Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Home Free--Ring of Fire

When I was young, living on a sheep ranch in South Dakota, we'd go to town on the weekends and eat at a cafe that had individual juke boxes at the tables. I'd always play Ring of Fire.

Even as I got older and hated country music--because Dad loved it--I would listen to this song.

It remains one of my favorites--in many different versions. This is my latest love, from the competition show The Sing Off. No instruments, nothing but voices...and oh what voices.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Let it Snow

I know many don't want to voice these words...in fact, I'm staying in today because of the white stuff...but I can't resist Picard. (It's futile you know.)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Carol of the Bells

Carol of the Bells is one of my favorites. I could easily build a playlist of just different versions. Hmm, now that's not such a bad idea. Here's a great one for a cold Thursday morning. Or any other time of the day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

What does the Farmer say? Farm Lines?

I love farmers. I love parodies. Put them together and you get these. No, I couldn't choose which one, so you get the chance to experience both.

And next time you eat--thank a farmer. Hey, it's almost Thanksgiving here in America. Add these folks to your thankful for list. You won't be having dinner without them!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cell Block, uh... Spell Block Tango

 The first has a favorite as Cap'n Hook, the second has my favorite villain. How to choose?

Either way, enjoy some Disney magic from Chicago.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Plus One Report

I planned to write this blog yesterday, but I was distracted by a breadstick. It just goes to show me, that a distraction doesn't have to be shiny!

So, on with a few comments on the HyVee Employee Recognition banquet.

I learned some interesting facts about the company (waving to the social media watchers!) and enjoyed the CEO's talk. A room with nearly 800 people can raise a lot of energy. And this was only one of many recognition events. HyVee is a big company.

Jennifer--with her 5 year flowers
The sister tends to be a little shy, and I know the recognition part of the evening was a bit of a trial. She stood in a LONG line waiting her turn to cross the stage, and get her picture taken with the CEO shaking her hand. While being shown on two huge screens. I complement the organizers for, well, their organization. Getting that many people organized and across the stage in a relatively short amount of time was pretty impressive.

My hands hurt from clapping for each and every one of those recognized. In a world where people tend to float from one job to another (been there, done that), I'm impressed with the number of folks who've worked for HyVee for 20, 30, 40, 45 years!

yum, blurry lettuce
Of course I critiqued the meal. Hey, I'm a cook. It's what I do.
The salad was crispy and delightful--a lettuce wedge with bacon and bleu cheese crumbles, although the accompanying bleu cheese dressing made it a bit heavy.

For the main dish there was the requisite chicken breast with a fresh salsa. The chicken was well cooked and juicy--kudos. Three medallions of beef were okay. I do take issue with the potatoes. Mashing purple potatoes makes a grayish, gooey mass. They tasted okay, but...

Three wilty, overcooked asparagus dressed up the plate.

Dessert--chocolate cake. Well, half of one. With the other half a mass of whipped cream that tasted like a pre-made product with just a bit more vanilla and sugar. There was a tiny bit of sauce, I suppose vanilla, but I couldn't really tell. And a half strawberry for garnish. Now, if it were me, I would have put the strawberry so the pretty side shows, rather than the cut side.

    All in all, it was a delightful evening that I enjoyed sharing with my sister. Thank you to HyVee for the grand event, and especially for hiring a bus so I didn't have to drive! It's the small things...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

All It Takes Is A Little Dough

To make a common breadstick into something... else.
Or is it only in my mind?

And no, I didn't serve this one at lunch today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Plus One

This evening the sister is one of many being recognized by HyVee for years of service. The fun will take place in another city, in a huge venue with a grand number of guests. I'm her plus one and delighted to be there to support her.

Besides, we'll be riding a bus with other employees. I don't have to drive!
There will be a meal that I don't have to cook or clean up after. Of course, out of professional interest, I will critique said meal and service. No matter where I go...

We need a relaxing evening and some sister time. So being the plus one is a good thing. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

National School Lunch Week 2014

At my DDJ (Delightful Day Job) it's National School Lunch Week. We're joining in with schools across the nation in celebration of healthy and tasty school lunches. This year's theme is, as shown in the picture, School Lunch Across the USA. After dividing the nation into five regions, I've planned lunches that feature foods and dishes from each area. Hey it worked out great--five regions, five days, five fun meals. (If you're interested in the menu, you can hop over to the lunch lady blog and see what's for lunch each day.)

National School Lunch Week facts--

Created in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, NSLW is:

**A celebratory week of events and activities promoting the benefits of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
**The NSLP began in 1946 and is the largest of the federal child nutrition programs.
**In 180 school days, 5.2 billion school lunches are served in 99,000 schools— that is approximately 32 million healthy
meals per day!
**95% of U.S. elementary and secondary school students are enrolled in schools that participate in the NSLP.

The wild and colorful board in my lunchroom.

So, even though the government is shut down--and yes, that does affect school lunch programs--we're havin' some great food this week and celebration the diversity of our nation.

But tell me...what was your favorite lunch when you were in school? (Chili and cinnamon rolls is still a favorite here!)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The WIld Life

I had to go to my hometown today to pick up a chair my aunt and uncle have been storing for me. They're restoring a Craftsman Foursquare house and finally took down the windows and door enclosing the wide front porch. Gone is the storage space for a number of items. 

But that's not what I wanted to post in this blog today.

As the brother and I were leaving town, we drove through part of Wilderness Park. An animal crossed the road in front of us.

We both leaned toward his window and shouted, "What does the fox say?"

There was no answer.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Every Book...

It was a busy, busy day, so all I have for you today is a picture. But, it kinda says it all.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Taco Chips? Chicken? Cheese?

Sometimes, being a lunch lady is a thankless job. Especially when trying a new recipe. I suppose some of the kids might think I'm mean because I try to make a casserole once a week--partially because casseroles are an oddity to many kids. And because, although I'm sure they'd like it, I can't serve chicken nuggets every day.

Yesterday I made one of those new casseroles. My projected count was low--as usual for a casserole day. However, way too many of my young lunchers chose the alternative main dish (a chef salad or the ever too popular peanut butter sandwich).  And many of those who had casserole on their trays, wouldn't even try a bite. Not one bite!

However... some brave little souls did take a bite. Then came back and told me...
"If I could get seconds, I'd have thirds." 
"I really liked your casserole."
"The casserole is great" (with a thumbs up)

Those are the moments that warm a lunch lady's heart.

The casserole the kids were leery of was, however, a hit with the teachers! And many have asked for the recipe, so here it is... (returned to an at home size.)

Taco Chip, Chicken and Cheese Casserole

 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 medium size bag of taco chips, any flavor, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread the bottom of the pan with half of the chips. Reserve one cup of cheese. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour this mixture over the chips. Top with the remaining cheese and chips. 

Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly.

*use a rotisserie chicken to make this even easier
*for the casserole at school I used a cheddar/jack mix of cheese 
*depending on how salty your chips or seasoning on the chicken are, cut back on the salt to taste
*if you like cumin, just a bit in the chicken mixture would be tasty

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Music For Thursday...I'm So Sorry...

If you haven't heard The Fox, enjoy.
And I dare you to keep it out of your head.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hero's Journey Explained by Glove and Boots

One of the ways an author plots and plans what happens to a character and how that character reacts is through The Hero's Journey. According to Joseph Campbell, (The Hero With A Thousand Faces) the myths and legends from around the world at many different times in history all share common stages and fundamental structure. The Hero's Journey.

There's actually 17 steps in this journey, but not every hero takes all of them. Some tales only contain a few elements. It simply depends on what the character needs to learn and discover--in their own heart and head. For authors, The Writer's Journey by Chris Vogler, discusses this mythic structure for writers.

It's fun and educational to pick out the different stages in the hero's journey in movies and books. But first, you have to know what to look for. Glove and Boots have a quick and delightful explanation.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Tasty Teaser

Instead of teasing you with a bit of fiction today, I thought I'd introduce you to a recipe book created by my local writers group--Romance Authors of the Heartland.

Fork and Pen
 Authors--and their families--have to eat!

Join Romance Authors of the Heartland for a culinary journey from the quick and simple (perfect for those days when time is at a premium), to more involved dishes sure to wow your family and guests.

And celebrations? No Worries! There's plenty of sweets and libations in these pages to satisfy the most discerning of reader.

Our recipes include such delectable delights as Goat Cheese Mousse, Awesome Apple Salad, Whatever Swims By Chowda', The Best Coffee Cake Ever, Chicken Couscous, Sweet Potato Mash, Hummingbird Cake, and of course Apple Cider Sangria. We even have a couple of recipes for your canine friends!

I'll even share a recipe with you--although this one isn't in the book, but it is one of my favorites.

Cream Cheese Bacon Crescents

1 8 oz tub Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
3 Slices bacon--cooked and crumbled
2 tubes refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix cream cheese and bacon in a small bowl until well blended

Separate each tube of dough into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle in half lengthwise. Spread each triangle with 1 generous teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture. Roll up starting at the shortest edge of the triangle and roll toward the point. Place point side down on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 16 servings--2 rolls each.

Interested in Fork & Pen? Here's the links for purchase.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Phone and the Milk Cooler

Today when restocking the milk cooler...

I discovered something more than cartons of milk and empty milk crates. 

Now, often I'll find bits of toys or games that get stashed in the cooler. (I guess that's one way to keep someone else from playing with them.) From time to time, a pen or sheet of paper slips inside when the top is opened. 

But I've never found a phone.

Options considered... The phone was hiding from it's owner for one reason or another--probably instigated by a 'friend'.

The milk delivery person left it there.

The milk was trying to phone home.

Uh... that was about as far as I got.

Then the phone rang during lunch. Since I was serving, one of the teachers answered. And the mystery was solved.

While one of the paras was getting milk for the kindergarten snack, her phone slipped from her pocket. Unfortunately, she'd already run home to see if it was there. It wasn't. 

It was simply chillin'.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Ministry of Silly Walks

I know how the Ministry of Silly Walks came about.
Someone had to be watching Kindergarten and First graders 'walk' to their lines after leaving their lunch trays in the dishroom.

There's a variety of different side-steps, hops and skips, jumps and slides. Frontwards, backwards and to the side. Not to mention the swirls and twirls. At times, there's even musical accompaniment. 

In all honesty, I've never seen so many different ways of getting from one place to another. It's a great way to end the lunch period with a smile. As long as they don't get caught and told to go back and walk correctly.

I learn so much from the kids at school.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh, That Song In My Head

You know how you often start the day with a song in your head? Usually a stupid song. One you just can't shake. And way too frequently, it's not even the whole song. Just a line or two. Over and over...and over...

One night in Bangkok, makes a hard man humble...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Living In Faith, Not Fear

Today I'm sharing a post by Sue Thornton who has some thoughts on making the best of this time of concern for Americans. Her eloquent words strike deep.

"We all live in a state of fear at some point. As I have caught bits and pieces of the news regarding the government shutdown and listening to people talk, I can feel the vibration of fear that is resonating throughout the community. I just got an email on emergency crisis preparedness. Nothing like feeding people’s fears. I don’t mind being prepared in case of an emergency, but let’s not bring one on by concentrating on and building the fear.... To read more, go here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Platte River in September

I grew up in central Nebraska and it seems like I spent a lot of time on the highway between Hastings and Grand Island. So I've seen the Platte River a lot. I've waded in the meandering channels, and canoed the faster spring waters. There are certain places along the highway where the water table is just below the surface, so any rain will grow ponds.

The recent rain and flooding in Colorado sent high waters to Nebraska as well. Unlike those in the paths of the raging Colorado rivers, folks here had time to prepare. And watch the river.

After the food show I attended in Grand Island last weekend, my brother and I stopped along the interstate for lunch, right along one of the channels that usually has some water in it this time of year.
I had only a little power left in my phone, but got a few pictures of the rushing water. It doesn't show well in these photos, but the water was dirty, reddish brown--still carrying soil and things I'd rather not mention downstream.
My first sight of the river when I stepped from the car. Way above the bank!
There's a highway bridge to the left of this picture...the water was only about
four feet below the bottom of the bridge.

This branch of the Platte is much wider than usual!

The rapid current...waves and white water on the Platte?

There was a log causing the disruption in the water.
A worker at the restaurant said that the log
 used to be a fair distance upstream.
I wonder where it will end up.

Behind the hotel at this interchange.
If there's any rain or flooding, they get a pond.
Now...it's a lake!

By the on ramp. The flooding went on for a couple of miles, and I have no idea how far south it continued since there's a couple of river channels. See that line of little high spots that look like little islands with trees? There were cattle trappedon those little islands. As we passed, each one looked no bigger than perhaps the lot your house is built on.
Poor cattle...

Of course, my thoughts and prayers continue for those affected by the floods.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Tuesday Teaser

Uh oh. Tuesday's winding down and I haven't done my challenge blog yet. So how about an excerpt from the book that started my journey.
By Keltic Design

She turned around, lifting her eyes to his. There was a moment of strained silence between them before she covered her mouth with her hand, squinted at him and giggled.

Jaye took a swift step back, his arms dropping to his sides with a soft slap. Consternation drew his brows together. “Look, Allyn. I meant what I said. I don’t think this is a laughing matter. I...”

Apology swept before her as Allyn closed the distance between them. “Your hair is sticking out all over your head. What have you been doing?” She giggled again and the sound filled a place within Jaye he didn’t realize was empty, didn’t even know was there. She smoothed the hair on the top of his head and let her hand slide softly down behind his ear and onto his shoulder.

Jaye couldn’t resist the invitation lurking in the depths of her eyes any more than he could deny the desire rising below his waist. “My hair is not important,” he growled and pulled her against him. Her startled gasp was a feather light touch against his cheek. Her fingers traced their way back through his hair to disturb the waves she had just smoothed.

His hand at her waist drew her closer. The other cradled the back of her head, where Jaye curled his fingers into the silk of her hair. He tilted her head back gently to look again into her remarkable eyes. The invitations within their violet depths become the willing acceptance of her desire, and her eyes burned with blue flame.

After Jaye lowered his eyes to her slightly parted lips, his mouth was drawn to hers for the softest of touches. She quivered beneath the caress.
A crescent of lashes lay against the soft curves of her cheeks and her lips parted to whisper his name. He had been wrong. The chains binding him were not silver. Instead they were forged of sparkling blue flame.

Savoring the feel of her in his arms, Jaye teased her lips with his tongue and nipped at the fullness with gentle teeth. He groaned when her small hand trailed heat to the side of his face. He sought to slow the desire, but when the heated silk of her tongue met his, uncontrollable wildfires raged though him. Like an arsonist, he craved fire and stoked the flames with the deft dance of his tongue, until the heat was too much and he tore himself away, gasping for breath.

Allyn’s eyes popped open. Her fingers flexed, trying to ease Jaye’s mouth back to hers. Their ragged breathing was harsh in the quiet room and his chest rose and fell against her sensitive nipples. When she leaned into his arms, he eased away.

Startled, she took a shaky step back. Jaye’s eyes were closed, his face tight as he fought for control. But control was the last thing Allyn wanted. “Jaye?”

He rocked back on his heels and took her hands in his when they slid from his shoulders to his chest. Holding her fingers over his heart, he kept his eyes tightly closed. Allyn tipped her head to one side and looked past him to the wall where her awards hung. Glaring in the spotlight of her fear was the certificate he had asked about earlier. The reason he knew how much older she was. Panicked, she struggled to move away.

“Don’t.” Allyn froze at the soft word. Jaye’s hands gripped hers more tightly. Easing closer, she tried to read the emotions behind his closed eyelids. It was minutes, hours, or heartbeats later when Jaye opened his eyes and smiled tentatively, looking so like a hopeful little boy she couldn’t restrain a smile in return.

The moon’s reflection glistened in his eyes when Jaye turned his face to the window. She knew the decision had been made.

Expecting nothing more than good-bye, she held her breath. She was prepared. Although she tried again to slip her hands from his, he held them firmly for a moment before he let them go. Her palms flattened against his chest just over his racing heart and tried to imprint the feel of him into her memory, storing it away before he left her.

His voice remained rough and husky even after Jaye cleared his throat. “If we were in a movie this would be where I carry you off to the bedroom.”

Allyn didn’t understand; she couldn’t have heard him correctly. She must have given him a strange look for he stepped back, disappointment filling his face and dulling his eyes. Allyn took a deep breath and an even bigger chance. “That would be foolish.”

Despondent, the faint hope still lighting his face faded and his shoulders slumped. Allyn thought her heart would break. Stepping close to lay one hand on his shoulder, she leaned into him, pressing her breasts against his arm. The soft stubble on his cheek tickled her lips as she brought them close to his ear. “I can walk.”

Allyn took Jaye’s hand and led him from her workroom. Changing expressions flew across his face while she directed him through the front parlor.

First, he was bewildered, as if having difficulty putting the meaning to her whispered words. Then, astonishment dawned in his eyes, pulling his somber lips into a grin. By the time they reached the top of her narrow staircase, desire had once again darkened his eyes to midnight black.

Allyn led him to her bedroom door and paused. Was this really what he wanted or was she reading her own desires into his actions? How could she consider this? How much pain was she setting herself up for?

Placing his hands on her shoulders, Jaye moved her gently, bringing her back into his embrace. By smoothing his hands up and down her arms, he created tremors that threatened to fully collapse her already watery knees. Kisses were pressed into her hair. She felt him inhale deeply then exhale with a sigh, his breath stirring her hair softly.

“Your hair smells like...” Jaye nuzzled her hair. “It’s indescribable, like nothing I’ve smelled before, yet so very familiar.”

Allyn canted her head to one side. Jaye’s lips traveled from her hair to her neck. She could barely speak. “It’s a rinse made from flowers and herbs. Your mo...a friend blends it just for me.”

The reply was muffled against her neck. “It’s perfect.” His hands slid to her waist and eased their way slowly to her ribcage. She couldn’t catch her breath, every muscle tensed, waiting. Jaye’s fingers traced the underside of her breasts and tickled their way to the sensitive tips. Arching her back pushed her pebbled nipples into his palms. Her head fell back against his shoulder; her eyes closed.

Jaye kissed the corner of her mouth. His lips rested against her cheek while his palms drew tiny circles of fire from her nipples. She felt him smile.

Mischief warred with desire in eyes dark as a stormy night sky when he turned her to face him. The smile grew sultry and he waggled his eyebrows. “Is this where I sweep you off your feet?”

Interested in more? You can read the whole of Chapter One here. Buy links are there as well.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Do Mondays Always Have To Be Monday?

Mondays are okay. I really don't mind them. But do they have to be stereotypical?

Today's list: Since I'm the lunch lady at a church school, there's usually little bits and pieces of the weekend I need to tidy up before I can start my work. No difference there today. My helper is sick (Get Well Soon!!!!) so I have her duties to remember to get done. It's getting cooler out, so the mice are moving in...disposal time for a nice, fat pair. The little drip tray from the dispenser I use for ice water at lunch has wandered off. That's the weird one.

The kicker for today---my delivery went to a different school. In a different CITY! Good thing I wasn't planning on any of that for lunch today. Or tomorrow. 

And it's only the middle of the morning! 

How's your Monday?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

While I'm at a Food Show... Blue Man Group and Kodo

While looking for a video for you for today, I discovered this! The Blue Man Group and Kodo. Together.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Experience In Blue

Today I had the pleasure to see the Blue Man Group.
This was the second time I've seen these remarkable performers and had the chance to experience their unique blend of music, comedy and wild multi-media fun. This time there were more children in the audience--their laughter was contagious. 

I loved the music the best--who knew you could make such sounds with plumbing pipes. But like they said, the world is interconnected through our plumbing. And I'm glad the building was sturdy. The deep base vibrations even made the water in my bottle vibrate. Nice.

At one point, the Blue Men were playing Lady Gaga. One by one they brought out Gaga headgear. Except... they are in Nebraska. So the last man brought out a cornhead. If you're from Nebraska, you can imagine the cheers. If you're not from Nebraska... this is a cornhead.

During the bows at the end, the group brought out their musicians and the backstage crew. That made me happy. I will always add my appreciation for those behind the scenes--who are not often remembered. Thank you to the Blue Man Group--and their supporting players.

Friday, September 27, 2013

SIblings Understand More Than We Think

There are certain grammatical and spelling errors that make my teeth hurt. Unfortunately, too many of these are oh, so common. I am FAR from a grammar expert and my spelling is...fair. I can usually get a series of letters close enough that spell check will offer me the word I wanted. But not always.

Yesterday's painful word was clinched. Instead of clenched. My fingers tremble simply typing those words. My mumbles turned into more than mumbles---but I certainly didn't go on a tirade. Still...

My sister looked over at me and said...

...then gave me a smart ass grin.

She knew. And we had a good laugh.

But... she didn't offer me a warm beverage.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Day to Celebrate Time.

On this day in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show premiered. I truly appreciate a man in makeup. Maybe this movie started that... obsession.
Of course, when you're talking about time...

But that's not the only timey wimey bit for today. The BBC announced on this date 10 years ago that Doctor Who would be returning, bringing the big blue box back to us.

The Doctor's been traveling in and out of our time for 50 years now! A 'new' Doctor regenerates later this year to hold the key to the TARDIS...and our hearts.

So how will you celebrate time with me today? Just remember to use it wisely!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Face Palm, Head Desk, Refrigerator, Sheldon

It's one of those days. You know, the ones where you should have stayed in bed? Or perhaps I should blame the computer breakdown for crashing over to the rest of life.

Did you know it's really difficult to work on a manuscript when the word option on the old computer is even older? It's a challenge to work with formatting when...well, let's just say sometimes Word has a mind of its own. Or doesn't recognize a file location. Arrgh. Face palm.

And doesn't it make you just a tad bit frustrated to have lovely, beautiful looking fresh peaches planned for lunch, then when you start cutting them for service, they're all internally bruised, grainy and dry? Or when you don't catch that perfect moment when the burrito is heated perfectly and when all the meaty, cheesy goodness bursts forth? Or when the milk delivery guy, who always fills the service line cooler--doesn't? Head desk.

What does the refrigerator have to do with all this? Ah...while digging for my yogurt this morning, wondering why my household really has three--THREE--open containers of sour cream, I conked the back of my head on the freezer door.

Something tells me I should have known.

But, in happier news--on this date in 2007, The Big Bang Theory premiered.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Challenge of a Challenge

September 23. Besides being just a day in September, it also the day that marks only 100 days left in the year. So, it's time for a challenge or two--because I do love a 100 day challenge.

I've offered up the first challenge to my local writers group, Romance Authors of the Heartland. That challenge is to write 100 words a day for these last 100 days of 2013. Even if not a single word more is written, that's 10,000 words. A short story. A healthy portion of a novel. Easy peasy. The thing is... in order to do any challenge, no matter how small, one needs to be committed. Sometimes that's not the easiest challenge after all.

I have committed myself to these 100 daily words.

And, I'm also challenging myself to blog here every day. Some days you might find some thoughts that actually come from MY brain. Other days I'll share a favorite song or parody. Or some other bit of this and that. You never know what may interest me from day to day.

The challenge I face right now--the home computer crashed. I did have warning, but still... Later today I'll switch out the damaged 'puter with an older one that's been sitting around the house waiting to be donated. Hopefully it will work fine after a long rest and cover the gap until other new and exciting arrangements are made. It's a Monday, as typical as any Monday can be. Discovered water all over the floor at work. Not a joy at 6:30 in the morning. But hey, I'm handy and turned off the water to that device. It just means I don't have any hot water in my prep sink. We won't even go into the number of out of stock items in my delivery.

I'm smilin' in the face of these minor challenges. Really, I am. To help us all smile, here's my current favorite parody!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer of Three Success!

 At the end of the last school year I made a goal for my summer break--to re-release three books in three months. Although I may have to stretch those months just a bit since the first of the three appeared at the usual e-book sellers the very end of May, the third book has hit the cyber stands!

A Faire Keltic Renaissance completes the story cycle of the Double Keltic Triad bringing lots of happy endings to many worlds. I do love a happy ending, don't you?

So the series has ended. And after six books and so many years with the Zeroun clan, it's rather sad. But the family, and their tales do go on. While the timing of my second summer release, Prince of Dark Ness, slips between the fifth and sixth books of the Triad, that story continues into the next Keltic series...Children of the Triad.  Book one will be available late September or early October, 2013. Whew. That's almost four in four! Can she do it?

Now that I've confused you with books and series and multiverses--here's this month's release.
A Fair Keltic Renaissance 

It ain't easy being fey and the subject of prophecy.

When her uncle disappears into the world between worlds, Lucidea discovers it ain't easy being fey. Especially when he had no idea her father wasn't human. Now, as the half Alfar-Sindhu heir, she's forced to assume the leadership of a parallel, underwater world.

Then she meets Jaysson Zeroun...

...who has Otherworldly issues of his own. Once again evil plagues his clan and protecting a newborn child takes priority over personal dreams. When Lucidea offers a solution, the family accepts and Jayse willingly accompanies them to Scotland. He just doesn't know how Lucidea will react to the news he's a quarter Faerie.

Three worlds are in danger. Ancient prophecy might defeat the separate evils, but will it also bring them love?

Coming soon to itunes!

To learn more about the Double Keltic Triad simply click the tab above!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Visiting here and there

A great day to everyone! Today, besides being at work attempting--with little success--to get my kitchen in order, I've also gone visting.

Photo credit: kolobsek from morguefile.com

I'm still spending time at the TRS End of Summer Bash--click on the banner to the right. You can find my post(s) by clicking *lizzie starr from the list on their left. 


I'm at Authors By Moonlight  talking a bit about cooking and writing.

Come visiting with me!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

End of Summer Bash!

The Romance Studio is hosting a party this week with nearly 150 authors! Click on the banner to the right and you'll be transported right to the party! You'll be able to check out the list of authors and click on them to find posts by your favorites. But don't stop there!  Read the posts, watch the trailers, enjoy the excerpts. And register for a ton of prizes, including an Amazon gift card! Those are the best! I'm giving away handmade jewelry.

And... if you follow this blog (new or old friends are all welcome!) and leave me a comment by Saturday August 17th, I'll toss your name into the random generating hat and do a draw for even more fun, summertime jewelry.
Not this exactly--but like this.

Enjoy the End of Summer Bash and find lots of great books!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Geek Girls--a Musical Tribute!

When I was younger, I didn't consider myself a geek (or whatever term was popular at the time). I've always simply liked what I like.

Today, I proudly claim the geek in me. To celebrate my love, and nearly total lack of understanding of String Theory, here are some wonderful women of all ages who stand up and proudly say they like what they like. We're all a little geeky about some aspect of our lives, whether it's watching Doctor Who, attending every performance of  A Midsummer Night's Dream ever imagined, or collecting tea pots.

Music by the Doubleclicks

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weird Al Sang to Me!

I had the most fun at the Weird Al concert in Omaha last night.

 And, when he came out into the audience, he sang to me. One of many, of course, but oh so much fun.

There was a young girl, grade school age, in front of us and he sang to her as well. That's gonna be a perfect memory for her night out with her dad!

My only regret is that there was a camera following him, which I didn't notice, so I didn't see myself on the big screen. Oh, wait. I don't really regret that.

Here's a video of our song from an earlier Al concert...my lines--your eyes are bluer than the water in my toilet.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Choosing the Correct Olive Oil

A cooking lesson instead of music for you this Wednesday. I know I'll watch this many times to continue...uh...learning about olive oil!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday fun...The Wolverine Sings!

I dare you not to grin at this wonderful musical compilation from Glove and Boots.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

More Links for Prince Of Dark Ness

As promised, here are more links for Prince of Dark Ness. Not that you can't find them on my website.  Just sayin'. There's also the first chapter for your enjoyment. 
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer of Three--Prince of Dark Ness

It's July, and here's the second book of my summer of three. Prince of Dark Ness is fantasy romance at its coolest--perfect for summer reading. Why is it cool? Because Morghan's palace is deep beneath the waters of a Scottish loch.

Okay, so he battles a fire elemental. That makes the book hot as well. 

This is the first book from the Keltic Multiverse, a collection of histories and worlds that touch upon the people and places in the tales of the Double Keltic Triad. This book fits into the Keltic timeline between book five, Keltic Dreams and book six, A Faire Keltic Renaissance. Prince of Dark Ness is a stand alone story that introduces characters important to the future of the Faerie Otherworld, however Prince of Dark Ness isn’t necessary to understand the flow of the tales.

Prince of Dark Ness is a romance, yet doesn’t have a traditional romance novel ending. This tale continues in A Faire Keltic Renaissance (August 2013) and in the first book of the Children of the Triad, Blue Keltic Moon. (September 2013)

An ill-prepared Alfar-Sindhu prince and the love he waited ages to find, fight to protect two worlds from the threat of an ancient fire elemental.

Torn between duty and love, Morghan stand alone to protect two worlds from and ancient fire elemental bent on escaping from the world between worlds, He’s loved Coralie long upon long, yet never acted on his desire.

Raised in the royal household, Coralie has remained silently at Morghan’s side through long human years. She’s hidden her true feeling for him, even from herself.

A forensic artist from America, Lucidea Galvagin travels to Scotland to determine the identity of a skull found on Morghan’s land. What she discovers will change her life and the fate of two worlds.
If Morghan chooses family and Coralie over battle, is it only his worlds that will be lost, Or will his choices doom them all?

Prince of Dark Ness is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 
As links at Kobo, iTunes and All Romance eBooks go live, of course I'll post them. 

No matter what you choose to read this summer--Enjoy!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bats for the Brother

Bats 'singing' the 1960's Batman theme. Very cool.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Gobsmacked and Honored

Last weekend All Romance eBooks chose one of my books as a staff pick.

A staff pick!

Yes, I was surprised. Then humbled and honored. Thank you ARe for highlighting
The Double Keltic Triad Collection, Books 1-3

The Double Keltic Triad Collection
Books One - Three
In the fey Otherworld, a half-faerie child is born. To protect him from evil and a crusade to protect the purity of the faerie race, he is abandoned in the human world, never to know of his magical heritage.
Now the boy is a man rooted in reality, and fantasy is only something from an undisciplined imagination.

By Keltic Design tells the story of this man, Jaye, and how he discovers his heritage... and love with Allyn.

Fires of a Keltic Moon is the tale of Jay and Allyn’s daughter, Lara, whose special magical talent allows her to create portals to other times. But evil travels the past and the Scottish Highlands, creating blocks to Lara and Iain’s love.

The fairy wee folk are but myth and legend, even to the faerie. In Keltic Flight, the fairy Korin falls in love with Jaye’s sister, Nanceen, and is forced to bargain with an evil king to woo her. To fulfill the conditions, he risks discovery, and his life.

By Keltic Design
Allyn Keely, Celtic artist and friend of Faerie, finally finds a man she can love. But she’s older than he is and faces the insurmountable task of helping him realize his destiny in the Otherworld.

Successful businessman, Jaye Zeroun prides himself on his realistic, but lonely, view of life. Until Allyn knots her way around his heart and fills his life with a fantasy he refuses to believe. Then danger threatens their love, forcing him to either accept a deadly battle or lose the very things he never included in his life, a family and a love beyond his wildest imagining.

Fires of a Keltic Moon
Lara Zeroun needs something in her life, so she opens a portal in time and travels to the ancient Highlands. But, how can she become involved with a dark, mysterious man who belongs to another time?
Due to the matriarchal line of inheritance, Iain is no longer able to lay claim to his father's lands. He's prepared to leave--until a golden-haired woman visits the manor on the arm of a wandering storyteller. But, with no land or possessions, Iain dares not succumb to the temptation of Lara.
Danger lurks in Iain's time and becomes a threat to Lara's present. Will Lara and Iain be able to defeat the evil and make their ways through time--finding the love they both desire?

Keltic Flight
Korin Goodfellow loves the Gentry maid, Nanceen. In order to woo her, Korin bargains with his evil king, who sets seemingly impossible tasks. The first? She must believe in him. 
But the folk of Faerie, the Gentry, don't believe in the odd assortment of beings who make up the wee folk. And definitely not in fairies. 

Nanceen doesn't know what she believes. Until Korin calls to her, then makes his way into her world, becoming a wingless man she can see, touch, believe in. 
But will the rat king's conditions drive a wedge between them, or force Korin to confrontation, to battle, into risking his life for love?

Of course I need to give you the buy link to All Romance eBooks, so click HERE!

Monday, June 10, 2013

First of the Summer of Three--Keltic Dreams

I've christened this summer as *lizzie starr's Summer of Three. That means a ton of work for me, but more importantly, it means three new books for my readers to enjoy.

Three books?

Yep, one each month. Together we'll discover the end of the tales of the Double Keltic Triad. Between the releases of books five and six is a story from the Keltic Multiverse. Turns out there's many, many more parallel worlds yet to discover that interact with the Faerie Otherworld and our own human world.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

First, and now available is the fifth tale of The Double Keltic Triad, Keltic Dreams.

A spiritual quest throws Bard, naked and alone, from his world to the desert Sahara. Each grueling step through the shifting sands only adds to his questions and confusion. What did the seven Guardians mean for him to learn in this strange place? Will he discover a way home?

Burying her emotions, Kaelea retreats into the research of fey texts, searching for a clue--for anything, to protect her clan from an ever-present evil. The appearance of a stranger at the oasis is an unwelcome interruption. Her instant fascination with the man is even more distracting.

Hotter than the desert sun, attraction blazes between Bard and Kaelea, but personal concerns and that ancient evil drive a wedge between them. Alone, and together, they discover answers, and their soulfire. But will it be enough to keep Bard in Kaelea’s worlds, and at her side?

Short Excerpt

He wasn’t ready to die.

The struggle to move one leg in preparation to rise was nearly more than his abused body could tolerate. He rested his crossed arms on the top of his thigh and panted, the breath wheezing from his lungs. He would stand. Bard lifted his head.

The painful widening of his eyes made him blink and glance away from the sight before him. When he looked again, tears blurred his vision until he blinked the dampness away. There had been nothing there before—had there? Where once had been nothing but sand, and sand upon more sand, now hovered a spot of lush green. Where once he had heard nothing but the wind scraping sand from the dunes, was now the faint tinkling of water upon stone. Where once there was despair, he found a rising hope.

If the vision were only that—a vision—a trick of his exhausted mind... Bard didn’t care. If it was cool, if there was shade to shield him from the sun, if there was water...

A word of praise burst from his lips, breaking open a deep, dry crack and releasing a trickle of warm blood. Brows drawn close over his eyes, Bard licked the salty blood, winced at the stinging pain of his tender lip, and rose awkwardly to stand. He stared at the grove of trees.

He took a step. Then another. Until he ran mindlessly. Fully expecting the trees to fade from sight as he neared them, he could not tear his eyes from the splotch of green and stumbled over the smooth sand. Flailing his arms, Bard regained his balance, paused, then ran again. The trees were still there. His heart sang with the joy of discovery, of hope. The trees were still there.

Beneath his feet the sand gave way to more solid ground. The softness of patches of grass tickled between his toes, the bruised blades giving rise to a fresh, green scent. Bard smiled and slowed, listening, following the crystal sounds of water bubbling over rock.

His soul surged with the promise of renewal. Soon his body would experience the renewal as well. First, he would drink. Then, if there was enough water to allow it, he would cover himself with moisture. Then, he would drink once more.

The siren’s call drew him closer and he silently thanked the Guardians before asking forgiveness for his doubt. He inhaled deeply. Damp air caressed his nostrils and the lush scents provided him the Guardians’ response. He would not doubt again.

Rising over the sounds of the water came a new sound. Bard frowned. Singing? He stepped from under the trees onto a grassy knoll beside a wide, clear pool. The water called to him, urging him recklessly forward, but the bare back and flowing dark hair of the woman singing in the center of the pool froze him in place.
~ * ~
To read the first chapter go here

coming in July: