Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Want to chat with some vamp authors?

Of course, I mean we all write about vampires, not that we ARE vampires. Ha. Ha. Ha. Although, that would be awesome.

I'll be part of a huge Vampire Book Realms chat on November 30th. It's being hosted by Coffee Time Romance in their Latte Lounge. There will be more than 50 authors involved and goodness knows what else. This is an all day chat. I'll be on early and then again in the evening. My husband offered to take me to the movies for the first time in forever and I wasn't about to refuse. So, I won't be there all day, but I will be there most of the day.

Here's the link to join the chat if you're interested. See you there!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Get your turkey on

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 all the time 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.

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!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I’m grateful for

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, I thought I would take a minute and list 10 things I’m grateful for this year.

As I wrote the list just now the most amazing thing happened. I realized how truly blessed I am. Not that I had doubts. Ha. Ha. There’s something about putting your thoughts to paper (or screen) that seems to make them more real.

What are you most grateful for this year? I've listed the first 10 things that came to mind, in no particular order.

1. I’m grateful for my family. All of them, even the ones who annoy me. I could be all alone in the world.

2. I’m grateful for my friends that have stuck by me over the years. I love them dearly.

3. I’m grateful for my dogs Sam and Roscoe. They make me smile every single day. That’s always a good thing.

4. I’m thirty pounds lighter than I was at this time two years ago. I’m very grateful for that.

5. I’m grateful that both my parents are still living. I know many who are not so fortunate.

6. I’m grateful to still be with the man I chose all those years ago.

7. I’m grateful for all the books I've written, and all the new ideas that continue to come to me. I've been blessed with imagination.

8. I am grateful for the fall weather and the need to build a roaring fire once again.

9. I’m grateful that I only have to wait one more month to watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Yes, I actually included that on my list. I've loved these stories since I was little.

10. I’m grateful that I have so many things to be thankful for that making a list was difficult because I had to pick only a few.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Whip it good

When the subject was first brought up, I told people that I didn't write BDSM. As it turns out, I was wrong. Ha. Ha. Ha.

No, I haven’t jumped on the proverbial bandwagon. I've been researching BDSM. Heavily. First let me say what I thought of when someone said BDSM. I read a book once years ago that completely disgusted me. The heroine was raped, humiliated, and beaten. (All without consent I might add. There was no negotiation of a scene or role-play.) I could only read 30 pages before I had to return the book. It was written by a best-selling author and had gotten good reviews. I was shocked by the content. The “raciness” wasn't what offended me, it was the treatment of the heroine. That book remains to this day the ONLY book I have ever returned. In the past when someone mentioned BDSM, this book is what I thought of.

In reality, I knew that there was a whole lot more to BDSM than extreme domination. However, that awful story is what my mind jumped to. Recently, I decided that I needed to get that old image out of my head.

What have I learned? A lot. One thing major is this, my books have contained elements of BDSM from the beginning.

As it turns out, you don’t have to have extreme kink, or domination/submission for your book to fall into the category of BDSM. Although, books within the category can certainly contain some or all of those elements.

Did you realize that fetishes of all kinds are considered part of the BDSM scene? I didn't before. My research is ongoing and it is fascinating.

Let me give some examples of my work that I referred to earlier.

Object of My Affection (Lilith Mercury Book Two) has a scene with mild bondage and cherry juice.

The Dread Moon (Lilith Mercury Book Three) has a scene of autoerotic asphyxiation. Not to mention some serious back scratching and deliberate pain/pleasure moments of other kinds.

Constant Cravings also has a scene in which the heroine requests to be choked during sex.

Wicked City has some light spanking. (And multiple partners, but that’s something else entirely.)

Sex Symbol has a sex scene with a partially transformed werewolf. Not sure what to call that, but it’s definitely very kinky.

I’m sure I've forgotten other examples, but you can see what I mean. BDSM doesn't have to be full-on whips and chains.

Does anyone else feel enlightened by this? Ha. Ha.

As I said, the more I read, the more I am fascinated. So, it turns out, I do write BDSM in my stories. I had the wrong picture when the subject was mentioned before. I’m working on changing that.