Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cauliflower Soup

I'm struggling to embrace a plant based diet. To that end, here's a soup I made up! Warning, it's not even pretending to be low fat. It's rich, creamy, and perfect for a chilly winter's day. (Except I live in Southern California and the Santa Ana winds are blowing off the desert, neighboring counties are battling wild fires, and it's currently in the 70s.) But somewhere it's snowing and someone is in need of warm soup, so here it is.


Chicken broth
1 head of cauliflower
8 strips of bacon
1 yellow pepper chopped
1/2 a yellow onion minced
5 stalks of celery minced
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 t. allspice
dash of ground cloves
Pepper to taste

Chop cauliflower and boil in chicken broth until soft in a large pot

Brown bacon in frying pan, set aside
Saute remaining vegetables in bacon grease

Ladle cauliflower and broth into a blender and blend until creamy. Return to pot and stir in vegetables. Cut bacon into small pieces and add. Add cheese, milk and spices.




Friday, December 15, 2017

How to Kiss and Tell. Writing Kissing Scenes





Writing kissing scenes is hard. Is anyone here good at this? Of course, since all of my books are squeaky clean, I don't have entire scenes of kissing. But the first kiss, at least, needs more than a three word sentence. Anyone want to share a scene with a good kiss in it? Or is this kissing and telling?


I would love to see your kissing scene! Please comment below. But only kissing! This is a flinch free blog! If it's from an already published book, please leave a buy link in the comments.


Here's a few kissing snippets from a few of my Facebook friends at Indie Clean Reads (the seriously best writers resource on the web):

She opened the box of ornaments. Their first Christmas ornament stood out to her immediately. Merry smiled as she put it on the tree. Had it really been four years? In some ways, nothing had changed. A frown creased her brows as she realized some things had. They no longer seemed as close as they had once been. The frown disappeared as Alex’s arms wrapped around her. “Aren’t you supposed to be putting ornaments on the tree?” she asked.
“I am,” he replied, nuzzling her neck. “There’s a bare spot right there, see?” He hung an ornament on the branch.
Merry giggled as warmth spread through her. “Ah, yes, wouldn’t want a bare spot. Good thing you saw that,” she added, turning toward her husband.
“We might have missed it all together,” Alex said, leaving a lingering kiss on Merry’s mouth.
She couldn’t think when he kissed her like that. Their home phone rang. “Ugh, mood killer.” From

Of Snow and Mistletoe by Jessica L. Elliott 


A soft chime told them the hangar pressure had equalised.

He took her hand. "Ready?"

The sudden fire in her eyes took his breath away. "Yes, the answer is yes."

In one deft move, she pulled him in, and their lips met.



His voice tight, he whispered, “I don’t want to misunderstand you, Hannah. What do you wish of me?”

The word wish, the veiled hope in his eyes… Hannah found herself unable to speak for a moment. So she closed her eyes and brought Cadeyrn’s gloved hand to her cheek, feeling the warmth, the almost imperceptible trembling, the smoothness of the leather against her skin.

Her eyes still closed, she whispered, “I wish you’d kiss me. I wish—“
His lips pressed against hers, and she couldn’t breathe for the spark that arched her back, a sudden rush of desire and emotion that caught her breath in her lungs and brought her thoughts to a standstill. Time shattered, and she didn’t care.

Cadeyrn pulled away, his arm braced on the stone wall. He was breathing hard, his breath warm against her hair, his own wild hair brushing the sensitive skin of her neck as he sagged against the wall.

A sudden thought curled sick within her belly, and she whispered, “You didn’t do that because I made you, did I? Can a wish do that?”

His soft laughter startled her. “No, Hannah. Wishes cannot compel love, and love is what you felt.”

She rested her cheek against his, feeling his breath against her ear, his hair tickling her face


“Hey, don’t cry.” He sat beside her and pulled her into an embrace. “I promise, I’m going to do everything in my power to get both your dad and your brother home safely. It’s going to be all right.”
“It’s not that,” she whispered, dropping her chin to
wards her chest.
“Then what is it?”
She raised her face, and their eyes met, her gaze soft yet somehow penetrating. An uncomfortable yet thrilling sensation of vulnerability swept through him, as if she could see straight into his soul. His breath abandoned his lungs. Her fingers twined into his hair, drawing him closer. Their lips met.
Common sense screamed at him to pull away, but the warmth of her held him captive. His arms tightened about her waist. He pressed his mouth harder into hers, hungry for her. Her lips parted in a gentle sigh that melted him like wax.
The kiss broke. She hid her face against his neck, her breath tickling his skin and scrambling his thoughts.

The old man leaned over. He hadn’t kissed a woman or any other creature in years. His German shepherd Lizzy didn’t count because the only time she ever kissed him was to lick the gravy off his face. he wondered if his lips could still pucker. He closed his eyes and then though better of it, what if he missed and got her nose. That would be awful old people’s nostrils had a terrible tendency to flair if the wind whipped up. Yuck. 
But he was determined. Love had pounded its way into his decrepit heart when he had all but given up on ever feeling its fierce passion again. It took him awhile to realize that he was actually falling in love with Ewanta, at first he thought it was just a prostrate problem. But nothing helped. Then it hit him he liked her, he actually loved her. And now the moment of truth had come the time for crossing the threshold. She wanted him to kiss her he wanted to kiss her so he leaned forward, slowly moving toward her beckoning pucker, then for some strange reason he opened his eyes.. Dang, that’s a big mole!


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Bookbub and Other Adventures in Book Promotions

Tomorrow, my book Menagerie will be featured on Bookbub. It's free and first in a young adult paranormal series. You can read about the origin of Menagerie here: Menagerie and the School Visit

It's a unique story. Originally, it was to be a stand alone, but I fell in love with the characters and had a hard time letting them go. So, the one book became three. But this post isn't about Lizbet and Declan--my Menagerie characters--it's about book promotions in 2017.

I've heard other authors refer to the beginning of the self-publishing revolution as the "gold rush days." There's some truth to that. Years ago, I had a Kindle Unlimited promotion of my novel The Rhyme's Library. I didn't tell anyone about it, but Pixel of Ink (a company that I'm pretty sure doesn't even exist anymore. I just Googled them and read that they've partnered with Booksends) picked it up and in one miraculous day Library was downloaded 15,000 times. I didn't ask them to promote it, but somehow someone found it. Those days, like Pixel of Ink and other promotional companies like them, are gone.

Many authors refer to a Bookbub promotion as a golden ticket. I've had a number of Bookbub listings before, and since I wouldn't call my writing career golden, I thought I'd share tomorrow's experience. It's 4:30 p.m. the day before the promotion. You should probably also know that on Sunday, three days before the Bookbub ad, I ran E-Reader News Today and Many Books ads. I would have liked to have spaced them out more, but I was happy to get them both before the Bookbub ad so that the spike in downloads won't look like a flash in the pan to the Amazon algorithms. I don't place Facebook or Amazon ads because they scare me, and I don't place ads with promotional sites unless they've consistently performed for me. I'll follow up the Bookbub ad in the upcoming days/weeks with freebie ads.

Here's today's rankings on my Menagerie books:

Menagerie (on Sunday, this was #167 in the Amazon free store. I hope to make the top 100 tomorrow.)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
 Melange: book two, $3.99

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,459 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Melee: book three, $3.99
mazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,925 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

I'll post tomorrow at this same time with the results of the ad.

Addendum:
I didn't post yesterday because life got in the way. But here's the stats as of this morning, December 7, 2017, 5:40 a.m.

Menagerie (plus 2 five-star reviews, and one 2 star)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
on December 7, 2017
There was something quite hauntingly beautiful about this author’s style. Intriguing plot that had enough to keep me guessing but also lead me to believe I knew what was going on.

The heroine is likeable and mysterious.

Can’t wait to read #2!
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on December 6, 2017
Well written story with just a touch of the fantastic! A little romance but not overdone, and a mystery. Loved it.
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on December 6, 2017
This was very enjoyable book to read because the authors ability to create believable characters that developed in depth throughout the span of the novel.