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

A Fabulous Spring

In the Washington, DC, area where I live, this has been a spectacular spring–better than any other in recent memory. I think it’s due to the weird weather. First, we had unseasonably warm days that made some flowers bloom early. Now we have cooler weather which has kept a lot of flowers blooming longer than usual. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, making sure I take in the show of nature’s splendor.

My spring adventure started with my finding a new pansy at the local garden center. I was planning to buy yellow and blue pansies and combine them in pots, but this lovely bloom has both colors in each flower.

Another burst of color came from the tulips and daffodils planted around the area. Here are some spectacular tulips planted outside the athletic club that I go to three times a week.

One thing I envy about cooler climates: residents can plant vibrantly-colored primroses and have them come back year after year. Although most of the varieties won’t survive the stifling days of a Maryland summer, there are a few exceptions. These bright red ones have been in my garden for four years.

Unfortunately, that’s the only color they come in. But I do have some new candelabra primroses that a friend gave me. They do have flowers in several shades.

And here are the pretty wood hyacinths that come back year after year. Not only do they come back, but they keep multiplying.

Of course, the stars of the DC spring are the azaleas. This is one of my favorites, right near my front door.

I have a lot of them around my property but nothing compares to the wonderful azalea garden about twenty minutes from my house. It’s maintained by–of all organizations–the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Along the shore of one of their reservoirs, they have planted a truly awe-inspiring display. Here’s the entrance.

This picture shows you how tall the azaleas are.

This month I have Boxed In on sale for 99c.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Boxed-Decorah-Security-Book-Paranormal-ebook/dp/B071H9QQ48/

Olivia Weston is sure her boss has imported a shipment of stolen antiques. And when Decorah agent Luke Garner handles one of the items, an ornate puzzle box, the spirit of a warrior, locked away for centuries, takes possession of his body. Zabastian, the guardian of the box, forces Luke to help him return the object of power to its rightful owners. As Olivia sees Luke change before her eyes, his transformation both frightens and arouses her. And both men who inhabit Luke’s body want her. But they must also learn to work together to protect the mysterious artifact from a trio of murderous thieves who will risk anything to steal the prize. And in the end, will the warrior allow Luke and Olivia their happily ever after?

You can get more information about my books from my web site at www.rebeccayork.com

Feeding the Green Can

Sometimes it only takes a small thing to create a great deal of pleasure. Behold my new thrill. To my immense sense of satisfaction, I am no longer throwing wads of garbage into the public land fill. My very progressive county, Howard County, Maryland, has made it easy to compost food scraps that used to go into the trash. The county has a curbside pickup program for compostable materials, available in my area. Here is a picture of their bins, artistically posed in front of a pile of compost.

Now all I have to do is collect stuff in a small kitchen container (lined with a biodegradable plastic bag) and empty it into a green can. The outdoor bins come in several sizes:12 gallon, 35 gallon, and 65 gallon. I could have had one identical, except for color, to my blue recycling can, but because there are only two of us living in our house, I got the smallest receptacle.

I enthusiastically told a friend about the program. She said, “I only have two slots for cans in my garage. I don’t have anywhere to put it.” I’ve got even less space than she does, because I don’t have a garage, but I decided I would make room for my new toy. Here it is sitting at the side of my porch being ignored by two raccoons. (Yes, the lid has to be on tight to keep them out.)

In the county’s directions for blue-bin recycling, they want you to make sure the papers, plastic, and glass are not “contaminated with food.” What a concept–food as a contaminant. I love being able to ignore that admonition with the green bin. Part of the satisfaction is that it’s not just for vegetable scraps. I can also stuff in paper products that can’t go into the regular recycling, including used paper towels, napkins, paper plates, pizza boxes, cardboard egg cartons, tea bags, coffee grounds with their filter, eggshells, bread, baked goods, rice, nuts and seeds, If I had a bigger bin, I could also put in leaves, sticks, and other yard waste. (I put those into big, heavy-duty paper bags or a separate plastic bin)

Now I’m having fun turning garbage into compost that can enrich garden soil.

On sale this month for 99c from Rebecca York, Escape Velocity.

Max, a space pilot who operates on the edge of legality, doesn’t know he’s risking his life when he picks up a shipment of contraband. On this planet, all the inhabitants are beyond ugly except for the gorgeous women raised for the interplanetary slave trade. When Max discovers the cargo is one of these slaves, he vows to save her. But he doesn’t know how much the woman who calls herself Amber is hiding from him. Attraction flares between them. As their sexual relationship turns steamy, the chase is on to escape the corrupt official who bought Amber. But the only way to ensure her safety is to terminate the man’s sadistic avocation. Passion builds as they rocket off to what could be Max’s final mission.

To join Rebecca York’s Newsletter and be eligible to enter her Contest for prizes, go to www.rebeccayork.com

Grocery Shopping

I wish there were one grocery chain with good prices and all the foods I buy on a weekly basis. But that place does not exist. The Washington Post just did a survey of local chains, and readers reported that prices are about the same at Giant, Wegmans, and Harris Teeter.

Interestingly, prices at Safeway were about seven percent higher than the three previously mentioned. That’s too bad because the closest store to me is Safeway. If I’m in a hurry to get something specific, that’s where I shop. There’s also Whole Foods. They are expensive, and in the survey people reported that the quality has gone down since Amazon bought them. I’ve found that too. I used to buy stuff from their prepared food tables. Now I rarely do. The food lacks flavor, and sometimes it looks like salads have been sitting around.

The chains where you could save the most were Food Lion and Walmart. Walmart’s prices were sixteen percent below average. I don’t know much about their quality because these stores are not on my beaten path. Plus, buying groceries at Walmart means standing in line behind people buying tea kettles and underpants.

The Post also reported on the no frills stores, Lidl and Aldi which have a more limited selection. The closest one of those to me is Lidl, but I prefer Aldi.

They have a lot of products that I buy regularly like salsa, fire roasted diced tomatoes, whole grain bread, canned beans, and cat food. Their produce is also good. Unfortunately, the selection is limited. If I want fresh parsley, rutabaga, or artichokes, I have go to a traditional grocery store. But they have great buys on colored peppers, bananas, potatoes, and clementines. And I like their meat. One nice perk is that it’s vacuum packed, so it keeps in the fridge for ten days or maybe longer. (This is also true of Wegmans.) Aldi is a regular stop for ground beef, stew beef, sausages, corned beef and fresh salmon. Sadly, dh does not eat chicken, so I rarely buy it anywhere.

When I’m doing a big shopping, I usually start at Aldi and get what I can there. Then I go on to Wegmans or Harris Teeter, to get the things I couldn’t find at Aldi. I have been saying “I,” but actually dh and I go together. We each get a cart and meet up periodically and keep in touch by phone while we shop. That cuts the time–particularly since we’re going to two stores. And if we’re in the mood for bulk buying, we also stop at Costco or BJ’s, which both have better prices than any of the normal grocery stores.

I find the biggest selection of products at Wegmans. They carry the specialty spicy cheese dh loves. They also have great smoked salmon, whitefish salad, and cream cheese spreads to go with their bagels. Their meat is good quality. They also have a good deli department, where I sometimes buy meat for sandwichs, and a few prepared meals that I like, although these also used to be better. Oddly, their packaged bread department is not great.

Where do you do your grocery shopping and how many stores do you regularly visit?

Two of Rebecca York’s books are on sale for 99 cents this month, From the Darkness and Assignment Danger.

Your Own Salad Bar

I suppose because everybody’s trying to turn over a new leaf this time of year (pun intended), there have been a lot of articles about eating healthy. Often the theme is getting more vegetables into your diet. One easy way to do this is by making interesting salads.

You Don’t have to stick to the same old ingredients. Be creative and go wild. Add protein and you’ve got a whole meal. I try to make a big salad two or three times a week, either for lunch or dinner. I usually use hearts of romaine for the greens because they keep well in the fridge. I slice up about three-fourths of a heart and put it in the bowl, then add all sorts of interesting accompaniments: shredded carrots, julienne pickled beets, watercress, sliced green onion, cucumber, tomatoes (in winter the miniature ones are best–cut in half), sliced radishes, pine nuts, sliced almonds, candied walnuts, canned chick peas, any leftover vegetables you have around such as green beans or corn. If you like, you can add some croutons.

Apple or pear cubes are also good. Or try sliced strawberries. You might also like mandarin oranges. If my husband would eat raw broccoli, cauliflower, peppers or mushrooms, I’d add them as well.

I might use some of the above to make a side salad, but I much prefer to add protein and have the salad as the main dish. The salad pictured above has strips of steak (which I brought home from a restaurant dinner two days before). I can never finish a steak, so I know a lot of it will go into a salad. Other options are small pieces of chicken, cubes of beef, pork roast, or ham, strips of deli meat such as ham or corned beef, canned or cooked fresh salmon, crumbled feta or blue cheese, chopped egg or egg salad. For the latter, I’d serve separately and add to each bowl. The same goes for potato salad (not a protein but a nice addition) or tuna salad.

Of course you can buy a salad dressing, but I like making my own. I do it the easy way by putting two or three tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the salad bowl and adding balsamic vinegar to taste. I also stir in a quarter cup of crumbled feta or blue cheese and a teaspoon and a half of Italian seasoning. After stirring, I add the romaine lettuce and toss with the dressing. (Really, a good salad does not need a ton of dressing.) I cut or chop the other ingredients and add, tossing occasionally as I go.

Salads are a quick and easy meal–with the added benefit that they’re good for you.
I’d like to hear any other suggestions you have for ingredients.

Rebecca York’s latest release is Marissa Unbound, one of her medieval fantasies.