Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Wednesday. So What's Cooking?

Skirt steak on the grill or on the stovetop. Either way this is a dinner you'll certainly enjoy.

This is not the tenderest cut of meat, but it certainly is tasty when prepared the right way. There are two cuts, inside and outside. The inside is the better of the two therefore a little more expensive. Be careful not to confuse skirt steak with flank steak. They are distinctly different cuts of meat from different areas of the cow. Skirt comes from the plate while flank is cut nearer the animal’s rear quarter.

Marinated Skirt Steak
1 – 1½ lb skirt steak
½ cup olive oil maybe a little more
1 lime or ½ lemon squeezed
2 gloves garlic pressed or chopped fine
1 shallot chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag. Set the bag in the refrigerator for 1 -3 hours.

Heat a grill pan to medium-high on your stovetop. You’ll know the temperature is right when water droplets sprinkled across the pan sizzle and evaporate instantly.*

Remove steak from the marinade and set on hot pan. Discard marinade. Grill meat 3 minutes per side. Longer cooking will create tough and chewy meat.

Transfer meat to a cutting board and drape with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, either slice meat thin on the cross-grain or in larger portions.

*This recipe may also be cooked on an outdoor grill preheated to medium-high. Follow the cooking directions as listed above.

Have a great weekend. I'll be back Monday. Until then...

Happy Eating!

Sloane Taylor

Monday, July 29, 2013

Annie and Stan Out Having Fun

Today's blog is happily turned over to multi published author SS Hampton Sr. and his guest multi genre author Annie Anthony.

Stan: Welcome Annie. So, who is Annie Anthony and what makes her tick?

Annie: Such a great question! And so hard to sum up in just a few words. I’m definitely a creative person, a caretaker, and a worker bee. I feel most at home when I have someone/thing to take care of, compelling and fulfilling work to do, and something to write in/draw on close at hand.

Stan: Your blog mentions your being a museum buff, volunteer, tattoo lover, and Lesbian. Will you tell us in a few words what it is you like about museums; what type of volunteer work you do and why; what tattoos you like (we won’t ask you to point “where”); and if being a Lesbian has had an influence on your writings?

Annie: Museums, yes. I actually truly love museums, antiques, even old or unique buildings. I love creating things—baking, drawing, writing. So when I’m in a museum, I feel like I’m able to peer over the shoulders of geniuses… like when I make something I love and show it to people or share it, in a museum, I’m able to be alongside brilliant artifacts of humanity and look closely, as if the creator is saying to me, “Look what I have done.” The internet is amazing because you can go anywhere and see anything—just like a computer cannot replace real human contact, seeing a work of art or an artifact centuries old so close, walking through a building that existed hundreds of years ago…it’s thrilling to me.

Wow, my answer about volunteer work could go on for pages---I work with children who have intellectual and medical special needs. I do it because it marries everything I think I am in one place—creative, caretaker, worker—and it’s fulfilling beyond what I have the words to describe. It’s safe to say that when I’m volunteering, I am completely out of my head, in the moment, and drawing out my most colorful, patient, playful self. Playing with a child who is dependent on a feeding tube or a wheelchair, or who has significant delays or obstacles is a very complex and fulfilling joy which gives me far more than I give.

Hahaha, I have a lot of tattoos and they each have very specific meaning to me. I thought through each one for years (no joke, years!) before actually getting it—the location, the design, the meaning. So they are far more than body art to me. They are literally like wearing my heart on my sleeve (or back, or wrist, or foot...) People get tattoos for different reasons but I don’t think many of us get them for no reason at all… I love that in our country we have the freedom and choice to decorate our bodies in ways that are significant to us. To me, just being able to have a tattoo is a symbol of the freedom we enjoy in this country and that along with our other freedoms is something I deeply treasure and appreciate.

And yes, absolutely. The people who I date or love always impact my writing and work, always. Whether I’m inspired or damaged, whether it’s a brother or a girlfriend, I draw all the truth (differentiated from “fact”) in my writing from reality.

Stan: Will you share one of your favorite childhood memories with us?

Annie: Absolutely. I’m the oldest of three. I have a sister who is two years younger and a brother who was seven years younger. My brother passed away when he was 21 (about 11 years ago) so my memories of him are particularly precious to me.

I remember being in high school and studying like crazy, tons of homework. I would often tuck my brother into bed and get into his bed with him to read him a story or rub his head as he fell asleep. At that point, I was probably 15 and he would have been about 8. I would often fall asleep in bed with him, and take sort of a blissful, stolen nap for maybe an hour or so. When I would wake up, I would turn off his lights and go to my room and get back to studying until late in the night.

Stan: What is your favorite time of the day (or night), and why?

Annie: I’m sort a weird hybrid of morning and night person. I love getting up early, getting some things done and then taking a mid-afternoon rest (LOL, when my schedule even allows.) Then getting back going in the afternoon and going until midnight or so. It’s like fitting two days into one!

Stan: You recently moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. If you don’t mind, what prompted the change? Has there been any culture shock?

Annie: My younger sister has lived in Los Angeles for more than decade, and she is married. She got pregnant with her first child just about 7-8 months after I had to have a hysterectomy for medical reasons. So I became sterile right around the time my sister became a mother. Intense, right? She and I are very close and we talked about how I could handle this, whether I should stay away, try to be involved. I hate LA—which is why I never moved out there to be closer to her before now! I’m very typically Midwestern, I would say. I can’t tolerate celebrity culture, I mean, yes, I enjoy TV and movies, but I’m not a stargazer, have no desire to be part of a cool “scene.” I like carbs and hate plastic faces… but. I love my sister and I want to be a part of this enormous moment in her life and in our family. Since I can’t have children and my brother is no longer with us, the full burden of kids falls to my sister. And I wouldn’t be the bossy older sister if I didn’t try to horn in and make sure she does it right, would I?

Stan: You have a novella, Bullseye, being published this fall. Will you tell us what inspired this story?

Annie: Ah, Bullseye. You know, I have been writing since I was seven years old and have so many works in progress started that I have abandoned, mostly due to self-doubt, time constraints, etc. So when I wrote Bullseye, I never intended to publish it, I sat down and churned out the draft in one sitting and told myself—this is just for YOU. Write this for YOU and finish it, just tell this story. After I did, and after some editing, I thought, hmmm, it’s not horrible. Maybe someone would like it? So I sent it out and the rest is history…

Stan: Is there a particular audience that you might have had in mind when you wrote Bullseye?

Annie: Bullseye was written purely for me, what I wanted to read, what I wanted to convey. I wrote the story about a woman who has cancer and a dog whose cancer has returned. My dog was in remission at the time I wrote the story, I was single and really hoping to find a love that could look beyond the flaws. I come with a lot of baggage, you know, we all do, I guess. So I think I wrote the story for me but also for everyone who like me is imperfect but still very much worth loving.

Stan: Understanding that Bullseye may not be “picture perfect” at this moment, will you still share an excerpt?

Annie: Sure! How about the first line, my editor won’t kill me for that, will she? It’s one of the lines I still smile over when I re-read, I love it:

“Car lights pushed through twilight like straight pins through dark cloth.”

Stan: I’m sure your editor won’t do dastardly things to you for one line! Maybe. What prompted you to choose Musa Publishing as your publisher?

Annie: There are so many publishers out there right now. Big, small, indie, traditional, eBook, print. I’m a small pond kind of girl. I want to know that where I am matters, that the editors actually read my book, not an intern at the slush desk, that my editor liked my book and is personally invested in the outcome, me as an author. I think there are a lot of fantastic books and fantastic publishers out there, but what appealed to me about Musa is that they are real people running a company their way, by their rules—and those rules really do buck the traditional models. Perfect example: when I saw the cover mock-up for Bullseye, I sent an insanely hyper and happy email to my editor—and she was thrilled and doing backflips too! THAT is what makes Musa special. They are real professionals running a small business. I’m grateful and proud to be a part of that.

Stan: Will you give us a hint about another Work In Progress?

Annie: Absolutely, I’m working on writing and illustrating a children’s picture book centered around two fish named Zuzu and Lotsa. I’m also still plotting out a GLBT YA fantasy series. It’s this epic process for me, but it’s amazing to actually sit down and plot out how dozens of characters fit into this world that I am creating. I am also working on a historical fiction, a romance, so that book has also required a lot of research and plotting. Wish me luck, my drawer of orphaned manuscripts is FULL!

Stan: Definitely, good luck! And, where can we find out more about you (blog, Pinterest, etc.)?

Annie: Thanks for asking! I’m on Twitter, Pinterest, I have a blog and I am on Facebook. I love Pinterest, I have lots of Boards for my WIPs, so that is a great place to see my ideas as they are yet unformed in words.

Stan: And, we have to ask: are those Pomeranians you write about in your blog, still being pushy?

Annie: HA! Well, yes and no. I have resorted to bribery (treats.) I have not been bitten in a while, but I still get the Darth Vader-esque bark from a couple of them, you know, anytime I live or breathe…

Stan: Finally, if there is one or a couple of things in this world you would most like to find—whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual—what would it, or they, be?

Annie: There are definitely a couple of things I would like to find, have, create yet. And I have to thank you for even asking that question because just sitting down to examine what those things are is a good reminder of what is possible. Those vague needs and hopes are hard to chase, right? But when I say, OK, I’d like “a this” and “a that,” those things become real and possible. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, I would like to give more without feeling loss, appreciate more without becoming proud, and create more joyfully, without fear. And hell, I do hope that a chubby 40-year old can still hold out hope for a lasting love and family of her own, right? And for sure, another couple of tattoos…

Stan: Thanks for visiting, and for sharing so much of yourself with us. We wish you much happiness and success in life!

Annie: Thank you!

Annie Anthony is an editor, author, volunteer, and dog mama. On hiatus from her hometown of Chicago, Annie is temporarily living and working in Los Angeles. Look for her novella Bullseye releasing this fall from Musa Publishing.

SS Hampton Sr. served in the active duty Army, the Army Individual Reserve (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), then enlisted in the Army National Guard; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. Much of his work is based on military life such as his paranormal Dancing in the Moonlight.

Something is following Corporal Ronnie Edson back to Iraq, something that won't rest until it owns him completely.

To read an excerpt from any of the books written by SS Hampton Sr. please click HERE.

Hampton's writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cooking with Holley

from Holley Trent

Happy summer, everyone!

This easy cold salad is great for potlucks and outdoor parties, and travels well. Combine everything except the dressing the night before to save time the day of your event.

Holley’s Low-fuss Summer Salad

2 cup pearled barley, cooked tender but not mushy
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
2 green onions—whites and greens—sliced thin
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1/8 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. water

Drain cooked barley and allow to cool.

Toss barley with tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions. If serving the next day, cover and refrigerate.

Half an hour before serving, mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin with water in a small jar with lid. Shake well. Pour over salad and mix gently.

Serve salad at room temperature.

Easily serves 8.

*Mix extra dressing if you like a less dry salad.
**Salad can be easily doubled or tripled.

Here's a brief intro of my latest release for your reading pleasure.

The psychic didn't go looking for love, but she should have seen it coming.

Marcia Andrews is a freelance psychic consultant. Sick of living hand to mouth, she accepts a contract with Raleigh Police. A new gang called The Cardinals is terrorizing The Triangle, and Marcia gives the department an edge in tracking them. Help that she is, one cop isn’t so keen on her involvement, and makes sure she knows it.

Detective Nat McCoy would rather see Marcia in his bedroom than the bullpen. The gorgeous Scotsman isn’t the typical chauvinist pig, though. He’s keeping a secret that even the psychic doesn’t anticipate.

A close encounter with a Cardinal’s bullet knocks Marcia off her game when the police need her most. She loses hours to trances and ghosts haunt her sleep. She can hardly function, and everything she thought she knew about playboy McCoy suddenly seems questionable. McCoy thinks he knows the cure for what ails her—him. But can she trust him?

Love by Premonition is available for purchase now at the Musa store and also at third-party vendors such as and All Romance eBooks.

If you’d like to stay up to date on my progress with its spin-off, visit me on my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Holley Trent is the author of Executive Decision, Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas, and Her Resident Jester – all available now from Musa Publishing's Calliope Romance Line.

To see all of Holley Trent's Musa Publishing books, please click HERE.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet the Legendary and Oh-so-stylish She-Aba…

…who is Lilith’s BFF in the prequel to The Last Timekeepers series, Legend of the Timekeepers. She-Aba is with us today and has plenty to say about following your dreams and standing out in a crowd.

Thank you for coming to chat with us today, She-Aba. Why do you think Sharon Ledwith chose you to represent her?
Because I have the most style and flair when it comes to representing others. I look at a person and see their best qualities, then work with the right fabrics and accessories to bring out their natural beauty and make them stand out. Sharon knows this. I know this. I mean…look at my shoes. Aren’t they stunning?

They are indeed. What is your birth date?
I was born fourteen years ago on the day after my parents arrived here from Atlantis.

Here? Where do you live? What is it about the area that drew your parents?
I was born and raised in the Black Land. I’ve heard that it’s named for the rich, dark soil found in the river and the valley we live near. Since there was too much instability going on in Atlantis—you know, stuff like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions—my parents decided to immigrate here and start a new life. And I’m so glad that they did seeing as their homeland blew up and sank into the ocean.

Wow, your parents certainly made a good decision. Tell us a little about yourself?
Well, ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to dress up people, and help them look their best. My father sits on the Black Land’s high counsel, so I make sure his beard is braided, his hair is oiled and scented, and his clothes are of the highest quality. Oh, and I also have red hair. Apparently that’s not very favorable in the eyes of the Black Land natives.

Huh? Why not?
Red is a color reserved for their gods and goddesses. The natives think red is magical, and anyone with red hair is considered a freak of nature.

I see. What’s your favorite music?
Ohhh, I love the sound of crystal bowls being played! It makes my whole body hum and vibrate.

Will we be seeing more of you or are you stepping out of the lime light?
I don’t understand what you mean about the lime light? Is it like the moon or sun light? These are very confusing questions! I’m sure Sharon Ledwith has future plans for me if that is what you mean.

What do you do to relax?
I create beautiful sashes, satchels, and shoes to go with all the outfits I put together. The end results are truly extraordinary.

Okay, so what gets you excited?
No contest. Shoes. Oh, and finding the right suitor.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

What is this ice cream you speak of? There is no such thing here in the Black Land. Again you confuse me with your babble. You need to wear a Babel necklace. It’s all the rage for a Timekeeper. Plus it would help me to understand what you are saying. If you are talking about a favorite food, then I like drizzling honey over freshly baked bread. Mmmm.

Do you believe in ghosts?
No. But I do believe in dark vibrations. I’ve seen it firsthand.

Why should the readers be interested in your story?
What a silly question! This story is about finding your true purpose. Why we are here and what we have to do. That’s what life readings are for. Why would anyone NOT be interested?

What is a life reading?
Life readings are scribed on a small ceramic disk called a life seal. See the one I’m wearing on my spotted-animal cape? I fashioned it to look like a broach. Originally a life seal is blank, but once the high priestess from the Temple Beautiful has had a chance to assess you based on your karmic development, she goes into a trance and records her impressions on the seal which then becomes your lifetime occupation.

That sounds complicated. What is your lifetime occupation?
My original lifetime occupation was supposed to be to design clothing for the people of the various positions in the court and temples. Then one day the inscription on my life seal completely changed.

Changed? How?
That’s for me to know, and you to find out…

Here’s a little sampling of Legend of the Timekeepers set to be released this August 30th.

There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her new-found friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

If you haven’t already checked out my young adult time travel read, 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.

Musa Publishing
Amazon Link
Barnes & Noble

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers, available through Musa Publishing. When 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.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Summer is here and it's time to eat gobs of ice cream and not feel guilty. So today HL Carpenter shares the delicious recipe for No Bake Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. Take it away, HL!

We wish we could say Gramma shared the recipe for this scrumptious dessert with us while we were writing The SkyHorse. After all, what better way for her granddaughter, Tovi, to stay cool on a sweltering summer day while tending a horse hatched from an egg? But we must admit the sweet treat was around long before The SkyHorse trotted into our lives.

If you like to have dessert on hand for those daily ice cream cravings guests, this cake keeps well in the freezer. It’s expandable, too. Just use a bigger pan, more ice cream and extra whipped topping. When it comes to ice cream, more is better, right?

No Bake Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

What you’ll need:
One package (12 bars) of ice cream sandwiches
One container (8 ounces or larger) of whipped topping (or make your own with a pint of whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of sugar)
Garnish of your choice: Sprinkles; chopped nuts; caramel, chocolate or other syrup
Glass or plastic pan with a lid

Arrange six ice cream bars in a crisscross pattern in the bottom of the pan. (You may have to cut the bars to make them fit. Of course, then you’ll need to eat those little left-over pieces—who said chefs have an easy life?)

Spread a layer of whipped cream over the bars.*

Crisscross the remaining six ice cream bars on top of the whipped cream.

Slather another layer of whipped cream over the top and sides.

Decorate with sprinkles or chopped nuts, or drizzle with caramel or chocolate syrup.

Cover and freeze 2-3 hours or overnight.

Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving to soften.

*For a richer cake, add a layer of syrup and/or chopped nuts over the whipped cream.

While your delicious cake is chilling, how about settling in with a good book?

Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck - until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

When fourteen year old Tovi Taggert moves to Honeysuckle Hollow to take care of her grandmother, she has a hard time fitting in. For one thing, she’s been tagged with the hated nickname Too-Tall Tovi. For another, everyone at Honeysuckle Hollow High believes Tovi played the Choking Game with someone else’s boyfriend – and made out with him besides.

As if she doesn’t have enough problems, after the latest stand-off in the school hallway, Tovi finds a gorgeous speckled egg nestled in a feather lined nest.

She takes the egg home – and mysterious visitors begin appearing almost immediately. Even more worrisome, whatever is inside the egg starts chipping its way out.

When the egg hatches, revealing a winged horse, Tovi’s troubles multiply.

As she struggles to return the horse to the magical land where he belongs, Tovi must make a courageous decision – and accept what that decision will cost her.

To read the first chapter of The SkyHorse, please click HERE.

Musa Publishing

HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter writing team. Their young adult novel, The SkyHorse, is available on Amazon and at Musa Publishing. Learn more about HL Carpenter on their website.

I'll be back Monday. Until then...

Happy Eating!

Sloane Taylor

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Release for Sam Cheever

If you're into dark fantasy, magic, and erotic romance, you're going to adore Demon's Mate, a new novel from Sam Cheever.

Book 1: Royals of Sheoldris

Book 1: Royals of Sheoldris

What if real love began in the pages of a paranormal novel? And what if that love leapt off those pages, and into an avid reader’s arms?

Terra fell in love with Jacobin when he was the hero in a sexy paranormal novel, but when he showed up at her door she thought she was losing her mind. Imagine how she felt to learn her fate had been scribed onto magic pages and could just as easily be erased. Would she be willing to give up everything, just to hold onto a love she never dreamed she’d have?
They left her alone for hours. At some point someone brought her a meal of fruit and cheeses with a dark, sweet wine but other than that she saw nobody except the two big men wearing diapers who guarded her door.

Finally, the woman who’d put her there returned, bringing the two big men into Terra’s rooms with her. And she was demanding that Terra take a bath. With all three of them in the room. Terra of course refused.

“If you do not cooperate, I’ll have the eunuchs carry you to the bath and hold you in the water as they bathe you.”

Terra glared at the demoness she’d learned was called Gemma. “I’m not going to polish myself up like a piece of fruit for that bully.”

Gemma nodded at the two men standing behind her. They stepped forward and grasped Terra’s arms, and she shrieked in outrage.

“Leave us!”

The two eunuchs and Gemma bowed low, stepping away from Terra. “Sire. We were just trying to do as you asked.” Gemma slid Terra a look of such hatred she wondered if the woman would murder her in her sleep.

“It seems my mate needs to learn some manners. I’m the one who must handle that little chore.”

Terra gave an outraged chirp. “I need to learn manners? Me? I didn’t drag you from your house and your… planet to a strange place and turn you into a prisoner.”

The demon king glared at his three servants until they left and then turned to her, his densely muscled arms crossed over his chest. Despite her anger, Terra couldn’t help noticing how hot he looked in the tight leather pants and sheer shirt that was open to the waist, showing a perfect, golden-brown chest. “You wouldn’t be treated as a prisoner if you didn’t act like a fool.”

She gave another outraged chirp and advanced on him, her hands clenched into fists. “I’m just trying to retain some kind of freedom --”

“Freedom? By chaining yourself to a low-level demon like the lowliest concubine?”

“How the hell am I supposed to know? I don’t know anything about this stupid place. They offered to help me, and I was grateful for their help. Once I got past the gate --”

Jacobin stepped closer, lowering his angry face to hers. “Once you got past the gate he would have locked you up and tried to ransom you to me. All the while enjoying your lush body for his own pleasure.”

Terra’s mouth slammed shut on an angry retort as his words sank in. “You’re lying.”

He lowered his head until his lips hovered over hers, his hot breath sweet against her face. “You know that I am not.”

Unfortunately she realized, far too late, that he was probably right. In her desperation and ignorance she’d almost put herself in greater danger. At least there, in the castle, she was under the king’s protection. But Terra was too angry to back down. “It wouldn’t be any worse than being kept prisoner here.”

His big hands came out and grasped her arms, pulling her to her toes as he stepped closer. Terra bit her lip against a wave of lust as his heat and hardness pressed against her. “Then you shouldn’t mind that I stopped you, mate.” Without warning, he gave her a gentle shove, and she fell backward into the huge, sand-bottomed pool.

She came up sputtering with outrage, her hands skimming water out of her eyes. “You ass! Now you’re trying to drown me?”

Toeing off his soft boots, the king reached to tug the shirt off his broad chest. “It appears I will need to bathe you like a babe, since you refuse to do it yourself.”


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Super Easy BBQ

by Marci Boudreaux

Hi Everyone! I've hijacked Sloane's blog again because I have to share this family favorite recipe with you.

Though July is closely associated with barbeque pits and charred bits of meat, there is another way to get great tasting BBQ Chicken or pork…without risking the loss of facial hair.

This year will be known (at least in my family) as the year I discovered the glorious wonders of a slow cooker. Yes, my friends, I no longer stand over a hot stove (or pit) for hours cooking for my starving family. Our home cooked meals are now done slowly, with minimal effort from me.

And this recipe is one of my personal favorites!

Marci’s BBQ Chicken
4-6 uncooked boneless chicken breasts (or small pork roast)
1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce (Hey, this still counts as homemade!)
¼ cup white vinegar
1tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ cup brown sugar
1tsp. minced garlic
½ small onion diced

Mix bbq sauce, vinegar, pepper flakes, brown sugar, garlic and small onion in medium sized bowl. Place meat in slow cooker. Pour bbq sauce mixture over meat. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.


Seriously?? YES! And it is delicious!

I shred mine and put it on a bun with coleslaw, but my kids eat it straight up with a side of baked beans

This is a great way to have summer flavor without adding to the summer heat. And it’s so easy!

Here's a little from Unforgettable You, my latest contemporary romance, for your reading pleasure while you sit back with a glass of chilled wine and wait for that terrific chicken to slow cook.

Is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law Doreen in the family home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a few of Hollywood’s elite actors. Despite her resentment of their demands, she can’t stop her attraction to actor Will Walker.

Will, out to save his failing career, agrees to a project that bores him. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to their hostess. Long nights talking with Carrie make him realize he wants a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. refuse to let him go.

The temptation to regain stardom pulls Will in one direction while the obligation to family tugs Carrie in another. Against all odds, the couple struggles for a solution to save their new found happiness.

To read an excerpt from Unforgettable You, please click HERE.

Check out the trailer for Unforgettable You HERE.

Monday, July 08, 2013


with another new release! I'm elated to share that Love Him or Leave Him a Small Town Big Dreams novel by Sara Daniel released today from Entangled Publishing. I've had the great pleasure of reading Love Him or Leave Him and fell in love. This is definitely a novel you'll want at the top of your summer reading list. Also, below the blurb is info on a cool contest.

Here's a little from Sara's new release for your reading pleasure.

Sometimes dreams are where you least expect them.

Connor O’Malley and Becca Sanders were once high school sweethearts, ripped apart by rumors in the small town of Kortville, Illinois. Connor left to join the military, and Becca stayed, waiting for her younger brother to graduate so she could live her dreams of traveling the world. But now that Connor's back as the town sheriff, Becca finds herself struggling to resist the too-handsome man who once broke her heart.

Connor loves Kortville—its quaintness keeps at bay the painful memories of Afghanistan he’s sure make him unworthy of any woman, particularly the beautiful brunette he’s always secretly dreamed of a future with. But when a scandal rocks the town, suddenly Connor and Becca must trust in each other if they want to weather this storm…and come out on the other side of it together.

To read an excerpt from Love Him or Leave Him, please click HERE.

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Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter the Release Day Launch Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

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For those of you not familiar with Sara Daniel, she writes what she loves—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. On the personal side, she's a frazzled maid, chauffeur, and slave to her wonderful children. She was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. (The children's book The Bravest Squirrel Ever by her alter-ego Sara Shafer is the squirrel's fictionalized version of that experience!) She's crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. And has her very own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband.

Learn more about Sara Daniel on her blog, like her on Facebook or email her for the latest updates on her books and writing projects or to debate the best race car drivers!

Sara is only a tweet away via Twitter, and is always available on

I'll be back Wednesday with a new recipe. Until then...

Happy Reading!


Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Tattered Flag

HAPPY FOURTH of JULY, Everyone! Author friend Dusty Crabtree is here to share a few words about the holiday.

What do you get when you cross a patriotic idealist and writer like myself with the sad vision of a tattered flag? A sad, patriotic poem about a tattered flag, of course. Through the sadness I hope I can spark some pride in our country and the flag that represents it.


“The Tattered Flag”

It flaps in the wind limply at one corner. The other is ripped to shreds, caught, hanging on a wire, dejectedly. Unable to break free.

It’s been windy. It’s raining. It’s nobody’s fault.

And yet…it just feels wrong. The moment I see it from my car, a whimper escapes my lips. A pain shoots through my chest. It aches. I want to cry. I might as well have witnessed a young kid being pushed down by a bully. How could someone treat the flag this way? A sense of injustice burns inside so strong that my world turns upside down.

Such a strong emotion for such a simple inanimate object. But it’s not simple, is it? It represents our country’s life. Our freedom. Us. So, I a isn’t just an object treated with disrespect. It’s a living and breathing representation of hope. And if that’s torn and tattered, then what do we have left?
Now that I've got you all warm and fuzzy, how about another riddle. What do you get when you cross an idealist writer like myself with a passion for teenagers and young adults? A YA urban fantasy called Shadow Eyes. For those of you (teens and adults alike) who love a good hope-filled, inspirational read but also love paranormal, romance, suspense, and mystery, check out Shadow Eyes this summer.

Shadow Eyes official cover art

Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil. But she is the only one who can see them. She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters. First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

Check out Dusty's blog. Find her on facebook and follow her on twitter.

Buy Shadow Eyes and/or read its reviews at Musa Publishing or Amazon. The book is also available at all major online bookstores.

View the book trailer.

Have a happy and safe holiday. I'll be back Monday with Sara Daniel. Until then...

Party On but take at least a minute to remember what today is all about.


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Easy Veggies with Style

Author Leigh Daley and I were talking last week about cooking. I mentioned how tired I was of the same old green beans and Leigh shared her recipe. Of course, I had to try her recipe. This is absolutely delicious! Now I'll turn the blog over to Leigh so she can tell you what all is involved.

This is one of those cook by feel recipes, but every time I make it the entire family is in raptures. When time is short I easily turn the creamy green beans into a complete meal, directions are, and my family loves that version, too.

Creamy Green Beans
Fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped
1 pkg pancetta, thick bacon, or ham seasoning pieces, chopped
3-5 shallots, thinly sliced
Garlic minced extra fine to taste
Pine nuts
8 oz. package of cream cheese or goat cheese or mix
White wine
Coconut oil

Melt about two tablespoons of coconut oil in a large deep skillet. Fry up the pancetta, bacon, or ham pieces for a few minutes until they start to crisp. Remove them to drain on a paper towel. If you prefer crunchier, keep the pieces in the pan and continue.

Toss the pine nuts in to toast and remove to the paper towel.

Fry the shallots in the drippings until they start to turn. Add garlic and green beans. Sauté until the beans are as tenderness you prefer. I generally put the lid on the skillet and let them steam/fry, stirring them often. I like my green beans fairly tender, so that part takes about 15 minutes.

Once the green beans are tender, toss in the cream cheese/goat cheese and melt it into the beans. A splash of white wine at this point is a very good thing. Top with the crunchy pine nuts and pancetta/bacon/ham.

If you eat pasta, some cooked penne is a wonderful thing to add to this. I’ve also added in some sautéed chicken breast as well and Voila! I have a complete dinner.

Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt as needed. And definitely enjoy!

Here's a little from my latest book to satisfy another of your senses,

Their careers drove them apart--could disaster bring them back together?

In the aftermath of a series of tornadoes, Kyle Mathis just wants to guide his linemen to restore power to the devastated town of Milton. When reinforcements in the form of corporate deskjockeys come to work storm duty, he's glad for the extra bodies to help serve food and support the crews working eighteen hour days.

But Kyle is not prepared to face one of the latest arrivals, his ex-wife Jenna. Jenna left him years ago, choosing her career over their marriage. However, being back together in their home town brings back memories and desire--for both Kyle and Jenna.

Can Kyle and Jenna find each other again in the midst of the devastation? Or will their jobs pull them apart and leave not only their homes but their hearts shattered?

To read an excerpt from Storm Duty, please click HERE.

Leigh Daley lives with her husband and kids in the wilds of West Alabama along with her dogs Bruno and Jack. Now on her fourth career, she has spent most of her life writing for other people, but these days she is writing for herself. She eats like a cavewoman, posts crazy fanfic as Arcole, and tries to meet her creative needs by writing romance as Leigh Daley and fantasy as Arley Cole. She’s a really big fan of happily ever after.

Learn more about Leigh Daley on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook.

I'll be back Monday. Until then...

Happy Eating!


Monday, July 01, 2013

My Canada…more than Maple Syrup and Mounties

My dear friend author Sharon Ledwith is a proud Canadian. Since today is Canada Day, I'm turning the blog over to her.

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! Hope you’re kick-starting your holiday by planning to attend one of the many events July 1st has to offer around the area where you live. Most of the day, we usually hang out with family and friends on our dock until dusk—eat, drink, and be merry—then go watch the fireworks display in town. Note to self—bring the bug spray.

So what about you? Don’t know how you’re going to celebrate Canada’s 146th Birthday? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Sit down, grab a cup of whatever you please (hey, it’s a holiday after all), and check out the list of activities to choose from below:

• Go to the beach. Use the holiday to bake in the sun (don’t forget the SPF), enjoy the warm weather and cool water.

• Go to the park, fly a kite or walk your dog. Most Canucks spend this holiday outdoors so you’ll be able to take advantage of the summer heat and maybe make a new friend.

• Have your family and friends over for an old fashioned barbecue. Sip on your favorite brand of beer and appreciate what it means to be Canadian.

• Go to your town’s local parade. Show your pride by dressing up in all red and white—the Canada flag or maple leaf temporary tattoos are a favorite among celebrants!

• Go to a carnival. Eat fried dough, snack on cotton candy, drink beer, go on all your favorite rides (you may want to bring a puke bag) and play all the games.

• Look up local concerts in your area. Many cities and towns hold festivals where bands will play music at outdoor venues.

• Go for a ride in a hot air balloon. This fun activity lets you admire our beautiful country from thousands of feet in the air.

• Go to your local brewery. Canadians love beer, so there is no better way to celebrate our birthday than to take a tour of your favorite brewery. Many of these tours are free and come with samples. Lake of Bays Brewing Company and Muskoka Brewery are my top picks!

• Go camping. Take a couple days off work, and enjoy everything that the Canadian wilderness has to offer. Tons of provincial parks to choose from!

• There is nothing more Canadian than hockey. Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame. Take an exhibit tour and honor your favorite players.

• Go to a citizenship ceremony. There is nothing more patriotic than watching new citizens take an oath to love, honor, and respect our country.

• Go to your local fireworks show. There is nothing more beautiful than watching the colorful explosions light up the sky. Plus saying ‘ohhh—ahhh’ is always fun.

• Go fishing. Canada is famous for their awesome bass (and pickerel) fishing and this is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate Canada.

• Go white water rafting (still want to do this one). Canada’s rivers offer a variety of different difficulty levels so whether you’re a rafting pro or a rookie in search of an adventure, rafting is always a fun activity.

• Last, but not least, lounge by the pool (or on a beach) and read a good book.

May I make a suggestion? The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis is a popular, family read, ready to download on your ereader at your pleasure. Take a peek:

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

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.

Musa Publishing
Amazon Link
Barnes & Noble

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers, available through Musa Publishing. When 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.

I'll be back Wednesday with a new recipe. Until then...

Happy Reading!