Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NEW RELEASE - A Panther Comes Between Two Bears (Bear Mountain, 19)


Mikel McCreary has plans. He wants a lot out of life now that he’s been freed from the chains of his fathers. And he’s willing to work his ass off to make things happen. While working at the valley grocer, he signs up for firefighter training and is one of a handful of applicants who get in…

Preston Bellington is from one of the finest families in Bear Mountain, but he bucks tradition and becomes a civil servant, something his family can’t understand. Preston wants to give back to the community to be a part of the valley’s new direction under their alpha, and when he comes face to face with the male who’s his, he knows he’s been on the right path all along.

Boyd Marsters is a panther shifter and part of the group of soldiers Deacon brought to town. His skill as a mechanic keeps all the military vehicles moving and brings him face to face with the male who’s his. Making some roots in Bear Mountain sounds better and better as the days pass.

Preston and Boyd aren’t a part of Mikel’s plans, and he does everything in his power to make sure both males know that. Problem is, neither of them seem to be good listeners.

And both plan on claiming Mikel as their own.


~~~~~~~~~

Bear Mountain is recommended to read in order. With a huge cast of characters, the overall story develops as each book progresses.

Warnings: This title contains adult themes and gays sexual situations. It is intended for an adult audience.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Spotlight - Victoria Vallo and Mace's Rebel (Mate Me, Book One)

Welcome Victoria Vallo back to my blog as she shares a little bit from her new release, Mace's Rebel -- the first book in her Mate Me series.


****


Mace has been given a task, and he’s never been one to leave a job half done.


When Mace’s father announces that it’s time his sons settled down and began having children, Mace immediately begins to weigh his options. His preference for male lovers presents a challenge, but the universe is a big place, filled with many different kinds of beings. Mace takes a chance on his next mission, only half believing he’ll have any luck finding a mate, and unexpectedly discovers the passion he’d never even realized he was missing in his life.







Saturday, March 18, 2017

Damned Good Food - Irish Soda Bread

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  St. Pat's was yesterday, what's with the Irish crap today?  We're still close enough. Indulge me. 

One of the reasons I started adding this food bit to the blog was that I really wanted to start doing a little more scratch baking this year (as well as more clean cooking from scratch -- without all the processed crap we use.) 

 I love to bake, but after years of doing it professionally, I'd gotten burnt out and took a couple of years off where--at most--I might've baked the kiddo a birthday cake.

In my previous life before writing, I worked in bakeries.  I managed several before moving on to a position where I trained others how to bake and decorate and manage their own shops.  In my lifetime, I've baked a minimum of 6,000 loaves of Irish Soda Bread (yes -- I did the math.) 

But I'd never made it at home.  

That changed yesterday.  I found a recipe that looked close-ish to what I wanted and I sent out a prayer to St. Patrick that all would turn out.  

So what is Irish Soda Bread?  That's a tough one to explain, as it has a lot of different versions. Traditional Irish Soda in Ireland tends to be more savory -- with whole grain/stone cut flours and carraway seeds (gross) and currants or raisins.

The Americanized versions often use white flour, raisins, and add a bit of sugar.  It's crumbly like a biscuit, moist like a cake, yet, bakes up more like a loaf of bread.  Think of it as a scone's softer cousin.  It's not quite as sweet as a cake, but there is a bit of sweetness there, so it can serve as a bit of dessert, but I prefer it more toasted with a little butter with breakfast.  I had a customer who swore by it in French Toast, but I haven't given that a shot.  Maybe I will with any leftovers.

While the doc has told me I need to cut back on white flour... I opted for the Americanized version as it's the one I know I like.  Maybe I'll give a darker, savory one a try next St. Pat's. Minus the carraway seeds.  Ugh.

And I'm so glad I chose this one.  It was even better than the loaves I'd made all those years at the bakery.  OMG -- I can't believe I didn't end up in a carb coma after having a couple of slices, especially when you consider the potatoes I had with my cabbage and corned beef (yes, I cheated and ate meat.)

(And Guinness. That's technically a carb, right?)

MY notes on this recipe -- 

1. Use a TALL pan.  If you have an 8" round cake pan with 3" sides, that worked perfectly for me. If you don't have a 3"tall pan, an 8" springform pan might work if you have one -- just check the sides.

2. I did not use carroway (gross) or currants. That's just my personally preference. Nor did I use golden raisins -- just good old Sunmaid regular ones from my pantry.

3.  When baking with raisins, it works well to plump them first-- AKA REHYDRATE THEM.  If you've ever baked something with raisins and the raisins become hard, disgusting, little stones in your recipe, it was because you didn't plump them some beforehand.  Baking is going to dry the raisins more than they already are.  They need a little water added so the raisins you love remain soft and moist in your baked good.  

For a cup of raisins -- set them in a small bowl. Boil 1 cup of water and then pour it over your raisins, making sure they're all covered.  Let them sit for about 10 mins.  Drain them well (but don't squeeze too hard, you just added water for a reason)  By the time you've baked them, the water will evaporate and leave you with delightfully soft raisins in your cake/bread/pie/whatever

Side note -- if your recipe calls for water, you can re-use the leftover raisin water once it cools.  It'll give you some extra flavor. This recipe does not call for water, so toss it on out.


Irish American Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) butter
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup yogurt)
1 cup currants or golden raisins, firmly packed
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon milk, for glaze
1 tablespoon sparkling white sugar, for topping


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease an 8" x 3 1/2" round pan (or a 9" x 3" round pan), one whose capacity is at least 5 1/2 cups.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth.

Add the eggs, and beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and light-colored, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then 1 cup of the flour.

Gently beat in half the buttermilk (or milk/yogurt mixture), then another cup of the flour.

Add the remainder of the buttermilk, and the final cup of flour, mixing until smooth.

Stir in the currants and caraway seeds.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared pan. Drizzle the milk atop the batter, and sprinkle with the sparkling white sugar.

Bake the bread for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Tent a sheet of aluminum foil over the top for the final 15 minutes, if it appears to be browning too quickly.

Remove the bread from the oven, wait about 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a rack to cool.

Allow the bread to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Store, well-wrapped, for 3 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to a month.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Spotlight - Sandrine Gasq Dion and Falcon's Fox

Welcome Sandrine Gasq-Dion to my Sunday Spotlight.  She's sharing a bit about her upcoming release, Falcon's Fox, the fourth book in the Rock Series.


Heavy metal rocker Ransom Fox has everything he's always wanted: fame, money, groupies and a family who has his back. There's just one thing missing -- someone to love. Since he was a young teen, Ransom has had eyes for only one man, a movie star he knows he'll never meet. Dying dream, meet trite cliche: Never say never.

Now that Ransom and his band have hit it big, they're rubbing elbows with celebrities all the time -- including a certain handsome Italian actor. A trip to California launches Ransom directly into Sal Falco's orbit. Unable to resist the gravitational pull, the men find themselves in each other's arms, beginning a clandestine relationship. As an actor who makes his living as every woman's dream, Sal has a custom-made closet to stay in. Ransom knows his love life will need to remain secret, one he'll happily keep for the man who is even better than his best fantasies.

Sal Falco has been hiding his sexuality for years, but a spine-tingling run-in with sexy Ransom Fox has him thinking that keeping secrets is a lot of work with no payoff. When Sal offers to put Ransom up during his trip to California, even a mansion isn't big enough to keep him from the sexy rocker. Things heat up in a hurry; hell, the Earth moves. How do you argue with a sign like that? Sal finally gets a taste of his heavy metal heartthrob -- and happiness.

Welcome back our friend the cliche: The path of true love never does run smooth. Sal is dealt a devastating blow, one which just might mean the end of his career as well as his new relationship.

Ransom has never backed down from a fight and sure as hell doesn't plan to start now. The chase is on.

Will the Falcon get his Fox for good?

Books 1-3 of the Rock Series

Falcon's Fox arrives March 15th!



Author Bio

Best-selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by "Old School" French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn't until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research. She's been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She's traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.

Stalker Links




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Damned Good Food - Slow-Cooker Meatball Soup

I tried this a few weeks ago and the family raved about it.  Technically, I'm supposed to be doing the whole low-meat diet, but this allowed the family to eat meat and I could easily limit the amount I ate and stick to more beans.

Now that winter has tried to resurface here and I'm under deadline (aka no time to cook), I'll be making a pot of this tomorrow so we don't have to worry about cooking.

It's super easy and super tasty, too.




Slow Cooker Meatball Soup



1 bag (16 oz) frozen cooked Italian meatballs, frozen

2 cups beef broth

1 cup water

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

2 cans (19 oz) cannellini beans, drained

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except cheese.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.

Garnish individual servings with cheese.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Re-Release of Chained to the Tiger's Bed by Kelex

As some of you know, I had a couple of books published with All Romance E-Books before they went belly-up and absconded with all our money.  Yeah, I'm still feeling pretty damned salty and putting a hex on that bitc...woman... every time I think about her.

So, for all of you guys who already purchased this book, thank you and NO, there's nothing different between this version and the last.  It simply needed a new publisher and a re-release for folks who might not have grabbed it the first time around.

x
Kel



When Dylan Howell is handed over to a ruthless tiger to pay his father’s business debt, he’s sure his life is over. He won’t be used and abused as a sexual slave to the shifter, no matter how much he craves Jameson Ravensworth’s touch.


Jameson knows the omega lion is his from the minute the male walks into his office. The money means nothing to him, not when something he desires more is offered up to him. What’s ten million to a multi-billionaire, anyway?

Dylan struggles to fend off Jameson and his wicked lusts. The lion soon learns the depths of Jameson’s dark delights as well as senses his own depravity. As his body is tormented, he grows closer to the tiger, but how can he fall in love when he’s owned body and soul? 







“I think I have been more than lenient as it is,” Jameson answered. If he didn’t collect on his debts, he would appear weak. While he had no need for the money lent to Xavier, he’d be penniless if he allowed situations like this to be ignored. Either he had the might to get back what was his or he lost all credibility.

“I will get your money to you. I need more time.”

“I’ve been listening to your broken promises for far too long. I want what’s mine. Now. Not later. You have until midnight tonight.” He paused, savoring the moment. “Or I take control of what’s yours tomorrow morning.”

“There is no way in hell I can get you ten million in gold by the end of the night.” Xavier frowned, his eyes moving back and forth in their sockets as if his mind sought for some solution to his quandary. “I’ll give you something in trade.”

“If you had anything that valuable, you would’ve already leveraged it to get the money you asked me for.”

“It’s not that simple,” Xavier huffed.

“So what do you have that’s worth anywhere near ten million?”

Xavier lifted his gaze. “My son.”

Jameson sucked in a breath, shocked the man would offer up his own son as repayment. “I do not trade in flesh.”

“My youngest son—Dylan—is an omega. You can hold him until I bring your gold to you.” Xavier blanched even whiter. “And use him as you see fit until I do.”

The words hung heavily in the air as Jameson snarled at the man.

When he’d first been brought into the world of shifters, sexual slaves were commonplace. Omegas had been treated as a commodity, fathers selling their sons and daughters to fulfill debts or make alliances within and outside their own prides. It went out of practice at the dawn of the last century, but was still known to happen on occasion.

Jameson had never before accepted a living being as payment nor would he. “No.”

“You must meet him,” Xavier said, walking to the door.

“I don’t need to—”

Xavier was whipped into a frenzy, not hearing Jameson’s words. He flung open the door and waved his hand to urge someone closer.

“Xavier, no,” he spat as Christof crossed the room to stop the man.

But it was too late. The young man was ushered into the office by his father. He lifted his pale gaze.

Heat slammed into Jameson the second their eyes met. The air was knocked from his lungs as his heart beat rapidly, thundering in his ears. Body tense, he had to sit down so as not to broadcast his thickening cock. Sitting was a sign of weakness. A growl rumbled up his throat as he eyed both men.

“Jameson, my son.” Xavier glanced at the young man. “Say hello.”

Xavier’s son frowned at his father, sensing something was wrong. He turned and met Jameson’s stare again. “Hello,” the omega said, his voice low.

Low, yet it still rippled down Jameson’s spine, spiking the lust growing within.

Christof turned and looked to Jameson.

One shake of his head and both men would be tossed from his office. He lifted a hand, stilling Christof.

Jameson stared up and down the omega’s body, tracing every detail he could see. The man wore a suit much like his father’s—off the rack, but well made. The dove gray color reminded Jameson of the morning jackets he’d once been fond of, a lifetime or two ago. A tailored suit would fit his lean body much better and allow Jameson a better view.

I’ll buy him suits to fill room upon roomfor when he’s not in my bed.

The thought shocked him to the core.

He drew in an unsteady breath as Xavier closed the door. The breeze of air crossed over the omega and made its way to Jameson. He drew in the scent. Unable to stop himself, he purred slightly. Heat flamed his face at the sound and it grew even hotter when he saw the slight hitch of Xavier’s lips.

“Perhaps he is worth ten million after all,” Xavier said in a low voice.

Jameson stared the man’s son up and down, knowing that, once in his grasp, the male would never leave. Thoughts were racing through his mind, thoughts he never imagined would come to him. He despised the practice of offered servitude, yet here he was unwilling to let the young lion escape him.

Whatever it takes.



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Spotlight - Kian Rhodes & Flawlessly Imperfect

Welcome Kian Rhodes to my blog this week.  She's sharing a bit from her recent release Flawlessly Imperfect.  

Note - this series is not the same Omega Auctions series I have spotlighted before from author April Andrews, but a separate series by Kian.

When Rafael Borrero found his soul mate locked in a cage in the secret backroom of The Omega Auction, Colby DiCastro was everything that Rafe had been searching for: "a male wolf shifter who’s bigger, frame-wise, than your average Omega. Someone a little tougher, who can stand up for himself..." 

He was also determined, headstrong, almost impossible to control and, now that Colby is due to deliver their first pup, all of the traits that make him perfect for Blood Valley Pack are driving his Alpha to the brink...



Excerpt

“Colby,” Rafe’s voice brooked no further argument. “You can bitch from now until you deliver but we are going. Now.”

“You seriously want me to ride twelve hundred miles in a shopping bag instead of waiting for the doctor?” I stared at Rafe in disbelief. “We’re fine here.”

“No,” he growled back. “What I want is your ass safe at the hospital in Wolfsrudel where Doc can deliver the baby, but you’re so fucking stubborn that you couldn’t give me that!”

“Rafe…”

Rafe looked up from the bag he was haphazardly stuffing my clothes into and stared at me, a suspicious glint in his eyes.

“Why are you so determined to stay here?” His jaw clenched visibly. “Is there something you want to tell me?”

“Huh? Like what?”

“I don’t know, Colby. You tell me.”

“I don’t know what you mean.” I stared at him, completely blindsided.

“Don’t you? First, you took off in direct violation of my instructions. Now, you don’t want to come home even though you may be in danger.” Rafe stopped packing and closed the suitcase much more carefully than necessary. “Was that what the note was supposed to mean? That you didn’t want me to come after you?” He sucked in a breath and his shoulders squared. “Because, if that’s what you want, I’ll respect it.” He took one near-menacing step toward me and brought himself to a stop with obvious effort. “After you deliver ...but the child stays with the pack.”

My heart plummeted into my stomach at the coldness in his voice as I gawked at him.

Fuck. My. Life.

(Gay Paranormal Romance. Graphic Sexual Content HEA)


5% of all proceeds are donated to The Trevor Project; the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24

~~~~~

Readers should also check out Kian's Omega Auction short:

His Perfect Match: An Omega Auction Short Story

You asked for Vlad and Jackal's story - here it is! His Perfect Match delves into the whirlwind courtship between our beloved turkey shifter, Vlad and one of the Blood Valley betas, Jackal. How did two shifters from such different species decide to take the matrimonial plunge? 


This is not a stand-alone story. If you haven't read The Omega Auction and The Omega Rescue book, it will not make sense and you will be disappointed! 

You can find the first five books for the two series in order of publication FREE on Kindle Unlimited in The Omega Chronicles. The next three (in order): Music to His Ears, A Solstice Eve to Remember, and Flawlessly Imperfect are all available individually FREE on Kindle Unlimited. 




Saturday, March 4, 2017

Damned Good Food: Lobster Mac and Cheese

A Facebook friend shared this recipe on her wall on the very day I'd planned to have steamed lobster tails for dinner.  Since I had everything for the recipe except one ingredient, it felt like it was meant to be... and after cooking it, I'm soooooo very glad she shared it.

OMFG, it was just that damned good...

Of course, all the cheese and pasta and cream (aka fat & carbs) isn't something I can have often, but it'll be a fun addition to the recipe box on occasion when we want something bad that doesn't break all my food rules.





*I did make a few changes to the recipe -- Instead of the cheddar/fontina, I used a bag of shredded colby jack I happened to already have and I omitted the goat cheese as a guest that night did not care for goat cheese.  Also, I only baked for about 17 mins, as the top was getting really brown/crisp versus the 20-25 it called for.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

COMING SOON -- Chained to the Tiger's Bed Re-Release

Returning Soon!

After one of my publishers closed, this story is coming back to life with Twisted E-Publishing in early March 2017.

I've also added the extra scene originally posted on the old publisher's site.



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