No more morbid diets.

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A look at Acid Reflux and all its relations.

The date leapt out at me from the calendar. Another month sped by, in which my ideas for an article changed radically. In fact I am excited about the different pathway I will follow for this month’s news.

Illness forced me to put my writing aside. Hospitals and angels clad in scrubs and blue uniforms lifted me to safety from a threatening illness, informing me all was benign but the condition was not going to leave me. Positive thinking led to a host of heavenly beings flying with luminescent banners of gold, scarlet and green, their voices streamed high above the brightly coloured dawn of a new life. Yet there was the odd gremlin or two creeping amongst these angels of light. One whispered in my ear. ‘Ha ha, no more sundowners for you and not much of anything else either .’ Darn thing, scuttled off snickering.

Surely it couldn’t be true. For years I pursued a daily routine of inspired and frantic writing, plotting, editing, and gritting my teeth. I would sigh or beam according to whether I wrote load of rubbish or something worthy of my readers. It was six o’clock and time to turn from the PC to a medium glass of Shiraz with delicious chilli crackers. Seeing my despair as my sundowner treat disappeared, a compassionate surgeon with green wings, whispered. ‘Take no notice; you can have the odd glass or two. Enjoy it. However, my dear patient, the chilli crackers are cast into the fires of hell. ‘His consolation was to direct me to a harpist strumming on a cloud; she also happened to be a dietician and she sang a song about miniscule but delightful diets. My only challenge was to lose two stone in weight, but I, being a masochist was delighted, I am now eight and half stone and feeling twenty years younger.

Illumined, I decided to share the news with my fellow sufferers and devised a delicious but mindful diet. I experienced a loss of two stone in weight and feel twenty years younger, so I am in love with the recipes which took months and hours each day searching for them.

In fact I am so delighted with these discoveries I intend to write and publish a book of heavenly simple recipes that even the most new of cooks can try. So don’t throw away your lists of do’s and don’ts s from your angels, obey the rules for treating peptic strictures, ulcers, hiatal hernia and the besieged oesophagus, but take your miniscule diet and change it into mouth- watering joy.

Quiche with Asparagus,

2 eight inch cooked pasty cases homemade or shop bought.

Four ounces of Greek Yoghourt

Five ounces of Crème Fraiche.

2 large eggs.

A small handful of mozzarella.

Two tablespoons of grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese.

Ten small and tender asparagus spears.

 

Heat the oven so it is ready for quiches

Have a large bowl ready and a balloon whisker.

Whip up the two eggs in a cup first and pour into the bowl.

Add the crème Fraiche.

Add the Gruyere or Parmesan cheese and mix well.

Add the Greek Yoghourt mix well.

Add the Mozzarella and mix well.

Add enough milk so it is not too stiff.

Mix in dried herbs, Spanish or English or your own. Dill also is delicious. Place the asparagus tips and shortened stalks into on the bottom of the pastry cases.

Pour the mixture from the bowl over the asparagus spears. The mixture should come to the rim of the pastry case.

Put the pastry cases in the middle of the oven and turn down the heat to 150C.

It will take anything from 30 to 45 minutes

Available on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lament for the Dead Hairdryer

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I’m sure this has happened to most of you ladies – Maybe even the guys, too. When your hair is soaking wet after showering and the darn hairdryer’s dead. It’s quite like the betrayal to womankind, don’t you think?

Not to mention to your pride.

My hair looks like a vulture’s nest when it’s not blown out (not that it’s great anyway), but I take it as a personal affront when I can’t style it due to technicality demise. Puts you right out of your element, in fact – you just don’t feel like yourself.

Here are some suggestions to alleviate this crisis when it happens to you, and it will:

DON’T BE CHEAP: Keep a spare dryer on hand, especially if yours is older than dirt. Mine has been giving me the fidgets for over six months, but I’ve always been able to revive it, once I’ve given it a good shake and some choking. Tonight, though, it bit the dust. We buried it the back yard…

KEEP A FLATIRON ON HAND: Flatirons are not kind to fine hair like mine, but is better than nothing, if you must go out in public.

HAVE A DECENT HAT OR TWO ON HAND (OR HEAD), FOR EMERGENCIES:

You still may end up looking silly, and folks might point at you and scurry away, but no one will notice what a bad hair day you’re having.

CHOOSE A HUSBAND WHO’S A GOOD SPORT: My husband is game enough to hit the store when I’m not looking up to snuff for society, or I’m too embarrassed to leave the house. The point is: MARRY WELL.

Better yet, stick with the guy who understands the foibles of a woman’s vanity, or isn’t afraid to get silly on occasion.

Thanks so much for hopping by -Visit your local MALL as soon as possible for your replacement. You’ll never know when you will need it. (The dryer, not the man).

As you may have guessed, I write Humorous Romance for the most part, Sweet Romance, and Sizzling Romance. (Or, at least I try to). For information about my books, please visit my Amazon Author Page, where there’s everything there is to know about my Award Winning books, the Short Stories and Novellas, my bio, etc. Enjoy Life and Wishing You All a Happily Ever After!

Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2rXiPcH and hope to see you soon!

 

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Life is About Choices

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Life is about choices.

Really. It is.
Not only small choices, such as what should I wear to work today?
Or bigger ones such as: Should I even go to work today?
Or even bigger ones: Should I tell the boss to shove it, sell everything I own, buy a Harley Davidson, and tour Route 66? Without a GPS?
Okay. Maybe today isn’t the day to make decisions that extreme, so let’s do this instead.

Pick at least one of these romance box sets and live a life that isn’t yours vicariously. You won’t cause any harm. Or go bankrupt. Or get lost. But you’re sure to fall in love. At least once.
Would you like to snuggle with a detective who also happens to be a werewolf? Or maybe a reborn Egyptian god? Check out Mystic Lovers.
Did the movie (or old TV show) Wild, Wild West get you itching to share a saddle with secret agent James West? Check out Angel in Aces Wild, part of Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics.
How about suspense, murders, living on the edge, trying to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, all with some hot romance on the side? If this is for you, check out Dangerous Encounters and Risky Encounters, both box sets with romantic suspense that will keep you gripping the edge of your Kindle.
Are contemporary romances more your speed? From puppies to young brides and…and…well, more themes than I have room for here. Kiss Me, Thrill Me, Sweet & Sassy, and Unforgettable Romances are great (and well-endowed with loads of stories).
Tired of choices?
Heck, why not make time to read them all? After all, the prices are fantastic!
All these box sets are only 99 cents each and also available on Amazon to read for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

P.S. If you like to live and love out of this time era, check out my stories in Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics; Mystic Lovers, Sweet and Sassy, and Kiss Me, Thrill Me. I think you’ll be glad you did!

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When Nerds Fall in Love @AyalaRachelle #mgtab

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Who remembers the movie, Revenge of the Nerds? How many of you were considered brainy or geeky in school?

This year, I’ve been busy planning my high school reunion, and as such, I’m remembered as the Valedictorian or the class geek. Imagine everyone’s surprise that I, the mathematics major, am now writing romance novels!

The truth is, nerds and geeks also fall in love, and it’s just as sweet and not as icky as we thought in school. After all, who wears pocket protectors and glasses to bed?

This summer, I have a new Sapphire Falls Kindle World romance between two brainy scientists. Imagine them fitting into a small town full of ex-cheerleaders and hot farm boys.

Description:

Amber Myers is book smart and people stupid, and she’s tired of being invisible and dateless. Luckily her sister is a hairdresser and works at a beauty salon—in Sapphire Falls.

Chad Powers would rather look into a microscope than approach the only woman he’s ever crushed on.

He follows her to Sapphire Falls, and his farm boy cousins turn him into a hunk in time for the Summer Festival.

The going gets hot when both Amber and Chad get more attention than they bargained for—especially when they’re voted the Festival King and Queen.

[To find out more and read reviews, please go to Amazon: Going Gets Hot]
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ROMANTIC CONFLICTS Part 2 @PRosemoor #mgtab

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Last month I talked about romantic conflict in romance novels. Here are some conflict don’ts…and some examples of complex conflicts.

Conflict don’ts

•    Don’t have a conflict that can be cleared up with a discussion – that’s a misunderstanding rather than a conflict.

•    Don’t use cliches – an example is once spurned, the heroine would never get involved with another man

•    Don’t use the ‘I hate you but let’s go to bed’ syndrome

•    Or – the hero who is reluctant to commit because he feels he’s not good enough for the heroine

To me, those are examples of weak romantic conflicts and an author can turn them around.

What if the spurned heroine is determined to make the hero run a gauntlet to prove he loves her. He may not know why she’s making prove himself over and over again, but he’s willing to do it to win her heart … until he finds out why. He feels she’s comparing him to a skunk, and nothing she says is going to make him feel better about it. So she’ll have to do something outrageous in return to prove her love for him.

Example of bringing together external and internal conflicts:

Heroine is a historian who has always loved a wonderful old mansion near the lake and is working to get it historical status. Hero is a developer who wants to tear it down to put up a high rise condo. Why do they have their particular points of view? Maybe she comes from a background where her family wanted everything new, didn’t appreciate anything with history, didn’t appreciate her, which made her feel like the odd woman out. She can equate the hero with her family. Maybe the hero has to prove himself to his family, and that condo he’s going to build is his chance. If he gives it up, then he has failed. No matter if they’re honest with each other, that’s not going to end the conflict. They each have to work to make the other person happy/fulfilled, each have to be willing to give something up for the other. Of course what I would do is have the hero decide to give up on the project for her, which makes her feel like she is appreciated for who she is. At the same time, I would have her be willing to give up her fight to get the property historical status. He refuses. And then she would use connections to find him another property for his condo.

Here are some examples from my The McKenna Legacy novels when falling in love for a McKenna means putting that person in danger…

Brazen – Siobhan is a branch of the McKennas under a curse. Fall in love, act on that love and put the love interest in mortal danger. So in the past, she broke up with Clay so he wouldn’t die like her father did. And then she married someone else who did die. In the present day story, Clay returns to protect her. And while he still loves her, he’s not willing to fully open himself to her because he doesn’t trust her not to spurn him again.

Deal Breaker – Hailey thinks Bryce marries her strictly for business because he wants money, when in fact, he’s trying to save the family business and the only other way he can do it to sell the Lake Geneva house, which was his late mother’s legacy to her children. He can’t do it. He feels responsible for her disappearance. This is all they have left of her.

Purebred – Cat is divorced from a man who married her for her money and is still trying to take what she has left. Aidan has come from Ireland with his racehorse on her dime, and she starts making comparisons between the two. Also, Aidan was in love with a jockey and she died riding one of his horses. So he convinces himself he won’t put another woman at risk, until dangerous things start happening to Cat.

And more examples from my stories in the three serial novels recently published:

 

Gypsy Magic serial novel: Andrei
Elizabeth’s mother was murdered and Andrei’s father testified against the man convicted of her murder. Now Andrei is trying to prove that man, his cousin, is innocent. In addition, Andrei is cursed by the man’s gypsy mother never to consummate his relationship with any woman.

https://books.pronoun.com/andrei/

 

 

Renegade Magic serial novel: Rico
Rico abandoned the mystical beliefs of his heritage, an obstacle in his relationship with artist Charlotte, who is drawn to the old ways. His disbelief makes her fear they will never mesh. Meditation pulls Charlotte straight into her paintings where she senses the murdering witch following her. Terrified of losing her when she is in a dangerous trance, Rico forces his mind to follow.

https://books.pronoun.com/rico

 

 

New Orleans Magic serial novel: Zachary
Officer Zachary Doucet arrives at a murder scene‒‒the victim another voodoo ceremony participant‒‒only to face his ex-partner Detective Rebecca Romero. Zachary intends to clear his half-brother Jordan. From something he did in the past to get his arrest, Rebecca fears he’ll do anything to free Jordan. With Rebecca a straight arrow and Zachary a maverick, is there hope for a future together?

https://books.pronoun.com/zachary

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Too Many Pirogies

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Food is an ongoing theme in my writing. Recently, the subject was pierogi. Or pirogie. Four months ago I’d sent a query to an agent and she requested to see the whole manuscript. During the months that she had it, I wrote a few other books. When she passed on it, it was my opportunity to self-publish again.  Well, I discovered upon rereading the book that there were several recurring themes in two of the books. I eliminated some of them, but the pirogies had to stay.

In one story, Bittersweets – Terry and Alex, the pirogies are prepared for a special dinner for a new boyfriend at the suggestion of a loving father.

In the other, The Jade Emperor,  the book the agent had for part of the year, a mother prepares a special dinner for her adult children in an attempt to overcome her own broken heart.  There are several emotionally charged events occurring around the pirogies; shopping for them, the children’s responses, especially one son who discovers the mother is at a Trader Joes type of store and text messages her, “Does this mean the pirogies are frozen?” I had to keep that line in because I laughed so hard when I wrote it.

Thinking about food reminds me of the importance attached to it when I was growing up. My English mother was such a good cook. I see her dressed in a shirtwaist dress wearing loafers, standing at the stove.  Her specialties revolved around roasted meats with potatoes and vegetable. She always served a fresh salad.

My Greek father was an excellent cook in his own right. I share his recipe for Avgolemono Soup whenever I can as a way to honor him.  When my own family was growing up, dinner was so important to me, a chance to reconnect with my children after I’d been at work all day. My husband commuted two hours to Manhattan and we’d wait until seven-thirty to eat. Being around the table, hearing everyone sharing their day, well I still well up when I think of how wonderful it was. That finds its way into my stories, too, the mother’s focus on finding a way to bring her family together, to nourish their bodies and in the same way, nourish her own soul.

Dino’s Avgolemono Soup – Greek Chicken, Egg and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

Family-pack sized chicken parts, probably five pounds.

Celery, onion, garlic to cook with chicken in at least a gallon of water.

Two cups of raw, white rice rinsed and cooked until just soft.

Lemon juice from three lemons. We like it tart so we use more.

One dozen eggs separated.

Stew chicken in at least a gallon of salted water into which you’ve added the vegetables. Bone and cut up chicken meat and place back into large pot. Skim fat if the chicken has skin on.

Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding some of the cooled broth. It’s okay if they cook a little; it’ll be like egg drop soup.

Beat egg whites until stiff.

Add lemon juice to chicken and broth. You can adjust your lemony taste now, or even add canned broth.

Fold eggs and egg whites into chicken and broth, heat through. Add cooked rice.

My dad generously peppered the dish, too. He used so much chicken he never needed to add extra broth. His soup was more like chicken and rice that you’d eat with a fork.  I’m starving for it now!

The Jade Emperor Coming July 21st For an excerpt, click here.

 

 

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When Opposites Attract by @DonnaFaz #mgtab #NewRelease

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My newest book, The Wedding Planner’s Son, is a light-hearted, fun story that features two characters who are opposites. And you know what they say about opposites, right? They attract! Nothing is more entertaining than watching what happens when opposites attract.

Here are three quotes that fit Tawny:

Anything worth achieving is worth overachieving. ~Lois McMaster Bujold

You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved. ~Unknown

Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. ~Unknown

Here are three quotes that fit Jack:

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end. ~Ernest Hemmingway

No man is a failure who is enjoying life. ~William Feather

When you love what you have, you have everything you need. ~Unknown

Seems like everyone has at least one “when opposites attract” experience. So now I must ask… Have you ever fallen in love with a person who is your polar opposite? What’s your “when opposites attract” story? Please post a comment.

New Release! The Wedding Planner’s Son, Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 6.

When Opposites Attract

The Wedding Planner’s Son

The Ocean City Boardwalk Series isn’t just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!

Tawny McNealy is a driven, high-achiever who fully expects to someday take over and run the family accounting firm. But when an attempt is made to use her as a pawn, Tawny flees to the only place she’s ever felt truly free and happy—the beach.

Jack Barclay spends his summer days creating romantic seaside weddings for lovers. His laid-back attitude has served him well over the years. He feels stressing out about work only causes a person to miss the best parts of life.

Jack and Tawny are as different as sea and sky, but the fascination they find in each other’s company can’t be denied. What happens when opposites attract? Can they withstand the crazy twists that fate tosses their way?

US Kindle        UK Kindle

Nook Book

iBooks Store

Kobo

Google Play

Also available in Paperback

Because this series is so popular, here are all the titles in the series:

Following His Heart, Book 1

Two Hearts in Winter, Book 2

Wild Hearts of Summer, Book 3

An Almost Perfect Christmas, Book 4

Grown Up Christmas List, Book 5

The Wedding Planner’s Son, Book 6

The Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Books 1-3 Bundle

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How to be a Cool Cat: Then and Now

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First, let me say, by *Cool Cat* I mean hip, as opposed to arctic–as  in freezing temperatures. Myren, my chauffeur, thought I should mention this since he felt that few would associate me with anything to do with hip. We had a loud long discussion about this, but I won’t bore you with those details.

How would I know about cool? you ask. (Or I should say, Myren asked this very thing. Numerous times.)

Let’s say, I’ve had the chance to observe many of the cool-as-in-hip over the years. Sometimes I’ve even acted cool myself.

Why should I care? you ask. Everyone wants to be cool, I say. What planet are you from?

Here are my coolest handy hints!

Top 6 ways to be a Cool Cat:

  1. Don’t use the term Cool Cat unless you travel back in time to the 50s and join a band of beatniks. Or unless you’re referring to the old cartoon character based on beatniks from the 50s. Come to think of it, those beatniks were really cool cats.
  2. Wear a beret. Preferably black.
  3. Never smile.
  4. Always wear sunglasses.
  5. Get some bongo drums.
  6. Wear black. Or black & white stripes.

Okay, so if you don’t want to be a beatnik from the 50s, maybe you can skip the bongos.

Now you’re asking “Can I be a Cool Cat in the 21st century without imitating some ancient-times goth-looking characters?”

Sure, I say.

Top 6 Ways to be a 21st Century Cool Cat:

  1. Change out the beret for a baseball cap or knit cap.
  2. Wear very baggy pants or very tight pants.
  3. Get a tattoo or 4 or 5. Large and colorful ones.
  4. Grow a beard if you’re a guy and enhance your hair and nails if you’re a woman.
  5. Change out the bongo drums for the latest mobil with at least 479 apps.
  6. Join a gym. Muscles are in.

Keep the sunglasses. Shades are forever cool.

 

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