Hi all, with the weather turning a little chillier here’s a quick and easy gravy recipe you can use and embellish to your hearts content.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken or beef broth
i small onion sliced
a handful of mushrooms sliced
1 clove garlic minced
Melt butter saute garlic about fifteen seconds, add onions and allow to soften. Toss in mushrooms. Add flour. Allow to brown. While whisking slowly add broth and stir until mixture boils. If gravy is too thick add a little more broth until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Try adding green bell pepper for an interesting twist or diced chicken or giblets. You can also leave out the onion and mushrooms. :-) Bon Appetit
Aiden looked up at the building and made sure the address was correct that Maxine texted him. He locked his car and moved with long sure strides across the busy street weaving his way through the slow traffic. This Sonia Risen lived in a pretty decent neighborhood in Brooklyn right across the Manhattan Bridge on East fourth. The building was one of those kinds that had an eatery below it. The sign said Viola Italian Restaurant, he looked inside the window for a moment and wondered to himself how the food was. Right next to it was the door that led up to the upper floors where the apartments were housed. Four apartments, Aiden looked at the names and pressed the one for Sonia Risen.
Her voice came over the intercom soft but clear. “Yes?”
“Hey I’m Aiden O’Neil. Detective Maxine Brighton sent me.” Aiden said.
“Let me get her on the phone and make sure please,” Sonia replied.
“Listen… ” He sighed and pushed back his irritation. She was a girl who just saw two friends killed so checking to make her feel secure he’d just have to deal with it.
She spoke again. “Detective Brighton says to tell me your badge number.”
“Seven- nine-two-six,” he replied instantly. That was engrained in his memory, being a cop was his life for fifteen years.
Silence and then Aiden heard the sound of the intercom and her voice again. “Ok come on up.”
The door clicked and he took the stairs two at a time to the third floor and knocked on the door. The woman that opened it was stunning, Aiden sent her age at around twenty-seven and African American. Her skin was light brown reminding reminded him of beige satin. She was wearing a hunter green jumpsuit that was cuffed at the heels. Dark strappy heels and a silver heart shaped pendant on her neck. Her hair was cute pixie cut and she was immaculately dressed.
“Ms. Risen?” Aiden asked.
“Yes, thank your being patient, come on in,” she answered with a small smile.
She wore pale lip-gloss on her full lips. He looked at her, assessed her and looked at her deep brown eyes. Even though she was friendly her gaze and her body posture showed fear. Sonia Risen was a woman who was terrified for her life.
“Did I catch you on your way out?” Aiden asked as he stepped in.
“No why?” Sonia asked, looking puzzled.
“You’re dressed up,” he pointed out and assessed apartment. Her apartment had one main entry, fire escape, large windows facing the alley and two facing the street.
“Nope this is how I usually dressed,” Sonia answered. “Call it, me being conceited but I like to look good.”
“You do,” he agreed.
“Thank you, can I get you some coffee or maybe green tea?”
“Coffee, black is fine, I don’t know what green tea taste like but it will never past my lips,” Aiden answered.
She walked to the kitchen. “Its really very good for you antioxidants and stuff.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” he replied as he walked around her apartment.
It was tastefully decorated with small things that women collected, knick-knacks on the mantelpiece, artsy things on the wall. No pictures of family but some of other people, he noticed the woman Dana that was killed in one picture. Her face was all over the news so you couldn’t help but recognize her. It seems her friends were her family. Aiden wondered what her backstory entailed. In New York every one had a backstory.
“Here you go, hot and black,” She handed him a mug with a mustache. He raised an eyebrow and she smiled and teased. “It separates the male from female mugs.”
“Funny,” he sat down and she did as well. “So tell me about what’s going on.”
“Well its all over the new, I think me and my friends are targeted,” Sonia said. “Detective Brighton seems to think so too if not she wouldn’t have recommended I hire you.”
“Have you had an incidents to make you feel you’re in danger?” He asked.
“Not but I found Willa yesterday.” He watched as her eyes filled with tears. “She was the baby out of all my friends and what that sick person did.”
“Tell me about your friends,” he said trying to draw her attention away from the gruesome scene probably engrained in her mind’s eye.
Sonia smiled. “Willa was the gypsy, bohemian and artsy, Nathalie likes facts , she’s going to be a reporter in Portland, she’s there now. Chanelle and Serena and wealthy and kinda of into the status of what money can buy. Chanelle has problems in her marriage. Serena is a trust fund baby but still hangs on to Chanelle’s coat tails. She has more connections, more parties and the likes. Dana she was the one thing that bridge us all together and when she died, the haves stepped way from the have-nots.”
He looked around. “You seem to be doing pretty ok for yourself. Tell me about Sonia Risen.”
“I work for an advertising company in Manhattan, I like my job, I like to work for what’s mine,” she explained. “You appreciate what you have more if you work for, well that’s my opinion anyway. I read and play the flute but mainly I don’t want to die. Dana didn’t deserve it and neither did Willa.”
“You’re friend’s club seemed to cause someone to get pissed off, ever been there?” Aiden asked bluntly. “You know the wrong sex buddy could make a guy angry enough to kill. Ever fucked someone there and laughed about it, gossip, anything like that? Fetish clubs don’t always have the best element.”
Her eyes flashed angrily. “Let me make this cleat first off, my sexual partners and few and very far between. I don’t care if she was wearing a strap on and fucking men or women, Dana didn’t deserve to die for it. From what I’ve found out her place was tasteful and for people to open up in their sexuality. After what she had to live through with her dead husband I don’t blame her. None of us are whores or sex freaks Mr. O Neil and even if we were no one can take a life for some moral judgment handed down.”
Fire, nice, Aiden thought. “Gotcha still some one is targeting all of you.”
“I understand but don’t make us sound like perverts and it’s our fault,” she snapped. “Maybe you’re not right for this I don’t like anyone who snap judgments about me or anyone.”
“It’s all well and good to get upset and self righteous about yourself and your friends but it won’t stop a killer.” Aiden snapped right back. “Lady, if you want me to pat you on the back and dry your tears I’m not the right man for the job. But let’s be clear if I do take on this job, I’m not pussy footing around your delicate sensibilities. I’m here to stop your from dying a gruesome and painful death. What you think about me or what I think about you has nothing to do with it.”
“That’s very clear,” she said tersely and blinked furiously.
“You’d better get it through your head and dry up the tears welling up in your eyes,” Aiden snapped. “Fight or flight which do you chose, Sonia?”
“I chose fight, this is my life and no one has to right to take it,” Sonia straightened her back. “How much is your fee?”
“We’ll discuss that later…”
“No we’ll discuss it now, I like to know what I’m getting myself into from the start,” Sonia said. “Plus I want to hire you for something more.”
“Really what would that be?” Aiden asked.
“I want to investigate who killed Dana and Willa,” Sonia said. “You see I did my homework on you too, Mr. O’Neil and you were one of the best cops on the NYPD before the bullet that shattered your knee. I saw the small limp and I know the second bullet put you in the hospital for almost six weeks. So while I may not have the money Dana, Chanelle or Serena have I can afford to pay you and I would prefer it.”
He liked this woman, strong, good work ethic and grit. In a fight she wouldn’t crumble and beg for mercy. This killer would get off on it and she would take that from him. Now that he’d ever get a chance because Aiden decided then and there he’d help her. She met his blunt words with fire of her own and that impressed him. Still he low-balled her on the price, he had enough high paying clients. The cop that was forever part of him wanted to see this guy in jail facing multiple life sentences.
“Three hundred and fifty a day plus food and expenses, we can wave the retainer,” Aiden said.
“I’d prefer to pay it, what is it?” Sonia asked.
“Five thousand,” he answered.
Sonia stood and went into what he expected was the bedroom. She came out with her purse and in front of him wrote him a check. He wondered how much of a dent she just put into her bank account but didn’t say a word when she handed him the slip of paper. She had a lot of pride and savings, again her felt a sense of appreciation for this petite woman with a formidable personality.
“So when do we start?” She asked.
“I start by running down a few leads,” Aiden said and stood. “You stay here and you don’t go anywhere without me. I’ll be back tomorrow and we’ll figure out if you’re safe here or if I’m moving you to a safe house.”
“Didn’t I mention that I’ll be going with you while your investigating?” Sonia asked sweetly. “You took my retainer so now you work for me.”
“Bullshit you are, lady I don’t need you slowly me down, you sit here and look pretty, or do what ever you do,” Aiden snapped angrily.
“I took a leave of absence from my job and I can look pretty as you say anywhere I go,” Sonia said firmly. Understand this, I want to find this person and I want to look into his eyes and say you didn’t beat me. I want to see his face for my friends.”
“Ah shit,” Aiden grumbled.
Maxine you’re getting scud work in the summer, he thought miserably. He now had an unwanted partner who knew nothing bout investigation but was his tag along. He had the feeling he signed up for more than he bargained for with Sonia.
I wrote a book, yes I know I write books, but this is something I had never written before. I penned a novella titled Lucky’s Charm. A fantasy with a few elements I have never tackled before like other worldly hero’s and no I am not referring to aliens. I have to admit, researching the myths and legends was fun. Armed with the knowledge of leprechauns, trolls and giants, I molded that information into a story. One I truly hope readers will enjoy. :)
Landis is stuck. Dropped into another world, far from a fantasy of her choosing, she searches for a way home. Lost, she must depend on fairy tale beings, and soon, she realizes just how wrong those stories are.
Even in Lucky’s world it is rare to see a woman fall out the sky. He saves the lass and knows without a doubt that she is the one meant for him; though she isn’t from his world and he’s a wanted elf bonded to a unicorn. So he has a few issues to clear up? If it means Landis staying, he is willing to brave a giant’s wrath, battle banshees, and conquer the trolls.
With a little finesse and a lot of loving, Landis just might be all the charm Lucky needs.
Did I mention, I also have a new Shifter Legends release! This is book four of the series and I finally got to tell Mags story and what a ride that was. Dragons and yetis and treasure…Oh my. Seriously, as is always the case with my books the fun is in the writing.
Magdalena Rafi didn’t want a mate. She found herself with two. The next clue to the dragon horde just got more complicated.
Ratchet was a beast on a mission. Finding the other half of his soul broke a powerful connection to the dragon that kept him captive. Free, he sets out to destroy his captor and complete the bond. She has other ideas.
Time is running out. Somehow they must find equal footing, or everything gained will be lost. She must choose wisely or run the risk of being shackled to the wrong shifter forever.
What if the memories weren’t yours?
Ever wonder why you fear things you’ve never attempted? Or have an aversion to people or places? I did, after reading a science news article a few months ago.
In the article it explained how a fear trait was passed from one lab mouse to another, by triggering the scent of cherry blossom’s to being electrocuted. Sad, I know, yet that’s how the report went. Now later the mouse, not pregnant when the test took place, gave birth to mice that were automatically afraid of the smell of cherry blossoms.
Where am I going with this story?
I took it a step further and incorporated it into my hero and heroine having an emotional connection to one another though a collection of oil paintings passed down in their respective families. Both have separate agendas why they want the complete collection, yet they can’t avoid the romance rapidly brewing under the surface between them. But is it real or memory’s from their ancestors?
You can read the science article at the link below.
My book Hidden Justice is set to release September 30, 2014
The reviews have labled the story warm and passionate.
I hope you enjoy T’kelah and Imad’s story.
Traditionally I write Interracial romance. It’s what I know. It’s who I am. But my characters come to me the way they come to me. White, black, Asian or hispanic. They show up, fall in love and through trial and error end up with a happily ever after. I say this as a warning because some people might be shocked my October release, Redemption of Blood has white hero and heroine. Why? Because that’s how Jimmy and Trisha came to me. Half the time my characters won’t even give me their full name, let alone what they look like when I start writing. It’s a purity that I don’t question. Do I think I’ll gain or lose readers because of that? Maybe, but fans of The Frozen series will be happy with the characters I’ve created, and that’s all that matters.
Redemption of Blood coming October 2014 from Secret Cravings
Trisha O’Driscoll started tending bar to give her a free schedule and quick cash. She never thought the young solider that wandered in with a fake ID would want a woman almost twenty-years-older. Although they drew the line at commitment, Trisha can’t help falling for this mysterious stranger and his dark past.
James Schmitt took his life to escape his pain. The offer from Gabriel for salvation gave him a chance to take responsibility for his actions, but his inner demons won’t stop tormenting him. Gabriel gave but one order—protect his partner Kiriana at any cost. And he’ll be damned if he lets anyone down ever again.
Princess LaDressa, daughter of Lucifer, has come for revenge on the woman who slew her beloved Damarion. Kiriana holds his ashes, and with them, his only chance for resurrection. One way or another, LaDressa will be united with her love.
It’s time for the easy back to school meals
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion chopped 1/2 cup
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies drained
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
Sour cream-if desired
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9″ pie plate.
Cook beef and onion in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until beef is brown, drain
Stir in seasoning mix (dry).
Spread in pie plate, top with chilies.
Stir Bisquick, milk and eggs until blended and pour on top of the beef mixture in the pie plate.
Bake 25 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Top with salsa and/or sour cream as desired.
Shon Blake made a decision years ago, giving up the only man she’d ever gave herself to completely, securing his future, and sacrificing hers. She was shocked when she ran into Cody thirteen years later. As soon as their eyes met, sparks flew and one thing led to another and they ended up in each other’s arms. The connection between them is stronger than it’s ever been.
Cody Mitchell took one look at Shon in boot camp and knew she would be his. He made a mistake years ago allowing her to walk out of his life without a fight. Running into her again reminded him of how much he missed her, he needed her more than ever. He wants her in his bed as his wife, and this time nothing will get in his way, not even the military.
Can choices made in the past, be forgiven? Can this couple survive Love’s Sacrifices?
Cody’s eyes widened when their gazes collided, and recognition lit his face. His mouth opened slightly, and he touched the young woman’s hand he was dancing with, whispering something in her ear, and then rushed through the crowd.
“Shon…” Damn, even his voice was sexy over the bass of the music.
She smiled, examining the magnificent man he’d grown into. Oh Lawd. He was fine with a capital F.
“Cody,” her voice cracked.
In one swift move, he stepped forward and wrapped massive arms around her. Shon inhaled and then exhaled his cologne, accepting his embrace. Cody smelled of pure masculinity; spicy, woody, and aromatic.
Cody slowly pulled back. “Shon, how long has it been?”
“Thirteen years.” She stared at him.
He grasped her hand in his. “Come on; let’s talk somewhere a little less noisy.”
Her nipples hardened. Shon’s body reacted to his simple touch. She followed his lead through the double doors to the back patio.
There were a few people out on the balcony smoking. Cody stopped mid stride and turned around, observing her. “You look great.” He eyed her body from top to bottom, making her feel like the most beautiful woman in the club. He bit his bottom lip. She knew he undressed her with his eyes.
Shon did a little shake, swaying her hips. “Well, thank you.”
Cody stepped forward, cupping her face with his calloused hands. “You don’t know how long I’ve waited to run into you.” He caressed her cheeks with his thumbs. “Are you married?”
“No,” she blurted. “You?”
“Naw.” He smirked, giving her his famous smile. “Are you involved with someone?”
“No, why all the questions?” She stared into his mesmerizing eyes.
“Because, I want to make sure I’m not overstepping when I do this.” His head descended, and his lips landed on hers, making her moan against her will. The tip of Cody’s tongue parted her lips, seeking entrance into her mouth. Shon opened for him, allowing him access. He led the way, making her follow his lead. She could feel the moisture seep to her panties, and all he’d done was kiss her. Cody’s tongue stroked hers, playing tug of war. She didn’t care there were people watching them. She’d never been kissed like this before, so much need and want. He pulled back, catching his breath and still cupping her face.
“Shon, I’ve waited to do this for fucking years.” He positioned his forehead on hers.
She placed her hands over his chest, feeling the beating of his heart. Cody always had a strange affect on her; her libido was going crazy.
Cody leaned back, staring at her. “Shon, talk to me.”
She didn’t know what to say as she caressed her swollen lips. “Are you stationed here?” She knew that wasn’t what he wanted to hear.
“No.” He removed a strand of hair from her face. “I’m in town for thirty days for a command assessment.” His arms circled her waist, pulling her forward. “But I would really like to inspect you instead.” He feathered kisses down her cheek.
“Would you?” She arched an eyebrow.
“Babe, you don’t even know.” He kissed her again. “I remember the way your body sang to my music.” He stroked her bare skin. “We could make music again and reminisce.”