Sara Daniel Romance Author: June 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

First Kiss of Reunited Lovers #MySexySaturday

7 paragraphs from Zane's Art:

“Julianne.” His voice compelled her to turn to him as he took his seat in the car. No one said her name quite like Zane did. “We’re both wondering. Let’s find out and put it behind us.”

He caressed his hand over her cheek, as he leaned across the seat toward her, leaving no question about his intention. His lips touched hers, sweetly, the merest brush of warm soft lips, like she was a canvas he was going to paint.

His mouth was a wonder she couldn’t back away from. She leaned into him, needing more, needing to show him she was his partner in this masterpiece he was creating. She bit lightly on his lip.

His hand slid up her cheek, his fingers combing through her hair and massaging her scalp. He delved his tongue into her mouth. She shifted, desperately wanting to move closer to him.

A car horn blared, and she straightened immediately. She looked around, but the parking lot was empty.

“I believe that was you,” Zane said, with a pointed look at her elbow resting against the steering wheel. His damp, flushed lips curved in amusement.

“Oh.” She turned to face forward and pulled her seatbelt, hoping he wouldn’t notice how much her hands were shaking. Putting that kiss behind her was absolutely impossible as long as he sat next to her.

Buy Links:
Musa Publishing
Barnes & Noble
Books on Board
All Romance eBooks

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Friends - @sloanetaylor2's July 4th Feast #recipe

A 4th of July Feast
Courtesy of Sloane Taylor

Friends are coming over on the 4th of July and Studs wanted a cookout with all his favorites. Since I never could refuse a good-looking man, I agreed. Here’s our menu with the recipes I created. I hope you like them.

Barbecued Pork Ribs
Hamburgers Sloane Style
My Mom’s Potato Salad
Baked Beans
Sweet Corn on the Grill
Snazzy Sliced Tomatoes
Ice cold lemonade
Cold beer

Barbecued Pork Ribs
Pork ribs plan 1 slab for 2 people if you make all this food
Chicken stock
Barbeque sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s is my favorite

Preheat oven to 325°F

Place ribs in a pan and in a single layer. Pour in about a half inch of stock and the same amount of beer. Cover tight and bake 1 – 1½ hours. You want the meat tender but not falling off the bone.

Carefully remove ribs from pan to a cookie sheet. Discard cooking liquid. Spread barbeque sauce over ribs.

Heat grill to medium. Carefully rub vegetable or olive oil onto the grates. Lay ribs on grate and grill 10-15 minutes turning at least once and basting with sauce.

Hamburgers Sloane Style
Ground chuck about ¼ pound per adult
Ground sirloin about ¼ per two adults
Worcestershire Sauce 1 dash per adult
1 egg per 1 ½ pounds meat
chives snipped, fresh or jarred

Beat egg lightly in a small bowl. Combine the meat, Worcestershire Sauce, and handful of chives into a mixing bowl. When the mixture is well combined, break off clumps of the meat and form balls. Set them onto waxed paper, then cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Use a cake plate or large soup bowl to press the meat into a patty the thickness you like. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

On medium heat, cook patties until they are done to your preference. Be sure to turn only once.

Use any type roll that suits your fancy. Dress the burgers with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, and tomato. You can also add cheese for the topping. If you do, then lay it over the burger a minute or two before the end of the cooking time.

My Mom’s Potato Salad
1 red potato per person
1 hardboiled egg for every 2-3 potatoes
one stalk celery for every 5 potatoes chopped small
½ med onion for every 5 potatoes chopped small
Mayonnaise – NO substitutes

Boil the potatoes in their jackets until just fork tender. Remove from pot as they are done and allow to cool. Scrape the skins off. Slice in half widthwise then lengthwise. Slice into the bite size pieces.

While the potatoes are cooking, lay the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, and place a lid on the pan. Bring to a boil, then shut off the heat and allow to sit on the burner for 7 minutes. Cut into quarters, then slice. Set aside covered with plastic wrap or a paper towel to eliminate drying out.

Combine celery and onion in a large bowl. Grind in a healthy amount of fresh pepper. Stir in several large spoonfuls of mayonnaise. You have to gauge by the number of potatoes you use. Mix well.

Add the potatoes, two at a time and mix well. Continue until all the potatoes are added. Check the salad for dryness. It should be moist but not swimming in mayo. Add mayo as needed. Add the sliced eggs and stir again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Baked Beans
1 small can Bush’s Honey Baked Beans
1 small can Bush’s Homestyle Baked Beans
2 tbsp. dried mustard
2 tbsp. maple syrup - optional
2 strips bacon

Preheat oven to 325°.

Pour beans into a metal loaf pan or oven safe dish. Stir in mustard and syrup. Lay bacon strips on top. Bake in the center of the oven uncovered for 45 minutes or until desired consistency.

To cook on the grill:

Heat grill to medium.
Prepare as above, then place pan on top rack. Cook about 45 minutes or until desired consistency.

To serve – discard bacon.

Sweet Corn on the Grill
1 ear fresh corn per person – do not remove husk
Butter or margarine

Pour cool water into a container large enough to hold the sweet corn. Soak corn still in its husk at least 1 hour, but no more than 2 hours.

Set grill on medium high. Remove corn from the water and lay the ears on the grill. Roast until the husk is brown on that side, then turn and repeat the process. Total cooking time is about 20 – 25 minutes.

To serve - peel back the husks. Roll the ears in butter or margarine, then sprinkle on a touch of salt, and enjoy!

Snazzy Sliced Tomatoes
1 tomato per two people
Red wine vinegar
Garlic powder or fresh garlic minced
Fresh or dried chives

Prepare this dish about an hour or so before serving.

Slice tomatoes ½” thick and arrange on a serving plate.

Drizzle vinegar over the tomatoes, then dust with garlic powder or fresh garlic. Sprinkle plenty of chives across the top.

Set on the counter away from sun or heat to flavor through.

Now after teasing your taste buds how about a quick trip to the balmy French Riviera to tempt some of your other senses with my new five book series? Naughty Ladies of Nice is a deliciously steamy erotic series with a touch of humor and intrigue.

Pour yourself a cool glass of your favorite beverage, perhaps a tall Perrier or a crisp Chardonnay, and let your summer sizzle with French Tart, French Delight, French Twist, French Kiss, and French Tickler.

Here’s a little about FRENCH Tart, Book One. For a spicy excerpt, please click HERE.

Bon Appétit...

Satisfy all your cravings at cooking school.

Determined to prove herself and shed her party girl image, Donatienne Dubois pins her hopes on the exclusive cooking school in Nice, France. One by one her expectations are shattered by a foul-mouthed parrot, a bogus Michelin chef, and a headmistress with a heart of tungsten steel. Doni's lifesaver is a bad boy hunk too hot not to handle.

Mark Anderson is incognito and hating every minute. To pose as a student while keeping tabs on a rich wild child is his version of hell, until he partners with the dish of Crème Brule good enough to eat.

Class takes on a whole new meaning as Doni and Mark heat up the kitchen when they discover honey has better uses than sweetening tea.

Sloane Taylor believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. All her stories are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her website, and of course her blog for easy recipes. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#TuesdayTeaser - Construction Beauty Queen

Note: I'm making a bit of a change to my blog. Effective immediately, the Tuesday Toolbox feature will now run every other Tuesday with a Tuesday Teaser running on the alternate Tuesdays.

This week's teaser comes from my sweet, contemporary romance novel Construction Beauty Queen, book one in the Small Town, Big Dreams series, published by Entangled Bliss.

"You left your tools behind," Veronica noted as Matt backed out of the driveway. "We didn't finish hanging the gate, and I really wanted to meet the owner of that house."

"I'll come back and finish up. The job's almost done."

"So I'm your top priority." She leaned her forehead against the window. "That's so sweet."

His chest tightened, but he kept his voice impassive. "You have a warped idea of top priority if you think someone who makes you beat yourself up with tools and then pass out is sweet."

She lifted her head enough to smile weakly at him. "Matt Shaw, you are without a doubt the sweetest boss I've ever had."

His fingers twitched. He clenched the steering wheel, but it was a poor substitute for the skin he longed to touch. "You're only saying that because I haven't fired you yet."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Friends - Interview with Sam Cheever

Interview with Sam Cheever

Where are you from? What is your writing name?

I write mainstream fiction as Sam Cheever and some would say I’m from Mars. But in actuality I grew up in a mid-sized town in Indiana. Kind of the same thing, actually.

I also write M/M romantic suspense and fantasy as Declan Sands.

As a child, who did Sam want to be when she grew up?

I always wanted to be a writer. I believe everyone is good at something, the trick is just finding out what that something is. #:0) I discovered at an early age that I had a knack with words. But I didn’t think I was going to be able to make a living writing. Then I found a degree program at a local 4 year college called Professional and Technical Writing. It was the happiest day of my life! I was able to use my BA degree in writing to offer my writing and editing services to Corporate America until I could get my fiction writing career underway. I feel very blessed to have been able to do what I both love and have a skill for.

Tell us about your first book, the highs, the lows and the unexpected.

My first published work was ‘Tween Heaven and Hell, a fast paced paranormal romance about angels and devils in a futuristic world. I wrote the initial draft as a weekly serial, one chapter a week, for a few dozen subscribers. When it was complete I sent it out to several publishers and received an acceptance from Ellora’s Cave a few weeks later. It was very exciting!

The book was published on the Cerridwen Press side of the house, which was the sensual rather than erotic side of Ellora’s Cave because it wasn’t an erotic book. As a result, my sales figures were not as healthy as I’d hoped. However, the first book in the series has gone on to win several awards and the series has gained an extensive following.

What do you find the most difficult to write? Dialogue? Back story? Emotion?

Probably back story. I try really hard not to do info dumps in my stories so I have to use different tactics to flesh out the plot with the necessary information. Writing series fiction, which I tend to do a lot of, makes that both easier and harder. It’s obviously easier for readers who have read the other books in the series to keep up with the relationships and stories that have shaped them, but readers who start in the middle or end of the series need to feel like they know what’s going on too. I solve the problem by making all the books standalone, and then including self-contained information snippets that tie them together as the story unfolds.

What was the best piece of advice you were given in regards to your writing?

Nothing earth shattering there…the advice is the same for everybody…just keep writing. Much easier said than done as you get rejection letter after rejection letter. But the only writers who eventually make it big are the ones who believe in themselves enough to keep slogging through all the disappointment and criticism. It ain’t easy! But if you truly believe you’ve got what it takes, hang in there, keep writing, it will come, grasshopper.

I see you are published with many houses, Sam. How important is it to diversify your publishers in today’s market?

Extremely important. Each house has a specialized, target market where they sell most of their books. For example, Ellora’s Cave obviously has a big chunk of the erotica market and Changeling Press writes hot, short, serialized fiction. Once you figure out what a house’s market is, you can tap into it and broaden your audience. And since most readers tend to read across genres, you can often draw readers across publishers once they’re familiar with your work.

What is your strangest writing habit?

I write in snippets on multiple projects at once. Many writers sit down in the morning and just crank out an allotted number of words on a single project or even a couple. I might have six projects going at any given time and will write a couple thousand words on 3 or 4 of them, sometimes moving back and forth between two or three of them in the space of a single day.

How do you avoid interruptions?

Avoid them? I embrace them! If something has managed to interrupt me it’s probably because I’m stuck on a plot point or have exhausted my creative energy for that moment. I’ll usually take a break and then come back to it. It works for me.

What is one problematic area you have with your writing and how do you fix it?

Occasionally I neglect to describe my characters. #:0) I see them so clearly in my mind and forget the reader doesn’t know them like I do so I think I just take it for granted they know what they look like. Har! It’s now on my list of things I look for in rewrites but, if all else fails, thank goodness for my editor!

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

No on both counts. I’m a loner when I work. I don’t share my toys in the sandbox very well. It’s just never been something I’ve sought out. The biggest problem for me is timing. I write to a tight deadline and as soon as I finish a book I generally send it off to my editor. I don’t like to wait for others to provide feedback. I trust my editor to find what others would find and, working together, she and I usually turn out a pretty clean book.

You bring a wicked sense of humor to your books - is this you or just your characters micromanaging you..

Alas, I’m afraid it’s me. I can’t seem to help myself. In fact, my characters sometimes beat me upside the head for the situations I put them in. But that’s a big mistake. I have one of those contrary personalities and I’m likely to torture them even more if they complain. hehehe

IMG_7837_120x180Author Bio: I write as Sam Cheever for mainstream romantic suspense and fantasy, all heat levels; and Declan Sands for M/M romantic suspense and fantasy. I live on a hobby farm in Indiana with 13 dogs, 2 horses, and one husband. I write books I like to read and read books I wish I’d written. My books are fast paced and fun loving. Not one of them will solve a single world problem, but you definitely won’t be bored while reading them!

My published work includes 40+ works of young adult, romantic suspense, and fantasy/paranormal. My books have won the Dream Realm Award for fantasy, been nominated and/or won several CAPAs, were nominated for Best of 2010 with LRC and The Romance Reviews, and won eCataromance’s Reviewer’s Choice award. I am published with Ellora’s Cave, both Romantica and Blush; Changeling Press; Electric Prose Publications (my own imprint), and Red Rose Publishing. I look forward to chatting with you today and sharing some of my work!

Sam Cheever links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

Declan Sands links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

If lust were flames there'd be scorch marks across the ages!

Ardith is a time traveling witch, a member of the Epoch Mages. Draigh is a Sorceri Bounty Hunter. They H-A-T-E each other. When they’re thrown together by the elders to chase an evil rogue witch through time and save the world from flesh eating zombies, they quickly discover that, while their minds may tell them they don’t like being together, their bodies don’t quite agree. In fact, if lust were flames, there would be a lot of scorch marks across the ages!

~ 5 Stars from SnifferWalk "I don't hand out a ton of 5 Star ratings for books. Like my Ratings Guide says, they have to be practically life changing. But if I read a book and I just cannot seem to forget it, it has to be a 5."

~ 5 Stars from My Cozie Corner Book Reviews "A hard to put down novel that will captivate you from the beginning."

Buy links:
Publisher Amazon Barnes & Noble All Romance eBooks
Draigh couldn’t believe he was being forced to work with a mage. He was fully capable of capturing the crone Edana without an epoch mage tagging along. He’d hunted rogue magic users for centuries and needed no instruction from the young wench striding along beside him as if she owned the world.

He cast her a sideways glance, taking in the long, well-toned limbs and the lush curves beneath the scant leather costume she wore. The ridiculous clothing barely covered her considerable assets. He wanted to be disgusted by the clothing, hating how it made him hard beneath his own leather breeches.

Very hard.

And he despised the woman. The last thing he wanted was to have any kind of pleasant thoughts about her. Particularly of the carnal kind.

Frowning crankily, Draigh forced his gaze away from the soft roundness bulging past the edges of the leather top. The woman was a damn temptress. He’d seen her type before. He’d had his balls handed to him by one in fact. He might not be the smartest hunter on the planet. But he rarely made the same mistake twice. The witch was nothing but trouble.

And at the moment she stood between him and his prey. That was unacceptable. The first thing he needed to do was rid himself of her. Then he could do the job he’d been hired to do.

Her steps slowed and faltered as they approached the low-slung structure at the edge of town. It was built into the side of a hill. He immediately realized the same thing she obviously had. It was one of the bunker-style buildings that had become so popular since the great wars. Only the entrance was above ground. Most of the structure would be subterranean.

He slid a furtive glance the witch’s way and noted the moisture already beading on her upper lip. Her usual creamy, peach-toned skin had turned a pasty shade of tan. He wanted to celebrate her discomfort. But somehow he just couldn’t. “I can go inside and question the witness. You can wait outside.” He hadn’t meant it to sound like a command. Unfortunately that was the way it had emerged from his lips.

Sirius dropped to his wide haunches, his tongue sliding out to snap across his lips as if to say, “I can’t wait to see her reaction to that one.”

Her head whipped around, flinging the thick, waist-length braid into the air as her gaze snapped in his direction. “I’m fine. I don’t need you protecting me.”

Draigh ground his teeth and clenched his fists. So much for learning from his mistakes. He’d tried to give the viper a soft nest to rest upon, and the damn thing had thanked him by attempting to sink its fangs into his throat. “Suit yourself, witch.”

She strode right up to the victim’s door and pounded. Draigh waited a few feet back, his gaze sweeping the area for signs of Edana’s own special type of trouble. The witch pounded on the door again and received no response.

She glanced at Draigh. “Looks like we’ll have to do this the hard way.” Magic thickened on the air and Draigh swore. “Let me try…”

Ardith sent a focused beam of magic into the door handle and the door swung open. She turned to give Draigh a smug smile, not noticing as a large hand appeared from inside the house and wrapped around the edge of the door. Draigh called out a warning and she started to turn.

The door slammed outward, sending her sprawling.

Before he knew what he was doing, Draigh had thrown himself over the witch and covered her to the ground.

She landed beneath him with an umph and started pelting his chest with her small fists. “Get off me, oaf.”

Pain pierced his calf as her damn familiar clamped his massive jaws around Draigh’s leg and gave it a warning squeeze, a low growl rumbling in his chest.

The stench of sour, old death assailed his nostrils. Draigh squinted through the shadows beyond the door and saw movement. “Stop it, witch! Call off your dog. We have company.”

He tried to grab her wrists but she was too agitated. Fighting the urge to smack her unconscious, Draigh screamed into her face, “Stop fighting me. Edana’s pets are about to descend on us.”

Fortunately her dog was smarter than she. He released Draigh and stood with teeth bared, snarling at the shadowed entrance.

She stopped pounding on him and peered around his shoulder just as the first pale half-rotted face appeared in the doorway. “Well why didn’t you say so?” The first blast of her magic nearly took his ear off and left a whistling tone in his head.

He rolled off her. “Damn it, woman.”

She leapt to her feet and sent another blast into the conglomeration of mucus and bone marching stiffly toward them. The zombie’s bloodied, jagged teeth were bared in a warning hiss. When her magic hit, the thing surged backward, a huge chunk of its chest sloughing away under the force of her witch fire.

The zombie bounced into the pale-faced monster at its back and started forward again. Sirius leapt on the next monster, carrying it to the ground and very efficiently removing its head with a single jerk of his massive jaws at its throat. Blood and goo sprayed upward but Sirius was already gone, having flung himself onto the next zombie coming through the door.

Draigh pulled one of his knives and leapt on the lumbering monster nearest him, slicing the knife cleanly through its spongy neck with one swipe. Putrid-smelling green slime sprayed in an arc from the blade of his knife, saturating Draigh’s face and arms. The head dropped to the ground and rolled away, and the body sank slowly to the earth.

When Draigh looked toward the door again, he was facing a small army of the mangy creatures, though Sirius had left a trail of carnage in his wake. Ardith stood beside him, her eyes flashing and her fists fizzling with unshed magic.

He glanced at her. “I hate zombies.”

She gave him a slow smile. “You wanted exercise. I think you’re gonna get it.”

Then she leapt into the fray, witch fire flying, and Draigh reluctantly followed her in.

Buy links:
Publisher Amazon Barnes & Noble All Romance eBooks

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hot and Deadly Blog Hop - Win A Man Worth Fighting For

The heroes of the Wiccan Haus series are hot, and many of them are deadly warriors, as well. All of them can can turn deadly when their loved ones are threatened.

He has nothing left to offer. She's determined to show him just how much he's worth.

Shot by a member of his military team, Justin Lawson retreats to the Wiccan Haus. Holly Walters refuses to accept her boyfriend's out-of-the-blue rejection without an explanation, even if getting the answers forces her to be trapped on a bizarre island for an entire week. She's going to use every minute to work Justin out of her system once and for all. Justin's body and spirit begin to heal under Holly's loving ministrations. As she talks about never seeing each other again, he realizes he never wants to let her go. But the rogue assassin who had gone after Justin before is after him again. Before he can fight to make Holly believe in their love, he'll have to fight for both their lives.

To enter to win a copy of A Man Worth Fighting For, leave a comment telling me what you find sexy about a deadly hero. Then like my page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and follow my blog here. I'll pick one random winner to receive a copy of A Man Worth Fighting For. Make sure to include your email address and your preferred file type (Kindle, Nook or pdf) in your comments. Contest is open internationally.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox – Organize Those Financial and Tax Details You’d Rather Ignore

Last week we talked about organizing contracts, submissions and your author calendar. Now we need to talk about possibly the most critical part of a working author’s organization: Income, Expenses and Taxes.

Income, specifically advances and royalties, is fun to talk about. Who doesn’t like to get checks in the mail or delivered straight to their bank or Paypal account? But scrambling to find all the deposits and add them together come tax time can be frustrating and time consuming, especially if you write for multiple publishers or self-publish on multiple platforms, so keep a record throughout the year and keep all your statements together so nothing gets overlooked or forgotten. On the plus side, you’ll have a great idea of which of your books are selling and which retailers you sell the most at.

Expenses are even harder to figure out at the end of the year if you haven’t been keeping track of them all along. How much did you spend to have your book cover on that blog? How much to did you pay in postage to mail that swag to readers? How much did the swag cost? What about that conference you went to in April? Keeping track of them as you go along or, at the very least, in a quarterly round up will help keep things from slipping through the cracks and make your life a lot easier come the end of the year.

Which leads us to the reason keeping track of your income and expenses is so critical…

Taxes! Sure you want the satisfaction and validation of making a profit on your writing, but you also have to make an accurate reporting to the IRS or risk penalties and interest and general misery. And I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to give the government more of my money than I have to. Hence, don’t leave out any legitimate expenses from your records!

Happy organiz

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Friends - "It's All Greek to Me," confesses Eleni Konstantine

It's All Greek to Me!
by Eleni Konstantine

I’m very lucky. I’ve been surrounded by good cooks my whole life. One food that I have loved since I was a kid is pastitsio. And my mum’s pastitsio has always been my favourite.

What is pastitsio? It’s Greek and is sort of like a mousaka but instead of putting potato and eggplant (aubergine), you have pasta. We make pastitsio for my dad’s name day celebration. It is one of his favourite dishes.

There are three layers traditionally but we mix up the bottom two layers.
1. Pasta - bottom layer
2. Mince sauce
3. Béchamel sauce - top

You will find variations on the web, but this is the one that always makes my mouth water no mater what. The following is for a dish 30cm x 40cm (11 inches x 15 inches). I had to pin my mum down for this as she does this off the cuff and changes according to the size of the casserole dish.

500gm (1 pound) pasta of your choice. We usually go for penne as it mixes with the mince layer really well.
7 eggs (3 egg whites, lightly beaten for mince/pasta layer; the remainder egg yellows will go in the béchamel (white sauce) and 4 eggs in Béchamel sauce.
7 cups milk
6 tbsp. melted salted butter
250gms (1 cup) of corn flour
1 tsp. of nutmeg
white pepper
8 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese or dried ricotta cheese or a mixture of both
800-1kg mince or 13/4-2 pounds ground - we usually do a mixture of Pork and Beef. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion grated
2 tbsp. of tomato paste
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes or readymade pasta sauce to replace the paste and diced tomato
½ cup chopped parsley (continental)
1- 1½ cups water
7 tbsp. corn flour heaping

Mince Layer
- Heat oil and fry mince until brown.
- Add onion and stir
- Add tomato paste and diced tomato. Stir
- Add ¾ teaspoon nutmeg.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add chopped parsley
- Stir until there is little to no liquid left.
- Take off heat and put to side.

Pasta Layer
- boil the paster so it’s al dente. tip 1: add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil; tip 2: when you add the pasta, add some salt to taste.
- strain pasta

Combining Layers
- Mix the meat sauce and the pasta together
- Add 3 lightly beaten egg whites into mixture and stir.
- Butter or oil a casserole dish (we use Pyrex) before use.
- Pour mixture above into casserole dish and flatten out to cover the bottom of the dish.
- Leave for 10 minutes (so the meat takes up a bit of the heat)
- Add the 7 tablespoons of the cheese(s)

White Sauce
- Place 6 cups of milk, a pinch of white pepper, ¼ teaspoon with melted butter into saucepan to boil.
- As this is heating, add into a bowl, the remainder eggs (4 whole + 3 yellows), 1 cup of milk and corn flour and whisk until the corn flour is absorbed.
- Add the bowl’s ingredients into the saucepan and stir until the milk froths.
- If there are lumps in your white sauce, you can sift it through to make it more smooth.
- Add white sauce to the casserole dish. Spread out.

The Finish
- Add some dried grated ricotta cheese or parmesan cheese to top of mixture
- Put in oven at 180Celcuis (356 Fahrenheit) for an hour.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes when you take it out of the oven.
- Cut into how large you want your pieces to be, and serve.
- A Greek village salad makes a good side dish.

My heroine Zeta Kosmos is from a Greek background but she has no time to enjoy pastitio.

Zeta will protect the one she loves, even if it means living in Hell.

Mastering a unique power was much safer for Zeta Kosmos with a mentor to help her along. Now that he’s disappeared, Zeta must continue alone with her calling—closing Gateways to Hell.

Daniel Richards is in the family business—Warding supernatural evil from causing havoc on humans. As such, he’s only interested in the safety of one-night stands. Until Zeta. This bad boy now wants a long, lasting relationship.

But Zeta can’t let go of her past, nor can she ignore the secret demonic threats against Daniel’s life. She’d rather fight demonic spawn and be dragged into Hell than allow anything happen to him. Can Daniel convince her to stay? Will she have to pay the ultimate price?

To read an excerpt from Gateway to Hell, please click HERE.

Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer.

Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy.

Learn more about Eleni Konstantine on her website and her blog Eleni's Taverna.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

#IrishKisses from @joannekenrick

Irish Kisses, the complete collection, is now available in PRINT.
More buylinks to follow - and you can order it direct from your book store
IBSN NUMBER: 1613335148

A collection of five romances set in Bell's Irish Pub, each with its own special tasty treat served by the staff of Bell's. The 1Night Stand dating service shakes and stirs things up for Bell's. When Madame Eve puts two people together for just one night, anything is possible.... Throw in sexy cocktails and to-die-for Irish hotties, and it's a recipe for sweet Irish kisses and perhaps even wedding Bell's.
Can he win her over with his secret weapon, a Sweet Irish Kiss, or is Rachel still too scared to love?~SHAMROCKED~Will his Irish charm and toys be enough to hold onto his leading lady, or will his heart be Shamrocked into next week?
Is a dash of Threesome Sweetness the remedy each is looking for, or will the date leave a bitter aftertaste each will regret for the rest of their lives?
Can she hack it in the real world of romance, or are life's complications and treacherous snowstorms best left to the pages of a book?
Does she love him enough to leave the comforts of England? And is there something behind his sudden proposal?

Or buy the ebooks separately

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox – Organize Those Details You’d Rather Ignore

This stuff isn’t sexy, but it is important if you plan to treat writing as more than a casual hobby.

Contracts: If you’re published, can you immediately locate all your publishing contracts in case you need to review a clause, a publisher ceases operation, or you want to get your rights reverted? If something were to happen to you, could your loved ones find your contracts and know who to contact at your publisher? I have printed out all my contracts and put them in a binder with each book title and publisher labeled, and I’ve showed it to my husband so he knows what and where it is. I update my binder every time I sign a new publishing contract.

Editor/Agent Submissions: Whether you’re published or not, do you know who has your manuscript, and how long they’ve had it for? I have a spreadsheet that I’ve kept since 2002 with all my editor and agent submissions—who I sent to, at what house, which manuscript I submitted, what I sent (i.e query only, three chapters and synopsis by email, full manuscript by snail mail, etc.), when I sent it, when a reply was received, and what that reply entailed. This was absolutely critical a few years ago when I had twenty queries out at once, both so I didn’t repeatedly send the same query to the same agent but also so if my rejections all noted that “the heroine wasn’t sympathetic” I could consider revising before I sent out more queries. Now I have much less to keep track of it, but I still find it usefully when I’m sending a new manuscript to a publisher, so I remember to follow up on it if it’s been out for a while.

 Calendar: I keep two separate writing calendars in addition to my family calendar. My first calendar is a month-at-a-glance booklet where I write down my book releases, guest blog posts, special events on my blog, online chats, author appearances and anything else noteworthy. While the first calendar deals with public events, my second calendar is for my writing life behind the scenes. I’ve used both a month-at-a-glance and a week-at-a-glance over the past couple years. On this calendar, I note what I plan to accomplish, whether it’s edits on a manuscript or a daily word count on a new manuscript. I also note when I have personal appointments or commitments that will eat into my writing time so I can set realistic expectations for the day/week/month. And I update and revise often, so nothing slips through the cracks.

I’ve left off the biggest and most hated organizational items: Financial and Taxes. We’ll tackle them in next week’s toolbox.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Reading Romances Challenge - June - Who Do You Think You Are?

June's challenge focuses on "Who do you think you are? – One of a couple isn’t who he or she appears to be on the surface or pretending to be someone else or disguised." I picked up Double Dipping by Marilyn Brant, where the hero is much more than the small-town school financial director he wants everyone to believe he is.

Who needs a man when you have a pint of fresh Wisconsin ice cream and full access to Cary Grant on The Movie Channel?

That's what second-grade teacher and MGM-devotee Caitlin Walsh believes. After being left at the altar by her ambitious rat of an ex-fiancé, Cait has rededicated her life to her students and to the citizens of small-town Ridgewood Grove. 

But when the school's new financial director, Garrett Ellis, cancels the much-beloved Harvest Hoopla festival, Cait rallies the staff to fight the decision, which puts her in direct conflict with the most formidable man she's ever encountered.

As a reluctant heir to the Ellis Fruit and Nut Gift Basket Empire and the second son of one of the country's most affluent families, Garrett has a penchant for mixing sweet edibles with acts of love. He also has an undercover agenda: to find the person responsible for stealing the district money and to right the situation, while keeping his family background to himself. But in the process, he faces the one woman who challenges his longtime resistance to commitment.

Both Cait and Garrett end up secretly snooping into each other's past: Garrett looking for the thief, Cait uncovering Garrett's private family history and his prior girlfriends -- one of whom turns out to be someone very unexpected... 

Love and family complications abound in this small-town contemporary romance with a little humor, a light mystery and a lot of sweet ice cream.

Let me say this: No one can incorporate food into romance like Marilyn Brant  especially when it comes to ice cream! The chemistry between the characters is sometimes rivaled by their relationship with food. But oh so delicious it is. This is a delightful romance with a lot of heart and a quirky cast of small-town characters. I'm a big Marilyn Brant fan, and as usual, she has penned a winner!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Friends - Spine-tingling New Zealand Suspense by Vonnie Hughes

LETHAL REFUGE, a spine-tingling suspense book by Vonnie Hughes, is set in seldom seen New Zealand. The story griped and held me because Hughes expertly wove fear throughout while adding twists and just enough reality to make the story plausible. LETHAL REFUGE is a book I believe you all will enjoy. It left me afraid to turn the lights off.

Available in both paperback and e-book from:
The Wild Rose Press

Who can you trust if you can’t trust your own mother? Through the clammy fog, Celie Francis hears the chilling message. “I know who you are, Celie. I know where you live.” And in the terrifying aftermath she reconnects with her dysfunctional family in ways she had never imagined.

Abused and abandoned as a child, Célie Francis knows better than to trust anyone. But after she witnesses a murder, she's placed in the Unit "New Zealand's witness protection program" where she's expected to trust strangers with her life.

It's psychologist Brand Turner's job to ease witnesses into their new identities, not to protect them, but Célie stirs feelings in him that are far from professional. When it appears someone is leaking critical information that could endanger Célie, Brand will do anything to protect her. But first he has to convince her to trust him.

Adrift in a frightening world, Célie would like to believe the handsome psychologist is everything he seems, but as witnesses are murdered and danger swirls around them, Célie must decide "can she trust Brand with her life?

Célie Francis ran faster than she ever had in her life. Fingers of fog rolling in from the sea grabbed at her as her feet alternately flew and stuttered over the uneven pavement of the ocean road.

Where was he? How much time did she have?
The wash of the sea was a calm counterpoint to her harsh, frantic breathing. Above the sound of her thudding feet, the shriek of a bird pierced the air.

No, not a bird. Something was squeaking. Occy’s old bicycle.

He had found her.

Faster, Célie, faster, shouted the little man on the treadmill in her mind.

I can’t, she sobbed.

Fancy the consequences?

No God, no!

Then run faster.

But her aching legs could not obey. And on the roadway the relentless squeak, squeak kept pace with her.

Frantically she zigzagged, seeking a haven in the fog. It was barely dawn on the lonely North Auckland cliffs above the Pacific Ocean. No help anywhere.

Have to hide. Have to hide. Her shoes slapped a rhythm.

Salty sweat stung her eyes. Ignore it.

The slap of her running shoes echoed then died in the mist. Died...

Her brain, tumbling in an endless whirl of fear and futile questions asked—-why Occy? Why had he killed a man this time?

Up ahead loomed a deep grey cloud of mist. Thank you, God. She blasted into the fog bank and the squeaking receded behind her. This is your chance, the little man said.

Veering off the sidewalk, she streaked across a pristine lawn and crouched behind a lavender bush. Her chest heaving, she struggled to gulp another breath of sodden air.

Squeeeak. He was back. This was it. Eyes streaming, she curled into a ball on the cold ground and waited.

Something yellow zinged past her face and tickled her arm. A needle-sharp sting pierced her elbow, then another. Bees, irritated by her invasion, were trying to drive her out. No you won’t. What’s out there is a lot worse than what you can do, bees. As the pinpricks tingled and burned, she pressed her lips together so hard that the muscles on the side of her face ached.

Louder now, the squeaking advanced and receded. He was casting up and down, looking for her. Please, please...

A sibilant whisper reached her through the clammy fog. “I know who you are, Célie. I know where you live.”

Available in both paperback and e-book from:
The Wild Rose Press

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog.
Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox – Getting Started Writing

Often when I’m talking in social situations with people who aren’t authors, they will admit that they have a story they’d like to tell. They have this idea, but faced with a pen and paper (or a blank computer screen) they have no idea what to do.

I think their mistake is assuming the words will flow out perfectly, reading like a published novel from the get-go. That inevitably doesn’t happen, at which point it’s easy to get discouraged or freeze up.

Have you ever watched a house being built? The builders dig a hole and pour a foundation first. When approaching a new house, you might first see the walls and front door, but those pieces weren’t built first. The same is true with writing. The first thing the reader sees probably isn’t going to be the author’s first thought. So, adjust your expectations, and focus on building the foundation for your story first.

Let’s be honest. Starting is hard. Really hard. Stop trying to write a perfect first sentence. In fact, don’t try to write a sentence at all. Write a word, a phrase, a mood, a random thought. Make notes about who your characters are and what they want. Make more notes about what happened before the story started and what might happen at some point in the story. This could be a vague half-coherent explanation of the overarching plot or specific details about the giant cracks in the dry, hard ground that sets the stage for a single scene.

It doesn’t matter what you write on the page or if it makes sense to anyone. You’re starting to build your story house. You’re gathering your tools, the concrete, the boards, the nails, the drywall. Slowly, the foundation will begin to form out of random sentences, half-formed ideas, descriptions and suggestions.

Congratulations! You’re now a writer. Keep going. You’ve already done the hardest part. You started.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

#MySexySaturday - One Night With the Bride

Seven Sentences from One Night With the Bride

“Don’t try your seduction tricks on me.”

“I’m not seducing you. I came here to close this chapter of my life.”

“You closed it long ago then reopened it today when you stepped out of your pretentious helicopter.” Bridging the distance between them, he pressed his lips hard and furious against hers, thrusting his tongue into her mouth, taking possession.

His fury and frustration tasted too delicious to push away and she welcomed his domination, kissing him back with the same wild desperation.

Every exhilarating, explosive kiss from his sensuous mouth melted away the intervening years, reviving the components of their past relationship—quiet discussions, camaraderie and instant passion.

When her society matron mother presents Caroline with a one-night stand date a week before her wedding, she’s appalled. Even worse, the encounter will take place at the fantasy ranch resort operated by her high school lover, Javier Alvarado. Although determined to remain faithful to her fiancé, she’s tempted and intrigued to see her first love again. It’s not like she has to sleep with him.

But one look and kiss later, she yearns for the man she walked away from so long ago. Unfortunately, when Javier discovers Caroline is engaged, all he can see is deception and heartbreak all over again.

Can a 1Night Stand from Madame Eve reunite them or will one night with the bride sever their ties forever?


He led her to the seclusion of the stable then spun to face her. “Are you buttering up my employees to gather secrets about my resort so you can undermine my success and create your own for Sunburst Hotels?”

She blinked, her blue eyes owlish and innocent. “You think I arrived in a helicopter and announced my presence to the entire county to engage in corporate espionage? Granted, I don’t have any prior experience, but I think I’d take the under-the-radar approach. Arrive in a rental car and check in anonymously. Maybe apply for a job as a janitor.”

Okay, so he’d accused before thinking the idea through. Her closeness rendered him temporarily insane. He gripped her upper arms. “What are you doing then?”

“For Sunburst Hotels? Absolutely nothing. I quit my job a month ago.”

“You want to apply as my private janitor? I’m only in my office at night, and if you came in I guarantee you wouldn’t be emptying garbage cans.”

Her eyes grew even more luminous. “What would I be doing?”

“Stripping, so I could take you on my desk.”

Her lips parted, as if the image turned her on.

The hell with the desk. He pulled her flush to his body, wanting her immediately—in the stable, on his real turf.

“Wait.” She pushed against his chest. “We can’t just pick up where we left off fifteen years ago.”

“Why not? We’re two consenting, unattached adults.”

Of course, they had issues from the past to work through. But when they’d been together, she understood him the way no one else ever had.

“Um.” Her gaze dropped away from his. “Actually, I’m not unattached. I’m engaged.”