Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, biscotti. Little morsels of crunchy delight. Debbie’s brought us a recipe for super yummy biscotti. I think I’ll just pour up a cappuccino and try one. HI Debbie
Hi Mona, it’s so nice to be here with a fellow Black Opal author. Thanks so much for having me. Since Marc and Natalia, the hero and heroine in my novel, Twin Flames, are Italian and share a healthy Sicilian appetite, I thought we could partake in a cup of cappuccino and almond anise biscotti. The literal translation of biscotti is “twice baked cookie” and one of my favorite recipes.
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon anise seed
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup chopped almonds
Beat sugars and butter until well blended. Add anise seeds and eggs; blend well. Stir in flour and baking powder; mix well. Stir in almonds. Shape dough into two 10 x 1 inch rolls. Place rolls 4 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Flatten each to 2-inch width. Bake at 350 for 20-30 mins or until golden brown. Cool completely.
Cut diagonally into ½ inch slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 6-10 minutes or until bottom begins to brown. Turn and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely.
Store in tightly covered container for up to one month. The anise flavor gets stronger with time.
I’d like to send a shout-out to my daughter Ellie. Today is her 17th birthday. Happy Birthday, sweetie. I love you.
As well as celebrating her birthday this spring, we are getting ready for the prom. The question I have been asking myself these last few weeks is, “When did the prom become a wedding?” Things have certainly changed since my junior prom in 1978.
The most obvious difference is the fashions. We all (or some of us) remember the styles of the seventies. The dresses were flowered print and the tuxedos were powder blue. My daughter has a beautiful short, coral, strapless dress. It’s fashionable but tasteful for her age.
In my day, I did my own hair, and my best friend and I did each other’s nails. We got dressed, posed for the obligatory pictures and drove off in my date’s father’s 1976 Crown Victoria. We thought we were all that.
Ellie has a hairdresser appointment and a mani and pedi scheduled. She’ll be picked up by limousine. It’s not a standard limo. It’s a beautifully plush limo bus complete with disco light hanging from the ceiling and lights flashing. It’s fully stocked with ice and soda.
The venue she’ll be arriving at is a small aquarium on the coast of Connecticut. Her date and she will dine and dance while the fish play and swim in the background. How cool is that?
My prom was at a restaurant’s banquet room. I remember my parents grumbling their prom was in the high school gym. Times change.
My 35th High School reunion is just around the corner in 2014. Maybe I’ll suggest a prom theme. We’ll get dolled up (my husband looks very handsome in a tuxedo) and we can rent a limo. The bar will be stocked with something a little harder than soda.
Why should teenagers have all the fun?
BLURB:She’d never met him before…or had she?
The last thing forty-year old Natalia Santagario expected was to be sitting on a Manhattan barstool ogling a man she’s never met, but swears she knows.
He didn’t know her at all…or did he?
The mysterious dark-haired woman at the end of the bar stops twenty-eight year old Marc Tremonti in his tracks. His head assures him she’s a stranger, but his heart tells him otherwise.
Together they embark on an adventure that will change their lives forever.
Their attraction instant and enigmatic, they undergo past life regression and discover that, not only have they spent hundreds of lives together as lovers, Natalia holds the secret to Marc’s puzzling birthmark.
But what should have been a joyful reunion is complicated by a kind, albeit confused, almost ex-wife, a bout of temporary amnesia and a mischievous ghost from their past.
What else could possibly go wrong?
Bio: Debbie Christiana would sit in her room as a little girl and write stories about ghosts, unexplained events and things that go bump in the night. She combined her love of the paranormal with her fascination of unusual love stories and decided to write paranormal romance. Her novel, Twin Flames, was released in the summer of 2011 with Black Opal Books. In February 2012, her short story, The Land of the Rising Sun, was one of ten included the anthology BITES: Ten Tales of Vampires. Debbie is a member of RWA and Secretary of the Romance Writers of Connecticut and Lower New York. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.
Visit Debbie @ www.debbiechristiana.com
“What is a soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light up a room”
Ray Charles, 1930-2004 Pianist and Soul Musician
With a hot cup of coffee and a donut in hand, Natalia and her two friends boarded a train for the hour ride to New York City. Grand Central Terminal was jammed with people, most of whom were watching a holiday light show flashing onto the ceiling. Having seen it plenty of times, the three women worked their way through the massive crowd on to Forty-Second Street. After taking in the obligatory holiday sights, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and a quick stroll down Fifth Avenue, they were ready to move on. They hopped on the subway to Christopher Street in the Village to their favorite out of the way stores for a day of shopping.
“Nat, are you almost ready?” Ellie asked.
“Yeah, and I’m hungry.”
“Should we take Nat to that Italian restaurant we found last time?” Christine asked.
“Sure,” Ellie said. “Want to try it, Nat?”
“Do you both think with a name like Natalia Santagario I don’t get enough Italian food? I was hoping for a big juicy steak and bottle of red wine.”
“I guess we could have steak, but this place is really good. Plus all the waiters are cute.”
“You’re both married,” said Natalia.
“But you’re not,” Christine said, pointing a finger at her.
“Whatever. I don’t care. I’m starving. Let’s go.”
A crowded subway ride later, they arrived at Tremonti’s restaurant on West Fifty-Fourth Street.
Before they went inside, Natalia stopped her two friends. “Thank you,” she said. “I really needed this. I’m glad you kept harassing me about coming with you.”
“We told you so,” said Ellie with a smile.
As they entered the restaurant, they were swallowed by a crowd of shoppers, tourists, and people reveling in the holiday season. Sandwiched between her friends and the other hungry inhabitants of the restaurant, Natalia couldn’t help but notice the wonderful aromas swirling around the room. For a moment, she was a little girl in her grandmother’s Brooklyn apartment, having Sunday dinner.
As she inhaled once more, a strange sensation took hold of her. Her body temperature seemed to shoot to a hundred degrees. Sweat formed on her brow. Light headed, she could feel the color drain from her face.
“Nat, what’s wrong?” Christine asked, resting her hand on Natalia’s shoulder. “You look like you saw a ghost.”
No, I’m used to seeing ghosts. “I’m fine. It’s hot in here, that’s all. Let’s try to work our way to the bar so I can get some water.”
They started to push their way through the crowd when Natalia felt Ellie take her hand. “Hurry, those people are getting up,” she said, dragging Natalia behind her.
No sooner had they hopped up on their barstools than a young waiter appeared.
“What can I get you ladies this evening?”
“Hi,” said Natalia. “I would love a glass of wa—” She sat completely still, staring past the waiter.
“We’ll have three glasses of Merlot, please,” Christine chimed in. “Could you bring my friend some water? She isn’t feeling well.”
“Sure,” the young man said and left.
“Nat, what are you looking at?” Christine asked.
“The man over there making drinks,” she said, pointing to the side of the bar.
“Looking? Ogling is more like it,” scoffed Ellie. “She’s practically drooling.”
“I know him from somewhere,” Natalia said.
“His back is to us. You can’t see his face.”
“I don’t need to see his face.”
Having no logical answers to give them, Natalia ignored the rest of her friend’s questions and continued to watch the fascinating man behind the bar. He was tall with broad shoulders and dark curly hair. His sleeves were rolled up, his strong arms and hands visible. He was good at his job. Quickly dipping his hand in the ice and dropping the cubes into the glasses, he had three drinks made in a just few moments.
Then something changed.
“Hey, Marc. I need two Absolute Martinis and two Cosmos,” the older waiter said patting him on the back.
“Okay, give me a minute.”
Marc reached for Martini glasses on the shelf. The regular bartender couldn’t have picked a worse night to call in sick, although Marc didn’t mind helping out. It beat sitting home alone on a Saturday night, which had become customary as of late. He put the three drinks aside and started on the next order.
Getting four new glasses down, he suddenly felt warm and woozy. Leaning over, he reached into the ice with his right hand, relishing its coolness. He straightened abruptly and stopped what he was doing, as the same odd affliction he’d felt a month ago hit him once more. Within seconds, first his left, then his right shoulder burned as if hot coals were blistering his skin. He took a few deep breathes and the throbbing subsided a bit. Feeling startled, but not knowing why, his whole body twisted to the left knocking over the glasses.
Clutching a fistful of ice, he turned and gazed into the considerable crowd at the bar. What was he looking for? He didn’t have clue, but when he saw it, he would know. Of that, he was sure.
He moved in a near-full circle. Then he saw her. She had a bewildered expression on her face but an intense gleam in her eyes. He cocked his head and gave her a curious look, knowing she had been watching him.
As he walked toward her, the pain in his shoulders all but disappeared. Feeling his whole body relax, the ice fell out of his hand onto the floor, but he kept moving.
“Marc! What are you doing?” asked one of the servers. “Someone is going to slip on the ice.”
“Oh, sorry, I’ll get it in a minute,” Marc responded, never taking his eyes off the woman he was approaching.
When he reached his destination, he was at a loss at what to say. “Hi,” he said, unsure of himself. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but have we met before?”
When she hesitated, the woman beside her spoke. “You’ll have to excuse her. She’s not feeling well tonight. Nat, tell him you thought he looked familiar to you too.”
“I thought you reminded me of someone I knew. That’s all. My friend is overreacting. It was warm in here, and I was light-headed. I feel fine now.” She gave him a kind smile.
“Yes, it can get warm in here. Do I know you from school? I went here in the city.”
She looked amused. “Listen, hon. I’m a little older than you, don’t you think? I grew up in Connecticut.”
“I went to summer camp in Connecticut for two years.” Her words and smile put him at ease, and he felt confident and even a bit flirtatious. “You could have been my camp counselor. Maybe I didn’t appreciate you in your bikini when I was ten and you were…?”
“I don’t know. How many years ago were you ten?”
“Eighteen years ago.”
“Like I said maybe I didn’t appreciate you in your bikini when I was ten and you were…?”
“I was twenty-two when you were ten. And I did look good in a bikini back then,” she said with a smirk. “Sorry, I never worked as a camp counselor. Try again.”
“I will. You have me intrigued. Anyway, they say forty is the new thirty.”
“Does your wife know you flirt with all the women?”
He looked down at his wedding ring. “If it brings in good tips, she doesn’t mind,” he said, not knowing how his wife felt about much of anything lately.
“Good for her.”
“I’m Marcos, but please call me Marc,” he said, offering his hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“I’m Natalia. Same here.”
The minute their hands met, a powerful shock traveled from his hand up his arm. He forced himself not to jump.
“Ouch!” she exclaimed.
“Sorry. It’s that time of the year I guess,” he said, concluding she received the same jolt.