Sloane Taylor - Sweet as Honey, Hotter Than Hell

July 27, 2016

COMPANY’S COMING

from Emma Lane

Company coming for a cook out? You want to be a part of the party so what’s for dessert? This “whip it together” is perfect for warm summer nights when you just got back from the Farmers’ Market and company is due in the door shortly. Fast cooking is my very favorite way to prepare a meal. I always want to be in on the fun and not in the kitchen.

Fruit options: Almost any good fresh fruit, but you can change the theme by choosing what kind of fruit. For example Hawaiian Fruit Dessert: papaya, banana, pineapple, and kiwi fruit.
High Summer Fruit Dessert: Peaches, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, small cubes watermelon.
All combinations are wonderful; it’s fun to invent your own.

Fresh Fruit Dessert with Pound Cake
Photo by start08

Fresh fruit, chopped—one cup for every guest and two more for good measure
½ cup lemon juice, bottled juice is fine
2 small containers of yogurt, your choice of fruit flavor or plain, I prefer the creaminess of Greek.
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped mint, optional
1 cap vanilla flavoring added to ¼ cup water
1 frozen Sara Lee pound cake which you just took out of your freezer in case you had to whip up a dessert at the last minute
Whipped cream from a can or vanilla ice cream

So four for company? Carefully chop 6 cups of fruit. Stir in lemon juice. Fruit can be prepared the night before and refrigerated.

Blend sugar, lemon juice, mint, vanilla water to chopped fruit. Gently stir so as not to tear the fruit apart. Fold yogurt carefully into fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Slice the cake just before serving and lay on your prettiest dessert saucers (or paper plates). Spoon the fruit over the cake slices. Add generous dollops of whipped cream or a small scoop vanilla ice cream.

Voila! Now grab a glass of wine and join that lively party on the patio. You are a culinary genius.

During the 1800’s this type dish would be only one of several “removes” served at a large house party during an elegant summer supper while the guests conversed wittily with their table companions. Elizabeth had been a young girl in her first introduction to company when she fell in love with a handsome man known to her only as Richard. Thus begins a tale of romance enjoyed, gone awry, suffered and finally won. Here’s a little from my recent Regency Romance release with Elisabeth and Richard.

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?

What does one wear to a secret assignation?” she wondered, smoothing her gown. When her maid entered the room, Elisabeth dismissed her with the same excuse of a headache. She actually made ready to put her head on her pillow until the maid left. She laughed quietly to herself and felt somewhat guilty. It was almost impossible to stay still with her heart thumping hard in her chest. After waiting for what seemed to be hours but was in reality mere minutes, she sat up and smoothed her hair, despairing of the wisps of curls that always escaped her efforts to tame them.

The guests were gathered in the front parlor, but she peeked carefully out the door just in case. She would make her way by the back stairs, which she hoped would lead her to the garden. Quickly she descended and stepped, as she suspected, directly into the beginnings of the garden. Statues of various gods loomed whitely in the twilight. The tinkle of running water alerted her of the nearness of a small frog pond. She knew her way from there and walked confidently forward. She almost screamed when an arm reached out and encircled her waist.

“Shhh…little one. It is only I, Richard, your Noble Rescuer.” He laughed softly and rubbed his face gently in her hair as he held her close. She twisted around to look up into his eyes but could not read his thoughts in the dim light. He released her and caught her hand, pulling her gently with him around the hedge and back to that private floral bower, borrowed once more from their host.

At his urging, she settled on a white garden bench which nestled against a flowering vine. Heady night fragrances enveloped her as she looked up into the handsome face of her friend. He gazed back at her but then paced a step or two back.

“I have things to say, sweetness. Please do not be upset when I use words I know are improper. Let us be two different people for tonight. What say you?” He stepped closer, but still did not join her on the bench.

Elisabeth waited for what she knew not. She was content to be this close to one for whom she had such feelings. She nodded. Why did she trust him so implicitly? She only knew she did. Perhaps it was because she enjoyed an enchanted night in a magic room with a handsome man who called her pet names. This was not real life, but she could not give up the thought that magic existed, especially for those who were in love. Surrounding her was a fairy garden which glowed with moonlight under the watchful eyes of stone guardians. Perhaps they came to life when the sunlight faded?

She inhaled sharply and clasped her hands together in her lap when he settled himself on the bench, their shoulders touching. His unique scent wrapped around her, causing her head to spin with excitement. As he turned toward her, he reached out with his arm, first touching her shoulder with his hand, and then folding around it. She did not stop herself from leaning toward him, although briefly she did try. The prickling of her conscience was like a buzzing, annoying gnat she could easily dismiss. Elisabeth was mesmerized by an intoxicating spell she never wanted to end. Richard leaned closer pulling her gently forward.

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 @ 12:15 am | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

July 25, 2016

Me, Myself, and I

by Marci Clark

One question I am asked quite frequently is why I use various names instead of just sticking with one. I think my reasoning reflects that of many author’s so I thought I’d share.

When my first book, The Rebound, was purchased, it was completely unexpected; it was awesome, but unexpected. I was a non-traditional student (that’s nice speak for old person in college) and working as a journalist/editor, yet I’d just sold an erotic novella. Did I really want my fellow students, most of whom were a dozen or more years my junior, reading a sex book with my name on it? If someone liked my article in the magazine I write for and decided to look me up to see my other work, did I really want them to immediately find The Rebound and forever associate my journalistic work with sex?

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t in the least bit embarrassed. In fact, I was and am very proud of my first release. The problem was what others would think about it and how it would impact my career, volunteer work, and the work my husband does.

So I thought long and hard as I stared at the pseudonym line on my contract. Before the papers were signed Emilia Mancini, my erotic writing sidekick, was born.

When my next publisher contracted Unforgettable You, a sweet romance, I again had to decide if the name I was making as a journalist was going to be tied to my fiction writing or if I was going to give Emilia credit for this one as well. I considered several pros and cons, including the fact that I’d already started building an identity for Emilia and that my lifelong dream was to see my name on the cover of the book. While Emilia was me, it just wasn’t the same as seeing my name on there.

In the end I decided to use my maiden name, Marci Boudreaux, for romance.

This would serve several purposes; fulfilling that dream of seeing my name on a cover, letting people know it was not an erotic work like what Emilia would write, and keeping my day job separate from it all.

I put everything in its own little box on the professional shelf; erotica, romance, and day job. I have three names, three genres, three personas that have completely different reasons for existing.

I also have three work e-mails, Facebooks (plus two author pages), Twitters, websites, and three different sets of people I network with. It is confusing, insane, and sometimes overwhelming, but it helps me keep my head on what I’m doing without worrying who is going to see it.

My alter egos and I can all be tied together because, in the end, we are all public figures in different areas. We’re all proud of the others work and more than happy to tell anyone who will listen. We all help each other out when we can.

I cross promote my authors so if you see Marci you will probably find Emilia not far behind and vice versa, but you will know what you are getting into depending on the primary persona. The real me, however, is a bit more hidden in the shadows, never completely in the dark and always happy to take credit for the hard work of the other two.

Here is a glimpse into the steamy side of Emilia Mancini’s writing.

A no strings relationship, the freedom to explore all their wildest fantasies, and walking away when they’re done is all Casi and Conner want from each other. Nothing is taboo . . . except falling in love.

Still reeling from catching her husband in bed with his mistress, the last thing Casi Hanson is looking for is romance. When she meets brokenhearted Conner Bennett, she thinks she has found exactly what she needs.

Their mutual desire for a “no strings attached” sexual relationship offers the opportunity to explore fantasies and fetishes their spouses denied them and the freedom to walk away when they are done.

The only fantasy too taboo is falling in love.

Read more about The Rebound on Amazon.

Here’s a short introduction to the book of Marci’s heart.

When life throws a widowed innkeeper and a world-famous movie star together they share an unexpected romance. But is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law, Doreen, in the woman’s home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a handful of Hollywood’s most elite actors at the manor. Despite her resentment of the demands being placed upon her, she can’t help but be taken in by actor Will Walker.

Will, in a last-ditch effort to save his career, has agreed to a project he has no interest in. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to Carrie. Long nights spent talking about the paths their lives have taken make him realize he’d rather have a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. aren’t as willing to let him go.

With the temptation of stardom pulling Will in one direction and the need to care for Doreen tugging Carrie in another, the couple struggle to hold onto the happiness they were missing until finding each other.

Read more from Unforgettable You on Amazon.

As a teen, Marci Boudreaux skipped over young adult books and jumped right into the world of romance novels. She’s never left. Marci lives with her husband, two kiddos, and their numerous pets. Until recently, she was a freelance writer appearing monthly in a variety of local magazines. She now focuses on writing and her work as a content editor.

Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn’t like when she does that in real life.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Sloane said @ 12:24 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments

July 20, 2016

Incredible Breakfast Goodies

from Anne Montgomery

In my quest to discover the world’s greatest chocolate desert, I took a bit of a left turn and discovered the world’s greatest chocolate breakfast. These delightful squares have wholesome ingredients, yes they do. Oatmeal, for one. You know, the stuff with fiber and all those heart-healthy nutrients. Then there’s dark chocolate that lowers our blood pressure and provides antioxidants. And let’s not forget the nuts: those wee power-packed pieces of protein that provide something delightfully called “good-fat.” And then…and then…OK, there are some other things in these babies that are really unhealthy, but something’s going to kill us. Death by Chocolate Oatmeal Bar might not be a bad way to go.

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups semisweet chocolate cut into pieces
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. butter
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F

Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream butter in a large mixer bowl. Add brown sugar. Beat until fluffy.

Add eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Beat well.

Add dry ingredients. Beat well.

Melt chocolate pieces, condensed milk, and butter in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped nuts and 2 tbsp. vanilla.

Pat ⅔ of oat mixture into the bottom of a 15X10X1 inch baking dish.

Spread chocolate mixture on top.

Dot with remaining oat mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until oat mixture is lightly browned. (The chocolate layer will still look moist.)

Cool on a wire rack.

Here’s a brief introduction to my soft mystery for your reading pleasure while you much those yummy bars.

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a pregnant teenager who bears an odd facial deformity, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon.

The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

To read more from A Light in the Desert please click a vendor’s name: Sarah Book PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Sloane said @ 12:49 pm | Author Friend Promo,Cooking | Comments

July 18, 2016

NEW RELEASE for HL CARPENTER

The creative genius of HL Carpenter shines in their latest book. Pirate Summer is the story of a sister and brother who discover the importance of each other and the consequences of lying. Enter the handsome privateer who steals Josey’s heart and commandeers her on the adventure of her life and you now have the perfect summer read for all ages. I hope you enjoy Pirate Summer as much as I did.

Fifteen year old Josey is a liar. She’d like to stop. But after Mom left, the lies started popping out, like the time Josey left her little brother at the library and told Dad he’d run away.

Then Josey meets a boy who tells bigger whoppers than she does. He says he’s the son of a privateer who’s been dead two centuries. He’s so convincing Josey’s brother believes every word and sets off to find the privateer’s hidden treasure.

When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. But everyone thinks she’s lying again. Everyone, that is, except the so-called privateer’s son. He knows she’s telling the truth because jeweled riches are only part of his tale. There’s also the snooperscope, a device that makes time leaps possible, like the one that brought him to the present.

The story is fantastical…and yet Josey will do anything to save her brother, including traveling back in time two hundred years with a boy she can’t trust.

EXCERPT
The basic tale hadn’t changed since the first time I’d heard it, though Gran had added a few embellishments. I wondered who she’d been practicing on, then remembered she was on call as a substitute teacher for the Sea Cove school system. Thanks to her, generations of Sea Cove residents knew the legend of Alastair Morgan, a pirate who’d haunted the Florida coast during the early 1800s.

Andy jiggled on the seat. He had a vivid imagination, a by-product of his oversize I.Q., and he was caught up in the midst of the hurricane Gran was describing. The huge storm had blown the Morgan pirate ship off course and into Sea Cove.

“Alastair Morgan was familiar with Sea Cove,” Gran said. “He sought refuge in the harbor. When the skies lightened, the rain slowed. He rowed to shore with his son, some of his crew and seven trunks of gold and jewels. They had buried the treasure and were rowing back to their ship when the storm started again.”

“Didn’t he realize the calm was only the eye of the hurricane?” Andy asked.

“Good question, and no, he didn’t. He was surprised when the winds and rain picked up, only from the opposite direction.”

“Silly of him. He should have known. Being a sailor and all.”

Gran met my gaze over Andy’s head. Her lips twitched.

I grinned, forgetting for a moment how annoyed I was. By the time I remembered, Gran had looked away, out the front windshield.

She gasped. “Brake, Josey!”

I jerked my head around. I’d only been distracted for a second—exactly enough time for the truck to drift to the right side of the road. A skinny teenage boy walked there, his back to us.

“We’re going to hit him!” Andy shouted.

I leaned on the horn, smashed the brake, and yanked the wheel to the left. The tires screeched. The seatbelt dug into my hips. Andy shouted again as an invisible force shoved him back, then forward. Gran shot out her arm to hold him in place.

In front of us, the boy whirled. He yelled and raised his palms toward us as if he could ward off the truck with his bare hands. At the last moment, he flung himself onto the dirty sand beyond the edge of the black pavement.

I lost sight of him as the pickup jolted to a shuddering, shaking stop, sideways across the highway.

Amazon Buy Link

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

Sloane said @ 1:27 am | Author Friend New Releases | Comments

July 13, 2016

Dining Turkish Style

from Eris Field

Kadin Budu Kofte or Ladies Thighs are a delightfully different meatball and each Turkish grandmother has a special recipe. In my novel, Lattices of Love, the heroine, Emine, kicks a hole in the lattices formed by her Turkish grandmother’s harem rules refusing to marry the man her grandmother has chosen, but, she discovers that it is not easy to gain the love of the man she chooses instead. She goes into battle with the ammunition at her disposal. For the first round, she uses the recipe for her grandmother’s famous Kadin Budu Kofte.

For a delicious summer meal, try Kadin Budu Kofte and roasted layered vegetables topped with Cucuk, a Turkish dish of yogurt and diced Persian cucumbers.

Make the Layered Vegetables and Cucuk first. Let them stand while you make the meat balls.

Kadin Budu Kofte
1 cup cooked rice, cooled
1½ pound ground lamb, or beef, or a mixture of lamb and beef
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 ounces of a soft white cheese grated (any soft white cheese)
1 tbsp. dill, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten

Mix the ingredients together in a medium-size bowl. Knead until the mixture is a smooth paste.
Shape into egg shaped meat balls and place on a rimmed plate.

Pour the egg over the meat balls.

Fry them in medium-hot vegetable oil until done. Turn to brown all sides. Cook 6 minutes or so. You want them done but not dried out.

Layered Vegetables
1 medium red onion, chopped coarsely
1 slender eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 yellow pepper, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 red pepper, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 slim zucchini, cut into ½ inch cubes leave skin on
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. dried oregano or dried thyme
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. red pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Scatter onion in a shallow baking dish. Add the remaining vegetables and the garlic.

Sprinkle olive oil, your herb of choice, salt and red pepper over the vegetables. Gently toss together.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes.

Cucuk
2 cups yogurt
2 Persian cucumbers (small cucumbers) or ½ an English cucumber, leave the skin on and diced fine
½ tsp salt
Olive oil
Chives, chopped

Put two cups of yogurt into a serving bowl. Stir until smooth. Add the cucumber and salt. Mix well.

Just before serving, drizzle olive oil over the top and add chives. Cucuk is served at room temperature and a spoonful is placed on the top of the baked vegetables.

Here’s a little from Lattices of Love for you.

Emine Wheeler, a 26-year-old Turkish-American professor of psychiatric nursing, has vowed to marry for love, like her American father. When she meets Marc van Etten, a reticent Dutch psychiatrist, at a conference in Amsterdam, she recognizes him as the man she has been waiting for and knows that she can’t live behind the lattices of old harem rules any longer.

Marc, who believes that his colleagues blame him for his wife’s suicide, restricts his life to work and caring for the troubled four-year-old girl he calls his daughter. But, when Emine runs into difficulties, he offers his assistance. Emine, ignoring the age-old harem rule that forbids talking or spending time with a man who is not a family member, accepts his help.

Later, when Emine must choose between accepting the family-approved proposal of a man she does not love or damaging her family’s honor, Marc offers a solution—marriage. It will save her family’s honor and provide a mother for his daughter.

Believing that her fierce love for Marc will be enough, Emine agrees, only to discover that it is not. When Marc erroneously accuses her of betraying him, she flees. Realizing belatedly that he loves Emine beyond everything in his life, Marc must find a way to win her back.

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 she later married. He told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, about the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and about 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—an endeavor requiring a great deal of hard labor.

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, her interests include Honor Killings, eradicating female genital mutilation, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about the old cities of the world.

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

Sloane said @ 1:32 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments

July 11, 2016

Set the Theme – Set the Mood

THEME GARDENING
by Janis Lane

Theme gardens can be fun for adventurous gardeners who want to shake things up with Colorful annuals. Their raison d’etra, reason for living, is to bloom and make seeds. To keep them full of their bright and beautiful blooms, frequent culling of the old blooms is the secret. Paying attention to color combinations will enhance bedding petunias such as blue and yellow; red, white and blue; primary colors-red, yellow and blue; all pastels.

Perennials are friends forever. The trick here is to plant staggered bloomers. Daffodils and tulips for spring give way to lupine and peonies in April and May. June is for roses (and brides) and July owns lilies. Hibiscus and other members of the family (Rose of Sharon) for late summer, and we all appreciate summer’s wind up with splashes of intensely colored mums and sunflowers. There are many beautiful perennials to be planted in between. Careful attention to foliage varieties is also important for a successful perennial bed: spiky Crocosmia, spreading Dianthus, and pretty round-leafed Baptismia australis which has a pretty gray cast to its foliage.

Butterfly and humming bird gardens are always fun. Certainly the tiny hummers appreciate blooms where they can dip in and steal a drop of nectar, but I’ve seen them take a tiny taste of flat but colorful yarrow. My son gifts me a huge fuchsia for Mother’s Day which is the very day I usually spot the first humming bird. They love this plant!

Shade gardens are wonderful underneath shaded walkways. Besides the enormous varieties of hosta, spring bulbs can be followed with blue bells and other shade loving perennials. Begonias have a large variety for annual shade; my favorite is non-stop begonia in their vivid colors. Spring blooming shrubs are glorious such as rhododendrons, azaleas, dogwood and many others that liven up the woods before the trees leaf out.

Cutting gardens are wonderful for those who appreciate fresh cut bouquets for inside. Reserve a bed especially for: gladiola, tall zinnias, phlox, sunflowers, snapdragons, lisianthus, lilies, just a few of the varieties that are splendid cut flowers.

… which leads me to call attention to my latest cozy mystery, Whispers of Danger and Love. The heroine is a landscape architect who speaks gardening. She struggles with a client who demands a cutting garden mid summer, (and a hunky detective who seems bound to destroy her plants.) I enjoyed relaxing in her garden even as I created it from my own imaginings. It was also fun to watch the sparks fly between a couple who knew each other as children but must readjust their thinking as adults.

Here’s a little more from my latest release. I hope you enjoy it.


When Cheryl realizes her new next-door neighbor is someone she loved as a young girl, she immediately puts the brakes on her emotions. Never again would she allow the gorgeous hunk of a man to break her heart.

Ruggedly handsome Detective David Larkin isn’t used to pretty ladies giving him a firm no. He persists, even as Cheryl fights her own temptations. The two struggle to appreciate each other as adults, even as they admit to deep feelings from their childhood.

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 @ 12:38 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments

July 6, 2016

Refreshing Summer Supper

from Dominique Eastwick

Citrus Chicken

2 oranges
2 limes
2 lemons
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 boneless chicken breasts, halved**
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. seasoned pepper
1 (15oz) can apricots, halved
1 tbsp. butter
dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Juice 1 orange, 1 lime and 1 lemon together.

Lay chicken in an ovenproof dish. Pour juice over chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

While chicken is baking, puree apricots.

Melt butter, brown sugar and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Add apricots and heat to a low boil. Simmer until chicken is ready. Stir the sauce frequently.

Uncover the chicken after 30 minutes. Pour glaze over it and bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes.

Serve over rice. Use extra glaze as gravy.

**For frozen chicken, thaw over night in the refrigerator. Follow above directions, while chicken is cooking reheat the apricot sauce.

How about a hot read while your chicken is baking?

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

July 4, 2016

HAPPY 4th of JULY

Photo by Michael Elliott

I’m sitting on the stone wall in the middle of the village when the first group appear heralding the start of the parade. It’s an ancient convertible filled with local politicians; the major, councilmen, the Board of Education president–our elected governing bodies all waving and wearing wide smiles. We beam and wave back. It’s a federal holiday after all and most of the town is present.

Next comes a troop of boy scouts carrying flags. Their parents clap loudly and we all join in. Behind them little go carts spin around in circles, the drivers wearing funny hats. They are a local parade favorite.

We can hear the high school band in the distance. The kids are in shorts because it’s a very warm day. For some reason tears come to my eyes as they pass, playing their horns and banging on their drums. Wave after wave of local groups march past the crowd, each with an appointed member carrying the American flag on this our nation’s birthday.

Fire trucks honk their horns while the police come into view dressed in their best uniforms. That spiffy band, members wearing Scottish clothes, plays a heart wringing tune on bag pipes.

More scout troops, this time it’s the girls. An entire group of children riding bicycles all the way down to determined toddlers on tricycles get enthusiastic applause from the spectators. The colorful balloons tied to their handle bars bob in the warm breeze.

Wow, we all say as a troop of mounted police prance by. We know that’s the end of the parade. Who wants to march after the horses? We sigh. Another of our nation’s birthdays celebrated in style. We are Americans and we love parades, especially those that remind us of what it means to belong to this wonderful, democratic nation.

We are off to a picnic where my baked beans make a hit. A hot game of horseshoes is in progress. Sleepy ladies nod in the shade. Some of our family peal off to play baseball. Others play Frisbee, including the dog. Red, white and blue flags wave everywhere. The children are excited. They anticipate indulgent parents who allow late bedtimes. Firework displays will be enjoyed and perhaps a bonfire.

How do you celebrate our nation’s birthday? Do you have a favorite recipe for the picnic? Do you go boating and watch the fireworks over the water? Do you get tears of gratitude when our beloved veterans march by?

Have a beautiful and safe holiday,

Emma Lane
“I never saw a printed word I did not like.”

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 Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own. 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 @ 12:15 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments

June 29, 2016

Good Eating

Summertime is down-home cooking time. So tie on your aprons and let’s get to it!

Sloane’s Down-home Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Fresh Green Beans
Watermelon

Sloane’s Down-home Fried Chicken

1 tbsp. salt
Tap water
6 chicken legs, or thighs or 4 breasts, skinless and boneless
1 cup flour
1tsp. thyme
½ tsp. marjoram
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large egg
1½ tbsp. milk
½ cup solid shortening or lard, plus more as needed

Dissolve salt in a small amount of water. Add chicken pieces then cover with more water. Set this in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours.

Remove chicken from fridge 2 hours before you plan to cook. When you’re ready, drain the chicken and pat dry.

Combine flour and seasonings in a paper or plastic bag. Shake gently to combine ingredients. Mix egg and milk in a bowl. Set a clean plate or platter on the counter to hold the breaded chicken in one layer.

Place one chicken piece at a time in the bag, shake gently to thoroughly coat, then dip in egg mixture, then return the piece to the bag and gently shake again. Set chicken on the plate. Repeat the process until all pieces are coated. Set the uncovered plate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the shortening in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Test to be sure shortening is hot enough by adding a small piece of bread. It should sizzle and toast quickly.

Carefully add the chicken pieces. Maintain the temperature, but adjust it so chicken doesn’t burn and grease doesn’t splatter everywhere.

Turning frequently, brown the chicken on all sides. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife.

Lay pieces on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any oil. Transfer them to a clean platter and serve.

Mashed Potatoes

1 small russet potato per person
Chicken stock
Butter
Sour cream
Milk
Pepper
Parsley, snipped or chopped for garnish

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. Lower temperature to a strong simmer. Cook approximately 20 – 25 minutes. They are done when a fork inserts easily into a potato.

Drain potatoes. Stir in butter, sour cream, and pepper. Mash well. Drizzle in the milk. Mash and continue to add milk until you achieve the consistency you prefer.

Fresh Green Beans

Photo by SOMMAI

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed but left whole
Water
3 tbsp. butter
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring large pot of water to a hard boil. A high heat setting is best.

Drop the beans in by the handful. Boil 10 to 15 minutes or until the beans are just tender. If you plan to reheat the beans, boil for less time as the reheating will cook them further.

Drain beans in a colander. Add butter to the hot pot and swirl to melt. Return beans to the pot. Toss with butter and coat well. Season with pepper and stir again.

The beans may be made earlier and reheated on low heat. Be careful not to scorch them or burn the butter.

Watermelon

Photo by khumthong

This meal screams for ice cold watermelon for dessert. Early in the day cut your melon into large chunks. This is a good time to get rid of the rind.

Place the melon into plastic bags, seal, and refrigerate until your dinner is settled.

You may want to make one of those bags Adults Only by lacing a few shots of vodka over the melon. Very tasty!

Sloane said @ 12:21 am | Cooking | Comments are off

June 27, 2016

Shopping: Is it in Our Genes?

by Anne Montgomery

I’ve been a teacher for 15 years and, when meeting new high school students, I often ask them about their interests. Without fail, numerous kids list shopping as their favorite hobby. These students, so far, have been female.

I try not to roll my eyes and then explain that a hobby is generally something where one might engage in creative or artistic pursuits, collect themed objects, or perhaps play a sport. Still, the girls smile and insist that shopping is their hobby.

I read recently that the average woman spends approximately 400 hours each year shopping. Conversely, men quickly get board with those trips to the mall, losing interest after just 26 minutes, while women can shop blissfully for two hours before tedium strikes.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s the women who usually spy the empty cupboards and resupply the milk and toilet paper and dog food and all of the other stuff needed to run a household. So, of course, they spend more time at the store. But, even when we discount those we gotta have it now moments, women are still in shopping mode much more than men.

I wondered why. I put on my history teacher cap and thought about our ancient ancestors: those hunter-gatherers who foraged for food and resources until they started to settle down in permanent communities about 12,000 years ago. The hunters, we suspect, were generally men. The gatherers: women. It’s estimated that 80% of our ancestors’ diet consisted of wild fruits and vegetables. While the men were out looking for something to kill and drag home, women and girls were peering intently at foliage and digging in the ground, looking for groceries. And their rummaging probably wasn’t restricted to foodstuffs. No doubt a pretty rock or feather might have found its way into a woman’s basket, perhaps to use for barter later on when food ran out.

What does this have to do with the modern female shopper? Here I have a completely unscientific hypothesis, though one that makes perfect sense to me. Human beings – and all creatures alive today – had to adapt in order to survive. So, perhaps, buried in our DNA is a “shopping” gene, passed on from our ancient female ancestors. Those women, who had to examine fruits and berries and roots and leaves, were forced to take great care and time to make sure they selected items that didn’t poison their families. They also had to stock up enough goods to make it through the harsh times of the year. So hunting and gathering were probably their main pursuits. Thanks to their abilities to pick the best available provisions, they were able to survive and pass their genes down to us.

So, don’t feel too badly about enjoying that time at the mall, just leave your beau at home. I, in the meantime, will try to stop rolling my eyes at my students.

Here’s a brief introduction to my women’s fiction for your reading pleasure.

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a pregnant teenager who bears an odd facial deformity, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon.

The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

To read more from A Light in the Desert please click a vendor’s name: Sarah Book PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Sloane said @ 12:40 am | Author Friend Promo | Comments are off