About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.  View website

My New Favorite Dinner–Roasted Vegetables

The older I get, the more I appreciate a dish that’s quick and easy to prepare and tastes delicious. Below is my new favorite in this category. Roasted Vegetables–perfect for cold weather dinners.

Not only is this pan of vegetables delicious, it’s also flexible. Usually, when I publish a recipe, I write out very precise directions. The beauty of this one is that there are a lot of variations you can use. There’s no one vegetable that’s essential, although onions are always good for flavor. But you can also include potatoes (small thin-skinned ones cut in half are best), sweet potatoes (peeled and cut in chunks), garlic, cauliflower florets, broccoli pieces, Brussels sprouts, peppers, celery slices, carrots (I generally use baby carrots), green beans, mushrooms, beet and rutabaga cubes. Yes, all of those taste good roasted. For the beets and rutabaga, you may want to give them a quick jolt in the microwave first for three or four minutes before roasting so they are done at the same time as the other ingredients.

I usually cook a big pan of vegetables–often the broiler pan that came with my oven. But I sometimes also use a 9 x 13 ½ inch baking pan.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put a combination of the vegetables I mentioned in the pan, and add some olive or other vegetable oil, stirring to coat evenly. For seasoning I might use a commercial sauce. Teriyaki sauce works well. I’ve also found a “ginger and sesame” sauce that I like. But my favorite way to season the dish is to add meatballs made of bulk sausage. (I usually use Jimmy Dean regular flavor.) I distribute them among the vegetables and sprinkle the pan with Italian seasoning and a little salt. (Pictured above.)

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes depending on how brownyou want the vegetables to be. Stir once or twice during roasting, turning the vegetables over. Test for doneness with a fork. With such a large quantity, there are always leftovers, which will keep for up to four days. I reheat them in the microwave.

With Christmas coming up, I’ve put several of my Christmas stories on sale, including Christmas Captive.

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Was it attempted murder or a boating accident? Either way, the hard-driving Jordan Campbell is in a coma. When Frank Decorah asks nurse Hannah Andrews to use her psychic talent to connect with Jordan, she knows it’s a dangerous job. Once she’s on the case, whoever tried to kill Jordan will likely turn on her. But as she digs into the man’s background, she can’t refuse Frank’s assignment. Now she’s risking her life—and her heart.

Visit my web site at www.rebeccayork.com

And be sure to enter my latest contest. I’m giving away two paperback Moon Series books from Berkley, your choice of two single-title Decorach Security e-books, a carry bag from the Principality of Liechtenstein, and an adorable cat potholder from the Santa Barbara, California, Arts & Crafts Show.

Life in Pictures

It’s amazing how much the things we take for granted have changed over the years. Photography is a good example. My daughter, who used to be a librarian, told me about patrons who would come in asking for a photograph of some historical figure–like Cleopatra. She would gently explain that there were no photos of the Egyptian queen because the camera had not yet been invented.

There were some experiments in the early 1800’s with transferring images to photographic plates, but the breakthrough came in 1839 with the daguerreotype–which needed an exposure time of only a few seconds. This leap forward made commercial portrait photography possible. You’ve probably seen old-time portraits of stiff-looking people posing for the camera. And you have probably also seen some of Matthew Brady’s Civil War photographs which demonstrated that the medium could be used for more than portrait photography. He was the first person to document a war in such a fashion. He had no battle scenes because the technology still required that the subject remain still.

Back then, a camera was a heavy box that rested on a tripod. Each picture was taken on a large glass plate. The next big breakthrough was in 1889, when George Eastman created the roll of film. This made it possible to shoot multiple pictures one after the other, making snapshots possible. He released the new product through his company, Kodak. And in 1900, Eastman introduced the Brownie camera to go with the film roll. The Brownie 2, which took bigger pictures than the original model, came out a year later. These inexpensive Brownies were the first cameras that ordinary people could easily carry around. Of course, unless you had a home darkroom, you had to send in the film for processing. Almost all of this early film was black and white. I do remember seeing color snapshots from the 1940’s, but the colors on these early prints faded easily.

Today, it’s a whole new ball game. Almost everybody carries around a mobile phone that doubles as a camera. Not only does it take still shots but also videos that often record events like car crashes, floods, and explosions. And you don’t have to send in any film for processing. The digital pictures are right there in your phone as soon as you take them.

Like the rest of us, I assume that I can capture almost anything I see, if I can power the damn thing up quickly enough. Recently I was at a writers’ conference in Florida, where I kept on the alert for nature pictures of interest.

Here’s a heron in the little stream that surrounds the resort where the conference was held.

Perhaps this is the same guy. I followed him around for a while and realized he was snapping up and eating the little lizards that were all over the property.

One of the joys of being at a tropical resort facing westward is catching the magnificent sunsets. My husband took this picture that looks to me like a group of people standing at the end of the world.

And on the last night of our stay, I captured this gorgeous sunset from the balcony of our room. In times past, only artists skilled with brush and paint could capture the beauty of nature. Now we can all aspire to being artists.

The latest boxed set in the Unforgettable collection is Unforgettable Protectors–-9 great romantic suspense novels.

Planning a Novel

If you’re a writer, how do you start thinking about a novel? A lot of people get an idea for a character and plot a story around him or her. That is rarely my approach. I almost always start with a cool idea.

What if a man was framed for a murder in the small town where he lived? What if he had plastic surgery to change his appearance, came back to town, and tried to identify the real killer? That’s the idea behind my Scene of the Crime.

Or what if a princess was imprisoned in a cell that was supposed to be haunted, only the other occupant of the cell turned out to be an enchanted prince instead of a ghost (the plot of my Killian Unbound)?

My latest release, Life Force, also started with an idea that called out to me. What if a man had lived for more than five hundred years? What if a dying billionaire was desperate to discover the secret of his longevity?

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Once I get the idea, I need to go into some detail about the character. Who is Matthew Carter? Where does he come from? Why has he lived so long?

I decided he was born in a medieval English village where everyone else died of the Black Death. When a group of monks found him, they brought him back to their monastery where he got an education far above most men of that era. He was on track to become the abbot when some of the brothers started wondering why he had never aged past his thirties. In a move worthy of the Julius Cesar conspirators, they surrounded him and stabbed him–they thought to death. But he managed to crawl away. To his shock, he woke up the next morning with his injuries almost healed. Cut off from everything he knew, he had to figure out how to make his way. But his education stood him in good stead and he prospered.

Life Force starts in the 21st century when Matthew has survived an accident in an experimental submarine where everyone else perished. This brings him to the attention of a dying billionaire desperate to discover the secret of his longevity.

Matthew has learned to be wary of relationships because he knows he will outlive any lover. But at a medical convention, he meets a researcher named Olivia Stapler who attracts him. She’s injured in an attempt to capture him. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, he marries her and brings her home to his Santa Barbara ranch to nurse her back to health.

Their relationship heats up, but the billionaire decides that the way to capture Matthew is to abduct his new wife and threaten her life.

Now it’s a cat-and-mouse game where Matthew is trying to save Olivia. But what happens when she finds out he’s been lying to her about his real background?

As I developed the twisted plot, I also developed the characters. I never totally know them at the beginning of a book, but I always go back and fill in more about their background as I discover it.

Be sure to check out Unforgettable Protectors, a wonderful collection of nice romantic suspense stories of different sub-genres. From psychiatrists to psychics, liars, lawyers, Vampires, Wiccans and ghosts, human trafficking, drug rings, and haunted homes, this set is packed with adventure and trills of all heat levels. A fabulous value at only 99c. And it includes my own Night Moves.

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Almost Heaven–Santa Barbara

As I was growing up, my father would often speak nostalgically of Santa Barbara, California. As part of his training as a psychiatrist, he interned at St. Francis Hospital there.I think he’s wearing his hospital white in this picture from the early 1930’s.

He loved the town with it’s old Spanish architecture, the balmy seaside climate where the temperature hovers in the mid 70’s, and the people. (I’m assuming that includes the partying. The Santa Barbara yearly Fiesta is one of the biggest bashes you can imagine.)

Fast forward to when I was a sophomore at The George Washington University. One evening I went to a mixer and decided that I would walk up to the guy there who interested me the most and talk to him. When I entered, I scanned the room and found him–talking to another guy. I butted into the conversation, and soon the third wheel departed. leaving me with my target. When I asked where he was from, he said, “Santa Barbara.”

That was a very promising start–but it turned out he had a lot of other great qualities as well. I often marvel that naive little eighteen-year- old me was smart enough to pick the perfect life partner. A year and a half later, we were engaged, and I was on my way to Santa Barbara with him to be in his sister’s wedding.

Over the years I have been back to his hometown may times. This year our trip was special. Because we’re celebrating a major wedding anniversary, lots of family also joined us. I’ve got a million pictures from the trip, and it’s hard to select just a few.

Here’s Norman at breakfast at our hotel, the Santa Barbara Inn.

We visited a lot of the city’s highlights–like the World War II memorial to Air Force pilots who trained in Santa Barbara.

Feeding the ostriches and emus at OstrichLand near Solvang.

My daughter, her husband, and I standing in front of the Land Shark vehicle that starts with a city tour before turning into a boat and going into the harbor.

Sea lions and tourist tugboat we saw on our Land Shark tour.

We drove up into the mountains to see Lake Cachuma which was nearly dry for several years because of the drought.. Norman took this picture of our son, Ethan, and me.

There’s a lot more I’d like to share with you, but that’s about all I can fit into a biog.

Great news. All of the Unforgettable collections are on sale right now for 99c. Check them out on Amazon.