Friday, December 30, 2011


Author Roseanne Dowell has 
an amazing idea to ring in the new year.

Happy New Year. I'm ringing in 2012 by opening up my blog today and tomorrow to anyone who would like to post a tag line/blurb/buy link in the comments section. To play, you must have your own blog set up with the same title so I can hop over and post my info on your site. It's a 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' type of arrangement. I can't wait to see how many great reads we can post.

Since I'm the site owner, I'll post my info as an example. Just remember, don't post an entire book, we want to leave room for other guests...oh, and please keep your blurbs PG rated. Thanks.

Mysterious deaths in a Florida retirement community turn up more than just dead bodies.
Buy Link at Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore,

Now it's your turn to add your book information in the comments section. Have fun...Happy New Year and enjoy a Happy New Year of Reading with these amazing books.

Monday, December 26, 2011

What is Boxing Day?

Happy Boxing Day to all my Canadian Friends and those who celebrate the day in the English speaking parts of the world. I looked up what Boxing Day is since I was raised in the Heartland of the USA.

According to factmonster--Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.

Church Alms Boxes

Another theory is that the boxes placed in churches where parishioners deposited coins for the poor were opened and the contents distributed on December 26, which is also the Feast of St. Stephen.
As time went by, Boxing Day gift giving expanded to include those who had rendered a service during the previous year. This tradition survives today as people give presents to tradesmen, mail carriers, doormen, porters, and others who have helped them.
My Canadian publisher, Muse It Up Publishing is offering a 40% discount on Boxing Day. Check it out!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The Nativity Scene at Disney World

Wishing you the gifts of peace, hope, joy, and love

that Baby Jesus brought to us on Christmas Day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Video: Trip to Disney World at Christmas Time 2011

Street lamp on the streets of Disney's Magic Kingdom
Forty years ago this can it be 40?? husband and I (married a year and a half in Dec 1971) drove our new Torino down to Florida to see the newly opened Disney World. We paid $28 a night for a room in the Contemporary Hotel...the first time we had ever seen a King-sized bed. I marveled at the topiaries and shouted hello to Mickey and Minnie in the exciting parade at Magic Kingdom.

All these many years later, I am still happy to be with my husband touring three of the four Disney Worlds....Magic Kingdom (gorgeous Christmas lights and decorations), Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.. We returned to Disney this year....just the two of us. Things have changed a LOT! But the magic is still there.

Join me for five minutes so I can share some of that trip to Walt Disney World with you.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Thank You to Authors and Readers

What a variety of amazing recipes we had during the Good Eats, Great Reads event in November and first week of December. These multi-talented authors shared recipes, showcased many genres of books, and were generous in awarding prizes. 

Thank you to each and every one of the authors for participating in the event. It was a pleasure to meet you and to get to know you better through discussions on food and your stories. You guys rock!

Thank you to the readers for visiting the J.Q. Rose blog and for your support of this wonderful event.


J. Q. Rose
Carrot Casserole
Jim Hartley
Eggs Not Quite Benedict
Roseanne Dowell

Amish Dressing
Marva Dasef
Basque Chicken and Chorizo Saute
Kathleen S. Allen
Irish Brown Bread
Gail Brannan
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Heather Haven
Tio's Flan de Naranja
Jane Richardson
Edinburgh Fog
C. Malandrinos
Kourabiedes (Greek Sugar Cookies)
Larion Wills
Sour Dough Bread
Barbara Ehrentrau
Barbara's Homemade Chicken Soup
Dale Thompson
Date Pudding
Dianne Hartsock
Pumpkin Curry


Tanja Cilia
Sticky Rainbow Salad
Pat McDermott
Guinness Beef Stew

Don't forget to email me or any of the authors to request a FREE copy of the Good Eats, Great Reads Recipe Collection which contains ALL the delicious recipes on the blog. 
Email me at jqrose02 (at) gmail (dot)com

Our authors are published by Muse It Up Publishing
Check out the MIU bookstore for LOTS of great reading, free stories, and contests!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Visit With Me at Gail Branan's Blog and WIN

Hello, I am a guest on Gail R. Branan's blog, Flowers on the Fence. Can you imagine me as an entertainer? Check it out and leave a comment to win a copy of my holiday short story, The Good Neighbors.

This video will put a smile on your face...Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Recipe: Janie Franz' Pumpkin Ginger Bisque

Don't forget to request your FREE Good Eats, Great Reads  Recipe Collection

Winding up our Good Eats, Great Reads event today with author Janie Franz' Pumpkin Ginger Bisque. Her son, Chef Scott Franz, shares this tasty recipe and Janie introduces us to her romantic thriller, Ruins Discovery. Welcome, Janie!

Janie Franz’ Pumpkin Ginger Bisque

Thoughts of pumpkin and harvest come to mind this time of year and are part of the back story of my first book with Muse It Up Publishing, Ruins: Discovery. It’s a book set in Arizona that deals with anthropology student Kate Ferguson’s encounter Paul Rodriguez, a man conflicted by a dual heritage of Spanish and a native people far older than those in the state where he designs buildings.

So as a tribute to Paul, I offer a harvest recipe where pumpkin shines as a vegetable. It comes to you via my very talented son, Chef Scott Franz, who is the executive chef and part owner of The Toasted Frog in North Dakota.

Pumpkin, actually a fruit not a vegetable, has been treated as such and served as the foundation for pies, cakes, muffins, bars, and puddings. A powerhouse of nutrients, pumpkins have no cholesterol and are low in fat.  They are rich in beta carotenes and Vitamin A and have been used as a vegetable in Central America and Mexico, where they originated, for over 7,000 years. Native people living alongside the early colonists in America introduced the pumpkin to these new settlers who sent seed back to Europe. The first pumpkin pie was really a spiced pudding made in the pumpkin shell. Settlers removed the seeds and filled the cavity with milk, honey, and spices. They baked it and then spooned out the warm delicious contents.

Pumpkin Ginger Bisque
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
one-half leek, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce fresh ginger, minced
2 ounces dry, white wine
7 cups fresh, cooked pumpkin, cubed
40 ounces chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg
sour cream
toasted pumpkin seeds

            In a 3 quart stock pot, heat oil and butter on medium high heat.  Saute the first four ingredients for 5 minutes.  Add minced garlic and ginger. Saute until aromatic, about 3 minutes.  Deglaze pan with white wine.  Add 7 cups of fresh cooked pumpkin. And 40 ounces of chicken stock. Cook 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Insert a Burr mill and emulsify the soup. This step should only take a few minutes. Add the heavy cream and the nutmeg and stir.
            Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.

[Chef Scott says: Don’t throw those pumpkin seeds out! Remove all of the fibers clinging to the seeds and wash the seeds in a bowl of water.  Let them soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain and lay out on a paper towel to pat dry. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil. Bake for X minutes until toasted. Salt. Use as a garnish or for eating out of the hand as a snack.]

Amazon Buy Link

Barnes & Noble Buy Link

Reader Store: Buy Link

Book blurb:

Anthropologist Kate Ferguson stumbles upon desert ruins, ancient rituals, and psychic gifts, awakening a love that could prove deadly.

Short Excerpt:
Though some of Kate’s fellow graduate students would probably have noticed the superb fit of the stranger’s designer suit, it was his black hair, beginning to gray at his temples, which caught her eye. That was an odd quality in someone his age with his obvious Spanish lineage and apparent refinement. She scanned his features, taking in his sensitive mouth and a nose hinting at an Aztec hawkishness.
She quickly rejected the comparison as she turned to Dr. Swartz, her employer as well as her faculty advisor. He had accused her on more than one occasion of trying to find Aztecs under every rock as she researched Aztec/Maya links with the Arizona prehistoric peoples.
Embarrassed at the memory, she turned back to the stranger. His dark gaze concentrated on her intently for a few seconds, and then he retreated into his thoughts as if he could only focus on the world around him in brief glimpses. It didn’t seem like the muddleheaded preoccupation she’d seen among physics majors. And, it definitely wasn’t drugs—or any she had read about—since he just exhibited a piercing moment of clarity and after that withdrew. It seemed a controlled act or one repeated so often it had become habit. His ability to turn on a single moment of intense interest and concentration like switching on a floodlight—and quickly turn it off—fascinated Kate. She wondered if he had family problems preoccupying him—an errant wife or a child flunking school.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recipe: Larion Wills' Sour Dough Bread

Because Blogger was temperamental when Larion first visited the day before Thanksgiving, I am presenting an encore of her recipe and book information. Please welcome Larion Wills today, our gun-totin', rootin' tootin' Western author whose book, Tarbet, is the fifth in her historical western collection and was released Friday, November 25 from Muse It Up Publishing. In the spirit of the West, Larion shares a recipe from that era, but one which we all love in the 21st centuryYee-haw!

Sour Dough Bread

To fit in with a western, here's a peek at how they used to do it. Although bread making is nearly a lost art, it has become much easier for the modern day person who didn't live on a remote ranch or farm or was traveling if they wanted or preferred raised, yeast bread to biscuits or flat bread. A trip to the store for yeast was in many cases an all day journey. To ensure they had yeast on hand for bread, they used a sour dough starter. In a modern kitchen, though time consuming, the process sounds pretty simple. Even cooking it in a pioneer kitchen would be as long as there was enough wood to keep the stove going. Imagine attempting to do this on a wagon train headed west. The only thing that would be simple would be the shaking of the starter. I actually came across this in references to cowboy cooking. It does boggle my mind a bit to think of carrying starter in a saddle bag. They, like those on a wagon train, wouldn't have to worry about shaking frequently. On the trail they used dutch ovens, cast iron pots with a lid, that they buried in the coals. I suspect it was a lot of guess and keep your fingers crossed when it came to gauging the temperature.

Sour dough bread

1 cup starter (recipe below)
2 cups warm water
31/2 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 T. Dry milk
1 T. Honey

Mix ingredient well and place soft dough in a nest of flour. Knead in only enough flour to keep mixture from sticking to your fingers. Develop further, out of flour nest, by kneading or pounding for 10 minutes. Place smooth ball in bowl and cover with a hot damp towel. Allow to rise for about 4 hours at room temp. (72 degrees) or until double in size. Shape into 3 loaves, allow to raise again for 3 hours. Bake at 325 for about an hour in a well greased or floured pan.

Sour dough starter.
2 cups flour
2 cups water
2 tsp honey
Mix well and allow to ferment 5 days in a warm room. Stir it several times a day. Store unused portion in glass or crockery with a tight fitting lid, shaking often. After using activate with water and flour, 2-3 T in equal portions and stir. Ready again to use in 24 hours. Always maintain at least one cup of starter. One cup of starter is equal to 1 T of dry yeast.

Blurb: Forced to run the ranch like a man after her father’s death, whispers ran wild that Susan was less than a lady. William coming to call caused tongues to wag more. Taking care of a wounded man with only Blazer to help would totally ruin her reputation, but she couldn’t leave a dying man in the hands of delicate Angela or her bungling father no matter what the gossips said about him. How was she to know how much more was behind the attempt on his life? How was she to know she would have to take up a gun, as less than a lady, and fight to save herself and the man she loved?

Larion, please tell us where we can find out more about you and the Western collection.

Buy link for all my books in one place

Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore

Monday, December 5, 2011

Recipe: Pat McDermott's Guinness Beef Stew

Today we welcome Pat McDermott to the fantastic line up of delicious recipes. Pat will send the winner of the drawing a copy of her newly released YA paranormal fantasy, Glancing through the Glimmer. Please leave your email address in your comment so we can contact you if you win. Thank you!...Now Pat, please tell us how you discovered this tasty dish.

 One chilly autumn day, I found myself in a Dublin pub before a roaring peat fire with a glass of wine and a gorgeous bowl of Guinness Beef Stew. Alas, the cook wouldn't share the recipe!

When I returned to New Hampshire, I concocted a tasty stew on a par with the one I'd enjoyed in Ireland, and I'm happy to share the recipe. Sorry I can't offer a roaring peat fire!


4 lbs. lean beef stew meat, trimmed
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
A dollop of bacon fat (optional but good)
5 Tbs. flour
One large vidalia onion, chopped fine
1½ lbs. sliced mushrooms, all white or mix of wild
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of fat-free beef broth
3 cans of Guinness Stout or Draught
3 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps. dried thyme
A few bay leaves
1½ Tbs. brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan, add bacon fat and brown the meat, sprinkling with flour as it cooks. Remove meat to large stew pot. Add onions and cook for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and saute until they release their moisture and start to brown, adding minced garlic and sprinkling on any remaining flour. Add to meat mixture.  Deglaze sauté pan with beef broth and add mixture to meat.  Add Guinness slowly.  Add remaining ingredients. Stir well and simmer, covered, for about two hours, or until meat is tender. Remove cover and simmer a bit longer to thicken sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes, favorite vegetables, and/or Irish soda bread. Serves six hungry people, and leftovers are great.

Blurb for Glancing Through the Glimmer:

In the modern Kingdom of Ireland, few mortals believe in the fairy folk. Without that belief, the fairies are dying. Finvarra, the King of the Fairies, would rather dance than worry—but he must have a mortal dancing partner.

When Janet Gleason’s grandfather becomes the new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, the sixteen-year-old orphan must leave Boston and her friends behind. Janet is lonely in Dublin and unused to her grandparents’ stuffy social life. An invitation to a royal ball terrifies her. She can’t even waltz and dreads embarrassment. Finvarra’s fairy witch overhears her fervent wish to learn to dance.

Seventeen-year-old Prince Liam Boru loathes the idea of escorting another spoiled American girl to a ball. In fact, he detests most of his royal duties. He dresses down to move through Dublin unnoticed and finds himself on his royal backside when Janet crashes into him. Intrigued, he asks to see her again, and she willingly agrees. Unaware of each other’s identities, they arrange to meet. When they do, the fairies steal Janet away.

Liam’s attempts to find her trigger a series of frustrating misadventures. Can he and Janet outwit a treacherous fairy king who’s been hoodwinking mortals for centuries?


            The first time Liam slipped and fell, he cursed the rain-damp grass. He blamed his second tumble on his haste to catch up with Janet. What on earth had possessed the girl to run off like that? She couldn’t possibly want to find music that badly.
            Music only she could hear.
            The third time he lost his balance, he’d swear someone had pushed him, but no one was there. He landed on his hands and knees and cursed again. He might not be a muscleman, but he was far from a clumsy dolt. A lifetime of sports and outdoor treks had surely left him fit enough to climb a scrubby little hillside.
            Something strange was afoot.
            I’m being ridiculous. The breeze must have kept him from hearing the music she heard. She’d likely gone after the owner of whatever was playing the tune to learn its name.
            Yet the Nose of Howth seemed deserted. How odd for a sunny Sunday morning. Even if Janet had gone off seeking the source of the music, no amount of rationalizing could explain why she’d left so abruptly. The chilling sense that she was in danger had Liam’s heart thumping high in his throat.
            Should he call his cousin? If Kevin was still on the pier, it would take him a while to get here. And practical Kevin would surely think Liam astray in the head.
            Maybe he was, but something told him he had to find Janet, and fast. Keeping close to the ground as if he were dodging radar, he clambered monkey-like up the hill. This time he reached the top of the rise. Lumps in the landscape surrounded him, clumps of rock and rolling masses of heather and gorse that encircled the level spot where he stood. He knew the place well. Except for the curious lack of weekend hill walkers, nothing seemed amiss.
            He listened hard. A seagull cried in the distance. Otherwise, all was silent. No, wait! Music drifted toward him, a plucky harp tune he might have enjoyed under different circumstances. Was that what Janet had heard?
            Where was it? He turned in a circle, squinting in the sunlight, scanning, straining to hear. When he returned to the spot where he’d started, a jolt of fear set his pulse racing.
            A round stone hut had appeared on the highest part of the clearing. Its low thatched roof rose to a ridiculously high point. It resembled a roundhouse, the sort of dwelling that belonged in a prehistoric ring fort.
            Or a fairy fort.
            Liam swallowed hard. He’d seen replicas of such huts in Ireland’s folk parks. He’d also viewed ruins of the original ring forts, all that remained of the structures built by the mysterious peoples who’d lived and died in Ireland thousands of years ago.
            Where had this one come from? Why was it on the Nose of Howth? Liam had never seen it before, nor had he heard of any gimmicky tourism plans for the cliff walk. Of course, he didn’t know everything. Convincing himself that he’d failed to see the hut at first because the sun had blinded him, he ventured toward the structure.
            He spotted a doorway and relaxed. Janet was there, speaking to a woman wearing a period costume, medieval or older. That’s what it was, he thought: tourism come to tarnish Howth. How could Uncle Peadar have allowed such nonsense?
            Liam called Janet’s name again, but neither she nor the woman showed any sign that they’d heard him. The wind must have carried his voice away. He stalked toward the roundhouse. As he approached, the costumed woman placed a necklace over Janet’s head.
            The roundhouse flickered, faded, and reappeared. Alarmed, Liam stopped. This was no tourist gimmick. As his thoughts scrambled for an explanation, the woman grabbed Janet’s arm and pulled her into the hut.
            “Janet, no!” His ferocious roar proved useless. Unbelievably, the roundhouse began to dissolve. No longer doubting his horrified senses, he dove at the hut and charged through the disappearing door.
            The world around him melted away.

Where can we find you on the Internet, Pat? 

My Web Site:

My Writing/Travel Blog (Put the Kettle On):

Facebook page for Glancing Through the Glimmer:!/

Buy Link at Muse It Up Publishing

My cooking blog (Kitchen Excursions):

 Pat featured the FREE Good Eats, Great Reads Recipe Collection on the Kitchen Excursion's blog. Thanks, Pat! Please request this collection from Pat or me or any of the authors in the GEGR event

Sunday, December 4, 2011

NEW Holiday Short Story--The Good Neighbors by J Q Rose

Announcing today! The Good Neighbors, a short story for the holidays is now up on Amazon! If you need a break from preparing for the upcoming holidays, pick up the short story and escape for a awhile into this fun tale. Please leave a comment to be eligible to win a PDF copy of The Good Neighbors!

Jim and Gloria Hart, snowbirds from Michigan, always help out the neighbors in their Florida retirement community when asked. Who knew being good could turn out to be so bad?

All royalties from the sale of this story support local food pantries. If you are able, please consider donating food or make a cash donation to your local food pantry so they can purchase goods at discounted prices to stock their shelves. Please note food pantries need our donations year round. Summer, when the kids are out of school and do not receive school lunches, is a time of urgent need. Thank you.

Excerpt from The Good Neighbors:

Gloria couldn’t pull Ethel out of the bathtub by herself. She remembered there was something about not moving a fall victim.  She couldn’t just leave her there. Her skeleton-like neighbor was lying splayed out in the tub. At least she didn’t land face down in the soapy water. Gloria pulled the plug and the water swirled down the drain. She wrapped a bath towel around Ethel and dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone.  Thank goodness she had stuffed it in her pocket this morning.
“9-1-1. what is your emergency?”
“Yes, hello. My neighbor has fallen and I can’t get her up.” Gloria’s head ached and Ethel’s yapping dog was driving her crazy. “Hush, Buttons! Go on. Go on. Get out of here.” She shooed the little mutt away from her.    
Ethel moaned. She seemed to be coming to. “What the hell happened?” She blinked up at Gloria. “Dammit. Get me out of here. I’m okay. I’m fine. Dammit.” Gloria gently held Ethel’s hand, but when the determined woman struggled to get up, Gloria threw the phone on the floor and firmly grasped Ethel’s wrists to hold her down. This feisty eighty-four-year old lady was stronger than she looked.
“Stay there, Ethel. I’ve called for help. Just be patient.” Gloria couldn’t let go of Ethel nor could she retrieve the phone from the bathroom floor to keep talking to the 9-1-1 operator. She hollered Ethel’s address at the phone.
Trying to remain calm, she turned back to Ethel and asked, “Do you need another towel?”
Ethel’s eyes narrowed as she gazed full on at Gloria. “Let me outta here, Gloria. Dammit! I’m okay. Why’d you call 9-1-1? Are those first responder clowns going to show up here? Son of a bitch, I’m naked! I don’t want them to see me like this. Dammit to hell. Let me outta this tub!”
“Calm down, Ethel.” Still hanging on to Ethel’s thin wrists, Gloria made a mental note to herself not to ever pick up the neighbor’s newspaper out of the bushes and take it to the back door. She realized she would never have heard Ethel’s scream if she had ignored the paper.
“Where are you?” A woman’s voice called from the kitchen door.
“In the bathroom. Come on. Hurry. Ethel’s fallen and she shouldn’t get up, but she’s trying awful hard.”
Gloria was never so happy to see someone. Thank goodness it was her friend, Leslie. She was one of the first responders in their Florida retirement community of Citrus Ridge, a large park filled with double wide trailer homes, broad streets, golf course, and Florida palm trees.
“Dammit, Girl. Let me get outta this tub!” Ethel continued to squirm but Gloria held her down.
“Oh, my side, my side hurts. Shit.” Gloria felt Ethel stop resisting when the pain took over. The injured woman closed her eyes and wriggled her hand free to hold her left side, but continued muttering every blue word Gloria had ever heard in her life. Evidently Ethel’s ribs were more painful than the goose egg beginning to appear on the side of her head.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Recipe: Tanja Cilia's Sticky Rainbow Salad

Welcome to Tanja Cilia multi-talented writer extraordinaire! She contributes to the world of writing through her characters Fleur and Lee who appear in stories in children's publications in Malta, newspaper and magazine articles. She wears several hats as a proofreader, editor, and ghost-writer. Tanja also writes fiction shorts and poetry. One of her short stories appears in Lavender Dreams, an anthology released by Muse It Up Publishing. Thanks to the generous publisher, authors, and editor, all royalties from the sales of this book will be donated each year to a cancer research organization or hospice in order to further combat and find a cure.

Tanja says, "This recipe was originally made up as a "peace" recipe for a website that was promoting unity between nations and religions and cultures. I thought it was a good thing to pass on."

Sticky Rainbow Salad
(Serves 4)

1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
2 radishes
3 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
3 carrots, grated
2 cups seedless black grapes, halved
1 cucumber, cut into sticks
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 Spanish onion, ringed


4 tbs heather honey (any honey can be substituted)
1 tbs virgin olive oil
1 drop lemon essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil


Combine oils and honey; leave to rest.
Meanwhile prepare vegetables and grapes; toss.
Share between four bowls.
Pour dressing over, just before serving.

Sit back and wait for compliments and requests for seconds....

Lavender Dreams from Muse It Up Publishing

Lavender Dreams is dedicated to the memory of one of our dear editors who passed away 2011 from cancer, Karen McGrath.

You will always be remembered.


Tributes and Dedications


A Blessing in Disguise by Gloria Oren


Cancer Didn’t Get Him by Barbara Ehrentreu

Taking Flight by Vicki Batman

Camp Chemo: The Last Laugh by Nan D Arnold

Waiting by Rosemary Gemmell


Stories from the War by Nathaniel Tower

Testing…by Lisa J Lickel

The Cancer Tree by Nathaniel Tower

Behind A Closed Heart by Suzannah Safi

The Book by Tanja Cilia

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recipe: Dianne Hartsock's Pumpkin Curry

Author Dianne Hartsock sent her main character from her paranormal e-book, Trials of a Lonely Specter to visit us today. Thanks, Dianne for this recipe, er, I mean, thanks Quinn for sharing this curry recipe with us. To be eligible to win Dianne's book, leave a comment on what kind of pie you or pumpkin. Yes, that's your only choices for entering the contest. I imagine there will be some very interesting comments on this. Thanks, Everyone, for participating.

Quinn knows that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and Liam is no exception. Trying to intice Liam to appear, who, for a ghost, has some curiously earthy appetites, he cooked this up for dinner last night. Once the rich, spicy aroma started to fill the house, it was only a matter of minutes before the specter appeared at the table, blue eyes sparkling with hunger. Quinn counts this one a success!

Cashew, Coconut, and Pumpkin Curry

 Cashew, Coconut, and Pumpkin Curry


  • 1 1/2 qts. peeled, 1 1/2-in. chunks pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash (from a 3-lb. squash)
  • About 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 onion, halved and cut into half-moons
  • 1 or 2 red or green serrano chiles, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2 1/2 in. long)
  • 20 fresh curry leaves* or 6 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1 cup salted roasted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Steamed basmati rice 
  • 1. Sprinkle pumpkin with 1/2 tsp. salt. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown half the pumpkin in oil, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes; reduce heat if pumpkin starts getting dark. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with 1 tbsp. oil and remaining pumpkin.
  • 2. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil meanwhile in another large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer half to the nonstick frying pan and reserve other half in a bowl.
  • 3. Add chiles, cinnamon, and curry leaves to onion in pan. Cook, stirring often, until curry leaves are very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • 4. Return pumpkin to nonstick frying pan (with onion) and add coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer until pumpkin is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in cashews and lemon juice, and add more salt to taste. Top curry with reserved onion and serve with rice.
*Find in Indian markets.
Recipe from Sunset Magazine OCTOBER 2011 

Trials of a Lonely Specter
MuseItUp Publishing, October 14, 2011

There’s been an accident. Quinn believes he’s dead, though Liam insists otherwise. But if that is the case, why does Quinn see the two of them as ghosts? And why does Liam play along? Exposed to mediums and apparitions, Quinn has to make a decision: either accept his fate or risk everything to trust Liam one more time.


The room darkened as Liam walked through an archway on the left and he hurried to follow him. He would have liked to take some time to examine the furnishing and tapestries of the parlor, but Liam pressed on. Quinn finally caught him at the far end of the room.
“Where’re we going?”
“We’ll find Betterford’s body reposing in the highest room of the tallest tower.”
Quinn gave him a dry look. “Wasn’t that for the ‘Sleeping Beauty’?”
“So I’ve heard,” Liam purred, looking like he was about to eat the canary.
Quinn didn’t like the eager way he swept through the kitchen to the servants’ staircase.
He tramped up the dark stairs in the apparition’s wake. Liam’s werelight was a mere flicker in his hand, casting eerie shadows on the close walls. Quinn was huffing by the time they reached the third flight and Liam stopped to let him catch his breath.
He looked up at the fond tone. Liam stood several steps above, curiously watching him. “You’re a ghost, my dear. You should be gliding up these stairs.”
Quinn’s mouth fell open. “I forgot,” he confessed. His eyes dropped, waiting for Liam’s mocking laughter. It never came. Instead, the man descended the stairs until he stood level with him. Quinn held his breath as the hand that held the werelight touched his cheek.
“You give me hope,” Liam said surprisingly. “Here, let me help you.” He slipped his arm through Quinn’s.
They fairly flew up the steps after that. Quinn laughed with the exhilaration that raced through him. He’d never felt so free. He wanted to burst through the roof and fly straight into the night. Liam grinned, sharing his joy in the sensation of weightlessness and speed.
All too soon they spilled into the hallway far above. Their laughter died at the grimness of the shadowy corridor. Quinn winced when Liam suddenly grabbed his hand. The spirit’s eyes glowed with anticipation.
He leaned close. “Trust me, Quinn.” His voice was shaking and the man cleared his throat. “Whatever you think of me after this, please remember that I want the best for you. For us.”
“I don’t understand.”
Liam shook his head, clearly disappointed by his answer. Tugging on his hand, he led him to a door in the middle of the corridor.
Quinn stared at the closed door, reluctant to open it. “Betterford’s in there?”
Liam made a noncommittal sound. They stood side-by-side looking at the door until a smile lifted the corner of Liam’s mobile mouth. “Are you going to open it, or are we staying out here all night?”

Dianne Hartsock

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recipe: Pat Dale's Date Pudding to Die For

Big Monday morning welcome to Author Pat Dale. Pat advises readers--"If you try this recipe, be prepared for a big tummy ache if you overeat it. I chose this recipe because, don’t you know, misery loves company. LOL" Please leave a comment to be eligible to win Pat's psychological suspense paperback book, Crossed Lines.


Date Pudding to Die For 
1 cup Dromedary dates, chopped                                                   3/4cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped
 2/3 cup brown sugar
 2   eggs
 ½ t  vanilla extract
 ½ cup  flour
 1 t   baking powder (heaping)
1 T   butter
 Pinch of salt

Beat eggs and vanilla, add dates, nuts, and brown sugar. Mix well.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into mixture.
Spread into a greased 9X9 glass pan and dot with butter.
Bake @ 325 degrees for 30 min., or when a knife inserted into middle comes out clean.

Serve warm with freshly whipped cream. Warning, portions should be small. This scrumptious dessert will leave you wanting more, but resist temptation.
Recommended serving size: two inch squares. Not recommended: licking the bowl clean. LOL


SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY, a mid-life romantic suspense novel by Pat Dale.

You’re a woman approaching the big four-oh and you’re all alone. Again. You’d lost your fighter pilot husband to a stupid accident, but you sucked it up and took your young son to a new life in Colorado. Then he’s killed by a hit and run driver and your life turns maudlin. You’re a nurse with a good job in a hospital children’s ward, but your life has lost its meaning. How do you go on? Why do you go on?
Then you meet a man who’d lost his wife to cancer. His daughter is almost the age your son would have been. He likes you and she likes you. You bond and suddenly the world takes on a new glimmer. Your heart beats strong with hope for a better future.
Of course, that’s before you discover that this man may have been the very one who ran over your son. Have you been sleeping with your enemy?

The girl was sitting up, propped by pillows when they stepped into the room. “Hi, Daddy.” She gave him a big smile before turning her eyes questioningly at Ana.
He said, “Hi, sweetheart. How are you feeling?”
“Better. I got pretty sick today but I’m okay now.”
“That’s good, honey. Do you remember Ana?”
She smiled. “Yes, Daddy. It’s my tummy that’s sick, not my head.”
Ana got the embarrassed daddy off the hook, saying, “I’m glad you’re feeling better, Sherry. Did you miss us?”
“I think I was too dizzy to miss much of anything.”
Dan said, “I went over to Ana’s for coffee while they helped you. She has a puppy you’ve got to see.”
“A puppy?” She turned quizzical eyes on Ana. “You have a dog?”
“I do. Her name is Molly and she’s a German Shorthair.”
“Do they get big?”
“Not too big. She weighs about twenty pounds right now but they said she’ll be about forty to fifty full-grown. And she’s really smart, too.”
“Wow. Wish I had a dog, smart or dumb.” Her eyes fixed accusingly on her father. “But I guess we can’t have pets in our house.”
“Oh, yes we can,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it, sweetheart, and there’s no reason you can’t have a puppy if you want one.”
That brought her to life. Eyes bright and shining, she asked, “Really?”
“Really. I like dogs too, honey. And we’re going to be making some changes at home. I think we need that.”
Sherry turned serious. “Daddy, will I be out of here in time to go to the swim meet this weekend?”
He glanced at Ana, who was shaking her head. “I don’t think so, baby. The doctor wants you to get over this before you get back into the water.”
“But I am over it. Almost. I feel great now.”
Ana watched the struggle of wills between father and daughter, wondering how much the girl had gotten away with over the past couple of years. She remembered her experiences with Joey. Kids seemed to have some kind of surveillance radar that let them know when their parents were vulnerable.

Buy Link for SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY  available at Muse It Up Publishing.

For more information about Pat Dale and his books, go to Muse It Up Publishing  Also available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

YouTube VIDEO: Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream Hello and welcome! I wanted to pop in to wish you moms, grandmoms and those w...