Sunday, April 7, 2019

Monday Morning Blues Calls For "Blueberry French Toast"

It rained all weekend here. When we left the restaurant tonight, a man walking to his car said, "Why does it always happen...rain all weekend and then Sunday night the sun comes out?"

This made think of "Monday Morning Blues." People are sad to see the weekend end knowing they're back to the work grind on Monday. There are things we can do lighten our moods, chase those Monday Blues away. One is to make Blueberry French Toast for breakfast, a favorite at our house. I think your family will love it too.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
§  1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
§  1/4 cup maple syrup, divided
§  2 tablespoons blueberry preserves
§  16 slices French bread (1/2 inch thick)
§  2 eggs
§  1 cup 2% milk
§  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
§  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
§  1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauce:
§  1 cup sugar
§  1 cup cold water
§  2 tablespoons cornstarch
§  1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
§  1 tablespoon butter

Preparation:
*  Beat the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons syrup and preserves in a small bowl. Spread over eight slices of bread; top with remaining bread.

*  Whisk the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, salt and remaining syrup in a shallow bowl. Dip both sides of sandwiches into egg mixture.
Cook on a greased hot griddle until golden brown on both sides.

*  Combine the sugar, water and cornstarch until smooth in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in blueberries; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until berries burst. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Serve with French toast. Yield: 8 servings (1-3/4 cups sauce).

Give it a try next Monday morning and let me know it it brightened your day. 


  
The book I'm promoting this month is SEASON, UNFORGETTABLE (yes, the heroine's name is Season.)

 
What Reviewers Are Saying . . .
"So much action. The plot kept winding around and had me guessing the whole second part of the book. This is my first book by this author. It was so good I plan to read more. I give this five BIG stars. I loved it so much!"

"Diablo made me laugh, cry and mostly, bite my fingernails down to the quick. I thoroughly enjoyed every nail-biting page, and award Season, Unforgettable five unforgettable stars!"

About Season, Unforgettable
Her land is not for sale, not even to the gorgeous man who saved her from a mountain lion attack. Both will discover that sometimes love blooms between enemies and sometimes it's even lethal.



Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Images As Inspiration When Writing - Sojourn With A Stranger #gothic #romance #amwriting

Welcome to Keta's Keep!

I love to share images of what inspired me to write my books. Today, I'm featuring SOJOURN WITH A STRANGER, a Gothic romance novel with a lot of paranormal elements. Gothic novels marry well with paranormal, right?

This review snippet encapsulates the many paranormal aspects included in the book.
"This story has everything & then some–romance, birth, death, voodoo, adventure, psychic ability, ghosts, tea-leaf reading. I could not put it down! Not once!" ★★★★★ 5-Stars


Let's talk about the ghost in the book. Derek Stafford's late wife, Lucinda. She walked into the ocean and killed herself. But what made her do it? Now, she's trying desperately to expose her killer. She haunts Raine, the new servant at Stafford House by scratching at her window, walking through the family graveyard crying & howling, and leaving cryptic writings in her bedchamber.




How is Voodoo involved and what exactly is Voodoo?
Merriam Webster says Voodoo is a black religious cult practiced in the Caribbean

and the southern US, combining elements of Roman Catholic rituals with traditional African magic and religious rites. Voodoo is characterized by sorcery and spirit possession.There's a woman who practices voodoo and lives in a rustic cabin deep in the secluded woods of Norfolk. Under the threat of death, someone visits her and orders her to perform voodoo in order to stop the birth of a child. Male heirs are crucial for their ability to carry on the Stafford line. The first brother to produce one inherits Stafford House and all its holdings.

Reading the tea leaves. 
Formally called Tasseography, it's a divination or fortune-telling that interprets
patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments. The terms derive from the French word tasse, which in turn derives from the Arabic loan-word into French tassa.
 
One of the brothers must KNOW the outcome of who will inherit the massive manor and all the land. He orders the Voodoo Priestess to read the tea leaves and translate the messages they bring. He is very upset and angry at the results of her reading. Is her angry enough to kill?


The hour is upon us, the day is fading fast.
The maiden's made her choices; his seeds will soon be cast.
A male comes to the manor, with eyes of emerald green.
Raise the goblets; wave the banners, the Stafford heir undoes the scheme.
SOJOURN WITH A STRANGER
A ghost haunts the halls of Stafford House. When Raine Brinsley arrives to accept a position as a house servant, the ghost is determined to let Raine know who murdered her.

Derek Stafford, Lord of the Manor, offers a Raine a large sum of money to bear his child. Now she must choose between morality and an indecent, lucrative proposal.

Derek and his brother, Lyman, race against time to produce the first male heir in the family in order to secure the title to Stafford House. The brothers will do anything to win…even murder. 

A dark, gothic novel of erotic romance, mystery, suspense and thrills.



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Hardscrabble Life In The Wilderness #MFRWAuthor


WELCOME TO #BOOKHOOKS sponsored by #MFRWAuthors. To see posts from authors participating today, click on link above.

Wilderness is the land that was wild land beyond the frontier...a land that shaped the growth of our nation and the character of its people. It's was the rare, wild places where one could retreat from civilization, reconnect with the Earth, and find healing, meaning and significance.

The Wild West was once such a 'wilderness' but it's often romanticized in western/cowboy novels. Living in this wilderness in the 1800s wasn't all about gorgeous dance hall girls or the glorified gunfight at OK Corral.

Thousands died during the gold rush days from disease, accidents or starvation, others were attacked and killed by Indians (or died when unjustly attacking the Indians) and others died from eking out a living on the harsh, brutal land. Hopefully, some of these images will paint a picture of what venturing into the wilderness meant for some in the end. They are stark and vivid reminders that the wilderness was no place for the weak or infirm.


After a bank robbery went wrong in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1892, Grat and Bob Dalton were shot to death. Brother Emmet—who took a whopping 23 bullets—survived. He did, however, spend the next 14 years in jail. 




This picture of a a group of Paiute Native Americans was taken in 1872, 12 years after the Paiute War, during which they were nearly wiped out by U.S. settlers.  The Northern and Southern Paiute Indians of northern Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and eastern California live in the southern and northwestern portions of the Great Basin.



Olive Oatman’s family was killed by a group of Mojave Native Americans when she was a young girl. She and her sister were spared and taken in by the tribe, which taught her their customs. Olive later would rejoin European Americans, but she believed the traditional tattoo she was given marked her as a slave. After several years with the Mohave, during which her sister died of hunger, she returned to white society, five years after being carried off.





How about you; do you think you would have survived living in the wilderness in the 1800s? Or have you ever wished your born during that time period? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
I've written a few books set in the Wilderness - western romance, mostly. In my book COMES AN OUTLAW, one reviewer talks about a hardscrabble life in the West.

"Cain’s younger brother Coy arrives out of the blue. He could be a big help, but he doesn’t intend to stick around. Not knowing his parents and brother had died, he only planned to stop in for a short visit before continuing to Utah, but the beautiful widow and her courageous son won’t make it without him. The hardscrabble existence of life in those days, the engaging characters, and the fascinating look at Yaqui Indian culture, carries the reader into a simpler time when it was easier to believe in spirits and their ability to communicate beyond the grave."

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Delicious Scent of Spring Is In The Air (and Daylight Savings)

Hello my lovelies. Welcome to Keta's Keep!

This week we experienced Daylight Savings and with that, the first inking of spring scents the air.


Did you know....

Spring

September 22 marked the autumnal equinox and the first day of fall, which got us wondering: Why do we call the seasons Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter?

Before Spring was called Spring, it was called Lent in Old English. Starting in the 14th century, that time of year was called “springing time”—a reference to plants “springing” from the ground. In the 15th century this got shortened to “spring-time,” and then further shortened in the 16th century to just “spring.”


What About Daylight Savings?

The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, "An Economical Project." Read more about Franklin's essay.

Some of Franklin's friends, inventors of a new kind of oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to America.

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Countries have different change dates.

Some say the primary reason that Daylight Saving Time is a part of many societies is simply because people like to enjoy long summer evenings, and that reasons such as energy conservation are merely rationalizations.

Personally, I'm going with enjoying longer evening activities rather saving energy.


"Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used."

From London builder William Willett (1857-1915)

in the pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight" (1907)

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead today (technically last night at midnight). I hope you all have a wonderful spring and are able to spend time outside reading some wonderful novels!

Here's one of my #ghost novels you might enjoy!
Read the new Review snippet!



 A GHOST TO DIE FOR
Contemporary Romance/Paranormal

Do you believe in ghosts? Rooney Fontaine doesn't—or didn't until one named Stuart Granger shows up in her hotel room. Now the humorous, yet desperate, apparition is begging her to find the men who murdered him before his brother becomes their next victim.

After serving three tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, Stephan Granger is no -stranger to risk and peril. When a woman shows up at his house rambling about ghosts, murder and assassins, his first inclination is to deem her wrong in the head and send her packing. But how does she know things that happened to him and his dear departed brother in their childhoods, secrets they never shared with anyone?

Soon after he invites her in to hear more about what really happened to Stuart, gunfire splits the air and shatters all the windows in the house. Someone is trying to kill them. Now they're on the run from assassins while trying to find out who killed his brother and why they want him dead too.

Even amid murder and mayhem, sometimes you find love.


Recent Review Snippet

★★★★★
"Diablo has written a fully-rounded story, with a strong and exciting plot, and characters to die for! Even with the paranormal, ghostly twist, the issues and emotions these characters were forced to cope with felt very real. They had me rooting for them all the way through to the very last page. An entertaining, heartfelt story, packed with action, nail-biting suspense, and romance!"