Friday, March 30, 2012

So You Want To Be An Author Part Two

You’ve written your characterization and now you’re good to go. Wrong!

Time to consider the back-story. What’s back-story? It’s the life chronicle of your characters. All of your characters. Every person in your novel has a past which is why you wrote characterizations. They think, feel, and act based on their history just as we do.

If you don’t have critique partners, get some. Not your mom or best friend. They truly can’t be objective. Hook up with writer’s groups, workmates willing to share their opinions, or friend who love to read. Empower them to be honest. You’ll be glad you did.

My CPs are always willing to read a member’s work and constructively correct the flaws at any time. They’re also brutal about sloughing off. Back when I was green and dumb, Beth Anderson took me under her wing. She sent me an insightful e-mail after reading my first chapter.

“A suggestion is to perhaps cut the back-story a little. I’d like to see your heroine’s issues be a mystery to me as a reader. After reading the first chapter there’s no mystery. I understand her, I understand her issues, and I know her history. Let her be more of a mystery, don’t tell me everything, let it come out in dribs and drabs.” Beth’s words made me think.

At our next meeting I broached the subject. Melissa Bradley, an author and friend who speaks her mind, said it was “too much, waaaay to soon”. Of course, the others agreed. These buds made me think even more and to these authors I am forever grateful.

This is what I finally learned;

If little Johnny peed his pants in third grade and the teacher shamed him in front of his class, readers don’t care. It’s only important as a brief mention or a thought timely planted in the story. Johnny knows what he did and the reader only wants an indication if it brings out some deep dark secret which leads him to act as he does in your book.

This is what I finally figured out to correct my problem;

1 - List all the high points from your characterization. (Don’t panic; remember on Thursday we’ll discuss characterization.) Skip the height, weight, etc. You only want the important events, ie;

a. Johnny peed his pants
b. He feels shame whenever he wears brown
c. He won’t talk in front of groups
d. He has a fear of public bathrooms

Get the idea?

2 – Write your story and drop in a line of back-story here and there but only where it’s appropriate.

3 – Cross out the line from your list after you use it and note in the margin which page it’s on.

This method taught me to sprinkle in the back-story for the proper effect and not put the reader in a coma.

There will be pages in your book with plenty of back-story, but if the timing’s right it’s perfect.

Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back Monday with Paul Stansfield and his exciting suspense book DEAD RECKONING. Until then…

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's Wednesday, so What's Cooking? Pork Chops

One thing I've always had trouble cooking was pork chops. They usually tasted good, but never failed to be tougher than the soles of my shoes. After years of failed recipes, not to mention embarrassment, I finally took matters in hand and created today’s recipe.

Like all the menus posted here, this has been prepared many times for tough critics and has always been well received. Give it a try and, please, let me know how your critics respond.

Marinated Pork Chops Braised in White Wine
Boiled Potatoes
Steamed Asparagus
White Wine – Soave Bolla

Marinated Pork Chops Braised in White Wine
1 teas dried sage or 4 fresh leaves
1 teas dried rosemary or 5 fresh sprigs
1 teas dried thyme or 5 fresh sprigs
1 teas pressed or finely chopped garlic
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Olive oil
4 pork chops with or without bones 1 inch thick
¾ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped parsley fresh or dried – optional

Lay herbs into a glass dish large enough to hold the chops in one layer. Sprinkle garlic over the herbs. Carefully pour about 1 cup olive oil into dish so as not to disturb the herbs, then add the pepper. Lay the chops across the herb mixture. Add more olive oil until the chops are barely covered.

Marinade in the refrigerator for 2-5 hours. Turn the cops once during the time you’ve allowed.

Remove dish from fridge 1 hour or a little less before cooking. The meat cooks better if it’s nearer room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250 F.

Add a little of the marinade to a medium size frying pan and heat on medium high until the oil shimmers. Add the chops and brown about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Transfer the meat to an ovenproof plate. Pour off all but a thin film of oil, add ½ cup of the wine and bring to a boil. Return the chops to the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, basting with the pan juices occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Return the meat to the ovenproof plate, cover, and set in oven while you finish the potatoes and asparagus.

Prepare the sauce just before serving dinner. Skim as much fat as you can from the braising liquid and pour in the remaining ¼ cup wine. Boil it over high heat, stirring and scraping in any browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan, until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze.

Off the heat, swirl in the butter and parsley, pour over the pork chops and serve.

Boiled Potatoes
1 Idaho potato per person
1 cup Chicken stock
1 bay leaf or 1 tbsp dried basil
Tap water
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Butter to taste

In a medium size saucepan add chicken stock and the herb you choose. Peel potatoes, rinse, then slice in thirds, place into pot. Add tap water to cover the potatoes by about an inch or so. Too much water and the potatoes will be soggy. Not enough and they’ll be raw on the sections above the water.

Cover the pot and heat on medium until the potatoes come to a boil. Adjust the heat and/or the lid to maintain a decent boil, but not a hard one, until potatoes are fork tender. It takes about 15 minutes after they begin to boil.

Drain and return potatoes to pot. Discard bay leaf. Stir in butter and pepper and serve.

Steamed Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup dry vermouth
Tap water
2 tbsp butter
Metal vegetable steamer

Add chicken stock and dry vermouth to a medium size saucepan. Insert vegetable steamer, then add tap water to just below the bottom holes.

Snap off the ends of the asparagus and trim the spears to fit your saucepan. Add spears and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, adjusting the heat to a strong simmer. In 4-5 minutes the asparagus should be crisp tender.

Lay asparagus in a serving bowl, then spread the butter over them and serve.

Happy Cooking!

Sloane Taylor

Monday, March 26, 2012

So You Want To Be An Author

Many readers have emailed me asking what it takes to become an author. The easiest way to answer is by posting a collection of writing tips I've learned over my years in the business. Starting this month, a new post will share some insight and, hopefully, help you achieve your dream.

So - Attention Everyone - Class is now in session.:)


Characterization isn’t about the fool at your last holiday party everyone laughed at then dissected on the drive home. It’s the life of your hero, heroine, and all secondary characters beyond their height, weight, and eye color in your novel.

Let’s do a cast call.

Starring Roles;

Johnny the Hero
Liz the Heroine

Supporting Cast;

Fred – Johnny’s best friend
Pam – Liz’s best friend
Marge – Johnny’s mother


Taxi Driver

Of the above group, the only roles needing a characterization are the stars and supporting cast. The Walk-Ons are too minor to worry about.

Award-winning author, and mentor extraordinaire, Beth Anderson spent many a long night explaining to me why creating a characterization is important to any well-written book. Since we don’t have forever here, I’ll crunch it down.

You, the author, must know the history of your characters. Their past events are what make them be the people they are today. It is what has driven them to be honest, strong, or steal. You won’t know why your hero runs into the burning building to save the heroine if you don’t understand his history.

So how do you so this? Very easy, but a little time consuming. Don’t fudge on this. It’s too important to writing a novel that will impress an editor and create a reader following.

The stars need an extensive characterization. Following is the simple process;

1 - Park yourself at your computer. Each characterization will take several hours so relax and enjoy.

2 - Choose one of the lead characters.

3 - Imagine you are that person. We’ll use Johnny for the example.

4 - Just type. Bang out his life starting at boyhood. Write in his voice. It’s amazing how your phrases will alter as he ages. Bring him up to the starting point of your novel and no farther. Include every detail no matter how insignificant it may seem. Let your mind run on and you will be Johnny, living the high points, and lows, of his youth and what drove him to the man where your story begins. You’re in Johnny’s point of view. Did he pee his pants in third grade? What really happened? What did he see, smell, and feel inside?

Don’t worry about punctuation, grammar, or spelling. Just type. No one else will ever read your work.

Do this with your heroine as well.

You have finally finished your stars. It’s time to begin on your supporting cast. They’ll take much less time since they aren’t nearly as important. You don’t have to start in their childhood. Type up a brief bio, something similar to an obituary of a famous person.

I took Beth’s method one step farther to help me drop the back-story, which we’ll discuss Friday, into my novel.

Below are the four easy steps;

1 – Print out each characters history.

2 – List all the high-points on a separate sheet of paper. The order doesn’t matter.

3 - As you write your novel drop in a line or two of back-story at the appropriate time to enrich the action of your character.

4 – Cross off the lines used and write next to them which page you’ve inserted it.

This method will help you build stronger characters with real motivation your reader and editor will love.

I'll be back on Friday with more writing tips. Until then...

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's Wednesday, so What's Cooking? Merluzzo Alla Livornese

This is the time of year many people elect to eat fish on Friday. I see some of you wrinkling your noses. No need. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the tantalizing aroma from this easy recipe and the taste is superb. Studs and I have served this menu to skeptical guests and they fell in love with it.

Cod Livornese (merluzzo alla livornese)
Whole Grain Spaghetti
Tossed Salad
Italian Bread
White Wine – Pinot Grigio from Bella Sera is perfect

Cod Livornese (merluzzo alla livornese)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ medium onion sliced thin
3 garlic cloves pressed or chopped fine
½ cup dry white wine
1 14-½ oz. can diced tomatoes or 7 large Roma tomatoes chopped
½ cup sliced black olives
4 tbsp parsley fresh (chopped) or 2 tbsp dried
2 tbsp washed, drained and chopped capers – optional, but they really add flavor
½ tsp crushed red pepper
4 pieces cod about 6 oz. each and cut to handle easily
1 tbsp fresh basil chopped or 1 tsp dried

In nonstick large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add onion, stir until translucent and lightly brown. Stir in garlic, cook 30 seconds. Add wine, cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with the juice, olives, parsley, capers and red pepper. Heat to boiling.

Lay cod fillets over tomato mixture. Lower heat to medium. Cover skillet and cook until cod turns opaque throughout and flakes, about 9 minutes.

Sprinkle basil across the top.

Serve over whole grain spaghetti.

Makes 4 servings

Don’t prepare extra. Leftovers have a stale taste and tend to be tough.

Whole Grain Spaghetti
Prepare according to package directions

Tossed Salad
Lettuce from 2 different types torn into bite size pieces, red leaf and head are excellent choices
Tomatoes chopped
Cucumber peeled and sliced
Zucchini diced
Green Onions sliced, be sure to add some of the green
Mushrooms sliced
Black Olive

Combine everything, or any grouping you like. Cover with a damp paper towel and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Toss with a good Italian dressing. Newman’s Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing is ideal. Periodically, check out this link for coupons.

Be careful not to add too much dressing or the lettuce will get soggy. Should you mix in too much dressing, dump the salad in a colander for a minute or three to allow excess dressing to drain off.

Several of you have emailed me about writing. Monday, I'll begin a series of tips and suggestions to stretch your talent. Until then...


Sloane Taylor

Monday, March 19, 2012

Step into a World of Paranormal Heat

Raine Delight is with us today to share her award winning paranormal novel STICKY MAGIC, book one in her critically acclaimed Devon Falls series.

For those of you who don't know, Raine Delight is a pseudonym of a self professed book lover and after one too many Too Stupid To Live characters, decided to see if she could write something a little better. Many drafts later, the Devon Falls series came together and her fans are ecstatic it did.

Her muse is a male nut who leaves her to sip Mai Tais on the beach and floundering for words; though eventually he takes pity on her and gets those words flowing.

Raine lives with her two kids, a significant other who supports her every move in writing and doesn’t mind she wakes at 2 am to work on the computer.

With a love for Johnny Depp, movies, and 80’s hair bands, Raine finds a way to bring all her chaotic thoughts into a story that tells her readers about love and romance. Here, see for yourself.


Book One in the Devon Falls Series
Raine Delight
Secret Cravings Publishing


Jenna never expected to see the one man to make her heart spin and her body clench in desire walk into her Candy Shoppe. With just one look, Marc du Bree captures her elusive heart and takes her on a journey that will either make her his for all time or have her run away as fast as she can.


Marc couldn’t believe the erotic picture he saw with Jenna sliding her hands up around his cock. Closing his eyes in the ecstasy of her touch and talented tongue had him almost coming right then and there if not for sheer will power on his behalf.

“Please, sweetheart, enough, or I am going to come all over myself.” Marc huskily said as he pulled her up along himself.

Jenna leaned down and kissed him sweetly as she sat up and positioned herself over his straining cock. She tenderly slid down inch by inch, and his hardness was welcomed in the velvet wetness of her pussy, gripping him in anticipation only he could deliver.

Groaning, Marc restrained himself from slamming into her as his eyes started to light up again.

Soon, he was encased in Jenna’s pussy and as she began to get her rhythm, Marc teased her nipples with light tugging and teasing, forcing a husky, desire-laden groan from her.

“Let it go, mia cara. Let me feel you come over my cock.” Marc said as he heard, then felt, her orgasm scream through her. Feeling her pussy walls tighten and grip his cock had Marc thrusting faster until he moaned with desire as his orgasm literally overflowed Jenna’s pussy.

Panting softly, Jenna slumped over his body, exhausted and still trembling from the effects of their joining. She turned her head and kissed Marc’s shoulder as she tumbled into sleep.

“Ahhh, cara mia, you delight me.” Marc said as he ran a hand from the nape of her neck to her hip. Making sure she was comfortable, he tumbled off to sleep as well, content in knowing she was right there beside him forever.


Learn more about Raine and Devon Falls on her website. Catch up with her on facebook. Raine also has a fun reader's loop and blog you’ll enjoy.

I’ll be back Wednesday with a new recipe for Cod Livornese. Until then…
Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey...Hotter than Hell

Friday, March 16, 2012


I run an easy contest in my quarterly newsletter with at least two winners, offering free downloads as the prize. The last contest was to email me with NEWSLETTER in the subject line for a chance to win a copy of WARM RUSH, book one in the Chasing Winter series, by Rowan McBride.

And the winners were:


Here’s a little about the book these happy people are now enjoying.

...When Jesse Winter left Connecticut to attend his business overseas, he had no idea that he would be gone three long years. His homecoming is a bitter one. An accident has left his body shattered and his heart cloaked in ice, and he knows he'll never be warm again.

But Keith Taylor, just fifteen when Jesse skipped the country, has other ideas. He's all grown up now, and he's been waiting for Jesse to come home.

Keith's determined to bring the fire back into Jesse's life, and he knows he's strong enough to do it...

My quarterly newsletter always has a Members Only contest that is super easy. To join in the fun and a chance to win, go to my website and click the Newsletter link on the sidebar.

Hope you have a fun-filled St. Paddy's day! I’ll be back Monday. Until then…

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It’s Wednesday, so what’s cooking? Leftovers.

That’s right, a tasty way to use those bits of beef you’ve frozen and promised yourself to reheat before they ended in the trash. This recipe works well with all types of beef and pork, or a combination of the two. Be sure to include any of the juices that have collected in your container.

Shepherd’s Pie
Fresh Italian or French Bread
Beer – for this menu, my favorite is Harp

The Filling
2 TBL olive oil
1 TBL butter
1 large onion chopped fine
1 large carrot chopped fine
3 gloves garlic pressed
1 ½ pounds leftover beef chopped bite size or smaller
4 sprigs rosemary leaves removed or 1 teas. dried
4 sprigs thyme leaves removed or 1 teas. Dried
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teas. Worcestershire Sauce
½ can tomato paste
¼ cup dry red wine
½ cup beef stock

Pour olive oil into a large, hot frying pan and stir in butter. Sauté onion and carrot until the onion is translucent and tender, but not brown, about 5 - 7 minutes.

Add garlic and stir for about 30 – 60 seconds.

Blend in the meat, herb leaves, and pepper.

Stir in Worcestershire Sauce, stir, tomato paste, stir, red wine and cook for 2 minutes.

Pour the stock into the pan and heat through for 3 minutes.

You don’t have to be adamant on all the times. They are merely guides so you don’t rush the process.

Mashed Potatoes
5 russet potatoes
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
3 ½ TBL soft butter
1 egg yolk
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Peel and quarter potatoes. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch or so. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender. Drain pan.

Add sour cream, some of the milk, all of the butter, and the pepper to the pan. Mash the potatoes. Add small amounts of additional milk until you achieve the consistency you prefer. Add the egg yolk and half the Parmesan cheese. Stir well.

Cover with aluminum foil to keep from drying out until you assemble the pie.

Assemble the Pie
Preheat the oven to 400F

Scoop the meat into individual ovenproof dishes or a deep casserole. I prefer the individual dishes as this recipe freezes well or will hold in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Fill bowls no more than ¾’s.

Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top and spread to the edges. This can be a little tricky. Don’t press down on the spoon or the juice will flood over the potatoes. Sprinkle with a generation portion of Parmesan cheese.

Set bowls on a cookie sheet to protect the oven should they boil over. Bake 20 minutes or so to lightly brown the potatoes and set the pie.

If you use the individual bowls, serve them on a dinner plate to protect your tabletop from the heat. The pie is extremely hot. Be sure to warn your diners so no one burns their mouth.

Tossed Salad
Lettuce from 2 different types torn into bite size pieces, red leaf and head are excellent choices
Tomatoes chopped
Cucumber peeled and sliced
Zucchini diced
Green Onions sliced, be sure to add some of the green
Mushrooms sliced

Combine everything, or any grouping you like. Cover with a damp paper towel and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Toss with your favorite dressing, for this menu I prefer Italian. Be careful not to add too much dressing or the lettuce will get soggy.


Are you a Vin Diesel fan? If so, my good friend Yasmine Phoenix is blogging about The Chronicles of Riddick at on her website. Check it out.


I'll be back Monday with Raine Delight and her thigh-clenching book STICKY MAGIC. Until then...

Bon Appétit!

Sloane Taylor

Monday, March 12, 2012


Jennifer Loy is with us to share her new release SUNSET SIZZLE. And it is a scorcher.

Jennifer has been writing romantic novels since 2005 and continues her membership with the RWA Aloha chapter. While spending a short time in Hawaii, she discovered that poetry wasn’t her only creative outlet. The beautiful beaches and friendly people inspired her to write romantic tales. In one year she produced five novels. Unfortunately, her time in Paradise ended, but her writing thrives.

Now living in Southern California, Jennifer is writing more than ever and loving every minute of it which shows in her well-crafted work.

I guarantee you there is never a dull moment in her books. You’ll certainly get a good laugh, and always have a happily ever after, so enjoy!

Jennifer Loy
Champagne Books


To keep her job, Sarah Hart needs a sizzling article for her romance column. While on vacation in Hawaii, she grabs the first handsome tourist on Waikiki Beach, and makes him a deal. She’ll set him up on a few dates, all expenses paid, and watch him fall in love. Then she'll take his story, say sayonara, and still have a job. But Keith Hanover is no player, he’d rather charm Sarah. His deal is if she can’t find him true love, than she must meet him on Sunset Beach for a date.

Her search for his perfect match begins an unruly adventure of close talkers, criers and a few Abbey-normals. There's shark diving, a mad scientist, crazy roadside fruit stand kids, Dole ice cream lickers, and paparazzi. Will Keith even make it to the date with Sarah before running from her set-ups?

“I have to be honest with you, Keith, because I don’t have much time with you.” I continued to scan the poolside. “Once we find you a girl to ask out, you really have to make an effort to pursue her. I mean, life is too short to let that special someone get away, you know? Romance doesn’t come easily, and if you wait, you just might miss your opportunity to start up a long intimate affair. Do you get what I’m telling you? Find a girl here, ask her out, kiss her passionately with plenty of tongue, and take her to bed for a night to remember.”

Keith jumped in the pool causing a giant splash beside me. I stepped to the pool’s edge, leaned down, and watched Keith surface. He wiped the water from his face, took in a deep breath, and glanced at my cleavage. He covered his eyes and turned around. “What is the matter with you? Did you hear anything I said?”

“Yeah,” he replied.

“Well, are you gonna do it?” I asked.

Keith turned around slowly as I lifted my sunglasses. He held out his hand.

“What?” I asked.

He quickly grabbed my hand and pulled me in. I let out a quick startled scream and plunged into the cool water. When I surfaced his face was close to mine.

“I wasn’t actually going to swim. I usually only lay out.”

I went to swim for the stairs. Keith blocked my path and wrapped his arm around my waist. He looked into my eyes and quickly moved in. His lips met mine as he closed his eyes.

I hadn’t been kissed in a long time. What was he doing? His lips were soft and strong, and his broad shoulders were drawing me closer. I closed my eyes and felt his mouth open. I wanted more. I hadn’t given out more since my last mistake with Max, the real photographer of The Southern Shore. He wanted nude pictures of me so he could submit them to Playboy. What a bad judge of character I was. Keith’s tongue slowly entered my mouth, and my heart raced. I pulled back quickly.

“What is happening here?” I asked, pushing him back.

Keith opened his eyes. “I’m sorry. Was that too forward, too fast?”

I ignored his question and swam to the steps. Marching toward my towel I felt confused. How dare he kiss me? What did he think he was doing? Adam was right, people only came here for flings, and I was not one of them.

I yanked the towel from the chair and dried off my hair and face.

Keith strode toward me. “With all that stuff you said, I thought you wanted me to kiss you,” he said, with his hands out, looking confused.

I burst out into laughter. “Not me. Stay focused. You’re supposed to find someone else! Wow, you are forward. Are you like this all the time?”

Keith shook his head then ran his hand slowly down my arm. “Why can’t you be the someone else?”

“Because I’m the writer for the romance article. I scope out people falling in love and post their unusual encounters, romantic courtships, proposals, stuff like that. I can’t be the story. Do you want me to write about you or should I find someone else?”

He combed his hand through his hair and picked up his towel. “Here, I thought you were interested in me and practically begging me to be aggressive. I haven’t met a romantic interest in two years, and I’m not about to just pick up anyone, sleep with her, and give you a story.” He wrapped the towel around his waist and picked up his key card. “Good luck, finding a fling to follow.”

I grabbed my notepad and hurried behind him. “Wait!”

Keith turned around. “What?”

“You mean, you’re telling me if you found a woman on your vacation and ended up in bed with her that you would fly home and not consider it a fling?”

Keith moved in, hooked his index finger on my bikini bottom at my hip, and tugged me closer, his answer breathing into my ear. “I only go to bed with women I’m in love with. If I fell in love on my vacation and ended up in her bed, I’d fly to the ends of the earth to follow her home.”

A chill went up my spine.

He quickly released me, and without looking back, walked away.

I flipped open my writing pad. Not a fling man. His honorable philosophy intrigued me but left me without a story. I rushed up to his side.


Learn more about Jennifer Loy and her awesome books on her website. Also, check out her yahoo group Extraordinary Romance and catch up with her on facebook.

I’ll be back Wednesday with a tasty recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. Meanwhile, take a look at the can't-get-enough recipe Phil Renda created for penne pasta with vodka sauce on my website.

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey...Hotter than Hell

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


How about an eye of round roast cooked to perfection and all the tasty fixings? The beautiful aroma from this meal will draw your family to the table ready to feast.

Eye of round is a lesser priced beef roast that can be tasty and tender if prepared the right way. Give these recipes a try and, please, let me know what you think.

Eye of Round Roast with Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Sautéed Broccoli
Red Wine - Bolla Valpolicella

2 ¼ - 3 pound eye of round roast
2 TBL olive oil
1 cup beef stock

Remove meat from refrigerator 2-3 hours before cooking. Meat needs to be almost room temperature for this dish to work.

Preheat over to 325F

Heat olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Using tongs or wooden spoons, brown the roast on all sides. Set a cooking rack in a roasting pan. (If you don’t have a rack, line the roaster with aluminum foil being sure to have it hang a little over pan sides.) Lay beef on rack or foil. Pour beef stock into bottom of the pan, not over the meat.

4 TBL mustard either yellow or Country Dijon
2 large garlic cloves pressed
¼ cup parsley chopped fresh or dry
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix above ingredients in a small bowl. Spread over the top and a little on the sides of the beef.

Roast in oven for 1 hour or until 140F on the meat thermometer. Don’t overcook or the meat will be tough. Check the liquid level and add more stock if it runs dry or the pan will burn. When meat is cooked, remove from oven, set on a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm.

¼ cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 TBL red current or seedless raspberry jelly
1 TBL butter

Time to deglaze the roasting pan. It’s very easy and requires little effort.

If you used the aluminum foil, carefully remove it from the pan and discard.

Place the pan over a burner set on medium. Add the red wine and scrape in all the browned bits clinging to the pan.

Turn the heat to medium high. Pour in the stock. Boil until sauce has reduced to about half while scraping in anything that clings to the side of the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in butter. Keep sauce warm on very low heat while you carve the roast.

Carve into thin slice. Dribble sauce over meat to moisten. Serve extra sauce on the side.

If you have leftovers, freeze the meat and sauce separately. Next week, I’ll have a dynamite recipe to use them, so be sure to stop back.

Makes 4 servings or two with great leftovers

Mashed Potatoes
1 russet potato per person
Sour cream - a very large dollop
¼ cup milk set out to reach room temperature
3 TBS butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel and quarter potatoes. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch or so. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender. Drain pan.

Add sour cream, some of the milk, all of the butter, and the pepper to the pan. Mash the potatoes. Add small amounts of additional milk until you achieve the consistency you prefer.

Keep warm in the turned off oven while you assemble to meal.

Sautéed Broccoli
1 bunch broccoli
5 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the flowerets off the broccoli. Save or freeze the remainder to make cream of broccoli soup.

In a heated medium frying pan, add the olive oil and butter. Heat until the oil shimmers. Add flowerets and stir them through the oil until they are coated on all sides. You may need a little more oil, but be careful not to drown the broccoli. Sauté until crisp tender, about 7 minutes.

Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

I'll be back Monday with Jennifer Loy and her new release SUNSET SIZZLE. Until then...

Bon Appétit!

Sloane Taylor

Monday, March 05, 2012

Good Monday morning everyone! Today we have Marie Tuhart with us to share her new release HIS FOR THE WEEKEND. Marie's writing is strong with characters that draw you into their lives. This is an author you want to read.

Marie Tuhart
The Wild Rose Press Scarlet Rose


Cassandra Adams has a problem and its name is Marcus DeLuca. The man is quite determined to have her--on his terms. Cassie has had enough of domineering men in her life, yet she's drawn to strong, virile Marcus. Tempted to get that man out of her system once and for all, she agrees that she will be his for a weekend only--but then he must leave her alone forever.

Marcus will do anything to get sexy, non-committal Cassie into his arms, into his bed--failure is not an option. He wants nothing more than to keep Cassie in his life, but he senses a secret that keeps her from being able from committing--from submitting--to any man. Will Marcus's special brand of domination free her to be his for more than a weekend?

“I can’t take this anymore.” Her voice was whisper soft, but he heard the words as clear as if she had shouted them.

His heart leaped—now he could prove to her there was more to him than a co-worker and give their relationship a chance. “What are you willing to give me?”

Her head snapped up and she gnawed on her lip. “Twenty-four hours.”

“Not enough. A hundred and twenty.”

Her mouth opened then closed. Her gaze darted left, then right, before settling back on his face. He could almost see the wheels turning in her head. A good sign—she was willing to be his.

“Too long. Forty-eight.”

He stood and crossed over to her. He needed to be close to her as they negotiated. “Still not enough. Ninety-six uninterrupted hours with you.”

Her nose scrunched up and her lashes swept down, cutting off the view of her expressive eyes. “Sixty—six tonight until six Monday morning.”

He noted the stubborn set to her chin. It wasn’t ideal, but he could do it. He would not fail in winning her over. Leaning close, he whispered, “I’ll take it.”

She exhaled, lashes rising until she stared at him. “What are the ground rules?”

“There are none.”

Her eyes widened. Oh, yes, he had her now and he wasn’t letting go.

“No barriers. No rules.”

Her shoulders dipped, then straightened. She acted like she was preparing for a battle, but it would be a battle of sex. “All right, but when the sixty hours are done, we’re finished. I mean it. No flowers, no gifts, no mention of this weekend. Ever.”

Without another word, she spun on her heels to walk out of his office.

He was quick to cross the room. He captured her by the shoulders, bringing her to a halt. His lips brushed her ear and a shiver shook her. “Remember what I said at the party?”

She didn’t answer him, but her swift intake of breath was the only answer he needed.

“You belong to me.”

“I belong to no man.”

He slid his hands down her arms, past her clenched fists and encircled her waist, bringing her back flush against his chest, her breathing shallow.
She didn’t struggle, not even when he tilted his hips, letting her know how much she aroused him.

“You will belong to me. I promise.”


Escape to fantasy and learn more about Marie and her terrific books on her blog or her website. Marie is also on facebook and Twitter.

I'll be back Wednesday with a mouthwatering recipe for Eye of Round Roast. Until then...

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey...Hotter than Hell