Friday Sinema: Just Look Around

I am a total sucker for military reunions. I dare you to get through this one without a box of tissues. Happy tears, m’friends. Happy tears! And an amazing voice for a 15 year old girl. Have a great weekend.

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Imagination

Thursday has rolled around again and I’m hoping for a surge in imagination today, especially if that surge pushes me over the hump. This week has not been an easy one but I’m trying not to dwell because that leads to procrastination and I’ve done enough of that lately, thank you very much. I haven’t sold a book in three weeks and between medical bills, car repair bills, and things like groceries, the coffers are looking mighty slim, One of the solutions is to finish the damn book. And try to be optimistic instead of a Debby Downer. So, I’m focusing on what the Universe has to say.

If you can understand, dear Silver, that the greatest obstacles between you and the life of your dreams are actually imaginary—a product of your mind alone, fiction—I do believe we’ll blow the wheels off this popsicle stand.

“Push-Ups” for everyone,
The Universe

P.S. Think about this, dear Silver.

Maybe I should create a heroine who runs a food truck. Nope. Finish THIS book first. I’m almost there. I really am, it’s just…boring right now and if I’m bored, that doesn’t bode well for my readers. And yes, I know, bad writing can be fixed but no writing is no writing which means there’s nothing to fix. And I need to fix that. So, Universe, I hope you are on to something and all I can say is “Imagination, don’t fail me now!” That said, today’s question: What’s your favorite ice cream stand treat? I’m kinda partial to drumsticks myself.


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Wednesday Words: Wasting Time

Sometimes I get lucky with the weekly #ThursdayThreads prompt. Iffy, Muse that she is, manageds to stay on track and the prompt helps me get off high-center with the current WIP. What was the phrase–and your prompt should you chose to use it? **There wasn’t time to waste.** That said, I have to admit that I haven’t made much progress because…reasons. My attention has been focused elsewhere. As a result, today’s snippet is pretty much the way I posted it for the flash ficiton challenge. The good news is, I actually managed an honorable mention so yay! The scene is pretty self explantory if you’ve been keeping up with things in CROSSFIRE.
The helicopter landed near an isolated hangar on the airfield. As the rotors wound down and stopped, armed soldiers surrounded the helo. To say the kids freaked was an understatement.

Galyna slid to the floor and huddled next to Moshe, tears washing her cheeks. The dog licked the girl before facing the slowly-opening door. The K-9 growled, hackles up. Yakiv kept asking Larysa what was happening. Anichka pulled them and Sonya down to cluster next to Galyna. Maxim crouched in front of the kids, their fierce protector. He held a combat knife and Meg had no idea where he’d acquired it.

Several soldiers reached into the helicopter to grab the kids. There wasn’t time to waste. Meg threw herself at the nearest, fists flying in an attempt to fend them off. Except she never got close enough to connect. A strong arm wrapped around her waist and hauled her back. When her vision cleared, she realized that Tank, Dalton, Duke, and Loch had forced the soldiers back and cleared space around the helicopter.

“We’ve got this, lass,” Kin whispered “Trust me.”

She did. These men would allow nothing to happen to them.

Duke faced the Romanian commander, who explained, “We have orders. They will be segregated until—”

“No. They stay with us.” Duke’s voice held harsh finality.

A petite blond confronted the officer, her pointed index finger shaking in his face. In perfect Romanian, she said very sweetly but with absolute resolve, “We talked about this, Commander.”

A smart man knew not to argue with “the finger.” The commander was a smart man.
Never, ever underestimate the “mother finger”, right? 😉 Hope you enjoyed this peek. I will reveal the other stuff going on later. I’m still processing. In the meantime, writers feel free to “waste some time” if the prompt will help move your writing along. Readers, what’s your favorite way to waste time?

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Wishing for Cheesecake Sopapilla Bars

When I first saw this recipe, I made a special trip to the grocery store to get the ingredients to try it out immediately. OMG! Easy and oh-so-good! And yes, the picture does feature the one I made. That’s one of my “antique” turquoise marble Formica countertop as background. LOL They’re original to the house, which was built in 1964. I love the darn things. Anyway, I cut the final product for the 12 piece yield. Next time, I’ll only cut it for 8 (or 6 – LOL) bars because 2 small ones just aren’t enough. They are that tasty. And very light, not heavy or filling.

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 30 Minutes
Total time: 40 min.
Makes 12 Bars

Two 8-ounce cans crescent rolls
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2 – Beat the cream cheese, vanilla, egg and 1 cup of the sugar with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Cream cheese must be at room temperature.

3 – Unroll one can of crescent roll dough and lay it in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly into the bottom of the dish. Pinch the perforations to seal if they are pulled apart.

4 – Spread the cream cheese mixture over the first layer of dough with a spatula.

5 – Unroll a few inches of the second can of dough before transferring to the top of the cream cheese layer. Gently unroll the rest of the dough, stretching slightly to the sides as you go to cover the cream cheese. Pinch any large gaps in the perforations. There’s no need to seal or smooth small seams completely.

6 – Melt the butter and pour on top of the dough. Spread evenly over the top crust. (I used a silicone pastry brush but any pastry brush, spatula, or the back of a spoon with work.

7 – Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the top of the dough and then the cinnamon until evenly covered.

8 – Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is baked through and the cinnamon and sugar have gotten slightly crusty.

9 – Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. The bars can also be cooled completely, or even refrigerated before cutting and serving.


  1. For easy cutting, chill the pan first. If you prefer these bars warm, heat your serving in the microwave for a few seconds.
  2.  The bars are tasty and seet as is, but traditional sopapillas are served with honey and if that’s your preference, drizzle honey over the top of your square.
  3. This can be served at the temperature of your choice–warm, cold, or at room temperature.

My thoughts: I just let the pan cool naturally. I made the recipe about 4 pm and we had them for dessert about 7:00. We aren’t that big on honey and the bars are sweet enough without more. I covered the pan but did not refrigerate.

I’m not the only one who like fast dessert results that are easy and yummylicious. Geneva Pruitt , the heroine of NIGHT WISH is a woman who enjoys her food–making AND eating. She’s added this dessert to the Nightrider bonfire nights. Wizard always complains about how many pans he has to carry from their house to her car then from the parking lot around back at the clubhouse but Gen always rewards him by leaving one pan at home just for him. She puts a couple back in the kitchen for the old ladies, and the kids get one to share among themselves. Noah and Noni (Sam and Easy’s “kids” – NIGHT SHIFT) and Lainey’s twin brothers (Louie and Levi – NIGHT MOVES) are all in. They don’t bother dishing it up. They just grab spoons and each takes a corner. They meet somewhere in the middle. If you are interested in any of these stories, just click on the title for the Books2Read buy link. For NIGHT WISH, you can also click on either picture with the cover. What about y’all? Do you like sopapillas? And/or cheesecake?

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May Fair Monday

I think I OD’d on softball this weekend (*snort* yeah, right. Like that could ever happen!) It’s the first weekend of NCAA D1 Softball Regionals. There were like 40 games. And a lot of big upsets and surprises. My OSU Cowgirls had me considering chewing my nails but they pulled through undefeated in their regional. They take on Oregon at the Superregionals next weekend. They beat Oregon 2 of 3, they go to the Women’s College World Series. OU pretty much coasted through their regional. They are an absolute juggernaut this year. In baseball news, my Cards took 3 of 4 from the Dodgers, a couple of those games in spectacular fashion. Good sports weekend for sure!

Surprisingly, I wrote this past week. A little, but it was some. Baby steps count. I still have my eye on the “The End!”

I hit Wallyworld yesterday because I’m off for a follow-up appointment with my eye surgeon. 🤞🏼 it’s all good news. I would have been out of some things if I put the trip off until Tuesday. There’s a whole different set of folks in ther on Sunday mornings. Hey! Something out of the norm for me so it was an adventure! I also baked the treat featured in tomorrow’s post. 🤫 You’ll have to come tomorrow to see what I made.

LG got some Stormy time. They went to a charity car show and had a good time. The kid got a T-shirt and raced in a cool “edition” of a Pinewood Derby. The cars were made from engine valve covres.

Not much else going on. I suspect Boone won’t be with us much longer. Of course, I’ve been saying that for like two years now but for the past two days, he hasn’t moved much, mostly sleeping and not too interesting in food and water. He’s dont this before and rallied, so I’m not making bets. He’s 17 and for a giant breed? That’s ancient. He’s not in any pain so we’re letting nature take its course.

I should end on a happy note, yeah? It’s Monday. The sun is shining. It’s not hot. We’ve had rain. I’m in search of a good book to listen to because the two new books I want to listen to aren’t available until June but hey! Something to look forward to. I have enjoyed my Laurentson marathon. Her Pride/Honey Badger books always make me laugh. What’s making you happy today?

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Friday Sinema: Another Bites the Dust

Most of you know I’m a big fan of Irish dancing but when you mix it with classic rock? Just crown me “Queen” for the day. Hope you enjoy this short video and yeah, it’ll keep playing over and over. 😉 Have a great weekend!

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Thursday Thoughts: Brain Drain

Do you ever have one of those days when your brain is so busy that nothing makes sense? You find yourself doing to the same thing over and over and never quite get it finished because–having the attention span of gnat–you’re off to something else only to realize later you never finished the original task? Yeah, me too. This is especially true since I’m ADD when it comes to writing. I might be diligently working on a project, pause to go get a coffee refill–or answer the phone, email, etc.–and I’ll get distracted by some random story that I may or may not be working on in the background. This is both frustrating and yet oddly exhilerating. I mean, seriously. Isn’t it better to have too many ideas than none at all?

Yesterday was that kind of day. So today, I’m done. I need a brain drain. I’m going to grab my gloves and clippers and go prune out some wild grape vine and probably some wild honeysuckle. And the wisteria that’s putting out runners along the ground. Wisteria has to be “elevated” to bloom and the fruits of that labor won’t be visible until next spring. The thing about doing this stuff like is that even though my brain is bouncing around like hail stones on hot pavement, I don’t stop and try to grab thoughts. I just let them filter through. The good ones will latch on like cockleburrs (which were the inspiration for Velcro, just FYI) and the extraneous stuff will drift off like dandelion fluff.

So day off. No thinking. No musing. No plotting, planning, predicting. No writing, wrangling wayward characters, or wheedling with witchy muses. Just zen. Right? Right! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Wednesday Words: Farsight

Today’s offering of Wednesday Words is short–the origial 250 words used in the #ThursdayThreads challenge. There’s a reason I didn’t expand upon this one. Actually, there’s several–mainly because these words are completely random based on the prompt: **”Both went as far as she could see.”** It was a tough challenge so I just did some “free writing” and this is the scene that got spit out. I thinking it will likely reappear in a Nightrider book or maybe one of the Mafia books. Not sure. Anyway, this is a quick peek into the way my brain works. When it’s working. 😉
Cops at her door was not a good way to start her day. The living room was empty. Good. And bad. The doorbell jangled again followed by pounding hard enough to rattle the window next to the door.

“I’m comin’, already. For chrissakes hold your freakin’ horses.” She fumbled with the locks but left the security chain in place. She gave the two cops a jaundiced eye. One was a grizzled veteran. The other was just a puppy playing dress up. “Whaddya want?”

The puppy puffed out his chest. “Open the door.”

“You gotta a warrant?”

“Don’t need one.”

She looked down her nose at him even though he was taller. “Are you sure?”

The veteran tossed his partner a side-eye. “We’re looking for two men. Witnesses placed them here last night.”

“What witnesses?” No one in this neighborhood would voluntarily talk to the police.

“Look, ma’am—”

“I don’t gotta look. They ain’t here. Both went.” As far as she could see, the matter was over and done with. She lifted a shoulder in a negligent shrug, her expression bored. “What’s the big deal.”

The older one gave her a hard-eyed once over. She knew what he thought he saw—slept-in mascara giving her raccoon eyes, bed-head hair, ratty shorts and tank top. Wasn’t her fault she’d had all of two hours’ sleep.

“Do you know where they went?”

“Don’t know. Don’t care.” And wouldn’t tell even if she knew. Still, she’d kill her brother when she saw him again.
There you have it. I don’t have much else to say so feel free to weigh in, readers. Where do you think this scene might fit? And writer’s do you use prompts and if so, how’s it work for you?

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Fighting for Brisket

Still no new releases to hype with character backgrounds tied to a recipe. One of the reasons I started this particular weekly post was to give some insight to my readers about the featured character and/or book–stuff that I know but don’t necessarily incorporate into the actual story. And sometimes, when I do this, a character will surprise me with a story from their backstory. I always make note of those instances for use in future books. Since I picked on Jack Riggs for my #ShirtsOffSaturday post on Facebook this past Saturday, it’s only fair that he gets some BBQ out of the deal.

James Gang Brisket
1/4 Cup Liquid Smoke
2 Tablespoons Worchester Sauce
1 Teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, sea salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper

Let’s Make It:
Original –

  1. Mix ingredients in a glass measuring cup.
  2. Place brisket in glass baking dish.
  3. Pour mixture over top of meat and spread.
  4. Cover with foil and marinate in refridgerator overnight.
  5. Cook 5 hours @275 degrees.

My way:

  1. Soak both top and bottom of large Romantoff clay baking pot for at least 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Place brisket inside.
  3. Pour mixture over top and spread.
  4. Put pot in cold oven and set thermostat at 300 degrees. Bake for 3 to 5 hours, until tender. Time depends on the size of the brisket.

BBQ Sauce:
1 Cup ketsup
2 Cups water
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup Worchester sauce
1 Teaspoon sea salt
1 medium onion chiped (or 1/4 cup dried chopped onions)
1/4 Cup white vinegar

Make It
Bring all indredients to a boi in a medium sauce pan. Boil for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Brush or pour lightly over cooked brisket before slicing. Serve the rest in a gravy boat or bowl with a ladle  spoon so people can add their own to the meat on their plates. Keep any leftovers in sealed jar in refigerator.

Jack, being a former Texas Ranger and now the sheriff of Bandera County in Texas, knows his BBQ. And being a Wolf, he can eat his way through a brisket or four. 😉 Good thing he met and had the sense to claim Justice. She’s an Oklahoma girl (hence the reason she has the James Gang BBQ recipes) and a firefighter. Trust me when I say first responders are all about finding the good BBQ. If you are interested in their story, you can read FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or buy it for $3.99. It’s also available in paperback. Just click on either pic or the title to click on over to Amazon to get your very own personal copy. What about y’all? Are you a fan of BBQ? If so, brisket, ribs, or chicken?

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Monday Mission

It’s Monday. May is almost half-way over. It’s prom, graduation, and end of school season. And all those April showers that didn’t come are here now. We’ve had three days of rain and more forecast today. I like rain unless I have to get out in it or there’s severe weather attached to it. And boy howdy do we need the rain so absolutely no complaints from me!

I actually sent out a newsletter over the weekend. Go figure. Of course, Mailchimp sent me an email saying my account would be deleted since I hadn’t done anything in 23 months. Hey, at least I don’t spam. LOLOL Sadly, it was not a case of no news is good news. Anyway, I hope to have something worth a newsletter soon.

Sports was a mixed bag this weekend. Again. My Cowgirls were one and done at the Big 12 Championship. OU ended up winning. Regional bracket came out yesterday (after I typed and posted this.) In bettre news, my Cardinals beat the Red Sox at least twice. Again, this post was “put to bed” before their game Sunday night.

Our Mother’s Day celebration on Saturday night was held between and betwixt severe thunderstorms with hail. It was worth the dodging and delay. I’ve MISSED the wonderful food at Alvarado’s! I blame soccer. 😉 Anyway, my kids no me. Sweet cards and a Starbucks card FTW!

On the reading front, I finished off Laurenston’s Pride series and moved on to the related Honey Badger series. The Honey Badgers make me laugh. I finished the first one, HOT AND BADGERED, and I’m into the 2nd, IN A BADGER WAY. Fun times.

Not much writing this weekend. Life. And as the meme at the beginning of this says, once I’m back from Wallyworld, I’ll have coffee and an attitude. I AM going to finish this dang book. On that note, I’m off to start my day. How’s your day starting?

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