Guest – Sara Walter Ellwood


gamblingonasecretsmcqCharli’s Chicken and Vegetables Casserole

Today, I’d like to share a recipe I developed for my heroine Charli Monroe in Gambling On A Secret. Charli cooks this casserole for dinner after she and her manager, Dylan Quinn, clean out the stable of her newly purchased ranch.

Dylan doesn’t want to stay, but he really doesn’t want to go home either. So, he helps Charli cut up the chicken, and after it’s finished cooking, they share a simple meal. One of many.

~*~

4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch strips

2 tablespoons of butter

1 14.5 can of chicken broth plus enough water to equal 2 cups of liquid

1 package of long grain and wild rice mix (such as Uncle Bens)

1 package frozen mixed vegetables—Broccoli, Carrots and Cauliflower

1 cup of shredded cheese (Cheddar or Colby)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in 10 inch frying pan. Add chicken and brown. Pour in broth and bring to a boil.

Add rice and season packet, cook until rice is tender and sauce begins to thicken. Spray 4 quart casserole dish with Pam and spread vegetables on bottom. Pour chicken and rice mixture over the vegetables, and toss together. Sprinkle cheese over top and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and vegetables are tender. Serves 6.

Blurb:

When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?

Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitches—the Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.

Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wife’s betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, Dylan’s even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her.

When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

CONTENT WARNING: Details abuse of a minor, drug abuse, alcoholism, swearing, spicy sex, murder.

COVER QUOTE: “Full of intrigue, tangled pasts, and raw emotions, this one is guaranteed to keep you turning pages from start to finish and then wishing for one more chapter!”
Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Just a Cowboy and His Baby.

Ms. Brown also named Gambling On A Secret as one of her favorite romance reads in 2012 in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today.

Excerpt:

“Ferguson, what are you doing here?” Dylan barked.

Leon ambled toward them on the stone path. “I’m saving a young maiden from torment. What are you doing here, playing the part of the devil?”

“I’m Miss Monroe’s new manager.” The deadly edge of his voice matched the flintiness of his eyes. “If there’s anyone to save the young maiden from, it’s you.”

“Mr. Quinn, please.” She turned to Leon. “Leon, is there something I can do for you?”

He smiled, showing off perfect white teeth in a face handsome enough to belong to an actor. “I was just passing by on my way home and decided to stop. How are the boys working out?”

Dylan’s stance widened and his hands flexed at his slides. “What boys?”

“Charli and I have entered into a business arrangement.”

She lost the battle with the urge to wrap her arms around herself. As much as she appreciated Leon’s kindness, respected him, and was even a little attracted to him, something about him didn’t sit right with her. He represented her peers in the community. According to Mrs. Pratt, besides the Cartwrights, she and Leon were undoubtedly the wealthiest residents in the county. No one in Colton could learn about her past. It would ruin her, and Leon, no doubt, had the means to dig up the dirt.

“Really?” Dylan stepped closer to her in a protective manner. Whiskey tainted his breath as the warmth of the exhalations tickled her cheek. “What kind of business arrangement?”

She could protect herself. Dylan Quinn wasn’t any safer than Leon Ferguson. Stepping away from him, she forced her arms to her sides. “Mr. Quinn, I can handle this.”

She faced Leon. “I’m amazed by how much the men got done since starting on Monday. The foreman told me last evening they’d be reseeding another fifty acres for hay this morning. And they have the corrals fixed and started on the fencing in the north pasture.”

“Good, good.” He glanced at Dylan. “I’ll be going, unless you need a more reliable exterminator. I couldn’t help but overhear about your snake infestation. I can give you the name of the company that has gotten rid of the snakes in our lakes over on Oak Springs for years.”

Although he presented the perfect solution, she didn’t the like way Leon had looked at Dylan as he said the word exterminator. “No, Mr. Quinn is quite capable of getting rid of the snake.”

“Oh, I’m sure he is.” Leon tipped his hat. “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you, Charli.” Dylan’s jaw tightened as his uncle glanced at him. “It’s good to see you up among the living again.”

Leon headed back to his Porsche. With no pretense of lowering his voice, Dylan said, “Now, there’s a snake no one wants in their garden.”

Upon hearing the jibe, Leon’s shoulders jerked in mid-stride.

Rattled by Leon’s attention and the snake fiasco, she turned on Dylan. “You aren’t off the hook. I want those snakes gone.”

“We’ll see.”

“I hate snakes.” She shuddered and put her hands on her hips. “Maybe I should have asked him who the exterminator is.”

Bio:

crop_2279Sara Walter Ellwood is an award winning author whose novel Gambling On A Secret was named by bestselling author Carolyn Brown in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today as one of her favorite romances of 2012. Although Sara has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her stories. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for nearly 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia.

She also writes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.

Buy Links:

Lyrical Press | AmazonBarnes and Noble | BookStrand

Author links:

Website | Blog | Facebook: | Twitter 

Giveaway:

**PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GIVEAWAY**

~One poster from every stop will win a Gambling On A Secret ebook

~One commenter from each stop will win a piece of custom jewelry.

(The winners of these two prizes will be announced the day after the tour stop.) 

I also have 2 Grand Prizes!

~First Grand Prize is a SWAG PACK, including a signed copy of Carolyn Brown’s Just a Cowboy and His Baby. Also included is a copy of D’Ann Lindun’s Shot Through the Heart, a pen, a notebook, a horse themed mini calendar, a patriotic themed day planner, and more all tucked away in a reusable tote bag at the end of my blog tour.

~Second Grand Prize is a $10 Gift Card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you follow the tour and comment as often as possible, you increase your chances of winning!

(The winners of the Swag Pack and Gift Card will be announced on March 1, 2013.)

(Swag Pack is only eligible for US residents to win. The jewelry and gift card are eligible to US and Canada residents only. The ebook is eligible to anyone, unless prohibited by law.)

GamblingonaSecretTour

Guest Blogger: Christine Warner

twotimingtheboss_w7107_680-31First off I’d like to thank Sharon for letting me take over her blog today!  THANK YOU SHARON!!!

Second, I’d like to give away one copy of my book Two-Timing the Boss in eformat to one commenter :-)

Today I want to have a little Two-Timing the Boss character dictionary fun. That’s right, I’m going to lay out the main characters that appear in Two-Timing the Boss and give you a little bit of info about them.  Are you ready?

Keller Donovan:  Hot, sexy, billionaire boss of Donovan Enterprises who stands several inches over six feet and possesses thick, wavy brown hair that lightens to a soft, fired copper at the ends. He’s got a bad rep in the boardroom as well as the bedroom and believes all relationships have a shelf life of six months or less. Is there a woman out there who can change his mind?

Farah Smith:  An amber haired good-girl who will do anything to help her sister, even going so far as dressing up as a blonde office professional who teeters in heels over one inch and dares to speak her mind. She believes in a safe, fairy-tale love like in the old movies she enjoyed watching with her grammy. Does such a love exist?

Karah Smith:  Farah’s twin sister who shares her amber hair and brown eyes and was burned in a car accident where she lost the love of her life.  She’s a bit spoiled and selfish, but loves her sister just as much as her sister loves her—though she doesn’t let that part of her show. Will she grow past her selfishness and see her full potential?

Alec:  The good-natured neighbor who owns a catering business and has helped Farah and Karah through some rough times. He’s in love with one of the sisters, but to shy to reveal himself—at first. Will the sister he loves return his feelings?

Robin:  Keller’s long-term employee who knows him better than he knows himself. She ends up being Farah’s confidant and also turns on the lights so Farah can see Keller for who he truly is. What part will she play in helping love find a home?

Paul:  Farah’s ex who left her when she decided caring for her sister was her number one priority—but he’s back on the scene and he wants to win Farah back. Will he?

Richard Parks:  The married office gossip and resident trouble maker-womanizer who feels every female in his vicinity won’t be able to resist him. Can Farah?

BLURB:

Farah Smith is on a mission: secure the funds for her twin sister’s surgery.  She’ll do whatever it takes to succeed.  Even if that means putting her values aside to work for a man she finds morally bankrupt.  But when the real Farah meets her new boss, she wonders if she’ll be able to resist his sexy advances long enough to help her sister.

From the blonde wig, to the stilettos strapped around her ankles, Farah’s a clone of Keller Donovan’s harem of past assistants.  She can’t believe she’s let herself be talked into the disguise, let alone working for the man planning to demolish the hospital her sister so desperately needs, but the salary he offers is the only way she’ll be able to afford her sister’s surgery.  The moment Farah meets Keller she realizes her most daunting task isn’t typing, spreadsheets or organizing travel arrangements, but fighting the growing attraction toward a man whose ruthlessness is legendary in the boardroom as well as the bedroom.

Determined not to end up in a disastrous marriage like his divorced parents, Keller believes all relationships should have a shelf life of sixth months or less.  But when he meets Farah, all bets are off.  He not only wants her to continue as his personal assistant, but his own private bed warmer.  Unfortunately, his offer of an affair doesn’t sit well with her fairytale dreams or the strangled hold gripping his heart.

EXCERPT:

These damn shoes would be the death of her.  She could read the headlines now:  Penniless P.A. Falls to her Death while on Job Interview.

Almost to her destination, with no more mishaps, her confidence surfaced.  Okay, maybe mastering this heel thing wouldn’t be such a big deal.  Her steps became light, almost bouncy.  Although she sensed Keller Donovan behind her, she didn’t let it deter her feeling of success.  She stepped onto the large black and red area rug, less than ten feet from her target.  The leather chairs.

“Oh!”  Farah’s spiky heel caught on the edge of the expensive rug.  Her legs shook and she shot her arms out from her sides, circling them like a bird about to take flight.  She fought to regain balance inside the ridiculous stilts strapped to her feet.  A brawl to the death.  Over when she looked down to see the rug coming up to kiss her face.  She threw out her hands, sucked in a breath and closed her eyes, scrunching her face as she prepared for impact.

But nothing happened.  There were stars all right, and a blazing jolt of electricity shot from her toes, up her legs, through her body and exited with the small gasp which escaped her lips.  Somehow Keller Donovan had grabbed her around the waist before she met the floor.

Heat burned her cheeks.  He may have saved her body from bruises, but her ego, and whatever confidence she’d walked in with had shattered.

“Let’s not have an accident before your health benefits kick in.”  His breath

tickled her ear from behind.  Chills hugged her backbone.

His touch released an unsettling flutter in her abdomen.  She sucked in her stomach from the pressure of his strong arms wrapped around her middle, afraid to breathe.

I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into Two-Timing the Boss and if I’ve put your curiosity to the test and you want to know the answers I’ve asked at the each of each character description, check out Two-Timing the Boss from The Wild Rose Press.

Two-Timing the Boss is available in print and digital format at:

http://thewildrosepress.com/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

http://www.amazon.com/

And you can find me at:

My blog/website:  http://christine-warner.com/

Twitter under ChristinesWords: https://twitter.com/#!/ChristinesWords

My Facebook page…stop by and give it a LIKE to informed of what I have in the works: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Warner/143430882396013

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763713.Christine_Warner

I’d love to give away an ebook copy of Two-Timing the Boss to one commenter…so please leave your email address so that I can contact you after a winner is chosen!

Have a Wonderful December!!!

Guest Post – Jennifer Lowery – Giveaway!!!!

Jennifer is my guinea pig :-). I’ve never had a guest blogger before and am hoping to make this a continuous thing. She’s a fabulous author with a fabulous book so without further ado, heres Jennifer!

Hi Sharon and all you fabulous readers out there *waves* Thank you so much for having me today! My debut book, Hard Core, released this month so I’m very excited to be here! Thank you so much for sharing it with me!! 

In honor of my release I am offering a copy of my debut contemporary suspense, Hard Core, in either ebook format or signed print copy to one lucky commenter so please leave me a comment with your EMAIL and gift choice to be entered to win!!

In writing Hard Core I knew the moment when Cristian walked away from Alana, the Big Black Moment, was going to be a hard scene to write. Although romance readers know there will be a happy ever after, there is always that moment of doubt and wonder if the hero/heroine will truly get theirs. This is that moment in Hard Core. I had a hard time writing it because it was so painful to see my hero and heroine separate and part of me wondered if Cristian truly was too stubborn to admit his feelings! I won’t give away the ending.  You’ll have to read the book to see if Cristian and Alana get their happy ever after! Enjoy!

“I didn’t kill him. I missed. It was Mercer’s bullet that killed him.” Her breath hitched and she shuddered. “I’m sorry. You just woke up. I shouldn’t burden you with this. “How are you feeling?”

He tilted her chin, forced her to look at him. “It’s no burden. And you are not that woman.”

Her eyes glistened with tears. “I feel like I am. Like Gavin changed me.”

“He did. He made you stronger.”

“I don’t feel strong,” she whispered, leaning into his hand now caressing the soft skin of her cheek.

“You are the strongest woman I know. You’ll be fine.”

“Thank you.” She laid her head down on his chest. They both knew what he meant when he said she would be fine. Fine without him. In her new life. Harvard was waiting for her and he didn’t fit into that world. Even though she wouldn’t voice it, Alana knew it too.

With a heavy heart, Slade held her, let her cry on his shoulder for what could never be. It remained unspoken between them, but they both knew they had no future. Her future was bright with possibilities. He wouldn’t hold her from that. Not for him. He knew she would sacrifice herself for him without a second thought, and he couldn’t let that happen. She had made too many sacrifices already. To ask her to stay with him would be selfish.

So, with a kiss on top of her head, he let her go.

What do you think? Will Cristian and Alana get their happy ever after? Don’t forget to leave your EMAIL for a chance to win!!
Thank you for having me today, Sharon!! I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all my readers out there! Without you I wouldn’t be here. My wish is to one day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your generosity and support! 
All my best, 
Jennifer

Hard Core/Romantic Suspense

Blurb:

Tag: He takes lives. She saves them.

A supposedly hassle-free job for mercenary Cristian Slade becomes a mission of mercy when he saves a life instead of taking one. Slade’s new mission might be his most dangerous yet, because the danger is to his heart.

Tragedy has sent esteemed surgeon Alana O’Grady to a remote a remote Nicaraguan island where she immerses herself in the lives of a native American tribe, using her talents for goodwill instead of wealth and prestige. But life turns upside down when her work requires she protect a rugged mercenary who commands her attention when she’s awake and dominates her dreams while she sleeps.

Doctoring Cristian puts her entire tribe in danger from the man who’s hunting him. Is it her professional oath or her unprofessional attraction to him keeping her from sending him away to heal on his own? Alana’s fire warms Cristian’s heart, but he’s a hardened assassin and has no business falling for someone like her. Can they fight hard enough to keep what they might have together?

Buy Hard Core:

Amazon | Lyrical Press | Barnes & Noble | Bookworld | iTunes

Find Jennifer:

Author Website  | Facebook | Twitter |  Romance Recipes