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I spent the weekend with Nikki, and will be spending next weekend with her too. To help settle Breck’s upset, she sent me home with a special something to make for him. I may have to make it more than once.
2 granny smith apples
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
2 t cinnamon
10 oz sprite
Melt sugar, butter and cinnamon together. 1/4 apples and wrap with crescent rolls. Pour sugar mixture over dumplings in a casserole dish. Add sprite to the dish. Do not pour over dumplings. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until apples are tender.
Since Nikki is busy with BD and Maggie, having given in to his champion whinefest a couple weeks ago, I agreed to cover her this week.
I am Bethany Haynes and I am coming to you from the sticks of Hickeyville, Canada. And yes, I have gotten a hickey or two while here. *wink* See, I took a vacation, but found myself in jail in a very small town and had no choice but to wait for the Instpector to return from a vacation of his own to decide my fate. I never would have guessed the fate would have been what it has turned out to be. Unexpected. Sexy. Adventurous. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
Are you curious? Check it out here at www.samhellion.com.
Hey guys. I’m Caleb, Nikki’s current victim while she lets BD stew in his bitterness.
BD, I have to say, why are you inviting Nikki into your life? Has it been so long that you’ve forgotten how mena she can be to us? I think she likes to be especially cruel to us men. Like maybe she has something against us.
Yeah, I’m sure you’re thinking you want some resolution, and I guess I get that. Hell, I probably get that better than a lot of Nikki’s guys. But trust me when I say you may be getting off on the easier side.
You know, there have been times in my life I’ve thought having the power to turn invisible would be cool. Lately, well a lot longer than just lately actually, I’ve been thinking I possess the power without knowing it. And I don’t like it a damn bit.
My name is BD Harte. I am one of the first characters to come into Nikki’s life and though she insists she still loves me, and she insists she has plans for me and my sexy heroine Maggie, she has yet to make me a priority. So I ask you, what does it take to get a little attention around here? Am I screwed because I don’t have some special paranormal ability? I’m not a witch or wizard or weremoose. I’m just a regular man wanting to catch a killer and find a happy ending. Does she not pay attention to me because she’s lost a fondness thanks to the shine and glitz of the new characters entering her world?
I’m thinking the reason doesn’t matter as much as her actions. Isn’t that the right cliche – actions speak louder than words? Well, I’m sick and damn tired of the lip service Nikki has been paying me. I want action. No more of the “Yes, I know you’re there” or “Just give me a little more time” and “I’m still working on my plan for you.” I’ll give you a plan, Nikki. It requires action on your part. Get to my story already. Prove you love me and Maggie. Prove your intentions behind your plans, because I’m losing faith in you.
Sincerely fed up,
Hi. You may not know me, but I’m Brenna. I’m the witch in the paranormal series Nikki is working on (cross your fingers she finds someone in publishing to love us soon.) I’m agoraphobic and haven’t left my house in ten years, and no, it makes absolutely no difference to me to know that the fear is in my head. I’ve tried overcoming it and it isn’t happening. So, I have settled for the peace I find running my Bistro with the hands on help of highly trusted family and friends. And hey, the hands-off approach I have to take does give me more time to cook and experiment with pastries.
So, when the happiness spells and wish fulfillment spells and fear banishing spells fail, here’s a fallback that almost always makes me feel better.
The traditional éclair uses vanilla pastry cream as a filling and rich, almost ganache-like chocolate glaze. Make this recipe with basic choux pastry dough.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Basic choux pastry dough
Vanilla pastry cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Make vanilla pastry cream according to directions and chill.
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease 1 baking sheet. Spoon the prepared basic choux pastry dough into a pastry bag fitted with a wide, plain tip and pipe 8 5-inch lengths onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the éclairs puff up and turn golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before filling.
Make the chocolate glaze while the éclairs are baking and cooling. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl and set aside. Heat the heavy cream just to boiling over low-medium heat and remove from the heat immediately. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until it forms a thin, smooth consistency. Set the chocolate glaze aside at room temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To assemble the éclairs:
Fit a pastry bag with a medium-sized plain tip and fill it with vanilla pastry cream. Insert the tip of the bag into the end of an éclair and pipe about 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry cream into it. Gently spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate glaze onto or carefully dip the top of each filled éclair into the glaze before serving.
This chocolate éclairs recipe makes 8 servings.
I asked May Aiona to come by and talk to you all about her Hawaiian heritage. She’s my first Hawaiian heroine and her brother will be the hero of A Little Harmless Addiction, out this summer.
Aloha! May Aiona here. First off a big Mahalo to Mel and Nikki for letting me come by today. Mel asked me to chat with you about my Hawaiian background. I’m half Hawaiian, and half a lot of other things, lol. My father says I get my blue eyes from my mother’s side, an Irish devil who came over on a ship and never left the islands after he married a local Hawaiian girl. Since Mel has lived in Hawaii, she knows what life on the island is like. Granted, I know from our conversations, it wasn’t exactly her thang, lol. She really hated being cooped up on a little island and well, you all know how she feels about bugs.
Hawaiian culture, or Hawaiiana, is rich in the arts and we have our own unique way of cooking. I’m not sure if I moved to the mainland if I would be able to handle the withdrawls. We like pork…a lot of pork. We like it the traditional way, cook in the ground as described here, or the way Mel cooks it in her home in Virginia. I particularly like it served on pizza like we do at Dupree’s. Mel also likes to tease me about SPAM. In the 40’s, during the war, we had a HUGE warehouse here on the island. This was because the government was afraid there might be a blockade. While we have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies on the islands, we are limited, and we don’t have a lot of cattle ranches, lol. So, to ensure we didn’t go without something, they built a huge warehouse for it. We actually serve it in restaurants, and with eggs in the morning, with a side of rice. Another thing we cook with is macadamia nuts. From cookies and brownies to fish, we use the rich nut to enhace the taste of food. And well, there is poi, but Mel really hates anyone bringing that up, lol.
But there are many other things I love about my home state. Hawaii is a blend of cultures that is very unique. Yes, you have the Hawaiian, but you have many different Asian cultures threaded throughout our tapestry. There is a tight connection to the Catholic church because of the missionaries who came over to help the “savages.” Of course, with travel today, we have so many different races and creeds living on our island. With 850,000 people on Oahu, you can’t help but bump into someone just a little different than you.
Our attitude about life is different. We don’t always understand the rush to get things done. No, we aren’t lazy. As Mel always said, the best movers they had were in Hawaii. We work hard, but we also understand the importance of Ohana, family. You will find many families living in the same home with two or three generations, as I do. Part of the reason is because of the economy. Hawaii is expensive and with little land, housing is extremely expensive. But, we also like to keep our families close by. That is why so many people don’t leave the island. Being on the mainland would be too far away.
That attitude feeds into our other main idea, ain’t your business. We aren’t truly private, but I think most of us don’t care what our neighbors are doing, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. That isn’t to say we don’t care about our neighbors, but we do understand privacy. And worrying if your next door neighbor is gay. Who cares, really?
Of course, there is the beauty. While Mel is crazy and loves that cold weather, I can’t stand a nighttime low below 60, brrr. Even so, she talks of driving through the mountains on H3(the most expensive highway in the US) and enjoying the ride because of the scenery. Lush green mountains, a rain forest, waterfalls, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. How can you top that? Mel here- with SNOW, you crazy woman.
For all those reasons, I could never see myself living anywhere else. My heart will always be here on the island, with my Ohana and my ku`uipo(sweetheart) Evan.
A hui hou kakou (until we meet again )
May is featured in my newest release, A Little Harmless Obsession.
Hey guys! I’m so excited to have a new blogger here today. If you read SCENT OF PERSUASION you met Trevor Masters. If not, well you get to meet him today because he’s agreed to do a blog for me and I love what he’s done.
There isn’t much to do in a hospital bed except think and watch limited channels of television. Even in a coma that’s about the only thing to do, because trust me when I tell you coma patient’s are aware of what’s going on in their room. At least I was. I think that was the worst “rest” I ever had.
People talk. Parents try to hide the worry shaking their voices. Best friends talk about the company they’re running in your absence, and you can’t tell them if they’re doing a good or bad job. (I got lucky with Breck.) The nurses chatter and leave the TV turned on for company. It’s like they’re terrified you’re going to wake up alone and become suicidal. Or maybe they only had that fear for me since they thought suicide was my reason for being there, which is wasn’t but that’s a story for a different time. A complicated one from what I’ve heard.
I did notice the nurses seem to have some favorite shows. One nurse would actually sit in my room watching sitcoms and commenting on the truth of different interactions. She is the inspiration for this post. Well, her and my hope to one day track down the woman who continues to evade me.
So what are five lessons couples can learn from sitcoms?
1. Don’t keep score. Unless the score card is a tally of mistakes the wife makes and actually turns out to serve as the scrapbook of your time together (considering the lack of pictures after she dropped the camera in the Grand Canyon.)
2. Enjoy the arguments. Especially the ones about whether or not to tell your kids the truth of Santa, the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny. If you think about it, a lot of arguments are pretty funny even in real life.
3. Take risks. An outrageously offensive email could be just what’s needed to discover an inner deviant, but that’s a secret best kept behind your closed door. Some of those outrageous moves can land you in a relationship you’ve been longing for. Fingers crossed my own plans work how I hope they will.
4. Be willing to admit you’re wrong. The mistake could be big or small but taking responsibility without humiliating your significant other or damaging their dignity could make you out to be the hero. I know as men we all want to be our woman’s hero. Is it really such a big deal to say “Sorry”?
5. Laugh. Even when the scores are being tallied adn the arguments are wailing in the walls. Laugh when that outrageous act turns into something great. And love when your significant other makes that gesture that brightens your day.
Love is too fleeting to hold on to the petty smallness that can wedge us apart.
Hi. I’m Ava Malia, the newest addition to the FBI Specialized Crime Unit. Nikki has been kind enough, though I didn’t always consider it a kindness, to introduce me to Dr. H. And yes, that’s really his name. Well, unless you get to know him very well. He allows a select few to call him something a little different, but that’s not my point here today.
I was going to talk about how my life has changed since meeting Nikki. See, when we first met, I was working as a call-girl. How’d I get into that you ask? Well, I working contract for a company and when some issues arose, they sent me in as an escort. I never dreamed agreeing to the extremely unorthodox assignment would lead to where I am today.
On that job I met Kami Evans, who is now a great friend. Kami was having some trouble and I was able to help her out a little. Not as much as her new fiancee Breck, but I did help. And I’m going to keep helping. See, her step-brother was killed and though there has been some progress on the case and I’ve joined Breck’s FBI team we haven’t completely snipped the loose ends. One such loose end was Dr. H.
Dr. H is a bit of a mystery, even to me still. The man hates secrets, but he is one. A loner in the world, except for keeping his sister close, he’s guarded. Suspicious of pretty much everyone. And I think he has a right to be. Only by repeated proof will he allow himself to trust someone enough to open up to them, and even then he holds part of himself back as much as he can. His life has been rough, but I’m determined to help him keep smoothing it out.
What has surprised Dr. H and me, is how connected we became and how quickly. With a kiss, and I don’t mean this in a cliche way, he shattered everything I thought I knew about myself and my world. His touch awakened a part of me I didn’t know existed and I have to say I’m grateful for it. With the discovery of our connection, and the exploration of the discovery, we’ve found in each other a family we never expected.
I have my blood family, who I love, but I am learning to cherish the family I’ve found in my new team and with Dr. H and Dana and our shared abilities. I never knew there were so many kinds of family. I’m loving the journey.
Thank you, Nikki for showing me this new world. And for giving me Dr. H to help me embrace my uniqueness.
With A Little Harmless Obsession coming out next week, I thought I would give you a taste of one of the newest additions to the Harmless series, Micah Ross. Part Native American, over six feet tall, long, straight black hair(down to his butt) and a penchant for being a Dom, I have a feeling that readers are going to want to see more of him. Of course, I am ever ready to accommodate, so his story is coming up in December. But, for right now, I had a few questions about the club he owns with Evan, Rough n Ready, and how they met.
The trip to Hawaii was exhausting but worth it. Mild weather, beautiful scenery, and a gorgeous man to interview. What more can a girl ask for? We sat down at one of my favorite areas on the island, Sunset Beach, to talk. We picked the best part of the day, sunset of course, and while we watched the sun sink, I asked my questions
Mel: Thanks for taking the time for seeing me.
He smiles, a flash of white against dark skin. Hard to ignore the power of his beauty.
MICAH: Thank you for wanting to talk to me. I always have time for a woman.
Mel: (laughs) So I have heard. It’s nothing less than what I would expect the owner of Rough n Ready to say. How did you come up with the idea for the club?
MICAH: Evan and I tried to open a club in Las Vegas a few years before moving here. It didn’t work out, but we knew we wanted to open another one. We both practice the life so we wanted to open a safe environment for people to enjoy.
Mel: Why Hawaii?
MICAH: I cam over here looking for a fugitive. I convinced him that it was a good idea. There was nothing like it on the Islands. We had a lot of competition in Vegas, but here, there was nothing like our club. Little competition, gorgeous weather year round, kind of hard to say no to that.
Mel: But expensive.
Mel: Did you come right away?
MICAH: No. We didn’t have the capital at the time so we had to save it up. I signed up for some more fights. Evan did a lot more work.
Mel: Fights? As in boxing?
MICAH: (smiled) for pansies. I fought in the Ultimate Fighter circuit.
Mel: That couldn’t have been easy.
MICAH: (shrugs) If you want something bad enough, it doesn’t matter.
Mel: What other jobs have you had in the past?
MICAH: Bounty Hunter. (grimaces) I’d rather get the crap beat out of me, but it paid well because I was good at it.
Mel: You didn’t like it?
MICAH: (shakes his head) I didn’t like dealing with the type of person who would jump bail. And because you are going after the bigger money, you usually deal with the bigger scumbag.
Mel: I bet. Switching gears, let’s talk about Evan Chambers, you two have been friends for a really long time. How did you meet?
MICAH: Juvie. We both spent a lot of time there before ending up out on the streets.
I can tell from his expression he would rather not talk about it, so I let it go.
Mel: If there is one thing you could tell us about Evan, what would it be?
MICAH: He isn’t exactly who people think he is. The man comes off as a real ass, but there are things in his past that explain all that. (shrugs) I wouldn’t be his friend if he wasn’t good beneath the jackass exterior. He needs to find a woman who won’t put up with crap off him. May Aiona is just the woman to do it.
Mel: Do you have a special someone in your life?
MICAH: (smiles) Not at the moment, but I am always taking applications.
Mel: Ha! You couldn’t handle me.
MICAH: I have yet to meet a woman that I couldn’t handle.
Mel: Yeah, sure. I’ll just see about that.
Micah Ross’s book is A Little Harmless Lie which will be released this coming December in digital from Samhain Publishing. Make sure you get to know him in A Little Harmless Obsession, coming out NEXT WEEK, Sept 21, from Samhain in digital. You can preorder it from Amazon and Books on Board right now!