Thursday, November 12, 2015

For those about to stuff, we salute you!

I've shared this before, but I thought it might be a good time to repeat myself. :)

The Holiday Season is once again upon us and the most common dread for cooks is cooking the turkey. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, the very word “turkey” can strike fear into the heart of an unseasoned cook. (Get it? HAHAHA)

So, with this in mind, I thought I’d share a great Thanksgiving (or any other time) Turkey recipe. 

A few notes first - The recipe I’m going to share for gravy includes using the liver. Personally, I don’t use the liver because it grosses me out. But, I know lots of people do, so I've left that part in. Be assured that I use this recipe without the liver and it’s great.

Also, this is for after the turkey has been thawed. Please follow the guidelines (that should be on the turkey) for thawing it properly. And don’t forget to relax, cooking the turkey is no big deal.


Honey-Basted Roast Turkey Recipe

1 small turkey, 10 to 12 pounds

2 T. peanut oil

1/2 t. ground sage

1/2 t. ground allspice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 small bunch green onions

3 to 4 T. honey

Garnish: Decorative string of cranberries and bay leaves or sage leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Remove giblets from turkey (reserve for gravy, recipe follows). Rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub inside and out with oil. Season with sage, allspice, salt and pepper. Stuff neck and body cavities with onions and truss, if desired. Place turkey in roasting pan. Roast, allowing 18 to 20 minutes per pound, until juices run clear with no hint of pink when thigh is pierced. (FYI - If you are cooking a 12 pound turkey, that's roughly 4 hours.)

During the last hour of cooking, baste turkey 2 to 3 times with honey.

Serve with pan gravy and garnish with decorative string of cranberries and bay leaves or sage leaves, if desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Giblet Pan Gravy


(You can also use a few bits of meat from underneath the bird where no one is likely to notice you removed them. That is if the whole idea of giblets wigs you out. Remember the gravy should be done after the turkey. Also, you don’t have to cook it for 40 minutes if you use the already cooked pieces of turkey like I suggest here. Only cook until it bubbles. The best place to remove a small bit of meat is just underneath the rear. Use a long utensil of some sort (placed in the opening) to lift the bird from the back and tip it upward. Slice off a small piece and chop it up to look like giblets. I also recommend not doing this in front of anyone or thinking about it for too long as it can cause ridiculous amounts of laughter when you put a spatula or grilling fork up a turkey’s butt.)

3 C. water

2 celery tops

2 green onions (I also use caramelized white onions as the flavor of green is too strong for me.)

Pan juices from roasted turkey

4 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place giblets, except the liver, in a saucepan with water, celery tops and green onions.

Chop liver and reserve. (Remember you don’t have to use it.) Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes or until giblets are tender. (Or just until it boils if you used the chopped turkey meat.) Strain broth and reserve.

Chop cooked giblets and combine with chopped liver. (Skip this part if you used the chopped turkey meat.)

In the same saucepan, bring 2 cups combined pan juices and giblet broth to a boil.

Stir in chopped giblets and cornstarch-water mixture. Cook gravy over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Now, it wasn't that bad, was it?

If you're holiday season is particularly stressful, I've got another suggestion/recipe. Sparkling cranberry juice with a splash of spiced rum. But don't have too much or you might decide everyone needs to watch while you put a spatula up the turkey's butt. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Also, if you really want a good laugh, you can truss your bird up to look like you used a Japanese bondage technique. Be sure the people you are cooking for have a sense of humor first. 

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Time to feed your ereaders

Here are a couple of reads I think you might enjoy!

Sexy Fantasy Romance


Blood Tree: Silver Edition by Scarlett Dawn

"Where there is Dark, there is Light."

Amazon: Barnes&Noble: iTunes: Kobo: Scribd:

CBTEK eBook Bundle Flat Cover 2015 Final 2

Claimed by the Elven King by Cristina Rayne

"Can a human ever really win the heart of an elven king?"


1. Reconstructed final

Reconstructed by Tasha Black

"Some heroes aren't born...they're built."

Purchase here:

Torn-Seeking-Her-Mates-Book-One-Kindle copy 2

Torn (Seeking Her Mates, Part #1) by Carina Wilder

"A woman, torn between two destinies, seeking the two men who are fated to find their way to her."



Midnight Shift (Midnight Shifters, Book #1) by Renee George

"Can two alpha wolf shifters love Benie enough to put their differences aside to save her?"


Monday, November 2, 2015

Do you do NaNoWriMo?

For those who don't know, that's National Novel Writing Month. I've never participated before. At least, I thought I hadn't until I read a post today by the lovely and talented Sidney Bristol. As it turns out, I'm a NaNoRebel. You can check out Sidney's post HERE on the Romance Authors Marketing Network.

Anyway, all I knew about NaNoWriMo was that a bunch of people (some authors already, some hoping to be soon), tried their best to finish a novel in the month of November.

As many of you know from reading my blog or being my friend on Facebook, I have issues with anxiety. Not always, thankfully, but it can get overwhelming at times. Have a written a novel in a month before? Sure. I've written 80,000 words in just two weeks before. But committing to writing at least 50,000 words in one month? Nope. I didn't think it was for me. It just seemed like added pressure.

With writing full-time, marketing, editing, doing cover art, etc., and taking care of myself, my family, and my dogs, it just seemed like too much.

Don't get me wrong, I write all the time. Almost every day, in fact. The only exception is that after a big project (like writing a whole series in just a few months), I like to take a week or two off. During that time, I still market and work on cover art if I need to, but I don't write.

I also have a schedule that sits on the left side of my desk. It reminds me which books I need to release during each month and what I need to have written for the next year. Adding something else to that seemed more than a little bit intimidating.

In the past I've written a novel during November many times. Not because I signed up for anything, but because it was already on my schedule. So, I told people that I didn't do NaNoWriMo, because I do get asked pretty often. It turns out I was wrong!

If you are writing during the month of November, you are participating in NaNoWriMo. Wow. I just learned that. LOL

I'm not sure that I'll sign up on the website, but I do have some definite goals for this month. They aren't the traditional complete novel of 50k or more though. My goals are to finish editing a novella called Dragon Charmer and add about 15,000 words to it. After that, I'm going to immediately start working on the 4th book in a new series for next year called, There's No Place. If I can finish those two things this month, I'll be very proud of myself. I'll also have written around 70,000 words. 

What about you? Do you have specific goals that are not exactly standard NaNoWriMo?

Sign up here to be all "official" and stuff.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's amazing what offends people

It really is. In fact, I'm fairly certain that someone read that headline and was ALREADY offended. LOL

Okay, prepare yourselves, this is going to be a bit of a rant.

Since I spend at least some time on social media each day, I've noticed something strange. People don't seem to want you to be happy. I had always heard in the past that if you posted negative things constantly that people would unfriend you. I've certainly stopped following some people who never seemed to have a good day. We all go through rough times, but not every moment of every day.

Here's the weird thing I've been experiencing: Every single time I post about accomplishing something POSITIVE I get unfriended by at least one person.

I was thrilled to hit the USA Today list for the second time in my career. Of course, I didn't do it alone. Everyone who helped make it possible is awesome. My point is, I posted about it and lost 3 friends. WTF?

A few days later I posted about my workout schedule and got unfriended by a few more people.

The next day I posted about my latest karate training session and I lost MORE friends.

Now, if I clogged up my author page with nothing but personal stuff, I might could understand people no longer liking the page. I do occasionally post some fun/personal stuff, but mostly it's about writing. But on my personal page, I have a life. That is allowed, you know? LOL

I don't share anything deeply personal, but I see nothing wrong with posting about my life goals. Earning a black belt in krav maga and Shotokan are major life goals for me. It's something I should have done 10 years ago, but due to things I could not control, I've been on hold. Well, not any more. I CAN control things now and I want what is mine. 

Nothing in life has ever been handed to me, whether it was writing or karate, or anything else, I've worked for it. 

In the past few months I've even had people send me hateful messages on Facebook saying that they don't care about my workouts or things like, "I'm overweight and I don't want to hear about how much you workout." And your situation is my fault? I'm truly sorry that anyone is struggling with weight. I've been there and it sucks. But I'm not there any longer because I took charge of my body and my life. Staying put is a personal choice and NOT my fault.

Before anyone takes that the wrong way, I'm not making fun of anyone. I wouldn't do that. It's cruel and horrible, and not at all who I am. I'm just saying that we create our own reality to a large extent. And if someone is sitting around pointing fingers and being offended because you are meeting your goals, they have too much time on their hands.

This past year depression really knocked me on my ass. There is no nice way to say that. I was down and I went down HARD. But you know what got me up again? ME! I did it! I pulled myself up off the ground and I came up swinging. And I don't intend to stop any time soon. I have goals to meet! You know who will meet those goals? ME! Not anyone else. If you want something, you have to take it. Get up off your ass, stop judging everyone else and TAKE what you want from life. Work for it. Kick its ass. Get it done.

Okay. End of rant.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lots of exciting news! :)

First off, I just want to let everyone know that I'm still very much alive. LOL This past year has been rough for me and I realized that I've REALLY let my blogging go. Aside from personal and professional stresses of all kinds, I've been fighting the worst depression of my life. It's still strange for me to share that, but it's true and I see no reason to lie. There's still this stigma with depression, as if suffering through it makes you a head case. Well, the good news is, I'm improving. And the even better news is, this isn't a post about depression. Ha. Ha. I just want to catch everyone up with me and my life.

A few days ago, I got some wonderful news. Taming the Monster hit the USA Today Best Sellers list at #91. I can't wipe the smile off my face. Thanks so much to everyone who purchased this set and to all the authors in this set with me. I appreciate you all.

Click to Grab Your Copy Today! Only $0.99 USD

I'm still in shock over this one. We had such fun planning these stories. Taming the Monster actually started out on a whim. It was just a fun conversation between a few authors. "Wouldn't it be fun to do some monster romance?" That was the basic idea. Boy did we ever run with it. And to list on USA Today? Woohoo! 

This is the second time I've hit the USA Today list. Both times I was in a set with some of the same incredibly talented writers. I'm very grateful to have reached this goal in my career.

Here's something else awesome that I finally got accomplished. By very popular demand, The Lilith Mercury series is now available in a "complete edition." All seven books in one boxed set.

Click here to get your copy

I've had a lot of people asking about this as well, and the wait is nearly over for the final book in the Bound by Blood series. Are you ready to see how things turn out for vampire hunter Nicole Austin and her two hot men?

Pre-order your copy now to lock in the low price of 99 cents!

Releases November 1, 2015

As you all can see, I've been very, VERY busy. I've also been growing pumpkins! LOL But, I'll talk about that in another post. For now, I'm a little bit closer to being caught up and spending some time with friends and family.

Monday, September 14, 2015

HUGE muli-author sale 4 days only!

Check out this HUGE BOOK SALE. Over 40 books by bestselling authors, including some boxed sets, all either 99 cents or FREE.

Click HERE for all the details. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Bound by Blood series is almost complete

Nicole Austin has just inherited a curse. She is the next in line to become a badass vampire slayer. The problem is, she must drink some magical blood for the curse to take hold, and the side effects aren’t all pleasant.

She was just beginning to develop a relationship with her neighbor, Max, who is also a sexy werewolf. However, what once drew her to him may now be reason enough to keep them apart. She can’t hunt one monster and consort with another, can she?

As if she didn’t have enough to deal with, there is the matter of a werewolf hunter in town. His name is Vladislav. He’s tall, dark, sexy, and obviously interested in Nicole.

There are a few loopholes, but only one that might stop Nicole from being the next vampire slayer. True love, and she’s got one month to find it.

Warning: This series contains graphic sex, graphic language, and graphic violence. It also has multiple (smoking hot) partners. There will be a happy ending.

NOTE: Each installment in this series ends with a cliffhanger. 

The Bound by Blood series tells the story of Nicole Austin and her family’s curse. These stories are meant to be read in order.

Books 1-3 in this series are available now at Amazon for only 99 cents, and Book 4 is up for pre-order. These prices WILL change. Starting November 1, 2015, this series will be available on Barnes & Noble, iBooks, KOBO, and many other outlets. As they go live on these vendors, price changes will go into effect.

For more information on this series, click HERE.