A Duck Swimming on a Pond

1333501725fkw4nT I haven’t forgotten you, I promise! Life has sure been busy over the last few weeks so it’s looked like nothing is happening, but I have been a busy little bee behind the scenes (geez… a bit having on the animal imagery on this post).

ANYWAY, while the surface has been calm, I have been changing things around or travelling all over the countryside.  Allow me to elaborate.

As my twitter followers are aware, I’m currently staying in the parental home.  This has been something of a shock to the system, since I haven’t lived at home in at least five years! I’m sharing my single (that’s a twin for the American readers) with Ella the huge-mungous labrador and Saul the elderly chihuahua. Sleep has not been my friend.

Added to that, my gorgeous husband had to go back to NSW to work for a few weeks.  Now, I have only just gotten used to him not being in bed with me (he works night shifts 1 week out of 4) and the last few weeks has seen him not even in the same state! We haven’t spent a night apart (baring my hospital visits) in over 10 years. He’s my best mate and its been very weird.  Luckily, only 5 more sleeps untill I get to see him – HUZZAH!

So why am I putting myself through this torture? My old boss gave me a call in December to see if I could fill in for one of my old colleagues while she went on vacation. A trip to see friends and family, travel expenses paid and earn money? Of course I said yes. I just wasn’t quiet ready for going back to work full-time.  I don’t remember it being this hard.

On the blogging front, I have jumped in the deep end and get myself self-hosted.  This is a HUGE learning curve and I have already managed to break the site once and not be able to log in to fix the thing twice.  This could get interesting, folks.  But I am determined to give it a proper go. After all, I’ve spent the money now and it means I can give you a better experience. I’m very excited to be able to give you pretty graphics and a nicer site to navigate through.  Lets hope I can deliver.

So, I have another week and a half of work than its full-time on the blogging thing.  I will do this if it kills me.  I hope it doesn’t kill me.

Until next time, a big love and a big squeeze from the Musing Bookworm.

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Guest Post – RUTHIE KNOX

I’m very pleased to bring you a guest post from Ruthie Knox, author of  such tales as Ride with Me,  How to Misbehave and About Last Night. I’m very excited to have her on my blog, talking to all of you.

Now, let me hand you over Ruthie.

                                                                                                                                                    

ruthie knoxHello, bookworms!

I’m here today to talk about Along Came Trouble, my latest novel (and longest so far). Out next week from Loveswept (Random House), it’s the second story in my Camelot series.

 Along Came Trouble is what you might call a bodyguard book, but I think of it as a story with hidden seriousness. To my mind, this novel is really about what happens when a woman meets the right man at the wrong time and has to decide how much of herself to give him when she doesn’t feel like she’s got any self to spare. And most of all it’s about how hard it is to find a balance between dependence, independence, and interdependence—and how love can lift our burdens and help us become better versions of ourselves, if we are brave enough to let it.

In this little snippet, the heroine, a divorced single mother named Ellen, is talking to her brother, Jamie, about the sorry state of their respective love lives. Carly is Ellen’s neighbor—the woman Jamie recently waltzed into town, wooed, and then broke up with. Because Jamie is a pop star, the whole episode has created complications in the form of paparazzi descending on the normally quiet college town of Camelot, Ohio. Caleb, the hero of the novel, is a security guard hired by Jamie. Right before this scene, Ellen met him. Then she fired him.

“You know who really seemed to like you?” she asked. “Carly. Maybe you ought to give her a call.”

Jamie’s sunny expression dimmed. “Fair warning, if you’re going to make me talk about Carly again, we’ll be talking about your love life, too.”

“I don’t have a love life.”

“Exactly.”

Ellen ignored the jab, as well as the way the words love life had catapulted Caleb Clark’s face into her brain again. That smirk. Those happy brown eyes. “See, the key difference between your love life and mine is that you’re making a big mistake, which makes yours worth discussing—”

“There’s nothing new to discuss.”

“—whereas I’ve mastered the art of not making mistakes.”

“You haven’t mastered anything. You’re just refusing to play the game at all.”

“Who’s refusing? It’s not as if men are lining up to worship me.” She stacked a neat pile of tiny T-shirts in the basket and moved on to the towels.

The truth was, she didn’t have room in her life for a man— didn’t have room in her life for a life, really. On the days when Maureen took care of Henry, Ellen took care of her clients. The rest of the week, she had to mother and clean, cook and organize, fitting her income-producing activities in at the margins.

“If they were beating down your door with bouquets, you’d still give them the boot. You’re totally closed off, Ellen. All work and no play.”

“I play with Henry. And quit trying to distract me by taking the offensive. You have something good going with Carly. You should be here trying to fix it.”

He huffed an exhale, a resigned sound. “You know she told me to take a hike.”

“So? She probably didn’t mean it. Carly is impetuous. That’s one of the reasons you love her.”

“Nobody said anything about love.”

“I did. I’m saying it.”

“It was a fling. Now it’s over.”

Ellen didn’t believe him. She’d never had a meaningless fling, but she’d been watching Jamie have them since puberty, and she knew what they looked like. His affair with Carly was different. He didn’t see it, but that was only because he was kind of an idiot.

“I don’t buy that.”

“You should. Carly doesn’t love me. She thought I was cute, and now she thinks I’m a hassle. But if you’re seeing love everywhere you look, maybe you’ve got more romance left in you than I thought.”

“No, don’t worry, I had my romance gland removed.”

More like assassinated. Marriage to an adulterous alcoholic poet would do that to you. On the plus side, it turned out to be full of useful life lessons. Downsides of Codependency 101. By the time Ellen had filed for divorce, she’d been more than ready to try her hand at self-reliance. Her life was finally hers, and that was the way she liked it.

 

                                                                                                                                                     

About the BookAlong Came Trouble -R Knox

Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

Camelot series, Book 2

Releases March 11, 2013

Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.

An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.

Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?

 ISBN 978-0-345-54161-1.

Read more about Along Came Trouble on Ruthie’s website

View the Random House page for Along Came Trouble

Shelve or find out more on Goodreads

Buy the book from

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes Bookstore | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (Canada) | Other buy links via Random House

About Ruthie

Ruthie Knox graduated from Grinnell College as an English and history double major and went on to earn a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use. She debuted as a romance novelist with Ride with Me—probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story yet to be penned—and followed it up with About Last Night, which features a sizzling British banker hero with the unlikely name of Neville. Other publications include Room at the Inn (a Christmas novella) and How To Misbehave, book 1 in the Camelot series. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia.

 

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Teach Me – Cassandra Dean

Today I am reblogging from the blog of Cassandra Dean – Author of the Romance.

Today is the 1 year birthday of Teach Me, a Historical Romance with much hotness!

I’m lucky enough to have met Miss Dean, and I can tell you that she is a fabulous lady, intelligent, witty, hysterically funny, and wonderfully talented.

I can’t recommend Teach Me or Cassandra Dean more. Please, do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy of Teach Me!

Cassandra Dean

Hi peeps,

Today is the 1st anniversary of TEACH ME’s release. So exciting! TEACH ME started life in a tour bus in Scotland, where I was bored spitless staring at the back of grey heads. Suddenly, what eventually became the epilogue jumped into my head and I couldn’t rest until I’d written it down.

Here’s a bit about it:

Teach Me by Cassandra Dean

Ever curious, Elizabeth, Viscountess Rocksley, has turned her curiosity to erotic pleasure. Three years a widow, she boldly employs the madam of a brothel for guidance but never had she expected her education to be conducted by a coldly handsome peer of the realm.

To the Earl of Malvern, the erotic tutelage of a skittish widow is little more than sport, however the woman he teaches is far from the mouse he expects. With her sly humor and insistent joy, Elizabeth obliterates all his expectations and he, unwillingly fascinated, can’t prevent…

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King Richard III Found

Have you read The Lady of Rivers, The White Queen or The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory? They all star King Richard III.

He’s body has been found Leicester, Englad. Great article on Reuters – link below.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9130BW20130204?irpc=932

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WOLFIE READ ALONG

Do you like Paranormal Romance? Wolves? Brotherly ribbing and tomfoolery? Have you read Vivian Arend?

If not, here is a great opportunity. Viv is hosting a read-along on her blog for her Granite Lake Wolves series, to prepare for the release of the newest installment, Wolf Nip.

Great prizes and great books!

Click Here for Awesome Wolfie Goodness

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Sunday Snack Day

I’m a bit late with this Sunday Snack Day peeps. Husbah is sick with a change of season cold.

ANYWAY… Here is a recipe that was inspired by Kirbie Cravings . I’ve made a few changes to sugar content, added the choc chips (I HAD too!) and added a step or two to the recipe.

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Mud Cake

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Yield: 2 Cook Time: 1.5 mins Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons self raising flour
4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons peanut butter
6 tablespoons fat free milk
A handful of dark choc chips
1/4 tsp butter (for greasing)

Directions:

– Combine all ingredients (except choc chips & butter) in a Pyrex jug (mine holds 2 cups/500ml).
– Whisk well with a small whisk or fork until smooth. If there are flour chunks, to break them up chunks. Fold in choc chips.
– Use butter to grease two oversized mugs (mine hold approx 12oz/ 1 1/2 cups). Divide the batter between them.
– Microwave each mug individually for 2 minutes on high then take it out to check to see if it is done. If not, continue to microwave in thirty second intervals. Mine normally take 3 minutes. You don’t want to overcook it or it will become rubbery. Keep an eye on them. Mine have overflowed the mug and it makes a huge mess!
– I like mine with a little outing cream. Omnomnomnom

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Cheap As Tuesday

This week, I’m listing FREE and CHEAP books that have caught my eye.  I haven’t read these yet, so I’m not making any guarantees! If you read one, leave me a comment about what you thought of it.

The Navy Seal’s Promise –  Soraya Lane – FREE!!!

 
Blurb:

With only 48 hours back on home soil for Christmas, United States Army Corporal Saskia Cullen is desperate to spend every minute with her young son. So when heavy snowfall closes JFK airport and she misses her connecting flight, she’s devastated. Until Navy SEAL Luke Gray offers to keep her company… and then does everything within his power to get her home.
Luke is back in the US on leave, waiting to hear the details of his next mission, and Saskia proves to be a pleasant distraction. And when he hears that she needs to get home to see her son, he’s prepared to do anything to help the sexy single mom. Trouble is, he hadn’t planned on falling for anyone, let alone a beautiful soldier about to return overseas.
Aphrodite’s Gift – Allison Cassatta – $0.99 (Aus)
   A League of Slayers Tale – Part 1
Blurb:Deacon is a hard-nosed demon slayer who loves his solitude and doesn’t do well with taking orders. He’s a mammoth of a man, endowed by the gods and goddesses with strength, immortality and stunning good looks. Now he’s charged to send an incubus who almost killed him back to hell.

Violet is a career woman who is smart and funny, who has friends but no true love…other than her romance novels. She hates her size fourteen jeans and the sight of herself in the mirror makes her cringe. After a night of drinking with her best friend and a love spell gone awry, she finds herself mixed up with evil.

Who will triumph?
Who will have Violet’s soul?

Colter’s Wife – Maya Banks – FREE!
  Colter’s Legacy #1.5
Blurb:


Colters’ Wife is the free short story follow-up to Colters’ Woman. It’s an extended epilogue and gives readers a glimpse into the lives of the Colters  after Holly returns home in Colters’ Woman.

The correct reading order of the series is Colters’ Woman, Colters’ Wife, Colters’ Lady, Colters’ Daughter, Colters’ Promise and Colters’ Gift.

All In Time – Ciana Stone – FREE!
  The Hussies #1

Blurb:

Part of The Hussies series Sara’s life is filled with mysteries. Why did her parents abandon her as a baby? What’s behind the baffling blackouts she suffers and the frightening images she creates while she’s out? Who is the strange woman claiming to hold the answers, and why does she keep calling Sara a Hussy?
Morgan’s got a few mysteries of his own. What was his father going to give him on the day he died — the gift he said would change Morgan’s life? Who is this bewitching woman who keeps passing out and creating pictures of his past and future — and why was she sent to save his life?All they both know from the moment they meet is that the bond between them is stronger — and more passionate — than anything either has ever known. And that fate has brought them together for a very important reason. If only they knew what it was.

DISCLAIMER: Prices are correct at time of publishing of post.  Please be sure to  CHECK THE PRICES before you purchase.

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Sunday Snack Day

Since I’ve done some sweet treats the last few weeks, I thought I’d make this week’s Snack Day recipe a savoury snack.  I’m a bit of a Pinterest junkie, and when I saw a recipe for Corn & Bacon Griddle cakes, I was all over that like monkey on a cupcake.

I made the recipe following the instructions from The Recipe Girl, but had a few issues with it. The main problem was the cheese burning and sticking to the pan. Now I don’t know about you, but life is too short for me to be scrubbing burnt cheese from my frying pans.

So I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe.  I think there are DELICIOUS and they are really easy to cook too! They make a great Sunday Brunch or a very tasty supper.

Now, I know the idea of cheese, bacon & maple syrup together sounds INSANE, but why don’t you give them a go?

Corn & Bacon Griddle Cakes

Yield: 8 griddle cakes
Prep Time: 25 min Cook Time: 25 min

Ingredients:

8 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (I didn’t have any, so used Portuguese Chicken spice)
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup frozen, canned or fresh corn
1/2 cup shredded cheese & warm maple syrup, for serving

Method

  1. In a medium frying pan, fry the bacon pieces until they begin to brown. Add the onion and continue to cook until the bacon is crisp and the onion is softened. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. While the bacon & onion is cooking, combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg and oil, then mix well. Stir in the bacon mixture and the corn. The mixture will be thick. If you’d like the griddle cakes to be slightly thinner , add a little more milk to thin out the batter.
  3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Pour a heaping 1/4-cup of the batter into the pan and cook until it is golden brown – 3 to 4 minutes per side (At this stage, I like to put them into a warm oven while I cook the rest of the batter.  They are so thick that this finishes any cooking and keeps them crispy). Repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Serve stacks of griddle cakes topped with a sprinkle shredded cheese and a good dose of warm maple syrup.

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Cheap As Tuesday

It’s that time of the week again, people! Here are some recommendations for some cheap reads.

 Kamikaze (Last Call #1)

Moira Rogers

 

 FREE!

Zoe Bennett is an inexperienced werewolf in the grip of her mating cycle. With no pack and no mate, Zoe must brave the supernatural crowds of Last Call, the bar where your drink order tells everyone what you need.Kamikaze: Werewolf in heat, looking for a temporary mateThe chase is on, and security specialist Connor O’Malley intends to win, if only because the sweet young woman at the bar looks unprepared for what the night might bring, in and out of the bedroom. Little does he know that, when he catches her, he may not be satisfied being just a temporary mate.

Exotic Indulgence (Bandicoot Cove #1)

Jess Dee, Lexxie Couper & Vivian Arend

 

FREE!

It’s time for an indulgence, or two…or three.

There’s something magical about Bandicoot Cove. It’s where Kylie Sullivan’s dream of managing a luxury, five-star resort is about to come true. And it’s where people tend to fall in love. Kylie should know. She’s fallen hard—for three very different men.

There’s Brad, who knows just how to relieve her stress and send her body on a crash course through pleasure. Hemi, her untamed Maori, who awakens her primitive side. And Finn, the sexy bartender whose specialty is Screaming Orgasms.

The three men fulfill all her sexual fantasies, but Kylie knows reality will eventually set in and she’ll have to choose. But how? For now she decides not to decide—at least until she makes sure the resort’s soft opening comes off without a hitch.

As far as Brad, Hemi and Finn are concerned, Kylie’s life is too much work and not enough play. The only choice they plan to give her is to say yes to their wildly passionate proposal…

Warning: Three sexy men pleasing one uninhibited woman—how much more warning do you need? This short story is long on heat, with a drool-worthy setting and sexual interludes in the office, at the beach and the bar. You want a day job like this.

Victoria Gardella: Vampire Slayer

(Gardella Vampire Chronicles) – Colleen Gleason

 

FREE!

A short story introducing readers to the Gardella Vampire
Chronicles.1820: Victoria Gardella tries to enjoy a ball with her new beau, Lord Rockley–but when bloodthirsty vampires come upon the scene, she must
leave the fun in order to employ her stake along- side a grim Max Pesaro
(vampire slayer) and the mysterious Sebastian Vioget.

Slow Ride (A Rough Riders Story #9.5)

– Lorelai James

 

FREE!

Keely McKay Donohue is enduring the longest wedding reception of her life: her own. The only saving grace is that Jack Donohue is finally hers. Usually her hunky man gives her everything she wants, so why is her groom denying her the one thing she wants right now?Jack thought his secretive wait-for-the-honeymoon plan was romantic, until he realizes he’s only put Keely in a fighting mood. If he wants to get back on his temperamental bride’s good side, he’d better find a way to sweep his cowgirl off her boots…fast.

DISCLAIMER: Prices are correct at time of publishing of post.  Please be sure to  CHECK THE PRICES before you purchase.

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Sunday Snack Day

After a special request from one of my Twitter followers, @KingPup, this weeks recipe will be an old favourite..

Peanut Butter Crack Cookies

I call these “Crack Cookies” because the last time my husband took these to work, the boys couldnt stop going back for more!

Another great thing about these cookies is that they only use 3 INGREDIENTS which I can just about guarentee you already have in your pantry.

Peanut Butter Crack Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy, whatever you have)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup of Caster Sugar

Equipment: Baking/Cookie Trays, Airing Racks, Baking Paper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line your trays with baking paper.
  2. Put all the ingredients into your mixing bowl. (see tip).
  3. Either by hand or using your mixing machine, beat the ingredients together.
  4. Place teaspoon size balls onto your trays, with space for spreading (you may need to squish the dough together a bit before you roll them).  Squish them down a little if you like a flatter cookie.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  WATCH THEM LIKE A HAWK! They burn very quickly due to the sugar content.
  6. As soon as they are out of the oven, lift the cookies of the tray using THE BAKING PAPER and put them to the cooling racks.  The cookies are VERY soft while still warm, so try not to touch them.
  7. Once cool, store in an airtight container or gobble up!

Tip: grease your cup measure and spoon with a little oil before measuring out your peanut butter.  It helps it come out a lot easier.
Comment question: What’s your go to cookie? Do you have a great recipe that uses surprising ingredients?

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