Friday Sinema: Just In Case You Don’t Know What Day It Is

I couldn’t resist. Yesterday was Groundhog Day. I have a strong sense of deja vu. This always makes me laugh. And I wish I had some do overs. Hope you stayed safe and warm during the arctic slam that hit a bunch of us. Enjoy your weekend. It’s First Saturday for me, which is sorta like Groundhog Day, only it happnes once a month. Have a good one!

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal When and Where

Today is Groundhog Day. Yippee? I’ve never quite understood the whole mythos behind seeing shadows or not–especially given all the lights, cameras, and action surrounding Punxsutawney  Phil. Poor thing. Anyway, whenever I think of Groundhog Day, I think of the Bill Murray movie. Yes, it’s a comedy, and silly, and waaay over the top, but deep down, it has a message. And guess what–the Universe is jolly-on-the-spot to explaing things.

Silver, you know that feeling?

That sense of eagerness for the moment. Optimism for the future. And confidence that you’re exactly “when” and where you should be. That feeling that makes dark days lighter and light days brighter. That precedes breakthroughs, conquests, and euphoria.

Yes, that feeling!

Well, it doesn’t just come.

You have to give it to yourself.

Go on,
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®

PS – Silver, if it helps, take it from me that you are exactly when and where you should be.

I might be there, Universe, but sometimes, with 2020 hindsight, I sometimes wish I–like weatherman Phil Connors–wish I could have a do-over. Surely, I’d get it right the second time around, right? But then the Universe reminds me that I’m here in the now and it’s okay. What about y’all? Would you like a do-over for something? My do-over would be a bit of worldbuilding in the Penumbra Papers series. I wouldn’t send the vampires into a death-like sleep at dawn. Not sure I’d let them hang out on the beach 🤣 but being awake during daytime when most humans are functioning? Yeah. I might. Those of you who are fans, what do you think about that retcon?

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Wednesday Words: Think of Something

Here we go again! It’s February. The first day. Y’all know what that means, right? Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Today, however, I’m all about the words. And maybe a do-over. On Dalton’s part. What’s our inspiration? For #lineWed it’s **REAR**. Hrmm.🤔 And from #ThursdayThreads, we have: “I’ll think of something else.” You’ll see why after reading today’s snippt.

****
Dalton would not admit defeat. There’d been progress in the relationship between those two, yes, but beyond cuddling up on these cold night, Kin had made no move to actually claim Meg. Which was ridiculous.

“Seriously, what does he have to do?” Dalton muttered. “I mean, Kin tells her he loves her, he’s a Wolf, and they’re mates. What is so difficult about this?”

Okay, fine, he thought. Because what did he actually know? Loch seemed to think it was a complicated process but that biology and nature would eventually take over, run its course, and everything would be fine. Except Kin’s wolf turned into a snarly beast whenever he patrolled and the man glared at anyone who got too close to Meg unless he was at her side. They could cut the sexual tension with a knife. It was bad before but now? More than one of the team had snuck off to take care of business with their own hands. Including him. And he was man enough to admit it.

And then they fought. Like cats and dogs. No, Dalton amended. They seethed and pretended to ignore each other. It was like rubbing a tiger’s fur the wrong way. Getting in the middle would only guarantee that you pulled back a bloody stump. Damn but they were perfect for each other. What was the hold up? Kin’s hang ups? Meg’s…whatever?

Loch was probably right about putting Meg in danger but there had to be a way to get them to admit their feelings. Too bad there wasn’t a handy padded cell to lock them in until they came to terms with their feelings.

“Whatever you’re thinking about doin’, stop.”

Dalton jerked and glared at Tank. Lost in thought, he hadn’t heard the big guy walk up. Considering he was on rear guard duty, that was stupid.

“Loch said you were up to something. I’m telling you right here and right now, don’t even think about interferring with the love birds.”

“Fine. I’ll think of something else.” And he would. He’d find another way.
****
And there you have it.  And with a prompt like rear, aren’t you proud of me for not going there? 😉 FYI, this scene occurs not too long after last week’s snippet and is all in the same vein. Dalton is medding. But all his scheming is about to catch up with him. Stand by for fireworks–once the book is out there in the wild. Writers, take the prompts and twist them to suit your needs. Readers, would you rather think about something else, or are you happy with what you’re thinking right now?

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Ravioli Lasagna Assassin Style

Baby, it’s COLD outside! 🥶 And when that happens, my family always wants something ooey-gooey-cheesy-hot to eat. This recipe nails it. Plus…EASY! Add a salad and some hot bread and you have a meal that will feed the whole family on a cold winter’s night. FYI, this is Lawyer Guy tested and approved so there ya go.

Prep Time: 25 min.
Total Time: 1 hr. 25 min.
Servings: 12 servings

Bring together two Italian staples with our Easy Ravioli Lasagna. Prep time for this Easy Ravioli Lasagna is just 25 minutes. Buon appetito!

What You Need
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped (I used julienne carrots already cut, but then chopped them up)
3 cloves garlic, minced (I use the already-minced in a squeeze bottle)
1 jar (24 oz.) OLIVO by CLASSICO Traditional Pasta Sauce
1/2 cup water
2 lb. frozen cheese ravioli, uncooked. Use the large, not mini, frozen ravioli to prepare this delicious recipe. I used the Bertoli fresh ravioli.
1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

Make It
Heat oven to 350ºF.

Brown meat with vegetables and garlic in large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Stir in pasta sauce and water; simmer 5 min., stirring occasionally.

Spread half the meat sauce onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with half the ravioli. Whisk cream cheese spread and milk until blended; spread over ravioli. Top with layers of 3/4 cup shredded cheese, and remaining ravioli, meat sauce and cheeses; cover.

Bake 50 min. or until heated through, uncovering for the last 10 min. Let stand 10 min. before cutting to serve.

Note: I used the non-stick variety of foil, but still hit it with cooking spray before using to cover the lasagna. This will help prevent the foil from sticking to the melted cheese on top of the baked lasagna.

I can heartily recommend this recipe. As always, head over to KRAFT RECIPES to get all the extras. This is a dish that any of my characters would chow down on. When you live on a boat most of the time or in a little beach house along the Outer Banks, you won’t have access to a gourmet kitchen. Brady “Babel” Buchanan does most of the cooking for he and his mate, Zeta Cordero, he is teaching her how to put together some dishes. This one is hearty enough to fill up the Wolf and spicy enough that even Zeta enjoys it. Since the CIA dispatched her to Brazil to kill him, they have quite a story to tell. Their book, UNDER THE ASSASSIN’S MOON, was newly revised and re-published las fall. If you haven’t given it a look-see yet, you might want to grab it from your fave on-line book seller. Just click any pic with the cover, the title, or at Books2Read, which has links to everywhere the book is available. What do y’all like to eat when it’s cold outside?

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Monday At Last

We’ve hit the end of January. How the heck did that happen? And Winter has decided to return in full force. Just ask my knees. I’m ready for warm weather. That said, I like the change of seasons. I wouldn’t be happy living in a place where things remaned the same. Anyway, it’s freaking cold out there today. And there’s ice in the forecast. As a friend says, BLERG. I want to be this cat, still snuggled up under the covers. Ah well. There’s stuff to do. You know, it being Monday and all.

Progress on the WIP was made last week and a slight bit over the weekend. With the weather pretty much dictating that I’m not leaving home, I hope to accomplish more this week. We’ll see. I have made a few notes on things to fix when I go back for edits and revisions.

No Wallyworld today. Yesterday, over my first cup of Cafe du Monde coffee, I debated when to make my supply run. Yesterday at 24 degrees or today at 17. Yeah, I went yesterday. I plan to stay in fuzzy pants, warm houseshoes, and hoodies today. And since the book takes place in winter, here’s hoping I’m inspired. LOL

Over the weekend, I donated blood. One of the local pet rescues was there. They had two adorable pit puppies that barked every time the door opened. As my service dog, Jake pretty much goes everywhere with me. He just looked at the pups, sighed, and gave me big eyes. He’s such a good boy. He laid right there at the head of the table out of everyone’s way while I pumped out my quota. The good news is, the excellent vampire was there. He’s so good at his job that you barely feel the stick and this little to no blood once the needle thingy is removed. No soreness at all. Also, I filled my bag in five minutes. The guy half my age on the next table was all agog.

Saturday night was Stormy’s last soccer game this season. He played excellently at all three positions. Spring season starts in early March. 🥶 or 🥵 depending on Mother Nature’s mood. And yeah, spring is outside, which is why weather is an issue.

I finished a couple of books last week. They were okay. Discovered a searies about dragon shifters on Hoopla. The audio books are free so yay. They’re okay too. If I start something I’m really into, I’ll procrastinate with it rather than working on my own book. I did spend a lot of time looking for a book/series to listen to. I had this vague idea of what appealed but I could neither define exactly what that was. After sifting through long lists of books, nothing “tasted” right. When I found the dragon series, it was sort of “it’s okay for now.” I still have that vague sense in the back of my mind so I’m still looking for just the right thing.

On that note, time for another cup of coffee, checking a few blogs, and then getting to work. What about y’all? Do you always know exactly what you want to read? And how was your week/weekend?

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Friday Sinema: Snow Cat

THIS is the kind of snow I was hoping we’d get Tuesday and Wednesday. We didn’t. Oh, we got some snow but it rained first, during, and after and we barely got enough to cover the grass. Still, this video made me smile because it reminds me of Pete. Except Pete stuck his head out of the cat door, said, “Nope” and retreated to his pillow near the heater. Hey, stray cats know when they’ve got it good. Have a great weekend. Did any of you get snow?

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Advice

A writer friend and I had a conversation about writer’s block the other day. Despite everything we do and no matter how much we pretend it doesn’t exist and/or it never affects us, I think every writer has been faced with this “demon” on at least one occasion in their career. I hit that wall far more than I’d like. Sometimes, it depends on my mental health. Sometimes, it depends on the story. And sometimes, I just wanna be a two-year-old whose blankie is in the washer. But I chose this career and deep down, I can’t imagine NOT writing so there ya go. My friend takes long walks and tries not to think about writing. I tend to beat myself up mentally, which, yeah, is self-defeating. Singing in the choir here. When the Universe popped in with this message, I sat back, read it again, and went, “Huh.” Because…yeah…

If you just whistle every now and then, Silver; skip every thousandth step or so; skim the odd stone across the odd pond; go dancing on the occasional blue moon, if only alone in the dark; dress up sometimes, even with nowhere to go…

For simply stirring up some little bit of hope, no matter how silly or disconnected your actions seem to be with the rest of the world, magic flashes in the unseen, friends are summoned, connections are timed, stars are aligned, opportunities are crystallized, and serendipities are calculated, creating possibilities for new realities that cannot now even be imagined from where you presently stand.

Shazaam…
The Universe
©www.tut.com

P.S. And you thought “buy low, sell high” was sage advice, Silver?

What great ways to get beyond writer’s block or any roadblock in your life. I mean, it sounds so simple and deep down, I know that it really is that simple. I’m vowing to myself that when the going gets tough and I want to just stop and play mindless computer “pop” games, I’m going to resist the urge. Mindless doesn’t help. Whistling, skipping, dancing, dressing up is the way to find the magic. And guess what? It’s worked with the current WIP. What started as a story I though would maybe be 45K words? It’s over 51K now and headed toward 60. There are still adventures to be had, declarations to be made, climaxes, resolutions, and hints at what’s to come. Dang, I love my job sometimes. What about y’all? Will you take the Universe’s advice?

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Wednesday Words: Fake It ’til You Make It

Wednesday has once again rolled around and once again, I have a new-word snippet to share. Oh! Guess what!?!? This week’s snippet took top honors in last week’s Thursday Threads! FYI, this is the longer version. I’ve added about 100 words for today’s post. #ThursdayThreads has a 250 word limit. The prompts last week were “We can’t fake this” added to #1lineWed’s **FERAL**. I mean seriously?!?! How could I not take that kind of inspiration and run with it. Also, Dalton was totally on board. Poor Loch is doing his best to rein him in. This is pretty much self-explanatory. I think.
****
“We can’t fake this.” Dalton was determined to put his plan into effect.

“Yer off yer bloody rocker, mate.” Loch was not buying whatever insane plot the younger man was brewing.

“Answer me this, then. Is he happy?”

“Like I’d know?”

Dalton heaved a disappointed sigh. “You’re a Wolf. You take one sniff know exactly what emotions are swirling around. I’ve seen the two of you do just that. Doesn’t matter though. I can tell just by looking at them. Jeez, if we have to suffer through any more of those longing glances they cast upon each other when they think no one is looking, we’ll all go batshit. Good grief, even the kids can see what’s happening between the two of them.”

“He’s bloody well moonstruck, Dalton. Let nature run her course. Kin’ll claim Meg sooner than later.”
Unable to help himself, Dalton rolled his eyes. “Or he’ll go feral in the process.”

Surfer Boy had a point and Loch could admit that to himself. He’d already witnessed the shenanigans Kin’s wolf had pulled. They’d only get worse as time passed. “So what is this master plan of yours?”

Dalton outlined his strategy and waited for Loch’s response. If his plotting had any chance of working, this had to look real.

“Won’t work.”

Indignant, he glowered at the Wolf. “Why not?”

“You said it yourself. We’re Wolves. He’ll know she’s not really in danger.” He tapped his nose. “She’s cool under fire but we can still hear her heartbeat and smell the fear.”

“Then I’ll think of something else.”

“An’ yer a feckin’ tool then. If ya put her in actual danger, once he rescues her, he’ll rip out your bloody guts. I thinkin’ that t’would not make Duke happy with either of you idjits. Put yer scheming t’bed, Dalton.”

“That’s what I’m trying to do! Put those two in bed. Together.”
****
Yeah, and I just thought Wolves liked to gossip and meddle. 🙄 What happens next is exciting. At least to me. And yes, the next part is already written but I need to keep some secrets or no one will want to read the book. FYI, Kin wants to give Meg a “honeymoon” suite if he finally claims her. Doing the deed in a sleeping bag in a Ukrainian winter? Yeah, not so romantic. Writers, take the prompts and run! For all of you, nosy qustion of the day: Have you/would you in a sleeping bag? 😏

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Chocolate Caramel Cookie Moves

Sometimes, you just get a craving. And nothing will satisfy it except for those flavors that right on the tip of your tastbuds. Am I right? And sometimes, you just don’t want to get out and about to satisfy that craving. So here. Just in case this is your catnip, here’s a simple and easy way to fix these ymmers at home. is here.

Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars

Total Time: 2 Hr. 15 Min.
Prep Time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 2 Hr.
24 servings

Layer shortbread cookies with deliciousness to create these Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars! Our Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars are like a favorite candy bar.

What You Need
35 square shortbread cookies
1 pkg. (11 oz.) KRAFT Caramel Bits
1 Tbsp. milk
3 oz. BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
3 oz. BAKER’S White Chocolate
Reynolds® is a registered trademark of Reynolds Consumer Products LLC

Let’s Make It
1 – Line 13×9-inch pan with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray. Arrange cookies in single layer on bottom of prepared pan.
2 – Microwave caramel bits and milk in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until bits are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after each minute. Pour over cookies; spread to completely cover cookies.
3 – Microwave chocolates in microwaveable bowl 2 min. or until almost melted, stirring every 30 sec.; stir until chocolates are completely melted. Pour over caramel layer; spread to completely cover caramel layer.
4 – Let stand 2 hours before cutting into bars.

Kitchen Tips
Tip 1 – Substitute: Substitute 1 pkg. (11 oz.) KRAFT Caramels for the caramel bits.

Tip 2 – Note: The combination of semi-sweet and white chocolates results in a chocolate mixture with the flavor and texture of milk chocolate.

Tip 3 – Shortcut: In a hurry? Refrigerate dessert 15 min. before cutting into bars. Serve at room temperature.

My Tip – Y’all know I’m all about the nuts! I vote for a sprinkling of chopped peanuts or pecans, or slivered almonds either as a layer between the caramel and chocolate or on top. Yummers!

Note: Pepperidge Farms Chessmen cookies or Nabisco Lorna Doones fit this cookie bill.

Check out all the nutritional infor and details on My Food & Family and  watch a spiffy how-to video while you’re there! This is a snack right up my alley and if you eat fast (and/or carefully), you won’t leave chocolate fingerprints on your book or ereader. Also, it’s easy so there are several heroines of mine who could accomplish this recipe and who are also chocoholics. The first who came to mind, though, is Lainey Walker, from NIGHT MOVES. The last time she made a cameo in a later book in the series, shew as preggers and most defnitely craving these tastes. When it’s the middle of the night and your mate has already bought out the Twixt supply in a five-mile radius, times are desperate. Lainey learned to make her own. 😉 If you’d like to learn how she and Eric “Hollywood” Hilton meet and end up together, just click on any of the pics with the cover or on the title. You’ll land at Books2Read and can find your preferred on-line bookstore. It’s also available in paperback. Ya know, one of these days, I really should revisit the Nightriders to check on Lainey. 😉 Tough question today, readers. If you make this, nuts or no nuts?

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Counting Down Monday

Wow. After today, there’s only one more Monday left in January. There are eight days left until we hit Febuary. And this puts us that much closer to pticther/catcher report day for MLB spring training. Of course, the World Baseball Classic tournament will be played during the early part of spring training and there are a lot of the A-listers playing for their countries. That’s not a bad thing. It opens up some slots for the Double and Triple A players to show what they can do. We’re also that much closer to college softball too. Can you tell my sports preferences? 🙄

In other news, I’m still hoping to land close to my EOM (End Of Month) deadline for CROSSFIRE. This past week, I started with 38 random scenes. I currently have 20 random scenes. Those other 18 were consolidaed into chapters, 5 and a half chapters now added to the total in the book, all in the correct timeline. I currently stand at almost 49K words. I really should update that widget on the site, huh? Anyway, I have made a lot of progress. And, I think I have those remaining random scenes in pretty good order to slot in where they belong in the story. In the meantime, I need to get with my cover designer and get her started on the thing.

I saw my first robin of the year on Friday. That was cool. We’re forecast snow for tomorrow night. That’s not so cool. Mother Nature teases us with a harbinger of Spring and then jerks the grass out from  under us. That’s okay. We need the moisture in whatever form it takes. I’m hitting Wallyeowrld today so I don’t have to be out in it tomorrow.

In other sports news, Stormy’s team played a team to a tie on Sunday. Stormy played all three positions–midfielder, forward, and goalie. When he substituted in, he kept the other team scoreless for the last 8 minutes of the game, despite getting kicked in the forehead by an opposing player who tried to kick the ball out of his hands. Grrrr.

In reading news, I finished off Ilona Andrews’s The Innkeeper Chronicles last week. The new release is all kinds of awesome fun. I’ve currently got two books “open” in my audio apps. I had a coupon that needed to get spent so I got Rebecca Zanetti’s novel WOLF for cheap. It’s getting better. The other book is THE LIBRARIAN OF CROOKED LANE.by C.J. Archer. I’m doing two because I can get $5 in Audible rewards if I listen to a book for at least 20 minutes for 5 days. The other book is from Hoopla, so free and I have it for like another 15 or 16 days on loan. I’m hoping it grabs me a little more. Set at just after WWI, there’s supposed to be magic involved though I’ve only heard it mentioned like twice so far. We’ll see how that goes. Nothing vedntured, nothing gained, right?

Welp, I think that’s all that’s been going on. Amazing how boring my life is when I’m…like…actually writing. 🤣 Hoping for more of the same this week. What about y’all? Any sports bits, books your reading, family stuffs, or other news to impart?

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