We have a winner!

I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate Pam Rosensteel, the winner of the Tempting the Pirate Treasure Hunt! Congratulations, Pam!

Also a quick reminder that the Find Your Next Great Read Scavenger Hunt will be closing at the end of this week (goes to the end of Feb.). Fantastic prizes: including 1 – $500 Amazon Gift Card, 19 – $25 Amazon Gift Cards, and lots of ebooks!

So make sure you get your entries in! Just go to: http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Find-Your-Next-Great-Read-Scavenger-Hunt-February-2015

Good Luck! And have a great week!

 

 

99¢ Deal (Yay!)

So excited! This week only, Barnes&Noble is putting the Nook version of Once Upon a Masquerade on sale for just 99¢.

Don’t miss out on this great deal! Here’s the link.

OUAM-New-150New York City, 1883

A Prince Charming meets his match…
Self-made shipping magnate, Christopher Black first spies Rebecca Bailey at a masquerade ball and is captivated by her refreshing naiveté and sparkling beauty. She’s a stark contrast to the hollow behavior of the ton and the guile of his former fiancée, but the closer he gets to her secrets, the further she pushes him away.

A Cinderella with a secret…
Rebecca is drawn to the charismatic Christopher from the first, but she cannot risk him discovering that she is really a housemaid impersonating an heiress. Her father’s life depends on it.

A Happily Ever After that could never be…
When Christopher’s investigation of the murder of his best friend leads him straight to Rebecca, he fears his ingénue may be a femme fatale in disguise.  Now he must decide if he can trust the woman he’s come to love, or if her secrets will be his downfall.

Also The Tempting the Pirate Treasure Hunt will be ending on Friday, Feb. 20, so be sure to enter this week for a chance at a cool treasure chest.

treasure chest prize

Just click here to enter!

Have a fantastic week!

Valentine’s Day Eclair Cake!

With Valentine’s Day soon upon us, I thought I’d share the latest recipe that Wowed my husband. But first, I have another fun contest I’m participating in during the month of February. The Find Your Next Great Read Scavenger Hunt!

Prizes include: 1 – $500 Amazon Gift Card, 19 – $25 Amazon Gift Cards, and lots of ebooks.

Find Your Next Great Read Scavenger Hunt

Click on the contest title above or the picture to enter.

 

AND don’t forget, I have a second contest you can enter (open until Feb. 20th): The Tempting the Pirate Treasure Hunt
The prize for this one is a treasure chest filled with goodies:

treasure chest prize

This contest is also through the Night Owl Reviews. So head on over. Just click on the title of the contest above.

 

Okay, and now as promised, let’s get to our special Valentine’s dessert!
My hubby isn’t a huge chocolate fan, but he does love eclairs so when I found this dessert I knew he’d be thrilled. (And he was!)

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Eclair Cake
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 large box (5.1 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
1 (8 oz.) container of Cool Whip
Chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch glass baking pan.

Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl make vanilla pudding (should be thick). Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in the fridge. When the crust is completely cooled, pour in filling. Top with layer of Cool Whip, and serve with chocolate syrup.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy this dessert and have a fantastic Valentine’s Day!

Join the Treasure Hunt (Argh!)

Make ready! In honor of the release of Tempting the Pirate, we’ll be doing a treasure hunt, me mateys!

The prize be a treasure chest, as is proper!

treasure chest prize

Sign up on the Night Owl Reviews, for multiple chances to win! This contest be in place Jan. 20-Feb. 20, and ye can enter once per day by Tweetin’. So look lively and sign up today!

Release Day Jitters

Tempting the Pirate is finally available for sale! I’m thrilled, hopeful, and scared as hell.

It’s so funny. You’d think a book release day would be a huge high point in an author’s life, and it is, but it’s also the most nerve-racking too. After months of writing, editing, then waiting, the story I love so much is being launched into the world. Scary and exciting all a the same time.

But the best part of release day is the encouragement I get from my family, fellow writers, and fans. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you to all who have supported me on this crazy journey. You make this gut-wrenching day all worthwhile!

I’d also like to take a moment to thank the Midwest Fiction Writers for awarding me the 2014 Rising Star award. This is a great honor that I don’t take lightly. Thank you!

Rising Star award

Tempting the Pirate

Tempting the Pirate cover 500August 1721
Charity Goswick thinks she is escaping an arranged marriage to a brute when she slips onto a ship unnoticed. Little does she realize that this is no honorable vessel of the King’s Navy – it is a pirate ship. It’s just a matter of time before she is discovered by a handsome rake of a pirate, who locks her in his cabin. And while she should be scared, her captor sparks the most unladylike feelings within her…

James Lamont is on the ship for one reason, and one reason only: to track down his brother. However, his spirited little stowaway certainly affords plenty of distraction with her many (failed) attempts to escape. And each time, the unspoken—and unbidden—passion between them grows stronger. But as violence and danger mount on the high seas, Charity will have to put all of her trust in the most untrustworthy of men… the arrogant pirate who just might steal her heart.

To read the first chapter and see a complete list of retailers, head on over to Entangled Publishing.

Available at: Amazon ebooks, Amazon print, Barnes & Noble (both ebook and print), iBookstore, and Kobo

Delish Holiday Recipes

First off, I’m so excited to announce that Once Upon a Masquerade has a new cover and is finally available in print! Yay! I’ve waited so long for this! Soon I’ll be holding this puppy in my hot little hands.

OUAM-New-500

If you’d like a print copy, you can find them at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I can get on with my blog post: Soon it will be New Years Even, and another holiday feast to celebrate with family, so I thought I’d share a few more recipes for those looking for something new to make this year.

Meat Pie (also known as French Canadian Tourtieres)

Meat pie1 medium carrot
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. pork sausage
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
Pastry for one double-crust pie (9 inches)

Coarsely chop the carrot and onion; place in a food processor with garlic. Cover and process until finely chopped; set aside.

In a Dutch oven, cook the vegetables, pork, and sausage until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in broth and seasonings. Reduce heat; cover and cook on low for 20 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust; trim pastry even with edges. Pour in filling. Place top crust over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry. Cover edges of pie loosely with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; remove foil and bake 15-20 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies (My youngest loves these cookies and requests them every year for Christmas.) This recipe is from Taste of Home – Thank you Delaine Fortenberry from McComb, Mississippi!

Fudgy Cookies4 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 tsps. vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbls. baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Confectioners’ sugar

In a microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and butter; cool for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs for 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and the chocolate mixture. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; beat into chocolate mixture. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Remove about 1 cup of dough. With lightly floured hands, roll into 1-in. balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly puffed and set. Cool on pan 3-4 minutes before moving to a wire rack (or cut up paper bag) to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. When cookies are cool, dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Yield: about 4 dozen.

Spiked Hot Cider
I admit I got this recipe from the Food Network site. (Emeril Lagasse) But I couldn’t resist. I’ve been writing pirate books lately and hot cider with rum…Argh!

hot apple cider1 apple
2 tsps. whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. allspice
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 cup dark rum
Cinnamon sticks, garnish

Stud the apple with the cloves. Place the apple and everything but the rum in a pot. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the rum. Discard the apple. Pour into mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season, filled with family, friends, and laughter. Cheers!

For those of you who love historical romances, I’m giving away three author signed paperbacks a month. Just sign up for my newsletter with the subscribe button on the sidebar for a chance to win!

In January, I’ll be giving away:
Lachlans BrideBlame it on bathTo Charm a Naughty Countess

Holiday Recipes: Yum!

With the holidays coming around, I’ve been thinking a lot about food (although I kind of do that all year round). So, for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to share a few delicious recipes for the occasion – although really you can make them all year round. Still, what can I say, turkey is a Thanksgiving staple.

So first off, let’s talk turkey. This recipe is from Taste of Home (with a few modifications) and is a turkey breast, although I’m sure the basting sauce can be used for a whole turkey too. I love this recipe because the meat stays so juicy.

turkeyHerbed Turkey Breast
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bone-in whole turkey breast (5-1/2 to 6 lbs.)

In a small saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Place turkey on a hot grill (with charcoal spread around the outside of the grill for indirect heat). Please note that you can bake this turkey, but grilling adds an amazing flavor. Baste with butter mixture. Grill for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, basting every 30 minutes. Yields 10-12 servings.

Now for a side. I realize potatoes and stuffing are the norm, but this rice dish (also from Taste of Home, with a few modifications) is so good, I think it would be a great side with the turkey. Ha! Can you tell how much I use this recipe-the picture is all wrinkled.

rice bake

 

 

 

 

 


Mushroom Oven Rice

1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

In a skillet, saute the rice in butter for two minutes or until golden brown. Add onion; cook and stir for two minutes. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2 qt. baking dish. Stir in the broth, water, soy sauce, and parsley. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Yield: 6 servings.

I was born and raised in north central Wisconsin, where the celebration drink of choice is an old fashioned (or at least it was when I was growing up). I didn’t have a picture, so my husband made one for me for that purpose, and I couldn’t let it go to waste. Hee. Hee. What a hardship. Note: This is not the same fruity old fashioned drink that is found in other states.

old fashionedOld Fashioned Brandy Sour

Ice
1 shot of brandy
a few spritzes of bitters
lemon-lime soda

 

 
In Wisconsin, an old fashioned can also be made with whiskey instead of brandy, and there is a version known as an old fashioned sweet, in which cherry syrup/grenadine is used in place of bitters.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do, but no matter what we eat, let’s all savor our time spent with family and friends. After all, that’s really what the holidays are all about.

If you’re not a subscriber to my newsletter, be sure to sign up by clicking on the button in the sidebar. I’m giving away author signed books – one winner every month. In December, I’ll be giving away paperback copies of:

The Tattooed DukeThe Scottish WitchHis Clockwork Canary

 

 

 

 

So be sure to take part. And congratulations to November’s winner:
Jen Brown! Congratulations, Jen!