Hot Summer Romance Box Set by @AliciaStreet1

It’s the time of year for beach reads—and hot summer romance. Time for taking a morning coffee out to a sunny porch to gobble up a few more pages of a book. Even if I’m inside, sitting in my favorite reading chair, I love summer romances. Stories that take me away. Lounging on a beach or splashing in a pool. Swimming in a mountain lake or hiking in a lush forest.

Beach Reads Alicia Street

A new boxed set of HOT SUMMER ROMANCE releases June 13 and is guaranteed to sweep you into summertime adventures with hot guys and swoony sighs. You can pre-order it now!

Hot Summer Romance

Rolling Waves and Sun-Drenched Days. NINE HOT SUMMER ROMANCES From Award-Winning USA Today, International Bestselling Authors to Fuel Your Beach Reading Needs…

Hot Summer Romance Includes:

THE HEAT OF YOUR KISS (NEW) by Alicia Street, USA Today Bestselling Author: Rory had no idea his new job managing the summer sports at a posh country club would bring him face to face with the woman who rocked his world.

HEAT OF THE MOMENT (NEW) by Allyson R Abbott, International Bestselling Author: When the heat is rising and you only have a moment to choose. What would you do?

JOHNNIE WALKER by Jen Talty, USA Today Bestselling Author: When past and his scandal collide, it throws him into the spotlight…the very thing he’d been running from to begin with.

LOVE ALONG THE LAKESHORE: A SAUGATUCK SUMMER (NEW) by Joan Donaldson, Award-Winning Author: When nineteen-year-old Ginny Madden returns to her family cottage on the Lake Michigan shoreline, she discovers greater meaning to life as she associates with folks outside of her wealthy society, especially with a fruit farmer who yearns for a second chance at love.

CHANGING THE RULES by Katie O’Sullivan, Bestselling Author: Caroline and Brian mix business and pleasure. Except… the more time they spend together, the more complicated their relationship gets. Can the pair stay alive when her family comes to find her?

Need More? Keep Reading! Also included:

THAT INCREDIBLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson, USA Today Bestselling Author: After ten years apart, Ashley Mitchum and Brian O’Neill are fatefully reunited in Crystal Rock. Will unveiling their dark family secrets heal two wounded hearts?

FINDING LOVE by Natalie Ann, USA Today Bestselling Author: What happens when a hopeless romantic falls for a cynical romance writer?

THE BRIDE WORE LEATHER by Suzanne Jenkins, USA Today Bestselling Author: Lisa’s reluctant lover reveals a secret that will change their relationship forever.

SLOW BURN by Stephanie Morris, USA Today Bestselling Author: Sun-drenched days and starlit nights fuel a summer romance that threatens to burn them both.

        ~~~~~~ HOT SUMMER ROMANCE ~ ON SALE FOR 99¢ ~~~~~~

 

 

A Visit to Istanbul and Ephesus

My first trip to Turkey took place in the nineties. We stayed at the Hilton on the Bosphorus, also known as the Strait of Istanbul. This narrow, natural waterway located in northwestern Turkey forms a continental boundary between Europe and Asia.

Breakfast and lunch in Istanbul consisted of baklava, kadaifi, loukoumi, and other delicious sweet pastry, accompanied by a bitter Turkish coffee.

This first picture shows a panoramic view of Istanbul with the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia– a Byzantine Basilica that was transformed into a mosque.

We spent three days discovering the huge city on our own and took two guided tours to visit the palaces. Our first guide welcomed us on the modern tourist bus and casually asked if our room had a balcony. When I said, “Yes,” he replied, “Have you heard strange noises coming from the Strait at night? They are the late concubines’ sighs and moans.”

As we looked at him, confused, he explained that the Ottoman Empire was ruled by a Sultan. The Sultan’s mother, the Vadim Sultana was the most powerful woman in the empire and the only one not wearing a veil. She was in charge of his harem. The Sultan’s first wife was the kadin and her first son the heir to the throne. Having accomplished his royal duty, the Sultan indulged in as many concubines as he wanted — often more than a hundred. Most were foreign beauties captured as slaves. When a Sultan died, the new ruler made space for his own harem by getting rid of the former group of concubines. The women were shoved into sacks weighed down with heavy stones and tied with ropes, and then thrown into the Bosphorus, screaming and crying. I couldn’t sleep well that night.

Here are pictures from the Topkapi Palace.

The Topkapi Walls

One of my favorite memories of Istanbul was my two-day visit to the Grand Bazar where I bought several souvenirs: a hand-made bedside rug with the tree of life, a copper pitcher, and small Turkish coffee pot called kanaka, and others…

I never went back to Istanbul, although we booked a cruise in 2016 that included this unique city, the ship canceled the stop because of unrest at the time. Instead we docked in Kusadasi that we have already visited.

The highlight of Kusadasi included a guided tour to the historical city of Ephesus where we saw the ruins of the Library of Celsus, the temples of Domitian and Hadrian, the Great Theater, and the temple of Artemis, the multi-breasted goddess of fertility. St. Paul preached against her shrine, and wrote his Letters to the Ephesians there.

St. John the Evangelist wrote his Gospel in Ephesus. Tradition says that the Virgin Mary and John lived in Ephesus during their final years.

The day in Kusadasi ended with shopping and a break at a café for coffee and pastries.

I didn’t write any book set in Turkey yet. Maybe some day… But I would like to offer you two romance novels I particularly love:

LOVE in the ER In the past, her work in the ER brought her pain and frustration. Can it bring her love and a needed closure now?
LOVE on the SLOPES: Gabriella hides her pain and limp. Dr. Nathan saves her from a ski accident and dates her. Can he win her love and rebuild her knee?
IRRESISTIBLE – SPRING INTO LOVE
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SWFH93Y
International: https://books2read.com/IrresistibleSpring
Love at First Sight… Your eyes meet, and just like that, you know that you might have met THE ONE.
SPRING INTO LOVE with STEAMY STORIES From New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.
UNFORGETTABLE LOVERS
Nine incredible tales – from Sweet to Spicy – for your pleasure. Read about the UNFORGETTABLE LOVERS you want & need in your own life. http://mybook.to/unforgettableloverz

Time to Tart It Up! By @TaylorLeeWrites #Recipe for #Foodies

Disclosure: I write sexy murder mysteries and “tarts” describe a goodly number of my heroines. Although I prefer to call them feisty. But I’m on a “tart” rampage. One that appeals to my other obsessions: cooking and eating. (I’m convinced that sex and food are, or should be, integrally related.)Carrot Tart

On to tarts. My trusty NYT’s April food columns declared in so many words that sheet pan dishes were the “must make” recipes of the month (all elements of the meal are baked on a single sheet pan). My guy and I made a series of concoctions that you’d never guess would work in one humble pan.

Come May, I was thrilled to see that “tarts” were the recipes of the month. Remember Pepperidge Farm puff pastry from years ago? Guess what? It’s baaack. And it is now the foundation for every kind of tart you can imagine.

After making dessert tarts and meat and fish oriented tarts, I ended up with my favorite—vegetable tarts.  If you want to impress everyone from the most discriminating gourmand to grandsons who could care less about fine dining, win them over with this recipe I conceived. Try it. I promise everyone will be fighting for whatever leftovers exist.

Taylor’s Sumptuous Vegetable Tart

Ingredients:

Crust:  Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (in frozen food section of your supermarket)

Cheese filling: 8oz ricotta cheese, 6 oz crumbled Feta cheese, salt, pepper, fresh herbs (your choice). Combine in a food processor to a “spreadable consistency”.

Vegetables:  My favorites – (you choose yours)

Multi colored carrots, bright red pepper, asparagus (thin), broccolini, sliced cremini mushrooms, red onion.

Directions:

Slice vegetables in thin strips. Generously drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast in a 425° oven. Different vegetables will require different roasting times. Cool and set aside.

Thaw one sheet of puff pastry. Line a 12 x 16 baking sheet with parchment paper (essential for scooting the finished tart onto a snazzy serving tray.) Generously sprinkle the parchment paper-covered cooking sheet with parmesan cheese. Roll out the puff pastry and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Using the point of a sharp knife, score a ½ inch line around the edge of the pastry. Spread the cheese mixture over the pastry leaving the ½ inch crust uncovered.

Decorate the puff pastry with your roasted vegetables. I used multi-colored carrots as placeholders (see image above). Then arranged the other vegetables to fill out the canvas. Note in one recipe I used multi colored heirloom tomatoes drizzled with pesto (see image below). Yum.   Bake in a 400° oven for 25-30 minutes until pastry is crisp and puffy.

Tomato Tart

Present to your wowed guests. You and they will never think about “tarts’ the same way again. Promise!

And Now For The Book Tarts

If you’re ready for a seriously tarty young woman, grab Tanya: Book 1; The Trouble Sisters Saga.

She’s a brash deputy. He’s an undercover agent. When sparks start to fly, a murderer might be the death of them.

If you like smart characters, tough-talking cops, and scorching passion, you’ll love this sizzling thrill-ride.

Tanya by Taylor Lee

AND for seven more equally tarty heroines check out: BRAZEN PROTECTORS: PROTECT AND DESIRE Volume 4. Engaging tales of heroes and heroines taking command in unlikely situations. These champions are as provocative as they are brave.

Brazen Protectors

My book in the compelling collection is: Line of Fire: Passion Meets Politics. Discover how challenging elections can be when sex and violence are in the mix.

Line of Fire by Taylor Lee

The Beauty of … Nature @josieriviera, #mgtab

I love this time of year. The earth is emerging warm and bright after winter. Only a couple weeks ago, the trees in my yard were brown and leafless. Now there’s a wide variety of green shades, and far too many to count.

The breeze is warm and the days are longer. The sweet smell of fresh-cut grass fills the air.

Also, many familiar creatures have returned to frequent my yard. Just this week I have seen dozens of different birds at their feeders or lining the deck rails waiting for their turn.

Bumblebees and butterflies are gracing us with their presence too.

I love to explore nature and enjoy seeing wildlife in their natural habitats.

Do you have a favorite experience with nature? Please share in the comment below.

Chocolate-Box Double Hearts: A Collection of 6 Sweet, Clean and Wholesome Romances is my newest release. Only 99¢ for a very limited time.

Available in ebook, Paperback, and Large Print Paperback.

Six sweet small-town romances to warm your heart! For the first time, the complete Chocolate-Box Series is in one large collection.