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.

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


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.


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:

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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


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.


In a large skillet saute onion, pepper and mushrooms.
Add sausage and brown
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.



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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!

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)

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:

Come visit her at:

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:

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:

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.





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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Country Fried Sass
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 . Drop by and say hello on or tweet to her @elise_alden

Book purchase links:

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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.

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

 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
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff


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?

Visit the author's website for an excerpt and other fun things:


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

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cover Reveal : Death By Blue Water

Going Overboard!

by Kait Carson

Deadly Secrets, Deep Trouble...

Tighten your scuba suit and check your oxygen tank! We think you'll flip over this gorgeous cover for DEATH BY BLUE WATER, the intriguing first book of Kait Carson's new Hayden Kent Mystery Series. Gear up for an exciting dive into Hayden's dangerous world -- DEATH BY BLUE WATER hits shelves November 11

Paralegal Hayden Kent knows first-hand that life in the Florida Keys can change from perfect to perilous in a heartbeat. When she discovers a man's body at 120' beneath the sea, she thinks she is witness to a tragic accident. She becomes the prime suspect when the victim is revealed to be the brother of the man who recently jilted her, and she has no alibi. A migraine stole Hayden's memory of the night of the death.
As the evidence mounts, she joins forces with Officer Janice Kirby. Together the two women follow the clues that uncover criminal activities at the highest levels and put Hayden's life in jeopardy while she fights to stay free.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Boyfriend Approved Tortellini & Sausage

Yesterday, I had the boyfriend go to the store before I got home. I had told him that I was trying something new with the tortellini and it was driving him nuts not knowing what I was doing. He even sent me a message saying BOYFRIEND MUST KNOW lol. Anyways, on the list of stuff he was supposed to pick up was cream cheese. As soon as I got home he started questioning what it was for. I told him, he would just have to wait and see. Long story short he thought I was nuts for even considering adding cream cheese to any kind of pasta dish. In the end though, he loved it. He ended up eating as much of it as he possibly could and still wanted more. So, I now present to you Boyfriend Approved Tortellini & Sausage.

Boyfriend Approved Tortellini & Sausage

  • 1 lb of Tortellini (I used the 5 Cheese Tri Color Tortellini from Sam's Club)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Minced Garlic (I used about 2 tablespoons but the boyfriend and I love garlic so use whatever you are comfortable with)
  • Onion (I cheated and used the rest of the chopped frozen onion I had in the freezer)
  • 1 Package of Smoked Turkey Sausage
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz of Cream Cheese cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 package of Frozen Broccoli (the pieces of broccoli in mine were relatively large so I only used about 3/4th of it)
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook them for about 5 mins (or as directed on the package).

2. While the water boils, cut the smoked turkey sausage into medallion shapes. Add olive oil, garlic and the onion to a large skillet and cook on high until the oil heats up. Add the sausage to the pan. Cook the sausage until all the pieces get a nice brown to them.

3. Add the can of diced tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN), oregano, basil, tomato paste, water and stir together until tomato paste dissolves. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Turn the heat down to medium and add cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese melts. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. If needed add more salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add the broccoli, cover the pan and let simmer for a bit until broccoli is cooked. Add the tortellini and stir until well coated. If needed, let sit on low heat for 3-5 minutes, covered.

6. Serve and enjoy!

In total, this meal took about 30 minutes to make.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Slow Cooker Lasagna

I made my birthday dinner this year. It was the first year in ages that no one was in the hospital on my birthday

My recipe was inspired by the one on Kraft's website.


1.5 lb of ground beef
2 34 oz jars of Del Grosso Meat flavored spaghetti sauce
Lasagna noodles
1 15 oz package of ricotta cheese
2 cups of Italian Cheese Blend shredded cheese (divided)
1 egg
1/4 c grated parmesan
2 Tspn chopped parsley

Brown the ground meat and drain
Add sauce
In another bowl combine egg, pamesan, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, parsley and ricotta and stir until blended.
Layer sauce noodles cheese and repeat. (I did three layers and I have enough lasagna noodles to make another lasagna)
Cook on low about 4-6 hours.
Mine was done closer the 5 hour mark.
Add cheese and leave on warm for 10 minute until cheese melts.

I shut the crock off then and let it sit so that it cuts better.

This was one of the best lasagna's I've ever made.  It tastes better than my oven baked lasagna and the Del Grosso sauce is to die for if you can find it. Usually I use the Giant Eagle brand sauces,which trump all the name brands, but this one was fabulous!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Boyfriend Approved Sloppy Joe's

My boyfriend is a picky eater. He doesn't like seafood, mushrooms, squash (I see him eat zucchini every week when we get pho though), mustard, olives, anything creamy (mayo, sour cream, etc. - but likes alfredo sauce... *smh*), avocados (including guacamole), tomatoes (but he likes ketchup and spaghetti sauce), beans, coconut, canned green beans, and I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of stuff.

The funny thing is he's Italian and loves Mexican food (how can you be Italian and not like tomatoes and love Mexican food but not want to eat guacamole, beans or sour cream?). I just don't get it. Anyways, the whole point of this story is that I recently moved in with him. Sometimes I make dinner and he loves it. So, as I was stating to wonder what I could write about, it dawned on me... Boyfriend Approved Meals! I'm going to start making him try more stuff (already made him eat shrimp and various sushi, he's so so about both but no longer hates them as much) and perhaps we can start crossing some stuff off the list above. Granted, I too do not like some of the foods listed above, however, I will at least try them periodically to make sure I do not like them still lol.

We are going to start off with something simple. Mustard. He likes deli mustard or specialty mustard but straight up does not like regular mustard. I, on the other hand, love it. That being said, I was having a craving for Sloppy Joe's one night. It might not be a lot of mustard but it was a start. After serving this my boyfriend said and I quote: "These are the best f*cking sloppy joe's I've ever had!" He now asks for them on a regular basis but he will just have to wait lol...

Boyfriend Approved Sloppy Joe's

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 of an onion (I put this in the food processor because well I hate chopping things and I'm lazy, if you are not lazy just finely chop it)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can tomato sauce
1-2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. mustard
2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce of choice
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp. minced garlic (I love garlic so I add it to everything, you can omit this if you like)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink and drain and add it back to the pan. In a bowl, add the tomato sauce, Worchestershire sauce, mustard, bbq sauce and brown sugar and stir it all together. Add the sauce to the meat. Cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a hamburger bun and TADA boyfriend approved sloppy joe's! I served them with tater tots (again I told you I'm lazy) but you can serve it with a side salad or chips (if you are lazier than I am) or whatever else you like.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures I made this a few weeks ago and had no idea I would be blogging about it until just a few minutes ago, funny how things work, isn't it?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cover Reveal: Double Strike

Strike It Rich!
by Gretchen Archer

DEATH IN PERSPECTIVE by Larissa ReinhartIs Lady Luck on Her Side?

It's a safe bet that you'll love Gretchen Archer's DOUBLE STRIKE! Davis Way is back with a vengeance (and a Twitter account) in her third hilarious Crime Caper. Get your copy October 21! #WinBig!

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way knows three things: Cooking isn't a prerequisite for a happy marriage, don't trust men who look like David Hasselhoff, and money doesn't grow on Christmas trees. None of which help when a storm hits the Gulf a week before the most anticipated event in Bellissimo history: the Strike It Rich Sweepstakes. Securing the guests, staff, and property might take a stray bullet. Or two.
Davis Way has three problems: She's desperate to change her marital status, she has a new boss who speaks in hashtags, and Bianca Sanders has confiscated her clothes. All of which bring on a headache hot enough to spark a fire. Solving her problems means stealing a car. From a dingbat lawyer.

Davis Way has three goals:  Keep the Sanders family out of prison, regain her footing in her relationship, and find the genius who wrote the software for futureGaming. One of which, the manhunt one, is iffy. Because when Alabama hides someone, they hide them good.

DOUBLE STRIKE. A VIP invite to an extraordinary high-stakes gaming event, as thieves, feds, dance instructors, shady bankers, kidnappers, and gold waiters go all in. #Don'tMissIt
Visit us on the Henery Press website to find out more. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments – to the Hen House or Gretchen.  We’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Slow Cooker Orange Beef


2lbs stew meat
1 bottle Panda Express Orange Sauce
1 Green Pepper chopped.
1 small can of mandarin oranges drained
1 can water chestnuts drained

Place stew meat in the slow cooker and pour sauce over.

Cook on low 6 hours

One hour before serving add the water chestnuts and green pepper.

1/2 before serving, add the oranges.

Serve over rice.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Homemade Waffles

This morning I wanted to make something special for breakfast, as it was Father's Day and likely the last one I'll have with my dad.

I found an old NordicWare waffle iron awhile back in one of our cupboards and wanted to try it. Well, after I took a good look at our Belgian waffle iron, and decided that that little puppy needed to make its way to the trash.

So I searched the internet for recipes and found this one which I adapted just a little bit.

Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 stick butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1. Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix
2. In a separate bowl, place eggs and milk, wisk together until blended
3. Add melted butter and egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wire wisk just until blended

Now for how to use stove top waffle iron

Heat the waffle iron about a minute or two on both sides. The temp gauge should say bake.
Spray with butter spray
pour about a ladle and a half of batter into the iron and close cook on one side for about 45 seconds and flip. I flip about 3-4 times until both sides are similarly golden. Then remove with a fork and top with your favorite toppings

I actually found using this iron to be easier than the electric variety, and much easier to clean.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Meaty Green Bean Crescent Pie

This is a great easy meal that will appeal to those of you that love green bean casserole.

1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c shredded cheese
1 lb ground meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup
5 slices swiss cheese
1/2 can of Frenches onions
1 can green beans drained
1 egg beaten
1 can crescent rolls


Oven to 350
Place crescents in a lightly greased 10 inch pie pan. Press until you form a nice crust.
Add the cheese to the beaten egg and spread over the crescent crust.
In a skilled brown the ground meat with the onion.
Add soup and beans and stir.
Spoon over the crust and top with cheese slices.
Bake 20 -25 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Top with Frenches Onions and bake another 2-5 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes before serving for easier slicing.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Picante Omelet Pie

If you are looking for a quick easy dish for any meal of the day, this one is absolutely delicious!

Its 5 simple ingredients and when it comes out of the oven it is yummy.

6 eggs
1/2 cup picante sauce
2 cups of the cheese of your choice the original recipe called for 1 cup Monterrey Jack and 1 cup Cheddar, but I like 2 cups of either Mexican or Taco cheese blend
1 cup sour cream.

Heat oven to 375
Pour picante sauce over a grease 10 inch pie plate
Top with cheese and set aside.
In a blender or food processor, combine the eggs and sour cream and blend until smooth.
Pour over sauce and cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

I made this today and there are no leftovers at all!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Berry Lemonade

Berry Lemonade

2 cans frozen lemonade from concentrate thawed
1 10 oz tub of frozen sweetened strawberries thawed
8-10 cups of water
1/2 c blueberries or the berry of your choice

Pour thawed lemonade into a pitcher
add the strawberries and then water and stir
Add berries
Chill for at least an hour before serving.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thor: The Dark World

I'm not usually an action movie fan, but developing a crush on Tom Hiddleston had me reaching for this movie at Redbox the other day.

I have to say it needed a lot more Loki! But really, I almost felt like this movie was a comedy. I mean, Kat Dennings is in it. And can I just say that her character, Darcy Lewis...was like a smartened up (bookwise) version of her character, Max, on 2 Broke Girls.

I loved her, even though I started questioning her acting. I hate when actors/actresses play the same part everywhere with just a different name. (But lucky beotch...she got to date Tom!) Pardon me while I jealousy fangirl.

Then there were the actors I didn't know were in the film, like Zach Levi and Christopher Eccleston, even though, gasp, The Ninth Doctor does have billing right on top of the movie poster.


But seriously...This is Fandral aka Levi

Oh and let me talk about Thor...Chris Hemsworth. He's just so...I don't know..too sexy for me to like him, because it is that buff, he-man kind of sexy, that most women love. Not me, I like Loki's evil smarts. In fact, I demand the next movie be called Loki! We all need more of him! Nuff said.

Natalie Portman's character annoyed the hell out of me, and I loved Stellan Skarsgard's  Erik. Seriously, how can you not love a dude running around either naked or sans pants out of sheer craziness?

Totally loved this movie, and may have to buy a copy for myself at some point.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Album Review: Acoustically Irish

Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly are noted for their work with Celtic Thunder. This wonderful side project gives a further glimpse at some other tunes that are significantly scaled down from what you'd hear on a Celtic Thunder album.

"Don't Go" opens the album. This acoustic folk song that will definitely stick in a few heads. The mandolin adds a lively touch to this song.

"Beautiful Affair" showcases both guys voices.  This song is guaranteed to cause the ladies to swoon. (I know I did). Fellow bandmate, Keith Harkin is The Moody Blues frontman's doppelganger, but this song sounds like it should have been written by Mr. Hayward. (In fact, I'd love to hear him sing this one)

They move away from the contemporary with "The Rose Of Allendale." This is an English song from the 1840's. Neil Byrne's voice is the first you hear and soon he's joined by Ryan. This is the kind of English ballad that tugs at the heartstrings.

On "Back Home In Derry" they go full on Irish. Any fan of Gordon Lightfoot's will recognize the melody as that of "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald." Having listened to this song, it wouldn't be so bad if someone covered the Lightfoot tune.

If you are looking for something a little more familiar, the guys cover Van Morrison's classic "Brown Eyed Girl." This song has been covered many times over, but Neil and Ryan give it a freshness that harkens back to the original.

"The Water Is Wide" is a song that dates back to the 1600's. Its another song that has been recorded many times over most notably by James Taylor and from the Celtic music scene Hayley Westenra,

"No Man's Land" is ballad by Eric Bogle.  The song is written about a young man that died during WWI. It is impossible not to shed a tear as you listen.

They cover Brian Kennedy's "Captured" next. Ryan and Neil give this the boy band treatment, a'la Westlife. It definitely has a British pop arrangement.

The album ends on an Irish note with "The Fields of Athenry" and "On Raglan Road" as well as Paddy Casey's "Saints and Sinners." The latter two songs are ballads, where "Saints and Sinners" is a more upbeat folk ballad.

Acoustically Irish will give the listeners a chance to hear two of the voices of Celtic Thunder away from all the pomp and spectacle that surrounds the band. It also proves that these guys are more than just some very pretty faces on the stage. Both men play guitar along with their divine singing skills.

Even if you aren't a fan of Celtic Thunder, this is an album to take note of. Ryan and Neil are truly a dynamic duo when it comes to folk music be it traditional or contemporary.

Listen: Back Home In Derry

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Mexican Lasagna


8 inch tortilla shells
1 1/2 ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
Handful of frozen onions
1 can fiesta nacho cheese soup (or cheddar cheese & a can of green chilies)
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can re fried beans
1 can of tomatoes with green chilies
1 large jar of salsa or 2 normal sized cans
1 bag of Mexican or Taco cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Brown ground beef with onions and drain.
Add taco seasoning, soup and beans to meat.
pour half jar (or one jar) of salsa on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan
Layer with tortillas, I put two whole tortillas and then cut a third in half for the sides.
Layer with meat and sprinkle a little cheese.
Another layer of tortillas
smooth the can of re fried beans over the tortillas and pour the can of tomatoes with chilies
Another layer of meat and tortillas.
Top with remaining salsa and cheese

Bake for 30 minutes...let cool at lease 10-15 minutes before serving for better cutting :)

Best served with Chili's corn cake and Arbor Mist Sangria, for a pretty awesome fiesta!

My mom used to make this before her health turned the cooking over to me. It was never the same twice. If you aren't a ground beef fan, make up slow cooker salsa chicken for that layer. I thank the Mennonite Girls a thousand times over for that recipe!

This is my version, which won a lot of approval by the family today!


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Celebrities I Wouldn't Mind Hanging Out With

Keith Harkin is definitely pretty to look at. And yes, he's much younger than I am.


like 12 years younger than I am...but he seems like he would be a total riot to go to a pub with and have a few pints.

If his twitter/facebook feed is any indication of what the conversation would be would have to be a hoot!

And we would so love to hang out with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston.

Is there any reason other than their prettyfulness to want to spend time with these guys?


But then again, do we even care?

Hey! I love Ben's dorkiness!

Tom, I just love him, cos he was Loki!

So what celebs would you like to hang with?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ham & Cheese Crescent Squares

Ham & Cheese Crescent Squares

1 roll crescent dough
1 cup of ham
2 Tbs butter softened
1 tsp yellow mustard
1/3 cup of green pepper chopped
1/3 cup of chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheddar


Roll out the crescent dough  to about 9 x 13 on an ungreased cookie sheet

Mix butter and mustard together and then spread over the dough.

Top with the remaining ingredients and bake at 375 for18 - 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown

Serve warm