I just had to share!


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)


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


  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/

30 Day No Bullshit Challenge

…is coming!

I see all these challenges, like the 30 Day Plank Challenge, 30 Day Squat Challenge, 30 Day Journal Challenge. 30 Day Whatever-The-Heck Challenge. How about a 30 Day No Bullshit Challenge? Well, it’s coming people.


A Certified Master Life Coach is going to take us through 30 days of true life-changing challenges to our own status quos. Want to kick dysfunction? Want to better your personal relationships? It doesn’t matter what kind, whether it’s friendship, marriage, family or whatever. She’s prepping…then we’re coming for you.

Stay tuned – start date will be announced soon. ‪#‎30DayNoBS‬

Our coach’s name is Tamara Mays-Sheeley. Her area of expertise is polishing women into the gems that we are. If you want personalized instruction, you can enroll in her classes directly.

If you’re in the Savannah, GA area in August, drop into the Authors After Dark reader convention where we’ll both be signing!

Info on Authors After Dark
Info on The Polished Gem Academy
Link to Tamara’s book on Amazon


A Different Kind of Yum!

Okay, I’ll be completely honest here — when I first heard of this recipe my first reaction was “EWWWW!” But after reading what’s in it, it sounds absolutely delish and perfect for a holiday picnic or outing.

If you make this, let me know how it turns out!

Layered Cornbread Salad (courtesy of The Food Network)

FNM_050113-Layered-Cornbread-Salad-Recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeTotal Time: 20 min
Prep: 20 min
Yield:6 servings

4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups crumbled cornbread
2 15 -ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese

Toss the tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
Assemble the salad: Sprinkle half of the cornbread in a glass bowl or trifle dish. Top with half each of the black-eyed peas, corn and the tomato-pepper mixture, then half each of the sour cream mixture and cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients, ending with cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Photograph by Con Poulos

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cornbread-salad-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Seafood Cravings

The other day I tweeted about a certain need I had. And it was a need that hit me hard. I mean, I was almost shaking with anticipation at the thought of getting this particular thing.

I’m talking about…LOBSTER!

Yes, it’s true that I’m having a forty-year affair with seafood, and lobster is one of my favorites. There are only two things that beat out a good steamed lobster, drenched in real butter — sashimi and king crab.

So what does this have to do with books? From one foodie to another, not a darn thing! However, my Twilight Teahouse series does have an amazing sushi chef named Landon. You can read his story in Luscious, Twilight Teahouse Book Two.

Here’s the book cover, followed by an easy recipe that my fellow lobster-lovers will enjoy!

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk finely chopped celery
1 finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
3 lobster tails cooked (about 1 pound lobster meat), chopped
Lemon slices & dry rub, for garnish
Lobster SaladDirections
1) Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, celery, shallot, tarragon and chives in a bowl.
2) Add lobster meat to mayonnaise sauce and combine.
3) Rub the rim of 4 martini glasses with a lemon. Dip the rim in some dry rub. Divide the lobster salad between the 4 glasses. Garnish with dry rub and lemon slices.

Recipe courtesy of The Neelys and The Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lobster-salad-cocktail-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Music Monday: 06-Oct-14

I got this idea from fellow author and all-around cool chic, Selena Illyria to post what music is on my mind.

I’m a Lord of the Rings nutball, but this song has been on my mind like crazy. I mean, almost down to the gut level of my consciousness. I’m not sure why. It could be because of all the current “crazy” going on in the world today or…I’m just really not sure. Ever have that feeling that something is coming, but you’re just not sure what? It could be good, bad or otherwise, but you know it’s SOMETHING. Hmmm…

I’ve embedded the video on my blog, but if it’s not showing, here’s a link:

I See Fire by Ed Sheeran from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Snippet Saturday – Heat Wave


I don’t think this week’s theme needs any introduction, do you? Heh!


Jovon’s gaze rolled toward the ceiling. Why were vamps, the most sexual beings on earth, so narrow-minded in this area? She sighed, and then spoke slowly as if teaching a kindergartner. “No sex happens. That’s why I’m there. Basically, the escorts cater to men and women who haven’t had or made time for relationships but enjoy companionship. Besides, why show up at a high-dollar charity event alone when you can take runway-model material instead?”

“So here you are, a fashion doll’s muscle, headed into the investigation from hell. And single. I wonder…”

“Wonder what?”

“If you can handle it, Jovon.”

“Handle what? The mission?”

“Handle me.” He licked his lips as he watched her closely. “If you let me, I’ll rock your world.”

Oh my God. Had the man just said he would rock her world?

“But, but why me?” she sputtered. “You don’t even like me, remember?” Reminded him of their little spat last night that, in the light of day, didn’t make any sense whatsoever.

“Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong, sweetheart.”

Then he was all up in her space—something she’d normally react to quickly with words sharp enough to cut skin. So why wasn’t she taking his head off?

“What the hell are you doing?” It was all she could force her brain to tell her mouth to squeak out. His answer pushed her even farther back on her emotional heels.

“I’m doing what you want me to, of course.”

He moved so fast it actually startled her. Not because he felt dangerous. Well, no, wait, he did feel dangerous, but not on a physical level. This shock was more because Jovon had worked with some of the most skilled soldiers, both human and vampire, as a kick-ass Marine, and even with all her training she still hadn’t been able to track Reis’s movement. One second she was smacking his hands away from her nachos. The next, she was in his lap, chest-to-chest, with strong arms wrapped around her body and his lips pressed to hers.

Though his kiss was smooth and practiced, it still felt as if he devoured her. How many other women had he kissed like this? What if he just wanted to kiss and tell? Or worse, kiss and haul her ass into a Hatsept harem? What if…?

“Oh, no you don’t. No throwing up nutty-ass reasons to pull away from me,” he snarled into her head. “Just feel,” he insisted, the sound so sinisterly sexy it was like having her bare skin stroked all over as a big kitty cat rubbed against her. Only the kitty purring in her head was a saber-toothed tiger with a fetish for designer clothing. His kiss blew all thoughts of pushing him away out of her mind like a crush of dry leaves tossed into the wind of a coming storm. And God, she wanted that wind to blow harder, hotter.

Crazy to want a man so much.


Snippet Satuday Authors

<a rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” href=”http://www.mylajack.blogspot.com”>Myla Jackson</a>
<a href= “http://www.laurendane.com/blog”> Lauren Dane</a>
<a href=”http://LeahBraemel.com/blog” target=”_blank”>Leah Braemel</a>
<a href=”http://carisroane.com/?page_id=645″>Caris Roane</a>
<a href=”http://elizagayle.net/blog” target=”_blank”>Eliza Gayle</a>
<a href=”http://mandyroth.com/blog/” target=”_blank”>Mandy M. Roth</a>
<a href=”http://maricarr.com/blog/” target=”_blank”>Mari Carr</a>
<a href=”http://mckennajeffries.com/blog/” target=”_blank”>McKenna Jeffries</a>
<a href=”http://shilohwalker.com/website”;>http://shilohwalker.com/website</a>
<a href=”http://taigecrenshaw.com/blog” target=”_blank”>Taige Crenshaw</a>
<a href=”http://www.delilahdevlin.com/blog/”>Delilah Devlin</a>
<a href=”http://www.helenkaydimon.com/blog”>HelenKay Dimon</a>
<a href=”http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/blog/” target=”_blank”>Felicity Heaton</a>
<a href=”http://www.tjmichaels.com/the-scoop” target=”_blank”>TJ Michaels</a>

ZART Countdown T minus 19 and counting

SURVIVAL KIT ITEM #4 is up for grabs


Click here for the rules, the list of prizes and the huge bunch of authors who are donating books

Today’s challenge: For warriors new and old,

we invite you to be bold!

Declare your bad-assness to one and all!

Scouts, Warriors and Spys,
You’ve worked hard so we’ve made it easy for you to play this week. Simply put your name here in the comments and declare you’re an experienced ZART member! List a speciality if you like, but it is not required. We know you’re all awesome.

New to the Zombie Apocalypse Response Team? Though you are not quite ready for missions be a proud noob and shout it loud! To prepare for combat training your first exercise is to flex your index finger and click the Like button! *Noobs who hit that Like button will be automatically entered for this weeks random drawing!* Spread the word!

In the words of that famous poet, The Rock,

“We layeth the smacketh DOWNETH!!” #ZART

My first munch!

I prepared this post a few weeks ago for the blog of Dr. Charley Ferrer, clinical sexologist and author of BDSM for Writers. Due to crossed wires the post didn’t get published, so I figured I’d share it with you here.

I’ve read some very good romance novels with BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) as the couple’s choice, but I’d never actually known anyone in real life that favored the lifestyle…until recently.

A very good friend of mine called and said, “Hey, I’m going to a munch tonight with some new friends and I’m not comfortable going by myself. Will you go with me?”

My first thought was, what the hell is a munch and why does she need me to go get something to eat with her? “I’m not afraid of these people,” she said, “but they are new friends and I’ve never been to that restaurant before so I’m not sure where it is.”

Of course, I was convinced more than ever it was an ‘eating’ thing. She went on to explain that a munch was a gathering of people that were “in the lifestyle”. It was a time where they got together to enjoy some candid and fun conversation, get to know others in the scene, and most importantly, impart knowledge to noobs (new people exploring BSDM). They talk about what BDSM is and what it isn’t from their own perspectives, and so on.

Nosey author that I am I quickly said, “Sure, I’ll go with you as long as no one expects me to play with them.”

She assured me there were no worries as that wasn’t the purpose of a munch. Others might decide to play afterward, but not during. So we hopped in my car and rode over to the restaurant and met her new friends in a little banquet room. The door closed and my new education began.

I learned that while many think BDSM or D/s (Dominant/submissive relationships) is about one person controlling or exerting their will on another, it isn’t the case.

D/s isn’t just about kink or fantasy role-play. It’s not about whips and chains, broken bones, pain and squicky stuff the media has burned into our heads. Although some may enjoy that type of thing, D/s relationships are about power exchange. There’s no gender bias here. Various sexual preferences are proudly flaunted and accepted. In many ways, the lifestyle brings about a community. There’s a sense of brotherhood amongst Dominants and submissives who are comfortable and open with their lifestyle choice.

Here’s what one person, Alan Howard (author and director), had to say about it when someone asked the question, “Regarding your ‘Dominant/submission’ interest, why do you feel the need to control women?”

Answer: “I don’t feel the need to control women. That’s not what ‘dominance’ is about. Instead, I feel the need to just be the dominant partner in a relationship.

“I might need to explain the difference between dominance and control. The difference between a dominant man and a controlling man is whether or not he cares about consent. Consent to dominance must be given by the submissive. She must want to be dominated by him as much as he wants her to submit to him.”

“Control does not require consent, and a controlling partner is likely to be an abusive partner, while a dominant partner is more likely to be a loving partner. Being the dominant part of a Dominant/submissive (D/s) relationship carries significant responsibility. If you’re the Dom, your submissive partner is giving themselves to you, and you choose to become responsible for their mental and physical well-being within the dynamics of the relationship that you both agree to participate in. Rules and behaviours expected from each member are established through extensive communication, and the responsibility of mutual care is far more important than most ‘vanilla’ (non-BDSM) relationships.”

That’s very interesting. I also learned about just how important communication is in a D/s relationship. I had no idea that there was such a thing as negotiating scenes, aftercare for Dominants and submissives. Or that it is necessary for a top to carefully monitor their bottom to ensure that they’re doing okay before, during and sometimes days after playing due to the possibility of something called sub-drop.

Every relationship has some form of D/s in it. Now before you start shaking your head and grumbling, “Nu-uh, not my relationships!” think about this – Isn’t it true that a person may be a leader outside the bedroom (top dog in the office running a top notch company, for example) yet want to be submissive (take me! pull my hair!) in the bedroom when they get home? Even in friendships, there is typically one friend that is more dominant than the other – you now, one person is more outspoken about where they should have lunch or what movie to see while the other is just fine accepting their friend’s lead. See, dominance and submission.

In the end, the munch was a gathering of ‘normal’ people that go to work every morning, take care of their families, live and love like everyone else. The difference is that those people aren’t afraid to explore their own sexuality and care enough to share the truth of it with others.

And yes, I do believe I’ll be writing a BDSM book in the very, very near future!

Soooo, whatcha think?

Where in the world is TJ?

I’m in Switzerland working! I don’t usually get to wander around much when I’m traveling for work. I finished up early yesterday afternoon so I went for a walk around the square in Basel. It was absolutely beautiful (I’ll post pictures when I get home), sunny and easy to get around.

Tonight I’m going to dinner at a close by restaurant in the expedition square that I can’t even begin to pronounce, and I’m really looking forward to it. The word is that this place requires a reservation no matter what day you plan to go. Surprisingly enough, it’s also supposed to be affordable, which will be a welcome change. Why? ‘CA– USE SWITZERLAND IS DANGED EXPENSIVE!

Good lord, everything here is ridiculously high. My hotel room, probably worth about $700 (nice room but nothing special, no tea/coffee maker, a small deck and TV and that’s about all) is costing me $1300 instead. Gah! And believe it or not, I paid $19 CHF (Swiss Franks), which translates to about $21.75 USD, for a gyro, a falafel and a soda pop! Oh, and the five minute ride from the airport? Well, that was $42 CHF, or $48 USD.

According to the locals, this is normal even when the dollar is rallying high. It’s just expensive to live in Europe, period. Gas usually runs about $2 per liter…that about $8 per gallon on a good day. The folks here believe it’s because of the taxes and the ‘free’ government subsidized programs which aren’t free at all, but paid for through more taxes. The scenery is awesome…but I can’t wait to go home to $4.00 gas!

Okay, rant over ;D Tomorrow I’m off to France for the weekend before I head to the next customer site on Monday. When I get an internet connection I’ll be sure and tell you what I see, and I promise it won’t be a rant. Ooh la la!

Oh, someone asked me about the time difference between here and where I live on the West Coast of the U.S. Switzerland is 9 hours ahead, so it’s almost 1pm here on Friday afternoon, and almost 4am at home.

Catch you all later!