Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Great Treat Day or Night

by Emilia Mancini

For all the disasters I have in the kitchen (and there are plenty), there is one tried and true recipe that never fails. My zucchini bread. It’s yummy. That is all. I need not say more.

I’ve replaced the zucchini with carrots as well, and it was almost as good. The carrots didn’t have as much moisture so the bread was a tad bit drier, but wash it down with a nice hot cup of Earl Grey and you’ll never notice the difference.

This recipe makes two loaves. That may seem like overkill, but the first loaf never even has a chance to cool down. It’s gone that fast.

Emilia Mancini Zucchini Bread
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. baking powder
½ to 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease bottoms of two loaf pans.

Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.


Pour into pans and bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate.

This is a perfect breakfast bread or snack or treat. Basically, when we have zucchini bread in the house, that’s all we eat.

I hope you enjoy it. If you don’t, bring it over to my house and we’ll finish it for you!

Here's a little teaser from my latest sexy release for your reading pleasure.

It took Kyle one look to realize he wanted to seduce his best friend’s mother. And one kiss to realize he didn't have to.

It was lust at first sight when Kyle met his roommate’s mother Kate. Kyle, a college transfer, was too far from home to visit on short school breaks, so Justin took him to Minneapolis where his mother was serving up a family meal for Thanksgiving.

One look left Kyle with a healthy obsession for Kate which grew with each visit. When he landed an internship in Minneapolis, he moved in with Kate for the summer, and got in touch with his voyeuristic side. It wasn’t until one late evening and a few too many glasses of wine that Kyle began to suspect his attraction wasn’t one-sided.

When he dared to push the issue, he found Kate more than willing to succumb to his seduction.

To read an excerpt from Seducing Kate, please click a vendor's name. Musa Publishing - Amazon

Emilia Mancini is the naughtier side to author Marci Boudreaux. Emilia stays hidden in the shadows like a nefarious side kick, slipping out only when the stories Marci wants to share are a little too grown up to be called sweet romance.

Seducing Kate is Emilia’s second release and, at least for the moment, her crowning glory.

Be sure to check out the Pinterest board for Seducing Kate.

Visit Emilia on her website. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

NEW RELEASE for ZENOBIA RENQUIST

Musa Publishing is ecstatic to announce Wine Service, Book 1 of the Professional Courtesy series and a Heat Level 5 BDSM erotica, by multi-published author Zenobia Renquist is now available.

She offers satisfaction above and beyond what is requested.

Lexie's job as a housekeeper at a five-star hotel doesn't normally include the unique and risqué form of room service that important hotel guest Mr. Malena has requested, nor the generous tip he's offered. Lexie can't resist, and what should have been a one-time thing turns into an introduction into the sensual world of customer satisfaction. She finds much enjoyment in her "work," but is it worth risking her job?

EXCERPT
Five hundred.” He added five more twenties to the pile.

“Mr. Malena, please stop offering me money. I’m not going to do it.”

“This isn’t a setup. I’m an old man looking for a little entertainment and willing to spend an obscene amount of money to get it.” He picked up the stack and fanned it at her. “On you, if you let me.”

Lexie didn’t know what to say to get through to him. She didn’t know why she was trying. She should leave and be done. But she couldn’t deny the lure the five hundred dollars presented.“You’re not that old. You look like you’re in your forties. Late forties at the most.”

“Bless you, my dear. For that, I’ll throw in an extra twenty.” He added it to the stack and held it out to her. “Five hundred and twenty dollars to give an old man a thrill. No tricks. No traps. No chance of getting caught.”

“Except that I’ve been here too long as it is.” God help her, she was actually considering it. When had her moral compass skewed so far off center that she was willing to commit sex acts for money? This went beyond stripping and straight into porn. Live porn. How much did porn stars get for masturbation scenes? That line of thinking proved Lexie had lost her mind. Fatigue from a long workday had addled her mind. She needed to leave. Turn, walk out the door, and never return.

“I’m a VIP guest,” Mr. Malena said. “I could keep you here all night, and your boss wouldn’t say a word for fear of upsetting me. I’ve met her, your boss. Charming woman, if a little too stick-up-her-ass for my tastes.”

Lexie bit back a giggle. She agreed but didn’t say so.

“If she asks, tell her I wanted you to play cards with me. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve monopolized her staff for petty reasons. I had two valets and a server in my room for most of the afternoon, and she didn’t say a word.”

“That was you?”

“Indeed it was. I gave them all generous tips as well. Not nearly as generous as this.” He fanned the bills again. “But much more than their usual.”

BUY LINK

Warning: This eBook may contain language, content, images, and scenes that depict profanity, violence, sexuality/sexual relations or other content that is intended for mature adult readers. This eBook is meant only for adults as defined by the laws of the country or region where you made your purchase. If you are under the age of maturity, if adult material offends you, or if it is illegal to read, view, purchase, or own such material in your community please be warned that this eBook may contain objectionable content.

Zenobia Renquist is a military brat turned military wife who is currently stationed in Hawaii with her husband and two cats.

Whether writing as D. Renee Bagby or Zenobia Renquist, she is a world-builder. She loves inventing new cultures and shaping their histories and laws because it beats researching the existing ones.

Her stories span the fantasy gamut but she dabbles in sci-fi and contemporary from time to time. While her main characters tend to be of different races, she doesn't let skin color rule or limit her stories. For her, it's all about how much she can torture her characters so they earn their happily-ever-after ending.

The rules are all new and pre-conceived notions will only slow you down, so when reading Renee's stories, she asks only one thing -- Leave Your Reality Behind.

Learn more about Zenobia Renquist on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

NEW RELEASE for ELIZABETH J.M. WALKER

Musa Publishing is happy to announce She Dreamed of Dragons, a Young Adult novel by Elizabeth J.M. Walker, is now available for purchase.

Trina is more likely to set the palace on fire with her powers than be a princess – could a dragon mage be the next ruler of the magical kingdom of Dorlith?

Trina is a fifteen-year-old dragon mage in a kingdom ruled by witches and wizards – the same people who have brought dragons and other magical creatures near extinction. Trina can barely control her fire powers and is desperate for an apprenticeship, but finding a fellow dragon mage to be her teacher is proving more difficult than coming across an actual dragon.

Then there’s the Royal Tourney – a competition presented by the Queen to find a successor to the throne. Trina heads to the competition in the hopes of sparking some interest in the mage society and earning herself an apprenticeship.

She never intended to be a frontrunner in the competition.

She never meant to catch the attention of the evil witch trying to take over the throne.

She never expected to fall for a wizard.

Now Trina must face tough decisions about who she is and who she could become. Trina must ask herself: Can she really win the Royal Tourney?

EXCERPT
When Trina returned to school she was expecting to find the students meandering on their way to the meal hall for dinner, but instead there was a buzz of excitement in the school.

“Trina!” she heard her roommate, Oriella, call. Trina saw her small friend looking quite disturbed, and pushing through the crowded entrance hall toward her. Following closely behind her was Trina’s pixie mage cousin, Eddy.

“What’s going on?” Trina asked them.

“Only the most amazing thing ever,” Eddy said as he caught up to Oriella and Trina. He was two years older than Trina, but not much taller. He had perfect curls of brown hair and sky blue eyes. Oriella was the same age as Trina, but much smaller, since she was an elf mage. She had lightly tanned skin, a freckled nose, and long waves of dark blond hair which hid her telltale pointed ears.

Oriella elbowed Eddy aside. “More like the dumbest thing ever,” she said, and then cocked her head to the side and looked concerned. “The apprentice thing didn’t work out again?”

“No…” Trina said. “But at least this one was nice. He gave me this,” Trina said, and pulled the red dragon figurine out of her pocket to show her friends.

“Oh, lovely,” Oriella said, her words full of sarcasm.

“You girls can catch up later,” Eddy said, dragging Trina away from Oriella and toward the main clump of chattering students in the entrance hall. “Being turned away from another stupid apprenticeship couldn’t have happened at a better time. Ta-da!”

Eddy gestured toward a large poster hanging on the wall. Trina rubbed her eyes, and looked at the overly decorated poster that was covered in fancy violet writing and bordered with intricate silver curlicues.

“Royal Tourney?” Trina read off the poster. “What is this?”

“Her majesty, Queen Valicity, is holding a competition to name a new successor!” a nearby pixie mage gushed, curling a piece of pink hair around her finger.

Trina pushed her way through the crowd to get a closer look at the rest of the poster, Eddy and Oriella close at her side. The poster was for a competition to find the next successor to the Dorlith throne. The King had been transformed into a spider by an evil mage over fifty years ago—a powerful spell which no one was able to reverse. Apparently, since King Frederick had been spinning webs as a spider for the past fifty years, their majesties hadn’t had a chance to have a child of their own to be prince or princess, and the royal line had run thin.

“They’re having some sort of silly competition to name the next ruler of the country?” Trina asked incredulously.

“Yeah! Isn’t it great?” Eddy asked.

“Sounds pretty stupid to me,” Trina said.

“Aha!” Oriella said triumphantly. “I knew you would say that! I knew someone would have some sense around here!”

“They can’t possibly expect mages to compete,” Trina said.

“Exactly, that’s—” Oriella began, but was interrupted by Eddy.

“Look!” he said, pointing to a part of the poster Trina hadn’t had a chance to read yet. “It says right here anyone in the Dorlith Kingdom aged twelve to eighteen is allowed to compete in this tourney. Trina, it means mages can go, too, and do you know what that means?”

She gave him a skeptical look.

“It means I can be King!” Eddy said triumphantly.

BUY LINK


Elizabeth J. M. Walker has published zines for over a decade and lives in her hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Learn more about Elizabeth J.M. Walker on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.

Friday, August 29, 2014

NEW RELEASE for VIKI LYN

Musa Publishing is excited to announce Regarding Eliza, an Edwardian romance novel by multi-published and multi-genre author Viki Lyn, is now available.

Tortured by fragmented memories of her past, Eliza must face the truth…or be imprisoned for life.

For years, Eliza Lily has lived as the “distant cousin” of William and Jewel Bennett, who rescued her from a past she can’t remember. Now, amidst ugly rumors of who she might actually be, William plans to marry her to a suitable gentleman who can give her a home and safety. What better way to curb his own developing feelings for her?

Eliza wants none of that. She is no hothouse flower, and no man of standing will marry her due to her dubious past anyway. Not even William, whom she secretly loves. Instead, she focuses on her quest for social change. Her passion for women’s rights leads her to Greenwich Village and the suffragette movement. But as she finds her place in the world, her past still haunts her.

Only by going back to the scene of her lost memories can she hope to discover the truth and set herself free…to love and be loved.

EXCERPT
"Whoa, slow down. It looks like I hit a nerve.” His smile dipped. “There’s something you’re not telling me?”

Fear at being discovered swept over her. No, the knife was safely hidden. William had no way to know she had Jeb’s knife. “I do want to go…”

“But…?”

“Going back after all these years…” To the place of her abandonment by her mother, who had never returned and therefore forever branded Eliza unworthy. Abandonment that had led to the Harrises and the bleak moment erased from her mind. Finding the knife seemed like a dark omen.

“Ah, of course, how stupid of me. The Foundling Home. I should have realized how hard this might be for you.”

Eliza looked up, surprised William understood. “It wasn’t such a horrible place, but I’m not sure how I feel about seeing it again.”

“There’s no reason why you’d have to. You’ll be socializing with people who have no connection to the orphanage.”

“I suppose in New York anything is possible,” she said, more to convince herself she made the right choice. “I don’t remember much of the place. All I remember is the drafty room where I slept.”

Lines of metal cots, the smell of starch and soap, nuns stepping lightly through the corridors, a large church with stained glass windows reflecting a kaleidoscope of jewels on the wooden pews.

William touched her arm before sitting back up. Eliza smiled at him to ease his obvious discomfort at her confession. “I’m making it out worse than it was. The nuns were always nice to me.”

Edging closer, he cupped his hand on her cheek. “This is the first time I’ve seen you smile since I’ve been here.”

The gentle touch sent a pleasurable thrill through Eliza. She tried hard to ignore the sensation, but the warmth of William’s fingers didn’t allow her to brush the feeling aside.

“That’s not true.” Eliza pressed her hand to her fluttering stomach.

William tilted her chin. His intense gaze bored into her, and she parted her lips. She longed to trace the dual scars on his neck, to feel the raised flesh, to know how he felt to her touch. She wrung her hands in her lap, afraid he’d kiss her, afraid he wouldn’t, light-headed, confused.

BUY LINK

Warning: This eBook may contain language, content, images, and scenes that depict profanity, violence, sexuality/sexual relations or other content that is intended for mature adult readers. This eBook is meant only for adults as defined by the laws of the country or region where you made your purchase. If you are under the age of maturity, if adult material offends you, or if it is illegal to read, view, purchase, or own such material in your community please be warned that this eBook may contain objectionable content.

What inspires Viki is the reality that romance between lovers is a hope more than a guarantee. Her stories are an eclectic mix of contemporary and paranormal, but it is always romance that drives the story to its final happily-ever-after.

Learn more about Viki Lyn on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her bookshelf and be sure to Join Viki’s Street Team!

Viki is also an award winning author of male/male paranormal and contemporary romances. You can find all of her books at the following sites: Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and GLBT Bookshelf.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Clear That Confusion

That and Which
Take a Tip from Helen #10

by Helen Hardt

Editors are often encouraged to get rid of "that" when it's not necessary. In these cases, the "that" is an extra word that's unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence. You're not replacing "that" with another word.

For example:
He knew that the day was ending.

The "that" here is an unnecessary word. You can just as easily say:
He knew the day was ending.

However, when "that" is used as a relative pronoun, it has has a purpose in the sentence. Sometimes editors and authors confuse the relative pronoun "that" with the relative pronoun "which."

Use "that" with restrictive clauses and "which" with non-restrictive clauses. Non-restrictive clauses are usually set off by commas. A restrictive clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence. A non-restrictive clause can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Let's take a look at the sentence in my second paragraph above:

In these cases, the "that" is an extra word that's unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence.

This is a restrictive clause. We're talking specifically about "that." Let's look at the same sentence using which:

In these cases, the "that" is an extra word, which is unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence.

The clause is now non-restrictive, which means it can be deleted and the sentence has the same meaning. (Incidentally, the previous sentence also contains a non-restrictive clause.) This sentence says simply that "that" is an extra word, and implies that all extra words are unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence. Obviously that's not what we want to say here.

Any questions, just ask!

~Helen

To read excerpts from Helen Hardt's books please click a vendor's name.
Musa Publishing - Amazon

Helen Hardt is the Head Line Editor for Musa Publishing and a freelance editor. She is also an award-winning author. Helen writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and erotic romance for several publishers. Her non-writing interests include Harley rides with her husband, attending her sons’ sports and music performances, traveling, and Taekwondo (she’s a blackbelt.)

Learn more about Helen Hardt and her editing service on her website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

THREE MINUTES with HOLLY RUTAN

Where did you get the idea for Silver Bound?I'm one of those people that always has daydreams running in the background of my mind. I've loved werewolves - and canines in general, for that matter - for as long as I can remember. Silver Bound started out as one of those daydreams - an escape from what was at the time a rotten work situation.

One of my friends had just gotten published, and the combination of that and an imminent layoff spurred me to write my daydreams down on paper.

How did you develop your lead characters?
My lead characters developed themselves. I just went through later and added a little spice where it was needed.

I'm what they call a "pantser," which basically means I write by the seat of my pants. I don't outline more than a few thousand words in advance. It's pointless. I've tried several times, and end up throwing the outline away every time. The words go where they go, and the characters develop thoughts and ideas all on their own.

What drives you to write urban fantasy?
I write what I want to read.

Magic suddenly erupting in the real world is the stuff of nightmares, and all of the horror and wonder it would cause gives rise to the most fascinating stories. The ideas that come along when I ask "What if..." are endless. Those ideas drive me. The hard part is sticking to one story when there are so many that are begging to be written.

Here is a brief into Holly's chilling urban fantasy.

Not even a monster can stop what's coming.

Agent Samantha Davis, a werewolf employed by the U.S. Department of Magical Affairs, is on the hunt. Someone - or something - is siphoning away magic for their own nefarious purposes, and they're willing to die to keep their secrets. More importantly, they’re willing to kill, draining supernaturals of their blood to power their strange foreign magic. Making matters worse, it looks like Samantha's employers are losing confidence in her. She bombed her last mental health test. The two men sent to reinforce her are specialists in killing rogue weres, not the investigators she'd been expecting.

Samantha's feeling hot, and it's not just the California summer. That werehunter's cool green eyes are promising a fate far sweeter than silver bullets, but there's no time for romance. The body count is in the hundreds and rising, and if Samantha doesn't get her nose on the right scent soon, the streets of Los Angeles will be bathed in blood.

To read an excerpt please click a vendor's name.
Musa Publishing - Amazon

Holly Rutan was born and raised in the foothills of Sunland, California. Her family raised goats, chickens, and rabbits. And they ate them. She had no idea that wasn't normal for Los Angeles until high school. Her roommate teased her for being a redneck. To this day Holly misses fresh eggs every morning.

Grade school was where Holly first attempted writing which turned out to be an urban fantasy. In middle school, she found the genre in bookstores and "lost" about fifteen years exploring great authors.

Today Holly works as a librarian in the Los Angeles area. She lives with her husband, a roommate, and three awesome cats. Some of her favorite things are tall boots (ideally with buckles), goth clubs, industrial music, and vodka. For fun Holly plays board and computer games, and participates in role playing. But Holly always manages to find time for her first love: reading.

Learn more about Holly on Goodreads. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.