I wish I was there….

IMG_0231_2Do you ever read a book and immerse yourself in that location and the story–sort of a “Calgon, take me away” moment?  I just finished reading a book set in Hawaii, and those gorgeous islands sure called to me.

We haven’t been there for almost three years, but I can close my eyes and feel the IMG_0122lovely sand beneath my toes, and imagine that warm water.  And the pools!    Ahhh, for an afternoon floating around in the sunshine…

Maybe it’s all sounding all the more appealing because today, all of the regional schools are closed due to the -30F wind chills,  and drifting snow.

IMG_0579

I’d be home anyway, happily working away at my computer, but the  furnace serving the newer part of our house (including our living room and my office) chose THIS week to bite the dust.  And it’s c-c-cold in here.  :)  A crew is on its way this morning to put in a new one, and for that I will be very thankful.

On another note, I’d like to show you my new book cover!  Looking at it makes me wish that I was on that lake right now.  A balmy summer evening, maybe…steaks on the grill…

I so enjoyed writing this contemporary sweet romance.  If you’ve ever visited my All Creatures Great and Small blog (www.roxannerustand.com) you know that I’m an animal lover, and I had great fun with all of the animals in this one!

Here’s an Amazon link:  Summer at Briar Lake

SUMMER AT BRIAR LAKEcouple kissing at sunset sitting in jetty
Roxanne Rustand
January, 2014

In Summer at Briar Lake, a disillusioned lawyer searching for a quiet life in a small resort town ends up sharing a house with a woman who has a dark past, a troubled daughter and a menagerie of epic proportions.

The situation is challenging enough, but add a miniature goat with a penchant for roses and adventure, and an unknown enemy who will stop at nothing to achieve his own goals, and life becomes even more…interesting.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Winner of Touching Evil…

…is Phyllis Lamken!  Congrats, Phyllis!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Touching Evil Release (and giveaway!)

Touching Evil CoverAnnouncing a new release is a little like sending out a new birth announcement:  a little pride and more than a bit of relief.  Because I treat deadlines as a personal dare (let that deadline get real up close and scary before I actually write!) I’m usually physically and mentally wrecked by the time I get it done.  But on the bright side, unlike childbirth I don’t have an extra ten pounds to lose and night feedings to look forward to.  Point for me :)

Touching Evil is book 2 in the Circle of Evil trilogy.  It picks up three days after book one ended and continues the story of forensic profiler Sophia Channing and DCI agent Cam Prescott as they trail the second in a team of killers.  Here’s the back cover copy:

An unmarked grave. Two killers. And one woman who stands in their way… Forensic profiler Dr. Sophia Channing will be the star witness against Mason Vance, a brutal sexual sadist who kidnapped, raped and murdered six women. She can offer unique insight on the psychopath–she’s his only witness that escaped alive. But the killer has other plans for her, even while behind bars. And when she’s marked for assassination, Sophia realizes she’s not finished with the violent psychopath either.

DCI Agent Cam Prescott is providing Sophia protective custody while she continues her work with his team. Vance’s accomplice is still on the loose. And as more bodies show up with the mark of the killers, Cam and Sophia begin to realize the terrifying breadth of the crimes. Their time is running out to catch the second killer. He’s already picked out his next victim. And he’s willing to go through Sophia to get her.

The third and final book in the series, Facing Evil, will be released in May.

And what good is a new release without a giveaway?  One commenter will be selected to win a print copy of Touching Evil, so please enclose your email addy in your comment.

What’s your favorite site from which to order Christmas presents?  Any great deals so far this season?

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Happy Holidays!

Roxanne Rustand, here…

It sure seems like the holidays are upon us now–with bitter wind chills, and a beautiful blanket of new snow.  Time is flying too quickly, with lots of shopping and wrapping and baking to do…not to mention the Christmas cards to write.  If you celebrate the holiday season, are you better organized than I am this year?

!  ComebackCowboy--REVISEDThe last time I posted, I mentioned that my first self-published book would be on Amazon soon.  And it is, now!  Here is the link, if you are interested in reading more:
Comeback Cowboy (Shadows of the Rockies)

I’ll have two more there within the next month, which is exciting for me.  I’ve been a bit slow to join all of the authors enjoying this new avenue for publication, and it’s fun going through the process and waiting to see where it might lead.  I’ve also been saying some prayers that a book proposal intended for traditional publishers will find the right home.

Are you planning to have anyone with you for Christmas dinner?  It’s funny how life goes on.  It seems like yesterday that we were the ones traveling to grandma’s house for the holiday, and now our children and grandkids come here.  I love having them all together, and feel so blessed that they are all enjoy each other and get along so well.

Feeding a lot of people ends up being a lot of dishes, and I thought I’d share a cool recipe with you.  Not having to make mashed potatoes at the last minute means that part of the clean up can be done earlier!  I’ve been making these for years, but only recently found that the slow cooker step really made things easier.

Mashed Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

6 to 6.5#  red potatoes, cut in chunks, not peeled
2 Tbsp minced garlic (I buy it in a jar)
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp salt

Cook potatoes, garlic, bouillon and salt until potatoes are tender. Drain well.  Immediately  start mashing them (holding them in cooling water will make them waterlogged and they will not be fluffy when mashed), with the following ingredients (which you have mixed together in a separate bowl while cooking the potatoes):

1 cup sour cream
8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 stick melted butter (not margarine)
1/3 c milk (may need to adjust upward a bit)
1 Tbsp onion salt
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Pour mashed potatoes into a big slow cooker.  Lay a clean terry cloth towel on top before placing lid, and set temp to low.  The towel catches the condensation which will build inside the lid, and prevent it from dropping back down on the potatoes, making them watery.  Stir gently occasionally, by running a spatula along the walls of the slow cooker, so the potatoes don’t overcook and brown on the sides.  Holds well for up to 2.5 – 3 hours  in slow cooker if necessary.

Or…you can make these mashed potatoes up to two days ahead, refrigerate, and reheat for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees, with butter dotted on top, and covered in foil.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Is November Over Yet?

The Sharing Spoon small

It’s always been an eventful month, at least for me.  Lots of up and a few downs in the years since I was born on the 8th day of the 9th month.  November 2013 was no exception.  It ended happily, but it was an uphill trudge getting there, and I’ll make the long story short in just a few minutes.  First, about this beautiful holiday package…

Can you believe this cover came from a photograph?  Our cover art magician at Bell Bridge Books is our own Deb Dixon.  I dreamed of a stout team dashing through the snow pulling an old-fashioned bobsled, the kind featured in two of the three stories in THE SHARING SPOON, and Deb made this dream come true by somehow watercoloring a simple photograph.  Don’t try to tell me a computer had something to do with this.  It’s Deb’s fairy dust, I tell you.  I look at this cover, and I hear jingle bells.  Hot off the press in trade paperback and e-book, THE SHARING SPOON contains a Thanksgiving story, a historical Christmas tale, and a contemporary Christmas story inspired by my own early teaching career. 

And the cover has already been nominated for an award.  Please stop in at The Cover Cafe and cast your vote for “Favorite 2013 Holiday Romance Cover.”  Let everyone know what a beauty this baby is. 

A bit about the stories…

“The Sharing Spoon”

Born to privilege, Cynthia Boyer wants to share her gifts with children in need. Kyle Bear Soldier understands that his bank account is not a measure of his fortune. Two good people from two different worlds meet at an inner city elementary school, where hope plants its seeds. What are the chances of discovering a glass half full and hearts overflowing when everyone partakes of The Sharing Spoon?

“The Wolf and the Lamb”

As Christmas 1879 approaches in Dakota Territory, mixed-blood gunslinger Wolf Morsette reluctantly agrees to help Boston-bred mail-order bride Emily Lambert find refuge among his Metis people for the two newly orphaned stepdaughters she’s just met. In spite of the season—or maybe in light of it—four strangers set out on a journey across the frigid prairie in search of home and family.

“The Twelfth Moon”

Sergeant Luke Tracker is finally coming home for the holidays, and his sister Frances can’t wait to introduce him to fellow teacher Hope Spencer. But the Army is Luke’s life now. A few days’ leave with his family and a generous dose of traditional celebration is all he has in mind, and playing Santa Claus at school is nothing more than a fun little favor. Until Hope lands on his knee.

There’s a scene in “The Twelfth Moon” that I lifted straight from my husband’s childhood memory bank. (I’ve made more than a few withdrawals from that bank.  From a writer’s perspective it’s richer than Wells Fargo.)  Church was an all-day affair, and a good part of it was spent getting back and forth.  His family regularly used a team and wagon for transportation, and in the winter they took off the wheels and attached runners.  Yep, back in the old days.   20th century South Dakota. 

Which brings me back to November being an eventful month.  For the third time in my life I spent my birthday in a hospital.  The first time was, according to Mama, the second battle of Fredericksburg.  Okay, I have a big head.  Twenty-three years later I spent my birthday and most of the rest of the month losing a kidney.  This year it was my cowboy’s turn.  First hospital stay of his life, and he picked my birthday.  And pretty much the rest of the month.  But all he lost was a gall bladder, and who needs that, right?  He’s doing very well without it, and with all that hospital time, you can bet I made a few more withdrawals from my Indian cowboy’s memory bank.  Oh, yes, time does add romance to the past.  You’ll see!

THE SHARING SPOON on Amazon

THE SHARING SPOON at Barnes & Noble

Posted in Christmas, Cover Cafe, holiday romance, novella, Western Romance | 2 Comments

WINNER!!

Chelsea B. is the winner of the Amazon Gift Card!! Thanks for joining us.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

P1010882Roxanne Rustand here,  wishing you all safe travels, and that you will be able to arrive at your destination in good time.  Listening to the weather reports has me praying for all of you out East who are facing such difficult weather.

Here in the Midwest, the sun is shining and the weather is cold, but we just have a dusting of snow.  I’ve been cleaning like mad, getting the guest rooms ready, shopping, and planning our menu.

love cooking Thanksgiving dinner!  And our daughter does too, so we will be embarking on our marathon in the kitchen tonight with some of the salads, then getting up early tomorrow. What is your favorite way to prepare a turkey?

Have you ever done one in a deep fryer? P1010879 We’re doing the usual brined, herb roasted turkey and honey/maple baked ham in the oven, but my brother is bringing his new turkey fryer and we’re also giving that a go with a smaller bird.

Either we’ll have lots and lots of good leftovers, or a conflagration out in the driveway with the excitement of fire trucks.  :)

I’m using some fall photos here from the Quebec-Nova Scotia-Eastern seaboard cruise we took.  Quebec City is just incredible in October–I’ve never been in s city that decorated so much for the season, and it was just beautiful!  I would take that cruise again in a heartbeat.

What are some of your favorite recipes for Thanksgiving?  Anyone want to share?  :) P1010854 Here are several of ours.  Actually, I make Becky’s Salad whenever I have a big enough crowd.  It is wonderful, but it doesn’t keep well for the next day.

BECKY’S SALAD

1 head lettuce
1 head cauliflower–sliced thin (NOT chopped)
1 onion, diced fine   

P10108671 1/4 pounds bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced carrots

Dressing:
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese from a shaker can (not fresh parmesan)
2 cups regular Hellmann’s mayonnaise

1 box of seasoned croutons–Add last.

Layer salad ingredients into a big plastic container with a tight lid–in the order listed above. You can do this the night before.

Just before serving, fold in the dressing, then gently fold in the croutons. Notes: A food processor, such as a Cuisinart, is super for slicing that cauliflower really thin.   I’ve tried other brands of mayo, and I’ve tried the lower cal/lower fat Hellmann’s versions. And believe me, the regular, original Hellmann’s is the best one to use for this salad!

CRANBERRY FLUFF

2 cups cranberries
½ cup sugar
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 c diced pineapple
1 cup whipped topping
Using food processor, grind berries, add sugar, let stand a while.  Add marshmallows. Drain PA and stir it in.  Fold in whipped topping.  Thoroughly chill. 

!  ComebackCowboy--REVISEDWishing you all the best!  BTW–I will have my first Indie published books out this month–Comeback Cowboy and Summer at Briar Lake.

If you’d like to know more, I’ll be posting about the actual release dates (when I know them) at   http://www.facebook.com/Roxanne.Rustand.Author

Happy Thanksgiving! Roxanne

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments