Sunday, September 14, 2014

Doctor Who In Review: Listen

I'm not sure what to make of Listen, because there was so much to think about in this one.

1. Is there really a monster?

2. The whole Clara/Danny/Rupert/Orson thing..

3. Holy Time Lords Of Gallifrey!

I was really confused through most of this episode. I loved the dark quality of this season and I love Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, but truth be told, there aren't many actors that have played this role that I didn't like.

I liked Clara very much throughout these last episodes, until the last 10 minutes of this one. There were parts of me that understood why she did what she did, but other parts that instantly hated her. As a companion, I've had such mixed feelings about Clara. I liked that she is getting more of a personality in this season, and her Impossible Girl status is beginning to disappear.

4. Hugging...this part of the epi almost redeemed the hatred I was feeling for Clara at the time.

5. Danny Pink. I don't know why, but I really love him and I love the relationship that's developing with Clara.

6. I the whole soldier thing that is becoming part of this season's crazy story arc. Thanks Moffat...love when you give us a double arc.

I think this is an episode that you have to rewatch a few times, not because it is your favorite, like Robot Of Sherwood (shut up, I loved the silliness and could watch this one over and over) but because there's so much you miss if you are distracted.

This is definitely a strong episode and one that reaffirms how great Peter Capaldi is as The Doctor.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Overnight French Toast Casserole

I always look for a way to treat my family on the weekends. By family, I mean my elderly parents and my oldest nephew.

Breakfast is usually his meal to deal with during the week, because they eat after I've gone to work.

My mother isn't a fan of eggs, unless they are sunny side up, so she doesn't like most breakfast casseroles that I try, even though some are fantastic.

I had some leftover Italian Bread from Giant Eagle and I got to search for a French Toast Casserole and I found this one and Mommy's Kitchen.



Like all cooks, I changed a few things
Ingredients: 
1 – stick butter (1/2 cup) melted
12 - slices Texas toast or any leftover bread, cut into pieces (I used Italian from the grocery bakery)
1 - cup brown sugar
3 - teaspoons cinnamon sugar
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
3 - eggs
2 - cups milk
The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups but it looked two dry when I went to put it in the oven Maple Syrup

Directions: Melt butter and pour in a 9x 13 .
Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts if you are using them.

Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together. Layer bottom of pan with half the bread pieces Sprinkle half brown sugar mix over the bread.

Layer second half of bread. Pour egg mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly. Sprinkle remaining brown sugar on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove from the refrigerator, drizzle with maple syrup (as much or as little as you like) and cover with a new piece of foil.
Preheat oven to 350 bake the casserole for 30 minutes.

Bake uncovered for 15 more minutes the French toast bake should be browned and set.

This was so yummy, most of us went back for seconds and at least one of us (no, not me) for thirds!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Royals Rock

I'm not talking about a cheesy reality show. I'm talking about Prince William and Prince Harry. I know the Brits don't care two figs for them, or at least many don't, but let me tell you why these two young men, are worth more than most of the people in Congress.

Both Princes have jobs, besides their royal duties or waving to the crowds and looking pretty. Prince Harry does this best..but don't tell Will I said that.

Their jobs aren't easy. Both men put their lives on the line.

There aren't many in Congress that can say that, and of the few that can, one of them is an old fool that let his party vet Sarah Palin. Seriously? And you thought Reagan's Alzheimer's was a frightening thing....and this guy is still in office!

Oye to the vey.

I like that they try to lead normal lives. Or at least as normal as you can get when your grandmummy is a monarch.

These men seem to have more integrity than our elected officials too. And they seem to genuinely care about
the people of Britain, which is more than I can say about our politicians, who only care about the money they get from which ever corporation owns them.

And yes, I realize that there are lobbyists etc in Britain, but hey, can't some of them pretend that the people matter?

I find that more and more as I read the papers and watch the news that no party really cares about anyone other than themselves.

So William and Harry, you rock for at least making us think that you give 2 figs!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Food Network Annoys Me

I used to love Food Network. There were so many great cooking shows that made food that I would love to eat.

Then reality creeped in, along with some really obnoxious and pretentious cooks, Ree Drummond, I'm looking at you.

I loved shows like Unwrapped. Those were fun and we learned something about some of our favorite eats. Oh and Good Eats. Alton Brown was the Bill Nye of cooking. I'd never cook things his way, but I felt like I learned something after watching.

Heck, I even tolerated Rachael Ray and her freaking EVOO.

And can I just say, I miss Paula Deen. I loved her and her food, however fattening.

Good food has never been healthy, I tell you.

Ever since her scandal, Food Network has been trying to replace her, and they are failing miserably. Paula never came across as show offy. The Pioneer Woman sure does, and she laughs at her own jokes which is doubly annoying.

Oh and Food Network? Unless the family is cooking with the host...I don't want to know about their family or what they are doing. That goes for Ree, Giada, Bobby and anyone else.

And these stupid challenges.

I'm sick of CHOPPED....Cupcake Wars....etc.

I want to find new recipes, not watch people try to win a fast buck.

And while I'm ranting, please put Guy Fierie out to pasture. He is obnoxious and so are all of his shows.

The only show I kind of like on the channel these days is The Kitchen, which is a dumbed down version of The Chew, but with less obnoxious hosts. I love Katie Joel, Jeff Mauro and Sunny Anderson.

Anyone else want to rant with me?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions Cover Reveal: An Intimate Murder


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions to show off the cover for AN INTIMATE MURDER by Stacy Verdick Case.

Stacy will award a signed ARC of An Intimate Murder (US only) to THREE randomly drawn winners via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Check out this awesome cover!


Now find out about the book:

A Catherine O'Brien Mystery.

When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O'Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn't the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?

Here's an excerpt!

The world as a whole is a strange place, and the people who inhabit this world are even stranger. The Luther’s neighbors proved to be the strangest I’d encountered in ten years of law enforcement. Considering the whackos and ice-blooded murders I’d run into, these neighbors could be proud of their over achieving ways.

The street looked benign, an affluent tree lined parkway with a BMW or Mercedes in every other driveway. The neighbor across the street had a pickup truck in their drive, but it turned out to be the yard man’s, who happened to be cleaning up the left behinds from the oak and maple fall deposits. Pretty to look at until they rotted into brown slime piles on your grass.

We questioned every neighbor on the block but no one heard the gunshots. They lived behind triple pane glass where the temperature was never too hot or too cold. Only one had dared to steal a glance out their insulated glass when an older car, rusted in too many places and not carrying the pedigree of a classic automobile, sped down the street.

“I knew right away they were up to no good.” Bernice Leigh, who claimed a relation to Janet Leigh, rocked on the edge of her tufted, chintz ottoman.

“Well maybe not right away.” She rolled her hand dramatically in the air. “At first I thought the car could belong to one of the boy’s friends who visit the Luther’s from time to time.”

“Did you know the Luther’s very well?” Louise nibbled the edge of a Ginger Thin Mrs. Leigh had fanned out on a china plate, and placed on the coffee table in front of us.

Bernice Leigh shook her head with such force that her hair, which had been so obviously a wig, dislodged itself and canted to one side. Bernice righted the wig without as much as a second thought.


Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.

Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.

An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.

Visit Stacy on the web:

www.StacyVerdickCase.com

Twitter @SVerdickCase

https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Grand-Murder/265021126858004

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5094848.Stacy_Verdick_Case

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Doctor Who In Review: Robot Of Sherwood

After two rather dark and serious episodes of Doctor Who, Mark Gatiss treats us to something lighter and a whole lot more funny then we'd seen this series.

Sure the old jokes were still there, and quite frankly they are getting a bit stale. Peter Capaldi is 56 years old, and he doesn't have one foot in the grave, so really, the writers need to just STOP!

This episode really brings out the best in everyone in the cast. Peter gets to show of his comedic skills. Jenna gets to be gorgeous, as usual, as well as showing us the spunk we didn't know she had until 11 regenerated. Oh and Tom Riley's Robin Hood, couldn't have been better, or even sexier.

How could you not fall for him, or a few of his merry men?

There's so much to giggle at here, from jousting with a spoon, to all the jabs between The Doctor and Robin Hood. (My favorite being The Doctor calling Robin, Hoodie)

Have I mentioned Ben Miller's Sheriff of Noddingham? He was a fantastic bad guy, who brought a little touch of sexy to the part. You knew he was smarmy, and his story telling made him sound slick, but if Robin Hood wasn't so smokin' hot, he could probably have seduced Clara.

The funky robot aliens were awesome and they were headed to The Promised Land...WTF...can't wait to find out what that place is, as well as who Missy is. Oh and these robots? Oddly a lot creepier than the Cybermen.

This is Doctor Who for everyone. There's nothing in it to terrify the littler fans and it is funny enough to keep the older folks laughing.

Capaldi is definitely coming into his own as The Doctor and he'll likely just get better as the season moves on.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions Blurb Blitz Tour: A Woman Of Honour



A Woman of Honour
by Marlow Kelly

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Duncan Campbell wakes to discover he is imprisoned with a woman in his enemy's dungeon in the Highlands of Scotland. The disenchanted warrior hopes his last few moments on earth will be spent in the arms of the sweet-voiced Isabel. If only she will cooperate.

Isabel Douglas has no intention of obliging the crude captive. The penniless noblewoman considers herself too tall and thin to be desirable. She intends to become a nun. But first, disguised as a boy, she must deliver an important letter to Scotland's hero in hiding, King Robert the Bruce.

Together, the pair make a daring escape that plunges them into the bleak countryside in the middle of winter. In the struggle to survive, they learn the true strength of their feelings for each other. But when Duncan's animosity towards the king becomes evident, Isabel must decide between her heart and her country.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Excerpt:

Duncan Campbell drifted into consciousness and opened his eyes to absolute blackness. He lay perfectly still on the cold, dirt floor listening. A small rustle of fabric echoed in the darkness. He cocked his head, getting a sense of the sound’s location, then rose to his feet.

Tell me who you are before I tear you apart,” he roared, seizing his opponent. Whoever it was didn’t answer, just silence. A fist punched him on the nose. Pain ricocheted through him, and he grabbed his face. In the dark, he lost his balance and fell in the dirt, cradling his head in his hands.

Oh my, are you all right?” asked a small voice.

No, I’m not.”

You threatened me, and I wanted to give you fair warning I will fight back if you touch me.”

The lyrical voice stunned him. A woman? She spoke Gaelic with a strong, lowland accent. He shook off the pain and asked, “Where am I?”

Dunstaffnage Castle. Don’t you remember your capture? I’ve heard of people getting a bump on the head and not remembering their own name. Is that what happened to you? Did you bump your head?”

Lord, she was talkative.

Is it?”

I remember I was hit from behind scouting the bast….Are we in the dungeon?” He rose to his feet.

Yes.”

He grunted. On the bright side he hadn’t gone blind. On the other hand they were in a dank, windowless cell with no hope of escape. There wasn’t even a sliver of light coming through the door.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters.

Links:




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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Doctor Who In Review: Into The Dalek

The second episode of series 8 allows us to get to know the 12th Doctor a bit better, as he goes aboard a space ship with a Dalek that has turned Good?!?

This episode also sees him ask Clara whether or not he's "A good man."

I like what we're seeing with Capaldi's Doctor. He isn't all about making everyone love him. He's not Mr. Nice Guy, though he does like to be polite.

He's still cranky, but he's got some of the best lines ever in Doctor Who.

"She's my carer. She cares, so I don't have to."

That is brilliance!

Clara is still full of piss and vinegar. Which is a whole lot better than her series 7 Impossible Girl self. She finally has a personality. She's spunky and her soon to be love interest, Danny Pink seems like he'll make a great time traveler.

But back to our Dalek, Rusty. It was really fun and quite scary to get inside a Dalek. The antibodies were probably the most frightening thing there, along with the reappearance of Missy towards the end. She's getting to be as obnoxious as that crack in the wall, we saw during Matt's tenure on the TARDIS.

I loved seeing through the Dalek that the Doctor is not perfect. In fact, for being an alien he's quite human in a lot of his feelings, especially those concerning Daleks.

This was definitely a much better episode than the series opener. There's more drama and less comedy, which is really much better when it comes to Doctor Who.

I'm definitely looking forward to the Robin Hood themed next episode

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions Blurb Blitz & Review: Red, White & Screwed



Red, White and Screwed
by Holly Bush

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Political strategist Glenda Nelson is having a meltdown. Her handpicked, very married Congressional candidate was just caught climbing out of the window of the Sleepytown Motel, and her philandering ex-husband seems to have the most to gain from the colossal scandal that follows. As Glenda attempts to salvage the campaign in a hotly contested race, conservative and liberal pundits pounce on the story to further their own agendas.
Glenda’s love life is nonexistent to say the least, that is, until she meets handsome artist Chris Goodrich. Chris’s easy-going, carefree outlook on life couldn’t be more different than the 90-mph crazy train that is Glenda’s, but the more time she spends with him, the more she craves his calming presence, his sexy smile, and his steamy embraces. Is Chris the one to take a chance on?
Between the pressure of full-blown spin control mode, rapidly declining job security, refereeing two teenagers, caring for aging parents, and spending hours on her therapist’s couch trying to get past her ex’s crushing betrayal, Glenda finds love and makes the long trek back to happy.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt :

Glenda has a surprise meeting with the new man in her life at her daughter Sylvia’s high school art gala.

The doors of the Mansville High School were covered with posters ranging from “Just Say No To Drugs” to a square dance being held Friday night after the football game. After getting directions to the art rooms, I ran down the hallway and burst through the door. The student art gala included a speaker. I smiled at Christopher Goodwich, straightened my skirt and hair, and found a seat. Sylvia was glaring at me.

Art is about beauty,” Goodwich was saying. “But beauty is speculative. What is beautiful to you and what is beautiful to the student beside you may be two different things.”

I settled into one of those seats with the desk attached. My rear end was not cooperating and hung out either one side or the other. Goodwich was a good speaker and I listened intently. He was patient with the kids, and Sylvia’s art teacher was batting her lashes and giggling.

Goodwich would never go for her type, I thought to myself. The overt artsy-craftsy, caftans-are-still-in-style, kind of a woman. And her hair was long. Why doesn’t someone tell women over forty to cut their hair? What kind of woman would Goodwich go for? Meg did say he wasn’t gay. Everyone was clapping. I stood up enthusiastically and took with me the desk still attached to my rump. Sylvia pulled at the seat, and markers went flying. Christopher Goodwich was heading my way.

It’s nice to see you again, Glenda.” Goodwich looked at the desk stuck to my hips. “Can I help?”

The desk plopped off my ass with a thump, and I ran a hand through my hair. “Chris! What a surprise.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

REVIEW

I absolutely adored this book! There are so many reasons too. Shall I count them?

1. The heroine isn't some young 20 something, she's 46 and has two kids from her previous marriage.

2. It is set in Lancaster, PA and there's a lot of reverence to places that I know in the book. Props for using New Stanton, PA briefly as Glenda, Chris and her kids are traveling the turnpike to get to the hospital to see her father.

3. Chris Goodwich is the absolute perfect hero. If you don't adore him, there's something wrong with you.

4. Glenda's kids, Frank and Sylvia are 100% real. They aren't novel perfect kids

5. The politics make the story hilarious and they are so right.

There's more than just these reasons to love this book. Holly writes characters that are real and have real problems. I dare you not to cry when Glenda's father dies and even before that.

You will hate her ex and his new wife too, on general principals.

This was such a great read! Definitely a must for romance readers!

Rating: 5 Stars


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She writes historical romance set on the American Prairie and in Victorian England, and more recently, Contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.



Twitter: @hollybushbooks



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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Intruders In Review

Will someone please explain this show to me!

I watched it because I thought it would be a great horror show. You know, something creepy and great for dark rooms and bowls of popcorn.

I spent most of my time watching this, wondering what was going on and what exactly was the show about.

That's not what I'd call a good episode.

There was killing. There was a creepy kid. There was a wife that went missing. Oh and there was John Simm.

Seriously, John Simm was the best thing about this hour of programming. However, I'm not sure if he is enough to make me tune in for another hour, especially if I'm going to be as confused as I was this past week.

I want that hour of my life back.

Please tell me I'm not the only person that feels that way. Oh and if you can offer me any explanations of what the hell was going on..I'd appreciate it.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who In Review: Deep Breath (minor spoilers)

It seems like forever since we had a full season/series of Doctor Who.

Finally, we have one, and though the episode was far from perfect you can take away a few things from it.

The 12th Doctor is going to be badass.

He isn't your boyfriend. (OK, maybe he can be mine, cos I'm 40, and I don't mind thinking a bloke of 56 is pretty attractive)

Clara has finally gotten herself a personality! It took a half season and two specials for it to happen, but they finally did it, and she's a lot easier to take now. (Which leaves me grumbling that she'll probably leave at Christmas just when I started to like her)

There's an odd bit of comedy going on here too. Some of it works and some of it feels out of place. (Like Strax and The Times). And the sexual tension comes from Madame Vastra and Jenny.

I don't know what Moffat did with these two, but I liked when they were smart characters and suddenly Vastra was channeling Captain Jack. If she had been like that in previous episodes it would have made more sense, but I guess there's a leg humping clause written into New Who.

The episode has a good creepy vibe going on, with our baddies being someone we've seen before, back in David Tennant's era of Who.

The best part of the episode was getting to know Capaldi's Doctor. He's angry and confused and there were a few times when you were waiting for him to drop an "F" bomb. (Cos Capaldi does that so well). He really steals the show, especially as he's coming to terms with his new face.

Overall a pretty great start to 12's run, with a cameo from Eleven which will have fangirls the world over sniffling.

I love Matt, but I didn't really think that scene was necessary.

Which brings me to the question...why was Clara having such difficulty with this version of the Doctor when she'd seen all his other selves?  As much as I hate to give Rose Tyler any credit, she transitioned much better and more believably.

Loved the new title sequence, but hated what they did to the theme song.

I'm looking forward to next week's episode.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Oh Robin, My Robin

I've wanted to say something about Robin Williams all week. It is hard to find the words to express the sadness that I feel that he is no longer among us.

I could talk about how horrible mental illness is...and addiction.

I could talk about suicide.

But that's not what we should remember about Robin Williams.

We should remember his legacy of entertaining us, from Mork from Ork (I grew up with that show) to his recent role as Simon Roberts on The Crazy Ones. Oh CBS I hope you feel some guilt at his death! That show really should have been given a chance.

And then there are the movies.

Robin was truly one of those people that could to drama and comedy and do them both well. When you saw that he was in a movie, you had to go see it. I loved most anything I saw him in, and that includes, Death To Smootchie. That one was a wild ride.

But there are the films that are so brilliant, Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting, Mrs Doubtfire and The Birdcage.

This man could and did play any character.

So rather than remember the way that he died, let us remember what he left us. Hours of smiles and laughs.

Robin, you will be missed.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Album Review: Elvis Costello & The Roots - Wise Up Ghost

Wise Up Ghost is EC with The Roots. I've always liked Fallon's band, but for some reason I was always reluctant to buy this album.

The style of the songs is reminiscent of When I Was Cruel with a touch of The Delivery Man. Its a bit rock and funk and a lot of recycled lyrics.

I've always been a fan of EC and I've loved some of the albums that most can't stand, like Goodbye Cruel World and Mighty Like A Rose.

There's always something I can find to like on a Costello album, however this album is pushing it for me. It does have a few pleasant moments. The title track, is dark, and not quiet sung. It is moody and becomes funkier as it goes on. The lyrics boarder on poetic.  However if the lyrics "She's pulling out the pins" are used once more, I'm going to hunt EC down and hit him upside the head with a CD.

"Walk Us Uptown" is a great album opener. This is one of the tracks that will have you drawing comparisons to When I Was Cruel. It is fun and funky. "Sugar Won't Work" is another one that packs his usual punch.

The song of my heart on this album is "If I Could Believe." For as unpretty as EC's voice is, his ballads are always full of emotion.

Costello is an artist that you can admire for all the styles he's tried and the artists he's collaborated with over the years. This album however isn't one of his more consistent sounding albums. It feels too much like Mr. Costello has become the lead singer of The Roots.

It leaves me wishing that EC would just be himself when he makes his next album, because I'm heartily sick of him trying to be someone else.

3 stars (out of 5)

Listen: If I Could Believe

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tamale Pie

The original recipe came from the Trax Farm Market cookbook, What Else Is Cookin' On The Farm.

I changed it up and made it so it would serve at least 6, because, yes, I cook for that many people on a daily basis.

I'm going to give you some basic guidelines, because this is a recipe that doesn't really need to be a recipe. If that makes sense.

Ingredients:
The fixins for chili
Jiffy Cornbread Mix
Cheese (I like taco blend)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

This is my chili recipe

Brown 1.5 lbs of ground meat with 1/2 cup of onion and 1/2 cup of green pepper. I use the frozen chopped kind because its uniform, and I can never chop that nice.

Drain.

Add 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce and season with chili powder and cumin to taste. I use a few tablespoons of each. I usually shake it on in, so I can't give exact amounts.

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and soon in chili

Prepare the cornbread according to package instructions and poor over chili.

Bake 35 - 40 minutes

Sprinkle 1 cup or so of cheese over the top and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Take out of the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Super Book Blast: Betraying Mercy



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amber will be awarding a $10 gift card to Amazon to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post. Please click the banner to visit other stops on this tour.


Can she be more than a mistress?

With a tarnished reputation, Mercy Lyndhurst expected to become the Earl of Rochford's mistress, not his wife. Immediately abandoned by her husband after their wedding, Mercy transformed herself from commoner to countess, vowing to protect the lands and people her husband was forced to leave.


Over the past six years, William has restored the family fortune all the while tortured by his memories of Mercy…and the dark night he killed a man. When a threat draws him home, William learns just how much has changed—including his wife. While the passion still flares between them, he fears he has wounded her too badly to regain her trust. But as the danger grows they must unite to save the estate…and possibly their marriage.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Unlike the night six years ago, Gerald opened the door. The old butler looked shockingly unchanged, as dignified and austere as ever, but William had seen the brief flash of surprise in his eyes, and joy.


Here was his childhood nemesis and his old best friend. William blinked, caught in the memories, but this was real. Not everything changed; not everyone had died. He hadn’t left a wife to fend for herself in a strange household.


“Lord William!” Gerald said, then caught himself. “My apologies, sir. Lord Rochford.”


William ducked his head, humbled by the rare show of discomposure. If William had been born of a different class, he could have embraced the man who raised him. “Hello, Gerald.”


An odd light in his eyes, Gerald examined William from scruffy head to scuffed boots. He lifted an eyebrow. “We weren’t expecting you, sir.”


Just like that, William was both chastised and absolved for the years of his absence. “Wrote me off for dead, I’m sure.”


“You’re too strong for that, my lord.”


William sucked in a breath, thinking of his family. They hadn’t been strong, they’d been fragile. He’d failed his entire family, and Mercy worst of all. “Where is the countess?”


“In the breakfast room, but—”


“What? Is she sick?”


Gerald raised his eyebrow, surprised. “No, my lord. She’s…different.”


Different, that was some explanation. And grave danger another. No one wanted to tell him what the hell was going on, so he’d have to see for himself. He probably looked like a wild animal right now, disheveled from travel and feral in his tiredness. He ought to make himself presentable, if he still remembered how, but he had to see that she was safe.


And maybe also how she was different.


His boot struck a discordant note on the floorboard as he entered the breakfast room. He stopped and stared at the picture of domestic elegance, as colorful as a painting and as foreign as a fairy tale.


The words caught in his throat. What’s wrong? Are you hurt? And then, when he had at least ascertained visually her relative safety, Did you think of me every night, as well?


Mercy, the Countess of Rochford, his wife, took a sip of coffee, her gaze glued to the book she held. Her black tresses coiled upward into an elaborate coiffure. A pale gold dress clasped her slim form and a collar of cream pearls graced her neck.


On her finger, the emerald ring he’d given her on that night sparkled innocently. His grandfather had given it to him. A strange gift to a young boy, but he’d hoarded it all the years since his death. Until that night. His one piece of wealth in the world, and he’d given it to her.


She looked every inch the lady. Well, she was one. A countess after all, but in every memory, every fantasy, he had seen the young waif. He had imagined her roaming the shadowed halls, like a ghost, but the woman in front of him was so very physical. Flesh he wanted to touch and blood he longed to heat. Desires so long repressed bubbled to the surface. Her beauty made him harden, but her elegance made his heart hurt.


“Don’t sulk, Owen,” she said, her eyes still on her book. “If you have something to say, then spit it—” When she looked up, her mouth froze in a pink little O that made his body come awake.


She looked at him, then at his clothes. His dingy garb suited a vagrant more than the captain of a ship, much less an earl. Her gaze returned to his face, lingering on the scar across his cheek, a souvenir from his first year at sea.


Well, let her look. She had grown into a beauty, whereas he had always been a monster. Now he looked the part. Would she condemn him right away? Would she tell him to leave? She should—no one knew better than her what he was capable of, and already he was undone.


Her mouth snapped shut and tightened. Anger? Fear? He wasn’t sure he could bear the last, but he wouldn’t have to, because her eyes were cool, like the ocean blackened by night. She wasn’t scared; that was him.


She inclined her head. “My lord.”


Had she fallen into hysterics, he would have known what to do. He could have tried to comfort her or order her to stop. That was all he had seen of marriage, but civility was nowhere inside him.


Yet he found himself straightening and offering a slight bow, the strings of his upbringing propping him into place. “My lady.”



Amber Lin writes edgy romance with damaged hearts, redemptive love, and a steamy ever after. Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews called it “truly extraordinary.” Since then, she has gone on to write erotic, contemporary, and historical romances.

To stay up to date with upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter: http://authoramberlin.com/newsletter

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Recipe: Sausage Alfredo

I found this recipe in an old Taste Of Home annual. I tweaked it a little bit for my family, and everyone really loved it.

Here's the original recipe

Ingredients

1.5 lbs sweet sausage
1 box spiral pasta I used cellentani 1 lb
2 jars alfredo sauce (I used Ragu's basic no frills alfredo)
1 medium green pepper chopped
1/2 c chopped onion
1 4 oz can of mushroom stems and pieces
Fresh grated Parmesan for garnish.

Directions

In a large skillet saute onion, pepper and mushrooms.
Add sausage and brown
Drain
Add Alfredo Sauce
(If you like to give it a more garlicky flavor add some garlic powder to the sauce)
Prepare pasta according to directions
Add to your sauce and coat and serve.

This serves 6

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Super Book Blast: The Marquesa's Necklace



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding free ecopy of The Marquesa's Necklace and a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Please click on the banner to see the other stops on this tour.

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“Have a seat, please,” he said, indicating an armless office chair—at least its seat was padded. He sat on the other side of a desk covered with an assortment of files and paperwork, and picked up a file from the top of the stack.

“Harmony,” he said tentatively.

“Detective Thomason,” He might be trying to be friendly, but I still hadn’t forgiven him for arresting me.

He cleared his throat, and set the file back on his desk. “Did you let anyone borrow your car today?” he asked.

“No, my keys are right here.” I started digging through the contents of my purse.

“I’ll take your word for it,” he said, after I pulled out my checkbook, a packet of pink tissues, and a paperback with an almost-naked man on the front cover and piled them on the corner of his desk. His mouth twitched. “Have you made any new enemies recently, Miss Duprie?” I guess he got my message about the terms of our relationship.

“Besides a certain insufferable cop?” Even in the artificial fluorescent light, I saw the red rising in his cheeks. I could almost hear him counting to ten as I pretended to consider the question. “I think Larry, the florist, is ticked off that I’m not receiving flowers anymore. And Bart at the grocery store yelled at me last week when I went through the ten items or less line with fourteen items. But what does that have to do with someone stealing and wrecking my car?”


P.J. MacLayne is a computer geek by day and a writer by night. She grew up among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and uses that as the setting for many of her stories. She currently makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Facebook: https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne

Twitter https://twitter.com/pjmaclayne

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marquesas-necklace-pj-maclayne/1119886265

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LF11HB4

Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/8e689860-d163-4a5a-ac42-47ace09b4690

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id894246916

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-marquesa-s-necklace

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Recipe: Tuna Patties

I love tuna patties. They are super easy to fry up and you mix them up either the night before or in the morning.

Served with Mac and Cheese and Yum!

Ingredients
4 cans 5 oz Tuna in water
2 sleeves of saltines crushed (run them through your food processor or smash with a rolling pin)
2 cans of Cream of Mushroom
2 eggs
1/2 box McCormick Cracker Meal (you can use bread crumbs, but the cracker meal makes the patties nice and crispy)

Directions
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and then chill for at least an hour.
Form patties and dip into the cracker meal  to coat (This recipe should make about 16 patties depending on the size you make)
In a 12 inch pan add oil. I like about a half inch of oil in my pan.
Fry each patty until golden...its only about 3 - 4 minutes per side and then sit on a plate with paper towel to drain.
Serve right away or if you need to keep them warm, toss them in the crock pot  on warm with the lid off. If you put the lid on, your patties will get soggy, and that's no fun.

Serves 5-6

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Super Book Blast: 2014 Summer Collection Anthology


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Please click on the banner to see the other stops on this tour.

Five complete sweet to sensual stories from five multi-talented authors in settings to make any summer occasion more special. Included are:

Meet Me In Seattle by Markee Anderson

Madysen Duke has been coerced to participate in a reality show with her teacher friends. But little does she know, her high school flame is also along for the ride, with intentions much different from hers. Even though she's out for the money, he's trying to thwart whatever crime is happening right before their eyes.

Arrow Through The Heart by Stephanie Burkhart

Summer vacation and the Fourth of July brings Ella to New Hampshire while participating in a tennis competition. Logan is an innkeeper's son who bumps into Ella and invites her for an ice cream. Attraction flares and they enjoy spending time together, but each has their own plans for their life. Then disaster strikes Ella. Can a summer attraction truly become a lasting relationship?

Taking Liberty by Gerald Costlow

Liberty "Libby" Bell is a waitress at a roadside diner, trying to hide from an abusive ex-boyfriend who refuses to leave her alone. She strikes up a romance with Roger, a hunky local fireman, and seems to be getting her life back into gear. Then her ex-boyfriend tracks her down.

Will she be forced to leave Roger and run away again, or see the ex- boyfriend and risk a violent confrontation?

And if that isn't enough to handle, suddenly there's a serial killer in their midst.

Marcy’s Struggle by Larry Hammersley

Marcy Mason is in her final year of graduate school, pursuing a PhD in chemistry. She has brains and looks, but struggles in the romance department. She met Ross Franklin in undergraduate school when she was a senior; he was a freshman and second-string quarterback. Her problem – she was hung up on Leroy Doyle at the time.

Leroy is married and moved away, but Ross, now star quarterback, isn't convinced she’s over Leroy. When Leroy arrives on campus to give a lecture, Marcy must make all the arrangements. After contact with Leroy, Marcy admits to what she’s known all along—she’s over Leroy and wants Ross in her life. Can she convince Ross to look past their different backgrounds and give love a chance?

The Garden by Jory Sherman

Summer brings forth fresh vegetables in the garden and with them, the ultimate fight against insects and wild critters to protect those vegetables. Harvey enjoys his garden, especially the corn – watching it grow, providing food for his beloved wife Ruth. Then, something unusual happens in the garden and his corn begins to disappear.


Enjoy an excerpt from Arrow Through the Heart:

Ella gnawed on her lower lip. Could she steady herself enough on water skis to allow the parachute to lift her? She stared at the parasailing brochure. The man on the front made it look easy, but if it was one thing she learned about life, it was that nothing came easy.

"Hey, you want to try it?" The deep, masculine voice startled Ella. She placed her hand over her chest to steady her heart.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you." He walked around to her side so she could see him. "I'm Logan Donovan."

Ella's breath jammed in her throat. Logan's wide smile and kind sky-blue eyes sparkled in the sun. Tall, broad chested, and well muscled, his stance radiated confidence. Men rarely snuck up on her, only Logan had, and he'd taken her breath away.

"Are you all right?" Concern hinted in his eyes. Ella cleared her throat. "Sorry. I'm Ella Perchekov."

"Welcome to Wolfeboro." He gestured toward the water. "What brings you here? Vacation?"


ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Markee Anderson makes her home in northeast Wisconsin, surrounded by Packer fans, snow, and cheese. Along with her husband, they have three adult children and two Boston terrier babies. She writes under different pen names, all at: www.sweettalebooks.com

Come visit her at: http://markeeanderson.com

Stephanie Burkhart was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, she joined the U.S. Army. She spent eleven years in the military, seven stationed in Germany. She left the Army in 1997 and settled in California. Stephanie has been married for over twenty years and has two boys, Andrew and Joseph. She now works for LAPD as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher.

Come visit her at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

Gerald Costlow lives in Michigan and has published several novels and numerous short stories and novellas over the years. He's currently publishing a romantic-supernatural series with Publishing by Rebecca Vickery.

Larry Hammersley is 76 and has been married to Sue for 51 years. He has two children and five grandchildren. Larry enjoys jogging, amateur radio, occasional woodworking, and is active in his church. He's been writing for 39 years.

Come visit his blog at: http://larryhammersley.blogspot.com/

Jory Sherman began his literary career as a poet in San Francisco's famed North Beach in the late 1950s, during the heyday of the Beat Generation. He has been published widely in literary journals. His first book of poetry, So Many Rooms, was published by Galley Sail Press in 1959.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jory-Sherman/267712936601703

BOOK BUY LINKS:

AMAZON: http://amzn.com/B00KMJB4NG

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/442711

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/2014-summer-collection-vtp-anthologies/1119633249?ean=2940045974271
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Country Fried Sass
BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR
by Karin Gillespie

Oh, Bless Your Heart...

Talk about Southern Comfort! BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR will have you feelin' down home, even if you're way above the Mason Dixon line. This hilarious first book in the Bottom Dollar Series will leave you in stitches. Grab your copy October 14, 2014!

Welcome to the Bottom Dollar Emporium in Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, where everything from coconut mallow cookies to Clabber Girl Baking Powder costs a dollar but the coffee and gossip are free. For the Bottom Dollar gals, work time is sisterhood time.
When news gets out that a corporate dollar store is coming to town, the women are thrown into a tizzy, hoping to save their beloved store as well as their friendships. Meanwhile the manager is canoodling with the town's wealthiest bachelor and their romance unearths some startling family secrets.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cover Reveal: Pitch Imperfect


Welcome to the cover reveal for Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden, a contemporary romance coming October 20, 2014 from Carina Press! This post is part of a tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elise will award a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please click the tour banner to visit other stops on the tour.

Here is the gorgeous cover!


About the Book:

Once-famous singer Anjuli Carver has returned to tiny Heaverlock Village alone and nearly broke. She’s poured every last penny into a rambling Victorian manor, hoping to start over. Trouble is, her money pit is falling to pieces and the only restoration architect for miles is Rob Douglas…her ex-fiancé.

For eight years, Rob has regretted not telling Anjuli why he never answered her letters. Being left at the altar broke his heart, but being used for sex one night in London after the fact nearly drove him to the edge of sanity, and he’ll be damned if he allows Anjuli to wreak havoc on his life again. He’ll restore her manor, all right, and give her taste of her own medicine while he’s at it.

But how long can revenge last when memories of their shared past keep rushing to the surface?

Soon, Rob wants answers. Why did Anjuli leave the international spotlight to become a recluse in the Scottish Borderlands? And why does she refuse to sing? Anjuli wants nothing more than to be left alone with her grief, even as she struggles to keep her sexy fantasies about Rob in check. With gossipy villagers, interfering friends and more secrets between them than notes on a scale, Anjuli and Rob will need to find forgiveness in order to work together, then decide if they’re willing to risk it all on an encore performance.

Elise reads, writes and revels in romance, and is never happier than when caught up in a heart-thumping, sweat-your-socks-off tale—hers or somebody else’s. She loves creating stories about flawed characters, people for whom love isn’t simply a question of boy-meets-girl, but a gut wrenching journey of transformation.

Author links:

To find out more about Elise and her books, check out her website www.elisealden.com . Drop by and say hello on https://www.facebook.com/Revellin.Romance or tweet to her @elise_alden

Book purchase links:

http://www.amazon.com/Pitch-Imperfect-Elise-Alden-ebook/dp/B00KV5ZEZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403983237&sr=8-1&keywords=pitch+imperfect

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pitch-Imperfect-Elise-Alden-ebook/dp/B00KV5ZEZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403983418&sr=8-1&keywords=pitch+imperfect

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pitch-imperfect-elise-alden/1119740509?ean=9781426899140

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-gb/Search?Query=pitch+imperfect


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Recipe: Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies

These are the cookies of doom. I started making them early this morning and found out I didn't have baking soda. I thought I'd run to Dollar General only to find all the crackheads in our neighborhood were hanging out  there, so rather than get mugged, I went to Rite Aid.

They were all out!

So off I went to Giant Eagle.

Then I stopped at Dairy Queen to pick up lunch for my dad, only to get a call that my Starbucks Gold Card fell out of my purse at the store, so I had to go pick that up.

Yeah, it was hell!

But the cookies are yummy, and since we don't have central air, it was nice to be able to bake today. I hate turning the oven on in the summer. I do a lot of skillet meals and crockpot suppers this time of year.


Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or any other baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips
 
Directions

 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 54 cookies.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Album Review: Sarah McLachlan - Shine On

There are some artists that never change over the years. Their sound is consistent through the years and that's OK. Sarah McLachlan is one of those artists.

Laws Of Illusion from 2010 was probably the only departure from her trademark piano folk pop.

Shine On takes you back to the sound of her Surfacing days, and that's very apparent on the album's opening track "In Your Shoes."

This is a song that you can sing a long with and likely will, even if it isn't on.

"Flesh And Blood" is another song that is more lively and catchy.

There are some deviations from her traditional format. One such song is "Monsters" which is a little funkier than usual. The monsters she's singing about aren't the kind you may be looking for under the bed.

The simple acoustic "Song For My Father" is a beautiful tribute to her dad that passed away a few years make. It will make sure you don't have dry eyes when the last note is sung. The flute on this song is stunning.

"Brink Of Destruction" is bluesy but also lets Sarah's voice soar, which is why we are listening.

"Love Beside Me" is one of stand out tracks. Its more electric and electronic than the rest of the album. If you could describe this song in one word, it would be "alive." That's how this song makes you feel. It seems to touch the listener deep within.

The album closes with "The Sound That Love Makes." It is beautiful and simple tune, with ukulele and finger snaps. It is romantic and innocently sexy.

Shine On is a very mellow offering, but that's what we come to expect from Ms. McLachlan.  It's refreshing that fans didn't have to wait 7 years for this album too.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: A Seal's Fantasy


September 2014

A SEAL'S FANTASY by Tawny Weber

Subject: Navy SEAL Lieutenant Dominic Castillo 
Mission: Protect—not seduce!—his sexy target 
Dominic Castillo loves his SEAL team like brothers—except one, who made sure Castillo was left behind during the latest mission. But when his rival is kidnapped by a vicious drug lord, Castillo receives a black ops mission of his own: protect his rival's sister. And any mistakes will either result in her death…or his. 
Lara Banks clearly has no interest in being protected by a military man, especially an acquaintance of her estranged brother. So why is she doing her best to drive him crazy with pure temptation? Lara insists on having her naughty way with him—over and over—but is fulfilling their fantasies worth the price? 

Preorder: Harlequin

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Red Queen's Run

A famous journalism dean is found dead at the bottom of a stairwell. Accident or murder? The police suspect members of the faculty who had engaged in fierce quarrels with the dean—distinguished scholars who were known to attack the dean like brutal schoolyard bullies. When Meredith “Red” Solaris is appointed interim dean, the faculty suspects are furious. Will the beautiful red-haired professor be next? The case detective tries to protect her as he heads the investigation, but incoming threats lead him to believe Red’s the next target for death.
The Red Queen’s Run is the first mystery in a trilogy about campus violence by former university professor, Bourne Morris.
$15.95 (msrp) Trade Paperback — ISBN-13: 9781940976556
$2.99 (msrp) ebook — ISBN-13: 9781940976563

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Super Book Blast: Happy Pants Cafe



Happy Pants Cafe
By
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

BLURB:

Do YOU Believe in the Pants?
 
Each summer, thousands secretly flock to a tiny yet charming hole-in-the-wall known as The Happy Pants Café.  And what are they searching for?  It’s not coffee.  And it’s not pants. It’s true love, and they find it!
 
So what’s with the quirky name and what, exactly, is the café’s big secret? Harper Branton, a columnist for the San Francisco Tribune, who’d sooner believe in unicorns than in true love, is about to find out.  And it’s the perfect story to save her train wreck of a career.
 
Too bad she’s got competition. He’s sexy, he’s arrogant, and he thinks she’s crazy. What kind of person doesn’t believe in love? And this coming from a dude!
 
When these two rivals go head to head, it's more like a WWF smackdown. A shared history binds them in wonderful, terrible ways quickly making their duel about more than just a news story. Will they tear each other apart for the win or end up as two new satisfied Happy Pants customers?




EXCERPTS
Visit the author's website for an excerpt and other fun things: http://www.mimijean.net/happy_pants_cafe.html


AUTHOR INFORMATION:

New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author, Host of The Man Candy Show
When San Francisco native, Mimi Jean, went on an adventure as an exchange student to Mexico City, she never imagined the journey would lead to writing Romance. But one Mexican MBA, one sexy Mexican husband, and two rowdy kids later, Mimi would trade in corporate life for vampires, deities, and snarky humor. She continues to hope that her books will inspire a leather pants comeback (for men) and that she might make you laugh when you need it most. She also enjoys interacting with her fans (especially if they’re batshit crazy). You can always find her chatting away on Facebook, Twitter, or saying many naughty words on her show MAN CANDY on Radioslot.com

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