Eat– for Good Health

Heroines in my books are up against problems but take care of themselves by eating healthy.  Readers tell me they enjoy the food choices these story people make.  Today in my work-in-progress, Deadly Alliance, heroine Amy Kintyre leads hikers up a mountainous ridge with water, almonds and a tangerine in her backpack. I “pepper in” these real life items.  Amy faces danger on the trail.  The day before she’d witnessed a gang fight in a hotel through a vent in the mezzanine bathroom.  She runs smack into a member but escapes this time.  Later she’s with the hero, a former army ranger.  He grills Filet Mignon, and she makes corn-on-the-cob and a tossed salad.  Below Amy is an excerpt from her experience in the bathroom:

AmyKintyre

Sweet! Amy entered the bathroom and faced an exit door labeled Harp Hotel-on-the Lake.  No wonder this bathroom was elegant. Waffle towels and an assortment of fragrance mists, lotions, and a milk-glass soap pump sat on a marble counter next to a vintage-looking faucet. If she weren’t in a hurry, she’d spray herself with Vanilla Sugar Cologne or Moonlight Path.

There were two large stalls, and she peeked under the shiny white painted doors to make sure she wouldn’t intrude upon someone. Seeing it empty, she headed in and hung her little handbag on a hook. About to use the toilet, she heard muffled voices.  Was she not alone?

Glancing upward, she spotted a vent.  The voices came from a room in the hotel.  To ease her mind, she stepped up on the toilet seat.  On tip-toe, she strained to raise herself higher. As she peered through the vent, she looked over a balcony and onto a large ballroom.  The bathroom, where she was on the second level of the parking structure, was on the hotel’s mezzanine.

About twenty feet below, the waxed ballroom floor gleamed up at her, but the scene below wasn’t dancing. About a half dozen men wore flowing robes extending half-way below their shins. Amy didn’t recognized the head cover and robe style from her Survey of Desert Wear class.

The robed men surrounded four men seated with their hands on a round table. Held captive, she was certain. The two facing her with Claddagh rings on their third fingers had visited Les. That day they’d dressed in Levis instead of the suits they wore today.

She knew the mafioso understated appearance. In her hometown of Long Beach, the Waterfront Roaches, went about their infamous business in match-match suits. The Irish Kings of Cocaine ruled the warehouse district. After scrutinizing the backs of the other two suits, she zeroed in on the man with the short cropped white hair.  He’d joined the other two at her condo as well. Was one mob infringing on the other’s territory?

Fearing they’d see her, Amy cringed, but the hoodlums were far below. Concentrating, she tried to make out what was happening down there.  She looked through the vent. They were talking again.

One of the robes said, “You failed, Rourke.”

Where had she heard that name?

She concentrated on the robed leader.  He contorted his face in anger, but he didn’t appear to be Arab.

“Let me impress upon you,” came words from Rourke, “we can both win.”

“Nada,” the robed leader continued. “This is our territory now.  You’re in our way.”

“Wait!  Hold on!” stammered a young suited man facing her direction.

Hold onto what? When Amy watched the leader gesture toward his guard, she feared something bad was about to happen.

The guard raised his arms in the air.  Coming from under his robe, light reflected on a long sword. He wrapped both hands around it and whipped the sword through the air. Like lightning, his arms and body made a complete circle.  Amy gasped. The sword was aiming for the seated guy’s neck.

Rourke whipped out a blade at thigh level and threw it, striking the robed man in the shoulder. The sword thudded onto the floor.

She focused on a robed man bringing up a pistol.  Rourke was in its cross-hairs. The gun discharged and ripped through Rourke’s shoulder and out the other side.

Another robed man picked up the sword, tried to use it, but a suited man shot him twice.  Three times in the chest.  He crashed to the floor. A puddle of blood seeped through his robe.

In all her twenty-eight years, nothing prepared her for this horror.

Amy shivered from fright but steadied herself against the stall wall. After a few frozen seconds passed, she told herself she must serve justice.  Take photos! Pulling out her iPhone, she touched camera and held it at several different angles. Could the click-click-click heard below?

Again, she glanced through the vent.  Running his hand through his blood-spattered white hair, Rourke   stumbled.  His companions supported him through the ballroom’s double doors.

The robed leader looked up at her.  A coincidence?  She ducked.  No, he couldn’t have seen me. She snapped two more photos of the gruesome scene. Enough evidence.  Time to scram. Leaping off the toilet, she darted through the door to the parking structure. The cold air brushed her skin.

She charged down the ramp. Around and around, she sped with all her might.  She took a quick glance over her shoulder. A shadow from a careening SUV.  She dove behind a parked car.  As the SUV passed, the tinted windows rolled down.  The barrel of a rifle appeared. Tires squealed, and the SUV zoomed off.

Eat– for Good Health

A Brand New Address, book one of my futuristic sweet romantic suspense INTERVENUS series is free on Smashwords with the coupon NQ97R!  In the story taking place on Ice Age Earth, Yardley Van Dyke grows vegetables in the greenhouse she inherited from her late mother.  The only plants that grow there are root vegetables, and she makes this casserole for Marchand’s family and neighbors–

Ingredients for Yardley Van Dyke’s Root Vegetable Casserole

  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8   inch thick
  • 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8   inch thick
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano   cheese
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsleyPreheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a bistro pan or a 3-quart baking dish. Put the parsnips, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes in a large bowl of water. Set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, kosher salt and pepper and heat just until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  Drain the vegetables and pat dry. Arrange a layer of parsnips, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes, alternating the slices, in the prepared pan. Pour part of the cream mixture on top and sprinkle with part of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Cover the pan with the lid or with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid or foil and continue baking until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour more. Let the gratin stand for 15 minutes before serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley. Serves 10 to 12.

CreateSpaceIntervenusCover

Wordsmith– I also write books

As a little gift to twitter followers and blog visitors, I’m giving away FALLEN EVERMORE for free.  You will use the coupon LN59L at checkout for the hundred per cent discount.

Criminal attorney Sophia Mercola makes a name for herself by saving petty thieves from trips to the Big House. When a madman leaves victims not quite dead along the beach, her good intentions work against her. Witch hunters believe she knows who’s behind the freaky cruelties. Tough and dedicated to keeping his daughter and everyone in town safe, Mayor Cordell Smith must protect the outspoken attorney. Acquainted with everlasting life, secret immortal Cord fears exploitation of its source, kept under wraps for a hundred and fifty years. As Sophia and Cord piece together clues, they fall for each other until he resents her slick lawyer tactics. When his ex-wife, accused of Munchausen by Proxy against her son from her second marriage, becomes a client, Sophia plays into her twisted mind. Cord’s fearless exterior shatters when he’s accused as the last person to talk with a victim and his daughter digs up her past. With daughter Kerrigan at risk, Sophia sacrifices herself. Will she uncover the chilling legacy in time?

Available formats: epub mobi pdf rtf lrf pdb txt html

black-adder The cover model, Via Aclan is engaged to son Ted!

People craft– taking care of yourself

You’ve probably heard the term social capital.  It’s a new name for the old idea of contributing to your locale or wherever you find yourself– your neighbourhood, clubs or the church where you belong.  I feel the benefit of doing nice things for others or just engaging them in friendly conversation is the way to get along better.  Yesterday we hosted a Christmas Brunch at our house.  Old neighbors (from Soaring Hawk) and new neighbors (on Nighthawk) and friends from church stayed most of the day! My husband Gerry and I were exhausted but knew our efforts were worth it.  Neighborhoods function better when people know each other.  It’s easier to work out problems between friends.

We served crepes, quiches, frittatas, fruit salad, coffee, tea, orange juice and an assortment of holiday quick breads.  Daughter Janice made the crepes!

crepes

Wordsmith– I also review books from favorite authors

Talented writer Suz deMello is delighted to be a part of the eighth What to Read After Fifty Shades of Grey boxed set, which includes squirm-inducing, edgy erotic fiction.  Her fictionalized memoir is part of this set.

boxedset

Here is Suz deMello’s sizzler:

Perilous_Play_final

One woman’s journey into the contemporary kink underworld, Perilous Play is Suz deMello’s explosive personal account of her experiences with BDSM. Engaging and honest, this groundbreaking memoir will grab you and never let you go.

 

 

Excerpt:

He hooded me and draped me over a hassock in the living room. The fire was blazing; though I wasn’t drunk, I was pleasantly mellow and immediately became aroused by the position. I love being taken on my hands and knees, and the hassock was even better, because it supported my weight. I just lay there and relaxed.

Then he wrapped cuffs around to my wrists and ankles, hogtied me and gagged me.

And did I mention I was naked?

I don’t remember everything that went on. That’s the funny thing about such intense sex. It’s completely mind-bending. With perspective and research, I now know that the intensity of the sex releases oxytocin, a “feel-good” hormone that has amnesiac properties. It contributes to forgetfulness.

Unfortunately, another effect of oxytocin is bonding—in fact, it’s referred to as “the bonding hormone.” Though I did not know it and certainly didn’t consent, I was involuntarily becoming bonded to Trapper Hart.

Here’s where you can buy this excellent boxed set:

Kindle US – http://amzn.to/1BS3Q3L Kindle UK – http://amzn.to/1zHXlM5 iTunes – http://bit.ly/1zHXjnr Nook – http://bit.ly/1BS3Q3N

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1yvWnBC

About Suz deMello:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

–Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com

–For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com

–Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suzdemello

–She tweets @Suzdemello

–Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzdemello/

–Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SuzATGoodreads

–Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

People craft– taking care of yourself

Have trouble getting your motor running in the morning?  Fall into an energy slump before lunch?  Hit the wall in the afternoon? Zone out once you get home?  No matter when your most tired time of day is, researchers have uncovered the easiest way to boost your pep when you need it. The key, of course, is to get a good sleep.  This finding supports a good sleep: eating at regular times!  The same body clock regulating eating times is also sleeping time!  From British research, having breakfast, lunch, and dinner and snacks at specific times keeps you on a sleep schedule. You’ll get drowsy before bedtime and sleep all night!

The best sleepers keep to diets low in saturated and dairy fats, confusing your body clock. 300_picture_168

Eat– for Good Health

Today I’m posting another recipe which I’ll serve at our Christmas Brunch this coming Sunday. This is a low calorie Garden Vegetable Quiche recipe which can put served with a crust if desired.  The photo is courtesy of Randy Major.

garden vegetable quiche

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups egg substitute

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1 ½ cups, 6 oz, shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack Cheese

1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese

Cooking spray

4 cups sliced zucchini (about 4)

2 cups diced potato with onion (such as Simply Potatoes)

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (about 1)

1 (8-ounce) package pre-sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preparation

Beat egg substitute and eggs in a large bowl until fluffy. Add 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 3/4 cup Jack cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, salt, and cottage cheese.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini and the next 3 ingredients (through mushrooms); sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the zucchini mixture and parsley to egg mixture. Pour mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup Jack cheese. Arrange tomato slices over cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove dish from oven), and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

Wordsmith– I also review favorite authors

Today I’m blogging about a short story by one of my favourite authors, Suz deMello.  It’s in the Naughty List, a boxed set!

Naughty+List+2_(1)

A group of talented authors created the Naughty List to warm up your chilly winter nights. It’s available now! And there’s a Rafflecoter giveaway—deets below.

The Naughty List is far from your usual vapid fare about kissing under the mistletoe and random sex at office Christmas parties. No–we have stories from the steamiest erotica to the most heart-warming happily ever after. We have medievals and futuristics,  ménages and committed couples rediscovering love. You want romance? You want hot sex? We have it all.

Here’s the 4-1-1 about Viking in Tartan, a medieval romance from the Highland Vampires series…A Viking raider brings change to little Clan Kilbirnie, especially to the chieftain’s daughter Rhona.

You will love the following excerpt–

He kissed her neck, feathering his tongue over the sensitive skin, and all conscious thought fled. She gripped his shoulders, then stroked them, admiring his strength, a contrast to his sweet, sweet kisses.

Her body was heating, tingling, sizzling, and she wanted to touch herself the way she did when she was alone at night, but… Wasn’t that wanton? Would he cease to treat her kindly if he knew the desires that drove her?

He lifted his head. “Touch yourself. Touch yourself in whatever way feels good to you.”

She inhaled a startled breath.

“Aye,” he said. “’Tis all right. Do it.”

She kissed him and dropped a hand to her quim. ’Twas damp and needy, and she couldna resist pushing in one finger, then two, moaning.

“Aye,” he whispered. “Are you ready?”

“I… Should we?”

“You’re asking me?” He laughed.

“Truly, sir, I ken not what I should do.”

He pulled away and regarded her, his expression thoughtful, and rubbed his chin. “What troubles you, Mistress Rhona?”

“I, er… I ken that a man will reject used goods. That the Bute would reject me as would every other well-born man because I am with ye tonight.” She rose and picked up her shift. “But what if ye should do the same?”

He shook his head. “I will not.”

She pressed her lips together. Well she knew the ways of men, having seen more than one lass broken-hearted by a lad’s inconstancy. “I should go.”

“Is that what you truly wish?” He fixed her with those eyes again, those impossibly deep, soulful eyes.

Caught in their spell, she sank to her knees before him. “Nay,” she whispered.

Like what you read? Get it here:

Amazon: http://indi.uno/1taThiO

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/nogyvpe

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/naughty-list-2

Google: http://tinyurl.com/nqdnq3k

About Suz deMello:

 

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

–Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com

–For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com

–Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suzdemello

–She tweets @Suzdemello

–Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzdemello/

–Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SuzATGoodreads

–Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

Rafflecopter code for blogs

 

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Eat– for Good Heath

As promised yesterday, I am posting recipes I’ll serve at our Christmas Brunch on Sunday morning, December 7th. I When guests come to our house, I don’t serve heavy calorie-dense food. The Frittatta recipe is from Food Network, and the photo below is courtesy of Antonis Achilleos

spinach frittatta

Ingredients
1 red bell pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 5 -ounce package baby spinach
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 large eggs
4 tablespoons whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crumbled  low fat feta cheese
Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bell pepper directly on a stovetop gas burner over high heat and char on all sides, turning with tongs, about 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a gas stove, do this on a baking sheet under the broiler.) Transfer the pepper to a medium bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture and feta to the skillet and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the frittata is set and the top is golden, about 15 minutes.

While the frittata is cooking, peel off the skin from the roasted red pepper with your fingers. Cut the pepper in half, discard the seeds and slice into strips. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Slide the frittata onto a serving plate and cut into wedges. Serve with the roasted pepper.

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/spinach-and-feta-frittata-recipe.html?oc=linkback

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