Nicole Evelina with Been Searching for You

Been Searching for You eBook Cover LargeI am welcoming back Nicole Evelina to the Starla Kaye blog with her new release, BEEN SEARCHING FOR YOU. The novel is a romantic comedy and won the 2015 Romance Writers of America Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

BLURB – Been Searching for You

Annabeth is a hopeless romantic who believes in soul mates. In fact, she’s been writing to hers each year on her birthday since she was 16.

Now, at 34, she’s still holding out hope of finding Mr. Right even though he’d be fighting an uphill battle to gain her trust, thanks to a traumatic experience years before that’s left her unable to commit.

When Annabeth meets a handsome literature professor named Alex on her 34th birthday, she thinks her quest may finally be at an end. Things don’t quite go as planned, so Annabeth resolves to do everything she can over the next year to find the unknown recipient of her letters.  But blind dates, Meetup events and online singles sites have nothing on what fate has in store for her when a co-worker unexpectedly quits and Annabeth finds herself working in close quarters with both Alex and her long ago ex, Nick. Fighting her attraction to one and loathing for the other, Annabeth is forced to face all of her old insecurities while keeping an eye on a scheming frienemy who may derail her hopes and dreams.

Written in the tradition of Bridget Jones’ Diary, Kim Gruenfelder’s A Total Waste of Makeup, and Melissa Pimental’s Love By The Book, this romantic comedy shows that love on the sweet side can exist for the modern girl, if only she’s willing to trust herself and search hard enough.

BUY LINKS:   Amazon     Nook     Kobo     iBooks     Smashwords

EXCERPT – Been Searching for You

When the doorbell rang the following afternoon, I was still in my pajamas. It was Miles and Mia. Again.

“What do you two want?” I said with more than a little annoyance. I loved them, but at some point, one would think they’d learn weekends were sacred alone time for an introvert like me. “I’m all out of chocolate chip pancakes.”

Mia was huddled behind Miles as if she was using his body as a shield. It was very strange. “No, silly, we’re not here for food.”

“That’s a first.”

“We’re here,” Miles picked up the thread of conversation, “on strict orders from MI6.”

I squinted at them. “Did you two do drugs last night?”

“I’m totally serious,” Miles said. “If you will kindly let us in, we’ll explain.”

With a roll of my eyes, I stepped aside. They plunked down on the couch, a large box between them.

I pointed at it. “It’s not ticking, is it?”

Mia smiled. “Nope.”

“As I said”—Miles adopted a serious tone as if he were on one of those TV shows about the CIA—“we were given a clear mission, and it was to deliver this to you.”

I perched on the arm of the couch. “And did this message self-destruct after you received it?”

“Nope. Mia destroyed the evidence by eating it. Girl will eat anything.” Miles snickered, and Mia punched him in the arm.

“So what’s in the box, and who sent it?”

“That’s classified—need to know only, and we didn’t need to know.”

“You guys are really starting to weird me out,” I said in partial honesty.

“Just open it.” Mia pulled me onto her lap and forced my hands around the edges of the paper-wrapped box.

After inspecting it for any signs of who gave them this mysterious “mission,” I tore open the paper. Inside was an expensive white-and-red striped decorative box, the kind in which an uptown woman might store correspondence or invitations to snooty parties. Lifting the lid carefully, I found a single sheet of cream stationery on top covered in Alex’s elegant, Catholic schoolboy handwriting.

Annabeth, since there is much I cannot be with you for in body over the coming months, I wanted to make sure I was there in spirit when you needed me. I made this while I was waiting to hear the final outcome, knowing we’d have use for it eventually even if I didn’t get in at Oxford. Please consider each one of these envelopes a work of love.

The letter ended with his signature and a quote from a Florence and the Machine song about finding a way around an ocean for the sake of love.

Speechless, I handed the letter to Miles. Mia craned her neck around me to see it.

Underneath, standing in neat rows, were at least two dozen multicolored envelopes. Selecting one at random, I pulled out a bright green envelope that reminded me of those glow sticks they used to sell at skating rinks in the eighties. I even had the urge to shake it to see if it would light up. In the upper left corner, where a return address would normally have been, were the words, “Open me when…” In lieu of an address, he had written, “you need a laugh.” Below the words was a giant smiley face sticker. Thumbing through the others, I noticed they all bore the same return address but were meant for different occasions—everything from my moods to situations that might arise at work or in other areas of my life.

Typical Mia, she made a beeline for the only red envelope, which said, “Open me when… you’re Fifty Shades of Horny.” She waved it in my face. “I want to know what’s in this one.”

I made to grab it away, but she squirmed out from under me, scampering around the couch and holding it out of my reach like a schoolyard bully. She shook it. “Too small for even a silver bullet.” Her face lit up with inspiration. “Someone’s getting lucky online,” she sang.

“Damn it, Mia. Give it back.”

Miles calmly got up—unnoticed by Mia because she was too busy capering around—plucked it out of her hand, and tossed it to me. “My darling, we’ve completed our mission. We should probably leave Annabeth alone.”

She gave Miles an incredulous look. “Why, so she can fondle her envelopes? Nope. This calls for a day on the town.”

 

AUTHOR INFO

Nicole Evelina headshot horizontalNicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her upcoming novel, Been Searching for You (May 10), a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year, she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Her website is http://nicoleevelina.com. She can be reached online at:

 

Nicole Evelina with Camelot’s Queen

Camelot%27s Queen eBook Cover LargeToday I am happy to welcome Nicole Evelina to the Starla Kaye blog with CAMELOT’S QUEEN, the second book in her Arthurian legend trilogy.

The Men of Camelot’s Queen

Most of my guest posts about my Arthurian legend trilogy center on Guinevere, which makes sense as she’s the POV character and it’s her story. And because my books are unabashedly telling the female side of the story, I talk a lot about other key female characters like Isolde, Elaine and Morgan.

However, when I got to thinking about this blog post, I realized that given Starla is a romance writer and my books have strong romantic elements (though that HEA is elusive until the third book), it might be a good idea to give the boys a little love. So, here are brief description of each of the main men in Guinevere’s life in Camelot’s Queen (Book 2 of Guinevere’s Tale) and who I imagine playing them in a movie/TV version.

BTW – I ask readers to please read the first book, Daughter of Destiny, before reading Camelot’s Queen. You probably could read Camelot’s Queen on its own, but you will miss many of the relationships and motivations built up in the first book, which may lead to misunderstanding or frustration, and I want you to have a pleasant reading experience. But whether you read both or jump straight into this one, please know this is not your mother’s Guinevere, or Arthur, for that matter – but I hope you enjoy them all the same.

King Arthur

Played in my head by Christian Kane of Leverage and The Librarians

Arthur is our alpha male, our leading man in this second book of the series as he becomes Guinevere’s husband. Even though neither of them intended to marry one another, he really does love her and would give his life to protect her. He’s a warrior through and through and a responsible king who truly cares about his people. He’ll fight you just as soon as bed you, which makes my battle-trained Guinevere quite happy. But he does have quite a past with the ladies, and two of them come back to haunt him in this book.

Lancelot

Played in my head by Adrian Grenier of Entourage fame

Lancelot is of course, Guinevere’s famous lover. I purposefully made him manly, but not totally alpha because I didn’t want him in direct competition with Arthur. He had to have a little softness (but Lord, not as much as the guy in the movie version of Camelot…that was too much even for me), which I found he wanted to express in his tender workings with horses. Hence, Lancelot became a type of “horse whisperer” whose techniques I gleaned from the ancient horse master Xenophon. He is a bit of a flirt and has been around the block more than once in his day, but his heart will always belong to Guinevere.

Aggrivane

Played in my head by Orlando Bloom of Pirates of the Caribbean

Aggrivane, as we learn in the first book of the series, has the heart of a poet, more beta than alpha. He and Guinevere were each other’s first loves, and no matter what life throws at them, there will always be part of them that is linked, like it or not. They are about as star-crossed as Romeo and Juliet, and as such, are vulnerable to betrayals real and imagined, which unfortunately, have series consequences in this book.

Malegant

Played in my head by Joseph Morgan of The Vampire Diaries/The Originals

We all like the bad boys, right? Well Malegant is more than your average knight with a dark side. He’s more than a little psychotic and as we eventually see, enjoys inflicting pain. But he has his reasons, his own dark past that made him into who he is. Is it bad that I loved writing him?

Mordred

Played in my head by Mat Czuchry of The Good Wife

Mordred is fun character to explore because he’s not given much of a personality in the traditional legends beyond his betrayal and murder of his father. In Camelot’s Queen, you see him grow into manhood in the shadow of his renowned father. He’s seventeen when the book ends and he commits his first act of betrayal (against Guinevere). In this case, it has nothing to do with Morgan and everything to do with the result of his drunken actions. He tries to be a good man, but his moral compass is a bit off center, and in the third book, we’ll see absolute power corrupt him.

Merlin

Played in my head by Jonathan Rhys Meyers of The Tudors and Velvet Goldmine

A hot Archdruid? Hell, yes! Imagine Merlin with long red hair like in the beginning of Velvet Goldmine before Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character goes all Ziggy Stardust. He’s handsome and powerful and he knows it, but he’s also devoted to Viviane. That is, at least until a young girl name Nimue comes of age and turns her obsessive love on him. Even for all his power, Merlin is helpless to resist her charms. We all know this story doesn’t end well, but the method and reason may surprise you.

I’d love to know who is your favorite hero of Arthurian legend. Are you team Lancelot or team Arthur? Or maybe someone else? And why?

 

BLURB – Camelot’s Queen

History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion.

Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation.

This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but be prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

BUY LINKS – Camelot’s Queen     Amazon (ebook and paperback)     Nook     Kobo     iBooks     Smashwords

 

 

vertical-author photoAuthor Info

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel is Camelot’s Queen, the second book in an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view.

Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, took first place in the legend/legacy category of the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Her upcoming novel, Been Searching for You (May 10), a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests. Later this year, she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Her website is http://nicoleevelina.com. She can be reached online at:

 

Kim McMahill with A Taste of Tragedy

ATasteofTragedy_ebookcover copyToday I am welcoming Kim McMahill to the Starla Kaye website with A Taste of Tragedy.

BlurbA Taste of Tragedy

Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed . . . until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.

Buy Link – Amazon pre-order link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DTE29U2/

ExcerptA Taste of Tragedy

“Here, let me help you,” Morgan said as she draped Devyn’s arm around her shoulders.

Morgan tried to relieve as much weight as she could from Devyn as she helped her hobble to the waiting vehicle. Once Devyn was seated in the cramped back seat, Morgan dug out her emergency supply bag. She handed Devyn a blanket and a bottle of water. “I have a first aid kit, but I think you need something a little more than a bandage.”

“It’s just a few scratches. I’ll live.”

Morgan could see why Nick trusted Devyn with his back. As she looked at the battered and bruised woman, who had taken off into the desert in the middle of the night in bare feet to prevent a criminal from getting away, she had to admire her. Devyn had to be in extreme pain, yet not a complaint escaped her lips.

“Make room in the back,” Nick huffed.

Morgan looked up to see Nick trudging toward her with an inert Aaron slung over his shoulder. She raced to the tiny back cargo area and moved a few items around so Nick could squeeze the body in the vehicle.

“Is he dead?” Morgan whispered.

“Not quite, but we need to get him medical help A.S.A.P. The bullet didn’t hit any vital organs, but I’m not sure how much damage he suffered from the knock to the head”

Morgan watched as Nick set the man down in the vehicle, and then she joined Devyn in the back seat. Turning around and kneeling, she was able to lean over the seat and assess Aaron’s injuries. She folded up a handkerchief and placed it over Aaron’s gunshot wound and applied pressure. She wasn’t sure which was bleeding more, the bullet hole or the bump and cut to the head, but she had to try and slow the blood loss any way she could.

“That’s all we can do for now,” Nick said. “Just keep the pressure on the best you can.”

Morgan nodded as Nick secured the back and then got behind the wheel.

“You okay?” Nick asked as he turned to face Devyn.

“I’ve had better days, but sadly, I’ve had worse.”

 

Author Bio

Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. Kim currently resides in Colorado, and when not writing, she enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, and spending time with family.

Author Links

Website: http://kimmcmahill.com

Blog:  http://kimmcmahill.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/849945.Kim_McMahill

First Submission anthology released

61rH-mA+MFL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_I am excited to announce the recent release of a seriously hot anthology, First Submission, from Black Velvet Seductions. Eleven authors are included: Mandie Mills, R.M. Olivia, Leslie McKelvey, Zora Nyxx, Breanna Hayse, Kelly Dawson, A. T. Brennan, Amanda Ravenscroft, Selkie McKatrick, S.K. Fero, and Starla Kaye.

This is a collection of red hot stories involving some of the firsts in life, including straight, gay, BDSM, domestic discipline, age play, and multiple partners.

The anthology is currently available as an ebook at Amazon.

BLURBS:

STARLA KAYE: To Love, Honor, Obey… and Trust
Take off her panties. Why? “… Because knowing you are sitting at your desk with a bare bottom, which will be spanked later, will make you less pissy…” Did Abby believe he would carry out his threat? More so, could she trust him to give her exactly what she needed?

S.K. FERO: Whatever It Takes
Relationships are hard enough, but when an ultimatum is given, and a choice has to be made, things become hot. Will one dominant cowboy give his submission to the other to keep their romance alive? Sometimes sacrifice brings some unknown rewards.

MANDIE MILLS: The Initiation:
After accepting a mysterious invitation to a private kink club, Felicity’s domination and submission fantasies come to life in an adventurous evening of blindfolds, bondage and double penetration that includes a handsome stranger.

R.M. OLIVIA: An Anniversary Gift for Emily
Discouraged by the lack of spark in their marriage, Emily’s husband breaks into her diary to discover her hidden secret- a ménage! Would she be open to an interracial adventure with their sexy Latino neighbor? There is only one way to find out.

LESLIE MCKELVEY: The First Time… Again
Can Lila summon up the nerve to tell her easy-going and laid back boyfriend what is really on her mind? How would he receive her request to take charge and command control, tie her up and even spank her! She longed to submit but was he prepared to dominate? Once asked, there would be no going back.

ZORA NYXX: Kneel
Her marriage had fallen to the mundane, everyday life that left Lydia feeling empty and joyless. She needed a second chance to live again, clear on the other side of the country where she met Thorton- a powerful and dominating man who was not only able to awaken her sexuality but also claim her heart. That is- if she could bring herself to kneel before him.

BREANNA HAYSE: A Little Submission
Sharli’s no angel and her childish defiance has landed her in the police station. No amount of weaseling is going to stop her alpha male boyfriend from showing his love for his Little girl by putting her straight over his knee for a shocking bare-bottom spanking. Comforted in his strong, loving arms, Sharli realizes that she needs more than just a dom- she also needs a Daddy.

KELLY DAWSON: Subdued By The Lifeguard
Zane’s a surf lifeguard, trained and paid to rescue and protect, his watchful eye never missing a beat when it came to safety. His dominance flowed like the waves over the sand, drawing Lisa into its wake and daring her to challenge him. Would she risk drowning just for the chance that he could make her obey? Assuming, of course, that he would save her!

A.T. BRENNAN: A Valentine’s Surprise:
Lena and Kai decide to fulfill each other’s deepest fantasies for Valentine’s. She’ll wear a sexy PVC dress for him, and he brings his friend Taylor along so she can experience a threesome with two men. Two dominant alpha males and one sensual vixen make for a threesome to remember!

AMANDA RAVENSCROFT: Her New Life
Christie has been successful at work, but something was missing from her life- the need to submit to a truly dominant man. Could this awakened need be fulfilled in the hands of Gerard, who holds to the old-fashioned beliefs of consent, respect, and compliance?

SELKIE McKATRICK: Eternal Submission
Do you believe in reincarnation and the paranormal?  When Dorrie submits her heart and soul to Eli, she never imagines being bound to him in another life as both his soul mate and submissive. If love truly is forever, then beware before you submit to its power in this thrilling romance.

Hello My Name Is – contest winners

my name is--500finalI was excited about the recent Hello My Name Is blog tour and the responses that I received to my own contest. Because of that, I decided to award a second couple of small fun prizes to a runner-up.

My contest winner for the main prize was Sam Stamp.

My runner-up winner was Jan Lee.

Thanks so much for all of you who stopped by and left comments.

#Hello2016 New Years Blog Hop!

2016 is here already! I’m excited to tell everyone to have a wonderful new year and to have you be part of the Hello My Name Is giveaway blog hop.

my name is--500final

I’m going to share some fun facts about myself…and I’m offering a contest. See the details about that below. And when you’re done reading these facts and entering my contest, hop on over to the other participating sites linked below.

Fun Facts about Starla Kaye:

  • I love everything Christmas and have large collections of Santas, snowmen, and angels.
  • I travel a lot, take gazillions of pictures, and make small art quilts from my favorite photos.
  • I also write children’s books under another name.
  • I have a big collection of stuffed cows.
  • I love to play all kinds of card games and board games…and I usually lose.
  • Chocolate-r-me should be my nickname.
  • I’m addicted to buying reference books, which I almost never look at after purchasing.
  • I would much rather give away gifts than receive them.

Hello prizesContest: Share one quirky fact about yourself and leave your email address for a chance to win my special prize. The contest ends January 14th. You may enter on more than one day during the blog hop.

 

 

 

 

 

trusting love again.inddTrusting Love Again – from Black Velvet Seductions

All she wants is to start over, live a peaceful life…

After an abusive marriage and an ugly divorce, Toni needs to rebuild her self-confidence and start a new life in her hometown. Going home again and confronting people she’d hurt when she’d left is never easy. She’d hung onto the idea of buying a long-abandoned old house and remodeling it to help her recover. But a man from her past has recently purchased it for his business. That’s her emotional breaking point and she does something reckless. Now she must pay the legal consequences of her foolish actions…by working for him.

All he wants is to focus on his work…

Chad’s job as a lawyer working to protect the rights of the abused elderly consumes his time and energy. It cost him his marriage and an aborted child he hadn’t known about. Now he works harder, guards his bruised heart. Yet the return of someone he’d held secret feelings for comes back to town. She upsets his world, starting with minor destruction of his business property and causing him minor injury. He shouldn’t become involved in helping this troubled woman, yet he can’t keep from doing so.

Two heart-damaged people have trouble trusting love again.

BUY LINKS: Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo     Smashwords

 

HOP OVER TO: Hello My Name Is Giveaway Hop Jan 7-14th

 

Christmas Date Pudding

12 Days of Recipes: Christmas Date Pudding

Christmas Date PuddingI love this time of year: getting together with family and friends, giving gifts, and sharing our favorite things. One of the favorite things I like to share and have shared with me are recipes.

Today I’m sharing an old family dessert recipe that is a favorite for Christmas dinner.

 

 

CHRISTMAS DATE PUDDING

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 x boiling water
1 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c flour
1/2 c dates (chopped)
1/2 c nuts (chopped)
1 t vanilla
Whipped topping

 

Instructions

  1. Dissolve brown sugar in boiling water.
  2. Mix sugar, flour, and milk together.
  3. Add nuts, dates, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Pour dissolved water into mixture in 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
  5. Add other mixture, DO NOT STIR.
  6. Bake 30 minutes at 450 degrees.
  7. Serve warm with whipped cream.

 

Servings: 12-15

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

 

For more of my favorite recipes: Oh yeah, that’s good!
One of Starla Kaye’s Christmas Books
Christmas Breakfast Casserole

12 Days of Recipes: Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Christmas Breakfast CasseroleI love this time of year: getting together with family and friends, giving gifts, and sharing our favorite things. One of the favorite things I like to share and have shared with me are recipes.

Today I’m sharing one of my breakfast recipes that is a favorite with my family.

 

CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST CAEEROLE

 

 

Ingredients

12 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 lb sausage (pork, breakfast, vegetarian substitute)
1 c chopped onions
1 c chopped green peppers
1 c chopped mushrooms
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
2 8-oz cans crescent rolls
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Salsa (optional)

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  1. In medium bowl, beat eggs until foamy and add milk.
  2. In skillet, scramble eggs and set aside.
  3. In skillet, brown sausage. Add green peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Cook a couple of minutes longer.
  4. Add cream cheese and cook until melted into the mixture.
  5. Add scrambled eggs and combine.
  6. In an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, line bottom with 1 can of crescent rolls. Press down and seal edges.
  7. Spread sausage/egg mixture on top.
  8. Top with shredded cheese.
  9. Top all with remaining can of crescent rolls.
  10. Bake 25 minutes.
  11. Serve with salsa, if desired.

*NOTE: Filling can be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator until ready to bake casserole.

Servings: 8-10

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

 

For more of my favorite recipes: Oh yeah, that’s good!
One of Starla Kaye’s Christmas Books

 

Pistachio Marshmallow Salad

12 Days of Recipes: Pistachio Marshmallow Salad

Pistachio Marshmallow SaladI love the holiday season, especially getting together with family and friends. And I love sharing wonderful goody recipes this time of year.

Today I am sharing one of my salad recipes, a favorite with family and friends.

 

PISTACHIO MARSHMALLOW SALAD

 

 

 

Ingredients

20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 pkg instant pistachio pudding
1 c chopped nuts
1 c miniature marshmallows
9 oz carton whipped topping

 

Instructions

  1. In large bowl, fold pudding mix into whipped topping.
  2. Add pineapple juice and pineapple.
  3. Mix in marshmallows and nuts.
  4. Refrigerate.

 

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

 

One of Starla Kaye’s Christmas Books

 

SANTA WEARS SPURS

189 x 286

 

Erzabet Bishop with Holidays in Hell

HolidaysInHell_ByErzabetBishop-453x680Today I’m welcoming back Erzabet Bishop with her paranormal holiday romance, HOLIDAYS IN HELL.

 

BLURB – Holidays in Hell

This year Christmas just got a little hotter.

Deck the halls with all things kinky. Jonas is an incubus with an incurable lust for women, gingerbread, and holiday lights. He needs one more soul to meet his quota. Amid the baubles and frivolity of the Winter Carnival, he meets Holly Pendleton—a woman with emerald green eyes and a body built for sin—and marks her as the final soul to end his contract. But now Jonas faces a heart-wrenching decision: take what he needs to feed his hunger, or sacrifice himself for the woman who has lit his own demonic soul on fire. Tied up with red ribbons, Holly just might be Jonas’s deepest Christmas wish and the one woman who could set him free.

Holly Pendleton is still recovering from the death of her husband and Dom. The holidays are especially lonely until a dark stranger walks in the door to Harlowe’s Bookery and Christmas Shoppe. The man’s enigmatic gaze holds her and ignites her body and her mind. When Holly accepts a job to decorate the sexy client’s apartment, she unknowingly steps into an age-old battle between the forces of darkness. Jonas Corsair is a man who makes her blood run hot and her dreams even hotter. But will she survive his hold on her soul?

BUY LINKS:  Etopia Press     Amazon     All Romance eBooks

Holidays in Hell is the beginning to my new series, Demons in Darkness. The next two books will be released in 2016.

EXCERPT – Holidays in Hell

Holly Pendleton balanced a pile of books in her arms and made her way out of the stockroom. She glanced over at her boss and best friend, Gracie Harlowe, at the register and smiled. She enjoyed the busy throng of people at the winter carnival and usually looked forward to it. She had worked other retail jobs in the historic downtown shopping district, but working here was a dream come true. When Gracie had called her up three months ago and offered her the assistant manager’s job, she had taken it and hadn’t looked back.

Teetering on the edge of depression for months after watching her husband die of cancer, Holly was having a hard time finding the holiday spirit this year.

Derek had only been thirty-four, she thought bitterly. They’d been married for nine years, but she had known him since she was a geeky freshman in high school. The hole was too big to fill, and it left her feeling empty.

Still, she was grateful to Gracie for kicking her in the pants and getting her out of bed and back into the world again. Just in time for the holidays too. It was a special time that she and Derek had always shared. He would have wanted her to be happy.

She laid the stack of Christmas cookie books on a festive table near the window display and straightened the array of titles. Her gaze wandered to the small kitchen at the back of the store, and she made a mental note to grab some more cookies to refill the party trays on the dessert table.

“Holly!” Gracie waved her arms. “Can you grab me another stack of Fifty Shades of Grey?”

She glanced at the display where the books were and found they were down to one copy. Not good. Sales had started to slow down, but erotica had been steadily increasing over the past few months. It made her laugh to see the smut novels near the holiday displays, but it made the customers happy, so who was she to quibble? Besides, she loved reading them herself.

“I’ll get them!” Holly wound her way back into the stockroom and yanked a box off the overstock shelves. She grabbed a box cutter, deftly opened the box and placed the books on a cart, adding some of the second, third, and the new fourth book in the series, as they were getting a little on the low side too.

Erotic romance books were one of the few things she let herself enjoy these days, and she had several customers who came back to ask her about the latest and greatest. It was a fantasy land that took her beyond the walls of hospitals and now, the silence of the apartment at night. Reading was safe. She never even considered dating again. That part of her life was over.

Holly shook off the melancholy and hoofed it back onto the shop floor. Stacking the books onto the table, she arranged them in orderly piles of gray covers with erotic masks, ties, and handcuffs. She passed the romance section and gathered up some of her favorites to restock her promo shelf at the storefront. Cherise Sinclair, Kallypso Masters, Jasmine Haynes, Red Phoenix, Rachel Kramer Bussel…she loved them all. There were so many great writers that had made bondage erotica take off. Fifty Shades may have gotten the public reading again, but she had been a fan for years. Now the movie had come out for the famous books, and she wondered how it compared.

Smiling wistfully, she caressed the covers and wished her husband were still with her. She missed his firm hand and their power exchanges. He had been more than just her husband. He had been her Dom. Losing him had been the collapse of her entire world. If it hadn’t been for these books and Gracie, she would still be huddled in a miserable ball, crying her eyes out and wondering why he had to die. He was so young, and they hadn’t had much time.

“Can you help ring for a second?” Gracie called out and made a quick jaunt to the restroom in the back of the store.

Holly moved behind the counter and smiled as a woman arrived in front of her to check out. It was a unique store, and she loved being here. Gracie had crafted a special place for book lovers, and every holiday she spruced it up beautifully. Even when she wasn’t working here, Holly loved to come and check out the newest selections and pick up a couple of items for the house. Halloween, Christmas, or whatever was happening, Gracie always seemed to have the perfect balance of home décor and books to dive into, whether it was a cozy mystery or a pulse-pounding thriller. In the early days, it had just been decoration, but now she had expanded the business to selling the trees and offering to spruce up clients’ homes. The shop was every bit as special as Gracie, and it had, over the years, become Holly’s second home, even before she started working there.

Decorating clients’ businesses and homes and working behind the shop counter kept her busy. Putting up a tree gave her joy, and she saw how other lives were touched by a few twinkle lights and some tinsel. She’d done some decorations for the folks in the cancer ward, and this was a natural transition. If she could bring happiness by hanging a wreath or by delivering an order of books to a shut-in woman, then she was pleased to do it. It took her mind off the loneliness and gave her a purpose. This time of year especially.

The front door opened with a blast of snowy air, and an imposing thirty-something man sporting a thigh-length leather coat blew in. His chiseled features and mass of dark hair made her catch her breath and falter in her task of ringing up the woman in front of her. The black sweater he wore under his coat looked striking against the dark blue of his eyes. The gray slacks draped over his frame, his black boots befitting the weather outside. He said nothing to her, his gaze captivated by the display of holiday decorations.

How odd.

He reminded her of one of the Doms in her collection of books. Heat spiked through parts of her she’d thought were as dead as her husband. She wondered how it would feel to unwrap that package.

Blushing, Holly turned back to the customer in front of her. Good grief, she hoped he hadn’t noticed her staring.

Holly finished ringing the books up and slipped them into a bag. She tossed in a candy cane with a card offering their holiday decorating services attached. “Here you go. Have a wonderful day.”

The woman waved good-bye and shuffled out the door into the snow. Looking anywhere but at the enigmatic man in front of her, Holly fought the sensation of butterflies fluttering in her stomach. He was incredible. The way his well-built form filled the space made her eyes automatically seek him out. Warmth stirred in her lower belly, and she nibbled on her lip.

“Hello. Welcome to Harlowe’s.” She fiddled with the hem of her sweater and felt a surge of heat rush up the sides of her face.

Ugh. How lame was she to just blurt that out?

The man raised an eyebrow, a dark and sensual smile sliding over his features. “Thank you.” His voice melted over her like chocolate, and she shivered.

Holly turned away and busied herself with stuffing bags with holiday activity lists. What kind of horrible woman was she to even be reacting to another man just a year after her husband’s passing? Lusting after the man in gray. Her lips thinned. No. She wasn’t ready for those feelings. Especially not from a stranger she had seen for all of thirty seconds.

She sneaked a glance at him while she straightened gift bags. He walked up to the Christmas tree in the front window and stroked its branches. Fingering the ornaments, he explored their small holiday store with a reverence that reminded her of a priest in church. Men usually didn’t bother with Christmas tree ornaments, but he was enraptured. It was mystifying.

A flush crept across Holly’s face. Stirrings of longing zapped through her body as she wondered if this dark-haired stranger knew his way around a flogger. Sighing deeply, she knelt down to pick up a bag that had fallen off the counter while she worked.

“Time for a cold shower tonight,” Holly mumbled. Sensing someone in front of the register, she stood.

“Hi. Did you need help finding anything…?” The very source of her temptation stood right in front of her. Oh God. She wanted to reach right across the counter and run her tongue over those amazing lips.

 

Erzabet picAUTHOR BIO

Erzabet Bishop is a bestselling and award winning author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Dinner Date, Crave, The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Sigil Fire, Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions: The Erzabet Bishop Collection, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. Erzabet has been a finalist in the GCLS awards for 2014 and 2015, winning the Goldie for her spot in two anthologies. She has been nominated for the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for Crave. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.

AUTHOR LINKS:   Website and Newsletter     Twitter     Facebook     Facebook “like” Page     Review Blog     Amazon Author Page     All Romance eBooks     Goodreads     Pinterest     Street Team

 

 

Chanta Rand with Rise of a Queen

Rise of a Queen
By Chanta Rand
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Blurb:

A dead husband. An unconsummated marriage. She needs an heir. Any man will do.


1061 AD. A sprawling empire rich in gold, resources, and military might dominates West Africa. It’s The Kingdom of Ghana, and it’s at the height of its power.

Twenty-year old Nabeela is grappling with her own power struggle. In order to save her younger sister from their step-brother’s clutches, Nabeela agrees to marry a repulsive African prince and bear him an heir. However, her plans are waylaid when tragedy strikes on her wedding night—her new husband dies—without consummating their marriage.

She must find a replacement to impregnate her immediately. Any man will do—including a drunken soldier her servants find naked taking a bath in a neighboring village. Nabeela holds him captive and coerces him into having sex with her—stealing the one thing he can never get back—his seed.

What she doesn’t know is the soldier is Rafan, Commander of a warring tribe’s royal army, and one of her family’s arch enemies. Eager for revenge, Rafan tracks her down once he’s released. But when these two reunite, they realize their lust for each other is far greater than their disdain.

Enamored by Nabeela’s beauty and bravery, Rafan makes her an offer of marriage, and the promise to help her become queen. He convinces her that they are stronger allies than enemies. Even though they share a commitment to unite, there are others who are determined to destroy them and their plans, including the one person Nabeela would have never suspected. In the end, she’s is forced to choose between her passion and her ambition.

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Buy Link: Amazon | 

~*~*~*~*~*~
An Interview with the Author

What can you share with the readers about yourself, maybe something fun that they wouldn’t guess?

I’m a zombie connoisseur. I don’t know if it’s a secret that I’m a fan of The Walking Dead. However, I’m really into the makeup. It has to be authentic and believable. I dissect every zombie show and scrutinize the zombie movements and clothing. The special effects have to be on point. I need to see lots of blood, gore, bones crunching and guts splattering. The non-zombie characters can’t simply stab a zombie in the head and not get blood and brain matter all over them. I look for details. The plot is also important. You just can’t have zombies running around willy nilly with no rhyme or reason. There must be a goal or a plan. One day, I’m going to write a zombie romance, but in the meantime, I’m satisfied with being a spectator.

What is in your To Be Read pile?

  • Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep
  • The Rules by Delaney Diamond
  • Jet III by Russell Blake
  • The Auction by Eve Vaughn
  • Thrown for a Curve by Sugar Jamison
  • Naughty Words for Nice Writers by Carol Bristol

Are you an outliner, a write by the seat of your pants author, or a combination?

A combination of the two. I usually start out with a general idea. Then, I bullet point the major plot points. I have had rare moments of insanity where I outlined each chapter down to the lowercase ‘i’. Lastly, I write. The characters usually decide where to take me, and I follow—by the seat of my pants.

What was your favorite scene in this book?

There are so many exciting scenes in this book it’s hard to choose. I love the opening prologue that shows how the heroine, Nabeela learned to hate the Sanjadas, a rival clan of which the hero, Rafan is a member. But I guess if I had to pick a favorite scene, it would be Nabeela and Rafan’s first kiss. It was raw, powerful, and shocking for both of them.

Do you have a favorite character and why?

My favorite character in Rise of a Queen is Ghazi, Nabeela’s evil stepson. I don’t particularly like him, but I liked how he forced his way into the novel. I have a fascination with villains. I’m always trying to find their redeeming qualities. Unfortunately, Ghazi has none. He’s ugly, power-hungry, and sadistic. Black-hearted snakes like him deserve to die. Or do they? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

My favorite character of all my books is Vic Romano. Vic is tall, dark, and has the sexiest green eyes I’ve ever seen. He’s also an ex-con trying to get his life back together after five years in prison. He’s the kind of hero I could easily fall in love with. If you want to know more about Vic, check out my erotic novella, Blueprint for Love.

Author Info:

Chanta Jefferson Rand is an Emma Award winning Debut Author of the Year, a multi-published, best-selling author of sizzling-hot romance, and the former host of The Chanta Rand Show. An avid reader of all genres, she stepped onto the scene in 2010 with her first published historical romance, Pharaoh’s Desire. 

Chanta is a history junkie, a Walking Dead fan, and a recovering shoe addict. She never met a stiletto she didn’t like! If you still want more, check her out at www.ChantaRand.com or email her at [email protected].



Remember: You can’t expect any sizzle…if you don’t turn up the heat!

Chanta’s Social Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Mailing List  

Streuseltaler

12 Days of Recipes: Streuseltaler

StreuseltalerI love this time of year: getting together with family and friends, giving gifts, and sharing our favorite things. One of the favorite things I like to share and have shared with me are recipes.

Today I’m sharing one of my dessert pastry recipes that is a favorite with my family.

 

STREUSELTALER

 

 

Ingredients

CAKE BASE:
2 c flour
1 pkg dry yeast
1/2 c white granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
3+1/2 T butter
1 egg
1/2 c + 2 T warm milk

STREUSEL:
2 c flour
1 c butter, cut into small pieces
1 +1/3 c white granulated sugar
2 T vanilla sugar

JAM:
Recommend one small jar of blackberry and one small jar of apricot

GLAZE (optional):
2 c flour
1 c butter, cut into small pieces
1 +1/3 c white granulated sugar
2 T vanilla sugar

Instructions

Cake Base Directions:

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.
  2. Add the butter, egg and milk and mix.
  3. When dough is smooth, remove bowl from mixer, cover and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  4. Return the bowl to the mixer and knead again until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Streusel Directions:

  1. Whisk flour and sugars together.
  2. Add butter and knead everything together with your hands until you have one big ball of streusel.

Glaze Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, heat sugar and water together whisking until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.
  2. Keep mixture warm until ready to use so it doesn’t harden and crack.

Streuseltaler Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle flour on a work surface.
  4. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.
  5. Take a piece and roll into a ball between your hands.
  6. Use a rolling pin to roll out a circle 4″ in diameter. The thickness should be less than a raw sugar cookie cutout but not paper thin.
  7. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
  8. Break off a handful of streusel from your big crumb and sprinkle on each disk, really pile it on.
  9. If you want to add jam, spoon it onto the streusel and then sprinkle a few streusel crumbs on top.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden.
  11. Remove from oven and leave them on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes.
  12. For the plains ones, brush on a thick layer of glaze coating the entire streuseltaler.
  13. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. These are best if eaten within 2 days.

Servings: 16

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

 

For more of my favorite recipes: Oh yeah, that’s good!
One of Starla Kaye’s Christmas Books