Friday nom noms

You all know that I love food. I love everything about food. Especially trying new recipes. Sometimes, I feel the need to share those with you. My darling friend, Sloane Taylor, has joined us today with some awesome nom noms. 

Take it away, Sloane!

Sunday suppers are always a challenge with our busy schedules. We want a meal that’s tasty, easy, and doesn’t take an hour to prepare. This menu is perfect for that criteria. The pasta salad reached perfection through the taste buds of my daughter, grand-girls, and four nieces who all know what they like. Make the salad the day before so the flavors blend.

Grilled Sirloin Steak & Cheese Sandwiches

4 fresh Kaiser rolls, cut in half
1½ pounds sirloin steak, about 1 inch thick
1 roma tomato
4 slices mozzarella, provolone, or horseradish cheese, not too thin
Olive oil
Garlic powder, NOT garlic salt

Preheat a heavy 8-10 inch skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.

Brush a light coating of olive oil on the inside of each half of the rolls. Sprinkle on a little garlic powder. Grill rolls oil side down until lightly browned. Remove to a cutting board.

Slice the sirloin into thin pieces lengthwise. You’ll end up with about 7 slices. Drizzle a little more olive oil in the hot pan. Add meat and sauté about 2 minutes or until done to your preference. Well done is not good for this recipe.

Turn the steak, add a tomato slice, and top with cheese. Cover pan until cheese melts.

Lay meat on the bottom buns, cover with the top one, and serve.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Pasta Salad

3 cups dried med. shells, macaroni, or any curly pasta
1½ cups real mayonnaise
1 tbsp. sour cream
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder, NOT garlic salt
¼ tsp. thyme
1 cup celery, sliced thin
4 green onions, sliced thin with a large portion of green
2 large hard boiled eggs, chopped fine
¼ rounded cup Italian style or roasted red pepper, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions. Be careful not to overcook. The pasta should be firm yet tender. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until completely cool. Spread the noodles over a dish towel to dry thoroughly while you make the dressing.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme in large bowl, stirring well after each addition.

Add celery, onions, egg. Stir well. Lay red pepper on a paper towel to absorb a little of the oil. Move pepper to a cutting board, chop, and blend into the salad.

Fold in pasta. This may look like too much sauce, but it’s not. The pasta absorbs sauce as it sits. Spoon the mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Turn this dish into a complete summer lunch or supper by adding a tuna in water pouch. Serve with chilled red grapes and fresh croissants. Don’t forget a bottle of chilled white wine!
May you enjoy all the days of your life seated with friends at a well laden table.

Sloane!

Award-winning author Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and and good food are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes romances that takes you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.

Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

Taylor was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Studly, her mate for life, and Sloane now live in a small home in Indiana and enjoy the change from city life. She is also an avid cook.

Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her website . Check out her blog for more tasty recipes. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t miss these awesome re-releases from Ms. Taylor!

banner

Wedding Plans

29_wedding-rings-wallpaper1

Still time to join the fun and you might win a “Wedding Gift”!

For the past month over 125 people have participated in Planning the Wedding of Jack and Jillian Girard, the characters from Christmas in Cancun who will be married in my next book Captivated in Cancun. Now that we are in the final week, I thought I’d share with the world their decisions so far and once again congratulate the weekly winners of “Wedding Gifts”.

beach wedding

Kenderly Wood’s picture of a wedding on the beach inspired many to vote for a beach wedding.

poolside

I loved the idea of a beach wedding but the practicality of an elegant poolside reception. Annette Drolet Mardis posted this suggestion and I evoked author prerogative.

By an overwhelming majority, the beach was selected over the pool as the site for the two to vow their everlasting love for one another. But I decided that the quad around the pool will be where the reception takes place. Anyone who has ever spent an evening on the beach knows that the ocean breeze kicks in when the sun goes down and can be blustery. Not conducive for a nice meal. Who wants sand in their food? Not me!

nice bodice detail long appeared 2x

When both Anna Martin Josey and Therese Scacchi Lopez posted the same picture of this wedding gown, I knew it would be a fan favorite.

Nearly 50 people liked the Goddess Wedding Gown over the other options.

11949289_955254321163464_3919893767982987402_n

Deciding the colors for a wedding is often the most difficult decision for a bride. Same rang true for readers, but this bouquet posted by Therese Scacchi Lopez persuaded several votes to blue and coral.

Voting on the colors and bouquet was a lot tighter but blue and coral won out.

Navy uniform

Tracy Kreeger suggested the groomsmen wear their Naval uniforms and the majority of voters agreed.

Hands down, Naval uniforms beat out tuxedos…but who doesn’t love a man in a uniform?

12002905_876793432402752_7996300632272939401_n

These beautiful Bridesmaid Dresses were suggested by Jamie Clark and most of the voters agreed.

Sixty percent of those who voted wanted the long blue strapless dresses that faded from dark blue to turquois, matching the colors of the Caribbean Sea.

There’s still time to vote on your choice of Wedding Cake as voting ends Sunday, 27 Sept.

diamond ring

What’s a wedding without a diamond ring? There’s still time to win this Diamond Ring!

Which means there’s still a chance you could win themond Ring!! Or this week’s “Wedding Gift”.

Every week someone who voted was selected at Random.org to win a “Wedding Gift”. I’d like to congratulate: Alyssa Williams, Sara Miller, Judi Kensok, Alexia Janey Evans and Terry Galloway Trahan.

A huge congratulations!! goes to the following people who will be acknowledged in Captivated in Cancun for assisting with the wedding planning. Each suggested an element for the wedding which eventually won the popular vote.

Decision #1 Beach and Pool – Kenderly Woods & Annette Drolet Mardis

Decision #2 Wedding Dress – Anna Martin Josey and Therese Scacchi Lopez

Decision #3 Flowers and Colors – Therese Scacchi Lopez

Decision #4 Tuxedos/Uniforms – Tracy Kreeger

Decision #5 Bridesmaid Dress – Jamie Clark

Decision #6 Cake – ???TBD this week!

I think this will be a beautiful wedding.

Tell me one thing about YOUR wedding…your dress, bouquet, colors, etc. OR something that happened at the wedding like a funny toast, story, disastrous event.

New Release: Southern Heat

Tyler has finally arrived! I’m so excited to bring you this sexy story about a baseball player determined to win back his place on the team … and win the girl. 

SouthernHeat_UpdatedHe’s down, but he’s not out of the game.

Tyler Brady earned his reputation as the bad boy of baseball the old-fashioned way: by playing hard—on and off the field. After suffering a shoulder injury, he faces his first summer off in twenty years. Between the endless physical therapy sessions and missing the season, Tyler’s patience is about to blow.

After suffering a devastating breakup, Gabriella Marano is ready to get her life back. Who better to reacquaint her with the pleasures of sex than a devastatingly handsome ball player? Tyler is well equipped to give her what she needs: a little harmless fun.

As their passion soars, Tyler realizes the woman who fires his blood holds his future in the palm of her hands.

In more ways than one.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/SouthernHeatAM

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/SouthernHeatBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/SouthernHeatKO

iTunes: http://bit.ly/SouthernHeatIT

THIS WEEK ONLY: Spring Training, Game On, Book 1 is only $0.99! Be sure to pick it up while it’s more than 50% off!

He’s got his eye on the ball, but his sights are set on her.

Spring Training Front Full SizeFor baseball superstar Garrett Donovan, his contract with the New York Empire baseball team meant he’d finally have the means to secure a future for his family. He should focus on that…not on the sassy, beautiful Jessa Montgomery — or what she looks like naked. Getting involved with the daughter of the Empire’s owner would be career suicide. Jessa is a distraction he can’t afford.

Her father had warned her never to get involved with his athletes, so his request that she keep an eye on his new star player came straight out of left field. The last thing Jessa needs is another spoiled, egotistical ball player to deal with. But Garrett is none of those things. His no-nonsense attitude and smooth Southern charm make her blood burn and her knees weak. Giving into temptation, she is consumed by the pleasure she finds in Garrett’s arms.

Jessa wants to protect his career. Garrett won’t let anything get in the way of their passion.

A passion that could cost him everything.

GET YOUR COPY NOW! JUST $0.99 – THIS WEEK ONLY!

Amazon: http://bit.ly/SpringTrainingAM

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/SpringTrainingBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/SpringTrainingKO

iTunes: http://bit.ly/SpringTrainingIT

Because adulting is hard

I’m not exactly expecting sympathy now that I have to work a full-time in-office gig. I know most people do. But I’m not most people (slight understatement?). I’m a delicate flower, bitches. I wear out easily. I need space. I need quiet. I need to listen to Dean Martin so loud his baritone makes things vibrate—hey, not that, ya perv!

Anyway. I’m just about to wrap up week three of being in an office. I like it. I like the people. I like the work—well, most of it. I can’t complain (too much).

But there are things  I desperately miss.

  • Alone time. I fear I will never be alone again and this is something my soul desperately needs.
  • Quality writing time. I spend all my time editing because I’m not ready to give up my editing position with Kensington. (What if this other job doesn’t pan out??) So writing? For shit, people. I am writing for shit.
  • Non-quality writing time. One of the things I love to do to unwind and just let my mind go is writing fan fiction. Yeah, that’s what I said. It’s easy, the fans are responsive (I like things responsive), and it’s about characters I already love that I didn’t have to create. Boom. But do I have time? Nope.
  • Relaxing. Between work hours, kids events, and PTA responsibilities I will never relax again.
  • Family time. Yeah, every now and then I try to be Mom, Wife, Daughter. Not so much these days. Every now and then I poke out from the pile of things to do and remind myself what they look like.

I’m sure once things settle, and I get used to this insane schedule I’ll get back to these things. Until then… Woe. Is. Me.

Kudos to everyone out there who juggles it all because this being a “grown up” shit sucks.

Letting Go

Bessie is gone.  I’ve had old Bessie in my life since the Fall of 1998.  She was a class act.  All dark and dangerous and sporty with a growl that would make any aficionado’s heart do a happy dance. Teenage boys used to smile at her and give me a thumb’s up. Other men desired to own her.

Bessie was my 1999 Volvo S70 Turbo with a stick.  Yeah, I drove a stick.  And now, she’s gone.  The man who bought her appreciates all her good qualities — and low mileage for a car with a lot of years on her.  And Bessie is no longer a girl-car — she has transitioned to a boy-car,  the name Gray was mentioned in passing.

I’ll miss ole Bessie.  She was a good, dependable car with a lot of oomph.

2015-09-09 14.53.26But her replacement is gorgeous and loaded with a high-tech package (with three manuals to explain all the buzzers and bells which I may never ever even use) and Bang and Oluffsson sound system (that I’ll use).  She’s Monsoon Gray metallic with black leather interior and real ash wood trim. Sexy.

She purrs as she accelerates from 0-40 in less time than it takes to type this.

What is this new paragon of vehicular magnificence?

A 2016 Audi A4 2.0 T with 8-speed Tiptronic transmission (that means I can manually shift her  plus she also has a peppy and responsive Sports drive which sort of growls on the automatic side).

I’ve only had her a week or so — and am still pushing in the no-longer-there clutch and reaching for my standard stick, but I’ll adjust.  She is pretty and smells good — and needs a name.  I’m gonna have to think about it.  I’m still mourning Bessie.

This car is no Bessie.

 

Writing Romantic Suspense Can Be a Killer

whale shark and diver

Not really as frightening as you may think but a Whale Shark scared Lilly Girard nearly to death

Captivated in Cancun, my work in progress, is occupying most of my thoughts these days. I’m trying to get it out yet this fall, but that deadline is fast approaching.

whale shark ride along

Whale Sharks are actually playful and often allow divers to hitchhike a ride, especially when they are young like this one

I love talking with other authors who are much more experienced in this rather new career of mine. They are filled with advice, plot twists as well as directing me through the basics.

Coral-Reef1-1024x666

The coral reefs in the Cancun area are beautiful but the world underwater is too frightening for Lilly Girard now

One such conversation I had recently with the AWESOME suspense author, NYTimes Bestseller Bob Mayer, has made me step back and look at all the sub-plot lines I have going in this book. The good news is…there is a lot of action on the romance scene as well as in the suspense.

The better news is I know how it all ends. The bad guys die and the hero and heroine get together for a Happily Ever After.      Hey, it’s Romantic Suspense!

cruise ships in Cozumel

Josh “Madman” Madden, a director at Homeland Security, has reliable intel that a terrorist cell is going to be smuggled onto a cruise ship heading to the USA

My problem at the moment is braiding it all together and tying my characters into knots along the way.

Depressed-Boy-800

But terrorists aren’t the only people these coyotes smuggle

Throughout this blog I’ve given you a few pictorial clues about Captivated in Cancun. So what do you think so far? Leave me a COMMENT below.

29_wedding-rings-wallpaper1

JOIN the fun on my Facebook event page Planning of Jack & Jillian’s Wedding “Wedding Gifts” given away every week

If you’d like to BE IN MY NEXT BOOK,  Captivated in Cancun, come JOIN the fun on my Facebook Planning of Jack & Jillian’s Wedding. Click on the image.

You could win one of the weekly “Wedding Gifts” or even the Grand Gift of Diamond Ring!

Receive an EXTRA entry when you COMMENT below.  🙂