Monthly Archives: July 2009

Recipe of the Week: Strawberry Daiquiri

At the request of Coffee Time Romance, my strawberry daiquiri recipe. Made with real fruit, it’s loaded with antioxidants. And rum.

1 1/2 cups cold water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 cup white rum (or more, if you like more punch)

1 16 oz bag frozen strawberries

Pour liquids and sugar into a blender and start on medium setting. Slowly add strawberries, raising blender setting to high (I use “liquify”). When all berries are added, blend until smooth.

Makes about 6 cups of alcoholic strawberry smoothie.


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Addicted to the BBC

Some of you already know of my BBC obsession. It is an obsession. Sometimes I watch more British TV than I do American, mostly because I enjoy British humor so much more. It’s dry and you have to think about it sometimes. American humor, at least on TV, tends to be a little juvenile and blue. Then again, living with three adolescent males might have something to do with that perception.

I’m spreading my addiction, by the way. The youngest was enraptured when we saw Torchwood had a mini series starting, and is waiting impatiently for tonight’s Doctor Who. torchwood460And we’re both annoyed that we don’t get the series at the same time they do in the UK, but that’s life across the pond.

A while ago, I blogged that I should write science fiction. These two series prove that I could never do it well. The twists and turns they take! I never see it coming. Well, rarely. And, as one commenter stated, science fiction does not necessarily need to take place on other planets. Torchwood proves that point perfectly, and the writers – well, I am in awe. Although, as my 9-year-old son pointed out, they missed something. Plot hole alert! Oh, and spoiler alert, too.

If Jack can regenerate from bits, after blowing him up, wouldn’t there be several Jacks regenerating?

Then again, maybe this is how they would bring him back for Series 4 now that he’s all gloomy and depressed.

The writing for these series, though, is amazing. They back the characters into a no-win situation – really, there’s no way out – and then manage to get them out of it anyway! Trust me, I’m taking notes. These are the lessons every writer of every genre needs to learn and re-learn.

So by watching the Beeb for hours on end, can I consider that “writing” time?

And what’s my excuse for my Mythbusters addiction?

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Recipe of the Day – White Chocolate Mints

Straight from Let’s Dish today is the recipe for Maggie’s White Chocolate Mints. Easier than they sound, I promise.


1 bag white chocolate chips (or 1/2 package white almond bark)

Mint extract (peppermint or spearmint, depending on your taste)

Candy molds or mini-muffin cups

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove, or in the microwave using 30-second intervals and stirring frequently. Once melted, add two to three drops mint extract.  Spoon melted chocolate into candy molds or mini-muffin cups. If using a mold, gently tap on counter to release air bubbles. Refrigerate or place in freezer until set, and unmold.

Bon appetit!

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Have it Your Way

Okay, so there have been a lot of reasons why I’ve been so indecisive lately, not the least of which is having a husband who has been home sick for the last two months. Still, I need to pick a writing project and stick with it. Or quit. There’s always that option.

Kidding. Kinda.

I started out the summer working on Courting Kismet, which is a book I wrote in 2002 and was my first serious attempt at fiction. It’s a romantic comedy that was originally aimed at the Harlequin Flipsides line (remember that one?) but it needs a LOT of work. Needs basically re-written from the top down. In other words, lazy old me just didn’t have that much ambition.

The I re-read my 2007 NaNo project Guys and Dogs. This is a finished and almost-polished book. Just needs a quick run-through and a few re-writes, but since it started out as a romantic comedy and got waaaay more serious than I anticipated, I put it away.

So then I started working on Happy Medium. This is a whole new project I started about a year ago. I was very excited about it when I first got the idea, but then I sold Let’s Dish and got sidetracked working on it and Another Time Around. Now I’m having a heckuva time getting back into it, and progress is extremely slow. And the scenes are extremely bad.

So here’s where you come in. Since I obviously can’t make up my mind as to what I want to work on, I need your input. What do you want to read? What should I put my efforts toward? Here’s a very breif descrition of each book:

Courting Kismet– A college drama professor fakes a relationship with the town hottie to get back at her ex-fiance, while she tries to mount a production of Kismet with a unique cast of characters.

Guys and Dogs– A veterinarian is forced to face a huge mistake when her best friend dates her ex-fiance, whom she dumped to marry a successful but shady psychiatrist.

Happy Medium – A psychic medium has been hiding her talents since she was a kid, but when a dead cop demands her attention, she fights her attraction to his partner – a man who could destroy everything her family has worked for.

And now you know why I am the worst at writing blurbs and taglines.

So what do you think? What would you want to read?


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We Have a Winner!

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I have a lot to think about in naming my new hero. But for today, all I have to think about is annoucing the winner of my Name That Hero Contest.

The winner was randomly selected from all emails and comments (in other words, I wrote them down and had a kid draw one). And the winner is…

Shell Bryce!

Shell, just email me at and let me know Samhain e-book you’d like.

Thanks all for playing. Stay tuned for another contest coming in August.

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Conference Envy

A lot of my friends are at RWA National in Washington, DC this week. I am pea green with envy! When I sold Let’s Dish a year ago, my first thought was, “I’m going to DC a published author.” Yeah, well, no. I’d decided a few months later that it didn’t make much sense to go this year because I wouldn’t have a print edition out yet, so it’s hard to do a signing.  And then the whole cancer thing hit, so I’m pretty well grounded for quite awhile. But I figured I’d submit it for a RITA for Nashville in 2010.

Two problems with that. Since it will have a print date of 2010, it’s not eligible for a RITA until New York in 2011, and secondly, since it’s not “mass produced” and is instead a POD title, unless things change drastically, it’s not eligible for a RITA at all. Then again, since I’m technically published, I’m not eligible to enter for a Golden Heart either. Thanks, RWA. Grrr.

But all that political garbage set aside, I’m really getting a conference craving. I went to New Jersey a couple years ago, and that ultimately led to my selling to Samhain. But even more than that, I had a blast! It renewed my energies, got me thinking like a writer again, and really charged my batteries. I am badly in need of a recharge.

Conferences are exhausting and sometimes expensive, but to be amist other writers – especially those who don’t give you that look when you say you write romance – is priceless. And I miss it. I am hoping to be able to make it to the South Dakota Festival of Books in October, but I’m not holding my breath since the husband will be gearing up for a stem cell transplant about that time. Then again, I might just stow away with my librarian and go anyway.

As far as other conferences, I’ll have to wait and see. I hope to make it to New York in 2011, but a lot depends on health issues and kid issues. In the meantime, I have to find my solace in all my online friends and readers. After all, nothing recharges your batteries like someone telling you they want to read your next book. And I get that a lot, lately, so thanks to all of you out there for keeping me going.

But I’m still envying all my buds hanging out in the bar tonight talking about their books. Maybe next year, guys. I hope!

Oh, one last note! Good luck to my good friend CJ Barry who’s up for a RITA Saturday night. I’m pulling for you, Cindy!


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New Feature -Recipe of the Week

Since Let’s Dish revolves so much around food, a lot of folks have asked me about recipes from the book. So I have a confession to make: I don’t have any recipes. Honestly, I just made the stuff up. However, since I’ve had so many requests, my librarian and I have decided I need to try to make some of this stuff.

This blog is not about that.

Yeah, haven’t actually tried to create many of those recipes yet, But I am a total foodie. Problem is, I never measure anything. I am a dash-of-this, bit-of-that kind of cook, so sharing my recipes requires me to sit down and think about how much a bit and a dash are.

Today, I’ll share with you one recipe that is one of my favorite go-to dinners. It’s simple, inexpensive, and even my kids will eat it. I’ve posted this a couple places before, including on the Samhellion, so forgive me if you’ve seen it before. I promise new, exciting recipes coming in the future.

Orange Chicken


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chicken seasoning

16 oz jar orange marmalade

¼ cup orange juice

1 small can mandarin oranges

Optional Ingredients:

Slivered Almonds

¼ cup white wine (instead of orange juice) for a more French flair

2 tablespoons soy sauce for a more Asian taste

Sprinkle seasoning over chicken breasts and brown in olive oil until almost cooked through. Add marmalade, mandarin oranges, and orange juice (or wine or soy sauce) and allow sauce to reduce for approximately five to ten minutes. Serve over rice.

Seriously, that simple. And quick!

Keep your eyes open for more! Next week, White Chocolate Mints. Yup – straight from Maggie’s kitchen.

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