Thursday, April 6, 2017

Is The Smoke Detector Part of Every Meal?

I should have known when I came home and found that hubby had removed the shower enclosure from the bathtub to fix a crack that had emerged and was now causing the structure to seep water, that it was not going to be a good day.  The shower is out of commission for, well, not sure how long.  And baths are something you lounge in, not try to have a quick clean up in early in the morning.  Sigh.  I missed the omen surrounding all of that.  Instead, I ventured forth anyway with my plan to prepare the occasional vegetarian meal.

Why was this a deal?  Well, I cook rarely now - why cook when someone does it better?  There was a time I was a fairly good cook, if the barks were any indication - great as far as canine meals went.  Unfortunately, those days are gone - at least for now.

Just part of the cooking sprawl - uglier than urban sprawl.
I began what the recipe assured was an  "easy" vegetarian supper.    I began chopping up a potato and then grabbed the bag of rice.  Oops, forgot to soak.  Not only that I got a type that required longer than normal soaking.  Small oversight - I managed to compensate for that.  Rice came out unscathed.  But the tofu - don't let anyone tell you that cooking tofu is easy.  And if you're one of those that think it is, stop right there.   I don't want to hear about it.

I had a second cookbook that said one should marinate and slightly crisp the tofu.  I think the slightly crisping may have been the first problem.  The kitchen began to fill with smoke before any browning had even appeared and the smoke detector went off.  I flapped my tea towel at it and it quit only to go off again and again and again...  A few choice words finally caused it not only to go off but kick in a second detector that I swear hubby hid, just to persecute me in such a moment. Okay, maybe not but I sure felt so at the time.  So I got hubby out of the garage to resolve the smoke detector issue as cool spring air ran through the open doors at both ends of the house.  Meantime there was still all that vegetation to chop and a lime to zest - did I mention I also zested a piece of my finger.

I survived - I think.
Juice of this, juice of that, pinch of this, can of that - if I could find the person who said it was under twenty minutes I'd give them a piece of my mind.  As it was - production time was closer to an hour and a half and the result - edible.  I didn't save the leftovers.

So I live to cook another day and a midweek vegetarian meal cooked by me is still on the table but hubby doesn't have to worry that he can no longer barbecue burgers.  That might be something to look forward to after last night's meal which I'd rate as on par with a good bowl of porridge - it was filling.

Oh, and this morning, I'm pretty sure I saw a trail of hickory sticks leading to the couch.  Someone was having a late night snack, maybe something about last night's supper...

Just saying.

...a world you never imagined.

The first in the Desert Justice series, Sheik's Rule is out and Sheik's Rescue is next!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sheik's Rule - Release Day!

Today the first book in the Desert Justice series is being released.  Sheik's Rule is on store shelves, online and brick and mortar, wherever Harlequin Intrigue are sold.

He's an investigator on a mission, but it's impossible to ignore the brilliant woman helping him complete it… 
His sister's life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family's security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he's sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers' desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman. 
But K.J. is unlike any woman he's ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir's admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all. 

I'm excited to have Emir tell his story.  He's the oldest of the Al-Nassar siblings and for years he and his twin have shouldered the responsibility of keeping his family together since his parents tragic passing when he was in his early twenties.  In fact, being too serious is what gets him into trouble with his heroine, Kate.  When his sister is kidnapped he recruits help and when he discovers she's female he reacts in a way that puts him immediately at odds with her.  But the two of them together prove to be a powerful combination as they race the clock to find Emir's sister before it's too late.

Setting plays a large role in any story and can be a character in its own rite.  It can act as an antagonist or protagonist as it helps or hinders the hero.  Morocco I found was a powerful setting that really affected the direction of the story.

I loved the setting of Morocco, roaming the streets of Marrakech - exploring the Medina and heading into the Sahara.  It's an amazing place that I visited once a long time ago but would love to explore again.   Memory only takes you so far because after all, the characters needed today's Morocco not yesteryears.  But research found some interesting sites and great information, and found me a new site to follow on Twitter - Magical Morocco.

So, the paperback version is out (e-book comes out April 1).  Copies are available at most bookstores and, of course online at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ITunes and Kobo.

And, there's more...

Mark your calendars and follow the by clicking here.  That will take you to the Goddess Fish site, scroll down for a list of the participating blogs.  Drop by, enter a comment, ask a question or just say hi.  I'll be hopping from blog to blog all day.  And there's a prize to one reader at the end of the day,  a $20 Amazon gift certificate.


There's always lots going on and while I don't cover all of it here on the blog, most of it is in the newsletter that gets mailed out whenever there's news.  Plus, there's usually an exclusive contest and really, I do try to be a bit entertaining.  So, if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, The Walkabout - now is the time to stop missing out, sign up here:  Signup to The Walkabout 


Coming soon; Book 2, 3 and 4 of the Desert Justice Series.

Monday, January 30, 2017

"Choices and Illusions" - Audio Version

I’m excited to say that the audio version of Eldon Taylor’s book “Choices and Illusions”, has just been released.  While I've read the print version, the audio was a special treat.  I could listen as I walked and the smooth voice of the reader seemed to bring a new perspective to some of the ideas presented in this book.  It is a book that can't be read and set aside but must be picked up again, to remember various aspects and to learn to incorporate some of what is learned in daily life.  

Here's my latest review, the star rating didn't change - five stars.  What did change?  I like to think that I got more out of the book, the second time around.  This isn't a book you read and put aside but rather a reference to improve your life.  To reflect that, the wording of my review changed from the original, after all I like to think that I've grown and changed since that first post.  

"Choices and Illusions" provides an excellent base to begin the exploration of the unseen but very real conditioning within society that shapes the basis of our beliefs and ultimately our personalities.  The story of a hawk who is raised by chickens and therefore believes that is what he is, is a jumping off point to enlighten us as to how powerful our beliefs can be.  It provides the tools necessary to begin harnessing the powers of your mind instead of letting it run unfettered and potentially controlled by the power of hidden beliefs foisted on us by others.  And more importantly, it provides telling evidence that the mind is the one thing that can be changed and by doing so can change everything from health to personality and even IQ.

How many things do we believe because of conditioning and life experience?  How true are these beliefs and how do they create who we become?  How can others use these beliefs to their advantage?

It is questions like these that might make you pause and consider some of the beliefs you'd held without thought.  Eldon takes us on an unforgettable journey into the power of the mind.

Occasional quotes from some of the great thinkers of our times, along with an easy style of prose and a reader with a smooth voice make the audio version of "Choices and Illusions" an engaging version of this insightful book.

Q and A with Eldon

You came from a fascinating background.  How did you get inspired to write your books?

As a practicing criminalist, nearly every day I saw someone, who had a world of potential, blow it over some silly stupid notion.  Perhaps they stole from their employer and rationalized it away since in their minds the employer was a bum who treated and paid them unfairly.  The fact is, every perpetrator of a criminal act can tell you why they did it and when you stand back, their answers are justifications more than reasons.

It became clear to me that many people were making choices that were simply self-sabotaging.  Not just those who committed crimes, but the average person on the street.  at a certain point in my career, I became acutely aware of just how persistent this characteristic was with so many folks and the question became, "Why?"  Answering that question changed my life, as well as my vocation and led to the research and books that I publish today.

In your book, Choices and Illusions, you say that our choices are not our own.  What do you mean by

Research clearly shows that there is activity in the subconscious before a conscious thought occurs.  In other words, our so-called conscious thoughts are given to us by our subconscious.  My work has shown that it is this subconscious information that dictates the kind of life we will experience.  Change truly must happen from the inside out. We must choose to take control of everything we put into our minds.

How can we uncover our true potential?  Is mastering our mind the key to our happiness?

The Buddha is credited with saying, "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think."  Science supports this assertion today whole-heartedly.  Indeed, not long ago I attended a CEU for health care professionals dealing with the latest in neurological research.  There were some powerful concluding remarks, but the bottom line take away is one that is particularly relevant here.  Let me digress just a bit first.  When I attended University, the prevailing thinking asserted rather axiomatically that personality became fixed early in life, ages 4 to 6, IQ was fixed, brain cells begin to die and do not replace themselves somewhere beginning in our thirties, and so forth.  All of this is patently untrue!  Today the research shows us that among the best things we can do to improve our lives is change our personalities.  We know IQ is not fixed and indeed, the brain is amazing!  Voila, today we become excited about the possibilities inherent to euro plasticity.  So now fast forward to those concluding remarks and the big take away.  YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN CHANGE BUT YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN CHANGE!

Eldon Taylor's Bio

Eldon has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics.  He is president of Progressive Awareness Research, an organization dedicated to researching techniques for accessing the immense powers of the mind.  For more than 20 years, he has approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, service and respect for life.

"Choice is an illusion.  Do I do this--do I do that--all of this arises out of confusion.  I can only choose when I'm confused.  When I know clearly, there is no choice."  Eldon Taylor

This is a thought-provoking book that has the potential to change your life.  I'd recommend reading this or any of Eldon's other works.  If you'd like to know more about Eldon Taylor or any of his publications you can find him at his website:  His books are all available at most bookstores and online.  He also hosts a two hour radio show each week called Provocative Enlightenment.  There's more about that on his website at:


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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sheik's Rule - Cover Reveal

2017 is here!  Yes, I know we're into the second week of the year but let's just say that I was run over by the Christmas tree.   Having crawled out from beneath that to find good, no wait - great, news!  The first in the Desert Justice series, Sheik's Rule, is counting down to it's release:  April 1, 2017

The Sheiks are here - young, hot, wealthy and ready to take on the world!

The Desert Justice Series - four sheiks - four nail-biting stories twined with a romance that may have you aching for more.
From the heart of the Sahara Desert to the Plains of Wyoming - love and Danger Collide...

The Al-Nassar brothers have it all.  Four young sheiks who hold power and wealth in their hands.  Their powerhouse investigative company, Nassar Security uncovers crime and protects lives across the globe.  Follow these daring brothers from Morocco to Wyoming as in case after case they take it to the edge and back.  But, no strangers to danger... they're not prepared for love.

Let's begin it all with the eldest - Emir Al-Nassar...

He's an investigator on a mission, but it's impossible to ignore the brilliant woman helping him complete it… 
His sister's life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family's security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he's sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers' desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman. 
But K.J. is unlike any woman he's ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir's admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all. 

Excerpt from Sheik's Rule:

“You’re the new agent?” he asked, the words heavy with disbelief. “You’re the one Adam recommended?”

“Yes,” she said brightly. “I’m K.J.—”

“This won’t work,” he said. His thoughts were clouded with anger at the thought of what Adam had done, of how much time might be wasted, and of Tara whose life would be fur- ther endangered now that there was no help forthcoming.

Her wide, smoky-blue eyes narrowed. “By ‘this,’” she said slowly, “you mean me?” She took a step forward. Now she was in his face.

He frowned. If she were a man that would have been a mistake. But she was no man.

“That’s what you were meaning, wasn’t it?  I’m not a man so...” She let the remainder of the sentence hang.

He paused long enough to take a breath to control the anger that made him want to lash out at someone, anyone. “You need to get on the first flight home,” he said through clenched teeth.

“Give me a chance.” There was no hesitation in her voice or in her stance as she faced off with him, her head up, her eyes sparking as if enjoying the challenge.

“It’s not me that’s the problem or needs to give you a chance,” he said. All he could feel was the pressure of an invisible clock ticking and the betrayal of a friend thousands of miles away. Adam knew the customs, the inherent sexism that still wove through the ancient tra- ditions of the desert tribes. He knew it all and, still, he had sent her.

“I know,” she interjected. “It’s the customs, the tribes outside the city, the—”

“It won’t work,” he interrupted, thinking of the desert and where he suspected Tara’s kidnappers were hiding. He’d always been an equal opportunity employer and supported his sister, Tara, in her fight for change. It was a man’s world. It didn’t matter how much he disliked the fact, it was a truth that, for now, wouldn’t change. 

“Look, I know what I’m getting into. I’m qualified,” she said, her bag swinging from her shoulder, her eyes bright with passion. “I specialized in Middle Eastern studies—an exchange student.” She waved one delicate, well- manicured hand at him.

Just looking at that hand confirmed every doubt he had. It wasn’t just about customs, she was female and because of that and so many other things, she was the wrong person for the job.

“I’ll help you find your sister. You just need to trust me.”

“No!” The word came out with all the pent- up fury that had built since the fateful call from Tara’s kidnappers and now the full im- pact of it sparked in his eyes as his temple pounded and his fists clenched. “No,” he said with less edge but with no room for negotiation. He was wasting time, had wasted time, first waiting and now in a senseless airport run. “I don’t care what you specialized in. You’re a woman and because of that you’re going home,” he said bluntly. “I’ve wasted enough time. I’ll speak to the pilot and we’ll get you out of here.”

“You’re not being fair.”

“I’m not being fair,” he repeated, emphasizing each word. If she’d been a man he would have had her by the collar up against the wall, his face in hers. But she wasn’t and that was the problem. “You’re useless to me. I’d have to watch out for both you and me. That’s a distraction. Look at you—you couldn’t swing a punch or...”

One minute he was seething, glaring at her, and the next he was flat on his back.

“You bloody flipped me,” he snarled, leaping to his feet. 

Ryshia Kennie

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