Monday, March 24, 2014

Here's How My Restraining Order Happened

This is, of course, a shameless, tawdry, transparent stunt just so I can post Tom Hiddleston's picture on my blog. But I have to say--reading this story (and really it doesn't even matter if it's true--just the thought that it is is enough to sustain me)--all I could think was: "Sweet Jesus, I would have passed out like a fainting goat and when Tom, impeccably mannered that he is, bent down to help me, possibly even give me mouth to mouth--well, that's when the restraining order would happen."

Or somewhere close to that.

It could be a few minutes later as the cops are carrying me off and I'm flailing wildly, screaming, "I kneel! I kneel!"

It's Spring Break...I clearly need a vacation. Where's Tom working now? That guy so totally picked the right part in that movie. Just saying.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


It's my birthday, and that's the only thing this post is about.

In celebration of my birthday, several fine and wondrous authors got together and wrote books to come out ON MY BIRTHDAY, so I would not be in desire of any reading materials or happy endings.

Lorraine Heath's WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED is about...I'm not sure. Apparently a wicked duke. Lorraine Heath has become one of my autobuys so I don't have to look too close. I know I adored her previous series; and I think this may be the start of a new series. I'm looking forward to reading it!

Monica McCarty's THE RAIDER is another in her series of the Highland Guard, which is like Navy SEAL ops set in early 1300s Scotland. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. It's like having a dose of Braveheart twice a year--just lovely.

Tiffany Clare's newest THE SCANDALOUS DUKE TAKES A BRIDE also comes out on my birthday. I love the color! Red, the color of passion, and definitely the hallmark of a Tiffany Clare novel.

When I'm not nose-deep in a book, I'll be watching THOR 2: THE DARK WORLD, where Loki looks all scrumptious and darling--I forgot what a little git he was in THE AVENGERS, so it's nice to see better "qualities" of him in this movie. Well, as far as Loki is able to allow himself to have good qualities.

The only other thing on the agenda for the birthday is a hair cut...I am entertaining the thought of bangs, longish ones, but definitely something to sweep decently across my brow. I have a lot of hair going on and no style. Which mind you, it's nice to have hair, don't get me wrong.

So what do you wish for my birthday today? :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Knife Skills

Incidentally I posted about this last week on Facebook, so I apologize this is almost exactly the same.*


Last week was the knife skills class. For the first hour, he talked to us and showed us knife cuts that he practiced on various items (and which if we couldn't see him directly, there was a live video and a tv near you). He joked with us about why we were taking the class, since he was sure none of us had ever held a knife before or used one. Yep, we all looked like a bunch of FOOD NETWORK watchers if I ever saw them. He got through all the various cuts; he pointed to the cuts on the poster he held up before and after he did them; he then asked us if there was any cuts we needed repeated or any cuts he hadn't done that we were curious about.

I said, "Well, it's not a cut we need for the class, but it's on your board and it looks very pretty. Can you show us how to do the diamond shaped one?" Rondelle, I believe, but don’t ask me to pronounce it. He just got done showing us the burnoise cuts, which is uniform little squares that the average layman would called “diced.”

He says, Sure, though I don't think I've had to make that cut since culinary school. "Oh,” I say, “it's like me and algebra then. That's okay if you can't."

"No, no, I can do it." He planks some pieces of carrot like he showed us to make fine dice and julienne. He talks as he's demonstrating, saying turn your blade this way and that and he gets a nice pile. "Any questions?" There’s confused silence.

"Um, I'm an English major, so again, math not my strong suit, but didn't you just make a bunch of triangles and not diamonds?" I ask. Was I missing something? I felt like the kid pointing out the emperor was naked; the emperor WAS naked, right?

Another girl in class. "I am a math major and those do look like triangles rather than diamonds."

"Damn, you're right," he says. "I really haven't done this cut since culinary school. I've got it, I've got it." He does another plank; he makes another batch of triangles. We're all staring at him, not saying a WORD. "We'll figure it out in the other room when we practice. I know how to make the cut, I promise."

We figured it out though. When we got to do just practice cutting on carrots (all the food was prepared and cooking), I made a plank, cut a bias line like he did, then stared at a minute, and made a parallel bias line next to it...diamond shape. Voila! Of course, if I’m ever making carrot cut shapes this precise, just shoot me. Dicing the onion had a neat trick, but in the end, I’m relatively certain I’m going back to my old way of slicing the half onion horizontally in thin slices, then turn the group and slice them vertically in thin slices. Lovely dice, really. Much finer (and faster) than doing the “correct” way, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of practice.

Pam and I worked alongside a lovely couple, Kevin and Angie, and all the food turned out wonderful. We made the guacamole first and salsa to "snack" as we waited for the other food to cook, um, yeah, it was so good and we were so hungry, we ate all of the guac and salsa before the fajitas were the fajitas could have done with a little bit of the guac and salsa on them, but we made do. The corn chowder also came out very delish. I notice that when I’m cooking with complete strangers I’m a lot more obsessed with the outcome than if I was doing it for friends. If I burned up my onions when friends were over, I’d toss them out and start again, no big deal…a little burnt bacon, it’ll add flavor. Nope, I hovered over that pot of corn chowder like a Jewish mother over her only son. “Do you think the bacon is rendered enough? It doesn’t look very crisp” and “do the onions look sweated enough? Too crunchy? Yes, I think so too.” Seriously, they weren’t going to give us anything to make that could be easily fucked up, you know? They didn’t even allow us to do anything dangerous, like cut up raw chicken or fry the sopapillas!

Fun class though. If you haven’t tried a cooking class before, I highly recommend, even if you already know how to cook more than ramen and frozen pizza. I will be keeping my eye out for one of the more adventurous classes. Cheesemaking, maybe. That one looked fun.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Spring is Coming!

Not that I could see any evidence of it today. My houseplants are even starting to curl up and give up hope of the sun returning; and I spent fifteen minutes or so removing the ice from my car so I wouldn't have to do it tomorrow morning when I attempted to go to work. In other good news, apparently Tuesday, it's supposed to snow here...3-5" only and then again on Friday, after we've dug out again. Mind you, I could actually live in a state where this sort of snowfall and cold temps would make my complaints look ridiculously whiny, but I stopped thinking Montana would be a cool place to live after the Ruby Ridge event. And probably after Gus died in the Return to Lonesome Dove.

Anyway, I live here in Missouri, and what I would like is some delightfully average weather for a change, with some delightfully average precipitation so we don't go into drought mode and my tomatoes do really great. Really, these are modest wants.

But the groundhog saw his shadow today and you know what that means? It means exactly the same thing if he hadn't: we still have 6 weeks of winter.

So silver lining: 6 more weeks of crappy temperatures in which you're better off inside curled up with a book. There's plenty coming out now and in the next 6 weeks to keep one entertained. I just read ROMANCING THE DUKE (my review is on the Romance Dish) by Tessa Dare and I have pre-ordered Eloisa James and Monica McCarthy and Julie Ann Long and Lorraine Heath.

In the meantime, the Pirates have arranged their own writing challenge so I also have these short four weeks to get some words on the page--so spring should be here before I know it. Though I kinda maintain, it can't come soon enough.

What are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blogging with The Romance Dish

In lieu of a blog this week, I'll be blogging tomorrow, January 22 (Lord Byron's birthday if anyone is up on their trivia) at The Romance Dish, doing a book review of THE ROSIE PROJECT. Right now the Kindle version is $ if you want to take my word on it and snap it up, please do and we can chat about the book tomorrow. If you prefer to wait, well, you'll just be a day late in reading behind the others--don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Makeovers: Yay or Nae?

Thank you to Hellie for letting me bring the Belated Blog Tour for UP TO THE CHALLENGE over to her Ramblings blog. I've had lots of fun discussing all sorts of topics during this tour, and today we're chatting about makeovers.

With only a few books under my belt, I've yet to do something high concept like re-writing a fairy tale for modern day readers. But, there is a little ode to Cinderella included in the story of Sid  Navarro, the heroine of Anchor Island book 2, UP TO THE CHALLENGE.

The makeover of sorts starts in the first book, MEANT TO BE. Sid and Beth (the heroine of book 1) are having a girls night out, and Beth helps Sid get ready. Now, Sid is a foul-mouthed boat mechanic whose every day wardrobe is loose cargo pants, work boots, and a shirt with a saying on it that is most-likely PG-13.

A Cinderella only covered in motor oil instead of cinder ash.

Beth gets Sid in a killer dress, has her hair blown out and gets some makeup on her. Voila, she's ready for the ball.

Now, the man that Sid wants, Lucas Dempsey, is an ambitious lawyer who wears Polo shirts in his down time and his normal work attire is a well-cut suit. He's busting his ass to become a partner in the law firm where he works in Richmond, VA. This requires a lot of schmoozing.

Dinner parties with the bosses and their wives.

Needless to say, Sid is not the type of girl you take to a dinner party. Or anywhere near the bosses' wives. The question became, how could this ever work out. I had no desire to turn Sid into the Stepford wife Lucas believed he wanted. With that one sticking point, I had my answer.

I had to convince Lucas that what he wants and what he needs are two very different women.

Sid does have a soft, mushy side. Just don't ever tell her so and you'll stay healthy. But she is who she is. Profane, rough around the edges, covered in motor oil. This Cinderella didn't need a fairy godmother (though she kind of has one, you'll have to read the book to catch that part.) She just needed to be herself and let Lucas get to know her.

The question is, does Lucas change his mind once he does?

So my question to you. Do you like re-tellings of Fairy Tales? Think they're done to death? Do you like when a character gets a makeover for love, or prefer that they be loved for who they are without having to change to please anyone?

One lucky commenter will win a Kindle version of UP TO THE CHALLENGE! And if you want a chance to win my Belated Blog Tour grand prize of a brand new Kindle and Amazon gift card to get you started, hop over to my website (after leaving a comment!) and enter now. (Grand prize contest ends Jan 20.)

Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 1477809686
October 22, 2013


Opposites attract in a sexy tale of unexpected love

When the Dempsey patriarch suffers a heart attack, Lucas Dempsey steps up to keep the doors of the family restaurant open. The proverbial prodigal son returns home to Anchor Island—putting family first and his quest to make partner at his high-powered law firm on hold. Sporting a bruised ego after losing his fiancĂ©e to his older brother, Lucas would rather walk on glass thanspend six weeks within spitting distance of the happy couple. But family duty calls. And thatduty includes working side-by-side with a tantalizing spitfire intent on driving him mad.

Tough-as-nails boat mechanic Sid Navarro is happy to trade her tools for an apron to help the Dempseys in their time of need. That is, until she realizes she’ll be working alongside Lucas, the man she’s loved from afar since she first laid eyes on him in high school. Lucas could charm the paint off a schooner, but Sid knows she doesn’t fit his girl-next-door type. To show her true feelings would mean certain heartbreak, but the temptation of Lucas in her bed might be more than she can resist.

After a rocky start punctuated by verbal barbs and exasperating arguments, things heat up between them—big-time—but their steamy affair turns more than casual in a matter of weeks. Sid’s life has become the dream she’s always wanted, and Lucas has fallen hard for the last woman he ever expected to love.

But this affair has an end-date, as Lucas must return to his life and career in the big city, a place where Sid would never fit in. When the end comes earlier than expected, walking away turns out to be a challenge neither of them wants to win.

Up to the Challenge is a sexy, fast-paced, romantic story of family, island life, and finding love in unexpected places.

Buy Links:

Kindle >

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Website >

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Twitter > @TerriOsburn

Sunday, January 5, 2014

You Might As Well Be Reading

Because it's as cold as *$(% outside.

Okay, maybe not according to Alaska, but I already think you've gotta be nuts to live there. I live in the dead middle of the US, so middle-road. I'd like some middle-road temperatures. But much like the government, Missouri weather doesn't understand the term "moderate" and has to run from one extreme to another. Still, I don't think I'll be missing the -30 wind chill temps in July, even if it is 110 outside.

Sorry I've been off. December got a little busy--and hope it was for you as well, in all the good ways, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and all that.

So I have a couple recommends today. Of course, I'm in a mood, so the regular romances that usually litter my weeks aren't cutting it right now. (I'll be back on soon, I promise.)

If you're in the mood for some speculative historical fiction, I can recommend BRIGID OF KILDARE. I've been doing some research on the saint--and yes, I'm looking a little forward to February 2, which is her feast day, because that's when lambing season begins, and where there are lambs, there is aren't we all looking forward to spring? Exactly. Anyway, because she was a woman in the dark ages, and the Church was trying to suppress women from being the powerful, kickass beings they are, they had their work cut out for them in Brigid. There's a bit of contemporary story as well entwined...and it works out very satisfactory.

If you're in the mood for a memoir, I stayed up all last night to finish reading BOOTSTRAPPER (Mardi Jo Link), which was a very compelling read, but at times, you do have to question her sanity. Okay, not her sanity...the needless pride at some aspects, because we get to three-quarters of the book before the woman files for reduced-free lunches for her kids--and they were not once swimming in food during this book. Are you kidding me? And she didn't want to because she didn't want to admit she was broke. I'm glad it all worked out for her, and her kids are like fairy-tale myths, in my opinion, because they were very good about living on a farm with nothing. And all helpful and stuff. Still, I wish she had come to some realizations a little sooner to make her life a little easier. Still, there are aspects that are "OMG, who goes through that?" and other aspects where you'll be laughing and in the end, you feel like you bootstrapped along with her. Well worth staying up for.

What are you reading?

Oh! Terri Osburn will be blogging with me on January 16th for her blog tour, talking about her third Anchor Island book, HOME TO STAY.