Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Need a calorie-free, fat-free treat to get you through the holidays? Who doesn't?
Try The Cursed One by Ronda Thompson. Not only is it a great read, but it contains vitamins D (dark & delicious), S (sexy), and H (hot read), so that makes it good for you!
Wed and widowed in one day, stunning socialite Amelia Sinclair’s honeymoon is anything but typical. Then again, neither is Amelia—rebellious and impulsive, marrying Robert Collingsworth was the one sensible thing she ever did. Now he’s dead and she must escape the vicious creatures stalking her—even if it means relying on a stranger. Well, maybe not a complete stranger. Amelia first glimpsed Gabriel Wulf years ago on the busy streets of London; since then he has haunted her dreams. But in the flesh, Gabriel is much more tantalizing than she ever dreamt, and much more complicated…
Gabriel Wulf, the strong one, the sensible one—the, and the curse that plagued them, were his only priorities; there was little time for women and none for love. Now, he must protect an enticing beauty—and not just from the dangers that prowl the woods around them. Gabriel has secrets, dark ones he’s sure Amelia must never know and could never understand. But she has already awakened his heart...and the beast within. Will Amelia be the key to his salvation, or the architect of her own demise?
I had the priviledge of reading the ARC of this several months ago and I promise you, this is a great read. I have loved this series from book one and The Cursed One lives up to the hype.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a book that will give you your time and money's worth.
Hotrod and I returned home late last night to a cat hair laden home, but thanks to the dedicated efforts of Lara Santiago, none of the little beasties were any worse for wear.
I love spending time with my parents. It's a very relaxed atmosphere filled with great food, good natured ribbing and down time. The only unrelaxed part was when I borrowed my mother's BMW to return a movie - driving a car that cost more than the GNP of a small, foreign nation intimdates me. This car was especially ordered for her and took nearly three months to be built and delivered from Germany. And while I know that sounds excessive, it's probably one of the most surprising things my mother has ever agreed to. My brother and I firmly believed it was high time she did something like this for herself.
On another even more amazing note, I managed to write 11 pages while away. This gives me just 29 more to go before the first draft of my WIP is done! You'll hear the hallelujah choir when that glad day finally arrives. I'm hoping to type The End on Thursday, so keep your ears open.
A quick get well wish to a friend of mine, Carolyn O. Apparently, her Thanksgiving vaca ended with a fractured wrist and broken jaw. I know the crowds on Black Friday can be insane, but body checking is completely uncalled for if you ask me. Hugs and prayers to you, Carolyn! Get well soon!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I'm traveling today, yes, today, the day of all days, the biggest travel day of the year. Thank you, Hotrod, for making my reservation for today. Bleh.
Anyway, as I'll be a "guest" at my parents, I thought I'd discuss the "tips" Reader's Digest suggest guests follow:
*Arrive no earlier than the time the host has announced and no later than half an hour after the time.
> Since I'm staying at the house, this doesn't really affect me.
*Plan to stay about an hour after dinner unless travel plans or sleepy children necessitate leaving earlier.
> It goes without saying that I'll be sticking around longer than an hour. Besides, that's when we start eating again.
*Bring a gift and write a note of thanks afterward.
> A note of thanks? What, you want my mother to faint with shock? Seriously, though, I already sent flowers ahead. I'm not a complete heathen. And I come bearing a duffel bag's worth of goodies for my neice and nephew.
*Offer to help set up for dinner and to clean afterward.
> No way, dude. If it weren't for setting and cleaning up, my dad and Hotrod would do nothing all day.
*Notify the host of any special dietary needs -- if you are a vegetarian, diabetic or allergic to common foods. You can tell the host how to prepare a dish you can eat, or even better, offer to bring that dish yourself.
> Already done. I told my mother about my special dietary needs that include an extra pumpkin pie and a spiral ham.
*If you're going to a potluck Thanksgiving, bring a serving dish with your contribution. Remember, the best potluck dishes are those that need minimal preparation in the host's kitchen, can be served at room temperature and require only a fork to eat.
> Sorry, pie doesn't do well on a plane.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
My four-year-old niece has been chosen for a part in this year's Nutcracker Sweet being put on in Orlando by the Russian Ballet Company. This is especially cool because she was adopted from Russian when she was just 9 months old.
Is it any wonder we love to spoil this child? Look at her! Could she be any cuter? I feel compelled to tell you that Hotrod is her slave. The man will play princess with her, ballet dance with her...whatever she wants, she gets.
Of course, I've had that market cornered for years.
Monday, November 20, 2006
If Hershey's ever comes out with a coffee-flavored kiss, I may have to move to a country where they aren't sold. (By the way, I just found out there's a new Kiss available filled with coconut creme. Anyone seen these yet? It's the blue-wrapped kiss below. These might actually be my downfall, but I need to taste them first. Repeatedly.)
Is there any holiday candy that you find irresistible? Please tell me there is because I desperately need not to be alone in this madness.
Friday, November 17, 2006
In celebration of being elected my chapter's Vice President Elect, here is the cookie recipe!
Wolfgang Puck's White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I like dark brown)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon & nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, orange zest and spices, then stir that into the creamed butter. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Side note: I actually use one of those cookie scoops - like a mini ice cream scooper. I highly recommend them. You get even sized cookies and they look a little more professional to me.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. I always take them out when they're still a little doughy, because I like my cookies on the chewy side. If you like them crisper, bake them an extra minute. Allow cookies to cool a bit on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks or brown paper to cool completely.
I love cookies. LOVE them. Any kind, but especially homemade. Mrs. Fields has nothing on the regular woman, trust me.
Some of my favorites are:
Italian wedding cookies - these buttery, crumbly powdered-sugar covered snowballs fat with finely chopped pecans. Oh my - they melt in your mouth! So delicious.
Chocolate Chip - a standard favorite. I love the Toll House version. It's a classic! And please, no nuts in them, okay? Let's face it, that's just bothersome.
M&M cookies - the beauty of these badboys is that by using holiday color M&M's, they work for any occasion. Especially good when warm and the chocolate is a touch gooey inside its little candy shell.
Oatmeal raisin - what other cookie counts as breakfast? Done well, with fat raisins and a touch of cinnamon, there isn't a better cookie with coffee. This is also the one cookie I'm okay with having a lot of extra junk. In fact, in my oatmeal raisin cookies, I usually add toffee bits. Seems to work.
Sugar cookie - two things make or break this cookie - the flavor of the cookie itself and the icing. I don't care if your four-year-old decorated it, as long as the cookie has the right consistency (should be a little cakey in my opinion, not a slab of sheet rock) and the icing is sweet and delicious (not stale and oddly cheesy).
I also make a white chocolate cranberry that I learned when I worked for Wolfgang Puck. With enough prodding, I might be willing to reveal that recipe. Might.
Of course, now I want cookies. Mmm...cookies. What kind do you make for Christmas and do you need my address?
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I don't think my family has any weird Thanksgiving traditions - other than an hour after we eat, my dad is ready to go again. When it comes to traditions, we're pretty standard in what we do. Although I do know families with odd habits like making a certain dish every year even though no one eats it. I don't see the point in a tradition like that.
Do you have any interesting traditions? Do you always have turkey or do you do ham? Odd dishes your family serves?
Share your secrets!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
My herb garden is doing really well. I say garden lightly - it's a window box insert (sitting on the pool patio) filled with cilantro, Thai basil and regular basil. I love cilantro, regular basil and Thai food, but I'm not sure what to do with the Thai basil. I'm going to stir fry tonight, maybe I'll throw some in there.
I made chili last night. A huge freakin' pot of it. I think I'll freeze some. I get very excited about food like that when the weather gets cool here (think 50's) but when it gets close to or into the 80's during the day, very hard to think about eating chili.
I'm pushing to finish my WIP this week. I have to. It's driving me nuts being so close to finishing - I just want to type "The End", you know? Plus with the holidays coming up and all that means, there will be so much other stuff to do! And I don't want to write while we on vaca in Hawaii. Edit yes, read YES, write no.
I'm drinking peach Crystal Light. Man, this stuff is good!
Monday, November 13, 2006
Just give me your first gut reaction to these names:
1. Wyatt James
2. Cannon Smith
3. Jason Macarthy
4. Frankie Stormer
5. Carl Forbes
What makes a great name? Which of these guys sounds "date-able"? Like the best attorney? Like a bad boy?
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
What Lies In Winter
by Cassidy Kent
ISBN-10: 1-59279-628-1 (Electronic)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59279-628-1 (Electronic)
When workaholic Hayley goes on a much-needed holiday to her favorite cabin hideaway tucked deep in the mountains of the Mammoth ski resort, she doesn’t expect to meet the beast of a man occupying her rental.
Bestselling mystery author, Nicholas Rhiordan, happens to have the same plan in mind, vacationing in his luxury cabin. He wants nothing better than to be left alone to finish his next novel, but when Hayley makes a surprise appearance, he discovers she’s hell-bent on disrupting his peaceful balance. Like any feral beast, his only recourse is to throw her out on her ass in a heap of snow and hope that she gets the hint.
When a relentless blizzard forces them to share the same quarters, their fiery personalities and equally combustible attraction could melt the ice caps off the snowy mountains. Once the storm blows over, will their connection fizzle like a snow flurry or will they pen a perfect ending?
Genres: Contemporary / Voyeurism / Interracial
Heat Level: 2
Length: Novella (22k words)
Sunday, November 05, 2006
So...started your Christmas shopping yet? I'm determined to be done early this year - I have to be, since we're going away the week before Christmas. When do you start? Do you brave the stores the day after Thanksgiving? Is there a method to your madness? Share! I need tips and ideas.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thanks to Mel Francis, I've been tagged to reveal 5 interesting things about me. Hmm. Five is a big number...
1. My brother's been bitten by a shark, fallen into a fire, run through with rebar, had a fish hook embedded in his foot, gotten poison ivy on his face and broken his ankle. I rarely get colds.
2. I once baked a cake for a cake auction that not only went for the most money but was purchased by Miss Wheelchair America. It was a seven-layer pound cake.
3. Even when it's 95 degrees outside, I will mostly likely be wearing socks. My feet are always cold.
4. My secret desire is to be a jazz singer. Or a mermaid.
5. I've seen the original Star Wars 27 times and used to wear my hair like Princess Leia. Unlike my brother, however, I did not sleep on Star Wars sheets. Yes, Matthew, you've been called out.
I hope some of that was interesting. I hereby tag Lara Santiago, Deidre Knight, Shannon McKelden, Jax and Babe to take up this challenge!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
One of the divas got me started playing this RPG and by clicking on this link you help my character out. If you decide to sign up yourself, use Madame Nocturne as your "friend" and you'll really give me a boost. By the way, if you decide to join, there's a Romance Divas clan - do a search and join us!
Yes, I know I should be writing. This is for when I'm not writing. Really. It is.
I have so many books to read and so much writing to do. How am I to find the time? I even have books to read that must be reviewed (so obviously, they're first up). I'm hoping to tie up some loose ends in my writing and be able to take December off (not that I won't write at all, but I won't have any more self-imposed deadlines hanging over my head) and put a serious dent in my TBR pile.
How do you balance writing and reading?