Friday, September 30, 2011

Early Wakeups Can Inspire

Love waking up at ungodly hours, don’t you? In this case 2am was the magic number and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Sure, I could have got up and plundered around the house with the cat, but instead decided to let my mind wander. It turned out to be a good thing…oh the creative juices that flow in the wee hours of the morning.

See, my editor pointed out a plot hole big enough to drive a truck through. Don’t ask why I didn’t see it; let’s just say it’s been a long summer/fall with some things that happened. Anyway, the point is I think the inspiration for the fix came to me as I tossed around and the wheels of my mind kicked into gear. So, there goes yesterday’s effort and today I’m going with the new idea.

Now I’m off to write several new scenes and cut (yes, I’m going to slash away) other unneeded words that don’t fit the newly discovered fixes. This leads to an appreciation of the early wakeups that inspire vs. the ones filled with worries.

Here’s to a great weekend for all of us…productive for me (which leads to a happy editor). Hope yours is filled with fun stuff!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe Wednesday --- Split Pea Soup, the long way!

When I mentioned making split pea soup on a social site someone asked how I do it since the process takes me two days. I admit to being a little compulsive about fat removal which may explain that. Anyway, thought I’d share the nuts and bolts here for Recipe Wednesday. This is not an exact formula, but I think it is a healthier option over using ham hocks and Toddler kept talking about the ham we put in, even though it’s not.

First day:
1 smoked turkey leg
1 onion cut in half (I wash, but don’t peel)
1 green pepper (washed & cut in half)
1-2 stalks of celery (washed & broken in half)
Several cloves of whole garlic
Bunch of parsley
1 bay leaf
Couple of carrots (unpeeled)

All the above items are placed into a soup pot and water added to cover most of the turkey leg. This will make a large pot of broth. The veggies give flavor and nutrients. Simmer for 2-3 hours. After it cools down, remove the turkey leg and strain broth. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of broth and set in refrigerator overnight. Remove plastic wrap when ready to finish soup and most of the fat comes off, then divide into 2 containers. Meat from the turkey leg can be removed the first day or 2nd. Chop into bite size pieces. Should be enough turkey & broth for 2 batches of soup.

Second Day:

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bag split peas
Turkey broth
Chopped smoked turkey
Salt if needed

Sauté onion, carrots, parsley & celery in olive oil until soft. Add broth (amount is determined by directions on split pea bag) and if additional liquid is needed, use water or chicken stock. Add peas and turkey. Follow directions on bag for cooking time.

This makes for a low fat, healthy meal. Salt is added to taste. The turkey isn’t as salty as ham, but if when I have to stretch the broth with a can of chicken stock, it adds enough salt for my family.

My family loves split pea soup and when Toddler’s mom arrived to take her home, the little minx climbed up to the table and demanded her bowl of soup. Had to send some home with her since mom was in a hurry.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Update: Fun & Scares

The fun is in the happenings, the scares in the pictures of me...trying to remember if I felt as tired as I looked in most of the pictures. I know I do this morning.

Last week was a busy one to say the least. Thursday, I read a few scenes from Beyond Magic as well as a scene from the upcoming release of Emerging Magic, at at chocolate party sponsored by the lovely Joleen Allis. Yummy chocolate creations, music, headshots (Kurt, hope your camera still works after mine) and loads of fun and laughs.

Thank you to the ladies who came up after the readings to comment. No, you didn't laugh to hard and yes, I was delighted to hear romance, paranormal and humor is exactly what you love to read. Thank you for those who did purchase copies. A percentage of proceeds of the sales across the board goes to the fight against breast cancer.

Here's a few shots of the happeningsd. Some are scary (as in mine!) and others are fun.

As you can see Dove Chocolate was a sponsor.

Moi reading. Nothing like being in the spotlight...(g)

Kathy, thank you for your support. Know you have the current release, but it was wonderful you brought your friends in addition to your smiling face!

Saturday was a book signing at a local Barnes & Nobel. Love the staff at the B&N store on Sheridan & 92nd! They are so supportive and great to work with. Thank you for the support!!!

And as always, had a wonderful time with my signing buddy, Melissa Mayhue. Business at the store may have been slow because of the really nice weather that everyone was out enjoying, but we still had a fun time.

And I picked up a copy of Romantic Times Magazine while at the store. Delighted with the 4 Star review for Beyond Magic!!!
Check it out online too at:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe

My friend Kimberly Gardner posted this in a group we belong to. Sounds good and its on my list to try.

I got this recipe from my nutrition counselor. I made it and it's really yummy. The only thing I would add is if you cook it at 350 like the recipe says, you need to give it 35 rather than 25 minutes before you put the cheese on top.

Rice Lentil Custard

½ onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Cup cooked lentils
1 Cup cooked brown rice
½ teaspoon each basil and thyme
½ teaspoon each dill weed and celery seed
2 Tablespoons oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 Cups milk
2 Tablespoons tamari soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
¼ to ½ Cup grated or sliced cheese (Cheddar or Parmesan recommended)

To save time cook the rice and lentils the day before making the casserole. Sauté vegetables, lentils, rice and seasonings in oil. Beat eggs with milk and tamari soy sauce. Combine the two mixtures in oiled casserole. Bake, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes at 350˚. Top with cheese; bake 5 minutes.

From: Whole Foods for the Whole Family, La Leche League International Cookbook, © 1981 La Leche League International, Franklin Park, Illinois, 60131

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Madness

Is it Monday all ready? I’m sure a lot of you feel that way, know I did when the alarm shouted out at 4:15 this morning. So currently pumping caffeine and checking my ‘to do’ list now.

A very good happening…sent the current WIP off to my editor. I’m happy dancing to say the least, but frustrated that I allowed outside influences to affect my writing focus. I must work on myself to not allow that to happen and yes, that is easier said than done.

Now it’s time to start on the next book(s) while waiting for edits on this one. In addition, need to do research on the NOR article for October. Have an idea on where that one is going and know quite a bit on the planned subject, but still…additional research won’t hurt.

Along with the writing, I need to get busy creating flyers for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers mini-con coming up October 22nd. Oh, I have two book signing events this week…had spaced one, so yep…more promotion.
So there you have my week in a nutshell, at least the writer me.

Personally have the joy of the exciting cleaning that needs to be tackled. And oh yeah, my husband has decided we need to get back to the gym and that means I’ll be sore tomorrow.

Hope your week is a good one. Why don’t you share what you’re up to with us?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Welcome Friday's Guest Xavier Axelson!

Today we have a delightful blog by Xavier Axelson on a love affair with brownies. Is he trying to get on my good side or just dangle tempatation in front of me. Maybe temptation since I drooled before getting to the end!!!! Love this guy and loved the excerpt he shared.

Innocence is in the Eye of the Brownie
By Xavier Axelson

It started out innocently enough, (yes, I said innocently) when one day I came across a recipe for cookies and cream brownies. I don’t remember where or who posted or sent the link to the recipe. I’m sure they are burning in Hellfire as I write this. Anyway, I found this recipe and decided I had to make it. Any recipe where a tub of cookies and cream ice cream is on the shopping list should make one nervous. Luckily, I have nerves of steel.

You know how this goes, you are casually serving the web, something catches your eye, and you KNOW right then and there you have to make or buy whatever it is you have just seen. This is not dissimilar to love at first sight, or what I prefer to believe is really LUST at first sight. Before the angels could cry out in outrage, I was at the store and buying all the ingredients to make the demonic cookies and cream Oreo brownies. Oh, did I forget to mention the Oreo cookies? Oh yes, they are in there. Can you hear Beelzebub snickering in your ear yet? Funny, he’s always snickering in mine. But onward and upward I say and ignoring the pleas of my guardian angel (yeah right) I bought all the ingredients and hurried home to begin concocting sweet evil in my oven.

I mixed, melted, and layered until I could barely stand it and then once the brownies were in the oven I realized I would have to get them out of my house once they were done. It wouldn’t be fair to have spent the entire spring dropping lbs, working out, sweating and having to rock the Debra Winger bandana look only to have it all go down the tubes with one pan of chocolately, Fudgey, cookie badness—would it? NO! I had worked to hard. I am sadly one of those foodie wackos who will wake up in the middle of the night and stand naked in front of the fridge almond milk in one hand fork with pan of brownies in other. No bueno.

When the brownies were done I ate one, just one! Can you believe it? I hurriedly wrapped the rest up and brought them to work. Thankfully, I work just above one of the gates of Hell so everyone there is willing to indulge in naughty pleasures and not feel bad about it. There were even repeat offenders.

I thought this would conclude the brownie madness. It didn’t. In fact, after I posted this recipe on Facebook, other food enthusiasts started posting OTHER brownie recipes. There was one for “The Other Side of Fifty: Better-Than-Crack Brownies,” “Peanut butter Cup Brownies,” “Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies,” and more and more. Should I go on? Of course, you want me too. So I’ll give you a finale worth selling your first child for, (Rumpelstiltskin is my name, don’t wear it out) here goes: Cherry Cabernet Brownies. Yes, you know exactly the flavor combination, why it would work, and why you should immediately look this recipe up on Google. These are brownies for adults. You really should be over 18 to make them. When I first made and tasted them my first thought was, “these would be perfect with wine.”

I sent said cherry brownies to the set of a popular TV show and the overwhelming consensus from the star to the p.a.’s was in perfect agreement with my brilliant deduction. These were brownies to be enjoyed with booze.

I’ve learned a lot this past spring and summer. I’d like to think I learned restraint, but even as I write, I’m smiling. I’ve tasted and shared pan after pan of brownies. My FB Friends have shared recipes, links, and wishful pleas to me an each other. It has been a long summer filled with accidents, “The Incident,” interviews and narrow escapes, loves and losses, betrayals and backstabbing, (No this is not the inside cover of a Sidney Sheldon novel) But through it all there have been brownies. So I share this recipe that is not mine and that started it all. Enjoy and beware.

Here is the link:

It’s September a magical month. Keep your tigerseye and moonstone close. Check me out online where I am always finding sensual delights to delve into. Find me at or on Facebook:
Or on Twitter:
Look for new releases with both my publishers Silver Publishing and Seventh Window Publications.


Officer Michael Carmac is a small town cop whose life is turned upside down by a horrific incident that neither he, nor the community he serves can forget. While Michael’s long-time friend and partner officer Bertram Angel offers support and friendly companionship during Carmac’s ordeal, Michael soon finds his feelings for Angel turning from friendship to something more. As Michael’s thoughts of guilt and personal responsibility over the incident intensify so do his emotions for Angel and the realization that love may be the only way to heal his wounded heart.

the incident
Michael leaned towards Angel, the cold pie plate the only thing between them. Michael's heart was pounding and he could feel Angel’s breath soft on his face.
“No, it’s like right by your mouth, on the right,” Michael said.
Somewhere a night bird called out and the only reply was the incessant symphony coming from the bugs in the trees, but Michael didn’t hear anything except his own tormented thoughts clashing against his physical desires. Sweat had begun to run down his back and he shivered as he felt his spine twitch with excitement.
“Did I get it?” Angel asked, making another swipe at his face.
Michael leaned in, his hands shaking, the pie plate feeling slippery in his other hand. “Here,” he said as he pressed a shaking finger against Angel’s cheek. “Right here,” the last word was more a pant as he wiped the offending chocolate from Angel’s face.
Michael thought he saw something in Angel’s eyes when he touched him but he wasn’t sure. Although he wanted Angel more than words, he was terrified that what he thought he saw wasn’t real.
“Mikey,” Angel breathed, coming closer. He put a hand on Michael’s arm and pulled him close. “Do it, whatever you’re thinking, do it.”
“I can’t,” Michael whispered.
Angel leaned so close that their lips were just about touching. “I’ll make it easy on you.” Angel ran his tongue over Michael’s lips. “Just do it.”
Michael felt the world beginning to slide sideways, and somewhere he heard the sound of something breaking.
Was this real?
His mind screamed for him to stop, to pull away, but Angel’s smell, his breath so close was making it hard to move, to breathe, to think. Before he could answer his raging thoughts, he found himself kissing Angel.

Where to find Xavier Axelson:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Turtle Bars...yummm!

I love the combination of chocolate, carmel/toffee and pecans. These bars are good 'just because' or for an after dinner sweet bite with coffee when you don't want to do a big dessert item. Enjoy!

Turtle Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee-and-chocolate baking pieces (such as Heath or Skör)

Heat oven to 350° F. Combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a crumbly dough is formed. Press the dough firmly into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake until just golden, about 13 minutes. Whisk together the condensed milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour the filling over the baked crust. Sprinkle the pecans, chocolate chips, and toffee pieces evenly over the filling. Bake until the filling is set, the edges are golden brown, and the toffee is melted, about 25 minutes. Cool completely in the refrigerator, about 2 hours. Cut into 32 bars.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Romatic Times Magazine review on Beyond Magic

Romantic Times Magazine gave 4 Stars to Beyond Magic


Friday, September 2, 2011

September Prizes

Okay, I admit August was crazy busy and September, in fact the rest of the year, is shaping up to be as bad if not worse. But, how did I forget to post a question for the August drawing...slaps head in frustration. It happend though, so here's the deal...for September, there will be 2 winners and the prizes are special ones. So, to get your name in the drawning for a pair of earrings crafted by the lovely Megan Mayhue, as well as the first two trading cards created for the Magical Love Series.

And since I'm on a deadline and ye ol' mind (or what there is of it) is focused on a book ending, I'll make it easy...comment on any September post and you're in the drawing...the more you post, the more your name is entered.

That's it! Just don't forget to respond at least once to something posted in September!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In the Mood for Chocolate

Like my heroines in the Magical Love series, I'm a chocoholic. Love, love, love the stuff. Woke up in the mood for something rich and chocolaty this morning...I know, what else is came across this one. Also means I need to drag my bottom to the grocery store for a couple of the ingredints. But if I walk, then I'll burn off some of the future calories of consumption. How's that for justification!!!!

Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Recipe courtesy of Darren McGrady

Servings: Makes one 6-inch round cake (8 portions)

1/2 tsp. butter, for greasing
8 ounces Rich tea biscuits
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, for the cake
1 egg
8 ounces dark chocolate, for coating
1 ounce chocolate, for decorating

To make cake: Lightly grease a 6" x 2 1/2" cake ring and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.
Break each of the biscuits into almond-size pieces by hand and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten.
Melt the 4 ounces of dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture while constantly stirring.
Beat the egg into the mixture.
Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is unmolded.
Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
To coat and decorate: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate.
Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.
Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.
Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.
Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.
Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.