All posts by TJ Michaels

USA Today and NY Times bestseller, T.J. Michaels, is also an award-winning author of several romance genres, including paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and urban fantasy romance.

Sunday Reads – Jaguar’s Rule

Released December 29, 2011
Amazon  |  Kobo  |  Nook  |  iBooks

TJ_JagAfter an irresistible night of passion with Reya, Aaron James longs to hold her close forever. Little does he know that the tall, sleek beauty has a carnal secret — and he’s the one who needs protection.

Reya Daines has dedicated her life to the conservation of jaguars. With the only bed-and-breakfast at the entrance to Cockscomb Jaguar Sanctuary, she can keep an eye on poachers and still indulge her guests in her first love—scuba diving. But something has invaded the preserve and the big cats are restless…and that something wants Reya.

Aaron James can take care of himself, but he finds he’s not quite up to the job after his plane goes down in the jungles of Belize. The woman who rescues him is a loner just like him. When he learns she’s in danger from the same menace she’s saved him from twice, what’s a determined man to do with an equally stubborn woman?

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and violence. Novella (approx 135 pgs). Released by previous publisher.

Genre:  Erotic Paranormal Romance

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Previously Featured In:
4-13-2015 9-00-00 AM

Japanese Street Crepes

Time for another 30-minute Japanese cuisine recipe! Today’s recipe is a popular treat in Japan. Japanese Street Crepes. There are soooooo many different ways you can make this one.

Down at the bottom of this post, you’ll also find pics that the author of the recipe posted on her blog of some of the crepe shops in Japan. I want to visit all of them!

This is what Lifehack has to say about this one:

In Japan, crepes have been transformed to a type of quick street food that’s available in sweet and savory varieties. Unlike the French crepe, the Japanese crepe uses less butter and the fillings are fresh and/or raw.

Let’s give it a shot!

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup SR flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups milk (room temp, or microwaved 30sec)
  • 1oz melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Sift flour, sugar, pinch salt into a bowl (preferrably a jug-bowl)
  2. Beat in eggs and half the milk. Beat until all lumps are gone.
  3. Add the rest of the milk, add butter and beat again.
  4. Stand at room temperature 15-30min (depending on your patience)
  5. Pour a little into a pre-heated, non-stick frypan and immediately tip the frypan to let the batter spread all over the frypan (can use a regular frypan, greased with a tiny bit of butter) (another option is to spread the batter with a crepe tool or teppanyaki/okonomiyaki spatula) Cook over med-high heat until underside is golden-brown. (about 2 min)
  6. Lift the edges of the crepe and flip the crepe (I find this easiest to do with my fingers, as the crepe is so thin) Cook just 30 sec or so on the second side.
  7. Fill the Crepes however you like.

Makes 10-12 crepes in a 30cm frypan (this is much smaller than the crepes in the crepe shops in japan).

Tips for making Cone-shaped Japanese Street Crepes:

  1. Place fillings on just one quarter of the crepe. Do not go past the centre-point or it will be difficult to fold.
  2. If adding ice-cream, use just a tiny scoop (unless you have a very large frypan or crepe maker like the shops use) Other things you could put inside are: creme caramel, brownie, cheesecake.
  3. Fold the crepe in half, with the centre of the filling on the fold line.
  4. Next, roll the crepe, starting from the filled part, pivoting on the centre point until you have created a cone.

To make Chocolate Crepes, just add 3 Tbsp sifted pure cocoa to this recipe.

Recipe Courtesy of Shinobu of LittleJapanMama.com.

From Shinobu’s Blog Post:

These photos I took when I went shopping in Harajuku last week.

I had a: Strawberries Chocolate Sauce and cream. 380 yen

The Menu of one of the Crepe shops in Harajuku:

This one’s been here since 1976 so I’m guessing it’s the original Harajuku Street Crepes Shop:

Here’s its menu:

Another Crepe Shop in Harajuku:

Sunday Reads – Caramel Kisses

Released March 18, 2015
Amazon  |  Nook

Caramel KissesWorkaholic Sydni Cannes should have known better than to step away from work. Going out for a single evening of fun for this Executive Vice President has ended up as a night spent in damn jail! Drew is aware that the sexy, sultry and brilliant Sydni couldn’t care less about getting involved with him. But along comes the perfect opportunity to prove that she needs him just as much as he needs her. All he has to do is get her out of jail…and keep himself free in the bargain. Their desire scorches them. The connection, true and immediate. But what will they do about the bad guy determined to set them both up? Solve the mystery, of course…and a little well-executed, hot-as-hell sex wouldn’t hurt either.

Genre:  Erotic Romance

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Sunday Reads – Hide No More

Released March 10, 2015
Amazon  |  Nook

Hide No MoreScharsi has spent years hiding from the Amalgamation. They are the definition of evil in her world. Now she must hunt one of their agents who killed the only man who ever loved her. Hand cannons primed, no one will stand in her way. Tanil, an Amalgamation officer left for dead by his own crew, must avoid capture. On the run, wounded and weak, he comes upon the one woman in the ‘verse he should be running from. But Scharsi isn’t what the government claims she is–a born and bred killer. Deadly? Absolutely…but addictive, hot. She makes his skin sizzle and sends his blood racing with a look. Her touch? Devastating. Scharsi clearly doesn’t want distractions while on a hunt, but Tanil won’t hesitate to prove that a bit of delicious distraction is exactly what she needs.

Genre:  Erotic Paranormal Romance

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In a sharing mood…

My favorite George Michael songs as a small tribute to a wonderful musician. I remember when Wham! came out with their first songs here in the U.S. I was in high school and didn’t miss a Friday night skating to this music. As a musician myself, it always hits home when we lose someone like George…or Prince, or David Bowie. *sigh* This has been an extraordinarily tough year.

UPDATE: Just learned that the links to the videos are not displaying correctly. Working on it…

UPDATE: All fixed!

Freedom ’90

Father Figure

I Knew You Were Waiting

Careless Whispers

Come on 2017

I don’t usually share too much of my personal, day-to-day information online. Today I’m going to make an exception. Why? Because I think it’s important to remember that we’re all human, we all have ups and downs and we all have great and awful times.

My life isn’t much different than yours. I love reading. I love my family. I’m a total geek who loves food and playing with the grandbabies.

I’m also SO happy that 2016 is almost over!

I lost my job earlier this year. It was a horrible and completely unexpected situation. It was the first time in almost 20 years that I didn’t have a day job to fall back on and we almost lost everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I was totally stressed and while I love writing, it doesn’t pay the bills, so a day job is important for my, and my family’s sanity.

I did a lot of talking to myself this year:

  • “Yo, T.J., don’t flip your wig woman. Things will work out!”
  • “Hey you, uh, I mean me, keep a positive outlook. The money will come. You will pay your mortgage. Everyone will eat and the lights will stay on, damn it!”
  • “Don’t worry about your family. They will leave the house and return again safely.”
  • “Have faith in humanity! Not everyone is shortsighted and full of hate.”
  • “Not all of your favorite musicians and actors are dying this year! Relax!”

And it went on and on. Needless to say, this year has sucked in so many ways that I’m seriously counting down the days to next year. Oh, and I’m not even going to get into the nutball politics this year. I’m glad to say that I didn’t think I’d be motivated to write a single thing, but that’s changing and the plot bunnies are hopping around like crazy *YAY!*

Also to celebrate the landing of a new day job, we are going to feast like there is no tomorrow. This is part of the plan. Ever had it? If so, share your favorite recipe for…PORCHETTA! Click the picture to hop to the recipe.

Oh, and 2017, hurry up already.

 

I just had to share!

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I’m not a big drinker but I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. And with the holidays coming up, we are always looking for a way to put a bit of a different spin on the usual culprits…such as red wine.

I saw this recipe a few days ago and I can’t get it out of my head. So I figured I’d share the love and drive you just as nuts as I am right now at wanting to try this delicious looking dessert. I would say I’m sorry…but I wouldn’t mean it! So let’s enjoy it together, shall we?

Cheesecake Bars with Wine Gelée

yield: 16 squares

prep time: 25 min
cook time: 25 min
total time: 7 hours (including chilling)

INGREDIENTS:

For crust:

  • 8 full sheets (140gr) graham cracker
  • 4 tablespoons (55gr) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For cheesecake filling:

  • 12oz (340gr) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (60gr) plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (300gr) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For wine topping:

  • 1 envelope (8gr) unflavored gelatin
  • ¾ cup (180ml) red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 4 teaspoons sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 8×8 square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving two sides hanging over the edges.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, place the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and roll a rolling pin over the graham crackers.) Add sugar and melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened with butter. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Evenly spread it, lightly pressing into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and cool on wire rack.
  3. In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat cream cheese, Greek yogurt and condensed milk until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the egg, flour, vanilla extract and salt. Continue to whisk until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust. Bake it until the filling is set but not browned, for about 25 minutes. Cool the cheesecake to room temperature (about 2 hours), then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill.
  6. To make the wine gelée, sprinkle the gelatin over ½ cup of wine and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, stir in the sugar in the hot water. Add the sugar water into the wine with gelatin. At this point, the mixture will be a little cloudy. Mix well until gelatin is completely melted. (If needed, microwave for 30 seconds to warm the mixture up. The mixture should become clear.) Add the remaining ¼ cup of wine and cool the mixture to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Gently pour the wine mixture using a back of the spoon over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, until the wine topping is set completely.
  8. Cut into 16 squares (or even smaller, if desired), before serving.

    Recipe is courtesy of Sweet & Savory by Shinee
    There were so many ads on the original post, I could barely get to the recipe. So rather than taking you through that madness, I posted the details here. To see the original ad, uh I mean post, visit http://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com/cheesecake-bars-with-wine-gelee/

Cuttin’ the cord!

I’ve recently cut the cord, meaning I don’t have cable anymore, and it’s been a serious challenge to find a service that will allow me to watch premium (or premium according to my former cable provider – ugh) channels without paying an arm, a leg and half a liver.

So far, I’ve tried two providers – Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. This week I’ll talk about Sling TV. Next time, I’ll get into my experience with PlayStation Vue.

Sling TV – This service provider is actually owned by DISH Network, the satellite TV guys. You can get it as an ‘app’ if you have a TV with a Roku interface. I’m sure there are other ways to get it as well, but I have Roku, so that’s as far as I went. My thoughts on the app itself? Well, given I’ve been a professional in the ever-evolving world of tech for almost thirty (30) years, the interface and ‘feels’ of this service seem to be in its infancy, but the ‘bones’ are pretty solid so they can really expand the functionality of this app A LOT,  if they choose to.

Sling PROS

  1. It’s SUPER CHEAP! If you’re used to paying over $100 a month for cable, minus a premium channel like HBO, then you’re going to love Sling TV. It’s about $25 a month and I get the channels I love, like Syfy (This is required so I can get my Killjoys fix!), BBC America, the History Channel, HGTV, etc.  If you want HBO, it’s an additional $15, which still brings you in at well below that $100 cable bill.
  2. It has a guide function that allows me to see what coming up on the channels I want to watch, as well as an On Air tab that allows me to see only what’s on right now.
  3. Search function is standard and allows you to search for specific shows, as well as channels. I like the channel search because it shows me everything coming up on that channel along with any On Demand programs.
  4. If you want to rent movies, you can do that as well. While you can opt in to purchase a premium channel, you don’t have to. If you want one movie rather than a whole month of HBO, you have that option.
  5. Bandwidth choices! This is huge, especially if you have a crappy internet connection, like we do where I live. You can choose the maximum bandwidth that the app is allowed to use, from no limit (best quality) all the way down to .8 Mbps.
  6. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS AWESOME! These people are super responsive, even on Twitter (@SlingAnswers). There is a real, warm-blooded dedicated staff and they will absolutely talk to you if you need help.

Sling CONS

  1. Where’d the menu go? – When you first sign in, you can add your favorite channels to the My TV area. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to get this menu to reappear so I can add more channels to it. Help says ‘click the Add button’…but there isn’t one, so…yeah.
  2. Favorites – The fav button doesn’t always show up where you expect it to. As an end user, what this really means is that the buttons for ‘MyTV’ and ‘Favorite’ look too much alike (both have a little heart at the center), so when you think you have one, you really may have the other (searched the Help Center but didn’t see any explanation). If you think you see Fav, and it’s really MyTV, when you click it will take you to the Favorite section under My TV…and since you didn’t actually ‘fav’ your show, of course it isn’t listed.
  3. For shows that are truly marked as Favs, you sometimes get these weird gray boxes (see screenshot) and multiple iterations of your show. I have no idea why this is. For example, I have two grayed out boxes, one for Killjoys and one for Dark Matter. I also have two listing with the actual Killjoys and Dark Matter graphics. I can’t tell what’s what until I click on them. Turns out, one listing contains the entire series with all the episodes grouped together (you have to actually watch them in order for them to appear, so no DVR capabilities here), the other listing is a single episode. This single episode is also listed with the grouped series, so I have no idea why they’re here at all.0810161101
  4. On Demand is limited, but they are working on adding more shows.
  5. Occasionally the menus don’t align. For example, I selected a show called PlanetEarth and it had a StarTrek TNG description.

In the end, I selected Sling TV. The product is off to a good start and for what you get, the cost is super affordable. But honestly, what sold me is the amazing customer service! But I’ll tell you about that next time…