Sloane Taylor - Sweet as Honey, Hotter Than Hell

September 21, 2016

Dining like a British Lord

by Carol Browne

In 1941, while the subject of my soon to release novella Being Krystyna was trying to survive in Nazi-occupied Poland, the Ministry of Food was attempting to persuade the population of Great Britain to try out its latest recipe. This was the famous Woolton Pie, a savory pie not a sweet dessert, created by the chef of the Savoy Hotel, Francis Ladry, and named after Frederick Marquis, Lord Woolton. He was a former social worker and managing director, a charming and popular figure trusted by the public who had been made Minister of Food in 1940.

Many foodstuffs were strictly rationed during the war and people were encouraged to “dig for victory” by growing their own food wherever they could. Vegetables were readily available and the Woolton Pie took advantage of this.

Lord Woolton promoted his pie, along with what he called the “National Loaf,” using characters like Dr Carrot and Potato Pete, and music-hall stars Elsie and Doris Walters (broadcasting as Gert and Daisy). There were also short films called Food Flashes, ads in the press, and cookery slots on BBC Radio. Sadly, Lord Woolton’s enthusiasm for the pie wasn’t matched by that of the public.

However, the enforced changes in the nation’s diet during World War II had unforeseen and beneficial consequences. Fat, meat, eggs, and sugar were severely rationed and people had to eat far more vegetables than they had before the war. They became healthier and slimmer, their lifespan increased, and infant mortality rates declined.

There’s a message there for us in the twenty-first century. Obesity is a major problem now and perhaps it’s time to take the advice of Dr. Carrot and Potato Pete and eat more veg and less fat and sugar!

Being vegan, I don’t think the original recipe for Woolton Pie looks bad at all, but I want to add more seasoning and ingredients. It’s an easy recipe to follow and perhaps a good way of using up leftover vegetables. You could also throw in “exotic” foods not used in wartime Britain, like sweet potatoes and garlic.

Lord Woolton’s Famous Pie
1lb. potatoes, diced
1 lb. cauliflower, chopped
1 lb. Swedes (rutabagas), peeled and diced
1 lb. carrots, scraped and diced
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced thin
1 tsp. vegetable extract.
1 tsp. oatmeal
Fresh parsley, chopped
Readymade pie crust or mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cook all ingredients together in a medium saucepan with just enough water to cover for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking.

Allow to cool.

Transfer blend to a pie dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley. Cover with a crust of potatoes or wholemeal pastry.

Set dish on a cookie sheet and then bake until the pastry is nicely brown.

Serve hot with a side bowl of brown gravy.

Look for Being Krystyna, releasing from Dilliebooks, on Amazon this winter.

Carol Browne regards Crewe, Cheshire, as her home town and graduated from Nottingham University in 1976 with an honors degree in English Language and Literature. Carol writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover.

Carol lives in the Cambridgeshire countryside with her dog, Harry, and cockatiel, Sparky.Pagan and vegan, Carol believes it is time for a paradigm shift in our attitude to Mother Nature and hopes the days of speciesism are numbered.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Sloane said @ 12:33 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments

September 19, 2016

I WRITE FICTION

from Janis Lane

By the time I’d written the third Detective Kevin Fowler novel Murder on Blake Hill I felt as if I lived in Hubbard, NY. Are there certain key elements of the stories that resemble my own small Western New York village? Oh, sure. You might recognize the blazing color of the hard maples in the fall, decent townspeople who give a friendly wave, the fond interaction of the local police with the citizens. A mayor can be spotted walking his dog through the village.

There exists a table where politics are discussed on a daily basis, but Buddy and Rita are not there. Sad to say, no fresh sticky buns either, but fortunately you will find them across town. Now you suspect my secrets. I often use a piece of this or that to make an entirely new whole. It may resemble something with which you are familiar, but it is never the real thing. I write fiction.

Magic does happen. Once born, a character (or place) takes on a life and personality of his/her/its own. Detective Kevin Fowler drives a ‘plain brown wrapper’ car. It would be a rare thing to see him in a marked police car. You can almost see the raised eyebrows and frown on the popular detective’s face.

Beverly Hamlin knows no stranger in her home town. Her self-assurance is a thing of wonder to Kevin who is in love with her.

My cozy mysteries are all about small-town America, a slice of life which gives us a peek into the trials and tribulations of ordinary citizens. Are the characters based on real people? You bet. Well, parts of them here and there. I, you will remember, write fiction.

Disconcerting events disturb the peaceful town of Hubbard, New York, but Detective Kevin Fowler and his staff are on the job, even as shocking secrets are revealed and night patrols are stepped up to a high alert. Church bells chime faintly in the distance.

Detective Kevin Fowler is baffled by the wall of silence that greets him from the relatives of two septuagenarians whose bodies are discovered in a country cemetery called Blake Hill. Even more upsetting is the unusual rash of vandalism reported nightly by the citizens in his peaceful community. Have the teenagers declared an uprising? Night patrols reveal a totally unexpected and shocking situation. When a poignant secret is revealed, Beverly Hampton weeps over the sadness of a long ago tragedy, but soon wedding bells are heard for the home town princess and the popular detective. At the local diner the alluring fragrance of fresh-baked, cinnamon sticky buns continues to reign over the peaceful citizens of Hubbard, New York.

Amazon Buy Link

Read more about the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon.

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma’s new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

Sloane said @ 1:02 am | Author Friend New Releases | Comments

September 14, 2016

DISHING DIRT

from Dominique Eastwick

Here’s a fun summer dessert children of all ages will love. I serve this in the backyard a clean Tonka truck. The kids love it.

Dirt Dessert

1 lb. of Oreo’s
2 packages vanilla INSTANT pudding
2 cups milk
8oz. cream cheese, softened
12oz. Cool Whip, thawed
Gummy Worms, optional

Crush Oreo’s and set aside.

Mix together pudding, milk, cream cheese, and cool whip.

Layer the cookies and mixture in a deep bowl, starting and ending with the Oreo’s. Chill overnight.

Hints:
Use white chocolate pudding instead of vanilla.
Use paper cups, sand buckets, and toy dump trucks for layering to add to the fun.

How about a hot read while the cake cools?

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 @ 12:47 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

September 12, 2016

Bring the Outside Indoors

by Emma Lane

Bring the outside in with a Fall bouquet. Not sure how, then let me help you. Here are a few tips to help make it easier.

Native and ornamental grasses: What fun to gather them on one of those perfect Fall days when the skies are vivid blue, a soft breeze tumbles your hair, and tick seed clings to your jeans. Best to do your hunt and gathering just before the leaves are all off the trees. Anything interesting is fair game, but do learn to identify dried ragweed and seeds. Not one to bring into the house; it will still make you sneeze. I’ve used the seed tassels of ornamental grasses and a wild reed which is listed as a nuisance plant. It overtakes our native cattails apparently. Even so I love the tassels which are free for the taking. Spot a batch where your sneakers will stay dry.

Love cattails? Pick when they turn brown, most likely mid to late summer. If you bring a ripe cattail inside to the warmth, it will explode with a predictable mess. Trust me; I’ve had the experience. Grab a handful in summer and dry them in a dark, dry place. Pull them out in the fall for a perfect addition to the dry bouquets.

Chinese lanterns (physalis) are perfect for Fall. They’ll last and last, but eventually lose their color. I’ve been known to spray them lightly with red paint, but the odor of fresh paint is not pleasant. Tend well ahead of time and let dry in the garage.

The purple flowers are grown under a hoop house which protects from the early frosts. They won’t stand up to a real freeze, but are perfect for Fall bouquets. Lisianthus is a favorite of florists because they last so long in the vase. Any late bloom will perk up a Fall bouquet. I’ve used long stems of mums, stray daisies, and geranium. Use your imagination and have fun with Fall bouquets. They’ll keep you cheerful until it’s time to decorate for Christmas.

Don’t worry about which flowers to use. Anything and everything will be perfect because you chose it. The important ingredient in creating your bouquet is to have fun.

Now here’s a little from my latest Regency Romance to enjoy along with your lovely bouquet.

Elisabeth is a lively young lady ripe for adventure. She’s lived the sheltered life of the privileged during the Regency era of the 1800’s and is on the cusp of entering society when she joins her older sister at a house party. On the enormous estate in the spreading mansion of a duke, she mistakes her host for the fat squire down the road. Thus begins an adventure which is against all her training. She knows her mother would not approve. Was that half the intrigue of meeting a stranger in private?

The handsome but incognito Richard Hawlester, Duke of Roderick, weary of toad-eating house guests, engages in a serious flirtation with young Elisabeth Barrows, who is primed for an exciting adventure. Mistaking the fat squire for the duke, she holds her secret relationship with a man known only as Richard, Nobel Rescuer, close to a tender heart while discovering love for the first time.

Elisabeth’s trust seems irrevocably lost when the duke’s actual identity is revealed. Realizing his mistake, Roderick begins an earnest, dangerous, and often hilarious campaign to convince her of his love. Elisabeth ponders whether true love can overcome the loss of trust between two people, even as danger presents in the guise of a vile, undesirable suitor, while a wicked assassin makes an attempt on the life of the duke. Trust broken can never be regained, or can it?

BUY LINKS
AmazonWild Rose Publishing

Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes under several pen-names. She lives with her patient husband on several acres outside a typical American village in Western New York. Her day job is working with flowers at her son’s plant nursery. Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

Sloane said @ 12:30 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments

September 7, 2016

Welcome to the cover reveal for Sharon Ledwith’s upcoming new novel,  
The Last Time Keepers and the Dark Secret Book 2 in the The Last Timekeepers series.

This new release fits into Middle Grade, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, WWII genres and is an excellent read for everyone ten years old through adulthood. The release date is October 17, 2016 from Mirror World Publishing

Are you ready to see the cover?

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.”

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 @ 12:27 am | Author Friend New Releases | Comments

September 5, 2016

To All Our Friends,
from 

the Taylor Family

Sloane said @ 1:00 am | Holidays | Comments

August 31, 2016

A Bewitching Recipe

Leigh Goff is here with a delicious Halloween treat that can be adapted for any special occasion. Work your magic, Leigh!

I came across this fun recipe on the internet, tried it, and loved it. I hope you do, too.

Melted Witch Pudding Parfaits

Vanilla Snack Pack pudding cups
Green food coloring
Brownies, crumbled into smaller pieces
Oreos, crushed
Reddi Whip Whipped cream
Halloween sprinkles

Dye the vanilla Snack Pack pudding cups green. This can be done in each individual pudding container or transfer all of the pudding to a bowl and then add the green food coloring until you get your desired color. Set aside.

Assembling the Parfaits
Layer brownie pieces in the bottom of each glass. Divide the brownie pieces evenly among the parfaits.

Spoon on a layer of whipped cream.

Add the crushed Oreos.

Ladle the pudding on, filling each glass full.

Add Halloween sprinkles and top with the witch’s legs.

For best results, enjoy these parfaits within a few minutes of making, otherwise the ingredients can become soggy.

Witch’s Legs
paper straws
black paper

Cut paper straws desired length, about 4½ inches long. HINT – don’t cut them too short or you won’t have enough straw to stick into your parfait.

On one end of your paper straw, make two small slits across from each other, this is where will you put the shoe. Repeat this process until all the legs are assembled.

Draw shoes on the black paper, cut out, and then insert in the slits on the straws.

How about a glimpse into my witchy novel while you enjoy your parfait?

In Disenchanted, Sophie Goodchild is a sixteen-year-old witch living with her eccentric aunt in the small town of Wethersfield, Connecticut—the sight of the first American Witch Trials. She is descended from a powerful black witch, but struggles with her erratic white magic while dealing with a mean girl witch clique known as the Glitterati, who love to make Sophie feel like she is less than they are.

Sophie is beautiful with wild waves of sable-colored hair, eyes the color of dark blue sapphires, and heart-shaped pillowy lips. More importantly, she is beautiful on the inside, although she hides it well behind her impatience and impetuousness, which makes her very relatable.

It is those heart-strong characteristics that lead her into trouble, and since she is ruled by her heart, she’s all in once she finds trouble. She is fiercely loyal, determined, and fearless and there is nothing she wouldn’t do or sacrifice for the ones she loves, especially when she learns of the true love curse her ancestor cast on the Mather family.

When Judge Mather, a descendant of the reverend who condemned Sophie’s witch ancestor to hang, finds out his handsome son (who has recently returned to Wethersfield with a sexy British accent and a face that could melt a black witch’s heart) has fallen hard for Sophie, things get even more dangerous for her. Dark secrets come to light and impossible choices are made as Sophie sacrifices everything, including her soul to save her forbidden true love.

Buy Links:
Mirror World PublishingAmazon

Leigh Goff loves writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it’s also what she liked to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area’s great history and culture.

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association and Romance Writers of America. She is also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. Leigh is currently working on her next novel, The Witch’s Ring which is set in Annapolis.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Sloane said @ 12:44 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

August 29, 2016

Over The Hump!

by C.D. Hersh

It’s official! With the release, by Soul Mate Publishing, of our newest book The Mercenary and the Shifters, we are now more than halfway through the books of our paranormal/urban fantasy romance series The Turning Stone Chronicles.

It feels great to have book number four out!

For those who might not know, The Turning Stone Chronicles series is about three ancient Celtic families. A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift. A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind, and a battle, that is going on even today, to control the world. Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself and bring peace to our world? Find out in The Turning Stone Chronicles series.

Ind’tale Magazine said “…takes paranormal and turns it on its ear, taking shape-shifting to a whole other level. The bad guy perspective is particularly unique and fun, and the characters three-dimensional…”

The fight with the rogue shifters faction continues in The Mercenary and the Shifters as Rhys Temple’s half-sister, Fiona Kayler, finds herself in the middle of a rogue takeover of her shipping company. When she discovers her late mother’s magic Turning Stone ring, which will give her the power to become a shifter, Fiona decides to fight fire with fire and join the rogue shifter world in order to take them down and save her company. Her involvement with the rogues doesn’t go as she hoped, however. She finds herself desperately in need of a bodyguard, deeply entangled with the evil rogue kingpin, and on the wrong side of her brother and sister-in-law, who are the shape shifter Promised Ones destined to rid the world of rogue shape shifters.

Here’s a little taste of The Mercenary and the Shifters from Fiona’s POV for your reading pleasure:

Opening the book again, she found the Gaelic incantation in her mother’s journal. To fight shifters, and keep control of the company, she had to become a shifter. Fear or no fear.

She traced her finger down the page to an entry below the incantation.

It hurts, her mother had written. Hurts as if you’re having a heart attack. But you’re not. It’s the magic loosing itself into your body. When the pain stops, the transformation will be complete. Then the hard work of learning how to use the ring begins.

You must find a mentor as soon as possible. Great power corrupts greatly, and once you experience the abilities shifting gives you, you must learn to control the ring. If you don’t, remaining on the side of good is difficult.

Drawing a shaky breath, Fiona read the incantation aloud. “Fear bean beathach tri an aon.”

Warmth spread across her left ring finger where the magic ring rested, and a tingle ran up her arm. Fiona glanced at the Turning Stone ring. The red lines in the dark-green bloodstone cabochon writhed and swirled, forming a circle, and another, and another. The circles spun, finally interlocking in a circular Celtic knot. The stone glowed softly as the three red circles pulsed.

Suddenly, the tingling in her arm intensified then shot to her torso. Fiona grabbed her chest as a bolt of pain knifed her heart.

“It’s just the magic,” she groaned to reassure herself. “I am not having a heart attack.”

Even though her mother’s journal entry had prepared her, terror gripped Fiona as wave after wave of stabbing pain shot through her. She tried to breathe the ache away, but her breath came fast and panicked. Another jolt pierced her like a shock of electricity, doubling her over so fast she pitched from the chair.

Then, as quickly as it had come, the pain left.

Fiona stared at the ring as the three circles slithered into nondescript lines running through the bloodstone. Except for the fact she now lay on the floor, everything remained as it had been.
For a moment, she sat motionless on the thick carpet, tuning her senses inward. Looking for some sign she had changed. But she found nothing to indicate she was now different.

But she was. Her mother’s journal said so.

Don’t miss out on these shape shifter romances readers have called fast-paced, well-written, paranormal suspense at its best.

The Promised One Book 1 eBookpaperback
Blood Brothers Book 2 eBookpaperback
Son of the Moonless Night Book 3 eBookpaperback
The Mercenary and the Shifters Book 4 eBook

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

The books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors.

They look forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their website and their Amazon Author Page.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sloane said @ 12:13 am | Author Friend New Releases | Comments

August 24, 2016

Crank Up the Grill

No one wants to heat up the house with cooking even if the air conditioning is at full blast. Here’s a menu geared for outdoor cooking. Hang onto it for those stormy fall and winter days because this meal also works great indoors.

Marinated Grilled Steaks
Baked Potatoes
Caesar Salad
Dry Red Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon

Marinated Grilled Steaks

Photo by franky242

1 small steak of your choice per person
1 sprig fresh basil or ¼ tsp. dried
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp. dried
2 sprigs fresh parsley or ½ tsp. dried
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 or 2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Splash of dry red wine
Olive oil

Keep the steaks to the side for a few minutes. Lay the dry ingredients in a glass or ceramic dish or a plastic bag just large enough to hold the meat comfortably.

Sprinkle in the Worcestershire sauce and red wine. Gently stir. Add the meat.

Pour oil along the side of the dish until it reaches half way up the steaks. Turn meat to coat top and bottom. Set in the refrigerator for 2 – 4 hours. Remove the dish from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.

Heat your outdoor grill to medium. Sprinkle a few drops of Worcestershire sauce on each side of the steak and spread out with your fingers. Grind fresh pepper on one side. Grill for 3 minutes each side for rare, 4 for medium rare, 5 for well done. Turn only once.

Remove the steaks and tent with aluminum foil. Allow to sit on top of a warm stove for about five minutes. This will draw the juices back into the meat and will also cook the steak to perfection.

If you use the oven broiler, follow the same cooking times.

Baked Potatoes
1 baking potato per person
1 bay leaf for each potato
olive oil
Kosher or rock salt
butter
sour Cream
chives

Oven Method
Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Wash the potatoes under cool running water. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Rub the skins with a small amount of olive oil. Slit across the top large enough and deep enough to fit in a bay leaf. Roll in the salt and wrap in aluminum foil.

Bake for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If the potato is cooked enough the pick will slide in easily.

When done, set the potatoes on a warm stove or inside a 200°F oven until ready to serve.

Serve with butter, sour cream, and chives.

Outdoor Grill
Preheat on medium high. Prepare the potatoes in the same manner as above.

Lay potatoes on bottom grate. Every 15 minutes roll the potatoes to a new side to prevent burning. It will take about 45 minutes to cook through. Test by inserting a toothpick. If the potato is cooked enough the pick will slide in easily.

When done, set the potatoes on the upper rack until ready to serve.

Caesar Salad for Two

Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

1 egg coddled
1 large glove garlic
½ tsp. anchovy paste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tbsp. lemon juice, preferably fresh
2 drops white vinegar or as close to as possible
¼ cup olive oil
Romaine lettuce, 3 leaves per person, washed and dried
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Croutons, optional

Remove egg from refrigerator while assembling all the ingredients on your counter.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Coddle the egg by cooking it for 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water, crack shell and scoop the runny egg into a small bowl. Break up the solid white pieces and lightly mix. Later, you will add some of this to the salad dressing.

In a large glass or wooden bowl, mash the garlic with a spoon and fork into coarse pieces. Rub the sides of the bowl with the oil that has been released.

Add the anchovy, pepper, and mustard. Mix well. Pour in the lemon juice and vinegar. Mix well. Add in ½ – ¾ of the coddled egg. Mix well. Blend in the olive oil until the dressing is frothy.

Tear the lettuce into bit-size pieces over the salad bowl. Toss, then add ¼ cup or so of Parmesan. Toss again. Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Add croutons and serve immediately.

For a larger salad, adjust proportionally, but do not exceed two eggs.

Enjoy!

~Sloane

Sloane said @ 12:18 am | Cooking | Comments are off

August 22, 2016

NEW RELEASE for VONNIE HUGHES

The ever-engaging Vonnie Hughes brings us her latest captivating novella that brings you a smile. Be sure to get your copy today!

When Alexandra Tallis discovers that her witless sister has imprisoned their father’s nemesis, Theo Crombie, in their attic, she quickly frees him, fighting an unladylike impulse to keep him as her own special captive. Despite the brutal beating she receives from her father for her actions, Alexandra continues to yearn for the delicious Mr. Crombie even though she knows that nothing will ever come of her yearning.

Injured and shackled in a stranger’s attic, Theo unexpectedly discovers the woman of his dreams. But how can he pursue those dreams when her bizarre family’s complex relationships threaten the very foundation of his existence? Somehow Theo must find a way through this maze to claim his lady.

TEASER
“Oh, no, Emmaline! Please untie him. Let him go.”

Whatever would her sister do next? At seventeen she was an eligible man’s worst nightmare. And this latest escapade—

“Don’t be such a bore, Lexie. ’Tis a great joke! For once, Papa will thank us. Especially when he finds out who it is we’ve got all trussed up.” Emmaline laughed her silvery, seductive laugh that drove men wild and irritated women excessively.

“Thank us! He is more like to beat us. You cannot capture someone and bring him here and…and just tie him up.”

“Of course I can. I already have. I shall lock the two of you in here together and then raise an outcry. Papa and the servants will come running and—” she waved her pretty hands in the air “—the rest will take care of itself. Papa’s investment problem will be solved, and with a bit of luck you might even be married by next week, sister.”

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Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Sloane said @ 12:27 am | Author Friend New Releases | Comments are off