Monthly Archives: November 2011

Very Special Announcement

Usually I only blog once a day, but I just found out that not one, but TWO of my Veil books have been nominated on The Romance Reviews for Best Erotic PNR of 2011!! OMG!! I’m up against some very stiff competition, of course. Each book in the categories I’m in are ones I’ve read and enjoyed, so I feel like…well, flabbergasted would be the perfect word.

Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose has been nominated for Best Erotic PNR of 2011 – Vampire
The Romance Review

And Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous has been nominated for Best Erotic PNR 2011 – Shifter.

The Romance Review

Voting begins today and ends November 30th. I’m so honored to have been nominated, especially in light of the awesome authors who’ve been nominated along with me. I’m positively gushing happiness right now and don’t really know what to say other than Please Vote!!

 

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She Has a Lovely Daughter

When I decided to use this song in the continuing Brown theme for November, I had to go research my family history. You see, this is a song that’s kind of infamous in our family. Oh, no, none of my relatives performed it or anything, but it has a history in the family.

The song is “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” performed by Herman’s Hermits. The original version came out in 1963, but the Herman’s Hermits version is the one that went to number 1 in the U.S. So…let’s see 1965. My mom’s closest brother in age would have been fourteen years old.

He was in love with a girl, we’ll call her Jane, who didn’t love him back. Oh, the heart-break! The agony of unrequited young love! Fast forward about ten years and my uncle is married to a beautiful bride he met in South Korea while doing his tour in the Army. She came to the U.S. six months pregnant in 1976, he followed soon after.

Then, if I remember my family lore correctly, Bubba saw Jane again. After all this time. Now, I don’t know who was dumb enough to tell Aunt Chong about Bubba’s teenage crush on Jane, but whoever did was trying to stir up trouble.

Have I mentioned how jealous Chong is over what she calls “the Bubbas”? No? Well, she’s very jealous of him and she hated Jane. She hated the mention of Jane. She hated her name. She never wanted to see, or hear about Jane ever again. Thirty years later, after learning about Jane, she would still get that angry, evil look in her eyes and she’d scowl at “the Bubbas” and say “Aigoo!” (we all know that means she isn’t happy).

But whenever this song is played, someone mentions it. All I can say is thank goodness we don’t listen to a lot of Herman’s Hermits when we’re all together. Chong would probably stab us all with a fork (because she actually uses her chopsticks). So today’s song is for anyone not in my family. Unless you plan to tell Chong about Jane…and then I’ll have to hunt you down and hit you with the rice spoon (which has happened to me when I have displeased the Aunt Chong).

Herman’s Hermits performing “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter”. Enjoy!

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The Holidays Are Here?

I have satellite radio. It’s become a necessity for me. I travel a good ways for work and having commercial free music at hand keeps me sane. It’s also great when I have to go on long road trips in areas where radio reception is poor. Satellite radio rocks.

So I get e-mails from time to time about special programs they have coming up. Yesterday I received an e-mail about holiday music. I blinked. Holiday music? Already? But…we haven’t even stuffed ourselves like the turkeys we eat! How can we start having Christmas music?

I knew it was coming, of course. I’ve been in the stores. I’ve seen the Christmas displays right next to the Halloween aisle and I was weirded out. Are people really ready to start the Christmas season? I mean…I could understand it in areas up north where the weather has begun to turn colder, but down here we have two days of cool weather and then it’s back to the shorts and flip-flops. It doesn’t feel right for Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong. I remember very well several Christmases when we were running around in shorts because it was nearly 90 degrees, but I was a kid back then. It didn’t matter if it was cold or hot, I was always ready for Christmas. Now that I’m older, I need to work up to the holiday season. I need that Thanksgiving turkey and the subsequent napping to get in the frame of mind necessary for Christmas. I don’t need Black Friday. In fact, I cower in my house the day after Thanksgiving and think of all those poor souls waiting in line for deals and thinking how smart I am to do most of my shopping online.

But Christmas music…already? Every year my mind goes through the same questions. Should I listen to Christmas music this year? It might make me feel more…seasonal and less like a grouch. But God, I can’t STAND this song! Gah! Where’s the Megadeth? So yeah…It’s quite a struggle for me and to start receiving notices that seven commercial free channels of holiday music are now at my disposal just make me go whaaaaa?

How about you? Do you think it’s too soon for the holiday season, or have you been ready since January 1?

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The Sick Files

I was sick this weekend. Somehow, someway, I picked up a stomach virus. I’m still fighting it today, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was two days ago.

It all began with the weirdest dream. Friday night into Saturday morning I dreamed I ate a bad banana and was so sick, I resembled Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Yes, pea green soup sick.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up bright and early Saturday morning to have a long conversation with Ralph on the big, white phone. Yes, I was sick and that dream kept haunting me through a hellish day of fever, chills, stomach cramps, and just plain misery.

Are you depressed yet? It was so bad, my mother wasn’t allowed touch my newest nephew for fear she’d give him whatever I had. Poor Mom and poor Bennett, not to be able to get hugs and kisses from his ma-maw. Of course, I had to agree with my brother and sister-in-law. I’d have felt worst if he’d contracted what I have.

So today I’m going to try to finish resting up and resist the urge to have conversations with Ralph. Maybe I’ll even dream up some excellent scenes for the three WIPs I have to write for NaNo. Who knows what kind of messed up dreams I’ll have today?

I hope your weekend was a lot better!

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Fantasy Man Friday

Well, we’ve made it to another Fantasy Man Friday. Yay! I’m ready for the weekend, although it suddenly dawned on me that Thanksgiving is in two weeks. *blinks* When did that happen? I could’ve sworn it was just Labor Day weekend and now we’re already nearing the big holiday season? Yipes!

I had a good week. I started a third WIP *cough* but haven’t given up on my other two. All three are keeping me occupied and happy and feeling creative. I wrote one of the longest love scenes of my life in my 2nd christmas novella. It’s a little different writing a detailed scene involving three people. *cough cough* Um, other than that, things are great.

I got to spend quality time with my little man, Bennett and although we had a few differences in opinion (as in I wanted to hold him this way and he wanted to be held that way), he was very good for me. He’s such a sweet baby, but I’ll hush up because it’s Fantasy Man Friday.

Today is also Veterans Day. It’s the day we honor the men and women who have served, and are serving, our country. I admire all those selflessly risk their lives to protect our constitution. Today’s man is carrying the stars and stripes in a show of patriotism.

No, I have no idea if he’s in the military, but that’s okay. I think he’s doing a wonderful job showing his support for our veterans. Maybe we should start a petition to have a statue made of him waving the flag. Not to brag or anything, but I’ve taken a few ceramics classes and uh, I’d be up for some sculpting. *cough*

Happy Veterans Day and Happy Friday!

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Red Beans and Rice

For those who usually stop by here on Thursdays for Cajun French lessons, today I’m going to pass along a recipe for one of my favorite dishes: red beans and rice. This is more of a Creole dish rather than Cajun, but when it comes to food, we claim everything as our own.

I’ve only made this dish once, following the recipe my sister gave me. She learned how to make it from our mom, who learned it from my paternal grandmother (who from what I understand was an amazing cook). But like I mentioned earlier in the week, my sister’s red beans taste nothing like our mom’s. I’m sharing my sister’s recipe with you. You’re welcome to change anything to make it your own.

Ingredients:
1 pound of dried red beans
1 cup diced sausage***
1 large chopped onion – now I haven’t tried it, but for this recipe you could use the “holy trinity” of chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery (that may be used next time).
4 bay leaves

Seasoning:
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
Tony’s Original Chachere (This seasoning is a bit like cheating, but everyone uses it.)

Preparation:

Before you begin cooking, soak the dried red beans for two hours. Sort through the beans for rocks.

Once beans have soaked, rinse them off and put them to boil.

While the beans boil, saute the onion (bell peppers, celery optional) until it’s nearly clear. Add sausage and saute together.

Once beans have begun to boil, add sausage and onions to the pot. Add ingredients to your taste.

Now it’s time to stir and wait and get hungry. The beans will need to cook until they’re somewhat soft. You can check them by pressing a bean between the pot side and the back of the cooking spoon. If the bean is still firm, let it cook longer. The beans will start to stick to the bottom of the pot. When this happens, add more water and continue stirring.

You may notice the beans are almost completely cooked, but they aren’t creamy. To thicken it, smash some of the beans. I’ve heard 1/4 of the pot will help. I just smashed until I was satisfied with the texture. Once you’re satisfied the beans are cooked, remove the pot from the burner, and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

Serve over rice with a side of smoked sausage, or a pork chop and you’ve got a south Louisiana staple meal.

Your beans should look like this. Creamy with the beans firm, but not crunchy.

** We use smoked sausage for our recipes, but you can use ham, Tasso ham, andouille sausage, etc. but the consensus seems to be it has to be some type of pork.***

 

 

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Sweet Georgia Brown

As y’all know I have pretty eclectic taste in music. When I embarked on this color theme, as I mentioned last week, I had a set plan for what songs would appear on What’s Playing Wednesday.

Then I did more research. There are a lot of songs I remember hearing via my grandfather, my parents, my uncles and aunt, and even my sister and it’s sometimes hard to recall titles. This is one of those instances. Of course, this song is recognizable in a completely different way.

Around 1950, the Harlem Globetrotters adopted this song as their theme song. You can hear it in your head, can’t you? Well, after a little more research, I discovered the song “Sweet Georgia Brown” was written in 1925 by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard. Ben Bernie and his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra recorded the song in the same year and spent five weeks at No. 1.

Doing some more snooping around, I came across this original clip of the orchestra performing the song. I hope you enjoy!

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The Three-Timing Writer

Last week, Erin Kellison blogged over at Darker Temptations blog about story brain. I had to bow my head after reading her post because I knew myself to be a two-timing cheater. Yes, I’ve cheated on my WIP with another WIP.

Oh, sure, I covered up my actions by saying it was for NaNoWriMo. It even worked for a while. I went through a whole week working on two WIPs, the word count creeping higher and higher. When I lost momentum on one story, I moved to the other and vice versa. It was lovely.

And then I woke up this morning, my heart racing. Not with guilt, but with anticipation. I could see the characters forming, the plot linking together so perfectly my hands itched for a keyboard. The dialogue flowed from hero to heroine and back again, their motivations speaking to me. I started to twitch with the need to write. The temptation followed me through my morning routine and on the morning drive. It dogged my steps, leaving me with the urge to toss my other two loves aside and gather the newest one to my bosom (I’ve been reading a lot of historicals lately).

I have a new story idea. Well, that isn’t entirely true. It’s an older story idea, one I’ve let stew for two months. I tried writing that story, giving it the old college try, but the spark didn’t ignite the fires of my imagination. I put it aside and turned to my other love (read WIP). Until this morning when that same story returned with gale force winds. Yes. It’s ready to be written.

Except I already have two WIPs to work on. Does it care? No, it doesn’t. Even now it taunts me with witty dialogue and steamy love scenes. I try to look away, but I can feel it in the back of my mind.

Do you know what this means? It means I’m a three-timing writer. Yes. I’m going to work on that story as well as the other two, balancing all three like jealous lovers. Will I survive? Well…come November 30th, we’ll find out.

And I leave you with the words from my paranoid 17-year-old cousin:

Don’t judge me!

LOL

Was that melodramatic or what? Lord, I had no idea I had it in me. *makes a note to save this post* How about y’all? Are any of you two-timing, or maybe three-timing, writers/readers? Because you can be a two-timing reader. I’ve never managed that, but I’m sure it’s possible.

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How Shocking

Before I get to today’s post, just a quick reminder that today is my day to blog on two of my group blogs. I’m over at Darker temptations talking about what goes on in my brain (It’s a twisted labyrinth) and I’m at gee/k/ink talking about my favorite cult classics.

Over here though, I’m talking about how I shocked the hell out of my relatives this weekend. No, it had nothing to do with the LSU Alabama game. They all know my feelings of intense dislike for LSU, so that isn’t a surprise. No, I shocked them all by voluntarily cooking something.

*huge gasp*

There was even a comment made that it only took me thirty-five years to cook which is a blatant exaggeration. I cook. When I feel like it. I’m not a gourmand. I’m happy chowing down on frozen dinners or soup or things like that. However, I had a massive envie for red beans. But not just any red beans. I wanted my sister’s red beans. It’s hard to explain, but her beans are flat-out amazing. If you’ve ever eaten at Popeye’s or Copelands, they have red beans that are flavorful and creamy. That’s how hers are, but with more kick.

I’ve guilted her into making pots of red beans for me, but I’ve only ever managed to get a bowl out of the entire pot. Yes, her family gets dibs and I get leftovers. Normally that doesn’t bother me since leftover red beans are just as good—if not better than freshly cooked red beans. I wanted a whole pot to myself, or rather, my mom and I.

So I asked my sister for her recipe, wrote it down on a sticky note and put it in my purse. Saturday I decided I’d attempt my first pot. Now, mind you, my mother is a great cook. She makes a roast beef and gravy so good it’s in constant demand. I love her cooking (if you were in any doubt, you should see the size of my hips), but she doesn’t make red beans like my sister. While I was cooking my first pot, she had a few things she wanted me to add, but I refused to divert from the exact recipe my sister had given me.

And it was gooood. Oh, not as good as my sister’s, but it was my first pot. One thing I’ve noticed about cooking is that every dish differs between cooks. My lasagna is vastly different from my mom’s, similar to my sister’s, but (in my opinion) far superior to either of theirs. My sister’s fettucine is better than mine, but her roast isn’t nearly as good as Mom’s. We use the same recipes, but the taste is different. Weird, huh?

So that’s what I did this weekend. I cooked to the complete shock of my family. Even more, I did it without anyone asking if I wanted to make something. Of course this means I’ve probably shot myself in the foot since they’ll expect me to cook more often. Damn!

How about you? Do you enjoy cooking, or do it when you have to?

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Fantasy Man Friday

Sorry y’all, there’s no big 101st Fantasy Man Friday giveaway. Maybe if I hit 200 I’ll hold a giveaway.

Anyway, this was the first week of NaNoWriMo. I was chugging along with two WIPs. One is my 2nd Christmas novella and the other is a new story idea I’ve been toying with for a couple of months. I didn’t intend to work on two stories for NaNo, it just happened that way. I’m making progress, too. I’ve discovered that if I lose momentum on one story (after plugging away at it for a while), I can go to the other story and get a good word count in.

Then I had a horrible thought. What happens if I run out of story ideas? *cue the horror music* I mean…this can’t happen! I’ll always have ideas, right? I mean, I had one right after I thought that, so obviously I’m freaking myself out over nothing. Right? But what if the well goes dry? What if I use every story idea I’ve ever had and nothing new springs to mind? *shudder* I don’t even like thinking that way.

However, I do know what I’d do to lure the muse back to me. I’d find some pictures of hunky men and daydream about what they do, who they are, and how they like their eggs cooked. (Not that I cook, but I can make a heroine who does. I can totally do that!) Like this guy:

What’s the story here? He’s totally being ravished. Can’t you see the open button on his jeans? His heroine has just stepped away to grab the <insert your favorite condiment> and is planning to give him a thorough tongue lashing. *cackle* *cough*

So yeah, I think I’m good for now. How’s NaNo going for you? Or what kind of condiment would you use on this man? With his skin tone, I think chocolate would work. Or maybe even some strawberry jam…

Happy Friday!

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