Front Porch Saturday: Snicker-Poos

Front Porch Saturday: Snicker-Poos

As I sit on my front porch I see nothing but rain drops…so I’m going inside to bake some treats. People food for dogs…yep. I have some healthy dog-treat recipes for you.

Since many dog treats are inferior, and it continues to rain every day in the mid-west, I’ve been baking my own dog treats. I’ll share two recipes with you…my Sheltie gobbles both of them. Our little Riley doesn’t like the ultra healthy carrot bites. She’s more of a junk-food-snack-food type dog. Do all rescue dogs prefer people food? Maybe because they survived by eating table scraps? However, she does enjoy the Snicker-Poos listed below.


1 ½ cups oat flour

1 ½ cups rice (or rye) flour

2 t cinnamon

1 egg

¼ cup honey (I used raw because our Sheltie has allergies and raw honey helps).

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup water

Wheat Germ

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Preheat oven 375F. Combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly in a large bowl. Spoon mixture out(use an ice cream scoop for consistency) and roll into balls, place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with wheat germ, then flatten with a fork, which will also add decorative lines. Cookies can be placed close together as they don’t expand. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then store at room temperature in a loosely covered container.

Canine Carrot Cookies (Katie Merwick recipe)

2 cups carrots—boiled and pureed

2 eggs

1 Tbsp minced garlic (this was very strong, next time I’m leaving it out)

2 Cups unbleached all purpose flour (or rice or rye flour)

1 cup rolled oats

¼ cup wheat germ

photo 1

Combine carrots, eggs, and garlic. Mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Roll out on a heavily floured surface and cut into bars or desired shapes. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or to desired crunchiness. The centers will continue to harden as they cool.

Note: Brush with egg whites before baking for a glossy finish.

There you go. Please let me know what you think of the recipe.


Warning: The Snicker-Poos smell so good people might eat them if they are not labeled.

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.

Last Chance at Love (coming soon)

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Hot and Unusual by Vivien Paige and a Cover Reveal!

Hot and Unusual by Vivien Paige and a Cover Reveal!

Please welcome contemporary author Vivien Paige to the blog!

Series: Glamour Nannies – Falling for the Billionaire
Genre: Contemporary romance (sensual)
Release date: 18 August 2015


If there’s one thing emotionally unavailable party-princess, Tayla Watkins knows, it’s clothes. Kids? Not so much. But when her foster brother leaves her with a deathbed wish regarding the son he never had a chance to meet, she can’t refuse.

Armed with a Nannying for Dummies guidebook, all Tayla needs is three weeks at the mansion where the little boy lives to suss out the situation, confirm his well-being then leave without anyone ever knowing who she really is. Totally doable, except she chooses the wrong bed on her first night and faces off with the sexy uncle intent on knocking her off her six-inch heels.

When billionaire adventurist, Jared Miller, discovers his nephew’s sixty-year-old nanny has been replaced with a sparsely clad beauty, his trusted instincts fly off the charts, and so does his intrigue-meter. The glamorous nanny has as many secrets as she does shoes, and he’s determined to shadow her every move to uncover them all.


“I’m the new nanny. Temporary nanny. My name is Tayla Watkins.”

He rubbed his jaw. His silence made her nervous, his scrutiny of her face, anxious. But when his gaze flicked down her body, heat soaked her cheeks. Could he see right through her nightie? The curve of her breasts, her nipples, the absence of her panties because she’d been too tired to put on a pair.

The light chiffon hid nothing. Yet a deep-rooted defiance forced her to stand there, face him head-on as opposed to hiding her partial nakedness behind the curtains while getting all bent out of shape at his daring inspection.

Hot-and-Unusual-Final-LG (1)She did the next best thing. With casual pretense, she picked a decorative cushion off the floor and hugged it to her body. The longish rectangle shape, edged with gold tassels, covered her private bits.

“I liked Mrs. D better,” he said, fingering the cut across his forehead oozing a bit with blood. “What happened to her? Is she okay?”

“Mrs. Davis had scheduled a medical procedure and hired me to fill in for her.” She needed to shorten the amount of time she spent in his company with nothing but a cushion separating him from her near-nakedness. “I’m sorry we got off on the wrong…foot.” When really, the word ‘bed’ came to mind. “And I’m sorry about throwing the lamp at you.” She gestured toward his head. “I thought you were dead. Then you moved. I’ll get you something for it.” Without giving him her back and with as much grace as she could muster, she walked the small space sideways back toward the open door.

“No, don’t bother. I need to get a lot of sleep, preferably on that bed, alone, so if you don’t mind, say good-night.” His succinct dismissal irked her, but his large hand, curling over her hip then to the small of her back, forcing her to face forward so he could usher her out, stung her nerves with raw heat. “You know, Ms. Nanny, you did much better in my dreams.”

Pre-order at Amazon


Vivien-Twitter-PicVivien Paige has been eagerly consuming romance novels since her early teens. Strong, dark alpha heroes. Cute, feisty heroines. Combustible, emotional roller-coaster rides to a splendid happy ever after. Perfect! That’s what makes her such an awesome wife…well depending on who you ask :) Now she writes her own romance novels, too.


Twitter: @VivienPaige


Front Porch Saturday: RWA15 by Jennifer Wilck

Front Porch Saturday: RWA15 by Jennifer Wilck

I just got back from my first Romance Writers of America National Conference in New York City. 2,000 romance writers took over the Marriott Marquis—I’m pretty confident we raised a few eyebrows of the other guests, although we were in Times Square, so maybe not—for five days of networking, workshops and events.

It was great!

The smart elevators did not outsmart me and elevator conversations were a lot of fun.

Random man in super crowded elevator: You can fit. Suck it in everyone!

RWA lady: We’re dressed for the awards and wearing Spanx. We can’t suck it in anymore.

Everyone else: And we’re romance writers. You don’t want to continue this conversation!

GetInline.aspxI roomed with my best writer friend and we still like each other. We ate yummy food and discovered new restaurants. We might have offered to marry the cute waiter who gave us a bowl of coffee, but I was really tired at the time and don’t fully remember.

There were a ton of workshops offered and it wasn’t possible to go to all of them. I had hoped to get some really good information on marketing, but those workshops weren’t particularly helpful. However, there were some great ones on different writing tips, such as conflict (and then…and then…but!), subtext (taught by a writer who’s first language is not English but who has won multiple writing awards for her English-language romances—I would have wanted to kill her but she was really nice, as well as hilarious), and characters (taught by Susan Elizabeth Phillips).

I skipped the keynotes because they were really early in the morning and I’ve heard many of them speak before. They’re awesome speakers, but I needed my sleep. I escaped from the crowds by hanging out in the New York Public Library, absorbing the solemnity of the building and the love of learning that was built into the walls. It was surprisingly noisy but the architecture was beautiful.

I saw a romance cover model up close—a little disturbing but wow, the muscles! I ate breakfast in the same space as GetInline.aspxEloisa James. And I met a Twitter friend for the first time and we found each other, despite knowing neither names nor faces!

It was a fabulous time and now I’m looking forward to taking what I learned and applying it to my writing. I’m inspired, I’m grateful and I’m exhausted!

Front Porch Saturday: Orphan looking for a home…

Front Porch Saturday: Orphan looking for a home…

The midwest has been plagued with foul weather…tornados, superstorms and crop destroying rain.

A few days ago I glanced from my kitchen window and beheld a tiny robin roosting on my fence 1

It clung to the post most of the day. Many birds fluttered near and their beaks moved…in conversation? No mother to rescue the poor baby?

Two days later the sun came out, and I hurried to get the grass mowed before rain arrived later in the day. On one of my White Birch trees I found the branch hopper…

photo 2 photo 3

The little fella didn’t appear to be the least bit afraid of me, nor the loud lawn mower. I sprinkled bird food [seeds] nearby, but it didn’t seem interested. Perhaps the robin was to young to consume bird food?

When the rain arrived and he remained perched on the tree branch I considered calling animal rescue.


photo 4

the mother arrived. You can barely see her through the rain-slicked window. Whoot! No longer an orphan.

jj Keller  {like me and I’ll like you}

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Front Porch Saturday: Camp NaNoWriMo by Jennifer Wilck

Front Porch Saturday: Camp NaNoWriMo by Jennifer Wilck

I am not a camp person, as anyone who knows me will tell you. It’s not that I’m a princess, but I don’t like bugs and heat is only fine if there’s air conditioning close by to cool off. I’m not a great swimmer and the thought of being controlled by glorified teenagers (counselors) is a little terrifying to me.

So I’m here to announce that I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is the only camp experience that I’m willing to try.

Camp NaNoWriMo is similar to the more common one that occurs in November. However, it’s a little more laid back, and it’s a group activity. The “counselors” are authors who have organized this and are the cheering squad. You can form your own cabins with other writer friends—my own happens to be air conditioned with comfy beds and nice people—to help you motivate each other. And you set your own writing goal.

My personal goal is 50,000. I sincerely doubt I’m going to make it as July is a busy month with a short vacation and the RWA conference at the end of the month, but I’m going to try. So far, I’ve written about 1,600 words and I’m having fun being inspired by, and inspiring, my cabin mates.

A summer month of writing. What could be better?

Front Porch Saturday: Sharks, Toes, and South Carolina by jj Keller

Front Porch Saturday: Sharks, Toes, and South Carolina by jj Keller

I just returned from a family holiday. We traveled to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The plane trip was fantastic.  I met a lovely man who is a farmer in Fort Wayne. He was concerned that his crops would be ruined due to the rain. Little did he know the rain would continue…still raining.

Hot, steamy conditions in the Carolinas. The beach gave us some a bit of breeze, but it was blistering.


I got up early ….just after the light pierced our windows and took a jog on the beach. Then, on day three I injured my fourth toe and had to reduce the jog to a walk. In addition, I skipped the evening run.

Swimming helped increase the activity, but sharks had been attacking. And as a result,  I became a fan of the lazy river.

After shopping at a couple of unique stores I had to toss some clothing and misc. items in order to fit the items into my luggage (insert comical image of a woman sitting on the luggage to get it shut).  I squeezed the valuables inside and passed the TSA agent’s check. Yeah…although because of an unzipped pocket on my trousers I got a pat-down.

Because I’m a fan of the ocean waves, my husband used his iphone 6 and created a video…but I can’t post it on this site. Check out my website ( and to experience of magic of nature.

Have a wonderful summer.

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.







The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, Memory of Love

Shadow of the Hawk/Dark Sun. He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
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Front Porch Saturday: The Dishwasher by Jennifer Wilck

Front Porch Saturday: The Dishwasher by Jennifer Wilck

Every night, my girls set and clear the table. I feel a little bit like a queen as I sit there and they take care of things. Well, a queen who cooks, and reminds them to get things they forget, like their own drinks. Every night, they put the dishes, cups and silverware in the dishwasher. Except for those things that need to go in the sink, where they land with a loud crash, but amazingly remain in one piece. And every night I have to completely redo what they’ve done.

One opens the dishwasher about six inches, does not pull out either rack and blindly puts things in the approximate area that they go. She argues when I tell her to fully open the door and all but refuses to pull out the racks. I’m not quite sure what sensibility this offends in her, but apparently it’s an important one. When I go to check what she’s done, I find plates placed diagonally or stuffed in a slot already taken by another plate; cups are sideways—until water is capable of bending, I don’t know why this even is an option for her; and silverware is upside down.

When I ask her about it, she simply smiles and apologizes as if she’s never heard my objections before now.

Another puts things approximately where they belong, but with no order to anything. This is slightly less aggravating, but even more puzzling, as she is the child who would line up her toys, rather than play with them, and excelled at ordering and categorizing things. To this day, off-center things, or things that don’t belong, annoy her to no end. Apparently dishes are the one exception to the rule.

I know most parents would say, “I’d kill to get my children to put stuff in the dishwasher at all, let alone the correct way,” but my girls have been doing this since they were four. They’re thirteen and sixteen now. I’m starting to think there’s no hope for them.

They ask me constantly why I don’t write YA. They’d like nothing better than to read about characters like themselves in situations they may face and to be able to have their friends read my work.

Why don’t I?

Ha! I write to get away from reality, not to rehash it. Maybe someday if they load the dishwasher correctly.