Thursday, January 26, 2012

Olive Tapenade

Looking for something different to please your palate? Olive tapenade is a hit at our house - it's fast, easy, and yummy! :-))


20 pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. rinsed, drained, & chopped capers
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic (or 1 tsp. minced garlic)
cracked black pepper (I add a little initially, husband adds more to his portion)

(some recipes for this call for 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste - we're not a fan, so we omit)

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate before serving.

Excellent as a dip with corn scoops!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Blurb & Excerpt for LUCKY DUCKS

LUCKY DUCKS is set to be released on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. I'm so excited!! Wanted to share with you a sneak preview with the book blurb and an excerpt --


Recently divorced, Claire Stone is off to a fresh start. A new city. A job prospect. Wearing her lucky ducks underwear. Things are going great--until a clumsy lout barrels into her, sending her to the concrete. Her world takes a tumble too when the handsome klutz who scuffed her up turns out to be her new boss.

Engaged twice. Dumped twice. Kasen Isaak has had his fill of green-eyed women, yet his father insists he hire Claire Stone -- a nail-biting claustrophobic with the greenest eyes he's ever seen.

Will green eyes, a run of bad luck, and a slew of idiosyncrasies keep them from finding the greatest luck of all?


“Have a seat, Mrs. Stone.” Kasen Isaak’s voice was as chilly as his eyes.

Claire sat in a straight-back chair and folded her hands in her lap. Read the resume, bonehead. “It’s Miss Stone.” Should she go through the trouble of explaining that she was recently divorced and had taken back her maiden name? It took a millisecond to decide to leave well enough alone.

Kasen fumbled with a folder with her name in small, black letters. He removed the resume, glanced at it before tossing it aside, and then leaned on his elbows. “What do you know about investing, Miss Stone? How familiar are you with the markets?”

Claire swallowed hard. “Truthfully?” His pointed look had her crossing her legs. Uncrossing them. Moving from side to side in the chair. And trying not to focus on the fact she had to pee. “I know the market is volatile and investors are being cautious. My knowledge of investing, however, is limited to the experience of my 401K.” Translation: I know as much about investing as this chair does.

Kasen leaned back, furrowed his bushy eyebrows and drilled her with a harsh stare.

Wordless staring? Seriously? Claire was tempted to hum the music from Jeopardy while she waited.

He finally spoke and sarcasm clipped each word. “That hardly qualifies you to work here.”

Sheesh. Wasn’t mowing her over on the sidewalk enough? Did he have to do it with the interview too? Thank God she had Jake Stone’s DNA swimming through her veins. Claire furrowed her eyebrows to match his. “The position is for clerical work, right?”

For a second he went slack-jawed.

It was then that she noticed the small cleft in his chin…and dimples.
Dang it! Now was not the time to notice chin clefts and dimples.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A fancy, smancy breakfast!

Breakfast has always been my favorite meal! It can be as simple as a bowl of cereal or two eggs over-hard with whole wheat toast. Occasionally, I like to start the day with a little more elegance: toasted egg cups*, bowl of strawberries, and a cup of cinnamon twist coffee!

*I have a handwritten recipe for Toasted Egg Cups on a yellowing, stained 3 x 5 recipe card. (I believe I copied the recipe when I was first married - no idea whom the recipe originally belongs to) Would like to share it with you in case you too like to snazzy up your morning meal.


Ingredients --
4 eggs
4 slices of white or wheat bread
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

Spray muffin pan with Pam. Trim crusts from bread. Press a slice of bread
into each space in your muffin pan. Melt butter & coat the inside of the toast
cups. Bake at 350 degrees - I check mine after 10 minutes and add more time
if needed. (I like mine just lightly golden brown.) Scramble your eggs with
1/4 cup of milk. When bread cups are done, fill with scrambled eggs. To add
more zip top with crispy bacon pieces, ham, cheese, green onions or sauteed
mushrooms. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Interview with romance author, Kellie Kamryn

Today I would like to welcome author, Kellie Kamryn to my blog! Kellie and I both write contemporary romance, but with different heat levels (my books are spicy, Kellie’s are extra-spicy). Recently, I had the joy of reading Kellie’s novel, PLEASURE ISLAND, from The Wild Rose Press. It was a fast-paced sexy read. Kellie put a unique spin on a timeless tale of broken hearts looking to be healed. Her style of writing is fresh and memorable. Kellie and I are on the same Yahoo loops, but we got to know each other better on Twitter. She has an amazing personality so I thought it would be fun to interview her.
Jan: First of all, Kellie, thanks for being a guest on my blog today. J
Kellie: Thanks for having me here, and I’d like to say “wow” on all the compliments you just gave me! I’m humbled.
Jan: Now, onto the good stuff! Anyone who follows your tweets on Twitter will realize what a busy gal you are. With four active kids and a fondness for staying in shape, you still find time to write amazing stories and blog posts. Tell us your secret for making it all work.
Kellie: Uh…I don’t have a secret. I have a day book that I use religiously to keep me on track because I could spend many hours promoting or writing and forget to eat or exercise. So I make to-do lists every day. I have to make a conscious effort to take care of myself because once the kids come home from school, my focus is mainly on them. I do love exercise but I’ll tell you something – my real fondness is for chocolate. Thus, I have to exercise!
Jan: Are you a morning person? Or a night owl?
Kellie: Night owl and it’s the bane of my existence. If I don’t go to bed by a certain time, my second wind kicks in and them I’m done for. I start working again, and then I can’t sleep. I hate getting up in the morning! I’m the person who hits the snooze button a hundred times. I literally have to set the alarm a good half hour before I have to be up otherwise it’s a really slow start to my day and when I’ve got kids to get off to school, then I’m sunk! Over the Christmas holidays, my daughter wanted me to stay up to watch Ghost Hunters with her. I must have been tired because I kept falling asleep on her. Now she jokes about how old I’m getting because I can’t stay up. Teenagers…
Jan: Coffee makes my world turn. What goodies help your creative process?
Kellie: Well, I do like chocolate. Milk chocolate. Chocolate covered nuts. Peanut butter and chocolate. I think you get the idea. I drink a lot of tea, and try to have plates of veggies or fruit by the computer so I can snack healthy while I work. *hears Jan snicker* What? I said I try!
Jan: I’m a weirdo when it comes to expressing joy. *grins* When I sold my first book, I hurried to my husband with my face buried in my hands and said, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.” Thinking back to your first sale, how did you react? Cartwheels? Screaming? Skipping through the house? Or were you a weirdo like me?
Kellie: My first acceptance I pretty much screamed, “Oh my god! Yes!” (How fitting, considering what I write…) The tears started streaming down my face, the kids wanted to know what was wrong, I spun around in my desk chair, the kids cheered, the dog barked – it was mayhem! After a few rejections, that was a stellar moment. Getting five acceptances in one year was awesome doesn’t begin to describe it. Pretty much the same reaction every time.
Jan: Most writers hit a point in their books when the words just will not come. Sometimes the dilemma lasts for an hour or for a few days. Have you ever had to deal with a stubborn muse? If so, how did you make it behave?
Kellie: Oh yeah. Last summer was stressful and I don’t think I wrote anything new for two months. Drove me crazy! A fellow author and dear friend, encouraged me to write a short for a Christmas anthology and that brought me out of my funk. But it was tough, I tell ya. If I’m stuck on something, I just try to figure out why the words won’t flow. Sometimes it’s because I don’t know my characters well enough, or I just have too much going on in my personal life. I just try to relax, prioritize things in my life and trust that it will come back to me when I’m ready.
Jan: If you could pick one place in the world where you could hide for a month with your computer and your thoughts, where would you go?
Kellie: Oh, I can’t say! Then people would know where to find me when I suddenly disappear! Actually, my dream has always been to tour Ireland, England and Scotland. Some of my family originally came from over there and I’ve always felt the pull to visit and see where the ancestry started.
You have a book coming out January 16, 2012. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Rebound is my debut novel coming out with Secret Cravings Publishing. Book 1 in the Love and Balance series, it’s based on my love of gymnastics and romance.

An award-winning choreographer must face the only man she's ever loved then lost when they are teamed up to work together at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.
Claire LeMay is at the top of her game - she's head of a prominent gymnastics facility with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she's avoided for three years after he demanded she live in his shadow instead of forging her own path.
After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. But even with hundreds of members and well-trained coaches, when Claire's presence invades his space, he reluctantly admits she's the one thing missing in his life. As their old passion tumbles out faster than a gymnast sprinting down the vault runway, Justin knows he can’t let her walk out of his life this time.
Are they destined to repeat the same old routine or will they be able to choreograph a new one?

In this excerpt, Justin has attempted to call a truce between them. Claire doesn’t know what to make of his “goodwill” gesture.

Excerpt: She noticed the silence of the gym. “Did everyone leave? I was lost in thought.” He studied her so intently, her heart stuttered. “Just let me finish stretching. I better find Shelley.”

“She said she’d meet you at the car.”

“Oh.” Unable to bear his gaze, she popped into a bridge—upside down on her hands and feet, back arched—so she didn’t have to face him. She regretted her decision as the new position served to remind her of the time they’d attempted to make love like that. Her cheeks burned as she remembered him maneuvering to slide inside her at the awkward angle. It hadn’t lasted long, but it had been fun to try.

She eased back into a sitting position. “I guess you want to lock up.” She stood and caught him looking her over.

He cleared his throat and turned away, fishing around inside his pants pocket. Then he thrust his hand at her. “Here.”

Tentatively, she took what he offered—a key wrapped in a piece of paper with some numbers on it. “What’s this for?”

“For the gym,” he said gruffly. “I know how you like the solitude before all the activity starts. You’re welcome to come here early. Alone, if you like.”

She stared at the key and the alarm code in her hand. “Did you give this to any of the other coaches?”

He shook his head. “No. Just you.”

Shocked at his attempt to extend an olive branch after all this time, she opened her mouth to speak. The words died in her throat when he reached out and traced her jaw with his fingertip. Oh God, he’s touching me. Only a finger, but still a shiver of sexual awareness made her clit tingle. Her knees threatened to buckle, so she locked the muscles in her thighs to remain upright.

In a low voice, he said, “There’s no reason we can’t be civilized. Is there?”

Rebound buy link:

It’s been fun having you as my first blog-interviewee, Kellie! Best wishes for continued success with your writing career.
    Thanks for having me here, Jan! It was a pleasure. I wish you tons of success, too!

Readers can find me at:,, or on twitter @KellieKamryn I love to talk! (as Jan knows, LOL)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fun Health Facts...Or List of Useless Hooey

I'm not exactly a candidate for Jeopardy, but I do enjoy trivia and fun facts. Thought I'd share some with you:

For every pound of weight you lose, you take 4 pounds of pressure off your knees.

Sex burns about 360 calories per hour. (Hmm...better break it down by minute...ha ha -- 6 calories per minute).

When you take a step, you are using up to 200 muscles.

By weight, bone is five times stronger than steel.

The life span of a tastebud is ten days.

Dentists recommend that you keep your toothbrush at least 6 ft. away from the toilet to avoid airborne particles from finding it. (Eww!)

The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45% when a person looks at something pleasing.

Your heart rate can rise as much as 30% when you yawn.

Scientists estimate that laughing 100 times is equivalent to a 10 minute workout on a rowing machine.

Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

Due to the angle at which the optic nerve enters the brain, staring at a blue surface during sex greatly increases the intensity of an orgasm. (Yowza! Blue paint sales are going to skyrocket!!)

Have a great day, folks :-))

*Some info taken from