Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Who doesn't love some spicy, rock-hard buns? ;)
8oz self raising flour
3oz castor sugar
3oz mixed dried fruit
1 medium egg
1 level teaspoon of mixed spice
2 1/2 oz milk
Put flour, egg, margerine and mixed spice into blender. Mix till crumbed.
Pour into a baking bowl and mix in fruit.
Add milk and egg and mix lightly into a fairly rough dough (do not over mix)
Using a fork, deposit onto greased baking tray in small rock-like heaps
Sprinkle lightly with castor sugar
Bake at 220C near top of oven for 15mins
Remove from oven and allow few minutes for buns to set (should be crisp on outside)
Serve warm with or without butter.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I’ve come to realize that the truest gift is time. In this fast-paced world we have little to no time. Twenty-four hours in the day seems to slip by without much thought as to where it went. If you actually sit and consider the concept of time, we have one hundred sixty-eight hours a week, twenty-one thousand twenty-four hours in a year and we still don’t have enough time.
The reason I discuss this issue with time, for the first Christmas in twenty years, my son will not be home for the holidays. It is with great pride and a heavy heart I have to accept the fact he has chosen a dangerous path in life. By the time you read this, my son will have left for boot camp. He joined the Navy and has been selected to train for the SEALS program. For the past year, he has already been training in a SEALS pre-boot camp program here in New Jersey. He is in the best shape of his young life, but still the training he has yet to face will be strenuous and test both his physical and mental strengths and abilities.
I worry that I have not done enough to prepare him for the events he may face. As parents, we did our best to teach him right from wrong. We were there each time he stumbled. We tended to his needs and gave him the most valuable things we could provide—love, guidance, and a sense of honor and respect. But was it enough to help him in this next chapter of his life.
I believe our lives are giant books. The beginning starts at the first chapter, birth. We enjoy the childhood years, learning and growing. We struggle through the teenage years, which provide our chapters with angst, and some ridiculous fodder to sit back and laugh at when we are older. Each phase toward adulthood, each plot twist builds the story of our lives until we reach those dreaded two words, the end. What we choose to do with our lives is up to each of us. It can be a grand adventure or a sad tale, but it all boils down to that fleeting aspect of time.
You see, I blinked and my son grew up.
I sit here thinking of all the holidays I had with him. The wonderful memories of watching him grow and I can only hope he has the right stuff to reach the goal he has set. Time is a precious commodity. It has no monetary value, no price you can attach to it because it is priceless. It is the one thing in life you can’t take back.
The holidays tend to make most of us a bit melancholy and his leaving at this time of the year is not easy for me. Who am I kidding? His leaving at any time of the year would not be easy for me. He is my first-born and I will miss him as he journeys into this new, adventuress chapter in his life. I can only hope that his time here at home will be a treasured memory he takes with him that will help him succeed in his future.
The greatest gift anyone can give is the gift of time. Use this holiday season to reach out to friends, family and loved-ones to gather them together and share a few hours of that sacred commodity of time. It slips past so fast that in a blink of an eye the kids are grown and you sit there wondering where did the time go.
In the spirit of the holidays, please don’t forget to reach out to those who serve to protect our great country. Remember the wonderful people in the military. It doesn’t take much effort to say thank you. Over the years, I’ve been sending care packages to different service personal around the world. If you’d like to send a care package to someone in the military, please contact Kim Adams at email@example.com She will gladly provide you with an address of a deserving individual, who’d love to hear from you.
During this holiday season, take a moment of time and enjoy the peace and love of family. Please share with me a fond holiday memory and I’ll enter you for a chance to win a signed copy of either Cursed Laird or Double Dilemma. I will be choosing a winner at random.
PS, I don't normally share pictures of my family. The one above is a favorite from Thanksgiving a couple of years back. My son Robert is on the right, my husband Bob is in the middle and my daughter Casey is on the left and of course I'm the goof on the bottom. :)
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I recently had the lovely experience of shopping for an outfit for my husband’s company Christmas party. It was just oh so delightful. . . NOT!
First, let me say, I am over 40 and have borne three children, and am not exactly in shape. Unless you count round as a shape, in which case, I’m all set. I’m not obese, but I’m no super model , nor are the majority of women with whom I come into contact. In fact, if you look up the statistics (like I did) you’ll find:
And...the fashion industry assumes these standard measurements for a woman: 35-inch bust, a 27-inch waist, and 37.5-inch hip. In the real world, women ages 36 to 45 actually average:
(Netscape Home and Living)
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Nationa Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a movement begun several years ago by a group of writers who vowed to write an entire novel of 50,000 words in one four-week period. The intent was to stop getting hung up on the editing and just let the novel flow out. Editing could happen later.
It was a wonderful idea and caught on with other authors. It spread through genre and age levels and now is a yearly, highly-anticipated event that authors from around the world choose to join. For the past three years I've participated, at least unofficially. I didn't sign up at the official site or join an offshoot group, but this year I've posted about my progress on my blog and Twitter stream. Needless to say, it ain't going so well for me.
I always start out with such high hopes. This year I wrote just over 9000 words the first week which kept me on par to complete 50K by December 1st. But the same problem came up that comes up every year. In my day job, I teach and grades are due by the end of the second week of November. That means I spend every "extra" moment the second week reading essays and senior papers. I worked late this year to get everything graded and came home exhausted. I didn't write but 2000 words the entire week.
Tried to catch up this week and had other RL issues get in the way so that I wrote not one single word on my manuscript. From 9000 to 2000 to 0. I'm more than halfway through the month and less than halfway to the target halfway point of 25,000 words.
The reality is what the reality is. I cannot add more hours in the day (I know, I've tried) and caffeine only gets me so far. I'm not offering these as excuses, but frustrations. Come retirement (2.5 more years, but who's counting?) and I can write 50K every month if I want. Right now, however, I am still squeezing writing time in the odd hours where I can.
I think it's safe to say I won't make the goal this year. I'm considerably further on my current wip, though, and that's always good. It's a full-length work with two couples I'm beginning to like--a lot. I'll be sorry when their story is finished because I enjoy spending time with them. I hope you will, too.
So, for those of you out there still aiming for that magic number -- good on ya! Keep going and I'm rooting for you from the sidelines. Get that novel out of you and onto the computer screen where you can work it in December. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!
As for me, I'll keep writing but I'm a little less hopeful about getting this novel completed before the end of the month.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
If you’ve never attended Romanticon, you’ve missed out on a fun-filled adventure for authors, readers and editors. It’s a place where one can pitch their stories in a more relaxed environment, meet with old friends and make new acquaintances. If this article has piqued your interest, keep an eye on the site http://ecromanticon.com/for further information as to date, location and registration.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Several hours later, my friend got back to me and I told her who I picked. Apparently, she had met that author and "she was a bitch to me." Now I try to divorce the author's personality from the author's talent. There are authors I don't think I'd necessarily like to hang out with, but I enjoy their books. Other authors, I'd love to go out for drinks with because their characters are so damn cool I think they have to be too.
*Disclaimer* There are several authors who I have gone out for drinks with. . .gotten drunk with. . .slept on their bathroom floor, etc. but that's another story. I'm posting as a reader not a writer today.
Anyway, after my friend said this author I was going to try out was nasty to her, I thought about just putting the books back, but in the end I really needed something to read and I had the books right there with me, so I thought I'd give it a try anyway. I mean, maybe the author was just having a bad day or something. I could enjoy the book even if the person wasn't particularly nice, right?
Apparently, no. First, let me say the writing wasn't fantastic anyway. The heroine was annoying and they mystery just didn't grab me AT ALL. I usually will finish a book no matter what because I want to know what happens. I couldn't get past the tenth chapter. It was very frustrating!
After I returned the books, I wondered, if I hadn't heard anything about this author, would I have given her more of a chance to hook me? Was I influenced by the author's behavior more than her writing?
And almost more importantly, have I been a bitch to others and now they'll never read one of my books and they'll be sure to tell all their friends what a bitch Arianna Hart is? I have to admit, it's possible. I'm not always the nicest person, and if I'm tired or my blood sugar drops (which tends to happen at conferences) I could be nasty too.
I hope this experience has taught me a lesson about what goes around comes around. If you put out nastiness, it's bound to come back to you. I think this is good to remember in all aspects of life, so just for today, resist the temptation to flip off the driver who cut you off, don't jump down the throat of the cashier who is taking forever to get you a cup of coffee, and resist the urge to slice someone with sarcasm even if it would be really funny to you.
You never know when the good you do will come back around.
Monday, October 10, 2011
An excerpt from Trusting the Magic by Cait Miller
Abby felt his arousal and it heightened her own, driving away the fear so that there was only him. She moved restlessly against the sheets, skin feeling hot and cold at the same time, the soft cotton bedclothes feeling coarse against her body. Her pulse beat strongly in her throat and between her legs. She squeezed her thighs together and the pleasure intensified. Internal muscles clenched and her pussy felt achingly empty. Nick’s response was immediate.
Mine. In her mind’s eye she saw him stroking his hand down his body to his hard shaft. Rubbing his thumb over the fluid oozing from the slit. Abby moaned, caressing her nipples through her nightgown. They tightened against her palms, crinkling the areolas with sensitive ripples. Her breasts felt heavy as she cupped them, imagining it was Nick’s hands touching her. His large palms holding her as he pinched her nipples between calloused thumb and forefinger. Rolling them until her pulse throbbed there, as well. His moist breath against her neck moments before his tongue followed the curve to her collarbone. He nipped at the skin and then pressed his lips to the sting.
Tell me what to do, Nick. She imagined running her hands over his body, tasting the pearlescent fluid that trickled from his shaft to run down over his fingers. Imagined that it was her hand becoming slick with it as she stroked the thick erection. Fingers tracing the veins where desire pulsed hot and desperate, drawing a hiss of painful pleasure from him as she skimmed her nail over the slit. In her mind, she ran her fingers over the baby-soft skin of his perineum and held his scrotum in her hand. His testicles were heavy within the soft sac and she massaged them gently. Moisture trickled from her as her arousal built. Nick’s low moan resonated through her. He ached to touch her.
Using the images in his mind for guidance, Abby released him and skimmed her hand down the soft mound of her stomach to dip between her thighs. She slid her fingers into the wet heat, shivering as she caressed the sensitive labia and spread the slick liquid up to her clitoris. It was throbbing for her attention and she gasped as she began to circle it.
She drew up her knees and dug her heels into the bed as the world spiraled away. Spreading her legs wide, she could pushed two fingers inside herself. Her back arched off the bed and she bit her lip against the cry that wanted to escape, her whole body straining for the peak. As she added a third finger, it was Nick’s face she saw above her, the warm, heavy weight of his body pressing her down. The broad head of his cock entering her.
It was no longer clear whether the images came from his mind, hers, or both. She could feel the sparse hair on his chest abrading her nipples and the heat of his breath against her neck as if it were real. Pressure built inside her and her breath came in pants. Nick thrust faster and her hips snapped to meet him. The inner walls of her pussy clutched at his cock, trying to draw him deeper.
Abby’s fingers pressed harder, moved quicker around her clit. The pleasure was almost painful. Her climax burst over her, drawing all her muscles tight. She gasped and threw her head back as her release spread over her like warm honey. Nick’s groan of completion followed hers but instead of the weight of his body falling against hers there was only the cool breeze of the air-conditioning against her damp flesh. It drew bitter tears to her eyes as she drew the covers over herself against the chill.
(c) Cait Miller 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
“Rest on your laurels and you’ll only end up with dead branches.”
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
When I started writing erotic romance in 2001, it was pretty risqué. One guy and one girl but lots of sex and explicit terms (using the “c” words still made me gasp).
But like actual sex, writing the same sex scenes over and over again, gets boring. So as an author, you start to branch out. Some drift into the BDSM world. Some add bodies.
I started with m/f books. Then shifted to m/f/m ménages. The focus was still the main m/f couple but I drew in a second male to attend to the female (cuz really, who hasn’t dreamed about that?).
Then I started with my men interacting sexually. In the Wolf’s Heritage series (m/m/f), the guys become lovers. The female character is still there and the focus on the relationship but in each book, there is at least one m/m love scene.
And earlier this year, I wrote my first m/m erotic romance (A Change of Pace).
I’ve come along way from what I thought was fairly scandalous sex at the beginning.
In my mind, that’s expected. Things change. Authors want to expand. Readers expect more.
Now, I’ve decided to go back and write at least two more books in the Shadow of the Dragon Series. I love these characters and this world so it’s been fun visiting again.
But for the first time in about four years, I find myself writing m/f sex. That’s what that series involves and I don’t feel comfortable changing that on my readers, readers who still want the sensual m/f connection.
I sat down to write and the love scenes just wouldn’t flow. I’d forgotten how to do one man/one woman sex (well, not really but you get what I mean). I realized, I’d changed my focus (and yes fantasies) to be predominantly m/m. To make this book work, I have to shift them back.
It took a bit—going back, re-reading some of my old books. Picking up some favorite m/f authors. I’ve settled back into the groove.
The story isn’t any less sexy to me. It’s just been a bit of sex change.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
I thought and thought about a subject to blog about today and the only thing I can think of is how happy I am to announce my first self published story entitled, ONE CHANCE! This is a story I’ve played with for quite some time. I’ve been a ‘quiet’ author over the last three years do to simply not having the time to write. Glad I’m back! I’ve got some more stories brewing—four to be exact, plus Ellora’s Cave has accepted my short to be included in their anthology series, Something Wicked Comes This Way. So I’m back baby and loving every minute!
Here’s a little scrap of a review that I’m very proud of!
***5 STARS! I've been waiting for a new 'Ruby Storm' story for way too long. But honestly, it was worth the wait. Storm didn't disappoint. Her latest is a poignantly written, fast, phenomenal read of a love gone wrong and a magical chance to redeem that love and renew their sex lives in the arms of one another.***
If you get a chance to download the story, please give me a holler and let me know your thoughts! I’m over at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Have you ever just stopped and enjoyed the stillness for a moment? Or stopped and given thanks for the blessings you have? Or just plain stopped and let your brain relax from all the craziness that is your life?
I know I don’t do that nearly enough. I was driving home from a family visit recently. It was a ten hour drive through beautiful scenery, which I couldn’t take in because of driving rain and road construction. As my two youngest daughters were watching movies in the back seat, I had plenty of thinking time. I knew it would be my turn to blog soon, and I wanted to come up with something witty, or at least interesting, or hell, maybe something that would make a reader want to buy one of my books. (See, I’m a conscientious blogger, really!) I had snarky comments about road construction, I had biting thoughts about lousy drivers, I even considered blogging about the beauty of nature.
This blog is about none of those things.
When I finally got home (through several traffic jams when I was only an hour away) and unpacked and relaxed a little, I went online to check my Facebook page and see what I’d missed over the week I’d been away. While I was scanning through my friends’ messages, I saw that a patient who had been in the hospital on the same floor at the same time as my daughter had passed away.
It made me stop.
With a full time job, a wish to keep writing, three very active daughters, and a husband who’d like to see me every once in a while, I’m pretty busy. Even when I’m not working or running my children hither and yon, I’m busy cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and planning what I have to do next. Sometimes I think my brain resembles that of a mouse on crack. I’m never still. I never stop.
Well, I did today. For a few moments this morning, I stopped and considered how very lucky I am. I don’t care if you believe in God, a higher power, or just the luck of the universe, sometimes you just need to offer up thanks, because no matter how awful you think you have it, it doesn’t take much to see someone worse off.
I am so damn blessed, and so very thankful for not only the joys, but the sorrows which have made me stronger.
So today, take a minute and just stop. Give thanks if you wish, contemplate the universe, or just enjoy the stillness. You’ll be glad you did.
Monday, August 15, 2011
In the week following the riots in England every news report is filled with how Britain is broken, young people are doomed and unless we bring back corporal punishment then we are all going to hell. The news reports are full of recaps of the violence of those nights and they are rolling out every politician, journalist and ‘expert’ to tell us why it happened. In the face of all this negativity you could be forgiven for believing the hype and getting depressed and angry as hell and for a while that’s exactly what I did. Then I saw the evidence of community pride uncrushed, people rallied round to clean up, started funds to help those who needed and generally put two fingers up to those who let greed and bloodlust sweep them up.
It was inspiring.
It made me think about other people who inspired me in small ways or great. Not movie or pop stars, few of whom deserve the term ‘role model’, but everyday folk just getting on with their lives. A friend who took in a child when he lost his mother, even though money and space was tight. A fellow author who lives with an illness that terrifies most of us and who has become an advocate against that fear. Several friends whose partners are still fighting a war that politicians would like us to forget. A woman who has survived cancer, not once but twice and defiantly lives on. A friend who had major brain surgery and lived to joke about it. A family who tragically lost a child but made sure her death to changed things, so it will never happen to another. I am full of admiration for each and every one. They make me want to be better and that is a very special gift.
Who inspired you today?
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve been awol in that area, but sometimes that’s what life does to you. Family, business and life in general has a way of completely discombobulating a perfectly planned schedule. I am happy to report though that the sizzling temperature isn’t the only thing having to do with hot! Yup! I’m heating up my keyboard and having a ball! I’m back, baby, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
So what’s on the table? I recently submitted to Ellora’s Cave and am waiting for an acceptance on that story. Also, I decided to delve into the world of self publishing. My story, One Chance, is just about done and I can’t wait to get it up and running.
It seems that a lot of authors are dipping their toes into this new age of writing and simultaneously striking out on their own. Some are doing great. Others? Well, the numbers speak for themselves. Bad editing, numerous errors and weak plotlines. So my major concern becomes an issue of quality control. I want to put out my finest. That’s where my Sizzling Scribes sisters come in. This author group that I belong to is absolutely phenomenal. We talk daily. We exchange ideas daily and we also edit, edit, edit daily to assure that the books we finish have a professional quality to them that is unsurpassed.
So enough said. I’m working hard to produce stories that will have you thinking about them long after you’ve read THE END. Whether those tales are erotic romance, sweet romance, or stories about strong women, I hope you’ll enjoy them all.
So sit back, grab a cold one and get ready. I’ve got some heat planned for you!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I apologize for this not being posted sooner. But I've been distracted. My children are no longer children. They both work, they drive, they've got friends and to quote my daughter "they've got lives." So where does that leave me?
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This week I experienced an important rite of passage. My first concert. You’ve never been to a concert? I hear you say. Yes, it’s true...well sort of. I have worked at one before but it’s not quite the same. There are various reasons for this, no time, no money but mostly just friends with different tastes in music. Last year I swore I would do it, but who would be my first? It was an important decision, one not to be taken lightly. So I watched the newsletters from event holders and ticket sales websites and in October, there it was.
Now I don’t really care if it makes me uncool but I have loved that group for years. Catchy rock music for blasting out loud and singing along to and a charismatic lead singer – who I swear has a deal with the devil to still look so good. It’s also one of the things my mum and I share so of course she would have to go with me. Whenever we would go on road trips out would come the Bon Jovi cd and we would sing along together. They are part of some really good memories. So I woke up early on the morning they went on sale and I bought the best tickets I could get my hands on without going bankrupt. Back then, June seemed a very long way away.
The nearer the date got the more excited I got. I kept expecting something to go wrong, the concert to be cancelled but the 22nd arrived and off we went. The one and only concert I’ve experienced I was working with the Red Cross and was actually next to the stage and feet away from Billy Joel and Elton John. You wouldn’t think anything would beat that but not so. That day I was working and wasn’t concentrating on the experience. Being behind the barriers means that you are very separate from the crowd, the atmosphere isn’t the same.
The rain poured down but even that didn’t spoil our anticipation. Our seats were amazing. I chose to be in the seated section which did put us about a hundred yards from the stage but we are both short and if we had stood we wouldn’t have been able to see past the crowd. Slowly the stadium began to fill up until 60,000 people joined us. The atmosphere was electric. I have never been in such a large crowd before and it was amazing to look around and see a sea of faces and the strobe of thousands of camera flashes. Suffice to say that Bon Jovi exceeded all of my expectations. They played for two and a half hours without a break and it was one of the best experiences of my life. There is nothing like being one of thousands of voices singing out anthems that clearly mean as much to them as they do to you. I am proud to say that Bon Jovi took my concert virginity; there will never be another first.
I can now say I am hooked and even if I have to go alone, there will be more concerts in my future. The question now is who will I see next?
Monday, June 20, 2011
And so we turn to our faithful readers for help. Please take the survey below (it's through Survey Monkey and will not download any unwanted material to your machines!). We made it nice and simple with only 4 questions. Help us price the books you want to buy!
Click here for survey
This will be open until noon on Sunday, June 26th. One of us will post the results later that night.
- the Sizzlin' Scribes :)