Thursday, February 27, 2014

Back to the Holidays with Sara Daniel!

Okay, shoot me...I'm sharing a Christmas cookie recipe, but some things are worth sharing anytime of the year and hanging on to them until needed.  And that's the way it is with Sara Daniel's yummy cookies from a blog she did around the holidays!

Candy Cane Cookies


by Sara Daniel

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

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

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

 Preheat oven to 375° F.

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

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

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

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

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

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

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


Nicole trusted Wyatt with her heart once. She won’t make the same mistake twice.


Nicole DeMonde’s car breaks down the moment she returns to her hometown for her brother’s wedding. The cop who stops to help her is none other than local hottie Wyatt Truman, who slept with her then dumped her when they were teens. She has no choice but to accept his help. However, she knows better than to trust him with her heart twice.

Wyatt is determined to earn Nicole’s forgiveness and make amends for his callous past. Once he lays eyes on her, he can’t help wanting a lot more than forgiveness, despite his intention never to hurt her again.

Just as Wyatt starts thinking his best intentions are of the forever variety, Nicole decides to work Wyatt out of her system with a one night stand. Can either of them make peace with the past in a single weekend, let alone survive with their hearts intact?

To read an excerpt from Wyatt's Guilt, please click HERE.

 Buy Links:

 Learn more about Sara Daniel on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

 Be sure to subscribe to Sara’s newsletter for updates on her latest books and contests.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Slipping, Sliding and Crashing Can be a Major Pain!

Received a shout out from Dr. Mario at the American Recall Center.  He explained "we’re a brand new site devoted to providing health and wellness news in simple, straightforward terms. Our goal is to help our readers take complete charge of their health by being fully informed."

 I'm sharing their tip list on falls here and their link.  Since I'm the queen of falls (even managed to fall down an escalator at Victoria station while in London last summer...can you say ouch!), I checked out the site and decided to share one of their tips here.  As for the overall site, I like their focus on health and wellness.

Here's the link to their site.  Take a minute and check out the various other articles. You may find things of interest to you too!.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday's Book - The Indian Shirt Story

I enjoyed Heather Lockman's fascinating book on how the retelling of history happenings from different points of view of individuals can put conflicting spins on the story.

Aside from slinging beer at her husband’s microbrewery, Bess Reynolds is the director of the Starkett House Museum, a preserved pioneer-era home. Along with Aunt Martha’s fan and Aunt Esther’s rocking chair, Bess has to deal with another relic--ninety-year old Lucille Starkett, who likes to tell inappropriate stories to tours. 

Then country music superstar and avid fisherman Duane Hasker rents out the museum as a film location. But when Duane shows up, he’s not alone. In addition to his film crew, his fans stake out the block, squabbling with a crowd protesting Duane’s cruelty to fish. So when Duane and Bess strike up a quick friendship, things get confusing fast.

After all, Duane Hasker is enough to turn any girl’s head--even Miss Lucille, whom he likes on sight. And neither Bess nor Port Heron will ever be the same.
To read an excerpt:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Wench-a-lisous Sam Cheever

Today, the fab Sam Cheever has stopped by to share about her upcoming release.  Love her Alpha strong, so hunky, soooo...well, you get the picture!

I sent an ARC of my upcoming release, Tall, Dark & Alpha out to several reviewers a couple of weeks ago to get some advance reviews for the book. One of the reviews came back five stars, but the reviewer said something that got me thinking. She said she doesn’t usually like apocalyptic fiction but that she really enjoyed TD&A. Her comment made me revisit why I enjoy apocalyptic fiction so much. I actually didn’t realize that I liked it until I stumbled into it while writing a story for Ellora’s Cave. But once I got a taste I couldn’t wait to jump into another story created in an apocalyptic world!
So what do I love about this type of fiction? Probably the same stuff everybody else loves. TD&A is based in a world that’s been turned upside down/inside out. It’s pure survival of the fittest fare. Nothing about this type of world is predictable. Nothing is ordinary. My h/h aren’t fighting regular bad guys. Their nemesis is a terrifyingly powerful dark witch who’s using her magic to create a new type of zombie that is faster, stronger, and able to pass as living in a world where there are no rules and no governing bodies other than the magical organizations that have dedicated themselves to protecting the weaker human population from magic users.

Adding to the yummy darkness of the world my characters live in is a larger-than-life romance that spills beyond their self-proclaimed boundaries and defies their attempts to ignore and eradicate it. And when the h/h are forced to work together toward a common goal, their unwanted feelings for each other may prove impossible to ignore. 
I can’t wait to share Tall, Dark & Apocalyptic with you on March 8th! In the meantime, here’s a taste:

A grand passion in an apocalyptic world. A love beyond reason and without boundaries.
He’s a warrior, a bounty hunter in a world turned upside down. She’s a target, a creature of dark magic. His job is simple. Kill the target. Her goal is more complex. She must stay alive until she finds and destroys the source of death magic staining the twenty worlds. But the passion burning within them may be their undoing. It’s going to take an apocalyptic will to overcome the distraction their bodies are creating…and not lose themselves in the process.


Yeira clawed her way across the floor, her limbs locking and clamping as horrific pain racked her slim frame. A fresh blade of agony speared through her as she struggled to crawl just another sliver of space. The pain jolted her to a stop as she sucked in a breath, sending her into a coughing spasm. Blood sprayed the floor as she crawled. Her dazed, blue gaze stared down at the bright droplets arrayed before her over the oily stone and she knew a stark moment of pure fear.

What if she didn’t make it in time?
Beyond the thick, concrete walls of her hideaway, the sound of explosions and chaos were a constant drone, an unrelenting impetus pushing her ever forward.

With a monumental effort of will, Yeira gritted her teeth and dug her fingers into the rough surface beneath them, dragging herself another inch.
She barely noticed the spark of pain as her soft, exposed belly was ripped open by shards of debris on the battle-ravaged floor. Her goal was a mere five inches away.

She thought she could make it.
She had to.

Yeira closed her eyes as agony washed through her again and lunged another inch. Her fingertips stretched…strained…mere inches from the leather strap.
The world beyond the door exploded and Yeira’s head snapped around. The blast had sounded close. Too close. Panic made her heart pound. “No!” Tears filled her eyes as something heavy hit the door. He’d found her.

With a cry of desperation, Yeira dug her toes into the stone and shoved. The pain erupted in a burst that made her vision gray. She screamed as agony gripped her gut with icy needles, tearing and dislodging the ordered cells of her flesh.
Yeira fell onto her back, her fingers clenching against the torment. Warm, thick blood drenched her lips, dripping down her chin.

The door blasted inward, sending smoke and shrapnel through the room and driving the razor-sharp projectiles into her flesh.
On some level, Yeira felt the pain of the tiny missiles piercing her skin. But she was in the grip of a misery so complete that her mind could barely form a thought. All she could do was scream, her fingers closing convulsively around the thin strap of leather she’d been fighting to reach.

Yeira’s gaze slid to the large shape framed in the door. He was nothing more than a gray haze behind the smoke. A vision of massive male, whose form all but filled the ragged hole that had once been the door.
A fine vision.

Yeira shook her head, offended by the thought even in her tortured state. No! The man was there to kill her. She couldn’t lose sight…
The enormous figure shimmered and she realized he was moving closer. On some level Yeira knew she needed to move. But the pain had finally receded as her body gave out. It felt good not to be consumed by it. For just a moment she longed to lie there, enjoying the numbness, and let her life slip away.

Her fingers moved along the leather strip in her hand. Oblivion would be bliss. Yeira slipped her hand inside the bag, feeling for a smooth, oblong shape.

The sound of his footsteps across the littered floor was like a series of canon blasts, and she winced under every one. His massive arms arched from his sides as he walked, the huge hands loosely fisted. He held a long knife in one hand. Thick, muscular legs stuck out from underneath a bloody and tattered kilt, the burgundy and black pattern barely visible under the filth of an extended battle.
Yeira noted the blade in his hand, knowing it was meant for her.

He stopped a foot away, his intense, dark-blue gaze sweeping over her. “My god, woman. You look like hell.”
Yeira’s lips opened and something gurgled in her throat. She thought it might be a death rattle, but it emerged as a laugh. She licked her lips as he cocked his head. “Bite me, Sorceri.”

Amazingly his wide mouth turned upward in a smile. “I don’t swing that way, zombie.”
A dense cold crept up her legs, slipped along her spine. In another minute she would be completely numb. She wouldn’t even feel the knife he held down at his side as it sliced her head from her body. But though she was a breath away from dying, Yeira couldn’t help tweaking him one last time. “You haven’t got what it takes anyway, Kord.”

His smile slipped. The sexy gaze darkened. Yeira realized the smoke was clearing and she could see him in all his glory…a dark avenging angel sent to rip her from the living world. He inclined his dark head, the silky strands of black hair framing a square chin, dark with shadow even when cleanly shorn. “You could be right, woman. But…” He seemed to swallow. “There was a time I would have wished for a different outcome.”
Her eyes widened. A different kind of pain ripped her chest apart. She swore, her fingers closing over the slick, oblong object she sought.

So it was to be a death of a thousand cuts—the first cut deeply severing her heart?
She licked her dry lips. “I never wish, Sorceri. Wishing is for children and fools.” Holding his gaze with her own, she clutched the ancient bluestone in her fist and envisioned her lair. The air above her thinned, turning glossy, and her nemesis started to blur.

As his sexy gaze widened in realization, Yeira was brutally ripped from the battered castle. Her lips open in a silent scream as the ascension tore her apart at a cellular level and sent her plummeting through the void between time.
But all was good. The last thing she heard as her earthly form disintegrated, was the rage-filled roar of the deadly sexy Sorceri warrior as he realized she’d escaped him again.

Tall, Dark & Alpha Box Set

He makes your heart pound and melts your resistance away. He promises you a world of passion and you find it impossible to resist his dark charm. When he catches your eye across the room, you know he means business. He could be an executive, cop, shape shifter, or a bad boy looking for a little fun. Once he has you in his sights, you can't get away—and after one sizzling night in his arms, you won't want to. He’s Tall, Dark & Alpha. The alpha male is the ultimate indulgence…the richest dark chocolate…and we’re offering him to you in abundance.

Delve into the sensual worlds of award-winning authors: Randi Alexander, Koko Brown, Sam Cheever, Delaney Diamond, Eve Langlais, Afton Locke, Dawn Montgomery, Farrah Rochon, Paige Tyler, and Eve Vaughn. Immerse yourself in the alpha male experience.
Book page with blurbs


Award winning Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Travel Wednesday...Another Dream Coming True

This year another of my travel dream comes true.  Greece! Start off in Athens and spend a few days there exploring history.  On the 'to see' list for sure.

From Trip Advisor site

And yes, there is a cruise ship involved, but also a stop in Italy that is exciting. Pompeii is a place I've always wanted to explore.  I know there will be tons of pictures taken rambling through the digs of this historical site and get ready to be bored this fall when I start sharing a lot of them.

Thanks to John Hauser for posting this great Pompeii picture on the internet!

In the meantime, working on all the fun stuff tied into, airfare, and the fun side trips.

Yes, I am a travelaholic and don't intend to go into recovery anytime soon!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Silver Medal and a Lapful of Puppies

Skier Gus Kenworthy isn't happy to just bring home the hunk of silver hanging around his neck.  Nope! He's staying in Russia and working to get the paperwork that allows him to bring home a litter of puppies and their mother that he discovered in Sochi, too. 

What's not to love about a guy who isn't focused  on capitalizing immediately as to what a medal win will do for his career financially?

So now the question is...will Vladimir let the dogs out? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Boomer Surfaces

Remember the feeling of invisible in high school?  I do. This time around it’s not because I’m a skinny geek with crooked teeth, it’s became I’m a Baby Boomer.  And it’s not the school ‘in crowd’ of my so called peers, but the powers-that-be in the marketing world.  For the most part they ignore the financial clout of the generation born between 1946 and 1964.

Those born during this period don’t exist for a lot in marketing unless it’s to push drugs for aches and pains, or sexual vigor.  But that’s okay with me.  They don’t exist in my world.  When a pop-up for ad on something I’ve googled clutters my space, I just ignore it.  Chances are good that I googled an item just to mess with them.  Let them spend their money by trying to sell me something I’m totally not interested in.  Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Though I confess there is an aged biased area that annoys me.  Publishing.  Especially the gods of New York that determine what readers want to read.  Could it be they are missing the readers asking for Boomer Lit?  Books across genres that have a hero, heroine or protagonist that fall into the 50+ territory?  Maybe they haven’t been to conferences where readers asked ‘why’ they don’t have books with older characters?  Or is it because they didn’t get around to opening the emails from readers asking the same thing?

Several years ago an editor scrawled a rejection across the cover letter I’d enclosed in a submission.  “No one wants to read about love connections between people over 40.”  Yep, you guessed it. My characters were 40.

Well, I have news for her.  In addition to being an author, I’m a reader.  Yes, I read across genres…from YA to non-fiction and all in between.  And yes, I also like to read books about people more seasoned in life and using what they learned from prior experiences, or those who are in the midst of life altering experiences at the ripe old age of 50+.
Future works of mine will also include stories of Baby Boomer struggles and successes.  Being an early boomer, I’ve reached the point of ME.  Focusing on the writing I enjoy and sharing with any readers who want to come along for the ride.  There are a variety of books on my planning schedule ranging from angst driven Young Adult, to Hot Erotic and stories that will fall into Boomer Lit because they will be stories I enjoy or feel.  Some will be romance driven, some will be life driven, but they will all be ME driven.

Do you enjoy reading characters who have lived, or have decided they need to live now that they have reached their Golden Years?

And if you want to read romances of older women and younger men, check out my Cougar books.  Just heard Florence Henderson, who may be past the boomer generation at 80, comment she stays young thanks to good genes and dating younger men.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Books I Enjoy Friday - The Burglar is at it Again!

Bernie strikes again in Lawrence Block's The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons.  Another fun read by the Master of Mystery!

THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS finds Bernie and his lesbian sidekick Carolyn Kaiser breaking into houses, apartments, and even a museum, in a madcap adventure replete with American Colonial silver, an F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscript, a priceless portrait, and a remarkable array of buttons. And, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a dead body, all stretched out on a Trent Barling carpet.

Purchase/read a sample:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sharon Ledwith...In a Stew!

Sharon Ledwith can cook as well as write. Gotta love a gal so talented. Hope she has nice bottle of wine ready to serve with this when I show up for dinner!

by Sharon Ledwith

 I LOVE this recipe. I used it for my first book launch party in May 2012. My reason? The characters in my time travel series The Last Timekeepers got to sample a 13th century version of bread bowl rabbit stew, so I thought for my book release—why not imitate art? Since rabbit is a bit harder to find at the local supermarket, I settled on beef for the main ingredient. I believe my party-goers were happy with that decision as my recipe went over fabulously even though it was a tad hot to serve on the sunny, humid day we experienced. But on those cool, damp days, this steamy stew will bring a smile to your face, and comfort to your soul.

This recipe takes about fifteen minutes to prepare and eight or five hours to cook. Serves four.

 Bull’s-Eye Beef Stew

4 bread bowls (or if you prefer, large Kaiser buns). Click HERE to see how to make one.

1 cup 25%-less-sodium beef broth

½ cup Bull’s-Eye Guinness Draught Beer Blend Barbecue Sauce you can substitute this sauce with your favorite brand

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 lb. (450g) stewing beef, cut into 1¼ inch cubes
1 lb. (450g) red potatoes (about 4), quartered
4 large carrots (1 lb./450g), cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, cut into chucks
3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. water

 Mix broth, barbecue sauce and oregano in slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except flour and water; toss to coat. Cover with lid. Cook on low 8 to 9 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.

Transfer meat and vegetables to bread bowl with slotted spoon; cover to keep warm.

 Mix flour and water until blended. Stir into juices in slow cooker; cover. Cook on high for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

 Spoon over meat and vegetables and serve.

While you’re waiting for the stew to cook, there’s plenty of time to relax, get cozy, and delve into that novel you’ve been planning to read. Time travel story, anyone?

If you haven’t already read Sharon Ledwith's novel, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, here’s the blurb…

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

To read an excerpt of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, please click HERE.

Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.


Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing. When Sharon's not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog.  Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blog Chain--What Am I Working On?

Today I'm delighted to participate in a blog chain, a blog that deals with a set topic or in this case set questions.


The baton for this was passed to me by Marilyn Rice. She invited me to participate by following her posting of last week.  Check it out!

Marilyn lives in England, but we've become friends via social media, a venue that at times I curse because it's so easy to get caught up visiting.  Too many days have occurred where I look at the clock after sitting to 'just check' Facebook or Twitter and discover I've spent a lot more time than intended and am not waaaaay behind on the day's schedule. Does that ever happen you?

Still, connecting with Marilyn has brought me a new friend and for that I'm grateful.  Talented people inspire me, plus one can never have enough friends.

1) What am I working on?

Currently, several projects.  A Young Adult that deals with death and the character's first exposure to grief. This one I started earlier and set aside since last year was crazy busy. Next is a book that can fall into Women's Fiction with a sub-genre of Boomer Lit. The protagonist is 50 and a sudden widow when her husband is killed in an auto crash. She has other surprises thrown her way and deals with them through the support of her best friend and her grown daughters. And, last but not least...I'm in my first collaboration with an author friend...a mystery. 

2) How Does my work differ fro others of its genre?

My paranormal series mixes various mythologies...Celtic, Nordic, Greek and who knows for future books.  Beyond Magic, the first book in the Magical Love series, brings into play a Scottish Cailleach,  a Nordic god who is a son of Thor, and for fun, throw in the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Mix them up with humans and you have humor, heat and a lot of arguing.

The second book, Emerging Magic gives some of the above characters with the addition of vampires.  Think going home to meet the family and you are introduced to a group that blends a 1960s sit-com. 

The DEAD series starts out with a rich girl waking up a vampire and no access to the trust fun that has supported her lifestyle.  What's a gal to do? Work is a word that never entered her vocabulary and with limited skills and a great body she becomes a stripper.  The rest of the DEAD series is set around the various beings that she connects with in the club she now owns.

As for the contemporary erotic romances, mine have more humor than found in most erotic romance.  And I plead guilty to not having page after page of nothing but sex. Call me crazy, but I like a story to go with my heat.

3) Why do I write what I do?

That leads to the question, why does a chicken cross the road?  Not sure about the chicken, maybe because they want to get to the other side and the road is there.  In my case, it's because I have to also, but not to get to the other side of the road.  Nope, it's to stop all the voices shouting in my head and I never know what they are going to scream about.  Like the  stuff happening now.  All I know for sure is there are times they keep me awake and they have learned I get cranky when sleep deprived.

4) How does my writing process work?

As noted above, said voices start talking.  Their conversations seem to be triggered by pretty much anything...a news item, an overheard conversation,  or the way a person walks down the street.  Anyway, they start chattering and I know it's time to make notes for the future.  When they like an idea enough it becomes a full fledged conversation that means the book has to start.  I work better early in the morning and so me and my voices sit down and do a rough plotting of the book.  Then the real works begins in striving to turn all the words into something the editor doesn't shoot back with a 'What were you on when you wrote this?" comment.

Passing the Baton:

It is with great delight I pass the baton for this blog tour on to the talented Sam Cheever, an author who also covers a number of genres.  I look forward to her answers!

Award winning Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume. 
Places to connect with Sam:
check her website
And her books




Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Friday - Sharing Nicely

Feeling naughty so downloaded a copy of a Victoria Blisse to my Kindle. Need escape!

Two hot, sexy billionaires know what they want and they want her, but will they be happy to share nicely?

Kerry Matthews is used to stress—she runs her own high-end London club called Diamonds, but what she isn’t used to is attention from two very persuasive and powerful men.

Darren Bennett and Greg Stamford are life-long rivals, but call a truce to spend one night with sassy, curvy Kerry. They’re not content to share forever though. They both have a selfish desire to possess her completely.

Darren buys her seductive lingerie, flowers and chocolates, Greg flies her to Paris for a romantic break, cleans her flat and makes her breakfast in bed. Both vying to cement their place in her heart. She needs to decide between them but is dazzled by their persuasive personas and extravagant gifts.