Sunday, June 30th, 2013
Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday!
The rules are simple.
1. Post 6 paragraphs (no more, no less) from either a WIP or a published work.
2. Open to both un-published and published authors.
3. Post the link back to Sneak Peek Sunday so that others can hop along.
4. HAVE FUN!!
My Sneak Peek this week is a paranormal one from my book Make That Man Mine. The hero is a paranormal creature – one that’s a little bit different from the norm. A taniwha.
“George wants you to help me with my case.”
Emma jumped to her feet and pumped her fist in the air. “Yes!” She did an impromptu jig before noticing his gaze on her bouncing breasts. Emma froze then dropped into her chair, striving to keep embarrassment from crawling across her face. She must work on maintaining her cool.
“Don’t get too excited,” Jack growled. “You’re along on a trial basis only. You help out with the grunt work. Do what I say, when I say with no questions asked. Is that clear?”
“No problem,” Emma said, restraining a celebratory grin and the need to give him a cheeky salute. Hot damn. She was going to be a private dick. “What’s the case?”
“We’re investigating at the Mahoney Resort over on Waiheke Island. We think there’s a drug ring running out of the resort. Sports-enhancing drugs.”
“Sounds great. Are we going for the day? When are we going?” Emma wanted to jump and dance around the room in celebration. She was finding it difficult to sit still. Her first case and closer contact with Jack all in one hit. Life couldn’t get much better than this.
On her 25th birthday Emma Montrose decides it’s time to show bad boy investigator, Jack Sullivan she’s more than an efficient secretary. She’s a woman with needs, and she wants him.
Jack is a taniwha, a shifter, who requires women to satiate the sexual demands of the serpent within. Nothing more. Then work forces the reluctant Jack and ecstatic Emma undercover as a couple. Thrown together, pretence and reality blur generating hot sex laced with risk…
Order at: Ellora’s Cave (eBook) | Amazon Kindle | All Romance eBooks
To read more sneak peeks follow this Sneak Peek link. Sneak Peek Sunday is sponsored by Sara Walter Ellwood.
Saturday, June 29th, 2013
With the current wintery blast through New Zealand, I checked my recipe books and decided to try a new recipe, one that would cook in the crockpot while I worked on my writing. I came up with this recipe for Polenta and Vegetable Hotpot from One Pot, a book published by Bay Books.
300 grams (2 cups) polenta
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock or water
3 spring onions, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 courgette (zucchini), chopped
1 red or green capsicum (bell pepper), chopped
300 grams (10 oz) pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into small dice pieces
100 grams (3 oz) button mushrooms, chopped
300 grams corn kernels (either tinned or frozen)
100 grams (1 cup) grated parmesan cheese
1 handful chopped parsley
125 ml (1/2 cup) cream (optional)
1. Pour one tablespoon of oil into the slow cooker and spread over the bottom and sides to prevent the polenta sticking.
2. Pour in the polenta, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and ground black pepper.
3. Stir in the stock and the remaining oil and combine well.
4. Add the spring onion, tomato, zucchini, capsicum, pumpkin, mushrooms and corn and mix well.
5. Cook on high for 2–3 hours or until the vegetables are cooked and the polenta is soft. Make sure to stir several times during the cooking to prevent sticking.
6. Before serving, add the parmesan and parsley. You can also add the cream if you want to add extra creaminess.
7. Test seasoning and add extra salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with a green salad.
1. I enjoyed the end result very much, but if I made it again, I’d fry off the vegetables for a few minutes in a pan and add them a little bit later in the cooking process. I think this would add a little more flavor and color to the end product.
2. I don’t think the cream is necessary.
3. I’d serve it with a salad plus some garlic bread.
4. This really was delicious and would work for a vegetarian who eats dairy products.
Friday, June 28th, 2013
Back Cover Copy:
A riveting narrative history of food as seen through 100 recipes, from ancient Egyptian bread to modernist cuisine.
We all love to eat, and most people have a favorite ingredient or dish. But how many of us know where our much-loved recipes come from, who invented them, and how they were originally cooked? In A HISTORY OF FOOD IN 100 RECIPES, culinary expert and BBC television personality William Sitwell explores the fascinating history of cuisine from the first cookbook to the first cupcake, from the invention of the sandwich to the rise of food television. A book you can read straight through and also use in the kitchen, A HISTORY OF FOOD IN 100 RECIPES is a perfect gift for any food lover who has ever wondered about the origins of the methods and recipes we now take for granted.
A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William Sitwell
I’m a sucker for any book on the history of food since I love to cook and the origin of the recipes fascinates me.
The recipes in this book range from ancient ones for bread to more modern offerings like Asian salads, Steamed salmon with couscous and Fairy cakes. The earlier recipes are not recipes as we know them, and I wouldn’t recommend trying them even if you could source the ingredients, but they’re interesting none the less. Mr. Sitwell tells us stories of the past and the people who influenced food and wrote recipe books. We learn of the first known use of the recipes, the available equipment, and the interesting social details that give us a clear picture of the past. The book is written in a chatty manner with dry humor. It’s a book meant to be taken in small bites rather than read in one or two long gulps.
I enjoyed reading A History of Food very much and know I will refer to it often. The more modern recipes are ones I will make—in fact I’ve tried a couple already. I found this book interesting and learned lots of things I hadn’t previously known. A History of Food is the perfect book to give to a keen foodie as a birthday, Christmas or surprise gift. Highly recommended.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase A History of Food in 100 Recipes
Friday, June 28th, 2013
Not interested in knitting in the round? Wary of double-pointed needles? Now you can knit comfortable, attractive socks on straight needles. Alice Curtis shows you the secret to straight-needle sock knitting with her elegant technique for turning the necessary seam into an appealing design element.
Step-by-step instructions and photographs introduce the stitches and explain how to make a beautiful seam. Twenty unique patterns feature a variety of yarn weights and motifs and include instructions for a range of sizes.
This book contains instructions for making socks on straight knitting needles—an innovative idea for sure! There’s the basic sock pattern plus nineteen others for keen knitters. I was thrilled with the way this book is set out in a clear and concise manner with little tips and troubleshooting throughout. Details of gauge and pattern notes are shown with each pattern. The photographs illustrating the socks and the different methods used in the making of each pair of socks are beautiful and enticing.
The socks come in different sizes, which is a bonus for me with my big feet!
This book made me want to start knitting immediately. The patterns are suitable for immediate to advanced knitters. Knit Your Socks on Straight would make a great addition to the library of keen knitters and an excellent gift for the knitter in your family. Highly recommended.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase Knit Your Socks on Straight
Friday, June 28th, 2013
Ever since we arrived home from our last holiday, (beginning of June) I’ve been working extra hard with my writing. Yesterday, I finished the first draft of a sports romance, a book loosely tied to a new small town series I’m working on. Yay! I’m thrilled with my progress on this one since holidays normally throw me off stride and mess up my productivity. Not this time! Imagine me doing a fist pump here, because that’s what I did.
On Wednesday night I did an author talk at the Leys Institute Library at Ponsonby in Auckland. I spoke about erotic romance and had a fab time. I just love the libraries we have in the Auckland region, and I’m a very good customer! I use the library to borrow fiction and non-fiction books, audio books and sometimes magazines. As I said, I’m a regular visitor.
Today I caught up with housework—did the vacuuming, countless loads of washing, washed Bella’s blankets and tried out a new recipe for Cinnamon Scrolls. (Delicious – recipe to come)
Over the last few months Bella has suffered from an allergy on her feet. We took her to the vet and he prescribed pills plus a spray to make her feet taste horrible when she tries to chew on them. Bella’s feet healed while we were on holiday, but since our return home the allergy has come back. We’ve been trying to work out what she’s allergic to and after much discussion, hubby suggested the laundry powder. I purchased some natural laundry powder for those with sensitivity and have used this to wash her blankets.
This seems to have done the trick and her feet seem much better over the last two days. Hopefully, the problem is solved because the poor puppy suffers, and she hates the foot spray. She runs when she sees the bottle.
Anything exciting happening in your world?
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
I’ve been in a writing mood recently, which is great from my point of view. Today, I wrote “the end” on my current work in progress. Since my mind is in the groove, I thought I’d give some advice to aspiring authors.
1. Sit down and write every day. Make writing into a good habit.
2. Join a writing group, either a chapter or an online community for support.
3. Read and read widely. Analyze books that work for you and those that don’t. Use them as a learning tool.
4. Make a point to learn about websites and social media.
5. Enter writing competitions to help yourself improve and also to give yourself a writing deadline.
6. Research markets, agents and editors to familiarize yourself with what publishers and agents are looking for. This will help you narrow down who to submit your book to. If you’re thinking about self-publishing learn as much as you can about the process.
7. Keep a record of how much you can comfortably write each day. Knowledge of your possible output will help you once you’re published and facing deadlines.
8. Take online classes and attend conferences to learn as much as you can. I’ve been published for a while now, and I’m still learning!
9. When it comes to actual plotting, try all the different methods. Plotting, pansting and in between until you find a method that works for you.
10. There is no right or wrong way to write a book. There is only your way.
11. Find a critique partner/s to help critique your work and critique other writers’ work. This is a learning process too.
12. Once you’ve completed and polished your book send it off to your chosen publisher or agent. While you’re waiting, start work on your next book. If you’re self-publishing, complete the publishing process and start work on the next book.
13. Celebrate each success because writing is a difficult business and plain hard work.
Do you have any suggestions to add to my list?
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
This photo of a stall selling tomatoes was taken in Barcelona. I loved the colors and all the different shaped tomatoes. The sight certainly put me in a cooking mood. There is nothing tastier than a freshly made tomato sandwich, garnished with basil.
Today I’m visiting Romance Cooks where I have a yummy cookie recipe for you to try. There are lots of other recipes at this site too. If you enjoy cooking Romance Cooks is an excellent site for you to check out.
Do you like tomatoes and what is your favorite way to eat them?
Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
This photo was taken in Mt Maunganui, New Zealand at the Sport Fishing Club. They were holding a fishing contest and we watched the entrants bring in their catches for weighing. This is a marlin. Personally, I don’t enjoy fishing and think it’s a cruel sport, but hubby is a keen fisherman and he enjoyed watching the weigh in. I think he had fish envy when he saw this one!
I’m visiting Sharon Buchbinder today and talking about motorcycles in movies and books. I hope to see you there.
Do you enjoy fishing?
Monday, June 24th, 2013
Hubby and I went away for the weekend to Matakana, north of Auckland. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a camera. Mr. Munro took several photos with his phone, but for some unknown reason his phone is holding them to ransom. Hopefully, we’ll break them out of captivity soon!
Instead of showing you the gorgeous beach we walked along, I’m posting a photo of Mt. Ngauruhoe, which is one of the trio of volcanoes situated in the middle of the North Island. This photo was taken during the summer. At present the entire Tongariro National Park is covered with snow and is a very cold place indeed!
Today it’s my turn to blog at Not Your Usual suspects. My post is a writerly one about getting words on the page.
Did you do anything special during the weekend?
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
Do you enjoy a little sport in your romance?
My sneak peek today comes from Issy’s Infatuation – a romance featuring rugby.
Tyler Jameson waited for the all clear before entering the changing shed. “Everyone ready for training?” His gaze scanned over the women in the changing room. Hell. There was always one. He ignored the blatant show of curved assets and counted the number of women present. Great. Everyone was here.
“Warm up first. Stretches then two laps of the field.” The collective groan made him grin. But despite the rain, which had eased slightly, and the brisk wind outside, the women filed outside, eager to start training. Allen, his mentor, had said they were keen and he’d boasted that several of his players were good prospects for the Black Ferns. Tyler was looking forward to coaching them. He scanned the faces of the remaining team members and did a double take.
“Issy? Is that you?” Issy Deans halted in front of him, a deer-caught-in-the-headlights expression on her face. His friend’s sister wasn’t all skin and bones with gangly legs anymore. He grabbed her in a quick hug, hormones zapping to stunned life and heading south. Well, hell, she didn’t feel gangly either. “Great to see you. Allen told me you’re one of his stars.”
“Tha-thanks,” she muttered.
Tyler hid a grin at the cute stutter. She’d always stuttered a little. “Better get out there before the rest of the team think I’m playing favorites.”
Issy cast him an uncertain look before inching past. Did she think he was going to bite? Once clear of the changing rooms, she broke into a trot, the smooth motion beautiful to watch and the flex of her ass a wonderful thing. The woman had grown into her gangly legs. He grinned openly. Hell yeeeah. He’d like a bite of that. Maybe he’d ask her out. There was only a month left of the season. Under normal circumstances, he’d keep well away from romantic entanglements, keep things professional, but since the season was almost done and he was moving on to take the Auckland assistant coach position, he thought he could justify personal involvement. As long as her brothers didn’t appear home on leave from the army to act the heavy chaperones. Damn, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Purchase Issy’s Infatuation
So, do you think Issy is going to get over her infatuation with Tyler?