Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 1, 2017

April showers bring May flowers.  Here in Oklahoma it is the start of tornado season, so please be weather aware wherever you live.  Plus, look out for those April Fool’s Day tricks!  Who has seen Beauty and the Beast?  I loved it and well, I have a confession.  Although I know the story and what it is about I had never watched the animated version, nor read the book.  Maybe that comes from having one child who happens to be a boy.

In this Issue:
©     Quote of the Month
©     Check This Out
©     Featured Author
©     New Releases
©     Author Recipe of the Month
©     Upcoming Book Signings/Appearances
©     Coming Next Month

Quote of the Month:There is no friend as loyal as a book.~~ Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961, American Novelist) 

Check This Out:
Is there a young author or poet in your family? There is! 😊  Did you know there's a writing competition for kids between 11 and 18 years of age? You didn't? 😲  Have your little Fitzgerald or Poe enter his/her works for next year’s New Voices Young Writers Competition for 2018 starting in November. FMI on how to enter click here 

Graduation Night from the Chickasha Citizen’s Police Academy was on the 30th. It was one of the most special 11 weeks with a group of people I’d never imagined would become part of my extended family in my heart. I even shot an AR-15 and I’d never picked up a gun before, but the officer who helped me was very supportive and made it easy. Did it change my mind about owning a gun? No. Bottom line is I would take this academy again. I highly recommend that if your city has a Citizen’s Police Academy take it—it’ll open your eyes to a world you may not fully understand. So call your local police department and ask if they have a Citizen’s Police Academy. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Your gateway to Maxine's books:

Featured Author:  Kara O’Neal
     Love’s Redemption is the seventh book in the Pikes Run Series. It features Willa Kramer and Lonnie Davis who appeared in book two, The Sheriff’s Gift. The inspiration for my stories always comes from my characters. I imagine their personality, then put them into situations that reveal who they are.
Willa has a painful past, and she confronts it with a steady will and bravery I envy. One of my dearest friends in the world – I’ve known her since birth – was my inspiration for Willa. She is strong, true, has a very strict sense of right and wrong, and is fiercely loyal. She also hates crowds and prefers lounging at home. I love her dearly. (Can you tell?)
Lonnie is the perfect match for Willa. He is patient, calm, steady and brave. He loves Willa, and it’s this love that leads him to be everything he can for her. Lonnie is based off my husband. He is the kind of person who will sacrifice his own needs and wants for another’s safety and happiness. And this is the hero I needed for Willa. After what she has to overcome, she deserves someone who’ll walk through fire for her, and that is Lonnie.
I draw from the people around me. I am humbled by my family and friends and seek to show them what I’ve learned from them. So, I write characters that reflect their personalities.
My favorite part of publishing a book is writing the dedication. Sometimes I don’t know who the story relates to until I finish, but eventually the characters speak to me. I wouldn’t be an author without the people I love, and I thank them for blessing me with their beautiful imperfections and honest hearts. 

He paused. His chest tightened. He’d waited a long time to see her, had wondered if he ever would. Years ago, she’d wrapped him around her little finger, and he’d grown so attached to her, he’d thought about moving to Tennessee to be with her. But then she had stopped writing. To say it had hurt would be an understatement. But he hadn’t been angry. He could never be angry with her. Never. And now she was back and near. It was too tempting.
After taking a deep breath, he moved forward then went through the screen door. Even though it gave a loud creak, she didn’t turn. Did she know it was he who stood behind her?
The light breeze ruffled her skirt. Her long, velvety hair grazed the small of her back. An ache centered in the pit of his stomach. He’d missed her. And now she was here. “Hello, Willa.”

New Releases This Month:

April 1
Dead Drop
Book 4 Incognito Series
Roan Emory, Network operative, was inducted against his will. 25 years later, Roan is the most dangerous man in the world with the face of a fallen angel and the heart of a machine. Only legitimate death can free him.

April 1
Angel Unleashed
Rhys de Troyes, Blood Knight, knows all about quests. But will grounded angel Avery Arcadia Quinn, who has vowed revenge against the Knights, accept his help when their burning attraction threatens their missions in London?

April 6
The Chocolate Comeback
When a failed fashion model discovers joy as a caregiver, an unexpected chance forces her to choose between a lifelong dream and the man who thinks she’s perfect, just as she is.

April 7
Her General in Gray
Autumn Hartley purchases Allen Hall at a steal, but the northern lass gets far more than a beautiful plantation in the South Carolina Low Country. The house comes complete with its own ghost, a handsome and charming Civil War General—for the Confederacy. The stage is set for another civil conflict.

April 15
SInbad’s War
Book 6 of The Adventures of Sinbad
The United Terran Federation wants his ships for their war and geta a refusal. It's only when the battle is brought to his planet that the eighth richest man in the galaxy enters the conflict, Sinbad lost his wife and child in the attack and there's nothing in the universe more dangerous than a Felidan who's lost his mate.

April 15
Essence of Absinthe
The Marquis Etienne has a secret involving his deceased eldest son. When he takes his family from France to Nouvelle Orleans to avoid the coming Revolution, he doesn't know he's taking his younger son into danger for in that city lurks a woman seeking vengeance and the spirit of a man who wants to live again.

April 17
Marrying the Wrong Earl
Lords & Ladies in Love series
Lady Arabella likes life exactly the way it is. She cherishes her freedom and the animals she rescues. Nash, the Earl of Clarendon has decided to take a bride. However, the one he chose is now beyond reach because Lady Arabella stumbled into his life…at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

April 23
A Sheriff’s Passion
Sheriff Shane McCall has always fought his attraction to saloon owner Silver Adams.  Wanting a reputation above reproach, Silver is the last thing he needs.  Even if she is everything he desires.

April 25
Missing: The Lady Said No
Chandler County Book
The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country. Detective Augustus Grant faces his most baffling case to date.

Author Recipe of the Month:  K.C. Bateman

The adventures of my codebreaking heroine and spymaster hero in A Raven’s Heart inspired me to try this delicious almond cake. Made in cities across Northern Spain, it’s called Tarta de Santiago. Pilgrims who visit the great Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia see it in the windows of every pastry shop and restaurant. It comes in many sizes, often marked on top with the shape of the cross of the Order of Santiago. It’s very easy to make and gluten-free! With the wonderful Spanish combination of oranges, lemons, and almonds, this should put you in the mood for a fiesta! Enjoy!

Tarta de Santiago
1/2 pound (1 3/4 cups) blanched whole almonds
6 large eggs, separated
1-1/4 cups superfine sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
4 drops almond extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting.

·        Finely grind the almonds in a food processor.
·        With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a smooth pale cream.
·        Beat in the zests and almond extract.
·        Add the ground almonds and mix very well.
·        With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture (the mixture is thick, so that you will need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites).
·        Grease an 11-inch springform pan, preferably nonstick, with butter and dust it with flour.
·        Pour in the cake batter, and bake into a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch.
·        Let cool before turning out.
·        Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar.
·        If you like, cut a St. James cross out of paper, place it in the middle of the cake, and dust with confectioners' sugar, then remove the paper.
Optional: serve with a scoop of cream or ice cream and top with toasted slivered almonds. Yum!

K. C. Bateman is known for her witty, intelligent, and sexy Regency / Napoleonic historical romances. The first two books in her Secrets & Spies series, To Steal a Heart and A Raven’s Heart are available to buy now. 

Upcoming Book Signings / Appearances: 
Ø Third Saturday of the Month:  OKRWAMeeting, Oklahoma City, OK
Ø June 14-18: EPICon, San Antonio, TX
Ø July 14-17:  A Weekend With The Authors, Nashville, TN
Ø October 6-8: Rock Island Arts Festival 2017, Chickasha, OK

Coming Next Month:  Pam Thibodeaux, May releases and a new recipe.

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading. 
 Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own mind
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good.

Above photo from Pinterest
“Disney's Bambi -Little April Shower-” from WaltDisney4Life Channel YouTube

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

March 1, 2017

March Madness … one month closer to spring and a month full of holidays! Ash Wednesday, Ides of March, National Craft Month, National Women’s History Month, Social Workers Month to name a few. Plus, did you know that March is named after the Roman God “Mars”? AND the second week of March is National Bubble Week! There is a lot going on in March, click here to find out what fun things you can celebrate this month.

©     Quote of the Month    
©     Check This Out
©     Featured Author   
©     New Releases
©     Author Recipe of the Month 
©     Upcoming Book Signings/Appearances
©     Coming Next Month

QUOTE OF THE MONTH:Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after” ~~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001, American Writer)

SO excited! I signed a contract with MuseItUp Publishing for my first cozy mystery, Simply to Die For, which has a 2017 release date. This is the first of a four book series set in the fictional town of Black Horse Canyon, Oklahoma.
I had great fun at the Pioneer Hearts Reader Appreciation Luncheon at the WinStar Legions Bar & Grill set on their beautiful golf course on February 11 in Thackerville, Oklahoma. I met so many readers and authors of western historical romance that I can’t remember all their names. J Readers and authors from Michigan, Arkansas, California, Washington, Texas, and Oklahoma attended.

My original inspiration for the first book in the series started with the hero of ‘Beloved Enemy’, Kerry Marchant. He invaded my dreams and I just had to start writing about him. Then came his starship. The Destiny, and her crew, and the woman who became the heroine of the first book ‘Starquest’ - Jestine Darnell, or Jess as she likes to be known. However, the characters did not conform to the plan I had for them and they argued with me about the ending. What had started out as a short story, became a novel, followed by a ‘sequel’ ‘Children Of The Mist’, set on one of the planets Jess came across in her ‘quest’. Then Kerry nagged at me to give him the ‘h.e.a.’ he’d lost out on in Starquest and so I ended up with a trilogy. 
‘Beloved Enemy’ was so much fun to write. I have become very fond of Kerry and the crew of the Destiny and enjoyed introducing a new character, Cat Kincaid, and her trusty pet ‘chameleopard,’ Shifter. Cat and Kerry have nothing but mistrust for each other at first. In fact, Cat has sworn to kill him. However, a smouldering attraction builds between them as they are obliged to work together to survive on a hostile planet.

 She touched a panel on the ship’s hull, and after a moment, a door slid silently open. Shifter leapt in immediately but Kerry stood back as she climbed into the airlock.
She turned with her gun still trained on him. “Are you coming? Or would you prefer to take your chances out there all night?”
He shrugged and followed her inside. They waited in the eerie blue light until the inner hatch opened.
She walked across to the control panel at the front and made a few adjustments. “It’s not much, but it’s likely to be home for a while until I find a way off this planet. There’s not enough left in the fuel cells to get away in this, even if I could repair the damage.”
He looked around, his face expressionless. She frowned at his perusal. The furnishings of the small interior were necessarily sparse. A pilot seat and passenger seat to the front, and, at the rear of the vessel, a small living and storage area, complete with a combined table and bunk unit. If he didn’t like it, that was too bad. He could always go back outside and sleep rough if he preferred.
“I dare say it will suffice,” he said at length.
“Well thank you. I’m so glad it meets with your approval.”
His expression remained impassive. It seemed her cynicism was lost on him. “It would be useful to have a name to call you.”
‘Katrina. Katrina — Kincaid. I prefer to be called Cat.”
Again that stunning smile spread over his face and she noticed how his eyes seemed even bluer above the even, white teeth. Damn, there was something about him. She almost regretted she’d have to kill him eventually.


March 1
Book 3 Incognito Series
 Rebel Porter’s wife was killed to silence evidence he uncovered on a corrupt man. Now Reb’s in hiding, as afraid to lose someone to the bounty on his head as to lose his heart to another.

March 1
The Wahyas of Walker's Run #2
 A heartbroken werewolf collides with a spirited woman whose zeal for life just might be his saving grace—except someone wants him dead.

March 1
 The Hitching Post Hotel #5
 Their one-night stand results in not one...not two...but three babies. Now they have a family, can they find true love?

March 2
  A warrior hunts his cousin’s murderer but finds love in the form of a gifted Spirit Talker from another tribe.

March 7
 A psychology professor who has based her career on the hypothesis that love is simply a chemical reaction must defend her science when she meets her antithesis in the form of a romantic literature professor.

March 13
Book 3 Clan of Dragons
 A dragon-shifter in pain wants nothing more than to fly, and he sure as hell kneels to no one.

March 13
A Lake Chelan Novel
 Police officer Nolan evacuates semi-recluse Kristen when wildfires threaten her home. Forced into town problems and the art world, they find the fire threatening the town is nothing compared to the flames roaring between them.

March 15


SInbad’s Triumph
Book 5 of The Adventures of Sinbad
 Made into a business man by the government he hates, Sinbad has a new enemy: a fellow smuggler. Tsan Hsi’s vendetta will cost him dearly but wife Andi’s love will help him face the greatest tragedy of his life.
March 24
Undercover Elementals, Book 1
 When Lindsey is framed for murder and thrown into a world of magic, her only hope for redemption is Nevan, an immortal enslaved by a magical bargain.

March 24
Italy’s haunted caves spell danger for an American Golfer and a NATO geologist.

March 28
 A woman’s life should not be defined by what is enough.

I haven’t always made good food choices in my life, but a few years ago I began making conscious choices for a healthier life. This recipe for chili is so tasty and different, it’s fun to eat and serve. I don’t include ground beef and I have food sensitivities so I also don’t include all the spices. But it’s still enjoyable. It’s a recipe the heroine in Always and Forever Love, Lacey Aegar, would fix. She tries to eat healthful foods because she feels it’s something that helps her be a strong woman. In my stories, strong women have heart and Lacey is no exception. 

Quinoa Chili

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 pound ground beef (optional)
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 (19 0z) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 TSP dried oregano leaves
1 TSP dried parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

·        Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
·        Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in (optional) ground beef. Cook and stir until beef is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease; set beef aside.
·        Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute more to release flavor of spices. Stir in tomatoes, black beans, green and red peppers, zucchini, oregano, and parsley. Season to taste with black pepper and salt. Simmer until peppers are tender, about 20 minutes.
·        Once peppers are tender, stir in the quinoa, beef, and corn. Return to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro to serve.

Lynn Crandall is the author of two romantic suspense and five paranormal romances. Always and Forever Love, a romantic suspense, is particularly dear to her heart because in it Lacey Aegar struggles to find her way through life after her husband’s murder. She’s faced with living in the safe rut she’s created or opening to new love.

Ø Third Saturday of the Month:  OKRWA Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK
Ø January 18—March 23 (Thursdays):  Chickasha PD Citizens Police Academy, Chickasha, OK
Ø July 14-17, 2017:  A Weekend With The Authors, Nashville, TN

COMING NEXT MONTH:  Kara O’Neal and April Showers.

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own mind
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good. 

Above photo from Pinterest