Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mercy Made

I'm getting ready to open an etsy store. 

Thought I'd share my first Mercy Made item with you. Give you a chance to snag it up before it hits etsy.

Okay, so this isn't exactly something monumental. I bought the Fleur De Lis charms and put the key chain hooks on them. Big woop right?

The Fleur De Lis has accidentally become my symbol. So... might as well run with it.

Stainless steel filigree charm is 2 inches long and 2 inches wide, with stainless clip ring it's 4 inches long.

$12.00 Ships free to US addresses. 



Tuesday: Signed Print: Light from the Dark

I have one print copy of Light from the Dark in stock. I will sign, personalize, and ship, to US addresses.

Cost is $20 plus shipping.

Hurry while it lasts.

Click this buy link... also see the cover in the right side column for more purchasing options.

And for more print book choices, see Order Signed Print Books in the menu tab above.



 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cover Reveal: Last Man Standing

As you may or may not know, I'm doing a series cover refresh of the four main series books. I want the covers to all match Blindsided when it eventually comes out. And, it's time. Really. 

I've already done Offside Chance. I did it first because I messed up the print book formatting, epicly badly. So, what the hell, let's just update the whole series. Except for Bootleg Diva and Any Given Sunday that is. Those already match Blindsided.

So, out of order it is. I chose to do Last Man Standing second because this book hasn't reached the audience that the first three in the series have. It's not a throw away addition to the series. And honestly, I need you to know it's out long before Blindsided comes out.

Damien Sullivan aka Sully or The Demon is crucial to Blindsided. 

I'm hoping to relaunch the book mid-June. I'm going to look into doing a book blast or blog hop for it. Have no idea how to even start that. I'll set a date as soon as I finish the second draft of Courting Sin. 

So, anyway... without further rambling from the author... introducing the gorgeous new cover Jay Aheer graciously created for me.

 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Signed Print Book of the Day: Two Point Conversion

I have two print copies of Two Point Conversion in stock. I will sign, personalize, and ship, to US addresses.

Cost is $20 plus shipping.

Hurry while it lasts.

Click this buy link... also see the cover in the right side column for more purchasing options.

And for more print book choices, see Order Signed Print Books in the menu tab above.




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mid May Catch Up

How is it already the middle of May?
This year has flown by, while seemingly dragging along at a snail's pace.

So... okay, I've been busy. School gets out Thursday after next. We have the usual year end stuff. Final tests. Parties. She's going to have her birthday party a month early so her school friends can come. Baton recital. No graduation stuff this year. Two more years for that. Then another in six years.

I can say this, at least I'm not doing this all times three like I did with the older kids. I had one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary one year, spread out all over this city. All with extra curricular stuff that kept me hopping and broke in May. Thank the god of early menopause that I just have one now.

But, y'all don't care about all that. It's the writing stuff you're here for.

So, let's get to it shall we.

I finished the first draft of Courting Sin on May 6th. I wrote it by hand in pencil, so I'm now working on typing the first draft, and rewriting as I go. I should have the second draft finished in a week or two. I have seen the cover art for the book, and it's gorgeous. I have no plans to put this book out in paperback. It wasn't supposed to be a long story. I suspect it will end up around fifty-five thousand words. A mid range novel. Or what we call a category length in the biz.

So... what's it about?

Beach Volleyball anyone?

It's a fuck buddies to lovers story. Lots of sex. Took a twist into angstville that I'm still not happy about and will probably figure out how to get rid of. But then I'd have no last half of the book. And it's too much like a cross between Out of the Blues and Sidelined. Anyway... I can't set a publication date yet. By July.

And... it will be available in June through my Patreon as an ARC.

Speaking of Patreon.

Right now I have it turned off. I couldn't offer content for April and May so, I put it on pause. I plan to turn it back on on June 1st. I will have several levels to choose from this time. Three levels will have physical items that will need to be mailed out. I plan to offer signed copies of the new edition of Offside Chance in two levels, one for just the book, before it's available to buy, and one for the book and swag. If you choose those levels you get everything below those levels. The ARC and the ARC swag level. Okay if you choose the print/swag level you only get one print book. With a limit of the two separate swag options of the three. Also print and swag options will have a cap. Probably ten in each section. And unfortunately I can't ship books outside the US due to the massive expense of it. Oh, and part two of Stuck in Traffic. Sorry for the delay of that. Got busy.

Also, upcoming.

Last Man Standing is being repackaged next month. I have a gorgeous new cover for it. I'll have print books available through Patreon in July. with matching swag.

And finally, I'm working on the follow up to Two Point Conversion now. I plan to release it one chapter a month on Patreon. I have the first chapter mostly finished. It will not be edited. And I doubt it will ever be published, so that will be the only way you'll find it. I need to go back and read the first one before I get too much farther into this one. I'd always planned to take them through college in this one. So... anyway... yeah, Patreon, it's sort of where I'm heading as I figure shit out.

Courting Sin will publish on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, and Barnes&Noble sometime around July 1st. And Last Man Standing second edition around that same time.

What's coming up after Courting Sin?

Epiphany will finally release around November 1st. And I plan to repackage Sidelined for August. I'm still sitting the fence about Six Ways from Sunday. I'm emotionally attached to that cover. But... it doesn't correctly depict Dylan, so... dunno.

I guess I'll start my read through of all the Scrimmage books this summer so I can get Blindsided finished by the end of the year. I make no promises. It's nearly June. That book is going to take me at least two months to get through the first draft. So... no promises.

Next thing I'm writing will be tentatively title Country Grammar. So... yeah. Gotta figure that story out. Hoping for a mid range novel like Courting Sin. I need to stop it with the C titles, soon it will be like the S titles. Way too many.

Cover reveals for Courting Sin and Last Man Standing coming soon.

Peace,

Mercy

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Country cooking recipe: Swiss Steak

I don't know why it's called Swiss steak. I could google why, but I just don't feel like it. I grew up in the country. Eating country food. Which pretty much translates to what we grew and cheap as fuck. And usually deep fried or with bacon grease in it.

Guilty.

I can deep fry anything. I am not going to deep fry anything. Just cuz you can doesn't mean you should. And I honestly don't like batter fried foods.

So, tonight I made Swiss steak. It's a fairly cheap, mostly all homemade meal.

What is Swiss steak you ask?

It's sort of a stewed meat in gravy thing.

You can google recipes. It's made several different ways. You can do a brown gravy, or a mushroom gravy, but that's too much like Salisbury steak to me. I use tomato gravy for mine. You can also use any cut of beef or even pork that you'd like. I use cubed steak. You know, that cheap steak with the funny texture.

You can leave the steaks whole or however you like. I cut mine into little steak nuggets. Make sure you cut out the bits with the fat, that does not fry up well.

And again, you can pre-cook the meat one of several different ways. Just saute it in oil or butter and add it to the gravy mixture or, do like I do, and lightly flour the meat and deep fry it. Set it aside when it's nice and brown however you do it.

Okay, so here's the recipe.

Cubed steak. How many depends on how many people you're going to feed. One per person would be a general rule. Most groceries sell them in convenient multi packs.

I cut out the fat and gristle and cube the cube steak. You can leave whole. Cut into strips. Any way you want to do it.

Season the meat. I use just plain sea salt and pepper.

Lightly flour. You'll want your meat damp, or maybe a little more than damp. I usually put a couple of teaspoons of water in before the flour and mix it with the steak chunks. This helps the flour stick to the meat, it doesn't form a huge thick batter crust. A bit of a crunchy crust. You can season the flour if you like. I don't. I'll tell you why next.

Either deep fry the nuggets like chicken. Or put a little oil or butter in a skillet and brown on each side. Either works. You want the meat to be mostly cooked through. And brown crispy crusty.

Set aside on a platter.

Now for the gravy.

I use a can of crushed tomatoes as my base.

I use the bigger can. And a half of a can of water. This will work for three to six steaks.

Yellow onion.

Bell pepper.

A bit of garlic if you like.

Salt and pepper.

This is all to taste, really. I don't measure anything ever so I can't write out exactly how I do it. I just plop stuff in a pot and it comes out right in the end. But I've been cooking since I was 11 years old so...

I use the equivalent of two onion slices. I like yellow or Vidalia onions best because they're sweeter.

Bell pepper, meh, about a half of a small one. But I made this batch for three people, so that was enough.

I dice the onions up tiny. It's a personal thing. I don't like to feel them in my mouth but enjoy the flavor they give to food. Dice it however you like. Big, little, tiny, or leave out completely. Up to you. This is a stew. You can do stew how you like to do stew. Same with the peppers and garlic.

You're going to saute the vegetables in a little oil. If you have some left over from the meat that isn't burnt, is good. Or fresh oil, any kind you like, or even butter, not a lot. enough to sweat your veggies. If you have an oven proof dutch oven use it. It's perfect. Make sure it can go into the oven. Most do. Some don't.

You want to get the onion to turn translucent, that's when you know it's soft. When your onion is translucent add your can of tomatoes and salt and pepper. You can add other seasonings if you like. Play around with the flavors.

Half a can of water to rinse the rest of the tomato out of the can. And stir together. More water if you have more steak. More tomato if you go over five or six steaks. Also if the steaks are huge. You don't want this soupy. Just enough water to expand the tomatoes but not enough to drown the food. You're going to reduce the water out in the oven.

Bring your tomato and vegetables to a boil, then add the meat into it.

Notice I did not say add flour to thicken your gravy. That's already on your meat if you breaded it before cooking.
Mix together really well.

Then stick it in the oven on 450 degrees for about a half hour. Or you can slow simmer on top of the stove, but I usually end up burning it that way. Baking is better.

You want to make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly and the gravy is thick, but not too thick. It should be soft but not fall apart.

Serve over white rice.

I like canned Del Monte French style green beans with mine... little butter, little bacon grease. Mmm.

Any bread you like. Or none at all.

It takes about an hour from prep to table. It's not pretty but it's yummy, fairly inexpensive, and feeds a lot of people.

Tonight's dinner. There are chunks of steak in there. I promise.