February 22, 2017
DOLCE – Italian for Sweet
from Alicia Joseph
And that’s just what this dessert recipe for one of my favorite cookies is, sweet and so good. I know you all will love them. Not only are they tasty, but they are easy to whip up. Make a double batch because they won’t last long when your family gets a taste.
2 sticks margarine
1 lb Ricotta
2 tsp. Vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
Preheat 350 degrees° F.
Mix all ingredients together. Drop onto lightly greased pan by tablespoonful.
Bake 12-15 minutes.
Mix the three ingredients to your desired consistency. Spread on cooled cookies.
How about a teaser from one of Alicia’s novellas while the cookies cool?
Madison Andrews has spent her entire life ~unsuccessfully~ searching for love. She begins having vivid dreams of the same woman every night, and soon, Madison believes this woman is the love she has been searching for. Madison’s dreams become more intense and she realizes the dreams she’s having recreate moments taken from actual events from her life ~~ and this woman is there for all of it. Madison searches for her, but how can she find a woman she knows everything about… and yet nothing? She doesn’t even know her name.
Now, I laid down my fork and leaned into my seat. I knew she didn’t want to talk about this anymore, but I did. “This all sounds crazy to you, and maybe in the beginning, it was something to joke about, but now, I’m not sure. These pictures were taken directly out of my life, and this woman was in every one of them. You can’t tell me I just dreamed it from memory, because my memory isn’t that good! The photos were identical all the way from the clothes we wore, to the smile on our faces. Hell, even the background was the same! She was the only thing that was different. How could that be?”
I stared at her, waiting for a response as she took it all in.
“Like I said on the phone, I just don’t know what you want me to say. I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Is it weird? Yeah, totally, but I’m no dream expert, and neither are you. Like I said before, maybe it’s your subconscious taking over. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, and it probably has some fancy scientific name.”
“She’s my wife,” I said flatly. “I saw a picture of us from our wedding, and we looked like we belonged together. We know each other. I mean, really know each other. I wish you could see us together, because you’ve never seen me this way with anyone before.”
“And what way is that?”
“In love,” I answered.
“In love,” Shelly repeated and then pushed herself away from the table.
“Well, Maddy, me seeing you with her is something that will never happen. Do you wanna know why that will never happen?”
“I know why you think that will never happen, but that’s where you’re
wrong.” I stared at her and said, “I’m just gonna come out and say it. I think she’s real.”
Shelly took a deep breath and pored over her food. “Maddy, Maddy, Maddy. What are you saying? This is crazy! I’m back to thinking these dreams are about your mom, because this is way beyond not getting laid. You lost a woman you loved, you miss her, and now you’re trying to replace all those things you miss about her with this other woman.”
Shaking my head, I said, “If this was just about me missing my mom,
then why wouldn’t I just dream of my mom? There’d be no reason for this
woman to be in my dreams if it were just about my mom.”
I watched a look of frustration cross Shelly’s face as she ran a hand
through her hair. “You said you were at your dad’s today. How’s he doing?”
“Wow, that was a very obvious subject change,” I pointed out.
“I’m sorry, Maddy, but I’m having a real hard time digesting this food and your dreams at the same time. I need a fucking break.”
“Fine, but don’t use my dad as an excuse to change the subject.”
She touched my arm. “I’m serious. How’s he doing?”
I looked at her. “He’s desperately lost without her, and I don’t know how to make him better. Of course, I knew it would be hard for him to move on, but I thought eventually he would.”
“Maddy, it’s only been eight months. Give the man some time.”
“But he’s only getting worse. She was the love of his life, and he can’t live without her. Until I started having these dreams, I’ve never experienced that kind of love before and what it felt like to have someone to come home to, or someone to comfort you while you cry in their arms and take care of you when you lose your mom to cancer. The love he misses is the love I have with this woman.”
Shelly kicked the chair out from underneath her and came toward me. “What are you saying?” she yelled. “That you love this woman the same way your father loved your mom? Madison, that is ridiculous. It is not the same!”
I shoved myself away from the table and stormed across the room. “Maybe not here, in real life, but in my dreams it is! We were married! I saw the picture of us. We had a life together. We’d known each other a long time. I can feel it. Hell, my brother graduated from the academy eleven years ago, and she was in the pictures! Eleven years ago!” I stopped and took a deep breath. “If you could see these pictures, you’d understand. It isn’t just about the mere fact that she was in them, but it’s about how close she looked with my family. She was a part of my life.”
Shelly cocked her head and gave me a challenging look. “So you’ve known each other for a long time, you and this woman in your dreams. The two of you shared some great life together, yet you don’t even know her name. Madison, real people have names.”
To read more of HER NAME, please click onto Amazon.
Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. Her first novella, Her Name, was published by Musa Publishing in 2014. Her Name is a sweet, romantic story about a woman who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.
Loving Again is her second published novella. Alicia is currently working on a new novel called A Penny on the Tracks, a coming of age story about love and friendship. Alicia has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon.
When she is not writing, Alicia enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.
Learn more about Alicia Joseph on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.
February 20, 2017
NEW RELEASE for C.D. HERSH
Step back in time with C.D. Hersh to an era when free love, hippies, and Woodstock filled a generation with hope for a better world. Can’t Stop the Music is contemporary romance, with just the right touch of paranormal, will bring back memories both sweet and a little painful. So grab your love beads, turn up the volume, and settle in for one hellova a good read.
For college senior and hippie wannabe Rosemary—Rose for short—a teaching job is within her grasp, but she wants more. She wants love, the kind of love that has bound her parents for so many years. When she’s dumped by her current boyfriend because her morals can’t bring her to give in to free love, she finds herself at Woodstock in the middle of the biggest free-love music festival of the Sixties. Alone, again. Until a magical tree grants her wish and she finds the man of her dreams—and loses him before she really knows who he is.
Dakota meets the girl of his dreams at Woodstock, but a jealous wannabe girlfriend drives them apart before he can discover Rose’s last name and where she comes from. After he sees a disappearing tree that promises him true love, a frantic search to find Rose comes up empty-handed.
Magic and music bring them together at Woodstock in 1969. Misunderstandings tear them apart. Will two flower children find one another again, or live with missed opportunities?
As they made their way to the festival site, Rose and her friends grooved to the music coming from the stage. When they reached the makeshift bridge over the road, someone yelled, “Hey beautiful! You with the red hair.”
She looked around to see if there was anyone else with red hair. Then she glanced up and spotted two guys, one blond and the other dark-haired, leaning over the side of the bridge.
“Yeah, you,” the blond called out as he caught her gaze.
Willow halted beside her. “He’s cute. How about him?”
Rose looked away, her gaze landing on the other guy.
He jabbed his companion in the ribs. “Quit trying to pick up every girl you see.” Then he leaned farther over the rail. “Don’t pay any attention to him. He’s high.”
“So she’s not beautiful?” Willow yelled to the hippie.
She poked her friend. “Stop it, Willow, you’re making a scene.” In spite of her protest, her gaze remained on the dark-haired guy.
He rested his elbows on the rail and stared back at her. The intensity of his expression shot heat into her belly.
“I didn’t say that, just that she shouldn’t pay attention to him.” He flapped a hand at his blond buddy, then tapped his own chest with his thumb several times as if to say, ‘Choose me!’
Does he want me to pay attention to him? Her heart thumped in rhythm to his jabbing thumb.
“Take that one,” Willow whispered. “He’s the real cutie.”
Before she could respond, the crowd pushed them forward. When they reached the other side of the bridge, she looked back, searching for the dark-haired hippie, but the spot where he’d stood was empty.
Just my luck. I see someone who’s intriguing and he disappears.
With a sigh, she continued the trek to the festival grounds
AMAZON BUY LINK
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.
February 15, 2017
A TASTY MEMORY FROM HOME
by Sharon Ledwith
When I began writing The Last Timekeepers Time Travel series, I wrote it with the intention of creating a nostalgic, good old days feeling to take tweens and teens (and hopefully many adults too) on an adventure in time that would keep them reading, smiling, and begging for more books. That said, I made sure that each book also included a scene involving food to allow my characters a chance to rest and mull over what has taken place so far during their Timekeeper mission—think family chats at the dinner table after a long day or those Sunday family get-togethers at supper. Call me sentimental, but there’s something about mixing food with a fun read!
This recipe is among one of my favorites my mother used to prepare for family get-togethers or the holidays. With a melt-in-your-mouth texture, this dish is sure to put a smile on any face—even those who cringe at the thought of broccoli or cauliflower on their plates. Easy to prepare with a prep time of fifteen minutes and cook time of approximately sixty minutes, this supreme cheesy feast serves around six of your famished family members or hungry guests.
Supreme Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cheese Casserole
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can mushrooms (pieces and stems)
1 tbsp. butter
Half and half cream
Head of Cauliflower
Bunch of Broccoli
Dash of paprika
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces. Drop into a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Drain the vegetables well and set aside.
Fry mushrooms lightly in butter until browned.
Empty cans of soup into a saucepan and add one can of half and half cream. Stir until smooth. Set stove to medium heat. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture just to the boil.
Place vegetables in lightly greased casserole dish. Pour mushrooms and soup mixture over the vegetables. Garnish with paprika if desired.
Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil to brown, then cook for another 20-30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Since you’ve got some wiggle room to relax, why not set your butt in the closest cozy chair, and crack open one of The Last Timekeepers books?
The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:
MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING – AMAZON – AMAZON.CA – BARNES & NOBLE
The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:
MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING – AMAZON – BARNES & NOBLE
Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:
MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING – AMAZON – BARNES & NOBLE
BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE.
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery 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. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.
February 13, 2017
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK KICK ASS
That’s right! Jeanne De Vita and Marci Clark are the new kids who have a combined twenty-five years of experience in the writing and publishing industry. These experienced ladies are in the process of opening a new online e-bookstore that satisfies writers and readers alike. Here’s a peek at their logo.
Three Wishes Bookstore is slated to be an interactive site where readers can store unlimited numbers of audiobooks and e-books, engage with their favorite authors through interviews and featured content, and most of all, access their favorite books in a user-friendly, attractive online store with competitive pricing and perks for enrolling in their book clubs and programs. Learn more about this exciting new venture on kickstarter. You may well discover an exciting opportunity.
Jeanne De Vita attended her first RWA Conference at age 14. Jeanne has a B.A. in English from Iowa State University, and the MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has taught writing and rhetoric/composition at the college level as well as corporate courses in written communications. She has worked for a literary journal and spent more than 15 years in private industry. Jeanne has personally edited and acquired more than 50 books in almost every genre. Jeanne has hired, trained, and mentored several dozen interns and editors and has overseen the day to day operations of a publishing company. When she is not editing, Jeanne writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and has published under the pen name Annie Anthony. Jeanne has presented at writer’s conferences and participated in panel discussions on various topics related to publishing and writing and is available for in-person speaking engagements, online classes, etc.
Marci Clark, who writes as Marci Boudreaux, is a freelance editor, book/cover art/promo materials designer, published author, and all around publishing nerd. She’s worked for Kensington Publishing since 2014, as well as several indie houses over the years. She is proficient in self-publishing and would love to help you with all your publishing needs, including pre-made or custom cover art.
Reach out to her at email@example.com if you’d like to discuss your project with her.
February 8, 2017
Add a Little Wicked to Your Valentine’s Day
by Leigh Goff
The strawberry. Could there be a more perfect food for Valentine’s Day? It is as red and heart-shaped as a Valentine and also a symbol of the goddess of love herself, Venus. According to folklore, if a double strawberry is halved and shared with the target of your affection, you will fall in love with each other.
Here is a wickedly delicious recipe that even Sophie, my sixteen year-old witch protagonist from my debut fantasy romance, Disenchanted, would make for her true love using fresh strawberries picked from her aunt’s enchanted garden. Please enjoy the excerpt that follows.
|Photo by Ambro
Wickedly Delicious Strawberries
2 pints strawberries, with stems if possible
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips)
2 tbsp. corn syrup
6 tbsp. butter
Wash strawberries and pat dry. Place on paper towels until they reach room temperature.
Melt chocolate chips, corn syrup, and butter in a double boiler, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and dip each strawberry into chocolate, coating ⅔ of berry. Allow excess chocolate to drip off into pan.
Place stem side down on waxed paper covered baking pan or cookie sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 15-20 minutes.
Yields approximately 28 strawberries.
Recipe courtesy of Food.com
Here’s the excerpt to enjoy while your strawberries are chilling.
He grinned his seductive grin, letting me glimpse his dangerous streak. Most likely a family trait and I had to make sure I didn’t forget it was there. He did seem different from them, not as affected from the poison running through their veins.
“I’m curious about you.”
My heart pleaded with my head to ignore the doubts and questions, to be in the moment and believe it was possible. “I love my garden, but this is what I like the most about Wethersfield. Right here. Where the star-crossed lovers are buried. Their story…well, it’s an interesting one.”
His lips pursed. He drew back, dejected. “Their story? Their story is a tragedy. One of many in the Mather family history.”
“The end is tragic, but it’s still a love story and this tree…” I raised my hand, admiring its lushness. “It’s a symbol of their forbidden love. Centuries with no berries and now look at it.” The mulberry swayed with the breeze as if it were dancing. The branches flaunted multitudes of pale, red berry clusters that had begun to ripen for the first time. I liked to think the tree was finally done mourning, but I had no idea why it picked this year of all its three hundred plus years.
“You sound like you believe in happy endings.”
“I want to. Don’t you?” He was kind of young to be tainted, I thought. My mind drifted to the possibility he had been jilted by a beautiful duchess during his time in London.
“Like I said, I come from a long line of tragedy in my family.”
I bit my lip for a second. He was right about that. For as long as we knew his family, they had been dropping dead, and usually in the prime of their lives, except for the really mean ones like the reverend, and his father and Zeke. “You know you have to fight for your own happy ending. You have to will it to happen.”
His eyes held mine, leaving me breathless again. I struggled to think straight.
“I’d bet you’re good at willing things to happen.”
A tendril of sable hair tickled my cheek. I brushed it away. “I’m good at making mistakes. Lots of mistakes.”
His eyebrows furrowed with disbelief. “You make it rain flower petals, yet you wallow in self-pity?”
He was aware I created the storm of blossoms. Crud. Of course, he was. There was no good explanation for it. My stomach sank. “I…uh…uh.”
He grinned, not fazed at all by what I could do. “How would you feel about having me as a friend, Sophie?”
My heart fluttered when he said my name, but I glanced at him curiously, not understanding what he was offering. “I choose my friends carefully.” I thought back to my dream last night. I wasn’t afraid of him, but how could I trust him?
He grimaced from my pause. His threw his hands out in front of him. “Look, I know you hate my family. And we haven’t exactly gotten along swimmingly, but I was thinking, it might be easier for both of us if we could find some middle ground.”
Incredulity colored my tone. “You want to be friends?”
“Why not?” he replied.
I shook my head. “Surprisingly weird.”
“It’s not weird at all.” He extended his hand to me as if he were serious. “Shake on it.”
My heart yearned for his touch, but it wrestled against the logic from my head. “I can’t.” I glanced around, knowing that since the Wethersfield Witch Trials, minus the rare exceptions, witches were forbidden to enter into any kind of a relationship with ordinaries, especially the Mathers. “This is crazy. Our families are enemies and…and I hate you.” My lips tingled from the devil’s bit, confirming what I already felt. It was a lie. I didn’t hate him at all. In fact, I feared it was the opposite. “Tell me what you really want from me.” I subtly pointed my finger in his direction. “Verum,” I whispered in a hushed voice, attempting to cast a truth spell on him. The magic trickled out. I watched for a change in his focus, but as I watched him, a heart shape carved into the bark of the mulberry’s tree trunk behind him. My eyes popped. I closed my mouth, still staring at the engraving. “Wha?” I uttered in disbelief. Mishaps were guaranteed when I was near him.
“What do I want from you?” he repeated back to me, unaware of my fail.
I averted my eyes, feeling ridiculous.
“I want you to be you. You’ve got everyone thinking you’re thoroughly
ordinary when you’re the farthest thing from it.”
I peered up at his beautiful face from beneath my lashes. Did he see
through me? Did he really know what I was? “What would your father think about you wanting to be my friend?”
“It’s no one’s business but ours.”
“Ours? Like you and me together?” My brow crinkled. “A secret friendship?” I tried to ignore my quickening pulse. Everything in me wanted to believe him. My head railed against the idea. I would be breaking rules and there would be consequences.
He stepped closer. “I think we’re both good at keeping secrets. Why not one more?”
I swallowed hard. “You seem to have everything, including a terror for a brother who’s got your back. Why do you need a friend?”
“Everyone needs a friend.”
He held his hand out, wanting me to shake it while his eyes held me tight. In that moment, dizziness crept in and an overwhelming feeling of falling from a cliff followed. The intensity of it scared me. I put my hand up in a stop motion and pressed my other hand to my stomach, hoping the plummeting sensation would pass. I backed away. My head and heart tore away at each other. “I can’t do this.”
His face bore a forlorn expression. “You’re right. I’m playing with fire, a bad habit of mine. This was stupid of me. I’m sorry.”
Curiosity creased in my brow. “What do you mean ‘playing with fire’?”
His eyes, holding tight to his secret, burned through me. “I mean you. I’m pretending I can control something that’s out of my control. I can’t be around you without getting burned, yet I’m completely drawn to you.” He parted his soft lips. “Like a moth to the flame.”
Mirror World Publishing – Amazon
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.
February 6, 2017
London Theatre in Regency Times
by Kadee McDonald
By the early 19th century, The Industrial Revolution had made England the leading manufacturing and trading nation in the world. In 1800, London was already the world’s largest city, and its population would almost double over the next four decades, to approximately two million.
Large numbers of the working classes, drawn to jobs in commerce and manufacturing, began to attend the theatre for the first time, causing major changes to entertainments formerly reserved for more well-to-do patrons of the arts. Both Covent Garden and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, were rebuilt in the 1790’s to accommodate about 3,000 and 3,600 people, respectively. Minor theatres were opened outside Westminster in the 1780’s and 1790’s; then, in 1804, when the Earl of Dartmouth became Lord Chamberlain, he authorized the licensing of minor theatres inside the City of Westminster, so long as they did not infringe upon the rights of the “patent houses” of Covent Garden, Drury Lane and the Haymarket. He also authorized longer seasons for the Haymarket, which had been restricted to a five-month season and, by 1812, it was open seven months of the year.
Attempting to retain audiences, the patent theatres began to include minor dramas in their offerings and extended the evenings to five or even six hours. By 1820, it wasn’t unusual for the evening’s bill to include two full-length plays, an afterpiece, and a number of variety acts.
Since only the patent houses could play regular drama, along with the minor genres, the other theatres found loopholes offered by the burletta and the melodrama, which was a three-act play with a musical score. Thus, a regular drama, such as a work from Shakespeare, could be performed in three acts with musical accompaniment and called “melodrama.” This game of ruse and subterfuge continued throughout the Regency and after, until the Theatre Regulation Act of 1843, which abolished the privileges of the patent theatres, and allowed any licensed theatre to perform works of any type, although all plays continued to be licensed by the Lord Chamberlain.
The upper classes might have worn their very best, but otherwise, theatre-going was an informal business, with members of the audience talking loudly and arriving or leaving at any time during the performances. Dandies strolled and mingled in the “pit,” taking snuff and showing off the latest fashions.
Most of the romantic poets of the day attempted drama, including Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley. George Gordon, Lord Byron, who was a member of the governing committee of Drury Lane, wrote more plays suited for the stage than the others, although only one was actually performed during his lifetime (and that one, “Marino Faliero,” in 1821, over his objections).
The best known actors and actresses on the London stage during the Regency included several members of the Kemble family, especially Sarah Kemble Siddons, who was considered the greatest tragic actress of her day until her retirement in 1812. The Kemble “classical” school of acting was continued by Charles Mayne Young (1777-1856), J. M. Vandenhoff (1790-1861), and Eliza O’Neill (1791-1827). Their classical approach was challenged after 1814 by the romantic school, perhaps best exemplified by Edmund Kean. Kean perfected the style, and exerted his “star power” frequently to demand £50 or more for each performance, an amount unheard of before his time. Other well-known performers, such as William Charles Macready (1793-1873) and Mme. Eliza Vestris (1797-1856), later went from the stage into theatre management.
Here is a brief introduction to my fitting story for February. I hope you enjoy it.
In the coldest days of February, can St. Valentine create enough heat to melt two hearts into one?
Miss Penelope Braxton has never met sensible George Harburton or his more dashing younger brother, Henry, but she agrees to grant her dying father peace of mind by considering marriage to one of them.
The advantage of the match for the brothers is evident in the form of Miss Braxton’s substantial dowry. However, her money takes second place when the brothers realize the extent of Penelope’s courage, wit, and devotion.
Henry doesn’t plan to give up his philandering to romance Penelope. George’s days are filled with the running of the family estate and he has never put aside his duties long enough to contemplate marriage. When one of the gentlemen changes his ways, will he be able to compose the perfect poetry to win Penelope’s heart?
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Kadee McDonald grew up in Texas, but a piece of her heart will always belong to the muslin and lace of Regency England. She is a long-time reader, and now an author of Regency romance. Her books are available as e-books from Amazon.
Learn more about Kadee on her website. Stay connected on Twitter or Facebook.
February 1, 2017
TOFFEE FOR YOUR VALENTINE
by Sara Daniel
Buying your valentine chocolates? Yep, you and millions of other shmucks.
Going with flowers? Ditto. Sorry.
How about making a sweet for your sweetie this year? It’s sweet, chocolate-y, and easy to make. And the personal effort is worth far more than that bouquet of roses you were eyeing.
1 ½ cups butter
1 ½ cups sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped pecans
Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a saucepan over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, stirring constantly with a spatula.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread toffee mixture. Top with chocolate chips. When chips begin to melt, spread chocolate over toffee.
Sprinkle with almonds, pecans, and/or sea salt.
Refrigerate for 1 hour then break into pieces.
Serve with a Sara Daniel romance for the sexiest Valentine’s Day ever!
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?
Amazon – 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.
January 30, 2017
IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE
The incomparable Janis Lane has stretched out of her comfort zone into a new genre with her delightful new release Angels Abound with Love. Here is a brief introduction for your reading pleasure.
In a small town, a series of mysterious coincidences tests and strengthens the faith of a group of friends and neighbors. Love is in the air.
A coincidence is an angel-delivered message from God vows her vivacious nurse to young Doc Cathy. To a science educated person, this seems a bit far-fetched. On the other hand, is it? The doctor is in as episode after episode tests her faith and her education. To her delight, love enters her life in depths she could never have imagined.
A handsome detective is too busy with his good works to ask for help either from his church, friends or his God. When he encounters the lovely Doc Cathy his horizons expand beyond his wildest imagination, and he suddenly remembers to include his most powerful partner. Love is the message.
“She’s a doctor just like Doc Smitty. I’m sure you can trust her. She probably goes to hockey games too.” Mark Mallory turned his attention to the delicate face gazing solemnly down at him and felt a slight jolt to his constitution as if he’d put his finger near an electric outlet. He hastily stood, tugged on his well-worn t-shirt and brushed his hand over his close-cropped hair. It immediately sprang back into curled disarray.
“I’m standing in for his mom,” he stated quickly. “She called and asked me to bring Robbie to you. She’s on her way.
“Oh, sorry–Detective Mark Mallory. I volunteer on Tuesday’s at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club.” He wiped his hand on his jeans and reached it out to her.
“How do you do,” the doctor returned.
“I heard there’s a new doctor taking over for Doc Smitty. Welcome to town.” He shook her hand, feeling foolish as she looked steadily up at him; her calm gray-blue eyes, heavily fringed with dark lashes, seemed to be taking his measure. She was a little bit of a thing, he thought absently, but somehow her height failed to diminish her authority. He hadn’t expected such an attractive young woman to be standing in for old Doc Smith and belatedly regretted his sweaty T-shirt and well-worn jeans. Was that his big toe peeking out of his sneakers? How did that happen? He tried to tuck one shoe behind the other and hoped she wouldn’t notice.
Driving home to Aunt Serena and little Elisa, who was hopefully to be her new foster child, Cathy reviewed her day–a quite extraordinary day. Meeting the congenial policeman put a smile on her face—he was one handsome hunk and… now was no time to be distracted by a good looking detective even if it was obvious he spent time working out. Policemen probably needed well developed muscles to help them catch criminals—and to keep themselves healthy. She, a new, and maybe temporary foster parent (she didn’t know yet) needed to keep her thoughts centered. No time for flirting with the local police.
She was still astounded by her impulsive offer this morning to take charge of a four year old orphan in need of a foster home. She almost gasped at her own temerity, but the thought of providing urgent shelter to the tiny girl-child pleased her. She knew her aunt would welcome the tot as well. There was lots of room in that comfortable, rambling older and well-lived-in home where she and her brothers had grown up.
“Where there is love, there also shall be God,” she sang softly, the tone of her voice pealing like the soft, tinkling tones of a far away, crystal bell.
Inside the woman leaned forward, her heart filled with empathy for the misery of the child. As the doctor spoke impulsively to the social worker, the angel smiled and floated upwards, the halo around her head fading as she ascended into the clouds and turned into a shining pallet of colors, which disappeared into the arch of a distant rainbow.
Inside the building the doctor wondered at her uncharacteristic and impulsive boldness, but would not rescind her offer. She had love to give and this little girl needed to be loved. Cathy became cognizant of an extreme sense of serenity and well-being. Briefly she wondered at it, but not finding a particular cause, blithely and casually accredited it, quite correctly, as a gift from God and went on with her work.
AMAZON BUY LINK
Read more about the books 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.
January 25, 2017
A WARM TASTE OF ITALY
A small bowl of hot soup is an excellent starter to any meal. You can also enjoy soup for lunch or dinner by adding a salad and fresh bread. This hearty recipe works great for all situations. Add a glass of crisp white wine and enjoy!
Minestrone (Vegetable) Soup
½ cup dry white beans, navy or Great Northern
4 tbsp. butter
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup zucchini, unpeeled, scrubbed and diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup red potatoes, diced
⅓ cup celery, diced
5 strips bacon, diced
¼ cup onion, chopped
½ cup leeks (or substitute onions), chopped fine
2 cups drained diced tomatoes
2 quarts chicken stock, homemade or canned
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup rice
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a heavy 3-to 4-quart saucepan. Add the beans and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the beans soak for 1 hour. Return the pan to the stove, and over low heat simmer the beans uncovered for 1-1½ hours, or until they are barely tender. Drain the beans and set aside.
Melt the butter over moderate heat in a heavy 10-to 12- inch skillet. When the foam subsides, add the peas, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, and celery. Toss constantly with a wooden spoon to coat the vegetables. Cook 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Fry the bacon in a heavy 6-to8-quart saucepan over moderate heat until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels, but retain the grease in the pot. Stir in the onion and leeks. Continue to stir until the vegetables are soft and lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, vegetables from the skillet, chicken stock, bay leaf, parsley, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 25 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Add the rice, beans, and bacon. Cook 15 – 20 minutes longer.
½ tbsp. dried basil
½ tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. garlic, chopped fine
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Stir well.
Ladle into individual bowls. Sprinkle with herb/garlic mixture. Pass a bowl of grated cheese.
Leftovers freeze well.
May you enjoy all the days of your life around a well laden table!
Amazon Author Page
Sloane said @ 12:37 am
January 23, 2017
IN THE NAVY
They never eat a Bean Soup as good as the one Regency Romance and Cozy Mystery author Emma Lane prepares. Emma brings us a delicious and easy recipe for a hearty soup sure to keep you warm. The kitchen is all yours, Emma!
Navy Bean Soup
2 strips bacon
1 med, onion, chopped
3 cups water
1 med. white potato, peeled and cubed
1 can navy or great northern beans, drained
1 clove fresh garlic, chopped fine (optional)
Sauté’ onion and bacon until onion is pearly-colored and bacon is crisp. Crumble bacon and add both to pot.
Stir in water, beans, potato, and garlic.
Simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally. Do not add more water before serving.
Top the serving with a spoonful of grated cheese or a dollop of sour cream.
Serve with a pear salad and a loaf of French bread or hard rolls.
l can pears halves or slices, drained
dollop of sour cream
sprinkle of nutmeg
Assemble on individual salad plates. Chill until ready to serve.
While you’re waiting for everyone to come home for dinner, here’s a teaser from one of my Regency books.
What happens when a strong heroine meets an arrogant, but handsome hero? Sparks fly. It’s a Regency Romance Romp!
Miss Amabel Hawkins acknowledges her unusual upbringing, but she thinks James Langley, the Duke of Westerton, might be a tad unbalanced when he protests her efforts to right his badly managed properties. The duke, who has been away on the king’s business, demonstrates no respect for the beautiful but managing Miss Hawkins. Amabel has taken refuge at Westerton, fleeing from a forced marriage to a man who claims to be her relative in order to gain control of her young brother’s estate.
The Duke arrives home to find his estate under the firm control of a beautiful but managing female. His suspicions are fueled by his recent task of spy-hunting and he wonders if Amabel Hawkins is just who she seems. While a dastardly spy lurks, a wicked man poses as her cousin threatening to take over the guardianship of her young brother. Amabel might be falling in love, but she knows for certain the duke would never approve of a meddlesome woman, and she decides to flee his estate. Will the duke finally realize the true value of the woman he loves or will his prejudice ruin his chances forever?
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.