Monday, December 31, 2012

The Silver Sphere Busting Out Party

I’ve been writing since first setting pencil to steno pad at age 8. A year later, I began developing the world of my current series-in-progress, and even created its title, The Silver Sphere. Now, with the support of years of experience, those early maps and back stories have progressed into what I hope is a fresh and entertaining take on the classic young adult fantasy adventure.
Despite my frequent escapes into parallel worlds, I root myself firmly in my very real family and community. When not pacing the yard maniacally after every few pages of writing, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with my studly 9-year-old son, and my inspirational wife Jenna. I also coach several local youth sports teams in Beverly Hills, and alternate between yelling at my two crazy Corgis and hiking with my trained German Shepherd.
For more, join me in my favorite fantasy worlds, from Lord of the Rings to the creations of C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks. Even more importantly, stop by and say hello on my Facebook page at AuthorMichaelDadich, tweet me at @MichaelDadich, and stalk my website at

The Silver Sphere


Michael Dadich


Shelby Pardow never imagined she could kill someone. All she wants to do is hide from her troubled father… when she is teleported to awaiting soldiers on the planet Azimuth. Here she is not a child, but Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned. He seeks to become dictator of this world (and then Earth by proxy).
His father, Biskara, is an evil celestial entity, tracked by the Assembly with an armillary device, The Silver Sphere. With the Assembly now deposed, Biskara directs Malefic and the Nightlanders to their strategic targets. Unless….
Can Shelby find the other Kin, and develop courage and combat skills? Can the Kin reassemble in time to release or replace the Assembly, overthrowing Malefic and restraining Biskara?

Michael will be awarding a $75 Amazon or GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tours.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lost in Plain Sight or Lost in the Crowd

Yesterday, I lost my computer glass. I knew where I had left them, yet they weren’t there. I searched the whole house, thinking I may have taken them to a different room, only to find them later behind the table where I had laid them.

This is how I think most of us feel at times in today’s world. We are standing in the middle of a crowd, or at the grocery store walking down the aisle. Some one starts talking behind us. We turn, only to find that they are not talking to us at all. They’re on a cell phone carrying on a conversation with someone else.

In plain sight, but not seen.

So what?

Big deal.

What’s your point?

I guess I'm just trying to say "you’re not alone."

Everyone shares these feelings. Just take a moment to smile at them. You never know how it might brighten their day, and it reminds them they are not alone.

Hope you are having a great holiday season and the next year begins you everything you hope for,


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Recovering During the Holidays

Whenever I think about the grieving family in Conn., my heart bleds.

It is so hard to lose someone in the month of December because every year it comes back to you.

My father died at the beginning of the month and every year I struggle to remember that this is a joyous time of year not one for mourning.

But how can one get over the pain of losing someone. It isn't an easy task and no one can predict how long it will take to find the peace of accepting their death.

There are still times that I will find myself tearing up, even if I'm remembering a happy event.

The reason I believe is because certain people stay in our hearts forever. They touched us deeply and no matter how hard we try we can't replace them. They are a part of us.

To help deal with these feelings it is important to understand we all grieve and we all grieve differently. So try not to be hard on yourself, stay social, and continue to get out. Exercise is another way to ward off long spells of depression.

Remember the people you have around you and enjoy them.

Breathe and recall how much the person loved you. They would want you to go on and have a wonderful life.

I hope this has helped, feel free to leave a comment. Sometime it helps to share a memory.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Tina Gayle's Blog Busting with Bug-In Authors

Hi everyone,

I'm sure you know what today is "December 21" what a treat the beginning of winter solstice. After today the days will get longer, that is if we make it to tomorrow.

So the Bug-in hop group
Decide to have a blog fest where each author drops by the other ones and leaves a comment.

Each tells you a little about their latest release.

I, of course, get to tell you about my book first because we're on my blog goes.

Birth is the 2nd book in the Executive Wives' Club Series

Four women...
One fatal car wreck...
Everyone's lives changed...

Brie Sullivan has a new baby girl and there are a million things to do, but Brie doesn’t have the energy to keep up. Why? She’s still grieving for her husband and suffering from baby blues, but she won’t let that stop her. She’s come up with the answer--find a new husband to be the father of her kids.

Jason Clark has been doing everything he can to help Brie. He loves her but can he accept her proposal of marriage knowing she’s not thinking clearly about the future?

Purchase ebook at:

Don't stop here make sure to read the comments to discover other great bug-in authors.

Have a wonderful day,


Monday, December 17, 2012

Tina Gayle's Tidings of Joy

Reach for the sky!
Toy Story

After looking at my goals for this year, I have found that I have done record sales. I am very excited about putting myself in the driver's seat of my career and self-publishing my books.

Read the 1st chapter of any of my books at

I hope everyone else had a great year and the new year show even more promise for all of us.

Reminder - the Bug-in Hop is ending Friday 12/21 with the end of the world as we know it. Having a blow out event with all the authors involved stopping by to tell you more about their books.

Please drop in and discover some awesome new authors.

Have a fabulous week,


Friday, December 14, 2012

Author Tip from I Wrote My First Story Now What

How many emails do you send out a day?
To who?
Then it might be a smart idea to setup and
Email signature line – By making sure you have a signature line, you can directs people either to your website, your blog, or gives a list of your books.

• Some authors use a tagline that describes the type of books they write. Example: Women’s stories with heart.

• This helps to remind people who you are and what you do.

• Make the subject line compelling so that people will open your email. Remember this is the first thing they read.
It never hurts to remind people that you have other place where they can visit to learn more about you.
Have a good one,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Treat - Orange Cranberry Scones

“There are no days in life so memorable as those which vibrated to some stroke of the imagination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love creating a recipe that I know will be good, but I don't like it when I'm not pleased with the out come. For that reason, I decide to share this recipe. It is a tasty treat that you can enjoy on a cold winter morning.


2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Sweetened Dried Cranberries
2 teaspoons orange zest


Preheat oven to 425ºF. Grease a cookie sheet.

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Work butter or margarine into dry ingredients until butter is the size of small peas using a pastry blender or fork. Add remaining ingredients, mixing just until dry ingredients are moist.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Pat into a circle 3/4-inch thick; cut into 8 wedges. Place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8 scones.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bah Humbug, It’s the Holidays

That doesn't mean you have to stress it. Yes, you may want to get together with family and friends. But yeah, these people know you. If you don't have the house in perfect order will they notice or even care?

No, they came to spend time with you and have a good time.

So don't decorate ever corner of the house, spend a little less time cooking, buy gift cards instead of picking out a sweater for everyone. In other words, relax and enjoy the people around you. They are what is important.

If you feel you must do these things, do them with someone you like make it fun and share the chore.

Over the years, my husband and I have decided that we can still enjoy the holiday even if there is no tree.

This year we have a beautiful poinsettia sitting in the middle of the dining room table. I love it and it will last longer than a tree.

All so with the gift cards I give people can get more on the after christmas sales.

So slow down and enjoy the season. Forget the stress and take some time to refect on how truly lucky you are to have some many special people in your life.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and thank you for reading my are special to me.


Happy Holidays.







Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Getting the Word Out - New Release by Anita Philmar

A spy that prefers to work alone, Nick Royster’s assignment is turned upside down when his superiors sends him a personal companion. Not appreciating the need to watch someone else’s back, he attends a dinner of Salsar’s inner group. Only to learn, he has to sacrifice Rane to get the information he needs to end the war.

Rane knows the important of winning. Her family slaughtered by Salsar, this is her homeland and she plans to do whatever it takes to win her peoples’ freedom.

With everything on the line, can these two have any future together or does love and war equal heartache? 


 A knock slam through Nick’s unit and woke him from a sensual dream, one where a soft, willing woman lay over him. He opened his eyes and stared at the golden-red lock of hair in his line of vision. A small hand pressed against the center of his chest and a naked body slid away from his.
“Nick, someone is at the door.” Rane soft voice broke through the appealing remnants of his fantasy with reality. “I can’t answer it, because my clothes haven’t arrived yet.”  
He shifted his weight to the edge of the bed while she moved to other side next to the wall. “No problem, I’ll get it.”
The banging noise started again.
“Hold on, I’m coming.” He retrieved his pants from the floor and stepped into them.
“I’ll wait here,” Rane said before he strolled out of the room.
He’d didn’t look back for fear of changing his mind about leaving. The chance of him getting any more time to satisfy his sexual cravings today were dwindling down to nil. The mine production schedule took precedent over his personal life.
After pressing the device to unhook the lock, Nick pulled open the door. Vince stood on the threshold, grinning. A large chest sat at his feet.
“Glad to see you can still walk.” Vince glanced around and peeked into Nick’s unit. “So where’s your companion?”
“In bed,” Nick grumbled and pushed the door almost close.
“Wait, I have your companion’s clothes here.” Vince pointed to the oversize metal trunk at his feet. “And a note from Salzar.”
“All right.” Nick opened the door and held it while Vince shoved the strongbox into his apartment. “Put it over there.” Nick pointed to the space in front of the couch.
Vince did his bidding then straightened and glanced around expectantly. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your lady friend?” 
“Not a chance. Now give me Salzar’s note and get the hell out.” Nick held out a hand and waited with his other hand on the door to close behind his manager’s ass.
Vince grinned and pulled an envelope from his pocket. “Can’t say that I blame you, but I couldn’t resist asking.”
He passed Nick the note and walked through the door. “And by the way, you don’t need to worry about the mine. I’ve got everything under control.”
“Good.” Nick slammed the door and tore into Salzar’s note.

Also Tina, I have a free read on smashword if you're readers would like to download it.

Thanks, Anita. Best of luck with your new release. I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.

Have a great day everyone,


Monday, December 3, 2012

Tina Gayle's Tidings of All Sorts of Stuff

If you been reading my blog - then you know today I'm announcing the winner of my Prepper contest.  Whether you enter my contest or not it is always good to be prepared follow along the prepper trail and win more items from romance author getting ready for Dec. 21.

My winner is Tracy D. She wins a $5.00 amazon gift cert. and copies of my ebooks Birth and Revive.

Here are some stops coming up in the next week.


4: Malia Mallory -- Food Storage
5: Sky Purington--Maple syrup (December)

6: Mona Karel--Gardening in inhospitable places

7: Barb Mazzuca -- Coins/jewelry as cash on hand (needs Thurs/Fri post in December)

8: Anne Marie Novark--Bees (December)

9: Skhye's Sunday Weekly Summary

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill

Hope you have an awesome week,


Saturday, December 1, 2012

May not be a Preppers - But Being Prepared Never Hurts

Welcome to the Bug-in -- Romance Blog Hop.

If you have watched the show Prepper - then you know there are a number of important areas to be concern - Water, Security, Shelter, Food.

Now, it is great to have a gas oven and electricity to heat up your food, but what happens when these things go away?

Like I wrote in Nov. 26 blog, first you need to know how to build a fire.

Then you have to know how to cook over an open flame. It's not the same as using your stove top

You do not have a knob to turn down the heat.

Instead, you'll want a fire just for cooking. Start it early so the fire has a chance to burn down. This way you have hot coal that can be used for heating your food. It is also advisable to have an additional fire so that you can take coals from it and continue cooking your meal in the small cook area.

Remember, how many different pieces of equipment you use in your kitchen? You will need these same utensils outside. Mitts, pans, spoons, spices, water, etc. Have these things available so you are not constantly looking for items to use. 

Once you have set up your outside kitchen, then you can get started. After the flames go down on your cook fire, you should have plenty of hot coals available. Place a sturdy grill grate over the coals, making sure this is held in place and won't tip over.

If you are simple warming up a can of soup, pour it into your cooking pot, and set the pot on the grill.

The reason, I used this example is because most can food has a longer shelve life - Make sure to have several can openers available.

Also some things you might not have thought about is a coal bucket and a coal shovel to carry the coals from one fire to the other.

Most recipes can be motified so that you can cook them on an open fire -- except maybe those microwave quickies that we've all learned to love.

The main thing to remember is to check what you're cook often so it doesn't burn.

Unless of course you are cooking with a dutch oven, then you need to watch the time and keep the coals hot around the pot.

I know this is not as much detail as you might want so I encourage you to look on the internet for more information and try out your skills at camp cooking. You may discover that you enjoy the challenge.

I am giving away $5.00 amazon gift card so you can get whatever supplies you may need and copy of my ebooks- Revive and Birth. I am hoping you'll have a chance to read them before the end of the world as we know it. I plan to announce the winner and send out the prizes on Dec. 3 so make sure to leave a comment to be included in the drawing.

Read the first chapter of an of my books at

The Bug-in With Romance Blog Hop continues tomorrow (12/02/2012) with Skhye's Sunday Weekly Summary

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tina's Everyday Tidings

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.

My husband and I played golf and put together a puzzle. My boys didn't make it home so all was quiet.

On my picture page, I have golf courses pictures of when we were out in Palm Springs

What I'm really lacking this week is inspiration so I thought I'd share one of my favorite inspirational quotes.

"Persistence prevails when all else fails."

Also, don't forget about the bug-in event. There are a number of prizes being given away and a lot of things that you might need to know.

Here are the next few stops

27: Genella DeGrey --(needs early position) T-paper (A REALLY good thing to buy while people are shopping elsewhere!)

28: Holly Roberts-- the BDSM emergency 48-hour pack. All the things you can use for sex, torture, and also survival; i.e. The multi-purpose Bug-out bag!

29: D'Elen McClain-- Self-defense

30: AnnaKathryn Lanier -- Cooking with canned/dried food

Have a super sparkly day,


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting Ready to Bug-IN Event Announcement

It's almost the end of the world. Winter Solstice is right around the corner. Are you ready to survive and thrive? 

We're a group of mostly romance authors that are worried about general fox-hole morale when the shit hits the fan. So you've got your bug-out bags packed, your medicine stocked up, your 2 weeks of food stuff hidden in the air-space behind the dry wall in your home (just in case the government shows up to confiscate your horde of food), you've stored away some candles and extra batteries, and you're ready to go. Well, what about Mom's sanity? What about those almost twenty year old daughters hooked on romance novels? What about...How are you planning to while away the boredom in your little safe place? We've got you covered. Win some romance novels and tick off your preparedness checklist with us as we countdown to THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. 

Each author will be giving away a paperback copy of her book, a book about her Bug-In subject, or one of her favorite reads. So, stick around to enter to win each day. The blog event is a true blog hop in the sense that it begins with one blog post and moves on each day to another participating author's blog. Each day the hostess will post the link to the next day's blog post and contest. All you do is start today, here.

And don't forget to pop over tomorrow to learn some interesting survival info and enter to win a prize! Sheree Coleman--bug-out bags (LINK TO TOMORROW'S POST)

I'll see you all back here on my day Dec. 1 when I'm talking about camp cooking.
But first I thought I better cover the more basic idea of building a fire.
Some of us may not have prepared by having a camp stove or a solor oven. We might be stuck cooking over a open fire. In that case the most important think to have on hand is matches.
Matches - I personal prefer the long wooden kitchen matches. Best to get your box now before the rush so stock up today.
How to build a fire.
First, you will need to collect several things,
  1. rocks - these will be used to lay out around the perimeter of the fire. This will keep the fire from spreading.
  2. wood - both large and small pieces. (wood should be as dry as possible.)
  3. kindling - leaves, small twigs, scrap of paper, pinestraw.
  4. bucket of water.
Next decide where you want to build the fire - at least ten feet away from tents, overhanging limbs, other flamable items.
  • Clear an area on the ground where you want to build the fire about a two foot circle.
  • Mark the perimeter with the rocks you have collected. (for fire control also have a bucket of water ready.)
  • Lay down a layer of dry kindling in the center.
  • Stack small sticks in a tee-pee pattern around the kindling allow air to flow into the fire.
  • Light the kindling with match.
  • Keep add increasing larger sticks and wood to the fire until it grows to the desired strengh.
  • An be sure to extinquish complete when you are done.

Now, you have a fire you are one step closer to cooking on an open fire.

See back here on my bug-in blog day Dec. 1.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tina's Special Gift to Say Thanks

I have had so much help from different writers since I have decided to become a writer.

Today I'd like to give back.

Now until Saturday - Nov. 24 you can download my book "I Wrote My First Story - Now What?" free from

just use the promo code of FP43x
when you check out.

Here are some of my chapter headings.

Where are you in the Process?

Fork in the Road

The Traditional Route




Blogging on other sites

Other Social Media Sites

Review Sites

Writer’s Organizations


Entering Contest


Hosting a Contest


Free Reads


Book signing

Email setup a signature line

Buying ads

Read other books and leave reviews.
I wish you all the luck in the coming holiday season.

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you have a wonderful Turkey day.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mating Rituals - Rules of The Ball #Excerpt


“All right, ladies, please line up for the final event of the evening–The Ladies Parade,” a voice boomed from the speakers. “Give your partner a smile and a curtsy, and then ascend the stairs to the stage area.”

“Right,” Marohka reasoned, “like I need any man.”

Harold, the father presenter, liked to follow the old habit of bowing to one’s partner. The custom to him added romance and grandeur to the evening. She could’ve told him differently, but with him being an old stick from a bygone era and a hopeless romantic, he wouldn’t have listened.

“Now, gentlemen, here are the rules. Although, you might know them, I’ll restate them again so no problems will occur because you forgot what you’re supposed to do.” Harold paused a moment and scanned the crowd. “So listen carefully.”

Marohka and the other girls started up both sides of the twin staircases. Harold stood at the top of the landing, dressed in his usual green plaid suit. His cheeks colored with his excitement.

“Each one of these lovely ladies will be carrying a small placard with a number printed on it.” Harold showed them a sample card. “The number is not how many mates she desires.” The crowd broke into the expected laughter. Harold grinned.

She wished her sign displayed a zero. Even one man was more than she needed. All evening, she’d avoided them. If a man approached, she offered him a rude comment and walked away to prove her lack of interest in catching a mate.

“If you’re attracted to a certain lady and want to meet her in the mating arena, take note of her number. If you write down the wrong number, you’ll be matched with a different girl, which would result in an unwelcome surprise.” Harold released a small cough of humor.

“You can choose three women. In the end, however, you’ll only be mated with one.”

A good-natured roar of disappointment exploded from the men in the hall. Marohka rolled her eyes at the typical male response.

Harold sighed. “Sorry, boys, that’s the rule. The Council of Elders will determine which girl on your list will become your mate. Then it’s up to you to pass the next challenges. The first duel is at three sharp in the battling arena. Be sure to check the schedule. If you miss your fight time, you’ll be out of the running and will have to wait until next year.”

Turning to the girls standing beside him, Harold added. “Ladies, don’t worry. An escort will be sent to your room to make sure you arrive on time.”

As the oldest unmated girl, Marohka stood at the front of the line. Her future suspended on the edge of success. She’d led the other girls down the red carpet, along the edge of the dance floor, through the ballroom, and then back up the twin staircase on the other side of the room many times. She drew in a deep breath, preparing for her final steps to freedom.

Harold glanced at her and nodded. “At the top of the list from the Taunton family is our special princess, Marohka. A smart girl, she’ll offer any man a stimulating adventure, where life will never be boring. She works hard and . . .”

Stepping forward, she cut off Harold’s words by moving off the stage and out of the spotlight. She detested the Royal Presenter selling her to these men. With her job of finding qualtrilium and keeping her father’s company afloat, she had all the challenges she needed in life.

Lustralia’s law might require Royal girls to be present at the charade. But with this being her final year of mandatory attendance, victory stood in sight. All she had to do was navigate the man-infested waters between here and the staircase on the other side of the room. Freedom waited.

She reached the bottom of the staircase. Her path led her past a legion of men. From tall, dark, and handsome to fair-haired wonders, an array of eligible men lined her route. Dressed in fine, silk coats and tight fitted pants, they represented hundreds of Royal families across the great land. All showed excellent breeding and genteel manners. Any one of them would make a good mate to the girls behind her, but none tempted her to lose her freedom.

Staring straight ahead, she avoided eye contact with every man she passed. Moving along the edge of the dance floor, she wove her way back and forth across the assigned path. Her steps, jerky and clumsy, she hid her natural smooth gait. No man, in his right mind, craved an ungraceful wife. At least, she hoped not.

With the stairs a few steps ahead, she tasted victory and allowed herself a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness.”

A masculine voice in front of her chuckled. “It’s not over yet, princess.”
Read the first chapter at
Have a wonderful weekend,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Finding Your Writing Inspiration

Some people might find inspiration for a story by simply looking out their window and seeing the leaves fall from the trees. The color is wonderful and makes one think of crisp days and cool nights. Maybe even, the first fire since winter. Now what can you do in front of a fire?
Others might find inspiration in a book - a tale of war or romance that sparks a story of their own.

I personally find inspiration from a number of places, shows on TV, movies, people's life, a conversation, an interesting tidbit on the news.

Pregnancy Plan was developed from a story about a woman who wanted to get pregnancy and used a turkey baster to impregnate herself.

The men in the office where I worked enjoyed coming up with names for the child.

My little butterball, Tom, etc.

But the point is inspiration can come from anywhere, you just have to be open to the story.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Do Me the Night Before and...

Wake up,
pop this french toast dish in the oven,

and enjoy a cup of coffee with your lover.

Here's the recipe for The Night Before French Toast

1 loaf French bread, cut into 3/4 inch slices
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

The night before serving, melt butter and brown sugar in a small pan, strirring. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Lay bread slices on top of brown sugar mix. Combine eggs with milk and cinnamon. Pour over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning preheat oven to 350 degreees and uncover backing dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with syrup, honey or chopped blueberries mixed with 2 tablespoons orange juice.

Hope this no fuss breakfast will make for a wonderful day,


Monday, November 5, 2012


Haven't all of us been told at one time or another to not assume any thing? Yet, again and again we do it.

Like assuming five cloudy days with snow on the ground wouldn't really bother us. After all, if you don't have to get out in it, why should you care?

Sounded good, in reality, but after moving to Nebraska I didn't do so good with the white stuff. Luckily, after a few years we moved back to sunny California.

Also what about the assumption that because you wrote a book, some one out there is going to want to publish it. This I think is the biggest for new writers. We are so proud of our accomplishment that we don't understand the real difference between writing a good book and writing a book that will sell (those two things aren't necessarily the same thing.)

But don't give up, the great thing about assumptions is they can also be wrong. Like not thinking a book would sell because it had been turned down by one publishing house. Then, you get an email that another publisher wants to buy it or you make the decision to publish it yourself.

If we do everything in our power to make things happen, we can expect certain things to happen. Good or bad looking toward a goal is how we achieve our dreams.

Yes, we make assumptions but that is the only way we can plan for the pitfalls and successes we hope to achieve.

Here's to make assumptions that send us to the top and keep us there.

Have an awesome day,


Friday, November 2, 2012

Tina Gayle Doing the Donut Dance with Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz



Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz is an acquisitions editor and author of four upcoming books from 4RV Publishing.  Coming in 2012 are Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch, both middle grade novels, and Boo's Bad Day, a picture book.  Scheduled for publication in 2013 is another picture book, Many Colored Coats.  Penny has been writing for adults and children, professionally, since 1993, with many non-fiction articles and short stories to her credit. She has three romances, Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror, published by MuseItUp Publishing and also works as a line editor for that house.  Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is published by Sam's Dot Publishing.


Penny can be found online at her blog,, and her website,

Hi everyone, my name is Ann. I’m the main character in Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz’s contemporary romance, Love Delivery.

While I wouldn’t say life has been good to me, I am divorced after all, I can’t complain.  I live alone with my cat, Mittens, and I work a short bus ride away from my apartment at a great little independent donut shop.  I’m the day manager, so I start really early.  I have to make sure all the fresh-made donuts are in the trays and fresh coffee is ready for the first customers of the day.

I don’t exactly consider myself gorgeous, what with my pear-shaped body and all, but I get by.  There is a real hunk of a delivery guy, Tom, who comes to the shop on a regular basis. He and I talk and joke a lot.  Sometimes I think he feels like I’m the little sister he never had.  Still…

Guess you’ll have to read Love Delivery to see where my life takes me.

Today, though, I want to share one of the baker’s recipes for making donuts.  First, the ingredients:

2 packages of active dry yeast (or if you use the jar, check the label for the equivalent amount)

¼ cup warm water (around 105 to 115 degrees)

1 ½ cup lukewarm milk…  I like who milk best.

½ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup butter (or shortening, but I love butter)

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 quart of safflower or peanut oil for frying (Olive oil can’t handle the really high heat you need to fry the donuts)

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, stir gently, and let sit about 5 minutes.

Put the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and two cups of flour into a large mixing bowl.  I like to use my heavy-duty mixer.  Mix at a low speed for about two minutes.  Continue mixing at the low speed and slowly add ½ cup of flour at a time until the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  If you’re using a mixer with a dough hook, switch to the dough hook.  If not, remove the batter from the bowl.  Knead for five minutes, either with dough hook or by hand on a floured surface.  Put the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover with a linen towel, and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until double in bulk.

Remove from bowl.  Put on floured surface.  Roll to ½ inch thick.  Using either a glass dusted on the edge with flour or a donut cutter, cut circles from the dough.  If you use the glass, you will need to cut out the center, or depress with your thumb or a spoon.

Now you’re ready to fry.

Use a large pot.  Put in the quart of oil.  The oil needs to be deep enough that your batter will be covered.  Place the pan over high heat and bring to 325 degrees F.  Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.  Lower the heat and maintain 325 degrees.  If the temperature drops, raise the heat a bit.

When the oil is ready, use a long-handled slotted spoon to immerse the donuts, one at a time, into the oil.  Be sure you don’t crowd the pot.  When they turn golden brown, they’re ready.  Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to cool.

While they are still slightly warm, roll in confectionary sugar, dip in melted chocolate, or drizzle with icing.  You can also add sprinkles.

I know donuts aren’t very healthy, so I don’t eat them very often.  Working in the donut shop, I quickly learned I don’t want to eat too many.  Amazing how those extra pounds seem to gather around my hips when I indulge my sweet tooth.

Be sure to leave your name and email address to be entered into a drawing for a free short romantic story.

Title: Love Delivery
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Author: Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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A waitress in a donut shop, Ann is happy with her single life and her cat, Mittens, until she finds herself interested in Tom, the handsome man who makes deliveries to the shop.  Unfortunately, Tom comes with some baggage, including five cats; Maria, his vicious ex-wife; and Maria’s adorable daughter he calls Kitten. 

When Maria is hired at the donut shop and learns Ann and Tom are beginning a relationship, she does everything she can to tear them apart.  Will Ann and Tom’s love prevail, or will the evil ex-wife win in the end?  Love Delivery is a sweet romance, which will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your lips.


“Here it is,” he said, steering her to a quiet corner. Candles lit the table. A bottle of red wine stood open. Tom held the chair for her, and then sat close so their knees touched. “Would you like a glass of wine?” he asked, reaching for the bottle.

“No thanks,” Ann said. “I don’t drink.”

Tom poured a glass for himself. “Here’s the menu.” He handed it to her.

“I know what I want.”

“What’s that?”

“Fettuccini Alfredo.” Ann shook out her napkin and placed it on her lap.

“This chicken dish is good,” Tom said, pointing to an item on the menu.

Ann grimaced.  Is he a control freak? I already told him what I want. “I don’t eat meat.” Her voice sounded harsh in her own ears.

“Ah, well, okay, then. Fettuccini Alfredo it is.” Tom called the waiter and ordered the Alfredo for Ann and a spicy chicken dish for himself.

I guess we don’t agree on everything after all. He drinks and eats meat, too. I hope he doesn’t drink a lot. Maybe we weren’t made for each other. Not knowing what else to do, Ann took a sip of water and smiled.

Tom smiled back. “You’ll have to come meet my cats one of these days. Tyra, a gorgeous, long-haired black female, is my bathroom kitty. Whenever I’m sitting in there, she has to be in my lap. There’ve been times when my pants have been around my feet, and she’s curled up in my underwear.

“Then there’s BeeBee. She’s a Siamese. When I first got her, I thought she liked to cuddle, but it turned out she was just scared. It took me a long time, with lots of persuasion, to get her to come close to me. Finally, I was able to pick her up. I had her in my arms, and I put my face down to smell her fur. Suddenly, she turned and bit me on the nose.

“I think my favorite, though, is Loki. He’s the smallest of the bunch. He has allergies, and if I don’t get him to the vet for a shot in time, he loses his fur on his rear quarters, right by his tail. He loves to ride on my shoulders. Looks just like I’m wearing a fur collar.

“Then there’s the two new ones, they’re the kittens. They haven’t developed personalities yet. You should always get two kittens instead of one,” Tom said when the food arrived.

“Why?” Ann asked. Her face hurt from laughing at Tom’s cat stories. Mittens never did any of the things Tom’s cats did. 

While she ate, Tom continued to share funny stories about the cats and kittens. “Kittens play with each other so you don’t need to play with them. You can just sit back and watch them. When I have kittens in the house, I don’t even turn on my T.V. set.” Tom twirled pasta on his fork. He lifted the fork halfway to his mouth and stopped. “Looks like we have company,” he groaned.

Ann turned. Maria and a curly-haired blond child entered. Ann watched Maria’s smile turn to a frown. Maria pulled the child toward their table. Ann gulped. Now what? Can’t she leave us alone? How can Tom and I ever get to know each other if she’s always showing up? She pasted a false smile on her face and clutched her napkin tightly.

“So you decided not to listen to me,” Maria spat at Ann.

“Daddy!” the little girl cried, holding up her arms.

“Hi, Kitten,” Tom said, scooping the child into his arms. He gave her a bear hug, and she giggled. “I want you to meet my friend, Ann. Ann, this is Kitten.”

“Hi, Ann. Daddy calls me Kitten, but you can call me Catherine.” The child put her arms around Tom’s neck and hugged him.

“Hello, Catherine,” Ann said, finding her voice.

“At least you could have gone somewhere else, Tom. We always ate here,” Maria accused and pushed Tom’s shoulder.

Tom moved Catherine to his other knee and glared at Maria. “Do we have to fight in front of Kitten?”

“Hey, Mr. Nice Guy, you’re the one who left us, remember?”

Removing Catherine from his lap, Tom stood up and faced Maria. “You’re creating a scene. Why don’t you leave before things get ugly?”

“Maybe you should have thought about that a long time ago.” Maria poked Tom’s chest with her finger.

Ann watched in fear. Only moments ago, she and Tom were enjoying dinner. Maria’s face now looked hard and dark. She swore at Tom and poked him again. Then she shoved him on the shoulder.

Tom grabbed her hand. Maria spat at him and reached up, clawing his face with her other hand.

“I hate you,” she screamed, grabbed her child, and ran out crying.

Tom turned to Ann. There were bloody scratches on his face. Ann dipped her napkin in her water glass and dabbed his cheek. “I’m sorry, Ann, I guess this spoiled dinner.”

            This is never going to work for us, not as long as Maria is in the picture. Ann nodded her head. “Sure did. I’m not very hungry now. I think I’d better just go home.”

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Thanks Penny for stopping by. Hope you have a great holiday season,