Thank you for all of your support! I am grateful for everyone who bought the book or downloaded it in Kindle Unlimited. I am also grateful for everyone who gave it a rating or left a review.
It made the decision to self-publish the rest of my books easy. I had fun, I am still learning a LOT, and I am excited. The thing that is probably the most appealing is the freedom to write what I want, how I want to and then control when it is available. For those that know me, this is not a surprise!
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Food is essential to romance. Regardless of where the food comes from- a fancy restaurant, a cool dinner, or from home. The old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” has a lot of truth to it. I don’t know many women who are impervious to a man who cooks for her- or at least brings her tacos.
In A Marine for Christmas, Lucas is no different. Dixie blows his mind with Gratin Dauphinois and Beef Carbonnade. What good love story doesn’t have good food? I love cooking, I love growing food, and I love serving that food to those I love. So, my characters do as well. I hope you enjoy the recipe I have included for you!
You could call these scalloped potatoes, but Gratin Dauphinois has so much more flair! It is hard to go wrong with potatoes, they are a humble food from the earth that need only a little dressing up. You will be hard pressed to find a menu that can’t be complimented with a potato dish. With the potatoes cooked in the oven with milk/cream, butter and a little garlic, the simplicity is deceptive. This taste is subtle but engaging, the texture is smooth, and the experience is wonderful.
This dish complimented the Beef Carbonnade the family greatly enjoyed at our Christmas Dinner. There was not a bit left after dinner, always a compliment to the cook! Unless of course there is none left because the cook did a poor job of planning for her guests, but that was not the case- this time.
3 pounds of boiling potatoes– peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick (the food processor works great for this)
1 cup of whole milk – I like to mix 3/4 cup whole milk with 1/4 cup cream- adds to the richness and wonderful texture.
1 clove garlic– pressed and spread on bottom of a buttered flame proof baking dish- I prefer a deep dish 9 inch cast iron skillet
3 tablespoons of butter plus more for greasing the bottom of the dish.
Once you have buttered the cast iron skillet and spread the pressed garlic, place the potatoes in the skillet spreading in layers.
Season the milk with salt and pepper, pour over potatoes. Add more cream until the milk is 3/4 of the way up. Place on burner and heat just to a simmer- this is a very important step so that the liquid and potatoes come together in the oven.
Distribute 3 tablespoons of butter (real butter, not margarine) on top of potatoes.
Bake in a 425′ oven for about 25 minutes- until the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender.
Serve and be happy! That is some flat out good food! Great food does not have to be complicated to be wonderful.
This is my first fiction book to self-publish and I am excited to see how this goes.
All Dixie ever wanted was a home in the country with a family of her own. That dream was shattered when her husband left the day after he graduated medical school with his new plastic surgeon.
Four years later she is highly successful with her own business, but her heart still longs for what it wanted most.
Lucas Hardwick is ready for a change. On a recommendation from a friend, he finds himself in LaRue, Texas looking for the right property to relocate his security firm. He knows exactly what he is looking for in a property. His heart, however, is looking for something more.
Dixie is stunned when she is attacked on a quiet sidewalk in her sleepy little town. When she meets the eyes of her rescuer, Dixie finds herself looking into the eyes of the first man in four years who tempts her heart to dream again.
Will this Christmas make dreams come true or will the attacks on Dixie’s life succeed?
Every writer has to have an inspiration, a muse, or archetype from which they draw. Because I am an incurable romantic, I write romance. In real life, I WANT everyone to get that happily ever after.
When it comes to the leading man in a story- regardless of the genre- I am only drawn to an Alpha male. I have absolutely no use for anything less. Power is a tricky thing, but one thing that it always is is attractive. I truly believe that is the appeal of a uniform, it represents power and strength.
Now, here is where we get into arguments. So many assume that an Alpha male is a bully, a brute, or abusive. Many book reviews I have read stated that they did not like the male lead characters because they were Alphas and Alphas were toxic. Here is where they are wrong. A true Alpha is a leader, a protector, a warrior, and a good guy. I wouldn’t follow anything less and I wouldn’t trust my future to anything less. This also means, that I wouldn’t write anything less.
Those men that are bullies, brutes, and abusive are actually weak men who act out loudly. They don’t have what it takes to lead and let others around them succeed so they beat them down either emotionally, physically, mentally or all of these above. This is not strength. A fearful man is just as dangerous. A man who shrinks back in fear cannot be trusted to protect or fight for what is important.
I have had the pleasure of being married to an Alpha male for nearly 30 years. When we met, I had a lot of unhealed wounds. He was the safe place for me to heal. He loved me as I was, took my anger (even when he wasn’t the reason I was angry), let me be myself without criticizing who I was. He even took the physical punches I threw, but not for long because he wouldn’t tolerate abusive behaviors. He never raised a hand to me but he scared me good and I never hit him again. That is what an Alpha looks like.
I have also raised an Alpha male. I have seen how the heart of a warrior develops by watching it emerge early on and seeing what it looks like through each stage. My son has a very different personality from my husband, but their hearts are the same.
There is a misconception that Alpha males don’t feel deeply or get attached. This is so wrong. They do feel deeply. They are loyal. They are driven. They love deeply, so deeply that they would sacrifice their own safety or life in order to protect what is theirs and who they love. I have watched Tony do whatever was necessary to ensure that our children had what they needed and I have never had to wonder if I was loved.
Because of their strength of character, they aren’t afraid to get physical. Both my husband and my son will settle an argument with their fists- if it’s needed. However, it is rarely needed. I feel safe knowing that if anything went down, my husband will take care of me. Honestly, I could be as wrong and wrong could be and Tony would defend me. We might have a serious talk when we got home, but he will have my back no matter what.
So, it is easy to see where I get my inspiration for the leading men I write. In each and every one of them, there is a piece of Tony Ross. The characters have different personalities, but that warrior heart is the same. My characters talk a lot more than my husband, so much of what he says is in what he doesn’t say.
He also isn’t very reactive. This is a good thing because I am VERY reactive. But in a good story, people need to react. So, I write scenes that would cause Tony to react. This means that the love interests gets physically attacked or threatened, and/or quite often shot at- but nobody dies because in my world everyone gets the happily ever after.
Everyman needs a battle to fight and beauty to rescue- these are the men I write. I simply write him again and again and thank God that every night I sleep next to Tony Ross.
Don’t let that easy going smile and quiet personality fool you, mess with me or one of his children and he will rain down hell.