Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My First Inspirational Sale: Hearts Crossing Ranch

I've been busy editing--
my first contemporary Western inspirational, Hearts Crossing Ranch! Every new contract is a gift, a blessing, an affirmation, but to sell my very first attempt at not just a contemporary Western but an inspirational one has me over the moon!

And the cover, designed by the amazing Nicola Martinez, is to die for. Hearts Crossing Ranch will be released by White Rose Publishing at a soon-to-be-announced date.

White Rose Publishing held a contest last summer, and I decided to keep my mind busy in a romantic way while we got ready for our daughter's wedding. The editor had a template with a few elements each submission had to have, including the title. Well, I reckoned Hearts Crossing was the perfect name for a ranch! My heroine Christy Forrest has come to the ranch for a city-slicker wagon train adventure and sparks fly when she meets Kennedy Martin, the hottie cowboy wagon master. Of course each is experiencing personal issues that lead to crises of faith, so their journey involves both their developing love for each other and their renewed trust in God.

(With us going on a similar wagon train adventure about the Tetons next summer, the setting and timing were irresistible.

Well, to make a long story short (too late?), I was runner up in the contest and my story found a home!

Hearts Crossing Ranch: "the perfect Wild West adventure...a beautiful city slicker. A handsome cowboy. ...covered wagons and campfires. And a would-be wedding grotto healing two hurting hearts."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Special Edition: The Donkey, by G.K. Chesteton

To honor Palm Sunday and the celebration of our Lord Jesus' triumphant procession into Jerusalem, I can't resist sharing one of my favorite poems. I read it as a teenager, and it's never left my heart.

I totally love donkeys.

The donkey is such a patient, humble and intelligent beast of burden...such a precious part of a petting zoo and so terribly mistreated in many third-world countries. Some years ago, I learned of the Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land, and the selfless young woman Lucy Fensom who rescues these sweet animals. I've supported Jake, Jordie, and Burnie. Enjoy the poem and then visit her site and see up close the wonderful work she does, along with her caring staff and volunteers the world over. I promise you'll both weep and rejoice. Lucy's nothing less than a Mother Theresa for needy equines. God bless her!

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet

~~G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Barbara Edwards' Cake in a Cup

My name is Barbara Edwards. Thanks for having me as your guest.
Since I have a large sweet tooth, I’ve found this recipe to be perfect for the “can’t do without’ moment. Its used by my daughter-in-law although I’ve seen it on the web.

Cake in a Cup baked in a microwave

4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoon cocoa ( or1 Hershey's Instant chocolate packet instead)
1 egg
3 Tablespoon milk
3 Tablespoon oil
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) I’ve tried M&Ms, too

Mix dry ingredients; add egg and mix well; add milk and oil and mix again. Add chips. Put in a coffee mug and cook for 3 minutes at high. Cake will rise and puff over top like a muffin. Cool before removing from cup.
The recipe has nothing to do with my book Ancient Awakening and everything to do with my love of chocolate.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Welcome to the Tidbits today Barbara. Give us the scoop on your current release, Ancient Awakening!

Okay. Some tidbits for you:
Paranormal, strong romantic elements, sensuous
Available at The Wild Rose Press, a Black Rose

The Wild Rose Press: Ancient Awakening, a Black Rose

Tell us about the story:

In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.

Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.

In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.

* * * *

Sounds terrific. I always enjoy love and death themes LOL. How about an excerpt?

“Don’t touch me, Mel, not unless you’re willing to do a lot more,” he warned as her hazel eyes flared golden.

“Don’t threaten me, Steve. You’re…”

He pulled her into his arms despite the alarm bells clanging in his head.

Danger! Danger! Danger!

Her widened eyes met his. Mel’s hands were trapped against his chest, but she didn’t push him away. Instead, her fingers curled into his shirt.

Her mistake. His mistake was to crush her mouth under his.

Mel’s soft lips parted. Need exploded. The taste of black coffee didn’t hide her sweet flavor. As her tongue tangled with his, her arms slid around his neck and her fingers burrowed through his hair.

Steve hungered to peel the starched shirt off her soft shoulders, lay her on the thick turf and ease his desire. He tasted her brows, her cheek, along her throat, seeking the source of her call. Her pulse whipped under his mouth, awakening another need.

His teeth gently closed on the vulnerable vein.

He wanted, wanted, wanted…

Cold alarm chilled his pounding blood.

Steve gasped for air. He’d forgotten his own ironclad rule. Mel’s eyelids flittered open to reveal the molten glow of desire but he forced himself free.
He had no right to touch any woman. Not until he knew he hadn’t become what he had set out to destroy.

* * * *

How can we get in touch with you?

Here are links to my website and Barb'Ed Comments.

Barbara, thanks for spending a few days at Tanya's Tidbits. And you out there, don't forget to come back for Barbara's weekend recipe!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

Current read: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (Sound lame? It's pretty good.)

Since the posse and I recently went wine-tasting, I thought I'd share a chicken with red wine sauce this time. Mostly I see recipes with white wine for chicken. I haven't tried let me know.

Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 45 Min
Ready In: 55 Min
Servings 12


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon paprika
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup red wine
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook garlic in oil until tender. Place chicken in the skillet, and cook about 10 minutes on each side, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Drain oil from skillet. Sprinkle chicken with paprika and 1 cup brown sugar. Pour red wine around chicken. Cover, and simmer about 15 to 20 minutes; lightly baste chicken with wine sauce while cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed!

Please join me at Petticoats and Pistols today and learn about a very special couple.

They’re American bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) about to become parents. On February 26, they laid their first egg at Pelican Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, off California’s coast not far from my homestead. Egg #2 came about on March 3. The parents have mated for life and will come back to this nest year after year.

These birds represent the first generation of naturally raised bald eagles in the Channel Islands in 50 years. The last “wild” bald eagle was seen on Santa Cruz in 1949 and wiped out due to DDT.

I've posted the link to Eagle-Cam. You can witness them incubating their eggs, and by the end of the month, bear witness to their hatchlings! The link is posted at Petticoats.

It's beyond inspiring...and Eagle-cam has folks, especially schoolkids, excited all over the world!

Come join us!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Wine Jacket Club Goes to Temecula

Ah, here we are last weekend in the wine country a bit north of San Diego. Me and my posse. Oh, it was grand. I joined the wine club at Wilson Creek and found some cool antique candlesticks in Old Town Temecula...and a heart-shaped pillow for a T.C. fundraiser basket I'm donating. (More on this next Thursday..."Something Serious." I'm waiting on the Geek Squad right now and can't upload pix from the camera. Long story...on hubby's laptop right now and he hates me to muck up his equipment LOL.)

And had a marvelous time with my dear, dear friends. We've all been friends (and relatives!) for such a long, long time. We finally decided on a name for our little group: The Wine Jacket Club.

Because...if you've got wine on, you're all warmed up.

After visiting three wineries (ooh la la, the chocolate port!), we got pizza in our hotel room, played "Apples to Apples" and wined it up some more.

A good time was had by all. Next up, next month: Massages.

P.s. So why am I the only one without a sombrero after our yummy Mexican lunch? Because, fortunately LOL, there were only three.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Eggs Margarita

I know, I know. I didn't name this grub and there doesn't seem to be a margarita in the mix, but you can make a pitcher and serve them together! This recipe is from my pal Nancy. She's tried adding lots of different things and says browned sausage is really good, asparagus is good, or add whatever you want to put in. You can make and refrigerate the day before, but it will take longer to bake if straight from the fridge to the oven.

10 eggs
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 stick butter, melted
medium container cottage cheese
1/2 cup flour
small or large can diced green chilies

Mix together, Bake 375 degrees, 30-35 minutes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Writing Retreat: Yee-haw...Silver Spur Ranch, Here I Come!

Well, guess where I'm spending the last days of April and first days of May?

This California girl is heading for Texas! The Silver Spur Ranch in Bandera, outside of San Antone. Writing, plotting, brainstorming, meeting fellow authors. A rodeo and gun show. Wow.

And I'll spend a couple of days afterward, seeing the sites such as the Alamo and River Walk.

It's a writers retreat sponsored by my publisher, The Wild Rose Press and I can't wait. It's a bit of a distance and a little bit of money, but hey, I'm worth it.

I'll be sharing pictures and all the good parts of the retreat a bit later on. But I just had to share my good news!

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fillmore (CA) Historic Railroad Featuring Thomas the Train!

Ah, who can resist a trainride? Not me. I've been taking the Amtrak to visit my sister whenever I can. Sure beats hours on Southern California's wretched freeways.

This one, however, wasn't just a train. It was Thomas the Tank Engine. No cardboard cutout, but a real engine built like you-know-who. And I mean built, not just a train wearing a costume.

And boy, oh boy. Did the grandbaby ever have fun with his gramma and grampa!

A day to treasure and hold close in my heart. Wish you could have joined us.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Lemon Drop Martini

The signature drink at our daughter's wedding. Yummo. I'm a lemon-o-holic in the best of times, so it was the perfect drink. And the picture really is one from the wedding.


Lemon Drop Martini

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce orange liqueur (Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc.)
1 teaspoon superfine sugar*
3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Ice cubes
Superfine sugar for dipping
Twisted peel of lemon

Mix the vodka, orange liqueur, sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice; shake well (supposedly the cocktail is to be shaken 40 times to make sure the sugar is well blended).

Pour strained liquor into sugar-rimmed martini glass and garnish with a twisted peel of lemon.

NOTE: To create a sugar-rimmed glass, take a lemon wedge and rub the drinking surface of the glass so it is barely moist. Dip the edge of the glass into the superfine sugar.

Makes 1 serving.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Serious Stuff: Everything's Coming up Roses

Well, my twenty one rose bushes have been pruned within an inch of their lives, so it looks pretty bare around the homestead...but they're already sprouting new growth. And I love the cliche I used for the title.

Because all my hubby's tests came back clear, clean, negative. Whatever the word is: he's hale, hearty and cancer-free!

Ding dong, the ugly thing is dead!

Praise God!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Don't Forget to Floss...Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first female dentist

Howdy! Please mosey on over to Wildflower Junction at Petticoats and Pistols today and learn about the first female dentist...her determination, what she enduered in terms of descrimination and success! Known as "the woman who pulls teeth", she actually served mostly women and children. Does that mean the males in town were wusses?

Well, you can take a peek at some old-style dental tools. (Yikes!) And decide for yourself.

See you there!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Follow the (yellow) brick San Juan Capistrano

Okay, so it's not exactly yellow. This beautiful brick walkway is kind of a journey of the the Forster Mansion in SJC, California, where our daughter married a wonderful young man. Dang, how can it be six months ago already? I love journey metaphors...when you start out some place and end up just where you want to be. Of course there are hills and valleys along the way, some times steep and wide and divisive, but somehow, it all works out. I like to think it's because God Himself is in charge.

I am a believer, but it is hard to trust sometimes. We're waiting on routine but nervewracking medical tests this week, people are suffering now in Chile, a lovely honor student down south has gone missing...and I still miss my twin brother and my doggies. But the sun is shining, both my kids are happily married. My little grandson is the latest love of my my life and I'm sure my hubby is fine. Statistics are on our side. We just had a wonderful beach-house weekend with friends that I'll tell you about some other time.

And I just got my cover for the Christmas anthology, Lawmen and Outlaws! I'll tell more about it later on, but there's a sneak peek to the right. I sure hope you'll hunker down with a copy of Christmas for Ransom next autumn!

Nonetheless, the JURY SUMMONS breathing down my neck is making me both twirly and angry. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.