Archive | June 2011

A is for Apple

It’s back to school time for Jinxie! That’s right, I have officially begun my classes, the first two of which are a seminar in Shakespeare (one of my fave topics) and Intro to Anthropology (another fave topic). These are both 8-week courses and I have five more to take by December.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means my posting schedule may take a hit. I know the past couple of weeks it already has, but I think family crises is a damn good excuse. I’ll do my best to keep the recipes, cooking tips, and regular Tuesday posts coming, but everything may just spread out to posting every other week. It all depends on my workload, and with accelerated classes, it’s going to be tough.

So, from now until the end of the year (when I will finally have my Bachelor’s degree), posting may be sporadic.

Just wanted to give y’all a heads up. 🙂

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What is Your Passion?

Today, I welcome a good friend, fellow writer and author, and just an awesome gal all around, Missy Jane, and she is going to discuss her passion(s). Makes sense, right? Romance author = passion. I mean, hell, look at that HOT cover below!

*ahem*

Take it away, Missy!

It’s a given that writers are also readers. It’s also not surprising to discover they have other artistic talents that allow their creative minds free reign. What is my passion besides the written word? Photography. I first picked up a 35mm SLR camera as a teenager and have loved them ever since. I love seeing the world through a camera’s lens and capturing it to enjoy later. I like catching random moments in time to ponder when the mood takes me. It’s kind of ridiculous how many albums, boxes and containers of negatives I own, but each one is a precious memory.

Writing is also a way I capture moments in time, just not my own. I create worlds different from my reality and characters that exhibit traits outside my norm. Sometimes the fantasy takes off into unbelievable realms and sometimes it’s grounded in reality. Either way it’s an outlet I enjoy that keeps me sane. It’s also a way I can discover new things and experiment without fear.

In my most recent release, Erotic Images, I decided to combine my passions. The hero is a photographer named Wes, and Lynn is his model. I had a lot of fun with these characters because of my experience with photography. I felt closer to Wes because of our shared interest. I’ll never be the type of photographer he is, but through him I rediscovered the joy of capturing that one great shot.

What is your passion? Comment below for a chance to win a prize pack and entry into my Birthday Blog Tour contest. Also, Jinxie is guesting at my blog today. Visit her there and comment for a chance to win her new release, Nemesis! Good luck!

-Missy Jane

*Make reading a guilty pleasure…*

www.msmissyjane.com

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Lynn Graves has already gone down to the basics. When an ad for a modeling job is brought to her attention, she simply can’t refuse the quick money being offered. But once she meets the sexy photographer, it doesn’t seem so simple anymore.

Weston Myers is in a bind. Short on time, he’s looking for the perfect body since the face won’t matter. Now that he’s met Lynn, no one else will do, but breaking down her inhibitions will take patience. And when she gets under his skin, he’s desperate to have her luscious body under him… But he doesn’t have long to ready his artistic photo exhibit and convince Lynn she belongs in his bed. Hopefully in the end she won’t be afraid of a few erotic images.

Excerpt

Cooking Tips #9

 

This one may seem a little silly and obvious, but I find it funny and I’ll explain why. Last Saturday, while at my grandmother’s house and after taking my mother to the ER again the night before, I wanted to have some of the leftover Red Clam Sauce my uncle made a few days earlier. So, we got out a pot, he filled it with water as I heated up the sauce in the microwave, and I dumped a small handful of angel hair pasta in the pot and walked away.

*ahem*

Today’s tip is do not ever place uncooked pasta in a pot of cold water. Yes, I did this. My uncle informed me of it Monday evening. I laughed at myself, so by all means, laugh at me.

Do as I say, not as I do. Wait for the water to boil, THEN you can add the pasta to the pot.

 

What I Need

Most of you know, especially if you follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook friend, the kind of week and a half I’ve had. My paternal grandmother passed away on June 11th, two days before my birthday, and I spent my birthday at the mortuary and cemetery planning g-ma’s services with my uncle, as well as taking Umi, my mother, to the ER. During the course of this, I was awake for 35 hours–from 3pm June 12th to 2am June 14th. On the bright side, I can officially say that I was awake for my ENTIRE day of birth. How many of you can claim that? I thought not.

Anyway, Umi stayed in the hospital until Thursday when I brought her home. Friday morning, we held the services for g-ma and I was gone for most of the day because after the service, we had a luncheon. What? We’re Italian. We eat after any event. Friday night, while I was over at g-ma’s for a BBQ (yes, more food), Umi called and I had to take her to the ER again. She’s still at the hospital, though they’ve moved her out of ICU. Congestive heart failure or something like that. Although, her texts the other night were hilarious. My mother has a strange sense of humor, even when she’s sick and in pain. It’s no wonder where I get it from. The whole of my family, meaning both sides, has a very macabre sense of humor anyway, and I’ll explain that in another post.

In the midst of all these family emergencies, I did the final edit on my new book Nemesis. We finally got it out the door Monday and it should be available now on the Running Ink Press website.

And as I hop all over the damn place, from mortuary to cemetery to hospital to chapel to hospital to *breathe* home, a cavalcade of text messages, DMs, Facebook messages, emails, etc. have come through over the past several days, all asking the same question–What do you need?

It’s a good question, and I wish I could answer it, but the truth is, I don’t know what I need aside from my mother getting better. I’ve commanded that she’s not allowed to die for at least a year. She’d better listen to me. But she’s scared. She said so Sunday night when I visited. And considering that my maternal grandfather shot me a message Saturday night during a palm reading, I understand because I’m scared too. He said to me, through my aunt the psychic, “You’re strong enough for this, for what’s coming.”

Yeah, kinda creepy, right? Actually, I know exactly why he said that. Earlier in the day, as I sat on my computer doing some final quick touches on my book, I broke down in tears out of the blue, and said, “I can’t do this.” I know I can, that I’m strong enough to get through whatever comes my way. I mean, shit, I’ve been to hell and back several times over the years. But sometimes I have that moment of weakness, where it feels like everything’s going to fall apart. And since it wasn’t so long ago that my life actually did fall apart, it kind of ups the ante on the moments of weakness and when they hit. Truly, that moment really is a moment in time, it’s a few seconds and then I’m fine.

So, really, what I need right now is to just breathe, to make sure Moon gets attention because she doesn’t know where my mom is or why she’s gone right now, to continue doing the things I need to do over at my grandmother’s house for my aunt, and to tell you to go buy my fucking book, Nemesis. 😉

Fair enough? Thought so.

The Last One

My last grandparent died on Saturday morning around five o’clock. You’ve seen me talk about her a lot. I call her G-ma. She’s the only grandparent I had left since 2003 when my other grandmother (on Umi’s side) passed away. She died on grandpa’s birthday, August 31st. Before her, grandpa died in February 1995, two months before my wedding. And 36 years ago, my paternal grandfather died. I was six, so I don’t have a lot of memories of him, but to this day, when I walk in that house, I can tell you exactly where his chair and table were, and how his pipes were laid out on that table. Every once in a while, I smell cherry blend tobacco. That’s how I know he’s visiting me. G-ma is with him once again.

Grandma Rainie was a strong woman. I mean, like you have no idea the amount of strength this woman had and the shit she carried on her shoulders. I think I got some of that from her because I always say I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Just don’t let something happen to my mom and I’ll be fine.  Rainie was a gentle spirit, blessed with a strong faith, wonderful sense of humor and a fierce love of her family. She made friends readily and in great abundance. During World War II while g-pa Dan served our country, she was on the home front building planes in Goodyear. She was a wing girl. She was active for many years with the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. She was also a retiree from Arizona State University.

Grandma Rainie was preceded in death by not only her husband, my g-pa Dan, but also my father Michael, who passed away last November, the day after Thanksgiving. She is survived by her daughter Danna Jo and her son Tony, and sister Olene. Grandma Rainie leaves nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, and two grandpuppies. She also had many beloved nieces and nephews.

I have now reached the point in my life where I have no grandparents, and Umi and myself just aren’t getting any younger. But I do still have some family around who care, who let me cry on their shoulders, who support me emotionally and spiritually, and who cook for me when I need it, like yesterday.

So…hugs and love to my family. G-ma Rainie may be gone, but we’ve all been blessed with loving memories of her, and now she’s with g-pa.

It’s My Party . . .

. . . and I’ll do whatever the hell I want!

And what do I want to do today, on this special day, my day of birth? Well, seeing as how I haven’t been to bed yet and I’m feeling a bit loopy crazy, I want to give away a copy of my new book Nemesis, which will release on Saturday, June 18th from Running Ink Press! One lucky person who comments on this post this week will win. Since Nemy is a bartender, all you have to do is answer the question: What’s your favorite drink?

Mine is a White Russian. 😉

You have until the 18th (Saturday) and I’ll pick a winner the following Monday and announce it next Tuesday, the 21st.

Prince Charming was a putz.

Prince Charming number two was even worse.

After the last prince ran off without any notice, breaking her heart and their engagement along the  way, Nemesis Mussolini swore off  men and passed the time kicking ass and slinging drinks, something her mafia father would never approve of. But, when her boss Clancy ups his flirtations, it’s difficult to remember she’s not interested, especially when he gets that delicious evil glint in his eye that has her melting. Just when Nemy starts to think all men might not be bad, she hears whispers about Clancy’s less than legal past, and wants to run like hell from the idea that he could be just like her father.

Great … Prince Charming number three may possibly be on FBI’s Most Wanted.

While Nemy and Clancy tumble down the romance road, hitting potholes every step of the way, Nemy discovers how much of her heart already belongs to Clancy, and how much of a Don’s daughter she really is. When Clancy’s daughter is kidnapped, they must work together to use every talent and connection they have to get her back, which means Nemy must learn to trust again. If they fail, Clancy could lose his daughter forever. Can Nemy surrender in time to get her happily ever after, or is she hell-bent on letting her past keep her from the one man who could be her true Prince Charming?

Nemesis has her own blog: Foxy’s Den

Nemy can also be found on Twitter: Nemy_girl

You can preview part of chapter 1 here.

Good luck!

Cooking Tips #8

 

Do you know how to contain a grease fire? Most people don’t. The picture below will show you what happens when a grease fire gets out of control.

My oldest niece, who recently graduated from culinary school around the same time this fire happened (I know, it’s hysterical), now knows what a grease fire is like. She used a fire extinguisher. I’m guessing that’s because the fire got completely out of hand, judging from the photo. However, she and I no longer speak to one another so I had to pull this from Facebook.

But if the grease fire has just started, cover the pan with a lid quickly. Do NOT spray water on a grease fire EVER. Water and grease don’t mix together well. The water makes the grease pop, and what happens when grease pops? It pops right out of the pan. Kind of like when you’re cooking bacon.

But the most important rule of this tip is that if you’re ever cooking something greasy, like bacon, do NOT walk away from the pan, even for a minute. That’s why the microwave above is melted. She walked away. If you have to leave the stove, either turn off the burner or remove the pan from the burner.

It’s pretty simple, really. Kind of like “don’t leave your kids around water.”

Mangia!