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Monday, January 31, 2011

Time suck: research

I'm researching Hawaii for my full-length FBI menage novel. It's so easy to get caught up in little details 99% of which I won't use ever but it's so cool to know. But wow does time fly when you're researching warm, beautiful locales you hope one day to visit.

The internet is a dangerous place for writers trying to write and not just surf. Or dangerous to any actual writing gettig done.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday recipe

I got this from the Joy of Baking site. And boy do they look delicious! Forget cute heart shaped Valentine's cookies. I'll be making these. In a double batch. And I might not share...

Brownie Layer:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces (114 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Layer:

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) square baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan.

In a stainless steel (heatproof) bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (with a wooden spoon) after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and beat, with a wooden spoon, until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about one minute). Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie batter and set it aside. Place the remainder of the brownie batter evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

Then, in the bowl of your food processor (or with a hand mixer), process the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and process just until creamy and smooth. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer. Spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese filling. Then with a table knife or wooden skewer, swirl the two batters without mixing them.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares (at least two hours). Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares. It is a good idea to have a damp cloth nearby to wipe your knife between cuts. These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Makes 16 - 2 inch (5 cm) squares.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wickedly Wanton Excerpt

Wickedly Wanton: a Regency Ménage Tale


Her shift lay on the floor, torn beyond repair. With a shrug, Sabine walked back to the bed, oddly comfortable with her nudeness, and found Faith’s shift.

Her friend was still asleep—arms thrown wide, naked legs open slightly, the remnants of chocolate, heavy cream, and strawberries on her skin. Licking her lips at the memory of Faith’s juices and strawberry, Sabine slipped the shift over her head. Taking a moment, she studied Faith.

Until that day by the stream, she had never thought of her friend as anything other than that. Certainly not a lover. And certainly not a woman who wanted her. Though she was sore, Sabine felt herself growing wet at the memories of Faith’s lips on her, tasting her most intimate secrets.

Lord Severn had ordered Faith to do things—kneel before Sabine, kiss her—but had not touched her. No, even as he watched Sabine kiss Faith’s chocolate-and-cream-covered breasts, he had reserved that solely for her.

Leaving Faith to her sleep, Sabine silently exited the room. She wanted to know where Lord Severn was, when he had slipped from the bed, and why.

Wandering the hall, she took her time examining the paintings. Several were clearly of ancestors; the men had the same long nose and penetrating deep brown eyes as Aiden Merryck, Marquess of Severn. The women, hmm, no she couldn’t detect any resemblance to the Merryck women’s soft features and laughing eyes.

Maybe around the lips—they all had full, sensual lips. While Severn’s lips weren’t full, they were sensual. And oh, how he knew to use them!

Shaking her head at her thoughts, she moved on, past the ancestral paintings to the pastoral settings. She skipped the wood nymphs and their teasing flight from the aroused god, but stopped before a girl pumping water from the well. Her master stood in the doorway of his house with a look so hungry, so sensual on his face, Sabine shivered.

She understood that now, understood that look and all it promised. Licking her lips, barely aware of the movement, she remembered Severn inside her. Taking her virginity, making her feel things she was unaware existed. She wanted him again, despite her body’s tenderness.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Killer Valentine

This is the blurb for the story I finished up for Ravenous Romance's Valentine's Day ménage anthology. I intend to take these same characters and write a full-length, set in Hawaii. I've already started to plot that story out, tentatively titled Killer Vacation. Not sexy enough? I'll work on that.

If they weren't tracking a serial killer intent on adding unsuspecting tourists to his list, FBI agent Jareth Reese would have found Valentine's weekend in beautiful snow-covered Aspen much more pleasurable. But he and his team barely have time to sleep, let alone indulge in an erotic getaway with each other.

Always a strong man used to getting his way, Jareth won't let one serial killer stop him from forcing both Tony and Sophie to submit to his every command. Though their ménage is new, and the three of them are still exploring their boundaries, he molds them to his will as he teaches them much needed lessons in submission.
In a gorgeous mountain cabin, Jareth indulges in his lovers, but their bond is tested as they confront evil, their own inner demons, and Jareth's intensifying need to control them both. When they follow a killer deep into the forests will they all return or will one be left behind?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


A friend forwarded this to me, I have on idea where she got it, or how old it is, but I liked the sentiment. I liked everything about it, actually, and needed to share.
"When my child sees the book on restricted shelves, the message is it's not OK to be different, it's not OK to be unique. So I can go ahead and harass those kids who are different-that's the message we are giving our kids."
This was by a parent, Bengu Tekinalp from Ankeny, Iowa. He was at an elementary school opposing the demands of other parents who want restricted access to And Tango Makes Three.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Posted the badge on my blog.
Did what they told me to do.
Got it there with my name.
And the big question mark and blankness of it all.

Anyone know how to fix that?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday recipe: Moroccan Honeycomb Pancakes

I was looking for various breads to make, I have an over abundance of flour from Christmas cookies I didn't get to make and would like to use up before it goes bad, though I think that'll take a long time. I've never had Moroccan anything, but these pancakes are tastey!

Moroccan Honeycomb Pancakes (Beghrir):
Prep Time: 1 1/4 hr
Total Time: 2 hrs


Yeast Starter
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fine semolina (yellow not white)
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup milk
canola oil

To Serve
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons honey, good quality
1/4 cup water
Change Measurements: US | Metric

1 Mix the sugar with the warm water then add the yeast. Stir until well mixed then set aside in a warm place for 5-10 minutes, or until bubbly.

2 Mix the water & milk together & let it sit out until lukewarm. Beat the eggs & then add them to the milk mixture.

3 Sift the flour, semolina, & salt into a large shallow bowl. Slowly pour half the milk mixture into the flour, stirring constantly by hand until well mixed.

4 Add the yeast mixture to the dough & beat vigorously by hand in order to air it and to eliminate any curds. Add a little more of the milk mixture from time to time, until the batter is runny smooth (like thick cream). Cover with a towel & set aside to rest for 1-2 hours. (The longer you lest the batter rest the more holes will be in the pancakes).

5 When ready to cook, rub your pan with a paper towel that has been dipped in canola oil & then heat over medium-low heat.

6 Gently stir the batter then pour 1 small ladle (3-4 tbsp) onto the pan, smooth into a perfect circle with the bottom of the ladle, & cook until bubbles appear over the surface of the pancake & all trace of raw dough disappears. You do not want to bottom to turn brown so if you need to you can turn it over for a second or two to finish the top side.

7 Place the pancakes in a large heatproof shallow bowl in overlapping circles and keep them warm until ready to serve. Do not stack them or they will be liable to stick together.

8 Heat the butter and honey with water in a pan. Simmer for 5 minutes then place in a small serving bowl.

9 Drizzle the honey mixture over the beghrir & then roll it up. Eat with your fingers & have fun -- .

Thursday, January 20, 2011


One of the hardest parts of writing is editing, rather self-editing. Going over all those words you put on screen and cutting them. Well not all of them but there are words that definitely don't need to be in the story.

Today I'm going over my Valentine's Day 20K word ménage, appropriately titled Killer Valentine, one last time before shipping it off. Er, emailing it on out. I'm positive I missed something but at least I know I won't have glaring errors to be embarrassed over later.

Up next: Finish plotting my full-length FBI agent ménage. I've decided to set it in Hawaii with a serial killer on the loose and internal strife affecting my intrepid threesome.

What I'm reading: An Everlasting Bite by Stacey Kennedy

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


What are this month's goals? This years? Yes, it's already the middle of the month but I got a slow start. So, my goals for 2011. I'll tape them to my wall so I can see them every day.

1. Write at least 500 words a day on current project.
2. Finish full-length contemporary by April 1 deadline
3. Plot second full-length ménage--not sure if it's historical or contemporary. I have vague ideas for both.
4. Seriously think about where I want this writing career to go. What do I want out of it? To publish 2 or 3 stories a year? To do more? (If possible) To change from my beloved ménages to something else more bookstore appropriate?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happiness is

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~Abraham Lincoln
Being happy during the winter months is harder than when the sun shines until 7 or 8 at night. It's the darkness thing, but probably also the cold.

What do you do to keep your spirits up? I write. OK, I scrape out a little bit of time every day (new year's resolution/goal) and write at least one page worth of keep -ble material.

I think tomorrow I'll post a list of 2011 goals. Someone told me that by writing them down they're more likely to happen.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Changing things up

My current contemporary is a m/m/f ménage with a D/s theme. The hardest part about writing this is making it all work. Not because of the D/s theme or even the switch from m/f/f to m/m/f but because it's a new evolution to the characters relationship.

This isn't an experience any of the three of them have dealt with before, and that makes it new and exciting, but it also makes the scenes delicate to write. My Dom has never really been a Dom with any of his previous lovers, and my sub is having trouble submitting 100% of the time.

But it's fun to write, and the characters from this short story will have their own full length, which I'm working on as soon as this one is finished and edited.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Recipe: Nettle Soup

It's that time of year. The time of the dreaded cold. A friend has a book called Grow your own Drugs by James Wong...not those kinds of drugs, but the natural kind that doesn't require a prescription. Or jail time.

Nettle Soup is a restorative, according to this book, and nettles are "packed with nourishing vitamins and minerals that can help build natural immunity and protect from infections after a long winter." [page 114]

2 TBSP butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 medium potatoes peeled & chopped
450g freshly picked nettle tops (wear gloves to collect), washed
1qt vegetable stock
2/3 cup heavy cream
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Large pot of water to a boil, melt butter and gently saute onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and nettles and saute for 2 minutes. Add stock and cover, then bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Puree the ingredients with a handheld blender, then stir in the cream and season with a little nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Reheat and serve.

I don't like nutmeg, but we'll see how it works. As for picking nettles, I wouldn't have a clue as to where to PICK nettles, so am buying them. I'm sure it'll be just fine. Anything to boost the immune system and help me through the treacherous cold season, eh?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

External Conflict

In the last several months, I've read a lot about internal and external conflicts and using them in a story. Even with historicals, many so-called ripped from the headline ideas can be used. Let's face it, murder, cheating, espionage, and family drama have changed  very little over the last several hundred years.

Using them in hsitoricals is actually a lot of fun. It's the terminology that needs changing of course, but that makes the conflict all the more intenst. Forensics didn't exist, so no fingerprints, DNA, nothing. Couldn't call someone up on the cell and track them, or trace their phone logs.

Some of my favorites include taking a recent headline and playing with it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Facebook:The Final Installment

By no stretch of the imagination do I consider myself a Luddite. I adore technology and consider it an essential part of my life. One that has indeed made my life easier. Laundry by a lake with a rock? You are out of your mind. Writing letters with pen and paper? Can be done but I prefer my fingers flying over the typewriter.

I've done it. I've created a Facebook fan page. It's my understanding that a fan page is different from a regular page. I don't know how, but it sounded easier. Or I could be deluding myself. Probably the latter.

Now my only quesiton is: What's the URL for my page?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reading list

What I'm reading now: Nothing.
What I'm planning on reading in the near future as soon as I convince myself that coming home in the pitch black means I can still be constructive: I have a couple Tilly Green books I picked up during a seriously excellent blog month she recently did (if you count recent as the last few months) and several other e-books.

What I need is an ereader. Maybe instead of cooking stuff I should have demanded an e-reader. Maybe for my birthday...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Story ideas

In explaining to a friend where I get my story ideas, I realized I didn't know. So far I have 1 full-length out and several short stories in anthologies. The anthologies are simple: the call goes out foe the setting/type, and the rest just comes into my demented little head and out onto paper.

The full, I'm not so sure. I know I wanted to write an historical, love the Regency period, and somehow that combined into a story. I have another historical planned but not quite plotted, (m/m/f) and am working on this contemporary now.

Do people actually know where their story ideas come from? I mean it's not like a pool, it's my brain, thus far not eaten by zombies. It does, however, live in the gutter. And rather enjoys it there.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday recipe: Pepper Steak

Got a new crockpot for Christmas, but no new cookbook to go with it. I never really used a crockpot before, so it's a little daunting to figure out how to use it ad make stuff. But I've heard that a ham in the crockpot is delicious. We'll see.

This weekend I'm trying pepper and steak from since I have no cookbook. Yet. And am sticking (for 2 whole days) to my resolution not to eat out.)

  • 2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 2 inch strips
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large green bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Thursday, January 6, 2011

On the subject

...of resolutions

While I'm on the subject of resolutions, and since it's still the first week in a new year and I feel I should do something, I also resolve to exercise, eat healthier (not difficult as it stands now but I envision laziness in the very near future) and go out less.

Imagine the money I can save by not eating out every week! Starting this week, and since I did get a lot of cooking stuff for Christmas, we won't be eating out for the next two months. *sigh* I guess this means I'll need to get to the grocery store more often.

Ah well, new year, new you, right?
Not as easy as it sounds...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Writing resolution

I hereby resolve to quit complaining about time, lack thereof or otherwise, and just get to it. Suck it up. Deal with it. And most of all: Write!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Contemporary conflict

I'm currently writing a 20,000 word contemporary ménage. Very fun so far, but very different from the historicals I'd done. The conflict is driving me crazy.

The thing with a an historical is that there is inherent conflict because of the many restrictions of various times. In a contemporary, a woman can not marry the jerk if she doesn't want to, or she can have an affair with whomever she pleases. There were a lot of rules even 100 years ago to govern that type of behavior.

But always fun ways of working around them!

Luckily, there is plenty of conflict in a threesome, even a contemporary one. No matter how liberal you are, most people don't condone a threesome. I wonder if they think it's because you can't love two people the same way at the same time? Or because people think a ménage is just about sex? Hmm, things to think.

Monday, January 3, 2011

First Monday

Wasn't that a TV show? Something about the Supreme Court with James Garner? I don't think it lasted long. Wonder if they really work on the First Monday of the new year. On one hand, they are the government so who knows. But on the other, they ARE the Supreme Court...lots of cases to look through.

All of which has aboslutely nothing to do with this blog...

Was I supposed to make resolutions? I didn't...did you?

I guess I could. OK, here goes:
  • I resolve to exercise more (but no walking in snow drifts or high winds) and eat more veggies.
  • I resolve to bake more yummy stuff with 'healthy' substitutes.
  • I resolve to make anything chocolate the old-fhasioned way. No skimping there!
  • I resolve to write every week if not every day.
  • I resolve to blog more.
  • I resolve to take each day as it comes and not stress over tiny little insignificant petty problems. So there, petty problems! Take that!
And thank you to Calvin & Hobbs for the really is perfect!