Monthly Archives: January 2013

Wednesday Plans, and Blog Visits

I’m blog visiting today, with Sarah Grimm, who’s hosting me for a discussion of my writer self, what I’ve written, what I’m writing. Wednesday seems to be a great day to feature writers and advice on writing.  Angela Quarles posted a great blog about getting over under around or through whatever is stopping us from writing more.

I’m looking forward to more blog visitors. I find I like the interview idea best, but I’d like to mix up the questions.  What do you think about: What’s your elixir of choice (to keep our creative juices flowing) and also celebration of choice (champagne, Kahlua, mixed drink, chocolate?)  First romance book, First book to make an impression on you, Your writing schedule, Your writing environment, What inspires you. If you use a pen name, why?? Favorite genre to read/write. What book has wowed you recently?

A friend added:

How much of YOU is in the stories you write?
Are you a planner or a pantser?

Where do you get your back story? Do you ‘write what you know’? You’ve written your first draft. Now what? What’s the process before you publish?

What questions would you like to answer, or to see answered by other writers?  Who’d like to be the first up for visiting? Price of admission is still a recipe, and if I can ever get a good handle on my extra pages I’m going to save the all the recipes in one place.

View to the wonder I distract easily

View to the north…no wonder I distract easily


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What HAVE I Been Doing?

When we call friends or family, inevitably, someone will ask: “Whatcha been up to?” As a lead in to catching up.  Occasionally the question brings irritation, since what we’ve been doing says too much about the lack of excitement in our lives.  Even so, it can be a catalyst to sharing, and the reply can be:

“So glad you asked.”

In the week since I last wrote here, I blogged for Orange County on the idea of Mature Romance books. Would this be a successful genre? Mature Romances? I’d enjoy hearing your take on this idea.

On the recipe front, I came across cauliflower pizza crusts…seriously! I’ve tried almond flour crusts, which were yummy, but this was my first foray into cauliflower, though I have made cauliflower cheese “bread,” including a green chili version that is pretty yummy. I started with this recipe: Original Cauliflower Pizza Crust

1 cup cauliflower**
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley

toppings (make sure meats are cooked)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray (or use parchment paper)

In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Press evenly on the pan. Sprinkle evenly with fennel, oregano and parsley.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (15-20 minutes if you double the recipe).

**Most of these recipes call for cooked, riced cauliflower, either fresh or frozen. Sometimes I will get fancy and steam my cauliflower but most of the time I toss the 12 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower into the microwave until it’s hot, then drain, and use my (favorite kitchen tool) stick blender to mash it.



I made this as a pizza on Friday night and (sorry) gobbled it down too fast for pictures.  But the next morning I still had
some “dough” left.  Being of eclectic appetite, I decided to create a substitute for Indian Tacos (fried dough with all sorts of dangerously yummy toppings). While baking the crust, I cooked up some hot green chiles, then added eggs and cheese to the pan. Lacking fresh tomatoes (need to get to the market!) I used fire roasted salsa, and chopped up romaine lettuce as a garnish.  And it was GOOD.

On the writing front, I’ve been dusting off a series I started way back when, about a ranch in Northern New Mexico that serves as a resting place for people who need somewhere to decompress before easing back into their lives after battle. This first book concerns the daughter of a mercenary and a retired combatant. Both of them need to learn to forgive themselves for their past and trust each other if they’re going to have a future together.  It starts:

“She knew that walk.  With a slight hesitation in one leg he prowled like a wounded predator, conditioned to succeed against the most dangerous game of all.  Even limping, his reactions would be instantaneous, his balance superior.  By itself, his body would be a weapon.  He’d be the best man to have on your side in a battle.  After the battle, he’d unwind with a drink and a woman.  The drink would be strong and straight.  The woman would be bosomy and not too bright.  He’d very likely spend more time with the drink than the woman.”

So. Whatcha Been Up To???


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I AM a Writer, Yes I Am

First off, if you missed the message, the manic lady pin will soon be in the hands of Pamela Truesdale, through, since Gwynyfyr was too busy playing in the snow to pick. Congratulations Pamela and thank you all for participating. I’m going through my ridiculously large collection of funky jewelry so watch this space for further contests.

012It is a new year, with new ambitions and a new outlook . I have been a writer most of my life, though as Alex said on the fabulous sit com TAXI, most of us see ourselves as anything but who we really want to be.  In Alex’s case, he was the only taxi driver, everyone else was driving to support the life they thought they wanted. All too often I’ve heard “I’m going to write full time as soon as…” and the blank fills in with retirement, children growing up, other people’s dreams.  And they put off writing until it becomes their dream instead of their reality.

Anyone who has followed this blog knows I’m a major fan of Kristen Lamb’s blog, never more so than now.  She started out the year with an in our face blog about not defeating ourselves before we first put pen to paper (or pencil, or ink, or…you get it I’m sure) with Lies That Can Poison Your Dreams and followed up with three days of excellent writing tips, culminating in Talent is Cheaper than Table Salt, taken from a quote by Stephen King, which continues: “What separates the talented individual from the successful is a lot of hard work.” Her blog today is about stepping away from our comfort zones and putting our writing first.  Not necessarily ahead of paying the bills, but definitely ahead of mindlessly watching television, or trolling the Internet for the latest non-news from Hollywood.  Even more, it’s about mindset.

When someone asks “What do you do?” as in what is our major life focus, how many of us relate our current work position? Maybe we have a fascinating hobby we like to brag on. How often do unpublished or barely published writers declare, loud and proud, “I am a writer”? It’s marginally easier for other artists, since they can point to paintings, sculpture, wall art as proof of their abilities.  Writers can only point to a computer screen or a loose stack of printed paper. Those who have reached the level of e-publishing can show a Kindle file, only to hear: “Can I find you in a book store?”  Well, I do spend time wandering the aisles, imagining how MY books will look on the shelves, but I don’t think that’s the intent of the question. Nor is the question meant to put us on the  spot, it’s based on decades of assumptions about our profession. Times and perceptions are changing, let’s change along with them.

So in this New Year, having survived a non-end of the world and fully prepared for any apocalypse that might occur, let’s all stand up and declare “I AM a Writer.”  Yes, we are.


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New ‘N’ Naughty for 2013

Could there be a better way to start the New Year than a blog hop with an overwhelmingly impressive group of erotic writers. What the heck am I doing here?  Well, it looks like I’m moving into new territory, and some of my people are going to be a bit naughty.  Gabriel, brother to Mykhael from My Killer My Love is going to get an opportunity to redeem himself after he got involved with the wrong group and tried to destroy Kendra’s home. The Atrahasis send him to live among humans, with his powers suppressed, until he learns humility. That might take a while. Especially since he’s having these strange dreams about being with a woman he’s never met…

Problem is, I’m still struggling to name my female lead.  She’s bright, full figured, intensely loyal to her friends and a bit lonely since she dumped her fiance after one too many cracks about her needing to look more like the women he’d like to have around. So not happening, bozo. She’s house sitting for a friend while she gets her life together, but she’s having the strangest, hottest dreams about a man she’s never met…



As you can see, I need a very special name for this extremely special woman.  So I’m asking for some help.  Anyone who010 comments with a name, I’ll put your name in a bowl, and Gwynny will tear herself away from her Kindle long enough to choose one of the papers in the bowl.  The random choice will win this manic lady pin…and if I use your name in Gabriel’s story, you’ll get naming credit.  How does that sound?  And yes, I can mail it to you no matter where you live!

There are also three fabulous prizes from Jennifer and Lisabet, including a $60 gift certificate to Eden’s Fantasy

visit Eden Fantasys at edenfantasys (dot) com and two other lucky winners will receive a $25.00 gift certificate to their choice of the following book sites: AmazonAll Romance eBooksBarnes & Noble, or Total-E-Bound.  So be sure to visit all the amazing blogs listed below. Each one will have a prize for you to win.

Adriana Kraft
Adriana Kraft
Alisha Paige/Ruby Vines
Addicted to Genre Bending
Ann Cory
Ann Cory
Cassandra Carr
Hot Blogging with Heart
Cherie Noel
Great Expectations
Diane Thorne
Diane Thorne – Erotic Romance Author
Donna George Storey
Sex, Food, and Writing
Donna Michaels
Romaginative Fiction-Donna’s Dish
Elise VanCise
Gladiator’s Pen
Harlie Williams
Harlie Williams, Writer
Helena Harker
Open the Door to Your Fantasies

Wright’s Blog
Justus Roux
Where Love and Erotic Know No Boundaries
Kayelle Allen
Unstoppable Heroes

Kendall McKenna
Love and Dog Tags
Lisabet Sarai
Beyond Romance
Lisa Carlisle
Lisa Carlisle’s News
Lyndi Lamont
Lyndi’s Love Notes
M. S. Spencer
M. S. Spencer Tale Spinner

May Water
May Water’s Erotica
Michelle Moon
Ink Dipped Moon
Mona Karel
Mona Karel
Naomi Bellina
Naomi Bellina Adventurous Erotic Romance
Nicole Morgan
Bringing Passion To Life
Rose Anderson
Calliopes Writing Tablet
Roz Lee
Roz Lee
S. Dora
S. Dora
Sapphire Phelan
Sapphire Phelan’s Passion Corner
Stormie Kent
Stormie Kent’s Musings
Suz deMello
Fearless, Fast-paced Fiction
Synithia Williams
Synithia Williams
Victoria Pinder
Victoria Pinder Romance Author
Virginia Nelson
Virginia Nelson, Author


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Enough Silliness

Let’s take a quick break from my world of ice fog and skinny dogs to discuss something serious (okay, quit your snickering in the back)  My guest today is Dr. Dennis Lewis, author of Dysfunction: Identify it. Own it. Eliminate it. Dr. Lewis is the real deal, a practicing psychologist in California.  {Brief breath to avoid the too obvious one liner} I’m honored to host him, with a brief essay on dysfunctional relationships and a wicked recipe for home made bread.  Can you smell it baking now?  May I introduce Dr. Lewis (polite applause)Dysfunction - Click Image to Close

Dissolving the epoxy of a dysfunctional relationship                    

Are you stuck in relationship that everyone has told you to get out of? Do you ask yourself in the mirror why you are staying? Do excuses bubble forth that delay you from making a decision? Such head-games ignore the fact that the glue that keeps you tied together is the hostile-dependent relationship.

Domestic violence is the best example. The reporter covering the story of a woman murdered by her spouse may marvel that she had separated multiple times from the abuser only to go back. The sociological analysis points to many factors: poverty, insecurity, lack of resources, homelessness, depression, lack of support. Yet from an outsider’s perspective, she had alternatives. Ultimately, the supposedly benevolent observer reverts to blaming the victim. In Social Psychology, this is known as the essential attribution error.

The error is to attribute the behavior to a voluntary decision by the person and impugn her character. In reality, the attractive force controlling the behavior is the vortex of the hostile dependent relationship. You can see this in other instances of unbreakable bonds. Situations include bosses with subordinates, military drill instructors, or dysfunctional family relationships.

Individual motivation draws on multiple factors in any given situation. Hostile dependency merely tends to pull the same players together over and over again. Why the participants act out the same repetitive dance can be traced to their individual dynamics, and such an analysis can be theoretically interesting. But the glue in the process is hostile-dependency.

The individual who recognizes this has one more tool at his or her disposal for escape. The awareness of the source of the pull will enable you to consider your options on level ground. Instead of an unnamed impulse pulling for a precipitous decision, you get to delay, to weigh the alternatives, and actually to make up your mind. In your attempt to separate, you can act with purpose instead of reflex. In this mindset, the alternatives that are available to you become more real and thereby attainable.

You might still need some support to stick with your decisions, but recognizing the taffy-like nature of the hostile dependent relationship will give you authorization to make the break. Summon up your courage. Recognize the hostility coming from the other person, and then stand on your own.  You’ll be healthier once you do.


Thank you Dr. Lewis

Rustic Wheat Bread

9 oz Water

3 Tbs Honey

1 ½ Tbs Butter

2 tsp yeast

1 ½ tsp salt

1 ½ Cups White flour

½ cup rye

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup whole rolled oats

1 Tbs Seminole flour if you have it.

2 Tbs Sunflower seeds

1 Tbs rice

2 Tbs Corn Meal

2 Tbs Nuts

2 Tbs Bulgar

1 Tbs Barley Malt

Optional: 2 Tbs flax seeds

2 Tbs Almond Meal

1 Tbs Millet

Mix in bread machine on dough setting. Remove and refrigerate over night. Remove and form. Air rise for 1 ¼ hours.

Place in warm 200 degree over X 20 minutes. Turn on oven to 395 for 17 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 for 20 minutes.


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About Firsts

Since this is the first new years I’ll face alone in a long long time, I started thinking about other significant firsts. We all 013have them. First dates, first kiss, first…the list is endless. In keeping with my writing, I can reveal the first romance I read would have been a Romantic Suspense by Mary Stewart, possibly Airs Above The Ground and the first Historical Romance would have been Elswyth Thane’s Yankee Stranger. The common denominator being horses. Yeah, I was a horse crazy kid and it’s carried on throughout my life, though I had to make a choice between horses and dogs a few decades back since I could not do justice to both.
After the move to New Mexico, we had the space for a horse but not the resources, at least not right now. I’ve learned to enjoy them vicariously, through friends and blogs, and lots of wonderful Facebook pictures. Especially this picture, which shows a plethora of firsts.Melissa's Gelding

This is her first horse, and the gelding’s first person of his very own. How cool is that, and what great parents she has,to make so many dreams come true.

So we’ll move into this New Year with memories behind us and dreams in front.  I hope to follow this new couple through their journey together, and share a few more horse stories vicariously.


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