Front Porch Saturday: Commericalism and Easter

Published April 19, 2014 by romancewithjjkeller

Eat sign

Back in the day my family dressed in their Sunday best and went to church and after a longer-than-usual sermon traveled home to have an elaborate lunch and an egg hunt. The Easter basket, filled with colorful candies and novelties, was my favorite treat for the day.

I liked the traditional toys which usually only lasted for a day or few days at the most. You know what I mean, the paddle ball, silly putty, and other novelty toys. But most of all I loved the soft furry rabbit.

Now, like most events, people/children have higher expectations. Baskets should be filled, and not with the cheap toys but with electronics or the latest and greatest whatever-age-related phenomena.

I want…I want…I want.

What happened to the simple life?

If only I could time travel and see the future. I’d find out if bunnies are left out of the basket and put onto a freighter cart carried into the pages of history books.

photo

 

The Valkyrie and the Marine

Or copy and paste:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=450&zenid=9495bea283e9022039d63f57a4579636

 

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.

http://www.jj-keller.com

The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, March 2014

Shadow of the Hawk/Dark Sun. He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED.  www.thewildrosepress.com print

All rights reserved.

Visit me: Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Amazon

 

Four Star Review from Long and Short Reviews:

http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-valkyrie-and-marine-by-jj-keller.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSEFUL MONDAY Time goes by way too fast by Robyn Seitz

Published April 14, 2014 by Robyn Seitz

Today is my daughter’s 14th birthday and I apologize for being late for my Monday post. I’ve spent a lot of the day reflecting on how much she has grown. I’ve barely spent time focused even on the tasks to do at work, let alone my other commitments. My kid is only two years away from driving, possibly four years away from leaving for college or university. Not sure why, but it’s hit me pretty hard.

I’m staring at proofs for the her Grade 8 grad photo. Feels like I blinked and she went from cuddling in my arms to screaming in my face. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not a bad kid. She’s assertive and feisty. I know she will be able to hold her own out there. I’m proud that I’ve helped build her into a strong-willed young lady. I’m told she is respectful at others’ homes, younger students at the school all know her by name and they smile when they talk to her. I guess her Dad and I have done a good job with her. But does that mean I have to like that my firstborn is suddenly a mini-woman? Not in the least. The clock is spinning so fast, I’m getting dizzy. When she was little, I looked forward to her growing up a little more. Now, I just want time to stop and keep her just as she is.

Maybe I’ll write a book about a girl stuck in time. At least she can stay perfect in paper forever. Just like her beautiful pictures.

Have a great Monday!

Robyn

Weekend Writing Warriors–Caught!

Published April 13, 2014 by Sandra Sookoo

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, a group of authors sharing eight sentences of a work in progress or a published book. To see a list of all participants, click here.

Today I’m sharing a snippet from my latest Regency romance TO BED OR TO WED. It’s the second book in the Darrington family series and the sequel to Marriage Minded Lord. ALSO, I have two paperback copies up on Goodreads in a giveaway. Enter it here.

Set-up: This snippet comes from the following chapter from the other snippets. It’s the next evening. Charlotte can’t sleep so she’s exploring the darkened house and is caught snooping outside the marquess’s study.

***

ToBedOrToWed_FinalV1_300px-sml“For the love of all that’s holy, woman, come in and be quiet about it.” The marquess hissed the request. “And shut the door behind you. I’d rather not be trapped in parson’s mousetrap due to spies or the carelessness of a stubborn female.”

Charlotte’s heart dropped into her stomach then that organ lurched into her toes. Surprise held her captive, but she stumbled into the room and, with shaking hands, followed instructions. Once the latch clicked on the lock, she turned around to face him. “First of all, I want it to be entirely

You can purchase To Bed or To Wed at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/To-Bed-Wed-Darrington-family-ebook/dp/B00J24F9LU/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_tnr_2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-bed-or-to-wed-sandra-sookoo/1118892579?ean=2940045741743

ibookstore: http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B00J24F9LU

All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tobedortowed-1452830-160.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/415829

***

Here’s the blurb:

When an impromptu kiss captures the imagination, either a spark will ignite or family interference will snuff the match.

Charlotte Darrington adores being adored by the men in her circle. She’s in London at the request of her mother, and though her parent wants her to find an eligible gentleman and start a family, Charlotte delays. In her heart of hearts, she wants a man who can hold his own and won’t be cowed.

Nathan Brigham, Marquess of Ravenhurst, is annoyed with the interfering redhead leading his nephew into the evergreen maze. When he would have delivered a dressing down, she stops his words with a kiss. No matter that he finds her attractive and a welcome distraction from his darkly brooding life, he refuses to succumb to Charlotte’s charms. Above everything, he won’t become the savage man his father was.

Once they return to London from a house party at his country estate, the two can’t avoid each other. Stolen kisses and heated glances in shadowy halls as well as a questionable visit to White’s draw them closer. He can’t forget the demons from his past while her persistence to hear a declaration begs the question: to bed or to wed?

Thanks for stopping by! Find out more about the book and me by visiting my website! To see the rest of the authors participating in the Weekend Writing Warrior group, click here. Or the Sunday Snippet Facebook page, click here.

Toasty Tuesday–Vegetarian Curried Dahl (yellow split peas) by Sandra Sookoo

Published April 8, 2014 by Sandra Sookoo

Continuing the series on vegetarian cooking, today’s recipe is another flavorful one with an Indian flare.

Curried Dahl (Yellow split peas)

What you’ll need:

2 cups yellow split peas (rinsed and checked for stems, stones, etc)
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (if you don’t want the heat, ditch the ribs and seeds)
2-3 tablespoons of diced, seeded tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sea salt (you’ll probably need more to taste)
A pinch of pepper
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 additional cup of water

20140407_182253

Directions:

Heat olive oil on medium heat.
Add veggies and cook until softened.
Add spices and let them “bloom” which means to just heat them and cook off the “raw” taste.
Add stock and water. Stir.
Add yellow split peas. Stir.
Bring to a boil.
Cover.
Reduce to medium low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 90 minutes. Also, if the liquid has evaporated too fast, add the additional cup of water. If you like a bit more “bite” or firmness on your split peas, don’t cook as long.
Taste test for seasoning. Adjust salt if you need to.
Remove two cups of mixture and add to a food processor/blender.
Puree.
Add back into pot. This will thicken the mixture.
Remove and discard bay leaf.

Serve with brown or basmati rice and with na’an bread. Also serve with fruit on the side.

Weekend Writing Warriors–Don’t act as if you know me

Published April 6, 2014 by Sandra Sookoo

www_tiny

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, a group of authors sharing eight sentences of a work in progress or a published book. To see a list of all participants, click here.

Today I’m sharing a snippet from my just released Regency romance TO BED OR TO WED. It’s the second book in the Darrington family series and the sequel to Marriage Minded Lord. ALSO, I have two paperback copies up on Goodreads in a giveaway. Enter it here.

Set-up: Nathan and Charlotte are attempting to exit the evergreen maze and are still having a go of it verbally. We’re in his POV. He leads off.

***

ToBedOrToWed_FinalV1_300px-sml“You don’t know me enough to make a deduction at any rate.”

“I wish you well, my lord, but know this: even the monster you think you are deserves kindness once in a while, and perhaps understanding. It would behoove you to recognize this and stop running people off. A close friend every now and again would do you good.”

“I had a close friend. He betrayed me. That was enough.” That friend had given his position away to the French, which ultimately landed him into the depths of hell.

You can purchase To Bed or To Wed at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/To-Bed-Wed-Darrington-family-ebook/dp/B00J24F9LU/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_tnr_2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-bed-or-to-wed-sandra-sookoo/1118892579?ean=2940045741743

ibookstore: http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B00J24F9LU

All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tobedortowed-1452830-160.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/415829
***

Here’s the blurb:

When an impromptu kiss captures the imagination, either a spark will ignite or family interference will snuff the match.

Charlotte Darrington adores being adored by the men in her circle. She’s in London at the request of her mother, and though her parent wants her to find an eligible gentleman and start a family, Charlotte delays. In her heart of hearts, she wants a man who can hold his own and won’t be cowed.

Nathan Brigham, Marquess of Ravenhurst, is annoyed with the interfering redhead leading his nephew into the evergreen maze. When he would have delivered a dressing down, she stops his words with a kiss. No matter that he finds her attractive and a welcome distraction from his darkly brooding life, he refuses to succumb to Charlotte’s charms. Above everything, he won’t become the savage man his father was.

Once they return to London from a house party at his country estate, the two can’t avoid each other. Stolen kisses and heated glances in shadowy halls as well as a questionable visit to White’s draw them closer. He can’t forget the demons from his past while her persistence to hear a declaration begs the question: to bed or to wed?

Thanks for stopping by! Find out more about the book and me by visiting my website! To see the rest of the authors participating in the Weekend Writing Warrior group, click here. Or the Sunday Snippet Facebook page, click here.

Front Porch Saturday: Everyone Needs To Be Quiet, by Jennifer Wilck

Published April 5, 2014 by Jennifer Wilck

People are frustrating me—everyone, everywhere.

Women are attacking women for ridiculous reasons. Stay-at-home moms criticize working moms’ parenting skills. Working moms blast stay-at-home moms. Women who breastfeed find fault with those who don’t and vice-versa.

Celebrities are treated like heroes, yet are blasted when they express their opinions about anything other than Hollywood.

Men make stupid comments about fathers taking time off for paternity leave, yet complain about the plethora of TV shows out there making fun of fathers.

And don’t get me started on the politics wrapped up in religion wrapped up in politics arguments.

I used to laugh at my grandparents when they talked about how things were different in their day, but I find myself echoing them now. Before the Internet and social media and the advent of “Everything Happening Right Now” mentality, information took longer than a nanosecond to get out.

Sure, there’s always been gossip, but information was conveyed in newspapers, radio and television. It took time to get to people. That time was beneficial, because it enabled people to think before speaking, rationalize before reacting.

Now that we all blog about everything, comment and tweet about everything—most of which we don’t understand or take the time to learn about—every little thing becomes magnified. We become filled with self-importance because someone responds to something we say or do or think and people enter the conversation. Most times, that conversation isn’t anyone else’s business, yet everyone contributes.

I blogged earlier about taking a break from social media and the more I hear, the more I’m inclined to take a long break. Of course, as a writer who needs to put myself out there in order to encourage people to buy my books, I can’t completely disappear.

But seriously, people, aren’t we sick of this yet? What’s the harm in being kind to others whose choices are different from yours? What’s wrong with thinking before speaking? What’s wrong with acknowledging that others are more qualified than you to speak about something?

Toasty Tuesday–Vegetarian lettuce wraps by Sandra Sookoo

Published April 1, 2014 by Sandra Sookoo

No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. I made this dinner last night, and it’s so full of flavor you won’t miss the meat.

Chinese Style Vegetarian lettuce wraps

Ingredients you’ll need

2 green onions–chopped. I didn’t have any so I used 1/2 of a yellow onion
2 gloves garlic–chopped.
1 carrot–peeled and shredded
2 cups of soy crumbles. I used the brand Morningstar. Remove from freezer and let thaw.
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or in the jar)
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoison sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flake
Half a head of iceberg lettuce or butter lettuce.

Directions

Make the brown rice. I did it early in the day.
In a frying pan, add a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
After it’s heated, add onion, garlic and carrot. Cook until veggies are soft.
Add soy crumbles. Warm through.
Add rice. Warm through.
Add red pepper flake, soy sauce, ginger and hoison sauce. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serve immediately.
You can also add whatever other Chinese veggies you’d like: water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bean shoots, etc. You can also sprinkle with peanuts if you desire more crunch.

20140331_173521

If you want something a little different:

Indian style sweet potato lettuce cups

Ingredients you’ll need:

2 sweet potatoes–peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 yellow onion–small dice
2 garlic cloves–small mince
2 teaspoons coriander–divided
2 teaspoons cumin–divided
2 teaspoons garam masala–divided
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or in the jar)
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper–divided
2 tablespoons red curry paste–divided
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Toasted coconut (optional)
Half a head of iceberg lettuce or butter lettuce

Directions:

Put sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with half the spices and 1 tablespoon of the red curry paste, as well as salt and pepper. Toss to combine well. Put in a 425 degree oven and roast for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are soft. After cooking, remove to a bowl and set aside. Feel free to sample here. They’re quite tasty!

Cook the quinoa ahead and set aside.

When you’re ready to make dinner:

In frying pan, add olive oil like you did above for other recipe. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until tender.
Add remaining spices.
Add ketchup. Stir to combine
Add sweet potatoes. Stir to combine. Warm through
Add quinoa. Stir to combine. Warm through.
Once warm, add coconut.
Serve immediately. Can also sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top.

20140331_173530

And here’s finished product:

20140331_173728

With a little advanced planning, you can have easy, flavorful vegetarian dishes your whole family will like. These are very tasty. Also, if you’re not a fan of the heat, feel free to leave the pepper out.

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