Friday, April 29, 2011

Book and a Recipe Book Club: SAVING RACHEL by John Locke

Okay - the Royal Kiss is over. Time to get down to business!

It's a Book and a Recipe Book Club!

Up for some fun discussion? Remember, every person who joins in by leaving a comment, enters a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card. So leave those comments! Even if you haven't read the book! The winner will be announced Saturday evening (remember to check back for the announcement unless you leave an email address for notification).

Please help me welcome guest host, Markee Anderson - Markee, tell us about our book today!

This month, we’re reading Saving Rachel (a Donovan Creed Crime Novel) by John Locke. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed in this twisted story! It’s like a roller coaster of a book, where you swear you haven’t breathed until you get to about chapter thirteen.

Here’s the blurb from

What if the best morning of your life suddenly turned into your worst nightmare? Sam Case is about to find out. Saving Rachel is the story of what happens when killers force a man to choose between his wife and his mistress...and the one he rejects must die. But wait--all is not as it appears to be. In fact, nothing is what it appears to be!

Saving Rachel is a scary, funny, roller coaster ride through hell, with twists, and turns that will slap your face and suck you in!

For a recipe, here’s a classic, from my husband’s grandmother (our daughter LOVES this at any time during the year). It’s been sworn to secrecy, so SHHHH!!!!

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie


2 unbaked pie shells (I use premade)
2 eggs
1 large can of pumpkin (29 ounces)
4 tablespoons molasses (1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk (that's one can)
1 cup of water--add to evaporated milk to make 2 1/2 cups total liquid
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger


1. Put pie shells into pie pan (or buy already in aluminum pie pan). Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Add sugar, flour, salt, and spices to one bowl and mix together.
3. In a larger bowl, beat eggs, then add the ingredients of the first bowl and mix.
4. Then add pumpkin, molasses, and diluted evaporated milk.
5. Mix together thoroughly (I use a mixer)
6. Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells and put pie pans on a cookie sheet (in case it overflows).
7. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes. Reduce to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, then take out to cool. If the pies aren't set (if they're still gooey), turn off the oven and let them set for about 15 minutes or longer or until set. They will set farther when cooled.

Let the discussion commence!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Giveaway Wednesday!

I'm going to send you on a bit of a detour today . . .

To celebrate the upcoming release of CITIZEN INSANE, I will be doing Giveaways for the next 6 Wednesdays at my website,

This week's giveaway is a TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN t-shirt!

Just follow THIS LINK to enter.

And as always, thank you for following Fiction for Dessert!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Excerpt: The Witness Wore Blood Bay by LC Evans

Today's excerpt is from The Witness Wore Blood Bay by LC Evans. If you love humorous mysteries, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one! I read it several months ago and absolutely loved it then immediately bought the other book in the series, The Talented Horsewoman. Currently, you can purchase The Witness Wore Blood Bay for only .99 cents, but the price goes back up on May 1st to $2.99.


In Talented Horsewoman, the first book of the Leigh McRae horse mystery series, main character Leigh McRae discovers a body. She also ends up solving a murder. Along the way she helps her cousin Sammi, who is dating a burglar, and she manages to get out from under the control of her overbearing ex-husband.

Now Leigh's friend Candy, a fellow horsewoman, finds herself accused of murder. Who else would she turn to for help except Leigh? After all, everyone in small town Del Canto knows Leigh has body-discovering experience. Never mind that Leigh is busy finding out who's poisoning dogs in Sammi's neighborhood and she's trying to renovate her home without going broke. Or that her ex-husband Kenneth and former ranchhand Doug Reilly have become roommates in Leigh's guest house.

There's a murder to solve. And her friend won't take no for an answer.

Readers are saying:

"I would put LC Evans in the category of my other favorite mystery writers, Margaret Maron and Janet Evonovich. The Leigh McRae series are set in Florida and revolve around horses, something I know nothing about, but the reader doesn't need to be an equine enthusist to enjoy these books. Ms. Evan explains it all so it is an integral part of the setting, but not required to enjoy the mystery!" - M. Baldwin, Amazon Reader

And now for an excerpt from CHAPTER TWO:

Mark’s hand shook when he picked up his glass. Clearly, his whole world had fallen apart with the arrest of his wife for killing his Army buddy.

“Do you need help taking care of Benji?” I didn’t know what I could do when it came to a special needs child like Benji Lowell. Not only was I pretty booked up with my job and my life, but I knew the boy needed care I wasn’t qualified to give. Still, even spending a few hours with Benji would be helpful to a man suddenly without his wife.

Mark frowned. After a moment he said, “No, but thanks for the offer. As you can imagine, Benji is really in a turmoil. It’s tough on him when his routine is interrupted. He’s staying with my parents in Fort Myers right now.”

“Be sure to let me know if there’s anything at all I can do.”

“Me, too,” Sammi added, leaning forward and smiling kindly.

“Thanks. But I…” Mark put down his drink and got to his feet. He paced to the TV and back. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. Candy hardly knew Richard. At least that’s what I thought. Now I don’t know. I mean, why would she kill him if she didn’t know him? There has to be motive, doesn’t there? Maybe she knew him a lot better than I thought. She did take Benji and leave and she had blood on her clothes when they found her.”

Sammi and I exchanged startled glances. A shiver crept up the back of my neck. Mark believed Candy had committed the murder. He’d as much as said so.

“What evidence do the police have?” I asked. Darn it. I’d said I wasn’t getting involved and here I was asking questions. Hey, not my fault. Mark had brought the subject up.

“I don’t know. We called them right away—Francine and I. They showed up a few minutes after we found Richard’s body in the stable. Of course, I was pretty worried about Candy and Benji since they were missing, but it didn’t take the police long to find them. They brought Benji home and they told me Candy was at the station to answer questions. The police aren’t stupid. They wouldn’t have kept her there unless they found evidence. Or she confessed.”

He made another circuit of the room and ended up back at the couch where he sat and picked up his drink, pausing to stare at the glass before he brought it to his lips. He finally took a long gulp and then set the glass down with a clunk. I wondered if he even knew what he was drinking.

“She needs to lawyer up.” Sammi flipped her hair back over her shoulders and it whipped the side of my face like a horse's tail, so I discreetly slapped her hand. “You don’t know exactly what she did or why, but maybe it was self-defense and if it was, she needs counsel before she incriminates herself even more. Trust me. I read a ton of books and I love watching crime shows, so I’ve seen it all. Plus, I used to date a guy who turned out to be a burglar.”

I rolled my eyes. Only Sammi would think that dating a burglar for a few weeks would qualify a person to give legal advice.

“Did you know,” she went on, “some people are perfectly innocent and they get so tired after a couple of days of questioning by relays of cops that they confess to crimes they never even thought of committing? What chance does your wife have, if she blabs to the cops without her lawyer there to keep her quiet over whatever she might have done?”

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? It sounded like Sammi had gone over to the dark side—those who’d already condemned Candy Lowell. Even after listening to Mark's version of events I couldn't make myself believe she'd done it.

“Sammi’s right about the lawyer, Mark. Whatever happened in that stable, Candy deserves a chance to defend herself in court.” I would have suggested my ex sister-in-law Kendra, the only attorney I knew, except that A) she wasn’t a criminal defense attorney and B) I didn’t like her.

“I don’t agree. That bitch killed my husband and I want her to fry!”

Sammi stifled a yelp and I jumped to my feet, almost spilling what was left of my tea. Francine Swale stood in the doorway between the living room and the dining room, her hands on her curvy hips.

I couldn't help staring at what I judged to be a surgically enhanced chest. The woman could have modeled for Playboy if she were fifteen years younger, and if her face weren’t all blotchy from rage. Or from crying—I couldn’t tell which.

“Ladies, this is Francine Swale. She works with me selling cars.” Mark cleared his throat a couple of times.

Yeah, and she was also the murder victim's widow. It didn’t take a genius to figure out he’d much rather we hadn't found out she was in the house and had obviously been there the whole time, lurking out of sight and probably listening.

“Francine, ah, didn’t feel well enough to go home, so she’s been resting in the guest room. Francine, Leigh McRae and her cousin, Sammi Hollister.”

“Hello, Francine.” I didn’t bother to remind her I’d met her before and I’d seen her last night at the horse club meeting—arguing with her husband, who was now dead. “Sorry for your loss.”

Francine’s dark eyes snapped. “So am I. But the police know Candy did it and she’s going to pay one way or the other. I hope she fries like breakfast bacon.” She strode across the room and dropped onto the couch next to Mark, crossing her long legs and not bothering to tug her micro skirt down over her shapely thighs.

I pasted on the stupidest of smiles for lack of anything useful to say or do. I mean, how do you agree with a remark like that without coming across like a vigilante?
There, there, Francine. If the justice system doesn’t do its job, we’ll bring the firewood and some lighter fluid and help you take care of the problem.

And if I didn’t agree, I might send this woman into orbit. Judging by the way she’d spoken and the look in her eyes, I definitely didn’t want to be on Francine Swale’s “People Not to Like List.”

L.C. Evans—Linda to the people who know her, has always wanted to own a stagecoach. Sadly, she has had to settle for the occasional photo op at tourist attractions.

L.C. says she only recently figured out that the main characters in her books are nurturers. Leigh McRae, her bumbling amateur sleuth slash animal lover, and Susan Caraway, divorcee with needy family, are compelled to open their arms and their hearts to every stray who shows up.

"Whoops," L.C. says. "I do that, too. Sort of. Everyone thinks I'm their mom. I've finally learned to say no. Most of the time. By the way, do you need anything? Food, drink? A place to stay?"

Fortunately, she's free to indulge her over-developed nurturing gene with her characters. Leigh McRae has more animals in her barn than she can keep track of and even her ex-husband and the local slacker end up living on her property. Somehow Leigh still carves out time to find bodies and "investigate" murders.

Susan Caraway has to learn to stop being everyone's doormat and finally go on a date that doesn't get interrupted by Mama's hysterics or DeLorean's spoiled younger sister antics. But that doesn't mean Susan is an overnight success. She still has to battle with herself to keep from backsliding. In the upcoming second book of the series, We Interrupt This Wedding, Susan has to find a way to get her mother to the altar with Rhett and to make her own wedding happen.

When not writing, L.C. likes to spend time with her family. She loves being at home with her husband and their grandson, The Boy, and their Chihuahuas. She loves to read and take walks with the dogs. She will also tell you she likes to garden, but that's not really true. L.C. likes to have a nice garden, but she doesn't like to weed or dig holes, or deal with insects, and though she tries to extend her nurturing urges to her plants, she has not exactly been successful. Her blueberry bushes don't bear berries, her azaleas don't bloom, and her rose bushes look sullen. But she loves them anyway.

.99 cents until May 1st!

Other books by LC Evans:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Club Reminder!


Next Friday, April 29th, we'll be discussing the thriller, Saving Rachel, by bestselling author, John Locke. You, the readers chose this book, and I have to say, I am so glad, because I am really enjoying it myself! Even more exciting - the author, John Locke, has asked if he can be a part of the fun.

Join guest host, Markee Anderson and me for a rousing discussion - AND . . . every person who comments enters a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card!

So if you want to read the book and take part in some great conversation with the author, AND possibly win a gift card to boot, please do stop by.

Saving Rachel is currently #30 in the Kindle eBook Store at Amazon and has 394 customer reviews.

DESCRIPTION of Saving Rachel:

What if the best morning of your life suddenly turned into your worst nightmare? Sam Case is about to find out. Saving Rachel is the story of what happens when killers force a man to choose between his wife and his mistress...and the one he rejects must die. But wait--all is not as it appears to be. In fact, nothing is what it appears to be!

Saving Rachel is a scary, funny, roller coaster ride through hell, with twists, and turns that will slap your face and suck you in!

only .99 cents!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Excerpt: Declaration of Surrender by Jim Burkett

I'm very excited to be bringing you an excerpt from Jim Burkett's novel, Declaration of Surrender. While I don't seem to have enough hours in the day to read, this book is on my Kindle waiting for me - it's just the type of international thriller that I love!

Believing either Germany or Japan are about to win the war against the United States in early 1945, several members of Congress conspire to protect their own wealth by secretly creating a document that would give the rights of ownership of all U.S. properties and land over to the leading country before the end of the war is actually declared.

Signed by the President, the document is passed along underground to the Germans but is eventually confiscated back by U.S. Treasury agents along with account ledgers worth millions of dollars sitting in hidden Swiss bank accounts. Days later the agents are found murdered and the documents gone.

DHS agent Nick West is thrust into the world of government assassins and sought after for treason by his own country when he discovers the location of the missing sixty-five year old document but refuses to disclose its whereabouts in order to protect his own men.

When a leading government systems analyst is found tortured and beaten to death and Nick’s wife is taken hostage, he must form an alliance with an injured enemy Russian assassin in order to find and protect the document from ‘what’s coming’ before time runs out for them and his country.

What readers are saying:

"Jim Burkett's first novel is a riveting page-turner with strong characters and a twisting plot that ties WWII history and current covert espionage into a world-changing knot. Burkett's extensive knowledge of computers and electronic surveillance and security augments the book's air of authenticity. Move over Clancy." - author, Bruce Hunt

And now for the excerpt:

Nick had been caught off guard for one of the few times in his life. He decided there was no reason to withhold the basics of his background. “Six years SEALs, which I can’t tell you about. NYPD once, Secret Service and now with DHS, at least up until recently. How do you know so much about guns?”

Manny held her gaze. “Start with NYPD."

“Four years SWAT. Mostly bank robberies, some crazies here and there, protecting visiting heads of state and other high profiles. Drug busts, those types of things.”

“So you go from SWAT to Secret Service, big jump and fast. How did that happen?” She was leaning with her back to the sink, having laid the gun on the counter.

“One day we received a call that a female student had been taken hostage from her university dorm room. We get to ground zero and it all looks normal except there are no police and what we think are only a few students roaming the immediate area. It turns out the student is a senator’s niece that’s been taken. The senator is a longtime close friend of the President, which explains to us why no one had alerted the media and why the public had been cleared by Security, or the Secret Service.”

“Fortunately, she was smart enough to turn off and drop her cell phone down the front of her pants when they grabbed her, then turned it back on and stuffed it between some towels when they gave her a bathroom break. We triangulated on the signal and were there in less than ten minutes. Since I was lead, I took command and began to set up from my best vantage point about three hundred meters away. I spread the other team members out across three other rooftops. Car plates in front of the building showed the vehicle belonged to a new boyfriend of the nieces’ roommate.”

“I thought you guys did background checks on all those boyfriends and girlfriends?” said Manny.

“Brand new boyfriend, so no one knew about him. We ran an infrared scan that showed two subs and the girl on the third floor, two feet inside to the right of the window. The building was made of old cinder block, practically falling down around them. Without warning and before my team was fully in place, some rookie negotiator jumps on a bullhorn and scares everyone in the building.”

“I’m watching through my scope when I saw both subs pull their weapons and point them at the girls’ head along with one of the subs moving along side of his buddy, extending his right arm, getting ready to shoot the girl. There’s no more time, so I pulled the trigger and the round passes through the brick wall and the heads of both subs. One shot, two kills.”

Nick was hoping he had impressed Manny, but if he had, it wasn’t showing on her face. “That’s a heck of a shot at three hundred meters without seeing who you’re shooting at.”

Nick could see that Manny wasn’t questioning why he took the shot, it was more of why he would put the girl at such risk. “Actually, we are qualified at one thousand meters, so it wasn’t that difficult. Remember I had infrared goggles and scope, I knew where they were standing and what I was shooting at.”

“Ok, so I’m guessing because you saved the senator’s niece, you get offered any dream job you want and now you’re buds with the President?”

Nick could sense some sarcasm but didn’t understand why. “I’m not a blue suit, if that’s what you’re thinking. I instruct the different agencies coming through DHS in counterattack and counterterrorism. I spend my time in surveillance, planning, briefing to and on intelligence, training and running background checks so we can get the bad guys. Do you understand any of this, and what is your problem all of the sudden?”

Manny reached down, took hold of the barrel, turned the butt towards Nick and placed it down next to his cup of coffee. She hesitated for a moment, then said, “Like you say, it’s my problem.”

A hard knock at the door startled both of them as they heard it open, along with the voices of several women laughing and hollering. “Oh shit,” said Manny, “you’ve got to get out of here, now!” But it was too late. Nick shoved the pistol in his back waistband and pulled the shirt corners around, having forgotten to button up the front. He had just started to stand when three new faces appeared in the kitchen doorway, all talk suddenly stopping, mouths falling agape. The three stood staring at Nick for a few moments, then Manny, then back again.

Nick recognized the one in front immediately, not knowing why. After a moment he realized she was an identical twin to Manny. He could see the only difference was the color of their eyes. Manny’s were a dark green emerald and the other women’s light green with a few small specks. He could not make out any other differing characteristics.

“I guess I didn’t leave quick enough, huh?” Nick could not help himself and wondered if he could keep a straight face. He walked closer to Manny, looked at her affectionately and said “Last night was great. I’m sorry I have to run, but maybe we can do this again really soon, ok?” With that he placed both hands on her shoulders, leaned across and kissed her lightly on the cheek. She shot him a look of hate and he knew it was time to leave. The girls backed up without taking their eyes off of him as he walked past.

“Ladies,” said Nick as he passed through the door.

Jim Burkett was born in a small coal mining town of West Virginia while his father was serving in Korea. Once his father returned, the family was transferred to Hawaii were they spent the next five years stationed at Hickum Air Force Base. While stationed in Hawaii, Jim spent as much time touring the submarines while they were in port as he was allowed. Their next tour took them to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. For six years, he spent his weekends going with his father to the different base facilities, often allowed permission to spend time with the airmen and officers listening to and watching as they went about their assignments, working on the planes and transports mechanics. At the age of 13, he lost his father who by this time was serving overseas once again. Years later, while pursuing a Computer Science degree, he met his future wife Cathy and they were married a year and a half later. Still married after 35 years, they have two sons and have been blessed with two grandchildren. In addition to his current Senior Systems Analyst position, he also serves as a senior staff photographer for a local magazine in the Tampa Bay area. Previously, he wrote a column for the SouthWinds Sailing magazine and worked on several projects including spending a week photographing the Canadian Olympic Team prior to the Beijing Olympics and the “Earthrace” boat which would later set a world speed record circumnavigating the globe. In 2006, he received the “Volunteer of the Year” award for his work with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Through his photography and writing, he feels privileged to have met and spent time with such men as General Tommy Franks, George Steinbrenner, Pete Bethune and Steve Yerrid to name only a few. One of his closest friends is a retired Secret Service agent who once served on Presidential detail under six presidents. Holding close to his military roots, he has continued to study military history and high-tech science and blends these into his first book Declaration of Surrender.

only $2.99 on Kindle!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book and a Recipe Book Club Reminder!

Don't forget friends, we will be discussing the spy thriller, Saving Rachel by John Locke, on Friday, April 29th.


What if the best morning of your life suddenly turned into your worst nightmare? Sam Case is about to find out. Saving Rachel is the story of what happens when killers force a man to choose between his wife and his mistress...and the one he rejects must die. But wait--all is not as it appears to be. In fact, nothing is what it appears to be!

Saving Rachel is a scary, funny, roller coaster ride through hell, with twists, and turns that will slap your face and suck you in!

Markee has already read it and says it's a very cool book and I've just started it myself. I'm hooked already.

So we hope you'll join us!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Giveaway Wednesday!

Today, author Barbara Silkstone has offered to give away five Kindle eBook copies of The Adventures of a Love Investigator!

How fun is that????

Here's how it works: The FIRST FIVE PEOPLE to leave a comment with their email address* will receive their very own copy for FREE.

*email addresses are only used for sending the FREE ebook - we do not save and use for spamming.

Ready to win your FREE ebook? Start leaving those comments! And tell your friends!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Excerpt: The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman by Barbara Silkstone

Join me today in welcoming author Barbara Silkstone, who has graciously agreed to share an excerpt from her very funny expose, The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman.


Armed only with a tape recorder and a quirky sense of humor, author Barbara Silkstone set out in search of how men really feel about love, sex, and commitment. The lack of letters after her name allowed the men to relax and speak freely, that and a promise of anonymity. The interviewees ranged in age from eighteen to eighty and from all walks of life. They all opened up to her.

1000 interviews in one year turned into 527 in six years.

Far from the strong, silent stereotype that we're trained to expect, this wildly different cross-setion of men invariably started spilling their souls before she even had time to hit the record button. "I knew it was a good interview if I heard - 'I told you things I've never told a single person, not even my wife. Thank you. This has been very good for me.' I don't smoke, but many times I felt like ligthing up afterward."


"It seems simple. Interview 1,000 men about love, sex, and commitment. Collate, summarize, and it ought to be a winner. Women will read it for insight into what makes men tick. Men will compare themselves with those in the book - that's how men are wired, right? Author Barbara Silkstone found it wasn't as easy as it seemed, finally hitting her limit at 527 men. When I finished reading I sympathized with her. If you're a man who doesn't find you compare favorably with many of these interviewees you have serious problems. Many others give you something to shoot for. You'll recognize your own relationships and feelings you've experienced in others. You'll also get at least one woman's perspective on all the men in the book which can't hurt. Silkstone's sense of humor stays intact and lightens up what at times is emotionally draining for both her and possibly the reader. In the end I came away glad I read the book. I even feel like I need to read it again in a few months, yet I was also left with an uneasy feeling. If simple creatures like men are this hard to figure out how can any man ever understand women?" - Big Al

The Excerpt:


“Most men struggle terribly with the whole idea of sharing.”
~ Ben, 54, married

Case 288 / Ben

My right heel sticks in the snow bank. I yank my foot free and sprint for the safety of the heated reception room. Inside, a blinding glare of bright colored carpeting, white walls and framed photos of men in jerseys accepting trophies from men in suits hits me. Sunblind, I squint to take in a litter of chairs. A ring of metal racks circling the room, proffer pamphlets on Christian lifestyles.

I’ve come to the corporate offices of one of the hottest sports teams in the country to interview their general manager.

“Hi!” Ben greets me with practiced enthusiasm.

At fifty-four, Ben has the kind of energy that sets me on edge. This sports guru wears a navy blazer with gold buttons, tan slacks and a light blue pin stripe shirt. I can’t make out the detail of his shoes, he walks too fast. He herds me double-time into his office. The room is light and bright with very few personal photos and a clean desk top. Oh boy, a clean desk. A bad sign.

Ben opens up the interview by talking about his career. I keep easing the subject back to love and marriage. On my third try, it takes.

He settles into his chair, leaning on his elbows. “From the time my wife was a little girl she had these wonderful visions on how marriage would be.” His gaze moves from my face to my neck and downward. Despite the glass wall extending the length of the room, I feel a little uneasy.

“I sandwiched our wedding in between the games. I was trying to make three trades the night before the ceremony and then get the team on the road.”

He thinks I’m impressed and smiles a photo-op smile. “Once the rings were exchanged and the marriage had taken place, I was relieved. That little piece of the jigsaw puzzle was in place.”

I feel sorry for the pretty woman whose picture sits on the credenza behind his desk.

“For the first ten years of our life, I thought everything was wonderful. Then my wife started to send out these little signals. I would try to deal with it, maybe an evening out or maybe some flowers or a box of candy . . . anything to try and keep the noise down.”

He swings into defensive mode.

“It’s very tough to run a team if there’s a lot of squeaking in the background.” He studies my face to see if I’m with him. “I learned to lubricate the wheels, calm it down and go on.”

This must be the opposite of love. “You’ve been married for twenty one years?”

He nods and shrugs it off – a bent puzzle piece.

“One Sunday afternoon, Patty told me that she didn’t care anymore. She tried everything she could think of and that she was quitting. She didn’t say that she was leaving, but she did say that she didn’t have anything left to give. She said she had died emotionally.”

I begin to shiver.

“You have how many children?”

“Nine.” He answers, proudly. “I had hoped children would give Patty the emotional food she craved. After we had our three, we adopted six more kids.”

What would the world think of this man, this team manager if they really knew? Ben wined Patty and dined her and wooed her like a player he was trading up for. He placed her on his team and then ignored her. When she felt emotionally hungry, he would fetch another child to fill her void.

After a long pause, he continues. “A woman has a hard time understanding. She wants her man totally engulfed in her. And the guy may be, but he has a hard time demonstrating that. A man comes home and she’s there like a little puppy dog. He can’t respond to her and she feels totally crushed.”

This is the first interviewee I have wanted to punch. It would feel so good. With no apparent love in his heart for either his wife or his children he burdens her while making himself look like a benefactor. I consider the possibility that I’m cracking up.

He focuses south of my face again. Is it my imagination?

The phone bleeps and Ben excuses himself. I spend a minute making eye contact with the picture of his wife. What a crappy deal she cut.
Ben returns from his phone call with all the verve of a game show M.C.

“I’m convinced that most guys create little islands for themselves and get encamped on those islands. Men dig a moat around their island and fill it with water. There they sit. It’s a device designed for self-protection. If they can stay within the safety of those walls they avoid risk taking and getting hurt or exposing themselves.”

I open a mental image of my second ‘ex’ in his walled-up island. I would ask him how his day went and he would freeze with anger. The water must have been cold.

Ben shuffles the few papers on his desk and realigns the pens in a straight line like little team players.

“A wife will do anything to get over her husband’s walls and get down where her man is. The thing is… he doesn’t want her there.”

There is no point in asking if he would die for the woman he loved – he’s never loved a woman . . . of this I am sure. Two years and four months of interviews have taught me to read men. A man like Ben is incapable of loving anyone but himself. I stand to leave.

“Give me your cell phone number, just in case I think of anything else,” he asks.

“Sure.” I jot my number on a piece of paper and hand it back to him.
Ben continues talking, “I went into marriage thinking I would do what comes naturally. Well if you do what comes naturally, you’re basically going to do the self-centered thing.”

Nauseous from his presence, I find my way back to the rental car and suck on a mint in a futile effort to kill the bad taste.

True to his nature, Ben does the self-centered thing. He leaves four messages on my cell phone within twenty-four hours.

I don’t respond to his calls.

He sends a small basket of flowers to my hotel. Funny, I don’t remember telling him where I was staying.

More messages over the course of the next three days. He must talk to me in person. I hesitate. My instincts are raw little pricks. He persists. He says he has a list of men wishing to be interviewed by me. The list is confidential. “It must be delivered in person,” he says.

This whole episode reminds me of when I was six years old, and I met a strange man in the hallway of our apartment building. He was selling bibles and his penis was hanging out of his zipper. I was sure he had forgotten to put it back in. I should have told him, but I didn’t want to embarrass him.

Somehow, I was sure it was my fault he was exposing himself.
Each time Ben leaves his messages, I feel a strange sense of the familiar. In some way, his pursuit of me has to be my fault, or maybe it is just my overactive imagination. I decide to play out this hand.

I meet Ben in a public restaurant . . . just for coffee. Three people come over to thank him for the great job he is doing with the team. He beams and signs autographs.

“I’m so glad you came,” he smiles. I can’t get you out of my mind. You must know enough about men to know what I really want. I’d like to get to know you better. My life is so empty.”

I stand and lean over as close to him as I can stomach. “Your penis is hanging out,” I whisper. By the time he looks up again, I am gone.

When you’re a freelance writer with a quirky sense of humor, being in the right place at the right time helps a lot. If I just stand still for five minutes… wham! Something funny and worth writing about will happen to me. I’ve accidentally sky dived, been stalked by crazies, and ran off with a real life White Rabbit.

I’m the author of The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three Quarters the first in a series of criminally funny fables. The second book in the series is Wendy & the Lost Boys is scheduled for release this summer.

The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men & One Woman is the non-fiction account of my one-on-one odyssey into the minds of over 500 men. Please drop by my blog:
Barb’s Wire - eBooks & More

Friday, April 8, 2011

Buy a Book, Support a Great Cause

A short while ago, when the news and images of the Japanese earthquake found its way into our homes through that same internet and on our TV screens, we watched bodies being recovered. We watched homes being swept away. Some of us shed tears, some were stunned, but we all wanted to do *something*, anything, something....

We wanted to reach out, to help.

But we're not wealthy, we're not trained in search, rescue or other emergency services. We have families and jobs that we can't just leave...

But we can write. We can edit and we can publish.

We are a group of talented writers and some of us have donated our words, someone donated a cover, some have donated time, some have donated editing skills, Ethics Trading has donated the publishing portal, and we have pulled together this ebook of a selection of our work.

While working on this project we realised that although Japan was the trigger and the inspiration, we wanted to establish an ongoing project to aid disaster relief and aid across the globe - so proceeds from sales of this project will be offered to Medecins Sans Frontieres, (Doctors without borders) to support the work they do.

Thank you for your support. It really does mean a lot.
Sarah Barnard,
Freelance Author and Publisher.

Stories and Contributing Authors:
1. Hands and Knees by Matt Posner
2. The Day the Earth Shook by Junying Kirk
3. Armageddon by J.E. Taylor
4. A Tooth Fairy Tale for a Tooth Changing Age by Mira Kolar-Brown
5. The Occupier by Tim Ellis
6. Kismet by Sibel Hodge
7. Hurting the One He Loved by Sydney S Strong
8. Creole and Carnations by Kristy Wilcox
9. Afternoon Traffic Jam by W.T. Hughes
10. A Mother's Tale of Fear by Julie Titus
11. Extinct by Kate Bowyer
12. The Game by Alex Knight
13. Homeless by Lia Fairchild
14. Alexis' Story by Jeremy Aldana
15. A Chemical Mystery by Pad. A
16. Who's There? By Kristina Jackson
17. Guitar God Numero Uno by Susan Helene Gottfried

With Love is a real mix of genres, a chocolate box of fiction talent.

For just $3.99, you can enjoy some wonderful fiction AND help others by supporting Doctors Without Borders.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Giveaway Wednesday!


POSTED EDITED AT 3:13 PM - WE HAVE TEN WINNERS! THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who entered, and stop by next Wednesday for another Giveway!!!!

And today, D.D. Scott has graciously offered to give away ten Kindle eBook copies of her hilarious Bootscootin' Blahniks. If you haven't seen Monday's post - go over now and read the fun excerpt. This is one giveaway you'll want to enter!

So how does it work?

THE FIRST TEN PEOPLE TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO THIS POST along with their EMAIL ADDRESS will receive a copy from D.D. It's as simple as that.

So start leaving those comments, AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

And have a Happy Wednesday.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Excerpt: Bootscootin' Blahniks by D.D. Scott

Are you ready for a really fun read?

I hope so, because today we have an excerpt from the very funny Bootscootin' Blahniks by D.D. Scott. When I started reading this book, I just had to email D.D. and ask if she would let me feature it here. So sit back and get ready to laugh.

A little about the book first:

Manhattan apparel designer Roxy Rae Vaughn has exchanged her stiletto-clad clientele for the frequent shoppers of a Nashville, Tennessee tractor supply store.

Tomato-growin’, bootscootin’ cowboy Zayne McDonald has vowed to produce Nashville’s finest hybrid tomato while teaching Music City tourists to bootscoot.

But Roxy needs more than cash crop customers and the soft spot she’s developed for Zayne. She must accept that her best fit is on the dance floor moving to her own bombshell stomp.

When she and Zayne are discovered by a reality dance show producer, Roxy knows she’s found her groove. That is, if she can protect her future from Beefsteak Jack Baudlin, the toughest tomato man in CMT country.

BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS is Book One of The Bootscootin' Books Series where it's all about romantic comedies with a chick lit gone-country twist. Think Sex and The City meets Urban Cowboy.

“What a light, fun read with lots of laughs...and love. Roxy Rae and Zayne have danced right onto my (cyber) keeper shelf. I’m looking forward to reading more from the very talented D. D. Scott.” --- Heather Webber, author of The Lucy Valentine Novels and The Nina Quinn Mysteries

And now, from Bootscootin' Blahniks:


The nanosecond the light turned green, Roxy Rae Vaughn pressed the gas pedal toward the floorboard of her Mercedes. She didn’t have time to jack around. Her boutique opened in an hour. It took twenty-two more minutes to get there, thirty-three minutes to make everything perfect before she unlocked the doors for customers, and she counted on five minutes to spare. Apparently, the driver in the beat-up pick-up truck in front of her had all kinds of time for lollygagging. But she didn’t.

Taking her speed up a notch, Dipstick yelped. His pudgy Puggles body slid across the pashmina-covered leather cushion of the passenger seat then propelled off the heated lumbar rest. Not to be outdone by her litter brother, Darling whined from the backseat, followed by an odd, panic-laden pant.

Roxy was a bit worried by her dogs’ unusual behavior. Normally, they were good riders. Perhaps they needed some fresh air, she thought, cracking the windows a smidgeon. She’d read, however, that too much air wasn’t good for them so they were only getting a tease of the Tennessee summer morning breeze. Something else the driver in front of her obviously wasn’t aware of. His mangy mutt, although kind of cute in a disheveled take pity on me way, had free roam of the bed of his truck. Except for what looked to be tomatoes lined-up in well-used baskets, the man’s dog owned his space.

“It’s okay, Babies,” she attempted to soothe Dipstick and Darling. “Mommy is right here. You two love going to work with me. What’s wrong?”

In her rearview mirror, Roxy noticed Darling moving her snout in large circles followed by loud, disturbing smacks of her tongue against the roof of her mouth. And was that a bit of frothy drool forming and bubbling around her canines? What the hell was going on?

She stole another quick peek in the mirror then glanced back to the road in front of her in case Grandpa Jones slowed down again. Another look in the mirror revealed Darling was now anxiously pawing at the cashmere blanket covering the backseat as if trying to find a perfect spot to...

Like lightening punctuating the green screen of a horror flick set, a precursor to a grotesque scene coming to life in front of the cameras, Roxy finally understood the red herring for what it was. “Oh no, Darling. Don’t do that to Mommy. We’re almost to the boutique. Please wait, Honey. Not in the car.”

She pounded her fist against the steering wheel, silently cursing her luck. Her determination to live and succeed in her new, classy chick-gone-country lifestyle seemed to kick her in the ass every choice she made.

Darling made a larger-than-life whimper then let loose a super smoothie-sized barrage of pre and partially-digested dog treats - all over Roxy’s backseat.

Between the agonizing sounds of her poor sick Puggles and the sickening stench, Roxy was thrown for a loop her stomach and nerves were at a loss to rectify. Before she could get her wits about her to deal with the current crisis, Dipstick took his turn at bat and went nuts in the front seat. He paced the floorboard. Jumped back into the seat. Then pounced into Roxy’s lap and out again, his anxiety-heavy yips and yaps turning into awful half wails, half barks before dissolving into fits of desperately pathetic growls.

Keeping one hand on the wheel, Roxy reached out to comfort him. Evidently, however, Darling needed her master’s touch too. She hung her hurl-soaked muzzle over Roxy’s arm, whimpered then sneezed sending dog snot and God only knew what else blowing out her nose.

Although abhorred by the residue Darling had now smeared all over her arm, Roxy’s heart filled with pity for her ill puppy and its wigged out partner in mischief. Composing her psyche for the challenge she faced, she searched the street ahead for a decent place to pull over. It appeared she’d have a good spot just up the road a tad further. Good thing she’d taken this alternate route to work. Not much traffic traveled this old road.

“There there, guys. It’s okay. Hang with me just a wee bit longer and we’ll get you cleaned up,” she coached the dogs, having no unearthly clue how exactly she was going to do that. Never one for organization, she could only hope while God was hee-hawing about her predicament, he’d have the decency to pitch down a roll of paper towels or produce a magical box of tissue.

Increasingly shallow pants and gross gurgles once again consumed Darling’s body. Roxy hit the panic button way ahead of her dogs.


Before the air even left Roxy’s lungs carrying her message through even higher octaves of a Hollywood-worthy cartoon voice-over, Darling was at it again. This time, the pup relieved her ailment - projectile style - all over the dashboard and center console.

Making a decent effort to keep the foul fluid from landing on her neck, shoulders, and vintage-inspired couture t-shirt, Roxy tried to punch the brakes for an emergency exit from the roadway. Instead of a Nascar-qualifying pit stop, the heel of her Blahnik caught between the floor mat and the accelerator, forcing her car square into the rear-end of Grandpa Jones’ truck. She rode out the impact in bumper car fashion as the two vehicles careened off the side of the road and came to an abrupt stop.

“Damn.” She lowered her head against the wheel, forgetting to make sure none of Darling’s snacks had decided to take up residence prior to her landing. “I’m such an idiot.”

In the hullabaloo of noise emanating from not only her dogs going ape-shit after the crash but Grandpa’s mutt sounding off too, Roxy wished with everything in her she was just an unwitting participant in some way too vivid nightmare. Taking a deep breath, the stench from the car filled her nostrils and brought her oh-so-back to reality.

Oh, God. What if the guy is hurt? Or what if his dog is too?

Roxy jerked her head from the wheel so fast a dizzy fog overtook her mind. She may have much more to worry about than coming up with money to fix her car and Grandpa’s truck. She could have injured him – and his dog too.

She rested her head once more on the steering wheel. Images of Judy Garland lying on her bed on her way to Munchkin Land in the midst of the tornado swirled through Roxy’s mind in Technicolor splendor. She could hear the Wicked Witch taunting her and her “little dog too”.

She shouldn’t have tried to save a few bucks by buying Dipstick and Darling the tractor supply store’s off-brand dog treats. Look where that had gotten her. How could such terrific ideas at the time end up going so wrong?

She took a chance and looked away from the wheel at what she was convinced would be another nightmare in front of her. But she couldn’t see through the smoke rising from underneath the crumpled hood of her way-too-pricy sedan. Trying to peer through the haze, she panicked. She still couldn’t see Grandpa or his dog.

A brisk tap against her driver’s side window caused Roxy’s heart to race. She was sure she’d look through the glass only to find the man and his dog dripping with blood.

She shivered. She’d seen way too many scary movies with one nanny after another.

Afraid to take another deep breath for fear on the inhale she’d succumb to the hurl hell surrounding her, she looked through the window.

Grandpa Jones had morphed into a hunky, hot cowboy, complete with a sexy-as-all-hell square jaw. A single strand of straw precariously dangled from his sinfully ornery grin. And a lock of unruly, sandy blonde hair fell over his flirtatious, dark mocha eyes.

Roxy’s insides shook, but not from fear or exasperation.

Perhaps God was guffawing at her misstep. But Roxy might just have the last laugh. It seemed her luck had changed.

D. D. Scott is a romantic comedy author and a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy, plus the #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of MUSE THERAPY: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL and the co-founder of The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, your destination site for Everything E-Publishing. You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Muse Therapy Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits from her fabulous grog The Naked Hero at

Also on NOOK

Other books by D.D. Scott:

Friday, April 1, 2011

We Have a Winner!

The readers have spoken!

The next Book and a Recipe Book Club Selection will be . . .

Saving Rachel, buy John Locke.

This book currently has 354 reviews and is #4 in the Kindle eBookstore!

It also sounds really good, so I can't wait to start reading it.

Now, to announce the winner of our GIVEAWAY:


Janel, you also voted for Saving Rachel, so that is your winning book! I'll contact you to arrange for delivery!

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who joined in on the vote.

We will have a fun and rousing discussion here at Fiction for Dessert on Friday, April 29th. I hope everyone will read the book and join in.