August 31, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Chocolate Banana Bread

ooops.  I missed last week's posting.  Sorry about that.  Here's an easy bread recipe I got off an old post card. I don't know how old, there's not 'printed on date,' but I found the card in an antique shop. Of course, it could just look old....and not really be!  LOL. At any rate, from the design, I'd say the 40's  or 50's.



1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
6 bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease to 9 x 5 loaf pans.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda and cocoa. Mix well. Blend in sour cream and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake in oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

August 30, 2011



It’s time to enter the Seduced by History Blog August contest. Check on each blog during the month, look for a contest question, send in your answers to each question in one email to by or on September 5, 2011. IF A BLOG DOESN'T HAVE A QUESTION, SKIP THAT DAY.

Prizes awarded to one lucky winner include: Victoria Gray’s book "Angel in My Arms", "Spirit of the Mountain" package from Paty Jager, Cynthia Owens’ book "Coming Home", a Kansas basket from Renee Scott, Anna Kathryn Lanier’s ebook “Salvation Bride” and gift basket, “Stringing Beads - Musings of a Romance Writer” by Debra K. Maher, Eliza Knight’s ebooks “A Pirate’s Bounty” and “A Lady’s Charade”, Anne Carrole’s book “Return to Wayback,” a 4 gb jump drive, a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, and more!

All entries must be received by or on Monday, September 5, 2011 to be eligible for the drawing. Please include your mailing address in email. A winner will be chosen from all those eligible on or about September 6, 2011 and contacted by email. Odds of winning will depend on the number of total number of entries received.

August 27, 2011

Saturday's Salacious Suggestions

By Cheri Jetton

Jessie Bluefeather Holgrave is thrilled when her best friend Ellen gives birth to an adorable baby girl. She'd love to find a great man like Ellen's husband, Mike, and settle down but the past has taught her to be wary of men--especially men in uniform.

So when Mike arrives at the hospital with flowers and a new co-worker in tow, Jessie decides she's not interested. However, Marsh Abbott, a Texas Ranger, is blond and blue-eyed, and Jessie can almost picture him in the role of husband, in spite of her fears.

Marsh is immediately struck by the raven-haired beauty before him. He'd like to get to know her, but she doesn't seem interested. Yet he is both patient and persistent. Marsh wants to prove that he's worthy of her, even though he is a lawman.

When his job takes him away and into danger, Jessie is both surprised and frightened by the depth of her feelings. Will Marsh be able to prove himself to her before she closes him out forever?

Buy it Now: Avalon Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

August 23, 2011

Texas sues Romance Novelist

The Texas Department of Transportation, who has trademarked the slogan "Don't Mess With Texas" thinks you're too stupid to know the difference between an offical department release and a funny, sexy, hot romance novel by the same title.  So, they are suing the author, publisher and Barnes and Noble.  Yes, your tax dollars at work!
So, support free speech and go go buy Christi Craig's book!

Click HERE to read the article.  And BUY it HERE from Barnes and Noble.

UPDATE: An Austin, TX judge has thrown out the case filed by TX DOT against Houston Author Christi Craig. Click HERE for the whole story.

Anna Kathryn

August 22, 2011

My Obsession and Love for History

I absolutely love learning about history. I’m always watching The History Channel, and I’ve gotten several ideas for stories based on shows I’ve seen.
However the idea for His Fifth Avenue Thief didn’t come from a TV show. I had to do quite a bit of research once I figured out the story was set in New York City. One thing that fascinated me was learning about the history of fashion and the fashionable districts of the city. It certainly didn’t begin with Fashion Week. *g*
London had Regent Street, and NYC had The Ladies Mile and the Garment District. The Ladies Mile, now known as the Flatiron District or Midtown South, stretched from Broadway between 9th and 23rd street, and included Lower Fifth Avenue, where my hero’s mansion’s located. It went up Broadway to Madison Square. The intersection of Broadway, Fifth, and 23rd was synonymous for people-watching. The mile also had theaters, galleries, wholesalers, concert halls, establishments for architects, publishers and interior decorators.
The Ladies Mile didn’t really take off until after the Civil War, but I just had to include it in my book. In the 1850’s, there were shops that sold ready-made clothing for customers, but since Aaron, my hero is wealthy, he wouldn’t want but the best for his Cathlene. That’s one thing I love about writing historical fiction, you can tweek your story to fit your setting.
Here’s part of an excerpt that I loved writing. I wanted to capture and convey, that even during this time, New York was still the in place to be.

They exited a milliners shop, Aaron’s arms brimming with parcels. He handed his load off to Donegal, his main footman, who made room in the already crowded carriage for the packages.
“Now where to?” Aaron asked. “Have you tired of this outing, or do you wish to see the shops on the mile I’ve yet to spend a fortune in?”
Cathlene smiled at Aaron’s playfulness. “You didn’t appear to mind giving me coin. I believe I was the one to call a halt at the shop on the corner, but you insisted on purchasing that dress – and it’s the very one I’ll be wearing to the opera.”
“When I saw the design from afar, I knew it would suit you perfectly.”
A movement across the street drew her attention. A man stood in profile, his face in shadow, but his build resembled that of someone she thought long dead. Her blood chilled as she faltered, bumping into Aaron. Her hand went instinctively to her hip, where she normally kept her dagger.
Panic seized her. Her heartbeat sped up to thunder in her ears. “Where’s my dagger?”
Aaron regarded her with alarm, his hand going to her shoulder to steady her. “Out with the rubbish where it belongs. Why, love, are you so skittish? You’ve no need for a weapon with me at your side.”
The man turned so she could see his face. Her heart rate slowed, her agitation fading. All this worry was making her believe she was seeing the dead brought back to life.
“I-I’m just so used to carrying it with me.”
Aaron wasn’t convinced. “We’ve already established you aren’t a good liar, so out with it. I’ve worked up quite an appetite. I know just the restaurant where we might sit and talk at our leisure. Unless you’d rather return home?”
Food was the last thing she wanted. “I’d rather walk. You’ll lose that appetite if I were to tell you of it.”
He took her arm and guided her down the promenade. They strolled down the bustling street, past servants and their richly dressed employers who took full advantage of the fair weather and the wares arranged attractively in the shop windows.
“You might wish to end our agreement if I mention why seeing that man frightened me so. And I wouldn’t fault you for it.”
“Do you have such little faith in me?”
“I’ve as much faith in you as you me. Earlier…in your chamber…we agreed to start anew. You must understand that by revealing this to you, I take great risk with both our lives.”
“Come, it cannot be that bad. Whatever it is, we’ll work through it together.”
Aaron tucked her close to his side. The crumbled pieces of her heart found their way together as she basked in his warmth. It had been so long since she’d felt taken care of and protected. For a moment, she wanted to rebel against this feeling, but it felt good to rely on someone else rather than herself for a change. To confide in someone who would listen not for any reason but for the fact they cared. And if Aaron didn’t care, he wouldn’t act so concerned.
She took a breath, some of the weight lifting from her shoulders. “That man, the one I saw,” she gestured to where he’d stood, “I thought he was a man I killed. You’re wife’s a murderess.”

Thank you, Anna Kathryn for having me here today. I enjoyed sharing a little of what I learned while writing this book. If you’d like to follow me along on my blog tour, I’ll be at
The Cozy page
Tomorrow and Wednesday. And a little birdie told me I’d come bearing gifts. [Grins]
Abbey MacInnis is a published author of Contemporary Western romance. Along with Contemporary, she writes Historical, Paranormal and erotic romance. Whether she’s being swept off her feet by a Medieval knight, regency rake, or cowboy or cop, her heroes are always strong men who’ll love their women unconditionally.
On most days, Abbey can be found at her computer, penning her latest tale. A tale where love, respect, and passion combine to create a satisfying and happy ending. She invites you to step in to the pages of her romances, to leave your worries behind and get swept up in her world.
His Fifth Avenue Thief blurb:
Two years prior, Irishman Aaron O’Connel took his life from rags to riches. Chance and wits have kept him alive in 1850’S New York City. But no amount of money or success can bring his love Cathlene back from the dead. When a thief sneaks her way into his mansion, the last woman he expects to find absconding with his belongings is his long lost wife.
Abandoned on New York’s shores, a widowed, penniless, and ruined Cathlene O'Connel was left to fend for herself in an unfamiliar world. Fear and circumstance drove her to a life of thieving in order to survive, but her heart risks the biggest danger of all when Aaron hands her a scandalous proposition: A son in exchange for her freedom.
Now that he has her back, Aaron doesn't intend to let Cathlene slip between his fingers. He'll do whatever it takes to regain her trust and love. But when an enemy from Cathlene's past resurfaces, Aaron not only faces battling for Cathlene's heart, but also her life.
Buy it at:
All Romance Ebooks
Visit me on
my website
my blog
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See what I’m reading at Good Reads

August 20, 2011

Saturday's Salacious Suggestions

It’s not the family you’re born to. It’s the Family you join.


For tabloid reporter Samantha “Sam” Ridgeway, chasing down the mysterious Duncan St. James, who saved a pregnant actress from an apocalyptic cult, should have been an easy story. Until her editor nixes the piece without a reason. Until her LAPD contact is murdered in front of her. Until she’s kidnapped by a bunch of crazy scientists to be the guinea pig in their bizarro experiment. And Sam knows what happens to guinea pigs when the experiment’s done.


But when Sam wakes up, she’s got super-strength, super-speed, and an appetite that won’t quit. She escapes from the mad scientists with the help of St. James, but he’s got more secrets than she thought. Like glowing eyes and fangs. Could things get any worse than getting turned into the living dead and having the hots for a vampire? Yeah, they can . . .

Buy it NOW!  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, XinXii MOBI, XinXii ePUB

August 17, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Baked Beans

Baked Beans


1 28-oz can baked beans
1 tbsp molasses
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp grated onion
¼ pound sliced bacon


Preheat broiler and grease a 1 quart casserole dish. Mix all ingredients except bacon. Spread into casserole dish and over with strips of bacon. Place until hot and golden brown. Serves 4.

August 14, 2011

Mickey Rourke Fans Unite!

First off thanks so much Anna for this opportunity to speak about my work and to write on this blog!
Stand Alone: The Films Of Mickey Rourke is a book that is far much more than a typical biography-it is a study of one of the most interesting, diverse and progressive bodies of work in the history of filmaking. It's a study of a fiercely independent person who has helped mould an acting style that has been mimicked, bastardised and ripped off in some shape or form through the years. In short Mickey Rourke makes a compelling figure and his story is a cautionary one. That's what I wanted to do with my book-to dig beneath the surface and I started by asking myself : What does a Mickey Rourke fan like myself really want to see in a book about him??
Since the astonishing success of 'The Wrestler' it would be far too easy to take the simple road of taking that film as the fulcrum by which to measure his ups and downs; rather I took it as the beacon to work backwards and to find out what made this particular actor tick-where his influences were drawn from and what made him so compelling.
So I started right off the bat thinking about his acting style, his contribution to movies, exhaustive reviews of the films (every single one), analysis, discussion and interpretation. I wanted to make my book a 'coffee table' book in the sense that if you were round a table with like minded individuals discussing the movies and Rourke's contribution to them over the years-you'd come up with with the kind of arguments/discussion/agreements that had arisen through my own discussion in the book.
So often biographies reveal far too little about the subject, and more importantly don't really try to scratch under the surface to understand what makes the subject so compelling. I wanted to shuffle the deck so to speak, to make this a book that looks at his colourful exploits from the outside because ultimately that wasn't what was important or vital to me-what was essential was why Mickey Rourke is an actor so many of his peers look up to and why fans of his work have been dismayed by the biographies written about him thus far.
Sure it would be easy to list off his accomplishments one by one and offer some piecemeal analysis but the real Mickey Rourke fan wants more than that-I've been a fan of his work for over 15 years, collected his films when it wasn't fashionable and seen some of his lesser known movies when they would be the only video left in the store. Through those years I quickly understood what made him compelling and unique and knew that there was an audience of fans as frustrated by his (then) career paralysis and who also like me, knew the hard times would be overcome and that a role like 'The Wrestler' was out there in the future.
So I took the time now to write something that spoke to those fans because this is ultimately a book by a fan for the fans and for anybody who wondered why Rourke's talent was in stasis for so long.
The feedback thus far has been absolutely tremendous and above anything I expected because of the people leaving reviews on Amazon or dropping me emails-they've understood it and what I mean by 'it' is that they could hear a voice inside my head onto paper that mirrored their own thoughts-they too wanted a biography about the man that didn't just treat Mickey Rourke like he was born after he played Randy The Ram-but rather an actor who tore the 80's movie circuit apart, who was a trailblazer for an acting style that was the natural offspring from the sensibilities of Brando, Clift and Dean and who set about making 'personal' work knowing full well that 'only six people would come to see it'
So I believe anybody with even a passing interest of Mickey Rourke would really be rewarded by reading this book, if only to be enthused about picking up a film that they might not have heard of and realising just how good he was in it-certainly that's what has won over a lot of the readers and I hope anybody reading this blog may realise that a biography isn't about going from A to Z but rather starting in the middle and beginning with the end in mind.
To help promote the book and also to give the fans a website away from the norm, I constructed a website to provide reviews on the book, music links, pictures, a dedicated blog and even some rare videos.
In terms of my other work I've published a more straight forward biography of 'Jaws' actor Roy Scheider as well as poetry and general fiction, my bookstore website link is:

'Stand Alone: The Films Of Mickey Rourke' is available on Amazon and Lulu on paperback, download and Kindle formats

August 13, 2011

Saturday's Salacious Suggestions

by Nina Cordoba

Raised by vegetarian hippies on an organic produce farm, Abbie Greenwood wants to save the world. But the L.A. TV station where she works as a consumer reporter won’t let her do the globally important stories she wants to do, and now the “guys upstairs” are suggesting she mix a little of “the nasty” into her helping-people segments to raise the—already high—ratings. Afraid the TV biz is going to suck out her soul, Abbie agrees to take all the time-off she’s saved and housesit for her sister in the suburbs of Houston where conservatism and good barbequing skills are highly rated. But, it will give her time alone to re-evaluate her life, or, at least, give the “guys upstairs” time to see how ratings plummet without her.

Once in Houston, Abbie causes a raucous with a column she guest-writes for her sister’s neighborhood newsletter and butts heads with the president of the homeowner’s association from across the street. Rick’s a real hunk (yum!) of a lawyer (yuck!) who drives a fancy pickup (wasting natural resources), is an ex-rodeo cowboy (too macho, but kinda hot) and has been known to vote conservatively on occasion (dead faint). Unfortunately, he’s also irresistible and available since his wife took off, leaving him with their six-year-old daughter.

After some malicious neighborhood mischief followed by a hot encounter in his kitchen, Abbie decides she’d better stay away or this guy could change her life in a way she never thought she wanted. But when her volunteer job, teaching English as a Second Language, gets her arrested on suspicion of smuggling illegal aliens, who is the only emergency contact her sister left? Mr. Hunky-Annoying-Across-the-Street-Lawyer, of course. And as Abbie feels herself getting “sucked in” by Rick, she realizes life’s decisions aren’t always as black and white as she’d like them to be.

Buy it NOW! Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Nina Cordoba

August 10, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

2 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups butter
5 (1-ounce) squares of unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts or almonds
Fudge Frosting


Preheat oven 350°.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan; cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring often. Remove from heat, and cool 10 minutes. Stir in eggs, flour, and nuts.

Pour batter into greased and floured 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Pour Fudge Frosting over top; chill 15 minutes, and cut into squares. Garnish with chopped nuts if desired. Makes 4 dozen.

Fudge Frosting:

Heat 1 cup whipping cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 12 ounces (squares or chips) of semi-sweet chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Makes 2 ½ cups.

August 8, 2011

Guest Blogger - Vonnie Davis

Anna Kathryn, thanks for having me here today. You’re so sweet to open your blog to a fellow Rose. I’m here today to talk about cowboys. Yee-haw!!!

My husband and I were being interviewed last week for our local newspaper. The reporter was focusing on the angle of a local husband and wife writing team. Not that we work together on the same book, but we do read, critique and cheer each other through the rough spots of our writing projects. Our talents are different: Calvin painstakingly paints sentences with vivid colors and I brush stroke emotions.

 The reporter and I were talking about alpha males. He asked me WHY a cowboy since Storm’s Interlude is set on a ranch in the hill country of Texas. I replied that for me, when one mentions an alpha male, a cowboy gallops across my mental sky, hat riding low over his eyes, muscles bunched, worn jeans and leather chaps hugging his thighs like a pair of lover’s hands.

The reporter blinked at me a couple of times.

He just didn’t get it.

But we ladies do.

There’s just something about a guy on a horse. I don’t care what age he is.

Cowboys exude a rugged potency, a strong sense of self, a history of hard work and an understated sense of sensuality. He seems to command our attention. Our eyes are drawn to him. We wonder what stories he could tell. What would it feel like to have him come charging to our rescue? Would he stand by us through thick or thin?

I grew up watching Westerns on TV. There was no canned laughter to tell us when something was funny, as if we’re too dumb to judge that for ourselves. What those Westerns did have was a sense of history, a spirit of adventure and a code of honor. Gene Autry put that code into words.

The hero in Storm’s Interlude is a rancher, born and bred. Storm Masterson is an alpha male with a soft spot for his family. His twin sister has leukemia, and her cancer is eating him as much as it is her. His nephew, an energetic three-year old, is the light of his life during this dark time. Enter one blue-eyed, determined nurse who turns his orderly world into one gigantic sexual knot.

 I’d like to share an excerpt:

The sun gentled the Texas sky awake with her show of pinks and oranges intermingled with the dark grays of dawn, promising another hot day. Storm was talking to Red Pelton, his foreman, and three ranch hands, Ben, Eduardo and Randy, giving them orders for various projects.

Suddenly the crew’s heads collectively swiveled to the left. Low whistles and snide remarks warmed the air already heating up for the day. Even Pistol panted louder than normal.

Storm narrowed his eyes. Rachel was jogging down the driveway wearing a tight red midriff top and black running shorts that should have been declared illegal. Damned if he could figure how a woman so short could have legs so long.

“Gentlemen, the woman you’re gawkin’ at is Sunny’s new nurse. I’ll expect you to keep your distance. She’s here to take care of my sister.” Their lewd responses did nothing to improve his mood.

Nor did hearing Jackson give a wolf whistle. Storm’s narrowed eyes ricocheted off Rachel to his best friend. Minutes earlier, he’d seen Jackson stumble out of the house, grimacing at the sunlight and holding a hand over each ear, probably in an attempt to keep them from falling off his hungover head. Now Jackson’s arms were extended across the roof of the cruiser, and he sported a mile-wide grin as he ogled Rachel, obviously enjoying the view.

Storm turned his irritated attentions back on his men. “Stop drooling over Rachel and get the hell to work. You’re burnin’ daylight.” At their raised eyebrows, he barked, “Go on, now. I’m in no mood to be fooled with today.”

Storm headed for Jackson and shot a dark look down the long driveway. He had tossed and turned most of the night thinking of Nurse Rachel and that lush body of hers. Those eyes, those lips, and that long silky, curly hair had haunted him in his sleep. Strange part of it all was she wasn’t his normal type. He usually preferred tall, slender women; women more likely to do his bidding.

Rachel, the spirited little minx. He snorted. Imagine that spitfire shaking her fist under his nose, warning him to stay away. This was his ranch, by damn, and he’d do what he pleased. He’d never met a woman that both irritated and intrigued him from the instant he set eyes on her—until Rachel. He didn’t like it one bit.

Jackson turned at Storm’s approach. “Who the hell is that?”

“Sunny’s new nurse.” He stood next to his best friend.

“Damn. Makes a man want to get sick just so she can nurse him. She’s one fine lookin’ woman.” Jackson’s eyes narrowed. “What’s got a burr under your saddle? You’ve got that look.”

“What look? How’s your head? Figured you’d still be in the den, sleeping it off.”

Storm’s Interlude received a 5-Star review from Single Title Reviews. Here’s part of what the reviewer had to say:

Loved every morsel of this story. Each chapter brought a smile to my face, the chemistry between Storm and Rachel is a barn burner. A compassionate story that takes a difficult subject and brings hope to a family struggling to figure out what will happen next. When they begin to live day to day, the love of each person in this story brings a warmness to every page. A wonderful book.

Barnes and Noble (Nook version only):
The Wild Rose Press:

I blog at Vintage Vonnie —
My website is –

August 3, 2011

Wednesday's Chow - Barbequed Spare Ribs

Barbequed Spare Ribs

4 lbs. baby back spare ribs
(Fresh pork Ribs)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 tea salt
½ tea pepper

BBQ Sauce

½ cup vinegar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup catsup
½ cup chili sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tea dry mustard
¼ tea cayenne pepper
For sweeter sauce, add ¼ cup honey

In a large pot, place ribs, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in three quarts water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour until ribs are tender. Drain.

Meantime, combine all bbq sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer, uncovered for one hour.

Place ribs on rack in broiler pan. Brush with sauce and marinate for one hour. Broil, basting frequently with sauce, 10 minutes each side. Or cook on the grill!!!