Mrs. Morris and the Ghost–first book signing!

Writing a story together is an intimate thing to do—it requires trust, lack of ego, and shared vulnerability. A similar writing style helps, and saved images of the world you’ve created along with actual pictures of the characters so that you each have them come to life in the same way in your head is important.

Differences also make the story richer. You might see things one way, but your co-author could see them another, and coming together in a compromise will be a middle ground that the reader may find more familiar as well. Each author is as unique as the reader. For example, I am not a big seafood person, but Patrice loves mussels. To my surprise, Charlene, our heroine, loved mussels too! Thank heaven that Patrice and I both love wine haha. I can’t imagine Charlene swilling gin.

Over fifteen years ago, Patrice and I started off unpublished but goal-oriented, meeting weekly at critique group, dedicated to being published, which in our minds, meant success. Six New York publishers dwindled to five. Self-publishing came on the scene. Patrice and I were published in various ways but until this joint effort, hadn’t made it to traditional publishing. Writing for Kensington has opened another door for us on our writing path and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

us at Murder on the Beach bookstore

Patrice and I were friends and critique partners long before writing this cozy series together. It is our differences, as well as our similarities, that make us a great team! (whatever you do, don’t get her started on track lighting…)

Success is not a straight road but you have to take steps, even small ones, toward your goal. It’s been said before but is worth saying again that life is all about the journey. Choose your fellow travelers well 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has helped promote/support Mrs. Morris and the Ghost—Mrs. Morris and the Witch will be available in April.

Don’t forget to enter the Authors’ Billboard August contest–good luck!

The Werewolf Diet

I would never dream of writing a romance without a HEA. But a lot of my heroes are werewolves, and there’s one aspect of marrying a shapeshifter that’s problematic—they don’t eat quiche. Or any of the foods a lot of other guys will tolerate. You can’t even say they are meat and potatoes men. They are meat, meat and meat men.

Now, I like a good steak as much as the next omnivore, but I don’t want it to be the only ingredient in my recipe box.

In Fire on the Moon, Francesca and Zane are on the run, and she notices right away that his diet is heavy on animal products. He doesn’t order salad, pasta, or omelets, and when he gets a burger, he’s likely to throw the buns away.

Long ago, before Norman and I were married, I wanted him to know that I was a good cook. To that end, I remember making spaghetti sauce and chili for him in my mom’s kitchen. I’m sure my powers with the Dutch oven weren’t the only reason he thought I might be good wife material. But I’m also sure it didn’t hurt.

Poor Francesca is going to have problems in that department. But luckily, I may be able to help her out. In addition to writing romantic suspense, I also write cookbooks, including one called Fabulous Lo-Carb Cuisine. You may know that meat is a major ingredient on the low-carb menu. Which means I have a lot of suggestions—such as this yummy baked brisket of beef.

Barbecued Beef Brisket

If you’ve never cooked this cut of meat, you’re in for a treat. There’s nothing like a well-seasoned brisket roasted to perfection in the oven. Look for lean brisket, or trim off excess fat before cooking. For easy clean up, line the baking pan with aluminum foil before adding the meat and seasoning ingredients.

Makes 6 servings

3 lb well-trimmed beef brisket
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Splenda or sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 bay leaf

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Arrange brisket in a 9 1/2- by 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine onion, water, tomato sauce, vinegar, Splenda, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and cloves. Pour over brisket. Tuck bay leaf into sauce in pan bottom.
  3. Tightly cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours until meat is tender.
  4. Remove meat to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut meat across the grain into thin slices. Keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, place baking pan on stove burner, and cook down sauce over high heat, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes. Return sliced meat to pan, and spoon sauce over top. Serve from pan, or transfer meat and sauce to a serving platter. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator 3 or 4 days.

Do you like to cook? What’s your specialty?

Farro Salad is Healthy and Delicious

I’ve heard farro called an “ancient” grain which means it has been cultivated for thousands of years. My first attempt at using farro failed miserably. I bought a type of small-grained farro that had a very earthy taste. I didn’t like it at all. But I decided to try again and I have to say, this Farro Salad is healthy and delicious!

I bought a large-grain farro described on the package as pearled (pictured below). Once cooked, the grains are plump, moist, and chewy. I would compare them to old-fashioned barley. Pearled farro is perfect for this easy summer salad because the farro absorbs the dressing, which makes for a very flavorful dish.

Summer Farro Salad

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)

1 cup pearled farro, rinsed and drained

1 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh tomato, cut in small cubes

1 cup fresh zucchini, cut in small cubes

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced

1 teaspoon Salad Supreme (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup Robusto Italian Salad Dressing

  1. Prepare the farro: in a medium sized pot, heat the water to boiling and add the farro. Turn down the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until farro is cooked through but still toothsome (chewy). Do not overcook. Cool completely.
  2. Add cooled farro, celery, tomato, zucchini, and parsley to a large bowl. Sprinkle the Salad Supreme, salt, and pepper over everything. Pour on the dressing and stir to combine. Chill and serve. (As the salad sits, the farro will absorb the dressing. Add more dressing, as desired.)

Feel free to swap out any of the vegetables for those you prefer. If you don’t like raw zucchini, use cucumber instead. Not a fan of celery, use broccoli or cauliflower or black olives… whatever you like. This farro salad is healthy and delicious. It’s a versatile, nutritious summer side dish that’s out-of-the-ordinary. And who doesn’t like out-of-the-ordinary?

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I’m offering a 3-book bundle for 60% off the regular price. A FAMILY FOREVER usually sells for $7.99. During August, the bundle will be available for just $1.99. This boxed set includes one marriage-of-convenience, one secret child, and one fantasy romance. Grab this box of beach reads before you go on vacation!

Farro Salad is Healthy and Delicious

Available at these retailers:

Kindle Worldwide




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Delicious recipe from Mrs. Morris and the Ghost!

To celebrate our first Cozy Mystery, Mrs. Morris and the Ghost which debuts everywhere Today, I would like to give you a delicious and easy recipe for ARTICHOKE HEARTS WITH FONTANA that comes from Minnie’s kitchen. (I must credit Martha Stewart with this one, but Minnie does a fabulous job entertaining the guests at Charlene’s B&B. If you visit Salem, this is a must stay! At least in our book anyway! Traci Hall and I co-writed this under the name Traci Wilton.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil,
1/2 medium yellow onion diced,
3 garlic cloves,
3- 14 oz cans of artichokes drained and chopped.
1/3 cup of dry white wine,
4 oz Neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature,
2 l/4 cubed Fontina cheese, about 3/4 lbs,
l/4 cup chopped fresh parsley,
8 pitas cut into wedges.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add artichokes and wine; cook until liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes.
2. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cream cheese until blended. Fold in 1 1/4 cups Fontina and parsley. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish; sprinkle with 1 cup additional Fontina. Bake until golden and bubbling, 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss pitas with 1 tablespoon oil; spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm dip with pita chips.

Happy eating, and happy reading Everyone! Please enter the contest below for free and discounted books!