Friday, September 14, 2018

Pitched Three New Wolf Tales!





Pictures I took of origami at the Minnesota arboretum and of Axel, emergent Arctic 2-year-old wolf at the International Wolf Center. And then of Holly, 2-year-old black bear at the bear center nearby.




So I pitched three new stories–red wolf Christmas (Leidolf’s pack), Billionaire Wolf (Rafe’s friend), and Wolff (2 brothers and 2 sisters that own the Timberline Ski Lodge in Silver Town) for publication in 2020.

Also, I asked if we could do a 10th year anniversary re-release of Destiny of the Wolf. Yes! This will be for 2019, and I’ll have 3 other new releases that year also: You Had Me at Jaguar, SEAL Wolf Surrender, and the Silver Bells Wolf Christmas, whatever the title will be. And I will be writing a brand new novella to include in the re-release of Destiny of the Wolf also.


 Purple Halloween bear I make.


I finished a bear I need to send off to Australia, and was working on another Halloween bear, this one with orange fur (new fur). My Janome of decades conked out on me, so I had to buy a new heavy duty Singer, much lower price, but as much as I use them for as many years as I do, it’s still a cheap investment. My Janome cost me about $13 a year.

We received 2 inches of rain, yay! But it looks like we’re drying out after this. And it’s heating up, then finally starting to cool down a little bit. Yay!

I’m off to write on Cougar Magic, trying to write the final scenes. Only 10,000 words to go, then need to jump on the novella for Destiny of the Wolf. Then I’ll be working on Claiming the White Bear, I have some of them adrift on an ice floe and need to rescue them! What I do to my poor characters!

Have a great day!!!!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/u63qP
Follow Me for new releases and book deals: www.bookbub.com/authors/terry-spear
signature line email Dreaming of a White Christmas, Flight of the White Wolf, etc 300 x120

Thursday, September 13, 2018

EVERY DEEP DESIRE One-Day only $1.99 Sale!

For today only (September 13, 2018), the e-book version of EVERY DEEP DESIRE is a Kindle Daily Deal! That means it's on sale for $1.99 across all platforms!!


EVERY DEEP DESIREthe first in the Deadly Force Series, has recently been nominated for TCK Publishing's 2018 Reader's Choice Awards for best romance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it!

HE'S TAKING IT ALL BACK

Rafe Montfort was a decorated Green Beret, the best of the best, until a disastrous mission and an unforgivable betrayal destroyed his life. Now this deadly soldier has returned to the sultry Georgia swamps to reunite with his brothers and take back all he lost. But his wife, Juliet, must never know the truth behind what he's done . . . or the dangerous secret that will take him from her forever.

HIS HONOR, HIS FREEDOM, AND THE WOMAN HE LOVES

It took Juliet Capel eight long years to put her life back together after her husband's disgrace. Now Rafe is back, determined to protect her at any cost, and it's not just her heart in danger. The swamps hold a secret long buried and far deadlier than either of them could have imagined. . .

$1.99 BUY LINKS for EVERY DEEP DESIRE:

For the Kindle version, click here:  AMAZON

For the Nook version, click here: BARNES & NOBLE 

It's also available at: Kobo  |  IndieBound iBooks | Google Books

Praise for Every Deep Desire:  

“EXCELLENT... DARKLY COMPELLING.” ~ RT Book Reviews

"PHENOMENAL! … Filled with action and passion that will leave you breathless." ~ Joyfully Reviewed

"Intriguing, with steamy romance and forbidden love… You will not be able to turn the pages fast enough!" ~Fresh Fiction




Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google Books
And adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cowboy SEAL Christmas Excerpt

Three former Navy SEALs
Injured in the line of duty
Desperate for a new beginning…
Searching for a place to call their own.

Single mom and Revival Ranch’s on-site therapist Monica Finley has dedicated her life to helping brave servicemen and women, but former Navy SEAL Gabe Cortez is the one man whose shell she just can’t crack. Yet with the holidays fast approaching, she may finally have a plan. In a bid to get Gabe to open up, she’ll ask for as much help as possible—cutting down the Christmas tree, stringing lights, the whole nine yards.

Who could possibly be a Grinch with so much holiday cheer in the air?

Gabe has always hated Christmas—the holiday never fails to remind him just how alone he truly is. But the more time he spends with Monica and her young son, the more he finds himself drawn to their cozy little family…and the more he begins to realize his long-suppressed Christmas dreams may finally be coming true.
*******
Enjoy this excerpt from Cowboy SEAL Christmas!



And then they were all heading for the stairs—Monica and Colin bickering over bedtimes, Alex and Becca sleepily arm in arm, and Gabe was left alone, seemingly forgotten, just him and the dogs.
He got up, ready to head out and ignore any of the idiotic disappointment in his chest. But bottles and glasses littered the coffee table, along with a few paper plates. He’d just grab those and throw them away, cutting down on some of the work Monica had to do. Quickly, before she came back down.
He collected the plates and a few bottles, disposing of them in the appropriate receptacles in the kitchen. Then he figured he could unload the dishwasher real quick, since he’d lived here before the bunkhouse had been ready and he knew where everything went.
Once he’d done that and added another load, he went back to the living room. He’d just collect the remainder of the glasses and then Monica wouldn’t have to do anything.
“Oh.”
Gabe glanced toward the sound. Monica stood at the bottom of the stairs, and he couldn’t read her expression or begin to understand what that oh had meant.
“Got most of it done. Just these left.” He ignored the glasses he’d been going for and moved toward the door. “I was getting ready to head out though.”
Monica shook her head, grabbing her glass of wine and refilling it with the last of the bottle. “Stay. Have a drink with me.”
Gabe watched her suspiciously. “Why?”
She plopped herself onto the couch, staring at the fire instead of back at him. “Because otherwise I’m going to sit here and wallow about the passage of time. I’d rather bicker with you.”
He’d regret it—he knew he’d regret it—and yet he couldn’t seem to resist. Much as he hated to admit it, he wasn’t tired enough to sleep instead of wallow.
He was at least smart enough to take a seat in the armchair instead of next to her on the couch. And he was not about to drink any more.
“So, why aren’t you with your family?” she asked with no preamble.
Family. Funny word, that. Still, he didn’t wince. He knew he’d be asked. He had his rote answers prepared. “They live all the way on the other side of the country.”
“I do believe they have these things called airplanes.”
“Really? Haven’t heard of them.”
Her mouth curved, and she looked different in the flickering firelight. Fragile almost, where usually she looked impossibly sturdy and strong.
“Why aren’t you with yours?”
“My parents are on a cruise celebrating their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.” She smiled fondly, but it died quickly. “Colin’s other grandparents don’t much care for us. Well, that isn’t fair. We remind them of Dex, and they…well, I suppose they haven’t fully dealt with their grief. I’m not sure I can blame them. I’m not sure all the therapist training in the world would help me if I ever lost…” She shook her head. “See? Morbid wallowing. I don’t want it. Say something obnoxious.”
“Marines are pussies.”
She barked out a laugh, then covered her mouth, presumably since there were people sleeping upstairs.
She had a good laugh. Loud and uninhibited. Hell, he needed a beer.
“My dad is not a pussy,” she said, sounding far more amused than offended.
Gabe shrugged. “I’m sure he doesn’t think so.”
Monica shook her head. She’d worn her hair down today, which she rarely did. In the firelight, it was tinged red, and seriously, he had to get his ass out of this chair and get a beer.
But he sat. And he watched her.
She cleared her throat, holding the wineglass with both hands, staring hard at the fire in the fireplace. The dogs had disappeared at some point when he’d been cleaning, so it really was just him and Monica.
“I know I don’t owe you any explanation about how I treat my son, but…well, you’re very good with him. He looks up to you. All three of you really, and it’s good for him to have you three as influences in his life. But he seems to be particularly connected to you.”
Everything in him tensed, chilled. That careful tone of voice, the way she wouldn’t meet his gaze. He knew what came next. He’d been here before, hadn’t he? “And you want me to stay away?”
“No, not at all.” She frowned, her gaze all shock and confusion as it met his. “Why would you think that?”
Gabe looked down at his hands. He hadn’t realized he’d gripped them both into tight fists, but there they were—white knuckled and clenched. He tried to come up with some explanation, but in the end, his scratchy voice just managed some lame excuse. “I’m not his dad.”
“No, but he needs people of all stripes in his life, people who’ll teach him different things and offer him different opportunities. He needs people to look up to because he feels a connection. I’ll always be a shade too overprotective. I’ve worked through some of it, but…Dex died…”
He unclenched his fists and placed his hands on the arms of the chair, ready to push out of it. “You don’t have to explain it to me.”
“But I want to. I want you to understand. You’re a part of Colin’s life.” She said it so seriously, so baldly. None of her usual therapist carefulness in picking the words. He knew better than to look, but he couldn’t seem to help himself.
She was staring at him, emotion written all over her face. An earnestness, a hope, and, underneath all that, love—love for her son.
Gabe was somehow rendered speechless by that, and he was never, ever speechless.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Excerpt from Cowboy Charm School


When Texas Ranger Brett Tucker accidentally derails a wedding, he’s determined to bring the estranged couple back together...but he never dreamed he’d start falling for the bride!

Texas Ranger Brett Tucker hates to break up a wedding, but the groom—notorious criminal Frank Foster—is a danger to any woman. So he busts into the church, guns blazing...only to find he has the wrong man.

STOP THAT WEDDING!

Bride-to-be Kate Denver is appalled by her fiancé’s over-the-top reaction to the innocent mistake and calls off the wedding—for good. Guilt-ridden, Brett’s desperate to get them back on track. But the more time he spends with Kate, the harder he falls…and the more he yearns to prove that he’s her true match in every way.

Enjoy this excerpt from Cowboy Charm School!

Could she ever forgive the man for breaking up her wedding?

            “Miss Denver. I’m afraid we didn’t get properly introduced the other day. I’m Brett Tucker, Texas Ranger.”
             “I know who you are,” she said, her voice as hard as the peanut brittle displayed in the glass counter standing between them.
            He sucked in his breath. If looks could kill, he’d be a goner for sure. Not that he could blame her. Thanks to him, not only was her interrupted wedding the talk of the town, the Haywire Dispatch had planted the story on the front page beneath a bold headline: Wedding Ends in Disaster.
            Brett cleared his throat. “I…eh…came to apologize again for what happened. I had no idea that there were two Frank Fosters.” Thinking that an explanation was in order, he continued, “The Foster I was looking for is a wanted man. I’ve been on his trail for a long while.” Twice Brett had almost caught him. Both times the man had slipped away.
             “When I heard that someone by that name was getting married, I immediately assumed it was the fugitive I’ve been chasing.”
            Miss Denver crossed her arms. “Next time you might want to look before you leap.”
            “I hope to God there isn’t a next time, ma’am. I never want to stop another wedding.” He rubbed his still sore chin.  “All I could think about was saving you.”
            “Saving me?” She stared at him. “You don’t even know me.”
            “Not personally, ma’am, that’s true. But the Frank Foster I’m after is a danger to any woman.”
            She said nothing, and he continued. “I hope you’ll let me make it up to you. If there’s anything I can do…?”
            “I believe you’ve done quite enough already, Mr. Tucker,” she said, her voice as cool as the eyes boring into him.
            He drew in his breath. She wasn’t making it easy but then, why should she? Still, he wasn’t ready to give up. “There must be something. I tried bailing your fiancé out of jail, but he refused to accept my help.”
            Something flickered in the depths of her eyes. “If you’re serious about wanting to do something, you’ll leave town and not return.”
            Tilting his Stetson forward, he rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m afraid that will be a little hard to do, ma’am.” A crime wave had hit the county, overwhelming local lawmen. The opportunity to serve as a special Texas Ranger couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Brett was sent to Haywire to assist the sheriff in bringing the culprits to justice, but the reason he’d volunteered for the job was far more personal.
            “I’m here on special commission from Captain McMurray.”
            Miss Denver greeted his news with a look of disdain. “Then I suggest you attend to your business and stay away from the rest of us.”
            “As you wish,” he said.  He made quick strides toward the door before stopping. Glancing over his shoulder, he found her watching him. “Your dress,” he said. “I’d feel a whole lot better if you’d let me pay for any damage.” He had no idea the cost of a wedding gown, but it couldn’t be cheap.
             “Go.” she said with a beseeching look. “Please. Just…go.”


***


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Maverick's Launch Party!

by Cheryl Brooks

It's hard to believe the first book in the original Cat Star Chronicles series, Slave, (the ebook version is currently free!) was released a little over ten years ago, but there's no denying the math. That first contract called for a six-book series. Then along came a contract for three more. Then the book I simply had to write, Rebel, made it an even ten.

I took a break from the cats after that, but I always figured I could keep writing about them forever. After all, Zetithian children are born in litters of three, so I'd given myself plenty of material to work with. I had my pick of the next generation, but the obvious choice of where to start was with the first children born to the characters in Slave and the second book, Warrior.

Enter Larry Tshevnoe and Althea Banadänsk. Their voyage to romance is a bit bumpy, but suffice it to say, they were meant for each other from the very beginning. They just had to figure it out for themselves.

So... How should we celebrate Maverick's release? 

Balloons, maybe?


Or a bit of bubbly stuff?


Or just Maverick's out-of-this-world cover?

Yeah. That'll do.

And a blurb, of course:

Being irresistible to every species in the galaxy isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Having the Zetithian feline gene gives Larsanken "Larry" Tshevnoe awesome beauty and sensuality unmatched by any other males in the universe. But it can make the quest for true love...complicated.

Enter childhood friend and fellow Zetithian Althea Banadänsk. Her empathic powers make her the only one who can know if a woman truly loves Larry for himself, and Althea would do anything to help her friend...even if that means hiding her own intense craving for him.

But when a distress call sends them off course-and into danger-they find more than their hearts are at stake. Now it's up to them to become the champions of truth and justice throughout the galaxy...or risk losing it all.

Buy links:
https://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Star-Legacy-Cheryl-Brooks-ebook/dp/B07CP3ZBZR/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1522190538&sr=1-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=cherybrookaut-20&linkId=e8fe698e915b0733dee5d72798784553



https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/maverick-36

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maverick-cheryl-brooks/1128305734?ean=9781492661603
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/maverick/id1377695051?mt=11








And best of all, a Rafflecopter giveaway of a signed copy of Maverick! This book will be coming to you directly from me, so please use the Rafflecopter so I'll have email addresses to contact the winner. Trust me, your email address is safe with me!

Rafflecopter Question: Are you familiar with the Cat Star world or are my super-sexy Zetithians completely new to you?

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

An Excerpt from Do or Die Cowboy by June Faver

Enjoy this excerpt from Do Or Die Cowboy, first in A Dark Horse Cowboys, a contemporary western romantic suspense series.

Putting it all on the line for love…
Cowboy musician Tyler Garrett has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to put aside his rough-and-tumble rancher’s lifestyle and realize his dream. He’s on the road to Dallas to record a demo when that dream gets kicked sideways by a beautiful woman on the run.Leah Benson will do whatever it takes to keep her daughter safe. But when her dangerous past catches up with her, she needs a hero—and luckily for her, Tyler Garrett was born and bred for the role.



Leah stood as if frozen, gripping a handful of papers to her breast. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t think. She couldn’t feel.

The sound of the diesel motor starting up ripped into her soul like a chainsaw. If her feet could move, she might run outside and beg Ty to stay, but that was not an option. He had already given his time and energy to helping her and her family in so many ways she couldn’t keep track of them. Now, she had to be strong enough to let him go.

She willed her taut muscles to relax. To feel the flow of energy return to her extremities. To be able to breathe, and think, and move.

Sucking in a lungful of air, she blew it out forcefully. She didn’t cry. No, that wouldn’t do at all. She owed it to him to be more of a woman at his departure than she was when he had arrived in her life.

A strangled sound escaped her throat. She swallowed hard. No. None of that. I will be strong.

She swallowed and fumbled with the documents she held. Her fingers felt clumsy and wooden, but she managed to place her papers on the desk. It was almost time to lock up and go home, but she slumped into her chair, staring off into the corner. She slipped away from her surroundings and relived every moment of her life that Ty had touched.

She recalled when he had first bought a meal for her and Gracie. How fearful and wary she had been. And then when he’d caught up to her on the road in the broken down car. He never hesitated to do the right thing. To offer a hand. To be a hero.

She swiped at a tear that rolled down her cheek. “No!” she said aloud, startled at the sound of her own voice rebounding back from all the hard surfaces. “No,” she whispered.

It was after five o’clock and she could escape, but she was reluctant to return home and see the faces of both Gran and Gracie. What would they think? Did they know already?

Biting her lip, she groped for the keys and for her small bag. She pushed her chair up tight to the desk and turned out the lights. She locked up, noting the sign in the window and a reflection in the glass gazing back at her. A distraught woman. A victim. 

No! Her voice shouted in her head. I am not a victim.

Straightening her spine, she stomped off to her car and threw herself inside. Not a victim. Never again a victim. Slamming the door, she stuck the key in the ignition and started the car, revving the motor too hard. People on the sidewalk turned to stare at her. Embarrassed, she backed out and quickly pulled into the street wanting to escape the questioning gazes. By the time she reached the edge of town, she could almost breathe. The tightness in her chest was abating, only to be replaced by a hollow ache.

How could I fall in love with him when I knew he was just passing through? How could I be so stupid? She hammered herself with recriminations all the way back to the ranch. She turned onto the caliche road and slowed to turn into Gran’s drive.

Her throat closed up when she saw the empty space where Ty had parked his big red truck…and the horse trailer was missing too. Of course he would take his prize horse. She felt as if she were choking, as she coasted to a stop. She turned off the vehicle and sat for a moment, gathering her courage. Okay, I can do this. I can’t let Gracie see me this way. She stepped out of the car, just as the screen door burst open and Gracie came running out.Gracie threw herself at Leah, grabbing her neck with both arms, the cast encircling her like a vise. “Mommy! Mommy! Guess what?”

The screen door banged again and two dogs came running after Gracie.

“What?” Leah managed weakly.

“Ty had to go to Dallas.”

Leah squatted down in the dirt to embrace her daughter. Eddie came up to lick her arm and jump up against Gracie. Lucky came on the other side and sat beside her.

“And he said he thought I was responsible enough to take care of Lucky, so I’m baby-sitting him.”

The weight of this announcement hit her like a fist. Leah blinked rapidly. “He left his dog?”Gracie nodded furiously.

Leah glanced from Gracie to Lucky and back again. “Oh,” she whispered. “He’s coming back! He’s really coming back.” She collapsed in a heap, falling on her rear in the dust and taking Gracie with her. Both dogs clustered around, poking her with their cold noses and giving her reassuring licks. She lay on her back, staring up at the early evening sky with a big grin on her face, tears of joy rolling into her hair. Just like that, everything changed.

“Mommy, what’s wrong?” Gracie stared at her with concern.

“Nothing, Baby. Nothing at all.”

Saturday, September 1, 2018

A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas and Chance at a Free Copy of the CD for A Billionaire in Wolf's Clothing




When the wolves’ own blood betrays them, they risk their lives to find a miracle.
Wolf shifter Dr. Aidan Denali has been working day and night to find a cure for werewolves’ alarmingly sudden decline in lifespan. The key to the problem eludes him. But when Aidan grudgingly leaves his work to do some holiday shopping, he meets a remarkable she-wolf whose mysterious pack could bring him one step closer to the answer.
Dr. Holly Gray is thrilled to meet the wolf who’s been working so hard to help others. Now, it’s her turn to help him. But while their attraction is sizzling, the packs are at odds, and the danger is increasing. It’s going to take a holiday miracle for Holly and Aidan to get themselves―and their loved ones―out of this alive…
Billionaire Wolf series:
Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing (Book 1)
A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas (Book 2)
What People Are Saying About Terry Spear’s Wolf Shifters:
“Packed with adventure… Magnificently entertaining.”―RT Book Reviews TOP PICK for Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing, 4 ½ Stars
“Spear has become a master storyteller.”―RT Book Reviews for Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply, 4 Stars
“Nobody does werewolf romances like Terry Spear. The romance sizzles, the mystery intrigues, and the characters shine.”―The Royal Reviews




Booklist Review!
https://www.booklistonline.com/A-Billionaire-Wolf-for-Christmas-Terry-Spear/pid=9703657
Spear’s second Billionaire Wolf novel, following A Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing (2016), combines sexy paranormal romance with a lot of suspense. Spear leaves the possibility for sequels tantalizingly open.
— Lois Ray
And the book is coming out Sept 25! They changed the date on me. Which works for me!



Buy Links for A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Billionaire-Wolf-Christmas-Terry-Spear/dp/1492655848/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-billionaire-wolf-for-christmas-terry-spear/1127704371?ean=9781492655848
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Terry_Spear_A_Billionaire_Wolf_for_Christmas?id=acxdDwAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-billionaire-wolf-for-christmas
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-billionaire-wolf-for-christmas/id1391355951?mt=11
BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=7079882685730&query=billionaire+wolf+for+christmas&filter=product_type%3Abooks

 Are you ready to take a Billionaire Wolf home with you for Christmas?


Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/u63qP
Follow Me for new releases and book deals: www.bookbub.com/authors/terry-spear
signature line email Seal Wolf Undercover, Cougar Undercover, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas, My Highlander 300 x120

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Summertime Refreshment: Gazpacho!

by Cheryl Brooks

Yeah, I know I have a book release coming up next Tuesday, (Cat Star Legacy 1: Maverick) but right now, I'm more concerned with what to do with all the produce from my garden! I've made squash soups, several loaves of zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, ratatouille, two batches each of salsa and sweet pickle relish, fried up a ton of okra, and frozen enough green beans to make it through the winter.


Just when I think I have things under control, I go out to the garden and find all the giant zucchinis and cucumbers that have been hiding from me. This year, I planted cosmos, zinnias, and coreopsis in the corners of the garden, and the cucumbers have been climbing through them to latch onto the fence. Hidden in the foliage, I don't spot them until they're already humongous!

Gazpacho is another tasty way to use up excess produce. I've made this a few times, and if you double the recipe, you can condense quite a few veggies until they fit into one large pitcher. For added flavor, try adding some fresh basil or use basil-flavored olive oil. (I've made that, too!)

Don't sweat the chopping overmuch. The blender will do most of the work for you. *:D big grin

Gazpacho 


Ingredients

4 large (not gargantuan) tomatoes, cored and chopped (about 2 pounds total)
2 sweet banana peppers (or 1 of those big, long red ones whose name I don’t know) cored, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 tsp onion powder (if raw onions don’t bother you, you can use a small white or red onion, peeled and chopped)
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions
  1. Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion (or onion powder), and garlic in a blender at high speed until smooth. I usually blend the tomatoes first, then gradually add the other vegetables.
  2. With the motor running, add the vinegar and salt, then drizzle in the olive oil and blend until creamy and orange-colored.
  3. Strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, and discard the remaining solids. Pour into a glass pitcher and chill until ready to serve. Adjust the seasoning to taste and enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Linda Broday: Fall's Coming!


The months have really whizzed by and fall is almost here. That means county fairs. I can't wait.

There is nothing better than fair food--the fried Oreos, Twinkies and fried cheese, the hamburgers and fries, the pizza. Yummy. Which brings me to my subject of the fried pie.

Pies have been around since Medieval times when they needed something to seal in the juices of cooked meat or fruit. Someone (whoever it was earned my undying gratitude) developed dough and it was perfect.

But in the 1800s, these upstart, practical Americans came up with something truly ingenious--the FRIED PIE.

No one really knows where they originated but a good many believe they came from the mountains of the Carolinas, Kentucky, and Virginia.

Early on, they were called "hand pies" or "crab lanterns."



Whatever they were called, these were enthusiastically received. They were portable, no mess and you held them in your hand. Didn't need a fork or plate. Folks could pack them into a protective tin and put in saddlebags, put them in lunch pails, take them on trains or out on the range.

First, for those who don't know what they are, I should probably explain. Picture this-- a circle of dough, a filling of either fruit or meat on one side, the other half folded over then crimped with a fork to seal the edges, after which they're put into a fryer of hot grease.

Absolutely out of this world!

Even the health conscious can enjoy them....baked.

Many prefer a meat filling of beef or chicken and those are really yummy too. The Hispanics have something similar called empanadas. Oh man, I love those too!

I like that they’re an old treat and have been around for a long time. I close my eyes sometimes and picture a wife bringing a plate of them to the table and how eyes would light up.

Some would argue that fried pies are a Southern treat, but hold up there, pardner!



Our 14th president, Franklin Pierce, who hailed from New Hampshire, craved fried pies and brought them with him to the White House. (1853-1857)

In Texas Mail Order Bride, Book #1 of the Bachelors of Battle Creek series, my middle bachelor Rand Sinclair's mother made them and Rand sold them out of his Lily of the West Saloon. Cooper Thorne with his notorious sweet tooth was a regular customer. His favorite was peach along with a bottle of sarsaparilla.

I love apricot the best but I like them all and can eat my weight in them. Sometimes I resort to buying them in the grocery store but they really can’t compare to homemade.

How about you? Have you eaten a fried pie (or baked)? What do you think of them? Which are your favorites?



Monday, August 6, 2018

Brave New Earl is Out


Brave New Earl is out! I’m so pleased that people have been enjoying it. Publishers Weekly said it has "complex, intriguing characterization…in an endearing, optimistic story of second chances." And Long and Short Reviews called it "a wonderful book to pick up if you are in need of a sweet and satisfying happy ever after. All the main characters are engaging and convincingly brought to life and I finished the story with a smile on my face." Booklist was kind enough to say that "Ashford begins the Way to a Lord’s Heart series by, once again, expertly bending the conventions of Regency historicals to gift readers with a refreshingly different, sweetly romantic love story they will long remember." I hope you may agree.



Friday, August 3, 2018

Excerpt from To Have And To Harley

Please enjoy this excerpt from To Have And To Harley, first in the new series Bikers & Brides.



His footsteps were heavy on the steps to Wolf’s front porch. As he stopped, his fist raised to knock, voices inside met his ears.
“…would just listen to me for a minute, I know what I’m talking about.”
“Come on, Ace. You don’t know anything more about this crap than any of us do.”
“No, no, that’s where you’re wrong. I’ve been watching a documentary series about weddings, and now I know how brides think.”
A snort came from someone, probably Wolf. “And what series is that?”
Say Yes to the Dress.”
A chorus of groans and curses followed, with some yelps that indicated Ace’s smart-ass ways were earning him a few punches to the arm.
Trey rested his fist against the door, head hanging down.
Every time. Every goddamn time. Whenever he was ready to give up on everything for the good of the group, they’d rush right underneath him and hold him up.
“Boss?”
Wolf had opened the door, causing Trey’s hand to fall. Trey just looked at him for a long, hard moment.
“Everybody’s here.”
“Wolf,” Trey said, his voice even rougher than usual. “Step outside.”
Wolf glanced over his shoulder, then let the front door close behind him. They were alone on Wolf’s front porch, the painted white railings and dusky-gray boards surrounding them.
“I’m thinking about…” Trey coughed. “Sorry. I’m going to call off the wedding project.”
Wolf’s nostrils flared, the only indication of his surprise. “Why, Boss?”
Trey looked past Wolf, down toward the gravel path that led the way off their property, toward the highway. The road he’d take to her—Bethany.
God, he was going to miss her.
“Because I’ve put too much on you guys. Last night wouldn’t have gone down the way it had if Jameson hadn’t been on edge from the wedding.”
Wolf shook his head, crossing his big arms over his chest.
“No way. You wouldn’t have been able to stop him from snapping when Vinnie said that. You know he’s sensitive about kids.”
Trey looked down at his second. “Whether or not I could have, my decision is made. I wanted you to know first.”
The corners of Wolf’s mouth turned down, difficult as they were to see with his majestic beard. “Of course it’s your call, Boss. But they’ve really been enjoying all this.”
Trey scoffed, but Wolf continued. “Really. It’s given them something new to do. A challenge. Hell, I’ve enjoyed it myself. And honestly”— the volume of Wolf’s voice lowered as he stepped closer—“I think it’s been good for you too.”
Trey bared his teeth. “Don’t play armchair psychologist with me.”
“As long as I’ve known you, you’ve never smiled the way you have the last few weeks. I’ve noticed it. We’ve all noticed it. And that’s why we’ve thrown ourselves into this wedding crap. We care about you, Boss. And if this makes you happy, then that’s what we want to do.”
Trey shook his head. The burden of this… It was too much. Feeling was too much. He wished he could go back to before that investigator waltzed in and capsized his life.
But he couldn’t wind back the clock, and he couldn’t undo the damage. Especially those little dents in his heart that had been given by a certain girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and the sweetest smile he’d ever seen.
“My mind’s made up. The wedding planning is over.”
“Aw, come on, Boss! I was just getting good at it! Come on, I brought a freaking vision board!”
Trey started, then whirled on his heel. Ace was standing there in the open front door, an intense frown on his normally jovial face.
“Seriously.”
“What the hell is a vision board?”
Ace grinned, then ducked into the house. Trey followed, Wolf at his heels.
“Look. See, fabric swatches, patterns… Look, I even did a mock-up of the cake.”
“I told him that design wouldn’t work,” Doc interjected. “Look at the way those tiers are stacked. It’ll never hold up under all that fondant.”
“If you used some supports of some kind under that edge,” Wolf pointed, “then it would probably have more structural integrity. Can’t you have each layer stacked on cardboard?”
Doc scoffed as Ace nodded. Dean shook his head. “I don’t like the colors.”
Ace rounded on him. “What do you mean? It’s white and pink! Chicks love pink!”
“Yeah, when they’re seven. Grow the hell up, man. Grown women don’t like pink.”
A full-scale argument erupted, and all Trey could do was watch as eleven grown-ass, tatted-up biker dudes had a yelling match, complete with a few fists flying, over wedding colors.
“See?” Wolf crossed his arms, his grin flashing white through his beard. “They’re having fun.”
Trey just shook his head as the argument escalated, with Ace finally crying uncle.
“Let’s put it to a vote,” Dean yelled over the melee. “All those in favor of pink and white, say aye.”
“Aye!” Ace’s yell was hard to hear, since Rocco’s boot was on his face.
“All opposed?”
The nays were so loud that Trey would have worried about the structural integrity of the room if anyone but Wolf had built it.
Trey smiled. Those roughneck assholes cared. And he wasn’t going to take that from them at this point.
It was just another month or two. As long as he could balance things, it would be okay. He had to believe that.
Besides, he wasn’t sure how long he could have kept away from Bethany. The need to see her again was almost a pain inside his belly.
“All right, boys.”
The scuffle stopped at the sound of Trey’s voice. He stepped in the middle of the group, settling himself on the couch. “Let’s see the rest of your board so we can fix your fool ideas.”
Ace grinned, Dean snorted, and the rest of the bikers settled themselves around the room, ready to give opinions whenever asked—and more often, whenever they weren’t.
Trey couldn’t have been more grateful for them. They’d kept him sane more often than not, and here they were, doing it again.
He was a lucky bastard; that was for sure.