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Friday, March 30, 2012

Today I'm over at D.C. McMillen

And talking about a variety of things. I was offered the choice: Anything I wanted!


OK sure!

What sorts of fascinating topics did I have? Words with Friends addiction? Twitter App addiction? Seemed like a bad theme of addiction, so I decided to skip that.

Then it hit me; duh! I could talk about my new release, Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale. So I whittled down a excerpt, scouted for an acceptable avatar for my photo, and talked Making Jane Austen blush…or how to get away with a very scandalous ménage.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guest: Doris O'Connor

Villains by Doris O'Connor

Love them or hate them, a good villain makes a story. I have
two villains in Lure Of Forever and I had great fun creating them and letting my imagination run wild. Paranormal gives you such scope for creating a truly evil villain. What will they be? How far can you push the envelope? Can you bear to actually write what's unfolding in your head?

A friend specializes in horror, and when she said to me that
my villain gave her the chills I knew I'd pitched him right. The demon was one thing. Jacomo's aim is to bring the destruction of earth as we know it, pretty evil stuff you will agree, and Lucas has compelling personal reasons for ridding the world of Jacomo's particular brand of evil.

But this post isn't about him. Oh no—there is another, far more dangerous being in Lure Of Forever, someone who causes my heroine significant harm. The fact that she not only survives the encounter, but remains emotionally relatively unscarred is testament to Coralie's inner strength.

I struggled to write the scenes with Bughar the fairy. I'm pretty sure I typed one scene in particular with my eyes closed and I needed a stiff drink afterwards and a cuddle from hubby! He tells me it's some of my best writing…

What follows is Coralie's first meeting with the fairy.

She was just about to grab the handle of her bedroom door, when a commanding voice stopped her.

"Carmen will see you now."

Finally. Maybe now she would get some answers. Some of her courage left her, however, when she glimpsed the speaker. Jeez, what the hell was he? The giant of a man had to be at least seven feet tall. Purple eyes dominated an ethereally beautiful face, framed by long, straight, white hair that trailed down his back. An intricate tattoo spread itself along his bulging biceps, up his left shoulder and halfway across his naked chest.

Coralie swallowed nervously when the giant smiled, showing several rows of razor-sharp teeth. He stood back, gesturing for her to step past him.

"This way, and move it, human. Carmen is an impatient woman."

Clearly, so was he. The hurried flick of his head revealed pointy ears and Coralie swallowed a hysterical bubble of laughter. So much for fairies being cute, little things at the bottom of the garden. She winced when his large hand grabbed her arm to guide her along.

Long, perfectly manicured fingernails dug into her flesh and Coralie shook his
arm off with a terse, "Do you quite mind? That hurts."

"Oh I know that, little human. I'm rather fond of some pain myself." Those purple eyes changed to a yellowish red and the evil smile accompanying the next words sent a flood of ice-cold dread down Coralie's spine. "I'm rather hoping Carmen will let me play with you a little, once she's had her fill. Now move it."

Coralie had no choice but to follow the far-from-graceful fairy as he marched her along the multitude of corridors at dizzying speed. The fact that every other occupant of the place hurried to get out of their way – in fact, one of the maids double backed so fast that she tripped up – did not fill Coralie with confidence that she would like this encounter, or survive it.

When they finally stopped in front of huge, double doors she had no idea where they were and could hardly breathe. Three rapid knocks on the door were followed by a bid to enter. The tall blonde facing them looked horribly familiar, and Coralie bit back the curse she was about to utter. This was Carmen? The snooty ice queen who'd referred to Coralie as a snack on Lucas' boat? Snack indeed. This was one snack that would stick in her throat, even if it was literally the last thing Coralie would do.

"Ah, about time. What took you so long, Bughar? I hope she didn't give you any trouble?" Bughar gave Coralie a shove that sent her flying face-down to the floor in front of Carmen. Coralie immediately tried to get up, but the fairy's big, booted foot in her shoulder blades pushed her back on the stone tiled floor. Her chin smashed into the floor and she tasted blood.

"You'll give Carmen the respect she commands, human." To hell she would. Bughar could just bugger off. She spat the blood pooling in her mouth on the floor.

Believe me that was Bughar being nice…

Book Blurb:
You'd think a three thousand year old vampire wouldbelieve in forever. Not Lucas. He has an escaped demon to hunt and no time for the follies of humankind. When strip-o-gram Coralie arrives on his boat, she awakens human instincts long buried, and protecting her becomes of paramount importance.

Coralie, standing in for a friend, is mortally embarrassed at having stumbled onto the wrong boat. The vampire wannabe she encounters makes her body sing in ways she never thought possible. Finding out that he is indeed the real thing throws everything she ever believed in into doubt.

With the demon closing in and the future of humanity in peril will they manage to find their forever?

Buy Links:
Amazon UK
Evernight Publishing

About the Author:
Glutton for punishment would be a good description for Doris... at least that's what she hears on an almost daily basis when people find out that she has a brood of nine children, ranging from adult to baby and lives happily in a far too small house, cluttered with children, pets, dust bunnies and one very understanding and supportive husband. Domestic goddess she is not.

There is always something better to do after all, like working on the latest manuscript and trying not to scare the locals even more than usual by talking out loud to the voices in her head. Her sexy Alpha heroes and sassy heroines tend to be pretty insistent to get their stories told, and you will find Doris burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. Only time to get any peace and quiet and besides, sleep is for wimps. She writes contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance.

German born, Doris now resides in the middle of a busy town in Bedfordshire/England and dreams of a nice big house by the sea, with plenty of space to run kids and dogs and let her imagination soar.

Find Doris on the web here:

If you'd like to be in with a chance to win a copy of Lure Of Forever, just leave a comment. I will be picking three winners at the end of my blog tour. Every time you comment on one of my stops, you will get another entry into the drawing.

Details of the tour stops can be found here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Today I'm at Adriana Kraft's

And I've been interviewed! Check out the awesome questions and ask one of me to be entered to win a PDF of Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale.
The truest torment is wanting something you know you can never have. Charlotte Tremaine knew this feeling all too well. She covets the freedom to do as she pleases, but has never let herself dream of being with the man she loves. The problem is, she loves two men.

For the last three years, Charlotte has survived her stifling home life by living through correspondence with two childhood friends now off at war. Once they return, will she be able to summon the courage to tell them of her feelings? Or will she let the convenience of mourning an aunt she despised keep her hidden and isolated?Fear lurks in the shadows and threatens to keep her cloistered.
When William Stanton and Grayson, Earl Warrington return from war, she teeters on the brink of having what's she has always wanted. Torn between William and Grayson, Charlotte must first learn to trust herself before she can trust her heart and body to them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Goal #13

Where has the time gone? I always heard about how time goes faster when you're older, but frankly I'm not that much older (am I?) and these days and months are zipping on by.

I hate to have a goal of stepping back and enjoying life, it seems like something that should just happen, but every once in a while I think e need to be reminded to literally stop and smell the roses. Or in my case (since I planted no roses) the many daffodils and tulips I do have. Most of which are blooming already and some of which might die with this impending frost.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Recipe: Bread

I'm not really into making bread. Don't get me wrong, I love homemade bread. It's the time factor. Even with a bread maker it's still the time factor. But then I saw this cool book at the library (where I get a lot of books I'm not sure if I want to buy) and thought maybe...maybe I'll give it a shot.
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn't Cook from Scratch -- Over 120 Recipes for the Best Homemade Foods by Jennifer Reese

So I went to my favorite recipe site and found a simple (simple-ish) recipe with a phenominal number of reviews (2,650 for a 5 star review? Yeah I'll try this.) I've discovered 2 things: I will never not use a bread maker again, am digging out mine right after I finish this, and this recipe was really delicious!

Amish White Bread

Prep Time:20 Min
Cook Time:40 Min
Ready In:2 Hrs 30 Min

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 168 Total Fat: 2.9g Cholesterol: 0mg

Jumping over to Louisa Bacio's

Today I'm at Louisa's talking about Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale and lifting the layers of the Regency Romance. Literally and figuratively.

Leave a comment about what you'd like to see in a Regency and be entered to win a PDF of Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The chasm between us and them

There is more to the chasm between me the author and best selling authors than I believed. Sure, they have that whole pre-sale thing going on, and they have NYT Best Seller status even to their latest and least greatest titles (I'm talking about you Evanovich and Patterson!) Apparently there's also a mental chasm between us and them.

Let's start with this article on The Wall Street Journal on ebook pricing and the DOJ/EU investigation.

Then there was this bit on Amazon and their pricing. Do I think Amazon is trying to take over the world? Yes. Do I think that's what business is all about? Yes.

Finally there's this take on the Amazon pricing and Scott Turow's take on it...(if you can't laugh at the commentary you probably shouldn't finish reading the post). And this, Mr. Turow's take on Amazon, ebook pricing, and the like, is why the chasm between me as an author and best seller Turow is even wider than I originally believed.

Clearly he has no idea what it's like not to have the name or the brand.

Anyone have other thoughts or comments on this? I'd love to hear them, even if they differ from mine. It's what a great discussion is all about.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekly Goal #12

Other than obsessively keeping up on twitter and blogs, and realizing that this publishing world is changing by the month not just year, I plotted last week.

The next 4 Hellfire Club Erotiques are all plotted for 25-35,000 words with an overarching theme to them. I mean an actual plot theme not just a sexual one. Scandal, sex (naturally), treason, anarchy, and sex...well it is an Erotique. Not all are going to be ménage stories, in fact the next one is a m/f story about the Earl of Aycliff, who I mentioned (very, very briefly) in The Masque.

I'll be posting several excerpts from Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale in the coming days, as well as giving away copies of the book during various guest blogs. Keep an eye out for that!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Recipe: St. Patrick's Day

In honor of the holiday tomorrow I thought I'd post an Irish meal. Granted, I've made Irish stew, pretty tasty on a cold day, but not one with stout added. However I might after seeing this recipe! So I looked one up on my favorite recipe site and posted it here.

Prep Time:30 Min
Cook Time:3 Hrs
Ready In:3 Hrs 30 Min

2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)
2 cups chopped carrot
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Toss the beef cubes with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the beef in this to coat.

Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and brown on all sides. Add the onions, and garlic. Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water to dilute; pour into the pan and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup of the beer into the pan, and as it begins to boil, scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This adds a lot of flavor to the broth. Pour in the rest of the beer, and add the carrots and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 518 Total Fat: 36.1g Cholesterol: 101mg

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Covet: A Regency Menage Tale #releaseday

It's been a long road getting to today, which is all my own doing and I blame no one else (unless you count an utter lack of time travel ability and the person who has yet to invent that).

Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale:

The truest torment is wanting something you know you can never have. Charlotte Tremaine knew this feeling all too well. She covets the freedom to do as she pleases, but has never let herself dream of being with the man she loves. The problem is, she loves two men.

For the last three years, Charlotte has survived her stifling home life by living through correspondence with two childhood friends now off at war. Once they return, will she be able to summon the courage to tell them of her feelings? Or will she let the convenience of mourning an aunt she despised keep her hidden and isolated?

Fear lurks in the shadows and threatens to keep her cloistered. When William Stanton and Grayson, Lord Warrington return from war, she teeters on the brink of having what she’s always wanted. Torn between William and Grayson, Charlotte must first learn to trust herself before she can trust her heart and body to them.

Now available!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Regency: Battles and Romance

The Battle of Lissa...What? Never heard of it. It's true. As with most historical romances, very little is known about the little battles that go on around our main story.

Now if you've ever read Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, or have seen the delectable Sean Bean in the movies, then you know those are not historical romances but historicals...historical war novels? Historical fiction? Not sure, but though there's a definite element of romance, it can never be classified as such.

However wars, or specific battles, often play an important part in a romance. For instance, in Seduction of a Proper Lady, I named several battles (that weren't Waterloo since most Regency readers have heard of that one). I used slightly more obscure battles because I could. No other reason than that.

In this instance, I used them to show where Ethan received his wounds but not much else about the specifics of the battle. Readers know what happens in war; in a romance, it's not really what we want to read about.

  • Ethan's burns were so severe they scarred a good portion of his body

  • Hence the reason he put about that he was not a fully functioning man

  • Which led to the reason he lived with Major Braedon Sinclair, his commanding officer, who's life he saved

  • Braedon is also his lover

  • And Ethan's wounds (preventing him from being considered a serious match in the ton) allowed him to form a closeness with Lady Laurel Westfield the ton allowed because they believed nothing untoward could happen. Oh how wrong they were!

The Battle of Lissa (the March 13, 1811 one, not the July 20, 1866 one) was a naval battle that saw Captain Sir William Hoste...led four British frigates into action flying the signal 'Remember Nelson', and shattered a Franco-Italian frigate squadron nearly twice his own strength.

See? You still don't care about that battle. But that's the point isn't it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekly Goal #11

Goal: To get rid of thie sinus headache! Does that count as a weekly goal?

I've finished The Escape and it's now being converted so that should be out within he next few weeks. Wanted the right tone for it, then lost steam and rushed the ending, so had to fix that. Am much happier with it now!

Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale will be released Thursday, so there's that.

My other writing name is coming along nicely with my first non-erotic Regency romance. Set in a world where a plague has wiped out 60% of the population, the survivors struggle with highwaymen, roving bands of outlaws, French spies, and famine.

I think I've earned a week off! Plus spring has sprung and it's going to be beautiful this week! I'll pick up again on Sunday. Really.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Guest Joane Kenrick

Sweet Irish Kiss is apart of Decadent Publishing's 1 Night Stand multi-author series.

The series is based around Madame Evangeline's match-making skills. A woman to be reckoned with, and owner of a highly successful matchmaking service; put the right two people together for just one night and anything is possible. Especially when the dates take place at the fabulous Castillo Hotels and Resorts in some of the most exotic places in the world. For more on Madame Evangeline.


Rachel Taylor has issues. Her father broke her mother's heart with his cheating and Rachel swore never to let that happen to her, but one ruined relationship after another and she's realized she's got to get over being closed off to men. Perhaps a one-night stand is just the baby step she needs to begin to build trust again.

Shaun Bell, a divorced workaholic, spends all his time tending bar in his Irish Pub. He's ready to love again, but the women who visit his bar are only after his infamous Irish cocktails. At the advice of his darts team, over a tanker or two of Beamish, he applies to 1Night Stand to get back into the swing of things and enjoy the company of a woman specially selected for him by Madame Evangeline.

A match seemingly made in heaven...until morning rolls around and Shaun can't bring himself to say good-bye. Can he win her over with his secret weapon, a Sweet Irish Kiss, or is Rachel still too scared to love?

Chick lit & Multicultural BESTSELLERChick lit, Multicultural, Mainstream BESTSELLER"

Your Panties will be bunching and you will be sitting on the edge of your chair to wait and see what goodies Shaun has packed in his overnight bag ** grins **"-- Kat, Pageflipperz


PhotobucketPhotobucket PhotobucketPhotobucket Photobucket

Photobucket 99c 77p normally 2.99

Book Trailer Full Screen Book Trailer Playlist

"Ms. Kenrick's writing style flows nicely throughout the story. Her attention stays more on the characters rather than the setting which is fitting for the genre of the novella. I like her ability to dig deep within the characters feelings allowing them to step up and tell their story. It is as if the author really took the back seat on this one. Very well written indeed! JoAnne Kenrick knows how to write unique, if not quirky, characters that stay with me long after I've finished reading their stories." -- Talina, Night Owl Reviews

This Sweet Irish Kiss excerpt has been edited to make it a PG-13. Please keep in mind that

the full story has a 4 flame rating and is therefore NOT suitable for minors.

I can’t believe I did that. What a great first impression. Not! And only I could top it off by going all defensive on his ass. Poor guy looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights. At least he was a gentleman about it, though. Had any of my exes seen me go down like a ton of bricks, all Nia Vilvados style, they’d have pissed themselves laughing and grabbed their cameras. I’m the character who gets caught up in headphone wire when she sees a hot guy in that movie...Fat Greek Wedding, Big Fat Greek...whatever. I know what I mean.

Rachel shuddered. She’d fallen flat on her face because the hunkiness of her one-night stand had taken her by surprise. She hadn’t expected it. Not in the least. Average, that’s what his profile had said. It’s why she picked him. She figured he wouldn’t be up himself. Most attractive men who know they’re hot behave like monkeys in heat because of it. She wanted a man who would be thanking his lucky stars to have her in his arms, and one who would be romantic and polite. And when he rushed to help her, he‘d surprised her again.

Drop dead gorgeous and caring? This could be dangerous.

“Ya feeling better now?” Thick Irish accent, smooth like Baileys, coated each word her one-night stand spoke.

“Uh-huh.” She glanced up at his welcoming expression and caught her stare in his. “So, you’re Irish?” You’re Irish?

He quirked his mouth into a grin as if she amused him. She reminded herself that she wanted this and backed up. She sat on the nearest thing to her, a dining chair from the breakfast for two set, and chewed at her freshly manicured nails. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt this nervous. Her stomach flip- flopped around the butterflies dancing in her gut.

“Ya, that a problem?” God I love his Irish brogue.

“Listen, Shaun, I’m sorry about the way I came down on you. I mean, not came down on you. Hell, I...I’m sorry for losing it.” He raised an eyebrow. “For biting your head off when you tried to help.”

“Hey, I get it. I’m not what ya expected.” Shaun, hands firmly rooted in his pockets, shrugged his shoulders. “Ya definitely not what I expected, either, but here we are. We can call it a day if you prefer or we can enjoy the rest of the evening. What do ya say? I can leave if ya like. The hotel room’s been paid for, so ya can spend the night and make the most of it. I’ll leave ya be, so I will. But I’d rather stay here...with ya.”

Her stare locked on Shaun, and she watched him grab his bag from the foot of the bed and stride toward the exit. His muscular frame, dark features, and great sense of style had her knees knocking together. She couldn’t remember the last time she actually wanted a man. But it wasn’t like she’d chase after him. The day she did that would be the day she forgave her daddy, or rolled over dead. The latter was more likely to happen first.

The following excerpt has been edited to make it a PG-13 excerpt. Please keep in mind that the book does contain adult themes and language, and is not suitable for minors.

Pretentious, that’s how Rachel described the infamous Knightsbridge store where she worked. She loved her job, though. It meant she could let loose, make crazy-ass window displays, and stretch her imagination beyond the high street fashion trends. Usually.

“Effing yuppie fashion.” She stood, pin cushion in hand, staring out the huge plate glass window. The rain drizzled over passing shoppers who huddled and shared umbrellas with loved ones. She wished she could have someone she could trust to protect her when life pissed all over her, but she didn’t have anyone like that. The big brick wall she’d built had seen to it.

A flashback of running through a downpour with her father hit her hard. He’d thrown his coat over her, sheltering her and leaving himself open to the elements. They giggled all the way home, running late for a Mother’s Day dinner.

She closed her eyes to try and block out the past, but the darkness acted as a blank canvas for her memory to play out the scene until a rumble of thunder in the distance brought her back to the present.

She sniffled back her feelings and grasped a plastic body to steady herself. A teardrop trickled down her face, and she smeared it away. Time to buckle up and get over it. Once a fond memory, it now served as a bitter pill. He’d tricked her, tricked everyone with his gallant gestures. He could never again be the genuine, kind man she remembered from her childhood. At least not to her, anyway.

“Effing life.” She threw a knit over a male model’s shoulders and fluffed to give it a casual yet purposeful style. “What are they thinking, asking me to decorate the mannequins with this jumped up crap? Men don’t dress like Prince William. No man I know anyway.”

Her pocket buzzed. Rachel flipped her phone open. “Hello?” Nothing. “Hell-o?”

Still nothing. She pulled it from her ear and glanced at the digital display.

“Email, not a call. I’m never going to get used to this stupid, high tech phone.” She pressed a few buttons. Some wrong. Some right. Eventually, she managed to open up the message.

A last minute check, to make sure your 1NightStand goes as you desire. May I suggest you wear a corset, my dear, to flatter your curves. He’ll be there before you, and I picked a room especially with a double door entrance so you can have a Scarlet O’Hara moment. Please don’t wear green. He hates the color. A bottle of Jameson would make a wonderful gift, should you wish to bring something along to break the ice. And best of all, Rachel, remember why you wanted this and enjoy the experience. Good luck, dear, I hope he’s all you need.

Bien a toi, Evangeline

— Is he ALL she needs? There is only one way to find out…READ THE BOOK FOR FREE! St Patrick's Day Promotion, free offer for a limited time only.

This excerpt has been edited to make it suitable for a general, mature audience. Sweet Irish Kiss is not suitable for minors.

“Put this blindfold on,” he ordered, “if ya want a surprise.” He wanted to put it on her himself. But knowing she had trust issues, it didn’t feel right to do so. Instead, he went to the bathroom to clean the toys with warm, soapy water as the packet had said for him to do. He hoped she would be sightless and under his demand when he got back.

He wasn’t disappointed. Still on all fours, she had done as requested. He smeared lube over the beads and eased them into her. As an anal newbie, he had no idea how much it would turn him on and drive him insane. He wanted to rip them out and shove his cock inside her tight little hole instead. His hard on throbbed with need already, and it had only been minutes since he’d come. Sure he would be able to perform again, and probably too soon if he didn’t grab hold of himself, he grinned.

When the fifth and biggest bead was inside her, he whipped on a condom, slipped inside her bleep entrance from behind, and plunged all the way into her slick warmth . The bumpity-bump of the latex numbs rubbing against him through her thick layer massaged his length as he moved, and he couldn’t contain the growl that emerged from deep in his gut.

JoAnne Kenrick

JoAnne Kenrick, an ex-Ghost Tour Guide turned Romance Author, is a Welsh lass who has lived in various countries around the world. She now calls North Carolina her home, where she lives with her husband, two children and a lazy cat. When they aren't demanding her attention, she can most likely be found watching a vampire movie, reading or baking up a British favorite in her N.C. kitchen. That is, when she isn't writing or chatting up a storm on social networking sites.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Recipe: Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

I love au gratin potatoes! Delicious and reminds me of Sunday dinners. Course what they don't tell you is all that work in washing, peeling, and cutting the potatoes.

Prep Time:30 Min
Cook Time:1 Hr 30 Min
Ready In:2 Hrs

4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, sliced into rings (Didn't add, cheesy potatoes are great without the onions)
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (Or more depending...cheese makes everything better!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.

Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 499 Total Fat: 25.4g Cholesterol: 77mg

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Regency: The Chemise

Any Regency romance you read will at one point or another (be it an erotica or not) mention the all important chemise. I don't know why, it's like using bra in a contemporary. Women wear them, but unless the sentence reads She tossed her bra or she ran out of the house without her bra I can't imagine why contemporary readers would need to know that a modern day woman is wearing her bra.

Regency women knew they wore a chemise--there's no reason to actually mention such a thing. But we 21st century writers need to. And often.

So what is a chemise?

From Lord Scott's We Make History:

Chemise: The chemise was the only ladies' undergarment used during the era. (Panties would not be developed until the 20th century and pantalets were not in vogue until Victorian times.) The chemise was simply constructed of linen or cotton. In modern terms its appearance was similar to a long blouse or short nightgown.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekly Goals #10

Last week was busy. My brain is dead, my back aches from sitting hunched over the computer, and every other word I type I think of at least 3 synonyms for. The hazards of editing stories.

Last week I managed to completely 100% (I pretty certain) Dark Inheritance, the alternate reality Regency England story I'm doing under my alter ego K. Reed. Sexy, dark, and action packed, all it lacks is zombies. Whic I did on purpose.

This week looks to be equally swamped:

  • Edit The Escape: A Hellfire Club Erotique (The Masque looks so lonely!)

  • Edit Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale

Granted, this doesn't look like a lot, but editing any story takes time. Especially when editing 3 stories back to back to back.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New cover

I love all my Regency Ménage Tale covers. They're very thematic but more they're just plain lovely. My cover for Covet: A Regency Ménage Tale is just as wonderful. I don't have a release date yet, I haven't even finished edits for the story. But I'll be sure to post it when I do!

The truest torment is wanting something you know you can never have. Charlotte Tremaine knew this feeling all too well. She covets the freedom to do as she pleases, but has never let herself dream of being with the man she loves. The problem is, she loves two men.

For the last three years, Charlotte has survived her stifling home life by living through correspondence with two childhood friends now off at war. Once they return, will she be able to summon the courage to tell them of her feelings? Or will she let the convenience of mourning an aunt she despised keep her hidden and isolated?

Fear lurks in the shadows and threatens to keep her cloistered. When William Stanton and Grayson, Earl Warrington return from war, she teeters on the brink of having what's she has always wanted. Torn between William and Grayson, Charlotte must first learn to trust herself before she can trust her heart and body to them.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Guest D.C. McMillen

Apparently, I Get Around

I love to travel.

Okay, that is a bit of an understatement. Let’ just say I am insanely passionate about visiting other areas – any area of the world. You could offer to drop me off in the middle of a landmine infested war zone and I would probably be on board. In my mind, any travel experience, even the terrible ones (and there have been a few) are something to be cherished. You just can’t beat walking other people’s paths to learn how they live.

As I just alluded, I have had some, let’s say, interesting experiences. Like the time I had to fight off a horned cow for my admittedly unidentifiable food while the up-until-that-moment very hospitable tribe laughed at my predicament. The cow would have won, too. It was hungrier and I was wimpier. But then an old woman in the tribe took pity on me and beat it away with her cane.

Or the time a vendor in a market screamed at me for not wanting to buy his goods. Finally, I rolled my eyes and agreed to buy something, only to have him get equally as angry because I did not put any effort into my bartering. Geesh!

Perhaps some of my most memorable travel experiences happened during the summer after I graduated high school. I decided to spend my summer travelling Europe. I did it alone, which, by observation, was much less stressful than going with a bunch of girls. I met THE most handsome English man, who was filming a travel documentary, and we spent a few very memorable days and nights in Germany. Unfortunately, his itinerary sent him to Spain. I had nothing against Spain, but I was seriously looking forward to Budapest so we parted ways.

I hopped on a bus with a tour driver I had met at the beginning of my travels and off I went! Luckily the tour-goers did not mind. The driver dropped me at a campground, very late at night and, having been the only one to not have a reservation, I had to agree to share a caravan with four girls, who were together and one guy, a stranger to them. Well guess how many beds were in the caravan?

Three. Not four, which would have made sense, but three. Of course the four girls were already paired up on their side of the trailer, which meant I was stuck with stranger guy. I looked at the cramped, dirty floor and then back towards the guy. He was about my age and looked kind of like a puppy dog. I decided to take my chances with stranger danger. He could not have looked more pleased.

I gave him my best I-will-kill-you-in-your-sleep look and unrolled my sleeping bag. He slept under the covers, I slept on top. Sort of. Sleep did not come easily. Not just because Mr. Mouth breather was too close for comfort, but also because the camp’s security guard, who looked a lot like Saddam Hussein army fatigues, had decided that he would defend my honour, if need be. He spent the entire night sprawled under the caravan with a machine gun in hand! Holy shit.

The next day, I woke up much earlier than was my usual habit, thanked the security guard, who then walked over to a bush and hid in it, and decided to see who I could meet at the campfire. For everyone’s amusement but mine, word had already spread around the camp about last night’s adventure. Of course, after a spot in a new caravan opened up, I started to see the humour as well. I could go on with the story (yes, there’s more) but this is a guest blog, not a book.

And speaking of books...

(Do you like my segue?)

The Rusty Nail, a novella written by yours truly, has just hit the shelves at an e-book carrier near you. Here is a little more about it:

The Rusty Nail is a novella about a diverse group of characters who somehow find themselves acquainted with a dive bar in the wrong area of town. The entire novella takes place in the span of a single day, and I hope you will be entertained (and turned on) as each character discovers the good, the bad, and the ugly about their partners, themselves, and their hidden sexual desires.
This novella contains blatantly erotic, sexy and graphic M/F, M/M, F/F and even a couple of solo scenes. In other words, this novella is totally hot.

When Juan and I finally decided to get out of bed, I felt awkward and self-conscious. What we'd just done was a lot of fun and I was pretty sure I wanted to do it again but first I needed to sort out my thoughts and figure out how this might all work. Could I keep it from Gianna? I’m nowhere near as bright as her so I doubted it. I was right in the middle of trying to sort this whole thing out when I stepped on Gianna’s dress. Then I saw her shoe, then another one. And behind all of that was her scarf.

Those items of clothing led from the front door of the apartment to where I stood in front of the bedroom door. Slowly the implications of what the discarded clothing meant dawned on me. Juan had already gotten there. He asked if I had any idea how much she'd seen and I could only shake my head in horror. He asked if I wanted to stay with him but of course that was out of the question. After apologizing several times, he retreated to his own apartment. And I reached for the whiskey bottle.

I dropped another shot down the hatch and realized I was seeing double. Another and I was seeing triple. Maybe another would make me go blind and lose all feeling? Sadly, I would never find out. The bottle was empty. The door slammed shut and I instantly filled with both relief and dread.

Thanks so much for reading this excerpt! The Rusty Nail just released today, March 3rd, 2012, through Rebel Ink Press, and is available on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, etc. I am pretty sure I will die from happiness if you pick up a copy.

Please feel free to keep in touch with me through my blog, twitter, or Facebook page.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Recipe: Churros

I LOVE churrors! It's the fried sugary taste of them. But I've never made them myself until now. Sure, it's not as easy as buying them someplace but it's not as difficult as I expected. And it's darn tastes!

Prep Time:
10 Min
Cook Time:
10 Min
Ready In:
20 Min

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.
  2. Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pipe strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag. Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 691 | Total Fat: 51.1g | Cholesterol: 0mg

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest: Toni Sands

It’s great to be guesting on Kristabel’s blog and meeting readers who enjoy reading about past times. Dipping into different eras is something that’s happened fairly recently in my erotic romance writing. But whichever time I’m writing in, the romantic theme and the happy ever after ending is vital to me.

It's great to have you, Toni! Historical erotica is not as popular as I think it should be.

Journeying back in time to introduce characters to readers is testing for an author. It’s going to be really naff if you try recreating too many of the speech patterns but equally, dollops of today’s colloquialisms will distract from the story line. On that theme, I was reading Kristabel’s excellent post about the Regency period and about Downton Abbey and thinking how that ‘upstairs downstairs’ theme applies to so many eras. We all know about wicked masters seducing parlour maids but Orchid Pink isn’t quite so straightforward. Certainly when the words mistress and maid arrived in my head, I wasn’t to know just how revealing Adelaide Beauchamp’s personal journal would become.

So what makes my heroine different from countless others? She’s 28 years of age when we meet her in 1900, just when the Victorian era’s poised to hand over to the Edwardian one. The New Woman is a bit of a theme but it’s Adelaide’s dilemma that will hopefully appeal to you. She’s torn between her Sapphic tendencies and the feeling of needing to conform. Please her father. Do what nature intended her for. Have a baby or two. Hmm. Adelaide’s a passionate being and she also has a hang up about the whole maternal thing.

Researching this era reminded me how much repressed passion simmered away against a background of potted palms and antimacassars! This is what I’ve set out to recreate. If you like, I wanted to rip the frilly covers from the piano legs. This fantastic, debauched, innovative and energetic era sizzles and pops, despite the ‘We are not amused’ strap line attached to it. Yes, many women were fulfilling the role of domestic angel but many others were kicking off those well-worn boots.

What about certain female needs? I’m looking forward to watching the movie Hysteria, the subject of which is the invention of the electric vibrator. There’s a clip on YouTube. And if you google Joseph Mortimer Granville, inventor, you’ll learn a lot about how women’s sexuality was perceived. We weren’t capable of having orgasms, allegedly. But women were allowed a physician-assisted paroxysm! Adelaide would tell you different. And does. At the risk of leading you astray, let’s open the door to my heroine’s bedroom. Daisy isn’t present but I think you’ll get the picture.

That night I undressed, fantasising Daisy’s fingers loosening my buttons and stays. My nipples hardened under this imaginary touch. I refused to acknowledge the danger of employing someone so capable of melting my willpower. I’d conducted my personal life with discretion, avoiding tittle-tattle, but now my longing for tenderness and laughter swamped my common sense like a deluge from a watering can. She was inexperienced for the post of lady’s maid but I could coach her, talk to her of books and society scandals. Show her pretty things. Even if I didn’t hang around front rooms and foyers, I read plenty of newspapers and periodicals.
I turned back sheet and coverlet and climbed into bed. Daisy had invaded my senses and I was too alert for sleep. In my bedside drawer was something to help, something to which I tried not to resort too often. My very first lover had tried to teach me to applaud my body’s needs. But my upbringing was a tight corset and though Ruth Carroll had loosened the stays, I still felt I was beguiled by the devil’s violin.
I dipped the dildo between my thighs, working it gradually inside me and closing my eyes to the ruffled ruby-redness of my bedroom. I needed to shoo away that shadow of prudishness. Like a scene from a magic lantern show, I saw a slice of azure sea, a half-moon of sandy cove flaxen as my first lover’s locks. Ruth had captured my heart and my soul three years before. You need unbuttoning, Addie, she used to say.

Poor Adelaide is fully aware her father would be horrified to discover his only daughter indulging in impropriety with a servant. Would that matter more than the gender of that servant? Possibly. We know that Adelaide keeps a secret personal item in her bedside cabinet. We can only wonder how difficult it was for a woman to purchase such products in the days before Ann Summers became an integral part of our high streets and before online ordering became clickable.

I hope I’ve entertained and intrigued you.


Demure Adelaide hides a passionate nature beneath her elegant gowns. After hiring a delicious new maid, Daisy, she can’t wait to initiate her into the delights of the orchid house. Though resenting paternal pressure to marry businessman Thomas, Adelaide finds excitement in his touch and his erotic whisperings. Yet, when he reveals his sinister side, she seeks solace elsewhere. Christmas brings snowflakes, also a vivid reminder of a heart-wrenching past. Intrigue and obsession rock this Victorian household as Adelaide’s poignant search for love leads her into storms. Will she ever bask in the sunshine?

Orchid Pink is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and All Romance eBooks, as well as other good eBook retailers.

About the Author:

Toni Sands lives near the Black Mountains in Wales. Many of her ideas arrive while she’s walking by the river or travelling by train and she also finds inspiration when visiting London. This is where she enjoys roaming galleries and gazing at colourful window displays. She drinks too much coffee and often talks to strangers. Her erotic romances feature in collections by Virgin Black Lace and Accent Xcite, both paperbacks and e-books. She writes to entertain, sometimes finding, as in the case of her new heroine, a character will pop into her head, demanding to have her story told. Toni enjoys networking and belongs to the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She’d like to keep on writing as long as her readers keep on reading.