Thursday, April 28, 2011

RCRW Spring Intensive

Agent Alexandra Machinist flashes some YSL bling
My local romance writers group had a wonderful gathering last weekend. It had all the perks of a conference - meetings with editors and agents, classes, panels, brainstorming sessions - without any of the drawbacks - crowds, travel fees, poor food options.

I love that our chapter can host events like this, even if they are over Easter weekend. Here are my recaps of all the events my camera and I attended.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Workout Wednesday : Personal Training

The Biggest Loser fascinates and terrifies me in equal measures. I would love to take 4 months off from life and just focus on getting back to my regular weight. BUT, I would not love working out until I puke or having someone scream at me. Plus, who wants to weigh in wearing a sports bra when your belly is hanging out?

Thank goodness not all personal trainers are like that! And it doesn't have to be a weekly commitment either. Lisa developed a program I can do at home around the girl, and since she has 3 kids she understood the limitations, and how hard it can be to take off the baby weight after the 3rd kid. It's like your body is hanging onto the chub, sure you're just going to get preggers again.

Lisa also teaches the Cardio Jam class I like so much, so she checks in with my progress and struggles periodically. Plus, she taught Diva's baby ballet class, so she was able to witness the baby girl antics first hand!

For me, personal training helped give me a plan for days I can't get to a class. I don't even have to do the whole plan, just bits of it along the day. I plan on going back in the summer to try and get some ideas for taking the at-home workout outside.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Romantic Times Review!!!

4 1/2 stars


Can you feel how excited I am about finding a review from Romantic Times magazine for Private Scandal? Thrilled! And to make it even better? It has an awesome quote ::

"As juicy as a soap opera and more fun than a day at the beach."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Author Secrets Interview

I'm telling secrets at Behind the Book on Author Secrets...OK, so Maggie is outing me. Whatevs!

And...Private Scandal is the #2 bestseller at Samhain's store which is a really good sign :D

Friday, April 22, 2011

Walking Tour

My girlfriends and I always get together to celebrate our birthdays kid-free. This year, we're trying to be more adventurous than the Cheesecake Factory. So we went on an Epicurian Excusion from Portland Walking Tours.

I never would have found myself doing a salt tasting if not for the tour. The Spice & Tea Exchange let us try different salts on cucumber slices. I even had my mom buy some smoked salt so my BBQ contest loving brother could experiment with it. 

 At this point...we wanted food! Thank goodness Chez Joly was so generous with their samples. Crostini, crepe, and French onion soup. We spied a $25 price fixe dinner on their menu (salad, entree, dessert & wine) so may be returning.

We spent a lot of time at the next stop, The Park Kitchen...but didn't eat much. The garbanzo bean fries & squash ketchup were tasty, and the idea of making your restaurant as sustainable as possible is just went on a little long. It would have been more interesting if the explanations were illustrated by the samples they served...which is probably easier for them to do in the summer.

Next, we went to the EcoTrust building for Hot Lips Pizza to sample the seasonal variety - a squash sauce with broccoli & hazelnuts. I really like the juice sodas they make.

Finally, we got dessert :) Cool Moon ice cream served chocolate sorbet & trail blazer swirl and let us taste whatever else we wanted. Then, it was a quick hop on the street car back to the hotel we started at.
I had a great time, but I wouldn't take the tour again until the summer. Maybe things would have changed more by then. Is it worth the money? We got it on a special, which helps. If you know your way around Portland, you could get much more food for less money. But then, if you know your way around Portland, you might not be interested in the tour!

Guess Where I Am?

OK, so I'm not Where's Waldo or even Matt Lauer, so I better just tell ya.

I know, cool right?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Noodles

In my house, the crock pot is for pot roast and split pea soup. We've tried other recipes, but always wind up ordering pizza. Until...I dreamed this little number up.

It is easy enough for kids to prep. No joke. You need a crockpot, frozen chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) a can of coconut milk, a jar of curry sauce, and a box of rice noodles.

What an unappetising picture!

Turn the crockpot on low, drop in the chicken thighs (5 or so) pour the curry sauce over, add the coconut milk, cover and ignore for the day.

6 or 8 or 10 hours later, stir the curry...the chicken shreds itself!

Submerge the rice noodles...wait 10 minutes...or 40. Whenever. And voila! Chicken and noodles!

I know, I know...the kids eat curry? Yes, happily - even my pickiest one. Because I use mild curry. But, it's fantastic with pretty much any kind of curry. And if your careful about the jarred curry sauce? Gluten free. Can't beat it.

You can find jars of curry sauce in the Asian food section of the grocery store...I found this one at Albertsons!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Private Scandal

Private Scandal
by Jenna Bayley-Burke
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 04-19-2011
ISBN: 978-1-60928-428-2

Once their love was under wraps. Now it’s burning up the sheets.

Three months ago, Megan Carlton had the world on a string. That was before the man she loved took over her family’s hotel business and wiped out a family fortune it had taken generations to build. And before she caught him kissing another woman.

Her only solace: the secrecy of their affair saved the family from public scandal, and kept her embarrassment private. Meanwhile, with a mountain of self-confidence to rebuild, she trades her Manolos and late-night parties for coffee-stained sneakers and early morning barista shifts.

Brandon Knight had everything he ever wanted—then the woman of his dreams disappeared without one word of explanation. When he finds Megan serving coffee, he wonders if the socialite is suffering from amnesia. A hot venti to the chest proves she recognizes him. But she’s got the situation—and him—all wrong. All he has to do now is prove it.

Product Warnings :: Samhain Publishing cannot be held responsible for any characters harmed by flying handbags, improper use of a door or the misguided application of hickies. All activities involving lingerie, towels or ice cream are to be executed with extreme caution.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let's Try This Again...

I meant to be a better blogger this year. I was doing a good job of it too, until Spring Break! But, that's over now and I'm nearly caught up on household stuff, so best to get back to work! This week I will ::

  • Write the sister calls, sex museum, mirror part deux, and get them to Vegas in Driven!
  • Exercise 5 times
  • Make an appointment @ the shoe place
  • Bloodwork.
  • Find some places to do promo for Private Scandal (coming 4/19!)