Friday, December 23, 2011

Merriest of Christmases To You All

I would like to thank all my wonderful readers for supporting me this year.  I'm glad you enjoyed my work and hope I continue to please and entertain you with new stories and new books.   Merry Christmas.  Happy Chanukah.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Your Early Christmas Present

Or Chanukah gift.

I just published a novella titled Schtupid Cupid.  If you liked Viva and Bel Miller, you'll see them here as well as their cousin, Lis.

Right now it's free on Smashwords as an epub but I hope soon BN and Amazon will match the price.  If you don't want to wait for your mobi file, email me at the contact me to the right and I'll be glad to send you a copy.

Lis Miller isn’t looking for a man, a boyfriend, a husband or a companion but her cousin, Viva, the nationally known Mating Maven, can’t resist butting into her private life.  The result?  Duress Dating.  In order to keep peace in the family, Lis is treated to, or is that tormented by, a series of attempted matches each one more hair-raising than the last.  With the Jake, the pilot, Lis’s hair is literally raised as he turns the plane upside down on the way to Block Island and a gourmet meal of fried Mars Bars.

When Viva arranges for Lis to go to California to do the flower arrangements for a friend’s wedding, the flight makes national headlines.  All she wants is some peace and quiet.  And has it until she realizes it’s all a set-up to pair her with the owner of the ranch.

Cupid proves to be more unpredictable than expected because on her way to living a happy life as a singleton, Lis Miller falls in love.  Running true to everything that’s happened in the past weeks, the match is crazy, insane and heart-thumpingly mad.  Just how stupid is Cupid?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Flash of Light

The sequel to Flash has been finished and will be available at BN and Amazon soon. 

Kip Chanin can find herself in trouble faster than the shutter speed of a good camera and that’s usually the reason.  It’s how Kip looks at the world and how she wants to tell the story in the photos she takes that gets people talking and makes them furious.

In one day, Kip takes a portrait of her Alex Milne’s brother, Gabe, overdosing, gets him to the hospital in time and is fired by her agent.  By the end of the week, everyone in Europe knows she’s the idiot photographer who took pictures of her “lover” while he was shooting up.  That kind of publicity does not go over well with Alex.  But life moves too fast to wonder for long if she’ll be forgiven—for anything.  Kip has an 80 year old murder to solve, portraits to take of scruffy rock stars and a friendship to create with a shy jazz singer.  All while trying to manage Alex who is 6,000 miles away in serial snowstorms with his sizzling hot co-star throwing herself at him.

When Alex finally arrives back in Los Angeles, they go out into the Mojave Desert where Kip announces they’re not coming home until the issues between them are solved.  At an inn, with one room with one bed left, the question of what happens next is obvious.  The answer is more complicated than Kip expects.

The past has surprising ways of sneaking up on people and Kip finds ways to put history behind her and Alex.  But not always.

If you would like a free copy, email me and specify whether you prefer the book in epub or mobi. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Cover For Flash

I've been so busy trying to finish Flash 2 that I haven't had much time for anything, not even doing the normal cleaning out of the garden that should be done before the snow.  Missed that.

I decided to give Flash a new cover and I'll probably change it again before too terribly long after my Photoshop skills improve and I get more memory for the computer so it doesn't crash in 3D mode!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


That's the title of my new YA and unfortunately it's not live at Amazon or BN even right yet but it will be soon.
It's a bit more mature than I usually do but books are unpredictable things.

Here's the blurb

Celebrity.  A by-product of talent or the goal.  The crumbs of greatness or the whole cake.
When Kip “I lied about being 18 for so long, it seemed like the truth” Chanin, arrives in Los Angeles with her mother who wants to work in Hollywood, it doesn’t take her long to understand that this is a factory town and the product is an illusion.  To help support her two-person family, Kip grits her teeth, puts aside being a news photographer and becomes a paparazzi.

Kip’s first photo is of Alex Milne, the handsome and volatile young actor.  That one photo changes both their lives.  An evening being detained in the Beverly Hills Police Station expands Kip’s world and opportunities both wanted and unwanted confront her.  To lasting shock and pain, Kip learns the identity of her father and she sets out to solve a murder that’s been gossiped about in Hollywood for the last 80 years, tainting the Milne family to the present day.

One thing Kip learns to her core is that life is real even in a city dedicated to creating illusions.

And here's the cover.  Now that you've read the blurb, you know that since Kip is a photographer she'd be taking pictures of this celebrity, she wouldn't BE the celebrity.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Caramel Sauce From The Verrine Book

I thought it would be nice to offer one of the recipes from Verrines:  Sweet and Savory Parfaits Made Easy.

Years ago I would never have dreamed of making caramel.  I could imagine how difficult it could be.  Did I even have the right tools?

As I came to learn, caramel is one of the easiest (and hottest, please be careful, I always wind up getting a hot spot on me) things you can make.  You don't even need a candy thermometer.  Caramel can be used on ice cream, on cake, on pie, in milk--there are so many ways I can only say you'll figure it out.  A jar of caramel will last for weeks in the refrigerator.  It's a sure thing.  Give it a try.


This could hardly be easier to make from scratch.  Caramel is simply sugar heated until golden in color.
There are two ways you can do this—the dry method or the wet.  With the dry you heat the sugar in a sauce pan until it’s dark gold.  With the wet, you add some water and heat until dark gold; because of the water, which has to evaporate, it will just take a bit longer.
Here’s a little bit of chemistry.  Sugar by itself can crystallize even when you are careful.  It’s the chemistry of sugar, it’s not your fault.
There are two remedies.  You invert the sucrose (white sugar) by adding an acid like lemon juice or cream of tartar and you will often see this in recipes.  Another way is to add a non-sucrose sugar to the mix.  That would be light corn syrup or perhaps honey.  I often use Lyle’s Golden Syrup if I only need a spoonful.  This will prevent crystals forming and no one wants grainy caramel sauce.
One small warning.  Melted sugar is hot.  Take care that you don’t get any on you.  It’ll be uncomfortable.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water (optional)
3/4 cup cream
Dash salt (optional but there’s a reason why salted caramel is so popular)

Heat the sugar and syrup and water if you’re using it in a heavy pan over medium heat.  When dissolved bring to a boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until dark golden brown.  Don’t let it get away from you.  Once sugar is burned, it’s not retrievable. 
Remove pan from heat and slowly and carefully add cream.  It will foam up.  That’s why you use a bigger pot than you think is necessary for that little bit of sugar.  Stir well.  Return to heat if necessary to remelt the sugar.  Add the salt if you’re using it.
It’ll be thin.  You’ll think you did it wrong.  You didn’t.  Pour into a heatproof container.  I love canning jars or French workman’s glasses for this purpose.  Let cool.  Refrigerate.  When cool, it will be thicker!  Caramel will keep longer than you can keep it around.  You may have to reheat in microwave to use it later.

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Cover for Nothing Serious

I must be doing Spring Housecleaning 4 months late!  I was busy in the spring.  I forget what I was doing but I'm sure I was writing something that was taking all my attention.

Nothing Serious began life as Disconnected and I still favor that title but it doesn't work as a thumbnail.  Too long and unwieldy.  So I changed it and redid the cover art using what I thought was a very nice vintage postcard.
Maybe that doesn't work as a thumbnail either.

I say these things and yet Summer Horse is a busy cover with lots of elements and it sells very well.  Maybe that's because the word *horse* is in the title.

So I changed the cover for Nothing Serious to something bright and simple and easy to understand.  I hope this version finds favor with the readers.  Otherwise in another couple months I'll be tinkering again.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Cover for Fling

Having been quite ambivalent about Fling's cover, when I found an image that would work, I decided a change would be good.

I'm done swapping covers for a bit since I have a new YA to finish--no, it's not in the Bad Apple series, it's something different--and that will require a cover.

I don't know why books sell and why they don't sell.  I know the the children's horse books sell better at Barnes & Noble than at Amazon.  Not Low Maintenance sold very well at Amazon, but never caught on at BN.  However, this week that's changing and readers at BN have found NLM which makes me very happy.

So thank you to all of you at BN for acquainting yourselves with Viva and Bel.  Thank you to all the readers at Amazon who have supported Viva so enthusiastically over the past few months.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Cover for Verrines


I love digital publishing.  You can change anything any time you wish.  Except that of course I can't get into the section for the Verrine book yet at Amazon because it takes them a little longer to get things published than it does over at Barnes & Noble.

But here's the cover.  I love it.  I might change it again.  I'm fickled.

It already sold a copy over at BN so whoever you are, thank you.

Why did I change the cover?  Because the one with the cute cup and raspberries was an image I shot early on.
It was a mock-up cover, a place-holder and by the time I finished the photography for the book, I had a lot of images to choose from.  Which is why I may change the cover again--there are a lot of great images to use and it's fun.  It's like buying a new hat.  Oh wait.  People don't buy hats anymore.  Shoes then.  But I don't like shoes particularly.'s like getting a new thumb drive in red YAY!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Verrines: Sweet and Savory Parfaits Made Easy

Sorry I haven't been around but I've been writing.

Tadadadadada!  Here's my new book

Here's the blurb:

Have you ever wanted just a little something to eat that was delicious and probably sinfully fattening? Don't we all? Some years ago the French invented verrines. A verrine is a sweet or savory delectable. Like the familiar parfait, it's served in a glass but a small one making it the ultimate in portion control. While most of us want to eat well, most of us aren't trained chefs and we rarely have access to exotic ingredients readily available elsewhere. VERRINES: Sweet and Savory Parfaits Made Easy makes it possible for everyone to create luscious treats quickly and with a budget in mind. You don't need a kitchen full of special tools, and you don't need expensive ingredients. You need some small glasses, a sharp knife and a trip to the grocery store. Whether you need intriguing appetizers for a party, a light lunch or dessert, you will find something in this book to help you achieve your goal.

Yes, it's a little bit of a departure since it's nonfiction but in paper publishing I did do 2 cookbooks and one semi-cookbook, so it's not out of the realm of my experience.  I became fascinated by these small treats in glasses they make in France and when I tried to find a book in English, there wasn't one.  I decided I should write it and take the photos.  There are 38 photos in beautiful color which of course is a bit problematic for Kindle owners at the moment.  It's fine for everyone who has a Nook Color (me) or a tablet, but Kindle fans will have to wait until the release of the Kindle tab in the autumn.  Still you can get the idea of how the verrines are layered and are comprised of contrasting colors whenever possible.  That would be grey and darker grey for e-ink people.

It's live at Barnes and Noble already but Amazon takes a bit longer.

Verrines: Sweet and Savory Parfaits Made Easy

I'm sure you'll find something to tempt you in the book.  I know each recipe is delicious because I sampled everything.  Sometimes, I admit, I had no willpower and didn't stop at a sample but had to each the whole thing.  But heck, a verrine is small, so it's not a huge sin.  ;-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Unspeakably Desirable, a bit more

It went live within hours at Barnes & Noble and almost immediately there were sales.  So thank you very much whoever you were; it is much appreciated after years of working on this book.  I don't know how readers find books, this process is always a surprise to me given that I do zero publicity.

Unspeakably Desirable contains many photos, one after each chapter.  I'm sorry for those with B&W readers who won't get the full enjoyment out of the images but I believe in the next few years everyone will have either a color reader or a tablet with a color screen so I'm just preparing for that eventuality now.

Do I think all novels should be illustrated?  Yes, if it's appropriate.  And I certainly believe all books will have added content in the near future.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Unspeakably Desirable

Yes, NLM2 is finished.  Its title is Unspeakably Desirable.
No, it's not live yet but it will be within hours at Barnes & Noble and in a couple days at Amazon.

This is the blurb:

A lot of people come to your door unannounced and unbidden when you're a pastry chef with a good reputation, but not many as handsome or as self-confident as Asher Lau.  He was sent by my brother-in-law because there was an emergency Thanksgiving Day feast required.  This was a crisis I was supposed to solve in four days.  Asher Lau was a lawyer, too, like my brother-in-law and had some kind of television show on cable.  So you can see how he had absolutely everything working against him--I don't like lawyers, I don't watch television and a pretty boy had just put me in many thousands of dollars in debt.

That was my green light to fall head over heels in love.  Ash claimed he was crazy about me, too.  Which all would have been fine if he didn't have a loony girlfriend with unbelievable appetites.  (Some of these acts I had never heard of before, I swear to you.  I thought you only did them to a turkey.)

I figured I would never hear from him again after Thanksgiving.  Well, then that extended to Christmas.  By the time the sanitation engineers were sweeping up confetti in Times Square, I was sure Asher Lau would be out of my life.

But by National Flashlight Day, I knew this was the man I had to spend the rest of my life with.  Unfortunately, the ex-girlfriend insisted on marrying him first.  And then there was that fan no one counted on.  People will do the nuttiest things out of desperation.

I could even understand why everyone fell in love with Ash the moment they saw him.  He was, after all, Unspeakably Desirable. –Bel Miller

This is the cover art:

I did do all the photography with my new Nikon D7000 which I love to pieces.  I did make all the desserts except the tiny tarts.  That means yes, I did make the banana tart on the cover!

And yes, I'm working on another book that I expect will be out this month or early next.  Now, before that confirms what some people think--that I'm just throwing words at the screen willy-nilly, it's a short cookbook and it's a ton of work.  I have to create the recipes, create the dish and then create the photo shoot.  Then I have to work on the image in the computer to make sure it will zing your eye in your reading device, as much as I was visually excited in real life.  So yes, it's very labor-intensive.

I hope you enjoy Bel's story.