Capt. Jack Interviews Author Cathy Skendrovich and Helps Celebrate her New Release ~ The Pirate’s Bride!

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2017 is off to a great start! And today, we have a real treat in store. Jack’s back to interview another romance author. This time, he’s reeled in Author Cathy Skendrovich. Man the braces, me hearties! Lady Cathy brought her new release, The Pirate’s Bride. Pirates. Brides. Ah, this promises to be quite an adventure!

Take it away, Jack! 😉

captain jack sparrow w compassJack: Preens. “Happy to be back on deck, Lady Katherine. I’m awash with delight.” Bows then straightens effects. Turns and poses for his guest. “Ah, there’s the fine authoress Lady Cathy Skendrovich now. Welcome aboard, luv. Tis a pleasure to have ye.”  Winks devilishly and points to his rum jug. “Don’t be nervous. I brought rum. Let’s start at the beginning, eh? Everyone was born with a compass pointing somewhere. I have a compass that points to what I want most. Where does your compass point to?”

Cathy: “I was born with a compass that points to being the best.”

Jack: Jaw drops. “Kindred spirits, we are.”

Cathy: “The best student, the best teacher, the best mom, the best writer.”

Jack: “Ye have heard of me, haven’t ye?” Winks.

Cathy: “I’m highly competitive, which is a double-edged sword. You know about swords, don’t you, Jack?

will-turner-pirates-of-the-caribbeanJack: “That I do.” Brandishes sword. Demonstrates prowess. “Have ye heard of Will Turner? No?” Frowns. “No better swordsmith exists.”

Cathy: “Anyway, striving to be the best at something makes you work hard, which is a good thing. Worrying because you may fall short of your goal? Not so good. I’ve had to learn how to handle my competitive nature, to temper it with the idea that I can’t be the best at everything. I need to be happy with who I am, right now.

Jack: “Happiness is staying alive, luv.” Removes rum jug stopper and takes a swig. “That reminds me, I’ve got pieces of eight in my pocket. Significant treasure, to be sure. If ye had eight pieces with ye at all times, what would they be?”

Cathy: “Three of those pieces of eight would be my husband and two sons.”

0da1a3d2d2a377de802d786c6c4fb682Jack: Eyes widen. “Be they bewitched like the Pearl in a bottle? How do they fit in your pocket, eh?”

Cathy: “They are my most important treasures of all, and I want to keep them safe as they venture out into the world.”

Jack: “Aye. Protecting the Pearl, that I understand.” Leans forward. “I’m curious about the other five pieces of eight in your pocket. Will they fit?”

Cathy: “The other five would be: good health, because I’m not getting any younger, more time in each day so I could do everything I want, fame (from writing), fortune (so that I could take care of my family without worrying about money), and, on a more vain note, no more gray hairs!”

Jack: Peers quizzically at his own dreads. “’Sdeath and blood, that would take me vigor, the swash out of me buckle, and wind out of me sails. Speaking of sails, when did the wind take hold of yours?”

Cathy: “I think I was twelve when I first started writing, silly fan fiction stories with my cousin and sister. In high school I was editor of the school paper, and won second place in an editorial contest.”

Jack: “A well-propertied wench, eh?”

Cathy: Nods. “Then I got involved with college and work and marriage, and really didn’t write creatively at all, except for the occasional short story, one of which received an Honorable Mention in the local newspaper. Finally, in 2010, after my mom died I started thinking about writing again. She’d always told me I could do anything if I set my mind to it.”

teague2Jack: “I had a mum once.” Takes a swig in her honor. “She urged me to be like me father.” Shivers. “And did ye do everything ye set your mind to do, like me?”

Cathy: “I started writing at an online writing site, and eventually the readers there told me I should try and get my stories published. I took their advice, and last year had my first book, Prisoner of Love, published, and now The Pirate’s Bride is published.”

Jack:Prisoner of Love and The Pirate’s Bride, eh? These sound like good books to read to me crew.” Leans forward to whisper. “Most can’t read.” Sits back. “Were there times the Kraken tried to pull ye down to Davy Jones Locker? If so, how’d ye escape?

Cathy: “Oh, wow, yes! I don’t like to be criticized (who does?). The first bad review I got stuck with me for days, dragging me down like the Kraken did with you.”

latest2Jack: Shivers again. “Have ye met Elizabeth Swann?”

Cathy: “I really was depressed, so much so that all the good reviews didn’t seem to matter as much as those one or two bad ones. And then one night I was watching the TV show “Castle,” and the main character, a writer named Richard Castle, is confronted by someone who criticizes his writing, saying that he’s in a slump and doesn’t write as well as he used to. Castle responds lightly: “Everyone’s a critic.” That’s when I realized I couldn’t please everyone, and there wasn’t any point in worrying over those readers who don’t like my writing. Instead, I focus on the many readers who do like my books.”

latest3Jack: “I say the same to meself when I find myself behind bars. Steady as she goes until ye can catch that dog with the key. During a broadside, what do you do to mend your sails?”

Cathy: “I like to go for walks, maybe go to a movie. Or read a book by one of my favorite authors.”

Jack: “Have ye been to the Tortuga, luv? No? Ye might find inspiration there, unless ye can’t remember names.” Palms cheek and drifts off. “Where were we? Ah, yes. Once the course for that coveted horizon had been charted, how long did it take ye to make port?”

Cathy: “I sent my first book, Prisoner of Love, to two prior publishers before Entangled Publishing picked it up, so I’d say about a year. For The Pirate’s Bride, I entered a Twitter #Pit2Pub event, where authors sum up their book in a tweet, and participating publishers request to see more of their work. The Pirate’s Bride was picked up immediately. That was February 3, 2016, so about eleven months.”

Jack: “Drawin’ on every rag of canvas and signing the articles, eh? I’d call that a successful adventure. Pirates have a code, more like guidelines anyway. What’s your code?”

Cathy: “I’m a little bit scattered, which is something I’ve got to work on this year. First, I come up with an idea, and I jot it down (longhand). Next, I write a synopsis, a character list, and the main events I want to see happen in the story. I usually follow that with research. Once that is done, I start writing. I outline each chapter before I write it, because sometimes I don’t get as far as I want, or the characters go in a different direction than planned.”

1be077f477a2a30389f6597c868aa21bJack: “Easy at your helm as ye get under way, eh? Every adventure begins with a spark of an idea.” Stands to posture by the rail. “Alas, our time is done. But one more question niggles me brain. Who is your all-time favorite pirate?” Summons charm to disarm.

Cathy: “Why, you, of course!”

Jack: Bedevils with a golden-toothed smile. Produces a gallant bow. “At your service, m’lady.” Rises. “And now we’ve come to the end of our interview. But first, every tar what sets foot on a ship has a story to tell. What have ye brought for our readers today?

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pb-coverAll Sophie Bellard wants is her freedom, freedom to sail the seven seas, and freedom to be her own person without interference from a controlling husband. But an arranged marriage to handsome and dangerous Captain Andre Dubois derails all her hopes. After a disastrous wedding night where a ruinous secret is discovered, the two go their separate ways with hopes of never meeting again.

Sophie becomes a pirate while Andre sets off for the Orient, where he makes a murderous enemy. After escaping with his life, Andre returns to home waters, and in an unexpected twist of pirate fate, reunites with his estranged and unwilling wife.

When Andre’s murderous enemy threatens Sophie’s life, he vows to protect what is his, and attempts to win his wife’s forgiveness and love, once and for all.

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cathys-head-shot-3Cathy Skendrovich has always loved a good story, and spent her formative years scribbling what is now called Fan Fiction. The current heartthrob of the time featured heavily in all her stories. Unfortunately, once she went to college, her writing took the form of term papers, written on typewriters instead of computer keyboards.

Upon graduation, Cathy took a job as an English teacher in a middle school. Along the way, she married her husband of now thirty-two years, had two sons, and moved to southern Orange County, California. She chose to work part-time in the school system there.

Now she has returned to writing. Prisoner of Love is her first published novel, followed closely by The Pirate’s Bride. A sequel to The Pirate’s Bride, as well as another contemporary romantic suspense are in the works.

She likes writing romance because she feels it’s lacking in today’s technological world. While she enjoys writing contemporary stories, creating romance in bygone times fascinates her. She hopes her ability to write in both genres will be the beginning of a long and satisfying writing career.

Ports of Call:

Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter  /   Goodreads

Amazon  /   Literary Wanderlust (paperback)

Thanks for coming aboard, Lady Cathy! Best wishes for the greatest success in 2017!

Wishing you following winds,

Katherine

 

Happy New Year, Cover Reveal, and 2017 Calendars!

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0001-106749684Happy New Year, me hearties!

Another year arrives with champagne toasts and great cheer. Gone are the failures, successes, and sorrows of the previous year. Ahead await endless possibilities of hope and light.

I wish you all the greatest of success in 2017!

As for me, my calendar is somewhat empty. I’m ready to make additions though, to jot down thrilling plans and epic dreams. No holding back! It’s time to focus on good health, find time to relax, exercise more, and enjoy solitary moments that refill the well. That’s as close as I’m going to get to making a New Year’s resolution. I’m not a big fan of them because they never seem to stick, though I tend to come up with a plan anyway. (Pirate!)

Before I can dig in to what I want to do this year, however, I’m on deadline. I’ve got to finish the third book in my Regent’s Revenge Series by January 24th. Oriana Thorpe and Captain Walsingham have a long way to go before they can reach their happily ever after. So, in order to meet my deadline date, I’m going to pull back from social media in January.

If you see me here, brilliant! If not, you’ll know that I’m working hard to bring The Pirate’s Duty to you. (The book will be a late May/early June release.)

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Speaking of The Pirate’s Duty, Regent’s Revenge Book #3, I haven’t done a formal cover reveal yet.

Here it is! Isn’t it amazeballz? 😉

Author Victoria Vane at Romance Cover Creations captured Oriana’s and Walsingham’s passion for each other perfectly. These two characters are stubborn, tortured souls fated to be together. But there are a great many things working to tear them apart: social standing, important causes, personal trauma, and an enemy who wants them both dead. I do so love creating mayhem. Heehee!!!

Until next time, my wish for you is to reach for the stars in 2017! No dream is too big.

Remember, we all have 364 more days to play with. So grab a calendar and plan away.

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I particularly LOVE the 2017 Action Day Planner. It’s a FABulous way to keep track of your time, commitments, and projects. I’ve used this particular calendar for the last four years and highly recommend it.

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I’m also trying something new this year, the 2017 AuthorLife Planner. It’s a bit more detailed than my brain can handle right now but I’m hoping to work on scheduling my time better this year and I’m willing to try something new.

So take a chance on something new and sail to that weathered horizon, me hearties. Treasure awaits!

Wishing you following winds,

Katherine

 

#Holiday Romance # Recipe Exchange ~ Quick Peach Cobbler via Author Tina Gayle!

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untitledMerry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day, me hearties!

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope Santa Pirate was especially good to you this year! I’m grateful that my family and I got to spend wonderful moments together, moments that would have been much more satisfying if our oldest son and his family could have been with us. (He’s stationed in Japan, lives there with his family, and had to work on Christmas.) One of the sacrifices military families make each and every day is being separated from the ones they love.

Love, sacrifice, and commitment make the world go ’round. And celebrating the holidays also comes in many forms, like observing Boxing Day, a day my fictional characters would set aside to show gratitude to servants or those in need by delivering a Christmas Box.

Join me as I deliver this prized gem. Author Tina Gayle started this #Holiday Romance #Recipe Exchange. And to round out my blog series, she’s come aboard to share her FAVorite recipe with you today.

Take it away, Lady Tina!

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My uncle used to make this cobbler all the time when he wanted to offer us a treat. A confirmed bachelor, he wanted something quick and easy.

Quick Peach Cobbler

1 large can of peaches

3/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 box of vanilla wafers

1/4 cup of butter

Preheat the oven to 350.  Pour can peaches, sugar, and cinnamon in a casserole dish large enough to hold everything I use the 2quart size. After stirring these items together, then add most of the box of vanilla wafers, set enough aside to pull on top.  Once you have the wafers arranged on top, slice the butter in to small pieces and set on top of the wafers.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with ice cream or whipping cream.

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tg-ewc-mewidow-432x6481Four women…
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed…

Letting go and rebuilding a life comes at a price.

Having come to terms with losing her husband, Jennifer is ready to move on, but she faces opposition from her friends, in-laws, and brother-in-la. He see himself as her future husband. None of them know of Jen’s marital problems and she is afraid of their reaction when they learn she has a date for Friday night?

Hagan Chaney is not anything like Craig. He tempts Jen into the future but is she willing to give love another chance after the heartache she faced the 1st time around?

Amazon    |  All Romance Ebooks   |  B&N     |  Kobo    | Apple  | Smashword

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~ Excerpt~

Friday night, sitting at a booth in a nice, romantic restaurant, Jen silently wished she could enjoy the subdued atmosphere, and order a rib eye steak. Instead, her hands shook and her stomach churned with doubt. The survival skills she’d learned after becoming a real estate agent demanded a calm, composed front, but she couldn’t pull it off.

Hell, who was she fooling?

After ten years without a date, what made her believe she could do this again? She stared at the menu. Could she even swallow a bite of beef? And if not, what should she order?

She lifted her gaze to the drop-dead gorgeous man on the other side of the table. Hagan Cheney, a Greek god incarnated, had strawberry blond hair glowing like gold around his head. Wide shoulders and strong arms were encased in a hunter-green cashmere sweater. Apollo himself wouldn’t look any better.

Why in heaven’s name did he ask her on a date?

And why did she care?

She had no plans other than a casual dinner for two.

He glanced up, and a pretty-boy grin crossed his lips. The twinkle in his hazel eyes softened the square line of his jaw. “So have you decided what you want?”

Heat simmered low in her belly. Oh, yeah, answering that question the wrong way could get her into a world of trouble.

Tempted by wicked ideas, Jen blinked and stared at the menu. She’d do better if he didn’t know the wild directions of her brainwaves. “I’m not sure I can eat. I haven’t been this nervous since my first date with Craig.”

Ah, shit, I wasn’t supposed to mention him. Fire burned her cheeks. Her gaze jumped to Hagan’s befuddled expression.

“Craig?” Hagan lowered his menu.

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tinagaylephoto899x10241An author with over 30 books, Tina Gayle writes in a number of different genres: Romantic contemporary (as Tina Gayle) and  Erotic Romance. Her books range from contemporary, paranormal to mystery and suspense

As an indie author, she has worked hard to have a social presence and reach her readers. You can visit her website and read the 1st chapter of any of her books.  Or you can download a free ebook and join her newsletter group.

http://www.tinagayle.net//newsletter.html

Ports of Call:

Home  /  Blog  /  Twitter  /  Goodread  /  Facebook

Thanks for hosting me on your blog and I hope everyone has an awesome holiday season,

Tina Gayle

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Thanks for stopping by, Lady Tina! I look forward to trying out your uncle’s Quick Peach Cobbler recipe. Woot!

Wishing you following winds,

Katherine

#Holiday Romance #Recipe Exchange ~ Festive Holiday Punch via Author Brenda Sparks!

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holidayromance%2526recipesChristmas is almost here! ARR you busy preparing your holiday feast? If so, don’t forget the punch! As part of Author Tina Gayle‘s #Holiday #Recipe Exchange, Paranormal Romance Author Brenda Sparks is sharing her FAVorite and Festive Holiday Punch. So don’t delay, me hearties! Check out the recipe we’re sharing today. Woot!

Take it away, Lady Brenda! 😉3542854-clipping-path-branch-of-holly-design-element-isolated-on-white-background

Festive Holiday Punch

” Make a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld.”

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 quart cranberry juice
  • 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons almond extract
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle Lemon/Lime soft drink such as Sprite
  • 1 pint of cranberries
  • Vodka (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large container, mix together sugar, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and almond extract. Refrigerate for 1 day.
  2. To serve, pour juice mixture into a punch bowl. Stir in Lemon/Lime soft drink.
  3. Garnish with cranberries.

Optional:

  1. To make an alcohol version stir in vodka to desired taste.

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alpha_lover_cover1Starved for blood, vampire, Nicholai Peterhof is greatly relieved when two tourists, in Russia for the Christmas holiday, decide to grace his restaurant, but one sip from the pretty brunette and his world is forever turned upside down. Juliette Staint-John is everything he could have asked for in a heartmate; pretty, smart, built with curves in all the right places…and totally unavailable.

Juliette doesn’t want anything to do with the handsome, young-looking Nicholai. As if their differences aren’t enough, the acute grief over the loss of loved ones keeps her heart guarded. He may be her fantasy, but that’s all he can ever be.

To get past Juliette’s defenses and in order to keep her safe, Nicholai must prove himself worthy of her love and trust. Unbeknownst to the couple, her personal demons are not the only ones threatening their relationship. Hiding virtually unseen by the vampires, Demon Royalty plots to destroy not only the couple but the entire vampire breed. Luckily, Nicholai will do anything for Juliette—even if it means sacrificing himself.

Buy Amazon  /  Buy Nook  /  Buy iBooks  /  Buy Kobo  /  Buy Wild Rose Press

3542854-clipping-path-branch-of-holly-design-element-isolated-on-white-background~ Excerpt ~

Julie’s gaze swept the landscape. The moon’s rays glittered on the snowy bows. The birch trees stood with their trunks painted white to match their limbs. Thick pine branches held fast under the weight of the new fallen snow, making them appear as if they wore white blankets made of virginal cotton about each limb. Sparkling mounds cluttered the ground between the trees, hiding the forest’s treasures beneath.

Save the sound of the hooves pounding on the ground, they journeyed through the silent night to a clearing in the trees. Nicholai clicked to his stallion, and with a flick of the reins, the steed increased into a rolling canter up a steep incline. Julie’s thighs pushed against the sides of the horse as she tried to match the new rhythm.

Nicholai’s breath warmed her ear when he spoke. “Not too much further. It’s right up ahead.”

“What’s up ahead?” Just as the words left Julie’s mouth, they crested over the ridge.

The frozen valley below took her breath away. A glaciate waterfall stood still as a statue against the rocky terrain. The cascading water, stopped as if by magic, reflected the moon’s soft rays and cast tiny prisms on the snow below.

Julie’s breath hitched in her throat. She took in the serene beauty of the land as they cruised at a slow trot. Debris rolled under Kedar’s hoofs. It created a hollow rattle in the night, barely audible to Juliette.

When they reached the valley, Nicholai pulled up the stallion and handed the reins to Julie. She patted the horse’s steaming neck as her lover dismounted with a fluid grace. He turned, grabbed Kedar’s reins, then reached up for Julie. Her thick coat seemed to melt as his strong hands clasped around her waist. She put her hands on his shoulders, and the bulge of muscle under his coat played under her fingers when he helped her down. A thrill went through her body.

Her breath frosted the air in a white plume. The lovers held each other, his hands about her waist, hers resting on his shoulders. Quiet as the moon above, they stared deeply into each other’s eyes. Nicholai captured her lips in a gentle caress that welcomed her to this special place.3542854-clipping-path-branch-of-holly-design-element-isolated-on-white-background

twitter_head_shot1Born in Virginia, Brenda Sparks now resides in the Sunshine State.  Balancing her professional commitment to the local school district with her writing is challenging at times, but writing suspenseful paranormal romances is a passion that won’t be denied. Her idea of a perfect day is one spent in front of a computer with a hot cup of coffee, her fingers flying over the keys to send her characters off on their latest adventure.  Brenda loves to connect with readers.  Please visit her online or stop by her website to say hi.

Ports of Call: 

Facebook  /   Twitter  /  Goodreads  /  Amazon  /  Website  

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Thank you for sharing your Festive Holiday Punch recipe with us, Lady Brenda! Happy Holidays! 😉

Wishing you following winds,

Katherine

 

 

 

 

#Holiday Romance #Recipe Exchange ~ No Bake Cookies via Anita Philmar!

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I’m really enjoying all the delicious recipes from Author Tina Gayle‘s #Holiday Romance #Recipe Exchange! If you’ve missed them, make sure to go back through my previous posts this month. (Look for the title #Holiday Romance #Recipe Exchange.) Scrumptious eats await!

Today, I’d like to welcome Author Anita Philmar back to Rogues, Rebels & Rakes. Anita writes erotic murder mystery, romantic suspense and we’re oh! so lucky she’s aboard today. Claps hands together with glee. She brought chocolate by way of a no back recipe for us to try this holiday season. Huzzah and Hoorah!!!

Take it away, Lady Anita!

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Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal no bake cookies.

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 peanut butter
  • 2 oz of chocolate unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups oatmeal old fashion

Melt butter and add brown sugar, stir and microwave 30 seconds. Break up unsweetened chocolate and stir into butter and sugar mixture. Microwave 15 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted.

Add peanut butter and vanilla – stir until smooth

Add oatmeal.

Stir until oatmeal is coated.

Then cover cookie sheet with parchment paper, drop spoonful onto parchment paper.

Place pan of cookies in freezer and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Eat when ready.

Other alternatives reduce oatmeal 1/2 cup before add one of the alternatives

  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut

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perf5.000x8.000.inddSpecial Security Agent Sebastian Berlin is eager to track down his partner’s killer. Instead, he’s assigned the job of baby-sitting a scientist. His boss thinks she’s the key to an Ancient Warrior Prophecy. Science never interested Sebastian, but the know-it-all female standing at the end of his Alaskan dock could persuade him to do a little experimenting. That is, if he can keep his Neanderthal Warrior genes from taking control.

DNA specialist Lily Sinclair is in need of a vacation, or so her over-protective ex-husband tells her. Arriving in chilly Alaska instead of sunny Cancun, she’s tired and cranky and so not in the mood for her bodyguard’s he-man tactics. Still, there’s something about the sexy eye-candy that makes her want to lick him all over even as she’s demanding to go home.

Then Lily’s ex is poisoned, and Sebastian is certain the two murders are connected and she could be next. She knows he’s hiding something, but with the worldwide release of Neanderthal DNA project only days away, she has no choice but to trust him to protect her. But can she trust him with her heart?

Buy Amazon  /  Buy Nook  /  Buy Kobo  /  Buy ARE  /  Buy Wild Rose Press

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~ Excerpt ~

She blinked.

He had to be joking.

Lifting her hand to her chest, she sputtered, “Excuse me, what did you say?”

“Cain was murdered outside your lab.” He rephrased the sentence, but her brain registered only one word…—murdered.

She jumped to her feet and planted her hands on his desk. “Why didn’t anyone tell me this before now?” She glanced around for her purse. “I need to call Mark. We have to call the police and find out what the hell happened. Did they break into the lab?”

Without waiting for his reply, she turned and headed back down the hallway to where he’d left her suitcase. She didn’t see her handbag anywhere near it. Did she leave it in the small, tin-bucket-sized plane? Or had Bruce left it on the dock?

Desperate for answers to a whole host of questions, she rushed outside. “Damn it, Bruce, how do you expect me to stay in touch with home if you fly off with my purse?”

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anitaphilmarprofilepic1

 

Anita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way.

Influenced by old movies, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where special moments come to life in a great read.

Naughty or Nice?

Read her books and decide.

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Ports of Call:

Website  /  Blog  /  Facebook  /  Goodreads  /  Twitter  /  Amazon

Contact Anita via Email at: anitaphilmar@yahoo.com

 

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Thank you so much for docking with us today, Lady Anita! I can’t wait to try these no bake cookies. I love Oatmeal Scotches so I’m sure these ARR going to be a great hit in my galley. 😉

Wishing you following winds,

Katherine

 

#Holiday Romance #Recipe Exchange ~ Cranberry Bliss Bars via Whitley Cox!

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Cap’n loves romance and cranberries! So today’s recipe via Author Whitley Cox is a boon! Welcome Lady Whitley aboard, eh? She’s got a great recipe and she’s also bringing love, passion and power to the table too!

Take it away, Lady Whitley!

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Cranberry Bliss Bars – BETTER THAN STARBUCKS! And cheaper too!

For years I would make it a sinful habit to treat myself at least once a week to a cranberry bliss bar and a chai tea latte with egg nog, because they’re only around for a short time, so the belly needs to stock up. But then I decided to try and make my own, that way I could eat a whole pan if I wanted to, and in the comfort of my own home (in the dark in a corner with crumbs all over my face…you get the picture). And voila, I found the perfect recipe that mimics the original, if not improves upon it. Now I just have to figure out how to copy their chai lattes with egg nog and I never have to leave my house again!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass or dark pan). Prepare a 10×15 by lining it with parchment paper or use a non-stick spray.
  2. BARS: With an electric mixer, beat together softened butter and sugars 3-5 minutes until light; gently blend in eggs and orange extract (don’t overbeat eggs). Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and beat briefly. Add the cranberries and chips, stirring just until incorporated.
  3. Spread thick batter in prepared 10×15 pan. Bake 350 for 20-24 minutes until light brown AT EDGES and a skewer tests clean. Don’t overbake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely. NOTE: If you use a 9×13 pan, the bars will be thicker and will take 26-28 minutes.
  4. FROSTING: Blend cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add orange extract and confectioners sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy and spreadable (adding 1 t. milk if needed). Spread evenly over COOLED bars.
  5. GARNISH: Use a zester to remove rind from an orange; sprinkle zest over frosted bars. Chop 1/3 cup Craisins coarsely; sprinkle over frosted bars.
  6. DRIZZLE: Mix white chocolate and oil in a glass measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute; stirring every 15 seconds until melted. Use a fork or whisk to drizzle the white chocolate diagonally across the bars.
  7. Allow one hour for the white chocolate to set before cutting. **To make signature Starbuck triangles, cut into 20 large squares (5 cuts by 4 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally to create triangles.

Ingredients

·         BARS

  • 1cup butter (2 sticks, very soft)
  • 1cup brown sugar (some cooks reduce this to 2/3 cup)
  • 13cup granulated sugar
  • 3large eggs
  • 2teaspoons orange extract or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2cups flour
  • 12teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon ground ginger
  • 34cup craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 34cup white chocolate chips

·         FROSTING

  • 3ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1teaspoon orange extract (or vanilla)

·         TOPPING

  • 13cup craisins, chopped
  • 1 -2tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 13cup white chocolate chips
  • 12teaspoon canola oil

3542854-clipping-path-branch-of-holly-design-element-isolated-on-white-background

wc-lpp-ddh-part1-750x11251He was her new beginning; she was his undoing.

When personal trainer Kendra Black saw millionaire Justin Williams walk through her door all she saw was money and a practiced swagger. A man who’s used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But Kendra is startled to realize that there is more to Justin than meets the eye, he’s kind and funny and brilliant, and she wants him, desperately. Unable to resist Kendra or her fiery spirit and zest for life, right from the start, Justin pursues her, only her troubled childhood holds her back. She’s been running from love for so long, she doesn’t know how to stop and let it catch up.

Elated when Kendra finally gives into their attraction, Justin jumps in with both feet, only his hectic and demanding life continues to interfere, and Kendra’s past comes creeping back and the two are tested. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionate and physical adventure, Justin discovers Kendra’s secrets and fears while exploring and uncovering his own wild and dark desires.

Currently available for pre-order!

Amazon  /  B&N  /  Kobo  /  Books2Read

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~ Excerpt ~

I turned my head around as I continued up the path and his smile was adorably cocky, shit-eating and amused beyond words. So I quickly spun back around to face the path, wondering if I should give him the satisfaction of playing into his comment and questioning it or if I should play my own game and ignore him, let him sweat -I’m not one for head games!

“What the hell did that mean!?” I asked, stopping in my tracks and facing him.

“Relax,” he said. Smile not leaving his eyes or his lips as he gently placed his hands on my shoulders to ground me, “I’m not asking you to marry me right now. But I KNOW for a fact that I am going to marry you. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted and I’ll wait until you’re ready and feel the same, but I WILL make you my wife, Kendra Black.” He shrugged again and smiled that adorable triumphant grin that made my heart melt and leap and spin and dance.

A small smile crept its way on to my face no matter how hard I tried to fight it, damn he was handsome. “Now get moving and stop fretting. I can see by that wrinkle between your brows that you’re worrying. Please don’t.” He turned me around by my shoulders and smacked my butt again until I started hiking. My mind reeling and going in all directions about what he’d just said. And maybe, just maybe, if I’m being 100% honest, thinking of bridal gowns, honeymoon destinations and flowers.

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author_pic1Born and raised on the West Coast of Canada and married to her high school sweetheart, with a spirited toddler and a fluffy dog. Whitley spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn’t end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes and it’s not quite wine o’clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.

A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of every day life into her stories. With mommy wars, body issues, threesomes and role playing, these books have everything we need to satisfy the curious kink in all of us.

Ports of Call:

Facebook  /  Blog  / Twitter  /  Website

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog and I hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season. All the best for a successful and prosperous 2017!

Cheers,

Whitley Cox

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What a great pleasure it’s been having you aboard ship, Whitley! Thanks for the yummilicious recipe! I can’t wait to see if I’ll find myself in a corner hiding said crumb face. Huzzah!!! 😉

Wishing you following winds,

Katherine

 

 

 

 

 

#Holiday Romance #Recipe Exchange ~ Alina K Field’s Golden Cups!

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Ahoy, me hearties! Author Alina K. Field is here to share one of her FAVorite holiday recipes. So gather ’round a cask or two. There be gold in them cups!

Take it away, Lady Alina!

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My sister-in-law gave me this recipe many years ago. With all the butter, nuts, and cream cheese, it’s rich and yummy, a holiday favorite at my house!

pecan_cups1GOLDEN CUPS

Crust:

2 cups flour

¼ tsp salt

1 cup margarine or butter

1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese

Cream together margarine and cheese. Add flour and salt. Mix and then chill dough a couple of hours. Once chilled, divide dough into 4 equal parts, then divide each part into 12 balls and place in miniature muffin tins, pressing around sides and bottom.

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Love in Times of War: #NewRelease #HolidayRecipe #LuvNWar @jacqbiggar

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Ahoy, crew! Author Jacquie Biggar is on deck. Take it away, Lady Jacquie!

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year. An air of festivity takes hold as stores bring out their holiday decorations and old time favorites play on the television.

One of my favorite Christmas recipes came from my grandmother, Waldorf Salad. Every year I’d look forward to seeing that fancy glass bowl filled with chopped up apples taking pride of the place on our dining room table. It was Grandma’s donation to our holiday dinner.

We’ve kept the tradition going, even though she passed away a few years ago. Now, when I look upon that simple bowl of salad every year, I feel her presence among us and smile.

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Capt. Jack Sparrow Interviews #Historical #Romance Author Jessie Clever!

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Sink and scupper me, we’ve another visitor in our midst! Ahoy, me hearties! What luck! I’m interrogatin’… ‘er I mean interviewin’ another author this week, Lady Jessie Clever.  Does a body good to be in demand. So without further delay…

Smacks hands together with glee.

Let’s get this ship out of port, eh? I’ll begin with my first question, one that is close to me heart. I have a compass that points to what I want most. Where does your compass that points to, Lady Jessie?

Jessie: “Trouble!” Continue reading

#Holiday Romance and #Recipe Exchange ~ M.S. Kaye’s Christmas Cookies!

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holidayromance%2526recipesDecember is a joyous time and Author Tina Gayle‘s recipe exchange proves once again sharing recipes is a good thing. Got a hankering for cookies? Author M. S. Kaye is packing a cookie broadside today. So sit back and prep your taste buds, me hearties. Lady M.S.’s recipe is sure to satisfy your sugar cravings.

Take it away, Lady M.S.! Huzzah!!!

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