Category Archives: Life

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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Sunday Reads – Gathering of the Storms

Gathering of the Storms Volumes I & II

iTunes  |  Nook  |  Amazon

After the Breaking, many flocked from their devastated homelands to the new province of Draema to begin anew. The people who called themselves Gaian chose to walk a different path. Now, love and danger bring them together again.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Click the book cover to preview Vol 1

As Blademaster and First Heir to Draema and its Seven Colonies, Rhia Greysomne wants nothing more than to live her life as she always has-on her own terms. But when she learns that her father, the High Counsel, has summoned a childhood friend from across the border to protect her against an unknown threat, she is more than a bit put out. And worse, a case of mistaken identity finds them facing each other with blades drawn.

Who cares that he’s the one man who sets her blood on fire? So what if he’s the fabled Wind Storm, Protector of the Realm of Gaia? As far as she’s concerned, RuArk Miwatani is the spoiled boy she used to chase with her wooden practice blade after he’d yanked her braids as a child.

RuArk of Clan Miwatani is well aware Rhia doesn’t want his concern, his presence, and least of all, his protection. Sizzling attraction wars with pride and deadly circumstances. Will it bring them together…or drive her away?

Whatever the cost, RuArk is determined to keep his word to Rhia’s father, and the Ancestors who’ve shown him that she is indeed, his. But can he convince her that he has much more to offer than his sword?

There is one truth: Once passion is awakened, it is as potent and lethal as any storm.

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Connected Books:
Gathering of the Storms 1 - Wind And Fire  

The Best Hiking in Hawaii

One of the best things about living in Hawaii is all of the wonderful hidden gems there are to discover, no matter what your interest is.  All across the islands, there is something for everyone.

Looking at Maui from Big Island

Today, we’re going to look at hiking spots in Maui.  If you love nature and breathtaking surroundings, this one is for you.

Ohe‘o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools) and Pipiwai Trail

This popular 3.6-mile hiking trail is like something out of an enchanted fairytale. Start at Ohe‘o Gulch, where multiple pools and waterfalls flow, pass a soaring banyan tree, then meander through the rainforest, towering bamboo, ginger fields, and smaller falls, until you find the jaw-dropping, neck-craning 400ft Waimoku Falls. End your storybook hike with a dip in Ohe‘o Gulch… and take turns posing for all the glorious waterfall photos your heart desires.

 

Twin Falls

Sure, this waterfall hike may swell with tourists, but for a good reason. Located near mile marker No. 2 along the Road to Hana, it’s the first trail on the path with waterfalls and a pool. The path is open to the public, well-maintained, and easily accessible — and it’s a super-quick stop for those looking for some instant gratification. The rocks can be slippery, though, so pack covered shoes. After a dip under a pair of waterfalls, hit up the Twin Falls Farm Stand on your way back to the car, and replenish with fresh fruit, fresh-squeezed sugarcane juice, or coconut water straight from the source.

 

Sliding Sands Trail and Halamau‘u Trail

Not for the faint of heart, this extreme 12-mile trail traverses the Haleakala summit, where the air is cooler and thinner, with ever-changing weather. Be prepared for fog and rain, with no shade cover. The hike starts at the Haleakala Visitor Center at 9,740ft and descends to the crater floor. Due to the challenging and strenuous terrain, the trail is quiet, desolate, and empty, but rewards with hauntingly beautiful views of multi-colored sand dunes, craggy cliffs, silverswords, and cinder mounds. Apollo astronauts have trained on this barren field to mimic lunar landings, so take the opportunity to feel a little bit like you’re at space camp. Shorter trips are also an option, but adventurous and advanced trailblazers should attempt this daylong journey, at least once — just be sure to plan well for multiple climates and shifting elements.

 

Waihee Ridge Trail

This moderate, five-mile West Maui hike will lead you nearly 2,600ft above sea level and compensate your efforts with panoramic views of Waihee Valley, Makamaka‘ole Falls, Haleakala, the West Maui Mountains, and the ocean. The trail will take you along a series of switchbacks, transitioning between green forests and sunny ridgelines until you reach Lani-ili summit, where you’ll be greeted with panoramic vistas or a sky full of clouds. For your best chance of clear views, lace up your hiking shoes in the morning — before the mist blocks the horizon. But come fog or shine, the lush views are worth the aerobic exercise.

 

Kapalua Coastal Trail

Stretched between prime coastline and expensive resorts, this easy coastline pathway is more of a nature walk than a hike-hike (you know, in the wilderness), if we’re being totally honest. But the spectacular scenery is worth the short outdoor adventure: start at Kapalua Beach and follow the path to Namalu Bay and Oneloa Bay until you arrive at D.T. Fleming Beach, then get an eyeful of rock cliffs, tide pools, and sea turtles along some of the island’s prettiest beaches. Don’t forget to pause at a grassy, man-made labyrinth, as well as Dragon’s Teeth, a natural rocky formation that was shaped when hot lava pushing towards the ocean was hardened by wind and waves to create jagged-looking “teeth,” that point towards the sky.

 

Lahaina Pali Trail

This 5.5-mile one-way trail from Maalaea to Ukumehame is dry and rugged and zigzaging at about 1,500ft, making the rocky path a bit slow and strenuous. The old horse-and-foot trail was hand-built in 1800s, with rock walls and stone shelters still visible along the way. The path will lead you near the Kaheawa Wind Farm and repay your quad and hamstring workout with views of neighboring Lanai and Kahoolawe, and views of breaching whales during the winter months. Unless you’re planning on doing the full round-trip voyage, hiking this trail may take some planning and a couple of cars. Pro tip: don’t forget the sunscreen.

 

Nakalele Blowhole

Tucked along Honoapiilani Highway along mile marker 38.5 is a short coastal walk leading to a pair of natural wonders. The first, known as the Nakalele Blowhole, connects to an underwater ocean cave, and during high tide, the swell spouts a jet of water high into the air. The second is just next to it: a lava rock wall with a heart-shaped hole punched through by the sea, which will only remain a heart-shaped hole as long as the ocean decides it will — so see it before it’s gone. The trail is short, but you’ll need to scale a rocky cliff-side for the best views. Definitely follow the advice of the hand-painted signs along the trail and stick to walking on dry rocks. Getting too close to the blowhole can be dangerous, as Mother Nature can sometimes be unpredictably strong and violent.

This list is courtesy of Summer Nakaishi of Thrillist.com.

Sunday Reading – Juicy

Twilight Teahouse #1

Amazon  |  Nook  |  iBooks

The first in a new series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, T.J. Michaels

Solie Shaw is a brilliant self-made woman. After managing a corporation by day, at night, all she wants is to not be in charge. The last man she’d gifted her submissive heart to smashed it to smithereens and then did the mambo on top of the pieces. Now, along comes the chance to get exactly what she needs from a Dominant she trusts, heart and soul.

All Solie has to do…is choose.

Twilight Teahouse. Come choose something decadent from our menu…


Warning: This novella contains elements of culinary kink, second chance love and experiments with big thuddy paddle hands.

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Connected books:

lucious200x400  Succulent200x300

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.