May 28, 2011

Saturday's Salacious Suggestions

Her Relcutant Rancher
by Anne Marie Novark

Living with his stern grandfather taught Trevor Callahan one important lesson: Caring makes a man weak. Now the old man is dead and Trev returns to Stone Creek for one reason and one reason only--to sell the Rocking C Ranch. Maybe then he can put his past behind him and move on.

Beth Evans once confused lust for love and vows never to let it happen again. The bookmobile driver is trying to raise funds to build a new library. The late Hank Callahan bequeathed a million dollars for the project, but he attached one stipulation: Do not let his grandson sell the ranch.


I loved reading a western romance that wasn't historical. Seeing contemporary cowboys and how they live today was a wonderful story. Get a tall glass of lemonade since this book is hot!" Robyn --Once Upon A Romance

"I enjoyed this novel and the characters immensely. I especially like Maggie's character. The little girl is so vivacious and full of life that it adds sparkle and joy to the story." Jasmine --Long and Short Romance Reviews

"Ms. Novark is an ultimate romance writer. The sexual tension between the hero and heroine begins the moment they lay eyes on one another . . . emotions so vivid, you'll feel as though you're in the room with them." Ginger

Buy it now at Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Amazon UK, or Smashwords.

Visit Anne Marie at her website or blog.

May 25, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Five-Spice Burgers

Another book included in my Romancing the BBQ Picnic Basket is Better Homes and Gardens GRILL IT RIGHT! Cookbook. The basket, valued at over $100, is available for bidding on at Brenda Novak’s Diabetes Research Auction through May 31.

One of many recipes in the book is this one:



1 beaten egg
¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
¼ cup finely shredded carrot
1 tbsp milk
1 clove garlic minced
½ tsp five-spice powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 pound ground beef
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
4 hamburger buns
4 large spinach leaves


In a medium mixing bowl, combine first seven ingredients. Add ground beef and mix well. Shape mixture into four ¼-inch-thick patties.

Place patties in a shallow baking dish. Pour teriyaki sauce over patties. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, turning once. Remove patties from baking dish and pat dry with paper towels; discard marinade.

Grill meat on an uncovered grill directly over medium heat coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until no pink remains, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Split the buns and toast on the grill. Serve patties in buns with spinach.

May 21, 2011


Because I love historical novels, particularly those set in Scotland, I decided to try my hand at writing one. At the time I made this decision, I was taking a Viking/Scotland class and remembered something my mother had told me years earlier.

It seems that, although all of us are of Norwegian descent, my maternal grandfather, who emigrated from Norway, had a Scottish name. This intrigued me, so I sent an email to the instructor and eventually learned his name had a Gaelic counterpart. Did this mean that I had long ago ancestors living in Scotland sometime after the year 900? Possibly, as the Vikings invaded Scotland, and other parts of Europe, from 800 to 1000 A.D.

I took as many classes about Scotland as I could and then, when HHRW announced a class about pirates, I eagerly signed up. That turned out to be a blessing. According to legend, there was a lady pirate by the name of Alfhild on one of the Viking pirate longboats. Unfortunately, historians never proved this, as the Vikings believed the written word to be evil and therefore did not have a written language.

Nonetheless, I was delighted with this information. Alfhild, as I happen to know, is a rare name even in Norway. It was also my mother's first name.

So, I began designing my book, starting with the landing of Viking pirates at Orkney and created a main character, Lars, the son of the captain and one who escapes the longboat and makes his new life in Orkney. I also added a lady pirate, though I didn't name her Alfhildl.

When a suggestion was made by an instructor, I tracked down a copy of The Orkneyinga Saga, a book written somewhere around 1258, and read it. It was there I discovered there was an earl by the name of Rongvold, which was my maternal grandfather's given name.

I'm not done researching. Who knows what will turn up next?

I'd love to know if any of you have uncovered interesting facts about your family while researching for a book, or, for tht matter, any unusul facts.

Joan K. Maze

Saturday's Salacious Suggestions

Seasons of Magick: Spring
by Suzan Harden

Welcome to Morrigan’s Cauldron! 
But be careful what you ask for because this little Greenwich Village shop can deliver your heart’s desire.
Or your greatest nightmare.

Tessa McClain's life has spun out of control. Thanks to her con artist ex, she's lost her job, her money and her reputation. Desperate, she talks her way into job at a local New Age shop. There's just one problem—Adrian Holloway, the hunky store manager. The last thing she needs is another bad boy in her life. But her body hungers to break her brain’s ‘no men’ rule.

After the death of his wife, Adrian abandoned his Wall Street world and found peace in the quirky Greenwich shop, Morrigan’s Cauldron. Or he did until an April wind blew smart-mouthed Tessa McClain through the front door. While he’s ready to take another crack at love, convincing Tessa may be more trouble than he bargained.

Buy it now: Amazon.

Visit Suzan at her blog.

May 18, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Cordon Bleu Pork Chops

Here’s another recipe from TASTE OF HOME GRILLING IT! Cookbook, one of the prizes in the Romancing the BBQ Picnic Basket available for auction in the Brenda Novak Diabetes Research Auction. The auction ends on May 31, so get your bid in NOW!



4 bone-in pork loin chops, 1-inch thick
½ cup ketchup
½ cup water
¼ cup white vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard
4 thin slices fully cooked ham
4 thin slices part-skim mozzarella cheese


Cut a pocket into each pork loin, set aside. Combine the following 10 ingredients (ketchup through mustard). Reserve ½ cup for basting and refrigerate. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container. Add pork and turn to coat. Seal bag or cover container; refrigerate overnight, turning meat occasionally.

Place cheese slice on each slice of ham; roll up jelly-roll style. Drain pork and discard marinade. Insert ham/cheese roll in each pocket; secure with soaked toothpicks.

Grill, covered over medium heat, turning and basting occasionally with reserved marinade, for 25-35 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160⁰. Remove toothpicks before serving.

May 16, 2011

Nez Perce Pregnancy Myths

by Paty Jager
Anna Kathryn, thank you for having me here today!

The heroine in my current release, Spirit of the Lake, is a pregnant Nez Perce woman. While researching for this story I came across some interesting myths the Nez Perce believed.

If a man's wife was pregnant he would have bad luck as a hunter.

A pregnant woman could not see any part of a kill, the blood or skinning for fear her offspring would be deformed.

Pregnant women didn't touch, view, or ridicule any deformed animals or humans because it was believed it would cause the baby the same misfortune.

They also didn't tie knots or do other things symbolic of obstructing the birth.

What are some myths about pregnancy you've heard?

This post is part of my blog tour. Leave a comment on as many of my guest blogs at you can and the person who travels with me the most will receive an autographed copy of Spirit of the Lake, a sweatshirt, and cowboy chocolate. To find all the places I’m visiting go to my blog: The contest runs from May 18th – May 29th covering thirteen blogs. I'll notify the winner on May 30th. In the event of a tie I will draw a name.

Blurb for Spirit of the Lake

Two generations after his brother became mortal, Wewukiye, the lake spirit, prevents a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and becomes caught up in her sorrow and her heart. Her tribe ignores Dove's shameful accusations—a White man took her body, leaving her pregnant, and he plans to take their land.Wewukiye vows to care for her until she gives birth, to help her prove the White man is deceitful and restore her place in her tribe.

As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?


His voice floated to the sky as he chanted and swirled circles on her belly with his large hand. The gentle motion and warmth along with the deep tone of his voice soothed her stomach and her fears. One by one she placed the berries in her mouth and swallowed. With each piece of nourishment a new surge of energy filled her body.
His hand remained light, yet heat penetrated her deer skin dress warming her body. The last berry disappeared between her lips, and she swallowed its sweet goodness. She watched him. His long light lashes hovered on his dark high cheeks, hiding his eyes from her. His deep voice continued chanting. The long hard muscles of his arms bulged, contrasting with the gentleness of his touch.
“I have finished the berries,” she whispered, fearful of disrupting his chant.
His eyes slowly opened, and he smiled down at her. “You must remain this way for a short time.” His hand rested on her belly as he shifted to sit cross-legged beside her.
The intimacy of his touch scorched her cheeks.

To read more about the spirit trilogy or my other books visit my website: 

Buy Link for Spirit of the Lake.

Don't forget to leave a comment.

May 14, 2011

Saturday's Salacious Suggestions

Faithful Deciptions
by Melissa Ohnoutka

Where Love and Danger Collide

Money dictates the rules of this game and the victim could be anybody— regardless of sex, age, or race.

When high-end antiques dealer, Hailey Devlin, discovers her business partner's boyfriend has bankrupted their company, she sets out to expose the thief. Unknown to Hailey, her target is involved in a brutal trafficking ring where human lives are sold off to the highest bidder and she fits the next customer's order perfectly. She awakens to a world she can't remember. An alluring man claims to be her husband-a man who seems both to want and reject her. Is this amnesia or something much more sinister?

ICE Agent Patrick Roark jumped at the chance to put his training to the test on an elite human trafficking squad of Homeland Security. Undercover as the bodyguard to the ring leader, and key suspect in a murder case, proves more than he bargained for. Masterminding a clever deception, he's determined to keep the next victim safe—even if the high-stakes operation costs him everything-including his heart. Can they survive a killer's wrath? And if they do, will the lies be too damaging for their love to endure?

Buy it now: Electronical - Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Buy it now: Paperback - AmazonBarnes and Noble

Visit Melissa at her website and blog.

May 11, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

For the 2011 Brenda Novak Diabetes Research Auction, I’ve donated a Romancing the BBQ Picnic Basket (see picture right). It’s a $100 value and the money raised via the auction goes to a good cause. Check out the basket here.

One of the items in the basket is a TASTE OF HOME GRILL IT! Cookbook (2011). Here’s one of the dozens of tasty recipes you’ll find in the book:



6 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cartons (8 oz each) fresh mozzarella cheese pearls, drained
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1 tbsp minced fresh mint
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 medium ripe avocadoes, peeled and chopped


In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cheese, basil, parsley and mint. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Pour over tomatoes and cheese mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Just before serving, stir in avocadoes. Serve with a slotted spoon.

NOTE: Compared to the more firm texture of most commercially produced mozzarella, fresh mozzarella is moist and soft. The flavor is mild, delicate and somewhat milky. Fresh mozzarella is usually shaped into balls and stored in brine. After buying fresh mozzarella, it should be refrigerated in the brine and eaten within a few days. ~Taste of Home Test Kitchen

May 9, 2011

Author Linda Engman

Hi everyone! I can’t tell you how excited I am about the release of my lastest romance novel, Falling For You. When people find out I’m an author there’s always lots of varied questions. I thought I’d share a few of my most asked questions with you-

How do you start a novel? One of the first things I do when starting a new manuscript is to collect photos of my characters, clothes, secondary characters, and I even take photos of scene locations. Then I sit down and write each chapter as they come. I don’t plot too far in advance. Music is also a really big influence for characters and scenes. I always have a “soundtrack” for each book.

How do you think up scenes? First I think of proximity. The characters have to interact a lot, so scenes develop out of throwing them together in normal places like weddings, restaurants, the grocery store, or work. The only difference is the characters have to do something that catches you off guard and makes the scene compelling and memorable.

Are your heroes based on real men? Each of my sexy rugged heroes are completely made up but definitely can have qualities of the ‘real life’ men. I got the idea for Cooper Gerhardt’s character in
Falling For You from a former NFL football player that I’d worked with years ago and a local NHL hockey player. But Cooper’s tough-gruffly sweet personality is definitely his own.

What are you working on now? This past winter I completed another romance novel
Manhattan Holiday, set in New York City and Miami and takes place over the New Year holiday. It’s fun, sexy, steamy and totally romantic. I’m working with my editor to get it ready for the upcoming 2011 holiday season. I’m also finishing the first of my four Navy SEAL books. The first story takes place in Lindstrom, Minnesota. I know—a tough Navy SEAL stranded in a small town in Minnesota? It’s definitely fun besides heartfelt and romantic. I’m also developing a sexy-fun-sizzling romance about a wedding planner who gets a little too involved in one of her weddings. That’s all I can say...even the title is top secret!I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a look at my writing process. And special thanks to Anna Kathryn for hosting me today.


For more information about Linda, her upcoming works, blog, and links to purchase her books, please visit her website.


One irresistible hockey player, one sexy female attorney, a case of mistaken identity, and one hot night all leads to—undeniable love.It was supposed to be a simple move back to her home town of Cedar Point, Michigan for attorney Heather Grant and her two young sons. Only she hadn't counted on being rescued her first day back by a handsome auto mechanic. Widowed and looking to mend her broken heart, the last thing Heather anticipates is falling for dangerously good looking Cooper Gerhardt with his devilish smile and mysterious questionable background.
The only thing tough hockey star, Cooper Gerhardt wants is a year to heal his injuries, work as an auto mechanic to kill time, and get back to something that resembles a real life. That is until he comes to the aid of gorgeous attorney Heather Grant, with her sinful body and smoldering eyes, and finds himself wildly tempted and rethinking what he wants out of life.
But will Cooper be able to forget about his painful past and give his heart all the way? Will Heather be able to trust and love again now that she's back in Cedar Point?

May 7, 2011

Skin Cancer - Know the Symptons

So, I belong to this thing on Facebook, The Daily Challenge, daily suggestions to help improve your health and well-being.  Today's suggestion was to find out about the signs of skin cancer, so I thought I'd pass on some websites for everyone to look over.

The Daily Challenge explains why it matters:
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting two million people each year. Since 1994, the incidence of skin cancer has increased 300%. Prevention (wearing sunscreen, covering up when you're outdoors, and avoiding the sun when it's highest in the sky) and early detection can bring your risk way down. If skin cancer is found early - before the tumor has penetrated the skin - the survival rate is 99%.


The Mayo Clinic

Everyday Health

Anna Kathryn

Satruday's Salacious Suggestion

by Sophie Jordan

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

Buy it now: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Borders,  IndieBound

Visit Sophie Jordan at her website.

May 4, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Seafood Pasta Salad

I've had this recipe for a while, but just now came across it again.  This would be a nice luncheon or side dish.

Seafood Pasta Salad


8 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
3 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce
1 package (8 ounces) imitation crabmeat, chopped
1 package (5 ounces) frozen cooked salad shrimp, thawed
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh cauliflowerets
1/2 cup diced celery


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, salad dressing and hot pepper sauce. Stir in the crab, shrimp, broccoli, cauliflower and celery.

Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. Gently stir into shrimp mixture. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Happy Mothers Day!!!

May 3, 2011

April Contrest Winner

Congratulations to Marybelle.  She won the April contest and will receive copies of UNTRACEABLE by Laura Griffin, RUNNING HOT by Jayne Ann Krentz, THE PERFECT POISON by Amanda Quick, I LOVE THIS BAR by Carolyn Brown, SKINTIGHT by Susan Andersen, and double feature: SIN CITY WEDDING by Katherine Garbera & THE FORBIDDEN PRINCESS by Day LeClaire.

Stay tuned, the May prize will be posted soon (which means as soon as I figure it out).

Anna Kathryn

May 2, 2011

Writing Quotes

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. ~Logan Pearsall Smith, "All Trivia," Afterthoughts, 1931

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

The writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratification, is a curious anticlimax. ~Alfred Kazin, Think, February 1963

What's your favorite writing quote?  I'm sure I have some small gift or another to give away to some lucky commenter!  I'll draw for a winner Wednesday.