotes himself to caring for the child refugees flooding into Amsterdam. Now, struggling with late-onset leukemia, he travels to New York for a second opinion and to visit his old friend and mentor, Carl. At Carl’s home, he meets Janan and feels love again.

Janan recognizes Pieter as the man of her dreams. Believing that love is passing her by and knowing that Pieter will be gone in the morning, she asks him for one night. Pieter introduces Janan to the purposes and outcomes of each of eight magical kisses and vows to himself to overcome his illness and return a well man.

Later, alone and facing complications of pregnancy, Janan accepts an unusual offer of help even though it may destroy her chances of finding happiness.

AMAZON BUY LINK

Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen year old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—a wonderful rewarding but never to be repeated experience.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, Eris’s interests include: Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders; Eradicating Honor Killings, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about Turkey, Cyprus, and Kurdistan.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.

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