October 31, 2010

Click to Give a Mammogram

This is the last day of their 500 mammogram 'click to give' challenge. And the are WAY behind. Please follow the link below and just 'click' to help them meet the challenge.

Click To Give @ The Breast Cancer Site

October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Chow - Halloween Treats

Wormy Apples


6 medium apples, Jonathan or Pink Lady
½ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
2 (1-inch) strips lemon peel
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Dash salt
2 tbsp butter
6 t0 12 soft candy worms


Preheat oven 350°. Core apples and peel top one third of appl. Place in baking pan.

Combine maple syrup, water, lemon juice, lemon peel, cinnamon and salt in small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Pour over apples. Cover loosely with foil.

Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Place 1 teaspoon butter into each apple core. Baste apples with pan juices; cover and cook additional 15 minutes or until tender. Cool.

Cut 1 or 2 small holes from outside of apple through to core. Thread worms halfway through holes. Serve hot or cold.

Putrid Potion


3 cups lime sherbet
1 cup pineapple juice
1 package (0.13 oz) grape-flavored drink mix
2 cups ginger ale
Frozen seedless grapes (optional)


Combine sherbet, juice and drink mix in blender container and blend until smooth. Add ginger ale. Cover and blend just until blended. Add frozen grapes, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 5 cups.

October 25, 2010

The Mentality of Marriage in the Middle Ages

Often we look at the Middle Ages through a shimmer of romanticism and see a world of knights in shining armor, chivalry and courtly love. But when it came to marriage, the medieval era was anything but romantic.

Basic human needs and desires don’t change. Love, trust and loyalty are key ingredients in a happy life, as is the security that comes from being warm, safe and well fed. The ease with which you accomplish the latter determines greatly how (or if) you gain the former.

One key to understanding the Middle Ages is to understand the role that land played in determining status, wealth and the likelihood of surviving war, famine and winter. The more land you controlled, the more family members, servants and men-at-arms you could support. The more servants, the more food planted, protected and harvested from your fields. The more men-at-arms, the better able to repel would be invaders and to support the men in power who will be favorable to you.

Hence, land equals power, wealth and security. Consequently, for those with land (whether thousands of hectares or a dozen stripes in a field), marriage was a business arrangement to determine who of the next generation got the land and all that came with it.

Against this background, it was easy to make marriage the romantic conflict in my latest release, ENTHRALLED.

William of Ravenglas has been in love with Ami, a changeling raised as his sister, for as long as he can remember, but she’s been betrothed to an earl’s second son since before she could crawl.

The marriage represents a huge opportunity for the family. It allies them with a politically powerful earl and sets the stage for the family to move from being poor knights with a small holding to major landholders in England and France.

Not having Ami is slowly driving William mad, but he refuses to destroy his family’s future by claiming her. In response, Ami does her best to make it hard for him to live with his choice. She loves him, is frightened of marrying a man she doesn’t know, and is ready to gamble with the family’s fate if it means she gets William.

William fears that he will not be strong enough to give Ami over to her groom when the time comes, and she is terrified that he will be.

Here’s an excerpt that frames William’s mindset when it comes to Ami and marriage:

Ami turned to face William. Her cheeks were flushed with excitement, and her grin crinkled the corners of her eyes. His breath caught. His body tightened. She looked like a bride the morning after the ceremony.

“Do not be a fool, my friend. Keep her.”

Keep her.

Aedan’s beguiling words buzzed in William’s ears, tempting him, but William knew they offered a hollow promise. He had expectations to meet and responsibilities to bear. Land and people to protect. Lords to serve. Whatever his bloodlines, Aedan wasn’t raised among nobility. He had no idea of the sacrifices it required. The strength of his family provided food, clothing, and luxury goods for a hundred families, maybe more by now. Not even his life was his own to spend as he wished. He must wed for Ravenglas, fight for it, die for it.

“I will do as I must.”

Keena Kincaid writes historical romances in which passion, magic and treachery collide to create unforgettable stories. Her books are available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and wherever ebooks are sold. You will also find her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and visit her blog, Typos and All.

October 20, 2010

Wednesday's Chow - Green Beans with Parmesan

Here's a fairly easy side dish.  I really like fresh green beans, but I do get tired of steaming them all the time, so I've been on the hunt for a variety of dishes.  I made this one the other day and it was great.  I've tweaked it from the original, becausee I really like fresh mushrooms, too.

Green Beans with Parmesan


¾-1 pound fresh green beans
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven 350°. Cook green beans in salted water until tender-crisp. Meanwhile, heat oil and sauté onions, mushrooms and garlic until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add green beans and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour into a 1-quart baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.

October 19, 2010

Join me at Seduced by History

I'm blogging at Seduced by History today on a fascinating Victorian Era woman Isabella Bird, who not only travelled the world, but wrote books about her travels.

Stop by and say hi!

Visit my website, also, for a chance to win four romance novels.... http://www.aklanier.com/ 

Anna Kathryn Lanier

October 13, 2010

Wednesday's Chow - Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole
River Road Recipes III: A Healthy Collection


1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 ½ tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
½ cup celery, sliced
5 oz diced Rotel tomatoes (1/2 of 10-oz can)
8 oz can tomato sauce (may use no-salt added)
1 bay leaf
½ cup of water
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/3 cup sliced green onions
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
Parsley to garnish (optional)
Cooked rice


In a heavy skillet, make a roux with flour and oil, stirring constantly until medium brown, about 5 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper and celery and sauté until tender crisp. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaf and water. Cook on medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and green onions, cook until shrimp are done, about 7 minutes. Season as needed with pepper and lemon, and garnish with parsley. Serve over cooked rice.

*This was a spicy dish, even my husband says so and he likes spicy. But it wasn’t too hot, as I was able to eat it, and I’m not too crazy about spicy.

October 12, 2010

Click to Give

It's Breast Cancer Awareness month and you can help fund free mammograms to low-income and uninsured woman with just a click. They want to give away 500 mammograms, but they are behind in clicks....help today, tomorrow and the rest of the month by just 'clicking!'

Click to Give Mammograms


October 8, 2010

Margaret Tanner writes because she loves it.


I write because I love it. I think I must have been born with a pen in my hand. From as far back as I can remember I have always written something. From pitiful sad little poems I graduated to short stories. Finally, I found my true love, writing historical romance novels.

My road to publication was not easy, the path was paved with rejection slips, the good the bad and the downright ugly. I had so many near misses, one editor loving my work and nearly giving me a contract, then she moved on and her replacement wasn’t interested. I had an Agent who died on me just as she was getting ready to present my novel to a large publishing house. Once I won a writing competition, the first prize being publication, but the publisher went out of business. I then turned to e-publishing and had two books published before that publisher went out of business.

But I persevered. I never gave up and that is the key. No matter how battered and bruised you get (figuratively speaking, of course), never give up on your dream.

I now have three books published with Whiskey Creek Press and seven books published with The Wild Rose Press.

My 10th book, Reluctant Father, has recently been released by The Wild Rose Press.

So, the moral of the story is – NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM

Jordan Stamford is allergic to babies. At the height of the Vietnam war this jet-setting playboy, whose motto is ‘money can buy anything,’ arrives in Sarah Watson’s seaside home to redevelop a disused factory complex. Sarah is the only child of an elderly minister of religion and adores her bay side home. She yearns for a loving husband and babies. Will Jordan’s shameful family history and Sarah’s desperate longing for a child, be an insurmountable barrier for them to overcome?

Lewis Inlet Annual School Bazaar.

The loud crying of a baby erupted in the surrounding crowd, and Jordan Stamford baulked just inside the school gates. Instinctively his hands moved to cover his ears and block the noise, but he was able to stop them at the last second. People surged around him, cutting off retreat, and his stomach muscles clenched, his pulse rate escalated—he was trapped.

The wailing grew worse, reverberating inside his head until his brain felt ready to explode. Teeth gritted, he pushed his way through the crowd. He could get away. It wasn’t like when he was sixteen and trapped on a train with some screaming baby. By the time the train pulled into the station and he could get off, he had been on the verge of hyperventilating.

Taking several shuddering breaths, he fought to get himself under control. This crying baby had resurrected the phobia he’d thought buried years ago. What kind of sniveling coward would go to pieces at the sound of a screaming child? Why should it still bother him so much after all this time? For years he had religiously avoided going anywhere near children. For God’s sake, what had made him drop his guard and come to a school bazaar, of all places?

He didn’t mind making regular donations to charities that looked after neglected children, as long as he didn’t have to present the checks in person. He feared having kids. With his family history, he was genetically predisposed to reject his offspring. No way would he risk bringing a child into the world to suffer the same fate as he had.


“Look at this horrible thing, Lisa. You’ll have to pay someone to take it away.” Sarah Watson squatted on the ground and shoved the moth-eaten deer’s head under the trestle table.

“You wouldn’t get me touching it,” Lisa said. “Have you met Jordan Stamford yet?”

“No, and I don’t want to, he’s going to wreck Lewis Inlet.”

“But he’s gorgeous.”

“I couldn’t care less what he looks like. Ouch!” Sarah banged her head on the table as she went to get up. A pair of expensive shoes and the hem of tailored sports pants came into her line of vision. “Coming here with his big city ideas and flashy car.” She climbed to her feet. “Lording it up at the big house. Who does he think he is, anyway?” She tossed her head, and her jet-black curls danced.

“And you are?” The owner of the expensive shoes savaged her with a contemptuous sweep of his ebony eyes.

“Hi, Mr. Stamford.” Lisa recovered herself first.

Angry red stained his tanned cheeks as his nostrils flared. “Don’t let me interrupt your character assassination.”

Sarah’s cheeks burned, and not just because of her uncharacteristic rudeness. This man was dynamite. She tried to bluster her way out of this embarrassing situation. “I’m Sarah Watson. Interested in snapping up a bargain, Mr. Stamford?”

“No, thank you.” He stalked off.

“He heard you,” Lisa croaked.

“I know. I must have sounded like some crazed shrew, but he is going to destroy our way of life. He’s already started to bulldoze the old flour mill complex. It’s been empty for so long we’ll probably have a rat plague.”


Think Pink - Breast Cancer Awareness Blog Jog

For the past 2-3 years, I've participated in a Breast Cancer Awareness scavenger hunt.  Things were busy for those of us involved in this mega undertaking, so we're doing a scaled back version.  Join me, Skhye Moncrief and Sky Purington for a weekend Blog Jog to help bring about breast cancer awareness.  I'll be giving away a Think Pink gift packet to one lucky commenter, and Skhye and Sky will be doing the same, so be sure to visit their blogs and comment as well.  Each of us will draw names ONLY from those who have commented on our own blogs, so you if you want to be eligible for all the prizes, comment on each blog.

Skhye's giving away a Windchime CD, a pink rubber breast-cancer bracelet and a Time Guardian t-shirt (L).
Sky's giving away a 'Live simply pink' travel mug/T-shirt.

I discovered information on a little known, but deadly breast cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, when I first started doing the scavenger hunt and I've kept up with spreading the word about it over the years.  Once again, IBC is the cancer I decided to highlight here.

My Think Pink prize packet includes: Cherry Blossoms Shower Gel and Lotion from Bath and Body Works, pink roses bath confetti, pink-toned beaded bracelet, a Harvey Lewis limited edition Pink Ribbon enameled ornament accented with Swarovski crystals, a copy of "98 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime" and an e-book copy of my short story "The Perfect Gift." I'll draw for a winner on Monday.

To be eligible to win, please leave a comment with at least one of the symptoms of IBC, found in the video above.

Also, to help fund mammograms for low-income women without insurance, please visit The Breast Cancer Site daily and click to give!

Don't forget to visit Skhey Moncrief and Sky Purington at their blogs for more information on Breast Cancer Awareness and a chance to win their prizes!

October 7, 2010

Join me Sweethearts of the West Blog

Today's my debut blog on the brand-spanking new blog SWEETHEARTS OF THE WEST.  I'm discussing Pat Garrett....they guy who shot and killed Billie-the-Kid, but my post is about Garrett's own death by murder. Stop by and visit.

Anna Kathryn
Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats

October 6, 2010

Wednesday Chow - Hot Artichoke Dip

Wow, these Wednesdays just sneak up on me, except last week's.  Last week I put up the recipe early and set the 'schedule' button for the recipe to post early Wednesday morning. Only, it didn't.  I discovered that on Friday or Saturday...that the recipe hadn't posted.  So, Wednesday's Chow wasn't posted on Wednesday...go figure.

Anyway, here's an appitizer for all those fall get-togethers that are up and coming!

Hot Artichoke Dip


½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 (1/4 cup) medium green onions, chopped
1 can (14 or 15 oz) artichoke hearts
Drained and coarsely chopped
Assorted crackers


Preheat oven 350° F.

In a small bowl, stir mayonnaise and cheese until well mixed. Add onions and artichoke hearts, mix well. Spoon into an ungreased 1-quart casserole.

Cover and bake 20-25 minutes or until hot. Serve warm with crackers.

For Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip:

Increase mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese to one cup each. Stir in 1 box (9 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water. Spoon into casserole dish and bake as directed.

Yes, This is an oldie but goodie, but still a very sexy man in his day.  I just love his blue eyes!

October 4, 2010

Guest Blogger - Alison Henderson

Hi, Anna Kathryn and friends! Thanks so much for inviting me to share my excitement about the upcoming publication of my first book. Harvest of Dreams is a Western historical romance coming out October 22nd from The Wild Rose Press. The story is set in the small northwest Missouri river town of Weston just after the end of the Civil War and features a pregnant young widow and a security agent for the Overland Stage Company.

I grew up in Kansas City, just south of Weston, and my lifelong love of history made this setting a natural fit for me. Weston is a charming town with antebellum buildings still dotting the landscape, so I was able to soak up inspiration walking the streets my characters walked, past the houses they might have lived in. Local farmers still grow tobacco as they have since 1840 and operate apple orchards, like my heroine, Lisa McAllister.

The most prominent citizen of Weston in the mid-nineteenth century was Benjamin Holladay. Originally from Kentucky, he was a shrewd entrepreneur who opened a tavern and a hotel, as well as starting the McCormick Distilling Company, which still operates today. In 1861, he won a postal contract for mail service to Salt Lake City and established the Overland Stage Company. The following year, he acquired the Pony Express Company. Like many boom-and-bust businessmen, Holladay amassed great wealth only to lose it all in the Panic of 1873, but he left an indelible stamp on the small community of Weston.

The hero of Harvest of Dreams, Jared Tanner, rides shotgun for the Overland Stage line out of Atchison, Kansas, across the Missouri River from Weston. The stage line ran many routes to the west, including the St. Joseph to Sacramento route that Mark Twain rode in 1861, and later memorialized in his book, Roughing It. The coaches bounced along on heavy leather springs, making up to a hundred miles a day with stops every ten miles or so at stations to feed and change horses and allow the passengers a chance to stretch their legs. Before and during the war, Indian attacks were the main danger, but after the war, bands of increasingly brazen outlaws sprang up in the border country of Missouri and Kansas. A shotgun rider, like Jared, rode with the driver to protect the mail, the passengers, and their valuables from attackers who had little to lose and everything to gain.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing a little of the background of my story with you. Here’s a blurb for Harvest of Dreams:

Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child. Help arrives in the strong hands of a stranger wearing a six-gun. Lisa has no reason to trust this man who makes a living by violence, even if he is on the right side of the law. Men and their guns have already claimed the lives of her father, brother, and husband, and she’s determined to protect her son at any cost.

Jared Tanner, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve. Against his better judgment, his feelings of protectiveness toward Lisa and her baby turn to something deeper, and he is tempted by the possibility of a family of his own. Can their tender new love survive when an act of ultimate violence threatens to tear them apart?

Please visit my website at http://www.alisonhenderson.com/ for more information about me and my books, and watch for Harvest of Dreams, coming October 22nd from The Wild Rose Press. Thanks again!

Alison Henderson

October 2, 2010

Wednesday's Chow - Mississippi Mud Brownies

Mississippi Mud Brownies


1 bag Martha White brownie mix
1 cup nuts
1 back chunky chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 jar caramel sauce


Preheat oven 350°. Mix brownie mix according to package directions. Add nuts, chocolate chunks and marshmallows.

Pour into a lightly greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Heat caramel sauce in microwave oven and pour over brownies. Cook an additional 15 minutes.

Sweethearts of the West Blog

Friday, October 1 is the Grand Launch of a new group blog called SWEETHEARTS OF THE WEST. We have gathered 14 wonderful authors who write about the West whether the setting is in the Nineteenth Century or the Twenty-First or in-between--we love these authors. We write about ranches and outlaws, skyscrapers and millionaire oilmen, with lovers always on center stage. Join our talented authors who write for all kinds of publishers. We will try to entertain you with a blog by each author once a month. Join us, Follow us, read our posts—and most of all, we hope you love our books!

I'll be on the blog on the second Friday of each month....and I'll be giving away prizes whenever I blog, so stop by and leave a comment.  My first blog, on October 8th will be on The Murder of Pat Garrett.


Anna Kathryn Lanier