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Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Recipe: Glazed Cinnamon Apples Recipe

I was actually looking for a winter recipe to spice up my work week dinners. I found this instead. How can you go wrong with cinnamon, apples, ice cream, and little to no work? Recipe is from Taste of Home.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 hours (in the crock pot)
Serves: 7


  • 6 large tart apples
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Vanilla ice cream


  • Peel, core and cut each apple into eight wedges; transfer to a 3-qt.
  • slow cooker. Drizzle with lemon juice. Combine the sugars, flour,
  • cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over apples. Drizzle with butter.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until apples are tender.
  • Serve in dessert dishes with ice cream. Yield: 7 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 2/3 cup (calculated without ice cream) equals 285 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 26 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

#BookBlast for Blind Mercy by @ViolettaRand

Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

 Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

The Sigurdsson family legacy continues…

A woman who prayed for a hero…

Orphaned at a young age, Rachelle Fiennes prayed for a hero to rescue her from her tragic life in England. When her only kinsman goes missing after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Rachelle braves the aftermath of the battlefield to find him.

A man who lost everything…

Damned by the gods for surviving the bloodiest defeat in Norse history, Jarl Tyr Sigurdsson is still determined to get home. Hiding until nightfall so he can escape to his ship, his dangerous endeavor is disrupted when he’s accidently discovered by a beautiful Saxon.

Brought together by war, Rachelle and Tyr face many obstacles. Can sworn enemies find peace through love, or will fate be cruel?

Since the first day they’d met, Tyr had been embroiled in strife and violence. Standing in this holy place, he seemed vulnerable, almost normal. Only once before had she seen this level of tenderheartedness in him. The degree of compassion he showed his deceased brother when he prepared him for funeral rites still haunted her. Of course, what man wouldn’t be moved by such tragedy? This was decidedly different. Baffled by this transformation, she watched him closely.

“I thank you for this kindness.”

He embraced her. The motivation behind his touch had changed, she felt it.

“I swear on this holy ground, I’ll never hurt you again,” he said.

He’d pledged it before. Could she be foolish enough to believe again? Didn’t he understand she couldn’t get past the fact he was holding her for ransom? Could she ever really forgive him for deceiving and shaming her? Caution did little to help her cause. Jolts of lust shot through her. It felt wonderful to be touched by him; but as welcome as those feelings were, they must stay hidden forever.

“I want to believe you,” she said.

He tipped her head upward. “I make no promises I can’t keep,” he assured her. “If there’s anything I can do to ease your pain, ask me.”

She remained silent. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, a place existed where happy thoughts thrived. She pictured how it would be if he dropped on his knees and declared his love. All of this was quickly swept aside.

“I’ll leave you now,” he announced. “My men are aware of your situation and will not disturb your observances. When you are ready, they will escort you back to the house.”
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Regency: Buildings and Architecture

When you look down an English street these days and see those long beautiful buildings that seem to take up the entire street are originally Regency style. I started researching this for a contemporary erotica, my Countess Curvy story. But the more I looked into it, the more I loved the style and structure, and the more I realized how little I put of that into my Regency stories.

That will change. Mostly because, according to British Express, it seems that everyone was in a state of remodeling during the early years of the 1800s. I've used home improvement in contemporaries, but I'm certain the headaches were similar in the Regency, even if the owners of those homes never so much as knew what a hammer looked like.

From British Express's article on Regency Architecture:

The period of architecture we can loosely term Regency spans the first thirty years of the 19th century. In many respects it is a natural continuation of the Georgian style which preceeded it...

There were two major streams of architectural styles popular in the Regency period. The first, which lived on far into the Victorian period, was one of medieval revival. This is often termed Victorian Gothic, or more accurately, Gothic Revival

The second, and more popular style of Regency architecture, was classical in nature. That is, it used the philosophy and traditional designs of Greek and Roman architecture. The typical Regency upper or middle-class house was built in brick and covered in stucco or painted plaster. Fluted Greek columns, painted and carefully moulded cornices and other decorative touches, were all reproduced in cheap stucco. The key words to describe the overall effect are "refined elegance".

The Regency period saw a great surge of interest in classical Greece, popularized by men like Lord Byron and his outspoken advocacy of greek nationalism. A whole generation of aristocratic amateur archaeologists from Britain scoured the Greek world - and occassionally absconded with classical Greek remains. The resulting popularity of Greek style reached beyond architecture to include painting, furniture, interior decoration, and even dress design.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

#BookBlast Surrender to Fire by Skylar Kade

One scorching-hot lesson could leave her begging for more.
The Maison Chronicles, Book 3
Reeling from the double whammy of her Dom’s abandonment, and accusations of colluding with a plagiarizing author, all literary agent Camille Winter wants is some low-profile, drama-free quality time.
Just as she’s settling into a Maison Domine cabin with her to-be-read pile and a full slate of spa appointments, she finds herself sweet talked into playing topless assistant so some Dominant can run a BDSM educational demo.

Architect Damien Winter is on a relationship hiatus, so he focuses his dominant energies on teaching BDSM classes. A chance encounter in Maison’s parking lot with a woman who angrily insists she’s no sub—though every line of her body screams otherwise—turns shocking when she winds up as temporary replacement for his demonstration partner.

Damien is unprepared for the way her beautiful submission gets under his skin. And Camille never thought she’d fall, hard, for just the kind of man she’s sworn off. But when her ex’s vague threats turn serious, Damien fears he’s already lost the chance to claim her for his own.

Product Warnings: This book contains a fiery woman burned one too many times and the Dom who entices her to submit to the heat between them.


Skylar Kade, self-avowed hedonist and princess extraordinaire, started her writing career after throwing aside yet another romance she could not bring herself to finish. The run-on sentences! The purple prose! Oh, the horror of it was just too much. So she sat down to write her own tale. Her favorite part about writing is the extensive research.

She currently resides in sunny southern California, alternately cursing the polluted air and adoring the weather. Skylar spends her time asking the cabana boys to bring her more mimosas and feed her strawberries while she dreams up her next naughty adventure.
She blogs at the SkylarVerse and with the Nine Naughty Novelists.

Three hours later, he was on his way up to Maison Domine. With his smartphone calling out directions, he could keep all his focus on the scenery and the satellite rock station he was piping through his speakers. The freeways of LA weren’t much for the view, but once he hit the mountains…wow. It was like the trees drained away all his tension. Or maybe he was relaxing because he was closer to sating his needs.
After missing the turnoff the first time he drove by, Damien pulled a U-turn and crept back down the road until he saw the weathered wood sign with an arrow pointing up a narrow, tree-lined road.
His car rolled down the long drive, soundtracked by Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle”, then burst into a wide-open clearing with a jaw-dropping view of the surrounding mountains. A large rustic structure took up the right half of the clearing, with most of the rest devoted to parking. More cars filled the lot than he’d expected for a Friday afternoon, but if other Angelinos had had weeks like his, maybe it wasn’t that big a surprise.
Parking his car, he wondered what the large building held. Yes, he’d heard other kinksters rave about the private club, but he’d been to his fair share of upscale establishments before. What set this one apart?
The answer sauntered across the parking lot, seeming to come from nowhere and heading for the front door. The woman’s body hit him like a wrecking ball. Every sense went on high alert and his heart jacked up its beat.
Jet-black hair spilled around her shoulders in soft curls, obscuring her face. Her arms were crossed as she walked, as if warding off the mild day’s nonexistent cold. Slumping shoulders drew more attention to the beautiful hourglass shape of her back, her body encased in a flowing, black dress that clung in all the right places. She looked tall, maybe eye level to his chin, though maybe that was her black combat boots. Not fragile—supple. Warm.
And crying. Her shoulders were shaking as she turned away from the building, facing him head-on. His demolition experts had nothing on that look. He wanted to kiss her reddened nose, wipe the tears from under her eyes. He popped open his door and headed for her.
The woman’s eyes widened and she froze, a deer in the headlights.
Car door open, keys still in the ignition, nothing mattered but this woman. He approached slowly, not wanting to alarm her. “Are you okay?” His voice echoed through the parking lot, though they weren’t that far apart.
The dress swirled around her knees, tossed by the wind whipping around the mountaintop. The soft neckline of her dress draped around her full breasts. His palms itched to cup them.
She nodded, letting her hair once again hide her face, which looked like it was made of the finest bone china. “Shitty week.”
He took a few steps closer, then paused. He saw faint tan lines on her wrist, barely there, that looked like she’d been wearing a bracelet cuff for some time. “Is he really worth crying over?”
Her pink lips clamped shut, then opened. “Look, thanks for your concern, but, really, it’s none of your business.” She swiped aside her hair to reveal twilight-blue eyes cracking with anger.
Her defiance stroked down his chest and reached for his growing erection. “I’m sorry, but when I see a submissive alone and crying, I make it my business.” He invaded her personal space until she had to tilt her chin up to meet his eyes, but she didn’t back up. All traces of her dejection were gone. Good.
The wind pulled at her curls as she jabbed a finger in his chest, like she was digging straight for his racing heart. “I’m not a submissve.”
Her nails weren’t painted or manicured, not high maintenance like many women he’d dated. He found it refreshing. Authentic, like her anger. “Not a submissive?” He grabbed the hand that had poked him and raised her wrist to the light. Her pupils dilated and her breathing tightened. Her tongue darted out across her bottom lip and Damien had to restrain a groan. His thumb stroked along her inner wrist where her pulse was jumping like a living thing trying to escape. “How long did you wear his ownership bracelet while you weren’t a submissive?”
She tugged at her wrist. A halfhearted attempt, since her other hand was clenched halfway to touching him. Being the ever-helpful Dominant, he closed the space between them, pulling her wrist up to his lips and laying a kiss on the pale flesh of her pulse point.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she hissed.
In response, he let her go and stepped back. “I’m proving a point.”
She swayed toward him before scowling and taking her own shuffle backward.
Her cocked eyebrow made him ache to play her until she begged to submit. She was a sassy thing and they had some chemistry crackling between them—something he certainly didn’t have with Lara, his demo bottom. “If you’re not a submissive, then I’m the Pope.”
“That’s your point?” Her jaw ticced and when her hands fisted on her hips, it made her dress strain across her breasts. She looked beautiful when angry.
Through sheer force of will he held his ground, keeping the distance between them. “No, sweetheart, the point was that you’re not crying anymore.”
Her eyes spit every insult her lips seemed unable to form. It only made his cock harder. He replied with his most guileless smile, which only seemed to infuriate her. With a clench-jawed scream, she pivoted away and headed for the woods.
“See you later,” he called as she retreated. Yeah, coming up to Maison Domine early had been a good idea. He’d need the extra time to learn more about this mystery “not a submissive” woman.