Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Wednesday. So What's Cooking?

Hobo Chicken from a good friend and multi published author Marci Boudreaux. The kitchen is all yours, Marci.

Sometimes dinner just needs to be simple. And cheap. That is why I love making Hobo Chicken. So easy, so cheap, and it is super easy to clean up. The best thing though, everyone (including the picky 8 year old) loves it!

This is a dish that can be done in the oven, on the grill, or if you’re the outdoorsy type over a camp fire. I don’t have a fancy recipe for this, that’s kind of the point, right?

So on those days when I don’t feel like doing something fancy or standing over a hot stove, I pull a whole chicken out of the freeze and let it thaw all day.

It has to cook for about an hour and a half to two hours, so I throw this together mid-afternoon.

When you’re ready to go, cut up the chicken. My husband and I each get a breast and we give the wings and legs to the kids. Rub it down with chicken rub or whatever your preferred seasoning would be, even just salt and pepper would taste amazing on this.

Prepare a separate foil packet for each person. Set the seasoned chicken in the middle of a large piece of heavy duty foil, surround it with your favorite veggies. I use corn on the cob, onion, potatoes (peeled for the picky 8 year old), and carrots. Sprinkle those with seasoning and add about two tablespoons of butter (add a little more for the wings and legs since they don’t make as much juice).

Wrap that bad boy up in the foil and pop it into the oven at 350°F for about 1½ hours. If you want browned or crispy chicken, open the foil to expose the chicken and cook for another 15 minutes at about 450°F.

That’s it. The entire meal in a foil packet. Plop one of those down on a plate and serve it up. If you are going to do this on a grill or open campfire, it will take about three hours for the chicken to cook, but the smokiness of the chicken will be divine and well worth the wait.

Here’s the official recipe (if you can call it that):

Hobo Chicken
1 whole chicken cut up
Seasoning of your choice
corn, potatoes, onion, carrots or veggies you prefer

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare a separate foil packet for each person.

Rub chicken with seasoning.

Set the seasoned chicken in the middle of a large piece of heavy duty foil. Surround it with your favorite veggies.

Add about two tablespoons of butter. Wrap tight.

Bake about 1½ hours. Roll back foil to expose chicken and bake for another 15 minutes at 450°F if you want darker/crispier skin.

Serve and let the family be amazed by your awesomeness.

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 that wonderful chicken to 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.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Summer of “Can’t Put Down” Books

by Nancy DiMauro

Back to school is around the corner and I’m helping my two boys, who waited until the last minute (again) to complete their book reports. I decided to lead by example. I’ve already confessed to being a not-so-closeted romance reader and writer. You also know that my favorite time for reading romance novels is at the beach, and we’ve just returned from our family vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. So, I thought I’d share 10 books from my summer reading list. It’s also a bit more eclectic than normal since I’m researching my next novel, Schrodinger Effect, which features Vonna from Paths Less Traveled. In no particular order:

1. Neil GaimanThe Ocean at the End of the Lane - Fantasy.

Neil Gaiman started out writing a short story, but ended up with this lovely little novella. A suicide releases a supernatural creature into our world. In trying to send the creature back, Lettie Hempstock unwittingly allows it to lodge inside a 7 year old boy. Years later, that boy returns home for a funeral and discovers he’s forgotten about that summer day and the magic at the end of the lane.

This is a great little story. I fell into the narrator’s voice, spellbound. I finished it in one sitting, pausing only grudgingly to get a plate of food before the teenagers at the beach ate it all. The only criticism I have of it is the price-point. At $15.00 it’s expensive for a novella, and at $9.99 it’s a really expensive e-book. Now, I bought my advanced copy through Barnes and Noble because it was a signed copy. Still, I think the price is well worth it.

2. Kevin J. AndersonVeiled Alliances – Fantasy.

In my opinion, Kevin is one of the greatest world-builders writing today. Veiled Alliances is a prequel to his Saga of the Seven Suns series. One hundred and fifty years after the Earth sent out its generation ships, Earth’s government has given way to a puppet king controlled by the Hanseatic League. The generation ships are found and given safe harbors by an alien race. With the gift of FTL (Faster Than Light) engines, Earth is poise on the brink of becoming a major player in the universe.

I “read” this one on audio book. The 4 plus hour recording got me most of the way to the beach. Unlike some prequels this one wasn’t forced or awkward. A large part of that is likely due to Kevin’s detailed outlining. Before Kevin had written the first word for the series, he would have already known the events set forth in this prequel. Whether you’ve read the other books in the series, or Veiled Alliances is your first journey to the Seven Suns, it’s definitely worth reading.

3. Jeaniene Frost - Halfway to the Grave. – Urban Fantasy with Romance.

Cat, the kick-butt heroine, is half-vampire. She hunts the undead in an effort to find and slay her father for destroying her mother’s life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire and vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership. Cat agrees to help Bones cull the undead population in return for his help finding and exterminating her father. Life and unlife is never that simple though, and Cat finds Bones more tempting than any man with a heartbeat.

I also finished this one in a day. The tone and take no prisoners heroine reminded me a lot of Gini Koch’s Alien Series. One of my friend loaned me this book at the beach when I’d run out of other stories. It was the first time I’d read anything by Ms. Frost. I’m definitely looking up the rest of the series.

4. Sloane TaylorFrench Tart (Naughty Ladies of Nice) – Erotic Romance.

Donatienne Dubois pins her hope for a “normal” life on an exclusive cooking school in Nice, France. But one by one her expectations are shattered. Donni’s lifesaver is a bad boy too hot not to handle. For his part, Mark Anderson, is incognito, hating every moment. To pose as a student while keeping tabs on a rich wild child is his version of hell, until he partners with the dish of Crème Brulée good enough to eat.

I love Sloane’s writing and her ability to transport a reader to the exotic locations she sets her stories and her characters. French Tart, a novella, lived up to all my expectations for Sloane’s work. I especially loved the foul-mouthed parrot that develops a crush on Donni.

5. John E. Douglas and Mark OlshakerThe Cases that Haunt Us – Nonfiction.

Certain homicide cases maintain an undeniable, almost mystical hold on the public imagination. This analysis of seven of the most notorious murder cases in the history of crime -- from the Whitechapel murders to JonBenet Ramsey -- often contradicts conventional wisdom and legal decisions. Using modern profiling techniques, the book reexamines cases we all know, and sometimes reaches fascinating and haunting results.

This is one of the many resource books I’m using for Schrodinger Effect. The writers take you through the criminal investigative process for each of the cases, noting how preconceptions or just investigative mismanagement affected the ultimate outcomes. A great resource and well-handled and sensitive narrative given the topics.

6. Brenda Novak - Whiskey Creek series – Romance

Brenda Novak’s romances are great examples of the genre. One of the things I like about this series is that the first book, When Lightning Strikes, introduces us to a group of high school friends approximately 10 years after graduation, and each book in the series (so far) has focused on one character’s happily ever after. The world Brenda Novak builds has a high degree of continuity and characters from the other books continue to interact as they really would have in any small community.

7. Lee ChildJack Reacher series, Books 1-5 – Thrillers. Jack Reacher is a retired

Military Police officer with a monster case of wanderlust. His travels seem to leave him in the right places at the right time to become enmeshed in kidnapping, murder and mayhem. Given his military background and specialized MP training, Reacher’s highly competent in many areas, and more than holds his own against FBI and Secret Service experts. I’ve listened to these books on audiotape. Dick Hill is a fabulous narrator.

8. David FarlandDrawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing – Nonfiction.

A must read for every writer. Dave has long spoken about by drawing power from stories that came before; resonating with their readers' experiences, and by resonating within their own works. Frankly, Dave could sell this book for LOTS more and it would still be worth every penny. He teaches you exactly what resonance is and how to use it to make your stories more powerful with examples of how it is used in literature and other art forms, and how one writer, J. R. R. Tolkien, mastered it in his work.

9. John Scalzi, Editor - METAtropolis – anthology – Post-apocalyptic fantasy

Audible was running one of its book specials, and out of the audiobooks I could get for $4.95 was this anthology. I have to admit I picked this one because it had one of the longer run times (I drive about 3 hours a day), and the high quality writers who contributed to the work.

METAtropolis is a shared-world anthology, where all the stories take place in the same created urban fantasy world, but it’s more than that. A typical anthology has a common theme – ex. Humorous horror stories – and the writers have little direction beyond that. A braided anthology has a through line and character. This is another step up in continuity. The five writers collaborated on the world. They all had the same blue print when they set their characters free and let them interact with this world.

10. Harlan CobinSix Years – Thriller/ Suspense

Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, recommended Six Years on her podcast. I met Mignon several years ago at Superstars Writing Seminar, and have often liked the books she’s recommended. She didn’t let me down. Again, this was an audiobook for me.

Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. Then Jake comes across Todd’s obituary. At the funeral, Jake gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife…but she’s not Natalie. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. His search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.

This is another “can’t put down story.” It’s not a romance since the love story plays second fiddle to the mystery Jake’s trying to unravel. Cobin handles both the romance and the mystery with a deft touch. The characters are believable and I was rooting for Jake to solve the mystery, find the girl and live happily ever after. But you’ll have to read it to find out if he did.

Here's another book that will stand the test of time.

To restore Daphne to her nymph form, Apollo must bargain with treacherous Hades, but Death may demand too high a price.

Shot by a golden arrow, Apollo has only truly loved Daphne. He visits her each eclipse, and longs for reunion. He seeks the Fates’s advice and learns he may finally restore Daphne to her true water nymph form by enlisting other gods’ assistance.

If Apollo fails Daphne will be lost to him forever. To regain Daphne’s soul, Apollo must deal with the devil, King of the Underworld. Love-torn and treacherous, Hades would slay the pantheon to remain with his wife for the full year. Apollo’s quest might just give Hades the leverage he needs to do so.

Will Pheobus Apollo surrender the sun to try to reclaim love? Can he break Daphne’s curse or will his attempts destroy her forever? Will she still love him after millennia as a soulless tree? With the end of the quest see Apollo rising, or in sunset?

To read an excerpt from Apollo Rising please click HERE.

To read excerpts from Nancy DiMauro's other Musa Publishing books, please click HERE.

Learn more about Nancy DiMauro and her impressive work on her website Falcons Fables and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Wednesday. So What's Cooking?

Fantastic chicken wings and an adult beverage (of course Studs and I had to sample before the recipe was posted here) to savor.

Nancy DiMauro is here to share her two fantastic recipes. Take it away, Nancy!

This is a DiMauro family favorite. I have no idea where my Mom originally found the recipe or if she made it up herself. One of these days I’ll remember to ask. But summer always included barbeques on the grill and her marinated chicken wings. I have the recipe written down as both “single” batch and “double”. Can’t remember ever making a single batch. I wrote the recipe down from my Mom’s index card when I was still in high school (many moons ago). These wings went to Beach Week in college and what I was asked to make at most pot-luck parties. The steno book page with the recipe is stained with drops of soy sauce and lord knows what else from the years of use. While these are great hot, they’re amazing cold the next day. That’s why I always make the double batch. If you choose to do so simply double all the ingredients.

It’s one of my favorite recipes and I hope you like it to.

DiMauro Chicken Wings
Soy Sauce ½ cup
Oil ¼ cup
Meat Tenderizer/ Accent 1 tbsp.
Dry Mustard 1 tbsp.
Lemon Juice ¼ cup
Molasses 1 tbsp.
Crushed Garlic ¼ tbsp.*
Chicken Wings 2-4 lbs

* I always use more garlic than the recipe calls for. So if you like garlic, don’t hesitate to use more.

Mix all ingredients, cover, marinate at least overnight, and stir occasionally

Preheat oven to 350°F

Place chicken wings on foiled and greased cookie sheet. Cook for 50-60 minutes and baste occasionally.

If you want something cool and smooth to go down with it, try this Cranberry Martini recipe from my second mom, Phyllis Hussey.

Cranberry Martini
Vodka 1 shot
Cranberry Juice 2 shots
Lime juice to taste – about ½ tsp.

Shaken not stirred.

That’s it - enjoy.

Now relax. Nibble on these yummy wings while you sip a marvelous martini and read a little from Shots at Redemption my latest speculative fiction.

Sometimes even mythical beings need a second chance at love.

We all make mistakes. In this collection, a witch, a goddess, and a dragon each have a second chance at reclaiming lost love.

In "Best Dressed and Obsessed, Janelle, a graduate-level witch, chooses a magic dress to enthrall her professor. Sadly, the dress is cursed. At her graduation ball, will she kiss the man she loves? Or kill him?

Eons ago, Zeus decreed that Odysseus leave Kalypso. In "Kalypso's Song", Odysseus is reborn as a scholar. Can Kalypso convince him to reclaim the love they were denied?
The sea dragon Ryu spares a ship crossing her domain when a human child aboard reminds her of her own lost children. Ryu finds an unlikely surrogate family in "A Sea Serpent's Tale". When her new family is attacked by another dragon, can Ryu save them?

Shots at Redemption. Even supernatural creatures want them. But, do they get them?

Musa Publishing
Barnes and Noble

To read excerpts from Nancy's other Musa Publishing books, please click HERE.

Learn more about Nancy DiMauro and her impressive work on her website Falcons Fables and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

I'll be back Monday. Have a great weekend!


Monday, August 19, 2013

For the Love of Fear

LETHAL REFUGE, a spine-tingling suspense book by Vonnie Hughes, is set in seldom seen New Zealand. The story griped and held me because Hughes expertly wove fear throughout while adding twists and just enough reality to make the story plausible. LETHAL REFUGE is a book I believe you all will enjoy. It left me afraid to turn the lights off.

Vonnie Hughes
Print ISBN 1-60154-996-2
The Wild Rose Press

Available in both paperback and e-book from:
The Wild Rose Press

Who can you trust if you can’t trust your own mother? Through the clammy fog, Celie Francis hears the chilling message. “I know who you are, Celie. I know where you live.” And in the terrifying aftermath she reconnects with her dysfunctional family in ways she had never imagined.

Abused and abandoned as a child, Célie Francis knows better than to trust anyone. But after she witnesses a murder, she's placed in the Unit "New Zealand's witness protection program" where she's expected to trust strangers with her life.

It's psychologist Brand Turner's job to ease witnesses into their new identities, not to protect them, but Célie stirs feelings in him that are far from professional. When it appears someone is leaking critical information that could endanger Célie, Brand will do anything to protect her. But first he has to convince her to trust him.

Adrift in a frightening world, Célie would like to believe the handsome psychologist is everything he seems, but as witnesses are murdered and danger swirls around them, Célie must decide "can she trust Brand with her life?

Célie Francis ran faster than she ever had in her life. Fingers of fog rolling in from the sea grabbed at her as her feet alternately flew and stuttered over the uneven pavement of the ocean road.

Where was he? How much time did she have?
The wash of the sea was a calm counterpoint to her harsh, frantic breathing. Above the sound of her thudding feet, the shriek of a bird pierced the air.

No, not a bird. Something was squeaking. Occy’s old bicycle.

He had found her.

Faster, Célie, faster, shouted the little man on the treadmill in her mind.

I can’t, she sobbed.

Fancy the consequences?

No God, no!

Then run faster.

But her aching legs could not obey. And on the roadway the relentless squeak, squeak kept pace with her.

Frantically she zigzagged, seeking a haven in the fog. It was barely dawn on the lonely North Auckland cliffs above the Pacific Ocean. No help anywhere.

Have to hide. Have to hide. Her shoes slapped a rhythm.

Salty sweat stung her eyes. Ignore it.

The slap of her running shoes echoed then died in the mist. Died...

Her brain, tumbling in an endless whirl of fear and futile questions asked—-why Occy? Why had he killed a man this time?

Up ahead loomed a deep grey cloud of mist. Thank you, God. She blasted into the fog bank and the squeaking receded behind her. This is your chance, the little man said.

Veering off the sidewalk, she streaked across a pristine lawn and crouched behind a lavender bush. Her chest heaving, she struggled to gulp another breath of sodden air.

Squeeeak. He was back. This was it. Eyes streaming, she curled into a ball on the cold ground and waited.

Something yellow zinged past her face and tickled her arm. A needle-sharp sting pierced her elbow, then another. Bees, irritated by her invasion, were trying to drive her out. No you won’t. What’s out there is a lot worse than what you can do, bees. As the pinpricks tingled and burned, she pressed her lips together so hard that the muscles on the side of her face ached.

Louder now, the squeaking advanced and receded. He was casting up and down, looking for her. Please, please...

A sibilant whisper reached her through the clammy fog. “I know who you are, Célie. I know where you live.”

Available in both paperback and e-book from:
The Wild Rose Press

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog.
Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

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

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's Wednesday. So What's Cooking?

Campfire Peanut Butter-Banana Boat S’Mores from my good friend middle grade author Sharon Ledwith. Take it away, Sharon!

In my upcoming release, Legend of the Timekeepers—the prequel to The Last Timekeepers series—my adolescent characters Lilith, her BFF She-Aba, and an annoying goat-herder named Tau are transported from the ‘Black Land’ through the seventh Arch of Atlantis, and travel back in time to Atlantis one hundred years before the continent’s final destruction. There, Tau finds that he has an insatiable taste for a strange, long yellow fruit he’s never seen before. Fortunately for us, this long yellow fruit—a.k.a. bananas—are readily available at our local markets, and used in some wicked-awesome recipes.

The following recipe is great for families to bond over at campsites or even in their own backyards:

Campfire Peanut Butter-Banana Boat S’Mores
4 bananas, unpeeled
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
4 graham wafers, coarsely chopped
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup miniature marshmallows

HEAT barbeque to medium-high heat. If doing on campfire, make sure you have a grill over the pit and the fire has died down to coals.

Make deep lengthwise cuts along inside curve of each banana. Be careful not to cut through to opposite side. Place bananas on centers of 4 large heavy duty foil sheets.

Open bananas gently and spread evenly with peanut butter. Top with chopped wafers, chocolate chips, and marshmallows. Fold foil to make 4 packets.

Grill, filled-sides up, 8-10 minutes or until heated through. Cut slits in foil to release steam before opening packets.

TOO RAINY FOR THE BBQ? No problemo. Make it in the oven. Fill bananas and wrap in foil as directed. Bank in 350°F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

This is a definite family pleaser where the melty marshmallow classic meets the banana split in this ooey-gooey dessert that cooks in the peel. Too bad Tau couldn’t sample this yummy dish. But allow me to offer you a sample of what to expect in my newest time travel romp 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.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lizzie T. Leaf Brings the Dead to Life

with DEAD Hot, a new book in her best selling DEAD series.

Will family secrets let her find love with a guy that cats around?

Sharla Gomez’s dream encounter with the man she’s lusted over for months turned into rain-soaked nightmare. Her hopes of love and passion have gone to the dogs. Being a shifter is hell, especially when you’re a Pug/Chihuahua mix, or as some call the breed, a Chug. Even dogs don’t want to be told they’re so ugly they’re cute?

Dorsey Smith wants to get to know the exotic number-cruncher in charge of the strip club’s books. Just his luck she disappeared before he could ask her out for coffee. Instead of taking home the woman he lusts for, he takes home the small, drenched dog shivering in the rain. When he discovers the animal missing the next morning and he senses magic in the air. Has his safe haven been discovered and will his secrets be revealed?

Can two people with deep secrets discover the truth about each other and still find love. Or will the secrets and the evil lurking drive them apart?

Damn, he’s hot!

Sharla Gomez clamped her lips tighter to stop the drool pooling in her mouth from running down her chin as Dorsey Smith lowered the case of beer off his shoulder. The sweat drenched tee-shirt clung across his back and the muscles under it rippled. She clinched her thighs together. In her dreams of the hunk nothing obscured the bare skin of this chocolaty delight and she could lick every inch.

"Oh Dorsey, I need a refill." One of the model type chicks clustered around the other end of the bar waved her glass and blew a wet kiss from her injected lips.

Dumb bitch thinks she looks sexy, but that puffed up mouth makes her look more like she kissed an offended beehive. Sharla swallowed hard to force back the bile. Hell yes I’m jealous! What wouldn’t I give to be one of the beauties that muscular bartender rushes to accommodate.

Instead, she had been blessed by the gods with her Mexican grandmother’s love of enchiladas, which also led to inheriting Grandma Gomez’s ass. From her German grandmother, Sharla got her large boobs that helped balance her ass. Those genetics also passed along her big blue eyes, but thanks to Oma Chen being an open-minded kind of gal who married a Chinese, they slanted. Yep, her life had been one big joyful event of teasing when she was a kid.

The combination of mixed genetics led to dreams of finding a male who appreciated unique, if not downright weird.

Weird is exactly where I fall when I start trying to explain I’m a shifter. Any normal guy will run like hell.

The only guys she’d come across outside her community who would appreciate the shifting detail were the really kinky ones. And kinky didn’t appeal to her.

But the guys back home didn’t appreciate her either. Most seem to think the teasing that had followed her through her school years needed to continue. That was the top reason she decided to try a big city once she had her accounting certification in hand.

She rested her chin in her palm and watched Dorsey’s interaction with the women. The sigh that escaped held all the longing she tried not to show.

"Girl, if the lust on your face could be bottled I’d make us both wealthy." Dovey slid onto the barstool beside Sharla, her gaze glued to the other end of the bar. "He is a yummy delight. If he were a chocolate milkshake, I could slurp him up in nothing fast."

"For being the club’s owner, you’re a dirty old woman. Comments like that can get you slapped with sexual harassment if the wrong person overhears."

Buy Links:
MUSA Publishing
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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

Happy Reading!

Sloane Taylor
Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

It's Wednesday. So What's Cooking?

A cool recipe and a hot read! Multi-published author Sam Cheever is here to provide both.

I use thin sliced chicken breast for this recipe, but you can also butterfly and pound whole chicken breasts to ¼ inch thick.

Chicken with Tomatoes and Basil

5 medium plum tomatoes, diced and seeded
¼ cup packed, fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves sliced or pounded thin (approximately 2 lbs.)

Combine tomatoes, basil, half the oil, vinegar, and garlic in a bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown 3 minutes, or until golden and nearly cooked through, in half the remaining oil. Flip and cook another 2 minutes on the other side. (Cook half at a time and keep the rest warm in a 200°F oven.)

Serve with sweet potatoes mashed with milk and Parmesan cheese.

Arrange the chicken on a plate with a scoop of mashed sweet potatoes and spoon a generous amount of the tomato mixture and juice over the top.

Delicious and pretty!

Now for that hot read we promised you. Here's an intro from my erotic romance Cupid Only Rings Twice.

This Valentine’s Day, Rori’s gonna meet an honest to god Cupid. And he’ll use more than arrows to win her love.

Rori Foster is too beautiful to find love. Men just can’t seem to look past her exterior to recognize the human being inside.

Unfortunately he’ll have to save her from the bad intentions of a cocky Love Demon first.

But Damios is determined to protect her. Even if he loses her in the process.

Damios lowered his head, capturing her exquisite lips in a kiss that was less a tender wish and more an urgent promise. Her mouth opened under his and he accepted her offer, slipping his tongue past her lips to savor her sweet taste.

She moaned softly as his hands slipped around her waist, up her back, and pulled her tightly against his chest. Her body heated under his kiss and her incredible scent slipped over him.

Damios broke the kiss long enough to say, “I lied. I want to come inside.”

They both stilled for a moment, Damios realizing how his declaration had sounded and Rori’s lips twitching under a suppressed grin.

He rested his forehead against hers, finding it hard to breathe. “Sorry. That came out wrong.”

She chuckled huskily, skimming the tip of one velvet thumb across his bottom lip. “No. It came out just right.”

Damios bit her thumb softly and slipped his hands down her body, cupping the firm roundness of her buttocks. His lips found hers again and he groaned as she ground herself against him.

Their kiss gained heat, their bodies thrumming under the imperative of a building need. Their tongues tangled, danced, and their hands skimmed, exploring with growing intensity...

To read more or purchase Cupid Only Rings Twice please click the vendor's name.

Musa Publishing | Nook | Kobo |
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Sam Cheever writes mainstream romantic suspense and fantasy, all heat levels; and Declan Sands for M/M romantic suspense and fantasy. Her books are fast paced and fun loving. Not one of them will solve a single world problem, but you definitely won’t be bored while reading them!

Sam’s published work includes 40+ works of young adult, romantic suspense, and fantasy/paranormal. Her books have won the Dream Realm Award for fantasy, been nominated and/or won several CAPAs, were nominated for Best of 2010 with LRC and The Romance Reviews, and won eCataromance’s Reviewer’s Choice award. She is published with Ellora’s Cave, both Romantica and Blush; Changeling Press; Electric Prose Publications (her own imprint), Musa Publishing, and Red Rose Publishing.

She lives on a hobby farm in Indiana with 13 dogs, 2 horses, and one husband.

Learn more about Sam Cheever on her blog Eclectic Insights. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find Sam on Goodreads.

Monday, August 05, 2013

FRENCH Tickler is LIVE!

Musa Publishing and I are thrilled to announce FRENCH Tickler, book 5 and the last story in Naughty Ladies of Nice series is now available.

Lace and of the trade.

New Yorker Samantha Bradley has a fun, sexy career designing ladies lingerie. Now that her business is on the rise, she treats herself to a well deserved break on the French Riviera where the women are glamorous and the men are gorgeous. After a few days Sam is eager to sample more than just the local cuisine.

Cisco Bernier is France's key criminal prosecutor, but his courtroom charm falls flat outside the hallowed halls of justice. From family relationships to romantic trysts, his success rate is abysmal until a chance encounter with a sensuous young American businesswoman spins his staid world out of control.

Sam and Cisco sizzle together, but any future is threatened when their pasts collide. Her mob-connected father and his deceitful mother resurface and drag them into a corrupt world of lies and danger.

Sam tugged on the collar of her black blouse, fidgeted with her purse, refolded her shawl, and straightened the magazines on the coffee table for the third time, all the while she kept a sharp eye on the lobby door. She refused to check the clock over the front desk again. Cisco said he’d pick her up at the hotel, and she believed he’d follow through.

A tender sensation swept through her as she glimpsed a tall black haired man brush his way through the revolving door. Her happiness crashed to the marble floor when a blonde beauty, decked out in an off shoulder gown that screamed Donna Karan, wrapped herself around him like a cheap bath towel.

Patience turned to embarrassment that beat a hasty retreat from the anger building in her.

She hadn’t been stood up since she was fifteen. After her damned father ran off that hood wannabe Freddy LaFrano, the Italian guys had lost their balls. Not one of them asked her for a date again. The only guy who tried was a cute Irish kid. But the little wimp never showed. Now the French were bringing a new contingent to her international list of jerks.

Piss on it.

She’d go out to dinner alone. Sure wouldn’t be the first time.


Strong hands clamped onto her upper arms, steadying her as she struggled to catch her breath.

Excusez-moi, Samantha.”

His minty breath tickled her cheek. She almost purred, and all she wanted to do was snuggle closer into his cashmere jacket with his arms cuddled around her.

Mercy, woman. Get a grip.

She swallowed hard, counted the pastel shades in her new summer line, then stepped away, calm and collected. Almost.

“Good evening, Cisco.” The sound of her husky voice came as a complete surprise.

“You look very beautiful with flushed cheeks.” He beamed a know-it-all smile as he wrapped his warm fingers around her arm. “Shall we go?”

The night air chilled her heated skin. Cisco clucked his tongue when she shivered. He deftly removed the pashmina shawl from her frozen fingers, then draped it around her shoulders. The fine wool warmed her, but not as well as his hands…

For an adult rated excerpt of FRENCH Tickler please click HERE.

To read excerpts from my other erotic romances please click HERE.

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

Happy Reading!