Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Home Again and a Holiday Recipe

I'm back home. Actually, we got back Saturday night.

There were nine of us that came from NC, PA, and MO. I thought our idea was so unique, spending Thanksgiving in the Smokies. UhHuh.There were thousands that had the same idea. And Black Friday starting Thursday night added to the congestition. But we still had all kinds of fun.

We had enough food to feed a small army. The apartments we stayed at were on opposite ends of the unit, so Thanksgiving morning was spent running food and utensils back and forth from one kitchen to another.

We did the traditional Thanksgiving evening at the movie theater. Three of us went to Breaking Dawn and the rest went to The Muppet Movie.

The next day, half did the tourist thing and the other half hung around the apartment. The apartment was very nice. Every morning I spent out on the balcony with a book and a cup of coffee.

The last night we played Imaginiff till after midnight. Have you ever played it? Its a hoot. My sister, the queen of games, introduced it to us. Saturday morning we headed home.

How did you spend your Thanksgiving?

Holiday recipe: Platte County Pie
2 large eggs
1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c softened butter
1/2 c pecans
1 c s
emi sweet chips
1 deep pie shell
Beat eggs, add flour and sugar, butter, vanilla, nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into pie shell. Bake 1 hour at 325.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


With me today is fellow MuseItUp author Penny Ehrenkranz. Not only is she going to tell us about her new releases but she's also sharing a recipe for Honey Mead.
Welcome, Penny!

Hi Sandra, thank you so much for hosting me today during my blog tour for my two r
eleases from MuseItUp Publishing: Lady-in-Waiting and Mirror, Mirror. I want to tell your readers I am hosting a contest. Everyone who leaves a comment and contact information will be entered into a final drawing at the end of the tour. One person will receive a copy of Lady-in-Waiting and another will receive a copy of Mirror, Mirror.

Since both of these stories take place in the fifteen century, I’m promoting them together. Lady-in-Waiting is the tale of Mabriona, lady-in-waiting to her cousin, Princess Alana. Mabriona’s tale is one of deceit and lies. Lies which ultimately could cause her undoing. Mirror, Mirror takes Lindsey Baker on an unexpected journey to the fifteen century where she learns women aren’t treated quite as well as she would have hoped.

Since I’ve had both women sit down to eat meals, I’ve been curious about what types of foods were served. A great online resource is RenFaire, There is a listing of common foods as well as recipes. History tells us folks in the fifteen century ate much the same foods we do: roasted meats, vegetables, stews, soups, and breads. What might be different are the types of meats of which many were game animals such as venison and wild boar.

Since refrigeration wasn’t an option, the only way people could keep things cold were root cellars. Here crops such as potatoes, winter squashes, carrots, and beets were kept until they went bad. Pickling vegetables was a common practice as was drying, smoking and salting. Almost all households had a garden for fresh produce during the warmer months. Barley ale, honey mead, and weak beer were all common drinks as most water was unsanitary and not fit for drinking.

Lindsey and Mabriona both partake of honey mead. Here’s a recipe, courtesy of RenFair. Please note, I haven’t tried this recipe myself, so I have no idea how good it is.

Honey Mead

3 gallons of water

1 gallon of honey

Set water and honey over fire, cook just until honey melts.

Add: thyme, sweet marjoram, winter savoury, sweet bryer, and bay leaves.

Boil for one hour.

Let liquid sit for twenty-four hours in a wooden container.

Drain and strain the liquid into another vessel.

Add: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, and cloves placed into a mesh bag and hung in the container.

Let this mixture sit for six months before serving.

Lady in Waiting released November 18th from MuseItUp.
Direct buy link:
Mirror, Mirror will release in December. The MuseItUp Bookstore buy link:

TITLE: Lady-in-Waiting

Line: Through a series of misunderstandings, Mabriona is forced to live a lie, but when the man she loves awakes from his coma, will she confess her deceit?
Blurb: Mabriona is cousin to the beautiful and spoiled Princess Alana. When Alana is forced to marry a man she despises, Mabriona is torn between her loyalty to her cousin and her attraction to the handsome Prince Blayne. Tragedy befalls the cousins on the way to Prince Blayne’s castle. Servants, believing Mabriona to be Alana, refuse to listen when she tries to explain. While she waits for Blayne to recover, Mabriona meets his equally handsome younger brother, Madoc, a bard. When Blayne awakes, will Mabriona choose life with a future king, will she be sent home in disgrace because of her inadvertent lies, or will Madoc win her love with his poetry?


“Today’s the day, Mabriona,” Princess Alana said as Mabriona entered the chambers. She wiped tears from her eyes with an embroidered linen. “Prince Blayne will be here, and soon I’ll be his wife. I think the worst part of being father’s daughter is marrying someone I’ve never even met.”

“You’ve always known your marriage would be arranged for the benefit of the kingdom, Princess, but I’m sure he’ll be very nice,” Mabriona replied as she opened the heavy drapes covering the windows. She looked at her cousin and sighed. She wanted to feel sorry for Alana, but they’d had this discussion so many times. Mabriona was tired of it. Alana had known from the time she was a child that she would not wed for love. Why can’t Alana just accept her fate? Outside the day was as wet as the one before and the one before that.

“Nice? Who wants nice? I want someone handsome and dashing. A knight in shining armor who will love me forever. I certainly don’t want someone like my father who will make me do everything I don’t want to do.”

TITLE: Mirror, Mirror

Tag Line: Lindsay Baker’s purchase of an antique mirror sends her back in time to salvage a love torn apart by class restrictions.
: Lindsay Baker is intrigued by everything about the middle ages, but when she purchases an antique mirror and a costume to attend a Renaissance Faire, she suddenly finds herself transported back in time. There she finds she’s been called by a witch to right a terrible wrong. Graham loves Prudence, but he can’t marry her because he’s landed gentry, and she is only the baker’s daughter. Before Lindsay can return to her own time, she must convince Graham to marry against his father’s wishes. Unfortunately, she also finds herself falling for the handsome gentleman. Can she find her way back to her own time, or will she be stuck in a time when women had no rights?


After Stefany left, Lindsey adjusted the water spigots on her tub. A few drops of bubble bath went into the water, and the soothing scent of lavender filled the moist, steamy air. While the tub filled, Lindsey tried on her Renaissance outfit for the upcoming Faire. She couldn’t believe her good luck at finding the perfect pieces. She tested the bath water to be sure it was the right temperature. Then she picked up her antique mirror to get a better view. Was this a scryer’s mirror at some point in time? It slipped from her wet hands into the bathtub.

“Nuts,” she mumbled as she leaned over the tub. She pulled one sleeve up on her blouse and fished around in the bubbles for the mirror. When she pulled the mirror from the water, spots appeared in front of her eyes, and she felt faint. While she watched her reflection in the old mirror, the background changed. She no longer saw the inside of her bathroom. She closed her eyes as the room around her went black.

Temporary buy link:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dating 911


Have you read the stats? Yes. It is a true fact!! According to health care professionals, just 30 minutes of sex can burn up to 85 calories. Doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re a hero/heroine in a romance who can do the unthinkable and pull off all nighters and what they hey—all day long sessions of hot steamy sex, it’s no wonder they’re in such great physical shape! Not to mention burning about 2500 calories a week by having sex alone! LOL.

But seriously, sex does have a lot of really great health benefits. A lot of which I bet you wouldn’t have even guessed at. Beside the minimal calorie burn, sex is great for relieving stress, can boost your immune system, reduce pain, and improve intimacy. I guess that is why my hero Firefighter Jett Avery, in my current release Dating 911 thought he could use sex as a remedy to help him control is PTSD.

What are some other benefits of having sex? Please leave a comment for your chance to win a free digital copy of my book, Dating 911. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you so much for having me here today!


Emergency room nurse, Roxanne Carter is a loser-magnet wishing she could enjoy her single life. Commiserating with girlfriends over butterscotch martinis creates the idea of The Dating Manifesto--a not so scientific research project which promises to point the way to dating success. While gathering data to find the most suitable single men available, she wades through a series of unsavory, stale dates, which literally places her back at ground zero. Just when she is ready to give up, sin personified in the form of sexy firefighter Jett Avery, arrives tainting all of her previous data.
A traumatic warehouse fire, in which firefighter Jett Avery's closest friend dies, has him suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Attempting to stave off the worst of his depression, he decides to use his brand of therapy...Sex. The remedy has lost luster until he encounters ER nurse Roxanne Carter.
The pursuit of Roxanne by Jett's twin brother, Doctor Cruz Avery, complicates her research and interferes with Jett's therapy. Does Roxanne choose the brother who by analysis is the perfect match? Or the broken, dark and irresistible one?


Roxanne started. Focused on the man with the microphone,she hadn’t seen Jett come into the bar. She twisted in her chair and tilted her head. Her gaze traveled up worn black jeans that accentuated powerful thighs. He wore another T-shirt. This one was white with bold red letters advertising,

How Hot Do You Want It?”

The fabric stretched across his broad chest and molded every muscle. His jaw tightened. Stormy eyes glared down at her. Mouth suddenly dry, Roxanne grasped her soda and sipped. His nearness instigated a chain reaction deep within her body. Her heart pounded against her rib cage. She squeezed her quaking thighs together.

Okay. Remain calm.

“What does it look like?” She asked, proud her voice remained unruffled.

Jett slapped his palms on the table in front of her. She flinched. He leaned in, his face mere inches from hers. “This was not the deal.”

His hair was still damp from a recent shower. The short black strands were carelessly styled, like he’d just run his fingers through them. The strong scent of leather and spice reached her, warming her belly. She squelched the desire to jerk her chair back, giving herself breathing room, and held her ground. “If I recall,” she said coolly, “you blackmailed me into a date when I’d already had plans for the evening. The only way to earn my release was to invite you along. So, if you want your ‘date’, I’d get over and draw a number before they’re all gone.”

“Is there a problem, Miss?” the emcee for the evening asked.

She smiled and Jett straightened.

“No, not at all. I was just telling this gentleman how the process works. He’s a virgin speed-dater.” She gave Jett what she hoped came across as a coy look.

His jaw tightened. A thunderstorm flashed in the depths of his eyes. Then with a blink, the tempest disappeared. His lips curved into a slow, sexy smile.

Her breath caught. What was he up to? Whatever his agenda, he ought to provide some great research material.
“Yeah. I better grab a number,” Jett said easily.
“I’ll be happy to show you how to get started. Come with
me,” the announcer said, and led the way to the registration table. Jett followed in his wake. Was it her imagination, or did he seem to have an extra swagger in his gait?

Eyes narrowed, Roxanne watched him. He mingled effortlessly with the other participants, smiling and talking with each of the men gathered on the sidelines. Her jaw dropped. Damn! How could he change from stormy to charming so effortlessly? She made a mental note to examine his character more in depth when they had their time together. Her earlier excitement returned. Maybe this wasn’t going to be a total bust after all…

BUY LINKS:Evernight Publishing - Link
A graduate of University of Nebraska Medical Center, Kathleen Grieve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Nursing in 1994. She has been a dedicated nurse for the past seventeen years, serving most of those years in intensive care. Always writing, Kathleen chose to pursue yet another career- that of a writer. An avid romance reader of all genres since age 13, she decided to try a hand at writing her own novel in the summer of 2006.
She draws a lot from the real-life medical drama she experiences as a RN for her novels. Writing romance is a creative outlet where she can effectively deal with the daily stress and sorrow,
adding levity and humor to situations that provide a happily ever after when there isn't one.
To find out more about Kathleen Grieve and her books, you can stop by her blog, Keeping A Pulse On Life & Romance at:

Her website: www.kathleengrieve.comLink

Follow her on Facebook:!/pages/Kathleen-GrieveAuthor/251669291518939
Follow her on Twitter: @KathleenGrieve
Link to blog party and giveaway:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

An American Beauty

I'm blogging today at Night Writers on American Bombays. If you have an opportunity or you're interested in these cats, I invite you to stop by.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oscar the Blind Kitten With His First Toys

I wanted to share this. This little guy is such an inspiration. He's a reminder that life can be as easy or as hard as we make it. If you haven't seen this vid and have a moment, take a gander.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday In The Smokies

We're heading for Tennessee, where the family is meeting for Thanksgiving. We're all pretty excited about it. Hope your holiday is filled with family, friends, peace, happiness, pumpkin pie and tofurkey:)

Monday, November 21, 2011

When To Edit

It's Manic Monday and I'm blogging at DowntownYA on When to Edit. If you have a moment, stop by and say hey.
The picture? Just a momentary escape from reality.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible."~*~ T.E. Lawrence

Blogs of interest:
Amarinda Jones
Anny Cook
Julia Barrett
Molly Daniels

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sexiest Man Alive Quiz
Okay, my sister passed this on to me with instructions, I pass it on to you. Its fun. If you have a moment, take the Sexiest Man Alive Quiz (link below) and report back. Let us know how you did. I blush to admit: I only got 7 out of 10. I'm betting Julia Barrett does better:)

So are you signing the boot the Kardashians off petition or are you a fan?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baubles and Chocolate Chip Pizza

Isn't this pretty? My lunch bud brought it back for me from France. Can you imagine, she broke our lunch date for an opportunity to vacation in France with her husband. Tsk, tsk.
Last Friday when we went out for lunch, we made the most amazing discovery....chocolate chip pizza. OMG. It's wondrous. If you haven't had it, give it a try. And while you're at it. Enjoy your Friday.

Blogs of interest:
Amarinda Jones
Anny Cook
Julia Barrett

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Truth and Fantasy

"Abandon the search for truth, settle for a good fantasy."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where To Eat Out

A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.
Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen next to the Oceanview
restaurant because they had only $6.00 among them and Jimmy Johnson, the
cute boy in Social Studies lived on that street.

10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends discussed where to
meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View
restaurant because the beer was cheap, the restaurant offered free
snacks, the band was good, there was no cover and there were lots of cute

10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends discussed where to
meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View
restaurant because the cosmos were good, it was right near the gym and,
if they went late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.

10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends discussed where to
meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View
because the martinis were big and the waiters had tight pants and nice buns.

10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends discussed where to
meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View
restaurant because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good,
the restaurant
had windows that opened (in case of hot flashes), and fish is good for

10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends discussed where to
meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View
restaurant because the lighting was good and the restaurant had an early
bird special.

10 years later, the group of 75-years-old girlfriends discussed where to
meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the

Ocean View restaurant because the food was not too spicy and the
restaurant was handicapped-accessible.

10 years later, the group of 85-years-old girlfriends discussed where to
meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View
restaurant because they had never been there before.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy B-Day

Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that people who have the most live the longest.

Today is the hh's birthday. We're going out to eat tonight, but waiting to celebrate till the family is all together at Thanksgiving. In the meantime, here's a bit of trivia on the birthday boy.
1. He's a Bear's fan.
2.A Diehard Cub's fan
3. Grew up in Illinois
4. Was told in high school he wasn't smart enough to go to college
5. Got his master's degree in his fifties and if it hadn't been for getting a B in one of his courses would have aced everything he took
6. Worked in a factory setting for over twenty years and for the past ten has taught Developmental English at a community college
7. Has five sibs, all of them girls
8. Lost his mom to cancer when he was in his twenties
9. Had a great father who lived into his nineties
10. Writes poetry
Loves his children
Happy Birthday, M.
Blogs of interest:
Amarinda Jones
Anny Cook
Julia Barrett

Monday, November 14, 2011

Writing A Novel.....Where To Begin

For those of you who are thinking about writing a novel but don't know quite where to start, I'm blogging today on Where To Begin at Downtown YA.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Deadman's Blood

With us today is T. Lynn Tolles . Welcome Teresa. Please tell us about your current project.

Currently I am between projects. I spent the summer and fall marketing my books and doing a few blog tours. I have plans this winter to start on a new series about a witch and a hellhound pup she finds and raises. Needless to say they get into lots of trouble.

What will I as a reader like best about your heroes?

Well what I hope readers will like about my heroes and heroines is that they are strong loving people, but aren’t full of themselves. My vampires don’t sparkle but they also aren’t “rip ‘em-up, gothic hide-in-the-shadows” vampires either. They’re more like real people with an affliction that requires them to drink blood, but really they just want to live their lives like we all do. They’re just very REAL.

How will women identify with your heroines?

Probably the same way as above. The heroine in this series is a sweet woman who likes to help out whenever possible and loves her family and friends fiercely. She has a quirky sarcastic sense of humor, but she’s REAL and she doesn’t give up, even when some think she should and may even find this is a weakness.

Is your muse currently sitting on your shoulder or is she illusive?

I think writers tend to be a little schizophrenic in the sense that all my characters talk. Not necessarily to me but like a dream or a movie - the plot plays itself out, I am just the one who types into a form where others can read it. So to answer your question, my muses don’t actually sit on my shoulder, but they do speak to me and mostly in that time just before I fall asleep. I do my best writing at this time.

Who is your favorite author?

I’m not sure I have one favorite, but a montage of different ones depending on my mood. I grew up reading Anne Rice and Stephen King so to not mention them would be a crime. I love Jim Butcher, Ellen Schreiber, L.J. Smith and way too many others to list.

Where can we purchase your books?

Pretty much anywhere….

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, All Romance, CreateSpace, Lulus, etc….I get around (giggles)

Thanks for dropping by, Theresa. Good luck with your series
Contest: for an opportunity to win a free download of Deadman's Blood just leave a comment along with your email addie.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Be Who You Are
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."~*~ Dr. Seuss

Friday, November 11, 2011

Smart Kitties

I'm showing a vid today at Night Writers on a cat caretaker who, inspired by Pepperberg's work with Alex the Parrot, has tapped into the cognitive powers of her once feral cats. Joan Kosby has taught her cats to identify some words, shapes and colors. If you're interested and have an opportunity pit stop by and see the Vid.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Glasses, Self Perception and Insurance

I went for an eye exam and ordered new glasses last week. While I was looking at frames, the technician told me, the pair I was looking at worked because I had a small face. My mental response. I do?
Why is it, the perceptions we have of our self is usually different from the way others perceive us? I look in the mirror and I see an extra five pounds that no one else seems to see. Hmm...maybe they didn't just get new glasses or have that eye exam like I did:)

Another eye opener (no pun intended, well maybe just a small one) was the cost. If I hadn't had insurance I would have been cooked. As it was, with insurance picking up the majority of it, I was still left with a few hundred dollars to pay. I was stunned. I did get extras that weren't covered by insurance or only partially and they quickly added up, transition lenses, a coating to prevent glare, and yes my frames were past the minimum. But it begs the question, what do folks do that don't have insurance? Okay that was a rhetorical question, they don't go to a doctor because they can't afford it.
For whatever reason, socialism is a bad word in our country.
When it comes to healthcare, I'm a huge proponent of socialism. Why shouldn't every American have the luxury of going to a doctor when they're sick? Or need glasses? And why should it be a luxury? And the biggest question of all, will it ever change?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Still Obsessing On Mary Sue-isms

I'm fascinated with the Mary Sue thing: 'too perfect, a poorly developed character and lacking in realism.' So I decided to make a list of how the literary Mary Sue and I differ, at least as far as perfection. So to name a few:
1. I never think of clever comebacks till the wee-hours of the night
2. I obsess
3. I'm not a quick learner
4. Coordination isn't my strong suit
5. Without my glasses my vision is closer to 200 than 20
6. I'm not good at letting things go
7. Alas, I have thin hair
8. I don't do well before my morning cup of coffee or ten
9. I'm seldom on time unless its absolutely necessary
10. I have no sense of direction. If I say go right, it would be in your best interest to turn left.The GPS is right up there with chocolate as far as I'm concerned.
11. I have problems making decisions and when I do finally make them, usually change my mind

Okay what about you? What keeps you from being a MarySue or a Gary Stu?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mary Sue-ish

Have you heard this term before? I'd heard it mentioned in an ambiguous way but wasn't that familiar with what it exactly meant. When my editor said she was afraid my character might be too Mary Sue-ish, I decided to do some researching. In a nutshell, the character is too perfect to be believable and the reader won't be able to relate. Okay, got that.
One of the suggestions, she made was to drop the XS size. Got that too. Although in defense of all the XS's out there, all it means is that you've got a small frame and won't have to worry about sag as you age:) Its one of those things you bemoan while you're young but appreciate as you get older:)
Besides losing the XS shirts, I also gave her size nine shoes and a total lack of understanding when it comes to chemistry. A bit of a blonde? Not at all, she's smart, just doesn't get chemistry. Is this enough to take away any Mary Sue-ish stigma...we'll see.
I can almost hear good mate Amarinda Jones saying, 'Looks aren't what make a woman' and I agree with her one hundred percent. Who we are is not depend on our bra size or our looks. Whether we're a size two or a size eighteen, whether weLink like manicures or tattoos, we still belong to the sisterhood.
Okay wondered off topic a bit, back to Mary Sue-ish. If you write, what do you do to humanize your character?
As a reader what characteristics do you appreciate in your heroine?
Re:Barry Eisler. Last week I mentioned he'd turned down St. Martin's to publish with Amazon. Just for grins and giggles I went in and looked at the price for his new release The Detachment.
Kindle: $5.99
Paperback: 7.73
Pretty reasonable prices, hey?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blogging at Downtown YA

As you probably know, Manic Monday's are my DowntownYA Blog day. Today, I finally have an opportunity to interview a cat. If you're in the vicinity stop by and say hey.
Have a quick work-a-day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm Back...

Greetings everyone. I'm back. First line edits are done. Had one little glitch, but I think I've worked through it.
Hope you've had a productive week and are having all kinds of fun this weekend.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Doing edits. I'll be hibernating for a few days.

Hope you're doing something fun and exciting.