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Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Recipe: Peanut Butter Cake

Take your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe.
Embrace your "I don't want to actually make cookies" laziness.
Put entire batter into (well-greased) pan.
Bake.

Share with the pups if you're so inclined!

Which is basically what happened when I wanted peanut butter cookies but was too lazy to make the cookie. The cake is denser than cookies, obviously, but it's just as delicious!

This is the recipe I used from Food.com. Yes, it's for dogs, but note lack of sugar! I did add a little local honey for sweetness, but since I don't add honey/sugar to my PB & J sandwiches, why should I to my cookies/cake?
  • 2 12 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 34 cup milk
  • 1 cup shortening (I used unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
 
These are their directions for actual cookies.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Shape into walnut size balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Press criss cross into each ball with fork.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely.
  7. Feed to your special puppy.
These are MY directions for PB cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Grease pan (your choice as to what kind)
  4. Press every ounce of dough you don't eat into pan
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. (Or until the tester stick comes out clean--my over is gas & old so I never go by these times.)
  6. Let cool completely. (Or until you can't wait any longer!)
  7. Share with the puppy who smelled the peanut butter a mile away and has patiently waited until you deigned to share.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Guest: @NBlackthorne with her new release: A Most Demanding Mistress



The Fashionably Impure Series Books 1 & 2 Are On Sale For .99
Available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited.
Erotic Historical Romance
 
Miranda’s Dilemma
 Fashionably Impure, Book One on sale for .99
Available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited.
Miranda's Dilemma is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read with A Most Demanding Mistress.
 
 
A Most Demanding Mistress
Fashionably Impure, Book Two
Available at a Pre-Order Price of .99
Will release April 22, 2016
Available on Kindle Unlimited after release.
A Most Demanding Mistress is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read after Miranda's Dilemma.
 
Blurb For Miranda’s Dilemma
Erotic Historical Romance ~
Courtesan/Non-virginal Heroine
Poised to become Mayfair’s most expensive and exclusive courtesan, Miss Miranda Jones finds her
rise inexplicably blocked by a socially powerful nobleman. Scorned by her ducal father and determined to attain everything that life has denied her due to an accident of birth, she’s not about to let this arrogant earl stop her.
Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, saw his father destroyed by a heartless, predatory courtesan. He has no time or patience for such exotic, expensive ladybirds. He’s far too busy restoring his family’s wealth and reputation whilst doing what he can to protect his friends from the clutches of all the scheming courtesans of London.
Then a moment of compassion turns intense dislike to breathless passion, and these two strong-willed, fiercely proud people are compelled to indulge in a brief affair. Each is convinced that they can satisfy their craving for the other without emotional risk.
 But neither realizes that a little dalliance can be a dangerous thing.
Reader Advisory: This is an erotic historical romance and it contains frank, frequent love scenes, sexual slang and descriptions and general bedchamber naughtiness. The characters discuss abuse issues from their backstories during the course of their developing relationship.
Blurb for A Most Demanding Mistress:
Miss Miranda Jones is indisputably the most beautiful, elegant and sought after courtesan in all of London. She hides a past full of pain and rejection beneath an exterior of pride. She knows that noblemen put their own fickle interests first and cannot be trusted. Scorned by ducal father, she never needed or expected anything from a man, except his financial support. Luxurious living makes a soothing balm against the sting of the ultimate rejection.
Now she’s madly in love with a nobleman who cannot afford to keep her in such extravagant style. And she wonders if a courtesan can ever afford to indulge her own passions? Can she really gamble so capriciously on her own future and put the happiness of the moment above future security? Will her gentleman prove himself no better than any other nobleman that she has known?
Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, has seen the men of his family destroyed through their obsessive need to possess beautiful women. He’d always thought himself immune to such unworthy drives. Now he’s fallen under the spell of Miss Miranda Jones.
Miss Jones’ high standards and past reputation foretells that she’ll be a most demanding mistress. Despite his relative lack of funds, Adrian is
determined to work hard to protect and provide for her. Passion led this skeptical gentleman to declare himself in love. Yet as they enter a protector and mistress relationship, Adrian finds himself consumed with possessiveness. And he can’t help but wonder if is it true love that motivates him? Or is it the need to own her stunning beauty? He must find the answer before their tempestuous romance breaks both of their hearts
A Most Demanding Mistress is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read after Miranda’s Dilemma.
Reader advisory: This story contains frank sexual language and general bedchamber naughtiness. Abuse issues are alluded to in the backstory.
 
About Natasha Blackthorne's Writing:
Escape into the past with intensely erotic, emotionally driven love stories. Natasha Blackthorne writes character-focused historical erotica romance featuring strong internal conflicts played out in non-traditional and unconventional situations. Her stories are most frequently about the intimate journey of the characters as they learn to open their hearts to love.
 
Her heroines are not perfect ladies. They are wildflowers and wallflowers who enjoy flirting with the forbidden. Whether they are bold or shy, her heroines' strong desires and deep emotions drive the plot and drive their heroes to the point of no return. 
Follow Natasha Blackthorne Online:

GIVEAWAY
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Monday, April 11, 2016

Hello? Anyone here?

So it's been a while! According to blogger, it's been nearly 4 months since I last posted here. Life has been a little (read: very much so) crazed and blogging has been the easiest thing to let fall by the wayside even after I managed to get everything in working order again.

Hello!

I admit to missing my blog and looking at it now, I have a lot of updates to do. I'll work on them slowly so I don't use up all my blogging energy at once.

In writing news: I've finished 2 more Scandalous Encounters stories, Improper Duke and Improper Wedding. Both are being edited now; I'll post when they're available. I hope to have Improper Duke ready by the end of April

Trust me, it won't be another 4 months!

Up next on the writing docket is 3 more Curvy books! Writing those now and enjoying the setting, a farming community in the San Joaquin Valley.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Today in History: 1815 Mount Tambora eruption

The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia, was one of the most powerful in recorded history and is classified as a VEI -7 event.
 
No idea what a VEI-7 means but the fact of the matter is that with the eruption and the tsunamis, tens of thousands of people were killed.
 
According to History1800s.com:
 
It has been estimated that Mount Tambora stood approximately 12,000 feet tall before the 1815 eruption, before the top one-third of the mountain was completely obliterated. Adding to the disaster's massive scale, the huge amount of dust blasted into the upper atmosphere by the Tambora eruption contributed to a bizarre and highly destructive weather event the following year. And 1816 became known as The Year Without a Summer.

The Year without a Summer is, of course, the year Frankenstein was written.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday Regency: matchmakers and Jane Austen's Matchmaker

What's the difference? I was looking up some tidbits on matchmakers in the Regency, or just in general, for Improper Duke. It's nearly finished but I wanted a little more information just to flesh out the work part of Camilla's story. She's the matchmaker see in Improper Wager and for a couple scenes in Improper Christmas.

Instead, I came across this game! Jane Austen's Matchmaker.

Matchmaker is a sociable card game for 3 to 6 players, featuring characters from the works of Jane Austen.
Use your matchmaking skills to plot advantageous marriages. Protect your ladies from penniless rogues while using your charming scoundrels to wicked effect. All's fair in love and social climbing!

Anyone have this game? I'm curious to know if it's as cool as it sounds!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Improper Christmas: Scandalous Encounters #Excerpt

Improper Christmas: Scandalous EncountersMiss Lillian Norwood’s life changed completely. No longer the mistress of a formidable estate, she survives by the kindness of a distant cousin who wants little to do with her and the barely livable stipend from her childhood home’s heir. Now living in a new village, far from home, she volunteers to help with a Christmas feast for returned soldiers.

Mr. William Pennington, formerly of His Majesty’s Army, feels it his task to ensure this Christmas feast is the best the county has to offer. However, he does not expect Lillian and he certainly doesn’t expect to fall in love with her. William uses the preparations to court Lillian in the hopes to slowly win her.

But as Christmas draws closer and she shows no signs of returning his affection, will William allow others to get in his way? Or will Lillian finally realize she has more to offer him than fortune and lands?

















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Chesham, England
November 1817


“I wish I wasn’t so cold.”

Miss Lillian Norwood smoothed a hand down the black silk of her gown. It was entirely too thin for winter, but was one she knew would dye best — and one that laced up the front. She shivered in the coolness of her bedroom and looked longingly at the banked fireplace.

Since arriving in this small cottage she felt the cold seep into her bones, wrapping around her in a frigid embrace. Even with the fire blazing, she found it difficult to warm herself. She could no longer afford a large stack of wood as she once had, and no matter how many blankets she used, she continued to shiver at night.

Even now, with the shutters pulled tight against their windows, the cottage was draughty, and wisps of chilled wind wrapped around her ankles and slithered up her skirts.

Seated on her vanity stool, Lillian wrapped the blanket more securely around her legs and tucked it under her feet. The too-thin silk gown would have to do. It was the only dyed dress she possessed.

The entire country mourned the death of Princess Charlotte not two weeks before, and all dressed appropriately for the death of a royal.
None here in her new home would suspect Lillian also mourned the death of her father. She kept that to herself, her private grief.

Lillian looked once more at her reflection in the small looking glass and allowed herself to drop the carefully constructed walls around her heart. Her father died six weeks ago now, and in those weeks Lillian packed up what few belongings she owned and moved a hundred miles from Essex to Buckinghamshire.

Away from the pitying looks and incessant whispers of neighbors and so-called friends. Away from the gossip that hounded her for years. And far, far away from the man she should have married. But Lord Granville fell in love with another.

He chose the daughter of a merchant rather than Lillian, the granddaughter of a viscount. And now that woman trailed scandal and gossip in her wake.

Lillian sighed. She felt a moment’s empathy for the other woman. No one deserved the vicious tongues of the ton or to be splayed across the broadsheets like that.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Knights and Snails: Research for new series

I'm in the outlining stage for 2 new series, once of which is based on a medieval legend. In researching the times, I cam across this post from the Smithsonian Magazine:
 
I...don't have any idea why. I didn't know they fought snails. Why would anyone want to fight snails?
 
But this is the first paragraph:
 
It’s common to find, in the blank spaces of 13th and 14th century English texts, sketches and notes from medieval readers. And scattered through this marginalia is an oddly recurring scene: a brave knight in shining armor facing down a snail.
There are painting and tapestries and manuscripts of those brave knights decked out in armor and swords and lances fighting snails. Now the snails don't look to scale, so maybe they were alien snails? I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Curves: Christmas Curvy

They're finally playing Christmas music on the radio! I love Christmas music. I know people don't, but it's some of my favorite music ever. I also love reading Christmas stories as well. Not so much the feel good stories, but romance that take place during Christmas. With snow and songs and decorations.


Laura Dixon doesn't leap. She planned her life and career the way she wanted them to go. And does her best to ignore her family's advice on how to lose weight and catch a man. Mount Noel is her first major project with Gideon International Hotels and the Christmas themed hotel fits her perfectly, after all Christmas was her favorite holiday!

Maybe it was the ice skating or the Christmas music, or possibly the hot chocolate, that finally made her say yes when smart, handsome, and totally out of her league Tyler Kamari asked her out. Whatever it was, it was the right recipe for the holidays! Their entire time is a fantasy for her, a fantasy that makes crazy ideas sound perfectly reasonable. But when they leap ahead into something more than a fantasy can Laura accept that it was more?

This is a 38,000 word m/f story with explicit sex scenes, copious amounts of holiday cheer, and a curvy girl’s Christmas to remember.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Regency: Christmas traditions--Wassail

Christmas is just around the corner! (Ducking now--anyone else not remotely ready?) At least my Christmas release is. Improper Christmas is Lillian Norwood's story. Lillian is a minor character from Improper Match who's had a very hard life and is definitely not appreciated.

One Christmas tradition is wassail (pronounced like fossil so I now hear wossal in Chekhov's voice: Nuclear Wossal...and now you do, too. You can listen here at about the 1:18 mark).

Wassail is hot mulled cider. See random picture from the internet I pasted in here. Maybe I'll try it this Christmas and see how the family likes it!

I've see a couple similar explanations for where wassail came from, all form the Anglo-Saxons and involving a toast “Waes Hael” or “Be Whole” at the start of their new year.

Holiday Wassail
1 gallon apple cider
1 large can pineapple juice (unsweetened)
3/4 cup tea (can use herb tea)
Place in a cheesecloth sack:
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 Tablespoon whole allspice
2 sticks cinnamon
This is great cooked in a crock pot. Let it simmer very slowly for 4 to 6 hours. You can add water if it evaporates too much. Your home will smell wonderful! Serve warm, garnish with orange slices.
Serves 20.

Improper Christmas


“Miss Norwood, I presume,” the woman said before Lillian hit upon a polite conversational opening.

“Yes,” Lillian answered, only slightly surprised. “How — ”

“Oh” — she waved a hand — “you’ve been the chatter all around the village. Lord Granville’s ward, come to live in Chesham.”

She turned slightly and guided Lillian away from the fire and the Lansdowne sisters. She didn’t slip her hand through Lillian’s arm in an overly friendly manner, but did project an air of intimacy nonetheless.

“Most of the chatter is simply speculation,” she continued. “Though I am acquainted with Lord Granville. And while you and I have never met, I have heard your name.”

Lillian nodded stiffly. What had this woman heard? Did she know all of Lillian’s past? Did she know Lillian should not be here, at this ball? That her father’s death was not as long ago as she may have implied?

She refrained from muttering about gossips and rumors and remained silent. It was her only defense against such things anymore.

“You have me at a disadvantage,” Lillian said nonchalantly. And with a possible hint of ice. Just a hint. “I do not know your name.”

The woman’s eyes, alive with humor and secrets, watched her for several long moments. Then she smiled with a wide, charming curve of her lips that made Lillian want to trust her. At the very least, she wanted to know this woman who interacted so casually with Chesham society.

“My name is Camilla Primsby,” she said with confidence, as if Lillian ought to know who she was. “And do forgive the intrusion, but no young woman should be subjected to the incessant chatter of the Lansdowne sisters.”

Lillian’s lips twitched, but she didn’t give into the temptation of a smile. Mrs. Primsby acted kind enough, but Lillian knew the sort. Most likely, she wanted to be the first with all the gossip about the new woman in the village.

“Mrs. Miller believes I should make an appropriate companion to the Lansdowne sisters,” Lillian said in that same unflappable voice.

She began to wonder if it was possible for her to speak in any other manner. She missed the days of laughter and teasing with people she believed to be friends. Lillian bit back an angry sigh. That was in the past, dead and buried.

“Oh dear heavens,” Mrs. Primsby said, and she sounded truly horrified.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

#NewRelease: Timeless Passion by @KaydenClaremont

Kayden loves sexy, well-crafted stories of lust and love.  Her sensuous style drives the characters in lustful romps. When she is not crafting erotic romantic stories, she can be found crocheting or making jewelry.

Kayden is a member of Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers, and Writing Community of Durham Region.

She hopes you enjoy her other books, Hell’s Bounty, Timeless Passion, and her soon to be released Red Hot all published by The Wild Rose Press.

Kayden loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her on Facebook or at her website: www.KaydenClaremont.com

Twitter
Facebook

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LpzfdE
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RNrBhA
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1LThAR3
ARe: http://bit.ly/1MIZGzd
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1PNtLhY




BLURB:
Museum director Tasha Banner needs a miracle. Without a great deal of luck and even more money, the pioneer museum will close. But when they demonstrate a Scottish New Year’s tradition, a tall, dark, and yummy stranger walks through the door. Have the faeries sent her a miracle wrapped around the man of her dreams or will altering time bring disaster to them all?
 
Blacksmith Dougal MacBride walks into his home after a long day and finds strangers celebrating Hogmanay when it’s just days before Christmas. Confused beyond belief and incredibly aroused by the curvaceous bundle in front of his hearth, he is torn between the need to return to his time or remain in the present with the woman who may be his soul mate.


Excerpt Two:
She motioned for him to stand by the table like the others. Defiantly he remained by the door. “Welcome to my home on New Year’s Eve.” “Are ye daft woman? We’ve not even had Christmas yet.” Dougal didn’t know what they were doing pretending today was New Year’s Eve, but he’d have none of it. All he wanted was his sup and his bed. He turned and opened the door. “Be gone with ye. And take yer friends with ye.”

When she took a step closer to him, he saw the storm brewing in her eyes. “I’m Mrs. MacBride, a Scottish woman in the village and we are celebrating Hogmanay, a Scottish New Year’s tradition.”

“I know what Hogmanay is.” Dougal leaned into her. Her scent was one of sweet baking and spicy woman. He’d never been so instantly attracted to a woman before, but he had to keep his wits about him. “I also know yer not Mrs. MacBride and, with that accent, ye’re not Scottish either. Now be gone with ye.”

The brazen woman raised her hand to stop the others from leaving. Anger flared in her eyes, turning them a thunderous gray. She clutched his elbow, and her heat rushed up his arm and through his chest, causing his breath to catch. The pot of stew in his hand swayed and its lid crashed to the floor.

“How dare you order me out of here!”

Dougal brushed her hand from his arm. “How dare ye be here!”

Kayden will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour!