This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health. Renee Comet, Photographer
I've been crazy busy lately, running around like my hair is on fire, so this week I'm cooking dinners that are quick and easy. Today I'm going to share one of my favorite recipes, California Baked Beans. I got it from a book called Food for Life and I don't recall the author, so if anyone knows and can tell me, I would be most grateful. The recipe is fairly easy to make, is healthy and tastes great. I can prepare it in the morning, put it in the refrigerator, then take it out to bake it in the evening when I come home late. It doesn't have meat and I urge you try it this way first. You can always embellish later. Happy eating!
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (I use celery, I don't like green peppers)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 ounces grated mozzarella cheese, part skim
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine or broth
3 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained
(I use about half these ingredients since my casserole dish is small)
Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, mustard, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar and stir the mixture top combine the ingredients well. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese, tomato, and wine; stir in the beans. (I don't add the cheese until it's in the dish; it makes a gooey mess in the pan.)
My winner is Rhea R. and the grand prize winner was Jackie D. Thanks so much, everyone, for participating in this contest!
I've been a fool for love before, how about you? The fabulous Crystal-Rain Love is hosting a contest that ends right before April Fool's Day. This should be a lot of fun, and here's how to enter:
Each participating author has asked a question. Go to her website first, then click the author names to reach their websites. Answer the questions in the memo box and submit for a chance to win. No fooling, this contest has a great prize! The super duper prize package includes:
A $100 Amazon gift card
A signed copy of Andrea Downing's Loveland
A signed copy of Crystal-Rain Love's Slayer's Prey
Ebooks: Burn With Me and Second Chances from Christle Gray
An e-book of Stacey Coverstone's Tularosa Moon
A signed copy of Angel of Syn and tote bag from Mertianna Georgia
An autographed copy of Gemini Moon and a moonstone necklace from Elysa Hendricks
$5 gift card to Ellora's Cave from Missy Jane
Autographed print copy of Dawn of a Dark Knight by Zoe Forward
E-book: Something To Howl About by Naomi Bellina
Print copy of The Playboy's Baby by JM Stewart
Free Kindle copy of Raphael by DB Reynolds, and bookmarks
Ebook: The Ties That Bind by Keena Kincaid
$25 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press and copy of a book by Sarah Hoss
(Just a note, this is not an erotic contest, so you should be able to visit all the sites with anyone sitting next to you.)
Wow! If that wasn't enough, you can hop over to my Facebook page and Like it, and you'll be entered to win a goodie bag with homemade one-of-a-kind bookmarks and other hand-crafted items, if you're in the US, and your choice of Ebook if you're not.
Have fun with this contest, and good luck!
My winner is Amber. Thanks to all who entered. I hope the luck of the Irish was with you and you won lots of goodies!
How could I resist a hop with this name! Big thanks to Nikki from Close Encounters with the Night Kind for putting this together.
I'm all set for St. Patrick's day fun. I've got a pair of light-up green beer mug earrings, a four-leaf clover bracelet, and a t-shirt that says 'Feeling Lucky.'
How about you? Do you have a favorite green item to wear? Do you just take a magic marker and draw a shamrock on your cheek so you don't get pinched? Leave me a comment and be entered to win either an Ebook from my back list (that's everything except Into the Magic), or, for US residents only, a goodie bag with homemade one-of-a-kind bookmarks and other hand-crafted items.
The grand prize is a Basket Full of Naughty. It contains the following in a Cabal of Hotness tote:
- tickler/flogger (one on each end)
- penis-shaped sour candies
- flask that reads "girls with class don't need a glass"
- g-spot vibe
- oral sex "essentials" kit
- glow in the dark erotic dice
And a $30 gift card and a Cabal of Hotness t-shirt. How cool is that? So, do three things. 1. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win the basket 2. Leave me a comment to enter to win my prize 3. On to the next hop stop. Good luck to you!
Special bonus if you've read this far, here's a fun, PG excerpt from my latest book, Into the Magic. Go to my Excerpts page to read one a little hotter, or join me at The Romance Studio's party to read more excerpts.
The ding-dong of the doorbell put a halt to her primping. After shoving the makeup into a drawer, she went to the door.
Holy mother of… Star stood with her jaw open and her eyes wide. Tristan was hot. He was tall and had dark hair pulled into a ponytail. He wore a tight T-shirt that outlined a well-developed chest. His eyes were an unusual shade of silvery-grey and they focused directly on hers. Then he smiled, and her pulse sped up. A spark of heat ignited between her legs, which often happened when she was in close proximity to a delicious man, much to her discomfiture. This time, however, was different. A frisson of excitement tickled her spine and her scalp tingled. Tristan gave off a lot of power and she sensed it.
“May I come in?” he asked.
“Oh, yes, of course, please.”
She stepped out of the way as he strode in. His presence seemed to light the room up, and this position offered her another fine view, one of his delicious backside, accentuated by tight jeans.
Another effect of her practising magic, she could now detect colours around people—auras, as the New Age people called them. She’d first noticed this with Adam, on Porrima. When he was excited and happy, he radiated a smooth, warm orange and yellow, so vibrant she felt it caress her skin. Tristan exuded something else, something raw and sensual that made goose bumps pop on her arms. Dancing flames surrounded this man, and he gave off a mix of power, hunger, and something sly. The colours around him kept changing, like a chameleon on a rainbow.
She watched as he strolled quickly around her small apartment, making small grunts of disapproval.
“Did you just move in?”
Recalling her vow to beautify her living space, Star bit her lip.
“No, I’ve been here a while. I haven’t gotten around to decorating.” If he’d seen the place last month, he would have been impressed with her recent efforts. New curtains hung in the windows, and she’d replaced a lopsided, cheap plastic bookcase with wooden shelves. Those piles of paper, magazines, and odds and ends were either thrown out or put away, and a small desk and chair from the thrift store occupied a spot in front of the window. The items were gently used and a perfect fit for her living room. She’d even splurged and placed a plant on the desk, one that claimed it would need minimal attention, which is precisely what it would receive. She had not yet got around to hanging pictures on the walls.
“This place needs to be cleaned.”
“Hey, I tidied up the best I could. I’m not the world’s best housekeeper…”
“No, we need to clear out some of the negative energy. Did someone die in here?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. Not on my watch. How do we clear negative energy?”
Tristan stopped his pacing to stand inches away from her.
“You, on the other hand, have a great deal of positive, potent energy. Did you really not know you had this until now?” He put a hand on her shoulder, and her knees went weak. “No matter, we’ll start your training immediately. I brought a few items with me to get us going today. Do you have an abalone shell?”
“Um, no, I haven’t eaten any abalone lately.”
“Some other type of fireproof saucer, then. We need to burn sage. A lot of sage.”
Available now at Total-E-Bound
I recently purchased The Ultimate Romance Collection by www.adameve.com and am totally enjoying this four DVD collection. I got it because it was advertised as having more 'romance' and less 'porn', and I've found this to be true. Here are some of my favorite features of all the movies:
You can tell a bit of effort was put into the scenery and camera angles. They're excellent. The clothing is well-suited to each time period and scene, and we even get to see bare feet and not all high heels during sex, which makes me cringe. Stilettos and bare flesh? *shudder* The music is tasteful, not the standard bump and grind porno sound.
The sex is...better. A bit more time is spent on foreplay than a typical porn movie and the scenes don't run overly long. One of my pet peeves with erotic movies is a sex event that goes on and on. After a while, it just gets boring. My honey, who is male, agrees with me on this so it's not just a woman's perspective. Condoms are used discreetly throughout, another plus in my book.
While not award-winning material, the acting is well done and not every single female actor has implants. Again, it's obvious some effort was made to come up with a story and a plot and to give us a variety of body shapes. Yes, they're all hot, but not all the same.
The first DVD we viewed was Taste of a Woman. The costumes in this are first-rate. We know the actors are going to be naked most of the time, but it's nice to see clothing being removed and period pieces are especially fun. The scenery was perfect and the lighting just right to give the feeling of a different time and place.
Whispering Hearts was next. I'm not into cowboys, but I enjoyed the story line, the gorgeous scenery, and shots of a bare-chested man on his horse. There's a nice round of sex in the dining room between a cute couple, with great camera angles looking down on the woman. I love the bare feet in this one, don't care for the boots worn in several of the other shots. This tale has an FFM and an MFM scene for a little variety, though the main story is about the lonely cowboy and a rich woman.
This set of DVDs is still geared more towards men than women, as are most erotic movies. See my previous post about porn. The filmmakers do a nice job with these flicks, however, and we'll be purchasing more. I'll review the other two discs, which were my favorites, in a later post.
I recently attended a fund raiser for Relay for Life. If you've never heard of this, it's a wonderful cooperative effort that happens once a year all over the country. Various events are held around the area to raise money for the American Cancer Society. This particular shindig was for the ladies, and had a few vendors, Zumba, snacks, etc. I was there working, but took a break to visit the Pure Romance table. I was thrilled to see this type of product represented! I spoke with the delightful sales rep and told her I write erotic romance. We discussed partnering up for parties. Sounds like fun to me! she said party bookings had increased tremendously recently. Good news for everyone.
My treat for today is the Tie Me Up Tape, something new to me. The catalog description says it's wide enough to bond, cuff, blindfold-even make sexy outfits. The website proclaims the tape sticks only to itself, it is safer to use and comes off without pulling hair or delicate skin. Wow, that's a lot for a roll of tape to do. I've put it on my to-be-ordered list and will share the results when I'm brave enough to try it.
Since I like strong, sometimes wicked women, the valkyrie have always fascinated me. Wikipedia defines them as "one of a host of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freyja's afterlife field Fólkvangr), the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin." What a job to have!
Valkyrie Slumbering, an erotic fantasy, by L. VanHorn has just released and Lilly is here to share a tasty treat that one of her characters enjoys. Thanks for joining me, today Lilly.
Steamy nights in ancient Iceland, a search for vengeance, and creatures from Midgard complicating the whole matter. Rich in Viking lore, this fantasy novella will appeal to those who enjoy romance, fantasy, and erotica.
Though you won’t see it in the first novel, Kyra enjoys a sweet red wine made in Midgard that is best served with desert. It makes an appearance in the second novel, which comes out this winter.
Valkyries serve wine to the warriors they bring to Valhalla, as a way to honor them and to help ease their transition into another world. Before coming to the world of Midgard, Kyra had never even tried wine. Though not a lush by any means, she enjoys the drink on occasion. Her vintage in particular, is made from blueberries which remind her of her homeland, Iceland, in the summer time.
With all the alluring creatures available in the fantasy genre, there is no end to the inspiration that keeps Lilly’s muse up at night. Her recipe: Start with choice characters, marinate in fantasy (any of the delicious sub-genres will do) add a heavy dash of romance, and mix in a generous portion of hot and heavy throughout the cooking cycle. Lilly has been writing for many years and has multiple books published with a different small press under a pseudonym. Look for her second novella, Valkyrie Awakening, winter of 2013!
Where you can find Lilly:
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I would love to hear from you! Drop me a line at naomibellina AT live.com