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!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Launch Party for The Volatile Amazon!

My pal and awesome critique partner Sandy James is celebrating the launch of Book 4 of her Alliance of the Amazons series! I actually critiqued this one, and the heroine, Sarita, is a feisty little woman, and her man Ian is a hot Scottish hunk! I think you'll enjoy it!

Meet Sandy James!

Sandy lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband of thirty years and is a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses and enjoy spending time at the two Indiana racetracks.
She is published through Forever Yours, Carina Press, and BookStrand, as well as self-published. She has been an Amazon Bestseller and has won numerous awards, including two HOLT Medallions.
Look for a new contemporary romance series--Ladies Who Lunch--from Grand Central Forever Yours beginning in February 2014! The first book--The Bottom Line--and the second--Signed, Sealed, Delivered--are now available for pre-order!
Please visit her website at www.sandy-james.com for more information or find her on Twitter (twitter@sandyjamesbooks)or Facebook (www.facebook.com/sandyjamesbooks)
Represented by Browne and Miller Literary.

Book four of Alliance of the Amazons

Sarita Neeraj has never felt like a real Amazon. Compared to the obvious strengths of her sisters, her Water powers seem small as her stature. She's determined to prove herself--unfortunately, all that gets her is captured by an enemy.

Ian serves a twisted goddess, preferring this to an empty afterlife. He's taken Sarita hostage to coax the other Amazons from their safe haven. But in his ancient Scottish castle, the passion and love Ian finds for Sarita resurrect his honor, until he chafes at the dark will of his mistress. 

Sarita has finally found happiness--but before she can enjoy it, she's "rescued" by her furious sisters. To save Ian from destruction at the hands of the Amazons, Sarita must risk wielding magick that could change her very nature. Only then can she prove the Water Amazon is the strongest of the four--and save them all from destruction.

Meet Earth, Fire, and Air in The Reluctant
Amazon, The Impetuous Amazon, and The Brazen Amazon.