Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Chocolate Cookies!

Many, many moons ago when my sons were very young, I joined a play group so my kids wouldn't grow up out here in the middle of nowhere without ever having the chance to play with other children. One of the mothers in the group was Lisa, the wife of the pastor of a local church. Not long after we met Lisa, the ladies of the Women's Ministries from her church began putting together a cookbook, to which I contributed a couple of recipes. After the book was printed, Lisa had a party and served some goodies made from those recipes. She had also made these cookies, which were NOT in the cookbook! After tasting these soft, chewy delights, I demanded the recipe and wrote it down in the back of the dessert section.
Per Sam's request, I made a batch a few days ago. I hadn't made them in years--and there's a good reason for that. If you think chocolate chip cookie dough is good, don't try eating any of this stuff. You'll never bake the cookies if you do!

Chocolate Cookies


1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
powdered sugar


Melt the shortening and butter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla, and cocoa and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Chill dough until firm. It will look like a big pot of chocolate fudge. Having said that, I double-dog dare you to make these without eating a big spoonful of the dough. Once you have eaten as much dough as you can hold, roll the remaining dough into balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll in powdered sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guest Launch! Love Served Hot by Mellanie Szereto!

Please welcome my pal and fellow Sextet member, Mellanie Szereto to the blog! I had the pleasure of critiquing Love Served Hot, and enjoyed the story very much. The only thing lacking was the recipes for the scrumptious dishes served in the story. Today, I get my wish for at least one of them!

Thanks for letting me take over your blog today, Cheryl!

Hi, everybody! Read on to find out how you could win a $10 Amazon gift card!!!

My bio:
When her fingers aren't attached to her keyboard, Mellanie Szereto enjoys hiking, Pilates, cooking, gardening, and researching for her stories. Many times, the research partners with her other hobbies, taking her from the Hocking Hills region in Ohio to the Colorado Rockies or the Adirondacks of New York. Sometimes, the trip is no farther than her garden for ingredients and her kitchen to test recipes for her latest steamy tale. Mellanie makes her home in rural Indiana with her husband of twenty-seven years, their two children, and two cats. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Indiana Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and PASIC.

Facebook page: Mellanie Szereto

Besides giving everyone a peek at my newest release, Love Served Hot, I’m sharing the recipe for my heroine’s favorite dish. Here’s a hint about why it’s her favorite!

As acting director of her uncle’s retirement village, Lilith Montgomery must hire a chef for the new restaurant. She’s interviewed several candidates, but instantly decides on the sexy Irishman whose culinary creations give her foodgasms. Her rotten luck with relationships makes her determined to resist her attraction to him, even if it means sneaking into the kitchen at night for a taste of his delectable entrées.
Flynn Hastings is finally getting his life back on track after a year of anger and guilt over his sister’s death. He’s returned home to be near his family and has found the perfect job—with one small problem. His boss makes him want to cook in more than the kitchen. Putting aside his hard and fast rule about mixing business with pleasure, he sets his sights on Lilith, hoping their budding friendship turns out to be more than a flash in the pan.

Buy links:

Plating two modest servings of iron skillet-seared salmon on beds of rice, Flynn added a sprig of fresh dill to each. He dropped a couple handfuls of pasta into the pot of boiling water and gave it a stir. The timer in his head set itself, the ticks so automatic he no longer had to check his watch.
He returned to the dining room to set a dish at Ms. Montgomery’s place, reciting the information she’d likely want to know. “Entrée number one. Dilled Salmon with Spinach and Brown Rice Pilaf. High in Omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbs, and iron. Moderate sodium content. Most vegetables and fresh mushrooms can be substituted for the spinach. And it’ll be served with a variety of sides.”
The aroma rising from the table made his stomach rumble. Taking the seat across from her, he waited for her to taste the offering.
She lifted the fork to her lips. Several moments passed with no indication of her like or dislike of the fish. The only movement of her face was an occasional blink and rhythmic chewing.
A bite of rice followed, her reaction as stiff and bland as the first one. He might’ve expected unresponsive behavior from a food critic, but not from a potential employer.
Unable to restrain his need to know if the food warranted the lack of emotion, he flaked off a piece of salmon and settled it on his tongue. The texture was perfect—not tough or chewy. A mix of mild fish flavor, salt, black pepper, and freshly chopped dill spread over his taste buds. It tasted exactly the way it had the thousands of times he’d prepared it.
Could the rice be the problem?
He slid the fork under the grains, certain he had the right proportion of spinach to rice. Leaning over the plate, he lifted the bite to his mouth. The rice was firm but not crunchy, the spinach and seasonings adding enough hint of flavor to complement the earthy tone of the dish.
Taking a peek at his dining partner, he finished chewing. He’d no more than swallowed when she shuddered and closed her eyes. They opened again, staring straight at him with a slightly glassy look as she pulled in a shaky breath.
Please don’t tell me she’s allergic to—
“Oh my.” She fanned her fingers at her face as she squirmed in her seat.
No cayenne. No hot pepper sauce. No peppers, period—not even black in the rice—and only the lightest dusting of freshly cracked on the fish.
Sifting through the ingredients in his mind didn’t help identify the culprit. “Are you all right?”
Her tight smile didn’t reassure him. She lifted her napkin to dab at her lips, not quite hiding her quick exhale. “Um, yes. I’m fine. Good. Shall we try the next?”
Wasn’t she going to comment on the entrée? Or had she decided to wait until she’d completed the taste testing to evaluate the samples?
“Good” could’ve referred to the dish, couldn’t it?
Pushing up from his chair, he paused before setting off for the kitchen again. The dish had been better than good, and he shouldn’t put too much stock in her response. Confidence in his cooking skills had never been an issue for him.
Drain and dish up the pasta.
Ladle the sauce.
Position the port.
He was on his way in less than two minutes.
His judge slid her now-empty plate to the side and drained her glass.
She had to have inhaled the rest of her salmon and rice while he was gone. That fact alone eliminated the possibility of a known allergy to the fish.
Her gaze seemed glued to the dishes in his grasp. “This must be entrée number two. Campanelle and Portabellas with Roma Tomato Sauce.”
Flynn bit the inside of his cheek to keep from groaning aloud as he placed the pasta dish between her utensils. Her husky tone suggested she might prefer food to sex. A combination of the two would certainly be interesting.
Just what I need—to lose this gig before I get it. Focus, damn it!
He’d already risked making a bad impression with the stupid stocking comment, no matter how sexy her legs were. Adjusting the front of his chef’s coat to hide his body’s reaction to her voice, he refilled her glass and then rounded the table to sit opposite her again.
“Thanks.” This time she hesitated a couple seconds before picking up her fork and knife. “Tell me more about the vegetarian selection.”
Curious to see if her expression became an unreadable mask, he launched into a full description. “The pasta is made from chickpea flour instead of semolina. Higher protein, fewer carbs. Whole wheat or whole grain is another possibility, but I’d add a protein to the sauce to make up the difference. The ports are seared in olive oil for good fats. Freshly grated Parmesan for vegetarian, or without for vegan.”
She held her loaded fork near her chin. “Chickpea pasta sounds fairly expensive and not readily available. What protein options would you use?”
“Cannellini works really well. Marinated and sautéed tofu is another. Black beans.”
She gave a curt nod. The ruffled edge of the sauce-covered campanelle disappeared between her teeth. She looked more thoughtful than with the first entrée, her tongue sneaking out to lick her lips. Her fork clinked against the porcelain plate, and he held his breath for her verdict.
Her sudden gasp as she grabbed the edge of the table didn’t bode well. The small squeak probably meant she was in pain, and her fingertips turned white from her death grip.
Stumbling out of his seat, he rushed to her side. “You’re not all right. I’m not a doctor, but I’d guess acute appendicitis. Or maybe a really bad case of acid reflux.”
She shook her head, sending her strawberry-blonde ponytail swinging back and forth. “Fine. I’m fine. Really. I just, um, bit my tongue.” Her chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm as she straightened in her seat. “You’re hired. Can you start work on Monday?”

Campanelle and Portabellas with Roma Tomato Sauce

1 lb. campanelle pasta
12 Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar (more or less, to taste)
1 cup Marsala (I prefer Taylor New York) or burgundy wine
6 oz. sliced portabella mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan

To peel tomatoes: Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon, plunging into a bowl of ice water. Let stand 2 minutes. Remove tomatoes from ice water. Skin should peel away easily.

Sauce: In a medium saucepan combine chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, and sugar. Cook over medium heat for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Marsala. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer at least 20 minutes.

Pasta: Prepare campanelle according to package directions—ten minutes cook time for al dente.

Sautéed Portabellas: Preheat 1 tablespoon olive oil in an iron skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Carefully lay mushroom slices flat in pan. Cook until lightly browned. Turn over to brown second side. Remove to warm plate.

Assemble: Place a bed of campanelle on plate. Top with sauce and a mushroom slice. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.

Options: Add cannellini, black beans, or sautéed tofu to the sauce with the Marsala.

Enjoy—the book and the recipe! Leave a comment with the name of your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Goodies!

These are some recipes I've posted before, but somehow they got lost in the reboot of the blog.

This first recipe was invented by a wonderful lady named Gina Scalera who used to work at the Joseph-Beth Bookstore in Lexington. She died a couple of years ago, but when she was running the romance department at the store, she had a reading group. Each month they would meet to discuss a book, and Slave was the book of the month for November 2008. She would make up a new cookie recipe for each book, and this is the kind she made for Cat!


-2 cups unbleached Flour
-1 tsp. Baking Powder
-pinch of salt
-1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
-2/3 cup unsalted Butter, softened
-2 cups firmly packed Brown Sugar
-2 lg. Eggs
-2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
-1 cup M&M Candies

Preheat oven to 350 (325 if using a glass baking pan). Lightly grease a 13"x9" baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl cream the butter and brown sugar. Mix in eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Mix in the vanilla. Gently mix in the dry ingredients, until well combined. Stir in the M&M's.
Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into bars.
Yield: 3-4 dozen, depending on size of bar. Can be frozen.

While I'm at it, I might as well give away all my secrets. This next recipe is one I got from my grandmother. Heaven knows where she found it, but it's one of those things that everyone seems to like. I've tasted several different variations and have tried substituting other ingredients, but, trust me, the original is best!

1 pkg Ore-Ida hash brown patties (27 oz) thawed and crumbled up (You can use the bag of shredded hash browns, but it isn't as good.)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 can Campbell's cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Mix all together and spread in greased 9 X 13 pan
Mix one stick melted butter with 1 ½ cups of crushed cornflakes and spread over the top.
Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Pumpkin Casserole!

Recently, I've been delving into Indian cuisine while researching a new book. I've learned to make all sorts of interesting things, but along the way, the spices have crept into my everyday cooking repertoire. Not long a go, I baked a pumpkin. I froze most of the puree, but had about a cup or so left over and figured I would use it for something--hopefully before it went bad on me. A day or two later, it occurred to me to substitute the pumpkin for the asparagus in my asparagus pudding recipe and add some Indian spices. I thought it turned out rather well. 

Pumpkin Casserole  

1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
dash of cayenne
2 tsp garam masala  (If you're not in the mood for Indian spices, you could substitute 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup grated colby jack cheese
3/4 cup milk

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. It will look like really thick pumpkin soup. Pour into greased casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 45 min until the middle puffs up (it will sink a little after you take it out of the oven) and the top is lightly browned.

I'm also blogging on Casablanca Authors today, and I posted my hash brown potato casserole recipe there. Check it out if you're feeling hungry! http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/

Tasty Tuesday Tuscan Beef with Penne Pasta!

Thanksgiving is only two days away, which means I should probably be posting recipes for leftover turkey. However, I made this dish about a week ago out of what I happened to have on hand, and it was pretty good, so I'm posting it now. That way you'll have it for when you're sick of turkey sandwiches. *:D big grin

Tuscan Beef with Penne Pasta

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder mixture
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped (I use the kind packed in oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup (dry) penne pasta cooked according to package directions and drained
1 tbsp or more of pesto
1 to 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
crumbled blue cheese (or Gorgonzola) 

Season ground beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder mixture, then brown in olive oil in a large skillet. Add peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic and mushrooms and saute until onions are soft and translucent. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the pasta and pesto and mix well. Top with crumbled cheese and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Orange Crunch Cake!

I know. I'm a bad, bad blogger. The truth is, I've been too busy working on home improvement projects and writing new books to do much blogging. Aside from the fact that blogging without the naked hunks just isn't the same. *:-&lt sigh

That being said, I still do the occasional bit of cooking, and not long ago, my friend Susan Clement sent me this recipe. She'd recently been to Sanibel Island, which is where The Bubble Room is located. Budley and I vacationed on Sanibel twice when we were MUCH younger, and we had dinner in that same restaurant a few times. Seeing this recipe brought back some seriously old (but good) memories! Thanks, Sue!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tbps grated orange peel

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch pans. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, walnuts and butter. Divide mixture evenly between the prepared pans. Set aside.
2.In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, orange juice and oil until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the orange zest. Pour the mixture evenly over the crunch layer in the pans.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. Frost (crunch side up) between layers, on top and sides. Refrigerate.
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
8oz softened cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sifted 10x confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. orange juice
1/2 tsp grated orange peel. Many users double the icing recipe.

Note: Some users add orange extract to the cake(1 tsp) and frosting(1/2 tsp) to increase the flavor. Others decrease the water to ¼ cup and increase the orange juice to ¾ cup.
At The Bubble Room this is a 3 layer cake so I might play with this to make it so…great reviews on allrecipes and food.com. Duncan Hines also makes an orange supreme cake mix that should work well, too.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Cheesy Hamburger with Potatoes and Onions!

I know. I've been amazingly lax about blogging lately--this from someone who once blogged every single day for more than four years. The truth is, I simply haven't had anything new to report. Yes, I've been helping my husband replace a bunch of windows, and I've been working on several home and farm maintenance projects that I've let slide for years, but I'm not sure any of it is worth more than a few Facebook posts and pictures.

But during that time, I've also been writing. A lot. With the result that I'm at least halfway through the first book in a paranormal romantic suspense trilogy about three survivors of a plane crash at sea.

Not my usual genre, I know, but it has stimulated my interest in a horde of new things, and those things have been keeping me busy. The amount of research I've done for this first book is staggering. Without internet access, I doubt I could've written it unless I'd spent an inordinate amount of time in the library, and even then I probably wouldn't have found what I needed. Call Google all the names you like, but it is still a valuable research tool.

In other news, my Sourcebooks editor called yesterday. She'd finished reading the erotic contemporary manuscript I sent her a while back, and she still likes it well enough to make a very nice offer for it, plus a second book to go with it. She didn't ask for much in the way of revisions, but I'm going to edit the entire book anyway. I first wrote that story several years ago, and my writing skills have improved since then, so I see no point in putting it out there for you to read without giving it a significant facelift. Since she wants two books, I'll probably have to drop the romantic suspense story for a while to revise the first book and then write the second. I can probably keep going on both, but there will be deadlines to meet, which will place greater demands on my time. Either way, blogging may continue to take a back seat to other projects.

That being said, here's a recipe you might enjoy. Last night, my husband wanted something made with hamburger that was creamy and cheesy. He claimed this was exactly what he'd had in mind. I didn't take a picture, but it tasted better than it looked anyway.

Cheesy Hamburger with Potatoes and Onions

2 medium potatoes, peeled, chopped and boiled in salted water until tender
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb lean hamburger
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1/3 cup burgundy
1 tsp instant beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup sour cream or plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Prepare the potatoes and cook until tender. Heat oil in a large skillet and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the hamburger and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and add the garlic, beef broth powder, thyme, and burgundy. Let it cook down a little, then add the drained cooked potatoes, mushroom soup, ketchup, and dry mustard. Reduce the heat and let it cook for about five or ten minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the yogurt and heat for about two minutes, then add the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and serve.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Pumpkin Waffles!

With all the talk about pumpkin pancakes on last week's recipe, I thought I'd give them a try. Then I decided my waffle iron had been idle much too long and took it a step further. I found a recipe for pumpkin waffles on Food.com and modified it a bit to suit what I had on hand along with my own spice preferences. They turned out to be pretty tasty! The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups plain milk, but I had some buttermilk I needed to use up. Use what you have!

Spicy Pumpkin Waffles


2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs
¾ cup milk
¾ cup buttermilk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons oil

Cooking spray 

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl.
  4. Whisk egg mixture into the flour mixture until batter is smooth.
  5.  Spray waffle iron with cooking spray; add a ladle full of batter and cook until waffles are set and golden brown, about 2 minutes. I use the #4 setting on my waffle iron and it beeps when it’s done.
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Pumpkin Biscuits!

Now that I have a new pumpkin sitting out on the deck, I figured I'd better use up the pumpkin puree I froze last fall. Sam loves pumpkin bread so he has no problem with this, but since I usually freeze the pumpkin in the large-sized cottage cheese containers, I always have some left over. There isn't enough for another batch of bread, but not so little that I want to throw it away.

The solution? Pumpkin biscuits!

Catmaster Pumpkin Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of cloves, nutmeg, and ginger
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the shortening, pumpkin, and buttermilk. Mix with a fork to cut in the shortening until you have a soft, sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a board with a handful of self-rising flour and knead a few times until the extra flour is incorporated and the dough loses its stickiness. Press out to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut with biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 12-14 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

And the winner is....

Jaimie Nichols! You're winner of the full e-book set of  of Aleatha Romig's Consequences series! Aleatha should be contacting you soon! Congratulations!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Aleatha Romig!

Please welcome my friend and Indiana RWA chaptermate, Aleatha Romig, yet another brave guest blogger!

Yoga pants and Ponytails
by Aleatha Romig

Hello Everyone!
I am Aleatha Romig, the author of the bestselling Consequences Series: Consequences, Truth, and Convicted.  I’m very thankful to Cheryl for asking me to post on her great blog! Today is special to me, it is the release date of my third book, Convicted.

My trilogy has been described as dark contemporary romance and as a psychological thriller—my assessment, it is somewhere in between, and I think that is beyond amazing! I’ve been embraced by romance readers and by thriller/ mystery readers; I couldn’t ask for more!

I don’t believe that riding the fence of genres would have even been possible a few years ago; however, due to the amazing world of indie publishing, today it is. Not only is it possible, it has been welcomed. For that, I will be forever grateful.

Now that the world has learned about the Consequences Series, I must admit it changed my life dramatically! I began writing Consequences in 2010. At that time my husband had lost his job and two of our children were in college. It was a very dark time...He worked third shift and went back to college—he was never home, except to sleep. I worked as a dental hygienist six days a week to make ends, at least appear to, meet.

I went from a household of five to basically me and my younger son, who is on the autism spectrum and went to bed at 8:00PM.

My daughter, a psychology major, has said that I wrote my story because it gave me a world that I could control, while my real world was out of control. I think she’s on to something! (Very smart young lady-BTW)

Now, three years later, I’m a full-time author, my husband is a teacher, our children are graduated from college, and our youngest son is a junior in high school. Oh, and I have a new kitten. Life is great!

Except (tongue in cheek) the reason for the title of my post...writing and communicating with my readers is all consuming. On some days, it will be noon before I remember to shower or eat! Yes, eat! I NEVER thought I’d forget to eat! Thankfully, there is a fantastic group of authors out there for support. Through them I’ve learned some very important things. I will be glad to share:
  • Yoga pants and a t-shirt is considered “dressed” as long as you didn’t sleep in them.
  • Ponytails are not just for little girls!
  • There is a product out there called “Dry Shampoo” (Okay, I haven’t tried this, it sounds gross. Apparently, it allows you to go another day without washing your hair)
  • An author is NEVER not working...inspiration can hit at the grocery store or in the shower. Our job as an author is to listen and respond.
  • I learned more about the rules for shaving, but I think we can save that for another day!

As I watch the release of my third book, I’m thrilled and honored. I’m thrilled that so many readers have embraced my “different” story and honored to be among the ranks of the fantastic authors of the world.

If you think you are ready for something different, perhaps dark, and often referred to as a mind f*** - Check out the Consequences Series...in a genre of its own.

Meet Aleatha Romig! 

Aleatha Romig is a bestselling author, who has been voted #1 "New Author to Read" on Goodreads July 2012 - Present! She was also #9 most followed author on Goodreads - July / August 3013. She has lived most of her life in Indiana, growing-up in Mishawaka, graduating from Indiana University, and currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her high-school sweetheart and husband of twenty six years, they've raised three children. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she's not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time with her family and friends. Her pastimes include exercising, reading and creating heros/ anti-heros who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha enjoys traveling, especially when there is a beach involved. In 2011 she had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia to visit her daughter studying at the University of Wollongong. Her dream is to travel to places in her novels and around the world.

CONSEQUENCES, her first novel, was released August 2011 by Xlibris Publishing. October 2012 Ms. Romig re-released CONSEQUENCES as an Indie author. TRUTH, the sequel, was released October 30, 2012 and CONVICTED, the final installment of the Consequences Series, will be released in October of 2013!

Aleatha is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Brown and Miller Literary Associates.



Consequences Series: iTunes 
Consequences Series: Kobo
Amazon Author Page

Aleatha is giving away a complete e-book set of the Consequences series to one lucky commenter! To enter, post a comment that includes your email address. Contest closes at 9PM on Wednesday. Winner will be announced 10-10-13. Good luck!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday, Monday...

Time to get back to the old grind and work on the edits to the Rebel manuscript, which is due back to my editor November 1st. I know. It's such a hardship to have to read about Onca and Kim's adventures in the seamy underworld of Rhylos and their super-hot Zetithian romance, but a writer's gotta do what a writer's gotta do. For inspiration, I think I'll take a peek at the cover one more time...

Yeah. Still hot. See you all later....

But before I go, it is my pleasure to announce that the winner of the free copy of Virgie Shofner's Chimera 1911 C.E. is Shelbie Knight! Congratulations Shelbie! Virgie or I will be contacting you via email soon!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Virgie Shofner!

Hey Gang! 
First of all, Diva Donna is the winner of the free ebook, Rough Piece of Road! Will get that to you soon!
And now, please welcome fellow Indiana RWA member, author Virgie Shofner, yet another brave guest-blogging volunteer!

The Book Series
by Virgie Shofner
When I started writing “Chimera: 1911 C. E.”, I don’t remember thinking that it would end up as part of a series. But then again, I don’t remember thinking I would write what is considered “erotica” either. I just knew that I wanted to write romance, and that I enjoyed describing the hero and heroine making love. 

The series developed when I discussed the book with my book editor, H. Christine Linblom, and changed even more when I talked with my publisher, Terry Mominee of Broken Glass Publishing. What started out as a book about vampyres and wiccans turned into a community of all kinds of different entities. As of now, I have plans for at least six books, which will include not only the vampyres and wiccans, but also a variety of other types of beings. In addition, the books will span a time period from 500 B. C. E. (Book Two) into the future. 

One important thing I have learned is that I should have listened more in my history classes! Because I am doing a series that spans different eras, the research needed can sometimes seem overwhelming. When I began, I had no idea I needed to know what kind of ships there were in ancient Persia, let alone clothing, land transportation, food, religion, laws, and even brothels! I now have a binder for each book that includes a map of the area that the characters live in, the research information listed above, and a character development sheet on each of the entities in the book. 

Whew! I get tired just thinking about how much work is involved! But I wanted to be an author, right? So with the fun also comes the work. Hmm. Perhaps, I could think of the research as foreplay. Wouldn’t that change the work to fun??      

Finally, I believe that the more we stretch ourselves as authors, the better we will become at our craft. It is very important that we surround ourselves with other writers, editors, proofreaders, beta readers, and anyone else willing to support us in our journey. 

Of course, the most important people that support us are our fans. Would we still be writers if we did not have them? Maybe. But writing would certainly not be nearly as enjoyable. So we cherish all of them: the fans who love us, who encourage us, who support us. And, yes, even the ones who challenge us and don’t understand us. For in the end, we belong together. Writers, characters and fans. The world would be a sad and boring place without all of us.    

Meet Virgie Shofner!

Virgie has over thirty-two years of experience in corporate advertising, promotions and marketing. In addition, she was a Realtor for ten years and is currently the marketing and publicity consultant for Broken Glass Publishing. Last, (and probably most important) she is the author of a soon-to-be-released paranormal romance series and grandmother of four.
Website: http://readvirgie.com/

Three years ago Chelsea walked away from the man she loved so her sister's child would have a father. Now her sister is gone, perhaps murdered by the man who owns her heart. When she returns to the Chimera coven and Whitney, will Chelsea find her eternal amour, her sister's cheating husband, or a man using magick to fool her? In this community of vampyres and witches, how can she trust herself to know if anything is real or...where magick begins...

Virgie is offering a free Kindle or Nook download of Chimera 1911 C. E. to one lucky commenter! To enter, post a comment below and include your email address. Contest closes at 9PM Sunday, 10/5/13. Good luck!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway!

I recently began offering my IRWA chaptermates the opportunity to do guest spots on my blog, mainly because I don't have any new books coming out until next July, and also because I'm not sure how many more home improvement fiascoes I can undertake and live to tell about them.

Valley Brown is one of the brave volunteers. 

Body Heat and Ice Cream
By Valley Brown
The house is finally quiet, at least for a few minutes. Our weekend guests departed a couple of hours ago, and my Other Half left to run an errand. Finally, I can sit down and write.

I volunteered to write this guest post, not only to help out a writing/author friend but to keep my brain motivated. Cheryl told me the topic choice was up to me, with a mischievous/sadistic little online laugh and a suitably devilish, animated emoticon. Figuring a virtual gauntlet had been thrown down, here I sit, contemplating what gentle havoc I can unleash on Ms. Catmaster.

The only thing my mind really wants to focus on is a fond memory of the enormous scoop of handmade Red Velvet ice cream, nestled in a delicate gingerbread waffle cone, that I salivated over after lunch today.  The ecstasy of that luscious concoction made me think about the concepts of hot, cold and lust – all those juicy characteristics of Romance.  Romance writers are rated by the level of body heat they generate on the page and in the reader. Cheryl is a “scorcher” whereas I am a “teaser.”

Let’s put it this way. If you are reading Cheryl’s stuff while trying to hold and eat an ice cream cone, one of two things is bound to happen: 1) the ice cream is going to spontaneously melt from the heat radiating between the words and your body, and thus end up in your lap, or 2) you’re going to dump the (still melting, by the way) ice cream on yourself in hopes of ending that major hot flash engendered by sex-empathy.  Either way, the ice cream is a loss and is probably soaking through your clothes.

Applying the same scenario to my stuff, we have somewhat different results: 1) you’re so caught up in the heroine’s inner turmoil over the guy she’s lusting after that you chomp your way through the cone before it has time to melt, or b) you’re going to lick that baby slowly to savor the flavor and a stream of melted ice cream starts trickling out the bottom of the cone. Not exactly hot flash control, but it will eventually distract you from reading.

Not saying Cheryl’s words don’t do more for you than generate heat. They certainly do. I’m just making clinical observations about the effects of different styles of writing on body heat and ice cream cones.  (By the way, Red Velvet is so worth lusting after . . . )

LOL! Thanks, Valley! I'm guessing the moral of that story is not to eat ice cream while you're reading! *;) winking

Meet Valley Brown!
"Passion comes from the soul, and writing holds a special place in mine. Passion for writing keeps me up in front of my word processor long past the dictates of my better judgment. It draws energy from every cell of my body, allowing me to paint images with words in ways that continually amaze me."

Romance, or rather writing romance, became an obsession late in life for Valley Brown. After years of building a career in the visual arts, she found herself driven to write in a genre she had never expected to work in: Romance, with a twist of suspense. Her romantic suspense series celebrates mature women who realize life is one big amazing journey and that love is always worth a second chance.

SPEEDING TICKETS, the first book in The Rocky Road series, was the result -- a story about one woman's journey through trauma and tragedy, and how the power of love keeps her moving forward. The stories in The Rocky Road series touch on the different ways in which people deal with wounds that never heal, yet somehow find strength and the courage to love again.

Valley Brown is a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as numerous arts organizations. She has won awards for poetry and short fiction, and writes articles for niche magazines. She lives in Southern Indiana with her husband (who swears she killed him off in Book One – Speeding Tickets), and enjoys cruising on her '99 Honda Shadow. And while she openly admits lusting after Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream, chocolate and coffee will always top her addiction list.


Speeding Tickets is a contemporary romantic suspense novel centered around recently widowed Christine Cassler, whose journey through trauma and tragedy is intermixed with the hope of finding love once more. She is hardly prepared for a tumultuous romance with a mysterious handsome biker, though, and when she uncovers a scheme of deceit and embezzlement at work, it threatens not only her second chance at happiness, but also her very life.

The road trip to happiness can be pretty rough. Christine Cassler Hartford's romantic honeymoon takes a nose-dive the moment Doug mistakes her for another woman in his sleep. It's a sucker punch that has her questioning the new life she started with the man she can't live without. Chris planned a smooth ride, but this was one road hazard she didn't see coming and it's making her crazy. When a local mobster threatens them over money her recently deceased employer stole from him, her stress level skyrockets. The Feds want to use Chris as bait to catch this guy and the gangster's voluptuous daughter wants Doug. Can Chris find money she never knew existed and stay alive long enough to keep her marriage and sanity intact?

Valley is offering a free ebook copy of Rough Piece of Road to one lucky commenter! For your chance to win, post a comment here on the blog that includes your email address. The winner will be chosen at random. Contest closes at 9PM October 3rd. Good luck!