Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer Love!

It releases tomorrow from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid! I am so excited about this release; it's a set of stories based on--what else?--summer love! Hot and sexy, the couples in these stories really make the pages sizzle. I hope you'll take a peek at my first summer release!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I had to know...

Your Body's Element is Water
You are a joyful, relaxed, and luminous person.
You love people. You live for making new friends and helping others.

You are enthusiastic and the ideal person to work with.
You don't mind doing hard tasks, and you have a generous spirit.

Your energy tends to be: conserved

You power color is: black
What Element is Your Body?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Up to my armpits in dust!

We decided to clean out the attic. Why? Really, I want to know if you know. I personally think we're insane for deciding to tackle this disgusting job just when it's getting really warm. Imagine dust, a hundred year's worth of it, and a hot, dry, sticky, airless, darkish environment.

You got it. It's almost like the bowels of hell, I think. But we're doing it. Cleaning out, boxing up and putting curbside. Lots of junk that I have no idea where it came from, stuff the previous owners left. I can see why they left it--it's all garbage!

So that's what I've been doing since the weekend. What about you? I hope you're having more fun than we are, LOL!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Who can resist?

This recipe comes from somewhere. I don't know who gave it to me or where it originated. I don't even know what these bars are really called. All I know is that in our house, they're comfort food. Big time. We make them at least once a month. Today's the day! Thought you might want to try them so I'm sharing yet another recipe.

BTW, the sneaker shopping went great. Got a reasonably priced pair of Nikes that are comfortable and decent looking. To the gym they go!

Here's the recipe. Hope you like it!

Cookie Bars

2/3 cup butter, melted
1 pound brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Combine butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Then add vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into buttered brownie tin. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sneaker shopping

Today is a day I'm not looking forward to. I have to buy a new pair of sneakers and it's going to be a pain in the butt. Not because my feet are huge (they're not) or because I'm on a tight budget (I am, like everyone else seems to be, but I've been stashing a few bucks here and there to buy new sneakers for a couple of months now. I knew this day was coming!) but because here in the boonies there really aren't many places to shop. Sure, I could drive an hour or so but with the price of gas who wants to go trekking for sneakers? Still, the ones I've got for workouts at the gym are showing signs of giving up the ghost so today's the day.

It's times like this I wish we lived in a big city. Then I'd have a choice of sneakers. But maybe I'll get lucky and find a killer pair on sale!

Yes, I do dream big, don't I? *G*

Have a great day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Temptation, anyone?

Today's my day to blog over at Torrid Temptations! I hope you'll come by and say hi!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Popping up all over

Tulips, that is! Since I found the first one, the rest, just a bit reluctant I suspect, have followed. There are red tulips all over the yard and I am loving them. Just so colorful, bobbing in the breeze. Every morning I do a fast check from the windows, hoping none of the deer or moose have eaten any in the night. So far, we're all good but I've got a feeling that one morning I'm going to wake up and...well, let's just say I'm not going to be happy when all I see are stems!

Y has daffodils now and you know, as I pictured it I longed for the daffodils to come back. Ours have just faded and it's kind of sad to think I'll have to wait another ten months or so before they make another appearance in our yard. Maybe I'll just head to Y's house. Always wanted to see Alaska...hmm...yeah, that's an idea.

Oh. Crap.

If I left now I'd miss my tulips, wouldn't I? Maybe I'll just wait until the moose eat them (you know they're going to!) before I head out on my cross-country trek. Oh, I can dream can't I?

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Slow Sunday

Yes, we're going to have a slooooow Sunday. Time to kick back, chill out and relax. We've been going full force for the past couple of weeks so a little r&r is exactly what we need.

Going to grill again. Sit in the sunshine. Read. Dull as dirt, right? Yeah, that's about the right speed...slow and easy.

What have you got planned for the day? I hope that whatever it is, you enjoy yourself. And if you've got a few minutes, why not head over to Y's blog and check out her beach photos? They're gorgeous!

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Family for supper?

Doesn't that sound funny? Family for supper? Like we're going to skewer and BBQ the fam? Fine young cannibal style, with ketchup maybe?

Yes, my sense of humor on a Saturday morning is tacky, I know. Sorry. But we are having the family for supper, only they'll be sitting around the table with us. Since it's almost warm enough to grill outdoors we're going to pretend it really is warm enough. The thing to note is it's the first time we can actually use the grill without having to brush snow or ice off it. Yay! I'm not much on the actual grilled food, aside from the marshmallows that is, but I'm jazzed because I'm going to make one of my favorite side dishes. What is it, you ask? Au gratin potatoes, I say! What could be better than potatoes, cheese and butter, all melted together? And the recipe is fast and easy so this is a snap to pull together.

Sharing the recipe with you. Hope you enjoy it! BTW, what have you got planned for this beautiful day? I hope it's fun, whatever it is. Oh, and my mom puts ham chunks in this recipe but I'm not big on ham so I leave them out. My SIL puts broccoli in this but again, I leave that out. It just shows this is a really adaptable recipe so hey, put your own flair on it and have fun!

Au Gratin Potatoes

2 cups milk
4 cups peeled, thinly sliced potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons flour

Put milk, potatoes, salt, pepper and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are almost tender. Remove from heat and add cheese and flour and stir. Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tulip time

I've got to share a secret. Well, not really a secret but something that really makes me happy. It's a small thing, really, but I'm thrilled. Are you ready? I know you're going to think I'm crazy but here it is.

Yesterday evening, just before I came inside to make dinner, I found the first tulip of the season. Red! I know that in other parts of the country flowers have been blooming for months but here in Maine we're a little behind, flower-wise. I've had the leaves up and buds growing fatter with each day but no flowers in the tulip bed. Until yesterday, that is.

Now, one red tulip. I can't tell you how happy I am. I told you it was silly, but that's what's happening in my neck of the woods. I was so so so tempted to pick it and bring it inside but then the bed would be bare again so I left it. But I can see it from my office window so I think I might smile all day long. Yeah, I'm not going to get any work done. I might as well go outside and search for any other flowers that might be brave enough to make a showing!

See ya!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Small pleasures

Okay, this has become a staple in our house. Easy to make and yummy beyond words. I had to share it with you!

Pineapple Breakfast Cake

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups diced fresh or canned pineapple chunks
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a square baking pan.

Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Add pineapple. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Combine pecans and remaining 3 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until top is golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An excerpt

It's been a while since I posted any excerpts. So...

From Celtic Love Knots, Volume 4, an excerpt from Maidensong:

“Interested in Pictish symbols, are you?”

The voice startled her. It came from directly behind herand she whirled around so quickly that she became offbalance.Her body tipped and she banged her shoulder intothe ten-foot-high pink granite stone she had been examining.

“Shit!” Dianne cried as she grabbed her shoulder. Stars danced behind her eyelids as the pain raced through her body.When it subsided she opened her eyes.

The owner of the voice was tall and handsome in a ruggedsort of way. His hair fell in full ebony curls across hisbrow and his eyes were a deeper, richer green than the lushgrass that they were standing on. He was tall, with broadshoulders and a muscular body and wore the outfit of everyhiker in the Scottish highlands: jeans, a woolen sweater andhiking boots. His sweater was a deep loden green thatmatched his eyes.

“Didn’t mean to scare you. Are you all right?” He leanedcloser to where she stood, rubbing her shoulder, and lookedinto her eyes with such intensity that she wondered what hewas doing.

“Do I look all right?” she asked, scowling. “And what areyou looking for, anyway?”

He pulled away from her and smiled. When he smiled itwas as if the sun dimmed, she was so overwhelmed with theway his features moved on his face.

Handsome when you’re serious, Lord-have-mercy gorgeous whenyou’re smiling.

“I was looking to see whether or not you had a concussion,”he answered. “Apparently you do not.”

“I smacked my shoulder, not my head. And what wereyou doing, sneaking up on me like that? Did you try to scare me half to death?”

He tilted his head and a lock of black silk fell across his eye. “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you at all. And Iwasn’t sneaking up on you, either. I didn’t try to conceal myselfin any way.”

“So what, then? What were you doing if you weren’t tryingto scare the pants off me?” She stopped rubbing her shoulderand stood with her hands on her hips, waiting for an answer.

“I was merely trying to meet you, that’s all. It’s not everyday I find a beautiful woman at the Maiden Stone,” he said. Hesurveyed her the same way she had examined him. When hiseyes met hers again he grinned. “And I did not say I wasn’topen to getting your pants off of you, mind.” He waggled hiseyebrows rakishly and, coupled with his thick Scottish accent,the effect was hilarious.

She threw her head back and laughedout loud, a sound that reverberated through the trees at theedge of the clearing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday and a moose

Yeah, a moose. Remember, I live in Maine and it seems the moose are restless here in the boonies. This week, anyway. I saw two this weekend while I worked in the yard. One last night when I was driving home from the grocery store. All that raking worked up an appetite, and since the man couldn't help me rake he offered to do the big Sunday dinner cooking. That is, if I did the grocery shopping. Fair enough! Anyway, one moose crossed the road while I was coming home.

Then this morning, just a little while ago actually, I saw one in the far corner of our back yard. That's right, in the yard. Stepping all over the pansies I planted yesterday.

Welcome to my world. How's your Monday going? Any moose in your yard?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

This and that this weekend

What are you doing with your weekend? Are you planning on having fun or planning on catching up on all the things that accumulated on your to-do list during the busy workweek? Or, maybe a combination of and play?

I plan to rake the yard. Yeah, I know, it's nothing exciting, titillating or exotic but hey, it's got to get done. And since the man in my life (the one whose job it usually is to rake the damn leaves) tore something in his shoulder a while back it's falling to me to do the spring yardwork this year. I'm hoping he's mended enough to rake in the fall but until then it's just little ole me. So...yard work.

Actually I don't mind doing it. It gives me lots of quiet time to think. Of course I use the time to plot in my mind and I get some of my best ideas like this. The only part I don't like about raking is picking up the leaves and bagging them. Ugh. Spiders and slimy stuff could be hidden in the mess, so maybe the limp-shouldered man can do the pickup one handed. What do you think?

So that's what I've got planned for today, and probably tomorrow, too. What about you? What are you doing on this gorgeous spring weekend?

Now, a rake is callling!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Still ruminating...

Recently on the Liquid Silver SeX blog I revealed I'm going back and forth about my next story, trying to decide whether it'll be a vampire, contemporary, shapeshifter...well, you get the idea. I got some great feedback (Thanks Roxy, Y and Savannah!) but I'm still not quite sure. Although I do see a vampire in my future at some point, right now I'm pretty jazzed about the idea of New Orleans as the setting for the next story. And New Orleans and vampires? Well, we all know how many times that's been done, don't we?

So I think it's a contemporary up next for me. I've gotten so interested in the history of the city, and the music and food, that it would be hard to walk away from the ideas brewing in my head. I have yet to put fingers to keyboard but I'm pretty sure I'm doing a contemporary in New Orleans. With the, um, vibrator? Or hot hunk? Or maybe two hot hunks? LOL, I feel like I'm playing Clue..."Yes, it's Professor Plum in the library with the wrench." that's got potential...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Still in the kitchen

No story to go along with this one, but how about some turtles?

Chocolate Turtles

1 package caramels
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup pecan halves
16 squares semi-sweet chocolate

Melt caramels in heavy cream in the top of a double boiler.

Arrange pecans in groups of five (head and four legs) on greased wax paper. Spoon caramel into a small mound in the middle of the nuts to make the body. Let stand until firm.

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Using a spoon to drizzle chocolate coat body, head and legs with chocolate. Leave ends of pecans uncovered. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I've been busy doing research for a story that's set in New Orleans. When I saw a recipe for pralines I knew I had to try making my own. I've adapted the recipe, just to make the whole process a little bit easier. I'm pretty sure the recipe is going to come into play in the story...

Hope you have as much fun making these as I did. Yes, that's how I spent my Sunday afternoon! What did you do today? Anything you'd like to share?

Pecan Pralines

2 cups sugar
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups pecan halves

In a large saucepan over medium heat combine sugar, brown, sugar and evaporated milk. Stir constantly while cooking, until the candy thermometer reaches 236 degrees F. or when a small amount of sugar mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard threads. Remove from heat. Place saucepan in a large pan of cold water to cool.

Butter a large sheet of wax paper; set aside.

When sugar mixture has almost cool, beat with a spoon until it begins to look dull. Stir pecans into mix, then drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.