My Books!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Book Review

Welcome to review day. Today I'm sharing a review of The Welcome Inn which was written by my author friend Rita Thedford. Rita writes for Wings Press, The Wild Rose Press and Ellora's Cave among others. If you like what she says about The Welcome Inn, the book is available at or

Spunky Julianna Martin has thrown herself, body and soul, into the rebuilding of The Welcome Inn, hoping to one day to buy the place outright. Her plans fall apart when Buck Abercrombie buys the place out from under her nose. Just like a man to ruin her plans! Her basic distrust of men and their motives is the cornerstone of her every encounter with the drool-worthy Buck. The man is drop dead gorgeous, opinionated, and everything she’s always tried to avoid.

Buck returns home to Martin’s Crossing to take over the repair and operations of The Welcome Inn and falling for a red-headed spitfire is the last thing he planned. He’d been burned once before and wasn’t looking forward to a repeat experience but the curvy, gorgeous, and very bossy woman intrigues him.

As sparks fly between Julianna and Buck, diamond smugglers are on the loose in their small town and they believe Julianna knows where the missing diamonds are hidden. What ensues is a fast-paced cat and mouse game that throws the hero and heroine together despite their every attempt to deny their obvious attraction.

This is also the story of redemption as Buck’s ne’er do well brother, Travis, finds that second chances often arrive on the heels of love.

Ms. Cantrell has written a fast-paced story that features witty dialogue and lots of action not to mention, two very strong and stubborn characters. A well-written story that makes the reader cheer for the protagonists! Julianna is a beautiful, gutsy heroine who is smart enough to give up her misplaced preconceptions and reach out for the love of a good man. Buck is a hero to cheer for and dream of. Old fashioned, protective and oh so…sexy!

The Welcome Inn is a thoroughly wonderful story!

-Rita Thedford author of Tempted available at Wings ePress

Friday, June 19, 2009

Got Flip Flops?

Hi, readers! Did you know that today is National Flip Flop Day? Yeah, neither did I. I've never even heard of National Flip Flop day until I accidently ran across it while I was surfing the internet.

I was only a small child when I got my first pair of flip flops. I remember we had gone to visit my cousin's family, and he had a pair. I wasn't sure I'd like that piece of rubber between my toes, but he promised it felt fine so the following weekend my mother bought me my first pair. They were red, and I loved them. I wore them everywhere. They wore out before too long, but hey, that's not a problem because they were CHEAP. For well under a dollar you could get a brand new pair that was clean and puffy on the bottom.

Of course back then the basic variety was all that could be found in the small town where I grew up-not like today when the selection is almost endless. I have a white pair with a pretty white flower on the top, and I recently bought a black pair decorated with faux turquoise stones. I also have a black patent leather pair with a big silver buckle and zebra skin trim. You outta see how good they look with my black pants and geometric print black and white blouse!

So where did flip flops come from? They've been around forever. Stone age rock paintings show people wearing flip flops, and see the picture on the left? Those are solid gold flip flops found in King Tut's tomb. I don't know how comfortable they'd be, but wow. Solid gold. The Egyptian's also had a hieroglyph for flip flops. It looks like a long oval with an inverted V.

Flip flops came to the United States at the end of World War II when American soldiers brought back Zori sandals as souvenirs of their stay in Japan. They really caught on and morphed into their fifties look after the Korean War. They started to symbolize an informal, casual lifestyle. Of cours it didn't hurt that Jackie Kennedy wore a pair of Jack Rogers Navajo flip flops when she went to Florida. Just so you know, I've ordered me a pair of those. I love them. They're the picture on the right.

Anyway, today you see flip flops everywhere. Models wear them on fashion runways, people wear them to their office on casual Fridays, they still go to the beach, and you can even buy sport flip flops now. Guess how much money Americans spend on flip flops per year? Are you ready? Two billion dollars! For flip flops! Wild isn't it?

Okay, enough writing. I'm going to buy some more flip flops.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What Is Diana Up To?

Do you know my author friend Diana Castilleja? No? Then maybe you know her as Diana Dericci. She writes sweet romance as Diana Castilleja and erotica as Diana Dericci. Here's a little bit about her. Uh, I copied this bio from her web site. Sorry, Diana, I didn't take the time to put it into my own words.

With more than half a dozen ebooks currently to her credit and her first print book released in 2008, Diana Castilleja has kept busy since she started writing professionally in late 2004.

Diana currently resides in central Texas with her husband and son. When not focusing her energy on her family and her writing, she loves to travel and haunt bookstores. She's lived in several states across the south and midwest, as well as traveling to Mexico. With moving every year or changing schools since the fourth grade to her sophomore year, she learned reading was a fast escape. The freedom to read about anything and everything has fueled her adult imagination. She also enjoys romance, horses, and yes, still loves to read. Right now, she's probably attacking her keyboard writing her next book. If she's not, she should be!

Diana also has a new book coming out on June 15 from Tease Publishing, and she's agreed to tell us about it. Here goes.

Trusting Delilah

Roman Aiza is the second born son of the Aiza clan. He also owns and operates a private security company and has an ongoing contract with one of Florida's most influential residents. He is patrolling at a party when he encounters a woman who will haunt him. A woman who at their first meeting, manages to walk right out of his hands when he follows her for trespassing. She manages to do this without giving Roman a single reason why she is in the depths of the house he is protecting. When he does finally locate her days later, his goal is to prove that his instincts are wrong. She is not the woman that all of his senses are clamoring for.

Yet when the daughter of Roman's largest and closest account is kidnapped and held for ransom, will they be able to build a trust between them? Or will their own secrets keep them apart?

A Trust Earned

Selene Aiza is a very compassionate woman by nature, and fiercely protective of those she cares for. A renowned doctor with gentle patient skills, she prefers the wild country of western Oregon and the secluded hospital where she can help the people who truly need her assistance. And in the depths of those wooded wilds she can keep her secrets well hidden.

She is safe until the man she encounters by pure chance becomes the hospital's first choice as co-administrator. Her secrets and her very life fall into jeopardy, and only he can save her. He could also destroy her.

What they've been saying about the Aiza Clan Series:

Trusting Delilah kept my attention from first word to last. This is a story that grabs all the emotions and the senses.
Judith Rochelle, Author of Cutter's Law and Redemption. paced, tightly packed with emotion, mystery and suspense,
Jackie, ParaNormal Romance (PNR Inklings)

...a powerful read with sexy characters and a great plot
Tiger Lily, LASR Reviews

Available in Print at Barnes & Nobles and other retail outlet stores. Also available for purchase online.

Full excerpts available online at

Good luck with the book, Diana. Hope you have a bestseller on your hands.

Friday, June 5, 2009

In The Kitchen Southern Style

Do you know of women who don’t like chocolate? I know a few, but there must be something wrong with them, don’t you think? My mother loved chocolate, and so did my Dad. As promised last week, here’s one of the best recipes for chocolate cake you ever ate. It’s easy, tastes great, and doesn’t stay around my house very long.

Wet Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour 4 TBSP cocoa
2 cups sugar 1/2 cup buttermill
1 stick butter 1 tsp soda
½ cup cooking oil 2 eggs
1 cup water 1 tsp vanilla
Sift flour and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Place butter, oil, water, and cocoa into a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. When mixture boils, remove from heat and pour over sugar and flour mixture. Mix well with spoon and add buttermilk, soda, eggs and vanilla. Beat lightly and pour into greased and floured 13 X 9 X 1 ½ inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Wet Chocolate Frosting
1 stick butter
4TBSP cocoa
6 TBSP evaporated milk
1 box powdered sugar
Place butter, cocoa, and milk in saucepan. When mixture comes to a boil remove from heat and add 1 box powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Pour over cake while hot.

It’s kind of interesting to note that as far as regular cooking went, my mother could beat almost any cook I ever saw, but when it came to baking, Daddy beat her hands down. All of the men in his family loved to cook. So does my son.

Did you know that in the South macaroni and cheese is always listed as a vegetable selection at little meat and three places? Here’s my mother’s macaroni and cheese recipe.

Macaroni and Cheese

3 cups macaroni
1 egg
12 ozs. Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 cups milk.
Ritz crackers (optional)

Cook the macaroni until done, about 7 minutes. Don’t overcook it. Drain and place into a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Add the grated cheese and mix. Beat the egg and milk and pour over the noodles and cheddar. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste, but don’t skimp on the pepper. If you like, crumble some Ritz crackers on the top. Bake at 350 until golden brown on the top. Don’t overcook it.

My mother always added Ritz crackers, but I don’t. The original recipe also called for some butter, but I’ve left it out because I think it makes the macaroni too greasy.

Does anyone make biscuits from scratch anymore? I don’t, but Mama’s recipe sure makes some tasty biscuits. Here’s the way she did it.


2 cups self rising flour
¾ cup shortening
¾ cup buttermilk.

Chop the shortening into the flour. Add mix and mix. Spread on floured surface, roll out dough. Cut into biscuit shape. Cook at 425 degrees until brown.

This recipe is best with shortening like Mama did it, but butter will work. Regular milk will work too, but buttermilk tastes better. Put a slice of country ham in a hot biscuit, and you’re eating Southern!

Need a punch recipe for a special event? Try my Dad’s favorite.

Daddy’s Punch

7 bananas
squirt of lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
2 or 3 cups orange juice
4 cups water
1 can pineapple juice unsweetened
1 bottle ginger ale

Mix and freeze. Before serving add 1 bottle ginger ale and stir it up.

My mother was a great cook, but she didn’t make up recipes from scratch. I wish I could tell you where these came from, but I don’t know, and I can’t ask her because she passed away many years ago.
What about you? What’s your favorite recipe from your mother’s kitchen?