A Family Forever Box Set Release Day!

Release Day!

I'm so happy that A FAMILY FOREVER Box Set is finally here. I hope you'll celebrate with me!

Many people say family is everything. There is nothing more beautiful than two people coming together for the sake of a child, finding love, and forming A Family Forever. From marriage-of-convenience to second-chance-at-love to pure Irish-fairytale fantasy, A Family Forever Bundle brings you sweet, emotional stories of romance and love that arrives unexpectedly and culminates in happily-ever-afters that will leave you smiling. So brew yourself a cup of tea, settle on the sofa (or under that big beach umbrella) and enjoy these three full-length, contemporary novels.

Included in this bundle:

A BEAUTIFUL STRANGER – When wealthy but emotionally wounded Sean Hudson arrives to claim his new daughter, he discovers the adoption hinges on the impossible. Unless he finds a wife immediately, the tiny orphan will be snatched away from him forever. But before he can abandon hope, a beautiful stranger proposes a surprising solution—marriage.

MADE IN PARADISE – For ten long years Amber has believed her child was lost to her forever. Then an unexpected inheritance leads the lovely doctor back home… to the man she’s always loved. There she discovers her beloved Jon is a bachelor father, and the little girl he is raising is their daughter!

A REASON TO BELIEVE – It seems like a grand idea, temporarily trading her pixie wings for a womanly form to help handsome widower Paul Roland with his baby girl. And the moment she holds the precious bairn in her arms, Fern knows true happiness for the first time. But she never anticipates the dizzying emotions she feels for the man who not only needs her as a nanny, but as a woman whose passion can heal his wounded heart. Suddenly the forbidden fairy rule she gently bends is in danger of being irrevocably broken.

Couples coming together for the sake of a child and finding… A Family Forever!


What readers are saying:

“A must-read… that touches the heart.” ~about A Beautiful Stranger

“Loved this sweet story of Amber and Jon who come together again after 10 years and a secret kept by their parents who tried go keep them from the love they had for each other!” ~about Made in Paradise

“I love fantasy books… highly recommended!” ~about A Reason to Believe

Find this Bundle:

US Kindle        UK Kindle




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Other titles in the series:

Bonus!

It's harvest season in the garden and the zucchini are rolling in. One of my favorite recipes to make this time of year is Mock Crab Cakes. These little fried patties, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, are seasoned with Old Bay. Find the recipe here: Mock Crab Cakes

Spreading Peace in a Violent World

Is it just me, or does violence seem to be growing? The savage behavior displayed in Charlottesville, Virginia unnerved me. That human beings could treat other human beings so callously is disturbing. I watched the evening news as people committed violence against others in order to forward their own personal beliefs. I wondered… what can I do? Violence is happening everywhere, all over the world. The list of terror attacks just during the month of August 2017 is appalling. What can any of us do?  

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Nonviolence is an active force of the highest order.” 

I believe those words with all my heart. I also believe something else Mr. Gandhi said: “Outward peace is useless without inner peace.”

I strive for inner peace. I meditate. I pray daily for my own inner peace and for the inner peace of those I love, and for the inner peace of all people around the world. I want to live in a world filled with Love and Light and Peace. I don’t know how else gain and maintain peace for myself and for everyone I come into contact with except to walk a path of peace. Gandhi said, “There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.”

I intend to walk this path as best I can and I urge you to do the same. If the old adage, “violence begets violence,” is true (and I believe it is), then let’s create a new and better adage to live by: PEACE BEGETS PEACE.

If you pray, pray every day for a peaceful world. If you meditate, take a few moments of your meditation time to send out a loving message to the world. If you’re not a person who prays, I urge you to simply sit quietly for a bit each day, focus on your heart, fill yourself up with a feeling of love, and imagine that love beaming out of your chest as pure white light. It might sound hokey, but please give it a try. You might find that you like the idea of becoming a Warrior of Peace.

What other ways could we work toward world peace? Leave your comments below.

Here are some other Gandhi quotes I love. Feel free to copy and paste them on your blog or social networks. The quotes in this post and the words for peace used below come from Gandhi International Institute for Peace.







The word for “Peace” in different languages:

Salaam – Arabic/Iranian
 

Heping –Chinese, Mandarin
 

Kapayapaan - Filipino
 

Paix - French
 

Friede - German
 

Irini - Greek
 

Maluhia - Hawaiian
 

Shalom - Hebrew
 

Shanti - Indian
 

Pace - Italian
 

Heiwa - Japanese
 

Pyonghwa - Korean
 

Pax - Latin
 

Mari Rangi Maria – Maori
 

Meleilei – Micronesia, Pohnpei
 

Mir - Russian
 

La Paz - Spanish
 

Amani - Swahili
 

Shite - Tibetan
 

Thanh Binh – Vietnamese

If you’re like me—disturbed by the violence in this world—go out and spread peace and love. Every day and in every way.




Sweet Balsamic Sirloin Steak #Grilling #Recipe

The August heat makes it too hot to cook indoors. So here's a recipe for outdoor grilling. 

Sweet Balsamic Sirloin Steak

For the marinade:

4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon dry red pepper flakes
2 pounds sirloin steak
Salt and fresh cracked Pepper to taste


1.     Place the soy sauce, oil, sugar, vinegar, and pepper flakes in a large, re-sealable plastic bag and massage to combine well. Add the steak, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, turning once or twice to distribute marinade evenly.
2.     Pre-heat grill and coat the grate with a little oil to prevent sticking.
3.     Remove steak from marinade, season with salt and pepper, and place on hot grill. Cook for 5 minutes.
4.     Meanwhile, place the remaining marinade in a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced to about ½ cup. Watch carefully.
5.     Turn steak and cook for an additional 4 minutes, or until desired doneness.
6.     Remove from the grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow steak to rest for 5 minutes.
7.     Slice steak against the grain, ½ inch thick. Place slices on a platter and pour reduced marinade over top.


This recipe is included in my cookbook, COOKING IN ALL DIRECTIONS




Enjoy your summer!


Scorching Summer Sale! #Kindle #Nook Kobo iBooks Google

99¢ Sale! Save $7! 3-Book Series!

It’s August and the temperatures are hot as fire. To celebrate, here’s a scorching summer sale. You can get the first three books of The Ocean City Boardwalk Series for just 99¢. That’s a $7.00 saving off the regular cover price. So… what are you waiting for? Take advantage of this scorching summer sale now!

About the series: Sara, Heather, and Cathy are best friends. Through the years they’ve cheered each other on, celebrating each victory, and they’ve been supportive through every crisis. Join them as they face love and loss… and learn to hold tight to the idea that friends are your chosen family.

The Ocean City Boardwalk series, where life isn’t just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!

Don’t miss this scorching summer sale. Find the bundle:

US Kindle        UKKindle





As a bonus, here’s a frozen summer dessert that’s sure to cool you down.

Summer Coconut Peach Dessert

Ingredients

3 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 fresh peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

Preparation

1. Prepare cashews: Place nuts in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for several hours to soften, drain. Discard water.
2. Combine the cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk and agave in a food processor and process until smooth. This step may take a few minutes.
3. Line a greased sheet pan with wax paper. Allow paper to hang over the edges of the pan to make removing easy. Pour cashew mixture into pan, spreading evenly.
4. Place the pan in the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from freezer and layer peach slices on top. Freeze for at least 2 additional hours.
6. To serve, remove from freezer and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into squares. Place any leftover squares in a covered container or zip-top bag and store in the freezer. Keeps for about a week.



Summery Lemon Blueberry Dessert #Recipe

I ran this recipe last summer, but I decided to post it again because it's simply delicious.  There’s nothing more refreshing as a summer dessert than the combination of lemon and blueberry. This dessert is so easy, you won’t believe it. It’s so delicious, your family and friends will ask you to make it, again and again.

I used a 7 inch by 11 inch clear glass dish in which to assemble my dessert because the graham crackers fit very nicely in the bottom. If you don’t have a dish this size, simply use whatever you have, snapping the graham crackers into pieces that will fit into the bottom for the “crust.”

Summery Lemon Blueberry Dessert

2 boxes (2.9 oz) lemon “cook and serve” pudding
2/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (optional)
4 cups water (divided)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
10 graham crackers
1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

1.    In a saucepan, stir together the dry lemon pudding mix, sugar, egg yolks, lemon peel, and 1/2 cup water until smooth. Make sure all of the pudding mix is well-incorporated. Add the additional 3 1/2 cups water and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until pudding comes to a boil and thickens. Set aside to cool.

2.    Add Cool Whip to the cooled pudding mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

3.    Assemble your dessert: Line the bottom of a 7 inch x 11 inch oblong dish with 4 graham crackers. Top with half of the pudding, smoothing into an even layer. Top pudding with half of the blueberries. Add 4 more graham crackers, pressing down a bit so the crackers are in contact with the pudding. Layer on the remaining pudding and spread into an even layer. Top with remaining blueberries. Place remaining 2 graham crackers into a plastic baggie and crush into crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the top of the pudding.

4.    Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to give the “crust” time to soften.

5.    To serve, cut chilled dessert into squares. Serves 8.

This recipe is included in my cookbook, COOKING IN ALL DIRECTIONS




Book 6 of the Ocean City Boardwalk Series is here!

New Release! Book 6 of the Ocean City Boardwalk Series!

The Ocean City Boardwalk Series isn't just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!

Tawny McNealy is a driven, high-achiever who fully expects to someday take over and run the family accounting firm. But when an attempt is made to use her as a pawn, Tawny flees to the only place she’s ever felt truly free and happy—the beach.

Jack Barclay spends his summer days creating romantic seaside weddings for lovers. His laid-back attitude has served him well over the years. He feels stressing out about work only causes a person to miss the best parts of life.

Jack and Tawny are as different as sea and sky, but the fascination they find in each other’s company can’t be denied. Can they withstand the crazy twists that fate tosses their way?

Be the first to review this New Release!

US Kindle        UK Kindle





Also available in Paperback

Titles in the series:


Brownies - Turn Ordinary Into Extraordinary! #Foodies #Recipes

Have plain ol’ brownies ever made you yawn? Here’s a pick-me-up that is sure to make you smile. When the box of brownie mix sitting in my pantry made me say, “Meh,” I knew I needed a solution. Quick. So I concocted this fast and easy fix that will turn ordinary brownies into extraordinary! I’ll never look at brownies the same way again.


I call these Double Chocolate English Toffee Brownies and my husband LOVES them.

Bake a batch of brownies as directed on the box. As soon as you pull the pan out of the oven, sprinkle the brownies with 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate pieces (use more, if you like). I use Nestles Mini Morsels because they melt faster than the regular sized chocolate chips. Wait about five minutes and then use a butter knife to spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the brownies. While the chocolate is still lusciously melty, sprinkle about a cup of Heath English Toffee Bits over the top. Wait until the brownies cool and then cut into squares. Delicious!
    

Do you have a quick and easy fix that changes a recipe from ordinary to extraordinary? Please share in the comment section below. 

While I have your attention, can I tell you about the newest book in my A Family Forever Series? A REASON TO BELIEVE is a cute little fairy tale that’s chockfull of Irish Folklore. It’s available in ebook and in paperback. I hope you’ll look for it!



About the book: 

It seems like a grand idea, temporarily trading her pixie wings for a womanly form to help handsome widower Paul Roland with his baby girl. And the moment she holds the precious bairn in her arms, Fern knows true happiness for the first time.

But Fern never anticipates the dizzying emotions she feels for the man who not only needs her as a nanny, but as a woman whose passion can heal his wounded heart. Suddenly the forbidden fairy rule she gently bends because of the baby is in danger of being irrevocably broken.

Some things are meant to be…

Have a safe and happy holiday!



6 Home Remedies for Bug Bites

Help! A mosquito bit my arm. Twice! And the red bumps left behind itch like the dickens! What to do? Here are some home remedies for bug bites.

1. Baking soda – Mix a bit of baking soda with water and coat the bite. Sodium bicarbonate will relieve itching. (I have some smeared on my bites right now!)

2. Toothpaste – Yes, toothpaste! Most brands of toothpaste contain menthol which alleviates itch and swelling. Toothpaste also contains astringent ingredients that draw out fluid from beneath the skin which helps with swelling.

3. Basil – Mince up some fresh basil and rub it on the mosquito bites. Basil contains eugenol which relieves itchy skin. Don’t have fresh basil? Simmer some dried basil in water (as if you were making tea). Let the basil water cool, and then dip a cloth in the water and apply to the bites.

4. Ice – Apply ice to the bites to help relieve itching and swelling. Only apply ice for about 10 minutes at a time. And never fall asleep with ice on your skin.

5. Garlic – There are compounds in garlic that relieve itching and swelling. Place a slice of garlic and put it on the bite. This might not be the best remedy to use with children as garlic can sting.

6. Aloe – Keep a bottle of aloe vera gel in your fridge. The gel will cool and help heal red, itchy skin.

Did you know you can make your own mosquito repellent? It’s easy!

Insect Repellent

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon rubbing alcohol
2 Tablespoon water
25 drops citronella oil
25 drops eucalyptus oil
40 drops peppermint oil

Pour all ingredients into a small spray bottle and shake. Make sure you shake before each application.


What’s your best home remedy for bug bites?

A Reason To Believe is now available! #Kindle #Nook @Kobo @iBooks Google

New Release! A Family Forever, Book 3

Ready For A Real Fairy Tale?

It seems like a grand idea, temporarily trading her pixie wings for a womanly form to help handsome widower Paul Roland with his baby girl. And the moment she holds the precious bairn in her arms, Fern knows true happiness for the first time.

But Fern never anticipates the dizzying emotions she feels for the man who not only needs her as a nanny, but as a woman whose passion can heal his wounded heart. Suddenly the forbidden fairy rule she gently bends because of the baby is in danger of being irrevocably broken.

Some things are meant to be…

Find this New Release:

US Kindle        UK Kindle






Also in paperback


Many people say family is everything. There is nothing more beautiful than two people coming together for the sake of a child, finding love, and forming A Family Forever. Look for other titles in the series:



A Reason to Believe


Texas Charm by @JeanBrashear ~ Never Forever by @EricGDove

My friend and colleague, Jean Brashear, is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. The newest book in her much-loved Sweetgrass Springs series, TEXAS CHARM, is now available. She had quite an experience with this book and I invited her to here to tell you about it. Take it away, Jean.
~ ~ ~
I've had the most fun adventure! I had a crazy idea and thanks to the kindness of the very talented narrator of my Texas Heroes audiobooks, Eric Dove, it's become a reality.

My newest book, TEXAS CHARM, has a hero who's a country superstar and who has made cameo appearances in several of my books. Well, it just so happens that the very talented narrator of my Texas Heroes audiobooks, Eric Dove, is also a gifted country singer himself. He's been a songwriter in Nashville and opened for acts such as Jason Aldean, Sugarland, Little Big Town and Josh Turner.

So I had this crazy idea: wonder if Eric would consider writing a song for Walker and would he sing it in the audiobook version of the story?

TEXAS CHARM centers around Jeanette Carson, who has been a fixture as a waitress in Ruby’s CafĂ© ever since high school, and Walker Roundtree, country music’s brightest star, known by all for his laid-back charm and irresistible appeal to the opposite sex. Ever since his first visit to Sweetgrass Springs, there have been verbal fireworks between him and Jeanette as she proved to be the only woman immune to his charm.

Now their paths have crossed in the outside world, and they’re seeing each other in a new light. Fireworks of a very different sort are sparking the sky—but then Walker’s world is upended by a tragedy, and the only one who steps in to help him is the very woman who swore never to put herself at his mercy. For a few days, they have only each other to rely upon, and these two lonely hearts find refuge in each other.

But all too soon, the real world demands its due, and their refuge is no longer private. The days of dreaming, the nights of yearning and hope face the harsh light of reality, and the only question is: Whose heart will be the one to break?

To my great delight, Eric was intrigued and took on the challenge—and boy, did he deliver! I wanted the song to reflect the poignancy of two hearts from opposite worlds drawn together, knowing they cannot have a future.

The result is Never Forever, Track 6 on Eric's newest album, All Kinds of Reckless, available on iTunes, Amazon and CDbaby. When I wrote the scene in which Walker sings Never Forever to Jeanette during a concert, I got teary. I'm now every bit as moved hearing the song that accompanies it. I am deeply grateful to Eric for giving the yearning of these two hearts such a gorgeous melody, and I am tickled pink to be able to share it with readers—especially those who've waited so long for Jeanette to have her story!

Here's the YouTube video trailer for TEXAS CHARM that has a sample of Never Forever as its sound track:



To order the book, TEXAS CHARM:

US Kindle        UK Kindle





Also available in paperback    

~ ~ ~

Donna here again. Jean, thank you for sharing your unforgettable experience. I can't wait to read TEXAS CHARM, and I hope all my blog followers will check out the whole Sweetgrass Springs Series.


White Bean Spread with Pita Chips #Recipe #Foodies

Beans are cheap. And they’re an excellent source of protein. Beans are full of good, healthy things: complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Furthermore, research shows that people who eat beans live longer than those who do not. This white bean spread is delicious and filling. And there’s something about the textures—creamy spread on crisp pita—that is so satisfying. I almost always have a bowl of this in my fridge.

White Bean Spread with Pita Chips

For the spread:
1 15-ounce can cannelloni bean, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley, minced fine (after measuring)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chips:
1 package of store-bought pita rounds
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

To make the spread: Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, rind, 1/4 cup olive oil, and minced parsley into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the blade until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Add a little water if necessary (up to 3 tablespoons, adding only 1 tablespoon at a time). Store covered in refrigerator. Will keep up to 5 days.

To make the pita chips: Cut each pita round in half. Cut each half into 8 triangles. Place triangles in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and Italian seasoning, tossing to coat. Spread the pita bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 to 15 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown, turning halfway through.
~  ~  ~
Did you know that I've put out a cookbook that includes 75 delicious recipes? Did you know that you can get it for just 99¢? It's available for 

Kindle     Nook     Kobo     iBooks    Google


Print Friendly and PDF

Mountain Laurel Sale! #99cents Kindle Nook Kobo iBooks Google

It's a 99¢ Sale! Thru May 23rd Only!

My husband and I share a love of the outdoors. Early in our marriage, we enjoyed renting a cabin at Herrington Manor State Park and spent vacations there during different seasons of the year. Although cabin 18 (our favorite!) was rustic, it did have the necessary amenities—an indoor bathroom and kitchen.

Some of our favorite activities were picnicking on the edge of the lake and hiking up to the top of the mountain. One day, we happened upon an old grave site. Shafts of sunlight trickled through the high, leafy tree tops and silence permeated the air, giving the spot a truly seraphic feel. At nightfall, we would head out to the meadow, spread out a blanket and lie on our backs to take in the glorious show. The stars of the Milky Way are a stunning sight to behold; especially so, far away from the city lights.

The time I spent in the park left an indelible mark on me. It was here that the idea for MOUNTAIN LAUREL was born. Michael Walker is a rugged forest ranger (of course!) and Laurel Morgan is a young woman who, well, is doing the best she can. Here’s more about the story:

So what if Laurel Morgan hasn't had a date in years? Her dysfunctional family makes creating a private life next to impossible. But if all it will take to convince her teenage sister to turn her life around is to go on a few dates and have some fun, it’s a bet she can beat. And before she can change her mind, rugged forest ranger Michael Walker agrees to play the part of her ardent admirer.

Laurel is stunned by Michael's convincing acting abilities. Whenever her sister’s watching, Laurel finds herself wrapped in a heady embrace with a passionate kiss on the way. Her captivating cohort promises a performance that will win her the wager, but when the curtain closes, will she lose the only man she will ever love?

MOUNTAIN LAUREL is on sale for 99¢ through May 23rd. Save $3!

“…perfect, page-turning romance.” ~eBookLuver

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