Monday, July 30, 2007

Five Angels for IRISH EYES!

Five Angels from Fallen Angel Reviews!!

Irish Eyes
Irish Eyes by Rusty Wicks is a delightful romp, a fun and sexy Irish story that’s filled with charming ghosts, handsome men and smart, spirited women.

Maddy is sent to Ireland on business, and rents the perfect little cottage to stay in while she’s there. She travels around the world, researching old architectural sites, and there is a castle that she’s meant to investigate. As she’s just been jilted by her boyfriend, she’s ready for a change. In Ireland she meets a sexy taxi driver, Shamus, who has some secrets he’s keeping to himself, a handsome neighbor, Brian, whose mother and sisters charm Maddy right away, and a dream lover, one who makes Maddy’s body throb every night she’s in the cottage.

The characters in this story are believable, and likeable—every one of them. I particularly enjoy the fact that Maddy knows her own mind and is open to exploring life after the boyfriend with more than one man. Despite her bad experience, she is open to love and that makes her a sympathetic, smart character. The men are both dreamy, as well. The plot moves along at a fast pace. The landscape, castle and details, like the pub and food, are so well detailed that I felt I could see everything. The storytelling is clever, both in content and execution. Part of this story is told through daily letters to Maddy’s sister, and it is through these that we get to really feel the dynamic of the two sisters, as well as learn what Maddy really feels about each man. I liked it; I felt like I was reading privileged information!

I enjoyed every minute of Irish Eyes by Rusty Wicks. It is pure fun—with an amazing twist at the end!

Reviewed by: Marlene

Sunday, July 29, 2007

August 6th, TIMING releases!

I'm so excited!
Timing releases in a week from tomorrow! I love this story, love the way the two characters realize they love each other but something isn't quite "right" in their relationship. Hey, we've all felt that way from time to time but how many of us go through as much trouble as Lisa and Tom do to find a way to satisfy each other? I hope you'll take a look at this story. Enjoy it and please, let me know what you think. I love to hear from readers!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Good news

The baking lessons are on again! My teacher is well and back in the kitchen. Yesterday we donned our aprons and baked up a storm. I have to admit, I love baking. It's so calming and the results--well, I love seeing people enjoy what I've made.

Yesterday's recipe. Yep, I'm only sharing one today. The other two? Secrets. Sorry! :)

Almond Biscotti

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 finely chopped cup toasted almonds
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheet.

Combine flour and baking powder; set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the lemon zest and almond extract. Add flour mixture, then stir in the chopped almonds.

Divide dough in two. Shape each portion into a loaf about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Place loaves onto the cookie sheet and flatten each slightly. Beat egg white until foamy, and brush over tops of loaves.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until light brown. Cool on baking sheet for about an hour.

Lower heat in oven to 325 degrees F. Cut baked loaves diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lay slices cut side down on the baking sheet.

Bake 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Timing to release on August 6th!

I'm so excited! Timing is scheduled to release on August 6th from Liquid Silver Books!

An blurb:

It’s said that timing is everything, but does that hold true in the bedroom, too?

Tom and Lisa are compatible in every way—or so Tom thinks. They love each other, have a great apartment and share so many mutual interests. Most people would think the couple has it all. And they do—almost. The truth is that Lisa hasn’t been feeling nearly as sexually satisfied as Tom thinks she has. He just doesn’t rock her world—in that way.

When a handsome co-worker invites Lisa to his posh beach house for the weekend, she dutifully fills him in on Tom and her unavailable status. But John is gracious enough to extend the offer to include Tom in the weekend getaway, and Lisa accepts his invitation. After all, why shouldn’t they have some fun?

Maybe a weekend of sun, sand and sex is just what the couple needs to get their urges in sync.

At least, that’s what Lisa and Tom are hoping. And John? What’s making him grin is still a mystery, but one he’s willing to share—for a price.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Coming Soon, The Mead Steed

Isn't this a great cover? I love the glimmer in her eyes, the way she looks like she's ready for some fun. And I've got to admit, I'm a sucker for a broad back and a nice, tight pair of man buns!

The Mead Steed releases on August 1st from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. It's a fun, sexy romp that was a blast to write.

Rose is a woman in a loveless marriage, a woman who knows she deserves more than she's getting and is determined to make a better life for herself. She divorces her husband, moves to Maine, enrolls in college and almost instantly meets a man. Tom owns a small shop and the couple are attracted to each other like bees to honey. They date, and all goes well--or so Rose thinks. When Tom doesn't call, she does what any woman in her position would do. She gets annoyed. Then, she begins to see other men. But, for Rose, Tom may just be her happily-ever-after man. Now, how to make Tom see that?

An excerpt from my upcoming release, The Mead Steed:

Rose dropped her jeans on the white t-shirt, slid her lacy blue panties down to her ankles, then kicked them on to the top of the pile of sweaty, greasy-smelling laundry. After sticking her hand under the shower spray, she stepped into the tub. Heaving a sigh of relief as the warm water washed over her, she reached for the loofah and squirted a generous dollop of body wash onto the sponge.

“Damn, that place reeks. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat another french fry for the rest of my life—not even if I live to be a hundred,” she muttered as she began to scrub her body clean of the foul stink of hamburgers, fried food and stale coffee. After working the lunch crowd at the diner the only thing she yearned for was a long, hot shower. Which was good—since it was the only thing waiting for her when she retuned to the house she shared with her husband.

As usual, Jake wasn’t anywhere to be found. He had probably stopped off to have a beer—or two or ten—with the guys. But that…well, that wasn’t unusual. Jake had a habit of visiting the town’s watering hole after his shift was finished. He and the rest of the road crew practically had monogrammed bar stools, they were in the tavern so often.

As she washed her long, curly brown hair, she felt the strands begin to lose their coating of cheap vegetable oil. The oil clung to everything in the diner’s kitchen, and as she rinsed the first round of shampoo out she wondered, not for the first time, if there wasn’t somewhere she could work that didn’t involve such a rancid odor. It wasn’t until her hair and body had been scrubbed twice that she felt human again.

“I hate that place.” Rose’s voice echoed off the wet tile walls, a silky sound that made the empty apartment feel less lonely. She snorted. “The Diner. God, could it be any more ridiculous than that? How could anyone be so unimaginative? Naming a diner The Diner—jeez, it’s like calling a church The Church or saying The Store, The Gas Station…”

Beneath the warm droplets Rose’s hands traced a familiar pattern on her lean body. The routine never varied and she didn’t even realize what she was doing until her nipples hardened beneath her fingertips. A glance downward confirmed her feelings. Her body had reacted instantly to her touch. It demanded a kind touch, even if it was her own. As long as someone was prepared to attend to its needs, it was ready to comply.

With the tips of her thumbs Rose massaged scented soap bubbles across her taut nipples. Enjoying the tingling heaviness, she palmed her breasts, holding them as if she was weighing fruit at the market.

A smile played around the edges of her mouth. She knew she’d never be doing this at the Shop ’N Save.

I hope you enjoyed the small sampling of Rose's fun! And I hope you'll read The Mead Steed when it comes out. Please drop me a line here and let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers!

And don't forget, Irish Eyes and Summer Solstice Scorchers are available now from WCPT! There's lots of hot summer fun at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid for your pleasure!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Come SEx with me!

Today's my blog day over at SEx, the Liquid Silver authors blog. I hope you'll come take a peek!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just too funny

What do you think? A town in Vermont is considering banning public nudity. Read the full article here.


I'll be keeping my pants on.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Baking Blues

My baking teacher is still under the weather this week. So sad, and I am really missing the lessons--and my friend!

Sharing my Aunt Tippy's fast praline recipe with you today. Enjoy!

Aunt Tippy's Pralines

1 box butterscotch pudding
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups broken pecans

Mix pudding, sugar, milk and oil in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Beat until mixture slightly thickens. Add pecans. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

Let cool.


Summer Solstice Scorchers

Summer Solstice Scorchers is getting great reviews! I've gotten letters from readers and the short, steamy stories are a big hit!

It got a 4 1/2 Ribbon review from Chrissy at Romance Junkies:

"SUMMER SOLSTICE is a fun-filled anthology which readers of various types of paranormal stories will thoroughly enjoy. Each story provides an entertaining plot, fascinating characters, unexpected events, and truly hot sex. Vampires, fortune tellers, ghosts, witches, demons, wizards and elves all come to life within the pages of this book. Every story is vastly different and I found myself eagerly jumping from one story to the next anticipating yet another fascinating tale. SUMMER SOLSTICE gives readers an exciting opportunity to discover new-to-you authors and several different types of paranormal stories which are represented. It’s the perfect way to kick back and enjoy the summer heat. "
My story is called Vows. Here's a hint about the story...

Harbor Street Inn has been the home to Mariah and James for many, many years. They’re both bound by vows they made in their determination to find love and be loved in return. Mariah’s vow is to find love with a mortal man - thus making her mortal. James’s vow is to find a way to make Mariah love him before he’ll make love with her. Will Mariah discover that true love doesn’t have to be with a mortal and James would be more than happy to satisfy her needs?
Summer Solstice Scorchers is available at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Garden woes

All right, the first zucchinis are hitting the kitchen. We all know how it is to have a glut of the green veggies. I have something special that I do with them, and I'm going to share it with you, right at the beginning of zucchini season.

Not-Just-Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In small bowl, beat eggs, then add sugar and oil.

Melt chocolate.

Dump all ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans.

Bake for 75 minutes.

Cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 loaves.

Enjoy! And yes, my baking lesson was canceled again this week. That's why I'm sharing my own recipe with you. I'm hopeful that by next week my darling teacher will be fully recovered!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fruit Loops

Sometimes I think readers get the idea writers lead exciting, action-packed lives. While I suppose some of us do, most writers lead fairly ordinary existences. They do all the regular things readers do, except they manage to squash in time for writing, too. And editing. And all the other less-than-glamorous stuff that goes with it, like agonizing over covers and dedications. Okay, you get the idea.

Just a while ago something happened here that made me smile. And I thought I'd share it with you, just so you can see for yourself how truly glamorous this writer's life is.

Of course, yesterday was July 4th. We all celebrate in our own way, and here at my house we had a large family-and-friends barbeque. And last night after the fireworks and presumably after I'd had one glass of merlot too many, I volunteered to keep my cousin's darling daughter here for the night. After all, she was already asleep on the sofa, her blond curls spread out around her sweet face halo style. How hard could it be to have one small houseguest? Besides, my cousin Jenny and her husband rarely get any time without Bonnie. Really, it seemed like a good idea-for everyone-at the time.

Now I know why Jenny ran out faster than a virgin at an orgy.

Have you ever tried to satisfy a three-year-old's breakfast cravings?

"Hey Bonnie, are you hungry?"

"Yup. But first I gotta pee."

"Of course. Uh, do you need help in the bathroom?"

One eyebrow shot up and she glared at me. "Do I look like a baby to you? No, I don't need help. I can do it myself."

The slam of the door was the perfect backdrop for the slap of the cupboard as I reached for the coffee. Heaping an extra spoonful of Folger's into the machine, I kept one ear zeroed in on the closed door. Finally, I heard the sound I'd been hoping not to hear.

"I need help..."

Ugh. Before coffee?

Bathroom duty done, and hands scrubbed, we return to the kitchen. Bonnie climbs onto a stool beside the counter and begins to kick her toes on the cabinet front at her feet. Ignoring it, I head for the fridge.

"What do you feel like having this morning, Bons?"

"Fruit Loops."

Yeah, right. Fruit Loops?

"Pancakes? How about some pancakes? With little faces on them? I think I've got some raisins around here somewhere..."

"No. Fruit Loops."

Uh oh.

"Oh, look! Croissants! Uncle Bill brought them yesterday afternoon! I've got some of that expensive blueberry jam from that shop on Main Street. I was saving it for--well, I can always get another jar. Really, it's only twelve bucks a jar...but hey, it's blue! Isn't blue your favorite color, Bons?"

"Not cwosants! Fruit Loops. I want Fruit Loops."

Forty minutes later Bonnie polished off the last of her chocolate chip, blueberry waffles drenched in pure maple syrup and accompanied by a huge glass of chocolate milk. I was, thankfully, drinking my second cup of coffee--just to fortify myself for the task of cleaning up the enormous kitchen mess. I turned to the little darling, now covered from eyebrows to knees in syrup, and asked, "Now, weren't those waffles good?"

Nodding, Bonnie said, "They were okay. But not as good as Fruit Loops."

Yeah, it's real glamorous here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

In Leiu of Baking...

A few people noticed I didn't post news of last week's baking lesson. That's because I didn't have a lesson. My wonderful teacher was feeling a bit under the weather so we called the lesson off. I missed it, but I'm hoping my teacher and friend soon feels better. Anyway, I'm sharing a recipe I use often here. But let me warn you, it's not your average cookie recipe...

Ice Cream Sandwiches

1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Sifted Flour
1/2 cup Chopped nuts (optional)

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Stir in flour, then nuts.

Drop by small rounded spoonfuls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F degrees for 7 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool on wire rack.

When cookies are cool, turn over so bottom faces up. Place a scoop of ice cream on half of cookies; press remaining cookies on ice cream, forming "sandwiches" with cookies and ice cream. Freeze before serving. Usually makes a dozen sandwiches.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Irish Eyes Excerpt

Here's a taste of Irish Eyes, my newly released Whiskey Creek Press Torrid title. Enjoy!!

Dear Lily,

Nothing could have prepared me for this place. Honestly, to say it’s beautiful is a colossal understatement. This land takes beauty to a whole new level. Not only the sights and sounds, but the people, too. But more about the people later.

When I got off the plane I expected...I don’t know what I expected, exactly—but it wasn’t what I found. Even the airport was breathtaking, surrounded by miles of open land covered in a rich, deep green grass that looks more like real carpet than the stuff that Mom had in our family room at home.

And you know how we always thought that Vermont was hilly? Mountainous, even? Well, we were clueless. This place is so endlessly rolling that I fear even a ship’s first mate could find himself seasick. I hope I get used to walking on the lumps and bumps of this new place. If not, I’ll be spraining my ankles every day. Let’s hope the sidewalks are flat, at least. Hell, I hope they have sidewalks—I haven’t seen any yet.

Riding from the airport to my temporary new home was an adventure. Irish taxi drivers are like taxi drivers the world over; they talk nonstop and spend more time pointing out the “sights” than they do paying attention to the road ahead of them. And what a road it was! Narrow and unlined except for the ruts that look like they were made by elephants, the “highway” between Dublin and here isn’t one I’ll look forward to riding again. I kid you not—my hip is bruised from being bashed against the inside of the decrepit little taxi. No exaggeration, Lily. It’s the truth.

But I did get to see some things that you just don’t see at home.

The driver—Shamus was his name, by the way—was careful to show me places to eat (Mulligan’s Pub being at the top of his list) and the chemist’s shop (they don’t call it a ‘drugstore’ over here) for finding my ‘female fixings.’ I can hear you laughing, but I promise you—that’s exactly what he said. Can you imagine? A modern man— in his thirties, probably—says ‘female fixings’? Never in New York, huh? And he did it all after he asked me out to dinner—did I mention that yet? Well, more on that little tidbit later, too.

When I inquired about the castle, the ruddy-faced, red-haired Romeo clammed right up. I pushed him a bit, claiming that I wanted to learn about all the old castles in County Meath, and asked him to tell me what he knew about the place. I wasn’t above turning on the fluttering-eyelash, hair-tossing routine, either. Sadly, neither my pointed questions nor womanly wiles had a positive effect on the now silent-as-the-tomb driver.

Muttering something beneath his breath, he made a point of showing me St. Brigid’s Church, an imposing white brick building right in the center of town. Under other circumstances, I would have loved to learn more about the building, since it’s undoubtedly an important historical monument. There’s even a hilly little graveyard with moss-covered slabs of granite behind the church. Shamus made it clear, though, that not only was he not interested in talking about the Castle, he wasn’t at all as interested in me as he’d first been. So I thought it prudent to keep my mouth shut about the church—no comments on that one.When we reached the rental cottage, a thatched fairy-tale fantasy like the ones we drew with our crayons as children, Shamus unloaded my baggage from the boot (it’s not a trunk here, no matter how much it looks like the one on my Audi). I swear I could hear him say something about banshees and ghouls as he drove away.

Oh, and no second inquiry about going out to dinner with him before he left, either. Which was really too bad, since he was temptingly handsome and, as we both know, I’m currently single. Again.

Ugh, let’s not go there.

Did you think Ireland was going to be like this? I admit that I didn’t. And I haven’t even scratched the surface of my explorations—I wonder what I’ll find when I get down to looking around. I’ll keep you posted as things here move forward.

For now, I’m off in search of a hot meal. I didn’t see anything that even comes close to resembling a Wendy’s or a Pizza Hut. I hope the food here is easier to understand than the people are!

I’m glad I came here, Lily. It’s going to be good to get some distance from the mess back at home. Maybe I can begin to figure out what I’m going to do next. After all that’s happened, I’d like to crawl into a hole and bury myself, but I know I can’t do that. I know. I know...I can hear you pressing the buttons, dialing Dr. Monroe as you read this. But don’t. You don’t need to worry about me. I’m going to be fine. I promise.

Now, I’m really going to find some food. I’ll write again soon.

Love, Maddy

P.S. As soon as I get the Internet thingy hooked up to my laptop I’ll send e-mails, too. Don’t worry, though. The snail mail will keep coming—I know how you love to examine the strange stamps, tear open the envelopes and hold the pages in your hands. I do, too. It must be one of those silly family things, don’t you think? Maybe all those letters we got at camp from Granny when we were kids—you know the ones. Anyhow, the e-mails will soon be on the way, too. Just thought I’d let you know.
* * * *
She heard a voice as she licked the envelope. It was as deep and smooth as honey on a hot biscuit and came from the other side of the old-fashioned screen door.

“We’ve been wondering when you’d get here.”

The tall, tanned stranger had eyes that sparkled like two fires behind teal sea glass. It was difficult to tear her own eyes away from his, but she knew she’d have to unless she wanted to look like the village idiot. With the sound of his voice her own expansive vocabulary seemed to have left her head entirely.

Hell’s bells! If all the men in this place look like this one, I’m never going to leave. I didn’t know real men like this existed—outside of my fantasies, anyway.

Maddy cleared her throat but that didn’t help—she still was at a loss for words. The man seemed amused by her muteness. When he grinned, she saw that his teeth were as white as the whites of his blue eyes and nearly as hypnotizing.

“My mother sent me over here to see if you need anything,” he said, holding out a tea towel-wrapped bundle. “She said to give you this. It’s one of her famous sourdough breads—she wins ribbons at the county fair for these, she does.”

Mutely, Maddy pulled the door open. He stepped inside and she saw that his shoulders were broader, his legs longer and his eyes were even more striking up close. Taking the bundle from him, she smiled and walked through the small living area and into the connected kitchen. He followed her through the house as if he had been inside it many times before, and watched as she set the bread on the worn pine table. Crossing his arms, he settled himself against the white-tiled countertop.

Her eyes fell, taking in his relaxed pose. His denim shirt tightened across his shoulders and biceps enticingly. Her fingers twitched as she fought the urge to run her hand over the solid muscle.

She realized he was waiting for her to speak.

“I...I’m Madeline Sinclair. Maddy, really. At least that’s what everyone calls me. And you are?” She was relieved to find that her voice hadn’t left her entirely. It was a bit wobbly, but at least it was intact.

He stretched out his large, calloused hand. She placed her small, delicate one inside of it and they shook briefly. Surprisingly, she felt a measure of sadness when he pulled his hand away and recrossed his arms.

“Brian O’Leary at your service. Pleased to meet you, Maddy. As I said, we’ve all been wondering when you would find your way to the cottage. Especially Mum.” He lowered his voice to a near whisper and leaned closer to her. She leaned in, too, as if it were perfectly natural to be whispering in kitchens with rugged foreigners. “She’s a bit...well I wouldn’t say nosey exactly—not if I wanted to keep my head from meeting one of her tea towels, that is. Curious might be a better word to describe me mum. She’s very curious about you, so she sent me to fetch back some information. And deliver the bread, too—of course.”

Straightening, Maddy adjusted her sweater so it lay flat against the waistband of her jeans. She wished she’d had time to change into something less rumpled than her traveling clothes.

“Please thank her for me, won’t you? The bread smells heavenly, especially after the long day I’ve had. The food on the plane was—well, you know how plane food is, I’m sure. I was just going out to hunt down something to eat.” It seemed now that she’d found her voice, she was as talkative as an overindulged parrot.

As if on cue, her stomach rumbled.

Shit, now I really look like an idiot. A hungry, babbling idiot in wrinkled clothes. Not the type of impression one hopes to make, is it?

Brian grinned. “Let’s get you fed, then. I know a place that’ll fix you up just right.” He led the way back toward the front door and she followed him through the cottage. “We’ll get to know one another better over dinner, won’t we?”

I wouldn’t mind getting to know you a whole lot better, believe me. Maybe my luck with men has finally changed. Or at the very least, maybe I’ll get a few weeks of fun on this trip. Who knows?

When they reached the front door, she scooped up Lily’s letter and the ancient-looking silver key that the realtor had left for her in the cottage’s metal mailbox. Both items had been sitting on the oak table beside the door. Brian nodded at the key.

“Won’t need that key. You could have left it in the postbox if you’d wanted to.” He winked as he took it from her and placed it on the table before he reached for the old-fashioned wrought-iron door handle. Ushering her out onto the stoop, he said, “Won’t be anyone in Blackmuir who’ll be walking in without an invite. And those that would do that—well, lassie, they can’t be kept out with locks and keys, can they?”

Irish Eyes can be purchased here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Irish Eyes is Available!!

Irish Eyes is available from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.

I'm so excited!