Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Treats Blog Hop - Favorite Summer Vacations



Welcome to The Wild Rose Press authors Summer Treats Blog Hop! This blog hop is all about summer living and fun in the sun. Each author on the hop will treat you with their favorite summer ideas and memories.

For me, summer means vacation time. Long, lazy days, and time away from work and obligations. Time to read and relax and hang out with friends and family. Heaven! I live in Canada where summers can be very short, or at least feel like they are, and that makes them all the more precious. I'd like to share with you some of my fondest summer vacation memories.

Okay, so strictly speaking, our trip to Maui in March 2013 didn't happen in summer, but it was summer to me when we got there, so I'm counting it. I'd always wanted to go to Hawaii and my first visit there didn't disappoint. I loved it! It had been a very long, cold winter, so a respite in the sun was very welcome.


I loved the beaches, 


and all the beautiful flowers,


and the fabulous scenery.


Later that year we drove to Ontario to visit our daughter and other relatives. My husband's brother has a wonderful place on a lake, and I'm happy to say we'll be visiting him there again later this summer.



In June 2014 we took another big trip and visited France and Spain for the first time. We spent three days in Barcelona (loved it!) before travelling to southern France to take a river cruise up the Rhone River. I loved Provence. The weather was wonderful, the people kind and the scenery beautiful. I was especially taken with the Roman ruins we saw there.


A mini Colosseum in Arles, France


We came at just the right time to see the lavender fields in bloom.


Our trip ended with three days in Paris. How can you go to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower?

Last year our oldest daughter moved to British Columbia, so that gave us an excuse to sample the wines of the Okanagan Valley. And the mountains were pretty nice, too!


The majestic Canadian Rockies.



The Okanagan Valley is renowned for its wineries. We had fun going on a wine tour and sampling the offerings at each location. Good thing someone else was driving!



So there's a little taste of some of my summer vacations. Where's your favorite place to go in the summer? What's your favorite summer vacation memory?

I'm giving away a copy of my contemporary romance ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE at Goodreads. You can enter to win here.

I'm also giving away three ecopies of my book RESCUE ME. For your chance to win, click here and tell me about your favorite summer vacation destination or memory. Make sure to leave your email address!

Enter to win a Kindle Fire provided by The Wild Rose Press:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop on over to some of the other Wild Rose Press authors' blogs for more fun posts and prizes!

1.
Sorchias Wild Rose Summer Treats Post | Visit blog
2.
RV Memory | Visit blog
3.
Tricia Schneider | Visit blog
4.
Anna Durands Spunk & Hunks | Visit blog
5.
Judy Ann Davis Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
6.
Spicy Summer Treats with Mia Downing | Visit blog
7.
Linda Nightingale. . . Wordsmith | Visit blog
8.
Jana Richards - Journeys with Jana | Visit blog
9.
Summer Memories of books well read @ Peggy Jaeger. com | Visit blog
10.
Summer on Cape Cod ~ Kathryn Knight books | Visit blog
11.
Summer Fun at the Beach, with Katie OSullivan | Visit blog
12.
I Believe Ill Go Canoeing - C. B. Clark | Visit blog
13.
Summertime Love is Sweeter with. . . Frozen Mango? @ Kimberly Keyes blog |Visit blog
14.
Wild Rose Summer Treats Blog Hop @ Brendas Blog | Visit blog
15.
Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
16.
Midsummer Magic on the Isle of Skye! | Visit blog
17.
My Guilty Summer Treats from Lori Sizemore | Visit blog
18.
Wild Rose Press Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
19.
Hywela Lyns post for the WRP Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
20.
Wild Rose Press Summer Treats & Reads | Visit blog
21.
Camping is a Recipe for Summer Treats and Reads | Visit blog
22.
The Snarkology | Visit blog
23.
Summer Survival Tips @ Nitty Gritty Romance | Visit blog
24.
Wild Rose Press Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
25.
Nell Castle - Summer of the Sweat Lodge | Visit blog
26.
Myth, Magic & Wonder Susan Edwards, Breathing Life into the Past | Visit blog
27.
Romance with Spice, Sydney St. Claire | Visit blog
28.
Author Kat de Falla | Visit blog
29.
Anni Fife. Exciting new author of Steamy Romance with Irresistible Heroes | Visit blog
30.
Summer Vacation, Victorian-Style, AND a Giveaway | Visit blog
31.
Wildfires, Monsoons, and Mojitos - Author Susabelle Kelmer shares how she keeps cool in a climate that is on fire! | Visit blog
32.
Casi McLeans recipe for Hot Reads and Cool Treats | Visit blog
33.
Cool Summer Reads: Jeannie Halls Romantic Suspense Blog - Where Hearts Tremble From More Than Attraction | Visit blog
34.
Summer treat - Adult Slushie | Visit blog
35.
How to Rediscover the Magic of Bicycling | Visit blog
36.
Charlottes Tips on How to Stay Cool in HOT New York City | Visit blog
37.
Caryn McGill | Visit blog
38.
Hywela Lyns Inrerplanetary Summer | Visit blog


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Book Spotlight with Dianne Noble

Dianne Noble is my guest today. She's here to talk about OUTCAST, her contemporary mystery/thriller set in the slums of India. It looks like a fascinating read. Please welcome Dianne Noble!




BLURB for OUTCAST
Rose leaves her Cornwall café to search for her daughter, Ellie, in the steaming slums of Kolkata, India. In the daily struggle for survival she is brought to her knees, yet finds the strength to confront the poverty and disease and grows to love and respect the Dalit Community she is helping. But then there are deaths and she fears for her own safety. Her café at home is at risk of being torched then finally she has to make the terrible choice between the Dalits and her own daughter.

EXCERPT
She breathed in slowly, one, two, three and then out. Watched the conductor squeeze through collecting fares. The bus stopped again. How could they possibly get any more on? Babies were passed over heads until their mothers could battle their way through to reclaim them. The smells of spice and sweat increased, the rattling of the bus, loud conversations.

     ‘Start pushing,’ Ellie yelled.

By the time the bus stopped Rose had made it to the door. With one last effort she burst through the passengers trying to force their way up the steps and almost fell on to the road. Her shirt was stuck to her back and the air outside felt cool.

    ‘This way.’

She coughed as she followed Ellie through the honking traffic, held her hands over her ears.

    ‘You’ll get used to it.’ Ellie said.

     A family was living on the blackened pavement, only enough room for one person at a time to lie down. Naked toddlers. Rice boiling in a pan teetering on a charcoal fire. Filth, flies. And beyond this family, another and another, packed tight, inches away from the lorries roaring along the road. She hurried past a body enveloped in a brown blanket, studded with flies. Stepped across a pool of vomit, rushing to catch up with Ellie. Shouted out in pain as she turned her ankle on broken stones.

     ‘Come on.’

     She was waiting by a footbridge. Rose tried to re-arrange her features into a semblance of calm but tears ran down her cheeks.

    ‘I know it’s tough, Mum. Do you want to go back to your hotel?’

Rose wanted very much to do just that, but she knew her street cred would be zero. She swallowed. Hard. ‘No.’

     ‘OK.’ Ellie’s voice softened a little. Was there a glimmer of sympathy there, a touch of respect?
‘Forgot to ask. Did you have any injections before you came? Hepatitis, tetanus…?’

     ‘No.’

Ellie sighed. Rose followed her down a dark passageway between two crumbling shops, the lumpy feel of broken pavement beneath her feet. Only room for single file. Kept her arms pressed to her body, unsure of what was either side. The alley led into an open space. The stench hit her first – faeces, rotting food. Crows cawed overhead. She looked up to see a tangled geometry of power lines and wires. At her feet naked children up to their ankles in rubbish, empty water bottles, used tampon applicators, yellowed cotton buds, mildewed newspaper.  A mountain of stinking, festering filth.

     ‘This way,’ said Ellie, edging past a bent old woman heaving a handcart. A cow chewed an aged vest. A parabola of pee as a man urinated against a wall. ‘Right, we’re here.’

     Rose saw a settlement of huts made by driving bamboo poles into the ground and draping empty sacks and cardboard over the top. Maybe a dozen of them on the edge of a green pool of sewage. Tiny children ran around playing, shrieking with laughter.

     ‘Where are their mothers?’ Rose asked.

     ‘Working. Trying to get money for food.’

     ‘Aunty! Aunty!’ They’d spotted Ellie, tore across the broken ground, flinging themselves at her. She squatted, gathered them all into her arms. Rose saw running sores on their limbs, stiffened.

     ‘Ellie, don’t,’ she pleaded. ‘You’ll catch something.’

My God, I didn’t bring her up to do this. All the opportunities she’s had, the best schools. She had everything I didn’t and she’s squandering it.

     ‘Good Morning,’ Ellie said to the children. ‘Now, what do you say?’

     ‘Good Morning Aunty.’

     ‘Brilliant!’ She wiped green candles from a boy’s nose.

     ‘They’re dirty, Ellie,’ Rose whispered.

     ‘No water for washing,’ she snapped. ‘One tap for the whole place and it’s only on for two hours in the morning. They can’t afford to stand in line with a bucket. They need to earn money for food.’
A tiny girl held up her arms to Rose, who recoiled as she saw movement in her hair.

     ‘Pick her up, Mum.’

     ‘I can’t.’

A woman in a thin sari dragged a sheet of cardboard towards Ellie then put her hands together as if in prayer, bowed her head.

     ‘Namaste.’

     ‘Namaste,’ said Ellie. ‘Mum, this is Shenaz.’

The woman gave her a shy smile. Ellie squatted on the cardboard and brought out paper and pencils from her bag.

     ‘Shenaz has family here,’ she continued. ‘They share their earnings with her and in return she passes on what I teach her.’

The woman’s head was bent, her tongue between her teeth, as she started copying the words. The children clustered round to watch, pushing and shoving to get nearer. Ellie put her fingers to her lips and they quietened.

     ‘Mum, if you really want to help, talk to the children, teach them words.’
 Rose gave her a blank look.

     ‘Words, Mum. Anything.’ Her voice rose. ‘One, two, three. My name is Rose. This is my arm, my leg.’ She was shouting now and the children shrank back.

     ‘I’m sorry Ellie, really. I can’t.’

Shenaz had risen to her feet. Looked from Rose to Ellie and back again, her expression fearful. Ellie put an arm around her shoulder.

     ‘It’s OK, Shenaz. Don’t be scared. One of the boys can show my mother the way back. She’s leaving.’

BIO



I think I became a reader before I could walk. While other people had childhood memories, I amassed a vocabulary. I was born into a service family and at the tender age of seven found myself on the Dunera, a troopship, sailing for a three year posting to Singapore. So began a lifetime of wandering – and fifteen different schools. Teen years living in Cyprus, before partition, when the country was swarming with handsome UN soldiers, and then marriage to a Civil Engineer who whisked me away to the Arabian Gulf.

Most of the following years were spent as a single parent with an employment history which ranged from the British Embassy in Bahrain to a goods picker, complete with steel toe-capped boots, in an Argos warehouse. In between I earned my keep as a cashier in Barclays, a radio presenter and a café proprietor on the sea front in Penzance.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outcast-Dianne-Noble-ebook/dp/B01BLL9CVO

Amazon USA:  https://www.amazon.com/Outcast-Dianne-Noble-ebook/dp/B01BLL9CVO

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/614347

Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/outcast/id1083130105?mt=11

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/outcast-51

Nook:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/outcast-dianne-noble/1123400384


SOCIAL MEDIA

www.dianneanoble@hotmail.com

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/dianneanoble1

FB: www.facebook.com/dianneanoble

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/dianne-noble-183a143a

Tirgearr: www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Noble_Dianne

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Alice Orr hangs out on the #DarkSide #RomanticSuspense

I'm pleased to welcome romantic suspense author Alice Orr to my blog. She's here to talk about the dark side of writing suspense. But even the darkest of her novels bears the light of love. Please welcome Alice Orr!

Hanging Out on the #DarkSide @aliceorrbooks #romanticsuspense #writing #asmsg

“What drove you and your sister so far apart that you moved us to the opposite side of the country and we’ve never gone back?”
Vanessa was talking about their migration from the North Country of New York State to Convergence Island in Washington State. Her mother traded one remote place for another, and they’d ended up more isolated than ever.
“These things happen in families.”
Her mother’s answer was as evasive as it had always been.
“I know these things happen, Mother,” Vanessa said. “I also know you’re not going to tell me more than that, so I’ve made a decision.”
“What kind of decision?”
The fear in her mother’s voice came close to backing Vanessa down yet again. She loved her mother and didn’t want to hurt her, but this time Vanessa was determined to find out the truth. She’d allowed herself to be put off for too long. She intended to find the rest of her family.
“I’ve decided to go to Northern New York,” she said and closed her ears to the barrage of protests that followed, except for one.
“Don’t be so sure they’ll want you when you get there.”


I’m definitely fascinated by darkness. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have written fourteen romantic suspense novels so far, with the fifteenth recently begun. The above excerpt is from A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 4 – and is what writers of dark stories call The Warning. Vanessa should consider herself warned away from danger, but she doesn’t listen. Suspense novel characters seldom do.

I was once offered a similar warning against the stories I’ve chosen to tell. Like many of us who write stories of murder and retribution, I’ve experienced the harsh side of life up close and personal. David Morrell, the great thriller writer, spoke of that in Seattle. “Why do you want to write these stories?” he asked. “You need to know. Don’t just do it because suspense sells.”

He was correct about those last two words. Any bestseller list is proof of how well scary tales fare in the marketplace. Across the author spectrum from Stephen King to Mary Higgins Clark to Nora Roberts. You can hardly go wrong striking terror in the hearts of readers or movie goers or TV watchers.

What David Morrell’s question was getting at that afternoon in Seattle was this. In order to create a place and a situation meant to terrify an audience, the writer must enter the same place and situation herself. She must enter and dig down deep. Otherwise, she won’t touch the terror intimately enough to pass it on in words, and especially in vivid scenes.

Mr. Morrell told us his own personal terror scene that day and forced us to write our own, right there in a crowded room. Scribbling in deadly silence. Filling the notebooks on our laps with sentences haunted by the horror, often from childhood, that a real-life human history can contain.

Have I got you shivering yet? Maybe just a little? More pointed still, have I set you to thinking about your own human horror story? The one you don’t discuss very often or dwell on privately either, if you can keep from doing so. The corner of your consciousness you avoid because it is dark and shadowed and beasties dwell there.

We dark-siders conjure that corner each time we write. For the fascination but, inadvertently, for the reader we save from visiting her beasties. She can be fearful at a distance instead, exorcising her own real demons by encountering imaginary ones. Plus, most of us throw in the solace of a satisfying end. Loose strands tied together. Darkness swept away.

In my stories, I tend toward the side of the spectrum where more light is visible because love is happening along with the bad stuff. Which means hope is happening too. My readers and I need that, to be reassured of one thing. Whatever evil has been done, hope gleams at the horizon. What could hold more bright promise than two people struggling to fall in love?

A Villain for Vanessa’s Bobby and Vanessa are relentless. They grapple with evil and drag each other toward safety. I invite you to experience their encounter with darkness. I assure you there’ll be light at the end, though your blood may chill along the way. Meanwhile, my answer to Mr. Morrell’s question is this. I write these stories because I love to read them.

A Villain for Vanessa by Alice Orr

A story of tangled roots and tormented love.                                
Two families are shaken to their roots. Vanessa Westerlo must find her roots. Bobby Rizzo is torn between Vanessa and his true roots. They are all tormented by love – past and too present. Meanwhile a man has been murdered. And that is the most tormented tangle of all.

Alice Orr is known for Delicious Suspense spiced with Romance.
She does it again in A Villain for Vanessa.

A Villain for Vanessa is Book 4 of the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series set in remote Riverton, New York. This story features the Kalli family and the fortunate people who find safety and welcome at the Kalli homestead on Riverton Road. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series and A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Vacancy at the Inn is Book 3 and introduces the Miller family of Riverton Road Hill.

Find all of Alice Orr’s books at http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E and other online retailers.

Alice Orr –
http://www.aliceorrbooks.com/
http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E/
http://facebook.com/aliceorrwriter/
http://twitter.com/AliceOrrBooks/
http://goodreads.com/aliceorr/
http://pinterest.com/aliceorrwriter/


"Alice Orr is a brilliant writer who has a number one best seller in her pocket," says one Amazon reviewer. Alice loves to write. Especially romantic suspense novels and blog posts. She’s been a workshop leader, book editor and literary agent. Now she lives her dream of writing full-time. So far she’s published fifteen novels, three novellas and a memoir – either traditionally or independently. Alice wrote her nonfiction book, No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells, as a gift to the writers' community. A revised edition is now in progress. Amazon says, "This book has it all." And calls her novels, "Delicious well written suspense spiced with a love story." Most of all, Alice is thrilled to hear from readers. Visit her at her website http://www.aliceorrbooks.com. Alice has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and lives with her husband Jonathan in New York City.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

FLORENTINE ENCHANTMENT now available for Pre-Buy

My friend and editor Judith B. Glad has a new Regency romance novel releasing this summer. FLORENTINE ENCHANTMENT is now available for pre-buy. Get your copy at Amazon or Kobo.  


Orphaned in Florence, Lucy Raymond takes the only employment she can find, that of a castrato assistant to an art and antiquities dealer. But as she grows into womanhood, her masquerade chafes, for it allows none of the romance she craves.
In her loneliness she often visits the Piazza della Signoria, where she gazes at the magnificent sculptures and dreams impossible dreams. Until one day, when she is overcome by loneliness and the oppressive heat, she faints at the feet of an enormous sculpture, only to wake in the arms of its living embodiment.
Allowing herself to be seduced is the last thing Lucy should do. But Vido is warm and vital and the living image of David, so how can she resist?

EXCERPT:

I let my gaze drift past the loggia, seeing but paying little attention to the Cellini bronze, the Donatello marble, the other works of supreme artists. The massive sculpture of Hercules was only part of the scenery, unimportant to me. It was David my eyes sought, David I drank in the sight of.

He stood across the piazza on his black marble pedestal, foursquare and firm. I walked toward him, ignoring the crowd, the babble of a dozen languages around me. As I drew near, I raised my chin, letting my gaze linger over his feet, strong white feet, able to walk all day and into the night. His ankles were slim, yet sturdy, his calves well shaped. I saw the veins in his calf, the sinews connecting lower leg to knee. His legs were long, lean, sturdy.

Have I told you of his magnificent body, of the strength of his arms, his legs? Of the beauty of his naked chest, his uncovered shoulders? Do you know what a real man looks like, how the muscles lie close to the body, so that every movement becomes a symphony in efficiency? His right leg holds him upright, while the left relaxes. His left arm is lifted, holding a sling, with which he will defend himself--or me--from harm through the long, dark night.

My mouth dried at the thought, butterflies fluttered in my middle. I imagined his hands on my shoulders, his fingers touching my cheeks, my eyelids, my lips. I felt his mouth upon mine, not cold like stone, but hot. Wet. His tongue invaded me, swooped between my teeth, tangled with mine.

My knees grew weak. I trembled. The smoldering warmth flared into flame, consuming me. Perhaps I cried out.

"Signorina, you are ill." A strong arm encircled my waist, a hard body supported me.

I smelled sweat and tobacco, a faint aroma of wine, as I was lowered to the pavement and propped against the pedestal supporting my love.

The eyes staring into mine were brown, soft like a doe's, ringed with thick, long lashes of sooty black. The face was familiar--like so many I saw daily in the streets, a poor replica of my David's. The hand cupping my cheek was hard with callus, but gentle, tender in its touch.

"No, I am not ill," I said, but my voice betrayed me. It quavered with the aftermath of my helpless passion.

His smile was quick, fleeting. "Of course you are not ill. Merely overcome with beauty. I saw you, saw how you could not take your eyes from...him...from David." He glanced upwards, a quick lift of his head. "He is indeed one to make a woman tremble, no?"

"I love him," I said, then bit my tongue. "I mean, I love the artistry, the beauty of the sculpture. It is incomparable."

"Sì. But he would be much prettier were he flesh and blood. Here, let me help you stand. I will give you wine and bread and you will feel much better."

Pre-Order Buy Links:



Judith B. Glad's Social Media Links:

Newsletter (Jude's Now-and-Again, Low-Calorie Newsletter): judithbglad-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Thursday, July 7, 2016

In the Spotlight: Kim McMahill and A TASTE OF TRAGEDY

I'm shining the spotlight on best selling author Kim McMahill and her novel A TASTE OF TRAGEDY today. Welcome to Journeys with Jana, Kim!




A TASTE OF TRAGEDY

Blurb:

Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed . . . until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.


Excerpt: 

“Here, let me help you,” Morgan said as she draped Devyn’s arm around her shoulders.

Morgan tried to relieve as much weight as she could from Devyn as she helped her hobble to the waiting vehicle. Once Devyn was seated in the cramped back seat, Morgan dug out her emergency supply bag. She handed Devyn a blanket and a bottle of water. “I have a first aid kit, but I think you need something a little more than a bandage.”

“It’s just a few scratches. I’ll live.”

Morgan could see why Nick trusted Devyn with his back. As she looked at the battered and bruised woman, who had taken off into the desert in the middle of the night in bare feet to prevent a criminal from getting away, she had to admire her. Devyn had to be in extreme pain, yet not a complaint escaped her lips.

“Make room in the back,” Nick huffed.

Morgan looked up to see Nick trudging toward her with an inert Aaron slung over his shoulder. She raced to the tiny back cargo area and moved a few items around so Nick could squeeze the body in the vehicle.

“Is he dead?” Morgan whispered.

“Not quite, but we need to get him medical help A.S.A.P. The bullet didn’t hit any vital organs, but I’m not sure how much damage he suffered from the knock to the head.”

Morgan watched as Nick set the man down in the vehicle, and then she joined Devyn in the back seat. Turning around and kneeling, she was able to lean over the seat and assess Aaron’s injuries. She folded up a handkerchief and placed it over Aaron’s gunshot wound and applied pressure. She wasn’t sure which was bleeding more, the bullet hole or the bump and cut to the head, but she had to try and slow the blood loss any way she could.

“That’s all we can do for now,” Nick said. “Just keep the pressure on the best you can.”

Morgan nodded as Nick secured the back and then got behind the wheel.

“You okay?” Nick asked as he turned to face Devyn.

“I’ve had better days, but sadly, I’ve had worse.”


Buy link:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DTE29U2/

Bio: 



Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. Kim currently resides in Colorado, and when not writing, she enjoys gardening, travelling, hiking, and spending time with family.

Web contacts:

Website: http://kimmcmahill.com
Blog:  http://kimmcmahill.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/849945.Kim_McMahill

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Recipe Tuesday with Merry Holly

No, your eyes don't deceive you. It's July, not December. But my guest Merry Holly is here today with a recipe from book three of her contemporary romance series MORE THAN I WISHED FOR so we're celebrating Christmas in July. Season's Greetings and happy Chocolate Mousse everyone!


Thank you, Jana, here is the Chocolate Mousse Recipe from Noelle’s Surprise (3rd book in More Than I Wished For.) Chase has been wrapped up in his latest project leaving Noelle alone a lot in an unfamiliar place. She’s questioning her decision to marry a man she hardly knew. Chase fixes Noelle a romantic dinner to let her know she’s the most important person in his life. And promises to spend more time with her even if it puts him behind schedule.

Chase’s Recipe (Taken from American Cookery by James Beard)
Roulage Leontine or Chocolate Roll (Soufflé baked like a roll)

6 eggs
½ cup sugar
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon of vanilla
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of tartar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped, sweetened and flavored with vanilla, Cognac or 1 or 2 tablespoons sherry or kirsch.

Method:
Prepare the pan first; it should be an 11 x 16 x ½ inch pan. Butter it well, then fit wax paper in the bottom of the pan and butter the wax paper (only wax paper will work with this.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Soften the chocolate over hot (not boiling) water and let cool to room temperature. Separate eggs and beat the yolks until very light and lemon-colored. Add the sugar gradually, and continue beating until very light. Stir in the chocolate and beat again until the mixture is very light, adding the vanilla and salt, while beating. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until the whites are light and hold a soft peak. Fold into the chocolate mixture with a rubber or plastic spatula. Turn the bowl as you do this to incorporate the two mixtures evenly and retain as much air as possible.

Spread lightly into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated 350 degree oven approximately fifteen minutes (15) or until the roll pulls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a rack, put a damp towel over the pan, and leave for ten minutes (10). Take off the towel, loosen the sides of the roll, and turn onto wax paper sprinkled with cocoa or powdered sugar. Cool. Fill with the whipped cream, but do not spread it out to the edges. Lift the wax paper on one side, which will cause the cake to lift also and roll inward. Continue to roll, and roll off the paper onto a serving plate or onto a Roulage Leontine or a special chocolate roll board. This roll will often crack, but it does not matter. Serve cut in diagonal slices.

It will freeze, but not well, it’s best eaten fresh. It will hold perfectly at room temperature for 4 or 5 hours.

To make it a Chocolate Soufflé, follow these instructions:

Instead of spreading in a pan, turn the mixture into a buttered and sugared 1-quart soufflé dish and bake for about 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Serve with whipped cream. Soufflés are delicate, no bouncing on the floors while it’s baking. Large vibrations will cause it to drop.


Excerpt: Noelle’s Surprise by Merry Holly

The groceries, handbag and appointment book hit the floor.

Chase stood by the stove stirring something with her ‘Kiss the Cook’ apron on, and nothing else. Grinning, he walked to her, kissed her on the lips, and bent down to pick up everything she dropped. Turning her wrist, she checked the time. Four o’clock in the afternoon. It was the first time since they’d come to the island he was home this early.

“Hello, darling.” He put her things on the counter.

Staring, she couldn’t find the words to express her joy. “Chase…” Rushing to him, she wrapped her arms around him, pressing her body close to his, kissing him thoroughly.

“If I knew that would be my greeting, I’d leave work this early every day.” Tilting her head up, she let him work his way down her throat.

“Mmmm. You keep this up, and whatever you’re cooking will burn.”

He almost let it burn but thought twice about it. “I want you to sit right here, and I’ll serve you.” He pushed back, took her by the arm, and led her to the dining area off the kitchen, a room they rarely used. The table dressed in linens along with the Waterford candlesticks her mother had given her as part of her shower gift, created a lovely and romantic atmosphere scene. The hutch stood floor-to-ceiling the glass doors glistened as the waning sunlight bounced off the crystals. Framed in black, a couple entwined, eyeing each other, graced the wall. Painted in dark, mysterious colors, the picture evoked images of sensuous love. Tears swam in her eyes, but didn’t fall. Her heart soared at his effort.

“Everything is beautiful. What’s the occasion?”

“I love you. This is my apology for last night. I didn’t mean to start a fight or express distrust. You are my world, Noelle. Nobody else matters. And I trust no one more than you.”

“You’re my everything. I can’t stand the pettiness of some of the people here. When it starts to push into our relationship, it gets me crazy. Promise to never let it interfere with us again.”

“I promise.”

He started serving the first course. She patted him on his bare bottom as he turned back to the stove.

“A little chilly?”

“No.”

It melted her heart more when he placed one of her favorite dishes, prawns in a garlic and butter sauce, in front of her. “I didn’t know you could cook like this.”

“I had to learn to cook in the early days or starve. Wait until the main course.”

“How long have you been home?”

“A couple of hours.”

“Why didn’t you call me? I would’ve loved to have helped you.”

“That’s the point, isn’t it?  I wanted to treat you.” Before sitting down, he kissed her on the forehead. “You’re always taking care of me. I wanted to take care of you for a change. I hope you’re hungry.”

“I am. This looks wonderful, great presentation by the way.” He had circled the prawns around the plate with two different sauces, a remoulade and a hot cocktail sauce in the middle with a sprig of parsley on the side. Not only did it look beautiful it tasted delicious.

“So how did the doctor’s appointment go today?” he asked when he sat down.

“I missed the appointment. I got so involved at the orphanage, I lost track of time. In fact, once I put an idea together, I want to run it by you.”

“You missed your appointment.” He put down his fork, steeple his fingers. Not a good indicator.

“Yes, I’ll see him tomorrow at the same time. I’m feeling like my old self, so I really don’t see the need, but I’ll go to ease your mind.”

“It’s not for me. It’s for you and your health that I want you to see him. What idea?” And just like that the crisis is avoided, she thought.

“This island is so rich, but the kids at the orphanage don’t have clothes that fit them properly. Besides the Christmas in July event, I want to start a clothing drive that will go on all year long. Some of the children from rich families only wear an outfit once. I’m going to ask their parents to start donating them to the orphanage. This way the kids will fit in at school and social functions. Plus the rich kids go to private schools so someone showing up in one of their outfits won’t be a problem. What do you think?”

He stopped eating, put down his folk and picked up her hand and started nibbling on it. “I think you’re perfect. It’s great. What gave you the idea?”

“I took this little cutie out for ice cream today. She just stole my heart, Chase. So inquisitive, happy, she followed me around while I visited with the nuns. After ice cream, I bought her an outfit. When we got back to the home, Mother Superior told me it was a lovely gesture, but unfair to the other children. I was mortified I hadn’t noticed. I haven’t spoken to Sister Mary Catherine yet. I wanted to outline a plan first. What do you think?”

“I think it’s a grand idea. And I’m very proud of you for thinking of it.”
“I hope she thinks so too.”

“She will.”

Looking down, she couldn’t believe she had finished the appetizer.

Chase collected the plates. Noelle’s mind checked off everything she’d need to do to convince everyone else it was a good idea. Lost in thought, she jumped when he put the soup in front of her. Its fragrance filled her head.

Vichyssoise, another of her favorites—her man certainly knew what she liked. Spooning it up, she savored the flavor.

“I’m glad you like it. It’s the first time I’ve made that.”

“It’s the best I’ve ever had.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because you made it especially for me and served it up in that getup.” She took his hand, squeezed it while she continued to scoop it up. “After these two courses, I don’t know if I’ll have room for anything else.”

“We can always take a break.” He rubbed his hands up and down her arms then winked. “The main course will hold. It has to be grilled when we’re ready. And dessert goes into the oven when the steaks go on the grill.”

“What’s for dessert?”

“It’s a surprise.”

Noelle helped herself to a second bowl of soup before Chase danced her off to the bedroom, but not before he cranked up the violin concerto on the stereo.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

A #NewRelease from Barbara White Daille

My guest today is contemporary western romance writer Barbara White Daille. Barbara's new novel, COWBOY IN CHARGE, has just been released and she's here to tell us a little about it. Welcome Barbara!




Jana, thanks so much for hosting me today!

Readers, I’m happy to be sharing news about my new book with you.  And I love to chat, so feel free to leave comments and/or questions.

The new release, Cowboy in Charge, is a short contemporary romance, one of several stand-alone books in my series called The Hitching Post Hotel. Here’s a peek at what’s on the back cover of the book:


TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Single mom Layne Slater thought she'd seen the last of Jason McAndry when he chose the rodeo over her and their unborn son. Now Jason's back in Cowboy Creek and just as handsome as ever. But Layne can't give in to those feelings again. She has to protect her children…and her heart.

Jason wants to try to make up for the pain he caused when he left. The least he can do is help Layne while he's home. Before long, Jason realizes he's finally ready to be the husband, father and man his family deserves. But can Jason prove to Layne that this time, their love is forever?


And here’s a quick excerpt:

“Where’s home for you nowadays?” Layne asked.

“I don’t have a home.” She caught the bitterness in Jason’s tone. Then he laughed, and she realized she must have been mistaken. “Unless you call a bunkhouse full of cowboys a home.”

“I suppose it is, if that’s where you sleep every night.”

He glanced at her as if he suspected a double meaning from the comment. When she said nothing else, he shrugged. “To tell the truth, over the past few years, I’ve probably slept in my truck more than I have in the bunkhouse.”

Scott gasped. “Go to sleep in a truck?”

“I sure do,” he confirmed.

“Mommy, I can have a truck, too?”

“I don’t think so, honey. It wouldn’t fit in your bedroom. And where would we put Jill’s crib?”

“In my truck.”

She and Jason both laughed.

She blinked and looked away.

Scott’s questions had reminded her of the caution she’d given Jason about watching what he said in front of kids. She had been unforgivably offensive to him—again.

Somehow, she couldn’t seem to stop crossing the line between asserting her rights and fighting a long-dead battle.


For more info or to pre-order the book:



About the Author:
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.
A larger print reissue of A Rancher’s Pride, book one in Barbara’s popular Flagman’s Folly series, is now available exclusively from Harlequin, while the e-book version is available everywhere. Cowboy in Charge, the next book in The Hitching Post Hotel series (July), is now available for pre-order, with other books in the series to follow. At the end of 2016, she begins a new sweet romance series for Entangled Bliss.
You can find more info about Barbara and her books at the following locations: