Friday, April 30, 2010


Adora Bayles’s Chickaroni (or Chickaricey)

1 small frying chicken, cut in pieces. Or 1 ½ pound of chicken parts
1 cup macaroni or ½ cup rice
Diced onion, carrots, celery, or minced broccoli may be added if you like.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Brown chicken parts in a hot dry skillet or Dutch oven. The oil they make is enough.

Brown macaroni (or rice) all around the chicken parts, stirring so they don't burn. Cover the macaroni (or rice) with water, season to taste and put a lid on it. When the macaroni is swollen and done, most of the water will be boiled away and the chicken will be done.

OR: When the rice kernels have split into Siamese twins and most of the water has boiled away, the chicken will be fully cooked.

You may slightly boil your favorite vegetables to serve on the side, or dump them on top of the Chickaroni to simmer for the last few minutes. Serve it up.

So little trouble!

Contributed by Adora Bayles, author of Wagons South!...Ople’s family pioneered in a covered wagon, but they reverse directions, traveling from Oklahoma to homestead in Florida in 1917. Feisty 10-year-old Ople sees and remembers it all.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where do you get your ideas? - writing tip

I keep a file of story ideas on hand. I stuff in every idea I can find. There are times when I feel more creative and times when I think I’ll never have another idea in my life. When I’m feeling creative, I develop characters and with the end in mind, start writing an (adjustable) scene list. Once my scene list is complete, I file it again. I try to keep a couple of these on hand. When I finish a story, I let it “rest” while I go and stuff in some more ideas, read through my folder, then choose another story to finish. When that one is complete, I go back to the first and complete the final editing process, develop a market list and send it out -- always keeping in mind the next place to go if it is "returned." Then I develop another outline or two, write a third, and go back to final edit the second. This way I have three stories “in the works” all the time. I’ve found finishing the second story will give me enough distance from the first that I’m not “in love” with it anymore and I can edit with more objectivity.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Books out and in

Print galleys WENT out Saturday to:

Shel Damsky for DEATH ON APPEAL

Terry Piper for OZARK WOMAN

Corrections are back from:

Terry Piper for OZARK WOMAN

The e-edition of Barbara Garro's FROM JESUS TO HEAVEN WITH LOVE: A PARABLE PILGRIMAGE, has been completed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rowan Cameron's Vennison Stew - Recipe

Rowan Cameron’s Venison Stew*
*non-hunters may substitute beef

1 to 2 pounds of venison haunch or flank cubed
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can baked beans (you’ll have to trade for this)
3 medium tomatoes (if they are out of season, the white man has them in cans, too)
3/4 cup minced green onion (tops and all)
1 Leaf of Miracle (bay)
1 tsp. Dried sage
1 tsp. Dried garlic
Salt to taste.
Water as needed.

Heat medium sized rocks in your camp fire until they get red hot. Trim all tallow from the meat. Deer tallow can taste rank, especially it the deer was old, or a buck. Slice and dice a good sized haunch round, or flank steak into 1 inch pieces. And place in leather pot. Add spices, water to cover plus 6 inches, and enough red hot rocks to make the pot boil hard.** When venison is good and tender and rocks have cooled to make the pot simmer, add the other ingredients.

**You can use a stove and a soup pot, but you have to let it boil hard until the meat falls apart at the touch of a fork. Then reduce the heat, add the vegetables, and simmer until done. This recipe works equally well with elk.

Contributor’s note: This is the stew Christy serves to her sister and ex-fiancĂ© when they arrive from the east in GHOST DANCER.

Contributed by Arline Chase, author of Ghost Dancer, After a broken engagement, Christy goes west for “her health” and meets a medicine man.... Rowan Cameron, a Blackfoot captive scheduled for a hanginG. He escapes and then ignores her attempts to “civilize” him. But Rowan does his best to heal Christy’s spirit, and mend her broken heart.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Barnes & Noble's Book Nook

We signed a deal with Barnes & Noble to make our books available through their library lending service in the "EBOOK NOOK" feature of their stores. This means someone can pay a smaller fee and "borrow" a book that's downloaded to their laptop or e-reader in the store and will be available to them for only two weeks, and automatically erased thereafter. IF they read the book in that time they get it at the reduced "Lending library" rate in which we share.

Word is staff at the store will do the downloads for customers and are familiar with all the different formats and readers, etc. We also hear that the "Nooks" are not doing much business yet, but that is expected to grow with the expanded use of e-readers like Kindle, Sony's new one, and the iPad.

If they don't finish the book and want it again, they must purchase a permanent download.

YEs, this means that all your e-books will be available for download at brick and mortar B&N stores.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Terry Whites CHESAPEAKE VISIONS has gone to press.

Proof copies of David Berardelli's DEMON CHASER have been ordered.

A new cover for Elena Bowman's TIME RIFT Is in the works.

Work on the e-book FROM JESUS TO HEAVEN WITH LOVE by Barbara Garro continues.

Second Corrections were received from Virginia Winters for MURDEROUS ROOTS.

Second print galleys for GHOST MEETS AN ANGEL, by Elizabeth Eagan-cox have gone out.

I'm busy as a dog with three tails and loving every minute of it.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Beverly Jennings's Grapeful Chicken - recipe

Beverly Jennings’s Grapeful Chicken:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed mushroom soup
1 large can French-style string beans
1 package slivered almonds
Large bunch of seedless white grapes (approx ½ pound)

Saute chicken breasts until almost done. Cover bottom of a casserole dish with half a can of mushroom soup. Add layer of white grapes. Add string beans. Add slivered almonds, layering them over the string beans. Add chicken breasts to top of mixture. Add remaining mushroom soup. Cover and bake approximately thirty minutes or until chicken is done and the sauce is bubbling.

Serve over steamed rice. Yield four servings.

Contributed by Beverly Jennings, author of WHEN THE JAYBIRD SINGS...The Savannah River winds its way through WHEN THE JAYBIRD SINGS, bringing to five-year-old Maria, ships from far away and forbidden adventure, even the hint of ghosts. Maria comes to terms with a frightful looking one-eyed grandmother, discovers the marvels of the early Twentieth Century and enjoys a rollicking family life.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

When to write dialogue - writing tip

You only need to write dialogue when they are talking about something important. The rest can go into narrative and a lot can be assumed. For instance, take this story situation:

In Scene one, Sally’s brother John was in a 40-car pile up on the Interstate. He lies for hours, pinned in the car, then finally is picked up and taken to the Emergency Room, by an ambulance. There he is rushed into surgery while (end of scene hook) a nurse tosses his wallet to the ward clerk, yelling, “Call his next-of-kin.” In scene two: Sally rushes out of the house and meets her neighbor, Paul, a friend of John’s. Here’s scene two:

Sally grabbed her jacket and headed for the door, frantic to get to the hospital and find out how badly John was hurt. (Opening Hook) It wasn’t until she actually got into the garage that she remembered John had been driving her car the night before, because his was in the repair shop. (Shows confusion caused by the emergency situation) Without a second thought for her damaged car (shows her first concern is her brother’s life), Sally hurried out to the street and all but ran toward the bus stop.
Half a block down the street, Paul Anderson, a friend of John’s, put down his rake and caught up with Sally. “Where are you going in such a hurry? What’s wrong?” (Now in reality he would probably have said, “Hey, Sally. Wait a minute. I want to talk to you.” But that would not have moved the story forward. Dialogue should always move the story forward and it should be about something important.)
“It’s, John! He’s in the hospital.” Sally told Paul about the accident. (Narrative used. No need to repeat all the action about the 40-car pile-up and John’s being pinned in the car for hours — the reader already knows that.)
“No wonder you are upset. Come on, I’ll drive you.” Paul took off his gardening gloves and headed for his pick -up. By the time he got the door open, Sally was already waiting inside.
“Hurry!.” Sally gave Paul a worried look. “I have to find out how he is.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

Welsh Rarebit - recipe

Isabella, La Contessa Avezzano’s luncheon treat from England – Welsh Rarebit

1/4 cup butter
8 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup light cream
dash of cayenne pepper

Melt butter in heavy 3 quart saucepan or top of a double-boiler, medium low heat. Add cheese, stirring constantly till melted. Stir in Worcestershire, mustard, and cayenne.

Combine eggs and cream. Remove cheese mixture from heat, and blend well with the egg mixture. Return to medium heat, stir constantly, until thickened. Serve over toasted and buttered English muffins (or rather thick sliced Italian bread), or buttered toast triangles.

Contributed by Robert Legleitner on behalf of his character Isabella, La Contessa d’Avezzano. La Contessa is Kydon Schmidt’s landlady and a fellow allied resistance fighter in A BRIEF MADNESS: Book Two of the Kydon Chronicles...In WWII, gay archeologist Kydon Schmidt has been forced to spy for the allies.... In this sequel to the GOLDEN LEGEND Ky is seeking revenge on the men who shot his friend Val. If they want a spy, they’ll get one!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dialogue punctuation - writing tip

Now punctuating dialogue is a bit tricky. First of all, you never let two characters talk in the same paragraph.

Commas and other punctuation go inside the quotes. And you must paragraph each time a new person speaks.

Finally, Everything a person says at one time (even if they change the subject) goes in the same paragraph. This is pretty simplified, and there is more in an earlier post if you need a refresher.

I can't stress too much how important it is to punctuate dialogue correctly. Editors know immediately if it's done wrong, and they also know it will take them a lot of work to fix it. It's never a good idea to make work for your editor.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Josh Aterovis's Spicy Spaghetti Sauce - recipe

Josh Aterovis’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

2 Quarts of crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Parsley
1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red (cayenne) pepper
1 large clove of garlic
1 medium onion
1 pound of hamburger

Combine tomatoes and spices in a large pot. In a skillet, saute onions and garlic in oil until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add to tomato sauce. Brown hamburger in skillet and add to sauce. Cook over low heat for several hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve over pasta.

Contributed by Josh Aterovis, author of BLEEDING HEARTS...Quiet unassuming 16-year-old Killian Travers Kendall has always known somewhere inside himself that he was different from other boys... Then an openly gay youth becomes a student at his school. For the first time Killian has met someone who understands how he feels. When the new boy is murdered during a hate crime, Killian is also attacked and vows to himself to find the killer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back to work on paper books

Galleys went out to:

Kathy Warrington for KADY OF QUID


Terry L. White for


Work in progress for


by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox

Monday, April 12, 2010

Everyone is paid

Yes, all the checks are finally written and my arthritic fingers have stopped aching. You who are due should all be receiving payment sometime this week, either by check or via Paypal.

Not everyone had sales though, so if you hear nothing, that means there was nothing to report--for which we are as sorry to say as you are to hear. In general sales were up so there were a lot more people to report to this time. Everyone was paid every cent owed, even if it was less than a dollar.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Dream of the Story - Writing tip

In creating a story for your readers, you create a dream for them. The important thing is not to wake them up.

It's always a good idea to use a full name on first reference (unless it's a minor unnamed character like "the waiter"), and to get the physical description in when the reader first meets the character. It can seem a small thing, but if your reader envisions a blond on first reference, only to learn that the character is dark a few pages later, it can be really confusing. It wakes them from what John Gardiner calls "the dream" of the story.

Believe me, I've seen some real "wake up calls" even in commercially published material. Once I was reading a historical romance set in Elizabethan England. Obviously the author had written it first as a modern story, then set it back in time, when the call came out for more historicals. There was a wonderful wedding scene. It had whole roasted pigs, jongleurs (what the hell is a jongleur, anyway?), lute players and troubadours singing bawdy songs of wedded bliss.

Then a minor character praised the cheese served in the wedding "buffet," saying to the bride's father, "Where did you get this wonderful cheese?"

To which the bride's father replied, "Oh, I'm glad you like it, okay? We had it flown in special."

"Buffet" and "okay" would have been bad enough, as in Elizabethan times "buffet" was a cupboard and "okay" didn't come into use until the mid-19th century.. But "flown in?" How?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crab Meat Melt - recipe

It's spring and crabbing season is just around the corner.

Terry L.White’s Crab Meat Melt
Great for brunch, or lunch for two.

2 English Muffins
½ pound crab meat
6 slices Swiss cheese (We prefer Alpine Lace. You can double over the cheese slices, if you like, or if there are a lot of holes)
1 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Split English Muffins, butter and place on a cookie sheet. Toast under broiler until they begin to brown.

Remove from oven. Top each muffin with crabmeat, a sprinkle or two of Old Bay (you may not need the whole tablespoon) and sliced Cheese. Place under broiler and watch carefully. Remove when cheese starts to bubble.

Contributed by Terry L. White, author of the CHESAPEAKE HARVEST, vol.1 of the Chesapeake Heritage Series...What happens when disgraced heiress is arrested for walking the streets of London and sentenced to serve an Indenture in Maryland Colony in the New World.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Right Brain? -- Writing tip

There are two kinds of writers. Those who plan and outline every step and those who jump into the story feet first.

I'm reminded of that old question from Psych 101, where the professor said, "A kid is lost in the woods. I can give you beaters to comb the brush, or a helicoptor to try to spot him from the air, which would you choose?"

About 90 percent of the class chose the beaters. Those of us who took the arial view were told we were "right brain" or creative people, but lacked logic, because the woods might be too dense to see him from the air.

The "beaters" were told they were "left brain" people who had little creativity or imagination. They looked at life logically and took things one step at a time, but they lacked the ability to see the whole or the end result, rather than just the immediate next step.

Regardless of whether you are "right" or "left" you can be a great writer. There's no wrong way to do it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Banana Bread - recipe

Carlene Dater's Banana Bread

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs (or half a cup of egg substitute)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream together, butter, sugar, bananas, and eggs until well mixed. Stir in 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp. Soda and ¼ cup chopped walnuts. Placed in greased loaf pans or bundt cake pan.

Bake in a 350-f or 177-C degree oven until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about one hour.

Contributed by Carlene Dater, author of One by One and The Colors of Death...As usual, no good deed goes unpunished. Cally Sue agrees to help her uncle while he is ill. But when murder happens, Cally’s uncle is suspect #1. His employees are suspicious and Cally has a reputation as a snoop to maintain. The only plus is that one of the police detectives is a charmer…